This year could see British travellers increasingly looking for holidays that allow them to give something back to their destinations.
That’s the prediction of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), which has coined two specific terms for such trips. One is ‘chadventures’, a combination of adventure and raising money for charity. The other is ‘voluntourism’, where travellers elect to do voluntary work overseas. The popularity of this has prompted some tour operators to join forces with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).
In its annual survey, ABTA also sees a demand in 2010 for what it calls ‘X-factor destinations’ with something different to offer. Examples, it says, might be a trip to South Africa for the soccer World Cup or to the setting of the Twilight teen vampire saga – Forks in Washington State.
Demand should be good for Istanbul, next year’s European City of Culture, while ABTA said it also found a desire to visit areas emerging from troubled times, such as Sri Lanka or Iraq.
Egypt, Turkey and Morocco are also predicted to be strong destinations for 2010, as investment in luxury hotels and infrastructure - including more efficient airports and roads - look set to attract holidaymakers searching for high standards at lower costs.
by Andy Moreton
Tourism and soccer officials in South Africa have warned airlines, hotels and restaurants not to charge exorbitant prices during next year’s World Cup tournament.
Tourism official Calvyn Gilfellan said he was worried that if businesses viewed the month-long event as a cash cow it would harm South Africa’s tourism industry.
Kevin Miles, who coordinates international travel for England soccer supporters, said:
“It’s far better to create an impression that will encourage people to return to the country in years to come. That’s what happened with Germany – there was a big hike in tourism after 2006.”
South Africa is expecting a tourism boom during the tournament, with some 500,000 visitors spending about $850 million (£520 million). Twenty-five new hotels have been built and other types of accommodation will also be available, including university halls of residence, safari park lodges and even cruise liners.
One concern is transport. Teams up will have to travel vast distances to play their matches. In Group G, one of the teams faces having to play a game in Johannesburg, followed by one in Cape Town - a distance of 880 miles.
At the draw for the opening stages of the tournament, the United States and England found themselves in the same group. The toughest group is probably the once consisting of Portugal, Brazil, Ivory Coast and North Korea.
by Andy Moreton
If you’re looking for a bit of pampering to go with the soccer, check out Luxique’s selection of luxury hotels in South Africa.
Now that the euphoria of winning the 2016 Olympics has died down, Rio de Janeiro must put its mind to a monumental challenge.
In fact, the Brazilian city is faced with two massive challenges because it’s also staging the football World Cup in 2014. Work has yet to start on 12 World Cup arenas and Rio now has to build another range of venues as well as updating the transport infrastructure and building an athletes’ village.
Rio’s Tourism Secretary, Antonio Pedro Figueira de Mello, dismissed any doubts. “We did our homework and showed we had the capacity to stage the games here. Rio de Janeiro is prepared, it has shown this in the past and it is going to demonstrate it again with clarity for the world in 2016.”
Brazil will be relying on a strong economy - one of the first to emerge from the economic crisis - to provide much of the budget for the Olympics.
Commentators say the decision seems to mark a defining moment for South America’s largest country, which despite its struggles with inequality, poverty and violence, is carving out a new leadership role for itself in the developing world.
by Andy Moreton
Luxique has the best available rates at some of the finest luxury hotels in Rio de Janeiro, including the famous Copacabana Palace.