Luxury Travel Site Celebrates Dramatic Rise in Bookings

In the face of an uncertain travel economy, luxury travel site Perfect Escapes continues to grow rapidly, having already assisted travelers with more than 20,000 luxury hotel reservations.

Despite recent negative news about the state of luxury travel, reservations have risen steadily since Perfect Escapes launched in late 2006. The site took just 18 months to facilitate its first 10,000 customer reservations, and only another nine months to complete the next 10,000. As word has spread about Perfect Escapes’ unique offerings and true hands-on service, consumers have continued to recognize the luxury value offered by Perfect Escapes. These loyal customers have remained committed to luxury travel – and to booking that travel with Perfect Escapes – as the site’s dramatic rise in recent bookings shows.

Other major Perfect Escapes milestones include:

• October 2006: Perfect Escapes beta site launch.
• December 2006: Perfect Escapes begins taking U.S. hotel bookings.
• January 2007: The Perfect 10TM email newsletter launch.
• April 2007: Perfect Escapes begins taking hotel bookings worldwide.
• October 2007: Perfect Escapes launches Wynn Las Vegas sweepstakes.
• December 2007: The Perfect 10 surpasses 100,000 opt-in subscribers; Perfect Escapes surpasses 5,000 hotel reservations.
• June 2008: The Perfect 10 surpasses 250,000 opt-in subscribers: Perfect Escapes surpasses 10,000 hotel reservations.
• March 2009: The Perfect 10 surpasses 500,000 opt-in subscribers: Perfect Escapes surpasses 20,000 hotel reservations.

“We knew there was an opportunity to better serve luxury travel consumers by representing a hand-selected collection of luxury hotels, and by pairing hotel stays with special values, upgrades, and amenities,” said Eric Jeck, CEO of Perfect Escapes. “We’re experiencing a significant rise in the number of reservations, even during a period of economic uncertainty – and that’s due to our ability to deliver a valuable service without requiring prepayment, adding cancellation restrictions, or charging booking fees. Our editorial team and travel specialists inspire consumers to travel more by helping them find great destinations, spectacular hotels, and unique values.”

About Perfect Escapes:
Perfect Escapes — a specialty website focusing on luxury travel — publishes a hand-selected roster of the world’s finest hotels paired with special values, upgrades, and amenities on the site, in The Perfect 10TM email newsletter and on The Suite Life blog. Please visit http://www.perfectescapes.com for more information or to sign up for The Perfect 10TM newsletter. Follow us on Twitter: @PerfectEscapes.

Via EPR Network

Stena Line’s North Sea Business Area Experienced A 13% Year-On-Year Growth In Passengers (Including Truck Drivers) On Its Three North Sea Routes: Harwich-Hook Of Holland, Harwich-Rotterdam And Killingholme-Hook Of Holland

Stena Line has exceeded initial forecasts, announcing a 2008 operating profit of SEK 272 million (£23 million) compared to 2007’s SEK 612 million (£52 million).

Stena Line’s North Sea business area experienced a 13% year-on-year growth in passengers (including truck drivers) on its three North Sea routes: Harwich-Hook of Holland, Harwich-Rotterdam and Killingholme-Hook of Holland.

Stena Line’s area director for the North Sea, Pim de Lange, said, “2007 was a record year for Stena Line and we expected an overall lower profit for 2008 on the back of such high oil prices and the recent major investments, not to mention the economic slowdown. However, we’re delighted with the 571,000 passengers and year-on-year growth on the three North Sea routes.”

The Stena Line rail and sail “dutchflyer” product showed particularly high growth, with a 39% year-on-year increase in traffic. The dutchflyer service, which operates on the Harwich-Hook of Holland route only, includes rail travel from any East Anglian rail station to Harwich and onward rail travel to any Dutch station. The operator’s car traffic, also on the Harwich-Hook of Holland route, experienced a 9% growth, carrying almost 100,000 cars to Holland from Essex.

De Lange attributed some of the Essex passenger route’s success to the low cost of reaching Holland by ferry. He said, “It seems likely that the recession has played a positive role in our results, as travellers will have been keeping a tighter grip on their wallets and scrutinising the cost of travel more carefully. The 2008 dutchflyer fare enabled travellers to get from their local East Anglia station to any station in Holland and back from £58. And for motorists a return car crossing for a family of four with a four-berth cabin each way equates to the same price as four return no-frills flights between Stansted and Amsterdam or £50 less, on average, than four of the cheapest return fares between Heathrow and Amsterdam.

“Once they’ve compared these costs travellers will also realise that by sailing overnight they make further savings on the cost of a night’s hotel accommodation too,” Pim concluded.

The North Sea’s two freight-only routes were hit by the downturn, experiencing a one per cent reduction in freight units, however the North Sea was still the best performing freight area in last year’s business. From the second half of 2008 the ferry operator was particularly careful to implement measures to counter the economic decline, such as the early 2009 removal of one of the freight vessels on the Harwich-Rotterdam route.

As part of its ongoing strategy to continue meeting the travel industry challenges it faces, Stena Line is investing heavily in order to keep the business in the right shape for the future.

“We believe that the investments we’re making are still completely right because in the long-term we believe in continual growth. We are also building two large RoPax ferries in South Korea, bringing our total recent investments around SEK 6 billion. Meanwhile work is continuing on improving our existing service and the offering to our different customer groups,” explained Pim de Lange.

About Stena Line:
In the UK alone, Stena Line offers over 30 daily crossings on its five different routes to Ireland (Stranraer to Belfast, Fleetwood to Larne, Holyhead to Dublin, Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire and Fishguard to Rosslare) and two daily ferries to Holland on its Harwich Hook of Holland route, providing fast efficient crossings with excellent onboard services and facilities.

Stena Line’s route network consists of 18 strategically located ferry routes throughout Europe. Stena Line has a modern fleet with a total of 34 vessels including fast ferries (HSS), traditional combi-ferries, RoPax ferries for freight and passengers, and pure cargo ships.

Via EPR Network

Edinburgh Hotel Reports Increase In UK Business

Concerned tourism chiefs had hoped that the poor performance of the pound in mainland Europe would encourage UK holidaymakers to stay at home. The Best Western Bruntsfield Hotel in Edinburgh can confirm this has indeed been the case. The hotel is delighted to report a rise of 8% in UK leisure business for the first quarter of 2009.

Managing Director, Russell Imrie said, “We are extremely pleased by these results in a difficult trading environment. We have devoted time and resources into Internet marketing and, because we are confident of the quality of our hotel, we actively encourage guests to review the hotel on customer review websites. An example of this is the positive reviews on TripAdvisor resulting in The Bruntsfield being ranked 10th out of 142 Edinburgh hotels listed on TripAdvisor. There is no doubt this kind of exposure pays off.”

“In addition, customers trust the Best Western brand and in times of economic uncertainty, want a reliable mid-market product that will give quality, excellent service and value for money. Our membership of Best Western continues to be valuable with 55% of our business coming through this channel.”

Holidaying in the UK may be a popular choice for British residents this year but it is also very attractive for Euro and Dollar customers for whom it appears excellent value. The demand for Edinburgh breaks (weekend breaks and city breaks) has also increased and The Bruntsfield is pleased to report that overall revenue is up 9% for the year ending 2009.

Another area in which The Bruntsfield has been successful is its restaurant. Traditionally hotels have difficulty encouraging guests to dine ‘at home’ and locals can be reluctant to use hotel restaurants. Bisque Bar & Brasserie, adjacent to The Bruntsfield and marketed separately, welcomes 25% of the hotel guests for dinner and is popular with local clientele and visitors to the Bruntsfield and Morningside areas.

Bisque is quickly making a name for itself as a stylish Edinburgh restaurant with all day menu offering fresh local produce, in addition to Scottish inspired lunch and dinner menus. It also provides a flexible option which is extremely popular and great value for money.

The Bruntsfield Hotel has 67 rooms, conference and wedding facilities. It is five minutes from the city centre with its own parking.

Via EPR Network

Multi-million Pound Investment to Spend Towards Creating a New Standard of Luxury at Warner

Warner Leisure Hotels has announced that this year will see a multi-million pound investment in its ongoing effort to improve all of its 13 properties across England and Wales. 

Over the next two years, Warner Leisure Hotels has plans to invest £5 million in a massive re-design of its Historic and Signature rooms across its property portfolio. Spearheaded by top UK interior designers Sophie Robinson and Pauline McCormic, 2009 will see a £2 million spend towards room redesign creating a new standard of luxury at Warner.

Nidd Hall Hotel, nestled by Harrogate and the Yorkshire Dales, is seeing one of the largest investments out of all the Warner Leisure Hotel properties for 2009. £1 million will be invested towards 51 room refurbishments as well as a full re-design of the on-site Rawson Restaurant.

Warner has also upgraded its dining options for guests at Thoresby Hall who can now enjoy Italian fine dining at its best. Fenocchi’s, located in the original wine cellars of the House, features authentic Italian fare from the Tuscan mountains. Guests now have a choice of three restaurants, including The Pierrepont, the stunning main restaurant featuring a glass roof and stone walls, and The Blue Room, specialising in modern British cuisine.

This year, guests won’t have to travel far to enjoy the perfect beach short break. Inspired by the resort’s coastal location, Corton Coastal Resort now boasts a fabulous Beach Garden where guests can mingle, learn to paint, or practice tai chi – all year round. Designed by Sarah Eberle – 2007 Chelsea Garden Best in Show winner – this spectacular garden features seaside grasses and coastal flowers, shingles made of crushed shells, pebbles, sand and boulders, as well as ancient driftwood sculptures formed by centuries of erosion.

All Warner UK Breaks include full English or Continental breakfasts, 3 course evening meals, comfortable en-suite accommodation and a range of daytime and evening leisure activities and entertainment. Guests can also choose from over 700 Warner Leisure Experiences to take part in whilst on their break. Experiences range from gardening and painting to bell-ringing and tarot reading.

Warner Leisure Hotels offers fantastic short breaks for adults at 13 Hotels and Coastal Resorts across England and Wales. Each break offers half board accommodation live nightly entertainment, indoor and outdoor leisure activities, heated indoor pools and saunas.

Via EPR Network

Hotels.Com Tells British Travellers Which Cities To Visit To Make Pounds Go Further

Hotels.com has revealed that, despite the pound being relatively weak against the Euro, British travellers seeking some sunshine this summer could find their pounds go much further than they might expect in a number of European destinations, with a trip to the continent potentially costing less than a UK break.

The Hotels.com Hotel Price Index* found that travellers who choose the Spanish party city of Barcelona (where the average cost of a room for the night is £93) over the historic British city of Bath (at around £119 per night) will save an average of £26 per night; adding up to a saving of £182 on a one-week holiday. This means that travellers could save significantly more than the cost of their flights by choosing the right European destination**.

In fact, British travellers who visit many of the most popular destinations on the continent will find the cost of a bed for the night is significantly lower than the cost of a hotel room at home.

Swapping a week at one of the many London hotels (average £111 per night) for the Portuguese capital of Lisbon (£89 per night) would save £308 on a two-week holiday, more than enough to cover flights to Lisbon with money to spare for sightseeing or a meal out.

At £87 per room per night, the Greek capital of Athens is significantly better value for British travellers than the Scottish city of Aberdeen (£104 per night on average). This saving of £17 per night would add up to a huge saving of £238 on a two-week holiday.

Alison Couper, Director of Communications for Hotels.com commented: “While the relatively poor exchange rate may be putting people off, we’ve found that that there are still plenty of great deals to be found in the Eurozone.

“Hotels make up a bigger proportion of the cost of a break, so by shopping around for the best deal, travellers can make significant savings, even when the price of flights is taken into consideration.

“Furthermore, hoteliers in the major European capitals want to attract UK city breakers and are therefore offering some very attractive discounts. There are savings of up to 50% on hotels in many European destinations on Hotels.com.”

* The Hotels.com Hotel Price Index (HPI) tracks the real prices paid per hotel room rather than advertised rates for 68,000 hotels across 12,500 locations around the world. The latest HPI was based on real prices paid by travellers during the period October-December 2008.

** A return flight from London Heathrow to Barcelona in April starts from £103 pp including taxes and fees at www.expedia.co.uk

About Hotels.com:
As part of the Expedia group which operates in all major markets with dedicated staff, Hotels.com offers more than 99,000 quality hotels worldwide, including Rome hotelsParis hotels and Edinburgh hotels. If a customer can find the same deal for less on a prepaid hotel, Hotels.com will match it. Hotels.com benefits from one of the largest hotel contracting teams in the industry negotiating the best rates for its users, plus user-contributed reviews of its properties.

Via EPR Network

Win A Round The World Trip For Two, Plus 49 Other Prizes!

HostelBookers has been named cheaper than Hostelworld in an independent survey by EyeforTravel – and to celebrate, they’re running a fantastic competition featuring 50 prizes.

Partnering with roundtheworldexperts.co.uk, HostelBookers are offering two round the world tickets and selected accommodation (worth up to £3,000!) to one very lucky winner.

For second prize, there’s a Sony HDR-TG3E HD Camcorder up for grabs, plus an iPhone touch (16GB) and iPod nano (8GB) for third and fourth. 16 runners-up will then receive backpacks filled with travel supplies and another 30 entrants will win a compact travel hammock.

The competition will run f r o m 17 April to 8 May. To enter the prize draw, all you have to do is head over to the HostelBookers competition page and answer one simple question: just how much cheaper did EyeforTravel find HostelBookers to be than Hostelworld?

The research – which looked at 600 of HostelBookers and Hostelworld’s budget hotels and hostels over 20 popular worldwide destinations – has also prompted HostelBookers to offer a lowest price guarantee on all their accommodation.

For full details of the lowest price guarantee and a chance to win round the world tickets (and the 49 other prizes), log on to www.hostelbookers.com. For more budget travel tips and ideas, f r o m hostel reviews to cheap days out, visit HostelBloggers – the insider’s guide to budget travel.

About HostelBookers.com: Great Hostels. Free Booking. No Worries.

HostelBookers.com – launched in March 2004 – is a leading UK-based budget accommodation website. It offers a range of budget accommodation including youth hostels, hotels, B&Bs and apartments in over 2,500 destinations worldwide.

In November 2008 HostelBookers.com also received the UK’s Best Youth Product award at the British Youth Travel Awards (BYTA) run by BETA (British Educational Travel Association). The awards, are designed to provide a platform to celebrate and reward high achievers, gain recognition, and raise the profile of the work and individual successes of organisations engaged in youth, student and educational travel, to f r o m and within the UK.

If you would like to be a Hostelbookers partner, you can do so by joining our affiliate program directly by emailing HostelBookers or through the TradeDoubler and AffiliateFuture networks.

Via EPR Network

It’s Official – Hostelbookers, One Of The UK’s Leading Budget Accommodation Providers Is Significantly Cheaper Than Major Competitor Hostelworld Following A Survey Of 600 Hostels In 20 Destinations Worldwide

On average, accommodation with HostelBookers costs 4.2% less than with Hostelworld offering an equivalent saving of £6.75 on a two-night stay for two people. HostelBookers is also the only independent hostel booking site that does not charge a booking fee, ensuring that unlike Hostelworld, customers will never incur any extra hidden costs.

This has led to HostelBookers’ latest move to introduce a lowest price guarantee to offer the cheapest hostels worldwide. If the same accommodation is found for less within 24 hours, HostelBookers will refund the difference.

The HostelBookers research was carried out by leading online travel news provider, EyeforTravel which looked at hostels and budget hotels in some of the world’s most popular and expensive destinations including Europe, Australia and North America. Travellers to top cities such as Paris and Sydney will find themselves with up to £15 extra in their pockets if they book with HostelBookers. Average prices come in at 8.5% cheaper for Paris and 8.9% cheaper for Sydney offering savings of £15.87 and £11.23 respectively.

David Smith, Chief Operating Officer at HostelBookers said: “With 2,500 destinations worldwide our aim is to be the number one budget accommodation site, with no fees or hidden costs for our customers. We are so confident in being able to offer the cheapest accommodation on the web that we’re prepared to put our money where our mouth is and offer this lowest price guarantee.”

To celebrate the guaranteed low prices HostelBookers is running a fantastic competition offering those with the travel bug the chance to head off on a round-the-world trip of a lifetime. Joining forces with roundtheworldexperts.co.uk two round the world tickets worth up to £3,000 and selected accommodation options are up for grabs.

For those not lucky enough to win the first prize there are 49 fabulous runners up prizes. Log onto HostelBookers.com f r o m April 17 for a chance to enter.

In addition to offering the cheapest online accommodation, HostelBookers provides customers with all the information they need to make a booking, f r o m independent ratings and reviews of their 12,000 properties and 360° videos of the accommodation to new, improved destination guides. 

 

About HostelBookers.com: Great Hostels. Free Booking. No Worries.

HostelBookers.com – launched in March 2004 – is a leading UK-based budget accommodation website. It offers a range of budget accommodation including youth hostels, hotels, B&Bs and apartments in over 2,500 destinations worldwide.

In November 2008 HostelBookers.com also received the UK’s Best Youth Product award at the British Youth Travel Awards (BYTA) run by BETA (British Educational Travel Association). The awards, are designed to provide a platform to celebrate and reward high achievers, gain recognition, and raise the profile of the work and individual successes of organisations engaged in youth, student and educational travel, to f r o m and within the UK.

If you would like to be a Hostelbookers partner, you can do so by joining our affiliate program directly by emailing HostelBookers or through the TradeDoubler and AffiliateFuture networks. 

Via EPR Network

Brits To Save £3 Billion By Holidaying In The UK Reveals The Travel Insurer LV=

Almost five million adults who are taking a UK holiday this year (40%) put their decision down to financial concerns, with 16% admitting they cannot afford to go abroad, 13% blamed unfavourable exchange rates, and 11% simply said that a holiday in this country will be cheaper. These concerns have affected Londoners by far the most; with 59% of those holidaying in the UK saying that financial factors led to their decision.

On average, those staying in the UK estimate they will spend £477 per week on their holiday. This compares to those going abroad who think they will spend £728; meaning that the UK holidaymakers will be saving on average £247 each, leading to a UK wide saving of just under £3 billion on holidays in 2009*.

Emma Holyer, spokesperson for LV= travel insurance, commented: “It’s not surprising that many more people are looking to take their main holiday in the UK this year. The sliding value of the pound, particularly compared with the Euro and US dollars, plus the overall economic climate, have made holidaymakers think twice about spending their hard-earned wages on a trip abroad.”

Further LV= research** has indicated that more than five million Brits are planning to cut back on one or more insurance policies this year, with 22% of these looking at cutting a travel insurance policy. These new figures show that 59% of those holidaying in the UK do not intend to take out any form of insurance cover for their break.

Emma Holyer continued: “It is important that these people remember that even though they are staying in this country, travel insurance is still important. It will help to ensure that they don’t end up out of pocket if they have a problem with their transport arrangements, such as missing their train, plane or bus, or if their belongings go missing. In addition, if customers have to cut short their holiday or cancel for any reason, insurance will mean they can claim back some of the costs.”

All research (unless otherwise specified) carried out by Opinium Research. 2,214 online interviews were carried out from 5-9 March 2009.

* 25% of UK adults who are taking a holiday in the UK multiplied by average £247 saving = £2,964,000,000

** Research carried out by Opinium Research. A survey of 2,141 people took place between 16-20 Jan 2009.

About LV= 
LV= offers car, home, travel and pet insurance direct to consumers by telephone from its UK call centres in Bournemouth and Croydon and online from its website. LV= has been awarded the Defaqto five star rating for home insurance and car insurance. LV= insures over 1.6 million cars and 480,000 households in the UK.

LV= is a registered trade mark of Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited (LVFS) and a trading style of the Liverpool Victoria group of companies. The new LV= brand identity was launched in March 2007.

LV= employs over 3,800 people, serves around 3.2 million customers and members, and manages around £7 billion on their behalf. We are also the UK’s largest friendly society (Association of Friendly Societies Key Statistics 2008, total net assets) and a leading mutual financial services provider.

LVFS is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority register number 110035. LVFS is a member of the ABI, AMI, AFS and ILAG. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.

Via EPR Network

Gulf Air, The National Carrier Of The Kingdom Of Bahrain Has Announced It Will Be Adding Additional Flights And Capacity To Several Of Its Key Destinations This Summer

The move follows a prediction by the airline that the summer travel demand to many of its key destinations will be strong despite the current economic climate.

The airline has expanded its flights to Frankfurt from 9 to 11 per week while increasing its flights to Kuala Lumpur to a daily service. Asia’s other popular tourist destinations Bangkok and Kathmandu will see double daily flights from Bahrain during the summer season.

Flights to Tehran will become a daily service, while flights to Manila have been increased to 12 per week. Destinations in the Levent region will see bigger planes offering more seats to meet the summer rush.

Gulf Air has also expanded its code share agreement with American Airlines so that it now covers more than 40 cities in the United States giving multiple and seamless connections to its customers.

The new Boeing 777 aircraft, which recently joined the airline as part of its re-fleeting and product-enhancement strategy, have been drafted to the airline’s busiest routes – London, Bangkok, Manila and Kuala Lumpur. Increasing capacity and offering customers access to a state-of-the-art flying experience.

“While many people are talking about the global economic turmoil, we are still very focused on the needs of our customers. The summer schedule means we can offer a wider range of frequencies and connecting flights to our most popular destinations,” said Gulf Air Chief Executive Officer Mr. Björn Näf.

“We are continually monitoring the changing market demand and aligning our network proactively to ensure we take advantage of all opportunities. I remain confident that with this strategy, the strength of the Gulf Air brand and our innovative products we are well positioned to emerge as the carrier of choice,” concluded Mr. Näf.

The airline’s business strategy is to re-fleet itself over the next five years to further strengthen its presence and continue its aim to become the carrier of choice. Gulf Air recently signed a deal with Boeing worth nearly US$ 6 billion to purchase up to 24 Boeing 787 aircraft, and another deal with Airbus for 35 aircraft, including A320s and A330s.

 

About Gulf Air
Founded in 1950, Gulf Air is the proud national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain. Having been operating for over half a century, it ranks as one of the oldest airlines in the Middle East region. Though it continually strives to develop; its goal has remained unchanged – to maintain a constant commitment to the latest aviation technology and an adherence to traditional Arabian hospitality. It is currently owned by Bahrain Mumtalakat Holdings Company.

One of the prime motives of the carrier is to link Bahrain to the GCC as well as connect it to the rest of the world. The airline’s network stretches from Europe to Asia, connecting 41 cities in 27 countries, with a current fleet consisting of 32 aircraft. Renowned for its direct network to its non-stop flights schedules, Gulf Air covers the Middle East, the Americas, Africa and Asia-Pacific.

Gulf Air is the Official Airline and Sponsor of the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2009 and London based football club Queens Park Rangers.

Via EPR Network

Popularity Of Non-Eurozone Resorts Continues Reveals M&S Travel Money

A new survey by M&S Money has revealed that more than a third of British travellers* (36%) take into account the strength of a country’s currency in relation to the pound when planning their holiday abroad. It’s not surprising, therefore, that holiday resorts outside the eurozone continue to increase in popularity as Brits look for the best value destinations.

According to the M&S travel money survey, Egypt and Turkey – two of the most popular destinations in 2008 – are set to be firm favourites again this year. Sales of the Egyptian pound and Turkish lira have increased by 20% and 46% respectively in Q1 compared to the same period in 2008.

M&S bureaux staff have also reported increased demand for the Kenyan shilling. The Kenyan government is keen to boost tourism in the country and recently announced that Visa rates would be cut to make the country more appealing to visitors. The Minister of Tourism for Kenya announced that entry visa rates are to be reduced by 50% and completely cut for children under 16 f r o m April 1 until the end of 2010.

For travellers seeking a short-haul destination, Iceland is set to be a popular option this year. British travellers now get much more for their money when visiting Iceland – the strength of the krona against the pound has dropped by 65% compared to March 2008. Year-on-year sales of the krona have increased by 32%.

The long-haul destinations of South Africa and Mexico are also enjoying increased interest f r o m UK holidaymakers.

James Yerkess, M&S Travel Money Manager, said: “The falling value of the pound in the past year means that holidaymakers are looking around for resorts where they are getting more for their money. Brits still want to enjoy a holiday, but they are being more selective about where they go.”

Overall M&S Money is continuing to see a large increase in people exchanging foreign currencies for sterling, with a 21% year-on-year increase in the amount of foreign currency exchanged for sterling at M&S bureaux during Q1.

M&S Money has also found that, as the strength of currencies including the euro, US dollar and Japanese yen has grown against sterling in the past year, customers using the M&S commission-free ‘buy back’ service are now much better off when exchanging foreign currency. Customers are also exchanging large amounts of Australian dollars, Swiss francs and UAE dirhams.

*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are f r o m YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2154 adults. Online survey fieldwork undertaken 23-26 Jan09. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

About M&S Money:
M&S Money (the trading name of Marks & Spencer Financial Services) was founded in 1985 as the financial services division of Marks and Spencer Group plc. The company is now a top ten credit card provider and the second largest travel money retailer in the UK. M&S Money also offers a range of insurance cover, including home insurancepet insurancewedding insurance as well as loans, savings and investment products.

In November 2004, Marks & Spencer sold M&S Money to HSBC. The Group serves customers worldwide f r o m around 9,500 offices in 86 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa. With assets of US$2,527 billion at 31 December 2008, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations. HSBC is marketed worldwide as ‘the world’s local bank’.

M&S Money has an executive committee comprising an equal number of representatives f r o m HSBC and Marks & Spencer. 

Via EPR Network

Asianairfares.Com Announce 48-Hours Hotels Sale Event

AsianAirfares.com has begin offering a 48-hour sale hotels sale going on right now that will be repeated every week with the selection of properties changing on a weekly basis. Today’s sale has Thousands of Hotels properties participating. In Most cases savings are up to 60% percent, with most of the hotel rooms going for 15 to 30 percent off. As the Spring tourist season gets underway, vacationers are looking for travel destinations that can be reached within a few hours flights or day`s drive, warmer climates with family-oriented activities and great hotel deals.

AsianAirfares.com is a Global online travel reservation Portal designed to save time and money. Visitors to AsianAirfares.com can shop Securely 24/7 for the best possible deals on Airline TicketsHotel RoomsVacation PackagesCar Rentals, Cruises and travel Activities. Travelers can select f r o m over 120,000 hotels and resorts worldwide, all leading rental car companies, all major cruise lines and hundreds of traditional and low-budget airlines to book travel services instantly and securely. 

The AsianAirfares.com hotel booking engine offers the high quality of over 200 major hotel brands in nearly 10,000 diverse destinations worldwide at discounted rates and features full color hotel brochures and interactive mapping. Our powerful hotel engine provides the widest selection of hotel accommodations throughout the world. This technology connects directly to the central reservations systems of hotels worldwide, resulting in better rate and room descriptions, and in many cases, a greater variety of rates. This arrangement translates into considerable savings.

Via EPR Network

New York City Hotel Offers Economic Stimulus Package

Times are tough… money may be tight, so The Holiday Inn Express Madison Square Garden has created a Hotel Stimulus Package for you to not only stay but to enjoy the city that never sleeps at one low rate. Dine, sightsee, experience and have the time of your life… 

Let us help you get out there and stimulate the economy on a budget!!

Enjoy dinner at a great local Restaurant, a New York Pass* which includes FREE access to some of NYC’s top attractions, a detailed map of the city and a disposable camera to document your exciting NYC experience! Memories are great – but pictures last a lifetime and we want to make sure you have them!

Your stay at the Holiday Inn Express Madison Square Garden includes:

• Complimentary Breakfast Daily 
• Complimentary Wireless Internet Access 
• $25 Gift Certificate to Triple Crown Restaurant 
• New York Pass*

Free entry to over 50 attractions – Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, New York Skyride, Madame Tussaud’s, Circle Line River Cruise, Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Madison Square Garden Tour, NBC Studio Tours, New York Aquarium, Top of the Rock™ Observation Deck, Bodies….The Exhibit, Uncle Sam’s Hamilton Financial Tour & many others Free 140 page guidebook in English, German & Spanish, containing hours of operation, maps and directions to every tourist attraction, shop and restaurant included in New York Pass Privileges – As a New York Pass holder you are entitled to fast track entry to some of the New York City’s busiest attractions

• Disposable Camera 
• Detailed Map of New York City 
• Complimentary use of gym onsite

About the hotel:
Located in Midtown Manhattan’s fashionable Chelsea, the Holiday Inn Express New York City – Madison Square Garden is a modern, high-rise hotel with lots of friendly hospitality and Big Apple personality. Our beautifully-renovated hotel features comfortable accommodations, excellent service and an impressive menu of business and leisure amenities. Our hotel is two short blocks from Madison Square Garden and walking distance of New York City’s exciting attractions, restaurants, museums, shopping and entertainment venues. The hotel is just minutes from everything Manhattan – Empire State Building, Hudson River Park, Broadway Theater District, Chelsea Piers, Times Square, Macy’s Fifth Avenue, Rockefeller Center, South Street Seaport, and Museum of Modern Art. Whether you are visiting New York City for a family vacation, romantic getaway or business meeting, we’re a slice of home in the most captivating and energizing city in the world.

Via EPR Network

Prestigious Green Eco-Leaf Rating Awarded to Boca Raton’s Hilton Suites Hotel

Hilton Suites Boca Raton becomes one of the 1st lodging properties in Boca Raton, FL to receive the Green Eco-Leaf Rating. Currently Hilton Suites Boca Raton is the first of the hotels in Boca Raton (http://iStayGreen.org/getcityus.cfm/city/Boca Raton/st/FL) to complete the comprehensive environmental audit administered by iStayGreen.org. The property earned 2 Green Eco-Leafs, which is a “Good” rating.

All Green Eco-Leaf Rated properties are committed to environmentally friendly initiatives and meet Florida Green Lodging program standards. The Hilton Suites Boca Raton was awarded a One Palm Certification in 2008. Richard Varner, founder of iStayGreen.org states: “Simple changes helped the Hilton Suites Boca Raton earn their 2 Green Eco-Leaf Rating and become one of the 1st lodging properties rated. It’s great to see they’re intent on insuring a more sustainable future in travel.”

To insure a more sustainable future, some of the eco-initiatives put in-place at the property include: on on-site Green Team, low energy lighting initiatives are in-place, energy efficient lighting is installed when replacing old lighting, sheet reuse option for multiple night stays, towel reuse option for multiple night stays, eco-initiatives are actively promoted to the public, water conservation initiatives are in-place, water conservation devices are installed when replacing old fixtures, recycle containers are located inside guestrooms, reusable food & beverage service is used in lieu of disposable service items, recycled paper products (bath tissue, racial tissue, paper towels, napkins, etc) are utilized, environmentally friendly chemicals are used in cleaning, environmentally friendly chemicals are used for carpet cleaning, low VOC material (paint, adhesives, air freshener) are used at the property, plus much more. The complete audit can be viewed at Hilton Suites Boca Raton Environmental Self Audit (http://www.istaygreen.org/ecoaudit.cfm/hid/10237391).

The lodging industry recognizes the need to create a sustainable future for travel. While the Hilton Suites Boca Raton is one of the 1st Boca Raton lodging properties to achieve the Green Eco-Leaf Rating, it is anticipated that many other properties in the area that are promoting eco-friendly initiatives also will seek to be rated. This eco-rating allows the public to know the specific environmental initiatives in place at a property, which enables the environmentally conscious traveler to make informed lodging decisions.

For additional information about the Hilton Suites Boca Raton contact John Bailey, GM, at 561.852.4004, or email john.c.bailey@hilton.com.

To find out how a property can earn the Green Eco-Leaf rating, contact Richard Varner at 602.864.5553 or visit www.iStayGreen.org.

About Hilton Suites Boca Raton:
The Hilton Suites Boca Raton is a boutique-style all-suite hotel located on a six acre lakeside complex featuring shopping and dining. Come and enjoy our warm and welcoming tropical inspired ambiance. Whether for work, relaxation, or play, find your personal paradise with us. The hotel offers a complimentary cooked-to-order and buffet style breakfast as well as a complimentary evening cocktail reception.
Contact: Hilton Suites Boca Raton
561.483.3600
www.bocaratonsuites.hilton.com

About iStayGreen,org:
With iStayGreen’s rapidly growing searchable directory of 100,000 lodging properties and over 3,000 already Green Eco-Leaf Rated, it’s easy for anyone to quickly locate and compare “Green” lodging worldwide. To earn a Green Eco-Leaf Rating, hotels must complete a thorough self-audit, and then are rated based on their eco-initiatives. The site also provides an effective way for hotel owners and operator to promote all of the good “Green” things they are doing. Visitors to the site can create their own profiles, add friends, recommend properties, upload photos, form groups, create and respond to forum threads, make reservations, and add comments and reviews to hotel profiles.
Contact: Richard Varner
602.864.5553
rvarner@istaygreen.org

Via EPR Network