London Cabs Are Ranked Best In The World, Reports Hotels.com

Hotels.com has revealed that London taxis have been voted the best in the world for the second year running. A poll of international travellers* has shown that 33% of those surveyed said that London’s black cabs were the best. 

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Despite being named the most expensive city for cabs, London’s taxi drivers pulled in the most votes for a number of different categories including friendliness of drivers, quality of driving and knowledge of area.

The capital’s taxis beat off competition f r o m New York (favourite amongst 17% of travellers) and Berlin (which came in third place with 6% of the vote). The Hotels.com survey found that the Spanish city of Madrid and the Danish capital of Copenhagen completed the top five. Bangkok, famed for its tuk tuk taxis, was a surprise entry into the top ten, beating both Dublin and Paris to the number seven slot.

Taxis are one of the first experiences that many travellers have on arrival in a new city, so it is significant that the capital’s taxis are making such a good impression on visitors to the UK. In fact, the research found that cabs are by far the most popular method of travel f r o m airport to hotel.

The European poll also looked at the top taxi destinations for cleanliness, value, quality of driving, knowledge of the area, friendliness, safety and availability. 16% of those polled found London cab drivers the friendliest, with Dublin coming in a close second with 11% while Paris was regarded by 16% of those surveyed as the rudest taxi drivers in the world. London taxi drivers were also commended by a third (33%) of travellers for knowing their city better than other city cab companies around the world and a quarter of those questioned ranked London cabs as the safest overall.

Alison Couper, Director of Communications at Hotels.com, commented: “It’s great to hear that London has won the best taxi vote for the second year running. The journey to their hotel is often a traveller’s first experience of the destination they are visiting and so a friendly, knowledgeable taxi driver can help form a positive first impression. With the weak pound, falling prices among London hotels and now this award, London is becoming an increasingly attractive and affordable destination for visitors.”

John Thomas, Chairman of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, added: “I am pleased to hear that London has been recognised as having the best taxi service in the world. London’s taxi drivers must dedicate three years to completing the knowledge training to qualify as a London taxi driver and that commitment is vital to offering the very best customer service. This is what makes London’s taxi service stand out f r o m New York, Paris and every other major city.”

* Research was conducted amongst 1,400 travellers f r o m the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Denmark in May 2009.

Image courtesy of newcrossplatform.wordpress.com

About Hotels.com:
As part of the Expedia group which operates in all major markets with dedicated staff, Hotels.com offers more than 100,000 quality hotels worldwide including a wide selection of Dublin hotelsNew York hotelsRome Hotels and Paris hotels. If a customer can find the same deal for less on a prepaid hotel, Hotels.com will match it. Hotels.com benefits f r o m one of the largest hotel teams in the industry negotiating the best rates for its users, plus user-contributed reviews of its properties. Hotels.com won the Gold Award for best hotel booking site in Webuser magazine in February 2009. Travellers can book online or by contacting one of the multi-lingual call centres.

Via EPR Network

British Airways Is Proud To Be The Official Airline Of The British & Irish Lions Tour To South Africa In 2009

The partnership will see British Airways fly the Lions squad and coaching staff to South Africa and provide domestic flights within the country through its branded franchise carrier, Comair. The official aircraft taking the team has been named ‘Air Force Scrum’ through a public competition.

hotels in johannesburg

British Airways has a strong rugby tradition. The airline supported the Lions during the 2005 tour of New Zealand and previously assisted England in the triumphant World Cup campaign of 2003. British Airways also has a long association with supporting British talent including previous sponsorship deals with the Rugby Football Union, Scottish Rugby Union and the England football team.

With Johannesburg already one of the must-visit destinations for 2009, British Airways has increased its flights to Johannesburg f r o m 14 to 19 a week to accommodate expected increase in demand, including the thousands of rugby supporters attending the Lions Tour. The Lions play two games in Johannesburg – on 3 June against Golden Lions and the third test against South Africa on 4 July. In addition to providing flights, British Airways Holidays also offers a s e l e c t i o n of hotels in Johannesburg to suit a variety of budgets and tastes.

Cape Town, another Lions’ Tour destination, is famous for its cable car rides up Table Mountain as well as the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront – South Africa’s most visited attraction – where visitors can catch live music performances. With The Lions playing two games in Cape Town – firstly on 13 June against Western Province before returning 10 days later to play the Junior Springboks, British Airways is expecting to see an upsurge on its daily flights to Cape Town, as rugby fans base their trip to South Africa around the city. Between the matches, travellers can take advantage of the ability to pre-book car rental in Cape Town through British Airways to follow the Lions Tour or travel one of the most beautiful places on earth to watch African penguins at the Boulder Bay, visit Stellenbosch and sample some fantastic South African wine or just simply experience the views the famous Garden Route provides.

British Airways is proud to be the official airline of the British & Irish Lions 2009 Tour as well as a provider of hotels, car rental and tours across South Africa, to help ensure travelers have a memorable visit to this majestic land.

About British Airways / British Airways Holidays Ltd

British Airways Holidays Ltd. is a fully owned subsidiary of British Airways plc, which offers a range of destinations, hotels, car rental and experiences. With many money-saving special offers available; and the security of travelling with British Airways, British Airways Holidays Ltd can add peace of mind to holiday plans. Working very closely with colleagues at British Airways, British Airways Holidays constantly seeks to exceed customers’ expectations, both in terms of the value for money and quality of the service provided.

Via EPR Network

5 Cent Summer Hostel Beds – HostelBookers 5th Birthday Giveaway

In celebration of its fifth birthday, HostelBookers is running an exciting deal – book a beach hostel for just 5 cents a night!

This discounted hostel holiday will be offered at five popular European destinations for travel between 6 and 10 July 2009, with the beds becoming available next week from 1 to 5 June.

50 beds will go on sale at the 5cents rate every day during this week at 2pm GMT, with a total of 250 beds at beach hostels in the Mediterranean on offer overall. There are no hidden costs or strings attached – travellers really will pay just 5 cents a night for their bed.

From the bustling city beaches of Barcelona and Valencia to the glitzy resort of Alghero, the discos of Corfu and laid-back Santorini, there’s a diverse range of great beach holidays available for this tiny price.

The five hostels participating in the birthday offer are Centric Point in Barcelona, Purple Nest in Valencia, Sunrock Backpackers Hostel in Corfu, Hostel D’Alguer in Alghero and Santorini Hostel in Santorini.

David Smith, Chief Operating Officer of HostelBookers, said, “We’ve had a phenomenal five years at HostelBookers, and experienced unprecedented growth. This is the first time we have run a promotion on this scale but our anniversary felt like the perfect time – it’s a way to say thank you to all our customers, and give a little something back, after all their help over the years.”

HostelBookers is also running a competition as part of the birthday celebrations – they’ll be giving away 20 ‘presents’ to customers, including £500 in cash, an ASUS 701SD Travel Laptop and a Canon Ixus 85 Digital Camera. For further information please log on to HostelBookers.com

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 hostels, hotels, B&Bs and apartments in over 2,500 destinations worldwide.

UK’s Best Youth Product award

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 from and within the UK.

HostelBookers.com’s properties are reviewed and rated by customers and it remains the only major company in its sector to offer its services with no booking fees. HostelBookers.com also provides a range of free travel guides, travel news and worldwide events information

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

VacationSuperSearch.com Launches in Beta

Fox World Travel today announced the consumer beta launch of VacationSuperSearch.com (VSS), a comparison shopping website that compares the flight and hotel vacation packages f r o m Apple Vacations, Funjet Vacations and American Express Vacations. VacationSuperSearch.com is the first travel search engine to aggregate these vacation companies into a single display.

VacationSuperSearch.com

VacationSuperSearch.com provides pricing and availability for more than 2,100 of the most popular hotels and resorts in the world. Destinations include, but are far f r o m limited to Cancun, Punta Cana, Jamaica, Puerto Vallarta, London, San Francisco, Las Vegas, New York, Colorado, Costa Rica and Florida. Packages f r o m Apple Vacations, Funjet Vacations and American Express Vacations can be booked directly on the site or booked with a VSS agent toll-free at 1-888-SRCH-VSS (772-4877). Unlike travel search engines such as Kayak and Sidestep, VacationSuperSearch.com provides complete travel services in one location. You are able to search competing packages side-by-side, view quality hotel information, find excursions and special added bonuses, schedule roundtrip transfers to/f r o m the airport and book your entire vacation package in one convenient location, all with the experience of one of the largest vacation travel agencies servicing all reservations.

“The real benefit to consumers is that they have the convenience of searching the best vacation companies online in one place with experienced, knowledgeable agents standing by ready to help. Our agents have an average tenure with us of over 10 years and an average of 10.6 years in the industry. We’ve walked the same beaches. We’ve shopped the same stores. We’ve eaten the same food. Our customers won’t be calling into a call center overseas. They’ll be talking to the best travel specialists in the industry right here in the United States,” said Brian Hurley, Vice-President of Vacation Travel.

Search results on VacationSuperSearch.com are delivered through an RIA (Rich Internet Application) allowing users to sort and filter search results quickly to find the vacation that suits them best. When users find a vacationsupersearchvacation option that interests them, they can add that search result to an individual Vacation Notebook. VacationSuperSearch.com will take all the pricing and relevant details regarding that trip option and save it. Users can then add notes to each entry and share their notebook with family and friends. Posting a Vacation Notebook to MySpace.com or Facebook.com can be done with a single click of the mouse. Once a notebook entry has been created, users can take advantage of “One-Click Pricing” which allows a user to save valuable research time and check the current availability and pricing for their preferred package.

VacationSuperSearch.com is also debuting new localization features for delivering relevant vacation deals f r o m a preferred city. Consumers who choose to create a free account with VSS, as well as those consumers who perform a vacation search, will find localized deals f r o m their preferred departure city.

“We will continue to add new vacation companies to our search results and are in discussions with several at the moment. Consumers have learned over time that there’s tremendous value and safety in purchasing a vacation package f r o m established companies like Funjet Vacations, Apple Vacations and American Express Vacations. Oftentimes the transfers are included up front along with exclusive extras like free nights, resort credits and additional savings. For some destinations, you’ll even have the services of a representative at your resort in the event that something goes wrong,” said Chip Juedes, Director of Marketing.

Visit VacationSuperSearch.com for more information on the current vacation companies being searched on VSS.

Via EPR Network

Boost For Egypt Due To Raising Holiday Costs In Europe Caused By The Strong Euro

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A strong Euro has led to rocketing European holiday costs and UK holidaymakers are flooding to exotic destinations like Sharm Ek Sheikh. Holidays in Egypt are hot. Taba is a winner. Hurghada is highon the list.

At the same time, competition is fierce in the holiday industry as the recession bites. The UK’s pot of potential holidaymakers is being fought over tooth and nail by travel agencies online and offline… the battle lines have been drawn.

So what does all this mean for the consumer? Thankfully, good things! Better exchange rates bring resorts like Sharm el Sheikh, holidays in far flung places outside the Eurozone, within reach of more people. Tough competition in any market tends to benefit consumers. Businesses try harder to attract and please people. Prices drop and special offers flourish. Service levels and efficiencies improve.

So how does the clued-up consumer take full advantage of the situation? The answer lies online. Heading for your local travel agent is one way to book a holiday. But the web has opened up the holiday and travel markets to such an extent that they’re almost unrecognisable from a decade ago.

Today’s wise consumers head for their nearest holiday price comparison website and take it from there. But how do you know that the prices they return are the lowest?

BeatTheBrochure is willing to bet that wherever you go and whatever you do, you won’t beat theirs. How come? Their spokesman explains; “Our price comparison technology is unique. It searches a huge range of holiday providers, including household names Thomson Holidays, Thomas Cook and First Choice to deliver the lowest price package holidays in one simple search.”

Inspired to book Sharm El Sheikh holidays? Hankering for Hurghada? Taken a fancy to Taba? Beat the Euro, beat the high street and head for BeatTheBrochure.com.

Via EPR Network

Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa recognised for the second year as the ‘Favourite Weekend Getaway in the UAE’

Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa – Emirates’ luxurious retreat nestled within the 225 square kilometre pristine desert landscape of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve – was recognised for the second year running as the ‘Favourite Weekend Getaway in the UAE’ at the prestigious What’s On Awards gala event.

What’s On Awards is one of the definitive barometers of public opinion in the UAE’s entertainment and hospitality industries, and this year it drew votes from across the UAE over 100 days of online and public balloting. Despite many new contenders entering in this category over the past year, Al Maha retained its position in the eyes of the voting public.

The hotly-contested award was presented to Arne Silvis, General Manager, Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa at a spectacular event held at the brand new Palladium in Dubai Media City in front of over 1,000 guests.

The accolade adds to Al Maha’s impressive awards portfolio. Recently, this very private and romantic 42- suite resort beat off fierce international competition, becoming the only Dubai Luxury Hotel to be voted one of the Top 20 of Condé Nast’s Readers’ Travel Award in the M.E., Africa and Indian Ocean region. Al Maha’s leadership and contributions to conservation have also earned it the world’s premier conservation award from National Geographic and Conservation International.

Tony Williams, Senior Vice President, Resorts & Projects, Emirates Hotels & Resorts said: “We are delighted that readers of What’s On magazine have again voted for Al Maha. I believe that our guests truly appreciate the commitment to excellence, privacy and personal service that they experience at Al Maha. The beautiful location and seclusion this offers is unique and while only 45 minutes drive from Dubai city-centre, Al Maha is a completely different world.

“We in turn really appreciate the support given to us at Al Maha by our guests. Each guest at Al Maha, just by being there, directly contributes to our conservation and wildlife efforts, and for this we sincerely thank them.”

Al Maha’s individually designed suites echo this region’s heritage, each with their own unique artwork, antiquities, hand crafted furniture, rugs and carpets. Each suite is set apart to guarantee privacy and boasts a private temperature-controlled swimming pool, outdoor decks as well as unobstructed views over the surrounding dunes towards the Hajar Mountains.

To complement the setting, and in order to provide the guests with the opportunities to explore this landscape and its unique wildlife, the resort offers a wide range of activities recalling Arabia’s unique desert traditions. These include falconry, camel trekking, horse riding, guided desert wildlife safaris and dune-driving.

Flexible dining arrangements allow guests to choose between sophisticated gourmet restaurant dining, offering international and Arabic cuisine, private dinners in their suite, or picnics in the dunes at an elegantly laid table under the stars.

Al Maha is currently offering a special promotion, with all guests staying for two nights receiving a complimentary third night. All rates are on full-board basis, inclusive of all teas and coffees, and two desert-based activities per day. The offer is valid until 17th September 2009.

About Emirates:
Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa is part of Emirates Hotels & Resorts, the premier hospitality division of Emirates airline. It comprises a growing portfolio of award-winning luxury conservation-based resorts, five-star city hotel properties and spas.

As well as being the epitome of luxury resorts for travellers, all Emirates Hotels & Resorts properties provide self-contained, stand-alone conference facilities with boardroom-style and conference-style. This makes Al Maha the ideal Dubai Business Hotel solution for hosting events, meetings and conferences.

Via EPR Network

Website Highlights Fun in the Sun All Summer Long With Florida Beaches and More

Florida has many attractions and places to visit. Placesaroundflorida.com offers in-depth information on the most popular locations and events Florida has to offer, including Florida beaches, Amusement parks, towns with hotels and restaurants, etc. PlacesAroundFlorida.com helps visitors find Florida destinations before their trip begins by offering a comprehensive Florida travel guide. 

The summer time is almost here and Placesaroundflorida.com agrees that Summer time is Family time. Placesaroundflorida.com allows you to make hotel reservations at any of the destinations that are reviewed on the site. You can see competing prices and attractions that are near to your place of lodging. Florida caters to families whom have kids of all ages, grown or still young, and those locations have been examined for your informational pleasures by the writers for the website. 

Beaches of interest include those in the Panhandle nicknamed the “Emerald Coast”, the Gulf Coast Beaches such as Clearwater Beach, East Coast Beaches such as Cocoa Beach, and South Florida Beaches such as Lummus Beach (South Beach, Miami). The Writers and Webmaster of Placesaroundflorida.com have first person experiences with Florida Beaches, along with historical information on each of their locations. The Staff has taken many photos of many Florida locations and hot spots. Nature lovers can get a glimpse of what is to be expected f r o m some of the snap shots displayed on Placesaroundflorida.com. Pictures display fishing, bird watching and lounging spots around the great outdoors of Florida, particularly those on or around beaches and parks of interest. 

Orlando visitors are not excluded with Placesaroundflorida.com’s ever popular Orlando Beaches section. This area describes beaches on the east of Florida, an hour away f r o m the Orlando area. Beaches such as Cocoa Beach, Daytona Beach and the Jetty Park at Cape Canaveral are all listed and explained in detail. Their location explanations include places of interest, hotels, restaurants, fishing and surfing spots. The website helps with planning tourist day trips to nearby locations f r o m where they are currently lodging elsewhere in Florida. 

Florida is home to thirteen ship, cargo and cruise ship ports, as it has been for over a hundred years. Back in older times, Lighthouses were built to help the guidance of ships around these ports. These lighthouses are now historic sites and are often visited my crowds of people. Placesaroundflorida.com pinpoints the location of these lighthouses around the state and explains their tours and historical usage of each lighthouse. The website acts as an informational brochure that you will have access to before you visit such locations. 

The Webmaster, Kirby Collins, said “Florida’s distinctive character inspired this website”. His website has inspired hundreds of thousands to visit some of its selected Florida locations, which has in turn, created an economic stimulus for the Florida Economy, which already thrives on a top source of income: Tourism. Even if your economy is down, Placesaroundflorida.com offers suggestions of local budget places for food and rooms to stay in. 

About PlacesAroundFlorida.com: PlacesAroundFlorida.com is a useful travel guide for families, singles and adventurous adults.

Via EPR Network

Kerala Tourism – YouTube Travel Video Festival

The last date for submitting entries in the competitive category of the Travel Video Festival, organized by Kerala Tourism on YouTube would be May 31, 2009. Video films depicting the lifestyle, culture, heritage and any other subject on Kerala can be submitted for the award. Entries for the award should be send as video response to the branded channel of Kerala Tourism on YouTube (www.youtube.com/keralatourismdotorg). Details are available on the website of Kerala Tourism (www.keralatourism.org). More than hundred prizes await the winners. 

It was one year back, based on an agreement with Google that Kerala Tourism started its branded channel on YouTube (www.youtube.com/keralatourismdotorg). This has videos highlighting the unique tourism and cultural features of Kerala. Around one million people have viewed the videos in a span of one year.

The branded channel also features promotional movies and documentaries produced by Kerala Tourism. Viewers of YouTube will also be able to view the films submitted for the award.

The festival offers fabulous gifts. The first prize winner will get five nights / six days holiday package to Kerala for two persons. This would include two-way flight tickets to reach Kerala from any part of the world.

Second prize winner will get five nights / six days holiday package to Kerala for two persons. This would include two-way flight tickets to Kerala from any part of India.

Besides, there are hundred consolations prizes. The terms and conditions of the competition are available on www.keralatourism.org.

Via EPR Network

Luxury Link Announce The Addition Of Montage Beverly Hills, The Fairmont Royal Pavilion, Biltmore Hotel And Raffles Canouan To Its Portfolio

Luxury Link (www.luxurylink.com), the world’s leading luxury travel website, is proud to announce the addition of Montage Beverly Hills, The Fairmont Royal Pavilion, Biltmore Hotel and Raffles Canouan to its portfolio. These prestigious properties join Luxury Link’s esteemed collection of hotels, resorts and vacation packages from around the world.

Located in one of Southern California’s most celebrated areas, Montage Beverly Hills exudes 1920s Hollywood grandeur with all the complements of 21st century luxury. Beneath the Spanish Colonial Revival style exterior, this eight-story hotel features 201 guestrooms, including 55 suites. After a day of shopping in the boutiques of nearby Rodeo Drive, guests are invited to relax at Spa Montage, stroll through the courtyard gardens or dine in one of the hotel’s two signature restaurants. 

For those dreaming of white sandy beaches, a deep blue sea and palm trees swaying in the breeze- The Fairmont Royal Pavilion is the place to be. Situated on the west coast of Barbados, this couples-oriented resort is sure to impress. All 72 guest rooms are afforded ocean views and a variety of complimentary water sports, from snorkeling to windsurfing, are just steps away. Dining options include the poolside Café Taboras and the gourmet cuisine of The Palm Terrace.

Raffles Canouan

Nestled among 150 acres of tropical landscape, the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables is bound to enchant. This historic property, with 275 guest rooms, originally opened in the 1920s and has been hosting elite travelers ever since. Guests can choose from a range of activities including playing a round on the Donald Ross-designed golf course, dining in one of the hotel’s four restaurants or lounging by the pool in a private cabana. For those seeking a bit of adventure, the sights and sounds of lively downtown Miami and South Beach are just minutes away.

Set in the heart of the Grenadines, Raffles Canouan is surrounded by one of the world’s largest coral reefs. In addition to stunning views from each of the 88 guestrooms, the resort hosts two private beaches, a freshwater swimming pool and a range of holistic treatments at the Raffles Amrita Spa. Guests looking to test their luck can visit the European-style casino, Villa Monte Carlo. But no visit is complete without a round of golf at the world-renowned Trump International Golf Club. The view from the signature 13th hole makes this challenging course worthwhile.

“Through our auctions and ‘Buy Now’ packages, Luxury Link’s users receive premiere travel opportunities at exclusive rates,” said Luxury Link president Diane McDavitt. “Featuring these new properties on our site, demonstrates our commitment to bringing the best resorts and hotels to our luxury travelers.”

About LuxuryLink.com
Founded in 1997, LuxuryLink.com is the world’s premier online luxury travel resource. Showcasing more than 1000 extraordinary hotels, resorts, cruises, tours and villas in more than 60 countries, LuxuryLink.com provides unparalleled access to exclusive offers and insider tips for the sophisticated traveler. For more information, please visit www.luxurylink.com or call 1-888-297-3299.

Via EPR Network

Mobile Version Of Emirates.Com Has Just Been Launched

Emirates, the Dubai-based international airline, has taken the next step in online innovation by launching Mobile Emirates.com, a convenient, new facility for customers accessing the Emirates website f r o m their mobile devices.

Travellers who access Emirates.com f r o m a mobile browser (on their phone or PDA) will be automatically redirected to the mobile version of the airline’s website. The facility is compatible with more than 3000 devices and allows customers to interact with Emirates f r o m almost anywhere in the world.

Mobile subscriptions account for one of the fastest growing areas of internet usage with the increase of mobile phones, PDAs, smart phones, Blackberrys and iPhones. According to recent research f r o m Informa Nielsen mobile, there are four billion mobile phone subscriptions globally, emphasising the importance for airlines to offer online facilities for travellers on the move.

Mobile Emirates.com represents a step ahead in innovation and convenience for Emirates customers. This facility provides our customers with the flexibility to manage aspects of their journey f r o m the palm of their hand,” said Keith Longstaff, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations Worldwide.

The mobile site integrates many of the most popular features and functionality present on Emirates.com, all formatted for mobile use. Visitors to the site may utilise a mobile check in service up to 24hrs before departure, select a favourite seat or request a special meal and search for the latest Emirates special fares to over 100 destinations worldwide. Eligible passengers can also book a chauffeur and check real time status as well as view global timetables.

Those using Emirates mobile services can also learn about Emirates’ past and present, cabin features, lounges and latest news. It is even possible to view the products and services available onboard any specific Emirates flight using the innovative services by flight tool. Members of Emirates’ award-winning frequent flyer programme, Skywards, can log-in to their accounts to view their Miles balance and itineraries.

Contact details for Emirates offices worldwide are easily accessible. In the near future, Mobile Emirates.com will become available in a variety of languages and offer customers the ability to book flights on their mobile device together with managing more aspects of their booking.

About Emirates:
Emirates, the Dubai-based international airline, is one of the world’s most successful and rapidly-expanding airlines. With a focus on high quality service and industry-leading products, Emirates has received more than 400 international awards and accolades for excellence since its inception in 1985. Emirates is currently the only airline to operate non-stop flights to six continents f r o m one hub.

Via EPR Network

Honeymooners Are Not Cutting Back On Their Dream Trip, Despite The Recession, Report Shows

According to new research carried out by Hotels.com, the world’s leading hotels booking site, honeymooners are not cutting back on their dream trip, despite the recession. The survey of more than 500 brides-to-be found that 98% remain undaunted and are still planning to honeymoon after their wedding.

The survey, conducted by the hotel booking site through Ireland’s leading wedding forum site, showed that 47.3% of honeymooners believe they should still take a honeymoon, but they should only spend what they can afford as a couple. However, 1 in 4 people surveyed believe that budget should not be a factor as their honeymoon is a once in a lifetime experience.

Honeymooners

The honeymoon is considered to be an integral part of wedding celebrations with 84.4% of newlyweds taking their honeymoon immediately after their wedding and only one in ten waiting to go away at a later date. Work commitments and financial strains were cited as the main reasons for delaying a honeymoon.

Nearly two thirds (64.6%) of those surveyed agreed that more deals are now on offer to honeymooners during these recessionary times. In terms of spend, 21% of the people surveyed said they were willing to spend between €3,000 and €4,000 on their dream holiday, while 9% said they would be prepared to splash the cash right now, spending a recession denying €8,000 plus on their honeymoon.

However, over one in ten (12.6%) did admit they would be happy to take a shorter break directly after the wedding and wait until they have more money for a bigger holiday, showing a shift in attitudes is beginning to emerge amongst newlyweds and they are trying to be more sensible with their money.

Alison Couper, Director of Communications for Hotels.com, said, “It doesn’t surprise me that newlyweds are not prepared to sacrifice their honeymoon as it is such an important part of the wedding celebrations. Now is a great time to honeymoon as there are some fantastic deals available around the world with savings of up to 40% off in the current Hotels.com summer sale.”

Not surprisingly, for those planning to marry and honeymoon in the same destination, the Irish survey found that Ireland topped the list, with close to one in five respondents (18.4%) citing their home nation as the number one choice for both their wedding ceremony and honeymoon. The Caribbean is the second favourite (12%), followed by the popular European wedding and holiday spots of Italy (7.9%) and Spain (6.6%).

The survey of over 500 people was conducted by Hotels.com through www.weddingsonline.ie website and weekly newsletter in March 2009. The majority of respondents (80.4%) were aged between 26-35. Weddingsonline.ie has over 38,000 subscribers to their site.

Picture courtesy of hdmemories.com

About Hotels.com
As part of the Expedia group which operates in all major markets with dedicated staff, Hotels.com offers more than 100,000 quality hotels worldwide including a wide selection of Dublin hotelshotels in New YorkRome Hotels and hotels in London. If a customer can find the same deal for less on a prepaid hotel, Hotels.com will match it. Hotels.com benefits f r o m one of the largest hotel teams in the industry negotiating the best rates for its users, plus user-contributed reviews of its properties. Hotels.com won the Gold Award for best hotel booking site in Webuser magazine in February 2009. Travellers can book online or by contacting one of the multi-lingual call centres.

Via EPR Network

According To Hotels.Com, British Travellers Are Going Barmy For The UK’s Seaside Destinations This Year

According to leading hotel booking website, Hotels.com, British travellers are going barmy for the UK’s seaside destinations this year. The announcement comes following the Hotels.com site reporting that it has seen the number of searches for many of the country’s traditional seaside resorts more than double in recent months – showing that British travellers are eager to holiday at home this year.

newquay

The English Riviera is proving to be the most popular destination this year for British holidaymakers, with searches for towns such as Torquay and Newquay up by more than 160% compared with this same time last year. With the combination of beautiful sandy beaches and fantastic surf, the picturesque counties of Devon and Cornwall are sparking renewed interest among British travellers.

However it is not just the southwest which is being searched for, the lures of rock, fun on the pier, and strolls along the promenade also appear to have helped provide a boost to the volumes of searches for many of the other traditional British seaside destinations. Hotel.com has seen interest rocketing in destinations like Blackpool (140%), Llandudno (130%) and Brighton (50%).

Jersey, offering the excitement of a British seaside resort with a Continental influence, is also a popular choice this summer with searches up 120% on this time last year.

Alison Couper, Director of Communications at Hotels.com, said: “It is great to see renewed interest in Britain’s traditional seaside resorts. With a hot summer forecast and UK hotel prices at a record low, there has never been a better time to holiday at home and enjoy everything the UK has to offer.”

 

All figures based on searches during January – April 2009, compared with the same four month period last year.

About Hotels.com
As part of the Expedia group which operates in all major markets with dedicated staff, Hotels.com offers more than 100,000 quality hotels worldwide. This means Hotels.com can provide quality coverage for all overseas city destinations, with many Paris, Rome or New York hotels available, through to locations closer to home with a wide selection of London hotelsEdinburgh hotels and Dublin hotels.

If a customer can find the same deal for less on a prepaid hotel, Hotels.com will match it. Hotels.com benefits f r o m one of the largest hotel contracting teams in the industry negotiating the best rates for its users, plus user-contributed reviews of its properties. Travellers can book online or by contacting one of the multi-lingual call centres.

Via EPR Network

Hotels.Com, The Leading Hotel Booking Website, Has Announced An Increase To The Number Of Properties It Offers Through Its Sites, Passing 100,000 For The First Time

The extra properties which have been added to the company’s portfolio come as the business is both broadening and deepening its range. The main areas of recent expansion have seen substantial additions being made to the numbers of smaller, family-run hotels in European holiday destinations (particularly in Italy with hotels in Rome and Southern France) as Hotels.com grows beyond its already strong city-break availability.

Hotels.Com

Nigel Pocklington, Hotels.com, said: “As a business, we are focused on growing despite difficult market conditions. We will continue to gain share in those markets where we already operate and offering a wider range of properties across city break, summer and winter leisure and business markets is the bedrock of this. At the same time, we have ambitions to go into new country markets around the world and getting our product offer right, by attracting as broad a range of hotels as possible, will be key.”

There have also been significant numbers of properties added in developing markets including some of the newer Middle East destinations, Southern Asia, China, India, South America and Southern Africa. This has meant that U.S and European travellers have been able to access a wider range of hotels in these markets as leisure trips increase to further-flung destinations. The growth has also come as Hotels.com launches stand-alone, local-market websites in the Middle East, India, and other parts of Asia Pacific.

Nigel Pocklington added: “As hoteliers around the world have struggled to maintain occupancy, they have come to see Hotels.com as an excellent way to reach millions of travellers around the world. So we think that now is the time to recruit new suppliers, positioning ourselves for continued expansion in online bookings.”

As Hotels.com has added to the number of hotels which customers can choose from, it has also widened the range of tools being made available to help them make the right choice. These include the addition of TripAdvisor, hotel reviews, photographs and more detailed descriptions, which not only cover hotel features and location, but also provide ‘expert tips’ on things to do in the local area.

 

About Hotels.com
As part of the Expedia group which operates in all major markets with dedicated staff, Hotels.com offers more than 100,000 quality hotels worldwide, including hotels in New Yorkhotels in Dublin and hotels in London. 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. Travellers can book online or by contacting one of the multi-lingual call centres.

Via EPR Network

CheapHotelsInItaly.net Lets Travelers Compare Hotel Prices Across The Web

CheapHotelsInItaly.net is a new travel website that lets visitors compare prices for hotels in Italy andfind the best deals on the web. A convenient source of information on hotel prices across the country, the site allows individuals to compare over 9,000 hotels from more than 30 different hotels, online travel agents, and reservation websites.

Created to help people find the best hotel room rates for cheap, budget, discount, and luxury hotels in Italy, the website simplifies the process of searching for the best deals posted online and checking available dates.

CheapHotelsInItaly.net allows anyone to uncover the cheapest hotel deals on the Internet without the hassle of comparing prices independently. Booking is completed safely and securely through the hotel booking agent.

Another convenient feature is the ability to check prices for hotel deals found on other websites. Use the simple search tool to look for room prices and find out if any of the hotel reservation sites listed in the database offer a better deal. With over 30 hotel booking websites available to search, finding the lowest rates for hotels in Italy is an easy task. Visitors can search by location, star rating, or price.

Utilizing search technology that scours hotel websites directly and in real-time, CheapHotelsInItaly.net ensures individuals receive price and availability information that is up-to-date. Once the best deal for the chosen time period is uncovered, a direct link to the hotel reservation site allows visitors to complete booking immediately without having to input more information or search terms.

CheapHotelsInItaly.net is not a travel agent, and does not sell hotel rooms or provide reservations directly. All booking arrangements must be made on the hotel or reservation website.

For additional information on hotels in Italy, visit CheapHotelsInItaly.net.

About CheapHotelsInItaly.net: CheapHotelsInItaly.net is a specialist hotel comparison website for people searching for hotels in Italy. Use the site to check availability with over 30 hotel booking websites, discover the lowest rates online, and search through more than 9,329 hotels by location, star rating, or price. To find a cheap Spain hotel, or look for France hotel deals, visit one of CheapHotelsInItaly.net’s sister travel sites that provide accommodation information for a wide range of locations worldwide.

Via EPR Network

New Hotel Comparison Website For Cheap Australia Hotels

The new website HotelInAustralia.net allows travelers to compare Australian hotel prices quickly and easily. The premier online destination for travel comparison shopping, the site compares prices from over 3,000 Australia hotels listed by accommodation providers, online travel agents, and reservation websites.

Designed to help visitors find the lowest rates for cheap, budget, discount, and luxury Australia hotels, thewebsite does all the work of searching for the best deals as they are posted on the Internet, in real time.

HotelInAustralia.net has simplified the process of finding the cheapest hotel deals on the web, so that the average consumer doesn’t have to spend time comparing prices independently. Booking is done directly through the hotel booking agent associated with the deal selected.

In addition, the site allows individuals to check prices for hotel deals discovered on other websites. Input terms using the search tool to compare room prices and find out if any of the Australia hotels listed on the site are priced at a more reasonable rate. It’s easy to find the best deals for Australia hotels with more than 30 hotel reservation websites available to search. It’s also possible to narrow the search by location, star rating, and price.

HotelInAustralia.net makes sure travelers obtain up-to-date price and availability information, harnessing search technology that queries reservation and booking websites each time a search is inputted. When a good deal pops up, visitors are given a direct link to the hotel reservation site for convenient booking.

Note that HotelInAustralia.net does not operate as a travel agent, and does not sell travel deals or book reservations directly. All reservations are made on the booking website.

For additional information on Australia hotels, visit HotelInAustralia.net.

About HotelInAustralia.net: 

HotelInAustralia.net is a specialist hotel comparison website for people searching for Australia hotels. Use the site to check availability with over 30 hotel booking websites, discover the lowest rates online, and search through more than 3,569 hotels by location, star rating, or price. To find a cheap Thailand hotel, or look for hotels Spain, visit one of HotelInAustralia.net’s sister travel sites that provideaccommodation information for a wide range of locations worldwide. 

Via EPR Network

Tenerife Has Always Been A Great Value Holiday Destination

But Tenerife holidays have never been well known as a walker’s paradise. Or a bird watcher’s heaven. Most holidaymakers cling to the coastline frying in the sun, flying home without having even glimpsed the island’s interior. So what are they missing? First off, there’s a massive volcano. In fact the entire island is a volcano. 3700m high, Mount Teide is active but dormant, just waiting to be walked and climbed. The air up there is incredibly fresh and cool, the views are fantastic and the sheer size of the wildernesses open for exploration is breathtaking; no surprise since Tenerife is the third largest volcanic ocean island on Earth. Snow covered in winter and often in summer too, Mount Teide is a worthy opponent for any keen Tenerife holidays hiker.

Pick your way slowly along the island’s endless coastline for an authentic flavour of local life and sink into the rhythm of their days. There’s plenty of wildlife to be seen away from tourist hotspots and everything takes on a gentler, completely chilled pace.

Not so long ago alternative Tenerife holidays wouldhave been out of the question for most people. Anything beyond the standard package holiday was difficult to arrange and, because it was different, tended to cost a lot more. But holiday price comparison websites have put the power back in the consumer’s pocket.

BeatTheBrochure, the online holiday price comparison website, explain. “Online price comparison has revolutionised the holiday industry. Unusual holiday options that were once impossible to track down and organise are only a click of the mouse away.”

BeatTheBrochure’s mission is to deliver the cheapest holiday and travel options every time, by searching all the major household name travel agencies plus a raft of others in one go. “There’s no reason why people shouldn’t choose the holiday they want and tailor it to their exact needs – it’s open season!” they conclude.

Via EPR Network

British Airways Has Announced The Launch Of A Multi-Million Pound Package Of Measures To Help Small And Medium Sized British Businesses

British Airways has announced the launch of a multi-million pound package of measures to help small and medium sized British businesses beat the recession and regain their rightful altitude.

BA has teamed up with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and BritishAmerican Business (BAB) to offer 5,000 return flights worth up to £15 million to help UK small and medium enterprises (SMEs) win new business abroad.

The airline is also calling on other big businesses to throw their weight behind small British companies through a consortium to provide products, services or expertise that UKTI can offer as an additional package of help for SMEs, on top of the services already provided.

Willie Walsh, British Airways’ chief executive, said: “Small and medium businesses are the backbone of the British economy and they are hurting badly. 120 of them close every week. We are working with UKTI and BAB to give flights that will support British business as it tries to spearhead the UK’s recovery. We live in a globalised economy so business opportunities don’t always live on your doorstep. This initiative gives small businesses the chance to promote and sell their products overseas.”

“We’d love to see other British businesses pulling together in order to help the UK out of the recession. We’ve put up the flights to allow the SMEs to travel to do business and we’d be delighted if other companies would join us by offering services and skills that will bring real value and benefit.”

Minister for Trade and Investment Lord Davies of Abersoch, said: “This is a great initiative. Exporting companies are more competitive and resilient. Although the global slowdown has meant increased challenges for businesses, it has also created opportunities internationally for companies that want to expand into other markets.

“Small and medium-sized enterprises can find it hard to break into new markets on their own. It is critical we support them and UKTI’s partnership with British Airways will help our customers to look to new horizons.”

The initiative is designed to support UK SMEs relatively new to exporting or looking to expand into new markets with UKTI’s help. Independent research about UKTI’s customers found that more than half were experiencing increasing demand from abroad.

Peter Hunt, Managing Director of BritishAmerican Business, added: “Our organisation is dedicated to helping our member companies connect and build their international businesses, and we think that this initiative of British Airways will be of great help to our small and medium sized enterprises in developing their overseas businesses, primarily between Britain and the United States.”

British Airways will also announce further plans to benefit British business and travellers throughout the next six months as part of its campaign to get Britain moving again.

About British Airways:
British Airways is one of the world’s leading scheduled international passenger airlines. Our principal place of business is Heathrow, one of the world’s premier airport locations, which serves a large geographical area with comparatively high proportion of point-to-point business. Operating one of the most extensive international scheduled airline route networks, with our codeshare and franchise partners, we fly to more than 300 destinations worldwide. In 2007/08, we carried more than 33 million passengers. Our airline generates economic value by meeting the demand for business travel, by providing vital arteries for trade and investment, as well as providing leisure travel opportunities for individuals and families.

Via EPR Network

The LOK Group of Companies Opens First Marriott Hotel in West Sonoma County

LOK Group of Companies, a veteran hotel development and management service company in Sonoma County, has just completed a $2.5 million renovation on their 82 room, select service hotel, in Sebastopol, rebranding it in the process to the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott.

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott

For all the economic woes befalling the nation in 2009, the LOK Group of Companies has much to be excited about. For over the past ten years, the hotel, operating as a Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, has been the iconic “red barn” located on Hwy 116 South, just as a visitor comes into the township of Sebastopol. The hotel consistently ranked in the top 10% in guest satisfaction among Express brands nationwide. LOK Group expects to continue their successful management practices as a Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott.

LOK went through an extensive vetting process that included personal interviews with Marriott’s Vice President of Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, Stephan Stamas. Following a $2.5 million face lift, inside and out, the hotel became a member of the Marriott family of hotels on January 26. With a strong team of professionals making up the LOK Group in the areas of Human Resources, Accounting, Marketing and Sales and Operations, expectations run high to sustain quality assurance and guest satisfaction scores with the new Fairfield brand.

On the outside, the new Fairfield hotel is environmental shades of green, and on the inside the guest rooms and public spaces have been transformed by Marriott’s “Green Tea” décor into a warm contemporary updated hotel for the 21st century. All hotel rooms have a 32” LG Flat Screen HD/TV, with jack packs to connect your media player or laptop to the television. Every suite room includes two LG Flat Screen HD/TV and an iPod Audio/Clock/docking station. ATT provides two T-1 high speed internet bandwidth to support guest needs for Internet service.

“We are very proud to be a part of the Marriott family”, says Kirk Lok, CEO of LOK Group. “All through the transformation process of our hotel, Marriott has supported and encouraged us every step of the way. I know we will have a great relationship running into the future.”

LOK Group of Companies, Inc. is a hotel development and management company and long time Sonoma County business owner since 1977. Holdings include the Quality Inn in Petaluma and the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott in Sebastopol. Lok Group offers 30 years of management and hotel development experience. For more information visit at www.thelokgroup.com and www.winecountryfi.com.

Via EPR Network