Category Archives: News

WHY SUMMER IS A GOOD SEASON TO VISIT THE MALDIVES

16 May 2022 – While winter is traditionally the time that many UK travellers escape to warmer climates, for those with a bucket-lust desire to visit the Maldives but without the deep pockets, a summertime stay in this Indian Ocean island paradise may be a great option.

The months from June to August are generally wetter but still warm in the Maldives, and mostly successive days of sunshine. Accommodation prices are significantly lower than in the winter peak period too.

To get maximum value for money, An All-Inclusive stay at a premium resort such as those curated by Aitken Spence Hotels, will also offer savvy travellers the most out of their stay. Plan for a memorable Maldives summer holiday at one of these three Aitken Spence Hotels All-Inclusive resorts:

This One’s For Adult’s Only…Heritance Aarah Ocean Suite Summer Offer
Whether you are parents looking for some well-earned time away from the children, or a couple looking for quiet seclusion and rejuvenation, Heritance Aarah’s new Adults-Only Ocean Suites could be just what your 2022 summer holiday is looking for.

Exclusive use of the Baani contemporary dining and wine pairing space, Falhu Bar and The Adults-Only Udaras Infinity Pool and Bar for guests staying at Ocean Suites.

Enjoy a Premium All-Inclusive experience with decadent delights that include a welcome bottle of Champagne on arrival and a fully stocked dedicated in-suite wine cellar.

An Ocean Suite at Heritance Aarah starts from $1665.00 (approximately £1367.00) per night plus Green tax in July 2022. For more information on Heritance Aarah visit www.heritancehotels.com/aarah.

Stay in Paradise for Longer with Summer Deals at Adaaran Select Hudhuran Fushi
Set in 83 acres of lush tropical beach property near Kani Beach on Lhohifushi Island, experience a holiday in the tropics beyond compare at Adaaran Select Hudhuran Fushi. Blessed with thriving vegetation & pristine waters, the Island of White Gold finds itself in peaceful seclusion in the North Male Atoll making it the ideal Maldives beach and watersports resort to spend a longer summer holiday.

A Beach Villa at Adaaran Select Hudhuran Fushi starts from $439.00 (approximately £361.00) per night for plus Green tax, for two adults in July 2022. Book for 14 days or more to unlock a 15% discount on stays. For more information on deals at Adaaran Select Hudhuran Fushi, visit https://www.adaaran.com/selecthudhuranfushi/ .

Have Yourself A 30-Day Long Stay in The Maldives at Adaaran Select Meedhupparu
Adaaran Select Meedhupparu offers an array of Maldives hotel packages featuring seasonal offers and attractive discounts providing the best Maldives hotel rates, making your family holiday or romantic getaway on the islands all the more affordable. Choose from exclusive Maldives hotel packages such as complimentary seaplane transfers, spa treatment credits and accommodation upgrades to make your long stay as relaxing or indulgent as you deserve.

A Beach Villa at Adaaran Select Meedhupparu starts from $300.00 (approximately £247.00) per  night for the 30-Day Long Stay Offer, plus Green tax in July 2022. For more information on Adaaran Select Meedhupparu offers visit: https://www.adaaran.com/selectmeedhupparu/.

 ENDS

 Check out Aitken Spence’s #SpenceSafe video to see the covid safety practices undertaken at Aitken Spence hotels, ready to welcome you.
Click here to watch.

For more information on Aitken Spence Hotels, visit www.aitkenspencehotels.com.

Notes to Editors:
Image Captions:
Image 1: Stay for 30 days at Adaaran Select Meedhupparu to make the most of the stunning resort sunsets
Image 2: Summer is the perfect time for an Adults Only stay in an Ocean Suite at Heritance Aarah
Image 3: Paddleboarding is just one of the watersports on offer at Adaaran Select Hudhuran Fushi

For high-resolution images, click here.

About Aitken Spence Hotels
Aitken Spence Hotels is part of the Sri Lankan blue-chip conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC and operates 20 hotels and resorts across Sri Lanka, Maldives, Oman, and India. The Company’s owned hotels are reflected under the Heritance, Adaaran and Turyaa brands, popular around the world for its exceptional service and undisputed product and curated lifestyle experiences. The Company’s Sri Lankan portfolio includes 10 resorts spread across the island, whilst the Maldives resorts totals to five, four in Oman and one in India.

Media Enquiries: Fiona Anderson, GEC PR | aitkenspence@gecpr.co.uk

FLOCK PARTY AND SWAROVSKI OPTIK TO SHOWCASE ‘JAY DAY’ URBAN BALCONY GARDEN AT RHS CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW 2022

May 2022 – Bird-loving landscape designers Flock Party, with the support of leading optic specialists SWAROVSKI OPTIK, will showcase the JAY DAY urban balcony at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022 this May. The garden has been designed as an experiment to move the focus of a balcony from a human-centred space to one more inclusive of urban wildlife, and to inspire visitors to implement elements of the JAY DAY in their own balcony space at home.

Balconies are a place where the interior and exterior environment merge, and every element of the design enhances the relationship between the two. From the shading structure providing much-needed shelter for the predator-weary Jay to the planting design offering year-round support for birds and insects, the garden design maximises the small footprint of a balcony via layering and provides a space for both wildlife and people to enjoy.

Su-Yeon (Angela) Choi and Alison Orellana Malouf, Co-Founders of Flock Party say, “JAY DAY is a garden born out of our shared interest in urban birds and how they live in the built environment. We are constantly trying to understand the needs of other species and also to design more inclusive spaces for us all. We are delighted to be a part of this prestigious flower show and to have partnered with the premier optical brand, SWAROVSKI OPTIK, who has truly been a trailblazer in providing instruments that help people discover and understand nature around us.”

Peter Antoniou, Country Manager UK and Rep of Ireland for SWAROVSKI OPTIK says, “We’re proud to support Flock Party’s JAY DAY entry in the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year. There are many opportunities to spot birds and wildlife around urban areas, and we felt the JAY DAY urban balcony garden is a fantastic example of how any space, small or large, can be utilised to welcome and encourage wildlife visits.”

Dr Michelle Reeve, Garden Birdwatch Manager at British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) says, “We are thrilled to be working with Flock Party on their JAY DAY balcony garden entry to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Flock Party are conscientious landscape designers and have created a garden not only to attract Jays, but also to encourage other vital garden wildlife to thrive in a space that people would be able to use and enjoy.”

To celebrate Flock Party and SWAROVSKI OPTIK’s JAY DAY entry in the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year and for an opportunity to bring nature even closer with your own pair of high-quality binoculars, SWAROVSKI OPTIK is offering one person the chance to win a CL Companion 8×30 binocular. To enter, follow @swarovskioptik_birding and @flockparty.studio Instagram accounts and visit the Flock Party Instagram page from 24th May to post your answer to the simple competition question including #JAYDAYsweepstake in the answer. Competition launches on 24th May and closes on Tuesday 31 May 2022. Further details including T&Cs are available at https://www.flockparty.studio/JAYDAYsweepstakeTnC.

For further details on Flock Party, visit https://www.flockparty.studio/home.

The world belongs to those who can see beauty.
Experience the moment!
SEE THE UNSEEN.
www.swarovskioptik.com

For further details on the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) visit https://www.bto.org/

NOTES TO EDITORS

Photo caption:

  • The Flock Party and SWAROVSKI OPTIK JAY DAY urban balcony garden entry in the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is an experiment in shifting the focus of a balcony from a human-centred space to one more inclusive of urban wildlife.

For high-res images, visit https://www.dropbox.com/sh/qu3pguf1dqpd2x5/AADUdiPekiMRqaI_aTySeVDza?dl=0

ABOUT FLOCK PARTY
We are a duo of bird-loving landscape designers, envisioning spaces that we can all flock to and party in. As designers of environments, we aim to cater to non-human agents of a site, to create new relationships and interactions amongst species, and to search for new ways to build and to live in this era of environmental crises. The duo behind the party, Alison Orellana Malouf and Su-Yeon (Angela) Choi, first met in their Masters studies together and are now both practicing landscape designers in the Netherlands and in Switzerland. JAY DAY balcony garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is the collective’s debut project and we look forward to many more exciting bird-brained designs together.

ABOUT SWAROVSKI OPTIK
SWAROVSKI OPTIK, headquartered in Absam, Tyrol, is part of the Swarovski group of companies. Founded in 1949, the Austrian company specialises in the development and manufacturing of long-range optical instruments of the highest precision in the premium segment of the market. The binoculars, spotting scopes, rifle scopes, and optronic instruments are products of choice for demanding users. The company’s success is based on its innovative strength, the quality and intrinsic value of its products, and their functional and aesthetic design. The appreciation of nature is an essential part of its company philosophy and is reflected commendably in its environment-friendly production and its long-term commitment to selected nature conservation projects. The turnover in 2021 was 210.4 million euros (2020: 163.5 million euros), with an export ratio of 91%. The company has around 1,000 employees.

ABOUT BRITISH TRUST FOR ORNITHOLOGY (BTO)
BTO is the UK’s leading bird research charity. A growing membership and up to 60,000 volunteer birdwatchers contribute to BTO’s surveys, collecting information that underpins conservation action in the UK. BTO maintains a staff of 100 at its offices in Thetford, Stirling, Bangor (Wales) and Belfast (Northern Ireland), who analyse and publicise the results of surveys and projects. BTO’s work is funded by BTO supporters, government, trusts, industry and conservation organisations. www.bto.org

For Media Enquiries, Images and SWAROVSKI OPTIK Product Loan, contact:
Sarah Salord | GEC PR | swarovskioptik@gecpr.co.uk

GEC PR Blog – Top Tips for Selling in a News Story to Media

Selling in a press release or news story to a journalist over the phone or in-person can feel like a daunting prospect, however it can also be a very efficient method of securing coverage for the client or product.

Journalists want to understand the story and personalities behind the brand and chatting this through during a call or in-person meeting can be an effective way of showing your enthusiasm for the brand, as well as pitching the key story angles.

So, here are seven top tips to help brands prepare for a selling-in conversation with a journalist:

  • Do your homework – Research the journalist before the meeting or phone call. Read through previously published articles and get a feel for their tone and format. How do they prefer to be approached by brands and PRs? What topics and angles are their audience interested in reading about?
  • Prepare the pitch – Note down the key points of your story (who, what, where, why, when and how) and write into an elevator style pitch. Highlight what makes your story stand out from other brands. What makes it newsworthy and why would the journalist want to write about this?
  • Make it personal – Take a few minutes to check you’re contacting the right journalist and to find out their name and the correct pronunciation. When making that initial contact, make sure the pitch is targeted to the right journalist and is of interest to them and the publication.
  • Time your pitch – Give the journalist enough lead time to run the feature. Newspapers, magazines and online publications all have different lead times, so make sure you’re providing the journalist with enough time to write up the article and share with the publication’s editing team.
  • Keep it brief – Ensure the pitch is short and succinct. Summarise the key points, but while also demonstrating your passion and enthusiasm for the brand. Journalists are usually short for time, so try to share as much of the key information as possible but in a timely manner.
  • Follow up effectively – provide the journalist with all the elements they may need if looking to run the news editorially. Follow up over email and include a link to download high-res images, a quote from a brand representative in-line with the news story and a clear call to action should the journalist want to provide a website for readers to find out more.
  • Develop a relationship – use the opportunity of speaking or meeting with the journalist to build a relationship and a connection. Try to find ways to engage more deeply, which helps increase the possibility of the journalist featuring the brand or the client in the future.

Avoid ‘Passport Panic’ this Summer with APH.com’s Guide to Applying For and Renewing UK Passports

With many travellers having delayed their passport renewals during the pandemic, the Passport Office last week reported an unprecedented rise in demand and is advising travellers to allow up to 10 weeks to process a renewal application*. Airport Parking & Hotels (APH.com) is aiming to help savvy travellers avoid last minute ‘passport panics’ this Summer by publishing a Holidaymakers Passport Guide in the Travel Know How section of the website.

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Why Summer Can Be The Season of PR Opportunities

Blog post by Fiona Anderson, GEC PR Company Director

On reflection, I am pleased to say that my degree was not wasted on me, as there are still a few things I learned as a journalism undergraduate many years ago (okay, decades ago!) that have served me well in my PR career.

One learning that comes to mind around this time of year is the concept of ‘the silly season’. This season essentially falls across the summer months, when hard news usually takes a back seat, due to Parliamentary recess and the school holidays. Softer less serious news therefore gets more visibility.

Rather than the summer being an excuse to down PR tools, it’s actually an opportunity to come up with great story content that can amplify a brand via lifestyle and personality stories. I encourage my clients to think ahead, and give media, influencers, and creators the content they’d like to share to keep their audiences entertained, informed, and engaged.

So far so simple. But what counts as an engaging summer news story when you need one? Well, thankfully there are perennial subjects and events that you can peg your story to that many media outlets and creators will feature, so here are four suggestions of ways to get your content summer ready:

  • Father’s Day gifts or experiences: Do you have a gift idea that could make someone’s Father’s Day extra special? Make sure you reach out relevant gift guides well in advance of the date to pitch to them to secure that opportunity.
  • Ways to entertain the children this summer: This is a favourite topic across lifestyle media in the warmer months, and so a great opportunity for lifestyle brands geared towards the family market.
  • Products or experiences that will make the summer holiday better/easier/more memorable: This makes for useful content for lifestyle and weekend supplements.
  • Summer holiday life-changing stories: Did you form your business idea while on holiday? Numerous media outlets and news agencies could be interested in sharing this kind of story during the summer months.

SIX SUPER REASONS TO HOLIDAY IN SRI LANKA THIS SPRING

24 March 2022 – At the start of March, Sri Lanka announced that fully vaccinated UK travellers could once again enjoy test-free travel to the Indian Ocean island.  And while that is a great reason to shortlist a getaway to Sri Lanka, here are six other super reasons to head to Sri Lanka for a stress free Spring holiday in 2022:

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OPTICS GUIDE 101 – SWAROVSKI OPTIK SHARES TIPS FOR A BIRDS-EYE BRITISH BIRDWATCHING EXPERIENCE THIS SPRING

21 March 2022 – With the official first day of Spring just a few weeks away, the weather is turning warmer and Britain’s springtime wildlife is starting to make an appearance. Whether it’s spotting nature while out walking, identifying local birds in your garden, or searching for those more elusive rare species, now is the time to plan ahead to make the most of those springtime sightings.

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Not Another White Candle?! Lost in Scent is the Go to For Vibrant Mums this Mother’s Day

10 March 2022 – Make the right impression this Mother’s Day with a gift that truly reflects her vibrancy. Lost in Scent candles, incense, and mists, come in a range of bold colours and in scents that evoke nature and memories of intrepid travel, appealing to those who like to live their lives in living colour. Continue reading

HAVE A HAPPY ALL INCLUSIVE EASTER IN THE MALDIVES WITH AITKEN SPENCE

3 March 2022 – The desire for a long-awaited luxury sunshine break and outstanding value for money may appear incompatible, but while costs may be rising at home, a welcome selection of resorts in the Maldives are offering savvy British holidaymakers five star premium all-inclusive stays to fit the bill (!) this Easter. Leave your cares behind and enjoy an Easter sunny at these three Maldives all-inclusive resorts:

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