Saturday snippets: 28th June 2014

By | Category: Travel news
a pristine beach in Antigua

a pristine beach in Antigua

Antigua has announced that UK arrivals to Antigua have increased by 22% since the same period in 2013. This will rise again when the new V.C. Bird International Airport terminal will be completed in November this year. The new terminal is set to treble the number of departure gates with numerous retail stores and restaurants in addition to departure lounge capacities of nearly 1,000 seats. Expect travel agents to start promoting the benefits of holidaying in the country this winter.

Antigua will also have new flights linking the country with Beef Island in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). These started last Thursday and connect with the arrival/departure of scheduled British Airways and Virgin Atlantic flights between London Gatwick and Antigua. Ginny Hawksley, Manager UK, BVI Tourist Board goes on to say: “The launch of these new flights enables travellers from the UK to enjoy more time in the British Virgin Islands thanks to a quicker transfer time in Antigua. The islands can be reached via connecting flights through other Caribbean airports including Antigua, St Thomas, Puerto Rico, St Kitts or St Maarten. From the UK a number of airlines, including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, offer scheduled flights to Antigua with connecting flights to Tortola available with LIAT and VI Airlink.

A Usain Bolt pose from the Jamaican boat's crew

A Usain Bolt pose from the Jamaican boat’s crew

Coinciding with the LegenDerry Maritime Festival and straddling the Caribbean and Northern Ireland, there are celebrations in Foyle Marina in Derry-Londonderry this weekend for arrival of the ‘JAMAICA Get All Right’ team. Jamaica’s entry in the Clipper 2013-14 Round the World Yacht Race is one of 12 crews currently participating in the race with the fleet . To add to the fun, the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) has launched a best “Bolt” pose competition, named after Jamaica’s world-record holder Usain Bolt. Members of the public who are game for the challenge are asked to choose a well-known location in Derry-Londonderry and strike the iconic Bolt pose before uploading it onto Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #jamaicalondonderry this weekend. The Jamaica Tourist Board will be giving away five goodie bags full of Jamaican treats, to participants with the most creative entry. There is an element of bias here as entrants who use Jamaica’s national flag colours of green, black and gold as part of their costume will be looked upon most favourably!

From August 22 of this year, Germanwings, the German airline,  will be flying a new connection from Dusseldorf to  Stansted Airport.  The connection comes just a little to late for the Koblenz Summer Festival  to be held from the 8 to 10 August, and its unforgettable “Rhine in Flames” event. There are always pectacular fireworks and Koblenz hosts the longest ship parade in the world against the background of the world-famous Deutsche Eck. A total of 76 ships provide some 22,000 passengers with views of the castles, palaces and riverside promenades.

Remaining in Germany, the 29th German Wine Route Day will be held on 31 August 2014. This is the day on which the whole of the Wine Route which runs from Bockenheim to Schweigen becomes the centre of the Palatinate. From 10 a.m. to  6 p.m., Germany’s oldest wine tourist route is largely blocked off for motorised traffic on a length of around 80 kilometres, and wine, sparkling wine, and regional specialities are on offer everywhere. The route takes visitors through picturesque wine villages and enchanting vineyard landscapes.

Trunk Bay, BVI

Trunk Bay, BVI

This week has seen the ending of the large-scale UNESCO Wold Heritage meeting in Doha which adds to the list of protected heritage sites around the world. In Costa Rica in central America, they celebrate the 6th Anniversary of the inscription of the Historic City of George Town as a UNESCO World Heritage Site with two days packed with memorable events. The annual Heritage Celebrations take place on the 6th and 7th of July right in the streets of the inner city but that isn’t an end to it. They take their status seriously and the whole of August is given over to a month-long festival celbrating the arts. There will beworld-class performances to cross-cultural creative collaborations, experimental art, traditional and contemporary performing arts, as well as exciting local community initiatives and public installations.

If Los Angeles is on your calendar for a summer holiday destination, expect to see a slightly different sight there. Fashion trucks are making tracks just like their culinary counterparts, only these vehicles are bedecked with clothing, accessories and footwear.  Among the top contenders are Le Fashion Truck, Runaway Runaway with twin fitting rooms and flat screen TV, J.D. Luxe stocking a crop of boho chic fashions and putting its gear in park at local farmers’ markets; and Shop Truck LA packed with designer outfits at wholesale prices and available for private parties. What happened to just visiting the mall or the designer outlet markets?

Garden lovers should head to Guernsey from 5th- 13th July for The annual Floral Guernsey Summer Festival is fast approaching. The nine day festival will see a host of events including open gardens, guided walks and an appearance by renowned garden photographer Clive Nichols. Guernsey is a haven for floral enthusiasts with many unique plant varieties and a mild maritime climate, meaning that the island is decorated in colourful wildflowers for most of the year. Visitors can expect to see rare orchids, crocuses and exotic lilies in immaculately groomed historical gardens and wildflowers along the coastline and in the rural interior.

The Isle of Wight coastline

The Isle of Wight coastline

I’m always a bit wary of an advertising that uses a celebrity to promote a certain destination. But actress Celia Imrie who is the “voice” of the Isle of Wight in a new TV ad enticing UK holiday-makers to visit the Isle of Wight does live there. She wasn’t born there but liked it so much she bought a holiday home there. The ad promotes a new Time Travel trail and is linked with the soon-to-be released  Transformers: Age of Extinction film. Aiming to follow in the giant footsteps left behind by Dinosaurs last year, the Isle of Wight is now looking to capitalise on the upcoming blockbuster, and will be offering to send visitors on a journey back to the future with the help of a new Time Travel app and visitor’s passport.

After being closed for an entire decade and after three years of architectural research and restoration work, the Vilnius Cathedral Belfry in Lithuania has finally opened its doors to visitors.  Visitors will be able to see the exposed bells, the old clock of the city and explore the historic pictures of the reconstruction of Belfry and the Cathedral. CCTV cameras on the top floor allow visitors to check out the city panoramas and famous architectural sights.

Finally, Haiti – another Caribbean addition to today’s snippets – has opened a tourist office in London for the first time. Few Britons holiday there and Jean-Marc Flambert who will run the UK office plans to change that by highlighting to travel agents the food and festival nature of the country plus its caves, waterfalls and historic fortresses. We are quite used to holidaying in it’s neighborough country, Dominican Republic, but this French speaking nation (the website is only in French at the moment) will attract those who always try to visit somewhere that others haven’t been to. For the next year or so those may be the main source of visitors from the UK whilst Flambert convinces travel agents to actively promote Haiti.



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