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This is what travel looked like after the last global pandemic



Slide 1 of 35: There's no doubt that coronavirus has changed the world. Entire populations went into lockdown and non-essential travel was off the cards initially. But this isn't the first time the planet has faced a global pandemic. In 1918, Spanish Flu spread across the globe, claiming millions of lives and altering the daily routines – and travel patterns – of people from all corners of the planet. Here we take a look at the pandemic that rocked the world in the early 20th century and what it meant for travel.
Slide 2 of 35: Considered the deadliest pandemic in human history, Spanish Flu infected about a third of the world's population, and is thought to have cost the lives of some 50 million people (although medical record keeping at the time means exact figures remain unknown). This previously unknown strain of deadly influenza swept across the world from 1918 and into the summer of 1919.
Slide 3 of 35: Because of its name, many assume this 20th-century pandemic began in Spain. However, although there are several theories pointing to various other parts of Europe, China or the US, its starting point remains unconfirmed. The name Spanish Flu came from the fact that Spanish press reported on the virus in a timely and thorough fashion, while there were still media blackouts in other European countries due to the First World War. One of the earliest reported cases was at a military camp in Fort Riley, Kansas in March 1918. A hospital ward at Camp Funston is pictured here during the outbreak.
Slide 4 of 35: Travel was a different beast in the 1910s. Aviation was in its infancy and leisure travel was far less engrained in people's lives than it is today. The absence of jumbo jets whisking passengers to all corners of the globe meant that the disease spread slower than it would have today, not reaching countries including Canada until September 1918. People still took precautions when traveling locally – this 1918 photo shows a man cleaning a London bus during the pandemic.

Slide 5 of 35: Travel still had an impact on the way the pandemic spread. According to a 2020 report, Spanish Flu can be "described as the first 'modern' pandemic characterized by rapid movement via a global transport system". But rather than by jumbo jets, the disease was carried across the world via ships and railways. Pictured here is a notice from the Anti-Tuberculosis League advising train passengers on ways to deal with the influenza outbreak.
Slide 6 of 35: There wasn't a cohesive global response to the pandemic and, even within nations, different cities took vastly different approaches to controlling the disease. But when the outbreak hit its peak, the general consensus was that the public should avoid crowds, limit contact with other people and, by extension, avoid non-essential travel. In New York, for example, business hours were altered in order to reduce congestion on public transport. Here a passenger without a face mask is refused entry to a Seattle street car.
Slide 7 of 35: Places that might usually attract tourists – including restaurants, theaters, cinemas and saloons – were closed in many places, including, eventually, in Philadelphia, where a large public parade had previously led to a shocking death toll. This 1919 poster in Chicago, Illinois reminds those with symptoms to stay at home. Now take a look at these photos of cities before, during and, in some cases, after COVID-19's lockdown.
Slide 8 of 35: Some places closed their borders altogether, restricting access in and out of their community, and also shutting schools and places of worship. These included the city of Egegik (pictured here in 1917, before the outbreak) on Alaska's Bristol Bay, an area devastated by the pandemic. Australia also required those people traveling into the country to quarantine for a period during the outbreak.
Slide 9 of 35: The Spanish Flu pandemic and, of course, the First World War led to a period of financial hardship for many. Post-war recessions caused high unemployment in the United States and, after a brief economic boom in 1919 to 1920, Britain had a similar fate. For many families, a vacation was the furthest thing from their mind. But with large crowds no longer an issue, some sun-seekers still found their way to local beaches. Here women and girls wade into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Massachusetts circa 1919. 

Slide 10 of 35: Despite the economic circumstances of many in the UK and US, there was a shift in attitudes towards travel after the pandemic and the First World War. This tumultuous period, according to Leonard J Lickorish in British Tourism, "took millions of people from their normal home environments, tossed them into a feverish activity and change, and moved them frequently in the UK and abroad.” He continues, "Traditional perceptions of home, village and town boundaries were broken," laying the foundations for a new age of travel and tourism. This 1920s shot shows Blackpool Pleasure Beach, UK.
Slide 11 of 35: Despite the (perhaps surprising) appetite for post-war and post-pandemic travel, it remained the domain of the most privileged in society – and even they tended to stay close to home shores. Here three well-heeled, well-dressed women enjoy the sunshine on a beach in Massachusetts in the 1920s.
Slide 12 of 35: After the Spanish Flu and the First World War had run their destructive courses, there were leaps and bounds made in aviation technology. According to Smithsonian, during this period, "aircraft evolved from First World War-style biplanes into sleek, high-performance modern airliners" that somewhat resemble the planes we're used to traveling in today. This shot shows passengers waiting to board a Handley Page W.9 aircraft at UK's Croydon Airport in 1926.
Slide 13 of 35: In the early days of the US air transport network, these new-fangled aircraft generally carried mail rather than passengers. This photo shows a woman handing her mail to aircraft crew employed by Western Air Express (later known as Western Airlines).
Slide 14 of 35: It wasn't until the late 1920s, and through the 1930s, that commercial aviation began to flourish and regular passenger services were established. Early US services included Transcontinental Air Transport's route between New York and Los Angeles, which launched in 1929. British airlines such as Imperial Airways also operated during this time, serving destinations including Northern Europe and South Africa. Passengers are pictured here in the 1920s boarding an Imperial Airways service from London to Paris.

Slide 15 of 35: Flying in the years after the Spanish Flu pandemic was costly and, as such, it was an activity reserved for the most privileged in society. However, plane rides during this time were long, uncomfortable (due to noise and turbulence) and ultimately dangerous – accidents involving commercial aircraft were not uncommon in the interwar years. Here a bunch of wealthy passengers brave a plane ride in 1931 and enjoy some in-flight entertainment. This is how coronavirus could change the airport experience.
Slide 16 of 35: Having said this, airlines went the extra mile to ensure their affluent passengers were comfortable, with top service, plush cabin lounges and fine food served seat-side. You were even allowed to smoke. Here a couple relaxes with a cocktail or two on the Imperial Airways Empire flying boat passenger plane in the 1930s. Now check out how air travel has changed since 1920.
Slide 17 of 35: While a small handful of people were able to fly, sea travel was a more popular way of covering those long distances (although cruising still came with a fairly hefty price tag). The Spanish Flu had mainly found its way between countries via ships, but there's little indication that this put travelers off from taking to the ocean in the interwar years. Here a jubilant crowd waves off the RMS Queen Mary as she leaves a Southampton dock on her maiden voyage in 1936.
Slide 18 of 35: Cruise liners competed to win the Blue Riband title for the shortest Atlantic crossing time through the 1930s, and the RMS Queen Mary forged her way from Southampton to New York in just five days. Here a star-studded group, including performer Gertrude Lawrence, dine on the ship in early 1939.
Slide 19 of 35: Like flying, cruising was, for the most part, a lavish affair that only the wealthiest in society could afford. For many families living through the wake of a world war and a global pandemic, this kind of travel simply wasn't an option. Those who did have the means to escape on luxury ships would find plush lounges such as this one on Canadian Pacific liner the Duchess of Bedford – it's captured here in 1931.
Slide 20 of 35: Beyond their decks and lavish lounges, cruises gave wealthy passengers the opportunity to explore far-flung destinations on organized excursions. Here American tourists from the Cunard liner Scythia are pictured wandering the ancient Giza pyramid complex, near Cairo, Egypt in 1923.
Slide 21 of 35: During the Spanish Flu pandemic, trains were seen as a vessel for transmitting the disease and some members of the public were wary of using them. Longstanding trade publication Railway Age said in a 1918 editorial that "crowding in passenger trains should be avoided as much as possible" and railways should take "every possible measure" to ensure the safety of trains. But by the 1920s, passengers once again felt safe to travel on the railways for leisure. Here vacationers leave London Paddington on a "land cruise" to the West Country.
Slide 22 of 35: The pandemic saw some rail routes altered or halted altogether. But during the interwar years, train travel boomed, as shown by this crowd pictured at Waterloo Station in 1922. In fact, in the book British Tourism, these are described as the “glory years of steam trains”, with vacationers enjoying “relatively fast and efficient services". Take a look at these stunning photos of the world's most beautiful train stations.
Slide 23 of 35: The ease and efficiency of a journey on the British railway meant that more families (especially those who couldn't afford a motor car) were able to enjoy short breaks and leisure excursions around the country. Here a group of delighted young vacationers enjoy a ride on a luggage cart at Euston station.
Slide 24 of 35: There was a similar post-pandemic trend in the USA. According to Railway Age, “In 1920, the US system would see its highest total, 47.3 billion passenger-miles – this just four years after the entire network reached its peak mileage of 254,000 route-miles.” Here a young woman alights a train in California, ready for her vacation, in 1927. Now look at these amazing photos showing how coronavirus has visibly reduced the world's pollution.
Slide 25 of 35: As train services poured passengers into Britain's seaside towns, the post-war and post-pandemic years saw major investments along the UK's coast. Previously neglected spots such as Eastbourne and Blackpool were transformed into glittering seaside resorts with hotels and amusement-packed beaches. Vacationers are seen here in the 1920s, wandering Eastbourne's ocean promenade, its pier rising in the background.
Slide 26 of 35: Some of Britain's seaside towns – including Blackpool in Lancashire and Margate in Kent (pictured) – also had fun, family-friendly amusement parks that drew yet more people through the interwar years. In fact, British Tourism estimates that by the late 1930s, having mostly recovered from the devastation of war and the Spanish Flu, "one third of the population, or 15 million people, took one annual vacation staying away from home within the country".
Slide 27 of 35: The post-pandemic vacation looked similar in America too, with many families staying close to home during their leisure time, either by choice or due to financial constraints. This trio of beach-goers build a sandcastle on New Jersey shores in 1934. Take a look at more vintage snaps of family vacations throughout the decades.
Slide 28 of 35: While most British vacationers stuck to home shores, the number traveling abroad by the end of the 1930s, more than a decade after the pandemic ended, was not insignificant. By this time, it's estimated that the number of travelers setting their sights abroad, usually to Europe, had reached one million, according to British Tourism. This vintage snap shows a busy beach in Valencia, Spain.
Slide 29 of 35: Post-war and post-pandemic, the motor car industry boomed in both the UK and the States. Although they remained the preserve of the wealthy upper and middle classes, vehicles opened up the USA and countries across Europe, providing easy access to previously hard-to-reach destinations. Now take a look at what the future of travel could look like after COVID-19.
Slide 30 of 35: The war- and disease-ravaged years previous had taken away freedoms for many people so, in the decades that followed, the open road beckoned. The idea of the road trip soon became a romantic notion, particularly in the USA, where the motor industry played a major part in rebuilding the country's suffering economy. Here road-trippers enjoy a country road in Yellowstone National Park in the 1920s. Take a look at nostalgic pictures of America's most historic attractions here.
Slide 31 of 35: Road conditions improved dramatically in the United States through the 1920s and 1930s, and motorways were built across the country, as well as in European destinations such as Germany. The UK also invested heavily in dual-carriageway roads. Here, a young group of road-trippers in the US state of Georgia consult a map at the side of the highway in the 1930s.
Slide 32 of 35: Of course, car ownership wasn't a possibility for everyone and long-distance coach services helped those who couldn't afford their own vehicle get on the road. Many surplus military vehicles were turned into road-worthy buses and coaches during this time, and social enterprises also sought to provide vacations for those who were hit hard by the previous decade. Here a group head out from London's Hoxton in a Baker's Motor Service coach, on a trip to Brighton organized by Hoxton Market Mission.
Slide 33 of 35: Motor-pulled caravans, which have pre-war roots, found their footing once the pandemic had ended too. In the 1930s, the gold standard of caravans was born with Bertram Hutchings' Winchester model (pictured), which was soon seen on roads and campsites across Britain. Unsurprisingly, caravan parks began to spring up along Britain's coastal areas too.
Slide 34 of 35: There was a similar pattern in the States too. The Tin Can Tourists Club – a trailer and motor coach club – formed in the wake of the pandemic, in 1919, and light trailers and caravans continued to grow in popularity. A Tin Can Tourist camp in Gainesville, Florida, is pictured here in the 1920s. Now look at retro photos of America's oldest attractions in their heyday.
Slide 35 of 35: Innovation in recreational vehicles would continue right up until the late 1930s, when the Second World War would take hold. And as more and more Americans began owning motor vehicles and trailers during this decade, caravan sites continued to spring up. This one is located in Dade City, in Florida's Tampa Bay area, and is captured in 1939. Discover classic Hollywood stars' most charming vacation snaps here.

How Spanish Flu changed travel

There’s no doubt that coronavirus has changed the world. Entire populations went into lockdown and non-essential travel was off the cards initially. But this isn’t the first time the planet has faced a global pandemic. In 1918, Spanish Flu spread across the globe, claiming millions of lives and altering the daily routines – and travel patterns – of people from all corners of the planet. Here we take a look at the pandemic that rocked the world in the early 20th century and what it meant for travel.

A global pandemic

What’s in a name?

Because of its name, many assume this 20th-century pandemic began in Spain. However, although there are several theories pointing to various other parts of Europe, China or the US, its starting point remains unconfirmed. The name Spanish Flu came from the fact that Spanish press reported on the virus in a timely and thorough fashion, while there were still media blackouts in other European countries due to the First World War. One of the earliest reported cases was at a military camp in Fort Riley, Kansas in March 1918. A hospital ward at Camp Funston is pictured here during the outbreak.

Travel, then and now

Travel was a different beast in the 1910s. Aviation was in its infancy and leisure travel was far less engrained in people’s lives than it is today. The absence of jumbo jets whisking passengers to all corners of the globe meant that the disease spread slower than it would have today, not reaching countries including Canada until September 1918. People still took precautions when traveling locally – this 1918 photo shows a man cleaning a London bus during the pandemic.

The journey of a disease

Travel still had an impact on the way the pandemic spread. According to a 2020 report, Spanish Flu can be “described as the first ‘modern’ pandemic characterized by rapid movement via a global transport system”. But rather than by jumbo jets, the disease was carried across the world via ships and railways. Pictured here is a notice from the Anti-Tuberculosis League advising train passengers on ways to deal with the influenza outbreak.

Travel with caution

There wasn’t a cohesive global response to the pandemic and, even within nations, different cities took vastly different approaches to controlling the disease. But when the outbreak hit its peak, the general consensus was that the public should avoid crowds, limit contact with other people and, by extension, avoid non-essential travel. In New York, for example, business hours were altered in order to reduce congestion on public transport. Here a passenger without a face mask is refused entry to a Seattle street car.

Cities in lockdown

Places that might usually attract tourists – including restaurants, theaters, cinemas and saloons – were closed in many places, including, eventually, in Philadelphia, where a large public parade had previously led to a shocking death toll. This 1919 poster in Chicago, Illinois reminds those with symptoms to stay at home. Now take a look at these photos of cities before, during and, in some cases, after COVID-19’s lockdown.

Closing borders

Some places closed their borders altogether, restricting access in and out of their community, and also shutting schools and places of worship. These included the city of Egegik (pictured here in 1917, before the outbreak) on Alaska’s Bristol Bay, an area devastated by the pandemic. Australia also required those people traveling into the country to quarantine for a period during the outbreak.

The aftermath

The Spanish Flu pandemic and, of course, the First World War led to a period of financial hardship for many. Post-war recessions caused high unemployment in the United States and, after a brief economic boom in 1919 to 1920, Britain had a similar fate. For many families, a vacation was the furthest thing from their mind. But with large crowds no longer an issue, some sun-seekers still found their way to local beaches. Here women and girls wade into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Massachusetts circa 1919. 

A new attitude to travel

Despite the economic circumstances of many in the UK and US, there was a shift in attitudes towards travel after the pandemic and the First World War. This tumultuous period, according to Leonard J Lickorish in British Tourism, “took millions of people from their normal home environments, tossed them into a feverish activity and change, and moved them frequently in the UK and abroad.” He continues, “Traditional perceptions of home, village and town boundaries were broken,” laying the foundations for a new age of travel and tourism. This 1920s shot shows Blackpool Pleasure Beach, UK.

The true cost

Jetting off

After the Spanish Flu and the First World War had run their destructive courses, there were leaps and bounds made in aviation technology. According to Smithsonian, during this period, “aircraft evolved from First World War-style biplanes into sleek, high-performance modern airliners” that somewhat resemble the planes we’re used to traveling in today. This shot shows passengers waiting to board a Handley Page W.9 aircraft at UK’s Croydon Airport in 1926.

You’ve got mail

Taking flight

It wasn’t until the late 1920s, and through the 1930s, that commercial aviation began to flourish and regular passenger services were established. Early US services included Transcontinental Air Transport’s route between New York and Los Angeles, which launched in 1929. British airlines such as Imperial Airways also operated during this time, serving destinations including Northern Europe and South Africa. Passengers are pictured here in the 1920s boarding an Imperial Airways service from London to Paris.

A bumpy ride

Flying in the years after the Spanish Flu pandemic was costly and, as such, it was an activity reserved for the most privileged in society. However, plane rides during this time were long, uncomfortable (due to noise and turbulence) and ultimately dangerous – accidents involving commercial aircraft were not uncommon in the interwar years. Here a bunch of wealthy passengers brave a plane ride in 1931 and enjoy some in-flight entertainment. This is how coronavirus could change the airport experience.

Little luxuries

Having said this, airlines went the extra mile to ensure their affluent passengers were comfortable, with top service, plush cabin lounges and fine food served seat-side. You were even allowed to smoke. Here a couple relaxes with a cocktail or two on the Imperial Airways Empire flying boat passenger plane in the 1930s. Now check out how air travel has changed since 1920.

Out to sea

All aboard

A splash of luxury

A true escape

On the right track

During the Spanish Flu pandemic, trains were seen as a vessel for transmitting the disease and some members of the public were wary of using them. Longstanding trade publication Railway Age said in a 1918 editorial that “crowding in passenger trains should be avoided as much as possible” and railways should take “every possible measure” to ensure the safety of trains. But by the 1920s, passengers once again felt safe to travel on the railways for leisure. Here vacationers leave London Paddington on a “land cruise” to the West Country.

Full steam ahead

The pandemic saw some rail routes altered or halted altogether. But during the interwar years, train travel boomed, as shown by this crowd pictured at Waterloo Station in 1922. In fact, in the book British Tourism, these are described as the “glory years of steam trains”, with vacationers enjoying “relatively fast and efficient services”. Take a look at these stunning photos of the world’s most beautiful train stations.

An easy ride

The American railroad

There was a similar post-pandemic trend in the USA. According to Railway Age, “In 1920, the US system would see its highest total, 47.3 billion passenger-miles – this just four years after the entire network reached its peak mileage of 254,000 route-miles.” Here a young woman alights a train in California, ready for her vacation, in 1927. Now look at these amazing photos showing how coronavirus has visibly reduced the world’s pollution.

A spotlight on the seaside

Coastal amusements

Some of Britain’s seaside towns – including Blackpool in Lancashire and Margate in Kent (pictured) – also had fun, family-friendly amusement parks that drew yet more people through the interwar years. In fact, British Tourism estimates that by the late 1930s, having mostly recovered from the devastation of war and the Spanish Flu, “one third of the population, or 15 million people, took one annual vacation staying away from home within the country”.

Close to home

The post-pandemic vacation looked similar in America too, with many families staying close to home during their leisure time, either by choice or due to financial constraints. This trio of beach-goers build a sandcastle on New Jersey shores in 1934. Take a look at more vintage snaps of family vacations throughout the decades.

Brits abroad

While most British vacationers stuck to home shores, the number traveling abroad by the end of the 1930s, more than a decade after the pandemic ended, was not insignificant. By this time, it’s estimated that the number of travelers setting their sights abroad, usually to Europe, had reached one million, according to British Tourism. This vintage snap shows a busy beach in Valencia, Spain.

On the road

Post-war and post-pandemic, the motor car industry boomed in both the UK and the States. Although they remained the preserve of the wealthy upper and middle classes, vehicles opened up the USA and countries across Europe, providing easy access to previously hard-to-reach destinations. Now take a look at what the future of travel could look like after COVID-19.

The joy of the open road

The war- and disease-ravaged years previous had taken away freedoms for many people so, in the decades that followed, the open road beckoned. The idea of the road trip soon became a romantic notion, particularly in the USA, where the motor industry played a major part in rebuilding the country’s suffering economy. Here road-trippers enjoy a country road in Yellowstone National Park in the 1920s. Take a look at nostalgic pictures of America’s most historic attractions here.

The road to somewhere

Coach trip

Britain’s caravan boom

Tin can tourism

There was a similar pattern in the States too. The Tin Can Tourists Club – a trailer and motor coach club – formed in the wake of the pandemic, in 1919, and light trailers and caravans continued to grow in popularity. A Tin Can Tourist camp in Gainesville, Florida, is pictured here in the 1920s. Now look at retro photos of America’s oldest attractions in their heyday.

A site for sore eyes

Innovation in recreational vehicles would continue right up until the late 1930s, when the Second World War would take hold. And as more and more Americans began owning motor vehicles and trailers during this decade, caravan sites continued to spring up. This one is located in Dade City, in Florida’s Tampa Bay area, and is captured in 1939. Discover classic Hollywood stars’ most charming vacation snaps here.

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Travel

MailOnline gets a sneak peek of Disneyland Paris before it reopens

Two miles of plexiglass and 2,000 hand sanitisers: MailOnline gets a sneak peek of coronavirus-ready Disneyland Paris before it reopens on July 15 for face-mask-wearing visitors

  • When Disneyland Paris reopens next Wednesday, after a four-month shutdown, it’ll look a bit different
  • But the park’s cheerful facades and thoroughfares aren’t marred by stern safety signs, MailOnline discovered
  • We were given a sneak peek tour of the park and heard talks from the park’s president and show director
  • And, of course, we had a socially distanced character interaction with Mickey, Donald and Goofy 

Twelve miles of safety signage, about two miles of plexiglass and 2,000 hand-sanitising stations.

When Disneyland Paris reopens next Wednesday, July 15, after a four-month coronavirus-prompted shutdown, it’ll look a bit different.

But, as MailOnline Travel discovered during a sneak peek tour today – not that different.

MailOnline’s Travel Editor, Ted Thornhill, in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at Disneyland Paris today during a sneak peek tour

MailOnline Travel had a socially distanced character interaction with Mickey, Donald and Goofy

A plexiglass screen on the counter at Casey’s Corner, which MailOnline Travel can confirm, sells very good coffee

For anyone worried that the park’s cheerful and bright facades and thoroughfares are going to be marred by stern safety signs, worry not.

Everything looks as happy and magical as ever.

There are, of course, lots of said safety signs and social distancing alerts – on the walkways and at restaurant and ride entrances – but they’ve been blended in subtly.

A masked cast member looks on during MailOnline Travel’s sneak peek tour

There are lots of safety signs – put end to end they would stretch for 12 miles

Buffets are out, all-you-can-eat table service deals are in. This is how they work – a waiter or waitress takes the order from a table and collects the pre-prepared dish from the counter. This image was taken during a demonstration of the service at Plaza Gardens Restaurant

There are also plexiglass screens – around reception desks and across take-away counters, for example – but they don’t ruin the atmosphere.

And the hand sanitisers are easy to find – but they won’t spoil those all-important shots of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.

What will affect the Disneyland Paris photo album are the face masks, especially for those all-important selfies.

They are mandatory for all cast members and visitors aged 11 and over – except during meal times. Guests are encouraged to bring their own, but shops in the park will sell them – both the washable and disposable varieties.

The social distancing signs blend in with the Disneyland ambience and don’t spoil key Instagram moments

They can also be bought from shopdisney.co.uk.

The social distancing rule, meanwhile, means that character interactions have had to be tweaked.

But Disney has come up with some nifty surprises here.

Guests will be given a chance to take socially distanced selfies with characters via ‘selfie spots’, as Disneyland Paris Show Director Emanuel Lenormand explained – and demonstrated – on our tour.

A hand sanitising unit at the Disneyland Paris guest relations counter

MailOnline experiences the magic, virus-free: A face-masked Ted takes a selfie in front of the Disneyland Paris main thoroughfare

Guests can take this staircase to the first floor of the castle. And sanitise their hands at the bottom

The entrance to Casey’s has a different look and feel to it now, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic

The entrance to the Plaza Gardens Restaurant, complete with plexiglass reception booth and ‘healthy hands start here’ unit

He said: ‘They’re going to be very immersive. For example at Walt Disney Studios, we’re going to give the guests the opportunity to get into the world of Frozen and invite them to enter the Ice Palace to meet the princesses, Anna and Elsa. We’ve created a new immersive experience, a Marvel experience, and the guests will be in the theatre, stepping on stage, into that new immersive experience to meet their superheroes. We’re going to give the guests the opportunity to step into the sets of that beautiful Mickey and the Magician set area and meet Cinderella and the Fairy Godmother.

‘And we’re transforming the Meet Mickey show, where Mickey will be onstage with his favourite pals and, once again – selfie spots.’

He also explained that photographers around the park would invite guests to take part in a ‘magic shoot’, where, for example, you might be asked to strike a pose with your hand out.

During the media tour, masked cast members waved – just a pity that their smiles weren’t visible

A Plaza Gardens Restaurant team meeting was taking place when MailOnline Travel dropped by

At the entrance to the park, security is tight and, of course, socially distanced

CASTLE FACT 

The sun never sets behind the front of the Disneyland Paris Sleeping Beauty Castle – that’s because it was built facing the arc of the sun’s east to west journey. So you’ll never have a backlight problem taking a photograph of it. 

‘When you get the picture,’ he said, ‘you’ll find Tinkerbell sitting on your hands.’

Emanuel’s talk was interrupted at this point by three very special guests – Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy, who bounded across for that all-important Disneyland Paris selfie.

And to show off their dance moves.

It was a joyous moment – one of many.

Everywhere we went groups of cast members, from cleaners to restaurant staff, cheerily waved (we just couldn’t see their smiles).

A few of the rides were whirring around – apparently on test runs to make sure they’re in good shape for the grand reopening – and chirpy music from various Disney productions wafted from loudspeakers as workers put the finishing touches to the paintwork and cleaners scrubbed trash cans.

I particularly enjoyed the chance to walk right through the castle all on my own – something that apparently is quite rare for non-staff members.

How many Disneyland Paris cast members does it take to clean a bin? Three apparently 

Single Rider and Fastpass services will be unavailable, along with makeover experiences, when the park reopens

This worker was putting the finishing touches to a green railing today. The park was shut on March 15

Ted said he particularly enjoyed the chance to walk alone through the iconic castle

The consensus among Disneyland Paris staff is that their castle is the prettiest of them all  

During lockdown, the ‘magic keepers’ kept the lawns trimmed, the flowers watered, the paint jobs glossy and the walkways clean. But there’s still a bit left to do before the grand reopening

My lasting impression was just how spick and span and pristine everything looked.

We were told that this was down to the hard work of the ‘magic keepers’, the workers who over the four-month lockdown kept the lawns trimmed, the flowers watered, the paint jobs glossy and the walkways clean.

Natacha Rafalski, President, Disneyland Paris, said in a pre-tour speech that despite all the changes, ‘the timeless magic and unique storytelling will remain’. 

Disneyland Paris Show Director Emanuel Lenormand speaking to the press today

Natacha Rafalski (pictured), President, Disneyland Paris, said in a pre-tour speech that despite all the changes, ‘the timeless magic and unique storytelling will remain’

When the park reopens, all the rides will be operating, apart from those already shut for refurbishment 

The sun never sets behind the facade of the castle

She’s very probably right, even with ‘adjusted’ experiences and services.

These also include Single Rider and Fastpass services being unavailable, along with makeover experiences.

The Disney Parade is also not coming back for the time being and restaurant buffets will become new all-you-can-eat table service offerings.

Plus, you’ll need to reserve a table in advance.

However, those that go – and it will be best to book early as attendance is limited – will discover a Disneyland Paris full of the usual energy, goodwill and thrilling attractions.

All the rides will be open, The Lion King: Rhythms of the Pride Lands and Jungle Book Live shows are back later in the summer, Alice will be hanging out with her friends at the labyrinth, Snow White will be by the wishing well and the castle is looking as timelessly mesmerising as ever.

Now, more than ever, a bit of cheer is needed and Disneyland Paris is clearly ready to step up to the plate.

As Natacha said: ‘Creating memories that are going to last a lifetime has never been so meaningful and the magic of the Disney experience is more special now than ever.’

DISNEY TRAVEL FACTS 

For those wanting to escape to the magic this year, Walt Disney Travel Company are offering a two-night stay at Disneyland from £306 per person, including accommodation at the 4-star Disney’s Newport Bay Club and access to the Disney Parks for three days for the whole party.

To book visit: www.disneyholidays.co.uk or call our Disney Experts on 0800 16 90 742.

Price is based on two adults and two children (aged three to nine) sharing a Superior Room at Disney’s Newport Bay Club for two nights, with an arrival date of October, 2, 2020. Offer is subject to availability. All prices and itinerary correct as of July 9, 2020 and subject to change. Walt Disney Travel Company is a member of Abta and is Atol protected. Atol certificate number 10404.

 

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Destinations

Americans Can Travel to Croatia Despite Europe Ban

Travelers who are healthy and looking for a taste of Europe but are disappointed by the European Union travel ban barring U.S. travelers entry can take comfort in knowing that there are still destinations that they can travel to.

Croatia is one of a few European nations that still allows Americans to visit during the coronavirus pandemic and was on the New York Times list of places that U.S. travelers can still visit.

There are a few stipulations: Travelers must show proof of paid accommodation and fill in an online form with details of your trip.

Total Croatia News has reported that travelers have had success booking flights through Amsterdam, Paris, Munich and Copenhagen.

Guidelines within the country require visitors to wear face masks, social distance by staying six feet apart and make contact with as few people as possible while visiting.

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Travel

Spectacular photos of America’s national parks



Slide 1 of 31: There are 62 national parks in the United States, each beautiful in its own right. And while it would be great to visit all of them, chances are you don’t have the time or resources. Lucky for you, we’ve got the next best thing.Here are some of the most spectacular photos of America’s national parks.
Slide 2 of 31: The best time to see this 40,000-acre (162 sq. km) Maine recreation area just outside of Bar Harbor is in October, before it gets too cold. Best of all, you’ll be just in time to see the colourful fall foliage.
Slide 3 of 31: As the only American national park in the southern hemisphere, there’s really nothing quite like the National Park of American Samoa, which spans three islands (Tutuila, Ofu, and Ta‘ū). It’s the only place in the country where you can immerse yourself in a 3,000-year-old Polynesian culture and enjoy pristine beaches and lush rainforests.
Slide 4 of 31: Of the two thousand or so natural sandstone arches that make up this stunning national park in eastern Utah, the most famous is the Delicate Arch, which stands 52 feet (16 m) tall and can be found on the state’s licence plate. Arches welcomes more than 1.5 million visitors each year.

Slide 5 of 31: Though technically not a national park, Adirondack is the largest protected park in the contiguous United States, made up of more than six million acres (24,280 sq. km) of land (that’s bigger than Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier, the Grand Canyon, and the Great Smoky Mountains combined). Located in northeastern New York, the park is made up of more than 10,000 lakes and 30,000 miles (48,280 km) of rivers and streams.
Slide 6 of 31: Made up of “heavily eroded, intricate mazes of narrow ravines, v-shaped gullies, knife-sharp ridges, buttes, and colorful pinnacles,” it’s no wonder it’s called Badlands. Good thing you can enjoy a peek at this beautiful South Dakota park from a safe distance.
Slide 7 of 31: The largest chamber in Carlsbad Caverns, located in Eddy County, New Mexico, is the Big Room, which has a floor space of 357,469 square feet (33,210 sq. m) and was described by comedian Will Rogers as “the Grand Canyon with a roof over it.”
Slide 8 of 31: It’s hard to believe that something called Death Valley could be so beautiful. For the best sight line in the park, be sure to check out Dante’s View. It looks out onto the Owlshead Mountains to the south, the Funeral Mountains to the north, and the salt flats below. Be sure to have your camera ready.
Slide 9 of 31: There’s not a bad view to be had in all of Denali, a park in the northern boreal forest biome that boasts a heavily forested landscape flanked by distant snow-capped mountains.

Slide 10 of 31: Everglades National Park in Florida is the country’s largest subtropical wilderness. It is home to many species of birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, and marine creatures, including alligators and crocodiles, over a dozen species of turtle, the critically endangered Florida panther, bottlenose dolphins, and, perhaps most famous of all, the West Indian manatee, which can weigh up to 1,000 pounds.
Slide 11 of 31: Gates of the Arctic is the least-visited national park in the country—not for lack of natural beauty, but because, as its name suggests, it is extremely remote. Located north of the Arctic Circle, the park is unreachable by road or trail. If you do manage to make your way up there, you’ll be rewarded with some of the most stunning views in Alaska.
Slide 12 of 31: At less than 200 acres (0.8 sq. km), the Gateway Arch National Park is the smallest national park in the country, but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for with its spectacular views of St. Louis’s iconic landmark. Built in 1965 to represent the city’s role in westward expansion, the Gateway Arch is the tallest arch in the world, standing 630 feet (192 m) high.
Slide 13 of 31: The best way to see Glacier National Park is on foot, and with over 700 miles (1,127 km) of hiking trails, you’ll never run out of places to go or things to see. One place you won’t want to miss is Lake McDonald, which is 10 miles (16 km) long and 472 feet (144 m) deep. The water is so calm and peaceful that you can make out the colourful pebbles just below the surface.
Slide 14 of 31: This landmark is a sight to behold at any time, but few places in America are as breathtaking as the Grand Canyon at sunset and sunrise, when the rocks casts unusual shadows and the sky resembles a watercolour painting.

Slide 15 of 31: Just down the road from Yellowstone is Grand Teton, which offers striking views of the Teton Mountain Range and makes a strong case for being Wyoming’s most visually arresting national park. The park contains eight peaks with elevations above 12,000 feet (3,658 m); the highest, the Grand Teton, has a summit 13,770 feet (4,197 m) above sea level.
Slide 16 of 31: Matador Network named Nevada’s Great Basin America’s most underrated national park. What makes it so special? For starters, it offers some of the best views not just in the universe, but of the universe, thanks to its pitch-black night skies. You won’t need a telescope to spot the Milky Way.
Slide 17 of 31: The tallest sand dunes in North America can be found in Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park, with some reaching as high as 750 feet (229 m) above the San Luis Valley. To put that into perspective, that’s roughly half the height of the Empire State Building.
Slide 18 of 31: Tallying more than 11.4 million visitors in 2018, Great Smoky Mountains, split between North Carolina to Tennessee, is the most-visited national park in the United States. With breathtaking views like this one of the seemingly endless Blue Ridge Mountains, it’s easy to see why.
Slide 19 of 31: Located in Northwestern Indiana along the southern shore of Lake Michigan, Indiana Dunes is one of America’s newest national parks. It earned the designation on February 15, 2019, and is the first national park in Indiana’s history. Though it gets its name from the many sand dunes in the area (including Mount Baldy, a 126-foot-tall [38 m] moveable dune), the park also contains forests and prairies.
Slide 20 of 31: With its seemingly barren landscape, a stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of the city, Joshua Tree is a great place to get away. And upon closer inspection, you’ll find “a thriving ecosystem of plants and animals perfectly adapted to the harsh desert environment.”
Slide 21 of 31: There’s nothing quite like Mount Rainier in the summer, when the meadows are covered with wildflowers (everything from avalanche lilies and asters to cinquefoil and purple shooting stars). One of the most popular locations to view these colourful blooms is an area aptly named Paradise.
Slide 22 of 31: No need to adjust your screens. The waters of Diablo Lake in Washington’s North Cascades National Park really are that vibrant, a phenomenon caused by rocks that have been ground to powder by the surrounding glaciers. Diablo Dam Overlook off Hwy 20 offers some of the best views of the emerald-green lake.
Slide 23 of 31: Washington’s Olympic National Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. The park is home to four rainforests: Bogchiel, Hoh, Queets, and Quinault.
Slide 24 of 31: California surpassed Alaska as the state with the most national parks (nine) with the addition of Pinnacles in 2013. The park’s landscape, known for its namesake pinnacle rock formations, was formed as a result of multiple volcanic eruptions 23 million years ago.
Slide 25 of 31: While summer is the busiest time of year for Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park, there’s something to be said about the way it looks in the winter, when the entire landscape is covered in snow. The cold months are also a great time to catch a glimpse of some of the area’s large mammals, including elk, mule deer, and moose.
Slide 26 of 31: Dating back 2,300 to 2,700 years, the General Sherman in California’s Sequoia National Park is the largest living tree on the planet, standing 275 feet (84 m) tall and with a diameter of 25 feet (8 m). Standing at the base and looking up at the top of this giant sequoia will leave you feeling dizzy.
Slide 27 of 31: This Minnesota park’s location along the Canadian border makes it one of the best spots in the lower 48 states to catch a glimpse of the awe-inspiring northern lights. Montana may be Big Sky Country, but Voyageurs is clear sky country, “free of the excessive, misdirected, and obtrusive artificial light produced by the large urban cities across America.”
Slide 28 of 31: White Sands is the newest national park in the U.S., having seen its status upgraded at the end of 2019. With its dreamlike landscape, this New Mexico destination is popular among filmmakers, serving as the backdrop in Western, sci-fi, and apocalyptic films, including 2007’s Transformers.
Slide 29 of 31: America’s oldest national park, Yellowstone is famous for its wildlife. It boasts the largest concentration of mammals in the lower 48, including black bears, Canadian lynx, gray wolves, bighorn sheep, pronghorns, and many more. In this photo, an American bison can be seen standing by a geothermal hot pool in the winter.
Slide 30 of 31: El Capitan in California’s Yosemite National Park is roughly 3,000 feet (914 m) from base to summit along its tallest face (or 2.5 times the height of the Empire State Building), making it one of the most popular—and challenging—climbs in the country.
Slide 31 of 31: One of Zion’s most popular attractions, the Checkerboard Mesa gets its name from the checkerboard-like pattern of cracks in its sandstone hills. Although it saw a decline in visitors between 2017 and 2018—a first in five years—this Utah park is one of the most-visited in the country, welcoming more than four million sightseers each year.

Spectacular photos of America’s national parks

There are 62 national parks in the United States, each beautiful in its own right. And while it would be great to visit all of them, chances are you don’t have the time or resources. Lucky for you, we’ve got the next best thing.

Here are some of the most spectacular photos of America’s national parks.

Acadia

The best time to see this 40,000-acre (162 sq. km) Maine recreation area just outside of Bar Harbor is in October, before it gets too cold. Best of all, you’ll be just in time to see the colourful fall foliage.

American Samoa

As the only American national park in the southern hemisphere, there’s really nothing quite like the National Park of American Samoa, which spans three islands (Tutuila, Ofu, and Ta‘ū). It’s the only place in the country where you can immerse yourself in a 3,000-year-old Polynesian culture and enjoy pristine beaches and lush rainforests.

Arches

Of the two thousand or so natural sandstone arches that make up this stunning national park in eastern Utah, the most famous is the Delicate Arch, which stands 52 feet (16 m) tall and can be found on the state’s licence plate. Arches welcomes more than 1.5 million visitors each year.

Adirondack Park

Though technically not a national park, Adirondack is the largest protected park in the contiguous United States, made up of more than six million acres (24,280 sq. km) of land (that’s bigger than Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier, the Grand Canyon, and the Great Smoky Mountains combined). Located in northeastern New York, the park is made up of more than 10,000 lakes and 30,000 miles (48,280 km) of rivers and streams.

Badlands

Made up of “heavily eroded, intricate mazes of narrow ravines, v-shaped gullies, knife-sharp ridges, buttes, and colorful pinnacles,” it’s no wonder it’s called Badlands. Good thing you can enjoy a peek at this beautiful South Dakota park from a safe distance.

Carlsbad Caverns

The largest chamber in Carlsbad Caverns, located in Eddy County, New Mexico, is the Big Room, which has a floor space of 357,469 square feet (33,210 sq. m) and was described by comedian Will Rogers as “the Grand Canyon with a roof over it.”

Death Valley

It’s hard to believe that something called Death Valley could be so beautiful. For the best sight line in the park, be sure to check out Dante’s View. It looks out onto the Owlshead Mountains to the south, the Funeral Mountains to the north, and the salt flats below. Be sure to have your camera ready.

Denali

There’s not a bad view to be had in all of Denali, a park in the northern boreal forest biome that boasts a heavily forested landscape flanked by distant snow-capped mountains.

Everglades

Everglades National Park in Florida is the country’s largest subtropical wilderness. It is home to many species of birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, and marine creatures, including alligators and crocodiles, over a dozen species of turtle, the critically endangered Florida panther, bottlenose dolphins, and, perhaps most famous of all, the West Indian manatee, which can weigh up to 1,000 pounds.

Gates of the Arctic

Gates of the Arctic is the least-visited national park in the country—not for lack of natural beauty, but because, as its name suggests, it is extremely remote. Located north of the Arctic Circle, the park is unreachable by road or trail. If you do manage to make your way up there, you’ll be rewarded with some of the most stunning views in Alaska.

Gateway Arch

At less than 200 acres (0.8 sq. km), the Gateway Arch National Park is the smallest national park in the country, but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for with its spectacular views of St. Louis’s iconic landmark. Built in 1965 to represent the city’s role in westward expansion, the Gateway Arch is the tallest arch in the world, standing 630 feet (192 m) high.

Glacier

The best way to see Glacier National Park is on foot, and with over 700 miles (1,127 km) of hiking trails, you’ll never run out of places to go or things to see. One place you won’t want to miss is Lake McDonald, which is 10 miles (16 km) long and 472 feet (144 m) deep. The water is so calm and peaceful that you can make out the colourful pebbles just below the surface.

Grand Canyon

This landmark is a sight to behold at any time, but few places in America are as breathtaking as the Grand Canyon at sunset and sunrise, when the rocks casts unusual shadows and the sky resembles a watercolour painting.

Grand Teton

Just down the road from Yellowstone is Grand Teton, which offers striking views of the Teton Mountain Range and makes a strong case for being Wyoming’s most visually arresting national park. The park contains eight peaks with elevations above 12,000 feet (3,658 m); the highest, the Grand Teton, has a summit 13,770 feet (4,197 m) above sea level.

Great Basin

Matador Network named Nevada’s Great Basin America’s most underrated national park. What makes it so special? For starters, it offers some of the best views not just in the universe, but of the universe, thanks to its pitch-black night skies. You won’t need a telescope to spot the Milky Way.

Great Sand Dunes

The tallest sand dunes in North America can be found in Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park, with some reaching as high as 750 feet (229 m) above the San Luis Valley. To put that into perspective, that’s roughly half the height of the Empire State Building.

Great Smoky Mountains

Tallying more than 11.4 million visitors in 2018, Great Smoky Mountains, split between North Carolina to Tennessee, is the most-visited national park in the United States. With breathtaking views like this one of the seemingly endless Blue Ridge Mountains, it’s easy to see why.

Indiana Dunes

Located in Northwestern Indiana along the southern shore of Lake Michigan, Indiana Dunes is one of America’s newest national parks. It earned the designation on February 15, 2019, and is the first national park in Indiana’s history. Though it gets its name from the many sand dunes in the area (including Mount Baldy, a 126-foot-tall [38 m] moveable dune), the park also contains forests and prairies.

Joshua Tree

With its seemingly barren landscape, a stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of the city, Joshua Tree is a great place to get away. And upon closer inspection, you’ll find “a thriving ecosystem of plants and animals perfectly adapted to the harsh desert environment.”

Mount Rainier

There’s nothing quite like Mount Rainier in the summer, when the meadows are covered with wildflowers (everything from avalanche lilies and asters to cinquefoil and purple shooting stars). One of the most popular locations to view these colourful blooms is an area aptly named Paradise.

North Cascades

No need to adjust your screens. The waters of Diablo Lake in Washington’s North Cascades National Park really are that vibrant, a phenomenon caused by rocks that have been ground to powder by the surrounding glaciers. Diablo Dam Overlook off Hwy 20 offers some of the best views of the emerald-green lake.

Olympic

Washington’s Olympic National Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. The park is home to four rainforests: Bogchiel, Hoh, Queets, and Quinault.

Pinnacles

California surpassed Alaska as the state with the most national parks (nine) with the addition of Pinnacles in 2013. The park’s landscape, known for its namesake pinnacle rock formations, was formed as a result of multiple volcanic eruptions 23 million years ago.

Rocky Mountain

While summer is the busiest time of year for Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park, there’s something to be said about the way it looks in the winter, when the entire landscape is covered in snow. The cold months are also a great time to catch a glimpse of some of the area’s large mammals, including elk, mule deer, and moose.

Sequoia

Dating back 2,300 to 2,700 years, the General Sherman in California’s Sequoia National Park is the largest living tree on the planet, standing 275 feet (84 m) tall and with a diameter of 25 feet (8 m). Standing at the base and looking up at the top of this giant sequoia will leave you feeling dizzy.

Voyageurs

This Minnesota park’s location along the Canadian border makes it one of the best spots in the lower 48 states to catch a glimpse of the awe-inspiring northern lights. Montana may be Big Sky Country, but Voyageurs is clear sky country, “free of the excessive, misdirected, and obtrusive artificial light produced by the large urban cities across America.”

White Sands

White Sands is the newest national park in the U.S., having seen its status upgraded at the end of 2019. With its dreamlike landscape, this New Mexico destination is popular among filmmakers, serving as the backdrop in Western, sci-fi, and apocalyptic films, including 2007’s Transformers.

Yellowstone

America’s oldest national park, Yellowstone is famous for its wildlife. It boasts the largest concentration of mammals in the lower 48, including black bears, Canadian lynx, gray wolves, bighorn sheep, pronghorns, and many more. In this photo, an American bison can be seen standing by a geothermal hot pool in the winter.

Yosemite

El Capitan in California’s Yosemite National Park is roughly 3,000 feet (914 m) from base to summit along its tallest face (or 2.5 times the height of the Empire State Building), making it one of the most popular—and challenging—climbs in the country.

Zion

One of Zion’s most popular attractions, the Checkerboard Mesa gets its name from the checkerboard-like pattern of cracks in its sandstone hills. Although it saw a decline in visitors between 2017 and 2018—a first in five years—this Utah park is one of the most-visited in the country, welcoming more than four million sightseers each year.

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Travel

United and American Airlines cancel Hong Kong flights over crew Covid-19 tests



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Travel

Ryanair flights: Warning to customers needing refunds over ‘unauthorised’ sites

Ryanair has issued a warning to its customers today over refunds. The budget airline has claimed third party websites are responsible for “blocking thousands of Ryanair customer refunds.” Ryanair has now launched a new way to help passengers.

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The Irish carrier recently announced plans to have 90 percent of all coronavirus-related refunds complete by the end of July.

At the end of June, around 50 percent of the refund claims for April had been cleared.

Ryanair has since confirmed that by July 15 all refunds for customers due to fly in April will be issued.

Then, by the end of July, the airline anticipates all May refunds will be cleared along with the majority of those claims made for June.

Today, Ryanair revealed it has introduced a new process and instruction video for those trying to get their hands on refunds.

The airline claimed a number of “screen scraper travel websites” had been blocking holidaymakers from getting their refunds.

Web scraping is a technique of extracting data from websites.

These “unauthorised” websites are said to have passed fake customer contact details to Ryanair.

The sites then added customer names to “virtual” credit cards which in turn block refunds being paid directly to Ryanair’s customers.

Ryanair said in a statement: “In recent weeks, the Ryanair Customer Service team has been inundated with complaints about these unauthorised screen scraper websites who refuse to deal with or assist Ryanair customers.

“Ryanair now calls on all customers who have been misled and overcharged by these unauthorised screen scraper websites to apply directly for a refund with Ryanair through the new “Customer Verification” form on Ryanair.com.

The airline claim this new “Customer Verification” option will help “thousands” of customers who have been unable to obtain a refund.

They blame the unauthorised screen scraper websites for “masking customer contact and payment details from Ryanair and then refusing to answer customers refund requests.”

Ryanair CEO, Eddie Wilson said: “We have been unable to deal with thousands of customers who booked through these unauthorised screen scraper websites because they provide false/fictitious customer contact and payment details when booking on Ryanair’s website.

“These anti-consumer practices should be investigated by consumer associations and regulators (CAA & CAR) to ensure that these unauthorised screen scrapers are forced to supply accurate customer contacts so that Ryanair can process customer refunds, flight changes and urgent travel notifications.”

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Wilson continued: “To protect customers, Ryanair has now created a simple online ‘Customer Verification’ process and instruction video that allows customers to get refunded directly by Ryanair.

“Customers should always book direct with Ryanair to ensure they receive the lowest fares as these screen scrapers mislead customers with hidden additional charges and provide fake contact/payment details which makes it impossible for customers to receive refunds or important travel information directly from Ryanair.”

On The Beach and Love Holidays were just two of websites accused of screen scraping by Ryanair.

Both have denied the claims. An On The Beach spokeswoman said: “On the Beach refutes these allegations. On the Beach books flights as an agent for its customers and Ryanair has all the information required to process and fulfil refunds back onto the card on which the flights were paid, which are then passed back to the customer without delay.

“Despite a requirement for airlines to refund flight monies within 7 days, On the Beach has been waiting for refunds for many months.”

A Love Holidays spokeswoman said: “As one of the UK’s leading online travel agents, loveholidays absolutely refutes the allegation that we have provided any fake customer information or deliberately delayed the receipt and processing of airline refunds to our customers from any airlines.

“We do book airlines on behalf of customers, with their permission. We are aware that some OTA’s use fake customer details, but we absolutely do not.

“We use customers’ email addresses and details in 100 percent of cases, and all communication from that airline goes directly to the customer. The refund comes to us because we pay the airline and we forward the refund on to the customer following receipt.

“We have introduced automated processes to speed up our refund procedures and where we receive cash refunds from airlines, we are committed that this payment will be processed to customer’s accounts within five working days of us receiving the funds from the airline into our system and we are consistently doing this.

“However, to date we have only received a very small percentage of the total cash refunds due from various airlines. We would welcome contact from any airlines to help the process of getting refunds to customers as quickly as possible.”

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Cruises

Hyatt To Expand Alila Brand in Americas With First New-Build Resort

WHY IT RATES: For travelers looking for another resort option, Hyatt’s brand expansion in California is great news.—Donald Wood, Breaking News Senior Writer.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced plans for the first new-build Alila resort in the Americas, located in Encinitas, Calif., a quintessential beach town in San Diego’s North County Coastal region. Developed by JMI Realty and Fenway Capital Advisors, Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas will add to Hyatt’s growing Alila brand portfolio, joining Ventana Big Sur, an Alila Resort, as the brand’s second hotel in California and the U.S., along with 14 other luxury properties worldwide. The Alila brand features luxury hotels and resorts in unique locations, distinguished by innovative eco-design, a strong commitment to sustainable tourism as well as rare and intimate destination experiences.

“We are thrilled to announce the development of the first new-build Alila resort in the Americas, marking a significant milestone for Hyatt. California’s legendary coastline has long captured the hearts of our guests, World of Hyatt members and customers, and we’re excited to continue to expand in California with this landmark oceanfront project,” said Susan Santiago, Global Head of Lifestyle and Miraval Operations at Hyatt. “The Alila brand has long been a leader in crafted luxury and responsible tourism, and Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas will embody that same ethos when it debuts in Southern California.”

Situated along coastal bluffs and overlooking Grandview and South Ponto Beaches, Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas will be a luxury oceanfront hotel with 130 guestrooms, including 16 suites. Expected to open in early 2021, the resort will offer an ocean-view restaurant with rooftop patio, a pool with pool bar and an infinity-edge hot tub, a luxury Spa Alila and spectacular wedding and events venues, all with panoramic Pacific Ocean and lagoon views.

Also announced today is the appointment of Bob Harter as the new resort’s director of sales and marketing. Harter oversees the resort’s sales and marketing efforts while developing business strategies designed to successfully open the resort, drive revenue and exceed the resort’s business goals. Harter brings more than 25 years of experience in hospitality management and is a veteran sales and marketing leader in the San Diego’s luxury hotel market, most recently, serving as director of sales and marketing at L’Auberge Del Mar.

Designed by San Diego-based Joseph Wong Design Associates with interior design by Mark Zeff Associates, Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas will seamlessly blend into the bluffs with natural building materials and native plants, delivering on the brand’s reputation of innovative eco-design. With the hotel’s namesake, “Marea,” meaning “tide” in Italian and Spanish, the resort will provide a distinctly Southern California feel, with bespoke experiences inspired by the area’s natural landscape, as well as its vibrant surf and beach culture.

Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas will offer a signature Spa Alila, as well as the Alila Experience, a series of uniquely curated moments that integrate indigenous nature, traditional culture and the local community for an authentic destination experience. Other health and wellness-centered activities for guests will include surf and paddleboard lessons, cycling, hiking and beachside yoga. Additionally, the new resort will feature a roadside grab-and-go cafe along Coast Highway 101 to serve guests as well as the North County Coastal biking, jogging and beach-going communities. To welcome locals and visitors alike, Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas will also offer a bike valet, electric vehicle charging stations and a new, publicly accessible staircase and walking path, which will provide direct access to the beach below the resort.

“We are honored to work with the Alila brand and Hyatt Lifestyle team to bring this oceanfront luxury resort to Encinitas in early 2021,” said John Kratzer, Chief Executive Officer, JMI Realty. “Our goal is to provide a destination that locals and travelers will treasure, and we’re confident the Encinitas community will be proud to share their unique energy and beautiful shoreline with the new resort.”

SOURCE: Hyatt Hotels Corporation press release.

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Cruises

Cruise holidays: UK government warns against cruises in major new caution to Britons

Cruise holidays continue to be advised against by the UK government. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) first warned against cruises in March. An FCO spokesperson said at the time: “The nature and design of cruise ships – where passengers are contained and the virus can spread faster – makes them a particularly risky environment for vulnerable people.

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“We’ve already seen the impact a coronavirus outbreak can have on board a cruise ship and we have changed this advice with the safety of British nationals in mind.”

However, despite lockdown easing in Britain and certain travel restrictions relaxing, the Foreign Office is not shifting on its stance concerning cruises, in the latest cruise news.

The FCO updated its travel advice for cruises today.

It continues to warn against cruise ship travel.

“The Foreign & Commonwealth Office advises against cruise ship travel at this time,” the FCO website explained.

“This is due to the ongoing pandemic and is based on medical advice from Public Health England.

“The government will continue to review its cruise ship travel advice based on the latest medical advice.

“If you have future cruise travel plans, you should speak to your travel operator or the travel company you booked with, for further advice.

“The Foreign & Commonwealth Office continues to support the Department for Transport’s work with industry for the resumption of international cruise travel.”

This comes after the government updated its general travel advice.

The current COVID-19 travel guidance states: “The Foreign & Commonwealth Office currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel.

“Travel to some countries and territories is currently exempted.

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“This advice is being kept under constant review.

“Travel disruption is still possible and national control measures may be brought in with little notice, so check our travel guidance.”

Travel experts have previously voiced concern over the death of the cruise industry.

Last week Simon Calder spoke to Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield on ITV about the future of cruising.

He revealed he was not sure when cruises will be back.

“Travel is the industry of human happiness,” he said, “but I must say I’m not confident that cruising will come back.”

Calder added: “I think we’re going to see a change in holiday styles… Who knows when [cruising] will come back.”

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Travel

‘Stay away,’ Europeans tell British tourists

Most citizens of top holiday nations do not want UK holidaymakers, a YouGov poll has found.

As England prepares to relax quarantine rules for travellers returning from Spain, opinion in the UK’s favourite holiday nation appears strongly opposed to British visitors.

Sixty-one per cent of Spanish people polled said they did not want UK holidaymakers. That compares with 46 per cent average opposition to tourists from other European countries.

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The second-most popular nation for British travellers, France, is almost as antagonistic with 55 per cent of respondents unhappy to see UK holidaymakers. The average for other European nationalities is 38 per cent.

The only nationalities less popular than the British are Americans and Chinese people.

In Italy, though, only 44 per cent of locals are against British visitors (10 per cent higher than the average for other travellers from Europe).

Out of major EU nations, Italians are also the most likely potential visitors to the UK – with 15 per cent saying they would consider visiting this summer. That compares with only 13 per cent of Spanish people, and just five per cent of French citizens.

Danes and Norwegians are almost as reticent, with only six per cent contemplating a visit to Britain.

The survey also looked at the UK propensity to travel abroad.

Both Spain and France are being considered by 21 per cent of prospective British holidaymakers. The surprise third place is taken by Germany, with 18 per cent of UK travellers considering a visit. They would not, though, be universally welcomed, with 58 per cent of Germans wanting borders closed to British travellers.

The impact of the coronavirus crisis is proving devastating.

Matthew Smith of YouGov said: “The vast majority of people who might normally consider going somewhere on holiday are refusing to do so specifically because of coronavirus.”

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Travel

Qatar Airways makes face shields compulsory for economy passengers

Qatar Airways has said passengers should wear face shields as well as masks on board its flights.

The new rule is compulsory for those in economy class, but business class travellers can forgo the shield “at their discretion”.

The disposable shields, which come in two sizes for adults and children, are issued to passengers as part of the airline’s hygiene kit.

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It also comes with hand sanitiser, gloves and a face mask.

Passengers are expected to wear the shields at all times apart from when eating or drinking. Children aged under two are exempt.

Cabin crew will wear even more PPE, with face masks, safety glasses, gloves and disposable gowns worn over their uniforms.

Travellers in economy should be in no doubt that the shields are mandatory: “Anyone refusing to wear the face shield during the boarding process will be not allowed to travel,” an airline spokesperson told CNN Travel.

Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar Al Baker said of the move: “By introducing these additional onboard safety and hygiene measures, our customers can rely on us and our unparalleled expertise to fly them safely to their destination.

”As the largest international airline flying consistently throughout the pandemic, we have become one of the most experienced in safety and hygiene.

“We will continue to lead the industry in terms of the services offered to our passengers, so that they can travel with confidence.”

Flights from the UK are expected to ramp up from 10 July when the blanket two-week quarantine for all in-bound arrivals is lifting for those entering the country from certain destinations.

England and Scotland have both announced their lists of exempt countries, which are identical barring the omission of Spain and Serbia from the latter’s.

Wales and Northern Ireland are expected to publish their own lists in due course.

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