Saturday snippets: 4th of August 2018

By | Category: Travel news

Two events dominated the week. The first was the forecast of temperatures in Spain and Portugal reaching above 40 degrees and the second was the interest rise in the UK. Actually the second excited no interest at all that I could see amongst travellers. It won’t affect holidaymakers this year and now “experts” say that there should be no rate rise until after the effects of withdrawing from the EU are seen.

The weather has affected people. With temperatures for cast in the mid-forties in the southern Mediterranean countries for the weekend, holidaymakers unused to temperatures that high should heed the advice to wear hats and sunglasses, use plenty of sun cream lotion, drink plenty of fluids and to stay out of the direct glare of the sun. Asking Britons to stay out of the noon maybe asking too much!

The main pavilion at the National Eisteddfod when it is held in fields. This year it is at Cardiff Bay so no muddy fields – even if it rains!

It is also the week that the Edinburgh Fringe, the Edinburgh International Festival and the National Eisteddfod begin, both events being attractions that hundreds of thousands of people visit.

Eat Leeds Restaurant Week for 9 days from the 11th-19th of August when especially crafted menus priced at £10 or £15 are available. At the last event in February this year, 11,000 people took advantage of the offer. Now the school holidays are upon us even more people might try some of the restaurants in Leeds. A full list of participating restaurants (I’m not listing them because the number tops 100 which shows the level of support in the city for the scheme) can be found by clicking here or going to Having a pedantic nature I only wonder why they called it EatLeeds. It sounds as though you munch you way through The Headrow taking a bite or two from every building!

Whilst the number of tourists travelling to Dubai in the first six months of the year is still on the rise, Britons stayed away. Why? That’s what the emirate would like to know. The number of Britons travelling there dropped by 7% compared to the same period last year but then, many others stayed away as well. Growth came from China, Russia and Germany. The number of Russians travelling there rose by 77% to 391,000 which helped to replace the 43,000 Britons who didn’t go there. The UK still remains the third largest group of visitors to Dubai.


This is Male, the capital of the Maldives

Unlike Dubai, the Maldives saw an increase in British visitors over the same period. The numbers were up by 11.2%. In total, 57,535 UK tourists arrived in the Maldives from January – June 2018, compared with 51,737 in 2017. China still is the largest provider of visitors with about a sixth of all visitors coming from the country. Next is Germany and then the UK. With an increase in  tour operators selling the country the rise in British visitor numbers should be even greater in the second half of the year.

Another popular South American destination for Britons is Peru. The number of UK visitors to Peru has been growing steadily since 2010 reaching an all-time high of 69,506 British nationals in 2017. The latest UK tourism figures for January to April 2018 show a 10% increase in comparison to the same period in 2017.

Chiribiquete National Park

Amongst the many new additions to the UNESCO World Heritage sites is Chiribiquete National Park, located in the north-west Colombian Amazon, one the largest protected area in the country made up of table-top mountains called ‘tepuis.’ What makes these so different and so worthy of inclusion is that the mountains have been decorated with over 75,000 paintings, spanning 20,000 years of history all the way up to the present. They depict hunting scenes, battles, dances and ceremonies.

Joining the Chiribiquete National Park in the Americas is the Tehuacan – Cuicatlan Valley, located in southern Mexico. This is home to the richest biodiversity in North America. The valley is made up of three components including one of the main centres of diversification for the cacti family, archaeological remains that showcase technological developments in the area, and the oldest water management system in the continent.

South America is proving more and more popular for British holidaymakers. With more direct flights it is easier and easier to holiday there. In the Argentinian capital, Buenos Aires, (one of Kaye’s favourite places) the tourism board has seen a 3% increase in overall during the first quarter of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. From January to March 2018, a total of 531,000 tourists travelled to the city, of which 123,400 were from Europe, many from the UK. The city is also on the cruise ship routes so many crises start in Buenos Aires with a two-day city stop included in the itineraries.


panoraic view of Khiva

Khiva in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan isn’t on everyone’s holiday destination list but if you are considering it then you should know that it has introduced electronic visas saving you the hassle and time in submitting visas to their nearest embassy before you visit the country. The electronic ones will allow to stay in the country for a single visit and it is valid for ninety days. But you do need to submit the visa application at least three days before you visit to allow for application processing. Consequently it makes sense to submit with those ninety days before travel and before you get you airline tickets just in case. As ever, there will be a number of companies you will act on your behalf but charge you for the service. The official link is  The official fee is $20.

From Co-op Insurance comes a warning to holidaymakers. Apparently 34% of insurance claims come from people who have had to cancel their holidays. They remind holidaymakers to book their insurance as soon as possible after their booking so that they are covered and not leave until closer to the time when they are about to leave. Worryingly, Co-op’s own research found 37% of UK holidaymakers still don’t take out travel insurance at all.

Finally, a typo from a holiday brochure I received in the post this morning. I won’t reveal the name of the tour perator involved because we all make typos from time-to-time, Just about Travel definately included. In promoting holidays to Lapland, the tour operator refers to the Sami people who live there as “Europe’s Last Indigestions People.” It’s no fun visiting the home of Father Christmas if you don’t remember to pack your antacid tablets!

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