If travel and current events make your ears prick up, take a look at Political Tours. They enable you to see a country in a way you didn’t think was possible and understand the complexities and real issues.
Several New Zealanders have taken advantage of these small tours, travelling to the Ukraine, Russia and Palestine & Israel, giving them the thumbs up and describing them as unique experiences with a deep personal impact.
This year, Political Tours founder, Nicholas Wood, a former New York Times Balkans correspondent is taking tours to South Africa, North Korea, Israel & Palestine, China, Bosnia & Serbia and Iran.
Political Tours are the only travel company in the world offering tours designed and set up by journalists and it’s no surprise they won the Conde Nast award for “Top Travel Specialist” in 2013.
For detailed information on itineraries contact Political Tour’s Director Nicholas Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org.
South Africa – Mandela’s Legacy – 27 Feb. – 8 March
Almost two decades on from the end of Apartheid, South Africa is an amazing success story. It remains a multi-racial democracy. But twenty years after Nelson Mandela helped bring the ANC into power it is struggling to meet the needs of its supporters. Ordinary South Africans lack basic services, unemployment is high, and leading ANC members stand accused of corruption.
This tour is led by Peter Sullivan, one of the best-known journalists in South Africa, and former head of the Independent Newspaper Group.
Modern Iran – April 18 – 28
Iran is emerging from international isolation to become a major power in the Middle East and beyond. This tour tracks the changes that have taken place in the country since the 1979 revolution and looks at where it is headed today. From the fall of the shah, to the Iran-Iraq war and the more recent emergence of a reformist government, the tour explores all aspects of Iranian politics and society.
This tour leader is Dr. Michael Axworthy, a former British diplomat, Senior Lecturer at Exeter University and the author of the widely praised book Revolutionary Iran.
North Korea: What Next for The World’s Most Isolated State? – April 25 – 5 May
This tour looks at life inside North Korea under the leadership of Kim Jung Un and starts with pre-tour briefings from leading experts in Beijing on the latest situation in the country. The tour looks at North Korea’s relations with China, South Korea and the United States. It also looks at General Kim Jung Un’s tenure in power since the death of his father, Kim Jung Il in 2011.
This tour is led by world-renowned Korea expert, Professor Rüdiger Frank.
Bosnia & Serbia – 20 Years Later – July 18 – 26
Almost two decades since the end of the war this tour explores how the region has recovered since the break up of former Yugoslavia. The tour looks at how the lives of ordinary Serbs, Croats and Bosnians have changed since the end of the war and visits key sites in Bosnian and Serbian history. It ends in Belgrade, the capital of former Yugoslavia.
Guided by the former US diplomat and Deputy High Representative Louis Sell.
China -Growth & Change –September 4 – 12
China’s global pre-eminence seems to be a foregone conclusion. But questions abound as to how it can sustain growth, and adapt to enormous social and economic change. The tour track the changes that have taken place since the end of the Cultural Revolution and Deng Xiao Ping’s modernisation and sees how China has coped with the global financial crisis.
A veteran Beijing correspondent guides this tour.
North Korea: The Remote Northeast – September 12 – 22
While Pyongyang, the main destination for most tourists in the North Korea, is criticised as being a ‘show capital’ the northeast is more remote and is rarely seen by outsiders. Here it is possible see the stark contrasts of life in North Korea. The tour takes in ageing industrial towns, remote mountain villages, new factories and a border zone with China that is benefiting from increased trade.
This tour is guided by one of the world’s leading experts on the North Korean economy, Professor Ruediger Frank.
Israel & Palestine – October 6 – 15
The Israeli-Palestinian peace process remains one of the most intractable disputes in modern history. The Israel and Palestine Tour looks at the positions of different communities and political groupings on all sides by examining the issues of borders and land, Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the status of Jerusalem, Israeli concerns over security and the right of Palestinian refugees to return.
This tour is led by Gershon Baskin, one of Israel’s best known commentators on the peace-process.