Saturday snippets: 24th October 2015

By | Category: Travel news
Bermuda wants ocals to appeal to tourists to visit the island

Bermuda wants ocals to appeal to tourists to visit the island

The Bermuda Tourism Authority has decided that Bermudans themselves are probably the best promotors of the Atlantic Ocean island. A new ‘Bring It Home’ campaign hopes that residents will sell Bermuda to their circle of social and business contacts as the perfect place to hold meetings, conferences and events. Although the idea is primarily to increase business travel and to hold conferences and events on the island why shouldn’t it also work to encourage leisure holidays as well?

In many ski resorts outside Europe, snowfarming is part of a resort’s, regular activity. In Europe it is rarer but Seefeld in Austria is using the technique for the first time so that it can open its season earlier. This month in fact for downhill and early next month for cross-country skiing. Snowfarming involves harvesting what snow there is and putting it where skiers can take advantage of it. The problem is that this snow will melt if the ground below is too warm so deciding when to open an area to skiing requires some forecasting otherwise, after a week or so, there may be little snow left for skiing. As it is, even when the forecasting is accurate, resorts can expect to lose up to a quarter of the snow that they have moved.

Cruising is cool because of its links to brands like Starbucks

Cruising is cool because of its links to brands like Starbucks

As readers will know, ABTA held its annual shindig last week and, although, Just about Travel has mentioned some of the findings of the research that was published and commented on the Uma Thurman/Mary Berry controversy, here are a few more snippets from the conference. Cruising is cool according to a bevy of cruise company representatives there and that is because cruise companies are linking with high street brands. Cruise Lines International Association UK and Ireland director Andy Harmer said the adoption on ships of recognisable brands, such as Jamie’s Kitchen and Starbucks, is attracting new people to cruising. But it was a director of MSC Cruises who used the actual phrase. Giles Hawke said “Brands on board have made cruising cool. People think that if ships have got these brands, they must be cool.” Is Starbucks cool anymore? Ten years ago maybe but today? Not to be outdone, Uniworld MD, Kathryn Beadle thinks that cruising appeals to those who like to brag on social media about the different destinations that they’ve been to and experiences they’ve had. Not wishing to be fashionably cool I will stay away from Starbucks, Jamie’s Kitchen and social media. But cruising? I think not.

The other news I picked up on was research from ABTA’s Consumer Trends Survey stating that customers felt more confident booking a holiday if the holiday company was an ABTA member. What a surprise as is the finding that customers would pay more to use a company that was an ABTA member. That should help the membership drive then. In fairness though, ABTA is a name that is widely known and some people think that it is the only travel trade body which certainly isn’t the case but explains why 74% of those answering expected that their holiday company would be a member.

soon, direct links between Gatwick and New York vis JFK

soon, direct links between Gatwick and New York vis JFK

For many years, those living in the southe east of England have moaned about the length of time it can take to get to Heathrow to catch New York flights. In many counties public transport links are non-existant leaving the car as the only optioned on an overcrowded M25. Soon they won’t have to make that journey as British Airways has re-introduced a Gatwick-JFK service as from May day next year.

There is a lot of airline news, much of which relates to next summer but there are some flights that begin this month. Flybe will link Southampton to Dusseldorf from this Sunday. Also from Sunday, Flybe will operate more flights on routes from Southampton to Amsterdam, Glasgow, Guernsey and Manchester. Eastern Airways is also increasing to four the number of daily flights from Southampton to Leeds-Bradford. As for links to airports like Chambery which cater for skiers there are more flights than you can shake a stick at so check with your local airport to see if there are connections. The same applies to additional flights to Geneva over the winter.

In summer news, Vueling Airlines is launching two new routes, Alicante and Rome from Manchester Airport starting in June for summer 2016 Flights to Alicante will be three times a week on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday and twice a week to Rome on Friday and Monday. Monarch will add to its number of flights from Leeds-Bradford to Dalaman in Turkey, faro in the Algarve, Malaga and Naples. Aer Lingus is opening three US routes,. From May it will resume flights to Los Angeles and then start flying to Newark and Hartford, Connecticut from September 2016. British Airways will fly to Biarritz in France, Mahon in Menorca and Palermo in Sicily from Heathrow. From April 29, it will fly twice-weekly to Biarritz and four times a week to Menorca, while from May 2 it will fly to the Sicilian capital of Palermo, adding to the existing daily service to Catania from Gatwick. On March 29, flights to Hanover move from Terminal 3 to Terminal 5, to improve connections, while from May 3, Budapest gets an extra summer-only daily flight. Krakow moves from four flights a week to daily from May 7, while there will be additional six flights per week from May 3 to Stockholm, creating a new daily late night flight and early morning return flight. Venice gets the same, thanks to an extra three flights per week, also from May 3. Five other European destinations get two extra flights each a week: Split, Palma and Berlin on April 30, Gibraltar from May 1 and Olbia from May 3.

On a gondala in Venice - the most expensive transport in the world?

On a gondala in Venice – the most expensive transport in the world?

In the survey round-up this week, one from Travel Republic caught my eye. Any visitor to London or used our railways complains bitterly about how expensive travel costs can be. The company looked at a number of places and decided that travelling on a London bus costs, on average, 42p per mile but travelling on a tuk-tuk in Thailand costs more than double to 94p per Travel republic, mile. That’s cheap compared to the £53 per mile if you travelled on a gondala in Venice and the Dhow Boats of Zanzibar, which were the second most expensive, at £23 a mile. The cheapest? Guatemala’s Chicken bus, which costs the equivalent of less than 1p a mile, at 0.03p but then it is overcrowded and not the softest ride you’ll ever get! Travel Republic says that if you have a funny story to tell about a certain mode of transport, to share your stories on their Facebook page or Twitter using #TRiconictravel”

Finally, there was a debate in the House of Commons this week concerning Air Passenger Duty – APD. It was just that – a debate with no outcome. Some MP’s argued for airlines to have an APD holiday if they opened a new route but the government, in the guise of the Financial Secretary to the Treasury instead of a transport minister, had an argument as to why this wouldn’t happen. All talk and no movement which has been the history of APD debates as it applies to Great Britain for years and years.


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