What’s hot: July 2016

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Just About Travel tells you what’s hot in the travel world right now …


Saying ni hao to Mickey Mouse

Now Fulham will be promoting Florida but don't forget the Kissimmee competition that starts on Monday

After five years of construction, Disney Shanghai has finally opened at a cost of US$5.5 billion. Covering 963 acres, Shanghai Disney Resort is more than 11 times the size of the original Disneyland resort in Anaheim, California. The resort – Disney’s sixth and fourth overseas – has avoided anything too American. Case in point? The central Avenue – which is called Main Street USA in most resorts – goes by the name of Mickey Avenue in Shanghai. Elsewhere Mickey and Donald can be seen sporting traditional silk jackets, while Mickey Mouse steamed buns and other Asian fare is on offer at the food outlets. The mantra of the park is “authentically Disney, distinctly Chinese,” says Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger. “We should recognise that we are invited guests in China. It’s a privilege for us to be here so we need to show respect.”

Searching for schools for expat kids

Half of all job transfers overseas fail because parents cannot find a suitable school for their child. Approximately 77% of parents are unable to find a space for their child in their desired international school due to out-of-date school details, limited information on the surrounding area and the lack of a trustworthy source with which to compare international schools.
Subsequently Winter’s has launched as the first comprehensive digital directory that is free to view for parents, listing more than 6,000 schools worldwide. It aims to empower parents by giving them everything they need to make the right choice, from school profiles to advice from teachers and heads. www.wintersschoolfinder.com.

Rushing to Russia
Tour operator, On The Go Tours, says it has seen its passenger numbers to Russia double between January and May, year-on-year, suggesting the destination is becoming increasing popular with UK consumers. The strength of the pound against the ruble, global sporting events and low flight prices have all helped put Russia back on the holiday map.  Translation? Now is one of the best times to visit, but travellers should note that those travelling on a United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland passport will require a visa to enter Russia. Visas – which need to be applied for in person at the Russian Embassy in London – take on average nine to 10 working days to process and should be applied for a minimum of three weeks before trip departures.

Seeking out Santiago

Santiago street life

Chile is the furthest away South American country from the UK and has always been lengthy for Brits to reach. However reaching the cool, cosmopolitan Chilean capital is about to get easier: British Airways is  launching a new direct flight between Heathrow and Santiago de Chile in early January 2017.
The new flight, taking a total of 14 hours and 40 minutes using the new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, will certainly be a game changer and will be BA’s longest route and the first ever direct non-stop flight between Britain and Chile. Embrace the 14 hour plus journey,  by taking the 10pm flight on Friday, arrive at 9.40am (local time) on Saturday to enjoy a long weekend like no other, leaving at 6.45pm on the Monday evening, returning to Heathrow at 12.05pm on the Tuesday, making it back to your desk for the afternoon… Sounds good? Check out our Santiago guide here

Dining in the nude in London

Seb Lyall – the London restaurateur, known for opening some of the capital’s most innovative dining venues – is at it again. The founder of Lollipop, the company behind Shoreditch’s hugely popular Breaking Bad themed cocktail bar ABQ, has opened a pop up restaurant where – wait for it – clothing is optional. “We believe people should get the chance to enjoy and experience a night out without any impurities: no chemicals, no artificial colours, no electricity, no gas, no phone and even no clothes if they wish to. The idea is to experience true liberation,” explains Lyall.
And it looks like Lyall is onto something: London’s first nudist restaurant boasts a waiting list containing more than 26,000 names… well at least there’s no chance of spilling wine on your shirt or skirt.

Heading north to Edinburgh

Edinburgh has been voted the UK’s top tourist spot for 2016 in a survey of 10,000 holiday-goers. The Scottish capital emerged the winner, beating London to the top spot in the table – with 15% of those surveyed saying they’ll be visiting Edinburgh this summer. Home to the likes of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the city attracts over 2.15m domestic visitors per year according to recent government figures. In total, Scotland contributed to over 10% of the list, compiled by Pegasus Marine Finance, with Highlands hotspot Inverness joining Edinburgh in the top 10. Scotland’s second city, Glasgow, was named the UK’s 21st most popular staycation destination – while Loch Lomond tourist spots Aberfoyle and Inverary also made the long-list.

Travel photographer of the year sets sail to Greenwich

TPOTY 2015

World-class travel images come to London this summer, when the Travel Photographer of the Year exhibition opens at 10 Stockwell Street, the award-winning building at the University of Greenwich, within the Maritime Greenwich UNESCO World Heritage Site. Open seven days a week, the magnificent, free-to- view exhibition runs from 22 July to 4 September. The photographs going on display are the winning shots from the international Travel Photographer of the Year awards (TPOTY), one of the world’s leading photography competitions. From atmospheric pictures of Louisiana wetlands, quirky portraits of pelicans off the coast of Namibia and delicate, close-up semi-abstracts of dew-covered spiders’ webs to insightful images of the Basuto people in Lesotho, the Kazakh wedding season in Mongolia and street life in China, the exhibited photographs cover a wide range of styles and subjects, all captured by immensely talented photographers, young and old, from around the world.
For more information see www.tpoty.com.



Airbnb for all
Black Airbnb users in America are sharing their stories of discrimination while trying to book reservations on Airbnb under the hashtag #AirbnbWhileBlack. According to a study by Harvard Business School, some Airbnb hosts have by discriminating against African Americans (Airbnb users have to identify themselves with their real name and a photograph). Last month Airbnb banned a host in North Carolina who had used racist language to reject a 28- year old Nigerian woman, leading CEO Brian Chesky to tweet “Racism and discrimination have no place on Airbnb.”

Short flight food charges

British Airways is considering charging for food on short haul flights in a bid to compete with its budget rivals.It is thought that the carrier will begin charging economy passengers for sandwiches in a move that may allow BA to offer lower headline fares. The Independent has reported that the meal changes could include bringing in Waitrose to supply snacks. In the past, BA has always insisted that free in-flight catering is a key part of its product.

Considering a career as cabin crew

The emotional heath warnings team?

Working as a flight attendant for a major airline is often perceived to be a glamorous career as anyone who has ever flown on an Emirates flight or watched a Virgin ad which sees stylish red suited  cabin crew strut their stuff through an anoymous airport, will attest. In reality there’s a dark side to trolley dolly life. Recently police were forced to intervened in four incidents involving badly behaved passengers, including a Scottish stag party who ‘intimidated cabin crew with foul and abusive language’ and a 55-year-old drunk man who locked himself in a plane toilet.

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