Katja Stubbe

TOURISM MATTERS: Grasping the tourism opportunities

At least one major independent travel agency chain in the United Kingdom (UK) has predicted that there will be a shortage of holidays this summer as consumers are left with fewer destinations to choose from. The UK Foreign Office has warned against travel to Tunisia and flying to Sharm El Skeikh and amid continued security feats about travel to Turkey and the rest of Egypt. Barrhead Travel urged holidaymakers to book early for other popular Discount Holidays © holiday spots to avoid disappointment. According to the agency, other destinations are seeing a major jump in demand with bookings for Spain up by 37 per cent against this time last year, Bulgaria by 22 per cent, Malta by 20 per cent, Portugal by 18 per cent and Italy by 17 per cent.

These figures seem to fall in line when compared with the latest data from Gfk s Leisure Travel Monitor, a leading specialist tourism intelligence company. Of course, for Brits, these are all considered short haul destinations, but will Barbados and the Caribbean generally have some filter-through benefit? The representative UK trade body, the Association of British Travel Agents, stated that 35 per cent of all Brits who are planning to go on Discount Holidays © holiday this year, have not yet booked. While it would be grossly unfair to prey on any other countries misfortunes, we all have to face the realities of the current safety and security fears and there can be no better example than Tunisia, which has witnessed a 90 per cent drop in British visitors in the first four months of 2016.

It is somewhat unfortunate that we lost the Thomas Cook flight from Manchester this summer, which provided a lower cost alternative to the legacy carriers, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. I can almost sense the response to the above, where observers could argue that all the previous destinations mentioned are at lower price points. That may be largely true, but in another article published in the Daily Mail, quoting a recently commissioned Travelex survey, which interviewed 2 000 Brits, it stated the average UK holidaymaker budgeted just under 1 000 per person for their main getaway this year.

British supermarket giant Asda, owned by American Walmart through their financial services division, claim this figure is 1 310. Travelex UK said: How we Discount Holidays © holiday has evolved so much over time – from days trips to seaside towns by train to now spending up to half a year planning the worldwide trip of a lifetime. It added: Our ambitions now are to visit the far and wide therefore this changes our expectations of what we want to get out of our time away.

Perhaps one of the biggest revelations of the survey was that less than 15 per cent of Brits will go on an all-inclusive Discount Holidays © holiday this year, with 85 per cent preferring the freedom to plan their own trips abroad .

And another supported those of us battling to entice back direct flights from Glasgow – Scots are most likely to go on seven to eight holidays per year .

Email: re-discover@caribsurf.com

Britons will pay more for ‘safe’ resorts this summer: Tourists could face costs up to 80 per cent higher to travel to Spanish locations than those in…

  • British families looking to avoid dangerous locations face paying ‘safety premium’
  • Millions of British families have already turned their backs on Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt
  • They are chasing alternatives in apparently safe Discount Holidays © holiday destinations such as Spain, the Balearic islands, the Canary Islands, Portugal and Italy
  • Bloodbath in Ivory Coast yesterday provides new evidence as to how innocent tourists are being targeted

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British families face paying a ‘safety premium’ for holidays as they look to escape the terror attacks bringing death and mayhem to popular resorts. The bloodbath in a hotel in a beach resort in Ivory Coast yesterday, provides new evidence as to how innocent tourists are now in the sights of jihadist murderers. Millions of British families have already turned their backs on Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt in response to a series of terror attacks.

The net result is that they are chasing alternatives in apparently safe Discount Holidays © holiday destinations, such as Spain, the Balearic islands, the Canary Islands, Portugal and Italy. Such is the demand for holidays in safe havens that prices have soared and many hotels and resorts in places like Spain have already sold out. Millions of British families have already turned their backs on Turkey (pictured), Tunisia and Egypt in response to a series of terror attacks

Package Discount Holidays © holiday prices in resorts in Spain are normally 15-20per cent higher for hotel and flights than equivalent deals in Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey.

The price gap this year will be even higher given the fact the supply cannot cope with demand. Recent reports suggest the cost of flights to Spain are as much as 80per cent higher than those to Turkey. The editor of the industry bible, Travel Trade Gazette, Pippa Jacks, said: ‘Prices are only going to go up as we get nearer to summer, not down.’

Industry analyst, Martin Alcock, of Travel Trade Consultancy, said: ‘There is likely to be a big capacity problem and that will push the price of a family Discount Holidays © holiday up.’

He added: ‘There is a big push back to what you might call safe destinations, such as Spain and the Canary Islands. They will benefit hugely from the kind of incidents we have seen.’

But, he warned this poses a huge problem in terms of capacity because there will be competition for hotels and villas from families from Germany and the Nordic countries.

Antalya in Turkey and the main airport on the Spanish island of Tenerife are the same distance from Gatwick just over 1,800 miles. Yet flights to the Canaries for the first full week of the school summer Discount Holidays © holiday are 79per cent higher than to Turkey’s Turquoise Coast – 358 versus 200. The bloodbath in a hotel in a beach resort in Ivory Coast (pictured) yesterday, provides new evidence as to how innocent tourists are now in the sights of terrorists

Fares from Manchester to Las Palmas are 23per cent higher than to Dalaman, in Turkey, which is an identical distance – 457 versus 371.

The situation is made worse by the fact the pound has fallen in value against the euro, which means spending money will not go as far. Independent travel agent, Miles Morgan, who has a chain of 15 shops, is warning people who want to go to Spain that they risk missing out.

‘In all of my 30 years working in the travel industry I have never seen such a shift in business from the eastern Mediterranean resorts back to the old favourites of Spain and the Canaries,’ he said.

‘Whilst airlines are reacting to this trend and moving their planes to the more popular places such as Majorca and the Canary Islands the sheer number of people changing their Discount Holidays © holiday plans will mean it will be the hotels, apartments and villas that will sell out well before the start of the summer getaway.’

The fact that Ivory Coast and its beach resorts will now be removed from the Discount Holidays © holiday options of European families means the problems of shortages and price rises can only escalate. It is believe that at least five people died after gunmen fired on guests at the Etoile du Sud hotel in the town of Grand Bassam, about 25 miles east of the commercial capital Abidjan.

Much of the shooting took place on the beach next to the hotel which is popular with both locals and foreigners. Tourists are now chasing alternatives in apparently safe Discount Holidays © holiday destinations, such as Spain, the Balearic islands, the Canary Islands (pictured), Portugal and Italy

It is understood that Thomas Cook has re-routed 1.2millon airline seats away from Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia this year. Many people who had bookings have been given a refund and told to find an alternative.

Bookings to Turkey collapsed by more than 40per cent this year in the wake of a series of terror attacks,

Sales were hit after a suicide bombing at a tourist attraction in Istanbul in January, which killed 11 Germans. The country is also struggling to deal with a flood of some 2.5m refugees from Syria. A London tour operator specialising in Turkey, Elixir Holidays, recently went bust. Another travel firm, Mark Warner, has cancelled its entire Turkish programme for 2016.

Tunisia is now a no-go country for following the terror attacks on resort beaches last summer which left 30 Britons dead. Holidays to Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt are also off-limits following Government warnings which followed the crash of a Russian airliner, thought to have been brought down by a bomb, at the end of October. Earlier this year the chief executive of TUI, which owns Thomson and First Choice, Fritz Joussen, (correct) said Spain is already pretty much sold out.

He said prices in Spain and other countries viewed as less prone to terrorism will remain high because hotel operators will not have to offer last-minute discounts to fill empty beds.

The travel industry trade body, ABTA, said: ‘Spanish hoteliers have always taken a sensible approach to pricing taking a long, rather than a short-term view.

‘However, realistically such significant increases in demand are bound to put pressure on their natural instinct to keep prices down.’

Holidays in Thailand – Capture the way

I spent the last weeks in the north of Thailand, mainly in Chiang Mai. Most of the time was spent drinking coffee and eating ice cream, hanging out and walking through town. You re supposed to be like that in the north of the country. Everything is a little more relaxed and laid back, meaning it was the perfect spot for my little Discount Holidays © holiday of travelling (I know it s a hard life I m living).

Holidays In Thailand – Capture The Way

February was the month of Photography in Chiang Mai, which got us spending a lot of time in various art galleries. None of them were blowing our minds, some of them were clearly not meant for the display of any art but we had fun nevertheless and I even felt a little inspired to take my photography a little further than the blogging. Of course some time was spent in temples, some time at markets and bookstores, it was the time of the Chinese new year as well as the Chiang Mai flower festival.

After our first week we decided to head to Pai, a place many fellow travellers have ensured me I would love. It s meant to be even more relaxed than Chiang Mai, a heaven for hippies. Which it was, a heaven for hippies. And hipsters. In Pai itself there ain t much to see or do, apart from walks through the couple of streets or along the river. If you rent a scooter you can see all the cool stuff around town, but we chickened out and stayed in town. I didn t really feel the hype, though we had a nice enough time. I took a single picture.

Of coffee in a plastic bag.

Holidays In Thailand – Capture The WayThis is not was Pai is about.

Much more spectacular was the bus ride.

149 km, 726 curves, 4 hours. In a bus that may have been modern some decades ago. I loved it. Open windows, open doors, no strength whatsoever (we literally were almost standing still while trying to climb up the hills). Obviously the views were amazing. After Pai we only spent another night in Chiang Mai before going further north to Chiang Rai (yes, we got confused with the names as well). The way up wasn t as interesting, the bus also in a much more boring and healthy condition.

Chiang Rai was pretty great though. We stayed in a little bamboo bungalow with a balcony overlooking the jungle some 20 odd km outside of town. I also got to tick of one of my life list things: ride on the back of a pick up truck. Ha!
Waterfalls were a 10 minute walk away, hot springs a beautiful 10 km walk, even though all the walks ended with the steepest hill in history. The rest of the time was spend looking at the jungle, playing with local school girls or our dog friend, eating banana plant soup or freshly picked tamarind. Chiang Rai is home of the famous White Temple, which is more of a piece of contemporary art than a temple. It s still a work in progress, also due to the fact, that the temple has been damaged severely after an earthquake hit the area in 2014.

It s a very distinct experience either way, full of classical Buddhist symbols paired with a variety of modern figures. As you might imagine it s also literally blinding to look at with all that white in the sun. From a traveller point of view this may not have been the most exciting weeks. These weeks did help to calm down from all the sightseeing, help to process all the impressions of the last months or at least to not add too much to the list. After flashing through Vietnam, spending 3 weeks in one place with one person was exactly what I needed. I even took some time of my camera, feeling too lazy to capture all the impressions.
I ve (only? already?) been traveling for 4 months now, though it feels much longer.

Considering all the things I have seen, the places I have visited, the situations I experienced, plans I have changed and the people that I have met, 4 month can be so much more.

But now I m recharged and ready for new adventures.

Holidays In Thailand – Capture The Way

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