HolidayCity.com Runs with Champions at Singapore Marathon

The best of the best endurance runners in the world would make a beeline for Singapore come 6 December 2009 to participate in the world-class Singapore Marathon.

The event, held on the first Sunday of the month, would see an astounding 50,000 runners hitting the pavement for a chance to grab a total of the US$193,900 prize purse. Participants come from as far as Kenya and Tanzania, the United States, China, Japan, the United Kingdom and many other European and the neighbouring countries. Last year’s event attracted 2700 runners from over 60 countries, a testament to its international reputation. It was certainly a great boost for the Singapore hotels that would have seen good room demand.

Another great turnout is on the card with five categories being offered that ranges from distances of 750m up to 42.195km. They include the Full Marathon (42km), the Half Marathon (21km); the 10km – Men’s and Women’s, 10km Team and the 10km Wheelchair Race. Children are not forgotten with the Kids Dash categories that cater to those 13 years of age and below. Team spirit is also celebrated with the Team categories – Men’s and Women’s, which require each team of 4 – 6 runners to complete a 10km route. Runners can expect a scenic course that is both flat and shaded, taking them from the Esplanade Bridge, passing by some of Singapore’s historical sites, the charming East Coast coastal route, the towering skyscrapers of the Business District of Shenton Way to the finishing line at Padang. The route is especially great for supporters’ participation with many strategic places to watch and cheer their favourite runners.

Lee Lai Huat, CEO, HolidayCity.com, remarked, “Last year’s event was full of excitement and drama for both the runners and spectators alike. The presence of Luke Kibet, the reigning world champion who went on to win and set a new full marathon course record was definitely one of the highlights. Who can forget the 160,000 strong supporters who turned out to cheer the runners?” He further said, “There’s no doubt that the Singapore Marathon would continue to attract world-class athletes and thousands of running enthusiasts to this small island nation. And we at HolidayCity.com are happy to bring fantastic savings on room rates and attractive deals for Singapore accommodation to ensure a great time at the marathon for both runners and visitors.”

HolidayCity.com offers attractive rates at the following hotels and many others:

Fragrance Hotel Ruby Singapore (2 star)
Starting rate SGD53

Broadway Hotel Singapore (2 star)
Starting rate SGD90

Hotel Ibis Singapore on Bencoolen (3 star)
Starting rate SGD98

Golden Landmark Hotel Singapore (4 star)
Starting rate SGD140

Parkroyal on Kitchener Road Singapore (4 star)
Starting rate SGD110

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Mercury Direct Launch New Site

Mercury Direct, the holiday specialist, has announced the launch of a new, more user friendly website that will allow customers to see more information and book a wider range of holidays than ever before.

Mercury Direct Launch New Site

The redesigned website offers customers increased accessibility and a more user friendly layout that allows them to book holidays faster and with greater ease. The site also includes more interactive Web 2.0 content, including virtual tours, to enable customers to make a more informed decision on their proposed holiday. Greater access to Mercury Direct’s special holiday deals, which include offers like buy one week and get another free and free room upgrades, are also part of the new site. The site will also feature an upgraded security certificate, namely a Verisign Extended Validation SSL Certificate which helps to diminish the effectiveness of phishing attacks. When users go to the new Mercury Direct site while using a high security browser, the address bar on the site will turn green, letting the visitor know that the site they are on is secure.

Martin Bugeja, Managing Director of Mercury Direct, said: “We hope that with the launch of our redesigned website our customers will find greater access to our holidays. With the ability to find information on all aspects of their trip customers will be able to comfortably book holidays with ease at greater speed and lower prices.”

Mercury Direct’s new website will also soon feature details of the latest destinations on offer from the holiday provider, which will include diverse locations from around the world like the Greek islands, Cuba and Thailand.

Mercury Direct is a leading provider of package holidays in the UK to holiday destinations within Europe (Gozo and Malta holidays, Cyprus, Madeira, the Algarve, Tenerife and Spain) as well as Worldwide (Sri Lanka, Kerala, Bali, Mauritius, and Australia). Fully bonded to the ABTA (the Travel Association) and ATOL (Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing), Mercury Direct has a wide range of destinations and special offers including three weeks for the price of two and no single supplement deals.

About Mercury Direct
Established in September 1980, Mercury Direct has grown from small beginnings to become one of the leading specialists to Malta, Cyprus, Sri Lanka and Australia. Mercury Direct also offer the same quality and choice of holidays to Madeira, the Algarve, Mauritius, Bali and other holiday destinations.

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UK Consumers Continue their Love Affair with Brochures

Despite the massive growth in sales of holidays via the Internet in the past few years, it seems that UK consumers are still keen on researching their next holiday using a traditional brochure.

Whilst it’s possible to book a holiday via the internet, over the counter in a Travel Agency or by post – it appears that people still love to flick through the brochure and then follow it up with a chat on the phone!

According to research carried out by one of the UK’s leading tour operators, Haven Holidays, demand for traditional brochures is growing despite the massive rise in the number of people who choose to complete their booking online. In fact, the number of brochure requests being received is reaching record numbers!

“Even people who have already booked their Easter holidays via our website ask for our literature to be sent to them as well”. Whilst people like the ease and convenience of booking on-line and take advantage of extensive multimedia on websites including videos and virtual tours, it seems that many families still enjoy the convenience of browsing through a brochure as they plan their holidays.

“People still love to browse through a brochure,” say Haven Holidays. Despite the rise in on-line bookings it seems more people than ever are requesting caravan holidays brochures. “This year we had 25% more brochure requests from new customers than we received the previous year.” Haven’s new 2010 UK Holidays brochure was released during the first week of November and the new version of the website went live to the public on November 6th. Both feature 35 family holiday parks around the UK. Family spring breaks at a wide choice of parks start at as little as £99 for a family of four in Superior accommodation.

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Rezidor Restaurant Awarded Two Stars From Michelin For The Third Consecutive Year

The Rezidor Hotel Group owned Regent Berlin’s Fischers Fritz restaurant, has been awarded two stars by Michelin, the French guide to fine dining, for the third consecutive year.

Chef de Cuisine, Christian Lohse, has succeeded in maintaining his crown as Berlin’s only two Michelin-starred Chef, with his classic French cuisine with a contemporary twist. In fall 2007, Lohse’s dedication to his craft and relentless pursuit of perfection placed him firmly at the forefront of Berlin’s culinary world, when he became the first Berlin based chef in 13 years, to merit two Michelin stars.

“I am delighted to be celebrating this most sought after culinary honour, with Christian Lohse and his team”, said Stefan Athmann, General Manager at The Regent Berlin. “To receive two stars from Michelin is an impressive achievement, to retain them for the third succeeding year, is a great motivation for us all to continue to strive even further in the pursuit of excellence.”

By retaining the two Michelin stars for the third time, Christian Lohse again confirms his position as one of the most celebrated chefs in Germany and follows up on his previous awards. Prior to his engagement at The Regent Berlin he worked at such renowned places like three-starred “L’Espérance” in Vezelay, the “Guy Savoy” in Paris and “The Dorchester” in London, where he became the personal chef to the Sultan of Brunei.

The Fischers Fritz’s menu is an artistic and modern approach to French-inspired cuisine, featuring exquisite fish and seafood delicacies. Subtle yet sophisticated, the dishes complement the restaurant’s atmosphere of balance and class. Simple creations distinguished by the high quality of fresh produce have made The Regent Berlin’s gourmet restaurant a place of pilgrimage for gourmets.

Lohse sees the award as a great honour as well as a motivating reward: “I am extremely proud of the great team effort of everyone involved in sustaining two Michelin Stars for the third time in a row. It demonstrates the commitment and dedication of the team’s exacting standards. Our challenge in gourmet gastronomy is to maintain a high-level of consistency day by day.”

About The Rezidor Hotel Group
The Rezidor Hotel Group is one of the fastest growing hotel companies in the world. The group features a portfolio of more than 380 luxury hotels either operation or under development with 81,700 rooms in almost 60 countries including UK based luxury hotels in London, Manchester and Edinburgh, as well as luxury hotels in Dublin and luxury hotels in Paris.

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Popular and Exciting Locations and Attractions Throughout the State of Florida

Escape the cold with the help of PlacesAroundFlorida.com and retreat to our featured cities, such as the busy and attraction filled Orlando, the warm

sandy beaches of Ft. Myers and the tropical islands of the Florida Keys. With so many things to do in Florida, visitors are informed about some of the more key locations that can help keep them busy and on the move or just relax and bathe in the Florida Sunshine.

Orlando, Florida is a place just for that. PlacesAroundFlorida.com seemingly gives you a tour of the city f r o m a first person point of view. It’s writers describe things f r o m it’s history to it’s attractions, places to eat and to stay the night. If you like being busy, the Orlando Attractions like Disney World and Universal Studios, as well as bar-hopping places like and CityWalk and Downtown Disney offer rides, entertainment and other theme park favorites. In winter the weather in Florida rarely drops below unacceptable levels, and is usually sunny and warm which keeps you outside and not stuck in-doors.

If the great outdoors is more your type of pleasure, be sure to visit Fort Myers; a beachy location featuring trails to hike, fish to be caught, water to be swam in, or perhaps a boating experience. PlacesAroundFlorida.com allows easy location of any of your favorite hobbies, from first hand experiences to reviews on restaurants; the descriptions alone will make you wish you were there. Nearby Sanibel Island is known worldwide as one of the best shelling beaches. Fort Myers is complete with it’s “Old Florida” charm that warms you to the core. Be sure to visit the Edison Museum on your trip to the beaches of paradise.

Speaking of Paradise, PlacesAroundFlorida.com also features the famous Florida Keys, designed with you in mind to escape your troubles and the downsides of winter. Featured destinations in the Florida Keys include Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pine Key and ofcourse Key West. Warm air and cool breezes make these islands on the southern-most tip of the United States the ideal place to hunker-down for the winter, but once you get there, you’ll find yourself on the beaches or in the crystal blue water. You won’t need a heated pool, as the Keys offer the warmest waters around.

So many have discovered Florida’s unique culture, attractions, and sunny beaches every year, especially during the winter season. PlacesAroundFlorida.com urges you to experience Florida in it’s BEST time of the year, when all other locations around the country are snowbound. You won’t be disappointed when you read about one of these three or many other locations described in-depth at Placesaroundflorida.com, where you too will feel all warm-n-fuzzy thinking about your winter retreat.

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

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British Airways Increases Flights To Grenada

British Airways has doubled the frequency of its flights to Grenada from one to two services a week with the launch of the new summer schedule on March 28, 2010. The airline currently operates a twice weekly service during its winter schedule but just one weekly flight during the lower season summer months. The new additional flights offer customers further flexibility and choice throughout the whole year.

Grenada holidays have become immensely popular again with many of the hotels newly refurbished following the island’s devastation by hurricane Ivan in 2004. Stunning beaches, rolling mountains, covered with fragrant spice trees and rare tropical flowers give Grenada its name – Spice Isle. ‘Spice up your life’ is also the motto of this gem of a
Caribbean island, pulling in visitors from all over the world.

The twice weekly Grenada flights will be operated by Boeing 777 aircraft with a three-class configuration: World Traveller, World Traveller Plus and Club World. Flights operate via Antigua during the winter schedule, departing London Gatwick Tuesdays and Fridays and via Barbados during the new summer schedule, departing Tuesdays and Sundays.

In combination with the flights, British Airways has a wide range of hotels in Grenada available, offering room only, to all-inclusive, rates, providing the flexibility valued by families and couples alike, whether they are looking for fun beach holidays or romantic breaks in the Caribbean.

The range of hotels in Grenada available through British Airways includes a collection of 3* accommodation up to the finest hand picked 5* hotels for luxury holidays. The 4* LaSource on the beautiful Pink Gin beach allows the rediscovery of one’s inner energy while the secluded 4* Calabash with only 30 suites to stay in, is also a truly delightful treat. The contemporary, boutique 5* Mount Cinnamon is a true luxury hotel and the perfect choice for tranquillity in stunning surroundings.

Tickets and holidays are on sale now through ba.com/grenada and direct through BA reservations on 0844 493 0758.

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Budget Travel with GoBahama.com

GoBahama.com is a premiere travel agency specializing in all-inclusive packages to the Bahamas. The company’s reservation team has more than 75 years experience booking travel to the Bahamas. Located just outside metro Atlanta since 1999, the company has also had an office in Tennessee for more than twenty years. The company also has nurtured relations with key hotels and resorts in the Bahamas and on Grand Bahamas Island specifically — thus ensuring the best prices, value and customer service for its customers.

GoBahama.com’s president, Rob Lindner, is a long-time Bahamas traveler himself and is extremely passionate about the travel destination. He has traveled to the Caribbean location extensively for many years.

“The Bahamas offers everything a traveler could dream of.” says Lindner. “It has convenience, great proximity to the U.S. and Canada, and has great value, as well. The beaches are pristine and the waters are crystal clear. Also the Bahamas has the world’s second largest coral reef.”

A Focus on Customer Service

GoBahama.com is world of difference from online travel agencies. The service is tailored specifically to travelers who are fed up with online travel. “We attempt to provide the very best ‘personal experience’ possible, “says Lindner.

GoBahama.com, in fact, is committed to, and “connected” to the customer from the time their vacation begins until it ends. Customers are actually given an actual travel agent’s name, phone number and email address. They are able to stay in contact with the agent throughout the trip. Agents even provide routine weather alerts — a critical service for the often erratic weather of the Caribbean. A special “after hours” service will have an agent contact a customer within ten minutes of that customer’s request.

GoBahama.com is the recipient of the A+ rating from the Georgia Better Business Bureau. The company, in fact, has never had one unresolved complaint against it — unheard of in the travel industry. “If a customer does have a problem while traveling, they can call our 24-hour emergency service,” says Lindner. “The travel agent on call can help with any situation. This feature gives our customers great peace of mind while traveling away from home.”

GoBahama.com’s all- inclusive packages include transportation (flight or cruise), resort accommodations, unlimited meals, beverages (including alcohol) activities, shows and all taxes and gratuities. The most popular packages are the three-night and four-night deals. The package is a great deal, for example, with the three-night package, with cruise service, costing only $475.00.

GoBahama.com can plan and book trips for singles, couples and families. The company also works with businesses in scheduling employee conferences as well as client incentive programs. Airline flights can be arranged from most U.S. and Canadian cities. A cruise transport service is also offered from Ft.. Lauderdale, FL. The five-hour cruise, which takes the place of a flight to Grand Bahamas Island, includes meals and entertainment. It is also a less expensive than flying to the island.

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HolidayCity.com Takes to the Skies and Seas at LIMA 2009

Another exciting lineup and a large turnout is expected at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition from 1 – 5 December 2009. The 10th edition of LIMA 2009 promises to be an exceptional podium for manufacturers from the aerospace, maritime and related industries to present their latest technology and products to international buyers.

Strongly supported by the Government of Malaysia, the event attracts thousands of trade visitors such as government officials, military representatives and industry professionals who converge on the island of Langkawi since its inception nearly 20 years ago. Those who make last minute room bookings for Langkawi hotels may be left disappointed with reservations being made months in advance.

Exhibitors at LIMA 2009 would focus on getting their fair share of presenting their wares and products to key decision makers from Asia Pacific countries that are charting exceptional growth in both the commercial aviation and defense sectors. Each year, million dollars business deals would be clinched in addition to the signing of memorandum of understanding. An astounding USD3.9 billion in transactions was recorded in 2007 from numerous business deals, MOUs and letter of offer, and others. This year, over 450 exhibitors are expected to participate with over 80 aircrafts and 70 warships and vessels in attendance. The popularity of LIMA 2009 attracted the participation of 24 countries worldwide and over 40,000 trade visitors are expected to throng the expansive Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre.

Lee Lai Huat, CEO, HolidayCity.com, remarked, “Although LIMA 2009 is mainly catered to the commercial and defense markets, it does not mean that it is not popular with the ordinary folks. The last day of the event is open to the public and events such as aerial and static aircraft display would be held to entertain them.” He further remarked, “The otherwise quiet and peaceful island of Langkawi would suddenly come alive with excitement and festivity. HolidayCity.com is happy to join in the celebration by providing great savings and fantastic room rates for Langkawi accommodation to ensure everybody gets the chance to experience LIMA 2009.”

HolidayCity.com offers attractive rates at the following hotels and many others:

Villa Molek Langkawi (3 star)
Starting rate MYR 575.00

Bella Vista Hotel Langkawi (3 star)
Starting rate MYR 404.00

Holiday Villa Beach Resort & Spa Langkawi (4 star)
Starting rate MYR 480.00

Four Seasons Resort Langkawi (5 star)
Starting rate USD 628.89

Tanjung Rhu Resort Langkawi (5 star)
Starting rate MYR 1,126.00

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Kuoni Launches New 2010 World Class Europe And Morocco Brochure

Travel specialist Kuoni has launched its new World Class Europe and Morocco 2010 brochure.

The brochure, which is being made available through Kuoni’s website and f r o m high street stores and travel agents across the country, includes a selection of luxury holidays to 16 countries f r o m as far north as Russia to the Mediterranean islands of Madeira, Malta, Cyprus, Greece, Ibiza and Croatia, and everywhere in between.

Specialising in luxury holidays, the 2010 World Class Europe and Morocco brochure includes 23 newly introduced resorts and hotels across eight countries, including Verona and Lake Garda in Italy, Ibiza and Casares in Spain, St Laurent de Cabrereisse in the French Languedoc region, and the Istrian resorts of Rovinj and Savudrija in Croatia to meet increased interest in this area.

Other highlights include more family-friendly, luxury resorts with facilities to occupy the little ones, in the Algarve, Cyprus, Tenerife, France and Croatia. Also, World Class experiences have been added for the first time.

The new brochure also includes flights on scheduled, low cost carriers and private jets as well as eco-friendly hotels and Michelin-star restaurants and chefs at hotels like the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo, the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris, the Hotel Arts in Barcelona, and the Palazzo Sasso in Ravello, Italy.

The brochure features 40 tours and one-off experiences including; performances at the world-famous La Scala Opera House in Milan, private wine tasting sessions in Madrid, flying in a private plane or helicopter over the French Riviera and chartering a private yacht in Croatia.

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Kuoni Launches Its New Italy Brochure For 2010

Travel specialist Kuoni has launched the sixth edition of its Italy brochure. The 2010 brochure which is available from Kuoni’s website, high street stores and travel agents across the country, includes over 90 new hotels and 11 new destinations.

“Our new Italy brochure, only the 6th edition, will be sharing a space with top Italian specialists who have been around for over 30 years,” boasts Angelo D’Avino, product manager at Kuoni. “It’s spot on for those young lifestyle trendies wishing to stay at the newest and most fashionable hotels in Italy.”

This specialist Italy holidays brochure features over 90 new hotels, most of which are not known in the UK market. They include an old monastery above Amalfi, the historic Sorrento Palazzo, Hotel Villa Cimbrone in Ravello for classical music lovers, the Tuscan medieval estate of Borgo la Bagnaia, the eco-friendly Virgilius Hotel in the Tyrolean Mountains and the lavish Lefay Resort & Spa on Lake Garda.

There are eleven new destinations featured this year, from Como Town for the young and trendy, through to elegant Piedmont and Lake Trasimeno, the volcanic lake of Italy. The brochure also features a resort that is exclusive to Kuoni, the planet-friendly Nova Yardinia resort, which includes the Alborea Eco-Lodge and Kalidria Grand Hotel stretched along the Ionian coast.

The Kuoni Italy 2010 brochure also includes seven new excursions and tours, including fly drives in Sicily, Puglia, Sardinia and Tuscany, and the Best of the Neapolitan Riviera. There is also an array of Italian experiences to get the most out of any holiday in Italy: in Tuscany, the Lakes, across the cities and Campania, and spanning cooking, art, history, wine, theatre, opera, shopping, trekking, festivals, architecture and sailing.

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Villa Plus Unveils Fresh New Rebrand

Villa Plus, the independent, direct-sell villa specialist, has rebranded itself with a fresh, modern look, demonstrated by a vibrant and uplifting new colourful logo.

Villa Plus Unveils Fresh New Rebrand

As part of the re-brand, Villa Plus will also be adopting a new tag line; ‘Villa holidays with a difference’, which reinforces the fact that the company’s villas come with many extras as standard and are among the best equipped rental villas in Europe. An impressive 98% of villas are air conditioned and all have their own private swimming pool, many of which are heated. Other additional benefits include sun beds, BBQ’s, table tennis tables, pool tables, Playstation 2s, satellite TV (many with BBC and ITV), as well as the added security of an alarm system. All villas include maid and linen service and, space permitting, each villa is equipped with a washing machine and dishwasher.

Simon Linford, Sales and Marketing Manager at Villa Plus said: “Having been about for a while, we’ve decided it’s time to better reflect the fabulous product and service we sell. Our new brand is characterised by a modern logo of a friendly persona. Also, to illustrate the extra value we give the customer, we’ve come up with the tag line ‘villa holidays with a difference’.

“Yet this doesn’t mean we’ve been taken over by the big boys,” Linford continued. “On the contrary, Villa Plus remains an independent direct sell tour operator owned and managed by its founders. We have over 700 exclusively contracted villas across nine destinations in Europe and we select the very best villas in the very best locations. All our villas have their very own private pools and are amongst the best equipped in the market.”

Villa Plus has been providing quality villa holidays for 23 years and was the pioneer in improving the standard of European villa holidays. Started f r o m the bedroom of founder Nick Cooper, the company has to date booked over 300,000 customers and become the UK’s second largest villa tour operator. With a culture of providing strong customer service, Villa Plus has built up an enviable reputation in the business and a well deserved customer loyalty which is unrivalled.

As the company rolls out its fresh, new image, Villa Plus looks forward to the future and continuing to raise the standards of villa holidays for customers old and new.

About Villa Plus:
VillaPlus.com is an independent tour operator that has been providing villa holidays for 23 years to the best locations in Europe, providing holiday villas to rent in Cyprus, the Algarve, Costa del Sol, Mallorca, Menorca, Corfu, Costa Blanca, Kefalonia and Villas in Lanzarote.

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Hotels.com Makes Dublin Unrecognisable To A Third Of Irish People

New research from Hotels.com has shown that one in three Irish people fail to recognise their own capital city landscape without its iconic Ha’penny Bridge. An incredible 32% of Irish people were stumped by an image of their capital city when the memorable bridge was airbrushed out of the picture. While 68% weren’t fooled, 28% confused the image of Dublin with Amsterdam.

UK neighbours also struggled to recognise Dublin city’s landscape when asked to identify it without the Ha’penny Bridge. 75% of those surveyed in the UK thought Dublin was Amsterdam in the photo, with only 22% recognising the city without the landmark.

The landmark quiz also revealed that the Irish were quicker to recognise other cities, including London (88%), Paris (87%) and Sydney (76%) before their own home town, even when the key landmarks (Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower and the Opera House) in these cities were omitted from the view.

Hotels.com polled more than 10,000 travellers across the globe, to see just how many cities they recognised after a key landmark had been removed.

Nearly two thirds (63%) of Irish people have travelled to a city just to see an iconic landmark, according to the findings. Of the world’s most famous landmarks, the overall favourites were the Eiffel Tower in Paris (15%), while one in ten chose New York’s Empire State Building (10%) and San Francisco’s Golden Bridge (10%). These landmarks were followed in popularity by the Taj Mahal in India and The Vatican in Rome.

Despite the rise in the UK of the mini break, the research showed that it’s our neighbouring European cities that we know the least. Less than half (48%) of Irish travellers recognised Barcelona without Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia; 38% spotted Pisa without its Leaning Tower, and just 36% recognised Berlin without the Berlin TV Tower.

Ireland fared better when looking across the water to the UK however, with a greater number of Irish people recognising the London skyline (89%) without Big Ben than the Brits themselves. Only 83% of British people surveyed recognised their own capital without the iconic clock.

When it comes to long haul destinations, iconic landmarks seem to resonate well in the visual memory. The Hotels.com research showed that over three quarters of all Irish (76%) recognised Sydney without the Opera House and similarly Rio was identified correctly by 81% of travellers even after the Christ the Redeemer statue had been removed.

Alison Couper, Communications Director for Hotels.com, said: “It’s interesting to see just how important a city’s iconic landmark is when it comes to recognising the destination. This quirky survey shows that it is the cities which have a famous and world renowned landmark, such as the Sydney Opera House or the Eiffel Tower that tend to resonate more in our minds.”

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British Airways Makes Travel To Shanghai More Convenient

British Airways is adding an additional flight to Shanghai this December, taking the number of services from five to six flights a week as of December 4, 2009. The decision has been taken due to increased customer demand on the popular route over the past year.

BA’s regional general manager Far East, Kevin McQuillan, said: “We need to meet the needs of our customers, and make travel as comfortable and convenient as possible for them. That’s the reason we are adding the new flight to Shanghai.”

Shanghai is a thriving metropolis boasting gleaming skyscrapers, tree-lined avenues, colonial restaurants and trendy bars. As China’s largest city and often regarded as the centre of finance and trade in mainland China, Shanghai was an obvious destination for BA to expand its service by increasing the number flights.

British Airways also offers a range of hotels in Shanghai, from 3* budget hotels for the price-conscious through sophisticated 4* hotels like the Rendezvous Merry which is conveniently located in heart of the commercial district Shanghai, to 5* resorts like The PuLi Hotel and Spa or the Pudong Shangri-La. The PuLi Hotel and Spa is an Urban Resort Concept and a member of the Leading Hotels of the World. As one of the world’s 500 best hotels (Travel + Leisure 2009), the prestigious 5* Pudong Shangri-La with its breathtaking views of the legendary riverfront, the Bund is the perfect choice for a once in a lifetime luxury holiday in Shanghai.

All hotels offer superb service and are ideal for business and leisure travellers alike, in great city locations. To mark the launch of the new flight, British Airways has reduced prices at all hotels in Shanghai until the end of the year.

Tickets and hotels are on sale through ba.com/shanghai and direct through BA reservations on 0844 493 0758.

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The Rezidor Hotel Group Honoured For Profound Growth And Expansion In Africa

The Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the world’s fastest growing hotel companies, has been honoured for its ambitious business development across the African continent at the Hospitality Investment Conference Africa (HICA) in Sandton Sun, Gauteng, South Africa, on 4-6 November.

Andrew McLachlan, the group’s Vice President Business Development for Africa & the Indian Ocean Islands, was given the prestigious ‘Mover & Shaker’ award. The HICA prize is awarded to an individual who through their skills, ingenuity and energy has already had an extraordinary impact in the industry, and recognises his outstanding leadership role and contribution to hospitality investment in Africa.

Between January 2007 and March 2009 McLachlan tripled Rezidor’s portfolio from eight hotels (open or under development) in five African countries to 21 Hotels in Africa (open or under development) across 13 sub-Saharan African countries. Over this period the Rezidor portfolio expanded with properties in nations such as Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Mozambique, Zambia and South Africa under McLachlan’s headship.

The Hospitality Investment Conference Africa, is an annual event on the local and international hospitality and investment calendar. This year’s event was hosted by the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), in association with the conference’s founding partners and the Department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism of South Africa.

The event proved to be a big success and was attended by the South African Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk. Mmatsatsi Marobe, CEO Tourism Business Council of South Africa, stated on the HICA website, “His attendance serves as confirmation of his commitment to promoting investment opportunities for South Africa and the continent as a whole. The department’s continued support for the conference, as well as the launch of the South African Tourism Investment Portfolio for 2009 at HICA serves as further confirmation”.

About The Rezidor Hotel Group
The Rezidor Hotel Group is one of the fastest growing hotel companies in the world. The group features a portfolio of more than 380 luxury hotels in operation and under development with 81,700 rooms in almost 60 countries including luxury hotels in London, Manchester and Edinburgh.

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HolidayCity.com Sails Down the River at Singapore River Regatta

The normally peaceful and serene ambiance of the Singapore River would be replaced with the grunts and groans of both men and women in sleek dragon boats as they race to the finishing line during the 27th Singapore River Regatta from 21 – 22 November 2009. Participants would be required to complete a short dash of 300 meters between the Elgin Bridge and Cavenagh Bridge. Thousands of spectators are expected to line the riverbanks to watch their favourite teams battle it. With visitors from the neighbouring countries expected to join the festivity, Singapore hotels could certainly look forward to a roaring business.

Participation in the 27th Singapore River Regatta is via 10- and 20-crew teams. This year, several categories are offered for each team type such as the National Championship, Tertiary, Public Service and Corporate. Up to 100 dragon boat teams are expected to participate in the regatta with the majority coming from private clubs in Singapore. Amateur paddlers would come face to face with seasoned racers, ensuring an exciting and entertaining time throughout the 2-day event. Organized by the Singapore Dragon Boat Association in partnership with the People’s Association and the Civil Service Club, Singapore River Regatta certainly not for the faint-hearted as it can be particularly challenging both physically and mentally.

Lee Lai Huat, CEO, HolidayCity.com, remarked, ‘The Singapore River Regatta is not-to-be-missed especially by those who like speed. It’s quite amazing to see participants in colourful uniforms paddle with all their strength all the way to the end.’ He further said, ‘The rhythmic beating of the drums is quite mesmerizing and further adds to the air of excitement and festivity. With thousands of spectators coming from near and far, HolidayCity.com is pleased to offer best deals and discounts for Singapore accommodation. After all, they shouldn’t be worrying about where to stay and instead focus on getting the best spots to cheer their teams to victory.’

HolidayCity.com offers attractive rates at the following hotels and many others:

Broadway Hotel Singapore (2 star)
Starting rate SGD90

Albert Court Hotel Singapore (3 star)
Starting rate SGD120

Victoria Hotel Singapore (3 star)
Starting rate SGD111

The Elizabeth Hotel Singapore (4 star)
Starting rate SGD180

Orchard Parade Hotel Singapore (4 star)
Starting rate SGD210

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Best Western Castle Green Hotel Acknowledged in North West Tourism Awards

The Best Western Castle Green Hotel near Kendal, in Cumbria was highly commended in the most prestigious awards for hotels in the North West.

The hotel was runner up in the large hotel of the year category in the North West Tourism Awards which were held in Blackpool.

The only independent hotel in the shortlist, the Best Western Castle Green Hotel, one of a number of hotels in Kendal, was up against stiff competition from across the region. The Lowry in Manchester won the award, which was the only hotel in the category with a five star rating.

After winning the large hotel of the year category in the Cumbrian Tourism Awards in May 2009, the Best Western Castle Green was automatically short-listed for the awards covering the whole region, including thehotels in Manchester, Merseyside and Lancashire category winners.

The highly commended status means that the hotel passed a mystery shopper visit with flying colours. The hotel also had to show excellence in the areas of – customer care, investment in training and staff development, accessibility and innovative marketing.

Tim Wade, Best Western said; “We are delighted that the Best Western Castle Green Hotel has received such a prestigious accolade at the North West Tourism Awards. As an independent hotel group we are always striving to not only maintain but exceed our internationally renowned high standards of quality and service. So, it is fantastic to see how well this hotel has done to achieve such excellent recognition. We hope that next year the hotel will have a repeat success and maybe secure the top award.”

The 2009 Northwest Tourism Awards were held at Blackpool Tower on September 28. The event was hosted by BBC presenter Ranvir Singh and organised by the Northwest Regional Development Agency.

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British Airways Increases Flights To St Kitts And Nevis

British Airways is increasing the frequency of its flights to St Kitts and Nevis from March 2010 from one to two services a week due to ever increasing demand on the route since its launch in 2009.

British Airways Increases Flights To St Kitts And Nevis

From March the airline will commence flying to the popular Caribbean holiday island twice a week, departing from London Gatwick on Saturdays and Tuesdays.

Holidays in St Kitts and Nevis have long been a secret favourite with the British public, with many Brits owning second homes on the islands allowing them to sunbathe on the pristine sandy beaches or swim and dive in the sleepy lagoons, while adventure seekers go exploring the 17th-century Brimstone Hill fortress or enjoy a wildlife-rich rainforest safari.

The twice weekly St Kitts flights and Nevis flights will be operated by Boeing 777 aircraft with a three-class configuration: World Traveller, World Traveller Plus and Club World.

This will be great news for anyone looking for the tranquillity which the enchanting island of Nevis known as ‘Queen of the Caribees’ provides. Eco-friendly Nevis hosted the first geothermal conference in the Caribbean in June 2009 and is leading the way with its renowned Green Energy Programme. The island aims to be powered 100% self sufficiently with renewable geothermal energy and plans to sell its excess electricity to neighbouring islands such as St Kitts.

British Airways have a number of superb St Kitts and Nevis Hotels – all famed for stunning natural beauty, enabling guests to take in some of the fascinating local culture.

The range of hotels in St Kitts available through British Airways includes a collection of 3* to 5* hand picked hotels for luxury holidays. The 4* Ottleys Plantation Inn provides warm family hospitality and serenely beautiful, unspoiled landscape whereas the 3*+ Royal St Kitts is a truly affordable all-inclusive Caribbean gem. For luxury, guests can spoil themselves at the 5* St Kitts Marriott Resort, overlooking the emerald green Atlantic Ocean. For travellers visiting the ‘Queen of the Caribees’, there is 30 acres of privacy and freedom on the Nevis’ beachfront at the 4* Nisbet Plantation Beach Club. Boat transfers between St Kitts and Nevis are included in the hotel price.

Tickets and holidays are on sale now through ba.com/stkitts and direct through BA reservations on 0844 493 0758.

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Family Forest Fun for Peter Andre at Center Parcs

On 16th October, Center Parcs welcomed Peter Andre and his family to Elveden Forest, Suffolk to enjoy a short break with his family at the forest retreat. We asked him about his experience at Elveden Forest to see if it lived up to his expectations.

Family Forest Fun for Peter Andre at Center Parcs

Have you ever been to Center Parcs before this visit?

No, this was my first time to Center Parcs. I loved every minute of it, with so much for families to do.

Did you enjoy your weekend break at Center Parcs?

It was amazing, there was so much choice in the way of activities. You could never get bored and whatever the weather, there is always lots to do as a family.

Were there any activities you particularly enjoyed?

We loved the bikes. Junior had his own little bike, and Princess was in a little buggy on the back of mine. My brother Mike and I had such a laugh with the kids cycling through the forest.

What did your children enjoy most during your break?

I think the children enjoyed the ‘messy play’ the most. They were both covered in paint and spaghetti by the end of it!

Did you like your accommodation?

The accommodation was perfect for us. We were very comfortable there with loads of room and we had a pool table – so what more could you ask for? It was great space for entertaining in – we had the whole team in the lodge whilst we were filming. My manager Claire cooked dinner for us in there as well – which was great.

Would you bring your family back to Center Parcs?

Definitely, hopefully soon!

During their stay, Peter Andre and his family enjoyed an evening meal at Center Parcs’ American themed diner, Hucks, lunch at the Pancake House and afternoon meal at Foresters Inn.

After exploring the forest on bikes, Peter, Princess and Junior took part in the Messy Play and Lets Make It activities at the Time Out Club. Peter also used the gym facilities and had a relaxing massage at the Aqua Sana Spa

To take a look at what you and your family could do on a Center Parcs’ short break visit: www.centerparcs.co.uk.

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Hostels on HostelBookers Offer Christmas Presents, Free Meals and Parties to Christmas Shoppers

HostelBookers are offering customers the ultimate Christmas gift – cheap Christmas holidays in the most magical cities in Europe.

The cities of London, Berlin and Prague are all perfect for a bargain city break this winter. Home to some of the best Christmas markets in Europe , travellers can get their shopping done in style and soak up the authentic atmosphere of a traditional holiday.

Berlin and Prague’s markets have hundreds of stalls selling traditional crafts and delicious treats like warm mulled wine and roasted chestnuts. London’s Shopper’s Markets, the ‘Winter Wonderland’ Ice Rink in Hyde Park and famous lights on Oxford Street also bring plenty of festive spirit.

Going away at Christmas may seem expensive, but hostels offer an affordable alternative for aChristmas holiday . And to really bring good tidings this year, HostelBookers have teamed up with three of the best hostels in each city to offer guests some top Christmas gifts.

Sir Toby’s Hostel in Prague is offering special Christmas rates for all bookings made through the HostelBookers website . One of the top-rated Prague youth hostels, the staff are hosting a Christmas Eve buffet with all the trimmings.

Celebrate Christmas at The Journey’s Hostel Kings Cross in London. Beds booked for the 20 th -27 th December are a bargain £10 per person , and come with a bumper batch of Christmas presents. Guests can enjoy free entry to top local clubs, free drinks vouchers in a local pub, and 30% off food in a cool London restaurant . There’s even a Christmas party with live singing carols.

The Generator Hostel in Berlin has some real treats in store for guests this December, with a free traditional Christmas dinner , welcome drink and Christmas party on the 24 th . The Generator also offers a VIP Christmas Package Deal through HostelBookers, with three nights in a shared room including dinner, for €49.

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Butlins Big Weekend – 29th -31ST January 2010 ROCK & BLUES

Every year, over the last weekend in January, in that post-Christmas malaise – a remarkable music festival takes place at Butlins, Skegness in Lincolnshire.

Fast gaining an impressive reputation on the music lovers festival circuit and as hotly anticipated by the artists as the fans (who regularly travel from the length and breadth of the UK), the weekend has hosted an incredible range of some of Rock and Blues’ most exciting and influential artists, alongside fiery ‘new blood’, too.

2010 is no exception to the high quality & value threshold and this year, the event returns to its roots by presenting separate BLUES and ROCK stages.

BLUES fans will be delighted at a line up that includes – former ROLLING STONES and JOHN MAYALL guitarist, MICK TAYLOR, boogie piano king, BEN WATERS & HIS BAND (who recently had both Charlie Watts of the Stones and Jools Holland as HIS guests!); JOANNE SHAW TAYLOR, MAGGIE BELL & DAVE KELLY, THE BLUES BAND, ANIMALS & Friends, CHANTEL McGREGOR, OLI BROWN, STAN WEBB & CHICKEN SHACK, JAY TAMKIN, THE YARDBIRDS, NINE BELOW ZERO, SNAKE DAVIS & JIM DIAMOND and from THE ALARM – DAVE SHARP…

The ROCK stage hosts the magnificent NAZARETH, with Special Guests THE DEBORAH BONHAM BAND; OLIVER-DAWSON SAXON, (featuring Saxon founder members Graham Oliver & Steve Dawson); MARTIN TURNER’S WISHBONE ASH; JOHN COGHLAN’S QUO; TYGERS OF PAN TANG, PRAYING MANTIS, CARVIN JONES and from the Lynyrd Skynyrd ‘family’ – SKINNY MOLLY.

Finally, a rare performance from former WHITESNAKE guitar supremo MICKY MOODY with his band, who promise “some originals, some covers and some Whitesnake”.

And there are even more artists to be announced!

To book the Rock & Blues break at the family holiday parks call Butlins direct on 0845 070 4750 open daily (The maximum call charge is 2p per minute from a BT landline. Calls from other networks may vary).

Prices for Rock & Blues are £72 per person for the full weekend UK breaks based on four people sharing a silver self-catering apartment (all guests must be aged +18 years) including accommodation, all live entertainment and many free activities.

Butlins reserves the right to change the entertainment programme for Butlins Family Breaks.

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