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Passengers dream of airport cinemas

You might think that airport passengers would be too busy to settle down and watch the latest Will Smith Hollywood blockbuster or Jennifer Aniston rom-com. However, asked to name the facility they would most desire in their dream airport, almost half (49%) of travellers polled would opt for an on-site cinema as their number one choice.

Sleeping pods finished in second place, with more than one in three of those quizzed desperate for a spot to rest their weary jet-lagged heads, according to a global survey of 10,000 flyers by Skyscanner. Despite the current popularity of Kindles and iPads, many travellers remain attached to the classic paperback novel, with 32% of travellers backing the idea of an airport library. A park proved the fourth most popular facility, with 31% of travellers pining for a bit of green space amid the airport’s glass and steel atria to help relax them as they wile away the hours waiting for connecting flights.

In fifth place in passengers’ dream airport plans is a vanity area including a salon and spa, enabling fliers to pamper themselves with beauty treatments before they step foot on a plane. Other suggestions for dream airport facilities include a gym, with 15% of fliers keen to tone up their holiday body before they take to the skies, and a karaoke area to let anxious fliers relieve their stress with a song.

Copyright © Press Association 2013

New London to Mexico City service

The AeroMexico airline says it intends to work closely with the trade in the UK as it prepares to start flying between London and Mexico City.

AeroMexico, which is a member of SkyTeam, is due to begin operating flights between the UK capital and the Mexican capital three times per week from December 15. The flights will leave Heathrow on Monday, Thursday and Saturday and the firm’s manager in the UK, Elias Vivas, said it would not be paying commission but would offer “competitive” nett rates and is looking forward to working with UK trade.

“We are a premium carrier, we have successfully introduced routes to places like Shanghai on the strength of our corporate traffic,” he said. “We are counting on the support of the UK trade, we will work out incentive programmes for a number of key accounts.”

The flights will leave Heathrow at 17.25 and land in Mexico at 00.35 the following day, with the return flight departing Mexico City at 22.20 and arriving back in London at 15.00. The service will rival British Airways, which has had a monopoly until now.

The route is predominantly aimed at business and ex pat traffic, with tourism to the country generally entering via Cancun, and AeroMexico will offer business and economy cabins in a Boeing 767 before upgrading to a 787 Dreamliner in June 2013.

Copyright © Press Association 2012

UK travellers are far more able to spot famous landmarks abroad than those in their home country

UK travellers are far more able to spot famous landmarks abroad than those in their home country, a survey suggests.

Every participant in travel agency sunshine’s survey managed to recognise the Eiffel Tower in Paris, but just 77% spotted that a UK landmark was in fact Stonehenge. Indeed, Sydney Opera House and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge proved to be far more famous among Brits travelling from London Airports such as Gatwick, Heathrow, Stansted and Luton than Trafalgar Square and the London Eye.

This is despite the fact that UK tourists live in the country, and many may have even travelled past such landmarks on the bus to the airport. There were 1,714 British travellers who took part in the survey, 98% of whom recognised the pyramids in Egypt, while 96% picked out the Statue of Liberty in New York and 95% were able to name the Great Wall of China.

While Big Ben was recognised by 93% of UK holidaymakers, neither Trafalgar Square nor the London Eye were in the top 10 of the most recognisable landmarks.

Sunshine co-founder, Chris Clarkson, said: “I actually can't quite believe that more UK-based landmarks didn't feature in the top 10 here. “To see that more people recognised the Golden Gate Bridge above the likes of the London Eye and Trafalgar Square is a bit of an eye opener.”

Copyright © Press Association 2012

Tourist total 'to exceed one billion'

New research has suggested the number of tourists worldwide is set to pass one billion for the first time this year.

Figures from the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) show a record total of 467 million tourists travelled overseas between January and June this year, but experts say figures for the peak period of July to August have yet to be revealed. Consequently, UNWTO officials predict the total for the year as a whole will exceed one billion and John Kester from the organisation has backed that viewpoint by indicating the first half of a year only usually contributes 45% of the overall total.

"You don't have an even spread throughout the year. In a normal year, the first six months account for a total volume of 45% of the year," he said. Tourism statistics have increased in every region of the world so far in 2012, with Asia boasting the strongest growth after an 8% rise on last year's figures. There was also 4% more visitors to Europe in the first half of this year too, suggesting more and more people are arranging airport transfers ahead of jetting off. Experts say such rises suggest the total of 982 million international tourists in 2011 will be surpassed this year.

Copyright © Press Association 2012

Israel among top 10 world destinations

Israel has made it into Dorling Kindersley’s Top 10 World, a new guide to the world’s unique and unforgettable destinations.

Israel’s capital city of Jerusalem is an unparalleled religious and historical centre for travellers to gain insight to both the Jewish and Christian religions. Its Dead Sea is the world’s lowest geographical point, and the salt waters that makes up the 'sea' offer health benefits. The geographical and biological diversity of such a small country make it a marvel for visitors.

Set to be published on November 1, the new guide is arranged by region, taking armchair travellers to diverse locations such as the Algarve, Auckland, Iceland and Israel. The guide showcases the top 10 ‘must-see sites’ of a number of favourite tourism destinations and includes listings of the top offerings of each continent, including monuments, world-class buildings, museums, galleries, events, landscapes, beaches and much more.

The new guide also offers travellers information about hotels and restaurants at their favourite destinations. In its presentation of the new guide, Dorling Kindersley noted that its DK Travel range has published lists of ‘top tens’ of the most popular cities and regions in the world for many years. 'Now, we've gone one better with Top 10 World - showcasing the top 10 of everything around the globe in one show-stopping compendium,' the publisher said. The new guide will cost £25 and will be available in print and e-book versions.

Copyright © Press Association 2012