Saturday snippets – 19 October 2013

By | Category: Travel news

A China Eastern plane at Manchester Airport

I know economic times are picking up but surely Manston Airport in east Kent must be worth more than the £1 that the co-founder of the Stagecoach Group – Ann Gloag – paid? Yes it is stuck on a strip of land between cabbage fields and the Thames estuary, takes ages to get to and from but the lady obviously sees a future. In the meantime the airport thinks that it can attract up to 5 million passengers in the future provided it has better rail services and a better road network. You can say that about most airports but if you can’t persuade airlines to use it and then passengers to travel you still have a problem.

This is quite unlike another English airport, Manchester, which was able to announce that it has signed up a Chinese partner, Beijing Construction Engineering Group, (BCEG) to help develop the airport area into what is called an ‘Airport City’ project. Apparently this means that they will be building those things that you would expect to see at an airport like offices, hotels, manufacturing firms, logistics and warehouses. The airport hopes that by attracting international businesses some 16,000 jobs could be created. It probably also means that some Chinese airlines will start linking Manchester with important Chinese cities in the near future. If that also brings Chinese tourism to the north west that will be big benefit as well.

Sanit Peter; an island off southern Sardinia © Robin Nowacki

South Sardinia is the first Mediterranean destination to complete the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s (GSTC) Early Adopters Program to test its new Criteria and Indicators for Destinations. The assessment was one of the first initiatives of Visit South Sardinia. Meanwhile, the Azores has been named the No.1 sustainable tourism destination in the world by a new leading study, beating 1,000 other coastal and island destinations to the top spot. The Azores consistently high in all of the study’s criteriaa including factors such as nature, environment, socio-economic factors and identity/community. Situated in the heart of the Atlantic Ocean, the Azores have low levels of development and offer many sites of natural heritage, protected marine life and wildlife.

Still on wildlife, Melbourne Airport had to be partially closed when a kangaroo appeared on the tarmac. For years the tourism authorities have been trying to tell us that you don’t really see kangaroos hopping down the main streets of big cities and then this happens. It had been injured by a car and somehow, it had managed to get through security and become a potential hazard to planes. What does this say about the security at the airport? At least the kangaroo is making a good recovery from its injuries unlike the injured pride of the security officials.

Back in our countries I was surprised to find out just how many sources of revenue are available to heritage sites for maintenance. In the House of Commons, Ed Vaizey from the Culture and everything else department said that there were 135 maintenance funds in existence if your local tourist attraction is in need of a bob or two.

G-Force at Drayton Manor © Sam Bagnall. The legacy of the Bryan's.

I’ve not been a fan of airline food in economy class, preferring take my own. I’ll continue to do that now that Air India have revealed that one of their passengers found worms in his sandwich. The broadcaster said that an Air India spokesmen wasn’t sure whether they were worms or maggots not that it matters much as neither variety should have been there.

Finally one of a married partnership of entrepreneurs responsible for setting up Drayton Manor Theme Park has died. Just a few weeks after her husband and co-founder, Colin, died, Vera Bryan passed away. Between them they took a site filled with rubbish, brambles and junk and developed an attraction from out of nothing that draws over a million people annually.

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