Tuesday, 29 January 2013


Films in 2012 cause surges in popularity to movie destinations

In the midst of movie award season, Hotels.com today reveals the top films of 2012 that are sparking huge travel trends into 2013, as UK travellers looked to visit the location of their favourite films. The overall most popular film of 2012 was The Descendants, where searches to Hawaii and its glorious beaches that George Clooney battled to protect, increased by 282% in January 2012, compared to January 2011.

Skyfall may have been awarded a Golden Globe for Best Original Song, but it also fared well in the travel chart with searches to its locations of Istanbul up 171%, and Shanghai up 108% in its month of release compared to the same period last year.

Fictional film destinations also proved extremely popular as holiday destinations in 2012, with The Hunger Games inspiring an increase of searches of 141% to its location of Asheville, North Carolina and The Hobbit also caused a 114% spike in searches to New Zealand on Hotels.com when it was released in December 2012. Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 also inspired “Twihards” to visit its main location of Vancouver, Canada, with searches up 89% in November 2012.

Top movie destinations experiencing the greatest search increases following their release:

Comparison period
Search increase
The Descendants
Hawaii, USA
January 2012 vs. January 2011
Istanbul, Turkey
October 2012 vs. October 2011

Hunger games
Asheville, North Carolina
March 2012 vs. March 2011
The Hobbit
New Zealand
Dec 2012 vs. Dec 2011
Shanghai, China
October 2012 vs. October 2011
Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2
Vancouver, Canada
Nov 2012 vs. Nov 2011

Kate Hopcraft of Hotels.com said, “The search increases to movie destinations just go to show that our love of film doesn’t just end when we leave the cinema, as film fanatics from across the UK have been inspired to visit the top locations of 2012 in real life. With the Oscars just around the corner, it will be interesting to see whether the winning productions spark further travel interest as fans look to recreate the cinematic magic for themselves.”

- Ends -
For more information please contact:
Jennifer Murdoch or Bethany Pearson at Frank PR on 020 7693 6999 or email hotels.com@frankpr.it
Or Kate Hopcraft, khopcraft@hotels.com, 020 7019 2165 / Laura Watts, lwatts@expedia.com  020 7019 2761

About Hotels.com
Hotels.com is a leading online accommodation booking website with over 160,000 properties around the world, ranging from international chains and all-inclusive resorts to local favourites and bed & breakfasts, together with all the information needed to book the perfect stay. Hotels.com benefits from one of the largest hotel contracting teams in the industry, negotiating the best rates for its customers, and offers frequent sales, special deals and promotions. Regular customer e-newsletters provide exclusive offers and advance warning of up-coming sales. There are more than 7 million reviews on the site from users who have actually stayed in the hotels to ensure customers can make an informed choice when booking. Through its industry-leading loyalty programme Welcome Rewards, customers can earn a free night for every 10 nights stayed at more than 85,000 hotels. Under its Price Match Guarantee, if a customer can find the same deal for less on a prepaid hotel, Hotels.com will refund the difference. Travellers can book online or by contacting one of the multilingual call centres. Special apps for mobile phones and tablets can also be downloaded at www.hotels.com/deals/mobile enabling customers to book on the go with access to 20,000 last minute deals. For the last nine years, Hotels.com has published an award-winning twice-yearly review of international hotel room price trends called the Hotels.com Hotel Price Index which is now produced in 30 individual country editions. Follow Hotels.com on Facebook at facebook.com/Hotels.comUK, on Twitter at @HotelsdotcomUK and YouTube at www.youtube.com/HotelsEU. Hotels.com is part of Expedia Inc., the largest online travel company in the world with an extensive portfolio that includes some of the world's best-known brands.

Thursday, 24 January 2013



npower What’s Your Goal? launches, inspiring young people to shoot to the top of the football industry

TODAY, Clare Balding announces she is leading a line-up of 11 successful women from the world of sport to launch npower What’sYour Goal?, an initiative that offers young people once-in-a-lifetime opportunities in the football industry.

For the 2013 campaign, Clare Balding has joined forces with high profile female professionals who have shot to the top of their game and enjoyed success within the world of football.  The likes of Jacqui Oatley and Kelly Smith will join Clare in a bid to encourage more girls and boys to think about a career in the nation’s favourite sport and to continue to boost the profile of sportswomen in the UK, following the success of last year’s Games.

The initiative is designed to encourage teens across the UK to start thinking about their careers.  Clare Balding and the What’s Your Goal? mentors will showcase the vast and varied jobs available to young people, both on and off the football pitch, demonstrating the range of employment opportunities available for both men and women alike.

Working in partnership with The Football League, npower is searching for a ‘dream team’ of 11 ambitious and enthusiastic youngsters to spend a day being mentored by one of the successful sportswomen who have come on board to offer their time, knowledge, and support to the programme, offering them invaluable experience.

Having demonstrated why they should be chosen for one of the coveted roles with a CV and video application,  the 11 lucky youngsters will be thrown straight into the action. One budding commentator will get to give their play-by-play account of the match alongside Jacqui Oatley at the Championship Play-off Final, while another will learn what it takes to be a top TV presenter with Clare Balding. Other roles up for grabs include reporting on all the action with Daily Mail sports reporter Laura Williamson and receiving first class professional football training with Arsenal Ladies and Team GB’s Kelly Smith.

In addition, young people can also get the chance to shadow: Everton U17s Ladies Manager Mo Marley, Sheffield United Goalkeeping Coach Leanne Hall, Exercise Scientist for Birmingham Ladies Ellie Maybury, Sports Photographer Georgie Gillard, The Football League’s most senior female referee Sasa Ihringova, MD at St George’s Park Julie Harrington and Ipswich FC Sales Manager Rosie Richardson.

Clare Balding says:
2012 was an amazing year for sporting achievement in the UK, especially for women, so I am delighted that npower will be continuing to keep up the momentum in 2013 and championing female athletes with What’s Your Goal?

“Football is one of the most popular sport for women, yet it is still perceived to be a man’s game, which is why it is important that young people have strong female role models to look up to who inspire them to kick-start their careers. We are looking for  11 youngsters to take up this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and apply for one of the many roles on offer.

“During my career as a TV presenter,  I have been privileged to present some of the world’s best sporting events. I am looking forward to mentoring a young person and providing them with invaluable, first-hand experience in the world of sport.”

Clare McDougall, npower’s head of education and community, adds:
“Last year’s sporting success had a real impact on young people’s perceptions of female athletes. We want to continue this with What’s Your Goal? and encourage young people to think about a career within the football industry by providing them with a line up of 11 inspirational and successful women from the world of sport.

“However, this is not a programme exclusively for girls; with mentors like Clare Balding, Jacqui Oatley and Kelly Smith, who are hugely successful in their roles, we are offering all young people real opportunities to gain valuable skill and experience, which is so integral to employers when looking for employees.”

Giving more young people across the UK a chance to try something new, What’s Your Goal? 2013 will, again, see npower working with all 72 clubs in The Football League to offer over 350 valuable work experience placements to students in Years 10 – 11 in their local areas, with an exciting and unique opportunity at Leyton Orient FC.

Students in Years 7 – 11 are invited to apply for the chance to spend a day shadowing one of the high profile experts such as Clare Balding, by simply filling out a job application which is downloadable at www.npower.com/whatsyourgoal.


For further information please contact the npower press office at Frank
0207 693 6999/ npower@frankpr.it

Notes to Editors
The eleven national mentors include:
1.      Clare Balding, TV Presenter
2.      Jacqui Oatley, Sports Commentator
3.      Kelly Smith, Professional Football Player
4.      Mo Marley, Manager
5.      Leanne Hall, Goalkeeping Coach
6.      Laura Williamson, Sports Journalist
7.      Georgie Gillard, Sports Photographer
8.      Ellie Maybury, Exercise Scientist
9.      Sasa Ihringova, Referee
10.    Julie Harrington, MD at St George’s Park
11.    Rosie Richardson, Sales Manager

Young people in Year 7 through to Year 11 can enter the competition to spend a day with one of the ‘dream team’ mentors by simply filling out an application form found at www.npower.com/whatsyourgoal. Deadline for entries is 1st March 2013.

The Football League will also provide over 350 work experience roles for students in Year 10 or Year 11.  Visit www.npower.com/whatsyourgoal to see which roles each of the 72 clubs is offering. Deadline for entries is 1st March 2013.  

Monday, 21 January 2013



European Toddler Nutrition Index examines how UK toddler diets fare against their European playgroup contemporaries

A new survey released today reveals that UK toddlers are discerning diners and the most likely in Europe to refuse food (69%), with one in seven (13%) rejecting some foods at every meal.
The first ever European Toddler Nutrition Index, commissioned by GrowingUpMilkInfo.com, examines the attitudes to diet and food of mums with toddlers in: the United Kingdom, Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and Italy.

Toddler tantrums spark angst in UK mums

Mealtime tantrums are common in homes across Europe, with nearly one in ten (8%) UK toddlers frequently flinging food they don’t like at the wall or on the floor in protest. Surprisingly, more than a quarter (26%) of UK toddlers refuse meals at least once a day, compared to just one in seven (15%) French toddlers.

Refusing food leaves most UK mums feeling frustrated (51%), worried (38%), upset (24%), and even angry (12%). The result is that more than one in ten UK mums (12%) think they are ‘bad mothers’ when their child refuses food, compared to only a small percentage of Dutch mothers feeling like a bad parent when letting their toddler get away with not eating healthy meals (3%).

Leading child nutritionist Dr Carrie Ruxton comments: “Toddlers have distinct nutritional requirements that aren’t always easy to meet and, while it can be a struggle to provide them with all of the hard to get nutrients they need, mums will be pleased to know that it isn’t impossible.
“Fussy eating is a daily occurrence for most families and one that we now know is prevalent in the UK, with more children throwing food here than in any of the other European countries polled. Survey results reflect this behaviour is taking its toll on UK mums but it’s important to remember that shouting, bribing with sweet treats or TV only tends to make things worse. A calm approach to mealtimes, using encouragement, stickers, or special playtime as rewards, is more effective.”

UK mums cave under the pressure to please

Over 4 in 10 UK mums (43%) let their toddler get away with not eating certain foods, with almost 38% cracking under the pressure of these demands within the first five minutes.

The survey reveals that UK parents are the most likely of the European countries polled to give sweets, biscuits, chocolate, and fizzy drinks as a reward for eating well or for good behaviour (39%), compared to just one in ten (13%) health-conscious French mums.
Italian mothers are almost three times more likely than UK mums to give in to their toddler’s junk food cravings simply because they demand them.

The survey highlights that almost over a third of German mothers surveyed (38%) are pestered at least once a day for sweets, biscuits, chocolate, and fizzy drinks; the highest percentage in Europe. However, a quarter of these mums remain stern and claim they never give in to toddler tantrum threats.

Toddler obesity

While obesity in the UK is substantially high compared to other European countries[i], only a fifth (22%) of UK mums expressed worry about their toddler being or becoming overweight or obese, compared with the large number of concerned mothers in Italy (68%) and Spain (72%). Worryingly, the study also finds that one in five (18%) UK mums is unaware whether or not their child is overweight, compared to the majority (97%) of Spanish mums polled, who are more informed.

The survey shows that under half (47%) of UK and Dutch (42%) toddlers are fed one home cooked meal a day, compared with a large proportion of children in Italy (78%), Spain (81%), and Germany (58%) who receive meals made from scratch daily. UK mums are also the most likely (24%) of the European countries polled to opt for adult pre-prepared foods because they seem cheaper than cooking homemade meals, versus just 4% of Spaniards. Additionally, almost two thirds (63%) of UK mums cannot find the time for home-cooked meals, compared with only a third (32%) of Dutch parents.

Dr Carrie Ruxton adds: “With childhood obesity on the rise in the UK, it is worrying that mums are generally ill-informed about what constitutes a healthy weight range and, more importantly, the nutrients that a toddler needs for healthy development.

Toddlers have specific nutritional requirements which need to be catered for but adult meals, particularly ready meals, which can be high in salt, are not usually suitable for toddlers. In those vital early years, toddlers need vitamins and minerals to support their development, particularly iron, calcium, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins D and A. However, due to a lack of knowledge amongst mums, there is a risk that UK toddlers will end up with inadequate levels of these.

It’s clear UK mothers need more support on this topic to ensure their toddlers are getting all the nutrients they need. I’d suggest seeking guidance from a healthcare advisor or looking at some of the great online resources, such as Growingupmilkinfo.com, that provide toddler health and nutrition information, as well as meal suggestions.”

Uninformed UK mums means toddlers are at risk

Nearly seven in ten (69%) UK mums do not receive any information about the specific nutritional needs of their toddler, the third highest in Europe, following Germany (75%) and Sweden (74%).
The survey shows a fifth (20%) of UK mums think that toddlers require no more vitamins and minerals than an adult (per kg of body weight, per day), with a majority (85%) of UK toddlers dining on the same food as the rest of the family ‘most of the time’. When, in fact, ‘pound for pound’  toddlers require almost four times the amount of iron and vitamin C as adults, around three times the amount of calcium, zinc, and vitamin A, and much less salt in their foods than adults in their diets.
UK mums also top the poll when it comes to being the most unaware about Vitamin D requirements for toddlers, with nine out of ten mums (91%) – the highest in Europe - unsure of the recommended daily dietary intake (reference nutrient intake)[ii], closely followed by France (89%) and Spain (88%). UK mums are often mistaken about types of foods that contain vitamin D. While the majority are aware that fortified breakfast cereals and oily fish provide the essential vitamin, more than a third (37%) of UK mums who were polled incorrectly think bananas are a good source of vitamin D. One in ten say nuts (13%) and fish fingers (10%) do and nearly a fifth (17%) state that baked beans can provide the essential vitamin.

Dr Carrie Ruxton adds: “Despite vitamin D being such an essential vitamin for toddlers during these formative years, the survey reveals that UK mums, more than anywhere else in the European countries polled, know very little about how much vitamin D their toddler needs.

“As so few foods provide vitamin D, it’s worth knowing there are vitamin D fortified products that are easy to offer on a daily basis. For example just two 150ml beakers a day of Growing Up Milk provides 73% of toddlers’ daily dietary recommendation for vitamin D.”


·         UK Mums most likely to be frustrated by their toddler’s fussy eating (51%) but calm Italian mother are ‘not bothered’ (37%)

·         Fussy-eating UK toddlers four times more likely to throw food than Spanish tots

·         UK toddlers are rewarded with junk food, with four in ten British mums (39%) giving their child sweets, biscuits, fizzy drinks, and chocolate for good behaviour or eating well

·         Nearly seven in ten UK mums (69%) receive no guidance on toddlers’ nutritional needs

·         A fifth (18%) of UK mums unaware whether or not their child is overweight or obese

Ranking of Countries Where Toddlers are Most Likely to Refuse Food


United Kingdom (69%)


Netherlands (63%)


Germany (58%)


Sweden (58%)


Italy (58%)


France (54%)


Spain (40%)

Ranking of Countries Least Likely to Offer At Least One Home Cooked Meal a Day


Netherlands (58%)


United Kingdom (53%)


France (49%)


Sweden (44%)


Germany (42%)


Italy (23%)


Spain (19%)

Ranking of Countries Where Mums Most Likely Reward Good Behaviour or Eating Well with Sweets, Biscuits, Chocolates and Fizzy Drinks


United Kingdom (39%)


Spain (32%)


Italy (29%)


Germany (23%)


Sweden (22%)


Netherlands (15%)


France (13%)

Ranking of Countries Least Aware Of Toddlers’ Recommended Daily Intake of Vitamin D


United Kingdom (91%)


France (89%)


Spain (88%)


Germany (82%)


Italy (82%)


Sweden (67%)


Netherlands (49%)

Ranking of Countries Most Likely to Be Offered Toddler Specific Nutritional Guidance


France (53%)


Spain (52%)


Italy (46%)


Netherlands (40%)


United Kingdom (32%)


Sweden (26%)


Germany (25%)

To find out more information about toddler health and nutrition, the role that Growing Up Milk can play to support toddler development, and more about the European Toddler Nutrition Index, visit www.growingupmilkinfo.com.


For more information, contact:
Growing Up Milk Info press team
Tel: 0207 693 6999  /   E-mail: gumbuzzteam@frankpr.it

[ii] The Reference Nutrient Intake for toddlers is 7 micrograms of vitamin D per day