The first of a new type of domestic tourism figures have released. The figures have been collected by TNS for VisitBritain, VisitScotland, Visit Wales and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board under an improved methodology, which provides more accurate and detailed information.

New Domestic Tourism Figures

New Domestic Tourism Figures

Changes to the way the data was collected mean that it cannot be compared with previous years, but does enable month on month comparisons beginning with May 2006 data. The data will therefore become far more relevant in driving future marketing and commercial activity by the national tourist boards and partners in the industry.

The key findings of the report follow:

More than 138 million overnight domestic stays were made by UK residents last year.

The 2005 United Kingdom Tourism Survey indicates that domestic visitors spent 22.7 billion an average of 51 per night on trips in their own country.

Data from the UK's four national tourist boards shows that the number of UK residents' domestic trips remains well ahead of the 66.5 million trips taken abroad.

A total of 63% (87 million) were holidays, representing 14.5 billion 64% of spending.

The study found that people are also taking more short breaks. Nearly twice as many holidays of one to three nights (56 million) were taken last year compared with 30 million trips of four or more nights. The information echoes the growing global trend of shorter breaks spread throughout the year, according to VisitBritain.

The latest annual data has been collected by TNS for VisitBritain, VisitScotland, Visit Wales and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board under an improved methodology, which provides more accurate and detailed information.

Face-to-face interviews with 100,000 people were conducted as part of a national omnibus survey with 2,000 people surveyed each week. The results more accurately reflect the demographic characteristics of the UK adult population in terms of gender, age group, social class, working status and, with interviews undertaken in 140 locations throughout the UK, regional distribution, VisitBritain has claimed.

European Capital Of Culture - What's It All About

European Capital Of Culture - What

The European Capital of Culture changes on an annual basis. Each country in the EU takes its turn having the European Capital of Culture (ECC) within its boundaries.The nation is fixed on a rotational basis, but there is great competition between the cities and regions of the nominated country for the honor of being nominated as ECC. The decision is made three years ahead, to allow time for preparation.The reason every city wants to be nominated is because there it will receive millions of euro of national and EU investment. The nominated ECC region will also receive millions of euro from the 500,000 extra visitors during its yearas European Capital of Culture.Cities are invited to put forward their proposals and reasons why they should be chosen. The national government makes the decision as to which city deserves the title most, though the decision is partly based on which city can benefit most from the financial investment.In 2005 Cork in Ireland was the European City of Culture. Roads were improved, a sewage system installed and hundreds of thousands of extra visitors flocked to Cork to spend their money. They were treated to musical, theatrical and folk extravaganzas throughout the year.In 2006 Patras in Greece has been chosen as the European City of Culture. Patras is about 90 miles west of Athens. Flights, car hire and accommodation are readily available, just search online, or ask your travel agent.In 2007 Sibiu-Hermannstadt in Romania has been chosen for the European Capital of Culture. Hermannstadt is the German name for Sibiu. The city is the largest centre of German culture in Romania. Located in the Transylvanian forests of legend Sibiu is fast becoming the centre of Romanias developing tourism industry.The European Capital of Culture in 2008 is Liverpool in England. Liverpool is a historic city whose wealth is based on its port. The port of Liverpool still exists, but is less important now. Liverpool is famous as the home of the Beatles, but has some stunning architecture. The Roman Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral is unusual outside, but absolutely mind blowing inside. You will find it half a mile uphill, behind Lime Street Station, the main railway station.Liverpool has an excellent public transport system and friendly taxi drivers. Liverpudlians are famous for their wit and quick repartee. The airport is small, but the city is easily reached from its rival Manchester airport, too

Travel trip to Mysore at discount travel

Travel trip to Mysore at discount travel

I had an opputunity to vist India at attractive discount travel package by a website. Mysore Palace or the Maharajah's Palace located in the heart of the city at Mirza Road, is the most attractive monument in Mysore. One of the largest palaces in the country, also known as Amba Vilas, was the residence of the Wodeyar Mahararaja's of the Mysore state. The original palace built of wood, got burnt down in 1897 and was rebuilt for the twenty fourth Wodeyar Raja in 1912. The three storeyed building, 245 feet in length and 156 in breadth has a series of square towers with arches covered by domes. There is wide open space in the front and the open courtyard in the centre is covered by a gold-plated dome about 145 feet from the ground. The entry to the palace is through the 'Gombe Thotti' or the Doll's Pavilion, a gallery of Indian and European sculpture and ceremonial objects. Halfway along is the elephant gate, which is the main entrance to the centre of the palace. The gate is decorated with floriated designs, and bears the Mysore royal symbol of a double headed eagle. Inside there is an enclosed courtyard. To the north of the gate are dolls, dating from the earlier nineteenth and twentieth centuries, a ceremonial wooden elephant howdah (carriage kept on top of the elephants to carry royalty) decorated with 84 kilogram of 24 carat gold and other souvenirs.To the south, the magnificent 'Kalyana Mantapa' or the marriage pavilion has a centre octagonal gabled ceiling, covered by multi coloured stained glass with peacock motifs arranged in geometrical patterns and beautiful chandeliers from Chechoslavakia. Tall, slender cast iron pillars wrought at Glasgow, Scotland are arranged in groups of three at the corners of the central octagon. The floor is laid with glittering glazed tiles imported from England in artistic geometrical patterns and the walls which lead to the Mandapa are lined with oil paintings depicting Dusshera celebrations of the bygone royal era. It was a worderful trip at budget travel with cheap airline tickets from

Tips On How Frequent Travelers Can Stay Healthy

Tips On How Frequent Travelers Can Stay Healthy

Travel for business or pleasure can bring to the fore several health concerns. The most common ailments people experience while on a trip are hypertension, colds, and diarrhea. In order to build up resistance to fight diseases you must adopt a healthy lifestyle. Get adequate rest, adopt a good exercise program, eat balanced meals, avoid fast foods, and food full of saturated fats, and take vitamins and any other medication prescribed by the doctor. One of the simplest rules to stay healthy while traveling is never eat uncooked foods and do not drink water that is suspect.To protect yourself pack a small medicine kit as well as your medical records and insurance card. To maintain your health be sure to follow an exercise regime while traveling. You must walk, jog, swim, or use the hotel gym. Or you could play an exercise tape on your lap top and do your exercises in the hotel room. The secret to staying healthy is to stick to a routine and eat balanced meals at regular times.Here are a few tips:For every time zone you cross, take a days rest to allow your body clock to reset itself.Avoid alcohol but drink plenty of fluids. The crucial thing is to avoid dehydration. While on the plane try and rest as much as possible and exercise by getting up and moving down the aisles.Eat low fat meals on the plane, eat lightly, avoid salty, rich, and fatty foods.The CDC recommends that you drink only bottled water and that too the carbonated kind. The water bottles must be sealed and opened by you only. Do not use ice cubes under any circumstances and drink out of a straw.Use bottled water for brushing your teeth and for gargling. Wash you toothbrush in bottled water. Try and avoid using tap water.Eat and drink anything that is at boiling point or deep fried. Eat freshly cooked food. Avoid meat and seafood if you are traveling in interior areas where the meat is unlikely to be fresh and freezers and refrigerators are not dependable.While in flight you should do a few stretching exercises to avoid cramped muscles. Yawn frequently or chew gum to de-pressurize your ears. Avoid drinking coffee before and during a flight. Wear comfortable shoes and loose clothing. Include plenty of greens and carbohydrates in your pre-flight meals. Relax as much as possible and take a few deep breaths before boarding a flight. If you suffer from hypertension, motion sickness, an overactive bladder, weak digestion, or allergies consult your doctor before undertaking an extended trip. Be sure to pack in your carry on bag a bottle of water, a few snacks especially if you are diabetic, as well as your first aid kit. Pack a light jacket or sweater to wear in case there are great variations in temperature.

White Pass And Yukon Route To The Klondike Gold Rush

When my wife and I recently stepped off a cruise ship in Skagway Alaska, we were excited to be revisiting some her family's history. In 1897 her grandfather Jim and her great uncle Albert, joined almost 100,000 gold-rush prospectors who were going to the Klondike to search for gold. They were among the 30,000 or so prospectors who actually reached the Yukon. The journey was long and arduous and they walked most of the way as their pack horse was used to carry their supplies. The Canadian Northwest Mounted Police insisted that each Klondiker must bring a year worth of supplies with them before they were allowed to go to the Yukon. There were two routes through the mountains to Whitehorse on the Yukon River: The first route was the Chilkoot Pass trail which was too steep for pack animals. Klondikers had to stage their supplies and leapfrog back to carry their year's worth of supplies up the steep icy trail. Many prospectors abandoned their quest here or perished in the extremely cold weather. Jim and Albert chose the second route called the White Pass Trail, which climbed to almost 3,000 feet in elevation out of Skagway and was just as steep and treacherous, but could accommodate pack horses. This information was of doubtful value as over 3,000 pack animals were killed on this trail which was nicknamed dead horse trail. Jim and Albert lost their packhorse during the climb but eventually made it to Bennett Lake with their supplies. They rafted down the Lake and onto the Yukon River while undergoing many difficulties and adventures, but reached Whitehorse and then Dawson City and the goldfields. Unfortunately most of the gold claims had been staked by locals and early prospectors and they ended up working as miners for the next two years until they had earned enough money to return home. The fact that they survived the extreme cold and harsh conditions was a tribute to their strength and indomitable spirits. Although they didn't bring home any gold, they brought home a lifetime of stories to pass onto their grandchildren.After my wife and I toured historic Skagway we then embarked on the most fantastic train ride of our lives - The "White Pass" and Yukon Route or WP&YR. We booked an all day excursion to Bennett Station British Columbia. The rail cars were authentic 1900 parlor cars or converted to look authentic and we joined our cruise ship passengers on a wonderful narrated tour back into history. The scenery was incredible and you had to marvel at the engineering prowess of the railroad builders as they constructed tunnels, switchbacks and hanging trestles up the steep mountain pass. The slow journey up the mountain gave us ample opportunity to view the steep and treacherous White Pass trail that Jim and Albert had climbed. We saw skeleton horse heads on the trail but whether these were of 1897 vintage or had been placed there by the local tourist board is not for me to say. We eventually reached Bennett Station where we had a box lunch and were given a guided tour before making the return journey to Skagway. It was an incredible journey which prompted me to do a little more research on the WP&YR and its links to the Klondike gold rush.The WP&YR is a narrow, 3-foot gauge railway that connected the port of Skagway Alaska and Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon. It is the most heavily used tourist railroad in existence today and carries over 400,000 passengers each year during the May until October season. The railroad is isolated and not connected to any other system. The original line was over 110 miles in length but the most commonly used section today is the first 40 miles between Skagway and Bennett Station, although plans are to add some excursions to Carcross, Yukon. Originally the intention was to link Skagway at the northernmost end of the Inside Passage to the gold mining districts of the Klondike. British investment was secured and construction was started in 1898 and finished in July 1900. Three companies managed the railroad known as the WP&YR:- The Pacific & Arctic Railway from Skagway to the British Columbia border near White Pass.- The BC-Yukon Railway from White Pass to the BC Yukon border near Pennington.- The British Yukon Railroad to Whitehorse.Traffic on the WP&YR dropped significantly after the gold rush with the severe decline in the population of the Yukon Territories. Tourist trade saved the WP&YR as they began promoting recreational travel off the steamships that stopped in Skagway. The Second World War brought about the need to build the Alaska Highway linking Alaska through the Yukon and BC to the lower 48 states. The WP&YR was the best way to move supplies to the highway site. The US Army leased the railroad from 1942 to 1946 and ran multiple daily supply trains during that period. After the war, increased mining activities in the Yukon maintained the rail traffic to 1982. Numerous spur lines were opened and closed to mines in the district. The WP&YR pioneered some of the first transshipment of containers from ships to rail during the post-war period. In 1982 extremely depressed metal prices forced the mines to close and the railroad shut down in October, 1982. However by 1988 increased cruise ship traffic to Skagway prompted the WP&YR to reopen in 1988 and traffic has increased every year.The WP&YR rolling stock consists of approximately 20 diesel-electric locomotives, 2 steam engines and 70 antique and replica parlor car type coaches. 11 diesel-electric locomotives are ALCO 251A's built by GE between 1954 and 1966, and 9 are ALCO 251D's built by ALCO between 1969 and 1982. The two steam locomotives are Engine #73 which is a fully restored 1947 Baldwin 2-8-2 Mikado class unit and recently rebuilt Engine #69 which is a Baldwin 2-8-0 steam locomotive originally built for WP&YR in 1907. The parlor cars are antique or replicas of antique coaches with an average age of 50 years and with an average of approximately 40 seats per carriage. The parlor cars are named after lakes and rivers in Alaska, Yukon and BC and the oldest car is Lake Emerald which was built in 1883.The future of the WP&YR railroad looks promising with the continued increase in cruise ship traffic visiting Skagway. I urge all readers to visit Skagway and travel on one of the most scenic and historic train routes in operation today. Information on the schedules and fares can be found at

Be your own Travel Planner, Make Sure your Belongings are Secure while Traveling, TripMama

For many, one of the worst things that can happen while traveling is having your belongings lost or stolen. Trying to maintain a security-conscious mindset is one of the most effective ways to minimize potential risks. Following some common steps, and training yourself to carry them out instinctively will help keep your travels free of the expense and hassle of replacing missing items.First and foremost, your belongings are only as secure as you are willing to keep them. If you are careless, or don't follow all the reasonable steps you should, a certain amount of risk creeps in. Nothing you can do will 100% guarantee any item is secure. Keep this in mind when packing for the trip. Consider whether you can afford to lose any item you pack, both financially and emotionally. Think about what can easily be bought at your destination so that you can leave more behind. Before you leave, look into an appropriate amount of insurance. If you are traveling to a foreign country, especially one that is known for pickpockets and theft, get as much insurance as you can afford. It is worth the relief when something goes wrong. Make several copies of anything that has information on it, like a passport or a vaccination certificate. Leave a copy at home and distribute several copies amongst your luggage.During your travels you need to constantly be aware of yourself and your possessions. Don't let your bags go out of sight unless it is absolutely unavoidable. Try and minimize the time you spend physically carrying your luggage around with you. If you are encumbered with a heavy suitcase, you are less likely to give pursuit if someone snatches your wallet or purse, so make sure these items are very close to you and, if possible, hidden out of sight. Make sure you always check any seats you have used for anything you may have dropped or forgotten. Though this advice sounds obvious, maintaining an automatic awareness of your personal security is something that has to be practiced over time until it becomes almost subconscious.You are at your most vulnerable when out in crowded places. Sizeable amounts of money, passports, or any other valuables should be kept underneath your clothing in a money belt or some other zippered pouch that isn't your main pocket. Any money you think you'll need during the day should be kept in a separate front pocket. You can top this up in private places to hide your money belt from view. If you are going to be carrying any bags with you, try and 'slashproof' them by running wire or mesh through the places that would likely be cut. Additionally, the less you show off in public the less likely you are to be a target, so keep electronics, expensive-looking bags, and bulky items hidden as much as possible. Consider getting a scuffed-up rucksack specifically for city travel. Remember, anything that makes you stand out as a tourist marks you as a target for thieves.Practice these steps in the weeks leading up to your trip so that they become more automatic. As always, good preparation and good advice are the cornerstones to any enjoyable travel experience. There are many more extensive guides on security and safety abroad on the web, and more information can be obtained from the tourist board of your destination.


The first of a new type of domestic tourism figures have released. The figures have been collected by TNS for VisitBritain, VisitScotland, Visit Wales and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board under an improved methodology, which provides more accurate and detailed information.