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Newsletter: Europe, 6/18/08


Slovenia Will Be Site of New Luxury Kempinski Hotel



­Kempinski Hotels says it has signed a deal to manage the 100-year-old Hotel Palace in the center of Portorož. The goal is to make the property, which will retain its historic center and boast a newly built section when it reopens in early October, the leading luxury hotel in Slovenia.

Portorož has long been known as a natural-spa destination and the Hotel Palace has hosted the VIPs who have visited the resort since 1910. History has it that when it opened, the Hotel Palace was, together with Hotel Excelsior in Venice, acclaimed as one of the most beautiful and biggest hotels on the Adriatic Coast. It has been declared a cultural monument, yet closed in 1990. It’s been undergoing a total refurbishment since 2003 under the care of its owner, Istrabenz Hoteli Portorož. Its historic ballroom and Presidential Suite have also been restored.

Visit For more on Slovenia, visit the Slovenian Tourist Board’s website at

Guoman Hotels Names New Sales Director

As it makes its foray into the American market, Guoman Hotels has named Sandy Schwab its regional sales director for the U.S. In this newly created position, Schwab will have the responsibility of introducing this new brand of six deluxe hotels (four-star and five-star deluxe category) in central London to business and leisure travelers.

Prior to joining the Guoman team, Schwab was the new-business development manager at The Waldorf=Astoria in New York where she developed new business accounts with local and national associations, corporations, independent meeting planners and travel agents. Schwab began her career as a sales manager with the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans.

Guoman’s portfolio currently includes Charing Cross, The Cumberland, The Tower, The Royal Horseguards, The Grosvenor and the Marble Arch hotels. It is also launching additional properties internationally. Visit

Tauck's New Riverboat Named MS Swiss Jewel


­Tauck World Discovery has unveiled the name of its new riverboat, which will debut next April, and the winning moniker is MS Swiss Jewel. The ship will be Tauck's third new riverboat in three years, joining sister ships MS Swiss Sapphire, launched in April of 2008, and MS Swiss Emerald, which was launched also in April two years ago.

Tauck says the addition of MS Swiss Jewel will increase its departures by 25 percent. The riverboat will alternate with Tauck's other ships on five of the line's seven river cruise itineraries. Few of the new ship's details have been revealed as Tauck is still incorporating guest feedback into the final design. Visit

Portugal and Spain Unite as a Single Destination

The tourist offices of Portugal and Spain said they have renewed a commitment and financial support for a co-op program that promotes both countries as a single destination. PortugalSpainBoth is a marketing platform using integrated print and online marketing efforts; this year it will expand its efforts to include website enhancements, e-mail and lead-generation programs, and new online fulfillment and brochure services for the travel agency community.

The PortugalSpainBoth co-op program will continue to serve and support travel suppliers throughout the year with marketing initiatives in highly targeted media channels and the collection of highly qualified leads to be shared amongst its partners. Opportunities for partners to integrate their products with PortugalSpainBoth will also be available, and exist at varying levels. To date, Abreu Tours, Auto Europe, Destination Oceans and 1-800-Fly-Europe have partnered with the program.

Navigate Europe for Free


­A­uto Europe is offering a new exclusive incentive by offering free GPS rentals in Europe.  Travelers will receive a free Garmin Nuvi 270 or similar with routing maps for Western Europe and most of Eastern Europe with any Peugeot Buy Back lease of a minimum 17 days or longer, a long term rental of a compact car or larger for a minimum of 30 days or a 10 day rental in Italy, intermediate category or larger.

The free GPS offer is valid for reservations now through June 30 for pick ups through November 30. Validity dates vary based upon length of rental and pick up location.  Free GPS offer also includes a free dash mount, 16 color LCD display and voice prompted turn by turn directions.  The offer excludes a shipping and handling fee of $35 and optional insurance is available for the units at $1 per day.

The GPS units come with a dash mount but can be removed and taken into a villa or hotel room to plan the next day's trip or to find a particular restaurant or museum. Including the country maps, this free offer represents an average savings of $500 per rental.

For additional information contact your local sales representative or Auto Europe at (800) 223-5555. Visit their web site at

Berlin to Prague-- 7 days/6 nights with rail


­Enjoy three nights each in two rising cities that have become popular destinations in ­Europe. The 7 days/6 nights package includes three nights hotel in Berlin and in Prague, daily breakfast, city sightseeing tour of Prague, Berlin Welcome Card good for 48 hours, dinner at Restaurant U Karlova Mostu in Prague, first-class rail with seat reservations between cities, hotel taxes and service charges.

Guests can stay at a three-star hotel from $694 ppdo, four-star from $909 ppdo and five-star from $1,206 ppdo.

5-Day Ride & Stay Special in Tuscany


­­Splendida Italia is offering a five-night room and car special at the Hotel Le Macinaie in Tuscany. This special includes panoramic view accommodations at a family owned and operated 17-room hotel, a five-day Alamo economy car rental (Fiat Panda or similar car), and daily breakfast plus all taxes and service charges. The cost through November 30, is $482 per person, a savings of $100 per person.

For more information about Hotel Le Macinaie, visit For the special Tuscany package, contact Splendida Italia at 1-800-995-7997 (Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.–5 p.m. PST) or visit its web site at

Splendida Italia is owned and operated by Picasso Travel, one of the largest air consolidators in North America in business for more than 28 years.  Picasso Travel is a member of ASTA, IATA, CLIA, USACA, ARC and BTC.

VIP Official Ryder Cup 2008 Experience


­­Blue Group is offering a unique VIP official Ryder Cup 2008 client entertainment experience.

Visit the Valhalla Golf and Country Club in Louisville, KY, September 17-22 and enjoy four-star star accommodations, on-course Private 5* hospitality chalet adjacent to 9th green, private pre-booked dinners and transfers secured for guaranteed client availability.

Early bookings are strongly advised as only 75 places available for this VIP experience.

Player meet greet experiences and lunches can be arranged for groups POA once core experiences are reserved, to include Sam Torrance (Former European Ryder Cup captain) subject to availability, other players available on request.

Email: [email protected]


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