In the News this Week...

brought to you by News Editor, Roger Bray
  • Poland Tops Poll As Best Value For Money Out Of 30 Destinations

    over 8 years ago

    A recent study by Skyscanner has shown Poland to offer the best value for money out of 30 worldwide destinations.  The study, released last month (June) looked at 30 popular holiday destinations, taking into account the cost of a cup of coffee, a bottle of beer, a three course meal including a bottle of wine and one night’s accommodation.  The study concluded that those looking for real value should head to Poland, as it is a fantastic year round destination, combining winter sports opportunities with beautiful summer beaches, excellent city break options – and a wide choice of cheap flights.

  • The World's Ultimate Holiday Souvenir...?

    over 8 years ago

    Forget t-shirts and postcards; splash out on Brighton Pier instead!



    Forget souvenirs, t-shirts, postcards and keyrings, why not make your trip to Brighton even more memorable this summer and invest in the city’s iconic pier?

    On behalf of Noble Entertainments Group, GVA Humberts Leisure today announced (29 June) that the seaside city's most visited attraction is up for sale, for the first time in over 25 years.

    Since it opened on 20 May 1899 Brighton Pier has played host to many celebrities; Winston Churchill, Grace Kelly and Ewan McGregor have all stepped foot on this striking structure. Stump up enough cash and you could be watching your Brighton souvenir on screen in films including Doctor Who, Sweeney Todd and the recent Brighton Rock.

    Like all beautiful icons Brighton Pier has even graced the front cover of Vogue magazine, and appeared on the Disney Channel.  With a selection of successful bars, restaurants and rides, it’s a must for all visitors to the city-by-the-sea.

     

    “This is the ultimate souvenir; a leading visitor attraction with eighteen rides and thousands of visitors, it certainly has far more uses than any mug, tea towel or baseball cap.”  says John Carmichael, Marketing Manager, VisitBrighton.

    “and it won’t end up tucked away in the back of your cupboard!”

    For more information on how to make the most of the long weekend in Brighton, go to www.VisitBrighton.com

  • Lufthansa is to launch flights to Frankfurt from Gatwick.

    over 8 years ago

    Lufthansa is to launch flights to Frankfurt from Gatwick. The German airline  will start flying from the  airport daily when it switches to its winter timetable on October 30. It already operates to Frankfurt from other UK airports including Heathrow and London City. 

  • Spain has upped the speed limit on its motorways to 120 kilometres per hour (75mph) again after temporarily reducing it.

    over 8 years ago

    Spain has upped the speed limit on its motorways to 120 kilometres per hour (75mph) again after temporarily reducing it. The Madrid Government cut the maximum to 110kms per hour for four months as oil prices rocketed, arguing the move would help the country's economy, improve safety and be good for the environment. It says petrol prices have eased and the reduction, which was unpopular with many Spaniards. is no longer necessarily. The switch back to the higher limit coincides with the start of the main Spanish holiday season. Slower speeds are reported to have reduced the number of deaths in accidents and save the country some 450 millions euros in fuel costs.

  • Car hire prices around the world have fallen for the first time in four years, says Holiday Autos.

    over 8 years ago

    Car hire prices around the world have fallen for the first time in four years, says Holiday Autos. The biggest drop is in Ireland, whose economic crisis has helped cut average weekly rates roughly by half to £125, according to the  rental company. There have also been big reductions in two other countries facing an economic squeeze. Greek rates are down 24% to an average of £261 a week. And while Spain remain among the priciest countries in which to hire a car, rates charged in Gerona and Valencia, for example, have plunged by 29% and 28% respectively to £228 and £217. These average price calculations are based on hire of a compact car in this month, compared with July last summer.

  • News 122

    Abu Dhabi's Corniche has become the first beach in the Gulf to be awarded Blue Flag status.

    over 8 years ago

    Abu Dhabi's Corniche has become the first beach in the Gulf to be awarded Blue Flag status. Accreditation is based on water quality, environmental management and education, public safety and other services. The Corniche stretches for four miles between the Sheraton and Hilton Hotel. It has a cycle track, roped off swimming areas, changing rooms and eateries.

  • One of the few advantages of advancing age is not having to travel in the summer peak, when prices are at their highest.

    over 8 years ago

    One of the few advantages of advancing age is not having to travel in the summer peak, when prices are at their highest. This year that advantage may not be quite so marked. Tour operators the number of Britons booking holidays abroad with departures during the school holiday period is down by about 7% overall compared with the same month last year. And reliable sources indicate things aren't much better on the home front, with sales of holidays in the UK down by about the same percentage. The main reason? Widespread nervousness about the economy and jobs. The impact? Expect more high season price cuts and the disappearance of some holiday firms –  not necessarily because they're in financial difficulties but because some owners are simply getting fed up with the struggle to stay afloat.

  • What do Sex and the City, The French Connection and Moonstruck have in common?

    over 8 years ago

    What do Sex and the City, The French Connection and Moonstruck have in common? They all included sequences filmed in Brooklyn. Now a company called On Location Tours has launched a new itinerary showing customers where scenes from this and other movies or TV series were shot. The itinerary covers over 40 locations used in the likes of Boardwalk Empire, American Gangster and Catch Me If You Can. The tours are on Saturdays, starting at 11am. They are led buy local actors and cost $42 for adults and $24 for children, plus a $2 booking fee on all tickets. This is the latest of a range of New York itineraries offered by the company www.screentours.com.

  • Gatwick Airport, South Terminal, Saturday afternoon:

    over 8 years ago

    Gatwick Airport, South Terminal, Saturday afternoon: it took the best part of half an hour to get through the passport check. The UK Border Agency already plans 1700 job losses across its operation and staff fear there could be more. Delays can only get worse. The lesson: if at all possible, fly at off peak times, in mid week and in in the middle of the day, avoiding the weekend holiday scrum and the early and the morning and evening business travel rush hours.

  • Delhi's characteristic three wheel motorised rickshaws are to be fitted with GPS devices

    over 8 years ago

    Delhi's characteristic three wheel motorised rickshaws are to be fitted with GPS devices. The aim is ensure drivers, who complain about low incomes, take the shortest route. The move follows frequent complaints that drivers fail to switch on their meters, overcharge and spit betel juice. Reports say 25 have already been and it's likely all the capital's 55,000 will have to be equipped by the end of this month, the devices will also be fitted with panic buttons enabling passengers to raise the alarm if they run into trouble.

  • EasyJet has moved to rekindle enthusiasm for peak summer travel with a cheap fares promotion.

    over 8 years ago

    EasyJet has moved to rekindle enthusiasm for peak summer travel with a cheap fares promotion. Unusually for £35.99 or less one way. They will be available for travel on selected flights between July 15 and September 30. Examples include flights to Palma, Mallorca, from Gatwick, Bristol or Manchester from £29.99 one way, Luton – Nice from £27.99, Liverpool – Paris from £25.99, Edinburgh – Lisbon from £35.99 and Belfast – Amsterdam from £23.99.

  • The Government looks likely to push ahead with major changes.in financial protection for air holidaymakers

    over 8 years ago

    The Government looks likely to push ahead with major changes in financial protection for air holidaymakers. The Department for Transport proposes that travellers booking a flight plus hotel and/or car hire through the same firm will get their money back if that company goes bust – and will be brought home if it happens while they are abroad. It won't matter if you book the different elements of the trip at different times, as long as you don't leave it later than the end of the following day. So if you go to a travel agent, say,  book a low cost flight and decide later that you need a hire car to go with it, you'll be protected by the existing ATOL (air travel organiser's licence) system as if you were buying a package holiday from a brochure. The deadline for extending the booking will based on when you request the bookings – not on when the agent makes them. You'll need documentary evidence, of course – and after complaints that poor paperwork delayed pay outs following recent tour operator collapses the Civil Aviation Authority is trying to come up with a clearly understandable ATOL certificate which will prove travellers are covered. The timetable for the changes isn't agreed yet but they should be in force by next spring. 

  • News 117

    Qatar Airways has been voted the world's best airline in a poll of nearly 19 million passengers.

    over 8 years ago

    Qatar Airways has been voted the world's best airline in a poll of nearly 19 million passengers. Singapore Airlines was second and Asiana third, The vote was organised by on line research organisation Skytrax. The rest of the top ten, in order, were Cathay Pacific, Thai International, Etihad, Air New Zealand, Qantas, Turkish Airlines and Emirates – which also won the best in flight entertainment award. easyJet – which has just launched new services between Manchester and Bilbao – was voted best European low cost carrier. Oman Air came top in the vote for most comfortable business class seat. And British Airways won the best business class lounge award. 

  • British Airways launch new flights to Faro and Malaga direct from London City

    over 8 years ago

    British Airways has announced the launch of two new routes to Faro and Malaga and added more frequency to the popular destinations of Nice, Palma and Ibiza. This means that British Airways now offers 39 leisure flights per week for this summer from London City Airport to top sun destinations at the height of the season.



    The four times a week flights to Faro and the three times a week flights to Malaga are now both in operation and will operate year round.

  • Eurostar is set for a Bumper Summer

    over 8 years ago

    Extra services scheduled to meet high demand. Eurostar, the high-speed passenger service between the UK and mainland Europe is scheduling 16 extra services on its London to Paris route, and seven extra services on its London to Disneyland Paris routes this summer to meet heightened demand.

    Over 950,000 passengers are expected to travel on Eurostar in July alone making this a bumper summer for high speed rail travel.

  • Eurostar supports the OFT ruling on hidden card charges

    over 8 years ago

    Eurostar, the high-speed passenger service linking the UK and mainland Europe, has announced its support for the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) decision today to call for the law to be updated to stop consumers being surcharged, when buying goods and services with any debit card.

    The OFT has announced it will uphold a super complaint submitted by Which?, the consumer group on unfair credit and debit card surcharges. The watchdog has told passenger travel companies to change misleading debit and credit card surcharging practices or face enforcement action under consumer protection laws.

    Nick Mercer, Commercial Director for Eurostar comments: "This is a welcome decision by the OFT, companies should not a charge a surcharge for debit card bookings and they must be fully transparent about any credit card surcharges they apply. At Eurostar, we have always looked to be completely transparent and we have never charged to use debit cards. Consumers must be able to shop around and find the best deals and it’s our responsibility as businesses to make this as quick and easy as possible for them."

    All Eurostar bookings made by debit card are free of charge. Eurostar charges a £4 fee for credit card bookings, which goes some way towards offsetting the costs charged by credit card companies. This fee is only applied to credit card transactions over £30.
     

  • It was one of the most notorious art thefts of the last century

    over 8 years ago

    It was one of the most notorious art thefts of the last century. On the night of April 10-11, 1934, two panels of the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, the c celebrated Ghent altarpiece by the Van Eyck brothers were stolen from St. Bavo's Cathedral. And anonymous extortionist sent 13 demand letters to the Bishop. One panel was returned. The third has never been recovered. Now you can join a new walking tour of the city, taking in points of interest related to the crime. It costs €8 (€6 for each of a group of 6 or more) and you can book online at www.mercatcentral.com/en/book.htm.

  • News 112

    Bastille Day promises to be spectacular in Carcassonne

    over 8 years ago

    Bastille Day promises to be spectacular in Carcassonne. If you're within striking distance of the city on July 14 head for the banks of the River Aude for a fireworks display first dreamed up by Achille Roquet (1851 – 1925) a painter and poet and speaker of the langue d'oc which gives the region its name. As a result, every year, Carcassone's great fortress citadel is lit by a 25 minute display of pyrotechnics.
     

  • At-Bristol Proudly Wins Visitor Attraction Of The Year 2011 Award

    over 8 years ago

    At-Bristol, the popular hands-on science centre and family attraction on Bristol’s harbourside has been awarded the status of Visitor Attraction of the Year at the Bristol Tourism and Hospitality Industry Awards 2011.

    The awards ceremony, arranged by Destination Bristol, took place at the Marriott City Centre hotel on the evening of Thursday 2 June and was attended by over 350 people.  18 awards were presented on the night from over 200 nominations. 

    The Visitor Attraction of the Year category was open to all visitor attractions from in and around Bristol that welcome in excess of 50,000 visitors a year.  In their applications, attractions not only had to demonstrate the high standard of day to day operation, sustainability, their audience development and customer service, but explain how they exceeded expectation in all areas.
     

  • News 109

    A new luxury safari camp opens in Kenya's Great Rift Valley on July 1

    over 8 years ago

    A new luxury safari camp opens in Kenya's Great Rift Valley on July 1. Operated by Serena Hotels and less than 2 hours' drive from Nairobi the camp has been set up on  Lake Elmenteita  in the Soysambu Conservancy, a 48 000 acre, pristine wildlife sanctuary. The conservancy has been declared a RAMSAR convention* site – declaring it a wetland of international importance because it is East Africa’s only breeding ground for the Great White Pelican and also attracts huge flocks of flamingos and a multitude of other waterfowl, many of them rare. Lake Elmenteita Luxury Camp comprises 24 tents – all with private venarndahs and views of the lake – and a suite. It has a swimming pool and wi fi intenet access. Prices start at US$275 per person full board, including beer, soft drinks and non premium spirits. www.serenahotels.com.

    *The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, called the Ramsar Convention, is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.