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2015 Travel Trends For The Modern Tourist

The traveller of 2015 is seeking a genuine experience and will look for holidays that deliver on the authentic, according to a 2014 World Travel Market Global trends Report. According to the report last year the ‘peer to peer’ accommodation trend picked up in a big way with the success of such online sites as Airbnb and HomeAway. The success can be attributed to the fact that the modern traveller does not look to stay in star class luxury away from reality, but to spend less on accommodation and more on experiences. By staying with locals the adventurous traveller is able to immerse him or herself in the culture of that country. So what has 2015 travel in store for us?

It is all about the food

Looking for even more ways to truly understanding a country you visit? Then you will appreciate the new trend of food playing a prominent role. Home-cooks is a new trend where tourists can stay with home hosts or even restaurants for a fee and learn about the region through the cooking. Of course you also get to dine on amazing dishes that represent the region to the core. According WTM experts, travellers have come to appreciate that eating and sampling local food is the way to truly get an authentic travel experience of the region you are visiting. People love to take home memories that are unique and not in the normal guidebooks and feel the joy of having been part of the culture.

Hotels to hostels

2015 will also, according to travel experts see more travellers moving away from star class hotel stays and looking for more affordable hotels, hostels and homestays. This again in keeping with the need for an authentic travel experience, as people look for the best travel deals so that they can spend more on truly experiencing their travel destination. When you spend less on accommodation you have more to spend on proper exploring. Sampling the local food, using the local transportation methods and staying with a local family are a great way to enjoy an affordable and truly satisfying holiday.

Using their mobiles as travel tools

To be honest this trend has been growing over the past few years. 2015 will see more people making bookings via mobile with the WTM predicting that in 2018 this will reach a growth level of 35% using their mobiles for online travel research and to make online travel bookings. It is easy to download the latest travel apps on to your smart phone, so that you can plan your holiday while on the go. New trends also show that your phone may well indeed become your travel wallet as it reduces the hassle of currency exchange.

Smarter travellers

Travellers of today are smart and do plenty of online research before making a decision. Owing to this they are more aware of ways to make their money stretch for longer. They have come to appreciate budget travel and all its benefits. So in 2015 always look for the best airline deals which today are a great travel option, opening up new travel destination across the world for people that would otherwise limit travel owing to the expense.

New travel destination

People are definitely going off the beaten track. The world is vast and offers so much for the adventurous traveller to do and see. Thanks to the now available budget flights and accommodation and travel deals travellers are able to literally broaden their horizons and experience new destinations. Destinations such as Colombia which were once feared owing to the internal strife are now proving to be amazing holiday destinations. With more and more airlines offering flights to these once forgotten destinations such as Cuba, Bahamas, South Africa and Iceland to mention just a very few, you are now able to explore this amazing planet and all its hidden wonders.

WiFi for the modern tourist

WiFi facilities have now become part and parcel of modern travelling. It is one of the first things tourists look for when searching for places to stay. While all other facilities can be basic WiFi has now become essential for the modern tourist. This is not really surprising when you take the world of today into consideration. Gone are the tools of yesteryear, notebooks and pens and instead nowadays we keep travel blogs. We keep in touch with loves ones instantly through social media such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. And let’s not forget about Google Maps that has become essential for travellers today as they find their own way around new destinations. 2015 shows a shift towards more places offering this service free or at a very affordable rate.

Wellness travel

Actually we saw this trend in 2014 as well. After the toll of a fast paced life, tourists are coming to appreciate holidays that help promote good mental and physical health. This does not mean simply relaxing but really taking care of yourself with professional help to get you on the path to complete rejuvenation. This is why people seek Ayurvedha holidays that use ancient treatments to rid the body of toxins, help people detox and eat well. The therapeutic massages work wonders on healing the body. In the same way tourists now opt for weight loss retreats, yoga and meditation camps as holiday options.

Holidays which give back

As humans we are becoming more and more aware of the impact we have on our planet. Modern tourists love to go on holidays they know will help them reduce their carbon imprint or benefit the destination of their choice. Many look for options where they can bike around the region or for hotels that use solar power. Better still many look for holiday options that give back to the community, where proceeds and profits are shared with the locals.

2015 has just started and you can get a head start on planning your holiday. There is so much to look forward to and so much to see and do, so start planning your off the beaten track holiday today.

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Cuba – Four Great Reasons to Visit

If someone asks you what the largest Caribbean nation is, chances are that you will reply “It’s Jamaica, isn’t it?” Well, you will be off by a long way, because that title belongs to the often overlooked island nation of Cuba. In the North of the Caribbean, very close to the United States, yet so far away due to political reasons, lies Cuba, a nation that has a reputation that some claim is unfounded. Others tend to disagree. This is not a look at the political background of this often forgotten country, but a glimpse of a nation waiting to unleash itself on the world as the next big tourist destination.

There are many reasons to visit Cuba, but they can be categorised into four areas, as discussed in Lonely Planet’s description of the country:

A Princess in Rags

Cuba is a country that comes with a paradox – active, yet at a standstill. Visitors should expect to abandon their preconceptions and accept Cuba for what it is. Beneath the Mildew and the lagging infrastructure, behind the 1950s cars and architecturally beautiful, yet hardly maintained buildings lies a culture that is screaming to get out and face the world. Cuba has some class, and a certain richness about it, but it is all packaged in a façade that hides its true self. Like a royal princess having to wear pauper’s rags, economic poverty in a seemingly perpetually limited economy has made Cuba a shadow of what it could be.

Historical Richness

What Cuba lacks in modernisation, it makes up in historical value. It is quite ironic, too, that what made this former Spanish colony a living museum filled with historical forts, palaces, hotels, and colonial towns is what made Cuba the ostracised big brother of the Caribbean. Modernisation never happened, as economic embargoes slapped on the country meant development was kept in a standstill for the past half a century. There is a silver lining in this story – many of the historical remnants of the colonial era are being faithfully restored. Visitors for generations to come will admire the artistry and the craftsmanship of the original builders of these magnificent sites.

A Culture of Music

Although Spanish is the main language spoken in Cuba owing to the Spanish colonisation in its past, the influences of French, African, American, Jamaican and indigenous Taíno populations are abound – often obvious, sometimes subtle, but definitely there. Nowhere do these influences manifest themselves quite like they do in the music scene.

If for a moment, you think that Cuban music has been drowned out by the influence of communism, you would never be so wrong. In Cuba, music is everywhere. Through every doorway of every street, and in the operas and the ballets, in the bars and eateries, music emanates throughout Cuba, drowning out any preconceptions you may have had before you visit. From the hypnotic drumming in a Santería Ceremony to the sounds of a trombonist honing his skills on the seawall, to the rhythmic walk of the locals as they wander the busy Havana streets, music is very much a part of Cuban life.

Cubans – a Lively People

What we have discussed above will all not be possible if it were not for one defining factor – the Cuban people. Strong-willed, resilient, survivors – however you choose to describe them, you will not be at a loss of words to do so. As the infrastructure has crumbles, it is the people who have kept the country going. A testament to this is the fact that most cars in the country were made in the 1950s, and are still running perfectly well, despite the conditions. If you need more evidence, look no further than the beaches, the mountains, the bays, the music and the landscapes of this paradoxical nation, all well preserved and untarnished. Cubans are poets and dreamers, everyone a philosopher, everyone a sage. No conversation is boring, and no rum is left untouched. All the pressure exerted on this lump of coal has turned this people not into dust, but into a diamond in the rough, waiting to be mined, cut, and polished so it could shine with the brilliance it holds.

What are you waiting for?

If you are looking for your next great adventure, Cuba is the place to go. Tourism infrastructure might not be what it is in the rest of the Caribbean, but you will find some great options if you look for them. Travel Center UK is well-equipped to provide you the best deals on flights to Cuba. Call us today, and we will be able to find you the best add-ons at the cheapest rates.

Cuba is the ultimate off-the-beaten-track destination. What more do you need?

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Travel Center UK becomes a Google Partner | Focus | Breaking Travel News

Travel Center UK has joined the exclusive Google Partner program, marking a significant period in its history.

This marks an important milestone for Travel Center UK – a part of the London-based Moresand Group of Companies – which specialises in providing point to point travel services for its customers worldwide. Travel Center UK prides itself on being able to provide the best rates for airline tickets and superior quality of service. A 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week, 365 days-a-year approach; a dedicated, knowledgeable, and friendly team of travel experts; and more than two decades of experience in the travel industry have led to the success of Travel Center UK throughout the years.

The Google Partner badge is awarded to organisations that meet very specific and highly stringent requirements, and includes setting up the full company profile, getting the Google AdWords certification, meeting the minimum spending requirement over the given period of time, and implementing recommended best practices to maximise AdWords performance.

The Google Partner platform is, according to Google, for “Advertising agencies, digital marketing professionals, and other online consultants”, which generally includes organisations which run Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Campaigns and online marketing campaigns. That a travel services provider such as Travel Center UK was able to earn the “Partner” badge is considered an indicator of the success and growth that the company has had over the past few years.

In addition to the recognition, Google provides its partners several benefits. These include the right to use the Google Partner badge on their website(s), the ability to find new clients through Google Partner Search, connecting with Google to get access to special events, training courses, industry research, and product updates, and free access to AdWords certification exams and training. Once joined, a Google partner will also have access to the Google Partners Community.

This success for Travel Center UK has been a result of a lot of hard work, dedication, and expertise by the company and every member in its team in getting ad campaigns running smoothly, getting relevant and keyword-rich content on its web pages, and creating an environment where customers and potential customers can communicate to them through multiple channels, including telephone, email, text messaging, the website, and even online chat.

Travel Center UK’s success over the past few months has been phenomenal, and it only stands to grow with the recognition it received from the top tech firm.

Travel Center UK becomes a Google Partner | Focus | Breaking Travel News

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Hit the Slopes This Winter- Top 10 Ski Resorts in Europe

Winter is in full swing in Europe, and for the more adventurous of tourists and enthusiasts, it means only one thing – time to hit the slopes! When you think about skiing holidays, the ideal picture that comes to mind is a nice snowy mountain in the backdrop of an idyllic little European (or European-style) town, with music in the air and people all wrapped up in their winter clothes. Spirits will be high, and the chilly winter air, mixed with the aroma of the festive season will give you a sense of belonging, and keep you coming back for more each year.

The Outside Online website featured an article about the top 10 ski slopes in Europe, in a countdown format. These are some of the best ski slopes rated based on their beauty, attractiveness for skiers, and facilities available.

10. Andermatt, Switzerland

This resort town was relatively untouched until recently, and in 2013 itself, six hotels, 490 apartments, and 25 villas were built to accommodate rapidly rising demand. The town retains its alpine village vibe, and is famous for its freeriding scene. Located in central Switzerland at the convergence of four mountain passes, the town gets about 40 feet (13m) of snowfall annually. Gemsstock is the most popular of Andermatt’s three ski hills.

9. Alagna, Italy

Alagna’s specialty is big-mountain freeriding. Located in the north of Italy, this rustic little village (population: 400) provides a mountain – the southern side of Monte Rosa Massif – with some great slopes, one gondola, and access to two additional ski areas, Champoluc and Grissoney. These three areas offer a total of 115 miles (185km) of runs, but wait. There’s more! Ski the Malfatta and Vittoria couloirs, two backcountry lines, for a bigger thrill!

8. Bernese Oberland, Switzerland

Bernese Oberland offers skiing among the iconic peaks of Jungfrau, Eiger, and Monch. Wengen, a car-free village in the shadow of the Eiger, where a 100-year cog train ferries skiers to the resort’s slopes. The best skiing destination in Bernese Oberland is the Aletschgletscher, a 14-mile (22km) glacier – the longest in Europe. Hiring a guide is recommended, as there are many crevasses in the area.

7. Zermatt, Switzerland

Zermatt is known as the best ski resort for dining and drinking, as the more than 60 on-slope eateries, spread over its three mountains, offers every kind of experience for skiers – from a Champagne bar in an old farmhouse to a five-star restaurant. The area offers a total of 153 miles (246km) in runs. Zermatt also offers some great nightlife, and visitors have a chance to relax in the shadow of the Matterhorn and celebrate life amid the locals.

6. Mürren, Switzerland

Mürren is considered the best-kept secret in the skiing world, as it is stashed away in a remote corner of the Swiss Alps, accessible only by train or cable car. Although it offers only 33 miles (53km) of slopes, there is a huge amount of backcountry. The biggest advantage of Mürren, however, is the number of tourists (or lack thereof). Being remote, though, has not made a big impact on this resort town, as it is steadily gaining popularity.

5. Verbier, Switzerland

In the French-speaking western area of Switzerland is the ski town of Verbier. With some of the best lift-accessed steeps, it promises those above it in this countdown a run for their money. For what it lacks in terms of ski slopes, it makes up in convenience and world-class amenities. Its hotels, restaurants, and nightlife are sophisticated. The ski lifts offer access to more than 254 miles (400km) of slopes.

4. Kitzbühel, Austria

Each January, Kitzbühel is visited by ski-racing fans (as many as 80,000), who flock to the resort town to watch the world’s best skiers take on what is considered the hardest and most prestigious downhill race on the world cup circuit. Watching is fun, but doing it, even more so – the Hahnenkamm gondola and the Streif offer contrasting, but equally fun challenges. Booking well in advance is recommended especially if you want to be in town during the races!

3. St. Anton, Austria

St. Anton is a charming town steeped in alpine tradition. It offers almost 200 miles (320km) of runs, approximately 440 miles (704km) of backcountry and side‑country terrain, and a great après scene. The area offers some great skiing facilities, including an extensive network of lifts. Also featured are some dining facilities offering an enticing range of food and an active nightlife scene. The spa facilities offered in this resort come highly recommended.

2. La Grave, France

La Grave is the Holy Grail for big mountain purists looking for a no-frills steep skiing. 7000 feet (2100m) of vertical glaciers, cliffs, couloirs, and no-fall zones are the highlight of this popular resort. La Grave is a 12th century village tucked into the French Alps, situated about an hour’s drive from the city of Grenoble. The permanent population is about 500, giving it an intimate family feel.

1. Chamonix, France

Chamonix is considered the motherland for skiers. The 10 mile (16km) valley boasts one busy town, five ski areas, and lift access to some of the best steeps in the world. The world-famous Aiguille du Midi cable car rises 9,187 feet (2800m) from Cham Sud to the needle-nose of Aiguille, delivering skiers to the face of the Mont Blanc, the Vallée Blanche, and technical lines such as the Couloir des Cosmiques, a roughly 45-degree, 2,600 foot (800m) couloir that usually requires a rappel in. Skiing all the way down to the valley floor constitutes a 10,000 foot (3050m) descent! This and more await you at the homeland of skiing.

 

Travel Center UK is geared to take you to your skiing destination of choice in Switzerland, Italy, Austria, France, or any other country. Call us today and book your flights to make best use of the seasonal offers we have in store for you!

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Most-Pinned Places on Earth

Here is a list of breathtaking destinations on earth reported as the most pinned places by Pinterest. You really should take this as your travel guide and plan your next trip to one or more of these awe-inspiring locations. Sit back and inhale the overwhelming beauty and excitement loaded in these places. These places have been pinned on Pinterest by over 750 million place pins.

Here you go!

Paris, France

It is no wonder that this city of love has been pinned loads of times by travellers around the world. Being smack on trend, Paris is a well-preserved city that combines both old and modern avenues. The towering Eiffel Tower, one of the world’s wonders celebrating its 125th anniversary and its incredible panoramic view of the entire Paris town without any doubts ranks as the first choice in Paris. What comes next is a heap of attractions where it is hard to choose a particular one. Paris has everything, a dash of antiquity at the Arc de Triomphe building, a glimpse of artistic flair at the old Parisian palace of Louvre art gallery and Musee d’Orsay museum, a sense of spirituality at Cathedrale Notre Dame church and much more.

London, England

Lavish London is the capital and the most populous city of the United Kingdom. London has a long list of places to visit which is why people have pinned the city in Pinterest the most. The London city you witness from the ground and from above on the gigantic London eye are totally different while both views are undoubtedly breathtaking. Additionally you may cherish your visit to the Madame Tussauds, wax museum featuring your favourite celebrity wax statues. If you are an aesthetic admirer the grand theaters and operas in London screening classical plays and musical shows can be your best pick in London. If you are a shopaholic, this vibrant city will be your ultimate destination for shopping and fascinating strolls.

New York City, U.S.A.

There is no surprise in seeing one of the world’s most stylish cities being pinned on Pinterest by people around the globe. The range of attractions and places to visit in New York comprises museums, historic buildings and statues, shopping malls featuring cheap as well as luxury goods, green spaces such as parks and much more. Widely known as “The Crossroad of the World” the Times Square, one of the busiest and largest pedestrian intersections is a pavilion for entertainment, travelling, advertising and shopping. Likewise the Empire State Building, the skyscraper featuring 103 stories, the Statue of Liberty, depicting the relationship between Americans and French, one of the most filmed urban parks in the world, Central Park are some of the attractions that NY boasts of.

Taormina, Italy

If you visit Italy once, it will bring fresh feelings and fond memories that are unique and quite exclusive to the country itself.  Taormina is one such destination in Italy where you can see the seductive curves of nature embracing all the places. Being located on a cliff perched in the Ionian Sea, when you visit Taormina you have no option but to indulge in the tranquil sea spaces. Additionally tourists visiting Taormina can witness ancient marvels at the Greek Theatre, Palazzo Corvaja etc. Much wanted relaxation can be enjoyed at the public gardens of Taormina whilst drinks can be enjoyed at the bars located in the surroundings of Piazza IX Aprile.

Venice, Italy

The land of canals and bridges surrounded by blue waters is definitely a paradise on earth that has been pinned a lot in Pinterest. Venice, the city formed by a group of islands boasts a thriving architectural style and artistic marvels and is also known as “The Floating City”.  A romantic ride on the classical gondola, a Venetian boat in the Venetian lagoon where the city is located is a mind-blowing experience that everyone should experience at least once in a life time. Taking aperitivo time is a must in Venice to witness the tempting range of drinks served in the bars. A trip to Venice will not be complete without tasting the world famous Italian pizza. Just glancing at the scenic waterways of Venice itself completes your trip to Venice happily.

Rome, Italy

It would be a wonder if Rome was not pinned the most. This antique city that still boasts of ancient sensations and conventional wonders should be visited at least once in a lifetime. Bearing a prosperous history dating back to approximately three thousand years, this magnificent city features archaeological buildings, statues, aqueducts and waterways, fountains, palaces, churches, catacombs and much more ancient treasures. St Peter’s Basilica of the Holy Vatican city, the Colosseum, the great amphitheatre of the Roman Empire, Pantheon, well conserved ancient Roman buildings featuring eight gigantic granite Corinthian columns and Trajan’s Market, large space of ruins of the golden era market place located on the opposite side of the Colosseum are some of the places that you can visit in Rome to explore the royal Roman ruins.

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is an amazing city attributing dazzling festivals, awe-inspiring works of art, scrumptious cuisine, thriving culture, astonishing architecture and much more. This city has a lot in store that hasn’t been listed in the guide books but have to be explored by going off the beaten track. Being located on the Mediterranean Sea, Barcelona boasts beach attraction that has been ranked as number one among the city beaches in the world by National Geographic. Barri Gòtic, the olden Barcelona city featuring many medieval treasures such as a cathedral, Palace of Catalan Music or Palau de la Musica portraying one of the most excellent delicate stained glass works in the world and over 2000 ceramic rose studded ceiling decorations and much more, Basilica of the Sagrada Familia with detailed wall art adorning the entire building and much more to explore and enjoy.

Prague, Czech Republic

Holidays in Prague is pepped with all that you need for a staggering visually pleasing escape in Europe. Being located on the Vltava River, the longest of Czech Republic crossed by 18 bridges including the Charles Bridge, Prague is a visual treat for travelers. The historic Charles Bridge is adorned by an unbroken alley of thirty baroque-styled statues. You should not miss witnessing the mighty beauty of the Prague Castle, the office of the president of the country and the official residence which is also the renowned as the biggest primeval castle in the world by the Guinness Book of Records. Old Town Square featuring ancient architectural styled buildings, the Lennon Wall featuring the most vibrant Graffiti of the youths during the early 80s and lyrics of the songs produced by the Beatles, one of the world’s most successful music bands are some things to explore in Prague.

Istanbul, Turkey

There is no wonder that a city that has witnessed the rise and fall of four empires such as the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Latin Empire and the Ottoman Empire as the capital city has been pinned a lot in Pinterest. This ancient city features treasures to attract any type of tourist. Basilica Cistern, former water pipeline built in the 6th century is a must see in Istanbul for its upside down Medusa column. Aya Sofya is a complicated monument of the ancient era which is a church-turned-mosque-turned museum. Shopping is another major attraction in Turkey next to visiting ancient ruins. The Grand Bazaar, functioning from 1461 and the Mahmutpasha Bazaar, an open-air market functioning since 1660 are a few shopping spots in Istanbul.

Santorini, Greece

An island located by the shores of the Aegean Sea, Santorini is a piece of paradise that has fallen on the earth. During summer this island which is ranked as the world top island escape by many magazines is flooded by millions of tourists. This island, located by an active volcanic caldera boasts a unique feature which is its whitewashed cubical kind of houses. A special kind paint or colour is used which is made out of volcanic ashes to paint the houses built with local stones. This most sought after romantic escape is also a famous wedding destination. Lunar shaped landscapes, volcanic pebbles, red to white to black sands by the shores and the deep blue waters and the white cubical dwellings are rare and near impossible to find anywhere else in the world.

Source : http://mashable.com/2014/06/21/most-pinned-places-on-earth/

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