TAG: In the wake of near-record U.S. arrivals last year,
the German National Tourist Office (GNTO) rolled out its 2005
marketing campaign, Germany Faces, to highlight cities and
villages, castles and palaces, packaged tours, transportation,
river cruising and festivals. With more than 4.3 million overnights
from the U.S. in 2004, a 15.1% jump, Germany was the third-most
popular European destination for Americans, after the U.K. and
France. The GNTOs www.cometogermanynow.com Web site, for consumers and
travel agents, offers deals from 13 supplier partners, with prices
starting at $439 per person for roundtrip air and hotel.
& FREEDOM: Norway celebrates 100 years of independence
from Sweden this year. Centennial celebrations will include city
festivals featuring art and cultural programs in Bergen (June 14 to
19), Kristiansand (June 15 to 26), Trondheim (Aug. 1 to 6), Tromso
(Aug. 16 to 21) and Oslo (June 3 to 13), where opening Culture
Night events will include public viewing into the wee hours of the
morning at many museums, theaters and other cultural institutions.
Other highlights: The opening of a new bridge to Sweden, at
Svinesund, on June 10, and the debut of the Nobel Peace Center in
Oslo on June 11. For more information, go to www.norway2005.no,
www.nobelpeacecenter.org, www.svinesundslopet.no and www.visitnorway.com.
" Raffles Holdings signed a deal with Tornim Hotel to operate its
hotel in Tallinn, Estonia. The property, set to open in 2007, will
be operated under Raffles Swissotel brand. The Swissotel Tallinn,
Estonia will be the second hotel in eastern Europe for Raffles,
which signed a deal to manage a hotel in Moscow last year.
" The InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) sold 73 hotels in the
U.K. to the LRG Acquisition consortium. The $1.9 billion deal calls
for IHG to operate 63 of the hotels under a 20-year management
agreement, with the rest managed on a temporary basis. Since April
2003, IHG has sold 121 hotels.
MIA: Bridge the generation gap with Italy tours for
grandparents and grandkids this summer. The 10-night Italys
Splendor from Grandtravel, based in Washington, takes in Venice,
Florence, Siena and Rome. The tour includes not only sightseeing,
fine dining and a Tuscan picnic, but intergenerational lessons on
Venetian Carnival mask making, wine distilling and Italian cookery.
Price: $6,990 per person, double; $6,780, triple, with one child
age 12 to 17; and $6,690, triple, with a child ages 7 to 11. The
price includes accommodations, meals, transportation, admissions
and activities, predeparture guidance, a tour manager, an
activities director, youth counselor services, fees and taxes.
Agent pay is 10%. Call (800) 247-7651 or visit www.grandtrvl.com.
POWER: Peter Deilmann Cruises debuted European
garden-themed cruises on its fleet of river ships and its luxury ocean liner,
the Deutschland. The Dresden departs June 4 for Germanys Saxony and
Elbe River regions, while the Princesse de Provence tours the
gardens of Provence in France starting June 18. Later, the Cezanne
tours Frances Normandy region on July 2, and the Heidelberg sets
sail on Dutch and Belgian waterways on July 23. Out on the high
seas, the Deutschland will sail on garden-themed cruises to
Holland, Ireland, England and France, Aug. 3 to 14; Germany,
England, Spain, Portugal and France, Sept. 10 to 22; and Portugal,
Morocco, Spain, France and Italy, Sept. 22 to Oct. 7. Travel agent commission
on all Deilmann products is 10%. Call Peter Deilmann Cruises at
(800) 348-8287 or visit www.deilmann-cruises.com.