Destination Weddings Gaining Favour In Mexico

The Mexico Tourism Board, a Mexico-based government agency for promoting tourism, is promoting destination weddings at some of the most romantic resorts in Mexico.

In order to promote the wedding destinations, the Tourism Board is hosting ‘Love Mexico’ events in the US and Mexico, for popular wedding suppliers to showcase their offerings designed for hosting perfect weddings at various Mexican destinations.

While 24 percent of US couples opt to go for a destination wedding, around 9 percent of them tend to choose Mexico as the venue, as the resorts are thought to offer good value for money.

The 2012 ‘Love Mexico’ events, to be held in Dallas, and New York, in US, and Riviera Maya in Mexico, are expected to be attended by around 40 vendors from Mexico, including resorts and wedding suppliers, while around 180 wedding planners and travel specialists will also be present.

Eduardo Chaillo, the executive meetings unit director, for Mexico Tourism Board, said, ‘We were delighted with the response to this year’s Love Mexico events; all of the vendors and buyers that I spoke to had great feedback. With its combination of natural beauty, rich culture, world-class hotels and resorts and outstanding service, Mexico is the ultimate destination for weddings, honeymoons and romantic getaways. As the destination weddings market grows and changes Mexico will continue to develop its offering.’

Mexico is also considered to be a promising destination for the gay and lesbian wedding market, which is set to play its part in helping to boost the Mexican economy by USD9.5 billion per year, says a recent study reported by Forbes, a business magazine published in the US.

Floating Cruise Hotel Offers Accommodation for UEFA Euro 2012 in Poland

Polferries, a Poland-based ferry operator, is offering accommodation for football fans visiting Poland to watch the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship in Gdansk-New Port.

The company is offering accommodation in its floating cruise hotel, M/F Scandinavia, which is anchored at a distance of around three kilometres from the Arena Gdansk stadium, where a number of 2012 Euro matches will be played.

The hotel is keeping around 800 berths reserved for 2012 Euro football fans, and is claiming to offer a fun filled ambience for its passengers on match days, and additional after-parties back on board. The floating hotel has two restaurants, two bars, a number of shops, and an onboard cafe for its passengers.

Aneta Wencel, the company shipping policy division director said, ‘EURO 2012 is the greatest football event of the year, and fans gathering in Poland from all over Europe have every reason to celebrate the magnificent sports event. And with everything at one place, hotel, restaurants, cafes etc, visiting fans can lay back and relax and concentrate on the game and the whole experience. The preliminary matches in Gdansk will no doubt be filled with action, excitement and world-class football. With more than 800 enthusiastic fans onboard we expect to host an extraordinary football fest.’

The ferry will be anchored at Gdansk-New Port from June 13 to 15, and 18 to 19, 2012, for the Group C matches to be played between Ireland, Spain, Croatia and Italy.

While berth cabins are priced at EUR156 for June 13 to 15, 2012 for two nights inclusive of daily breakfast, the rates fall to EUR52 for June 18 to 19, 2012 for the same amenities.


New Zipline Adventure Tour at Angel Fire Resort in US

Angel Fire Resort, a resort in Angel Fire, New Mexico, US, is offering its guests a new multi-station zip line tour from the Angel Fire Resort ski mountain.

The tour, which claims to be the first of its kind in the New Mexico area, will commence from July 2012, and will offer resort guests the thrill of flying peak to peak across the mountain range, high above the forest floor.

Dave Dekema, the company director of marketing for the Angel Fire Resort, said, ‘We’re always looking out for new attractions and innovative ways to add more fun and excitement into a family’s Rocky Mountain vacation. This will be the first zip line tour in the state and we are confident it will be a great experience for both kids and adults to enjoy. A zip line melds perfectly with our mountain’s topography, the scenic views, and the existing infrastructure of our ski mountain. Not to mention it’s an absolutely unforgettable, thrill-a-minute experience.’

Designed for adventure lovers, a station-to-station ride on a zip line (a cable stretched between two stations of different elevations) is an exciting way to enjoy spectacular views from above popular destinations, with the rider attached to the cable and moving with help of gravitational pull.

The Angel Fire Zipline Adventure Tour includes six separate zip line segments of various lengths, for the price of USD89 per person.

The zip line tour is part of the resort’s new Summit Adventure Center, which also includes Eurobungie, disc golf, mountain biking, horseshoes, and hiking trails.


St Regis Hotels and Resorts Hosts Fifth Annual St Regis International Polo Cup

The 5th Annual St. Regis International Cup (SRIC) was held between polo teams from England and the USA at Cowdray Park Polo Club, in Midhurst, UK, on May 19, 2012.

The tournament saw England win the first international test match of the season by defeating the USA, with the two countries competing against each other for the first time in fifteen years. St Regis Hotels and Resorts, a subsidiary of US-based Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, sponsored the commemorative Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup, in a partnership with American Express, a US-based financial services company that provides debit and credit cards.

Paul James, the global brand leader for St Regis and The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts, said, ‘With the Diamond Jubilee followed by a summer of sports in London, this is the perfect time to celebrate the long-standing heritage of polo in England with this year’s St. Regis International Cup. Polo is an innate part of the St. Regis legacy; and in the past five years, it has been exciting to see this time-honoured social tradition continue to manifest in the UK and around the world among a new generation of affluent travellers.’

The St Regis hotel brand is expanding its polo presence in a number of destinations worldwide, by sponsoring polo matches and events in the United States, Bangkok, Singapore, Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo, in addition to hosting The St Regis International Polo Cup in England.

St Regis is currently offering a New Grand Tour itinerary for leisure travellers in search of luxurious experiences, and owns properties in a range of travel destinations including Aspen, and Bal Harbour, in the US, Shenzhen, in China and Abu Dhabi, in the UAE; with new resorts soon to open in Amman, Jordan, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Lijiang and Zhuhai in China and New Delhi in India.


June 2012 Travel Bookings Indicate Growth in Travel Industry

Holiday Extras, a UK-based travel company offering pre-booked hotels and airport parking, has reported a 47 percent increase in airport parking bookings for June 2012, compared to figures achieved in the same period last year.

On April 30 this year, the company registered a record number of parking bookings through its website and through its customer service centre, a 6 percent increase from its previous record number of parking bookings made on April 3, this year.

The increase in parking bookings is thought to indicate a growth in travel bookings in general, and an upward trend in the travel industry. The figures also appear to indicate that vacationing is still a major priority for residents in the UK, despite the financial uncertainty brought about by the credit crunch.

However, the parking bookings do also infer a bargain hunting instinct among holidaymakers, as they aim to pre-book airport parking space to save money. The new survey results show that pre-booking airport parking slots often results in major savings of as much as 60 percent.

Matthew Pack, the company chief executive officer, said, ‘Early figures show that the Olympics are not stopping people booking their holidays for this summer. Holidaymakers are fighting the mood of austerity, which is really positive news for the travel industry.’

There are around 100 different car parks available for booking parking slots in advance, at around 26 airports in the UK. Parking slots are predictably most expensive around the major airports, including Birmingham, East Midlands, Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton, Manchester and Stansted.

New Radisson Blu Resort Tsinandali to Open in Georgia

A new Radisson Blu Resort is scheduled to open in Tsinandali, Georgia, in 2014, according to an announcement by Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, a hotel group formed by US-based Carlson and Belgium-based Rezidor Hotel Group.

The Radisson Blu Resort, Tsinandali, will feature 100 rooms and is part of the Tsinandali estate. It will be developed by Silk Road Group, a Switzerland based company.

George Ramishvili, the Silk Road Group company chairman, said, ‘We are happy that Rezidor partners with us to build an exclusive spa resort in Tsinandali. We will offer visitors a luxury experience of Georgia’s stunning nature, generous hospitality and its rich heritage of winemaking.’

The new hotel will include 100 rooms, a specialty restaurant, a lounge, cigar and pool bars, an original wine cellar, and extensive spa facilities including treatment rooms, a gym, a relaxation area, and an infinity swimming pool.

Kurt Ritter, the company president and chief executive officer for Rezidor, said, ‘We are delighted to add a rare vintage to our growing collection of contemporary resorts.’

19th century vineyards and gardens bound the Radisson Blu Resort, Tsinandali, and the Tsinandali estate includes two museums, one dedicated to the poet Prince Alexander Chavchavdze, and the second dedicated to Georgian wine and gastronomy. The estate is of historical significance, and is said to be a sought-after venue for corporate events, conferences, cultural programmes, and weddings.

The new hotel will be the third Radisson Blu property in Georgia, after the Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel in Tbilisi, and the Radisson Blu Hotel, Batumi.


UK Residents Prefer US Destinations for Bargain Holidays

British visitors are showing a growing preference for visiting destinations in the US, as a stronger pound makes bargain holidays in the States more lucrative.

Dealchecker, a UK-based company offering a flight, accommodation, holiday and car hire price comparison service, has reported that UK tourists are looking to America for bargain travel offers, as poor weather in England urges increased numbers to look outside the country for their vacation requirements.

There has been a marked increase in searches for flights to New York City and other US destinations in April 2012, compared to figures for February 2012.

In April 2012, 4.5 percent of searches on the company’s website have been for New York, compared to 2 percent in February 2012, representing an increase of 125 percent. Searches for destinations in the USA have increased from 12 percent of the site’s total in February 2012, to 17 percent in April 2012.

Mark Attwell, the company managing director, said, ‘We specialise in finding the best travel deals, and the rise in searches for the US shows that the country offers great value. New York is a vibrant and diverse city, where visitors can grab a hot dog and stroll Central Park for free, or experience some of the world’s best museums, events and shopping. Considering the strength of the pound and the poor weather across Europe and the UK this spring, it is no surprise that British people have started looking to New York, Florida and other US destinations for affordable and sunny holidays.’

April 2012 has been the coldest April since 1989 in the UK, and the wettest ever, driving travellers to look for sunnier and drier destinations for their vacation.

Hilton London Metropole Undergoes Remodelling

Hilton London Metropole Hotel, located close to Paddington Station, in London, has recently completed a GBP2.3 million transformation ahead of the 2012 London Olympic Games.

The transformation includes the remodelling of the 354 bedrooms in the hotel’s Conference Wing, to create what Hilton claims are the largest ‘Double-Double’ rooms in London. The recent renovation is part of a three-year plan of multiple property remodelling that is currently underway worldwide for the Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand of US-based hospitality company, Hilton Worldwide.

Avner On, the general manager of the Hilton London Metropole, said, ‘With space at a premium in the Capital, Hilton London Metropole prides itself on offering a room that rivals other London hotels by providing comfort, style and much needed additional square footage. The refurbishment of our Superior rooms marks the next stage in Hilton London Metropole’s continued refurbishment programme and the efforts to offer our meeting and conference delegates the best possible experience when staying with us.’

The remodelled Superior rooms are claimed to offer a contemporary design suitable for both business and leisure travellers, including a flexible working area, a relaxation corner, two queen beds, a sofa bed and two LCD TVs.

The hotel, reported to be the largest conference hotel in the UK, is offering a total of 1,054 bedrooms, as well as two restaurants, a sports bar and a cafe. The hotel also has two large conference rooms, with the capacity to host 1,500 people at each venue. The remodelling of the rooms will allow the hotel to offer modern accommodation for all kinds of events and conferences.

Sheffield is New UK Caravan Hotspot

Sheffield, a city and metropolitan borough in South Yorkshire, England, is the home of the largest percentage of caravan and motor home owners in the UK, according to a survey conducted by Safeguard UK, a company that provides insurance for caravan owners.

The company has reported that around 10 percent of its caravan insurance buyers are from South Yorkshire, more than from any other single area of the UK. Part of South Yorkshire is located within the Peak District National Park, and it is also relatively close to the Lake District, the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Dales, all of which are destinations known for their scenic landscapes.

For most caravan owners, ease of access to caravan parks is an important criterion when buying a caravan or a motor home. This could be why Sheffield is such a caravanning hotspot, as its location is within such easy reach of vast areas of northern England’s most picturesque destinations, and caravan sites abound. Sheffield is also within easy reach of several of the UK’s main motorways, including the M1 and M18, making it an ideal centre from which to explore the UK countryside.

The survey also highlighted that London residents are less likely to be attracted to the benefits of caravan ownership, due to a lack of proper parking facilities in the congested city limits.

Andy Leech, the head of Safeguard, said, ‘While the counties of Yorkshire have some of the nicest scenery in the UK, its residents are furthest from the coast so it’s likely that they use their caravan or motor home to travel to seaside resorts for breaks away from home. Residents in central London probably struggle to store a caravan or motor home as space is limited in the capital, so it’s no surprise that there is such little concentration of Safeguard customers in those areas.’


British Airways Introduces Flights from Gatwick to Las Vegas

British Airways, a UK-based airline company, has announced a new route from London Gatwick Airport, in the UK, to Las Vegas, USA.

The  new, three times weekly service commences from October 29, 2012, and will be operated by a three-class Boeing 777 aircraft, which will feature fully flat beds for Club World cabin passengers.

The new route will add more alternates for travelling between London and Las Vegas, by supplementing an already existing service of 10 weekly flights between Heathrow Airport and Las Vegas Airport.

Colm Lacy, the airline head of commercial at Gatwick Airport, said, ‘Las Vegas has proved to be an incredibly popular year-round destination from Heathrow so we are delighted to now be able to offer the route from Gatwick as well. This is the kind of destination our leisure customers at Gatwick are looking for and it will complement our existing USA and long haul leisure network.’

The new route is open for advance bookings at the company website, The airline is also offering exclusive holiday packages to its passengers flying on the new route, which also may be booked via the airline’s website.

The company is offering a three-night stay at a hotel in Las Vegas, commencing from GBP826 per person, inclusive of airfare. The holiday offers are currently available at the company website. Amongst the Las Vegas hotels included in the vacation offer are the three-star Riviera Hotel and Casino, and five-star hotels including The Venetian Resort Hotel, the Aria Resort and Casino, and The Wynn Resort Las Vegas.