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April 20 2012 | ISSUE NO 1,775 | www.travelbulletin.co.uk

Egypt Operators launch new products as demand for destination returns

this week

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agent bulletin find out what’s in store for Taurus this month

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renato fantoni agony uncle Renato aims to solve a leadership dilemma

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training Richard English explains how to stop being an “order-taker” and start being a salesperson accommodation-only

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a round-up of the latest operator additions to programmes


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This Week news 3

Cover Pictures: Main - Egypt State Tourist Office

Inset - Aljup de Son Amer

a round-up of the latest industry developments & new products

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cruising is ACE

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at home with eileen

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agent bulletin

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W-AITO-Go!

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puzzle bulletin

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agent review

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renato fantoni

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personality bulletin

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training

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focus usa

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accommodation-only

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Jo Rzymowska from RCL Cruises looks at the evolution of cruising what has homeworker Eileen been up to lately? find out what's in store for Taurus this month news and views from AITO Agents play Su Doku and you could win a £50 M&S voucher find out what one agent thought of a Vietnam fam agony uncle Renato aims to solve a leadership problem which agency sales executive would love a room full of cake? how to stop being an “ordertaker” and start being a salesperson the latest offers & savings plus new product launches a round-up of the latest programme additions

egypt operators launch new products as demand for destination returns

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A RIVETING READ...five lucky UK sales staff were treated to a week experiencing Samoa, the Treasured Islands of the South Pacific and participated at the Samoa Tourism Exchange 2012. Pictured enjoying a quick read of Travel Bulletin while on Savaii, the second largest island in Polynesia and one of the first islands to see the sunrise of each day are, from the left: Sammy Pryce, Travelbag; Nicola Michael, Wexas; Lucy Ashton, Austravel; Jill Weymes, Travel 2; and Gemma Wilson, Cox & Kings.

Post Office reveals city trips that won't break the bank A STRONGER pound means more cash in hand for people visiting European cities this spring according to the 2012 Post Office Travel Money City Costs Barometer. And nowhere is the gain so marked as in Budapest, where a sterling rise of 19.5% since last spring has made the Hungarian capital one of this year’s bargain destinations. Budapest was second only to Riga in the survey of 23 city break destinations across Europe and the US. The Latvian capital was best value for the second year running in a clean sweep that saw five Eastern European cities top the ratings. At £121.47 for meals and drinks, sightseeing, travel and accommodation, Riga cost just 40% of the total price for ten items surveyed in Stockholm, the most expensive European city at £298.27. New York was the highest-priced overall (£331.33). Prague dropped from second to fifth place in the annual survey, and although it remains one of the best value city breaks, a 7.2% rise in prices made the Czech capital 11.6% more expensive than Budapest, at £144.88 compared with £129.72. The company's head of travel money, Andrew Brown, said: “This year’s City Costs Barometer shows clearly how the prices tourists will pay on a city break are inextricably linked to the value of sterling against individual currencies. In Budapest local prices are level with those a year ago but costs for UK tourists have fallen and this is the result of a 19% strengthening of the UK pound against the Hungarian forint.

“However, rising local costs can easily cancel out the benefit that comes from an improving pound and that is exactly what has happened in Prague. Even though UK holidaymakers can expect to receive over 7% more Czech koruna for their pounds at the moment, higher costs in the Czech capital mean that prices have actually risen by more than 8% – making a visit to Budapest significantly cheaper.” In third place Tallinn was cheapest in the eurozone (£134.83) with prices down 5.1% year-on year. Historically, prices have risen when countries join the eurozone but tourist costs in Tallinn are 14.5% lower than when it had its own currency (kroon). The other eurozone cities surveyed were significantly more expensive than Tallinn by between 35% (Dublin) and 87% (Bruges). However, despite rising prices, Dublin (+8.3%) and Lisbon (+22%) remain in the top ten cities. So does Berlin, where a 2.7% fall in hotel prices has kept costs relatively low. Four new cities were surveyed by Post Office Travel Money this year. Belfast was the lowest-priced (£172.80), coming in behind the five Eastern European capitals in sixth place, just beating Dublin (£174.15). Istanbul also features in the top ten with a spending total of £188.64 while Vienna (£196.64) and Dubrovnik (216.45) were cheaper than traditional favourites like Paris (252.88), Amsterdam (£241.49) and Rome (£234.90). Brown said: “The strengthening of the ● continues on next page

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UK pound against European currencies is good news for people planning city breaks because spending costs will be lower than they would otherwise have been. That is why we recommend keeping a close eye on exchange rates and matching these with individual city costs before choosing which capital to visit.

“Money can also be saved by getting a Post Office Travel Money Card Plus and loading it with cash when the pound is performing well. It is a chip and PIN-enable Mastercard and a safe and secure way to carry money, which is a real consideration on a city break.” For more information on the survey visit www.postoffice.co.uk/cityreport2012

Live performances this spring at Ripley's Believe It Or Not LIVE PERFORMANCES from Rob Roy Collins, the man who can escape from a padlocked chain, Chris Cross, a contortionist who can bend his arms any way imaginable and Spikey Will, the man of danger who lies in between two beds of nails and asks a member of the audience to stand on top on him for ten seconds, are just a handful of live performances taking place this spring at Ripley's Believe It or Not! in London. Home of more than 700 curiosities from all around the world, visitors to the attraction can check their height against the world’s tallest man, take a peek at real fossilised dinosaur eggs or lose their friends and family in the Mirror Maze. The performances will be appearing at the attraction every half an hour from 12.00–18.00 from April 20-22 and April 27-29. The attraction is open seven days a week, 365 days a year from 10:00 until midnight and prices start from £26.95 per

SOFITEL HAS launched its first property in India, the Sofitel Mumbai BKC, located in the city’s business district, the Bandra Kurla Complex. Featuring a contemporary architectural style, the hotel features six bars and restaurants, nine rooms for meetings and events, a spa, fitness centre and swimming pool.

ABTA launches joint admin scheme ABTA HAS launched the ABTA-ATOL Joint Administration Scheme (ABTA-ATOL JAS) to provide members with a costeffective process to comply with the new ATOL regulations. The scheme enables members to apply for an ATOL licence through ABTA with lower fees and is ideal for smaller and medium-sized travel businesses. Any ABTA member with an ATOL turnover of less than £1.5m will be eligible to apply while members applying for an ATOL for the first time will be immediately eligible for the scheme. Those members with an existing ATOL will be able to apply to opt-in to the scheme from their next CAA renewal date in September or March 2013. For more information visit www.abta.com

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adult and £21.95 per child, including entry to the Mirror Maze and the brand new LaseRace. Ultimate Explorer family tickets are available for £87.95, based on two adults and two children. For more information visit www.ripleyslondon.com Escape artist Rob Roy Collins

Free transfers & insurance from VoD TO COINCIDE with the launch its summer 2013 brochure, Voyages of Discovery is offering passengers a 10% discount on their 2013 summer cruise plus free insurance for bookings made by May 31. Guests choosing a higher grade cabin will also receive a free chauffeur service to the airport or port. The 2013 programme sees the line's Discovery ship visit 15 new ports of call while Voyager, the second and newly added ship in the fleet, will embark on its first summer season, sailing to 12 new ports of call. Fares start from £799 per person, based on the Iconic Iberia 11-day itinerary departing from Harwich on September 15. Prices include parking at the port or selected coach transfers for no-fly cruises, flights (if applicable), transfers, gratuities & service charges, meals and entertainment and a guest speaker programme. Call 0844-822 0820 or see ww.voyagesofdiscovery.co.uk

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newsbulletin Tweets of the Week

LIVING IT UP IN LEVI... Inghams took a group of eight agents to Lapland to experience snowmobile safaris, huskey rides and reindeer treks. Pictured enjoying skiing in Levi are, from the left: Emma Buckle, Travel Counsellors; Charlotte Yeomans, Inghams; Kerenina Bleich, IGLU; Sarah Busby, Ascot Travel; Brian Laurie, Semple Travel; and Michael Eyles, Inghams.

Who’s saying what on Twitter... VisitBritain James Bond is to open the Olympic Games in London – can’t wait!! http://bit.ly/HDEGsJ Heathrow Airport Fancy a trip to Malaysia? We're offering one lucky winner a pair of tickets from Heathrow to Kuala Lumpur http://ow.ly/aefAR Best of luck! eWaterways Looking for a bargain holiday this summer? Look no further! We have 2 for the price of 1 on the Rhine! Don't miss this! http://bit.ly/IJOCjc cottages4you Take a look at our #MayDay short breaks. 3 nights for only £245: http://bit.ly/IFIXrs. Neilson Holidays Two-week inclusive beach club holidays are from only £499pp at the moment. Be quick to snap up this deal Twitter peeps! http://ow.ly/a2RHV TravelChannel It's Travel Hosts Exposed! Check out what your favorite Travel Channel hosts did in their spare time this week http://trvl.ch/admDb AITO Save up to £674 pp on a last-minute trip to the Gambia with AITO member The Gambia Experience! http://bit.ly/HFHRQz

Follow us on Twitter! http://twitter.com/ TravelBulletin www.travelbulletin.co.uk

Avalon announces delivery of new 'Panorama Suite' ships for 2013 AVALON WATERWAYS has announced the launch of an additional two new ‘suite’ ships into service in 2013, the Avalon Artistry II and Avalon Expression which are in addition to its latest suite ships Avalon Vista and Visionary (2012) bringing the total of suite ships to five. The new ships will feature two full decks of Panorama suites with wall-to-wall panoramic windows that open to create ‘open air balconies’ and, according to the company, Avalon Panorama suites (200sq.ft) and Royal suites (300sq.ft) offer the most spacious river cruising on European rivers – 30% larger than the industry standard. For more information call 0800-668 1801.

Group Travel Guide from Greatdays GREATDAYS, THE Cheshire based wholesale tour operator has launched its 2013 Group Travel Guide. The 180-page brochure features more than 300 ideas for group tours, of which 80 are new for 2013 and many of which are exclusive. New UK tours include ‘The Three Detectives’ which visits story and movie locations of Morse, Midsomer Murders and Sherlock Holmes with two nights in Buckinghamshire; the ‘Fab Four’ for an evening at The Cavern Club and relive Liverpool in the '60s; a new ‘Seven Wonders of Scotland’ tour which visits Edinburgh, the Forth Road Bridge, the Falkirk Wheel, a Whisky Distillery and Loch Lomond; and a seven-day ‘Reel Ireland’ option where guests can watch a movie each night and the next day see the filming locations including, Braveheart, Into the West, Moby Dick, Ryan’s Daughter, Far and Away and Angela’s Ashes. New European tours include a 'Taste of Flanders' based in Ghent, where guests can experience a brewery, chocolate frites, Belgian Frites, Belgian coffee and cake and a traditional Belgium dinner in a historical quayside warehouse. The 'Other Paris' tour takes guests off the tourist track to old canals and underground waterways, while an ‘Alternative Amsterdam’ tour takes visitors to Amsterdam’s little known castles of Muiderslot and Naarden. For more information call 0161-928 3242 or visit www.greatdays.co.uk

New tourism drive from Visit York A NEW marketing drive to encourage tour operators and travel agents to sell York and its new City Pass has been launched by Visit York. The new look York Pass offers purchasers free entry to more than 30 visitor attractions plus exclusive offers at restaurants and money off theatre tickets over one, two or three days. It can be purchased at www.yorkpass.com and special travel trade rates are also available. Prices start at £34 for a one-day pass and in total the pass provides free entry to more than £220 worth of attractions, and comes complete with a 72 page guidebook with maps.

Hilton booking incentive from Superbreak HILTON HOTELS are now available for agents to book through Superbreak. In total, 104 properties across the UK are now featured including the Doubletree and Hampton brands and they can be booked in conjunction with elements such as rail, theatre and attractions. To celebrate, Superbreak is offering agents the chance to win a trip to London with overnight accommodation, return rail, dinner and wine. Any agent making a Hilton booking by April 30 will be entered into a prize draw to win an overnight stay at the Hilton London Olympia hotel, dinner and a bottle of wine for two at the Axis Bar and Kitchen at the Hilton Islington hotel plus rail travel. For more information visit www.superbreak.com/agents or call 0871-221 4444.

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cruisebulletin h c t a W Ones to mmes el progra v a tr p to the A pick of ant to miss... w 't n o d you

The Mighty Mississippi with Trevor McDonald on Tuesday 24th April at 21:00 on ITV1 Trevor McDonald ventures 2,500 miles up the mighty Mississippi River to examine how this magnificent waterway has played a central role in the most dramatic events in American history. In this episode he concludes his tour as he travels through the Midwest, taking in St Louis and Minneapolis.

Thomson welcomes Des O’Connor DES O’CONNOR, star of ‘The Des O’Connor show’ and cabaret entertainer, will be holding a one-off ‘An Audience with…’ event on the Thomson Celebration this September. Guests on the Egypt and the Holy Land Cruise on September 17 will be able to see Des’ show where he’ll talk about his life in showbiz, along with some musical accompaniment. Audience members can also post their questions to Des and there will be time for autographs at the end of the show.

Fred. Olsen launches dedicated ‘Retirement Celebration’ package FRED OLSEN Cruise Lines has launched a dedicated package - the ‘Retirement Celebration’ - bookable on any cruise, departing from January 2013. The new addition is aimed at guests celebrating retirement and includes Champagne and canapés served in the cabin, a greetings card and a celebration cake. Prices lead in at £45per person and the package must be booked at least 28 days prior to departure. Full information will be published in the line's Worldwide Cruises 2013-14 brochure, due to be launched in June. For more information visit www.fredolsencruises.com or call 01473-742424. Fred. Olsen's Balmoral

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SEA SEMINAR...Hurtigruten took 28 agents from around the UK to Norway last month to experience its coastal voyage product as part of its Seminars at Sea programme. Pictured enjoying the sights and sounds are the group of Scottish agents, from the left: Emma Custerson, Alba Travel in Inverness; Kirsten Pritchard, The Cruise Specialists, Larbet; Danny Giles, Hurtigruten; Deborah McGlashan, Jimmy Martin Travel in Edinburgh; Amanda Weymouth, Border Travel in Dumfries; and Claire Taylor, The Cruise Specialists in Larbert.

RSSC unveils new 2013 itineraries REGENT SEVEN Seas Cruises is accepting reservations for its new summer/autumn 2013 sailings featuring new ports of call and a range of extended voyages in Europe, North America and South America. To further boost its all-inclusive offering, the line has introduced a onenight pre-cruise hotel stay included on all of its 2013 sailings. Guests booking Penthouse suites or higher on Mediterranean and Northern European sailings are offered free Business Class upgrades. Highlights of the new 2013 collection include port calls to Ajaccio and Porto Vecchio (Corsica), Arrecife (Lanzarote) and Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Tenerife), extended voyages in Scandinavia, the Mediterranean, South America and a 24-night Amazon voyage, roundtrip from Miami, as well as sailings combining Alaska, New England and the Panama Canal. The company's managing director UK & Europe, Graham Sadler, said: “Our 2013 summer collection offers an outstanding array of some of the world’s most popular destinations. Our new one-night pre-cruise hotel stay makes for a more leisurely start to our cruise holidays, easing the rush to get from the airport to the ship and, together with our new longer voyages and allembracing range of free shore excursions we offer fantastic opportunities for guests to fully immerse themselves in the culture and lifestyle of these diverse regions at outstanding value.” As examples of prices, a seven-night Baltic Highlights cruise on Seven Seas Voyager, departing on August 13, 2013, costs from £3,499 per person, while a 24-night Caribbean and Amazon itinerary on Seven Seas Navigator, departing on November 29, 2013, leads in at £6,769. For more information or to book call 02380-682280 or email salessupport@rssc.co.uk

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cruisebulletin Summer river cruising with Hebridean Island Cruises HEBRIDEAN ISLAND Cruises has issued a dedicated River Cruises programme – new for this year. The line's Royal Crown will set sail on the Rhine on two itineraries this June, focusing on the history and culture of Europe. A seven-night Cities of the Rhine cruise leads in at £2,545 per person, based on two people sharing an outside cabin. It departs from Cologne and calls at Mainz, Mannheim, Rastatt, Strasbourg and Speyer before returning to Cologne. The price is based on a June 9 departure. A seven-night Castles of the Rhine cruise costs from £2,545 per person, based on two people sharing an outside cabin on a June 16 departure. The cruise departs from Cologne and ports of call include Konigswinter, Ruedeshiem, Cochem, Koblenz and Dusseldorf. Price is based on a 16 June departure. All cruises are fully inclusive, including alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks, shore tours, taxes and gratuities, a guest speaker programme and travel to and from the UK. For more information or to book visit www.hebridean.co.uk or call 01756-704704.

HAL offers 12-night Med fly/cruise from £999 HOLLAND AMERICA Line (HAL) is promoting a 12-night Mediterranean cruise, sailing from Barcelona to Venice, from £999 per person. The Mediterranean Tapestry cruise on MS Nieuw Amsterdam departs London on May 24 and takes in the walled city of Dubrovnik; Corfu, Katakolon (Olympia) and Nafplion in Greece; Messina in Sicily and the city of Rome from the port of Civitavecchia. Highlights of the cruise include a tour to Florence from Livorno, a visit to Monte Carlo and a night in Venice. Prices include flights and transfers and guests booking an ocean view stateroom (from £1,219 per person) are eligible for a free upgrade to a spacious stateroom with its own private balcony. For more information call 0845-351 0557.

MSC unveils maiden voyages in Red Sea MSC CRUISES has introduced the Red Sea as a new destination for the 2012/13 winter season. On November 2, MSC Armonia will depart from Venice for a nine-day/eight-night cruise, arriving at her new homeport in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt just over a week later. En-route she will travel from the Mediterranean Sea through the Suez transit canal to the Red Sea, with scheduled stops in Ancona, Italy; Heraklion, Greece and Marmaris, Turkey arriving in Egypt on November 10. From then through to April 6, 2013, the vessel has a full schedule of 21 eight-day/seven-night cruises, departing every Saturday from Sharm el Sheikh, with scheduled stops in Safaga, Egypt; Elat, Israel; Aqaba, Jordan and Sokhna Port, Egypt. The Red Sea will bid farewell to Armonia on April 6, 2013, when she starts her ten-day/nine-night return cruise from Sharm el Sheikh to Venice. Scheduled stops are Sokhna Port, Egypt; Limassol, Cyprus; Antalya, Turkey; Rhodes; Heraklion, Greece and Kotor, Montenegro. For more information see www.msccruises.co.uk or call 0844-561 1955.

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Cruising is

by Jo Rzymowska, associate vice president & general manager of RCL Cruises Ltd FACT OF life is that you start to think everything was better ‘back in the day’. But in actual fact, the truth is often very different to how we remember. Stumble across old pictures and you’ll be horrified at what you used to wear or how you styled your hair. Things move pretty quickly too. There’s been massive change over just the last 13 years. Jump in a time machine back to 1999 and Martine McCutcheon is number one in the charts. Who’d have thought that was possible? Similarly unthinkable is the scale of the UK cruise market back then. Cruising accounted for just one in every 26 package holiday at the turn of the century – now the figure is one in eight. That’s 1.7million Brits who took a cruise holiday last year. Key to this success is the incredible variety of cruise brands and experiences on offer. Cruising really has ‘grown up’, becoming an enviable holiday choice for people of all ages and pretty much all budgets. And it is travel agents who have helped power the expansion of the market, seizing the sales opportunity. Cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises have been instrumental in the market growth in the UK. Huge investment in ships with ever-more innovative on-board facilities, a wider choice of itineraries and more sailings from UK ports keeps excitement high amongst consumers and is a great way of driving ‘new to cruise’ customers. But we know that retailers need tools to help them convert, which is why we provide extensive resources for our trade partners into making sure you can sell as effectively as possible – our award-winning Cruising for Excellence online training, targeted incentives, great value promotions and point of sale. Signs are that 2012 will continue to see growth in the cruise industry, though a tough economy means the rate is slowing to a more modest level. Nobody should be put off by the challenge. In a year when holidaymakers – and especially families – are hunting out value and don’t want to take any chances with their holiday choice, savvy agents will be tapping into the incredible possibilities of cruise. There are some great offers at the moment, including the new ‘Don’t Wait’ campaign from Royal Caribbean International which helps agents push relevant regional departures for great prices, and strong early booking incentives for all 2013 bookings.

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e m o h At en...

e l i E with

Eileen worker nth? e m o h o as What h n up to this m e e b s ha

ALWAYS contact my clients when they return home to welcome them back and check that all went well, and it’s also a great opportunity to get feedback on their trip. Yesterday, I called one of my most discerning clients who had recently returned from an Easter break in Nice. He said he’d had a great time and thought the location was great and that the staff and service were very good. It was music to my ears! Thanks to Kirker for the hotel recommendation - I can always rely on you. I had a surprise a few weeks ago when I received a letter (or should I say package) from clients I’d booked last year on a 9 week tailor-made tour of Australia. After they returned home, I’d contacted them and was pleased to hear all the arrangements had gone smoothly and they’d had a great time. They said they’d give me more feedback on their trip at a later date. I’d thought no more of this until a package arrived which contained no less than 40 pages of A4 paper giving a blow by blow account of their trip. It was extremely detailed and even included what they’d had to eat each day - I really wasn’t expecting that! Had a call recently from one of my regular clients asking for my help. He asked if I could check my files to see if I had a holiday booked for him during February 2008. I checked and there was no record of any booking. He was adamant that he had had been away at that time and asked if I could help him out by putting something in writing to that effect as it was important for him to prove he was out of the country at that time. I said unfortunately I couldn’t help as doing so would undermine my integrity and also that of my company. I thought that was the end of it but a few days later the client’s solicitor contacted me asking for further assistance. Bank statements showed there were travel related payments made around those dates and the client was certain that he had been away in Florida. I checked once again and found the payments mentioned were for a holiday I booked for the client in December not February. Then I had a great idea, I checked my recorded phone calls around February 2008, which indicated that the client was away at that time but in Mallorca not Florida and that he had booked this himself. The solicitor was extremely impressed with the information I’d provided. So much so that he came back to me again to ask if I had records of easyJet’s flight times to Palma for February 2008. Come on, I know I’m good- but I’m not that good!

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WEBSCLUSIVES ●

Brochure of The Week: Great Rail Journeys' ‘Winter, Christmas & Spring 2012/13 Holidays by Rail’ brochure, features over 50 tours across Europe, Canada, USA. Includes short breaks, Christmas markets, Spring Carnivals and New Year celebrations.

Missed Travel Bulletin’s ‘All About North Africa’ 2012 Supplement? You can still catch it in digital format on www.travelbulletin.co.uk . An essential guide to selling travel and tourism in this region, with special features on cultural escapes, beach holidays and niche travel.

All this and more at:

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

CYPRUS Widest selection of quality accommodations from 5 Boutique Hotels to Villas with Pools matched by product knowledge & 40 years experience

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will receive an amazing gift of Bubbles & Truffles

To request brochure or booking call us on

020 8340 7612 Cyplon Supreme Agents Club email sales on how to join and what the benefits are

Price Matching Will be Considered by EILEEN SAUNDERS of Travel Counsellors

Book on line www.cyplon.co.uk or Email: sales@cyplon.co.uk

To respond to any of Eileen’s comments email jill.sayles@travelbulletin.co.uk

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agentbulletin Agent offers

STREETS AHEAD...Premier Holidays' competition winner, Ruth Streets from Bath Travel in Hythe, won a seven-night stay at the Meridien Khao Lak Resort in Thailand, as part of a competition she entered with the operator, in conjunction with the Premier Prestige 2012 brochure launch. Pictured celebrating her win is the operator's David Carlow.

It’s in the stars… What’s in store for Taurus? DESPITE SOME problems that need ironing out in your personal life, you're on top form this month. Your optimism, fun outlook and enthusiasm for new projects and experiences means that life is ticking along nicely. Stay positive and remember to be patient when it comes to sorting out the small issues.

Lucky day: Monday Lucky number: 24

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PREMIER HOLIDAYS has lau nched a ‘best dressed window’ competitio n to help agents promote their Summe r in the States campaign, which highlig hts both self-drive and coach tour pac kages. The operator has teamed up with Seaworld Parks and Entertainment, Kim pton Hotels and various tourist boa rds including Memphis, Nashville, Discover New England and Kissimme e to promote a dedicated USA campaign and exclusive packages. To promote USA sal es, the operator will be asking agents to send a photo of their USA-themed sho p window to agency.sales@premierhol idays.co.uk and the winner will be picked at the end of April and will receive a ham per including wine, chocolate and various other treats. The company is also offering agents up to £50 in vouchers for bookings which include seven nights’ accommodation with flights for two adults. For bookings compri sing three to six nights’, accommodation with flights for two adults agents can ear n £25 in vouchers per booking. For details see www.trade.premierholidays. com or call 0844-937444. JEBEL ALI International Hot els is giving away a week's all-inclusive holiday to celebrate the recent succes s of its Travel Agents' Facebook pag e. The online group started last Nov ember and through a variety of special offers, giveaways and referrals, has grown to more than 500 members. To mark the occasion, the company is giv ing one Facebook member the chance to take their family (two adults and two children under 12) to the Jebel Ali Gol f Resort & Spa, the company’s signature five-star beach property including flig hts. All current members of the gro up are in with a chance to win as well as any travel agent who join before the end of April. The prize draw will tak e place during ATM in early May. For details see www.facebook.com/groups/J AI.TT

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opinionbulletin

W-AITO-Go! by TED WAKE Deputy chairman, AITO Specialist Travel Agents and director, Kirker Holidays

Why agents should be turning their attention to their affluent customer base E ARE already more than halfway through April – so nearly a third of the way through the year. I am not sure where 2012 has gone, but it is clear that we now need to make certain that our marketing plans for the next four months are brilliantly co-ordinated if we are to meet the budgets that we set for the year. My recent survey of independent agents and operators (carried out under laboratory conditions in the bar at the last AITO General Meeting) indicates that bookings for the year started well and, although the overall average seems to be about 5% up on last year, it remains unpredictable, and we will need to peddle fast to maintain momentum. With political and financial concerns still firmly on the agenda in both the domestic and global arena, and uncertainty about what impact the Olympics will have on summer bookings, it is going to be tricky to predict, hard work and no doubt fun… We should remind ourselves that we are all fortunate to be selling pleasure for a living and spare a thought for estate agents, bankers and widget makers – they are all having an equally challenging time, but for some reason just don’t get the same buzz as we do when they complete a transaction! Before we finalise our plans for the remainder of the year, are there any positive signals out there that we need to weave into our strategy? One factor that will certainly help is the recent strength of the Pound Sterling against the Euro – it underpins the perception in the consumer’s mind that travelling to the Eurozone will make spending money go further. It may be more about perception than reality, but it is without doubt a very positive factor, and a good way to remind customers that the unpredictable cold, wet weather isn’t the only reason to head abroad if they want a decent summer holiday (eat your heart out Stephen Fry et al, who are trying to persuade us to stay at home). Another recent ray of retail hope was the reported results from the John Lewis Partnership –that wellrespected barometer of the UK high street. It announced a 28% year on year increase in early April sales, and made an optimistic statement about prospects for the rest of 2012. So what can we learn from its experience, and how can we translate this into our own businesses? Overall, analysts seem to agree that one key factor is John Lewis’ decision to focus on their ‘affluent customer base’. I know it takes time to adjust the focus of your business but, if you aren’t already doing this, you need to start now. I have always admired the John Lewis strapline ‘Never

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knowingly undersold…’ which brilliantly captures the client’s attention to reassure them about value for money, and yet does NOT say ‘pricematch’ (which is a crude way of saying ‘we can be even cheaper’). Underpinning your appeal to an affluent customer is vital in a competitive market – and John Lewis has a world-class reputation in achieving success in this area. It understands that affluent customers need reassurance on the quality of the product and service just as much as price, and that they should spend less time on consumers for whom price is the key factor – these customers waste time and are better advised to head home to surf the internet so they can DIY their holiday. One other sound bite that caught my eye in the most recent Weekend Financial Times (a surprisingly good read if you have never tried it) related to how consumers behave in the current market: “The response to austerity is a complex one. People trade down…but also buy stuff which is more expensive if it is considered to be better quality.” The article went on to say that whilst customers remain thrifty, the onus was on retailers to “offer distinctive product ranges to encourage spending.” For those operators and agents who are already part of the AITO family, that’s a familiar ethos and one that is music to our ears. If you aren’t yet promoting AITO operators, the good news is that it is only April – there is still plenty of time to join to make a difference in 2012. If you are quick you will be able to attend the AITO Madeira conference in June when you can rub shoulders with some of the most distinctive and successful operators and agents in the UK travel industry….and I shall be there too! I hope to see you there.

To respond to any of Ted’s views email jill.sayles@travelbulletin.co.uk

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puzzlebulletin Travagrams

Su Doku Win a £50 M&S voucher in the travelbulletin Su Doku prize puzzle Number: 061

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

A Barbarically Entertain Onion

A➠

B➠ You’ll be treated like royalty when you sail with this cruise line

C➠

Math Lion

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:

The name of this F1 driver is shared by this capital city

Where Am I?

competition@travelbulletin.co.uk Closing date for entries is Thursday, April 26th. Solution and new puzzle will appear next week. The winner for 6th April is Jeni Conetta, First Choice in Kent. April 6 Solution: A=8 B=5 C=7 D=1

Andalusian city famous for oranges

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

Number: 061

Across 1. Hotel and resorts chain (8) 6. Roman god, counterpart of Helios (3) 8. Portuguese resort (7) 9. You can enjoy mud baths and thermal springs on this Italian island (6) 10. Popular Florida resort, ___ Beach (4) 12. Castles built on the beach (4) 13. Flows through New York (6) 15. City and province in Abruzzo (7) 16. Seattle airport code (3) 17. California home of SeaWorld (3,5)

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Down 1. Sir Trevor is exploring this Mighty river on TV (11) 2. Airline of Spain (6) 3. Famous London gallery (4) 4. The highest Mount in Africa (11) 5. US state, borders 1 Down (8) 7. A monster lake in the Highlands (4,4) 11. They operate the most famous ocean liners in the world (6) 14. First name of comedian and host of You're Fired (4)

For the solution to the Crossword, Where Am I? and Travagrams, please see page 30 April 20 2012

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newsbulletin GRJ & Treyn launch 2012/13 brochures

agentreview Victoria Firman from STA Travel in Portsmouth went on a seven-day fam trip with G Adventures to sample a 'Roam Vietnam' overland tour. Here's what she thought....

First impressions ..............................10/10 We were amazingly well looked after from the moment the trip started. On arrival, we were welcomed by our smiley G Adventures’ leader and CEO, chief experience officer, Con and whisked off for a quick freshen up and then a delicious Vietnamese meal - and a few much needed beers.

Comfort ............................................10/10 All the hotels were comfortable, perfectly located and of a much higher standard than I expected on a budget-style trip. G Adventures puts a lot of thought into providing accommodation that is in the thick of the action, whilst being safe and peaceful enough to get a good night's rest.

Quality ..............................................10/10 The quality and thought put into the tour was exceptional we stayed in comfortable hotels which were all locally operated which was lovely. We had lots of free time which allowed us to branch out and wind down individually.

Affordability ......................................10/10 This was a fam trip so I did not personally pay, however I would not hesitate to book this or a similar tour at full price, as it offers amazing value for money for what is included. I do not think it would be possible to see and do everything we experienced any cheaper and I feel a lot would be missed without such a knowledgeable guide.

Service ..............................................10/10 Amazing service from everyone involved and everyone made a real effort to make sure we were having a great time and that we were comfortable throughout.

GREAT RAIL Journeys and Treyn have launched their winter, Christmas and spring brochures for 2012/13. Great Rail Journeys features 54 tours including three new ones for 2012/13 and Treyn includes a total of 32 with two new tours. Both brands’ programmes include popular winter tours, from Switzerland’s ‘Glacier Express’, to southern France’s ‘Côte d’Azur & Nice Carnival’. There are three new tours from Great Rail Journeys including new Christmas Markets tours to ‘Colmar & the Black Forest’, ‘Hanover, Hamelin & Bremen’ and ‘Heidelberg & Frankfurt’, with overall prices leading in at £265 per person for a ‘Manchester Christmas Markets’ tour. Two new winter tours for Treyn include: ‘Oberammergau & the Austrian Alps’ and ‘Frankfurt & Heidelberg Christmas Markets’. Overall prices lead in at £275 per person for a fiveday ‘Festive Markets of Yorkshire’ tour. For details see www.greatrail.com and www.railholidays.com

Contiki adds Costa Rica & Ecuador options to South American tours BUILDING ON the success of its inaugural South America programme, Contiki has announced the addition of Costa Rica and Ecuador to its 2012/13 Latin America brochure, bringing the total number of itineraries featured to 11 across six countries. New to the brochure is an 11-day Galapagos & Ecuador tour from £1,799 per person, based on twin share. Highlights include visiting the waters of the Galapagos and taking part in a range of activities, such as snorkelling amongst sea turtles, a ‘Panga’ boat ride to spot the famous Galapagos penguin and taking in views of the Ecuadorian Andes from the Devil’s Nose Train. The itinerary includes internal flights and transfers. Also new is a 12-day Costa Rica Unplugged tour, which costs from £1,259 per person, based on two sharing. The itinerary takes in jungles, rainforests, beaches and coffee plantations and features two overnight stays at a Jungle Lodge in Tortuguero and a Rainforest Lodge in Sarapiqui. Highlights include a sunset cruise in Tortugero and rafting or abseiling in Sarapiqui while with the operator's Explore More optional activities, travellers can also opt to try canyoneering, coastal kayaking or zip-lining through the rainforests. For more information visit www.contiki.co.uk and www.onestoptouringshop.co.uk or call 020-7468 4335.

Good to know ............................................ Vietnamese food is some of the most delicious I've tried, and very healthy so make sure you try it all!

Overall scoring:........

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

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FLORIDA FRIENDS....60 agents from across the North East joined Cosmos Holidays and a host of its Florida partners in Newcastle last month to mark the operator's new Newcastle to Florida programme and highlight the parks and attractions available in resort. Walt Disney World Florida, Universal Orlando Resort, Visit Orlando, Seaworld Parks and Entertainment and Newcastle International Airport supported the evening and a range of prizes were available for agents. Pictured, from the left is Neil Garner, head of product for Florida, Monarch Travel Group; Alison Cutler from Horncastle Travel, Newcastle - who won a week's holiday for two to Florida including flights, accommodation, car hire, Universal, Sea World and Disney tickets; and Gary Anslow, Monarch Travel Group’s sales director.

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newsbulletin Viking launches 2013 holidays VIKING RIVER Cruises has launched its 2013 brochure, in print and online, which features information on the new Viking Longships and its new route sailing Portugal’s River Douro. All the company's 2013 holidays across Europe, Russia and Asia are on sale with an early booking discount, offering a saving of £1,000 per person on almost every cruise if passengers book before June 30. Itineraries include Rhine Discovery and Elegant Elbe as well as the new Douro, River of Gold, Portugal’s Douro River where guests will experience villages and historic cities as well as a two-night hotel stay in Lisbon. For more information call 020-8780 7995 or visit www.vikingrivercruises.co.uk

Ionian & Aegean Island Holidays teams up with Aegean Airlines IONIAN & Aegean Island Holidays has announced a new working partnership with Aegean Airlines who will be flying the Greek flag on its Manchester– Kefalonia route throughout this summer. The carrier, which is a member of the Star Alliance, will commence flights on an Airbus A320 carrying 168 passengers on a weekly rotation for 23 weeks from May 5. Service includes complimentary in-flight meals and beverages including wine or beer and prioritised check-in and boarding. For more information or to book visit www.ionianislandholidays. com

ATTRACTION WORLD has added City Sightseeing Bus Tours in a further 28 cities in 11 countries – including Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Guests can hop off at the Playa de las Canteras, where swimming, diving, surfing, football and a variety of water sports can be found or spend an evening at the Auditorio Alfredo Krauss – a concert hall overlooking the sea, located on Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’s northern beach. Tickets are valid for 24-hours and are fully commissionable to agents. Prices lead in at £15 for adults and £7 for children aged five-15. For details see www.attractionworld.com or call 0871-700 8888.

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Ask Renato... Agony uncle Renato Fantoni solves a dilemma on leadership Dear Renato, I am a London city guide. I recently attended a meeting with other selected guides ahead of the Olympics this summer. The meeting was a shambles! All they did was give us ecologically unsound piles of paper and split us into groups to discuss them. All I remember is that somehow I was asked to lead a sub-group of 15 people at the next meeting in a fortnight. How can I make it effective? Karl -Canterbury Hi Karl, It seems that what was missing from the meeting was leadership. Here are some clues of how to get it and how to make it work. Decide if you are an organiser or a leader and avoid being both. If you are an organiser (you are great at sorting out detail and enjoy being hands-on) there’s no shame in selecting someone else to lead. If you are a leader you’ll choose the right assistants to allow you to take a constant, almost aloof, overview. You’ll be the available point of reference and inspiration. If you become embroiled with detail, they’ll never find you when your wise words are needed and your players will think you’re missing in action. Every meeting/gathering/event needs to have both its official and unofficial reasons made clear. An ‘official reason’ would be something like “I’m here to tell you what your role is, to explain your responsibilities and to help you provide support to your colleagues”. This provides delegates with a road map and gives clues as to what they will learn by the end of play. The ‘unofficial’ yet equally vital reason is to provide motivation. It is so important to inspire the group at an early stage in the gathering. One of your agendas is to turn a bunch of carefully selected but diverse individuals into a team. You might already be inspired or you may need to dig deep to create your motivation but either way, it has to be real. It can be as simple as ‘we are going to be the team of guides that makes the biggest number of tourists happy’. Once you know what it is, transmit it with passion. Once the ‘official’ tasks have been distributed, spend lots of time in ensuring that each person truly understands his/her own role. Challenge, support, ask and answer questions. This is a deeply functional part of your planning process so don’t begin doing it until everyone is secure. When you’re finished, do it again! People have different learning styles, some like reading, others being explained to and others need diagrams. Don’t leave anyone out because that will create a weak link from the start. Good luck with raising the bar!

If you have a question for Renato, email him at renato@hpshotels.net April 20 2012

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personalitybulletin

Gillian Sealey The agency sales executive of Serenity Holidays who loves her cake and is a fan of Richard Branson

What's your earliest childhood memory? Drinking milk and eating a biscuit at nursery – not very exciting but interesting that it involved food!

"My favourite movie? Dirty Dancing – you can’t beat a bit of Patrick Swayze"

Where was your last work-related trip? The Gambia. I took a group of agents over there and showed them around. I’m not going to lie, it was a lot of fun! If you were a celebrity who would you choose to be and why? Beyonce – because that girl can sing! What three words would your friends use to describe you? Funny, friendly and outgoing. What have your travels taught you? That there is so much still that I am yet to discover!

Career path ●

● ●

Seven years with Serenity Holidays within marketing (marketing executive). Had two babies during this time Two years at South Downs College within marketing Two years at Petersfield Post within advertising sales

What is the best advice you recall? Seize the moment; don’t let opportunities pass you by. If you could have a room full of any one thing, what would it be? Cake, I love cake. Any cake will do, just lots of it. If you could change three things in the industry, what would they be? Cheaper travel prices so everyone has the chance to go abroad. Stop big companies swamping the market with their ridiculous prices which makes life tough for all the other operators to compete. Make flying more comfortable and still affordable. Who has been the biggest inspiration/influence in your career? No one person in particular however I do admire Richard Branson and all that he’s achieved.

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What's your favourite city and why? New York. I love the hustle & bustle, the architecture and the fact that it is exactly how you see it in the films. Plus I went to see the Gospel choir in a church in Harlem which was incredible! If you were not doing this job, what would you be doing? Social work. If you had a super power what would it be and why? To zap any unwanted fat from my body to enable me to eat what I want! What was your nickname at school and why? Gilly Willy, Silly Gilli, Giller, Giles…there were a few!

What item do you always take with you when travelling? Photos of the kids…and my eyelash curlers! What's your favourite airline and why? Virgin – It’s a little bit glamorous. How do you deal with stress? A large glass of red wine always helps, or if I’m feeling energetic, I go for a run. Unfortunately neither of those are practical at work so in that instance it would be deep breaths and a lot of muttering under the breath! Is there anything that you dislike about the travel industry? Mainstream operators that don’t seem to care about the destination or their clients, it’s just bums on seats to them. What special skill do you have? I like to bring a sense of fun to work activities and get on with people at all levels. I’m on the work events team, so I’m used to organising fun events and fund raising. How do you cope with the advances in technology? Ha ha, I get by. I keep up to date with what I need to know and the rest goes over my head. What’s your favourite movie of all time? Dirty Dancing – you can’t beat a bit of Patrick Swayze. If your life was turned into a movie, which actor would play you? Kate Winslett. What do you love about your job? The travelling of course and the people I work with.

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training m e ‘ ll e t u o y y a It’s the w GLISH

by RICHARD EN

NCE YOU have finished your sales investigation and come up with a holiday solution for your customer, then you’ll need to sell it. Let’s use Venice as an example and say you’ve chosen the Best Western Hotel San Marco. Well, you could just say, “The Best Western Hotel San Marco is available and that would cost you just under £2,000 for the two of you. Would you like that?” And you might well get a sale just by doing that – especially if your customers have done some research in advance and already know that this was the hotel they wanted. But, although it’s nice when customers come in knowing exactly what they want and you can find it easily, it doesn’t happen all the time. Not all customers know exactly what they want and, of course, there will be many times when you can’t find availability that meets your customers’ first choice. Maybe these customer really wanted The Residence Corte Grimanis and the Best Western San Marco was the nearest you could find. It is at times like this that you stop being an “order-taker” and start being a salesperson.

O

The ears have it Once you are in the situation of having to sell an alternative product, it’s all too easy (since of course you almost certainly won’t have been to the San Marco – or maybe even to Venice) to start reading the description from the brochure or the system. And what’s wrong with that? It’s wrong because the words in the brochure or on the screen are written for the eyes – and your customers are listening with their ears. So you must translate for them. Take a look at this description of the Hotel San Marco, taken from a brochure:

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“Housed in a building that dates back to 1807, this fourstorey hotel comprises a total of 56 rooms, which includes 4 junior suites. Amongst the facilities count a foyer with a 24-hour reception desk, a safe and a lift in addition to a bar, a breakfast room and an air-conditioned restaurant. Room and laundry services are available and, on payment of an additional fee, it is possible to gain access to the Internet.” Because we are so used to reading these kinds of descriptions we think nothing of them – but reading this out to your customer is just boring. Say you’d actually stayed there and were talking to a friend to describe this hotel, would you say, “Our hotel was housed in a building that dates back to 1807, and it was a four-storey hotel comprising a total of 56 rooms, which included four Junior Suites”. Of course not – you would say something like, “Oh, it was oldish – but not all that old by Venice standards – it was built in 1807. Not too big, either – only four storeys and just 56 rooms – so quite cosy really. They have some really nice Junior Suites as well which are just that bit better than the ordinary rooms.” By turning the written word into the spoken word you are making it live; making it exciting; making it real. Sell the dream In your sales investigation you will have found out your customers’ needs – both material (when, where and how ● continues on next page

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training ● continued from previous page

they wanted to go) and their human needs (why they wanted to go there) and it is now that you can really use your findings to sell the product. OK, you have managed to get them a hotel in Venice for the time they wanted to travel – but it’s not the hotel they wanted. Now you must look at their human needs and show them how your holiday solution meets those needs. And the way you do that is again by the use of the correct language – which is another reason why reading out brochure descriptions is not a good thing, In the brochure or online description there will be hundreds of facts and figures about the hotel – and here are just some that the brochure tells us that the San Marco has: Bathroom, shower, bath, hairdryer, direct dial telephone, satellite/cable TV, internet

access, minibar, tea/coffee, ironing board, double bed, central air-conditioning, central heating, safe, air-conditioned in communal areas, reception area, 24hr check-in, safe, lifts, bars, breakfast room, dining room, airconditioned restaurant - non-smoking area, public internet WLAN access point, room service and laundry service. All facilities and features that will appeal to somebody, but it’s a fair bet that there’s nobody who will want them all. And it’s your job to sell the product by explaining just which facilities are right for your customers and how and why they are right. And that is what we call “selling the benefits” – and you’ll find out all about that in my next article. ✦

For more information about this, or any other aspect of training, contact Richard English on 01403-710371 or email retraining@pncl.co.uk

Bright announces May events and anniversary celebrations BRIGHT (Bringing Real Information & Guaranteed High Quality Training) has started its tenyear anniversary year with a full programme of training events planned around the UK. Bright members headed to Scotland for two training events in Glasgow and Edinburgh last month, while this month's events have already included Oxford and Ascot and next month events will take place in Swindon and Cornwall. Chairman, Hisham Mahmoud of Kirker Holidays, said: “We’ve made an excellent start to our anniversary year with a very positive response to our training events. As the Queen continues her Jubilee tour, we too are looking forward to travelling around the UK on our tenth anniversary tour of the UK." The Swindon event takes place at Best Western Blunsdown House Hotel on May 15, while the Cornwall event is planned at Lanhydrock Hotel & Golf Club in Bodmin in May 16. Meanwhile, anniversary celebrations will culminate in a sponsored 10km run for charity on October 20, followed by a celebratory lunch at the Richmond Gate Hotel. Members of Bright and agents will take part in a 10km run in Richmond Park, to raise a minimum of £50 each for a nominated charity, The Hospice of the Good Shepherd in Chester. To book a place at the training events or more information email bookings@eventsfortravel.com or see www.brightconsortia.com

New training course from IntouristUK INTOURISTUK HAS launched a new agent training course in cooperation with Online Travel Training. The course consists of five modules and has been designed to allow agents to increase their product and destination specific knowledge for the operator and Russia as a whole, enabling agents to sell the product with confidence. The five modules include an outline of the company's products, services and destinations; city breaks with a focus on Moscow and St Petersburg; river cruising routes in Russia and beyond; Trans Siberian and luxury travel; and Russian tourist visas. The first 100 agents to complete the course will receive a real Russian Matryoshka Doll key ring and all agents that complete the course before May 31 will be entered into a prize draw to win one of five bottles of premium Russian vodka. For more information visit www.intouristUKetraining. com

TOURISM WESTERN Australia is running its first training roadshow in five years this month and limited places are still available. Agents can learn more about the state, which is home to the World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef, the world’s longest fringing reef and the famous Margaret River wine region. Destination experts plus a small number of tour providers and accommodation operators will provide insights into the best itineraries, new hot spots and selling tips. There is also the chance to win a place on a fam later this year. Events are being held in London on April 23, in Manchester on April 25 and in Glasgow on April 26. To register visit www.waroadshow.com/register

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usa

UNIVERSAL ORLANDO Resort has opened a themed miniature golf experience – Hollywood Drive-In Golf at Universal CityWalk. Featuring two 18-hole courses based on classic drive-in era horror and sci-fi movies, the new venue offers the chance for families to tee off through the open mouth of a giant space worm or the basement laboratory of a towering haunted house. The new attraction is open daily from 08:00 to 02:00 and admission rates to play one course are $13.99 plus tax for adults and $11.99 plus tax for children (ages three to nine). For details visit www.universalcitywalk.com

Florida Preview brochure from Funway FUNWAY HOLIDAYS gas launched its Florida Preview brochure which features a selection of deals and discounts ahead of its full 2013 programme. As an example, a seven-night stay at the four-star Disney’s Port Orleans in Orlando, including flights with Virgin Atlantic, a free Quick Counter Service Plan, Disney’s seven-day Premium Ticket and free Magical Express transfers, leads in at £1,125 per person, based on travel in January next year. The company's US product manager, Casey Hurford, said: "We are delighted to launch our Florida Preview to give agents a sneak peak at our fantastic deals. It may be small but it is packed with exciting offers such as the hugely successful Disney free dining and 14 for seven ticket offers. As a thank you to our agents for booking with us, we have a range of fantastic incentives to give away and there is also the chance to win a place on our Orlando mega fam." For details visit www.funway4agents or call 0844-557 0626.

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SFTA releases 2011 economic impact figures THE SAN Francisco Travel Association (SFTA) reports that San Francisco welcomed 16.35million visitors in 2011, an increase of 2.7% from the previous year, and that these visitors spent $8.46billion - up 9.8% on 2010. The tourism industry generated $526million in taxes for the city, up 8.6% from the previous year and in 2011, there was an average of 129,499 visitors in San Francisco each day, with visitor spending

equating to $23.19million daily, including spending related to meetings and conventions. The SFTA's president and CEO, Joe D'Alessandro, said: “Our economic recovery continues but we have a way to go. We can look forward to the events of this year that will drive significant leisure travel, as well as the strong convention bookings to keep the momentum going.” For more information visit www.sanfrancisco.travel

April 20 2012

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usa Behind-the-scenes tours from Vacations to America VACATIONS TO America, which offers an extensive range of fly/drive, escorted and tailor-made tours, has introduced new escorted tours to its programme this year that offer travellers exclusive behind-thescenes access, enabling them to connect with local historians, cowboys, chefs, filmmakers and park rangers. As examples, highlights of a seven-night New Orleans: Bayous and The Big Easy option include a cooking demonstration at the New Orleans School of Cooking, an exclusive jazz experience at Preservation Hall and a horse-drawn carriage ride through the French Quarter. Guests will visit and learn about the history of Shadows-on-the-Teche, a grand former sugarcane plantation during the slave trade, as well as have the chance to meet volunteers and community organisers in the Ninth Ward for an insight into the Hurricane Katrina recovery effort. The trip includes seven nights’ accommodation, flights, 16 meals and transfers, and costs from £2,445 per person, based on two sharing. A seven-night America's Canyonlands tour explores three of the US’ canyons across Arizona, Utah and Nevada – Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Zion - including off-road adventures to explore areas that are hidden from most visitors.

Highlights include a talk by a local geologist about the Grand Canyon’s ecology, a private dinner cruise on Lake Powell and a 30-minute flight to see Rainbow Bridge – the world’s largest natural arch. The trip starts in Phoenix and ends in Las Vegas and includes seven nights’ accommodation, flights, ‘flightseeing’ tour, 17 meals and transfers, and costs from £2,995 per person, based on two sharing. Meanwhile, a five-night New York Family Fun in The Big Apple option allows guests to take in ‘must-see’ sites and exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the city. Highlights include a Broadway theatre workshop and tickets to see Spider Man: Turn Off the Dark, a foodie walking tour of Little Italy and Chinatown, a visit to the World Trade Center site to hear an NYPD officer share his experiences and an expert-led tour of the American Museum of Natural History. The trip includes five nights’ accommodation, flights, ten meals and transfers and costs from £2,478 per person, based on four sharing family room. For more information visit www.vacationstoamerica.com, call 01582-469777 or email enq@vacationstoamerica.com

GO FISHING Worldwide is offering a new package for fishing enthusiasts to West Virginia which leads in at £995 per person. The package is based on two sharing and includes flights to Pittsburgh, seven days' Economy car hire, seven nights' bed-and-breakfast in Elkins and a day's guided fishing in the Monongahela National Forest. Additional guiding can be arranged and licences are not included but can be purchased locally. For details call 020-87421556, email info@gofishingworldwide.co.uk or visit www.gofishingworldwide.co.uk

Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau unveils new name THE LOS Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau (LA INC.) has changed its name to the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. The board's president and CEO, Mark Liberman, said: “We spent a great deal of time discussing the merits of reframing our organisation’s name to make it more consistent with our strategic goal of capturing more convention, meeting, and leisure tourism business. “Our former name, LA INC., did not reference the industry that we serve, nor did it

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clearly delineate our Los Angeles geography to our growing number of international visitors.” Don Skeoch, the board's chief marketing officer, said: “With an estimated 43million total visitors, Los Angeles presently ranks third behind Orlando and New York City as one of the country’s leading tourist destinations. “In 2012 we anticipate establishing a new record for tourism in the City with nearly 45million visitors.” For more information visit www.discoverlosangeles.com

Family savings of up to £300 from Carrier CARRIER, WHICH reports an increase in demand for California touring holidays, is offering a family deal at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes in Florida, where guests staying for eight nights pay for six and receive complimentary breakfast, complimentary meals for children and a savings card. The offer is valid until January 1 next year and prices lead in at £1,175 per adult and £640 per child aged two to 18 years, offering a saving of up to £300 per family. The price is based on departures between August 20-22. The company is also promoting a range of savings across the US, such as a 14-night road trip, Coastal California, which travels from Los Angeles to San Diego. Prices lead in at £2,995 per person and offer a saving of up to £770 per couple. The price, based on departures between May 14-16, includes accommodation and car hire. For more information call 0161-492 1356 or visit www.carrier.co.uk

Cosmos Holidays offers free Universal tickets COSMOS HOLIDAYS is offering free Universal two-park Bonus tickets when booking any Orlando package holiday for this summer departing from either Newcastle or Cardiff airports. The offer represents a saving of up to £360 for a family of four or up to £95 per person and is available on new bookings made before April 30. For more information call 0871-423 8518.

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Eight Las Vegas Resorts. One call.

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usa Florida's Pinellas County announces a boost in visitor figures FOLLOWING THE latest Visit Florida figures indicating record visitors to the state last year, official statistics from Pinellas County show Florida's west coast has also seen a boost in holidaymakers. Pinellas County, bordered by the Gulf of Mexico to the west and Tampa Bay to the east, attracted a total of 584,442 UK visitors to the area last year, up 2.7% compared to 2010. Venessa Alexander, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater’s UKbased director, said: “The UK market has always been really important to Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater and we’re really pleased to see that the ongoing hype around APD rates hasn’t knocked consumer confidence. “As a popular twincentre destination just 90minutes’ drive from Orlando, it’s great for us to see tourism in Florida booming and the Brits keep coming back.” For more information visit www.visitstpeteclearwater. com

FFESTINIOG TRAVEL is offering an 18-day USA Canyons & Railways escorted tour that takes travellers on a journey through the landscapes of Western USA, travelling on some of the country’s pioneering railroads to take in canyons, valleys, deserts, ridges and National Parks. Departing on September 6, prices lead in at £3,835 per person, based on two sharing and include flights, Amtrak rail journeys, overnight accommodation on one Amtrak train (standard roomette), room-only hotel accommodation, some meals, rail journeys as per the itinerary, transfers and the services of a tour leader throughout. For details call 01766-772030 or visit www.ffestiniogtravel.com

Jet2holidays’ New York festive shopping trips now on sale JET2HOLIDAYS HAS announced the return of its New York Christmas Shopping Breaks from East Midlands, Leeds Bradford International and Newcastle airports. The three-night breaks are available for £699 per person, including flights, 10kg hand baggage and three-star hotel accommodation. Clients can secure their festive weekend package holiday to the city for a deposit of £60 per person and Jet2.com's flights are available from £415.89 per person, including taxes on selected dates in November and December. Steve Heapy, the operator's managing director and chief commercial officer of Jet2.com, said: “We are thrilled with the continued success of our New York shopping trips allowing customers across the north of England to enjoy the convenience of this direct service to the Big Apple. We recognise times are tough so want to make it as easy as possible for people to secure and plan ahead for this much anticipated break, hence launching these trips even earlier. “There really is no place quite like New York in the run up to Christmas. Whether it’s skating in Central Park, treating the kids in FAO Schwarz, soaking up the atmosphere in Times Square or taking in a Broadway show, I’d encourage people to book now so they don’t miss out on a magical trip of a lifetime direct from the region.” Shopping breaks from East Midlands depart on November 15, returning on November 18, and from Leeds and Newcastle airports to Newark Airport for two shopping weekends on November 29, returning on December 2 and December 6, returning on December 10.

Hayes & Jarvis highlights spring shopping break savings in New York NEW YORK City may be the obvious choice for British shoppers keen to bag bargains on Fifth Avenue that are cheaper than London’s Oxford Street or Knightsbridge. However, Hayes & Jarvis says that agents should advise their clients that they can slash more off those same bargain items by planning a city break to US cities where lower sales taxes - or no sales tax at all – can make a big difference to the bottom line. New York remains the most popular choice for Brits keen to snap up bargains on designer goods, and recent research by Post Office Travel Money for its Christmas Shopping Guide survey showed that British travellers can save as much as 62% in New York compared to London, with the best savings

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available on items like designer jeans and UGG boots. Holidaymakers who also know their taxes can save even more money while in New York as clothing and footwear under $55 are zero-rated for sales tax. However, with lower sales tax than New York and taxfree clothing priced under $175, Boston may be a better choice for shoppers hoping to stretch their dollars further on a US spring shopping break. The Post Office Travel Money’s shopping guide found that designer items like women’s ‘7 For All Mankind’ jeans, men’s ‘True Religion’ jeans and Ray Ban ‘Aviator’ sunglasses were all cheaper in Boston than the Big Apple. The operator says that budgetconscious shoppers can do even better

in New Hampshire, thanks to its zerorated sales tax and the company recommends staying in the heart of the White Mountains at North Conway, which offers a range of tax-free designer and outlet stores, with the North Conway Grand Hotel rated the best base. Another tax haven is Philadelphia, where holidaymakers can benefit from tax-free shopping on clothing and shoes. The operator says that the Crowne Plaza Philadelphia Hotel is a good city break base as the shopping hubs of Walnut Street, Main Street Manayunk, Old City and the Third Street Corridor are just a stone’s throw away. For more information call 0871-200 2211 or visit www.hayesandjarvis.com/agents

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usa Attraction World adds five new culinary tours in New York ATTRACTION WORLD has introduced five new culinary tours in New York, which aim to highlight the best foods for visitors, with plenty of tasting stops and all tours fully commissionable to agents. A Lower Eastside Artisan Food Tour costs £31 per adult and £21 per child and explores one of the trendiest neighbourhoods in New York, where guests can learn about the area’s immigrant history while tasting foods influenced from all corners of the globe. A Flavours of New York Tour costs £31 per adult and £21 per child and takes place in the heart of the student-filled East Village and includes at least seven different tasting stops. Nolita – A Bite of Ethnic New York Tour leads in at £33 per adult and £21 per child and offers guests an insight into how foods such as New York’s best cheesecake are made and what to look for when buying them. Guests also have the opportunity to meet the purveyors and chefs. A Beer, Cheese and Chocolate Tour of Upper West Side costs £40 and offers an indulgent afternoon of chocolate, cheese, beer tasting, and decadent desserts on a leisurely, easy walking tour of Manhattan's Upper West Side, while a Chocolate, Wine and Dessert Tour of Upper West Side also costs £40 and discovers some of the newest, best and coolest eateries, shops and restaurants in Manhattan while eating and learning about desserts and wines. For more information visit www.attractionworld.com or call 0871-700 8888.

VISITORS OF Mariposa County, home of Yosemite National Park, can experience nature at its best this spring as the town celebrates its Annual Butterfly Festival. The event takes place from May 4-6 and features live butterfly releases, parades, art and artisan shows and live entertainment. For details see www.homeofyosemite.com

Intrepid Travel launches self-drive adventures

TRAVELLERS CAN now experience the freedom of the open road and camping in the national parks without the hassle of arranging accommodation or camping gear, with the launch of Intrepid Travel's range of self drive adventures. The operator's itineraries arm travellers with a kit of camping gear, maps, local advice and national park passes, for them to explore America's classic highways, iconic cities and vast landscapes. A broad range of vehicles are offered, from compact cars to sedans and seven seater vans, as well as accommodation options and self-selected activities. The company's general manager, global sales, James Thornton, said: "We are now offering travellers a real point of difference with not only a choice of vehicle but also high quality camping gear, insurance and in-depth itineraries based on local knowledge, which you won't get when hiring a car independently. "We believe these trips will fulfil the needs of a wide range of people who want to experience North America and we look forward to expanding the self drive adventures range in the future." The new itineraries currently include The Great Outdoors, a 13-day trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles that covers Yosemite, Joshua Tree and Zion National Parks and leads in at £570 per person; a six-day Coastal Cruise along Highway 1 from Los Angeles to San Francisco from £295 per person; a 16-day Southwest Adventure that showcases the deserts, mountains, lakes and cliffs that the Southwest is known for, with prices from £625 per person; and a nine-day Southwest Loop from Las Vegas from £410 which takes in national parks, quirky towns and Navajo heritage. For more information visit www.intrepidtravel.com

Governors Island Manhattan announces summer opening dates and series of scheduled events GOVERNORS ISLAND will open for the summer season on Saturdays, Sundays and holiday Mondays from May 26 to September 30. The island, a former military base off the southern tip of Manhattan, is now owned by the City of New York and is a popular day-trip destination for visitors. The island is accessed via a free ferry service from Lower Manhattan with a journey time of ten minutes. The island hosts a series of events

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throughout the summer season. Previous events have included art and sculpture exhibitions, food festivals, live music concerts and family events. The island is best explored on foot or by bike, with bike rental locations available on the island. For details see www.govisland.com Meanwhile, visitors to New York will be able to enjoy outdoor concerts by one of the city’s most famous orchestras for free this summer. New

York Philharmonic Concerts in the Park, presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer, returns for its 47th season with six free concerts across all five boroughs of the city between July 1117. All outdoor performances begin at 20:00 and the concerts in Brooklyn and Manhattan will be followed by fireworks displays. For more information visit www.nycgo.com

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Florida’s booked, so...What you gonna do when you’re there?

BRICK IT! now open! PLUS all-new Water Park opens 26th May Book in advance, save time, up to 50% on gate prices AND get free transport to and from the park! * 1 day LEGOLAND® Florida: £51 per adult, £44 per child (3-12yrs) 1-day LEGOLAND® Florida/Water Park combo: £60 per adult, £53 per child (3-12yrs) 2 day tickets also available.

PLUS 5 pairs of Merlin Annual Passes to be won! Visit all your favourite UK attractions for a year! Enter our draw by sending your LEGOLAND ® booking ref. to LEGOLAND@attractionworld.com

Visit www.attractionworld.com today 2011 WINNER

*

FREE transport offer applies for booking made in April 2012. Prices correct at time of going to print. Subject to change at any time. LEGOLAND, LEGO, the LEGO logo, the Brick and Knob configurations, the Minifigure and LEGOLAND are trademarks of the LEGO Group. (c)2012 The LEGO Group. LEGOLAND IS A PART OF THE MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS GROUP.


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HALF MOON Resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica is promoting a 'pay seven nights and get seven nights free' offer for summer. Prices lead in at £1,189 per person and are based on two adults sharing a superior room on a room-only basis for bookings made by November 15 and holidays completed by December 20. For details see www.halfmoon.rockresorts.com

Regional discovery excursions for families from Pierre & Vacances PIERRE & Vacances is looking to encourage visitors to take advantage of the local area on their next holiday with new regional discovery excursions for the summer season. The hands-on adventures include learning to make soap in Provence, visiting a dairy to make goats cheese in the Ardeche or making honey with a beekeeper in the south of France. The holidays are part of a revamp for the company’s Holiday Village brand which also sees refurbished apartments, more free activities, a la carte services and a revamped kids' club. The operator has 13 Holiday Villages across France and Spain located near beaches, golf courses or nature

reserves. Accommodation ranges from studio apartments to three-bedroom houses, with prices starting from £450 for a seven-night stay in a two-bedroom apartment sleeping up to seven people at Port du Crouesty. The company's UK & Ireland sales and marketing director, Cathy Rankin, said: “We want families to really enjoy their summer breaks – both with the great onsite facilities, but also by taking the time to experience the local area, whether it be on one of our new regional discovery days, or by hiring a bike and exploring the region. “We all know that no two children are alike and so we’ve also looked to revamp our kids' clubs too, enabling children at

our Holiday Villages to choose a club tailored to their own interests.” An example of the company's revamped resorts is Belle Dune in North Picardy. The houses and apartments are built in the 20th century style of the Picardy region around a large lake. Guests have access to indoor and outdoor swimming pools, pedalos, sailing on the lake, a petting farm, kids' clubs and the nearby beach is accessible by foot or on a miniature train. New for this year is a VIP accommodation range, regional activities and themed kids' clubs, with prices starting from £65 per child per week. For more information call 0870-026 7144 or visit www.pierreetvacances.co.uk

Britain’s budget hotels cheaper for business travellers according to hotel portal HRS HOTEL PORTAL, HRS, has calculated that the average daily rate for one-star hotels in the UK decreased by as much as 10% between 2010 and 2011 for corporate travellers. Twostar properties decreased by just 3%, but three-star hotels saw the greatest decrease with prices changing from £76.20 in 2010 to £65.81 in 2011, a change of 14%. The company works with more than 30,000 companies worldwide to provide accommodation in 250,000 properties across 180 countries. Analysing UK bookings made by UK corporate travellers, it was also noted that during the same period, four-star hotels saw an increase in their average daily rate from £91.52 to £103.13 (13%) as an increase in travel demand meant hoteliers could increase their prices. Jon West, the company's managing director UK & Ireland,

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said: “The flurry of events taking place in London this year will lead to an increase in prices during the majority of 2012 as hoteliers try and maximise rates and profits. However, we believe this higher demand will not materialise and rooms will be available in London over the period. “The three-star category will continue to offer good value, driven by the aggressive acquisition and growth strategy by the Premier Inn Group. However, across chain groups we predict an overall increase of 8% for hotel prices. “Corporates will continue to move away from the top end brands and those who have a proactive programme will move towards independents rather than chains. These independents need to compete against aggressive marketing and comparison website activity by offering reductions.”

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MALLORCA FARMHOUSES is highlighting its property Aljup de Son Amer, set on the outskirts of the village of Es Llombards. The recently restored one-bedroom stone-clad cottage is located within walking distance of local tapas bars, a bakery, restaurants and shops and features an open-plan kitchen and an en-suite double bedroom with stairs to a small mezzanine. Other features include a private pool and a shaded dining terrace with barbecue area. Prices lead in at £630 per week or £315 per person, based on two sharing and includes a starter pack and maid service. Flights are excluded and car hire is recommended as essential - see www.rhinocarhire.com For more information or to book visit www.mallorca.co.uk or call 0845-800 8080.

Superbreak adds new Travelodge properties to portfolio SUPERBREAK HAS added seven new Travelodge properties to its portfolio of hotels in the UK, to take the total number of Travelodge properties featured to 144. Two new hotels are featured in Wales and five in England, with prices leading in at £23 per person per night. They include Bradford Central Hotel from £23.75 per person per night, Cardiff Atlantic Wharf Hotel from £30.50, Cardiff Central Queen Street Hotel from £30.50, Huddersfield Hotel from £23, Manchester Upper Brook Street Hotel from £24, Manchester Salford Quays Hotel from £24 and Manchester Central Arena from £24. For more information visit www.superbreak.com/agents or call 0871-221 4444. MOVENPICK HOTELS & Resorts’ new property in Bangalore, the five-star Hotel & Spa Bangalore, features 182 rooms and is located 30 minutes from the airport. The property offers a variety of dining experiences; seven meeting rooms with an outdoor venue for up to 500 people; and the Sohum Spa, a specialist Ayurvedic spa and wellness facility with eight treatment rooms and a selection of treatments inspired by Ayurveda, and incorporating some Oriental and European healing techniques. The hotel also offers a fitness centre with views of the city and dedicated meditation and yoga rooms. For details see www.moevenpick-hotels.com

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See the Red Hot Chilli Peppers with Getabed.co.uk GETABED.CO.UK IS celebrating its beach deals by giving agents the chance to win tickets to see the Red Hot Chilli Peppers in June. The company has a total of eight tickets to give away at either Knebworth or Sunderland. To be in with a chance of winning, agents should make a beach booking with the operator before the end of the month.

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accommodationonly A&K adds new villas in Sardinia ABERCROMBIE & Kent Villas has announced the addition of nine new villas in Sardinia to its existing Italian portfolio of villas in Tuscany, Amalfi Coast, Umbria and city apartments in Florence. The villas range from simple but charming little boltholes to the more luxurious villas with rolling gardens down to a private beach. All come with the option of a chef who will cook up Sardinian feasts using fish caught that day and local produce. As examples of prices, Bentu de Sole, situated on the peninsula of Capo Coda Cavallo, 350m from Salina Bamba Beach, leads in at £206 per person per week, based on 24 sharing. The villa offers traditional Sardinian décor combined with contemporary twists and a private pool and barbecue area. Domus de Janus, literally meaning ‘FairyHouse’, is a 65sq.m villa with sea views and a private pool and leads in at £160 per person per week, based on four sharing, while Antunna de Linna, which features its own infinity pool, costs from £394 per person week, based on 12 sharing. The company's head of marketing, Claire Allen, said: "We are thrilled to have nine villas in Sardinia – the turquoise waters and sandy beaches, together with the amazing variety of activities, fascinating history and wildlife on the island make it a perfect family holiday. We have handpicked our villas so we have something for everyone: ranging from two-bedroom properties to larger private homes ideal for two families." For more information visit www.akvillas.com or call 0845-618 2205.

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Travelport Rooms and More reports agent bookings up by 126% in first quarter TRAVELPORT HAS revealed the ongoing growth in the use of its Travelport Rooms and More hotel booking engine in the UK, adding more than 50 agencies so far this year. Customer feedback has indicated that agents value its breadth of content, ease of use and opportunity to earn new revenue with UK bookings increasing on average 17% each week this year. The company's regional director UK & Ireland, Simon Ferguson, said: “Travelport Rooms and More has become a valuable accommodation source and hotel booking tool for leisure travel agents since its launch in July 2011,” said Simon Ferguson, Regional Director, UK & Ireland. “In a tight market, travel agents need extra support from their key suppliers.” Zara Skirvin from S&N Pickford said “We have been using Travelport Rooms & More for the last few months and find it a great tool. It is very simple to use and the ability to filter results makes finding hotels in certain areas or with specific amenities very easy. Being able to search multiple suppliers on one page saves us time and enables us to source the best price quickly.” Additionally, for the month of April, Travelport is offering a special promotion, whereby any UK travel agent who makes more than 10 bookings in Rooms and More can earn double their usual commission *. For full terms and conditions please refer to http://www.travelportcommunications.com/rooms andmore/doublecommission

April 20 2012

INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS Group (IHG) has opened its second hotel in Scotland, Hotel Indigo Edinburgh. The 60-room property is situated minutes from some of Edinburgh’s most famous attractions including Edinburgh Castle, the souvenir filled Royal Mile in Old Town and the popular shops on Princes Street.

Jumeirah’s first European resort opens this month JUMEIRAH HOTELS & Resorts is to open its first European resort, Jumeirah Port Soller Resort & Spa, in Mallorca on April 24. The new five-star Spanish resort comprises 120guestrooms and suites, all with a private terrace or balcony, located on eight separate outbuildings. A free fifth night's stay is offered when clients stay for four nights when booked through selected operators for stays between April 24 to June 30 and from September 14 to December 20. The offer includes breakfast, free Wi-fi in all areas and rooms, use of the kids' club, access to the resort's spa and a free shuttle service to Port Sóller. Set in the Tramuntana Valley on the northwest of the island, the area is a popular choice for trekking, cycling, Nordic walking and watersports, as well as for lovers of art museums, botanical gardens and the region’s rich architectural heritage. The resort itself features three outdoor swimming pools, two restaurants, four bars with al fresco dining, function rooms, spa and fitness club. In the coming six months, the company expects to open Jumeirah Bilgah Beach Hotel in Baku, Azerbaijan; Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel and Spa, Kuwait; and Jumeirah Creekside in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. For more information visit www.jumeirah.com

Jumeirah Port Soller

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egypt TO CELEBRATE the launch of its new Worldwide Family Adventures 2012 brochure, Intrepid Travel is offering up to 25% off child places on more than 60 holidays that are suitable for the whole family. There is 25% off for one child travelling with one adult and 25% off for a second child if two adults are travelling. All other children under age 11 can receive a 5% discount. As an example, a ten-day Egypt Family Discovery option leads in at £730 and includes the Pyramids of Giza, a cruise down the Nile on a felucca and visiting the tombs in the Valley of Kings. Bookings must be made by May 31 for travel by October 31, using promotional code 8997 (25% off) or 8950 (5% off). There's a 15% discount for travel from November 1 to May 31, 2013 using promotional code 8950.

Olympic expands accommodation options with two five-star resorts in Sharm el Sheikh OLYMPIC HOLIDAYS is featuring two five-star resorts this summer for the first time this year: the Marriott Beach Resort and the Stella Di Mare Beach Hotel & Spa, both in Sharm el Sheikh. As an example of prices, a seven-night bed-andbreakfast stay at Stella Di Mare Beach Hotel & Spa leads in at £549 per person in June, sharing a Comfort room. The price includes flights from Gatwick and transfers.

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The operator says that prices in the destination are now more affordable than ever. The company's commercial director, Photis Lambrianides, said: "There has never been a better time to choose Egypt's Red Sea Riviera for a holiday. People will be amazed when they see what they can get for their money. This is the best time to choose a Red Sea holiday as the value factor has never been greater."

The company says that while late sales remain the trend, Egypt business is holding up well, despite the political problems in the Arab world that have hit tourism to the region as a whole. Lambrianides said: "There's an amazing spread of offers from the top hotels down in all resorts. Deals from the likes of the Savoy Sharm and the Hiltons have made Red Sea prices more affordable than ever.

"The Hiltons — Sharm Dreams, Sharm Waterfalls and Shark's Bay Resort — are doing really well for us right now, as is the Savoy, a stylish five-star property. "People will still book the Red Sea if the price is right. The demand is still there, despite the recent events in Cairo, and I'm optimistic generally about take-up for 2012." For more information call 0844-499 4449 or visit www.olympicholidays.com

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egypt Savings of up to 30% off small group tours with Encounters Travel ENCOUNTERS TRAVEL is offering up to 30% off some of its small group adventure tours in Egypt when booked by April 30, with prices starting from £276 per person for nine days. The tours offers a mix of history, culture, architecture, popular sites, year-round sunshine, sandy beaches and coral rich waters for relaxation and snorkelling. They also combine four-star hotel accommodation with the occasional night somewhere unique, such as on an overnight train or a traditional felucca boat along the Nile, where guests sleep on an open-deck sailboat under the stars. New for this year the company is offering a new ‘facilities boat’ to accompany its felucca cruises along the Nile. The facilities boat houses toilets, showers and offers traditional Nubian massages on the top deck. Guests booking before April 30 can save up to 30% on selected tours for travel at any time this year. Options include a nine-day Nubian Adventure tour from £276 per person including the discount. The tour includes visits to the Pyramids in Cairo, the

Philae temple in Aswan, the rock temples at Abu Simbel, Luxor, the Valley of the Kings and a short cruise along the Nile Valley. A 14-day Nubians & Beaches tour leads in at £416 per person including the discount and includes all the major sites including the Pyramids, the Philae temple in Aswan, the rock temples at Abu Simbel, Luxor, the Valley of the Kings and a short cruise along the Nile Valley, finishing with a four-night stay on the golden beaches at Dahab. An eight-day Siwa Explorer tour costs from £412 per person, including the 30% off and is an ideal trip for travellers returning to Egypt or for those wishing to explore the lesser visited sites northwest of Cairo taking in Alexandria, El Alamein and the rugged desert landscapes close to Siwa Oasis. Prices exclude flights, which are available on request and all tours include transfers and a fully qualified Egyptologist guide throughout. For more information visit www.encounterstravel.com or call 0800-088 6002.

Philae Temple Felucca on Nile Luxor Temple

Audley adds new tours in Egypt AUDLEY HAS launched a new North Africa & the Middle East brochure, with a focus on Jordan, Morocco, Oman and Egypt. In Egypt the reopening of the Old Cataract Hotel in Aswan after four years being refurbished makes it now possible to do a tour based solely at heritage properties. A nine-day tour combining the Mena House in Cairo, the Old Winter Palace Hotel in Luxor and the Old Cataract Hotel in Aswan costs from £2,950 per person. Guests can also take a Nile cruise on the restored SS Sudan, originally built in 1880 and used for the film Death on the Nile. The operator is also offering a short loop of around five days from Alexandria to Siwa and on to Cairo. Alternatively, a 14-day Desert Circuit itinerary leads in at £3,160 per person. The company has also added a full guide to Nile Cruises in its brochure, offering a range of different boats to suit all tastes and budgets. Company recommendations include the Hadeel Dahabiyya boat which has eight cabins combining traditional style and modern luxury. A seven night cruise on the Hadeel Dahabiyya plus one night in Cairo or the Nile Valley costs from £1,900 per person. For more information call 01993-838400 or visit www.audleytravel.com

Carrier highlights accommodation savings across selection of packages CARRIER IS promoting a selection of packages to Egypt that include accommodation savings. As examples, a seven-night stay at the Ritz-Carlton in Sharm el Sheikh leads in at £785 per person, offering a saving of up to £385 per couple. The offer includes breakfast, private transfers and flights from Luton and is valid until April 30. Guests staying seven nights at the Four Seasons Resort,

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also in Sharm el Sheikh, pay for six in a new offer that is valid until September 29. It also includes US$300 per room per stay, offering a saving of up to £415 per couple. Prices lead in at £1,145 per person based on a May 14 departure including breakfast, private transfers and flights from Luton. For more information call 0161-492 1357 or visit www.carrier.co.uk

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egypt El Gouna reports Easter sell-out and general occupancy rates at 65% THE RED Sea destination of El Gouna has reported a 100% occupancy rate for the Easter period, with general occupancy outside of the long weekend remaining at 65%. Mayar Abdel Aziz, vice president of marketing for Orascom Development, said: "We are thrilled to share the news that all 17 of the hotels in El Gouna report they reached capacity for the Easter long weekend, with plenty

of families and young couples booked for a spring getaway to make the most of El Gouna’s year-round sunshine. We expect leisure and sporting activity providers in El Gouna also reaped the benefits of the occupancy figures." For more information on the destination visit www.elgouna.com

Discover Egypt launches new-look Website with special offers page DISCOVER EGYPT has relaunched its Website combining both Egypt and Jordan products for the first time and highlighting new travel deals. The operator, which offers Nile cruises, city stays in Luxor, Cairo and Alexander, beach holidays in the Red Sea as well as tailor-made itineraries to both Egypt and Jordan, has made navigation easier, with each section highlighting the best deals on offer in each category and the look of the site has also been improved using photography. Agents looking to offer their clients the best deals also benefit from a new special offers page which is regularly updated. At the moment

these include a discount of up to 50% for the second traveller on selected Nile cruises until April 2013 and half price single cabin supplements on selected Viking Nile cruises until next April. The site also features a range of tailor-made suggestions split up into 12 different categories, including Luxury Holidays, Honeymoons, Special Interest Holidays, City Breaks, Desert & Oasis and Golfing and Diving. One of the cheapest deals currently being advertised is a sevennight all-inclusive stay in Sharm el Sheikh from £549 per person, with accommodation at the five-star

Rehana Royal Beach Resort on an all-inclusive basis. The price includes flights from Gatwick and transfers and the deal is valid for travel from April 26 until September 30. Nile cruises currently lead in at £849 per person, with a second traveller going for £424.50 on the five-star Viking Princess, including flights from Gatwick, a full board seven-night cruise with ten guided excursions and transfers. The price is available for travel on April 23 and on weekly departures from September 10 until October 22. For more information call 0844-880 0461 or visit www.discoveregypt.co.uk

Mosaic offers $50 per night room credit MOSAIC HOLIDAYS reports slow but steady demand for classical Egypt and says that while total client numbers to Egypt have been down over the last two years, agents bookings to Egypt, have risen by more than 40% per person. The operator's managing director, Sabina Shaida, said: “We’ve had a positive response from agents booking high value classical Egypt holidays, and are reassuring them regarding Cairo." Meanwhile, the company is offering US$50 per room per night for the first six nights to spend at the deluxe our Seasons Resort Sharm el Sheikh for stays between May 13October 25, which can be spent on resort extras. For details visit www.mosaicholidays.co.uk or email sales@mosaicholidays.co.uk

Egypt named diving destination of the year EGYPT HAS been named diver Destination of the Year 2011 at the DIVER Awards ceremony, which took place at the Novotel, London ExCeL at the end of last month. Omayma El Husseini, director UK, Egyptian State Tourist Office, said: “We are delighted to hear that Britain’s divers have again voted for Egypt. Egypt’s strong diving offer, yearround climate and historical importance have always provided a diverse holiday for any age group. “Egypt has gone through recent political changes, however this is the first time this has happened in over 30 years and the country is already settling back in. Everything is still very positive. “The affinity Egypt has with the UK tourism market has always been strong. Winning the Destination of the Year Award is a great sign of trust in Egypt as a hot spot for divers and all tourists alike.”

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egypt Classic Nile & El Gouna option from £1,139 from Shearings We asked our staff the following question: What was your last dream about? Publisher: Jeanette Ratcliffe jeanette.ratcliffe@travelbulletin.co.uk I can't remember, I was asleep!

Editor: Lauretta Wright lauretta.wright@travelbulletin.co.uk I was fighting a bush that was shaped like a dog. I remember winning by chopping its tail off with a hedge trimmer.

SHEARINGS IS offering a combination of a river cruise along the Nile and an all-inclusive seven-night stay in El Gouna, giving customers the chance to explore the ancient treasures of Egypt. Highlights of the 15-day holiday include a trip to the temples of Karnak and Luxor, a chance to explore Aswan and the High Dam and a Felucca trip along the River Nile. The price includes seven nights' all-inclusive accommodation, seven nights' full board accommodation on the Nile cruise, sightseeing excursions, flights and resort transfers. Departure dates run up to December. For more information call 0844-824 6351 or visit www.shearingsagent.com

Assistant Editor: Jill Sayles jill.sayles@travelbulletin.co.uk A crowd gathered in a field to watch Craig Charles do a hot air balloon ride. I was given some sparklers and tossed them over my shoulder when I thought they had burned out. They landed on the hot air balloon ropes, setting it on fire!

Contributing Editor: Paul Scudamore post@travelbulletin.co.uk Barbara Windsor was working at the check-out in Sainsbury's, knew me, and asked me to help her go on her break, picked up her white stick and held on to my arm as I led the blind dear away. Weird or what.

Sales Director: Simon Eddolls simon.eddolls@travelbulletin.co.uk In my dream my daughter got out of bed and my son turned the TV off - that's what gave the game away!!

Advertisement Manager: Tim Podger tim.podger@travelbulletin.co.uk The lottery, they did not come in!

Online Sales Manager: Nick Boocock nick.boocock@travelbulletin.co.uk John Terry hassling me for money to catch the last train to Hampton Wick. The cheek of that man!

Account Manager: Bill Coad bill.coad@travelbulletin.co.uk I keep dreaming that I am buried alive in a coffin with only a torch and a long peice of piping. I am not sure how deep I am but have to try and get air

Sales Executive: Chris Gascoine chris.gascoine@alaincharles.com

DISCOVER EGYPT has announced a special seven-night package at the newly renovated five-star Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa for £699 per person. The price includes flights from Gatwick (Monday departure) and an upgrade to a Nile view room for travel from May 7 to September 24. Flights from Manchester cost a supplement of £40 per person and Heathrow flights are from an extra £99. For details see www.discoveregypt.co.uk or call 0844-880 0461.

That Millwall won the FA Cup

Design: Genaro Santos genaro.santos@alaincharles.com I don’t dream or i just don’t remember them

Assistant Layout Design: Nicky Valsamakis nicky.valsamakis@alaincharles.com I was stuck in a huge airport trying to find the check-in

Production: Jeremy Walters jeremy.walters@alaincharles.com What happens in Dreamland stays in Dreamland!

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 - Travel Bulletin is published weekly and distributed to every ABTA, TTA & GTG agent. Subscriptions are £105 p.a. for tour operators and others, plus additional ABTA, IATA copies. Overseas subscriptions by air mail: £155 ISSN: 0956-2419

30

Audit Bureau of Circulations Business magazines

April 20 2012

Anatolian sees steady growth in Nile cruising ANATOLIAN SKY, which is selling Egypt and Morocco for the second year, reports that it has seen an increase in Nile cruising. The company's managing director, Akin Koc, said: “We have been seeing a steady growth in interest in Nile cruising, but now bookings for Egypt are really starting to come in. We have not seen Egypt on the news recently and this is having a positive effect on people’s confidence in booking travel to the destination.” The operator features a range of flexible holidays to the destination - from Nile cruises and cruise and stay itineraries to Cairo and Luxor breaks and beach holidays on the Red Sea. Throughout this month the operator is also running a booking incentive for agents, where for every booking made, agents receive a £10 Love2Shop voucher. For more information visit www.anatoliansky.co.uk or call 0844-273 3585.

puzzlesolutions Crossword: Across: 1. MARRIOTT, 6. SOL, 8. ESTORIL, 9. ISCHIA, 10. PALM, 12. SAND, 13. HUDSON, 15. PESCARA, 16. SEA, 17. SAN DIEGO. Down:1. MISSISSIPPI, 2. IBERIA, 3. TATE, 4. KILIMANJARO, 5. ARKANSAS, 7. LOCH NESS, 11. CUNARD, 14. DARA.

Highlighted Word: RHODES Travagrams: (top) Royal Caribbean International

(bottom) Hamiltion

Where Am I?: Seville

www.travelbulletin.co.uk


S07 TB2004 Egypt_Layout 1 18/04/2012 11:40 Page 31

Experience Egypt with the Egyptian experts Enjoy the many faces of Egypt with Red Sea Holidays. We only sell holidays to Egypt that’s why we’re the Egyptian experts.  Best advice

 Best accommodation

 Best operator to North Africa

We believe that there is no substitute for experience and local knowledge. That’s why our travel advisers regularly visit our resorts and hotels to ensure they can answer your questions with facts, not guesses.

Our hand-picked selection of predominantly 4+ and 5+ hotels has been vetted personally by our team for quality, service, location and value.

We’re not just saying that: we were voted it in the 2011 British Travel Awards, plus a silver award for best small tour operator of the year. Try our award winning service for yourself.

 Best value We only sell holidays to Egypt. That lets us build strong relationships which we can use to get the best deals for you; not just better prices, but better quality too. Our holidays also include more in the price, with free transfers, in-flight meals on many flights, and a generous luggage allowance as standard.

 Best experiences In relaxing surroundings and with all inclusive service, it’s all too easy to forget about life beyond the pool. But Egypt can offer so much more. Our extensive range of excursions, cruises, tours, and cruise and stay holidays ensure you get to experience Egypt’s many treasures.

ABTA No.Y2507

Scan me for more information

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


S07 TB2004 Egypt_Layout 1 18/04/2012 11:40 Page 32

Luxury European River Cruises Danube ‹ Maine ‹ Moselle ‹ Rhine ‹ Rhône ‹ Seine ‹ Yangtze ‹ Mekong

2013 Preview Brochure - On Sale Now!  Book by 23 May ’12 and save up to £1500 per couple  New suites ships Avalon Artistry II & Avalon Expression launching 2013  Choose from eleven cruises on the Rhine, Danube, Rhone rivers and Dutch Waterways  Priced from £1,145 per person for an 8 day luxury Rhine cruise - Amsterdam to Basel

For details of the early booking offers on 2013 Avalon cruises or for brochures call 0800 668 1865 or contact

agencysales@avaloncruises.co.uk All air-inclusive packages are protected by ATOL. AvalonWaterways is a trading name of Cosmos Coach Tours Ltd; Registered in England No. 1175122. Registered Address: Avalon Waterways (trading name of Cosmos Coach Tours Ltd), Prospect House, ProspectWay, London Luton Airport, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU2 9NU. *Lead in price is based on the departure marked with an asterisk on each itinerary. These offers apply to new bookings only, are subject to availability and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers. AvalonWaterways reserves the right to withdraw offers at any time.


Travel Bulletin 20th April 2012  

Travel Bulletin 20th April 2012

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