Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Snow snow go go - gay ski gearing up for 2013: Gay Snowhappening meets Hannibal

Solden: Annual Gay Ski Week
6 - 13 April 2013

Sölden, November 2012 – It‘s a very special time of the year when Annemarie warmly
invites her gay guests to the Hühnersteign Mountain Hut where an atmospheric après-ski
happening awaits them, when internationally renowned Gay DJs entering the turntables for
popular house music parties and handsome gay sportsmen running the slopes on skis or
snowboards together: Tirol’s Ötztal Valley is getting ready for the next edition of the
ultimate Gay Snowhappening. Gays & friends from all over Europe are going to meet in
sporty Sölden already for the 15th time! The program includes plenty of skiing and
snowboarding, endless parties and fun-filled highlights scheduled between 6 - 13 April 2013.

The 2013 Gay Snowappening will see an undisputed highlight: for the very first time guests
of the Gay Snowhappening have the chance to visit the avant-garde theater spectacle
“Hannibal” performed on the Rettenbach Glacier Stage. The admission to the event is
included in the Gay Snowhappening Event Pass. Snow-grooming machines are elephants,
skiers in the role of modern warriors, climbers and parachutists enter the scene as well.
Riders on skidoos cross the Alpine glacier landscape while flight acrobats try to hinder them
heading towards the South. A truly unique and outstanding spectacle featuring top-notch
light effects, music and video shows coupled with pyrotechnical attractions. Hannibal will
take place on Friday, 12 April. For videos and more details on the glacier stage please check

The entire week boasts top events and action-packed programs in a row: entertaining ski
and snowboard days promise a varied ski holiday – boredom is literally unknown! Among
the most entertaining highlights ranks the jovial Hut Evening at Annemarie’s Hühnersteign.
Please book your tickets already in advance as there is a limited number of guests. Several
events and cosmopolitan programs are scheduled at night – like top DJs from Cologne,
London and Tel Aviv or the popular 2013 Sinners Party from Munich. Of course welcome and
farewell parties take place at Bierhimml and Snowrock-Café has its special karaoke night.
Many other attractions await you as well: fun race, fondue evening, moonlight bowling or
taking a bath in the giant Hot Pot!

Last but not least, the famous Drag Queens Melli Magic and Mataina from Berlin will appear
as incomparable drag artists on Sölden’s stage - performing their charming and funny
entertainment. The ultimate Gay Snowhappening has already become one of the undisputed
highlights of Sölden’s ski season, being a part of the scenery like the area’s scenic 3000-
meter high mountain peaks.

More detailed information available at:

Friday, 23 November 2012

Taking on the Spartan Beast - London, Brandshatch

12 miles, forest, mud, obstacles, climbing, crawling, fighting, fire, water and pure energy zapped across the course that took me 2.10 hours to complete.

The Spartan an an adrenaline fueled sport designed to take every ounce of power from your muscles. Sunday 18th was a beautiful day, perfect for the course, not cold nor wet. What lay ahead was anyone's guess, the route was not exposed to us participants.

11am we set-off, running around the BrandsHatch F1 race-course, diverted into the nearby woods and climbing through nettles, brambles, trees and bushes, climbing robe ladders, pulling ourselves up robes, lifting sandbags and crawling through water filled tunnels. The course seemed to go on forever. As we thought we were near the end, the route jutted off into a completely different direction, just for us to face more obstacles.

As we came to the end, it was up a 15ft high wall, jump down, fighting the Spartans then crawling through ice, where just above our heads the barbed wire! I was thankful to finish as my stomach craved to be filled.

In all Spartan is a good course for those looking to do something like this for the first time, however it lacks imagination in the course, and half of the equipment was broken, which was disappointing. But a good leg-up to Tough Mudder...!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Favourite Budget Airline - goes to Russia - EasyJet

Great news for travelers, excellent service, great bargain and brilliant destinations. Another smile has been put on my face by EasyJet....

EasyJet to launch first flights to Moscow outside London


EasyJet will launch the first ever scheduled flights from Manchester to Moscow next spring, when it will also start flying to the Russian capital from London Gatwick for first time.

The airline will also launch flights from Manchester to Prague and Thessaloniki in the spring. It will base eight aircraft at the airport from March 2013 and hire about an extra 80 cabin crew, pilots and ground handling staff to support the new flights.

The four flights a week service to Moscow will go on sale in the next few weeks. The airline, which announced record profits yesterday morning, said it had been awarded the rights to fly to Domodedovo airport by the Civil Aviation Authority.

EasyJet chief executive Carolyn McCall said: "We are pleased to announce the launch of the first ever scheduled services between Manchester and Moscow. These new services exactly fit easyJet's 'join the dots' strategy which is to add flights to destinations from multiple bases across Europe providing passengers with convenient point to point services.

"Russia has a fast growing economy and is a country rich in culture and history - so a direct link from the North of England has been long overdue. With our strong European network we look forward to connecting Moscow with other European cities.

"We are also pleased to be able to announce further expansion from Manchester with the arrival of another aircraft in March 2013. This is great news for the regional economy creating much-needed jobs in the city.

"Moscow and Prague will appeal to business and leisure travellers alike with Thessaloniki promising to be a popular choice for holidaymakers from the region. We look forward to welcoming passengers onboard our new services in spring next year."

Manchester will become the only airport in the UK outside of London offering Moscow services. The airline expects to fly over 60,000 passengers in its first year of service between Manchester and Russia.

The additional aircraft at Manchester will also enable easyJet to launch new routes to the Czech Republic capital city of Prague and Thessaloniki as well as add more frequencies to popular destinations like Paphos and Santorini.

The airline will offer three services a week to Prague on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays along with twice weekly services to the Greek city of Thessaloniki on Mondays and Fridays.

WTM 2012 – Hoteliers really ready for maturing channel management technology

While in parts WTM 2012 seemed quieter than in previous years, attendees were much more ready to develop more sophisticated revenue management strategies as their pricing structures and sales environment becomes more complex. Hoteliers are much more aware of channel management and the functionality required to optimise the performance of their sales channels.

As they look further into how to improve their RevPar through direct selling, better commissions and improved visibility they realise the importance of having the right tools to support them. Channel management is an outgoing, but if used right the cost can be covered in a matter of months, while also helping the revenue manager to yield more.

Our partners Xotels, just prior to WTM, explained the key to deciding on the right channel manager for your hotels .

Channel Management: an ongoing challenge for hotels - part 1

During the Travel Technology Presentation, The Three P’s of Hotel Sales, Best Western Belgium explained the benefits of the right data and direct access to various channels for over 55 properties.
LateRooms explained the challenges faced in the new consumer buying pattern and the points of influence in social media.

While eRevMax identified the opportunities ahead for hotels and how technology must be approached to meet these changing demands.

WTM is an opportunity for hotels to benchmark technology providers and learn about the market, even our own junior team came away inspired and enthused – learning much more about the industry than you can simply by reading articles and making phone calls.

However we have much more education to do, as we launch RTSuite 3 to start optimising and automating channel connectivity solutions for hotels to achieve more bookings at better rates! Check out our new RTSuite 3 in the video below to know more.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012 takes to the road - cruising city tocity has taken to the road with a fully branded GT Cruiser. The gay wagon will be making journeys city to city across the USA with GAY TRAVEL splashed along the side. An exciting development for gay travel and this gay travel information website. Plus they are running a fun competition to SPOT the cruiser.


It couldn't be easier to win a great staycation for you and three guests right here in San Diego!
If you see the GT Cruiser out and about in San Diego just take a quick photo with your smart phone and email it to to be entered to win. All entries must be received before December 10th 2012.
  • 2 Night hotel accommodations for four at the Lafayette Hotel 
  • Bar set-up in your hotel room
  • Dinner for four at IMIG'S Kitchen and Bar
  • Saturday Brunch for four at Baja Betty's
  • $100 Gift certificate for dinner at Hillcrest Brewing Company
  • Sunday brunch for four at Urban Mo's 
  • Door to door service in the GT Cruiser all weekend
Enter your information below and we will text you hints on the GT Cruisers location to help you in capturing your photo!

For more information on Spot the Cruiser, click here

Thursday, 8 November 2012

WTM Preview: Trade show charts the rise of the travel blogger

The travel industry is starting to appreciate the value of blogging, says Oliver Gradwell, founder and chief executive at
For many years, few travel organisations were fully aware of the potential benefits travel bloggers can provide, and were at best, lukewarm about investing in blogger engagement.
But the last few years have seen travel bloggers experience a rise to prominence, and the change to the schedule at WTM is just one example of this shift in attitudes.
At last year’s WTM, travel bloggers found themselves at the heart of the scheduling, with networking events, seminars and tweet-ups throughout the week.
So what happened to instigate such a change? The industry was beginning to realise the power of the travel blogger to change brand perceptions, amplify campaign messages and, to all intents and purposes, become online brand ambassadors.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Video - launching a new product

So I finally got my first chance to properly launch a new product and take it in hand to do as much around the product on multimedia as possible - it's all about marketing. So I am excited to place this video here, the script and producing in which I was involved.