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October 18 2013 | ISSUE NO 1,846 | www.travelbulletin.co.uk

Canada

New campaign from Ontario Tourism puts focus on luxury offering

this week news 3 Plimsoll study reveals travel agent firms have increased in value

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conference update the latest news from Elite Travel Group’s Edinburgh conference

malta & gozo

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BA launches direct flights to Malta from Gatwick in 2014

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weddings & honeymoons latest research from Kuoni reveals the perfect honeymoon


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e Sav r Ove

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Fantastic TWO WEEK

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li ho

Reservations & Admin 0871 423 8518 Brochure requests: www.trade-gate.co.uk

Cosmos holds an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (ATOL) which is granted by the Civil Aviation Authority.


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newsbulletin BREAST FOOT FORWARD...In aid of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Sunset Faraway Holidays invited agents who had experienced breast cancer or who knew someone close to them who had had the disease to take part in a Cancer Research event taking place in London earlier this month. Pictured with special guest Penny Lancaster (fourth from right) are, from the left: Dinah Makani, Banyan Tree; Sandra Collins, Cannon Travel; Sharon Jones, Sunset Faraway Holidays; Jenny Jackson, TravelPA; Sam Leeding, Sun Resorts; Patricia Darbourne, Sun and Snow; Pauline Stoneman and Jan Walker, Sunways Travel; and Katie Culver, Castaways Travel.

This Week news 3

Cover Pictures: Main - Toronto Harbour, Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation

Inset - Malta, Exodus

findings of Plimsoll study reveal travel agent firms have increased in value

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agent bulletin

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agent review

a round-up of the latest agent booking incentives & offers find out what one agent thought of Brand USA's inaugural megafam

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puzzle bulletin

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bulletin briefing

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conference update

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training

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personality bulletin

17

malta & gozo

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canada

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weddings & honeymoons

your chance to win a £50 M&S voucher by playing Su Doku Long live the High Street says Elite Travel Group

the latest news from the Elite Travel Group annual conference in Edinburgh

details on our latest Travel Gym additions plus new website modules which head of sales says she'd have some fun if she was invisible? Malta announces direct flights from Gatwick with BA in 2014 new campaign from Ontario Tourism puts focus on luxury offering latest research from Kuoni reveals the perfect honeymoon

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bmi regional reveals top trends in female business travel WOMEN ARE more organised, plan further ahead and differ in terms of their travel priorities, according to a survey of more than 1,000 business travellers commissioned by bmi regional to understand the behaviour and demands of women travelling on business. The research reveals that women have their own distinct travel habits that differentiate female travellers from their male colleagues. A quarter of women business travellers fly more now than they did five years ago and women tend to plan their business travel further in advance than men, with 39% making arrangements less than four weeks in advance compared to 20% of men, who tend to plan just a few days ahead. While 28% of women feel safe when abroad for business, 15% prefer to travel with a companion. Women’s adaptability to travel environments has

also been highlighted in research from Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT), which suggests men are far more concerned about status when flying – such as travelling in Premium Class – than their female counterparts. A quarter of respondents said single sex lavatories on aircraft would be a good idea, but only 6% of female respondents in the poll said they would be willing to pay for single sex facilities, and 10% would welcome separate seating sections for women on aircraft. Cathal O’Connell, CEO of the carrier, said: “This research shows that small differences can make all the difference. There are subtle differences in the way men and women travel. Given changes in the UK workforce over recent years, it is perhaps not surprising that the travel sector tries to woo women with female-only hotel floors and adapted

guest rooms, but our results show that female business travellers are not put off from solo travel by what is currently on offer from airlines, hotels and restaurants.” Debbee Dale, vice chair of the Association of Women Travel Executives (AWTE), said: “It is great that companies such as bmi regional and CWT are investing in these types of surveys for women business travellers. Women play a vital role in business and as time goes on and we see even more women take lead roles in organisations, we would like to believe that forward-thinking companies will look after our women business traveller. The needs and wants differ from person to person, however both genders differ in terms of priorities when travelling and we support any organisation that works to meet those wants, needs and priorities.”

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newsbulletin Findings of Plimsoll study find travel agent firms have increased in value A NEW Travel Agents Plimsoll Pricing Guide from business analysts Plimsoll Publishing has confirmed there are encouraging signs for the UK’s larger travel agent firms. The research, which analysed the largest 1,000 agencies, found that the average company value within the sector has increased by 4% and that 289 firms have seen their value soar by 20%. The pricing guide also claims that companies with sales of more than £10m have seen their value rise by 7% and a group of 163 organisations have seen their value increase by 50%. However, the report also states that 208 businesses have seen their value fall by as much as a third. David Pattison, senior analyst on the project said: “This is a great barometer for the industry to measure the overall improvement in the market – albeit a modest increase in the average value. In all we identified 289 companies that have increased in value by 20% and their performance adds to the belief that the overall market has stabilised.”

Pattison added, however, that although some companies have increased in value, there are still signs that the market is a challenging landscape. He said: “Given the tough economic conditions of recent years, 208 firms are seeing their value fall by more than a third and it’s clear the market is still highly competitive and this is impacting on the value of the companies. “Of course a company is only worth what someone is willing to pay – however you need a start point and the pricing guide offers this,” he said. The guide is useful for those looking to compare and understand their own company’s value against the rest of the market. For more information on the pricing guide, which costs £350 plus VAT, contact Chris Glancey on 01642-626419 or email c.glancey@plimsoll.co.uk Readers of Travel Bulletin receive a £50 discount; call and quote PR/PG/HP80.

Taber adds new glamping experiences

BEAR NECESSITIES… Hollie Smith, key account manager at Travel 2, joined Off Broadway Travel at its Luxury Travel Fayre at Knebworth House recently. Hollie attended the show in the Kea campervan to promote holidays to Australia and New Zealand and is pictured with mascot OB Bear.

Savings on India breaks with Abercrombie & Kent ABERCROMBIE & Kent is highlighting a selection of savings on holidays to India this year. As examples, a sevennight Highlights of India option, which takes in Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, offers up to 20% savings and leads in at £1,595 per person, based on two sharing. It includes accommodation in Oberoi hotels, flights, transfers, a

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sunset visit to the Taj Mahal, a feast in the Araveli Hills near Jaipur, a private elephant safari and a further 20% discount on all spa treatments. A nine-day Jodhpur Folk Festival & Indian Adventure has been reduced to £1,695 and includes visits to New Delhi, Jaipur, Jodphur and Udaipur. A highlight of the trip is the Rajasthan

October 18 2013

International Folk Festival, which runs from October 17-21 and showcases traditional music and dance by local and international performers at the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodphur. The package also includes flights, transfers, sightseeing and entrance to one event. For more information or to book visit www.abercrombiekent.co.uk

TABER HOLIDAYS is offering a glamping trip in Sweden for the first time. The Aurora Safari Camp and Sami Adventure tour leads in at £1,975 per person for four nights and includes a night at the luxury Aurora Safari Camp in Swedish Lapland and three nights at the Sörbyn Lodge. Highlights include a night in a traditional fire-heated Sami lavvu; organic, local food; a snowmobile expedition along the frozen Råne River to Flakaberg; meeting a Sami family; a Sami lunch in a wooden tee-pee; and a number of optional excursions such as a moose safari by car or snowmobile, cross-country skiing, ice-fishing and husky sledding. Prices start from £1,975 per person and include flights from Heathrow to Luleå via Stockholm and transfers. The price is based on two sharing and the trip departs daily until March 31, 2014. The final night at Sörbyn can be changed for a night in the Treehotel in nearby Harads. For more information call 01274-875199 or visit www.taberhols.co.uk

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newsbulletin Tweets of the Week Who’s saying what on Twitter... WendyWuToursUK @stomp were amazing at the @TravelBulletin Awards. pic.twitter.com/6vbeEoPXCY @On_The_Go_Tours Book any of our Latin America tours before the end of the month and you could save 15% – interested? http://bit.ly/181xRLl @CIMTIGmarketing Useful resource from @JohnnyJet - a list of #travel tweeters to follow: http://bit.ly/18zTH7w Which travel tweeps do you recommend? @WaltDisneyWorld PHOTO: Take a look at the first @Marvel attraction to open in Hong Kong Disneyland Resort! http://bit.ly/1aiivmp @VisitBritain Looking for a walk? Check out these ten best Autumnal walks: http://ind.pn/151eZxc @traveltraining WIN free tickets to Santa Cruz in Bolivia by successfully completing the Air Europa course before 2014!! http://bit.ly/15PILlQ

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

ALL ABOARD...Flybe has launched a new Rail-Air product in partnership with South West Trains that provides a fast-track train service for passengers needing to travel to and from Southampton Airport (Parkway Station) and London Waterloo. The option to purchase a £30 return ticket is offered via a link after an online flight booking has been confirmed on the airline’s website. There is also a selection of other ticket options including one-way, First Class and children’s fares. Passengers buying a return ticket will also be offered fast-track access through airport security on return to the airport, at no extra cost. Pictured marking the launch are Flybe cabin crew with, from the left: Jan Halliday, Southampton Airport; Samantha McCarthy, South West Trains - Network Rail Alliance; and Flybe UK MD, Andrew Strong. For details visit www.flybe.com

Nassau promotes early booking discounts via trade AGENTS CAN pass on winter savings to their clients with an early booking discount of £125 per person courtesy of the Nassau Paradise Island Promotion (NPIPB) Board. In conjunction with the Islands of the Bahamas, agents booking NPIPB member properties through Thomas Cook Signature and Kuoni can save their clients a significant amount on holiday stays at hotels in Nassau. All bookings made between now and November 30 will be eligible for the offer when clients travel between June and September 2014. For more information visit www.sellnassau.com

Christmas break highlights from Solos Holidays SOLOS HOLIDAYS is highlighting a selection of Christmas breaks for clients looking to experience something different. As examples, a three-night Nostalgic 1940s Christmas break in Northamptonshire, leads in at £499 per person, based on a December 24 arrival. It includes nostalgic quizzes and competitions plus 1940s Tribute Acts. On Christmas Day guests are treated to carol singing, a full traditional Christmas lunch, the Queen’s speech and a full 1940's variety show. Also included is a day trip to Warwick Castle on Boxing Day. Meanwhile, a three-night Christmas in Prague option leads in at £699, based on a December 23 departure. Guests have time to take in the Christmas markets, along with a guided walking tour of the old town and a trip to Prague Castle. Christmas Day includes a festive lunch at a local restaurant with Czech specialities, followed by a glass or two of premium Czech beer at one of the city’s bars. For more information call 0844-371 8860 or see www.solosholidays.co.uk

Cox & Kings adds new tours in Far East and Latin America brochures for 2014 COX & Kings has launched its Far East and Latin America brochures for 2014. New Far East tours include a 13day/11-night Highlights of Thailand, which includes a visit to the Golden Triangle near Chiang Rai, and leads in at £2,795 per person. Alternatively, an 11-day/nine-night Yunnan Explorer tour in China ventures into the lesser-known

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Yunnan province and leads in at £2,995. In Latin America, a new itinerary combines a four-day journey on the Train Crucero, travelling from Quito to Guayaquil. The journey includes overnight stays in traditional haciendas or hotels and guided excursions to places of interest en route. The seven-day/six-night tour, including two nights in Quito and the

train journey, costs from £1,295 per person, excluding flights. Also new for next year is a second escorted tour to Cuba, A Journey through Cuba, which explores historic cities and colonial towns over 13 days and leads in at £1,895. All prices (unless specified) include flights, transfers, guided excursions, breakfast accommodation and other meals as listed.

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newsbulletin UAE debut from Conrad Hotels & Resorts HILTON WORLDWIDE has brought its global brand to the UAE with the official opening of Conrad Dubai. The 555-room luxury hotel marks the entry of Conrad Hotels & Resorts into the region, after the company’s regional opening of the Waldorf Astoria Ras al Khaimah Hotel, which began welcoming guests in early August. The hotel is located within a short distance of the city’s traditional commercial landmarks and offers a mix of deluxe rooms, executive rooms and a choice of two different styles of executive suites, and all offer rain showers, luxurious toiletries and the latest in-room technology with entertainment docking stations. A mobile Conrad Concierge app is also available, which gives guests the option to customise details of their hotel stay before, during and after each visit via a smartphone or tablet. For more information visit www.conradhotels.com

Newsbites ●

WORLD TRAVEL Market has added a number of high profile speakers to complete its largest blogging programme which includes key topics for both the blogging and travel industries. They include Professional Travel Bloggers Association European board member, Laurel Robbins; RBBV founder, Claudia Saleh; and Matador Network CEO, Ross Borden. DAN HOTELS has introduced free Wi-Fi zones in all 14 of its hotels. Guests will now be able to take advantage of complimentary Internet access in the lobby area of every hotel at all times. IN RESPONSE to the current boom in ‘heritage tourism’ and visitor feedback from the 2013 show, Best of Britain & Ireland 2014 has announced a new custom built feature area, ‘Historical Gems’. The new zone will give historical houses, gardens and attractions the opportunity to exhibit in a dedicated, branded area at next year's show, which takes place from March 12-13 at The NEC, Birmingham. For details see www.bobi.org.uk AS PART of Thistle Hotels' Otium Energiser initiative, all business delegates at Thistle Bristol City Centre, The Grand have the opportunity to take part in a series of activities to help enhance their creativity and productivity for the day. The pilot initiative will be rolled out across further hotels upon guest feedback. For more information email mark.kelly@thistle.co.uk

Short breaks boost for Virgin Holidays

LAP OF LUXURY…On October 2, the Soho Hotel in London’s West End was the setting for the second night of the British Virgin Islands’ 2013 Luxury UK Road Show. Pictured collecting her prize of a trip to the British Virgin Islands is Carolyn Lodge (right) from Carolyn Lodge Travel, with Ginny Hawksley and Russell Harrigan from the British Virgin Islands Tourist Board.

VIRGIN HOLIDAYS reports that it is seeing strong winter bookings for South Africa plus an increase in interest for short breaks to Cape Town. As an example of prices, a seven-night breakfast stay at the Protea Hotel President leads in at £1,237 per person including scheduled flights with Emirates (via Dubai) and transfers. The price is based on two sharing a mountain facing room and includes all applicable taxes and fuel surcharges for an October 22 departure. For more information see www.vhols4agents.co.uk or call 0844-557 3973.

Next phase of £6.5million development project begins at Bristol Airport WORK HAS commenced at Bristol Airport on a £6.5m project to construct a central walkway which will aim to ease departure lounge congestion during peak travel times. Once completed, the new walkway will include four new pre-boarding zones serving up to six departure gates. The 3,880sq m structure will connect directly to the departure lounge and will be served by an escalator, six lifts, food and drink vending, plus toilet facilities. All gates will be within 105m or less of the main terminal and the walkway

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will provide improved access to the existing forward coaching lounge currently used by passengers boarding bmi regional flights. The design of the new facility takes into account the latest generation of twin-engine, wide-body jets, such as the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350, with provision made for the addition of an airbridge for passengers boarding potential long-haul flights in future. International construction services company ISG has been appointed to deliver the project and work is

Central walkway, Bristol Airport development

scheduled to be completed by summer next year.

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newsbulletin Holidays By Rail adds new rail-sail packages for 2014

SELLING SANDALS…Gary Atwell, business development manager for Scotland and the North East at Sandals, recently brought the operator’s dedicated training service to Charlie Reid Travel in Kirkcaldy. Pictured with Gary in a post-training session are, from the left, the agency’s Jenny Reid, Julie Reid and Fiona Liddell.

NCL launches ‘Norwegians go wild in Alaska’ freestyle cruising brochure NORWEGIAN CRUISE Line has launched its 2014 ‘Norwegians go wild in Alaska’ freestyle cruising brochure. Throughout the 2014 season, the Norwegian Pearl, Jewel and Sun ships will sail in the region and clients can choose from a range of itineraries departing from Seattle, Vancouver and Whittier, visiting Alaskan ports such as Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, as well as natural highlights like Sawyer Glacier and Glacier Bay. Guests looking to explore Alaska’s Denali National Park can also choose from two CruiseTour packages. The threeand four-night tours are fully escorted by local Alaskan guides and can be booked in combination with Norwegian Sun’s seven-night Glacier Bay tour from Vancouver or the seven-night Sawyer Glacier tour from Whittier. For the first time, customers will also be able to book their Rocky Mountaineer experience through the cruise line, to explore the Canadian Rockies on two different packages that combine a seven-night Alaska cruise with a two- or three-day train ride that stops in Jasper, Banff, Lake Louise or Calgary, both of which include a helicopter sightseeing tour. An example of itineraries is a nine-night Sawyer Glacier from Whittier fly/cruise on Norwegian Sun. Departing regularly from June 1-September 7, the itinerary travels to Anchorage, Whittier, Hubbard Glacier, Icy Strait Point, Juneau, Sawyer Glacier, Skagway, Ketchikan, and Inside Passage in Vancouver. Prices lead in at £1,819 per person, based on a September 7 departure from Heathrow. Brochures are available to order at www.trade-gate.co.uk and offers are bookable via the line’s London office.

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HOLIDAYS BY Rail has added two new rail-sail combination itineraries to its US product line for early departures next year. The Southwest Chief & Panama Canal itinerary takes travellers from Chicago across America’s southwest by train to Los Anegles. Upon arrival, there is a guided sightseeing tour before transferring to the cruise terminal where guests board their cruise ship for a 14-night sailing. Ports of call include Cabo San Lucas (Mexico), San Juan del Sur (Nicaragua), Puntarena (Costa Rica), the Panama Canal, Cartagena (Columbia), and Aruba, concluding in Miami. March and April departures are available from £2,906 per person

land-only, based on double occupancy. Meanwhile, a California Zephyr with Hawaiian Cruise offers a 19-day break which begins with a two-night rail journey across the Colorado Rockies to San Francisco, followed by a 14-night sailing to Hilo, Honolulu, Kauai, Maui and Ensenada (Mexico). January through March departures are available with prices starting at £2,567 per person land-only, based on double occupancy. The addition of the two packages brings the total number of rail-sail packages to 32, of which 16 showcase destinations throughout North America. For details call 0800-033 7960 or visit www.holidaysbyrail.com

Go

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WEBSCLUSIVES ●

Video footage from the 2013 Travel Bulletin Star Awards ceremony can be viewed now on our Youtube channel. Clips include a brief highlights montage and interviews with some of our delighted Winners. Go to www.youtube.com/travelbulletin

Agents can win up to £150 in Love2Shop vouchers, courtesy of our competition with Iceland Travel. Go to: www.travelbulletin.co.uk/competitions

St Helena Tourism is offering travel agents to chance to win an iPad4. All you have to do is answer 3 quick questions on this unique island. Enter at: www.travelbulletin.co.uk/competitions

All this and more at:

www.travelbulletin.co.uk The home of the web savvy travel agent www.travelbulletin.co.uk


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agentbulletin Booking incentives ●

AS PART of Travel 2’s ‘Secret Side of South Africa’ campaign, the company is giving agents the chance to win one of four secret prizes each worth up to £500 to help promote the hidden gems and roads less travelled in the ‘Land of the Springboks.’ The operator has teamed up with South Africa Tourism and South Africa Airlines to give agents the chance to win one of the four mystery incentives. To be entered into the prize draw, agents need to make a new South Africa holiday booking by October 31 which includes a minimum three days’ ground arrangements. If the booking includes flights with South Africa Airlines, agents will double their chance of winning by receiving an additional entry into the draw. The company has also announced

that agents making bookings this month - from car hire to package cruise bookings - will be rewarded in shopping vouchers ranging from £5 to £30. Bookings that include Air France, KLM, Delta or Alitalia made by October 21 can earn a bonus payment of £10. For more information visit www.travel2.com ●

VILLA SELECT has extended its Love2Shop voucher incentive for all bookings made for October departures. Agents making a booking this month (for travel this month) will be rewarded with a £10 voucher. To claim, email admin@villaselect.com with the booking reference, name and agent information.

Training update HONG KONG Tourism Board has re-launched a new trade information portal, Partnernet, which has been designed to provide operators and agents with tools to promote Hong Kong. The site is divided into eight

sections for easy navigation, covering the latest industry news, new developments in the tourism sector, information on cruises and details of meetings and exhibitions. Registered users can also access an expansive photo library, tour

products and services database, plus keep up to date with the latest trade events. For more information email laoise.collins@hktb.com or see http://partnernet.hktb.com (Training - page 14)

Agent competition THE LONDON-BASED Turkish Culture & Tourism Office (TCTO) has announced a new social media competition offering the chance to win a trip to Istanbul. The competition ends on November 30 and the prize comprises of a pair of return flights from London to Istanbul and four nights’ stay at the Ramada Istanbul Taksim on a bed-and-breakfast basis. To enter, click on ‘Like’ on the Turkish Culture and Tourism Office’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/goto turkeyuk. The winner will be selected randomly.

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HOP ONBOARD…Qantas Airways recently launched a new incentive programme offering loyal agents the chance to win a pair of return Economy tickets to Dubai including transfers and a three-night stay at the Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel. Pictured is the first winner, Chris Levering ton from Flight Centre High Street Kensington, with the carrier’s Hazel Young. For details see www.qantas.co.uk/agents October 18 2013

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newsbulletin

MOVERS

agentreview Samantha Morrison from Simply luxury by Travel 2 went on Brand USA's inaugural megafam for a week. Here's what she thought of the itinerary...

First impressions ..............................10/10 It was 10/10 for BA, Avis and Entry USA Gateway, but ground staff at AA were not so friendly and we almost missed our flight (although this could be airport staff as opposed to airline staff). In Miami, we were there for 24hours and managed to see and do so much - again a perfect score.

● ALEX GISBERT has been appointed group chief marketing

officer of Lowcosttravelgroup. ● GEOFF SPOONER has been appointed as the new general

manager at Warwick Castle. ● JANE MONTGOMERIE has joined Scandinavia’s SAS Group as

key account manager for Scotland and Newcastle. ● VERANDA LEISURE and Hospitality Group (VLH) has

● ●

● ●

Highlight of the fam experience? ......10/10 Nashville and New Orleans stood out the most for me. Being backstage at the Grand Ole Opry was a once-in-alifetime experience. New Orleans should be on everyone's bucket list.

Accommodation highlight ..................10/10 I loved the Gaylord in Nashville but the Marriots were all exceptional in location. A special mention for my hotel in South Beach with the magnificent views.

● ●

appointed Katie Deering as sales executive for the southern region. CLAIRE MAHON has joined Jumeirah Carlton Tower, London as MICE sales manager. PETER LONG, chief executive of TUI Travel plc, has been named as the new president of the Family Holiday Association charity. EDWARDIAN GROUP London has appointed Fiona Morgan as group director of sales. JAMES WIDGREN has joined the Kyoto Convention Bureau as international marketing manager. HILTON LONDON Wembley has welcomed its new general manager, Bernadette Gilligan, following the retirement of her predecessor, Jack Nicholas. AMG LTD. has appointed Tony Lloyd as account director responsible for heading up two new clients, Asia Reps and Focus Asia. WENDY WU Tours has appointed Joe Sutcliffe as head of product and marketing. CRYSTAL CRUISES has appointed Edie Bornstein as president and chief operating officer.

Restaurant service ............................10/10 I didn't have any special requests but found the general service to be fantastic.

Good to know ............................................ Don't just use Atlanta as a transit - this city has so much to offer and you can easily have a couple of nights here. Encourage clients to visit the famous Coca Cola Museum and don't miss a visit to the church, where the Reverend Martin Luther King was a preacher.

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

10/ 10

DAY BREAK...Members of The Global Travel Group recently visited Crystal Cruises’ Serenity at the port of Holyhead in Anglesey, Wales. The day included a ship tour, Champagne and a four-course lunch. Pictured toasting the ship are, from the left: Sue Singleton, Liberty Travel; Rachel Greenough and Pascale Tanton, The Global Travel Group; Nia Helen Hughes, Orme Travel; and Cherie Richards, The Global Travel Group.

Travel Indochina rewards early bookers

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

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October 18 2013

TRAVEL INDOCHINA is encouraging customers to book early with a range of discounts on some of its best-selling Small Group Journeys, inclusive of flights. Clients who book by October 31, for travel from March 1, 2014, can save up to 10% on its most popular escorted tours to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Burma, China, India and Japan. As an example, a 12-night 'Vietnam Insight' journey, which begins in Hanoi and explores its historic sites with a night cruising Halong Bay, leads in at £1,845 per person with guaranteed departures every Friday. For details see www.travelIndochina.co.uk

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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: 132

A Eradicates Revision Gummy

A➠

B➠ This cruise liner’s name is self-explanatory

C➠

Jibe Gin

D➠ Fill in all the squares in the grid so that each row, column and each of the 3 x 3 squares contains the digits 1-9. Once you have completed the puzzle, simply identify the numbers that relate to the letters, A, B, C and D then e-mail the solution, with your name, company name, and full postal address plus phone and ABTA number if applicable to:

This city hosted the Summer Olympics in 2008

Where Am I?

competition@travelbulletin.co.uk Closing date for entries is Thursday, October 24th. Solution and new puzzle will appear next week. The winner for 4th October is Michael Salama, Thomas Travel Agents in Cardiff. October 4 Solution: A=9 B=4 C=7 D=1

Trio of peaks in Alberta or tube stop on the Victoria Line.

Crossword Fill in the crossword to reveal the mystery location highlighted by the green squares. Across 1. Holiday operator offering More Affordable Luxury (8)

Down 1. Lanky footballer husband of Strictly contestant Abbey (5,6)

7. Scotland's largest city (7)

2. London Tube station and exhibition centre, ___ Court (5)

Number: 132

8. Country hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics (6)

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9. Traditional seaside attraction, can offer amusement (4)

3. Flows through Turkey and Iraq (6)

11. Lake Garda resort (4)

5. Tourist attraction on the Thames (5,6)

13. Ferry operator to France and the Channel Isles (6)

6. Fruit, looks and sounds unsightly (4)

16. Country on the Black Sea bordering 8 Across (7)

12. TV detective played by Brenda Blethyn (4)

17. Dover is the state capital (8)

15. Resort city on the French Riviera (4)

4. Austrian city (4)

10. State capital of Kansas (6) 14. UK's top selling cookery author, ___ Smith (5)

For the solution to the Crossword, Where Am I? and Travagrams, please see page 30 October 18 2013

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bulletinbriefing

Industry Insight by... Long live the High Street: Neil W Basnett, chief executive of Elite Travel Group, highlights the issues faced by High Street shops... T HAS long been felt that the UK travel industry forgets what a wonderful leisure destination we are here in this country. I have just returned from the Elite Travel Group Conference in Edinburgh and what a beautiful city it is! I am sure that for many who are fortunate enough to live there, they very often take their own city for granted. Sometimes, it is worthwhile stepping back just to fully appreciate one’s own surroundings without having to be reminded by visitors. I am lucky enough to live in Stratford-upon-Avon so I know only too well the charms of a small, market town but one which attracts more than four million visitors each year, primarily down to one man: William Shakespeare. Many locations would do anything to have had such a prominent resident! It is not just Edinburgh itself which makes Scotland such an attractive holiday destination. We were given a presentation by Visit Scotland, which in just 20 minutes left us with a truly lasting impression of “a relatively compact country that packs a lot in”. In addition to the history of its cities, it offers a diverse range of cultural attractions, truly outstanding loch and mountain scenery, beautiful beaches and an almost non-stop choice of events and festivals throughout the year, including the world-famous Military Tattoo and Fringe Festival in Edinburgh itself: London, Cape Town and Sydney are the only real rivals to Edinburgh for New Year’s Eve celebrations! Guaranteed warm and sunny weather for many however is a pre-requisite for a holiday in which case Scotland may not suit! For many clients however, they look for more from a holiday than a sun-tan in which case do not rule out recommending Scotland to them as it has so much to offer. Many fullycommissionable products are available through the travel trade so never be put off supporting our own UK travel industry! I spoke at our conference about the problems faced by High Streets and we are constantly bombarded with headlines about the death of the High Street as we know it. Many in our own industry constantly state their opinion that there is no future at all for the High Street but not surprisingly, their business empires revolve around homeworkers. The sad fact remains that High Street businesses continue to close at a rate of 18 shops daily. I am fortunate to live in an affluent town where we only have 6% of our shops currently empty but in some of the more depressed towns, anything up to 50% of

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October 18 2013

"The vast majority of independent travel agencies need to have vibrant High Streets as higher footfall is then guaranteed, resulting in a better chance of clients coming into the office" shops lie empty. The vast majority of independent travel agencies need to have vibrant High Streets as higher footfall is then guaranteed, resulting in a better chance of clients coming into the offices. I personally have been involved in the compilation of our town’s Neighbourhood Plan and one of the benefits that I have gleaned from this has been working with other businesses on the High Street, whether multiple or independent companies. All of us without exception acknowledge the threat to our survival from the Internet, but equally we appreciate that it is here to stay and that it can actually hugely assist us. Websites assist us every day when making sales and allow us to gather information for clients that previously would have taken forever! We have been reminded recently about how terrorism continues to affect tourism. The horrendous siege in the Westgate shopping centre in the upmarket Westlands suburb of Nairobi just proves how volatile the world is and how such appalling acts have an immediate drastic impact on tourism. Many third-world countries like Kenya are heavily reliant upon tourism and incidents such as the Westgate siege merely spread panic amongst travellers. Fortunately the British are more resilient than many other nationalities but even though this attack took place in an area of the city not frequented by tourists, there is no denying that it will deter some future clients from travelling to Kenya. This is sad as it remains a country offering some of the best holidays available, including superb wildlife safaris combined with stunning beaches. Let us hope that the after-shock of this attack lasts only temporarily so that Kenya can maintain its position as an outstanding holiday destination. www.travelbulletin.co.uk


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newsbulletin The Elite Conference 2013 took place last weekend at the Apex International Hotel in Edinburgh. Titled ‘Don’t Wait Until Tomorrow’ here’s a look at the issues discussed. Elite advises members to adapt & evolve to tackle current business problems

CUP CAKES GALORE... Nicky Graham (middle) from CMV - sponsor of the coffee break - offers the treats to Derek Ketteridge of Tour Indemnity (left); and Chris Farrell from Holidaze.

NEIL BASNETT, chief executive of Elite Travel Group, used the strapline ‘Don’t Wait Until Tomorrow’ at the conference, urging agents to act on business problems today, offer quality service, learn to adapt and evolve and go back to basics in order to survive. He reminded delegates of the importance of the High Street. He said: “We’re always being told about the death of the High Street” and “all of us will benefit if we continue to have healthy High Streets”, warning delegates of the growing competition of online bookings threatening travel agencies. Basnett also touched on the issue of discounting. He said: It never goes away and sadly it’s the same old names. Total price parity is our aim and total transparency has to be the objective; either work with the trade or don’t.” Meanwhile, it was announced that three members have recently opened new branches - Journey The World, Milington Travel and Carrick Travel, and the group has recently taken on a new East Midlands’ member with a five-year business plan working with the Post Office – a ‘fundamental’ part of the High Street.

ATOL Reform – is there a light at the end of the tunnel for travel agents? ON DISCUSSING the ATOL Reform at the conference, Alan Bowen from AGB Associates said the need to change again came from people being ‘paranoid’ and not knowing what was happening with the existing system. According to Bowen, the Association of ATOL Companies (AAC) worked on finding a better system with the aim of improving consumer clarity, increasing the scope of protection, minimising the cost to the travel industry and simplifying the system. It asked its members whether they want less regulation or none at all. Some 95% believed there should be one regulator, and of those, 70% said it should be the CAA and 25% said the regulator should be independent.

Some 90% of AAC members said licencing adds credibility and increases sales and no one believed that customers can tell the difference between the honest and dishonesty without a licencing system. After discounting Credit Card cover or bringing back bonding options, the AAC proposes a policy of insurance against failure and has costed a policy that would protect claims up to £350m a year. The benefits to this are there’s no risk to governments, the insurer can choose not to cover a company they do not trust and insurance is a concept understood by consumers. The proposals are currently with the Department of Transport and an announcement is expected in March next year.

In a question and answer session, Tracey Carter of Carrick Travel asked whether the responsibility of issuing the ATOL Certificate is on the agent or the tour operator. Bowen said: “I couldn’t care less who issues it,” however he continued by saying that the onus is ultimately on the travel agent. Bowen also announced that new funding had been secured to fund another consumer ATOL publicity campaign starting this Christmas, and that following its first campaign, the ATOL Protected branding is well known and is ‘overtaking’ ABTA in terms of recognition. For details see ww.packpeaceofmind.co.uk

InBrief ● NOEL JOSEPHIDES, ABTA chairman, spoke about the updated

package travel directive and how it will affect agents. He told delegates there’s still a long way to go with the process which began in 2008 and he expects it will not be ready until 2017. He said: “You’ll get used to things by the time implementation comes along but more clarification is needed on lots of issues and ABTA cannot avoid the ‘tightening up’ that’s going to happen.” ● VISIT SCOTLAND is hosting a travel trade Scotland Workshop on Thursday, October 24 in Sutton Coldfield with 16 Scottish tourism suppliers in a speed networking format. It was also announced that the Visit Scotland Expo takes place in Glasgow on April 9 & 10, 2014. For details see www.visitscotlandtraveltrade.com ● CONSUMER RESEARCH in the independent travel sector by

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Advantage Travel Centres revealed that customers are predominently elderly couples, empty nesters and single pensioners. Some 37% of customers are 65 years and over and 8% are 25-34 years. A total of 87% book through independent agents, while 50% book online. With agents, clients are booking coach trips, cruise, round the world trips but not flight-only, city breaks, bucket & spade and domestic holidays. Some 18% of those surveyed said they got holiday ideas from travel agents, while the majority are researching online but going to an agent to do the booking. In order to survive, the advice was that agents need to be consistent, deliver top-notch customer service, invest in training, make customers feel valued and use social media. Travel agents should also be targeting younger age groups and different types of trips.

October 18 2013

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training

NO TRAIN NO GAIN Travel Bulletin is delighted to announce the launch of Travel Gym, our own 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... FOR ALMOST 30 years Riviera Travel have been operating award winning tours, cities and river cruises. Our quality to price ratio is second to none. After completing our training modules you will have the confidence to sell our products and discover why we were awarded ‘Recommended Provider’ by Which magazine in June 2013.

LEARN AND win with our brand new agent training! Holiday Extras is pleased to announce the launch of its new training course. Agents can register and train at HolidayExtras.com/Training and on passing the test (before October 31) agents will be entered into a prize draw to win a VIP airport pre-departure package for two.

IMPROVE YOUR knowledge of 3 of Europe’s most popular cities and become an approved Leisure Pass Group agent. Log on to www.lpgapproved.com to learn all about the London Pass, Paris Pass and Berlin Pass. ach section of the training will teach you about what is included in these money saving products and give you an insight into the tours and attractions available in each city. All agents that complete the courses will be Leisure Pass Group Approved and will benefit from the most up-to-date information and gifts throughout the year.

THE AVIS Training Academy is an online interactive training resource, giving you all the tools to successfully sell Avis to your customers with confidence. The program is divided into six modules, to be completed at your own pace and in your own time with a quiz at the end, plus the chance to win free hair cut at Toni & Guy.

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October 18 2013

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S03 TB1810 News 2_Layout 1 16/10/2013 09:46 Page 15

training HAL & Seabourn host series of seminars to help agents build business HOLLAND AMERICA Line and Seabourn’s UK sales teams are hosting a series of nine sales seminars for UK travel agents around the UK that will share company news and provide tips on how to capitalise on selling cruise over for the next year. During the events, which run throughout this month, agents will meet their local business development manager and support team. Each event includes complimentary afternoon tea along with opportunities to win spot prizes. They take place on October 22 in Stratford upon Avon and Maidstone, October 23 in Cardiff and Basingstoke, October 24 in Cheshire and Cobham and October 30 in Cambridge Befry. Seminar reservations are for travel agents only and are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. To register email katie.brickell@hollandamerica.co.uk for more details and timings.

A PISTE OF THE ACTION...The Tirol Tourist Board and Ötztal Tourist Board met more than 100 travel agents over three days recently at the Snow Centre, Hemel Hempstead, in conjunction with tour operators Inghams, Crystal Ski and Neilson. The specially organised ski events allowed agents to gain firsthand knowledge to pass on to their clients and give them greater confidence when handling ski bookings. Pictured enjoying the day's events are, from the left: Sally Ware, Tony Doano, Rachel Hinchy, Emma Frape and Sarah Coombs, all from Neilson with Melanie Frischmann (bottom left) from Oetztal Tourist Board and Patricia Meixner (bottom right) from the Tirol Tourist Board.

Brand USA announces new Coastal Escapes module on Discovery Program BRAND USA has released a new module on the USA Discovery Program – the recently launched online training program for agents in the UK and Ireland. The USA Coastal Escapes Specialist badge allows users to learn about the beaches and activities available along the unique

coastlines of the US. It joins four existing modules on the Program – Big City Buzz, Great Outdoors, Culture & Heritage and Winter Sports; as well as the Regional Expert badge which users must complete initially. To celebrate the launch of the new module, the company is giving one

agent the chance to win a mini tablet, and ten users a USA goodie bag. To be in with a chance of winning, agents need to complete any Specialist module before the end of this month. For more information and to join visit www.usadiscoveryprogram.co.uk

HAT Tourism Marketing runs 'Christian Themed Travel' training sessions next month HAT TOURISM Marketing has been appointed by Israel Expedition and Turkey Expedition (www.israel-expedition.com and www.turkey-expedition.com) to roll out its new online travel industry website to the UK market. The sites include a newly innovated ‘Travel Calculator’ aimed specifically for independent travel agents and homeworkers who seldom book or haven’t previously thought of selling group or individual travel to the Holy Land and/or Turkey directly. The technology serves as a bridge between the operators in Israel and Turkey and the UK travel trade, and allows agents to book direct and receive immediate quotes. Another benefit is

that all the commissions can be viewed online and goes straight to the booking agent. Israel and Turkey Expedition can provide all accommodation, ground transport and itinerary building for private tours as well as groups. Hat Tourism Marketing is organising a series of agent training sessions on "Christian Themed Travel" and will be on the road visiting a range of cities including Dublin and Belfast on November 25, Newcastle on November 26, Edinburgh on November 27 and Glasgow on November 28. To register or for more information call Andrea Hogg on 01923-283838 or email andrea@israel-expedition.com

We take the hassle, you take the holiday

Time is ticking for your chance to win! Complete and pass the Holiday Extras training course by October 31st, and you could win your very own VIP airport pre-departure package for two!*

HolidayExtras.com/Training *Terms and conditions apply. Prize draw will take place on November 4, 2013. Winner will be selected at random from the list of agents that have successfully completed and passed the Holiday Extras training module. Winners will be contacted by email and must accept the prize within 14 days. The voucher entitles you to complimentary eight days airport parking for 1 vehicle at any UK airport, and overnight stay at an airport hotel (double or twin room), and entry into an airport lounge for 2 people, currently on sale by Holiday Extras. This prize is subject to availability, cannot be exchanged for cash, is not transferrable and is subject to Holiday Extras’ normal terms and conditions. The prize must be claimed and used by November 4, 2014.

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October 18 2013

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personalitybulletin

Sarah Hurst The UK head of sales for Air Europa says she wouldn't mind being a celebrity for a day and that she'd have some fun if she was invisible...

Who is your ideal travelling companion? My family now but in the past it has been my best friend. We had some great adventures together travelling around the world. What's your earliest childhood memory? Trips with my family to the Isle of Wight and long summer holidays over in Ireland. If you were a celebrity who would you choose to be and why? No one in particular but I would like to experience the ‘celebrity lifestyle’ for a day and that would be enough for me. What three words would your friends use to describe you? Friendly, caring and amusing at times. What have your travels taught you? Not to pack too much but also to appreciate every new place I visit as I may not get to go back there again. What is the best advice you recall? Treat others as you would like to be treated. If you could have a room full of any one thing, what would it be? My good friends and family as sometimes I don’t get to see them enough. If you could change one thing in the industry, what would they be? The length of time it sometimes takes to get through security checks. Who has been the biggest inspiration/influence in your career? Lots of people but probably my first manager at American Express as she gave me a good grounding for this industry. She was extremely exacting but taught me well and always supported her staff.

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October 18 2013

"I’m not that great with technology in general. In fact, my young baby is probably better than me with the iPhone"

Career path ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

1988-1990: American Express retail travel consultant 1991-1993: El Al Israeli Airlines customer service agent 1993-1997: British Midland customer service manager 1997-1999: Speedwing commercial support manager 1999-2005: Continental Airlines corporate sales manager 2005: Virgin Atlantic - sales manager 2005-2008: Eos Airlines - corporate sales manager UK 2008: American Express - MN client general manager 2008-present: Air Europa head of sales UK

What's your favourite city and why? Buenos Aires. I visited the city for the first time two years ago and loved it. It was so vibrant with so much diversity and great food and of course lots of Tango. If you were not doing this job, what would you be doing? Travelling the world hopefully or in my

dreams I would have loved to be a singer. Would have helped of course if I could sing! What is your motto in life? Live, love and be happy as you only get one life. What is your favourite mode of travel? Air as it takes you to places far and wide and makes everywhere accessible. If you had a super power what would it be and why? To be invisible - think of all the fun you could have! What item do you always take with you when travelling? My phone and passport. How do you deal with stress? Not very well sometimes but a deep breath and a glass of wine always helps! Is there anything that you dislike about the travel industry? Government taxes on air travel. What special skill do you have? People say I’m a good listener. How do you cope with the advances in technology? I am all for advances but I’m just not that great with technology in general. In fact my young baby is probably better than me with the iPhone. If your life was turned into a movie, which actor would play you? Julia Roberts because I like her and think she’s funny. What do you love about your job? Meeting new people, travelling and the team I work with who make it fun and a nice place to work.

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S04 TB1810 Malta & Gozo_Layout 1 16/10/2013 09:47 Page 17

malta&gozo

Grand Hotel Excelsior

Olympic Holidays announces largest winter offering for Malta OLYMPIC HOLIDAYS has its largest Malta offering across its brochure and website combined this winter, further confirming the destination has a key part to play in its near future plans. The operator again complements its Winter Sun brochure product with an extensive online offering for Malta and Gozo that exceeds the number of properties it featured previously. They include hotels of three- to five-stars in all the island's leading resorts – Sliema, St Julian's and St Paul's Bay – as well as the historic capital Valletta and sister island of Gozo. The company's commercial director, Photis Lambrianides, said: "We're offering a substantial number of hotels in Malta this winter, with a range of flight options that will further widen its appeal.

"The islands of Malta and Gozo still have considerable potential in the UK market. Our winter prices are strongly competitive and business to the destination is maintaining good levels. "Travel agents should keep a close check on our website, which has a far wider selection of properties than appear in the brochures, along with fluid pricing." The operator's website features a broad selection of five-star hotels, including the Corinthia at St George's Bay, the Hilton Malta, Radisson Blu Resort, Grand Hotel Excelsior, Phoenicia and Westin Dragonara. In St Julian's, the winter offering includes the 44-room Hotel Juliani, the Hotel Valentina, boutique-style Argento Hotel and Cavalieri, while in Sliema, the Palace Hotel and

boutique-style Victoria Hotel are offered. The company has extended its winter hotel range to include two fivestar properties in Gozo – the Grand Hotel overlooking the sea at Mgarr and the Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz in a rural location. Prices for mid-January start at £208 for seven nights on a room-only basis at the four-star Santana Hotel in Qawra, based on two sharing a standard room, with easyJet flights from Gatwick. All-inclusive holidays for midJanuary at the four-star Qawra Palace Hotel in St Paul's Bay lead in at £393, based on two sharing a twin room. Flights are with easyJet from Gatwick. For more information call 0844-499 4449 or see www.olympicholidays.com

Malta announces direct British Airways flights from Gatwick next year THE MALTA Tourism Authority, together with British Airways, has announced that Malta is the latest destination to be added to the daily flight map. Commencing on March 30, the carrier will fly from Gatwick to Malta International Airport with daily direct flights. A combination of Boeing 737 and Airbus 319/320 aircraft will operate the route and advanced seats are now available to book. Hand-baggage only tickets in Euro Traveller (Economy) start from £55 one-way, including all taxes and charges. Seats in Euro Traveller for customers who chose to take

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a bag including all taxes and charges start at £67 oneway and in Club Europe (Business) one-way fares start at £274. Alex Incorvaja, director UK & Ireland of the Malta Tourism Authority, said: "We are delighted to have BA flying back to our shores. The introduction of this flagship carrier to Malta further reinforces our commitment and strategy of making the Islands even more accessible to the British traveller, be it for leisure or business." For more information see www.visitmalta.com

October 18 2013

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malta&gozo Belleair Holidays highlights selection of winter sun additions & latest deals

Xlendi Bay, Gozo

BELLEAIR HOLIDAYS is promoting deals across its winter sun programme, valid for travel up to April next year. The programme includes the addition of two new direct routes from Leeds Bradford and Glasgow Prestwick to Malta with Ryanair. From next month, the operator is including another property to its portfolio, the four-star Coastline Hotel located close to Salina Bay. Clients can also receive free private transfers from the airport when booking five-star properties in Gozo in addition to the private

transfers provided with Malta five-star hotels. The company is also offering agents the choice of booking accommodation-only holidays at any of its featured hotels, villas and apartments, offering more choice for clients seeking a flexible break. Meanwhile, in addition to the one-day hop-on, hop-off bus pass for the City Sightseeing excursion, the operator now offers a twoday pass (£38 per person) which can be used over two non-consecutive days. The one- and two-day pass is valid on all its routes, including the Malta by Night and Fireworks tours.

The Winter Sun programme also offers a range of early booking deals and longer stay offers, while added value boxes at the bottom of each property in the brochure provide details of the individual offers available. The operator's national sales manager, Emma Yorke, said: “We are proud to offer a great range of accommodation and product from luxurious hotels to simple and rustic farmhouses, at prices to suit every pocket. Our extensive portfolio offers something for everyone, and thanks to the frequency of flights from 19 regional airports, we are

able to match our offering with your client’s requirements, should their stay be for three nights or 180 nights.” As an example of prices, a 14-night breakfast stay at the four-star Coastline Hotel costs from £594 per person. It includes direct flights from Leeds Bradford, transfers and complimentary entrance to a selected Malta attraction. The offer is subject to availability and is based on two adults sharing for travel on November 24. For more information or to book see www.belleair.co.uk/agents or call 0845-365 3412.

MONARCH AIRLINES operates twice-weekly flights to Malta from East Midlands airport on Tuesdays and Saturdays with fares, including taxes, from £46.50 one-way and £97.80 return. For further information or to book visit www.monarch.co.uk or call 0871-423 8642.

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October 18 2013

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S04 TB1810 Malta & Gozo_Layout 1 16/10/2013 09:47 Page 19

malta&gozo Corinthia Hotels announces â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Fifth goes freeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; programme for MICE market CORINTHIA HOTELS has announced the appointment of Roderick Micallef as vice president of operations for its hotels in Malta and mainland Europe. In his new role, Roderick will drive strategies to maximise profitability and quality in the hotelsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Craftsmanship of Care guest services offering. Meanwhile, the group has launched its â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Fifth goes Freeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; programme for the

Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events market, whereby every fifth delegate attending a MICE event in any Corinthia Hotel is offered a free accommodation and meeting package. The special deal is valid for new events booked by the end of

this year and held no later than January 31, 2014, with a top limit of 50 delegates and 50 room nights. All events are serviced by a global team of professionals including organisers plus a dedicated event assistant to give exclusive support throughout the event. For further details visit www.corinthia.com/fifth

Corinthia Hotel St Georgeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bay, Malta

0$/7$

Prestige Holidays offer the best prices for a range of 4 and 5 star hotels in Malta and Gozo, from traditional elegant hotels to the more modern beachfront hotels, something to suit every client. We have fantastic offers including free nights, early booking offers and free room upgrades. Prices from only ÂŁ519 at a 5 star hotel for a week in November. We offer flexibility using any flights, even from your local airport, so can offer long stays or short breaks for your clients. 'RQÂśWIRUJHW\RXZLOOUHFHLYH/RYHWR6KRSYRXFKHUVIRUHDFKERRNLQJPDGH

Prestige Holidays on 01425 480400 or www.prestigeholidays.co.uk/malta


S04 TB1810 Malta & Gozo_Layout 1 16/10/2013 11:01 Page 20

malta&gozo EXODUS IS offering a new eight-day family adventure that allows families to experience the hidden delights of the Maltese islands. Experiences include exploring the hills of Gozo by jeep and bike, spending a day on a farm making local Gozitan cheese, swimming and snorkelling in Comino and discovering the capital of Valletta on Malta. Departures are from May 24, 2014 and prices lead in at £799 per adult and £759 per child (minimum age three), including flights, accommodation, guided activities and some meals. Visit www.exodustravels.com or call 0845-863 9601.

Gozo

WINTER 13/14

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SUMMER 14


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malta&gozo Phoenicia Hotel sponsors Valletta's International Baroque Festival 2014 THE INTERNATIONAL Baroque Festival returns to Valletta from January 10-26 and is being sponsored by the Phoenicia Hotel, which will be hosting many of the acclaimed artists, whilst also offering up to 20% off standard rates for all guests. Prices for executive rooms start from ÂŁ84 per person per night including breakfast. The inaugural festival in 2013 attracted 700 overseas visitors to Valletta, and the creators at Manoel Theatre are keen to establish this as an annual event on the global cultural calendar. The programme for January includes the world premiere of a parody of Rameau's opera Hippolyte et Aricie in collaboration with the Centre de Musique de Versailles, along with performances of three further works by the French composer, to mark the 250th anniversary of his death. There will be a total of 23 events taking place over two weeks at venues across the city including baroque masterpiece St John's Co-Cathedral; the Manoel Theatre, which is one of the oldest in Europe; plus the President's Palace and other churches and cathedrals. Attracting international talent as well as leading Maltese artists, the roster of performers includes countertenor Max Emanuel Cencic, sopranos Gillian Zammit and Camille Paul, alto Claire Massa, tenor Nicholas Mulroy, guitarist Simon Schembri, The Goldberg Ensemble, The Anon Ensemble, the Malta Philarmonic Orchestra and the Valletta Festival Baroque Ensemble, amongst others.

Palm Court Lounge, Phoenicia Hotel

Children can take part too, with three free workshops on offer, and there will be a Baroque Costume Ball on Saturday January 25 at the Manoel Theatre from 21:00, with tickets costing â&#x201A;Ź25. The hotel's sales and marketing director, Rob Bruno, said: "We're delighted to be a part of the International Baroque Festival which showcases Valletta at its very best and will appeal to a broad spectrum of visitors with its varied programme, world-class performers and spectacular settings." To book or for more details see www.phoeniciamalta.com or call 0800-862 0025. For information on the festival programme and tickets see www.vallettabaroquefestival.com.mt

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canada GREAT RAIL Journeys has launched its new Canada tour as part of its ‘Worldwide Holidays By Rail 2013/2014’ brochure which features five new tours out of a total of 40. As an example of prices, a 16-day Canadian Whales And Wildlife tour leads in at £5,175 per person including flights. Highlights include Vancouver, an Orca Watching Trip, journeys on the Canadian train, The Rockies and Jasper, a Wildlife Discovery Tour, Maligne Lake and Canyon, Churchill, a Beluga whale-watching trip, wildlife talk, Tundra-Buggy excursion and a rail journey to Winnipeg. For details call 01904-521980 or see www.greatrail.com/uk

Trafalgar’s Best of Eastern Canada leads in at £2,425 for ten days TRAFALGAR’S TEN-DAY Best of Eastern Canada itinerary begins in Toronto and travels to Niagara Falls, Kingston, Montreal, Quebec City and Ottawa. In Toronto guests start the day with an orientation tour with visits to the Casa Loma, Queens Park, University Avenue and Provincial Parliament Buildings, before taking in Niagara Falls. Highlights of the itinerary include a boat ride on Maid of the Mist, a visit to a family owned and operated ice-winery, a Be My Guest dinner to sample regional cuisine, plus visits to

the historic Old Fort Henry in Kingston, Upper Canada Village and Montreal. Guests will also have the opportunity to take in Montmorency Falls, stop at a family-owned Copper Art Museum to try their hand at creating copper keepsake and experience a city tour of Ottawa. Prices start from £2,424 including flights, VIP door-todoor airport transfers, nine nights’ breakfast accommodation with a further five meals, sightseeing with guides and the services of a travel director throughout. For more information see www.trafalgar.com

New campaign from Ontario Tourism puts focus on luxury experiences THE UK office of Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation (OTMPC) has rolled out its first campaign to target luxury travellers, with a multi-channel, integrated campaign expected to reach more than 2.7million potential luxury travellers over the next two months. The campaign highlights a range of deluxe and high-end experiences available across the province of

Ontario, located in Eastern Canada, and has been launched in partnership with Tourism Toronto, British Airways and a number of luxury UK tour operators, including North America Travel Service. The campaign is designed to educate UK visitors on the variety of luxury accommodation, experiences and bespoke tours available, and Ontario Tourism UK has worked

closely with several tour operators to develop a number of new programmes. Scott Dunn, Thomas Cook Signature, North America Travel Service, Cox & Kings and Canadian Affair all provide bespoke travel arrangements, with an emphasis on high-end, luxury and unique properties. For more information see www.ontariotravel.net

Travel 2 highlights five-night Toronto break for families & couples THE FORMER Delta Chelsea has recently been re-branded as the Eaton Chelsea Hotel and Travel 2 is highlighting the property as an ideal choice for both couples and families visiting Toronto. The operator's product and purchasing manager for Canada, Justine Egan, said: “The hotel describes itself as a ‘full-service urban resort’, offer varying room categories, five restaurants and lounges, as well as separate adult and family recreation areas and pools. "The Eaton Chelsea also boasts an ideal central location close to excellent shopping, restaurants and nightlife and

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exciting attractions, which offer special discounts to hotel guests upon presentation of their room key, including the Royal Ontario Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario and Casa Loma.” As examples of prices, a five-night family package at the three-star property leads in at £2,549 per family, based on two adults and two children. It includes flights from Heathrow with Air Canada and the price is valid for travel between January 1 and March 30, 2014, when booked by December 31. The same stay for couples costs from £759 per person. For further information see www.travel2.com

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canada Prestige expands holidays options across portfolio following increase in demand PRESTIGE HOLIDAYS has increased its range of options in Canada and the US following a 25% rise in business to North America. It has also added Bermuda to its programme. New for 2014 are a range of stays in Arctic Canada, motor home breaks, plus a greater choice of cruises in Alaska. The operator is also offering a wider selection of holidays in British Columbia with the introduction of breaks in Campbell River and more resort options and wildlife viewing tours. Heli-hiking trips in British Columbia’s Mountains also make an entrance, along with three non-ski winter breaks. Holidays lead in at £480 per person for a three-night Toronto city break including flights from London, a tour of the city and a sightseeing trip to Niagara Falls. The company's manager of the North American portfolio, Denise Hunn, said: “Our North American business is stronger than ever. There is a big appetite for wildlife breaks and resort stays hence our increase in these for 2014. We have also found that we are being asked more and more for US stays and so, felt it was

important to feature a greater range of American holidays next year.” In the Canadian Arctic the company is offering a range of activity, cultural, land and marine wildlife experiences including a seven-night Wildlife Adventure tour featuring hiking, sea kayaking and the chance to view beluga whale, owl, arctic fox, muskox and caribou. The base for the adventure is the five-star Arctic Watch Lodge in Nunavut, 500-miles north of the Arctic Circle on Somerset Island. Also available is The Best of the Arctic Break which combines tundra and beluga whale experiences of Churchill and Nunavut’s Repulse Bay. Available in July and August, the Wildlife Adventure tour leads in at £3,600 per person including flights, seven nights' breakfast accommodation (full board on two days) and guided tours. Meanwhile, the operator's motor home breaks will appeal to clients looking to explore Canada’s open spaces at their own pace. Vehicles sleep from two to seven and can be collected from Anchorage, Calgary, Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Whitehorse. Fly and hike breaks in the

COLLETTE WORLDWIDE’S newly launched 2014/15 brochure features a new tour that explores Canada’s Maritimes region, from Halifax to Western Shore, via highlights including Peggy’s Cove, Cape Breton Island, the Cabot Trail, Prince Edward Island, the Cavendish National Park, Hopewell Rocks and the Bay of Fundy – home to the largest tidal reach in the world. The 12-day Maritimes Coastal Wonders tour costs from £2,949 per person including flights, transfers, transport, breakfast accommodation, most other meals, a tour manager and door-to-door pick up within 100-miles of the UK departure airport.

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Columbia Mountains have also been introduced. Departing from Banff the heli-hiking holidays in the Bugaboo or Bobbie Burns Lodge combine helicopter flights with walks in the mountain landscapes. Clients wanting a guaranteed white Christmas may be interested in a ten- or 12-night Christmas Wonders coach tour of Western Canada. Departing on December 23, the escorted coach break includes stays in Banff and Jasper National Parks and also takes in the cities of Calgary and Victoria with New Year’s Eve in Vancouver. Prices start from £2,995 per person including flights, ten nights' breakfast accommodation, coach travel and sightseeing. Another winter option is the Mountain Adventure featuring six days of outdoor activities in Banff including dog sledding, snowmobiling and ice-walking, plus a railway journey from Banff through the Rockies to Vancouver with two nights in Banff and Jasper plus wildlife discovery tours in both places. For more information call 01502-567222 or visit www.prestigecanada.co.uk

Insight offers 13-day Grand Canadian Rockies with Alaska Cruise option from £5,925 AS PART of Insight Vacations’ Gold Luxury series, the 13-day Grand Canadian Rockies itinerary combines glaciers and green forests with five-star accommodation to create an experience that captures the grandeur of the Canadian West, with the option to extend the experience on a seven-day Alaska Glacier Bay Inside Passage Cruise. The adventure begins in Canada’s vibrant port city of Vancouver where guests will check in to the Four Seasons in the heart of the city’s premier shopping and entertainment district. Travelling onwards, guests will visit Victoria, Whistler, Kelowna, Banff National Park, Lake Louise, Moraine Lake and Emerald Lake plus Jasper National Park,

before taking a train ride on the Rocky Mountaineer. Prices lead in at £5,925 per person, including VIP door-to-door airport transfers, 12 nights' First Class breakfast accommodation with a further six meals, sightseeing, Gold Leaf service on the Rocky Mountaineer, airconditioned coaches and the services of a tour director. A 20-day Grand Canadian Rockies with Alaska Cruise costs from £6,780 per person which includes an extra seven nights’ full board accommodation on Holland America Line’s MS Zuiderdam, with all on board facilities included. For more information visit www.insightvacations.com

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canada Rocky Mountaineer & NCL team up to launch agent incentive ROCKY MOUNTAINEER has issued its 2014 brochure highlighting journeys through the Pacific Northwest and the Canadian Rockies. The company's director of sales EMEA, Leslie Peden, said: “We are delighted to launch our new 2014 brochure which we feel captures the excitement and experience onboard our rail journeys and throughout our holiday packages. “With a full itinerary of 24 departures on our Coastal Passage route, a new cruise partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line and the expansion of our SilverLeaf Service to three different rail routes, travellers are provided with a truly civilised way to experience the very best that the Pacific Northwest and the Canadian Rockies has to offer.” The theme of the new brochure is Life Changing Experiences and highlights five steps on how to build a unique rail journey. There is also a more streamlined design with detailed descriptions of the destinations and available activities. In addition, the company's popular Circle Rail Packages are placed at the front of the brochure for easy access. Some fun elements include wildlife trivia on a number of pages and Sasquatch (a legendary ape-like creature that some believe inhabits the forests, mainly in the Pacific Northwest) sightings throughout. Until October 31, GoldLeaf Service bookings of seven nights or more receive £400 per person in added value. The bonus credit adds options such as an Alaskan cruise, additional hotel nights, sightseeing tours

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or a Whistler Sea to Sky Climb rail journey. Peden said: “We are excited to provide our guests with an opportunity to make the most of their time in Western Canada with this new early booking bonus. “With 24 additional departure dates for our newest route, Coastal Passage, and SilverLeaf Service departures on three different rail routes in 2014, there is a unique holiday package that will suit any traveller.” One of the qualifying holiday packages is a new Canadian Rockies Highlights and Coastal Passage. The seven-night/eightday tour includes a rail journey on Rocky Mountaineer’s new Coastal Passage route between Seattle, WA and the Canadian Rockies in either Goldleaf or SilverLeaf Service. Throughout the itinerary, guests stay in well known destinations such as Vancouver, Seattle, Lake Louise and Banff, and a helicopter flight over the Canadian Rockies tops off the holiday experience. As an added extra, travellers have the option to add a seven-night Alaskan Cruise with either Norwegian Cruise Line or Holland America Line. Meanwhile, to celebrate the launch of their new global partnership, Rocky Mountaineer and Norwegian Cruise Line have launched a new incentive that allows travel agents to earn £30 for every 2014 Rocky Mountaineer/Norwegian Cruise Line combination when a booking is made directly with the cruise line. The incentive runs until October 31.

October 18 2013

Virgin Holidays adds new properties in latest brochure launch VIRGIN HOLIDAYS has issued its latest US & Canada brochure which features a selection of itineraries. As examples, a seven-night Quintessential Quebec self-drive itinerary starts off in Montreal via the capital city of Ottawa and takes in villages, mountains, bears and a sugar shack. A seven-night Toronto, Montreal & Halifax Rail Experience is also featured in the new brochure. Starting off in Toronto, clients take a rail tour on the VIA Rail crossing Toronto – Montreal and Montreal – Halifax, with hotel stays in each city. Meanwhile, the company reports that Canada remains a popular choice for families booking a skiing holiday. The operator's product development manager, Linda Burton, said: "Sales for ski breaks in the destination grew last year. Already proving popular again for next season, Canada offers families uncrowded slopes, stunning scenery and a great choice of resorts. "We now offer six resorts in Canada: Sun Peaks, Whistler, Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper and Tremblant. Offering some of the most challenging skiing in the world, Canada has perfect slopes for expert skiers and snowboarders, but also has plenty of gentle slopes for beginners which work well for those travelling with families hoping to introduce the kids to the slopes. We recommend Tremblant for families, with its picturesque village and activities such as horse-drawn sleigh rides, a large indoor pool, cinema and great Kidz Club, which is the ultimate day care centre for one to six-year olds.” Meanwhile, new hotels in the brochure include Delta Edmonton and Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, both in Edmonton Alberta. Also new in the brochure is Ottawa, with the offer of a range of hotels including Lord Elgin Hotel and National Hotel & Suites. As an example of prices, a five-night Ottawa stay, including flights from Heathrow and accommodation at the Lord Elgin Hotel costs from £971 per person, based on two sharing a room. The price includes all applicable taxes and fuel surcharges and is based on a December 2 departure. For details visit www.vhols4agents.co.uk or call 0844-557 3973.

Toronto Premium Outlets open for business Toronto Premium Outlets

OFFERING A collection of 85 designer and name brand stores, Toronto Premium Outlets is now open for business. The new centre provides savvy shoppers with savings of 25% to 65% on top brands such as Calvin Klein, Coach, Hugo Boss, J.Crew, Michael Kors, Lucky Brand Jeans, Banana Republic, Ted Baker London, Guess and True Religion. Transport to the centre is provided by a daily shuttle service from central Toronto.

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Become a Canada Specialist! ...and join a team thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going places

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canada

InBrief

● AIR CANADA will be flying its new B777-300ER aircraft between

FROM NOVEMBER to April, snow turns Yukon into a winter playground. Operators featuring winter Yukon products include 1st Class Holidays, which offers a three-day Aurora Borealis Tour with two nights at the Best Western Goldrush Inn, Whitehorse for £356 per person, land-only. For details see www.1stclassholidays.com

Heathrow and Vancouver daily from March 1, 2014, featuring its new Executive First seat and launching a Premium Economy service. For details see www.aircanada.com ● AN £18MILLION investment will enhance the ski experience at Whistler Blackcomb, which opens on November 28. It includes two new chairlifts; the Harmony 6 Express: a high-speed six-pack chairlift on Whistler Mountain, and the Crystal Ridge Express: a high-speed quad on Blackcomb Mountain. See www.whistlerblackcomb.com ● CLIENTS NOW have the option of seeing Vancouver through a lens on a two-hour Vancouver Photowalk lesson, designed for visitors who want to improve their photography skills. Classes cost from approx £48 (CAD$79) per person. For details see www.vancouverphotowalks.ca ● TREMBLANT WILL celebrate its 75th season from November 22 and will offer 24-hours of skiing (December 6-8), a New Year’s Eve concert and the Caribou Cup between March 29 and April 19. ● The Oak Bay Beach Hotel in Victoria has undergone a renovation into a boutique hotel and spa. See www.oakbaybeachhotel.com ● ICELANDAIR WILL be operating two flights weekly to Vancouver (Monday and Wednesday) from May 13 to October 12 on B-757 aircraft. The flight originates in Reykjavik, Iceland, but offers connections with the carrier’s UK services from Heathrow, Gatwick and Glasgow. See www.icelandair.co.uk ● A NEW bus service from Calgary International Airport to Revelstoke makes travelling to the Kootenay Rockies resort easier this ski season. The 56-passenger coach meets international flights arriving and departing from Calgary. See www.revelstoke-tours.ca ● THE MONTRÉAL Highlights Festival takes place from February 20March 2, 2014 and will showcase Montréal's main theatres, orchestras, dance troupes and museums, as well as the city's finest restaurants and hotels. See www.montrealenlumiere.com

Audley puts focus on wildlife & outdoor experiences in new Canada & Alaska brochure AUDLEY HAS launched a new Canada & Alaska brochure, focusing on wildlife, scenery, outdoor activities and family adventure, as well as including the key cities. Where possible, the company has included smaller boutique hotels and bed-and-breakfasts to provide clients with a more local and authentic experience. Highlights include Yacht Journeys in British Columbia and Alaska to explore the coastlines. Clients will cruise through isolated channels in search of whales and birds, look for foraging bears, explore abandoned aboriginal villages or go kayaking or hiking on parts of the coast that would otherwise remain inaccessible. The operator suggests a seven- to ten-day trip and works with two yacht companies that both offer a personalised service with a

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maximum of 16 passengers at any time. Heli-hiking is another highlight of the brochure where guests stay in remote mountain lodges and, twice a day, are flown to parts of the mountains that are usually inaccessible. Hikes can be tailored to any level of fitness and are led by expert guides. The company suggests including a four-day helihiking trip as part of an itinerary. Bear watching is also available with different accommodation options on offer. For example, in British Columbia the company works closely with Knight Inlet Lodge, a floating lodge that is reached by seaplane. The area is home to one of the highest concentrations of grizzly bears and there are a variety of guided activities on offer including rainforest walks, sea kayaking, whalewatching and fishing. For clients who want to learn about the bears in depth

the operator suggests Great Bear Lodge which is owned and run by an experienced naturalist and biologist with a small specialist team. Meanwhile, Canada is being highlighted as ideal for a family holiday, particularly for active teenagers, with a variety of outdoor activities on offer including biking, rafting, hiking and canoeing. There are also vibrant cities, ranch stays and abundant wildlife including whales, bears and moose. The operator is featuring multi-day horseback camping trips in British Columbia, as well as the option to take a three-night survival and bushcraft course where guests learn how to build a shelter, source water, track animals, build traps, identify trees, plants and fungi and gain new navigational skills. For further details call 01993-838700 or see www.audleytravel.com

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THE FIVE-STAR Maritim Hotel Mauritius, which is set in 62-acres of tropical gardens and is located along Turtle Bay, is offering free weddings. The offer also includes a 25% discount on the bride’s stay; a decorated location; bridal bouquet and button-hole flowers; live music from a guitarist at the ceremony; a bottle of sparkling wine at the ceremony plus a special gift and candlelit dinner for the couple. Virgin Holidays is offering a week's all-inclusive stay at the property in May 2014 from £1,475 per person. It includes a stay in a Privilege room, flights with Emirates from Heathrow via Dubai and transfers.

Latest research from Kuoni reveals the perfect honeymoon THE DREAM honeymoon involves four days lying in the sun, temperatures of 27 degrees, two books and three adrenaline fuelled activities, according to new research from Kuoni. Researchers found that while the average Brit would like to soak up the sunshine and be showered with love and affection on their honeymoon, they also want to treat it as the ‘wish list’ of all holidays. This means newlyweds intend to blow at least £5,000 on the honeymoon of their dreams, and spend at least a third of their 14-day break experiencing new cultures and visiting historical sites. The research also revealed that the average person still imagines their post-marriage trip will include candle-lit meals and Champagne on arrival, but wants it coupled with action and adventure. As such, people dream of spending at least two days out of the 14 trying activities like scuba diving, zip-lining, Segways and cage diving with sharks. Derek Jones, the operator's managing director, said: “This shows that couples still want that romantic beach idea with unparalleled service and excellent hotels in places like Mauritius and the Maldives, but they are also leaning towards a more active, cultural and authentic experience on honeymoon. “This means destinations such as Italy and Vietnam are becoming more popular choices than years ago for honeymooners. People are no longer content with a week or two lounging around by the beach or pool; instead newly married couples are hoping for a bit of adventure, they want to learn more about the country they are visiting and return home with tales of the amazing things they have seen and done.” Researchers found that Brits would ideally travel for more than seven hours by plane to their honeymoon destination, and check into a five-star hotel on arrival. But many people also hope that once they have walked down the aisle, and finally get on their perfect honeymoon, it will be filled with romance including walks on the beach, candle-lit dinners and shared spa treatments. And while many people can visualise themselves being brave and trying new things on honeymoon, most want to enjoy at least eight hours of sunshine a day and spend at least a quarter of the fortnight sunbathing. But both men and women also envisage their honeymoon including a couple of hours of ‘me time’ every day.

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'Romance with a view' offer from Shangri-La Hotels CLIENTS CAN now retreat to the Maldives on a three-night short break with ShangriLa’s Villingili Resort & Spa’s new Romance with a View offer, valid from February 10 to July 31, 2014. The deal includes three nights in luxury accommodation with panoramic ocean views, a candlelit dinner under the stars and a resort experience. During the day, couples can venture out to sea for sightings of spinner dolphins or learn about the resort’s on-going turtle conservation programme. At night, they can discover the wonders of the Indian Ocean sky on the beach attended to by a personal butler. Daily breakfast and transfers from Gan International Airport to the resort are included in the experience and overall prices lead in at £1,458 and £2,112 during the low and peak months respectively. For details visit www.shangri-la.com/male/ villingiliresort or email reservations.slmd@shangri-la .com

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s n o o m y e n o h & s g in d wed Olympic Holidays reports increase in demand for unique wedding venues in Cyprus OLYMPIC HOLIDAYS is highlighting its range of wedding venues in Cyprus from a water mill and medieval castle to chapels situated within hotel grounds. According to the operator, Cyprus is the top destination for couples choosing to marry abroad. The company's weddings executive, Fanoulla Spyrou, said: "Nowhere has the wonderful array of wedding venues that Cyprus offers. Couples can choose between a full Anglican or Catholic service, or they can opt for a civil ceremony. "They do need to plan in advance, though. Churches in the prime resorts of Paphos, Limassol, Larnaca, Agia Napa and Protaras do book up quickly, especially at the more popular times of year."

Traditionally, these months are May, June and September, although the operator also handles a growing volume of weddings business in the peak summer months of July and August. Spyrou said: "We're seeing good take-up of more unusual venues which include Kouyioka Water Mill, near Polis; the medieval castle by the harbour at Paphos; and Hadjiantonas Winery at Limassol. "We feature a dozen Cyprus hotels with their own chapel for weddings and they tend to book up quickly. Ideally, couples should make their reservation 12 to 18 months ahead. Many hotels also offer civil weddings and clients staying at the hotel in which the ceremony is held can often get a discount on use of the facilities – or there's no charge at all.

"Town halls in Cyprus can also get fully booked up for weddings as much as 12 months in advance – especially the more popular venues, such as the town hall at Peyia set in attractive grounds." Hotels with their own chapel are located in Paphos, Pissouri, Limassol, Larnaca, Agia Napa and Protaras. They include Le Meridien and the Four Seasons in Limassol, the Columbia Beach Resort at Pissouri, The Elysium in Paphos and the Palm Beach Hotel at Larnaca. The company also offers couples the opportunity to get married on a Greek island. The choice of islands include Corfu, Crete, Rhodes, Kos, Skiathos, Mykonos, Kefalonia, Santorini and Zante. For more information or to book visit www.olympicholidays.com/weddings

Wedding packages from £399 in Belleair Holidays’ 2014 brochure BELLEAIR HOLIDAYS has issued its 2014 wedding brochure, valid from next month through to October 2014. New for next year is a Renewal of Wedding Vows Catholic service held at Santa Barbara Church for couples looking to celebrate a special anniversary or renew their vows, with packages starting from £319 per couple. There are three wedding packages available for civil ceremonies; Bronze, Silver and Gold, all including the registry service, wedding paperwork, transport, bouquet and wedding planner. For Catholic church ceremonies there is a choice of two packages, giving a choice of services and inclusions. A marriage in Malta requires a minimum residency period of three working days and a wedding co-ordinator is on hand to assist with all the wedding holiday bookings and legal requirements before travelling. There are numerous additions couples can add to tailor their wedding including the hire of classic cars for the bride

and coaches to transport guests to the wedding venue; a choice of video and photography packages; a choice of flower arrangements; a candyfloss and popcorn cart; musicians for the ceremony and reception including violinists, Celtic harp, singer or disco; and wedding gifts to offer guests, plus beauty treatments for the bride. The company's wedding co-ordinator, Shelley Perry, said: “We are proud to offer a great range of wedding services, from civil and Catholic church ceremonies to luxury hotel venues and beach locations, all at prices to suit every budget. ‘Our wedding packages include all the essential ingredients for a perfect wedding and with our local wedding planner on hand, you can be confident that your client’s dream wedding can be tailor-made exactly to their needs.” As an example of prices, a Bronze wedding package at the 200 year-old Maltese Farmhouse, Razzett L-Abjad, costs from £2,014 per couple, which includes up to four hours’ hire of the venue, but excludes the wedding reception.

Kempinski San Lawrenz, Gozo

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Kenya's Medina Palms offers complimentary benefits for honeymooners MEDINA PALMS, which opened in July and is located in Kenya’s National Marine Reserve on Watamu Beach, is highlighting free benefits for couples on honeymoon. Options include an upgrade to a Medina Penthouse Suite with private plunge pool, subject to availability; a celebratory bottle of bubbly; a 30-minute Sakina Ocean Spa pampering session for two; a windsurfing taster session with Tribe Watersports; and a candlelit dinner for two under the stars. Honeymooners also get to take home a traditional Kenyan wedding gift as a memento of their stay. Red Savannah is offering a honeymoon at the property from £1,880 per person, including flights, transfers and seven nights’ breakfast accommodation. The price also includes all the VIP honeymoon extras and is valid until December. To book call 01242-787800, email inspired@redsavannah.com or see www.redsavannah.com For further information on the property e-mail pr@medinapalms.com or visit www.medinapalms.com

COUPLES CONSIDERING a wedding in Bermuda now have a new Facebook app to help them plan their big day. The Reefs Hotel & Club has launched the new app that gives users more information about the wedding options at the boutique resort, a chance to view a photo gallery of other couples on their wedding day and a click through to an online wedding planning guide. See http://tinyurl.com/pwrkln4

Engaged couples are all at sea over honeymoon decisions says Sixstarcruises.co.uk ONE IN three engaged couples admits to rowing over their choice of honeymoon destination, with 10% describing the argument as ‘serious’, according to a new survey from Sixstarcruises.co.uk. The survey comes as the company reports a rise in honeymooners choosing cruises for their postnuptial escape. James Cole, the operator's managing director, attributes this rise to couples increasingly expecting more from their honeymoon, and taking the time to explore options

with the biggest ‘wow factor’ whilst ticking the most boxes for both parties. He said: “Couples see their honeymoon as a unique opportunity to have a truly incredible holiday, which for many means a trip to the kind of dream destinations they have always wanted to visit. Honeymooners often deliberate for months about this and online forums are bursting at the seams with brides and grooms begging for advice and recommendations. “This is one of the key reasons behind the rise

we’ve seen in honeymooners booking cruises. Choosing a cruise removes this pressure from couples during one of the most stressful periods of their lives. You don’t have to pick one destination, you can visit ten, and you don’t have to choose between a beach or city break, do both - and more besides.” Second to the destination debate, the survey also found that couples who research the cost of their honeymoon, factoring in expenses on arrival, find that dream escapes on land are often

out of their price range. According to Ideal Bride Magazine, couples in the UK spend an average of £3,225 on booking their honeymoon, but additional costs such as food, drinks and entertainment whilst away see that price rise sharply. Cole said: “It’s another case of expecting more from the holiday. Honeymooners want to experience five-star luxury, complete with gourmet food and exceptional service. These luxuries often come at an additional expense but it doesn’t have to be that way."

Grenada’s True Blue Bay adds new options for weddings & honeymoons

BIRAS CREEK, on the Caribbean island of Virgin Gorda, is offering a seven-night honeymoon package for $749 per night. Valid until December 17, it includes accommodation in an Ocean, Garden or Grand Suite, a bottle of Champagne, chocolates and flowers on arrival, a private sunset cruise, two massages for the newlyweds, three meals per day and transfers.

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TRUE BLUE Bay Resort in Grenada has launched new seven-night wedding and honeymoon packages that include accommodation on a bed-and-breakfast basis and other extras such as a bottle of Champagne and a spa treatment for two. The accommodation offers king-size beds and spacious terraces overlooking the gardens or Bay View swimming pool, with views down to True Blue Bay. There is also the option to upgrade to the custom designed Honeybee honeymoon suite which features a king-size four poster bed, lounge area, an oversized bathroom with whirlpool bath and a spacious verandah with views of the Caribbean. For more information visit www.truebluebay.com

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s n o o m y e n o h & s g in d wed St. Regis Mauritius Resort anticipates boost in weddings following development of private space We asked our staff the following question this week: What would you say is the nicest thing about your life right now? Publisher: Jeanette Ratcliffe jeanette.ratcliffe@travelbulletin.co.uk My Saturday afternoon baking sessions with my son. Naughty but nice!

Editor: Lauretta Wright lauretta.wright@travelbulletin.co.uk I cherish family time and playing silly games

Assistant Editor: Jill Sayles jill.sayles@travelbulletin.co.uk Freedom and no ties

Contributing Editor: Paul Scudamore post@travelbulletin.co.uk Sales Director: Simon Eddolls simon.eddolls@travelbulletin.co.uk The joy that World Travel Market is in a couple of weeks!

Advertisement Manager: Tim Podger tim.podger@travelbulletin.co.uk My family

Online Sales Manager: Nick Boocock nick.boocock@travelbulletin.co.uk A four month old baby who shows you something new every day

Account Manager: Bill Coad bill.coad@travelbulletin.co.uk My accounts department who have just saved my bacon! Thanks to Naraini and Carolyn I still have a house!

Sales Executive: Chris Gascoine chris.gascoine@travelbulletin.co.uk Being single ;-)

IN THE first year of operation, The St. Regis Mauritius Resort has been the location for more than 20 couples saying ‘I do’, with the number set to grow as the resort prepares for the opening of The St. Regis Residence, a private space that sleeps up to eight adults featuring four private heated swimming pools, a dining room, two lounges, a bar, gym and a dedicated team of butlers. The resort offers dedicated wedding planners and a range of bespoke and intimate wedding packages. Couples can exchange vows in an elegant ballroom setting or take their first dance on the beach. The property offers a selection of indoor and outdoor venues, each overlooking the UNESCO World Heritage site of Le Morne and bordered by a turquoise lagoon. As examples, an Exotic Island Package leads in at €1,060 and includes a clothing press service for the bridal party, wedding set up in the location of the couple’s choice, cake, bridal bouquet and a dedicated wedding photographer with 70 professional photos. On return to their villa, the couple will be greeted by a newly-wed bed turndown with special room decoration and will then wake to an in-room breakfast the following morning. A Connoisseur Package costs from €2,625 and includes everything from the Exotic Island Package plus a luxury dressing room for the bride, bridal hair and make-up, a pre-wedding bottle of Champagne, groom’s button-hole, live music and a 30-minute professionally video of the wedding ceremony. Other options include a Timeless Package from €6,560, which includes spa treatments for the bride and groom, a live band and a fireworks display during the wedding dinner, plus tailor-made packages. For further information visit www.stregis.com/mauritius BANYAN TREE Hotels & Resorts' Angsana Velavaru in the Maldives has launched a new wedding package, which is being highlighted as ideal for couples looking to combine their wedding and honeymoon in one trip. The package is free with a minimum fivenight stay and includes a wedding planner, flowers for the bride and groom, cake, a selection of canapés for the ceremony and a bottle of Champagne. Also included is a CD of pictures, a framed symbolic wedding certificate and a coconut tree planting ceremony. Additional extras are also available including a four-course honeymoon dinner on the beach, professional photography and videography, spa treatments and a change in location for a wedding on a nearby island. Prices for a five-night stay in a Beachfront Villa start from £1,693 per villa on a daily breakfast basis and the package is valid for bookings in all villa categories until April 30, 2014. To book see www.angsana.com or email reservations-velavaru@angsana.com quoting “Wedding EXP”.

Sales Executive: Matt Gill matt.gill@travelbulletin.co.uk Seeing young Bill in the office...

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

Assistant Designer: Nicky Valsamakis nicky.valsamakis@travelbulletin.co.uk Working with Genaro

Production: Nick Salt production@travelbulletin.co.uk Mouldy, my adopted cat

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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October 18 2013

puzzlesolutions Crossword: Across: 1. PRESTIGE, 7. GLASGOW, 8. RUSSIA, 9. PIER, 11. RIVA, 13. CONDOR, 16. UKRAINE, 17. DELAWARE. Down: 1. PETER CROUCH, 2. EARLS, 3. TIGRIS, 4. GRAZ, 5. TOWER BRIDGE, 6. UGLI, 10. TOPEKA, 12. VERA, 14. DELIA, 15. NICE.

Highlighted Word: POLAND Travagrams: (top) Cruise and Maritime Voyages

(bottom) Beijing

Where Am I?: Three Sisters

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S06 TB1810 Weddings & Honeymoons_Layout 1 16/10/2013 10:02 Page 31

Agent Training Event

Indian Ocean Showcase

Invites you to attend an

Indian Ocean Showcase Agent Networking Evening

Monday 25th November 2013 The Midland Hotel, Manchester City Centre Travel Bulletin is delighted to invite you to this training event covering all that this stunning in terms of accommodation, ights, health and wellbeing,wedding and honeymoon and tailormade packages. Registration :

18.00 hours

Networking & Presentations:

18.30 hours

Bu et, Entertainment & Prizes:

20.00 hours

Carriages:

21.30 hours

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

Exhibitors


S06 TB1810 Weddings & Honeymoons_Layout 1 16/10/2013 10:02 Page 32

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5030

Travel Bulletin 18th October 2013  
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