Travel Weekly's Europe E-letter: Oct. 11, 2006

THE U.S. DEPT. OF COMMERCE reported a 7.7% gain in U.S. departures to Europe in June, the largest one-month gain in U.S. traffic since Sept. 2004 and virtually tying the record set in 2001. Overall transatlantic travel grew in August, despite the Aug. 10 bomb-plot in Britain, with the top nine carriers reporting an average traffic increase of 1.7% for the month. The figures represent a slowdown from the previous two months, which together averaged 5.5% growth in traffic. A peak-season record for U.S. transatlantic travel is expected for the May-to-September period, exceeding records set in 2000.

THE AUSTRIAN TOURIST OFFICE'S largest tourism trade show, formally known as ATB, will broaden its focus this year to include central Europe. The show, now called ACTB, for Austrian and Central European Travel Business, will represent the tourism organizations of Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Slovakia as well as the International Tourist Commission Die Donau, or The Danube, with its member countries Germany, Romania, Serbia and Croatia. ACTB 2007 will take place in Vienna from Jan. 28 to 30, with a pre-convention program organized by the Austrian Tourist Office North America focusing on the cuisine and wines of Vienna. Post-convention tours to Prague and Budapest are set for Jan. 30 to Feb. 1. For more info, visit www.actb.eu.

MANDARIN ORIENTAL HOTEL GROUP is poised to brand and manage 80 luxury residences to be developed adjacent to its Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park hotel in the Knightsbridge section of London. Known as One Hyde Park, the development will feature private apartments as well as retail shops, swimming pools and other leisure facilities that also will be available for use by hotel guests. The Residences at Mandarin Oriental project is scheduled for completion in 2009.

ORIENT-EXPRESS TRAINS & CRUISES expanded its winter menu of seasonal day trips and dining experiences aboard the British Pullman and Northern Belle trains. Passengers can choose from a schedule of holiday lunches, dinners and shopping trips as well as Christmas concerts, markets and festivals throughout Great Britain. Christmas at Chatsworth House on Nov. 15, for example, includes brunch on the British Pullman, entrance to Chatsworth House in Derbyshire and a five-course dinner with champagne and wine on the return journey. The package, which departs from London Victoria, is priced at $530 per person. For more info, visit www.orient-express.com.

TOURCRAFTERS unveiled a four-night Istanbul Hot Deal package for $229 per person, double, from Nov. 1 to March 31. The package includes accommodations at the Hotel Avicenna, airport transfers and daily buffet breakfast as well as a full-day, guided walking tour of the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar in Old Town. Also included are a half-day walking tour of the Spice Market and a cruise along the Bosporus. The land-only package is not available Dec. 29 to Jan. 4. To book, go to www.tourcrafters.com.

Europe Editor:

Felicity Long

Phone: (781) 659-1301

[email protected]

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

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