Sunday, 31 January 2016

How to see Stockholm

SIGHTSEEING in #Stockholm will become easier with the launch of the Stockholm Pass, enabling entry to more than 60 attractions, monuments and museums, plus boat and bus tours. 

Priced from 595 Swedish Krona (£48.75) for a one-day adult pass, it works on a scan-and-enter system, acting as a ticket into the city’s best attractions and tours. It includes a free guide book.

It is available as a one-, two- three- or five-day purchase.

www.stockholmpass.com


Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk
All your holiday needs: IN PRINT - ON-LINE - DiGiMAG - SMARTPHONE -TABLET - BLOG - TWITTER - G+ - FACEBOOK


Riverside apartments in Brisbane

SERVICED APARTMENTS company Oakwood Asia Pacific has announced its expansion into #Australia. 

Scheduled to open in April 2016, Oakwood Apartments #Brisbane is located near the waterfront, with views of the Brisbane River, its Story Bridge, and the city skyline. Adjacent to the city’s central business district, it’s within walking distance of Brisbane’s top attractions.

Oakwood’s brand of serviced apartments, says the company, combines the space and privacy of a home with the services of first-class excellent hotel.

The property will have a restaurant and bar, an outdoor pool overlooking the Brisbane River, a tennis court, a fitness centre, and sauna.

Oakwood Apartments Brisbane comprises of 162 apartments with a choice of studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments.

www.oakwood.com


Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk
All your holiday needs: IN PRINT - ON-LINE - DiGiMAG - SMARTPHONE -TABLET - BLOG - TWITTER - G+ - FACEBOOK

Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/114271615@N07/11926161443">Brisbane CBD</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">(license)

New in Orlando this year …

Walt Disney World Resort will complete a multi-year transformation of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs. Featuring an eclectic and contemporary mix from Disney and other noteworthy brands, this expansion will double the number of shops, restaurants and other venues to more than 150 establishments. 

Universal Orlando Resort has a new attraction opening in the summer: Skull Island: Reign of Kong. Guests will board vehicles and explore ancient temple structures while encountering hostile natives and fending off unspeakable terrors.

SeaWorld Orlando announced plans for Mako, a 200ft-tall coaster opening in the summer. Named for one of the ocean's fastest sharks, it will be Orlando's tallest, fastest, and longest roller coaster, reaching speeds of 73mph as it races along 4,760 feet of steel track.

Epcot guests will be able to visit the kingdom of Arendelle when Frozen Ever After opens in the Norway Pavilion.

Sunset Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park will be extended for a new night adventure. Guests will travel through the African savanna and discover two species new to the attraction: African wild dogs and hyenas.


Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk
All your holiday needs: IN PRINT - ON-LINE - DiGiMAG - SMARTPHONE -TABLET - BLOG - TWITTER - G+ - FACEBOOK

Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/23322134@N02/4787380260">Daily Disney</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">(license)

New summer routes to French regions from Birmingham

FLYBE has expanded its 2016 summer programme from Birmingham Airport with the introduction of three routes to regional #France: Nantes, Rennes-Saint-Jacques, and Limoges. 

  • Flybe will operate five times a week to Nantes – the historic port city on the Loire River in western France. 
  • The service to Rennes-Saint-Jacques – the capital city of Brittany – will operate four times a week. 
  • Flights to Limoges – a town in west-central France known for its art and history – will operate twice a week. The Limousin region is a popular destination for fishing, horse-riding, golf, and mountain biking. 

Seats on all the three routes are available for booking at www.flybe.com from £32.99 including taxes and charges.


Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk
All your holiday needs: IN PRINT - ON-LINE - DiGiMAG - SMARTPHONE -TABLET - BLOG - TWITTER - G+ - FACEBOOK

Picture Credit: Nantes by Martin Stiburek - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons 

Saturday, 30 January 2016

2015 the ‘safest’ year for aviation

THE AVIATION industry recorded its best ever year in terms of safety in 2015, with a global fatal accident rate of just one in five million flights. 

While the year was marked by the losses of the Germanwings and Metrojet flights, commercial airlines safely operated more than 40 million flights and carried in excess of 3.5 billion passengers across the world in 2015.

There were four major accidents involving large Western-built jets operated by commercial airlines, which resulted in a total of 374 fatalities.

Commenting on the industry’s safety performance, Andrew Herdman, director general of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines said: ‘Flying today is extraordinarily safe, and aircraft accidents are now increasingly rare events. The 2015 accident rate is the lowest ever recorded, but we can never afford to be complacent.’

While aviation safety has hit the headlines in recent years, with incidents including the two Malaysia Airlines losses and the AirAsia crash in December 2014, it is worth noting that over the last five years, the global rate of major accidents has more than halved.

‘Public perceptions of aviation safety are, understandably, still strongly influenced by reactions to particular events, rather than statistical trends. The challenge is to recognize the importance of both dimensions when reviewing the aviation industry’s safety performance,” said Mr Herdman.


Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk
All your holiday needs: IN PRINT - ON-LINE - DiGiMAG - SMARTPHONE -TABLET - BLOG - TWITTER - G+ - FACEBOOK

Picture Credit: Preserved @ Musee de l'Air et de l'Espace Air France F-BPVJ Boeing 747-128 cn/20541-200 built 1972 Exhibit at Le Bourget Musee L'Air since 2/00 in Air France livery</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin

Havana, a city set for change

For generations #Cuba has been a tantalizing prospect for American travellers, always just out of reach across the Straits of Florida. Now, with restrictions on travel beginning to lift, the rapidly growing flows of tourists to the capital #Havana risk destroying what makes the city so vibrant. Chris O’ Toole of Breaking Travel News found a city on the cusp of resurrection.

‘Cuban tourism has been doing just fine without the US’

WHILE the long-standing ban on travel to the Caribbean islands has been partially lifted, American visitors must still participate in group tours that allow ‘people to people’ contact. American guests must still travel with a Cuban tour operator, and one recognized by the US State Department at that, while purely recreational activities – such as like visiting the beach or scuba diving – remain off limits. US citizens still cannot simply hop on a flight or book a hotel.

To a certain extent, however, these developments are a sideshow to the real story; Cuban tourism has been doing just fine without the US. Almost three million international visitors touched down during 2014, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, with the numbers set to increase when the data is released for 2015 later this year. This puts Cuba behind only the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico among Caribbean holiday hotspots and ahead of other powerhouses such as Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Aruba. 

Canada, Germany, the UK, and Spain have all seen big increases in holidaymakers visiting Cuba in recent years, while Mexico and Russia are also growing source markets. Chinese guests, too, are set to play an important role in the future of the tourism sector in the destination.

But is the island ready for an influx of visitors should the US loosen restrictions further? With even President Obama himself rumoured to be considering a visit during his final year in office, what is the situation like on the ground? During a recent visit, the picture certainly appeared mixed.


Visitors from Europe will be pleased to find international standard hotels in the streets surrounding the Capitol. But below this tier there is a total absence of mid-scale properties. There is tremendous potential, as political barriers come down, for international accommodation providers to flourish in Havana as guest numbers grow.


Of course, the majority of visitors continue to stay in ‘casas particulares’, private houses, generating wealth for local residents. But (extremely) variable standards and a difficulty in booking ahead of time can make these unsuitable for holidaymakers looking for convenience or benchmark standards.

Put this concern aside though, and Cuba is ripe for growth, and for those who do land in Havana, much awaits.

The forts of Castillo de la Real Fuerza, Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabaña, and Castillo de los Tres Reyes Magos del Morro dominate the harbour entrance, offering a very affordable grounding in the colourful history of the city. The ancient battlements illuminate the role Spanish, British, and eventually American forces played in shaping modern Cuba, tracing the island’s development back to the arrival of the first European settlers in the 16th century.

‘Here, lives are lived on the street; Havana’s Old Town has not become a museum’

From the modern era, the Museo de la Revolucion offers a somewhat lopsided perspective on the recent history of the country, revealing how the Castro revolution of 1953-59 ejected American influences and moved Cuba into the Soviet orbit. The repercussions of these events are still being felt, with Havana now finally emerging from half a century of decline.

Here, lives are lived on the street; Havana’s Old Town has not become a museum, as is so often the case, with local residents still outnumbering the gawping tourists. The iconic ‘yank tanks’ – a term used only in guidebooks - splutter along the streets, those endlessly repaired American vehicles from before the embargo. These work horses of the city still perform a vital role, some 60 years since they first took to the road, revealing just how isolated the country has been in recent years. Few new vehicles are on the roads, with Soviet-era Ladas making up the majority of the traffic.

For guests trained on American excess or European style, Havana might come as a little bit of a shock. A smattering of cutting edge restaurants – including Café O’Reilly and Paladar Doña Eutemia – are reviving the traditions of Caribbean cooking, but away from the main sights, expect a diet of cheese sandwiches and strong rum. Local beer is cheap and plentiful, if a little flavourless. Rum, though, is the staple diet, and easier to get hold of than bottles of water, or indeed nearly anything else.

The old adage of ‘going before Castro’ no longer applies – to see a city being re-born, now is the time to go. With direct flights set to resume in the near future, and Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise operator, also revealing plans to begin Cuba sailings from May, the capital is taking its place on the international tourist trail. To see what makes it so special, do not delay.

Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk
All your holiday needs: IN PRINT - ON-LINE - DiGiMAG - SMARTPHONE -TABLET - BLOG - TWITTER - G+ - FACEBOOK

Picture Credit: Cuba LaHavana Street by Christophe Meneboeuf - Own workMore of my work on my photoblog: http://www.pixinn.net. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons,Panorámica de La Habana by Brian Snelson from Hockley, Essex, England - Old Havana. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons, Cuban cars by Helene84 - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons 

National Park volunteers … they’re winners

NATIONAL PARKS UK has announced the names of the winners of its 2015 Volunteer Awards, reflecting the very best of the hundreds who work to protect and improve Britain’s breathing spaces. 

The annual awards are a way of saying thank you for the thousands of volunteer hours put into the UK’s 15 National Parks. The awards are presented in four categories: Individual, Young Person (under 25 years), Group, and Project. Winners of the individual categories receive their choice of kit from outdoor specialist and National Parks UK brand partner Merrell, while winners in the group and project categories get a £1,000 bursary toward future volunteering efforts.

Including highly commended nominees, the awards acknowledge efforts from volunteers spanning the British landscape, with the Brecon Beacons, Exmoor, Lake District, New Forest, Peak District, Pembrokeshire Coast, and Yorkshire Dales all represented.

Frances Bland, a volunteer in Yorkshire Dales National Park, was named as the winner in the Individual category. A strong advocate of volunteering, she walked more than 170 miles of Yorkshire Dales footpath as part of her work.

All three nominees in the Young Person category impressed the judges, with New Forest’s Karl Epps being named winner. A wheelchair user, Mr Epps has worked with the New Forest National Park to ensure inclusiveness at national park events.
In the Group category, the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority Youth Rangers were named as winners.

The winning Project in 2015 was the Fit for Work scheme taking place within the boundaries of Peak District National Park. Targeted at individuals from outside the traditional national parks audience, the project helps participants earn qualifications in countryside management. 

Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk
All your holiday needs: IN PRINT - ON-LINE - DiGiMAG - SMARTPHONE -TABLET - BLOG - TWITTER - G+ - FACEBOOK

Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/46943749@N06/14954433549">Nidderdale Portrait</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license), http://www.flickr.com/photos/21081514@N08/5386749097">The Green Bridge of Wales - Pembrokeshire</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license), Beech woodland in Bignell Wood, Wittensford, New Forest by Jim Champion. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons 

Record 58.3 million visitors for NYC

NEW YORK CITY welcomed an estimated 58.3 million visitors in 2015, an increase of 1.8 million on the 2014 total. Forty-six million were US tourists, while 12.3 million were international visitors, both all-time highs. 

Of the city’s four largest international markets – UK, Canada, Brazil, and China – all demonstrated growth last year, with China showing a 14 percent increase to an estimated 852,000 visitors. Preliminary estimates of 2015 visitation figures for the other key markets are: UK (1.192 million); Canada (1.072 million); and Brazil (926,000).

In 2015, the #NewYork City saw major attraction openings such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration, the One World Observatory, and the Staten Island Museum at Snug Harbour.


Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk
All your holiday needs: IN PRINT - ON-LINE - DiGiMAG - SMARTPHONE -TABLET - BLOG - TWITTER - G+ - FACEBOOK

Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/33125787@N00/3656644704">2006 August - New York City Lights</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)

Friday, 29 January 2016

Thomson scraps Tunisia summer programme

THOMSON has confirmed the cancellation of all of its Tunisian holidays for summer 2016. The operator is offering refunds to people with bookings to the North African country.

Thirty three of parent company Tui Group’s holidaymakers were killed in the beach terrorist attack near Sousse in June last year.

Thomson said: ‘As the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) continues to advise against all but essential travel to #Tunisia, Thomson Airways can confirm the cancellation of further outbound flights from the UK to Tunisia, up to and including October 31. Customers affected by this will be able to change their holiday to any of our destinations currently on sale, without incurring an amendment fee, or receive a full refund.’

The operator is offering a £30 discount if the new holiday departs on or before October 31 provided it is booked by February 29.

The discount will apply regardless of whether the alternative holiday is cheaper or more expensive, the company said.

Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk
All your holiday needs: IN PRINT - ON-LINE - DiGiMAG - SMARTPHONE -TABLET - BLOG - TWITTER - G+ - FACEBOOK

Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/88475677@N00/11399706034">Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">(license)

Island villas

VILLA agency Coastline has added seven holiday homes to its Corsican portfolio. 

Here are some of them …

Casa Julia is surrounded by what feels like a private forest, floodlit by night. Within walking distance of Porto Vechio, the three-bedroom villa is close to some of the island’s most iconic beaches.

Vermentinu is a two-bedroom villa with views of the Gulf of Figari. There is woodland to stroll around in, as well as the owner's vineyards.

On a hillside, Villa Tonussi has a 46ft pool, original artwork, and hand-crafted furniture. Sleeping eight, all of its bedrooms have access to a terrace.

Villa Grand Sud in Pianotolli could be good for a large group or two families; it sleeps up to 10 guests in four en-suite bedrooms. It has a pool, and the nearest beach is a ten-minute walk away.

www.coastline.co.uk


Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk
All your holiday needs: IN PRINT - ON-LINE - DiGiMAG - SMARTPHONE -TABLET - BLOG - TWITTER - G+ - FACEBOOK

Picture Credit: www.coastline.co.uk

Iceland gears up for its Winter Games

2016 will see the third #Iceland #WinterGames, said to be one of the world's biggest winter festivals.  

Based in Akureyri, the ski capital of Iceland and the country’s second-largest city, the games attract some of the biggest names in winter sports and hosts events unseen anywhere else. These includes ski jumps in the shape of volcanoes, mountain top to sea skiing, Arctic horseback riding, and dog sledding championships.

Spectators can take tours in superjeeps, helicopters, snowmobiles, and green-energy powered schooner boats.

The festival runs from March 24 to April 3.

www.icelandwintergames.com


Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk
All your holiday needs: IN PRINT - ON-LINE - DiGiMAG - SMARTPHONE -TABLET - BLOG - TWITTER - G+ - FACEBOOK


Stephen Fry fronts Heathrow welcome film

TOURISTS touching down at London’s Heathrow Airport will be introduced to the idiosyncrasies and quirks of modern British life by the television ‘celebrity’ and writer, Stephen Fry, in a video guide.  

With 75 million passengers travelling through Heathrow each year, Fry has teamed up with BAFTA award-winning scriptwriter Graham Linehan to create ‘Stephen Fry’s Guide to the UK,’ which gives visitors tips and tricks on handling etiquette in the UK.

The film can be seen at Heathrow via the airport’s free Wi-Fi page, and on YouTube. It can also be viewed on the Heathrow Express.

Set in a quintessentially British gastropub, the three-minute video sees Fry pondering the many things that make the UK a great place to visit, from the Scottish highlands to Ulster’s Giant’s Causeway via London’s St Paul’s Cathedral.


Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk
All your holiday needs: IN PRINT - ON-LINE - DiGiMAG - SMARTPHONE -TABLET - BLOG - TWITTER - G+ - FACEBOOK

Picture Credit: By vpjayant.Original uploader was DFS454 at en.wikipedia - http://www.flickr.com/photos/9155946@N06/3250895329/sizes/o/, CC BY 2.0

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Cottage agency looks to the Poldark effect

#WEST COUNTRY self-catering cottage agency Helpful Holidays expects a surge in bookings when BBC Television screens the next batch of Poldark dramas later this year. It says holiday homes in #Cornwall are likely to be snapped up when the county's beaches and moorlands are once again in the spotlight. 

Church Cove on The Lizard peninsula was the setting for a shipwreck scene in the last Poldark series and will feature again in the 10-part series. Nearby Evergreen, let by Helpful Holidays, is expected to be popular with holidaymakers drawn by the unspoiled coastal scenery. Hideaway Barn is a holiday cottage in the 18th century tall-ships harbour of Charlestown, which also returns for the second series. The agency also properties on Bodmin Moor, which features in Poldark.

Helpful Holidays has more than 700 properties across the West Country, including more than 200 in Cornwall, and has seen West Country locations for recent movies and drama series, such as Far From the Madding Crowd and Broadchurch, attracting holidaymakers to the region.

www.helpfulholidays.com

Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk
All your holiday needs: IN PRINT - ON-LINE - DiGiMAG - SMARTPHONE -TABLET - BLOG - TWITTER - G+ - FACEBOOK

Coming up Down Under …

Swim with humpback whales 

HOLIDAYMAKERS will be able to swim with humpback whales at #NingalooReef in Western Australia from June.

Western Australia has the largest humpback whale population in the world, with an estimated 30,000 migrating along the coast each year.

Prices start from A$385 (£188) per person.

http://kingsningalooreeftours.com.au

Track the wombats

TRACK the endangered Southern Hairy Nosed Wombat on a two-day tour starting from #Adelaide with Adelaide Private Tours.

The trek covers more than 8000 hectares of wombat private land and includes a wine tasting in the Barossa Valley and a wombat rescue visit.

Every booking helps the protection and conservation of the wombats. Prices from A$590 (£288).

www.adelaideprivatetours.com.au


Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk
All your holiday needs: IN PRINT - ON-LINE - DiGiMAG - SMARTPHONE -TABLET - BLOG - TWITTER - G+ - FACEBOOK

Picture Credit: By Dawn Beattie from Morro Bay, CA, USA - My Whale Captures, CC BY 2.0, By JJ Harrison (jjharrison89@facebook.com) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Get the kids cooking on holiday

LOOKING for a way to learn new skills with your children when on holiday? The Manna from #Devon Cooking School runs courses that enable the whole family to get hands-on with fresh, local food.

Based in Kingswear in South Devon, the school runs four workshops: Family pasta; wood-fired cooking; bread; and pastry.

The family cooking days are for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and god-parents to bring along one or more children. The kids get to do as much of the preparation and cooking as they like, with parents and instructors helping where necessary.  No experience on the part of either adults or children is necessary, and they’re suitable for children aged eight to 15.

Each course is limited to eight places to allow for maximum participation. The workshops start at 10am and finish between 3pm and 4pm.

www.mannafromdevon.com


Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk
All your holiday needs: IN PRINT - ON-LINE - DiGiMAG - SMARTPHONE -TABLET - BLOG - TWITTER - G+ - FACEBOOK

Picture Credit: www.mannafromdevon.com

Two-year visa introduced for UK visitors to China

BRITISH tourists can now get two-year, multi-entry visas to #China, enabling visitors from the UK to make multiple trips for longer periods. 

‘This is great news for people visiting China and will allow travellers to return to China and see even more areas of this incredible country without the need to apply for another visa,’ says Laurence Hicks, managing director of Wendy Wu Tours.

Chinese visitors to the UK will have the same visa arrangement.


Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk
All your holiday needs: IN PRINT - ON-LINE - DiGiMAG - SMARTPHONE -TABLET - BLOG - TWITTER - G+ - FACEBOOK

Picture Credit: By d'n'c - Wangfujing Xiaochijie (Wangfujing / Beijing), CC BY-SA 2.0

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Paris wins top spot in best-city survey


#PARIS has pushed London off the top spot to win back the number one place as the highest rated city in 2015, out of a total of 50 cities. Sydney, which had been in the top three since 2011, falls back to fourth place, overtaken by New York as well as Paris. 

These are the findings of the latest Anholt-GfK City Brands Index, a bi-annual study conducted in September of last year, two months before the terrorist murders in Paris.

Simon Anholt, creator of the Index, says: ‘Our survey was conducted before the November attacks in Paris, but if past experience is anything to go by, such attacks do not change people's perceptions of the city in any significant or long-lasting way. There may be a temporary change in people's behaviour towards Paris, but the attacks do not affect the reasons why people might admire the city's beauty, cultural life, opportunities, etc. and this is what index measures.’

The study evaluates the power and appeal of each city's image, giving a holistic and detailed perspective based on six key dimensions: Presence (the city's international status and standing); Place (its physical outdoors aspect and transport); Prerequisites (basic requirements, such as affordable accommodation and the standard of public amenities); People (friendliness, cultural diversity, how safe one feels); Pulse (interesting things to do); and Potential (the economic and educational opportunities available).

Those top cities …
  • Paris 
  • London 
  • New York 
  • Sydney 
  • Los Angeles 
  • Rome 
  • Berlin 
  • Amsterdam 
  • Melbourne 
  • Washington DC

Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk
All your holiday needs: IN PRINT - ON-LINE - DiGiMAG - SMARTPHONE -TABLET - BLOG - TWITTER - G+ - FACEBOOK

Picture Credit: By Benh LIEU SONG - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Villa offer

BOOKINGS FOR YOU is marking the launch of its portfolio of #villas in Le Marche, #Italy, with 10% discounts and free exclusive wine tasting experiences for holidaymakers who book by the end of February. The agency has joined forces with The Winefathers and local winemaker, Riomaggio, to offer guests exclusive wine tastings experiences at vineyards in Montegranaro.

The agency was established in 2011, offering villa and apartment rentals throughout Italy, and this year expanding into Le Marche and Puglia for the first time.

www.bookingsforyou.com
www.thewinefathers.com

Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk
All your holiday needs: IN PRINT - ON-LINE - DiGiMAG - SMARTPHONE -TABLET - BLOG - TWITTER - G+ - FACEBOOK

Pregnant woman advised to avoid countries with Zika outbreaks

PREGNANT women are being advised to re-consider travel to areas where #Zikavirus outbreaks are happening, which includes most of south and Central America and parts of the Caribbean, including Barbados and the Dominican Republic.

The virus usually causes only mild symptoms in adults, but it is blamed for thousands of babies born with underdeveloped brains.

It has been spreading throughout the Americas and the World Health Organisation said it is likely to infect most countries in the region, except Canada and Chile.

Three Britons have already contracted the virus after visiting Colombia, Suriname, and Guyana.

UK officials say women should talk to their doctors about the risks, and if travel is unavoidable they should take precautions to avoid bites from mosquitoes that spread the disease.

Women planning to become pregnant should also be wary, said the National Travel Health Network and Centre. Any pregnant woman who has recently travelled to a country where Zika is known to occur should tell their doctor or midwife, it said.

An outbreak of the Zika virus in Brazil, which was first reported in May last year, is likely to cause concern for women planning to travel to the country for the next Olympic Games.


Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk
All your holiday needs: IN PRINT - ON-LINE - DiGiMAG - SMARTPHONE -TABLET - BLOG - TWITTER - G+ - FACEBOOK


Manchester Airport steps up growth programme

BUSINESSES are being invited to bid for contracts worth up to £500 million as part of Manchester Airport’s 10-year transformation programme. 

The airport has issued a contract notice for the Terminal Two transformation phase, and includes the design and construction of an extension to the existing building, more than doubling its current size. The contract represents the majority of the works associated with the programme. 

Brad Miller, Manchester Airport Transformation Programme director, said: ‘This contract notice and invitation to participate is the single biggest element of the whole £1 billion project that spans ten years. Over the next decade, the airport will continue to develop as a global gateway for the UK, directly to and from the North, and these enhancements will enable us to further adapt, modernize, and transform the customer service experience we are able to offer.’

Manchester Airport – the UK’s third largest – employs 21,500 people on site and supports a further 45,000 indirectly.

Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk
All your holiday needs: IN PRINT - ON-LINE - DiGiMAG - SMARTPHONE -TABLET - BLOG - TWITTER - G+ - FACEBOOK


Tuesday, 26 January 2016

easyJet woos train passengers as rail prices rise

THE ANNUAL UK train price change has come into effect, with fares increasing by an average of 1.1 percent, yet easyJet’s flight prices are lower than they were 20 years ago.

The airline introduced fares for the price of a pair of jeans in 1995, with tickets for Luton-Glasgow flights costing £29. The starting fare on the same route now is £27.49, a reduction of 5.2 per cent despite Air Passenger Duty tax increasing by more than 160 percent in the same period. In comparison, a train fare from London to Glasgow is considerably higher – a ‘cheap’ one-way ticket can be had for £134 – and takes on average over four hours longer.

Peter Duffy, easyJet’s commercial director, said: ‘We consistently see the price of national train fares increasing year after year, but our fares have actually reduced. When easyJet started 20 years ago, it typically cost a couple of hundred pounds to fly into Europe. We challenged that and by keeping our fares low we changed the way that people think about travel, enabling a new generation of travellers of all ages, incomes, and interests to enjoy Europe.

‘We’re thrilled that by staying true to our roots, our Scottish fares and many others across Europe now cost less than our original launch fare of £29.00 in 1995.’


Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk
All your holiday needs: IN PRINT - ON-LINE - DiGiMAG - SMARTPHONE -TABLET - BLOG - TWITTER - G+ - FACEBOOK


Record visitor numbers for Dublin’s Guinness Storehouse

THE GUINNESS STOREHOUSE in #Dublin is celebrating a record number of visitors for 2015. It welcomed 1,498,124 people passed through its doors, compared with 1,267,807 in 2014. 

Mirroring current trends in Irish tourism, visitors from the UK and the US made up half of all visitors, followed by those from mainland Europe and Ireland.

Paul Carty, managing director of Guinness Storehouse commented: ‘2015 was an incredibly successful year for us at the Guinness Storehouse. In September we were named ‘Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction’ at the World Travel Awards, winning more votes than the likes of the Eiffel Tower and the Colosseum.

‘Over the coming year, we will be announcing innovations and developments that will further enhance our offering.’


Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk
All your holiday needs: IN PRINT - ON-LINE - DiGiMAG - SMARTPHONE -TABLET - BLOG - TWITTER - G+ - FACEBOOK


Our Britain, and what little we know of it

RESEARCH by interior design specialists Murals Wallpaper has discovered that many in Britain don’t recognise the beautiful views available on their own doorstep.

In two surveys, the company showed 750 people two photographs, both taken along different parts of the Cornish coast, and asked: Where do you think this picture was taken? 












For the image on the left, 29% believed it to be in New Zealand and 8% thought it was taken in Canada, whilst 5% chose the French coast. 

For the second image on the right, 24% chose New Zealand and 6% selected Canada, with 4% opting for France.

When the two results are combined, it means that almost half of the total people surveyed weren’t able to recognise two beautiful views from their own backyard in the UK.

The company has launched a campaign designed to show people everywhere that you don’t have to travel far and wide to experience incredible sights.

Richard Wilde, managing director of Murals Wallpaper, hopes that the rising popularity of staycations will help people to appreciate what their own country has to offer. ‘Unfortunately, the UK can often be overlooked as an attractive holiday destination and we perhaps underappreciate just how wonderful some parts of our homeland are. However, we hope that the growing number of people choosing staycations over flying abroad will help people recognize the outstanding natural beauty of the UK.’

Emma Warren, owner of a five-star glamping site in Somerset, says it’s the ease of travel and the larger variety of scenery that makes the UK increasingly appealing to holidaymakers. ‘What’s not to like about a staycation in the UK? No long flights or queuing to get places; time your journey right and you can even avoid most of the traffic queues. You can take everything you need with you and not worry about excess baggage charges.

‘The other bonus is that the UK has so many different regions and landscapes that you don’t have to go far to discover something completely different from your last UK holiday. From the flat Fens to the rolling hills of Somerset and from beaches to mountains - we’ve got it all in hand.’

www.muralswallpaper.co.uk



Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk
All your holiday needs: IN PRINT - ON-LINE - DiGiMAG - SMARTPHONE -TABLET - BLOG - TWITTER - G+ - FACEBOOK

Thou shalt not steal … except from hotels

LIGHT-FINGERED hotel guests will steal everything, even if it is nailed down, it appears. That's the finding of MonitoredAlarms.co.uk which has compiled a list of the most stolen items in the hotel business.

Most nicked are towels and sheets, which customers can put into suitcases and be away before the house staff notice. They’re closely followed by light bulbs.

‘Thieving light bulbs really shows the depths to which some people sink,’ says MonitoredAlarms.co.uk spokesman Jonathan Ratcliffe. ‘These are customers who could be spending upwards of £100 for their stay stealing things that cost mere pounds.’

Top 10 stolen items:
  1. Linen
  2. Light bulbs
  3. Food/Drink 
  4. Towels 
  5. Picture Frames and artwork 
  6. Dressing gowns 
  7. Curtains 
  8. Kettles and cutlery 
  9. Books 
  10. The Bible 
The level of thefts often depends on the standard of the establishment, MonitoredAlarms.co.uk says, meaning that while one hotel grapples with missing light bulbs, others have to deal with high-quality knives and forks disappearing from the restaurant.

Lower-star hotels tend to fall victim to petty thefts such as soap out of the bathroom and the toilet paper. A guest house in Blackpool stated that 50% of guests steal something. Upscale luxury hotels count the cost of dressing gowns and the contents of the mini bar.

‘Why do so many people steal Bibles from hotel rooms? Have they not read the eighth commandment?’ Ratcliffe asks. ‘We've even heard of somebody stealing “The Teachings of Buddha” from a Japanese hotel, so there's no limit to this.’

With profit margins being squeezed in an ever-competitive business, hotels and B&Bs know they have to strike the right balance between maintaining security and not being accused of spying on their guests.

‘That means establishments need to work ever harder to build up a relationship between hotel and guest, and make the customer actually feel bad about unhooking the curtains and throwing them out of the window for an accomplice,’ Ratcliffe says.

Some criminals fall victim to their own stupidity. ‘Many petty thieves get found out quickly and forget that the management has their credit or debit card number,’ says Ratcliffe. ‘It comes as a nasty surprise to read their statement the following month. They've only got themselves to blame.’


Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk
All your holiday needs: IN PRINT - ON-LINE - DiGiMAG - SMARTPHONE -TABLET - BLOG - TWITTER - G+ - FACEBOOK

Monday, 25 January 2016

Alton Towers unveils world’s first VR rollercoaster

#ALTON TOWERS in Staffordshire claims its virtual-reality #rollercoaster ride #Galactica will be a ‘game-changer’. The ride will open in April in what the Merlin Entertainments venue describes as ‘a ground-breaking move set to revolutionize the world of theme parks’, and a ‘sensational world first’.

Visitors will ride in a prone position along a 918-yard long track to recreate the feeling of flying through outer space, while wearing a virtual reality headset.

Gill Riley, marketing director at Alton Towers, said: ‘Galactica uses ground-breaking technology to give riders a breathtaking and unique rollercoaster experience. Tim Peake captured the imagination of millions of Brits last year when he set off on his mission to the International Space Station – and now our visitors can become astronauts too. For two minutes, our guests will be transported into space. We believe Galactica showcases the future for theme parks around the world.’

The theme park will also open what is claimed to be the first rollercoaster restaurant in the UK.


Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk
All your holiday needs: IN PRINT - ON-LINE - DiGiMAG - SMARTPHONE -TABLET - BLOG - TWITTER - G+ - FACEBOOK


Egypt to invest millions in security at Hurghada and Sharm

#EGYPT is putting more security staff, sniffer dogs, CCTV cameras, and X-ray machines in its Red Sea resorts to improve security for holidaymakers. The country's government is to spend more than £22 million on the measures in Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada in an attempt to win back tourists.  

Visitor numbers have plummeted since a number of terror attacks, a plane crash in the Sinai, and political instability. 

The country’s #tourism minister Hisham Zaazou said the measures would bring tourist security to a higher level. Be he told the Daily Telegraph that the measures would not make visitors feel overly-guarded and that there would be a good balance between feeling safe and enjoying a holiday. 

The latest scanning equipment and additional security personnel will monitor key points around hotels, including access from the sea. CCTV cameras at hotels will be linked to government security control rooms. Better security will also be installed at major archaeological and tourism sites, including the temples at Luxor.

Flights from the UK have been suspended to Sharm el Sheikh since November over fears that a Russian jet, which crashed in the Sinai just after leaving the resort's airport, was brought down by a bomb. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, which killed all 224 on board. Russia has since stopped all flights to Egypt. 

Although UK flights have been stopped to Sharm, the UK government is not advising against visiting the resort. 

Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk
All your holiday needs: IN PRINT - ON-LINE - DiGiMAG - SMARTPHONE -TABLET - BLOG - TWITTER - G+ - FACEBOOK

Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/47145691@N07/5012455983">esfinge</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)

Park trips for villa guests

TRUJILLO VILLAS ESPANA, with five restored #villas in the medieval town of Trujillo in Extremadura in south-west #Spain is introducing excursions in the Monfrague National Park. 

Relatively unknown in the UK, the 45,000-acre park stretching along the River Tagus is considered to be one of the largest and best-preserved Mediterranean forests in the world, surrounded by cliffs, woodlands and scrub, and gorges. and streams. It is famous for its collection of black vultures, the Spanish Imperial Eagle, black storks, and the Iberian Lynx, all of which are endangered species.

Trujillo is 45 minutes from the park and guests staying in one of the company’s villas are offered visits to the park with an English-speaking guide, plus a home-made tapas lunch. Prices range from £40 to £50 person based on a minimum of two people. 

Trujillo is a walled hilltop town overlooking the plains of Extremadura three hours south-west of Madrid and relatively untouched by modernity and tourism.

Accommodation options include Villa Piedras Albas, a restored 16th century palace on Trujillo's main square, and an artist's studio.

www.trujillovillasespana.com


Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk
All your holiday needs: IN PRINT - ON-LINE - DiGiMAG - SMARTPHONE -TABLET - BLOG - TWITTER - G+ - FACEBOOK








Picture Credit: By Jörn Wendland - Own work, Public Domain, http://www.flickr.com/photos/45945928@N08/8300316026">Lynx #12</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">(license), http://www.flickr.com/photos/23606327@N05/2730462474">Plaza Mayor Trujillo</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">(license)

Norfolk, Suffolk target the Dutch in tourism drive

#NORFOLK AND #SUFFOLK tourism boards are targeting overseas visitors in their 2016 campaigns. 

Using a combination of new marketing techniques and off-peak prices, tourism businesses in the regions are hoping to attract high-spending overseas visitors. 


Visit Norfolk, working with Visit East Anglia, is taking the lead with a £150,000 New Year tourism campaign to attract Dutch visitors to the two East Anglian counties.

Executive director at Visit East Anglia, Pete Waters, said his team hopes to capitalize on the direct transport links already in place between this region and the Netherlands to increase Dutch visitor numbers by 5%, generating an estimated £2.3 million boost to the local economy.

The campaign would capitalize on the Stena Line ferry from Harwich to the Hook of Holland and Norwich Airport to Amsterdam. Last year, 198,507 overseas visitors spent £100.82 million in Norfolk – approximately 3.3% of the overall £2.97 billion visitor economy. More than 210,000 foreign visitors spent £86.11 million in Suffolk. 

Chairman of Norfolk Tourist Attractions Association Martin Dupée said: ‘It’s not as hard to get into Norfolk as it once was, but we have still got a way to go. Having that link with European partners is an opportunity that can bring in the international market.’


Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk
All your holiday needs: IN PRINT - ON-LINE - DiGiMAG - SMARTPHONE -TABLET - BLOG - TWITTER - G+ - FACEBOOK

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Ryanair to launch Gatwick-Belfast route

RYANAIR is to start a service from London Gatwick to Belfast. It will operate four times daily from March as part of the airline’s summer schedule.

Ryanair will also increase its Gatwick to Dublin service to seven times daily from March, offering 18 daily return services in total between London and Dublin, including Stansted.


Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk
All your holiday needs: IN PRINT - ON-LINE - DiGiMAG - SMARTPHONE -TABLET - BLOG - TWITTER - G+ - FACEBOOK