Dear Fellow Traveler: In this issue we feature top incentive travel trends, fun facts, a five star European excursion to Sweden & Austria and spectacular luxury train journeys.

When you think about luxury train travel evocative images invariably float through your mind: glamorous passengers - royalty, film stars, spies - opulent carriages; thrilling, timeless destinations... all laced with a feeling of romance and intrigue. Today, these luxury train journeys are still among the most glamorous ways to travel. Escape into a bygone golden age, when the "getting there" was as important as the "being there" but with all the vibrancy and zest of today's contemporary world. Coarsing through some of Europe and Asia's most spectacular scenery and famous locations - such as London, Paris, Venice, Bangkok, Singapore - these iconic journeys swiftly became, and still, are, completely unique and one of the most loved and coveted travel experiences in the world. All aboard a once-in-a-lifetime adventure!

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Each carriage of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is a 1920s original and is quite unlike anything you will see elsewhere in the world. Revered as a piece of art and an Art Deco icon, this legedary train offers a step back into a more gracious, elegant age. Romance, adventure and style are all in abundance during the sublime scenic journeys which criss-cross between some of Europe's most alluring cities, such as London, Paris, Venice, Prague, Vienna and Budapest.

Ornate vintage cabins, sumptuous cuisine prepared by the skilled team of chefs and attentive personal service make the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train one of the finest and most unforgettable travel experiences in the world.

Eastern & Oriental Express

Recapture the golden age of rail travel through one of the world's most beautiful and exotic regions. This beautiful train accommodates 132 passengers in 66 private ensuite air conditioned cabins - a unique way to explore South-East Asia. Moving gently from iconic cities - such as Bangkok, Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore - to paddy fields and faraway mountains, all journeys offer a unique opportunity to encounter magical landscapes and people.

Enjoy cocktails in the observation car, and panoramic views from the outdoor "verandah" area. Gourmet cuisine, attentive service and luxurious cabins add to your enjoyment of this amazing region.

Journeys in Great Britain

Embark on a quintessentially British journey around beautiful countryside on board the Belmond British Pullman or Belmond Northern Belle.

Step back in time to the heyday of train travel. No experience is complete without taking a stroll through the one-of-a-kind carriages with exquisite Art Deco marquetry, plush armchairs, tables set with linen, silver, crystal and blush-colored lamps.

Enjoy menus featuring the finest seasonal delicacies from the British Isles, coaxed into classic and innovative dishes paired with the finest wines. All while you marvel in the beauty of Britain's countryside - a magical backdrop to your journey.

S A M P L E--- I T I N E R A R I E S

DAY 1 Board the Belmond British Pullman train at London Victoria station, your steward will show you to your reserved seat. Sit back and enjoy Brunch served with a Bellini as you travel through the Kentish countryside. After crossing the Channel board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train. Enjoy a delicious four-course dinner, prepared by our skilled French chefs. After dinner retire to your cabin, which has now been transformed into a cosy bedroom.

DAY 2 You awake to the magnificent mountain and countryside scenery as breakfast is served in your cabin at a time to suit you. Spend the morning relaxing in your cabin or in the Bar Car chatting to fellow guests. Enjoy a leisurely three-course lunch which is served in another one of the beautiful restaurant cars. While away the afternoon admiring the passing scenery as the train travels through the Italian Dolomites. Later, afternoon tea is served in your cabin. All too soon it is time to prepare to disembark as the train crosses the Venetian Lagoon and pulls into Santa Lucia station.


DAY 1 Depart from Bangkok and settle into your private cabin as the train rolls through the countryside. Dinner is served in one of the luxurious dining cars. Afterwards, head to the Bar Car to relax with fellow travelers or retire to your cosy converted cabin.

DAY 2 After breakfast, disembark at the River Kwai Bridge station for a leisurely cruise along the river guided by a local historian. Visit the Thailand-Burma Railway Centre and take some time to explore the Don Rak War Cemetery. Return to the train and reflect on your day over dinner.

DAY 3 Spend the morning watching the changing scenery as the train travels through Malaysia. After brunch, disembark at the Butterworth station and cross to Penang Island, exploring its pre-World War II mosques, temples, churches, bazaars and shophouses. Rejoin the train for a refreshing cocktail accompanied by live piano music before a glamorous final dinner on board.

DAY 4 Arrive in Singapore for your onward travel arrangements.

Are you ready for a luxury train journey?
Contact us today at 877-288-6719 or jeffholland@monalto.com for a quote or more information

Five-Star European Excursion

This really was European extravaganza! Our client wanted a first class trip for their most VIP employees and customers plus spouses, which included a trip to the home of their product, Sweden, and one other European destination.

Highlights of the trip included amazing hotels in Stockholm and Vienna, Austria, a private jet transfer between cities, an educational tour of the client's manufacturing facility, as well as exclusive tours of historic and iconic locations. Cruises, spa visits, shows, concerts, spectacular dinner functions... the whole nine yards!

Thanks to Monalto (with a little help from Sweden and Austria!) the trip was an unprecendented success. Although the guests had traveled far, each and every person returned home reflecting on what was the trip of a lifetime!

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Where we've been recently...

Our clients visit some fantastic destinations each month! Here are some of the places we have hosted clients recently:

Cuscowilla & The Masters
Lake Oconee & Augusta, GA

The US Grant Hotel
San Diego, CA

The Kentucky Derby
Louisville, KY

The Buccaneer
St. Croix, USVI

Grand Velas Riviera Maya
Riviera Maya, Mexico

The Sanctuary
Kiawah Island, SC

The Lodge at Pebble Beach
Pebble Beach, CA

Did You Know?

1. The world's longest train journey without changing trains is one of 6,346 miles from Moscow, Russia to Pyongyang in North Korea. It takes almost 8 days!

2. Shanghai Maglev is currently the fastest train in the world with a top recorded speed of 311mph and average speed of 157mph.

3. All NYC subways currently in use have a ‘dead-man feature’, which automatically stops the subway rail if a conductor has passed out or let go of the controls.

4. China currently has plans to connect the world by high-speed rail, including an underwater link to the USA running over 8,000 miles!

5. During the Cold War, Westerners could travel only on the Trans-Siberian Express in separate compartments, where they were subject to Stalinist propaganda played on loudspeakers.



Top Incentive Travel Trends

As the U.S. economy swings upward, and incentive travel programs continue to make their slow but steady comeback, new incentive travel trends have taken hold this year. These trends reflect the changing demographics of the U.S. workforce as well as the new economic realities that face businesses on a global scale. For many programs, delivering value means offering family-inclusive programs, or traveling to adventurous, off-the-beaten-path locales. Here's a closer look.

Be Family Friendly
Family inclusive incentive travel itineraries are emerging as a very popular choice right now, especially for companies with a slightly younger salesforce or workforce. This can also prove to be a shrewd move for the business - and a subtle way to provide extra motivation for the employee - as he/she will have to go home and answer to a spouse or children about their potential tropical beach vacation. Instant motivation to achieve goals at the office and at home!

International Intrigue
While many organizations opted to travel closer to home in the wake of the recession and, there are signs that more companies are opening up to the possibilities of international incentive travel programs - and heading to some unexpected, non-traditional locales. Whether it is long haul or short haul, international itineraries for travel incentives still hold the key to providing those once-in-a-lifetime unique experiences. Further distances are no longer a deterrent in motivating travel incentive winners, so long as the eventual destination holds appeal, attraction and intrigue to the individual.

A Cruising Comeback
Cruises have been around a long time, but never before has there been such an astonishing array of things to do, all in one convenient location. The variety of ships, cruise itineraries and destinations make cruising a particularly attractive option for travel incentive groups. Caribbean cruises are defintely a popular options, but how about something different like a breathtaking trip through the glacial fields of Alaska? Larger groups will find plenty of space and activity options onboard some of the new mega ships, such as those provided by Royal Caribbean. Smaller groups have the very desirable option to charter luxurious small ships and design their own itinerary.

Offer Activity Variety
Destinations for incentive travel as having to become significantly more diverse to accommodate for a wide variety of tastes. The old trusted activities of golf and spa are becoming less prevalent and, although they still exist, they provide a fraction of the activity options for any given incentive travel program. The different generations of employees necessitate more of a variety of things to do because each person will be motivated by something different. Some will look for a relaxing getaway while others prefer an action packed itinerary.

Adventures In Demand
Increasingly, more attendees are seeking adventurous itineraries. This may be due to the aforementioned younger workforce, a more outdoorsy and health-concious population, or perhaps people are just getting tired of the same old travel incentive locales. There is significantly more demand for destinations such as Colorado or Wyoming, where guests can enjoy a plethora of summer or winter outdoor options such as mountain biking, whitewater rafting, ATVs, hiking, or snowmobiling. Even tropical beach destinations are offering adventure, with ziplining a particularly popular choice.

Provide Relative Luxury
Traditional notions of luxury no longer apply to incentive travel. It's not always about the expensive hotel or the ballroom dinner, but instead people are looking for the completely unique experience, like dining in the dark in Paris or cocktails atop Table Mountain in South Africa. The perception of luxury of a particular destination or activity is relative to the perceived level of reward for the employee earning the incentive. It's all down to the individual so, if you can tempt someone with what they believe to be a potentially life changing trip, they are sure to graft just that little bit more to earn the prize.

Let's talk possibilities. Contact us today!
Phone 770-998-3123 | Fax 770-998-5515 | Email jeffholland@monalto.com | Online monalto.com
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