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'Wow' deal destinations for 2013

11:32 AM, Jan 9, 2013   |    comments
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1. Ireland

  • 2013: the Year of "The Gathering," with emphasis on luring travelers from all over the world, esp. the U.S., to discover their Irish roots. - This means huge added value in forms of extra events, concerts, festivals, etc.
  • Economy still struggling - Hoteliers are expected to have strong need periods throughout the year, combined with strengthening dollar against the Euro
  • The Northern Ireland phenomenon - More flights into/out of Belfast means better overall deals
  • Roundtrip airfare from Denver to Dublin, Ireland - 7 nights' luxury hotel accommodations, 5 nights at the Adare Manor Resort - 5-Star deluxe resort boasting an 18-hole championship golf course, fine dining, horseback riding, fishing and spa services, Accommodations in a private 3-Bedroom Villa (w/full kitchen), Attractions like the Cliffs of Moher, the Ring of Kerry and Blarney Castle are a one-hour drive away, 2 nights at the Fitzpatrick Castle - 4-Star luxury castle located 30 minutes outside Dublin. Car rental w/unlimited mileage for duration of trip included - $1570/pp ($900 off, based on travel by 4). Travel June-August - peak summer travel season
2. New Zealand
  • Increased flights: more seats to full capacity means more deals - o Air New Zealand increasing flights from SFO, Hawaiian Airlines adding nonstop flights from Hawaii
  • U.S. dollar goes further: the New Zealand dollar continues slow decline  
  • Tourism push: 10% decline since 2008 - Earthquake/flooding in Christchurch, The new Hobbit movie - Trip to Middle Earth
  • Roundtrip airfare from LAX to New Zealand 
  • 2 nights' upscale hotels each in Auckland, Rotorua and Paihia
  • Auckland (the country's largest city that sits amid fields of volcanoes, lava caves and lagoons), Rotorua (to experience New Zealand's history and culture); Paihia, known for its scenic views of the bay
  • 7-day car rental, as well as all transfers, included
  • Highlights: After exploring Auckland, guests will head to see the glowworms of the Waitomo Caves; learn about the
  • Maori Islander culture on a Te Puia guided tour in Rotorua, which is known for geothermal activity such as geysers and hot mud pools; have access to the Agrodome center to watch a live show about New Zealand sheep farming; relax in Paihia and enjoy access to beaches, swimming and hiking, and board a catamaran and cruise to Cape Brett to see the famous "Hole in the Rock" - $1999/nt. ($725 off)
  • Travel April 1-June 15
3. Alaska
  • Cruising bargains expected to abound in 2013 - Celebrity and Princess have announced that they are adding more ships and departures, increasing capacity and resulting in better deals - Cruise lines also expanding cruise tour options - bundling cruise w/land excursions to Denali and Glacier Bay National Park and hotels
  • 2013: scientific predictions show 2013 (and into parts of 2014) may offer best chances in recent history to see the Aurora Borealis
  • Wildlife Cruise - Alaska - 8-day/7-night Alaska cruise aboard the Norwegian Sun, Cruise from Whittier, Alaska, to Vancouver - Sail past several glaciers and stop in popular Alaskan ports such as Juneau -- the state capital and home to a glacier where bears are frequently spotted; Skagway - a historic town that was part of the original Gold Rush; and Ketchikan -- where visitors can marvel at the legendary tales carved onto Northwest totems - $449/pp inside cabin ($300 off). Sail date: May 27 (add $100 for same sailing June 10)
4. Colombia
  • Expanded air lift means better airfare bargains - Airlines eyeing growth into Colombia: JetBlue, LAN, Spirit, American, Avianca and Taca - Bogota is one of fastest growing airports in South America
  • Flurry of hotel openings means greater availability - JW Marriot, InterContinental and Hilton are adding more properties
  • Shifting perceptions - Increased safety and recognition of dubious image
  • U.S. dollar strength
  • Hilton Bogota Hotel - Bogota, Colombia - Posh 4.5-Star property in the heart of the financial district near Zona Rosa, one of the most prestigious neighborhoods of the city with restaurants, shops, discos and bars. Guests can relax by the pool, experience traditional dishes of Colombian and Latin American flavors, or show off their dance moves in the evenings at Level Bar, which features a resident DJ. - $84-$99/nt. (60% off). Travel through March. Tip: r/t airfare from Denver to Bogota ranges $400-$450 during this travel period (on Spirit)
5. Niagara Falls
  • Aggressive tourism push: area hotels have already begun saturating the market with deals - Rock bottom rates mean package incentives make the room rates effectively free
  • Niagara wine country pushing major tourism drive, driven in large part by aggressive deals
  • Ease of getting there: drivable from variety of NE and Midwest cities, as well as regional airports on both sides of the border
  • Ramada Hotel Niagara Falls - Niagara Falls, ON - Popular resort hotel in Niagara's Fallsview Quarter. Hotel is 2 blocks from the Falls and within walking distances of popular neighborhoods such as Clifton Hill. A free shuttle takes guests to the Falls and to area attractions and casinos - $65/nt. - Deal inc. $70 in dining credits
  • Travel through March, including weekends

'Wow' deal destinations for 2013

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