Saturday snippets: 7th October 2017

By | Category: Travel news
Macchi Pichu

Macchu Pichu in Peru.

Regular readers will be aware that there is a new licencing system limiting the number of visitors to Machu Picchu along the Inca Trail to 200 a day in order to stem the ravages of tourism on the site. For those of you travelling there in 2018, you should be aware that tickets for visits are already available for purchase. For those visiting at peak times, permits can sell out in minutes. You can buy the permits for the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu on the official Machu Picchu website (www.machupicchu.gob.pe only in Spanish), or via a UK or Peru-based tour operator or agent.

Underway on Guernsey until mid-November is the twentieth anniversary of its annual Tennerfest, which sees over 150 restaurants across the Channel Islands offering three course menus from just £10. Over six weeks, restaurants all over Guernsey are featuring special menus that represent savings of almost 50% on normal prices. Initially launched as a way of attracting customers into island restaurants in quieter months, Tennerfest is now one of Guernsey’s most popular foodie events with more than 300,000 covers are served at each Tennerfest and over 30% of menus still sticking to the original promise of the festival offering something for £10 – which, twenty years on – is quite something! Why aren’t more mainland cities following this lead?

Book festivals may seem to appeal to a smallish group of people but they are valuable visitor attractions. Where would Hay-on-Wye be without its books and annual festival? The same applies to Wigtown in Scotland and they have quantified just how important their recently ended Book Festival is. They say the economic impact of close to £3m is based on growing ticket sales and evidence that visitors are spending longer in Dumfries and Galloway during the festival. And just as importantly, the timing of the festival provides a source of income for local businesses at a time which might otherwise be quiet.

The Museum of the Bible will  open in the US capital, Washington DC on November 17th. It claims to be “an innovative, global, educational institution whose purpose is to invite all people to engage with the Bible.” It aims to be the most technologically advanced museum in the world and the 430,000-square-foot non-profit museum is just three blocks from the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. For a tour of the building, click here.

Barely before the thoughts of Elon Musk had been given last week about the future of air travel than Monarch went bust. Could it be that the airline’s management listened to Musk and thought that there is no future for a traditional airline anymore? Of course not but airlines might have to rethink if Musk is right. He said that, in the future, we would be able to fly to most places on Earth in under 30 mins and anywhere in under 60.” He also wrote on Instagram that “Cost per seat should be about the same as full fare economy in an aircraft. Forgot to mention that.” Some people have criticised his comments saying that “G” forces would be too great for most people to stand. There’s only one way to find out…

rome a city break destination

Colosseum in Rome

Visitors to Rome’s Colosseum can visit parts that haven’t been available to tourists for over forty years. The fourth and fifth levels of the building (about forty metres above ground level) were where the cheap seats were. As part of the extensive renovations currently being carried out, these two levels are now open for tours. Visitors will also be able to use a connecting gallery which has never been open to the public before. During October, these areas will be included in the guided tours. From November you can book to just visit the fourth and fifth levels. The price of the visit will be €9 in addition to the usual entry fee and a reservation is compulsory.

Sometimes you hear despair in the voices of museum staff when the talk about how to enthuse kids comes up. Anything that encourages kids to persuade their families or for their families to feel comfortable taking their children to museums is to be welcomed.  That is the purpose of the Family Friendly Museum Award which this week was won by the People’s History Museum in Manchester out of 700 nominations that were considered.. Organised by Kids in Museums, the award is designed to recognise museums that are open and welcoming to all families. The winner is chosen by families themselves. The museum’s programme of family friendly activities includes story sessions, artist-led workshops, living history performances, Busy Bee explorer packs to help three to six year olds discover the museum, hands-on exhibits in every gallery and family friendly trails.  Even its café has chalkboard covered coffee tables to encourage kids to participate.

Do you suffer from a fear of flying? The airport at Phoenix in the US state of Arizona thinks they have a possible solution to release those nervous pangs. That solution is called Navigator Buddy.  Potential passengers (and anyone else) can pet and interact with what they call a “therapy dog” while waiting to board a plane, picking up a passenger, or after landing in Phoenix. Navigator Buddies are dogs in a registered pet therapy program who will volunteer their time – along with their owners – to provide some tail-wagging comfort to airport travellers. Navigator Buddies will interact with passengers both before and after security. In addition to providing comfort, they are part of the Navigator volunteer program so their handlers will also be ready to answer questions and provide directions to travellers. When will we see an idea like this at a UK or Irish airport?

Over 60,000 Monarch holidaymakers have been returned from their holidaymakers on flights chartered by the CAA. So smoothly does it seem to be going that it no longer makes headlines or even appears on the inside pages. Yet when the CAA put a post on Twitter suggesting people who spot a return flight tweet about it some of the travel trade went bananas and suggested this was in poor taste. It is in poor taste not to laud something that shows customers are protected.

Not only is easyJet adding another flight from Manchester to Malta starting on November 7th, starting next May, Air Malta will be reintroducing flights from Manchester to Malta on a weekly basis throughout the summer after dropping them during 2017. Is it something about the Manchester Airport catchment that is showing more interest in Malta or the fact that next week, Valletta, the capital, is one of the European Cities of Culture?

 

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