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Travel News World Tourism Headlines and Archive

2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

September 2017
Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, saw a 4% increase in July hotel guests compared to the same month in 2016. This positive figure moves the combined total for the first 7 months of 2017 to an impressive 2.6 million plus guests as reported by the by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.

August 2017
Dubai has seed a record number of visitors during the first part of 2017. Tourist chiefs have welcomed the staggering total of 8.06 million international overnight visitors, an increase of 10.6% compared to the same period in 2016. For a range of Hotel accommodation from Luxury to Budget, click on Dubai Hotels

July 2017
Gatwick Airport has seen an increase in passenger numbers for financial year ending on 31st March 2917. A record 44.1 million passengers used the airport, an increase of 3.2 million compared to the previous year, with long haul showing significant growth.

June 2017
The World Travel Awards (WTA) Asia & Australasia Gala Ceremony will take place on 4th June 2017. The event will be held at the Grand Kempinski Hotel in Shanghai with many hotel and hospitality bosses booked to attend the red carpet ceremony. Before the main event WTA will take attendees to see some of the city's key attractions including - the Yu Garden, the Old City Town, Jade Buddha Temple and Tian Zi Fang zone.

May 2017
Over the past 5 years UK Carrier British Airways service at Gatwick Airport London has seen a 40% increase in customers, and a 33% increase in routes. BA's network director at Gatwick, Sean Doyle said: “We’ve really focused on growing our Gatwick operation in the last five years, investing in new routes, driving punctuality and, thanks to our move to the South Terminal, delivered an improved airport experience."

April 2017
Dubai national carrier Emirates is adding 3 new A380 destinations - Dubai to Tokyo - Narita, Casablanca and Sao Paulo on the same day. This launch will mean that Emirates will be the first airline to run scheduled A380 services to Latin America and North Africa. 

March 2017
British travel group ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) has criticised the UK government for failing to back the continuation of the EHIC ( European Health Insurance Card) scheme following the Brexit vote. Currently, a valid EHIC gives UK citizens the right to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary short stay in another European country. However, Conservative MP David Davis, secretary of state for exiting the European Union, when quizzed by the Brexit Select Committee, was unable to say whether the scheme would continue or not. Alan Warsdle, ABTA director of public affairs, stated. Alan Wardle, ABTA director of public affairs stated: “Brexit shouldn’t have to mean that we lose reciprocal medical care rights with other European countries: the EHIC card is currently valid in Switzerland, which is not a member of the EU."

February 2017
National Carrier Singapore Airlines has recently committed to buy 20 777-9s and 19 787-10 Dreamliners from US Aircraft Manufacturer - Boeing. The airline has been a Boeing customer for over 50 years with Boeing Commercial Airplanes president Kevin McAllister adding - “We appreciate the trust, commitment and endorsement of Singapore Airlines, and look forward to delivering market-leading capability to one of the world’s most widely respected industry leaders.”

January 2017 
London’s 2nd busiest airport Gatwick will see three major carriers moving terminals in January 2017. Virgin Atlantic will move to the North Terminal, British Airways will move to the South Terminal, and easyJet will consolidate in the North Terminal – it currently runs from both Terminals. These significant changes will see improved passenger facilities and will speed up their journey through the airport.

2016

December 2016
In the summer of 2017 over 10,000,000 overnight and day visitors are anticipated to visit Sydney - Australia's largest city. The city offers warm weather, fabulous beaches, cordon bleu dining, and first class sports and entertainment. Please click here for a direct link to full range of Sydney Hotel Accommodation

November 2016
W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International, Inc. are opening the W Algarve in 2018 in southern Portugal. The location is on the central Algarve coastline overlooking the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean. W Algarve will have 134 guest rooms and suites and will be able to participate in the 10,000-square-foot spa, outdoor yoga, tennis, or FIT, the hotel's workout facility. Click here for more information about The Algarve and Faro

October 2016
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Tourism Barometer international tourism experienced an upward trend during the first half of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. Worldwide destinations received 561 millions tourists, 21 million more than in 2015 with the Asia Pacific region recording the highest growth of 9% compared to the other world regions - www.unwto.org

September 2016
Dubai Tourism is launching a marketing campaign aimed at the UK traveller and aptly named Here Today, Dubai Tomorrow. This innovative idea will focus on the transformation of Waterloo Railway Station into a 'living' recreation of some of Dubai's top city attractions and experiences including virtual reality displays and optical illusions. Interested in Dubai hotels and accommodation? > Click Here...

August 2016
All roads are leading to Rio de Janeiro the host city for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games and the 2016 Summer Paralympics. A record number of counties are taking part in a record number of sports. Over 10,000 athletes are scheduled to take part including first time participants from South Sudan and Kosovo. Rio will become the first South American city to host the Summer Olympics, and the 2016 games will be the first to be held in a Portuguese-speaking country. Interested in Rio hotels and accommodation? > Click Here...

July 2016
London Gatwick Airport LGW has recently opened a leading edge security area as part of the upgrade of the North Terminal, this follows a similar upgrade of the South Terminal. It is calculated that this will halve the time that passengers take to pass through security with no reduction in safety screening measures.

June 2016
Abu Dhabi national carrier Etihad Airways has officially opened its brand new flagship First Class Lounge & Spa at the Abu Dhabi International Airport Terminal 3. The lounge features 16 unique zones which have been designed to ensure that travellers can relax, and be entertained in complete luxury before boarding their flights.

May 2016
Qatar Airways is opening a new Premium Lounge at Dubai International Airport, which will offer passengers travelling between Qatar and the emirate an exclusive retreat while waiting in the new Concourse D. Presently, Qatar Airways flies 133 times weekly to Dubai’s two airports Dubai International (DXB) and Al Maktoum International (DWC), with 15 flights daily from Doha to Dubai International Airport.

April 2016
Dubai National Carrier Emirates plan to add a 10th daily flight to London Gatwick commencing 1st October 2016. The Dubai-London Gatwick will be serviced by a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft which will include 8 Private Suites in First Class, 42 lie flat seats in Business Class and 310 spacious seats in Economy Class.

March 2016
Australian national carrier Qantas will begin construction on a new premium lounge at London Heathrow Airport, Terminal 3. The lounge will have a split level design with capacity for 230 passengers and will afford views of the airfield. Work will commence in September 2016 with a opening anticipated for early in 2017.

February 2016
US carrier United Airlines will introduce non-stop flights between San Francisco International Airport and Changi Airport in Singapore. Subject to official government approval it is planned that the new flights will commence on June 1st 2016. United will claim an important double success with this initiative - namely the first non-stop service between San Francisco and Singapore, and  the only non-stop service to the U.S. from Singapore.

January 2016
Emirates
has launched daily flights to Sabiha Gökçen Airport - located on the Asian side of Istanbul. Emirates have been running a scheduled service to Atatürk Airport - the city's main airport - for over 28 years and the airline are confident that passenger and cargo potential is strong enough at Sabiha Gökçen Airport to justify operating flights to both airports.

2015

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

December 2015
UK online rail ticket seller Trainline is to offer mobile ticketing for UK passengers. Norwich and London Liverpool Street Stations have launched mobile ticketing called mTicketing - Advance and on-the-day tickets can be purchased and downloaded vie the Trainline App.

November 2015
Heathrow Airport in London continues to grow, with passenger traffic up in 2015 by 2.3% to a new year to date record of 56.9 million passengers and airport management are predicting that the 2014 target of 73,408,442 will be surpassed in 2015. The airport has also seen a positive financial results with a rise in revenue of 4.1% to £2.1 billion and EBITDA (Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) up 4.4% to £1.2 billion.

October 2015
Lufthansa has started a new non-stop service to Florida’s west coast - flying from Frankfurt to Tampa. Karl Ulrich Garnadt, chief executive Lufthansa has commented on the new service: “Passengers from the Tampa Bay area will now be able to experience the quality service and premium products that Lufthansa has always been known to offer, including our brand new Premium Economy Class that offers extra space for comfort and relaxation, as well as an elevated experience.”

September 2015
Jumeirah Group, the Dubai based luxury hotel company and a member of Dubai Holding, has announced the appointment of Imran Changezi as hotel manager at Burj al-Arab Jumeirah, the world’s most luxurious hotel. The hotel accommodation is split into magnificent duplex suites rather than conventional rooms and is one of the most expensive hotels in the world. Guests are spoilt for choice when it comes to dining in the Burj al-Arab but the Al Muntaha (Ultimate) and Al Mahara (Oyster) award winning restaurants are not to be missed.

August 2015
Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) have reported on a record number of long stay visitors for the Jan to Jun period in 2015. BTMI have cited a number of reasons for this including - Reduced unemployment in the US, lower oil prices, UK Air Passenger Duty (APD) changes, and better travel scheduling in the Caribbean area.

July 2015
Holidaymakers visiting Greece and Athens the capital city, have been advised to bring enough cash to cover costs of visits to the country. Capital controls have been introduced which come with daily withdrawal limits for locals. Although theses limits do not apply to cards registered out-with Greece, it is possible that banks could run of cash before the referendum on 5th July.

June 2015
The National Carrier of Abu Dhabi - Etihad Airways has just introduced the A380 on its Sydney - Abu Dhabi and Sydney - London routes. The aircraft  presents new innovations in all cabins including The Residence by Etihad, a luxurious private three-room suite.

May 2015
Doha based national carrier Qatar Airways will start to operate a daily direct scheduled service from Edinburgh Airport in Scotland to Doha’s Hamad International Airport The service aircraft will be a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. This aircraft has a two-cabin configuration, comprising 22 seats in Business Class and 232 Economy Class seats.

April 2015
Due to the tragic loss of life after the crash of flight 4U 95245 - German national carrier Lufthansa, owner of German Wings, will cancel its 60th anniversary event. Instead live coverage of the memorial service at the Cologne Cathedral in memory of the victims will be broadcast. The service will take place on April 17th.

March 2015
From June 3rd 2015 Dubai National Carrier Emirates, will start a new daily service from Dubai to the Indonesian island of Bali. This will be Emirates 148th international destination, and will add to its existing Asia Pacific network which covers 23 destinations in 13 countries.

February 2015
Emirates Group, comprising Dubai National Carrier - Emirates airline and dnata (Dubai National Air Travel Agency, plans to hire over 11,000 new staff in 2015 across its business, in line with its projected global growth.

January 2015
Abu Dhabi national carrier Etihad Airways has successfully launched its first Airbus A380 service. The inaugural journey saw the first Etihad Airbus A380 depart from Abu Dhabi International Airport on Saturday December 27th en route for London Heathrow Airport. Etihad have stated that by August 2015 all flights between Abu Dhabi and London will be by A380.

2014

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

December 2014
The cruise season in Dubai, which began at the end of October, saw an increase in activity as the temperature cooled. Port Rashid welcomed the arrival of over 10 ships in November with an anticipated total of 110 cruise vessels arriving in Dubai over the next 6 months.

November 2014
British Airways launched a new attack on APD - Air Passenger Duty. British APD has risen relentlessly since it was introduced over 20 yeas ago. UK APD is the highest aviation tax imposed anywhere throughout the globe, and continues to surge past other UK taxes including road tax, and fuel duty.

October 2014
UK visitor numbers to Indonesia are set to increase as 3 carriers plan to add extra flights to this popular East Asia destination. Garuda Indonesia Airlines, Royal Brunei Airlines and Oman Air are all adding a range of flight combinations to cater for more UK visitors to Bali, Java, Lombok, and Jakarta.

September 2014
Abu Dhabi carrier - Etihad Airways is working on schedule changes between Abu Dhabi and Johannesburg (South Africa). Thc changes are due towards the end of October 2014 and are aimed at improving passenger connections in either direction - with better links to African regional networks and extended international links beyond the Abu Dhabi airport hub.

August 2014
At the recent 2014 World Travel Awards German National Carrier Lufthansa defended the title of Europe’s Leading Airline. Lufthansa also won the award for Europe's Leading Airline Lounge - Lufthansa First Class Lounges, Frankfurt Airport, Germany. Turismo de Portugal were chosen as Europe’s Leading Tourist Board.

July 2014
Embratur, also known as the Brazilian Tourist Board, are delighted with the figure if 1 millions jobs being generated in Brazil by the 2014 FIFA World Cup. According to Embratur 710,000 jobs are permanent and 200,000 are temporary, and all are in the official labour market.

June 2014
Qatar Airways has started services between Doha and Edinburgh - Capital City of Scotland. This route is the 141st international destination for the the Doha national carrier and opens up Edinburgh to more global locations.

May 2014
At the recent World Travel Awards Middle East held in Dubai - Abu Dhabi National Carrier - Eithad Airways won the title of Middle East’s Leading Airline, successfully defending its previous win. Dubai Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing celebrated two awards - Middle East’s Leading Destination and Middle East’s Leading Tourist Board.

April 2014
The Australian national carrier Qantas has recently opened its new Hong Kong luxury lounge. Qantas International chief executive , Simon Hickey, stated "the new multi-million dollar lounge delivers on Qantas’ ongoing commitment to creating the best travel experiences for its customers."

March 2014
The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is giving support to Qatar to initiate a new tourism strategy through joint working in the fields of legislation, institutional strengthening, statistics, marketing and capacity building. UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai has welcomed the high priority giver to the Qatar tourism industry.

February 2014
Heathrow Airport have initiated a public consultation with local residents seeking views on the North West runway plan. The findings of the consultation will assist the airport in identifying what is important for residents and will be critical in any planning and design refinements before the final plan is re-submitted to the Airports Commission in May.

January 2014
The city of Taipei is preparing to join the Emirates list of direct destinations in early 2014. A daily non-stop service from Dubai to Taiwan's capital city will commence at the beginning of February 2014. This builds on the existing relationship between the two cities established in 2003 through the Emirates Skycargo partnership.

Top

2013

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

December
Dubai has recently won the bid to host the World Expo 2020. The other city contenders were Ekaterinburg (Russia), Izmir (Turkey), and São Paulo (Brazil). Expo 2020 will represent a first as a Middle Eastern destination will be hosting the event for the first time.

November
The Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority has staged its largest F1 promotion  for the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix run on 3rd November on the Yas Marina Circuit. This Grand Prix is the 17th round of the 2013 season and is the 5th time the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has been run. The 2013 World Drivers' Champion has been won by Sebastian Vettel after the Indian Grand Prix. There are 19 rounds in the 2013 Formula One season.

October
An agreement between Dutch railways and Eurostar has been concluded which will see direct services between London and Amsterdam beginning in December 2016. Eurostar plans to run two services a day with journey times of around four hours. This will extend the existing route via Brussels and will include stops at Antwerp, Rotterdam, Schiphol Airport, and ending at Amsterdam Centraal.

September
The Hong Kong Tourism Board are looking to grow MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) activity in the region with a strong focus on driving new business from the UK and Europe. Hong Kong is already recognised as a premier destination for MICE events and predicted strong economic growth will lead to more MICE growth.

August
EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company) the parent company of Airbus is to rename itself Airbus Group. The renaming is in order, according to the company, to “enhance integration and cohesion”. The new group will be made up of 3 divisions: Airbus; Airbus Defence & Space; and Airbus Helicopters.

July
Hilton Worldwide has opened the Hilton Shijiazhuang in Hebei province of China. This is the 4,000th Hilton and adds to the current 34 hotels in China. Hilton are forecasting over 100 hotels in China by 2014 making it the second largest market for Hilton after the USA.

June
Expedia and Travel Technology company Sabre have branched out into Asia. Sabre now powers Expedia's online travel operation in  Singapore and Malaysia which provides Asia travel shoppers some of the best value travel products in the South East Asia marketplace.

May
European budget carrier Ryanair has reported after tax profits of €569 million Euros for financial year 2012/2013. This represents a 13% increase on the previous year. Ryanair Chief executive Michael O’Leary stated: “Delivering a 13 per cent increase in profits and five per cent traffic growth despite high oil prices during a European recession is testimony to the strength of Ryanair’s ultra-low cost model.”

April
Two major world airlines have Qantas of Australia and Emirates of Dubai have welcomed the recent decision by the  Australian Competition & Consumer Commission to approve their partnership proposal for the next five years. Benefits of the partnership for passengers include - a seamless international and Australian network, frequent flyer benefits, and world-class travel experiences.

March
Pegasus Solutions have reported that US and Global Corporations have show encouraging growth in travel bookings at the start of 2013. Pegasus are currently the single largest processor of electronic hotel transactions.

February
Abu Dhabi Airline Etihad Airways has reported a net profit of US $42 million for 2012, 200 per cent increase on 2011. These figures were in part attributed to the development of equity partnerships and codeshares, which delivered over US $600 million in total revenue.

January
Dubai International Airport is projecting that passenger traffic will reach 66 million in 2013. This prediction also factors in the expected increase in growth when Concourse A - the A380 facility- is fully operational in early 2013.

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2012

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

December
Qatar Airways has announced that December 13th will be the launch date of its first long-haul Boeing 787 commercial service from Doha to London Heathrow. Doha head-quartered Qatar Airways will become the first airline to operate regular scheduled flights to the UK with the 787 Dreamliner - the next generation aircraft from Boeing.

November
French National Carrier - Air France - is expanding its global long haul operation in the summer of 2013 with 2 new city destinations namely, Minneapolis-St. Paul in Minnesota and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

October
New York City has an ambitious plan to construct the world's tallest Ferris wheel on Staten Island. The wheel design is similar to the famous London Eye and will give sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline. The giant Ferris wheel, at 625 feet, will be about half the height of the Empire State Building.

September
According to recent research and related polls, UK air passengers support the expansion of regional UK airports, as opposed to the construction of a 3rd London Heathrow runway. These findings are putting increased pressure on the UK coalition government and the current transport transport secretary Justine Greening.

August
Global Hotel Company - Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide are set to open their largest Sheraton Hotel in Macau (China) in September 2012. This will be the largest Sheraton in the world with 3,863 rooms and will also become the largest hotel in Macau. Special features will include no less than three outdoor swimming pools with private cabanas, daybeds, and poolside lounge. For further information about Macau click...

July
Jumeirah Group, based in Dubai, has opened the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, its ninth Dubai property. The group is expected to double the number of hotels it manages over a two year period 2011 to the end of 2012. For more information on Dubai Hotels click... 

June
Queen's Diamond Jubilee: A group of 8 intrepid explorers including 6 Britons are ready to hold the ‘world’s most remote diamond Jubilee party’ on the top of Barbeau Peak in Canada - one of the most remotest parts of the Commonwealth. The 2616 metre mountain is located on Ellesmere Island in the far north of Canada, and well within the Arctic Circle. No problem keeping the champagne chilled!

May
Cruise Lines International Association, the world's largest cruise non-profit organization, which represents 26 companies, is implementing new safety standards. These include a requirement for each ship to provide additional adult life jackets - over and above the legal requirements within a ship's most-populated zone.

April
Singapore’s new International Cruise Terminal (ICT) is set to open later this year, with tourism officials hoping the huge $400 million dollar terminal will attract some of the world’s largest cruise ships. The ICT facility will include two main berths, departure and arrival halls, and a ground transportation and city connection area.

March
According to research by the WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council) the UK travel and tourism industry will grow by 1.3% in 2012. This sector growth is set to outstrip the broader UK economy. Tourism chiefs will be keenly monitoring the impact of the London Olympics this summer on these figures.

February
Less than a fortnight after the Costa Concordia disaster, cruise customers are still booking cruises for 2012, although more are asking questions about sea safety. The first 3 months of the year are known as the "wave season," in the cruise industry, when the majority of cruise customers book their berths. The Costa Concordia struck a rock in the Tyrrhenian Sea just off the shore of Isola del Giglio, near the western coast of Italy, on Friday 13th January 2012.

January
The Association of British Travel Agents ABTA has just released its Travel Trends Report 2012, which is developed in association with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office FCO. Their broad prediction is that holidaymakers in 2012 will be looking for value for money, but will not necessarily choose the cheapest holiday.

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2011

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

January
Travel industry experts have predicted that Paris will retain the crown as the most visited city by international visitors in the world, for 2011. However, this title is likely to be strongly challenged in the following year by London, when it hosts the 2012 summer Olympics.

February
Dubai Airports are predicting that passenger numbers will pass 52 million in 2011, representing a growth of 13.1% from 2010. The airport has also been voted “Middle East Leading Airport" by World Travel Awards.

March
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UN WTO) has recently highlighted the work being done by Egypt to restore it's vital tourism industry, and the fundamental role that tourism will play in the economic recovery of Egypt.

April
The new Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong has recently re-opened on top of the city's tallest building, the 488 meter tall International Commerce Centre. The owners now claim this is the world's highest hotel, and the new location offers spectacular views of the cityscape of Hong Kong.

May
International tourist are starting to return to Japan almost 2 months after the earthquake and subsequent tsunami. The Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) are keen to emphasise that there are many places in Japan that were not devastated by the earthquake, and are assuring potential visitors they will be safe in Japan.

June
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office have carried out research that shows that, of the 12 million British nationals who intend to visit family and friends, most will purchase a gift for their host than a travel insurance policy.

July
The Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway (or Jinghu High-Speed Railway) has just opened and will cut the journey time in half. The train is expected to travel at around 300 km/hr, and will take approximately 4 hrs and 48 minutes to cover the 1,318 km (819 mile) distance between the two largest cities in China.

August
Dubai is seeing significant increases in visitor numbers in part due to the availability of more cheap flights to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), have confirmed that Dubai's hotel saw a total of 8,684,387 guests in 2010, up on the 7,845,819 for 2009.

September
According to the Geneva-based Air Transport Rating Agency the top ten world's safest airlines come from Europe Japan and the USA. The airlines named in a recent report from the Swiss agency are - British Airways, Air France-KLM, Lufthansa, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, and Japan Airlines.

October
A group of 10 Scottish Football supporters travelled from Germany to Liechtenstein then through Italy France and Spain to attend the last 2 qualifying games for the Euro 2012 football competition. Although the mode of transport, a large tour bus, does not appear on the surface to be worthy of note, this was in fact a rock bus, and has created great interest among other Scots fans. There is also the future possibility of a Balkan Rock bus for the qualifying games for the 2014 Football World Cup.

November
Global giant - Boeing has identified Africa as being a continent with untapped potential for the expansion of a currently small passenger airline industry. The airline designer and manufacturer has an expanding order book from African customers. This growth has also been recognised in research by IATA (International Air Transport Association) who in February 2011 showed that Africa is now the second fastest growing region in the world in terms of commercial aviation, behind China.

December
Easyvoyage, a hotel review company, anticipate that Buenos Aires, largest city and capital of Argentina, will be a popular destination for winter sun seekers. To back this up Buenos Aires tourist organisations expect cruise trip visitors to increase by 21 per cent in the 2011/2012 season. It has also been reported that they expect a total of 400,000 visitors and 158 ships to dock at the city’s port next year.

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2010

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

January
The Burj Dubai, the tallest building in the world, is expected to be opened for business by January 2010. Construction started in 2004 and the structure is now 818 m (2,684 feet).

February
A new ferry port is to be built at Loch Ryan in south west Scotland following a £200 million investment by ferry operator Stena Line. Scottish First minister Mr. Alex Salmond has welcomed the initiative.

March
British Airways have heralded the launch of their new First Class cabin. The cabin which includes a personal wardrobe, a much wider bed , and personal electronic blinds, has been introduced on a B777 route which currently flies from London Heathrow to Chicago O’ Hare Airport.

April
Recent news from IATA (International Air Transport Association) has given a clean bill of health for the aviation industry. Global demand was up by 9.5% for passengers and 26.5% for cargo, compared to the February 2009 figures.

May
The annual Arabian Hotel Investment Conference AHIC 2010 is being held in Dubai UAE. Around 600 attendees are expected from over 42 countries, with an anticipated significant contribution from the international hotel investment sector.

June
Budget Carrier Easyjet has recently unveiled a new radar system that should allow aircraft to navigate safely around volcanic ash clouds. The new radar uses infra-red that will allow pilots to detect ash particles within a 100km radius from the aircraft, allowing safe navigation around ash clouds.

July
European Safety Regulators have ruled out budget carrier Ryanair’s plan to have standing-room only flights. Ryanair’s proposals to get rid of seats and introduce pay-toilets will not be introduced for at least two years.

August
According to a survey from Visit Britain, The British Royal Family generated over £500 million pounds in tourism earnings. The most popular royal attraction was the Tower of London, followed by Windsor Castle, and Buckingham Palace.

September
The proposed merger of Continental Airlines and United Airlines is a step closer after The US Department of Justice approved the proposed US$3bn merger of the two airlines. If successful this will create the world’s largest airline.

October
Diego Forlan, the Uruguayan footballer and winner of the 2010 World Cup Golden Boot, has been chosen as the face of Uruguayan tourism for 2010 to 2011. The country plan to use the international and Atletico Madrid player to boost tourism and visitor numbers.

November
Mumbai based Jet Airways has seen a strong increase in passenger numbers compared to the same period in 2009. The airline's increased confidence has lead to proposed new routes from New Delhi and Milan and Mumbai/Delhi to Colombo by the end of the year.

December
Following an intensive selection exercise - the cities of Bangkok, Dubai, San Francisco, London, Sharm El Sheikh, Rio de Janeiro and Antalya have been nominated as the hosts of the prestigious World Travel Awards 2011 Grand Tour.

Top

2009

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

January
Travellers, from the US in particular, are experiencing a pleasant return to the golden days of travel when quality and service were the hallmarks of hotel accommodation and air travel. The travel industry is rolling out the red carpet to woo back customers who have curtailed their number of journeys due to the economic downturn.

February
The number of French tourists coming to the UK is predicted to almost double this year due to the Pound dropping against the Euro. Both Expedia and Eurostar have experienced large rises in online sales from France. Eurostar staff have also observed returning visitors to France and the Eurozone laden with purchases from London and UK stores.

March
European rail companies are catching up with airlines when it comes to online booking. Independent observers have commented on the effectiveness of the Eurostar and Deutsche Bahn websites. Along with online booking efficiencies, rail travel is also starting to compete on price, particularly on routes from Paris to Southern France on the high speed iDTGV service.

April
Over 2 million British people are expected to holiday abroad in Easter 2009. According to ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) the most popular destinations for UK visitors this Easter are Spain, the Canary Islands, Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia.

May
Following advice from the UK Foreign Office regarding the potential threat of swine flu, thousands of British holiday makers are leaving the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, and many more have cancelled holidays.

June
The UK Government Department of Transport are due to trial a new security scanner at Newcastle Airport. The scanner can 'see' through bottles and detect whether they contain potentially explosive liquids. If the trials are successful, it may mean passengers can carry larger size liquid containers through security.

July
Construction of Spaceport America has officially started in New Mexico. The project has been funded by the State of New Mexico to the tune of nearly $200 million. After completion, UK businessman Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic space craft will carry over 45,000 pre-registered tourists into space. These flights are anticipated to commence as early as 2010.

August
British tourist are expected to send over 130 million postcards this summer according to a survey of 3,000 adults by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA).

September
Air China, the nation's principal airline, has said its net profit more than doubled in the first half of the year. This was down to a combination of lower fuel prices, fuel hedging gains, and improving domestic travel figures.

October
British Airway's first business only passenger flight landed at JFK having flown from London City Airport. BA chief executive Willie Walsh is confident the route will be profit-making by 2010.

November
US President Barack Obama has recently announced that the policy restricting travel into the USA for people living with HIV will be removed. President Bush and Congress and initiated this process in 2008.

December
Hotels in the County of Cumbria in North West England have sent a plea to guests not to cancel their festive breaks. Despite severe flooding that hit the county in November, tourism officials have stated that hotels, restaurants, and businesses will definitely be open over the festive season. 
For more information go to
Visit Cumbria

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2008

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

January
US travel organisations have highlighted the increasing number of solo tourists. Approximately 1 in 10 travellers is a solo traveller. Tour companies are looking at innovative ways of catering for this growing market.

February
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) carrier Emirates will commence a direct daily service to Cape Town, South Africa in March 2008. This follows the recent start of flights from Dubai to Johannesburg. Tourist and Business leaders from both countries are anticipating a significant increase in both business and leisure travellers.

March
Beijing has recently opened its newest airport terminal.  The terminal will accommodate an expected surge in visitors for the Summer 2008 Olympics. The new runway will also be able to handle the new Airbus A380. Airport officials are predicting that over 64 million visitors compared with 50 million in 2007.

April
The new terminal 5 (T5) at Heathrow Airport has suffered from some major teething problems, resulting in flight cancellations and major baggage-handling problems. The new T5 structure is a state of the art building designed to put glamour back into air travel. Airport bosses are confident that once staff become fully familiar with the new terminal, the full benefits of T5 will be seen.

May
Taiwan is looking to increase the number of visitors from China to 1 million per year. Taiwanese tourist chiefs are hoping that the influx of Chinese tourists will give the economy a major boost and also help to relieve historic tensions between the two countries.

June
Tourism chiefs in Austria and Switzerland are anticipating record numbers of summer visitors during the Euro 2008 football tournament. The competition starts on 7th June and ends with the final being played on 29th June in the Ernst Happel Stadion, Vienna, Austria.

July
Rail travel across Europe is entering an exciting period of growth due in part to pressures on airlines due to rising fuel prices. By 2010, European rail companies expect 25 million passengers to be using its high-speed networks, a massive increase on today's figure of around 14 million.

August
Beijing, the Chinese capital will soon experience a flood of visitors when the Olympic games starts. Organisers are anticipating over 500,000 people during the games and the Beijing business community is looking forward to excellent trade in August.

September
Citizens of the city of New Orleans have been advised to leave as Hurricane Gustav heads towards the Gulf coastline. Forecasters say the hurricane could reach a category 5 with wind speeds of over 155 mph.

October
A major New York attraction, the aircraft carrier Intrepid, has returned to it's berth in Manhattan where it will continue to serve as military and space museum. The carrier has undergone a major repair and improvement programme and will feature additional aircraft on it's flight deck.

November
The iconic airship - the Zeppelin is due to make regular appearances over the San Francisco skyline. The Zeppelin is only one of 3 operational ones in the world - the others being used in Germany and Japan.

December
Australian tourism promoters are hoping that a new film "Australia" starring Nicole Kidman, and featuring the spectacular landscapes of Western Australia, will boost visitor numbers and emulate the success of "Lord of the Rings" in promoting New Zealand.

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2007

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

January
The favourable economy and the Yen's strengthening against other major currencies, have appeared to contribute to large numbers of Japanese travellers flying abroad for the New Year holiday period. This is despite higher ticket prices and travel costs overall, due to a succession of recent fuel surcharge increases.

February
The Madrid based World Tourism Organization (WTO) have reported that international tourism has set new records in 2006 with over 842 million tourist arrivals. This represents an increase of 4.5% despite predictions of a downturn due to increased fuel prices, terrorist threats, and flu infections. Surprisingly, Africa recorded the largest growth at over 8.0%, which has been attributed in part to the region's remoteness from conflict  hotspots.

March
The European Union and United States have agreed to a proposal allowing both US and European based airlines increased flexibility to choose trans-Atlantic routes. The proposal would allow airlines from Europe to fly from any EU country to any destination in the USA with a reciprocal agreement applying to US based airlines. It is anticipated that that this will increase trans-Atlantic passenger numbers and reduce fares.

April
Chinese tourist officials are using the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games as a springboard for expansion of Asia as a cruise destination. Other attractions including the Great Wall of China and the Indonesian Islands are predicted to attract US and European cruise passengers. To this end China is establishing a new cruise passenger terminal at Shanghai Port with expansion planned in other cities.

May
Airline Virgin Atlantic have ordered 15 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. The Dreamliner is noted for its fuel efficiency and will burn 27% less fuel than an Airbus A340-300. The Virgin Atlantic chairman - Sir Richard Branson is committed to using 'cleaner' aircraft and is looking to power his fleet with alternative fuels.

June
Singapore is looking to increase its tourism industry. With larger numbers of affluent Chinese, Indians and other Asians travelling overseas, Singapore tourist chiefs are attempting to tap into this market. To this end a number of major new attractions are being constructed including two large casinos, a Universal Studios theme park, and a ferris wheel.

July
This month the Boeing 787 Dreamliner will be officially unveiled. This is Boeing's most efficient aircraft with it's ground breaking design resulting in significant gains in fuel economy.  Passengers will also be carried in quieter and more roomy cabins than any other plane.

August
Managers of Elvis Presley's famous residence at Graceland Memphis Tennessee want to revamp it with a $250 million project comprising - a new visitors center, a conventions hotel, and a high-tech museum  that would provide the King with a brand new digital life.

September
Singapore Airlines is running an auction for seats on the maiden passenger flight of the airlines Airbus 380. Proceeds from the auction will be given to Singapore and Australian charities. The airline is due to commence flying on the Singapore - Sydney route in October.

October
Air New Zealand are to carry out the first test flight of an aircraft partially run on biofuel. The airline will team up with Rolls-Royce Group Plc. and Boeing Co. for this project and are planning to conduct the test flights by early 2009.

November
Under a special access agreement between the European Union and China, France and it's capital Paris are experiencing a huge influx of Chinese visitors who are spending large amounts of money on luxury products, and are snapping photographs beside iconic landmarks such as the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower.

December
The Eurostar train service will now leave from St Pancras International Station after moving from Waterloo. The new service will cut the average journey time between London and Paris by 22 minutes to 2 hours 15 minutes.

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2006

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

January
African tourist organisations have highlighted the benefit of tourism to the continent's economy. In 2005 Kenya received almost 600,000 tourists bringing in over $570 million, approximately 12 percent of its GDP. Kenyan tourist officials confidently predict that over 1 million tourists will visit Kenya in 2006.

February
According to a recent survey - Japanese and Chinese travellers are poised to challenge the Germans for the accolade of "globe's most active tourists". This is due to a recent improvement in the Japanese economy and the increasing demand by Chinese travellers for business and long haul tourist trips.

March
At the recently held Middle East Travel and Tourism Summit 2006 conference, the Jordanian Minister for Tourism highlighted the need to promote Middle East travel and tourism to achieve long term economic growth in the region. The two day conference was held in Jordan beside the Dead Sea and attracted participation from over 19 countries, including Britain, Egypt, Iran and Turkey.

April
Travellers in Europe may soon benefit from plans by The European Commission to limit the international mobile phone roaming costs users can be charged for using their phones away from their resident countries.

May
US airlines are finding that price rather than brand loyalty has become more of a priority for today's customers. The rise of budget carriers, re-organisation of many major airlines and the decline of frequent flyer programs are all factors contributing to this change.

June
Tourism experts predict that the Chinese province of Hainan will become a major destination for UK visitors in 2007. The islands of Hainan have been referred to as the "Hawaii of Asia" with superb beaches and clean blue water. The exclusive resort of Yalong Bay is being developed to cater for the expected influx of western European tourists.
 

July
South Africa is experiencing rapid growth in visitor numbers. In 2005 over 7.4 million tourists arrived, an increase of over 10% compared to the previous year. A major attraction is the Kruger National Park with it's Big Five (Lion, Elephant, Leopard, Rhino and Buffalo) drawing thousands of wildlife enthusiasts. South Africa is also the host for the 2010 Football World Cup Finals which will further cement it's growing reputation as an attractive and affordable destination.

August
Dubai is currently experiencing rapid construction of hotel complexes and other tourist developments. These include the Palm Island resort, Dubai Marina, Dubai World and Burj Dubai. The Burj Dubai project includes the construction of one of the world's tallest skyscrapers due to be completed in 2008 Dubai...

September
Singapore received 913,000 foreign tourists in July of this year, the highest monthly total in the history of the Singapore tourism industry. High numbers of visitors are also anticipated for the IMF (International Monetary Fund) annual meeting to be held in Singapore on September 19-20
Singapore...

October
Bangkok has just opened it's new international airport. The old overcrowded Don Muang airport traffic has been transferred to the new Suvarnabhumi Airport which is capable of handling 76 flights per hour and 45 million passengers per year. It's modern design comprising steel, concrete and lots of glass lets in natural light while keeping out the tropical heat. Bangkok...

November
Panama has recently approved a major expansion project to the Panama Canal. The project will cost nearly $6 Billion, and will include the construction of new access channels and a 3rd set of 180 feet wide locks. The new locks will be capable of handling a new generation of super tankers and container ships. The project completion is planned for the year 2014, one hundred years after the opening of the original canal.

December
According to the Passenger Shipping Association (PSA), 1.25 UK citizens have taken cruise holidays this year. The current 2006 figure of 1.25 million cruise passengers is expected to rise to 1.35 million in 2007 making cruising on ocean liners and riverboat cruisers one of the fastest growing tourist sectors.

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2005

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

January
The number of dead from the Indian Ocean Tidal Waves could rise above 100,000, the International Red Cross has said. (Information and donations can be made through the site below).
International Red Cross

February
The Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger plane has been presented to the world at it's construction hanger near Toulouse in France. The giant aircraft built by European company Airbus will undergo test flights in March 2005. 

March
Malaysia is planning to establish a special terminal for budget air carriers at Kuala Lumpur's international airport. This development is intended to expand it's status as a regional hub rivalling similar expansions at Singapore and Bangkok.

April
SpiceJet the Indian low cost carrier is planning to entice millions of train passengers to travel by air for both business and domestic journeys. Indian air travel is anticipated to grow by about 25 - 30% in the next 5 years as salaries rise.

May
Asian Airlines are buying new planes as the region's rapidly growing economy increases demand for domestic and international travel. This demand is making Asia the latest battleground for the globe's two top aircraft makers: Boeing and Airbus.

June
Michael O'Leary, Chief Executive of the low-cost air carrier Ryanair , remains confident that the budget airline demand in Europe is still increasing. O'leary is currently celebrating Ryanair's 20th birthday.

July
Singapore Airines (SIA) are due to introduce in-flight interactive language tuition. In conjunction with Berlitz International the airline will provide 11 languages on it's entertainment system. The languages will include English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Russian, Mandarin, Cantonese & Japanese.

August
As part of his plan to move Ukraine towards European Union membership, President Viktor Yushchenko has extended visa-free travel for travelers from the European Union beyond the previous deadline of September 2005.

September
Millions of Americans are holidaying in Hawaii this year. Hawaii tourism chiefs are crediting this boom, in large part, to world unrest, including terrorism, which has led to many Americans travelling to safer destinations within U.S. borders.

October
New York State wineries are attracting almost three times as many visitors as a decade ago. There are now 212 wineries between Long Island and Lake Erie compared to only 19 in 1975. This is making the wine industry New York State's fastest growing sector in agriculture and tourism.
Source: New York Agricultural Statistics Service

November
Nearly 10 years after a 36-year civil war, Guatemala is developing into a top tourist destination. The country has something for everyone including - tropical rain forests, fast flowing rivers, over 30 volcanoes, unspoilt beaches and ancient ruins from the Mayan civilization.

December
A Boeing 777 has recently established a long-range flight record by making the non-stop journey from Hong Kong to London. The trip took 23-hours covering over 20,000 km. This has opened up new route opportunities such as Miami - Taipei, Los Angeles - Dubai, Sydney - Chicago, and Houston - Karachi.

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2004

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

January
Foreigners entering U.S. airports and seaports, except those from Western Europe and a handful of other countries, will soon have their fingerprints scanned and their photographs snapped as part of a new program designed to enhance border security.

February
Many US Airlines are having to adapt to customers whose expectations are changing more rapidly than anticipated. Customers demands for lower fares are limiting revenue opportunities and airlines will have to lower costs related to selling tickets...

March
According to the
National Transportation Safety Board - Air travel would be safer if airlines weighed their passengers from time to time to make sure they are aware of how much weight their planes are carrying. 

April
The Statue of Liberty  will reopen to the public this summer, according to officials.
The Statue was closed immediately after the September 11 terrorist attacks and has undergone upgrades that were necessary before reopening. At the moment visitors can visit Liberty Island but are not allowed inside the 151-foot statue.

May
EasyJet, the UK based low-fares airline, have set up a base at Schonefeld Airport, Berlin, Germany. EasyJet have stated that the Berlin base would become its biggest outside the UK and they expect to carry 1.5 million passengers in the first 12 months. EasyJet and close rival Ryanair have led the expansion of low-fares air travel from the UK to the rest of Europe.

June
The recovery of the world airline industry, following the SARS crisis and the Iraq war, is been hampered by high oil prices. Fuel costs are about 16% of an airline's running costs and with fuel prices at 55% higher than 2003 this issue is set to be high on the agenda of the International Air Transport Association's annual meeting, to be held in Singapore this month.

July
A new high speed train service will connect St. Petersburg (Russia) and Helsinki (Finland). The service will begin in 2007 it was announced by Russian Railways president Gennady Fadeyev. The new trains will travel up to 250 kilometers an hour (155 mph) reducing the journey time from more than five hours to three.

August
The USA and China have signed an agreement to increase the number of passenger and freight flights between the two countries. The deal will add 14 new passenger flights a week for 2004, starting in August, with a planned expansion to 249 flights a week within 6 years as compared to the present limit of 54.

September
Greece is hoping that international praise for the Olympic Games will see an increase in tourist visits. To support this view, The Hellenic Association of Travel and Tourist Agencies has already reported that bookings for September and October are up 10 percent from the same period last year.

October
A group from California will launch a campaign to claim a $10 million prize by sending a privately funded manned craft into sub-orbital space. Their craft - SpaceShipOne,  has so far achieved that feat by reaching an altitude of 328,491 feet (62.5 miles approx) on its initial flight in June.

November
A new combined air traffic and weather system will help Airports manage passenger queues more efficiently by being able to predict busy hours. The system is called PaxFlow and was developed at IBM's Research facility in Zurich. 

December
The Chinese city of Shanghai is planning to extend its high speed MAGLEV (magnetic levitation) line in time for the World Expo which it is hosting in 2010. The line is the world's only commercially run MAGLEV system.

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2003

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


January
Europe's third largest airline Lufthansa will become the first airline to offer inflight Internet connection.

February
The Federal Aviation Administration is asking airlines to weigh passengers and bags on small commuter planes similar to the one that crashed in North Carolina this month.

March
Airbus parent EADS was down more than seven percent early on Monday as Europe's biggest planemaker joined a fall in airline shares, hit by risks of lower orders from war-hit carriers.

April
The rigorous screening of international travelers is among measures included in a six-point plan adopted by Asian leaders to try and control the outbreak of the deadly SARS virus.

May
Research findings this month have found that turning off your mobile phone during flights and keeping your luggage weight within the recommended aviation guidelines could make your flight more safe.

June
European Union governments handed over control of their skies Thursday as they seek a single region-wide air travel market.

July
A second day of talks between British Airways and unions to resolve a dispute that disrupted the travel plans of 100,000 passengers collapsed in the early hours of Wednesday.

August
The Department of Homeland Security is evaluating about a dozen overseas airports to determine their vulnerability to attacks with shoulder-fired missiles.

September
A mammoth trans-continental rail project to link the northern Australian city of Darwin with the southern city of Adelaide is just months away from coming into operation.

October
California's wildfires wreaked havoc with travel plans, disrupting air traffic nationwide and forcing weekend gamblers on their way back from Las Vegas to find alternate routes.

November
The U.S. and Britain have warned their citizens to proceed cautiously in Istanbul after terrorists attacked the British Consulate and a British-owned bank, killing at least 26 and wounding hundreds.

December
The UK government are planning to place armed sky marshals on some international flights.

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