Welcome to your July Travel Digital Digest. Time flies in the world of travel and with summer in full swing, we share some of the biggest highlights from July. With constant changes and developments, it’s crucial you keep updated and ensure your copywriting strategy reflects this. From a new UK boss at Wendy Wu to new flights on Wizz Air, here’s our latest round-up from the world of travel.
Sri Lanka woos new visitors
The Sri Lankan government has announced a visa waiver fee for six months for selected countries, including the UK. The move is aimed at boosting tourism, following the terrorist attacks in the country earlier in the year. If the trial is successful, it may be rolled out for a longer period. A 30-day double-entry visa to Sri Lanka currently costs Brits £27. Previously, UK nationals could only get a free ‘transit’ visa if they pass through Sri Lanka and stay for no longer than two days. This doesn’t just benefit UK nationals however – the scheme is being implemented in 27 other countries including Australia, Canada and Singapore.
Booking.com under investigation
Travel aggregator website Booking.com is being investigated by Italian authorities over an alleged unpaid sales-tax bill of €150m (£137m). According to the Financial Times, the VAT is related to payments between individuals for rental properties advertised on its website – not hotels. The current investigation will decide whether Booking.com is liable for the VAT which was owed on payments made between 2013 and 2018. What’s more, the €150m figure is believed to be a ‘conservative’ estimate, so the final amount could end up even higher.
Wendy Wu appoints new UK boss
Former STA Travel boss Glen Mintrim has been appointed as managing director for Wendy Wu Tours’ UK business. He succeeds Mark Bloxham, who left the role in October last year. With previous experience at Qatar Airways and Tui, Mintrim plans to drive Wendy Wu’s three-year growth plan and develop trade sales. This comes at a positive time for Wendy Wu, as its 2020 bookings are currently up by 44% from 2019. Mintrim said: ‘We have a plan that will see us launching new and innovative products as well as nurturing and developing our links with the trade.’
Wizz Air to launch low-cost flights to Russia
Wizz Air plans to launch new flights to St Petersburg and Moscow later this year – its first to Russia from western Europe. Fares for both routes start from £25.99 for a one-way journey. Managing director Owain Jones says that Wizz Air will be ‘the only UK carrier flying to St Petersburg and on both new routes’, adding: ‘Our customers will enjoy Wizz Air’s great travel experience on-board Europe’s youngest and greenest aircraft.’
2018 heatwave a factor in Holiday Place collapse
The 2018 heatwave and uncertainty over Brexit were both key factors in the collapse of The Holiday Place, parent company of Cuba Holidays. The company went into administration in May, owing £12m to creditors, and with nearly 500 customers on holiday at the time. Travel Weekly quotes administrator Begbies Traynor as saying: ‘The unusually hot UK summer of 2018 resulted in low sales during that period, compared to previous years. The company saw a noticeable change in consumer behaviour. Instead of the surge in bookings for summer holidays the company traditionally saw in January, it saw a significant decrease.’
July has seen the rise and fall of travel companies, proof that nothing stays still for long in the travel sector. Get in touch with Ad-Rank today and we can help ensure your content and SEO is as good as it can be. Don’t forget to check back next month for the latest travel updates and news for August.