British Airways Announces Continual Growth Of Its London Gatwick Network

British Airways has opened up its Gatwick gateway with a growing route network that has firmly established it as the airport’s leading long haul carrier.

As the airline celebrates the first anniversary of the popular thrice-weekly Sharm el Sheikh service, it is getting ready to launch a new twice-weekly service to Cancun in November.

With other new routes launched in the past year, including Male, in the Maldives, Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and Montego Bay in Jamaica, British Airways will operate flights to 25 domestic and European destinations and 16 long haul destinations from Gatwick this winter.

The most popular long haul destinations for families are Orlando and Tampa in Florida. This follows the recent announcement of the increased frequency of flights to Tampa, starting on March 27, 2011. Other hotspots for holidays include the Dominican Republic, holidays in the Maldives and Cancun. With increased frequency to St Kitts, Grenada, Barbados and Bermuda in summer 2010 and further increases to flights to Barbados, Antigua, St Lucia and Cancun, British Airways officially now offers more seats to the Caribbean from the UK than any other carrier.

With its substantial short haul programme British Airways has established itself as a favourite for city breaks in Europe, offering Euro Traveller, the Economy cabin for short haul flights, and Club Europe, BA’s Business Class cabin. Popular choices from Gatwick include flights to Amsterdam, Rome and Faro. For the summer months, holidays in Dubrovnik are also an option.

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MyGardenRouteInfo Reports Upsurge In Eco-Friendly Tourism

MyGardenRouteInfo reports local tourism businesses along South Africa’s Garden Route are starting to place greater emphasis on environmental issues. In line with international trends, tourist businesses along the Garden Route are starting to see the importance of offering sustainable and environmentally friendly services and products that aim to lower carbon footprints and promote reduced impact on the natural surroundings.

The new trend which has been defined by non-profit ecotourism organisation The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) as “Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people” has seen a dramatic increase throughout the world in recent years.

According to TIES, eco-tourism has been growing 20-34% per year since the early 1990s, and in 2004, eco-tourism and nature-based tourism around the world grew 3 times faster than the tourism industry as a whole.

MyGardenRouteInfo has also noted an increase in the number of businesses aligning themselves with goals outlined by the likes of TIES, but that does not mean a lowering of standards or necessitate a significant change in the individual travellers habits.

The travel website believes that luxury travel businesses can still offer unparalleled experiences but also do it in a responsible manner. This includes incorporating local communities into business models, increasing the use of energy-saving measures, as well as only making use of sustainable materials to build tourist establishments.

Leading the way in terms of responsible tourism development along the Garden Route is Phantom Forest Eco Reserve in the heart of the indigenous Knysna forest. Similar objectives have been achieved by Teniqua Treetops, situated in the Outeniqua forest, which offer eco-conscious travellers a “back to nature” collection of tree-top chalets, and places significant emphasis on long-term sustainability. Wildlife safaris are also managing to lead the way with the famous reserves of Shamwari and Addo Elephant Park providing tourists with eco-friendly activities and the chance to immerse themselves in the nature of the area.

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Cruise Amour Website Launch An Overwhelming Success

Saturday 18th September marked a historic day for Cruise Amour and its cruise line partners, with the launch of a brand new website packed full of new features and usability enhancements. This news follows their announcement of “The UK’s Biggest Cruise Away”, which Cruise Amour has declared a great success.

Speaking from onboard the Celebrity Eclipse in Southampton, Managing Director Tim Hurrell said: “This is a momentous occasion for Cruise Amour. A little over a year has passed since we decided to start Cruise Amour and now, after countless months of hard work, the website is now live. We are all immensely proud of the site and truly believe it is the best in the industry.”

The launch was attended by a number of invited guests including Cruise Amour staff, industry figures and Cruise Amour’s first customer, who was present in the capacity of honorary godmother. An industry first, the decision to appoint the newly launched Cruise Amour website with an honorary godmother shouldn’t come as a surprise. Cruise Amour is an agency that brands itself as the “Apple Mac of the Cruise Industry” and strives to deliver the very highest standards of customer service. With a number of testimonials available on the Cruise Amour site already, it is clear that the company is focused on maintaining these high standards.

Hurrell added: “It was something we thought fitting of the occasion; every cruise ship is launched by a godmother, why not a cruise agency’s website?”

The launch of the website met with applause from all present and was topped off with champagne and nibbles. After the launch, guests enjoyed a VIP tour of the ship and a three-course meal in the Moonlight Sonata dining room. Royal Caribbean & Celebrity Cruises Key Account Manager, David Chidley said, “It’s been a wonderful day and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to play a part in the proceedings. We see Cruise Amour as a pivotal account in growing our future online sales.”

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Late Summer Sunshine with Bargain Car Hire from Carrentals.co.uk

As Brits in their thousands seek to head away to sunshine in Spain late in the season, award-winning car hire site Carrentals.co.uk has announced that is has available a huge range of bargain car hire in Alicante deals to help people save money on their trips.

Anyone Brit tourists making for the Spanish Sunshine can log on to Carrentals.co.uk and find the best deals around to help them save on their car hire requirements. Brits are taking advantage of bargain flights available on the web to get away to the sun, and Carrentals.co.uk has some outstanding cheap deals for Alicante car hire available on its site.

The site currently offers outstanding deals plus also a range of information guides to facilities available in Alicante, something ideal for the traveller who wants to know about airport information and more. The website offers guides like this on top of cheap car hire Alicante deals to help people enjoy the experience of booking cheap car hire even more.

Gareth Robinson, Managing Director of Carrentals.co.uk, comments, “Many Brits are looking to get away to the sunshine now that there is a new school year in place and the resorts on the continent are a lot quieter than during the summer. Our new deals for bargain rentals are a great way of helping people to stretch their holiday budgets that bit further.”

Carrentals.co.uk compares car hire deals from up to 50 rental companies, including Alamo, Auto Europe, Budget, Holiday Autos and Sixt, in over 9,000 locations worldwide. To compare the latest car hire deals visit www.carrentals.co.uk.

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National Trust Discovers the UK’s Oldest Arctic Tern

National Trust reports that an Arctic tern discovered off the coast of Northumberland is believed to be more than 30 years-old, making it the oldest known in the UK.

Originally ringed on the Farne Islands on 28 June 1980, it was re-trapped on Inner Farne this summer. The bird would have been ringed when a few days old making it now more than 30 years of age.

The tern was trapped in 1980 by a team of wardens that included John Walton who is now the National Trust property manager for the islands.

John Walton said: “This is a remarkable discovery especially as only one-in-50 birds that are ringed are subsequently caught again.

“Back in 1980 I was in my second year as a seasonal warden. Part of my job was ringing tern chicks. When I put ring number CE60645 onto the chick’s leg and recorded it in the log I thought no more of it. It was one of hundreds that would make the perilous journey down to the Antarctic that winter.

“When the news broke regarding the tern I was out like a shot to see how CE60645 had fared. This bird will have flown close to one million miles, raised any number of chicks, survived predators and storms and still looks in brilliant shape.

“In contrast, I have led a relatively sedentary existence and kept adventure to a sensible level, in fact alongside the tern I look knackered.”

The previous British record for the oldest Arctic Tern was 29 years, 10 months and 11 days which was also discovered on the Farne Islands.

An estimated 2,199 pairs of Arctic tern spent the summer months on the Farne Islands this year compared to around 3,129 pairs that made up the population in 1980. The decrease in numbers counted is largely down to a colony shift.

Lee Barber, Recoveries Officer at the British Trust for Ornithology, said: “This is a great record but something we wouldn’t have known about if this bird hadn’t been ringed.

“Without this uniquely numbered ring, we really would have little knowledge of how long Arctic terns live and breed.

“This highlights the importance of ringing as a tool for conservation which allows us to identify birds as individuals. Let’s hope Arctic Tern CE60645 returns to the Farne Islands next year and breaks its own record.”

Redspottedhanky.com Encourages Christmas Train Travellers To Book Now To Reap Savings Of £57 Million

Redspottedhanky.com has revealed that UK travellers expecting to travel by train to see loved ones during Christmas should book their journey now in order to save a combined £57 million on rail fares.

A new survey has shown almost half (47%) of Christmas* train travellers wait until the last minute to book their train tickets online. This means Britons are spending their precious pounds on their journey instead of gifts for family and friends.

Conducted by redspottedhanky.com, the survey revealed more than one in five train journeys (22%) will not be booked until two weeks before Christmas, costing travellers an average of 23 per cent more.

This could be avoided if commuters heed redspottedhanky.com’s advice and book their Christmas train fares in advance.

“To put it in context, an additional £57 million in the Christmas gift budget of rail commuters could mean almost half a million children could be unwrapping the new iPod Nano on Christmas morning. Almost 3.2 million people could have the Mad Men season one and two boxset or you could make 390, 000 rail trips from London to Birmingham and back,” said Ursula Morgenstern of redspottedhanky.com.

“We know that not everyone has their Christmas plans finalised this early but there are big savings that can be made by booking Christmas train fares in advance.”

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HotelTravel.com Scores hole-in-one Ryder Cup Hotel Deals

HotelTravel.com is rolling out hole-in-one hotel deals to promote the upcoming the 38th Ryder Cup competition at Celtic Manor in Newport, Wales being held from 1 to 3 October.

This Ryder Cup, the biennial competition between teams from Europe and the United States, will take place from The Twenty Ten Course at Celtic Manor in Newport, Wales. Wales is hosting the Ryder Cup for the first time in the history of the competition between Europe and the United States.

According to HotelTravel.com Online Marketing Manager, Gareth Lewis, golf fans looking for late stay accommodation deals should have a look at Bristol hotels or Bath hotels.

“Both cities offer very easy access to Celtic Manor by motorway. Accommodation in Newport will be in short supply due to very heavy demand, and staying outside the area offers other advantages to those looking to combine sightseeing or cultural activities with the Ryder Cup after the competition ends.

“Fortunately HotelTravel.com has an excellent selection of hotels in Bristol and Bath offering savings up to 75 % off normal rates,” Mr Lewis, added.

For central hotels in Bristol consider Bristol Marriot Royal Hotel (from EUR 127 per night), Ramada Plaza Bristol Hotel (from EUR 96 per night), The Bristol Hotel(from EUR 94 per night), City Inn Bristol Hotel (from EUR 81 per night) or The Thistle Bristol Hotel (from EUR 74 per night).

For central hotels in Bath good value can be found at either Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel(from EUR 133 per night), Hilton Bath City Hotel (from EUR 102 per night) or the Best Western Abbey Hotel (from EUR 84 per night).

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Paris to stage Chic Art Fair

This autumn will see Paris host the Chic Art Fair, the first exhibition to be held at new venue Cite de la Mode et du Design.

There are sure to be important figures from the world of art and fashion booked in at Paris hotels between October 22nd and 25th, as that is when this stylish event is confirmed to take place.

Art enthusiasts will be able to peruse and buy some gorgeous modern designs at this occasion, with more than 50 galleries having a presence at the fair.

The organisers explained that it will not only be well-known establishments that will feature at this event, but emerging centres for contemporary artistic expression also.

“Paris lives contemporary art, Paris breathes this art today, forever revisited and joined to the contemporary moment in all its diversity,” they remarked.

Entrance costs €10 (£8.50) – or €7 for concessions – and the venue will be open from midday each day, with doors closing at 20:00 local time on the 22nd and 24th, 21:00 on the 23rd and 17:00 on the 25th.

If people want to make the day truly special they could even take the BatoBus from one of the other major attractions on the Seine, such as the Musee d’Orsay.

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MyPhuketInfo Launches Novel Booking System For Key Thai Tourism Provinces

MyPhuketInfo.com has recently launched an innovative online booking service, starting first with Phuket and then, by the end of September, to the other destinations for which Phuket is a major hub.

In line with what seasoned travelers today expect of an online booking service, MyPhuketInfo.com has contracts in place with major third party suppliers guaranteeing a wide selection of bookable Phuket hotels and resorts. But the really novel aspect of the service capitalizes on the MyPhuketInfo.com team’s intimate knowledge of the destinations, together with its presence on the ground.

As a result of its close personal contact with local Phuket businesses, the MyPhuketInfo.com team is collecting a whole platform of amazing exclusive special deals and special rates offered by local hotels and resorts, some of which have never before been available for online booking through a major destination website.

A winning formula for Phuket accommodation providers as well as travelers looking for something beyond the standard offerings, the MyPhuketInfo.com locally contracted reservation system means travelers pay the resort direct – a significant cash-flow boost to resort operators – at the same time affording smaller resorts the opportunity of having an online booking engine on their own website.

A significant boost to the MyDestinationInfo concept of a fully interactive total travel information service, the online booking system, which today incorporates airline and car hire bookings and will in future add activity and excursion booking opportunities, meshes seamlessly the insightful local Phuket travel tips and the unique members’ area, which includes a personalized trip planner and the opportunity to input to the MyPhuketInfo.com content by way of comment and review.

As part of a fast-expanding 60-strong international network of information websites, the introduction of the innovative online booking system across the group provides MyPhuketInfo.com visitors with a single source of up-to-the-minute travel resources stretching from London to Australia’s Gold Coast and beyond.

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Hotels.com Reveals Casablanca As The Hottest Destination For Irish Travellers In June

Hotels.com has revealed in its latest poll of the fastest rising destinations that Casablanca has come out top of the new league table for Irish travellers.

The Hotels.com ‘hot list’ has revealed a 496% increase in searches for the Moroccan city on the Irish Hotels.com site in June 2010 compared with June 2009. The monthly league table shows the destinations which are experiencing the biggest growth in searches compared to the same period the year before.

New Dehli was a surprise second on June’s list with searches increasing for the Indian capital by 477% while the town of Locarno, Italy came third with a 443% increase.

Irish holiday destination favourite Playa De Las Americas in Tenerife came in at number nine on the table, while the ever popular Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands ranked 16th.

Surprise entries in the top 20 included Beirut at number 13 with a 365% uplift in searches for the Lebanon capital compared with June of last year. The town of Canterbury in the UK also experienced a surge in popularity ranking 17th overall. Astonishingly there were no US destinations in the top 20 list, although hotels in New York City have always been a perennial favourite with Irish travellers.

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Situated In The Middle Of A Beautiful Tree-Lined Suburb, Luther King House Is An Ideal Destination For Off-Site Meetings And Training Sessions

In financially unstable times, the house keeps the needs of its guests in mind and offers competitive rates, no matter what guests’ requirements may be. Its peaceful and secluded setting is perfect for training sessions or meetings.

Meeting rooms are available from as little as £40 per 4-hour session, for between 2 and 100 people. Residential delegate packages are on offer at standard rates of £70. The residential package is particularly competitive as it includes a three-course dinner, accommodation in a single en-suite room, full continental-buffet-style breakfast, two-course lunch, afternoon tea and biscuits, meeting room hire with all audio-visual equipment, including flip chart and pens, whiteboard, OHP, television, video player, DVD player, wall-mounted display system and (subject to prior booking) digital data projector. Daily conference facilities include morning coffee and biscuits, a two-course lunch, afternoon tea and biscuits, meeting room hire, audio-visual equipment and free parking. Standard day delegate rates start from £25. Discounted rates for group bookings range from £18.50 to £58 per person. Few of the conference rooms Manchester has to offer are so well equipped and competitively priced as those at Luther King House.

The house hosts wedding receptions and christenings, and there is also a private chapel licensed to perform wedding ceremonies within the grounds. The house takes care of every possible need so clients can concentrate on the work at hand, whether it’s an annual general meeting or a special occasion.

For hosting conferences Manchester B&B Luther King House ensures an excellent experience. Besides weddings and corporate events, Luther King House is a great place for a short break. Bedrooms come equipped with full en-suite shower or bath facilities; television with remote control; teletext; free-view channels; a beverage tray with coffee, tea, chocolate and biscuits; fresh clean towels and toiletries daily; and great meals with a choice of starters, main courses and desserts from as little as £4.95. It’s relaxed and perfect for a well-deserved break.

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HotelTravel.com Cooks Hot Hotel Deals for Sydney International Food Festival

HotelTravel.com is cooking up hot hotel deals to promote the Crave Sydney International Food Festival, one of the largest culinary events in the world, which opens 1 October and continues until the end of the month.

The event kicks off with the world’s leading marquee chef, René Redzepi, at the Sydney Opera House on 1 October 1. This year his Copenhagen eatery, the two-Michelin star restaurant Noma, took top honours when it was named the number one restaurant on the planet by 2010 San Pellegrino Awards.

Chef Redzepi’s visit coincides with the Australian release of his first major book, ‘Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine’. The evening will be even more unique as the organisers have come up with an unbeatable book-and-dine package with his publisher, Phaidon, for this very special event.

According to HotelTravel.com Chief Information Officer, Olivier Dombey the Crave Sydney International Food Festival has truly risen to the top of elite food festivals around the world with the inclusion of René Redzepi.

“René Redzepi’s dinner and book launch certainly adds massive star power to an already remarkable event,” Mr Dombey, said.”Even before his confirmation the Crave Sydney International Food Festival programme offered something for everyone. It has simple down home community festivals and outdoor events to up market pop-up dinners in unusual locations.”

“There are also street food tours in some of Sydney’s most exciting food districts, heaps of cooking classes and amazing wine dinners.

“Of course HotelTravel.com is very pleased to be able to help support the festival with selection of Sydney hotels near many of the key dinning districts,” he added.

For those looking for Central hotels, consider booking into the Citigate Central Sydney Hotel (from US$ 129 per night), Clarion Collection Marque Hotel Sydney (from US$ 109 per night) or the Pensione Hotel Sydney (from US$ 95 per night).

For Darling Harbour hotels have a look at the Medina Grand Harbourside (from US$ 129 per night), Vulcan Hotel (from US$ 123 per night) or the Glenferrie Lodge Hotel (from US$ 64 per night). All of these hotels in both Central and Darling Harbour received customer satisfaction ratings of 80 per cent or higher with reviews written by real HotelTravel.com customers.

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It’s a Celluloid Fest at the 54th BFI London Film Festival

Avid moviegoers in London are in for a treat at the 54th BFI London Film Festival as some of the world’s best films would be showcased during the two-week duration from 13 – 28 October 2010. Fans can expect another exciting line-up of international and British films that includes a total of 197 features and 112 shorts, as well a chance for celebrity sightings at international premiers. London hotels are expecting high occupancy rates as visitors flock to the city for the festival.

The London Film Festival has always been the chosen venue for the world’s best filmmakers to showcase their latest offerings and this year’s edition would see a strong selection of British films that include ‘127 Hours’ and ‘Never Let Me Go’ from Danny Boyle and Mark Romanek, respectively. An exciting, not-to-be-missed screening is The Great White Silence, a BFI National Archive Restoration which would also feature a live musical performance from Simon Fisher Turner. More glitz and glamour come courtesy of the BFI London Film Festival Awards, scheduled to be held on 27 October, which give accolades to the finest in the business.

Lee Lai Huat, CEO of HolidayCity.com and a fan of indie films said, “If you find yourself in London in the later part of October, be sure to get your tickets to watch the screenings of some of the best films of the year at the 54th BFI London Film Festival. From Anton Corbijn’s ‘The American’ starring George Clooney to the highly anticipated offering from Catherine Breillat, ‘The Sleeping Beautuy”, viewers would certainly be spoilt for choice”. He went on further to remark, “With hundreds of features and shorts to choose from, one thing that is assured is an unforgettable time at the movies. Be sure to book your London accommodation to avoid any last minute disappointment.”

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Fly.co.uk Travel Website Offers Affordable Holidays in October with Cheap Flights

With huge savings on flights to Murcia, Dalaman and Sardinia, the leading comparator Fly.co.uk website is helping British tourists get away this autumn for some late season sunshine. Prices for bargain flights in October have just announced which those seeking sun and relaxation the perfect chance to do so.

UK travellers regularly look to take a trip abroad after what is usually a disappointing summer, and with Fly.co.uk having some fantastic deals on, they now can. Cheap flights to Dalaman Airport from Heathrow Airport are available from £300*, for those looking to head to Turkey this autumn.

Other popular destinations such as Murcia in the southeast of Spain are excellent for those looking for some October sunshine. With the Fly.co.uk website showing deals starting at just £300* for cheap flights to Murcia Airport by top names such as British Airways, it is easier than ever to get away this autumn.

For those looking for an Italian getaway destination, Sardinia is a great one. Being noted for its fine food and wine, a trip to the Italian island can be found at great value. Late sunshine in the Mediterranean with cheap flights to Sardinia can be found starting from under £200*.

A Fly.co.uk spokesperson, Mr Andy Stevens said, “With the resorts quieter and the kids back at school, heading to a top European destination this autumn is the ideal time. Our new bargains on the website offer fantastic value with flights from top airlines”.

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Hotels.com Reports Brits Resent Paying For Hotel Extras

Hotels.com has revealed new research* that shows British travellers resent having to pay for hotel extras.

Topping the list of pet peeves among travellers is having to pay to use Wi-Fi in a hotel. Three quarters (78%) of the 1,815 people surveyed resent having to pay for wireless internet, believing it should be free.

Car parking spaces are viewed as the second most unacceptable extra among nearly three out of four UK travellers (73%) along with paying for a newspaper in the morning (57%).

Bottled water was in the top three list of the things travellers hate paying extra for; 70% of those surveyed said they dislike having to pay for bottles of water left in rooms.

The economic downturn is clearly making cost conscious Brits think twice before reaching for a cold drink in their room. Three quarters of those surveyed (74%) deliberately steer clear of mini-bars preferring to buy drinks and snacks outside the hotel for their room. In fact, 80% of Brits said they feel ripped off by mini bar costs.

Travellers are so wary of extras at hotels, that more than half (56%) will question their bills at check-out.

Top five least wanted hotel extra charges are: Wi-Fi, car parking, bottled water, towels at the gym and toiletries.

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Superbreak Announces Appointment Of New Marketing E-Commerce & Commercial Director

Superbreak, the York based tour operator, has announced the appointment of Darren Neylon as Marketing, E-Commerce & Commercial Director. The position is a new one and oversees the key direct marketing and e-commerce teams with the clear objectives of growing the company’s direct revenues through an enhanced experience for customers.

The position is the first senior commercial appointment by Eamonn Ferrin who joined the company as Managing Director in January 2010. He commented: “Since becoming Managing Director I have been giving a lot of thought to the question of how we can become an even better company and how we create a faster moving, more innovative and above all, a more customer-focused company. Darren’s appointment is key to meeting this challenge.”

Darren has worked for over 10 years in a number of senior e-commerce and commercial roles in the mobile and retail sectors. Recent roles include Managing Director of Valuecomparison.com and Mobileshop.com, Director of E-Commerce for Miller Brothers Retail and E-Commerce Programme Director for Littlewoods Shop Direct Group. Prior to these roles, he spent his early career in Finance & Merchant banking.

Commenting on his new role at Superbreak, Darren said: “I am excited by the challenge at Superbreak and of course the move into the travel sector. We want to deliver a seamless, multi-channel proposition directly to the customer which focuses on value, convenience and service. Making the website more usable and engaging for customers is one of my key goals. We aim to make sure that customers are excited to come back to us time and time again because they find the content and range of products both relevant and enticing.”

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British Airways Launches New Lowest Price Holiday Finder On ba.com

British Airways has launched its new ‘lower price holiday finder’ which allows customers to save time and money when booking their holiday package.

Claire Bentley, managing director BA Holidays commented: “Following the success of dynamic packaging where flight plus hotel or flight plus car rental were combined to offer our customers the lowest pricing on ba.com, we have now developed more advanced options such as the new ‘lowest price holiday finder’ on ba.com. This new technology ultimately gives customers the opportunity to save even more time and money when booking their holidays.”

The ‘lowest price holiday finder’ will display alternative holiday dates to the customer’s original departure date enabling them to see at a glance the cheapest day of the week to travel on. This will benefit anyone looking for value, anyone on a budget, flexible holiday-makers and those who do not have the time to shop around.

For example, a holiday in Barbados at the 3* All Seasons Resort Europa can cost £775 per person for Saturday departures. Flexible holiday-makers however could save up to 20% by changing their departure date to a weekday instead. For customers who are looking for a pre-Christmas shopping break and want to stay in a hotel in New York for the weekend, try the 3.5* Metro in Midtown. By being flexible, customers can save more than 25% for a three night city break. Closer to home, a three-night stay at the elegant 5* ME Barcelona, which enjoys a central location in the city can cost £325 per person at the beginning of October which saves customers 33% on their holiday package versus a departure date of just two days later.

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Hotels.com Reveals Bashful Brits Get Tongue-Tied Overseas

According to new findings from Hotels.com, 61% of British holiday-makers admit they don’t try to speak the local language when travelling abroad for fear of embarrassing themselves.

The research reveals that even though popular holiday destinations are becoming more exotic, Brits are still not learning basic foreign words or phrases before they go away. Happy to rely on English and hand gestures to get by, 35% of respondents said that while they often intend to try the local lingo, when it comes down to it they are just too embarrassed. 28% of those surveyed admitted to having no desire or intention to learn any local language at all.

The trusty phrase ‘Do you speak English?’ proved to be one of the most important travel language staples with 20% of Brits defaulting to their own native tongue whenever possible.

When asked to look at given phrases in languages ranging from Thai and Greek to Arabic and Indonesian, the majority of respondents were unable to identify words for ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’, while asking for directions to the beach or ordering a glass of wine proved difficult.

But while the languages of newer holiday hotspots may be too challenging, over half of Brits are more comfortable dusting off GCSE and O-Level language skills to chat in French or Spanish.

Alison Couper, Communications Director, Hotels.com, said “People have become more adventurous in where they travel in recent years, but it seems the language skills have yet to catch up. Our survey shows that while we’re prepared to travel to more exotic destinations, we’re not so comfortable trying less familiar languages”.

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Distance Calculator Tracking 100 Million Routes And Locations

Distance Calculator a free travel service for users looking to find the distance from one place to another, today announced an upgrade to its systems means that its now serving potentially 100 million routes across EuropeUSA and the World.

Distance Calculator Tracking 100 Million Routes And Locations

Rob Watts, CEO said “Through serving greater numbers of destinations, we can give people increased options and choice. We are looking to enhance existing relationships and offer users tools and products relevant to their locations. Books through Lonely Planet or Train Tickets for European travellers are a natural fit in our inventory” he said

With travel becoming increasingly more accessible through the boom in low cost travel options, people are increasingly on the look out for tools that simply the planning process. Distance calculator whilst a relatively new player in the space, is making great inroads in the space. London distances alone had over 43,000 travel route enquires in 2010 closely followed by Paris with over 20,000 demonstrating that there is a wave of interest and activity within a variety of travel spaces.

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Radisson Blu Martinez Hotel – Beirut To Receive Complete Renovation In 2011

The five star Radisson Blu Martinez Hotel in Beirut which is located within the city’s business and shopping districts has been announced as about to receive a full renovation starting in January.

The upgrades on the Radisson Blu Martinez Hotel are planned to be completed by June 2011 which should further add to the hotel’s popularity, and while the hotel will not close its doors during the renovation period, all efforts will be made to prevent any noise and disturbance to its guests.

For the guest rooms, a complete floor-by-floor renovation will take place which will be implemented in a way which will not affect guests during their stay at the hotel. The Beirut hotels manager has promised guests that, “The renovation in our hotel will take a few months and will be done in a professional manner which won’t annoy or disturb our guests”.

The renovation of this luxury hotel in Beirut means that a completely new phase will be implemented throughout the hotel’s public areas, including the reception, lobby lounge, restaurants and guests’ rooms, right down to the tiniest detail.

Key to the upgrade will be the “Olivos” restaurant which will be transformed into the “Filini” Italian restaurant, with everything in the restaurant receiving a thorough make-over, from the menu through to the plates, dishes and decorations.

The complete makeover of the rooms, will include a modern design and furniture created specifically to fit the theme and hotel’s new look.

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