More travel tidbits from around the world, compiled and curated by Travel Editor Stephen Scourfield
The folk at Camplify reckon pets are in for a pretty good year. A spokesperson says: “This year, holidays will include the entire family — dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, fish and guinea pigs will be invited too.” Camplify saw a 131 per cent increase in booking inquiries for travel with pets in 2021, and 44 per cent of vans listed on Camplify are now pet-friendly, an increase from 39 per cent a year ago. Through Camplify, owners can rent campervans, motorhomes and caravans, and travellers can hire them, of course. The spokesperson adds that there are more than 29 million pets in Australia. We have one of the highest pet ownership rates in the world, with 61 per cent of households owning pets — dogs being top at 40 per cent, followed by cats at 27.
The cost of caravan park and camping spots drops dramatically after January 23, Aircamp data shows. Aircamp is a free app and website to search, find and book campsites. After that date, the average ensuite van park site falls from an Australian average of $83 to $66 a night, from a peak of $92 a night over Christmas. Powered sites are expected to drop from a national average of $58 to $48 a night, and non-powered sites drop from $45 to $37 per night.
MAKING AN IMPACT
. . . and the folk at Intrepid Travel are on a mission “to create positive change through the joy of travel”. They have announced that they are adding 22 new “impact initiatives” to itineraries in 2022. They define these impact initiatives as “activities that directly support environmental or wildlife conservation, preserve Indigenous culture or support marginalised social groups”. Intrepid spokesperson Erica Kritikides says: “Businesses such as ours have an exciting opportunity, not to mention a responsibility, to find more ways to contribute in a positive way to the places and people we visit.” As an example, in Morocco, there’s a visit to a tea house supporting local women, as part of Intrepid’s 13-day Morocco Uncovered trip. intrepidtravel.com (We’ll go deeper into these projects in a future edition of Sunday Travel.)
Key spokespeople in Morocco’s tourism sector say the country’s tough COVID-19 restrictions, including a full flight ban, have given them a harder hit than their rival destinations. Morocco closed its borders in late November and plans to reopen them at the end of January.
But tourism has helped to lead Greece’s economic pandemic rebound. The country has reported an annual growth rate in double digits, due in part to a strong performance in tourism in the third quarter of last year.
In the UK, bookings surged after testing rules for international travel were relaxed. Budget airline Jet2 reported demand at “around pre-Covid levels”, after the plan to scrap pre-departure tests for fully vaccinated travellers. Another budget airline, EasyJet, reported strong demand for flights to the Spanish destinations of Tenerife, Alicante, Malaga and Lanzarote. EasyJet has added more than a million more seats from London Gatwick for this northern summer.
Here in Australia (if you survive setting up the ServiceWA app), the Federal Government announced that people with a positive rapid antigen test will no longer be required to get a PCR test and international arrivals will not need to get multiple tests.
We have four much sought-after cabins available on the PS Murray Princess on the Murray River in March. Mogens Johansen will be leading the trip. In addition to the four nights on the Murray, with all meals and sightseeing, there’s a four-star hotel night on Kangaroo Island (with two days of touring), three nights at a four-star hotel in Adelaide, and a full-day tour of the Barossa Valley and Hahndorf village (with wine-tastings). The eight-night trip leaves on March 10 and is $3199 per person, twin share, including flights, accommodation and some meals. Details and itinerary at westtravelclub. com.au/tours, or phone 6319 0207.
And I’m off to South Australia in March, too. I really like the plan for the exclusive Best of South Australia Long Weekend Getaway, over four nights and three days, leaving Perth on March 4. Staying in the Hilton Adelaide, there are two days of private charter flights — to Kangaroo Island and to the Eyre Peninsula, visiting Coffin Bay and Port Lincoln. And there’s a full South Australian culinary experience, including a dinner, with wine (hosted by me), showcasing South Australia’s best produce It is $3619 per person twin share, including flights from Perth, accommodation and touring. There’s an amazing South Australian adventure every day. (And we’ve worked up some options for my travelling companions to stay on and tour more.) Once again, Details and itinerary at westtravelclub. com.au/tours, or phone 1300 854 897.