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February 8 2013 | ISSUE NO 1,812 | www.travelbulletin.co.uk

this week

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news medical study reveals how holidays can help us live longer

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cruise bulletin RCI's Independence of the Seas receives makeover for summer

Escorted trips A selection of new tours, tailor-made programmes and the latest offers

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malta & gozo MTA launches new Spa and Wellness brochure

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accommodation-only operators add new destinations plus a round-up of new deals


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PORTOROŽ, SLOVENIA 18th - 20th APRIL 2013 Welcome to a land of innumerable possibilities for business and relaxation, for enjoying nature and for gaining entrepreneurial inspiration! Join us at the SLOVENIAN INCOMING WORKSHOP, which will be held in Portorož from 18t to 20t April, 2013. The Slovenian Incoming Workshop is a first class opportunity to meet all major Slovenian tourism providers, who gather together in one place to encourage business relations, establishing new contacts and partners, and raising the standard of tourism (every year more than 250 Slovenian tourism providers attend this event). Pre-arranged meetings give you an opportunity to improve on current business contacts and operations, establish new ideas, concepts and contacts for joint business cooperation and for us to strive together to give the best possible service for your clients and our guests. Participants of the Slovenian Incoming Workshop can also choose from various study tours to different destinations in Slovenia. This lets you discover, and see with your own eyes, the opportunities you will hear about in business meetings with Slovenian partners whilst attending the workshop.

Be ready for new features and grab a chance for new business opportunities. Visit SIW 2013! www.slovenia.info/SIW


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newsbulletin New research highlights missed opportunity of social media

CREWE'S CREW...Cruise and Maritime Voyages launched an in-store promotion in Thomson Travel, Crewe, following its recent agent booking incentive and the launch of its new brochure which highlights convenient cruise departures from Newcastle, Liverpool, Hull, Leith and Greenock. Pictured familiarising themselves with the new brochure are, from the left: Laura Brayford, John Grant, Joanna Bayes, Abbey Butcher and Claire Hudson, all from Thomson Travel, Crewe.

This Week 3

news

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at home with eileen

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agent bulletin

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cruise bulletin

medical study reveals how holidays can help us live longer discover what homeworker Eileen thought of The View from The Shard the latest booking incentives and prize giveaways

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personality bulletin

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escorted trips

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malta & gozo

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accommodation-only

puzzle bulletin you could win a £50 Hotel Chocolat voucher in our prize Su Doku puzzle RCI's Independence of the Seas receives makeover for summer

which senior partnership development manager would like to take a trip with Stephen Fry? a selection of new tours, tailor-made programmes and the latest offers Malta Tourism Authority launches new Spa and Wellness brochure operators add new destinations plus a round-up of new deals

Cover Pictures: Main - Durango & Silverton Railroad, Great Rail Journeys Inset - Valletta, Malta Tourism Authority

MORE THAN one in ten hospitality and leisure operators now generate up to half of all sales through social media according to new research from Barclays, but despite this the industry still questions its business potential. More than 60% of the sector, which includes hotels, pubs, restaurants, travel and leisure operators, say that they only see ‘some’ or ‘limited’ opportunity in using social media tools to engage consumers. This comes in spite of the benefits emerging from these channels: nearly a third (29%) of respondents directly attribute up to 25% of all their sales to social media, and a further 13% state that these platforms generate up to half of sales. In addition, more than two thirds (68%) of those currently using social media report that they have had a ‘positive’ or ‘very positive’ experience, attracting new customers and receiving positive recommendations. With estimates suggesting that more than half of UK consumers now own a smartphone, and almost one in five have ● continues on next page

TH THE EP PALM AL A M BEA BEACHES CHES & BOCA BOCA RA RATON ATON

DISCOVER ONE OF FLORIDA’S BEST KEPT SECRETS…

7 NIG NIGHTS HTS FR FROM OM £779PP Forr more details or to book,, call

0844 557 0626 or or vvisit isi t

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newsbulletin ● continued from previous page

access to a tablet device, consumers have come to rely on networks and sites such as Facebook, Twitter and TripAdvisor to provide peer to peer recommendations and as a convenient way to connect with businesses. Yet more than one in ten operators do not currently use social media, nor do they have any plans to do so, and state that this is because they do not see any value or return on investment. Mike Saul, head of hospitality and leisure at Barclays, said: “The industry is missing a trick. Social media has blurred the line between personal and corporate communities - something that has been encouraged by consumers who now expect to be able to interact in an immediate and very personal way, not just

Pegasus adds new European destinations PEGASUS AIRLINES has added Serbia's Belgrade and Bosnia's Sarajevo to its flight network as its first new destinations for 2013. Flights to Belgrade operate four times weekly from Istanbul and later this month (February 28) a five times weekly service will launch between Istanbul and Sarajevo. For more information or to book visit www.flypgs.com

with friends, but with their favourite - and not so favoured brands. “This can create a very powerful feedback loop – if operators can successfully tap into these networks, both good and bad reviews can be used to their advantage. If a flight or dinner reservation is delayed for example, it’s easy for consumers to vent their frustration to the online world – the trick is being able to respond helpfully, turning a negative experience into a positive one. “Social media is everywhere, and for many businesses it not only influences and directly generates sales, but provides a personal link with consumers, building loyalty and driving repeat footfall. This is vital when consumers are increasingly cost-conscious and discerning about where they choose to spend their hard earned cash."

Medical study reveals how holidays can help us live longer THE POSITIVE impact of holidays on health has been measured in a new study. The Holiday Health Experiment was conducted by Kuoni and Nuffield Health, the UK’s largest healthcare charity between summer and autumn 2012, revealing how holidays can help us live longer. The study set out to establish whether the muchdiscussed ‘feel good factor’ generated by holidays is based on physical and psychological fact. Participants were divided into a travel group and a nontravel group and all had stress-resilience testing and a 360+ Health Assessment by Nuffield Health, plus psychotherapeutic tests. The experiment found that those who took part benefited from lower blood pressure, improved sleep quality and improved stress management – with the effects continuing for at least two weeks after returning home. Highlights of the findings included the average blood pressure of the holidaymakers dropped by 6% while the average of the non-holidaymakers went up over the same period by 2%; the sleep quality of the holidaymakers improved while that of the non-holidaymakers deteriorated holidaymakers saw a 17% improvement while the average for non-holidaymakers reduced by 14%; and the ability to recover from stress (known as the stress-resilience test) saw an average improvement of 29% among holidaymakers, compared to a 71% fall in stress resilience scores among the non-holidaymakers.

Tour additions from Sardinian Places

LOVED UP...pictured helping to promote Superbreak's new A4 Valentine’s Escapes flyer for agents, which details a range of romantic short break ideas, is the operator's sales executive, Wendy Cameron. The flyer can be downloaded from www.superbreak.com/agents

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SARDINIAN PLACES has issued its 2013 brochure featuring more than 80 villas, apartments, residences and hotels across Sardinia, along with a choice of charter, low-cost and scheduled flights. The company, which has recently partnered with Avis, now offers new touring holidays including a seven-night Sardinia & Corsica twin-centre break from £879 per person, a Sardinian Taster from £899 per person and a ten-night Authentic Sardinia tour from £1,149 per person. Seven-night brochure prices lead in at £389 per person, based on eight sharing self-catering accommodation at the four-bedroom Sardinian villa, La Mendula, located in the seaside resort of Cannigione. The price includes flights, car hire and a welcome hamper. For more information call 0845-330 2050 or visit www.sardinianplaces.co.uk

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newsbulletin Brand USA launches new advertising campaign

Tweets of the Week Who’s saying what on Twitter... @TOUCANTRAVEL 7 Night Greek Isles & Turkey Cruise on the board the Splendour of the Seas - Departs 31 Aug from £869pp http://goo.gl/mynS8 @VisitKent #KentBigWeekend is back, this year on March 23 and 24! You can now apply for tickets until February 18 on http://ow.ly/h3hfo @cottages4you We've updated our Deals page: Save £100 on hundreds of Easter & half-term holiday cottages in the UK and France! http://bit.ly/YekCm7 @TCworldwide Want a clear breakdown of financial protection? View our handy tools to understand exactly what is protected http://ow.ly/hdAQv @ABTAtravel Numbers travelling abroad uninsured on the rise - ABTA reveals one in four now travelling uninsured http://bit.ly/WzQy5i

Follow us on Twitter! http://twitter.com/ TravelBulletin

SCOTT HAS THE LOT... AITO has welcomed two new members – Derbyshire-based Bakewell Travel and Buckinghamshire-based Scott Travel. Pictured collecting their AITO membership goodies are Zoe Ryder (left) and Ruth Scott from Scott Travel. For more information visit www.aitoagents.com

BRAND USA has launched the next phase of its global campaign ‘Land of Dreams’, in partnership with British Airways. The campaign, which includes a series of TV adverts, invites visitors to “Discover this land, like never before” and runs until March 4. The tourism marketing body's CEO Chris Thompson said “Our goal is nothing short of rekindling the world’s love affair with the USA. We want to spread America’s message of welcome around the world and invite travellers to experience the limitless possibilities the United States has to offer.” For more information see www.discoveramerica.com

La Manga Club offers 25% savings on Easter and summer holidays SPAIN'S LA Manga Club is offering early booking discounts of up to 25% on all medium and high season stays booked before February 28. Clients can either stay in the resort’s four-star Las Lomas self-catering apartments or the five-star Principe Felipe Hotel. With an additional 20% off an adjoining room booked for children, a family of four can spend seven nights at the resort during the school summer holidays for €2,559 (approximately £2,130) – a reduction of €1,235 (approximately £1,030). All packages include complimentary access to the resort’s spa, taxes, use of onresort shuttle bus service, free kids meals for children under five, plus preferential rates for the resort’s golf courses, tennis courts and other sports facilities.

For couples looking to take a shorter break, a four-night stay in the Hotel Principe Felipe is available during April, May and June for €649 (approximately £540) per room – a discount of €216 (approximately £185). A 10% discount is also available on all accommodation for breaks taken in the low season until the end of March. Following its debut last year, the Michael Owen Rugby Academy will also return for a four-week spell during July and August. Daley Thompson’s Adventure Fitness company will also be back to hold its athletics courses, designed by the double Olympic gold medallist himself. For more information or to book email reserve@lamangaclub.com or visit www.lamangaclub.com

Rotana highlights Valentine's Day escapes in Sharm el Sheikh ROTANA IS highlighting a stay at the Grand Rotana Resort & Spa in Egypt’s Sharm el Sheikh for couples looking for a Valentine’s Day break. The property offers a private beach, outdoor pursuits and ten different restaurants to choose from. At the five-star Camel Dive Club PADI centre couples can embark on an open water dive course together and spend their days diving and snorkelling among the coral reefs. After a day at the beach, couples can relax with a personalised couple’s treatment and can also sample the Valentine’s meal at the resort’s signature Silk Road

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restaurant, before heading for the Sky Lounge, an outdoor majlis that features a selection of shishas and Arabian teas on the roof top terrace overlooking the Red Sea. For clients with a larger budget, Grand Suites feature panoramic views over the Red Sea, a Kingsize bed and an in-built Jacuzzi. With Thomas Cook, five nights’ breakfast accommodation in a classic room costs £720 per person, including Economy flights from Heathrow with Egypt Air and transfers, based on a February 12 departure. For further details call 0844-879 8407 or see www.thomascook.com

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newsbulletin Coach investment from Crusader Holidays CRUSADER HOLIDAYS has announced that it is taking delivery of a further two new Setra Coaches in March, representing an investment of more than half a million pounds. The operator's agency sales manager Keith Elrick said: "Since being taken over by the Motts Travel Group in 2011 we have worked hard to re-establish ourselves with the travel trade, which now accounts for more than a third of our business." This year, more than 700 departures are offered throughout Britain and Europe and the company is also highlighting its largest programme of Easter tours. As an example, a seven-day tour to the International Garden Show near Hamburg leads in at £429 per person. For more information call 01255-425453 or visit www.crusader-holidays.co.uk

Flybe announces daily service between Birmingham & Lyon FLYBE HAS announced a new daily weekday route from Birmingham to Lyon from May 1. The new flights will be operated by new 88seat Embraer 175 jet aircrafts. Each weekday, flights depart from Birmingham at 10:30, arriving in Lyon at 13:15. Flights depart from Lyon at 13:40 and arrive back in the UK at 14:25. Flights will also run on Sundays, with flights departing Birmingham at 17:45 and arriving at 20:30, and return flights departing at 20:55, arriving at Birmingham at 21:40. Introductory fares are available from £39.99 oneway, including taxes and charges. For more information see www.flybe.com

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Newsbites ●

THIS YEAR'S TNT Travel Show takes place at the Islington Business Design Centre from March 9-10. For details see www.tnttravelshow.com TRAVELPORT HAS announced a new full content agreement with Virgin Australia (VA). Under the new agreement, Travelport-connected travel agents have access to the airline's full published inventory, including both public and private fares. ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES is to commence flights from Heathrow to Blantyre in Malawi from March 30. See www.ethiopianairlines.com THE ASSOCIATION of Cruise Experts (ACE) has welcomed its latest cruise member – the Spanish cruise line Pullmantur. CITYJET HAS commenced twice daily scheduled flights to Nuremberg in Germany from London City Airport. Fares start from £109 return. For details see www.cityjet.com

AQUA HOTELS and Resorts has changed its name to Aqua Hospitality. See www.aquahospitality.com A NEW Public Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for the promotion of entrepreneurship, innovation, development, investment and tourism was established at the start of this year. SPIRIT Slovenia merged three public agencies – the Slovenian Tourist Board, JAPTI (the Public Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Entrepreneurship and Foreign Investments) and TIA (the Slovenian Technology Agency). For details email london@slovenia.info FREEDOM TREKS is offering a ‘Jewels of Slovakia by bike’ option. The itinerary is available from May to the end of September and costs from £549 including six nights’ breakfast accommodation in three-star hotels, four days’ bike hire and luggage transfers. See www.freedomtreks.com or call 01273-224066.

Dubai package deal from Emirates Tours offers 30% savings EMIRATES TOURS is offering an exclusive 30% early booking discount on breaks to its Lagoon Residences at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray in Dubai. The beachside resort, which is styled on an Ottoman Palace, is located on Palm Island and offers a mix of bars and restaurants as well as a Talise Ottoman Spa. The private villas consist of four en-suite bedrooms, some with Jacuzzis, and offer 24-hour butler service, exclusive beach access and pre-dinner drinks. Villas come with a choice of a private gym, games room or pool house. Three nights’ half-board accommodation costs from £985 per person, including the 30% discount, and is based on eight adults staying in a four-bedroom Royal Residence. It includes Economy flights with Emirates and transfers and is valid for travel between May 8 and July 15. Bookings must be made by March 31 to take advantage of the offer. For further information call 0844-800 1400 or visit www.emiratestours.co.uk VILLA SELECT has added a new villa on the north west coast of Kefalonia to its portfolio. The three-bedroom Villa Melanthi, which offers a private pool, is located in the hamlet of Kampanata and is within easy walking distance of the nearby village, Manganos. Prices lead in at £795 per week. For more information or to book visit www.villaselect.com or call 01789-764909. (Accommodation-Only feature - page 27)

February 8 2013

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THE PALM BEACHES & BOCA RATON

T he P alm Beaches Beaches bring br ing together together 15 15 distinct d is t i n c t The Palm dis tr ic ts – 112 hopping aand nd d ining, two t wo districts dining, 2 ffeaturing eattur ing sshopping he onn eeco-adventures, one ffocused ocused o co-adventures, aand nd o ne ccontaining ontaining tthe Convention Centre aand nd surrounding sur rounding entertainment. enter tainment. C onvention Centre Located out ut to and down down the the coast coas t and and west wes t o up and Located up o m p l e te l y Okeechobee, district offers LLake ake O keechobee, eeach ach d is t r i c t o f fer s a ccompletely of events events uunique nique experience, exper ience, culture, culture, aand nd ccollection ollec tion of isitor s. ffor or vvisitors.

NEW W BR BROCHURE RO OCHURE OUT NOW! NO OW W! For more details on the Palm P alm Beaches & Boca Raton request our brochure today today at: www.trade-gate.co.uk .trade-gate .co.uk www w.tr .

B oc a ever y thing The The Palm Palm Beaches Beaches & Boca SSo o explore explore everything Raton of luxury lu x u r y an exciting exciting ccollection ollec tion of as to offer of fer – an R atton hhas an rresorts, esor ts, boutique boutique and and trusted-brand tr us ted-br and hotels, hotels, an innovative ulinar y llandscape, andscape, trendy trendy shops shops and a nd a innovative cculinary nightlife thr ives year-round. year-round. nightliffe that that thrives

7 NIGHTS IGHTS FR FROM RO OM £779PP! For more details or to book,, call

0844 557 0626 orr vvisit isit


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newsbulletin

e m o h At ..

. n e e l i E h t i w

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

UST RECENTLY, along with a number of my Travel Counsellor colleagues, I was given the opportunity to preview the “ View from the Shard” in London before its official opening to the public on 1st February. This new landmark building at 310m (1,016ft) high is the tallest building in Western Europe and the viewing platforms on floors 69 and 72 offer the very best views of the London skyline. Despite the fact that it was a dull overcast day when I visited, the views were still very good. You get the most amazing 360 degrees, 64km (40-mile) view of the city and beyond. At level 72, the highest public viewing level, you are exposed to the elements but surprisingly on a very cold January day it wasn’t as cold up there as I’d thought and I spent some considerable time excitably picking out recognisable buildings. Famous landmarks such as St Paul’s Cathedral, Houses of Parliament, the Tower of London and even Tower 42 and the Gherkin are all totally dwarfed by the Shard. It was just possible to make out the Wembley Arch and the Thames Barrier in the distance and I found it fascinating to see the railway lines cutting their way through South London into London Bridge Station below. Work is still taking place on the Shard and when it’s finally completed, it will have offices, luxury apartments and restaurants as well as a new ShangriLa Hotel on the 34th-52nd floor. The area around London Bridge has had a major revamp in recent years and now has some really good places to eat, drink and shop dotted around unique historical locations such as Butler’s Wharf, Hay’s Galleria, Borough Market and Southwark Cathedral. The “View from the Shard” promises to be a very popular tourist attraction and booking in advance is recommended as well as being cheaper. Visitors get a timed entry but can stay as long as they like. London is one of the most wonderful cities in the world and I really enjoyed this unique opportunity of seeing it as I’d never seen it before.

J

Olympic adds new Greece & Cyprus hotels in Summer Sun 2013 brochure OLYMPIC HOLIDAYS has launched its second edition Summer Sun 2013 brochure with new hotel and self-catering properties in Cyprus, Greece, Turkey and other popular summer sun destinations. New Cyprus product includes the So White Boutique Suites and So Nice Boutique suites, sister four-star properties with high-quality bungalow suites located close to Agia Napa. Major renovations on Cyprus for this year include the rebirth of the Apollonia Beach Hotel in Limassol in April, as the Royal Apollonia Beach Hotel following an upgrade of its 205rooms and public areas. The Alexander The Great Beach Hotel in Paphos will also re-open next month following a major reworking of the swimming pool area, the public rooms and the 202-guest rooms and bathrooms. Also in Paphos, the Louis King Jason Apartments has completed its two-year makeover, while on Crete, the Louis Creta Princess Hotel on Maleme Bay will soon feature a new water park, a renovated kids’ pool and a new playground. Early bookers (before April 30) are offered discounts of up to £3,890 per person at selected hotels, while discounts for single travellers at a range of properties are also available. Two weeks for the price of one are also offered at selected properties and group bookings qualify for up to one free place in 15. Prices lead in at £239 per person for a seven-night selfcatering holiday at a selection of Corfu apartments, with 14night holidays leading in at £289. For details call 0844-499 4449 or visit www.olympicholidays.com

Go

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WEBSCLUSIVES ●

WIN A FAM TRIP TO FLORIDA! Have you ever dreamt of year-round sunshine, soft sand and clear waters? If so, now is your chance to experience this by winning a place on one of Funway’s fantastic FAM trips to the Florida beaches, travelling in May/June! For more details, go to www.travelbulletin.co.uk/funway

Make sure you complete this week’s Crossword, sponsored by Jet2holidays, for the chance to win £50 in Love2Shop vouchers. Just fill in the Crossword on Page 11 of this edition, and then submit the mystery location along with your contact details via our website on www.travelbulletin.co.uk/competitions.

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 COULD be leaving winter behind and heading to Barbados with the latest incentive from Couples Resorts. To celebrate the launch of its new resort, Casuarina Beach Resort, on Barbados, the company is offering agents a free week’s stay for two at the newly acquired Casuarina Beach resort for every four bookings made. In addition there are £30 Love2Shop vouchers for every booking plus reductions for holidaymakers, including 40% discount offers and a £500 ‘air credit’ for every couple booking to go towards their air fares to the Caribbean. To earn their week in the Caribbean agents should log on to the training academy website at www.resortacademy.co.uk, register and complete the training module. Each time an agent makes a Barbados booking they enter this on the site to receive the Love2Shop voucher, then when four bookings have

been made, they are eligible to take the trip. For details see www.resortacademy.co.uk ●

AS PART of its 2013 ‘Florida Beaches’ campaign, Funway Holidays has launched a new agent incentive that is valid until March 31 and gives agents the chance to earn up to £100 tax free in Love2Shop vouchers. Agents will receive a £100 Love2Shop voucher for every booking made more than £3,000 per person; a £50 voucher for bookings made between £2,000-£2,999 per person; and a £25 voucher for every booking made between £1,000 £1,999 per person. Bookings must be packages only and for a minimum of three nights to any destination featured in the company's ‘Florida Beaches’ 2013/14 programme. Agents should email details of the booking reference to agencysales@funway.co.uk by April 12.

Prize giveaways US AIRTOURS and SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment are giving agents three ways to win a holiday for two at SeaWorld Orlando. A holiday for two will be given to the best dressed “Antarctica” themed shop window, while there will be two holiday prize draws for every SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment ticket purchased through USAirtours between now and March 31. The prize includes flights from London with Virgin Atlantic, five nights’ accommodation at a SeaWorld partner hotel and two SeaWorld threepark tickets. Terms and conditions apply. For details see www.usairtours.co.uk/freeseaworld JET2.COM IS calling for its own referendum on Europe and is asking people to email jet2referendum@jet2.com with their favourite destination, stating why the airline should keep flying there. The winner will be rewarded with free flights to the continent for the next five years and the competition is open to agents. For details visit www.jet2.com

Training incentive IN AN effort to provide its trade partners and preferred travel agents with a richer understanding of the Rocky Mountaineer experience, the company has launched TRACKS, its first online training programme. The new initiative has been created to provide all representatives with the knowledge to sell the operator's holidays with confidence while achieving higher commissions. As an incentive, the first 100 participants who successfully complete modules one and two by March 15 will be entered into a draw to win www.travelbulletin.co.uk

SCENIC SEGWAY...The annual Sandals by Funway educational proved a hit with nine travel agents as they recently took in the sights of Antigua and St. Lucia on a five-star Luxury Included fam. The trip included two nights at Sandals Grande Antigua Resort and Spa and four nights at the Sandals La Toc Golf Resort and Spa in St. Lucia. Pictured on a Segway rally racing tour are, from the left: (back row) Jennie Watson, Ambassador Travel; Amie Hunt, Journey the World; Claire Conroy-Oldham, Off Broadway Travel; Maureen Beaumont, Traveltime; Sheran Lombari, Abbot Travel; David Roberts, Go Travel; Fiona Boss, Funway Holidays; Aimee Florence, Travel House; and Andrew Reed from Bath Travel, with (at the front) Lorraine Gill from Regent Travel. one of three iPad minis. The first two modules cover the company's basic product outline with company history, route descriptions and different levels of service. Each training session presents detailed information and, at the end, a short online quiz tests participants’ knowledge. Over the next four months, TRACKS will roll out additional modules that will cover an array of topics relevant to Rocky Mountaineer and its product offerings. To register visit agent.rockymountaineer.com February 8 2013

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newsbulletin Cruise & Tour brochure from Titan

Escape the Rain Fly Vueling to Spain.

TITAN HAS released the second edition of its Cruise & Tour brochure, featuring a range of holidays that combine ocean voyages with escorted touring. The brochure features destinations as diverse as Croatia’s Dalmatian coast and Antarctica, sailing with some of the most well-respected cruise lines in the industry, plus a host of new itineraries for 2013 and 2014. Prices for a 115-day South America & Australasia World voyage lead in at £9,495 per person, including onboard credit of up to £550 per person and private door-to-door transfers with the company's VIP Home Departure Service. A range of special offers on bookings made by February 28 are also available, and new lower prices mean potential savings of up to £700 per person. For example, a 17-day Alaskan Cruise with Rockies by Rail departing on August 18 now costs from £3,995 per person. On selected itineraries, complimentary onboard credit up to £200 per cabin and pre-paid gratuities and service charges are included in the price, plus every holiday includes scheduled flights, accommodation, a range of excursions and visits, the services of a tour manager and door-to-door transfers. For more information or to request brochures visit www.titanagents.co.uk

Balkan offers Glasgow flights for winter ski 2014

Fly direct from Cardiff to Malaga, Alicante, Majorca & Barcelona Book your 2013 flights at www.vueling.com

BALKAN HOLIDAYS has launched its Winter Ski & Board programme for 2013/14, and is launching a new Glasgow charter flight to replace the present Edinburgh to Sofia service. The weekly charter service will commence on December 22 and continue through to March 30, 2014. Other highlights include new accommodation in Pamporovo, Bulgaria; free night skiing in Pamporovo; free lift passes in Bansko & Borovets; free ski/board storage in Bansko; 50% off full ski and board packs in Bansko, staying at the Strazhite, Pirin, Bansko and Mura Hotels; and 50% off full ski and snowboard packs in Borovets, staying at the Hotel Rila. Booking incentives include a deposit of £70 per person, early booking discounts of up to £147 per couple, a 5% loyalty discount for previous customers, free child places and free luggage allowance of 20kg (10kg for infants) on Bulgaria charter flights. Prices lead in at £244 per person, (plus applicable flight supplement) based on six sharing a two-bedroom self-catering apartment in Pamporovo, departing on March 16 from Gatwick. For bookings see www.balkanholidays.co.uk/agents or call 0845-130 1114.

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puzzlebulletin Travagrams

Su Doku Win a £50 Hotel Chocolat voucher in the travelbulletin Su Doku prize puzzle Number: 098

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

Decree Surfs Lions

A➠

B➠ This cruise line shares its last name with a pair of famous twins.

C➠

Fibril Juice Fop

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:

This collections of islands run on their own time

Where Am I?

competition@travelbulletin.co.uk Closing date for entries is Thursday, February 14th. Solution and new puzzle will appear next week. The winner for January 25th is Sharron Whetherly, Travel Counsellors in Dursley. January 25 Solution: A=5 B=9 C=6 D=7

Crossword

Sponsored By

A bird in water?

Fill in the crossword to spell the mystery location highlighted by the blue squares and visit www.travelbulletin.co.uk/crossword to submit your entry. All correct entries will be placed in a free prize draw and one lucky winner will win £50 Love2Shop vouchers. Closing date for entries is Thursday February 14th. tAcross 1. Complete the name of the Jet2holidays 5 star luxury product range, "Indulgent ___" (7) 5. Indian state and popular tourist destination (3) 7. Central American country (9) 8. Major car hire company (4) 10. Austin is the state capital (5) 13. Crystal offers holidays to this Colorado ski resort (5) 14. Hawaiian island (4) 17. County town of Surrey (9) 19. Athens airport code (3) 20. President played by Daniel Day-Lewis at a cinema near you (7)

Down 1. National airline of the UAE (6) 2. Charles de Gaulle airport code (3) 3. Scenic national park, ___ District (4) 4. This European country has a flag with a yellow cross on a blue background (6) 5. Spanish city at the foot of the Sierra Nevada (7) 6. Islands known for their cabled sweaters (4) 9. Historic Suffolk town (7) 11. It's famous for mint cake (6) 12. First name of Downton Abbey creator (6) 15. Home of the Taj Mahal (4) 16. Eastenders character, Alfie ___ (4) 18. Military medal awarded for valour, initially (3)

Number: 098

Congratulations to Mark Brewer, Imp Travel who won the 25th January crossword prize of £50 Love2Shop vouchers

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Jet2holidays offers flexible and great value package holidays for just £60pp deposit

The Where Am I and Travagrams solutions can be found on page 30 February 8 2013

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cruisebulletin RCI's Independence of the Seas receives makeover for summer ROYAL CARIBBEAN International is set to revitalise Independence of the Seas in April, ready for its summer schedule. A new baby and toddler nursery, an enhanced digital way finding system and a giant outdoor cinema screen are just a few of the new features that guests will experience on the revamped ship from May. For guests with a sweet tooth, the refreshed ship will also see the introduction of The Cupcake Cupboard, featuring freshly-baked gourmet cupcakes and bespoke culinary parties and design classes. The ship will also benefit from the addition of Giovanni’s Table, an Italian trattoria featuring Italian classics served family-style. The 3,634-guest Independence of the Seas is just one of many ships in

the line's fleet that is receiving a major upgrade as part of a US$300million investment programme and, following a two-week long, $7million refurbishment, the vessel will arrive in Southampton on May 2 to commence its summer season, offering a series of new itineraries including shorter sailings such as two-night cruises to Le Havre for Paris and three-night cruises to Le Havre for Paris and Zeebrugge for Bruges. The ship will also offer eight-night cruises to Norway, 14-night Norway and Cork cruises, various 14-night Mediterranean cruises, and 12-night Canary Islands cruises as part of its 2013 season, as well as a new call to Ibiza on a 14-night Spanish Mediterranean cruise. Prices for a two-night

taster cruise to Le Havre for Paris leads in at £249 per person for accommodation with a private balcony based on a May 2 departure, while a six-night Norway cruise from Southampton featuring ports of call in Oslo, Kristiansand and Stavanger costs from £599 per person, based on two sharing an inside stateroom and departing on May 26. Selected cruises booked before February 28 include additional offers as part of the company's 'Unbeatable Sale', including up to $1,000 on-board spending money per stateroom for cruises of more than 11nights and when booking deluxe accommodation. For more information or to book visit www.cruisingpower.co.uk or call 0844-493 2061.

Art fans can go Dutch with Swan Hellenic SWAN HELLENIC is promoting a Dutch river cruise this summer where guests can discover the culture and art of Amsterdam, Antwerp and Rotterdam, from £2,250 per person, based on two sharing a cabin. Ideal for art enthusiasts, passengers on a Golden Age of the Dutch Waterways cruise can visit the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, the house of Peter Paul Rubens in Belgium and the Frans Hals Museum in the Netherlands. The cruise, on Royal Crown, departs on July 6, and prices include flights, transfers, a tailor-made programme of shore excursions, talks by a guest speaker, meals and entertainment on board, all gratuities and all relevant cruise taxes/fees. For more information see rivercruises.swanhellenic.com or call 0843-316 1715.

Round-the-world yachtswoman joins Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines FRED. OLSEN Cruise Lines has announced that Tracy Edwards MBE will be joining Balmoral’s ‘Spain, Portugal & Gibraltar Explorer’ cruise in August, as a host with the onboard enrichment programme, Vistas. The 12-night cruise departs from Southampton on August 11 and calls at Lisbon and Alicante, before heading to Mahon on the island of Menorca. On the return journey Balmoral calls into Gibraltar and the historic Spanish port of La Coruna, before heading back to Southampton. Edwards, who won international fame in 1989 as the skipper of ‘Maiden Great Britain’, with the first all female crew to sail around the world, in the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race’, will be speaking on the subject of ‘Great Seafarers’. Prices for the cruise start from £1,269 per person, based on two sharing an inside, twin cabin, Grade ‘I’. It includes all meals and entertainment on board plus port taxes. For more information see www.fredolsencruises.com or call 01473-742424.

VOYAGES OF Discovery is encouraging agents to book clients on its 15-day Mediterranean Medley cruise, which follows in the footsteps of the ancient Romans, taking in sights such as the Trevi Fountain in Rome and giving guests the opportunity to experience a Gondola in Venice. Highlights of the cruise, on MV Voyager, include the archaeological sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum; a trip to see the art of the Ufizi Gallery in Florence and a visit to Dubrovnik. The cruise departs from Marseille and takes in destinations including France, Italy, Sicily and Croatia. Prices lead in at £1,749 (a saver fare price based on two sharing an inside cabin) for a September 12 departure. The price includes flights, transfers, meals, entertainment and a guest speaker programme. To book call 0843-221 8499 or visit www.voyagesofdiscovery.com

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WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT IN FLORIDA BY FUNWAY 2013

Big Big Holida Holiday, ay, B Bigger igger SSmiles! miles! isney deals – O D Don’t on’t miss out on our big D Disney Offers fffeers start start 12 FFebruary ebruary 2013. 14 TH THEME EME PARK PAR A K DAYS DAYS FOR T THE HE P PRICE RICE OF 7 SAVE TO HOTELS SA AVE UP T O 35% ON H OTELS FIRST K ID EA ATS FREE FIRST KID EATS FREE LLOUNGE OUNGE PASSES PASSES A FREE C AR RENTAL RENTAL UPGRADE UPGRADE CAR For more details or to book call 0844 557 0626 or visit WWW WWW.FUNWAY4AGENTS.CO.UK W..FUN FUNWAY Y4AGENTS.CO.UK TERMS AND CONDITIONS Teerms and conditions apply;; please see www.funway4agents.co.uk fo or fur ther inffor o mation. All offfer e s must be booked by 02 Apr il 2013. Offfeer s are subject to limited availability and change . ©Disney


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personalitybulletin

Lindsay Garvey-Jones The senior partnership development manager at Holiday Extras always takes an extension lead when travelling...

Who is your ideal travelling companion? Stephen Fry as he’s super knowledgeable and has great chatting ability!

"We’ve just returned from Benidorm, where my eyes saw things no woman should ever see!"

What's your earliest childhood memory? When I was six or seven and seeing an aeroplane with contrails in a crisp blue sky and thinking that it was going somewhere exotic – that was the start of my passion for travel… Where was your last work-related trip? We travel a huge amount supporting all of our industry partners with their annual overseas and UK conferences in addition to the many events we’re invited to where we train industry staff. We’ve just returned from Benidorm, where my eyes saw things no woman should ever see!

Career path ● ● ●

● ●

Holiday Extras - senior partnership development manager: 2012 to date Training for Travel - business development: 2009-11 Shearings Holidays - sales & marketing manager and account manager: 2005-09 First Choice Retail – retail manager: 2001 -05 Airtours & Travelworld – regional manager and retail manager: 1997 – 2001 Others before that include Butlins Redcoat, ATMays and Lunn Poly

If you were a celebrity who would you choose to be and why? I think right now I’d like to be James Arthur the most recent winner of X Factor because…it’s all about to happen, his life will change in extreme ways and who knows how long it will last, but I bet he’ll have a flippin great time!

If you could have a room full of any one thing, what would it be? Love and friendship.

What three words would your friends use to describe you? Funny, generous and embraces life.

If you could change three things in the industry, what would they be? Discounting, APD and more ancillaries!

What have your travels taught you? To embrace different people and cultures…that it can teach you how to be independent, to enjoy life and that a great attitude to others can get you many benefits.

Who has been the biggest inspiration/influence in your career? Two people stick in my mind… Trevor and Mandy Davis who encouraged me to use my enthusiasm, passion and vivacious persona within my roles…this gave me the confidence to use my personality and flair for the industry and still impacts people when I meet them. I owe them a lot in terms of their belief in me and my abilities.

What is the best advice you recall? Never sh*t on anyone on the way up as you never know who you may need on the way down.

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February 8 2013

What's your favourite city and why? A super hard question...Glasgow and Manchester for its architecture, culture, people and community. If you were not doing this job, what would you be doing? A PA for a celebrity – I’m a lover of lists, organisation and influence. What is your motto in life? To always be happy, celebrate the small things in life, you only get one life...live it! What is your favourite mode of travel? Car! If you had a super power what would it be and why? To heal the sick. Sadly, there has been too many people in my life taken by cancer and other illnesses…. What was your nickname at school and why? I was a chubby girl at school so had cruel names like fattie etc… What item do you always take with you when travelling? An extension lead. Sometimes the plugs are far away from a mirror when getting ready or when working away from the office etc..

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escortedtrips

REGENT HOLIDAYS has introduced a new ten-day Rural Romania tour for 2013 which takes visitors off the beaten track to discover monasteries, castles and local legends. Prices lead in at £1,580 per person for a July 22 departure. It includes flights from Heathrow to Bucharest with Air Tarom, breakfast accommodation and many other meals, all transportation and transfers and the services of an English-speaking guide. For details visit www.regentholidays.co.uk or call 020-7666 1244.

New private home pick-up service and new tours from Cosmos Tours & Cruises COSMOS TOURS & Cruises is offering a range of special offers including a low deposit of £49 per person (for bookings made before February 22), no single supplement to pay on selected holidays, as well as a UK airport hotel offer of £29 per room. Also available on a wide selection of holidays in its USA, Canada & Worldwide brochure is a newly introduced private door-todoor home pick up service, where customers will be driven in a private chauffeur car to the airport and given assistance with luggage to the terminal building, as well as being met in the arrivals area on their return and driven home. The operator's head of product David Binns said: “As our range of holidays and worldwide destinations grows, our customers are travelling further afield and their journeys are becoming longer. We want to make their journeys as easy and comfortable as possible and provide the flexibility of starting and finishing their journeys by being picked up in a

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privately chauffeured car. The service is available to customers who live within a 50-mile radius of the departure airport." Meanwhile, special offers include an airport hotel offer of £29 per room available at a four-star rated airport hotel for a one-night pre- or post-tour stay and includes up to 14 nights' airport parking. To meet demand from single travellers, a wider choice of departure dates and itineraries with no single supplement to pay are also available. The company has also added two new itineraries to its premium brand, 'Select by Globus', following demand from customers. An 11-day ‘Sights & Sounds of the South’ option leads in at £2,295 per person and a ten-day ‘Classic Fall Foliage’ costs from £2,169. The holidays include a private door-to-door home pick up service, first class hotels often in city centres or close to iconic sights with a range of facilities and many meals, and are based on a minimum sized group of 44.

New holidays to North America include a tour to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King, the 12-day ‘Footsteps of Martin Luther King’ which costs from £1,795, as well as a 14-day ‘Texas – the Lone Star State’ which costs £1,965. A new itinerary to experience America’s national parks and ‘Wild West’ including a chuckwagon cookout, Wild West Show and Pritchard Creek river trip is the 16-day ‘National Parks & Canyon Country – the Wild West’, which leads in at £2,195, while a new tour of Atlantic Canada is the ten-day ‘Highlights of the Maritimes’, leading in at £1,655. New worldwide tours include a new itinerary of Cuba to include the Vinales Valley, colonial cities and Santa Clara, the 13-day ‘Viva Cuba’ which leads in at £1,795; a 12-day ‘Grand Tour of Sri Lanka’, which costs from £1,999; and a 12-day ‘This is Burma’ itinerary which costs from £2,589. For more information or to book call 0844-573 0668 or for brochures visit www.trade-gate.co.uk

Collette teams with RHS for garden themed tours COLLETTE WORLDWIDE Holidays has launched a new brochure offering escorted tours with garden themes in conjunction with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). Featuring a selection of carefully designed horticulture-themed holidays around the world, the brochure includes itineraries to the US, New Zealand, South Africa, Japan, The Azores, France, Italy and Spain. Tours include visits to private gardens, private or expert tours of exceptional public and botanical gardens and the chance to see many plants in their natural habitat. The tours are also rich in cultural highlights, making them of equal appeal to any non-gardening travel companions. The brochure contains a total of ten tours, with departures starting in May. As an example of prices, a six-day Eternal Gardens of Rome option costs from £1,549 per person and explores the gardens in and around Rome, the ruins of the city of Ninfa, plus a specialist tour of the Vatican Gardens.

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Africa Showcase

Agent Training Events Invites you to attend a

Southern & East Africa Showcase Agent Networking Evening

Monday 18th February

Tuesday 19th February

Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel Free Trade Hall Peter Street Manchester M2 5GP

Crowne Plaza Hotel Central Square Holliday Street Birmingham B1 1HH

Travel Bulletin is delighted to invite you to this training event covering all that this stunning region has to offer in terms of accommodation, flights, health and wellbeing, wedding and honeymoon and tailormade packages. Registration :

18.15 hours

Networking & Presentations:

18.30 hours

Buffet, Entertainment & Prizes:

20.00 hours

Carriages:

21.30 hours

Exhibitors

For more information on how to exhibit or attend as a guest please email: jeanette@travelbulletin.co.uk or telephone 020 7834 6661


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escortedtrips Ilios Travel offers new Italian tours ILIOS TRAVEL has introduced a range of escorted tours which cover the major Italian cities of Venice, Rome, Florence and Sienna, Assisi and Sorrento. Under the ‘Visions Of Italy’ brand, the country’s cultural and artistic heritage can be explored with a like-minded group of individual travellers and tours include a guide, luxury coach transport and a range of guided tours in each location. There is also free time for guests to explore the cities on their own and the tours can be extended with a stay at one of the company's villas or country houses, with pools in Tuscany, Umbria, Lazio or Veneto. Prices lead in at £285 per person for a three-day Florence tour, based on two sharing on an accommodation-only basis, excluding flights. For more information see www.iliostravel.com

Intrepid launches Family Worldwide Adventures brochure INTREPID TRAVEL is offering 10% off bookings made on selected itineraries featured in its new 2013 Worldwide Family Adventures brochure. The company is offering the discount on adult and child places booked by February 28 and departing by August 31. Trips in the promotion include an 11-day Active Turkey tour (minimum age 12), which leads in at £503 per person; a 15-day Marvels of Morocco (minimum age seven) itinerary costing from £692 (£657 for under-12s); a 15-day Elephant Paradise in Sri Lanka (minimum age seven) from £1,079 (£809 for under-12s); and an eight-day Serengeti Safari in Tanzania (minimum age seven) from £1,232 (£1,109 for under-12s). To activate the discount agents should quote 9502 at the time of booking. For more information visit www.intrepidtravel.com/family

Hayes & Jarvis introduces new tailor-made programme HAYES AND Jarvis has created a range of short escorted trips in India and Indochina that can be incorporated into individual itineraries customised for clients as part of the operator's new tailor-made travel programme. These include the opportunity to discover Bhutan on a nine-night tour to the ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’, with stays in Thimphu, Punakha and Paro, plus Calcutta, where the tour starts and ends. The trip offers the opportunity to see Mount Everest on the flight into Paro; get an insight into Buddhist philosophy at the National Memorial Chorten; tour Punakha Ritsha Village on foot and have tea with a local family; and take an excursion to Taktsang Monastery (the ‘Tiger’s Nest’). Prices start from £2,657 per person and include full board three-star plus accommodation, flights from London to Calcutta, internal flights to/from Paro and transfers. Other escorted tour options include a cycling tour of central Vietnam, which provides the opportunity to explore the ancient cities of Hoi An and Hué on a private tour led by an English-speaking guide. Passing through traditional rice paddy fields and stopping off at temples and palaces, the operator has designed the trip for amateur cyclists looking for a unique way to explore the area’s highlights. These include visits to villages and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hué monuments, the chance to see Vietnam’s countryside and meet local people, plus a sunset cruise on the Perfume River. Prices start from £2,055 in May and include seven nights’ breakfast accommodation, flights and transfers.

Romania, London & Arctic highlights from Ffestiniog Travel FFESTINIOG TRAVEL is highlighting a selection of itineraries from its 2013 programme. They include a 12-night Romania – Life as it used to be, which takes guests back to a bygone age when farmers worked their fields with horses and drew water from picture postcard wells. Departing on May 12, prices lead in at £2,195 per person based on two sharing. A nine-night Behind the Scenes in

London & the South East visits some of region’s oldest and newest railways, dropping in on depots and uncovering hidden secrets of the capital’s transport system. It departs on April 25 and costs £1,360 per person, based on two sharing. Meanwhile, a 14-night Grand Arctic option is also being highlighted. The Scandinavian holiday embraces both Norway and Sweden, travelling beyond

the Arctic Circle to the Land of the Midnight Sun. Visitors will visit historic cities, experience rail journeys and take in Bergen, Oslo, Trondheim, Swedish Lapland and Stockholm, as well as a two-day trip on the privately-owned Inlandsbanan (inland railway). The tour departs on June 22 and prices start from £2,705. For details or to book call 01766-772030 or see www.ffestiniogtravel.com

Exodus launches new wildlife brochure showcasing more than 50 experiences EXODUS’ WILDLIFE Encounters 2013/14 brochure showcases more than 50 wildlife experiences - from sighting rare species in their natural habitats, to whale and dolphin watching in the Azores and seeking snow leopards in the Himalayas. New for this year are a range of itineraries including Bears Of The High Tatras in Slovakia, delving into the Peruvian Amazon and wildlife viewing in Southern Tanzania, as well as an expanded Galapagos offering with two new ships – a motor yacht and a luxury catamaran – on three-, four-, seven- and 14-night expeditions. As examples of prices, a four-day Bears of the High Tatras wildlife trek explores two regions of the High Tatras

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National Park in Slovakia and leads in at £899 per person including flights, transfers, accommodation and meals, with the first departure on May 18. A 12-day Amazon Wildlife Discovery, which takes visitors deep into the Manu National Park, Peru's largest park, staying in remote lodges and tented camps leads in at £3,899, based on a May 18 departure, and includes transfers, accommodation and meals. Meanwhile, a Southern Tanzania Safari takes guests in search of wildlife by 4WD, by boat and on foot. It costs from £2,799 including flights, accommodation and meals, and the first departure is on June 26. For more information visit www.exodus.co.uk

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escortedtrips Great Rail Journeys & Treyn unveil key trends in escorted rail tours THE UK, Switzerland, India and the US are just four of the destinations growing in popularity for escorted rail holidays this year, according to Great Rail Journeys and its sister company Treyn. And, with more than 40 new tours across both brands for 2013, from a total of 339 destinations, the companies have put together what they see as key trends this year. In the UK, the Isle of Man, Scotland and Yorkshire stand out as regions which lend themselves to being discovered by rail. In Europe, Switzerland, Italy and Spain are countries which the operator has identified as being particularly popular for 2013, whilst further afield, the US, India and Ecuador are set to be hot destinations in rail experience holidays this year, while there remains a substantial growth for river cruising by rail. Great Rail Journeys, as well as its sister Treyn and Rail Select brands, carried more than 50,000 people on a rail holiday for the period March 2011

to March 2012. The company puts this down to the increasing popularity of rail as a method of holiday travel as opposed to travelling by plane, as well as the variety of rail holidays on offer across different price points, from affordable to luxury. As a rail holiday destination, Switzerland is set to receive a boost in interest this year and the improvement in the exchange rate of the pound against the Swiss franc, means holidays have dropped in price by about £100-£200 per person. The company's marketing and sales director Alex Roberts said: “After a few years of being eclipsed by other destinations, we expect Switzerland to reclaim its spot as the rail holiday destination in Europe. Great scenic rail experiences on iconic trains such as the Glacier Express, Bernina Express and Jungfrau Railway, the Swiss Travel Card (which gives customers flexibility), the inclusion of a wide range of content on our tours and events such as the Montreux Jazz

Alex Roberts

Festival, will help feed the growth in rail holidays to Switzerland amongst our customers.”

RAINBOW TOURS has added a new Essence of Tanzania small group tour to its programme, which offers a chance to discover the iconic scenery and varied game of Tanzania’s northern parks over nine days. The trip leads in at £2,995 per person and, in the company of top guides, guests will visit the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire National Park and Lake Manyara to obtain a deep understanding of local life and spot wildlife. The price includes flights; private use of 4x4 vehicles and unlimited game drives; the services of a guide/driver; national park entrance fees; a visit to Olduvai Gorge; and accommodation in lodges and camps with all meals included. The trip departs in March, June and October and the maximum group size is six per vehicle. See www.rainbowtours.co.uk or call 020-7666 1250.

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escortedtrips EAGLERIDER HAS launched a new tour, available through operators including Bon Voyage, TUI and Virgin holidays. The company has teamed up with Sony Pictures to offer a 15-day Easy Rider Movie Tour which gives guests the opportunity to visit the locations where the movie was filmed and then ride from the highways of Southern California to Death Valley, Monument Valley to Taos, New Mexico, then across the plains of Texas down to New Orleans to experience jazz and blues music. Guests will also be given the opportunity to ride the new Captain America bike that the company has commissioned. The tour is offered six times throughout this year, starting in May and ending in October, with prices leading in at approximately £2,647 per person. For details see www.eaglerider.com or email tours@eaglerider.com

Western & Oriental launches Luxury India programme WESTERN & Oriental has launched its new Luxury India programme for 2013 featuring a collection of experienceled journeys with both tailor-made itineraries and fixed departures. The collection includes Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal and options to combine India with these countries, as well as the Maldives. Prices start from £1,469 per person for an eight-day Golden Triangle Group Tour in mid-range hotels, based on two sharing on a bed-and-breakfast. It also includes six dinners, flights and transfers. The new larger group tours programme also includes the 12-day Rajasthan Group Tours with prices from £1,799 per person. The operator's group head of product and commercial

David Pointer said: “With travellers continuing to press agents for more value India itineraries we’ve created three tier pricing for our most popular itineraries and introduced value hotels to ensure our fixed departures are competitively priced." The programme’s tailor-made journeys include National Parks and Tigers and a Western Ghats itinerary which takes in the region’s newest hotel – Vivanta by Taj – Madikeri, Coorg. Other new hotels include Uma Punakha in Bhutan and Carnoustie Beach Resort in Kerala. For more information or to book visit www.westernoriental.com or call 020-7666 1234.

Egypt Uncovered & Nepal Uncovered unveil family adventure tours from £400 FAMILY-FRIENDLY adventure specialists Egypt Uncovered and Nepal Uncovered are offering a selection of trips designed to fit within school breaks - from elephant riding through jungles and fun visits to the Pyramids, to boat excursions and camping. As examples, a ten-day Nile Family Adventure visits the Great Pyramids, the Sphinx and the Pharaonic tombs where children can act as Egyptologists for the day, searching for mummies and discovering the secrets of ancient kings. Travellers will then visit a local school and experience a traditional Egyptian meal before stepping onto a felucca sailboat and sailing down the Nile towards Luxor, spending the evening singing around a campfire. Once in Luxor, children

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February 8 2013

will have the chance to see Tutankhamun’s tomb and the temple complex at Karnak. Prices lead in at £620 per adult and £500 per child for a departure on March 30, including a saving of £75 per adult and £120 per child. Also included are transfers, varied accommodation on a mixed-board basis, six nights in four- and fivestar hotels, two nights on a sleeper train and one night on a felucca boat, plus the services of a guide. A two-week Nepal Family Adventure begins with a city tour of Kathmandu and combines cultural visits to religious sites, before flying to Pokhara for a three-day camping trek through forests and a climb to Panchase Hill. A cycle trip follows to the Devi Falls and later children can enjoy comparing their school to a

local Nepalise one, where they will have the chance to pick up a few Nepali words. The trip also sees families tackle the Trisuli River on a raft, take in a jungle walk or jeep safari through Chitwan National Park and experience an elephant ride. Prices lead in at £950 per adult and £800 per child, based on a March 24 or July 28 departure. Offering a saving of £100 per adult and £150 per child, the price includes transfers, varied accommodation on a mixed-board basis, nine nights in hotels, three nights camping and two nights in lodges, plus the services of a guide. Prices for both tours exclude flights. For more information visit www.egypt-uncovered.com and www.nepal-uncovered.com

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escortedtrips Up to £400 savings per couple from Journeys of Distinction JOURNEYS OF Distinction is offering up to £400 discount per couple for bookings made by February 28. The operator's Luxury Classic Collection offers more than 30 worldwide destinations including Australia, New Zealand, Asia and South America, with hand-picked hotels and a maximum group size of 25. The Great Value Light Collection offers a more adventurous approach to touring holidays, with time for guests to explore independently. New destinations include Burma, Borneo, Cambodia and Costa Rica. The company is continuing to offer an agent incentive, with enhanced commission and every booking counting towards a fam trip to Sri Lanka in May. For more information visit www.jod.uk.com/ travelagents or call 0161-491 7616.

Seven-night Morocco tour from £699 with Menara Travel MENARA TRAVEL is promoting a seven-night Imperial Cities escorted tour in Morocco for £699 per person. The itinerary takes in the cities of Fes, Meknes, Rabat and Marrakech, and departs every Sunday from Gatwick. The price includes half-board accommodation in four-star hotels, flights, visits to Casablanca, Marrakech, Fez, Meknes and Rabat, 20kg baggage allowance, tour guide, transport, entrance fees for monument visits and dinner with a show. For more information call 020-7371 2030 or email info@menaratravel.co.uk

Shearings promotes new itineraries for 2013 SHEARINGS IS highlighting a range of new itineraries including a 12-day Discover Indochina & the Mekong option from £2,699. The cruise takes in Vietnam and Cambodia with key destinations including Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta. Customers will also have the opportunity to experience a “tuk tuk” trip, visit floating markets, explore Angkor Thom and the Ancient Royal Palace. The price includes eight nights' full board cruise, a two-night stay in Siem Reap, flights and transfers. Departures are available from March to December. Also new is a 13-day China and the mighty Yangtze River tour from £2,239. The holiday takes in China’s top sights, including Shanghai, Bejing and the Great Wall of China and includes a four-night cruise on the MV Century Star, which takes in the Three Gorges Dam and the Yangtze river. The price includes full board on the cruise, seven nights' hotel accommodation, several meals, 14 excursions, flights and transfers, with departures available between April and October. For more information call 0844-824 6351 or visit www.shearings.com

WORLDWIDE ESCORTED TOURS

CALIFORNIA AND THE GOLDEN WEST 16 Days from Was £1,695 Now £1,595 Departs 07/12/13 Other departure dates available

SAVE £100pp ITALY’S GOLDEN RIVIERA 9 days from Was £,1745 Now £1,595 Departure 05/09/13 Other departure dates available

SAVE £150pp AN INDIAN ODYSSEY 14 days from Was £2,575 Now £2,295 Departure 21/11/13 Other departure dates available

SAVE £280pp

BOOK BY 28 FEBRUARY 2013 AND SAVE UP TO £280pp* To book or find out more, please call 0800 988 5800 or visit www.titanagents.co.uk China

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* Terms & conditions apply, see website for details


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escortedtrips Titan highlights tours from second edition Worldwide brochure TITAN IS highlighting a selection of escorted tours from the US’ Grand Canyon to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef from its second edition Worldwide brochure. Complimentary regional flights are offered from northern England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, plus generous rates of commission and a simple booking process. As examples, a 19-day Best of South Africa option encompasses the highlights of the region, including four open-top jeep game drives in the Mala Mala reserve and three nights at the fivestar Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town. Departing on March 24, April 28 and dates throughout next year, prices start from £3,995 per person. A nine-day Beauty of

the Italian Lakes option offers four-star accommodation throughout and visits to Lake Garda, Lake Como and Lake Maggiore, plus a guided tour of a local winery. Departing on May 22, prices start from £1,395 per person when booked before February 28. Other highlights include a 34-day Grand Voyage to Easter Island on Fred. Olsen’s purposebuilt expedition vessel, the Black Watch, next year. Bookings made by February 28 will receive a £200 per cabin onboard credit to use towards purchases such as drinks or spa treatments, and prices for the cruise lead in at £4,995 per person, based on a February 13, 2014 departure. For more information call 0800-988 5166 or visit www.titanagents.co.uk

VISIONS OF Africa's ‘Taste of Kenya & Mombasa’ escorted tour is one of the operator's most popular and includes visits to Masai Mara, Lake Nakuru and Amboseli in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. The six-night full board safari takes in three safari regions in Kenya followed by five nights in Mombasa and leads in at £1,365 based on two sharing. It includes flights, all meals and accommodation as specified, transfers, game viewing activities and a guide. Visas are excluded and regional UK departures can be arranged at an additional cost. For details call 01444-225640 or visit www.visionsofafrica.co.uk

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Kirker highlights cultural tours and music holidays KIRKER HOLIDAYS is promoting a selection of cultural breaks and music holidays. As examples, The North Norfolk Music Festival offers a range of music performances and the itinerary includes a visit to the Houghton Revisited exhibition at Houghton Hall. A four-night holiday departing on August 27 leads in at £948 per person, with no single supplement. A Music Cruise to the Baltic & St Petersburg on Fred.Olsen’s ‘Black Watch’, offers private musical performances in the ship’s Marina Theatre and the chance to join the Kirker Choir. The 14-night no/fly cruise also includes shore stops in Warnemünde (for Berlin), Stockholm, Tallinn, St Petersburg, Karlskrona, Copenhagen and Amsterdam. It departs on May 7 and prices start from £2,385 per person based on two sharing an inside cabin. Meanwhile, a Extremadura & Castille in Spain visits two of the country's most historic and unspoilt regions. The seven-night itinerary is based first in Trujillo, from where the group travels to Cáceres and Mérida, before moving on to Ávila and includes excursions to Salamanca, Segovia and El Escoriál. It departs on April 15 and October 21 and leads in at £1,889 per person, based on two sharing. A seven-night France trip staying in Beaune and Auxerre is also being highlighted, with prices leading in at £1,989 for May 7 and September 2 departures. For more information call 020-7593 2284 or see www.kirkerholidays.com

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malta&gozo

MARITIM ANTONINE Hotel & Spa Malta has opened ‘Al Ponte’, a new Mediterranean Bistro. The restaurant, which is located on the seventh floor of the hotel, offers a menu of classic Mediterranean dishes, as well as stone oven pizzas and fresh fish from the harbour.

Prestige Holidays sees a surge in Malta and Gozo bookings for summer PRESTIGE HOLIDAYS has reported a boost in bookings to the islands of Malta and Gozo for this summer. The operator's marketing manager Nicky Shafe said: "Malta and Gozo bookings have remained flat for the last couple of years but this year they have really taken off. We have seen more than a 200% year-on-year increase in business, with the majority of bookings being for couples on stays of between seven and ten nights. "The increase has been helped by a combination of strong hotel offers, the great range of luxury hotels that are available and also the fact that the destination offers great value with a week's five-star stay starting from just ÂŁ649 at the Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa this summer." Special deals from the operator include free nights across its Malta portfolio, as well as early booking offers, free child stays at selected properties and free car hire at Ta Cenc in Gozo. For more information see www.prestigeholidays.co.uk/malta or call 01425-480400.

Pool at the Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa

-!,4!&,)'(43&2/-ĂŁ PP &/235--%2 9 NEW Gatwick weekly ight to Malta for summer ‘13 9 NINE UK airports with ights to Malta 9 ALL prices are fully inclusive of taxes and are ATOL protected * Price based on one way departure

ABTA No.V1021

Flights from: GATWICK, BIRMINGHAM, EAST MIDLANDS, NEWCASTLE, CARDIFF, GLASGOW, EXETER, BRISTOL AND NORWICH 2ESERVATIONS!DMIN



\6IEWDATA\AVROAGENTSCOUK * *Calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras

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malta&gozo Cosmos Holidays & Avro Flights expand Malta programme COSMOS HOLIDAYS and Avro Flights are featuring a range of regional departures for this summer for packages and flightonly with departures available from up to nine UK airports. New to the programme is a Saturday departure from Gatwick throughout the summer season, bringing the total of flights a week from both Manchester and Gatwick to three. Jody Clapham, product manager for Cosmos, said: “We are making our Malta programme more flexible and introducing flights to offer the convenience of flying from customers’ local airports. This summer we are offering three flights a week from both Gatwick and Manchester and twice weekly from East Midlands. “Our higher graded all-inclusive units continue to be the best performers including the four diamond rated Seabank Resort which is now our number one best selling unit for the gateway. With the range of daily flights available, Malta continues to cater for both the short and long stay market. All the hotels we offer throughout the summer are available on a flexi-stay basis from three to 42 nights which caters for all markets.” The company's range of flights are available for sevenand 14-night durations on both packages and flight-only.

Malta Direct expands flight programme MALTA DIRECT HAS expanded its flight portfolio for 2013 which includes the addition of more airline carriers and more flight routes. The operator now offers increased flight departures from four new departure airports and two new airlines, with all carriers including taxes and one piece of luggage per passenger. New airline partners include easyJet, Ryanair, Monarch Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines, Thomson Fly and Small Planet Airlines, and new UK departure points include Edinburgh, Luton, Bournemouth and Stansted. As examples of prices, seven nights at the new fourstar Tower Palace Hotel from February 22 costs from £269 per person, based on two adults sharing a standard room on a bed-and-breakfast basis, including flights with Ryanair from Birmingham, transfers and entrance to a local Malta attraction. A seven-night stay at the four-star Solana Hotel leads in at £249 per person, based on two sharing and includes breakfast. The price is based on a February 14 departure and includes flights with easyJet from Manchester, transfers and entrance to a local Malta attraction. To book or for more information visit www.maltadirect.com or call 0845-604 0035.

Malta Tourism Authority & Air Malta team up to launch new Spa and Wellness brochure THE MALTA Tourism Authority (MTA), in conjunction with Air Malta, has launched a new Spa and Wellness Brochure for the UK market. It details all of the four- and five-star properties on Malta and Gozo that feature state-of-the-art spas offering the latest treatments and facilities, including all-inclusive therapeutic spa bedrooms and a hamman spa. Meanwhile, to reward agents and operators for their

continued support the MTA and Air Malta have launched a winter offer to give the trade the chance to experience the winter sun of Malta first hand. The offer is valid until March 24 and includes flights for one agent plus one accompanying guest, with prices from €50 per person, excluding applicable taxes. For more information visit www.mta.com.mt/pepoffers, www.visitmalta.com and www.airmalta.com

DIVE WORLDWIDE recommends a stay on the island of Comino, a small island of the Maltese archipelago between Malta and Gozo, for clients who want to learn to dive. The company is offering seven nights' breakfast stay at the Comino Hotel from £795 per person, including flights, transfers and a dive pack. For details see www.diveworldwide.com or call 01962-302087.

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malta&gozo Superbreak adds new hotel in Sliema A NEW hotel in Sliema is now available through Superbreak for agents to book. The four-star boutique Victoria Hotel offers a range of facilities including indoor and outdoor swimming pools, spa, gym, Wi-fi and free parking. It also features 140 guestrooms which include ten Junior Suites. Prices lead in at £29.50 per person per night including breakfast in April. Agents can also book flight inclusive packages with full Atol protection. Prices are from £278 per person including two nights’ accommodation and flights with easyJet from Gatwick, based on an April 5 departure. For more information or to book see www.superbreak.com/agents or call 0871-221 4444.

Classic offers savings for early and late bookers in Malta & Gozo CLASSIC COLLECTION Holidays is promoting a range of special offers on holidays to Malta & Gozo for early summer bookers and those seeking a late winter getaway. The Westin Dragonara Resort in St Julians and the Grand Hotel Excelsior Malta in Valletta are offering one free night in seven on holidays booked and taken by February 28. Sevennight prices this month start from ÂŁ569 and ÂŁ587 per person respectively. Reduced rates at the Xara Palace in Mdina, the only Relais and Chateaux property on the island, mean savings of up to ÂŁ182 per couple per week are available on holidays booked by March 31 and taken between May 1 and October 31. Seven-night prices in July start from

Kempinski San Lawrenz, Gozo

ÂŁ980 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 ÂŁ238 per couple per week when booked 90 days before departure, and up to ÂŁ182 per couple per week when booked 60 days prior to departure. Guests can also take advantage of

the Ayurveda Centre in the Kempinski Spa, which is offering a range of massage techniques originating from the southern India region of Kerala. Seven-night prices in May start from ÂŁ774 per person including flights and private transfers. For more information or to book call 0800-008 7288 or visit www.classic-collection.co.uk

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S05 TB0802 Malta & Gozo_Layout 1 06/02/2013 14:23 Page 26

malta&gozo

HEADWATER IS offering a six-night cycle tour on Gozo staying at four- and five-star hotels, including two nights at the Kempinski in San Lawrenz, from £827 per person (tour only) and £1,049 with flights. The tour takes on easy routes across short distances and includes half-board accommodation, transfers, bike hire, maps and route notes and the transport of bags between hotels. For details call 0845-322 4672, email sales@headwater.com or see www.headwater.com

Belleair Holidays offers travel agents option to book online BELLEAIR HOLIDAYS continues to expand its portfolio for this year with increased departures from four new airports, partnerships with two new airlines and, for the first time, offering travel agent partners the option of booking directly online. Now available through the company's website, travel agents can tailor their clients’ flight choices by choosing their preferred departure airport and then deciding which carrier they wish to fly. Agents can also now see a range of other carriers for the same route, enabling them to refine the flight options to coincide with the clients’ criteria and holiday budget. All flights include taxes and one piece of luggage per passenger. The new UK departures are available from Edinburgh, Luton, Bournemouth and Stansted and the operator now

offers 15 UK departures with Air Malta, easyJet, Ryanair, Monarch, Thomas Cook, Thomson Fly and Small Planet Airlines. The company's national sales manager Emma Yorke said: “We are really excited to be partnering online with so many carriers and believe we are now able to offer a more complete range of flight options to our agency partners and their clients. "We are pleased to offer agents greater flight flexibility from so many regional airports across the UK and we’re delighted to be working with a number of respected airlines. "Naturally all our packages will be covered by our Atol, offering clients peace of mind when booking.” As examples of prices, seven nights at the threestar Tower Palace Hotel costs from £299 per person, based on two sharing a standard room

and including breakfast. The price also includes flights with Ryanair from Birmingham, transfers and entrance to a local Malta attraction, and is based on a February 22 departure. A seven-night stay at the four-star Topaz Hotel leads in at £244 per person for a February 9 departure and includes breakfast accommodation, Ryanair flights from Stansted, transfers and entrance to a local Malta attraction. Meanwhile, seven nights at the five-star Radisson Blu Hotel, St Julians costs from £399 per person. The price is based on two sharing a standard room on a bed-andbreakfast basis for a February 9 departure, and includes flights with Ryanair from Luton, transfers and entrance to a local Malta attraction. For more information or to book see www.belleair.co.uk/agents or call 0845-365 3412.

Belleair flying higher in 2013!

InBrief

● RYANAIR IS to commence a

new three times weekly route from Liverpool to Malta in March. The launch is in addition to scheduled departures London Stansted (four times a week), Bournemouth (twice weekly) and weekly flights from Luton, Dublin, Leeds Bradford, Bristol, Birmingham and Edinburgh. ● MONARCH HAS announced a route to Malta from East Midlands for summer from its newest base, East Midlands. Flights will operate twice weekly from May 7. ● VISITORS TO Malta exceeded 1,440,000 last year and the destination welcomed 200,000 more visitors in 2012 than in 2007, which was a record year for tourism. Visitors also spent nearly 12.5million nights in the country, 1.5million nights more than in 2007. ● MALTA’S CAPITAL city, Valletta, has been selected as European Capital of Culture 2018. See www.valletta2018.org

Malta Gozo & Comino

Winter 12/13 from

£249pp

Summer 13 from

£379pp

We now fly from 16 UK Airports offering low-cost, scheduled and charter services! Even more ways to visit the marvellous Maltese islands.

ABTA No.V5323

Book online or call reservations! The preferred Partner of Air Malta

To book call reservations: 0845 758 1141 or go online: www.belleair.co.uk/agents Find us on facebook - www.facebook.com/belleairagents

Your money is 100% protected with anything you book from us

HOLIDAYS • ACCOMMODATION ONLY • TOUR • CAR HIRE • FLIGHTS • CRUISE 26

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accommodationonly A beach in Parga

Somewhere2stay.com offers Greece accommodation from £10 SOMEWHERE2STAY IS offering a range of low priced accommodation on a choice of board bases across various Greek destinations. Prices start from £10 per unit per night at the two-diamond rated Marianna Studios in Kos for arrivals in May, September and October. Prices in Zante are from £24 per unit per night

at the three-diamond rated Daisy Studios for August arrivals. Alternatively, customers wanting all-inclusive accommodation can select the three-diamond rated Ionian Sea Waterpark with prices from £34 per person per night for arrivals in May. Newly featured is the mainland

resort of Parga offering a choice of accommodation such as the threediamond rated Vekios Studios overlooking Valtos Beach from £32 per unit per night in September and October. For more information see www.somewhere2stay.com or call 0871-423 8356.

Orbital Travel assumes principal status

Youtravel adds new destinations to portfolio

ORBITAL TRAVEL has announced that it has adopted principal status as an accommodation-only supplier for its Nile Cruise product. The company says that the introduction of the new Flight Plus regulations and its commitment to the trade has prompted it to assume principal status, and puts it in a unique position to provide its trade partners with additional security as it takes on responsibility for the booking, customer's health and safety and increased liability. The company's managing director John McCallum said: “We have a very strong relationship with the trade and we wanted to strengthen this further by assuming a principal status role. This will allow us to provide a better service and more assurance and security, and to differentiate us from our competition.” The company supplies accommodation and transfers for its Nile Cruise boats which are contracted exclusively to the UK market, as well as 15% commission and 24hour agent support, both in the UK and Egypt. For more information email greg@orbitaltravel.co.uk or see www.orbitaltravel.co.uk

YOUTRAVEL.COM HAS recently added new destinations to its portfolio including Thailand, Dubai, Oman, the Caribbean, the Azorres and Lebanon. The addition of Austria as a destination has also been a first for the company, as this is the first time that it is adding ski hotels to its offering. The company currently offers more than 5,000 hotels available to book online and via its XML feeds, with more than 120 hotels exclusive to the UK market. As examples, two new and exclusive hotels have been added to the Aquis Collection, the Aquis Plaza Resort in Anavyssos and the Aquis Mon Repos Palace Art Hotel in Corfu, with rates starting from £35 per person per night based on an all-inclusive stay in May. Meanwhile, the company reports that its recent announcement regarding its return to trading under principal status comes at a time when the industry finds itself under much pressure and reforms, and has therefore been well received by the trade, as evidenced by an increased number of bookings and the generation of new business. For more information email sales@youtravel.com or visit www.youtravel.com

Keycamp highlights seven nights in Paris this June for £280 per party KEYCAMP IS promoting its International parc in Paris, where seven nights' accommodation-only this June leads in at £280 per party. There are also early booking discounts on all trips booked before February 14. Staying in the suburb of Maisons Laffite, 20-minutes away from the city centre, guests will find the lights and sights of Paris are within easy reach – from the art collections of the Louvre and the futuristic Pompidou centre to the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysees. For a day away from central Paris, the Palace of

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Versailles is also within easy reach. Meanwhile, for a break from the sightseeing, there are several good restaurants, a supermarket, local shops and a sports complex all within walking distance of the parc. Seven nights commencing on June 8 and staying in a two-bedroom Villanova mobile home (which sleeps up to four adults and two children) leads in at £280 per party, including an early booking discount of £140. To book or for more information call 0844-406 0319 or visit www.keycamp.co.uk

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accommodationonly Pierre & Vacances gears up for summer activities in France, Spain & the Caribbean PIERRE & Vacances is highlighting a selection of activities for summer in locations throughout France, Spain and the Caribbean. As examples, lake holidays offer activities such as kayaking, traditional pedalos and small sailing boats, with prices for a seven-night break at Cap Esterel in Côte d'Azur leading in at £352 if booked early. The price is based on a studio for two to four people or a family price costs from £850 (usual price £1,001) for a one-bedroom apartment with an extra bunk room for the kids, based on the June half-term week.

A white-water rafting experience at Le Rouret Holiday Village in Ardeche Gorges is also being highlighted, where seven nights cost from £249 for a two-person studio if booked early. For clients keen to book their active holiday now or any of the operator’s seven- or 14night holidays, there are special offer rates of 15% off a week or 30% off a fortnight for bookings made before March 31. The offers include school holiday dates, except from August 3-16. For details visit www.pv-holidays.com

TravelCube adds 170 African properties from 12 countries to portfolio TRAVELCUBE HAS introduced 170, three- to five-star hotels from 12 countries including Algeria, Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Tunisia and Zambia, with 44 in South Africa and 35 in Morocco, two of the company's most popular destinations. More than half of the properties (58%) are in sub-Saharan destinations, where visitors can take in a range of cultural, heritage, ecological, culinary, rural or community-based experiences. Rolf Schafroth, chief executive of TravelCube’s parent GTA, said: “We scour the globe for tens of thousands of accommodation options, destination services, attractions and

experiences. We connect businesses to this vast portfolio through our retail booking site, which makes it easy for them to successfully market and sell travel to consumers." Among the accommodation on the new list is the four-star Far Hills Country Hotel in George, which overlooks the Outeniqua mountains and is in the heart of South Africa’s Garden Route. The property offers an ideal base to explore white, sandy beaches and forest walks, wild animal sanctuaries and nearby towns. Other properties include Marrakech’s five-star Sofitel Lounge & Spa hotel from where guests can explore the Medina and the Djemaa el Fna square; the three-star Peermont

Far Hills Country Hotel

Metcourt Inn in The Grand Palm resort in Gaborone, Southern Botswana; and the three-and-a-halfstar Casa Piccolo Guest House, a 16bedroom pension in one of Windhoek's oldest suburbs. For details see www.travelcube.com STARWOOD HAS opened its first property on The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel in south west Florida. The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village is conveniently located for exploring the nearby barrier islands of Sanibel and Captiva, the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Fort Myers Beach and the regions’ multiple golf courses. It features 263 guestrooms and suites and facilities include a lagoon-style outdoor pool, clay tennis courts, a spa and a marina offering water sports, boat trips and fishing. Prices start from £205 per night for a traditional double room with water views and a private balcony or patio with tables and chairs. For travel agents, the company runs a StarwoodPro programme where agents can participate in a training module. Once the module is completed, agents can access favourable rates and earn points to redeem against stays at any hotel in the company’s portfolio with every booking. For details see www.starwoodhotels.com/pro and for details on the resort visit www.westin.com

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accommodationonly Online group booking engine from Bookabed BOOKABED HAS launched a new online group booking engine for agents to access current requests and speed up the hotel bidding and negotiations process for discounted group rates. The technology links agents to more than 1,000,000 global group coordinators and to its 40,000 hotel supplier partners, and the system sends requested proposals to group co-ordinators who process the requests to hotel sales contacts in the requested destination. The coordinator receives offers from hotels in compliance with Bookabed’s lowest rate guarantee in real time. Agents are then able to accept or reject hotel offers, either beginning a dialogue with their hotel sales contact directly or requesting a more competitive offer. The company's managing director Karl Tyrell said: “Since our system is obtaining real time bids directly from sales managers at hotels the response time has been greatly reduced and this is a vital factor in determining which hotels and agencies ultimately get the group business. We are very excited to see thousands of hotels already using this new platform. I believe this is definitely a game changer for group hotel sales, and I am delighted that we are the first in Ireland to have this offering for our trade partners." For details email darren@bookabed.co.uk

INNTRAVEL IS offering 43 hand-picked rural hideaways and country cottages across various locations in Europe under a new name, Rural Hideaways. The programme, which runs from this month through to November, introduces the Atlantic Coast Apartments on Portugal's Alentejo coast; Castle View Cottage in the Corbières in south-west France; Enchantment Cottage on the Amalfi Coast; and the Wise Owl Apartments in northern Tuscany. As an example of prices, a week's bed-and-breakfast stay at the Atlantic Coast Apartments costs from £978 including car hire and walking notes. The newly converted cottages near Zambujeira sleep between two and four guests and offer access to the facilities of the estate’s small ranch-style hotel. Guests can borrow the hotel’s bikes, use the swimming pool, follow walking routes or make use of the hire car to explore further afield. The price is per property and is based on two sharing. Additional guests stay for free or at a reduced price. For details call 01653 617000 or visit www.inntravel.co.uk

Atlantic Coast Apartments, Alentejo

Hotelbeds sees MEAPAC room night growth of 31% HOTELBEDS HAS increased room night sales for the Middle East, Asia, Australia and Pacific Islands (MEAPAC) by 31% and has unveiled its top ten best-selling destinations. MEAPAC is the largest geographic region for the bed bank worldwide and the company reports that it has been steadily growing its presence in the region over the past few years. For 2012, room night sales increased by 31% as the region became more accessible. The company’s growth in the region has been further accelerated by infrastructure investments made by the countries in the region, particularly to airports and hotels, with airlines increasing capacity and opening new routes. Some 52% of room night sales on the company’s online booking platform are generated from the international market, while 48% come from inter-regional travel. Last year the top selling destinations in MEAPAC were Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai,

Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Shanghai, Guangzhou (China), Phuket, Koh Samui (Thailand) and Bali. The top outbound destinations for the company’s Asian markets are Paris, London, Bangkok, Singapore, Bali, Barcelona, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Phuket and Dubai. Pablo Aycart, the company’s MEAPAC managing director, said: “The growth we have achieved so far in the region is due to the excellent relations our local teams have built with client and suppliers and the investments we have made in our people, technology and distribution. “Our focus for 2013 is to continue to increase the hotel portfolio, develop the distribution coverage and continue with our source market and destination expansion across the region particularly in Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, China and the Philippines.” For more information see www.hotelbeds.com

Hoseasons launches new ‘Daisy Door’ holiday park concept HOSEASONS HAS launched its new holiday park concept, 'Daisy Door Cottage Style Collections’. The new collection combines the home comforts of a holiday cottage with the facilities of a park and lodge resort and is aimed at families, couples and groups of friends. Four locations have been chosen to launch the new collection -

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Looe in Cornwall, Ayrshire in Scotland, Harrogate in Yorkshire and Colwell Bay on the Isle of Wight. The cottages sleep between two to eight people and offer flat screen TVs, DVD players and free Wi-fi. Pet-friendly accommodation is also available and cottages with hot tubs are available at every location.

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accommodationonly Abercrombie & Kent expands collection with new villas in Provence following customer demand We asked our staff the following question this week: If you could play the lead role in any movie what would it be? Publisher: Jeanette Ratcliffe jeanette.ratcliffe@travelbulletin.co.uk Wolverine's love interest in X-Men

Editor: Lauretta Wright lauretta.wright@travelbulletin.co.uk Alicia Silverstone in Batman

Assistant Editor: Jill Sayles jill.sayles@travelbulletin.co.uk Audrey Tautou in Amelie

Contributing Editor: Paul Scudamore post@travelbulletin.co.uk Some say Homer Simpson - I prefer The Saint

Sales Director: Simon Eddolls simon.eddolls@travelbulletin.co.uk John Candy in Planes Trains and Automobiles

Advertisement Manager: Tim Podger

tim.podger@travelbulletin.co.uk Daniel Craig in Skyfall

Online Sales Manager: Nick Boocock nick.boocock@travelbulletin.co.uk Either Colin Farrell or Ralph Fiennes roles in "In Bruges". Great lines - would be even better to have written it

Account Manager: Bill Coad bill.coad@travelbulletin.co.uk Kirk Douglas in Sparticus

Sales Executive: Chris Gascoine chris.gascoine@travelbulletin.co.uk Christian Grey in 50 shades of Grey

Sales Executive: Matt Gill matt.gill@travelbulletin.co.uk Alfie

Senior Designer: Genaro Santos genaro.santos@alaincharles.com Micheal Jordan in Space Jam

Assistant Designer: Nicky Valsamakis nicky.valsamakis@alaincharles.com Drew Barrymore in E.T

Production: Jeremy Walters production@travelbulletin.co.uk John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever

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 £105 p.a. £155 overseas ISSN: 0956-2419

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February 8 2013

ABERCROMBIE & Kent Villas has expanded its collection to include more than 30 properties. Four new villas have been added, with properties ranging from three to 11 bedrooms. New to the market and exclusive to the operator is Les Lilas Blancs. The property sleeps up to 14 people and is located in the Luberon National Park. It features original fireplaces, exposed stone walls, flagstone floors and vaulted ceilings, along with a modern kitchen. Prices lead in at £550 per person per week. Other highlights from the portfolio include Le Mas du Ventoux, which is also newly added for this year. Ideal for clients seeking peace and privacy, it lies in the foothills of the Dentelles de Montmirail with panoramic views over Mont Ventoux, the vineyards of the Rhone valley and the olive groves and pine forests beyond. Sleeping up to ten people, prices lead in at £714 per person per week. Another new addition is Le Mas de Gordes, which sleeps 12 and is set above the village of Gordes, with prices starting from £532 per person per week. The property offers a lower ground floor (with two en-suite bedrooms, games room and pool table) that can be made separate for teenagers or guests who prefer their own space. Other properties being highlighted include Le Mas de Roses which lies within its own parkland and olive groves. Sleeping 14, the villa combines noble architecture with modern furnishings and a high-tech kitchen. Other features include extensive terraces, an orangery with a piano, a library, wine cellar and tasting room, a large heated saltwater pool and a 14th Century consecrated chapel in the grounds. Prices lead in at £457 per person per week. La Maison de Maitre in the village of Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is also popular with clients according to operator. The luxury 18th Century town house, which features a heated indoor/outdoor swimming pool, is ideal for clients who want entertainment on the doorstep and sleeps up to ten. Prices lead in at £552 per person per week.

Half-term discounts of 20% from Cottages4you COTTAGES4YOU IS offering up to 20% discount for the half-term week (February 18-22), with week-long breaks for four starting from £270. As examples, a seven-night self-catering break from February 15 at Little Whitnell Cottage near Nether Stowey leads in at £263.20 (reduced from £329). The property is within close proximity of Exmoor National Park and sleeps four in two bedrooms. A four-night self-catering break at The Mount in Scalby, Scarborough costs from £576 (reduced from £720), based on a February 18 arrival, with the property sleeping ten people, while a seven-night break at the four-bedroom The Maerdy in Taliaris, Wales costs from £440.80 (reduced from £551), based on a February 15 arrival. For more information or to book see www.cottages4you.co.uk or call 0845-268 1560.

Superbreak adds Hendon Hall to portfolio SUPERBREAK HAS added Hendon Hall, a Hand Picked Hotel, to its portfolio of properties in and around London. The four-star hotel, which originated as a 16th century mansion, is surrounded by gardens and is a stone’s throw of central London. Prices lead in at £54.50 per person per night including breakfast. For more information see www.superbreak.com/agents or call 0871-221 4444.

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Commission will only be sent to the first 50 agencies that register during the entry period and enter the promo code EXP01. Eligible dates for entries are: Wednesday January 9th - Thursday February 28th On the first booking of Expedia Special Rate hotel done by March 31st 2013


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Fares are per person, fly/cruise fares (unless otherwise stated) in UK sterling based on double occupancy in an outside stateroom for the first two full-fare guests in stateroom and include return economy class flights from London, overseas transfer (where available) and taxes. Port, security and handling charges which vary by departure. All other stateroom grades are available on request. Fares valid until 28th February 2013. All sailings include select fine wines, premium spirits, beers and all non-alcoholic beverages such as bottled water, soft drinks and specialty coffees plus pre-paid gratuities for housekeeping, dining and bar staff. All fares, offers and itineraries are subject to change and availability and can be withdrawn at any time. The above fares are available to new bookings only and only available to UK & Eire residents. Restrictions apply. See crystalcruises.co.uk for complete terms and conditions of all offers. (c)2012 Crystal Cruises, Inc., Ships' registry: The Bahamas.

Travel Bulletin 8th February 2013  

Travel Bulletin 8th February 2013

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