How Facebook is changing how we travel

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LET’S face it, social networking website Facebook brings out the narcissist in all of us. Look at it as a “highlights package” of your life, an online brag-book.

Ranking highly among those brag-worthy events in people’s lives is, of course, travel.

Forget posts announcing engagements, wedding photos, pics of babies and cats. According to Facebook’s own figures, when it comes to sharing the major milestones in life – traveling eclipses them all.

With news this week that Facebook has now topped 1 billion users, it is clear Facebook is becoming one of the greatest tools the travel industry has.

Booked.net looks at how social media is creating a shift in the travel and tourism industry.

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Lighting Berlin – the Festival of Lights

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IN just nine days the German capital, Berlin, will see the light, so to speak.

It is a revelation that promises to be spectacular, but it is not the first time…

The annual Festival of Lights is entering its eighth year and transforms the city into a sparkling oasis as more than 50 of Berlin’s iconic landmarks are bathed in lights and projections.

In the past eight years, those landmarks have included the Brandenburg Gate, radio tower and Berlin Cathedral, for this years’ festival, which runs from October 10 to 21, Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church and the Europa-Center will be added to the list of attractions.

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Follow in the footsteps of Doctor Who

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The title card of the Eleventh and current Doctor Who – all rights BBC.

HE has had 11 faces, is etched into the consciousness of millions; yet no-one knows his name – he is known simply as “The Doctor”.

Next year marks 50 years since Doctor Who first appeared on British television screens.

It’s long enough to enthrall and often terrify more than two generations and become a quintessentially British institution.

Booked.net presents a potted history of a sci-fi cult phenomenon.

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Euro 2012 in Ukraine – the final analysis

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Fireworks erupt above Kiev’s Olympiyskiy (Olympic) Stadium to conclude the 2012 European Football Championship – Photo By GLEB GARANICH/REUTERS

THE sport and, of course, the party that was Euro 2012 is over.

Euro 2012 kicked off in Warsaw, Poland and came to an end three weeks later in Kiev, Ukraine on Sunday. The final match for the European Football Championship title saw Spain rightfully claim the title of best team in Europe (and the world) in a 4-0 drubbing of Italy at Olympiyskiy Stadium.

Now, comes the dissection of the tournament.

It was the largest event to be hosted in Eastern Europe since the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Much has changed since then, the “Iron Curtain” fell, the map of Europe has been redrawn several times, what hasn’t changed is traditional East/West bias.

Months of warnings, perpetuated by the British and European media, proved groundless and largely overblown with the tournament hailed as a success.

The criticism of Ukraine was particularly harsh. Mass media alleged Ukraine’s hosting of the Euro 2012 would be marred by racist violence and organizational chaos.

Instead, Ukraine is enjoying the success of an event that has, for now at least, transformed its image.

Booked.net has followed the championship since it was in its’ preparation stages, here’s our thoughts.

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Abba Hotels and Booked.net toast two year anniversary

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JUNE 29, 2012. Spanish-based urban hotel chain Abba Hotels and fast growing hotel reservation website Booked.net are celebrating a two-year working partnership.

Booked.net partner account manager Anna Mosiychuk said the deal brokered between the parties in 2010 had allowed Booked.net direct connection with Abba’s reservation database.

“This means Booked.net customers can reserve accommodation in Abba’s range of hotels across all main Spanish cities as well a hotels in Andorra, London, Berlin and Bratislava.”

That connection was powered by Trust International’s centralized reservation system (CRS), she said.

Trust International is a market leader in electronic reservation distribution via the CRS system, which offers reliable, responsive and fast hotel distribution, with immediate availability of new rates in all distribution channels worldwide.

“The CRS system means when our clients book with Abba Hotels they are offered only the latest information and competitive prices. These are constantly updated across the 17 Spanish cities the company operates in as well as four European destinations,” Mosiychuk said.

Booked.net was proud to have developed the working relationship.

“We are optimistic that this relationship that will only strengthen in future and result in increases in the number of reservations for Abba Hotels long into the future.”

About Booked.net

European-based Booked.net is a hotel reservation website with live connections to booking databases covering more than 90,000 hotels worldwide on a commission-based model. The company’s multi-lingual platform offers hotel descriptions and information in 20 languages with reviews written by real travelers.

For more information please visit http://www.booked.net.

Last-minute Euro 2012 hotel booking a lottery

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ENGLAND’S progression to the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 has led to an army of Lions fans desperately trying to get to Ukraine, but accommodation is a “lottery” Booked.net says.

Airlines are heavily booked and competition for accommodation among the 500,000 foreign fans expected in the Ukrainian capital Kiev is fierce.

England next plays Italy in the knock-out phase of the UEFA European Football Championship at Kiev’s Olympiysky Stadium on Sunday, June 24.

According to online reservation website http://www.booked.net/ there are rooms available in the city if fans act fast.

Booked.net chief communications officer Jared Morgan said a quick search of the site’s data bases revealed a handful of rooms were available in the city in the lead-up to Sunday’s quarter final.

“Admittedly, it’s a lottery, my guess is last minute fans are simply looking for a bed for the night,” he said. “So, if location isn’t an issue, then by all means take the gamble.”

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Hilton Worldwide joins forces with Booked.net

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ONE of the most recognized names in the hotel industry globally has signed a distribution agreement with one of the world’s fastest growing online reservation websites.

The agreement, inked last month, means Hilton Worldwide’s portfolio of 10 brands, 3,800 hotels and 630,000 rooms in 91 countries will be available for reservation directly on Booked.net and its’ network of affiliate websites.

Booked.net director Andrei Grudiy said the agreement created a direct link between Booked.net’s customer base and Hilton’s properties.

“This agreement marks our commitment to bring our customers the best range of hotels and having such a prestigious and recognizable brand on our database is exciting for us and our customers,” he said. “It means we can deliver high-speed and reliable bookings as every booking made on our web site quickly accesses the hotel reservation system.”

Hilton’s loyalty program was also for every booking made via Booked.net, he said.

“We are eager to develop this relationship and we continue to expand as a company.”

We’re not just about hotel reservations

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WANT to keep track of the time and the weather as you travel? Want to monitor what is happening at home while you are abroad? Or simply want to know the time and what the weather is doing where you are?

Hotel reservation website www.booked.net can make it happen.

As the headline says: “We’re not just about hotel reservations”.

As well well as offering your the best deals on more than 90,000 hotels in 17,000 destinations, Booked.net is committed to providing you with the best travel information and news as it comes to hand. We are also equally committed to providing you with practical applications that are useful long after you have returned home.

With this in mind, the team at Booked.net has developed weather and clock widgets for websites and blogs with capabilties that extend beyond the ordinary.

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A special offer from Booked.net and Hilton

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NOW you have the chance to stay in the comfort of a Hilton hotel and save up to 40 percent with a partnership offer available at Booked.net.

Hilton hotels are a great choice for those planning holidays this summer offering the standards of comfort and service synonymous with the Hilton brand.

To take advantage of this offer simply Book a room from May 17 to August 31 and save up to 40 percent off your reservation at your pick of any Hilton hotel across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

In South Africa, Hilton properties offer an escape from hot coastal beaches and adventurous safaris, while appealing natural beauty and ancient architecture surround them in the Middle East and glossy European capitals like Amsterdam, Berlin, London and so on.

The Hilton Durban hotel, South Africa.

Hilton experiences constant change, but its’ warm hospitality is permanent.

Considering the high demands on accommodation in the tourist season of 2012, the Booked.net/Hilton initiative means both brands are offering you the opportunity to experience traditional hospitality with 21st century comforts.

Whether you are about pampering yourself in the spa in the Hilton Durban Hotel, South Africa or relaxing in a swimming pool in the Hilton Munich Park, Germany, Booked.net offers listings of all participating Hilton properties.