Archive for August, 2009

Pedata RV Center explores the benefits of hunting by RV. (PRWeb Aug 29, 2009)

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IRVING, TX . — Three Omni Hotels have earned high rankings in Travel + Leisure's annual 2009 World's Best Hotels for Families list, based on reader evaluations collected in Travel + Leisure's 'World's Best Awards' survey. The awards are posted on, and will be featured in the September issue.*

'We are honored to have three properties named to the list of World's Best Hotels for Families by the readers of Travel + Leisure,' said Mike Deitemeyer, president of Omni Hotels. 'We are committed to making family travel a genuinely fun and memorable experience from our Omni Sensational Kids program to the specially-designed Kids' Suites to warm cookies and milk before bed.'

For families, the iconic Omni Sensational Kids program, available at all Omni properties, provides the youngest adventurers with special treatment beginning with their very own backpack filled with entertaining items such as a flashlight, mini-disc launcher, Twizzlers, a plant-able bookmark and more at check-in along with cookies and milk delivered to the guest room before bedtime on the first night.

The Omni La Mansion in San Antonio, TX (ranked number two) recently unveiled a SeaWorld partnership, where guests can purchase tickets to the water park directly through the concierge, bypassing long lines at the popular attraction.

Travel + Leisure highlighted the Omni Mandalay Hotel at Las Colinas near Dallas, TX (ranked number nine) for its 'poolside cabanas and a tricked-out kids' suite.' Omni's Mokara Salon & Spa offers treatments in poolside cabanas for 'road-weary parents,' and a treatment menu including a luxurious Chardonnay sugar scrub.

The Omni Chicago Hotel (ranked number 29), described by Travel + Leisure as a 'Magnificent Mile mainstay that pulls out all the stops for kids,' offers the American Girl Doll package that includes a doll bed, sundaes on arrival and entry into a drawing for an American Girl doll and personal shopper at the flagship store.

In July 2009, Six Omni Hotels earned high rankings in Travel + Leisure's annual 2009 World's Best Awards readers' survey in the Large City Hotels in the Continental U.S. and Canada category and the Small City Hotels in the Continental U.S. and Canada category; the Omni La Mansion in San Antonio, TX; the Omni Mandalay Hotel (near Dallas, TX); the Omni Chicago Hotel; the Hotel Omni Mont-Royal in Montreal, Canada, the Omni San Francisco Hotel and the Watermark Hotel & Spa in San Antonio, TX (also owned by Omni Hotels).

Guests can book by calling 1-800-The-Omni or book online at

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Work will Maintain Popular Destination in Top Condition

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – Amtrak's partnership this summer with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) is enabling high school and college age students from around the country to gain real, hands-on experience preserving Yosemite National Park, one of Amtrak's most popular destinations.

"Amtrak is a great way to travel to help preserve the environment and it is important to us to support efforts like SCA to help keep Yosemite National Park in top condition," said Carol Shannon, Amtrak Director of West Marketing, adding each year thousands of visitors take the Amtrak San Joaquin trains to Yosemite via connecting motor coach service from the Merced, Calif., train station.

Amtrak and SCA are sponsoring 24 high school and college students as part of a wilderness restoration crew to contribute to the preservation of Yosemite and also gain valuable new skills and career experiences. The students have been working non-stop since June undertaking a variety of projects alongside seasoned National Park Service professionals including: tracking black bears; removing unwanted campsites and invasive plants; monitoring water quality; updating museum archives; and enhancing the visitor's experience. The program runs through the end of September.

"SCA is thrilled to partner with Amtrak and the National Park Service to build the next generation of conservation leaders and continue the tradition of young people caring for their environment," said Jay Watson, Western Regional Director for the Student Conservation Association. "We're so pleased to be able to offer these valuable opportunities to America's emerging stewards," he said, noting this year's students come from Arizona, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Montana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington.

This partnership with SCA furthers Amtrak's commitment to be a transportation leader on environmental issues and reinforces its other green programs such as offering passengers the opportunity to purchase carbon offsets for their rail travel and direct those funds to such areas as certified sustainable reforestation and alternative energy projects.

Approximately 3.4 million people visit Yosemite National Park each year. For more than 30 years, SCA has sent crews and interns to Yosemite to work in a wide variety of disciplines. Many graduates of the program go on to careers in the National Park Service.

Additional funding for the program comes from the Yosemite Fund and Delaware North.

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EU Commission grants anti-trust immunity / approval for restructuring aid / Austrian Airlines to be part of the Lufthansa Group as of September 2009

The European Commission today approved the merger of the Austrian Airlines Group and Lufthansa, as well as the contribution to be made by Österreichische Industrieholding AG (ÖIAG) to the relief of Austrian Airlines' debt (restructuring aid). Both anti-trust immunity and the approval of 500 million euros in restructuring aid for Austrian Airlines have been granted under conditions that are economically acceptable to Lufthansa. In addition, the shareholders of Austrian Airlines have, until today, offered a total of over 75 per cent of the necessary shares of Austrian Airlines for sale. Therefore, all of the necessary conditions for the merger in accordance with the public takeover offer have been met within the prescribed deadline and Austrian Airlines will be integrated into the Lufthansa Group as of September 2009.

Share transaction
The shareholders of Austrian Airlines AG, who offered their shares for sale by 11 May 2009 and did not exercise the right to withdraw that was granted in the meantime, will receive the offer price of EUR 4.49 per share probably on 3 September 2009. In total, Lufthansa will be paying the free-float shareholders a sum of about 166 million euros for their shares. All shareholders who have not yet accepted the offer, may still offer their shares for sale until eight days after the announcement of Lufthansa in the Wiener Zeitung. The publication will confirm the fulfilment of the conditions precedent of the public takeover offer. In order to complete its takeover of the company upon completion of the public takeover offer, Lufthansa will seek a squeeze-out of the minority shareholders of Austrian Airlines AG.

Figures on the Lufthansa Group and Austrian Airlines
Last year the airlines of the Lufthansa Group welcomed aboard 70.5 million passengers, flying them to 242 destinations. In 2008, 10.7 million passengers flew with Austrian Airlines; the Austrian Airlines network currently includes 120 destinations. The Lufthansa Group operates a fleet of 549 aircraft; Austrian Airlines currently operates 91 aircraft. The Group currently employs over 105,000 employees worldwide from 15 countries.

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The popular holiday comparison website,, has added over twenty new travel agents and millions of cheap holidays in the last fortnight, advertising in various areas throughout the site.

Well known travel agents such as Monster Travel, a member of the Freedom Travel Group Consortium, have joined the likes of existing agents Future Travel and many more in advertising their deals on the website. This brings the total of agents currently advertising on holiday holiday holiday to an impressive 400 plus and increases the count of offers advertised to many millions in total.

Holiday Holiday Holiday provides a wide choice of holidays, including package, cruise and ski and enables holidaymakers to search and compare cheap holidays from hundreds of ABTA bonded travel agents throughout the UK. With its easy to use searches and abundance of holiday offers, the site has become a haven for holidaymakers looking to find their ideal holiday.

Marketing Director Emma Healey said 'With holiday holiday holiday, consumers have the choice of comparing millions of different holidays and prices, plus they also have the added opportunity of being able to access hundreds of travel agents all on one website for advice on how to book a holiday or where to go. All of the travel agents advertising on the website have a good experience and knowledge of travel and are also financially protected by ABTA and ATOL bonding. The team here at holiday holiday holiday is working hard to add more travel agents onto the site in the coming months and to increase the number of holiday deals even more'

The decision to add more agents onto the website is all part of the changes that have been taking place on holiday holiday holiday since the signing of new contracts in July 2009. So far, the holiday website has had a completely new design, new technology, new systems and functionality added which has also improved the speed of the website. In the pipeline are more plans to improve and add other functions to the site, providing holidaymakers with a consumer focused, easy to use holiday comparison website that they know will provide cheap holidays coupled with a trustworthy service.

For millions of cheap holidays visit

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Stena Line, the leading Irish Sea ferry operator, has announced that it will offer Northern Ireland students studying in Britain the chance to travel for free back to university. The announcement follows the research* from independent university guide Push that estimates many students will be left with a debt of £23,000 after graduation.

Separate research conducted by the National Union of Students (NUS) also suggests some degrees have higher 'hidden costs' than others, such as for equipment or books.

To help ease the financial strain, Stena Line is offering Northern Ireland students the chance to travel to Britain for free** on all five of its Irish Sea routes when they are accompanied by a paying adult and car. This is the fifth consecutive year Stena Line has run this special offer.

Ian Baillie, Stena Line's marketing manager on the Belfast-Stranraer route, believes that the current economic climate is making things harder for students but the support of parents can help them to adjust to university life.

He said: "It can be a worrying time for parents when young people first fly the nest or return to university after a summer at home and many prefer to travel over with their children and help them settle in. With the rising cost of everyday expenses parents may now feel that this journey is impossible and that is why Stena Line is reintroducing this great fare to help families make the transition that little bit easier and with a few more pounds in their pockets."

Those wishing to pack a little lighter and travel without a car can take advantage of further reductions and travel from Belfast Port onboard the Stena HSS Voyager and onto popular university cities such as Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Notes to Editors:
*Push interviewed 2024 students in years one to four of their degree course, in person.
**Terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability. Booking must be a minimum of 14 days in advance of travel and before 14th October 2009. Travel must be completed by 5 January 2010

About Stena Line:
Stena Line is the market leader among Irish Sea ferries, offering the biggest ferry fleet and the widest choice of routes between the island of Ireland and Britain including Belfast to Stranraer, Dun Laoghaire and Dublin Port to Holyhead, Rosslare to Fishguard and ferries to Fleetwood from Larne. The company carries over three million passengers on its Irish Sea routes each year, more than its rival operators combined.

Stena Line PR Contact:
Nigel Tilson
UK Communications Manager
Victoria Terminal 4
West Bank Road
028 9088 4036

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Carefree, Arizona Christmas Festival draws thousands each year. An electric light parade, cacti, 70 degree temperatures and real snow. Three days of fun, Friday, December 11th through Sunday, December 13th. (PRWeb Aug 28, 2009)

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Give the gift of a cruise by giving a Royal Incentive Reward, available for a limited time only (PRWeb Aug 28, 2009)

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HolidayTravelWatch has noted that one Travel Industry newspaper, Travel Weekly, has reported our call to the Turkish Ambassador, to bring to the attention of the Turkish Health Authorities, the growing number of complaints concerning The Holiday Village (formerly The Pegasus Palace & The Pegasus Tropical) in Sarigerme in Turkey.

Within the Travel Weekly article (27/8/09) it was reported that, 'A First Choice spokeswoman said the operator had no reports of confirmed salmonella cases'.

HolidayTravelWatch has now received over 150 calls for assistance on this issue. The Organisation has surveyed the first 100 holidaymakers they have assisted and found that within that group of 100 holidaymakers, the following confirmed notifiable diseases have been detected:

11 cases of Cryptosporidium;

22 cases of Salmonella;

2 cases of Campylobacter.

Those confirmed cases with that sample group of 100, does not include those suffering with reported serious gastric illness and ear infections. The Organisation reports that they are closely monitoring this group and that the tally of confirmed illnesses appears to be increasing each day. The Organisation also notes that some holidaymakers report that they provided stool samples in resort!

HolidayTravelWatch would point to the actions of returning holidaymakers, which would appear to contradict the First Choice statement that they 'had no reports of confirmed salmonella cases':

Mrs D advised that they visited this complex between 3/8/09 & 14/8/09. Upon their return, they telephoned their local travel agents who provided them with the contact details of First Choice Legal Services. Mrs D advises that they informed the tour operator's Legal Services on 18/8/09 that their son and daughter had both contracted Salmonella and Cryptosporidium. (9580)

Mrs L advised that they visited this complex between 27/7/09 & 10/8/09. Upon their return they were tested and confirmed to First Choice by e mail on 18/8/09, that their child had been confirmed as suffering with Campylobacter. (9655)

Mr S advised that they visited the resort between 11/7/09 & 25/7/09. Upon his return he was tested psoitive for Salmonella. Mr S advises that he informed First Choice of his positive test and also provided his travel agent with a copy of the test result. Mr S reports that he has received an acknowledgement of receipt of his information from First Choice. (9518)

Mrs G advised that they travelled to this resort between 20/7/09 & 27/7/09. When they returned to the UK, they were stool sample tested and in early August, Mrs G advised First Choice that her son was diagnosed with Salmonella. When her daughter was also diagnosed with the same disease, she again informed First Choice and she received an acknowledgement of receipt of that information from the tour operator. (9522)

HolidayTravelWatch calls for clarity on this issue and has again called for the Turkish Ambassador to respond to the concerns of returning British Holidaymakers.

Frank Brehany, the Senior Consumer Advocate for HolidayTravelWatch states;

"I am sure that holidaymakers, like me, must feel that they are living in some kind of alternative reality! How much longer must this continue? It is clear that there are many holidaymakers with genuine complaints; when are executives of tour companies going respond intelligently and constructively to this 'annual-fest' of complaints from this or indeed any other resort?"

He concludes,

"I am concerned that this serious situation is not being given the attention it richly deserves; holidaymakers, no matter how long they may have suffered any illness, should seek urgent stool sample testing. Whilst those tests are being carried out, they should contact HolidayTravelwatch, whether they have a confirmed notifiable disease or not and receive clear guidance as to how to deal with their holiday complaints – our helpline number is 08450179229 or you can e mail us at "

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Explore Nevada Tours introduces a new website design that makes it easier for vacationers and travelers to find the Nevada tour of their choice and access all the pertinent details. (PRWeb Aug 28, 2009)

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