Wednesday, October 07, 2015
Text Size

Thursday October 1, 2015

This Week's Travel News


Seven in Ten Value the ABTA Logo

New research has revealed the significant value of the ABTA logo, with seven in 10 consumers (73 per cent) stating that they feel more confident booking a holiday with a company that is a member of ABTA.

Furthermore, more than half of consumers (56 per cent), say that seeing the ABTA logo increases the likelihood of booking with a company.

The value of the ABTA logo is something that many consumers would be willing to pay more for. Over half (56 per cent) of respondents said they would potentially spend up to £25 more to book with an ABTA Member and three quarters (78 per cent) said they would potentially spend up to £10 more.

Perhaps reflecting some of the difficult events of the summer, consumers most value ABTA for the help and advice it provides in a crisis. Following this, consumers value ABTA's Code of Conduct, its role in setting standards and the financial protection offered. Consumers also value ABTA's customer helpline and its complaints resolution service.

Amongst consumers there is a high expectation that most travel companies will be ABTA Members, with seven in ten (74 per cent) people expecting their holiday company to be a Member. "The ABTA logo has a positive impact on the majority of people," said Victoria Bacon, Head of Brand and Business Development, ABTA. "It sends a strong signal to consumers that they are booking with a reputable company and that there is support behind their travel arrangements."


Farmers' Markets Land at International Airport

Local produce has arrived at Belfast International Airport as this weekend the airport hosts the first of a number of Farmer's Market events.

Over 15 local artisans will take part in the market, giving passengers travelling airside the opportunity to purchase from a wide range of high quality, locally made products from cheese, to chocolate, to ceramics!

The market is being run in conjunction with Ulster Drink & Food Producers Group, an umbrella organisation committed to helping "consumers everywhere to recognise the quality and originality of local artisan foods and drink and to include them when shopping."

Belfast International Airport's Managing Director, Graham Keddie, confirmed the airport's commitment to supporting local businesses saying: "The Farmer's Market is certainly adding a local flavour to the airport this weekend. It gives us a chance to show our customers, both from Northern Ireland and abroad, exactly what Northern Ireland has to offer. Belfast International Airport made a promise to help support and promote local businesses and that is exactly what the market gives us the chance to do. The range of items available, include food, pottery, specialist butters and oils, chutneys, and ceramics, and the best of it is, they are all locally produced."

The market is located airside, between WHSmith and Aelia Duty Free, and will operate from Thursday to Sunday over the coming weekends. They hope to show Belfast International Airport's customers just how much Northern Irish artisans have to offer.


Five Day Farecracker Deals on Sale

Flybe, Europe's largest regional airline, has today launched a new customer initiative called Flybe FareCracker.

Each month, Flybe will offer customers a five-day window of opportunity to buy low-cost fares for upcoming flights, a list of which is easily accessed via the special FareCracker icon on the Flybe website. Deals can be found quickly and easily as available Firecracker fares are clearly highlighted.

The first FareCracker deals are on sale now featuring thousands of seats on routes across the airline's extensive network. Seats are available for booking through to October 5, and will be effective for travel between November 3 and December 1, 2015.

Promoted on the website and selected digital channels, FareCracker is specifically targeted at those leisure travellers who have the freedom to fly off-peak during the week and by those planning last minute weekend getaways. The special deals deals are only available on Just Fly tickets; hold luggage and specific seat allocation can be purchased to supplement this ticket type if needed.


Five Pooches in Line for a Doggy Break

Five of Northern Ireland's most heroic and hardworking dogs have been selected as finalists in a competition to find Northern Ireland's Most Deserving Dog to win a dream holiday in Scotland, courtesy of VisitScotland and Stena Line.

The competition, which launched on August 26 to coincide with National Dogs Day, saw people across Northern Ireland nominating put-upon pups, heroic hounds and dogs that have simply had a ruff year in the hope of winning the dream prize.

Marc Casey, Stena Line Marketing Manager (Irish Sea North), said: "Since its launch, we have been delighted with how the public has been engaging with the competition through our website and on social media. We would encourage the public to log on to the website, vote for their favourite dog and help them get one step closer to winning a dream doggy 'pawliday' to Scotland.

"At Stena Line, we believe dogs deserve a holiday too and we are proud to welcome pets on board our sailings from Northern Ireland. With our on-board pet facilities, including dog lodges and an exercise area, owners and families can enjoy a stress-free start to a dream dog-friendly holiday in Scotland."

The winning dog will be selected by a public vote through the Stena website which closes on Thursday, October 8, 2015.


Website to 'Transform Online Booking Experience'

Aer Lingus today launched a brand new website which it says will transform the online booking experience for all its smart travellers.

With four million website visits each month, the airline's online retail platform accounts for more than 80 per cent of bookings made across its network and generates in excess of 1 billion Euro in revenue. In Ireland and the UK, the percentage of online transactions rises to more than 90 per cent as booking via the website is the preferred option.

As part of its new brand repositioning which launched this Spring, 'Smarts Flies Aer Lingus', the airline is giving smart flyers a website experience that better reflects the new Aer Lingus brand. In depth consumer research was carried out to inform Aer Lingus of how to best serve guests at every step of their journey.

With lots of smart tools and features the new website is designed to transform the online booking experience making it much more personalised for all Aer Lingus guests. The booking process has been streamlined into six simple steps, meaning managing your trip is now easier. In addition a new section full of tips, advice and inspiration for future trips should benefit guests with their travel plans.


Dublin's Terminal 1 Departures Road Closed

The Departures Road at Dublin Airport's Terminal 1 has been closed for a three-month period for essential maintenance.

The upgrade work, which is weather dependent, is due to be completed by mid-December, and is part of a range of projects to modernise Terminal 1, which is more than 40 years old.

Almost 375 million passengers have used Terminal 1 since it opened for operations in 1972. The significant increase in vehicles using the Departures Road over that time means that the road is now in urgent need of repair to prolong its life and to address some ongoing drainage issues.

Over the next three months, Dublin Airport will provide an alternative set down area for customers departing from Terminal 1 at the rear of the T1 multi-storey car park. A dedicated traffic management system will be in operation with clear signage and traffic marshals in place to assist customers throughout the works.

The project to upgrade the departures road will include structural repairs to walls and concrete columns, the upgrading and replacing of existing movement joints and the installation of a new drainage system and outlets. The existing footpaths, road surface and line markings will also be replaced.


Indian Classic on the Streets of Belfast

Prepare to be enthralled, entranced... perhaps even a tiny bit bewildered! Later this month (October 24) a giant animated tiger will stalk downtown Belfast, accompanied by hundreds of torchlight bearers and the soul-stirring sounds of 54 Indian Dhol drummers beating out dramatic rhythms in preparation for a never-before-seen combination of dance, music, pyrotechnics and special effects inspired by Diwali, the ancient Festival of Light.

For one incredible, never-to-be-repeated night, the art and traditions of India will cast their exotic spell over downtown Belfast as the city hosts the vast and vibrant 'Nine Nights' production inspired by age-old Indian folklore.

Presented by Northern Ireland's leading ethnic arts group and Belfast Mela producers ArtsEkta, together with the creative team from the internationally acclaimed outdoor arts company Walk the Plank, 'Nine Nights' will be one of the most ambitious and spectacular free outdoor arts events ever staged in Belfast City Centre: an event guaranteed to delight the senses, challenge perceptions and ignite the imagination.

It's a one-off event that will appeal to the entire city, according to Nisha Tandon, Director of ArtsEkta. She says: "For many of us the story which has inspired 'Nine Nights' is a much-loved classic, but even if you are completely unfamiliar with Indian culture, you will certainly be able to follow the narrative and the evening will make for a spectacular introduction not only to the Diwali festival, but also to the music, dance and rhythms of India. The story is a celebration of creation, birth and renewal, marking the start of new journeys, hopes and aspirations."


Passengers Choose Cling Film Over Padlocks

Passengers in airports are turning to cling film in the quest to secure their luggage and keep it from being damaged.

It seems the trusty padlock is not enough of a deterrent to would-be thieves, with passengers wrapping their suitcases in industrial strength film before it sets out on its journey.

The tamper-proof film can cost as little as £7 for a suitcase, and is also useful to protect the more fragile items such as musical instruments, skis and sports equipment.

ADVERTISING Travel Insurance

Buy great value Travel Insurance online at Travel Insurance offer single & multi trip European & worldwide cover.



itunes google

The BIG Trade Event - 2015


John Trew


Following seven eventful years as front-line Editor of the Belfast News Letter, John Trew wisely opted for the quieter pleasures of travel journalism.  Now, after 23 years and 270,000 miles, he is living proof that travel not only broadens the mind but the buttocks.

View John's articles

Latest Travel Reports

  • Ski resort with a mega party reputation... Ski resort with a mega party reputation...
    ROBIN NOWACKI discovers if it’s party or peace for him after the piste in the Austrian Tyrol… ISCHGL has become over the last 20 years one of Austria’s most popular winter sports destinations...
  • More than a few of my favourite skiing things... More than a few of my favourite skiing things...
    Pretty ‘picture postcard’ snow-capped mountain peaks. Gliding down ski slopes as the wind cools your cheeks. The rhythmic ‘swish’ of sharp skis while your heart sings - these are a few of KAREN...
  • Once upon a Dreamland... Once upon a Dreamland...
    Once a coastal bolt hole for Regency dandies who had tired of London, ANDREA McVEIGH heads to the seaside town of Margate to check out the newly reopened Pleasure Park… MARGATE is having a moment....
  • Fall in love with the heart of Ireland Fall in love with the heart of Ireland
    By ANGELA TAGGART LET me ask you a question - would you consider Athlone a serious option for a short break? I have to be honest, a trip to the town wasn’t my number one priority last year… But...
    Regular contributor NIGEL HEATH explores New Zealand’s stunning North Island… IMAGINE this holiday nightmare scene. I was at an Auckland Airport desk queuing to collect our New Zealand touring...
  • Simply stunning, China’s City on the Sea! Simply stunning, China’s City on the Sea!
    ANDREA McVEIGH pays a short Visa-free visit to one of China’s most iconic and interesting cities… I HAVE no head for heights, but on a short break to Shanghai, in the midst of a longer tour of south-east...
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8

Contact Details

  • NI Travel News
  • Unit 1, Windsor Business Park
  • Belfast
  • BT9 7DW
  • 028 9066 6151