Tuesday, 22 February 2011

At last, some good news for Brits...


Back in September 2010, HostelBookers, the budget accommodation specialist, launched its biggest ever travel survey. It was a great opportunity for customers not only to share their travel experiences but also to be questioned about their preferred mode of transport and their attitude to love and sex while abroad...

The results are in and reveal the travel trends from over 15,000 respondents: 'Sightseeing and culture' (80.7%) is the main reason customers choose to travel followed by 'city break' (47.0%) and 'visiting friends and family' (44.6%). Travellers have upped their accommodation budget: In 2009, 28% of them spent over $/pounds/euros 30 compared to 40% spending the same in 2010, but it also appeared people are feeling the pinch as the number of them taking 'no trips' increased from 2.4% in 2009 to 5.4% in 2010...

It also emerged that the Internet remains the number one resource for our customers, whether booking hostels online or keeping in touch with friends and family. Over 86% of those surveyed check the Internet at least twice a week on holiday. To respond to this demand for Web access, many of our hostels now supply guests with Wi-Fi and Internet kiosks...

The survey results show that the English (8.3%) followed by Australian (8.2%) and Italians (7.8%) make the best lovers. Bottom of the list for the second year in a row are the Irish...

More travellers are enjoying nookie in dorms, 16% in 2010 up from 14% in 2009. The results also show an increase in the number of people taking precautions and having protected sex on their travels: 92% practiced safe sex on holiday in 2009 but last year this figure rose to 94%...

David Smith, COO at HostelBookers, said: "Last year we carried out the biggest ever travel survey to find out more about our customers and their needs in order to maintain the great service we deliver. It is interesting to see that people consider hostels the best choice for atmosphere, unbeatable prices and that they offer better city centre locations than many hotels..."

For further information please go to http://www.hostelbookers.com/survey-results-2011/

Barticus.

Don't Steal My Water!!!


The stealing or monopolising of natural resources by hotel complex's, especially in the developing world, has always been an area of worry and concern. Especially if it means that host communities are forced to go without such major commodities as water...

"Water Equity in Tourism" is a new initiative from Tourism Concern that aims to stop these problems. They say "The right to water constitutes one of the most fundamental human rights. Yet for local communities in many countries, this right is being undermined in the name of tourism. While tourists can enjoy several showers a day, swimming pools, golf courses and lush landscaped gardens, neighbouring communities often face severe water shortages. This can exacerbate already extreme conditions of hardship and poverty...

Water Equity in Tourism (WET) is Tourism Concern's new programme of research and campaigning. It aims to promote and protect the right to water of local communities in the face of increasing competition from the tourism industry. The programme involves:

1.Ground-breaking research into tourism’s impact on water access of local communities. This is being analysed by a special steering committee made up of water experts from campaigning groups, development agencies, think-tanks and academia...

2.Awareness-raising with tourists and the tourism industry
Lobbying and advocacy, including promoting dialogues with industry, governments and community stakeholders in a bid to ensure local peoples' right to water is protected..."

Please go to http://www.tourismconcern.org.uk/index.php?page=water-equity and think how you can also make a difference...

Barticus.

Chinese Relations...


Now important is the inbound Chinese travel market? Well, last year it was worth an estimated $43.7 billion U.S., with the U.S. benefiting the most...

And this looks set to continue to grow with an estimated 2 million Chinese tourists expected to visit the United States, and 3 million U.S. tourists will visit China, by 2015 if the current momentum of rapid outbound tourism growth continues...

eTurboNews report that "The optimistic forecast by Shao Qiwei, head of the National Tourism Administration (NTA), came at a dialogue on tourism cooperation between government departments, tourism travel services, hotels and airlines from both countries...

The dialogue opened Saturday in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, and will continue until Wednesday...

According to the NTA statistics, arrivals of Chinese tourists in the United States jumped 33 percent from one year ago to 730,000 during the first eight months this year, while 1.33 million U.S. tourists traveled to China during the January-August period, up 17 percent year on year...

"China and the United States share broad prospects of tourism development as both countries have become major sources of tourists for one another," Shao told the meeting...

Shao said China's tourism industry has boomed as the country's per capita gross domestic product (GDP) reaches 4,000 U.S. dollars this year...

"The Chinese government will attach greater importance to the development of tourism and take effective measures to facilitate a sound and rapid growth of the industry," he said...

China's tourists spent 43.7 billion U.S. dollars overseas in 2009, and about 54 million Chinese tourists will travel overseas and spend 48 billion U.S. dollars this year, according to a report by the China Tourism Academy...

The report said China's outbound travelers will top 100 million and their spending overseas will total 100 billion U.S. dollars by 2015...

China has signed agreements with about 140 countries allowing Chinese residents to visit those tourist destinations..."

Ongoing news of how China's new status as "the worlds second biggest economy" can benefit more than just China...

For more on this, follow eTurboNews at http://www.eturbonews.com/18993/tourism-news-over-2-million-chinese-tourists-visit-us-2015

Barticus.

Monday, 21 February 2011

$800 million cost of freedom...


As the various museums and tourist sites within Egypt begin to re-open following the recent troubles, Egyptians are now left to count the cost to the national tourism industry...

BBC News report that "Tourists visiting Cairo's Egyptian Museum, which houses Tutankhamun's golden death mask, were welcomed by staff with roses...

The museum stands on Tahrir Square, the focus of the unrest, and some artefacts were stolen or damaged...

The upheaval is said to have cost the tourism industry $800m (£500m)...

The usually busy galleries of the Egyptian Museum were virtually deserted when doors opened on Sunday, Reuters news agency reports...

"It was very important for us to open the museum to stop the rumours like 'the mask of King Tutankhamun was stolen' or there had been an orgy of looting," said museum director Tarek El Awady...

"This is a chance for visitors to see for themselves..."

One tourist, Dutch supermarket worker Sandra de Rooij, said she and others had ventured out after assurances from tour operators...

"We gambled, we didn't know the museum would be open," she added...

Canadian tourist Barbara Bonkowsky said she had been "determined to come and see the museum in a new Egypt", after the downfall of President Hosni Mubarak..."

But you cant help but feel that the long term costs are going to be much higher, as it is going to take a lot for the international mass tourists to feel safe and secure about going to Egypt...

For more, please go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12521034

Barticus.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

MICE desired...


This follows the news that Phuket, Thailand is aiming to build on its 4.7 million visitors a year, by concentrating on the MICE areas of tourist travel, (Meetings, incentives, conferences and education)...

Tourism review states that "Phuket visits 4.7 million tourists per year; most of them are attracted by the beaches and the many islands of the Thai province. Phuket city has been described in many quarters as a global city and its representatives hope to use the favorable characteristics to increase foreign visits. As business tourists not only enhance the reputation of the city but also tend to spend a lot more cash than regular visitors, this is a particular area of focus...

Improved transport links between Bangkok and Phuket are a starting point for the improvements to begin. It takes no more than 150 minutes on the right connection to get from the capital to Phuket. By air it takes less than an hour and the Phuket airport is strategically situated near most important destinations. The new 5.7 million Baht (EUR 140,000) convention center to the north of Phuket city is seen as a focal point of the new business tourism project...

The Thai tourist board plans to educate workers and professionals about MICE events to make the project realistic. The education program will be focused on the importance of maintaining decent conditions for visitors in hotels and out on the street. This will further help Thailand’s reputation as a business tourism destination and lead to greater success in future. Workers and professionals must realize that they themselves are to benefit in the long run and not just the tourists..."

This pute Phuket in competition with the traditional business hubs of Kuala Lumpa, Singapore, Hong Kong and more, and will be interesting to see how this works out for them...

Follow more of this at http://www.tourism-review.com/phuket-to-focus-on-mice-industry-news2603

Barticus.

Soccer. The "Crazy" game...


Wembley Stadium on May 28th is the venue for the highlight of the European soccer season, with the final of the UEFA European Champions League. Yet another fantastic chance for the UK to showcase itself to its European neighbours...

And what a way to "Show off!!!" Ticket prices a minimum of £176 each! Is this just another case of "Rip-Off Britain?" And if it is, why does this have to be proved with so many major tourist events (Royal Wedding/Olympics etc) on the horizon? Is this some form of destructive tourism marketing ploy to make potential tourists think that, despite the weak pound, they still cant afford to go to Britain, and that it is poor value for money?...

Even Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has labelled Uefa’s Champions League final prices as ‘a killer’ for fans...

The cheapest ticket is priced at £150 plus an £26 administrative fee, obtainable only through application and decided by a general ticket lottery. However, a limited amount of tickets will be available for purchase through official clubs for £80.

"It's unbelievable and disappointing," Ferguson said. "It's a killer and a corporate deal, that,” he told reporters...

"Managers and players can't do anything about it...

"I don't know what you can do. You have a booking fee also of £26 or whatever it is, so dearie me..."

The final will take place at Wembley on May 28, and Uefa have admitted that it is the most expensive so far, while insisting that prices remain competitive if not attractive compared with those for other major sporting events...

Follow more of this pricing madness at http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2896/premier-league/2011/02/20/2360549/sir-alex-ferguson-condemns-uefa-for-killer-champions-league

Barticus.

Searching for good...


News of the annual 2011 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards have been unveiled by the World Travel and Tourism Council, which showcases innovators in sustainability...

These are important awards as they help recognize what is good and forward thinking within the tourism industry, and rewards such areas as: Conservation. Global Tourism Business. Community Benefit. And Destination Stewardship...

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) report that " A small beach lodge helping to lift a community out of poverty, a project to regenerate an island's fragile eco-system, an international hotel company supporting the protection of orang-utans, turtles and coral reefs, and a national park collaborating with local villagers for wildlife conservation and preservation of 2000 year-old rock art sites, are among the twelve finalists in the 2011 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards unveiled today by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). The awards recognise achievements among businesses and destinations across the full spectrum of the travel and tourism industry...

"Travel & Tourism continues to make significant strides in balancing its success with its footprint on the world. After all, our destinations and products rely on the sustainability of our environment, and its diverse cultural and natural heritage to provide for our customers and employees, as well as the communities we live and work among," says David Scowsill, President & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council.
"For many years, the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards have helped showcase the projects, initiatives and operations that the industry is already undertaking. Our 12 finalists, drawn from 186 entries from over 60 countries, are carrying the flag for sustainable practices in our own and other industries."
Finalists were selected by an international panel of independent judges led by Costas Christ, Chairman of Judges and an internationally recognised expert on sustainable tourism. In the first stage of a comprehensive three-step process, they selected Award entries that best demonstrate the protection of natural and cultural heritage, delivering social and economic benefits to local people, and engaging in environmentally friendly operations, as well as other factors...

Unique among such Awards, judges will now visit each of the finalists to make in-depth assessments and gain a well-rounded picture of the organisations and businesses in practice. As part of the process, they meet with various stakeholders involved, including project representatives and employees, people from local communities, the private sector, and government officials. Highly competitive and a standard bearer in the industry, the Awards are given out in four different categories.."

Please support these ideals at http://www.wttc.org/eng/Tourism_News/Press_Releases/

Barticus.

Time. A Tourism Strategy...


With such wonderful "Tourism Offerings" coming up, such as the Olympics and the latest Royal Wedding, its good to see that the Department of Culture, Media and Sport is not sitting on its laurels with its latest "Brain Busting" strategy...

Change the time...

No, really, that is it. The answer to all of the UK's economic problems. The answer of how to make more people visit Britain...

BBC news report today that "Longer evenings could move a step closer with a government plan to move UK clocks forward an extra hour...

A "tourism strategy" will include a plan to move the clocks in line with most of Europe, bringing lighter evenings but darker mornings...

Tourism chiefs and safety campaigners support the move, but there are fears in Scotland about road accidents...

Ministers want to be satisfied the country backs the plan, before giving the go-ahead, the government said...

Last year, Prime Minister David Cameron indicated he was willing to consider a switch...

"The argument will be won when people across the country feel comfortable with the change," he said in August...

"It's up to those who want to make the change to make the argument to try to convince people right across the country that it's a good thing...

"People who like taking part in sporting activity and would like longer days are already quite easy to sway. That's the key to winning this argument..."

The proposals will be published by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in the coming week, the BBC has been told...

Tourism bosses say the number of overseas visitors would increase if summer evenings were lighter and they estimate the benefits to the economy could total billions of pounds...

But there have been fears expressed in Scotland that putting the clocks forward would increase road accidents in the darker mornings..."

Well thats all ok then, unless you live in Scotland of course...

For more on this please follow BBC News at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12517762

Barticus.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Official, the French are crazy...

Hey, the Guardian said it, so don't blame me...

News of some of the new "Boutique" hotel offerings from those that gave the world the idea of "Chic..."

The Guardian reports that "Pretty gîtes are a bit old hat now, but France has plenty of wacky alternatives, from tents hanging in trees to a house that turns with the sun. Click through our gallery to see the best billets with la différence...

Spend the night on a bed of straw in a hayloft, or in a treehouse, yurt or tipi on this farm in the Vosges. For something even more original, try the glass pyramid or a real Caravelle aeroplane transformed into a “loft”, with a living room and bedrooms set amid a large lawn...

For those who dream of sleeping under the stars, but in the warm, the glass pyramid offers a unique experience...

There are no curtains, but it is far enough away from other buildings to ensure privacy..."

For more on these magnificently strange offerings, please go to http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/gallery/2011/feb/19/hotels-france#/?picture=371788700&index=0

Barticus.

It's not all bad...


Good to see that the Virgin brand is going from strength to strength during the uncertain economic times, with the news of their continued growth and expansion...

Andrew Compart reports that "Virgin America, which has aspired to begin service to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport since 2008, finally will do so with two daily flights from Los Angeles and three from San Francisco, starting May 25...

The San Francisco-based, low-cost carrier also says travelers from O’Hare to the West Coast airports also will be able to connect to San Diego, Seattle and Las Vegas...

Virgin America, which launched in August 2007, notes that it first announced its intent to serve O’Hare in 2008. But the airline’s ambitions were thwarted by its inability to secure gate access at a cost it considered reasonable...

The breakthrough came in an agreement the city of Chicago reached with Delta Air Lines to acquire the leasehold interest in 11 gates that Delta vacated in Concourse L, freeing up at least some of them for use by new-entrant carriers and new routes (Aviation Daily, Feb. 14). Chicago Mayor Richard Daley presented the proposed agreement Feb. 9 to the Chicago City Council, which next meets on March 9...

Six of the gates will be leased to American Airlines, which is currently subleasing five of them from Delta. The mayor’s office says the remaining five gates will be available for various airlines on a common use basis, and Virgin America will be using one of those gates...

“We’ve talked about [Chicago] for several years,” Virgin America CEO David Cush said at a news conference Feb. 17 in Chicago. “We’re just happy that it’s finally happened...”

Good news for aviation, and Sir Richard...

See more on this at http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_generic.jsp?channel=aviationdaily&id=news/avd/2011/02/18/06.xml&headline=Virgin%20America%20Finally%20Gets%20Gate%20To%20Begin%20Service%20To%20Chicago

Barticus.