CD-Traveller tells you what’s hot and what’s not in the world of travel
The X Factor
TV programme The X Factor has caused a boost in online searches for holidays in places where the judges’ houses were featured. Louis Walsh’s house in Shannon (Ireland) caused a rise of 83 per cent while Sydney (Australia) saw Dannii Minogue boost searches by 42 per cent. Searches for Marbella (Spain) home to Simon Cowell rose 45 per cent although Ascot, where Cheryl Cole lives, saw no change.
Making for Mexico
The Post Office’s annual long haul holiday report found that Mexico offers the best value for UK travellers (alongside Sri Lanka). Its welcome news for Mexico: safety issues and swine flu scares have kept visitors away over the last few years while 2010’s Hurricane Karl caused heavy flooding, power cuts and downed trees. The survey compared the cost of 10 basic holiday items. To find out more, visit www.postoffice.co.uk
Hanging out with Mickey Mouse and friends at Disneyland Shanghai
Disney has signed a formal agreement with the Shanghai government to open a Disneyland in 2014. The park, which has been in the planning stages for more than 15 years, will include a Magic Kingdom-style theme park with characteristics tailored to the Shanghai region. Disneyland Shanghai will be the third Disney Park in Asia after Disneyland Tokyo and Disneyland Hong Kong. Disney also has three other themes resorts – one in France and two, most famously, in America.
Finding Shangri la in Paris
Shangri La Hotels and Resorts opened Shangri La Hotel, Paris late last month. The hotel, which is situated in the French capital’s 16th arrondissement, is the group’s first property in Europe. Originally built in 1896 as the private home of the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte’s grand nephew, Prince Roland Bonaparte, the Paris location balances Shangri La’s signature hospitality and French art de vivre. The restored landmark has 81 rooms including 27 suites, of which more than 40 percent enjoy unobstructed view of the Eiffel Tower and the River Seine.
Premium mobile phone manufacturer, Vertu, has launched its first smart phone called Constellation. Among its features are global guides in languages ranging from Arabic to Simplified Chinese, and 24 hour technology support. For the low-down, give Vertu a call on 020 3205 1120.
Dining in Dubai
Affable TV chef Jamie Oliver is going global with his Jamie’s Italian restaurant chain. Dubai will be the first international branch since he kicked things off with a Jamie’s Italian in Oxford back in 2008. For the latest on the naked chef’s Dubai branch, log onto www.jamieoliver.com.
Britain’s big freeze spiked a surge in interest from British holidaymakers looking to escape the bitterly cold temperatures (last month saw the coldest December ion record since 1981!)
Travelsupermarket, a travel booking website, said that in the run up to Christmas 2010 searches for foreign holidays during the festive season had increased by 35 per cent from 2009. With further bad weather predicted for January, CD-Traveller predicts that the interest in escaping to warmer climes will only rise.
Hassle free China
Trekiz, your one stop shop for all things travel to China, launched their website at the end of December, having spent months designing a ‘smart’ web 3.0 travel platform. No longer do you have to search countless websites to find cookie clutter travel packages: Trekiz allows you to create the China experience you really want. To find out more, visit http://www.trekiz.com.
Going for Gap
It’s become a tradition amongst school leavers to take a gap year before embarking on their university careers but the great gap year could soon be a thing of the past. Students are expected to avoid deferring entry to university in a bid to beat the tuition fees hike in 2012. “The rise in tuition fees will certainly change the landscape of gap years,” said Tom Griffiths, founder of gapyear.com.
Airport liquid ban
Following a failed plot to blow up transatlantic airplanes in 2006, passengers in the UK have been restricted to carrying just 100ml of liquid in their hand luggage – preventing them from carrying bottles of water, cosmetics and perfume threw into the airport departure lounge. The good news is that the ban is to be eased as early as April and could be phased out completely by 2013.