Gift Card rush Will Boost Holiday Sales Figures

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While online and retail holiday shopping sales have met or exceeded expectations for most retailers in 2005, there is another “rush” for all retailers to prepare for: gift card redemption.

According to Hitwise, an online intelligence service, the market share of U.S. Internet searches containing the words “gift card” was up 32% for the week ending December 10, 2005 as compared to the previous week. In fact, the National Retail Federation expects gift card sales to increase 6.6% this holiday season to 18.48 billion dollars, with consumers spending an average of $88 dollars on gift cards or 15.6% of their holiday shopping budget.

Gift certificates have always been a popular gift choice for the hard to please recipient or even for the lazy shopper. For the gift giver, it allows a quick purchase at whatever store or online merchant they select, with a dollar amount that fits their budget. For the recipient, they can select what they want from a particular merchant and for the most part use the card at their convenience.

But for some, giving a gift card is a cop-out, reasoning it is too impersonal and opting to hand pick a gift and selecting something special and unique for a loved one or friend. However, for some, the gift card is the ideal gift choice, with family or friends even suggesting the store or online merchant they prefer.

For the merchants, it has extended the holiday shopping season because they cannot record the sale until the recipient uses the gift card to make a purchase. This holds down sales figures in November and December, but provides a boost in January when most cards are redeemed. An additional boost is provided by the fact that most of the shoppers who redeem their gift cards typically spend 15% to 50% more than the face value of the card when they select their holiday gift.

There are some downsides to gift cards. Some retailers clear unused gift cards off the books by subtracting off of the face value of the card, an inactivity fee (usually $2.50 per month) after a certain amount of time. Some gift cards have an expiration date and others come with special conditions or restrictions. However, consumer outrage has prompted many states across the country to introduce legislation limiting or banning the fees. Additionally, there is no federal law on gift cards but, two Republican congressmen, Joe Barton of Texas and Charlie Bass of New Hampshire, have requested that the Federal Trade Commission investigate the way retailers conduct their gift card programs.

Is giving a gift card too impersonal? Is it the best gift choice? That question is up for debate and is a personal preference. But with annual gift card sales projected to reach 90 billion dollars by 2007 (Ernst & Young 2005), the gift card is here to stay.

Trip To India Remarkable Tour To India

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India, the land of diverse religions and customs, where you will find religious and pilgrimage sites. Experience the world known sightseeing destination, holistic impression and religious places by embarking on India religious tours and vacations packages India to the renowned pilgrimage and religious sites. There are different types of travel packages India that takes you to well known pilgrimage and religious sites across the country and is its surroundings.

India Tour packages includes adventure tour where you have chance to experience mountaineering, camping and rock climbing on the various mountain ranges in India along with adventure sports. Apart from this it also includes Wildlife tours that takes you to wildlife safaris and visit the wildlife sanctuaries of India. India is also known for cultural diversity which you can experience during classical India tours, fair and festival tours and arts and crafts tours which offer you the scope to experience the cultural diversity of India.

India is a vast country with different states and tourist destinations and sightseeing places. Golden Triangle tours under India tours take you to renowned tourist destinations in north India and central India where you can visit to tourists places at Delhi, Agra, Rajasthan, and Varanasi, Khajuraho, Amritsar, Mandawa, Sarnath, Mumbai and other tourist spots. It also includes South India tour to visit Bangalore, Mysore and Ooty under south golden triangle tour.

If you want to experience beaches, backwaters, mountain ranges, rich cultures, greenery, natural beauty then you have enrolled yourself with north India tour that takes you can visit to tourists places at Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttaranchal, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. Within same tour you can go for adventure sports and activities like trekking, river rafting, camel safari, skiing and mountain biking. North India tour is a perfect tour for all tourists coming from all across the world.

A trip to India is one of the simplest way to explore India with sightseeing in India, things to do India, tourists destinations India and many more for visitors while India tour. A trip to India takes special care while selecting / booking your India tours, holidays packages in India, travel to India along with accommodation, transport facilities, tour route, dinning and lots more facilities that makes your India tour easy and comfortable to cherish forever. They can claim that their services are blended enough to make your India trip a wonderful experience that you remember in rest of your life.

Add More Counter Space By Having Kitchen Islands And Carts

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A lot of people are having a difficult time organizing their kitchen and have enough space for them to move around while preparing food for their family. This often happens to people who have lots of kitchen utensils and accessories. One possible result of this is that their space to prepare food on and counter space becomes limited making one feel congested and uncomfortable in cooking and moving around the kitchen.

A good solution to this problem is to have kitchen islands and carts. This can make things more organized in the kitchen. This is also perfect for those who have lots of utensils and accessories in their kitchen. Kitchen islands and carts remove all the clutter from your kitchen making more space to move around. With your kitchen islands and carts, you are able to put in your spoons, forks, bowls, plates and other utensils in their proper places. And you can even get those with allotted space for microwave ovens and toasters. Kitchen islands and carts simply put things where they should be. This will then provide you more space for your counter giving you more room to move around.

Kitchen islands and carts simply provide the purpose of extending your kitchen and making it neat and clean all the time. Now, you do not have to be in a limited counter space because you have everything sorted out and kept properly. It can also be a protection for your kitchen utensils from being lost or damaged because of improper keeping.

As everybody may agree, kitchens should always be kept clean, neat and organized. This will give you a good image to others that you serve good and clean food all the time. This will also give you a great experience always when cooking and preparing the food for your family. Great food ideas even come out when the environment is just simply pleasant.

So do not just settle for the usual kitchen that you have right now. Make it look more pleasant and have that enough space for your counter and other food preparation needs by having your own kitchen islands and carts.

Atlantas Candlelight Holiday Home Tours

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Many beautiful homes in the Atlanta area are decked out for the holidays and featured on candlelight tours. Many tours have become favorite holiday traditions and are fundraisers for local charities. Here are the highlights of candlelight tours scheduled in historic Grant Park and in the cities of Marietta, Roswell, and Decatur.

The 30th Annual Decatur Holiday Candlelight Tour of Homes is scheduled for November 30 and December 1, from 5:30-9:30pm each evening. The 2012 tour features seven homes that are beautifully decorated for the holidays. Some homes have been carefully renovated and others are newer builds. Rosehill estate and its lovely gardens are included on this years tour. Tickets are $20 in advance when purchased online or in several locations around Decatur. Tickets are $25 the weekend of the tour. Proceeds benefit four youth and educational organizations. Parking at tour sites is limited. It is recommended that visitors use the free shuttle that can be boarded at the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Decatur. The shuttle stops at all tour sites.

The Marietta Pilgrimage holiday tour is scheduled for December 1-2. Six private homes in the Church-Cherokee Street Historic District will be featured, as well as several churches and other historic buildings. Day Tour tickets are $20. The $15 Candlelight Tour includes admission to three of the homes. There is also a $25 combination ticket. Tickets may be purchased at tour homes and at the Marietta Visitors Bureau. Shuttle service is available during the day.

Roswell, Georgias Southern Trilogy Candlelight Tour will be held on December 8 from 5-9pm. Visitors will be greeted by costumed docents at the citys three historic home museums. The Greek Revival style Barrington Hall was built in 1830 by a Rowell founder. The 1839 Bulloch Hall was the childhood home of President Theodore Roosevelts mother, Mittie Bulloch. The Archibald Smith Plantation was built in the 1830s by a well-to-do cotton farmer. Candlelight Tour tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children. All three historic homes have a variety of other activities scheduled throughout the holiday season.

The Grant Park Candlelight Tour of Homes will take place December 8-9 from 6-10pm. The tour benefits three local non-profits in this historic neighborhood east of downtown Atlanta. Eight homes are included on the tour including the historic 1868 Burns Mansion and the 1856 L.P. Grant Mansion, now the headquarters of the Atlanta Preservation Center. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 the weekend of the tour. The tour begins at St. Paul United Methodist Church, where visitors will find childrens activities and an artist market.

Future Vacations Jayanagar Bangalore Is A Travel Company Which Is Known For Its Excellent Client Ser

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Excitement and thrill are the two important factors which drives people to go for a vacation trip. Spending quality time with dear ones gives immense pleasure. In such kind of tour, when we move away from our busy and hectic daily life, we get a chance to revive our lost energy level and inner happiness. In that sense vacation tours are very important to bring solace to our tired body and mind. But if these trips are not meticulously planned, then the result can be different. With a single mismanagement, the charm of the whole trip may wither away in the air of tension. In short, we can say that when we think about spending our holidays in any unknown location we need to get it precisely planned. And the better way of doing it is to consult with a travel company which has sound knowledge of the travel industry. Proper local connections and thorough knowledge of the locations can take your journey to a next level. But, at that same time, you should also check the credibility of the travel agency before investing. As the competition is very tough, you may get cheated in the ocean of lucrative offers. Well, in this matter, one can trust the service of Future Vacations Bangalore which relies on client satisfaction and full commitment. Future Vacations Jayanagar Bangalore is a travel company which is known for its excellent client service and healthy tie-ups.
Credited for its ever-increasing vendor base, Future Vacation Jayanagar Bangalore reviews always keep track of the existing market. Proper care is taken about the budget of the clients so that they can offer the best deal out of their decorative range of travel packages. Led by a team of proficient travel advisors Future Vacations, Bangalore has successfully offered best customized travel packages to its high esteemed clients.
Its wide reach in more than 93 countries, has also helped the company in building a strong rapport in the travel and tourism industry of the country. With over 4000 affiliates, Future Vacations Jayanagar Bangalore looks forward to serve its clients in the best possible manner. At the same time, it also relishes on its extensive experience which has created a profound niche for the company among its market competitors. The sole aim of Future Vacation Jayanagar Bangalore reviews is to work as a master vacation planner for its valuable customers. And during the course of making this dream true, the company will also keep track of the budget constraints of its esteemed clients.

Slip and Fall Lawyer Needed After Vacation

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While on vacation, accidents may occur that require a slip and fall lawyer. Personal injury attorneys represent clients who have been hurt due to stumbling on unsafe terrain, flooring, or natural surfaces. This occurs because pathways are not properly maintained, objects are left in pathways, grounds are poorly maintenance, and/or there is a lack of warning signs around slippery areas. Some common wounds that may occur when spills are taken include lacerations, bruises, broken bones, twisted or sprained ankles and knees, injured backs, and even skull fractures.

Vacations to Ski Resorts

Going skiing can be relaxing and stimulating. Unfortunately, if the ski slopes and resorts aren’t properly maintained, injuries can happen. While every skier knows that ice and snow will be present, they expect walkways around lodges and leading to slopes to be safe. If the management of these vacation spots hasn’t done its job, there may be unnecessary dangers lurking. Vacationers may end up with broken bones and torn ligaments. If negligence caused the spills, a call to a slip and fall lawyer should be made.

Vacations to Beach Areas

Going to a beach town in a mild climate can be a healing experience unless an injury occurs. Resorts and hotels along the coast need to make sure there are no uneven or slippery surfaces around pools and that flooring has enough traction to move along safely. In lobbies, pathways should be clear of furnishing, luggage, and maintenance equipment. If a negligent hotel staff member leaves cleaning equipment or a guest’s luggage in pathways, tripping can occur. Injuries due to negligence require a consultation with a trip and fall lawyer.

Vacations to the Big City

If vacationing in a major urban area, sidewalks and public transportation should be safe to walk on and climb on to. If there are uneven surfaces, accidents can occur. If there is inadequate lighting along a sidewalk or in a parking lot, the darkness can cause numerous mishaps. In restaurants, managers need to not only make sure the food is delicious; they need to clean up spills promptly. If a waiter drops his tray, all beverages must be thoroughly mopped up or the area is an accident-waiting-to-happen for diners.

While on vacation, most people just want to relax and have a good time. They may be enjoying the ambience and adventure and not realize that danger is lurking due to ill maintained sidewalks, pathways, parking lots, and public transportation. If injuries occur, a slip and fall lawyer can help. Medical bills, pain and suffering, lost income, and other expenses can be recouped when an experienced attorney is called in.

A Philadelphia slip and fall lawyer can help you recover your expenses after an injury. Learn more by visiting The Pearce Law Firm: .

The Advantages Of Boutique Hotels

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One of the reasons boutique hotels are so popular is because they directly oppose the accepted hotel normality of hundreds of rooms and bland service. Their refusal to treat guests as anything other than honoured visitors means that they spend time, money and energy developing a hotel where you feel comfortable and at home. This can only really be achieved with low room numbers.

Hotels in this sector have discovered that travellers are willing to pay for accommodation that is different in design and where even full occupancy means they’re not queuing for breakfast or waiting for room service to answer the phones. Instead, fewer rooms means more space and better service, and an increasing number of travellers are taking this option.

Space

Space is important to travellers, particularly those for whom the hotel is an integral part of the experience. Whilst other holiday makers or business travellers simply use a hotel as a base for sleeping and eating, boutique hotel guests want to feel that they can spend the morning drinking coffee and reading in the public areas without feeling like a nuisance, or relax by the pool without worrying about fighting for poolside space with other guests. By taking a definite decision to reduce the number of bedrooms so that each room has more space and by fashioning public areas that guests actually want to use, boutique hotels create a unique atmosphere that appeals to guests.

Design

Boutique hotels are often based in older, traditional buildings where creating larger guest rooms means considerable changes to the internal design of the building. Sympathetic architectural changes can be achieved with careful planning and this allows hotel owners and their designers to maintain and incorporate original features into a more modern, spacious room design. From keeping original windows to fitting the most modern of bathrooms, clever design allows these hotels to provide fewer rooms, whilst at the same time preserving the essential features of the building.

Service

The smaller the number of guests, the better the service can be. This is a concept that’s fully understood by the boutique industry and it strives to ensure that standards of service are exceptional. Any contact that the guest has with a member of staff should be a positive one and, in many cases, members of staff are trained to anticipate guests’ needs, ensuring that they are comfortable asking for anything, including help with activities outside the hotel as well as the facilities within it.

Lowering the number of rooms in a hotel, combined with good design, quality fittings and excellent service all combines to make a hotel unique and that’s what today’s travellers want.

Visit Prices Islands, The Premier Tourists Destination At Istanbul Turkey!

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Prices Islands are also known as Istanbul Islands or Kizil Island. They consist of four larger and five small islands. Visitors love to go to this place after taking city tour as it is a popular escape from the city, with wealthier owning summer houses. It is really a beautiful island chain with lot to see and do. Tourists taking flights to Istanbul may enjoy the activities of horse riding, walking, swimming, picnicking, or simply visiting monasteries and historic buildings on the islands. Many local people in Istanbul own or rent their summer houses to spend their weekend at this beautiful place. The main reason to visit to this Island is simply the peace, quiet and tranquility at this island. The main Islands at Prices Island are;

Buyukada: This is the largest and most famous island at Prices Island. Visitors explore the island by foot, bicycle, in horse-drawn carriages. The strength of visitors taking flights to Istanbul from UK to visit Buyukada Island increases 10 to 15 times in summer season. They use to reserve their flights with flights to Istanbul There are many restaurants, cafeterias and shops around Buyukada Island to amuse visitors. There are also some exotic beaches at Island open for swimmers like; Yoruk Ali beach, Kumsal beach, Princess beach, and Nakibey beach. There are several historical buildings at Buyukada Island to take a delightful visit after taking cheap flights to Istanbul. These buildings are; Ayia Yorgi Church and Monastery, the Ayios Dimitrios Church, and the Hamidiye Mosque.

Heybeliada: It is the second largest island on Princes island chain. It has many copper mines. It has many interesting places to make flights to Istanbul Turkey more enjoyable. These places include; Naval Academy, Greek Orthodox High School, Halki Palace, Virgin Mary, and many more. There are many trekking and hiking trails over the hills to celebrate your tour.

Burgazada: Burgazada Island also previously known as Panormos is the third largest of the Princess Islands. Although the island doesn’t offer much places to overnight but it has many places of interest for those taking cheap Istanbul flights such as; Hagia Ioannes Prodromos church, Christos Metamorfosis Monastery, and Hagia Gheorghios Church and Monastery.

Kinaliada: Although it is the smallest of four islands but is most popular for its beautiful summer homes. Visitors taking cheap flights to Istanbul from UK and other destinations especially from America prefer this island for their summer vacations. These flights may be reserved with air Travel Company

Guide To Exceptional European Vacation Packages

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In this article, we will take a mesmerizing trip together throwing some dazzling light on the charismatic charm of Europe that will urge you to take a vacation.

It is apparently true that we all need a break from our hectic lives that includes monotonous work. A vacation is very mandatory for everybody so that they can reinvigorate their energy and give a boost to their work. If you are planning to take your family on a vacation, nothing can be as mesmerizing than a European vacation package. It would certainly not be wrong to say that the beauty of Europe needs no words to elucidate on a piece of paper. Nonetheless, if need be, the exquisiteness of Europe can be described only in one word, panoramic. It is indeed the most charismatic word for those who have never had a close encounter with the pristine view of the beautiful countries, which are a part of such a magnificent continent, Europe. The European vacations are most sought after by both local and international travelers that take a deep sense of pride in calling themselves as globetrotters.

The people from other diverse continents, who are on their verge to opt for a soothing and captivating tourist destination, can choose to visit Europe at least once in their lifetime. Europe is undeniably is famous for its cultural diversity or in other words, a pure legacy that has been preserved for ages. Other than having a galore of beautiful places, its invincible history is purely revived from time to time. Who can ever forget that the Europe was a witness to some of the undying revolutions like the Great European Renaissance and the Industrial revolution? And, the contemporary industries of the world have their roots in Europe.

Europe has a plethora of places of interest that include World Heritage Sites and some of the Seven Wonders of the World as well. Choosing a European vacation package will make you acquainted with its rich history, unparalleled culture, and lip-smacking cuisines as well. If you are scrutinizing a plan to opt for a Europe tour but are anxious about your tight budget that wouldnt allow you to board the flight on your way to the splendid continent of Europe, then perhaps a cheap Europe tour package can be an appropriate option for you.

Europe is really intriguing and anyone who wants to explore this vast ocean of cultures should at least plan a European vacation. Many have a perception that only the rich and famous can afford to go to Europe. Well, this perspective no longer exists in the minds of people because anyone with a decent income can take a tour in Europe. Most of the conducted tours take you to some of the crucial placed I Europe such as Paris, London, Amsterdam, Istanbul, Athens, Prague, and Rome.

Benefits Of Staying In Holiday Cottages In Snowdonia

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Next time you are thinking about setting off on your travels, why not choose to stay in a holiday cottage? In fact, this is what Snowdonia in North Wales specialises in. There are very many benefits that can be enjoyed by staying in a beautiful holiday cottage in Snowdonia as opposed to staying in a hotel room. Lets look at some of the benefits of choosing holiday cottages over hotel rooms

1)The freedom in holiday cottages is simply amazing
Staying in a holiday cottage as opposed to staying in a hotel is more satisfying and more relaxing than any stay in any hotel. This is because by staying in a holiday cottage, you are able to control your own schedule and do whatever you want whenever you want! It is not a breach of hotel regulations and it does not cause any harm to the facilities. You can have meals according to your schedule and are not limited to somebody elses timeframe.

It is very easy to make your holiday cottage feel exactly like home. This is very hard to do with a hotel room that is invaded every now and then by room service and cleaning staff. Hotels have an air of unfamiliarity and coldness that is hard to disguise no matter the effort made by the staff and management. Holiday cottages feel warm and homely and nothing can deter you from feeling that the moment you step into one of them.

With a holiday cottage in Snowdonia, you have the freedom to relax and take in the gorgeous North Walian scenery whilst enjoying the company of your friends and family, rather than having to endure being crammed into a hotel making pleasantries with other unfamiliar guests.

2)Holiday cottages are very economical
We are currently living in very harsh and chilling financial weather. This means everyone is having to watch the amount of money that leaves his or her pockets. Renting holiday cottages is much more economical compared to hotels as, firstly, most of them are generally self-catering, which means that you will cook and eat your own food. In the long run, you will end up spending less money than if you had checked into a hotel. Secondly, you are likely to rent the cottage with a number of friends and family which means that the cost will be split between a number of you.