While Disney theme parks may be temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, they can still bring joy to the public with virtual experiences that families and individuals can enjoy from the comfort of their homes. Although the Disney parks are not currently providing official virtual tours, former guests are uploading video recordings of their own experiences for their fellow Disney-lovers’ viewing pleasure. Through these videos, many people stuck at home are learning the value of living vicariously through others. [embedded content] A quick search will provide plenty of ride-through videos taken at some of Disney’s most popular attractions. Thrill-seekers can stay dry while still enjoying the fun of Splash Mountain and then experience the rush of Space Mountain. Meanwhile, kids can see their favorite characters through footage of Ariel’s Undersea Adventure at Disneyland and Frozen Ever After at Epcot. [embedded content] While it is not the same as experiencing the Happiest Place on Earth in person, it offers a nice reprieve from the monotony of day-to-day life confined to the house. In fact, many people have taken to using virtual experiences in order to avoid contracting both the novel coronavirus and cabin fever. The fun doesn’t have to stop there either. Video-sharing websites like YouTube are full of ride-through videos from theme parks around the world. From the classic film-based rides of Universal Studios to the thrilling rollercoasters of Six Flags, amusement park-lovers can enjoy their favorite rides from their own couches. [embedded content]
Blue sky thinking: When the coronavirus crisis is over there’s going to be a stampede of bookings - so get in early and you might not even need to pay a depositOn a trip to Central Asia, you could enjoy the countries of Georgia and Armenia There is a deposit-free deal for an 11-day Inca highlights tour from Lima to La PazEthiopia's Simien Mountains are brilliant for hiking, thanks to rugged landscapeCoronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?By T.d. Isacke For The Daily Mail Published: 08:33 EDT, 21 March 2020 | Updated: 18:22 EDT, 23 March 2020
Suite treat retreats: British hotels are desperate for bookings - so why not bag a bargain in a top-class room?British hotels are offering discounts of as much as 50 per cent - and moreStay in a big, airy room, with room service ordered to avoid dining roomsBeleaguered hoteliers will be happy to see you - even if you socially distanceBy Kate Johnson For The Daily Mail Published: 08:53 EDT, 21 March 2020 | Updated: 12:43 EDT, 21 March 2020
Revealed: Singapore, Osaka and Hong Kong are the world's most expensive cities in 2020, while Syrian capital Damascus is the cheapestResearchers looked at the prices of 160 items in 133 cities around the worldOther costly cities include New York, Paris, Zurich, Tel Aviv and Los AngelesThe cheapest cities in the world are Almaty, Tashkent, Buenos Aires and KarachiBy Jennifer Newton for MailOnline Published: 20:01 EDT, 17 March 2020 | Updated: 20:09 EDT, 17 March 2020
The astonishing winning and shortlisted images in a photography contest honouring the UK's national parksThe competition saw 1,700 stunning images submitted that were all snapped in the UK's 15 national parks The dramatic winning shot shows a rare osprey swooping in on its prey in the Cairngorms National ParkShortlisted entries snapped in Wales include a picture of a greedy puffin and a shot of the Brecon Beacons By Jennifer Newton for MailOnline Published: 07:26 EDT, 13 March 2020 | Updated: 17:40 EDT, 13 March 2020
Hilton Garden Inn experienced a stellar year in 2019. Not only did the upscale hotel brand introduce 48 new properties, but it also debuted in nine new countries. Of these nine new locations, Hilton Garden Inn was the first of any Hilton brand to open in Botswana, Latvia, Lithuania, Eswatini and Uganda. Some of these new lodgings include: Hilton Garden Inn Kampala Kira Road, the Hilton’s first hotel in Uganda. Guests can travel off the premises to explore the Uganda Museum, the Acacia Shopping Mall, Uganda Golf Club and Independence Park. Hilton Garden Inn Mbabane, the Hilton’s first hotel in Kingdom of Eswatini. This hotel inhabits Eswatini’s iconic building, the “Ship Out of the Ocean,” which sports an ultramodern design. Hilton Garden Inn Zagreb – Radnicka, the Hilton’s first property in Croatia. Located in the center of one of the country’s main cultural hubs, the hotel is within walking distance of the Croatian National Theatre, the Botanical Gardens and the Art Pavilion. Hilton Garden Inn Riga Old Town, the Hilton’s first property in Latvia. The hotel is located only minutes away from the grand building of the Riga Cathedral and House of the Blackheads. Hilton Garden Inn also saw steady expansion in the U.S., as more than half of the brand’s new 2019 properties opened in the states. The brand also expanded its on-property Garden Grille & Bar concept, in which a full-service restaurant and bar serve cooked-to-order dishes, sharable small plates, handcrafted cocktails and craft beers. There are now almost 600 Garden Grille & Bar locations across the country. The brand has also partnered with actress Judy Greer to create a new specialty cocktail, Judy’s Garden Gin, which can be found on all Garden Grille & Bar menus. As for 2020, Hilton Garden Inn continues to grow with anticipated opening all over the world. Some of these new upcoming hotels include Hilton Garden Inn Faroe Islands, Hilton Garden Inn Suva, Hilton Garden Inn Albany, Hilton Garden Inn Phuket Bang Tao, Hilton Garden Inn Fremont in California and Hilton Garden Inn Camden Waterfront.
Flybe, one of Europe’s largest regional airlines, announced it was grounding flights and shuttering operations effective immediately. The airline posted a message to customers on its website. MORE Airlines & Airports “If you are due to fly with Flybe, please DO NOT TRAVEL TO THE AIRPORT unless you have arranged an alternative flight with another airline. Please note that Flybe is unfortunately not able to arrange alternative flights for passengers. “For flights booked on Flybe services operated by our franchise partners, Eastern Airways and Blue Islands, these continue to operate as normal today and we ask you to contact them directly,” said the post. Chief executive Mark Anderson said the company had made “every possible attempt” to avoid collapse but had been “unable to overcome significant funding challenges.” While coronavirus had likely been the final nail in the coffin for the airline, Flybe had been struggling for a while. The airline, owned by Connect Airways, had been trying to balance the books through a number of measures but was still losing more than $20 million per year. The UK government stepped in to rescue the airline earlier this year, but its efforts, which included a deferral of taxes, potential loans and more, ultimately couldn’t save Flybe. As demand fell with the spread of coronavirus, the airline could no longer hold on and investors pulled the plug. Flybe passengers are being offered free rail travel from First Rail train operators, including Great Western Railway, South Western Railway, TransPennine Express and Avanti West Coast. EasyJet has also offered rescue fares for passengers and free flights for Flybe staff.
WHY IT RATES: Dehn will lead efforts in the New York office to execute group sales for the MICE market. —Janeen Christoff, TravelPulse Senior Writer The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism (CIDOT), announced that Kari Dehn will join the U.S. national sales team for the CIDOT and lead efforts in the New York office to execute group sales for Meetings, Incentive, Conferences and Exhibition (M.I.C.E.) travel and leisure groups visiting the Cayman Islands. As a Certified Incentive Specialist (CIS) with more than 25 years of experience in the travel industry, Dehn brings a wealth of incentive, meeting and event experience to the CIDOT and has previously served on the SITE Minnesota Board of Directors as vice president of membership. “The decision to appoint Kari Dehn as a member of our national U.S. sales team is a direct correlation of the Department of Tourism’s mission to expand consideration and bookings among MICE and leisure group traveler planners,” said Rosa Harris, director of the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism. “The Cayman Islands has many new and enticing destination developments in the pipeline for 2020 and we are poised for future success in hosting groups with our Caymankind hospitality,” added Harris. “Dehn is charged with the platform of engaging, educating and facilitating business to the Cayman Islands through the delivery of a comprehensive incentive sales strategy.” Prior to joining the CIDOT’s U.S. sales team, Dehn held positions with BI Worldwide, Marriott International, Melia Hotels & Resorts and AIC Hotel Group. Dehn’s long-standing industry relationships, experience with global hotel sourcing and sales and expertise building relationships with clients and tourism partners makes her an outstanding addition to the CIDOT. The latest team member added to the Cayman Islands USA National Office will ensure continued growth in group arrivals while generating awareness in the U.S. leisure and business travel markets, keeping the Cayman Islands top-of-mind among key strategic partners and markets for the Department of Tourism. SOURCE: CIDOT press release.
Hotel chain offers free stays for 18 years to couples who check in on Valentine's Day and have a baby nine months later (and guests can book for up to four hours)The promotion is being run by Hotel Zed, which has two properties in Canada Rather than spending the night, couples can also book in for a four-hour stay The hotel chain says: 'Let’s be real, Valentine’s Day was made for getting lucky'By Jennifer Newton for MailOnline Published: 10:46 EST, 30 January 2020 | Updated: 11:55 EST, 30 January 2020
Is this REALLY how to get more space on public transport? The bizarre inflatable jacket that can be pumped up to create a 'barrier between the wearer and busy crowds'The jacket, called the Space Optimiser, can be inflated via an electric pump When inflated, it creates what the makers describe as an '18-inch exclusion zone'Video footage shows a model trying out the coat on the London Underground By Jennifer Newton for MailOnline Published: 12:52 EST, 22 January 2020 | Updated: 12:56 EST, 22 January 2020