Doncaster Sheffield Airport adds new TUI routes for summer 2018

Doncaster Sheffield Airport has said that it will add two new routes – Naples, Italy and Hurghada City, Egypt, operated by holiday company TUI, as the airport continues to expand its range of over 40 destinations across Europe and beyond.

TUI’s first flight to Naples will take off on May 7, 2018, leaving every Monday throughout the summer months, with services operational until the end of October 2018. The new routes will add nearly 20,000 new seats of capacity. The new flights to the Italian city are on sale currently.

TUI will also be operating a new weekly route to Hurghada, Egypt for those looking to book a holiday for winter 2018/19. Hurghada City is the second largest Egyptian city on the Red Sea and, with its world-renowned coral reefs, is one of Egypt’s leading holiday destinations.

Chris Harcombe, Aviation Development Director, Doncaster Sheffield Airport, said: ‘We are thrilled to introduce this summer time route to Naples and a brand new route to DSA, in Hurghada City, Egypt. It is fantastic news for the local area, and for the wider Yorkshire region – with DSA now being even more convenient and well connected, thanks to the Great Yorkshire Way motorway link road and new direct bus services from Doncaster and Sheffield.’

Karen Switzer, Director of Aviation Planning for TUI UK & Ireland, said: ‘We’re excited that one of our first steps as TUI, a truly global brand, is to offer greater choice for our customers in Yorkshire. Introducing the new routes from Doncaster Sheffield Airport is a key part of our strategy to offer all our customers as much choice as possible to give them the holiday experience that best suits their individual needs. Holidaymakers in the local area will now have wider access than ever before to our diverse collection of destinations and hotel concepts.’

The two new routes – Naples and Hurghada – are in addition to the new TUI route announced in August from Doncaster Sheffield Airport to the Greek island of Kefalonia. The once a week package holiday flights will take off on Thursday May 3, 2018 and continue through until the end of September 2018, allowing customers to stay at the luxury TUI Sensimar Hotel located on the south of the Island. Flights to the Greek island are already on sale providing extra 4,500 seats for holiday makers flying from DSA, the airport said.

easyJet launches new Luton – Venice service

easyJet, a UK-based airline and the largest operator at London Luton Airport, has launched the inaugural flight of its services to Venice from Luton on Thursday, February 13.

To mark the occasion, the aircraft was flanked by giant Venetian masks in commemoration of the city’s famous ‘Carnivale’ and masquerade balls. Gavin Shuker, member of parliament for Luton South, joined the celebration as an honorary cabin crew member to welcome passengers aboard.

Launched just in time for Valentine’s Day, the new flights to the romantic city of Venice make it easyJet’s fifth Italian destination from London Luton Airport, along with Catania, Milan, Olbia and Pisa.

Sophie Dekkers, easyJet’s UK market director, said: ‘We’re thrilled to be launching our new services to Venice, easyJet’s 39th destination from London Luton Airport. easyJet flies over 4.5 million passengers in and out of Luton each year and we’re pleased to be expanding the choice and variety of our destinations from the airport.

‘This uniquely beautiful city offers something for everyone and we’re sure our easy and affordable services will be very popular.’

MP, Gavin Shuker, said: ‘It’s been great to join easyJet’s crew and passengers and celebrate the launch of the new Venice flights. easyJet and London Luton Airport are two of Luton and the region’s largest employers and it was fantastic to see this in action today.’

Annually, over 50,000 passengers are expected to use the new services between London Luton and Venice, which depart each Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Fares are available from GBP31.83 one way, including taxes.

Taxi drivers in Paris and Rome named the world’s rudest

British holidaymakers have voted taxi drivers in Paris and Rome as the rudest in the world.

According to the survey by, cab drivers in the capital cities of France and Italy are seen as the most unhelpful. Their counterparts in holiday destinations such as San Antonio on the Spanish island of Ibiza, Dubai and Magaluf on the island of Majorca are also not polite with their customers, it said.

The survey ranked taxi drivers in Pefkos on the Greek island of Rhodes and the Turkish resort of Marmaris as some of the friendliest in the world. Cabbies in Playa de las Americas in Tenerife, New York and Palma Nova in Majorca are also polite and helpful, it said.

The survey was based on responses from 2,162 UK holidaymakers who had taken an overseas holiday in the last 12 months.

For the question on what they thought made a taxi driver ‘friendly’, 86 per cent of respondents said that it was a ‘talkative’ driver, while 42 per cent also said that a friendly taxi driver would give them advice or knowledge about the local area. When asked who they considered a ‘rude’ taxi driver, 51 per cent said it was someone who was ‘unhelpful.’

‘Taxi rides around the world can be totally different experiences, depending on the time and the place,’ comments managing director Chris Clarkson.

‘You could stumble upon the most helpful taxi driver in the world, who gives you a guided tour of the area you’re in on the way to your end destination, or you could have someone that just grunts in response to anything you say,’ he adds.

Tourists warned to beware of rip-off traders abroad

With the new holiday season comes a warning to tourists travelling abroad to beware of rip-off traders.

Failing to acquaint themselves with the price that they are about to be charged for typical holiday extras that are generally expected to be inexpensive, could result in tourists staring down the barrel of an eye-watering bill once the deal is done.

The Daily Telegraph has highlighted one particular case where not confirming the price of a holiday ice cream prior to ordering left four British tourists stunned at the expense that they had incurred. Brothers Roger and Steven Bannister were visiting Rome with their wives when they decided to purchase four ice cream cones to take away from ice cream bar, Antica Roma, near the Piazza di Spagna. No doubt expecting to pay a small premium for purchasing the treat in the capital city’s tourist area, they were still stunned to receive a bill for €64, approximately £54.00.

Roger Bannister told the Telegraph that the server at the bar had not even thanked him for his payment. However, a local councillor, Matteo Costantini, happened to be passing at the time and engaged with the group to hear their complaint. He told Sky News, ‘They were justifiably outraged at what they had been asked to pay. It’s scandalous and should not be allowed to happen. This is not the first time tourists have been caught out like this and it sadly won’t be the last. There needs to be a clamp down on places like this that charge extortionate prices to unsuspecting tourists.’

Commenting to the Telegraph, the bar’s managers justified the price charged by saying that it was for large portions and cheaper options were available with prices clearly labelled.

Jet2com Announces Expanded Schedule to Rome and Barcelona from Glasgow, a UK-based low-cost airline operating out of Leeds Bradford Airport, is expanding its services to Barcelona, Spain; and Rome, Italy.

The services from Glasgow Airport to Barcelona and Rome have been extended for all year round from the summer of 2013. Fares commence from £38 one way for a twice weekly service to Rome; while airfares commence from £37 one way for services to Barcelona.

Steve Heapy, the chief commercial officer of, said, ‘Rome and Barcelona are two of our most popular destinations and so we want to ensure customers can visit at any time of year. With our generous 22kg baggage allowance people can take their winter woollies or summer gear and really make the most of their trips.’

Amanda McMillan, managing director at Glasgow Airport, said, ‘This yet more positive news from which is clearly committed to continually improving its service for customers.

The extension of its popular Barcelona and Rome routes will provide passengers with greater flexibility and choice and it follows the airline’s recent decision to introduce flights to Murcia, Pula and Menorca.’

The airline – in August 2013 – will be adding a fourth aircraft based out of its hub at Glasgow Airport, extending its services from the area. The airline’s additional capacity from the airport will add around 50 new jobs, and increase the frequency of service to destinations such as the Canaries, Majorca, Ibiza and Turkey.

The airline had earlier announced new services, with flights to Murcia departing from Glasgow Airport twice a week, from May 24, 2013, with fares commencing from £41 per person; weekly flights to Pula will commence on June 18, 2013, with fares from £49 per person; and weekly flights to Menorca commence on May 25, 2013, for fares starting from £41 per person.

Too much tourism affecting Venice

Reports indicate that too much tourism, especially high-impact, low revenue cruise tourism, is affecting the quality of Venice as a unique, must-see destination.

Recently, about two thirds of Venice was underwater with heavy rain and winds resulting in the sixth highest tide levels since 1872. Even though the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the status has not deterred cruise ship tourism from threatening to overwhelm the sinking city. Figures indicate that each day, more than 60,000 people visit Venice, which is more than the population of the city.

The biggest damage to the city comes from cruise tourists and their activities, with cruise tourism increasing by about 439 per cent in the past 15 years. Authorities are not able to do much about it because the city depends on tourism for its survival.

Peter Debrine, head of the World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism Programme at UNESCO, said, ‘Tourism is a double-edged sword. You can’t have those kind of numbers come into a site and not have a negative impact. There are obviously many benefits to tourism. Venice is a unique case and there needs to be a balance. We cannot demonize the cruise industry. Local people own the real estate. UNESCO’s concern is of course the protection of heritage but with have to do it in collaboration with the tourism industry.’

Observers have long been accusing cruise ships of eroding the fragile structure of the city through tides that are caused when the ships land. Further, they also contribute to pollution and dwarf the city’s monuments.

The demographic situation arising out of tourism is unique in Venice with locals leaving the city for mainland Italy as the count of tourists increased. Since the 1950s, Venice’s population has fallen by more than two-thirds and now stands at a new low of 58,483.

What to see and do in Pisa this Christmas

Pisa is a popular tourist haunt at any time of year, with even the least clued-up traveller sure to have heard of attractions like the Leaning Tower. But it’s even more impressive at Christmas, when decorations adorn the streets and various special events are held.

Located in the central Italian region of Tuscany, Pisa is undoubtedly one of our favourite Italian cities to visit in the run-up to the festive period. Milan may have its shopping and Venice its canals, but it’s hard to beat Pisa’s traditional Christmas markets, beautiful illuminations and cheerful seasonal atmosphere. If you’re planning a visit to Pisa this Christmas, our top tips will fill you in on the best sights to see and events to attend in the city…

Check out the Christmas lights

For the best possible view of festive Pisa, head to Corso Italia and Borgo Stretto, where the colourful lights of the Christmas decorations are sure to fill you with seasonal spirit.

Borgo Stretto is widely considered to be the most elegant street in the city. If you want to combine seeing the decorations with the chance to pick up an elegant and memorable present for a loved one, you’ll be in the right place, as it’s lined with high-end shops and boutiques. A small square on Borgo Stretto also hosts a Christmas market, where you can browse a wide array of decorations and more.

All shopped out? Recharge your batteries with a well-earned drink in one of the street’s many picturesque bars, or head to Salza, which is arguably the city’s best loved pastry shop.

Earn your Christmas dinner by running the Pisa Marathon

Christmas has become a time of excess, with people doing their best to eat their body weight in turkey, pigs in blankets and mince pies. So what better way to prepare for this year’s seasonal overindulgence than running a marathon?

The 2012 Pisa Marathon will take place on December 16th and boasts a spectacular route that sets off from one of the most beautiful squares in the world.

It combines plenty of flat stretches and long straights, so if you’re an experienced runner, there’s every chance of beating your personal best, while relative newcomers should find the race isn’t too demanding.

If you’re not feeling up to tackling the full 26-mile course, there are also half marathon and family run events that may prove a little more appealing.

Enough exercise, bring on the chocolate

Okay, so running a marathon isn’t for everyone. If you’d prefer to spend your Christmas in Pisa exercising your sweet tooth, head to the factory of luxury chocolatier Amedei.

Situated in Pontedera, about half an hour’s drive from the city centre (you should easily be able to find car hire in Pisa), the Amedei factory offers tours all year round, giving visitors an insight into the world of chocolate.

The factory opens its doors to the public from Monday to Friday, with tours lasting for around an hour and a half. Tickets are priced at €50 (£40) per person.

See the Scuola Normale of Pisa in concert

Founded back in 1810, the Scuola Normale is an elite school that gives regular musical performances in and around the city.

Culture vultures eager to enjoy some classical favourites this Christmas can head to the Teatro Verdi, where the Scuola Normale will give their tribute to Rameau, Mozart and Beethoven on December 11th and play music from Von Weber and Mendelssohn-Bartholdy on December 18th.

The world’s first museum for ice cream opens in Italy

People of all ages love ice cream and there’s no better refreshment during the summer time. Especially people who were lucky enough to have tasted original Italian ice cream know that the Italians have perfected the art of making ice cream. Since Italian ice cream has become a seal of quality, Italy will soon open the doors to the first museum in the world that is dedicated totally to ice cream. The museum itself is located in Anzola Dell’Emilia near Bologna in Northern Italy. If you are planning to spend a vacation in Italy, paying the museum for ice cream a visit is definitely one of the things to do in Italy this summer. You will have to wait until the end of September, however, since the museum will open on the 27th of September for the first time.

Of course the museum doesn’t just offer various sorts of ice cream but a total of over 10,000 pictures and documents, including the very first handwritten recipe for ice cream. Various multimedia installations allow the visitors to delve deep into the history of gelato and learn different trivia facts. Who would have thought, for example, that the first time that eggs and cream were used to produce ice cream was in Florence, in the 17th century? Keeping the ice frozen however, was very expensive back then so that ice cream was only available to rich families. Later on, when waves of emigrants left Italy, they took recipes for ice cream with them and made it popular in the whole world.

Nowadays ice cream is available nearly everywhere, and the museum offers a great opportunity to look at the very origins of a sweet that is nowadays taken for granted.

Travelport launches mobile application for Italian youth

Travelport Inc, a business services provider to the global travel industry, has announced that it has launched a new mobile application for Italian youth.

The company said that its mobile app has been developed for CTS Viaggi, the Italian member of the WYSET (World Youth Student and Educational Travel) Confederation. Called CTS Mobile, the app may be used by those that have Apple and Android products. It is available for download from Google Play and the Apple App Store.

The company said that the new product allows travellers to search for flights and hotels using maps. Search results may be filtered by price or proximity. Once the traveller has identified a flight or hotel, he or she can immediately book the same through a credit-card transaction. The development of CTS Mobile is part of an ongoing cooperation between Travelport and CTS Viaggi to provide youth travel services across all the latest platforms and devices.

Damiano Sabatino, Travelport’s general manager for Southern Europe, said, ‘We hear almost daily how important smartphones are and their impact on everyday life in Italy, and we also know how important this channel is for travel. At Travelport we are delighted to be bringing innovative mobile solutions to our customers and the travelling public.’

Travelport, a provider of critical transaction processing solutions, has a presence in 170 countries and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. CTS Viaggi is a tour operator that seeks to promote the organisation and distribution of quality tourism services for its 215,000 cardholders.


Rome Suffering Tourism Theft of Ancient Hardware Say Authorities

Tourism authorities in Rome are being plagued by a unique problem, that of tourists, mainly Europeans, and including some British travellers, stealing cobblestones, marble mile markers and pieces of mosaic that are artefacts from ancient Rome, and taking them home with them as souvenirs.

Travellers are being apprehended at the customs desks of two Italian airports, Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino and Rome Ciampino, for trying to smuggle 2,000 year-old hardware and artefacts taken from the streets of Rome, said the security officials and Roman police.

Italian police chief, Antonio Del Greco, told the Daily Mail, ‘It’s a particularly unusual theft and at the same time it’s one that we are finding is on the increase and happening more and more often.

Those primarily responsible are northern Europeans who have simply picked up a loose cobblestone or piece of mosaic they have found while wandering around Rome.

They then put it in their luggage and take it home with them as a souvenir of their holiday – we have also found large milestones made from marble in suitcases that have been taken from the Appian Way.’

Umberto Broccoli, the superintendent of culture for Rome city council, said in an interview, ‘I should warn all tourists that the city’s rich heritage should not be touched. What these people do by stealing these items is show their ignorance.

I can understand the legend and splendour that is Rome but that does not mean bits of it should be stolen by all means tourists should take as many pictures as they like but they should not help themselves to cobblestones or other items even if they appear to be discarded. If they want a souvenir of their visit then they should buy something from a shop.’