Saturday snippets – 12 October 2013

By | Category: Travel news

New York remains the top Hayes and Jarvis destination for Brits

The Scottish Government announced that it would negotiate to buy Glasgow Prestwick Airport. It comes after the current owners seemed unable to find a buyer after a year of trying. The government’s reason for the purchase is to protect jobs. Following on the decision of the Welsh Government to buy Cardiff Airport is this now going to be the preferred option for regional governments? Could not the owners of Glasgow International complain that Prestwick might be favoured over them? And what does it mean to us – the passengers? More of our money to be spent on new or better facilities or improved infrastructure links might benefit us all. Money spent on persuading airlines to set up uneconomic routes may be a waste. Will we see a return in the long run when (or if) the airports are returned to private hands?

The formula for raising train fares in England has been altered so that the regular January price increases will be less than thought. Individual fare rises will now be at 2% above the permitted average of inflation plus 1%, for all regulated fares. The government says that this will protect passengers from large fare increases which can have a significant impact on household budgets by taking 3% off the maximum. That they will still be above the rate of inflation is still undesirable as it doesn’t encourage train operating companies (who are still largely monopolistic) from managing their businesses better.

There is a campaign to reduce the rate at which VAT is paid on accommodation food and alcohol to 5%. The government has calculated that the revenue foregone by reducing VAT to 5% would have an estimated cost of £11 billion to £12 billion a year to the Exchequer. Can you see the Chancellor throwing this away when he won’t countenance the reduction of removal of air passenger duty which is probably only worth £3 billion? The government’s answer; there is no prospect of a VAT cut for tourism. What a surprise!

the corniche in Abu Dhabi - more Brits are choosing here to holiday

According to figures just released by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), 251,504 visitors stayed in the emirate’s hotels and hotel apartments during August 2013 – a 37 per cent increase on the same month in 2012. The UK remains the second largest overseas market for Abu Dhabi with 96,923 Britons checking into the emirate – a 9 per cent rise on 2012 with British guests staying on average close to five nights. The message from the tourist board is that they will focus heavily on the messaging that Abu Dhabi is a luxury, yet highly affordable destination with 146 resorts, hotels and hotel apartments to choose.

In its Long Haul Trend Report Hayes and Jarvis say, that in the best value category, Vietnam leads the way followed by South Africa and Mauritius. For those seeking five-star holidays and best value, the Dominican Republic is highlighted. For the comany the top three destinations are still New York, Thailand and Las Vegas. Interestingl,y and despite the turmoil in Egypt, sales to the Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh are up over last year. Finally in the Caribbean, whilst St Lucia is the number one destination, Grenada has seen huge growth – up 82% over last year.

easyJet have annouced a sale that ends Tuesday night. There are 200,000 seats with up to 25% off for travel from the UK between the 5th November 2013 and the 31st of March 2014.

The most inexplicable story of the week is that Alitalia has had an injection of capital from shareholders and banks. But the Italian Post Office has also coughed up €75 million. Why? If a flight is cancelled, will passengers now be posted? Is this the only way the Italian government can get around EU rules for state supporting an airline?

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