VISITBRITAIN launched Green Start, a sustainable-tourism marketing strategy aimed at boosting the clout of accredited English accommodation providers and visitor attractions. To encourage more participants, VisitBritain will waive the $50 charge for the first 500 businesses to join Green Start. Potential clients will be able to search the VisitBritain and EnjoyEngland Web sites for sustainable tourism offers at the point of sale. In London alone, more than 30 hotels and attractions have signed up to earn awards for their environmental credentials, as has the island of Jersey.
THE MAJESTIC HOTEL GROUP opened the 53-room Murmuri Barcelona, in the city's Eixample district. The property, which features a contemporary decor, also offers a 1920s-style Marfil by Murmuri bar; WiFi throughout the hotel; and 32-inch, flat-screen TVs and iPods in all guest rooms. Thai chef Ian Chalermkittichai, owner of three restaurants in New York, oversees the Restaurante Murmuri. An inaugural rate of about $275 per night through April 18 includes breakfast and VAT. For details, go to www.murmuri.com.
DISCOUNTED BUSINESS-CLASS FARES on Swiss Air Lines are available for roundtrip travel July 1 through Aug. 31 from Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Miami. Travel must be completed by Sept. 6. Tickets must be purchased by April 30, and ticketing must be completed within 72 hours of the reservation. Sample fares include Boston-Rome, $2,914; Chicago-Florence, Italy, $3,014; and Los Angeles-Nice, France, $3,006.
CONCORDE HOTELS & RESORTS created a Marie Antoinette Exhibition package to run through June 30. The package is timed to coincide with an exhibition at the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais of nearly 300 works relating to the French queen. Priced from about $300 per night, per room, the package includes accommodations at a choice of six Paris hotels, admission for two to the exhibition, daily breakfast and a tea box from Maison Laduree. A two-night minimum stay is required. To book, visit www.concorde-hotels.com.
TOURCRAFTERS unveiled a seven-night, land-only Apulia Discovery package, valid from April 1 to Dec. 31, starting at $549 per person. The package includes accommodations in Conversano at the four-star Hotel Corte Altavilla, a collection of renovated medieval dwellings. Other features include daily breakfast, eight days of car rental and hotel service charges and taxes. The itinerary includes Bari; Ostuni, known as the White City because of its abundance of whitewashed buildings; the caves of Castellana; the 13th century Castel del Monte and the Baroque town of Lecce. For more info or to book, go to www.tourcrafters.com.
Europe Editor: Felicity Long
Phone: (781) 659-1301
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