Belfast Sights – The Titanic Quarter

The construction of the world famous ‘unsinkable’ Titanic got underway in Belfast city on March 31st 1909. It was built in the Harland and Wolff shipyards where up to 35,000 were once employed.

The ill-fated Titanic was to be the flagship for an English company called The White Starline and was designed to be largest ship ever to take the waters. No expense was spared in the making of the Titanic, which cost around $7.5 million to make!

You can still explore the story of the Titanic in Belfast and take a trip around the ship yards where up to 3,000 people constructed the ship. You can also take a sightseeing boat tour of the harbour and docklands or visit the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum where you can view a Titanic Exhibition.

Recent plans for development of the derelict shipyards have been given the go ahead and so it is going to be developed with housing, technology and lots of tourist attractions which will showcase the city’s rich maritime history.

Belfast Sights – The Crown Liquor Saloon

The Crown Liquor Saloon is regarded as one of the best bars in the world, so no visit to Belfast city would be complete without popping in here for a pint or two!

This ‘Victorian Gin Palace’, which is owned by the National Trust, can be found on Great Victoria Street, in the heart of Belfast city centre.

Also known as ‘The Crown Bar’, it dates back to 1826 and was firstly called ‘The Railway Tavern’ due to the establishment of the first train connection between Belfast and Lisburn. It was owned by a Mr.Felix O’Hanlon who sold it to Michael Flanagan. A son of Michael’s named Patrick was educated in architecture and when he travelled the world he brought home soon ideas that he saw abroad and decided to try them out on his father’s bar. Patrick also hired some Italian craftsmen to carry out intricate and detailed tile work, glass work and ornamental wood work.

Other features that you’ll find behind the Crown’s unique facades and colourful windows include a yellow/red/gold ceiling, wood carved booths called ‘Snugs’, ornate brightly coloured tiles, old-fashioned gas lights hanging from the ceilings, polished brass taps, mosaic tiles, a granite topped bar and a lot more to keep you in awe!

Of course the Crown Liquor Saloon is also noted for its fine food and drinks. Why not reserve one of the ‘Snugs’ for lunch? The bar has a delicious and varied lunch menu and dinner menu.

The pub is full of character and charm and has a welcoming and homely feel, so make sure when you’re in Belfast that you stop off to enjoy a tipple here!

Belfast Sights – Cave Hill

Cave Hill forms part of the northern skyline in Belfast city and and if you really want to get a bird’s eye view of the city, it’s the place to go as its about 1,200 feet above sea level, so it offers incredible views! On a clear day it’s said that you can actually see the Isle of Mann and Scotland!

There are three caves located within the hill, but they are man-made as they were originally cut out for iron-mines. At the summit of the hill you’ll see a great example of an old ring fort called McArt’s Fort!

The hill was formed about 65 million years ago from lava eruptions which continue for millions of years.

Cavehill Country Park covers 750 acres of land on the hill. There’s lots of moorland and woodlands which is a haven for wildlife. You might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of wild Irish animals like the squirrels, rabbits, badgers, bats, foxes, hedgehogs and all different types of birds.

There are lots of walks to enjoy on the hill. They range from half hours walks to two hour walks which can be both climbs or walks on pathways.

Belfast Zoo is also located on the slopes of Cave Hill and houses up to 1200 animals.

Another major attraction on Cave Hill is Belfast Castle, a superb Norman Castle which was built during the 12th century

The best way to get to Cave Hill is to get the Metro 1 bus north. You can get this bus from near the City Hall on Antrim Road. You can either get off at the first stop after the Lansdowne Hotel or stay on the bus and get off at Belfast Zoo.

Most Affordable San Francisco Tours

Travel & tourism in USA which was affected due to recession is just coming out of the blues. All the savings & discounts given by companies like Travelocity have revived the industry. Travel package sales & reservation info chart have indicated that the following of the top 5 holiday spots; Hawaii, Vegas, Florida, California & Texas. Exotic locales, scenic landscapes, historical significance, salubrious climate, fun-filled casinos, pro-active ambience & such favorable environs do the spade work. SF is on the tour map of the international visitors. Of late, Hollywood & its dream merchants slowly fall within the selective category.

Honeymoon couples prefer to visit Hawaii. People with wanderlust get all info from Internet regarding hotel, airline, car-rentals, package details, discount rates, travel duration, etc. Leading tourism companies like Travelocity offer online info about what all you want. Travelocity provides ample concessions & sumptuous savings.

The following tips will help reduce your expenses. You can rent a car one day. Cable cars & the Muni are other alternatives for your travel within the city. Cable cars are cheap & funny. Muni also allows you to cut the expenses with their all day pass.

Purchase a city pass. This will get you into 6 famous SF attractions. You have 9 days of fun & frolic. It includes tickets to the De Young Museum, Legion of Honor, and Aquarium of the Bay, SF Museum of Modern Art, Exploratorium, Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise, and choice of either California Academy of Sciences & Steinhart Aquarium or Asian Art Museum. The value of the pass is only $49. One more super deal is the Alcatraz & SF City Tour. Tariff is only $71 per person. The tour of Alcatraz including the ferry ride over will compensate your payment. In addition you can undertake a city tour & visit China Town, Fisherman’s Wharf, Victorian Mansions, Palace of Fine Arts, and North Beach, Presidio National Park besides marvelous views of Alcatraz & the Ocean. Tickets to Alcatraz often sell out fast. So, book in advance. You can get more discounts from the Concierge at your hotel. SF is the one of the most-visited tourist hot spots in the world with their use of cliffs & sea & fast-changing city landscapes.

City sightseeing runs SF bus tour. They arrange open top, English style double deckers. The tour guide is thoroughly professional with all the details on the fingertips. There are two tours Downtown loop tour & Golden Gate loop tour. In the second one, there are captivating visuals which tempt you to visit again. The tour bus transports you over the Golden Gate. It comes to a stop at a vista point permitting you to take snaps of the bridge. It also passes through presidio, past mansions worth of millions before reaching Fisherman’s Wharf. In the other Downtown loop tour, you can travel wherever you want. Buses run every 30 minutes. Bus stops at China Town, Union Square, Civic Center, Ferry Building, Lombard Street, and Fisherman’s Wharf & the Soma District. Lombard Street is full of curves & contours the Crookedest Street. People drive down just for the heck of it. According to the guide, China Town is the largest congregation of Chinese Restaurants & open air markets. Next in order is North Beach known for the Italian dishes. There are many Italian cafes here like Pinocchio’s.

If you buy tickets online, instead of at the City Sightseeing office, you can save atleast $3 per ticket. You can enjoy city tours with airport shuttle service which operates between San Francisco Airport & San Francisco Hotels. There is provision for high speed Internet, TV Entertainment & baby car seat. They offer one way & round trip services. If you want to visit SF city, you can avail of the joint service from SF airport shuttle & city tour with abundant discounts. This involves a ferry trip to Sausalito. You can get a bird’s eye view with this 5 hours trip & 9 stops in between. Bay area, Angel Island, Alcatraz, Sausalito, Golden Gate Bridge, China Town, Palace of Fine Arts, Nob Hill, Grey’s Cathedral, Lombard Street, GG Park, Japanese Tea Garden, Alamo Square & Cable Car Barn Museum. At Alcatraz, Bay Bridge, Angel Island from ferry, Coit tower, Sutro Tower, De Young Museum, Chrissy Field, City Hall, Conservatory of Flowers & Market Street a sumptuous food for a long-waiting glutton indeed. Book the tours atleast 48 hours in advance. Shuttle Tour Company operates 35 passenger shuttles. They also provide one day Muir Woods & Wine Country tours. One can visit Napa Winners. It includes a picnic ride over the Golden Gate Bridge & ferry bay cruise to San Francisco. Shopping at Sausalito & Golden Gate Bridge will be a fascinating experience for the tourists.

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Safety Is High Priority in Selecting a Tour Bus Company

Whenever travel on the highways is involved safety should be a top priority. That is no less so when selecting a bus company for your tour. Several elements are involved in the issue of safety when bus tour companies are concerned. They are: The condition of the bus itself The driver The length of time a tour bus company has been in business and that company’s safety record A bus tour company’s understanding of laws and regulations A company’s involvement in such organizations as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Its compliance to U.S. Department of Transportation and Department of Defence regulations

The Bus

One issue that is up front for you to actually see is the tour bus itself.
The age of the fleet of buses used by a tour bus company should be considered. It should be obvious that the latest models of buses should be in the fleet. The latest, the better. Many companies like USA Bus Charter says that they replace their buses after 10 years of service. They also point out that there are bus companies that own buses that are as old as 25 years. In short, you don’t want the transportation you will be using to be too old. Inquire with the bus tour company about the age of their fleet.

If at all possible, go to the tour bus company and inspect their buses. Check the interior, the exterior and underneath. Look at the tires including the tread depth and examine the seat covers, dents, bumps, scratches and cleanliness. If all of that is not up to your standards, then it is possible that the company is not concerned with safety and appearance as a top priority.

If things look good after a visual inspection, don’t be afraid to ask questions concerning things you don’t see.

And that would be how often the buses are analyzed by the company’s mechanics. It is not uncommon for well managed tour bus companies to have their mechanics inspect things every time a bus returns to the garage.

The Driver

The driver of a tour bus, not the president of the tour bus company, is probably the most important employee.

When push comes to shove, it is the skills of the driver that assures that the bus gets to its destination on time and that the trip is safe.

Of course, you would expect that the driver has experience. Industry standards call for the driver to have at least three years experience. Some companies are stricter than that and call for them to have a little more.

This could be as much as five years or more. Of course, the more experience they have, the more skilled they are in driving the bus. But they are also knowledgeable of the routes they are expected to drive and would be well seasoned to be able to find alternative routes should the need arise.

An important element in assuring that you get to the destination on time.

You will want the driver to be emotionally balanced. It’s been said that there are three types of drivers (not necessarily bus drivers): the passive, the aggressive and the hostile. Of course, you want a driver who is passive. You would expect him to keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front, not speed, slows down when it is raining, drive with caution at night, etc.

You also want the driver to be alert when he is driving and drug free. To assure that drugs are not an issue there are laws the require companies test prospective drivers during the hiring process and then to administer random drug tests.

You want the driver’s schedule to be such that it doesn’t change his sleep patterns.
Commonly, drivers are expected to drive 10 hours. A driver who has a schedule of sleeping at night should stick to that. He should not be expected to drive all night. It is better to be safe and permit the driver to either share the duties with some one who could drive at night or allow him to pull the coach into a motel where he and the passengers can get a good night’s sleep before proceeding on a gruelling trip of let’s say 1,000 miles without rest.

Making certain that the passengers of the bus – that means you — stays on their best behaviour is another perhaps overlooked responsibility of the driver. How you act can be a safety issue. It is not a bad thing for the driver to pleasantly remind passengers of such etiquette as remaining seated when the bus is in motion, move to the restroom by holding on to overhead racks,
handrails or headrests to assure good footing, never stand up before the bus has come to a stop, and activity that could prove to be distracting to the driver be minimized if not totally avoided.

A Company’s Record

The longer a company has been in business the better chance that it will be well managed and have a good safety record. The companies that don’t have a good safety record won’t be in business for any length of time.

One entity that assists you in the research of a company’s record is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (

The organization’s website includes a safety and security page that provides you with all sorts of information including a safety database, a snapshot or profile of particular companies and safety initiatives.

Moreover, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Department of Defence have regulations that tour bus companies are expected to follow. For example, the Department of Transportation requires tour bus companies to assure that their drivers are fully qualified. Companies that comply urge that their drivers have a current commercial driver’s license with a passenger endorsement, undergo a thorough physical and hold a valid medical certificate.

You can find out more by visiting the U.S. Department of Transportation website at

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is involved in regulating motor coach safety because these companies are often used by military personnel and the DOD wants to make certain that their troops are safe. The DOD monitors the bus industry through the Military Traffic Management Command (MTMC). This part of the DOD implements and maintains a “pre-qualification” process.

The DOD will not allow any bus company to transport military personnel until its buses have been inspected by the MTMC. The MTMC also analyze a carrier’s performance, reliability and responsiveness. The MTMC has a rating system using a scale of 1 to 5.The best rating is 1 and the worst is 5. Companies rated from 1 to 3 are approved to transport military personnel. More on the MTMC can be found at their website.

Finally, nothing is perfect. Things go wrong. The best companies, however, provide a mechanism to make the wrong right. To assure that such a remedy can take place, you should find out who to contact in the company when something does go wrong. Some companies equip their drivers with cell phones that permit them to call the company to help solve a problem that the driver can’t. Later, if you have a complaint or a comment you can call the designated employee who you can alert to a problem and who work with you to solve it.

The mission of a tour bus company is to provide you with a service that will make your tour as pleasant as possible.

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News New business wins at Business Positioning Systems

Digital location management specialist Business Positioning Systems (BPS) has announced a number of new business wins. In the last six weeks, BPS has added Auto Pedigree, Domino’s Pizza, Supa Quick and Shoprite Liquor/Checkers Liquor to their growing list of blue chip clients.
In addition to the local wins, BPS has also landed the Disney Store account in the UK, handling the retailers’ location data clean up, optimisation and management.

“With up to 35% of online location data incorrect, it’s no surprise that more and more multi location businesses are joining the BPS family,” comments Commercial Director Gabriella Eidelman.

The state of digital location data in South Africa

The physical and digital worlds are becoming increasingly blurred. Today there is an almost seamless transition from digital interaction to physical transaction – how often do you search on your phone before shopping? According to BPS (Business Positioning Systems), any business with physical locations needs to replicate their physical footprint across all relevant digital platforms.
With this in mind, BPS wanted to find out how accurate digital location data is on the following platforms:

A brand’s website
Google maps
Top directories such as TripAdvisor

Using a sample of 20 top local businesses across retail, restaurant, fuel and hospitality (a total of over 2500 locations) BPS’s findings were frightening to say the least:

Own website – 15% of data incorrect
Google Maps – 25% of data incorrect
Other directories – 35% of data incorrect

Even though BPS deals with brand locations on a daily basis, the findings came as a shock. Gabriella Eidelman, partner at BPS comments, “We were left questioning what kind of business impact these results may have, so we built a model for this.

We used an average number of 10,000 store visits because our blue chip clients are currently driving that many consumers in store through our local search service.

15% of 10,000 visits to a brand’s store locator per month = 1,500 visits. This could equate to 1,500 lost customers per month. If each customer is worth just R50 spend to your business this equates to R75,000 in lost revenue!

25% of 10,000 visits to a brand’s Google locations per month = 2,500. This could mean a staggering 2,500 lost customers per month. Again if each customer is worth just R50 spend to your business this equates to R125,000 in lost revenue!

35% of 10,000 visits to a directory website = 3,500. This could mean a staggering 3,500 lost customers per month. Again if each customer is worth just R50 spend to your business this equates to R175,000 in lost revenue.

However we must remember the data is randomly incorrect and users won’t encounter an incorrect listing all of the time so let’s assume they will only encounter an incorrect listing 30% of the time and apply this to the total lost revenue potential:

Total Potential lost revenue – R375,000
30% of Total Potential lost revenue = R112,500 per month

According to Gabriella, this is a staggeringly large figure to any business to simply pour down the drain.

Buster Pitt, BPS Head of Sales, adds, “It’s also important to remember that these searches occur when the potential customer is already in buy mode – if they can’t find you the chances are they’ll turn to the closest competitor (the closest competitor with an accurate digital footprint as the consumer will probably do further research on their mobile). So not only are customers potentially losing over R100, 000 per month – they’re actually increasing competitor revenue.

Clients of BPS don’t have to worry about this risk because we don’t trust the location data given to us by any of our clients. Each and every location is put through our rigorous four-tier data cleansing process to ensure it mirrors the real world. Our process is so rigorous we end up correcting Google’s base map data on a weekly basis.”

The BPS service will help you list and maintain your location data on the most important platforms, tailored to your business. “Our list of bespoke directories will get your business covered on the highest ranking sites, including industry specific citations. No matter where your customers are searching, they will be able to find you online, driving them offline and closing the loop on an effective search strategy. With the above in mind, is having an accurate digital footprint a “nice to have”? Lost revenue sounds business critical to me,” concludes Buster.

For more info about this service, contact: [email protected]

Business Positioning Systems (BPS)
Business Positioning Systems (BPS) is South Africa’s leading location based search agency. Formed in 2007 to commercialise Point of Interest data listings on navigation devices, BPS went on to launch a number of location media solutions in the market. BPS now focuses on increasing client’s local search visibility across digital platforms such as Google, Teleatlas and Nokia maps. The company has unrivalled expertise on a global scale in Google Places Optimisation also known as Local SEO.

Business Positioning Systems releases Gauge – reporting for Google My Business/Places

BPS has announced the launch of Gauge, a reporting product that provides clients with monthly performance and ROI on their Google My Business/Places listings.
Business Positioning Systems releases Gauge – reporting for Google My Business/Places
Business Positioning Systems releases Gauge – reporting for Google My Business/Places
click to enlarge
As the leaders in location-based search BPS have listed, managed and optimised Google My Business/Places data for many blue chip companies in Africa and the UK over the past six years. During this time BPS identified that consolidated reporting for businesses with multiple locations generated business critical information, but wasn’t provided by Google’s reporting dashboard. Doing this reporting across 25 or more locations manually is so labour intensive it became almost uneconomical.

Clients rightly wanted to understand their Google My Business/Places performance and the resulting ROI, so BPS carried out this reporting manually – wading through countless reports for each client location, every month.

In 2012, BPS started developing proprietary software that would simplify this reporting and Gauge was born.

After nearly two years of using the software exclusively for their local search optimisation clients, BPS has identified the demand for clients and agencies who handle their own Google My Business /Places presence but don’t have the capacity to manually report on multiple location pages. Gauge reports on Search Views, Impressions, Clicks and Acquisitions (Driving Directions, Phone Calls, Clicks to Web) all in an easy-to-consume, high level report that calculates the ROI on your Google activities (see below).

Gauge also pulls a location level report for each branch should the user wish to drill down into branch specifics or have the information saved safely on their own server where it can be referenced, this is particularly useful for multi-year benchmarking and comparisons (Google’s dashboard will only save data for 90 days).

Monthly Reports include an Executive Summary with an ROI report, top and bottom five performing branches, location Insight report for every location

Who Needs Gauge?
Any brand with a Google My Business/Places presence that wants to gain insight into and track ROI of their Places presence and activity as well as any brand with a branch footprint in excess of 25, and SEO companies that handle local search for clients and want a reporting solution. Similarly, brands that have multiple Google My Business/Places listings but have no reporting on the performance and ranking in place (Google doesn’t provide this), franchise-based clients who need to report to individual store owners and multi-location businesses that want to keep record of their Google My Business/Places data beyond 90 days for multi-month and year benchmarking and performance tracking.

According to BPS, Gauge saves countless hours and days in human waste with an investment of R2 999 per month.

Example of a Gauge Exec Summary report

Client 2015

Business Positioning Systems releases Gauge – reporting for Google My Business/Places
Business Positioning Systems releases Gauge – reporting for Google My Business/Places

For more information on BPS visit

Business Positioning Systems (BPS)
Business Positioning Systems (BPS) is South Africa’s leading location based search agency. Formed in 2007 to commercialise Point of Interest data listings on navigation devices, BPS went on to launch a number of location media solutions in the market. BPS now focuses on increasing client’s local search visibility across digital platforms such as Google, Teleatlas and Nokia maps. The company has unrivalled expertise on a global scale in Google Places Optimisation also known as Local SEO.

Adventures America Tours For You

If you’ve been visiting go America and looking at the type of America Tours Trips on offer you’ll know there are provides a huge assortment of different points of interest, goes through and ecological beauties that are hidden anywhere else in the world.

Basically, America Tours place importance on different actions that truly create for a awesome practical knowledge of a life-time. The trip mainly requires a wide range of fun actions such as trip the Amazon Stream, going the Inca Path, travelling around the Hawaiian islands of Galapagos, windsurfing, going, diving going, ascending, experiencing sun on the seaside, generating around there are and a lot more. Hence, you can truly experience a unique practical knowledge and pleasurable search.

If you use the Bus Tours in America, you will know that the place is guaranteed. The city provides different choices for housing for the lovers of cheap travel and pleasurable and for the practitioners of luxurious. The prices differ with regards to the season and the number of house owners.

If you love exhibits and exhibits, you will not be dissatisfied from Budapest. Along with the conventional exhibits, such as the Hungarian Nationwide Art gallery and the Art gallery of Historical past of Budapest, there you will also discover the Art gallery of the Represents, of Army Historical past, Music Historical past, Flying, Farming Industry, Game, Criminology, Banners, Phone and Carry. Here we will concentrate in details on three of the exhibits.

You should check out some of the really awesome taken Bus Tours In America. There are so many things for you to see and do in these locations that it can often be aggravating to try to fit them all in. That’s where the luxurious Bus Tours America that are available these days can provide you with the take a holiday practical knowledge that you demand at a price that you can happy about paying. It appears to be like you should discover another way to plan your holiday so that it can be as unforgettable as possible and still give you the independence to see what you really want to see. When it comes to rooms, you don’t want to remain in some second rate resort that has ticks in the floor covering. You want to remain in luxurious and you are entitled to to, too.

A Guided Tours America offered by the company gives you information of interest regarding the location. The Taken Trips the United States are an excellent source as they are very experienced and qualified to keep you kept entertained during the holiday. Your guideline can deal with any questions or issues that you may have. The Guided Tours America is also an opportunity to socialize and create new friends.

If you eager to take a holiday The united states Trips and want to see as much as possible in one holiday, can be choosing Coach Holidays USA. Enabling you to visit many locations and see awesome moments while you take a holiday, Coach Holidays USA are an excellent choice for anyone eager to rest up locations from all over the nation.

Indeed, one of the awesome features of the America Tours by practice is the fact you can rest between vacation spots and enjoy awesome landscapes that you would not otherwise see. Southern America Tours provides are certainly not all as well. There are solutions for a wide range of different take a holiday across the Excellent White Southern such as generating holidays, motor coach tours and practice vacations. It is also possible to incorporate various provides to contain several different types of transportation based on how much or how little time you want to spend in one location

Canada Tours provides may also contain bus tours, also known as motor coach take a holiday. These, like the practice tours, usually pay attention to specific natural locations as well as places and activities. The motor coach is very relaxed and prevents along the way for smashes, foods and touring and pictures possibilities.

America Tours An Adventure Trip

In selecting your destination you have a choice. You can select east coast west coast or city tours. In case you go for city tours there is a choice of cities for you to visit.
The first choice of any one on city tours is New York. Once you are in New York you have the option to visit many places of interest.
The most frequent choice of many people is Niagara Falls. You can go on a guided tour to Niagara Falls.
Next you can make a trip to Washington and Philadelphia. The main attraction there is the space museum
Another option you have in New York is to make a city tour.
If you want to go to Grand Canyon you must select Las Vegas as your destination. From Las Vegas you can go to see Grand Canyon. There are many options to visit Grand Canyon. You can take a helicopter tour, a tour by plain, a tour by bus or by hired or self drive car.
The next popular destination of America tours is San Francisco. Located in the west coast of America it is a city worth visiting in your America tours. One place you can visit in San Francisco is the vine county tour. San Francisco city tour is interesting as it is located in the San Francisco Bay.
Los Angelis is the next popular tourist destination in the America tour. Los Angelis is a city located in Southern California. From there too tours to Grand Canyon are departing.
Los Angelis city tours and shopping tours are available. California guided tours of two days and 5 day duration are available.
There are many more destinations of visit for tourists in America tours.