Colors: Yellow Color
Colors: Yellow Color

Birmingham Airport is to launch a new flight update service for departing passenger via Twitter from this summer.

Working with Cork based technology company, TIC, the new information service, known as BizTweet, allows passengers to receive real-time updates via their Twitter feed at each step of their journey, from the opening of check-in to flight departure.

Paul Kehoe, Birmingham Airport's Chief Executive said, "We want to deliver information to our customers in an innovative and instant way and BizTweet allows us to meet the demands of our passengers.

"We're confident that the new service will be welcomed by the growing number of Twitter users choosing to fly from Birmingham so they can enjoy the journey through the terminal while information is delivered direct to their mobile devices."

Travellers will be able to sign up via the airport's website or personal Twitter account. In addition to receiving flight information, other operational and commercial information will be delivered highlighting important information and offers.

The news was announced today (Tuesday) at the British-Irish Airports Expo in Birmingham.

Commenting from the event, founder and CEO of the award winning BizTweet service Paul Brugger, said, "Birmingham Airport is very special to me as it was my local airport prior to moving to Cork. It's an airport I've used numerous times and one I know well as a passenger. I'm delighted Birmingham, our 3rd airport in the UK, has chosen BizTweet to provide passengers with real time personalised information direct to their mobile devices by social media".

The airport hopes to launch the new service during the summer.

Last night, Viking Cruises proudly collected the Best River Cruise Line award at the Silver Travel Awards 2017, whilst Managing Director Wendy Atkin-Smith was honoured with the Exceptional Achievement Award in recognition of her continued support for the mature traveller.

In a highly successful year for Viking Cruises, which included the launch of two new Ocean Ships, Wendy was praised for her role in raising the profile of the sector, redefined the perception of River Cruising and widening the possibilities for travellers.

'I would like to say a huge thank you for this award – I truly never expected to win! I'd also like to say just how humbling it is to win an award for doing what I so dearly love', says Wendy Atkin-Smith. 'We are also delighted to collect another best-in-class award for our river cruises. In our 20th year, this is proof of our impeccable service, inspiring itineraries and excellent experiences'.

Viking Cruises' success this year has been recognised at the Wave Awards with the Passenger Favourite River Cruise Line accolade following on from eight wins at the Cruise Critic Cruisers' Choice Awards 2017, as chosen by past customers.

A grown-up summer break on the south coast needn't always be about kicking back and relaxing on a sandy shore or wooded glade – there's plenty to satisfy the more adventurous holidaymaker.

Shorefield Holiday's Oakdene Forest Park may be set in 55 tranquil acres on the edge of the Hurn and Avon Forest in Dorset, but it offers a great base for a holiday of full-on fun from start to finish.

With its Go Active+ programme of activities and loads to do nearby, there's lots to tempt active couples or groups of friends who much prefer energetic breaks to leisurely ones.

Go Active+ offers more than 20 activities for all ages, from archery and panna soccer to sea scooters, body-Zorbing and Waterwalkerz, where participants climb inside a giant inflatable ball and run, roll, flip and spin on water without getting wet.

Not only are there heaps of activities on park, the local area is full of adventurous things to do. How about a Total Wipeout-style obstacle course at New Forest Waterpark? Or try the Go Ape Treetop Adventure at Moors Valley Country Park and Forest, where you'll also find segway trails, walking and fitness routes, orienteering and fishing.

Over in Milford on Sea, adventurers can explore the scenic coastline of the New Forest, beautiful salt marshes and historic Hurst Castle by kayak or stand up paddle board with the New Forest Paddle Sport Company – there's also a special rate for those staying at Oakdene Forest Park.

The sandy beaches, with surfing and zip wires, in cosmopolitan Bournemouth, plus a host of great walking and cycling routes in the magnificent New Forest National Park are right on the doorstep, too.

Back on site, VRoom offers guests the chance to explore undiscovered lands and distant galaxies – through fully immersive virtual reality experiences – and still be home in time for a sundowner on the terrace.

Located in the serenely beautiful French Alps, the charming village of Samoëns is an idyllic summer holiday destination. Brimming with outdoor pursuits and abundant in stunning alpine views, those looking to explore untrodden and beautiful territory this summer won't find a better match. What is more, being just an hour's drive from Geneva – a short flight from the UK - makes Samoëns the ideal location for a stress-free, high-culture break.

For adrenalin-junkie families and couples, the destination offers a broad range of adventurous outdoor activities. Travellers can take to the water with white-water rafting and water skiing, or explore the region's terrain with quad-biking and the latest activity to hit Samoëns - E-fat biking. Allowing cyclists to take to the challenging mountains smoothly, the E-fat bikes are equipped with extra wide and durable tyres to ensure riders traverse the mountain terrain with ease. To get the most out of the bikes and the stunning scenery, book a fun session with a guide and tour the mountains like a pro!

Samoëns isn't all about the fast-paced sports adventures though, since the destination's calm mountain provides the perfect setting for more relaxed pursuits too. Whether travellers are passionate about hiking, golfing, horse riding or playing classic French boules, Samoëns has something to suit. What is more, visitors can explore the relaxing offerings of the village after a day of fresh mountain air by indulging in a massage, enjoying a warming glass of local speciality Grolle after a delicious meal, or cosying up at the village's art deco cinema.

With 188 km of trails, 28 downhill slopes and 600 km of hiking tracks, Samoëns is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.

Sun, sea and exhausted parents; you never forget your first family holiday.   At this time of year, the pressure is mounting on mums and dads to carefully craft a summer trip and create those lifetime-lasting happy memories for their little ones. Having a water fight, taking a toy dinosaur and even jumping in a magic potato are just three of the more imaginative ideas that children shared with, when asked what would make a holiday special for them.   These top ingredients show that it really is the little things that count - and stay with us forever.

Top ingredients for the perfect holiday – according to kids

• Jumping over a net and doing a flip • Eating ice cream every single day • Having friends on the other side of my door • Swimming right to the bottom of the pool • Seeing a starfish in the sea • Having a water fight • Going on daddy's back because I don't know how to swim • Taking my toy dinosaur and the family it's supposed to go with • And even jumping in a magic potato – proof that a little imagination can produce a lot of holiday fun

Because parents only get one chance to book the perfect summer holiday,'s in-house children's holiday experts have pulled together a list of the top most family-friendly destinations and hotels around, based on insights from children and parents.   These are: • Dubai • Canary Islands • Disneyland Paris • Crete • Costa del Sol   Reigo Eljas, Country Director UK & Ireland at, said: “Whether it's playing badminton on the beach, trying a new flavour of ice cream or simply enjoying some uninterrupted family time, kids treasure holiday moments for years to come. Our job is to take the stress out of booking a family holiday, so parents can pour all their energy into making those memories instead, safe in the knowledge that we've got the perfect destinations covered.”   Making a perfect holiday can be hard work for parents, but there are plenty of tricks to make life easier.

Calling all classic car fans! Blenheim Palace is hosting the Pre-50 American Auto Club 'Rally of Giants' on Sunday 9 July. This superlative gathering offers a rare opportunity for collectors and admirers to see the finest and most valuable examples found anywhere in Europe.

There will be more than 400 classic American vehicles attending, including some of the best examples of motoring history and the most valuable. Dating from the early 1920's through to the 1970's the Rally of Giants is a must visit for those with a passion for American motorcars. For those with only a passing interest in motoring avocation expect your interest to be piqued with this remarkable collection of American motorcars, trucks, military vehicles and bikes.

Attracting collectors from the UK and continental Europe to Blenheim Palace the rally provides the perfect backdrop for admiring, purchasing and selling classics. Visitors can enjoy a full day out in Blenheim Palace, Park and Gardens with delicious food and refreshments available in the new Orangery Restaurant which overlooks the private Italian Gardens.

Creating a fresh perspective on Edinburgh's rich narrative of history, culture, heritage and everyday life, Edinburgh's 101 Objects is a new visitor experience set to bring the city's colourful, and sometimes dark, past to life through some of its most treasured objects and curiosities.

The city-wide attraction is a first for Edinburgh with 50 partners, including city institutions, attractions, universities, galleries and local pubs, coming together to each showcase their precious objects in celebration of 1,000 years of Scotland's capital city.

From the architectural grandeur of the Scott Monument and the ethereal ceiling in the Thistle Chapel at St Giles' Cathedral, to a 90-year old paint mixer used on the Forth Bridge and a golf ball once owned by Robert Louis Stevenson, every object has been carefully chosen for both their personal intrigue and part in the compelling story of the city.

Seven themes provide a thread through the Edinburgh's 101 journey through time: Building a City, Faith & Nation; City of Innovation; Arts & Performance; Everyday Life; On the Dark Side and Books, Words, Ideas.  A balanced combination of familiar favourites including The Stone of Destiny, Sherlock Holmes statue and Dolly the Sheep, sit along the first Edinburgh International Festival programme from 1947, the 200-year old Sabal palm tree, the original New Town Plan and the Witches Well.

A new website presents all 101 objects, providing an entertaining insight into each object's personal history and its place within Edinburgh's gripping story. With each item numbered 1-101, visitors can explore the objects, arranging them by locale or theme, creating a personal visitor experience tailored to their interests.  Designed to be an engaging information resource, the site also acts as a mobile geo-mapped guidebook, enabling visitors to navigate the city and discover the physical objects for themselves.

With the May half term holiday out of the way and summer holidays all finalised, now is the time to book a trip to see Santa in his Lapland home this winter to ensure the best availability for departure dates and accommodation.  With the increase in demand for Santa holidays, these magical breaks often sell out quickly. This winter, independent tailor-made tour operator Best Served Scandinavia offers its widest choice of Santa breaks with four different itineraries available in Finnish Lapland ranging from a luxurious wilderness retreat to the option of a night in a glass igloo.

New this year is a 4 day tailor made break to the Finnish town of Rovaniemi also known as Lapland's Christmas Capital.  Direct flights, transfers, 3 nights at Ounasvaaran Lakituvat in a cosy log cabin, a visit to Santa's Village, husky sledding and a snowmobile ride to a local reindeer farm are all included in this magical break. Early booking is recommended with a free husky toy for children under 12 for all bookings made before the end of June.

The quiet village of Luosto in Finnish Lapland is home to Santa's Hotel Aurora, a cosy hotel ideally located for Northern Lights viewing.  This year, the Snow and Santa in Finnish Lapland break includes a magical night in a glass-domed igloo where it's possible to catch a display of the Northern Lights.  There's also a private visit from Santa in the igloo and a guided reindeer excursion.

Cologne Bonn Airport was officially wed to Las Vegas when Eurowings launched its twice-weekly direct link to the vibrant party city in Nevada. Commencing the German airport’s second connection to the US, the carrier will utilise its fleet of A330s on the 8,824-kilometre sector.

“We are very pleased that Cologne Bonn Airport is now connected to this dazzling metropolis. We are expanding our route network to the US ‒ Las Vegas is now our second destination after Miami," said Michael Garvens, Chairman of the Management Board, Cologne Bonn.

Understanding the commitment with the Lufthansa Group carrier, Cologne Bonn’s latest low-cost long-haul destination will add another 612 weekly seats to the US this summer. Joining its existing service to Miami, the carrier is set to launch two further US links next month – Orlando and Seattle-Tacoma – resulting in Eurowings offering close to 60,000 seats to the US from Cologne Bonn during S17, a remarkable 210% year-on year increase in US capacity.

This summer will see Eurowings base over 20 aircraft at Cologne Bonn, serving a total of 95 routes with 506 weekly flights, including operating 18 low-cost long-haul destinations from the airport.

The premiere Beijing International Travel Mart (BITM) 2017 will be held at China National Convention Center (CNCC) in Beijing, China from 16 – 18 November 2017. The three-day event, open to trade visitors on the first two days and to public visitors on the last day, will climax the current ASEAN-China Year of Tourism Cooperation 2017.

With a gross area of 10,000 square metres, BITM 2017 will feature over 400 international exhibitors from over 60 countries. The countries of Southeast Asia are expected to form a significant ASEAN Pavilion to highlight the touristic attractions and programmes along the Maritime Silk Route.

In addition, the event is expected to attract some 400 local and international buyers and is projected to attract 10,000 public visitors as well as 6,000 trade visitors from the MICE, OTAs, Travel Agents, Corporates and Trade Associations.

Beijing, the capital of China, is the world’s third most populous city and is ranked second to Shanghai in China’s outbound generating markets for year 2016. The UNTWO has predicted that 200 million Chinese will travel out of the country by 2020, spending US$422 billion.

“A globalized one-stop sourcing platform is vital for stakeholders within the tourism industry to effectively reach out to the Chinese travel market,” says Edward Liu, Group Managing Director of Conference & Exhibition Management Services (CEMS), the organizers.

To accentuate the ASEAN-China Year of Tourism Cooperation, a panel discussion on the first day of the BITM 2017, would feature prominent captains of industry from both ASEAN and China, exploring extended cooperation between the two regions, in sync with the initiatives being formulated under the Maritime Silk Route.

Another forum on the second day would be dedicated to big data and analytics as well as the latest travel technologies that are being implemented across the global tourism industry. There would also be specially curated workshops running concurrently with the exhibition to provide attendees with relevant industry updates.

To generate awareness for the exhibition and forums, CEMS would be running pre-event roadshows in various cities and regions within China. Participating exhibitors would be invited to join the pre-event publicity campaigns to attract buyers prior to the event.

Exhibitors could also look forward to enriched business matchings through one-on-one meeting interaction technology to maximize the efficiency of their pre-scheduled appointments with the preferred Chinese and international buyers.

For the record, CEMS is the founder of Beijing International Travel Expo (BITE) series in Beijing, China and is accountable for over 13 years of continued success in the tourism exhibition.

Cumulatively, CEMS has a track record of 25 successful professional international tourism exhibitions such as BITE, CGITE, XSPRITE, and CITE, with participants from across 80 countries over the last 15 years.

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), a federation of 32 private sector-led organizations throughout the Caribbean basin, reiterates its previous position to join with the nations throughout the Caribbean in supporting the adoption of the Paris climate change agreement.
The Caribbean is one of the world's most vulnerable regions to the escalating effects of climate change. The socio-economic consequences from rising sea levels and temperatures, increasingly violent storms and severe droughts, oil spills, mismanagement of waste, and coral bleaching are having mounting consequences, and left unchecked threaten the very viability of the region's economies and societies, and the health and welfare of Caribbean people.
Countries and businesses throughout the region, particularly tourism-related enterprises, are increasingly adopting policies and practices aimed at preserving, protecting and enhancing the environment. This is important to the Caribbean's own self-interests and also those of the world, with millions of visitors enjoying the incredible natural beauty the region offers.
CHTA urges the region's countries, businesses and residents to do their part in supporting sound environmental practices. It is important to ensure that the Caribbean remains a safe, secure and viable partner, benefiting its neighbors and major trading partners.

With temperatures soaring to 29 degrees this weekend in Geneva, summer really has arrived in Europe's Leading City Break Destination. Offering some of the most breath-taking scenery and a whole host of outdoor activities, why not escape to Geneva for some fun in the sun this summer.

With some purpose-built pools, sunbathing decks, a cafe and a beach for wild swimming in Lake Geneva, The Bains des Pâquis is one of the trendiest summer hang-outs in the city. Locals flock to this hidden gem in the summer months to bask on the beach. For those in search of a bit more culture, wine lovers can cycle through Geneva's vineyards, stopping by some of the local wineries en route. Adrenaline junkies can paraglide off Mont Salève or canoe down the beautifully unspoilt Marais de la Versoix river.

The iconic annual festival, Les Fêtes de Genève, will take place from 3-13 August, enabling visitors to immerse themselves in traditional Swiss culture. For the first time ever, a huge Ferris wheel will be installed in the Jardin Anglais for 3 months, from July to September, offering tourists some of the finest views of the city and the lake.

Guests can visit the city with Geneva Tourism's 'Weekend Package: Geneva Outdoors' which includes one hotel room with complimentary breakfast; pedalo rental; a one hour cruise around Lake Geneva, and a ticket for the Mount Salève cable car. Visitors will also be able to enjoy free public transport with the Geneva Transport Card, ensuring a hassle-free weekend of exploring.

As eager Brits get ready to down tools and take a well-earned holiday, new research from reveals that a staggering 26 million Brits are set to head off on a summer getaway this year, spending an average of £1,253 per person, per trip, taking into account all the associated costs, including travel, accommodation and food and drink. This is an increase on the 21.9 million holidaymakers who went away last year, shelling out an average of £1,315 on their travels.

Location, location, location

Eschewing sunnier climes, nearly one third (28 per cent) of UK adults are opting to go on a staycation in the UK this year, spending a total of £667, with more over 55’s planning a trip on home turf than any other age group.

Meanwhile, over one quarter (26 per cent) of holidaymakers are planning a beach holiday abroad, setting aside an average outlay of £1,348. Families with children are the most likely to hit the beach, with over one third (35 per cent) planning to take their buckets and spades abroad this year, however it seems those with children under four prefer to stay home and avoid the travel hassle, with four in 10 (42 per cent) settling for a UK trip.

Thanks to the soaring popularity of city break destinations including Barcelona and Copenhagen, over one in ten (13 per cent) will be going on a city break abroad this year, spending an average of £1,167. Shorter trips appear to be a popular choice for students and younger Brits, with more 18 to 24 year olds planning a city break than any other age group in the UK.

Bucket-list Brits

Despite the longstanding popularity of these more traditional holidays, it seems many are starting to take notice of more unconventional breaks; 3.12 million Brits are planning a ‘bucket-list’ holiday this summer - a trip involving an unforgettable, once in a lifetime experience such as a journey to one of the seven wonders of the world, with singletons and divorcees driving the trend forwards. Where cost is concerned, Brits are prepared to spend significantly more on bucket-list holidays, with those planning to go on such a trip planning on setting aside an average of £2,165 for their trip, more than three times the expected outlay for those planning a staycation this year.


Set to welcome its first guests in June 2017, Dhigali, the newest island resort from Universal Resorts matches contemporary luxury with the pure natural beauty of the Maldives. Located in the Raa Atoll, Dhigali brings modern minimalist design to this wonderfully remote part of the Maldives.

The resort is just a 45-minute journey by seaplane from Malé Airport; domestic flights from Ifuru/Dharavandhoo Airport, are also available and including transfer by speedboat, take just 70  minutes. Surrounded by a pristine coral reef and crystal clear lagoon, this 5 star sanctuary invites guests to cast away in unspoilt luxury and rich Maldivian culture.

The island itself is corralled by 20 Beach Bungalows and 33 Deluxe Beach Bungalows to the south, and 63 Beach Villas which line the north and south western beaches. Nestled under a canopy of palms these beach front sanctuaries provide luxurious intimacy, effortlessly marrying the interior and exterior. Outside, spend your days relaxing in the private deck's day-bed or opt for the Beach Villa with Pool which includes a private plunge pool overlooking the sparkling Indian Ocean.

Dhigali's overwater bungalows dot the island's azure perimeter. Extending from the south eastern side of the island is a jetty hosting 24 Water Villas, each one rising out of the lagoon on stilts. Similarly, from the south-east of the island snakes a further jetty housing 16 larger Lagoon Villas with Pools.

The natural beauty of the island is the heart and soul of this unique resort experience. Guests can unwind on superb golden beaches including Dhigali's private sandbank, during season extending up to 250 m from the island or explore the island's house reef, teeming with marine life. Small caves are located on the south western part of the reef where lion fish, eagle rays, turtles and manta rays can be found.

Dhigali offers access to Hanifaru Bay, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve where divers and snorkelers can discover the largest seasonal groupings of manta rays, a variety of stunning corals and huge schools of tropical marine life, as well as the opportunity to spot Whale Sharks.

Dhigali's innovative and authentic cuisine explores the spices of Asia, the classic tastes of Europe and traditional Maldivian flavours in its 5 restaurants whilst their 2 bars, Haali and East are perfect settings to enjoy a cocktail. There'll be a particular focus on fresh Asian dishes, including the specialist Asian restaurant, Battuta.

Hidden amongst the island's idyllic tropical gardens, the Dhigali Spa is a lush sanctuary with 12 treatment rooms, making it one of the largest in the Maldives. Featuring an outdoor plunge pool surrounded by lush natural greenery, the spa offers indigenous therapies and healing traditions.

This remote coral cay promises unforgettable moments, exquisite romance and true Maldivian beauty.

Herefordshire's magical Dewsall Court is inviting guests to discover their wild side on an exciting journey through the senses. The Grade II listed country retreat is hosting 'Where the Wild Things Rave', an immersive dinner based on medicinal and foraged herbs followed by an evening of uninhibited dancing.

The evening event takes place from 6.30 until midnight on 17 June 2017. Guests will be collected by magic bus from Hereford and taken to the idyllic ten-bedroom property, which is set in 15 acres of grounds in the heart of the beautiful Herefordshire countryside and is the perfect setting for the party.

On arrival at the stunning celebration house, guests will be welcomed with Chase distillery cocktails created by Thom Williams and led on a wild route through the gardens and grounds to the recently refurbished Wainhouse Barn, where the sensory event will take place.

Sporting a rustic yet stylish look, the Wainhouse Barn has intricate mandalas on the floor and stunning iron work provided by a local blacksmith. For the event itself, the barn will feature a Hanging Gardens of Babylon installation, dressed with fresh blooms and trailing foliage and will showcase moving projections by Bristol artist collective, Limbic Cinema.

The immersive dinner created by Dewsall's in-house chefs will be based on edible flowers and medicinal, foraged herbs such as lovage, pink fir, wild garlic, sea fennel and sweet cicely, all famed for giving natural highs and mood boosters. The mouth-watering menu which features wild rabbit, oysters, pigeon, cod and clams, will be accompanied by specially selected cocktails from the family owned single-estate Chase Distillery in Herefordshire. Information about the natural, locally-sourced produce will be shared during the evening by a special guest.

At the end of the meal, the Wild Chocolate Club will provide a shot of raw cacao before George Oscar of Set it Out DJ's unleashes a legendary conscious clubbing experience. One of the best super foods on the planet, raw cacao gives a huge energy boost, opening the heart and awakening the mood-elevating neurotransmitters in the brain.

When the dancing comes to an end, the magic Dewsall bus will be waiting to return revellers back to Hereford.

Early bird tickets are available for £39 per person, or £49 for late birds. For those wanting to combine the event with an overnight stay in one of the main house's 10 individually designed bedrooms, all with feature bedrooms, Dewsall Court is offering a package priced at £145 per person on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis.

This summer, Contiki wants young travellers to dive in the deep end and leave their summer holiday planning in the capable hands of the youth travel expert.

Contiki has created an online quiz which matches people's personalities with their perfect summer trip. Like a blind date for wanderlusters, Contiki wants young Brits to be adventurous and book their 'holiday match' without any idea of where they're going.

After identifying things like holiday essentials, how they like to spend their days and nights, and when they want to travel this summer, Contiki's Dare to Adventure quiz generates the traveller's ultimate European adventure. Now, with 24 hours on the clock, travellers have to decide if they're brave enough to take the risk and book the mystery trip!*

To sweeten the deal, Contiki are rewarding risk-takers with a huge 50% discount on the mystery trip. Travellers bold enough to book can be confident that Contiki will cram in plenty of must-see sightseeing, tasty European cuisine and unforgettable experiences this summer.

Adventure-seekers will be instructed to arrive at the Contiki Basement in Central London on the day of their departure. Not until the day they depart will travellers discover what amazing European adventure awaits them.