Colors: Yellow Color
Colors: Yellow Color

These troubled times will pass and although no-one is certain when that will be, Ski Abruzzo can confirm that their lodging partners in Italy have said there will be no price increases next winter. In addition, Ski Abruzzo guests can cancel any booking up to 60 days before departure without penalty. In other words, deposits will be refunded.

Roccaraso is Italy's fifth biggest ski area with over 100 km of linked piste and 800 metres of vertical drop. It also has one of Europe's most comprehensive snowmaking systems An average of 350 cm of snow falls each winter for a ski season that lasts from December until April.

easyJet has many flights to Naples from London and elsewhere and the transfer time from Naples to resort can be as little as 90 minutes. Popular with Italian skiers for many years, Abruzzo offers a genuine Italian skiing experience as yet untouched by mass tourism.

Skiers looking for modern ski lifts, well-groomed pistes, abundant snowfall, family-run hotels with tasty Italian food and very competitive prices should consider Abruzzo for their next holiday on the slopes.

During the week, the slopes are, in general, blissfully quiet. The price of a lift pass is very competitive. For example, a five days pass, high season in Roccaraso is roughly £170, with reductions for children and seniors.

Getting to the slopes is easy – SkiAbruzzo.com's programme includes hotels that offer complimentary door-to-door ski shuttle services exclusively for their guests.

Half term holidays to Roccaraso have become more popular with each year as the word gets around that prices in Abruzzo are not inflated at all for the February half term week 

TUI, the world’s largest holiday company and the UK’s number one holiday provider, are delighted to announce that holidays to Sharm El Sheikh will be back on sale tomorrow (November 7) with a flight from Birmingham Airport for winter 2019 breaks and additional flights added in the summer.

Sticking with its commitment of offering more flexibility and choice for its customers, those living in the Midlands will benefit as TUI will reintroduce holidays to the Egyptian resort town.

The holiday company are to giving customers the opportunity to return to the stunning Red Sea resort.

The area was always a firm favourite due to its breath-taking scenic landscape, year-round dry climate with hot summers and warm winters as well as its long stretches of beautiful natural beaches and clear, calm seas. The resort is also widely popular with those seeking water sport activities such as scuba diving and snorkeling in the famous coral reefs.

Resorts including TUI Magic Life Sharm El Sheikh and Reef Oasis Blue Bay along the beautiful Red Sea coast will be on sale, with more hotel announcements in the pipeline.

Mark Hall, Director of Product and Destination Experience TUI UK & Ireland said “At TUI we’re committed to offering our customers an outstanding choice of holidays across the globe. Sharm el Sheikh was always a hugely popular destination and I am delighted to confirm that we are reintroducing the Egypt favourite to our Winter 2019 and Summer 2020 programmes.

“In response to customer demand, our first flights will operate from February 2020 and our resorts are all looking forward to welcoming our customers back with a smile”.

The return to Sharm El Sheikh gives customers even more choice of high-quality winter sun and summer breaks.

Birmingham Airport’s Aviation Director, Tom Screen, said: “It is great news that TUI UK, a popular brand with our customers, has announced it will be reinstating its Sharm El Sheikh service in February for Midlands travellers. TUI has recognised the popularity of this Egyptian destination which will give customers a great choice for both the winter and summer periods.”

easyJet, Europe’s leading airline, have welcomed the announcement by its partner Wright Electric on its engine development program for its flagship 186 seat electric aircraft, named Wright 1. 

Wright is engineering electrical systems at the megawatt scale which will be necessary for commercial flight for its 186 seat electric aircraft. It is building a 1.5 MW electric motor and inverter at 3 kilovolts. These components will form the powerplant of Wright’s revolutionary Wright 1 aircraft and move towards aiming to pave the way for a future of zero emissions flight in Europe and worldwide.

Wright also announced that it is moving its headquarters to Albany, New York, to take advantage of the world-class engineering talent there.   

The motor development program is the next step towards building its narrow body class aircraft. Wright will be simultaneously conducting aerodynamic tests on its fuselage, which will inform the propulsion design. The company expects entry of service of its flagship Wright 1 in 2030. 

Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, commented: “This is another crucial step for our partner Wright Electric to move towards the introduction of commercial electric aircraft and it is exciting to see their ambitious timeline for testing and entry into service”.   

Wright Electric CEO, Jeffrey Engler, added: “We are dedicated to bringing low-emissions 186 seat electric planes systems to market. Wright Electric’s mission is to make commercial aviation greener, and our megawatt engine program is the next step in making our mission a reality.” 

Research released by leading tourism trade association UKinbound and Canterbury Christ Church University shows that the Government’s proposed post-Brexit immigration reforms have the potential to severely destabilise the tourism industry in the UK, putting at risk an industry that contributes £145 billion (7.2% of UK GDP) to the UK economy and £5.9 billion to the West Midlands.

The research includes a survey of West Midlands tourism and hospitality businesses, undertaken by Canterbury Christ Church University with Qa Research, which highlights the critical impact that the Government’s proposed immigration reforms could have on the sector post-Brexit. The survey shows that:

  • 52% said that the proposals would impact negatively on their ability to continue to operate
  • 70% believe that the proposals would impact negatively on their ability to expand
  • 74% believe that the proposals would impact negatively on their ability to remain competitive
  • 50% of tourism businesses cited the limited domestic labour market as the key reason for the continued need for EU workers

This new evidence-based research will help the tourism and hospitality sector to respond to consultations about future immigration policy when the UK leaves the European Union and free movement ends.  It draws from a wide review of evidence, analysis of national workforce datasets and primary research with UK businesses through an online survey and in-depth interviews. As the tourism and hospitality sector is widely known to have a higher than average reliance on EU workers, the research provides a critical lens through which to view the potential impact of a national skills-based immigration system on the sector.

The survey of UK tourism and hospitality businesses in the report also highlights how the reporting of the reliance of the sector on EU workers (approx. 10%) is extremely conservative and such national averages mask the realities of many tourism organisations. Over two-thirds of West Midlands businesses reported that EU workers account for up to a quarter of their workforce. Set against the results of the survey, the study shows that:

  • Shortages of ‘low-skilled’ labour are as damaging to the industry as ‘high-skilled’
  • The picture of skills needs is complex and the distinction between ‘high-level’ and ‘low-level’ skills at the centre of the Immigration White Paper appears to have little relevance to the reality of skills gaps and skills shortages across tourism and hospitality
  • The proposed salary threshold of £30k is significantly above the sector’s average salary of £23k for full time workers

Joss Croft, Chief Executive of UKinbound commented: “This timely research shows that the Government must listen to the tourism industry before committing to an immigration system that runs the risk of forcing businesses to close throughout the UK.

“Our tourism industry is vital to the UK economy and EU workers are crucial to ensuring that this success story continues.  We have a skills shortage in the UK, caused not least by low levels of language skills and a lack of interest amongst UK nationals in the sector.

“The Government must, as a first step, ensure that language skills are recognised as a key skills shortage and ensure that any future immigration system is rooted in what actually works and not in populist soundbites.”

Following on from the publication of the research, UKinbound and other industry associations are calling for:

  • Language skills to be added to the occupation shortage list and be exempt from immigration restrictions
  • If any salary threshold is proposed that it be regionally set to take into account lower salaries in key tourism hotspots
  • Quarterly independent reviews to ensure tourism sectors are not adversely affected

Dr Karen Thomas, Director of the Tourism and Events Hub, Canterbury Christ Church University commented:  “The uncertainties surrounding the Brexit negotiations and the consultation over the Immigration White Paper with the emphasis prioritising ‘highly skilled’ and ‘skilled’ labour migration, have intensified the concerns over the likely shape of the UK’s immigration system after the end of Free Movement.

“EU workers constitute a vital labour pool for tourism and hospitality businesses.  Our research demonstrates that national reporting of the reliance of the sector on EU nationals masks the realities of many tourism and hospitality businesses in terms of the scale of reliance, and the significant variations in sub-sectoral, occupational and regional experiences.  We have identified a wide range of factors which together with a higher than average reliance on EU workers places the industry in an extremely vulnerable position when faced with the end of Free Movement post-Brexit.”

Sir Royston Hopkin KCMG, chair and managing director of Spice Island Beach Resort received two prestigious honours at his recent 75th birthday celebration – the 2020 Six Star Diamond Award from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences (AAHS) for the 7th consecutive year and a Six Star Diamond Award from the organization for Oliver’s, a first-time recognition for the resort’s fine dining restaurant. Joseph Cinque, chairman and CEO of AAHS, attended Sir Royston’s party to personally deliver the awards honouring Spice Island Beach Resort’s owners, management and staff members as Grenada’s premier all-inclusive luxury resort.

“We are very proud to start the New Year with news that Spice Island Beach Resort has been honoured once again with the AAHS Six Star Diamond Award for the resort as well as the first Six Star Diamond Award for Oliver’s restaurant,” said Sir Royston. “We constantly strive to achieve the excellence required in the luxury travel sector to earn these distinguished awards, which represent our dedication to providing the highest levels of customer satisfaction,” he added.

Having begun their two-day strike following the ongoing dispute over pay and conditions, British Airways pilots actions have already seen tens of thousands of passengers being told not to go to airports - with the airline cancelling some 1,700 flights due to the disruption.

And, despite both sides of the argument - pilots' union Balpa and BA - saying they are willing to hold further talks, no date has been set, with the pilots scheduled to stage another strike on September 27. Balpa said BA management's cost-cuts and ‘dumbing down’ of the brand has ment that confidence in the airline has determinate. This countering BA chief, Alex Cruz’s, claim that investment in the operator had never been so big.

The union's general secretary, Brian Strutton, replied: "It is time to get back to the negotiating table and put together a serious offer that will end this dispute. "BA, Strutton said, “has lost the trust and confidence of pilots because of cost-cutting and the dumbing down of the brand with the management looking to squeeze every penny out of customers and staff alike".

Mr Cruz defended the airline saying it had never in its history embarked on such a big investment programme in services and training. He said that the airline was very much “more than willing” to return to talks with Balpa.

It is the first time in its history that BA pilots (around 4,000) have walked out with the action likely to cost the airline up to £40m a day.