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December 6 2013 | ISSUE NO 1,853 | www.travelbulletin.co.uk
Accommodation-only Study reveals 80% of Brits now take an annual UK break
this week news 3 new survey reveals agents feel optimistic going into 2014
puzzle bulletin play su doku for your chance to win a ÂŁ50 M&S voucher
Italyâ€™s Lake Como hosts International Golf Travel Market 2014
germany hoteliers & operators highlight new deals & product additions
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BOATING BUDDIES...Riviera Travel took a group of Travel Counsellors on a three-night river cruise, travelling from Budapest to Vienna. Pictured on the five-star MS Lord Byron with the operator's Joseph Grimley (third from left) are, from the left: Angela Oxley, Martin Flanagan, Merv Bates, Natalie Poat, Gaynor Pickard and Chris Roberts.
at home with eileen
Inset - Luton Hoo Golf
Cover Pictures: Main - Visit Britain, Cornwall
new survey finds agents feel optimistic going into 2014 Eileen enjoys her time at the Travel Counsellors annual conference Travel 2 offers double points to agents on completion of online module play su doku for your chance to win a £50 M&S voucher find out what one agent thought of her hotel stay in Dublin Italy’s Lake Como to play host to International Golf Travel Market 2014 hoteliers & operators highlight new deals & 2014 product additions new study reveals 80% of Brits now take an annual UK break
Carnival survey reveals agents feel optimistic going into 2014 BRITISH TRAVEL agents are in high spirits and feeling positive about the past year’s travel business, according to a new survey from Carnival Cruise Lines. The nationwide poll found that 84% of agents feel positive about the health of the travel industry during 2013 – compared to 82% in last November’s study. The survey also revealed that in terms of forward bookings, nearly two thirds (61%) of agents said the outlook for holiday bookings in 2014 is good or very strong. When asked how good they felt about this year’s summer season, the majority of respondents rated their mood as eight out of ten, up from six out of ten last year, with only 1% of agents feeling very negative. The findings are from the line's third Travel Agent Mood Index – an annual poll that aims to gauge the level of optimism in the UK travel trade. The survey also revealed that more than three quarters of British agents (76%) hit their sales targets during quarters two and three this year and a further 79% predict they will hit their targets for the fourth quarter. According to the survey, agents were most confident about booking all-inclusive
holidays, followed by package holidays with cruise holidays rounding up the top three. Despite several incidents faced by the cruise industry earlier this year, the results revealed that concerns on safety are not proving to be as big of a challenge as they were six months ago. Some 17% of agents this time around said safety was one of the biggest challenges facing the cruise sector at the moment – down from 33% last year. With regards to destinations, the US topped the table as the most popular holiday hot spot with Turkey and Spain coming second and third respectively. Those consumers least affected by the struggling economy – mature couples – are the holidaymakers making travel agents happy by booking the most trips (66%). Encouragingly though, families (48%) were the second most popular group of customers responsible for driving the most bookings, with young couples coming in third. When agents were asked about discounting in the cruise market, nearly half said that there was a lot of discounting but that it had improved. A further 26% of agents believed that there wasn’t too much discounting in the cruise market.
December 6 2013
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newsbulletin Kids ski free at half-term with Powder White POWDER WHITE is offering free lift passes for children at February half-term, offering families savings in the popular resorts of Courchevel, Val d’Isere, Meribel, Verbier and St Anton. A free local area six-day lift pass is valid, while stocks last, for all new catered chalet holiday bookings for the week commencing February 15, and every child travelling will receive a free pass – with savings of up to £125 per child. In-chalet ski fitting, special children’s meals and the option to pre-book all lessons and ski hire in advance are also offered, while children under 12 will receive a 10% discount on all chalet bookings. The operator is featuring ten new chalets this season including The Sebastian in St Anton, Austria, a property in the Stadl area of the resort with three ensuite bedrooms and an open plan living/dining area with a terrace overlooking the slopes. The chalet comes complete with free Wi-Fi, flatscreen TV, DVD library, iPod dock and a free shuttle service into resort. Seven nights at The Sebastian costs £1,299 per adult and £1,169 per child at half-term, based on a February 15 departure. It includes breakfast, afternoon tea, pre-dinner Champagne and canapes, a three-course dinner with wine and unlimited house wine (six out of seven nights) and a free local area six-day lift pass for children under 12. Travel, transfers, in-chalet ski fitting and activities can all be organised and tailor-made in advance. For further information visit www.powderwhite.com/offers.htm or call 020-8877 8888.
Free child places from Belleair Holidays BELLEAIR HOLIDAYS is offering family holidays with free child places for departures between May and October 2014 for holidays of seven nights or more. The offer is available in more than 65 hotels, apartments and farmhouses, offering a choice of meal options from selfcatering to all-inclusive and departures from a choice of seven UK regional airports. As an example, a seven-night breakfast stay at the fivestar Radisson Blu Golden Sands Resort & Spa costs from £2,047 per family, saving up to £473 per family. It includes direct flights from Newcastle, transfers, complimentary entrance to a selected Malta attraction and one free child place. The offer is subject to availability and is based on two adults and one child sharing, valid for travel on July 29, 2014. For further information or to book visit www.belleair.co.uk/agents or call 0845-365 3412.
PETER ANDRE has announced that he will be bringing his 2014 UK tour to Butlins Minehead for a special live performance at the seaside resort over November 14-17 weekend next year. Early bird tickets are on sale now from £125 per person, based on four sharing a Silver apartment and including tickets to see Peter Andre. For details see www.bourneleisuresales.co. uk or call 0845-070 4742.
December 6 2013
ABTA research finds one in five will pay extra for sustainable holidays RESEARCH RELEASED by ABTA – The Travel Association, has found that a significant and growing number of consumers, 38%, believe that it is their travel company’s responsibility to be environmentally responsible rather than their own; up from 28% in 2012 and 31% in 2010. At the same time, almost half of all consumers, 49%, say that they don’t want to think about being green on holiday but just want to relax, up from 38% in 2012 and 41% in 2010; a clear indication that the public are increasingly looking to the industry to take a lead on the environment rather than having to consider these issues themselves once on holiday. One in five consumers (21%) say they are prepared to pay more for a holiday with a company that has a better environmental and social record, which has increased from 14% in 2012 and 17% in 2010. Consumers are also increasingly likely to choose one company over another based on a better environmental record, 23% say they would do this, up from 19% in 2011 and 16% in 2012. There is also growing support for holidays to have
an environmental and social rating, similar to star ratings for hotels, with more than a third (36%) of consumers in favour of this, up from 25% in 2012 and 29% in 2010. Nikki White, the association's head of destinations and sustainability, said: “Our research has produced some very clear messages for the travel industry. There are a growing number of consumers, particularly the young, who are prepared to pay a premium for a holiday that is more sustainable. One of the reasons for this could be that consumers are realising that a more sustainable holiday tends to be a better holiday as it may, for example, give them opportunities to try local food and engage with local culture. The message is also clear that many consumers see sustainability as the travel industry’s responsibility and they want to go on holiday to relax, not worry or fell guilty about the environment. So, it makes clear economic sense for companies to have a well thought out sustainability plan that sells the positive benefits of sustainability to consumers and taps into this growing market.”
Mailbox Mailings with Travel Bulletin this week include: ● Carnival Cruise Lines are delighted to enclose their
2014-15 brochure featuring amazing cruises to the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska, Canada and Panama. ● Visas365 showcase their special edition travel agent
supplement for 2014, further details either visit www.visas365.co.uk or call 020 7554 3736 For further details and special offers please read the mail shots that accompany this issue
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newsbulletin Special Aruba fare from KLM KLM HAS launched a £680 return fare to Aruba from Manchester, available for departures until February 28. The airline operates five times weekly from Manchester to Aruba, via its international hub at Amsterdam airport, Schiphol. For more information see www.aruba.com
Fancy a pint...?
O WITH THE winter chill C ASE now set firmly in place, images of cosy settings, log fires and a festive atmosphere might just be what we all need. The Good Pub Guide 2014 is just the ticket, listing more than 4,800 pubs across Britain, Scotland and Wales. The guide offers full reviews from experts and readers, top ten lists and 'Pub of the Year' awards. Handy information such as contact details, facilities and opening hours, will ensure a trip to a recommended pub isn't wasted. The Good Pub Guide 2014 retails at £15.99 and is available at www.thegoodpubguide.co.uk
TRAVEL ACCESSORIES YOU WON'T WANT TO LEAVE BEHIND...
Grand American Adventures introduces exclusive special interest tours GRAND AMERICAN Adventures, which specialises in small group adventures to the Americas, has announced the launch of an exclusive selection of special interest tours, including photography, birdwatching and wildlife. The new options have been developed alongside professional photographers, birders and wildlife experts and are expected to appeal to hobbyists and travellers keen to try something new.
Examples include a seven-day photography itinerary from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon, 13 days touring Northern New England and Canada, 12 days touring the Rocky Mountain Range and a 13-day 'Alaska, Wildlife & Wilderness' option. The tours aim to give travellers once in a life time experiences and include highlights such as taking a float plane trip in the Alaskan wilderness to
searching for bears, sailing down Canada’s Inside Passage spotting whales, taking advantage of unique photo opportunities on a Navajo guided backroads tour in Monument Valley and experiencing the rare birdlife within the Costa Rican rainforests, lava fields and cloud forests. For further information visit www.grandamericanadventures.com or call 0844-576 1406.
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newsbulletin Tweets of the Week Who’s saying what on Twitter... @UKAndyHarmer CLIA UK & Ireland announce a special event with Norwegian Getaway on January 15 - an exclusive for CLIA members: http://ow.ly/rgwmr @TravelodgeUK It's one month away, so head to the UK's best Christmas markets to get your shopping sorted http://bit.ly/17W5G54 @OfficialBRS Enjoy a last minute 3 night break to Lapland for only £1047 per family with Santa's Lapland. More>> http://ow.ly/rh7eh @HertzOffersUK Whether it's an epic American road trip or a short State-side break in 2014, book early & save 20% on USA car hire: http://bit.ly/18l6a5x
Follow us on Twitter! http://twitter.com/ TravelBulletin
VIRGIN HOLIDAYS has launched a new Ski & Board 2013/14 digital brochure for iPads, which is its first fully-digital, app-enhanced interactive brochure featuring pop-ups, scrolling, click through content and imagery. The brochure features a range of new destinations in the US together with a wide choice of resorts in Canada. A PC version is also available from www.virginholidays.co.uk/order-brochure LONDON IS to receive a 24-hour Tube service at weekends from 2015. Friday and Saturday services will run through the night on core parts of the system – initially comprised of the Piccadilly, Victoria, Central and Jubilee lines and key sections of the Northern line. BRITAIN’S TOURISM industry is expected to more than double from £127bn in 2013 to £257bn by 2025, according to a new report commissioned by VisitBritain. The ‘Tourism: jobs and growth’ report suggests that the UK’s tourism industry could make up 10% of UK GDP by 2025, up from 9% this year, with this growth creating 175,000 new jobs. THE PALM Springs Bureau of Tourism and the Palm Springs Convention Center have redesigned www.visitpalmsprings.com, www.visitgaypalmsprings.com and www.palmspringscc.com to showcase and support the brand messaging of the Californian city being “Like no place else”. The three data-driven websites offer automated social media engagement and real-time access through multiple web-based platforms, along with improved navigation and guest reviews. NEXT YEAR will see New Zealand complete its nationwide 'Nga Haerenga Cycle Trail’, a jointly funded Government and community network of cycle trails to showcase the best of New Zealand's landscape, environment, culture and heritage. When New Zealand’s 23 Great Rides are completed, cyclists will have a choice of almost 2,500km of dedicated cycle routes free to explore independently or as part of a guided group. ORGANISERS LOOKING to make a new booking for events between January and March next year can take advantage of Edinburgh First’s ‘Winter Warmer’ deal, offering a daydelegate rate of £35. With a portfolio of venues across the capital, the special fee includes main room hire, lunch, morning and afternoon refreshments as well as use of a data projector and screen. The offer is available for events taking place between January 1 and March 31, 2014. GULLIVER'S IS offering children whose birthday falls on December 25 a free trip with three friends at one of its SplashZone, Nerf Zone or Spy Zone attractions. The company offers SplashZones at its Warrington and Milton Keynes parks, Nerf Zones in Milton Keynes and Matlock Bath plus a Spy Zone in Matlock Bath. Trips must be taken during the school Christmas holidays and places depend on availability. For details see www.gulliversfun.co.uk or call 01925-444888. TREKAMERICA, WHICH specialises in small group adventures for 18-38’s to the Americas, has launched a new 03 phone number in an attempt to reduce call costs for customers. For details see www.trekamerica.com or call 0333-999 7951.
Cox & Kings adds new range of group tours dedicated to single travellers COX & Kings has introduced a new range of small-group tours designed especially for single travellers. Prices lead in at £1,245 per person for a seven-day tour to Turkey, with stays in four- and five-star accommodation throughout. The tours have no single supplements and accommodation is based on the single occupancy of twin or double rooms in hotels. Each tour includes a welcome dinner to allow
travellers to get to know each other and a farewell dinner. Tour managers will accompany the groups throughout, supported by local guides and drivers. As well as Turkey, destinations include Russia, Morocco, Jordan, Uzbekistan, India, Sri Lanka, China, Burma, Vietnam, Peru, Costa Rica, Cuba and South Africa. For more information visit www.coxandkings.co.uk/single-travellers
Festive tours at the Houses of Parliament across Christmas & New Year from £16.50 TOURS INSIDE the Houses of Parliament are available for the first time over the Christmas and New Year period. Opening dates are on December 21, 27 and 28; and January 2, 3 and 4. The ‘Blue Badge’ guided tours take visitors on a 75-minute journey combining 1,000 years of history, modern day politics and art and architecture. Tour
December 6 2013
highlights include the Lords and Commons Chambers, the Queen’s Robing Room, the Royal Gallery, Central Lobby, Members’ Lobby and Westminster Hall. English language tours run at 15 minute intervals throughout the day between 09.15 and 16.30 and tickets cost £16.50 for adults with concessions for seniors, students and the armed forces at
£14. One child is admitted free with each paying adult, otherwise tickets are £7 per additional child aged five to 15. Special rates for groups of ten or more range between £9 and £13 per person depending on the tour start time. For details call Ticketmaster on 0844-847 1672 or see www.parliament.uk/visiting
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e m o h At en...
e l i E with
ileen orker E w e m o as h th? What h p to this mon u n e be
AD A wonderful time a couple of weeks ago at Travel Counsellors annual conference, which this year was held at Telford in Shropshire. The weekend got off to a great start at our Friday night welcome bash where we enjoyed a performance by singers from the “Jersey Boys” followed by comedian Rob Brydon. I’ve never witnessed a stampede at a conference before but that’s what happened on Saturday at our gala dinner and awards evening. No, it wasn’t because the drinks were running out! It was the arrival on stage of McFly who were the headline act of the evening. One minute, everyone was sitting nicely at their dinner tables, the next minute hundreds of people got up and hurried towards the stage. I think even McFly were surprised by the reception they received from us but it was well deserved. They were great! The conference sessions were both interesting and informative, updating us on the latest company news, innovations and future plans. We also enjoyed several interesting, inspiring and amusing guest speakers during the weekend, including the professional adventurer Debra Searle, who rowed solo across the Atlantic, and well-known businesswoman Karren Brady. There were more than 1,100 Travel Counsellors, partners and sponsors attending the conference including a number of delegates from different parts of the world. It was really good to catch up with old friends and it was a great opportunity to make contact with different representatives from our many suppliers attending and to hear all about their new products and offers. Sadly the conference was over far too quickly and it was time for everyone to head off home. We’d all had the most amazing time and I think everyone came away fired up with enthusiasm and confidence about what we can achieve in 2014. As this is my last column of the year, I’d just like to finish by wishing you all a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year!
W&O issues stand-alone Indian Ocean & Middle East programme WESTERN & Oriental has launched its first standalone programme to the Indian Ocean & Middle East for travel in 2014. It features a collection of holidays for couples and families including honeymoons, all-inclusive, suggested itineraries and multi-centre breaks. The brochure dedicates almost 100 pages to Mauritius, Seychelles, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Dubai, Oman and Abu Dhabi, and includes a greater focus on four- and
five-star all-inclusive properties in the Maldives, island-hopping in the Seychelles, new hotels in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and an expanded Sri Lanka portfolio. Prices start from £629 per person for three nights at InterContinental Abu Dhabi on a bed-andbreakfast basis, including flights and private transfers. For more information visit www.westernoriental.com or call 020-7666 1234.
CityJet boosts capacity over Christmas FOLLOWING DEMAND, this festive season CityJet will offer extra flights from London City to Brive BVE on December 23 and January 2, 2014. The improved schedule enables the many Londoners who have family or a second home in the Dordogne region to maximise the Christmas and New Year holidays with fares starting from £79 one-way. For more information visit www.cityjet.com
Here’s a great competition from Louisiana – the place where the music never stops, and most of it has started. You can win up to £250 of Harrods vouchers by answering three quick questions. Go to: www.travelbulletin.co.uk/competitions
Win a 7” inch Kindle Fire courtesy of Prestige Holidays. Enter now on www.travelbulletin.co.uk/competitions
Win a 7 night stay in Mexico, courtesy of Sandos Hotels & Resorts – enter our new competition at www.travelbulletin.co.uk . Some great runnersup prizes too.
All this and more at: by EILEEN SAUNDERS of Travel Counsellors To respond to any of Eileen’s comments email email@example.com
December 6 2013
www.travelbulletin.co.uk The home of the web savvy travel agent www.travelbulletin.co.uk
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agentbulletin Booking incentives ●
AIRWAYS HOLIDAYS is offering a special Guernsey holiday sale by air or sea. For agents making a 2014 Guernsey booking before the end of this year, the holiday will be held at last year's prices. The company is also offering early booking offers for 2014 bookings including free half-board, free nights, free car hire, child discounts and no single room supplement. Meanwhile, agents can earn a £10 Love2Shop voucher for any Guernsey booking made by December 31. Agents should email the booking reference to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 15 to claim the voucher. For details call 0844-415 6651 or see www.airwaysholidays.com CRUISINGEXCURSIONS.COM HAS launched Port Points, an agent reward scheme with bookings earning points that can be redeemed for gifts. Once an agency has signed up to Port Points, two points are awarded for every £1 spent on excursions, with rewards that include wine, sweets, restaurant vouchers, theatre tickets and spa breaks. Every so often there will be ‘Flash’ special offers with bonus
Ports Points, for example booking a particular port package could earn an extra 500 points. Agents can keep track of their rewards by logging in to their home page at cruisingexcursions.com. For details call 0800-091 8274.
Pictured (right) promoting the new agent reward scheme is C r u i s i n g exc u rs i o n s . co m ' s business development manager, Graham Chuter, and travel trade sales executive, Michelle Burge. ●
MYBOOKINGREWARDS.COM HAS announced that new reward partner, Oman Ministry of Tourism, has joined its portfolio. Offering agents the opportunity to ‘click and earn’ by registering their bookings online, Oman Ministry of Tourism saw £78,000 of agent generated bookings within six hours of being live. The tourist office is offering agents rewards including online cash credits, fam trip places and online retail vouchers (including Amazon and iTunes) for every registered booking.
BOND DELIVERY... Mel Bramley (left) from Inter Travel in Newcastle upon Tyne was recently presented with a Kindle Fire from The Global Travel Group (GTG) for securing the biggest sales increase in August and September. Pictured with Mel and delivering the good news is GTG's Darren Bond.
TRAVEL 2’S NEW T2 Academy Campaign allows agents to earn more than £50 of shopping vouchers. Until December 17, agents will be able to collect double points for completing the new Indochina module and an extra £3 shopping voucher for the completion of the New England module. The company's online training portal gives agents the chance to ‘earn and learn’ with points being awarded for every module they complete. Points can be collected and exchanged for Compliments Vouchers. In addition, agents who earn 100 points after achieving gold status will be awarded with an extra £10 shopping voucher. For details see www.t2academy.co.uk
December 6 2013
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newsbulletin Christmas packages from The Doyle Collection's London hotels THE DOYLE Collection has released details of its Christmas packages across its three London properties. At The Bloomsbury Hotel, guests looking to unwind can opt for Christmas Afternoon Tea and relax to a live performance by a harpist, while indulging in a selection of sandwiches, sweet spiced pastries and homemade cinnamon scones served with clotted cream and handmade fruit preserves. Christmas films will be projected every Saturday night in The Seamus Heaney Library, where families can keep snug under warm wool blankets, whilst sipping on mugs of hot chocolate topped with cream and marshmallows, and at turndown, guests will find warmed mince pies and mulled wine at their bedside. The ‘Leisurely London at Christmas’ package costs from £240 for two people and is valid until January 6. It includes an overnight stay, mulled wine or hot
Keeping an i on Apps
chocolate on arrival, a festive treat at turn-down, breakfast, late check-out and a dedicated Christmas concierge. The Christmas Afternoon Tea offer is available until December 15 and the movie shows run until December 14. The Kensington Hotel is inviting its guests to revel in the nostalgia of Christmas. Situated just off London’s Old Brompton Road, the hotel serves guests warm cider on arrival and is also offering a festive Afternoon Tea menu, created for both grown-ups and children. The menu features seasonal pastries, minced pies and spiced scones served with clotted cream and homemade preserves, along with traditional gingerbread men (soldiers) all hand painted; and Sugar Plum Fairy cakes infused with cinnamon. At turndown, guests will find the traditional warmed mince pies and mulled wine at their bedside – along
ed a AY has launch VISIT NORW app, making it ts’ ‘NorwayLigh t the appearance of ic ed pr to p is easier Lights. The ap n er th or st the N te la e th rs users d an free and offe er th ea the w predictions on tions. The launch ndi upcoming co the SA predicts A N as es com cord year re a on to be as se 4 /1 13 20 ing the ern Lights, be for the North ear cycle. -y best in the 11 es.apple.com/ n tu /i :/ ps tt h t Visi -lights/ ay w no/app/nor l=nb&mt=8 id717106363?
with the hotel’s signature popcorn in ‘mince pie’ flavour, from popcorn brand, ‘Joe & Steph’s’. A dedicated Christmas concierge will be available to personally advise and assist with any Christmas needs; from finding the perfect gift to recommending the best Christmas markets to explore, ice-skating rinks and secret Santa’s Grotto to visit. The jollity continues to New Year’s Eve, where guests can ring in the New Year over a three-course menu whilst listening to live Jazz & Swing. Meanwhile, to celebrate the Christmas light ‘turn on’ in Marylebone Village, hosts of The Marylebone Hotel and 108 Marylebone Lane will be spreading festive cheer with a stand at the annual Christmas Fair in Marylebone Village, offering seasonal preserves, homemade baked goods and Christmas gifts to the local community.
THE EGYPT IAN Tourist Authority (ETA), in coll ab Centre for D oration with the ocu Cultural & N mentation of atural Herita g (CULTNAT), has launche e d an ‘EgyptTrave l’ app. It offe rs visitors the cha trips to Egyp nce to plan their ta country by n nd discover the avigating 41 2 destinations and attractio n Users are o ffered navig s. ation options by re gion, attract ion or destination. The app als o contains a co llection of im galleries an age d maps, as well as events calen da downloaded rs and can be from the Ap ple store by sea rching for ‘EgyptTrave l’.
December 6 2013
A Yuletide Afternoon Tea will be also be offered to guests of the hotel through to December 31, with festive treats including mulled wine, spiced mince pies and cranberry macaroons. For children, 108 Marylebone Lane will be hosting a special Christmas party with a surprise visit from Father Christmas and his sleigh, and at turndown, guests will find warmed mince pies and mulled wine at their bedside. On New Year’s Eve the party starts in 108 Marylebone Lane with English sparkling wine and canapés at the bar, followed by a seven-course dinner. The Kensington Hotel and The Marylebone Hotel are also offering a ‘Leisurely London at Christmas’ package, with prices leading in at £240 for two people, valid until January 6. For more information visit www.doylecollection.com
ulture Tourism & C as ABU DHABI h i) ab h A Abu D cial Authority (TC fi of s e’ at e emir easylaunched th an – iPhone app e destination in fl of online and to-navigate able for e. Download id mobile gu the app Apple Store, free via the h updated wit is regularly e th om fr information aking i.ae portal, m ss to visitabudhab ce ave instant ac e. sure users h at ir in the em all that is new trip planner, the sual Built as a vi stant i app gives in ab h visitabud n on all d informatio and structure attractions and e’s of the emirat swers plus quick an s, ce n ie er p ex d uently-aske to most freq questions.
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Su Doku Win a £50 M&S voucher in the travelbulletin Su Doku prize puzzle Number: 139
Can you solve the following anagrams to decipher the destination & tour operator?
Rascal & Barker Let
B➠ Wine tours specialist
D➠ Fill in all the squares in the grid so that each row, column and each of the 3 x 3 squares contains the digits 1-9. Once you have completed the puzzle, simply identify the numbers that relate to the letters, A, B, C and D then e-mail the solution, with your name, company name, and full postal address plus phone and ABTA number if applicable to: email@example.com Closing date for entries is Thursday, December 12th. Solution and new puzzle will appear next week. The winner for 22th November is Roland Flook, The Travel House in Swansea. November 22 Solution: A=7 B=8 C=1 D=9
The third largest city in Spain
Where Am I?
Captial city of Gambia.
Crossword Fill in the crossword to reveal the mystery location highlighted by the green squares.
Across 1. Operator specialising in luxury and tailor made holidays (5) 4. Capital of Tokyo (5) 7. Cruise company, Holland ___ Line (7) 8. Major travel company (3) 9. Barry Humphries is taking this Dame on a final tour (4) 10. German city (6) 13. Country hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup (6) 14. Hotel brand, part of Accor (4) 17. West End show, Eric and Little ___ (3) 19. Capital of Sicily (7) 20. Reality show initially, based in an English county (5) 21. Father and son actors, Timothy and Rafe (5)
Down 1. Eager sounding English rock bank (5) 2. Miami based cruise company (7) 3. Popular Rhodes resort (4) 4. HMS Belfast is moored on the South Bank of this river (6) 5. Eastenders character back with Alfie (3) 6. Constellation known as The Hunter (5) 11. Monrovia is the capital (7) 12. Ferries operate from Newhaven to this port (6) 13. Historic city in Brittany (5) 15. Asian capital city (5) 16. Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in this range (4) 18. Sydney is the capital of this state, initially (3)
For the solution to the Crossword, Where Am I? and Travagrams, please see page 22 December 6 2013
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agentreview Gwyneth Prosser from Travel Counsellors stayed at the Red Cow Moran Hotel in Dublin for three nights, travelling with Irish Ferries. Here are her thoughts...
First impressions ..........................10/10 I travelled with my family (including four children) and upon check-in we were in our room within minutes just what you need when travelling with young children.
Comfort ........................................10/10 The rooms were excellent in every way - spotless and very comfortable.
Quality ..........................................10/10 The four-star hotel has 123 rooms and a good restaurant with friendly staff who accommodated our young family wonderfully.
Affordability..................................10/10 It averaged out at £32 per person per night, including the children and also included breakfast.
Service..........................................10/10 During dinner the restaurant manager fetched the children’s buggy so they could sleep undisturbed - this was definitely a family-friendly restaurant and hotel.
DESIGNER DO...Pure Destinations and Honeymoon Dreams rewarded their clients with an exclusive event at the Armani store last month. The Emporio Armani store in the Mailbox, Birmingham was closed exclusively for the event where more than 150 guests enjoyed an evening of free-flowing cocktails, discounts from Armani and Armani goodie bags. The companies are brands of parent company Airport Travel and both have recently re-branded their websites. For details see www.allinclusivehoneymoons.co.uk and http://weddingsbyhoneymoondreams.co.uk. Pure Destinations is also restructuring its recruiting options and is launching travel homeworkers next year. See http://travelhomeworkers.co.uk
Good to know ........................................ There is a nearby tram that takes you into the city centre. Also, book the taxi from the port in advance. We made the mistake of not doing so and had to wait an hour for the taxi to arrive.
Overall scoring: ................
Gwyneth receives a £10 Love2Shop voucher for her review. If you'd like to take part and receive a free Love2Shop voucher email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020-7834 6661 with your name and contact details.
December 6 2013
Jet2holidays set to launch 'On Tour' brand at Blackpool Rocks this month JET2HOLIDAYS WILL use the North West's largest indoor music festival, Blackpool Rocks, to launch its new On Tour brand this month. The company has chosen the Blackpool music festival, which will take place on December 21 at the Winter Gardens, as the ideal place to reveal its new lifestyle collection – an exclusive selection of package holidays aimed at style-conscious holidaymakers who like to party and relax in the most fashionable European resorts. The operator's CEO, Steve Heapy, said: “We’re thrilled to be supporting Blackpool Rocks. As a key airport base for us we are always keen on supporting local events which entertain and inspire our local customers. "It should be a great night and we’re really looking forward to showcasing our fantastic new On Tour range, which is perfect for people looking for great value lifestyle breaks to the places to be seen in across Europe.” Tickets for Blackpool Rocks are still available, and start from £26.50. To book, visit www.blackpoolrocks.com or call 0844-888 9991. For details on the new 'On Tour' brand see www.jet2holidays.com
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airlinebulletin ANA goes in search of the perfect flight THE PERFECT flight would give passengers an upgrade on arrival, have David Walliams as chief of cabin crew and be piloted by Prince William, a study has found. ANA, Japan’s largest airline, polled 2,000 Brits and found take-off would be at 10:45 and Jamie Oliver would cook a designer chicken dinner. Champagne would be the complimentary drink of choice, served 27 minutes after departure. When in-flight entertainment started, passengers would prefer to watch the James Bond favourite, Skyfall. The survey also found that on the perfect long-haul flight, British flyers would like six members of cabin crew and be served their in-flight meal 48-minutes after departure. Passengers would like to be able to board their perfect flight 32 minutes after check-in and seats would be in rows of two, with only 66 people able to board the aircraft. Other preferences included 7kg of hand luggage allowance and children would be allowed on the aircraft, but only if they were quiet. Passengers of the perfect flight would also like to experience the culture of their destination at check-in as many agree their holiday starts when they arrive at the airport.
SYDNEY SIGHTS...Malaysia Airlines teamed up with Tourism Australia, Destination New South Wales and Tourism and Events Queensland to host a group of 21 agents on a fam trip ‘Down Under’. The itinerary included a Bonza Bike Tour to experience the essentials of Sydney, a sailing trip around Sydney Harbour and a Mount ‘N Beach Safari to Hunter Valley to visit famous family-run vineyards. Heading north to Queensland, the group visited the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Fraser Coast and Brisbane with highlights including Paradise Jet Boating, O’Reillys Rainforest Retreat, Australia Zoo and Stand Up Paddle Boarding. Pictured taking in the sights of Sydney are, from the left: Simon Lisowiec, Austravel; Benjamin Johnson, Trailfinders; Gemma Little and Noah Simmons, Flight Centre; Lisa Mallon, Six Star Holidays; Anil Waughray and Julie Nobbs, DialAFlight; Matthew Perfect, Malaysia Airlines; Laura Stoneham, WEXAS; Linda Moyes, Freedom Australia; and Nellie Odebo, Gold Medal.
InBrief ● ETIHAD AIRWAYS has launched a dedicated in-flight 'flying nanny' childcare assistance programme for
families. Identified by bright orange aprons, each flying nanny will provide a 'helping hand' to parents and unaccompanied minors on the airline's long-haul flights. ● BRITISH AIRWAYS will serve Grenada twice-weekly throughout next summer. From March 30, the second weekly flight from Gatwick to Grenada will be on a Friday, to complement the Sunday departure. Grenada is also served twice-weekly by Virgin Atlantic flights from Gatwick. ● THOMAS COOK Airlines has announced a range of January special offers for its new flights to the Caribbean from Manchester Airport, which bring the only routes outside London to St Lucia and Antigua and one of only a handful of airlines flying to Barbados. Prices for return flights (including meals and a 20kg baggage allowance) departing in January are - Barbados from £384, St Lucia from £416 and Antigua from £423 - available at www.flythomascook.com ● AS FROM March 30, 2014 Pegasus Airlines will commence flights from Brussels' Charleroi Airport with fares from €44.99. Flights will operate daily, departing from Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen Airport at 10:35 and returning from Brussels' Charleroi Airport at 18:30. ● FLYBE HAS announced a further expansion of its winter programme out of Cardiff Airport with four new ski routes to Chambery, Geneva, Grenoble and Lyon. Booking is available now at www.flybe.com effective for travel between December 21 and April 2014, with one-way fares from £34.99 including taxes and charges. ● PASSENGERS ON Aer Lingus' long-haul flights can now use their own mobile phones to text and browse the internet, using AeroMobile's inflight roaming service. ● AIR EUROPA has announced the launch of a new route to San Juan, Puerto Rico. From May 22, 2014, the airline will fly twice-weekly to the Caribbean Island, from Gatwick via Madrid Barajas. ● US AIRWAYS is adding non-stop daily services from Philadelphia to Edinburgh. For the first time, the airline will operate flights to and from Edinburgh on 176-seat dual-class Boeing 757 aircraft between May 23 and October 1, 2014.
Air Canada announces major European expansion for next summer AIR CANADA is undertaking a major expansion of international services to Europe from Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary. The airline has announced highlights of its summer 2014 Europe schedule, which includes the introduction of yearround non-stop services from Toronto to Milan, Italy with up to five weekly flights, offering the only non-stop service between Canada and Milan. The carrier will also increase its year-round Toronto-Istanbul non-stop service to daily flights from three times weekly and expand the availability of its new international Premium Economy cabin with its introduction on Vancouver-Heathrow flights year-round, as well as Montreal-Heathrow flights during
the peak summer travel season. Larger aircraft will also be deployed on flights from Calgary to Heathrow and Frankfurt, as well as from Montreal to Brussels and Geneva in order to meet travel and cargo demand during the peak summer season. As part of the summer 2014 schedule, the airline's leisure carrier subsidiary, Air Canada rouge, will launch seasonal nonstop flights between Toronto-Lisbon, Toronto-Manchester, Montreal-Barcelona and Montreal-Nice. The new routes supplement the leisure carrier's other popular vacation destinations, including a previously announced Toronto-Dublin year-round service, as well as holiday and cruise package options, offered in conjunction with Air Canada Vacations. For more information visit www.aircanada.com
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s y a d i l o h f l go THE ST. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort in Abu Dhabi is offering the 'Ultimate Golf Experience' with the opportunity to play at the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club and Abu Dhabi Golf Club. It includes five nights' breakfast accommodation and four rounds of golf. Prices per night at the property start from £240. To book email email@example.com and for details on golf options in Abu Dhabi see www.golfinabudhabi.com
Costa Brava welcomes increasing volume of international golf tourists THE COSTA Brava region in northeast Spain was more popular with golf tourists this year than it was last year, a new study has shown. The Costa Brava Girona Tourist Board analysed the total number of rounds played by international travellers in the region over the past two years and found that while its domestic market still dominates the landscape (50%), it is increasingly popular with foreign golfers. The region has three former Spanish Open venues including the PGA Catalunya Resort near Girona. Ramón Ramos, director of the tourist board, said: “The area is increasingly being recognised as a reputable golf destination, and especially since we were announced the IAGTO Emerging Golf Destination of the Year at IGTM 2000. “Although competition in Spain is very fierce, numbers of golfers wishing to visit the region is progressively increasing thanks to the concerted efforts and dedicated marketing and promotional campaigns we have put in place letting people know about the diversity and quality of Costa Brava’s numerous golf courses." For more information visit www.golf.costabrava.org
Italy’s Lake Como to host International Golf Travel Market 2014 NEXT YEAR’S International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) will be hosted in Italy’s Lake Como region. The event will take place from October 27-30 at the Villa Erba Exhibition and Conference Centre on the banks of the lake. Jean-Marc Droulers, president of Villa Erba Spa, said: “To date, there has not been a focus on marketing our golf products to the rest of the world, despite 400 golf courses in Italy and 69 here in the Lombardy region – a concentration of courses almost equivalent to Spain’s Andalucía region. “For the development and future growth of golf in Italy, associations, clubs and resorts must come together to help promote the country as a serious European golf destination, supporting the efforts of international players such as Matteo Manassero and the Molinari brothers. “We believe hosting IGTM in Italy will provide a major opportunity to showcase the variety and quality of our golf courses, which stretch from the Alps to Naples and from Sardinia to Sicily, in locations where culture, art and food provide additional reasons to book a golf break in Italy.” For more information visit www.igtm.co.uk
Balkan Holidays launches online golf brochure to Bulgaria and Slovenia BALKAN HOLIDAYS has launched an online golf brochure featuring golf breaks of two nights or more to golfing venues in Bulgaria and Slovenia. As well as offering golf holidays at five luxury resorts in Bulgaria – three on the Black Sea - and at Lake Bled, the new brochure contains details of bespoke holidays that can be created for golfers by the operator’s tailormade department. As each holiday is created specifically for the individual, the brochure does not feature prices, however, a seven-night golf break in Bulgaria in May for two people costs approximately £459 per person.
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Other features of the new brochure include flights from a choice of seven UK regional airports, a £70 per person deposit, golf carriage on charter flights of £25 return, in-flight prebookable extras including seats together, extra legroom and group deals. The operator's sales and marketing manager, Rupert Diggins, said: “Bulgaria and Slovenia are definitely on the up as far as golfing holidays are concerned. The quality of accommodation available coupled with the stunning courses and wonderful climate, make them a choice that’s second to none.”
Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort in Bulgaria
To access the new online brochure see http://balkanholidays.inbro.net/seeinsi debrochure/7393 and for more details see www.balkanholidays.co.uk or call 0845-130 1114.
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golfholidays El Gouna’s Ancient Sands Golf Resort to open first apartment hotel in April ANCIENT SANDS Golf Resort, a new luxury resort and residential project based in the Red Sea town of El Gouna, will begin welcoming guests to its first five-star apartment hotel in April next year. Located in the Hilltop Village, the resort will consist of five individual buildings, each with its own garden and swimming pool and will comprise a range of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. The hotel complex, which will open in two phases, will initially offer 114 apartments in
April, 91 of which will be reserved for holidaymakers visiting El Gouna. The second phase is set for operation in 2016 and will bring the total number of units to 261. The completed resort will incorporate a Golf Club Estate House, an 18-hole Karl Litten-designed golf course, three tennis courts, watersport facilities, an outdoor playground and a spa, offering a variety of treatments as well as access to a steam bath, sauna and gym. For more information visit www.ancientsandsresort.com
An artist’s impression of Ancient Sands
Guests offered new Golf Performance Academy at The Residence Tunis THE RESIDENCE Tunis has launched a new Golf Performance Academy for both adults and children which has been designed to enhance and complement the hotel’s Robert Trent Jones II 18-hole course. The Academy offers mental, technical and physical training for absolute
Golf options on Visions of Africa's new website VISIONS OF Africa has unveiled its new website which features itineraries that encompass golf with safaris, sightseeing or gourmet food and wine tasting. Pearl Valley, Fancourt and the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City are just some of the golf courses that are offered, with an eight-night golf break staying at fourstar hotels in Cape Town and the Winelands leading in at £1,825 per person, based on two sharing. The price also includes four rounds of golf, flights from Heathrow and car hire. For more information call 01444-225640.
beginners to advance golfers wishing to improve all aspects of their game. Using state-of-the-art software to monitor brain activity, golfers are taught to relax, focus and visualise allowing them to reach their golfing potential. In addition to the golf clinics and personal coaching, the academy offers a
year-round driving range, 50 green bays, three dedicated short green games, a large putting green, online coaching (performance statistics, exercise programmes and drills) and a junior golf school. For details see www.theresidence.com/tunis
Aberdeen builds reputation as top golfing destination With the Royal Aberdeen Golf Club selected to host the 2014 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, Trump International Golf Links on its doorstep and the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre on the banks of the River Dee, Aberdeen and the surrounding Aberdeenshire are growing in popularity as a top golfing destination. The city is home to more than 50 golf courses situated within an hour’s drive of the centre, and the city’s new destination marketing organisation, VisitAberdeen, was launched last year to promote Aberdeen as a destination for business and leisure visitors. Steve Harris, CEO of the organisation, said:
“Aberdeen is simply one of the best golf destinations in the world. We are lucky enough to be situated in one of the most beautiful locations with rugged coastlines and vast, unspoilt Scottish countryside. Because of its situation, Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire have long been renowned as a golfers’ paradise and with such prestigious courses surrounding the area, it’s not hard to see why.” The 2014 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open will be held at Royal Aberdeen on July 10-13. For more information on packages and group travel call 01224-900490 or see www.visitaberdeen.com
Trump International Golf Links
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golfholidays Garuda Indonesia offers support to golfing campaign GARUDA INDONESIA is supporting Visit Indonesia’s latest effort to attract more golfers to the country by permitting a free sports bag of up to 23kg to be carried along with standard hold and carry-on baggage. Jubi Prasetyo, general manager UK of the airline, said: “Indonesia is home to some of the finest courses across the globe yet it has managed to stay under the golfing communities’ radar. Approximately 36% of our courses meet international standards and have been designed by renowned professional golfers including Greg Norman, Graham Marsh and Jack Nicklaus, so there is a lot of potential to become a strong contender for golf tourism in the continent. “By providing passengers with a generous luggage allowance, we hope to support the government’s new initiative to bring in 50,000 golfers by 2014.” The country’s 51 golf courses are placed among surroundings such as the Bintan Lagoon’s Ocean View course, which offers views of tropical jungle on the front nine holes and views of the South China Sea on the back nine. The airline has a domestic network serving 34 national airports and will be launching a direct service between London and Jakarta next year.
Dominican Republic Open scheduled for May 2014 THE DOMINICAN Republic Open is set to be held at the Cana Bay Golf Course at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Punta Cana in May next year. The annual event, organised by the Dominican Federation of Golf, will feature an 18-hole golf course designed by golfer Jack Nicklaus. Meanwhile, golf courses for all abilities can be found at numerous venues in the country. They include the Punta Espada Golf Club, a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course in Cap Cana which has been designed for golfers of all levels; the Teeth of the Dog Golf Course, the first Pete Dyedesigned course at Casa De Campo resort in La Romana; the Faldo Legacy Course at Roco Ki Golf Club, Punta Cana; La Cana Golf Course at the Puntacana Resort and Club, with private lessons available at the Puntacana Golf Academy; the Links, the second course designed by Pete Dye at Casa de Campo; Dye Fore by Pete Dye at Casa de Campo resort, with a 7,770ft course with fairways 200ft wide; and the Playa Dorada Golf Cluc, designed by Robert Trent Jones in the Playa Dorada Resort complex at Puerto Plata, offering easy access from 14 hotels and accommodation and package options.
Four-night, four-round deal from €230 at Spain's La Manga Club LA MANGA Club in Spain, which offers three 18-hole courses for golfers along with a selection of practice facilities, is offering guests a four-night, four-round stay from €230 per person. Available from now until January 25, 2014, including
Christmas and New Year, the discount packages offer golf on the resort's North and West courses and breakfast accommodation in its fourstar fully-serviced Las Lomas Village apartments. For more information visit www.lamangaclub.com
LUTON HOO Hotel is offering a Golf Residential Package from £129 per person on Sundays or £149 per person from MondaySaturday, based on two adults sharing. It includes 36 holes of golf per person; dinner in Adam’s Brasserie or the Wernher Restaurant (open from Wednesday-Sunday) at a supplement of £20 per person; breakfast accommodation in a Parkland or Flower Garden Deluxe room with a complimentary newspaper; and use of the Country Club facilities. The offer is valid from now until March 31, 2014. For details call 01582-734437 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Live scoring app from Golf Gamebook THE GOLF GameBook app delivered live scoring and social commentary at this year’s International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) in Spain, held from November 11-14. The app enabled more than 300 players across four courses to see up-to-the-minute leaderboards and send instant comments to fellow competitors. Photos from the four Costa Daurada venues – Club de Golf Bonmont, Club de Golf Costa Daurada, Lumine Lakes and Lumine Hills – could also be shared to wider social networks and friends following the event. Mikko Rantanen, CEO of GameBook Inc., said: “Game Manager allows anyone to run events of all sizes on GameBook, including corporate tournaments, club competitions and small groups on golf holidays. It’s a great way for courses and tour operators to engage customers and enhance their golfing experience. It’s also simple to use and free.” For further details visit www.golfgamebook.com
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EXPLORE HAS added a Bavaria by Bike itinerary which delves into the heart of Bavaria, riding through Franconia to Nuremberg, Bamberg and Rothenburg, before finishing in Munich. Departing from May to September 2014, the ten-day adventure costs from £1,382 per person including flights, nine nights' hotel stay with breakfast, bike hire, transport and the service of a driver and tour leader/cycle guide. For details see www.explore.co.uk or call 0844-499 0901.
Diamond Rail Holidays launches new tours with prices from £699 for five days DIAMOND RAIL Holidays’ latest programme of escorted tours by rail throughout Europe features two new tours in Germany next year. A five-day ‘Great Little Trains of the Harz Mountains’ option costs from £699 per person, with departures in May, June, September and October. Guests will experience the Harz Narrow Gauge Railways, the Brocken Steam Railway as it travels to the summit of the Harz
Mountains and the Selketal Railway through the Selke Valley. Also new is a five-day ‘Walking in the Rhine Valley’ tour, priced from £799 per person and departing in September. Guests can take the Eurostar to Brussels, high speed rail to Cologne and Remagen and then spend five days hiking on the Drachenfels Mountain, Lorelei Rock, Laach Lake and the forests and vineyards of the Rheinsteig.
German Motor Show option from Leger LEGER HOLIDAYS has launched a new tour to the German Motor Show (or Techno-Classica Essen), which attracts more than 190,000 visitors and showcases more than 1,250 exhibitors. Clients taking the tour will depart by coach to Mettmann, near Düsseldorf, for a three-night stay. Here they will experience two days at the Tecno-Classica Essen Fair, where dealers and private suppliers from across the world will exhibit more than 2,500 vintage vehicles for sale. Prices lead in at £279 per person including three nights’ breakfast accommodation, admission to the show, regional joining points and travel by Silver Service coach, based on a March 27 departure. For full details see www.legerbreaks.info or call 0844-324 9256.
Two-night Munich offer from Maritim AGENTS LOOKING for a Munich deal for their clients are now able to offer a two-night deal from Maritim Hotels. Priced from €175 per person, the offer includes breakfast accommodation, a beer voucher from the hotel, a city tour card (offering discounts on entry fees for more than 30 tourist attractions) and complimentary use of the swimming pool, sauna, steam bath and fitness lounge. The deal is based on two sharing and is available on selected weekends. For details see www.maritim.com or call 0500-303030.
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Prices are based on two sharing and include travel by Eurostar from St Pancras; all rail journeys; hotel accommodation; main visits and excursions; many meals; and the services of a tour manager. Regional rail departures are also available on a number of holidays. For more information call 0844-544 7581 or visit www.sellingrailholidays.com
2014 tour additions from Treyn ESCORTED RAIL operator Treyn has added two new Germany tours for next year. An eight-day Saxony Castles & Steam option costs from £945 per person and includes five nights in a castle-hotel, exploring the scenery of Saxony by funicular and steam railway and visiting the city of Dresden. Clients booking the holiday by December 20 will receive an early booking discount and are eligible to pay a £25 deposit. A seven-day Romantic Rhine Explorer itinerary is also new for next year and leads in at £665. It includes the wines, towns and charms of the Rhine Gorge and guests have the opportunity to explore the wine towns of Boppard, Assmannshausen and Rüdesheim. Guests booking by December 20 are offered an early booking discount and a £25 deposit. Tour highlights include Assmannshausen, a cruise to Rudesheim, wine tasting, a Cologne guided tour and a cruise along the Rhine Gorge to Boppard.
Boppard on the Rhine
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germany Germanwings announces route takeover from Lufthansa GERMANWINGS' SUMMER 2014 route schedule is now available to book at www.germanwings.com From March 30, the airline will take over a range of routes from its parent company, Lufthansa, as well as adding new routes, to offer a total of 31 destinations now bookable online. Currently, the carrier is gradually taking over all domestic German and European routes from Lufthansa, with the exception of the two German hubs of Frankfurt and Munich. In order to achieve this, the airline’s fleet will be expanded in the coming months from the current 38 aircraft to 87. As the first stage of acquiring the new routes, at the start of the 2014 summer timetable, customers from Dusseldorf will fly on the airline's domestic flights to Dresden, Leipzig and Nuremberg. There will be flights to Dresden and Nuremberg 16 times weekly and 16 times to Leipzig. The airline will also be offering a range of European destinations from March 30 next year including Barcelona, Basel, Bilbao, Dublin, Warsaw and Dubrovnik.
Croisieurope launches three new Rhine itineraries CROISIEUROPE HAS announced that it will be offering three new itineraries on the Rhine next year, all of which will depart from Frankfurt. Itineraries on MS Modigliani include a four-day Romantic Rhine Valley cruise starting in Frankfurt and visiting Rudesheim and Mainz (home to the Gutenberg Museum) before finishing in the old town of Koblenz. There are six departures - May 26, June 23, July 29, august 25, September 26 and October 20, with prices starting from 543 per person (approximately £466). Also available is a six-day Picturesque Rhine cruise round-trip from Frankfurt visiting Andernach, Braubach (home to the medieval Marksburg Castle), Bacharach, Mainz and the historic spa town of Wiesbaden. There are seven departures in 2014 - May 15 and 21, June 18, July 24, August 20, September 6 and October 15, with prices starting from 792 (approximately £680). Meanwhile, an eight-day cruise round-trip from Frankfurt taking in the Romantic Rhine and Picturesque Mosel offers a diversity of landscapes and a wealth of heritage. Highlights include Mainz and the Gutenberg Museum, Cochem and the Reichsburg Castle, IdarObserstein – capital of the gemstone industry, the medieval city of Alzey and the historic spa town of Wiesbaden. There are four departures - June 11, July 17, August 13 and October 8, with prices from 1,087 (approximately £932). All voyages include accommodation in an outside cabin with all onboard meals, complimentary beer and wine at lunch and dinner, as well as an open bar throughout the voyage (excluding Champagne, special wines or fine brandies), onboard entertainment and port taxes. For reservations or for more information call 020-8328 1281 or visit www.croisieurope.travel
NEXT YEAR Hanover will be celebrating the 300th anniversary of Hanoverian Germany when George I became King of Hanover and Great Britain. To mark the occasion, Fred.\ is offering tailormade holidays to Hanover, with visits to Braunschweig, Celle and Hanover, plus the chance to visit Marienburg and Buckerberg castles. Prices lead in at £619 per person including flights, two nights in Celle in a hotel on a bed-and-breakfast basis, four nights' breakfast stay in Hanover, plus rail travel to Celle, Buckerberg and Marienberg. For details see www.fredholidays.co.uk
Berlin hotel additions from Superbreak with breakfast stays from £33.50 SUPERBREAK HAS added more hotels to its portfolio in Germany with the launch of five new properties in Berlin. A self-catering option is available with the introduction of a Citadines property, offering something a little different for customers who prefer this board basis, and all hotels are fully commissionable and bookable online. New hotels include the three-star Citadines Kuftuerstendamm Berlin, where one- and two-bedroom apartments featuring fully fitted kitchens are available from
£38.50 per person per night; the three-star Berliner Hof Hotel, with prices from £33.50 including breakfast; the fourstar Estrel Hotel, priced from £42 with breakfast; the threestar Ku Damm 101 Hotel, priced from £45.50 including breakfast; and the three-star Mercure Berlin Hotel Mitte, leading in at £43 including breakfast. All prices are based on two sharing in March next year. To book or for more information see www.superbreak.com/agents or call 0871-221 4444.
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ly n o n io t a d o m accom MARK WARNER has undertaken an extensive refurbishment worth €3million of its chalet hotel, the Aiguille Percee situated in Tignes Le Lac, France, ready for the forthcoming ski season. New additions include 13 new bedrooms including interconnecting and family suites, the upgrade of the original rooms and communal areas of the hotel and a new health and beauty salon. For details call 0844-273 7397 or see www.markwarner.co.uk
New study reveals 80% of Brits now take an annual UK break ASK SOMEONE where they’ve holidayed in the last three years and chances are they will say ‘in the UK’ according to a new study which suggests that the staycation is now a firm favourite for British families. Figures released by cottages4you reveal that the number of UK holidaymakers choosing a domestic break has remained at a steady 80% since 2012 and looks set to continue. Only one in five of us still don’t consider staying in the UK a holiday. Of those questioned, 68% claimed that the Olympics and Jubilee celebrations hadn’t changed their opinion of the UK, suggesting our affection for the British break was already well established. According to the poll, the most popular reason for holidaying at home was its affordability (43%), closely followed by a desire to explore the British countryside (41%). In third place was the ease of travelling (40%) with another 17% admitting hidden airline costs had put them off overseas travel. One in ten worried about the economic instability of Europe and 16% said they were concerned about safety in some overseas locations. Cornwall was crowned the UK’s favourite holiday destination, followed by the Lake District and Scotland. London came seventh with one in ten planning to holiday in the city next year. Announcing the findings, Nick Rudge, the company's managing director, said: “This is a great boost for domestic tourism with many families now taking an annual British break, whether it’s their main summer holiday, or in addition to an overseas trip. “There are plenty of reasons why a holiday at home appeals to us and with so many different locations in such a small area, it’s easy to keep exploring new places. Although a quarter of us believe the UK has everything you need for a holiday whatever the weather, 17% of respondents said the high temperatures this summer had made them more likely to stay in the UK.”
Next generation accommodation from Eurocamp FOR NEXT year, Eurocamp is introducing Aspect – its next generation of outdoor accommodation, launching across 26 parcs in France, Spain and Italy. Designed with modern lifestyle in mind, the accommodation offers a living area, kitchen and bathroom, along with a covered decked
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area. Other features include a dishwasher, WiFi, Bluetooth speaker and iPod dock. Available as both three-bedroom (sleeping six adults) and two-bedroom (sleeping four adults) models, the Aspect will be available to book from this month. For details call 0844-844 0000.
New apartment options in London from Superbreak SUPERBREAK HAS boosted its range of apartments in London with the addition of five new Citadines properties. Each has apartments that can sleep up to four people and are set in central locations including Kensington, Holborn, Trafalgar Square, Barbican and City. Some of the apartments have full kitchen facilities and all properties are fully commissionable and bookable online. New hotels include Prestige Holborn Covent Garden from £90 per person per night, Prestige South Kensington from £85, Barbican from £70, Prestige Trafalgar Square from £93 and St Mark’s London from £70.50, all based on stays in March. For more information or to book see www.superbreak.com/agents or call 0871-221 4444.
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accommodationonly Hoseasons encourages agents to promote Christmas shopping breaks HOSEASONS IS encouraging agents to capitalise on Christmas sales by suggesting to clients to take a shopping break. The operator's head of sales, Zena Calderbank, said: “There is a real opportunity here for agents to suggest to customers they turn their Christmas shopping experience into a holiday. “Just recently, a couple of my colleagues from Lowestoft came to my home city, Manchester, to visit the Christmas Market and stay at one of our city centre apartments. We enjoyed a day of full of fantastic shopping with a very long lunch, and then just as dusk approached we dropped our bags off at the apartment, with a quick glass of wine, and walked to the Christmas Market. “Whether it’s staying in one of the UK’s major shopping cities, or visiting one of the many German-style Christmas
markets, staying in a city apartment can be a really relaxing and enjoyable way of doing your Christmas shopping – it certainly beats sitting in front of a computer all evening or weekend while shopping online and it’s much better value than staying in a hotel." The company offers a selection of apartments in 23 of Britain’s most popular cities, from London, Manchester and Birmingham to regional shopping magnets such as Norwich, Edinburgh, Bristol and York. The operator is also offering a range of deals on city apartments in the lead-up to Christmas with many starting from £80 per night based on the apartment sleeping two. For more information visit www.hoseasons.co.uk/agents or call 0844 847 1144.
Overseas transfers now available with Acerooms.com AGENTS CAN now book both UK and overseas transfers on AceRooms.com following the launch of the company's updated reservation system. The website offers more than 60,000 hotels worldwide, almost all of which benefit from the Airport Transfer Service. Vehicles range from private taxis or shared shuttles depending on the client’s requirements, with prices starting from £20 per person, dependent on the destination and dates of travel.
TRAVELCUBE HAS helped one corporate travel agent serve clients all day with a rewarding booking incentive. In return for more than doubling (+138%) the business the agency put through www.travelcube.com/uk in October, Hotel Focus won the 'ultimate coffee break' - a Krups Nescafe Dolce Gusto Machine; a PoddyHolder Coffee Capsule Holder; a Russell Hobbs three-in-one for panini, grill and griddle; and a variety of Nescafe Dolce Gusto capsules. Every week for four weeks, their Bakewell, Derbyshire office also received a fresh hamper of muffins, cookies and flapjacks. Pictured taking delivery of the new products is the agency's office manager, Charlotte Follett.
Third China launch from Maritim Hotels MARITIM HOTELS has opened its third hotel in the Republic of China, the Maritim Hotel Changzhou, in the Eastern region, near Shanghai. Rooms at the 219-room property are equipped with airconditioning, a bathroom with a bath and separate shower, hairdryer, satellite TV, Internet access, mini-bar and safe. The Executive Area on the 27th and 28th floors is specifically geared towards business travellers and, in addition to a range of comforts, guests are offered unlimited access to the Executive Lounge. Event organisers can also take advantage of the conference centre for a variety of occasions. The 400sq.m ballroom can accommodate up to 350 people, while the 143sq.m multifunction room can cater for up to 120 guests. Both areas, like the conference rooms for smaller groups, are equipped with state-of-the-art audio and video technology. Other facilities include a swimming pool, fitness suite, steam bath and beauty and massage rooms. For more information visit www.maritim.com
AMAZING SELF CATERING DEALS TO GREECE Skiathos – Christakis Studios (3D rated) from £13 pupn* Corfu – Venus Apartments (3D rated) from £12 pupn* Zante – Paradise Apartments (3D rated) from £17 pupn* * the price is based per unit per night
To make a somewhere2stay booking... ring 0871 423 8413* * Calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras
or visit viewdata/ www.somewhere2stay.com ABTA No.K9485
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accommodationonly We asked our staff the following question this week: What's your favourite app? Publisher: Jeanette Ratcliffe email@example.com Trivial Pursuit
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MALLORCA FARMHOUSES is offering a week's stay at the Hortets de s’Horta (pictured) in October next year from £993. The three-bedroom property sleeps six and offers mountain views, a fireplace in the kitchen and a heated outdoor hot tub. Prices include maid service, towels and bed linen, free Wi-Fi, private pool, representative service, free air-conditioning, barbecue, starter pack, property information booklet, TV/CD/DVD and washing machine/dishwasher. For details or to book visit www.mallorca.co.uk or call 0845-800 8080.
Contributing Editor: Paul Scudamore firstname.lastname@example.org
Abu Dhabi’s hotels predict bumper 2014
Psiloc World Traveller
ABU DHABI’S hotel partners are predicting another bumper year for UK visitors to the emirate next year. During WTM, stakeholders including Sofitel Abu Dhabi, The St. Regis Saadiyat Island and Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi predicted that 2014 will be the best yet for Abu Dhabi’s leisure market. Marwan Fadel, area director of sales and marketing at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island, said: “We’re seeing excellent numbers from the UK and the hotel is getting a lot of attention from British travellers. “Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority has done a great job in supporting key players in the UK and I’m optimistic that 2014 will prove a record for British visitors to Abu Dhabi.” The UK remains the emirate’s second largest overseas market, with 109,330 Brits checking into Abu Dhabi hotels in the first nine months of this year – a 10% increase on last year. British guests accounted for 518,571 guest nights – an increase of 21% yearon-year, with an average length of stay of 4.74 nights, again up 10% on the previous year. Salik Mangrio, director of sales and marketing at Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi, said: “The UK market is one of our main focuses; we have seen massive growth this year and hope to see the same next year. The leisure segment is the perfect fit for Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi, with the facilities we have and the nearby golf course.”
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New online search options from getabed.co.uk GETABED.CO.UK HAS introduced new landmark and postcode search options. The new functionality is a result of feedback from trade partners who are regularly asked by customers to book accommodation close to landmarks such as the Empire State Building in New York or the opera house in Sydney. With the new tool, agents can tick the appropriate landmark from a list and then use the slider to determine how close their customer would like to stay to it. Alternatively, if there’s a particular postcode a customer wants to stay in, agents can now refine their search in this way too. To receive training on any of the above new features or to book a visit from the company’s sales team email email@example.com
puzzlesolutions Crossword: Across: 1. KUONI, 4. TOKYO, 7. AMERICA, 8. TUI, 9. EDNA, 10. BERLIN, 13. BRAZIL, 14. IBIS, 17. ERN, 19. PALERMO, 20. TOWIE, 21. SPALL. Down: 1. KEANE, 2. OCEANIA, 3. IXIA, 4. THAMES, 5. KAT, 6. ORION, 11. LIBERIA, 12. DIEPPE, 13. BREST, 15. SEOUL, 16. ALPS, 18. NSW.
Highlighted Word: KANSAS Travagrams: (top) Arblaster & Clarke
(bottom) Lava Nice
Where Am I?: Banjul
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12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS! G G G
KSC AND ATTRACTION WORLD ARE GIVING AWAY TOP PRIZES EVERY DAY TO CELEBRATE THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMASâ€Ś WE ARE OVER THE MOON ABOUT IT AND SURE YOU WILL BE TOO!
Just answer the question that will appear every morning on our homepage from 1st to 12th December for your chance to win a fantastic prize... from Space Memorabilia to Gift Experiences!
Winners will be announced the following morning on www.attractionworld.com. One prize per agent. No booking necessary. 78 prizes in total to be won.