AIR: Sweden on June 1 became the fifth European country,
after Ireland, Italy, Malta and Norway, to ban all smoking in
restaurants and bars. But public use of "snus" -- a snuff-like,
oral tobacco product outlawed in most European Union countries but
popular and legal in Sweden -- is still permitted. Elsewhere in
Europe, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Spain
and the U.K. also plan to extend or introduce anti-smoking
legislation in the near future.
CARDED: BritRail and its U.S. distributor ACP Rail
International resumed sales of London Visitor TravelCard discount
passes for the British capital¹s Underground, or subway, system.
Sales were suspended on March 31 so that the program could be
reworked. Prior to the suspension, ACP had sold vouchers that could
be exchanged for Visitor TravelCards at Tube stations in London.
Now, the firm furnishes travelers with actual TravelCards -- no
vouchers required. Prices ranges from $12, for a three-day,
six-zone off-peak kids¹ TravelCard, to $78 for a seven-day,
six-zone peak adult card. Travel agents earn 5% commission; to
order, call (866) BRITRAIL (866-274-8724).
IT: German extended-stay hotel operator Derag Hotel and
Living now welcomes pets. In fact, guests at The Max Emanuel
Muenchen Hotel, in Munich, and the Koenigin Luise Berlin Hotel, are
greeted by full-breed pug dogs in residence, Max and Friedrich
Wilhelm, respectively. Derag, which owns and operates 11 four- and
five-star properties in seven European markets, pays travel agents
10% commission. Call internationally toll-free at (011)
8000-136-9999, send an e-mail to [email protected] or log on to www.deraghotels.de/english.
HOTELS, BIG DEALS: Several members of Small Luxury Hotels
of the World are offering fixed room rates priced in U.S. dollars
for Americans. Dollar deals can be found at the 51-room Hotel
Vernet in Paris, which offers rooms at $280 a night instead of 280
euros (about $343) and a nightly, two-room family plan rate for
July and August of $700, and the Athenaeum Hotel and Apartments in
London, which has a dollar-for-pound program. Other SLH members
with guaranteed dollar rates include Relais Christine and Pavillone
de la Reine in Paris; La Tartane in St. Tropez, France; the Hotel
Art and the Empire Palace in Rome; the Stafford and the Dorset
Square in London; and the Chester Gosvenor in Chester, England. For
more, call (8000 525-4800 or visit www.slh.com.
RAIL: Technology developer Wandrian Inc. rolled out www.railagent.com, a new site that leverages
rail-planning technologies to offer commissionable European rail
passes and point-to-point rail tickets to U.S. agents on the Web.
Agents can log on to book a range of European rail products for
commissions of 5% to 10%. The Railagent.com product line includes a
range of Eurail and Britrail passes; 16 national and 13 regional
passes; point-to-point rail tickets, including Eurostar; seat
reservations; and four specialty products, such as the
Trans-Siberian Railway. Among the site¹s features is a planning
engine that estimates travel costs and recommends the best fare
options. For more or to enroll, visit www.railagent.com.