UP AND AWAY: German carrier LTU said it will pay agents 9%
commission, with no cap, on bookings of its new nonstop flights
from New York (Kennedy) to Dusseldorf, Germany. The daily service
(except Wednesdays) starts May 2 from Kennedys Terminal 4, with
introductory fares from as low as $348 roundtrip (when booked by
March 14). The New York also debut LTUs new First Comfort
business-class cabin. LTU also flies from Los Angeles and Miami,
Orlando and Fort Myers, Fla. For more, call (866) BOOK-LTU
(866-266-5588) or log on to www.ltutrade.com.
SPECIALTY: The Travel Institute, in Wellesley, Mass., is
peddling its latest destination specialist course, Destination
Specialist Southern Europe, for $59 -- $20 off the regular $79 cost
-- through March 11. The course covers 11 Mediterranean
destinations -- Andorra, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Greece, Italy, Malta,
Monaco, Portugal, San Marino, Spain and Turkey -- and includes maps
and information for each destination, along with sales strategies,
itineraries, tour products and a study guide. Other European
courses in the series include European Culture and Heritage,
France, Northern and Central Europe, and Spain. For more, visit www.thetravelinstitute.com or call (800)
DOEUVRES: Amid reports that U.S. travel to France this
year may repeat the 10% growth recorded in 2004, the French
Government Tourist Office, Maison de la France published 400,000
copies its official annual brochure. The 96-page FranceGuide 2005
is chock-full of articles by and about celebrities -- such as
Brazilian author Pablo Coelho and French-born National Basketball
Association star Tony Parker -- and features on walking, golfing,
film festivals, cuisine and more. A Spanish-language edition will
be available by mid-March. To order copies, visit www.franceguide.com/us or call (514)
" From the offbeat desk: Los Angeles operator Pure Adventures is
offering Dracula-themed hiking and walking tours for groups in
little-visited Transylvania, Romania. The guided tours take in
Bucharest, Sighisoara -- birthplace of Vlad Tepes, better known as
Vlad the Impaler or Count Dracula -- Castle Bran, incorrectly but
commonly referred to as Draculas Castle, and more. The 7-night
itinerary includes inn accommodation, scenic hikes of 4- to
6-hours, most meals, English-speaking guides and all transfers.
Prices start at $845 per person, based on at least six hikers.
Private, 2-person tours can depart for $1,260 per person. Agent pay
is 10%. Call (800) 960-2221 or visit www.pure-adventures.com.
" Italy operator Tuscan Way introduced two-tiered pricing and added
four- and five-night packages to its usual full- and half-week
offerings for small groups, at all three of its Tuscany culinary
vacation venues: Villa Castelletti, nine miles from Florence,
Italy; Casa Innocenti, in Arcidosso; and Villa Gaia, near Seggiano.
First-tier pricing on three- to six-night deals runs from $1,690 to
$3,390 per person, double; second-tier ranges from $1,290 to
$2,890. Departures run March 1 to Nov. 30. Tuscan Way pays 10%
commission. Call (800) 766-2390 or (305) 598-8368; or visit www.tuscanway.com.
UP: The Beau-Rivage Palace in Lausanne, Switzerland, rolls
out the welcome mat for music lovers at the Cully Jazz Festival
from April 1 to 9 with a special offer. Its 2-night All that Jazz
package -- priced at 650 Swiss francs or about $559 per night,
double -- includes two tickets to a performance; dinner for two at
hotel restaurant La Rotonde; daily breakfast; wine tasting for two;
and transport to and from the village of Cully, 15 minutes away.
For more or to book, contact the hotel direct at (011) 41-21
613-3333 or www.brp.ch, or contact The Leading Hotels of the World
at: (800) 223-6800 or www.lhw.com.