Travel News 6th February

thai bombsSkyscanner Reveals Cheapest Time to Book and Travel

Travel search site Skyscanner has searched through three years of booking data based on 250 million flights to gain helpful insights into the cheapest booking tips for travellers. They discovered that the best time to book a flight is twelve weeks in advance, February is the cheapest month to make bookings and the second week of November is the cheapest week. Travellers who make bookings in February will save an average of 11 per cent on ticket price and going travelling in the second week of november elicits savings of 13.3 per cent.

Thailand Bombs will Have Minimal Impact on Tourism

Two small bombs outside a Bangkok shopping mall over the weekend will, according to the Thai Prime minister, have a minimal impact on Thailand’s vital tourism industry. The twin explosions took place outside the Siam Paragon mall in a busy shopping district, slightly injuring two people. They are the first blasts since the military seized power on May 22 last year ending deadly street protests. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said on Tuesday, “we must look after the security situation better to ensure this does not happen again.”

2014 Record Year in Tourism for Sri Lanka

2014 has proven to be a record year in tourism for Sri Lanka. According to government data, over 1.5 million tourists arrived in Sri Lanka in 2014, which was a 19.8 per cent increase from 2013. The director of Marketing at Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority says they are aiming for a tourist arrival target in 2016 of 2.5 million, a number she deems achievable because of their focus on new markets to attract tourists, such as substantial hotel investments. 

Iraqi-Kurdistan Tourism in Tatters

On the other end of the spectrum hopes of Iraqi Kurdistan tourism taking off in 2014 have reportedly been shattered as the Islamic State war continues. Tourism was a growing $1 billion sector in 2013 and was expected to become the second pillar of the economy. Yet at least 72 hotels have closed down over the last 6 months, and instead of getting tourists, Kurdistan received 900,000 internally displaced persons. Plans for a new zoo and the renovation of a UNESCO-listed citadel in Arbil – the city originally dubbed the 2014 Arab Tourism capital – have been halted. Travel agents say that although there are 700 archeological sites in Arbil and Kurdistan remains safe throughout the crisis, tourism companies are worried – but they will keep trying to market the area and reassure travellers. 

Singapore Airlines to Introduce Premium Economy Class to Sydney-Singapore

Sydney to Singapore will be the first route for Singapore Airlines’ new premium economy product to be installed on its fleet of Airbus A380s and Boeing 777-300ers from August. The premium economy cabin is between economy and business class and features a larger seat with 8 inch recline, high definition monitor for in-flight entertainment as well as noise cancelling headphones, champagne and choice of three meals. Singapore Airlines is part of a growing list of airlines including Qantas, Cathay Pacific and Air New zealand now offering premium economy seats to and from Australia. Premium economy will be available from Sydney to London and Sydney to Hong Kong by early september and on flights to 8 destinations by the end of Septmber. An average Sydney to Singapore flight in premium economy class would cost around $2200 compared to an economy class fare of $890.

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