Category Archives: Travel Tips and Tools

Tæplega hundrað glæsilegar ljósmyndir prýða sýninguna „Heillandi Peking“ í Reykjavík

Reykjavík, Íslandi, Sep-6-2017 — /EuropaWire/ — „Heillandi Peking“, ljósmyndasýning um ferðalög var haldin í Reykjavík þann 11. ágúst í boði framkvæmdastjórnar Peking um þróun ferðamála (Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development). Zhang Weidong, kínverski sendiherrann á Íslandi, Song Yu, formaður framkvæmdastjórnar Peking um þróun ferðamála, og Inga Hlín Pálsdottir, forstöðumaður ferðaþjónustu og skapandi greina hjá Íslandsstofu mættu á setningarathöfnina og fluttu ræður.

Tæplega hundrað glæsilegar ljósmyndir prýða sýninguna „Heillandi Peking“, sem framkvæmdastjórn Peking um þróun ferðamála hefur safnað um árabil frá bæði innlendum og erlendum ljósmyndurum. Af þeirri ástæðu hafa þær mikið fagurfræðilegt gildi. Þemu þessarar ljósmyndasýningar eru hin forna höfuðborg, tískuborg, menning og lífsstíll og stórborg nútímans, og hún hefur fengið mikla athygli frá innlendum fréttamiðlum og almenningi.

Þessi kynningarviðburður hefur styrkt tvíhliða samskipti og samvinnu við þróun ferðamála, bætt skilning Íslendinga á ferðamálatækifærum í Peking og tekið virkan þátt í að stækka íslenskan ferðaþjónustumarkað fyrir Peking.

Frá árinu 2017 hafa löndin viðhaldið diplómatískum tengslum í meira en 46 ár. Að auki er Ísland mikilvægt land fyrir norðurátt hinnar nýju silkileiðar (The Belt and Road) og Kína er helsti viðskiptaaðili Íslands í Asíu og sjöunda stærsta viðskiptalandið á heimsvísu. Bæði Peking og Reykjavík hafa yfir miklum auðlindum að búa á sviði ferðaþjónustu, svo sem fallega náttúru og djúpar menningarrætur. Fyrir utan fallegt útsýni Reykjavíkur, sem er norðlægasta höfuðborg heims, er þar einnig að finna Þjóðminjasafn Íslands, Listasafn Íslands, Listasafn Einars Jónssonar og aðra sögulega og menningarlega mikilvæga staði. Beijing hefur verið höfuðborg Kína í 4 valdakynslóðir og varðveitir 7 heimsmenningararfssvæði, auk þess sem þar er að finna yfir 170 söfn með fjölmörgu áhugaverðu efni fyrir ferðamenn. Árið 2015 komu fleiri en 48.000 kínverskir ferðamenn til Íslands með næstum því 100% aukningu á milli ára. Við viljum nýta okkur tækifærið við þennan kynningarviðburð til að fræða fleiri Íslendinga um Kína og Peking.

SOURCE: EuropaWire

WorldSIM: now with more than 50 million WiFi hotspots and 600 mobile networks in 200 countries worldwide

LONDON, 2016-Jun-29 — /EPR Travel News/ — WorldSIM, is now the most connected network in the world. Known for their roaming solutions, today WorldSIM announced the launch of WorldSIM Infinity; a combination of worldwide mobile and WiFi, with users having a multitude of connectivity options across the globe.

Through WorldSIM’s innovative roaming solutions, travellers can already get the widest mobile data coverage at lowest rates with over (600 operators in 200 countries). WorldSIM Infinity goes even further by combing mobile coverage with over 50 million WiFi hotspots globally. Now even the heaviest data users can be catered for without breaking the bank.

WorldSIM CEO, Arif Reza reported “The insatiable demand for data, driven by increasing amounts of smart devices and endless apps, has transformed the mobile world and made continuous connectivity more crucial than ever before. Travellers in particular don’t want to come off the grid, even when they are at 30,000 feet” said Arif Reza, CEO of WorldSIM. “Our solution means users can go from their home to nearly every country in the world and remain connected affordably without sacrificing productivity or altering their mobile behaviour. Best of all they can now do it with no extra costs”

With over 1 billion international trips a year and growing, WorldSIM Infinity is ready to empower todays modern traveller, keeping them connected affordably across the globe – even when they are in-flight.

WorldSIM Infinity gives users seamless connectivity when they roam internationally, regardless of whether it’s WiFi or mobile. Travellers can always connect fastest network at the lowest cost. Users are able to continue to make and receive calls irrespective of whether they are connected to WiFi or mobile, always benefiting from the best combination of speed, coverage and cost.

Whilst on the WorldSIM WiFI network, users will also have the reassurance that all their data is secured through encryption, unlike when they connect through most free WiFi hotspots.

Reza continued “WorldSIM Infinity offers a single one-stop solution to roaming, enabling customers to connect easily and cost-efficiently wherever they are in the world.”

WorldSIM’s Infinity is available to both leisure and business travellers. It can also be white labelled and integrated into existing MNO and MVNO Services as well as OTT Applications.

SOURCE: Travel PR News

WorldSIM launches a new international SIM card that ends roaming charges for travellers worldwide

LONDON, March 24, 2016 — /EPR TRAVEL NEWS/ — Finally the extortionate roaming charges travellers face when they go abroad has become a thing of the past. Roaming experts, WorldSIM have launched a new smart international SIM card that allows international travellers to pay the same rates as locals when they travel overseas. Importantly, users can also roam on their existing number with the use of WorldSIM’s virtual phone number service.

worldsim

In Canada and Mexico, a call back to the US is just 22 cents and it’s free to receive calls. What’s really impressive is that WorldSIM offers international travellers going further afield very low rates as well. In Europe data rates start from 15 cents per MB and so do calls. Incoming calls are free in 95 of the most popular international destinations. The service remains a prepaid service and no subscriptions are required. Just recharge when you need more credit.

The new WorldSIM international sim card also offers roaming in more destinations than most operators worldwide. With their new release sim card, 25 new roaming destinations have been added bringing the total to 195 roaming countries. This means travellers can now stay connected for less in more exotic locations like Belize and the Bolivia.

international sim card

Very soon, WorldSIM will also be launching global bundles, in many destinations travellers will be able to get 1GB of data and unlimited calls for just $30.

This new travel SIM card offers billing in multiple currencies and the technology has been improved to allow the sim to connect automatically to the operators with the best rates and coverage. The roaming SIM works in any unlocked handset and comes triple punched so it fits into all cell phones and tablets.

Arif Reza, CEO at WorldSIM commented “The technology inside our new SIM card is more advanced than ever giving users a simple solution that makes a big difference. With our new line of smart watch phones and WiFi devices you don’t even need to switch SIM cards when you travel.”

With the vacation season approaching thousands of travellers will be hit with unexpected roaming bills and they aren’t the only ones that suffer. Small businesses pay on average $252 per device for bill shock, while larger companies pay up to $395 per device*.

Find out more about WorldSIM at www.worldsim.com
*According to a survey by Wondera.

Contact-Details:
Andrea Crome
WorldSIM
2 Spring Villa Road
London
www.worldsim.com

EPR Network
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Labtrip 3.0, the iTunes of the social travel guides

Labtrip, the free app of social travel where you can do travel guides, presents a complet app for the iPhone and new functionalities in the web (the spotter).

To the more of 40.000 registered users and more of 30.000 created guides, and thousands of downloads, they add more and new functionalities looking forward to the Social travel era 3.0

With the nes design and the new content aggregator (spotter), Labtrip 3.0 arrives to all the destinations the traveler want to go and share.

Spotter; the content aggregator is the main new tool
The technological start-up from Barcelona has now the option to aggregate content in the user travel guide.
The content aggregator, also known as SPOTTER, is the most significant new of Labtrip 3.0

For the first time, the traveler, using the SPOTTER, can include any information of the travel he/she want to go or be inspired; like photos, videos, text… to his/her travel guide while surfing the internet.

Also, while traveling, with the IPhone app, he can photograph anything he/she like (restaurant, hotel, place, site,…) and keep it and share it.

Demis Torres (founder and COO of Labtrip) says that SPOTTER “is the tool that need a marketplace of travel guides to personalize totally the user guides.”

Users change their behavior when they think about their travel, so LABTRIP has invest to offer popular places voted by the travel community or by their friends.

“Our objective is that the users connect their travel with their friends”, says Demis Torres, that sees the change in the behavior to the “friendsourcing”.

“In the crowdsourcing the comments are from anyone , but in the friendsourcing the comments are from friends and relatives”..

The redesign of the APP in the IPhone gives more visibility to the thematic guides with personal plans that respond to the “London literary”, “Paris of The Da Vinci Code” or also “Football in Buenos Aires”.

LABTRIP with the new tools (like the SPOTTER) wants to go forward in their vision of being the iTunes of the travel guides.

Via EPR Network
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McAvoy as Macbeth at Trafalgar Studios

BAFTA winner and Golden Globe-nominated actor James McAvoy is to star in William Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ as part of a new season at Trafalgar Studios. The actor, who has starred in a string of successful Hollywood movies including ‘Atonement’ and ‘X-Men’, will play the title role during an initial ten-week run, which starts on February 9 th and finishes on April 27th.

The production is part of director Jamie Lloyd’s Trafalgar Transformed season, and marks a reunion for Lloyd and McAvoy, who worked together on the actor’s last stage appearance in 2009 on the Olivier-nominated ‘Three Days of Rain’ at the Apollo Theatre. The full cast for ‘Macbeth’ is yet to be announced.

According to press notes, the production will see “Shakespeare’s darkest tale play out in a dystopian Scotland brutalised by war. Under a toxic fog, Macbeth begins his tormented struggle for power fuelled by ambition and paranoia.”

Of his upcoming season, Jamie Lloyd said it will be “a season of politically-charged power plays on the doorstep of Whitehall, accompanied by a festival of platform events, discussions and readings.” The season will also feature a series bespoke workshops and masterclasses from professionals, and Lloyd hopes to engage with schools and other institutions throughout the year. Production design for all the plays in Trafalgar Transformed is by Soutra Gilmour, who won the 2012 Evening Standard Award for Best Design.

‘Macbeth’ will be performed at 7.30pm Mon-Sat, with matinees on Thursdays and Saturdays.All tickets will be £15 on Mondays, with half being made available through a special outreach scheme, targeting schools and first-time theatregoers. The other half will be available to the general public on the first day of each month, starting from Feb 1st. Tickets for all other nights of the week will range from £24.50-£54.50, with premium seats available for £65.

To help travelling theatre fans keep their accommodation costs down, HotelMap is offering reduced rates on hotels near Charing Cross, just minutes walk from Trafalgar Studios. A map of London, with hotels and their discounted rates clearly marked, is available atHotelMap.com. Visit the site for more information on ‘Macbeth’, Trafalgar Transformed, and to browse discounted hotels near Charing Cross.

Via EPR Network
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Tots Essential Kit Guarantee Launched By Award-Winning Family Holidays Company

Parents with toddlers and babies will be able to travel light to safe and relaxing family holidays this summer thanks to the Tots Essential Kit Guarantee, a new initiative launched today by award-winning family travel specialists Tots To Travel.

Instead of struggling to fit all the essential items little ones need into their luggage, and hauling it through customs on a fleet of baggage trolleys, parents can be sure of finding it all waiting for them at their holiday home.

Tots To Travel are the only company to offer this Tots Essential Kit Guarantee for all of their family holidays which covers over 20 items from pool safety and bulky furniture such as cots, high chairs and stair gates, to often overlooked essentials such as blackout blinds and a range of toys and easily forgotten items like night lights and a hand-held blender.

Tots To Travel owner Wendy Shand said: “It’s a real challenge for new parents trying to get all the kit they need to keep their baby safe and happy into their luggage. There are so many essential items from changing mats to travel cots, sterilisers and baby monitors that we take for granted at home.

“We have hundreds of calls and emails from anxious parents worried they won’t be able to take family holidays if they can’t be sure they have all these things. So we have compiled a list of the essential items and can now guarantee our holiday homes have all of them.”

Tots To Travel specialises in stylish, safe, fun holiday villas for the under fives and their families, and t he Tots Essential Kit Guarantee is another important element in their mission to ensure relaxing family holidays from start to finish.

They offer holiday homes from cottages to chateaux, and take extensive steps to ensure each is suitable. All properties are inspected and vetted by a special team of agents using a system developed with the Child Accident Prevention Trust to ensure they are all safe and genuinely family-friendly.

Tots To Travel also offer a free holiday planner pack . And t here is also a vast array of useful information on their website, on everything from “How far is the beach?” to “Where is the nearest hospital or supermarket?”.

The full Tots To Travel kit guarantee covers:

  • Pool barriers (enclosed by fence, hard cover or net)
  • At least one cot that meets EU standards
  • Good supply of cot linen
  • At least one high chair
  • Booster or junior seat (suitable for use at a dining table)
  • Baby monitor
  • At least one changing mat
  • Steriliser
  • Stair gates where needed
  • At least one potty
  • Child’s toilet seat
  • Child’s step
  • Baby and child cutlery, bowls, cups and plates
  • Bath toys and non-slip mat
  • Hand-held blender
  • At least one bed guard
  • Blackout blinds/curtains/shutters in child bedrooms
  • Children’s books, indoor and outdoor toys
  • DVD player and children’s DVDs
  • Microwave
  • Night light in children’s rooms

Unsurprisingly, pool safety comes top of the list, as Wendy Shand, a mother of three, set up the company after her little boy fell into an unenclosed swimming pool on a family holiday. That terrible accident was a turning point which led her to set up her holiday company to ensure safe family holidays for under 5s.

She said: “It felt there had to be a safer and more enjoyable way to holiday with small children. More to the point there must be plenty of parents just like me who need a safe, family-friendly holiday more than ever before.”

When Wendy couldn’t find a family-friendly holiday company to suit her needs, she decided to start her own – and quickly found its services in demand. “There’s something terribly motivating about having children. You suddenly have the drive to make life as you want it to be, rather than living by somebody else’s rules,” she said.

Tots To Travel is now a multi-award winning company, which Wendy runs with husband Rob, a former RAF fighter pilot.

The company’s success has been recognised with a range of prestigious awards including the Cisco Customer Kings Award for outstanding customer service (2010) and Woman of the Year Award from the Loved By Parents website (2011).

Notes to Editors

  1. For more information go to http://www.totstotravel.co.uk
  2. If you would like to speak with Wendy Shand or for all Tots To Travel media enquiries please contact Eleanor Treharne-Jones on
    07811 093648, eleanor@theconversationco.com or @EleanorTJ.
  3. Key statistics:
    • Tots To Travel launched with nine holiday homes in April 2006 and now feature more than 400 safe, family friendly properties
    • The company offers holiday homes in France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the UK
    • Tots To Travel have sent 1000s of families away of their holidays
    • They have developed a Blueprint For Lettings Success which helps holiday home owners to let their property more successfully in the family market

Via EPR Network
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Guoman and Thistle hotels reveal enhanced websites for faster browsing and booking

Guoman Hotel Management UK Ltd has revealed new look websites for both its Guoman and Thistle hotel brands. The company, which launched free Wi-Fi across its Guoman property portfolio last month, has redeveloped the sites in superfast HTML5, ensuring time is saved when browsing, booking and even upgrading rooms from PCs, tablets or mobile technology platforms.

The investment in the sites includes a freshly designed homepage to complement the individual style of each of the hotels run by Guoman Hotel Management. The sites also feature an upgraded 4-step booking journey, and visible offers – easily searchable by hotel, date and offer type.

Mithu Sengupta, eCommerce Director, Guoman and Thistle Hotels, commented: “With digital technology constantly evolving it’s important that we keep up with the latest booking trends to make the booking process as easy and enjoyable as possible for our business and leisure travellers.

“We have listened to feedback from our customers and based the new features on their comments and suggestions. This is just the first stage in our web development project and using the help of usability experts, we will be making further improvements throughout the rest of this year and well into 2013, including an enhanced mobile site, to make the user experience even better.”

For further information about Guoman and Thistle Hotels and to experience the new websites, visit www.guoman.com and www.thistle.com.

Via EPR Network
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British Airways Launches Customer Recognition Programme

All companies in the customer service arena want to recognise their customers, and a new system developed by British Airways is set to take that recognition to a whole new level, even enabling its staff to put a face to the name before the customer sets foot in the airport.

The programme, known as ‘Know Me’, has been developed over several years and is now beginning to be rolled out. Its purpose is to collate a wealth of data from every experience the customer has with the airline and translate that into meaningful service for that individual.

The programme is able to send messages with information about specific customers to the iPads of customer service agents and senior cabin crew, or update check-in staff via the airline’s computer system. For example, they may be informed that a Silver Executive Club member is flying in business class for the first time thereby enabling the crew member to welcome that customer and explain the benefits of the cabin. Equally, if a regular traveller has experienced any issues on previous flights, such as a delay due to weather, the crew will be informed of that and will be able to go the extra mile, recognise the previous issue and thank the customer for their continued patronage.

The model also enables the crew to feed back useful information about the airline’s most loyal customers, enabling the airline to further personalise the service they receive on their next trip.

The personal recognition message is just a guide; it’s the customer service staff and cabin crew that bring it to life, enabling them to be more intuitive and proactive.

The most recent advancement of the system enables the British Airways team to search Google Images for a photo of specific customers so they can recognise them as soon as they enter the airport or aircraft and proactively approach them.

The airline is aiming to send 4,500 of these personal recognition messages a day by the end of 2012 with even greater scope for growth in the future.

As part of the programme a ‘delivery lab’ has also been set up to analyse the way the airline communicates with customers so that only the most relevant and interesting messages are sent to them.

Jo Boswell, head of customer analysis at British Airways, said: “Last year we re-committed to the ethos: ‘To Fly. To Serve’. That’s what ‘Know Me’ is all about – enabling us to recognise our customers in a way that is individual to them. Other airlines apply it in pockets to certain aspects of the travel experience, but we are looking at the whole journey from booking to collecting luggage at the carousel.

“We’re essentially trying to recreate the feeling of recognition you get in a favourite restaurant when you’re welcomed there, but in our case it will be delivered by thousands of staff to millions of customers.

“And the early results have been extremely positive, our customers love being recognised and treated as an individual and our customer service staff and cabin crew feel empowered to deliver a really bespoke service.

“This is just the start though – the system has a myriad of possibilities for the future.”

Via EPR Network
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Lambeth’s Bonfire Night Fireworks Display Moves to Brockwell Park

Brockwell Park in Brixton will be the setting for Lambeth Council’s Bonfire Night celebrations and fireworks display this November. Fireworks displays will take place across the capital on 5 November to mark Guy Fawkes’ failed attempt to blow up the House of Parliament in 1605, but the Brockwell Park setting is sure to be one of the most spectacular. The illuminated London City skyline in the distance can be seen from within the park and spectators will be able to marvel at the myriad night time displays taking place across the capital from one location.

The park itself is one of the prettiest in London and Lambeth Council is sure to make the most of this setting. Brixton is renowned as a place to party the night away, so expect plenty of fun, music and entertainment running late into the night.

More information about the event can be found on LondonTown.com, the number one Internet site for London.

Finding London hotels in and around Brixton, allowing visitors to make the most of this event, has never been easier thanks to HotelMap.com. This new hotel search and booking site from LondonTown.com is so simple, but so effective. Unlike other hotel booking sites, hotel search results are not displayed in an exhaustive list, but pictorially over an interactive, drop-and-drag, map of London.

Users can search for specific hotels, or by region, vicinity to public transport and major landmarks. Or, if they prefer, they can simply enter their dates and search the entire capital, grabbing the map and moving and/or zooming to certain areas and locales.

Using HotelMap.com it is easy to find hotels close to Brockwell Park. The Church Street Hotel is located less than two miles from Brockwell Park close to Denmark Hill rail station. This gorgeous, Spanish-American styled four-star boutique hotel is available from £75 per room, per night. This hotel is particularly popular for its breakfasts, bought fresh from Borough Market, offering a true taste of London every morning.

Another hotel within easy travelling distance of Brockwell Park is the Pestana Chelsea Bridge Hotel. This four-star riverside property is moments from Battersea Park rail station offering direct access to Brixton. Prices start at £149 per room, per night.

Via EPR Network
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Barbican to Host London International Animation Festival

This autumn, the Barbican Theatre presents the London International Animation Festival, which aims to bring together the very best in creative animation from the past 12 months. The LIAF – which runs from October 25th until November 4th – will feature gala premieres, Q & A sessions with top directors, animators and voice artists, and workshops chaired by the very best in the business.

Every animation technique will be covered over the course of the ten-day programme. Among the highlights of the festival will be a special appearance from influential British artist Ralph Steadman, who debuts his new film ‘For No Good Reason’. LIAF centres around the Barbican Screen theatre, one of the city centre’s most iconic venues.

Ticket prices for the huge range of events will be between £11.50 and £12.50, and are available via LondonTown.com. The website has also announced details of special discounts on hotels in London, so festival-goers looking for a cheap room near the Barbican are advised to visit their site.

Among the hotels offered, the Zetter, situated on Clerkenwell Road, is around a ten minute walk from the Barbican Centre. When booking through LondonTown.com, the Zetter is offering a 71% discount on petite doubles, bringing the cost of a night’s stay down to just £108.

The Thistle City Barbican Hotel is offering an 88% on double rooms, bringing the cost of a night’s stay down to just £62. The Thistle is less than a fifteen minute walk from the LIAF.

The Montcalm at Brewery London City is less than a five minute walk from the Barbican, and is offering double rooms at an 83% discount, or from £208 per night. Both deals are available exclusively when booking through LondonTown.com.

Visit the site to find more information on the 2012 London International Animation Festival, other upcoming theatre events in the capital, and to find more discounted hotels in London.

Via EPR Network
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Spot the next Hirst at the Affordable Art Fair this autumn

For art lovers, bargain hunters, families and the merely curious, the Affordable Art Fair brings the prospect of an excellent weekend’s wandering, gawping and perhaps even buying.

Set to take place in Hampstead Heath from 1st to 4th November 2012, the Affordable Art Fair is the little sister to the larger Battersea art fair, but promises some more accessible prices and stalls, as well as the opportunity for newly graduating artists to exhibit and develop their work in front of new audiences.

What is more, the excellent HotelMap widget is able to find weekend visitors some brilliant deals on hotels near Kings Cross and other central areas within easy distance of both the art fair itself, and the city centre.

The event runs from 11am -6pm, apart from on the 1st when it will have a special late-night extension until 9.30pm. Admission for under-16s is free, meaning it’s a great event to throw in as part of a family trip to London – given that it is set in the middle of the city’s most wild open space (Hampstead Heath), there’s plenty to keep kids distracted.

And for those looking to make it a celebratory weekend without totally breaking the bank, news of HotelMap’s great deal-finding widget will be a blessing. The finder has located deals in some great central, NW1 hotels with over 50% discounts off the full price.

The Thistle Euston Hotel, for example, has 78% off double rooms on the 2nd -4th November, with prices coming in at £128 per night. This is located just 3 miles from the Affordable Art Fair, reached either by tube with a walk, or by a direct bus.

Another option is the Holiday Inn Camden Lock – better for couples and those who want to make the most of Camden night life after – it’s also just a 2 mile walk to the Art Fair, and doubles have a discount of 70%, starting at £152 per night.

Via EPR Network
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Get animated at London’s International Animation Festival at the Barbican

For individuals who think that animation is simply about kids films or manga comics, then perhaps a visit to the Barbican this October will make a big difference in changing your mind.

The London International Animation Festival, which has been running since 2003, makes its temporary home in the Barbican from 25th October until 4th November, with a huge opening gala, workshops, screenings, live projects and talks throughout the two weeks.

Inspired by the mission to spread the diversity of creative animation to the masses, the LIAF in its own words:

“…aims to dispel the popular misconception that animation is just cartoons for kids by screening the broadest possible range of intelligent, entertaining and provocative current films on offer from all around the world.”

Additionally, there’ll be retrospectives, talks and chances to get interactive. For fans of animation, designers and those curious to learn more, HotelMap’s excellent hotel-finder widget is the perfect way to locate deals and discounts on classy London hotels for the festival period.

Visitors can save up to 80% on a stay at the Crowne Plaza in Shoreditch–doubles are available from £108 per night at this luxury location in London’s trendiest area, full of coffee shops, vintage stores and art galleries. It’s also a convenient 16 minute walk from the Barbican.

Alternatively, customers can stay in a serviced apartment at 196 Bishopsgate from £139 per night – this is a service recommended by 96% of the website’s clients, and is perfect for making a weekend of it.

Via EPR Network
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Second London Date Added to John Bishop’s Nationwide Tour

Due to overwhelming demand, comedian John Bishop has added another London date to his nationwide tour this autumn. Bishop will now play two dates at the O2 Arena on 24 and 25 October.

The Liverpudlian comedian stormed to success with his previous sell-out stand-up tour performing for more than 400,000 fans and producing the fastest selling stand-up comedy DVD of all time. He has switched from the stage to television with ease, taking on roles in E4’s Skins and Sky One’s A League of Their Own; he’s even had his own programme on BBC One: John Bishop’s Britain . Critics and crowds adore him in equal measure and he always leaves a crowd wanting more, despite painful side-splitting stitches and fits of laughter.

LondonTown.com, the number one internet site for London, advises Bishop fans to grab tickets early while they’re still available. It also suggests booking an overnight stay in a nearby London hotel.

LondonTown.com has reduced rates on hotels in London this year making prices far more accessible. Examples of this include the 88% reduction at the Radisson Blu Edwardian New Providence Wharf and 77% off at the Holiday Inn Express London Greenwich. Both hotels are within walking distance of the O2 Arena.

The Radisson Edwardian New Providence Wharf is a four-star property with a modern design and accompanying contemporary features. Rates at this waterside property are now available from just £62 per room, per night. Aside from a stunning location boasting impressive London views, this stylish hotel also has a spa and swimming pool to make stays extra special.

The Holiday Inn Express London Gatwick is a family-friendly three-star property that lives up to all the standards people now expect of Holiday Inn properties. Room rates now start at just £57 per night.

Via EPR Network
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All-star Chekhov on the West End this autumn

A revival of one of the twentieth-century’s most famous dramatists – and one of his most influential plays – is set to open in the West End on 24th October 2012. Uncle Vanya, adapted by Christopher Hampton and directed by Lindsay Posner, will star Ken Stott, Samuel West and Anna Friel as Vanya’s new wife, Yelena.

The adaptation, much anticipated, will debut at the Vaudeville Theatre on the Strand in central London, overlooking the River Thames and on the doorstep of the West End. It is the autumn’s second significant Chekhov production, with The Three Sisters, directed by Benedict Andrews, currently running at the Young Vic on London’s Southbank.

Chekhov fans coming up for the show can turn to LondonTown.com for some cheap London hotels and discounts on rooms for their stay. Couples and families who want to come up and have a weekend of it might like to check out accommodation in the City area of London, which can provide a great base for moving west to the theatre, and east or south for walks and markets on Saturdays and Sundays.

LondonTown.com has found some great deals on double rooms at the Crowne Plaza London City for £136 a night on the first weekend on October, based on two adults sharing. This is a discount of over 70%.

Another option is to stay in newly-branded ‘midtown’ London – the Holborn area. Double rooms at the 4-star Club Quarters Lincoln’s Inn Fields start at £159 for the same early weekend in November – again a discount of 56% off the full price.

Via EPR Network
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Get On The Floor with J-Lo this October

The O2 Arena in Greenwich continues to cement its reputation as one of the UK’s foremost large-scale music venues with a series of huge concerts this October, ranging from the super-poppy to the intellectual and cutting-edge.

October 8th and 9th sees Oxford-based world-dominators Radiohead playing at the gigantic 23,000-capacity venue. And later on this month, a different proposition: American Idol judge and R’n’B-pop songstress Jennifer Lopez will be filling the O2 Arena with her own brand of mildly-Latin infused dance floor fillers and physical routines.

Tickets are expected to sell out for the show, and fans of J-Lo are full of anticipation for one of her biggest UK shows in the last five years. Her Dance Again world tour stops at the 02 for just one night – Monday 22nd October.

J-Lo fans who also want to live the high life like the lady herself can help themselves to the raft of 4- and 5-star deals on hotels in London with LondonTown.com.

The Hilton Canary Wharf Hotel, perched on the waterfront overlooking some of London’s newest and most flashy buildings, has 4-star double rooms for the 22nd October for £287, for those looking for some all-out luxury.

And J-Lo fans who want to go back to the good old days of Jenny from the block (not Jenny’s plush $20-million uptown penthouse) can take it a little easier at the Ibis London Docklands hotel, which has a room for two adults on 22 nd October for £73.

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En octubre a la pista de baile con J-Lo

El O2 Arena en Greenwich sigue afirmando su fama de uno de los establecimientos musicales más grandes del Reino Unido con una serie de espectaculares conciertos en octubre, desde lo más cutre hasta lo más intelectual y vanguardista.

El 8 y 9 de octubre actuará Radiohead, el mundialmente conocido grupo de Oxford, en el gigantesco local de una capacidad de 23.000 personas. Y posteriormente algo diferente: la famosa cantante de pop R’n’B y juez de American Idol, Jennifer López, llenará el O2 Arena con su propio estilo de música de discoteca de inspiración latina y coreografías de gran esfuerzo físico.

Se espera que las entradas se acaben pronto ya que los fans de J-Lo no pueden esperar más uno de sus shows más importantes de los últimos años en el Reino Unido. Su gira mundial “Dance Again” hace una parada en el 02 solo una noche, la del lunes 22 de octubre.

Los fans de J-Lo que quieran disfrutar del estilo de vida de su ídolo podrán disfrutar de un sinfín de ofertas de hoteles en Londres de 4 y 5 estrellas con LondonTown.com.

El Hilton CanaryWharf Hotel, con su privilegiada vista sobre el río de los edificios más nuevos y llamativos de Londres, ofrece dobles de categoría de 4 estrellas el día 22 de octubre por 287 libras, ideal para los que busquen el lujo total.

Y aquellos fans de J-Lo que quieran aprovechar su presupuesto en otro tipo de diversión (y no en una habitación de súper lujo) pueden también disfrutar más modestamente delIbis London Docklands, que ofrece habitaciones dobles para el 22 de octubre por 73 libras la noche.

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Revel in the glamour of Hollywood Costume at the V&A

Some of the biggest stars of Hollywood are landing at the Victoria & Albert Museum in Kensington this autumn – and there isn’t one bloated ego amongst them.

This October, the Hollywood Costume exhibition opens at the V&A – a museum renowned for its curatorial interest in textile, fashion and sartorial history – and it brings some of the most iconic dresses, suits and outfits of the silver screen to the hallowed halls of SW7.

From Dorothy’s red glitter shoes to John Travolta’s white suit from Saturday Night Fever, to some seriously elaborate Elizabethan ruffs taken from Cate Blanchett’s turn as Queen Elizabeth I, the exhibition combines displays of the clothing with interviews, photos and written information on the history of the films that birthed them.

There will also be interviews from some of the iconic stars who have worn the outfits on display – including Hollywood legend Robert De Niro. The V&A Museum, originally opened in 1852, was created to inspire British designers and manufacturers – and there is high hopes for this exhibition to inspire new generations, as well as summarise the work of the previous century.

To celebrate this exciting new arrival on the London museum, LondonTown.com is happy to release numerous exclusive deals on London hotels in and around the Hyde Park area for visitors looking to make a special trip to the V&A.

The Fifty Four Boutique Hotel on Queen’s Gate – just a fewminutes’ walk from the V&A – has double rooms in its deluxe environs from £153 a night on the weekend of the 26th -28th October.

On the same dates, visitors can snap up a great bargain on the Millennium Baileys Hotel London Kensington, just outside Gloucester Road tube, from £152 on the Friday 26 th October.

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Disney Classic Fantasia Coming to Albert Hall

It’s one of the crown jewels of the Disney canon, loved by successive generations in the 70 years since its original release. Now ‘Fantasia’ comes to London’s iconic Royal Albert Hall, for two exclusive showings, on October 21st, complete with accompaniment from the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

On its initial release in 1940, ‘Fantasia’ was a groundbreaking blend of symphonic music and the stunning animation of which Disney was already becoming veteran. Pairing music by classical composers from Tchaikovsky to Gershwin with the corporation’s iconic mouse, Mickey, ‘Fantasia’ spins a surreal tale of sorcery and fantasy, based on Dukas’ ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’.

Keith Lockhart conducts the London Philharmonic in this resurrection of an undying classic, which jumps from one dreamlike scene to the next, wowing viewers with trippy red mushrooms, dancing unicorns and ballerina hippos.

As with most Disney films of the era, the childlike sits alongside the deathly dark, juxtaposing themes of magic and morbidity to create a truly disturbing – and wonderful – effect which will delight audiences of all ages.

The air of exclusivity is heightened by the performance of just two shows, a 2.30 matinee followed by an evening’s re-run starting at 6.30. Tickets cost between £15 and £55, and are available directly from the Royal Albert Hall, as well as via the LondonTown.com website. The site, which provides accommodation and ticketing for all major London events, has also announced details of reduced rates at London hotels in the area.

Among the hotels on offer, the Baglioni Hotel London, just 7 minutes’ walk from the Albert Hall, is offering a 67% discount on double rooms. The discount brings the cost of a night’s stay in this exclusive part of the city down to just £221.

Also on offer are rooms at the Fifty Four Boutique Hotel. When booking throughLondonTown.com, a double room is currently available at a 93% discount – or £66 per night. Close to the Royal Albert Hall and London’s West End, it’s a perfect location for a weekend’s museum-hopping. For booking information, and to see more discounted London hotels, visit LondonTown.com.

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Jumeirah Group announces sales and marketing appointments

Jumeirah Group, the global luxury hospitality company and a member of Dubai Holding, is pleased to announce several key appointments for its Sales and Marketing team.

Christian Hellot is appointed as Director of Sales & Marketing for Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, the arts and lifestyle Dubai hotel. Prior to joining Jumeirah Group, Christian worked for Intercontinental Hotels where he held the post of Regional Vice President of Sales and Marketing for their properties in Florida and in Beverly Hills. Christian began his career in Sales in 1992 with JW Marriott in Los Angeles; he then relocated to Dubai in 2008 with Sofitel as pre-opening Director of Sales and Marketing with their Jumeirah beach property, before being promoted within the Accor group to Cluster Director of Sales and Marketing in 2011.

In Rome, Loredana Brescia is the new Director of Sales & Marketing for Jumeirah Grand Hotel Via Veneto. Loredana has 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Prior to joining Jumeirah, Loredana was Director of Sales and Marketing for NH Lingotto in Turin; she has also worked for Le Meridien and Forte Village Resort in Turin, Rome and Sardinia, and for various tour operators around the world. An Italian national, she is fluent in English, French and Spanish. In her role, Loredana will oversee all marketing, sales and public relations activities for the hotel in Rome.

Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa in Kuwait has announced the appointment of Stéphane de Robien as Director of Sales & Marketing. A French national, Stéphane has 20 years of sales and marketing experience for luxury hotels. He started his career with Forte Hotels in Paris then worked as Director of Sales and Marketing for several luxury resorts on the French Riviera, including the Negresco in Nice from 2004 until 2008. In 2009, he launched the Garrigae Resorts brand in Southern France; then was appointed Group Director of Sales & Marketing for Palmeraie Hotels & Resorts, a Moroccan luxury resort group based in Marrakech. Prior to joining Jumeirah, he was Director of Sales and Marketing for Melia Hotels International in charge of Opening Melia Zanzibar. He studied in École des Cadres Business School, and holds a degree in management of hotels and tourism companies from CEFSI/INFATH Paris. Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa in Kuwait is expected to open in Winter 2012/2013.

Finally, Grosvenor House Apartments by Jumeirah Living in London has appointed Steve Thorne as Director of Sales & Marketing. A British national with over twenty years of experience in the hotel, lettings and serviced residence sectors, Steve brings a wealth of experience to the role. Prior to his appointment, Steve held numerous senior leadership positions at high-profile global residence operators such as Oakwood, IHG and Ascott. He has also honed his expertise as a brand director, working on several brand launches, strategic repositioning and commercial strategies for widely-acclaimed residence brands such as Citadines, Staybridge Suites, Somerset and Ascott. Steve will be tasked with further developing the Sales & Marketing strategy for this new and unique concept in serviced apartments in London.

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Jumeirah Group enhances its China market strategy

Jumeirah Group, the global luxury hotel company based in Dubai, has announced Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts and Ctrip.com International Ltd, China’s leading travel service enterprise, have signed a Global Direct Connectivity Partnership Agreement in Shanghai. This is the first time a luxury hotel group from the Middle East has signed an agreement of this nature with Ctrip. This partnership further illustrates Jumeirah’s commitment to the China market as it will allow Chinese travellers to directly book some of the world’s most luxurious and innovative accommodations via Ctrip.com’s platform.

As a result of this agreement, expanded visibility among Chinese travellers will result in an increase in visitors for Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, especially those located Dubai, the Maldives and Shanghai.

Direct connectivity between Ctrip and Jumeirah will allow Ctrip customers’ reservations to be delivered automatically and within seconds to the Jumeirah hotels. According to Jumeirah Group and Ctrip.com, once the direct connect technology is in place, special offers and a consumer contest to celebrate this agreement will be launched. Jumeirah expects a growth of 14% from the Chinese market to its worldwide portfolio in 2013 and the numbers of visitors to the Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel in Shanghai, which recently celebrated its first anniversary, are expected to increase as well.

China now ranks as the sixth most important source market for Jumeirah hotels internationally, with the most popular destinations in the Jumeirah portfolio for Chinese visitors being Dubai and the Maldives, as well the company’s first hotel in mainland China Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel, Shanghai.

The Group has five future hotel projects in development in China, including Jumeirah Guangzhou (opening in late 2014), Jumeirah Macau, Jumeirah Clearwater Bay Resort in Sanya, Jumeirah Hangzhou and Jumeirah Thousand Island Lake Resort, Qiandaohu.

With such a robust development pipeline and more Chinese guests choosing Jumeirah hotels in the Maldives and Dubai, the Group has been researching the market closely and was one of the first hospitality companies to make its website available in Mandarin, as well as become actively engaged in the local social media.

Early this year, Jumeirah strengthened its commitment to Greater China by appointing a seasoned Asia professional, Graham Kiy, to the position of General Manager of Jumeirah Guangzhou. In addition, the Group expanded its sales presence in Asia by partnering with Heavens Portfolio as Sales and Marketing representative in Hong Kong and Taiwan, and appointed a Business Development Manager, Ms Selena Xu, based in Beijing.

“Jumeirah has confidence that the Chinese travel and tourism market will continue its rapid growth,” said Mr. Nicholas Clayton, COO of Jumeirah Group. “I am pleased to see Jumeirah signing the direct connect with China’s largest travel services enterprise, Ctrip.com. It indeed strengthens our China development and enables us to engage more closely with our Chinese high-end customers.”

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