London continues to be one of the top destinations for global travellers, with the UK capital reporting its strongest hotel occupancy numbers and flight bookings since the pandemic. The “it” destination celebrated the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee this past spring with record crowds, top-notch entertainment and royal family sightings. Visitors from North America continue to outpace other international markets, ranking London among the top destinations on their travel bucket list.
According to the latest Traveler Insights Report from Expedia Group Media Solutions, London was the third most booked destination globally in Q2 and the second most booked international destination by North American travellers. London also ranked as the number one booked destination for travellers from the Asia Pacific and Europe, Middle East and Africa regions. Separate research from ForwardKeys reports that North American travellers are showing a strong appetite for visiting London this Autumn, with flight bookings up by 227% compared with the same time period last year.
The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations were a major draw for US visitors, with data from Historic Royal Palaces (HRP), the group that oversees six royal palaces across London and the UK, revealing that visitors from the US made up 45% of total ticket sales for the iconic Tower of London in June, up 27% compared to pre pandemic sales. According to STR data, London’s hotels saw their highest bookings in June 2022 since July 2019, with a reported 83.1% occupancy.
The second half of 2022 is poised to continue to see strong visitor numbers from North America with lots of exciting events, festivals, exhibitions and cultural activities for visitors to look forward to. Travellers to London will be able to enjoy cultural and sporting events such as Frieze London, NFL in London, the London Marathon, and concerts by major artists such as Drake, KISS and Swedish House Mafia. Furthermore, London is set to welcome visitors to the city during the most festive time of the year, to partake in events such as Christmas at Kew, Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, Hogwarts in the Snow at Warner Bros. Studio, the Great Christmas Pudding Race or shop at the many holiday markets and winter pop-ups around the city.
“London has been brimming with energy and excitement and it’s fantastic to see visitors from all around the world returning to our city. So far, 2022 has been a massive year for London which saw us celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, as well as the return of major sporting events, festivals, theatre shows and our world-class museums and galleries. We’re seeing a huge pent-up demand for North American travellers to visit London this fall and winter, with lots of opportunities for visitors to enjoy some of our world leading cultural and festive activities for the rest of this year.”, says Laura Citron, CEO at London & Partners, which runs Visit London.
A number of airlines have recently launched new air routes to London, with British Airways becoming the first airline to offer a direct route to London from Portland adding a new route for visitors from the west coast. The airline company also resumed flights from Pittsburgh and San Jose to cater to increased demand. And in the first week of August JetBlue flew its inaugural flight from Boston to London. Meanwhile, United Airlines also launched a new Boston to London route in March while increasing frequency of flights to London from Newark, Denver and San Francisco after data showed that London was one of the most booked international destinations, particularly amongst business clientele. In November 2022 Virgin Atlantic will launch its new Tampa to London route just in time for the holiday season. According to latest flight data, on average there are over 100 flights a day from the US to London.
Millions of people in Britain admit to making costly car mistakes
As winter takes hold and temperatures start to drop, a recent research by Aviva reveals the most common mistakes drivers could be making when it comes to getting behind the wheel this winter.
The research, which surveyed 2,000 Brits, reveals that more than a quarter (28%) are leaving their cars running to de-ice screens, with older generations most likely to take the risk. Over a third of those aged 75+ (41%) and those aged 65-74 (34%) leave their car on to de-ice screens, compared to 17% of 18-24 year-olds and 24% of 25-34 year-olds.
By doing so, Brits may be unwittingly putting themselves at risk with most car insurance policies excluding thefts of vehicles while the engine is still running. This is also an offence under Section 42 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 which states that drivers cannot leave vehicles running and unattended while on a public highway, otherwise known as ‘quitting’.
When looking at visibility, the research reveals that almost half (45%) of Brits have driven without making sure that their screens and mirrors were properly clear. By doing so, motorists could also be risking a fine under Section 229 of the Highway Code, which states that all drivers ‘must be able to see, so clear all snow and ice from all windows’.
The top 10 winter driving habits that could cause issues:
1. I have left my car running to de-ice the screen and warm it up: 28%
2. I have driven in gloves: 21%
3. I have driven in a big winter coat: 20%
4. I have driven even though there is snow on the top of my car: 19%
5. I have driven even though the screen was not fully de-iced or de-misted: 16%
6. I have driven without checking that my number plate was clear: 16%
7. I have driven even though the screen wasn’t clear: 15%
8. I have driven even though I was too tired: 14%
9. I have driven even though the mirrors weren’t fully clear: 14%
10. I have driven through floodwater or a ford: 13%
“While we all want to get to our next destination as quickly as possible, it pays to be safe, particularly as the risk of an accident typically increases during the winter months. Spending five or ten minutes to prepare your car means that not only are you more likely to avoid an accident, but also a hefty fine – which can be as much as £1,000 – points on your licence or even a driving ban in the worst case scenario”, says Martin Smith, Motor Claims Manager at Aviva.
Other British driving habits include leaving the car unlocked to quickly pop into somewhere (13%), pouring boiling water over a car windscreen to de-ice it (11%) as well as wearing inappropriate footwear such as heels (9%) or wellies/snowboots (7%). Those driving whilst wearing inappropriate clothing and footwear could also risk a fine under Rule 97 of the Highway code which states that you should ensure: ‘clothing and footwear do not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner’.
5 of the cheapest ski resorts in Europe this winter
Whether you are a seasoned skier or a first-timer, one thing that is for sure is that skiing can be a very expensive trip. Even if you don’t enrol for a celebrity-like skiing weekend, following on the footsteps of Kim Kardashian, Orlando Bloom, or Gwyneth Paltrow, the costs can pile up. as research shows Brits fork out between £500 and £750 per person on spending money for a ski trip.
If you are keen to hit the slopes but are being mindful of the pennies, here is a shortlist of five of the cheapest resorts you can visit in Europe, based on the average cost of a lift pass, accommodation, ski rental, and of course food and drinks.
“Skiing can be a very expensive holiday, especially for families. However, there are some fantastic resorts out there offering surprisingly reasonable prices, without compromising on those amazing views and fantastic ski runs”, says Laura Evans-Fisk, head of digital and engagement at eurochange. “Borovets in Bulgaria came out on top as the cheapest ski resort. It’s definitely an underrated destination, with unbelievably low prices for food and drink, and a whole week lift pass for less than £150.”
Topping the list is bargain-friendly Borovets, Bulgaria. The country is quickly becoming a cheap and cheerful favourite spot for skiers, and it’s easy to see why. Located in the Rila mountains, Borovets is an all-round resort providing luxury amenities at very reasonable prices. With fabulous nightlife as well as gentle slopes for beginners, it’s an ideal destination for adults and families alike. Ski passes start from just £29 per day, so you could really save some cash if you visit for just a few days.
- Adult lift pass (6 days): Лв370 (£143.75)
- Ski rental (6 days): Лв155 (£60.22)
- Accommodation (per night): From Лв135 (£52.45)
- Beer: Лв3 (£1.17)
- Wine: Лв6 (£2.33)
- 3-course meal: Лв15 (£5.83)
Lesser known than its Austrian and Italian neighbours, Slovenia’s Vogel resort is no less spectacular. Tucked away in the stunning Julian Alps, Vogel offers exceptional value alongside outstanding snow sports facilities and stunning views. The après is one of the cheapest around, with beer costing just €2, and a three-course meal setting you back just €17.
Les Houches, France
For a Mont Blanc ski holiday without the Chamonix prices, look no further than Les Houches. A top choice for families, this picturesque village is quiet at night, while the neighbouring high-altitude areas are perfect for advanced skiers. A six-day adult ski pass is less than £200 and equipment can be rented for less than £100 for the week.
- Adult lift pass (6 days): €197 (£158.46)
- Ski rental (6 days): from €114 (£91.70)
- Accommodation (per night): From €77 (£61.94)
- Beer: €2 (£1.61)
- Wine: €5 (£4.02)
- 3-course meal: €20 (£16.09)
Nestled in the heart of the Alps, Italy‘s Livigno offers sterling snowsport facilities for all skill levels, from absolute beginners to black slope aficionados. And thanks to its tax-exempt status, Livigno provides premium resort standards at budget prices, giving you far more for your euros than most other ski destinations on the continent.
- Adult lift pass (6 days): €223* (£179.38)
- Ski rental (6 days): from €74.00* (£59.52)
- Accommodation (per night): From €101 (£81.24)
- Beer: €3 (£2.41)
- Wine: €10 (£8.04)
- 3-course meal: €30 (£24.13)
While Switzerland tends to be an expensive country to visit, Grindelwald is one of the more affordable resorts for getting the Swiss ski holiday experience. Even if you’re not a keen skier, there are plenty of other activities to try out, including tobogganing and winter walking. Set in the beautiful Jungfrau mountains, Grindelwald provides a picture-perfect slice of the Alps for far less than you’d expect.
- Adult lift pass (6 days): SFr385 (£308.79)
- Ski rental (6 days): from SFr237 (£190.09)
- Accommodation (per night): From SFr57 (£45.72)
- Beer: SFr2 (£1.60)
- Wine: SFr13 (£10.43)
- 3-course meal: SFr24 (£19.25)
New iPhone photography exhibition opens in Paris
“I Remember You,” a two-day photography exhibition, has opened today in Paris highlighting original work shot on iPhone 15 Pro Max.
The collective work of photographers Malin Fezehai, Karl Hab, Vivien Liu, Mika Ninagawa, and Stefan Ruiz incorporates people, places, and things that move them, exploring memories and the power of photography to preserve them.
“‘I Remember You’ brings together five photographers who share their deeply personal conceptions of memory, connection, and nostalgia,” explains Isolde Brielmaier, Ph.D., the exhibition’s curatorial advisor. “It is a moving glimpse of life, preserved in time.”
In celebration of the opening, each artist spoke about how iPhone has contributed to their creative process and what they hope people will remember from their featured work.
Malin Fezehai is an Eritrean/Swedish photographer, filmmaker, and visual reporter currently living in New York. She has worked in over 40 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and America. Fezehai is a National Geographic explorer, and in 2023, she became a Climate Pledge grantee. She is working on a project about adaptation to living on water. Her career started in her native Sweden, where she studied photography before attending the International Center of Photography in New York. Her work focuses on communities of displacement and dislocation around the world. She was commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme to photograph survivors of violent extremism across sub-Saharan Africa and published a book titled Survivors. She has received a 2015 World Press Photo Award and the Wallis Annenberg Prize, and was named one of the “30 Emerging Photographers to Watch” in 2015 by Photo District News. Her image depicting a wedding of Eritrean refugees in Israel was the first iPhone photo ever to receive a World Press Photo Award.
“The integration of the iPhone into my photography workflow marked a significant shift in how I perceive and capture the world around me — feeling more inclined to capture life as it happens — the fleeting, candid moments that often define the human experience,” Fezehai says. “Its ease of use and ability to capture high-quality images effortlessly enables me to explore and document the ordinary in extraordinary ways. That sentiment is embodied in the work I created for the show.”
“I Remember You” will be on display at the Salon Corderie in Le Marais in Paris on Friday, November 10, and Saturday, November 11, from 11 am to 7 pm.
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