Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Carnival Freedom Senior Cruise

First-Ever 'Bloggers Cruise' Hosted by Carnival Freedom Senior Cruise Director John Heald to Be Held in January 2008

Exclusive Events, Special Giveaways, Meet and Greet Opportunities Highlight
Seven-Day Caribbean Voyage Aboard Carnival Freedom
MIAMI, May 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Based on the incredible success of the
Internet "blog" of Carnival's Senior Cruise Director John Heald -- whose
humorous and insightful postings have attracted nearly 200,000 visitors
since the site was launched last month -- Heald will host his first-ever
"Bloggers Cruise" aboard the Carnival Freedom in January 2008.
The seven-day western Caribbean cruise will operate round-trip from
Miami January 19-26, 2008, and will visit three of Heald's favorite ports
of call: Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel,
Mexico.


Heald's blog, originally part of the micro-site created for the launch
of the Carnival Freedom, can be viewed at http://www.carnival.com/freedom.
The only one of its kind in the travel industry, the blog provides Heald
with a unique platform to entertain and amuse readers with colorful
anecdotes from the Carnival Freedom's inaugural season in Europe, as well
as his 20-plus years at sea. One of the more popular features is a Q&A
section in which Heald fields readers' inquiries on a wide variety of
topics.
"Who would have thought that in less than two months, nearly 200,000
readers have visited this blog. To celebrate, I invite all of our readers
to sail on this special 'Bloggers Cruise' which, in addition to some fun
activities, offers a great chance for us to meet and have an incredible
time. I hope this cruise will be the first of many," Heald said.
During the weeklong "Bloggers Cruise" on Carnival Freedom, Heald will
host a number of special events, including a Welcome Aboard Reception,
trivia contests, and question-and-answer sessions. Special photo
opportunities with Heald will be available, as well.
A goody bag containing various giveaways and logo items will be
provided to all "Bloggers Cruise" participants, and Heald will, of course,
be submitting entries to his blog throughout the voyage.
As senior cruise director, Heald will also perform his regular duties
throughout the voyage, including hosting shipboard orientation sessions and
port briefings, as well as serving as emcee for the Carnival Freedom's
diverse entertainment line-up, including the lavish production shows
"Ticket to Ride," "Jump, Jive and Wail," and "The Big Easy."
He will also host his daily "Morning Show" that broadcasts on Carnival
Freedom's massive 270-square-foot LED screen, the Seaside Theatre, which
also is used to display movies, concerts and other programming.
In addition to the "Bloggers Cruise" activities and the Carnival
Freedom's varied entertainment options, participants can enjoy the ship's
vast array of on-board amenities and facilities: four restaurants,
including a reservations- only supper club, four swimming pools, 22 lounges
and bars, a 214-foot-long water slide, a 13,300-square-foot health spa,
full casino gambling, an Internet cafe and "100 percent bow-to-stern" Wi-Fi
access.
Prices for the seven-day "Bloggers Cruise" aboard the Carnival Freedom
start at $599 per person. Prices are based on double occupancy and are
subject to change without notice. Special rates for third and fourth guests
sailing in the same stateroom, along with round-trip air supplements from a
variety of North American gateways, are also included.
For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent,
call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit carnival.com.
Carnival Cruise Lines, a unit of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE:
CCL; NYSE: CUK), is a proud member of the exclusive World's Leading Cruise
Lines. Our exclusive alliance also includes Holland America Line, Princess
Cruises, Cunard Line, Costa Cruises, and The Yachts of Seabourn. Sharing a
passion to please each guest, and a commitment to quality and value, our
member lines appeal to a wide range of lifestyles and budgets. Together, we
offer exciting and enriching cruise vacations to the world's most desirable
destinations.

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Egypt Travel Guide Website Debuts

Vacation Discounters, Inc. has launched a new Egypt Travel Guide website.
San Ramon, CA (PRWEB) April 30, 2007 -- Vacation Discounters, Inc. announced today that it has launched a new Egypt Travel Guide website. http://www.egypt-travel-guide.com. Packed full of useful travel and destination information, Vacation Discounters' website is a must for those interested in traveling or vacationing in Egypt.

"Egypt continues to be the favorite vacation destination for travelers around the world. With many exceptional historical and archeological sites, Egypt remains one of the world's most famous and desired tourist destinations." said Neal Vinson, Vice President and creator of the website. "Guests to our website can discovery the many vacation and cruise options available to them when exploring this unique and amazing country."

The website contains information about the various regions of Egypt, historic and cultural information, travel tips, videos, vacation specials, popular tourist destinations, the best hotels and resorts, along with information on all the major cruise line's Egypt cruise offerings. Very user-friendly, http://www.egypt-travel-guide.com can be a one-stop-site for those wishing to travel or vacation in Egypt.
"We wanted to make our site helpful and easy to use with information of interest to potential Egypt travelers or vacationers," said Vinson. "We have a dedicated staff of Tahiti specialists that will keep our website current and will add new information on a routine basis. This can be a very useful and valuable website for those planning a trip to Egypt."
About Vacation Discounters, Inc.
Vacation Discounters, Inc. is an award-winning Internet focused travel agency that specializes in honeymoons, cruises and vacations throughout the world. Vacation Discounters is part of the exclusive Signature Travel Network, a consortium of travel agencies that produces over $2.0 billion in sales each year. This sales volume allows Vacation Discounters to quote extraordinary competitive prices to their clients around the world.
Vacation Discounters provide unique and special cruises and vacation packages that reflect the traveler's true desires, interests and budget. Vacation Discounters' strive to perform this service with professionalism, knowledge, creativity, and care. An experienced travel consultant who offers a high level of service, extra value and personal attention handles all cruises and vacation packages personally. More information about Vacation Discounters can be found at www.vacation-discounters.com.
Vacation Discounters, Incs.' Egypt Travel Guide Internet address is: http://www.egypt-travel-guide.com

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Travel Professionals Offer Tips

April 16, 2007 08:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time
AAA Travel Professionals Offer Tips for Solo Travelers

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Eleven percent of all leisure travelers in the U.S. travel alone and the number is growing. So it is no surprise that travel counselors are seeing increasing business from single travelers who are looking not only for advice about great destinations but also about how to travel safely.
Travelers between the ages of 18-35 are the largest group of solo travelers, accounting for 35 percent of all single travelers, according to the Travel Industry Association. The next largest group of solo travelers are 35-49 year olds (27 percent), 50-64 year olds (26 percent) and 65+ (12 percent).
The number of single travelers is growing, according to a recent survey of AAA/CAA clubs, which found that 27 percent of travel counselors are seeing an increase in the number of trips they are booking for single travelers.


AAA asked more than 100 of their travel professionals in the U.S. and Canada about their advice for today’s single traveler and the responses provide some interesting insights for the leisure traveler who is out there alone. For both men and women, AAA/CAA travel professionals said that Europe is the first destination they would suggest to single travelers looking for advice on where to vacation. For women traveling alone Hawaii and the Caribbean were other top vacation suggestions. For men, Mexico and Hawaii came in second and third as the top destinations suggested by counselors.
AAA/CAA travel professionals also offered valuable advice for solo travelers. The top three suggestions are to take prearranged tours, travel with a group and leave a copy of your itinerary and international travel documents (passport, visas) at home with family and friends.
“There are nearly 90 million single people in the U.S. and this is clearly a market that the travel industry has been focused on in the past few years,” said AAA’s VP of Travel, Sandra Hughes, citing data from the U.S. Census Bureau. “More than half of these single Americans are women and the industry is seeing the impact of this particular group due to the increasing popularity of girlfriend getaways and other women-only vacations.”
In response to the growing trend, AAA offers the following advice for singles traveling the world alone.
Make Copies. If you are traveling internationally, be sure to make a couple of copies of your passport and leave one at home with a relative or friend and store the other one in a separate area of your luggage. If you should lose your passport this copy makes it much easier for the local US embassy to replace the document.
Keep Emergency Numbers. It is also a great idea to take along the emergency numbers of the credit card company and card number information (keep in separate secure area on your person) if you should lose your wallet.
Plan ahead. If you are traveling alone it is important to know the lay of the land before you arrive. That means doing research, reading maps and guide books and talking to certified travel professionals who have experienced the destination first hand. Know where your hotels are located, how you will get around and where you want to go. The fewer decisions you need to make when you first arrive, the less likely it is you will get lost or distracted. AAA/CAA travel agencies distribute 26 different TourBook® guides for destinations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Club locations also provide travel guides and maps for North America and Europe. Also be sure to have the proper documentation when traveling internationally - valid passport and visas (if required), medical and trip cancellation/interruption protection for unexpected emergencies, and an International Driving Permit if traveling by car. AAA offices can provide assistance in obtaining these services.
Research your hotel in advance. Not all hotel rating systems are equal. Some do not include a full inspection, others are based on traveler reviews, which are not reliable, and others do not take into consideration hotel service and only look at the hotels’ physical features. Before arriving, check out the hotel’s AAA Diamond Rating which will give you the most detailed information available about the hotel’s features, services and amenities. More than 60,000 hotels are rated by AAA and the details are available to everyone at AAA.com.
Try to exude a calm, no nonsense air in public places. You may not always feel calm and confident, but others will pick up on your cues and sometimes just acting confident will do the trick.
Avoid single supplement fees by using a travel professional. Many tour companies and cruise lines charge extra fees for single people who travel alone. However, an expert travel counselor can help you find deals for single travelers that are not available, or may be difficult to find on the Internet. A travel professional can also assist solo travelers by placing them on the vacation product (cruise or tour) that best suits their respective lifestyle needs with like minded travelers.
Other suggestions include: Don’t go out alone at night, be careful to limit alcohol consumption, carry a cell phone, arrive during daylight hours, and wear comfortable shoes. Prepaid Travel Money Cards, offered through AAA, can protect travel funds against loss or theft.
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides 50 million members with travel, insurance, financial, and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at www.AAA.com.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Little Bali Hotel & Resort Company gives Bali visitors the bird

Ever wanted to have a close encounter with a Racket-tailed Treepie, a Blood-breasted Flowerpicker or a Sooty-headed Bulbul – well now you can.
The Little Bali Hotel & Resort Company® (LBHRC) and soft-adventure specialist Sobek are offering keen birdwatchers an opportunity to ‘spot’ some of Asia’s rarest birdlife with the release of a new ‘Bali Bird Watching Walks’ tour program.

LBHRC has enlisted the involvement of world-renowned ornithologist and author Victor Mason, an expatriate Briton who has called Bali home for 40 years and acknowledged as one of the world’s foremost experts on Asian birdlife.

Mason will personally lead many of the walks which visit several of the island’s best-kept secret bird watching spots to see a good variety of species, many of them almost as rare as their names.
Species up for view include Collared and Sacred Kingfishers, Racket-tailed Treepies, Sooty-headed Bulbuls, Blood-breasted Flowerpeckers, Chestnut-headed Bee-eaters and if really lucky, the very rare but not so glamorously named Bali Myna.



The ‘Bali Bird Watching Walks’ has been designed to offer four different bird watching areas – Ubud and environs, southern Bali, Tabanan and Batu Kau in eastern Bali and the Central Highlands.
The comfortably paced bird watching walks range in length from between two to six kilometres and are, according to LBHRC’s Brett Morgan, ideal for anyone of any age who is reasonably fit.
“While the ‘Bali Bird Watching Walks’ are primarily aimed at bird watchers, the tours offer a really unique opportunity for anyone looking to take a walk off the well-beaten track and see a side of Bali that visitors rarely get to experience,” he said.


Prices start from just USD42.00* per person per day.


The program easily allows each of the four areas to be booked on an individual day tour basis or packaged together in multiples of two, three or four days.


The price includes hotel pick-up ands drop-off.
Please note the price does not include equipment or meals. Lunch is taken at recommended restaurants where costs average USD6.00 per person.


*Conditions apply.
To make a booking contact a licensed travel agent


For more information on the ‘Bali Bird Watching Walks’ and other LBHRC special offers visit http://www.thelittlebalihotelresortcompany.com/.

Read More......

Hotel Bali Resort

The Little Bali Hotel & Resort Company’s (LBHRC) soft adventure specialist member Sobek is offering a 50 per cent discount on all white-water rafting, mountain cycling and trekking programs from 01 November until 15 December 2007.
The discount means pricing for the company’s spectacular two-hour rafting trips down Bali’s Ayung River will cost just AUD49* per person during the period.
Highlights en route include the magnificent Sayan Valley, tropical rainforests, temples and hidden villages plus the chance to sample the Ayung River’s Class I and Class II rapids.
Inclusive of training and full safety equipment, the soft adventure program is ideal for all ages.
The 50 per cent offer also applies to all Sobek Mountain Cycling Tours and Sobek Trekking programs.
Priced from AUD49* per person and inclusive of mountain bikes and all safety equipment, the Sobek Mountain Cycling Tours explore the off the beaten track hills and villages in the Mount Batur region – happily most of it downhill.


Led by local Balinese guides the tours offer plenty of rest stops and conclude with a buffet luncheon - and a ride home in an air-conditioned minibus.


Sobek Trekking offers participants a perfect opportunity to fully immerse themselves in Bali’s centuries old agricultural lifestyle.


The leisurely trek traverses national parks and rainforests passing farms and terraced rice paddies where farmers still employ traditional farming and irrigation methods including water buffalo pulled ploughs.
Sobek Trekking programs are priced from AUD49* per person.


*Conditions apply. Please note the discount is valid from 01 November – 15 December 2007 only.
Importantly the tours must be pre-booked in Australia.


The tours are available with most wholesalers selling Bali product.
For more information on Sobek, visit http://www.balisobek.com/

Read More......

The Little Bali Hotel & Resort Company’s (LBHRC) soft adventure specialist member Sobek is offering a 50 per cent discount on all white-water rafting, mountain cycling and trekking programs from 01 November until 15 December 2007.
The discount means pricing for the company’s spectacular two-hour rafting trips down Bali’s Ayung River will cost just AUD49* per person during the period.
Highlights en route include the magnificent Sayan Valley, tropical rainforests, temples and hidden villages plus the chance to sample the Ayung River’s Class I and Class II rapids.
Inclusive of training and full safety equipment, the soft adventure program is ideal for all ages.
The 50 per cent offer also applies to all Sobek Mountain Cycling Tours and Sobek Trekking programs.
Priced from AUD49* per person and inclusive of mountain bikes and all safety equipment, the Sobek Mountain Cycling Tours explore the off the beaten track hills and villages in the Mount Batur region – happily most of it downhill.


Led by local Balinese guides the tours offer plenty of rest stops and conclude with a buffet luncheon - and a ride home in an air-conditioned minibus.


Sobek Trekking offers participants a perfect opportunity to fully immerse themselves in Bali’s centuries old agricultural lifestyle.


The leisurely trek traverses national parks and rainforests passing farms and terraced rice paddies where farmers still employ traditional farming and irrigation methods including water buffalo pulled ploughs.
Sobek Trekking programs are priced from AUD49* per person.


*Conditions apply. Please note the discount is valid from 01 November – 15 December 2007 only.
Importantly the tours must be pre-booked in Australia.


The tours are available with most wholesalers selling Bali product.
For more information on Sobek, visit http://www.balisobek.com/

Read More......

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sobek softens adventure tour pricing with 50 per cent discount

The Little Bali Hotel & Resort Company’s (LBHRC) soft adventure specialist member Sobek is offering a 50 per cent discount on all white-water rafting, mountain cycling and trekking programs from 01 November until 15 December 2007.
The discount means pricing for the company’s spectacular two-hour rafting trips down Bali’s Ayung River will cost just AUD49* per person during the period.
Highlights en route include the magnificent Sayan Valley, tropical rainforests, temples and hidden villages plus the chance to sample the Ayung River’s Class I and Class II rapids.
Inclusive of training and full safety equipment, the soft adventure program is ideal for all ages.
The 50 per cent offer also applies to all Sobek Mountain Cycling Tours and Sobek Trekking programs.
Priced from AUD49* per person and inclusive of mountain bikes and all safety equipment, the Sobek Mountain Cycling Tours explore the off the beaten track hills and villages in the Mount Batur region – happily most of it downhill.




Led by local Balinese guides the tours offer plenty of rest stops and conclude with a buffet luncheon - and a ride home in an air-conditioned minibus.


Sobek Trekking offers participants a perfect opportunity to fully immerse themselves in Bali’s centuries old agricultural lifestyle.


The leisurely trek traverses national parks and rainforests passing farms and terraced rice paddies where farmers still employ traditional farming and irrigation methods including water buffalo pulled ploughs.
Sobek Trekking programs are priced from AUD49* per person.


*Conditions apply. Please note the discount is valid from 01 November – 15 December 2007 only.
Importantly the tours must be pre-booked in Australia.


The tours are available with most wholesalers selling Bali product.
For more information on Sobek, visit http://www.balisobek.com/

Read More......

Air Force to move air base from Medan to Kuala Namu

The Indonesian Air Force intends to move its Polonia air base in Medan, North Sumatra, to Kuala Namu in Deli Serdang regency following the planned relocation of Medan's Polonia airport to Kuala Namu in September 2009.
"The Air Force has decided to move to Kuala Namu together with the Polonia airport. It is no longer feasible to remain in Polonia as it is less efficient," Indonesian Air Force (TNI AU) Operations Commander Vice Marshal Gandjar Wiranegara told reporters Tuesday after officiating a transfer of duty of air base commanders at the Medan air base.


Gandjar said the air base in Kuala Namu will be built adjacent to the international airport, similar to the current setup in Polonia. He said it would be more efficient and cut costs associated with building a separate air base.


"We will share the runway in Kuala Namu. The airport will be built in the southern or western section, while the air base will be in the northern section," said Gandjar, adding that the air base in Kuala Namu will span around 1,000 hectares.


Gandjar said TNI AU would trade its assets in Polonia, to fund the construction of new facilities in Kuala Namu.
Former Polonia air base commander Col. Supriyadi said the total value of TNI AU's assets in Polonia, including land and infrastructure, is estimated at Rp 5 trillion (US$555 million).
Newly-appointed Polonia air base commander Col. Agus Dwi Putranto said he could not confirm when the airport would be moved because the relocation process was under the authority of TNI AU headquarters in Jakarta.


The central government, during a visit by State Minister for State Enterprises Sofyan Djalil and Transportation Minister Jusman Syafi'i Djamal to the planned site May 18, assured that the Kuala Namu airport would be in operation by September 2009 at the latest.
"We hope the Kuala Namu airport will be more promising than Polonia. We can no longer retain Polonia due to a number of reasons, such as the damaged runway and the deteriorating function of radars. Polonia can no longer cope with the increased number of passengers and airline traffic," Jusman said.


Sofyan said the new airport would be equipped with several support facilities, including a three-kilometer railway line and turnpike to facilitate transportation to the airport.
Head of the North Sumatra Development Planning Agency, R.E. Nainggolan, who visited Kuala Namu with the ministers, said the provincial administration had set aside Rp 40 billion for the requisition of residential land to build the turnpike.


The Kuala Namu airport, which was designed as an international airport, spans 86,000 square meters and is equipped with a 2,750-meter runway. It was also designed to serve eight million passengers per year. The Polonia airport is only capable of serving 4 million passengers annually.

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Japanese still dominate tourist flow to Bali

Denpasar, Bali (ANTARA News) - Japanese still dominated the foreign tourist flow to Bali in the first three months of this year, a local tourism official said.



"Some 24 percent of a total of 346,942 foreign tourists who came to Bali in January-March this year were from Japan," head of the promotion section of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurants Association (PHRI) I B Ngurah Kumbayana said on Saturday.

He said Australians who accounted for 10.3 percent of the foreign tourist flow were second on the list followed by Taiwanese (9.3 percent).Bali is home to the Bali tiger which is almost extinct; Bali cattle, graceful animals not like other cows; bats living in caves like the Bat Cave near Kusamba; sea turtles of Nusa Dua; the Jalak Bali or Bali Sterling (Leucopsar rothschildi) which has inspired countless painters

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Southwest Airlines Kicks Off a Summer Filled With Low Fares for Philly Customers





Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines CEO. (PRNewsFoto)










Southwest Airlines unveils new look. (PRNewsFoto)







Southwest Airlines logo. (PRNewsFoto)





Airline Offers Fares as Low as $29 One-Way in Philadelphia for the Month of May
PHILADELPHIA, May 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) is celebrating summer in Philadelphia with super low fares through themonth of May. Today, the airline's Chief Executive Officer, Gary Kelly,announced special fares for flights between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh,Manchester, Providence, Columbus, and Raleigh-Durham. With walk-up fares aslow as $49 one-way and advance purchase fares as low as $29 one-way, flyingfor business or pleasure has never been easier (see fare rules below).Fares must be purchased by May 31, 2007.
Clickhttp://www.southwest.com/?src=PR_PHL_050907 to book these fares. "Southwest is celebrating three years in Philadelphia, and we thinkthese low fares are a way to share the excitement with our PhillyCustomers," Kelly said. "Philadelphia has shown us that they want moreSouthwest flights, and we are currently working on new gate space toaccommodate that demand."
Kelly, in town participating in Temple University's Executive inResidence program, addressed more than 200 business leaders and students atthe Pyramid Club. Kelly discussed Southwest's success and plans for growthin Philadelphia. "Southwest has a number of exciting plans for Philadelphia this summer;we appreciate you all making us a success here; and we look forward tobringing you some fun, Southwest style," Kelly, told the audience. Southwest Airlines was named to BusinessWeek magazine's first ever listof "Customer Service Champs." The BusinessWeek list, which appeared in theMarch 5, 2007, issue, ranks the best providers of Customer Service, anddigs into the techniques, strategies, and tools they use to deliver greatservice.
Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV), the nation's largest carrier interms of domestic passengers enplaned according to the latest release fromthe Bureau of Transportation Statistics, currently serves 63 cities in 32states-the airline will begin service to San Francisco this fall. Based inDallas, Southwest currently operates more than 3,300 flights a day and hasmore than 33,000 Employees nationwide. Fare Rules All fares are available for purchase today through May 31, 2007, at http://www.southwest.com and through Southwest Airlines' reservations line,1-800-IFLYSWA.
Travel for $49 one-way walk up fares is valid from May 9,2007, through Nov. 2, 2007. Travel for $29 one-way fares must be purchased14 days before departure with travel valid from May 23, 2007, through Nov.2, 2007. Fares are available one-way and are combinable with all otherfares (except Senior Fares). When combining fares, all ticketingrestrictions apply. Seats are limited.
Fares may vary by destination andday of travel and will not be available on some flights that operate duringvery busy travel times and holiday periods. Fares do not include a federalsegment tax of $4.50 per takeoff and landing. Fares do not includeairport-assessed passenger facility charges (PFC) of up to $9 one-way andU.S. government- imposed September 11th Security Fees of up to $2.50one-way. Fares are subject to change until ticketed.
Tickets arenonrefundable but may be applied toward the purchase of future travel onSouthwest Airlines if unused. Fares are valid only on Southwest-operated,published, service and are not available through the Group Desk. Any changein itinerary may result in an increase in fare. Standby travel requires anupgrade to the full unrestricted fare. Fares are not necessarily commonrated in the Washington, D.C. area (Baltimore/Washington and Dulles), BayArea (Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose), or the Los Angeles Basin.Hawaii is not included in this sale.

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Sabre launches new US product

Sabre launches new US product
Tuesday, May 08 2007 @ 06:44 AM GMT

Sabre Travel Network has announced the launch of Sabre Corporate Efficiency Formula for the U.S. marketplace.This comprehensive set of technology and services provides the ability for travel management companies to fully automate self-service reservations and streamline processing of agent-assisted transactions.

The Corporate Efficiency Formula enables agencies to more effectively compete and win in the growing online-led managed business travel space.


Recent studies indicate that the North American managed travel segment is projected to grow at a rate of approximately 4 percent annually through 2009. Within the managed travel segment, projections call for a continued shift to online reservations, with an estimated annual growth rate of 20 percent per year.

Sabre is deploying the Corporate Efficiency Formula specifically to help travel management companies further adapt their business practices to succeed in this evolving segment.
"The Corporate Efficiency Formula is all about leveling the playing field - enabling our agency customers to retain and win more than their share of price sensitive, technology savvy customers, and to do so profitably by being as efficient as possible," said Chris Kroeger, senior vice president Sabre Travel Network, North America.

The Corporate Efficiency Formula addresses three key areas that together represent a proven prescription for maximum efficiency in serving corporate clients looking for best-in-class service and support for their managed travel programs:

1. Integrated product and technology: A focus on automation whenever possible through a consolidated set of tools for booking, ticketing, invoice and itinerary information, traveler notification services, and more.

2. Policies that encourage the use of self-service technology: Powerful self-service tools and proactive management of traveler behaviors should be encouraged to support a "touchless" model for the maximum number of transactions.

3. Aligned commercial terms: Client fees should be aligned with the value received and agency resources required. For instance, fees could be lower when travelers use more of the self-service tools than for a more hands-on itinerary and booking.

To enable this prescription for maximum efficiency, the Sabre Corporate Efficiency Formula features a set of core capabilities optimized to work together to fully automate self-service reservations and streamline processing of agent assisted transactions

-- Online reservations through GetThere, and agent-assisted reservations through Turbo Sabre or MySabre.

-- File finishing, mid-office quality control and automated ticketing through Ticketing Assistant.

-- Automated calculation and application of fees based on specific services provided through Agency Fee Manager. This next generation service fee management application features configurable rules with 33 eligible PNR elements. Integration with Agency Fee Manager and Sabre Card Services provides a lower cost, automated settlement solution for client fees.

-- Automated, secure invoice and itinerary delivery and mobile traveler notification services through Sabre VirtuallyThere.

-- Seamless data integration into back office systems including TRAMS and Sabre CentralCommand.

At the heart of this proven formula for maximum efficiency are Sabre Corporate Efficiency Consultants who work with agencies to assess current processes in the three key areas and develop a recommended action plan based on industry best practices.
"While the products offered through our new efficiency formula provide the 'toolkit' for implementing a fully automated solution for the corporate marketplace, we don't stop there. Our vast experience serving the most successful travel management companies in the world shows the best results are achieved when service and support are aligned with technology," said Kroeger. "Therefore, the foundation of our three-step formula is facilitated by a new team of efficiency consultants that will be working with corporate agencies to assess, analyze, and prescribe the steps needed to refine a corporation's overall workflow to meet its internal efficiency goal leveraging industry best practices.
"At Sabre we have a business unit that has provided a showcase for the use of Sabre-proven efficiencies for corporate travel, and we are now excited to offer these same types of efficiency and integrated technology solutions to our agency partners," Kroeger added.
The Corporate Efficiency Formula builds upon a combination of the best travel product selection and the most advanced shopping capabilities in the world as a foundation for Sabre's end-to-end solutions for the corporate marketplace. Sabre will be announcing additional elements of the end-to-end offering throughout 2007.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Frontier Makes a Splash With Low Summer Fares

Frontier Airlines Offers Sale Fares to Destinations Throughout North America

DENVER, May 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --
The airline with dolphins andwhales on its tails sure knows how to make a splash. Frontier Airlines(Nasdaq: FRNT) will show travelers how this summer, as it announces a majorsale with savings beginning today, Thursday, May 10. Flyers can takeadvantage of round-trip fares as low as $98* between Denver and 48 cities,including Vancouver and Memphis, Frontier's newest destinations, and summer favorites Cancun, San Diego and Ft. Lauderdale. Travelers must purchasesale-priced round-trip tickets by 9:59 p.m. MDT on Friday, May 11, 2007,for travel by Aug. 29, 2007.
Along with low fares, flyers enjoy Frontier's 24 channels of DIRECTV, achoice of four pay-per-view movies, a seat with 33 inches of legroom andthe comfort of traveling aboard one of the youngest fleets in the industry.As an added bonus, customers booking their sale fare online will receive1,000 EarlyReturns(R) bonus miles.**



For a complete list of the sale fares to all of Frontier's domestic destinations, please visit FrontierAirlines.com. Frontier's summer salefares from Denver are listed below. Fares shown are each way; 21-day advance round-trip purchase is required.*
All fares shown are to/from Denver.

U.S. and Canada Purchase by May 11 for travel by Aug. 29, 2007
  • Akron (Cleveland area) $119
  • Albuquerque $79
  • Anchorage $149
  • Atlanta $109
  • Austin $99
  • Baton Rouge $99
  • Billings $89
  • Calgary $99
  • Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW) $89
  • El Paso $89
  • Ft. Lauderdale $109
  • Fresno $79
  • Hartford $109
  • Houston (IAH) $79
  • Indianapolis $99
  • Jacksonville $99
  • Kansas City $69
  • Las Vegas $59
  • Little Rock $109
  • Los Angeles $99
  • Louisville $99
  • Memphis $99
  • Milwaukee $109
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul $89
  • Nashville $79
  • New York (LGA) $129
  • Oklahoma City $89
  • Omaha $89
  • Orange County $109
  • Phoenix $49
  • Reno/Lake Tahoe $104
  • Sacramento $104
  • St. Louis $99
  • Salt Lake City $59
  • San Antonio $99
  • San Diego $119
  • San Francisco $119
  • San Jose $109
  • Spokane $99
  • Tucson $99
  • Tulsa $84
  • Vancouver $119

Mexico Purchase by May 11 for travel by Aug. 29, 2007

  • Cabo San Lucas $119
  • Cancun $129
  • Cozumel $139
  • Guadalajara $99
  • Mazatlan $79
  • Puerto Vallarta $109

**Fares shown are each way but 21-day advance round-trip purchase is required for off-peak travel. Tickets must be booked and paid for by 9:59 pm MDT on 5/11/07 or within 24 hours, whichever comes first for travel thru 8/29/07. Fares do not include passenger facility fees of up to $18 round-trip, the September 11th Security Fee of up to $10 round-trip or fees of $3.40 per segment. A segment is defined as one takeoff and one landing. Fare for Anchorage does not include departure tax of $15 round-trip. Seats are limited and certain flights and/or days of travel may be unavailable at these prices, especially during busy travel periods. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable, but may be reissued for a $100 change fee plus any applicable difference in fare. Previously purchased tickets may not be exchanged for these special fare tickets. Fares and schedules subject to change without notice and other restrictions apply. If you choose to purchase your ticket through the reservations center or at a Frontier airport location, there will be a $5 ticketing service fee. Some US and Canadian flights are provided by Horizon Air or Republic Airlines.

Service to Memphis begins 5/12. Service to Jacksonville begins 6/15.

Service to Baton Rouge begins 8/14. Service to Fresno is discontinued 6/15. US -- Off peak travel valid Tuesday, Wednesday and noon to midnight on Saturday thru 8/29/07. Blackout days of 6/29, 30, and 7/2, 3, 7, 8, 2007 apply. Canada -- Off peak travel valid Tuesday, Wednesday and noon to midnight on Saturday thru 8/29/07. Blackout days of 6/29, 30, and 7/2, 3, 7, 8, 2007 apply. Additional costs for the US Immigration fee of $7 and $13.00 round-trip surcharge plus Canadian taxes, surcharges and fees of up to $40 round-trip are not included in the fare amount. Passports are required for travel to/from Canada for all travelers. Mexico -- Service to/from Mexico is less than daily. Off-peak travel valid to/from Mexico Monday - Thursday only thru 8/29/07. Off-peak travel to Cozumel is not available after 7/4/07. Blackout days to Mexico 5/25, 26; 6/29 and 7/2, 3, 7, 8, 2007 and from Mexico 5/28, 29; 6/29, 7/2, 3, 7, 8, 2007 apply. Maximum stay is 120 days.

Additional costs for Federal International Air Transportation Tax of $30.20 round-trip or foreign departure taxes, customs and immigration fee, airport improvement and health inspection fees and tourism fees combined for up to $70 round-trip are not included in these fares. Passports are required for travel to/from Mexico for all travelers.

** To qualify, you must first register for this offer, be an EarlyReturns(R) member and purchase your ticket at FrontierAirlines.com. Offer valid for residents of the U.S. only. Miles will post to the member's account within 30 days after travel using a qualifying ticket. All travel must be completed by 8/29/07. Complete terms and conditions available online at FrontierAirlines.com. About Frontier Airlines Holdings, Inc. Frontier Airlines Holdings, Inc. is the parent company of Denver-basedFrontier Airlines. Currently in its 13th year of operations, FrontierAirlines is the second-largest jet service carrier at Denver InternationalAirport, employing approximately 5,000 aviation professionals.

With 59aircraft and one of the youngest Airbus fleet in North America, Frontieroffers 24 channels of DIRECTV(R) service in every seatback along with 33inches of legroom in an all coach configuration. In conjunction with itsregional jet fleet, operated by Horizon and Republic Airlines, Frontieroffers routes linking its Denver hub to 58 destinations including 48 U.S.cities in 30 states spanning the nation from coast to coast, eight citiesin Mexico and two cities in Canada. In November 2006, Frontier and AirTranannounced a first-of-its-kind integrated marketing partnership that offerstravelers the ability to reach more than 80 destinations across fourcountries with low fares, aboard two of the youngest fleets in theindustry. In December 2006, Frontier was designated "Best Low Cost Carrier"in the U.S. by the readers of Business Traveler magazine. Frontier'smaintenance department has received the Federal Aviation Administration(FAA) Diamond Award recognizing its advanced training standards for eightconsecutive years, from 1999 to 2006.

For more in-depth information onFrontier Airlines, please visit our Web site at http://www.frontierairlines.com/.

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EU opens in-depth probe into U.S. travel reservations takeover

BRUSSELS, Belgium: The European Commission said Thursday it would investigate online travel planner Travelport's US$1.4 billion (€1.06 billion) takeover of electronic ticketing and reservations business Worldport, saying it was worried the deal could increase travel prices.
The companies control two of only four "global distribution services" that provide information on flights and accommodation to travel agents and online booking services.

EU regulators had identified "serious concerns" because the combined company, as a provider to travel agencies, would have market shares from 40 percent to over 70 percent in Belgium, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and Britain.


They said they would investigate further how the deal would affect the market and make a decision to clear or block the deal by Sept. 13.
The Commission rarely prevents takeovers but it can, and often does, ask companies to sell off units or make promises to change their business behavior.


Travelport's Galileo system is second only to Amadeus. Buying Worldspan means the new business would have only two rivals — Amadeus and the third-placed player Sabre.
"In its in-depth investigation, the Commission will assess the effects of the reduction of the number of global distribution services from four to three and the elimination of competition between Galileo and Worldspan on competition in the European economic area, and in particular whether prices for global distribution services to travel service providers would increase," regulators said.
Travelport, which owns Orbitz and CheapTickets.com, is controlled by private equity firm, The Blackstone Group LP.

A spokesman for the company was not immediately available for comment.

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US Airways CEO apologizes for botching computer system change

By Tom Belden
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER


US Airways chief executive Doug Parker apologized to shareholders and employees today for management botching the airline's switch to a new computer reservations-and-ticketing system earlier this year.
Parker, speaking in Philadelphia at the company's annual meeting, repeated other recent public statements he's made, acknowledging that the company had not made sure the new system would work properly before launching it March 4.

Those problems and winter storms resulted in US Airways and its Philadelphia International Airport hub having the nation's worst record for on-time performance and customer service in March, according to records kept by the U.S. Department of Transportation.


The move to the new system "was poorly managed by us," Parker said in answer to pointed quuestions from two leaders of the Communications Workers of America, which represents ticket and gate agents. "It was not employees' fault."

John Hanson, president of the CWA local for New Jersey, New York and New England, told the CEO that even when the new system is functioning, it can take 10 to 15 minutes to rebook a passenger who has missed a connection, a job that once took one to three minutes. The "reservations migration," as airline workers call it, "set us back 10 years," Hanson said.

Parker said fixing the glitches that still infect the system is being done with input from front-line employees. "We can't talk to each other enough," he said. "I hear your frustration."
Dennis Eichfeld, executive vice president of CWA's Philadelphia local, asked if the 1,000 additional airport workers US Airways says it will hire here this summer will be enough to handle the usual summer-vacation surge in customers. Staffing for the airport's international operations hasn't been increased adequately to handle the 19 daily European flights the airline has scheduled this summer, he said.

Parker replied that the extra employees are needed throughout the airport but that he would look into the needs of the international operations. The meeting, at the Radisson Warwick Hotel in Center City, drew a sparse group of about 20, most of them company officials or employees.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Asia Transpacific Journeys Explores Cultures Still Close to Stone Age Roots

Papual New Guinea / Island in the Clouds Looks at Peoples thru Song, Dance and Costume
Boulder, CO (PRWEB) May 10, 2007 -- Some of the last discoveries of human communities were made in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the 1930s. At the time of first contact, the tribes were living in thriving Stone Age agricultural communities and believed they were the only people on earth. Though some things have changed on this island in the past 70 years, many have not.
Asia Transpacific Journeys (ATJ) announces a new itinerary called Papua New Guinea—Island in the Clouds, that features the Tumbuna Sing-Sing. The departure is May 20, 2007. This is an intensive 16-day journey through a wildly diverse land with hundreds of distinct tribes speaking mutually uni
ntelligible languages (850 distinct tongues have been documented). These people still cultivate yam and taro, scavenge the forest for edible fruits and animals, and live in symbiosis with their livestock (women are known to suckle piglets).



Join the locals in celebrating the spectacular Tumbuna Sing-Sing. "Tumbuna" means "ancestors" in Tok Pisin (the lingua franca of Papua New Guinea). This sing-sing celebrates "Taim Bilong Tumbuna" (the time that belonged to the indigenous people, i.e. pre-European contact.)
"It's as though you are stepping back through the millennia, to glimpse human societies from 6,000 years ago," says Marilyn Downing Staff, CEO, of the company that has conducted tours to PNG for over a decade and that has delved into the heart and soul of one Asian and Pacific Rim destination after another for nearly 20 years.
"Our passion and pursuit on this journey is to witness the ways in which this intriguing jumble of people co-exist with complex tribal liaisons, mutually unintelligible tongues, wild cultural celebrations and ancient agricultural practices," says Downing Staff.

The land cost of $7,395 per person (double) includes Papua New Guinea's best eco-lodges, expert tour leadership, most meals including local beer, medical and evacuation insurance and more. Single supplements are $1,200. International airfare and internal airfare is additional.
Downing Staff says it's no accident that the costumes and masks of the indigenous people often resemble its fabled bird of paradise. Opportunities abound for bird watching and exploring flora and fauna, including cloud forest orchids, in addition to the fascinating anthropological immersion.

Guests fly from Port Moresby to four PNG destinations in this mountainous country. There is also a three-night cruise on the legendary Sepik River, home to the remote tribal Sepik people famous for their complex ancestor cults, rich artistic tradition and their extraordinary ceremonial houses known as haus tambaran.
Downing Staff advises to bring an empty suitcase. "Superb tribal art may be purchased from the source, particularly in the Sepik River region. "

Along the way there will be a stop for the intimate and untouristed Tumbuna Sing-Sing. Local tribes assemble for a spirited and colorful celebration and competition of dancing, costumes, and other tribal arts and customs. Sing-sings are a psychedelic smorgasbord of ritualized ancient theater paraded to vocal accompaniment. The chanting of each tribe is alternately haunting, happy or warlike, and ranges from dizzying whoops to subtle, wind-like murmurs. Participants take exceptional pride in representing their tribe's unique garb and rituals. Far from being a staged event for tourists, sing-sing competitions have a long tradition, and jealous losers have in the past been known to wage actual war on the winning tribe.

The tour leader is Ari Bond, born and raised in Southeast Asia and educated in Europe. He has led and managed expeditions for over 30 years on all seven continents, including numerous tours in Papua New Guinea.Asia Transpacific Journeys has been crafting private Custom Journeys and Small Group Trips to the Asia/Pacific region since 1987. Condé Nast Traveler (Aug 2006) has named one of Asia Transpacific Journeys' tour leaders a "Top Travel Specialist" for Myanmar for 2006. National Geographic Traveler (Oct 2006) has selected one of Asia Transpacific Journeys' trips as one of "50 Tours of a Lifetime."
Says CEO Downing Staff: "Our intimate, in-depth style promotes cross-cultural understanding, encourages environmental sustainability, and fulfills long-held personal dreams."

She notes that ATJ's regional expertise also makes ATJ the operator of choice for dozens of America's most demanding universities and museums. For 2007 ATJ's ever-expanding itineraries of Small Group Trips and Custom Journeys encompasses 20 countries in North Asia, South Asia, SE Asia and the Pacific. Some trips also support global conservation and cultural preservation.
ATJ's own non-profit Asia Transpacific Foundation, established in 1998, works with rural Asian communities to provide clean drinking water through locally made ceramic water filters. For more information please see www.asiatranspacific.com or call toll free 800-642-2742.

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Randhawa to concentrate on European Tour

Having tasted success in the Asian Tour, ace golfer Jyoti Randhawa now wants to concentrate and restrict himself to the European golf.

'I will try to restrict myself for the European Tour and try to win there. I had my fair share of success on the Asian Tour. Eventually in future I want to go and play in the US Professional Golf Association (USPGA) Tour as well,' said Randhawa here Wednesday, on the eve of the Rs 6.5 million DLF Masters.
Randhawa, a former Asian No.1, said he would also participate in the tournaments organised by the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) to fulfil his commitments towards the newly formed golf body in the country.
'I have my commitments towards the PGTI and will spend some time here. I have been backing this tour and this is the nurturing stage for the golf in the country,' he said.


The 35-year-old Randhawa, who turned professional in 1994, has six Asian Tour titles to his credit till date. He won the Hero Honda Masters in 1998 and 1999 and won the Wills Indian Open tournament and the Singapore Open in 2000.
Randhawa, who was Asia's number one in 2002, ended a two-year winless run by lifting Volvo Masters of Asia in Malaysia. Last year he won the Hero Honda Indian Open crown in a play-off.
He said the PGTI has a good future in store for the young golfers and that the body has grown by leaps and bound in just nine months.
'The Indian tour is very good and it is a place where we have grown up playing. It is good that we players have come forward and formed our own tour,' said Randhawa, an Arjuna Awardee.
'The only thing that we are lacking is money. If we have more prize money we will have more competition among the players. And if it happens we will obviously have a world champion very soon. The prize money is improving now and the future of Indian golf seems bright,' he opined.
Randhawa has taken time off from his busy schedule to play the DLF Masters, which will be played here Thursday.
'The DLF Masters is an unique event as it aims to combine professional and amateur golf at the highest level. I am sure both the prizes - for the professionals as well as the team event will be closely contested - the main criteria for the great tournament,' he said.
'I am looking forward to the challenge of playing the DLF Masters at the strategic DLF Golf and Country Club as this is also my home course. The field this week has a lot of depth and I am sure a lot of exciting golf will be on the cards this week.'
Being played on the basis of the world-renowned AT and amp;T Pebble-Beach Pro-Am and the Dunhill Links Championship, the DLF Masters will see 120 professionals tee it up.
However, the top-50 professionals, who make the cut, will each play with an amateur partner over the weekend. The amateur field will comprise the creme de la creme of the country's leading corporate golfers. While the winning professional score will be calculated according to the stroke play format, there will also be exciting team prizes on offer.


From correspondents in Haryana, India, 08:33 PM IST

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International failed to make cut

Depending on how you feel about such things as the fall's "Chase for the Card," last week's Wachovia Championship roughly marked the halfway point of the 2007 PGA Tour season. Which also means that some players who previously registered indifference are now beginning to realize that if they're planning on being part of the season- end playoff series, it's time to start picking up some FedEx Cup points.
So, with things beginning to get interesting - The Players, The Memorial and the U.S. Open are all being held in the next six weeks - here's a look back at some of the interesting things that have transpired on tour thus far.


THE STORY OF THE YEAR: Colorado lost its PGA Tour stop when The International folded after 21 years.


After declining to become part of the FedEx Cup playoff series because they didn't want to compete against the Broncos for viewers, and unable to convince the tour to either make the tournament part of the World Golf Championships or a limited-field event, tournament officials couldn't secure a title sponsor.
Part of the reasoning as to why they couldn't, they said, were tough economic times and declining television ratings - the latter brought on by the absence of Tiger Woods, who hadn't played here since 1999.
HELLO, WASHINGTON? WE HAVE TIGER WOODS ON THE LINE ... Almost a month after The International's departure from the schedule, the tour announced it would be replaced with a new event in Washington, which had lost its tournament at the end of 2006.
The sponsor? Communications giant AT&T, with a big assist from the Tiger Woods Foundation, which means Woods will almost certainly be a regular participant. Also, much to the consternation of a number of players, the tour approved the event being a limited-field tournament.

THERE GOES THAT ARGUMENT, TOO: While International officials will argue that the numbers are favorably skewed and open to interpretation, CBS, the network that televised the tournament, announced that their live coverage from the first three-plus months of the season yielded their highest ratings in five years, up 11 percent from 2006.

HOW DID THEY DO THAT? Somehow, the most exciting tournament of the year managed to do without Woods.
In March, the Honda Classic saw unheralded Mark Wilson win in a four-man playoff that stretched from Sunday evening to Monday morning. This, after Wilson made three clutch putts to stay alive, including a 45-footer for par on the 70th hole of regulation, an 8-foot par save on the 72nd hole and then a 30-footer for par on the first playoff hole.
Oh, yeah, the drama was further heightened by the fact that Boo Weekley, looking for his first tour win, missed a three-foot gimme Sunday on the 72nd hole that would have clinched a victory.
BOO WHO???!!! Prior to the Honda, Weekley's claim to fame was wearing rain gear on the course because of allergies that prevented him from wearing regular pants.
While admitting to shedding a couple of tears after his debacle at the Honda, Weekley didn't drown in his sorrows. Undaunted, he won six weeks later at the Verizon Heritage, chipping in on his final two holes. That also came during a Monday finish.

NEXT ON THE GOLF CHANNEL - WILLIE MAC BREAKS PAR! When another relative unknown, Will MacKenzie, opened the season with a bang, shooting 8-under-par and tying for fourth at the Mercedes Benz Championship, the Golf Channel, beginning its run as the primary carrier for tournament action, jumped all over it. There was coverage of his postround news conferences, and features with MacKenzie surfing; a few tournaments later, there was another piece, this time, the 32-year-old was snowboarding. While MacKenzie is certainly quite funny and entertaining, it all seemed a bit over the top, especially when you look at his results. Since the Mercedes, Willie Mac has played in 12 events and missed the cut five times. His best finish is a tie for 18th.
QUICK! SOMEBODY CALL THE GOLF CHANNEL! Meanwhile, after an abbreviated, sometimes tumultuous career at Oklahoma, Anthony Kim has shown why he should become the 2007 rookie of the year. The 21-year-old had three missed cuts and a tie for 45th in his first four events. In eight tournaments since then, Kim has four top-10 finishes.

By Anthony CottonThe Denver Post
Article Last Updated: 05/10/2007 12:59:57 AM MDT

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Friday, May 4, 2007

Hotel InterActive

First Florida St. Regis Resort Debuts In Ft Lauderdale5/3/2007 10:57:56 AM

St. Regis Hotels & Resorts announces the opening of its newest resort with the May 2007 debut of the St. Regis Resort & Residences, Fort Lauderdale. As the first St. Regis Resort in Florida, this captivating property promises to deliver a new dimension of bespoke service, infinite indulgence, and timeless elegance to Florida’s celebrated Gold Coast. The 166-room hotel, including 28 private residences and 34 hotel condominiums, is located on Fort Lauderdale’s pristine beachfront promenade, is the most elegant and sophisticated in Broward County.


“We’re excited to bring the St. Regis brand to Fort Lauderdale, a destination which combined with the uncompromising, bespoke service of the St. Regis brand, will make an extremely attractive choice for the world’s most discerning travelers,” said Ross Klein, President, Luxury Brands Group. “We define St. Regis by our guests and the experiences and services they demand and expect. Nothing less than an exceptional level of service at the best address in the most seductive environment will do.”
The shimmering white curvilinear building, designed by the Miami-based architectural firm Arquitectonica, is distinguished by 24 dramatically tiered, glass-walled stories rising behind a 29,000-square-foot tropical pool deck space with a zero-entry pool overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The hotel’s grand interiors and exterior recall those of a luxury liner with undulating curves that mimic ocean waves woven throughout and sweeping water views from all vantage points.
The sensuous Hirsch-Bedner designed interiors transport guests back to the glamorous age of travel by utilizing design elements from the 1940’s including playful murals inspired by the work of French artist Jean Cocteau, oversized crystal domed chandeliers, luxurious finishes and high-quality materials. The sun-bathed lobby and public areas sparkle with the vein-matched white and charcoal Carrara, Italy marble floors. Iridescent mother of pearl and mahogany reception and concierge desks, light oak walls, yacht-like leather banquets, coral and shell accents, and abundant art create an awe-inspiring arrival.
Cero, the stylized restaurant, and signature Lobby Bar both provide panoramic ocean views. Under the skilled direction of chef Toby Joseph, the restaurant Cero serves innovatively-prepared fine cuisine crafted with fresh, local and organic ingredients, as well as lavish pastries. Cero is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, and is available for groups and private parties. Adjacent to the main dining room is a private dining room that can be reserved for intimate parties of eight.
Across the lobby from Cero, guests approach the Lobby Bar through an elegant steel gate. Like St. Regis New York’s famed King Cole Bar, there is a commanding centerpiece mural of a seascape with the mythical figure King Neptune anchoring the bar. The 13’ high mural was painted by Canadian artist C. Perreault and inspired by the 1880 painting, “King Neptune and His Horses.” Concave silver leaf wave structures float across the soaring ceiling, over a chestnut and butterscotch onyx bar which is illuminated at night. Soft leather seating makes the bar particularly inviting.
The Wine Room is separated from the bar with translucent glass. In this regal, seductive room, guests enjoy fine wines from the 5,000 bottle collection, an extensive by-the-glass list and light meals paired for maximum compatibility. The Wine Room’s separate cellar area can also be reserved for a distinctive private dining experience. Three hand-strung tear-drop crystal chandeliers hang over the onyx bar and dazzle upon entering. Oenophiles will love the wine books lining the shelves and the comfort of the leather furnishings while they enjoy drinks in the Wine Room.
ACCOMMODATIONS
All 166 spacious guestrooms and suites and the 34 hotel condominiums provide sweeping, unimpeded views of the Atlantic Ocean or Intracoastal Waterway. Hirsch Bedner Associates designed the cream, beige and yellow accented rooms to evoke a golden age era of vintage yachting and luxury travel. The rooms’ mahogany cases, leather wrapped furniture and stone and crystal accents are enhanced and softened by gently limed oak wood floors, a graceful fabric-draped headboard and a sumptuous duvet. Hand-selected black and white family photo vignettes from 1940’s Fort Lauderdale impart a very personal feel to the rooms.
Each guest room and suite is equipped with easy-to-use one-touch technology phones that feature butler access and other useful hotel services, as well as in-depth information about area attractions. Guest rooms also have WiFi Internet access, state-of-the-art DVD theater entertainment system with a 32" LCD panel TV encased in a custom mahogany armoire, a 13" LCD panel TV in each bathroom, bamboo silk robes, classic Pratesi linens, Reméde bath amenities, a refrigerated mini-cellar of refreshments and much more.

MEETING AND BANQUET FACILITIES
With more than 24,000 square feet of first-class meeting space, the only ocean-front ballroom in Fort Lauderdale, and signature details such as white leather wall covering, lavish crystal chandeliers, Vera Wang Golden Grosgrain China by Wedgwood, leather banquet chairs, and plush carpeting, meetings and events at St. Regis Resort exemplify grace, style and sophistication. And with professionally-trained St. Regis Butlers providing assistance with all event logistics, St. Regis Resort offers the ultimate services for any memorable event.
Designed to accommodate groups of up to 530 guests, the Grand Ballroom pre-function space features floor-to-ceiling windows and breath-taking, unobstructed ocean views. The resort’s Astor Ballroom and Astor Terrace, which accommodate 180 and 280 guests respectively, offer petite alternatives to the Grand Ballroom. And for intimate social gatherings and high-powered business meetings, St. Regis Resort offers an 18-seat, oceanfront, Executive Boardroom. All meeting spaces are equipped with the latest in wireless technology and services.

RECREATION
Dramatically situated to overlook the Atlantic Ocean, the seventh floor tropical pool deck is a 29,000 sq. ft. showplace with a zero-entry pool, relaxation deck and 60-seat bar and grill. Located just below the pool deck are ten cabanas equipped with WiFi access, flat screen televisions and waiter service that can be reserved with a special package. A skywalk connects the pool deck to the beach, allowing guests of the St. Regis seamless access to the beach without having to exit the hotel through the lobby or cross the street.

ST. REGIS SPA & FITNESS CENTER
St. Regis Resort & Residences, Fort Lauderdale is home to a full-service 8,500-square-foot spa featuring 10 treatment rooms and a private couples treatment suite. The spa services marry several exotic therapies, botanicals, and lifestyle philosophies from across the globe and utilize premium product lines. In addition, the spa complex features private massage areas and Jacuzzis on the tropical pool deck, a sun-drenched 8,000 sq. ft. modern fitness center with an exceptional collection of Technogym cardiovascular and strength equipment, yoga, spinning and aerobics studios, and a spa boutique.

ST. REGIS BUTLER SERVICE
Perhaps the most distinctive and essential element of the St. Regis experience is the 100-year-old signature St. Regis Butler Service. Dedicated personal assistants, St. Regis Butlers manage and facilitate a virtually unlimited array of guest requests, from assisting with business details and arranging reservations at restaurants, theaters and spas, to personal matters such as running a quick errand to a favorite shop. Each St. Regis Butler is equipped with a wireless hand-held device that allows guests to send requests to their personal butlers at any time of day and from any location.

ST. REGIS RESIDENCE
St. Regis Residence owners will have access to the hotel’s world-class fee-based ala carte services, including the signature St. Regis butler service. Personal butlers will carry a wireless handheld device and will be reachable at all times through e-mail. Additional services and amenities available through St. Regis Resort will include an outdoor pool, state-of-the-art health club, a full-service spa, in-residence dining and catering from the St. Regis’ exceptional restaurants and a wine aficionados program.

ABOUT ST. REGIS
St. Regis Hotels & Resorts includes the most celebrated properties in the world. Founded by John Jacob Astor with landmark St. Regis Hotel, New York over a century ago, the company will unveil highly anticipated St. Regis properties in Punta Mita, Mexico (2007), Singapore (2007), Anguilla (2008), Atlanta (2008), Bali (2008), Costa Rica (2008) Deer Valley® (2009), Puerto Rico (2008), Mexico City (2008), Bahia Beach, Puerto Rico (2009), Macao (2010), Bal Harbour, FL (2010) and Baha Mar (2011) that will further enhance the brand’s legacy. Personalized service and amenities, enviable locations and luxuriously localized design are recognized worldwide as hallmarks of the St. Regis experience. For more information on St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, please visit
www.stregis.com.

St. Regis Resort, Fort Lauderdale is located at 1 North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304. For reservations, group sales and gala catering events, call 954.465.2300 / toll-free: 888-627-8268 or visit stregis.com/ftlauderdale.

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Reservations Hotels on the World

Zagat Surveys 23,409 Travelers to ID World's Leading Lodgings; New Guide Covers 1,287 Great Places to Stay and Play in 103 Countries; Surveyors (Including 1,626 Travel Agents) Report Rises in Spending

Amanresorts and Four Seasons Hotels are the World's Best Chains
Four Seasons George V (Paris) Wins as Top Large Hotel; Singita (South
Africa) -- Top Small Hotel; Four Seasons Hualalai (Hawaii) Scores Both Top
Resort and Top Spa
NEW YORK, May 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Zagat Survey today released the results
of its 2007/2008 World's Top Hotels, Resorts and Spas survey. The guide is
based on the experiences of 21,783 frequent travelers and 1,626
professional travel agents who averaged 36.9 hotel nights per year.


It includes rates and reviews of 1,287 of the best places to stay and play in
the world as well as 48 leading hotel chains.
"This guide is designed to help travelers make informed decisions about
the best places to stay around the world," said Tim Zagat, CEO of Zagat
Survey. "Whether it's business or pleasure -- the guide should be an
essential resource for any savvy traveler
."
Winners: The Top-Rated large hotel (i.e., 100 or more rooms) in this
year's survey is the "creme de la creme" Four Seasons George V in Paris.
The "absolutely flawless" safari compound, Singita in Kruger Area, South
Africa is a double winner, as Top Small Hotel with Top Rooms. The Four
Seasons Hualalai (Hawaii) and its "gorgeous rooms" won for both Top Resort
and Top Spa. And rising to the occasion, is No. 1 for Dining, the renowned
La Maison Troisgros (France), which is "worth a visit," just for dinner.
The following lists show the leading chains, hotels, resorts and spas:
Hotel Chains:
1. Amanresorts 6. Ritz-Carlton
2. Four Seasons 7. Rosewood
3. Mandarin Oriental 8. Orient-Express
4. Raffles 9. Oberoi
5. St. Regis 10. Shangri-La
Top Destination Spas:
1. Four Seasons/Hualalai, Hawaii 6. Amandari, Bali
2. Esperanza, Baja Peninsula, 7. Four Seasons, Carmelo,
Mexico Uruguay
3. Four Seasons Wailea, Hawaii 8. Phoenician, Phoenix/Scottsdale
4. Las Ventanas, Baja Peninsula, 9. Brenner's Park, Baden-Baden,
Mexico Germany
5. Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay, 10. Schloss, Buhlerhohe, Baden-Baden,
Bali Germany
Large Hotels (100+ rooms):
1. Four Seasons George V, Paris 6. Four Seasons, Chicago
2. Peninsula, Chicago 7. Four Seasons, Budapest
3. Peninsula, Bangkok 8. Mandarin Oriental, Miami
4. Peninsula, Hong Kong 9. Peninsula, Los Angeles
5. Oriental, Bangkok 10. Four Seasons, Las Vegas
Resorts (100+ rooms):
1. Four Seasons/Hualalai, 6. Four Seasons Resort,
Hawaii Guanacaste, Costa Rica
2. One & Only, Baja Peninsula, 7. Halekulani, Hawaii
Mexico
3. Four Seasons Wailea, Hawaii 8. Ritz-Carlton, Cayman Islands
4. Four Seasons, Canadian 9. Four Seasons Resort,
Rockies Provence
5. Burj Al Arab, Dubai, United 10. Four Seasons, Punta Mita,
Arab Emirates Mexico
Small Hotels, Resorts & Inns (less than 100 rooms):
1. Singita, Kruger Area, South 6. Oberoi Udaivilas,
Africa Rajasthan, India
2. Amanjiwo, Borobudur, 7. Amankila, Bali
Indonesia
3. Four Seasons Tented, Golden 8. Gidleigh Park, Devon, U.K.
Triangle, Thailand
4. Como Shambala, Bali 9. Four Seasons Sayan, Bali
5. Four Seasons, Chiang Mai, 10. Blanket Bay, Queenstown, New
Thailand Zealand
Rooms (based on Rooms score): Service (based on Service score):
1. Singita, Kruger Area, South
Africa 1. Como Shambala, Bali
2. Amanjiwo, Borobudur, 2. Amansara, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Indonesia
3. Four Seasons/Hualalai, 3. Four Seasons Tented, Golden
Hawaii Triangle, Thailand
4. Amankila, Bali 4. Amanusa, Bali
5. Oberoi Udaivilas, 5. Inn/Little Washington,
Rajasthan, India* Washington, DC
* Indicates a tie with the property above
Dining (based on Dining score): Facilities (based on Facilities
score):
1. La Maison Troisgros, Loire, 1. Amanjiwo, Borobudur, Indonesia
France
2. Michel Bras, Aveyron, 2. Singita, Kruger Area, South
France Africa
3. Inn/Little Washington, 3. Oberoi Udaivilas, Rajasthan,
Washington, DC India
4. L'Eau a la Bouche, Montreal 4. Four Seasons/Hualalai, Hawaii
5. Hastings House, Vancouver 5. Blanket Bay, Queenstown, New
Zealand
The Reeling Dollar: American travelers agree their wallets are being
hit harder than ever as the value of the dollar continues to drop against
the euro. Countries such as France, Germany, Italy and the U.K. have become
more expensive for U.S. visitors and vice versa for travelers to the USA.
As a possible result, surveyors both American and foreign report doing more
U.S. travel within the last year.
Favorite Cities: Expenses aside, when asked what international cities
they most like to visit, Paris takes the cake with 26% of the vote,
followed by London (19%) and Rome (8%). As for Surveyors' favorite U.S.
destination, New York came in first with 25% of the vote, followed by
Washington, D.C. (20%), and San Francisco (17%).
The Economics of Travel: With the increase in transportation and
lodging prices, it's no wonder that 29% of our surveyors report an increase
in their business travel budgets as opposed to 16% who report a decline,
and 43% report a rise in their leisure travel spending, vs. 9% reporting a
decrease. In an effort to save money, 70% turn to the Internet to book
their trips, with 95% of that group purchasing airline tickets, 89%
reserving their hotel rooms and 71% making car rentals reservations online.
Paper Chase: While overall global travel has increased significantly
since 2000, travel to the U.S. from abroad declined. This is partly due to
visa problems. Travelers from China, Eastern Europe, India, parts of Latin
America and the Middle East especially report difficulty of getting a U.S.
visa. Surveyors by a 71% vote say they would be glad to undergo background
checks and pay a yearly fee to speed up trips through security if the U.S.
were to implement a type of "Easy Pass" system.
Hook Me Up: Zagat surveyors (23%) say the amenities offered have the
greatest impact on their choice of hotel, with their favorite in-room
feature -- the now nearly ubiquitous WiFi access (66% of business travelers
say it's most important, followed by the morning newspaper -- 46%, and
plasma flat screen TV's -- 20%). But electronics aren't the only amenities
in high demand. Bed-sheet menus at Mexico's Las Ventanas al Paraiso and
soap offerings, such as the 15 varieties available at the Rome Cavalieri
Hilton, typify the lengths that the world's top hotels will go to satisfy
high-end clients.
Irritants: On the other hand, when asked what irritates them most about
the places they visit, 66% of surveyors cited "poor service" as their
biggest complaint. "Dirty, small, bad" rooms were named by 12% of surveyors
while 11% were bothered by noisy fellow guests; Cost, smoking, and
uncomfortable beds registered a mere 2-3% each.
Looking Ahead: On the hotel horizon there's lots of action in China. In
anticipation of the 2008 Olympics, China is seeing an unprecedented level
of development -- and not just in Beijing. From the just-opened Shangri-La
in Guangzhou and Le Royal Meridien in Shanghai to planned outposts from
Kempinski in Wuxi and Huizhou, Mandarin Oriental on Hainan Island, Park
Hyatt in Beijing and Ritz-Carlton in Beijing and Guangzhou. Tourism to
China is expected to grow an astounding 10%, taking in more than $128
billion, in 2007. And the Chinese government hopes to keep up that torrid
pace in coming years.
Under the Hood: The 2007/08 Survey not only covers top hotels and
resorts around the world, it also features lists of Hotel Types such as
All- Inclusive, Bed and Breakfast, Boutique, Cottages/Villas, Ski Resort,
and Special Features lists including Casinos, Dramatic Design, Fishing,
Noteworthy Newcomers and Romantic. The guide also features top discount
travel websites and a number of Travel Tips designed to stretch the travel
dollar. In addition, there's a page of key Dialing Codes, Useful Web Sites
and Toll- Free Numbers.
The 2007/08 World's Top Hotels, Resorts & Spas guide ($15.95) was
edited by Donna Marino Wilkins and David Downing and is available at
bookstores and other retail outlets, through ZAGAT.com or by calling
888/371-5440.
About Zagat Survey, LLC
Zagat Survey is the world's leading provider of consumer survey-based
leisure content. With more than 300,000 surveyors, Zagat Survey rates and
reviews restaurants, hotels, nightlife, movies, music, golf, shopping and a
range of other entertainment categories. Zagat content is available in
print, on the Web, on the Palm and Windows Mobile operating systems, on
BlackBerry, on mobile phones, and on TV. For more information, visit
ZAGAT.com

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You insurance travel

Travel Insured Coverage Protects in Trip Disruptions Such as Greek Cruise Ship Accident

The unfortunate accidental grounding and sinking this week of the Greek cruise ship "Sea Diamond" is a reminder that Travel Insured's Worldwide Trip Protector -- along with our Worldwide Emergency Travel Assistance -- are designed to provide needed medical and travel protection when an unforeseen event disrupts an insured traveler's vacation.

E. Hartford, Conn. (Prweb) April 8, 2007 -- The unfortunate accidental grounding and sinking this week of the Greek cruise ship "Sea Diamond" is a reminder that Travel Insured's Worldwide Trip Protector, along with our Worldwide Emergency Travel Assistance, are designed to provide needed medical and travel protection when an unforeseen event disrupts an insured traveler's vacation.


"It certainly sounds like the cruise line and local authorities have responded valiantly to this emergency," said Judy Sutton, Director of Product Development for Travel Insured International, commenting on calls handled by Travel Insured's Customer Care Department following the Greek cruise event. "Passengers insured with us can take advantage of our 24/7 assistance line to respond to their needs. We are able to assist passengers with alternate plans to get home, medical referral, how to file a claim, what to do about their lost baggage and personal items and, most importantly, be there with the support they need, just when they need it the most."
With Worldwide Trip Protector, insureds receive medical protection that can provide up to $50,000 in emergency accident and sickness medical expenses, with an option to purchase our WTP Gold plan coverage for higher limits. If a guest requires emergency evacuation from an illness or accident scene to a doctor or medical facility, the coverage is provided up to $500,000, with optional higher limits available at time of plan purchase.

Additional benefits include up to $750 for Trip Delay and $1,000 for lost baggage. Travel Assistance can be of greatest importance in a time of unforeseen emergency, and Travel Insured International provides assistance to passengers anywhere in the world 24/7/365.
Learn more about Travel Insured's service and travel plans by visiting us online at travelinsurance Feel free to start an interactive live chat, or call us toll-free at 1-800-243-3174. We want to both protect and assist you in any travel emergency.

About the companyTravel Insured International, based in E. Hartford, Conn., was founded in 1993 by insurance visionary Peter Gehris when he acquired the travel protection division of the Travelers Insurance Company. Backed by the solid underwriting support of Arch Insurance Company, rated "A" by A.M. Best Company, Travel Insured delivers comprehensive primary protection benefits ranging from trip cancellation and trip interruption to emergency assistance and medical evacuation, default and bankruptcy, accident and sickness medical expense, accidental death and dismemberment, missed connection and baggage delay or loss.
Worldwide Trip Protector has become a leading travel insurance brand by providing comprehensive protection enhanced by the industry's best customer care, the home-office service professionals of Travel Insured International. Travel Insured is the industry innovator in creating customized, private label programs that empower tour operators, cruise sellers and agents to build client loyalty by combining top quality group protection with exceptional service to each supplier's individual customers.

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