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December 7 2012 | ISSUE NO 1,806 | www.travelbulletin.co.uk

this week

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agent review find out what one agent thought of her stay in Protaras, Cyprus agent bulletin win a Xmas hamper with Caesar's Winery

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Germany

accommodation-only operators add new destinations and winter deals

A round-up of new tours for 2013 plus the latest offers & trends

golf get into the swing of selling by highlighting the best deals to clients

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newsbulletin

Cover Pictures: Main - German National Tourist Office

Inset - Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa golf course

This Week

SHAKE ON IT...DoSomethingDifferent.com has now shaken hands with 500 independent agents around the UK as part of its mission to shake hands with 2,000 agents within two months. Pictured cementing partnerships are, from the left: Daniel Clyburn, DoSomethingDifferent.com; Claire Connors, Jo Catt, Michelle Halsey from Hays Travel PTC; and Annabel Cove, DoSomethingDifferent.com

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news

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agent review

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agent bulletin

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puzzle bulletin

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germany

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accommodation-only

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golf holidays

new product launches, the latest offers & industry reports

find out what one agent thought of her stay in Protaras, Cyprus win a luxury Christmas hamper from Caesar's Winery play Su Doku for a chance to win a £50 Hotel Chocolat voucher a round-up of new tours for 2013 plus the latest offers & trends operators add new destinations and winter deals get into the swing of selling by highlighting the best deals to clients

Major sites to name & shame hotels & restaurants over fake reviews HOTELS AND restaurants that write their own glowing reviews are to be named and shamed, a move which could lead to loss of revenue and irreparable damage. GotJuice.co.uk, an online reputation management consultancy that specialises in reviews says that reviews and referrals count for an average of 70% of a company's new business. Traditionally, these referrals are made word of mouth, customer-to-customer. However, in today's technology-savvy world, reviews and referrals are made and found online. The company's managing director Mark Hall said: "Until recently it has been made very easy for opportunist business owners to enhance their company's online reputation by simply writing fake positive reviews and asking friends and family to do likewise without any repercussion. This, of course,

amounts to nothing but fraudulent behaviour, but was seen as an easy route to not only enhance their own reputation but also - for some - as a way to harm their competitors by posting fake negative reviews about them. "That ride, however, is now over and these businesses are to be named and shamed by the major review sites and have their profile marked for all to see. With advancements in technology, review platforms have started to launch new initiatives to rid their sites of fake reviews and name the guilty in the process. Yelp are the first to roll out the technology and it is expected that Tripadvisor and other major review platforms will follow suit shortly. Any business that publishes fake reviews or ● continues on next page

THE FLORIDA KEYS & KEY WEST DISCOVER ONE OF FLORIDA’S BEST KEPT SECRETS…

7 NIGHTS FROM £889PP For more details or to book, call

0844 557 0626 or visit

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December 7 2012

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newsbulletin ● continued from previous page

pays for reviews will have their profile(s) branded with a stamp that informs the consumer that they can’t be trusted. And here at gotjuice.co.uk we welcome this move. If caught, the mud will, and should, stick to the guilty parties for a long time. "Review sites such as Yelp, Qype and Tripadvisor can be brilliant platforms to help consumers with purchase decisions. By crowd sourcing public opinions, you can build up a realistic view on whether

you want to use the company or not. "This only works if the reviewers are honest and objective. Any business that writes its own glowing reviews or pays people to do this undermines the credibility of these sites and pulls the wool over the eyes of potential customers. This is why review platforms such as Yelp, who have already taken previous steps to keep their platform free from spam by adding filters that removed questionable reviews from the calculation of the star rating, has now gone one step further in the

fight against fake reviews. "If a review site finds evidence that an establishment such as a hotel, restaurant, tradesman or any other business has added their own reviews or paid for reviews, they will have a 'mark of shame' added to their profile for the whole world to see. They will even proactively bait companies to see who responds to 'would you like to buy positive reviews' solicitations, so they are able to both effectively catch people after the event and also catch them in the act beforehand."

Travel Alberta marks trade partnership with new initiatives

VIVA FOREVER...Superbreak recently ran an incentive with Thomas Cook’s UK Coordinators to help drive sales in their individual regions. Hilary Allen (left) from Thomas Cook in Accrington was the lucky winner having helped the North West region achieve significant sales growth during September. Hilary won a Superbreak London theatre break, which included tickets for Viva Forever, one night at the four-star Hotel Russell, rail travel and £100 of Love2Shop vouchers. Pictured delivering the good news to Hillary is Superbreak's Laura Dawson.

TRAVEL ALBERTA has launched a selection of new initiatives and programmes to celebrate its work with the travel trade. The organisation currently has four incentive programmes for the ski season, working with operators including Ski Solutions, Ski Independence, TUI Ski and Inghams. A Canadian Rockies campaign highlights the snowfall in Alberta throughout the ski season (November-April) and features a number of operator packages. The campaign also includes tactics both on and offline including a takeover on the London Underground at London Bridge. A number of new packages have also been introduced by operators including Canadian Sky, Newmarket Holidays and Powder Byrne. Examples include Powder Byrne’s ten-day Spectacular Canadian Rockies package. Using hand-picked local specialists across Canada’s West, guests will take a rail trip to Jasper before travelling on to Banff. Prices start from £4,375 per person, based on two sharing. For more information visit www.powderbyrne.com or call 020-8246 5300. The organisation also offers agents online training, a newsletter, fams and membership of the Canadian Tourism Commission’s training scheme. For more information see www.travelalberta.com

Mailbox

TIPTO launches new Travel Indochina training module TIPTO’S NEWEST member, Travel Indochina, has launched a new online training module for independent agents at www.tipto.co.uk The module focuses on the company’s ethos and unique selling points as well as its escorted Small Group Journeys and river cruising. The Small Group Journeys run with a maximum group of 16 travellers, with the combined advantage of a Western tour leader and English speaking local guides. Meanwhile, other TIPTO members have refreshed their online training programmes and to support these changes agents are being offered a range of incentives. As examples, 25 agents will receive either a £10 Amazon or iTunes voucher if all the member modules are completed, gaining five-star status by December 16.

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December 7 2012

Mailings with Travel Bulletin this week include: ● Cox & Kings’ new European Short Breaks 2012-13

brochure offers a diverse range of short break options right across the continent. There are romantic classics such as Venice and Paris, Moroccan riads, Mediterranean islands, grand palaces and escapes to see the northern lights. The hotels, all offering 4- and 5-star comforts, have been hand-picked to combine the finest facilities, style and location at exceptional prices. All prices include flights (or Eurostar), accommodation and breakfast daily and start from £225 for 2 nights in a 5-star hotel in Brussels. Reservations: 020-7873 5000 For further details and special offers please read the mail shots that accompany this issue

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newsbulletin The Northern Lights

Taber reports 45% increase in Northern Lights bookings TABER HOLIDAYS reports a 45% increase in winter Northern Lights bookings compared to the same time last year, and has responded to the new demand by adding four new Northern Lights tours for winter, three to Finland and one to Iceland. The White Footprint, Northern Lights Weekend, Powder Pro and Northern Lights Exploration itineraries will run alongside a programme of dedicated Northern Lights breaks. The company has also introduced a further two dates to its Exploring the Lofoten Islands itinerary, with departures to the Norwegian archipelago on December 28 and February 17 and 21, 2013, with direct flights from Gatwick. The Northern Lights Weekend in Finland leads in at ÂŁ1,360 per person. The three-night tour departs every Thursday from January 3 to April 14, 2013, and includes flights, transfers, accommodation and snowmobile, husky, reindeer and snowshoe activities. A seven-night Polar Express to Lapland tour costs from ÂŁ1,711 per person. Snowmobile and husky safaris are offered as optional excursions, as well as a tour of Stockholm by boat. Prices are based on two sharing and include flights, transfers, accommodation and rail journeys. Departures are on selected dates until March 31, 2013. For more information call 01274-875199 or see www.taberhols.co.uk

Dedicated France brochure from Kirker offers new destinations KIRKER HOLIDAYS has launched its first dedicated France brochure for 2013, which features a number of new destinations alongside classic city, coastal and rural options. Joining Paris, Provence, the Côte d’Azur, Lille and the southwest coast, travellers can now choose from additional tailor-made short breaks in a range of new locations. An example of new destinations is St Malo in Brittany, with a three-night stay at the four-star Le Beaufort leading in at £498 per person, based on two sharing. It includes flights from London (regional departures are available on request), private transfers or hire car, breakfast accommodation and the services of a concierge. Alternatively, clients who prefer escorted itineraries can opt for one of the new small group tours such as the seven-night Gardens & Galleries of the Côte d’Azur in Nice, where lecturer Simon Monckton will escort guests around the area’s cultural and horticultural highlights. Departing on May 1 and September 18, prices start from £1,697 per person based on two sharing and including flights, transfers, accommodation with some meals, excursions and the services of a tour lecturer. For details or to book call 020-7593 2283 or see www.kirkerholidays.com

EUROPEAN

SHORT BREAKS 2012-13

Christmas panda tour from Wendy Wu WENDY WU Tours is offering an 11-day ‘In Pursuit of Pandas’ Christmas tour in China. The trip, which departs on December 23, takes visitors to discover some of the historical and cultural sights of China, including the Forbidden City in Beijing and the Terracotta Warriors of Xian. Other highlights include visiting the Great Wall of China on Christmas Day and spending New Year’s Eve with pandas in the Chengdu Panda Conservation Centre. The company is currently offering savings of ÂŁ300 per person on bookings, with lead-in prices starting from ÂŁ1,990 per person based on two sharing. Prices include flights, fuel surcharges, transfers, accommodation, meals as stated, entrance fees, visa fees, guides and daily tours. Single supplements cost ÂŁ150 per person. For more information call 0844-875 2436 or visit www.wendywutours.co.uk

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December 7 2012

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MOVERS

STENA LINE has appointed Carl-Johan Hagman as CEO. ● BROWNSWORD HOTELS has appointed Abbi Hardiman as general manager, Jamie Raftery as executive chef and Matthew Balman as restaurant manager at Lower Slaughter Manor in the Cotswolds. ● CURTIS HUNTER has joined Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV) as business development manager for Southern England and Wales. ● EUROPCAR HAS appointed Andy Furlong as director of marketing & ecommerce UK. ● TITAN HAS appointed Sharon Tait as key account manager for Central and Northern England. ● MICHELLE HEATHCOTE has joined DoSomethingDifferent.com as senior product executive. ● TREKAMERICA HAS appointed Richard Hanson as managing director and Toby Baxter as business development manager. ● IF ONLY...has appointed Colin Shaw as commercial manager. ● EQUATOR LEARNING has appointed Pauline Gullidge and David Barber to its UK-based team. ● EXPEDIA HAS appointed Christopher Michau as the new vice president of its Global Partner Group. ● DARREN PHILLIPS has joined TravelCube as regional account manager North. ●

Newsbites ●

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DATES FOR the 2013 ACE Cruise Convention have been announced with four ships lined up for the Selling Cruise conference on May 23-24, while Liverpool will be the host city for Columbus Day on September 19. To register or for details see www.cruiseexperts.org ABU DHABI is to host the 2013 Institute of Travel & Tourism (ITT) annual conference in June next year. MALLORCA'S HOTEL Bon Sol Resort & Spa is gearing up for its 60th anniversary next year with a programme of events including spring package offers and weekend gala dinners. Classic double/twin rates in low season start from €99 on half-board. For details see www.classic-collection.co.uk JET2.COM HAS announced its Manchester to Tel Aviv route is on sale for winter 2013/14, with two flights per week departing on Monday and Thursday until the end of April 2014. Fares lead in at £62 including taxes. BLUE ISLANDS has added Amsterdam to its services from Jersey, with flights commencing in February 2013. MONARCH HAS announced a new route to Malta for summer 2013 from East Midlands. Flights will operate twice weekly from May 7. SIXT RENT a car is launching an on-airport location at Gatwick on January 1, 2013. See www.sixt.co.uk

Inghams launches new Lakes & Mountains summer 2013 brochure INGHAMS HAS launched a new Lakes & Mountains Summer 2013 brochure which, in addition to its 100-plus traditional destinations, introduces an extensive range of innovative new ideas. These include new tours, cruises, resorts and once in a lifetime experiences, from watching live opera on the shores of Lake Constance, to crossing the Swiss Alps on the Bernina Express train. Several new ways to take in classic Lakes & Mountains attractions include Rhine and Danube river cruises; travel on the Venice SimplonOrient-Express train from London to Innsbruck, Verona or Venice; small group walking tours in the Austrian Tyrol; a new Inghams-run Chalet Hotel on Lake Garda; small-ship ‘cruise & stay’ holidays on Croatia’s Adriatic coast; and the chance to stay in an Austrian monastery. In addition, 12 new featured resorts join the programme in Italy, Austria, France, Germany and Slovenia. These include the French spa resort of Evian on the shores of Lake Geneva; the island resort of Lindau on the Bavarian side of Lake Constance;

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December 7 2012

Pictured marking the new Lakes & Mountains brochure are, from the left: Terry Adams and Susie Atkinson from Haslemere Travel in Surrey with Inghams' Charlotte Yeomans and Andy Chaplin.

Bovec in Slovenia’s Julian Alps; and three new villages around the shores of Lake Como in Italy. Savings of up to £625 per couple are on offer through a combination of

early booking savings and ‘cash-back’ offers, free packed lunches, free bikehire, free guided walks, free afternoon tea and wine with dinner, free travel and excursions.

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FLORIDA KEYS & KEY WEST

COME AS YOU ARE. The Florida Keys and Key West is a 150 mile long string of Islands connected to South Florida by the scenic overseas Highway; a road that suspends the traveller in a place that bridges the gap between sea and sky. In the Florida Keys you are a world away from the theme parks of central Florida, in a place that envelopes you with its warmth and beauty and grants you permission to shed the worries of the real world you just left behind! The turquoise blue waters that surrounds Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pine Key and Key West is a treasure trove both above and below.

NEW BROCHURE OUT NOW! For more details on the Florida Keys & Key West request our brochure today at: www.trade-gate.co.uk

7 NIGHTS FROM ÂŁ889PP! For more details or to book, call

0844 557 0626 or visit


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newsbulletin Titan offers early booking savings for Deluxe Uniworld river cruises

agentreview Gemma Trickey from Regal Travel in Port Talbot stayed at the Chrystall Hotel in Protaras, Cyprus with Thomson for 14 nights with her fiancé. Here’s what she thought of the property…

First impressions ................................4/10 The staff were very welcoming and friendly and the reception was bright and airy. My first impression of the room wasn’t very good as I was led to believe by the operator’s brochure that the rooms had been refurbished and this was not the case.

Comfort ..............................................6/10 The rooms were ok but needed modernising. The maids came every day and changed towels every 2 days.

Quality ................................................5/10 The hotel is awarded three stars but I would say its more like a two-star. The pool area was nice, but the pool itself could have done with a good clean as it wasn’t cleaned once in the two weeks that we were there.

Affordability ........................................4/10 We paid £550 per person and I felt it was quite good value for money, but they could improve on certain simple things like cleaning the pool and Jacuzzi area and allowing people to drink their own water by the pool area as it does get very hot.

Service ................................................8/10 The waiting staff were lovely and always smiling considering the long hours they worked. I felt the hotel management were quite rude, as every Sunday their families would come and use the pool and would take over the sunbeds, so we were sometimes left to lie on the grass area.

Good to know ............................................ Request a sea view room or you will end up with a view overlooking derelict land.

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

7/ 10

Gemma receives a £10 Love2Shop voucher for her 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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December 7 2012

TITAN IS offering enhanced early booking savings of up to £1,300 per person on a selection of itineraries and dates on bookings made by December 31. As examples, an eight-day A Week on the River Douro sailing on the new-for-2013 Queen Isabel, leads in at £2,099 per person for a category three stateroom. The cruise departs on November 10 next year and offers savings of up to £700 per person. Alternatively, a Lisbon & the Beautiful Douro River offers a Douro River cruise with three nights in Lisbon, at prices from £2,399 per person for a category three stateroom. It departs on November 7 and offers savings of up to £500 per person. Other new additions for 2013 include an eight-day Venice and the Po River itinerary on the newly refurbished River Countess, with prices starting at £2,399 per person and discounts up to £650 per person. An eight-day Castles Along the Rhine is also new and travels from Amsterdam to Basel with prices starting from £2,099 per person for a category five stateroom with discounts up to £400 per person. Meanwhile, a Grand France combines Uniworld’s two itineraries travelling the rivers of France, taking in the Seine, Rhône and Saône. Prices start from £3,999 per person, with savings up to £1,300 per person. For more information or to book visit www.titanagents.co.uk

Month's stay in Costa del Sol from £438 BRITTANY FERRIES is offering a month's stay in the Costa del Sol from £438 per person. The offer includes travel from either Portsmouth or Plymouth with a car to Santander or Bilbao in Northern Spain in a four-berth cabin, and includes accommodation, all utilities plus a weekly cleaning service and linen change. Clients can stay for longer than a month or can break up the journey with a hotel or Parador stay en-route. For details call 0871-244 0633 or visit www.brittany-ferries.co.uk

Travel Indochina adds guaranteed departures for Small Group Journeys TRAVEL INDOCHINA has launched a new Small Group Journeys brochure for 2013/14 and is increasing its number of guaranteed departures. The 140-page brochure contains new additions as well as improvements on its best-selling tours. It combines a range of small group journeys to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, with a variety of escorted tours to Burma, Thailand, China and Tibet, India and Japan. Two new tours, Highlights of Bhutan (ten or 13 days) and Sri Lanka Discovery (15 days) are also guaranteed to run on several dates next year. The company has also expanded its portfolio of deluxe journeys, staying at properties such as Cambodia’s Raffles Grand Hotel D’Angkor or the Taj Lake Palace in India. From next year all small group journeys to Cambodia will offer the option of a four-day Battambang extension, while a five-day 4,000 Island extension will be offered on two of the operator’s most popular journeys to Laos. The Battambang and 4,000 Island extensions cost an extra £310 per person and £565 respectively. The brochure is available to order at www.trade-gate.co.uk

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agentbulletin Booking incentives ●

TITAN HAS launched a festive agent booking incentive. Agents making a booking with any Titan, Uniworld or Saga holiday by December 31 for any departure will be able to pick a present from under the operator's Christmas tree. Prizes range from a family ticket to ‘Winter Wonderland’ in Hyde Park, London for a festive night out; afternoon tea for two at Harrods; a spa treatment voucher at a Bannatyne Spa; a £50 Love2Shop voucher; and a hair cut with Toni and Guy. To claim, email your booking reference within seven days of making a booking to agentadmin@titantravel.co.uk with a choice of A, B, C, D, or E and a present will be selected. AVRO FLIGHTS has launched its full range of ski flights for winter 2012/13 including departures to Friedrichshafen, Grenoble, Innsbruck, Munich, Barcelona, Milan, Venice and Verona, and is giving agents the chance of winning a pair of flights to Munich on any booking made on these routes by December 15 (on departures until April 20, 2013.) To be in with a chance of winning email booking references to agencysales@avro.co.uk by December 20.

Xmas hamper giveaway CAESAR'S WINERY is offering Tra vel Bulletin readers the chance to win a luxury Christm as hamper. Each Caesar's hamper is packed with organic products carefully selected and sourced to ensure the hamper gifts sent out will delight each rec ipient on every occasion. All hampers include pan ettone, traditional Italian fruit cake, Spumante bru t Charmante, organic salami from the Langhe region, handmade egg pasta with tomato and meat sauce and hazelnut and chocolate biscuits presented in an elegant box. Simply answer the following question and email your answer including your company name, address and telephone number to info@caesarswinery.co.uk by Thursday Dec ember 13. See www.caesarswinery.co.uk. Com petition question: In which country does Caesar's Win ery source the products they use in their gift ham pers? One winner will be selected at random and will be notified by telephone. The hamper will be delivered by Friday December 21. Good luck!

It’s in the stars… What’s in store for capricorn? DECEMBER IS your month to shine and it's all about promoting your thoughts and ideas to push a project through. Turning a dream into a reality is also a possibility in the run up to the New Year, but make sure you keep your friends close and your enemies closer and expect to help others out in order to ask for favours to be returned.

Lucky day: Saturday Lucky number: 17

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PAULA'S PRIZE...Carrier has announced Paula Cockcroft (left) of Oundle Travel as the winner of its latest booking incentive. Pictured presenting Paula with her price of a luxury holiday to Las Vegas is the operator's sales executive, Sally Willmer. December 7 2012

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newsbulletin Discover Egypt highlights seven-night New Year's Eve Nile cruises from £849 DISCOVER EGYPT is offering two seven-night Nile cruises on the five-star Viking Princess and five-star Royal Viking. Departing from Gatwick on December 31, guests will arrive in Luxor and be transferred to their chosen ship in time for the festivities. Prices lead in at £849 for the first person travelling and £599 for their companion travelling on the Princess or £1,049 and £699 respectively for those cruising on Royal Viking. Prices include flights, full board on the cruise, ten guided excursions and entrance fees. The New Year cruise starts with cocktails on the upper deck of the Nile cruiser, followed by a New Year’s Eve dinner and entertainment, which includes belly dancing, whirling dervish and music. Excursions in Luxor the following day include Valley of the King and Queens, the Temple of Hatshepsut and the Temples of Karnak and Luxor. The cruise continues on its journey down the Nile with sightseeing stops at ancient sites such as the Colossi of Memnon, Esna and Edfu, Aswan and its High Dam, plus Abu Simbel, the two temples built by Ramses II. For more information or to book call 0844-880 0462 or visit www.discoveregypt.co.uk

Festive cruises on Marco Polo CRUISE & Maritime Voyages (CMV) is offering three festive cruises on Marco Polo over the 2012/13 Christmas and New Year period. The ship will sail from Tilbury on December 16 for a three-night Christmas Markets cruise to Antwerp and Amsterdam. In Antwerp guests have the option of joining a shore excursion to the markets of Bruges or Brussels. Prices lead in at £199 per person. Alternatively, a Christmas & New Year Cruise, which departs on December 20 for a 14night cruise from Tilbury to the Canary Islands and Madeira, costs from £999 (was £1,489) based on a standard inner cabin. On Christmas Day, passengers will receive a traditional Christmas dinner and are invited to a New Year’s Eve party. Meanwhile, the ship will sail from Tilbury to Amsterdam on January 3 next year. Prices for the two-night break lead in at £139 per person. For details call 0844-414 6185 or visit www.cruiseandmaritime.com

Capital campaign from BA & LBA BRITISH AIRWAYS and Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) have launched a campaign to encourage businesses to keep moving during these tough economic times. The carrier's frequent daily service from Leeds to Heathrow targets costconscious business travellers who commute to the Capital and South East regularly, with return fares leading in at £109, including taxes and fees. The new service will now provide the only scheduled flights from Yorkshire and the Humber to London and will commence on December 9, offering a convenient day return schedule. For details see www.ba.com


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puzzlebulletin Travagrams

Su Doku Win a £50 Hotel Chocolat voucher in the travelbulletin Su Doku prize puzzle

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

Number: 092

No moths

A➠

B➠ Operator that shares name with actor known for roles in The Fast Show

C➠

Hies Nuns

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, December 13th. Solution and new puzzle will appear next week. The winner for 23rd November is Jeni Conetta, Thomson Retail in Kent. November 23 Solution: A=3 B=8 C=4 D=9

This operator knows what we want whilst on holiday

Where Am I?

I am bordered by India and Myanmar and my capital is Dhaka.

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

Number: 092

Across 1. Cruise company whose ships fly the Italian flag (5) 3. US resort lake in the Sierra Nevada (5) 5. Australian city (8) 8. Tour operator specialising in China (5,2) 10. Airport code for 5 Across (3) 11. Part of a journey (3) 13. State capital of New Jersey (7) 14. London bridge and station (8) 17. Actor who plays Alfie in Eastenders, ___ Richie (5) 18. State capital of Oregon (5)

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Down 1. County setting for the Doc Martin TV series (8) 2. African airline, initially (3) 3. Boston made history with this party in 1773 (3) 4. Greek island, sounds like a nine-headed monster (5) 6. North African country (5) 7. Famous Oxfordshire palace and tourist attraction (8) 9. Major hotel representation company (5) 12. West African country (5) 15. Centre of a storm, found in Cheyenne perhaps (3) 16. Oslo airport code (3)

For the solution to the Crossword, Where Am I? and Travagrams, please see page 22 December 7 2012

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GERMANY BY RAIL Discover our range of escorted and independent holidays to Germany

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For information on our full range of products and services contact agencysales@greatrail.com Brochure supplies are available viawww.trade-gate.co.ukPSDBMM01904 734200


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germany

THE 53-GUESTROOM Alpenclub, located in the ski resort of Schliersee, is offering a free upgrade at check-in where available for arrivals until June 30, 2013. Rates lead in at €79 per room per night for a single including breakfast and €99 for a double room. The resort is also offering a free breakfast stay for children 11 years and under, as well as 20% off all spa treatments. For details see www.alpenclub.de

Win a case of wine with Travel Bulletin & Highlights of Germany HIGHLIGHTS OF Germany is giving away a case of Germany’s finest wine in a competition for agents. The promotion aims to highlight the destination’s wine-growing towns; today, there are 13 winegrowing areas in Germany with six of them being located in close proximity to the wine cities of the Historic

Xmas markets app from GNTB THE GERMAN National Tourist Board has launched a new app listing 22 Christmas markets from Berlin to Bavaria, which also includes travel discounts from Deutsche Bahn. The app is free and is available at the Apple store.

Highlights of Germany. As examples, in Mainz, the Laubenheimer Hoehe wine estate, along with the German Wine Institute, created a Riesling Lounge where Rieslings from each of Germany’s wine producing regions can be found. In the spa town of Wiesbaden, the Rheingau Wine Week in August kicks

Frankfurt highlights Christmas festivities FRANKFURT IS promoting a selection of Christmas events and festivities including its Christmas market which offers a range of international delicacies and traditional Frankfurt specialities. Holiday events being held at Alte Oper include two Christmas concerts on December 16 and 17, as well as family showings of “Hänsel and Gretel” from December 19-22. On the Sunday before Christmas Eve, young opera fans can take in a special Christmas concert for children at Oper Frankfurt. The parish office of Emperors’ Cathedral has also put together a multifaceted musical and liturgical programme for the holidays, while daily Christmas concerts will be performed at the Church of our Lady every day at 19:30 until December 22. Meanwhile, fans of classical music have the chance to celebrate the turn of the year with the traditional 1822 New Year’s Concert, taking place on January 13. Commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Battle of the Nations, the Young German Philharmonic Orchestra has chosen to focus its musical efforts on the period ending Napoleon Bonaparte’s reign. For more information visit www.frankfurt-tourismus.de

Money-saving offers from Berlin Pass THE BERLIN Pass provides access to more than 45 museums, art galleries and historic buildings along with free entry to an additional ten attractions, free travel on public transport covering zones ABC and a Berlin Guide. Attractions include the Berliner Dom, the Pergamon Museum and the Checkpoint Charlie Museum, as well as a free hop-on-hop-off bus tour. The pass is available in two- and three-day durations, and costs €69 for adults and €34 for children (two days) or €82 for adults and €39 for children (three days). For details visit www.berlinpass.com

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off with a celebration in the middle of town, while Koblenz became renowned in the 19th century for its creations of sparkling and choice fine wines of the wine and Champagne producer Deinhard. For your chance to win a case of wine visit http://travelbulletin.co.uk/competitions

Tailor-made breaks from Travel Without Borders TRAVEL WITHOUT Borders, which offers bespoke holidays exclusively to Germany, is highlighting its product range which includes top end luxury to budget accommodation and individual trips to group tours. The company also offers special interest holidays ranging from wine to German language and military history. For more information see www.travelwithoutborders.co.uk or call 0844-357 5232

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germany

Oberstdorf, Allgaeu

Cosmos Holidays offers city breaks to Munich plus choice of ski options COSMOS HOLIDAYS has launched its first ski programme in Germany as well as a choice of city breaks in Munich operating with the newly launched Monarch flights to Munich and Friedrichshafen. The new ski holidays and city breaks are available on a flexible basis offering a variety of durations from two-night stays upwards. Ski accommodation is available on a range of board bases, from bedand-breakfast to all-inclusive and from

small family-run hotels to the bigger hotel groups such as NH and Sheraton. Clients can choose from featured resorts in Germany including Kempten, Schliersee and Oberstdorf. As an example of prices, a three-night break at the three diamond rated GHOTEL Munchen Zentrum departing Birmingham on January 11 costs from £278 per person, including flights and three nights' breakfast accommodation. Ski packages lead in at £285 per

person for a three-night breakfast stay at the four diamond rated Alpenclub, based on a departure from Luton on January 11. Meanwhile, the operator is offering free ski carriage on return flights with a saving of up to £50 per person for bookings made before December 31 for travel until April 30, 2013 on selected routes. For details call 0844-573 0668 or see www.cosmostoursandcruises.co.uk

Deutsche Bahn launches UK Facebook fansite FOLLOWING ITS success with Facebook fanpages in Germany (191k likes), Italy (7k likes) and France (1k likes) Deutsche Bahn has launched an English Facebook fansite for the UK, Ireland and overseas. The site offers users information on passenger services to and in

Germany, special offers and how or where to book tickets, and a dedicated UK based team will answer enquiries on the post board. This month an advent calendar with daily competitions is also featured. The company's marketing manager Stefan Heulle said: “With our English

Facebook fansite we open another channel to get in contact with customers and rail fans in English speaking markets. The site will be used and promote rail travel to and in Germany.” For details see www.facebook.com/dbukandmore

GTC offers two-night breaks for £199

A NEW hotel in Hamburg is now available through Superbreak for agents to book. A stay at the five-star InterContinental Hamburg costs from £79.50 per person per night including breakfast at weekends in February. The property is located directly on Alster Lake, a short walk from Hamburg’s city centre and facilities include a spa with an indoor pool, international cuisine and transport connections. A flight inclusive package costs from £258.50 per person including two nights’ accommodation and flights with easyJet from Luton, based on a February 25 departure. For details see www.superbreak.com/agents or call 0871-221 4444

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GERMAN TRAVEL Centre is highlighting a selection of twonight breaks across Germany with prices leading in at £299 per person. Agents can highlight a range of activities and events taking place across Germany to their clients. As examples, history fans can take in a new exhibition at the Baden-Württemberg State Museum of Archaeology and the Württemberg State Museumare in Stuttgart called ‘The World of the Celts: Centres of power – Treasures of Art’. The exhibition showcases 1,300 archaeological treasures from the Celts of the first millennium BC and runs until February 17. See www.kelten-stuttgart.de/en for details. The operator is promoting two-night breaks to Stuttgart from £199 per person including flights from Heathrow and accommodation at the Ibis Hotel. Meanwhile, the Christmas market in Cologne, which is open until December 23, is another reason for agents to highlight a break to the city. Stalls range from arts and crafts, toys and Christmas decorations, to local crafts people demonstrating their art - from pewter pourers to glassblowers. Two-night breaks to the city lead in at £199 per person including flights from Heathrow and accommodation at the Ibis Hotel. For more information see www.germantravelcentre.co.uk or call 020-8429 2900

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germany Record visitor numbers for Europa Park EUROPA PARK has announced that visitor numbers for summer 2012 have been its best yet, with more than four million visitors travelling to the theme park by the beginning of October about a month earlier than in 2011. The park’s owner Roland Mack said: "More than 85% of visitors are already repeat visitors, and that's the clearest possible acknowledgement of our

concept. Conference business has also seen another double-digit increase, as it did last year. A strong push is coming from the new four-star superior Hotel Bell Rock, which opened in July this year and the themed hotels, of which there are now five, are currently full to more than 95% of capacity.” Meanwhile, the park’s new wooden

coaster "WODAN - Timburcoaster" has proven to be a visitor magnet; since its opening on March 31, more than 2.5million passengers have tried the ride. The park is open daily until January 6 (except December 24 & 25) from 11:00-19:00. For more information see www.europapark.de

Munich & Stuttgart Aloft additions from Starwood Hotels & Resorts STARWOOD HOTELS & Resorts and its destination sensation brand, Aloft Hotels, have announced the signings of Aloft Munich and Aloft Stuttgart. Owned and developed by the Schörghuber Corporate Group, the two new properties will mark the entrance of Starwood’s Aloft Hotels brand in Germany when they open in 2015. Located near Munich’s city centre, Aloft Munich will feature 184 guest rooms and will be within walking distance of retail stores, cafés and restaurants. The hotel will be directly next to Munich Central Station, offering easy access to key locations throughout the city, including Munich’s Franz Josef Strauss International Airport. The new-build, 165 guest room Aloft Stuttgart will be part of the MILANEO mixed-use development project in Stuttgart’s European Quarter. MILANEO is a pioneering, multi-use

development project which will offer shopping, restaurants and entertainment venues as well as office space and residential units. For details see www.alofthotels.com Meanwhile, the company has announced plans to introduce its Four Points by Sheraton brand to Berlin in 2014. The property will be located adjacent to a new business park and just a few kilometres from Berlin Brandenburg International Airport. The hotel will offer 253 guest rooms, two restaurants, a lobby bar, a 24-hour fitness centre as well as meeting and event space and a fully-equipped business centre. The signing of Four Points by Sheraton Berlin Airport is part of Starwood’s expansion strategy to open more than 25 hotels across Europe over the next four years. For details see www.fourpointsbysheraton.com and www.starwoodhotels.com

ON SALE NOW COSMOS SKI HOLIDAYS

om Prices fr *

£285pp

TO GERMANY

Flights to MUNICH and FRIEDRICHSHAFEN from up to 5 UK airports Resorts - SCHLIERSEE, OBERSTDORF, KEMPTEN & GARMISCH PARTENKIRCHEN

SAVE up to £50 per person on FREE SKI carriage if booked

NEW

before 31/12/12 for travel until April 2013, on selected routes

(Calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras)

0871 423 8518

ABTA No.V0531

days

Prices are correct at time of going to press (04/12/12). Offers and prices quoted apply to new bookings only and are subject to availability. * The price quoted is based on a 3 night, half board stay at the Alpenclub Schliersee, Bavarian Alps, with 2 adults sharing, for a departure from Luton on 11 January 2013.

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Brochure requests: www.trade-gate.co.uk

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Reservations & Admin


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germany Shearings promotes eight-day Railways of the Rhine tour from £699 SHEARINGS HAS added a selection of new itineraries for next year including an eight-day Romantic Railways of the Rhine which leads in at £699 and offers a series of rail journeys through the Rhine Valley. Highlights include journeys on the Hunsruck Railway in Boppard, a rail journey through Lahn Valley, visiting the spa town of Bad Elms and travel on the cog railway to Dragons Rock Hill, which includes a guided tour of Drachenburg Castle. Departures are available from May to September and included in the price are five nights’ half-board accommodation at a four-star hotel, luxury coach travel, five excursions and two nights’ overnight accommodation. An eight-day Fairy-tale Rhine & Moselle Valley option is also new for next year, and takes in the historic Rhine Gorge, a World Heritage Site, and the Moselle Valley, with prices starting from £539. The holiday includes a full day visiting the Rhine and Moselle Valleys, where guests take a cruise along the Moselle, a full day to the riverside city of Heidelberg to see

the castle and Old Town, as well as half a day to take a journey on the Hunsruck Railway to the medieval village of Bacharach. The price includes five nights’ half-board accommodation in Rudesheim, two nights’ overnight accommodation (one night half-board, one night bed-and-breakfast) and coach travel, and departures are available from May to October. Meanwhile, a six day Berlin Experience which leads in at £499 is also new. Departures are from May to October and highlights include visits to Berlin’s famous landmarks including the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate. A full day is also spent at Sanssouci Palace and Gardens in Potsdam. The price includes three nights’ four-star accommodation on a half-board basis, two nights’ overnight accommodation (one night half-board, one night bed-and-breakfast), two excursions and coach travel. For more information or to book call 0844-824 6351 or visit www.shearings.com

GRJ sees new demand for tours following Michael Portillo's BBC programme GREAT RAIL Journeys reports an increase in demand for rail tours, inspired by Michael Portillo's television series 'Great Continental Railway Journeys' on BBC Two, in which the rail enthusiast travels on the across Europe by train. As an example of tours, the operator is highlighting a Harz Mountains & Rhine Gorge itinerary which takes in two of Germany's picturesque regions. Guests will explore half-timbered

villages and the peaks of the Harz Mountains on heritage railways and visit the Rhine Gorge, where the legendary Lorelei Rock still casts its spell. Prices lead in at £1,275 per person including First and Standard Class rail travel from St Pancras (Standard Premier Class on Eurostar journeys with a light meal and drinks), nine nights' hotel accommodation with breakfast, seven dinners, scenic rail excursion on the Brocken Railway,

scenic rail excursion on the Selketal Railway, Rhine Gorge cruise to Boppard or St Goar, an excursion to Heidelberg including a guided tour, all transfers and the services of a tour manager throughout. A supplement of £150 is applicable to single rooms and prices are based on an April 17, July 24, August 7 and 21 and October 9 departures. For more information or to book call 01904 521980 or see www.greatrail.com

Freedom Treks capitalises on cycling demand

THE RIVER Cruise Line has launched its new programme for 2013 which includes a number of cruises on the four-star MS Switzerland, including several itineraries in Germany. For example, a seven day ‘Rhine Highlights’ trip leads in at £949 per person, starting in Cologne and exploring the Rhine Valley between Dusseldorf and Rudesheim, complete with visits to historic towns and cities including the walled town of Andernach, Koblenz, and Boppard – known as the ‘Pearl of the Rhine’. Also available is an eight-day ‘Rhine & Moselle Highlights’ itinerary which offers a chance to discover the scenery of the Rhine Valley and the more peaceful Moselle, home to lush vineyards. Prices lead in at £1,089 per person and all prices are based on two sharing and include accommodation on a full board basis and flexible joining arrangements with free coach travel from joining points nationwide. For details see www.sellingrivercruises.com or call 0844-544 7580

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FREEDOM TREKS has extended its collection of cycling tours for next year following an increasing interest in the sport. The operator’s new programme features a combination of Cruise and Cycle and Hotel and Cycle tours, offering a comprehensive choice of 179 cycling holidays across 23 European countries. A new tour in Germany, Discover the Berlin Wall by bicycle, has been added for 2013. Beginning in central Berlin passing the Brandenburg Gate and the edgy Kreuzberg, guests cross the Spree and take time to view the East Side Gallery, the most visible remnant of the Wall in the city. The tour continues to Treptow and navigates the circumference of West Berlin passing historical sites from before the Wall and border posts from during its existence. Accommodation is on a bed-and-breakfast basis in hotels along the route with luggage transfers included in the cost. The eight-day tour departs on any Sunday between May 22 and September 11 and leads in at £528 based on two sharing. Price reductions are available for children travelling and bike plus helmet hire can be organised at a charge. For more information or to book visit www.freedomtreks.co.uk or call 01273-224066

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THE FIVE-STAR Heritage the Villas in Mauritius has launched a further 20% discount on rates which is combinable with contracted special offers such as an early booking bonus of 10% saving and a free night offer (seven nights for the price of six), meaning that the property is now giving agents access to a 40% saving on luxury villa holidays for their clients. Guests at the property have full access to sister hotels, Heritage Le Telfair and Heritage Awali and their facilities, which include 11 restaurants, two spas, two kids' clubs, a teens club, golf, nature reserve and watersports. For details see www.heritagethevillas.mu

Superbreak adds three new London hotels SUPERBREAK HAS added three hotels to its portfolio of hotels in London including a new five-star property, InterContinental London Westminster. The hotel is located within a few minutes' walk of Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, and prices lead in at £157.75 per person per night including breakfast. The four-star 10 Pembridge Gardens in Notting Hill is also new and consists of a selection of contemporary furnished studio apartment suites. Each apartment features state-of-the-art appliances and complimentary internet access. Prices lead in at £55.50 per person per night including breakfast. Meanwhile, the four-star Hilton London Wembley is located yards from Wembley Stadium and Wembley Arena and features a fitness centre, indoor pool plus sauna and steam facilities. A night’s stay costs from £57.50 including breakfast. For more information or to book see www.superbreak.com/agents or call 0871-221 4444.

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Relais & Châteaux adds five new destinations for 2013 RELAIS & Châteaux has added five new destinations to its guide for next year - Zambia, Botswana, Kenya, Guatemala and the Fiji Islands, welcoming 36 new members. The guide features a total of 520 hotels and restaurants across 60 countries and the company has announced that Salvatore Ferragamo, scion of the international fashion house family, is to be its ambassador for 2013. The 21 new members in Europe include seven in France, six in Italy, two each in Germany and Switzerland, and one each in England, The Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. Completing the 36 new members are eight in the Americas (two in the US, three in Peru, and one each in Chile, Brazil and Guatemala), five in Africa (two in South Africa and one each in Botswana, Kenya and Zambia) and two in Asia-Pacific (one each in Fiji and Taiwan). From January next year, a digital version of the guide will be available on the company’s Website for quick download as will a free app for iPad/iPhone users – see www.relaischateaux.com/appstore. The app features more than 15,000 images and 400 videos of properties, practical information, news and publications. For more information visit www.relaischateaux.com

BDL Hotels promotes winter deals BDL HOTELS is highlighting a range of deals at its hotels across the UK which include two-night dining breaks from £99 and bed-and-breakfast room rates from £39. Highlights of the campaign include £79 for bed-andbreakfast at the five-star Grand Jersey Hotel & Spa, which sits on the waterfront in St Helier; £39 for bedand-breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express Leeds City Centre Armouries and Ramada Encore Birmingham City Centre; £99 for a night's breakfast stay at the Crowne Plaza Docklands in London; and £169 for a dining break at The Langstone Hotel, a four-star retreat on Hayling Island near Portsmouth. It includes two nights' bedand-breakfast with dinner on arrival. All prices are per room and are based on two people sharing. For more information visit www.bdlhotels.co.uk/winter2012

Christmas countdown from TravelCube TRAVELCUBE IS getting ready for 2013 with a festive promotion to boost agents’ business and drive travel in the first quarter of the new year. The dedicated agent booking site has launched a special Christmas Countdown until December 24, as figures show top seasonal destinations being searched for by agents include Amsterdam, Barcelona, Dubai, Istanbul, London, Paris and Rome. All the destinations feature at some point in the company's promotion which, with up to 40% discounts, gives agents more of a chance to boost profit. The promotion features a time-limited offer on a daily basis for a specially selected hotel in 24 different countries in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and commences with a 20% discount for a stay at the Savoy in Amsterdam and 25% off the four-star NH Nice. For more information visit www.travelcube.com

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accommodationonly European beach sales up 150% for Getabed.co.uk GETABED.CO.UK REPORTS that European beach sales are up more than 150% against this time last year. According to the operator, the most demanded destinations include Cyprus (up 267% year-on-year), Lanzarote (up 170%), Turkey (up 159%) Egypt’s Red Sea (up 154%) and Menorca (up 132%). The company has recently expanded its product team in a bid to meet escalating demand which is projected to last into next year. Simon Miles (pictured) recently joined the company as product manager and is responsible for overseeing the expansion of the company’s product portfolio. Meanwhile, the operator reports that its fastest growing destinations this year have included Dubai (up more than 90%), New York and Orlando (both up around 50%) and key cruise hubs Rome, Barcelona and Venice, all up around 40% year-on-year.

Early-bird offers from Away Resorts

Simon Miles

Seven-night Burgundy break from £337 per party from Keycamp KEYCAMP IS promoting a seven-night stay at its new Burgundy parc, Château de l'Epervière, for £337 per party in May. The resort is set in the scenic grounds of a 16th century château and offers a three pool complex complete with sauna and Jacuzzi. Weekly wine tasting sessions are available at the parc's cellars, while the Burgundy vineyards are just a short drive away. The parc is located within 30 minutes of Chalon-sur-Sâone town, which offers

weekly markets, half-timbered houses and a 19th century cathedral, while onsite facilities include regular entertainment, freshwater fishing on the lake, cycle hire and table tennis. The £337 lead in price applies to a family holiday departing on May 10, 2013, staying in a two-bedroom Villagrand mobile home, which sleeps up to four adults and two children. It also includes Dover ferry crossings. To book or for more information call 0844-406 0319 or visit keycamp.co.uk

MALLORCA FARMHOUSES is celebrating 25 years as Mallorca’s self-catering accommodation specialist next year, and is highlighting a selection of private villas and farmhouses on the island. As an example, the fivebedroom Es Castell (pictured) near Cala d’Or, sleeps ten and offers its own private vineyard and olive grove, producing wines and olive oil for guests to sample. Facilities include a gym, Jacuzzi hot tub and Scandinavian sauna with sound system, with prices ranging from £1,079 to £3,833 per week. All properties come with a private pool, maid service and starter pack, and nearly all have complimentary internet connection. For details call 0845-800 8080 or visit www.mallorca.co.uk

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AWAY RESORTS has launched its 2013 brochure featuring a choice of earlybird offers. Holidaymakers looking to head to the operator’s Whitecliff Bay Holiday Park in Bembridge on the Isle of Wight can save 10% on bookings paid in full by February 28. The offer also applies to the company’s Tattershall Lakes Country Park in Lincolnshire, while discounts of up to 10% are available on breaks booked in January and February at Mill Rythe Holiday Village on Hayling Island. The operator’s three parks have their own unique selling points. Whitecliff Bay on the Isle of Wight offers a secluded sandy beach, which gets the top rating from the Good Beach Guide; Tattershall Lakes Country Park in Lincolnshire is ideal for families and individuals who like water activities, and the park has also recently opened a £1.2m leisure complex; and Mill Rythe Holiday Village on Hayling Island is ideal for entertainment, with the park's entertainment team, known as Showcast, providing musical shows for the season with direction from West End professionals. Prices lead in at £191 for seven nights in a six-berth caravan at Tattershall Lakes and £209 for seven nights in a four-berth chalet at Whitecliff Bay. A wide range of activities is available across all parks for children including pool snorkelling, abseiling, archery, kayaking, flying remote control helicopters, water walkerz, walking trails, cheerleading school, geocoaching, body zorbing, science bugs and arts and crafts.

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accommodationonly Lowcostbeds creates ‘dedicated’ long-haul unit for business LOWCOSTBEDS HAS announced that it is to create a ‘dedicated’ long-haul unit within its business and has recently appointed Leigh Harrington as senior long-haul product manager. The company's long-haul portfolio has been strengthened in recent weeks, with new hotels added in Florida, Dubai, Mauritius, the

Dominican Republic and Mexico, and the operator reports that the total number of direct long-haul contracts has increased by more than 100% since new additional buyers were recruited. The operator recently announced expansion into a large number of long-haul destinations, with particular

focus on the Caribbean, Far East and Australia, as well as increased capacity in the US and Middle East. New destinations include Kenya, Gambia, Maldives, Mauritius and South America, with many of the new hotels sourced from international chains such as Centara, Hilton and Barceló Group.

Premier Holidays highlights Algarve villa options over Christmas & the New Year PREMIER HOLIDAYS is encouraging travel agents to highlight villa options in the Algarve to clients looking for a Christmas break. The operator's managing director Ian Fox said: "Opting for a self-catering base is a great option if your client is planning on travelling with a group of friends or relatives. Booking a large self-catering Algarve holiday villa means they can join in the Christmas festivities of eating Bolo Rei cake made especially at Christmas, drinking Porto wine and other traditional liquors, and tasting the wide range of sweets and biscuits, 'azevias' and 'felhozes’ that Portugal has to offer with space and privacy. "Many bars and restaurants around the popular selfcatering resorts of Vale do Lobo, Vilamoura and Quinta dos Alamos will stay open on Christmas Day, offering a range of local delights and typical Christmas turkey. Of course, if

clients want to cook, an apartment or villa gives them the freedom to turn their hand to culinary activities. "There is also plenty to do in and around the Algarve around Christmas and the New Year. Holidaymakers will often find the streets and squares of the Algarve seaside towns lit up with Christmas lights and resounding with songs from street musicians. Cultural activities include a range wine tasting experiences, the Loulé Mountain Fair filled with pretty handicrafts and the traditional 9k and 3km Father Christmas walk that takes place in Albufeira. Most local tourist offices will have a special programme with details of upcoming parties, art exhibitions, musical concerts and other cultural events to keep visitors busy during their stay." For more information call 0800-047 0400 or visit www.premier-holidays.com


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s y a d i l o h f l go

VISIONS OF Africa has launched a new Website which features golf holidays to South Africa, in combination with safaris, sightseeing and food and wine tasting. An eight-night golf break staying at four-star hotels in Cape Town and the Winelands with four rounds of golf leads in at £1,755 per person, based on two sharing. The price includes Economy Class flights from Heathrow and car hire. For details call 01444-225640.

Crystal expands luxury golf opportunities CRYSTAL CRUISES is expanding its luxury golfing opportunities with a 25% increase in international course offerings in 2013. With three golf-themed cruises offering new itineraries in the British Isles, New England/Canada and the Canary Islands/Iberia, the Experience of Discovery voyages offer immersion in more than a dozen of the regions’ best courses, as well as onboard clinics, classes, and mingling to improve one’s game. The line’s 11-night cruise from Lisbon to Barcelona on April 10 offers tips and tales from British golfer, Tony Jacklin, who will be on board to share stories and play with guests at a selection of championship coursesin Cadiz, Lisbon, Valencia, Tenerife and Funchal. The company’s vice president of international sales and marketing Philip Ordever said: “We’re thrilled to offer our discerning guests the opportunity to meet other golf fans and share such wonderful experiences with them. Whether

it’s a beginner gleaning tips from the onboard workshops with our pros or a regular player with a low handicap, a Crystal golf itinerary is a dream holiday for anyone interested in this universally-loved game.” The golf programme includes a VIP welcome reception; pre-/post-round refreshments in legendary clubhouses; welcome kits with course information and gifts; teampairing; transport to/from courses; game carts or caddies (where available); 45-minute warm-ups; awards; and storage and cleaning of clubs and shoes. Putting greens, driving ranges and golf pros (who offer private lessons or complimentary group coaching sessions) are also available on board for extra practice. All-inclusive fares for the cruise, which visits Madeira, Tenerife, Arrecife, Agadir, Casablanca, Cadiz and Valencia, before finishing in Barcelona, start from £2,956 per person. For details call 020-7399 7601 or visit www.crystalcruises.co.uk

International Golf Travel Market survey reveals trends in European golf tourism GOLFERS FROM Germany and Scandinavia are the most likely to have taken an international golf holiday in the past 12 months, according to new research from the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM). The survey revealed that more than 85% of golfers in Scandinavia and Germany had taken a ‘non-domestic’ golf break over the past year,

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compared to 79% of golfers in UK and Ireland, and 70% in France. IGTM exhibition manager, Peter Grimster, said: “While it is well known that the UK and Ireland has the largest number of golfers in Europe, the propensity for German golfers to take international golf breaks, and their tendency to stay for more than a week, makes Germany an important

target market for golf travel destinations.” The survey also found that golfers tend to travel in groups and that the most popular golf travel destination for European golfers is Spain, with Portugal in second place for UK and Irish golfers. For more information visit www.igtm.co.uk

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golfholidays LONGWOOD HOLIDAYS is currently offering Red Sea golf holidays in the resorts of Sharm el Sheikh and Taba Heights on the Sinai peninsula and Ain Sokhna, El Gouna, Makadi Bay and Soma Bay on Egypt's mainland Red Sea coast. Prices for a three x18-hole package in El Gouna with seven nights’ breakfast stay at the five-star Steigenberger Golf Resort, departing on December 7, lead in at £645 per person. For details see www.longwoodholidays.co.uk or call 0844-770 0450.

New golf deal from Mallorca's Protur Biomar Gran Hotel & Spa THE FIVE-STAR Protur Biomar Gran Hotel & Spa in Mallorca is offering seven nights' half-board stay between February 11 and March 31, 2013 for €975 per person. The offer includes five green fees: one each at Capdepera Golf, Pula Golf, Golf Park Puntiró, Vall d’Or Golf and Alcanada Golf and the price is based on two sharing a double room. Also included is a breakfast, one dinner per person, a health and beauty treatment, access to a hydrothermal circuit at the spa; free access and tokens for the hotel’s driving range; early check-in and late check-out; and wireless internet access. For more information see www.proturhotels.com

Tunisia hotels offer deals to compliment golf breaks THE TUNISIA National Tourist Office (TNTO) is highlighting the availability of golf holidays on its coastline, with nearby hotels offering a selection of deals for the nine championship courses. As examples, the Riu Palace Hammamet Marhaba offers four nights' all-inclusive accommodation and three rounds of golf at the Yasmine, Foret or Oliviers golf courses. Prices lead in at £285 per person and the offer is valid until December 22 and between January 5 and February 16, 2013. The Sinbad Hotel on the outskirts of Hammamet is offering three nights' breakfast accommodation and two rounds of golf at the 45-hole Golf Citrus Complex, which offers two 18-hole courses and a nine–hole executive course, with prices leading in at £165 per person. The offer is available for bookings made by March 31, 2013. The Residence Hotel is also offering a new package which includes three nights’ breakfast stay and three rounds of golf at The Residence Tunis Golf Course, with prices from £335 per person, valid for bookings between January 6 – March 25, 2013. Meanwhile, ClubHotel Riu Bellevue Park offers four nights’ all-inclusive accommodation and three rounds of golf (one on the Golf Palm Links course and two at El Kantaoui Golf Course) from £249 per person. The offer is available for bookings until December 22 and between January 5 – February 16, 2013. To book call 0800-279 7988 or visit www.golfbreaks.com For information on Tunisia's golf offerings see www.cometotunisia.co.uk

Donnafugata becomes first Italian member of IMG Prestige DONNAFUGATA GOLF Resort & Spa has been recognised after becoming the first Italian course to be invited to join IMG Prestige, an exclusive collection of some of the world’s most celebrated golfing venues. The 36-hole course hosted the 2011 Sicilian Open and now joins a portfolio of courses including Kingsbarns, Scotland; Carton House, Ireland; Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand; Legend Golf & Safari Resort, South Africa; Spain’s La Manga Club and Yas Links in Abu Dhabi. The five-star resort offers 202 guestrooms, a spa and wellness centre, swimming pools and three restaurants. For more information visit www.donnafugatagolfresort.com

Spain’s La Manga Club announces first annual Golf and Darts Classic GOLF FANS with an interest in darts are being offered the chance to meet some of the game’s stars and take part in the first annual Golf and Darts Classic at Spain’s La Manga Club Resort. Top players including Terry Jenkins, Steve Beaton, Wayne Mardle and Peter Manley will all be appearing in the four-day event, taking place from February 5-8 next year. A team of four people costs 2,352 (approximately £1,960 or £490 per person) and the event gives golfers the opportunity to compete against their heroes in a 36hole Stableford competition on the resort's north and south courses and see the stars in action in a darts exhibition evening. Included in the cost is three nights’ breakfast accommodation, a welcome drinks reception, entertainment and food on the exhibition night and final

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evening presentation dinner with drinks. Packages are based on two sharing a room and include tax. Also on offer this winter is a four-night stay including three rounds of golf from €411 per person.Available from now until the end of January (including Christmas and New Year), the discount break includes breakfast accommodation at the resort's four-star Las Lomas Village apartments, while a similar length stay at the resort's five-star hotel costs €507 per person. The package also includes half-price golf buggy hire, a two-course dinner each night at any of the resort's restaurants, unlimited drinks in the evening and complimentary use of the spa, fitness centre, indoor pool, saunas and steam rooms. For more information or to book email reserve@lamangaclub.com or visit www.lamangaclub.com

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golfholidays We asked our staff the following question this week: If you could win a year’s supply of something what would you choose? Publisher: Jeanette Ratcliffe jeanette.ratcliffe@travelbulletin.co.uk Mortgage payments

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Assistant Editor: Jill Sayles jill.sayles@travelbulletin.co.uk Flights

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JA RESORTS & Hotels has announced the re-opening of the five-star property Palm Tree Court, one of two luxury hotels based at Jebel Ali Golf Resort in Dubai. Existing leisure and dining facilities have been improved and enhanced and an additional 74 suites and junior suites have been added. The hotel features four swimming pools, a new beachfront pool and a range of leisure activities and dining options. Four new villas have been added; including a luxury villa, The Residence, located on the Arabian Gulf shore where facilities include a private butler service, complimentary welcome amenities and in-room relaxation experiences. For details see www.jaresortshotels.com

Wine

Online Sales Manager: Nick Boocock nick.boocock@travelbulletin.co.uk

Group discount offer from Conrad Algarve

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THE RECENTLY opened Conrad Algarve, which features its own golf concierge service, is offering an exclusive offer for golf pros when they make a group booking for a minimum party of six. The package for the pro making the booking includes complimentary accommodation including breakfast, no green fees when playing with a minimum of three paying guests, a room upgrade (subject to availability), 10% discount in the Golf Pro shop and a welcome reception. Prices for the rest of the group lead in at €164 per room per night including breakfast.

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All-inclusive deal from Morocco's Mazagan Beach Resort MAZAGAN BEACH & Golf Resort in Morocco is offering a five-night allinclusive unlimited golf package, which leads in at £989 per person, based on two sharing. It includes flights from Gatwick with taxes and golf carriage, allinclusive accommodation, unlimited golf at the Mazagan golf club links' course with free shared buggy, free driving range access, a round of golf at the Royal Golf El Jadida including transfers, 50% off spa treatments, transfers and free access to the casino, nightclub and leisure and wellness activities. For more information visit www.menaratravel.co.uk and www.morocco4golf.com

puzzlesolutions Crossword: Across: 1. COSTA, 3. TAHOE, 5. ADELAIDE, 8. WENDY WU, 10. ADL, 11. LEG, 13. TRENTON, 14. WATERLOO, 17. SHANE, 18. SALEM. Down: 1. CORNWALL, 2. SAA, 3. TEA, 4. HYDRA, 6. EGYPT, 7. BLENHEIM, 9. UTELL, 12. GHANA, 15. EYE, 16. OSL.

Highlighted Word: CRETE Travagrams: (top) Thomson

(bottom) Sunshine

Where Am I?: Bangladesh

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SKYPRIORITY. BECAUSE YOU ARE OUR PRIORITY. SkyTeam introduces SkyPriority, an alliance-wide priority service label which is easy to spot at every SkyTeam-served airport around the world. Wherever you fly with SkyTeam member airlines, you* will automatically benefit from priority check-in, baggage handling, boarding and transfer desks. To learn more, visit skyteam.com *First Class, Business Class, and SkyTeam Elite Plus passengers.


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Travel Bulletin 2 December 2012