Saturday snippets: 27th September 2014

By | Category: Travel news
this is what tourism means to most of us

this is what tourism means to most of us

Today is World Tourism Day. So what, you might say. What is so special about today rather than any other day? In fact The Times of India yesterday ran the wonderful headline, “Nothing special planned for World Tourism Day.” It is supposed to raise awareness of the importance of tourism but how many notice the day. That newspaper headline says it all!

Yesterday was the day that the feature film, What We Did On Our Holiday was released. Starring David Tennant, Rosamund Pike and Billy Connolly, from what I’ve seen of it, everyone’s holiday is probably like some of the film. Thankfully not all but well worth a night out at the cinema.

This week, I thought I had better start with a museum to delight almost anyone. The only chocolate waterfall in Europe is now open at the ‘Choco Factory and Museum‘ for six months as part of the 79th Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) and is housed in TIF-HELEXPO in the city. The Choco Factory and Museum contains educational as well as recreational content and includes the ‘journey of chocolate,’ a gallery with a chocolate map and Greek historical monuments made of chocolate, chocolate workshops and chocolate face-painting. The creators are considering to extend its six-month operation period and may transport the “Choco Factory and Museum” project to other Greek cities. And as you would expect, there are some samples to be tasted along the way.

museum of human rights

the new Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg

A museum of a different kind is the Canadian Museum of Human Rights  – the first national museum in Canada’s history to be located outside the National Capital Region – opened in Winnipeg, Manitoba last Saturday. It is also the first in the world solely dedicated to the evolution, celebration and future of human rights. The includes eleven dynamic galleries which include exhibits such as ‘Indigenous Perspectives’ and ‘Breaking the Silence’ exhibit, which explores the role secrecy and denial in atrocities around the world. As the years roll through and we learn more about the actions of governments, surely this is the exhibition side that will grow and grow.

Another museum that opened yesterday  – and completely different from the other two – was The Tina Turner Museum at Flagg Grove School in  Brownsville, Tennessee. The school is one of only a few remaining African-American one room schoolhouses. The  clapboard structure holds significant historical value for the community as the land the school was built on was purchased from Benjamin Flagg in 1889. Flagg was a former slave who came from North Carolina after the Civil War. He was also the brother of George Flagg, Tina’s great-grandfather.

In Ireland, they have announced the ten places going forward to the final judging for Best Toursm Town (large) and Best Tourism Town (small). They are – in the biggest town category – Cobh. Killarney, Kilkenny and Westport and in the small category, the contenders are  Ardmore, Carrick-on-Shannon,  Glengarriff, Kinsale, Lismore and Portmagee. Te winners will be announced on November 2nd.


Spain ; we do seem to need it

During August, 2.1 million of us visited Spain according to the Spanish Institute of Tourism Studies. Guess where we went? Yes, the Canaries and the Balearics and only then did we go the mainland. yet amongst all visitors, Catalonia was the preferred place to visit.  In all 9.1 million people visited the country in August which was up by nearly 9% on the previous year. But it was the French who showed the biggest increase in visitor numbers and the Germans were third with the majority of them opting for the Balearics.

Record numbers of Brits delayed their annual summer holiday this year to take advantage of the warm temperatures here in the UK according to research from Travelex, the foreign exchange people.  They estimate that over 48 millionBrits are planning to go away between October and December this year because they took advantage of a UK staycation. But that- as they cheerfully admit – amounts to over three quarters of the entire population of our countries. Can that be true? If it is, then tour operators are in for a bumper year after a summer that many claim wasn’t the greatest.


mobile phone

a few more months of quiet yet and then what? Will planes have quiet zones?

Colombia’s says that its iconic La Ciudad Perdida, or Lost City, is enjoying a surge in visitors on the back of increased interest in the country’s rich heritage and major archaeological sites. The site in the Sierra Nevada which is often referred to as Colombia’s Machu Picchu – a site it pre-dates by more than 600 years – was rediscovered by treasure hunters in the 1970s and tours of the city, famed for its myriad paths and terraces, began in 2005.

You will have heard the news that the European Aviation safety Agency has cleared the way for mobile phones to be used during take-off and landing as well as in flight. but don’t expec t to able to use yours that quickly. Each airline must test their own planes to be sure safety is not comprimised and then install any new kit. We have peace and quiet for a bit longer yet!

It seems that they have barely started direct transatlantic flights from Gatwick yet Norwegian have already announced that they will be increasing the number of the direct flights to the US next year. This no-frills airline has announced fares that – on the face of it – will be muc cheaper than the traditional airlines but will those carriers fight back and lower their fares to compete? From next May, there will be four flights a week to Los Angeles and six to New York. In addition, a more traditional airline but one known for pricing its tickets keenly is Icelandair which is opening a link to the largest city in the us state of Oregon – Portland. Unlike Norwegian it isn’t a direct service as you will have to stop in Reykjavik and change planes. It is also only a summer service. But there are links into Reykjavik from Heathrow, Gatwick, Glasgow and Birmingham thus saving some people the hassle of getting to London
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