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Hotels, Airlines, Yacht Charters, Shopping, Reviews July 2016

Emirates 80th A380 now serving Vienna Austria 1


Quick View Highlights

Emirates’ A380 now serving Vienna

Page 7

Discriminiation at the US Embassy in Barbados

Page 17

The new Hilton at the heart of Estonia

Page 27

Top tips to save BIG on your next flight

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Welcome July 2016 In this issue we will like to begin by offering condolences to those who have lost loved ones or been affected by the recent attacks at Atatßrk Airport in Istanbul Turkey. Our features this month highlight the unfortunate cases of discrimination at the US Embassy in Barbados facing countless Caribbean residents on a daily basis. Also featured is the new code share alliance between Qatar Airways & Royal Jordanian along with the new Hilton Estonia. As always, each month we are pleased to present our new partners to the Holiday Travel Network, all of which can be found detailed on our website. This month we welcome Samsonite, one of the leaders in luggage and travel needs. They have joined our network with the full range of cases, bags and accessories along with new weekly discounts. Our additional partners this month assist in expanding our car rental network‌ Sixt, Thrifty and Dollar Rent-a-Car have all joined to showcase their services. Take a look at our full list of partners and get the latest specials on all your travel needs. Happy reading and safe travels!

Cover photo: Emirates A380 now serving Vienna, Austria (page 7) Get the latest updates direct via social media

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Thao Dien Boutique Hotel Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam 4

Majestic Boutique Hotel Deluxe Featuring free WiFi and a restaurant, Majestic Boutique Hotel Deluxe offers accommodation in Saint Petersburg, 800 m from Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Free private parking is available on site. The rooms have a flat-screen TV. Some units include a seating area to relax in after a busy day. You will find a kettle in the room. For your comfort, you will find bath robes and slippers. A TV with satellite channels is available. Buffet breakfast is served in Pub Restaurant and children’s menu is available upon request. There is a 24-hour front desk and shops at the property. A business centre and meeting facilities are offered. Palace Square is 1.2 km from Majestic Boutique Hotel Deluxe, while Hermitage Museum is 1.3 km away. The nearest airport is Pulkovo Airport, 15 km from Majestic Boutique Hotel Deluxe. Tsentralny district is a great choice for travellers interested in museums, ambiance and city walks.



Emirates’ Milestone 80th A380 Touches Down in Vienna V

ienna Airport was a place of celebration on June 22nd as Emirates’ milestone 80th A380 aircraft made a star appearance, flying in direct from the Airbus production facility in Hamburg. Austrian dignitaries, officials, VIPs and media attending an invitation-only event at the airport today were the first ever non-operational people to set foot inside this brand new, state-of-the-art aviation icon since it arrived in Vienna yesterday. Guests toured the aircraft for a glimpse of the stunning interior which will be part of the A380 experience Austrian travellers will be able to enjoy from 1st July when Emirates becomes the first airline to operate a scheduled A380 service into Vienna. Preparations have been underway for many months in readiness for the start of operations. Vienna Airport has embarked on a long term project that includes changes to the apron infrastructure, investments in aircraft handling equipment, gate and boarding facilities, and airside terminal areas to ensure passengers have a smooth transition through the airport and onto the aircraft. This special one-off visit by the 80th A380, captained by Austrian national Florian Ragg, was the final stage in this detailed planning. Its mission was to test technical procedures like pier docking, movement of the aircraft on the apron into its correct parking position, specialised aircraft cleaning inside and out and the loading and unloading of catering and baggage. To provide a large enough space for docking and handling of this wide body aircraft four airport gates will be merged into one. Emirates has served the Vienna-Dubai route since 2004 and since then has carried almost three million passengers on its double daily service. By deploying the A380, which has a capacity to seat 519 passengers, the airline will now be able to carry over 1,700 passengers between Dubai and Vienna every day. Tourism in Austria, as well as directly or indirectly linked industries such as trade, transport and infrastructure will benefit from the introduction of the A380. Emirates’ 14 weekly frequencies support close to 1,800 full-time jobs in Austria, generating economic impact on the national GDP worth approximately €179 million a year. 7

Over the past few years, Austria and the cosmopolitan city of Vienna, have developed into one of the fastest growing markets from the Middle East. In 2015, over 115,000 visitors arrived into Austria from the UAE alone, a 34.8% increase compared to the year before. Outbound, Emirates’ product offering across Economy, Business and First Class allows passengers from Vienna to travel in comfort to a number of enticing destinations on the vast Emirates route network. Some of the most popular destinations for Austrian travellers are Bangkok, Colombo, Mauritius and Male many of which are served by the A380, meaning passengers can enjoy the luxury of the world’s largest passenger aircraft all the way. Flight schedules between Dubai and Vienna from 1st July: EK127/EK128 will be served by the A380. EK 127 starts in Dubai daily at 08:55hrs and lands in Vienna at 12:55 hrs. EK 128 departs from Vienna at 15:05hrs and arrives back in Dubai at 22:45 hrs. EK 125/EK126 will continue to be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER. EK 125 leaves Dubai daily at 17:15hrs, arriving in Vienna at 21:15hrs. EK 126 starts in Vienna at 22:45hrs, landing in Dubai at 06:20hrs the following day.


Nikon D7200

For the first time, the exhilarating image quality, low-light capabilities and speed of a Nikon DSLR are available with the convenience of built-in Wi-Fi and Near Field Communication (NFC). Introducing the Nikon D7200 Wi-Fi Digital SLR Camera, the new star of Nikon’s DX-format line-up.




8 expert tips for booking

cheap flights

Finding the best flight deals is no longer about simply

shopping around - although we always recommend you compare prices onSkyscanner before you book. Get the full facts about how to find the best deal from industry experts and travel bloggers and learn a few new travel hacks to make sure you get a flight at a price that fits your budget. Booking early isn’t everything So a budget airline has announced a fantastic new route with ridiculously low flight prices. But how do you actually nab those bargain basement tickets? Surprisingly, getting cheap flights isn’t necessarily about getting in there early. Regularly checking prices is more important - Skyscanner’s price alert emails can help you keep track of price fluctuations. “Airlines can and do release discounted tickets at any time before a flight,” points out Zach Honig, chief executive of award-winning site The Points Guy. So when it comes to regular (non-sale) fares, you might be best off booking two weeks or three months before departure, depending on your destination. It’s also worth remembering that airfare sales typically only apply to flights within the next few weeks or months, though occasionally some will run through to the end of the airline’s schedule, which can be up to 11 months in the future.” Find out exactly when the best time to book your flight is with our full report. Don’t just turn up at airport Just because an flight has empty seats doesn’t mean the airline will be desperate to fill them by selling fares at rock bottom prices. So, if you’re planning on a last minute getaway, don’t even think about turning up at the airport ticketless, expecting a seat for next to nothing. “There’s always a chance you might find a last-minute discount, but if you need to visit a specific city and your schedule isn’t flexible, be sure to book in advance,” advises Zach Honig. Be flexible Instead, try and be flexible. You’re more likely to find cheap flights by flying at unsociable times. “You’ll often find cheaper fares on flights scheduled for lighter periods, such as early morning, red-eye flights or flights departing on a Saturday afternoon or evening,” points out Zach. Search for flights across on entire month with Skyscanner, or let us show you the cheapest month, if you’re really not bothered about when you fly.


Don’t worry about cookies with Skyscanner It’s a common belief that making repeated searches for certain flights pushes up the price. But is there any truth in this? Not with Skyscanner: we only show prices passed on to us by travel agents or airlines, therefore it isn’t possible for the Skyscanner cookie to influence these prices. Choose to fly when business travellers aren’t for cheap upgrades The days of the free upgrade are long gone, but if you fancy splashing out, bear in mind that while ticket prices for economy seats often rocket during holidays and weekends, the reverse can be said for premium seats, according to Zach Honig. “Expect to find cheap business class fares during light business travel periods, such as during the summer or Christmas,” he says. Make friends with your airline Nobody likes spam but consider signing up for airline newsletters – you’ll be the first to hear about sales. You’ll also find out exactly when tickets for new routes go on sale, allowing you to nab the bargains before anyone else. Airlines are also increasingly keen on improving their social media presence, so by signing up to their Facebook group or subscribing to their Twitter feed, you’ll often be the first to hear about great deals. Alternatively, sign up to Skyscanner’s weekly email and we’ll let you know about new routes, cheap flight offers and any new or exciting destinations that should be on your holiday hitlist. Embrace the single life It often pays to compare the price of two single tickets rather than automatically going to book that return flight - singles can sometimes work out cheaper! Always check the price for both types of fare, and remember that booking your flight this way gives you the flexibilty to depart or arrive at different airports. Consider flying from a nearby airport You may live just a few miles from a major airport but consider which other departure points are within easy access. You’ll be surprised by how much you can save by opting for flights departing from smaller, nearby airports, whether you’re jetting off for a long weekend in France or backpacking around Australia. “I might consider searching for flights departing from Philadelphia instead of New York, or Oakland instead of San Francisco,” says Zach. Skyscanner allows you to include flights from nearby airports when you’re searching - look out for the ‘Add nearby airports’ check box beneath where you enter your departure airport.




Atlantis The Palm, Dubai

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The US Embassy of Barbados & Easetern Caribbean Are you facing discrimination based on your nationality?


ave you ever taken the time to apply for a US Non-Immirgrant Visa (B1/B2)? Was your application denied without a satisfactory reason or one that just didn’t make sense? In the following article we highlight the unfortunate and discriminatory practices in which your visa applications may be refused. In June 2016 one of our associates took the time to apply for a non-immigrant visa at the US Embassy Bridgetown (Barbados) and we were highlighted to a number of practices associated with the refusal of visas on a daily basis. This embassy in Barbados is currently the only one in the region, so it sees applicants from many islands in the Caribbean. Many of which spend their hard earned funds to travel to Barbados to be denied without just cause. In preparation for the visa appointment the relevant DS-160 form is filled out along with the payment of a non-refundable $160 application fee. The website for US Embassy in Bridgetown also indicates a number of documents which would be helpful to aid in your case for the visa application. These were also taken to the appointment along with; proof of funds, employment information, marriage certificate, birth certificate, police certificate. passports (new & old), business information, citizenship information and more. During the wait outside of embassy, a number of applicants came out complaining of being refused, not being given time to present their case and also directly complaints about one counsellor in particular who as they stated “went through people quickly”. Rather than getting involved in the debates we waited and just listened. After our associate was finished, we were told that the application was rejected and yellow paper was given stating in part “not enough information was provided…. you may apply when you have sufficient documents”. Two things we found quite interesting and brought us to further investigate the practices more fully. 1) There was a previous refusal a number of years by our associate due also to a lack of documentation and was told to reapply when further can be given. On this last occasion all documents, plus more were taken in the interview. 2) The individual at the US Embassy did not ask to see any, not one of the documents. When asked if he would like to see the information, there was a simple short response “NO”. No questions were asked on the purpose of the trip, time at current location, job etc., only if married and if their spouse has a US Visa, both of which were yes. When asked why the visa was refused the answer was simply “read the paper”. 17

Based on investigations, the majority of persons being denied for a US visa are solely discriminatory and based on your country of origin. Holding one passport rather than another can significantly reduce / increase your chances of being granted a US visa. Being asked to provide documents to “support your case” then to not have these documents even looked but denied with the explanation “no supporting documents provided” makes it clear that the US Embassy in Barbados has very biased practices and in 2016 still discriminating against certain nationalities. There’s no more of a genuine “interview” process to determine your eligibility, like most business they have now adopted the mission to get through as many applicants in a day to make the most profit. We have tried to reach out to Embassy with regard to this matter however our initial email went unanswered. A reply was received only when we made a public comment on their Facebook page about highlighting this situation publically, they made an immediate reply via private message asking about details (and almost as immediate the public post was deleted). A query was once again made with regard to the email sent previously and we were told they will look into it and get back to us the next day. After three working days and no reply we once again contacted them via Facebook message and we were asked to resend the email. Clearly the poor service continues through to social media as the email was lost or not read and had we not have sent a follow-up message they would not have replied. Later that day they gave a very brief response via email stating they were not at liberty to discuss a third party application. Based on whoever sent the email we are confident the reply would have been a similar no interest type of response. The unfortunate fact is, they are hundreds of applicants in the Caribbean who have to take time off from work, pay $160 for the application, $400 $600+ for a flight to Barbados, hotel accommodation, taxi fare and more just to apply for the visa. Sometimes these individuals average almost $1,000 or more just to get the same negative response and two-minute interview. In reality, most had no chance of being successful because of their country of origin and not based on the current situation as it never allowed to be presented. Then persons are given a paper stating “return with supporting documentation”...which will once again not be viewed. Based on the actions and lack of any type of customer service to their visa applicants, we at Holiday Travel Network have chosen to remove the USA portion of our marketing and promotions with immediate effect. This will also include all business and personal related travel to the USA. We have worked with many embassies throughout the world both personally and for our clients which have all provided much better service and we will continue to promote those said destinations. At Holiday Travel Network we provide the best available travel options to our clients and will push those destinations where we are confident in promoting based on service, affordability and overall destination satisfaction.

Do you have a story to share on your visa application to the US Embassy Bridgetown? If so send us an email to info@holiday-travel-network.com


Qatar Airways & Royal Jordania

offer passengers even more shared destinations Qatar Airways and Royal Jordanian have announced an expansion of their current code-share agreement, which will add six new destinations to ‌ Royal Jordanian’s existing network. Royal Jordanian will enhance Qatar Airways’ network with the addition of flights from Amman to Doha, furthering the existing Qatar Airways code-share on Royal Jordanian operated flights to Doha. Royal Jordanian customers will have access to more destinations on Qatar Airways’ global network such as, Dhaka in Bangladesh, Muscat in Oman, Karachi in Pakistan, Colombo in Sri Lanka, Perth in Australia, and Singapore*. This expansion will open up 18 weekly flights between Doha and Amman in addition to numerous new connections on Qatar Airways global network from the award-winning Hamad International Airport. Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: “By partnering with Royal Jordanian, we are opening up the world to passengers travelling from Amman through Doha. Our code-share agreement enables Royal Jordanian to benefit from connectivity to some of our most popular routes, including Perth and Singapore among our more than 150 worldwide destinations. We welcome the partnership with Royal Jordanian, and look forward to seeing our collaboration flourish in the years to come.” “We are pleased to cooperate with Qatar Airways, a renowned partner in the oneworld airline alliance. In joining forces with Qatar Airways we are able to extend our customer experience beyond our existing destination network, to include several new destinations around the world. RJ is a pioneer and leading airline in the Levant, serving the passengers of the region to reach further destinations through our code-share partner.”



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Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, Italy


ATLANTIS THE PALM, DUBAI Located on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah Island and enjoys a private sandy beach, the 5-star Atlantis offers stunning views of the Arabian Gulf. It provides an underwater aquarium, swimming with dolphins opportunities and complimentary access to the Aquaventure water park and the Lost Chambers Aquarium. Free WiFi is available throughout the entire property. All the Arabian and oceanic dÊcor inspired rooms feature a balcony with scenic views. They include a flat-screen satellite TV, a seating area, complimentary tea/coffee making facilities and a mini bar. Some rooms include a stunning large terrace with panoramic views of the palm or an over sized spa bath located in the center of the bathroom. Dining options include Yuan, which serves traditional Chinese Szechuan cuisine in a modern setting. The award-winning Nobu restaurant serves contemporary Japanese cuisine with Arabian influences. Bread Street Kitchen & Bar offers signature British menu and delightful beverages from Gordon Ramsay. Guests can enjoy stunning views of The Palm and Dubai skyline while savouring the tastes of authentic Lebanese cuisine along with delicious beverages and shisha at Levantine Bar And Terrace.


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Sandals Royal Caribbean



First Hilton Hotel Arrives In The Heart Of The Estonian Capital The

hotel is managed by Hilton Worldwide and owned by Fortuna Travel OU, part of the Olympic Entertainment Group that is publicly listed on the Tallinn and Warsaw Stock Exchange. “More than 4.2 million tourists visited Tallinn last year1, with an increase in visitors from the U.K., Germany, U.S. and Asia. Tallinn also continues to welcome thousands of travellers from Helsinki, Stockholm and St Petersburg every week across the Baltic Sea,” said Simon Vincent, executive vice president and president, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Hilton Worldwide. “We are delighted to be expanding our footprint to new countries and look forward to putting Hilton Tallinn Park on the map as a key destination for travellers and locals alike.” Located just a short distance away from the heart of Tallinn’s historic Old Town, the new hotel offers guests an ideal location to explore the best that the city has to offer, from the open-air museum to the beautiful green acres of Kadriorg Park. Within a few minutes, guests can stroll down the twisting cobblestone streets of Tallinn’s Old Town and visit gothic spires and markets at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hilton Tallinn Park boasts 202 spacious guest rooms showcasing panoramic views of the city and the Baltic Sea. Some of the hotel’s 27 suites have a private sauna that guests can enjoy and those who stay in the Presidential Suite will be basking in the largest suite that the city has to offer, at 180 square meters. “We are thrilled to bring Hilton Hotels & Resorts to captivating Tallinn, a city which combines the modern with the medieval,” said Andreas Lackner, regional head, full service brands, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Hilton Worldwide. “It is Hilton’s latest flagship property in Northeastern Europe and incorporates striking modern elegance with all the Hilton touches our guests identify with, designating a landmark hotel for both Tallinn and Estonia”. Introducing a brand new signature steak house to the Estonian dining scene, The Able Butcher provides guests with a warm yet sophisticated ambiance and serves only the finest cuts of meat. The restaurant houses an open kitchen so both guests and locals can witness their dishes come to life in front of their very eyes. For a more 27

casual atmosphere, guests can dine at Café and Bar Linnutee, situated in the hotel lobby - a perfect spot to grab a hot drink or a light bite to eat. For those wishing to celebrate a milestone moment, the Grand Ballroom is the ideal location, featuring sky-high ceilings and windows letting in natural daylight, and is one of the largest ballrooms in town. For meetings and events, guests can choose from 10 state-of-the-art meeting rooms which combine stylish décor with flexible work space. Guests looking to unwind and relax after a long day exploring the city can head to Estonia’s first eforea spa, located within the hotel. It offers guests personalised, transformative journeys to help invigorate, relax and revitalise. The treatment rooms sit alongside an indoor pool, sauna, steam room, whirlpool and relaxation area. For entertainment, guests can visit Estonia’s largest Olympic casino on-site at 1600 square meters. Hilton Tallinn Park participates in Hilton HHonors®, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton Worldwide. The program is open to all guests and free to join. Hilton HHonors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including an exclusive member rate that can’t be found anywhere else, free standard Wi-Fi, digital check-in and HHonors Points.







Profile for Holiday Travel Network

Holiday Travel Network - July 2016  

Catch the latest news in the travel industry and highlights. Discrimination at the US Embassy Barbados. Emirates launches the A380 service t...

Holiday Travel Network - July 2016  

Catch the latest news in the travel industry and highlights. Discrimination at the US Embassy Barbados. Emirates launches the A380 service t...


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