What’s hot: May 2013

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

CD-Traveller has the low-down on what’s hot in the travel world, right now


The Parcel Islands
Vietnam, Taiwan and China are all arguing over the Parcel islands in the South China Sea and the dispute shows no signs of dying now that China has, ahead of the national May Day holiday, opened up the Parcel islands to tourists.

Going green
&Beyond, a South African tour operator, has won the 2013 Tourism for Tomorrow award for its work in aiding the reversal of species extinction in Africa and India. Elsewhere, Air New Zealand, was hailed the greenest big travel company, while El Nido Resorts in the Philippines took the gong for community benefit.


Doing the decent thing in the UAE
Qantas is urging all its passengers to behave themselves when in the UAE (the Australian airline’s main transfer hub). The Islamic state frowns upon public displays of affection, homosexual activity, drug use and possession, in addition to drinking in public and sharing a room with an unmarried partner – all of which are imprisonable offences.



Caribbean calling
Thomas Cook is to commence flights from Manchester airport to the Caribbean islands of Antigua and St Lucia, this winter. The flights will be the only direct ones from outside London.


All aboard for the Big Apple gossip
Following in the footsteps of celebrity obsessed website, TMZ, The New York Post is launching a double decker bus tour that promises to take tourists for “a ride on the wild side.” Customers can expect to see locations connected with sensational tabloid scandals, such as the Plaza Hotel – where Charlie Sheen had his highly publicised alleged breakdown.



Bumpy flights
Think flights are bumpy right now? They could be about to get even bumpier. Scientists from East Anglia and Reading universities have analysed the atmospheric jet stream over the North Atlantic, and have predicted that climate change will increase the chance of air turbulence on flights by 40 to 170 per cent. Eeek.


Two headed shark
We kid you not: a two headed shark has been found, by a fisherman, in the Gulf of Mexico. GULP! Michael Wagner, assistant professor of fisheries and wildlife, at Michigan State University said: “This is certainly one of those interesting and rarely detected phenomena. It’s good that we have this documented as part of the world’s natural history.”

Fat tax
Samoa Air has started to charge passengers for a plane seat, according to how much they weigh. The airline’s website reads: “Booking a flight with us is as easy as inputting your approximate weight into our online booking engine (don’t worry, we will weigh you again at the airport) — you then can prepay your ‘guesstimate’, guaranteeing you that much weight is allocated to you for that flight … with Samoa Air, you are the master of how much (or little!) your air ticket will cost.” Detractors have denounced Samoa Air’s scheme as distasteful.


India has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, in the wake of the stabbing of Sarah Groves, 24. The British backpacker was stabbed around 40 times on a houseboat near Kashmir’s capital, last month, where she had been staying with her boyfriend Richard de Wit, 43. The murder follows a series of well publicised sex attacks in India.

New Zealand
The land of the long white cloud has been beaten by its antipodean neighbour, Australia, in a battle of the best of Down Under. A survey by travel search site, Skyscanner.net, asked more than 1,200 travellers to vote in categories including winter sports, luxury escapes, food and adventure travel, for the country they thought was better. Oz emerged triumphant in seven of the 12 categories. Altogether now: Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!


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