Saturday snippets: 16th January 2016

By | Category: Travel news
Dominic Wilcox'x glass car

Dominic Wilcox’x glass car

Pop along to the inventors’ exhibition that opens at 18 Fawcett Street in Sunderland starting today and you will see hundreds of inventions’ ideas that have been thought up by the locals. It only runs until the end of the month but there are some ideas that are practical, some that are worthy of Heath Robinson whimsy and some that have already been developed and will come to market. It will be hard to miss the organiser, Dominic Wilcox’s, own contribution – his car although that seems too pedestrian a word to describe it! It’s a glass package that looks like a muli-coloured car tarp or a surreal camper van. That you can see at the National Glass Centre.

Don’t try taking a selfie if you are walking along the beaches of Mumbai. Last week three girls were taking selfies and got washed into the sea when they weren’t concentrating on where they were and only two were rescued. Two people drowned when a couple were so engrossed in taking a selfie that they failed to see someone in trouble in the water. The authorities have now banned taking selfies in fifteen different beachside areas and you will be stopped by policemen if you are caught.

Next week, the Space Center in Houston will open the new international landmark Independence Plaza. The eight-story-tall multiple-exhibit complex features a shuttle replica mounted on top of the first shuttle carrier aircraft, the NASA 905. The complex will give visitors a glimpse into the historic shuttle era and the NASA breakthroughs and technological advances gained from the shuttle program. You can enter the shuttle seeing the flight deck, mid-deck, payload bay and exhibits. The plane will have multiple exhibits in seven different areas that explore innovation, science and technology. Visitors will see inside the plane’s cockpit and learn how the plane was retrofitted to carry the shuttle.

the Kunsten Museum

the Kunsten Museum

Re-opening this coming week will be will be Denmark’s Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg. Originally designed by Aalvar Aalto, the design was one of the first to stress the importance of natural light in being able to view the exhibits  instead of relying on electricity to light them. It didn’t open until 1972 and has since housed an important collection of international modern art including Marc Chagall, Asger Jorn, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol amongst others. The refurbishment allows for new space for contemporary forms of art and installation without encroaching on any of Aalto’s design The outdoor sculpture park has also been integrated into the overall flow of the museum to offer a more cohesive indoor/outdoor experience. It remains one of the inonic designs that everyone should see once in their lifetimes.

From Travel Counsellors, comes the result of a survey which suggests that trust ranks highest when it comes to booking a holiday. 93% of survey responders said that they plan to go on holiday in the next 12 months, highlighting that consumers are still making travel plans despite reports of uncertainty following recent global events. The survey revealed that booking with some they can trust is now the most important factor for 60% when making travel plans, whilst only 4% ranked ‘getting the cheapest price’ as the most important factor for them. Could it be that no-one now likes to be considered a cheap-skate and that whilst say that price is important, few admit to it being the dominant reason?

What has Bournemouth in common with Abu Dhabi? You might think the answer is very little but Shazan – a company with 100 million worldwide users that provides song identification assistance for those who can’t remember what the song is – has been used by the BBC to research what music people search for on their phones. Putting aside whether this a good use of BBC money and how relevant it is in the first place, it seems that both Bournemouth and Dhabi have a shared fondness for London-based hip-hop trio WSTRN and their underground smash In2.  When people from the Dorset resort holiday next in Abu Dhabi and vice-versa you know have a talking point.



Joan Miró may have been a Catalan but he spent about forty years of his life in Mallorca, Not far from the Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation, the workshop where Miró painted and sculpted between the 1950s and 1980s and which has a collection of over 2000 paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints will be the new Joan Miró Museum Hotel which will have 20 of Miró’s works on display. The hotel, which used to be known as the Dali after another famed Spanish artist will open in February.

Acts of terrorism such as those that happened in Turkey and Indonesia this week are known to affect tourism and visitor numbers but quantifying that is not always easy.  Air France-KLM has said lower bookings after the Paris terror attacks led to a drop of €70 million in revenues in December and €50 in November. It looks like we tourists either bounce back quickly or forget just as fast. The airline says that bookings picked up towards the end of the December.

Gatwick - a bumper year for passengers

Gatwick – a bumper year for passengers

Airports have been adding up the numbers for last year to demonstrate how successful they were. At Stansted, passenger numbers rose 13% to reach 22.57 million, Manchester handled more than 23 million passengers, Edinburgh had 11.13 million (up by 950,000) and Glasgow had 8.7 million passengers which, coincidentally, was also up by 13%. Heathrow handled just less than 75 million passengers which was up by 1.5 million over 2014 and Gatwick had 40.3 million, the most from any single runway anywhere in the world. Liverpool achieved 4.3 million passengers in 2015, Cardiff topped 1.2 million and Birmingham saw 10.2 million passengers pass through the airport. More announcements will be made of the coming week but it is looking as though many more of us flew last year. Will it continue to grow this year? The industry seems to think so.

Finally, there have been quite a lot of airline announcements this week. Liverpool will have direct flights to the Hungarian capital of Budapest as from March 21on Wizz Air. Flybe will fly from Southampton – but just for the summer – to Biarritz and Toulon Hyeres in France from July 2 to September 12 and flights to Bastia in Corsica will return for the peak summer travel but just on Sundays. Delta Airlines will operate a daily direct flight from Heathrow to Salt Lake City from May 2 and will be the only non-stop provider.


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