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July 19 2013 | ISSUE NO 1,835 | www.travelbulletin.co.uk

Cyprus Hoteliers set up ‘Summer is Cyprus’ joint initiative DON’T MISS... OUT

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JULY 20

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with this issue

this week agent bulletin 9 a round-up of fam trips and agent booking incentives

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puzzle bulletin play Su Doku for your chance to win a £50 M&S voucher

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training a round-up of new training modules & news

mexico

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operators promote new deals & property additions


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BOOK YOUR SEATS NOW Monday 7th October 2013 TThe hee Landmark, 222 M Marylebone Road, London NW1 6JQ Dress Code: Black Tie

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FLORIDA FRIENDS....Funway recently took a group of agents on an Atlantic Coast and Florida Keys fam trip. Pictured admiring the views at Palm Beach Marina are, from the left: (back row) Paul Dayson, Spa Travel; Caroline Johnson, Adams Travel; Alan Newton, Travel Emporium; Dave Edwards, Peregrination; Darren Vurnum, Escape Worldwide; and Andy Travis, Funway Holidays; with (front row) Marie Winwood, Midcounties Co Op; Rebecca Quille, Broadway Travel; and Sarah Cannell, Deben Travel.

This Week news 3 this week's latest updates, product

Cover Pictures: Main - Laneia, CTO

Inset - Allegro Playacar by Occidental

additions & offers

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agent bulletin

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staff review

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puzzle bulletin

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training

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personality bulletin

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cyprus

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mexico

a round-up of fam trips and agent booking incentives

Jill Sayles reviews the Ibis London Heathrow

play Su Doku for your chance to win a £50 M&S voucher a round-up of new training modules & news which UK & Ireland sales manager says she's great at multi-tasking? hoteliers set up ‘Summer is Cyprus’ joint initiative operators promote new offers & property additions

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Cinema tops the list of most wanted airport features A GLOBAL survey of more than 10,000 travellers has revealed a cinema as the most desired airport facility. Worried that their travel plans may prevent them catching the latest blockbusters, 49% of flyers chose an on-site cinema as their dream airport wish, reveals new research from Skyscanner. Designated sleeping areas allowing travellers the opportunity to catch up on a few hours’ sleep also fared well, with more than a third of respondents voting for sleep pods at their dream airport, making it the second most popular facility. Despite the rise of e-books, the traditional paperback is still a popular choice with 32% of travellers wishing for an airport library, making it the third most wanted airport facility, and allowing holidaymakers to immerse themselves in a novel by the pool, then simply return it after landing back home. Other facilities on the wish list included 31% of flyers voting for a green outdoor area in their dream airport. A park was the fourth most popular airport facility and the fifth was a vanity area offering salon and spa treatments, allowing holidaymakers to pamper themselves with last minute massages, manicures and haircuts. Some of the more unlikely facilities to

feature at a dream airport include a gym, with 15% of flyers longing for a last chance at toning their ‘holiday body’ and a karaoke area, with 5% of travellers wishing to kill time and a song. While both males and females were in agreement over their top choice of an airport cinema, there was a greater gender discrepancy with the other most wanted features. Despite the rise in metrosexual males, 45% of women wanted a vanity area to freshen up compared to just 14% of men and more than 10% of women wanted a personal shopper, compared to 8% of males. Men, on the other hand, appear to prefer active entertainment at their dream airport, with a swimming pool voted the fifth most wanted feature, and more than one in ten men wanting to tour the airport on complimentary bikes, compared to 9% of women. However, flyers may not have to dream for too long. Hong Kong International Airport already offers a UA IMAX theatre, offering a range of IMAX 2D and 3D movies. While the second most popular choice, the sleeping pods facility, has also been introduced at Abu Dhabi Airport for a cost of £8 per hour, offering weary flyers an affordable alternative to a hotel room.

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newsbulletin DoSomethingDifferent.com expands Dominican product

Adventure Ecotour in Punta Cana

DOSOMETHINGDIFFERENT HAS added a new range of Dominican Republic product to its portfolio, with new experiences including Splash Adventures, Punta Cana Buggies and a luxury spa experience with ‘Dr.Fish’. The operator's sales manager Lee Burns said: “With its increasing good value, compared with the more established Caribbean islands, the Dominican Republic continues to attract Brits looking for a bit of out-of-season sunshine. With British Airways flying there as well as a plethora of charter airlines, the Dominican Republic also now has options for those wishing to package up their own holidays. "With a majority of hotels being all-inclusive and designed so that holidaymakers don’t have to leave the complex, prebooked tours are generally the only way for clients to leave their accommodation. It’s a shame to think that after travelling such a long distance, holidaymakers might not be able to see the beauty of the island and the local culture. Agents booking with us means their clients can pre-plan their excursions and make the most of their holiday.” The company has also added new products in Chicago this summer, including Segway tours for families with children aged 12 and above. For further information visit www.dosomethingdifferent.com or call 020-8090 3890.

Silver Service success for Leger Holidays LEGER HOLIDAYS has announced it has grown its Silver Service fleet by 58% with the addition of 11 new coaches, taking the total number to 30. The luxury Silver Service coaches offer extra legroom and additional comfort and facilities, including a spacious rear lounge area, onboard entertainment and free porterage at all hotels. The company's marketing director Huw Williams said: “Sales for 2013 tours are currently up 23% year-on-year, and for 2014 bookings we’re already 85% ahead of 2012. There are several reasons for the success of the collection – firstly that we continue to add interesting and unique new tours to the range, which grab the attention of our customers. But in addition, for the last three years we have been travelling the length of the UK showcasing our luxury Silver Service coaches directly to consumers and also local travel agents through a series of more than 50 town-centre roadshows a year since 2010. “These events enable agents to see the product they are selling first hand, working as an interactive training tool and giving them a greater insight so they can more confidently sell to their customers. It creates huge brand awareness when parked in city centres too, which helps travel agents when trying to sell products to local holidaymakers who may have seen it." For further information call 0844-504 6250 or visit www.leger.co.uk

Poll reveals 90% of holidaymakers avoid camping holidays A WEEK’S camping with relatives tops the charts of the most hated holiday of all, according to new research from Holiday Extras. Of the 2,000 holidaymakers surveyed, 90% confessed to finding traditional holidays under canvas the least enjoyable, suggesting that even in recessionary times, creature comforts are the preferred choice. And it’s not just camping holidays that have been rejected by Brits; a third of holidaymakers say that staying with relatives is the most stressful holiday of all, with just 13% of Brits giving them the thumbs up. Meanwhile, the research showed that one-week holidays are not the answer for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation, with just 13% of those surveyed saying they gain any kind of emotional, physical or psychological benefit from a week in the sun. Other findings revealed that activity breaks were voted the most hard work by 46% of holidaymakers, with a further 52% saying they need another week away after returning home.

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BOTTOMS UP...Pictured sampling the new ‘Jet Brew’ in celebration of Jet2.com's inaugural flight from Newcastle to Pula in Croatia are, from the left: Laura Halliday, Newcastle International Airport; Julia Austin, Tyne Bank Brewery; and Phil Ward from Jet2.com.

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newsbulletin Multi-centre temple trail in Thailand from Travel 2 A 12-NIGHT multi-centre trip in Thailand from Travel 2 takes travellers to some of the most famous temple sites in the country. The tour gives visitors the opportunity to visit the Ayutthaya province, located in the valley of the Chao Phraya River, which is recognised as the ‘motherland of the temple region’, with Chiang Mai, home of the principle temple and one of the main Buddhist schools, also situated close by. The north of the country offers a mix of modern city life in Bangkok whilst maintaining traditional Thai living, including gastronomical experiences. The trip costs from £1,199 per person, including Thai Airways flights from London, internal flights, three nights at the five-star Anantara Bangkok Riverside, four nights at the four-star Centara Duangtawan Hotel Chiang Mai and five nights at the five-star Angsana Lagauna Phuket, all on a bed-andbreakfast basis. Transfers are available at an additional cost, starting from £57 per person. The offer is valid for travel taken between September 1 and October 31.

FLYING THE FLAG...Pictured in Halong Bay on a Travel Indochina fam trip, which travelled through Vietnam are, from the left: (back row) Kayleigh Elliott, Marion Owen; Gabriella Butler, Travel Angels; Julie Holme, Prestbury Travel; Kathryn Beaumont, Hanson Travel and Richard Swaine, Travel Indochina with (front row) Bella Sudra, Cruise Select; Ruth Scott, Ruth Scott Travel; Sarah Blake, Travellers World; and Linda White, CAS Travel.

Eurostar offers two-for-one entry into Europe’s museums EUROSTAR HAS renewed its partnership with 22 major museums and galleries across Paris, Brussels, Lille and London to offer passengers ‘two-for-one’ entry. The programme, formerly known as ‘Eurostar Plus Culture,’ has been running for three years and offers passengers two entrance tickets for the price of one into paid-for exhibitions and permanent collections in their destination city, by showing their Eurostar ticket.

This summer, the company is welcoming a new partner on board, as Brussel’s Margritte Museum joins the Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium and BOZAR to make up a trio of participating museums in the Belgian capital. Six museums are part of the programme in Paris, including the Musée d’Orsay and the Grand Palais, Galeries Nationales. For more information or to book visit www.eurostar.com or call 0843-218 6186.

20% savings on family-friendly Cottages4you properties TO MARK the arrival of the future heir to the throne, cottages4you is offering customers discounts on its selection of baby and toddler friendly properties. Agents who book by August 1 will receive up to 20% off UK properties within the collection for their clients, and the discount covers arrivals for the rest of 2013 and into 2014. The Baby and Toddler property range includes essential equipment such as a cot, high chair, baby bath, black out blinds, children’s crockery, sterilisers and nightlights. For details visit www.cottages4you.co.uk

Early booking deals with savings of up to £170 from The Cape Verde Experience THE CAPE Verde Experience, part of Serenity Holidays, has launched its Cape Verde November 2013 – October 2014 brochure which includes four new hotel additions plus cruise holidays on a 25-cabin Sail Cruiser. The company offers holidays on six of the ten islands and can arrange single-island and twin-centre trips, as well as a selection of programmed and tailormade island-hopping itineraries. Inspiration for twin-centre holidays has

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been presented in the new brochure for the first time, providing examples of possible combinations – these are themed as: ‘Cultural Capitals’, ‘Quality & Comfort’ and ‘Something Different’, while a selection of seven- and 14-night multicentre island-hopping itineraries are also included. For details see www.capeverde.co.uk/islandh opping The operator is promoting early booking deals on a selection of holidays booked

by July 31, representing savings of up to £170 per person, while four new hotels have been added to the new programme. Also new for this winter are luxury cruises of the Cape Verde archipelago on the 25-cabin Sail Cruiser Panorama. Sailing on November 1 and 8, the seven-night trips are operated by Variety Cruises and depart from Santiago, calling at the islands of Fogo, São Nicolau, Santo Antão, São Vicente and Maio. A

variety of optional excursions are also available during the cruise. As an example, a sevennight break leads in at £719, including an early booking discount of £20. The price is based on two sharing a standard room with breakfast at the two-and-a-half-star Hotel Pontão on Sal and includes flights, taxes, transfers and a representative in resort. For more information call 0845-330 2046 or see www.serenity.co.uk/trade

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Newsbites ●

BIRTHDAY BAKE...Hoseasons' brand Villas4You has celebrated one year of working with independent agents with the launch of its 2014 programme which features more than 600 villas in 23 destinations across seven countries. New destinations include Malta and Gozo as well as expansion in Andalusia and the Costa del Sol. Pictured marking the anniversary are Eddie Stark from Althams Travel and Zena Calderbank from Hoseasons. For details call 0844-847 1144 or visit www.hoseasons.co.uk/agents

AIR EUROPA is marking the launch of its new route between London and Montevideo by running a taxi advertising campaign with Ubiquitous. A total of 75 Air Europa branded taxis will take to the streets of London promoting Uruguay as one of Latin America’s fastest growing destinations to UK leisure and business travellers. The airline aims to raise awareness of its value for money and service including competitive prices, generous baggage allowance and quick connection times. KEN MACLEOD, chairman of Stena Line UK, has been awarded an OBE in the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Macleod was given the accolade in recognition of his services to the shipping industry as well as his extensive charitable work. CV TRAVEL has created its ‘mobile-first’ website at www.cvtravel.co.uk, in conjunction with brand and digital consultancy Nucleus. The mobile-friendly, responsive design makes use of large images, vertically stacked data, clear and concise text and easy to navigate features, including ‘property of the week’, special offers and villas selected by ‘type’, such as family, romantic and beachside. USAIRTOURS HAS opened a new office in Orlando. Its main function will be to provide a convenient check-in facility for villa rental customers, as well as a base for local staff to ensure that all rental properties in its programme are pre-inspected to meet its increased quality standards.

HF Holidays adds new guided walks and sightseeing itinerary in Ontario A NEW itinerary featuring guided walks and sightseeing in Ontario has been launched by HF Holidays. The 12-day ‘Journey to Niagara’ trip combines city and countryside walks, while taking in the sights. Available with selected departures next year, prices lead in at £2,899 per person (land-only) or £3,559 including

20% Asia savings from Intrepid Travel INTREPID TRAVEL is offering up to 20% off selected tours in Asia for bookings made by Monday. As an example, an eight-day Essential Thailand itinerary costs £352 per person and takes in the markets and waterways of Bangkok, the temples of Chiang Mai and a three-day hill tribe village trek. There are 40 trips in the offer, which is valid for departures until December 15. The promotional code 10184 must be used at the time of booking. For details see www.intrepidtravel.com

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flights and transfers. The twin-share prices also include 11 nights’ mainly full board accommodation in three- and fourstar hotels, a programme with a specialist local leader, internal flight, national park entrance fees and travel by airconditioned coach. For details call 0845-470 7558 or visit www.hfholidays.co.uk

Diamond Holidays unveils new tours for autumn & winter DIAMOND RAIL Holidays has announced the addition of several new itineraries for autumn/winter 2013, with a focus on Italy as well as a new tour to the island of Corsica. The new trips offer guests the opportunity to take in scenery and discover history and culture in each destination, and with travel by Eurostar from St Pancras included, offer a no-fly holiday option. As examples of new itineraries, a ten-day ‘Italian Adventure’ showcases some of Italy’s UNESCO World Heritage sites and cultural treasures on a journey through Venice, Florence, Siena, Rome and Milan. The tour departs on September 30 and leads in at £1,199 per person. A new ‘Italian Dolomites Winter Magic’ itinerary offers the chance to see the mountain range at its winter best, complete with visits to the Trentino and South Tirol regions and the city of Milan. The tour departs on February 24 next year and costs from £699. Meanwhile, a six-day ‘Christmas on the Italian Riviera’ itinerary departs on December 22 and costs from £699 while a ten-day ‘Highlights of Corsica’ option gives guests the chance to travel to some of the most picturesque railways in Europe on little trains that run on single tracks linking the mountains, coastline and villages of Corsica. The tour departs on October 4 and costs from £1,299. Included in the price of each package is travel by Eurostar from St Pancras, all rail journeys, accommodation in individually selected hotels, main visits and excursions, many meals, plus the services of a tour manager. For more information visit www.sellingrailholidays.com or call 0844-544 7581.

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newsbulletin Tweets of the Week Who’s saying what on Twitter... @RoyalCaribbean We've been upgrading every ship in our fleet. Find out what's new about your #favorite here: http://bit.ly/XAnTtF @CosmosHolidays #GOA - You'll just keep coming back! Save up to £250pp OFF Winter packages! http://bit.ly/tb6eyg @VisitBritain #DidYouKnow there's a place called Little Venice in London? Enjoy a canal side drink at one of the many cafes: http://bit.ly/XhB43U @Monarch Take off for £20 less! Use BIG20 online to save £20 off return flights, all dates, all scheduled routes http://bit.ly/20pdOff FunwayHolidays Take a trip to the Big Apple from only £599pp! Stay 3 nights at the Wellington Hotel, flying with @united. Visit http://funway4agents.co.uk

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Last minute summer savings with up to 50% off from Mallorca Farmhouses MALLORCA FARMHOUSES is offering up to 50% off last minute bookings for the summer season. All properties come with private pools, maid service and a starter pack with all the necessary basics for a self-catering holiday, with most also offering complimentary Wi-fi. The family-run company can provide private catering, a mobile spa service, babysitting and bike hire on request. Properties include the four-bedroom Finca Sa Cavea, which is located in the village of Cas Concos, close to local shops and a bakery. The farmhouse, which sleeps eight and dates back to 1725, has vaulted ceilings and a range of original artefacts along with family-friendly features, including table tennis, PlayStation2, a covered barbecue patio and large gardens for children to play in. Prices in August, to include the bank holiday weekend, start from £2,176 per week or £272 per person. Discounts are available from four weeks prior to booking. For further information and bookings call 0845-800 8080 or visit www.mallorca.co.uk

SUNVIL SAIL...Sunvil hosted a group of its top agents on a cruise on the vintage motor, Genevieve, followed by a VIP event at the Henley Royal Regatta. The vessel is available for private charter between April to October each year, with prices leading in at £300 per hour including two members of staff. Pictured enjoying the sights are, from the left: Sue John, Sunvil; Hilary Reed, Triangle Travel; Andrew Rowdon, Andrew Rowdon Travel; Paul Lodge, Carolyn Lodge Travel; Chris Wright, Sunvil; Oliver Broad, RB Collection; John Allan, John Allan Travel; Susie Atkinson, Haslemere Travel; and Kim Lacey, Baldwins Travel. For details see www.sunvil.co.uk call 020-8758 4797 or visit www.vintagethamescharters.com

Balkan Holidays announces new departures to Bulgaria BALKAN HOLIDAYS has announced that it will be flying from three new UK airports as part of its summer 2014 programme. In addition to flights from most UK airports, the operator will also be offering departures on selected dates in May and September from Cambridge, Southend and Newquay, to Bourgas. Prices lead in at £336 per person for seven nights flying from Newquay on September 12. Flights will depart from Southend and Cambridge on May 23 and from Newquay on May 24. September departures will be the first of the month for Southend, the fifth for Cambridge and 12th for Newquay. Flight supplements will be £50 per person and free child places are also available on the specified dates. Meanwhile, the company is offering a variety of holidays on the Black Sea next summer. The programme includes 60 all-inclusive properties, guided coach tours to Bulgaria’s wine and historical regions, spa breaks and golf holidays. Flight-only and accommodation-only options are also available. For more information visit www.balkanholidays.co.uk/agents or call 0845-130 1114 .

Visit Orlando helps boost agents’ knowledge with new online academy VISIT ORLANDO has launched the Orlando Travel Academy, an online tool that provides education on all aspects of Orlando. Once agents have completed the seven chapters they will become a certified Orlando Travel Experts and will earn four continuing education credits from The Travel Institute. Danielle Courtenay, chief marketing officer of the tourist office said: “Travel agents play an important role in selling Orlando and helping travellers get the most fun, memories and value out of their visit. The updated Orlando Travel Academy uses full audio commentary to bring the destination to life in a dynamic way and provides new and helpful information even for those who may have completed a previous version of the programme.”

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Graduates also qualify for a variety of exclusive benefits, including the chance to be selected for one of 50 places on a VIP super fam which takes place from September 27October 4, offering visits to Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin at SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment; Transformers The Ride – 3D at Universal Orlando Resort; and the New Fantasyland in Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom Park. Agents will also receive a listing in the “Travel Agent Lookup” widget featured on the tourist board’s consumer website plus agent-only exclusive deals in the Visit Orlando Travel Agent Passport. For more information see www.visitorlando.com/trade (Training – page 12)

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in t e ll u b r e w s n a & n io t ques

QA &

with Noel

Noel Josephides, Chairman of Sunvil Holidays, has been elected ABTA Chairman and will take up his new role on July 24. We gave agents the opportunity to ask Noel key questions on current hot topics and where he thinks the industry is heading... Q: Can you see a time where High Street travel agents no longer earn commission from bookings, but instead charge a professional fee to provide travel advice? John Guinn, Holiday Hut Ltd A: I have agonised over this for many years and we have tried it in our retail branch. I do not believe we can work in any other way other than through earning commission. Now, with the power given to the consumer through the web, we would never be able to charge for our advice - we have lost that battle. What we can do and what we must aim to do is to guarantee 100% financial security and a personal service to our clients for everything we sell and hopefully we will retain them. Q: Will you try to make sure that the ATOL regulations are extended to cover all the airlines and all the packages that are ‘made’ on websites through airline websites? Anonymous A: Well, having read the Directive I believe that it will now be increasingly difficult for airlines to put packages together by allowing click–throughs to related sites. The Directive makes it clear that you cannot transfer data from one site to the other and if you do, then the airline will be responsible for the financial standing of the accommodation provider. So, the airline would have to check that each hotel featured has adequate financial protection cover should they (the hotel) go into liquidation. What is proposed will complicate the lives of airlines that do not sell the packages they put together under their own ATOL.

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Q: Will you encourage ABTA to make sure that members offer 100% financial protection to their customers? It is very unclear at present exactly what cover ABTA provides, and many customers have no idea that their ‘package’ is often not protected. Anonymous A: What confuses customers is the broader system of financial protection and the definition of a package – are airlines in or out? What does ATOL, or ATOL Flight Plus cover? Is a DIY package the same as a pre-arranged package? etc – I don’t think you can single out ABTA, and the truth is ABTA’s system has been very effective in protecting the customer over many years. I’d hope that the PTD reform will help address some of those questions and ABTA has been pushing for better consistency and transparency in what is protected under the law. My personal view is that a strong and simple offer of customer protection is good for the customer and good for travel businesses. ABTA is researching the views of members who sell accommodation-only who do not provide financial protection yet carry the ABTA badge and ultimately the Board will decide what happens next on this issue. Q: Do you think that you can get ABTA back to being thought of as offering full protection for the customer with anyone displaying the ABTA logo? It’s a big ask as everything is so complicated now… Sandra Murray, Sandy’s Travel Escapes

A: My role as Chairman of ABTA is not to pursue a personal agenda, it is to ensure the Association keeps on track with its strategy and effectively represents the interests of its Members. In terms of financial protection, as I said earlier, the really key point is that the market has changed and the law needs to be updated to reflect this; this is in the hands of the policymakers in Europe and the UK. ABTA must keep up the pressure in its work to influence these decision makers. Q: Why are the ABTA fees still so high and are you likely to reduce them? Robert Wickings, World Travel A: I don’t think the fees for any association will ever be low enough for any of us who are members. The ABTA increase for 2013/4 is 3%. We cannot reduce the fees so don’t expect that, but we do look at them very carefully every year. Sunvil has five companies in ABTA membership so the issue is close to my heart. Q: Does ABTA have any plans to engage operators in promoting sustainability programmes that you yourself have previously been heavily involved in? Anonymous A: I have seen ABTA make a lot of progress in progressing sustainability programmes, directly with operators and more broadly across the sector through initiatives like Travelife and the Animal Welfare Guidelines. Enormous progress has been made across the industry but in my view it will take time, we cannot expect overnight success. Q: Will you try to encourage some of the big operators to reduce their online discounting to give agents a better chance of retaining their clients? Jill Doherty, Travel PA A: This is not something that ABTA can become involved in as it is a commercial matter. Sunvil’s own retail agency suffers from these tactics and this is a topic that concerns all retailers and has done so for many years. I would vote with your feet as we have done at Sunvil and now work with operators who do not behave in this fashion. I know it is not easy because it is difficult to find alternative regional departures for instance. There are few middle range tour operators left to provide choice. I think each one of us has to find our own solution to this serious problem.

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agentbulletin Booking incentives ●

IN CELEBRATION of the first anniversary of its inaugural A380 flight between Heathrow and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Airlines is running a voucher incentive scheme throughout this month for travel agents. For every ticketed sale made, from Economy to Business and First Class, the airline is offering High Street gift vouchers. Agents who book flights will also be automatically entered into a weekly prize draw where they can win a set of free return Economy Flights (taxes included) to visit Kuala Lumpur. Each ticketed sale in Economy class is equivalent to one prize draw

entry, while a sale in First and Business class is rewarded with A380 The entries. two Anniversary Giveaway runs until July 31 and to participate agents should register at www.malaysiaairlinesgiveaway. co.uk ●

Premium will also be entered into a weekly prize draw to be in with a chance of winning one of hundreds of prizes including Kindles, Brainz toys and family day passes. ●

BOURNE LEISURE has launched its Brainz’ summer incentive. Until August 31, agents are being offered the chance to earn a £5 Love2Shop voucher for every summer booking for travel in July, August and September for a minimum of three nights. Agents who upgrade their customers’ accommodation to

KARMA SAMUI in Koh Samui has been renamed The Kanda Residences and the property is offering agents a £20 booking incentive for all stays completed by December 15, based on a minimum seven-night stay. To claim, email samantha@kandaresidences.com and for more information on the property see www.kandaresidences.com

Fancy a fam? THIS OCTOBER will see the sixth California Superfam give another 60 agents the opportunity to experience a week of adventures across the Golden State. Partnering again with British Airways the group will tour the state on five themed itineraries between October 10 and 17, to coincide with the launch of the airline’s new A380 flight to Los Angeles. The five themed itineraries will include Culinary, Family Fun, Indulgence, Entertainment and Great Outdoors experiences. As an example, The Great Outdoors itinerary, which has been designed by new partner Intrepid Travel this year, will take the group off-the-

beaten-track including alternative lodging options, such as camping, as offered on its tours. To register, agents should log any British Airways bookings to California’s three gateway cities – Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego - by September 6 (for travel at any time) on the California Superfam microsite – superfam.visitcalifornia.co.uk. To increase their chances of winning a place on the Superfam and for a chance to win regular prizes, agents should complete the California Expert online training programme at www.californiaexpert.co.uk by September 6.

MILES AHEAD...Travel 2 presented Les Bannerman (left) and Louise Channing from Miles Morgan Travel with its most recent 'Agent of the Month' award. The Cliftonbased agency was presented with Champagne and chocolates to toast their success. Pictured with Les and Louise is the operator's Andy Harris.

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newsbulletin Last minute deals from Away Holidays offer up to 40% off accommodation

staffreview Jill Sayles from Travel Bulletin stayed one night at the Ibis London Heathrow Hotel. Here are her thoughts on the property...

First impressions ................................8/10 It was a cold evening so it was nice to walk into a bright, spacious and warm reception area with a quick check-in.

Comfort ..............................................8/10 The room was comfortable and clean. It had a double bed (the Sweet Bed™ by ibis), sofa, TV, wardrobe, desk, tea/coffee-making area, plus a separate heater which was very welcome during the cold weather at the time of stay. There was a shower room rather than a bathroom. Hairdryers and ironing tables are available at reception.

Quality ................................................7/10 The three-star hotel has 326 rooms, a restaurant and 24hour bar and snacks. It is clean with ample facilities throughout.

Affordability ........................................9/10 Rooms are priced from £58 per night.

Service ................................................7/10 Service at the restaurant for dinner was slow so I moved to the bar area which served snack dishes. The service here was quicker and the food was good.

AWAY RESORTS is rolling out a new programme of live entertainment this summer that takes its inspiration from Saturday morning TV kids’ shows of the 1980s. The entertainment teams at the operator’s parks on the Isle of Wight (Whitecliff Bay) and Hayling Island (Mill Rythe Holiday Village) will be launching a new hour-long ‘Play Live on Stage’ production based on the format for Saturday morning TV programmes with ‘presenters’, game shows, dancing/singing competitions and a mini version of Bear in the Woods. This will take place at 19:00 and is designed to appeal to all the family. The company will also be the first park operator to offer a pre-teatime show for toddlers, which will be a shorter version of ‘Play Live on Stage’ for pre-school children and will take place between 14:00 and 17:00, with new character Lucy’s Teddy, who will have her own adventures. The new entertainment additions will complement an existing programme of activities, which includes My Active scheme and My Play, while the Midnight Screen Outdoor cinema takes place throughout the summer. The company is offering up to 40% off accommodation at Whitecliff Bay Holiday Park on the Isle of Wight during the peak summer-season. For example, seven nights in a four-berth comfort chalet from July 27 leads in at £516, down from £860. Other offers include up to 30% off accommodation at Tattershall Lakes Country Park, Lincolnshire, with seven nights leading in at £487, down from £609 in a six-berth comfort caravan and 30% off accommodation at Barmouth Bay Holiday Park, north Wales, where a sevennight stay in an eight-berth value caravan costs £462, down from £660, this month.

Good to know ............................................ The hotel is 1km from the airport so take the Hotel Hoppa Bus from the hotel to the airport which runs every 20 minutes from 05:30 to 23:00 and costs £4 each way. Alternatively, there’s a free local bus service from just across the road during the same hours.

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

8/ 10

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

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July 19 2013

DOING THE SHUFFLE...Throughout May the Expedia Travel Agencies' Affiliate Programme ran a 'Great Summer Giveaway' promotion, where agents making eligible bookings had the chance to earn an unlimited amount of Expedia vouchers, as well as top prizes. Pictured receiving her prize of an iPod Shuffle and £15 in iTunes vouchers from the company's Rob Grover is Lisa Clark of Flight Centre in Holborn.

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puzzlebulletin Travagrams

Su Doku Win a £50 M&S voucher in the travelbulletin Su Doku prize puzzle Number: 121

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

Vacant Riling It

A➠

B➠ Each of this airline’s aircraft feature a ‘Scarlet Lady’

C➠

Mob Cool

D➠ Fill in all the squares in the grid so that each row, column and each of the 3 x 3 squares contains the digits 1-9. Once you have completed the puzzle, simply identify the numbers that relate to the letters, A, B, C and D then e-mail the solution, with your name, company name, and full postal address plus phone and ABTA number if applicable to: competition@travelbulletin.co.uk Closing date for entries is Thursday, July 25th. Solution and new puzzle will appear next week. The winner for 5th July is Atul Shah, Barnet Travel in London. July 5 Solution: A=7 B=1 C=3 D=8

Crossword

This Sri Lankan city shares its name with a famous TV detective

Where Am I?

The Italian Grand Prix is raced here.

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

Number: 121

Across 1. Safari specialist, ___ Holidays (5) 3. Paris Underground (5) 5. The Galapagos Islands are a part of this country (7) 6. State and resort with a blend of Indian and Portuguese culture (3) 7. Edinburgh airport code (3) 8. Swiss ski lodge (6) 10. First name of singer, currently the face of Muller yoghurts (6) 11. The worldwide web, in short (3) 13. Kardamena is a lively resort on this island (3) 14. Kiev is the capital (7) 15. Popular resort at Israel's southernmost tip (5) 16. England and Australia face Tests to win this competition (5)

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Down 1. Country hosting the UEFA Women's Euro 2013 (6) 2. Kuoni can take you to this Indian Ocean island (9) 3. Traditional seaside resort in Kent (7) 4. Muscat is the capital (4) 6. Historic stopping point on a Thames river cruise (9) 8. Aim for the hoop when playing this lawn game (7) 9. Cultural city break destination (6) 12. Largest island in the Inner Hebrides (4)

For the solution to the Crossword, Where Am I? and Travagrams, please see page 22 July 19 2013

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trainingbulletin 'Greener Hotels' training from The Travel Foundation HOTELIERS CAN now sign up to a new online training campaign from the Travel Foundation to celebrate Make Holidays Greener Month. The free training quiz, which consists of four modules, aims to help hotel staff at all levels get up to speed with sustainable tourism. Salli Felton, acting chief executive of the Travel Foundation, said: “Our aim is to help people working in the travel trade to understand more about sustainable tourism. The ‘Greener Hotels’ quiz has been developed with hoteliers, specifically for those working in the hotel industry, to help staff understand how their day to day activities can have a positive impact on a hotel’s surroundings.” The modules offer ‘Sustainable tourism – what is it all about?’, ‘Protecting the environment’, ‘Think local, act local’ and ‘Communicating with guests’. The organisation is also launching a

service to develop bespoke training quizzes so that courses can be tailored specifically to an organisation’s needs. For details call Julie Middleton on 0117-930 7172 or visit www.travelfoundationtraining.com

Training Academy relaunch from The Global Travel Group THE GLOBAL Travel Group has announced a new and improved training academy for this summer. Featuring courses on airlines and package holidays plus a dedicated session on social media marketing and a travel industry ‘101’ self-study e-module to be completed prior to training, the new academy has been shaped directly from feedback by agents. The two-week training course, tailored specifically for both experienced and nonexperienced new members, will take place within the company’s corporate campus in Chester, Cheshire. Andy Stark, managing director of the group, said: “We’re thrilled to be launching our new and improved training academy, further strengthening our support to agents and designed specifically around their feedback. "We continually strive to stay one step ahead of the industry and with these new changes we’re implementing, we’re doing just that – ensuring that our agents have the product knowledge in place to help manage their business with the utmost confidence.” For more information call 0844-826 4567 or visit www.globaltravelgroup.com

PICTURED ON a recent Luxury & Cruise Training Day with The Global Travel Group, held at Boreham House in Essex are, from the left: Jon Mills, Bespoke Getaways; Cherie Richards, The Global Travel Group; and Jeff Jones, Global Travel Buntingford.

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Thomson Cruises launches new e-learning platform THOMSON CRUISES has launched a new ‘Cruise Corner’ e-learning platform for retail staff selling cruises on its ‘Dream’, ‘Spirit’, ‘Celebration’ and ‘Majesty’ ships in all Thomson and First Choice shops. The website, which will be available to all other retail agents from late summer, comprises of 15-20-minute modules and is specifically designed to improve agents' knowledge of the fleet, on board features and USPs such as tips and service charges. The platform will also help retail agents update customers on the latest product news through video content, images and destination facts. Fraser Ellacott, managing director of the cruise line, said: “We are delighted that all retail agents will have access to this new training tool and hope that the increased product knowledge will really help our customers get a flavour for the cruises we have on offer. We have already had some very positive feedback from agents who have trialled the system and we will be looking to roll out further training modules in the future.” After testing the site, Michelle Kerr, a cruise specialist based at the Newton Mearns Thomson shop said: “Cruise Corner has given me a much better understanding of the Thomson Cruises products we have on offer as a company and has given me the confidence to talk in detail about which cruise holidays best suit my customers’ needs.”

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60 agents will be lucky enough to experience the best that California has to offer on the FAM TRIP OF A LIFETIME. Featuring 5 itineraries which let you delve deeper into the Golden State...

To see where you could be headed and to register your British Airways bookings, go to:

superfam.visitcalifornia.co.uk


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personalitybulletin

Marie MacDonald The UK and Ireland sales manager of Pierre & Vacances says she’s great at multi-tasking and would like more opportunities for young people entering the industry...

Who is your ideal travelling companion? My family as there is never a dull moment. What's your earliest childhood memory? I remember idyllic family holidays up in Scotland on long sunny days with buckets and spades on the beach. Where was your last work-related trip? At the end of May I visited Andalusia with colleagues to see our expanding programme in Spain. It was a great trip from a business point of view and also good to see glorious sunshine at last! If you were a celebrity who would you choose to be and why? Karren Brady as she is not only a celebrity but has proven her worth as a business woman. What three words would your friends use to describe you? I was hoping for outgoing, fun and adventurous, but my friends think I’m hard-working, honest and northern. I think I might need to work on that. What have your travels taught you? There is always something new to discover and experience, and that you don’t necessarily have to go too far away to find it. This I have discovered with my current fascination with France. What is the best advice you recall? Simply treat others as you would like to be treated yourself. If you could have a room full of any one thing, what would it be? I don’t think I have ever had all my family and friends in one room so that could be interesting.

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“Embracing technology is the only way forward; this is not only part of my everyday working life, but as a consumer something I am pushing for”

Career path ● ● ● ● ●

2008 - present: UK and Ireland sales manager, Pierre & Vacances. 2001 - 2008: Major account manager, TUI 1997 - 2001: National account manager, British Airways Holidays 1994 - 1997: Business analyst, Inspirations Holidays 1991 - 1994: Sales & marketing executive, Unijet Holidays

If you could change three things in the industry, what would they be? Clarity for customers, an industry that works together and more opportunities for young people starting careers in travel. Who has been the biggest inspiration/influence in your career? I have been very lucky to have worked and be working with some great leaders. My time at TUI was particularly notable with a great many charismatic leaders including Jeanne Lally. What's your favourite city and why? Paris - so close and also so chic, oozing with culture and great food.

If you were not doing this job, what would you be doing? Working for an airline. What is your motto in life? Life is short – make time to enjoy it. If you had a super power what would it be and why? Flying is the obvious answer for pure fun, but it would be good to have some healing powers to help others. What was your nickname at school and why? Possibly Macca for MacDonald, but not used much. What item do you always take with you when travelling? My phone - it’s good to be able to work on the go, keep in touch with family and when on holiday it’s good to be able to switch it off. What's your favourite airline and why? British Airways. Having worked at BA for a number of years I still have a strong affinity. How do you deal with stress? I try to work on prevention rather than cure, and ensure that stressful situations are either avoided, nipped in the bud or kept to a minimum. What special skill do you have? Multi-tasking – both in my personal and professional life this is a musthave skill. How do you cope with the advances in technology? Embracing technology is the only way forward so this is not only part of my everyday working life, but as a consumer something I am pushing for.

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cyprus A celebration of Cyprus, its people and its visitors manager, Kanika by MARIA EVRIPIDES, group sales committee of Hotels & Resorts, on behalf of the ‘Summer Is Cyprus’

OURISM AND Cyprus go together like gin and tonic; it’s an industry that is simply and clearly an important part of life on the island. In particular, Cyprus is a favourite destination among UK holidaymakers, with many returning year after year, often eventually with their children and grandchildren. What you might not know is that despite the recent economic turmoil on the island, tourism appears to be immune to economic woes. In fact, it is quite amazing to see resident expatriates expressing support and solidarity with our citizens. As if in return, our tourism and hospitality industry is even more determined to demonstrate that Cyprus was, is, and always will be, a warm and welcoming high standard holiday destination, come what may. To prove this point, a number of sales, marketing and PR executives from various hotels (including ourselves) decided not just to tell the world, but to show the world exactly what Cyprus has to offer – today, here and now. We recognised that the travel industry needed reassurance and that travel agents were being asked questions that they could not answer. So, for the sake of Cyprus and its visitors, but above all for those who are sitting in the middle – the trade – a powerful initiative was born: ‘Summer is Cyprus’.

T

What’s it all about? ‘Summer is Cyprus’ is a joint initiative set up by hoteliers in Cyprus to give the island a strong, up-to-date and interactive online presence. It does not promote a single resort or hotel, but presents the island as a whole. With its own website and via the most popular social media channels, the campaign takes a look at Cyprus from two perspectives. On the one hand, you will find daily posts and photographs revealing the island’s natural beauty and beaches, history and traditions, entertainment, recreation and events. And on the other hand, ‘Summer is Cyprus’ is

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where you can read first-hand editorials, travelogues, testimonials and personal experiences related to island attractions. Who is behind it? Although originally the brainchild of Kanika Hotels & Resorts’ sales manager Maria Evripides, ‘Summer is Cyprus’ was quickly adopted by all Cypriot hoteliers and will run under the umbrella of the two Cyprus Hotel Associations, STEK and PASYKSE, with the support of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation. The leadership committee includes executives from key hotels of the island and their role is to ensure that the travel trade and the travellers themselves have access to full and valid information about Cyprus and have an open invitation to freely contribute to discussions. How will it help you? The campaign is designed to be the go-to address for anything and everything related to a holiday in Cyprus. Find out where you can stay and what there is to see and do across the island – and then read what others have to say about it all. For the travel trade in particular, ‘Summer is Cyprus’ is a valuable and practical tool that will give you the answers to your questions, along with several additional suggestions and ideas. In other words, it will make your job easier and the information you offer to your clients more reliable. To ensure that you don’t miss out on anything, ‘follow’, ‘like’, and in general keep an eye on ‘Summer is Cyprus’. You’re sure to find lots of interesting and helpful information that you will want to share yourself with your own ‘friends’ and ‘followers’ to keep your social media activity fresh and rich. For more information visit www.summeriscyprus.com ✦

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cyprus Facebook poll from CTO marks 'Make Holidays Greener' month AS PART of the Make Holidays Greener month, The Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO), headline sponsors for the 2013 campaign ‘Link to What’s Local’, is inviting operators and agents to take part in a poll on its UK Facebook page to gauge views on responsible tourism across the industry. Make Holidays Greener Month, which runs until the end of this month, is an awareness-raising campaign from the Travel Foundation that celebrates greener holidays. Highlighting the travel industry’s work in this area, the Foundation is encouraging travel firms of all sizes to make pledges to do just one thing to support sustainable holidays during the month and beyond.

The CTO has committed to sustainable issues through a variety of initiatives including the Destination Partnership with the Travel Foundation and the Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative (CSTI), which was launched in 2010. The ‘Link to What’s Local’ theme ties in with many of Cyprus' unique offerings, such as its fresh local produce, tavernas, its range and quality of agrotourism properties, scenery and ancient sites, plus the islanders’ renowned friendliness. By choosing one of the suggested options in answer to the question: ‘When it comes to encouraging your customers to ‘go local’, which of these do you think are the most important?’, and liking the CTO’s UK Facebook page

(Facebook.com/CyprusTourismOrganis ationUK), agents and operators can be in with a chance of winning a place on a fam trip, as well as providing feedback on what they think are the most important areas to focus on when it comes to inspiring visitors to be responsible while travelling. Pledges so far received for the Make Holidays Greener Month have come from a variety or organisations including AITO, Cosmos Holidays, Sunvil, Hilton Woldwide and Thomas Cook. To view a full list of pledges visit www.thetravelfoundation.org.uk/green erhols/find_out_more and for general visitor information see www.visitcyprus.com or call 020-7569 8800.

So White & So Nice Boutique Suites open new Beach Venue THE FIVE-STAR So White Boutique Suites and the fourstar Superior So Nice Boutique Suites, located on Golden Beach, Makronissos, have opened a new Beach Venue offering views over the Mediterranean. At ground level is the Beach Club, hosting a

OUT NOW CYPRUS WINTER SUN!

TO ORDER YOUR BROCHURE PACKS CONTACT US AT sales@cyplon.co.uk or FREEPHONE 0800 074 8888

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July 19 2013

Mediterranean lounge restaurant and on the top floor, is the award winning Japanese Nozomi Restaurant, which offers pan-asian cuisine, with an extended sushi menu. As night progresses, the venue dims its lights to be turned into an open-air nightclub.

Taverna tradition from Kanika Hotels KANIKA HOTELS has introduced a new gastronomy concept across its properties Alexander the Great, Elias Beach and Olympic Lagoon Resort. The 'Taverna Experience' offers guests a culinary journey to true Cypriot cooking where a carefully crafted ‘meze’ (a collection of many small plates) is offered within one sitting. Guests are first greeted with Greek tavern, Elias Beach Hotel a traditional aperitif, accompanied by dried fruit and nuts, followed by the meze, where each dish is described, with recipes provided upon request. With each hotel located close to village orchards, guests are offered the freshest fruits in season at the end of the meze, as well as Cypriot homemade sweet bites made with grandmother’s recipe. Antonis Nicolaou, executive chef at Olympic Lagoon Resort, said: "When visiting a country, it’s natural to want to explore the cuisine and given our passion for Cypriot food, we felt it a responsibility to display our own take on meze within our resorts." A seven-night all-inclusive stay at one of the properties with Jet2holidays leads in at £885 per person, based on two sharing, including flights and transfers. Other operators featuring the properties include Thomas Cook, Thomson/First Choice, Olympic Holidays, Cyplon, Sunvil, Planet Holidays, Cosmos Holidays, SAGA Holidays and Travel Counsellors.

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cyprus Olympic Holidays targets cost-conscious market to capitalise on trends OLYMPIC HOLIDAYS reports that bookings at the lower end of the market have been its best sellers for this summer, particularly self-catering and cheaper hotel holidays in the resorts of Agia Napa and Protaras. The company’s commercial director Photis Lambrianides said: “Less expensive holidays are selling best for Cyprus, with apartments and three-star hotels doing much better than the top-end. “The south-east resorts of Agia Napa and Protaras, which between them have a major share of the self-catering bed capacity, are the prime sellers this summer, indicating a shift in client preference. “We are again seeing a short lead time for bookings, so with the school holiday period fast approaching I am highly optimistic of a further push in sales for the peak summer months.

“Families are watching their outgoings more closely than ever in these days of tighter budgets and as a result are increasingly looking at self-catering holiday options.” Example packages include seven nights’ half-board at the three-star Silver Sands Hotel in Protaras in August for £645 per person, based on two sharing a twin room. The price includes flights from Gatwick and transfers. According to the operator, all-inclusives are also in demand this year and the company is offering 42 in Cyprus alone. Lambrianides said: "Booking levels confirm that Cyprus is as attractive as ever in the UK market despite the rise of new destinations and the continuing performance of established holiday places." For further details call 0844-499 4449 or see www.olympicholidays.com

New service from British Airways serves Larnaca three times weekly from Gatwick BRITISH AIRWAYS has launched a three-times weekly service from Gatwick to Larnaca. Peter Simpson, the airline’s director at Gatwick said: "We're delighted to launch yet another great leisure route for our customers. "As well as extra flights to the Mediterranean favourite

Cyprus, we have also started flying to Alicante, Barcelona, Tenerife, Lanzarote and Sri Lanka this year, offering holidaymakers an even greater choice of where to head to this summer." Prices start from £79 oneway on a hand baggage-only fare, including taxes and charges. The airline offers

seven nights’ breakfast accommodation at the fourstar Crystal Springs in Protaras from £439 per person or seven nights’ breakfast accommodation for the price of five at the fivestar Le Meridien Limassol Resort & Spa from £719 per person. Both offers include flights

from Gatwick to Larnaca for travel in October. All flights include free online check-in, seat selection 24-hours prior to departure and complimentary food and drink on board. For details or to book call 0844-493 0758 or visit www.ba.com/larnaca

CYPRUS

3* COLUMBIA BEACHOTEL PISSOURI

5* ASIMINA SUITES PAPHOS

Complimentary HB Min stay 5 nights between 1 July - 31 Oct 13 Prices from £955 pp

Comp HB & Upgrade from One Bed Suite Limited SV to Front SV Book by 31 July Prices from £1277 pp

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5* INTERCONTINENTAL APHRODITE HILLS NEAR PAPHOS

Complimentary HB between 1 Sep - 26 Oct 13 book by 31 August Prices from £1209 pp


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cyprus Larnaca’s four-star Palm Beach Hotel & Bungalows updates Royal Suites THE FOUR-STAR Palm Beach Hotel & Bungalows in Larnaca has recently completed the renovation of one of its six Royal Suites, Suite 111. The new suite features a separate lounge area, a bedroom with en-suite plus a separate bathroom off the lounge area. The bedroom terrace offers an outdoor Jacuzzi and sea views. The suite is connected to a superior

sea view room, which has also been renovated, making it ideal for families that would like to book children in an interconnecting room. A stay in the suite comes complete with VIP amenities, a fruit basket, Champagne and fresh flowers. Prices for stays in November lead in at €310 per night or £267 on a bed-andbreakfast basis, while board upgrades start from £20 per person for half-board

and £39 for full board. Prices start from £522.75 per person for seven nights’ breakfast stay in a standard twin room, flying from East Midlands Airport, Manchester or Leeds Bradford in midOctober with Jet2holidays. The price also includes transfers. To book call 0800-408 5599 or see www.jet2holidays.com and for details on the property visit www.palmbeachhotel.com

Planet Holidays promotes So Nice & So White boutique properties PLANET HOLIDAYS is featuring the four-star So Nice and fivestar So White Boutique hotels in Macronissos, on the outskirts of Agia Napa. Prices for a seven-night mid-October stay at So Nice, including flights from Gatwick, start from £857 per person on bed-and-breakfast, based on two sharing a junior suite. A junior suite pool view room at the So White for the same period leads in at £985.19 per person, both excluding transfers. The operator’s managing director Mathilde Robert said: “These two properties are gems by the sea, offering a fantastic location and easy access from Larnaca Airport. Agents can really sell these hotels to couples and families looking for something truly unique in Cyprus.” The So Nice is a collection of bungalows and suites offering easy access to the beach. The suites offer private pools and Jacuzzis, plus private roof gardens. There are also four new suites - Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond, all with free Wi-fi. Adjacent to the property is the So White Boutique Suites which feature a bedroom and a living room suite, L’Occitane toiletries, plus a choice of pillow type and memory foam mattresses. Some suites offer private swimming pools, Jacuzzis and a spa shower, as well as state-of-the-art technology such as widescreen LED TVs, chromotherapeutic lighting, and free Wi-Fi.

Robert said: “The Tombs of Macronissos make for a lovely day trip with their large unassuming shapes. Nearby there is also the Waterworld Waterpark, which promises to offer a So Nice Hotel fun-filled day with both exciting rides and slides as well as the chance to drift round the lazy river.” Meanwhile, the operator has announced that in Limassol the five-star Royal Apollonia Beach Hotel, part of Louis Hotels, has reopened after a major refurbishment. Robert said: “We saw it as a complete building site in March and then in May, voila, a beautiful, elegant, hotel had emerged. The rooms are generous in size, decor is impeccable and am sure that this hotel will do very well for travellers who want to combine sun and sea with a stay in cosmopolitan Limassol.” A half-board seven-night stay in October costs from £925.21 per person based on two sharing a superior room, including flights. Transfers are excluded. For more information or to book call 0871-871234 or see www.planet-holidays.co.uk

Walking in Cyprus tour from Explore

CYPLON IS offering a free seven-night breakfast stay for two at the five-star Four Seasons Hotel in Limassol when guests make a booking for a minimum seven-night stay for two. The offer is valid for any bookings made for arrivals this year and the complimentary stay can be taken between November 10 and April 20, 2014. For details see www.cyplon.co.uk

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July 19 2013

EXPLORE IS highlighting an eight-day Walking In Cyprus tour where guests can take in the country's landscapes and cultural heritage as they trek through the Troodos Mountains and the Akamas Peninsula. In the Solea Valley, guests can discover 12th century Byzantine churches and explore the Tombs of Kings in Paphos. The tour also visits the Baths of Aphrodite, Kykkos Monastery and the GrecoRoman amphitheatre at Kourion. Departing between September and December, prices lead in at £865 per person including flights; seven nights' breakfast accommodation, transport

and the services of a tour leader and local guides. The operator is also highlighting its ‘On Foot in Northern Cyprus’ tour, which offers walks in the Besparmak Mountain range, following quiet mountain trails. Departing between September and December, the eight-day tour costs from £652 per person including flights, seven nights’ breakfast accommodation, five lunches, transport and the services of a tour leader and driver. For further information or to book visit www.explore.co.uk or call 0844-499 0901.

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mexico

Sapphire Riviera Cancun

Hayes & Jarvis adds three five-star all-inclusive properties to programme HAYES & Jarvis has added three new five-star all-inclusive hotels in Mexico. Sapphire Riviera Cancun, Secrets The Vine Cancun and Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun are now included in the operator’s ‘Worldwide’ brochure for 2013/14 and are designed to appeal predominantly to adults. The premium all-inclusive Sapphire Riviera Cancun is the latest addition, with a design inspired by Mayan architecture and featuring a range of restaurants, bars

and a spa. Nearby are some of the region’s archaeological sites and the world’s second largest coral reef. A seven-night package at the resort costs from £1,519 per person, including BA flights from London and transfers. The operator's regional product manager Katie Parsons said: “We have seen a rise in interest in premium allinclusive packages, with resorts offering extras like spa treatments,

international brand drinks and Champagne, proving that the allinclusive concept appeals to customers looking for a high-end experience. "The five-star Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun is a great example of this with an ‘Unlimited Luxury’ package that includes premium cocktails, gourmet restaurants and endless land and water-based activities. Best of all there are no wristbands.”

Ace Cultural Tours highlights 'Maya World' option from £3,870 per person ACE CULTURAL Tours is promoting small group tours (maximum 25 people) to Mexico, each led by an expert. As examples, a Maya World: Mexico, Guatemala & Honduras itinerary which departs from January 4-22 next year leads in at £3,870 per person. The tour director is Nicholas James, a member of Cambridge University's Archaeology and Anthropology Department, who has been studying the native peoples of Mexico and Guatemala for more than 30 years. The tour delves into the Maya past and present, and reviews the cataclysmic effects of the Spanish Conquest in the 16th century. Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula is home to the key Maya cities of Chichén Itzá, Ek Balam, Uxmal and Kabah, and each of these settlements offers evidence to suggest that the world of the Maya was the Americas’ most advanced civilisation. Guests will travel down the Gulf coast to the

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rainforest city of Palenque, a Maya site which is undergoing constant excavation to uncover the estimated 500 buildings still buried. From Palenque, the itinerary continues southwards to take in the remote ruins of Yaxchilán perched on the banks of the Usumacinta, chief waterway of the ancient Maya. Flores, the lakeside capital of the Petén region of Guatemala, is the tour's base for visiting the pyramids of Tikal, often considered the greatest of ancient Maya cities, and across the border in Honduras guests will explore the easternmost Maya capital of Copán, excavated in 1839 after being abandoned in the 10th century, before returning to Antigua, the former colonial capital of Guatemala. Accommodation is in colonial haciendas and quality hotels, many of which have swimming pools and gardens.

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mexico Aloft makes its debut in Cancun THE CANCUN Convention & Visitor’s Bureau has welcomed another addition to Cancun’s list of hotels and resorts with Aloft Cancun. Located in the hotel zone and across from the Cancun Convention Center, the new property is 15 minutes from Downtown Cancun and walking distance to several of the city’s entertainment venues and its beaches. It offers a total sensory experience, combining style with 177 loft-like rooms featuring 9ft ceilings and oversized windows to create a bright, airy environment. The hotel also features atmospheric public spaces, where guests can mix and mingle, read the paper, work on laptops, play a game of pool or grab a drink with friends at the re:mix communal lobby area or at the wxyz bar. Other features of the property include a rooftop pool, café, gym with a steam room and two massage cabins, plus banquet and meeting space.

Funway promotes Independence Day packages The Occidental Grand Xcaret

FUNWAY IS highlighting a selection of packages for Mexico Independence Day on September 16. As examples, a seven-night all-inclusive stay at the three-and-a-half-star Allegro Playacar by Occidental in Playacar costs from £879 per person, based on two sharing. At the four-and-a-half-star Occidental Grand Xcaret in Riviera Maya, a seven-night all-inclusive stay costs from £949 per person based on two sharing, while a similar stay at the five-star (seven nights on all-inclusive) at Jade Riviera Cancun costs from £1,069 per person. All three packages are based on a September 10 departure and include flights with British Airways. For more information see www.funwayholidays.co.uk or call 0844-557 0770.

KUONI HAS launched its new Caribbean and Mexico brochure, Islands in the Sun. As an example of prices, a seven-night half-board stay at the three-and-a-half-star Mahekal Beach Hotel in Mexico leads in at £1,179 per person, based on two sharing. The price includes flights in October with Virgin Atlantic from Gatwick and transfers in resort. Agents should quote MX062 when booking. For details call 01306-747008 or see www.kuoni.co.uk

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mexico EXPLORE IS highlighting a 15-day Contrasts of Mexico journey that takes in the Aztecs and the Maya. From the valleys of Oaxaca in Mexico to the jungles of Guatemala, guests can tour colonial cities and discover the ancient sites and art that bring the country alive. Highlights include visiting Mexico City Anthropological Museum, Tikal, Palenque and San Cristobel de las Casas. Departing between September and December, prices lead in at £1,995 per person including flights; 13 nights' hotel and one-night lodge accommodation; two meals; transport; and the services of a tour leader, driver, boatmen and local guides. For details visit www.explore.co.uk or call 0844-499 0901.

AMResorts' Cancun property receives AAA Five Diamond Award SECRETS MAROMA Beach Riviera Cancun has been awarded the 2013 AAA Five Diamond Award. Part of the UnlimitedLuxury, adults-only Secrets Resorts & Spas portfolio, the property is the first hotel in the brand to receive the recognition which celebrates the company's best practices and the

company's position in the luxury all-inclusive market. AMResorts president Gonzalo del Peon said: "Having another property recognised with an AAA Five Diamond Award demonstrates our commitment to a true luxury vacation experience. We place a strong emphasis on exceeding guests'

expectations across our brands from the moment they arrive." The property, which is tucked away on secluded Maroma Beach, offers suites that feature views of the gardens or the Caribbean complete with four-post canopy king-size beds, private and furnished terraces with plunge tubs,

marble bathrooms with jetted whirlpool baths, daily refreshed mini-bars and 24-hour room and concierge services. The property also features a variety of day and evening activities, seven gourmet á la carte restaurants and a spa. For more information visit www.secretsresorts.com

Travel 2 reports Cancun growth following five-star property developments TRAVEL 2 is highlighting Mexico's value for money to agents selling the destination. The operator's Caribbean product manager Kev Coles said: "Many packages offer non-restricted dining and premium branded drinks. Cancun and the Riviera Maya is growing in popularity due to the region’s high quality five-star all-inclusive hotels. Access to the region is frequent with scheduled flights offering Economy, Premium, Club and First Class with no

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extra supplements for onboard food and drink and hold luggage.” The company is also encouraging agents to promote Mexico's diversity. Justine Egan, the operator's Latin America product manager, said: "Mexico encompasses everything from arid deserts to tropical rainforests with equally diverse culture, influenced by Mayan and Aztec civilisations. Travellers can spend time on idyllic white sand beaches, staying in historic haciendas as well as visiting

impressive Mayan ruins and exploring colonial towns.” As an example of prices, a 16-day Highlights of Mexico itinerary costs from £1,899 per person for bookings made by August 31. It includes flights, 12 nights’ all-inclusive accommodation at the five-star Occidental Grand Xcaret in Cancun, selected meals, transfers and touring with a guide, and is based on a September 21 departure. For more information or to book see www.travel2.com

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mexico Popular tours & experiences from DoSomethingDifferent.com We asked our staff the following question this week: What do you most look forward to doing at the weekend? Publisher: Jeanette Ratcliffe jeanette.ratcliffe@travelbulletin.co.uk Sleeping!

Editor: Lauretta Wright lauretta.wright@travelbulletin.co.uk Late night drinking, seeing friends & watching movies preferably all at the same time

Assistant Editor: Jill Sayles jill.sayles@travelbulletin.co.uk Lying-in and a social gathering

Contributing Editor: Paul Scudamore post@travelbulletin.co.uk Lie-in, relaxing lunches, reading the papers, socialising with friends, lie-in, light shopping, early evening TV (perhaps)...and did I mention lie-in?

Sales Director: Simon Eddolls simon.eddolls@travelbulletin.co.uk Cricket, playing with the kids and an occasional beer

Advertisement Manager: Tim Podger tim.podger@travelbulletin.co.uk A day on the beach

Online Sales Manager: Nick Boocock nick.boocock@travelbulletin.co.uk Account Manager: Bill Coad bill.coad@travelbulletin.co.uk Simple - going down the pub

Sales Executive: Chris Gascoine chris.gascoine@travelbulletin.co.uk Waking up with a hangover

DOSOMETHINGDIFFERENT.COM IS promoting a selection of tours and experiences in Mexico. A Chichen Itza Classic Tour, departing from Cancun, leads in at £48 per adult and £27 per child, with an optional one-hour horse-ride available as an add-on for an additional £31. A Sail by Catamaran to Isla Mujeres itinerary leads in at £52 per adult and £26 per child, and takes guests on a 48ft catamaran to Isla Mujeres where pirates once buried their treasure. Guests have the chance to snorkel in a coral reef, parasail or relax on the beach. Meanwhile, an Xcaret Eco-Waterpark excursion from Cancun costs £82 per adult and £41 per child, where guests can spend a day relaxing and taking in the nature at Xcaret, an eco-archaeological park. Activities include snorkelling along underground rivers, relaxing on the beaches and visiting a Turtle conservation area. For further information visit www.dosomethingdifferent.com or call 020-8090 3890.

Thomas Cook recognises Cancun resort CROWN PARADISE Club in Cancun has been announced as the recipient of the Thomas Cook UK Excellence award. The recognition was given to five out of 25 hotels in Cancun and was based on results from previous guest commentary and ratings. The property offers four swimming pools, tennis and basketball courts, mini golf, games room, children’s activities programme, evening entertainment, plus a full-service spa.

Exclusive Cancun offers with free experiences from Attraction World ATTRACTION WORLD has issued a range of exclusive offers in Cancun. As examples, clients booking a Chichen Itza Classic Ruins Tour this month and next will receive a free Maya Skies experience for travel until December 15, while clients booking a Swim with the Dolphins for two people at Isla Mujeres by July 31 will receive a free Jungle Tour. Other offers include a free Lobster Dinner Cruise with a Sealife Discover Plus booking for two at Isla Mujeres before July 31, plus a free Maya Skies experience with a Chichen Itza by Mayaland tour and a free Jungle Tour when two clients book a Royal Swim with the Dolphins, both in Mayan Riviera.

Sales Executive: Matt Gill matt.gill@travelbulletin.co.uk That warm feeling when you know you don't have to get up at 6:10am for work

Festival of Whales expedition from Wildlife Worldwide

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

WILDLIFE WORLDWIDE is offering two departures on a special 'Festival of Whales' trip next year. Guests can join zoologist and TV presenter Mark Carwardine on February 20 or February 26 for a ten-day expedition to Baja California to observe grey whales. The whales have been migrating to San Ignacio Lagoon for thousands of years in order to mate and calve in the warm, shallow waters, and this behaviour affords visitors the opportunity to witness the giants showing off their newborn babies. Prices lead in at £3,890 per person, based on two sharing and include flights, transfers, full board accommodation (excluding San Diego) and guided activities. For further information call 0845-130 6982 or see www.wildlifeworldwide.com

Buying new kicks

Assistant Designer: Nicky Valsamakis nicky.valsamakis@travelbulletin.co.uk Drink, drugs and rock n roll!!

Production: Nick Salt production@travelbulletin.co.uk Dressing up as a woman

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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puzzlesolutions Crossword: Across: 1. SOMAK, 3. METRO, 5. ECUADOR, 6. GOA, 7. EDI, 8. CHALET, 10. NICOLE, 11. NET, 13. KOS, 14. UKRAINE, 15. EILAT, 16. ASHES. Down: 1. SWEDEN, 2. MAURITIUS, 3. MARGATE, 4. OMAN, 6. GREENWICH, 8. CROQUET, 9. ATHENS, 12. SKYE.

Highlighted Word: SARDINIA Travagrams: (top) Virgin Atlantic

(bottom) Colombo

Where Am I?: Monza

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S05 TB1907 Mexico_Layout 1 17/07/2013 12:56 Page 23

Morning: Enjoy the beach in Djerba Afternoon: Visit the ksour in Tataouine

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Travel Bulletin 19th July 2013  

Travel Bulletin 19th July 2013

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