Are shorter holidays the answer to overtourism?
Tuk Tuk in Ica, Peru

Good morning. This is what happened in the world of travel this week: Friday 15th September 2023

THIS week we start with a hoo-haa that brings a whole new meaning to going Dutch. Grouchy residents in Amsterdam are bemoaning how tourists are following trends on social media and crowding out a bubble-tea cafe and a chip shop – then slurping and chowing down outside their homes. The anti-social behaviour has led to signs going up which read “go away”. Locals don’t want tourists hanging around. They like them to stay in central areas. But tourists do like to be around locals. They want to eat chips where locals eat chips. It’ll be cheaper. And they don’t want to be confined to the sights that tourism boards, museums and hotel chains create for them. Also, travel is so often sold on a country’s history but what about what’s happening right now? You don’t get that information in a guidebook but on TikTok you do. You get live updates about what’s happening and you follow. You want that bubble tea too. It’s a buzz. They’re following a different trail that spreads the wealth around the city. It’s an antidote to the corporate behemoths. There’s just no knowing where that fast-paced algorithm will land next. We’re flagging this one because this debate is going to keep coming up. Tourists and residents are like an old married couple – they’re always bickering. Here it is in the Guardian

I spy with my little eye something beginning with H?

Quality over quantity: Holidaymakers are booking shorter holidays as the cost of living bites. No longer are they forking out for 10 nights or two weeks but instead booking 7.6 nights. Kelly Cookes at Advantage Travel Partnership told inews that travellers didn’t want to downgrade their trips so they were reducing the days. She said: “What they’re doing instead is maintaining the quality but decreasing the length of stay in resort, so that they can continue to enjoy the holiday that they would have done previously.” To save the pennies travellers are also booking way ahead, choosing all-inclusive resorts and a separate poll revealed holidaymakers were also switching the time of year they were travelling. 

Huge discovery: We are a bit late on this one but this week Chalkmarks found out that from December direct flights from London to Lima are back on. That means no more changing in Spain or the US – you can fly non-stop in just 15 hours to Peru! That”s plenty of time to learn some Español on the avion! LATAM Airlines will operate five flights from Heathrow with fares starting at £559. And when you land, you’ll be just in time to catch a gig by Zen, Peru’s biggest pop-rock band. Good thing their drummer Hans Menacho tells us where we can find him and the top night spots for live music in the capital. Read here.

No escape: Venice truly is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Why? Click here! It really lives up to the hype. In its past life it was where Venetians fled to escape invaders. This week it was tourist invaders who officially conquered the islands. According to a campaign group there is now more hotels and Airbnbs offering 49,693 beds than residents, whose number has dwindled to 49,304. It comes a week after Chalkmarks reported the city council will introduce a €5 (£4.29) charge per day to visit the famous canals and St Mark’s Square from spring. Worse news could come this month as Unesco meets to decide whether to put Venice on its World Heritage in Danger list due to the “irreversible changes” of “climate change and mass tourism”. This means it could be stripped of its status as a Unesco World Heritage Site. The Guardian has the story.

Have you seen our pictures: Our fantastic travel photos, which capture some of our favourite destinations around the world, are now available for sale on Alamy. Woohoo!

On fire: High up in the 360 Bar, the view of Baku is unmissable and unstoppable. You don’t need to wonder what’s new down there. It all is. The three skyscraper Flame Towers with their curvy flicks at their highest point dwarf everything else around. At night they are ablaze – lit up like a burning fire in a light display that changes to giant men waving the Azeri flag and then to the national colours blue, red and green. It’s this radical transformation that’s making this city the new must-see capital. Instead of creating monuments to their past they are designing a rock star city for the future with 30 skyscrapers planned every year until 2030. Being oil rich they can certainly afford it. Already they have built the Heydar Aliyev centre with its ski-slope roof – designed to look like the president’s signature. There’s the Carpet Museum – with a roof the shape of a rolled up carpet – a nod to the country’s heritage of weaving. But the real star will always be the walled Old City filled with narrow cobbled lanes, street sellers and teahouses. Head Baku in the old USSR – a melting pot of old and new, Europe and Asia.

Prayers answered: The streets of a town in Portugal overflowed with red wine on Monday. It looked like someone’s dream had come true. Why had no one ever thought of doing this before? But the river of wine was an accident created when two tanks from Levira Distillery in São Lourenco do Bairro, south of Porto, burst. Footage of the 2.2million litres of wine flowing down the steep hill went viral. Why did no one pick up a straw? Here it is on ITV News

In case you don’t follow us on social media you really should. Here we are, here too and over here. Say hola muchacha! 

See it, say it, sort a holiday!

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