Superbreak Report Surge In Demand For Rail Theatre Break Packages

Superbreak, the theatre break specialist, has reported a sharp increase in the number of rail inclusive theatre breaks being booked, on the run up to the busiest theatre season of the year.

The Yorkshire based tour operator has secured a number of budget and top price theatre tickets for a host of musicals and performances in London’s West End as the autumn season approaches. What sets Superbreak apart from its competition is the ability for customers to tailor-make their breaks by adding a return rail journey from most UK mainline stations, including Edinburgh, Manchester and Leeds, into London. As with all theatre break packages, customers have a choice of over 250 hotels spanning the capital city, including many in and around Theatreland itself.

Popular theatre shows for autumn 2010 so far include ‘Wicked’ and ‘Dirty Dancing’, with ‘The Lion King’ proving a hot favourite for families during the October half term break. The relationship with rail providers allows Superbreak the ability to offer one night theatre breaks to see ‘Oliver!’, standard return rail travel with East Coast Rail and overnight accommodation at the 3-star Royal National Hotel from just £129pp.

Superbreak has a long standing reputation for selling rail inclusive breaks. Last year, over 200,000 passengers booked a London theatre break with the tour operator and chose to add a rail journey to their booking. The ability to custom-make a theatre break to include a hotel stay, theatre tickets and return rail travel, allows customers both the choice and flexibility no matter what the budget.

Will Dunnett, Director of Marketing at Superbreak, commented: “Rail inclusive breaks continue to be a mainstay of the Superbreak programme and are proving to be a big hit with customers heading to the capital on a theatre break. The ability to select your hotel, length of stay, theatre tickets and rail travel allows us to offer our customers the very best in value and choice.”

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Paris Venue Hosts Majestic Production Of Aida

A stunning performance of Verdi’s Aida will be taking place at Paris’ Stade de France this autumn, which will involve more than 500 artists.

The story of Aida is one filled with romance and passion, as well as jealousy, anger and betrayal, with the central characters constantly torn as to with whom their allegiance lies.

Taking place on Saturday October 2nd 2010, this opera in four acts is sure to capture the audience’s imagination, as an Ethiopian princess is captured and enslaved, with a military commander forced to challenge his loyalty to the Pharaoh due to his love for the woman.

According to the organisers, Verdi was one of the finest writers of the 19th century when it came to melodrama and the sense of the spectacular emphasised the plot twists.

The team behind this representation of Aida have pulled out all the stops to make this a great experience for Paris hotel guests.

“Effects of lights, video replays, the majestic scenery and costumes, coupled with the beauty of music, will make this evening unforgettable,” remarked the venue.

Doors open at 19:00 local time and the performance will begin at 20:30, with an intermission at 22:00. The show is expected to end at about 23:30.

Tickets are available online and cost between €25 (£20.50) and €169 depending on where attendees want to sit.

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Paris Welcomes Salon Baby

Parents may enjoy popping into Salon Baby during their trip to Paris, with plenty of innovative products and top advice being shared at the event.

The show has been running in France for 15 years and stops in at several different cities across the country, with people able to make their way to the occasion from their hotel in Paris in early autumn.

According to the organisers, it is not just a collection of new products for parents, since it aims to deal with the whole experience of parenthood, from the moment a woman becomes pregnant through a youngster’s early childhood.

They explained that the event deals with issues such as education, nutrition and health, with a selection of conferences, workshops and presentations helping new mothers and fathers with their responsibilities.

It will be taking place from October 1st to 3rd at the Parc Floral de Paris and the team behind the show has promised high-tech innovations and a space reserved for natural and organic items.

In addition, parents can find all sorts of equipment related to babies, including strollers, toys and bottles.

Tickets for this event are available for €7 (£5.76), with the venue opening from 10:00 to 18:00 local time every day. Grandparents and children under seven can get in for free.

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Take Advantage of Heritage Days in Paris

A selection of museums and famous residential properties fling open their doors to the public in Paris in September as Heritage Days takes place in the city.

Hotel Paris guests will be able to enter participating venues for free and may get the chance to see the insides of famous buildings that might typically be closed.

According to What’s on When, this event sees 14,000 properties around France open to the public on September 18th and 19th 2010, with the French minister of culture and communication Frederic Mitterrand lauding its potential for sharing the country’s history.

Writing an editorial piece for the festival’s website, the government official hoped that the event will cause people to talk about and value the culture that exists in France.

“It is my wish that these 27th European Heritage Days give to each and every one of us the pleasure of discovering, admiring and sharing the unique patrimonial richness of our country,” he remarked.

In his view, monuments and special buildings have a way of conserving the passion of men and women, which is what the occasion is all about.

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British Airways Introduces New Gothenburg Route

British Airways is launching services to Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city, with flights from as little as £55.50 in Euro Traveller one-way including taxes fees and charges. Customers can also book Club Europe, British Airway’s Business Class cabin.

The twice daily flight to Gothenburg from Heathrow Terminal 5, goes on sale July 20th, and is available from the start of the winter schedule on November 28th, 2010.

Richard Tams, British Airways’ head of UK and International sales, said: “We are really excited about flying to this fabulous city on the south west coast of Sweden. It boasts Michelin star restaurants, culture and the best views of the famous Northern lights. The schedule is perfect for UK originating day round trips, and for connections onto the worldwide network.”

British Airways offers a selection of hand picked 2 to 5-star hotels in Gothenburg, ideally suited to the urban tourist seeking sophistication. The 4-star First Hotel G is one choice for a stay in Gothenburg, located just above the central station in the heart of the city. Another choice is the 3* Apple hotel, offering easy to use public transport links and close to the famous Boulevard Avenue with plenty of bars, restaurants and shops.

As well as the soon to be launched flights to Gothenburg, British Airways also offers daily flights to Stockholm, known for striking architecture and its beautiful waterside setting. Spread across 14 islands, Stockholm has a range of hotels, including the 4-star Stureplan and the stylish 4-star Hellsten.

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Thistle Named First Hotel Group To Achieve Full Hospitality Assured Accreditation

Thistle has announced it is the first hotel group to be acknowledged with full Hospitality Assured accreditation throughout its entire portfolio having surpassed the strict assessment criteria within all of its hotels across the UK, a quarter of which achieving the highly-regarded ‘world class’ status.

Measuring the quality and service of customer facing businesses specifically within the leisure and tourism industry, the Hospitality Assured accreditation is recognition of the group’s high standards across its portfolio of excellently-located properties.

Created by the industry’s professional body, the Institute of Hospitality, the Hospitality Assured mark of approval takes into account the unique characteristics of the industry. It is measured by independent, experienced quality assessors who critically analysed each of Thistle’s individual properties against ten customer-related steps, including: customer research, operational planning, standards of performance, training, development and customer satisfaction improvement.

These ten steps are broken down into 49 criteria that explored how Thistle’s customer experience is devised, implemented, delivered and improved upon. In order to achieve accreditation, each of Thistle’s hotels had to score at least 60% overall and a minimum of 50% for each step. The group greatly exceeded this standard, with a quarter of its properties marked with the Institute’s exceptional ‘world class’ grading by achieving a score of 70% or higher.

Ann Corrigan, Managing Director of Hospitality Assured commented: “The Hospitality Assured standard demands high quality standards and strong evidence of customer satisfaction, making it no mean feat for businesses across the industry. Thistle has demonstrated that it’s a serious competitor within the hotel sector – setting its sights high, developing its teams accordingly and putting its entire portfolio of hotels completely to the test. The group achieved resounding success and we’re delighted to be confidently marking them as a hotel group that offers excellent customer care as standard.

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National Trust Relieves Bank Holiday Getaway Stress

The National Trust is joining the drive to make the August bank holiday journeys less painful by setting up its own unique network of alternative ‘motorway service areas’.

The Bank Holiday is traditionally one of the busiest weekends for holiday traffic. According to the Highways Agency Friday evening, Saturday lunchtime and Monday afternoon are expected to be the busiest on the roads this weekend, especially on the main holiday routes, as people set out and return from short breaks or day trips.

Mark Harold, National Trust Director for the South West, explained: “This weekend many holiday makers will make the journey to the South West heading for the beautiful coast and countryside, and with Britain’s roads taking the brunt of the holiday traffic we’re encouraging people to plan around the congestion to make the journey an enjoyable part of the holiday.”

Instead of a hurried burger and loo break at a motorway service area, the National Trust has identified 30 of its places to visit which are conveniently located only a few miles from motorway junctions and A-roads.

These bank holiday places to visit, which include built properties and countryside locations, can provide a more relaxing break with plenty of space to park, picnic, take a quick countryside walk with the dog and enjoy some local, seasonal food during the holiday getaway.

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MyJohannesburgInfo Launches Virtual Tours And Multi-Media Features For Listed Companies

MyJohannesburgInfo, the online travel website, has recently announced the launch of their new virtual tour functionality which aims to offer visitors to the website detailed and eye-catching views of various attractions, while providing listed companies with unparalleled exposure.

The independent travel website, part of the global MyDestinationInfo network, aims to offer the most comprehensive and accurate listings of the region’s top attractions, including Johannesburg restaurantsJohannesburg accommodation, activities and tours.

Managing director Peter Thompson believes that these new virtual tours will be of significant benefit to both advertisers and site visitors. “MyJohannesburgInfo has always aimed to create an online environment that gives website visitors an invaluable travel resource, while providing local tourism operations with the all the support and exposure that they need. The virtual tours are simply an extension of this.”

The virtual tours, which can be used by restaurants, hotels, guest houses, and most other travel ventures, are to be delivered using a state of the art online media player created by Plush Media, exclusively for the MyDestinationInfo network, and each tour will be compiled at Plush Media’s headquarters in Spain.

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Hot Haute Couture at New Zealand Fashion Week

Auckland’s beautiful Viaduct Harbour is the perfect backdrop for the glitz and glamour of New Zealand’s Fashion Week that would be held from the 21st – 24th September 2010. Thousands of players from the country’s fashion world, and the international circle, including gorgeous models, designers, buyers, journalists and many others would be converging to celebrate the best of New Zealand’s creative minds. Auckland’s hotels would also be buzzing as fashion lovers flock to the city to experience the excitement of the fashion week.

New Zealand Fashion Week is the place to be seen for both new and established designers as they get the chance to showcase their designs to important players in the industry. The public is certainly not forgotten as several public events would be held to give them the chance to get up close and personal with their favourite designers. These include the Fashion WEEKEND and the Designer Selection Show, where the latter would feature one outfit from the designers’ Autumn/Winter collection that would be shown together with two in-season outfits.

Lee Lai Huat, CEO of HolidayCity.com, said, “Glitz and glamour are coming to Auckland during the Fashion Week. While buyers and members of the media are busy scrutinizing the outfits at the fashion shows, fashion lovers would get the chance to shop till they drop at the NZ Herald Designer Garage Sale. Taking place on the 25th and 26th of September, the sale is the largest of its kind and is the best place to shop for haute couture.” He went on further to remark, “It’s going to be one big party in city and it’s best for those that are thinking of attending the fashion week to book their Auckland accommodation early.”

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British Airways Launches The Great Big Sale

British Airways launches its great big sale with thousands of flights in all cabins and hundreds of holidays on offer.

The twenty day sale offers discounted flights to over 100 destinations worldwide as well as 100’s of holidays for various travel departures from August 26, 2010 right through to June 30, 2011.

To launch the sale, model Nell McAndrew posed on a big deck chair (the size of a double-decker bus) outside Tower Hill in London wearing her favourite beach wear – a Melissa Odabash bikini.

Nell said: “I’m excited to be launching BA’s great big sale. Bag a bargain and jet off in style and comfort to one of many destinations.”

For a late summer getaway, hot spots include flights to Dubai, Antigua and Grenada. Those looking for ski breaks head to North America and experience the Rockies with deals on flights to Denver and Vancouver. For short city breaks, British Airways have a wide selection of destinations such as Zurich or Geneva.

Travellers wishing to jet-off in style and experience British Airway’s award-winning Club World beds can check out flights to Cairo, Delhi, New York,
Bermuda and Calgary. BA also offers flights to Barbados and Houston that allow customers to take advantage of the luxurious first class cabin.

Destinations closer to the UK include Jersey, Dubrovnik and Salzburg as well as Gothenburg in Sweden, which a new BA route takes-off to at the end of November.

As well as special offers on flights, British Airways is offering value for money holiday packages in a variety of destinations such as a two night stay at the 3-star Merton Hotel in Jersey that includes return BA flights from Gatwick and accommodation only. Package deals at Sharm El Sheikh’s 3-star Oriental Rivoli also include return BA flights from Gatwick and accommodation only.

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Enhanced Car Hire Offering Plus Location Guides from Travel Site Asap.co.uk

Leading travel price comparator Asap.co.uk is now able to offer users an enhanced and improved service which includes a wider range of car hire deals around the world and also a choice of free location and destination information guides.

The website lets travellers and tourists who are planning a late summer holiday find the best deals around by using the Asap.co.uk price comparison engine. So if the traveller is planning a trip to Switzerland for example, Asap.co.uk can help them find the very best value car hire at Geneva Airport.

Car hire deals abound on the website and Asap.co.uk users can enjoy all the leading brands in the rental sector such as Alamo, Holiday Autos, Ebookers and more. The website’s navigation and design are clean and simple to use and the site’s engine helps tourists quickly search for car hire at Innsbruck and much more.

Asap.co.uk is one of the ASAP Ventures Ltd consumer and travel websites which help people to save money on all kinds of things, and the stable includes award-winning car hire price comparator Carrentals.co.uk. On top of great value car rental the website also now offers new destination guides help travellers find out if there is car parking at Frankfurt Airport for example.

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Are High Petrol Price Driving Motorists Mad? Make Use of New Tips and Hints from Carrentals.co.uk

Keeping the price of fuel down this Bank Holiday weekend can be done by following a few of the simple guidelines offered to the public by Carrentals.co.uk.

The Managing Director for Carrentals.co.uk Gareth Robinson spoke about the new tips on how to save money on fuel: “Petrol prices are going up and up and we look set to soon be back at the level of prices that we endured in May.”

He went on to say: “Savings can be had on petrol it’s just a case of learning how you can improve your fuel consumption levels.”

Carrentals.co.uk’s top 10 ideas on how to save money on petrol –

1) Take it Steady – Petrol can be saved by reducing your speed.
2) Pressure Point – Higher fuel usage is suffered from when the tyre pressure is not at the recommended levels.
3) Plan Your Route – Avoid busy roads and plan your route properly in order to avoid getting lost.
4) Remove Excess Weight – Take unneeded items out from your car to make it lighter.
5) Tight-Wad’s Fifth Gear – Neural no longer allows you to save fuel as car technology has advanced massively.
6) Make Your Own Fuel – Although slightly dangerous, making your own fuel is a good way to save money at the pumps.
7) Cut Down on Resistance – Get rid of roof racks and wind your windows up to avoid drag.
8 ) Supermarket Money Off Vouchers – Vouchers are often handed out in supermarkets that allow drivers to save money on fuel.
9) Lift Share – Share the travelling by sharing vehicles for shopping trips, school runs and getting to work.
10) Keep Fuel Topped Up – Fill the tank all the way up when you find a good deal.

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Center Parcs Awarded 5-Star Rating By Visit Britain

We are delighted to announce Center Parcs has again achieved Visit Britain’s 5-star rating for all 4 sites. Following visits from independent assessors, Visit Britain reported impressive results.

Assessors noted excellent levels of service across all areas and exceptional standards of cleanliness were also recognised.

Visit Britain’s quality assessment scheme seeks to inform consumers of the quality of service and facilities they can expect from accommodation in the UK; the 5 star rating recognises an ‘exceptional standard, with a degree of luxury’.

Graham White, Operations Director said:

“We are proud to have once again been awarded 5 stars by Visit Britain under their quality in tourism scheme. This is a fantastic achievement and it is down to the dedication of all colleagues. Excellent service and a wide range of high quality facilities are a fundamental part of the Center Parc holiday experience and this is what has made us so successful for the past 23 years.”

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FREE Year Around Events: Three Museums, and a Ride on an Electric Streetcar; Kenosha Wisconsin the Perfect Place For A Day Trip Destination!

Question: Where can someone, on a modest budget, gaze upon the works of Chagall, Picasso and Dali; the largest collection of meat-eating theropods on exhibit, and experience American Civil War history like no where else?

Answer: The beautiful lakefront city of Kenosha Wisconsin.

The three Kenosha Public Museums are located in the heart of downtown Kenosha Wisconsin just minutes from the Illinois Wisconsin border and Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois.

The Kenosha Public Museum and the Civil War Museum share a beautiful shoreline campus, with The Dinosaur Discovery Museum, shops, restaurants and motels all within walking distance from the main campus. Enjoy a walk along the lakefront or view Lake Michigan from inside climate controlled buildings year around. Hop on the electric streetcar for a FREE ride to downtown.

FREE admission EVERY day at the Kenosha Public Museum and the Dinosaur Discovery Museum. Civil War Museum General Admission: Adults $7 Kenosha/Somers Adults $5, Members and Children 15 and Under Free.

Spend the day visiting all three museums for the price of one. Enjoy a full day of adventure, exploration and fun open year around except some holidays. Kenosha is a perfect mix of family attractions, night life, accommodations, and natural scenery making this city a perfect vacation destination. Perfect venues for corporate events, weddings, children’s parties, and bus tours.

Logon for details for each museum’s events, hours of operation and special family activities.

http://www.kenoshapublicmuseum.org

http://www.dinosaurdiscoverymuseum.org

http://www.thecivilwarmuseum.org

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Superbreak Re-Launches Groups And Specialist Sales Department

Superbreak has re-launched its Groups Department and created a new Groups and Specialist Sales team. The eight-strong team will now handle a diverse range of business from school and college groups through to the more traditional group business of hen and stag weekends. The department has been set up to handle all bookings 10+ adults or for 5 or more rooms and will be on hand 6 days a week by phone.

The York based tour operator has made the move due to seeing continued real growth in its group travel bookings, with a year on year increase of 14%. This business is primarily split between stag and hen weekends, school groups, incentive groups and the growing market of residential conferences with the majority of groups choosing UK locations as their destinations.

Stag and hen weekends continue to be a boom area, with Superbreak booking 500 hen and stag dos in 2009 alone. The Groups and Specialist Sales team will be responsible for tailoring the bookings individually with a range of activities from salsa dancing to spa breaks and theatre workshops to paintballing. The tour operator also arranges hotel bookings for friends and family attending weddings and airport stopovers for those marrying on foreign shores.

This type of specialist service has now been extended and the department is increasingly being required to deal with residential conference bookings ranging from just 10 delegates to large conferences for hundreds. Corporate requests can range from a simple overnight stay with a private dinner to a full week including team building exercises.

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Radisson Blu Hotel And Spa Launches Dedicated Spa Guestrooms

The Radisson Blu hotel and Spa in Limerick is always looking for ways to improve their guests experiences, and with this in mind they have launched their new concept: dedicated spa guestrooms.

The spa guestrooms in the Limerick hotel will include deluxe Elemis beauty products, fluffy bathrobes and slippers, mineral water and a glossy magazine. The upgrades are offered on all of their luxury Spa breaks.

“In this highly competitive market, we have had to come up with new ways of enticing our Spa guests to stay with us,” said Tom Shanahan, Director of Sales and Marketing at the four star hotel in Limerick. “We have decided to offer our guests on spa packages an added incentive to stay, with these complimentary upgrades.”

The Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa is located just a five minute drive from Limerick City and ten minutes from Shannon Airport. Set on twenty acres, the luxury hotel in Limerick offers comfort and elegance to the discerning traveller, boasting 154 spacious bedrooms, large meetings and events facilities, two bars, Porters Restaurant and the Rain Spa and Wellness Clinic.

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MyLondonInfo Now Listing Upwards Of 1,000 Restaurants

MyLondonInfo has announced it now boasts a list of more than 1,000 restaurants in the Central London region. Having partnered with livebookings.com, the MyLondonInfo website now offers an online booking functionality for the majority of these restaurants. Not only will users be able to book their preferred time and venue but they will also be able to take advantage of special offers and deals made available by the restaurants.

Now in its second year, MyLondonInfo is keen to offer its listed restaurants the opportunity to interact electronically with their customers. In order to promote this, restaurant customers are encouraged to leave reviews, both good and bad. These reviews are published on the individual London restaurants page as well as on a scroll bar on the Mylondoninfo homepage. Users are also encouraged to contact the restaurants directly through the website interface. All reviews are then published and enquiries are followed up by the Mylondoninfo team to ensure everybody is happy.

The majority of the restaurant listings are focused on the West End including Piccadilly Restaurants and Soho Restaurants. Both of these areas are ideal for a pre-theatre London meal. Many of the restaurants offer very generous deals to those who will vacate their tables by 19:30. Over time the plan is for the team to keep expanding the area covered whilst all the time keeping the quality of the reviews first class.

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Getting Married at Luther King House

It may not be well known, but Luther King House Conference and Accommodation Centre is a fabulous location for a wedding ceremony and reception.

The peaceful conference rooms can be combined with the private courtyard gardens and overnight accommodation to make a wonderful venue for a quiet and tasteful wedding. The Manchester bed and breakfast offers catering, overnight stays for the bride and groom, and exclusive use of the dining room. Along with these services, the sweet cherry trees that bloom every spring and the fountain in the courtyard make this a lovely setting for weddings.

There is an on-site chapel where the ceremony can be performed, which makes for a fluid transition from the wedding to the reception. This means you will have more time to spend with family members and to take those cherished photos.

Importantly, the reception staff works closely with each couple, personalising the dinner menu and providing places to stay for out-of-town guests. The Manchester bed and breakfast has 45 rooms that come with tea services, free internet and cable television. Also, there are plenty of free parking spaces for those travelling by car. It is also easily accessed by public transport.

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MyMallorcaInfo Launches Secure Client Interface And Special Offers

MyMallorcaInfo is extending the features available to clients with the introduction of a secure client interface and special offer functionality.

Access to the Mallorca client interface is by password protected login and further extends the unique qualities offered by MyMallorcaInfo to its clients. Business owners can view various relevant statistics about their profile page, make use of options to amend basic contact details, respond to reviews and comments posted by the general public, as well as addressing specific queries directly to the MyMallorcaInfo team.

The client interface also offers quick access to additional features which are only available to those MyMallorcaInfo clients who have contracted for Silver or Gold listings, such as the multimedia virtual tour and video technology introduced in June 2010, and the brand new special offer feature. Within the client interface, companies can set up special offers in their own time with complete flexibility to manage the entire process. Special weekend or low season offers, individual highlights such as Valentine’s Day, or longer term offers are all possible within the system and each client may add up to three special offers at any one time.

MyMallorcaInfo publishes detailed information about Mallorca across a wide range of categories including Mallorca accommodation, restaurants, nightlife, leisure, sporting and shopping facilities, local travel, the weather, interactive maps, and events around the island. Businesses are able to showcase their products and facilities through full page Gold and Silver listings which provide detailed contact information, maps and directions, photographs, text, and the facility for visitors to leave their own personal comments.

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New Designs On Show At Paris Furniture Fair

Paris hotel guests with an interest in contemporary furniture trends are set to descend on the Paris Nord Villepinte exhibition centre next month.

The annual Paris Furniture Fair, also known as the Salon du Meuble, is due to take place in the French capital between September 3rd and 7th.

Although the event is an important trade show, it is also open to the public and savvy buyers may be able to spot the latest must-have chair or table for their home before it becomes widely available.

Visitors will not be allowed to buy anything during the show, but they can arrange with the designer or stockist to make a purchase afterwards.

Designs from over 40 countries are set to go on display at the event, with approximately 45,000 visitors expected to attend.

To gain access to the fair, people are required to purchase as badge for €56 (£45.80), which is valid for all the events taking place at Paris Nord Villepinte over the five days.

The Meuble Paris catalogue, which contains information on all the exhibitors at the fair, is also available to buy for €30.

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