Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Environmental impact of flights hits home for travellers

There has always been a hardcore of holidaymakers who refuse to fly due to the severe environmental impact of a rapid increase in air traffic. Yet the trend is no longer confined to dreadlocked eco-warriors; conscientious objectors to air travel are going mainstream.

The recent announcement by Mark Ellingham, founder of the Rough Guide to not only reduce the number of flights he takes himself, but to also include a warning in each new book published about the environmental impact of flying is a sure sign that 2006 is the year of the eco-traveller.

The impact for travel agents could be catastrophic, although it is a situation that the canny can benefit from. In addition to 'offsetting' - a scheme where travellers can make their flight carbon neutral by opting to pay an extra fee to fund a sustainable conservation project, there is obvious money to be made in offering other forms of transport.

Nobody is expecting the environmentally-friendly public to stop going on holiday, they are just being encouraged to find more imaginative ways of getting there. UK-based resorts stand to benefit from renewed interest, as does train travel and even sea-based trips.

Friday, January 27, 2006

ABTA travel agents offer best service

ABTA approved travel agents have been found to offer the best services to customers in terms of dealing with complaints, fair contracts and offering sound advice.

Approved by the Office of Fair Trading ABTA agents are monitored to ensure they maintain the standards necessary for approved status.

So for great travel package deals with operators you can trust contact Holidays-Direct now.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Rail travel top of the costs in UK

The average cost per mile paid by Britain's railway travellers has soared to excessive levels; for an average £10 fare a British commuter will get about 38 miles, this is compared to 107 in France and a whopping 335 in Slovakia.

A hike in costs at the start of the New Year has made matters worse, London is now the most expensive city in the world for underground travel, and with prices going up by as much as 9% travelling by rail in the UK has definintely become rich person's public transport.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Travel entrepreuners hit the jackpot

Two businessmen from Sussex have hit the business jackpot, although not before 20 years of hard-graft first.

It seems the resurgent popularity of camping and caravanning holidays has come good for the owners of Cinque Ports who have just sold their 19 holiday parks to Graphite Capital for a whopping £130m, making them two very happy campers indeed.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The cost of a term-time holiday has just gone up

118 parents in the Doncaster region have just been fined for taking their children out of school during term-time, of these 26 now face court hearings for refusing to pay the £50 fine.

Ethics aside, the fining of parents for taking their children out of school could have some serious repercussions for the holiday industry. Traditionally the cheapest holidays were had to be had during term-time, but add a £50 fine, or a court hearing to the price and its not looking like so much of a great deal anymore.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Is Club 18-30 coming of age?

Following a New Year slim-down, rumours are rife that Thomas Cook may be selling off its infamous Club 18-30 brand. Despite a sophisticated image overhaul by Saatchi & Saatchi, holiday numbers have not reached the 100,000 enjoyed at start of the century.

Bad press and a generally seedy reputation have been blamed for the demise in Club 18-30's popularity. Yet even the introduction of more wholesome activities such as scuba diving and golf have not brought the revellers back.

Whilst things are starting to look up for the brand, and Thomas Cook has not confirmed rumours, a selling or floatation of the company looks inevitable.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Go online or go under

It is predicted that a third of all travel agents will close in the next 10 years unless online selling opportunities are maximised.

Speaking at a travel conference in Marrakech, Chris Motterhead, former boss of Lunn Poly, advised delegates that 30% of business should be coming from online sources. He also spoke of increased customer expectations; resulting in the onus being put on traditional agents to become tour operators, and even property landlords in their selected regions of expertise.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Can you trust the broucheres?

Holiday Which? magazine has issued a scathing report on the ethics of unscrupulous holiday companies who advertise their resorts in an unrealistically optimistic light.

Whilst not accused of telling downright lies, some holiday companies have been charged with being 'disingenuously economical' with the truth by publishing pictures of hotels with building work and major roads carefully edited out.

Holiday makers are advised to question travel operators directly as to the state they may find their hotels in and to always stick to reputable agencies.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Late holiday deals beat January blues

Holidays you like have the perfect anti-dote to the January blues; a selection of all inclusive holiday packages, bargain package holidays and late holiday deals to cheer up even the darkest January day.

With breaks to Malta, the Algarve and the Costa del Sol starting from just £175, you really can afford to get away from it all this January.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Mars and back in 6 hours? It could happen......

Holiday-makers are becoming more adventurous in their choice of destination with exotic sounding cities such as Ljublijana regularly featuring in the top ten city break destinations, yet technology reported in the New Scientist could stretch the boundaries even further.

American scientists have developed a hypothetical spacecraft that, if their theory on the fabric of the Universe is true, could get you to Mars in just 3 short hours. The system relies on the creation of a massive magnetic field which will allow the spacecraft to slip into another dimension where, fortuitously, the speed of light is faster, meaning the spacecraft can whiz along in the super-charged slipstream.

So that beats queuing for hours at Heathrow at least, but when can you go? The US airforce is currently showing an interest in the technology, but in a best case scenario, testing may begin in 5 years... so it looks it may still be Malaga for a few summers to come.