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Shift in desired destinations for 2014
Apr 10th, 2014 by elisa

The latest TripAdvisor Choice Awards for Destinations show a marked shift in desired city breaks for 2014.

Traditional destinations such as Paris, Barcelona and New York have all dropped significantly down the rankings, making way for more Asian destinations, with Beijing, Hanoi, and Shanghai all breaking into the top 10 for the first time.

Other favourites, such as Sydney, fell 12 positions to 22, and San Francisco fell 18 places to 25. London, however, remains as popular as ever and maintains its number three position for the second year running. It was pipped to the top spots by Istanbul and Rome, taking first and second place respectively.

TripAdvisor spokesperson James Kay said: “It is interesting to see traditionally popular destinations Paris, New York and Barcelona drop down the rankings.

“This year’s results show that there are a number of destinations around the world that are starting to compete with the more traditional ones.

“However, London still continues to sustain its position in the top five and while there is no doubt the birth of the royal baby helped keep the eyes of the world on London in 2013, but the capital’s continued appeal among travellers around the world surpasses any one event.”

In the UK Awards, two seaside destinations crept into the top 10 this year. Torquay in Cornwall is in a very respectable third place, and Llandudno in Wales sits pretty in eighth place.

The awards were determined by an algorithm on the TripAdvisor website that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings for accommodation, attractions and restaurants gathered over a 12-month period.

The 2014 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Destinations winners

World’s top 10

1. Istanbul

2. Rome

3. London

4. Beijing

5. Prague

6. Marrakech

7. Paris

8. Hanoi

9. Siem Reap

10. Shanghai

 

Europe’s top 10

1. Istanbul

2. Rome

3. London

4. Prague

5. Paris

6. Berlin

7. Florence

8. Barcelona

9. St Petersburg

10. Budapest

 

UK’s top 10

1. London

2. Edinburgh

3. Torquay

4. Liverpool

5. Belfast

6. York

7. Bristol

8. Llandudno

9. Leeds

10. Birmingham

 

Etihad Regional launch Cambridge to Verona flights
Mar 28th, 2014 by elisa

Etihad Regional is launching a new route from Cambridge International Airport to Verona in Italy this May.

The service will fly to the city’s Villafranca ‘Valerio Catullo’ International Airport on Saturday afternoons between 17th May and 25th October.

Bookings are being taken now and lead-in fares start from £100 per person each way.

Look for holiday villas in Italy on the main site.

Flybe adds cheap flights from Birmingham
Feb 3rd, 2014 by elisa

Flybe is adding seven new routes from Birmingham from April and May 2014.

Flybe will offer flights from Birmingham to:

Florence six times a week

– daily flights to Cologne

Toulouse six times a week

Alicante five times a week

– Bordeaux, Palma Mallorca and Porto four times a week

Birmingham will become the airline’s biggest regional base when it adds three of its 2×2 seat Embraer 175 jets to the airport.

Seats are on sale now, with one-way fares from £34.99 including taxes and charges. Flights start on 10th April to Alicante, Cologne, Florence and Porto, and from 13th May for the rest.

European air traffic control strikes affect flights today and tomorrow
Jan 29th, 2014 by elisa

Air traffic control strikes in Europe will affect flights today and tomorrow.

Passengers flying to Milan, Rome, Venice and Lisbon will be particularly badly affected, with many services cancelled.

Airlines worst affected are British Airways, Alitalia and Ryanair. Easyjet said is has re-scheduled some flights to avoid the strike times, but there might still be an impact due to the knock-on effect of the industrial action across networks.

Ryanair has cancelled some flights from Gatwick to Cagliari, and Stansted to Bari, and warned of possible delays to other services.

Italian air traffic controllers are on strike from 13:00 until 17:00 local time; Portuguese controllers are on strike from 07:00 to 09:00 and from 14:00 to 16:00 local time.

 

French air traffic controllers will walk out later today until the early hours of Friday morning. Easyjet has had to cancel a small number of flights to Paris because it said all airlines operating to and from Paris airports had been requested to reduce flights by 20%.

 

Holiday trends 2014
Jan 6th, 2014 by elisa

Value for money is still top of most people’s priorities when booking a holiday in 2014, according to the Travel Trends Report 2014.

The report by ABTA and the Foreign Office predicts “cautious optimism” for the year ahead.

“We know that Brits hate to cut back on their holidays and after several years of tough market conditions, we are seeing early signs of more optimism amongst British consumers,” said ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer.

“However, with the squeeze on household budgets continuing, we are expecting that tried and tested destinations and package holidays will continue to perform well in the coming year. We are also expecting a range of other overseas destinations to prove popular in 2014, as well as another good year for domestic tourism after the heatwave in the UK in summer 2013.”

The report includes a list of “destinations to watch” for 2014:

Great news for domestic tourism also; the feel-good-factor created by the Olympics and Jubilee in 2013’s sunny summer is likely to continue over into new year bookings.

Easyjet’s new Italian base
Oct 14th, 2013 by elisa

Easyjet is to open a base in Naples in spring 2014.

The airline will operate 20 routes with the two aircraft based in Naples. It will fly additional frequencies on key routes such as London Gatwick with two daily flights.

For a truly peaceful holiday, why not try one of these villas in the village of Pietrafitta nestled in the secluded Val di Comino, deep in the countryside between Rome and Naples, but only 1.5 hours drive away to either airport.

Each villa (two or three bed) stands in about an acre of ground with open views all round. The kitchens have a breathtaking view of the mountains and their balconies are the perfect spot to take breakfast. Find out more here.

Villa Anna

Villa Anna

 

Summer sun flight sale
Oct 10th, 2013 by elisa

Summer Sun picture by Flickr user Ian A Kirk

Summer Sun picture by Flickr user Ian A Kirk

The summer schedule for 2014 has been announced by Easyjet as flights to 100 destinations now go on sale.

It has more than 11.5 million seats, almost 300,000 more than last summer.

With so many seats going on sale, now might be a good time to book your summer holiday and villa while you can get some good bargains and not have to think about it until it’s time to jet off!

With flights to Spain, Italy, France, Greece and many more, we have a holiday villa to suit your needs.

Pilot paid passengers to leave aircraft
Sep 17th, 2013 by elisa

It sounds unlikely, but an Easyjet pilot actually offered passengers cash to give up their seats on his flight.

He did so because he realised that the plane scheduled to fly from Gatwick to Bari in Italy was too heavy to get off the ground.

In order to lighten the load, he initially offered €250 per passenger, plus an overnight hotel, but no one took the offer. It was only until he upped the price to €400 each that four passengers voluntarily left the aircraft, reported the Daily Mail.

According to the paper, Flight EZY8365 from Gatwick to Bari was delayed on the tarmac for 50 minutes as the pilot negotiated with passengers. One passenger told reporters that the pilot had said unless there were volunteers, the last four passengers to check in would have to leave. When four passengers did eventually volunteer, there were cheers across the cabin.

The airline denies bartering took place over the amount passengers were paid, and that the reason he initially offered €250 was because he had been given the wrong information.

An Easyjet spokesperson said: “Volunteers are paid according to EU regulations which is based on the distance of the flight.

“Unfortunately the pilot was given incorrect information initially and so later corrected the amount the passengers were entitled to. No bartering took place.”

EU regulations state that passengers who are denied boarding are entitled to €400 for flights over 1,500kms.

 

How age affects 2013 holiday trends
Jan 30th, 2013 by elisa

Spain is still a firm favourite - this villa is in Moraira and only 10 minutes' walk from the sea!

Spain is still a firm favourite – this villa is in Moraira and only 10 minutes’ walk from the sea!

According to new research, budgets for holidays differ by up to £280 per person depending on their age.

The TravelSupermarket survey of 5,000 British holidaymakers revealed their holiday habits for 2013 as well as the average amount they are willing to pay for their main holiday in each age bracket.

Over 50s spend the most on comfortable travel and accommodation, with the 50-59 age range willing to be the most experimental with their holiday plans, picking less typical destinations.

The longest and most expensive holidays tend to be taken by those in the 60-69 age group at £794 per person, plus £454 on spending money (£1,248 total). These are also most likely to take more than one main holiday each year. Those over 70 are most likely to stay close to the UK with Spain and France as firm favourites.

The most adventurous age group are the youngest, 18-29. These are most likely to go on activity holidays such as skiing or mountain biking, but like to do so on a shoestring, paying the least out of all those surveyed (£540 on accommodation and £428 spending money). They are also most likely to be influenced by a place’s culture when making decisions; Asia is very popular for this age group.

30-39 are the family focused bunch, least influenced by the weather and always considering family facilities. The beach (37%) and villa holidays (18%) are most preferable – Villaseek and UK specialist HolidayCottages.cc can help with both! The Algarve is one of the most popular destinations, and on average they spend £585 on travel and accommodation, plus £452 in spending money per person.

40-49 year-olds are still family focused and tend to head away during the school summer holidays in August. Most popular are beach holidays (39%) in Spain (12%) staying in self-catered accommodation (23%). They are also most likely to take more shorter breaks away in addition to a main holiday with £580 on travel and accommodation and £449 on spending money per person.

“At this age, a lot of holidaymakers will still be heading abroad with their families. Typical family breaks, such as beach holidays in Spain will be fun for everyone, but for those looking to go on shorter breaks too France and Italy are also worth a visit.” said Bob Atkinson, TravelSupermarket’s travel expert.

Spain best value destination in 2013
Jan 22nd, 2013 by elisa

Malaga sunshine picture by Flickr user mer de glace

Malaga sunshine picture by Flickr user mer de glace

Spain is now back at the top spot for the best-value destination in 2013, according to the latest Post Office Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer.

Last year, the Barometer found that Spain was a better deal than Italy, Greece and Corfu for self catering holidays, but this year it’s gone one better and topped the overall list as a best-value destination, with prices 41% cheaper than five years ago and an increase in tourism overall despite the recession.

Holiday makers going to Australia or South Korea will be seriously out of pocket in comparison, with an average shopping basket (containing a meal for two, bottle of beer, water, glass of wine, can of Coca-Cola, cup of coffee, suncream and a packet of cigarettes) weighing in at £145.28 in Darwin and £146.93 in Seoul. Compare this to the cheap and cheerful £36.14 in Malaga and Galle, it’s no wonder Spain is a popular destination!

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