Welcome to the lastminute.com social media press office. Here you'll find all of the latest news and deals alongside some cool photography, videos and a widget or two as well. Stick around, have a play and let us know what you think.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Children realistic over Christmas present demands as credit crisis continues

Children preparing their Christmas present wish list are aware the credit crunch means they have to be more realistic with their choices, reveals a survey of kids by leading online travel and leisure retailer lastminute.com.

The nation's children are bracing themselves for fewer gifts under the tree, fearing their parents will spend less this Christmas due to the current economic climate, unveils lastminute.com's poll of 2,000 children.

More than three quarters of children (77%) expect to receive less presents this Christmas, while amazingly more than one in ten kids (11%) expect to wake up on Christmas Day morning with no presents under the tree.

The findings show children are aware the country is heading towards a recession and are prepared to be more reasonable in their Christmas wish lists.

Despite this realisation there is a massive difference in the amount children expect to be spent on them this festive season.

Children in the Midlands still expect their parents to spend a massive £150 on them this Christmas compared to a mere £30 a child in Scotland.

South East England children expect their parents to spend £60 on them this Christmas.

Scottish and Welsh children are also looking forward to giving gifts this year (43% and 25% respectively).

lastminute.com Lifestyle Director Mark Bower said: "Children are very perceptive and it appears that the current credit crunch hasn't passed them by. They are aware the current financial climate may mean they need to rewrite their Christmas list and perhaps opt for less expensive or more meaningful gifts this year."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ski resorts open early thanks to snow downpours

The forthcoming ski season is set to be the best in recent years as a barrage of snow sees the slopes open early.

Leading resorts in Europe and the US opened up to a month earlier this season to make the most of the good snow conditions.

In Europe, the major French Alpine resorts of Tignes and Val Thorens are already open whilst across the border in Italy, Bormio and Cervinia have also started welcoming early skiers. Switzerland’s Zermatt and Austrian Saas Fees have also benefited from great downpours.

In the USA, Breckenbridge, Copper Mountain, Keystone, Killington and Mammoth are amongst the first resorts to have opened their pistes this year.

Canada’s Whistler Blackcomb opens this weekend whilst Banff opened on the weekend of 23rd November.

The early snowfall has seen lastminute.com’s ski bookings increase by 30 percent, with Austria leading the way as the best selling destination. 

lastminute.com sales director Andy Washington said: “It looks like this ski season is going to be fantastic for skiers. The early heavy snow downpours look set to continue. lastminute.com has some amazing packages from £169 per person including flights, so there is no excuse not to go skiing this season.”

£10 hotel rooms on lastminute.com

Leading online travel and leisure retailer lastminute.com is selling hotel rooms for just £10 on Thursday 27 November at 10 am.

The 'When It's Gone It's Gone' promotion is offering hundreds of £10 hotel rooms at three and four-star properties across the UK including Edinburgh and Manchester.

Rooms are available for January and February, perfect for Christmas presents or for a short-break when budgets are tight at the beginning of the year.

This offer is part of a host of promotions lastminute.com is holding throughout November and December to help consumers face the economic downturn without breaking the bank.

The WIGIG offer will run until the last room is sold out.

Monday, November 17, 2008

What would Russell Brand want to find in his stocking?

Celebrities need a little love at Christmas. After being hounded by press for the previous 12 months even Russell Brand is looking forward to a present in his stocking but what would a high profile star want to receive this festive season? lastminute.com has produced personal shopper, a tool on its website for choosing gifts for even most difficult to buy for - and it works for celebrities too.

lastminute.com’s personal shopper is designed to filter out the most relevant presents for your favourite people this Christmas, using a unique visual personality test. Selecting the images that best represent your high profile friend across a range of categories, gift finder will filter out the presents that need receipts included, and provide users with a list of well suited Christmas gifts.

If you’re looking for a present to cheer up
Russell Brand after a tough few weeks, his top gifts would be:
A recording studio taster session
OH NO! Doormat
Cowboy riding trail

If you’d prefer to buy
Jonathan Ross a something that demonstrates that money isn’t everything, bank on these:
Personalised Andy Warhol print set
OH NO! Doormat
Adopt a reindeer

Cheryl’s continuing X-Factor success with the following gifts:
Pole-dancing lessons
Hot socks
Design your own handbag

Barack Obama's win with a Christmas selection that includes:
Misali recycled photo frame
12 year old scotch whisky
Lunch for two at The Ritz

Monday, November 10, 2008

November offers to help cut the cost of Christmas

Online leading and leisure and travel retailer lastminute.com is offering a host of amazing promotions and offers in November to help cut the cost of Christmas.

Whilst the credit crunch continues, lastminute.com is offering at least two price busting promotions a week on a wide range of its products throughout the month of November to help shake off those winter blues and cut the cost of Christmas.

Offers include:

- Thursday 13 November at 10 am - Experiences from just 10p including paintballing and Silverstone Ferrari driving, White Water Rafting and Zorbing for only £10.00

- 19 & 20 November – 48 hour two for one offers on holidays, restaurants, theatre, spas and experiences. These include

o  Two weeks for the price of one in Sri Lanka, Portugal, Egypt and Kenya

o  Two for one meals at restaurants including 140 Park Lane, Tamarind and Mint Leaf

o 50% off tickets for shows including Joseph, Chicago, Fat Pig and Zorro

o Two for one offers at spas nationwide 

- 21 November at 10 am - Theatre tickets from just 10p

- 24 & 25 November – Theatre On Us – Buy a London hotel room and get  a pair of tickets to see some of the West End’s best productions

- 27 November at 10 am – Hotel rooms from just £10 – Hundreds of three and four star hotel rooms nationwide

- 4 December at 10 am – Spa days from just £10 – Enjoy the ultimate day of pampering for a fraction of the cost

- Throughout November – Hotel sale – Up to 45% off on hotels

Friday, November 7, 2008

lastminute.com unveils 2008 Christmas brochure

The folks at lastminute.com have launched this year's Christmas brochure.

Visit it here and pick up your presents for friends and family.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

lastminute.com’s new interactive giftfinder guarantees a happy Christmas

Deciding what to buy difficult loved ones this Christmas no longer needs to be a nightmare as lastminute.com launches its first interactive giftfinder.

giftfinder uses a revolutionary system called VisualDNA to understand a user’s preferences and feelings by measuring their responses to a collection of specially selected images. It’s a really simple, unique and fun way to find great gift ideas.

Users are asked a series of image based questions and simply click on the images that they like. Their choices make up their VisualDNA which is then used to find the most appropriate Christmas presents. The gift ideas are sent back and the user can then refine and save their search based on price, or how adventurous they want the gift to be.

giftfinder has three search options, one allowing the user to search for gift ideas for themselves, but also to find ideas for loved ones by completing it on their behalf or even better sending them the quiz to fill out but without revealing the results.

lastminute.com Lifestyle Director Mark Bower said: “Christmas Day can be the worst day of the year if you’ve bought your love ones the wrong Christmas present, or you receive something you really didn’t want.

“The lastminute.com’s giftfinder guarantees everyone a happy Christmas because they will only receive presents they really want. It’s also a unique and fun way to shop for gifts and removes the stress of trying to avoid the crowds on the packed highstreets.

“This Christmas and New Year period the only arguments will be over whether or not to watch the Queens speech.”

giftfinder’s VisualDNA technology, developed by Imagini, has so far collected the VisualDNA of over 10 million people.

Imagini Founder and CEO Alex Willcock says, “The partnership with lastminute.com giftfinder is going to let people discover gifts based on their feelings which, as we all know, is the best way to pick find the perfect gift. The integration of the giftfinder will complement the lastminute.com ethos of offering users fun, exciting experiences.”

The service is accessible from lastminute.com, or directly via lastminute.visualdna.com.