29 October 2012

Hurricane Sandy Assaults US East Coast

For all of you who follow the latest news, you know that we had to cover Hurricane Sandy this week. It’s a storm the likes of which the East Coast of America hasn’t seen before. 

Some more southern states, like Florida, are used to hurricanes and other storm patterns, but the upper East Coast (where New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Massachusetts reside) will bear the brunt of the largest storm they’ll have seen in years.

On top of this, meteorologists believe that Hurricane Sandy could merge with a storm pattern coming in from the west, resulting in a ‘Frankenstorm’. The name isn’t all that great, but an apt description of the amalgamation of these two weather fronts.

22 October 2012

Luxury Break for Two from Mosaic Holidays Competition

Luxury tour operator Mosaic Holidays have started their first ever Facebook competition. With support from the Jordan Tourist Board and Marriott Hotels, the prize is a fantastic trip for two down to Jordan.

A beautiful and historic country, the lucky winners will be staying in the 5 star Marriott hotel on the Dead Sea before moving to the equally fabulous Marriott in Petra. The stay includes flights, hotel bookings and transfers and will also give you the chance to explore the wonderful Rose City itself. We have previously written an article about just how beautiful it is.

You can find the competition on Facebook on the MosaicHolidays Facebook Page. It just requires a funny or adventurous story that you’d like to share. Once it’s submitted, you’ve got to get people to vote for it! The most votes wins, so make sure you get your friends involve (if you enter) and make it entertaining enough that strangers will love it.

15 October 2012

Travelodge Financial Restructuring Complete

With the arrival of new owners to the budget-hotel chain, taking over from Dubai International Capital with a debt-for-equity swap, the company have announced a restructuring to potentially halve their bank borrowing.

Creditors agreed to the terms in a Company Voluntary Arrangement that cut the company’s total debt from £635 million to £329m. This is with £235m written off completely and £71m repaid by the new owners. The repayment date has been extended to 2017, with an interest rate of 0.25% above LIBOR until the end of 2014.

03 October 2012

Britons Call for Air Passenger Duty to be Scrapped

A campaign to get the APD removed or at least cut from flights out of Great Britain was launched this summer. At the moment, British tourists are paying the highest amount of tax for their flights in the world. It also affects any visitors to the UK on their return flights.

Britons that visit the website www.afairtaxonflying.org are encouraged to enter their name, postcode and email address. The site will then send an automated message to that individual’s local MP communicating disapproval of the level of tax paid by British fliers.

More than 200,000 people have so far sent an email to their MP with a desire to consider lowering or abolishing the tax added onto flights. Michael Gove and Vince Cable have received the most complaints about the issue, having received 1,224 and 1,171 emails respectively.

David Cameron, Prime Minister, has already had more than 500 constituents contact him about the issue ahead of further rises in APD planned within the next 12 months. 80,000 non-UK residents have also expressed their displeasure with the UK Treasury.

The current APD on travel out of Britain has been accused of limiting families from flying abroad, discouraging tourists from flying into the UK and even the decline of tourism to countries heavily reliant on the travel industry, like the Caribbean.

A family of four travelling to Europe must pay £52 in tax. Flying to other countries can cost even higher amounts. To travel to the Caribbean will add £324 in tax and those visiting Australia are hit with a £368 worth of APD. These costs double if tourists wish to travel in premium-economy or above.

With the UK having the highest rate of APD, far more than the rest of the world, support for the campaign is growing. A review into the impact of APD was called for in Parliament after more than 100 MPs signed an early-day motion in June.

The government’s reaction remains to be seen.

photo courtesy of joshuapiano