Archive | July, 2008

Condé Nast Selects JOURNEYS International for Top Travel Specialist Awards

For the sixth year running, Joan Weber, Director and Co-Founder of JOURNEYS International, has won the Top Travel Specialist Award for Family Travel: International Adventure and Eco-travel. Joan, a former teacher in the United States and Nepal, has an extensive history in planning family travel. Since the time her children were toddlers, about 20 years ago, Joan and her husband, Will, have been trekking their children across the world to learn about new destinations, cultures and adventures. She has taken this knowledge and has helped plan over 300 annual family trips.

“One of the many reasons we have won this award for the last six years is that we have learned from our own family travel experiences and have applied these ideas to our trips. We have learned that good planning does not mean over-scheduling. There need to be spaces of time for discovery and serendipity. We know that parents enjoy our trips when their kids are happy, and we know that kids are happy when they rest, eat well, and participate in engaging activities which stimulate their curiosity,” states Joan Weber.

For the second year running, Will Weber, Director and Co-Founder of JOURNEYS International, has won Top Travel Specialist. This year he received the Top Travel Specialist for Community Based Tourism. As an ecotourism pioneer and a former Peace Corps volunteer, Will has developed programs throughout the world where travelers can stay in private quarters adjacent to a village family’s home, accompany them to the market, learn their craft, join them for meals and more. Continue Reading

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Snow Much Family Fun In Canada – With Select Resorts

With Great Offers From Select Resorts To Humber Valley, Newfoundland

Western Newfoundland, Canada’s most easterly province, is a real haven for lovers of the great outdoors and, at only five and a half hours flight from the UK, it makes for an easily accessible and cost-effective family holiday destination. The luxurious Humber Valley Resort, nestled into the Appalachian Mountains, is perfect for families and friends wishing to enjoy a snow-based activity holiday and specialist travel company, Select Resorts has some excellent winter wonderland packages from under £640 per person per week.

Boasting an abundant natural snowfall and the best skiing in eastern Canada, Humber Valley Resort has direct access to over 745 miles of groomed snowmobile trails that stretch from ocean to mountainside. A spectacular terrain is waiting to be explored by the adventurous with a huge array of winter sports for adults and children alike including alpine skiing, snowboarding, cat skiing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, ice-fishing, sledding and ice-skating to name just a few.

An on-snow programme for those aged three upwards means that children can quickly learn more about mobility on the snow and can take part in family exploits such as sleigh rides and snowshoe adventures in search of caribou, moose, silver fox, lynx, seal and artic hare. Continue Reading

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Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket invites its guests on an Epicurean Expedition

The love of cuisine, wine, indigenous cultures have inspired unforgettable moments and created memories that last a lifetime. The hotels and resorts of The Luxury Collection evoke similar emotions
and have created Epicurean Expeditions to unlock the world’s most enriching experiences.

Guests of Sheraton Grande Laguna, A Luxury Collection Resort, Phuket are invited to explore the heart of indigenous cuisine in Thailand. The resort has created an Epicurean Expedition for its guests working closely with its Thai Executive Sous Chef, Nathee to discover the local favours of Phuket, which is especially renowned for two specialties: seafood and spices.

The Epicurean Expedition includes:

• One of the beautifully appointed rooms or exclusive villas
• Daily breakfast for two guests
• A Thai set dinner, prepared by Chef Nathee for two guests on one evening
• Welcome Thai Tapas gift in your room
• Chef Nathee’s own recipes for some signature Thai dishes
• 4pm late check out based upon availability
• Welcome drink & fruit platter
• Use of the 24 hour fitness centre

From USD 265+++ per room per night* For further information and to make a reservation please visit call the hotel directly on +66 76324 101 or email and mention ‘Epicurean Expedition’.

Posted in Asia, Hotel News, Thailand1 Comment

Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Deploys Scala Digital Signage Network during Extensive Renovation Project

Scala, the leading provider of end-to-end connected signage software, today announced the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV has deployed a Scala InfoChannel® digital signage network as part of their extensive renovation project.

The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, in Las Vegas, (not to be confused with the Hard Rock café chain) is a boutique – resort casino geared to the tastes of music lovers — mostly rockers — of all ages. Currently, the Hard Rock is a mid-size complex on a 16.7 acre site with some 700 hotel rooms, a moderately sized casino floor, dining venues and a famous pool with its Sunday “Rehab” for the over-zealous Saturday night partiers. The Tahitian-style beach and swimming pool was selected by the Travel Channel as one of “The Top 10 Pools” in the world.

The hotel and casino wanted to replace an old system that transmitted video over RF…same as TV, with one that had more versatile software features, transporting video over Cat5 for better resolution and the capability to develop dynamic content. The hotel and casino is also in a renovation mode ($750 million project) and so the system needed to be completely scalable and adaptable to any of the following: split screens, crawl messages, insertion of video cameras from its world renowned pool area, insertion of META data and flexible scheduling. The requirements also stipulated the system was to be accessible via an Internet browser both from the office and remotely. However, the major objective was a strong desire to add to the entertainment experience of the customer and create an overall face-lift of product branding with the use of more exciting, easily updateable dynamic messaging. Continue Reading

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Three Las Vegas Shopping Destinations Form Global Tourism Marketing Alliance

Fashion Show, The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian and The Shoppes at The Palazzo
Join to Enhance Awareness & Visitation

General Growth Properties, Inc. (GGP) owners and managers of America’s Premier Shopping Places, an award-winning collection of tourism-oriented shopping centers located throughout the USA, recently announced the formation of its first regional marketing alliance in Las Vegas consisting of Fashion Show, The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian and The Shoppes at The Palazzo. All three centers are located in the heart of The Las Vegas Strip within The Venetian and The Palazzo Resorts and adjacent Wynn Las Vegas. Combined, these three centers offer nearly 350 retailers and 30 restaurants.

According to research by the Travel Industry Association of America, shopping and dining continue to be the top two activities of all travelers, domestic and international. In light of this data and the influx of over 40 million visitors arriving in Las Vegas annually, the three centers recognize the advantage of marketing themselves as a collective group to travel industry professionals and potential visitors from around the world.

Fashion Show, The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian and The Shoppes at The Palazzo each offer a unique shopping and dining experience to travelers. Fashion Show is the largest retail destination in Las Vegas with six signature department stores, 200 specialty stores, its own runway where more than 1,000 fashion shows are held each year, and restaurants with dining overlooking The Strip. The Grand Canal Shoppes, famous for its signature canal and singing gondoliers, offers visitors a variety of upscale boutiques and gourmet restaurants by David Burke, Mario Batali, Wolfgang Puck and more. Continue Reading

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Cebu Pacific to move the entire domestic and international operations to NAIA Terminal 3

Cebu Pacific (CEB), the Philippines’ largest domestic carrier, will use the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (NAIA-3) for both domestic and international flights starting on August 1, 2008.

CEB started its domestic ATR operations at NAIA-3 last July 22, 2008.

Lance Gokongwei, CEB President and CEO, said, “NAIA-3’s opening is a welcome development for us especially since we have outgrown both the domestic passenger terminal and NAIA-1. As the country’s fastest growing airline, we are very pleased to be offering our passengers a much improved airport facility.”

CEB expects to carry seven million passengers this year compared to almost 5.5 million passengers last year. In 1996, when CEB first started its operations, the total number of people flying within the country stood at 4.67 million, in 2007, this has more than doubled and now stands over 10.4 million passengers.

NAIA-3 exceeds the amenities provided by the Domestic Terminal such as: Continue Reading

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Visa Study Shows Canada and Mexico are Top Destinations for Americans Traveling Abroad

The dollar’s decline hasn’t dampened enthusiasm for travel abroad among large numbers of Americans – but it has shortened the distance they are willing to travel, according to a new survey from Visa.

The survey, which polled only U.S. payment cardholders who had traveled outside the U.S. in the past three years, found that two out of three respondents (63 percent) are equally or more willing to travel compared with one year ago. And half said they are likely to take a trip abroad in the next 12 months. For those travelers, Canada and Mexico are their most likely destinations outside the 50 states.

Americans remain enamored with travel: 74 percent of respondents who said they are not traveling internationally in the next year are interested in traveling overseas in the future.

“Americans love to travel; it’s hard to keep them at home,” said Vicente Echeveste, Global Travel and Tourism Lead at Visa Inc. “Even though Americans aren’t going as far this year, the fact that they continue to exhibit a strong willingness to travel overseas reinforces international tourism as a strong driver of global economic growth.” Continue Reading

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Cebu Pacific adds frequencies and expands Cebu operations

Low-fare airline Cebu Pacific (CEB) is adding frequencies to its Manila to Bacolod, Tacloban, Cotabato, and Dipolog services.

CEB will also expand its route network from Cebu with the launch of its direct Cebu-General Santos (GenSan) service starting August 15, 2008.

The airline announces the additional frequencies and the Cebu-GenSan service opening with a seat sale which will run from July 24 to 29, 2008. This is valid for travel from August 15 to November 30, 2008.

One-way fares to Bacolod, Tacloban and Cebu-GenSan is at P999 ‘all-in’, while fares to Cotabato and Dipolog is at P1,499 ‘all-in’.

Candice Iyog, CEB spokesperson, said, “We will continue to expand our domestic operations and offer the lowest ‘all-inclusive’ fares especially to the new Cebu Pacific routes.”

The three-times weekly Cebu-GenSan service will operate every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The flight departs from Cebu at 10:30am and arrives in GenSan at 11:30am. It leaves GenSan at 12:00nn and arrives back in Cebu at 1:10pm. Continue Reading

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Delta Airlines ranked top three by Executive Travel readers

Readers of Executive Travel magazine rate Delta Air Lines’ domestic first class service, worldwide Crown Room Clubs and SkyMiles frequent flyer program the best in the 2008 Leading Edge Awards. Readers also said they prefer to fly Delta more than any other U.S. airline when they travel to Africa, the Middle East and Canada.

“Delta’s more than 45,000 employees worldwide are committed to offering our global customers a world-class travel experience when they fly with us,” said Richard Anderson, Delta’s chief executive officer. “Their efforts, along with investments we continue to make to improve our product and service offerings, both on the ground and in the air, are clearly resonating with our passengers. We’re thrilled to be recognized by the readers of Executive Travel magazine, many of whom are our most loyal and frequent flyers.”

Delta received a third place nod for “Best Domestic Airline for Business Class Service” and “Best Credit Card Rewards Program” for the Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express. Continue Reading

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Sun Spa Resorts Announces First Sleep Spa Concept in the Maldives

A holiday is something to look forward to, however, the stresses of modern day life can often take their toll and the sheer effort of getting away from work, let alone packing a suitcase and coping with any airport dilemmas can often be quite traumatic. So much so, that even whilst away in the most tranquil of surroundings, it can take some the entire holiday to begin to relax and catch up on their sleep.

For Adults, the Sweet Dreams programme includes:
– Special afternoon and evening spa treatments to encourage a siesta or good night’s sleep;
– A yoga specialist who will offer private classes teaching special breathing techniques and stretching exercises designed to encourage relaxation;
– Special teas designed to aid sleep;
– Massages and baths with essential sleep-inducing oils;
– A special extended pillow menu including buckwheat pillows, memory foam pillows, sidesleeper pillows, etc…
– A sleep concierge who is on-call so if guests can’t sleep they can ring for encouragement;
– CD’s of poetry, music or a talking book which can be delivered to the room so Sweet Dreams guests can listen to their very own bedtime story;
– A Sleep-All-Night-Cap, a special cocktail created by the resort-team using ingredients to aid sleep. Continue Reading

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New Egypt Property Investment Developments Sparked by Massive Continued Tourism Growth

Both the World Tourism Organisation (WTO) & the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) have identified the massive growth of Tourism to Egypt. This growth is having a positive effect on new tourism businesses introduced like airlines, travel and tour operators and most notably a wave of investment property developments offering beach front properties from £15000.

It’s a fact that Egypt is seeking to diversify its economy through tourism and real estate – with increased tourism the demand for short-term rentals should increase which fuels a fly-to-let property investment culture.

Also with increased tourism comes a growing awareness of the fact that Egypt is one of the shortest haul destinations for Britons and mainland Europeans who want year round sun, making Egypt property an increasingly attractive choice for second homes and retirement properties.

But is all this just theory? Not according to a report from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (WTO) that indicates that Egyptian tourism figures for 2007 rose by 20%. Continue Reading

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Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel Opens in the Historic Palmetto Building

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) announces the opening of Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel as a crowning jewel of Columbia, South Carolina. Owned and managed by London 1 LLC, the unique 135-room property represents the latest evolution of the city’s nationally registered, historic Palmetto Building.

Located in the center of the city’s downtown financial district, Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel is blocks from the state capitol, the University of South Carolina and the Historic Vista District – a lively neighborhood lined with shops and restaurants. Just twelve miles from the Columbia Metropolitan Airport, the hotel is close to the offices of Deloitte, Wachovia, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch.

Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel occupies one of the city’s finest landmark buildings, where guests will enjoy an inviting ambiance, superior service and the full range of Sheraton signature comforts. A prime example of early 20th century skyscraper, the superbly restored building is sheathed in Gothic revival details and incorporates the Palmetto tree motif. Originally built in 1913, the Palmetto Building was once a bank and even housed a hidden tavern during prohibition. Design accents include rich mahogany paneling and original, hand-laid mosaic floor. Continue Reading

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