International Contemporary Art Fair Takes Over Paris

The International Contemporary Art Fair, or FIAC to the French, has been an annual fixture on the Parisian cultural calendar since 1974. It showcases only 20th and 21st century visual arts from some of the finest galleries around, anything from painting and sculpture to film and digital art.

This year’s fair runs from October 20th-23rd. The venues are what make the event a truly exciting Paris experience, with the Louvre and Grand Palais forming the base for many exhibitions.

Visitors can also venture outdoors, as the Jardin des Tuileries and Jardin des Plantes will both house yet more exhibitions of stunning modern art.

Variety is guaranteed, in 2010 195 galleries were represented, 72 of them French and the other 123 coming from 23 different countries from around the world.

Admission to the International Contemporary Art Fair is 32«, or you can get a helpful catalogue as well for a combined total of 55«.

Hotels-paris.co.uk can offer a range of lovelyboutique hotels right throughout Paris, allowing you to really make the most of your visit. Pershing Hallis a particular favourite.

You can get even more information about the International Contemporary Art Fair by visiting their website at www.fiac.com.

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Guoman Hotels Property To Host Two Style-Packed Auctions

Guoman Hotels is to welcome top London salesroom Dreweatts Bloomsbury to its Cumberland hotel on October 10th for two style-packed auctions.Eight works by legendary graffiti artist Banksy, a vintage Hermes crocodile ‘Kelly’ handbag and a collection of costume jewellery that once belonging to the Duchess of Windsor are among the lots on offer at the auctions taking place at The Cumberland.

Collectors and fashionistas are expected to pack the Marble Arch hotel – famed for its chic contemporary interior – when Dreweatts Bloomsbury hosts Luxury: Fine Handbags, Pens and Accessories (from 2pm) and Urban Contemporary art (from 6pm).

Taking top billing is limited edition spray paint and emulsion work, ‘Mosquito’, by street art master Banksy (estimate £30,000-£50,000). Other notable items in the Urban Contemporary sale include items from rising Brit star Eine, whose work was given to US president Barack Obama by prime minister David Cameron; French stencil king Blek Le Rat; and graffiti ace D*Face.

Meanwhile, Luxury: Fine Handbags, Pens and Accessories will feature a wealth of vintage and modern collectibles, including a 1960s Hermes brown crocodile Kelly bag (estimate £8,000-£12,000); four pieces of fabulous costume jewellery designed by Alexis Kirk for the Duchess of Windsor; and a number of contemporary pieces by Cartier, Gucci, Tiffany and Bulgari.

Tim Cordon, General Manager of the luxury London hotel commented: “The Cumberland has a long history of being at the cutting edge of the London design and fashion scene, so it’s fantastic Dreweatts Bloomsbury are bringing these two incredible auctions here. The striking ‘gallery’ feel of the hotel makes it the ideal venue to showcase the incredible items going under the hammer.”

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Join the Fun at Village de Cirque on the Outskirts of Paris

Now a regular autumn fixture in Reuilly on the outskirts of Paris, the entertaining Village de Cirque is celebrating its 7th year with a fantastic line up of fun, creative shows running from October 5th-16th.

Having cultivated a reputation as one of the country’s most innovative circus companies, the diversity of shows on offer here will ensure there is something for everyone.

Among the highlights are Los Galindos, a clown on a desperate mission to cure his amnesia, the hilarious Zampanos and his friends Boudu the dog, Irene the chicken and CraKozzz the rat, musical jugglers The Bang Bang Circus and the Cridacompany acrobats.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of a fortnight of entertainment, with tickets costing 17« for adults and 12« for concessions.

Hotels-paris.co.uk has plenty of cheap hotel options right throughout Paris. Helvetia is just one of many choices you will find.

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Eurostar Awards On-Board Wi-Fi Connectivity And Infotainment Contract To Nomad Digital Ltd.

Eurostar, the high speed rail service between UK and mainland Europe, has awarded NOMAD Digital Ltd (‘NOMAD’), the specialist provider of connectivity solutions to the rail industry, the contracts to supply on-board Wi-Fi connectivity and state-of-the-art infotainment for its existing fleet of high speed trains. This follows a rigorous, competitive procurement process in which NOMAD emerged as the clear winner.

Over the next three years, Eurostar is making a £700 million investment in its fleet. This includes the complete overhaul and refurbishment of the existing fleet as well as the purchase of 10 new e320 train sets from Siemens. This programme of investment will ensure that Eurostar will be able to expand its operations and provide its passengers with the best possible travel experience and service in a competitive environment across its entire fleet.

When the Eurostar refurbished trains and the new e320 trains come into operation in 2013 and 2014 respectively, customers will have access to high speed broadband internet on board. Passengers will also be able to view and/or download pre-loaded entertainment/infotainment to their own devices via a Secure Wireless LAN. The quality of the NOMAD technology is such that passengers will enjoy a high speed connection to the internet at all times throughout their journey, a seamless switchover at international borders and connectivity wherever the customer is seated and whenever it is required.

In addition to providing connectivity solutions and infotainment the contracts will also cover the provision of spares and maintenance (for 5 years) as well as monitoring and multilingual service support to customers.

Nick Mercer, Commercial Director at Eurostar, said: “We are very pleased to be working with NOMAD and are confident that their Wi-Fi and infotainment solutions will significantly enhance the on-board travel experience and deliver our customers a high quality broadband service. Access to a high speed internet and quality infotainment is increasingly important to passengers and will ensure that whether they are travelling for business or leisure, they get the most out of their journey. In a world of on-rail competition providing the optimal digital experience will be key to our success.”

Alexander Eriksen, CEO at NOMAD said: “We are delighted to have been selected for provision of the wifi and infotainment solution for the Eurostar fleet. This contract is very strategic to NOMAD representing its entry into both the high speed rail and French markets. We look forward to working with such a prestigious company as Eurostar and delivering a high quality broadband experience to its customers.”

For more information and to find Eurostar deals such as cheap Eurostar tickets, interested parties can visit www.eurostar.com.

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Thistle Crowned ‘Hotel Group of the Year’ at Prestigious AA Awards

Thistle Hotels scooped the prestigious ‘Hotel Group of the Year Award’ at the AA Hospitality Awards 2011-2012.

Hosted by popular BBC newsreader, Sophie Raworth, at the London Hilton on Park Lane, the ceremony rewarded the best performers in the UK’s hospitality industry, and was well attended by world-renowned chefs, prominent hoteliers, restaurateurs, hospitality gurus and key media.

On selecting Thistle Hotels for the award, the judging panel were particularly impressed with how the hotel group have successfully kept their focus on the guest experience and developed teams in a way that delivered this commitment – genuinely and passionately.

AA Hotel Services manager, Simon Numphud, said: “Thistle Hotels has significantly improved their overall product and service offering over the last eighteen months. This includes achievements such as full Hospitality Assured accreditation, Tourism for all audits, increasing standards particularly in hospitality and service combined by on-going significant refurbishment have all impressed. All these things combined made them a deserving choice as winner of this award.”

On receipt of the award, Heiko Figge, Managing Director of Guoman & Thistle Hotels, commented: “We are extremely honoured to accept this award, and I’d like to thank each and every one of our Thistle colleagues for their contribution and dedication. To be named ‘Hotel Group of the Year’ is recognition of the sheer commitment and passion our people have shown in developing and enhancing the Thistle experience. We’re all very proud to be acknowledged with such a high profile industry award.”

For more information on Thistle visit www.thistle.com, or follow its blog for frequent travellers on blog.thistle.com.

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Kuoni Announces New Outbound Europe Division

The Kuoni Group has announced a new operational structure following the recent acquisition of GTA. All European tour operating arms of the Kuoni Group will now operate under a new division called”Outbound Europe”.

This means that Kuoni UK is now truly embedded in a pan-European Kuoni Group structure. This new organisation supports Kuoni’s aim to offer start to end seamless service for its customers, positioning itself as a trusted travel advisor and knowledgeable destination insider. The ability to share Kuoni Group knowledge and support services means the UK arm is given even more muscle in the market.

This new division consists of: Outbound Kuoni Nordic, Outbound Kuoni Europe sales unit, a new Online/Mobile unit and procurement and production unit.

Outbound Europe is headed by Group Executive Board member Leif Vase Larsen while Outbound Kuoni Nordic is led by Mats Dahlquist. Mats’ unit consists of Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland’s sales units.

The Outbound Kuoni Europe unit comprises Switzerland, UK and France’s sales units and a new Southern Europe & Benelux sub-unit, comprising Italy, Spain and Benelux. The UK division will be led by Derek Jones as new Managing Director Kuoni UK – a promotion from his previous role as VP Distribution & Operations.

The Procurement & Production unit is now headed by Joanna Edmunds who has been promoted from Managing Director Kuoni UK. This unit is the backbone of the Kuoni tour operations as it is responsible for all purchasing and production activities for both the Apollo and Kuoni brands in Europe.

Joanna Edmunds said: “By consistently bundling these activities and aligning product development initiatives more closely, we will be able to generate significant further synergies within our European tour operating business, strengthen our buying position and improve the product and service offerings to our customers.”

The newly-created Online & Mobile unit is responsible for all websites at the business-to-customer (B2C) interface. The unit is also home to Group Distribution online activities and to the B2C business of Octopus Travel, which was acquired with the purchase of GTA. Online & Mobile is additionally responsible for developing and utilising new internet and mobile communications.

“In establishing the organisation of Outbound Europe, we are striving to promptly assign the corresponding responsibilities – partly to help us focus on our day-to-day business and our annual objectives as swiftly as possible, and partly to promote the further development and refinement of our new division,” says Group Executive Board member Leif Vase Larsen. “These actions should enable us to achieve our overall aim of sustainably and profitably positioning our European tour operating business.”

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Redspottedhanky.com Wins Prestigious Rail Industry Award

Redspottedhanky.com, an online travel retailer, has won the Innovation category at the National Rail Awards. In the hardest fought category at the prestigious rail industry awards, this fast-growing company was praised for its attempts to increase the number of people choosing to take the train.

Operating in a crowded market place, redspottedhanky.com is fast becoming the industry leader in the important train booking market. The innovation category had more nominees than any other, which can only give the victory – in the winner-takes-all category – a further boost. The judges were particularly impressed by redspottedhanky.com’s efforts to increase footfall at railway stations nation-wide and to get the best deal for customers.

redspottedhanky.com is the only train booking service to reward customers with loyalty points on every booking and charges no booking fees, credit/debit card fees or delivery fees.

James Bain, director of redspottedhanky.com, celebrated the victory with a message to rail customers: “This victory cements our position at the forefront of innovation in the rail industry. Redspottedhanky.com is committed to making rail users lives easier by offering choice, in a simple and cost effective way, and by giving more value through our loyalty scheme.”

Bain continued: “We are constantly looking for new ways to enhance and streamline our customers travel experience, expect to see lots more from us in the future.”

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Travellers from UK going to Sunshine State for autumn holidays save on rentals from Orlando Airport

Carrentals.co.uk, the website that helps tourists to compare and source money-saving car hire deals, is this week home to new prices on rental cars in Florida. With the autumn holiday season in full swing the award-winning website has published new deals to help people rent a car for less in Florida.

Carrentals.co.uk has helped people save money on car hire around the world for over 5 years and sources its prices from more than 50 of famous name suppliers. Travellers can compare and then book car hire Orlando deals from companies including Alamo, Auto Europe, Budget, Ebookers, Hertz, Holiday Autos, Opodo, Sixt and Thrifty to get the best possible deal for them.

Florida is renowned for offering tourists famous attractions, theme parks and more great days out. Having picked up a hire car from Orlando’s airport for as little as£14 per day*, the tourist can head off to their hotel or for a fun day out.

Gareth Robinson, Managing Director of Carrentals.co.uk, says, “Autumn sees many thousands of people making for the beaches of Florida to enjoy some warmer weather, and we can help them do so on a budget. The new car rental USA deals we have offer some great Orlando deals right now.”

Carrentals.co.uk compares car hire deals from more than 50 rental providers, including Alamo, Auto Europe, Budget, Holiday Autos and Sixt, in over 15,000 locations worldwide. To compare the latest car hire deals visit www.carrentals.co.uk.

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British Airways Adds First And Business Class To Moscow Flights

For the first time, customers on British Airways’ London Heathrow to Moscow service will be able to sample the airline’s award-winning services in First and business class from next year.

The changes were announced during a UK trade delegation to Russia hosted by Prime Minister, David Cameron, alongside several major British business leaders.

British Airways has three return flights to Moscow Domodedevo airport per day. From April 2012, this route will change from a short-haul service operated with two cabins to a long-haul operation offering customers up to four classes of travel. This means customers will have the opportunity to enjoy the airline’s fully flat-beds, comprehensive in-flight entertainment and sample a wide selection of meals and drinks in unrivalled comfort. No other airline currently offers such a premium service on the four-hour flight between the two capital cities.

Sir Martin Broughton, chairman of British Airways, who accompanied David Cameron to Moscow to represent British business, said: “We are proud to have been flying to Russia for over fifty years. It is an important and growing market for us and we want to reflect our commitment to the region and our customers by enhancing our services and increasing the number of seats that are available to Moscow.”

British Airways has close ties with leading Russian airline, S7. The two airlines are members of the oneworld alliance and launched a code-share agreement earlier this year which means that customers can experience a seamless service between the UK and many destinations in Russia, transferring at Domodedovo airport. Both airlines’ customers benefit from competitive through fares, co-ordinated schedules and excellent customer service. It is hoped that the codeshare agreement will be expanded in the coming months so that even more parts of Russia will be linked by air services to the UK.

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Eurostar Launches Its First Pan-European Advertising Campaign

Eurostar, the high-speed passenger service linking London and mainland Europe is set to launch its first pan-European advertising campaign on the 1 October. The new London 2012 focused advertisements will mark the first time that Eurostar has shown the same TV advertisement in the UK, France and Belgian.

The campaign, created by Paris-based agency Leg, will focus on the important role Eurostar will play in carrying thousands of Olympic fans from the continent to London to see the 2012 Games in action. The advertisement will introduce its new strapline ‘Opening the Way’ to illustrate the pioneering spirit Eurostar has demonstrated since its launch in 1994, as well as the important part Eurostar plays in bringing different cultures, places and people together.

British musician, Jarvis Cocker, the French film director, Michel Gondry, and the Belgian popstar, Arno Hintjens all appear in the ad sharing their creative ideas as the combination of talent brainstorms to try and co-create something magical.

Emma Harris, Sales and Marketing Director for Eurostar says: “This new advertising campaign represents a change of direction for Eurostar. In the past our brand has been positioned differently in our different markets, but going forward our brand personality will be consistent wherever our customers interact with us.

“Eurostar has always connected people, cultures and places and our new strapline ‘Opening the Way’ has been designed to underscore this. People now think nothing of shopping in Paris for the day or lunching in Lille as they see Europe as closer than ever before.

“The London 2012 is the perfect platform from which to launch this new positioning. Because of Eurostar, 80 million fans from across Europe have sustainable access the games and we expect a huge proportion of travellers from as far as Holland, Germany and Switzerland to be choosing high speed rail to get to London. Our role as an enabler to what will be an amazing merging of nationalities and cultures during the games perfectly reflects the meaning behind ‘Opening the Way’.”

Eurostar introduced a new visual identity earlier in the year marking the beginning of a new chapter for the business and its ambitions to expand its reach, carrying more passengers from Germany and the Netherlands as well as across the UK, regional France and Belgium. Deregulation of the European market for international rail travel heralds a period of innovation with new entrants offering competing services and greater choice for consumers.

For more information on the new ad campaign and to find Eurostar deals such as cheap Eurostar tickets, interested parties can visit www.eurostar.com.

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Guoman Hotels Joins London Restaurant Festival Celebrations

Guoman Hotels, has announced that the Grand Imperial London will be celebrating the London Restaurant Festival for the first time by hosting Oriental Tea & Jazz afternoons in its bar lounge from 3-17 October 2011, representing authentic Hong Kong Cantonese food at its finest.

Guests will be able to indulge in an Eastern take on Afternoon Tea with a selection of savoury and sweet dim sum. Surrounded by the splendid Feng Shui setting of the restaurant’s bar lounge, and accompanied by the smooth sounds of jazz on the piano. The Oriental Tea & Jazz afternoons are a chance for guests to take their palate on a sumptuous journey to the East.

The Oriental Afternoon tea includes classics such as ‘Char Sui Bao’, ‘Concubine Chicken Wrap’ and Grand Imperial’s signature ‘Chocolate Dim Sum’ or a velvety ‘Green tea brulee’. To accompany these treats, guests can select their favourite soothing Oriental tea or opt for a glass of Balfour Brut English Rosé and, exclusively for the festival; they can pick any cocktail including the latest popping Boba drink. Throughout the festival guests will also have the opportunity to sample the restaurant’s Oriental bar menu offering an extended choice of delicious Cantonese treats.

London Restaurant Festival returns to the capital in 2011 from the 3rd to the 17th of October and is a two-week celebration of London’s extraordinarily diverse range of restaurants. Grand Imperial London will also celebrate with a bespoke 2 course menu, available by reservation only and which includes specialities such as ‘Crispy duck salad’ and ‘Black cod with honey pepper sauce’.

Oriental Afternoon Tea & Jazz will be served up every day between 3-6pm and priced per set with the option of an extra glass of champagne or a cocktail.

Located in landmark heritage hotel The Grosvenor, Victoria, Grand Imperial London is headed up by Chef Rand Cheung and is one of Malaysia’s leading restaurant groups with a premium reputation in fine dining. Featuring original pieces of artwork and calligraphy excerpts, Grand Imperial London has been designed around the ancient practice of Feng-shui, along with traditional artefacts and a private dining room to entertain up to 24 guests.

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Guoman Hotels Celebrates London Fashion Week

Guoman hotels has teamed up with renowned millinery designer, J Smith Esquire, to create five bespoke hats – one for each of the five hotel’s greeting doormen.

Launched at the start London Fashion Week (Spring/Summer 2012 Collections), the collaboration is entitled ‘Guoman presents J Smith Esquire: 5’.

The hats are all unique designs which have been exclusively created and handmade for Guoman Hotels by the millinery label’s owner and founder, Justin Smith, in his London studio.

Two exhibitions – on view at The Royal Horseguards and Charing Cross hotels – have been curated by Gemma Williams to celebrate the launch of the doorman hat collection and will also showcase couture collaborations and archive pieces from the last five years of Justin’s work.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the design process for this project and spent a lot of time exploring all five of the Guoman hotels for inspiration. As all five of the hotels are so individual in their design and history, I have created each of the hat designs with a distinct embellishment. I have always been inspired by international design-takes for hotel doorman uniforms and so have used this interest to create a refreshed, couture take on what is such a classic, traditional bowler hat shape,” explained Justin Smith, milliner and ‘J Smith Esquire’ owner and founder.

“This project is particularly special for me as it allows me to not only highlight my current collection with Guoman Hotels in the doorman hats, but also gather a selection of my previous designs and collaborations from the last five years into an exciting exhibition. To bring everything together within the hotels in celebration of the five individual doorman hats, together with five years of my personal millinery and hat creations is extremely exciting.”

The retrospective exhibition and catalogue, curated by Gemma Williams, will be the focal point of the ‘J Smith Esquire”s London Fashion Week presentation. Guoman Hotels’ flagship luxury London hotel, The Royal Horseguards, will host an exhibition featuring all five of the doorman hats along with pieces from the ‘J Smith Esquire’ label and designer collaborations. Guoman Hotels’ Charing Cross, a four-star luxury railway hotel located literally in the very centre of the capital, will play host to an interactive audio-visual experience which will illustrate the full creation process for the project as well as from Justin Smith’s diverse career.

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BFI Film Festival Celebrates 55th Birthday in Style

The BFI Film Festival is set to mark its 55 th anniversary with a clutch of high-profile premieres, gala films and star-studded ceremonies at the BFI Southbank as well as selected cinemas around London.

Alongside the high-profile events, there will also be plenty of programme time given over to screenings of independent and foreign language films, documentaries, animationand classic movies from the BFI National Archive.

To mark this occasion, top London hotels website LondonTown.com is offering some spectacular discounts on hotel rooms near the Southbank centre and other locations around London.

There are several luxury hotels near the Southbank Centre. Perhaps the closest is Swissotel the Howard Hotel, a tastefully decorated hotel that is popular with business travellers, overlooks the River Thames and is just 8 minutes’ walk from the Southbank Centre. It is also very close to Covent Garden, a popular celebrity hangout and marketplace in central London. During the festival, LondonTown are offering rooms at this luxury hotel from just £140 per night, a saving of 68% on the usual price of £205.

For those on a tighter budget, the luxurious 4-star Park Plaza County Hall Hotel is available from just £86 per night, a whopping 79% less than the list price. This hotel can boast self catering facilities in every room, as well as a restaurant and bar. While it doesn’t offer riverside views, it is very near to major attractions such as Big Ben, the London Eye and the Southbank Centre.

Those who really want to push the boat out could book a room at the legendary Corinthia hotel. Deluxe double rooms in this grand old luxury hotel usually start at £319 per night, but by booking through LondonTown.com during the festival, cinephiles can get a room for just £269, a saving of £50. This hotel, which dates back to Victorian times, has recently undergone a £300m refurbishment, restoring it to its former glory while adding all the facilities you would expect of a modern 5 star hotel. Inside, there is a choice of restaurants, a luxury spa, and a refurbished grand ballroom which was used for state balls in the 1880s.

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Salon Du Chocolat Comes To Paris

It is doubtful you could find a more popular subject for a festival than chocolate, so attracting visitors to the Salon du Chocolat on October 20th-24th should be no problem for the organisers.

Situated in the Porte de Versailles on the south border of Paris, the exhibition is a mix of award shows, exhibitions and demonstrations that reveal what it takes to make the perfect chocolate dessert.

Many French celebrity chefs will take to the stage to talk audiences through their inventive cocoa creations, while the intriguing chocolate fashion show is certainly worth a look.

There will also be a workshop for children, a book store where you can get some recipe ideas, and the Cocoa Show, where representatives from all the cocoa producing countries of the world come together to celebrate with a spectacular stage show of music and dance.

Hotels-paris.co.uk can offer a vast choice of accommodation for anyone looking to pay this event a visit, including several smart boutique hotels such as the elegant Pershing Hall.

For more information about Salon du Chocolat, visit www.salonduchocolat.fr/accueil.aspx.

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Montmartre Hosts A Wine Harvest At The Heart Of The City

You would perhaps not expect to find a vineyard in the middle of a city. You would expect such a thing to be found occupying a large field in the countryside, but in fact the famous Montmartre district in Northern Paris has its very own little collection of grapevines, and every year they host a parade and a market to celebrate their annual harvest.

Only around 1,000 bottles are produced from the vineyard every year, and these are then auctioned for charity at the marvellous Fête des Vendanges.

Here, visitors can not only sample the wine but also enjoy local food and hospitality as the historic process of wine-making is played out in one of the city’s best loved areas.

The festivities include a parade and a late night firework display, and runs from October 5th-9th.

Hotels-paris.co.uk has a number of excellent cheap hotels right across the city, with Helvetia just one of many options available.

For more on the Fête des Vendanges, visit www.fetedesvendangesdemontmartre.com.

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redspottedhanky.com Introduces Online Worldwide Hotel Booking Service

redspottedhanky.com, the award winning online travel retailer, has launched a hotel booking service, alongside its existing train ticketing service. Using redspottedhanky.com customers can book accommodation at over 130,000 hotels worldwide and earn loyalty points which can be redeemed on future train travel.

In yet another new development from redspottedhanky.com, winner of the Innovation category at the 2011 National Rail Awards, customers will earn double loyalty points on any hotel booking made through the online travel retailer meaning that customers can now earn even more points.

The launch of redspottedhanky.com’s hotel booking service will allow customers to book all their travel on one easy to use website with no booking fees, credit/debit card fees or delivery fees.

James Bain, director at redspottedhanky.com said: “We are delighted to be able to offer our customers double loyalty points on over 130,000 hotels worldwide. As well as making sure our customers are getting the cheapest rail fares, we are now able to offer them some of the best hotel rates available. We believe that by integrating hotels we are able to offer a more rounded travel service. By adding accommodation to redspottedhanky.com with double loyalty points we are committed to rewarding our customers with the potential to get even more savings on rail fares.

“We are the only train ticket booking service to offer loyalty points for booking train tickets – and now double points can be earned on hotel bookings too, it is one more reason to use redspottedhanky.com.”

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British Airways Launches New Ad Campaign

British Airways is launching its biggest brand advertising campaign for a decade to coincide with a five-year programme of investment for the benefit of customers.

The campaign, on TV, in newspapers and online, showcases the airline’s heritage and highlights the characteristics that make British Airways special: decades of flying know-how, thoughtful service and British style.

By placing new emphasis on its historic motto, ‘To Fly. To Serve‘, the airline is restating its resolve to put the customer at the heart of everything it does. Beyond the brand advertising, the airline has committed to spend more than £5 billion on customer products and services over the next five years.

The investment will see British Airways customers benefiting from new aircraft, new World Traveller and World Traveller Plus cabins, a revamped First class, significant improvements at Gatwick and better lounges around the airline’s network.

Funds will also be allocated to improved catering and new technologies to make the travel experience more comfortable and convenient for customers on the ground and in the air.

Keith Williams, British Airways’ chief executive, said: “The motto ‘To Fly. To Serve’ is part of the DNA of British Airways. It is on our coat of arms, and it is worn in crew uniforms. And it has real meaning and resonance for today. It encapsulates our expertise for flying and our commitment to customer service. It describes our purpose.”

Frank van der Post, British Airways’ managing director, brands and customer experience, said: “This campaign has real substance. Not only are we investing in tangible improvements to the customer experience, earlier this year we launched an internal programme to engage with our staff. We’re working with our cabin crew, listening to their views and giving them tools, such as iPads, to enable them to deliver even better service.

“The technology teams are working to deliver more customer-friendly improvements to our website and apps. The airport team is developing more services for premium customers. The catering team is revamping the menus and the wines. All these changes are being delivered now and we have even more plans for the future. The whole airline is delivering on our promise, ‘To Fly. To Serve’.”

The 90-second advert was launched at 11am on September 21 on the airline’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/britishairways, following an online ‘teaser’ campaign over the previous few weeks.

This is the first time the airline has used social media to premiere an advert. Its television debut will take place on Channel 4 during Grand Designs’ first commercial break.

The TV ad will run alongside a print campaign, highlighting the experience, expertise and care for customers shown by teams across the airline every day.

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Door2Tour.com Services Demand With A Range Of Coach Packages To ‘The X Factor Live Tour’

The new series of The X Factor now features highly in most people’s viewing schedules for the weekend especially with the revamped judging panel featuring Gary Barlow, Tulisa Contostavlos, Kelly Rowland and Louis Walsh and it would seem that customers of coach holidays consolidator, Door2Tour.com, just can’t get enough of the show with an unprecedented demand for tickets to see the as yet unannounced finalists up close on ‘The X Factor Live Tour’.

To meet this demand, Door2Tour.com has increased the number of coach packages and day trips available for customers to book online 24 hours a day/7 days a week to see ‘The X Factor Live Tour‘. The increase is thought to be down to the continued popularity of the TV series, heightened media attention surrounding the new judges, the drama surrounding Cheryl Cole & whether she will/will not appear in this series and not forgetting the buzz that a buff-looking Gary Barlow is creating too.

Rachel Jones, Door2Tour.com’s Online PR & Marketing Co-ordinator commented: “We knew that coach breaks to ‘The X Factor Live Tour’ were already popular with our customers but I don’t think anyone here realised just how much until the reformatted show hit TV screens across the UK. Interest in the new series of The X Factor was already at its peak with the very public spat between Cheryl Cole and Simon Cowell but, the reformatting of the show and the exciting changes to the Judging Panel are all having a positive effect too. It just goes to show that reality TV continues to be popular and as long as this is the case, Door2Tour.com will endeavour to service this demand with fantastic great-value coach packages.”

The massive ‘X Factor Live’ arena tour will visit all the major cities from Aberdeen to Dublin with contestants performing classic songs as well as viewers’ favourites from the TV series. Apparently these are the most sought after tickets so fans of ‘The X Factor’ are advised to book early to avoid disappointment.

Spaces are still available on ‘The X Factor Live Tour’ in London and the package includes return coach travel, hotel-to-venue transfers, one night’s bed and breakfast accommodation, a ticket to ‘The X Factor Live Tour’ at London’s O2 Arena, a visit to Central London for shopping/sightseeing and the services of a tour manager throughout.

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Kuoni Group Undergoes ‘Logical’ Reorganisation

Kuoni Group has reorganised its business into three new “logical” divisions.

Under the new structure “various business units grouped organisationally according to their business models, activities, geographical spread, growth prospects, customer portfolios and management requirements”, explained a statement.

The reorganisation follows the acquisition of Gullivers’ Travel Associates (GTA) in May 201 and a three-year investment programme which ends in 2011.

In operation from October 1st, the new structure will consist of a European tour operating business, called Outbound Europe, headed by Leif Vase Larsen; a business-to-business, tour and meetings and incentives division, called Global Travel Services, headed by Rolf Schafroth; and an Emerging Markets and Specialists division, headed by Stefan Leser.

Peter Rothwell, chief executive of Kuoni Group said: “Combining our various business activities all over the world into three new divisions is a logical consequence of our growth strategy, our acquisition activity and a result of our investment and cost-reduction programme.

“Following the acquisition of GTA, Kuoni is fast developing into a diversified global travel group with strong activities in Asia.”

“Our updated group structure will enable us to better position our existing tour operating businesses and take full advantage of cross border and cross company synergies.

“At the same time, it will equip us to accelerate our development of those activities – especially our Asian business – that have strong growth credentials.”

Global functional units, such as finance, IT, HR and corporate communications, will continue to report directly to Peter Rothwell.

Via EPR Network
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Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach Launches a YOUnique Website, Mobile Website, and Social Media Channels

A tropical sanctuary that offers contemporary comforts in Hollywood Beach, Florida, the Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach has launched its newest website and mobile site for vacation and business travelers looking for a YOUnique South Florida escape.

The website and mobile site showcase the Hollywood Beach resort’s sophisticated atmosphere and amenities, including the poolside Lava Tiki Bar, stunning wedding venues, oversized accommodations, and convenient location along the Intracoastal Waterway. With its simple navigation, our mobile site lets you book rooms online right from your smartphone. Experience a YOUnique Hollywood Beach sanctuary today.

At Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach, it’s all about your experience – gazing at picturesque sunsets, lounging poolside, boarding the Water Taxi for a relaxing cruise through the inland waterways, savoring upscale and casual cuisine, celebrating your wedding, and shopping at the nearby Aventura Mall. Our website welcomes you to our Hollywood Beach resort with exciting Florida vacation packages, specials and eCoupons that make it easy to escape to paradise.

Feeling social? Come follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flikr. Stay connected with changing promotions that only friends and fans can tap into. Discover a tropical destination where you are free to relax at the Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach.

What are you waiting for? Make your reservations and get away to a magnificent Hollywood Beach hotel and resort that awaits you. Send us an email at reservations@cphollywoodbeach.com or call our friendly hospitality team at 954-454-4334. Plan your Florida dream vacation at http://www.cphollywoodbeach.com today.

Via EPR Network
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