Hollywood stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have made a visit to the ancient temples in Egypt as part of preparations for Jolie’s upcoming role as Cleopatra.
Their trip comes as tourism officials in the country revealed a huge increase in visitors in April.
After arriving in Aswan, the couple, referred to by fans as Brangelina, visited the Philae Temple located on an island in the River Nile.
They also had a look around the Nubian Museum on the first day of their visit.
On their second day, the pair saw Kom Ombo and the Edfu Temple, before taking a trip to perhaps the most famous site in Egypt, the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens. They made a stop off at King Tutankhamun’s Tomb, as well as Queen Hatshepsut’s Temple and the Abu Simbel Temple.
Following their visit to the country, Jolie revealed she would choose Egypt as one of her top getaway destinations. She said: “I’m converted completely on Egypt, this would be my hideaway place.”
The Hollywood couple’s visit comes as the Central Agency for Public Mobility and Statistics revealed a 30% increase in tourism numbers in April compared with the same month in 2011. According to the figures, 1.05 million people visited Egypt in April.
Airports such as Luton and Stansted are likely to have been busy with tourists heading to Egypt as the data shows the majority of visitors were from Western Europe.
Stansted and Luton airports may be busier than usual this summer after a new survey showed millions more Britons are looking to get away from the miserable weather and the sport overload.
The research, carried out by satnav firm Tom Tom showed just over one in five (21%) people said they would not take a holiday this summer.
Last year, more than a quarter (26%) admitted they would not take a break, mainly due to efforts to save money.
This year’s figures could prove a welcome boost for the travel industry in the UK, with plane bookings and hotel reservations set to increase.
The survey also showed many people would be taking their holidays in June and July this year to avoid big national events in the UK.
According to the figures, around 21% of people are taking their holidays in June and July, while 22% will head away in August.
Twelve months ago, just 17% chose to take a break in June, and 18% in July. Almost a quarter (24%) took their holiday in August.
While many people took holidays in the UK last year to save money, around a third (31%) said they were looking for sunshine this summer, while more than four in 10 (42%) said they wanted to go somewhere just to ‘relax’.
According to a survey, people avoid breaking up with their partners so they don’t miss out on a holiday together.
The survey was done by online travel agent sunshine and revealed that 9% of people have postponed a break up so they could still take a trip. However, it was also revealed that 11% of people have broken up a relationship so they could go travelling as single holidaymakers.
Sunshine asked 1,839 adults about their holidays. The 9% who admitted postponing a split said they just did not want to miss out on a trip that had already been planned, while 82% told the site they broke up with their partners right after the holiday, with most breaking ties two weeks later.
However, another 18% who stayed with their partners after going on holiday said the trip made their relationship stronger by bringing them closer together, while others simply said they changed their minds. And one group said they stayed in the relationship out of ‘habit’.
Sunshine co-founder Chris Clarkson said: “I can’t imagine how awkward it must be to have booked a holiday with your partner, or your partner and their whole family, only to realise just before that you don’t want to be in the relationship anymore.”
Experiencing New York is something most people want to do at least once in their lifetime, but research has shown you have to pay a high price for the privilege.
Whether it’s enjoying the Big Apple’s alluring boutiques, savouring the views at the top of the Empire State Building or taking a stroll through Central Park, there is a reason for everyone to head to the airport with great excitement.
But although you would expect the cost of seeing Spiderman: Turn off the Dark on Broadway, or eating out at Planet Hollywood in Times Square to cost a pretty penny, the findings also show that ‘the city that never sleeps’ has the highest hotel room rates among the most fashionable locations.
Hotels.com has revealed that the average room prices in New York rose by 4% to £173 in 2011, while Berlin – which is the most affordable top fashion city – saw rates fall by 3% to just £73.
Following the Big Apple, which has been made famous by much-loved shows such as Friends and Sex in the City, was Singapore, which saw prices rise by 11% to £136.
London, which is easily accessed via Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted airports by overseas tourists, was the fifth most expensive location.
The capital’s average hotel room rate climbed by 1% to £115 in 2011.
Los Angeles (£111), Barcelona (£104) and Tokyo (£102) all had cheaper rates than London last year.
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Caribbean Airlines has launched a new twice-weekly route from Gatwick Airport to Trinidad and Tobago.
The service was launched over the weekend and was the first time for five years that the airline, which is the national carrier for Trinidad and Tobago, has welcomed passengers at Gatwick.
Tourists departed from the London airport at 11.50am heading for Piarco International Airport in Port of Spain. The return flight leaves at 6.40pm and arrives at Gatwick at 9am the next day.
Robert Corbie, Caribbean Airlines’ Chief Executive Officer, explained that the airline is thrilled to be able to provide such a vital link between the capital and the Caribbean.
“We are well positioned strategically to become the preferred airline for all customers flying between London and the Caribbean with seamless connections to South America. ‘Fly Caribbean’ to experience the warmth of the islands as soon as you step on board,” he said.
Guy Stephenson, Gatwick Airport’s chief commercial officer, explained that the new services will be important for business travellers and holidaymakers alike.
“This non-stop service will not only be welcomed by business travellers with links to the economic hub of Trinidad but also with holidaymakers wanting to soak up the Caribbean sun and vibrant culture this destination offers,” he said.
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One of the last rainforests in Europe, epic mountains and idyllic rivers decorate the landscape of Montenegro, an often neglected holiday destination.
Nestled in the south of the Adriatic, the particularly welcoming tourist spot for families looks set to be discovered by more holidaymakers now that direct flights from Gatwick have been launched.
Along the Lustica peninsula there are child-friendly sandy beaches like Blue Horizons, bordered by cypress trees and with shallow water stretching 50ft out making it ideal for paddling.
In the Bay of Kotor, a favourite with those in the know, gentle waters lead into the Adriatic Sea and parents can enjoy the quaint ninth-century town while children play games in one of the many squares.
Kids can also enjoy a wealth of play parks, while the bargain ice creams will please the whole family.
And infrastructure is far from perfect; hiring a car is a must to get around in the region – and some of the some of the coastal roads in particular can feel a little narrow – though the charm of the place more than compensates for the minor flaws.
The warmth of the locals, the majestic natural vistas and the stunning weather mean heading to Montenegro this summer would herald an unforgettable experience.
Holidaymakers who think twice about trip destinations could be rewarded with savings of up to £450, research suggests.
A survey carried out by Post Office Travel Money revealed that although people perceive countries like Spain and Turkey to be best value, money actually goes a lot further in countries such as Portugal and Bulgaria.
Based on a one-week summer break for two, including the cost of meals and drinks out, Bulgaria was a better deal than Spain, offering this package for £955 compared to a bill of £1,088.
Meanwhile, Croatia emerged as a surprisingly dear destination with a one week holiday likely to cost two people a hefty £1,361.
The same length of stay would cost just £904 in Portugal.
Many of the holidaymakers surveyed wrongly believed that heading to Turkey or Spain from the airport was their best bet, with only 15% in the know about the benefits of vacations in Bulgaria, whose capital Sofia is easily accessible from Stansted or Heathrow.
Andrew Brown, head of Post Office Travel Money said: “We always advise people to take all holiday costs into account when choosing a destination and this research shows why that is so important.
“In tough times, it is hard to stay loyal when there are big savings to be made by swapping to a destination that is over a third cheaper.”
A new report has found that the proportion of over-45s taking a foreign holiday increased to around 50% last year, up from 47% in 2006.
The research by holiday company Page & Moy also revealed that British holidaymakers aged between 45 and 64 accounted for 41% of spending on foreign holidays in 2010 and 2011.
Travellers over the age of 65 were found to take the most holidays abroad among the over-45s, with more than one in four (28%) going on at least two foreign holidays a year. The overall average was less than one in five (19%).
Britons aged 65 or over are also the most prolific domestic travellers, as one in four was found to take two holidays in the UK a year and one in five even takes three trips or more.
Around one in 11 trips abroad (9%) made by over-65s in 2010 was at least a month in length, and four in 10 (40%) spent at least two weeks on a foreign holiday.
The report, by Page & Moy’s specialist company Travelsphere and Mintel Research Consultancy, also found that the number of long-haul trips taken by people aged 55-64 increased between 2008 and 2010, while it decreased in all other age groups.
Travelsphere’s top long-haul destinations are USA, Canada, China and India, with flights usually departing from Heathrow airport.
Copyright Press Association 2012
Aerospace company BAE Systems has announced it is trialling pilotless flights in Britain using its Jetstream aircraft.
The company said that unmanned flights could play a role in search-and-rescue operations and also help to detect volcanic ash cloud.
There will be two pilots on board during the test flights to ensure a smooth take-off and landing, but the aircraft will be flown by a computer as soon as it is airborne.
BAE Systems said its Jetstream aircraft have highly sophisticated computer systems that can recognise weather conditions and avoid collisions with other planes. In case of an emergency, the systems can also identify a safe place for the aircraft to land.
BAE Systems spokesman Simon Shrouder said: “Everyone has to be satisfied that this plane can fly safely and land safely.
“Once confidence in the aircraft grows, it could be used for such things as coastal patrols, search-and-rescue missions and checking out possible volcanic ash clouds.”
The company hopes that the trials will convince the Civil Aviation Authority and air traffic control service providers that UAVs (uninhabited air vehicles) can be used safely in British airspace.
Successful trials could even lead to the introduction of unmanned passenger flights in the UK, the company said, although it is likely to take many years before passengers at Heathrow or Stansted airports will be able to board a pilotless flight.
Copyright Press Association 2012
Passengers can once again fly to Iceland from London Stansted after Wow Air and Iceland Express introduced services to Reykjavik – the country’s capital.
Britons who fancy a holiday in the island country – which takes approximately three hours to fly to from the UK – could use one of many bus services to Stansted to ensure they get to the airport on time without having to worry about navigating through traffic.
Stansted’s airline, route and marketing manager, Paul Haynes, said: “We’re delighted Iceland Express has returned to Stansted and welcome Wow Air onto our network.
“Iceland has always been a popular destination and these new services are not only great news for Iceland’s tourist industry but will be a boost for Icelanders looking for convenient connections to London and wider East of England for both business and leisure travel.
“With afternoon and evening departures the services offer flexibility to passengers and we wish both airlines every success with their new Stansted connections.”
For those not in the know, Iceland is situated in the North Atlantic Ocean and is renowned for its geysers, glaciers, whale watching, geothermal Blue Lagoon and erupting volcano Eyjafjallajökull.
The news of the new flight service to Iceland comes after it was revealed by BAA that the popularity of southern European countries such as Spain and Greece as holiday destinations is on the decline.
In May, the number of passengers flying from Heathrow to Greece fell by 11.3% compared to a year ago, while passengers to and from Portugal and Italy fell by 11.4% and 9.2% respectively. A 2.5% decline was recorded in passengers flying to and from Spain for a holiday.
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