Saturday snippets: 17th December 2016

By | Category: Travel news
alilaguna terminal in Venice

the new terminal at Marco Polo Airport in Venice from where the alilaguna go. Image ® SAVE SpA

Visitors to Venice will know that if you want to catch the water buses (alilaguna) into the city you walk along a narrow covered walkway to the wharves. The rain could whip in and ampen your holiday spirits before you got half way to catch the alilaguna.That has changed. The Water Terminal has opened which provides a travellator, lifts and is completely covered from the elements. The 12 wharves allow for 24 landing stations. and Jet2holidays scrapped credit card fees in January apart from payments by American Express. Now it has dropped those as well so you can use any card or Paypal and you will not be charged. Now it is time for other airlines, tour operators and other travel companies to follow suit

Yesterday, Thomson Holidays began its last ever television marketing campaign. Why? Because next year, the Thomson name will disappear before it become known as TUI. The brand name and holiday company has been around for decades and has probably been one of the two pre-eminent travel brand names (along with Thomas Cook) since ILG went bust in 1991. This time though, the company is in rude health having recently announced profits up by 12.5%. But will people take to the TUI name? Probably they won’t even care. TUI’s other maain brand, First Choice, will survive. At least for now!

Terminal changes are afoot at Gatwick. In January there will be some significant changes so passengers should be aware that they may fly from one terminal and arrive back at another if they straddle the changeover period. From 11th of January 2017, BA2273 to New York will depart from the south terminal as will BA2612 to Naples from the 19th of January. Now for the big changes. All easyJet flights will depart from the north terminal from the 24th of January and all British Airways flights will depart from the south terminal as from the 25th of January. All Virgin Atlantic flights will leave from the north terminal as from the 25th of January.

a beach in the Canary islands

The, Canary Isles will probably have very little spare capacity this year. It’s full of British holidaymakers over Chrstmas and the new year

The online travel agency, On the Beach, has presumably looked at its bookings and it has revealed its most popular destinations this Christmas and New Year. The Canary Islands top the list followed by mainland Spain, the Algarve, Malta and Cyprus. There are no great surprises there other than that it shows that the recent promotion by the Balearic Islands to promote themselves as a year round destination could be a good idea. What the research doesn’t show is if booking numbers are down due to the Brexit effect t leading to sterling’s weakness.

Tourism is seen as a way of encouraging a sharp improvement in a country’s economy providing jobs and income. Having looked at over a hundred countries over 16 years, three researchers from Portsmouth and Bournemouth Universities as well as University College London have revealed that this industry axiom may not be totally true. Published in the academic journal, Annals of Tourism Research, their considered view is that democratically run countries benefit and those not democratically run , do not benefit as any benefits are not passed through to the people or the economy but controlled in the hands of a few.  I think most of us could have guessed that.

Following on from the story last week about intellectual disability, Southend Airport has introduced blue wristbands for those who require additional assistance. Anyone wanting a wristband should collect it from the ticket desk as you enter the terminal. Not going quite as far as Southend, yesterday, Bristol Airport appointed Bristol Dementia Action Alliance (BDAA) for its Winter Hidden Disabilities initiative. The scheme will see several local charities being invited to use the airport as a venue to raise awareness, with the public and airport staff, of various conditions.

I’ve been a bit remiss in not letting readers know that Glasgow is planning on having a tram/rail link between Glasgow Airport And the city centre. Costing about £144 million, the money has already been found and the journey will be under 20 minutes compared to the current time of 40 minutes to an hour depending on traffic. As for when passengers can start sing it -2025. That is if this time the link occurs. It has been shelved before so maybe that is why I didn’t mention it preferring to wait until the first earth is moved.

Delray Beach Christmas tree

The 100 foot Christmas tree at Delray Beach. Slightly bigger than Cardiff’s. Image © Aaron Lurie VMA Studios

Although the zika virus is over in Miami, a fact that will cheer the folks at Visit Florida and the city of Miami there is another outbreak in the US. This time it isn’ a lace usually visited by tourists, more by business people. Brownsville in Texas is now under a travel advisory with pregnant women being advised not to travel there by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Staying in Florida and in the greater Miami area, there is a part called Delray Beach. A couple of weeks ago, they lit their 0ne hundred foot Christmas tree which will stay lit till New Year’s Day. What it reminded me of when I saw the picture was that Cardiff ordered a Christmas tree from China to stand outside Cardiff Castle. They expected one 40 metres high; what came was one that was 40 feet not even tall enough to peek over the castle walls.

Sometimes you wonder what or MP’s and government is for. Karl McCartney, MP for Lincoln asked the government what steps the Government is taking to protect the UK’s cultural heritage. The reply? “Government is committed to protecting our nation’s cultural heritage and does so in a number of ways. These include statutory designation of heritage assets, recognition and management of UK World Heritage Sites, export licensing systems, grant-in-aid support to sixteen museums and galleries as well as a wide range of other government and public funding.” It answers the questions and says absolutely nothing about precise measures. But maybe MP’s should ask better formed questions!

Finally, some airline routes. easyJet has announced some more routes for next year. From Manchester it will fly to Dubrovnik in Croatia, Granada in Spain and the Greek coastal town of Preveza.  From Luton it will fly to Stockholm, the Greek island of Rhodes and  Biarritz in France. Monarch has also announced two new routes: Birmingham to Porto and Manchester to Dubrovnik.

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