In which we present a regular round-up of news from the world of Grown-up Travel
Global tourist arrivals close in on 1 billion: U.N.
International tourist arrivals grew 4% between January and August year-on-year and are heading for the 1 billion mark for the first time by December, the UN World Tourism Organization said.
Chinese spending on travel abroad grew significantly, it said.
Tourist numbers grew 5% in emerging economies compared with a 4% rise in advanced economies. UNWTO forecast overall growth of no more than 4% for the full year.
UNWTO numbers showed that the only region to report a decline in tourist numbers compared with the first eight months of 2011 was the Middle East with 1% fewer arrivals.
Countries reported their own data to the UNWTO regarding their earnings from and expenditure on international travel, varyingly covering a period between the first six and nine months of 2012.
With the data available to the UNWTO so far, spending on travel abroad rose 30% in China, followed by 22% in Poland, 15% in Russia, 16% in Argentina, 18% in Malaysia and 11% in India.
The United States, Canada, Germany and Australia reported single-digit growth in travel expenditure.
Italy and France showed a decline in spending on travel abroad, according to the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer which aims at monitoring the short-term evolution of tourism.
Earnings from tourism grew 48% in Japan, 26% in Sweden, South Korea and South Africa and 17% in Hong Kong.
Schiphol claims to operate Heathrow’s third runway
Amsterdam is laying claim to be recognised as a British hub airport operating Heathrow’s third runway.
It is launching an aggressive advertising campaign capitalising on what critics say is a shortage of runways in London and the South East.
The Amsterdam airport says it offers more than 100 daily flights to the UK, enabling Britons to connect to 275 destinations across the world.
It now serves 23 UK airports in Britain, compared with 12 offered by Gatwick and only seven by Heathrow.
Schiphol, which has five runways – compared with Heathrow’s, is already Europe’s leading airport for emerging market destinations such as China.
It is also expected to outstrip Heathrow in terms of passengers and flights within a decade.
Schiphol is also helped by Air Passenger Duty levied on passengers flying from UK airports, meaning that long haul flights are frequently cheaper for passengers who change aircraft in Amsterdam.
Its cheeky self-promotion will intensify pressure on the Government to tackle the problem of lack of runway capacity in the South East.
Last week Sir Howard Davies, the former head of the Financial Services Authority, unveiled his team which will carry out an investigation into how Britain can retain its hub status.
The floating future: Are blimps about to make a comeback?
Blimps haven’t been popular since the Hindenburg disaster.
Three months ago, on 10 August, the off-white, doughnut-like prototype of a revolutionary unmanned airship took off from a New Jersey airfield in the latest attempt to break the curse of the Hindenburg. The crash of the flaming Nazi airship in front of the world’s media in 1937 put a brake on the development of a technology that was labelled as promising then, and still is today, 70 years later.
It is hoped that this $154m (£96m) half-plane, half-airship hybrid, or Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV), designed and built for the US defence giant Northrop Grumman by the Milton Keynes-based Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) and funded by the US Army, will be the first of a new generation of airships. That it will – for example – loiter above the deserts of Afghanistan tracking the Taliban for weeks at a time or, as bigger Airlander heavy-lift transporters, carry ore from an Alaskan mine to a factory floor in one go.
Chief executive Gary Elliott is confident even if HAV receives little UK government support, the LEMV is “simply a game-changer”. He says: “Back in 2000 we sat down and listed all the foibles and problems of the traditional airship and come up with a design that is all about removing them and delivering practical, reliable and cost-effective vehicles. And the flight of the LEMV proves that the design works.”
Where is Australia’s fountain of youth? Denmark marks the spot
Still searching for the fountain of youth? We’ll give you a hint: It’s somewhere in Western Australia.
It’s the place you are most likely to live – literally.
A new report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, released today, shows Denmark in Western Australia is the Local Government Area with the highest life expectancy.
The report, which examines deaths and mortality for Australia, including place of residence, age and country of birth, shows we are living longer than ever before.
Director of ABS Demography, Bjorn Jarvis, said the Deaths Australia 2011 report shows life expectancy figures have increased over the last 10 years.
“Under current estimates, a boy born today could expect to live 79.7 years while a girl could expect to live 84.2,” Mr Jarvis said.