Tag Archives: Family Travel

Hotels.Com Tells British Travellers Which Cities To Visit To Make Pounds Go Further

Hotels.com has revealed that, despite the pound being relatively weak against the Euro, British travellers seeking some sunshine this summer could find their pounds go much further than they might expect in a number of European destinations, with a trip to the continent potentially costing less than a UK break.

The Hotels.com Hotel Price Index* found that travellers who choose the Spanish party city of Barcelona (where the average cost of a room for the night is £93) over the historic British city of Bath (at around £119 per night) will save an average of £26 per night; adding up to a saving of £182 on a one-week holiday. This means that travellers could save significantly more than the cost of their flights by choosing the right European destination**.

In fact, British travellers who visit many of the most popular destinations on the continent will find the cost of a bed for the night is significantly lower than the cost of a hotel room at home.

Swapping a week at one of the many London hotels (average £111 per night) for the Portuguese capital of Lisbon (£89 per night) would save £308 on a two-week holiday, more than enough to cover flights to Lisbon with money to spare for sightseeing or a meal out.

At £87 per room per night, the Greek capital of Athens is significantly better value for British travellers than the Scottish city of Aberdeen (£104 per night on average). This saving of £17 per night would add up to a huge saving of £238 on a two-week holiday.

Alison Couper, Director of Communications for Hotels.com commented: “While the relatively poor exchange rate may be putting people off, we’ve found that that there are still plenty of great deals to be found in the Eurozone.

“Hotels make up a bigger proportion of the cost of a break, so by shopping around for the best deal, travellers can make significant savings, even when the price of flights is taken into consideration.

“Furthermore, hoteliers in the major European capitals want to attract UK city breakers and are therefore offering some very attractive discounts. There are savings of up to 50% on hotels in many European destinations on Hotels.com.”

* The Hotels.com Hotel Price Index (HPI) tracks the real prices paid per hotel room rather than advertised rates for 68,000 hotels across 12,500 locations around the world. The latest HPI was based on real prices paid by travellers during the period October-December 2008.

** A return flight from London Heathrow to Barcelona in April starts from £103 pp including taxes and fees at www.expedia.co.uk

About Hotels.com:
As part of the Expedia group which operates in all major markets with dedicated staff, Hotels.com offers more than 99,000 quality hotels worldwide, including Rome hotelsParis hotels and Edinburgh hotels. If a customer can find the same deal for less on a prepaid hotel, Hotels.com will match it. Hotels.com benefits from one of the largest hotel contracting teams in the industry negotiating the best rates for its users, plus user-contributed reviews of its properties.

Via EPR Network

Win A Round The World Trip For Two, Plus 49 Other Prizes!

HostelBookers has been named cheaper than Hostelworld in an independent survey by EyeforTravel – and to celebrate, they’re running a fantastic competition featuring 50 prizes.

Partnering with roundtheworldexperts.co.uk, HostelBookers are offering two round the world tickets and selected accommodation (worth up to £3,000!) to one very lucky winner.

For second prize, there’s a Sony HDR-TG3E HD Camcorder up for grabs, plus an iPhone touch (16GB) and iPod nano (8GB) for third and fourth. 16 runners-up will then receive backpacks filled with travel supplies and another 30 entrants will win a compact travel hammock.

The competition will run f r o m 17 April to 8 May. To enter the prize draw, all you have to do is head over to the HostelBookers competition page and answer one simple question: just how much cheaper did EyeforTravel find HostelBookers to be than Hostelworld?

The research – which looked at 600 of HostelBookers and Hostelworld’s budget hotels and hostels over 20 popular worldwide destinations – has also prompted HostelBookers to offer a lowest price guarantee on all their accommodation.

For full details of the lowest price guarantee and a chance to win round the world tickets (and the 49 other prizes), log on to www.hostelbookers.com. For more budget travel tips and ideas, f r o m hostel reviews to cheap days out, visit HostelBloggers – the insider’s guide to budget travel.

About HostelBookers.com: Great Hostels. Free Booking. No Worries.

HostelBookers.com – launched in March 2004 – is a leading UK-based budget accommodation website. It offers a range of budget accommodation including youth hostels, hotels, B&Bs and apartments in over 2,500 destinations worldwide.

In November 2008 HostelBookers.com also received the UK’s Best Youth Product award at the British Youth Travel Awards (BYTA) run by BETA (British Educational Travel Association). The awards, are designed to provide a platform to celebrate and reward high achievers, gain recognition, and raise the profile of the work and individual successes of organisations engaged in youth, student and educational travel, to f r o m and within the UK.

If you would like to be a Hostelbookers partner, you can do so by joining our affiliate program directly by emailing HostelBookers or through the TradeDoubler and AffiliateFuture networks.

Via EPR Network

It’s Official – Hostelbookers, One Of The UK’s Leading Budget Accommodation Providers Is Significantly Cheaper Than Major Competitor Hostelworld Following A Survey Of 600 Hostels In 20 Destinations Worldwide

On average, accommodation with HostelBookers costs 4.2% less than with Hostelworld offering an equivalent saving of £6.75 on a two-night stay for two people. HostelBookers is also the only independent hostel booking site that does not charge a booking fee, ensuring that unlike Hostelworld, customers will never incur any extra hidden costs.

This has led to HostelBookers’ latest move to introduce a lowest price guarantee to offer the cheapest hostels worldwide. If the same accommodation is found for less within 24 hours, HostelBookers will refund the difference.

The HostelBookers research was carried out by leading online travel news provider, EyeforTravel which looked at hostels and budget hotels in some of the world’s most popular and expensive destinations including Europe, Australia and North America. Travellers to top cities such as Paris and Sydney will find themselves with up to £15 extra in their pockets if they book with HostelBookers. Average prices come in at 8.5% cheaper for Paris and 8.9% cheaper for Sydney offering savings of £15.87 and £11.23 respectively.

David Smith, Chief Operating Officer at HostelBookers said: “With 2,500 destinations worldwide our aim is to be the number one budget accommodation site, with no fees or hidden costs for our customers. We are so confident in being able to offer the cheapest accommodation on the web that we’re prepared to put our money where our mouth is and offer this lowest price guarantee.”

To celebrate the guaranteed low prices HostelBookers is running a fantastic competition offering those with the travel bug the chance to head off on a round-the-world trip of a lifetime. Joining forces with roundtheworldexperts.co.uk two round the world tickets worth up to £3,000 and selected accommodation options are up for grabs.

For those not lucky enough to win the first prize there are 49 fabulous runners up prizes. Log onto HostelBookers.com f r o m April 17 for a chance to enter.

In addition to offering the cheapest online accommodation, HostelBookers provides customers with all the information they need to make a booking, f r o m independent ratings and reviews of their 12,000 properties and 360° videos of the accommodation to new, improved destination guides. 


About HostelBookers.com: Great Hostels. Free Booking. No Worries.

HostelBookers.com – launched in March 2004 – is a leading UK-based budget accommodation website. It offers a range of budget accommodation including youth hostels, hotels, B&Bs and apartments in over 2,500 destinations worldwide.

In November 2008 HostelBookers.com also received the UK’s Best Youth Product award at the British Youth Travel Awards (BYTA) run by BETA (British Educational Travel Association). The awards, are designed to provide a platform to celebrate and reward high achievers, gain recognition, and raise the profile of the work and individual successes of organisations engaged in youth, student and educational travel, to f r o m and within the UK.

If you would like to be a Hostelbookers partner, you can do so by joining our affiliate program directly by emailing HostelBookers or through the TradeDoubler and AffiliateFuture networks. 

Via EPR Network

Brits To Save £3 Billion By Holidaying In The UK Reveals The Travel Insurer LV=

Almost five million adults who are taking a UK holiday this year (40%) put their decision down to financial concerns, with 16% admitting they cannot afford to go abroad, 13% blamed unfavourable exchange rates, and 11% simply said that a holiday in this country will be cheaper. These concerns have affected Londoners by far the most; with 59% of those holidaying in the UK saying that financial factors led to their decision.

On average, those staying in the UK estimate they will spend £477 per week on their holiday. This compares to those going abroad who think they will spend £728; meaning that the UK holidaymakers will be saving on average £247 each, leading to a UK wide saving of just under £3 billion on holidays in 2009*.

Emma Holyer, spokesperson for LV= travel insurance, commented: “It’s not surprising that many more people are looking to take their main holiday in the UK this year. The sliding value of the pound, particularly compared with the Euro and US dollars, plus the overall economic climate, have made holidaymakers think twice about spending their hard-earned wages on a trip abroad.”

Further LV= research** has indicated that more than five million Brits are planning to cut back on one or more insurance policies this year, with 22% of these looking at cutting a travel insurance policy. These new figures show that 59% of those holidaying in the UK do not intend to take out any form of insurance cover for their break.

Emma Holyer continued: “It is important that these people remember that even though they are staying in this country, travel insurance is still important. It will help to ensure that they don’t end up out of pocket if they have a problem with their transport arrangements, such as missing their train, plane or bus, or if their belongings go missing. In addition, if customers have to cut short their holiday or cancel for any reason, insurance will mean they can claim back some of the costs.”

All research (unless otherwise specified) carried out by Opinium Research. 2,214 online interviews were carried out from 5-9 March 2009.

* 25% of UK adults who are taking a holiday in the UK multiplied by average £247 saving = £2,964,000,000

** Research carried out by Opinium Research. A survey of 2,141 people took place between 16-20 Jan 2009.

About LV= 
LV= offers car, home, travel and pet insurance direct to consumers by telephone from its UK call centres in Bournemouth and Croydon and online from its website. LV= has been awarded the Defaqto five star rating for home insurance and car insurance. LV= insures over 1.6 million cars and 480,000 households in the UK.

LV= is a registered trade mark of Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited (LVFS) and a trading style of the Liverpool Victoria group of companies. The new LV= brand identity was launched in March 2007.

LV= employs over 3,800 people, serves around 3.2 million customers and members, and manages around £7 billion on their behalf. We are also the UK’s largest friendly society (Association of Friendly Societies Key Statistics 2008, total net assets) and a leading mutual financial services provider.

LVFS is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority register number 110035. LVFS is a member of the ABI, AMI, AFS and ILAG. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.

Via EPR Network

Popularity Of Non-Eurozone Resorts Continues Reveals M&S Travel Money

A new survey by M&S Money has revealed that more than a third of British travellers* (36%) take into account the strength of a country’s currency in relation to the pound when planning their holiday abroad. It’s not surprising, therefore, that holiday resorts outside the eurozone continue to increase in popularity as Brits look for the best value destinations.

According to the M&S travel money survey, Egypt and Turkey – two of the most popular destinations in 2008 – are set to be firm favourites again this year. Sales of the Egyptian pound and Turkish lira have increased by 20% and 46% respectively in Q1 compared to the same period in 2008.

M&S bureaux staff have also reported increased demand for the Kenyan shilling. The Kenyan government is keen to boost tourism in the country and recently announced that Visa rates would be cut to make the country more appealing to visitors. The Minister of Tourism for Kenya announced that entry visa rates are to be reduced by 50% and completely cut for children under 16 f r o m April 1 until the end of 2010.

For travellers seeking a short-haul destination, Iceland is set to be a popular option this year. British travellers now get much more for their money when visiting Iceland – the strength of the krona against the pound has dropped by 65% compared to March 2008. Year-on-year sales of the krona have increased by 32%.

The long-haul destinations of South Africa and Mexico are also enjoying increased interest f r o m UK holidaymakers.

James Yerkess, M&S Travel Money Manager, said: “The falling value of the pound in the past year means that holidaymakers are looking around for resorts where they are getting more for their money. Brits still want to enjoy a holiday, but they are being more selective about where they go.”

Overall M&S Money is continuing to see a large increase in people exchanging foreign currencies for sterling, with a 21% year-on-year increase in the amount of foreign currency exchanged for sterling at M&S bureaux during Q1.

M&S Money has also found that, as the strength of currencies including the euro, US dollar and Japanese yen has grown against sterling in the past year, customers using the M&S commission-free ‘buy back’ service are now much better off when exchanging foreign currency. Customers are also exchanging large amounts of Australian dollars, Swiss francs and UAE dirhams.

*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are f r o m YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2154 adults. Online survey fieldwork undertaken 23-26 Jan09. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

About M&S Money:
M&S Money (the trading name of Marks & Spencer Financial Services) was founded in 1985 as the financial services division of Marks and Spencer Group plc. The company is now a top ten credit card provider and the second largest travel money retailer in the UK. M&S Money also offers a range of insurance cover, including home insurancepet insurancewedding insurance as well as loans, savings and investment products.

In November 2004, Marks & Spencer sold M&S Money to HSBC. The Group serves customers worldwide f r o m around 9,500 offices in 86 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa. With assets of US$2,527 billion at 31 December 2008, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations. HSBC is marketed worldwide as ‘the world’s local bank’.

M&S Money has an executive committee comprising an equal number of representatives f r o m HSBC and Marks & Spencer. 

Via EPR Network

Macdonald Hotels Joins In The Homecoming Scotland Celebration

Macdonald Hotels has joined in the Homecoming Scotland 2009 festivities, launching a new microsite designed to promote the year long programme of events and activities celebrating Scotland’s contributions to the world.

Macdonald Hotels new microsite ffers visitors the chance to see the events and activities near to Macdonald Hotels’ properties that will make up Homecoming Scotland 2009.

Homecoming 2009 kicked off on January 25th with the celebration of the 250th birthday of Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet, and will continue until St. Andrew’s Day which falls on November 30th. Those wishing to join in the festivities can enjoy a number of activities including the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, the Turnberry Golf open Championship and Edinburgh’s historic Clan Gathering.

The Glasgow International Comedy Festival will also be taking place under the Homecoming Scotland 2009 banner, with comedians from around the world joining home grown talent such as Rhona Cameron and Jerry Sadowitz to perform at the festival. Perennial British favourites Ardal ‘O Hanlon, Rob Brydon and Ross Noble will also be performing at the festival.

Macdonald Hotels will be offering Homecoming accommodation for those looking to take in the sights and sounds of the celebrations, with 3, 4 and 7 night breaks available at several of their Scottish properties.

About Macdonald Hotels & Resorts
Macdonald Hotels & Resorts Limited operates over 40 hotels across the UK and ten resorts throughout the UK and Spain. The company employs over 4,400 staff and operates in excess of 3900 hotel rooms. First established in 1990 by Donald Macdonald and colleagues, Macdonald Hotels & Resorts was floated in 1996 on the main London Stock Exchange. In 2003, it returned to private ownership and was one of Scotland’s biggest public to private deals at a cost of £620m, which was wholly underwritten by the Bank of Scotland. The Bank now owns 50% of the equity with the remainder held by the management.

The Group’s focus is on developing its strong portfolio of four and five star hotels, with each offering its own character and individuality underpinned with the quality and attention to detail expected of the Macdonald brand. In particular, the company prides itself on the seasonality and provenance of its food within the hotels, from breakfast through to dinner, as well as its wide range of specially selected wines.

Via EPR Network

Hotels.Com Reports Brits Rack Up £526m A Year On Minibars

British travellers are unable to resist the lure of the hotel minibar, according to new research* by leading hotel booking website Hotels.com. 46% of those surveyed regularly give into temptation whilst on their travels, and spent an average of £15.44 on minibar treats every time they go away. When totalled up for the whole nation, the Great British Minibar Bill quickly adds up to a staggering £526 million a year**.

However, the economic downturn is clearly making thirsty Brits think twice before reaching for that beer: Hotels.com found the average spend on minibars was nearly £2 higher in 2007***, averaging £17.29 per person.

In fact, 84% of cash-conscious Brits surveyed feel that hotel minibars are too expensive, and are so keen to cut costs that one in ten admit to ‘minibar meddling’ by replacing what they’ve used with cheaper alternatives bought from a local shop. 60% avoided the minibar altogether by buying snacks and drinks from outside the hotel to consume in their room.

British minibar spending is fairly restrained compared to other European travellers. Hotels.com found the Irish to be the biggest minibar spenders, forking out almost£22 each time they stay at a hotel. At the other end of the scale, the French and Norwegians appear the most frugal, spending under £12 and £10 respectively.

Many hotels have started to cater for the growing demand for more quirky and extravagant minibar offerings. For example, guests at the five-star Dylan Hotel in Dublin will open their minibar to find a ‘Kama Sutra Kit” which includes a feather, a frill pink blindfold and a range of scented oils. Similarly, the ‘pimp my fridge’ service at the three-star Catalina Hotel and Beach Club in Miami enables guests to order a number of personalised minibars, including the “Get It On Minibar” which includes a Barry White CD for setting the mood, edible body paint, Champagne and whipped cream.

The Hotels.com research found that 58% of Brits are most likely to use the minibar last thing at night when the urge for a late night snack proves too strong. The five-star Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel in Knightsbridge has responded to this by introducing a minibar ‘happy hour’ between 10pm and midnight, when guests receive a 30% discount on all purchases.

The survey also revealed that 32% of Brits felt that minibars didn’t offer what they really wanted, with healthy snacks and drinks topping the minibar wish-list for both sexes. However, there were some significant differences between the sexes. Whilst 60% of men chose beer and 25% opted for massage oil to feature in their perfect minibar, women were more concerned about finding chocolate (43%) and a good book or magazine (38%).

Alison Couper, Director of Communications for Hotels.com, said: “British travellers are clearly unable to resist the temptations of the hotel minibar; however, our research shows they are becoming incredibly savvy in terms of how they spend their holiday money.”


* Hotels.com research carried out amongst 850 adults across Europe in March 2009.
** According to the latest Office of National Statistics Social Trends Report, Britons make 69.5 million trips abroad each year. Hotels.com found that 49% of Britons use mini-bars, spending an average of £15.44 per trip, making £526 million per year.
*** YouGov research commissioned by Hotels.com in June 2007.

Currency conversions were calculated using exchange rates as of 16 March 2009.

About Hotels.com
Hotels.com is part of the Expedia group which operates in all major markets with dedicated staff, offering more than 99,000 quality hotels worldwide. If a customer can find the same deal for less on a prepaid hotel, Hotels.com will match it. Hotels.com benefits from one of the largest hotel contracting teams in the industry negotiating the best rates for its users, plus user-contributed reviews of its properties.

Via EPR Network

J and J Luxury Resorts Announces Affiliation With Long-standing Luxury Resort Corporation

Jeff Gante is excited to announce his affiliation with a long-standing luxury resort corporation that offers its private members the highest standards in luxury style accommodations.

York, Pa 11, March, 2009 – Jeff Gante announces the opening of his home-based business, J and J Luxury Resorts. He contracts as an independent affiliate with a large corporation that offers luxury resort accommodations to those who choose to join their private vacation membership. They provide deep discounts for weekly rentals of timeshare properties, luxury condos, beach resorts, and other vacation home options to people who take advantage of their low one-time membership opportunity:http://vacation.jandjluxuryresorts.com.

Gante independently represents a luxury vacation Corporation that has been in operation for over 20 years, offering the highest standards of luxury vacation accommodations at thousands of worldwide resort locations. They offer their prestigious memberships solely through independent contractors like Gante. After a one-time membership fee, much lower than most investments needed to acquire a timeshare property, members are granted access to luxury beach resorts, ski resorts, golf resorts, mountain resorts, and other four and five star vacation spots. Platinum members are granted a lifetime of luxury vacations, as many weeks per year as they’d like, for weekly rates of 50% to 90% below industry standards.

The average resort condo may include a large living room, full kitchen, a king-sized bed, spacious bathrooms, and a balcony with a view. Pools, Jacuzzis, game rooms, family activities, fitness centers are not uncommon. If there is an attraction somewhere in the world that you want to visit, you will probably be able to reserve a luxury resort spot near there with your private membership.

This private membership is available to all classes of people. It is deliberately made affordable so that anyone can enjoy time away from his or her normally hectic life in the most relaxing way possible.

It is a great alternative to those considering a timeshare purchase. They could save thousands of dollars in up front costs. But if they were going to purchase a less expensive timeshare property, they would still save on annual fees and be able to take advantage of limitless yearly weeks by choosing this vacation membership instead. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9Z6YoX54x4

It would appeal to professionals who might normally choose a new resort area each year or several times a year, paying as much as $3000 for a one week stay so they can vacation in style. With this membership, a person only pays that much once for a lifetime membership, and then pays weekly rates between $300 and $700 for life afterwards for high-end resort accommodations.

Lastly, this vacation club should lure the average working person who is tired of the same old vacation in average hotels or the least expensive cottage rental they could find at the Shore. Once they pay the one-time membership fee, they can finally enjoy luxury vacations for even less than what they would pay at a roadside motel.

Gante is proud to be able to represent this unparalleled vacation opportunity and looks forward to your inquiries at his home website: http://vacation.jandjluxuryresorts.com.

If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact Jeff Gante through the email address available on his website. However, the information you find at J and J Luxury Resorts will be exhaustive. The vacation membership opportunity will speak for itself. You will be able to join immediately when you see the value presented.

About J and J Luxury Resorts:
It is the home-based business creation of Jeff Gante and his fiancé Jamie. After exposure to various online business opportunities over the years, Gante sees this membership as the best product he has come across made available to independent affiliates like him. He is proud of the business integrity he recognizes from his corporate association.

Via EPR Network

World’s 10 Best Luxury Cruise Ships For 2008 Announced

Following the recent announcement of the World’s best luxury cruise ship, the EUROPA, the highly respected ‘Fielding’s Guide to Luxury Cruises’ has announced the others on the top 10 list.

The Hapag-Lloyd owned EUROPA scored top spot for the third consecutive year with high marks for food and dining, crew and service, cabins and facilities, guest lecturers, shore excursions, ship design and layout. The EUROPA services the German speaking market, but is revered by the handful of well travelled English speaking guests, who are served by the bi-lingual crew.

For a record fifth consecutive year the 1,080 passenger Crystal Cruises ship, Serenity, took top spot for best large ship and best ship overall servicing the English speaking market. Author of the on-line guide at www.fieldings-luxury-cruises.com, Tim Fielding said, The Serenity represents the cream of the crop for those looking for a large ship, luxury cruising experience. The Crystal difference shows in all areas of the ship but none more so than the loyal crew. It even caters for your children during holiday periods. Crystal also took out third spot with the slightly smaller Symphony.

The boutique offering, the Seabourn Legend, continued to impress at fourth despite her lack of balconies and is being joined by her much anticipated new stable mate, the 450 passenger Odyssey in June this year. The 382 passenger ship from Silversea, the Silver Whisper took the fifth position, and will also be joined in December this year by a new colleague, the 540 passenger Silver Spirit.

Regent Seven Seas had three of their ships in the top 10, with the Voyager, Paul Gauguin and Mariner all impressing since the new owners took control.

Fielding went on to say, This year will see new luxury offerings from Silversea and Seabourn so expect a shake-up of the luxury market, it will create an interesting battle for the top spot in 2009.

The complete list is:

1. MS Europa ……..Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
2. Serenity ………..Crystal Cruises
3. Symphony………Crystal Cruises
4. Legend …………The Yachts of Seabourn
5. Silver Whisper ..Silversea
6. Voyager ………..Regent Seven Seas
7. Sea Dream I …..Sea Dream Yacht Club
8. Paul Gauguin ….Regent Seven Seas
9. Silver Cloud ……Silversea
10. Mariner ………..Regent Seven Seas

Past year winners can be viewed at:

Further information:

Fielding’s Guide to Luxury Cruises:

Tim Fielding : tim@fieldings-luxury-cruises.com

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises: Tina Quitzau – presse@hlkf.de

Crystal Cruises: publicrelations@crystalcruises.com

Via EPR Network

PADI Accreditation For Jumeirah Beach Hotels

Jumeirah Beach Hotel’s Pavilion Dive Centre, has recently been officially recognised by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) as a 5 Star Career Development Centre, PADI’s highest rating for Dive Centres.

This title denotes a standing in the local market with respect to time served from a PADI resort membership and the commitment to training and certifying PADI professionals and the continuation of that education at Jumeirah Beach Hotel.

As a PADI Career Development Centre, the Pavilion Dive Centre can now offer fast track diving resort management programs. This allows non-diving professionals to take a consolidated course to go professional and gain sufficient resort management to get started in the diving industry.

Pavilion Dive Centre is the first and only PADI 5 Star Career Development Centre in the Middle East.

Phil ‘O Shea, Pavilion Dive Centre Manager, said: “We are delighted to have received this accreditation and I would like to thank all of the team at the Pavilion Dive Centre who have worked so hard to make it happen.”

The first Instructor Development course of 2009 will start on Friday 3rd April.

The PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) provides a professional, intense and fun learning experience in which students learn how to teach others to dive using the most successful diver training program in existence. Not only will they learn how to teach in classroom, pool and open water environments, they will also learn effective use of all PADI’s teaching aids and support materials.

Students will also be equipped with an excellent understanding of the diving industry, marketing techniques for all PADI courses and dynamic instructional methodology.

About Jumeirah:
Jumeirah properties are regarded as among the most luxurious and innovative in the world and have won numerous international travel and tourism awards. The fast growing Dubai based luxury international hospitality group encompasses the world renowned Burj Al Arab, the world’s most luxurious hotel, the multi-award winning Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Madinat Jumeirah and Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa in Dubai, the Jumeirah Carlton Tower and Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel in London and the Jumeirah Essex House Hotel in New York. Building on this success, in 2004 Jumeirah Group became a member of Dubai Holding – a collection of leading Dubai-based businesses and projects – in line with a new phase of growth and development for the Group.

Via EPR Network

The Best Barbados Cruises in the Whole Wide World

Just think of Virgin Holidays Cruises as a personal cruise tailor. F r o m “slim fit” mini cruises, to “tuxedo” luxury cruising and everything in between. They sew holidays up to exact specifications, adding as many embellishments (think V ROOM, precruise and post-cruise stays and flight and cabin upgrades) as needed.

Perhaps start a Caribbean cruise adventure in Barbados, spending seven-nights (or three, five, ten or fourteen… ) stretching out on the beach or taking in some local culture before hopping on-board an ocean liner to explore other Caribbean gems. While away each day exploring sandy shores or partaking in a little local life before joining the ship in the evening to sail off to the next island. Arguably the best way to see the Caribbean and all it has to offer, a cruise can take you to six different islands in a week! Ooooh tempting…

Days at Sea can be spent indulging in a massage in the on-board spa, burning off calories (the food is delicious) in the fitness centre or even learning to ice skate (yes, it’s amazing what can be found on-board a cruise ship!). Be dazzled by the evening entertainment, head to the casino if Vegas is more your style, or simply sip a glass of champers on the deck while you sail into the distance. Stuff of fantasies, no?

There’s a huge selection of ships to choose f r o m — Carnival, Costa, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Windstar—to name a few. And there’s something f r o m everyone, whether it’s a small, intimate and romantic escape for two that’s on the agenda, or a fun-filled, activity-abundant family adventure.

Here’s one of our favourites:

14-night Barbados Stay & Cruise f r o m £1,399
After 7-nights at 3V Escape at the Gap in Barbados, join ‘Carnival Victory’ for 7-nights with Virgin Holidays Cruises. Sailing f r o m Barbados to St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Kitts, San Juan, St. Thomas and Dominica before returning to Barbados. Prices are per person based on two adults travelling and sharing an inside cabin on a full-board basis and includes flights f r o m London Gatwick and transfers. Based on departures in April 2009. Hotel stay is on an all-inclusive basis. Includes all applicable taxes and fuel surcharges which are subject to change.

Via EPR Network

Perfect Escapes Wins Adrian Award for Online Marketing Announces Grand Prize Winner of Las Vegas Sweepstakes

Perfect Escapes, a leading luxury travel website, has been awarded a Gold-level Adrian Award from the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) for success in web marketing.

Perfect Escapes was honored for the performance-based online marketing program it managed on behalf of Loews Las Vegas. HSMAI recognized Perfect Escapes along with other top winners during the 19th-annual awards gala, which took place on Jan. 26, 2009 in New York City.

Eric Jeck, CEO of Perfect Escapes, accepted the award and said, “We are thrilled that our innovative marketing programs have been recognized by HSMAI. Over 250 hotels participate in our performance-based online marketing programs designed to increase brand awareness and bookings from our community of affluent travelers.”

The distinguished HSMAI Adrian Award for Perfect Escapes comes on the heels of the completion of another successful Perfect Escapes marketing promotion, the Wynn Las Vegas Sweepstakes. Ms. Yolanda Lewis of Rex, Georgia, was recently announced as the newest grand prize winner of the Perfect Escapes “Weekend at the Wynn Las Vegas” Sweepstakes.

As grand prize winner of the “Weekend at the Wynn Las Vegas” Sweepstakes, Ms. Lewis and a guest will receive a three-night stay in a luxurious Salon Suite at Wynn Las Vegas hotel, a $400 credit at the Wynn’s SW Steakhouse, two tickets to Le Rêve, the show at Wynn Las Vegas, a $400 spa or shopping credit, and limousine service to and from the hotel.

“I went online looking for travel deals and signed up for The Perfect 10 Email Newsletter. I love the [Perfect Escapes] website,” said Ms. Lewis, “I’m going to get a real taste of Las Vegas. I’ve never been there.”

Mr. Jeck offered his congratulations to Ms. Lewis and commented, “We are very pleased with the success of our sweepstakes in partnership with Wynn Las Vegas. The promotion has helped grow subscribership to our weekly newsletter.”

An independent third party sweepstakes management company conducted the drawing that determined the winner of the 2008 “Weekend at the Wynn Las Vegas” sweepstakes.

About Perfect Escapes:
Perfect Escapes specializes in great deals in luxury travel. Our editors bring our users a hand-selected roster of the world’s finest hotels paired with special values, upgrades and amenities to make their trips unforgettable. Perfect Escapes promotes luxury hotels and luxury hotel deals on our site and via our weekly email newsletter, The Perfect 10 newsletter. Please visit: perfectescapes.com for more information.

Via EPR Network

According To A New Survey Of Ski Resorts By Leading Travel Money Provider M&S Money, Skiers Hoping To Hit The Slopes On A Budget In 2009 Should Opt For Bulgaria

The M&S Money survey to compare the cost of items bought on a typical ski trip at worldwide destinations found that the East European resort provided the best value. The report showed that skiers looking to holiday on a budget should consider Bulgaria, where the basket cost just £471 in the resort of Bansko, compared with the most expensive European ski destination which was Switzerland, a country which has long been a favourite with UK skiers. The cost of the M&S Money ‘ski holiday basket’ at the Swiss resort of Engelberg was £585.

Bulgaria is now in the European Union but is not due to replace its currency – the lev – with the Euro until 2012. Although the lev is pegged to the euro, visitors will still find most items cheaper than in other European countries. M&S stock an average of 32 currencies – including the lev – in each of their bureaux.

Italy is however one country within the Eurozone where skiers can still find value for money, particularly when eating out. The survey found that a three-course meal for two including wine cost £56 in the resort of Courmayeaur, compared to £75 in Flaine, France.

Although prices have increased for Brits holidaying within the Eurozone in the past year, ski resorts outside Europe fair little better.

America remains one of the most expensive ski destinations. The price of a seven-day ski lift pass for one adult costs £252 at the resort of Breckenridge in Colorado, compared to £146 in Bulgaria.

James Yerkess, M&S Travel Money Manager, said: “While many skiers will opt for half-board deals to try to reduce the price of a trip to the slopes this year, the cost soon builds-up when you consider all the equipment and ski passes as well as eating out.

“Sterling has weakened significantly against the euro in recent months, meaning Brits heading to popular resorts in Switzerland and France will notice the difference in the price of everyday items.

“Our survey has shown that skiers willing to try alternative destinations, such as Bulgaria and Italy, can still enjoy a break on a budget. Travellers can keep the cost down by buying foreign currency before flying and make the best of competitive exchange rates offered in M&S bureaux de change.”

*Picture above is from Pamporovo, Bulgaria.

About M&S Money
M&S Money (the trading name of Marks & Spencer Financial Services) was founded in 1985 as the financial services division of Marks and Spencer Group plc. The company is now a top ten Credit Card provider and the second largest travel money retailer in the UK. M&S Money also offers a range of insurance cover, including Home Insurance and Car Insurance, as well as loans, savings and investment products.

In November 2004, Marks & Spencer sold M&S Money to HSBC, one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations with over 9,500 offices in 85 countries and territories.

Via EPR Network

Kuoni, The Long Haul Travel Company, Has Released Seven New Thailand Travel Videos, Adding To The 75 Thailand Hotel Videos Already Available. Kuoni’s Selection Of Thailand Travel Videos Has Now Been Acknowledged As The Best In The UK

Kuoni, the long haul travel company, has released seven new Thailand travel videos, adding to the 75 Thailand hotel videos already available. Kuoni’s selection of Thailand travel videos has now been acknowledged as the best in the UK.

“The Thai tourist board are delighted to see Kuoni further expanding their selection of Thailand travel videos,” comments Abigail Silver of the Thai tourist board: “Kuoni’s selection of Thailand travel videos is unsurpassed in the UK and helps show travellers what a superb destination Thailand is to visit.”

The new destination videos feature some of the many travel highlights of Thailand holidays and come in addition to the 75 in depth hotel videos already available on Kuoni’s award-winning website. Destination videos include an overview of the whole of Thailand, as well as resort videos for the lively city of Bangkok and the popular beaches of Phuket, Krabi & Hua Hin. Other videos feature the Thai islands and Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai in northern Thailand. Each professionally filmed video also incorporates an informative voice over.

“We now have over 500 videos on our site which provide travellers with a fantastic opportunity to experience the destinations and hotels before deciding upon their holiday,” said Matt Rooke, eBusiness Director at Kuoni. “We are very pleased to be adding Thailand holiday videos to our site and expect these Thailand videos alone will be seen by over 15,000 site visitors per month.”

With over 40 years experience of providing holidays to Thailand and the Far East, Kuoni was recognised by UK travel agents as the best tour operator for holidays to the Far East in 2008. The company offers trips to over 100 Thai hotels in 17 resorts as well as a selection of cruises, tours and over 100 packaged multi-centre holiday options, with unlimited options for flexible, tailor made holidays.

About Kuoni: With more than 100 years of expertise in providing luxury holidays, Kuoni is honoured to be regularly voted as the industry’s long haul experts. Clients can choose f r o m a selection of brochures, showcasing thousands of luxury holidays to hundreds of exotic destinations on all seven continents, and covering e very holiday interest f r o m relaxing beach getaways to escorted cultural tours, overseas weddings to wildlife safaris.

Since 1966, Kuoni has led the UK longhaul tour operation market and has consistently been the country’s most successful specialist tour operator.

Via EPR Network

Christmas Car Hire Tips by Carrentals.co.uk

With some car hire companies accused of increasing their prices over the busy festive period, comparison site Carrentals.co.uk is offering its top tips to help Christmas travellers get the best deals.

Gareth Robinson, managing director of Carrentals.co.uk which compares prices from up to 50 different rental companies, says: “The festive season is one of the busiest times for car rental companies, but in the current climate customers need to know they are getting the best possible price. It’s all too easy to feel rushed into booking the first car you find because of concerns over availability. There are still cars available, but it is worth taking the time to shop around early to compare and secure the right deal.”

Traditionally demand in key locations such as London, Spain and Florida often out-strips supply, meaning prices can be significantly higher than at other times of the year.

To help, Carrentals.co.uk is offering its Christmas Car Hire Tips –

• 1) Book early – It may be easier said than done, but booking in advance will give you access to better prices. The later you leave it the less choice you will have, so get organised and book as early as possible – this way you will not only get a better selection of vehicles, but also the best deals.

• 2) Compare the market – In the credit crunch comparing prices is becoming best practice, so extend this to your car hire. Make sure to compare both the well-known brands and smaller specialist companies, and always check you are comparing like for like.

• 3) Be flexible – Try to be flexible in your car hire requirements and you could save money. Picking up a car from a slightly different location or varying your collection and drop off dates may give you a better deal, or try opting for a different type of car – keeping your options open and being more flexible means you can take advantage of the best prices.

• 4) Pre-book extras – If you need extras such as snow chains or child seats, make sure you book them in advance. Car Rental companies generally have a limited supply of items such as this, so make sure you book them at the start rather than leaving them to
when you pick up the car and either missing out or having to pay a premium.

• 5) Check your insurance – always check your insurance policy on your car hire, but if you think you’ll rent a few cars over the year look at options from companies such as insurance4carhire. This will cover the excess charges, to ensure you’re not left out of pocket should you be involved in an accident.

Carrentals.co.uk compares car hire deals from up to 50 rental companies, including Holiday Autos, Budget, EasyCar and Thrifty, in over 9,000 locations around the World, and also offers airport parking/hotels and insurance from insurance4carhire.com.

To compare the best Christmas car hire deals visit www.carrentals.co.uk.

Via EPR Network

With prices from as little as £13 per day car hire comparator Carrentals.co.uk advises skiers to book their cars early to avoid disappointment

With heavy snowfall already reported in the Alps, car hire comparator Carrentals.co.uk is advising customers to book ski car hire early to secure the best prices and essential accessories such as snow chains and child seats.

Many resorts in Switzerland, Austria and Italy are enjoying prime conditions, opening early to make the most of the snowfall, with skiers being attracted to snow levels of up to 130cm in places.

Gareth Robinson, managing director of Carrentals.co.uk, says: “With the ski resorts enjoying a fantastic start to the season, we’ve seen demand for car hire in these areas jump significantly over the last couple of weeks. There is still availability but prices for rental can vary significantly between suppliers, so our advice is to compare the best deals in advance and book early to secure specific requirements such as snow chains and baby seats.”

Carrentals.co.uk compares car hire deals from leading rental companies in over 9,000 locations, including ski destinations such as Lyon, Turin and Chambery, with prices starting from just £13* per day at Aspen; £18* per day in Lyon; and £21* per day at Banff and Geneva.

Gareth added: “If this level of snow fall continues we are likely to see a rush in bookings over the next couple of weeks. Leaving car hire to the last minute, or, worse, leaving it until you arrive in resort, is likely to mean you pay a premium to secure the car you need, so book early and shop around for the best prices.”

Carrentals.co.uk compares car hire prices from up to 50 companies including Holiday Autos, Alamo, Budget and Thrifty. To compare the best ski deals visit www.carrentals.co.uk.

*Prices are based on seven-day rental from 31 January and are subject to change.

Via EPR Network


Your complete holiday guide to the best of Puerto Pollensa

New web site focusing on the popular resort of Puerto Pollensa in the Balearic island of Majorca has been recently launched in preparation for the winter holiday booking season.

The website puertopollensa.org.uk which is owned by a father and son, who along with other members of their family, have been enjoying holidays every year in Puerto Pollensa for more than twenty years and want to share the knowledge of the resort with future holidaymakers. The site offers detailed information about all hotels and apartments in the resort as well as information about bars, restaurants and things to do and see.

The site tries tried to answer many of the questions that holidaymakers who are planning to visit Puerto Pollensa, would be keen to have answers too. and there is even an FAQ section to help in this.

Additional features include a photo gallery which gives an immediate visual indication of hotels, restaurants, shops and local views. As well as maps and general information, tips and advice, which will assist those on holiday to make the most of their break from the very first day.

The site, is already proving to be popular with users and with that encouraging feedback, a second phase of the site is to be developed further near the end of the year.

Via EPR Network


Welcome to EPR Travel News

Welcome to EPR Travel News

EPR Travel News is a new blog, part of EPR Network, that is going to be focused on and will be covering the travel news and stories from press releases published on EPR Network.

EPR Network (EPR stands for express press release) is one of the nation’s largest press release distribution networks on Web. The EPR’s nationwide network includes 12 State based PR sites, one major PR forum and a number of industry specific PR blogs and what started as a hobby on Internet years ago turned out to be a rapidly growing business today. EPR Network is also known as one of the most trusted (human optimized, published, edited and monitored, spam/scam/low quality PR content free) PR sites on the web with more than 10,000 company and individual press releases distributed per month. EPR Network is putting your press releases on top of all major search engines’ results and is reaching thousands of individuals, companies, PR specialists, media professionals, bloggers and journalists every day.

EPR Network has thousands of clients around the world including global 500 corporations like Hilton Hotels, Barclays Bank, AXA Insurance, Tesco UK, eBay/Skype, Emirates, just to name a few. The network’s PR web sites are currently reaching from 150,000 to sometimes 500,000 unique visitors per month while our viral reach could possibly go to as much as 1M people per month through our presence across various social media sites. EPR Network was established in 2004 and as of May 2008 it had more than 800,000 press releases (pages) published on its network.

If you have a press release to be distributed, you can do it over here: press release distribution