Saturday snippets: September 16th 2017

By | Category: Travel news

Eberbach Monastery

Eberbach Monastery is in a beautiful setting situated close to the town of Eltville not far from Frankfurt In Germany.  It was here that scenes from the film “The Name of the Rose” (after the book by Umberto Eco) were filmed which is why you might recognise it. Being in the Rheingau, the area is known for its wine and the many vineyard tours. Now it has another reason for fame.  The monastery will turn into a Fine Arts market featuring the diverse works of 140 German artists and designers on October 28 and 29. Given the fame of German Fat Lava pottery amongst British collectors, (and the money it now costs to buy a piece) Eberbach Monastery may be the place to find the next trend in German art.

Staying in Germany, unless you are a fanatic wine buff, you may not have heard of Neustadt an der Weinstraße. Called Germany’s secret wine capital, the old town might have the largest number of timbered houses in the Rhieland-Palatinate but wine lovers know it as the home of the German Grape Harvest Festival (since 1949) which runs from late September to mid-October. Unusually it doesn’t just showcase local wines but there are national and international wines as well. Just as with all events these days, music and entertainment accompany the festival. Not only there is a wine queen but a Vintners’ Parade to end the festival.

From late September to early November 2017, Chaudiere Falls in Ottawa on the Ottawa River will be lit up with an light show that will be accompanied by a rich soundscape intended to highlight Algonquin Heritage. Although unconnected with the fact that Canada is celebrating its 150th anniversary as a nation, the light show this year will give more than a nod to the event.

It is just two months’ away from the  eighth annual Barbados Food and Rum Festival which, this year is to be held on the 18th and 19th of November. It surprises many how rapidly this event has taken hold and it now attracts thousands of visitors. This year here chefs representing the three largest suppliers of visitors to Barbados, Tom Aikens, (UK) Chris De La Rosa (Canada) and Jean-Georges Vongerichten  (USA) will be featured in a three-part Gourmet Safari dinner series which offers diners the opportunity to follow their favourite international chefs around the island as they prepare speciality spreads across some of Barbados’ finest restaurants. Local chefs will join in the safari. The festival isn’t just about food and rum. Events will also include polo, a flotilla and beach party, and a night out in the Oistins fishing village.

The Thai appeal

International visitor arrivals to Thailand are expected to grow by 5% to 8.7 million in the third quarter of 2017 according to the tourist authority. Visitors from Europe totalled 1.3 million (up 8%), with arrivals from the Middle East (+14% to 340,000 tourists), South Asia (+11% to 390,000 visitors) and the Americas (+9% to 280,000 tourists); all showing strong growth. Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor said, “TAT’s aggressive tourism marketing activities are also playing an important role in Thailand being marked as a preferred destination among international travellers.” TAT received positive results from its ‘Thailand Shopping & Dining Paradise 2017’ campaign (formerly known as the Amazing Thailand Grand Sale) organised from 1 June to 31 July. A ‘Women’s Journey Thailand’ followed in August for the second consecutive year, offering privileges and deals for women travellers alongside many special activities.

From the beginning of next year Travel South USA will launch the U.S. Civil Rights Trail which is the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s decree that freed slaves in the South during the Civil War. The Trail primarily features the most famous landmarks from the Civil Rights Era in the 1950s and ’60s.  International visitors can worship in the Birmingham, Alabama church that Klansmen bombed one Sunday, killing four girls. They can walk across the Selma bridge in Alabama where state police attacked voting rights demonstrators on “Bloody Sunday.” They can tour the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr. in Atlanta, Georgia and pay their respects at the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, where a lone gunman assassinated King 50 years’  ago. People can also visit the St. Louis, Missouri courthouse where the Dred Scott case began in the 1850s and hastened the start of the Civil War.  More than 80 sites will be included on the website, which will launch on Jan. 1, 2018. Many of the landmarks are owned and operated by the National Park Service.

Hawaii – attracting more domestic holidaymakers but fewer international ones?

The Hawaii Tourism Authority said there was a 6.9% increase in tourist numbers during July. Spending was also up 9.8% year over year so whichever way you look at the figures the US Pacific Ocean state is performing well. Or is it? Much of it is domestic tourism from other parts of the US which is up 22% so although the numbers look good international arrivals must be down. Are we not being tempted due to the low value of sterling?

The Somerset Arts Week Festival (23 September – 8 October) in Langport opens in a week’s time. It is now one of the biggest shows of its kind in England let alone the south-west of England. As part of the sixteen day event projects on offer during the family friendly weekend ( yes, it isn’t just for adults) include Landscape of Objects Installations and a Creative Pathways exhibit. The artists involved in this event include, David Ward and Kate Noble.

The effects of hurricane activity in the Caribbean and the US state of Florida continue to make news. Check with the tourist board and your airline if you are travelling there to see what is up and running. Many islands have been fast in re-opeing vital links bu the devastation will take time for the emergency services to remove. Having said that a surprsing number of destinations are open for business either due to hard work or luck that the hurricanes didn’t damage them.

In airline news, China Airlines will operate direct flights from Gatwick to Taiwan later this year. The airline hasn’t served London for the last five years but the new flight to the Taiwanese capital, Taipei, is yet another long-haul destination that Gatwick has managed to entice. Although it already has a British Airways service to Tenerife, the airline will also have a Heathrow-Tenerife service this winter from October 21st. From October 29th, BA will link Heathrow with Palma, Malaga and Palermo all year round instead of just during the summer. They will also have a Gatwick-Nuremburg service for a short period (November 30th until January 7th) to take Britons to the Christmas market.

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