Showing posts from February, 2010

Last hope of travel dignity, privacy and convenience, as EU is not convinced about invasive Airport Body Scanners

In a world whereby our privacy and liberties are being eroded under the threat of "Fear Motivation" for many the last hope of retaining some common sense and balance rests with the EU.                            

The European Commission is to publish an impact evaluation on body scanners in the coming weeks, as requested by Parliament in October 2008. Here below are some of the topics and statements made by EU representatives in recent months, which is a more common sense approach and pleasing to hear that at least there is one entity thinking the matter through.

"The Detroit flight confirms that civil aviation remains a key target for terrorists" claimed the EU Counter-terrorism Co-ordinator Gilles de Kerkhove. "Besides the importance of data sharing, there is a need to improve our ability to digest data coming from different sources" he added, as the Detroit attempt comes "mainly from a failure to connect the dots". "Much more can be done…

Airline bankruptcies: MEPs call for better passenger compensation

Its pleasing to see that at least MEPs are seeing travel sense with their recent call for "Passengers who have booked flights with airlines that go bankrupt should be guaranteed compensation and assistance".
In a resolution adopted by a show of hands, Parliament asks the Commission to consider proposing new legislation to ensure passengers are not left stranded without accommodation or a flight home. MEPs suggest that establishing a "reserve compensation fund" and introducing "mutual responsibility" for passengers of all airlines flying in the same direction with available seats, could help to get stranded passengers home.

"Many of these passengers do not have the financial means to deal with this sort of upheaval. They are from those families who spend their savings on a family holiday, only to see their hard-earned money go down the drain through little fault of their own", Transport Committee chair Brian SIMPSON (S&D, UK), told…

Warm Southern Hemisphere

Greetings from the Cruise Port city of Santos, where the temperature reached over 36 degrees this week. Here I am tucking into a bowl of Acai, a wonder Berry from the Amazon that apparently prolongs life, gives energy and helps one to lose weight! Best of all is tastes great and one can eat it like a Sorbet.

Well what a challenging travel year its proving to be, first we had to experience major transport delays all over Europe and East America in particular due to snow, ice and blizzards and now Lufthansa is on strike! The poor German travellers have had it hard and the timings could not be more annoying for the Business Traveller that needs to visit Germany.

Its been a tough time for Greeks too, as the economy slip slides away and we learn the reality of their deficit, which is 4 times lower than EU rules. The Euro is under pressure and the outlook for the Pound does not look promising, so is this the great return of the Dollar?  More interestingly Aegean Airlines and Ol…


Holi, India, 1st March
During Holi, Holika Dahan, or the festival of color, Hindus celebrate good harvests and the Earth's fertility by taking to the streets and smearing everyone with colored powders and water. It is lots of fun, but watch out - no-one is exempt! Huge bonfires are made on the eve of the festival (to drive out Dhunda, a female demon, from participating villages), while the actual day is marked by loud processions, singing, dancing and traditional songs. The celebrations pay tribute to Hindu god Krishna, and are associated with his love for Radha. The young Krishna would moan to his mother about how Radha was so fair and he was so dark. His mother advised him to apply color on Radha's face and see how her complexion changed. The celebrations still explore this idea. If you're a visitor to the Holi celebrations, wear some old clothes! It's likely you'll get covered with colorful powders (gulal) and colored water - an interesting development on the theme …

Agreement between the shareholders of Greek airlines AEGEAN AIRLINES and OLYMPIC AIR for the creation of a national airline champion!

The main shareholders of AEGEAN AIRLINES and OLYMPIC AIR have reached today an agreement regarding the merger of their respective activities, resulting in the formation of a new company that will be listed on the Athens Exchange. OLYMPIC HANDLING and OLYMPIC ENGINEERING will become 100% subsidiaries of the new company. The company that will be formed as a result from the merger will carry the name and logos of OLYMPIC AIR, following the necessary transition and adjustment period, during which the name and logos of AEGEAN will be used in parallel as well.
The agreement is subject to the approval of the European Competition Commission, which is the relevant competent authority given the size and particular terms of the transaction. Until then, the exact process mechanics and associated timetable will be articulated. According to the terms of the agreement, the main shareholder of AEGEAN (Vassilakis Group) and the sole shareholder of OLYMPIC AIR (Marfin Investment Group) will have an equal…

Lady Gaga - Echo Arena Liverpool, Liverpool, England 24th February

Time to go Gaga! Riding high on the success of her latest album, The Fame Monster, Lady Gaga brings her stylish brand of electronic shock-pop to Liverpool's Echo Arena. Expect a dazzlingly shocking show, all lights, glitter and her career hits to date.
Further Information:

Killer frozen urine falls from plane! Can we trust Travel Media?

"A British woman happened to be strolling across Wandsworth Common in London, when she was hit and killed by shaft of frozen urine falling from a plane's leaky toilet".

The tale naturally, as anyone with an ounce of common sense realises is false, however it was conjured up by a spoof news programme called "The Day Today" then on the airwaves in the Nineties.

Even though this was a prank a Photoshop manipulated picture of a woman lying on Wandsworth Common with a large urine icicle lodged in her side, spread like wildfire on the Internet's travel and shock news communities and has been there ever since.

This article is to serve as a timely reminder that you cannot trust everything you read on the Internet and that goes too for consumer feedback driven sites like UK's Trip Adviser, whereby it is common knowledge that some unscrupulous Hotel Operators create bogus negative comments to give a competitor Hotel a negative rating. The same bogus ratings are c…

Abu Dhabi Looks to Develop Sustainable Cruise Tourism and Eyes ‘Home Port’ Status Jobs, Hotel, Airline and Tour Bookings to be Generated

The cruise tourism industry could deliver a substantial economic impact annually for Abu Dhabi, according to a dedicated market study commissioned by Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA).
The study says Abu Dhabi stands to benefit from the creation of full-time jobs, hotel room nights from pre ad post-cruise stays, increased business for airlines serving the destination and more land tours, which will spread consumer spending to the emirate’s historic city of Al Ain and its Al Gharbia western region.
The study says maximum potential will be realised through the development of a dedicated cruise terminal and Abu Dhabi’s evolution into a fully-fledged home port with the potential to deliver at least 50,000 new visitors to the emirate annually.
“There are substantial gains to be accrued from the evolution of Abu Dhabi from its existing ‘port of call’ to ‘home port’ status,” said His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman, ADTA. “These include incremental increases in hotel …

The best kept secret in Cyprus, Agii Anargyri Natural Healing Spa Resort

Are you a fan of agricultural tourism? Looking for a place to go this spring? Well, look no further. On the beautiful island of Cyprus, in the mountains that are home to the Wine Routes of Cyprus, 20 minutes from the town of Paphos, one can discover a real heaven in the form of a Spa Resort!       
Agii Anargyri Natural Healing Spa Resort opened its doors in May 2009 presenting a world with a sublime experience. Set in a valley of mature trees, the resort offers a unique retreat, a place of profound calm and the opportunity to enjoy the health-giving waters which have benefited visitors of the area for so many years.
The spa hotel has been extended, renovated and refurbished in natural stone and timber in traditional Cypriot architectural style. It is set amid fragrant citrus groves and other mature trees. The area teams with plant and animal life, but at night peace descends. The silence is broken only by nightingales, the occasional owl and sometimes a chorus of frogs.
Back in 1983 Zen…

The Women's Show - Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town, South Africa 19th - 21st February

The Women's Show provides a space for women to celebrate all things feminine. Ladies come to network, browse exhibits and participate in workshops and a host of other activites. There are 130 exhibits, 140 live events and 6 interactive feature areas ranging from health and beauty to money, sex and women's rights. The La Dolce Vita pavilion, for example, showcases new products by some of the best-known Italian brands like Maserati, Peroni and Lavazza, while the Wedding pavilion is packed with ideas for the perfect day. Business, comedy and dance are also covered. Daily 10am-6pm (until 5pm Sun).
Further Information:

International Centre for Responsible Tourism Backs World Green Tourism, Abu Dhabi Post-Grad Training and Research Center Gives First-of-its-Kind Confex Seal of Approval

The International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT), the post-graduate training and research body of the UK’s LeedsMetropolitanUniversity, has thrown its substantial weight behind World Green Tourism Abu Dhabi, the first-of-its-kind regional confex being held in the UAE capital this December.
ICRT has signed on as an official supporter of the event, being organized by the UAE’s Streamline Marketing Group (SMG).
This is a significant vote of confidence in this international confex which aims to promote sustainable tourism development by influencing the integration of eco-tourism principles into the operations and policies of tourism industry players, a theme which is daily gathering momentum within the Middle East, explained Rick Theobald of SMG.
This agreement will now see the event actively marketed to the center’s extensive global database of companies and individuals who are solidly engaged in sustainable tourism.
ICRT’s Director of Research & International Partnerships, Profe…