Rocco Forte Hotel Collection Exclusive Room Upgrade Promotion

Take advantage of this exclusive offer between Protravel International and the
Rocco Forte Hotel Collection.

Reserve a room reservation by June 15th and receive a confirmed room upgrade.

All reservations made between NOW and JUNE 15th, 2010 will receive a confirmed room upgrade within 48 hours plus the normal Virtuoso Amenities. This is valid for Hotel stays from now until December 28, 2010.

In most cases you will only have to guarantee the reservation with your credit card, and NOT Pre-pay the entire Hotel stay, which is required by both Travelocity and

“Promotion includes upgrades up to and including Jr. Suites”. This means that when you book a room category just below our Jr. Suites, the upgrade will be granted up to the Jr. Suite. Upgrades beyond this category do not qualify. For the most part, this is because of limited capacity in the higher suite categories. Of course, should you choose to book a Jr. Suite or above, an upgrade would still be granted upon arrival–based on availability.


Hotel de Rome, Berlin

Hotel Amigo, Brussels

The Balmoral, Edinburgh

Hotel Savoy, Florence

Villa Kennedy, Frankfurt

Le Richemond, Geneva

Brown’s Hotel, London

The Charles, Munich

The Augustine, Prague

Hotel de Russie, Rome

Hotel Astoria, St. Petersburg

The Verdura Golf and Spa Resort, Sicily

As you are most likely aware, there can be several prices at a particular hotel for the same time period. I have selected “Browns Hotel” and the dates June 15-17th, 2010, as an example for over-all cost comparisons.

Reserve a Classic King Room at 521.13USD (plus taxes) then be upgraded to the Executive King Room at NO additional cost to you. A savings of up to approximately of 350.00USD per day when compared to alternative on-line reservations websites.

Blackout Dates:

The Augustine, Prague
– 4th Oct 2010

Hotel Astoria, St Petersburg
– 16th – 20th June 2010

Hotel Amigo, Brussels
– EU Summit: 17th June 2010
– EU Summit: 14th – 15th September 2010
– EU Summit: 4th – 7th October 2010
– EU Summit: 28th October 2010
– EU Summit: 16th December 2010

The Balmoral, Edinburgh
– 15th – 18th July 2010
– Edinburgh Festival: 6th – 28th August 2010

Brown’s Hotel, London
– Royal Ascot: 15th – 17th June 2010
– Wimbledon: 21st Jun – 4th July 2010
– Farnborough Air show: 18th – 25th July 2010
– Freeze Art: 14th – 17th October 2010

Hotel de Rome, Berlin
– No blackout dates

The Charles Hotel, Munich
– Expo Real: 4th – 6th October 2010

Villa Kennedy, Frankfurt
– Automechanica Fair: 13th – 16th September 2010
– Bookfair: 5th – 6th October 2010

Le Richemond, Geneva
– July 15 through August 9

Hotel de Russie, Rome
– 15th to 19th June 2010
– 19th to 24th September 2010
– 8th to 10th October 2010
– 28th October to 5th November 2010

Hotel Savoy, Florence
– 15th to 18th June 2010

Verdura Golf and Spa Resort, Sicily
– Month of August

If you would like to take advantage of this exclusive offer, please feel free to contact me before the expiration date of June 15, 2010.  I will be pleased to price out your hotel stay.

Arthur D. Wright
Travel Consultant
Rich Worldwide Travel
A Division of  Protravel International
Harrison, New York 10528


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Cruise West’s Alaska Experience

Within more than half a million square miles lies a world so vast, so rich, that even with repeated visits you will never grasp its scope.  Alaska.  Known as the Great Land, it is a place of extremes.  Majestic mountains.  Thundering glaciers.  Picturesque ports.  Ancient cultures.  Towering rainforests.  Sweeping tundra.

Cruise West’s small ships share Alaska’s secrets with you.  Four unique voyages in the coastal waterways of Southeast Alaska offer unique insights and rare experiences. Your journey will take you away from crowds to the grandness of the special places around you, the hidden fjords, the secret coves, the Native villages and the enchanting ports.

Your choices of itinerary are as wide as the Alaskan sky and Cruise West’s small ships take you to more of Alaska than any other cruise line.  From 4-day to 11-day cruises, there’s an itinerary that’s just right for your dreams.

Two exciting routes explore Alaska’s Inside Passage with routes from Seattle to Juneau, and round trip Juneau, all exploring the charming ports and scenic waterways of the legendary Inside Passage.  Lush evergreen forests, snow capped mountains, calving glaciers, breaching whales and gatherings of bald eagles invite you to one of the last great wild places on earth.

With more permits than any other cruise line, our Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve cruises offer you an unending panorama of wildlife, fjords and the wilderness heart of Alaska, allowing you to discover the real Alaska, accompanied by an onboard National Park Service Ranger and a Native Cultural Interpreter.

Beautiful Prince William Sound is the home of mammoth glaciers, colonies of seabirds, a myriad of wildlife like humpbacks, orcas, grays, otters, seals and sea lions.  This spectacular region of meandering shorelines studded with hidden islands and enfolded fjords is a hidden treasure where few roads reach and even fewer cruise lines go.  Here is a pristine landscape the world has come to treasure.

Alaska’s glorious coastlines stretch for more than 6,000 miles.  Yet these enchanted waterways only reveal part of its beauty because Alaska’s interior is also filled with surprises.  To complete your Alaska voyage, come to the heartland.  Discover mountain ranges, vast landscapes that are home to moose, caribou, grizzlies and wolves.  From the enormous wilderness of Denali National Park to the serene peace of remote, rustic lodges, when you add a land tour to your cruise, you’ll capture even more of the unsurpassed beauty that is Alaska.

Come with Cruise West on the trip of a lifetime to experience the realization of something you’ve dreamed about, planned for and looked forward to.  Seeing Alaska by small-ship will get you closer let you see more and show you personally what Alaska truly means.

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Click the image to enlarge



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Protravel International Acquires Rich Worldwide Travel

As a travel agent with Rich Worldwide Travel, I am extremely excited about this merger.   As a result of the this merger, we will become a much larger and stronger entity with more bargaining power with the Travel Industry suppliers.  This will enable us to pass along some additional cost savings to our clients.  Additionally we will be receiving special offers that we will pass along to our clients.  These offer may sometimes not be available to the general traveling public.  I will keep your posted with updates as they occur.

New York, NY – June 30th, 2009 – Protravel International Inc. announced today that it had acquired Rich Worldwide Travel.  According to Priscilla Alexander, President of Protravel, “with three of the Rich offices in primary Protravel locations, it is a natural merger of similar customers and business philosophies.”

Rich Worldwide, headquartered in Westchester, NY and founded by Ina and Alan Rich in 1954, has been jointly run for the last few years by their two daughters, Michele and Donna, and their sons-in-law, Nathan Devore and Richard Esman.  The four principals will continue with the merged companies in senior management positions.  With annual sales of $60 million, Rich joins Protravel International, Virtuoso’s Top Producer, reinforcing its position in the premium travel market.

“As a family-run business it was important to find the right agency with which to merge; one that mirrored our business philosophy and direction” said Co-President Richard Esman; “When considering potential partners we looked for several things; an agency with impeccable credentials, a fine reputation for service, a similar business philosophy, smart people and a company committed to growth in the long term.  We believe Protravel is all of that, and more.”

Founded in 1984 by Priscilla Alexander, and with over 650 people in 20 locations, Protravel is one of the leading agencies in the U.S., focusing on premium leisure business and corporate accounts in the $1 – $10 million range.  Protravel has successfully established itself as an agency that combines boutique service with state of the art technology and strong cost containment, delivering measurable value.  With a similar client base and shared business philosophies, this merger makes perfect sense and by joining forces they are no longer competing in the same space.

Never one to look backwards, Alexander said that future considerations were paramount in everyone’s thinking.  “This merger affords us the ability to position ourselves for growth in a very competitive industry, allowing us to leverage expanded sales on behalf of our clients, while finding economies of scale that will permit us to invest in people and technology for continued success.”


June Travel ASAP Newsletter brought to you by Virtuoso and its Partners

Here are some great travel deals from VIRTUOSO.

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Click the image to enlarge


IGLTA Announces Partnership with the Cruise Lines International Association

IGLTA and CLIA Organizations join forces to increase visibility, cross-promotion and joint membership.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla., March 10, 2009 — The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) and the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) are proud to announce a new cooperative agreement that will bring the two organizations together on a variety of educational, marketing and member recruitment opportunities.

Under the new agreement, IGLTA and CLIA will not only exchange memberships, but also work together to identify prospective members and joint visibility opportunities in domestic and international markets. Both organizations will support and recognize each other as industry partners at their respective events and annual conventions, including registrations and trade show exposition space.

“With a growing and diversifying membership, IGLTA and its leaders have been focused on increasing the organization’s strategic ties within the travel industry, and this new partnership with CLIA is a major component of that continued outreach,” said IGLTA Executive Director John Tanzella. “I have no doubt that our working together is going to mean many great things for both our membership rosters and the industry at large.”

Created in 1975 by approval of the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission, CLIA is the world’s largest cruise industry trade organization. Today, over 16,000 North American travel agents are registered members. The organization’s 23 member cruise lines sail the world and source guests globally, and these cruise lines represent over 97% of the cruise capacity marketed within North America . Programmatically, CLIA is engaged in travel agent training, research and marketing communications to promote the value and desirability of cursing. The organization also participates in the regulatory and policy development processes for the cruise industry while supporting measures that foster safe, secure and healthy cruise ship environments.

“The gay and lesbian community is very important to the cruise industry, and we look forward to working with IGLTA to promote cruises for all who love to travel,” said Robert Sharak, CLIA executive vice president, marketing and distribution. “The cruise industry has shown tremendous growth over the last twenty years or more in part because the variety of cruise vacations has exceptional appeal for a diverse audience. There is a cruise for every taste, interest and budget, and all travelers are made to feel welcome.”

In January 2009, CLIA reported an optimistic outlook for its industry for the remainder of what is already an economically challenging year around the globe, citing (among many other positive indicators) a still-solid popularity among consumers for cruising, $4.8 billion USD in new ship construction, a diversification in global and “close to home” ports and destinations, and strong growth statistics that have followed the cruise industry through a number of economic downturns since the 1980s.

“There is no doubt that 2009 represents an uncertain environment, not only for CLIA members but for all industries and consumers,” said Terry L. Dale, CLIA’s president and CEO. “However, CLIA members are confident that they will weather the challenges and emerge stronger than ever, as they have before. This is an industry that plans ahead and invests in the future, as evidenced by the impressive number of new ships on order through 2012. The remarkable diversity and variety of cruises give consumers a unique opportunity to find a vacation that fits their budget even during these economic downturns, and we expect that North Americans, Europeans and travelers from all over the world will respond positively.”

Earlier this month, IGLTA released similarly optimistic findings demonstrating the steady strength of the gay and lesbian travel market despite economic conditions that are causing many consumers to alter their spending habits. According to the organization’s press release, which quotes data collected online by Harris Interactive and Witeck-Combs Communications, gay and lesbian travelers continue to vacation in greater numbers than many of their counterparts in the marketplace today. Of particular note is the finding that this niche — which is characteristically brand loyal to gay and lesbian “friendly” companies — is currently buoyed by a growing market power and a higher than average amount of discretionary income.

“When considered side by side, the current findings and projections about the cruise industry and the gay and lesbian travel market suggest a natural partnership between IGLTA and CLIA,” Tanzella said. “Though no industry, organization or single consumer is exempt from the economic downturn, opportunities for growth still exist, and I’m convinced that our two organizations working more closely will demonstrate that.”

IGLTA is the world’s leading authority, resource and representative of gay and lesbian travel. Its membership is located in 55 countries around the world and consists of accommodations, airlines, tour operators, travel agents, tourism office, media and other key players in the tourism industry. IGLTA works to help the tourism industry attract gay and lesbian consumers and learn more about the gay and lesbian market. Since its founding in 1983, IGLTA has expanded its international influence from just 25 members to over 2,000.

My personal note in regards to this wonderful news announcement and joint partnership. There are currently many great cost values and promotions on many of the various cruise lines. When selecting a particular Cruise and the ports of destinations, please be aware that not all ports of call are GLBT friendly and  in some counties our life style is not accepted. The port and and or the country maybe on your “list of places” to visit and experience. Just be aware of this issue. Make the most of the experience enjoy the sites and experience but be aware.

February’s Travel ASAP Newsletter brought to you by Virtuoso and its Partners.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentines Day, and reflected upon this past President;s Day Holiday.

I recently discovered a wonderful web site and I thought that you might spend some time reviewing it. Afterward venture on your own to explore more about the history of the United States: presidents of the United States and our neighbor to the North, Canada.

We’re on the verge of another change of seasons is upon us, some people may be unhappy with the passing of Winter yet speaking for myself I am thrilled Spring is actually right around the corner.

I am honored to work as a Travel Agent with Virtuoso and I am pleased to suggest a partial glimpse of the many adventures and costs savings information onto you to review.

As you will see in these selected programs the product ranges goes from Skiing in Aspen Colorado slopes to the Beaches of Florida and to the Cruises of Alaska, from Golf to NASCAR.

This will be part of a series:  Europe, South America and Mexico, Asia and the Caribbean will also posted this week.

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Click the image to enlarge

Ritz Carlton Hotels promotes “VOW TO HELP OTHERS” PROGRAM

As a Travel Agency, Rich Worldwide Travel and myself,  are proud members of the Ritz Carlton Star Program and  also Virtuoso.  I was very thrilled to read of this new promotion.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company has just announced a new program: “VOW TO HELP OTHERS” PROGRAM GIVES NEWLYWEDS A GOOD START ON MARRIED LIFE.

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News update: This program is has also just been confirmed to me that the participating Ritz Carlton Hotels and Resorts will offer this promotion for Same Sex Civil Unions and Marriages as well as Heterosexual Couples.

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In order to qualify for this promotion:  the wedding reception must be reserved and take place at one of the qualifying Ritz-Carlton and Resort facilities.

Below is the copy of the Ritz Carlton Hotels and Resorts Press Release.

CHEVY CHASE, MD – February 5, 2009 – Along with an exchange of rings and traditional marital pledges, newlywed couples celebrating their marriage at a Ritz-Carlton Hotel or Resort, can also include “A Vow to Help Others”. This commitment allows them to share the happiness of their special day with those in need, including local charities, by donating a portion of their reception costs to a cause close to their heart, as well as worthwhile organizations supported by the Community Footprints Fund.

Beginning February 14, 2009, “A Vow To Help Others” gives wedding couples the opportunity to donate five percent of the total food revenue from their event equally between a charity of their choice and to the Community Footprints Fund, sponsored by The Ritz-Carlton, which benefits hunger and poverty relief, disadvantaged children, and environmental conservation.

“For over twenty-five years The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company has been committed to the support of local charities and causes” explained Sue Stephenson, vice president, Community Footprints. “We know that many of our guests actively participate in worthwhile activities in their community, and want the opportunity to include this spirit of giving as part of their special day. “A Vow To Help Others” is a unique way for our hotels to partner with wedding couples to make their wedding experience both memorable and personally enriching,” she added.

“A Vow To Help Others” is applicable to wedding events booked prior to December 31, 2009 – for events taking place prior to December 31, 2010. It is based upon program availability at all Ritz-Carlton Hotels and Resorts in the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Please feel free to contact me for further details or any questions you may have.

Happy Valentines Day to all, and for those of you that are in the midst of making your wedding plans, you might to consider this promotion from The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and support your favorite charity at the same time.