Saturday snippets: 7th November 2015

By | Category: Travel news
Egypt,Will new tomb attractions make us book to travel to Egypt

Egypt,Will new tomb attractions make us book to travel to Egypt? What is the long term trend for visits to the country?

Travel news this week is still dominated by the aftermath of the Russian airline diaster after leaving Egypt and the abrupt canellation by the British government of UK flights. Some flights resumed yesterday but now Russia has joined France Germany and the Netherlands in suspending flights. In an attempt to boost visitor appeal, the Egyptians opened three new tombs including that of Huy, Viceroy of Kush under the famed King Tutankhamun. At the same time, experts are scanning beneath the tomb of  Tutankhamun as they believe there could be two doorways there. they are hoping one might lead to the tomb of another iconic figure – Nefertiti.

Next week some of the new wine of the year becomes available. No, it’s not the Beaujolais stampede as it was once known in the city and its not occurring in the UK. The excitement is in the Czech Republic where St. Martin’s wine is the Czech equivalent of French Beaujolais. The first wine of the new year, only aged for just a few weeks and recommended for consumption before Easter, becomes available on November 11th which happens to be the feast day of St Martin. If you happen to be in Brno, then at 11am in the city’s Freedom Square, the opening of the first bottles takes place. You should have more than 100 from which you can sample and select your favourite!

Enjoy Blackpool Pleasure Beach at night today before it closes for the season

Enjoy Blackpool Pleasure Beach at night today before it closes for the season

If you pop along to Blackpool Pleasure Beach today you can get the added advantage of staying until 10pm so you can see the illuminations at the same time. Why is it open until 10pm? Because this is the last weekend of the season before it closes, The rides in the world will be illuminated from 4pm till 10pm so visitors can ride into the night on the UK’s tallest rollercoaster, the Big One, enjoy a night race on the Grand National and soar through the dusk air on Red Arrows Skyforce.

Flying to Germany has been a bit difficult this year given the strikes within the Lufthansa Group which means, Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines, Germanwings, Swiss and Austrian Airlines just to name the main ones. Yesterday there was another strike affecting Frankfurt which will also be affected on Saturday and another seems likely on Sunday affecting flights into Munich. Be aware then if you are planning on popping over to the Christmas markets in case more are called by the unions. Perhaps it might be easier if you are just going for the day or a weekend to choose an airline outside the Lufthansa Group.

World-class gastronomy, liveable cities and wide-open sandy beaches are attracting thousands of us to visit Denmark each year. A report from the Danish Statistical Office says there has been a 50% increase in British visitors over the last 6 years and that the UK is now the biggest tourism market for Copenhagen. UK Director, Dennis Englund, sees even more of us travelling there believing a busy schedule of festivals and events, as well as the country’s permanent attractions, will help boost visitor numbers even further. One of those attractions will be the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg which re-opens next year after being closed for refurbishment. (The website will re-open closer to the time the museum does.) The airport in Aarlborg has connections only to London at the moment unfortunately. From Copenhagen which has more connections to our regional airports, it is about a four-and-a-half hour train journey or drive.

Bali where picture postcard sunsets now have volcanic ash to contend with - again!

Bali where picture postcard sunsets now have volcanic ash to contend with – again!

If you are planning on holidaying on the Indonesian island of Bali, then check regularly with your tour operator. The volcanic ash spewing from nearby Mt Rinjani has caused many cancelled flights over the last week or so. The airport in Bali is open now but that is only because the winds have changed direction. Virgin Australia and Jetstar are still not operating any flights there as theb volcano is still erupting. Take extra spending money with you because delays and postponement of flight could still be a real possibility.

I must say that the thought of staying in a castle for Christmas does rather appeal to me. Staying in a castle that could be all mine makes it doubly appealing. Am I being pretentious? No, it could actually be a cheap Christmas holiday it seems. Pentillie Castle in Cornwall could be yours for five nights for just £4.500 so that is £900 per night. But if you have a large family or groups of friends then for that same money you get ten double bedrooms accommodating 20 guests so we are talking about £45 per person per night. That’s cheap for a Christmas break. You have 55 acres of gardens to wander in to walk off that Christmas over-indulgence and log fires to come back to. Now which relatives could I stand being closeted together with for five nights?

Ras al Khaimah fort

one of the tourist sites – forts in Ras -al -Khaimah

The small emirate of Ras al Khaimah is receiving more support from Royal Brunei Airlines. In additional to the support it has already given in attracting tourism, it is working to assist in providing training to travel agents. That means, the next time you and I wander in to our local agency suggestions will be made about holidaying there. It will certainly be somewhere that your neighbours and friends are unlikely to have been to. For those of you who cannot instantly say where Ras al Khaimah is, it is about 45 minutes away from Dubai and presents itself as a year round resort

If you have reduced mobility and you are planning on flying through Manchester Airport in the next month then you may experience a month-long trial of a new hoist system designed to assist passengers when boarding aircraft. The Eagle 2 hoist device will work in conjunction with mainline commercial jets and wide-body aircraft and is designed to provide a safe and efficient way of transferring people from a wheelchair to their aircraft seat. The hoist also has the ability to extend in length to accommodate longer seat pitches in business and first class and can also lift passengers over fixed armrests.

Welcome to Stansted where parking could have been more expensive if you had booked in advance

Welcome to Stansted where parking could have been more expensive if you had booked in advance

Stansted Airport was censured by the Advertising Standards Authority this week for misleading advertising. It had claimed that you could save up to 70% on parking prices if you booked in advance and online. In fact, you could be charged more than if you just turned up and parked on the day. You might expect to pay the same but more? It continues a trend for airports – particularly Gatwick and Heathrow – to make extravagant claims. Heathrow has had 22 cases referred to the ASA and 19 have been upheld. Gatwick has had 15 cases of which 12 have been upheld.

From both Germany and the UK comes evidence that we are being cautious about booking holidays for next year. The Winter 2015 Holiday Confidence Index (HCI) produced by First Rate Exchange Services found that almost one-in-five of the 5,319 people surveyed have not made up their minds whether to travel abroad on holiday in the next year, a 3% rise since the summer. That is, apart from those of us who are still aged between 25 and 34 as 62% of them plan to holiday abroad next year. German travel data seems to echo these results and after the problems in Egypt over the last two weeks, confidence might be dented still further.

Finally, with airlines being more strict about passenger behaviour, what about airports? Are they taking a tough line? Andrew Bridgen, MP for NW Leicestershire asked the government this week how many people had been banned from each and every one of 11 airports he listed. The government replied that it didn’t know as it was a matter for the airport concerned. So much for joined-up action on those who make travelling unpleasant for us all!

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