Saturday snippets: January of 12th 2019

By | Category: Travel news

The year hasn’t begun well for the European ski industry. Heavy snow has fallen in the last week over much of Austria, Southern Germany, Switzerland, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia to name just a few. Even countries used to heavy snow like Norway and Sweden have been hit by far more snow than they normally expect. If you have a skiing holiday booked in the next week or two check with your tour operator that the resort is open. The highest avalanche warnings have been issued in some places so obey warning signs if you go and don’t go off piste is the clear and strong advice. More snow is forecast this weekend at higher levels turnng to rain below which will make access routes icy.

If you are holidaying in the USA, things are also difficult. Because officials at airports aren’t being paid due to the stand-off between the president and congress, officials – in greater numbers – are calling in sick as they look for part time employment. You can expect entry lines to even longer than usual. The shutdown has also meant that national musuems and national parks are often closed or have the barest of amenities.

Cape Verde has become an increasingly popular destination for British and Iris holidaymakers. From 1 January 9, if you have a British passport you can enter Cape Verde as a visitor for stays of up to 90 days without a visa. But if you are arriving by air – and most holidaymakers do – then be aware that there is a new Airport Security Tax (TSA) of 3,400 escudos (about £30) that must be paid by all individuals more than two years old. It could be that this will be included with the price of your holiday but check with your travel agent or tour operator before you book to see if you liable for this extra.

Last year the Caribbean island of Grenada saw more than 500,000 Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean achieved a historic milestone in 2018 welcoming more than half a million visited the country an increase of just under 13% and way above the average global forecast for tourism growth. Those staying overnight reached 160,970 whilst the remainder were made up of cruise visitors and those arriving by yachts. The UK remains the second biggest supplier of visitors after the USA  from where more than 40% of visitors come.

At this time of the year, gardeners have little to do other than preparing for the spring. But if you pop over to the French city of Toulouse in early February you can visit the Fête de la Violette, the violet festival. As the city flower locals are proud of the city’s link with the flower and, the nameLa Violette de Toulouse – is a registered trademark. The festival, held on the 2nd and 3rd of February, doesn’t just mean that you can visit the city’s gardens, greenhouses and market stalls to see and buy flowers but you have the opportunity to see all the products linked to the plant such as perfume, honeys, sweets and liqueurs. At the moment one of the growing popular items in the UK is violet gin. (I got given two different brands at Christmas) so it will be interesting to see if the Toulouse locals have gone that way as well.

Yet another court case has surfaced about the heavy penalties that courts have awarded if someone attempts to fraudulently claim for stomach complaints whilst on holiday. The person was fined £19,025 after he said he suffered diarrhoea, stomach cramps, vomiting and fever while on holiday in Cape Verde. TUI found selfies and pictures of food and drink on Facebook during his holiday at a hotel in Boa Vista. Photos he posted suggested he was having a good time. Collapse of case and a heavy fine. When will people learn?

In airline news, British Airways will operate from Heathrow to Pittsburgh from April 2019. The new route will take the number of US destinations the airline flies to from London up to 26, and the number of daily flights offered by British Airways and American Airlines as part of their transatlantic joint business up to 67 per day. Thomas Cook Airlines will fly from Cardiff over Easter and through until the end of April when the summer timetable begins. It is the first time Thomas Cook have operated an Easter service  out of the airport. There will be flights to Dalaman and Antalya in Turkey, Palma in Majorca, Tenerife, Larnaca in Cyprus, Arecife in Spain and Enfidha in Tunisia.

After the much heralded expansion of the Icelandic airline Wow Air into the USA it has now announced that it will cease flights to Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York (only JFK, the Newark service continues) and San Francisco. This comes on top of the cacellation of flights to Cincinnati and Cleveland. For those affected, the airline should have contacted you. Flights will continue to Baltimore, Boston, Newark, Orlando, and Chicago O’Hare.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tags: , , ,