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TB3105 2013 Cover_TB Front Cover.qxd 29/05/2013 12:48 Page 1

May 31 2013 | ISSUE NO 1,828 | www.travelbulletin.co.uk

Indian Ocean

A round-up of the latest package deals and new flight routes

this week sk책l the 12 world over why friendship remains the backbone of the organisation

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personality bulletin which commercial director thinks agents should be earning big commissions

italy

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new tour additions, special offers & property updates

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west africa Serenity Holidays issues new Experience brochures


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newsbulletin

This Week news 3

Cover Pictures: Main - Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives

Inset - Palazzo Manfredi Hotel, Rome

£4.6m of potential Air Passenger Duty lost from overseas private jets

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agent bulletin

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puzzle bulletin

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skål the world over

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cruise bulletin

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hotel bulletin

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personality bulletin

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italy

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west africa

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indian ocean

a round-up of booking incentives, fam trips & agent training play Su Doku for your chance to win a £50 M&S voucher why friendship remains the backbone of the organisation

MSC Cruises offers free flights to Yacht Club guests

Carlson Rezidor introduces extensive technology upgrades find out which commercial director thinks travel agents should be earning big commissions new tour additions, special offers & property updates Serenity Holidays issues new Experience brochures

a round-up of the latest package deals and new flight routes

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MAGALUF MATES...Superbreak ran a competition in association with Capital FM, Monarch Airlines and Leeds Bradford Airport offering 40 winners the chance to win 24-hours in the sun. Agents were able to enter and Katrina Ives (far right) from New Horizon's Travel in Bridlington was announced as the winner. She and a friend plus all the other winners headed out to Palma, Mallorca for a stay in Magaluf. Pictured with Katrina ready for take-off are, from the left: Jo Jo, Capital FM Breakfast Show; Teresa Colman, a friend of Katrina; Simon Hirst, Capital FM; Rosie Bowes, Superbreak; and Danny Oakes, Capital FM.

£4.6m of potential Air Passenger Duty lost from overseas private jets PRIVATEFLY.COM ESTIMATES that £4.6m of potential revenues from the new extension of Air Passenger Duty (APD) to business jets will be lost in the first year. The tax, which came into force on April 1, applies to business aviation flights departing from the UK, regardless of the aircraft's country of origin. According to PrivateFly, many operators of aircraft based outside the UK will be unlikely to pay up. The company used flight activity analysis from industry data provider WINGXAdvance.com to estimate the annual revenue potential from APD on business jet flights at £9.3m, and says that half of this potential revenue will be payable from UKbased operators or owners, with the remaining 50% from non-domiciled aircraft - on their UK flight departures. The company forecasts that most of these overseas operators will not pay, resulting in the £4.6m loss. CEO of the company Adam Twidell said: "The collection process for APD on business aviation was not properly discussed with the industry, with HMRC applying the same logic for airlines to the highly fragmented private jet sector. However, the makeup of the private jet industry is very different to that of the airlines: While there are around 130 airlines operating UK departures, in 2012

more than 3,000 private jet companies flew into the UK, with 75% having fewer than three aircraft in their fleet. Routes are not scheduled and the aircraft behave like taxis. "With the onus being on the aircraft operator to register and pay APD independently, the system is bureaucratic and difficult to understand for small private jet companies who only fly to and from the UK occasionally. The result will be many aircraft operators ignoring the tax. And with private aircraft able to use more than 300 airports in the UK, the task of tracking down non-payers will be almost impossible for HMRC. "Many will escape their scrutiny, creating a commercial disadvantage for UK operators who must factor in the costs of paying and administering the tax. "HMRC have already confirmed that APD on the private jet industry is expected to be a 'revenue-neutral' exercise based on projected costs of £2 to £3 million, so they appear to be resigned to much of their potential revenue going uncollected. It is a political stunt that is increasing red tape and is handicapping UK aviation companies already struggling to compete against low-cost overseas competition. The simple solution for HMRC is to enforce payment of private jet APD with landing fees at UK airports."

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newsbulletin Tourism KZN shares destination packaging ideas at INDABA 2013 TOURISM KWAZULU-NATAL (TKZN) has highlighted plans to intensify its international marketing efforts to secure a greater slice of the world’s dynamic tourism market. At the organisation’s stakeholder breakfast, the authority addressed trade at Tourism INDABA 2013, making reference to provincial master planning, strategic partnerships and consistent brand packaging and communications, as key components in its quest. In his opening remarks, Tourism Kwazulu-Natal Board chairman, Sadha Naidoo, alerted guests to the 'advent of the new tourist’, emphasising the need for tourism players to adapt to the dynamic global tourism landscape and the everchanging ‘face of tourism’. He said: “We are all acutely aware of the fact that the global tourism market is a highly competitive environment in which to operate. No player can afford to rest on his or her laurels, for to do so will result in losing the competitive edge. Less well-known, perhaps, but no less critical a factor, is that tourism is a highly dynamic industry. Such dynamism spawns rapidly changing trends, including the profile of the tourists we serve. “The ‘New Tourist’ is typically young, independent of mind, digital-savvy, demands authenticity, expects to experience rather than watch and is more environmentally sensitive than ever before. Critically, the ‘New Tourist’ is more qualityconscious, harder to please, has the courage to venture into non-traditional environments and tends to seek out destinations following responsible tourism ideals.” In his keynote address, the Honourable MEC for Economic Development and Tourism - KZN, Michael Mabuyakhulu, outlined the process undertaken to develop the province’s 20-year Master Plan. He said: “Those countries and regions that plan best to maximise their tourism potential and – critically – put into place the necessary interventions to implement such plans, will be the areas that are successful in growing their tourism market share. “For our part, as KwaZulu-Natal, we have ensured that we have closely aligned our provincial thought processes and plan development to ensure that the final plan complements the overall national strategy. The KwaZulu-Natal Tourism Master Plan, which sets out ambitious targets to 2030, aims to steer our regional tourism industry onto a development trajectory which would lead to global recognition of our province as the African continent's top beach destination, with the added attraction of a unique blend of wildlife, scenic and heritage experiences.” The breakfast event also marked the launch of TKZN's 'Exceptional Guide to packaging KwaZulu-Natal', a guide that helps the travel trade sell the destination.

CHOCOLATE HEAVEN...To mark the launch of Visit England’s GREAT campaign, which encourages the UK public to go back to their high street travel agent and book a UK holiday, Gail Dunwoodie and Nick Hughes from Attraction World met with Wallace and Gromit at Birmingham’s Cadbury World. As part of the campaign, the operator is featuring a range of deals for UK attractions include 10% saving on the London Eye Fast Track Pass, buy one day and get one day free at Alton Towers and savings attractions including Sealife Centres, The Dungeons, Blackpool attractions, Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester, Warwick Castle, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures and Legoland Windsor, all of which are commissionable to agents. For details see www.attractionworld.com

New website aims to boost visitors to Outer Hebrides THE OUTER Hebrides Tourism Industry Association (OHTIA) has launched a new dedicated destination website for the archipelago. The site offers a combination of information, inspiration and trip-planning tools for potential visitors. The association's Ian Fordham said: “We are dedicated to raising the profile of the Outer Hebrides as a desirable destination for holidaymakers from across the world – and we believe the key to this is to help more people discover the delights of our islands. “As well as launching a comprehensive new website, which we believe will be the go-to resource for anyone planning a trip to the Outer Hebrides, we will soon be welcoming a host of industry insiders from across Europe and closer to home, who will be able to share their own expertise while they are here before heading off to spread the word to the world about all that the Outer Hebrides have to offer.” For more information visit www.visitouterhebrides.co.uk

Savings on Ben Nevis and Snowdon treks from Explore with prices from £295 EXPLORE IS highlighting mountainous treks to Ben Nevis and Snowdon. A trip to Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles, offers trekking with a qualified mountain leader and takes guests on a path that climbs steadily to the summit at 1,344m. The three-day tour departs on July 5 and costs from £295 per person (was £345). The price

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includes two nights' breakfast accommodation, transport and the services of a qualified mountain leader. In Snowdonia National Park, Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales and an ideal destination for a short trek. Walking with a qualified mountain leader, trekkers will follow a path that climbs to the summit at 1,085m. Along the route, guests can

take in the Welsh landscapes and the rare plant species. The three-day tour, which departs on June 28, is now on sale from £299 per person (was £369) including two nights' breakfast accommodation, bus travel and the services of a tour leader and mountain guide. For further information or to book visit www.explore.co.uk or call 0844-499 0901.

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newsbulletin Tweets of the Week Who’s saying what on Twitter... @IcelandNatural One of Iceland's most popular hiking routes has opened a new 26 km stretch for hikers http://ow.ly/lfhmf #Iceland #hiking #adventure @CosmosHolidays To get your summer kick started we've got up to 50% off selected #holidays this summer, book your 100% holiday today! http://bit.ly/18YAa3P @DTW_Holidays Choosing between the #Arctic and #Antarctica: we take a closer look at exploring the polar regions: http://ow.ly/lhXae @On_The_Go_Tours We are offering you BIG #discounts of lots of our trips departing in September! Yes - it's the Silly September Sale: http://bit.ly/10HJhzc @gotoguernsey Special offer: #Guernsey-#Alderney trips by @bumbleboat £25 each way (usually £34.75) every Wed until end of June: http://bit.ly/R6bSxg

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Great Rail Journeys launches Edinburgh Tattoo tours GREAT RAIL Journeys has launched Edinburgh Tattoo Tours which include rail inclusive prices from any UK station. As examples, prices lead in at £498 per person from Manchester, £512 from York and £527 from Birmingham. The operator's national sales manager Tony Byrne said: “Our programme in the UK is constantly developing and we now have the capability on our UK rail tours to offer rail inclusive prices from any UK station on any of our tours which we think will offer agents the ability to offer their clients more flexibility.” For bookings and more Information call 01904-521980 or see www.greatrail.com

Fam trip agents find a green and pleasant island – Corfu A GROUP of 20 agents were hosted on a four day fam trip to Corfu earlier this month by accommodation provider Youtravel.com which is solely trade focused, and Aquis Hotels & Resorts, which has five luxury properties on the island. The group stayed at the allinclusive Aquis Agios Gordios Beach Hotel, but also visited the Aquis Mon Repos near Corfu Town, the Aquis Pelekas Beach, Aquis Sandy Beach and Aquis Capo di Corfu on the southern tip of the island. For several of the agents, this was their first visit to Corfu and without exception they were pleasantly surprised by what they found. They also voiced their opinions on the value of fam trips. Simon Funnell of 2bookaholiday said: “This island is simply beautiful, from the mountains to the sea to the towns, and the people are so welcoming.” Howard Carter of On the Beach said: “Corfu is a lovely island with lush green scenery and a mountainous landscape, which very much reminded me of something out of Jurassic Park. The cypress trees add to the amazing landscape. It has

BULLETIN BUDDIES...Youtravel.com/Aquis Hotels and Resorts Corfu recently took agents on a fam trip. The group paused for this pic before heading off to explore more of the island. They are, from the left: Timea Ivanyi, Travel Republic; Charlie Smith, Triton Rooms; Neil Lawton, Kwik Travel; Lela Loudou and Nathalie Kouzi, Youtravel; Howard Carter, On the Beach; Pardeep Panesar, Travelsoon; Simon Funnell, 2bookaholiday; Paul Scudamore, Travel Bulletin; and John Lindsay, Sunshine.

amazing blue seas, fantastic food and friendly locals, and something for all ages. It is a perfectly sized island to explore in a rental car. To get a feel for what Corfu has to offer, there is nothing better than experiencing it first hand.” John Lindsay of Sunshine.co.uk said: “Corfu’s landscape is surprisingly good and not at all what I expected – there are the lush mountains full of mature trees and then you come down into lovely bays with the resorts and the hotels where you find locals more than

happy to help you. As for fam trips in general, it’s important to get hands-on information to pass on to holidaymakers – the truth is always a good start for repeat business.” Neil Lawton of Kwik Travel said: “The hotels we visited showed me what a great improvement there has been in Greek hotels keeping pace with what clients now expect from a holiday.” And Pardeep Panesar of Travelsoon said: “Youtravel and staff outdid themselves on this educational, which has been the best I have been on. I loved it.”

Tourism Australia, Etihad & Virgin Australia team up to entice Brits Down Under TOURISM AUSTRALIA (TA), Virgin Australia and Etihad Airways have partnered on a national advertising campaign inviting British holidaymakers to travel on the Etihad Skypass, in partnership with Virgin Australia, including fares from £799 per person return plus two free flights within Australia. The £870,000 campaign, which has been running this month, uses TA’s ‘There’s nothing like Australia’ global creative and includes multi-channel TV and online

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advertising, directing consumers to find out more at www.australia.com/beourguest or to see their travel agent. Andrew McEvoy, Tourism Australia’s managing director said, “We are thrilled to be working with Etihad Airways and Virgin Australia to show how achievable Australia is for British holidaymakers. There’s nothing like taking a journey in Australia and this campaign encourages people to travel beyond the cities to see stunning beaches, wonderful wildlife and taste the delicious food and wine on offer.”

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newsbulletin Shearings highlights journeys by rail SHEARINGS IS promoting a range of rail holidays across the UK. As examples, an eight-day North Yorkshire Moors Railway & Sledmere House itinerary leads in at £379 per person and gives guests the opportunity to take a trip back in time with a ride on the North Yorkshire Steam Railway. Highlights include a ride along the restored North Yorkshire Moors Steam Railway and a trip to Sledmere House, as well as visits to Filey and Whitby. The price includes seven nights’ half-board accommodation at the Bay Norbreck Hotel in

Scarborough, coach travel and three excursions. An eight-day Great Highland Railways is also being promoted and leads in at £399. Guests will take in three Scottish railways, including the North Highland Line Railway, the Kyle Line and the Strathspey Steam Railway. The price includes seven nights’ half-board accommodation at the Bay Highland Hotel in Strathpeffer, coach travel and three excursions. Both itineraries offer departures through to September. For more information call 0844-824 6351 or visit www.shearings.com

Attraction World offers UK-exclusive PortAventura tickets ATTRACTION WORLD offers a range of tickets to the PortAventura theme park in Costa Dorada, Spain and has recently added a new ticket option which includes transport from Barcelona to the park. A one-day ticket to the park costs £42 per adult and £37 per child (aged four to ten years), while a one-day ticket including transport from Barcelona is £62 per adult and £54 per child. For clients looking to spend more time at the park, a seven-day pass entitles the ticket-holder to five days at the theme park and two days at the aquatic park for £108 per adult and £85 per child.

Newsbites ●

BLACKPOOL IS hosting a summer season of MAMMA MIA!, which will be staged exclusively at the Blackpool Opera House. Group rates start at £35 for groups of ten or more and there is also a special accelerator rate of £29.50. Tickets are available through Ticket Master Groups on 0844-847 2517. PRINCESS CRUISES has announced that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge will name Royal Princess, the newest addition to the line’s fleet. The ceremony will take place in Southampton on June 13. VISITENGLAND HAS joined forces with UK charity Action on Hearing Loss to launch Listen Up! - a new guide for tourism businesses. Designed to help businesses become more accessible for customers with hearing loss, the free resource is available online at www.visitengland.org/access AFFORDABLE CAR Hire is poised to drive sales in the Irish travel sector after signing a new partnership agreement with ATTS. Under the agreement, ATTS has become Affordable's general sales agency for the whole of Ireland with a brief to bolster the company’s market share through the travel trade. TRAVELPORT HAS announced a new multi-year, global content agreement with China Eastern Airlines (MU) and Shanghai Airlines (FM). The agreement ensures travel agents worldwide using the company's platforms – including Galileo, Apollo and Worldspan – have access to the airlines’ web fares and published inventories. The company has also announced the launch of a new direct commercial presence in Kenya. ST. KITTS Tourism Authority has enhanced its visitor experience with the development of two new features on the site. These include a LiveChat interface that allows visitors to communicate directly with the St. Kitts Tourism Authority and an online booking platform. For details see www.stkittstourism.kn ARUNDEL CASTLE, which has recently reopened, has announced its calendar of events. These include a Pirate and Smugglers Day, a Medieval Tournament, Medieval Joust and Tournament Week, Medieval Warriors and Normans & Crusaders in The Keep. The Castle is open until November 3 and tickets cost from £8. For details see www.arundelcastle.org

DoubleTree by Hilton teams up with Google

FESTIVAL FRIENDS...Kirker Holidays hosted a pre-Advantage conference fam trip to Andalucia for a group of travel agents. Pictured in Cordoba, which was celebrating the Festival of the Patios when the agents arrived, are, from the left: Leanne Hemsley, John Proctor Travel; Mervyn Willard, Baldwins Travel; Debbie Collinson, Travelwise; and Kathryn Coles and Hisham Mahmoud from Kirker Holidays.

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DOUBLETREE BY Hilton has launched DTour, a first-of-its-kind YouTube channel for the hotel industry created in collaboration with Google. The site offers travellers a new way to plan and share their trips and integrates all major social media networks in one place, making it easy for travellers to share memorable moments from their domestic and global adventures– whether it’s a photo snapped on Instagram or video uploaded to other social media channels. Users can also explore other travellers’ favourite photos, videos, tips and stories to get inspired to plan the trips they’ve always wanted to take. The site also features tips, videos and suggestions from travel experts – the hotel team members themselves. For details see www.doubletree.com/dtour

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newsbulletin Brittany Ferries launches new route to Le Havre BRITTANY FERRIES has launched a new crossChannel route from the south coast port of Portsmouth to Le Havre in Normandy. The new service will run four days a week, from Thursday to Sunday, and is operated by the company’s fastcraft, Normandie Express, with a crossing time of 3 hours 45 minutes. The company is also offering city breaks in Le Havre, with prices from £72 per person, including foot-passenger ferry crossings and one night’s breakfast accommodation at the city’s Art Hotel or Novotel. For details see www.brittanyferries.com or call 0871-244 1400.

Germany’s Europa Park extends Enchanted Forest attraction SOME 200 years after the first edition of Children's and Household Tales was published by the Brothers Grimm, a total of six more stories by the authors will be incorporated in Europa Park’s Enchanted Forest. The kingdom between Sleeping Beauty Castle and Land of Cockaigne is being expanded from the start of the summer, with the area set to measure 3,000m².

New features will include the Gold Ass from The Wishing-Table; the Cudgel in the Sack, which spits out a stream of gold coins; a goat that talks when it is fed; Doctor Know-all (who will answer any question); a magical glockenspiel; and an enchanted tower. Located near Germany’s borders with France and Switzerland, the theme park offers 13 European themed

areas on one site, including the WODAN Timburcoaster wooden rollercoaster. Other new features of the park include the Eden Palladium indoor carousel and the Magic Cinema 4D in the French themed area. The park is open daily from 09:00-16:00 until November 3, with longer opening hours during the peak season. For more information visit www.europapark.de

Short break theatre packages from Superbreak THE STAGE adaptation of Roddy Doyle’s hit novel, The Commitments is heading to The Palace Theatre in London’s West End this autumn and Superbreak has launched packages that combine overnight accommodation and tickets. The show previews from September 21 with its official opening on October 8 and follows the story of Jimmy Rabbitte as he strives to form and manage the world’s greatest band. But unlike his idols, such as James Brown and Aretha Franklin, Jimmy and the unemployed young people he recruits, are all white. They find their sound and some success, but as they start to get a name for themselves, they combust. Hit tracks in the show include ‘Mustang Sally’, ‘Try a Little Tenderness’ and ‘I Can’t Stand the Rain’. Packages in October start from £95 per person including one night at the three-star President Hotel on a bed-and-breakfast basis and a top priced ticket to the show. For details or to book visit www.superbreak.com/agents or call 0871-221 4444.


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newsbulletin Club Barbados Resort & Spa launches Sleep School for June THE CLUB Barbados Resort & Spa, the newest addition to the Elite Island Resorts Group, will exclusively host Sleep School from June 4-11, in partnership with insomniac specialist Dr. Guy Meadows. The programme is free of charge for guests signing up and booking over the dates of the workshop and works by teaching guests to let go of struggling with sleep so that their natural ability to sleep can emerge. The approach is 100% non-drug based and prop-free. As an example of prices, Kuoni offers seven nights' allinclusive stay in a one-bedroom suite garden view room

from £1,755 per person based on two sharing. It includes flights. For details call 01306-747008 or see www.kuoni.co.uk. Meanwhile, the adults-only property has launched a spainclusive stay option as part of its focus on offering guests luxury at an affordable price. A new Spa-Suite option means that guests who want an extra pamper can book a spa suite room that includes five treatments at the resort spa and fitness centre. Options include reflexology, an aromatherapy massage, a back and shoulder massage, a deep clean facial, a detox seaweed wrap and a mother-to-be massage.

Avalon Waterways issues 2014 brochures AVALON WATERWAYS has launched its 2014 European brochure with three new suite ships plus a new dedicated Asia, Africa & the Americas brochure featuring the Amazon for the first time. An early booking offer of £600 per couple is offered on any 2014 cruise booked before September 30, with additional offers available on European cruises. The new dedicated Asia, Africa, & the Americas brochure features cruises on the Mississippi, Mekong, Yangtze, Nile, coastal cruising around the Galapagos and the introduction of a new Amazon cruise on the Aria ship. A new ship ‘Isabela II’ will operate its existing ‘Ecuador & the Galapagos’ cruise and ‘Discover the Galapagos and Peru’ cruise. As an example of prices, a 12-day ‘From the Inca Empire to the Peruvian Amazon’ cruise costs from £5,499 with departures from February to December 2014. Highlights include two nights in Lima, one night at the Sacred Valley, one night at Machu Picchu, two nights at Cusco and a three-night Amazon cruise. The price includes a door-to-door home pick up service, flights, transfers, bed-and-breakfast hotel accommodation, full board cruise, guided sightseeing and onboard gratuities. To book or for more information call 0800-668 1801 or visit www.avaloncruises.co.uk

MAKING CONNECTIONS....Pictured marking the launch of Ryanair's new flight from Bristol to Szczecin in Poland is Jason Wescott (left) from Bristol Airport with David Chester, Servisair.

WEBSCLUSIVES ●

Play Jetset’s exciting – and just a little nostalgic – PacPal game today. Inspired by Jetset’s invaluable Package Pal tool, PacPal is both great fun and highly educational. The fastest gamer will sit proud at the top of the leaderboard – with the Star Prize being a tongue-tingling retro goodies hamper worth £100. Play today on www.travelbulletin.co.uk/pacpal

Agents, don’t forget to cast your votes for your favourite suppliers in the Travel Bulletin Star Awards 2013. Suppliers, make sure you book your tickets for this unmissable event. All this and more at www.travelbulletin.co.uk/awards

Travel Bulletin now hosts some of the industry’s most educational and relevant travel agent events. Not been to one yet? See what you’re missing out on at www.youtube.com/travelbulletin, then email jeanette@travelbulletin.co.uk to get on the guest list for future events.

Leicestershire launches ‘Stay Play Explore Theme Parks’ packages THE NEW ‘Stay Play Explore Theme Parks’ campaign from Leicester Shire Promotions offers visitors two family-orientated experiences including Drayton Manor plus either Twinlakes Park or Wheelgate Park plus breakfast accommodation for £159 per family of four. Drayton Manor (www.draytonmanor.co.uk) features more than 100 rides and attractions including Thomas Land and an openplan zoo, featuring a range of animals from tigers to reptiles. Meanwhile, Twinlakes (www.twinlakespark.co.uk) includes the UK’s largest

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indoor venture centres, a water park and a zoo farm. Alternatively, Wheelgate (www.wheelgatepark.com) offers rides and indoor pursuits as well as the Alien Galaxy Zone, Animal Adventure Zone, Land of the Pharaohs and Robin Hood Zone. The package also offers four-star breakfast accommodation in hotels such as the Hilton East Midlands Airport or imago's Burleigh Court in Loughborough. For more information or to book call 0844-888 5181 or see www.goleicestershire.com/ short-breaks

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agentbulletin Booking incentives ●

AGENTS CAN scoop up shopping vouchers and spa packages worth up to £250 as part of Travel 2’s new Affordable Dubai incentive. To qualify, agents must make a new holiday booking with the company including flights with Emirates and a resort from the Affordable Dubai section of the new mini brochure by July 31. All qualifying bookings made in June will be in with the chance to win one of two £250 shopping vouchers and all qualifying bookings made in July will have the chance to win one of two £250 spa vouchers. For details see www.travel2.com WINDJAMMER LANDING, Saint Lucia is inviting travel partners to become a “Windjammer Landing Specialist.” To participate, travel partners should log on to the newly developed site and learn all about the resort, at their own pace. Once the course is completed partners can download a certificate and become eligible for incentives. For example, if an agent confirms a seven-night reservation they may be eligible for three complimentary nights, VIP

status arrival, one spa rejuvenation treatment, plus a US$100 incentive and a departure gift. For details call 0808-101 7261. ●

SILVERSEA HAS announced a new trade partner incentive for ten agents to win a day of luxury in September. The prize includes travel to London, a trip to London’s newest skyscraper the Shard, afternoon tea at Claridge's, gourmet dinner at London restaurant Pollen Street Social, a night at The Corinthia Hotel and a private tour and viewing at the Royal Geographical Society. The winners will also get to meet some of the line's team in London and the prize also includes transport within London to the venues. To enter, agents need to make a booking by June 30 for any 2013 departure. Each booking is one entry and bookings on voyage 3334 are valid for double entry into the draw. All entries must be received by Friday July 12 and the draw will take place at random on July 15, with winners notified by July 19. Booking forms should be emailed to salesuk@silversea.com

Fancy a fam? BRAND USA has announced the relaunch of its travel agent photo competition and website in the UK and Ireland. The online competition, found at www.famphotousa.co.uk, allows agents to upload their photographs taken on a 2013 fam trip in the US. Agents have the option to ‘like’ and share their favourite photos, generating a peer to peer social element. The website allows entrants to add details and locations of the photos, enabling the gallery to be filtered by US region or category (e.g. landscapes, cities, food and wine). The winning 12 travel agents will have their photographs printed in a 2014 Brand USA desk calendar, which will be distributed to UK and Irish travel agents, with the overall winner receiving a place on the company's 2014 megafam. The closing date is November 7 and winners will be announced on the site on November 15.

AN EYE ON THE I-PAD...LVCVA (Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority) UK and Virgin Atlantic launched a trade booking incentive to drive sales to Las Vegas throughout 2013. The incentive was run with four of the airline’s key tour operator partners to Las Vegas - TUI, Travel 2, Gold Medal and Funway. Pictured with a Las Vegas showgirl and a Virgin Atlantic cabin crew member is Ken Osbourne (left) from Funway, who won an iPad, and Russell Meara from Hills Balfour, on behalf of LVCVA.

Training update THE KENYA Tourism Board will be heading to the St. Ermin’s Hotel in central London on Wednesday June 5 2013 as part of its UK and Ireland trade roadshow. The roadshow will visit the capital accompanied by 14 trade partners to provide sales agents with the opportunity to learn more about what Kenya has to offer as a destination with

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information on product updates, industry news and tourism developments in Kenya. Attendees will participate in a destination quiz to compete for the chance to win a holiday to Kenya, a place on a fam trip as well as a host of other spot prizes. For details email kenya@hillsbalfour.com, see www.magicalkenya.com or call 020-7367 0931.

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newsbulletin Travel 2 unveils refreshed website FOLLOWING AGENT feedback Travel 2 has unveiled a refreshed Travel2.com website. The new homepage features new content to assist agents with promotion to their own clients including a new section providing agents with the top ten airfares and hotel offers at a glance. In addition, there are now six destination icons which link to holiday offers, each regionally priced to cater for agents in Scotland and the Northwest as well as London. Other improvements to the homepage include an embedded Twitter feed allowing agents to keep up to date with the company's latest news, photos, incentives and offers. The operator has also integrated direct connectivity to major hotel chains such

as Universal, Jumeirah and Sandals resorts that will allow access to increased inventory at the most competitive prices. With an improved user experience, the new site allows agents to browse more than 25,000 properties worldwide. Further enhancements include access to an increased number of depositable fares, the ability to confirm ITX fares, clarification if a fare can be held as an option on the search results page to save agents time, as well as more properties with instant availability. The new site also offers information on an updated ‘tours’ page which contains detailed descriptions on each type of tour, cruise and rail options on offer. To explore the new site visit www.travel2.com

Seven-night Jamaican getaway from Funway Holidays from £1,299 FUNWAY HOLIDAYS is offering seven nights at the Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort, in a Honeymoon Bougainvillea Hideaway Poolside one-bedroom Butler Villa Suite from £1,299 per person. The price includes flights from Gatwick with Virgin Atlantic and offers a saving of £1,299 per person, based on travel on June 12. To book or for more information visit www.sandals4agents.co.uk or call 0844-557 0624.

July escapes with Belleair Holidays BELLEAIR HOLIDAYS is promoting a range of offers with prices leading in at £549 per person for a seven-night breakfast stay at the four-star Qawra Palace Hotel, offering a saving of up to £40 per couple The price includes flights from Exeter, transfers and complimentary entrance to a selected Malta attraction. It is based on two people sharing and is valid for travel on July 16. Alternatively, a seven-night breakfast stay at the threestar Hotel Valentina costs from £644, saving up to £120 per couple. It includes flights from East Midlands, transfers and complimentary entrance to a selected Malta attraction. The offer is based on two sharing and is valid for travel on July 2. For further information or to make a booking visit: www.belleair.co.uk/agents or call 0845-365 3412.


S03 TB3105 News 2_Layout 1 29/05/2013 12:26 Page 11

puzzlebulletin Travagrams

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

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

Number: 114

Atrial Ma

A➠

B➠ This airline bears a similar name to these chocolates

C➠

I Imp Psis Sis

D➠ Fill in all the squares in the grid so that each row, column and each of the 3 x 3 squares contains the digits 1-9. Once you have completed the puzzle, simply identify the numbers that relate to the letters, A, B, C and D then e-mail the solution, with your name, company name, and full postal address plus phone and ABTA number if applicable to: competition@travelbulletin.co.uk Closing date for entries is Thursday, June 6th. Solution and new puzzle will appear next week. The winner for 17th May is Shanthi Elizabeth Chacko, Travel Counsellors in London. May 17 Solution: A=8 B=4 C=6 D=2

This US state shares its name with the tenth largest river in the world

Where Am I?

Region of South Asia with its own 'tiger'.

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

Number: 114

Across 1. Part of Carnival, ___ Cruises (5) 4. Innsbruck is the capital (5) 7. Luxury London hotel, part of Guoman (9) 8. One of the Channel Isles (4) 9. Juneau is the state capital (6) 12. First name of one of the BGT judges (6) 14. Currency of Thailand (4) 17. Historic English city, famous for its Charles Dickens festivals (9) 18. North African mountain range (5) 19. Area of Brighton known for its antique shops, The ___ (5)

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Down 1. World renowned flower show which recently celebrated is centenary (7) 2. As seen on TV, this Lord is sweet by name but not by nature (5) 3. English river (4) 4. Polynesian island nation (6) 5. Spend them in 17 Down (5) 6. London Heathrow airport code (3) 10. Adults only P&O cruise ship (7) 11. Popular vintage sitcom, set in a Boston bar (6) 13. London exhibition and convention centre (5) 15. Scottish isle (5) 16. CAA protection scheme for holidaymakers (4) 17. African country, initially (3)

For the solution to the Crossword, Where Am I? and Travagrams, please see page 30 May 31 2013

11


S03 TB3105 News 2_Layout 1 29/05/2013 12:28 Page 12

newsbulletin SKÅL THE VER WORLD O Members of Skål - the International Association of Travel and Tourism Professionals - share their travel experiences and success stories from around the globe. This month's feature highlights the benefits of becoming a member of Young Skål... N THESE days of social media and instant communication, one could question the value of belonging to an organisation such as Skål. Why network through a club and pay a fee to do so when social networking sites are free? International President, Mok Singh, whom I met recently and who reinvigorated my love for this organisation with his enthusiasm, is in no doubt as to why. "We have the ability to network on an international basis, and we have personal and business benefits. Wherever you travel, you can access a network of Skål friends and colleagues. To be a trusted voice in travel and tourism – that’s what we aspire to be." Skål had humble beginnings over 80 years ago when a group of tourism professionals got together in Paris in order to promote the creation of friendship and goodwill in travel around the world. Our club now has approximately 20,000 members in 450 Clubs throughout 85 nations – enough people to make a significant impact on our industry and the way it behaves and Mok thinks we should. He has declared that the core values of peace through tourism and friendship, quality in tourism, protection of the environment, protection of children and preventing their exploitation in tourism, promoting sustainability in tourism and the ideal of world peace should be at the heart of his presidential year as they are also what Skål stands for. These cannot be achieved alone so we are working with other organisations such as The International Institute of Peace through Tourism, Green Globe, ECPAT (which raises awareness and takes practical measures against children being sexually abused) and the UN. "Sustainable tourism practises are the future in our industry and I think the travel and tourism world is slowly but surely adopting them," says Mok. However, Skål has never lost sight of it original aims and friendship is still the backbone of the organisation. Having travelled all over the world to meetings and congresses and in a private capacity, I can testify to the warmth of the welcome wherever I go. This friendship enables networking to go on amongst members and has led to the chance for us to benefit from travel discounts throughout the world. And then there’s my own Club where I have so many good friends. So there’s the answer to the question of why we should belong!

I

12

May 31 2013

National Express A1 is on the road THE NEW National Express A1 airport service has been launched following a seven-year agreement with Luton Airport. A 22-strong fleet of Caetano Levante coaches now operate the daily route between the airport and Victoria Coach Station. At peak times, coaches are timetabled to run every ten minutes, with 150 services travelling to and from the airport each day. On board features include toilets, free Wi-fi, power sockets, Business Class legroom and CCTV. For more information visit www.nationalexpress.com or call 0871-781 8178.

Caetano Levante coaches

LCY secures grant for ‘Internet of Things’ trial LONDON CITY Airport has been awarded a grant by the Technology Strategy Board [TSB] to run an ‘Internet of Things’ demonstrator – a concept being championed as the next wave of the internet. The airport is one of a small number of organisations to secure funding for such a demonstrator project from TSB, a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The Internet of Things is the concept of connecting machines or objects together through a network in order to monitor an environment, enabling smart control and automated management of that environment. Examples of current uses of the technology include in the management of buildings, connecting gadgets in the home and intelligent shopping. The only airport in central London, LCY will use the grant to take the concept to the next level. The project will develop an interconnected sensor network and data hub to track, understand and better manage passenger flow and behaviour, bringing the ability to interact with passengers at key touch points across the airport. Key features will include management of passenger movement through the airport, journey time measurement, customer loyalty programmes and location specific services such as personalised planners and gate reminders for passengers, food pre-ordering, locating missing passengers, baggage tracking, airport asset tracking and the ability to locate people in emergency situations. The airport’s chief commercial officer Matthew Hall said: “LCY is the gateway to East London, which is fast establishing itself as a ‘tech city’ within the capital. It therefore seems very fitting that we are taking a leading role in such a trailblazing project. This project will help us to manage the passenger journey through the airport and interact with our customers, track assets on-site, and utilise intelligent marketing concepts tailored to an individual’s needs. We aim to set an example for airports and other businesses all over the world to follow.” The project, which began last month, is due to be completed in March 2014 and is being led by a consortium of organisations including Milligan, IBM, Cisco Systems and a number of SME technology businesses. For more information on the Technology Strategy Board visit www.innovateuk.org

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newsbulletin

MOVERS â—? EUROSTAR HAS appointed Clare Hollingsworth as chairman. â—? DESTINOLOGY HAS appointed Diane Court to work on its

offering to agents. â—? STARWOOD HOTELS & Resorts has announced appointments

for three of its UK properties. Sergio Leandro has been appointed hotel manager of Le MĂŠridien Piccadilly (London), Sue Finlay is now hotel manager of the Sheraton Park Tower, a Luxury Collection hotel in Knightsbridge, and Tristan Nesbitt is the new general manager of the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa in Edinburgh. â—? THE PORT of Dover's chief operating officer, Tim Waggott, will be appointed as Acting CEO on June 1. â—? JANE MOSS has been appointed general manager of the recently opened Z Liverpool located on North John Street.

P&O Cruises showcases multi-million pound Ventura refurbishment A MULTI-MILLION pound refurbishment has been carried out on P&O Cruises' Ventura to incorporate features which have proved popular with passengers on sister Ventura ship Azura. Successful concepts from Azura, such as The Glasshouse, The Retreat, menus designed by Michelin -star chef Atul Kochhar in speciality restaurant East and single cabins have all been introduced on Ventura as part of the line's ongoing refit programme.

Butlin’s welcomes corporate guests to celebrate Christmas on the coast NEW FOR this year, Butlin's Events has unveiled its corporate Christmas party packages for the festive season. Starting at £169 per person including VAT, the new party options incorporate exclusive

funfair use, a traditional Christmas dinner, a fully themed party night with DJ and overnight accommodation as standard. Opportunities to “takeover� part of resort are also newly available to

corporates this party season. Christmas bookings will also include access to a fully appointed meeting room with AV support, a buffet lunch and refreshments throughout the day for all delegates.

The new Christmas party packages include a traditional three-course Christmas dinner, DJ and late bar, overnight hotel accommodation and brunch the next morning. For more information visit www.butlinsevents.com



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S03 TB3105 News 2_Layout 1 29/05/2013 12:26 Page 14

cruisebulletin Fred.\ River Cruises launches stand-alone brochure for MS Mozart river cruise ship FRED.\ RIVER Cruises has launched a stand-alone brochure dedicated to the deluxe MS Mozart river cruise ship which operates on the River Danube. The brochure is out now for agents to request and the operator is looking to work with the trade on the product, as well as planning a forthcoming agent fam trip for later this year. The company's sales executive Paula Jackson said: "River cruising is very much a growing market, and we’ve recognised there’s high demand amongst agents who are very excited that we’re behind this product and are pleased to be welcoming it back to the UK market. Having had a full refurbishment in 2010, the vessel is well known to the UK trade already as it was previously operated by tour operator Peter Deilmann." Selling points of the MS Mozart are that it has cabins for one, two or three people, including some with French balconies. Standard cabins each have a 20sq.m footprint, while the ship's facilities include a heated swimming pool

with spa, as well as an ocean-style atrium and lobby. Certain cabins are also equipped for people who require kidney dialysis. Two choices of itineraries are available, an eight day “Royal Danube” and 15-day “Iron Gates & Danube Delta Cruise”, with a total of 22 departures between now and November. Prices for the Royal Danube cruise, which includes visits to Passau, Krems, Esztergom/Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna and Melk, start from £1,099 per person. It includes seven nights’ accommodation in an inside cabin on a cruise -only basis, including breakfast, four-course lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and midnight snacks. The itinerary also includes shore excursions such as a visit to Göttweig Abbey, a guided walking tour of Dürnstein, wine-tasting and city tours of Budapest, Bratislava and Vienna. For more information visit www.fredrivercruises.co.uk or call 0808-256 8148.

MS Mozart

Compagnie du Ponant launches new winter itineraries for 2013/14 on three yachts COMPAGNIE DU Ponant has launched its new winter 2013/14 cruise collection which offers a selection of itineraries on its three intimate yachts - LE BORÉAL, L’AUSTRAL and LE SOLÉAL, as well as its three-mast yacht, LE

PONANT. From October through to April 2014, the yachts will be cruising round the Caribbean and Central America, South America, Antarctica and South Georgia, Asia and Africa. As an example, LE BORÉAL will cruise from the

Caribbean to the Pacific Ocean via the Panama Canal. The itinerary includes visits to the San Blas Islands, Tortuguero National Park in Costa Rica, Manta and Isla de La Plata in Ecuador, the city of Trujillo, the Chan Chan

archaeological site and Lima in Peru. Prices for the 11-night cruise, which departs on October 23, lead in at £1,595 per person. For more information visit www.ponant.com or call 0800-980 4027.

MSC Cruises offers free flights to Yacht Club guests

SWAN HELLENIC is offering savings of up to £1,500 per person on a cruise to Norway this summer. The 16-day Oslo and the Fjord cruise takes guests to Vigeland Park which commemorates renowned artist, Gustav Vigeland, followed by a trip to the Munch Museum - home to several thousand paintings, prints, drawings, engravings and photographs by artist, Edvard Munch. Guests who are inspired by the art can try their hand at their own masterpiece by taking part in a watercolour workshop on the ship. Based on a June 5 departure, prices lead in at £1,495 per person based on two sharing an inside cabin. The cruise departs from Portsmouth and calls at various destinations in Norway and Denmark, before returning to Portsmouth. For details visit www.swanhellenic.com or call 0844-822 0679.

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May 31 2013

MSC CRUISES is offering complimentary flights to MSC Yacht Club guest with savings of up to £460 per couple. The offer is available on all summer 2013 departures on Splendida and Fantasia, if booked before June 18. Prices lead in at £1,639 per person, based on double occupancy, for a week's cruise including a 24-hour butler service, complimentary drinks, exclusive private restaurant and dedicated pool, plus exclusive access to the Top Sail Lounge and The One Pool Area (which includes a pool, spa bath and solarium). Splendida offers seven-night cruises from now to November calling at Genoa, Marseille, Barcelona, Valencia, Palermo, Civitavecchia and back to Genoa, while Fantasia offers seven-night cruises from Venice to Bari, Katakolon, Santorini, Piraeus, Kotor and back to Venice. For more information or to book see www.msccruises.co.uk or call 0844-561 1955.

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hotelbulletin

NISBET PLANTATION Beach Club in Nevis is inviting holidaymakers to linger longer with a special offer of three weeks for the price of two for stays between now and December 19 for bookings made by June 30. For more information visit www.nisbetplantation.com

Carlson Rezidor adds extensive technology upgrades to properties THE CARLSON Rezidor Hotel Group, which includes Hotel Missoni, Radisson Blu and Park Inn by Radisson Hotels, has recently introduced a range of tech upgrades and enhancements in line with changing consumer demand, business needs and internal initiatives such as the Think Planet Energy Saving project. The majority of Radisson Blu Hotels in the UK – including all airport and conference properties - now offer significantly faster Wi-fi with 100MB internet cable lines having been installed across the portfolio in the last six months. In line with guests' needs and expectations, the Group’s midmarket brand Park Inn by Radisson launched a free standard Wi-Fi offering for all guests and meeting delegates across all hotels worldwide at the end of 2012. Meanwhile, the recently opened Park Inn by Radisson Glasgow City Centre is the first Carlson Rezidor property in the UK to offer guests a self check-in option. The entire process

from entering a guests’ name, to obtaining a room key card typically takes less than 60 seconds, and upon check-out, the guest inserts their key card into the kiosk to review and settle any incidental costs, receiving their invoice immediately, either from the printer or via email. In addition, as part of the hotel group's Think Planet initiative - which targets a 25% reduction in energy consumption by 2016 - video content has been created in order to communicate how employees can implement environmental and operational efficiencies at hotel level. The content has been uploaded to a secured YouTube channel where staff can view the videos using their mobile device or tablet. The company has also engaged energy analysts Save Money Cut Carbon to identify how to deploy technology to reduce energy and water consumption across the UK and Ireland. The wide-ranging initiative is currently focusing on reducing water usage and maximising fuel efficiency of hotel boilers.

Antigua & Barbuda properties offer new packages and promotions A SELECTION of hotels in Antigua and Barbuda are offering new deals and packages for summer. Nonsuch Bay has launched an Epic Teen Challenge exclusively for teenage guests at the resort. The challenge is broken down into two categories, 13-15 and 16-18 year olds. The challenge involves a two-mile single-handed sail in a dinghy around Mongoose Island before switching to a kayak or stand-up paddle board to paddle 150m and back to a marker buoy in the Bay, followed by a 100m swim from the beach and back again. Everyone receives a prize for participating with a leader board of the top ten times updated throughout the summer. The resort will also hold beach chill outs for teenagers with non-alcoholic drinks around the beach

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fire pit. The challenge will take place once a week from July 6 to August 31. See www.nonsuchbayresort.com Grand Pineapple Beach Resorts is offering seven nights' all-inclusive accommodation and flights from London to Antigua at the Grand Pineapple Beach Antigua for travel in September with Virgin Atlantic. Prices start from £3,379 for a family of four. See www.grandpineapple.co.uk Jolly Beach Resort and Spa is offering seven nights' all-inclusive accommodation from £1,429 per adult and £799 per child. The price includes scheduled flights with Virgin Holidays from Gatwick and is based on two adults and two children (under 12) travelling and sharing a superior room. For details see

www.jollybeachresort.com and www.virginholidays.co.uk Other promotions include seven nights at the four-bedroom Turtle Cottage from £2,849 per person based on eight adults sharing from Blue Waters. The price includes daily breakfast, Economy flights and private transfers. See www.bluewaters.net Meanwhile, Virgin Holidays is offering seven nights in Antigua from £899 per person saving up to £160 per person based on two adults sharing a Garden Room. The price includes flights with Virgin Atlantic from Gatwick, accommodation at Halcyon Cove by Rex Resorts on a room-only basis and transfers. Prices are based on departures on September 17. For details see www.virginholidays.co.uk

May 31 2013

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personalitybulletin

Cherie Richards The commercial director of The Global Travel Group admits that her guilty pleasure is The Only Way Is Essex...

What's your earliest childhood memory? I’ll never forget the coach holidays trip I took to the ‘Costas’ with my father who at the time was petrified of flying. Somewhere along the way he managed to get over his phobia and now flies three times a year! Where was your last work-related trip? Recently I went to Las Vegas on a Global Travel Group VIP trip where we flew Upper Class. Flying will never be the same again! We stayed at the Venetian, flew over the strip at night by helicopter (an incredibly surreal experience), went to a Cirque du Soleil Show and somehow managed to find the time to do some Black Friday sale shopping. What three words would your friends use to describe you? Caring, loyal and smiley. What have your travels taught you? Embrace the destination, its people and the food and you’ll enjoy every minute. What is the best advice you recall? My father once told me that success is determined by how determined you are to succeed. If you could have a room full of any one thing, what would it be? I would absolutely love to have a room full of beauty therapists to pamper me with luxurious spa treatments. If you could change three things in the industry, what would they be? A big part of me would like to make travel agents’ lives easy and simpler by doing away with the many complicated forms and terms and conditions that they have to adhere to, such as the new ATOL reform. Of course, I’d also love to see agents earn the big commissions that we once did. Finally, I’d love to

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May 31 2013

"There is just something about Spain that does it for me - I love the language, the people, the food and the climate"

Career path ● ● ●

● ● ●

The Global Travel Group: 2008 – current Harvey World Travel: Commercial manager for three years Bridge Travel Group: Business development manager (Central Region) for one year Going Places: Branch manager, Shrewsbury for eight years Sovereign (part of First Choice/TUI): Overseas rep for two years Brian Bass Travel (Independent Travel Agent in Shrewsbury) for four years

attract more young people to our industry and The Global Travel Group have recently been spending time with our local College to do just that. Who has been the biggest inspiration/influence in your career? My parents. As an only child they were very protective of me but at the age of 21, when I made the decision to take a job working overseas, it was a big thing to let their daughter go. But they did and they would say she came back more confident and able to handle every difficult situation or awkward customer that was thrown at her. My parents always tell me how proud they are of me and I couldn’t ask for anything more.

What's your favourite city and why? I’m a sucker for Spain and love anything Spanish. I worked overseas for two years in Mallorca and Fuerteventura and ended up getting married in 2009 in Tenerife. There is just something about Spain that does it for me - I love the language, the people, the food and the climate. If you were not doing this job, what would you be doing? In another life or if I had to do it all again I’d probably choose to be a lecturer in Travel & Tourism or work within the conference and events industry. What is your motto in life? Karma - what goes around comes around. What is your favourite mode of travel? Any flight where I can turn left. If you had a super power what would it be and why? I know it sounds cliché but I’d love to be able to fly – whether that makes me superwoman or spiderwoman I don’t know, but I would love to be able to get to and from work super fast rather than the 100-mile commute I currently do. If I fancied it I could also get across to Tenerife every weekend for some sunshine. What was your nickname at school and why? When I was a rep overseas working for Sovereign Holidays I was known as ‘Besos Caliente’ which in Spanish means ‘Kisses Hot’ – my maiden name before I got married was Hotchkiss. What item do you always take with you when travelling? Factor 30 anti-wrinkle face cream. I don’t leave home without it.

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italy

New packages from Rome Cavalieri to mark anniversary THE ROME Cavalieri Hotel, owned by Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, is launching four new packages to mark the 50th anniversary of its opening next month. The hotel offers a Roman Shopping Holiday featuring a personal shopper plus visits to a variety of shopping locations including flea markets and fashion houses. The package is available to guests at an additional price of €545 (£460) on top of the room rate for guests staying a minimum of two nights. Meanwhile, a Click & Go: It’s La Dolce Vita! tour is based on Rome’s cinematic past, where guests can relive La Dolce Vita by cruising with a friend around the city in a chauffeured electric car, before stopping off for lunch inspired by the film. Joined by a paparazzo photographer, live shots will be taken 60s style throughout the tour with some of the city’s famous monuments as a backdrop. The tour costs €895 (approximately £756) on top of the room rate for guests staying a minimum of two nights. For further information or to book visit www.romecavalieri.com

VILLA NOCETTA in Rome has opened following a complete refurbishment. The villa features six en-suite bedrooms, large living areas and 3,300m² of private gardens, including a swimming pool. The villa is fully staffed with a chef, cleaner and personal concierge, and is located close to the Vatican City and Trastevere district. Sleeping up to 12 people, rates start from €2,640 per night based on six guests with a fee of €100 per additional guest for stays up to September 1. To book or for further information visit www.villanocetta.com

Savings of £296 on seven-night AI break from Inghams INGHAMS IS promoting a selection of Italian breaks with savings of up to £296 per person. The saving is for a seven-night all-inclusive break at the four-star Hotel Park in Peschiera, which is located within the Parc Hotel Paradiso & Golf Resort. The property is an ideal choice for couples and families and offers three swimming pools, a spa centre, two football pitches, beach volleyball and an activity programme offering tennis, aerobics, football and archery. Prices start from £549 per person, saving £296 per person, based on a June 8 departure. It includes flights from Gatwick to Verona, transfers, free daily lunch buffet, free snack buffet, free beer, wine, water or soft drinks with meals and throughout the day, free ice lollies, free use of bikes and an entertainment programme. For more information or to book visit www.inghams.co.uk/agents or call 01483-791114.

Art and wine packages from Royal Demeure hotels in Siena & Florence THE ROYAL Demeure hotels in Siena and Florence are offering events and packages that showcase Tuscany’s art and wine offering. The Helvetia & Bristol Hotel in Florence has put together a bespoke Springtime of the Renaissance package that combines art and relaxation. Guests staying at the hotel until August 18 will receive two tickets to ‘The Springtime of the Renaissance - Sculpture and the Arts in Florence 1400-1460’ exhibition, which takes place at Palazzo Strozzi. The package includes buffet breakfast; a free room upgrade; Tuscan almond cookies and dessert wine in the room; and an official catalogue of the exhibition. Prices start from €628 (approximately £531) per couple based on a two-night stay in a classic double room.

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Meanwhile, the Grand Hotel Continental in Siena is offering a ‘Wine School’ and a two-hour wine class with a sommelier. Oenophiles can also enjoy a three-course dinner, accompanied by wine specially selected by the restaurant’s sommelier. Included in the package is buffet breakfast; one threecourse dinner in Sapordivino for two people, including wine; a two-hour wine tasting experience; and a daily newspaper. Prices start from €768 (approximately £649) per couple, based on a two-night stay in a classic double room. A city tax of €5 per person per night is payable on both packages in cash upon check-out. For more information or to book visit www.royaldemeure.com

May 31 2013

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italy Sunvil Discovery highlights selection of ‘real’ Italy & Sicily options SUNVIL DISCOVERY’S real Italy & Sicily breaks offer a selection of cultural experiences, activities and a wide range of properties. As examples, short breaks which include tickets to the Verona Opera Festival (from June 14-September 8) are available, as are tickets for the Venice Simplon-OrientExpress. It is possible to incorporate Orient Express journeys into tailor-made itineraries, adding hotel stays, travel by rail or air and private transfers or car hire. Activities include cookery classes at several properties including Fattoria Corsignano, a converted farmhouse and agriturismo located in the Chianti hills; wine tasting at Borgo Tre Rose, a restored medieval hilltop hamlet which offers a range of wine cellar tours and tasting sessions; and walking, with two new walking tours including the seven-night A Panoramic Circuit of Cortina, departing on September 29. Accommodation includes restored farm properties, 20 of which are located in Sicily; family rooms for two adults and two children; honeymoon accommodation; and spa breaks at properties such as the Hotel Therasia Resort & Spa and the Hotel Borgobrufa Spa Resort. The lead-in price for a week’s stay is from ÂŁ590 per person based on two sharing for a stay at Tenuta Stoccatello in Menfi. It includes flights from Gatwick, car hire and seven nights’ breakfast accommodation. To order the brochure call 020-8758 4747 or visit www.sunvil.co.uk

AFFORDABLE

Luxury

Sardinia

SAVE up to ÂŁ310

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5+Resort Valle dell’Erica Thalasso & Spa HALF BOARD SPECIAL OFFER

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ÂŁ2,069

pp FROM DEPARTING MANCHESTER 7 SEP

ÂŁ2,019

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May 31 2013

HOTEL CALA Del Porto, located on the coast of the Maremma, Tuscany, has re-opened for the summer season. The boutique hotel offers views of the Tuscan Archipelago, a large pool, two restaurants and a private beach. One night’s breakfast accommodation leads in at ₏150 (approximately £128) per person per night, based on two sharing and including VAT. For bookings or further information visit www.baglionihotels.com

Alitalia increases frequencies to Milan from London City Airport ALITALIA HAS introduced a third daily flight between Milan Linate and London City Airport, operating Monday to Friday. The new third service departs from Milan at 18:30 and from London City at 20:00 local time. The airline also operates one service on Saturday and two flights on Sunday between the two airports. Meanwhile, the carrier has launched a new service between Rome Fiumicino and London City. The daily flight, with the exception of Sunday, will depart from Fiumicino at 09:30, arriving at London City at 11:10. From London City, the flight departs at 11:40, arriving in Rome at 15:20. All services to London City will be operated by the new Embraer E-190, with return fares starting from ÂŁ178 including taxes.

Orient-Express Hotels introduces new cultural experiences for summer A SELECTION of Orient-Express Hotels in Italy have opened their doors for the summer season with a host of new cultural experiences. Examples include an Up and Down Tour of Genoa from Hotel Splendido, Portofino. The hotel can arrange for guests to visit a selection of the city’s rooftops as well as some of its underground buildings. The tour includes visits to the terrace of Palazzo Rosso, the Museum of the Treasure of San Lorenzo (located underneath San Lorenzo Cathedral) and a ride in the Montegalletto Elevator, built in 1929. Rates at the hotel start from £394, based on two sharing a garden view room with breakfast. The tour costs from £187 per person for a full day or £119 per person for a half-day. Alternatively, the Hotel Caruso in Ravello offers an Amalfi by Night tour option. Guests are transported via Vespa to Amalfi in the evening and once there the guide shares legends and anecdotes while leading guests through medieval streets. The experience concludes with a visit to nearby Atrani, the smallest city in Italy, for a glass of Prosecco. Hotel rates start from £356, based on two sharing a village view double room with breakfast, while the tour costs £136 for two people. For further details or to book call 0845-077 2222 or visit www.orient-express.com

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italy Attraction World launches Lake Garda tours ATTRACTION WORLD has announced a selection of tours in Lake Garda. Eight tours are featured in total including a day trip to Verona (£33 per adult, £16 per child); a wine tour (£39 per adult, £26 per child); a tour of the lake (£46 per adult, £27 per child); a day trip to Milan (£49 per adult, £25 per child); a Dolomites day trip (£49 per adult, £26 per child); a Bolzano & Renon day trip (£53 per adult, £30 per child); a day trip to Venice (£71 per adult, £45 per child); and Venice by Night (£73 per adult, £44 per child).

Boutique retreat Villa F in Guidecca undergoes renovation upgrade

Ice-cream offer from Hotel D’Inghilterra THE DOLCE Vita Deal from Hotel D’Inghilterra, Rome now means that travellers can dine in Café Romano with a complimentary flute of sparkling wine and two scoops of homemade gelato for €16 plus VAT. Two nights’ accommodation at the hotel costs from €790 (approximately £666) including dinner and breakfast, based on two adults staying in a classic double. A city tax of €3 per person per night is payable in cash upon check out. To book email reservation.inghilterra@royaldemeure.com

Villa F

VILLA F on Guidecca Island, Venice has been newly-restored. The 16th-century villa has been divided into independent units and is the first private suite residential villa with hotel service in the city. Overlooking St Marks and San Marco, the 11 self-contained residences and suites have retained their original features and have been renovated sympathetically, offering bespoke kitchens, oversized baths and natural stone built showers. Guests at the boutique property can also experience the three-acre private garden, complete with an outdoor meditation pool and are granted access to the neighbouring Palladio Hotel, including use of its 450m² spa, its range of restaurants, complimentary transport to The Bauer’s St Marco, a private butler service, a laundry service, concierge and shuttle service. Other facilities at the property include airconditioning, Wi-fi, iPod docking stations, satellite TV, DVD/CD player, a movie library, flat screen TVs and coffee machines.

Superbreak adds two new hotels in Italy

THE PALAZZO Manfredi Hotel in Rome has announced the opening of its new 60m² Ludus Magnus Suite, which offers views of the Colosseum. Located in the centre of Rome, the hotel also offers views of the Imperial Forum and the Domus Aurea, and features a rooftop terrace and restaurant. Rooms are available from £127 per person per night including breakfast, based on two sharing.

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SUPERBREAK HAS added two new four-star hotels to its portfolio in Italy – in Bologna and Pisa. The AC Bologna is located in a modern area of the town, next to Stalingrado Street, with the railway station and historical centre nearby. The hotel offers a fitness centre with Turkish bath, an AC bar and restaurant. Prices are from £28 per person per night including breakfast, while a flight-inclusive package leads in at £339 including two nights’ accommodation and flights from Gatwick with easyJet. Meanwhile, the AC Pisa hotel is located in the heart of the Cisanello area and its location offers easy access to the Piazza dei Miracoli, where guests can visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Prices are from £32.50 per person per night including breakfast, while a flightinclusive package costs from £365.50 including two nights’ accommodation and flights from Gatwick with easyJet. Both offers are valid for Friday to Sunday bookings and are based on travel in mid-July. For further details call 0871-221 4444 or see www.superbreak.com/agents

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italy Classic Collection Holidays boosts train travel programme from UK CLASSIC COLLECTION Holidays has introduced an expanded programme of train travel to Italy this year. Clients can leave St Pancras station after breakfast and have dinner in Milan the same day, experiencing the scenery of St Gottard and Brenner Pass en route. The following morning guests can take the Frecciarossa and Frecciabiance trains to Venice, Florence, Rome and Naples. Alternatively, overnight sleepers travel from Paris to Milan, Verona, Venice, Florence and Rome. The operator also offers travel via the Venice Simplon Orient Express. Gary Boyer, the operator's head of purchasing, said: “For Summer 2013 we’re delighted to offer extensive train travel to Italy from the UK. Some clients love to travel by train for personal, environmental and romantic reasons. Major European rail services are frequent, comfortable, punctual and reliable. Clients can decide on the route and services that want to use, as well as the places they

Frecciarossa high speed train

would like to stop along the way. By doing so they’ll enjoy easy check-ins, fewer queues, great scenery and surprisingly speedy and hassle-free travel, environmental friendliness and a relaxing arrival." For more details call 0800-294 9315 or visit www.classic-collection.co.uk

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westafrica

Cradle of Voodoo tour

Explore adds extra departure for 'Cradle of Voodoo' itinerary FOLLOWING DEMAND, Explore has added an extra November departure for its Cradle of Voodoo tour. The itinerary, which travels across Togo and Benin, gives guests the opportunity to discover tribal cultures, ancient voodoo traditions and colonial architecture. Guests also have the chance to assist with traditional rituals, walk through the Atakora Mountains and stay in a stilt village. Departures for the 15-day tour are available in August, October, November and December, with prices leading in at £2,236 per person including flights; nine nights' hotel accommodation, two nights' auberge accommodation, two nights in a village house and one night in a stilt house, all with breakfast; ten other meals; transport; and the services of a tour leader, local guide, driver and cook.

Meanwhile, the operator is promoting its 'Ghana and Togo on Foot' itinerary, which takes guests to the rainforest of Ghana to discover its vegetation and varied wildlife, such as the Mona monkeys and hundreds of species of colourful butterflies. Other adventures on the tour include a walk on the longest and highest suspended canopy bridge in the world, a hike to the top of waterfalls and meeting local people living in the nearby villages who farm cocoa and palm oil. Walking from village to village, guests will also discover the remote Atakora Mountains where people live in fortified dwellings made of mud, similar to medieval castles, as well as visit local markets. Departures are in August, October and December, and the 14-day tour costs from £2,485 per person including flights; eight nights' hotel

accommodation and five nights camping, with breakfast; 11 lunches and five dinners; transport; and the services of a tour leader, cook, and local rangers. A 14-night Kingdom Of The Ashanti tour is also being highlighted where guests will journey through Ghana to experience its diverse and rich culture, visiting markets, traditional Lobi villages and the mud-stick mosques. Customers can also expect to observe monkeys, track wild elephants and visit the Gold Coast castles. With departures between July and December, the tour costs from £2,334 per person including flights, 14 nights' breakfast accommodation in hotels, transport and the services of a tour leader and driver. For further information or to book visit www.explore.co.uk or call 0844-499 0901.

Gambia Bird invests in Economy & Premium Class services to improve passenger experience GAMBIA BIRD is investing in its on-board services with the aim of improving the overall customer experience. Passengers flying in Economy Class can now benefit from a larger seat pitch of 31 inches or more in most seats, while some of the perks for passengers in Premium Class include a three-course menu and increased baggage allowance. In the summer months, the carrier reports that it typically sees less traffic and therefore adapts its flight schedule accordingly. One Airbus A319 aircraft will be used by Germania, the carrier's sister airline, during the summer season and will return to Gambia Bird for the winter season. The airline's summer flight schedule comprises of twice-

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weekly flights from Gatwick to Banjul, The Gambia, and to Freetown in Sierra Leone. Both routes operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays, with flights returning to London on Wednesdays and Fridays. Passengers can currently take advantage of special summer offers, with prices starting from £410 return to Banjul and £570 return to Freetown. Meanwhile, the airline says that its mission is to create a gateway to West Africa based on a sustainable and longlasting partnership. As part of this ongoing commitment, the carrier recently supported the Street Child Sierra Leone Marathon 2013 as the official airline. For further information visit www.gambiabird.com

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westafrica Liberia

Overlanding West Africa adds Liberia to portfolio with 42-day tour for £1,700 OVERLANDING WEST Africa, which offers 15% commission to travel agents, is highlighting the latest addition to its portfolio, Liberia. The first trip to the destination is a 42-day tour which starts on November 27 and finishes on January 7, 2014. Countries visited include Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Ghana. Prices lead in at £1,700 and include transport, use of truck equipment, services of the crew and vehicle maintenance costs. There is also a kitty which costs €500 and is paid into a central fund on the first day of the trip in cash. The kitty covers accommodation, meals whilst camping, local guides and selected activities such as entry to national parks and museums. The operator's director David Oades said: "Our company operates overland adventure trips throughout West Africa and we have just completed our first season. We are very keen to promote the region to travellers as it is not on the radar for many people, which in many ways makes what we do so much more exciting and unique. For more information visit www.overlandingwestafrica.com

Exodus offers 17-day 'Ashanti & Voodoo Kingdoms' option from £2,699 EXODUS IS promoting a 17-day trio that takes travellers on a journey through the varied history, culture and natural beauty of Benin, Ghana and Togo. The 'Ashanti and Voodoo Kingdoms' itinerary explores the origins of voodoo and fetish markets to medieval slave castles and Ashanti rituals and from game reserves and canopy walkways to traditional adobe huts and houses on stilts. Departure dates are timed to give travellers the chance to join the Akwasidae Kwasiada Festival at the Manhyia Palace in Ghana. The festival sees the Ashanti King, riding a palanquin and adorned in gold, receive homage from his courtiers under colourful canopies and umbrellas whilst drummers, hornblowers and dancers entertain the crowds. Prices for the tour start from £2,699 per person including flights, transfers, accommodation and most meals. The first departures are on October 9 and November 20. To book call 0845-863 9601 or visit www.exodustravels.com

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westafrica

New Experience brochures from Serenity Holidays SERENITY HOLIDAYS is launching its new Experience brochures on June 17 featuring year-round holidays and flights to The Gambia & Senegal and the Cape Verde islands, for travel between this November and October 2014. The Gambia Experience and The Senegal Experience combined brochure includes a choice of holidays including twin and multicentre stays within and between the two destinations, as well as a range of tour options highlighting cultural, wildlife, birding and fishing opportunities. The Cape Verde Experience presents an expanded brochure with greater choice for 2013/14 and features holidays on six of the ten islands of Cape Verde as well as island-hopping opportunities. Early booking offers are available on holidays booked by July 31.

In its latest brochure, The Gambia Experience has added Leo's Beach Hotel, a contemporary boutique hotel situated on a cliff-top in Brufut. The adults-only property offers six suites and is highlighted as an ideal choice for weddings, honeymooners and couples looking to holiday in peaceful surroundings. Also new are volunteering programmes for individuals or couples who wish to spend four weeks or more volunteering in The Gambia to play their part in making a positive contribution to the local community. The company is also featuring Camp Africa trips for British schools and groups who wish to take part in community projects and sports activities. Meanwhile, an 11-night cruise and stay holiday is new, offering seven nights on the mega yacht Harmony V featured within the new Gambia and

Senegal brochure. The cruise takes in 250 nautical miles along the Gambia River and customers can embark from either Dakar in Senegal or Banjul in The Gambia, from where a shorter five-night cruise is also available. The Cape Verde Experience has added three new hotels to its brochure, two located on the island of Sal and one on the island of Sao Vicente, as well as a new luxury cruise for winter. The cruise offers an itinerary of the Cape Verde archipelago on the 25 cabin Sail Cruiser Panorama. Departing on November 1 and 8, the seven-night trips are operated by Variety Cruises and depart from Santiago, calling at the islands of Fogo, São Nicolau, Santo Antão, São Vicente and Maio. For more information call 0845-330 2066 or visit www.serenity.co.uk/trade

14-night twin-centre break from CVT from £1,600 CAPE VERDE Travel reports that more than 100,000 UK passengers travelled to Cape Verde on nine UK charters over the last few months, with flights mainly into Sal and the Boavista Islands. Gatwick and Manchester offer twice weekly flights into Boavista and Birmingham offers a weekly departure, with all three airports providing flights into Sal. The Cape Verdian Government has recognised the destination's success

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and has introduced various adjustments to its taxation system for tourists. Hotels are now required to collect €2 per night per adult (over 16 years), while VAT has been increased to 17%. Proposals have also been considered for an increase in visa entry which is currently €25. The latest offer from the operator is a 14-night twin-centre break for £1,600 per person, based on two sharing, departing on August 7.

Guests spend a week on the island of Santo Antao, with the second week spent on Sao Vicente, the home of culture in Cape Verde. The Baia das Gatas Festival is the largest music festival of the year, and runs from August 16-18, giving visitors the chance to take experience cultural entertainment. For more information call 01964-536191 or see www.capeverdetravel.com

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indianocean

CONRAD MALDIVES Rangali Island has introduced three new Champagne packages, including Sparkling Hour, Bubbles on the Beach and The Perfect Sundowner. Sparkling Hour, which takes place on Thursday and Saturday nights from 19:00 on the terrace, leads in at $99 per person and features an hour’s worth of unlimited Champagne and sparkling wines as the house DJ plays music. Bubbles on the Beach costs $800 (approximately £508) and transports guests by speedboat to a waiting picnic hamper, complete with a bottle of Champagne. Couples can then spend the afternoon exploring and snorkelling the coral reef. Once ready to come home, the couple can use the mobile phone they have been given to call the resort to bring them back. Meanwhile, The Perfect Sundowner was created to enable guests to enjoy their favourite Champagne in their own villa along with a complimentary selection of canapés.

Atmosphere brand launches in Maldives ATMOSPHERE WILL launch the first of its properties in the Maldives this year, the Kanifushi Maldives. Promoted by the Maldivian resort developer EoN Resorts, the brand will aim to help guests experience the local culture. Salil Panigrahi, chief operating officer of the company, said: “We feel there is a gap in the market for a local resort brand in this region offering all that is wonderful from the Indian Ocean. Atmosphere is the answer to this gap and we are excited to announce the launch to the UK market. “There are a number of new resorts planned under the Atmosphere brand and we are delighted to announce that our first property opens later this year.” Located in the Lhaviyani Atoll, the five-star property is due to open in November.

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New offers on Indian Ocean getaways from Beachcomber Hotels BEACHCOMBER HOTELS has introduced a range of offers and savings on holidays in Mauritius and the Seychelles. Examples include the Full Board Plus Package at the Trou Aux Biches Resort & Spa in Mauritius, which offers a saving of 25% on the standard rate until July 31. Nightly upgrades are included at £20 for adults, £10 for children (aged one and under) and free upgrades for children six years and under. Meanwhile, the Trou aux Biches resort in Mauritius offers a reduced rate for family suites with prices starting from £359 per night, saving a family up to £1,312. The operator is offering seven nights in a family suite on a dinner, bed-and-breakfast basis from £5,995 for two adults and two children under 12. It includes Economy flights and private transfers and is valid for travel between now and September 30. For more information call 01483-445610 or visit www.beachcombertours.co.uk

Mauritius & Maldives deals from Sunset Faraway SUNSET FARAWAY Holidays is highlighting a range of deals in Mauritius and the Maldives. As examples, a seven-night stay at Kurumba in the Maldives leads in at £1,109 per person including breakfast accommodation in a superior room, transfers, Economy flights with Emirates from Gatwick and all applicable taxes. The deal is based on two sharing and includes two free nights at the property for travel up to July 24. In Mauritius, the company is offering a family deal at its Long Beach property for £1,629 per adult, based on seven nights' half-board accommodation and two adults and one child under 12 years sharing. Also included are transfers, Economy flights with Emirates from Gatwick and all applicable taxes. The deal offers free half-board for

one child, with a supplement of £570 per child for flights, and is valid for travel until September 30. Also on offer is a seven-night half-board stay at The St Regis Mauritius Resort, which leads in at £1,669 per person, based on two sharing a deluxe ocean view room. The price also includes transfers, Economy flights with Emirates from Gatwick and all applicable taxes. The deals includes three free nights for bookings made by June 30, for travel up to September 30. Meanwhile, the operator reports that it has launched its new website which offers a refreshed design and is more user-friendly. The company has also joined Latecards.co.uk, a new concept that allows tour operators to load their latest offers for agents to access if they have an account.

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indianocean Cosmos Holidays offers range of savings in new brochure COSMOS HOLIDAYS has launched its Indian Ocean brochure with departures from November through to October 2014. The brochure offers a range of savings and a low deposit from £75 per person for bookings made before July 31. Savings of up to £130 per person are available on Goa holidays this winter with 14-night package prices leading in at £649 per person, while an upgrade to Monarch Premium to Goa is available from £149 per person return. The operator has also re-designed its ‘Elite’ brand with new sections for each destination dedicated solely to its ‘Elite’ range of four- and five-star hotels to help agents identify the highest grade of hotels and best choice of facilities available. New categories include ‘simply elite’ with affordable luxury options; ‘ultra elite’, a collection of the best five diamond rated hotels with exceptional standards and service; and ‘all-inclusive elite’, a showcase of the highest standard all-inclusive. A new nine-night ‘Grand Tour of Sri Lanka’ has been introduced and leads in at £1,979 per person including four diamond rated accommodation on a half-board basis, flights and guided sightseeing. Tour highlights include Columbo City, Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Dambulla Rock Cave Temple, Temple of the Tooth, Kandy City and the Horton Plains National Park and Yala National Park.

Community-based excursion, Project Leopard, opens at Cinnamon Wild Yala, Sri Lanka THIS MONTH sees the launch of a new community-based excursion for guests at Cinnamon Wild Yala, Sri Lanka in support of the lodge’s ‘Leopard Guardians’ initiative. The new addition offers guests the opportunity to visit a cattle-rearing farm on the outskirts of the Yala National Park with the property's nature trails team. Guests can spend time with the farmers, understand their way of life as well as the challenges faced by this community, inspect a pen site and spend the evening with the families. The cost per couple is US$50, of which US$10 will be donated towards the leopard project that sees the property supply steel pen installations to farmers. Since its launch eight months ago, Project Leopard has distributed 32 steel pens among the cattle farming community. By July, the property hopes to raise this number to 40. Guests will also have the chance to experience up to 44 mammal species endemic to the region including wild Tusker Elephants and Sloth Bears. The nature trails team is at hand to arrange nature treks, game drives, night safaris and camera traps. Kuoni offers seven nights' half-board accommodation in a jungle chalet from £1,499 per person, based on two sharing. It includes flights with BA from Gatwick and transfers. To book call 01306-747008 or for more information on the property visit www.cinnamonhotels.com

Centara introduces new all-inclusive package CENTARA GRAND Island Resort & Spa Maldives has created a new Ultimate AllInclusive package. It includes Champagne breakfasts served until midmorning; dining at any of the resort’s three restaurants; an open-bar service from 10:0000.00; a mini-bar in the room replenished daily; a cocktail party each evening; live entertainment; a credit of $100 per person per day to spend in the spa; watersports equipment; windsurfing lessons; and offisland excursions. Chris Bailey, senior vice-

president for sales and marketing at the hotel group, said: “Centara Grand Island was our first overseas resort and the Maldives has become a very important destination for our strategic growth plan. We have now opened our second resort in the Maldives, and a third is under construction.” The second resort, Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa Maldives, is located a 15-minute speedboat journey from the capital, Malé. Bailey said: “Centara Ras Fushi is an adult-focused resort, and with the ease of travel to and

from the island there is going to be a good deal more flexibility for our guests in what they choose to do. “Consequently, we came up with the idea of a ‘Half-Board Plus’ concept, which again is a cashless one, and along with the accommodation includes breakfast and dinner, with an open bar during evening mealtimes. “We also offer an allinclusive package which offers all meals and a full open bar served from 11:00 to 23:00 daily. This is not the Ultimate All-Inclusive of Centara Grand Island, but we

feel it is more in tune with the requirements of our Centara Ras Fushi guests.” Currently in development, the Centara Poste Lafayette Resort & Spa Mauritius offers a beachfront location on the east side of the island and the property is scheduled to open in the latter half of next year. Additionally, the 126-room Centara Passikudah Resort & Spa Sri Lanka has opened on Passikudah Bay, offering a wide range of facilities appealing to couples, families and those looking for active holidays.

Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa, Maldives

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indianocean COMO Hotels and Resorts to open new Maldivian property

TAILOR-MADEADVENTURES.COM, the dedicated tailor-made service from Dragoman and Imaginative Traveller, is offering a range of active, beach, safari and cultural honeymoons. A 12-night Elephants & Beaches of Sri Lanka tour leads in at ÂŁ2,230 per person and includes accommodation in eco lodges and boutique hotels. The tour starts off in the islandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s capital, Anuradhapura, with a temple visit, followed by activities such as elephant rides, jeep safaris and visits to tea plantations, forested hills, historical towns and cities, wetlands, national parks and beaches. The honeymoon includes the services of a guide and driver. For details call 01728-885611.

First Choice to operate direct to Mauritius FROM NEXT year, First Choice will commence direct flights to Mauritius from Gatwick. The operator is showcasing a collection of properties in a range of resorts around the island, including destinations close to Grand Baie and Belle Mare. Additions to the Premier collection will also feature on the island. Examples include a 14-night holiday staying at the 4Sun Premier Club Marina Boutique on an all-inclusive basis costing from ÂŁ2,195 per person, including flights. The price is based on travel between May 26 and June 12, 2014.

COMO HOTELS and Resorts has announced the launch of a new property in the Maldives this October. Maalifushi by COMO, an eight-hectare private island in the southerly Thaa Atoll, will be the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s second resort in the destination. The 66-room property will offer private rooms, suites and villas, as well as Madi and Tai restaurants, a Thila pool and lounge bar. Other facilities include a gym, a spa with eight overwater treatment rooms, plus a yoga pavilion. An onisland dive centre and guided diving excursions are also offered, along with a marine biologist and PADI instructors. Activities and excursions including dolphin cruises, fishing, snorkelling and sailing can be reached by a 50-minute seaplane ride from MalĂŠ airport.

Carrier extends Luxury Family Escapes offers & late couples deals CARRIER HAS extended a selection of offers from its Luxury Family Escapes 2013 brochure until July, including free child places. Examples include seven nightsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; breakfast accommodation at the One&Only Reethi Rah on the North Male Atoll in the Maldives from ÂŁ6,390 per family, saving up to ÂŁ4,800 and including a free child place. The offer is based on two adults and two children sharing a Beach Villa and includes a free upgrade to half-board, free access to KidsOnly Club, flights from Heathrow and private transfers. The offer is valid for travel until December 19 for bookings made by July 9. 0E4EPQIVEMI

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The operator is also offering an additional selection of late couples deals including a saving of up to ÂŁ3,540 per couple at the Gili Lankanfushi in the Maldives, with prices from ÂŁ2,440 per person. It includes seven nights for the price of five and is based on two sharing a Gili Villa Suite with a free upgrade to half-board. The price also includes flights from Heathrow with Qatar Airways and speedboat transfers and is valid for travel from June 1 to October 11. Guests must book 30 days prior to arrival to secure the offer. For more information call 0161-492 1358 or visit www.carrier.co.uk

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indianocean HAYES & Jarvis is offering seven nights for the price of six at Olhuveli Beach & Spa Resort in the Maldives. Prices lead in at £1,399 per person for seven nights departing on September 16, saving £316 per person. Located on the tip of South Malé Atoll, the resort offers a selection of restaurants and bars, two infinity pools, a tennis court, volleyball, a watersports centre and a spa. The price includes half-board accommodation in a deluxe room, speedboat resort transfers, flights from Gatwick with Emirates, taxes and surcharges. For more details call 0844-415 1918 or see www.hayesandjarvis.co.uk

Emirates boosts flights with three additional routes to Colombo from June 30 EMIRATES WILL increase capacity on its services to Colombo from June 30, with the launch of three additional flights a week. The addition of the new services, which will operate between Dubai and Colombo on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays, will increase the number of flights between the two cities to four daily on those days, and take the total number of weekly flights serving Colombo to 31. The carrier's area manager for Sri Lanka and Maldives Chandana de Silva said: “This increase in capacity to Colombo demonstrates our continuing commitment to the destination.

The demand for seats to Colombo is increasing, and these additional flights will enable more people to visit the city whether to visit friends and family, for leisure or on business.” The three new flights will be operated with Boeing 777300ER aircraft in a two class configuration, adding 126 Business Class and 1,158 Economy Class seats each way per week on the route. Both cabins are equipped with the airline's ice entertainment system which offers up to 1,400 channels of on-demand entertainment to choose from, including movies, television programmes, games, audio books and music.

Beach House Iruveli launches Castaway Escapes from £177

Beach House Iruveli Castaway Escapes

BEACH HOUSE Iruveli in the Maldives is offering morning, sunset and overnight escapes to Govvafushi, its second private island. Govvafushi, which is around 10,000km² in size and located a seven-minute boat ride from the resort, features accommodation as well as sunbeds and hammocks dotted around the island. Resort chefs will create picnics for guests during the

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day and a traditional Maldivian dinner will be served on the beach for those staying overnight. Overnight guests will also receive breakfast before being transferred back to the resort. A Morning Castaway Escape and Sunset Castaway option costs from £177 per person, while an Iruveli Full Day Castaway leads in at £290 and the Sunset

May 31 2013

Overnight Castaway costs from £355. Tropic Breeze offers seven nights’ breakfast accommodation in a water villa from £2,149 per person, including flights from Gatwick with BA in World Traveller Class, internal flights and speedboat transfers. For further details call 01752-880880 or see www.tropicbreeze.co.uk

Villas De Maitre unveils third property in Mauritius VILLAS DE Maitre has opened the Esplanade, a luxury oceanfront property in Black River on the west coast of Mauritius. Accommodation comprises of ten threebedroom apartments and two three-bedroom penthouses. Each apartment offers three en-suite bedrooms and a sea view plus a shared communal deck area and pool. The apartments are within a short distance of the golf courses of Tamarina, Le Paradis and Domaine de Bel More. As a special launch offer, the property is offering a 40% discount off rates for holidays taken up to September.

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100% Holidays

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


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indianocean We asked our staff the following question this week:

GILI LANKANFUSHI in the Maldives, which offers 45 eco-friendly villas located over a large lagoon, is offering rates from US$1,031 per night with breakfast in June and July. Guests can experience the marine life by taking a snorkelling safari in a local dhoni boat or participate in land activities such as yoga and spa treatments. Beyond the resort, guests can visit the islands’ traditional boat builders, the fishing villages, the markets and the capital city of Malé.

How have you changed as you've gotten older? Publisher: Jeanette Ratcliffe jeanette.ratcliffe@travelbulletin.co.uk My memory has deteriorated. Sorry what was the question?

Editor: Lauretta Wright lauretta.wright@travelbulletin.co.uk I'm much fussier about tidiness and cleanliness

Assistant Editor: Jill Sayles jill.sayles@travelbulletin.co.uk It's not the end of the world if I don't go out on a Friday night.

Contributing Editor: Paul Scudamore post@travelbulletin.co.uk I'm calmer, more tolerant and, ah yes, more grumpy

Sales Director: Simon Eddolls simon.eddolls@travelbulletin.co.uk Both bowling and batting averages have fallen - one positive, one not!

Advertisement Manager: Tim Podger tim.podger@travelbulletin.co.uk Less selfish, married with kids now!

Online Sales Manager: Nick Boocock nick.boocock@travelbulletin.co.uk Become more outgoing and popular

Account Manager: Bill Coad bill.coad@travelbulletin.co.uk I really haven't at all, that's it!

Sales Executive: Chris Gascoine chris.gascoine@travelbulletin.co.uk I was a very shy child and now I'm more confident

Sales Executive: Matt Gill matt.gill@travelbulletin.co.uk I've taken a real interest in beer and wine!

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

Honeymoon breaks at Vilu Reef Beach & Spa Resort A 35-MINUTE seaplane trip from Malé will transport honeymooners to the 121room Vilu Reef Beach & Spa Resort situated on the South Nilandhe Atoll in the Maldives. The resort offers beaches and a protected lagoon, with activities ranging from snorkelling and diving to spa treatments. Couples can also travel to a private desert island to experience a sunset dolphin cruise, with dinner on the beach awaiting them on their return. Accommodation includes water villas with private infinity plunge pools and panoramic ocean views, as well as direct access to the lagoon via a private stairway. All newlyweds will receive a complimentary candlelit dinner, flower petal bath, evening turndown service and fruit basket on arrival. Travel2 is offering seven nights for the price of six in a water villa from £2,539 per person, based on two adults sharing and including flights from London. It also includes half-board accommodation, seaplane transfers, taxes and surcharges and is valid on bookings until July 9 for September and October departures. For more information see www.travel2.com

More sensible

Assistant Designer: Nicky Valsamakis nicky.valsamakis@travelbulletin.co.uk A little less crazy

Production: Nick Salt production@travelbulletin.co.uk I used to enjoy things...

Circulation Manager: Jim Merchant post@travelbulletin.co.uk Travel Bulletin is published by Alain Charles Publishing (Travel) Ltd University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, Tel: 020-7834 6661 Printed by: Wyndeham Grange Limited Subscriptions are £105 p.a. £155 overseas ISSN: 0956-2419

Follow us on Twitter! @TravelBulletin

South Nilandhe Atoll, Maldives

puzzlesolutions Crossword: Across: 1. COSTA, 4. TYROL, 7. GROSVENOR, 8. SARK, 9. ALASKA, 12. ALESHA, 14. BAHT, 17. ROCHESTER, 18. ATLAS, 19. LANES. Down: 1. CHELSEA, 2. SUGAR, 3. AVON, 4. TUVALU, 5. RANDS, 6. LHR, 10. ARTEMIS, 11. CHEERS, 13. EXCEL, 15. ARRAN, 16. ATOL, 17. RSA.

Highlighted Word: CRETE Travagrams: (top) Air Malta

(bottom) Mississippi

Where Am I?: Bengal

30

May 31 2013

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Travel Bulletin 31st May 2013