Tuesday, August 04, 2015
Text Size

Thursday July 30, 2015

This Week's Travel News


Titanic Quarter New Home for Holiday World

Visitors to next January's Holiday World show will be travelling to Belfast's Titanic Quarter, not the traditional King's Hall complex at Balmoral.

The show, from Friday January 15 to Sunday, January 17 January, Northern Ireland's largest and best supported annual celebration of travel and tourism, will be unpacking its unique blend of attractions, exhibitions and entertainment in the all-new Titanic Exhibition Centre in the heart of Belfast's Titanic Quarter.

The new 6,000 square metre venue is situated on Queen's Road, neatly positioned between the iconic Goliath crane at Harland & Wolff and the Titanic Studios where the global hit fantasy series Game of Thrones is filmed. The mammoth 120 metre-long facility with capacity for up to 20,000 visitors and 300 exhibitors is on track to open its doors in early autumn.

Looking forward to the change of venue for Holiday World, the Caravan & Motorhome Show and the 50+ Village show-within-a-show, Maureen Ledwith, Director of Holiday World, said: "Titanic Quarter is one of the world's largest urban-waterfront regeneration projects: a vibrant, exciting and heritage-filled place in which to live, work and socialise. We're thrilled to be bringing our annual event to this amazing destination, right in the heart of Belfast. The great, central location means that it will be easier than ever before for visitors to access our show, while the new, purpose-built Titanic Exhibition Centre creates a fresh, modern backdrop for our show.

"The pristine new surroundings of the Titanic Exhibition Centre with their airy, contemporary layout and facilities will, clearly, be attractive to our visitors, but the advantages of a highly accessible, central location teamed with state of the art modernity is already creating considerable interest amongst local, national and international exhibitors. Already bookings are flying in and we look forward to celebrating our 24th Holiday World Belfast in a new location, with many new exhibitors as well as old friends."


Still Great Value for UK Travellers in Euro Zone

Sterling Euro exchange rates have once again gone in an upwards direction making holidays in the Euro zone even better value for Northern Ireland and UK travellers in general.

The trend is continuing because of better than expected UK GDP figures and Greek PM Alexis Tsipras suggesting that a 'Grexit' could still be on the cards. The uncertainty is fueling the trend in exchange rates. Today's exchange rate shows the Euro valued at just 70p.

As expected there has been no change in UK interest rates but the rumours are increasing of a rate increase possibly as early as September.

Worries have eased over holidays in Greece and UK travellers have been reporting no problems with their stay. Several operators offer holidays to Greece from Belfast.


Airlines Getting Tough on Unruly Travellers

Airlines are continuing to clamp down on unruly travellers. Recently Belfast International Airport issued an appeal to holiday travellers about behaviour and now Ryanair has banned passengers bringing duty-free alcohol onto its Ibiza flights in an effort to stamp out drink-related problems on board.

It has told passengers there will be searches at departure gates and that customers 'showing any signs of anti-social behaviour or attempting to conceal alcohol' will be denied travel without refund or compensation. Instead, any alcohol purchased at airport duty free shops must be placed in the hold luggage or disposed of at the gate.

The move comes as low-cost rival Jet2 called for industry-wide action to tackle a 'shocking' rise in disruptive passenger behaviour, often drink related. It is calling for a database to be developed so that information on disruptive passengers can be shared among airlines.

Last week Jet2 slapped a lifetime ban on three passengers on a flight from Glasgow to Dalaman last week who it claims were spitting, stripping, stealing and swearing on board.


Follow the Movie Stars to the Scottish Highlands

Hollywood's A-list descended on Northern Ireland the other day with Batman, Harry Potter, James Bond and Macbeth treating movie fans and 'set-jetters' to a jaw-dropping performance to celebrate the launch of the new Highlands & Skye Movie Map, created by the Highland Council and VisitScotland.

Passengers at George Best Belfast City Airport were greeted by the world-famous characters, with a string quartet also treating travellers during check-in to orchestral soundtracks from a variety of Hollywood blockbusters that have been filmed in the Scottish Highlands.

Those arriving for Flybe flights to Inverness were additionally given the 'purple' carpet treatment onboard with exclusively themed goodie bags and movie character masks. Selfie cameras were rolling for the action-packed cinematic stunt organised by VisitScotland and Flybe to encourage Northern Ireland movie fans to indulge in a set jetting trip to the Highlands this summer.

With its rugged landscape and stunning scenery, Scotland continues to provide one of the most popular backdrops for the world of cinema, including box office blockbusters The Dark Knight Rises, Skyfall and Harry Potter as well as the soon to be released remake of Macbeth, starring Michael Fassbender.


Ride the Rapids at Legoland Windsor

Stena Line is giving families the chance to fly through the treetops to escape fearsome dragons and ride the thrilling rapids with a Viking Fleet with a short break to LEGOLAND Windsor Resort from as little as £499 for a family of four.

Included in this great value break is return travel with Stena Line by car from Belfast to Liverpool, two nights' accommodation in a 4-star hotel within a short driving distance of the park and one day entry into LEGOLAND Windsor Resort for two adults and two children under 16.

LEGOLAND Windsor promises an exciting day out with thrills and fun for the whole family with over 55 interactive rides, live shows and attractions set in over 150 acres of parkland. Join LEGO divers on a magical underwater adventure on Atlantis Submarine Voyage or enjoy the UK's only LEGO Star Wars Miniland Model Display. The hugely popular Pirate Shores at the park features more than 100 new LEGO models in the Pirate Falls Treasure Quest log flume ride and the largest model is a giant LEGO crocodile comprising of over 85,000 individual bricks.

What's more, the park is in a great location which enables families to make the most of their time away and take in the sights and sounds of London which is only a short trip on the train.

Ian Bailie Stena Line's Key Account & Product Sales Manager said: "This short break represents excellent value for money and is less than half the price of the comparable breaks by air. Starting from only £499 for a family of four, it works out less than £125 per person and promises hours of entertainment, starting as soon as you step onboard the ferry."


Airline's Full Winter Schedule Goes on Sale

Flybe has published its full 2015-16 winter programme offering a comprehensive choice of 14 direct routes and a choice of up to 582 flights a week available for travel between October 25, 2015 and March 26, 2016. One way fares are from £24.99 including taxes and charges.

In line with passenger demand, Europe's largest regional airline has increased the number of flights on many of its most popular routes for the added convenience of both business and leisure passengers. Flights to Edinburgh and Glasgow will both be increased from four to six a day whilst the recently introduced route to London City will retain its already increased service of four flights daily. Extra flights have also been added to its Southampton route on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays during certain peak winter travel periods which will be of particular interest to passengers going on winter cruise holidays.

Flybe's new Liverpool service has proved very popular especially with sports fans and students and for its first winter season will see an additional rotation offering a choice of up to five flights a day. Manchester continues to be an important hub airport for Flybe offering Northern Ireland passengers seamless and convenient onward connections to European and long-haul destinations.


'Explore the World for Less' Offer

Qatar Airways is encouraging travellers to explore the world for less with their latest regional promotion offering savings on airfares to a variety of destinations across Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and South Africa.

Available on bookings from now until this Sunday August 2.2015, UK travellers will have the opportunity to discover new destinations for less with Qatar Airways' Regional Promotion. Customers can take advantage of the long travel validity during the promotional offer and book their tickets for travel from September through to June 2016.

Qatar Airways Country Manager, UK & Ireland, Richard Oliver said: "We are delighted to offer Qatar Airways' UK customers the opportunity to experience Skytrax's 2015 Airline of the Year for less with this promotion. Customers can travel for business and leisure to destinations such as Singapore, Perth and Bangkok on board the award-winning airline."

Bookings can be made directly with Qatar Airways or your local travel agent. Seats are limited and subject to availability and blackout dates apply.


Big Increase in Mental Health Issues with UK Travellers

The UK Foreign Office is reporting more requests for help from British travellers abroad suffering from mental health issues.

The FCO says such cases have increased by 50 per cent over the last five years and has identified the problem as one that requires increased focus.

Serious assistance was given by the FCO in 499 cases involving travellers with mental illness between April 1 2014 and March 31 2015, according to the Helping British Nationals Abroad report.

Although this is a small proportion of the 17,058 UK travellers receiving serious assistance last year, it is a growing trend, with the number of incidents up 50 per cent since 2009/10 and one that requires 'increasing focus for consular staff'.

British embassies, high commissions and consulates around the world issued almost 38,000 emergency travel documents in the last year, dealt with 470,000 enquiries and supported British nationals in 15 crisis situations.



Multitrip.com Travel Insurance

Buy great value Travel Insurance online at www.Multitrip.com.

Multitrip.com 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

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8

Contact Details

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