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November 15 2013 | ISSUE NO 1,850 | www.travelbulletin.co.uk

UK & Ireland

Inspire your clients to take a staycation in Llandudno

this week agent bulletin 9 Cypriot hoteliers launch ‘The Biggest Holiday Competition in the World'

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WTM round-up news and new launches from world travel market 2013

training

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the latest TravelGym additions to Travel Bulletin's website

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spain & her islands tourist office records best month for tourism


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All you have to do is relax Guaranteed sunshine, beautiful beaches and stunning scenery, above and below the water.

ABTA No.Y2507

Call 0845 072 2477 Visit redseaholidays.co.uk/agent


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newsbulletin

This Week news 3

Cover Pictures: Main - North Shore Promenade Llandudno

Inset - St George's Carenage, Grenada

this week's latest product announcements, trends & developments

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agent bulletin

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puzzle bulletin

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bulletin briefing

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WTM round-up

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training

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personality bulletin

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spain & her islands

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uk & ireland

Cypriot hoteliers launch ‘The Biggest Holiday Competition in the World' play Su Doku for your chance to win a £50 M&S voucher the chief exec of Elite Travel Group manages to survive WTM news and new launches from world travel market 2013 the latest TravelGym additions to Travel Bulletin's website plus a round-up of new training dates & products which head of digital sales & partnerships likes to take a special pillow when travelling? tourist office records best month for tourism new attractions & deals to entice your clients plus a special focus on Llandudno in North Wales

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ANDALUCIA ACTION....Kirker Holidays took a group of agents on a fam to discover Andalucia. Pictured linking up at the Plaza de España in Seville are, from the left: Catherine Keyser, CJL Travel; Judy Gibb, Select World Travel; Sandie Fernandes, Reigate Travel; Clare King, Village Travel; and Patricia Bellieni, Kirker Holidays.

Report finds positive forward bookings for summer provide 'reasons to be cheerful' RESEARCH FOR a new consumer report - the Holiday Confidence Index – has revealed that consumers are now feeling less negative about planning trips abroad in the coming 12 months as their confidence about the economy and personal financial circumstances grows. According to the Winter 2013 report, the number of people who believe the economy will improve has doubled within the space of six months and two-in-five surveyed for the tracker report who said they were planning to travel abroad have already booked their first holiday. Created by First Rate Exchange Services (www.firstrate.co.uk), the Holiday Confidence Index monitors the consumer appetite for overseas holidays. Produced in partnership with the Institute of Travel & Tourism, University of Wolverhampton and YouGov, the tracker research will be published three times a year. The first online survey of more than 5,000 adults aged 18 and above provides information about holiday intentions, holiday frequency and duration, and covers spending plans for September 2013 to August 2014. The survey findings were used to create the Winter 2013 report which has been calculated by compiling a composite index of six key elements of intention about overseas holidays. This is the same overall confidence rating as in March when an initial benchmark

survey was conducted for comparison purposes. However, there have been positive gains for five of the six individual indices – relating to the number of holidays planned, their duration and associated expenditure – all of which points to increasing stability and an improving picture for the next 12 months. The common denominator across the survey results was that negative intentions about travelling overseas have fallen. More than half of consumers intend to holiday abroad in the coming year and more than half of these also intend to take more than one trip abroad. More encouragingly, although 39% of first holidays booked were late getaways for departure by November 2013, one-in-five (20%) were summer bookings for JuneAugust 2014, suggesting a return to planning holidays well ahead. Furthermore, almost a third of second holidays (31%) had been booked for travel between June and August 2014. When it comes to the number of holidays planned, the outlook also looks promising. Fewer than half of the survey respondents (44%) intend to restrict themselves to one holiday abroad in the next year while over one-in-five (22%) propose to take three or more holidays. ● continues on next page

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Many survey respondents expressed caution about holiday expenditure with more than half the survey sample planning to restrict spending to the same level as in the previous 12 months. However, there is good news for travel agents as consumers who book packages and all-inclusive holidays are more likely to book via a travel agency. More than two-in-five of consumers who are planning only one holiday in the coming year are likely to book some form of package – including all-inclusive and cruise trips. Half of all planned packages will be purchased from two major players, who between them have a total market share of 28%, according to the survey results. The most positive responses about holiday intentions came from 18-24 year-olds and from older consumers (55+). Almost a third of the 55+ age group said they are planning more trips abroad and this also applied to 18-24 year-olds, who are significantly more likely to take shorter holidays of either one- to three-nights or four- to six-nights and are more flexible about the type of holidays they will take. Almost half of this group claim to cut spending in other areas to ensure they can fund a trip abroad. Going abroad on holiday is important to the lifestyle of almost two-thirds (64%) of those planning trips in the coming year. For the majority of them the overriding priority is that their trip should be ATOL protected, suggesting an awareness of the issues surrounding holiday security. Almost half (47%) felt strongly about this and overall nearly threequarters (74%) were concerned about safeguarding their holiday. The Winter 2013 report can be obtained by emailing HolidayConfidenceIndex@first rate.co.uk

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Specialist social media agency launched for travel & tourism GINGER JUICE has been launched to mine and I’ve always enjoyed deliver social media solutions doing it well and seeing the specifically for travel & tourism benefits it can bring to businesses. organisations. “Smart travel & tourism Founded by Bruce Martin, previously organisations now understand that of OTT (Online Travel Training), New social media is a valuable business Frontiers, C&M activity, however, many struggle to Recruitment & GTA, find the time to do it and do the company will well enough to see real provide three social returns. media services: “Ginger Juice will exist in a outsourced 'sweet-spot’ between travel& activity, coaching social media expertise. I and social media have 20 years’ travel ‘health-checks’. trade experience including The business launches many years working with with several clients already on tourism organisations as well board including WTM Latin as the social media know-how America, WTM Africa and required to provide specialist Trinidad & Tobago Tourism. solutions to travel companies." For more information see Martin said: “Social media Bruce Martin www.gingerjuice.co.uk has always been a passion of

Assembly of first A321 aircraft & new ‘Sunny Heart’ livery from Thomas Cook Airlines FOLLOWING THE recent launch of the Thomas Cook Group’s unification of its brands and one common symbol, the ‘Sunny Heart’, Thomas Cook Airlines UK is marking the start of the final assembly at Airbus’ Hamburg base of the airline’s first new Airbus A321-211 aircraft to enter its UK fleet, featuring the new ‘Sunny Heart’ livery. Six aircraft will be deployed in the UK and will be in operation by summer next year. Christoph Debus, the carrier's CEO, said, “This marks the beginning of an exciting phase for our UK airline as we look ahead to our first new aircraft this December. It’s very symbolic that we will see the first of our new Airbus A321 aircraft in the UK take on our new livery, an icon for the new Thomas Cook. “The aircraft is now in the final assembly stage and we plan to take delivery in early December – with the first commercial flights taking place before Christmas. "Our new ’Sunny Heart’ livery expresses the philosophy of our airline; our team putting their heart into every flight and making sure our customers’ holiday starts as soon as they board their flight to their holiday destination. The Sunny Heart is the perfect symbol for our passion to create memorable holidays for our guests." STARS IN THEIR EYES...Carlos Alonso, Tenerife’s Tourism Councillor and newly elected President of the Council of Tenerife, recently presented a new vision for Tenerife at a special event for the trade and media entitled 'A night under the stars' at the Millbank Media Centre in London. The new approach promotes Tenerife through five Volcanic Territories, focusing on nature and authentic holiday experiences available to visitors such as stargazing. Pictured at the event is Tony Maniscalco (left) from Ramblers Holidays and Domingo Sanchez from Corona Holidays. For details visit www.webtenerife.co.uk

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newsbulletin Launch of Thomson Cruises & Thomson/First Choice weddings for winter 2014/15 THOMSON CRUISES' new winter 2014/15 line up is now on sale, with Platinum ship, Thomson Dream, moving to its new home port of Montego Bay in Jamaica. Thomson Dream will offer a new range of port calls across five new itineraries, including Mexico, Panama and Costa Rica, sailing from December 23, 2014. Meanwhile, Thomson and First Choice’s new winter programme for 2014 went on sale yesterday, including Mauritius and the Pacific Coast of Mexico in the winter schedule for the first time. Highlights include increased Thomson 787 Dreamliner flying, twin-centre holidays and new hotels. In terms of new offerings for winter sun weddings for 2014/15, Thomson has launched Gourmet Inclusive weddings by Karisma and has introduced weddings in Sensatori Jamaica and Mexico. Seven new wedding venues also feature in Mauritius.

As examples of prices, Thomson Cruises offers a seven-night Pride of Panama cruise from £1,149 per person. Departing from Montego Bay, ports of call include Cartagena, Colombia; San Blas and Colon, Panama; and Puerto Limon, Costa Rica. The price is based on two sharing a deck 4 or 5 inside cabin on a fullboard basis, departing on January 6, 2015 from Birmingham, Gatwick and Glasgow airports. It includes flights, transfers, port taxes, tips, service charges and £50 per person free on board spend. For details see www.thomson.co.uk/cruise or call 0871-230 2800. Thomson offers 14-night holidays to the Thomson Platinum 4T+ Riu Vallarta on an all-inclusive basis from £1,149 per person, including flights from Manchester on November 29, 2014 and transfers. For more information or to book visit www.thomson.co.uk

Prestige merges Canadian operation with Canada4U PRESTIGE HOLIDAYS has merged the Canadian arm of its operation with independent tour operator, Canada4U. The operator reports that it has seen more than a 20% yearon-year growth in business to Canada since it was introduced in 2010, and that bookings for 2014 are already 25% up on 2013. For details call 01502-567222 or see www.prestigecanada.co.uk

TEA BREAK AT TEESIDE...Superbreak were recently invited to attend the opening celebrations of the new Thomas Cook Concept Store at Teesside Park, Stockton on Tees. Pictured are, from the left: Colin Fanning, Superbreak; the agency's Victoria Seaman, Sue Nelson and Carolyn Bentham; and Kelly Giblin, Superbreak.

New price insert for summer 2014 programme from Belleair Holidays BELLEAIR HOLIDAYS has unveiled its new 2014 summer programme, which is valid for bookings until October 31, 2014. The new price insert is in preparation for the launch of the main summer brochure available next month. The programme includes the addition of the new four times weekly direct service with British Airways from Gatwick to Malta starting on March 30, 2014. Also new are more properties including the four-star Coastline Hotel near Salina Bay and the three-star Primera in Bugibba. The pricing insert also includes all prices for holidays with flights as well as accommodation-only options, excursions, transfers, car hire, useful information, terms and conditions and details of the latest offers, including the added value boxes at the bottom of each property providing details of the individual offers available. The lead-in price is £309 per person for a seven-night breakfast stay at the three-star Canifor Hotel. It includes flights from Gatwick, transfers and free entrance to a selected Malta attraction. The offer is subject to availability and is based on two sharing for travel between May 31 and June 13, 2014. For further information or to make a booking visit: www.belleair.co.uk/agents or call 0845-365 3412.

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newsbulletin Tweets of the Week Who’s saying what on Twitter... @Monarch Win a ski trip worth £2,000! Flights to Grenoble, hotel & lift passes for 2 included. Click link to enter http://bit.ly/Win7DaySki @STATravel_UK Heading to Australia? Fly in luxury with Emirates from £499 one-way or £779 return: http://sta.travel/19WHpcO @Travelbag1979 Steal of the week: 4* #SriLanka HB travel in June 2014 now only £659 @UKHurtigruten Follow the journey from Bergen to Kirkenes with our guest blogger on board the MS Midnastol! http://hurtigruten365.com @Travelpack Central and Eastern Europe's best Christmas markets http://ow.ly/qAdtC

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Newsbites ●

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AIRPORT LOUNGE specialist, No.1 Traveller, is now welcoming germanwings’ BEST Business Class passengers at its Birmingham Airport facility. The carrier operates two daily flights from Birmingham to Hamburg and Berlin, six times weekly. Guests at the lounge can choose from a selection of freshly-prepared complimentary food and drink, a fully-tended bar, bistro table service, free WiFi access and a range of newspapers and magazines. THOMSON AIRWAYS has launched direct, non-stop weekly flights to Phuket, Thailand from Gatwick. Flight TOM094 departs at 14:25 on Tuesdays and arrives in Phuket less than 12 hours later. HOLIDAY EXPERTS, the homeworking division of Your Holiday Booking, is to launch in Ireland. Agents will receive the same benefits package as the UK including free set up of telephones, IT systems and training, central administration for accounting and documentation, free personalised websites and e-marketing, 50% paid towards selected marketing activity to help agents grow their databases and inclusion on free educational and conferences. EUROPCAR HAS entered into a new partnership in Canada with Discount Car and Truck Rentals Ltd, one of the largest car rental companies in Canada with more than 260 locations and 17,000 vehicles covering all ten Canadian provinces. TRAVELPORT HAS expanded its footprint across Africa with the launch of business operations in Somalia, and has appointed Euro Africa Services as its distributor. ONLINE TRAVEL agency sunshine.co.uk has announced its departure from Hays Travel Independence Group, after six years as a member, to become an independent agent. Eurostar and world-renowned Chef Patron, Raymond Blanc OBE, have teamed up to launch new winter menus for Business Premier passengers, complete with Europe’s first highspeed Afternoon Tea offering, which will be served between 14.00 and 17.30. The new British inspired Afternoon Tea will feature a traditional cake as well as English scones from Raymond Blanc’s own recipe, served with clotted cream and strawberry jam. For details see www.eurostar.com or call 08432-186186.

Flybe sponsors Cardiff's Winter Wonderland A MAIN sponsorship deal sees Flybe play a pivotal role this Christmas in Cardiff’s new-look Winter Wonderland attraction and follows the recent announcement that it will operate four new ski routes from Cardiff from December 21, to Chambery, Geneva, Grenoble and Lyon. The airline, in partnership with Cardiff Airport, will have a high profile at the

New visitor guide from Visit Greenwich VISIT GREENWICH has launched its new Visit Greenwich Visitor Guide, showcasing the wide variety of attractions and experiences Greenwich has to offer. The expansion in attractions and hotels over the past two years means there is now a great mix of heritage favourites with new experiences, making Greenwich an exciting destination for visitors. The guide takes in the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site, Greenwich Peninsula for the Emirates Air Line and The O2, Eltham, Charlton, the heritage quarter of Royal Arsenal Woolwich and scenic ways to get around and see the area. It also offers visitors inspiration on how to spend their time in Greenwich, with sections on how to Explore, Shop, Taste, Enjoy and Stay. The guide is available at the Greenwich Tourist Information Centre (TIC), TICs nationwide, London hotels and key visitor sites. To request a copy email tic@visitgreenwich.org.uk and for more information see www.visitgreenwich.org.uk

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open-air ice rink operated by Welsh events specialists Sayers Amusements and run by Olympic Gold Medallist and Dancing on Ice judge Robin Cousins. The Winter Wonderland is now open until January 5, 2014. One-way fares start from £34.99 including taxes and charges. For details see www.flybe.com

Complimentary travel add-ons on select 2014 North America holidays HOLIDAYS BY Rail has extended an early booking bonus on select 2014 US and Canada train holidays. Clients booking a North America train holiday by December 13 can select a complimentary travel add-on which range from pre- or postnight hotel stays, sightseeing tours, shore excursions on select rail-cruise packages and free upgrades on the Grand Canyon Railway for select Grand Canyon rail holidays. Qualifying holidays in the US include a variety of trips to Glacier National Park and the Grand Canyon, as well as escorted tours to America’s parks and monuments plus the New England fall foliage and rail/cruise combination packages. Qualifying holidays in Canada include an assortment of train holidays - from the Canadian Rockies to the Maritimes as well as Canada rail-Alaska cruise combination packages. For more information see www.holidaysbyrail.com or call 0800-033 7960.

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newsbulletin Funway launches first dedicated Barbados brochure for 2014/15 FUNWAY HOLIDAYS has issued its first dedicated Barbados brochure following increased demand in bookings to the destination and to mark the opening of the new Sandals Barbados resort, which is included in the brochure. Prices for Sandals Barbados with Funway start from £1,799 per person, based on all-inclusive for a January 10 departure from Gatwick with British Airways. The 36-page brochure offers customers more choice with 18 hand-picked hotels and resorts offering roomonly, bed-and-breakfast and all-inclusive options. Packages lead in at £799 per person, based on two sharing for seven nights at the Butterfly Beach Resort, including transfers and flights with British Airways from Gatwick. The price is based on a January 10 departure. Twin-centre holiday options cost from £1,329 including accommodation and flights. A range of savings are also offered including a free lounge pass at Gatwick and Manchester airports for bookings made by March 31, 2014; savings of £100 off per child (up to 16 years, but varies by hotel), for bookings made by February 15 for all departures between May 1 and October 31, 2014; free nights at selected hotels; free weddings; free stays for kids; and resort credits. Travel agents in the operator's Moneycard scheme can earn £20 per booking (online) or £10 per booking added to their Moneycard for every Barbados flight inclusive holiday booked by March 31, 2014 for any date of travel. For more information visit www.funway4agents.co.uk

Style on the move with Nude Audio’s Move M NUDE AUDIO Move M’s small form factor Bluetooth compatible travel speaker certainly ticks the right boxes in terms of style on the move. At just under 10cm square and 4cm thick the Move M will slip discreetly into all but the least generous of pockets or bags. Bluetooth connectivity via a smartphone or tablet is a cinch and the sound is anything but pocket. Wrapped in an attractive but durable rubberised case, the Move M is perfect for the beach, the park or even on a hike. It is available in a range of colours from John Lewis, HMV and Amazon and costs £39.99.

THE ON E C AS

TRAVEL ACCESSORIES YOU WON'T WANT TO LEAVE BEHIND...

SHOPPING GALORE...Travel 2 presents Helen Richards of Liberty Travel in Oswestry with £1,000 worth of shopping vouchers as the winner of the company’s South Australia campaign incentive. Pictured with Helen is the operator's Andy Harris.

Simply Sweden launches new brand SPECIALIST TOUR operator, Simply Sweden, has launched a new brand to meet increasing demand for the natural phenomenon. Simply Northern Lights offers small scale, genuine encounters in Northern Norway and Swedish Lapland, paired with specialist knowledge and personal service. As an example of prices, a three-night stay at Lyngen Lodge leads in at from £1,495 per person, based on two sharing. Valid on selected departures throughout December, January and February, the price includes flights from London to Tromso (via Oslo), transfers and three nights on a full-board basis. For details see www.simplynorthernlights.co.uk

Go

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WEBSCLUSIVES ●

Win one of five fam trip places to Alpine Austria courtesy of Friedrichshafen Airport, the gateway to the Alps. Just answer 3 quick questions. To enter, go to: www.travelbulletin.co.uk/competitions

Win a 7” Kindle Fire tablet with Prestige Holidays. The operator is celebrating its 25th anniversary and welcomes you to join in the fun. Just answer 3 questions on their Croatia programme at www.travelbulletin.co.uk/competitions

All this and more at:

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agentbulletin Agent competition MORE THAN 50 four- and five-star hotels across Cyprus have united to offer the ‘The Biggest Holiday Competition in the World’ competition. It runs for 50 weeks and offers the opportunity for 50 winners to win 50 seven-night holidays for themselves and a guest. In conjunction with the CTO and Cyprus’ two hotel associations, STEK and PASYKSE, the ‘Summer is Cyprus’ campaign will be promoted through a dedicated microsite www.summeriscyprus.com - and social media

Nick Aristou (fifth from left) from the Four Seasons in Limassol marks the launch of 'The Biggest Holiday Competition in the World' with participating Cypriot hoteliers.

Pictured with members of the 'Summer in Cyprus' team (far left and far right) and ready to take part in the competition are, from the left: Lesley Clements, Travel Counsellors in Waterlooville, Hampshire; Marie Rayner, Travel Counsellors in Addlestone, Surrey; with Nick Aristou from Four Seasons, Limassol.

channels to highlight Cyprus as a welcoming and choice Mediterranean holiday destination. To be in with a chance of winning, entrants will be invited to visit the website on a weekly basis and correctly guess the name of the hotel from the three images provided. The prize offered by each participating hotel will be a seven-night stay for two people in a sea-view room, including daily breakfast (prize excludes flights). A winner will be picked at random every week, for the next 50 weeks.

Agent training TRAVEL AGENTS now have the latest information about EVA Air’s product and services available at the click of a mouse, following the launch of a new online training manual. Available at www.evaagent.com/en, the manual covers everything UK agents might need to know about Taiwan’s independent carrier, including routes and schedules, fleet, in-flight services and the airline’s frequent flyer programme, InfinityMileageLands. With important key developments this year, the carrier has launched the manual to further boost agent awareness of its services and network. This summer saw the airline join the global Star Alliance network, while it also introduced a new business class cabin, Royal Laurel Class, to its Boeing 777 fleet. This means the upgraded service is available on its daily flights from Heathrow to its home hub in Taipei, operating via Bangkok. A key feature of the new training manual is a toggle to give agents instant information on the airline’s code-sharing services with its Star Alliance partners. (Training - page 19)

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DIANE'S DELIGHT...The Colony Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida recently ran a competition in Travel Bulletin asking agents to name the designer of the new hotel rooms. Pictured collecting her prize of a five-night stay at the hotel from the property's general manager, Roger Everingham, is Diane Burnage (right) of Classic Travel in Essex. Pictured celebrating with Diane is Caroline Stanton from Palm Beach CVB. November 15 2013

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newsbulletin Grand UK Holidays marks World War II anniversary in 2014 brochure

SPICE UP YOUR LIFE...Jet2.com treated Newcastle shoppers to a lunch hour with a difference recently as it served up dishes from its new in-flight meal range. Visitors reclined in aircraft seats to sample Chicken Tikka Masala – voted the top dish by local travellers. Other treats on offer were Thai Beef Curry and Moroccan Vegetable Tagine, served by Jet2.com cabin crew Geoffrey Atkins (far right). Available now on all flights, the three-course meals include a starter, main course, dessert plus a free drink. Pictured with Geoffrey are members of the public, Rachel Charlton and Azmain Hossain. For details see www.jet2.com

Free wine with P&O Ferries' day trips P&O FERRIES has launched a new deal to kick-start crossChannel trips in the run up to Christmas. Clients booking a Dover to Calais day trip for a car and passengers, with prices from £25 return, can pick up six free bottles of red, white or rose Piat d’Or wine on board. The offer can be booked from now until December 2 and is available for travel between now and December 13. For details see www.poferries.com or call 0871-664 6464.

GRAND UK Holidays has unveiled 26 new UK and Ireland holidays in its summer 2014 brochure – which celebrates the company's 30th anniversary. And 30 years after the operator's first customers visited Bournemouth, the resort features in a new tour for 2014, called ‘Bournemouth and D-Day’. Commemorating the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings, it includes trips to see the command post at Southwick House, the D-Day Museum in Portsmouth and other associated sites in Weymouth and Portland. The interest in World War II has also led to the introduction of another new holiday – ‘Cambridge, Duxford & Bletchley Park’ – which explores the world of the famous wartime code-breakers as well as the Imperial War Museum Duxford. New options have also been added to the range of UK themed breaks, including ‘Medieval Magic’, which features a medieval banquet in a castle – complementing the popular regulars such as Line Dancing, Bingo Breaks, Rambling and Antiques & Collectables. Green-fingered holidaymakers are catered for with a range of new garden holidays, including trips to see the RHS Malvern Gardening Show and the ‘Secret Gardens of Yorkshire’s East Riding’. The company’s Gold tours, which offer more upmarket accommodation and luxury coach travel, have been expanded again, and feature new UK options in resorts such as the Cotswolds and Peak District. A five-day Bournemouth and D-Day tour leads in at £329 per person, while a four-day Medieval Magic option costs from £229. Prices in the new summer brochure start at £139 for a four-day Magical Mystery Tour in the UK, including coach travel, half-board accommodation and excursions. For bookings call 01603-619933 or see www.grandukholidays.com

‘See and stay’ in Europe’s popular cities with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines FRED. OLSEN Cruise Lines’ new ‘City Break’ cruises allow guests to discover some of Europe’s best destinations, with overnight stays in each city. The new itineraries offer a cost-effective and convenient way to explore some of the world’s most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities. The company's fleet of four smaller-sized ships are also able to take guests into the ‘heart of the destination’. Examples of the new cruises include Black Watch’s nine-night ‘Bright Lights & Overnights’ cruise, departing from Southampton on May 8, 2014, with prices leading in at £799 per person. Also new is Braemar’s 13-night ‘Scandinavian City Explorer’ cruise, departing from Dover on August 31, with prices from £1,299 and Balmoral’s 14-night ‘Russia, Sweden and Estonia’ cruise, which departs from Southampton on May 17, with prices from £1,399. Prices are based on two adults sharing an inside twin cabin and include accommodation, all meals and entertainment on board, plus port taxes. For details see www.fredolsencruises.com or call 0800-035 5242.

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puzzlebulletin Travagrams

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

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

Number: 136

A Rare Ikon

A➠

B➠ The flagship carrier of South Korea

C➠

Telephoners Store Six

D➠ Fill in all the squares in the grid so that each row, column and each of the 3 x 3 squares contains the digits 1-9. Once you have completed the puzzle, simply identify the numbers that relate to the letters, A, B, C and D then e-mail the solution, with your name, company name, and full postal address plus phone and ABTA number if applicable to: competition@travelbulletin.co.uk Closing date for entries is Thursday, November 21st. Solution and new puzzle will appear next week. The winner for 1st November is Kelly O'Neill, Thomson in Tyne & Wear. November 1 Solution: A=6 B=4 C=8 D=5

This hotel chain shares the name of a famous iconic passenger train

Where Am I?

Cockney city in South Africa?

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

Number: 136

Across 1. Flag carrier of Indonesia (6) 3. Capital of the Austrian state of Styria (4) 7. One of the presenters heading back to the Celebrity jungle (3) 9. German city (7) 10. Hotel brand, part of Accor (4) 11. Operator specialising in chalet-style accommodation for skiers, Mark ___ (6) 14. One of the colours in the P&O flag (6) 16. Colourful time of year in the States (4) 19. Capital of Uganda (7) 20. Hawaiian garland (3) 21. People of the Isle of Man (4) 22. Capital of Saudi Arabia (6)

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Down 1. George and Sandra are cast adrift in this movie at a cinema near you (7) 2. Capital city located on the Persian Gulf (4) 4. Historic city in Upper Normandy (5) 5. Scenic Swiss city and lake (3) 6. Capital of Jordan (5) 8. Citalia is one of the brands of this travel group (3) 12. State capital of North Carolina (7) 13. The Great Barrier Reef is located in this sea (5) 15. Celebrity Juice host, Keith (5) 17. Auckland airport code (3) 18. 1 Across could take you to this holiday isle (4) 19. European flag carrier, initially (3)

For the solution to the Crossword, Where Am I? and Travagrams, please see page 30 November 15 2013

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Industry Insight by... Neil W Basnett, Chief Executive of Elite Travel Group manages to survive this year’s WTM...

O, THE scrum that is alternatively known as World Travel Market is all over for another year and we can all emit a huge sigh of relief! This remains certainly the largest travel show held in the UK but one has to seriously question whether it is still the most relevant. A huge showcase for the whole world…yes but how much business is genuinely generated there despite the huge figures that are given out each year by the organisers? For most tour operators, the timing of the show is not ideal as it comes too late into the calendar year for brochure contracting: ITB is more relevant for this as it takes place in March at a time when most operators are planning their brochures for the next season. Such shows used to be the time when rates for the following season would be given out and negotiated, but this does not happen so much now as all this can be done just as quickly and efficiently via e-mail. World Travel Market therefore tends to be more of a very expensive P.R. exercise with tourist boards and suppliers almost having to be there otherwise people merely jump to wrong conclusions when somebody is absent! For travel agents, it does however remain a very valuable forum to gather information and to talk to hotels, overseas suppliers and tourist boards so that they can share this information with their clients. I attended ‘A Taste of ILTM’ (International Luxury Travel Market), which was very well organised and with their pre-arranged appointments system, I was able to have 30 appointments in the two days: this therefore is a valuable use of my time rather than traipsing around the exhibition halls. It was also well away from the general melee so we were able to talk to suppliers in an almost rarefied calm atmosphere! The main halls at WTM were exceedingly busy however on the Tuesday, and even the Docklands Light Railway seemed to cope better this year with the sheer number of travellers. The Jubilee Line was packed and I have always maintained that if I am going to have my nose stuck in somebody’s sweaty armpits for 30 minutes, then at least I should be able to choose whose! While I was there, I was also able to finalise the location for the 2014 Travel Conference for Independents…by Elite. In their usual efficient way,

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"WTM for travel agents remains a very valuable forum to gather information and to talk to hotels, overseas suppliers and tourist boards so that they can share this information with their clients" Tourism Andalucia was pleased to give us as much assistance as possible in arranging our conference, to be held in Seville at the beginning of October. Our consortium has dealt with the Spanish for many years and they are a delight to work with: they recognise the worth of assisting with travel conferences as, if the delegates return with a good impression of the area, then they will send future clients there. Our previous most successful conference was in Jerez and I am personally delighted to be working with Francisco, Enrique, Agustin, Antonio, Santiago and their teams yet again in arranging what I know at this early stage will be a truly stunning conference and at very realistic prices! In conjunction with the conference itself, we will be arranging a short fam tour showing off the delights of inland Andalucia: the perfect conference! Whenever I attend any trade show, I always like to come away excited about a new product that I have discovered. Onefinestay fits the bill this time. If you have enquiries for families or groups of adults wishing to stay in decent hotels, then prices for London, Paris, New York and Los Angeles can be horrendous! Onefinestay offers some truly beautiful homes in these cities at realistic prices that undercut exorbitant hotel rates: one has the full use of a magnificent home (even just for one night bookings) with all the space and flexibility that a hotel simply does not offer. All the rates are commissionable at 10% and I am sure that Lucy Salaman would love to hear from you with your enquiries: www.onefinestay.com www.travelbulletin.co.uk


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TCA Abu Dhabi promotes hosting of Volvo Ocean Race 2014/15 ABU DHABI Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) promoted its 2014/15 Christmas and New Year hosting of the Volvo Ocean Race at this year’s WTM. The event, which will be held in the emirate’s purpose-built Destination Village at the Corniche, will feature races, concerts and a celebration of all things nautical. Yas Island, Abu Dhabi’s self-proclaimed entertainment destination, also highlighted the latest expansion of its Yas Marina area, which includes new shops and food and beverage outlets, while TCA Abu Dhabi also promoted Yas Mall, which will reportedly be Abu Dhabi’s biggest shopping complex when it opens next year, with 450 shops and parking for up to 10,000 cars. The island reports that it received more than three million visitors last year and is aiming to attract approximately four million visitors by the end of the year. Meanwhile, the City Seasons Group also used WTM to announce the international debut of its new five-star brand, the Royal Rose Hotel – a baroque-style property in Abu Dhabi and the first hotel in the brand’s portfolio.

WTMroundup

LONDON LAUNCH... Garuda Indonesia has announced that its new non-stop service between Gatwick and Jakarta will launch in May 2014, with five times weekly flights. Pictured marking the announcement are, from the left: the airline's Alison Sorrell, John Pope, Vikki Joyce and Djunadi Putra Satrio.

Poland highlights active and health tourism to entice new visitors THE POLISH National Tourist Office (PNTO) is highlighting the destination's range of spas, activities and sporting events on the back of increased demand for health and adventure tourism. According to the director of the PNTO, Bogdan Becla, there has been a significant increase in UK visitors seeking active breaks. He said: "The market for active tourism is very popular and Poland offers some great quality spa products. Health tourism is also on the increase and this is one of the areas which we are keen to promote." The tourist office reports that UK visitor figures are 4% up on last year and it is hoping to repeat this performance in 2014, particularly as the destination has strong air connections from Wizz Air, Ryanair and easyJet.

POLAND PARTY...Pictured on the Poland stand, ready to throw some balls are, from the left: Tomasz Lasocki, CBL Polonia Volleyball Club; Bogdan Becla, Polish National Tourist Office; Magdalena Krucz, Polish Tourist Organisation; and Alex Minchin, CBL Polonia Volleyball Club.

According to Becla, city breaks remain important for Brits and many cities in the eastern and southern part of Poland are benefiting from direct air connections. The tourist office is also hoping to encourage more operators to feature the destination

into next year by highlighting factors such as its 500km of coastline and is urging agents to get in touch to find out more about the fam and training opportunities available to them. For more information visit www.poland.travel

Visit Flanders reveals Great War commemoration events & attractions for 2014 VISIT FLANDERS has unveiled details of its commemoration events for the Centenary of the Great War for 2014. As well as refurbishments to museums, improvements and new visitor centres recently opened, the area of Flanders Fields will be in the spotlight for newly created events and exhibitions taking place during 2014-18. Some will be educational, others thought-provoking and they will cater to

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all ages including British schools who will be visiting the area over the next few years as part of the Government initiative to give British children opportunity to visit the Great War battlefields for the Centenary War Programme. The events taking place in Western Flanders and surrounding cities around Flanders over the next couple of years can be found at: www.flandersfields1418.com

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WTMroundup Greece invites visitors to discover ‘secret’ destinations GREECE IS encouraging tourists to discover its ‘secret’ destinations, according to Olga Kefalogianni, Minister of Tourism for the country. The Minister explained that under the campaign, the Greek Tourism Organisation is inviting visitors to experience the cultural side of the country as well as promoting Greece as a year-round destination. She said: “We are now developing lesser-known destinations, known as ‘Secret Greece’. On the one hand, we understand that sun and sea will always be the main reason why visitors come to Greece, so we want to enhance this experience and provide the opportunity for visitors to come year-round.” As an example, the previously difficult to reach destination of Kalamata in the mountainous Southern Peloponnese region has recently been made more accessible with easyJet launching direct flights to the area from the UK in the summer. Kefalogianni said the region, which is reported to be growing increasingly popular for skiing, is particularly important for highlighting Greece’s appeal as a year-round destination. According to the Minister, there has been a 5-10% growth in UK visitors to the country this year compared to 2012, and it is hoped that this figure will increase due to the extension of Greece’s tourism season to November – a factor which, Kefalogianni says, would also help further promote the country as a year-round destination.

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Tunisia welcomes record number of UK visitors for 2013 TUNISIA HAS this year welcomed a record number of UK visitors, according to Tunisia National Tourist Office (TNTO) director, Wahida Jaiet. She said: “As of October 20, we were beyond the 369,000 mark which is up by 20% compared to the same time last year, and this has broken the previous record of 320,000 in 2010." The tourist office’s first European marketing campaign, which aimed to promote the spirit of Tunisia and encourage tourists to rediscover the destination, was launched this year. Jaiet placed emphasis on the importance of Tunisia’s tourism industry, which generates 7% of the country’s GDP and provides employment for approximately two million people. However, despite the growth in UK tourism, there is still a need to fuel further growth and to target niche markets. Jaiet said: “Some 70% of the people who go to Tunisia from the UK are families and they book package holidays most of the time.

"We are now focusing on and promoting the sense of culture in the country’s lesser-known destinations to encourage a broader range of visitors. As part of the wider cultural experience, traditional Tunisian gastronomy is also becoming increasingly popular and is a strong selling point for the country." In line with attracting a wider range of visitors, the tourist office is also aiming to promote high-end, tailor-made breaks and says that luxury operators are capitalising on this. Meanwhile, accessibility to the country is, according to Jaiet, better than ever, with seven chartered flights from the UK to Tunisia each week with a short flight time of approximately three hours from London to Tunis. For clients who have concerns about visiting Tunisia, Jaiet recommends that agents check the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) website (www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice) for advice.

Just Sunshine announces departures from Bristol for 2014 JUST SUNSHINE has issued its 2014 brochure and announced at WTM that it will be featuring departures from Bristol for the first time. The operator’s managing director, Can Deniz, said: “Bristol has a big catchment area which is the main reason why we decided to include it in our programme, as well as primary research with travel agents in the catchment area, which revealed positive feedback.” The operator, which sells approximately 65% of its programme to Tunisia and 35% to Turkey, reports that increasing numbers of agents are booking package holidays. Deniz said: “All our packages include both luggage allowance and transfers and we are currently offering discounts of up to £200 per booking which runs until the end of March at selected hotels in both destinations. We also offer a low deposit of £50 and urge agents to encourage their clients to take advantage of these offers.

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“We are keen to work with more agents and support them in a variety of ways – from roadshows and fam trips, of which we take about 150 agents a year to either Turkey or Tunisia. We also run regular incentives throughout the year including vouchers for bookings, holiday competitions or places on fam trips.” In Turkey, the operator is keen to offer agents something different to sell to their customers. Alongside offering gulet cruises and twin-centre hotels, the company has introduced both new resorts including Kas and Kalkan, and the option to stay in villas with pools. Deniz said: “Both Tunisia and Turkey are popular with families and at our own hotels we offer a ‘kids stay free’ option when sharing their parents’ room. On certain departure dates we also offer tours of Tunisia. “Looking forward to 2015 we are considering expanding to include more regional departure airports

Can Deniz

such as Birmingham or the Midlands. Our product is very strong and can make a big difference to independent agents, of which we offer 13% commission, and we encourage agents to contact us to find out more about our product.” As an example of prices, a seven-night, all-inclusive stay at the five-star El Mouradi Palm Marina hotel in Tunisia’s Port El Kantaoui leads in at £482 per person based on a May 31, 2014 departure and two sharing. For an August 9 departure, prices lead in at £737. For more information call 020-7247 7472 or see www.justsunshine.com

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WTMroundup Balkan Holidays launches online golf brochure

GAMES GROUP…Saint Lucia is to become the host of the Youth Commonwealth Games in 2017. Pictured marking the annoucement are, from the left: Jean-Marc Flambert, UK & Europe director of marketing for St Lucia Tourism; Olympic legend, Daley Thompson; the Minister for Tourism, Heritage and the Creative Industries, the Hon. Lorne Theophilus; and director of tourism for St Lucia, Louis Lewis.

Rotana adds new properties & reveals launch of Rotana Earth DURING THIS year's WTM, Rotana announced its expansion plans with seven new properties, showcased the development of a sustainability programme and has discussed the growth of its Rayhaan brand. The new hotels include seven luxury property openings in the next ten months - Salalah Rotana Resort, Oman; The Boulevard Arjaan by Rotana, Amman; City Centre Rotana, Doha; Capital Centre Arjaan by Rotana, Abu Dhabi; Karbala Rayhaan by Rotana, Iraq; Hili Rayhaan by Rotana, Abu Dhabi; and Rosh Rayhaan by Rotana, Riyadh. Commenting on the

announcement of the forthcoming openings, Omer Kaddouri, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Rotana, said: "Having gained momentum throughout the Middle East as a result of the company’s aggressive growth strategy, Rotana has become a major player in the competitive hospitality sector. Our plan for further expansion is going from strength-to-strength. We have targeted the UAE which has experienced continued economic growth in the last year, as well as new emerging markets where we aim to further strengthen our presence, such as in Oman and Saudi Arabia.

“We are especially proud of our Rayhaan Hotel and Resorts brand which has continued to expand throughout the UAE with a welcome reaction, particularly from UK leisure and business travellers." Rotana’s Rayhaan Brand, which is alcohol-free, is set for growth in the upcoming years, having already experienced an increase of 17.3% in bookings amongst UK business and leisure travellers. The company has also developed a sustainability initiative called Rotana Earth which aims to protect natural resources, support local community needs and reduce energy consumption.

BALKAN HOLIDAYS unveiled its new online Bulgaria and Slovenia Golf brochure at WTM. As well as offering golf holidays at five luxury resorts in Bulgaria – three on the Black Sea, including the Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort and at Lake Bled in Slovenia, the new brochure contains details of bespoke holidays that can be created for golfers. The operator also announced that it is flying from three new additional UK airports – Newquay, Southend and Cambridge – on selected dates as part of its summer 2014 programme to Sunny Beach and other Black Sea resorts in Bulgaria. Details of the 2014 Winter Ski and Snowboard programme were also announced, including information about a new route being launched in December from Glasgow to Sofia, Bulgaria. For more information visit www.balkanholidays.co.uk

Loews Hotels & Resorts plans aggressive growth strategy to boost portfolio LOEWS HOTELS & Resorts has announced an aggressive growth strategy to boost its properties by up to 50 in total, including its current properties within the next few years. In the last 18 months the company has announced the acquisition of Boston and Hollywood properties, as well as the Loews Madison Hotel in Washington. The company has also announced plans to open a Chicago property in the early part of 2015 and its development strategy also includes an expansion into Europe, the Caribbean and Mexico, with a view to opening its first European property in London. As of this year, the company has more than $1billion of acquisitions and capital projects underway including $100millon in renovations on its Loews Regency Hotel in New York and a $27million renovation on the Loews Hollywood Hotel. The company's senior vice president of sales, David Wiener, said: "In the last 18 months we've seen double digit growth year-on-year and the length of stay of our customers has also increased. "Other trends include an increase in couples taking spa

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breaks, a rise in family bookings and an increase in people taking advantage of the close proximity of our properties by opting for twin-centre breaks. "My advice to agents would be to encourage their clients to book early and take advantage of the range of special offers available. They can also highlight to their clients that customising packages is an option and we have developed a range of options with local partners including trips to beer distilleries and sailing lessons as examples." As an example, a 30% saving is currently offered to customers staying three nights or more across participating properties. The offer is valid on any day of the week, based on availability, and is available until December 30. The company, which offers 10% commission to agents, is keen on working more closely with the trade and offers special trade rates at its properties as well as a selection of annual fam trips. It is also currently researching into offering a training module with a view to rolling this out in the next few months. For more information visit www.loewshotels.com

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WTMroundup Great Lakes USA issues sports travel brochure to showcase activities & events GREAT LAKES USA launched its new sports travel brochure at World Travel Market. The region has seen a large increase in sports tourism, both in participating and observing and the guide complements Brand USA’s promotion of sports in the US.

Several high profile championships have taken place recently in the region, including the Ryder Cup in Illinois, which will go back into the region in 2016 in Minnesota and in 2020 in Wisconsin. The new guide includes professional sports such as football, baseball, hockey, basketball, soccer and golf, as well as sports activities

and events typical to each region. It also highlights the range of sporting experiences to be had in the Great Lakes as well as include fun, unusual facts about the sports, teams and stadiums. For more information see www.greatlakesusa.co.uk

Ministry of Tourism, Government of India puts spotlight on Indian Himalayas THE MINISTRY of Tourism (MoT), Government of India announced at this week's WTM the launch of a new campaign called '777 Days of the Incredible Indian Himalayas'. Comprising 73% of the total Himalayan range, the Indian Himalayas span across six states of India - Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and the hill regions of West Bengal. Agents are being encouraged to promote the destination to clients seeking skiing in winter, bio-diversity hotspots during the spring, mountaineering expeditions during the summer and a variety of leisure and cultural activities throughout the year.

Meanwhile, the tourist office's website (www.incredibleindia.org) is being redeveloped to provide all tourism related services from planning to reservations. It will also feature virtual walking tours; a Travel Planner, created in collaboration with Google India; links to domestic air ticket, train ticket, bus ticket, hotel rooms and tour package reservations sites; plus links to the online visa application form and information on the India Visa regime. Free Audio Guides will soon be available for download on most smart phones, which will turn phones into personal tour guides.

South African Airways announces partnership on new blockbuster, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom STARS OF the big screen touched down in London with South African Airways following the African premiere of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom on November 3. Their arrival coincided with the carrier announcing a new partnership with South African Tourism to celebrate the release of the blockbuster movie in the UK. The film, based on Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, stars multi-award winning Idris Elba (The Wire, Luther) as Nelson Mandela and Naomie Harris (Skyfall) as Winnie and spans Nelson

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Mandela’s life journey from the early years, through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected President of South Africa and ultimately, the modern icon he is today. The film was shot in more than 200 locations in South Africa, including the Drakensberg in KwaZulu Natal, Cape Town, Robben Island, and Johannesburg and many other destinations in SAA's extensive Southern Africa network. The carrier's UK head of marketing, Jon Danks, said: “We are delighted to partner the Long Walk to Freedom release. The film will showcase South

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Africa on a global cinematic stage and inspire a far reaching audience, illustrating the stunning scenery and landscapes the country has to offer, while also telling one of the most incredible true life stories of our time.” The film is set for release in UK cinemas from January 3, 2014. South African Airways currently offers direct double daily flights between Heathrow and Johannesburg and serves more than 30 destinations within Africa on a fleet of Airbus A330 and A340s. For more information visit www.flysaa.com or call 0844-375 9680.

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training

NO TRAIN NO GAIN Discover the latest additions to Travel Gym, Travel Bulletin’s online learning portal for travel agents. Log on now at www.travelbulletin.co.uk/travel-gym to complete some of the courses currently appearing, including... THE MORE you learn the more you earn! Increase your destination knowledge and sales with the online Vancouver Specialist Training Program! Sign-up and complete the Program by December 18, 2013 and be entered to win one of three £50 Amazon gift cards! Enter promo code VSPUK2013 at tourismvancouver.com/VSP!

BECOME A Titan Specialist. There are currently three modules to choose from including Worldwide, Uniworld River Cruises and Saga Cruising.

STAND A chance to win some fabulous prizes by completing the Singapore training programme. Learn about the city’s transformation where East meets West in this thriving cosmopolitan metropolis and the exciting concentration of sights, sounds and tastes while exploring this vibrant city.

WIN A place on a fantastic educational to South Africa! There are four places to be won! In conjunction with the launch of the new South Africa Specialist programme, South African Tourism is offering four places on the next fam trip to South Africa in March 2014. All you have to do to have a chance of winning a place is complete and pass the South Africa Specialist training before January 31, 2014.

To promote your online training course on the Travel Gym call 020 7834 6661 18

November 15 2013

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training CLIA adds new destination modules to e-learning programme CLIA UK & Ireland reports a 60% increase in the number of travel agents extending their cruise knowledge by registering for the association’s elearning programme, which has recently seen the launch of an additional seven destination modules. They include: Cruising Alaska, Cruising the Arctic and the Antarctic, Cruising the Atlantic Islands, Cruising the Indian Ocean, Cruising the Middle East, Cruising on the Nile and Transatlantic Cruising. For further information visit www.cruiseexperts.org

DORKING DEALINGS... Pictured at Bright's last workshop and dinner for 2013, at Wotton House Hotel near Dorking, are, from the left: Nico Fourier, Canadian Travel; Yvonne Cleary, Don Cleary and Nicki Stanfield from Premier Travel, Reigate; and Bob Moore from Crystal Cruises. Details of the 14 workshops planned for 2014 will be announced soon, along with the latest tour operators to join Bright. For details see www.brightconsortia.com

Itinerary packaging guide from Tourism KwaZulu-Natal TOURISM KWAZULU-NATAL has issued a new itinerary packaging guide. In response to market research that revealed KwaZulu-Natal as being best known for its Battlefields with limited knowledge of other unique tourism experiences, the packaging guide will form part of the overall training programme and is designed to arm agents with the necessary tools to sell targeted trips via dynamic suggested itineraries that highlight the very best of the destination. The ‘Exceptional Guide to packaging KwaZulu-Natal’ programme focuses on six key areas including Zulu, Adventure, Beaches, Heritage, Trade and Family. It is supported by a range of trade initiatives including interactive workshops and an annual educational visit programme. For more information visit www.zulu.org.za

Everything you need to start selling online, on every screen... Take complete control of your online travel business, with a website that’s tailor-made for the travel and leisure industry. Digital Trip are the leading travel technology provider, trusted by more than 300 travel agents, tour operators, wholesalers in 30 countries worldwide. Powered by

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training Cruise bookings enhanced by faster, more flexible global reservations system CUSTOMERS AND travel agents can now enjoy a faster, easier and more flexible cruise fare search experience with RCL Cruises Ltd.’s newly enhanced global reservation system. The system provides more targeted, visible and relevant cruise options to customers and travel agents, plus instantly delivers and automatically applies promotions for which they qualify. With the new technology, customers planning a

cruise with Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Azamara Club Cruises will now receive the best cruise rates that apply, based on a number of factors including loyalty programme status, current promotions and other individual details. To support the new launch and ensure agents are fully up to speed, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises have been embarking on an

extensive sales and training blitz, either with agents face-to-face or via virtual classroom training sessions. In addition, a new module and vodcast on the changes will be made available on the e-learning programme, Cruising for Excellence. The new course will contain everything agents need to know about making a booking and the enhancements that have been made. For more information visit www.cruisingpower.co.uk

THE GRENADA Board of Tourism aims to boost the number of expert agents who complete its online training by 15%. Grenada is the latest country to join the Caribbean Tourism Organisation's (CTO) online training programme and is the first destination to adopt Gold Level status. The new programme includes detailed accommodation information, an events calendar and some hidden gems to really inspire customers to book. For more information see www.grenadagrenadines.com

Launch of fly/drive module on USA Discovery Program BRAND USA has released a Fly/Drive module on the USA Discovery Program – the recently launched online training program for agents in the UK and Ireland. The specialist badge allows users to learn about both the classic American road trip, as well as the road less travelled across the United States, and joins five existing modules on the Program – Big City Buzz, Great Outdoors, Culture & Heritage, Winter Sports and the recently launched Coastal Escapes; as well as the Regional Expert badge, which users must complete initially. To celebrate the launch of the new module, the operator is running two prize giveaways. One winner who completes the

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new Fly/Drive module will win a mini tablet, while anyone who achieves the Winter Sports badge will be in with the chance of winning up to £200 Skiset vouchers. Chris Thompson, the company's president and CEO, said: “The USA is where travellers should hit the road less travelled and explore the rolling countryside and sparkling coastlines, allowing plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great American road trip. The USA Discovery Program gives agents all the information they need to sell this kind of holiday to their clients with confidence.” For more information and to join visit www.usadiscoveryprogram.co.uk

New roadshow dates from TIPTO TIPTO (TRULY Independent Professional Travel Organisation) has announced more dates for its roadshow for this month. Sessions take place on November 19 in Portsmouth, Hampshire; and November 27 in Durham. Members of the organisation take their teams along to meet with independent travel agents to provide them with training on the different products they provide. At the roadshows agents are treated to dinner and drinks throughout the night and sit down for 13, eight-minute sessions with each operator where they are updated on products and new initiatives from each member.

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personalitybulletin

Katy Lee The head of digital sales & partnerships at Attraction World always takes her special pillow when travelling and would like to try her hand at being a news reader...

Where was your last work-related trip? Universal Orlando, Florida.

"If I were a celebrity I'd be Posh Spice. I could pick up Beckham’s pants off the bathroom floor and Harper and I would wear identical outfits every day..."

If you were a celebrity who would you choose to be and why? Clearly I’d be Posh Spice so I could pick up Beckham’s pants off the bathroom floor. Harper and I would wear identical outfits every day. What three words would your friends use to describe you? Positive, loyal and very very funny! What have your travels taught you? That we come into this world with nothing and leave with nothing. But fill your heart and mind with memories of the places you have been and the people you have met is something that lives with you forever. What is the best advice you recall? If the foundations of your life are right, anything can be built on. If you could change three things in the industry, what would they be? Reduce APD, ensure all companies embrace the idea of change management and teach every front line travel agent to not let a single customer leave their shop without parting with some cash. Who has been the biggest inspiration/influence in your career? David Gawn at British Airways Holidays. He wasn’t just my boss, but a true life mentor. He took my enthusiasm, tamed it, and guided me to who I am today. I would not be where I am today without him. What's your favourite city and why? Sydney, where my husband proposed to me.

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Career path ● ● ● ● ●

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1991–1992: Wang Computers 1992–1994: Direct Line Holidays 1994–1995: Flight Bookers 1995–1997: Virgin Holidays 1997–2003: BA Holidays – customer relations/BDM/national account manager 2003–2004: Libra Holidays - national account manager 2004–2006: Alamo - International sales manager May 2006–Oct 2011: Amadeus commercial manager January 2012–March 2013: Avios – travel partner manager April 2013–present: Attraction World – head of digital sales & partnerships

What is your favourite mode of travel? Flying. If you had a super power what would it be and why? To be able to fly like Tinkerbell! What was your nickname at school and why? Nellie… kids were cruel! What item do you always take with you when travelling? My special pillow. I’ve had it all my life and cannot sleep without it! What's your favourite airline and why? BA… I still believe they are the world’s favourite..! How do you deal with stress? Laugh, laugh, laugh... there is nothing in this world that cannot be fixed with a smile. Is there anything that you dislike about the travel industry? How long it takes some people to adapt and change to advances in our industry that in other industries would be immediate. What special skill(s) do you have? Surprisingly I was a brilliant ice/roller skater! The magic never leaves you!

If you were not doing this job, what would you be doing? I would be a news reader! I’m obsessed with it!

What’s your favourite movie of all time? Annie – everybody wants a Daddy Warbucks!

What is your motto in life? You choose happiness. You choose sadness. You choose decisiveness. You choose ambivalence. You choose success. You choose failure. You choose courage. It’s your choice… You choose…

What do you love about your job? That as a company we see an opportunity and we change and adapt to maximise it. The company culture of the people is dynamic.

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spain&herislands

UNTIL NOVEMBER 30, Mallorca Farmhouses is offering an early bird deal, in which guests booking a 14-night stay will receive 50% off their second week. The offer is available on stays between March 1 and April 19, 2014 and includes the first week of the school Easter holidays. As an example of prices, a 14-night stay at C’an Roig (pictured), a three-bedroom holiday villa in the Pollenca hills, costs from £1,267 (less than £212 per person based on six sharing) for an April 5 departure. The price includes a saving of £452. For details see www.mallorca.co.uk or call 0845-800 8080.

Spain records best month for tourism THE SPANISH Tourist Office reports that it welcomed 8.3million international tourists in August, representing a 7.1% year-on-year increase. The figures represent a new record in tourism statistics according to the Survey of Tourism Movements Across Borders, compiled by the Institute of Tourism Statistics by the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism. For the same period, the UK saw a 6.8% yearly increase in visitors to Spain and accounted for 24.3% of all international visitors. Expenditure is also at an all-time high, with a 12.2% year-on-year increase resulting in spend of more than €8.2million in August, of which 23% came from the UK (+7.5%).

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Diamond Rail Holidays add new itineraries for 2014 DIAMOND RAIL Holidays has introduced two new itineraries in Spain as part of the latest edition of its brochure of escorted trips by rail across Europe. A new seven-day ‘Barcelona and Catalonia Highlights’ tour travels by rail to the resort of Tossa del Mar, and includes excursions to Montserrat, Sitges, Barcelona, Girona, Sant Felieu de Guixols and Palamos, as well as a ride on the Montserrat Rack Railway. The trip costs from £699 per person with departures in April, May and September 2014. For those wanting to get away from the British winter, a new 26-day trip incorporates travel by train through Spain with a three-week stay on the Costa del Sol. The tour departs in January 2014 and costs from £1,420 per person, with two nights in Barcelona and two nights in Madrid, en route by high speed trains to Benalmadena. All prices are based on two sharing and include travel by Eurostar from St Pancras; all rail journeys; accommodation in individually-selected hotels; main visits and excursions; many meals, and the services of a tour manager. Also available with a number of holidays are regional rail departures. For more information visit www.sellingrailholidays.com or call 0844-544 7581.

Tossa del Mar

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spain&herislands New self-drive itinerary from The Spanish Thyme Traveller THE SPANISH Thyme Traveller has introduced a ‘Lovers and Ham in Teruel’ self-drive tour in Spain that allows clients to take in mountains, forests, medieval villages (including a fortified Templar village) and classic local food. Highlights include visits to Teruel, with its Mudejar architecture, its famed ham and ‘Lovers of Teruel’ - a Romeo

and Juliet story, followed by a visit to the mountain town of Albarracin, once capital of a Moorish kingdom. The town is the geographical gateway to the Montes Universales and the windy road from there takes clients through mountainous scenery into the province of Cuenca. The nine-day route also offers plenty of opportunity

for exploring and leads in at €995 per person, based on two sharing. It includes eight nights' breakfast accommodation in hotels, two evening meals, group A hire car, an information pack with local maps and recommendations of restaurants, places to stop and places to visit. For more information see www.thespanishthymetraveller.com

Albarracin

Brittany Ferries encourages longer-stay breaks in Costa del Sol this winter BRITTANY FERRIES is highlighting travel by car for a month's stay in the Costa del Sol from £438 per person, based on four travelling. The company has selected a range of high quality apartments in Estepona, located 18 miles south west of Marbella, with two

locations to choose from one on the beach and the other slightly inland. Holidays commence and end with a cruise in a fourberth cabin between either Portsmouth or Plymouth and Santander or Bilbao in Northern Spain. All utilities plus a weekly cleaning

service and linen change are included in the monthly rental. Christiane Barker, the company's general manager of holidays, said: “Many people yearn for the chance to get away during the dull winter months to sunnier climes but don’t have the

resources or inclination to buy a property. Also, if you are staying for a long time, you want to be really sure that you have chosen wisely and booking through us removes any risk.” For details or to book call 0871-244 0633 or see www.brittany-ferries.co.uk

Latest Collette programme includes RHS Garden Holidays tour to Andalucia COLLETTE WORLDWIDE’S recently launched 2014/15 brochure includes the full programme of RHS Garden Holidays for the first time, operated by Collette in conjunction with the Royal Horticultural Society and offering garden-themed tours in Europe and beyond. Included in the programme is a seven-day ‘Andalucia: Land of Castles, Palaces & Gardens’ tour, which has departures in May, June and September 2014. The June 6 departure will also be accompanied by RHS Special Host, Julie Hollobone. The tour leads in at £1,639 per person and includes two nights’ accommodation in Granada, with visits to Alhambra and a tour of the Generalife Gardens; and four nights in Seville, including visits to Cordoba, a tour of the Royal Palaces of the Alcazar, a guided tour of the

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Alhambra

Maria Luisa Park in Seville, plus trips to Sanlucar de Barrameda and historic Ronda. Prices include flights from Gatwick, many meals, excursions and

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door-to-door transfers within 100miles. For more information visit www.rhsgardenholidays.com or call 0800-804 8710.

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spain&herislands Ibiza welcomes increase of more than 9% in UK visitors THE ARRIVAL figures taken from the data recorded at Ibiza Airport, which monitors all incoming arrivals, show that UK visitor numbers grew by 9.23% between January and September this year, based on the same period in 2012. The figure represents 732,573 UK visitors holidaying or spending time in Ibiza, compared to 670,653 for the same period in 2012. The summer peak season also ended on a high with hotel occupancy at 85% throughout September, representing an increase of 0.6% on 2012 and UK arrivals up by 8.43% on September 2012, with 136,768 UK visitors recorded. British Airways continues to support the season extension with the increase and development of its airlift between London City Airport and Ibiza. Initially a roll out in 2010 saw the route just focused on the summer months, but in the three years since inception the service has now extended with winter 2013/14 seeing five weekly flights between London City and Ibiza. This is an increase of a further three flights from winter 2012 /13 which saw two weekly flights throughout the winter months.

Winter sun discounts from Medplaya SPANISH HOTEL group Medplaya is offering up to 20% discounts on winter sun breaks on the Spanish Costas. With 13 hotels situated in the heart of Benidorm and Costa del Sol, both half-board and all-inclusive options are available at its three- and four-star resorts. For direct bookings, prices for stays in the Costa Brava, Costa Barcelona, Salou, Benidorm and Costa del Sol start from £16 per night and at www.medplaya.com agents can find a wide range of deals and activity packages to enhance their clients' stay.

GREAT RAIL Journeys is promoting its Majesty of Spain tour which takes guests from Gaudi's Barcelona, to the Atlantic seafront of San Sebastián, via the streets of Madrid, Toledo and the golden city of Salamanca. Prices are from £1,998 per person, based on two sharing, and include First and Standard Class rail and coach travel; 11 nights' hotel accommodation with breakfast; one lunch and five dinners; a guided tour of Barcelona and Madrid; an orientation tour of Toledo; a guided tour of Salamanca; entrance to the Guggenheim Museum; transfers; and the services of a tour manager. For details see www.greatrail.com

LD Lines launches new service from Dorset to Santander LD LINES has announced the introduction of a new UK to Spain service between Poole (Dorset) and Santander in Northern Spain. Complementing the line's existing France to Spain route between Saint Nazaire, south of Brittany and Gijón in Northern Spain, the service represents a major development to the company’s creation of an Atlantic ferry network, providing new links to serve the UK, French, Spanish and Portuguese freight and tourist markets, and making regions such as the Algarve within easier reach for UK motorists. The new service will provide two return sailings weekly between Poole and Santander with a crossing time of 26 hours. Introducing the new Poole – Santander link will be the Norman Asturias with capacity for up to 500 passengers, 200 cars or 110 freight vehicles. Onboard facilities include 120 cabins, a bar, restaurant, shop, cinema and a childrens’ entertainment area. The Norman Asturias, currently operating the line's Saint Nazaire to Gijón route, will be replaced by her sister ship, the Scintu. The introduction of a two ship service will increase the potential for integration and further improve efficiencies in the company's Atlantic operations. The line's CEO, Christophe Santoni, said, “This exciting new project will be a key addition to our existing route between France and Spain and establish an Atlantic network by providing new travel and transport links for tourist and freight markets between Portugal, Spain, France and the UK. Significantly, the timing of the introduction reflects growing confidence and evidence of signs of recovery for many European economies.” Special introductory offer fares for the new service start from £399 return for a car and two passengers and include a cabin. For more information or to book visit www.ldlines.com or call 0844-856 5498.

Superbreak boosts property offering with four new hotels in Valencia, Madrid and Barcelona SUPERBREAK HAS added four new hotels in key Spanish cities, further boosting its accommodation-only options in popular destinations such Valencia, Madrid and Barcelona. Providing additional choices for agents to book, all hotels can be booked as accommodation-only or flights can also be added from a range of UK airports and all packages have full ATOL protection. In Valencia, the four-star Husa Mas Camerena Hotel has been added with prices leading in at £23.50 per person per night including breakfast. In Barcelona, two new hotels are featured - the three-star Praktit Ramla and the four-star

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Roger De Lluna, priced from £59 and £63.50 respectively, the latter offering breakfast; and in Madrid, the four-star Holiday Inn Las Tablas is new, with prices from £31 for room-only. Prices are based on two sharing in late January next year and flight-inclusive package prices lead in at £170 per person including two nights’ accommodation at the Holiday Inn Las Tablas in Madrid and flights with easyJet from Gatwick. All hotels are fully commissionable and bookable online at www.superbreak.com/agents. For more information call 0871-221 4444.

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uk&ireland Bay from Little Orme

A focus on...Llandudno: Inspire your clients to take a staycation in North Wales LLANDUDNO IS situated in North Wales between the Welsh mainland and the Great Orme peninsula. The town has enjoyed its moniker as the ‘Queen of the Welsh seaside resorts’ since the latter half of the 19th century. Enthusiastic development of the marsh lands behind Llandudno Bay turned the one-time sleepy copper mining village into a thriving resort by the end of the century. The fruits of the Victorian recognition of the natural beauty of the Llandudno area can be seen to this day such as the Parade of Llandudno’s North Shore, the Grade II listed pier and the Happy Valley gardens, which contain a number of wooden-carved fantasy figures from Alice in Wonderland, a nod to the childhood summer holidays spent in Llandudno by the real-life Alice Liddell. The trail will be extended across the town to include a brand new digital and interactive element in spring 2014. Hotels In keeping with a seaside resort of its pedigree, accommodation in Llandudno caters for a range of tastes. Agents might want to recommend the St George’s Hotel to more mature clients who would appreciate the hotel’s attention to detail such as the red-carpeted steps which lead up to main reception and the grand dining hall replete with highly decorated stucco reliefs and ceiling roses. Decorated in a traditional manner but nonetheless equipped with all the mod-cons that the discerning traveller would expect, room rates start from £140 per room per night in low season. Couples, on the other hand, might be tempted by the Quay Hotel and Spa just a few miles down the road at the sedate marina of Deganwy. Rooms start from £120 per room per night based on two sharing with breakfast included. Penthouse suites are also available which offer fantastic views across the Conwy Estuary and the medieval walled city of Conwy. As its name suggests, guests of the hotel can also take advantage of the spa experience at the wellness centre. Available on site is a swimming pool, hydrotherapy pool, steam room and sauna as well as a fully-stocked fitness centre.

Agents who are looking to accommodate families might like to suggest the Imperial Hotel on Mostyn Crescent. As well as exuding the old world elegance that one would expect of the grand seafront hotels, the Imperial also makes a point of welcoming younger guests with complimentary colouring and craft packs, a bucket and spade set and Welsh-made sub zero ice cream. Some rooms offer views across the bay and guests are also able to take advantage of the wellness and fitness centre. Room rates start from £120 per room per night including breakfast in low season. Things to do For outdoor activities try tubing and tobogganing. Just a brisk five-minute walk from Llandudno seafront is the Cresta toboggan run, Wales’ longest toboggan run, which is ideal for adventurous kids and adults alike. Alternatively, join the 120,000 passengers who every year make their journey to the summit of the Great Orme on the Great Orme Tramway. The windowless carriages are the originals that were ferrying people to enjoy the bracing sea air and breathtaking views more than 100-years ago. There are a range of activities suitable for rainy days including the Homefront Experience in central Llandudno. The experience is an ideal opportunity for young and old to experience the sights and sounds of wartime Britain. This living museum brings history to life with guided tours and lifelike displays, shop fronts and tableaux. A 15-minute drive from central Llandudno is Theatr Colwyn. Built in the 1800s, this is the oldest working cinema in the UK and Wales’ oldest theatre. It hosts a mixture of live performances, cinema and community work. Top tip for clients Home Cookin’ in central Llandudno is a well kept secret. The family run restaurant serves quality food in cosy surroundings and offers a perfect venue for a meal that the whole family will enjoy.

Experience Nottinghamshire website more accessible for mobile users EXPERIENCE NOTTINGHAMSHIRE has introduced new developments to its website to make the site more accessible to mobile and tablet users. Users on the move will now find it easier to find out about the abundance of things they are able to

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do in Nottingham and the wider county including city centre shopping, nightlife across the region and accommodation in the area. For details see www.experiencenottinghamshire.com Meanwhile, a new website,

November 15 2013

www.nottinghamevents.uk.com has been launched to provide event organisers with instant access to more than 40 venues in the city along with specialist support and assistance from a dedicated conference and events team.

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uk&ireland

The new boating escapes from Hoseasons

Hoseasons announces new luxury boating collection aimed at families, couples & groups HOSEASONS HAS announced an exclusive new collection of first class boating escapes called ‘Starboard’, which combines the freedom of a boating holiday with a first-class holiday experience. The boating escapes will be aimed at families, couples and groups of friends, looking to try a new holiday experience coupled with a high level of service and amenities, and a total of 20 Starboard boats will be available at four bases across the canal network of England and three bases on the Norfolk Broads, with boats sleeping between two and eight people. The operator's managing director, Simon Altham, said: “Over the past five years we have successfully launched new products in the Lodges and Parks marketplace after experiencing a growth in desire for this type of accommodation and the natural next stage was to develop a new boating collection. “Boating holidays are a fantastic way to explore the UK’s rivers, canals and inland waterways, but our research has told us that often this type of experience isn’t immediately associated with the highest quality accommodation.

Starboard has been designed to bridge this gap and offer luxury boating with a touch of class to our customers – old and new. What we’ve learnt in launching other new product ranges is that consumers expect an experience that is as good or better than home, and while boats are a unique way of taking a holiday, holidaymakers still want high quality linen, technology to use iPods, iPads and MPS players, along with guides to local gastro-pubs. "The boats will offer contemporary interiors with top quality kitchen facilities, living areas and bedrooms. While each boat will have its own individual feel, there will also be a universal level of quality across all the fleet with flat screen TVs, DVD players, welcome packs, games and binoculars, guides to local wildlife and the ability to carry bikes on board." To enhance the holiday experience, customers will also receive a starter pack containing Champagne, priority check-in, outdoor blankets for the cool evenings and the ability to book short breaks throughout the season. For more information visit www.hoseasons.co.uk or call 0844-847 1100.

Haven marks 2014 brochure launch with agent competition HAVEN HAS issued its new 2014 brochure offering information on new products, activities and entertainment. To mark the launch of the brochure, agents will receive a pack which includes a handy agent guide, early booking offers, exclusive discounts with savings of up to an extra 10% off for travel agent customers only, customer exclusive offer leaflets and stickers, plus a competition to win £50 High Street vouchers or a cuddly Brainz. For guests who like to splash around, new water features have been installed at Doniford Bay and Lakeland, while the entire swimming pool complex at Burnham-on-Sea is being refurbished. For family fun, a new adventure trail has been introduced at Hafan Y Mor

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whilst at selected parks, coached basketball sessions run by professional players from the British Basketball League will be available. Foodies will love Kiln Park’s new fish and chip takeaway for a true British treat as well as a new Millie’s Cookies venue for those who enjoy sweet treats. Marton Mere holiday park has a new bar and restaurant; its interiors designed to reflect the local area similar to the new restaurant at Craig Tara which has touches of Ayrshire within it. Hafan Y Mor has also refurbished its Live Lounge entertainment venue offering enhanced facilities. The company is also providing new entertainment for little ones with Polly’s Swim a Song where tots can join Polly

for a sing-along as she teaches them how to have fun in the water. A traditional Punch and Judy show hosted by kids' favourite Rory the Tiger will also be added to the list of things to do across the parks. Prices for a 2014 Haven break start from £99 based on up to six sharing a standard two-bedroom caravan for four nights at selected parks and dates throughout spring and autumn. For more information visit www.bourneleisuresales.co.uk

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uk&ireland Warner Leisure Hotels unveils range of festive breaks across 13 properties WARNER LEISURE Hotels is offering a range of festive breaks across its portfolio of 13 UK wide properties designed exclusively for adults wanting to relax over the Christmas and New Year period. Turkey and Tinsel and Dickensian Christmas four-night breaks take place throughout this month and next and allow guests to celebrate and join in the early festive fun. During the breaks, guests are welcomed with mulled wine and mince pies and both feature a traditional Christmas dinner and a new Christmas Music Quiz. New for 2013 and also available on both breaks is a festive show called ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ – a sing along to chart topping Christmas favourites to get everyone in the festive spirit. Also new this year is a traditional ‘Dick Whittington’ pantomime that guests can ‘boo’, hiss, laugh and cheer along to. Guests can also join in a Christmas Carol sing-a-long, place their bets at the all new Dicey Reindeer Racing cheering on their favourite reindeer and participate in a new Christmas Cracker TV Quiz. To celebrate their last evening, guests can join the New Year Party dancing to live music, eating Haggis and listening to a real piper on a Dickensian break, watching the balloon drop at midnight and competing in the new ‘That was the year 2013’ multimedia quiz. Alternatively, guests can book either a four- or five-night Christmas Break starting on December 22 or 23 which offers everything that is

available on a Turkey and Tinsel break (except the New Year party). Guests can also ring in the New Year at a New Year Party on either a three- or four-night break starting on December 29 or 30. Four-night breaks cost from £199 per person, based on two sharing standard plus accommodation on a half-board basis at Corton Coastal, Isle of Wight on a Turkey and Tinsel break on December 9. All Christmas breaks are full board and start from £449, based on two sharing standard accommodation at Norton Grange, Isle of Wight for four nights for a December 23 arrival. New Year breaks start on December 29 or 30 for three or four nights and lead in at £397 per person, based on two sharing on a

full board basis at Norton Grange, Isle of Wight for four nights for a December 29 arrival. Meanwhile, the company has launched its 2014 brochure with early booking offers, new activities, new bedroom suites and new dining options. Early booking offers include a guaranteed 50% off thousands of rooms and low deposit options of £35 per person. There is also an extra £10 saving on seven-night holidays and an extra £5 saving on three- or fournight breaks. Early booking offers also include half price ferry fares to the Isle of Wight on bookings for selected months at Bembridge Coast and Norton Grange. All early booking offers are valid for breaks booked by January 31, 2014.

Greentraveller launches Cornwall guide to help reduce carbon footprint

THREE SMALL GROUP, comfort-standard tours exploring the Celtic culture, dramatic landscapes and abundant wildlife of Scotland and Ireland, have been added to Peregrine’s 2014 Europe programme. As an example, an eight-day Ireland’s Wonders option leads in at £1,865 per person, based on two sharing. The tour soaks up the Emerald Isle’s scenery with a boat tour along the Cliffs of Moher, a scenic drive to the Dingle Peninsula and a hike around Wicklow National Park. A traditional Irish lunch and a pint of Guinness at a local pub are also included.

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AN ONLINE travel guide has launched helping visitors to Cornwall reduce their carbon footprint whilst maximising their experience and fun. Created by the sustainable tourism experts, Greentraveller, the guide brings together a selection of places to stay which have been handpicked for their top eco credentials, and salutes pubs, restaurants and cafes who have gone the extra mile with their green efforts. Reviews by travel writers and independent contributors sit amongst the 125 green listings and provide insider tips for enjoying Cornwall's burgeoning green ethos while contributing to the local economy. There's also information to encourage visitors to explore Cornwall by public transport plus event details and activity suggestions. For details see www.greentraveller.co.uk/greenholidays-cornwall

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uk&ireland

GREAT RAIL Journeys is promoting a new Highland All-Inclusive tour which is based on the banks of the River Ness in the Scottish Highlands. The five-day tour costs from £375 per person and includes four nights' hotel accommodation with breakfast, three lunches and four dinners with wine, drinks between 19:00 and 22:00 each evening, two nights' entertainment in the hotel, an excursion to Loch Ness and the Loch Ness Exhibition Centre, a tour and tasting at the Glen Ord Distillery, a journey on the scenic Kyle Line from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh and the services of a tour manager. For details visit www.greatrail.com

Isle of Wight Christmas offers from £134 on self-catering from Wightlink WIGHTLINK HAS lined up a trio of Christmas ideas for a festive getaway to the Isle of Wight. Prices start from £134 per person for a self-catering treehouse escape or £430 for a gourmet break, including car ferry crossings from Portsmouth or Lymington. The Hambrough in Ventnor is offering a three-night gourmet break, complete with a seven-course festive feast and Boxing Day brunch from £430, based on two sharing. It includes car ferry crossings and is based on a December 24 departure. The break kicks off with mulled wine and an a la carte dinner, before waking up to a stocking and Champagne breakfast on Christmas Day, followed by venison or turkey for dinner, accompanied by six other courses. On December 26, brave

guests can head to the beach to take part in a Boxing Day swim before tucking into brunch and a Hambrough Bloody Mary or Bucks Fizz. For a traditional Christmas with all the trimmings, clients can head to Priory Bay on the Isle of Wight’s north-east coast on December 24. The country house hotel is offering a special three-night package from £678, based on two sharing. It includes car ferry crossings, mince pies and mulled wine on arrival, followed by a four-course Christmas Eve dinner. After releasing sky lanterns at midnight and attending an optional midnight church service, festivities on December 25 begin with breakfast before Champagne and canapés, a traditional Christmas lunch and a visit from Father Christmas. A falconry display, whisky

and spirit tasting and five-course Boxing Day tasting menu are also included. Meanwhile, a large family looking for a festive break with a difference can spend Christmas at Into the Woods Treehouse and Shepherd’s Hideaway. The TV-free back-to-nature retreat comes complete with Christmas decorations, puzzles and games, as well as offering woodburning stoves and free WiFi. Surrounded by farmland and woods, the treehouse and cluster of shepherd’s huts can sleep up to 12 people – ideal for an extended family or group of friends. A four-night selfcatering break, departing on December 23, costs £134 based on 12 sharing and travelling in two cars. For more information or to book call 0871-376 0013 or see wightlink.co.uk

Superbreak launches packages to new Viking exhibition in London AGENTS CAN now book packages for a major new exhibition opening in London next March. Vikings: Life and Legends is the first major exhibition on Vikings to be held at the British Museum for more than 30 years. Running from March 26 to June 22, 2014, swords and axes, coins and jewellery, hoards, amulets and idols will show how Vikings created an international network connecting cultures over four continents. At the centre of the exhibition will be a 37m-long Viking warship, the longest ever found. It will feature many new archaeological discoveries and objects never

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seen before in the UK alongside important Viking Age artefacts from the British Museum’s own collection and elsewhere in Britain and Ireland. Superbreak has a range of packages on sale for agents to promote combining overnight accommodation and entry tickets to the exhibition. Prices start from £64.50 per person based on two sharing and includes a night at the three-star Days Hotel Waterloo and entry to the exhibition. For more information visit www.superbreak.com/agents or call 0871-221 4444.

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uk&ireland Butlins Minehead launches new music festival for 2014 We asked our staff the following question this week: What's on your Christmas wish-list? Publisher: Jeanette Ratcliffe jeanette.ratcliffe@travelbulletin.co.uk An iPad mini

Editor: Lauretta Wright lauretta.wright@travelbulletin.co.uk A hand-held steam cleaner - I've caught the bug from TV's Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners!

Assistant Editor: Jill Sayles jill.sayles@travelbulletin.co.uk Fleecy tartan pyjamas

Contributing Editor: Paul Scudamore post@travelbulletin.co.uk Snow, so I can win something from the bookmakers

Sales Director: Simon Eddolls simon.eddolls@travelbulletin.co.uk Special request this year: a genie!

Advertisement Manager: Tim Podger tim.podger@travelbulletin.co.uk AC Cobra, please!

Online Sales Manager: Nick Boocock nick.boocock@travelbulletin.co.uk Another England Ashes victory Down Under. All done and dusted by the Boxing Day test

Account Manager: Bill Coad bill.coad@travelbulletin.co.uk Socks and pants

Sales Executive: Chris Gascoine chris.gascoine@travelbulletin.co.uk There isn't enough room in this space to list it all!

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

Senior Designer: Genaro Santos genaro.santos@travelbulletin.co.uk Lamborghini Aventador

Assistant Designer: Nicky Valsamakis nicky.valsamakis@travelbulletin.co.uk Playstation 3

Production: Nick Salt production@travelbulletin.co.uk Puppy

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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BUTLINS MINEHEAD is launching a new festival for rock music lovers for 2014. ‘Giants of Rock’ will take place on the weekend of February 7-10 and will feature a host of genuine legends of rock. Guests will be treated to the four-day rock festival in an indoor venue and the event will celebrate some of the greatest rock musicians in history. The three-night Live Music Weekend break costs from £79 per person based on a February 7 arrival and four adults sharing a standard self-catering apartment. It includes tickets to the show and access to all the resort’s facilities and entertainment. Meanwhile, the operator has issued its 2014 brochure which features new activities and facilities as well as multi-million pound investments across all three resorts. New for next year is a fairground at Minehead that will open early next year, while Bognor Regis will see the introduction of 1950s traditional amusements and diner and the Skegness resort will house a new Firehouse Grill restaurant. The company's three resorts will also see a £4million accommodation upgrade as well as a number of new shows being added to the already extensive entertainment line up for 2014. A three-night break costs from £45 per person based on two adults and two children sharing a standard self-catering apartment on selected four-night term-time breaks. For details see www.bourneleisuresales.co.uk or call 0845-070 4742.

Isle of Man Tourism reports boost in visitor numbers ACCORDING TO figures recently released by the Isle of Man Department of Infrastructure, visitor numbers have increased month-on-month during the 2013 summer season, when compared to last year’s numbers. At its highest point to date, air traffic to the Isle of Man jumped by 13% with an additional 8,700 passengers travelling in August, boosting numbers up to 72,718 from 64,018 in 2012. The positive results reflect the Islands 2013 marketing strategy which has seen an increased focus on active and outdoor pursuits. The August 2013 figures top a six-month period of continued growth in visitor numbers meaning the destination is currently up 7% on last year’s visitor numbers overall. Angela Byrne, head of Isle of Man Tourism, said: “The figures are extremely encouraging and reflect our increased focus on the different aspects of our tourism offering. The outdoor adventure category is performing well plus we have a packed calendar of cultural events and historical attractions – all of which marry together to create an exciting destination. “We have a strong presence within the domestic tourism market in the UK and we’ll be looking to build on the success that we’ve seen over the past six months.”

puzzlesolutions Crossword: Across: 1. GARUDA, 3. GRAZ, 7. ANT, 9. HAMBURG, 10. IBIS, 11. WARNER, 14. YELLOW, 16. FALL, 19. KAMPALA, 20. LEI, 21. MANX, 22. RIYADH. Down: 1. GRAVITY, 2. DOHA, 4. ROUEN, 5. ZUG, 6. AMMAN, 8. TUI, 12. RALEIGH, 13. CORAL, 15. LEMON, 17. AKL, 18. BALI, 19. KLM.

Highlighted Word: GREENLAND Travagrams: (top) Korean Air

(bottom) Orient-Express Hotels

Where Am I?: East London

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ÂŁ799pp

IURP

SAVE 2 ÂŁSHUF3RX2 SOHSHUZN

Complimentary room upgrade

Gran Canaria La Gomera Malta 5+Bohemia Suites & Spa HB

4+Jardin Tecina

DEPARTS 11 DEC

DEPARTS 16 DEC

ÂŁ799pp

IURP

SAVE 0 ÂŁSHUF4RX2 SOHSHUZN

Complimentary half board

HB

ÂŁ799pp

IURP

SAVE ÂŁUFRX9SOH4SHUZN SH

Early booking offer

5+The Westin Dragonara B&B DEPARTS 11 DEC

ÂŁ599pp

IURP

BEST PRICE

%RRNEHIRUH1RY

Sardinia 5+Valle dell’Erica Resort HB DEPARTS 27 MAY

ÂŁ1,199pp

IURP

SAVE 6 ÂŁ2RX3 SOHSHUZN SHUF

Sardinia

5+Hotel Capo d’Orso Thalasso & Spa HB DEPARTS 27 MAY

ÂŁ1,159pp

IURP

SAVE 6 ÂŁ2RX3 SOHSHUZN SHUF

Corfu

5+Marbella Beach Club $//,1&/86,9( DEPARTS 14 MAY

ÂŁ769pp

IURP

SAVE 6 ÂŁ1RX9 SOHSHUZN SHUF

Early booking offer

Early booking offer

Early booking offer

%RRNEHIRUH)HE

%RRNEHIRUH)HE

%RRNEHIRUH'HF

Call 0800 008 7288 QLJKWJXLGHSULFHVLQFOXGH*DWZLFNĂ LJKWVDQGSULYDWHWUDQVIHUVPrices & offers subject to availability

Halkidiki 5+Eagles Palace Hotel & Spa HB DEPARTS 15 MAY

ÂŁ869pp

IURP

SAVE 6 ÂŁSHUF1RX9 SOHSHUZN

Early booking offer+FREE half board %RRNEHIRUH'HF

Fly from your local airport 5030


Travel Bulletin 15th November 2013