UK consumer spend abroad rises to £35.5 billion in 2014

Spending by UK consumers abroad rose by £3.7 billion to £35.5 billion last year over 2010, according to latest calculations.

This represented an 11.7% increase in the four-year period with Spain being the major benefactor.

British travellers spent £6.14 billion in Spain in 2014 – the most for any country in the world � and £3.91 billion on visits to the US.

Some £3.51 billion was spent across in France, whilst Italy was fourth with £1.68 billion.

The research by the travel money business Centtrip also showed that Romania had seen a 114% increase in spending by UK residents between 2010 and 2014. This equated to an extra £102 million.

Lithuania and the UAE saw increases of 74% while Norway and Mexico saw increases of 69%, 60% respectively.

Analysis by the company found that Britons took more than 60 million trips abroad, with an outlay of £35.5 billion in spending money.

Centtrip co-founder and managing director, Brian Jamieson, said: “Overseas travel is increasing, but as people visit more countries, they need to make sure they are getting a fair deal when buying foreign currency, and keep charges down to a minimum.”

Piggybacking on the river boom

Craigslist

By Michelle Baran
Do you ever find yourself, as I often do, reflecting about a seemingly simple concept that has become incredibly successful (like Craigslist, the beyond basic classifieds website now worth hundreds of millions of dollars), and say to yourself, “Drats! Now why didn’t I think of that?!”

As the river cruise market continues to boom, some in the travel industry might be feeling that very sentiment about river cruising. They might have a little case of river cruise envy as it were — “If only I had thought to start building riverboats several years ago,” the regretful might muse.

Michelle Baran
Michelle Baran

But rather than bemoan the fact that they aren’t among the pioneering companies that built up the river cruising market, several factions of the travel industry have instead been working to benefit from the myriad of business opportunities that have arisen in light of the the river cruise industry’s success, and their piggybacking strategy is working.

For instance, the wholesale tour operator Avanti Destinations has been promoting its customizable FIT offerings as pre- and post-cruise city-stays that agents can tack onto a river cruise to increase their earnings.

“We encourage agents to ask their cruise clients about adding extra days — or even a week — to their itinerary,” said Harry Dalgaard, president and founder of Avanti.

“We’ve had clients, for example, who start with a Danube cruise, add a few nights in Vienna, continue on to Salzburg and then head to Florence, the Tuscan countryside and Rome before returning home,” he added.

The result is that Avanti is seeing big booking windfalls in destinations linked to river cruising. In the past year, the company has seen bookings for Bordeaux and Lyon in France increase 85% and 100%, respectively; bookings for Budapest, Hungary, have grown 30%; and for Nuremberg, Germany, bookings have jumped a whopping 175%.

Consequently, Avanti has developed new pre- and post-cruise suggested itineraries geared specifically toward river cruisers, including a three-day Bordeaux package (from $725 per person), a three-day Amsterdam itinerary (from $595 per person), a three-day Nuremberg package (from $329 per person), and a three-day Vienna package (from $515 per person).

Travel agents too are getting in on the action. Several years ago, it was difficult to find any agents that were dedicated solely to the river cruise market or who knew very much about it. But today, there is a growing roster of river cruise specialists, including several that have been featured in Travel Weekly, that have built up an entire agency business and/or website focused only on river cruising.

Sometimes it doesn’t matter whether you had the good idea in the first place. What matters is whether you can make someone else’s good idea work in your favor. The river cruise industry isn’t just one business, it is a ripple effect of businesses and opportunities for those who choose to ride the wake.

Holidaymakers forced to abandon their cruise ship after it collides with oil tanker off the coast of Turkey leaving huge dent in hull.

  • Celestyal Crystal cruise liner collided with tanker STI Pimlico on Saturday 
  • More than 850 passengers on board evacuated by sea boat to Gallipoli
  • Two crew members and a passenger suffered minor injuries in incident
  • Emergency services moved quickly to stop a fire from the oil tanker 

More than 850 passengers had to be evacuated after their Mediterranean cruise ship collided with an oil tanker off the coast of Turkey, leaving a huge dent in its hull.

Authorities said a huge disaster was averted after emergency service quickly responded to reports that the Celestyal Crystal and the tanker STI Pimlico had crashed at 1.30am on Saturday morning in the Dardanelles Strait.

Cruise operators said two crew members and a passenger suffered minor injuries in the accident as the vessel, registered to Malta, made its way from Greece to Istanbul.

All of its 853 passengers and 382 staff were taken to safety by a sea bus to Gallipoil, and the rest of their journey was cancelled while structural damage to the front of the ship is being fixed.


Damage: The hull of the Celestyal Crystal was badly damaged after the incident at 1.30am on Saturday

Emergency services moved quickly to douse the tanker in water to prevent a fire or explosion after fuel spilled out of the 182-metre long tanker, which had been travelling from Russia to Malta carrying flammable naptha fuel.

It has not yet been established how the collision took place.

A statement from the cruise line published on travel website www.cruisecritic.co.uk said Celestyal Cruises, which operates the ship, will arrange for passengers to continue their holidays on other boats.

It has also offered full refunds for holidaymakers’ cruise fares as well as second, complimentary seven-night cruises

Spill: Emergency services working quickly to stop a fire or explosion when oil poured out of the tanker 
Spill: Emergency services working quickly to stop a fire or explosion when oil poured out of the tanker 

‘With the safety and care of our passengers as our utmost priority, we will ensure the smoothest possible disembarkation for those on board since the current cruise will have to be cancelled’, it said.

‘We apologize for the inconvenience and would like to assure that we will spare no effort in ensuring that our passengers are provided with the best hospitality under the circumstances.’

Mayor of Çanakkale, Ahmet Çınar, told Turkish television channel NTV a huge disaster was prevented just in time and potential danger has been minimized thanks to ‘intensive’ work by emergency crews, the Daily Sabah reported.

Ferry services along the Strait were cancelled for several hours during the clean-up operation.