Leading online car hire comparator helps UK travellers find value in Barcelona for long weekends and holidays

A spot of warm weather and some culture on a long weekend break is making lots of the UK’s tourists book trips to Catalonia’s Barcelona for a change from the typical British weather. To help people travel on a budget leading car hire price comparator Carrentals.co.uk is offering new car hire Barcelona Airport prices to help Brits make the most of their travel budgets.

With cheap air fares from budget airlines making it simpler than ever for people to enjoy city breaks and long weekends, many Brits are choosing to head for Barcelona’s downtown and beaches for a fun break. With that in mind Carrentals.co.uk is offering them the chance to get new cheap car hire Barcelona Airport prices to help make a trip there better value than ever.

In addition to the famous Gaudi cathedral in the centre of the city, Barcelona is also home to some beautiful nearby beaches plus the shopping and entertainment mecca that is Las Ramblas. To help people maximise their spend right now Carrentals.co.uk is offering the best deals around from all the industry’s top name rental providers including Alamo, Auto Europe, Budget, Ebookers, Hertz, Holiday Autos, Opodo, Sixt and Thrifty.

Gareth Robinson, Managing Director of Carrentals.co.uk, comments, “Carrentals.co.uk customers trust us to get them the best value for money around by allowing them to compare car hire in Barcelona Airport prices ahead of a trip there. Right now it’s never been easier to save money on rentals in this fantastic city – essential for getting in from the airport or heading for the beach.”

Carrentals.co.uk is the leading car hire comparison site, comparing deals from over 50 rental companies, including Alamo, Auto Europe, Budget, Holiday Autos and Sixt, in over 15,000 locations worldwide.

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Tourists and travellers deserve better information and help reports online car hire comparator

A new threat to the travel industry this year in the form of another cloud of volcanic ash moving south has lead online car hire comparator Carrentals.co.uk to ask the travel sector to up its game. In 2010 many people were let down by poor information flow and communications from travel companies – something Carrentals.co.uk wants suppliers to address this time around.

Gareth Robinson, Carrentals.co.uk Managing Director, comments: “Last year during the volcanic ash crisis we feel that travel industry companies let themselves down somewhat – many people were poorly informed about changes and cancellations to their trips. Airlines in particular but also hotels, insurance providers, car hire companies and more were guilty of not really seeming to understand their own processes and cancellation policies for example.”

Gareth Robinson went on, “We hope that this time around the companies will have learned lessons from last year and will implement much clearer channels of communication. Travellers and tourists deserve better service than they received in 2010’s emergency and we expect providers to be better prepared for answering people’s questions and concerns about the volcanic ash cloud this time.”

The travel sector was recently criticised for its handling of the 2010 volcanic ash cloud emergency by consumer journal Which? The magazine’s report focused on the numbers of people around Europe still waiting to receive refunds or compensation for cancellations during last year’s crisis.

In order to keep travellers informed of any changes to their travel and hire car arrangements, Carrentals.co.uk wants people who have booked rental cars through their site to get in touch via the Carrentals.co.uk help section.

Carrentals.co.uk is the leading car hire comparison site, comparing deals from up to 50 rental companies, including Alamo, Auto Europe, Budget, Holiday Autos and Sixt, in over 15,000 locations worldwide.

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Ash Cloud Chaos Lifts As Rail and Sea Facilities Are Stretched

The Met office has today stated that its early predictions of a possible major disruption for UK flights on Friday and over the saturday and sunday straight to Monday at the moment are not likely to come to fruition and that it’s now “more hopeful” that travel arrangements will be able to continue as normal.

This about turn is pleasant news for visitors in britain and around the globe who might have been wanting to traverse the constrained region through the weekend break. Particularly those travelling over the UK, Ireland, Germany, Scotland and also over Scandinavia and currently the volcano seems to have ceased its eruption.

However, following last years “ash cloud” chaos some tourists stay cautious and are choosing to book rail and ferry seats other than jeopardizing the potential for air traffic closure which may interrupt their plans. This has stretched travel companies with firms including DDDS Seaways and Eurostar including additional services to address the increased need.

Russ Beech, representative of travel at mega.co.uk claimed “after last years ash cloud horror, people are reluctant to adopt risking potential disruption. It is right that where safety is concerned the Met office take a cautions approach and with such top quality rail and ferry companies in The european union individuals reserving last minute are prudently arranging the option with the least danger by staying away from air travel”.

Happily, lots of lessons were found out a year ago and the Met office is appearing to be to be much less cautious in its tactic yet flight companies including Ryanair think that flights and client confidence might have been damaged unjustifiably.

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Door2Tour Nominated For Coach Tourism Awards But Miss Out On Award

Door2Tour.com may not have won on the night but congratulations must be sent to the team for making it to the final. The Coach Tourism Awards 2011 took place at the Holiday Inn in Stratford-upon-Avon where more than 350 coach tourism professionals gathered to celebrate excellence across the industry from coach tour operators to suppliers, coach-friendly destinations and attractions.

Door2Tour.com was nominated in the category for Coach Tour Operator Website of the Year but Lucketts Travel was the overall winner. Door2Tour.com provides coach operators with a commission-based extra marketing facility to further promote its products and increase holiday bookings. The company uses the Internet to attract new customers to the coach tourism industry and thereby deliver the ‘next generation’ of coach tour passengers. Coach holidays operators only pay when a customer books a commissionable holiday and the commission is not collected until after the tour has travelled, no commission is payable on tours that cancel. Other finalists in this category were: Eddie Brown Tours, Interchoice Holidays and Shearings Holidays.

The Awards are the only scheme in the UK that specifically focuses on the coach tourism community and are organised by leading industry magazine, Coach Monthly. The event was hosted by Coach Monthly’s editor Stuart Render and Kay Alexander from BBC Midlands Today. The Coach Tourism Awards are an extremely popular event and one that regularly attracts support and sponsorship from some of the UK’s leading tourism organisations such as VisitEngland, the Coach Tourism Council and the Confederation of Passenger Transport.

A Coach Tourism Workshop took place in the afternoon before the Awards Ceremony and this allowed for coach tour operators from across the UK to take the opportunity to meet up with other representatives to discuss business opportunities for 2013 and beyond.

Adam Handy, general manager, Door2Tour.com said: “Although we didn’t win, to be nominated for our third award in as many months is absolutely fantastic and the entire team is thrilled. It’s great to be recognised within our industry and is a real reflection of all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. We’re looking forward to building on the success of last year.”

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UK’s leading rental car comparator releases huge savings ahead of the summer for UAE and Europe

Holidaymakers heading to Europe or the UAE from the UK this summer can save 25% off hire car deals at Carrentals.co.uk, with the exclusive offer from Hertz rental cars.

Hertz and Carrentals.co.uk have teamed up to offer excellent savings for people heading abroad this summer. The car hire comparison site normally helps travellers save on hire cars in more than 15,000 global destinations, and this summer sees even greater savings on show thanks to an exclusive deal with Hertz.

Commenting on the latest deal, Carrentals.co.uk Managing Director Gareth Robinson said: “Hertz is one of the most respected and recognised names in the car hire industry, and we are very happy to announce this exclusive offer for our customers. With 25% off Hertz hire cars it comes at just the right time for the upcoming summer holidays.”

“At Carrentals.co.uk we always make sure that our customers are finding the best and cheapest hire car deals, and now that Hertz are offering 25% off through our site, people heading overseas this year can have a little more spending money to pamper themselves with.”

Hertz have a vast range of cars to choose from, from sporty two-seater convertibles to standard economy hatchbacks, SUVS or people carriers. With 25% off Hertz rentals, people can enjoy their holiday that little bit more thanks to an exclusive deal with Carrentals.co.uk*.

In more than 15,000 locations around the world, Carrentals.co.uk, the leading car hire comparison site in the UK compares prices from Budget, Alamo, Holiday Autos, Auto Europe and Sixt, to name a few. To compare the latest rental car deals visit carrentals.co.uk.

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Kuoni and World Market Travel Celebrate Their New Relationship

Kuoni, the luxury travel brand, has announced it is now represented by World Market Travel, a leading Independent travel agency in Bath.

The new relationship was officially announced at the launch event held in April at the elegant Roman Baths, where guests were treated to a tour of the museum followed by drinks, canapés, and a string quartet.

Just under 200 guests attended the event including Joanna Edmunds, Kuoni UK Managing Director, Derek Jones, Kuoni UK Distribution Director, and Tim and Peter Giles, joint owners of the World Market Travel store.

A guest at the event commented: “I would like to express our thanks and appreciation for a most splendid and enjoyable evening.

“The choice of venue was absolutely superb and you could not have chosen a better setting to mark this very special occasion. It was a pleasure to mix with other clients of World Market Travel and to learn from their travel experiences and in particular to appreciate the high regard they have for the store and staff.”

Sponsors of the event included Hilton Worldwide, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Canada Tourist Board, YTL Hotels, AAT Kings, Orion Cruises and Qantas.

With World Market Travel representing the tour operator, Kuoni has given the store a face lift. The store has a brand new chic interior, offering a comfortable and relaxing environment for customers to browse the range of holidays on offer, which include Antigua holidays and Barbados holidays.

World Market Travel is the first independent travel agency that Kuoni will partner this year, creating dual-branded shops in locations where the operator does not have high street shops.

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Stena Line Announces Measures To Deal With Ash Cloud

Stena Line is preparing to assist travellers in crossing the Irish Sea following the UK Met Office prediction that another ash cloud will reach the UK, with the potential of throwing thousands of peoples travel plans into chaos.

As people nervously watch the progress of the ash cloud as it heads towards Europe, Stena Line has increased its web capacity, brought in more staff to deal with customer enquiries in its call centres and has additional crew on standby to ensure it will be able to efficiently help any stranded travellers if Britain should once again become a no fly zone.

Last year, the arrival of the ash cloud, which affected global airspace for up to six days, saw Stena Line experience an unprecedented 350% increase in hits to its UK and Irish websites where visitors can view ferry timetables, up to date ferry sailing information and book ferry tickets online.

“We are currently working hard to prepare our services for the possibility of increased passenger numbers so that we can ensure we can do our best to assist with peoples travel requirements,” said Stena Line Communications Manager Eamonn Hewitt.

“Last year the situation with the ash cloud and cancelled flights caused people a lot of stress and inconvenience. Our plans are now in place so should the situation arise again, we are able to accommodate as many people as possible.

“We want to ensure that not only do people get safely to their destinations but that they get to see the best of ferry travel. When we have the opportunity to welcome new customers onboard we want them to experience all of the benefits of travelling by ferry – the convenience, space, no baggage restrictions, hassle free check-in and so on which could influence their future travel decisions,” Eamonn continued.

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Jumeirah Emirates Towers Holds Vertical Marathon

Jumeirah Emirates Towers has hosted this year’s Vertical Marathon to raise funds for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

The event saw 236 runners ascending Jumeirah Emirates Towers for the annual fundraising event, with participants raising a total of AED 177,000 for MSF. This brings the total amount raised for MSF through this popular event to AED 1.083 million to date.

The event, which is in its ninth year, was organised by Jumeirah Emirates Towers with the support of the Red Crescent Society.

The Vertical Marathon requires participants to climb the 52 floors of the Jumeirah Emirates Tower in Dubai, which has a total of 1334 steps. Anyone can take part, with children as young as two taking part in previous years. Participants are split into five groups; males under 18, females under 18, 18+ males, 18+ females and groups, which can contain three or four members. Participants are timed using computerised timing chips by Premier Timing.

Brazilian national Gustavo Ayres Netto ascended the 350 metre high Office Tower of Jumeirah Emirates Tower with a winning time of 8.49 minutes. The winning female was Jo Phillimore with a time of 11.57 minutes, and the winning team, Dubai American Academy, made it to the top in 10.59 minutes.

MSF is an international independent humanitarian medical organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from health care without discrimination in more than 60 countries.

The event was sponsored by Move One Relocations, with Premier Timing, Puma, Swarovski and Acqua Panna all taking part as event support partners.

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Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management and Beijing Hospitality Institute sign agreement

The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, one of the world’s leading hospitality management schools and part of Jumeirah Group, recently signed a cooperation agreement with the Beijing Hospitality Institute.

The agreement establishes an academic exchange programme between The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management and Beijing Hospitality Institute – a specialist university certified by the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL). The agreement provides study abroad programmes for students, faculty exchanges, academic cooperation and programmes for the development of young talent in the hospitality industry.

Commenting on the new partnership between the two universities, Ron Hilvert, managing director of the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, said: “We are delighted to celebrate this joint collaboration as it will give students the invaluable experience of both academic as well as professional life in two thriving destinations. And we look forward to receiving the first set of students from Beijing in the next academic year”

Gao Songtao, president of the Beijing Hospitality Institute added: “This agreement brings academic alignment between two organisations focused on delivering consistently high standards in the hospitality sector. It is a big win for our students, our teaching staff and ultimately hotel companies around the world.”

In March 2011 Jumeirah Group opened its first property in China, the five-star luxury Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel in the Pudong area of Shanghai. The company has a further five properties under development in Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Sanya, Macau and Qiandaohu.

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Connxys Wins Award Recognizing Leading Start-ups on California’s Central Coast

Connxys Technology, developers of the ReClaim electronic luggage tag, announced today that the Pacific Coast Business Times, the business journal for California’s Central Coast, has named Connxys as one of the10 Companies to Watch, as part of its 2011 101 One Hundredannual awards.

This prestigious award recognizes the leading emerging growth companies from Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. Connxys was selected by the editorial team of the Pacific Coast Business Times, which looked for the fastest growing and most innovative start-ups in the Central Coast area.

Connxys’ ReClaim electronic luggage tag is at the forefront of a new generation of luggage tags designed to help eliminate lost baggage and lengthy delays. It’s the world’s first RFID-enabled luggage tag that includes an online itinerary and 24/7 live support to ensure that any airport official, at any airport in the world, can quickly route a mishandled bag to its correct destination—even if the original airline paper barcode tag is missing or unreadable.

“Over the past seven years, many of our Companies to Watch have been at the forefront of entrepreneurship in the region,” says Henry Dubroff, editor-in-chief and founder of the Pacific Coast Business Times. “We are delighted to include Connxys in that distinguished group.”

“We appreciate PCBT’s recognition of Connxys as one of the most innovative startups on the Central Coast,” said Cleveland Motley, CEO and founder of Connxys. “The reality is that everybody who has to check their bags wonders if they’re going to see them when they get to their destination. We’re committed to developing products and services that increase the odds that they will,” he added.

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Cheap Florida Car Hire Deals from Carrentals.co.uk Help Tourists Save

UK Families making for some sun in Florida this summer for their holidays can extend their budgets thanks to new Orlando Airport car hire prices introduced by Carrentals.co.uk. The award-winning car hire comparison website is this week home to a choice of new Orlando Airport car hire deals available from more than 50 of the hire sector’s leading suppliers.

Orlando’s main airport is the most popular port of arrival in Florida for tourists from Europe, and as such the ideal place to collect a rental vehicle on arrival. The Carrentals.co.uk website is updated in real time by the company’s staff meaning that tourists who log on to the site to compare car hire deals for Florida can be sure that they are seeing the latest and best value deals from all over the web and from the biggest name providers.

Collecting a hire car on arrival in Florida allows travellers and tourists to head for their destination at their convenience and then head out to see the famous attractions of Orlando like Universal Studios, the Epcot Center and Walt Disney World. Thanks to the new cheap car hire Orlando Airport prices available on Carrentals.co.uk now, tourists can have more budget left over to enjoy themselves in Florida.

Gareth Robinson, Managing Director of Carrentals.co.uk, said, “Lots of Brits love to head for the sun and beaches of Florida for their holidays each year and right now we can help them to get more for their money while there. Our new car hire in Orlando Airport prices are just the thing for getting people the best value around this summer.”

Carrentals.co.uk compares car hire deals from more than 50 rental providers, including Alamo, Auto Europe, Budget, Holiday Autos and Sixt, in over 10,000 locations worldwide. To compare the latest car hire deals visit www.carrentals.co.uk.

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Thistle Hotels Crown Social Restaurant Wins Two AA Rosettes

Thistle Hotels has announced that just two months from its opening, the Crown Social restaurant at The Parc by Thistle in Cardiff has been awarded two prestigious AA rosettes by the association’s independent restaurant inspectors.

The contemporary, restaurant in Cardiff; a joint venture between Thistle Hotels and Crown Hotels & Restaurants, is headed up by former Michelin-accredited celebrity chef Martin Blunos. Both Martin and his team, including sous chef Lance Keirle, were praised by the AA inspector for their ‘fine cooking’ and were awarded a standout score of 92% for their dishes.

The inspector particularly enjoyed Crown Social’s unique ‘sharing’ concept; whereby diners are encouarged to sample different tasting plates together. The Cardiff hotel restaurant uses fresh and local produce throughout the menu and a contemporary take on traditional Welsh dishes which was also highly praised.

The Parc by Thistle was also awarded an impressive AA merit score of 85% and retained its 4 star rating. In particular, the staff scored highly in the service category, achieving an overall service score of 90% and attaining the maximum 5 star qualifier rating.

Johnny Davies, director of the Monmouthshire-based Crown Hotels & Restaurants, said: “The two AA rosettes are very well deserved recognition for Martin Blunos and his entire Crown Social team who have all worked extremely hard first to create the Crown Social and then deliver this superb dining experience. Crown Social now stands even more proudly alongside our existing fine dining restaurants; our Michelin star Crown at Whitebrook, near Monmouth and our three AA rosette Crown at Celtic Manor.”

The Parc by Thistle’s general manager, Richard O’Riordan added: “The whole team and I are thrilled to have been awarded such a high honour so soon after the Crown Social’s opening. Since our launch night, the people of Cardiff have shown a real interest in what the restaurant has to offer as a different dining concept – now that we’ve been awarded these two rosettes, we hope to entice even more people through our doors and bring further success to the Parc by Thistle.”

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easyJet Holidays Sees Eurovision Enquiries Increase

easyJet Holidays announces it has seen a 20 per cent increase in enquiries for European holidays on its website after the Eurovision Song Contest.

This year’s record UK television audience for the Eurovision Song Contest has triggered a surge of interest in holidays to some of Europe’s top destinations, online searches suggest.

Queries on the easyJet Holidays website for holidays to Denmark, Germany, Austria and Estonia have risen by an impressive 20 per cent since the popular pop-vote contest.

The countries which finished in the top ten seem to have raised a curious wanderlust in the UK, with holidaymakers casting their eyes beyond the more obvious summer holiday hotspots.

Mandy Round, of easyJet, said: “The surge we have witnessed in holidays to these destinations since Eurovision is quite remarkable. Tourists are certainly voting with their fingers since the contest and we’ve noticed a keen increase in bookings to the likes of Denmark and Germany.

“Obviously we are delighted by the interest in the holidays on offer and hope this transpires into firm bookings. These countries are packed full of fun, cultural experiences, magnificent architecture and relaxing excursions, and have plenty to interest the most discerning British holidaymaker.”

Azerbaijan took the 2011 Eurovision crown. The small Eastern European nation recorded 221 votes for Ell/Nikki with their song ‘Running Scared’, following performances by acts from 43 countries at the show in Dusseldorf, Germany. Webstats also show enquiries have been made about holidays to Azerbaijan.

British tourists who book city breaks or holidays to Germany, Denmark, Austria and Estonia using the easyJet Holidays website or call centre, or any other destination, are in for an extra bonus this summer, thanks to the price match guarantee.

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British Airways Release Its Best Value Holiday Escapes For May Bookings

British Airways has more than 100 worldwide destinations included in its great value holiday escapes, for bookings this May. Destinations available include North and South America, the Maldives, Middle East, South Africa as well as lots of beach and city breaks across Europe and the UK. Bookings must be made by May 24 and travel dates vary for travel from now though to September 30, 2011.

Customers can enjoy two night city breaks across Europe including city breaks in Paris at the D’Espagne hotel, flying to Paris Orly airport. Other featured breaks include Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam, Nice, Copenhagen and Palma. British Airways’ route from London City to Palma will increase from three-days-a-week to six-days–a-week, excluding Saturdays, in July and August.

Great value holidays to the Caribbean are available staying in a wide range of hotels from 2.5* to 5*. Customers can stay at Almond Beach Village for all-inclusive family holidays in Barbados, Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Jamaica, Halcyon Cove by Rex Resorts in Antigua or the luxury Spice Island Beach Resort for a luxury holiday in Grenada.

For a shopping break by the beach holidays in Dubai offer some of the finest dining, luxury five star hotels and a bustling city with fascinating feats of engineering.

Featured value city breaks in the US include New York, Las Vegas and British Airways’ new route San Diego, launching June 1 2011. Holidays in San Diego are great for surfing, golf, shopping and sightseeing.

Customers can get inspiration for their holiday through TripAdvisor, available through ba.com, and get unbiased tips from real travellers on where to go, what to see and where to dine.

TripAdvisor have released their Travellers Choice Awards 2011 winners, citing Cape Town as the number one favourite destination for 2011. Other favourites in the top 10 include Paris, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, London and Barcelona. These popular destinations are all included in British Airways’ May offers for great value holiday escapes. Holidays in Cape Town are perfect for lazy beach days, glamorous bars and nightclubs, and a trip to Table Mountain.

Bookings must be made by midnight May 24, 2011 and all offers can be found at ba.com/may-holiday-offers.

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Travel Bridges The Generation Gap In 2011 Survey Reveals The New Gap Year Generation

According to escorted touring specialist, Journeys of Distinction, 2011 is the year of the 60+ gap year with more older travelers taking more exotic and longer travels than ever before, a marked change from 2000 when a much younger gap year generation were travelling the world between school and university.

The survey of 1000 regular travelers was undertaken to establish how social attitudes and attitudes towards travel have changed in the last 10 years.

Journeys of Distinction MD Karen Gee says “There’s a marked trend that older people are the new gap year generation, those aged 60+ are travelling more often and further afield than ever before. We also discovered that of there is a much greater concern about the environment and the effects of travel, as well as a far greater interest in taking part and experiencing local life”

The survey found that:-

• Over 80% of people now research their holiday destination on the internet and then fact-check if necessary with a tour operator before booking.

• 90% of those asked wanted several holidays and breaks / year, some taking up to 7 holidays / year

• 74% felt that holidays become more important with age

• The 60+ age group are taking the most holidays, now travelling to more exotic locations than any previous generations of that age

• Those in the 40+ age group feel they work much harder than past generations and therefore feel they deserve more holidays

• 62% of respondents feel that they have helped their children financially more than their parents or grandparents helped them and now want to enjoy life

• 60% of respondents agreed that they would rather take a holiday than spend money on a new car or home improvements.

• 99% of respondents feel they are busier and more active than their parents and grandparents were at the same age.

• As a direct result of the recession travelers now want to know the true cost of products and services and what they are really spending on travel

• A holiday for most people means being active, discovering something new, the opportunity for a rich, rewarding and life-enhancing experience

Journeys of Distinction’s Karen Gee added “It’s clear we are becoming increasingly adventurous in our choice of destinations as we get older, people are inspired by their grandchildren taking time off to see the world and now many older people are now taking the time to explore and take their own gap year.

The Antarctic, Bhutan, Ecuador, Cambodia, the Baltic States and The Amazon South America escorted tours are just some of the destinations that our respondents aged 60+ told us they would like to try. This age group are fitter, healthier and more active than ever and have more travel opportunities than ever before, on top of which the advent of more affordable air travel, greater social mobility and the introduction of the internet have all helped make exotic travel such as Africa escorted tours more feasible.

Travelling on an escorted tour was once considered a soft option, but today the Journeys of Distinction product team have to travel further afield than ever to find destinations that will satisfy our ambitious clients, hungry for new life-enhancing experiences.

We’re currently working on exciting new tours to some of the world’s most diverse and remote destinations. In 2011 our clients aren’t after safety in numbers or a soft travel option, but want to feed off our expertise to see as much as they possibly can and gain as broad an experience as they can”.

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New Facebook Search App for Car Hire Launched By Carrentals.co.uk

To build its online presence on the number one social media platform, car hire price comparison site Carrentals.co.uk has launched a new Facebook app to help people find the best hire car deals in more than 15,000 global locations.

The app has the added convenience of filling in the customer’s email address, currency, country of origin and age automatically (although they can be edited), which makes it easier and faster to find the best prices.

The company developed the app in-house and it has all of the features the website does, such as vehicles, currencies (US$, GB£, AU$ and Euros), and checks up to 50 hire car suppliers to compare prices and availability.

“Creating a Facebook app is an excellent business move for us, as social media sites such as Facebook help people find places to go to on holiday and it’s the most popular website on the web. We wanted to ensure that our customers have the easiest and best experience when looking for a rental car online”, said Managing Director of Carrentals.co.uk, Gareth Robinson.

He added, “We spent a lot of time and effort getting the app working perfectly and the response from our customers has been really good. There is very little disruption to the Facebook user’s experience and it allows them to find the best deals more easily.”

The Carrentals.co.uk Facebook application can be found here: facebook.com/Carrentals.co.uk?sk=app_116510695090377. When finding the best rates on hire cars, the customer is only taken to the Carrentals.co.uk site once they want to proceed with their booking.

Carrentals.co.uk is the UK’s leading hire car comparator, comparing deals from up to 50 hire car companies including Sixt, Auto Europe, Holiday Autos, Budget and Alamo. To compare the latest car hire deals visit www.carrentals.co.uk.

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Thistles The Rougemont Hotel Gets an Afternoon Delight from Local Sisters

Thistle’s Exeter hotel, The Rougemont, saw Exmouth sisters Tilly and Ellis Jephtha reign supreme and crowned the best bakers as local finalists battled it out to revitalise the classic British pastime and create the ultimate afternoon tea.

In a bid to see their very own afternoon tea recipe on the Nelson’s Lounge and Bar menu at The Rougemont Hotel, competition finalists, Tilly and Ellis Jephtha, Phyllis Liles and Charlotte Baker were invited to take part in a bake off at the hotel, where entries were judged on their visual appeal, taste, smell and texture.

The judging panel comprised the lord mayor, councillor Marcel Choules; Mrs Stella Fernyhough, food judge from Chudleigh Women’s Institute of Devon; Shane Munro, group development manager, Food and Beverage, Guoman and Thistle Hotels; and Mark Beedell, general manager, The Rougemont Hotel.

The winning entries from Tilly and Ellis saw the judging panel torn between Tilly’s scones with thick Devonshire clotted cream and homemade passion fruit and raspberry jam and Ellis’ scones with cream, raspberry blackcurrant and rhubarb jam. In the end the panel thought the dynamic duo were equally deserving of first place thanks to the superior taste and texture and taste of their scones, and the overall presentation of the dishes.

The sisters’ winning entry will feature as the hotel’s specialist, traditional Devonshire afternoon tea when the hotel launches its new menu of teatime treats in mid-April.

Mark Beedell, general manager at The Rougemont Hotel said: “After weeks of collating entries for the competition, we’re extremely pleased to award both Tilly and Ellis the title of ultimate afternoon tea champions. Their creations will make fantastic additions to our afternoon tea menu at Drakes Restaurant and we’re certain that our guests will be as excited as we were when sampling their afternoon delights.”

After impressing the general manager with her passion for cooking, Tilly who is the baker in the family and wants to study Catering at Exeter College next year has also been offered work experience at The Rougemont Hotel. This will assist her college application as well as give her a chance to experience all operations departments in a hotel. In addition to this, and to further build her experience whilst studying, Tilly has been invited to join the team on day release when she starts her college course.

Tilly commented: “The competition has been a wonderful experience which I feel will benefit my future career in catering, and I very much look forward to starting my work placement at The Rougemont Hotel.”

The Rougemont Hotel in Exeter is a stylish Victorian building situated near the city centre and Rougemont Gardens. The hotel’s Drakes Restaurant is relaxed and welcoming and features home cooked favourites and modern European dishes, perfect after a spot of shopping or sightseeing.

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Luggage Express Packs New Brands Into Its Online Shop

Baggage specialist Luggage Express is excited to be expanding its superb collection to include suitcases and bags from renowned brands such as Caribee, Picture Case, Lug and Troop.

A leading retailer of a wide range of quality baggage products, from cheap luggage to premium suitcase sets, Luggage Express offers next day delivery as standard – and can even arrange for same-day shipping if you need to prepare for a holiday at short notice.

Daypacks, satchels, sports bags and wheeled suitcases from Australian urban and adventure brand Caribee are now part of Luggage Express’s selection, perfect for either a busy lifestyle or an active holiday. With over 50 years’ experience of bag design and production, Caribee understands travellers’ needs.

Known for their individual character, funky suitcases from Picture Case are also now available through Luggage Express, with stylish and fun choices for adults and children alike. Case designs for the latter comprise the Cuties And Pals range, each featuring a matching animal-shaped trolley case and backpack in forms such as Peko the penguin, Cheri the panda or Congo the monkey. Options for grown-ups include football teams and national flags.

Bags from ingeniously practical company Lug include large baby cases such as the Tuk Tuk, which features a range of customised compartments for various uses and two front pockets for bottles. Meanwhile, London designer range Troop has been meeting the needs of stylish travellers since 2005, using materials such as cotton and Italian leathers to retain a sophisticated appeal and hardwearing reliability.

David Elliot, Chairman of Excess Baggage, said: “Our baggage range has always been varied, but these new brands further enhance our multi-dimensional appeal to travellers of all styles and needs.”

“Caribee, Picture Case, Lug and Troop all have very distinct identities, but as with all Luggage Express brands, they have something in common too – a dedication to high quality products.”

“We also have an excellent discount range of cheap suitcases to suit those with a budget.”

Via EPR Network
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An Advertising First: Jumeirah Brings The Luxurious Burj Al Arab To TV Audiences

Burj Al Arab launches its first TV ad promoting the iconic sail-shaped Burj Al Arab – often voted the world’s most luxurious hotel.

The new Burj Al Arab video – a TV advertising first for the luxury hotelier – invites holidaymakers visiting Dubai to “leave the ordinary behind” by indulging in a stay at the uber-luxurious property. In another exciting first for the company, Jumeirah’s social media fans and followers were treated to an exclusive preview of the visually impressive ad ahead of the world’s media.

Following a diver as he moves from the hotel’s rooftop to the Arabian Gulf Sea below, the advert subtly encourages holidaymakers to dive or otherwise immerse themselves in unparalleled luxury at the world famous hotel.

The advert not only showcases the Burj al Arab’s iconic exterior – itself one of the world’s most photographed structures – but also draws attention to the hotel’s panoramic views, sumptuous interiors and luxurious facilities.

The Burj’s helipad, Skyview bar, Club Suite, Assawan Spa and Health Club can all be glimpsed in the advert, as well as one of the hotel’s many gourmet restaurants and infinity pools, as the camera tracks a diver boldly travelling from sky to sea.

The Burj Al Arab has been designed to resemble a billowing sail, and stands at a height of 321 metres to dominate the glittering Dubai skyline. It is one of the most photographed structures in the world and has been consistently voted the world’s most luxurious hotel, with features including in-suite check-in and check-out, reception desks on every floor, round the clock private butlers and use of the hotel’s Rolls-Royce fleet and private beach.

The Burj Al Arab skyscraper also features 202 luxury hotel suites which range from 170 to 780 square metres with a rain shower and a Jacuzzi in each suite, as well as six award-winning signature restaurants, the Sinbad’s Kids Club and conference and banqueting venues.

The hotel is illuminated at night by choreographed lighting representing water and fire.

All guests staying at the Jumeirah Burj Al Arab hotel also have free unlimited access to the Wild Wadi Waterpark, which is the United Arab Emirates premier waterpark with over 30 rides and attractions.

Via EPR Network
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Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel, Tbilisi Wins The Best New Hotel Award

Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel, Tbilisi has won the award of The Best New Hotel in Central Asia and Turkey presented by the CATHIC (Central Asia and Turkey Hotel Investment Conference.

A jury of prominent hotel and tourism experts has selected what has become the leading luxury hotel in Georgia from among all recently opened hotels in the Caucasus and Central Asian region. The award has been officially presented during the CATHIC 2011 event, which took place in Istanbul from 7 to 9 February 2011.

“As for the new player in the traveling and hospitality business receiving this award is a great honor for us”, said Atakan Turhan, general manager of the Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel Tbilisi.

“CATHIC gives perfect opportunity to meet potential business partners and get the inside track on new developments and how hoteliers are driving profits in these challenging times at the largest gathering of hotel investors, operators and developers from Central Asia and Turkey. By receiving this award we are sure that not only our hotel will benefit from it but the country and city as well.”

The chairman of the Turkish general contractor of the hotel in Tbilisi, Haluk Kaya of Uchgen Group, was also awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award by CATHIC for his lifetime achievements.

The Rezidor Hotel group, one of the fastest growing hotel companies worldwide opened its flagship hotel, the Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel, in September 2009. The hotel offers a new standard of luxury for business and leisure travelers in Tbilisi. Standing at 70 meters tall, it is said to be one of the tallest buildings in the city. This building was designed in the style of high-tech and modern. The contemporary exterior is clad in reflective glass and copper, shimmering above the waters of the Mtkvari River and is constructed mainly of reflective glass cladding. Each of the hotel rooms in Tbilisi, as well as the restaurant and bar are fresh and modern and have a beautiful view over the city.

Via EPR Network
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