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February 7 2014 | ISSUE NO 1,859 | www.travelbulletin.co.uk

Escorted Trips Operators highlight new tours, savings & promotions

this week

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agent bulletin agent offers, fam trips, training & booking incentives

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puzzle bulletin play Su Doku for a chance to win a ÂŁ50 M&S voucher

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malta & gozo air malta launches additional regional flights to meet demand

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accommodation only new property additions plus deals to promote to clients


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Make a booking to Oman and a earn arn rewards! Register your booking for 7 nights or more at www.omanbooki www.omanbookingrewards.com rewards.com and you will receive a ou for your support. ÂŁ10 shopping voucher once your clientss have travelled as a thank you m trip to Oman in 2014. Sign up today for rewards, prizes and a chance to win a place on a fam

Beauty has an address For more information on Oman please contact: Oman Ministry of Tourism UK & Ireland Repre Representative OďŹƒce Tel: 0208 877 4524 | Email: oman@represe oman@representationplus.co.uk | Visit: www.omantourism.gov.om Study: www.omanacademy.com


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newsbulletin Eurostar offers tickets to German cities EUROSTAR HAS introduced a new ticket offering in partnership with Deutsche Bahn, with tickets available to purchase to six cities in Germany - Aachen, Cologne, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich. Agents can purchase (via eurostar.com) one single ticket valid for the entire journey for travel to the cities on behalf of their clients. Tickets cost from £49.50 for a one-way ticket to Aachen, Cologne, Bonn and Düsseldorf; from £79.50 to Frankfurt and from £97.50 to Munich. For details call 0843-218 6186.

Cover Pictures: Main - Venice, Trafalgar

Inset - Air Malta

This Week 3

news

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at home with eileen

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agent bulletin

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puzzle bulletin

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operator review

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personality bulletin

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greece & cyprus

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malta & gozo

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escorted trips

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accommodation only

a round-up of this week's latest offers & announcements find out what homeworker Eileen has been up to lately the latest agent offers, fam trips, training & booking incentives play Su Doku for a chance to win a £50 M&S voucher Gold Medal's Dave Carter reviews Spice Island Beach Resort in Grenada Alison Whitfield from Ethos Marketing takes the hot seat this week operators & airlines highlight new itineraries & routes Air Malta launches additional regional flights to meet demand operators highlight new tours, savings & promotions new property additions plus deals to promote to clients

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THE GIFT OF LOVE...Attraction World's Nicola Herper visited Thomson in Merryhill, Broadway to highlight the company's range of gift experiences in the run up to Valentine's Day by popping the question to the agency's Jamie Bill. Witness to the event is the agency's Chelsea Davies. Current offers include a pamper day for two with three treatments each for £119 (was £199), a two-night getaway for £99 (was £199) and a London Eye Champagne Flight for two for £74 per couple.

In-store music hits the right note with staff and customers MUSIC CAN help to put consumers in the ‘holiday mood’, increasing their likeliness of purchasing a holiday, according to new research by music licensing company, PPL. Results of the research also revealed that almost all staff respondents surveyed working in a travel retail environment (99%) agree that customers would be happier if music was played instore, whilst 81% of customers agree that playing music creates a better atmosphere for shoppers. This in turn can help to increase customer dwell time - more than half (51%) of customers said they would spend more time browsing in a store playing music, while 76% of customers agreed that they feel more relaxed shopping in retail stores that play music. The research shows that music can positively influence consumers’ purchasing decisions when booking a holiday. Around 66% of customers agree that playing music removes any awkward silences while shopping for a holiday, while 54% agree that shopping in a store that plays music would increase their likeliness of purchasing a holiday compared to a store that does not play music. Findings also revealed that music can enhance positivity and productivity in-store, with 95% of staff saying that they felt in-store music creates a better working environment, making them more productive. The majority (96%) of staff said that playing music in store improves their mood and 83% went as far as to say that they would be demotivated if the music was turned off. The genre of music for staff is also a key consideration for in-store music - 88% stated that they would prefer to listen to music by recognisable performers rather than sound-alikes, highlighting the value and appreciation for original artist music. STA Travel UK marketing director, Laurence Bresh, said: "We find having music playing in our stores creates a relaxed and informal environment for both customers and staff. Having a range of music playing in our 50 UK stores creates a great atmosphere to allow time to chat to our travel experts and ensure our customers have all the tools necessary to create their ideal itinerary."

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newsbulletin St. Kitts welcomes opening of $600million project, Kittitian Hill KITTITIAN HILL, a $600m project encompassing private villas and boutique hotels, will open this year on the island of St. Kitts. Located in 400 acres of farmland set between Mount Liamuiga and the Caribbean Sea, every building within Kittitian Hill will be constructed using local or sustainable materials, crafted in collaboration with a team of more than 50 local contractors and craftsmen. Among the destination’s facilities are hotels including Belle Mont Farm, a 119-room property comprising onebedroom private guesthouses and a handful of larger Greathouses (accommodating up to 16). The hotel features rainwater showers, hand-selected wine, pre-loaded tablets and drop-down big screens plus crates of farmfresh fruit daily. Guesthouse prices start from $800 per night, with Greathouse prices available upon request. Meanwhile, the Village Inn Suites consist of one and two guestrooms and are situated in the heart of the village.

Restaurants and bars include The Refinery with its bar, The Mill; The Table at Belle Mont Farm, which provides a fresh-from-the-farm harvest dining experience and the Red Rhum Bar; plus The Golden Lemon and The Lime located in nearby Dieppe Bay. Meanwhile, The Town Hall offers a collection of meeting rooms and event halls that will hold conferences and events and will also form the nucleus for the promotion of regional and international art, cultural events and festivals. Other attractions include the Irie Fields golf course, where half of the par-72 18-hole course will comprise farmland featuring cart/walking paths through the orchards where guests will see ‘Pick Me’ notices when the fruit is ripe; and The Village, featuring a mix of residences, restaurants, bars, art galleries, boutiques, a farmer’s market, film festivals and an open-air cinema. The first of Kittitian Hill’s facilities will open in March. For further details see www.kittitianhill.com

Shearings introduces new battlefield tours with eight days from £749 SHEARINGS HAS launched new battlefield tours this year to coincide with the centenary of World War I. An eight-day Battlefields of World War I and II leads in at £749 per person and cruises along Dutch and Belgian waterways, with highlights including a visit to Ypres, the Airbourne Museum, the National Liberation Museum and the sights of Antwerp and Amsterdam. The price includes six nights’ full-board cruise, as well as a night’s half-board accommodation en route and coach

travel. Departures are available in April. A nine-day Battlefields Remembered tour costs from £969 and gives guests the chance to discover the battlefields of Holland and Belgium. Highlights include visits to Ypres, Cologne and the UNESCO site of Nijmegen. The price includes six nights’ full-board cruise as well as two nights’ half-board accommodation en route and coach travel. Departures are available in November. Alternatively, a ten-day Battlefields Commemorative Cruise leads in at

£1,149 and cruises along the Rhine and Dutch and Belgian waterways, with highlights including visits to Ypres, Cologne and Antwerp. The price includes seven nights’ full-board cruise, two nights’ half-board accommodation en/post-route and coach travel. Departures are available between May and July. Options to travel by air and rail are also available on all tours. For more information call 0844-824 6351 or visit www.shearings.com

Burma debut from AmaWaterways

VIP SKI has announced the addition of new chalets in Meribel, Morzine and Avoriaz. As an example, the Ballacima Lodge (pictured) in Meribel is a new five-bedroom luxury chalet offering a lift, cinema, billiard room, hot tub and swimming pool. Prices start from £1,129 per person based on two sharing and include flights from Gatwick, transfers and chalet board catering. For more information or to book visit www.vip-chalets.com or call 0844-557 3119.

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AMAWATERWAYS IS cruising Myanmar’s (Burma’s) Irrawaddy for the first time this year. The company has built an all-suite 56-passenger river cruiser, the AmaPura, which launches on Myanmar’s Irrawaddy river in November, making daily stops with included excursions and tours to optimise the experience. The Golden Treasures of Myanmar itinerary costs from £4,999 per person including flights, two nights' precruise and one night post-cruise stay in Yangon, transfers to and from the ship, ten nights on the ship, all tours, all meals, wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, on-board entertainment and lectures, plus port charges. Meanwhile, the line is highlighting an excursion to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the Normandy Landings, with a guided visit to Normandy’s Gold and Juno beaches, a visit to the Juno Beach WWII museum, to Arromanches and to WWII monuments. The excursion is included on a week’s luxury Seine cruise from Paris, departing throughout this year. Other highlights include a visit to the harbour at Honfleur and the castles and towns that line the Seine. D-Day cruises cost from £1,889 including travel by Eurostar from London, daily tours and excursions, seven nights' full board accommodation, free Wi-Fi and free use of on board bicycles. For more information or to book see www.amawaterways.co.uk or call 0808-223 5009.

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Newsbites ●

DOWNTOWN LAS Vegas has welcomed its newest addition, the Downtown Grand Las Vegas. The property offers 634 guestrooms, a variety of food and beverage offerings and a MOB Bar featuring live music. The hotel is planning to develop new experiences over the next few months, culminating with the spring 2014 premiere of PICNIC, an urban rooftop pool retreat. For details see www.downtowngrand.com

Western & Oriental launches 96-page Europe brochure for 2014 WESTERN & ORIENTAL has launched its new Europe brochure for 2014 travel, including a variety of accommodation options and destinations. Throughout the brochure are insider tips and the return of the ‘Kids in the Med’ brand, with symbols to represent age suitability for each hotel. The 96-page brochure includes more than 60 hotels with prices starting from £420 per person for seven nights’ breakfast accommodation at Epic Sana on the Algarve, including flights and private transfers. Sections include Family Value Europe, which features destinations such as the Algarve, Greece and Turkey, while new resorts

include the Gloria Resort in Turkey, which offers halfboard or all-inclusive stays and a Gogi Kids Club, with three groups for different age ranges. The resort also offers an Aquapark with eight waterslides of differing sizes and speeds. Seven nights’ all-inclusive accommodation leads in at £1,390 per adult and £420 per child, including flights and private transfers. Alternatively, in Glam Europe, the Gran Hotel Son Net in Mallorca is ideal for honeymooners and costs from £599 per adult for seven nights’ breakfast accommodation, including flights and private transfers. For more information call 020-7666 1234 or visit www.westernoriental.com

THE SOUTH Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) is hosting the first South Pacific Tourism Exchange (SPTE) from May 22-23 in Auckland, New Zealand. The inaugural event will be the region’s largest travel and tourism business-to-business event for up to 16 Pacific Island countries and their private sector tourism operators. NOBLE CALEDONIA has issued its Small Ships brochure for 2014/15 featuring worldwide destinations on its flagships Island Sky and Caledonian Sky, as well as other vessels. The company offers a selection of expedition and destination cruises to far-flung and unique destinations. For details see www.noble-caledonia.co.uk or to order a copy of the brochure email agencysales@noblecaledonia.co.uk SANDALS RESORTS has announced the construction of a new Beaches Resort in Antigua at the site of the company’s existing Grand Pineapple Resort in Long Bay. The new resort will offer one- to four-bedroom rooms and suites, up to 12 restaurants, conferencing facilities and a range of features including a water park, a cinema, an Xbox Play Lounge and a BMX track. For more information visit www.beachesresorts.co.uk SEABOURN HAS signed a contract for the construction of a new all-suite vessel. The configuration of the new, 40,350 GRT vessel will be based on the Seabourn Odyssey-class ships, with one additional deck and new expanded public areas. It will be built by Fincantieri S.p.A. in Italy, with delivery scheduled for mid-2016. ROYAL CARIBBEAN International has launched a new 2014 family cruise brochure for tablets. Designed to coincide with peak booking season, the e-brochure features videos and interactive content to help showcase its family friendly features and experiences. LUXPERIENCE, THE annual business exchange for the international travel trade held in the Australasia and Pacific region, is announcing a six month campaign to grow its presence in the UK market ahead of the 2014 event which will be staged at Sydney’s Pier 2/3, Walsh Bay from August 31 to September 3. The campaign kicks off with a London Pop Up Event on Monday March 3 and is open to specialist travel professionals seeking inspiration for luxury and high end experiential travel. To register email mark@sandraleach.co.uk or call 020-8545 2616.

Virgin Holidays adds new Caribbean properties to programme for 2014 VIRGIN HOLIDAYS has added more properties to its Caribbean portfolio. In Jamaica, the newly renovated adults-only The Jewel Paradise Cove in Ocho Rios has been added, which focuses on health, spa and fitness. Jewel Dunn’s River, which offers a selection of land and watersports, has also been introduced and is located near the Dunn’s River Falls.

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At both Jewel resorts, guests will receive exclusive offers including VIP check-in with welcome cocktail, 15% off in the spa, 15% reduction on a private candlelit dinner and complimentary fruit platter. Meanwhile, in Mexico the operator is now featuring the all-inclusive Barcelo Maya Beach Resort, located in the Riviera Maya, while in Playa

Del Carmen, the Sandos Playacar Beach Resort & Spa has also been introduced. Alternatively, guests can opt to stay at the Melia Marina Varadero, an allinclusive marina resort in Cuba, located a short walk from the beach and ideal for families. For further details call 0844-557 3973 or visit www.vhols4agents.co.uk

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newsbulletin Tweets of the Week Who’s saying what on Twitter... @Gatwick_Airport The latest Gatwick hotel has opened its doors. Hampton by Hilton is right by our North Terminal @HbHGatwick http://ow.ly/t1mfk @MyRoyalUK Fancy £500 off the holiday experience of a lifetime? Visit here for more information http://bit.ly/16VG6cX @VisitBritain Filming in London has started for Night at the Museum 3- look who were spotted on the city's streets the other night: http://dailym.ai/1fcbGH4 @FredOlsenCruise Fancy a summer mini break? 2night Honfleur mini cruise on board Braemar ex Dover 18th July. Prices start from £219pp http://bit.ly/LjboUO @superbreak Wow! We LOVE this Afternoon Tea in York offer. Perfect for Valentine's Day *wink wink* http://bit.ly/1f31AsH

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STAR LINE-UP...Pictured celebrating their 'Central England and the East All Star' award at the All Stars Awards Ceremony at the recent AITO Agents' domestic conference at Drayton Manor Hotel in Staffordshire are, from the left: Sarah Williams, Samantha Riley, Melanie Sallis, Bernadette Taylor, Sue Richardson and Claire Hunt from Staffordshire-based Journeys a la Carte.

Eiffel Tower tour & lunch from Superbreak SUPERBREAK HAS launched a new Eiffel Tower tour and lunch with exclusive dates throughout the year to help guarantee availability for agents to sell. The ‘Eiffel Tower skip-the-line guided tour and three-course lunch at 58 Tour Eiffel' can now be booked in conjunction with any hotel booking to Paris and is fully commissionable to agents. Exclusive dates to the operator are March 8, April 12, May 24, July 5, August 16 and September 20. The tours begin at 09:30 and end at 10:30. Packages start from £145.50 per person including one night at the four-star Auteuil Tower Eiffel Hotel and the skip-the-line tour. For more information see www.superbreak.com/agents or call 0871-221 4444.

Warner Leisure Hotels reveals new names for 2014 Star Breaks WARNER LEISURE Hotels has announced a host of new names for its 2014 Star Breaks. The new acts will include ‘Any Dream Will Do’ winner and star of Westend shows Joseph, Wicked and Legally Blonde, Lee Mead, who will appear on April 11 at Littlecote House Hotel, Berkshire. Britain’s Got Talent finalist and ventriloquist Steve Hewlett will be showing off his talents for the first time with his lively puppet friends for an evening of fun and laughter at Corton Coastal Village, Suffolk on April 25. Strictly Come Dancing star judge Len Goodman and the Piccadilly Dance Orchestra will be at Littlecote House onJuly 25 where guests will get to rediscover the magical world of Broadway and Hollywood music. Meanwhile, vocal harmony group, The Overtones, will be

blending uplifting 50s Motown and doowop with modern pop at Nidd Hall Hotel, North Yorkshire on August 1. Also making an appearance at Nidd Hall on September 5 is TV personality Christopher Biggins. Guests have the chance to upgrade to Star Break Platinum VIP Experience package for an extra £50 per person on selected breaks. These include the best seats in the house, a bottle of Champagne per couple and the opportunity to meet the stars of the show backstage in the exclusive ‘Green Room Experience’. Star Breaks cost from £190 per person based on two adults sharing a standard room for a three-night break arriving on April 25 at Corton Coastal Village, Suffolk. It includes Simply Dine (half-board) and features a performance by Steve Hewlett.

Holland America Line marks Panama Canal centenary with free onboard credit TO CELEBRATE the 100th anniversary of the Panama Canal this year, Holland America Line is offering a free $100 onboard spend per cabin on selected Panama Canal sailings. The offer is available on 28 full and partial transits of the Panama Canal throughout 2014, on five ships. Ranging in length from ten to 22 days, a variety of different itineraries are offered.

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Eligible for the anniversary deal is the MS Westerdam 14-night Panama Canal cruise, which departs on April 15 from Fort Lauderdale. Ports of call include Cartagena in Colombia, before transiting the Panama Canal and then continuing to Puerta Caldera in Costa Rica, followed by Puerto Chiapas, Huatulco, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas in Mexico, before disembarking

in San Diego. The 14-night fly/cruise costs from £2,175 per person, based on two sharing an inside cabin. It includes flights, full-board accommodation, a night’s pre-cruise hotel stay and transfers. For more information or to book call 0843-374 2300 or visit www.hollandamerica.co.uk

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F R PR O IC M E £5 S 89 P

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ST. AUGUSTINE & PONTE VEDRA

Florida’s Historic Coast® encompasses the entirety of St. Johns County including St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra and The Beaches. St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States, features more than 60 historic sites and attractions, national monuments, architecturally-rich churches and unspoiled natural settings – all providing a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy.

WIN A FLY DRIVE HOLIDAY TO THE FLORIDA BEACHES* diversity that Florida has to offer. www.funway4agents.co.uk and complete our short survey. With 8 up for grabs, you have more chance than ever before! All completed surveys will be entered into a prize draw with the winners being chosen at random shortly after the closing date. HOLIDAY DESTINATION(S) & DURATION

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To book visit funway4agents.co.uk or call our experienced travel advisors on 0844 557 0626

FLORIDA BEACHES 2014 & 2015

NEW FLORIDA BEACHES 2014 & 2015 BROCHURE OUT NOW DISCOVER 14 INCREDIBLE

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DESTINATIONS AND SAVOUR

THE SUNSHINE OF FLORIDA


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e m o h At en...

e l i E h wit

ileen orker E w e m o as h th? What h p to this mon u n e be

HIS MORNING as I looked in the mirror and saw my pasty face looking back at me, I just couldn’t believe that it’s only been a month since I got back from my Christmas holiday in the Caribbean. Gone is that lovely natural healthy glow and I’m back to looking like Miss Havisham’s younger sister. My holiday really seems like ages ago and I’m about ready for another after all this miserable weather we’ve been having! Having had the wettest January for 100 years and with the rain and flooding set to continue, I can’t help but wonder if there is anyone out there that still doesn’t believe in global warming. I’m pleased to say I am still busy and I’m currently working on some really good new enquiries, several of which are from new customers who have been recommended to me. The majority of my business comes by way of recommendation which is great, and I always make a point of thanking whoever made the referral. You never know what your next enquiry is going to be and that keeps life interesting. If it is to somewhere you haven’t sold before then it’s an ideal opportunity to research the destination further and this is something that I really enjoy doing. However, when you get an enquiry to somewhere you’ve been and enjoyed, that’s really great as then you can then “wax lyrical” about the destination and your knowledge and enthusiasm usually gets you the booking. I’m sure you’ve all seen that the issue of the increased costs of travelling during school holidays has come to the fore once again following a recent Facebook post that has gone viral. There’s no doubt that this is a contentious issue but having given this a great deal of thought (with my tongue firmly in my cheek!) I think I might have the answer...how about increasing the cost of holidays for the rest of the year to bring them in line with the school holiday prices? Would this work? And does anyone have any other suggestions to offer?

THE DOYLE Collection's three London hotels have launched a Valentines package ahead of next weekend. Suite Memories costs from £235 including VAT for two adults and includes an overnight stay with breakfast, Champagne in the room on arrival, a complimentary DVD gift and late check-out (15:00) the next day. The hotels are located in Marylebone Village, Bloomsbury and South Kensington. For details see www.doylecollection.com

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THE MONARCH Travel Group has promoted Simon Garrido to the role of head of trade sales. ● HOLIDAY EXTRAS has appointed Carly James as partnerships development manager. ● AIR PARTNER has appointed Colin Jowers as global director of business technology. ● ADAM HANMER will join the Canadian Tourism Commission on February 10 as manager, travel trade for the UK market. ● MACDONALD HOTELS & Resorts has appointed Harwood Warrington as restaurant operations director. ● TINA KIRFEL has joined Silversea as general manager and sales & marketing director Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). ●

Go

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WEBSCLUSIVES ●

Win a Fam Trip place to Mauritius, courtesy of Air Mauritius. Just enter our competition at www.travelbulletin.co.uk/competitions

Make sure you read our All About the Indian Ocean 2014 supplement. To view in digital format, please go to: www.travelbulletin.co.uk/travel-bulletin-backissues

Win a Fam Trip to the Florida Beaches, courtesy of Funway. To find out how, go to: www.travelbulletin.co.uk/funway

All this and more at: by EILEEN SAUNDERS of Travel Counsellors To respond to any of Eileen’s comments email jill.sayles@travelbulletin.co.uk

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agentbulletin Booking incentives ●

AGENTS CAN win one of two iPad minis as part of Travel 2’s ‘New Zealand – Where the Journey Begins’ campaign. The operator has teamed up with Australian Pacific Touring (APT) and Avis to highlight the range of touring options available to customers looking to experience the country’s landscapes, wildlife and food and wine offering. Agents need to make a new booking with the operator to New Zealand that includes either APT or Avis to receive two entries into the prize draw. Qualifying bookings must be made by February 28. For details see www.travel2.com AGENTS MAKING a Beachcomber booking by February 28 have the chance to win a seven-night holiday for two people, staying at Trou Aux Biches Resort & Spa on a half-board basis. All entries will go into a prize draw and will be picked at random. For details see www.destinologyagents.co.uk

Fancy a fam?

AGENTS LOOKING to get awa y from it all in 2014 will have multiple ways of doi ng so as Travel 2 plays host to two Mega fam trip s to South Africa and Thailand in spring, as wel l as further trips planned later in the year. To be in with a chance of winning a a place, agents nee d to make a booking with the operator. See www.travel2.com THE TRINIDAD and Tobago UK team is rewarding agents that make and log reg ular bookings with the chance to join the tourist board's first mega fam trip, which takes place in June. Agents should log all bookings made up until the end of March to be in with a chance of winning. The educational trip has been des igned to showcase the islands of Trinidad and Tob ago and will aim to dispel the stereotype of tra ditional Caribbean beach holidays by highlightin g the soft ecoadventure and action packed activities that can be enjoyed. A total of 30 places are up for grabs on the week long trip. See ww w.justadd4.com to log bookings. For more information visit www.gotrinidadandtobago.com

ROCKING IT....are , from the left : Diane Fenton, Cassis Travel, London ; Claire Webb, Wish You Were Here Travel, St Neots; Donna Smithson, Superbreak ; Julie Collings, Coop Travel, Radstock; and Kat Peck , Kuoni. Superbreak joined forces with Kuoni to take 21 key specialist Kuoni travel agents to London for a stay at the five -star Jumeirah Calton Tower Hotel and a night out at We Will Rock You .

Training update

ines’ UK travel AGENTS COMPLETING Japan Airl line Travel agent training course at OTT (On omatically aut be will Training) by March 31 return two win to w entered into a prize dra surcharges. and s taxe ng tickets to Japan, includi modules for a Agents need to complete the five chance to win. For details see ott.travel

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Agent offer

VISAS365, WHICH provides visa, passport and consular services exclusivel y to the travel industry, is offering agents commission of between £15-£20 per visa. To open an account call 020-75 54 3730 or email info@visas365.co.uk

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newsbulletin Balkan Holidays features Bulgaria & Slovenia in first edition winter 2014/15 brochure SKIERS AND snowboarders will be able to enjoy free WiFi when they travel with Balkan Holidays next season. The service will be available at most of the hotels featured in the operator’s newly launched Winter Ski & Board programme for 2015. Other highlights include prices from £244 per person for seven nights' self-catering at the three-star Castle Apartments in Pamporovo, Bulgaria, based on six sharing and including flights and transfers; new accommodation in Borovets and Bansko; free night skiing and boarding in Pamporovo, Bulgaria, staying at the Hotel Perelik; free lift passes in Bansko & Borovets; free ski/board storage in Bansko; 50% off ski and board equipment carriage; 50% off full ski and snowboard packs in Borovets, staying at the Hotel Rila; 15% off ski/snowboard services and

packs in Pamporovo; and 20% off ski/snowboard services and packs in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. Booking incentives include a deposit of £35 per person until the end of February, early booking discounts of up to £150 per couple, a 5% loyalty discount for customers who have previously booked with the operator for the past two seasons, free child places, free luggage allowance of 20kg (10kg for infants) on Bulgaria charter flights and group discounts. Departures are from nine regional airports - Gatwick, Heathrow, Bristol, East Midlands, Manchester, Newcastle, Glasgow, Stansted and Luton. For details or to book see www.balkanholidays.co.uk/agents or call 0845-130 1114.

Anatolian Sky boosts Croatia programme with new cruises & Istria additions FOLLOWING THE successful launch of its dedicated Croatia brochure last year, Anatolian Sky Holidays has unveiled an expanded programme for 2014 which also includes the neighbouring countries of Slovenia and Montenegro. In Croatia, the programme features a wider choice of Adriatic cruises and new destinations on the idyllic Istrian Peninsula. The operator's managing director, Akin Koç, said: ”We have been very pleased with the response to our first Croatia brochure. For 2014 our main focus in terms of expanding the programme will be the Istria region, where there is a wonderful choice of

luxury and boutique hotels. We have also seen an excellent response to our Adriatic Cruising programme and have added more high quality boats in order to offer a wider choice of itineraries and departure dates." Tailor-made and multi-centre holidays are available in each of the destinations, with options to combine several destinations within one country, or to combine any of the destinations. Suggestions include seven-night holidays incorporating a city break in Dubrovnik and a beach stay in Montenegro, or a ten-night three-centre trip combining Ljubljana and Lake Bled with a stay on the Istrian Peninsula.

Prices for the cruising programme lead in at £1,199 per person for a seven-night cruise on the President or Futura on a half-board basis, departing from Split on May 10. It includes flights and transfers. For more information visit www.anatoliansky.co.uk or call 0844-273 3585.

Family holiday deals for school breaks from Belleair Holidays

HU-SKIS TO THE RESCUE...Jet2.com cabin crew members William Strickland and Rebecca Midgley are assisted by six-month old rescue snow dog, Rosie, in sprinkling some ski magic onto shoppers in Yorkshire recently. The canine crusader surprised 20 lucky people with a pair of return flights to two of the company's most popular ski destinations from Leeds Bradford Airport – Chambery and Geneva.

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BELLEAIR HOLIDAYS is offering value family holidays for the school breaks as well as a free child place for departures between May and October 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 self-catering to all-inclusive and departures from a choice of seven UK regional airports. An example of packages is a seven-night stay at the four-star Qawra Palace Hotel over the Easter holidays, leading in at £1,730 per family of four. It includes flights from Gatwick, breakfast accommodation in a family room, transfers and complimentary entrance to a selected Malta attraction. The offer is subject to availability and is based on two adults and two children sharing for an April 10 departure. Alternatively, seven nights’ breakfast accommodation in a standard balcony room at Sliema’s four-star Preluna Hotel and Spa with flights from Glasgow costs from £2,286 per family of four. It includes transfers, complimentary entrance to a selected Malta attraction and one free child place. For more information visit www.belleair.co.uk

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puzzlebulletin Travagrams

Su Doku Win a £50 M&S voucher in the travelbulletin Su Doku prize puzzle Number: 005

Can you solve the following anagrams to decipher the destination & tour operator?

Star Ever Help

A➠

B➠ This tour operator shares part of its name with a round 3D shape

C➠

Arc Dun

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: competition@travelbulletin.co.uk Closing date for entries is Thursday, February 13th. Solution and new puzzle will appear next week. The winner for 24th January is Michael Martinez, Travel Counsellors in Sandhurst. January 24 Solution: A=6 B=3 C=9 D=4

Crossword

A British-American owned cruise line founded in 1840

Where Am I?

Friday's best spent on one of these Juan Fernández Islands.

Fill in the crossword to reveal the mystery location highlighted by the green squares.

Number: 005

Across 1. Tour operator, part of the Monarch Group (6) 3. The Matterhorn is in this mountain range (4) 6. Richmond, USA international airport code (3) 7. Augusta is the state capital (5) 9. European carrier whose logo is a white cross on a red background (5) 10. Popular Costa Brava resort, ___ de Mar (5) 11. Follows towns like Leamington and Cheltenham (3) 12. USA's Gem State (5) 14. Malcesine is a popular resort on this lake (5) 16. Sea off the northeast coast of Australia (5) 17. Part of a journey (3) 18. Lima is the capital (4) 19. Legendary king, often associated with 5 Down (6)

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Down 1. Formerly seen as James T. Kirk, now Jack Ryan at a cinema near you (5,4) 2. Host city of the 2014 Winter Olympics (5) 4. English city, home to Opera North and Northern Ballet (5) 5. Famous castle ruins in Cornwall (8) 7. Longest river in North America (8) 8. London Square, named for an historic battle (9) 13. Major hotel group (5) 15. One of the Fiennes acting brothers (5)

For the solution to the Crossword, Where Am I? and Travagrams, please see page 30 February 7 2014

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newsbulletin Indonesia’s new tourism website targets UK market

operatorreview Dave Carter from Gold Medal stayed at Spice Island Beach Resort in Grenada for three nights. Here's what he thought of the property....

First impressions ..............................10/10 First impressions were very good. We arrived early but the hotel porters were happy to take our bags and we were invited to have a drink in the bar while our rooms were prepared. The public areas of the hotel (reception, restaurant & bar) are all open air and sea-facing so there are wonderful views and a nice breeze at all times.

Comfort ............................................10/10 All public areas of the hotel are immaculately clean and the gardens are well tended. The rooms were perfect too and within a few minutes you feel at home. The resort is small enough that everything is no more than a couple of minutes away.

Quality..............................................9.5/10 The quality was excellent. The beds and bedding are top quality, Molten Brown toiletries in the bathroom & premium brand drinks in your room are also nice touches. The only issue I had was that a bit of soundproofing was needed in the rooms - on my last day I was woken up by the wake up call for the guests in the room above me, and I could then hear them packing and getting ready. It was the only thing I could fault though.

Service ..............................................10/10 Whilst the service was most definitely five-star, it was nice to see that the staff were willing to engage in conversation and share a joke with the guests.

Good to know ............................................

THE MINISTRY of Tourism and Creative Economy (MOTCE) for the Republic of Indonesia has launched a new tourism website dedicated to the UK market. The new site, www.tourism-indonesia.co.uk, is Indonesia’s first official destination site in the UK. Designed to be a planning tool and source of news, the platform offers a variety of information including detailed island summaries of Bali, Sumatra, Sulawesi, Papua, Nusa Tenggara, Java and Kalimantan. Each destination page showcases things to see and do, how to get there and practical details of the island’s culture, cuisine and people. Other online features allow visitors to browse through photos and descriptions of Indonesia’s visitor attractions including Borobudur, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Komodo Island, where the Komodo dragon can be found. There are also overviews of specialist interests, such as Nature & Ecotourism and Golf & Watersports, together with pages offering information on tourist visas and everyday Indonesian-language phrases. The website launch precedes Garuda Indonesia’s introduction of the UK’s only non-stop direct flights from London to Jakarta on May 29.

Newquay-Southend route from Flybe FLYBE HAS announced a seventh route to Cornwall for this summer, with a three-times-weekly service between Newquay and Southend. Seats are on sale now, with one-way fares starting from £24.99 including taxes and charges, and are effective for extended summer travel from May 16-September 27. The flights, which will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, depart Newquay at 11:05 to arrive at Southend at 12:25. The return journey departs Southend at 12:50 and arrives in Newquay at 14:10. For more information or to book visit www.flybe.com

Book yourself in for a massage at Janissa’s Spa as soon as you can. It’s a fantastic facility; the staff are brilliant and a bit of relaxation is probably why you’re on holiday in the first place. There’s no better way to start your holiday.

Overall scoring: ..................

10/ 10

Dave receives a £10 M&S voucher for his review. If you'd like to take part and receive a free Love2Shop voucher please email jill.sayles@travelbulletin.co.uk or call 020-7834 6661 with your name and contact details.

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February 7 2014

CRUISE BALTIC has announced that Scandic Hotels, which offers 60 hotels in the Nordic region and Northern Europe, will continue as its strategic partner, with a joint agreement for an additional two-year period during 2014/15. Pictured marking the announcement at the line’s Steering Group Meeting held last month at the Scandic St Jorgen Hotel in Malmo are, from the left: Bo Larsen, Cruise Baltic; with Pernille Kjaersgaard and Richard Stone, Scandic Hotels.

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personalitybulletin

Alison Whitfield Managing director, Ethos Marketing At work

At home What's your favourite household gadget? The corkscrew. What are your favourite TV programmes? Silent Witness, Luther, Spooks and The Walking Dead. Who does the cooking? My husband Peter and I share it between us. What's a typical weekend for you like? We spend most weekends walking our dogs and visiting friends. What's your guilty pleasure? Reading the newspapers in bed on Sunday mornings. What music do you listen to? A wide variety of easy listening music, depending on my mood. Radio 2 is usually on in the background. What's your favourite movie? The Shawshank Redemption

My guilty pleasure? Reading the newspapers in bed on Sunday mornings

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What other companies / organisations have you previously worked for? I started my travel career in South Africa and worked for Southern Sun Hotels and Budget Travel and then joined South African Tourism in 1984. Three years later I was transferred to their London office. After ten years with SA Tourism I left in 1994 to set up Ethos Marketing - then known as African Ethos - so we celebrate our 20th anniversary along with South Africa's democracy this year! If you could change one thing in the industry what would it be? The need for tourist visas and to reduce airport taxes to make travel easier and more affordable for more people.

What's a typical day like? Varies from day to day which is why I enjoy it - but usually consists of emails, admin, sales calls, training, PR and social media - we do everything inhouse! Who has been your inspiration in the travel industry? There are many but David Attenborough inspires many people to want to explore further afield. What item do you always take with you when travelling? My passport and a tub of zambuc - an old fashioned miracle herbal balm that is great for bites and all sorts of ailments.

What personal item do you have on your desk at work? Some hand cream and an apple! What's the best thing about your job? Getting to travel to Africa.

At play Where would you most like to visit and why? I have been lucky enough to have recently ticked off trekking gorillas in Rwanda as I hosted a Serena fam trip - so my new bucket list item is exploring some of the soft adventure opportunities in Northern KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. What are your hobbies? Tennis, golf and researching my family history. What's your favourite (non-work related) website? Geni.com - for researching my family tree. Do you use social media for work and play? Yes - Facebook and Twitter mostly - so please follow @ethos_marketing! What trait do you dislike in other people? Dishonesty - but my pet peeve is people who are noisy eaters! What is your best quality? I am very loyal and my collegues say I have a “strong moral compass”. What's your most embarrassing moment? I mistakenly sent an email to a client telling my colleagues he was "not a happy bunny". Cringe.

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greece&cyprus VISITORS TO Larnaka, from now until March 31, will be able to take part in a series of free activities and sightseeing days, courtesy of the Larnaka Tourism Board. Activities include a wine tasting course to explore the 6,000 year history of Cypriot wine, beach yoga, Cypriot Greek and Cypriot dancing and sightseeing to Larnaka’s traditional villages and Mazotos Camel Park. The timetable features something different for every day of the week - completely free of charge upon presentation of a voucher issued by the hotels to their guests. All the activities are available on a ‘turn up and enjoy’ basis except for two village excursions which require one day’s notice. For more information see www.larnakaregion.com

Cosmos Holidays introduces Thassos & Halkidiki to 2014 brochure COSMOS HOLIDAYS' Greece 2014 brochure sees the introduction of the Aegean island of Thassos as well as the mainland region of Halkidiki, which brings the total of featured destinations to 23. The new options are packaged with charter flights from Gatwick and Manchester to Kavala (for Thassos) and from Gatwick to Thessaloniki (for Halkidiki). This year sees the launch of the operator's new ‘authentic’ concept across the Greece programme with its own symbol in the brochure to help agents identify traditional style accommodation for customers wanting an idyllic and authentic Greek getaway. Hotels have been selected for their charm and traditional ambience, are

often family-run and located in quieter resorts. A total of 75 new properties have been introduced ranging from high spec boutiques to traditional simple Greek hotels and self catering apartments. An expanded range of ‘Dream Wedding’ locations are also featured across Rhodes, Kefalonia, Zante, Skiathos and Skopelos, while honeymoon packages are highlighted in the brochure for the first time. Prices lead in at £375 for a civil or church wedding in Rhodes. Seven-night package prices lead in at £199 per adult and £149 per child, while seven-night package prices for the newly featured destinations start from £519 per person for Thassos and from £489 for Halkidiki.

Olympic boosts second edition summer sun with new hotels & self-catering properties OLYMPIC HOLIDAYS has launched its second edition Summer Sun 2014 brochure which focuses on the operator's core destinations of Greece (23 islands are featured) and Cyprus. The brochure also offers holidays to Turkey, Egypt's Red Sea Riviera, Malta, Mallorca and Tenerife. Additional hotels have been introduced across the programme, along with new self-catering studios and apartments in many of the Greek islands including Crete, Rhodes, Zante, Kos, Kefalonia, Santorini, Paros, Samos and Halkidiki. The company's commercial director, Photis Lambrianides, said: "We've strengthened the mid- to upmarket hotel product in many Greek islands, while extending the three-star choice for clients, notably in Crete, Zante and Kefalonia. "Our prices are extremely competitive, from top-end luxury hotels through the programme to selfcatering villas and apartments, with rates especially attractive out of the high season. Strong early booking discounts are offered to clients booking by April 30, and we have kept our low

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deposit scheme – just £49 per person – to encourage early bookings." Five-star hotel additions include the Filion Suites Resort & Spa in Bali on Crete; the Mediterranean Beach Resort in Laganas on Zante; and two in Kos – the new Diamond Deluxe Hotel and the Akti Palace Hotel. New four-star offerings include the Lyttos Beach Hotel, Agapi Beach Hotel and Solimar Aquamarine Hotel on Crete; Electra Palace Hotel in Rhodes; Aegean Houses and Akti Beach Hotel Club in Kos; and Kefalonia Bay Palace Hotel in Kefalonia. Self-catering additions include studios and apartments in several of the smaller Greek islands, including Halki, Kalymnos, Thassos and Santorini. There is also a significant expansion of the company's studio and apartment offering in Chania, on Crete. Prices lead in at £285 per person for a seven-night self-catering holiday at the Kosmas Studios in Roda, Corfu, with 14night holidays from £289. The operator is forecasting strong sales for 2014, with islands such as Skiathos and the larger islands of Crete and Rhodes expected to

receive strong summer bookings. Lambrianides said: "After a good summer last year, the upwards trend points to the destination enjoying a very good summer this year. My expectations are based on the performance of the islands so far for summer 2014. Crete and Rhodes are both showing up well and Skiathos looks poised to do exceptionally well next year." Lambrianides says the favourable pricing applies to all levels of hotel, from three-star family-run properties up to deluxe five-star units – and right across the Greek island spectrum. He said: "The negative coverage Greece received because of the country's economic problems a while back is now consigned to history and the multitude of Greek islands are back on holidaymakers' radar. Product is good and confidence in the destination is high, with upgraded and new hotels offering excellent facilities – and at relatively low prices for the standards they offer." For more information visit www.olympicholidays.com

February 7 2014

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greece&cyprus Sunvil Holidays issues new Cyprus & Greece brochures SUNVIL HOLIDAYS has launched its new-look Cyprus brochure featuring flexible, fully-protected holidays to accommodation located in the more unique parts of the island. New for this year is the newlyconverted Ktima 1937, a traditional village property located in the mountain village of Droushia, with five apartments and a shared pool. The accommodation is located in the unspoilt northwest corner of Cyprus, which features a wild coastline, abundant orchards and the Akamas National Park with its rare plants and migratory birds. Two new villas have also been added to the programme - the secluded Frene Villa, which sleeps ten and is located in the village of Geroskipou, near Paphos. Facilities include a private pool and small children’s play area and prices are from £560 per person, based on four sharing for seven nights’ selfcatering accommodation, including flights from Gatwick and car hire. For panoramic views over the Akamas coastline, Lampis Villa (which sleeps six) is located at the very end of Neo Chorio village and offers a private pool, barbecue area

and vegetable garden. Prices are from £505 per person, based on four sharing, and include seven nights’ self-catering accommodation, flights from Gatwick and car hire. The operator also welcomes back the four-star Alasia Hotel in Limassol after an extensive refurbishment. Prices lead in at £587, based on two sharing, and include seven nights’ breakfast stay, flights and car hire. The company has also launched its 2014 Real Greece brochure, featuring a comprehensive mix of holidays to the more authentic parts of the country. Highlights include the addition of the Saronic island of Spetses, two boutique properties on the neighbouring car-free island of Hydra and remote northern Karpathos in the Dodecanese. Dudley der Parthog, the operator's programme director, said: “Our 2014 Greece programme reflects our vast expertise in gathering together all that is great about Greece, including traditional, working villages that retain their authentic flavour, beautiful, mountainous inland areas, a wealth of ancient sites on the

mainland and small – often ownermanaged – cottages, apartments and hotels of character. “This year, we’re pleased to announce a new small and carefully selected programme in Turkey, offering an interesting twin-centre option with Greece. We’ve also introduced more than 40 new properties, making the 2014 brochure our most comprehensive to date." As an example of prices, a sevennight breakfast stay at Economou Mansion in Spetses costs from £773 per person based on two sharing, including flights from Gatwick and transfers. More than 40 new properties have been added for this year including beachfront apartments on Lemnos, Skopelos and Pelion, two boutique hotels on Crete and more harbourfront properties, including a villa on Halki, apartments on Symi and a hotel in Sivota, most offering sea views. Early booking offers include a reduction of up to £125 per room, studio or apartment per week, applicable to off-peak stays for bookings made by February 28. For further information call 0208758 4759 or see www.sunvil.co.uk

Aegean announces new Birmingham-Athens service

THE NEWLY refurbished Santa Marina Resort and Villas on Mykonos will open to guests in May, featuring updated dining facilities, communal areas and a private beach area, plus renovated guestrooms and suites. Rates start at €290 per room per night, including breakfast, taxes and airport transfers.

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February 7 2014

AEGEAN AIRLINES has announced that it will launch a twice-weekly Athens service from Birmingham on June 10, with flights on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Operated using a 168-seat Airbus A320 aircraft, passengers will be offered a dual class configuration and full onboard service, which includes complimentary food and drink. The service will provide passengers in the Midlands with direct access to the Greek capital, as well as making it easier for passengers to continue their journey onwards to the Greek islands and mainland Greece. William Pearson, Birmingham Airport's aviation development director, said: “Athens is a fantastic addition to our route network as it will provide direct access to the Greek capital as well as to the hundreds of Greek Islands that are so popular with British tourists. “Aegean Airlines is a new scheduled airline for Birmingham Airport and, as a Star Alliance member, adds to the portfolio of airlines in this leading network of global carriers." Business Class passengers and Gold card members will have business lounge access at Birmingham Airport and Gold card members are also eligible for extra baggage allowance. Flights can be booked at www.aegeanair.com

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greece&cyprus Airlines boost capacity to Greece A NUMBER of airlines have announced new routes from the UK to Greece as part of their summer 2014 timetable. British Airways (www.ba.com) will launch its first flights to the Greek islands, serving Mykonos and Santorini with direct flights from Heathrow. EasyJet (www.easyjet.com) will add new flights from Scotland (Edinburgh to Heraklion and Glasgow to Kos), while Norwegian (www.norwegian.com) will begin flying from Gatwick to Corfu and Santorini. Condor (www.condor.com) is also introducing operations from Manchester to Zakinthos and Kos, while Greek carrier, Aegean Airlines, (www.aegeanair.com) will fly directly from Birmingham to Athens.

New YOGAqua for kids at Skiathos Princess Hotel FOLLOWING THE successful launch of YOGAqua at Skiathos Princess Hotel in Greece last year, the hotel has announced an expansion into YOGAqua for Kids when it re-opens in May. The new addition will allow younger clientele (from seven years) to take part in the activity alongside their parents in the waters surrounding the hotel. Sessions are available from May to October and classes will be kept small with a maximum of six. Prices are from €20 per person for a 60minute session. Children will learn how to use a Stand-Up Paddle-Board and how to perform different Yoga poses with guidance from the instructor and their parents. Sovereign Luxury Travel offers seven nights at the property from £2,079 per family of three including a complimentary upgrade to half-board, a complimentary room upgrade to a Bay Deluxe Double Sea View, flights from Gatwick with Thomson including free group seating, plus airport lounge access and private transfers, based on a May 9 departure. For details call 0843-770 4526 or see www.sovereign.com

For the widest programme to Greece and Cyprus

• Flights from 28 UK airports to 32 Greek Islands and Cyprus • Self Catering & Villas with private pools • Largest ever selection of All Inclusive Hotels • Excellence in Quality, Service & Value - The award winning tour operator • Package Holidays from £179pp • Only £49pp deposit

AGENTS CAN now offer their clients easier access to Aldemar Hotel’s Olympian Village on the Greek mainland with Thomson’s new weekly flight to Patra Araxos in the west Peloponnese from Gatwick. Family package prices with the operator start from £599 per adult, from £370 for the first child and from £420 for the second child on a half-board basis. For more information call 0871-230 2555 or see www.thomson.co.uk and www.aldemarhotels.com

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Also featuring Turkey, Red Sea, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Tunisia, Malta, Bulgaria & more

45

YEARS OF EXCELLENCE

Viewdata, Agency Sales: 0844 576 2350 Brochures: www.trade-gate.co.uk

OlympicHolidays.com 0844 499 4449 February 7 2014

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greece&cyprus Insight launches eight-day Greek Islands mini trip INSIGHT VACATIONS is offering a new eight-day mini trip on its Gold itinerary. Greek Islands takes in the two islands of Mykonos and Santorini, for an island hopping experience with a difference. The leisurely trip sees guests spend one day and night in Athens, three days at leisure in Mykonos and a further four days on Santorini, while staying in luxury hotels. Prices start from £2,499 per person including flights, a VIP transfer in the UK, transfers on arrival, 13 nights' breakfast accommodation in luxury and boutique hotels, a tour director, transport in business class coaches and sightseeing. For more information visit www.insightvacations.com/uk

RIVIERA TRAVEL is highlighting its eight-day Classic Greece tour which offers departures between March and October and leads in at £919 per person. The escorted tour includes flights from Heathrow or Manchester; breakfast accommodation in three- and four-star hotels; two dinners; a guided walking tour of the Parthenon and the Acropolis Museum; a guided tour of Olympia and Delphi; visits to Athens’ flea market, Nafplion, Mycenae and the ancient theatre of Epidaurus; and an optional trip to the Greek islands of Hydra and Spetses. For details see www.rivieratravel.co.uk

Planet introduces Diamond All-Inclusive option at Cyprus' So Nice & So White Boutique Suites CLIENTS TRAVELLING with Planet Holidays can now choose a new Diamond All-Inclusive option at the four-star So Nice and five-star So White Boutique Suites in Agia Napa, Cyprus. The dine-around option gives guests the opportunity to dine at any of the seven restaurants and bars shared by the two properties, including room service set menus (delivery at a charge). The operator's director, Harry Kyrillou, said: "The popularity for allinclusives continues apace and it is a really bonus to have something in Cyprus to offer agents, that is individual and stylish. Both of these hotels have a superb location, the beach is outstanding and the facilities are great. It is also a trendy spot for professional couples to immerse themselves into and find the vibe that will make their holiday truly memorable.” The So Nice Boutique Suites is a superior bungalow resort located in the Makronissos area of Agia Napa. Located on the Blue Flag ‘Golden Beach’, it features large grounds, contemporary décor and a familyfriendly approach.

The So White Boutique Suites is an exclusive beach boutique hotel and sister hotel to So Nice. Boutique suites feature a bedroom and living room, plus room amenities tailored to the individual such as L’Occitane toiletries suitable for all skin types, a pillow menu and memory foam mattresses. The operator currently features a one-week stay in April from £1,017.50 per person including flights from Gatwick, accommodation at the So Nice on the Diamond All-Inclusive basis and private transfers in resort, based on two adults sharing a room. The company, which has recently joined the Association of Independent Tour Operators, has also launched its summer 2014 Cyprus and Greece brochure. The 208-page brochure has been expanded to include more luxury and unique accommodation and villas in Greece, plus lesser-known islands and classic tours, with the emphasis on offering consumers a flexible and tailor-made product. The lead in price is £593 per person for seven nights at the four-star Thalassa Seaside Resort in Kamari, Santorini including flights from

Gatwick departing on April 19, transfers and breakfast, based on two adults sharing a double room. In Cyprus, a selection of three-star properties have been added to complement the operator's wedding programme, offering guests more budget accommodation, while the newly opened four-star Amphora Hotel & Suites in Paphos has also been introduced. Kyrillou said: "Greece continues to be very popular with British holidaymakers and as ABTA pointed out in its 2013 trend report, it continues to attract UK tourists despite the political and economic turmoil over the last few years. “We expect demand to be high this year and decided to expand our programme, especially in the four-star accommodation band to give travel agents greater opportunities. We have also added some classic tours this year to provide another dimension for those wanting to supplement a traditional Athens city stay or mainland and island holiday with extra cultural cache." For further information call 01438841270 or see www.planetholidays.co.uk

Four-night Costa Navarino deal from £995 with A&K

Property additions from Ionian & Aegean Island Holidays

ABERCROMBIE & Kent is offering a four-night stay at The Westin Resort Costa Navarino from £995 per person. The deal is based on two adults sharing a junior suite on a bed-and-breakfast basis. Included in the price are flights with easyJet from Gatwick to Kalamata and transfers. For more information call 0845-485 1143 or see www.abercrombiekent.co.uk and www.westincostanavarino.com

IONIAN & Aegean Island Holidays is introducing a new flight route with British Airways from Heathrow to Preveza. The weekly flight, departing on Sunday, will commence on May 26 until October 5 for holidays to Lefkada, Meganisi and Paxos. The operator has also added new properties to its portfolio for 2014 in destinations including Kefalonia’s South Coast, Ithaka, Lefkada, Paxos, Corfu and Skiathos. For more information visit www.ionianislandholidays.com or call 020-8459 0777.

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malta&gozo

SPA TRAVEL is highlighting stays at Malta’s Fortina Resort with 15% off all holidays throughout 2014 when booked this month. Set alongside the harbour of Sliema, the resort comprises two hotels, six restaurants and a spa with an indoor pool, whirlpool, outdoor pool and fitness centre. A range of treatments are available as well as a physiotherapy clinic, a hair salon and a dental clinic. Guests can also opt to stay in spa bedrooms, which feature a private hot tub, sauna and shower, with some also offering private rooftop pools. For details call 0800-9173 001 or visit www.spatravel.co.uk

Air Malta launches additional regional flights from Norwich and Cardiff AIR MALTA has added an extra four departures from both Norwich and Cardiff as a prelude to its summer charter season. The flights commence on Tuesday April 8 and will depart weekly from both airports until October 21. Andrew Bell, chief executive of Norwich International Airport, said: “Malta is an exceptionally popular destination from our region and we are pleased that Air Malta has taken the decision to increase their services and enhance the travel options from Norwich International in the spring of 2014.” Cardiff Airport's chief executive, Jon Horne, said: “It’s great that Air Malta is expanding its operation from Cardiff, helping to continue the strong historic links that exist between the island and Wales. Air Malta is one of six national airlines with a presence at Cardiff and, with passenger numbers last month showing a 17% year-on-

year increase, this all adds to the growth of the airport.” The airline offers a free checked-in baggage allowance of 20kg and 10kg as hand luggage per person on all flights. For more information visit www.airmalta.com

Olympic Holidays offers largest summer programme to Malta with one week from £422 OLYMPIC HOLIDAYS is offering its largest Malta programme in its Summer Sun brochure this year, as well as a wide website selection. The destination is also featured in the company's budget Smart Choice and upmarket Gold & Platinum Collection brochures. The operator's commercial director, Photis Lambrianides, said: "With the abundance of flights to Malta, both lowcost and charters, it has been well worth our while adding more Malta properties. We've seen consistently good take-up for the destination over the years and interest is definitely still growing. The wide range of flight options will further broaden its appeal." Hotels and self-catering properties at

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all levels are available for summer, from five-star resort hotels to three-star selfcatering complexes. Resorts include Sliema, St Julian's, St Paul's Bay (Bugibba and Qawra) and Gozo. Apartments are also featured in the programme. Prices for the last week in June start at £422 per person for a week's breakfast stay at the Canifor Court Apartments in Qawra, including use of the Canifor Hotel's facilities close by, with easyJet flights from Gatwick. Other Malta budget accommodation offered includes the Porto Azzurro Apartment Hotel in Xemxija Bay (roomonly for £469 for a week in late June) and Clover Holiday Complex, Qawra (£483 in

late June for a week's self-catering). At the top of the range, the five-star Westin Dragonara Resort Hotel in St Julian's costs from £1,696 per person for seven nights' breakfast accommodation for the last week in June. Newcomers to the St Julian's hotel scene include the 74-room, four-star Hotel Argento; the 44-room Hotel Juliani; 90-room Hotel Valentina; and 112-room George Hotel. All-inclusive holidays for the last week in June lead in at £815 per person for seven nights at the Seashells Resort at Suncrest in Qawra, including flights from Gatwick with easyJet. For more information or to book see www.olympicholidays.com

February 7 2014

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malta&gozo Seven-night, twin-centre honeymoon package from Phoenicia Hotel

Fly direct to Malta, 4+ Hotel

7 Nights BB from £299 MALTA SPECIALISTS: ˆ KIDS GO FREE for summer 2014 ˆ UNMATCHED range of accommodation: from Luxury 5+ hotels to rustic farmhouses ˆ 19 UK DEPARTURE AIRPORTS for summer 2014 ˆ OVER 40 YEARS experience providing holidays to Malta, Gozo & Comino

GRAND HOTEL Excelsior in Malta, a member of Preferred Hotels and Resorts, is located at the foot of Valetta City overlooking the Marsamxett Harbour. Guests are offered views of the Mediterranean Sea, a private white sand beach, indoor and outdoor pools and a luxury spa, plus excursions and tours around the Maltese islands organised by the hotel’s concierge team. Prices for a deluxe room based on two sharing lead in at €98 per night and €118 on a bed-and-breakfast basis. For details see www.preferredhotelgroup.com

To book, call reservations

020 7373 5358 / 0845 758 1141 or go online

www.belleair.co.uk/agents

PHOENICIA HOTEL has announced the launch of a seven-night, twin-centre honeymoon package that combines Malta and Gozo for £1,610 per couple, including accommodation, transfers and a host of extras. Rob Bruno, the hotel’s sales and marketing director, said: “Malta appeals to honeymooners as it boasts incredible beaches and great weather, with 300 days of sunshine a year, but also plenty of cultural attractions and historic sights. Our new twin-centre honeymoon showcases these contrasting experiences with the assurance of the highest standards of service at both properties.” The package includes three nights in a deluxe harbour view room or executive harbour view suite; private transfers; a glass of Champagne on arrival; petit fours and sparkling wine in the room; daily breakfast; and dinner for two with wine. After the first three nights, guests will be transferred to the Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz, Gozo for four nights, which includes a bouquet of flowers on arrival; Champagne and petit fours in the room; dinner with wine; a couple’s massage; transfers and ferry crossing. To book or for more information call 0800-862 0025, email res@phoeniciamalta.com or visit www.phoeniciamalta.com

The preferred Partner of Air Malta Your money is 100% protected with anything you book from us

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malta&gozo BA announces new service to Malta BRITISH AIRWAYS has announced that it will launch a new daily service from Gatwick to Malta from March 30. Fares start from £132.77 return including taxes/fees, while hand baggage-only fares start from £108.77. The airline will also be offering a selection of hotels. They include the four-star Pergola Club Hotel & Spa, with prices starting from £16 per person per night in May; the five-star Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz from £47 in May; and the inclusive four-star Seabank Resort & Spa from £75 in June. Seven nights’ accommodation-only at the Pergola Club Hotel & Spa including flights from Gatwick costs from £269 per person.

Classic responds to increased demand with new deals FOLLOWING A 26% year-on-year increase in summer sales to Malta, Classic Collection is promoting a range of offers on holidays to Malta and Gozo for early summer bookers and those seeking a late winter getaway. Stays at The Westin Dragonara Resort and the Corinthia St George’s Bay Hotel in St Julian’s offer one free night in seven on holidays booked and taken by February 28. Seven-night prices this month lead in at £591 and £546 per person, respectively. Meanwhile, The Palace Hotel in Sliema has a 'stay five nights, pay four' offer for stays between June 15 and 30. Reduced rates at the Xara Palace in Mdina, the only Relais and Chateaux property on the island, are also available and offer savings of up to £196 per couple per week on holidays booked by March 31 and taken between May 1 and October 31. Seven-night prices in July start from £1,077 per person. On the neighbouring island of Gozo, the Kempinski San Lawrenz is offering reduced rate savings on holidays taken between May 1 and October 31 of up to

£252 per couple per week when booked 90 days before departure, and up to £182 per couple per week when booked 60 days prior to departure. Seven-night prices in May start from £812 per person, including flights and private transfers. For details call 0800-008 7288 or visit www.classic-collection.co.uk

Malta


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malta&gozo Kids go free with Belleair Holidays BELLEAIR HOLIDAYS has introduced a free child place offer for holidays to Malta of seven nights or more between May and October. The offer is available in more than 65 hotels, apartments and farmhouses and covers self-catering to all-inclusive, with departures from seven regional airports. Example packages include a seven-night stay at the four-star Preluna Hotel and Spa in Sliema from £2,286 per family of four. It includes flights from Glasgow, breakfast accommodation in a standard balcony room, transfers, complimentary entrance to a selected Malta attraction and one free child place, valid for travel on July 29. The deal is available on departures from Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Midlands (which also offers an additional service via Monarch) and Exeter, Glasgow, Newcastle and Norwich with Air Malta. The offer applies when there are two paying adults with children between the ages of two and 11. To see all the properties under the free child place scheme visit www.belleair.co.uk/kidsgofree For more information see www.belleair.co.uk/agents or call 0845-365 3412.

Headwater promotes range of active breaks to Gozo HEADWATER IS capitalising on the demand for more active breaks by promoting three popular Gozo itineraries. Exploring Gozo – Calypso’s Isle leads in at £719 per person and is based at the five-star Ta Cenc Hotel. The seven-night single-centre trip offers varied walking routes and departs on selected dates until May 23, 2015. The price includes buffet breakfast and evening meals, as well as route maps and notes. Alternatively, Highlights of Gozo Cycling costs from £827 per person and offers scenic cycling routes with accommodation in luxury hotels - all with pools.

The price includes six nights’ accommodation in various hotels, a bike, route maps and notes, buffet breakfasts and evening meals. The tour departs on selected dates until May 24, 2015. Meanwhile, for clients looking to combine walking and cycling, a Gozo Activities itinerary costs from £999 per person and takes in the island on both foot and bike, with accommodation provided in five-star hotels. The sevennight twin-centre tour includes buffet breakfast and evening meals and departs on selected dates until May 23, 2015. For more information visit www.headwater.com

New Maltese property from Superbreak SUPERBREAK HAS added the four-star Hilton Malta hotel to its portfolio of properties on the island of Malta. The hotel is positioned in the heart of the Portomaso waterfront in St. Julian's, 15 minutes from the UNESCO World Heritage City of Valletta. The child-friendly property offers a range of kids’ activities along with four outdoor pools, poolside dining and a range of spa treatments. It can be booked as accommodation-only or as part of a flight inclusive package with Atol protection. Prices start from £109 per person per night including breakfast. A flight inclusive package costs from £460 per person including two nights’ breakfast accommodation and flights from Gatwick with easyJet, based on an early April departure. For more information or to book see www.superbreak.com/agents or call 0871-221 4444.

Exclusive tour offer from Attraction World

EXPLORE HAS launched a new Malta and Gozo Explorer tour which begins in Gozo and includes activities such as a jeep safari and a full-day boat trip to visit Comino Island. In Malta, travellers can spend time in Valletta, with time to visit the island’s water and theme parks. The tour departs in May, July, August and October and costs from £922 per adult and £785 per child. It includes flights; seven nights’ hotel accommodation with breakfast; three lunches; transport; and the services of a driver, tour leader, local guides, boat crew and activity guides. Children must be at least seven years old to take the trip. For details call 0844-499 0901 or visit www.explore.co.uk

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ATTRACTION WORLD is offering an exclusive deal on its Blue Grotto and Marsaxlokk tour, with prices leading in at £20 per adult and £12 per child (aged two-12 years) for bookings made by March 31. Guests will visit the Blue Grotto and explore Marsaxlokk, one of southern Malta's unspoilt villages. The Blue Grotto is one in a series of caverns at which every day, until approximately 13:00, a unique phenomenon occurs. The location of the Blue Grotto, together with strong sunlight reflecting off the water, leads to the cavern shining with the phosphorescent colours of the underwater flora. Guests will spend free time in the fishing village of Marsaxlokk, whose waterfront is lined with ‘Luzzus’, Maltese fishing boats, painted in traditional reds, blues and yellows, and will also have the chance to visit the local market. For more information visit www.attractionworld.com

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escortedtrips TABER HOLIDAYS is featuring a two-week 'Best of Iceland' tour from £2,675 per person. The dual-centre itinerary focuses on guided tours from Akureyri and Hella and offers the chance to see all of Iceland’s main attractions. Highlights include bathing in Hveravellir hot springs, The Westman Islands, Lake Mývatn, Dettifoss and Reykjavik. The package, which is based on two sharing, includes flights, breakfast accommodation and a bus and guide for 12 days of the tour. Five departure dates are available - June 15 and 30, July 14 and 28 and August 11. For details call 01274-875199 or see www.taberhols.co.uk

Trafalgar introduces new tours in 2014 Europe & Britain programme TRAFALGAR REPORTS that with European bookings up by 23% this year, it is building on this success by ensuring that guests are able to delve deeper into the cultures and customs of every destination it visits in its 2014 Europe and Britain programme. The company offers more than 320 unique ‘Insider Experiences’ and two of the latest itineraries feature new Local Specialties that include Cider Tasting at a traditional bar in Oviedo in Northern Spain and a visit to Guidecca Island for an insider look at Venetian arts and traditional crafts on the Wonders of Europe itinerary. A new 11-day Northern Spain itinerary showcases the urban treats of Bilbao, such as the landmark Guggenheim Museum and rural spots such as Covadonga and the Picos de Europa National Park. Kicking off in Madrid, the journey travels through Burgos,

Argomaniz, San Sebastian, Bilbao, Santander, Picos de Europa, Covadonga, Oviedo, Luarca, Santiago de Compostela, Zamora and Salamanca. Insider highlights include a Local Speciality wine tasting at a typical bodega in the northern wine regions, a visit to the Guggenheim Museum and exploring the grotto of ‘Our Lady of Ovadonga’. In Oviedo, guests will also experience a Local Specialty – a glass of the region’s famous cider, before a Be My Guest dinner at a Cider Mill. Prices lead in at £1,650 per person based on two sharing and include private VIP door-to-door transfers, ten nights' breakfast accommodation with a further six meals, included sightseeing and the services of a travel director. The company's new 17-day Wonders of Europe gives guests the chance to see some of the most iconic sights the continents cities have to offer.

The journey commences in London where a combination of free time and a guided sightseeing tour will showcase the best of the city. Guests will then take the Eurostar to Paris where the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees and other iconic attractions will be visited. A drive through scenic vineyards will bring guests to the capital of Burgundy wine, Beaune, for dinner at a Michelin starred restaurant, before crossing the border into Switzerland to visit Lucerne. Other highlights include a three-night stay in Venice and visits to Verona, Florence, San Gimgnano and Rome. Prices lead in at £3,485 per person land-only, including private VIP door-todoor transfers, 16 nights' breakfast accommodation with a further seven meals, included sightseeing and the services of a travel director. For more information visit www.trafalgar.com

Explore offers 11-day Sahara Desert Trek and Atlas for £896 EXPLORE IS offering a selection of new tours for 2014. As examples, a nine-day Cycle Jordan journey uncovers the cultural heritage of the destination and costs from £1,333 per person including flights; seven nights' hotel and one night camping with breakfast; one dinner; transport; and the services of a tour leader/cycle guide, driver and local guides. It departs in April, May, October and November. A new 11-day Sahara Desert Trek and Atlas is also being highlighted where guests can hike through canyons, kasbahs and gorges in the highest mountains of North Africa and experience local Berber hospitality. Departing in April, September and October, prices lead in at £896 including flights; three nights’ hotel, one night auberge, three nights’ gite and three nights’ camping, all with breakfast; seven other meals; transport; and the

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services of a driver, tour leader and muleteer. Meanwhile, for the ultimate fitness challenge, the company's new moderate to challenging graded trek takes adventurous walkers on a journey through Colombia’s crystal clear rivers, jungle and valleys to the ‘lost city'. Only recently reopened to tourists, this remote destination is only accessible by foot. The nine-day tour also explores the historical capital of Bogota, the Gold Museum and takes a walking tour of Cartagena. Departing in April, August, October and November, prices lead in at £2,299 including flights; hotel and camping accommodation; most meals; transport; and the services of a tour leader and driver. For further information or to book visit www.explore.co.uk or call 0844-499 0901.

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escortedtrips Second edition brochure launch with up to £100 savings from Cosmos Tours & Cruises COSMOS TOURS & Cruises has launched its 2014 second edition brochures for Europe & North Africa and North America & Worldwide holidays with early booking and low deposit offers on touring, cruises, rail journeys, all-inclusive and multi-centre holidays. Early bookers will save £100 per person when booking a US tour with a departure in May or June, while the operator’s ‘Start in Style’ private door-to-door home pick up service is available with any North America or Worldwide holiday for £49 per person. Also available for customers with an early departure or a late arrival is a stay at an airport hotel from £29 at a fourstar rated property for a one-night pre or post tour stay, including up to 14 nights' parking. Meanwhile, to meet demand from single travellers, a wider choice of departure dates and itineraries with no single supplement have been added to the programme. The choice of 14 itineraries includes Highlights of Morocco, Thailand Experience, The Mayan Trail, Heart of the Canadian Rockies and Great Cities of Eastern USA. To meet demand for the Far East and the Indian Ocean areas, a range of new tours and multi-centre holidays have been added including Phuket & Khao Lak (11 days from £1,485), Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle (11 days for £1,599) and Sri Lanka’s Northern Explorer (13 days from £1,939). In South America, new multi-centre holidays include Argentina & Brazil (ten days from £2,749), while new

destinations including Botswana, Namibia & Zimbabwe (12 days from £3,999) have also been introduced. Amy Shine, the company's head of product, said: “The popularity of our ‘Start in Style’ private chauffeur-driven home pick up service amongst customers has prompted us to offer the service on all North America and worldwide holidays for just £49 per person. As our range of holidays and worldwide destinations grows, we want to make sure our customers have as easy and comfortable journey as possible.” Meanwhile, tours with specialist interests and departures around special events include National Parks & Canyon to commemorate the Little Bighorn Battlefield (17 days from £1,999), New Orleans, the Old South & Florida for a Mardi Gras special departure (14 days from £1,999) as well as the Rocky Moutaineer Calgary Stampede (12 days from £3,279), the sixday ‘Nice Carnival & Menton Lemon Festival’ (from £885) and five-day ‘New Year Norway’s Northern Lights’ (from £1,775). The new brochures feature the company's widest choice of escorted tours, cruises, rail journeys, multi-centre and resort holidays in North, Central and South America, Africa, Asia and Australasia, as well as Europe, North Africa and Scandinavia for departures until March 2015. Direct flights are available to North America and many long-haul destinations from Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow. For details visit www.cosmostoursandcruises.co.uk or call 0808-115 3034.

Collette unveils new name & new look in line with company growth COLLETTE, PREVIOUSLY Collette Worldwide Holidays, has unveiled a new name, new logo and new website in line with a period of global change and growth for the company. The new branding will be used by all of the company's offices worldwide, including the US, Canada and the UK. Dan Sullivan Jr., the operator's president and CEO, said: "In 2013, the company experienced a second consecutive year of record-breaking revenue and double-digit growth. With a 95-year track record, this is a major accomplishment and to continue this success, we recognise that evolving

our company is essential.” In the UK, the new branding is reflected in a new second edition brochure for 2014/15 which includes more than 50 tours worldwide and features updated pricing and a range of early booking offers. The new website, www.gocollette.com, has a fresh, modern style and offers a range of new features including more tourspecific content in a user-friendly format, featuring imagery and video, as well as testimonials from previous guests. Also featured is enhanced search functions enabling users to

filter tours by specific interests, such as RHS Garden Holidays, as well as destinations and types of tour, plus a revamped online booking system. Peter Traynor, the company's UK general manager, said: “We’ve had several fantastic years of growth and are expecting this to continue at a pace. It feels only right to mark our continued development with a new look and some excellent new initiatives that bring us bang up to date and extend our reach still further.” For more information visit www.gocollette.com or call 0800-804 8700.

Exodus introduces new and exclusive destinations for 2014 EXODUS HAS launched a series of exclusive standout experiences for 2014/15, to give customers the chance to do something a little less ordinary. As examples, a 16-day Borneo canopy adventure leads in at £3,999 per person and takes travellers into the heart of the rainforest, where they will literally ‘learn the ropes’ of how to ascend into the canopy. Once trained up, travellers will spend the night in the canopy. The holiday departs on March 9 and include flights from London, accommodation and all meals. Alternatively, an 11-day Cape Argus Pick N Pay Cycle Tour offers serious cyclists the chance to take part in the

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world’s largest timed cyclo-sportive event, a 109 km cycling race down the Cape Peninsula from Cape Town in South Africa. The itinerary depart on March 1 and prices lead in at £2,399, including flights. Also offered is a four-day Lillehammer Bobsled Weekend from £999, a 14-day Northern Namibia And Angola itinerary from £3,699, a 15-day Discover Bangladesh option from £2,099, a five-day Jordan Walking Weekend from £999 and a ten-day Bears in the Alaskan Wilderness from £5,999. To book or for more information call 0845-863 9601 or visit www.exodus.co.uk

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Your brand new Worldwide brochure is here! New 2nd edition brochure out now!

Agent incentive -

It’s Timmy’s turn to cheer you up! £10 Love2shop vouchers for every TITAN HOLIDAY booked up until 28th February

For more information, call FREE on 0800 988 5800 or visit www.titanagents.co.uk Terms and conditions apply. Agents are responsible for any tax implications regarding vouchers. See website for full details www.titanagents.co.uk. To claim email agentincentives@titantravel.co.uk within 7 days with booking reference and ABTA


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escortedtrips Riviera adds new tours to meet demand RIVIERA TRAVEL, which reports a record breaking January for sales and enquiries, has added new tours to meet demand this year. Examples include a five-day Bologna, Parma & Ravenna escorted tour from £659 per person; an eightday Pisa, The Cinque Terre & Portofino trip from £1,099; an eight-day Austrian Tyrol & Innsbruck tour from £969; an eight-day Western Sicily, Palermo & The Aeolina Islands option from £999; a 17-day Grand Tour Of China including a Yangtze River Cruise from £2,399; and a 16day Thailand, Laos & The Mekong tour from £2,099. For more information call 01283-744307 or email agencysales@rivieratravel.co.uk

Insight Vacations expands Country Roads style touring in 2014 brochure JUST YOU has launched a seven-night polar bear adventure for 2014. The trip gives guests the opportunity to see polar bears in the natural environment in Churchill, Canada where customers will spend two days on tundra vehicle tours. Prices lead in at £4,999 per person with two departures - October 20 and November 10. It includes flights, breakfast accommodation, three lunches and one dinner, a half-day tour of Winnipeg, two full day tundra tours, a half-day tour of Churchill, a visit to an Eskimo museum, dog sledding, an evening with Mike Marci (a local photographer) and the possibility of seeing the Northern Lights. To book or for details call 0844-5675210 or visit www.justyou.co.uk/agents

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INSIGHT VACATIONS' new 2014 Europe, Eastern Mediterranean & Morocco brochure showcases a new selection of destinations as well as an expansion of its popular Country Roads style touring. In addition to existing Country Roads tours such as Country Roads of Scotland, Ireland, France, Italy and Switzerland there are now additional itineraries in this style that explore Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands and Croatia. The operator's director of sales, Paul Melinis, said: “When you’re going to a new country you want to see the best of it and Insights’ Country Roads tours make this a priority. These itineraries take you to amazing locations and you’ll get to see fantastic beaches, sleepy villages and stunning landscapes along the way. "With bookings for these tours up by 58% we’ve expanded the Country Roads collection and these new itineraries feature some great signature highlights such as sampling regional wine in the Croatian peninsula of Peljesac or visiting the Castle of the Counts in Belgium.” As an example of prices, an 11-day Country Roads of Belgium, Luxemburg and the Netherlands takes in the countryside and crumbling relics of the destinations. Beginning in Brussels, guests will journey to the battlefield of Waterloo to learn more about this defining moment in European history. Crossing the Belgian Flanders brings guests to the port of Antwerp before visiting the cities of Ghent and Bruges with time to explore the sights. The French speaking Walloon region of Belgium is the next port of call with a visit to Orval Abbey, famed for its Trappist beer. Luxembourg is next on the agenda before heading to Bastogne to visit the starshaped memorial dedicated to the US troops that lost their lives in the ‘Battle of the Bulge’. Guests will then cross the border into the Netherlands to visit Rotterdam and continue on to the Hague to see the Peace Palace and seaside resort of Scheveningen. The tour concludes with three nights in Amsterdam with an excursion to some rural Dutch villages, including Edam, before heading back to Amsterdam for the final night of the tour. Prices lead in at £2,229 per person based on two sharing and include flights, VIP door-to-door transfers, ten nights' breakfast accommodation, a further four meals, included sightseeing and the services of a tour director. For more information visit www.insightvacations.com

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escortedtrips TrekAmerica announces three 2015 departures of Epic Great 48 TREKAMERICA HAS announced that it will be running three departures of its Epic Great 48 tour in April, May and June 2015, following its recent success and sell-out for 2014. This year’s trip, due to depart in May, is now fully booked and will take 13 passengers on a trip across all 48 contiguous US states. For clients looking for a similar trip, Trailblazer's 64-day, non-stop tour offers the opportunity to experience 28 American states and two Canadian provinces, and departs from New York or Los Angeles between March and August.

Highlights of the tour include taking in the national parks, landscapes and cities including Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Miami and San Francisco. Other highlights include touring the Californian coast, visiting Canada’s mountains and lakes and hiking the Colorado Rockies. The operator's managing director, Richard Hanson, said: “We were very excited that the Great 48 trip captured so many people’s imaginations and look forward to our 2015 departures achieving the same. The Trailblazer tour is a perfect alternative for those that can’t wait until next year. It is a comprehensive East to West, North to South, American

adventure and a great opportunity for people to tour the USA with the safety of experienced tour leaders and the comfort of private transportation.” The tour costs from £4,439 per person and includes 63 nights’ accommodation including camping, hostels and hotels; the services of a professional tour leader; and transport by private vehicle, which includes free Wi-Fi. There is also an option to add on a hotel stay for the nights before and after the tour in either New York or L.A. For more information see www.trekamerica.co.uk/trailblazer or call 0333-999 7951.

See South Africa by train with Visions of Africa’s 13-night tour from £3,735 VISIONS OF Africa is offering a 13-night escorted tour that takes in the highlights of South Africa by train. Guests will board in Johannesburg and each day the e train arrives in a new destination where guests can disembark and take a guided mini bus tour, which is included. Excursions are varied and include safari game drives in the Kruger, the Sani Pass in Lesotho, wine tasting and cultural visits. There are also optional excursions which are at additional cost such as an overnight stay at a five-star safari lodge. The

Cape of Good Hope route ends back in Cape Town where guests will then spend two nights at the four-star Portswood Hotel. Prices lead in at £3,735 based on two people sharing a Commodore Cabin, including flights from Heathrow, two nights' breakfast stay in Cape Town, 13 nights' half-board on the train, transfers and all included activities. Regional UK departures can be arranged at additional cost and scheduled departures are available throughout the year. For details call 01444-225640 or see www.visionsofafrica.co.uk

EUROPEAN & WORLDWIDE ESCORTED TOURS

ᅚ Escorted Tours by air from only £389pp with many ᅚ ᅚ ᅚ ᅚ ᅚ ᅚ

regional airport departures* Carefully designed itineraries Our own expert tour managers throughout Exceptional value for money Price promise - no surcharge guarantee Award winning service Fully ABTA and ATOL Bonded

ᅚ ᅚ ᅚ ᅚ ᅚ ᅚ ᅚ

Typically 4 star standard No hidden costs – many excursions included We listen to our customers feedback and adapt High commission levels A real passion for places and people Full on-line booking capability for your agency No discounting ᅚ We hold options *Supplements applicable for certain flights.

For more information on selling Riviera Travel holidays contact the Agency Sales Team on 01283 744307 or email agencysales@rivieratravel.co.uk Reservations now open Saturdays 9am-2pm for Travel Agents 01283 744370 For bulk brochure supplies please visit www.trade-gate.co.uk


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ly n o n io t a d o accomm

CV Villas adds new properties in response to demand CV VILLAS reports that demand for holidays to the Greek Islands, and in particular Corfu, has risen significantly in the past year. In response to this, the company has added additional flights to increase the ease of access to its properties on the north east and west coastlines and in Corfu Town. Four new villas have been added to the company's Greek Islands collection including properties on the islands of Corfu, Lefkada, Paxos and Kefalonia.

As examples, a week's stay at Villa Olivia, which sleeps eight, has its own private pool and is located 300 metres from a small village on the island of Lefkada, leads in at £2,635 per person including maid service, car hire and a welcome hamper. A week's stay at Villa Helidoni on the north east coast of Corfu, which offers a private pool and accommodation for up to six guests, costs from £905, including car hire, maid service and a welcome hamper.

Superbreak adds three new fully commissionable Doubletree properties SUPERBREAK HAS added three new Doubletree hotels to its portfolio bringing the total now available through the hotel group to 20. Properties in the popular short break destinations of Cambridge, Chester and Lincoln, can now be booked by agents on a bed-andbreakfast basis. All properties are fully commissionable and bookable online. The properties include DoubleTree by Hilton Cambridge, a four-star

hotel offering a waterfront location and ideally situated for exploring Cambridge. Prices start from £97.50 per person per night including breakfast. DoubleTree by Hilton Chester, located on 12 acres of landscaped gardens, is also available. The 18thcentury manor house hotel is minutes from the city centre and prices start from £67 including breakfast. Meanwhile, prices at the four-star DoubleTree by Hilton Lincoln start

from £59.50 including breakfast. Located on Brayford Wharf North in the medieval city of Lincoln, the property offers a waterfront location while Lincoln’s medieval cathedral, historic castle and waterside shopping centre are just minutes away. All prices are based on stays in early April. For more information or to book see www.superbreak.com/agents or call 0871-221 4444.

Olympic reports growth of low-cost airlines fuels accommodation-only sector THE EVOLUTION of the low-cost airlines has fuelled the ongoing expansion of the accommodation-only sector, according to Olympic Holidays' commercial director, Photis Lambrianides. He said: "The wide availability of accommodation-only properties in the eastern Med has attracted the no-frills carriers and we've seen a proliferation of routes to that part of the world. That in turn has spawned new accommodation-only business and while there are many players now in the market, the sector as a whole has continued to develop at all levels. "Agents can use it in particular to book shorter duration breaks for their clients, packaging up cheap flights with a hotel stay that gives the client full flexibility on the length of holiday. As an operator, we have a lot of self-catering

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accommodation that's exclusive to ourselves and we can link this to flights and offer customers a break of almost any duration." The company offers accommodation-only in its main Summer Sun brochure, plus the upmarket Gold & Platinum Collection and budget Smart Choice publications. According to the operator, accommodation-only demand remains strongest in its key destinations of Cyprus and Greece, with Turkey and Egypt's Red Sea Riviera also attracting a fair level of interest. For clients buying accommodation-only from £5 per person per night, the company offers low-cost flight options, prebookable taxi transfers and car hire priced from £19.70 a day. For more information see www.olympicholidays.com

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accommodationonly GIC The Villa Collection adds eight handpicked properties to new brochure GIC THE Villa Collection has added eight hand-picked properties on the islands of Skopelos, Lefkas, Paxos and Crete, and in Stoupa, southern Peloponnese. The accommodation ranges from a renovated windmill converted into a cosy retreat for two with a private pool, to a seven-bedroom boutique hotel with turrets, battlements, Mediterranean restaurant and spa. The company's managing director, Chris Wright, said: “We are happy to see so many regular and new clients travelling to Greece, and delighted to be expanding our portfolio of properties with some absolute gems for 2014. "Our Greek friends and colleagues have been tremendously appreciative of our efforts to encourage visitors during recent years, and guests have been rewarded with exceptional levels of hospitality." New property highlights include Villa Santa Barbera in Skopelos, which sleeps between two and seven people, with prices leading in at £750 per person, based on four sharing; Villa Thalassa Vista, also in Skopelos, which sleeps between two and six with prices from £694, based on six sharing; and Loggos Mills in Paxos which is highlighted as ideal for couples or larger parties, and costs from £691 based on three sharing. Prices include flights, car hire where applicable - or transfers - a complimentary welcome pack, plus maid service and linen change twice-weekly. Meanwhile, following the positive response from clients to the new flights operated by Germania on behalf of the operator last year, the company has re-contracted the airline to carry its Gatwick clients this year. Wright said: “As a charter operator, our inclusive holiday prices offer much greater value than those of the ‘no-frills’ flight operators. No frills’ peak season flights can cost double that of our very high standard Germania flights, which offer full catering and a 20kg baggage allowance.” For a copy of the new brochure or more information call 0208232 9780 or visit www.gicthevillacollection.com

Expansion plans for new properties in Sri Lanka & Thailand from OZO FOLLOWING THE opening of the first OZO hotel last year, ONYX Hospitality Group has announced that three more hotels are in the pipeline for this year - OZO Colombo in Sri Lanka, OZO Samui and OZO Pattaya in Thailand. The company's president and CEO, Peter Henley, said: “Guests are becoming more savvy and they are looking for places to stay that provide quality services and comfort at a reasonable price. With OZO we aim to surprise and delight our guests and continue to meet and exceed their expectations in terms of product and service. “We have a further six OZO properties due to launch in the next two years, with a concentration on South East Asia, especially Thailand and its neighbouring countries. Since developing the brand concept in 2010, we have had a lot of interest from owners and developers who are attracted by the business model that OZO offers, particularly as a result of the brand's market appeal, cost effectiveness, stream-lined development and return on investment.” For more information see www.ozo-hotels.com

OZO Wesley Hong Kong

Crete

AceRooms.com offers XML Integration INDEPENDENT BED-BANK supplier, AceRooms.com, has launched its new, updated system which offers users direct access to its products via XML technology. The company's head of sales, Rita Seth, said: “We are extremely excited with this advancement of our system. We are constantly looking for more ways to improve and develop our system with our own in-house technology team and believe this move will boost our steady growth." The company is now progressing to the next stage of its development strategy which is to connect with travel consortiums with a view to reaching more clients.

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February 7 2014

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accommodationonly We asked our staff the following question this week: What do you procrastinate over? Publisher: Jeanette Ratcliffe jeanette.ratcliffe@travelbulletin.co.uk My lottery numbers

Editor: Lauretta Wright lauretta.wright@travelbulletin.co.uk Things like changing my electricity/gas supplier when I know I could probably get a better rate

Assistant Editor: Jill Sayles jill.sayles@travelbulletin.co.uk Contributing Editor: Paul Scudamore post@travelbulletin.co.uk My wife says everything, absolutely everything. Not sure I agree. Though I might...

Sales Director: Simon Eddolls simon.eddolls@travelbulletin.co.uk My answers to the questions in this column

Advertisement Manager: Tim Podger tim.podger@travelbulletin.co.uk Filling out forms and these questions!

Online Sales Manager: Nick Boocock nick.boocock@travelbulletin.co.uk Whether to use the word 'procrastinate' or just plain 'hesitate'

Account Manager: Bill Coad bill.coad@travelbulletin.co.uk Paying household bills

Sales Executive: Chris Gascoine chris.gascoine@travelbulletin.co.uk If I should have more than 6 pints on a school night

Sales Executive: Matt Gill matt.gill@travelbulletin.co.uk Responding to the questions

Senior Designer: Genaro Santos genaro.santos@travelbulletin.co.uk Washing the dishes

Assistant Designer: Nicky Valsamakis nicky.valsamakis@travelbulletin.co.uk Getting round to reading my various magazines

Production: Nick Salt production@travelbulletin.co.uk Beer 7 nights a week or 8?

Circulation Manager: Jim Merchant post@travelbulletin.co.uk Travel Bulletin is published by Alain Charles Publishing (Travel) Ltd University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, Tel: 020-7834 6661 Printed by: Wyndeham Grange Limited Subscriptions are £125 p.a. £195 overseas ISSN: 0956-2419

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February 7 2014

PICTURED IS Hoseasons’ head of sales, Zena Calderbank, promoting the operator's latest agent incentive to mark its 70th anniversary. The daily incentive gives agents automatic entry into a prize draw to win £70 Love2Shop vouchers when they make a booking and runs until March 11. For details see www.hoseasons.co.uk/agents or call 0844-847 1144.

Sunborn International unveils new super yacht hotels SUNBORN INTERNATIONAL is pioneering a unique approach to exclusive accommodation in the form of super yacht hotels. Launching two new hotels in March, Sunborn London will be operated by ISS Hotel Division London and Sunborn Gibraltar will operate under Sunborn International. The yachts, which are permanently moored in their berths, combine the privacy of a super yacht with the amenities of a luxury hotel, and the company has invested more than 200m in the two new hotels, both of which have been designed to the highest specification. Sunborn London will be located in the Royal Victoria docks, next to ExCeL London and will offer 138 bedrooms and suites over five floors. Other facilities include entertaining spaces, including a fine dining restaurant, bar, auditorium and conference rooms; gym; outside decks; and private terraces. Sunborn Gibraltar will be located in the new Ocean Village Marina, and will offer views across the Gibraltar Straits and to the tip of Africa. The super yacht hotel will offer the first official five-star hotel accommodation to visitors of the rock and features 189 rooms and suites over seven floors. Facilities include a variety of fine dining restaurants, cocktail bars, a large pool and sundeck, spa, gym and casino, as well as a grand ballroom which can cater for any events from weddings to product launches. A focal point will be the top deck restaurant which features a retractable roof, allowing guests to enjoy year-round alfresco dining. The company's executive director, Hans Niemi, said: “Our goal is to expand the Sunborn Yacht Hotel concept to well-known locations around the world. The new hotel in London, together with a dynamic Mediterranean location in Gibraltar, gives us an important platform for the Sunborn brand and business concept.” For details see www.sunbornlondon.com and www.sunborngibraltar.com

puzzlesolutions Crossword: Across: 1. COSMOS, 3. ALPS, 6. RIC, 7. MAINE, 9. SWISS, 10. TOSSA, 11. SPA, 12. IDAHO, 14. GARDA, 16. CORAL, 17. LEG, 18. PERU, 19. ARTHUR. Down: 1. CHRIS PINE, 2. SOCHI, 4. LEEDS, 5. TINTAGEL, 7. MISSOURI, 8. TRAFALGAR, 13. ACCOR, 15. RALPH.

Highlighted Word: CANADA Travagrams: (top) Travelsphere

(bottom) Cunard

Where Am I?: Robinson Crusoe Island

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Travel Bulletin 7th February 2014