In which we present a regular round-up of news from the world of Grown-up Travel
VisitEngland launches new campaign to attract tourists
VisitEngland has confirmed plans for another television campaign aimed at encouraging more Britons to take a domestic holiday.
The £2m push, announced at the ABTA Travel Convention today, will launch next spring and follows this year’s much-maligned commercials featuring endorsements from the likes of Stephen Fry, Julie Walters and Rupert Grint.
The campaign will be a joint venture with tour operators and travel agents, who are being urged to support the drive using in-store and online marketing.
Lady Cobham, the chairman of VisitEngland, claimed there had been an 18 per cent increase in UK holiday sales since 2009, and said she was confident the upward trend could continue: “The staycation, as horrible a phrase as it is, is here to stay.”
She added that overnight trips in the UK by British travellers contributed around £10 billion to the British economy each year, and produced results of a survey, commissioned following the August Bank Holiday, which suggested that 86 per cent of Britons who had taken a domestic holiday rated their experience as “very good” or “excellent”.
The plans for a second “staycation” campaign are likely to be welcomed by Britain’s hotels and attractions, which have endured a difficult year. Poor weather, concerns over high hotel prices in London, and the strength of the euro, encouraged many holidaymakers to stick with traditional Mediterranean favourites such as Spain and Greece this summer.
It was also welcomed by Friends of the Earth. “The tourism industry has an important role to play in protecting the environment,” said Craig Bennett of the environmental campaign group.
“It should do more to promote great holidays close to home – and the benefits of travelling by bike, bus and train. ”
New York’s museum puts spotlight on Picasso’s black and white works
Pablo Picasso may be best known for his Blue and Rose Periods and Cubism but the Spanish artist also used black and white in his works, many of which will be shown in a new exhibition opening on Friday at New York’s Guggenheim Museum.
“Picasso Black and White,” which runs through January 23 and includes 118 paintings, sculptures and works on paper from 1904 to 1971, focuses on Picasso’s exploration of the use of the two colors.
“This is the first exhibition that examines his continuous use of the black and white palette throughout his career, therefore we think it is a ground-breaking exhibition,” said Richard Armstrong, the director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation.
“We think this offers new insights into his creative character,” he added.
From “La Repasseuse” a stark, somber 1904 oil on canvas painting of an angular woman ironing to “The Kiss,” a work in dark gray and black that was completed decades later, the exhibition runs in chronological order up the curving ramps of the museum.
It includes works that have never been seen in public before and more than 30 will be on view in the United States for the first time.
Carmen Gimenez, the curator of the exhibition, said the minimal use of color in Picasso’s works in the exhibition showed his focus on line, form, drawings and tones, which is evident in “The Kitchen,” a 1948 painting of angles, circles, curves, and varying shades of gray.
“His interest in on drawing and on the line,” she explained in an interview.
Even in his Blue and Rose periods, Gimenez said black, white and gray is a recurrent motif. The lack of color, she added, enabled Picasso to manage complicated paintings such as his black and white masterpiece “The Milliner’s Workshop,” which is on loan for the exhibition from the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
“The Charnel House,” a jumble of corpses with a primitive quality, which was reportedly inspired by newspaper photographs of war, is another major work in the show, along with “The Maids of Honor,” the largest of his 44 variations of Diego Velazquez’s “Las Meninas” which Picasso painted in California.
“Black and white tended to be used in ambitious and complicated compositions,” Gimenez explained.
10 travel budget busters to avoid
Unexpected costs can completely shatter your travel budget. Don’t blow your savings before your trip is up — instead, follow these tips and you’ll have even more spending money than you bargained for on the road.
You have to arrive for flights hours ahead of take-off these days, lest you get stuck in a long security line. At the gate, with plenty of time to kill, you’ll be tempted to buy food, drinks, and entertainment—all of which are heavily marked up at airport shops. Plan ahead and pack snacks, an empty water bottle (which can be filled once you’re through security), and your own reading material. Now you’ll have no excuse to spend $10 for a bottle of water and a magazine to pass the time.
Budget a certain amount for your rental car? You might be in shock when you arrive at the counter and have to sign a contract that requires you to fork over hundreds more than you were expecting. Read up on hidden car-rental fees and you’ll be armed with enough knowledge to argue the price down.
Bringing a carry-on, checking a bag, or printing your boarding pass at the airport? Each of these items will cost you money (in one case, $100 per person) on certain airlines. Before you book your flight, consult SmarterTravel’s airline fees and luggage chargescharts. This way, you can calculate what your fare will really cost and know which bags to leave behind.
Nothing puts a damper on a post-vacation glow faster than opening your credit card statement after arriving home. Before you go, know what your credit card company will charge you for using your card abroad (some will charge you a transaction fee every time it’s swiped in a foreign currency). Also, check with your bank to see what their fees are for using overseas ATMs. If you travel a lot, and your current financial institutions charge exorbitant amounts for using them internationally, it might be worth it to switch. Read about the best non-airline credit cards for travel rewards to get suggestions. There are plenty of card companies out there that won’t charge you anything extra for foreign transactions and will even refund any surcharges that a foreign ATM may charge you.
Once-hidden havens and hot-spots made famous by James Bond
He’s put fast cars, shaken martinis and leggy ladies on the hit list for many men over the past 50 years, but his influence doesn’t end there.
He’s also placed many once-hidden havens firmly on the tourist map.
With the premiere of the latest 007 film, Skyfall, approaching, we take a look at some of the hottest destinations made famous by James Bond.
JAMES BOND ISLAND – THAILAND
One of the most famous destinations used in a 007 film is James Bond Island, off the west coast of Thailand. A popular port of call among backpackers, James Bond Island is known by locals as Ko Tapu and is located in Phang Nga Bay.
It featured in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), in which Moore again played played Bond.
In the film, James Bond Island is fictionally set in Chinese waters.
Sunset cruises and longtail boat day trips are currently offered to tourists.
CORFU – GREECE
The gorgeous Greek island of Corfu was host to the 12th Bond film, For Your Eyes Only (1981).
Although part of the film is set in Spain, filming took place in Corfu. The local slopes and olive trees were the setting for a car chase near the village of Pagi.