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Virgin Atlantic Introduces New $160 Million Upper Class Cabin

Travel Pulse  |  Virgin Atlantic Airways has introduced a new Upper Class cabin that is part of its £100 million redesign of the Upper Class product. Virgin has created a new website that has a virtual tour of the new cabin. The site links to more than 40 YouTube videos that feature the new cabin.

The new cabin features an eight-foot-long bar billed as the longest in the sky...

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Air France-KLM Considers Launching Low-Cost Carrier

Travel PulseAir France-KLM is considering starting a low-cost domestic carrier in order to compete with low-cost rivals, according to press reports. The company would not comment, but the French news agency AF reported that the airline is considering setting up a new entity within the airline that could compete with low-cost carriers that are eating into the airline’s market share.

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USTA Launches Gulf Oil Spill Information Website

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Travel Pulse
GulfTravelUpdate.com, a portal site that centralizes links to up-to-date travel and recovery information on Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi—the states directly affected by the BP Oil Spill. GulfTravelUpdate.com includes links to traveler information from federal, state and local sources, plus oil spill news coverage and a map featuring the spill's impact on gulf shores from media partner USA Today. Deals and special offers for travel to the Gulf Coast region are also available.

“This site compiles a tremendous amount of information from states, destinations and agencies on the status of beaches and coastal communities along affected areas of the Gulf Coast," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. (...) Photo courtesy of GulfTravelUpdate.com.

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Five Nashville Hotels Reopen After Flood

Travel Pulse |  Five of the seven hotels in the Nashville, Tenn., area that were affected by the recent flooding have reopened, according to STR. The seven properties that were closed by the flooding include 3,920 guestrooms, which represent 11 percent of the 35,629 rooms in the metropolitan Nashville market.

Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, which experienced severe damage and remains closed, accounts for 2,881 rooms and 8 percent of the market’s total room inventory. The resort is a major economic driver for the Nashville market, and its closing will have a dramatic effect on the area’s hotel industry.


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Survey Puts Italy First for Packaged Travel in 2009

200912-b-italy-03jpgTravel Pulse | Despite the worldwide recession, Americans’ love affair with Italy continues, with the country ranked first as top international destination for packaged travel, according to the U.S. Tour Operators Association (USTOA). In USTOA’s annual informal poll of member companies, Italy—for the seventh consecutive year—placed as the top international country for packaged travel, as well as the top destination overall for packaged travel.

For the second year in a row, Egypt ranked second to Italy, as well as the hottest up and coming country. Australia ranked third as most popular international destination.

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