Colors: Yellow Color
Colors: Yellow Color

WOW air is to become the first airline in Europe to operate Airbus' new A321neo aircraft following an acquisition deal signed today at the Paris Air show between the low-fare transatlantic airline and the aircraft manufacturer.

“This is a significant addition to our fleet that will allow us to service routes of more than six thousand kilometres, a journey that the previous model of A321 has not been able to do,” says Skuli Mogensen, WOW air Founder and CEO.

The new aircraft will enter service in July, joining WOW air's current all-Airbus fleet of 17 aircraft and will operate on various European and North American routes, including the new service to Tel Aviv, announced only weeks ago.

"This first new A321neo delivery for ALC in Europe illustrates our strong and growing relationship with WOW air.  We are most honored to be associated with the success and network expansion of this consumer friendly, cost efficient and environmentally conscious airline, which in a short period of time, has become one of the most innovative air carriers serving Europe and North America,” says Steven F. Udvar-Hazy, Executive Chairman of Air Lease Corporation.

“The A321neo will ensure that WOW air can reach and serve more destinations, with its greater range, performance and economic operating cost advantages, including lower fuel consumption".

The efficient, single-aisle jetliner will have a configuration of 218 seats and advance the airline's move towards reduced fuel consumption, further reinforced by the recent addition of an A320neo to its fleet.

“The A321neo will allow WOW air to further expand its network in Europe and North America, with the most comfortable and fuel efficient aircraft in its class,” said John Leahy, COO-Customers, Airbus Commercial Aircraft.

“Aside from the reduced operating costs, the aircraft also provides a WOW effect for passengers with its spacious state-of-the-art cabin,” he added.

Moving away from WOW air's tradition to name its fleet after family members, the new aircraft will be christened TF-SKY and is set for its inaugral flight on 5 July 2017.

Enjoy an exciting historical jousting tournament at Blenheim Palace from 18 - 20 August. Recreating the glorious jousting matches of Britain's past, knights will take to their noble steeds in a momentous display of bravery and skill.

Expect a spectacular battle between the Knights of Arkley beneath the backdrop of Blenheim Palace on the South Lawn. Each jousting tournament will be staged twice daily over the weekend starting at 12.30 and 3pm.

Six knights will take to the stage in a joust between The Marquis de Lyons and the dastardly Black Knight. Watch skills-at-arms, medieval games, jousting and sword combat. There will be a chance for a lucky few to be shown how to use a pretend sword and try their hand against one of the squires.

The weekend will be packed with historic action and family friendly entertainment, from thrilling falconry displays to 'have-a-go' archery. For the younger children there will be Baby Dragon's to meet or come on an adventure with the Dragon Procession. Hatched from a small Dragon sanctuary in the Welsh Marshes, these delightful creatures are very friendly and well mannered, although a dragon is never entirely predictable…

After working up quite the appetite watching the battles and displays families can enjoy food, refreshments and tournament treats on the South Lawn along with a medieval stand with lots of historically themed goodies.

Yukon is the land of the midnight sun, where skies are glorious and summer light just won't quit, with the best time to visit between May and August. Life flourishes under hours of intense sunlight as the land hosts millions of migratory birds and explodes in wildflower blooms.

On summer solstice, June 21, the sun doesn't set at the Arctic Circle—the further north one travels, the higher the sun and the longer the season of the midnight sun. All over the Yukon, summer is a busy time of festivals and outdoor play.

Employers who operate a ‘use it or lose it’ holiday policy are being warned that the term could be void in light of recent case law.

Law firm Clarke Willmott LLP is warning that the right to carry holiday over could be extended beyond sick leave, which could mean additional unforeseen expense for all employers.

Kate Gardner, Employment Partner at Clarke Willmott, is urging businesses to ensure their Contracts of Employment and Terms of Engagement fully incorporate the up-to-date law on holiday and all other associated elements.

Kate, who acts for a wide range of employers, said: “In the recent case of Sash Window Workshop Ltd – v – King, Mr King was a commission-only sales person who was purportedly self-employed.

“Because his annual leave was unpaid, he limited the holidays he took so that his earnings were not severely curtailed.

“When his work ended with the company, be brought an Employment Tribunal Claim, stating that he was employed, or at least should be termed a worker, and therefore should be entitled to holiday pay.

“The Employment Tribunal agreed with him. But how much holiday pay could he claim? Could this include ‘rolling over’ holiday from the years he had not taken leave, for fear of losing commission?

“The Employment Tribunal has agreed in theory that sick leave may not be the only circumstances that would prevent a worker from taking annual leave.

“This would mean that a commission-only sales person could be entitled to claim rollover of holiday from one year to the next.”

Kate added: “If any worker is unable to take annual leave due to sickness, that individual is entitled to carry over their holiday entitlement to the following holiday year. If they then leave, employers need to pay for all of that accrued, but untaken, holiday.

“This could be a large sum if they have ‘rolled over’ holiday from previous years. But in the light of this case, the right to carry over holiday may be extended beyond sick leave.

“The decision has now gone to the European Court and we await the Judgment. But it is likely they will reinforce the decision of the Employment Tribunal, which could mean greater holiday costs for all employers.”

 

The last twelve months have seen many developments when it comes to Brits’ relationship with Europe. But data from KAYAK.co.uk, examining the current feelings of British people regarding European travel, reveals that though tensions do exist, travel continues to help break down borders.  According to the study, 76% of Britons feel that travel ‘helps to break down barriers’ - with 39% of those asked claiming it was one of the ‘most important ways’ to do so

This study supports the launch of a new KAYAK campaign called ‘Love Letters’, which aims to illustrate the power of travel to open people’s minds and bring them together, with videos and a dedicated hashtag, #loveurope

The feeling that travel ‘breaks down barriers’ was felt strongest amongst younger respondents, with 59% of 18-24 year olds compared to just 33% of 55-64 year olds agreeing with the statement. On the other side, 15% of Brits questioned said travel made no difference in increasing tolerance - an answer given by 19% of 55-64 year olds compared with just 4% of 18-24 year olds.

Furthermore, Britons as a whole also rejected the notion that major political or economical upheaval would change the way they thought about travel, with 47% of respondents saying that such a situation would make no impact at all on their travel plans, more than said it would make them more (6%) or less (24%) likely or enthusiastic to visit a particular country.

When asked about the feelings they have experienced while travelling abroad, most British people (51%) said they like to experience new things, while 40% were also curious to discover new cultures and countries. Thirty two per cent said they were inspired to visit more places in the future. Travelling also helps to build friendships: although 34% of Britons say they don’t have any friends from other European countries, significantly more than in Italy (7%), Germany (10%), Spain (14%) or France (16%), more than half of British people (58%) said they had made new friendships while travelling in Europe, while only 14% were uninterested in making new friends.

Which country do Britons most like to visit? The top country cited was Italy (15%). Trips around the UK were the second most popular, receiving 11%, while perennial favourite Spain was the third choice, with 8% of respondents.

The top reason given by British people for travelling abroad was to do sightseeing (35%), followed by relaxation and a break from work (24%). A vocal minority (10%) claimed to see ‘nothing’ to like about other European countries - this was a response mainly given by those of the older generation (14% of 55-64 year olds compared with 7% of 18-24 year olds)

In partnership with Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival, Visit Franklin, and Americana Music Triangle the convention will explore the value of music to heritage tourism, destination marketing, and audience development.

The Music Tourism Convention is targeted to destination marketing organizations of all sizes and music destinations from across the globe will feature TEDx-style talks and panel discussions from industry leaders. Participants will also share ideas through roundtable discussions focused on best practices for telling each destination's story and how to best market the story to travelers, in addition to experiencing first-hand the live music scene of Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival and Franklin, Tennessee.

“Music is a universal language that speaks to the world and is a key component in the decision-making process of where many travelers decide to spend their vacations,” said Ellie Westman Chin, President & CEO of Visit Franklin. “Our mission at Visit Franklin is to share Franklin, Tennessee with the world, and we are excited to be partnering with an international leader like Sound Diplomacy to not only do that but also bring together so many other destinations to share ideas and learn from one another.”

Over the two-day convention, taking place at The Factory at Franklin, participants will hear from industry experts on an array of topics including: “How Music Can Make Your Destination Rock,” “Music Tourism: When You 'Think' You Have No Music,” and “Making the Most of Your Music Attractions” among others.

Participants will also go “Inside The World's Top Festivals,” with representatives from Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival, Celtic Colours International Festival, and more discussing how these iconic festivals came to be, and their positive impact on the communities around them.

Music tourism is booming globally, and the U.S. Music Tourism Convention will continue the global conversations that began this past February at the Liverpool, England Music Tourism Convention where 200 delegates from 59 cities and six continents gathered to discuss music's impact on the industry. Registration for the two-day event is $150, and a discounted student rate of $100 is available to any participant currently enrolled in college coursework. All conference attendees will also be able to purchase discounted two-day tickets to the Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival, which is held September 23-24, following the convention.

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has appointed the Prime Minister of Samoa, Hon. Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, as Special Ambassador of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism 2017. The ceremony took place in New York on 7 June on the side-lines of the UN Ocean Conference, where among other activities the Prime Minister addressed participants on the value of tourism to sustainably advance the blue economy.

“The designation of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development was due to the recognition by the United Nations of the potential of the tourism sector to contribute to the fight against poverty, to help curb climate change, promote gender equality and foster mutual understanding and peace amongst diverse cultures” said the Prime Minister.

“Tourism is a sector that is vital to the livelihoods of our people and touches all the three dimensions of sustainable development, the social, economic and environmental aspects. As a people-to-people activity, it has helped and continues to contribute to the revitalization of our culture, customs and traditional crafts, and plays a pivotal role in the preservation of our cultural heritage and is a force that promotes peace and understanding” he added.

“The International Year is a unique opportunity to promote common action and enhance the power of tourism to build a better world. We thank Samoa for leading the initiative for the adoption of the UN resolution declaring the International Year and for its sustained, exemplary contribution in promoting the value of our sector towards the achievement of the 2030 Development Agenda, particularly for the Small Islands Developing States (SIDS)” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.

The Special Ambassadors of the Year are leaders and prominent personalities committed to promote the role and contribution of tourism in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda. While tourism is included in three of the SDGs – SDG 8: ‘Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all’; SDG 12: ‘Sustainable Consumption and Production’ and SDG 14: ‘Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development’, it can advance all 17 SDGs.

The Ocean Conference was an opportunity to highlight how tourism can effectively contribute to Goal 14. UNWTO joined the World Bank and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) to discuss and launch the report ‘The Potential of the Blue Economy: Increasing Long-term Benefits of the Sustainable Use of Marine Resources for Small Island Developing States and Coastal Least Developed Countries’.

UNWTO was also co-organizing a Side Event on the “European Union tourism committed to Blue Growth” on the 8 June with DG MARE and NECstour. Coastal and Maritime Tourism is one of the key sectors of the European Union Blue Growth Strategy with a high potential for sustainable jobs and growth. Tourism employs over 3.2 million people and generates a total of 183 billion Euros in gross value added, representing over one third of the maritime economy. The universal dimension of the SDGs provides the EU regions with the opportunity to show leadership and share best practices to extend and scale up their Blue Growth strategy in other parts of the world, and in particular through their island territories in SIDS regions.

In these days of being constantly available thanks to modern technology, many people long for a place to take refuge from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and turn inward. And now Frankfurt Airport has added a Quiet Room where travelers can do exactly that.

Harry Gatterer, a trend researcher and futurologist who leads the Zukunftsinstitut (“Future Institute”) in Frankfurt and Vienna, explains why havens like this are so important in today’s fast-paced world: “In the 21st century, we are constantly bombarded by masses of information and bathed in the glow of screens with hardly a break. The so-called information society is now reacting to this overkill with a countertrend: mindfulness. It’s therefore safe to say that in the future, people will actively seek moments in which to reflect and reconnect with themselves. This type of everyday spirituality is poised to become an essential survival technique. The principle of ‘strength in serenity’ has never before been so relevant.”

Frankfurt Airport has responded to this widespread wish for a place of silence by creating the “Quiet Room”, which all passengers may use for free regardless of their worldview, culture and religious affiliation. The highlight of the white room is an undulating golden ceiling illuminated by lamps that reflect the light onto the floor and walls. An oak bench occupies the middle of the room, inviting travelers to sit down and enjoy moments of rest and contemplation.

The Quiee Room is located in the postsecurity part of Terminal 1 on Level 3 of Pier Z and is open daily until 10 p.m. The airport’s operator, Fraport, has coined the motto “Gute Reise! We make it happen” to communicate its commitment to serving passengers and meeting their individual needs and wishes. It constantly strives to upgrade the customer experience at Germany’s most important transportation hub by launching new services and facilities.

Midsummer in Scandinavia is a highlight of the year, with celebrations across the region welcoming the light and warmth that summer brings. The long daylight hours also open up the opportunity to make the most of the activities on offer, from the more conventional kayaking, cycling and wildlife viewing to more unusual midnight golf tournaments, marathons and even midsummer night skiing. As the Solstice approaches (this year falling on Wednesday 21 June), why not book a holiday where you can enjoy the midnight sun in style.

From its magnificent mountains to its reflective lakes, the Austrian Tirol is an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts, especially during the summer months. Alongside the renowned hiking and mountain biking trails, there's rock climbing, white-water rafting, paragliding and many more activities on offer.

Mountain biking in Zugspitz Arena For keen cyclists after challenging trails, the Zugspitz Arena has plenty, 4,330 kilometres to be precise. Located at the border of Austria and Germany, and comprising seven beautiful villages, there is a wide variety of downhill, high-altitude summits and winding paths to explore. An approved bike area for 2017 – after a rigorous assessment by TUV and ISO – the region has been designed with bikes in mind and has specialist hotels, circa 20 pre-prepared tours plus top rentals and services available. Those after a truly hair-raising descent should head to Lermoos (one of the seven villages) and check out the freeride scene consisting of jumps, ramps, curves and dirt tracks. Try the Forest Two route, which sees riders plunge down a 3.3 kilometre course (with 392 metres vertical difference) while trying to avoid the various obstacles. Alternatively, put the pedal to the metal on the three-day Zugpitz Loop Tour, which provides acess to more than 5,000 metres vertical and 200 kilometres of trails.

Jamaica Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, met with Skift President Carolyn Kremins to discuss the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Government of Jamaica and World Bank Group Conference on Jobs & Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism, taking place November 27-29, 2017 in Montego Bay. Skift is the largest industry intelligence platform, providing media, insights and marketing to key sectors of travel.

In commemoration of the 2017 UNWTO’s International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, the event is a collaboration between the Government of Jamaica, international development firm Chemonics International and the UNWTO. This conference is of especially momentous importance because it is the first time the UNWTO will stage a world conference on tourism in the Caribbean or the Americas. The conference will bring the world’s spotlight to Jamaica and the Caribbean, both of which rely heavily on the economic power of tourism. The participating heads of state, planners, policy makers, developers and investors will discuss the need for public-private-partnerships with the mission of sustainable tourism for development.

The meeting was held at the midtown NYC offices of Finn Partners, public relations agency of record for the Jamaica Tourist Board.

Birmingham Airport is to launch a new flight update service for departing passenger via Twitter from this summer.

Working with Cork based technology company, TIC, the new information service, known as BizTweet, allows passengers to receive real-time updates via their Twitter feed at each step of their journey, from the opening of check-in to flight departure.

Paul Kehoe, Birmingham Airport's Chief Executive said, "We want to deliver information to our customers in an innovative and instant way and BizTweet allows us to meet the demands of our passengers.

"We're confident that the new service will be welcomed by the growing number of Twitter users choosing to fly from Birmingham so they can enjoy the journey through the terminal while information is delivered direct to their mobile devices."

Travellers will be able to sign up via the airport's website or personal Twitter account. In addition to receiving flight information, other operational and commercial information will be delivered highlighting important information and offers.

The news was announced today (Tuesday) at the British-Irish Airports Expo in Birmingham.

Commenting from the event, founder and CEO of the award winning BizTweet service Paul Brugger, said, "Birmingham Airport is very special to me as it was my local airport prior to moving to Cork. It's an airport I've used numerous times and one I know well as a passenger. I'm delighted Birmingham, our 3rd airport in the UK, has chosen BizTweet to provide passengers with real time personalised information direct to their mobile devices by social media".

The airport hopes to launch the new service during the summer.

Last night, Viking Cruises proudly collected the Best River Cruise Line award at the Silver Travel Awards 2017, whilst Managing Director Wendy Atkin-Smith was honoured with the Exceptional Achievement Award in recognition of her continued support for the mature traveller.

In a highly successful year for Viking Cruises, which included the launch of two new Ocean Ships, Wendy was praised for her role in raising the profile of the sector, redefined the perception of River Cruising and widening the possibilities for travellers.

'I would like to say a huge thank you for this award – I truly never expected to win! I'd also like to say just how humbling it is to win an award for doing what I so dearly love', says Wendy Atkin-Smith. 'We are also delighted to collect another best-in-class award for our river cruises. In our 20th year, this is proof of our impeccable service, inspiring itineraries and excellent experiences'.

Viking Cruises' success this year has been recognised at the Wave Awards with the Passenger Favourite River Cruise Line accolade following on from eight wins at the Cruise Critic Cruisers' Choice Awards 2017, as chosen by past customers.

A grown-up summer break on the south coast needn't always be about kicking back and relaxing on a sandy shore or wooded glade – there's plenty to satisfy the more adventurous holidaymaker.

Shorefield Holiday's Oakdene Forest Park may be set in 55 tranquil acres on the edge of the Hurn and Avon Forest in Dorset, but it offers a great base for a holiday of full-on fun from start to finish.

With its Go Active+ programme of activities and loads to do nearby, there's lots to tempt active couples or groups of friends who much prefer energetic breaks to leisurely ones.

Go Active+ offers more than 20 activities for all ages, from archery and panna soccer to sea scooters, body-Zorbing and Waterwalkerz, where participants climb inside a giant inflatable ball and run, roll, flip and spin on water without getting wet.

Not only are there heaps of activities on park, the local area is full of adventurous things to do. How about a Total Wipeout-style obstacle course at New Forest Waterpark? Or try the Go Ape Treetop Adventure at Moors Valley Country Park and Forest, where you'll also find segway trails, walking and fitness routes, orienteering and fishing.

Over in Milford on Sea, adventurers can explore the scenic coastline of the New Forest, beautiful salt marshes and historic Hurst Castle by kayak or stand up paddle board with the New Forest Paddle Sport Company – there's also a special rate for those staying at Oakdene Forest Park.

The sandy beaches, with surfing and zip wires, in cosmopolitan Bournemouth, plus a host of great walking and cycling routes in the magnificent New Forest National Park are right on the doorstep, too.

Back on site, VRoom offers guests the chance to explore undiscovered lands and distant galaxies – through fully immersive virtual reality experiences – and still be home in time for a sundowner on the terrace.

Located in the serenely beautiful French Alps, the charming village of Samoëns is an idyllic summer holiday destination. Brimming with outdoor pursuits and abundant in stunning alpine views, those looking to explore untrodden and beautiful territory this summer won't find a better match. What is more, being just an hour's drive from Geneva – a short flight from the UK - makes Samoëns the ideal location for a stress-free, high-culture break.

For adrenalin-junkie families and couples, the destination offers a broad range of adventurous outdoor activities. Travellers can take to the water with white-water rafting and water skiing, or explore the region's terrain with quad-biking and the latest activity to hit Samoëns - E-fat biking. Allowing cyclists to take to the challenging mountains smoothly, the E-fat bikes are equipped with extra wide and durable tyres to ensure riders traverse the mountain terrain with ease. To get the most out of the bikes and the stunning scenery, book a fun session with a guide and tour the mountains like a pro!

Samoëns isn't all about the fast-paced sports adventures though, since the destination's calm mountain provides the perfect setting for more relaxed pursuits too. Whether travellers are passionate about hiking, golfing, horse riding or playing classic French boules, Samoëns has something to suit. What is more, visitors can explore the relaxing offerings of the village after a day of fresh mountain air by indulging in a massage, enjoying a warming glass of local speciality Grolle after a delicious meal, or cosying up at the village's art deco cinema.

With 188 km of trails, 28 downhill slopes and 600 km of hiking tracks, Samoëns is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.

Sun, sea and exhausted parents; you never forget your first family holiday.   At this time of year, the pressure is mounting on mums and dads to carefully craft a summer trip and create those lifetime-lasting happy memories for their little ones. Having a water fight, taking a toy dinosaur and even jumping in a magic potato are just three of the more imaginative ideas that children shared with lastminute.com, when asked what would make a holiday special for them.   These top ingredients show that it really is the little things that count - and stay with us forever.

Top ingredients for the perfect holiday – according to kids

• Jumping over a net and doing a flip • Eating ice cream every single day • Having friends on the other side of my door • Swimming right to the bottom of the pool • Seeing a starfish in the sea • Having a water fight • Going on daddy's back because I don't know how to swim • Taking my toy dinosaur and the family it's supposed to go with • And even jumping in a magic potato – proof that a little imagination can produce a lot of holiday fun

Because parents only get one chance to book the perfect summer holiday, lastminute.com's in-house children's holiday experts have pulled together a list of the top most family-friendly destinations and hotels around, based on insights from children and parents.   These are: • Dubai • Canary Islands • Disneyland Paris • Crete • Costa del Sol   Reigo Eljas, Country Director UK & Ireland at lastminute.com, said: “Whether it's playing badminton on the beach, trying a new flavour of ice cream or simply enjoying some uninterrupted family time, kids treasure holiday moments for years to come. Our job is to take the stress out of booking a family holiday, so parents can pour all their energy into making those memories instead, safe in the knowledge that we've got the perfect destinations covered.”   Making a perfect holiday can be hard work for parents, but there are plenty of tricks to make life easier.