Thomas Cook announces new holidays to Egypt’s Marsa Alam from Birmingham Airport

Holiday company Thomas Cook has announced a new holiday service to Marsa Alam in Egypt from Birmingham Airport for holidaymakers from across the Midlands.

The new route to the Egyptian winter sun destination comes after the company decided to cancel its programme to Sharm El Sheikh, as the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office continues to advise against travel to Sharm El Sheikh Airport.

Thomas Cook and Thomas Cook Signature holidays to Marsa Alam are available from November 2017 until April 2018. The holidays will operate on a weekly direct flight on Thomas Cook Airlines with a flying time of five and a half hours.

Located on the southern most of Egypt’s Red Sea resorts, Marsa Alam is a destination for winter sun seekers and is a premier diving and snorkelling spot, including around the Elphinstone reef.

Holidaymakers can also visit the Wadi el Gamal National Park and ‘Cleopatra’s mines’, known for gold and emeralds excavation. In addition, the coastline offers white sand beaches where dugongs and giant turtles are regularly spotted. 

Chris Mottershead, Managing Director, Thomas Cook UK and Ireland, said: ‘We are thrilled to be offering customers in the Birmingham area even more choice for a winter sun getaway to Egypt’s impressive Red Sea Riviera. We know how much our customers value their precious time away together, whether it is a relaxing resort based stay, or a more active snorkelling or diving trip. Our range of quality all-inclusive holidays provides value for money for that all important hard-earned break.’

The holidays on offer include seven-nights with fares starting from £589 per person, staying on an all-inclusive basis at the four star Sentido Oriental Dream, departing from Birmingham on November 27, 2017 as well as a seven nights package with fares from £555 per person, staying on an all-inclusive basis at the four star Sunrise Marina Resort, departing from Birmingham on January 01, 2018. Holiday prices are based on two adults sharing, inclusive of flights, transfers and all-inclusive accommodation.

In addition to Marsa Alam, Thomas Cook also offers holidays to the Red Sea resort of Hurghada and the surrounding area from Birmingham.

Flight only services are also on offer with return flights starting from GBP199 per person excluding luggage and other optional extras, available to book at

Finland to bank on wildlife to promote tourism

Finland is making attempts to promote its wildlife to attract tourists.

The country is looking to enhance its wildlife tourism, even though it is a comparitively new entrant into the field. The nation benefits from exciting and magnificent wildlife, especially its bears, and tourism planners are confident that their efforts to sell Finland as a bear country will pay rich returns.

Global tourism statistics show that wildlife tourism is growing at the rate of 10 percent a year. Even though wildlife tourism has generally been a preserve of professional photographers and dedicated animal lovers, more people are becoming interested in the concept and in the sheer thrill of watching wild creatures in their natural habitats. Tourism officials in Finland said that travellers are looking for authentic experiences to share with friends and families and could therefore be lured to the country’s verdant and pristine forests.

Terhi Hook, project manager for the Finnish Tourist Board, said, ‘They are modern humanists that have travelled a lot and seen the world’s metropolises.’

Finland is already known as a destination for bear watching, and most of the country’s wildlife tourists to date have specifically visited to watch the creatures roam in their natural habitats. But although bears might be considered the mascots of the nation’s budding wildlife tourism efforts, tourism officials are also keen to extend the scope of wildlife tourism in the country.

Susan Moore, a professor from Australia’s Murdoch University, said, ‘Really look at the small things as well as the big things, and try to have a very integrated product where you have not only bear watching, you might have berry picking, bird watching. And really make the most of fantastic natural assets that Finland has.’

There are many wildlife tourism companies that already operate in the country.

Tourists go in search of the frozen planet

The popularity of the BBC’s Frozen Planet nature series has created a boom in holidays to the Arctic and the Antarctic.


Viewers have been so impressed by the program hosted by David Attenborough that holidays to icy destinations are on the up.


Many tourists are now going in search of their own frozen adventure, booking trips to see penguins, seals and whales.


Whilst it may be difficult for the average Brit to venture as far as the Frozen planet team went, there are many alternatives. Trips to nature hot spots and polar cruises have seen a massive increase in bookings as tourists hope to search out the spectacular sights they’ve seen on TV.


Luxury tour operator Abercrombie & Kent says it has had a massive surge in calls about its Classic Antarctica voyage since the Frozen Planet series has been aired.


Annabel Tremaine, head of marketing for Abercrombie & Kent, said: ‘Our hands-on 15-day Antarctica voyage aboard Le Boreal has really captured people’s imaginations and sense of adventure, combined with the ultimate in safety and comfort.


‘Our sales team have been inundated with enquiries the morning after each episode of the BBC’s Frozen Planet. The fact that we can bring our clients the stunning reality they have seen on screen is really exciting.’

Welsh Wildlife Wonderland Saved

The National Trust should be saluted for protecting one of Wales’ most stunning and renowned pieces of land, by raising one million pounds. ‘Llyn Dinas’ lake and ‘Llyan Isaf’ farm were scheduled to be transformed into a water-sports centre, which would demolish the natural beauty this countryside scene beholds.
The widely admired wildlife spot is the alleged mythical battle ground between the magical red and white dragons. According to the famous fable, the red dragon won the battle, thus it became the country’s beloved national symbol, adorning each of their flags. Llyan Isaf is sprinkled with patriotic history, home to the origin of the Welsh iconic emblem.
The bid to save Llyan Isaf has proven to be the biggest countryside appeal in over a decade, generating donations from over 20,000 people.

Welsh born celebrities such as Matthew Rhys and Catherine Zeta Jones fronted the campaign, contributing generous sums themselves, as they are proud of their homeland and the understated geographical gems buried within. ‘Rhys Evans’, the National Trust’s manager was quoted ‘’I am extremely bowled over by this extraordinary response’.
The farm situated in Snowdonia, sited next to ‘Nant Gwyant Valley’ is regarded as one of the most important environmental stretches of land in Wales, as it remains untouched by intensive farming.

Home to a large community of various wildlife species such as otters and kingfishers, Llyn Isaf epitomises raw natural composition overlooked in everyday life.

The picturesque land looks almost like something out of a fairy-tale. Towering oaks accessorised with copper leaves, huddled emerald mountains, pools of royal blue water, meandering flint walls are all rustic fixtures blanketing the petite brick cottage, enviously positioned in the centre.

One of the world’s remaining story-book beauties remains free of the suffocating interference of man, not destined to be another building site any time soon.

Article by Emma Boyle

Corbett National Park celebrates 75 years of success

The land where beauty meets wildlife, Asia’s first national park – the Jim Corbett National Park becomes 75 this year. Located in the Shivalik foothills of Uttarakhand, the national park has also become one of the main nurseries for India’s tiger conservation movement.


Today it is most demanded wildlife destination in India. People from every corner of the world come to experience the thrill of the park.


It is said that one in every eight tigers of India, live in Jim Corbett Park. According to the latest survey more than 200 tigers live in Corbett landscape which is spread across the land of 2,000 square kilometres of grasslands, river belts, marshy depressions and hilly areas.


Tigers are not the single attraction of visitors, there is also an abundance of  other wildlife; elephants, sloth bears, nilgai, sambar, various deer species including spotted deer, hog deer, and barking deer, and leopards These unique sights attract visitors from all over the world. The national park also has a number of resorts and hotels in Corbett addin luxury and comfort to a wildlife adventure.


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Baby turtles latest guests at Centara Grand Maldives

They were, in some ways, like any other newly-arrived guest at the Maldives: blinking in the sudden golden sunlight, easing their way across the soft, warm sand, and heading instinctively for the sparkling ocean.

These were, however, not tourists, but newly-hatched sea turtles that emerged to the delight and wonder of staff and guests at the Centara Grand Island Resort&Spa.

To the great surprise of everyone on the island, which is located in the South Ari Atoll, the mother turtle had come ashore in the early hours of March 15, dug a hole in the sand with her flippers, and laid more than 100 eggs before making her way back to the ocean.

Staff, acting on the advice of the local sea turtle conservation center, had covered the eggs with netting to protect them against predators and then waited.

Four species of turtle roams the Maldivian sea and nests among the islands, namely the Green, Hawksbill, Olive Ridley, and Loggerhead turtles. A fifth species, the Leatherback, visits the archipelago from time to time but does not nest there.

The female laying her eggs here was a Green turtle, a species that can nest three or four times a year. The female does, however, not nurture her young, and never sees the nest site again. Consequently, the eggs and newly-hatched babies are very vulnerable.

Centara Grand Island Resort has its own house reef, complete with its own shipwreck, and a diverse collection of aquatic life swims around the resort, including turtles. This, however, was the first time anyone at the resort had seen a female come ashore to nest.

As the weeks passed, staff and guests kept anxious eyes open for any trouble. Usually, turtles lay eggs on uninhabited islands, far away from human beings, but very much at the mercy of crows and shoreline birds always on the lookout for the next meal.

On the afternoon of Saturday May 7, to the sheer joy of everyone watching, 102 baby turtles hatched and emerged tentatively from their sandy nest, heading towards the waves. It was an emotional moment for everyone. The babies all made it safely into the calm waters of the lagoon, and from there, once they had gained their sea-legs, made their way into the open ocean.

Set among the perfect islands and blue ocean of South Ari Atoll in the Republic of Maldives, 25 minutes by seaplane from Male, Centara Grand Island Resort&Spa Maldives offers 112 suites and villas. The resort offers diving and snorkeling enthusiasts outstanding opportunities including an excellent house reef complete with a dedicated sunken ship wreck, and is within easy reach of the top dive spots in the Maldives.