Saturday snippets: 6th October 2018

By | Category: Travel news


Last Monday, the airline, Primera collapsed. Only a month ago its CEO, Hrafn Thorgeirsson, was telling the Aviation festival in London that 2018 was expected to be a defining year for Primera as it became an emerging transatlantic airline. he was right about the former and wrong about the latter! In the UK it was flying from both Birmingham and Stansted. But flights from Birmingham ended in early September and now the Stansted ones have ended as well. Was it biting off more than it could chew when it chose to take on Norwegian and Wow as well as the more traditional airlines crossing the Atlantic? It looks like it. Check the CAA  website if you had tickets on the airline to see whether you might be entitled to a refund.

Malaysia has set itself a target of attracting thirty million of us to visit and holiday in the country by 2020. Is this too ambitious? It would appear not. Last year 26.1 million of us travelled there and the increase would only amount to a 15% increase spread across the three years, 2018-2020.  But 2017 figures were down 3% on 2016 and whilst other countries like Thailand and Vietnam have forged ahead in attracting more international visitors Malaysia seems to hover about the same. The tourism ministry is asking the government for more money to promote Malaysia in 2019.

Venice railway station, place where people ofte congregate. Now if they are carrying bottles of alcohol afer 7pm they may be fined

Venice gathers headlines from travel media for its continued mission to make life more difficult for the tourist. The latest idea the city is thinking about is to make it an offence for anyone to be found carrying alcohol after 7pm. Just to be clear this isn’t aimed at locals and visitors popping out of the shops with a bottle of wine for that evening’s dinner but for t drunk tourists. Can’t the local police force spot drunks and move them on or are there insufficient police to do this? Looks like a case of a sledgehammer and a nut to me.

This week Ryanair said they would make less money this year. One of the reasons for lower profits is the spate of strikes passengers have had to endure. And more are on the way. But you can claim for compensation if your flight was cancelled or substantially delayed. Ryanair faces legal action for misleading passengers whose flights have been cancelled due to strikes. The CAA  announced yesterday that it had launched enforcement action against the airline ‘for persistently misleading passengers with inaccurate information regarding their rights in respect of its recent cancellations’. The CAA said that if the airline refused to comply, the next step would be legal action. During the last strike some 35,000 people were affected and most must compensate passengers for cancellations made within two weeks of their departure date unless the reason is out of the airline’s control. Ryanair is arguing that as crew from other airlines are involved in the strikes, it has no control over the events.


A new tourist tax looks set to be introduced in 2019

New Zealand has come up with a way to take money from visitors by introducing a new tax called the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy. It won’t come into being until at least the end of 2019 because it needs to pass through parliament.  Visitors will pay the $NZ35 levy which is about £17.50. Visitors will pay the tax via a new online visa application system but if you are from many neighbouring countries you won’t pay. In the case of Australia the reason given is that the Australian market is price-sensitive and tourists might stay away. For European, North American and Asian visitors, the thinking must be that long-haul flyers won’t mind stumping up a bit more when the percentage increase is so small compared to the prices they are paying for their trip.

This year’s World Cup has been successful in attracting visitors to Russia. In 2017 there were 21.6 million tourist arrivals in Moscow. During the World Cup 4.5 million people visited Moscow, 2.3 million of which were international visitors and 2.2 million were domestic visitors. Despite some scepticism before the event about how overseas visitors would be welcomed any doubts proved unjustified. The question now is whether visitors feel sufficient confident to return to Russia to see more of the country or whether the World Cup will have proven to be just a one-off boost to tourist numbers.

According to online travel agent, Travel Republic, more than half (58%) of Brits have never been on their dream holiday. Research commissioned by the company says financial commitments such as paying bills and clearing debts are the biggest reasons for missing out on their ultimate getaway. But isn’t that the very nature of a dream holiday? It is a dream and therefore few of us will attain our dreams. Travel Republic says that the top destinations Brits said they would love to have visited, but haven’t been to yet, are: the Caribbean (25%), Iceland (25%), USA (17%), Mexico (16%) and Bali (16%). Funny that some more exotic sites like seeing the Taj Mahal in India or watching penguins in the Antarctic aren’t amongst the dreams!

Modern Dubai -it wants 25 million visitors by 2025.

A few years ago Dubai announced that it wanted to see 20 million tourists by 2020. Having just about reached that figure it has raised its sights and says that it wants to see 21-23 million visitors by 2022, and 23-25 million visitors by 2025. The goal is to be the most-visited city in the world. For the first six months of 2018, Dubai welcomed a record 8.10 million international overnight tourists. during the first six months with the top three sources of international visitors being India, Saudi Arabia and the UK.

At long last we know that the toll on the two Severn Bridges will be removed. Now it has been announced that it will go as from December 17th meaning that Christmas visits into Wales will have an early present in not having to pay the toll. The bad news is that there will be roadworks from “early December” to remove the toll booths and re-align the road during which time there will be three lanes with a 50 mph speed limit. the work is exected to last into the spring

An airline new to many readers, Pobeda Airlines, which is a low-cost airline will operate from Stansted to the Russian city of St Petersburg as from next Friday. The airline, a subsidiary of Aeroflot, will operate four times a week.

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