Stena Line Invests Over £9M On Irish Sea Fleet Makeover

At a time when travel companies across the globe are implementing cutbacks, Stena Line is spending millions on the refit and refurbishment of ships across its five Irish Sea routes.

The Stena Caledonia, which operates on the Stranraer-Belfast route, returned to service on Friday following a £1 million refit that took place at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast. It’s the last of eight ships which have been given makeovers in the past three months.

Stena Line’s Irish Sea area director, Michael McGrath, believes that the investment reflects the ferry company’s ongoing commitment to improving its fleet and services.

“At Stena Line we are continually investing in our product to exceed customer expectations and give them a pleasurable and comfortable travelling experience,” he said.

“We’ve never been a company to rest on its laurels and this investment in our Irish Sea fleet reflects a desire to continually improve in terms of quality and service reliability.”

“The credit crunch has resulted in more people considering holidays within the British Isles, which is good news for the ferry industry. Therefore it is vitally important that when new customers travel with us we show them how much ferry travel has developed over the years and how pleasurable an experience it can be compared to flying”, Michael added.

Highlights of Stena Line’s makeover programme include a £2M refit and refurbishment of the Stena Nordica superferry, which sails between Holyhead and Dublin Port, £2.1M on the Stena Europe superferry, which operates between Fishguard and Rosslare, and £2M on the Stena Lynx III fastcraft, which sails between Holyhead and Dun Laoghaire.

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ITV’s popular ‘Dancing On Ice’ series may have just finished, but online coach holidayswebsite is offering customers the chance to catch all the skating stars & their dazzling routines on a new ‘Dancing On Ice Live Tour’ package.

In addition to Karen Barber & Nicky Slater, there will be two new judges joining the Ice Panel in the form of ‘King Of The Jungle’ Christopher Biggins and 2007’s ice dancing champion Kyran Bracken. Each member of the Judging Panel will cast their critical eyes over the Skating Star performances, and as in previous tours, will be scoring them alongside members of the audience.

Packages include tickets to the show as well as return coach travel and accommodation, making this the easiest way to experience all the action on the ice-rink.

The ‘Dancing On Ice Live Tour’ is in its 4th Year and to celebrate selling almost a million tickets, Torvill & Dean will be offering the millionth ticket holder something special. The legendary duo plan to spend an hour on the ice with the lucky winner to learn a routine that’s suitable for any level of skating from Novice to Professional.

Kate Glanfield, Website Manager of Door2Tour, said: “With reality TV programmes still a huge hit with the public, it’s not surprising that customers want to sample the excitement and atmosphere of the ‘on-screen’ action up close and personal for themselves.”

The ‘Dancing On Ice Live’ tour begins at the Sheffield Arena on Thursday 8th April 2010 where this year’s winner Hayley Tamaddon and a whole host of other celebrities including Gary Lucy, Clare Buckfield, Gaynor Faye, Chris Fountain, Mikey Graham and former ‘King of the Rink’ Ray Quinn will entertain the crowds. The question on everyone’s lips is who will do a ‘Todd Carty’ and accidentally skate right off the rink?

Kate concluded: “Just like our X Factor Live and Strictly Come Dancing packages which sold earlier in the year, our Dancing on Ice package is highly sought-after, guaranteeing customers an easy way to experience the action on the ice-rink.” is a specialist in coach holidays, event and Europe tour packages, and the latest range of Dancing On Ice tour packages includes travel, show ticket and accommodation, all with nationwide pickup points.

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Great Heavy Snows See Ski Fans Making For Late Breaks To The Pistes

Excellent snow levels in popular resorts across Europe and North America is leading ski fans to take late breaks to enjoy the best snows of the season, and award-winning car hire website can help travelers save money thanks to hire offers from just £8* a day at Gerona Airport. The deals are tailor-made for late ski breaks.

The price comparison site is offering ski fans car hire from just £17* per day at Bergamo Airport, £21* a day in Salzburg, £15* a day when collecting from Zaragoza Airport and £17* a day at Turin Airport.

Gareth Robinson, managing director of, says: “Many of Europe’s best resorts are experiencing great late snows this season, and so ski buffs are heading for the slopes whether or not they’ve had a ski holiday already this year. We’re advising people to compare prices online though to be sure of getting the best deals.”

“On we compare and review prices offered by dozens of leading car hire suppliers to offer customers the best deals all on one website. We like to assist people when travelling by saving them money. So on top of us advising advance booking of cars, we also counsel reserving optional extras like snow chains, child seats and sat navs before travelling to avoid disappointment.” compares car hire deals from up to 50 rental companies, including Alamo, Budget, easyCar, Holiday Autos and Sixt, in over 9,000 locations worldwide.

To compare the latest ski deals visit *Prices are based on seven-day rental from 22 March 2010 and are subject to change.

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It’s Turbo Charged at the Petronas F1 Malaysian Grand Prix

It’s the hottest ticket in town when the third race of the year for the Formula One World Championship comes to the Sepang International Circuit from the 2nd to 4th of April 2010. The heat and the screeching sound of tires against the asphalt surface would not deter die-hard fans of the race to celebrate the 2010 Formula One PETRONAS Malaysian Grand Prix. Thousands of spectators from all corners of the world are expected to attend the qualifying races and actual race day itself to watch their favourite team’s drivers battle it out on the track. Kuala Lumpur hotels are ready to welcome and assist their guests in ensuring a hassle-free experience at the race track.

Located approximately 60km south of the capital city of Kuala Lumpur and minutes away from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, the Sepang International Circuit has successfully hosted the 2010 Formula One PETRONAS Malaysian Grand Prix since its inaugural opening in 1999. This year, it would again play hosts to world-class drivers from renowned teams such as Fernando Alonso from Ferrari, Lewis Hamilton from McLaren-Mercedes and Michael Schumacher who’s making a comeback with the Mercedes Benz GP Ltd team. They would pitch their cars and their own expertise on the 5.54 kilometers circuit noted for its sweeping corners, wide straights and one tight hairpin.

Lee Lai Huat, CEO of and a fan of Michael Schumacher said, “I’d recommend that anybody who’s a great fan of the Formula One to make at least one trip to watch the race at the Sepang International Circuit. It has a fantastic layout that allows optimum viewing and visitors would definitely enjoy the friendly, festival-like atmosphere.” He went on further to remark, “With great rates for Kuala Lumpur accommodation offered by, fans that are coming to the 2010 Formula One PETRONAS Malaysian Grand Prix would certainly be able to put aside their worries on where to stay.” offers attractive rates at the following Kuala Lumpur hotels and many others:

Radius International Hotel Kuala Lumpur (3 star)
Starting rate from MYR160

Vistana Kuala Lumpur (3 star)
Starting rate from MYR180

Cititel Mid Valley Kuala Lumpur (4 star)
Starting rate from MYR210

the ZON All Suites Residences on the park Kuala Lumpur (4 star)
Starting rate from MYR270

The Legend Hotel Kuala Lumpur (5 star)
Starting rate from MYR210

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Science is Fun Again at the Edinburgh International Science Festival

The city of Edinburgh comes alive this spring as it celebrates the world of science, technology and innovations at the annual Edinburgh International Science Festival scheduled to be held f r o m 3 – 17 April 2010. Every year, thousands of visitors would attend the festival, which was the first of its kind to be held in the world in 1989 and one of the largest in Europe. A selection of events is lined up for both adults and children to experience the wonders of science in a fun and engaging way. Distinguished scientists and researchers would also be holding workshops, talks and exhibitions for the public. With the city becoming a virtual salutation of everything scientific, Edinburgh hotels are anticipating a healthy occupancy level.

This year, the Edinburgh International Science Festival would be celebrating the International Year of Biodiversity. Visitors can expect a packed programme which includes a fantastic outdoor exhibition by famous photographer, Steve Bloom, at the St Andrew Square; exciting and popular activities at the seven-floor City Art Centre such as the Wee Wonder World, Jungle Safari and Blood Bar; and other adventure-filled goings-on at the Edinburgh Zoo and the Royal Botanic Gardens. The organizers of the festival have also teamed up with the BBC to bring the Bang Goes the Theory roadshow to the city, where a team of experts would engage its audience in hands-on scientific experiments. One of the highlights of the festival is the Sonic Dreams, an amazing, ground breaking experiment that combines art and science, with a revolutionary 3D sound system.

According to Lee Lai Huat, CEO of, “Going to the Edinburgh International Science Festival is like going to a playground! There are so many exciting programmes and activities to choose f r o m. And the best part is that they make science and technology fun and enjoyable for the whole family. It’s definitely a festival I’d want to visit with my family.” He went on further to remark, “With such an engaging and creativity way of presenting the latest inventions and innovations to the general public, it’s not hard to see why the festival is hugely popular. With great savings on Edinburgh accommodation, visitors now have another good reason to make their way to this beautiful city.”

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The Gap Between Budget Hotels And Hostels Appears To Be Over Thanks To The Emergence Of Modernized And Newly Renovated Hostels

Hostels are becoming more contemporary, with the freshest, upbeat hostels in New York now considered an ideal choice for budget travelers that expect comfort and quality but at the same time, want to save money. Hotels, on the other hand, favor consistency and meeting business standards.

HostelBookers, the budget accommodation specialist, underlines how hostels today differ to those of yesteryear. Great value for money, they tend to keep the costs to a minimum whilst offering other benefits that are hard to find in hotels. The biggest advantage of staying in a hostel is that they are very social places. Many offer free Wi-Fi, private rooms (many of which are en suite), communal entertainment rooms packed with luxuries such as a big screen TVs or surround sound cinemas, the latest video games, and even pool tables. With access to well-equipped kitchens and dining areas guests can avoid pricy restaurants and opting for hostels in great central locations make exploring the city more convenient.

Two examples of top hostels are all located in New York: Jazz on the Park hostel is perfect for budget travelers looking to experience a real community feel or seeking a little fun. Located in the hip Upper West Side, the property offers guests use of a kitchen, a games area, laundry facilities, and internet connections.

Jeremy Poon of Broadway Hotel & Hostel advises that “many people, especially in the US, have an opinion of hostels which simply isn’t true; our boutique hostel combines the best of both worlds. We have created an environment where people can experience culture and affordability in style, and we aim to dispel Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Hostel’ myth. We believe working with sites like HostelBookers can only help us in our aim as they raise the standards across the industry”.

Broadway Hotel and Hostel is located in the Upper West Side and boasts a selection of amenities not found in most traditional hotel such as a home-cinema system.

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Skyscanner Examines Which Countries Of The World Are Canada’s Biggest Fans

2010 has seen a big boost in travel-search to Canada: thanks to the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Capturing 36% of the spring search-volumes for cheap flights to Canada are the British, with Toronto and Vancouver being the preferred destinations. Coming in at 13% is the US, followed by 12% for Canadians (domestic travel) and 7% from Germany and 5% from the Republic of Ireland. Though the remaining 27% is divided among several countries, world-wide, it is worth noting that China trails right behind the Republic of Ireland at 4%; where the country didn’t even show in the top-searches last year.

These numbers are probably attributed to the large amounts of Canadians who work and study in Britain and the Emerald Isle, as well as by tourists who ‘jump-the-puddle’ to enjoy some of Canada’s famous ski resorts, beautiful cities, and unparalleled nature. While English-speaking tourists go to anglophone Canada, flights to Quebec arrive daily from France, full of French-speaking tourists who take advantage of the ease of experiencing Canada in their own language. Montreal is the most popular destination for French travelers. And visitors from Asia also are traveling to Canada in significant numbers, with the number of flights to Vancouver from Tokyo, Shanghai, and other Japanese and Chinese cities showing a big increase in 2010.

But who amongst these groups of tourists wil have the larger impact on Canadian economy? According to a report by the World Trade Organization, it is German tourists, who rank third in their preference for Canada, the ones that tend to spend the most. While Germany’s population is 80 million, the country’s travelers spend the relatively high amount of 90 billion dollars per year. Not bad at all, and certainly a fact that will benefit the Canadian tourism industry. Germans are followed closely by Americans, the next big spenders on the WTO’s list. Known for tipping big in restaurant and bars, Americans certainly know how to spend. Third on the list are the British, followed by the French and, surprisingly, by the Chinese, the new ‘force to be reckoned with’ in international tourism. Whether from Europe, the USA, or Asia, tourism to Canada is on the rise, and Canadians are proud to show their country to the world.

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Save Up To 10% On Car Hire In Italy

With 10% off car hire in Italy from Holiday Autos, treat yourself to an extra special Easter break and visit the beautiful country of Italy.

The country’s famous super highways or ‘autostrade’ run the length and breadth of the peninsula, giving you the perfect opportunity to explore the famous ‘boot’ of Italy. Why not take a drive to Apulia and visit the vineyards and olive groves?

The best way to see this region is to travel by car, enabling you to travel along narrow roads lined with ancient stone walls, where you’ll come upon dozens of wonderful hill towns, a few spectacular valleys and one of Europe’s most beautiful coastlines.

Car hire in Italy starts from just £19 per day. Holiday Autos has compiled an essential guide to visiting Italy, for more information please visit

This offer is available for selected cars at selected locations for bookings and rentals until 31st March 2010. To book, and for more information visit

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Guinness World Record Breaking Mania at Butlins from Easter

The global authority on record-breaking achievement, Guinness World Records, and the UK’s leading holiday company, Butlins, are bringing “instant record-breaking” to millions this Spring and Summer.

Following a very successful trial during half-term, the Guinness World Records Live! Challenge Fair will officially open at Butlins on 2 April, in time for Easter and remain open every weekend until November. Visitors to the three beachside Resorts, Bognor Regis, Minehead and Skegness, will be able to undertake a series of challenges and be adjudicated “on the spot” to possibly earn them a place in the famous book.

Director of Production at Guinness World Records, Paul O’Neill, said, ”GWR Live! is about bringing the adrenalin rush of record-breaking to the public – in Butlins we have the perfect partner to deliver instant record breaking entertainment to a live audience.”

Mike Godolphin, Head of Entertainment at Butlins commented, “We are really excited to be welcoming Guinness World Records to Resort and know our guests will rise to the challenge and thoroughly enjoy smashing records during their breaks.”

Record challenges will include Tallest Lego™ Tower, Fastest Time to Dress ‘Barbie’™, Longest Domino Line, a variety of tongue twisters, coin tossing and the Fastest Time to Make up a Bunk Bed – complete with duvets and four pillows. The Guinness World Records Live! Challenge Fair will also offer basketball challenges and a series of physical dexterity tests that will push the co-ordination power of every hopeful record-breaker to the limit.

Hundreds of record holders of all ages are expected to be crowned at Butlins this season, and it is the only place in the UK where holiday-makers can walk in off the street as ordinary people and leave certified Guinness World Records holders.

With Butlins currently reporting an increase of 10% on occupancy for Easter breaks due to the pull of quality entertainment and activities availability is fast selling out. Last minute breaks are still on offer with prices starting from £91pp per break, 2nd – 5th April at Skegness and £84pp per break, 16th – 19th April at Bognor Regis. Both prices based on four people sharing a Silver self-catering apartment. To book a Butlins break call 0845 070 4730 or visit (The maximum call charge is 2p per minute from a BT landline. Calls from other networks may vary).

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Summer Tourists Shun Greece: Turkey 159% More Popular Reports Skyscanner

Turkey is set to take a significant slice of summer tourists from rival Greece following a recent spate of negative publicity after strikes and rioting hit the troubled country.

Looking at trends, flight site can report that while “comparative” search ratios for popular, European city-pairs (e.g., searches for cheap flights to Spain cheap flights to Italy compared to searches for cheap flights to Spain, etc.) remain consistent, searches for flights to Turkey are 159% higher than flight searches to Greece for travel dates this summer.

Following serious economic problems, strikes and rioting over the last few months, Greece’s tourist industry looks to take a hit and rival Turkey is well placed to take Greece’s share of the market.

“Greece has had a lot of bad press recently and unfortunately it’s coming at a time when many people are booking their summer holidays. News of street clashes and strikes are going to hurt Greece’s tourist industry and Greece’s loss is Turkey’s gain. On the upside, it may mean more offers of cheap flights to Greece as it tries to win back tourists.” said Barry Smith, Skyscanner Co-founder and Market Development Director.

Being similar distances from the UK, having similar climates and attracting similar clientele, Turkey and Greece have long been natural rivals in the tourist trade. And for the British holidaymaker who just wants sun and sand, the move from Greece to Turkey is an easy one to make. Turkey has also seen further positive PR this year as Istanbul is a European City of Culture 2010.

Skyscanner’s February 2010 Flight Trends Report revealed that while searches for cheap flights Athens had seen a rise in the rankings, Turkey had three destinations within the top 50 most popular, whilst Greece only had one.

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Kuoni Travel Trends Report 2010 Highlights Rising Holiday Destinations

Kuoni has released its 2010 Holiday Report, which highlights their top destinations for this year. Comparing data from their 2009 Longhaul Report, there has been a fair bit of movement in Kuoni’s top ten with Sri Lanka a particular highlight – moving from position six in 2009 to fourth place in 2010.

The way people travel has changed a lot since Kuoni produced its first Longhaul Report 30 years ago. In fact the 2010 report also shows that trends in travel can change quite dramatically year-on-year as the economy and consumer attitudes to travelling, changes with time.

Longhaul holidays are on the rise with the Maldives, holidays to Thailand and the USA staying firm at position one, two and three respectively. New entries into the top ten include China and Hong Kong (position eight), Singapore (position ten) and Malaysia has moved up two positions to number six.

With the peace process in place and the rise in popularity of Sri Lanka holidays, holidays to Malaysia, Switzerland and Egypt holidays have had to make way.

Areas to watch out for that are showing great momentum in 2010 and are currently just sitting outside of the top ten are India, Oman, Indonesia, Mauritius and Cuba.

Kuoni’s report has also highlighted a few consumer trends in terms of attitudes to holidays in 2010. There has been a growth in clients wishing to ‘get under the skin’ of a country and to engage at a deeper level with locals, learning more about traditional and authentic ways of life in the destination visited.

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NH Hoteles Receives Greenbulding Award

NH Hoteles has announced that it has received a ‘Greenbuliding’ award by the European Commission for the energy efficiency plan of the ambitiously renovated NH Príncipe de la Paz in Aranjuez.

The European Commission’s GreenBuilding programme accredits the most environmentally friendly buildings that are not used as homes, as far as their energy consumption is concerned. NH Hoteles recently won this award for two of its hotels; a hotel in Barcelona (NH Podium) and one in Seville (NH Central Convenciones). The hotel chain will present its environmentally efficient initiative to some of its other 398 hotels for this programme.

After winning two Spanish prizes last January, the European Commission, in its GreenBuilding Programme, has awarded one of its 13 international prizes to the NH Príncipe de la Paz in Aranjuez. Luis Ortega, the Head of the Environment and Engineering for the NH Hoteles, picked up the prize at the Convention Centre in Frankfurt.

Since September 2009, NH Hoteles has been one of the European Commission’s Partners for achieving its Environmental Plan, specifically in the GreenBuilding Programme. This project was started up in 2005 and aims to officially accredit non-residential buildings that are highly environmentally friendly with regards to their energy consumption. In particular, it certifies buildings which, over the last five years, have managed to achieve cutbacks of at least 25% in their total energy consumption. The first hotel in the chain that was accredited was the NH Príncipe de la Paz.

The renovation programme carried out at the NH Príncipe de la Paz achieved reductions of 1,930,928 Kwh in primary energy consumption, equal to the average home consumption of 1,300 people in a year and a reduction of 1,073 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

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Stena Express To Set Sail From Holyhead To Dun Laoghaire

Stena Line introduced the Stena Express Fastcraft on its Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire route on Monday 15th March, with the new addition providing customers with a host of benefits including a shorter crossing time and increased frequency of journeys during the peak season.

Stena Express To Set Sail From Holyhead To Dun Laoghaire

The vessel, which caters for up to 520 passengers and up to 120 cars, has been significantly upgraded following a £2m refit and boasts an extended Stena Plus lounge, Metropolitan and Barista coffee bar, free Wi-Fi and an onboard shop which offers a wide range of gifts, jewellery, spirits, confectionery and fragrances.

Stena Line’s route network offers a range of sailing options, such as Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire, which allows customers to jet across the Irish Sea in only 110 minutes, and Holyhead to Dublin Port, which offers customers the opportunity to cruise across the Irish Sea onboard the Stena Superferries.

Orla Noonan, Stena Line’s Irish Sea Head of Marketing, said: “As the Stena Express joins the Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire route we are looking forward to providing customers with even more reasons to cross the Irish Sea.

“The Stena Express Fastcraft offers excellent onboard facilities, giving passengers the chance to sit back and relax as they travel. The vessel will complement our Superferries, the Stena Nordica and Stena Adventurer, on the Holyhead to Dublin Port route, offering customers a great range of travel options with up to six round trips daily.”

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Spring Break Searches To Denver Up 49% Reports Skyscanner

Skyscanner flight search statistics for the Spring Break period show that while most US travellers can’t wait to escape the freezing temperatures in search of some early summer sun, this year’s revellers are seeking some new and somewhat surprising destinations for their week away from studies.

Searches for flights to Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Orlando lead the way and Skyscanner has also seen a staggering 118% increase in searches for cheap flights to Honolulu as well.

But while the pull of warm weather is understandable, a 49% surge in flight searches to Denver shows that snow still has a strong appeal with Spring Breakers.

“Maybe it’s the popularity of the Winter Olympics, but it seems that this year’s Spring Break might just manifest itself on the ski slopes. Colorado has a strong appeal for ski enthusiasts, and Breakers will enjoy less ice on the runs, almost balmy temps at the bottom of the mountain and find cheap tickets to Denver not too hard to come by.” said Scot Carlson, Skyscanner’s US and Canada Country Manager.

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Race with the Best at the Dubai World Cup 2010

The ultra urban, modern city of Dubai would once again play host to the Dubai World Cup on 27th March 2010 that is billed as the richest race day in the world with USD$10 million prize money. Held at the newly opened Meydan Racecourse, a gleaming 60,000 seat capacity, state-of-the-art racetrack that comes complete a marina, hotel and an IMAX cinema, the invitation-only event would see the world’s finest thoroughbreds taking to the track in a bid to take home the coveted cash prize and global recognition for the trainers and owners as well. Known for their unparalleled level of luxury and service, Dubai hotels would be playing hosts to horse racing enthusiasts and members of the racing fraternity from all corners of the world.

First held in 1996, the 15-year old Dubai World Cup was the brainchild of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, who has great love of horses and horseracing. The popularity of the race lies not only in its staggering cash prizes but also in Dubai being an international commercial hub and a favourite tourist destination that attracts millions of visitors every year. Aside from the World Cup, other supporting races include the Dubai Duty Free and Dubai Sheema Classic which offer USD$5 million cash prize each. The newest addition to this year’s race is the Group 3 Al Quoz Sprint, a 1.2km turf race that offers a handsome USD$1 million. This year’s eight-race card is worth a total of USD$26.25 million, ensuring its place as the richest race in the world.

Lee Lai Huat, CEO of, said, “It’s glitzy, glamourous and without a doubt, the best place to be to watch the world’s finest thoroughbreds in action. Its inaugural race in 1996 saw the participation of world champions such as Cigar, North America’s 1995 ‘Horse of the Year’ that went on to win the first Dubai World Cup.” He further remarked, “Together with thousands of visitors and racing enthusiasts, celebrates the richest horserace in the world with fantastic savings on Dubai accommodation.” offers attractive rates at the following Dubai hotels and many others:

Express by Holiday Inn Dubai – Internet City (3 star)
Starting rate from AED299

Hotel Versailles Dubai (3 star)
Starting rate from AED237

Metropolitan Deira Hotel Dubai (4 star)
Starting rate from AED320

Carlton Tower Hotel Dubai (4 star)
Starting rate from USD162

Dar Al Sondos Hotel Apartment by Le Meridien Dubai (4 star)
Starting rate from AED200

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Catch the Cherry Blossom Fever with in Japan

Every year, from January to June, Japans’ landscape comes alive when thousands of flowers of the cherry trees bloom in earnest. Also known as ‘sakura’, the cherry blossom is believed to symbolize good fortune and signals the oncoming spring season. During these months, the local people and tourists would take the opportunity to visit many popular cherry blossoms viewing spots to partake in ‘hanami’ which literally means ‘flower viewing’. It is an important custom for the Japanese people that involve picnicking under the cherry trees and enjoying home-cooked or take-out meals with families and friends. Tokyo hotels are expected to enjoy healthy occupancy rates as they welcome visitors far and wide who come solely for the purpose of viewing the beautiful cherry blossoms.

Catch the Cherry Blossom Fever with in Japan

Cherry blossom festivals are held mainly between March and May and they offer a fantastic opportunity to not only view the flowers but also enjoy a variety of traditional Japanese performing arts, sample the local food, purchase specialty crafts and souvenirs, and participate in tea ceremonies held under the cherry trees. A major attraction at these festivals can be seen at night when the trees are lit-up, making the landscape appear almost ethereal and magical. In Tokyo, the estimated best viewing time this year is from 27th March to 5th April where the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. Some of the best places to view the cherry blossoms in Tokyo include the Ueno Park, that has more than 1000 trees lined up leading to the National Musuem, the Shinjuku Gyoen that offers a more serene environment for ‘hanami’ and the Inokashira Park that has a pond where boats can be rented to view the blossoms from the water.

Lee Lai Huat, CEO of, who acknowledges the attraction of the cherry blossoms said, “Anybody who’s planning to go to Japan for a visit should try to arrange it so that the trip coincides with the cherry blossoms festivals. The beauty of the flowers that bloom in the thousands would truly take your breath away. You’ll find yourself taking hundreds of pictures of every possible angle!” He went on further to remark, “Do the ‘hanami’ if you can. Just pick a spot under the cherry trees and lay out your blanket and food. But you need to be there early to reserve it. As homage to this natural wonder, offers great savings and discounts for Tokyo accommodation to enable more visitors to enjoy the festivals.” offers attractive rates at the following Tokyo hotels and many others:

Comfort Hotel Tokyo Higashi Nihombashi (3 star)
Starting rate from JPY10800

Hotel Sunroute Shinagawa Seaside Tokyo (3 star)
Starting rate from JPY11200

Hotel Monterey Hanzomon Tokyo (3.5 star)
Starting rate from JPY11900

Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka Tokyo (5 star)
Starting rate from JPY20173

Royal Park Shiodome Tower Tokyo (4 star)
Starting rate from JPY21000

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Celebrate Books in All Shapes and Sizes with at the Paris Book Fair

The movers and shakers of the international publishing world would be making their way to another exciting chapter of the Paris Book Fair from 26th to 31st March 2010. This year’s event has a special significance as it celebrates its 30th anniversary as one of the leading cultural consumer events in Europe. The fair brings together hundreds of publishers, booksellers, librarians, editors, teachers and the general public under one roof where they get the opportunity to network, watch book signings by some of the world’s literary stars, and attend meetings and conferences arranged by the organizers. Paris hotels are opening their doors to welcome members of the literary world and the general public.

Celebrate Books in All Shapes and Sizes with at the Paris Book Fair

The Paris Book Fair 2010 showcases some of the best talents in the publishing world. It is also one of the best places to spot fresh talents as it highlights authors and publishers in all categories, as well as providing the smaller publishing houses the opportunity to gain some exposure with the rest of the industry players and the public in general. Despite the gloomy economic environment last year, more than 180,000 people visited the fair with the meetings and conferences reporting a healthy number of attendees. This year, more visitors are anticipated with the variety of programmes that are oriented towards families and the younger readers.

Lee Lai Huat, CEO of, and an avid reader himself, said, “Paris Book Fair is a must for all book lovers and those in search of the latest literary talents. It’s certainly going to be an exciting event this year with thirty foreign and sixty French authors taking centre stage and presenting their work to the public. They include Umberto Eco from Italy, Peter James from the UK, Andrei Kurkov from Ukraine and Nedim Gursel from Turkey.” He went on to remark, “Books have always been a source of inspiration for many and at the Paris Book Fair they would receive their due recognition. shares the visitors’ love of books with great savings on room rates for Paris accommodation to ensure they have a thoroughly memorable time at the fair.” offers attractive rates at the following Paris hotels and many others:

Hotel Place de Clichy Paris (2 star)
Starting rate from EUR95

Holiday Inn Paris Gare De L’est Hotel (3 star)
Starting rate from EUR122

Hotel Kyriad Prestige Roissy CDG Paris (3 star)
Starting rate from EUR145

Hotel Du Pantheon Paris (3 star)
Starting rate from EUR165

Hotel Le Tourville Paris (4 star)
Starting rate from EUR160

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Take to the Stage with at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival

The vibrant city of Melbourne would again be filled with contagious laughter, rib-tickling hilarity and just downright fun as it plays host to the 24th Melbourne International Comedy Festival from 24th March to 18th April 2010. One of the three largest comedy festivals in the world, the annual event in Melbourne offers a variety of performances which includes stand-up comedy, theatrical offerings, cabaret, film, television and radio programmes as well as the enjoyable street routines. With the festival’s healthy level of popularity both locally and internationally, Melbourne hotels are expected to enjoy brisk business.

Take to the Stage with at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival

The Melbourne Town Hall precinct would once again be the venue for the festival with thousands of comedy lovers expected to attend the best that comedy acts from Australia as well as other parts of the world. More than just to entertain, the festival aims to showcase the best comedy talents Australia has to offer as well as offer the chance for international artists to present their works to the local audiences, and to nurture new talents in the industry. This year, visitors would get the opportunity to enjoy another exciting line-up of shows from high caliber artists such as Adam Hills – Mess Around, Alzheimer’s The Musical – A Night to Remember, Sarah Millican – Typical Woman, Chris Cole – Boulevard of Reckless Desires and many others.

Lee Lai Huat, CEO of, and a keen comedic fan, remarked, “Anybody who’s looking for a high dose of entertainment that provides plenty of laughs and drama should quickly book their flights and rooms, and head on to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival this March. For nearly four weeks, visitors to this beautiful city would get to attend stand-up comedy acts by artists of great talent, entertaining cabaret shows, funny musical theaters and many more.” He went on further to say, “Melbourne has always been a great place to visit with fantastic dining outlets, quality attractions and friendly people. The comedy festival makes it even more appealing to visit during this time of the year. Be sure to book your Melbourne accommodation with and take advantage of the fantastic savings available all year round.” offers attractive rates at the following Melbourne hotels and many others:

Melbourne’s Princess Park Motor Inn (3.5 star)
Starting rate from AUD128

The Sebel Albert Park Melbourne (3.5)
Starting rate from AUD135

Mantra on the Park Melbourne (4 star)
Starting rate from AUD169

Bayview on the Park Hotel Melbourne (4 star)
Starting rate from AUD143

Quest Hero on Russell Melbourne (4 star)
Starting rate from AUD160

Via EPR Network
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NH Hoteles Joins With Siemens To Track The Energy Use Of Guests In New Intelligent Rooms

NH Hoteles’ latest initiative, in conjunction with Siemens, combines research into home automation, state-of-the art technology and environmental awareness to create intelligent rooms in the NH Eurobuilding hotel in Madrid.

The two prototype rooms in the NH Eurobuilding have been fitted out with the very latest technology from Siemens to monitor the water, light and energy (heating and air-conditioning) consumption of guests on a real-time basis. Its technology will make it possible, to be able to adapt lighting, heating and air-conditioning preferences to suit customer tastes, throughout the year.

Even though the switches seem traditional, every room has systems for monitoring and optimising consumption, combined with management and control software called Desigo Hotel Solution which can immediately translate the usage into the equivalent carbon emissions that can be easily viewed from reception. This information will form the basis for future projects to give guests incentives to behave in an environmentally friendly manner.

By seeing real-time consumption in the room, NH Hoteles will be also able to optimise the electricity, water and energy consumption associated with cleaning and preparation work.

The hotel chain plans to install these new intelligent rooms in its future hotel developments. NH Hoteles has set as its objective to find out the real water and energy consumption pattern of its guests and to reward guests who have a more environmentally friendly attitude.

NH Hoteles will analyse its guests’ consumption patterns and compare them with the average consumption in each hotel. This means it will be able to adapt its service to the actual requirements of the public and to design future environmentally friendly rooms for maximum efficiency.

When checking out of the hotel in Madrid every guest will be able to see whether he or she has consumed more or less than the hotel average. This is a further measure being taken by NH Hoteles to persuade guests to use natural resources on a more rational basis and to make them partners in its environmentally friendly efforts.

About NH Hoteles
NH Hoteles is the third largest business hotel chain in Europe. NH Hoteles has 398 hotels with 60,605 rooms in 24 countries in Europe, America and Africa, including hotels in Amsterdam and hotels in Brussels. NH Hoteles now has 41 projects for new hotels under construction, which will provide a further 7,000 rooms.

Via EPR Network
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Superbreak Increases Its Range Of Theatre Packages Following The Eagerly Awaited Premiere Of Love Never Dies

The most eagerly awaited new musical of the last twenty years held its World Premiere at London’s Adelphi Theatre in front a dazzling star-studded audience. Dubbed as his biggest challenge yet, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Love Never Dies’ continues the stories of the principal characters of The Phantom of the Opera – The Phantom, Christine Daae and Raoul ten years after The Phantom’s mysterious disappearance from the Paris Opera House.

The show tells the story of Christine Daaé, who accepts an offer to come to America and perform at New York’s fabulous new playground of the world – Coney Island. After Christine arrives in New York with her husband Raoul and their son Gustave, she soon discovers the identity of the anonymous impresario who has lured her from France to sing. She also realises the identity of the Love Never Dies is a rollercoaster ride of obsession and intrigue… in which music and memory can play cruel tricks… and The Phantom sets out to prove that, indeed, love never dies.

Superbreak Increases Its Range Of Theatre Packages Following The Eagerly Awaited Premiere Of Love Never Dies

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the Phantom of the Opera is the most successful musical in history and has been enjoyed by over 100,000,000 theatre-lovers worldwide since its opening at London’s Majesty’s Theatre in October 1986. Superbreak has sold over 25,000 theatre break packages to Phantom of The Opera and expects Love Never Dies to be as popular. Initial sales are already very brisk.

Superbreak’s Head of Theatre, David Thomas, said after the World Premier: “Thank the Lord for bringing Romance back to the West End Stage. Andrew LLoyd Webber’s gorgeously haunting, soaring and totally hypnotic score held the audience in its spell from the first spine-tingling bars to the final, final curtain call -and then out into the night. You could see it in their eyes, in their step, the hugs – Love Never Dies, Romance Never Dies, and this music of the night is more potent than ever. (Still can’t work out how the couple next to us managed to hold hands and applaud at the same time)”.

Via EPR Network
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