Carbon captured: how emissions curbs could curtail our holidays!
Chalkmarks: Grand Park of Tirana, Tirana, Albania

Good morning. This is what happened in the world of travel this week: Friday 6th October 2023

HEY travel fans we all know that travel is good for us. Our own study finds that it keeps us young, fit, heathy and happy. If we could, we’d travel every week. For ever. But the cost of flights, ferries and trains is taking its toll but we will not be done out of travel. What else is there? It feels like game over. Yep, we are having a proper moan because it’s autumn with a cold, dark winter ahead. So, to pep us up, post summer travel – where’s next? Well, post pandemic we have travelled around much of Europe but we have ambitions to go farther. We’ve been thinking about it all week. We’ve always wanted to go to Zanzibar, Tel Aviv, Hong Kong – but perhaps it’s time to go wild and head to the Galapagos. There we are. The planning begins. We’re back in the game. Time for an overpriced ice cream in London to celebrate. Here’s this week’s headlines. 

On the travel agenda!

Tick-tock: Get ready for carbon passports. This is when we’ll get a certain amount of carbon credits to spend each year to reduce emissions and meet the carbon budget which stands as 750 billion tonnes until 2050. According to a report by Intrepid Travel this could happen as soon as 2040. It would seriously impact international travel for millions who want to explore the world. The report says: “By 2040, we can expect to see limitations imposed on the amount of travel that is permitted each year.” It added that many would be “forced to forgo the horizon-expanding experiences so readily embraced by today’s tourists”. Here’s the full write-up in the Independent.

What else: The report also predicts a switch from popular holiday hotspots such as Greece and Mallorca to countries in northern Europe specially Belgium, Slovenia and Poland. Written in partnership with the Future Laboratory, co-founder Darrell Wade said: “This is no longer an impending event; it’s happening now. Tourism must evolve and become regenerative, as the current model is unsustainable. We must recognise that the future needs to be different from business as usual, and that the climate crisis is not a competitive advantage.”

And: They forecast a new era “dawning for the travel and tourism industry” which revolutionises “no trace” tourism. Future Laboratory’s Martin Raymond says hotels will lead the charge saying: “In the next decade we will see more now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t travel experiences popping up across the world.” As we always say: “Leave nothing but Chalkmarks”.

To sign off on this: Tui is already gearing up for a change and will start to focus on selling holidays to the Nordics, Belgium and the Netherlands.

The city of bugs: You’ve probably heard this week how Paris is overrun with bedbugs. And that’s because the news has spread all over social media – not much mention of it in the papers yet. The blood-sucking critters have been filmed across the city’s 17 arrondissements and biting everyone from the Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame. People no longer want to sit down on the Metro, go to the cinema or sleep in their Airbnbs. The infestation is being blamed on the hot summer and people moving around on their holidays. Some say the outbreak is not as bad as shown on TikTok, but authorities are taking the problem seriously. Crisis meetings are being held and they’re sending in sniffer dogs to inspect trains. It’s thought they could fumigate the entire city to save the reputation of the City of Lurve ahead of hosting the Olympics next year. The Guardian follows the story.  

Follow the money: There’s £2 billion worth of foreign currency tucked away in our drawers, according to M&S Bank. On average that’s £93.44 each. The biggest currency we have hidden away is euros followed by US dollars. With many of us not bothering to change it back – saving it for future trips. What’s more surprising is the amount of out-of-date currency we have including francs, pesetas and lira. Remember those? Nic Moran, at M&S Bank said: “It might seem like it will be useful one day, but our research shows that foreign currency in the home often goes forgotten about.” The Daily Mail has more.

Meet the winners: The Guinness Storehouse in Dublin has been named Europe’s leading tourist attraction at the American 2023 World Travel Awards. Other winners included Miami Beach, crowned leading city destination, the Algarve, Portugal, as best beach destination, Huesca La Magia, in Spain, awarded leading adventure tourism destination, the city of Batumi in Georgia was presented with the top all-season destination and The Savoy in London won the best hotel in the capital. MailOnline has all the prizewinners. 

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!

Stout-standing: “You’ve got the moustache,” I’m being told in that fine Irish accent. “Welcome to Dublin.” This is my first Guinness tash – and it’s true, the black stout doesn’t taste half as good without one. A pint must never be sipped. It needs to be a blend of the creamy head with the dark beer. For my next lesson, I should try – in one slug – to drink all the way down to the harp emblem on the glass. I thought the tour guide was pulling my leg but he was serious. I look into his green eyes and give it a go. It’s an ordeal, and I cover my nose in foam. This is the tour… inside the legendary Guinness Storehouse. Learning how to pour and drink is all part of the experience. And the biggest secret of all, despite its famous black and white branding, Guinness is actually red in colour. It’s 100 per cent true. You heard it here first!

Let’s do it again: The North and the Republic are both favourites for UK travellers who make up around 40 per cent of Ireland’s annual visitors. Known for its stunning mountain scenery and unspoiled coastlines, the entire Emerald Isle will appeal to those wanting to be outdoors and explore nature. For a bucket list challenge, the Ireland Way, is a 1,000km (620mile) trail between Beara Peninsula in County Cork (Republic) and Ballycastle, County Antrim (N.Ireland). For culture lovers, the city of Galway held the European Capital of Culture title in 2020. 

Air we go: Last week Chalkmarks reported that Gatwick had capped flights to 800 a day – but then The Mail on Sunday reported the delays would continue for another two weeks due to staffing issues at National Air Traffic Services (Nats). Another 150 flights affecting up to 25,000 passengers will be cancelled until the middle of October due to the continued shortage of air traffic controllers. Gatwick confirmed the scoop saying “the temporary limit on daily flight movements as a precautionary measure” would continue “through to 15 October 2023”.

Face the music: It isn’t new to hear prices are going up so it won’t come as a surprise that Glastonbury tickets are next – going up by £20 to £360. That works out as £72 a day for the five-day festival from Wednesday 26 to Sunday 30th June. If you want to bag a ticket you have to register by the end of the month and then tickets go on sale in November. Question is – who’s headlining? Rumours are Madonna, Coldplay, Dua Lipa, Harry Styles…. Here’s the Observer.

Whoosh: As Rishi Sunak finally announced he was pulling the plug on HS2 for its soaring £100 billion budget, Indonesia opened its first high-speed railway on Monday. With bullet trains moving at 217mph, travel time between the capital Jakarta to the popular tourist city of Bandung has been cut from three hours to 40 minutes. The BBC said the project was named Whoosh meaning “Waktu Hemat, Operasi Optimal, Sistem Handal” in Bahasa – translated as “timesaving, optimal operation, reliable system”. Back in the UK, the PM promised buses would cost £2 until the end of 2024. The rest is politics…

What happened in Vegas: It was a Beautiful Day last Friday when U2 opened the brand new state-of-the-art Las Vegas Sphere just off the famous strip. Inside, the band rocked the crowd – with Oprah, Sir Paul McCartney, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg – as they performed the first ever show inside the £1.9 billion dome fitted with 160,000 speakers and 260 million and floor-to-ceiling video screens . And outside, the world’s largest globe-shaped venue turned heads as its massive screens lit up the Vegas skyline. Built for live concerts U2 will be on stage for the next three months. USA Today has the story. If you don’t know Vegas, here’s where to start!

More architecture news: Barcelona’s famous unfinished landmark, La Sagrada Familia, took a milestone-step towards completion on Monday when the four evangelist towers were crowned with an ox, an eagle, a human and a lion. So far, work on Antoni Gaudí’s masterpiece church which began in 1882 has taken 141 years – but there’s not long to go before construction ends in 2026 on the 100th anniversary of his death. Sky News has the news. 

This time last year: The holiday is back and booming! Industry experts reveal where we’re going post-pandemic As the leaves fell and the sky clouded over in the UK, jammy travel experts met in Marrakesh to review the year’s holiday habits… The conclusion of travel trade organisation Abta was that “The foreign holiday is back”… Most Britons took beach holidays and went to Spain (31 per cent), followed by France (20 per cent) with Italy and the US in joint third place (12 per cent)… Despite the rampant inflation, the plunging pound and the overall economic armageddon, people just kept booking holidays… The all-inclusive package holiday was shaping up to be the must-have break for 2023, booked with a travel agent… Here, we had an exclusive chat with Latin American Travel Association chairman Colin Stewart on why travel agents were the key to getting the travel industry back on track after the pandemic… Heathrow regained its title as Europe’s busiest airport having fallen to 10th spot a year ago… The pound fell again against the dollar (£1.12 to the $1)… Japan reopened its borders to visa-free travel after more than two years being closed since the pandemic.

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