Eurostar and Seb Coe Welcome Olympic Fans To London To Mark One Year To Go

Eurostar and Seb Coe, along with Colin Jackson and other athletes and Olympic fans from the UK and Europe, have had their foot prints cast in clay at St Pancras International, to mark the first steps on the way to the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Over the last few months, thousands of Olympic fans from across the UK and Europe have entered competitions to win the chance to be part of Eurostar’s ‘One year to Go’ celebrations. The 200 lucky winners travelled from as far afield as Marseille and Edinburgh to London St Pancras as the ‘One year to Go’ celebrations kicked off.

Nick Mercer, Commercial Director for Eurostar, commented: “After a gap of more than sixty years, the Olympic Games are back in the UK, and judging from the ‘One year to Go’ celebrations Europe is gearing up for a big party.

“It’s never been so easy for Olympic fans across Europe to get to the Games. With the growth of the European high-speed rail network and environmental concerns increasingly top of mind, we’re expecting to carry hundreds of thousands of fans to London during the Olympics.”

Eurostar, the high-speed passenger train service that links the UK with the continent, is the Official International Rail Service Provider for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Next year, Eurostar will carry Olympic fans from the continent to London to soak up the atmosphere of the Games.

Tickets for Eurostar services during the Games are open for sale and Eurostar is one of the first signatories of the ‘2012 London Visitor Fair Pricing and Practice Charter’, which requires companies to be fair and transparent about their pricing.

For more information about Eurostar, including details on Eurostar deals such as cheap Eurostar tickets, or to book Eurostar tickets or purchase Eurostar gift vouchers, customers can visit or call 08432 186 186

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Eurostar Announces Opening Of Ticket Sales For Its Direct Ski Services

Eurostar, the high speed passenger service linking the UK and mainland Europe, has opened ticket sales for its direct ski services from St Pancras International and Ashford International to the heart of the French Alps.

The direct seasonal ski train to the Alps will run from Saturday 17 December (day services) and Friday 23 December (night services) until Saturday 14th April 2012.

Eurostar’s day and night services, carry ski and snowboarding enthusiasts direct to the popular French ski towns of Moûtiers, Aime-La-Plagne* and Bourg St Maurice. Eurostar stations are located a short bus ride from the resorts avoiding lengthy transfers to and from the airport.

The stations offer easy access to a variety of top ski destinations in the French Alps, such as Courchevel, La Plagne, Tignes, Meribel, Les Arcs, allowing people to choose a resort that matches their needs. For added convenience, Eurostar allows ski passengers to carry on-board an extra item of luggage in addition to the normal luggage allowance – such as a pair of skis or a snowboard – at no extra cost.

Eurostar’s overnight services arrive in the Alps early on a Saturday morning and depart late on a Saturday evening, making them perfect for winter sports enthusiasts looking for an extra couple of days on the slopes. On the Saturday day service, passengers can sit back and enjoy stunning views of the French countryside before they arrive rested and ready to go.

Mary Walsh, Eurostar’s Director of Communications, commented: “French ski resorts are some of the most popular in Europe, and more and more travellers are seeing that high speed rail is the perfect way to reach them, with a minimum of stress and limited impact on the environment. On average, a Eurostar journey accounts for just one tenth of the carbon emissions of an equivalent flight and allows travellers to arrive close to their resort, relaxed, refreshed and ready to hit the slopes.”

Travellers can indulge themselves on their way to and from the slopes by travelling Standard Premier, enjoying more spacious seating and meals and drinks served at their seat.

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Northern Escape Heli-Skiing to be Featured in Upcoming Ski Films by Standard Films and Matchstick Productions

Northern Escape Heli-Skiing has announced that after hosting several film crews comprising world-class skiers and snowboarders in their Skeena Mountains playgorund this past winter, Northern Escape Heli-Skiing has announced that they will be featured in at least two upcoming ski films by Standard Films and Matchstick Productions.

Standard Films landed at Northern Escape to capture the extreme skiing footage. The crew of riders and pro-skiers included Mark Carter, Sammy Luebke, Aaron Bittner, Blair Habenacht and lastly perhaps the most performing rider Kazu Kobiko. Kazu may be the most talented rider of any style. The professionals at Northern Escapes were all taken aback by Kazu’s choice of lines, from tech pillows to big mountain spine freestyle. He amazed on watchers with 80 foot trick airs to stomp. Lucky for us, Kazu’s talent has been captured by a film crew. Some familiar faces from Standard Films were Travis Robb and Ondo filming as well Mads Jonsson, Lonnie Kauk, Torstein Horgmo, Mathieu Crepel.

Both the film crew and the riders had tough challenges to face in the Skeena Mountains. The weather was tough on everyone. They started the month long tour with some clear, cold bluebird conditions which made for long days. Then some high pressure winds blew in from the North with some severity and affected almost every piece of exposed terrain so the crew was forced to move to sheltered tree runs. A couple tricks the riders use to maintain their energy on icy cold days are to pack and extra pair of goggles, wear mitts instead of gloves, snack often, and stay hydrated.

What makes Northern Escape so desirable to film crews is the diversity of terrain. In any condition they can get into the mountains and put together a day of filming. Mark Carter stated “It’s like being in AK but you have the advantage of having reference points so things aren’t so scary. The guiding policy when things are tough and we are getting pushed around by weather is to break the terrain down and isolate features instead of looking at a whole mountain.”

TB20 will be released for premiere viewing in September, so stay tuned for the trailer. Standard Films has always been known for putting together solid productions with a compliment of great music and historical footage. This DVD will be a must-see for extreme ski fans. It will be shot in mostly digital, so a wide screen TV will transport you to the scene. Riders were also shooting POV with Contour so you’ll feel vertigo while you watch from home.

Before the heliskiing season was over, Matchstick Productions also visited Northern Escape’s heli-ski resort to catch some amazing video. One member of the crew was Henrik Windstedt from Sweden. He was a professional male model, which never hurts a movie, and he is a Big Mountain free-ride skier. He got in touch with Matchstick productions at a World Free-ride Extremes circuit in Europe some years ago and has been doing segments for Matchstick for the past couple seasons. Another member of the film team was Rory Bushfield, who had been to Northern Escape twice before. Rory is big on freestyle tricks, such as jumping off bridges into freezing cold rivers and crashing through some kind of inferno.

Matchstick Productions team had Quantum Helicopters fly a B2 A-Star for their journey to collect great skiing action shots. The footage will be featured in an upcoming film titled, “Attack of La Nina” Watch the preview here.

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Bargain Pisa Car Hire on Site Helps Brits Save This Summer, the online price comparator which helps tourists save on car hire deals from more than 50 providers, has this week published new prices to help visitors to Pisa save money. People going to Tuscany for their summer holidays can currently log on and find the best value rental around, with the added convenience of car hire Pisa Airport collections. operates an award-winning service which lets people compare deals from famous name providers like Alamo, Auto Europe, Budget, Ebookers, Hertz, Holiday Autos, Opodo, Sixt and Thrifty. The website has over 5 years’ experience in saving people money on car hire, and right now offers Pisa Airport deals starting at only £22 per day*.

Visitors to Tuscany can collect their rental car on arrival in Pisa Airport and head off either to their hotel or to local attractions like the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Piazza dei Miracoli. By comparing and pre-booking a car hire Italy choice from tourists can enjoy the perfect mix of value for money and complete convenience. Managing Director, Gareth Robinson, comments, “Saving people money on car hire is why we exist and we are so good at it that we have won awards for our service. A travel budget can disappear pretty fast somewhere like Tuscany so sourcing a value for money car hire deal with collections at Pisa Airport is the smart move.” compares car hire deals from more than 50 rental providers, including Alamo, Auto Europe, Budget, Holiday Autos and Sixt, in over 15,000 locations worldwide. To compare the latest car hire deals visit

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British Airways Celebrate One Year To Go To The London 2012 Olympic Games

British Airways, the official airline partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, is emblazoning ‘One Year to Go’ onto the belly of an Airbus A318 aircraft, to celebrate the milestone 365-day countdown to the start of the Olympic Games.

Flight ‘BA001’ from London City Airport to New York will display the celebratory message on its underbelly, as it departs at 1.05pm flying past the Olympic Park just minutes later.

It is expected that the message will be visible to those in parts of East London and at the Olympic Park. Footage will also be made available at

Garry Copeland, British Airways director of engineering, said: “This is the first time in the history of British Airways that we have branded the entire underbelly of an aircraft with a celebratory message. We hope it will bring a real sense of excitement to the Olympic Park and people living around the area.

“With the countdown underway, British Airways is preparing to welcome the world to Great Britain in 2012.”

Customers will not miss the celebrations either – British Airways Captains will highlight that there’s only one year to go until the 2012 Games to customers on board flights on the day.

British Airways will be offering flights to London from over 150 destinations worldwide for the London 2012 Games. With its close links to the Olympic Park, London City Airport is well placed for the 2012 Games, along with Heathrow Terminal 5; one of the official gateways to the Games, and home of British Airways.

British Airways is proud to be the official airline partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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Stena Line Signs Deal with the Belfast Giants

Stena Line, the largest ferry company on the Irish Sea, has signed a sponsorship deal with another giant, the Belfast Giants, in a two year title sponsorship deal. The Stena Line Belfast Giants will take to the ice in August for a special pre-season Hockey Fest Weekend at the Odyssey on 27th and 28th against the Nottingham Panthers and will play their first competitive home game at the Odyssey against the Sheffield Steelers on 3rd September.

Stena Line’s area director, Michael McGrath, said: “The Belfast Giants are much more than an ice hockey team. They are an outstanding example of how a professional sports organisation can mesh with the community. Winning trophies is always the measure of sports teams but it doesn’t show their contribution to their community. The Stena Line Belfast Giants provide excellent family entertainment; work with schools and youth organisations across Northern Ireland and through the Giants Foundation they are dedicated to making a positive impact in the community. Stena Line is proud to be associated with them through this title sponsorship.”

It’s quite fitting that Stena Line is teaming up with the Stena Line Belfast Giants at this time as we prepare to introduce two of the largest ferries ever to sail between Northern Ireland and Scotland when we open our new route and port in Cairnryan in November 2011. The two Superfast vessels will be another two giants to add to the Stena Line team.

Todd Kelman, General Manager of the Stena Line Belfast Giants, added: “We are delighted to be onboard with Stena Line as our title sponsors for the next two years. Stena Line have been great supporters of the Belfast Giants’ community programmes over the years and their commitment and support will enable us to go out and build a winning team for Belfast. Stena Line has always believed in what we are trying to do for Northern Ireland and they are an organisation that we are very proud to be associated with. There are a lot of synergies between both teams and we are looking forward to working together and see if we can sail away with this year’s title.”

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Kuoni Reveals Surge Of Five-Star Cuba Bookings

Kuoni, the luxury travel group, has announced that despite recessionary times, it is experiencing a surge of interest by holiday makers choosing to travel to Cuba, the Caribbean’s largest island. This fascinating, historic destination has seen an increase in bookings by some 25% when compared to 2010.

There is also increasing demand for luxury accommodation with travellers opting for five star properties above other hotel grades. Current figures show almost half of all Cuba bookings were in five-star properties, up 53% on last year.

Responding to this trend, Kuoni have introduced a brand new five star property opening in November 2011. Melia Buenavista Royal Service & Spa set on the tropical paradise island of Cayo Santa Maria, with impressive dive sites and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve as a backdrop.

The resort is perfect for couples and honeymooners. This adults-only, all suite resort offers guests a complimentary 25-minute massage and a hydrothermal circuit in the hotel’s grand spa, seductive rooms, butler service and late check-out. The hotel also offers an all inclusive plan, which gives guests the reassurance of knowing everything is paid for.

The Cuban city of Havana is a romantic and atmospheric World Heritage Site, where time appears to have stood still since the 1950’s. It’s perhaps appropriate on a Cuba holiday to be picked-up on arrival, in a vintage fifties car, and taken to the hotel in style. Cuba is also known for its rich forests, waterfalls, breathtaking beaches and wildlife.

Cuba can be found in the pages of the new Mexico and Caribbean brochure, which can be downloaded from the Kuoni website.

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With 365 Days Today Until The Start Of The London Olympics, London Hotels Are Filling Fast

Heralded as the best and most prestigious sporting event ever created, the Olympics are held in the same esteem today by people across the globe as they were by the Ancient Greeks more than 2,000 years ago. However,  London hotels are fast booking up, report London’s online experts, but those in the know won’t have any problems finding the perfect London hotels to suit their Olympic schedule…

Visit today to book your Olympic accommodation before it sells out. With sporting events taking place all over the capital, easy-to-use hotels in London search tool makes finding a hotel that suits you incredibly simple. The Olympic events are also taking place far beyond the Olympic Park at Stratford, in venues all over London including the North Greenwich Arena, Wembley Stadium, Wimbledon , Lord’s Cricket Ground, and St James’ Park. You can trust to provide you with the perfect range of London hotels to choose from depending on the area that is most convenient for you and your chosen events. Just choose your check in and check out dates, the number of rooms needed and the street, station, landmark or Olympic venue you would like to be close to.

For a truly bespoke search for hotels in London , use the London HotelMap as seen on Users are transported onto a virtual map of London where all the best London hotels are presented on a concise map, with their proximity to easily discernible famous locations, as well being categorised by price and star rating.

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Safer Roads for Safer Journeys

Everyone should not be mistaken that traffic management and administration is a sole responsibility of the government. In fact, it is everyone’s concern to make the roads safe for everybody else.

Statistics can prove that it is in the roads where a lot of accidents happen that result in mild to severe injuries and even death to innocent people. There are a number of reckless drivers everywhere which make traveling a risky errand for everybody. Moreover, drunk driving and distracted driving coupled with traffic rules violation are the leading culprits of these road accidents.

However, through the collective efforts of concerned government agencies, different programs and projects are being implemented to maintain orderliness in the roadways. Putting in place portable speed cameras like the OptoTraffic complete red light and speed camera is just one out of the many other efforts.

LIDAR-powered speed cameras

Speed cameras are only one of the many other types of speed cameras available in the market. Moreover, these cameras utilize a patented space laser technology called LIDAR. The technology is integrated in all of the company’s speed cameras which are small portable devices that require no attendant at all. It is fully automated; it can detect violators; mail citation notices; and collect payments on its own.

In the field of traffic monitoring, employment of technologies such as those found in the speed cameras are an essential and at the same time critical factor in achieving and maintaining a safer and orderly road for everybody. The use of these technologies however is only a part of the solution.

The Importance of Responsible Driving

Aside from the application of modern technology in the field of traffic monitoring, it is still a critical factor that the drivers, passengers, and pedestrians on the road remain as responsible as they can be each time they jump on the roads.

Even though a lot of traffic enforcers and modern equipment like speed cameras are scattered along these roads, chances of road accidents happening would still be high if people would be negligent on the different proceedings of traffic rules and regulations.

It is not enough that we only know the do’s and the don’ts. We should always look around and be responsible as successful traffic management is proportional to the people’s participation and cooperation. Modern equipment will just be a waste of money if people will still put themselves above the law.

Everyone as Traffic Managers

Although technological advancements prove to be helpful in providing better traffic rules and regulations enforcement, everybody should still recognize their individual responsibilities once they enter the roadways.

An ideal situation in traffic management would be a combination of cooperative motorists and efficient equipment working together as one. Modern equipment like those provided by OptoTraffic in place to catch drunk driving, distracted driving and over speeding can prove to be effective in catching violators. Continuous turning of the cycle can possibly lead to a reduction in the number of violations and incidences of road accidents thereby providing everybody else to enjoy their safer journeys.

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Classical Music at Parc Floral

On the outskirts of Paris, at the end of Metro Line 1 that finishes outside the neighbouring castle in Vincennes, Parc Floral is one of the prettiest parks in the city.

From August 6th to Septeber 25th, Paris visitors can come to this beautiful space every weekend and see some of the world’s best classical musicians perform on the stage in the middle of the park as part of the summer Festival Classique au Vert.

Up to 1500 spectators will be able to gather among the attractive flowerbeds and foliage and relax while they listen to some stunning pieces of music from world-class performers.

As well as this, the event includes walks through the park and mini concerts in some of the quieter corners, as well as the opportunity to meet and greet the musicians after the main performance finishes.

While the event is free, entrance to the park is just €5 per day, €2,50 for under 25s and free for under 7s. has a large number of boutique hotels throughout the city for people wishing to attend this event. Among them, Pershing Hall is a particularly good choice.

To find out more about the festival, visit

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Revellers Set To Parade Around The 18ème

The God Ganesh, immediately recognisable for his elephant head and human body, is an important figure in the Hindu faith.

Each year, a great procession is held to celebrate this great spiritual icon, starting with a religious service in the temple at 9am. This year is no different, with the Fête de Ganesh celebration set to take place on August 28th.

This will be followed by a parade in which pipers, drummers and dancers lead a large float carrying a statue of Ganesh through the streets of the 18ème arrondissement.

Traditionally, coconuts are shattered along the route prior to the statue’s arrival, when it will be followed by an array of singers and musicians.

The parade will begin and end at Rue Pajol, having gone full circle around the area. has a large number of cheap hotels available to anyone wishing to witness this exciting spectacle. Helvetia is just one of the options visitors can choose from.

To find out more about Fête de Ganesh, including more details on the parade route, visit

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Camera Solutions Make Summer Driving Safer

The summer travel season brings both opportunity and danger to communities across America. It brings opportunity in the form of millions of travelers driving to vacation destination and danger in the form of more speeders on the road. This includes out of town travelers that do not know the community or its laws.

To make matters worse, pedestrian traffic is much greater in the summer. School is out, so the streets are filled with children on bicycles and skateboards. Summer festivals, shopping, garage sales, parades, farmer’s markets and other activities increase the number of people on the streets.

The number of pedestrians as the number drivers increases providing for a dangerous mix. Not surprisingly police departments are hard pressed to maintain traffic safety in such a situation. Many forces lack both the manpower and the resources to control the additional traffic.

Traffic Cameras are the Answer

There is a solution available to communities in the form of portable camera systems. Traffic cameras can control speeds, increase safety and generate additional revenue for communities. Portable camera systems like those from Optotraffic enable police to catch every speeder or red light violator.

More importantly they enable police to concentrate their resources on other more important tasks such as patrolling neighborhoods and fighting crime. Officers can be out in the community interacting with citizens rather than sitting in a car behind a radar gun.

Traffic cameras can be strategically placed to protect communities in the summer. A camera can be placed at the playground or swimming pool to protect children. Cameras can also be positioned in neighborhoods to catch out of town speeders trying to evade traffic laws by driving the side streets.

Traffic cameras are particularly effective at traffic lights which are often run by visiting drivers. Many drivers now routinely ignore traffic signals which presents a danger to other drivers and pedestrians. A traffic camera can catch such reckless individuals in the act.

Summer does not need to be a nightmare for a community. Instead, communities can enjoy the extra revenue that tourists bring in without seeing their streets turned into a danger zone by out of town speeders.

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Experience The Very Best Las Vegas Hotels With Cheap Flights To Las Vegas From

With cheap flights to Las Vegas with there is guaranteed to be plenty left over in the budget to splash out on your Las Vegas hotel. Sin City is home to some of the best hotels and resorts in the world so how does one choose where to stay when there’s so much choice? This guide to the top five Las Vegas hotels aims to help you make that decision and get the most out of your Las Vegas holiday.

The Wynn
Opened in 2005, Steve Wynn’s latest luxury hotel venture is one of the newest and most luxurious resorts on The Strip. The five-star Wynn Las Vegas is a super luxury resort with a 614 foot gleaming bronze tower at the centre of its 215 acres. In addition to the 2,716 room hotel, the complex is home to an 111,000 sq foot casino, a convention centre and also boasts over 75,000 sq foot of retails space – home to luxurious boutiques including Chanel and Luis Vuitton. The resort houses original works of art by Picasso and Van Gogh and even has its own Tom Fazio designed golf course, a unique feature for a hotel located on The Strip. The Wynn’s oversized contemporary rooms offer a stylish base of your Las Vegas adventure and many have floor-to-ceiling windows ensuring fantastic views of the Las Vegas skyline.

The Wynn, Las Vegas is available from £44 pppn through

The Bellagio
Famous for its spectacular dancing fountains, the award winning Bellagio Hotel and Casino is inspired by the Lake Como resort of the same name in Italy. From the moment guests enter the hotel and are greeted by the Fiori di Como, a 2,000sq foot glass sculpture by artist Dale Chihuly which covers the lobby ceiling, they know they have arrived at one of Las Vegas’ finest and most luxurious hotels. In addition the Fountains of Bellagio, the resort is the home of Cirque du Soliel’s acclaimed aquatic feature “O”, The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art and the Bank Nightclub, ensuring guests are never short of entertainment. When it opened in 1998, The Bellagio was the most expensive hotel ever built and it remains a favourite with regular and first time visitors alike.

The Bellagio, Las Vegas is available from £111 pppn through

The Venetian
With its polished marble floors, roman columns and spectacular domed ceilings, The Venetian is a worthy tribute to Italian opulence and luxury. Guests could easily spend their entire Las Vegas holiday holed up here, exploring the Grand Canal shops by day and sampling the various gourmet restaurants by night. With over 8,000 rooms and suites, along with The Sands Convention Centre and the Palazzo Hotel and Casinio, the Venetian is part of the largest five-star hotel and resort complex in the world. Guests can even take a gondola trip around the resorts network of indoor canals, stopping to marvel at the life size replica of St. Mark’s Campanile in Venice.

The Venetian, Las Vegas is available from £50 pppn through

THE hotel at Mandalay Bay
A “hotel within a hotel’ THEhotel at Mandalay Bay is a newer standalone tower at the Mandalay Bay Resort. All of this properties 1,117 “suite style” rooms are huge at over 750 sq feet and ooze sophistication in their furnishings. Like The Bellagio, THEhotel is owned and operated by MGM Resorts International and guests will be similarly impressed with the hotels luxurious if more understated design. A top attraction at THEhotel is acclaimed chef Alain Ducasse’s restaurant, MiX which is located on the top floor offering spectacular views of almost all of The Strip.

THEhotel at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas is available from £79 pppn through

Caesars Palace
Possibly one of the most iconic hotels in Las Vegas, the 3,348 room Roman Empire themed resort has played host to countless celebrities since it opened in 1966. Canadian singer/songwriter Celine Dion has a permanent show at Caesar’s and the resort has play host a variety of global super stars including Elton John, Cher and Bette Midler. The Garden-of-the-Gods pool and recreation area which is complete with Roman statues and marble columns gives guests a great place to relax before gambling the night away in elegant style in the hotel’s world-class casino.

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas is available from £44 per person per night through.

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Paris Hosts World Judo Championships

With an Olympic year on the horizon, the World Championships of any sport take on an even greater significance than normal.

udo is no different, and from August 23rd-28th the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy hosts the World Judo Championships 2011. It will be the fifth time that Paris has staged the event.

For the French, the event is seen as vital preparation for next year’s Games, with judo an event they traditionally do very well in.

Past champions such as Thierry Rey, David Douillet and Beatrice Rodriguez have given French judo a fearsome reputation, with the flag now being flown by the sensational Teddy Riner, who in 2007 became the youngest ever world champion at just 18 years old, and has been a world champion every year since.

60,000 spectators are expected at the event over the six days of competition, with 120 nations represented by some 900 athletes. has a wide selection of hotels to choose from which will give you fantastic access to the arena. Boutique hotels such as Pershing Hall are just some of the choices available.

To find out more, visit the International Judo Federation website at

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Rock en Seine Festival to Bring the Curtain Down on the Summer Holidays

This music festival on the outskirts of Paris, held annually since 2003, has quickly built up a reputation that has allowed it to attract some of the world’s biggest bands.

ver the years, artists such as R.E.M, Radiohead and Morrissey are just a handful of the big name acts that have delighted fans at Saint-Cloud. UK fans may know it best as the scene for the acrimonious split of Manchester band Oasis in 2009.

2011 sees the usual exciting line-up, with headline acts including Foo Fighters and Arctic Monkeys. There are plenty of other established acts too, such as Tinie Tempah, My Chemical Romance, Seasick Steve and Biffy Clyro, as well as a return for 80s legends The La’s.

Held over the weekend August 26th-28th, Rock en Seine is a great experience for all involved, with opportunities for camping allowing visitors to really get into the festival. For those who do not wish to stay on site, there are plenty of metro, tram and train options to get you safely back into Paris.

If you do choose the latter option, can offer a selection of fantastic cheap hotels right across the city. Among the many choices available, Helvetia is an excellent hotel.

If you want to find out more about Rock en Seine, visit

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Grand Hyatt Seattle Celebrates 10 Years With 10 Chances To Win

Celebrating a decade since opening its doors and bringing a new standard of luxury to the downtown Seattle hotel market, Grand Hyatt Seattle celebrates its July 19th milestone with 10 days of giveaways. Interested guests and Grand Hyatt Seattle fans can enter on the hotel’s Facebook page by “liking” the page and clicking “enter to win” starting July 19th for a chance to be the daily winner of a free overnight stay at the luxury downtown Seattle hotel. For every friend a fan shares the giveaway with through the Facebook application, the fan will earn an additional entry. Each fan can enter daily to win the downtown Seattle hotel stay until the final giveaway on July 29th. One lucky, randomly-selected winner will be announced daily. To learn more about the contest and see full entry rules, visit Grand Hyatt’s Facebook page:

Additionally, as an extra anniversary perk for current downtown Seattle hotel guests, Grand Hyatt Seattle will be offering a signature Northwest gift and special dining and spa discounts. Trading up from the traditional mint on July 19th, each room will receive a complimentary pillow-top treat of Chukar’s Dried Bing Cherries, an iconic Pike Place Market treat. Guests of Grand Hyatt Seattle that week can also indulge in the local offerings at Elaia spa and Urbane restaurant, located a block away at sister downtown Seattle hotel Hyatt at Olive 8, and present their room key to receive exclusive discounts at our world-class facilities shared between our two hotels in downtown Seattle. Elaia will be offering 10 percent off treatments from Thursday, July 19 through the end of the month, while Urbane will extend the same 10 percent discount to menu items through Friday, July 22nd.

“Grand Hyatt Seattle has set the standard for Pacific Northwest hospitality and the hotel’s success is a testament to its timeless elegance, the capable and approachable staff and loyal guests,” said General Manager Steve Vissotzky. “These gifts and special offers are our way of saying thank you to those guests, both past and present, that have been integral to the hotel’s rising success over the years.”

Upon opening, Grand Hyatt Seattle quickly took the spotlight among the finest hotels in downtown Seattle. Both Condé Nast and Travel + Leisure took notice of the cosmopolitan flair of Grand Hyatt Seattle, naming it among the world’s finest, and once again, Travel + Leisure awarded the exclusive downtown Seattle hotel a coveted spot on the ‘Best 500 Hotels’ list in 2011. The 425-room hotel, exquisitely appointed with a rich palette of earth tones, unique natural accents and original art, continues to draw business and leisure visitors to its ideal location, just steps from the bustling culinary and cultural epicenter of downtown Seattle. With more than 25,000 sq. ft. of meeting space equipped with state-of-the-art technology, the contemporary downtown Seattle hotel also attracts international business travelers who enjoy the sophisticated setting surrounded by vibrant entertainment options.

For more information on the refined, yet comfortable style and amenities of Grand Hyatt Seattle, or for reservations at our premier downtown Seattle hotel, visit

Grand Hyatt Seattle 10th Anniversary Rules Visit the Grand Hyatt Seattle Facebook page at:
Click on “SWEEPSTAKES” tab on the page.

If you do not already “Like” the page, click on the “like” button to indicate you “like” this Facebook page. Click on the “Enter to Win!” button. To enter, complete the entry form and submit. For more entries, invite at least one of your friends to enter the sweepstakes through the invite your friend interface. You will receive one entry per one friend you invite. There is no limit to the times you can enter to win an overnight stay at our downtown Seattle hotel, but each winner can only win once. Click on “Send Sweepstakes Invitation” button.

The sweepstakes begins at 8 a.m. Eastern Time (“ET”) on July 19, 2011 and ends at 2:59 a.m. ET on July 30, 2011 (“Sweepstakes Period”).

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Victorian England Revealed at Musee d’Orsay

As part of a journey that takes in the V&A Museum in London and the San Francisco Fine Arts Museum, from September 13th until January 15th the iconic Musee d’Orsay in Saint-Germain-des-Pres will be home to an exhibition that charts the seismic artistic shift that took place in Victorian England.

Entitled ‘Beauty, Morals and Voluptuousness in the England of Oscar Wilde’, the work explores how the expressive photography, painting, literature and fashion of the time all contributed to a move away from the long held Victorian values.

Including work by Wilde, Aubrey Beardsley, Edward Burne-Jones, William Morris, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and James McNeill Whistler, it is certainly worth a stroll along the Seine to see it. has a variety of cheap hotels to choose from near Paris city centre. Helvetia is just one of many comfortable, convenient options available.

For more information about the exhibition, visit

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Eurostar Reports Continued Strong Growth In H1 2011 Sales Revenue And Passenger Numbers

Eurostar, the high speed passenger rail service between the UK and mainland Europe, has reported continued strong growth in the first half of 2011. Overall sales revenues increased by 4% from £404 million to £421 million and passenger numbers went up by 3% from 4.6 million to 4.7 million.

This year-on-year growth is particularly strong given that in the first half of 2010 Eurostar benefited from increased sales revenues resulting from the ash cloud disruption, during which it ran 70 extra trains and carried 100,000 extra passengers. Excluding the positive impact of the ash cloud disruption on the 2010 figures, underlying H1 2011 sales revenues in fact grew by 12% in comparison with the same period last year.

Eurostar is reporting over the first half of the year, leisure sales revenues grew by 8% and leisure passenger volumes were up 4%.

Demand for bookings over the summer period is high and over 950,000 passengers travelled on Eurostar in July alone making this a bumper summer for high speed rail travel. As a result, over 20 extra services have been scheduled to run over the summer.*

Whilst Eurostar has reported a rise in the overall number of passengers over the last six months, there has been a particular spike in the volume of international travellers.

Over the first half of the year the number of international passengers rose by 21% to over half a million travellers. This was driven in part by a strong increase in passengers originating from the US who increasingly see a trip on Eurostar as an integral part of a European tour.

Nicolas Petrovic, CEO of Eurostar, commented: “The growth in the number of travellers heading for London earlier in the year has gathered momentum and in the first half international bookings have gone up by over 20 per cent. With ‘Royal Wedding fever’, London 2012 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee on the horizon, London is highly attractive and remains a ‘hot’ destination for international visitors.”

In the first quarter of 2011 Eurostar saw a 9% rise in Business Premier sales revenues and this strong performance continued through the first six months of the year.

This uplift is a reflection of the high levels of transactions and activity among businesses operating between the UK and the continent, particularly the financial services sector.

Nicolas Petrovic continued: “Over the last six months we have introduced a range of upgrades to our business premier service including guaranteed boarding, new Alain Roux menus and on board taxi booking to ensure that passengers’ time on board is as enjoyable and productive as possible.”

Via EPR Network
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Fall in New Hotels in London Temporary, say

A new industry report has revealed a striking lack of new construction projects being undertaken in the UK – with hotels among the least likely projects to get off the ground. Analyst firm Glenigan released the findings this week, sending shock waves through the construction industry.

Hotel booking company is not worried about the implications for hotels in London however. Despite the recent lack of project starts, a number of high profile new London hotels have opened recently, such as the Zetter Townhouse and the St. John hotel, brought to you by the acclaimed proprietors of Clerkenwell’s St John restaurant.

TheGlenigan report found that, between March and June 2011, the underlying value of project starts in the UK was 24 per cent lower than in the same period in 2010. The disparity in the London hotel world was considerably more pronounced, with a year on year fall in construction of 73 per cent – this despite the upcoming Olympics, which is sure to be a boon for London’s tourism industry. Glenigan reports the surge in the commencement of construction on hotels in London being down to a number of developers pulling projects forward to ensure completion in time for the 2012 tournament.

The lull is expected to be temporary, with a spokesperson for, the London hotels website, declaring: “London is renowned for having some of the finest hotels in the world. Despite the recent dearth of new builds, a number of fantastic hotels have opened, and one of the city’s most famous brands, the Savoy, reopened last year following a 220 million pound refurbishment.”

The trend has been repeated across the economy, with industrial and office construction starts down 25 and 20 per cent respectively, but the retail sector saw a 13 per cent year on year increase. Residential construction fell 29 per cent following the private and public sector cuts. Private housing construction starts were down 31 per cent year on year, and social housing also fell, by 26 per cent.

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New Soloists Festival Helps Promising Paris Musicians

Every weekend from August 26th to September 11th, the Jardins des Serres d’Auteuil will host the New Soloists festival for the last time, before extension works begin on nearby Roland Garros tennis arena.

The concerts will include recitals of pieces by Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms and Rachmaninov, with a wealth of young talent on display.

Five ‘carte blanche’ concerts will see five pianists take to the stage for an hour each across the three weekends, while special ‘springboard’ concerts will attempt to give promising young soloists the break they need, as well as showcasing older acts that have yet to penetrate the public consciousness. has a large quantity of cheap hotels available for booking at these times, with the splendid Helvetia just one of many options available.

For more information about the New Soloists Festival, visit (in French).

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