Category Archives: Cruises

Tully Luxury Travel announced two new appointments to its senior leadership team

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TORONTO, 2016-Sep-15 — /EPR TRAVEL NEWS/ — As Tully Luxury Travel prepares to celebrate its 30th anniversary year, it has announced two new appointments to its senior leadership team. Ms. Cathy Holler joins as Vice President, African Dreams, and Mr. Pat Lista joins as Vice President, Product & Contracting. Both bring 30 years of experience in the tourism industry.

Cathy Holler brings her visionary and strategic skills, an entrepreneurial spirit, extensive experience and connections in the luxury travel sector and broad knowledge of Africa. Her most recent positions include Vice President, Business Development and Product Innovation at Travcoa, Vice President, Member Sales & Service – USA & Canada and Vice President, Destination Sales, both at Virtuoso.

“I am incredibly honored and excited to join Mary Jean Tully and the amazing team at Tully Luxury Travel to lead their African Dreams division,” says Holler. “Since I was young, Africa has held a special place in my heart. To now be able to focus all of my expertise, energy and passion to promote travel to Africa is a dream come true!”

Pat Lista brings his extensive background in contract negotiations, sales, marketing, budgets and supplier relationships. A fluid thinker and passionate leader, Pat excels at finding innovative solutions to drive business forward and navigate teams through changing business models.

“I’m excited about this new and important chapter in my career, and happy to be working with a group of individuals whose professionalism is second to none. Everyone is striving towards the same goal: to provide the most exceptional service and travel experiences for our clients. The future is very bright.”

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SOURCE: Travel PR News

Shrewsbury Travel Branch Collects Christmas Gifts For Women’s Aid Charity

Generous-spirited people have got behind a gift appeal in Shrewsbury to help women and children spending Christmas in a refuge.

The Midcounties Co-op Travel branch, cooptravel.co.uk, in the town centre has asked colleagues, customers, local businesses and the general public to donate new toiletries, toys and clothing for the appeal.

Around 50 gifts have already been donated at the branch in Pride Hill and the collection continues until 12 December.

Organiser Kate Walmsley, Senior Travel Advisor, said: “The gifts will be wrapped and presented to our charity partner Women’s Aid who will distribute them to refuges in the region. We would like to thank everyone who has given so far; we have been touched by their support.

“I’m sure it will lift the spirit of the families who receive the gifts this Christmas to know that the community at large is thinking of them.”

The Midcounties Co-op Travel, a locally owned and independent business, is part of community retailer The Midcounties Co-operative. Midcounties is supporting charity partner Women’s Aid, the key national charity working to end domestic violence against women and children.

Its businesses have been raising funds and awareness to support the charity’s work nationally and eleven local services that operate within its trading areas, including refuges at Shropshire, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Wyre Forest, Warwickshire, Wycombe, Oxfordshire, The Forest of Dean and Gloucestershire.

Colleagues are also giving their time to volunteering projects and getting involved in campaign work for Women’s Aid.

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Kuoni wins ‘Best Travel Team of the Year’ and ‘Best Tour Operator of the Year’

Leading travel specialist Kuoni won ‘Best Tour Operator of the Year’ and ‘Best Travel Team of the Year’ (a new award for 2012) at the TTG Travel Awards 2012, as voted for and shortlisted by 30,000 travel agents and a judging panel of industry experts.

With stiff competition in the form of other shortlisted companies, Kuoni stepped up to the stage to be congratulated by celebrity guest host, actor and comedian, David Walliams and TTG Brand Director, Daniel Pearce.

The red-carpet event was held at London’s prestigious Odeon West End theatre on Leicester Square. Celebrations continued at the exclusive after-show party in the Penthouse night club, Leicester Square with live music and stunning views of London’s skyline.

Over 700 movers and shakers of the travel industry flooded Leicester Square, setting it alight with true Hollywood glitz and glamour for a show-stopping ceremony, including Kuoni UK Managing Director Derek Jones, National Sales Manager for Trade Amanda Darrington and National Sales Manager for Retail Helen Roberts.

Commenting on Kuoni’s win, Derek Jones, Kuoni UK MD said: “The TTG Awards ceremony was a spectacular evening of entertainment showcasing the best of the best in our industry.

“We are delighted to have been voted best ‘Tour Operator of the Year’ and we are thrilled to have won their new award for best ‘Travel Team Agency of the Year’, in recognition of the outstanding hard work and commitment of everyone at Kuoni.

“Kuoni has enjoyed considerable success in the past in both the Long Haul and Luxury Tour Operator categories but we have never before won in the Best Tour Operator section which includes all tour operators large and small.

“I am so proud of the team’s achievements and to have been recognised by our industry peers with these accolades.”

TTG Brand Director, Daniel Pearce added: “I’d personally like to congratulate Kuoni on winning ‘Tour Operator of the Year’ and ‘Travel Team Agency of the Year’ at the TTG Travel Awards 2012. With over 30,000 travel agent ratings and an esteemed panel of judges, our rigorous judging process makes winning these awards a huge achievement in the travel industry.”

Judges for the awards include experts from trade bodies and leading travel companies and the Institute of Travel and Tourism, as well as leading figures from the worlds of commerce and retail.

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Door2Tour.com announces 2013 dates for ‘Downton Abbey’ Location Tours

Door2Tour.com has revealed its 2013 departure dates for the ‘Downton Abbey’ Location Tours that were such a hit with its customers last year that it struggled to keep up with the demand. The company is now urging fans of the show to book their place on 2013 tours now to avoid disappointment, which many experienced last year.

Since airing on 16 September 2012, Door2Tour.com has noticed a surge in interest for breaks to Highclere Castle which is the setting used for ‘Downton Abbey’. It has seen an increase to date of 370% in bookings for the ‘Downton Abbey’ Location Tours compared to the same period last year. The breaks are even starting to outsell tours to ‘Emmerdale’ filming locations by 22% which shows that customers of Door2Tour.com are enjoying visiting those locations that have featured in their favourite TV shows.

Rachel Jones, Online PR & Marketing Co-ordinator for Door2Tour.com, said: “Our ‘Downton Abbey’ Location Tours have always been a popular choice for our customers, but the hype surrounding the third series has meant that our breaks are flying off the shelves. Literally, as soon as the new series aired, we were inundated with enquiries which resulted in many bookings. I think it goes to show that customers who missed out on the ‘Downton Abbey’ Location Tours that departed this year are taking heed of our advice and booking early to avoid disappointment for next year.”

The success and popularity of ‘Downton Abbey’ is also represented through its many award wins. In 2011, the show walked away with six Emmy Awards while this year saw Dame Maggie Smith pick up the Emmy for ‘Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series’ for her role in the show.

For those who are not familiar with the show, the drama is set in fictional ‘Downton Abbey’, the Yorkshire country house of the Earl and Countess of Grantham, and follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley Family and their servants during the reign of King George V.

Rachel Jones concluded: “At the moment there is plenty of availability on all of our ‘Downton Abbey’ Location Tours but this changes on a day by day basis. As time goes by it will become increasingly difficult to service demand for tours departing in 2013 therefore we are advising customers not to think about it for too long and instead secure their place now with a small deposit and pay the rest of the balance next year.”

Door2Tour.com offer a wide variety of ‘Downton Abbey’ Location Tours including day trips and overnight coach packages which include return coach travel, one night’s accommodation with bed and breakfast, entrance to Highclere Castle and the Egyptian Exhibition, plus excursions to Oxford and Henley On Thames.

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Kuoni Announces Participants in the Holiday Health Experiment

Kuoni and the UK’s largest healthcare charity Nuffield Health have selected six individuals to journey to radically different parts of the world as part of a unique study called ‘The Holiday Health Experiment’. The experiment aims to better understand the health impact of different types of holiday on the wellbeing of the body and mind.

2,845 Brits entered The Holiday Health Experiment from April to June 2012. Before, during and after the trips all six individuals will undergo a variety of medical and psychological tests to look at the effects ‘everyday life’ has on the body and mind. The data will then be compared to that gathered during and after the holiday. This experiment is the first of its kind conducted by a UK travel company in conjunction with a medical team consisting of doctors, physiologists and further assistance from Christine Webber, a leading psychotherapist.

Among the participants is Sarah Denning, a midwife from Hertfordshire, who will travel to Meeru Island Resort & Spa in the Maldives. Sarah has chosen friend, Sarah Bastida as her travelling companion and they can look forward to 12-days of rest and relaxation with a ‘no news, no shoes’ feel. Sarah Denning said: “Helping new life into the world demands 100%, 24/7, as a physical and emotional commitment. It’s a treat to have time to focus on my wellbeing. To make this a girls’ holiday where two great friends can chill-out together, not having to worry about make-up and men, is an added bonus.”

Glossop based husband and wife, Ben Clarke and Stacy Young will travel with Kuoni and Earthwatch to Peru to help with teams of researchers and conservationists aboard the Amazon Riverboat Exploration. Stacy and Ben said: “We got married in September last year and are now at a crossroads with tricky decisions to make about careers, finances, travel and babies. It would be interesting to see how immersion in a different environment will help shape our thinking about our future and our wellbeing, and even the role a holiday has to play in making big decisions.”

South Hants based couple, Hilary Durkan and Steve Duff, both coastguard officers, will travel on Kuoni’s ‘Ancient Thailand’ tour with Asian Trails, an adventure through ancient Thai Kingdoms. Hilary said: “We work in a challenging environment, always ‘on call’ and needing to be available for our volunteers 24/7. We all need time out and it intrigues me as to how a holiday will make me feel about my everyday stresses and how important a break is to help me deal with them.”

Chris Jones, Head of Physiology at Nuffield Health, said: “On a day-to-day basis, our bodies give us subtle physical signals for stress or tiredness that may be caused by our busy modern lives and we all intuitively know that a holiday can help us re-charge our batteries. This case study-based experiment will give us an interesting insight into how holidays may impact on a person’s wellbeing.”

Says Christine Webber, psychotherapist on this project: “Anecdotally, we know that holidays can help people to re-charge their batteries, and to re-connect with each other and rediscover the joy they find in each other’s company. I hope to discover whether people can be aware of the factors that bring about positive changes during vacations, and can then introduce some of these factors on their return home, in a bid to make their normal day-to-day existences more mentally and physically healthy.”

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Flight Centre Launch Australian Summer Deals To Bali, Phuket & Langkawi

Forget the rain, wind and winter chills on our doorstep, summer bargains are on the horizon, so lock in a deal to a far-flung destination where skies are blue and temperatures are balmy.

Flight Centre’s executive general manager, Colin Bowman, says there are plenty of ways travellers can keep summer holiday costs down.

“By travelling at a certain time or booking early, you may be able to cut hundreds off the total cost of your holiday,” Mr Bowman said. “If you are not tied to school holidays, it is best to travel during late October or early December, when resorts are quieter and prices are not at their peak.”

Destinations like Thailand, Bali and Malaysia offer a generous dose of sunshine almost all year round, so if you can be flexible with your travel dates, keep an eye out for great deals as they arise.

“This year, we have seen hotels and resorts in the Caribbean, Mauritius, Mexico andHawaii offer five-night holidays for less than $1,000,” he said.

Flight Centre is offering the following Australian summer deals:

1. Ubud, Bali
The sun shines for about 12 hours each day in Bali, so there is really no reason why you can’t soak in a much-needed boost of vitamin D. Daytime temperatures average between 27 and 32 degrees, while cooler temperatures set in at night and atop the mountains.

The best time to travel to Bali is in the months of May, June and July, during the dry monsoon season, however even in the wet monsoon season from October to April, this tropical paradise is still sunny for most of the day.

Flight Centre is offering four nights’ for the price three at the 4.5-star Alila Ubud Resort in Ubud.

From $439* per person twin share, this deal includes four nights in a Superior Room, breakfast daily, afternoon tea daily, a local community Balinese dancing class, tai chi and yoga experiences, and a scheduled shuttle service to Ubud town.

Exclusive bonuses with this package include a gift in the room on arrival, 10USD spa credit voucher per person per room and a babysitter for families that book the Romantic Dinner.

Valid for travel from 1 November to 19 December, 2012 and from 6 January to 31 March, 2013.

2. Barbados, The Caribbean
You would be hard-pushed to find a better cure for the cold than the mesmerising Caribbean, with its sugar-soft beaches, beautiful reefs and turquoise waters.

Beyond suntans and swimming, there is plenty to do and see, from street parades in Cuba, to white-water rafting in St Lucia and fortresses in Jamaica.

Couples, who are yearning to sink their toes into the sand at a luxury resort, need not worry about breaking the bank.

Flight Centre is offering five nights’ for the price of three at the 4-star The Crane Resort & Residences in Barbados.

From just $835* per person twin share, the package includes five nights in a Junior Garden View Suite, return airport transfers, welcome cocktail and cold towel and a complimentary cocktail party.

Exclusive bonuses with this package include 40USD spa credit per person, 40USD resort credit per person and free kids meals up to 13 years.

Valid for travel from 17 November to 21 December, 2012.

3. Phuket, Thailand
Aussies love to visit Phuket, at any time of the year. The island is perfect for people who want to experience an Asian culture, while they relax on the beach by day and get amongst the buzz of parties at night.

If you like playing outdoors, this island serves up a plethora of activities, from mountain biking, bungy jumping, and deep sea diving to sightseeing in temples and local communities. However, most people are happy to laze on a sun lounge with a cocktail in hand.

Flight Centre is offering eight nights for the price of four nights at the 5-star Movenpick Resort & Spa Karon in Phuket. From $519* per person twin share, this deal includes eight nights accommodation in a Deluxe Garden View Room, breakfast daily and return airport transfers.

Exclusive bonuses with this package include THB100 resort credit per room per night and a complimentary cake if you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary or honeymoon.

Valid for travel from 1 August to 31 October, 2012.

4. Langkawi, Malaysia
Plunge into turquoise waters on Malaysia’s west coast. Weather on the island is mostly consistent all year round, with the temperatures ranging from 25 to 35 degrees. Seas remain fairly calm, even when there is rainfall, unlike some other destinations along the southeast coast of Asia. Langkawi is ideal for sun and nature lovers who want a quieter, secluded beach surrounding.

Flight Centre is offering six nights for the price of five nights at the 4-star Berjaya Langkawi in Langkawi.

From $485 per person twin share, this package includes six nights accommodation in a Rainforest Chalet and breakfast daily.

Exclusive bonuses with this package include a welcome drink on arrival, a complimentary basket of fruit in the room and access to the guest services manager at check-in.

Valid for travel from 1 September to 31 October, 2012.

5. Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
If you are craving a sizzling summer beach party, you will be happy to find the weather in Playa del Carmen is always warm, even hot, most of the year.

Here, you can party like never before to salsa beats, try a Cuban cigar or walk along pure white sandy beaches.

The sun is most powerful from June to August, but the cooler months are very comfortable, from November to January.

Flight Centre is offering five nights stay at the 4-star Gran Porto Real Resort & Spa in Playa del Carmen.

From $905* per person twin share, this package includes five nights accommodation in a Junior Suite, return airport transfers, evening shows and theme parties.

Exclusive bonuses with this package include a welcome cocktail and cold towel on arrival, a gift in the room on arrival, Spa Sampler Sessions valued at USD30 per person and a 15% discount at Spa.

Valid for travel from 1 November to 23 December 2012.

* Prices are subject to change and availability. Available to book until October 31, 2012. Bonuses are exclusive to Flight Centre Limited. For bookings and further details, phone Flight Centre on 1300 939 414 or visit www.flightcentre.com.au.

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Kuoni Launches Nationwide Marketing Campaign For South American Adventures

Kuoni has announced the launch of a dedicated nationwide marketing campaign highlighting adventures, exploration and unworldly landscapes in South America.

Kuoni’s 21 retail stores and four partnership stores have increased sales to the South America region by providing tailored expert advice and sharing first-hand experiences.

Kuoni’s well-travelled and knowledgeable travel experts are ready to craft an adventure to South America completely tailored to the customer’s needs. Among the South American itineraries featured in the latest campaign is Brazil. Travellers can take in the highlights on a 13 night independent itinerary starting in Rio with its famous Copacabana Beach, Sugar Loaf Mountain and the statue of Christ the Redeemer, then marvel at the spectacular natural wonder of Iguaçu Falls, the meeting place of Iguaçu and Paraná Rivers. A cruise on the Amazonian river is also featured.

Peru offers unforgettable experiences and memorable adventures including the ancient man-made wonder, Machu Picchu which is on many peoples must-see tick list. The country recently drew crowds in London’s Covent Garden, where the Peru Tourist Board and TV personality and adventurer Ben Fogle produced a three-metre high Lego model of Machu Picchu.

Kuoni is also offering a “Taste of Peru” on a 7 night private tour. On the tour, customers will visit Peru’s capital Lima, Cuzco, the ancient capital of the Incas, and the Sacred Valley, deemed to be the heartland of the Inca Empire due to its unique location.

Another South American destination highlighted by Kuoni is Chile, a diverse landscape enabling explorers to experience climatic extremes. From the driest place on earth, the Atacama Desert, to the natural beauty and the spectacular fjords and glaciers in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile is perfect for trekking and breath-taking vistas. Kuoni’s personal travel experts can tailor-make holidays to include the mystical Easter Island home of the Moai statues, another awe-inspiring sight.

Sarah Beckwith, Market Manager said: “Kuoni launched the new Discover brochure in October 2011, bringing together the very best of Kuoni’s escorted tours and highlighting the opportunities for tailor-made travel, particularly in South America, to experience a true adventure, iconic sights and treasured moments.

“We hope this dedicated campaign will inspire our customers as these incredible and spectacular destinations are put under the spotlight.”

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Voyager Travel Direct uses social media to give away free holiday

Voyager Travel Direct is giving away a free Red Sea holiday via its company Facebook page. The prize includes a 7 night all inclusive holiday for 2 people staying at the deluxe Siva Grand Beach Hotel. Return flights, transfers, 20kg luggage allowance and all meals and drinks are also included in the prize.

The Siva Grand Beach Hotel is set in its own section of private beach overlooking the crystal waters of the Red Sea, just 8km from Hurghada Old Town. The hotel offers a range of restaurants and bars, live day and evening entertainment, a large outdoor swimming pool, a selection of sports activities and a daily shuttle bus to the old town centre.

The resort of Hurghada can be found on the east coast of Egypt just a 20 minute transfer from the airport. Average temperatures range from 20 degrees in winter through to 36 degrees in summer making a holiday to Hurghada a popular choice with the British all year round. Originating from a fishing village, the resort has a stunning harbour and now offers over 200 hotels many of which have private beaches. It forms part of the beautiful Red Sea coast and meets the eastern desert proving stunning sunsets.

A Red Sea holiday has long been a popular choice for scuba divers, with a number of PADI diving centres in Hurghada offering both day trips and overnight trips. Popular dive sites include Giftun Island, Thistlegorm, Abu Nunas and Safaga. The Siva Grand offers scuba diving lessons in its swimming pool for guests who are new to the sport. Other sports offered in the hotel include aqua aerobics, water polo and beach volleyball. The hotel also has its own aqua centre where guests can hire pedalos, or try windsurfing or water-skiing.

Entering the competition to win the all inclusive holiday is really simple. Liking the Voyager Travel Direct Facebook page gives the user access to the ‘Win a Holiday’ app where entrants can answer a question about the holiday and submit their details to enter.

Verity Eyre, General Manager of Voyager Travel Direct said: “We took the decision to run the competition through our Facebook page as we thought this medium would work well with our client base and we wanted to try and increase social interaction with our brand. Our development team built an app within Facebook to host the competition and we took great care to ensure we were within Facebook’s guidelines. We’re really pleased with the level of interest that the competition has generated and as a result we are considering giving away another holiday in the future. We selected this particular prize as the Siva Grand is one of our top selling hotels and we have never had any complaints about it so we are confident that the winner will have a fantastic holiday. “

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Kuoni Reveals 84 Per Cent Of Brits Say Holidays Are Worth More Than They Cost In Terms Of Wellbeing

Kuoni Travel and Nuffield Health have revealed 84 per cent of British holidaymakers claim holidays are worth more to them in terms of wellbeing than the money they spend on them.

The UK’s largest healthcare charity and Kuoni Travel surveyed 2,845 UK adults between 14 April to 30 June 2012 to find out how a holiday can help to alleviate the effects that everyday life has on the public’s mental and physical wellbeing.

The research showed that taking a break can improve people’s lives in four key ways:
– It enables to break out of a routine
– Offers an opportunity to reconnect with loved ones
– Puts a fresh perspective on people’s lives
– Enables us to relax and recharge our batteries

These benefits explain why almost a third (32 per cent) of Britons say that every pound they spend on a holiday is worth 2-4 times more to them in terms of wellbeing, 21 per cent say it’s worth 5-7 times more, more than a quarter (27 per cent) say that its worth 8-10 times more, and 4 per cent say it’s worth over 11 times more.

Interestingly, of those surveyed, 67 per cent said it took up to four days to stop worrying about work, this breaks down into:
– 44 percent said it took between 1 and 2 days
– 23 per cent said it took between 3 and 4 days
– Younger adults (16-24) were most likely to worry the longest (74 per cent)

Chris Jones, Head of Physiology at Nuffield Health, said: “On a day-to-day basis, our bodies give us subtle physical signals for stress or tiredness that may be caused by our busy modern lives and we all intuitively know that a holiday can help us re-charge our batteries. The fact that two-thirds of people are taking up to four days to switch off maybe an important indicator of how we manage stress from our everyday lives.”

Derek Jones, MD Kuoni, said: “This study highlights the health benefits of a significant 10-day to two week holiday. Kuoni is well known for its expertise in tailor-making trips to long-haul destinations across the globe, and it seems more time away means the better we unwind and recover from the demands of our busy lives.”

This survey is part of a bigger research study the luxury holidays provider and Nuffield Health are carrying out this year called The Holiday Health Experiment. Across August, Kuoni are sending three different couples away on three radically different types of holiday – to Amazonian Peru, to Thailand and to the Maldives. Nuffield Health and psychotherapist, Christine Webber, will be conducing medical tests on the couples before, during and after their time away to see how the holidays may impact on a person’s well-being.

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Kuoni Launches New iPad App

Kuoni has announced the launch of a new iPad app which allows users to enjoy fast and easy access to Kuoni’s range of brochures, videos, travel article feed and website with Kuoni’s new app. The free app is available to download now from Apple’s App Store.

The app is automatically kept up to date with Kuoni’s full range of brochures, which once downloaded can be read anytime, even when the user is not connected to the internet. Updates to previously downloaded brochures are flagged for the customer’s convenience and, in addition, the app checks for new brochures each time it is started.

Developed by digital publishing specialists inbro, the app has already been downloaded and installed by hundreds of users, to whom it has delivered thousands of brochures. Users also have easy access to the Kuoni website directly from within the app.

Matt Gillam, inbro Director said: “The app’s purpose is to provide the user with the convenience of a single point of contact with the Kuoni brand on their personal device, which is why it offers one-stop access to news, video and an easy to use website link as well as Kuoni’s entire brochure content. We want the Kuoni brand to go to the customer rather than vice versa.”

Matt Rooke, Ebusiness and Publishing Vice President at Kuoni added: “We want to make Kuoni as accessible as possible to all its customers and provide effective and efficient methods that feed the current demand. The app self-updates so we can rest assured that customers are getting the best quality of information on a daily basis, in a format that suits them. Also, iPad is a fast growing channel and we particularly like the way an app gives Kuoni a branded presence on our customers’ devices.”

For more information about the Kuoni app visit:
http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/kuoni-uk-brochures/id520085589?mt=8.

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Kuoni Shows Off The World In The New 2013 Worldwide Brochure

Kuoni has revealed its latest brochure, ‘Worldwide 2013’, featuring a selection of amazing holidays, unforgettable experiences, award-winning service and great value.

Brimming with exclusive properties (mostly in the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Thailand), brand new places to stay, a wide range of multicentre holidays, tailor-made options and a brand new navigational aid, ‘Worldwide’ represents an encyclopaedia of travel inspiration.

The tiny jewel that is the 12-bedroom Keyonna Beach hotel in Antigua, ideal for romantic getaways, contrasts with the family-oriented Holiday Inn Resort Phuket Mai Khao Beach. Both are new to ‘Worldwide’ this year.

As for destinations, Kuoni has expanded its offering to Vietnam on the back of the new direct flights, with 19, mostly new, beach hotels. The key resorts of Mui Ne, Nha Trang, Hoi An and Danang are all included and now tantalisingly closer. They are offered as both beach-only holidays or combined with a city or a tour.

Kuoni’s depth of knowledge of the paradise islands of the Indian Ocean is played out on the pages too, with a large selection of exclusive properties to choose from. More pages are also devoted to the colourful Caribbean islands, with competitive prices, great offers and a wide selection of all-inclusive holidays. In tune with Kuoni’s expertise in tailor-making the perfect holiday, each hotel and tour in the brochure is labelled with an icon to guide customers during the decision making process to help find the perfect holiday to suit their needs. The nine icons are:

– Mind, Body & Soul
– Away from it all
– Time Together
– For Families
– Holiday with Friends
– Sun & Socialising
– I want it all
– Explore & Discover
– Go Beyond

“The new ‘Worldwide’ brochure gives everyone the opportunity to find the best holiday they can experience,” says Mark Duguid, Head of Market Management. “The concept and style has changed this year but the fundamentals haven’t and that’s down to our passion for travel and our knowledge of the fantastic places waiting to be discovered around the globe.”

Kuoni has over 170 awards to its name, including Best Luxury Tour Operator at The Sunday Times Travel Magazine Readers’ Awards 2011 and Best Tour Operator at the Telegraph’s Ultratravel 100 Awards 2012. The company has also been voted a Which? top Recommended Provider.

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Emirates Tours Launches Photo Competition to Win a Luxury Holiday

Emirates Tours, specialists in tailor-made luxury holidays, has launched a photo competition in conjunction with leading camera manufacturer Nikon, offering entrants the chance to win a luxury holiday for two to Oman and a host of other prizes.

From the glistening atolls of the Maldives to close-up shots of wildlife on safari, Emirates Tours is looking for the most authentic photographs taken in any one of its six holiday regions.

The photographer of the best overall image will win a five night holiday for two to the five-star Six Senses Zighy Bay resort in Oman including return flights with Emirates, while the runner up will win a portable Nikon 1 V1 camera worth £800. Those snapping the best image of each of Emirates Tours’ six different holiday regions – the Middle East, the Indian Ocean, India, the Far East, South Africa and Australasia – will each win a Nikon COOLPIX digital camera, worth around £400.

“We are looking for truly inspirational shots that really encapsulate the beauty of Emirates Tours’ destinations,” said Fabio Prestijacopo, General Manager, Emirates Tours UK, who is on the competition judging panel. “You certainly don’t have to be a professional photographer – we’re simply looking for images with exceptional composition, clarity and uniqueness which really stand out.”

Entry images should be uploaded via the dedicated webpage atcompetition.emiratestours.co.uk.

The closing date for entries for this competition is midnight on 31st August 2012.

– Ends –

Notes to editors:
– Image files must be in jpeg format and there is no size restriction. Each entrant may enter the competition as many times as they wish, but can only win one prize and no image can be entered more than once.
– Emirates Tours is unable to accept postal entries.
– Entrants may use photo editing software to ensure they are entering the correct file format.
– These prizes are non-transferable and no cash alternative will be offered.
– The winners will be notified by email or telephone by no later than 31st October 2012.
– Other terms and conditions apply.

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Kuoni Enters Scottish Market

Kuoni, the award-winning luxury holiday provider, is delighted to be marketing Kuoni within Barrhead Travel retail outlets in Scotland. The company has decided to feature a dedicated Kuoni area in four of Barrhead Travel’s existing offices, Oswald Street Superstore in Glasgow, East Kilbride, Cumbernauld and Aberdeen with more planned throughout Barrhead Travel’s 36 office estate.

This is Kuoni’s first foray into Scotland with a physical presence unlike England where they have 21 shops of their own and will launch in-store concessions in selected John Lewis outlets this autumn. The decision to partner with Barrhead was made due to Barrhead Travel having already demonstrated that they are an excellent distribution channel for Kuoni products.

Amanda Darrington, Kuoni UK National Sales Manager commented: “We are delighted to be partnering Barrhead Travel in Scotland in four of their stores whom we have been working with for many years. We admire Barrhead’s innovative approach and look forward to working more closely with them as our Specialist Elite Agent in Scotland.”

Barrhead will also be tailoring holidays to suit the customer’s personal wishes using Kuoni ground arrangements incorporating activity such as cruising. Kuoni is the UK’s leading provider of luxury travel and has been creating holidays with a spirit of adventure for 106 years and today their knowledge and expertise spans an amazing 88 countries.

Barrhead Travel chairman Bill Munro said: “I am delighted to be able to welcome Kuoni to our stores in Scotland. We have had an excellent relationship with Kuoni in the past and we really think the decision they have made to position themselves in our stores is the right one. I believe it will really enhance our offering to the travelling public as Kuoni is such an exclusive brand which is not sold through all agents in Scotland, and it really demonstrates the commitment to the joint branding of Kuoni and Barrhead.”

Barrhead Travel already specialises in so many areas of the travel industry and by employing over 600 staff many of whom are specialists in particular destinations, Bill Munro believes this could usher in a new kind of bespoke holiday available to the public who are becoming travel savvy and looking for something new and different, such as a Maldives honeymoon or safari holidays.

“We are known for being able to offer our customers the best holidays at the best value, especially with this luxury brand in partnership. It will allow us not only to sell brochured Kuoni holidays but also tailor-make holidays for customers with Kuoni ground arrangements. That way we can offer customers great value while retaining the level of quality that customers booking holidays of this calibre expect.”

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Voyager Travel Direct announces family deals for Madeira holidays

Voyager Travel Direct has revealed reduced prices on luxury holidays to Madeira departing in July and August 2012. The online travel agency is offering school holiday departure dates with added extras and special offers for families.

Five star deals in July and August are rarely discounted, yet Voyager Travel Direct offers families an affordable holiday to Pestana Grand in Funchal with an abundance of free extras, such as an upgrade to half board, a room upgrade and a live show at the nearby casino.

The Pestana Grand occupies an ocean-front location and is set within 5,000 acres of gardens. The hotel’s very large, 1,000 square metre swimming pool is an ideal place to relax with a drink from the poolside bar. The hotel also features a gymnasium, sauna, Jacuzzi, treatment rooms and a free daily shuttle bus to the city of Funchal.

It can be difficult for parents to find good value family holidays during school breaks, when prices always rocket due to increased demand. With this in mind, Voyager Travel Direct has decided to offer discounts for children, discounts on family rooms and will guarantee interconnecting rooms for families where required on selected holidays to Madeira.

Madeira Island offers plenty for families to do in terms of culture and exploring. Families can take a catamaran trip and look for dolphins, take a jeep expedition and explore areas such as Câmara de Lobos, Boca da Corrida, Jardim da Serra and Quinta da Grande, or take a tour to the Gardens of Madeira. There is also Madeira adventure Kingdom which offers a range of excursions, including Canyoning and an aqua park at Santa Cruz which boasts five toboggan rides, four fast slides and a lazy river.

Verity Eyre, the general manager of Voyager Travel Direct, said: “Madeira is a great island which may have been overlooked by families in the past. However, the temperature in summer averages around 24 degrees and there is good quality accommodation available for a reasonable price this summer compared to other destinations.

“This, combined with discounts for children, has led to a surge in Madeira bookings and we would recommend that families consider Madeira for their holiday this summer, as the same deals may not be around next year.”

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Kuoni And John Lewis Join Forces To Launch New Concept Travel Concessions

Kuoni and John Lewis have announced a new partnership which will see the travel company open exciting new travel concessions in four of the retailer’s shops.

The Kuoni concessions will open in Autumn 2012 at John Lewis shops in Oxford Street, Reading, Southampton and Cardiff, and will offer the full range of holidays available from Kuoni shops. The move will create 19 new full time jobs.

The concessions will range from 444 sq ft – 821 sq ft and combine the look and feel of the two brands, with John Lewis furniture and Kuoni fittings. They will be situated in the customer service area, adjacent to John Lewis’s Gift List departments, and interactive technology, such as iPads and plasma screens, will be used to bring holidays to life.

Kuoni will also introduce John Lewis Travel Insurance to its customers, and become the travel partner for John Lewis Gift List. This service allows customers to ask their guests to contribute to their Kuoni honeymoon through a John Lewis Gift List.

Rob Martin, new business manager, at John Lewis, said: “We already have a strong customer base in our travel insurance services, so opening travel concessions in our shops feels like a natural step for John Lewis. People will be able to take time out from speaking to a personal travel expert to shop or have a coffee, and choose their holiday in a relaxed and inspiring environment.

“Kuoni’s commitment to customer service and expert advice was a perfect fit for John Lewis, and we believe this will be a long-term and successful partnership. Our customers want the personal knowledge and expertise of speaking to someone who can help them get exactly what they want from their holiday.”

Derek Jones, managing director at Kuoni said: “We are really excited about this partnership. Kuoni and John Lewis have a lot in common; we have a very similar customer base and share the same approach to business, putting customer service at the heart of everything we do.

“We know that our customers really value the expert personal knowledge we provide and the success of our High Street stores has shown that the best way to truly understand their needs is to spend time with them, face to face in the right surroundings. These concessions will allow us to bring our unique approach to travel retailing into John Lewis shops.”

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Door2Tour.com Gets Hit With Demand For ‘Downton Abbey Breaks’

Door2Tour.com has revealed that a recent surge in demand for breaks to the filming location of period television drama Downton Abbey has led to a shortage in availability, leaving it struggling to meet demand. The online coach holidays consolidator claims that the sudden clamour for coach trips to Highclere Castle, which took off in February and has continued throughout March, has left coach breaks to the venue so few and far between that many hopeful passengers have been turned away.

Tours for Downton Abbey first went on sale on Door2Tour in May 2011, but sales have rapidly increased in line with the popularity and success of the series. Such is the interest that 2012 sales have already outstripped total sales for 2011, up 55% on the total sales for 2011 alone.

Sales for Downton Abbey coach tours are believed to have snowballed in line with the hit drama’s recent success at various television awards. Despite not winning any Baftas in 2011, for which it was nominated for 3, the TV series went on to scoop 4 Emmys in September for best direction, best mini-series, best writing and best supporting actress. Its success across the pond was also sealed by a prestigious Golden Globe award in January, followed by the coveted Best Drama accolade at the UK National Television Awards.

Kate Glanfield, Web Manager of Door2Tour.com said: “We’ve had so much demand for Downton Abbey in recent weeks that we’re not able to service all of our enquiries. We were down to the last one or two seats by the end of March and we’re still getting interest now. We’re literally turning people away.”

The struggle to meet demand is fuelled as tour operators become unsuccessful in getting tickets to the castle. With the venue only open for limited periods between July and September and three ad hoc weeks in the year due to other events and filming, combined with a limited daily capacity, there are simply not enough tickets to go around. 2012 is now fully booked, with 2013 already filling up quickly.

Downton Abbey portrays the lives of the Crawley family and the servants who work for them during the early 1900s. After a highly acclaimed Series 1 and Series 2, filming for Series 3 has already started filming and will be broadcast in September 2012.

Kate concluded: “Usually when a tour sells out and there is unprecedented demand it’s possible to obtain more availability, which was recently the case with Andre Rieu’s concert in Maastricht, where over 2,000 passengers ended up travelling. With Highclere Castle, tickets are like gold dust and our suppliers are facing long waiting lists. At the moment all we can do is add customers onto our cancellation lists and hope that they are lucky enough to get on. The in joke here is that it’s easier to get on the Inca Trail.”

Passengers wishing to book a Downton Abbey coach tour may need to wait until later on in the year before 2013 dates become available.

Kate concluded: “Downton Abbey fans can be rest assured that there will be more availability for the future. In the meantime, customers can still give us a call to express interest and we’ll contact them as soon as more dates are in, or of course satisfy their Downton Abbey cravings with Series 3.”

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Emirates Tours Announces Competition To Win Designer Travel Bags

Emirates Tours, a leading travel operator specialising in luxury holidays, has announced a new competition to win a travel bag made by designer luggage brand, Aspinal of London. The tour operator has teamed up with the luggage brand which shares its belief in high-quality products, in order to give back to its loyal customers through this unique opportunity.

“We are proud to be offering customers the chance to own an Aspinal of London Weekender Bag. When you are passionate about travel like we are, then arriving at your destination with stylish, top quality luggage makes your holiday even more special.” said Beth Alcorn, Product and Marketing Manager, Emirates Tours.

Sharing a similar ethos to Emirates Tours, Aspinal of London strives to achieve the highest standards of quality in all of its products. Thus, though the two companies operate in different sectors of the travel industry, the promotion is a natural partnership.

The Aspinal of London bags offered in the competition feature a classic 18th Century aesthetic and are aimed at those who enjoy travelling in style. The handcrafted bags are comprised of full-grain Cognac English Bridle Leather and high-quality Navy canvas. For optimum protection, the base of each bag is made entirely of thick leather. They also feature a Swiss-made, pure brass zipper, as well as gold finish decorative rivets. The prize bag is called the ‘Weekender’, since it’s the ideal size for a short two or three day break (13″ height x 21.1″ width x 8.5″ depth). The bag also comes with a leather luggage tag, an interior zip pocket and an adjustable shoulder strap for additional convenience.

Competition entrants are simply required to sign up to receive emails on special luxury holiday deals from Emirates Tours while also recommending a friend to do the same. Entry is complete once the entrant’s friend has also signed up to receive the offers. Winners of the competition will receive a Weekender travel bag for themselves and one for their recommended friend as well. There will be twelve pairs of winners, bringing the total number of bag-recipients to twenty four.

Those who want to win an Aspinal of London Weekender travel bag must be at least 18-years-old and the friend they recommend cannot have the same postal address. The last day to enter the competition is 31 May 2012, and the winners will be randomly drawn on 30 June 2012. People can enter the competition via the Emirates Tours website.

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Kuoni And Nuffield Health Join Forces To Better Understand The Health Impact Of A Holiday On The Body

Leading holiday company Kuoni Travel, has partnered with leading healthcare charity, Nuffield Health, to better understand the health impact of a holiday on the body.

People from across the UK will be encouraged to sign up to take part in the Holiday Health Experiment, which will seek to quantify the physiological and psychological changes following a holiday.

The public will be encouraged to enter across April, May and June 2012 by visiting www.kuoni.co.uk/holidayhealthexperiment where they will be asked to complete a survey which looks at their health and holiday habits. A final selection of these individuals will be shortlisted to undergo a series of clinical tests, and discussion sessions with a psychotherapist, before, during and after going on a Kuoni holiday this summer.

The experiment will look at the effects ‘everyday life’ has on the body and mind and then compare the data with how different types of travel and holiday experiences influence mental and physical well-being.

This experiment is the first of its kind conducted by a UK travel company in conjunction with a medical team consisting of doctors, physiologists and further assistance from a leading psychotherapist. Six individuals selected will receive:

Advanced Resilience Testing – Each individual will wear a small ECG monitor for three days and nights before the holiday, during, and after the holiday. By assessing each individual’s heart rate variability, the relative activity of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems will be monitored to provide an insight into the impact of various stressors on the person’s body.

Psychological Sessions – A series of one to one counselling sessions before and after the holiday with leading psychotherapist, Christine Webber, to look at stress, anxiety, mood, libido and all aspects of mental health in everyday life and across a holiday period. Each individual will also be asked to keep a mood diary before, during and after the holiday.

In addition, each individual will be given a Nuffield Health 360+ Health Assessment. This will look at their overall health and fitness and includes analysis of: Body Mass Index, waist/hip ratio, cholesterol, glucose, full blood profile, resting heart rate, blood pressures, ECG tests, hydration, alcohol units, caffeinated drinks, hours of sleep, sleep quality, nutritional status and aerobic fitness. Each individual will have time with a doctor to discuss the results.

Each recruit will be re-tested after their holiday and the data will be compared with the ‘pre-holiday’ clinical data to identify any changes. The results of the experiment will be launched in autumn 2012.

A ‘control group’ of six further individuals, with similar ages and lifestyles to the six selected to go on the holiday, will also undergo the clinical tests and discussion sessions so that further comparisons can be made when looking at the immediate and longer term impact of a holiday.

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Kuoni To Host In-Store Talks By BBC TV Presenter Simon Reeves

Kuoni has announced that BBC TV presenter Simon Reeve (Equator, Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn) will make a series of exclusive appearances at Kuoni stores and partnership stores across the UK, starting in Bath on Tuesday 1st May. He will be talking about his travels and latest epic adventure series ‘Indian Ocean’, which starts on BBC 2 on Sunday nights from 22 April 2012.

Local residents are invited to join with Kuoni and put their own questions to Simon. They can share their travel tales over a glass of Champagne and some canapés, and have a chance to win their own Indian Ocean holiday.

The evenings will be hosted by luxury holidays provider Kuoni (or their partnership stores), and guests will be able to hear the inside story of Simon’s most epic adventure yet: his travels around the perimeter of the Indian Ocean, a journey which sees him heading up the east coast of Africa, around India and back down the western coast of Indonesia to SW Australia.

Simon’s tour will take him to Kuoni stores in Liverpool, Leeds, Canterbury, London, Guildford, Kingston, Cambridge and Milton Keynes, plus partnership stores in Plymouth, Bath and Newcastle.

Local residents are invited to meet Simon by contacting their local Kuoni store (or Kuoni partnership store) or by visiting www.kuoni.co.uk/simonreeve to put their names forward for complimentary tickets for the evening (registration will close 10 days before the event date).

A limited number of tickets are available and names and addresses received will be put into a free prize draw to win two tickets to the event. There will also be the chance to win a holiday to the five-star Oberoi, Mauritius, with the draw taking place in June. There will be signed copies of Simon’s travel books as runner up prizes. A wide selection of enticing travel offers will also be available to many of the countries that feature in ‘Indian Ocean’, and Kuoni’s Personal Travel Experts will be on hand to answer any travel questions.

Derek Jones, Kuoni’s Managing Director, said: “We are thrilled to have Simon visit our store and to invite the public to come and enjoy some warm hospitality whilst being enthralled by Simon’s adventures. Kuoni, which was founded in 1906, has always been a pioneering travel brand opening up new and exotic holiday destinations over the decades, so we like the idea of being able to rub shoulders with Simon, who is rapidly becoming one of the most widely travelled men in the country.”

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Kuoni Goes Back To The Shop Floor

Management at leading luxury tour operator, Kuoni, have been sent ‘back to the shop floor’ as part of an initiative to work with and support their chic new travel stores around the UK.

Kuoni’s management team were assigned a Kuoni store to work in for the day so they could experience what it’s like to be one of their Personal Travel Experts. The initiative aimed to connect management with customers ‘face to face’ to further ensure Kuoni is meeting customers’ holiday needs and expectations. The management also wanted to support the high street teams by swapping desks and business meetings for direct customer contact so they could share their travel knowledge.

Over the past three years Kuoni has invested heavily in a high-street retail presence, opening 21 boutique Kuoni travel stores. Each individually designed store is inspired by a wide range of exotic destinations and chic, stylish hotels. The stores showcase authentic artefacts from all over the world to give customers an immediate sense of foreign lands the moment they walk in. These include a knitted ‘meet and greet’ desk, eastern European rugs, Saki barrels, and oriental lamps based on traditional mosque lamps.

Mark Duguid, Kuoni head of market management (interim) commented: “Our knowledge, experience and the variety of destinations we’ve travelled to were a real asset when we went ‘back to the floor’. We all enjoyed engaging with customers and exchanging personal travel stories and experiences. There was a real buzz around the stores with managers participating by giving out leaflets and goodie bags throughout the day. Many new ideas and insights have come out of the initiative and we’re looking forward to making our store experiences even more unique and fulfilling for
customers.”

Dagmar Marrocco, Kuoni market manager commented on her day at the Kuoni Solihull store: “For me being in the shop brought the product to life. It reminds you that we don’t just sell a commodity. Our holidays fulfil dreams and are memorable experiences. Working on the shop floor is unpredictable – one minute it’s quiet and the next the shop is full of clients and the phones are ringing off the hook.”

Fiona Harris, Kuoni’s PR director who worked at High Street Kensington commented: “Its dynamic working on the shop floor. You never know who may walk in. It helps to be a good listener and combine this with good travel and destination knowledge.”

Mark Duguid added: “For me, working in the Bristol store, it was clear to see that our customers have an enormous affection for the brand and with it, very high expectations, which I am proud to say, were met in every case. Being able to handle any and every type of enquiry was something I was not prepared for. I was very impressed by the breadth of knowledge held by our Personal Travel Experts.

“I now appreciate the small details really do make all the difference.”

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