Travel Weekly's Europe E-letter: Dec. 20, 2006

INCOMING TOURISM TO THE NETHERLANDS from the U.S. has rebounded to pre-9/11 levels, according to the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions. The NBTC expected to welcome 1 millionth visitor from the U.S. in early December, marking the culmination of a steady rise since 2004. The popularity of Rembrandt's 400th birthday packages, several new marketing campaigns and the growing number of airline routes from the U.S. to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is being credited for the growing tourism numbers.

ZARAGOZA, SPAIN, will host the 2008 World Expo with the theme: "Water and Sustainable Development."  From June 14 through Sept. 14, 2008, Spain's fifth-largest city is expected to draw 6 million visitors, create 9,500 jobs and bring in more than $1.2 billion in tourism revenues. The expo will be structured around five themed pavilions and eight large eco-geographical areas comprising the 63 participating countries. Cirque de Soleil will participate with a daily desert-themed parade through the grounds, and the expo icon will be a 196-foot, transparent water tower. For more info on the expo, visit www.spain.info.

SILVERJET, a new transatlantic, all-business-class carrier, will start operating out of Newark on Jan. 25, serving London Luton Airport. Silverjet will use Boeing 767s with 100 seats configured as flat beds and will offer 30-minute check-in and private terminals. The average roundtrip fare will be $1,972.

HOTEL RATH, a 148-room property under construction near Dublin, will become a Marriott when it opens in early 2007. The Marriott Ashbourne will be managed by Interstate Hotels & Resorts, an independent hotel management company. Located in County Meath, north of Dublin, the Ashbourne Marriott will be situated at the junction of two major routes that link Dublin with Derry and Belfast. The hotel will feature meetings space for up to 600, a steak and seafood restaurant, a modern Irish pub and recreational facilities in the Clann, Health and Wellness Club.

THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT TOURIST OFFICE released a free 20-page booklet that traces France's Jewish community back more than 2,000 years. There is information on the Marais district in Paris as well as sites of interest for Jewish travelers throughout the country. In addition to suggestions on synagogues and kosher restaurants, the booklet offers a walking tour of Paris and driving tours of Alsace and Provence. To order a copy, visit www.franceguide.com/us.

Europe Editor:

Felicity Long

Phone: (781) 659-1301

[email protected]

For promotional opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].

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