Whether you’re stay-cationing or vacationing, CD Traveller tells you what’s hot in the travel world
Croatia on the cheap
Budget airline Wizz Air is to introduce flights from London to Split and Dubrovnik in Croatia as well as Venice in Italy. The airline will run four flights a week to Split from June 18 and three a week to Dubrovnik and Venice from June 19. Visit www.wizzair.com for more info.
Fancy a break in Bradford or Brighouse? How about Halifax and Pontefract? Time to start celebrating the return of direct rail services from the capital after a delay of 40 years. Grand Central (www.grandcentralrail.co.uk) is running three services a day from King’s Cross to the West Riding, with return fares starting at £67.
Rent a friend
Fancy being shown around a foreign city by a friend? Log on to rentalocalfriend.com – the brainchild of Brazilian, Alice Moura, who came up with the idea while living in London. “I thought mostly of backpackers,” she says. “But many clients like personalised service – families that need flexibility and young people who want to know trendy places.” The idea has now expanded to 14 cities including New York, Barcelona, Paris, Shanghai and Milan.
The Tamil Tiger Tourist Trail
Jaffna, in northern Sri Lanka, has become a hot spot on the tourist trail. The first anniversary of the end of the decades-long Sri Lankan civil war has seen thousands of sightseers flock to the former war zone. Not that the government approves: in April, the ancestral home of the slain Tiger chief Velupillai Prabhakaran was demolished after it attracted tonnes of tourists.
2010 could turn out to be the warmest year in recorded history, according to climate scientists. They have collated global surface temperature measurements showing that the world has experienced near record highs between January and April. Vicky Pope, head of climate change advice at the Met Office, said: “It was a cold winter in Europe, but globally, January to March was one of the seven warmest on record.”
Drunk holidaymakers irritate a third of all travellers according to a pole by travel agent Sunshine.co.uk. Meanwhile 42 per cent of those quizzed said that noisy tourists frustrated them most while on vacation. Nine per cent said arguing travellers was a pet hate of theirs while three percent were repulsed by public displays of affection from other holidaymakers.
AKA an enforced staycation owing to an unwelcome ash cloud
Greece has seen more than 27,000 nights of hotel bookings cancelled since the riots that paralysed the capital last month, leading to the establishment of a tourism crisis committee.
According to Thomas Cook’s chief executive, Manny Fontenla-Novoa, who reports a 24% reduction in Greek holiday sales this summer, the country needs to put the sale signs up again. “We’re going to have to go to Greek hoteliers to stimulate demand,” he said. “That means action on price.”
Britain has been ranked 18th out of 22 European countries for beach cleanliness after evidence that raw sewage is being pumped up to five times a day into areas where holidaymakers swim.
The country already faces two legal actions by the European commission for sewage spills. It could also see some of its beaches closed down under a tough new directive.
Romantic mini breaks in Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes, a city arguably best known for its concrete cows, is attempting to relaunch itself as the romantic capital of Britain. The new town is to give itself the motto “The City in the Country” in the belief that it will attract those seeking romance.
In its attempt to attract lovers, it will push the fact that Milton Keynes – known to locals as MK – has more bridges than Venice, 150 restaurants, 62 hotels, 44 forests and 11 miles of canals.
So a romantic weekend in Venice or MK? Tough choice…