Easter holiday: Take three days off and get away with 11

Thanks to the way the bank holidays have fallen and the extra day off for the Royal Wedding, this Easter will feel like a much longer holiday than usual. Especially if you take three days off in the middle, this will give you an extra long break of eleven days.

Thanks to Good Friday falling later than usual, April 22, followed by the royal wedding on the 29th and then the May Day bank holiday on the 2, many of us will be escaping the office for longer than usual.

In fact take three days off , April 26 – 28, and you’ll end up with eleven days of Easter holiday.

For many children and parents the school break has already started, with this weekend predicted to be busiest of all. Short haul destinations over to Europe are most popular at Easter, with Rome, Venice and Barcelona being top, reports British Airways.

Paul Furner, boss of TravelRepublic.co.uk, said: “Sales are up by an astonishing 59.3% over the same period last year.

“The run of bank holidays and the fact that the royal wedding is being screened and celebrated in lots of places outside the UK, has been too much to resist.”

But Mr Furner added: “We are also seeing strong demand from those wanting to escape the ­celebrations completely.”

If your planning on spending the extra long Easter break at home, the forecast is looking good – dry and fair for most of the eleven days.

Tesco’s Trevor Datsun said: “This is the earliest in the year we’ve ever had major demand for BBQ food and charcoal. The great weather has created a feelgood factor and got the whole nation anticipating a BBQ weekend.”

The hot weather is also expected to tempt many to the seaside.

The AA said: “We expect an increase in traffic due to early Easter holidays and a rush to the beaches. But a day-trip to the beach will cost 14p a litre more than it did just 12 months ago.”

Time to scrap Air Passenger Tax

The world’s leading private sector of travel and tourism businesses has called for the UK Air Passenger Duty (APD) to be abolished ahead of the introduction of the European Emissions Trading Scheme in 2012.

Championed by the World Travel&Tourism Council (WTTC), the call follows the British government unveiling its budget (March 23, 2011). The budget has abandoned an industry-pacifying consultation on changes to the much-derided tax and delayed yet another rise in the fee, which would inevitably have been passed on to travelers.

APD has always been a blunt instrument and a bad tax. Whether in its current per-passenger form or as a per-plane version, it is bad for the consumer and bad for the international competitiveness of UK plc. The advent of the European Emissions Trading Scheme is an ideal opportunity for government to scrap it entirely,” said David Scowsill, President&CEO of WTTC. “It is time to admit that APD has failed to offset any environmental impact from people’s travel.”

The European Emissions Trading Scheme is much fairer and more effective in incentivising the use of cleaner, “greener” transport, while APD simply raises money for Treasury coffers with no evidence that it offsets the environmental cost of travel. By not scrapping APD, claims WTTC, the government will force British holidaymakers and business travelers to “fly once, but pay twice” when EU-ETS comes into force. It will hit people’s wallets and their ability to take a break at a time when government austerity measures are already impacting their lives.

Taxation policies such as APD could also threaten the UK’s status as a tourism destination and its international competitiveness. Travel and tourism is worth £105 billion to UK plc, 7% of GDP, and employs some 2.4 million people. Its contribution to GDP will increase by 3.7% a year and bring with it 512,000 new jobs to the UK over the next decade. However, compared to the rest of the world, the country’s growth ranks a lowly 127th out of 181 countries.

Despite economic growth facing many challenges, the travel and tourism industry is still expected to be one of the world’s fastest-growing sectors. But it must have clear support with governments investing in far smarter policies if its full potential to create jobs, increase exports, and stimulate investment is to be realized,” concluded David.

If the chancellor really seeks a ‘budget for growth,’ then it’s time to turn to tourism,” David stated.

The World Travel&Tourism Council represents the chairs and chief executives of multinational brands from aviation, hospitality, tour operator, and travel agent sectors. It works with governments around the world to encourage policies to help travel and tourism thrive.

First Choice travel to go all-inclusive from 2012

The all-inclusive holiday has been revived as travellers try to keep to a tight budget. Going all-inclusive has become hugely popular due to the recession, as holiday makers keep the holiday spending to a minimum.

Now First Choice, one of the UK’s largest travel operators, has announced it will be embracing this trend and making all of its holidays all-inclusive from 2012. This leaves travellers to pay for their holiday and need little in the way of spending money when actually abroad. Everything from flights, to food and drink – including alcoholic beverages – are included

Johan Lundgren, the UK and Ireland managing director of First Choice’s parent company Tui said: ‘All-inclusive is becoming the holiday of choice for many British consumers, offering them great value for money, yet there is no mainstream holiday company currently offering a completely all-inclusive portfolio’.

He continued: ‘People can leave their wallets at home and relax – they won’t have to worry about spending money when they’re abroad’.

Promising to continue to offer highly competitive prices, First Choice have said families can expect to save around £500 by going all-inclusive rather than just bed and breakfast.

Growth in the all-inclusive market has been huge, rising 32 per cent in the last five years, which has lead to this change.

All-inclusive deals currently being offered on the First Choice website for travel in April include seven nights in the Algarve from £264 and four nights in Cyprus from £323.