Travel Weeklys Europe E-letter: May 24, 2006

THE EUROPEAN TRAVEL COMMISSION is forecasting a record tourism year for 2006, surpassing the record 13.1 million set in 2000. U.S. arrivals in Europe have continued to climb for three consecutive years, despite fluctuating exchange rates. Arrivals reached 12.6 million in 2005, up four percentage points from 2000, passing the ETCs projected 12.4 million. Visitors are showing an increased tendency to hop from one European destination to another, according to the ETC, thanks to the proliferation of low-cost European carriers.  In addition, Northern Europe and the Mediterranean were among the top destinations for U.S. cruise passengers last year, with ports in the Mediterranean, in particular, gearing up to face increased demand.

RAIL EUROPE unveiled an Agent Companion toolbar that, once installed on the agents browser, gives the agent quick access to all the major pages of the Rail Europe agent site. Those resources include airport delays and codes, city maps, weather, tourist office information and currency exchange rates as well as Rail Europes rail pass and rail ticket booking engine. Agents who book a rail pass before June 15 will receive a 25% credit toward the price of another European rail product, either a pass or tickets, booked later in the year. The second purchase, which must be made between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31, must have a value of at least double the credit. For more info or to book, visit http://agent.raileurope.com.

AGENTS WHO BOOK an Avis car rental for their Europe-bound clients by June 30 for travel between Sept. 1 and Dec. 15 save 10% off the rental price. The offer is available by calling (800) 331-1084 and referencing AWD# D730300. European leisure rentals are commissionable from 10%, and agents can also receive cash incentives on Discover Europe rentals through its travel agent program, Club Red. To book, visit www.avisagent.com.

CLASSIC VACATIONS is targeting the upscale family market with a chartered-yacht summer-vacation experience in the Greek islands. A weeklong itinerary onboard the 100-foot Nitta IV includes airport transfers via Mercedes-Benz sedan, champagne reception, seafood picnics and onboard dinners as well as stops in the Cyclades Islands, Santorini and Syros. The package is priced at $85,000, including transfers and meals; air is additional. The charter component is commissionable at up to 10%; commissions on additional travel components vary. To make reservations, go to www.classicvacations.com.

SCEPTRE TOURS created a four-night Ireland package, including car rental and a final nights stay at the five-star Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort, for $279 net. Other features include a first-nights stay at the Clare Inn with Irish coffee welcome reception and a choice of Irish farmhouse bed-and-breakfasts accommodations for the other two nights. Also included are a tour of the Waterford Crystal Factory and 10% discount at the retail shop. Rates are per person, double, not including air. For more information or to book, visit www.SceptreAgent.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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