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Travel Business News - Europe.

New York, Geneva (AirGuideBusiness - Travel Business News Europe) May 23, 2010

Accor Hotels Accor plans the sale of 450 hotels by 2013 As French hotel group Accor splits from its vouchers business, the company plans to sell 450 hotels by 2013 and will continue to restructure its property portfolio in subsequent years. Shareholders will vote on the division from the voucher business on June 29, and the business is expected to be listed on the Paris stock market on July 2. May 20, 2010

Carlson Hotels, Rezidor Hotel Group Carlson raises stake in Belgium's Rezidor Hotel Group. Minnesota-based Carlson Cos. has boosted its stake in Belgium's Rezidor Hotel Group from 44.4% to 50.1%. Rezidor has franchise rights to Carlson brands, including Radisson in Europe and the Middle East, and operates 390 hotels in more than 60 countries. May 21, 2010

Greece Hotel receptionist Maria Kanelopoulou has been busy crossing names out of an already rather empty reservations book since labor protests turned violent this month, ending with the death of three. Some 27,000 nights were canceled in Athens hotels after the May 5 march, threatening a resource that is essential to helping Greece out of a severe debt crisis. Greece depends on tourism for nearly a fifth of its 240-billion euro (USD296 billion) economy, and one in five people work in the industry. But even with the attraction of its thousands of islands and clear blue waters, all made cheaper by a falling euro, Greece has become a hard sell, as potential visitors are put off by the frequent unpredictable strikes and images of violent clashes at anti-austerity marches. May 19, 2010

Helsinki Helsinki will be the World Design Capital of 2012, a title which is designated by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID). World Design Capital is a biennial designation conferred to one city at a time for merits in using design as a tool for cultural, social and economic improvement. Helsinki won the title for 2012 owing to convincing credentials -- design is embedded in life in Helsinki and in Finnish lifestyle overall. The timing is also right, as Helsinki is undergoing a major transformation in its urban structure, population and economy. Helsinki will use the Design Year to develop the city on a large scale. The theme of HelsinkiOs Design Year 2012 is Open Helsinki -- Embedding Design in Life. The theme forms the basis of HelsinkiOs ambitious program. The World Design Capital project will bring a large number of design events and a great deal of visibility for the Helsinki region. Program planning for 2012 is underway. There will be major World Design Capital events, organized with ICSID, possibly a Design New Year and design world expo. There will be a large number of local events. Many cultural institutions in Helsinki are reviewing their 2012 programs with view to the Design YearOs theme and objectives. There will also be satellite events in many countries. The main program items will be published by spring 2011. HelsinkiOs predecessors as World Design Capitals are Turin, Italy (Torino, 2008); and the South Korean capital of Seoul (2010). For more information, visit www.wdchelsinki2012.fi , www.worlddesigncapital.com or www.visithelsinki.fi. May 17, 2010

Rail Europe, Eurostar Rail Europe Inc. is collaborating with Eurostar to provide travel agents with an exclusive booking incentive through the Book Eurostar Get Rewarded Promotion. Beginning on May 18, Rail Europe and Eurostar will offer a USD10 Amazon.com gift card to travel agents for every Eurostar Leisure Select booking valued at USD250 or more, while supplies last. Bookings must be made through Rail EuropeOs agent site. Eurostar trains have redefined rail travel between London, Paris and Brussels. At speeds of up to 186 miles per hour, the train connects London to Paris in 2 hours and 15 minutes, and London to Brussels in 1 hour and 51 minutes. The high-speed train also features daily services to Disneyland Resort Paris and weekly direct services from London to Avignon in Provence during the summer months. For more information, call 888-382-7245 or visit www.agent.raileurope.com. May 19, 2010

TUI Travel TUI Travel PLC's Russian unit isn't close to a deal to acquire Moscow-based tour operator Yuzhny Krest, a person close to Yuzhny Krest said Monday. Russian daily Kommersant reported earlier Monday that TUI's Russian joint venture was in talks with Yuzhny Krest, which had revenue of USD125 million in 2009, compared to USD469 million for TUI Russia & CIS. May 17, 2010

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Publication:AirGuide Business
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:May 24, 2010
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