Grown-up Travel Guide News Update – 16.01.2012

In which we present a regular round-up of news from the world of Grown-up Travel

Welsh Capital Unhappiest in the UK

A survey published yesterday by Lonely Planet reveals Cardiff citizens are amongst the unhappiest in the UK.

The survey was conducted to launch a new publication about how different cultures reach happiness.

Conducted between December 2011 and January 2012, the study reveals British are generally happy about their country, 6 out of 10 said they’re happy with their lives.

Cardiff came out from the survey as the city where only 23% of the respondents said they are happy. The city is only followed by Bristol where a fifth of the population enquired stated its unhappiness.

In 2010 the National Equality Panel published a study about the inequality in the UK. They write:

“A number of analysts have pointed to the ways in which large inequalities in the kinds of economic outcome we look at are associated with societies having lower levels of happiness or well-being in other respects, and to the social problems and economic costs resulting from these.”

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Why charity is beginning at a luxury hotel

The Telegraph

The construction of a luxury hotel in Ghana promises to give hundreds of African children the chance of a better life.

AfriKids, one of three charities supported by the Telegraph Christmas appeal, turns 10 this year. It is marking a decade of successful work in one of the poorest regions of the world in a rather surprising way – by building a luxury hotel.

The child-rights charity operates 16 projects in the impoverished Upper East Region of Ghana, helping more than 100,000 people a year. Street children are taught marketable skills and those born with deformities, who once were at risk of being ritually killed, are cared for.

AfriKids wants its Ghanaian arm to be self-sustaining within another decade. With this in mind, in 2006 the charity established the AfriKids Medical Centre in the region. The success of this award-winning health care institution, which generates a profit of £100,000 a year, is now prompting investment in tourism.

Tourism is developing well, though it is concentrated in the centre and south. Forbes magazine last year named Ghana the “most friendly” African country to visit, and the guidebook publisher Frommer’s recently listed it as one of the top 10 holiday destinations for 2012, praising the country for its stability and saying that its varied landscape made it the “perfect introduction to African travel”

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Air France fined for serving passenger ‘poisoned coffee’
A French court ordered Air France to pay 146,000 euros ($180,000) to compensate a passenger who said he was served poisoned coffee on a domestic flight in 2006.

The court ordered the carrier to pay 46,000 euros to the man and 100,000 euros to the health insurer that has been covering his costs after he said he was poisoned with drain cleaner on the Bordeaux to Paris flight.

Marc-Fredaine Niazaire was taken ill during the flight and admitted to hospital on landing. He was operated on for a problem with his oesophagus and sued Air France for poisoning him with a “seriously toxic liquid” used to clear drains.

A criminal enquiry concluded in 2010 that there was nothing to prosecute, after which Mr Niazaire launched a civil case seeking 680,000 euros ($846,718) in damages.

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The Dame vs The Lady: Yorkshire takes on New York as part of UK tourism’s new strategy

The Independent

One is the home of Sex and the City, Lady Gaga and the Statue of Liberty. The other is better known for Last of the Summer Wine, Dame Judi Dench and the Humber Bridge.

But Yorkshire tourism chiefs hope to lure visitors from New York, as part of a Government plan to turn Britain’s countryside, beaches and monuments into global “attack brands” to compete with the planet’s most attractive destinations. Cornwall, the Cotswolds and the Peak District are also among those identified as “super-destinations”, which say they are ready to take on instantly recognisable locations such as Provence, The Algarve and the Black Forest.

Ministers found that among the top Google searches in, for example, North America, Italy has four or five destinations in the top 30. While London regularly tops the charts, “you have to go quite far down the list to get to any other places in Britain”, said John Penrose, the tourism minister. “We want more places competing globally. You bring people in through the stuff that’s famous. And then, like Amazon, you say: ‘if you liked that place, you might like this place too’.”

The new “attract and disperse” strategy aims to spread tourists as widely across the country as possible. Walkers who know of the Lake District may be urged to try Exmoor, while those drawn to Stonehenge could be tempted to visit Bath Abbey.

Millions of new globetrotters in emerging economies from the Far East, Brazil and India are to be targeted. Yorkshire is already one of Britain’s best-performing destinations, attracting 216 million visitors a year, equivalent to the total for all Disney theme parks. Last week it beat Brazil, India, South Africa and Scotland to win a World Travel Award.

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Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

Not meaning to brag, but here goes. I can say I’m a travel expert and have spoken at multiple travel conferences and trade shows.

I enjoy travelling all over the world but my big passion is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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