Saturday snippets: 20th June 2015

By | Category: Travel news
Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Its Father’s Day tomorrow so what is the tourist industry doing for us? Blackpool Pleasure Beach is offering all dads the opportunity to enjoy a free day out which means a saving of up to £30!  All kids can treat dad to a day out at and enjoy making some fantastic family memories, by booking him a wristband at the same time as you book your own. Adult wristbands are priced at £30 and junior wristbands at £27. The free wristband for dad must be purchased online at the same time as another adult or child wristband.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has revised its advice on travelling to Kenya. Now it has no negative advice about travelling to Kenya’s second largest city, Mombasa, which means that the beaches and seaside resorts should receive a larger number of tourists than they were expecting just days ago. Kenya Airways introduced a special offer for Mombasa to start wooing visitors from the UK again. The country had 117,201 UK visitors last year and has always been popular with tourists seeking to combine beach/sun holidays with a safari break.

Children are supposed to do the opposite of their parents. Not so in the holiday business it seems. The Brighton based holiday company, Neilson, has found that 60% of 21-35 year olds find beach locations, competitive prices and simplicity the most appealing factors of package holidays. What does irk them though are reps that pester them, (probably trying to sell more excursions at inflated rates) dreadful and repetitive food menus and the feeling that they feel under pressure to always have fun. Sounds like they are turning into grumpy old people before their time!

But maybe those same 21-45 year olds may ditch postcards and opt for something different. Those amongst you who are Instagram users might be interested in a new app which allows you to make 15 second videos into moving postcards thanks to technology from Zappar and online printing innovators, Sticky9.  For £10 users will be able to upload their Instagram video and create nine 14x14cm postcards in a premium card matt finish to send to friends and family. Armed with the free to download Zappar app, recipients of the cards can point their smartphone or tablet at a personalised postcard and watch as the sender’s movie comes to life. The clever device is not limited to just postcards though. The postcard creator can be used for anything from party invitations and birthday greetings as well. Designed for both iPhone and Android, the Zappar app is free to download and available at the App Store or Google Play.

About a third of us holidaying abroad will head to Spain this summer and what could be more Spanish than flamenco dancing. Taking pride of place dar will be the 55th staging of the Cante de las Minas, one of the most important flamenco events in the world which will be held from August 5-15. The 10-day dance extravaganza annually attracts a first-class field of international competitors including singers, musicians and dancers, with world-renowned performers such as Paco de Lucia and Camarón among those who have competed for the coveted miner’s lamp trophy.

You had to have expected this next item! The Royal Cornwall Museum (RCM) has just opened a series of Poldark related exhibits exploring the rich and varied nature of Poldark’s 18thcentury Cornwall. As the RCM holds many of Winston Graham’s original notebooks, showing his novels written in long hand, as well as the typewriter on which he wrote to his many fans, it was easy of them to organise much of this exhibition. On display will be the original manuscript of ‘Bella Poldark’ – the twelfth and final novel in the Poldark series which was written in 2002; Graham’s first acceptance letter for a published work and the detailed Poldark family tree with Winston Graham’s handwritten research notes.

Margate at night. But now you can relieve the old days by going to Dreamland

Margate at night. But now you can relieve the old days by going to Dreamland

At long last, Margate’s Dreamland – the world’s first theme park of heritage rides – is finally re-opened yesterday. From 1930s Caterpillars and 1940s Double Decker carousels, to 1970s Chair-O-Planes and modern adrenaline pumpers, Victorian pleasure park Dreamland has been re-imagined to recreate a thrilling amusement park from the past. The attraction has been re-designed by Wayne Hemingway at a cost of £18million. The park’s famous Grade II listed, heritage Scenic Railway is set to re-open later in the summer.

Next month, Chester Zoo will open the most ambitious zoo development in the UK for a long time: an immersive re-creation of six south-east Asian islands and their biospheres. Islands opens up the natural climates of Panay, Papua, Bali, Sumatra, Sumba and Sulawesi, complete with some of the world’s most magnificent wildlife – including carnivorous plants, prehistoric-looking birds and the impressive Sunda gharial crocodile.

It seems that 3.14 million visitors came to our shores in April, 6% more than in the same month last year, according to new data published by the Office for National Statistics. Visits hit a new record for the first four months of a year: between January and April 2015 they exceeded 10 million for the first time. Guernsey was one of the places to benefit from this upsurge. VisitGuernsey has reported a healthy 7.3% increase in staying visitors compared to the same period in 2014. The latest figures show that staying leisure visitors to the island increased by 8.4% year-on-year. Those who visit the island to see friends and relatives, and who also stay, increased by 26.6% while staying business visitors decreased by 14.5%. Total UK visitors increased by 8.1% yet visitor numbers from Jersey have decreased by 32.9%.

Heathrow treminal 1

Heathrow treminal 1

Since we had so many overseas visitors it must be true that our airports had a busy time. Heathrow saw its busiest-ever May with a record 6.34 million passengers representing an increase of 1.7% year-on-year. May also set new single-day passenger records for arrivals (131,327 on 31st May), departures (129,059 on 22nd May) and overall (246,516 on 22nd May)

What would this column be without a survey or two upon which to comment? Following on from the Neilson one above, another from Travelzoo claims to show that we and the Germans are as bad as each other, with a third of respondents admitting to making the early morning towel run to reserve a sunbed on the beach or by the pool. If true, some of our habits are deplorable in the extreme. The research revealed that two in every three Americans admitted to peeing in the pool or the sea, closely followed by half of Canadians and 46 per cent of Brits. Americans are also the biggest culprits when it comes to heading home with the complimentary toiletries – 69 per cent owned up to it compared to 45 per cent of UK holidaymakers and one in five Germans. On the other hand, Germans were most likely to have a wandering eye on holiday with 10 per cent admitting to cheating on their partner contrasting with five per cent of Brits and just two per cent of Canadians. Personally, I would prefer not to have had the results of this survey and I’m not sure I want to swim ever again! On that note, I leave you until next week.



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