easyJet launches first flight from Bournemouth to Belfast

easyJet has announced the launch of its new service between Bournemouth and Belfast, marking the launch of more convenient connectivity this summer between the South of England and cities across the UK.

The flight to Belfast is the first of two new domestic easyJet routes from Bournemouth launching this summer, the other being Edinburgh, which launched on May 27. Both routes will operate twice weekly, with Belfast on Wednesdays and Saturdays and Edinburgh operating on Thursdays and Sundays throughout the summer season, with fares starting from £40.99 per person.

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Country Manager said: ‘We are delighted to have operated the first flight today and to be increasing our services from Bournemouth Airport. With the addition of the two new summer routes from Bournemouth, our customers now have more travel choices in the region for those looking to take a long-awaited summer break.’

Steve Gill, Managing Director at Bournemouth Airport, said: ‘The launch of domestic air connectivity between the South of England, Northern Ireland and Scotland is a milestone moment for Bournemouth Airport. The long-awaited return to flying is wonderful news for business and leisure passengers, giving a boost to the regional economy and enabling holidaymakers to take welcome ‘staycation’ breaks in Bournemouth, Belfast and Edinburgh – some of the UK’s most popular destinations.’

easyJet customers will now be able to change their flights this summer without a change fee, at any time up to two hours before departure, or request a voucher. There are no restrictions on dates or destination; customers can transfer to any flights currently on sale up to the end of September 2022, and to any other destination on the airline’s network which spans 35 countries across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

Newcastle International Airport resumes flights to Bristol Airport

Newcastle International Airport has said that it has resumed the route to Bristol Airport following a temporary suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Popular with both leisure and business passengers, easyJet is operating flights between the two cities four days a week throughout May and June, increasing to six days a week from July. Flights are available to book now with fares from £26.99 one way, at easyJet.com.

The resumption of flights to Bristol comes amid connectivity improvement in the region with a total of five airlines operating on key domestic and international routes from the North East’s largest airport. In addition to Bristol, these include Belfast, also with easyJet, Aberdeen and Southampton with Loganair, Amsterdam with KLM, London Heathrow with British Airways and Paris with Air France.

Leon McQuaid, Head of Aviation Development at Newcastle International Airport, said: ‘I am sure many of our passengers will be pleased to see flights resuming to Bristol, providing vital connectivity into the South West of England and South Wales. We look forward to welcoming more passengers back to the airport over the coming weeks and months.’

‘We are working very hard with our airline partners to restore connectivity to these key markets and each destination added to the arrivals and departures board marks another step to the Airport’s recovery.’

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Country Manager said: ‘We are pleased to have resumed flights from Newcastle to Bristol from 2nd May, providing key connectivity across the UK and to our customers in the North East. We know that flexibility continues to be crucial for customers so our Protection Promise is now even more flexible, meaning our customers can book with confidence knowing that if they are unable to travel or their plans change so can their flights.’

‘We look forward to being able to reconnect even more people and reunite friends and family across the UK this summer.’

Separately, as international travel resumes, Newcastle International Airport has recently added Turkish airline Corendon Airlines to offer twice weekly services to the popular Turkish sunshine resorts of Antalya and Dalaman from the airport. The services will start in April 2022, with fares from £52.99 one way. Further, Spanish low cost airline, Vueling also confirmed it would be operating direct flights to Barcelona from Newcastle between July and October 2021.

More than half of Britons choose staycationing this summer

More than 55 per cent of British adults will be holidaying in Great Britain in summer this year, according to Travelodge’s annual holiday index.

The Travelodge research, which surveyed 3,000 British adults, reveals that 2017 will be another strong year for staycations. However, the figures reflected a drop of three percentage points in the number of Britons holidaying at home this year (55 per cent), compared to 58 per cent last year.

Over half (55 per cent) of Britons surveyed reported that they choose to holiday at home this year as it is too expensive to go abroad and a staycation offers better value for money. The most sought after staycation destinations are Cornwall, Devon, North Wales, Blackpool and the Isle of Wight.

Over a third (36 per cent) of adults said that they were looking to holiday at home this year as part of supporting the British economy following Brexit.

According to the research, British holidaymakers will be spending an average of £599.80 on their annual break this year – contributing nearly £17bn to the UK economy. The average spend of £599.80 is £130 less when compared to the £729.80 in 2016, though it equates to a collective spend of £17bn, Travelodge said.

The study also revealed that nearly half of Britons are taking a one-week holiday supported by three short breaks throughout the 2017. Only 17 per cent of adults are taking a ‘traditional’ two-week holiday.

The seaside remains the favourite destination for Britons, with 53 per cent of adults choosing the British seaside for their annual break. A relaxing rural break is what a third of Britons surveyed opt for and the top destinations for this year include the Lake District, Scottish Highlands, Norfolk Broads, Yorkshire Dales and Peak District. Meanwhile 27 per cent of adults are looking at a city break this summer with London, Edinburgh, Bath, York and Oxford being their top destinations.

The research revealed that the UK’s top staycationers are from the Welsh town of Aberystwyth with 85 per cent of its people choosing a staycation break this year, and the average household spending £456.75. Gloucester, Sheffield, Plymouth and Worcester are other location where the most number of people choose a staycation.

Dig It! 2017 challenge unveils Scotland’s heritage sites for travellers

Dig It! 2017 has launched a new bucket list challenge featuring Scotland’s six magnificent World Heritage Sites for travellers and tourists in and around the UK, as well as across the world, according to a release by VisitScotland.

The United Nations has recognised the six Scottish heritage sites as unique examples of the world’s cultural heritage. Covering over 5,000 years of history, Scotland’s sites range from a mysterious group of Neolithic monuments in Orkney to a scenic cotton mill village in Lanark.

The Bucket List was created by Dig It! 2017 with support from Historic Environment Scotland and EventScotland. The challenge, issued as part of the Scotland in Six series of events running on World Heritage Day – April 18, 2017, is expected to encourage tourists from home and abroad to discover some of Scotland’s finest attractions.

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: ‘With over one third of visitors drawn to Scotland for its history and culture, the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017 is an exciting opportunity to relive Scotland’s fascinating past.

‘Scotland’s six World Heritage Sites are truly iconic attractions, drawing thousands of visitors from around the globe every year. We are sure this Bucket List challenge, and the other fantastic events planned to celebrate World Heritage Day, will encourage even more visitors to experience the wonders of our World Heritage Sites.’

Dr Rebecca Jones, Head of the Archaeology and World Heritage Team at Historic Environment Scotland, said: ‘A lot of bucket list challenges are long and unwieldy and arguably pretty difficult to achieve, but the great thing about putting Scotland’s six World Heritage sites on your bucket list is that experiencing them all is perfectly possible – and indeed advisable!

‘Each of these iconic sites has something different to offer, from the stunning prehistoric monuments of ancient Orkney to the meticulously built 2,000 year old Roman frontier of the Antonine Wall; from the social impact of New Lanark, one of the largest industrial sites in the world, to the Forth Bridge, an internationally renowned feat of engineering. Ticking off the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh’s iconic Old and New Towns before braving the journey across the sea to the now-uninhabited island beauty of St Kilda is enough to take your breath away.

‘We hope Dig It! 2017’s Bucket List will encourage more people than ever before to travel to Scotland’s incredible World Heritage Sites in the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.’

Explore the Dig It! 2017 Bucket List and learn more about Scotland’s six sites, at: DigIt2017.com/WorldHeritageSites

British Airways announces holiday offers for families this summer

British Airways is collaborating with some of UK’s biggest airports to offer holiday breaks to families with under-12s, it has announced.

Supported by Visit Britain, British Airways is working in partnership with Belfast City, Heathrow, Inverness, Leeds Bradford and Newcastle International airports to give families a pleasurable and affordable summer break, allowing kids under 12, to fly for free on domestic flights. Flights can be booked for travel from July 14, 2016, until November 1, 2016 at ba.com/kidsgofree.

With the partnerships, British Airways is offering free flights for kids when travelling with an adult. To help cut holiday costs even further, Heathrow Express and Novotel are also offering family discounts. Up to two kids can fly for free with each fare paying adult, and kids can also stay for free at Novotel hotels when adults book a stay.

Sara Dunham, British Airways’ head of marketing, retail and direct, said: ‘Saving every penny counts when it comes to family holidays so flying kids for free will make it cheaper to fly away for fun and see more of the UK on a British Airways flight.

‘We are delighted to be joining forces with other great travel brands to offer families free child flights and discounted holiday deals.’

The initiative is expected to boost UK tourism by encouraging families to fly more cheaply between London, the North, Scotland and Northern Ireland for their holidays.

Fun and exciting things for families to do at the destinations include the W5 at Odyssey, Titanic Belfast, The Giant’s Causeway, Streamvale Open Farm and Ulster Museum at the Botanic Gardens in Northern Ireland (Belfast City); The Royal Armouries Museum, National Media Museum; Leeds Art Gallery/Henry Moore Institute; Leeds Owl Trail and Stockeld Park at Yorkshire (Leeds Bradford); Kidzania, Natural History Museum, London Zoo, Coram’s Fields and Tower of London at London (Heathrow); Loch Ness and the Loch Ness monster, Landmark Park, Cawdor Castle, Inverness Botanic Gardens, Whin Park at Scotland (Inverness); and Beamish Museum, Durham Cathedral, Alnwick Castle, Angel of the North and

Seven Stories – the National Centre for Children’s Books in the North East of England (Newcastle).

The offer is valid on one-way and return tickets between Heathrow and Belfast International, Inverness, Leeds Bradford and Newcastle International airports. Return adult hand baggage only fares on the British Airways flights between Heathrow and the UK regional airports start from £97 for Belfast, £75 for Inverness, £86 for Leeds and £96 for Newcastle.

London named most desirable city for holidaying in UK

UK holidaymakers are increasingly discovering the pleasures of staycationing as Brits have named London as the most desirable city to visit within the UK, according to research by international hotel group Jurys Inn.

As per research conducted on 2,500 people, Brits are increasingly opting to holiday in their homeland instead of overseas, with over one in 10 (12 percent) taking up to four staycations a year.

The Jurys Inn study revealed the top 10 most desirable UK cities. While cosmopolitan city London topped the list at 35 percent, the Scottish capital of Edinburgh and popular seaside destination Brighton came second and third at 28 percent and 16 per cent respectively:

The other cities to feature in the list, in order, are Liverpool (13 %), Manchester (12 %), Cardiff (11 %), Glasgow (11%), Plymouth (10%), Bristol (8%) and Newcastle (8%).

The research also revealed the cities where people are most likely to stay in the country. Middlesbrough topped the poll with 54% opting for a staycation, closely followed by those in Birmingham (51%) and Milton Keynes (45%).

Suzanne Cannon, head of Marketing at Jurys Inn, said: ‘Our research has revealed some really encouraging stats. It’s great to see the optimism in Brits choosing to spend more holidays at home.

However, some people are clearly still feeling the post-recession pinch and are choosing not to holiday at all. That’s why our affordable packages are the perfect break away. From a two night city break in Edinburgh to dinner and a show in Brighton, there’s something for everyone with Jurys Inn and our staff are always on hand to help out with what to do and see.’


While Brits are more valuing the beauty of the country, they still average one holiday abroad a year with two in five (40%) choosing Europe as their top holiday destination. This was followed by North America (4%), Asia (4%), Africa (1%) and Australia (1%).

Also, even as a majority of Brits love to get away, the report revealed that one in 10 Brits do not go on any kind of holiday. The reasons cited for giving up holiday travel include saving for fear of their job security (30%), money for their family (22%) or a house (21%).

When it comes spending their hard earned cash on eating out, 24-34 year olds that eat out more than any other age group, averaging four times a month compared to just twice for the over 55 year olds, who supposedly have more disposable cash.

Nearly three quarters of Brits choose staycation over overseas holiday

Nearly three quarters – 67 per cent – of Brits consider ‘staycation’ a better option and as the perfect way to explore a city for only a fraction of the price of a foreign holiday, according to research conducted by Jurys Inn Hotel Group.

The research also revealed that over one fifth – 22 per cent – of those surveyed have visited more landmarks overseas than in their home country.

Following the research findings, Jurys Inn has created a staycation guide showcasing a whole range of attractions and locations for UK travellers to explore their homeland with suggestions to help holiday makers make the most of a break in the UK. From short visits to local attractions, to full day trips, the guide includes the best that the UK has to offer in major cities that staycationers could enjoy.

Suzanne Cannon, Jurys Inn Group Marketing Manager, said ‘We’ve noticed the trend in Brits choosing to stay at home for their summer break and we want to be able to help travellers to explore a city’s true potential.

As Jurys Inn hotels are conveniently positioned in the heart of key cities across the UK, it’s a great place to start a staycation, so we’re glad we can share some insights with those who are holidaying at home this year’.

Jurys Inn currently operates 31 hotels, including 28 under the Jurys Inn brand, two under the DoubleTree by Hilton brand and one under the Garden Inn by Hilton brand. Jurys Inn, which has won the Best Independent Brand at the 2012 and 2010 Business Travel awards, offers three-star accommodation in major city centre locations throughout the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe.


Jurys Inn to promote Britain’s tourist and city attractions

UK hotel group Jurys Inn Hotels is set to promote Great Britain’s tourist and city attractions to British tourists and travellers, in a bid to further inspire them to explore landmarks in their home country.

The hotel group, which runs 22 hotels located in the heart of UK city centres, is set to launch ‘Jurys Inn -The Verdict,’ a campaign that will celebrate everything ‘Great’ about Great Britain. The campaign plan was announced after a study by Jurys Inn Hotels found that Brits were increasingly overlooking sights and landmarks near them. Nearly one fifth (22 per cent) of those surveyed claimed to have visited more landmarks abroad than in their home country.

Commenting on the survey findings, Suzanne Cannon, Group Marketing Manager at Jurys Inn, said: ‘Our study has unveiled that Brits seem to be falling out of love with Blighty. Instead of wanting to explore more of their local cities and home country, they are being influenced by what they see on TV and in films, to escape abroad.

‘The ‘staycation’ may not appeal to everyone, but with a lack of UK knowledge in the first instance, Brits are not necessarily aware of the amazing attractions they could be exploring. We were surprised at stats such as almost a quarter (23 per cent) of those polled being unable to name iconic locations including Angel of the North, so we’re making it our mission to help the nation fall back in love with Britain with ‘Jurys Inn – The Verdict’- a campaign that puts the nation to the test and celebrates everything ‘Great’ about Great Britain.

‘Launching in April, ‘The Verdict’ will include a series of pub quiz challenges to find and celebrate the most knowledgeable Brit, who knows Britain inside out.’

According to the study, over three quarter of Britons failed to locate well-known cities such as Sheffield (85 per cent), Birmingham (83 per cent) and Liverpool (76 per cent) on a map. The study also revealed over a third (36 per cent) of Brits did not know where Stonehenge was. When shown pictures of iconic landmarks, over a third (39 per cent) of Scots didn’t recognise the iconic St Andrews Golf Course, and a quarter (25 per cent) of Londoners were unable to name the Gherkin.

The hotel staff know the cities well and will be able to advise on the best spots enabling Brits to explore sites, landmarks and attractions in their home country and fall in love with Blighty again, Jurys Inn said.


Staycations on the rise for Brits this summer

With the holiday season unfolding, leading travel site TripAdvisor has revealed travel trends that have emerged for Brits during the peak summer travel period.

Research of the British TripAdvisor community showed that 2014 will be the summer of the staycation for Brits, with six British destinations featuring in the top 15 global list. London and Edinburgh top the list in first and second place respectively, while the UK cities Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool and Birmingham also feature in the top 15. And apparently city breaks in general are proving a hit for British travellers, as 11 of the top 15 are revealed to be city destinations.

If not staying in the UK, staying close to home is the trend as the top 15 is dominated by five European destinations. Only four destinations in the hot list this year are located outside of the continent – Sharm El Sheikh, New York City, Orlando and Dubai, VisitScotland said in its release.

For those looking for a vacation outside the UK, Sharm El Sheikh is the most popular holiday destination in third place, followed by New York City in fourth.

Brits are also aiming high on the staycation, with more than 46% of travellers focusing on 4-star hotels and over 20% opting for the ultimate in luxury with 5-star properties. Of the travellers with a more modest budget, 27% are focused on 3-star properties, and on the lower end of the scale only 5% are interested in 2-stars and a meagre 1% on 1-star hotels.

The research further revealed that under the attractions tab on TripAdvisor, the five most popular activities for British travellers are: outdoor, cultural, amusement, museums and landmarks.

Commenting on the trend, VisitScotland Chief Executive Malcolm Roughead said: ‘To have both Edinburgh and Glasgow featured in the top 10 destinations for British travellers this summer is wonderful news. In terms of value and volume of visitors, the UK remains our biggest market and one which we are always striving to build on.

‘Both Edinburgh and Glasgow – which appear second and ninth respectively – offer a multitude of fantastic attractions and experiences for visitors. With such an exciting summer ahead, including the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the ever-popular Edinburgh Festival, it comes as no surprise that UK visitors would want to visit these incredible destinations.

‘As Scotland welcomes the world in 2014 with over 850 Homecoming events, the upcoming Commonwealth Games and The Ryder Cup, I would encourage everyone to head out and explore the wide range of first-class attractions that can be found right on our doorstep.’


Britons prefer ‘staycations’ this summer

This holiday season, British holidaymakers are showing a preference for ‘staycations’, making the most of the consistently good weather in the UK, rather than travelling to a summer holiday hotspot overseas, according to research reports.

Luxury rental specialist, Rural Retreats, has said that following the heat wave last month there has been a dramatic rise in Brits holidaying at home. The number of UK holiday bookings increased by 61 percent in July compared to the same time last year.

The report also found that trips abroad could cost double that of a staycation, a key motivation for many families when choosing where to take their summer break.

Charles Millward, chief executive of Rural Retreats, said, ‘…last month’s great weather saw some parts of the UK enjoy uninterrupted sunshine for nearly three weeks. This has made Brits re-asses their holiday options, especially when a trip abroad for a family of four can be in the region of over £2,000, which is more than double the price of a standard UK mini-break, which costs £900.’

‘This country has some of the finest beaches, attractions and heritage in all of Europe, all we’ve missed in previous years was the weather. This summer we’ve had it all and it’s shown that the UK can be a fantastic holiday choice for both domestic and international tourists. It’s great to see such an increase in Brits holidaying at home this summer, and we hope the hot spell has opened people’s eyes that everything you need for a great break is right here on our doorstep,’ he added.

Meanwhile hotel comparison website Trivago.co.uk said that hotel searches to popular overseas summer destinations have decreased following the heat wave. Since temperatures in the UK rose above 30-degrees C in mid-July, hotel searches to overseas summer destinations decreased by up to 25 percent. Out of the 50 most searched-for overseas destinations by UK travellers during July 2013, Majorcan resorts show the greatest percentage decrease in hotel searches since the heat wave.

In the UK, hotel searches increased in some coastal destinations by up to 41 percent thanks to the heat wave.

The most searched-for UK regions were Devon and Cornwall, with hotel searches in Woolacombe up by 41 percent, Falmouth up by 18 percent, Paignton up by 8 percent, Newquay also up by 8 percent and St Ives up by 7 percent. Also popular were Barmouth in Wales, up 20 percent, Blackpool, also up 20 percent, and Folkestone up 11 percent.

Trivago’s summer trends data also confirms the ‘staycation’ trend, which suggests holidaying at home is on the rise, with 16 of the top 50 most popular summer destinations located in the UK.