Colors: Yellow Color
Colors: Yellow Color

Passengers and visitors traveling to Frankfurt Airport (FRA) with electric cars can do so with complete peace of mind. The airport’s first parking spaces with electric vehicle (EV) charging stations were created back in 2010.

Now, a further 16 parking spaces with a 3.7 kW supply have been installed. They are located in parking row No. 1406, on level 14, in the P2 parking structure at Terminal 1. More stations are to follow soon – including at Terminal 2.

Directions to “e-parking” at FRA are signposted and the parking spaces themselves are highlighted. What’s more: the electricity supplied is included upfront in the regular parking fee. When the battery is fully charged, the system stops charging automatically. Another plus point for the EV parking spaces is that their width was extended to a comfortable 2.5 meters during the recent refit.

It is currently not yet possible to pre-book EV parking spaces, therefore their availability cannot be guaranteed. Passengers and visitors can find details about other parking facilities at Frankfurt Airport and information on the wide range of services offered at FRA on the airport website, at the Service Shop and via the airport’s social media channels on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

The first Sky Dining evenings at British Airways i360 will take place on April 26 and May 24, 2018, offering a magical three-course meal in the sky with the sparkling lights of Brighton & Hove spread out like a carpet below.

The glass observation pod will be laid for fine dining and decked with romantic white lights. The elegant three-course meal will be served during three consecutive 25-minute pod flights – with starters during the first flight, main courses during the second flight and desserts and coffee during the final flight. There will be a break between each flight to use the facilities at ground level.

The delicious dishes include mackerel parfait with pea shoots and garlic crostini, seared chicken with fondant potato, spinach, glazed carrots and jus; and classic crème brulee or rich chocolate mousse pot.

As the evening unfolds, relax at your table over a glass of wine as the pod glides slowly from ground level to 450ft and back again, watching as the sky darkens, the sun sinks into the sea and the stars appear overhead.

Sky Dining is the ideal night out for romantics or those celebrating a landmark occasion. Customers will be contacted in advance and given the opportunity to book extras such as a bottle of Nyetimber English sparkling wine for their table, a bouquet of flowers or a birthday cake.

South African Tourism brought down a 60-member delegation for a 5-city roadshow to India, which successfully completed its Delhi-leg with back-to-back business meetings and networking with the travel trade in the city.

The 15th edition of the roadshow has been held in Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Delhi and will be travelling to Ahmedabad after that.

Hanneli Slabber, Regional General Manager, Asia/Australasia/Middle East, South African Tourism, said, “The Indian market has not just grown considerably since our entry in 2005, demands of Indian travelers are in a constant and rapid state of evolution even today. This makes cross sharing of insights, trends and observations between our Indian and South African partners extremely crucial. We have had South African products being tailored to suit these specific needs as a testament of the value proposition we see in the market.”

Alpa Jani, Acting Hub-Head, Middle Easst/India/South East Asia, South African Tourism, said, “We have always recorded an outstanding response from the Indian travel trade and are eagerly looking forward to seeing the positive impact this Roadshow will have towards driving Indian traveler traffic to South Africa in 2018.”

Asia's largest airline, China Southern Airlines has launched a new route from the UK to China, with flights between London and Wuhan taking off in May 2018.

The new route will be the only non-stop flight operating from London to the Central Chinese city and will fly three times per week, from 30 May 2018 with fares from £377 return, including all taxes.

The historical city, which once consisted of three smaller cities – Hanyang, Hankou, and Wuchang – is the capital of the Hubei province and is the most settled city in Central China.

Divided by the Yangtze and Han rivers, the city was once a busy inland port, and today is spread across three main peninsulas, connected by bridges. Famous landmarks can be found in the city, including the Yellow Crane Tower (believed to have originally been built in 223AD, during the Three Kingdoms Period) and East Lake, a freshwater lake covering an area of 87sq km, of which 33sq km are water.

“Adding Wuhan to our portfolio marks another important step in making parts of China beyond just Beijing and Shanghai more accessible and attractive for UK travellers” says Nick Newman, Commercial Manager for China Southern Airlines, UK & Ireland. “The city is rich in history and therefore not only appeals to those with wanderlust but also serves as a strong commercial centre for business travellers”.

Based in Guangzhou, China Southern Airlines boasts the largest fleet, most developed route network, best safety record and largest passenger capacity of any airline in China, operating both the A380 and B787 (Dreamliner) aircraft. The new route, which will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, will use the Airbus 330-200.

She is 120 centimeters tall, with sparkling, round eyes and a pleasant voice: Starting today, “Josie Pepper” the robot will be answering questions for passengers in Terminal 2. Whether they need directions to their gate or want to stop at a certain restaurant or shop – Josie Pepper will look them in the eyes and give them a prompt answer.

With the rollout of Josie Pepper, Munich Airport and Lufthansa are breaking new ground: It is the first-ever test of a humanoid robot equipped with artificial intelligence at a German airport. For the next few weeks, Josie Pepper will welcome travelers to the non-public area of Terminal 2, which is jointly operated by Munich Airport and Lufthansa. In her initial deployment, Josie Pepper, who speaks English, will await passengers at the top of the ramp leading to the shuttle connecting the main terminal to the satellite building. This test phase will be used to show whether Josie Pepper is accepted by passengers.

Josie Pepper’s “brain” contains a high-performance processor with a WLAN internet access. This creates a connection to a cloud service where speech is processed, interpreted and linked to the airport data. What sets the system apart: When this robot type speaks, it does not just deliver pre-defined texts. With its ability to learn, it answers each question individually. Just like a “real” brain, the system gets steadily better at combining questions with the relevant information to provide more precise replies.

IBM Watson Internet of Things (IoT) cloud-based, artificial intelligence technologies are behind Josie Pepper’s capabilities. Pepper was developed by the French company SoftBank Robotics. The lady robot was given the name “Josie” by the staff of Munich Airport and Lufthansa when she arrived at the airport.

The latest figures from the Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT) indicate that a total of 76,173 visitors from the UK travelled to Costa Rica in 2017 – representing an increase of 6.7% on the previous year. This positive figure strengthens the position of the United Kingdom as Costa Rica's largest source market in Europe.

Germany (70,960), France (69,803) and Spain (69,782) follow the UK in 2017 visitor numbers to Costa Rica. The UK was also the biggest source market of visitors to Costa Rica in 2016 (71,392), one year after British Airways launched direct flights between London Gatwick and San José.

Rob Wilson, UK Representative of ICT, comments on the figures: “We are extremely pleased to see the continued growth of visitors from the UK to Costa Rica, helped greatly by the BA route. The green Central American country is truly making a space for those interested in unique wildlife and stunning landscapes. With these natural assets, we expect this growth to continue in the future.”

The Irish market also saw a good increase last year. A total of 4,321 Irish travellers visited Costa Rica in 2017, +8.6% compared to 2016. In total, Costa Rica welcomed 2,959,869 worldwide visitors in 2017, a 1.2% upsurge compared to 2016.

Bordered by the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, Costa Rica offers adventure, relaxation, exploration and wellness. From mountain ranges and rain forests to cloud forests and breath-taking beaches, Costa Rica's diversity of landscapes, climates and natural wonders provides visitors with unlimited experiences – including a great number of wellness activities in these pleasant settings.

THE 2018 International Toilet Tourism Awards are now open to submissions from tourism destinations that want to wipe the floor with the competition.

After many years analysing tourism trends, the awards’ creators and owners, MyTravelresearch.com, aim to show tourism destinations that clean, creative, quirky public toilets go a long way to boosting a destination’s image and generating tourism dollars. People stop to spend a penny and end up spending more.

The 2018 awards will go to public toilets in the following categories: Best Economic Contributor, Best Location, Best Design, Quirkiest Toilet Experience, Best Accessible Toilet, Sanitation Progress (aimed at developing economy destinations that have made big steps in public toilet provision), and Overall Winner.

The 2018 awards were announced open 14 February at the Southern Highlands Welcome Centre in Mittagong, New South Wales -- the destination that won Best Economic Contributor in the inaugural awards last year.

Officially opening the 2018 awards, Carolyn Childs, co-founder of MyTravelResearch.com and the awards, told attendees: “More smart destinations around the world are waking up to the power of the loo as a promotional statement. There are brilliant examples around the world. We want to recognise the best of them for a job well done.”

Good Loos a Tourist Attraction in Their Own Right At the launch event, Manager Tourism & Events, Destination Southern Highlands, Steve Rosa, said: “It’s fair to say our loos have become a draw card in their own right since our win last year.”

Childs said the public loos at Destination Southern Highlands were indicative of the transformation destinations can make when they take pride in their public conveniences.

For example, the Southern Highlands Welcome Centre toilets were refurbished in late 2015 as part of a major overhaul of the centre. Today the toilets include a bright colour scheme, posters, audio reel, quirky fact stickers and free Wi-Fi. In recent weeks the centre added a bright mosaic entry wall to the loos.

Rosa told the audience that since the revamp of the centre’s “toilet experience” product sales at the welcome centre’s shop have increased by 20%. “The appeal of our toilets has allowed us to divert visitors into our information centre where we have been able to educate, motivate and sell them products. They also make hotel, restaurant and activity bookings there. It has given us an opportunity to disperse more visitors around the Southern Highlands and keep them longer.”

No Entry Cost for Toilet Tourism Awards The 2018 International Toilet Tourism Awards are free to enter. Destinations or toilet owners simply fill out an online form here and submit it before the closing date of 1 May 2018. Winners will be announced 4 June 2018.

A judging panel drawn from the tourism and toilet provision sectors will be announced shortly.

The overall winner will receive a AU$2000 donation contributed to the World Toilet Organization for allocation to a sanitation project in a developing economy. The donation will be made in the name of the overall winner, who will also receive a copy of every MyTravelResearch.com research publication in 2018 (worth AU$8000), and access to tourism research events. Other category winners will receive the same, minus the donation to the World Toilet Organization.

“The 2018 International Toilet Tourism Awards are up for grabs,” said Bronwyn White, co-founder of the awards. “Let’s see who will ascend the toilet tourism throne and wear the crown for a year.”

Philippine Airlines (PAL) has been certified as a 4-Star airline by Skytrax, the international air transport rating organisation. PAL, joining 40 other well-renowned airlines in this prestigious category, is the first and only airline in the country to have a 4-Star Rating.

PAL achieved this coveted rating after Skytrax conducted a rigorous audit of the airline's inflight and on ground service for both international and domestic flights and noted major enhancements on its end-to-end passenger experience and distinct whole-hearted service called Buong Pusong Alaga.

“This is a big win for the Philippines,” said PAL Chairman & CEO Dr. Lucio C. Tan. “We are elated by this recognition which is a victory for the more than seven thousand members of the Philippine Airlines family. Our achievement is the country's achievement and we share this with all Filipinos around the globe.”

This 4-Star Airline rating is a mark of quality distinction that recognizes excellent standards of Product and Staff service across different assessment categories for both the Onboard and Airport environment.

Commenting on the 4-Star Airline Rating awarded to Philippine Airlines, Edward Plaisted, Skytrax CEO said: "This recognizes the great improvements that the airline has introduced over the last 2 years, both in terms of product change and development and enhancement of the front-line staff service. New and retrofitted aircraft have played an important part in the quality improvement process, and this looks set to develop further when Philippine Airlines introduces the A350 into their fleet. We look for consistency of quality in the 4-Star rating, and we look to Philippine Airlines to ensure this is duly delivered to customers."

The rating upgrade is a key result of a multi-year top-to-bottom end-to-end enhancement of the Philippine flag carrier. “Our Get That Star journey began in 2016. Our efforts over the last two years have borne fruit,” said PAL President and COO Jaime J. Bautista. “Since 2016, we have embarked on a journey of rolling out in-flight and on-ground innovations, opened new routes, increased connectivity across PAL's route network, added new aircraft to our fleet and importantly, invested in the Buong Pusong Alaga (whole-hearted) training of all our cabin crew, ground crew and service providers domestically and internationally in order to enhance the passenger travel experience and earn a higher Skytrax rating,” added Bautista.

“We want to place PAL at par with the world's best airlines. With this 4-star rating, we are inspired to work even harder. We will continue to delight our customers by giving them their desired experience, the best service in flight and on ground, across all phases of travel,” stressed PAL Chief Customer Experience Officer Jessica Abaya.

National tourism agency VisitBritain is this week launching a new global campaign for 2018 to boost inbound tourism to Britain.

The campaign ‘I Travel For…’ uses short films and story-telling to shine the spotlight on unexpected experiences and less-explored destinations in Britain, alongside its globally renowned and iconic landmarks and attractions. The campaign aligns the passions that motivate people to travel with experiences that can only be had in Britain, inspiring overseas visitors to book a trip right now.

The digital campaign kicks off internationally with a launch film on Facebook and Instagram, followed by a series of films and images promoting destinations across Britain. The digital campaign is launching across social media channels from February to April in Britain’s largest and most valuable inbound visitor markets including Australia, France, Germany and the US and its high-spending markets including China, the GCC and India.

VisitBritain Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said:

“Tourism is one of the UK’s most valuable export industries, driving economic growth and creating jobs right across Britain. It is also a fiercely competitive global industry and we are seizing the opportunity to build on the strong growth we have seen, showcasing that Britain is bursting with fun activities, adventure and wonderfully unexpected experiences to come and discover all year round.

“By shining a spotlight and telling the stories of Britain’s exciting and contemporary culture, innovations in food and drink, the beauty of our countryside and vibrancy of our cities, we want to inspire even more international visitors to book a trip right now.”

The campaign has been developed based on VisitBritain’s global research into people’s motivations, passions and inspiration for travel including adventure, fun, relaxation, discovery, culture, food and drink and the unexpected. The campaign uses these motivators to create tailored content for target audiences, which is then shared on Facebook and Instagram globally.

As part of the global campaign, VisitBritain is also working with commercial partners, including BA and Expedia, across its key inbound visitor markets to convert the inspiration to visit Britain into bookings.

Overseas visits to the UK are forecast to break through the 40 million mark for the first time in 2018, reaching 41.7 million, up 4.4% on 2017. Spending by overseas visitors to the UK is forecast to reach £26.9 billion in 2018, up 6.8% on 2017.

With growing demands for air travel and expanding air services in Kenya, passengers flying within this African nation are now enjoying lower and competitive fares on local flights.

Destination Kenya in East Africa has attracted several airlines to fly its skies to attract more domestic flights with Kenyans enjoying lower fares.

Reported this week by Business Daily was the good news to local and foreign travelers with Kenyan skies, enjoying competitive airfares from locally-registered airlines plying between the capital city of Nairobi and other towns inside this African safari destination.

Airline executives attribute the lower airfares as a result of positive competition in Kenya’s skies.

In the last three months, Kenyan-registered local airlines have launched new routes including the far-flung Wajir, that for many years lagged in developed air transport.

Stiff and increased competition over Kenyan open skies remain the secret behind lower air tickets which dropped to as low as KSh 3,200 – equivalent to US$32 for a one-way ticket to some destinations.

Among key competitors, is the Silverstone which is currently operating 5 planes on its local routes. It has recently introduced daily flights to Lodwar in Western Kenya, attracting rivalry on the route that is also served by Fly540, Safarilink, and other carriers.

Nairobi witnessed an increase in domestic flight seats compared to international average in the first seven months of 2017 according to a travel analysis firm ForwardKeys.

Among the top 10 airports in Africa, Nairobi is the only one that saw a bigger growth in domestic seat capacity, while Lagos slumped on both the local and international fronts.

Air travel analysts had welcomed Kenya’s aviation development with great hopes to observe more changes in air business across the East African region where the rest of the member states are limping with their local airlines.

Kenya is the major connection for tourists and business travelers arriving and leaving the East African region by its fast-growing aviation sector.

Tanzania, the closer business partner with Kenya, is still facing incompatible air fare prices which few passengers can afford to purchase, while hostile government taxes imposed on the aviation sector is the other cause for higher air tickets.

PrecisionAir Services, a privately-owned Tanzanian-registered airline, flies to Nairobi, making a good connection between the Kenyan capital and key safari sites, mostly the Indian Ocean Island of Zanzibar, the northern tourist of Arusha, and the commercial capital of Dar es Salaam.

FastJet is the other fast-moving airline plying in key Tanzanian business towns, looking to extend its wings to cover more local destinations in East Africa.

Air Tanzania, the government-owned national airline is still recuperating from losses but flying at a snail’s pace with its newly-acquired two Bombardier Q400 equipment.

Would-be princesses and princes can follow in the footsteps of Gudrun, the Viking Princess' footsteps, with a visit to Scotland with their families this half term and Easter. The CBeebies series, made by Glasgow-based indie Maramedia, is narrated by David Tennant and was completely filmed in Scotland.

She may be a small Viking princess, but she has many big adventures: from making friends with reindeer, to learning to fly a Gyrfalcon, to keeping an eye on mischievous red squirrels - it's all in a day's work for Gudrun. The series aims to inspire young people to engage with and explore the wild through a magical story.

The five-minute episodes take young viewers on a journey, using a new innovative format combining live-action drama and factual entertainment, as Gudrun and her father, the kindly King Sigurd, encounter the different seasons in Scotland and many animals to befriend along the way.

Solve the puzzles of our planet this half term at five star Edinburgh attraction Dynamic Earth, with the launch of a brand new interactive programme aimed at families.

Launching this February is a new, interactive experience – Operation Earth - which explores the environment to seek solutions to the challenges of our changing planet.

Running from Sunday 11th February, the Operation Earth programme includes a new family show and bespoke hands-on activities which focus on environmental challenges, such as air pollution and climate change, to involve, engage and excite family audiences. Intrepid explorers can investigate the microscopic world, take part in food chain Jenga, pilot a drone using simulator software, sample wildlife in the venue's indoor meadow and much more.

Marketing manager, Eilidh Massie comments: “At Dynamic Earth, we aim to inspire people and our Operation Earth programme is set to do just that. Where else can you fly a drone simulator, explore the Earth's oceans and discover an indoor meadow all under the one roof?

“The programme offers fantastic opportunities for our visitors to really delve deep into the challenges faced by our changing planet and has just the right mix of fun, and problem-solving activities to encourage the whole family to get involved.”

As well as the Operation Earth activities, regular Dynamic Earth features include Scotland's only permanent 4D cinema, the ever-popular real iceberg, a bone-shaking earthquake and the Deep Time Machine which takes visitors billions of years back in time.

The programme will launch on Sunday 11th February 2018 (until October) and activities are available as a drop-in experience as part of a visit to Dynamic Earth between 10am and 4pm. The activities are included with admission to the Dynamic Earth exhibition and are free for Explorer Pass holders.

A stunning new exhibition showcasing some of the finest examples of Victorian art, as well as the passions and pursuits of the Victorian Dukes & Duchesses at Blenheim Palace, goes on display from February 10th – April 16th 2018.

Victorian Passions and Pursuits depicts the development of art throughout the 19th century with over 40 works on display by artists including J.M.W. Turner, Edward Burne-Jones, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, James McNeill Whistler, Richard Dadd and Aubrey Beardsley.

Drawn from the internationally acclaimed Cecil Higgins Art Gallery Collection it demonstrates how wildly differing styles ranging from the older traditional artists to the Aesthetes, the Pre-Raphaelites to the Decadents and the Social Satirists to the Exquisites all grew and flourished alongside one another.

The new exhibition will also feature magnificent life-size paper sculptures of the 9th Duke of Marlborough's wedding to American heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt in 1895 and costumes, props and photographs from the 2007 filming of The Young Victoria, which starred Emily Blunt as the young Queen.

Other displays will reveal the fascinating story of George Spencer-Churchill, Winston Churchill's uncle, and the so-called 'Wicked Duke of Blenheim Palace'.

A scientist and a philanderer, the 8th Duke was given the nickname by his brother, Winston's father, because he sold off so many of the family works of art to fund his Victorian experiments.

He visited Thomas Edison the American inventor and communicated with him about the development of the phonograph. The 8th Duke was also an innovator and had electricity and central heating installed in the Palace as well as a telephone system with 37 lines which connected him with every area of the Estate. Visitors will be able to see an early phonograph on display as well as telephones from the late 1800s – all original to Blenheim Palace.

The Gallery will also contain a display relating to the Blenheim Fire Brigade including a Victorian steam powered fire engine of the type found at the Palace, as well as Victorian helmets, uniforms and fire-fighting equipment and contemporary fire resistant clothing worn by the members of the fire service today.

Two classic Wolseley motor cars will feature alongside the fire brigades display, to reflect the 9th Duke's love of motoring. Visitors can view up close a 1901 Wolseley on loan from the British Motor Museum and a later post-Victorian 1912 model on loan from a private collector.

A vintage early 20th century electric car, similar to the one owned and driven by the 9th Duchess at Blenheim Palace, will also be on display.

Alongside the artworks and sculptures, Blenheim Palace is returning one of its magnificent State Rooms to the way it would have looked during Queen Victoria's reign. Utilising unique early images of the Palace taken by the renowned Oxford photographer Henry Taunt, the Saloon will be given a Victorian makeover.

The Caribbean's largest tourism marketing event will be held in Jamaica next year.

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) officially announced that the 37th edition of Caribbean Travel Marketplace will be held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre from January 29 to 31, 2019.

The event will be held in collaboration with the Jamaica Ministry of Tourism, the Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association and the Jamaica Tourist Board.

Produced by CHTA, Caribbean Travel Marketplace brings together hotel and destination representatives; wholesalers and tour operators; online travel agencies; Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) planners; and members of the media for several days of business meetings, including a busy program of thousands of pre-scheduled appointments.

Chief Executive Officer and Director General of CHTA Frank Comito announced that after an incredibly successful 36th convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico last week, the trade association is delighted to return the event to Jamaica next winter. "Jamaica is synonymous with exceptional hospitality, world renowned culture and incredible beauty. We look forward to continuing to offer our participants a high quality program to engage with industry peers and promote travel to our region," he said.

"I am very pleased to announce that Jamaica will once again play host to an important tourism event," said Jamaica's Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett. "It is an incredible achievement for our country and I am certain we will reap significant benefits."

This year's Caribbean Travel Marketplace, which was produced by CHTA in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Convention Center District Authority, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, Meet Puerto Rico, and the Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association, exceeded organizers' expectations.

The meeting received an exceptional billing and showcased the resilience of the people of Puerto Rico and other parts of the Caribbean, in particular those destinations which are rebounding from the impact of two Category 5 hurricanes.

CHTA President Karolin Troubetzkoy remarked at the opening of the convention: "It is indeed a very special Marketplace because it is a recognition of the courage and determination of the Puerto Rican people and our brothers and sisters from the other affected islands to overcome and rise above the many obstacles and challenges thrown at them." She described local Puerto Rican tourism officials as "formidable partners" of whom CHTA could not have asked more.

Blenheim Palace is inviting visitors to take a privileged peek into the Private Apartments which have been lived in by the Dukes and Duchesses of Marlborough for 300 years.

The behind the scenes guided tours of some of the Palace's most opulent and luxurious rooms provide an exclusive 'behind the scenes' look at life in the Oxfordshire UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The rooms, which are normally off-limits to visitors, provide a fascinating insight into family life at the Palace with their mix of precious antiques, tapestries and artworks amongst modern living items and family photos.

The intimate tour begins with climbing the Main Stairs and peeking into the Dressing Room and through the Duke's Corridor taking visitors on a tour of family life, with views into the Master Bedroom and Dining Room. The tour also takes in the Sitting Room where His Grace and family relax and mixes priceless heirlooms with modern technology.

Walking through the ornate corridors, visitors will be led to the Smoking Room which contains full size tapestries from the Alexandra the Great series which were commissioned by the 1st Duke.

The Smoking Room is also home to the famous Stubbs Tiger painting, which is based on a real tiger which lived at Blenheim Palace from 1763 and was gifted to the 4th Duke by Lord Clive, Governor of Bengal.

Visitors will also be taken around the Grand Cabinet*, a room full of unique historical artefacts and family heirlooms. The Visitor's Book will also be on display, and visitors can see the list of illustrious guests who have stayed at the Palace, from royalty to celebrities.

Amongst many rare and incredible historical artefacts, visitors will be able to see His Grace's Dining Room laid with Winston Churchill's own private china set. Churchill, who was born at Blenheim Palace in the West Wing, regularly used the Spode Copeland and Spode Maritime Rose, set which dates from 1891 to 1900.

Guests must book in advance online or at the Welcome Desk or Great Hall on the day; Palace, Park and Gardens ticket is also required.

Heathrow, the UK’s only hub airport, unveils a collaboration with critically-acclaimed spoken word artist Caleb Femi to launch his new poem A Tale of Modern Britain. Caleb’s piece, a beautiful and modern description of travel, celebrates Heathrow’s role as the gateway to the UK, welcoming and waving off international visitors and returning Brits.

With 78 million passengers travelling through Heathrow each year, this powerful new piece of poetry - written and narrated by Femi - uses his experiences travelling, as well as capturing people and journeys which have taken or taking place at the airport, as his inspiration for the film. Looking to the growing trend for spoken word, the poem explores what it means to be British through the lens of arrivals and departures at the country’s busiest airport.

The short film brings Femi’s words to life with his narration framing moments at the airport – from emotional reunions, excitement as people head off for new adventures at Departures and behind the scenes from the airfield – alongside snapshots of life in and around Britain. The video can be viewed on Heathrow.com, on terminal screens across the airport and on the Heathrow Express.

To find out what ‘home’ means to British people today, Heathrow commissioned research asking 2,000 Brits about their views on Britain in the context of travelling.

DEPARTURES: GOODBYE BLIGHTY

Brummies are thrill seekers at heart with almost one in five (19%) saying one of their top reasons for jetting off is to seek out an adventure, whilst 23% crave exploration of unusual places. Highlighting what a global community we truly are, a further 21% say their main purposes for travel is to visit their extended family, with one in twenty (5%) making journeys inspired by their family history.

 

TALLY HO-LIDAYS

 

London, the Queen and the Beautiful Game are what people most want to discuss with Brummies when they travel overseas; one in three (31%) stated they are likely to be asked whether they are from London, whilst the same number (31%) are quizzed on which football team they support and a quarter (25%) of us are asked if we have ever met the Queen when on our travels.

With a Royal engagement, a third royal baby on the way and a global obsession with TV show The Crown, the royal family are firmly front and centre of mind for the nation, with The Queen, Harry, William and Kate all identified as our most recognisable representatives. Beyond the royals, David and Victoria Beckham, Mo Farah and James Cordon all feature on the list of ‘18 for 2018’; the British stars voted as the best representatives of modern Britain*.

The spontaneous singing of ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ in Manchester following the tragic attacks is the moment that summed up the last year for most (31%) Brummies. Over one in four (28%) felt it was Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal engagement, whilst more than one in five (22%) thought that Mo Farah winning BBC Sports Personality of the Year was the moment that best summed up the nation last year.

ARRIVALS: WELCOME HOME

 

The welcoming view of our local pub on the journey back from the airport is the moment at which one in five (19%) of us feel truly back in Britain, whilst buying a British newspaper (16%) and hearing different regional accents (19%) also feature high on the list of what makes us feel like we’ve arrived back home.

Caleb Femi explains why he was attracted to the project: “For many of life’s biggest milestones – from exciting departures to emotional reunions – Heathrow is the backdrop. The airport is a fascinating place to keep your finger on the pulse of modern Britain, as the people who travel through it says so much about the country and what we stand for.  I’ve loved immersing myself in the stories of different travellers to piece together a portrait of the country in 2018.”

 

“I hope people enjoy watching the video, which celebrates what it means to be British and the emotions that unite us all when we travel.”

John Holland-Kaye, Chief Executive at Heathrow, commented: “The UK is a culture that thrives on its connections with the rest of the world – for those leaving or returning home, as well as international visitors exploring the country for the first time.  As the UK’s only hub airport, and after more passengers than ever in 2017, we’re proud to help make these connections with the world possible. We hope that people really enjoy this ode to the UK as a celebration of Britain as a nation.”