Saturday snippets: 28th January 2017

By | Category: Travel news

Last year’s France Show in London

Yesterday, I was at the opening day of Holiday World in Dublin. A strong contingent from the USA had arrived to persuade consumers and travel agents to buy more American holidays. But they weren’t alone. Uganda and Botswana were promoting their safari/environmental holidays, Argentina, Romania, Poland, Slovakia were trying to persuade the Irish to travel there yet where were the Brits?

North Wales, Attractions of Snowdonia and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board were the sole travellers from the UK to promote their destination. Yet the Irish visit the UK in large numbers and the favour is returned. Where are those destinations that have ferry links with Ireland? Where those destinations that have direct flight links with Irish airports such as Dublin, Cork, Sligo and Galway? Away from the travel booths, there were booths selling unconnected travel items like foodstuffs, chutneys, clothes and something to clean glass better than anything ever tried before. They were there because they thought 30,000 people represented a potential market. It’s just a shame that destinations in their nearest country didn’t think the same.

Holiday World continues in  Dublin and the France Show is on in London. Unlike a lot of consumer travel shows, here was a place where you could leave the kids where they would be supervised as their parents toured the show. And judging by the number of kids there it was a popular feature which other consumer travel shows on this side of the Irish Sea might want to copy.

A few weeks ago, Just about Travel mentioned that Universal’s Wet ‘n’ Wild water park would close. It did at the end of last year and the new ride has been given a start date. Volcano Bay will open on May 25th so those taking their summer holidays in in the Orlando area will find it open when they arrive. The centrepiece of the Pacific island themed water park is the 200-feet high volcano and the Krakatau Aqua Coaster which is surrounded by four themed areas – the Volcano, Wave Village, River Village and Rainforest Village.

Yesterday, a new light festival was launched in the Canadian city of Toronto. Down in the Distillery District a huge open air gallery will light up the dark winter nights with works from Canadian and International light artists until March the 12th.

On Wednesday next, tickets will go on sale for Ferrari Land at PortAventura.. Due to open on April the 7th,  it will be the resort’s third theme park but Ferrari Land is likely to be one of the biggest reasons why people will visit PortAventura Ferrari Land will have a daily admission slot from 10am to 5pm. For those visiting in high season, there will be also be an evening admission slot from 6pm to 1am.

Uganda gorillas

How about visiting Uganda and seeing the gorillas in Bindi?

Should you happen to be strolling through London’s Trafalgar Square next Thursday (2nd of February) don’t be surprised if you see a full size Mountain Gorilla rampaging through the place. It is not live but an animatronic version to publicise Uganda as a tourist destination and the best place (in Bwindi) to see them. You can also see the “gorilla” at the London offering of Destinations in Olympia next weekend. The tourist board says that their “gorilla” (I have a desire to call it Guy after London Zoo’s much lamented animal) will be available for photos and filming in Trafalgar Square on Thursday 2nd February. The times are as follows: 10.30am – 11am 12.00pm – 12.30pm 1.30pm – 2.00pm 3.00pm – 3.30pm

Hardly had Ryanair Holidays started than it has ceased – at least temporarily. Ryanair says that the shutdown is temporary and due to the fact that there has been ‘illegal screen-scraping and mis-selling of Ryanair flights by the software provider.’ The airline now needs to find another partner which it hopes to do quickly and to be able to re-continue to offer Ryanair Holidays by the end of February. Anybody who has booked a Ryanair Holiday has no problem; Ryanair will honour all existing bookings.

The Californian city of Oakland might not be as well to many us like LA, San Francisco or San Diego but it will be given that there will be a direct flight from London on BA starting this year. Last year it had 3.6 million visitors and those visitors made it possible for the local authority to offset the average household tax burden by $450 per household.  Why don’t our destinations portray the value of tourism in this easily understood way? It might persuade some places to become as tourist-friendly as they claim to be.

The film, ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ based on the Ransom Riggs novel was very popular when it hit our screens. Now a new exhibition opens at Ripley’s London from the 7th of February until the 5th of March which  show a collection of genuine items created for Tim Burton’s film. There will be outfits and props used by the stars, including a dress for Eva Green, who played Miss Peregrine as well the peculiarly incredible Perpetual Calendar, Miss Peregrine’s Birdcage, Enoch’s Heart in a Jar and Barron’s (Samuel L. Jackson’s) snack of choice…eyeballs!

Developed by the godfather of measuring customer satisfaction, Claes Fornell from the University of Michigan, the UK Customer Satisfaction Index has never really had as much media coverage as the American version. Using a sample of about 10,000 customers, it covers over 30 metrics of customer experience, including staff professionalism, quality and efficiency, ease of doing business, problem solving, complaint handling and attitudes towards trust and reputation. The measures in the UKCSI reflect the priorities customers have identified as the most important attributes of customer experience. Jet2.com and the Jet 2holidays is the highest ranked airline and holiday company for customer service.

London Eye and the southbank e

London is no longer the most expensive capital in the world

Simon Hamilton, the Northern Irish Minister for the Economy, suggested that another airline might be interested in starting a direct flight between Belfast and the US. After the ending of the United Airlines flight to Newark, he said in Stormont this week, “In the last few weeks, I have been able to sign off and agree a recommendation from officials to offer support to an airline that proposes to offer two direct flights from Belfast International Airport to destinations in the United States of America. That is working its way through the airline’s approval process, and I hope that we will see positive news in the not too distant future.”

According to the research company, Euromonitor, London has dropped down the pecking order of most visited cities in the world. It used to be in second place after Hong Kong but, that spot has been taken by Bangkok. London slips to third place. Singapore was in fourth spot with Paris in fifth.

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