Kenya Attracts British Travellers

With the withdrawal of a travel advisory for Kenya by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), a UK government agency that is responsible for the interests of UK citizens overseas, more British holidaymakers are travelling to the African country.

Tourism in Kenya had suffered badly last summer, but now visitors are returning from all over Europe, and especially from the UK.

According to the FCO, around 203,290 British nationals visited Kenya in 2011, based on Kenya Tourist Board figures. Most visits are trouble-free, and only 94 British nationals required consular assistance in Kenya between April 2011 and March 2012.

Stuart Britton, the managing director of Somak Holidays, a company that operates tours to Kenya, said, ‘It’s a new generation, five-star beach resort and we’re getting superb feedback. Our customers are also pleased with their experiences at the smaller boutique hotels, such as the Tijara Beach and Afrochic.’

However tourists to the country are advised against travelling to within 60kms of the Kenya-Somali border; or to Kiwayu and coastal areas north of Pate Island; to Garissa District; to the Eastleigh area of Nairobi; and to low income areas of Nairobi, where the threat of crime, terror attacks and kidnapping still exists.

The cost of travelling to Kenya is likely to fall with the launch of the Fastjet budget airline, which will be flying to Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The national airline, Kenya Airways, is also set to launch its own budget brand, JamboJet, which is expected to commence operations in the second half of the year.

Annual Cruise Super Sale as 2013 Wave Season Commences

January is the time when cruise companies offer mega sales on their fares.

Travelocity.com, an online travel company, has announced cruise offers for the 2013 Wave Season.

The Travelocity Cruise Super Sale will run until January 31, 2012, and is offering cruises at discounted rates of up to 65 percent. The sale is also offering up to £300 in consumer cruise cash to spend on onboard cruise experiences, including spa treatments, specialty dining and excursions. The sale fares are available for travel from January 24, 2013 to September 30, 2013, for cruise vacations of three nights or more.

On average, customers can save £600 or more when opting for a cruise vacation instead of taking a land vacation.

Matt Lee, the vice president of Travelocity’s Cruises, said, ‘The Cruise Super Sale highlights the best time of year to take advantage of huge savings and maximize benefits such as onboard spending credits and upgrades to take your trip experience to the next level.

We offer exclusive deals tailored to all types of travelers, and whether consumers are looking to book an activity-filled vacation or a relaxed trip, Travelocity can help them create a unique travel experience.’

Virgin Holidays is offering a nine-night Emirates Stay and Cruise On Serenade of the Seas, which includes exclusive rock star service and complimentary hotel and cabin upgrades for £1,249 upwards; or a 14-night Orlando Stay and Caribbean Cruise aboard Carnival Liberty for £979 per person upwards; and a seven-night Mediterranean Cruise aboard MSC Splendida for £649 per person upwards.

Holland America Line is offering up to 50 percent off certain cruise fares, with complimentary or reduced cruise fares for guests, and complimentary or reduced hotel stay charges.

Seabourn Cruise Line is offering savings on listed brochure rates for 2013 and 2014, with balcony upgrades and up to £600 in onboard cruise credit for specific cabins and sailings.

Centro Urges European Transport Chiefs to Lower Carbon Emissions

Centro, a UK based organisation that operates bus, rail and the Midland Metro Tram transport in the West Midlands area, is urging transport chiefs from across Europe to come together to reduce carbon footprints in Europe.

The organisation will be sharing ideas with similar associations from Italy, Czech Republic, Poland, Spain, and the Netherlands at the Involve project, which will be working to improve intercity connectivity and lower traffic congestion.

The initiative is expected to run for three years, and will include green schemes such as the Birmingham Interconnect project and Local Sustainable Transport Fund schemes. Road congestion is costing around GBP2.3 billion each year in the West Midlands region, and new initiatives will be working towards reducing such costs.

Rafael Cuesta, the organisation head of strategic development, said, ‘We are delighted to be taking part in the Involve project which gives us the chance to look at how other countries are fighting congestion.

It is often overlooked that transport plays a significant role in supporting our region’s economy by connecting people to jobs, training and education. And by working with other countries we can find new ways of working and hopefully pass on some of our own ideas.’

The Involve project is part of the PIMMS Capital programme, uniting European transport bodies on transport projects.

Earlier, West Midlands transport chiefs had recommended that the UK Government provide safe cycling routes as an important step towards encouraging people to switch to pedalling to work, in order to reduce traffic congestion.

The organisation feels that boosting the number of people cycling in the UK by even 1 percent will reduce congestion significantly. The organisation is pushing to convert 20 percent of the West Midland journeys to cycling by 2016.