Travel Weeklys Europe E-letter: April 13, 2005

VAN GOGH SHOW: The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam will host an exhibit of more than 100 rarely seen drawings by Vincent van Gogh from July 2 to Sept. 18. The delicate works, collected from museums worldwide, reveal the artists talent as a draftsman. The show was compiled together with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where the show will be presented from Oct. 11 to Dec. 31. For more information, visit www.vangoghmuseum.nl.

MORE GO DUTCH: In other Dutch news, the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions (NBTC) reported that U.S. arrivals jumped 10% in 2004, the third-fastest growth for any destination, after Canada, at +31%, and Asia, at +20%. Overall, 9.6 million visitors traveled to Holland last year, a 5% general increase. Conrad van Tiggelen, Director North America for NBTC, called the results very good news and the result of off-season promotions combined with increased airlift. He predicted more growth for 2005, the 60th anniversary of the May liberation of Holland by the Allied Forces. For more on Holland and Amsterdam, contact the NBTC at (212) 370-7360 or www.holland.com/us.

DEPARTURES:
" EuropeByAir added Spains Air Plus Comet to its discount Flight Pass program, expanding its reach to 250 European cities via 25 partner carriers accepting its one-way, $99 tickets. Air Plus Comet will provide the first nonstop network service between Madrid and Rome and Venice, Italy. For reservations or information, go to www.europebyair.com or call (888) 231-9455.
" Miami-based German air consolidator Hahn Air added Baltic carrier Air Lithuania and Canary Islands regional airline Binter Canarias to the more than 45 European and Russian airlines -- and 15 others -- in its distribution network, which also includes Air Berlin and Aegean Airlines. Hahn pays travel agents 7% commission with no cap. For more, call (800) 639-3590, e-mail [email protected] or visit http://hrticketing.fraserver.net.

ERE I SAW ILIO: The boutique Hotel Ilio in Capo SantAndrea on Elba, the island off Tuscany where Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled, is sponsoring All Sports Weeks in May, combining four days of mountain biking, hiking and sea-kayaking events with three days of relaxation. Bike lessons (May 1 to 8 and 15 to 22) cost about $365 per person, or $470 with bike and helmet rental; while trekking (May 8 to 15 and 22 to 29) is about $210 per person for four to eight people, including activity, insurance and bus transport to and from the hotel. Sea kayak weeks (May 1 to 8 and 15 to 22) offer guided watersports treks at $260 per person, with kayak rental and insurance. Weeklong accommodation, with two meals daily, at boutique Hotel Ilio costs from $567 to $645 per person, double. For more, call (011) 39-056 590-8018 or visit www.ilio.it.

INN-SIDE STORY:
" The 233-unit Le Meridien Barcelona hotel reopened after a three-month closure, sporting a renovated facade and new bedroom concept. The new aesthetic provides a taste of Barcelona, with glass inspired by Gaudi. Rooms feature beds with 14-inch mattresses, feather-down bedding and Egyptian cotton linens; 42-inch plasma televisions; rain showers in bathrooms; and high-speed Internet. Nightly rates start at $338 per night plus VAT. Visit www.lemeridien.com or call (800) 543-4300.
" The four-star Hotel dAubusson on Paris Left Bank is offering guaranteed one-for-one, euro-to-dollar nightly rates July 1 to Aug. 28, a 25% savings. The hotels Summer Escapade deal includes a superior room at $370, or 370 euros, a night (with a minimum three-night stay), champagne and chocolates in room; continental breakfast; Internet access; and 19.6% VAT. Clients booking five nights earn airport transfers. Call (011) 33-14 329-4343 or send an e-mail to [email protected].

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