Easter holiday plans by 11 million Brits projected to boost UK economy by £3.2bn

11 million Brits have confirmed their intentions to embark on an overnight holiday trip within the UK over the upcoming Easter weekend.

This surge in domestic travel is poised to inject a substantial £3.2bn into the national economy, according to VisitEngland’s latest Easter Trip Tracker survey.

This year’s figures mark a significant increase from the previous Easter season, where 6.5 million Brits had finalised their holiday plans within the country.

While the outlook is positive, the survey also notes a sizable contingent of 10.5 million individuals who remain undecided about their Easter travel plans within the UK. Their hesitancy primarily revolves around concerns about the cost of living and the unpredictable Easter weather.

VisitEngland Chief Executive Patricia Yates said: ‘Tourism businesses and destinations will be looking to the critical Easter weekend for much needed cash flow after the lean winter months so it’s really encouraging to see so many of us are planning a holiday at home.

‘We also know from our latest research that the cost of living remains a concern and while people are still keen to take a break, many are booking late, taking shorter breaks, wanting to save on accommodation, activities and eating out, highlighting the ongoing challenges for industry. So please do go out and explore the amazing destinations and attractions here on our doorstep this spring, tourism businesses will be very pleased to see you.’

Interestingly, the majority of Brits planning overnight trips during Easter are opting for shorter breaks spanning one to three nights.

In comparison to domestic travel plans, the survey also highlights international holiday intentions, with 20 percent of British adults planning to holiday domestically during Easter, compared to 13 percent opting for trips abroad.

VisitEngland conducts these comprehensive surveys periodically to capture insights into the travel behaviours of GB consumers during key holiday periods. The Easter edition survey, conducted online by Kantar Research Express between March 14-18, involved a representative sample of 1,254 adults aged 16 and over in Great Britain.

KLM launches extra flights from Norwich to Amsterdam

KLM has announced plans to launch extra flights from Norwich Airport to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, in time for the Easter holidays.

Part of the Air France-KLM group, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is the flag carrier airline of the Netherlands headquartered in Amstelveen, with its hub at nearby Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

Starting March 27, KLM will be operating up to four return flights a day between Norwich and Amsterdam for the first time as demand for air travel recovers following the pandemic. With a flight time of 55 minutes, the new service provides options for city-break in Amsterdam in less than an hour, as well as easy access to Schiphol Airport’s global network of international onward connections.

Richard Pace, Managing Director of Norwich Airport, said: ‘It’s great to see KLM’s Amsterdam route from Norwich getting back to full strength with four flights a day on weekdays and up to three a day at weekends.

‘It means passengers from Norwich have even more flexibility, whether that’s for a city break or onward travel from Schiphol to more than 270 destinations worldwide.’

To celebrate the additional flights, Norwich Airport has a competition to win a pair of return tickets to Amsterdam with KLM. The closing date is March 31.

Amsterdam is among the year-round destinations available from Norwich, which also include Tenerife with TUI and Aberdeen with Loganair. Norwich Airports full summer season gets underway in May with TUI offering a full schedule of eight sunshine destinations in Cyprus, Greece, Spain, and Turkey. Blue Islands is also returning with a twice-weekly service to Jersey, providing short breaks closer to home.

Thomas Cook Airlines announces 10 additional flights a week from Bristol for Easter 2019

Thomas Cook Airlines has announced the addition of 10 flights a week for Easter 2019 from Bristol airport.

With the introduction of 10 additional flights a week from April 3, 2019 until the end of the month, Thomas Cook Airlines has added over 12,000 seats to destinations including Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Majorca. Tickets are now on sale via www.thomascookairlines.com.

Henry Sunley, Commercial Director at Thomas Cook Airlines, said: ‘This is a bigger Easter programme from Bristol than ever before, with our season traditionally ramping up from May 1. It’s great to be able to reward our customers who fly with us from Bristol airport with even more choice and we look forward to adding more destinations from Bristol in the near future.’

Nigel Scott, Business Development Director, Bristol Airport added: ‘This is exciting news. The increased capacity for next year builds on the strong growth we are experiencing with Thomas Cook from Bristol Airport in 2018. It provides even more choice for passengers when using their local airport to travel to a variety of exciting holiday destinations. We look forward to working with Thomas Cook on future route opportunities.’

For summer 2019, Thomas Cook Airlines flight-only services from Bristol airport, one-way in economy, include services to Turkey from £168.99, Gran Canaria from £203.99, Hurghada, Egypt from £325.99 and Lanzarote from £203.99. With the new services, Thomas Cook Airlines now flies to 25 sun and beach destinations from Bristol, while increasing its number of seats on sale at Easter by 40 percent in 2018.

Thomas Cook is also offering a package holiday from Bristol airport, flying with Thomas Cook Airlines one-way in economy with seven nights in Turkey from £2,035 for a family of four, or £508 per person including discounted prices for children. Stay will be arranged at the five-star Sentido Perissia in Side on an all-inclusive basis, departing from Bristol on 8 April 2019. Tickets can be booked at www.thomascook.com, it said.

British Airways prepares for busy Easter break; over 700,000 passengers expected

British Airways is expecting to see almost 700,000 people travel around the world on its flights during the 2015 Easter break set to start next week.

Starting Thursday April 2, families and holidaymakers are expected to travel to destinations of their choice across the globe for a pleasurable getaway. The single busiest day for travel will be Monday, April 6, with 142,000 people set to fly with British Airways. More than 135,000 people are expected to travel with the airline on Sunday, April 12 to return home.

The top long-haul destinations for travellers this Easter are mainly to the US, with New York in the lead, followed by Los Angeles and Miami, with strong bookings also to Hong Kong and Boston. Other popular long haul destinations include Johannesburg, San Francisco, Cape Town, Dubai and Tel Aviv, the airline said.

Edinburgh is the top choice for short-haul travellers, followed by Barcelona, Amsterdam, Glasgow and Rome. Other favourites include Geneva, Manchester, Nice, Madrid and Berlin.

Stephen Humphreys, British Airways’ head of UK&I sales, said: ‘Like many parents, I’d like a break away with the children to shake off the last of the winter weather and recharge by soaking up some much needed sun before the onset of spring. Fortunately there are some brilliant deals still on offer from British Airways Holidays to exciting city destinations like New York, Paris and Milan.’

British Airways offers priority boarding for those travelling with children. Skyflyer activity packs are also available to keep children engaged and entertained. Child meals can be pre-ordered with British Airways’ ‘feed families first’ policy.

The getaway packages offered by the British Airways include: three nights at the Doubletree by Hilton Metropolitan – New York City, from £899 per person, travelling on April 3; two nights at Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile from £229 per person, for travel between March 28 and April 12, 2015; two nights at Aspect Hotel Parkwest, Dublin from £119 per person, for travel between March 27 and April 30, 2015; two nights at Innside Berlin from £159 per person, for travel between March 27 and April 30, 2015; and two nights at Raffaello from £149 per person, for travel between March 27 and April 30, 2015.

Looking for a last minute easter break?

Easter is just around the corner; a time for bunnies, eggs, and family travel. Even though this is originally a religious holiday, much like Christmas it has become a cultural phenomenon that transcends religion. Many cities around the globe host lavish celebrities which draw thousands of tourists every year. If you’re still undecided on where to go, here are some of Auto Europe’s last minute suggestions for Easter.

Seville is always an Easter favourite. The dramatic costumes and the elaborate processions are only the icing on top of the cake. The mysticism surrounding the brotherhoods, as well as the charming traditional mantillas worn by the women of the city make this a unique event that shouldn’t be missed. If you have time for some sightseeing, why not pick up a car hire in Seville and head out into the countryside, making the most of the weather, already warm and sunny this time of year.

Florence is another great option for a quick Easter escapade. A beautiful city at any time of the year, the city is even lovelier dressed up for Easter, and its festivities owe nothing to Seville’s. The high point of Florence festivities is the “Scoppio del Carro”, in which a cart loaded with fireworks is lit, in a rather loud yet amazing show of colour and light.

Portugal also has its fair share of Easter festivities, with one of the most famous being the Holy Week of Braga. Located in the north of the country, this city takes its festivities seriously, and is generally considered to be the “capital” of the Holy Week in this westernmost country of Europe. The whole city is decorated in purple, and there are processions throughout the week, including the famous Procissão da Burrinha (Procession of the Donkey), so called because an image of the Virgin Mary is carried through the streets on the back of a donkey.

Travelling during Easter doesn’t just mean travelling to watch religious festivities however, and due to school holidays this is a great time to travel with the family. Why not pick up a car hire in Nice and enjoy some leisurely days testing the theory that the weather is already warm enough for a bit of sunbathing? Disneyland Paris is also a great place to spend a fun day with the kids. With Auto Europe’s low rates for car hire at over 8,000 locations around the world, the possibilities are endless.

Only a ‘Bunny’ Hop, Skip and a Jump Abroad for Brits this Easter

Over two million Britons sought an escape from the harsh winter weather in 2011 and migrated to sunnier climates for the Easter holidays, and it looks like this year is set to see much of the same – but at what cost?

In research conducted by My Travel Cash, 81% of respondents said cost was the primary factor in picking holiday destinations, however it looks like familiarity and prior knowledge of the area might take more precedence than originally thought.

A poll carried out by carhiremarket.com revealed that over a third of British holidaymakers have booked a trip to the popular Spanish Costas despite further afield destinations such as Bulgaria and Poland having been regularly hailed as desirable options due to the strength of Sterling against their currencies, as opposed to its dwindling strength to that of the Euro. 

And when comparing some standard holiday purchases, the proof is definitely in the pint! While a lager will cost the equivalent of £0.78 in Bulgaria, visitors to Spain can expect to pay more than double for the same drink.

Even the cost of a simple trip down the beach could be halved or doubled dependent on the two destinations. In Bulgaria, ice-cream cones for a family of four would cost around €4 whereas the same purchase in Spain could result in a bill of nearly €25 – almost six times the cost!

Myles Stephenson, CEO of my Travel Cash commented: “What we found interesting from our research is that people are still determined to get away to sunnier climates despite the current economic uncertainty, and perhaps instinctively cite cost as the major factor when deciding where to go. What I’m surprised to see however, is that so many holiday-makers are choosing familiar destinations in comparison to trying somewhere further afield, despite the cost of living whilst in countries outside of the Eurozone being so much more cost effective.

Travel back in time for a traditional Easter in Sweden

Easter week is celebrated at Skansen, Sweden in different ways. On Maundy Thursday children all over Sweden dress up as witches to deliver Easter letters and receive candy.

On Skansen they can make their own brooms and pretend they’re taking off for Blåkulla. In some of the houses the Easter feast is prepared and traditions explained and on the Bollnäs square there is an Easter market selling birch twigs with the traditional feather decorations, sweets and food.

During Easter, you can visit some of our houses and farmsteads to see what Easter was like a hundred years ago or more. In Skånegården, you can experience how Easter was celebrated in the 1920s and what a Passover dinner table could look like then. In Oktorpsgården, Easter is celebrated like in the 1870s but be careful – the gun is in place to shoot off trolls and gnomes!

In Väla School it is Maundy Thursday and teaching family has decorated their house, in 2012 the Easter celebrations starts with Maundy Thursday on the 5th of April, and ends on the 9th of April.

The tradition

Easter is a movable feast as it follows the path of the moon. It can come as early as March, which presents an opportunity for winter sports in the northern parts of Sweden, and it can be as late as the beginning of April, which makes it easier for all the flower growers who delivers the traditional yellow daffodils – the commonest Easter ornament in people´s homes.

Yellow is the colour for Easter, reflecting the part which eggs and chicks have come to play in this festival. At Eastertime, Christians of every denomination the world over consume millions and millions of eggs. At no other festival is there such a general agreement on what should be eaten. The original reason for this vas that six weeks of Lent prevented the faithful from eating the eggs which the poultry, and wild birsd, were beginning to lay in copious quantities at that time of year. By the time Easter came round, eggs were so plentiful that the menu was fairly obvious. As an additional festive touch for the Easter meal time, it has been the custom everywhere in Europe to paint eggs, an art which in Sweden is mainly practised in the south parts of the country.
In other ways too, food at Easter has a religious background. The salmon consumed on Good Friday reminds us that, long after the Reformation, the Swedes were still keeping this as a fast, and, accordingly, fish day.

Whereas the fish diet of Good Friday has an ancient history, the “paschal lamb” – roast leg of lamb for dinner on one of the days of Easter – is a novel custom. The idea comes from the Bible story of the Passover first celebrated by the Israelites in Egypt, and in the Mediterranean countries the paschal lamb is in many places a regular custom.
One ancient, grisly aspect of Easter celebrations has now been turned into a children´s amusement. Little girls, and sometimes boys too, wearing head scarves and long skirts, go from door to door with a coffee pot which they expect to get filled with small change or sweets. Known as Easter crones or Easter witches, they recvall the old superstition in Sweden that Easter was the time when the witches flew to the devil on the “Blue Mountain”, a belief which, even in the 18th century, could still mean capital punishment for those who were denounced.
Other relics of past belief in witchcraft are also unwittingly perpetuated by the Swedes. In the west of Sweden especiallly, firecrackers are let off on Easter night to scare avay evil forces lurking in the dark. At Skansen the farmer at the Oktorp farmstead has his rifle ready and loaded during Easter.
Source: Maypoles, Crayfish and Lucia by Jan-Öjvind Swahn, The Swedish Institute

Cape Town is the place to be this Easter

Today marks the start of the Easter holidays this year, and includes that long-awaited, four-day weekend when loved ones come together for some great family fun. Cape Town’s tourism establishments look forward to this time of year as domestic tourism increases, with travellers from across the country descending on Cape Town to spend some quality time with family and friends.

Easter is usually a good time for domestic tourism in Cape Town when visitors from across the country soak in the remainder of the warm days in Cape Town. Autumn in the Mother City is marked by mild sunny days and great events and activities aimed at the whole family. We are looking forward to welcoming our domestic guests to the Mother City and urge those traveling by road to drive safely. Be vigilant at all times, keep hydrated and awake, stop to stretch your legs, and whatever you do – do not drink and drive!” encouraged CEO of Cape Town Tourism, Mariette du Toit-Helmbold.

Not only is Easter a time for family and fun but it also signals a change of season. A season of culinary delights, wines, books, and culture; a season when engaging with nature is easier without the heat, and winter adventure activities are the order of the day.

There is so much to see and do in Cape Town during the winter months,” continued du Toit-Helmbold, “Granted it means less time spent on the beach, but there are beautiful walks in forests, exploring the Cape’s heritage, and experiencing our many indoor activities.”

Travelers to Cape Town are welcome to contact Cape Town Tourism on +27 21 487 6800 or to visit any one of their eighteen Visitor Information Centers across the city (www.capetown.travel/industry/about_us/visitor_centre_directions/)

A Few Easter Weekend Activities for Adults:

Do the Wine Tour extension to City Sightseeing’s Blue Mini Peninsula Tour. The tour takes visitors to Groot Constantia and Eagles’ Nest in the Cape’s oldest wine growing region, Constantia Valley. Visit www.citysightseeing.co.za

Jazz lovers can attend weekly Sunday Jazz Brunches at Winchester Mansions in Sea Point until 24 April 2011. Harveys restaurant serves a fine food brunch in the romantic courtyard or terraces (overlooking the Atlantic Seaboard) whilst jazz shows are performed by local and international jazz artists. Visit www.winchester.co.za

Take part in Fun Runs (Rondebosch) or the Friendship Run (V&A Waterfront) of the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon on Good Friday and choose from a variety of distances. Visit www.twooceansmarathon.org.za

Dads, catch the Canal Walk Motor Show between 27 April – 2 May at the Canal Walk Shopping Centre in Century City. Visit www.canalwalk.co.za for more information.

A Few Easter Weekend Activities for Kids:

The Two Oceans Aquarium at the V&A Waterfront is open every day and is filled with over 3000 marine life specimens from the Indian and Atlantic oceans. During the Easter holidays the Two Oceans Aquarium will be hosting Easter Egg Hunts and snake shows (22 April – 2 May). Visit www.aquarium.co.za

The V&A Waterfront boasts over 450 retail stores, craft markets, the Aquarium, the scratch-patch, boat charters and street entertainers. During the Easter holidays kiddies’ rides (and the permanent Wheel of Excellence) will be offered between 11-15 April near the Two Oceans Aquarium, a Pirate Boat Jungle Gym will be on offer for the Easter weekend, and there will be a Lindt Easter Village at Barrow Court from 19 – 25 April where little ones can enjoy chocolate in the Lindt Garden and enter colour-in competitions for Lindt prizes. Visit www.waterfront.co.za

The Zip Zap circus is the oldest circus in Cape Town and provides top circus entertainment for the whole family. During the Easter holidays the Zip Zap Circus will be hosting a show called Just Kidding (21 – 27 April). Visit www.zip-zap.co.za

Easter break safe from BA cabin crew strike

Holidaymakers travelling with British airways could give a sigh of relief yesterday when it was revealed their will be no strike from the BA cabin crew – temporarily at least.

Instead peace talks will continue for a 28-day extension, to prevent further peace talks.

Just days after both Unite and BA consulted a clinical psychologist, in an effort to heal the deep rift between the two parties, Unite’s new leader, Len McCluskey, and BA’s new chief executive, Keith Williams meet to try and compromise and reach a deal over the dispute.

However, throughout the 28-days of peace talks the union can still call a strike if they wish, at any point during this time.

The risk of a strike hitting the busy Easter holidays or Royal Wedding are now decreasing but there are still worries it could hit the school half-term break.

Meeting senior figures, Mark Hamilin is said to be acting as ‘a long term relationship builder’. Mr Hamilin, who’s company specialises in dealing with issues of trust, was acknowledged in a joint statement by BA and Unite who said their process of ‘cooperation building’ had been ‘assisted by a highly-regarded external company’.

BA and the union said it hoped that ‘the optimism of recent weeks can be turned into a reality’.

Insiders have said the 28-extension is a ‘positive sign’, and an agreement was hoped for.

BA and the union said it hoped the ‘the optimism of recent weeks can be turned into a reality.’