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    United Airlines Orders 50 More Boeing 787 Dreamliners

    Boeing and United Airlines announced today the carrier is expanding its 787 Dreamliner fleet, exercising options to order 50 787-9 airplanes and securing an additional 50 options. The new Dreamliner order provides United additional flexibility as the airline modernizes its global fleet over the next decade.
    “We’re building a bright future at United, and this order takes our already successful United Next plan into the next decade and beyond,” said Scott Kirby, United CEO. “Our planning and focus on the long term have helped us surge past other airlines that stood still. I’m convinced our strategy is the right one as we continue to add new, larger aircraft to take full advantage of our growing flying opportunities both internationally and domestically.”
    With 150 firm orders, United has the largest Dreamliner orderbook on record and is positioned to become the largest 787 operator in the world. Today’s announcement follows the airline’s record-setting purchase of 100 787 airplanes last year.
    As the first airline to operate all three models in the 787 family, United’s existing fleet consists of more than 70 Dreamliners. The fuel efficiency and reliability of the 787 provide United with the flexibility to fly its expansive global route network.
    “United’s unprecedented commitment to the 787 Dreamliner family is a testament to the market-leading operating economics and reliability of Boeing’s widebody jets,” said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “With the 787, United will enjoy all the synergies of operating one of the largest, most efficient fleets in the skies.”ADVERTISEMENTThe enhanced efficiency and performance of the 787 reduces fuel use and emissions by up to 25% compared with the airplanes it replaces, depending on the configuration. The 787-9 has a globe-spanning range that allows carriers to fly up to 7,565 nautical miles (14,010 km) while seating up to 296 passengers.
    The 787 is the best-selling widebody in history with more than 1,800 orders from 87 customers – including more than 870 repeat orders from 56 repeat customers. In the last year, customers have placed nearly 350 orders and commitments for the 787 family.
    As a leading global aerospace company, Boeing develops, manufactures and services commercial airplanes, defense products and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries. As a top U.S. exporter, the company leverages the talents of a global supplier base to advance economic opportunity, sustainability and community impact. Boeing’s diverse team is committed to innovating for the future, leading with sustainability, and cultivating a culture based on the company’s core values of safety, quality and integrity.

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    London Luton Airport Leads European Airports in Adoption of Next-Generation Aircraft

    More flights at London Luton Airport (LLA) were operated using quieter, more fuel efficient “next generation” aircraft this summer than at any other major European airport.
    Data gathered from aviation intelligence and data specialist RDC Aviation, shows that between April and August 2023, more than a third (33.5%) of all flights from LLA were operated using Airbus neo or Boeing Max variants, reducing emissions by up to 20%.
    This year has seen LLA working with its three largest airlines to double their next generation fleet averages operating at the airport. In April, Ryanair announced the addition of three new 737 8200 (MAX) aircraft to be based at LLA, while Wizz Air is increasing the number of Airbus A321 neos in its LLA fleet to 100% by 2025. easyJet has also increased the number of Airbus neo operating flights from LLA.
    Alberto Martin, Chief Executive Officer at London Luton Airport, commented: “The analysis from leading aviation data provider RDC, highlights the significant strides that London Luton Airport is making as we look to work more sustainably with airlines. As well as our own commitment to achieve Net Zero carbon for our own airport emissions by 2040, we are working closely with our airlines to reduce their emissions and the agreements secured this year with easyJet, Ryanair and Wizz represent important milestones in our sustainable aviation strategy.”
    Yvonne Moynihan, Corporate and ESG Officer at Wizz Air, added: “We are already leading in sustainability, operating the youngest fleet in Europe¹ in the most efficient way. London is an important market for Wizz Air and we are confident that fleet renewal is a key solution available here and now to reduce emissions from aviation. Currently, the newest and more fuel-efficient Airbus A321neo accounts for over 60% of our total fleet at London Luton Airport. Replacing older generation aircraft with newer technology is part of our long-term fleet renewal strategy to reduce carbon intensity by 25% by 2030. As LLA’s largest operator we are delighted to work on finding new and innovative solutions that help us to reach our targets together, collectively as an industry.”ADVERTISEMENTThe data shows that the increase in next generation aircraft accounted for 33.52% of total departures from LLA, ahead of second place Budapest Ferenc Liszt Airport and third placed Lisbon Airport, with Milan Orio Al Serio and Athens Eleftherios Venizelos making up the top five².
    For further information on London Luton Airport’s plan to achieve net zero in its emissions³ by 2040, please click here:
    ¹ Based on official publicly disclosed information² Excluding Turkey³ Net Zero in our Scope 1 and 2 emissions that we have direct control over

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    TUI Group Expands Tech Capabilities with New ‘Digital Hub Porto’ in Portugal

    TUI Group has opened a “Digital Hub” in the Portuguese city of Porto. The hub will strengthen TUI´s tech capabilities which are key to its transformation towards a global digital travel and leisure platform company.150 technology experts will work on the company’s mobile app, payment systems and drive the implementation of artificial intelligence powered technologies across its platforms. TUI CEO Sebastian Ebel welcomed the teams to TUI at the Porto office personally on Monday. The “Digital Hub Porto” is part of a network of locations offering tech talent an opportunity to work on the future of tourism, with hubs in Poland and India previously established by TUI. “Digital Hub” teams are joining the more than 2,400 technology team members working at TUI.
    “We have a longstanding and successful partnership with Portugal as a popular travel destination for our customers. Hotels, flights, cruises, tours and activities – TUI is present here with its full portfolio. Now we are expanding our footprint in Portugal by opening the “Digital Hub Porto”, with teams that bring a wealth of technology experience and creativity to TUI. They strengthen our own tech capabilities. Delivering new digital products and services for our customers while ensuring high quality standards is key for our transformation. Portugal is proving that it is not only a beautiful travel destination, but also a digital innovation center where we can help build the future of tourism,” says TUI Group´s CEO Sebastian Ebel on the occasion of the opening of the “Digital Hub Porto”.
    TUI plans to hire more team members in Porto in the coming months. Current plans see up to 200 technology experts working at the “Digital Hub Porto” by the end of 2024. The tourism company has an ambitious technology roadmap to unify its platforms, increase the implementation of artificial intelligence technologies, and build new digital products for customers. All of these initiatives will be supported by teams in Porto, which are fully integrated within the global technology organisation of TUI, offering employees the chance to build industry leading products and platforms, in combination with unique development and career opportunities.
    “We are delighted with TUI Group’s decision to setup its new Digital Hub in Matosinhos, (Porto, Portugal), a new investment in the tech sector supported by AICEP. The focus on innovation that the Digital Hub will bring to the IT ecosystem and to TUI Group’s global operations reflect Portugal’s commitment to strengthen its position as a leading European Tech Hub,” says Filipe Santos Costa, Chairman & CEO of AICEP – Portugal Trade & Investment Agency.
    In 2017, TUI and IT service provider COCUS established a partnership to deliver a Software Development Hub in Portugal, supporting TUI’s digital transformation. Over the past 5 years, both parties have collaborated extensively to make a significant impact on the business. TUI and COCUS now agreed to transfer this hub to become a part of the TUI organisation as “Digital Hub”. The agreement has been signed recently.ADVERTISEMENTTUI IN PORTUGAL
    TUI has three of its hotel and club brands – TUI Blue, RIU, Robinson Club – present in Portugal today. Furthermore, travelers and locals alike in Portugal can choose from more than 1,250 experiences, including excursions, activities and attraction tickets, available via the TUI experiences and Musement platforms. TUI Airline operates regular flights to holiday hotspots in Portugal, while TUI Cruises, Marella and Hapag-Lloyd, all three of the company’s cruise brands, call at Portuguese ports throughout the year. Furthermore, to support guests and partners in destination, TUI employs a dedicated service team, with offices in Faro, Funchal, Lisbon and Ponta Delgada.


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    Each year, the month of October dresses up in pink for an international campaign not only intended to raise women’s awareness of breast cancer screening, but also to raise funds for research. In keeping with its commitment to women’s issues – and through its connection with education, women’s empowerment, and various associations around the world –, MGallery renews its support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and brings it an exclusive collaboration with Pour Les Femmes, launched by actress and activist Robin Wright and designer Karen Fowler. All proceeds from pajama sales in October will be donated to Ruban Rose for eshop or to local associations for breast cancer prevention and awareness for in-hotels sales.
    Today, MGallery represents a network of more than 120 boutique hotels worldwide. Every single one has a different history and heritage, and is an integral part of its local community. Each unique, secluded hotel is full of character, and each carries within its DNA the notion of commitment and the commitment to giving back to the community it belongs to, especially in the defense of women’s rights. This collaboration was, therefore, a natural fit.
    What’s on the agenda? A set of 3 pajamas with subtle embroideries, including one specially designed for Pink October with a discreet powder pink trim, and 3 scrunchies for hair. These pieces can be found on the MGallery e-shop as well as in a selection of first MGallery hotels worldwide: in France at the Molitor Hotel in Paris, at the Nest in La Défense or at the Hôtel de la Cité in Carcassonne, in Israel at the Elkonin Tel Aviv, in Brazil at the Santa Teresa Hotel Rio de Janeiro, in the Netherlands at the INK Hotel in Amsterdam, in Australia at the Manly Pacific in Sydney, in Thailand at the V Villas Phuket…Don’t miss this creative way of pampering yourself or someone special for a good cause. And a chance to discover the brand founded by Robin Wright and Karen Fowler, turning lounge time into a true ritual of well-being. Both founders are fully committed to women’s issues, and they work hand-in-hand with several regional companies that highlight the work of women in conflict zones.
    “In 2011, I took a trip that changed my life. As an ambassador for the North American NGO Enough Project, I traveled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There, I met survivors of warfare in a region devastated by the Kivu conflict. Back in the United States, I knew that I had to get involved. That’s when I founded the purpose-driven company Pour Les Femmes with my friend Karen Fowler.”— Robin Wright, actress and activistADVERTISEMENT“I am convinced that tomorrow’s hospitality business must be sustainable and socially committed. MGallery has always championed the notion of commitment: to the cultural heritage behind many of the hotels in its collection; to the planet, with an extremely exacting CSR roadmap; and to endeavoring for a positive social impact, particularly through support to every dimension of women’s issues. This exclusive collaboration with Pour Les Femmes clearly demonstrates how the commitments of the two brands align, where beauty does good. In addition to enjoying the exquisite comfort of these exclusive pajamas, I am sure that our customers will particularly appreciate the fact that purchasing them is a way to ‘give back,’ a value that we truly share with the co-founders of Pour Les Femmes.” — Maud Bailly, CEO of Sofitel, MGallery and Emblems
    To complete this exclusive offer, MGallery will donate €10,000 – in addition to all the proceeds from the sales of MGallery x Pour Les Femmes products – to Ruban Rose association. Moreover, throughout the month of October, the hotel offers customers the opportunity to contribute €2 per night during their stay to that same France-based organization and to local associations elsewhere in the world.
    As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, MGallery is also creating a podcast to raise awareness about breast cancer, accessible in guest rooms, and organizing conferences in the hotels of the collection. They will address topics such as the importance of a positive attitude, the strength of a supportive community, progress being made in well-being, and creative expression. Moreover, stickers appear on each hotel room’s bathroom mirror to guide women towards educational videos to perform a self-examination – content designed exclusively for MGallery.
    “Through this exclusive collaboration like none other in France, MGallery joins forces with Pour Les Femmes to pamper women for a good cause in a true expression of socially constructive luxury. Carefully designed and hand-crafted, the pajamas, bathrobes and nightgowns of Pour Les Femmes are made with the finest materials: Japanese and Egyptian cotton, Scottish cashmere, and pre-washed organic linen. By women, for women. This is a natural collaboration in celebration of exultant, socially constructive femininity.” — Maud Bailly, CEO of Sofitel, MGallery and Emblems
    Discover the MGallery x Pour les Femmes collection on MGallery’s boutique here.

    Failure to reactivate Chinese sales & marketing channels could cost western hotels

    TUI Group Expands Tech Capabilities with New ‘Digital Hub Porto’ in Portugal More

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    Failure to reactivate Chinese sales & marketing channels could cost western hotels

    DidaTravel – a tech-driven global travel distribution company – has warned that western hotels have missed a great window of opportunity for capturing the attention of international outbound Chinese tourists by not actively promoting their properties ahead of the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival currently taking place this week.
    Historically the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the busiest outbound tourism periods as the period includes both the Mid-Autumn Festival and China National Day, both of which are national holidays. This results in many Chinese citizens combining the national holiday days with work holidays to take one week of holiday.
    Whilst the China outbound tourism market, in general, still remains some way away from where it was in 2019, this year’s Mid-Autumn Festival could have provided an excellent opportunity for inspiration for Western hotels to actively market themselves to Chinese audiences currently – positioning themselves perfectly for the recovery.
    Eric Zhuang, Chief Strategy Officer at DidaTravel, states “this Mid-Autumn Festival period has been a big missed opportunity for most Western hotels as generally speaking they haven’t yet reactivated their sales & marketing efforts when it comes to Chinese outbound travellers. By doing so they are basically risking missing out on the recovery which is already underway, allowing competitors to capture their market share.”
    Reactivating China sales will require more than simply re-employing Chinese speaking sales & marketing teams however, points out Eric, “technology plays an ever increasing important role in reaching Chinese travellers via B2B2C sales distribution channels and such technology solutions have evolved significantly since 2019. This requires more than just switching back on your old tech solutions and it is important to point out that the nature of the local sales market has changed too. Many B2B2C sellers are now selling in a very different way and thus require different types of content and pricing.”ADVERTISEMENTp > 

    England’s 2023 Halloween Events & Experiences


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    England’s 2023 Halloween Events & Experiences

    Get ready to embrace the eerie and succumb to the supernatural as England unveils a spellbinding selection of Halloween horrors that promise to send a shiver down your spine.
    As the witching hour approaches, here’s a selection of England’s spookiest events and experiences, from dance parties and escape rooms to pumpkin picking and ghost tours through historic cities.
    Monstrous Music
    Whitby’s Tomorrow’s Ghosts Festival and Illuminated Abbey, North Yorkshire
    21-31 October 2023ADVERTISEMENTThis October the ruins of Whitby Abbey will be illuminated with a rainbow of colour to light up the dark nights (21 – 31 October 2023, tickets start from £7.50). Adding to the dramatic glow of the cathedral will be a projection of the story of Dracula on the ancient walls. Keeping with the gothic theme, Tomorrow’s Ghosts Festival will take place at the Whitby Pavilion (27 – 29 October 2023, tickets start from £42) with goth rock royalty The Mission headlining along with The 69 Eyes, Theatre of Hate and many more. The festival will celebrate gothic subculture with themed markets, performances and club nights.

    Voxi presents KISS Haunted House Party, Liverpool
    28 October 2023
    The iconic KISS Haunted House Party will be held up north for the first time, hosted in Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena. Featuring big names such as Leigh Anne, Becky Hill, FLO, Jax Jones, Joel Curry, Rudimental, venbee, Zara Larsson and Tyler West, party goers are encouraged to attend in fancy dress and can get their hands on tickets starting from £47.05.

    The Silence of the Baths, Manchester
    28 October 2023
    Manchester’s Victoria Baths, a building with over 100 years of history, will be transformed into a music haven featuring DJ sets from the likes of THT Girl (Not Bad For A Girl) and DJ MX WORLD. With the whole space dressed for the occasion, party goers in fancy dress will enjoy a silent disco with a spooky twist. The event is suitable for those aged 18+ and tickets start from £15 per person.

    The Barnsdale Halloween Ball, Rutland
    28 October 2023
    The Barnsdale, a former hunting lodge with a 250-year history, is set to be transformed into a spooktacular destination with a touch of glam as it prepares for its first ever Halloween Ball. Fancy dress is obligatory and the best dressed will be awarded with a bottle of wine. Tickets are inclusive of a three-course meal and creepy themed cocktail, alongside the enjoyment of The Reservoir Band. Tickets start from £45.

    Hocus Pocus in Concert, Manchester & London
    29 & 31 October 2023
    The Disney Halloween Classic, Hocus Pocus will be shown live in concert, complete with Emmy Award-winning composer John Debney’s musical score performed alongside the film. Hocus Pocus tells a story of three witches, brought back to life in Salem on Halloween night, who are hell-bent on stealing the ‘life essence’ of the town’s children to maintain eternal life. Viewings will be at London’s Eventim Apollo on 29 October and Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall on 31 October. Tickets start from £27.75.

    Eerie Events and Escape Rooms
    Fairground Frights and Creepy Circus Acts, Great Yarmouth
    20 -31 October 2023
    Great Yarmouth’s Pleasure Beach will get a sinister makeover for Halloween with five nights of frights this October (21 – 29 October 2023). There will be creepy characters roaming the grounds, multiple scare mazes, Halloween tunes, themed cocktails and a fireworks display on the evening of 29 October. Wristbands start at £20 per person and include access to all rides, mazes and attractions. The fair isn’t the only spectacle that Great Yarmouth has to offer; the Halloween Spooktacular at the Hippodrome Circus (20 – 31 October 2023) will offer a line-up of acrobatics, stunts, dance and comedy, all set to a spooky theme. Audience members are encouraged to come in fancy dress and get into the spirit of Halloween at the event’s dance. Tickets start from £13.

    Alderford at Halloween, Shropshire
    Thrills and frights can be expected at Alderford this Halloween with multiple events for all ages. Younger ones under 10 can enjoy Witchcraft Woods (21 – 22 and 26 – 27 October 2023) where they will begin their experience selecting a wand and creating their very own animal companion to join them on an adventure filled with games and battles to become the best student in the class. Slightly older children aged between 8 and 13 years old can enjoy Spooky Island (27 – 29 October 2023) which features a maze filled with twists and turns to thrill rather than fright. There will be an 18+ Nightmare Island escape room experience (27 – 28 October 2023), which sees participants rowed out to the island from which they will have to complete several puzzling challenges to escape. Tickets start from £1 for Witchcraft Woodland, £12.50 for Spooky Island and £25.00 for Nightmare Island.

    Xtreme Scream Park, Leicestershire
    6 – 31 October 2023
    Tickets to Leicestershire’s Xtreme Scream Park will grant visitors access to all seven spine-chilling attractions, from mazes to haunted houses and live interactive experiences, including roaming actors, fire breathers and live performances.. Tickets start from £29.25.

    Scaresville – The Haunted Village at Kentwell Hall, Suffolk
    11 – 22 October & 27 – 29 October 2023
    Visitors can enjoy a fully immersive experience in the Haunted Village at Kentwell Hall for an hour of frights and thrills designed for visitors over 14 years of age, with those under 18 years accompanied by an adult. Tickets start from £24.95.

    PrimEVIL, Norfolk
    13 October – 4 November 2023
    This year will bring five ‘haunts’ aka terror mazes to Norfolk’s award-winning scare attraction, including The Crypt, Circus of Terror, Route 666, Werehouse 51 and Mayhem Manor. This attraction is more suited to those aged 16+ as each haunt will consist of live actors, confusing turns and a lot of jump scares. There will be food vendors on site in addition to archery, axe throwing, East Anglia’s largest rope course and live music. Tickets start from £29.75.

    Doom Town – A Mannequin Mystery, Lincolnshire
    20 – 21 October 2023
    Inspired by the supernatural adventure novel, The Doom Town Dummies, Mannakin, a Lincolnshire-based business supplying mannequins to the TV and film industry, will open the doors to its warehouse for two Halloween themed evenings. The story follows a paranormal investigator who invites guests to help him uncover the mystery of what happened to James Jr who is said to haunt Mannakin Hall. There will be food, drink and plenty of mysteries to solve. Tickets start from £12.00.

    After Dark: Nights to Die for at Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein, Bath
    20 October – 31 October 2023
    Visitors will be able to experience a truly immersive experience inside the 300-year-old home of Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein. Participants will venture through darkened rooms, participate in twisted childhood games, brave the basement walk-through experience and decipher deranged ramblings in Victor’s Attic Escape Room. The event will run from 6pm to 11:30pm every evening and include access to the Bloody Mary’s Bar, where 18+ guests can calm their nerves with an alcoholic beverage. Tickets start from £15.00.

    The Mystery of the Stones at Stonehenge, Wiltshire
    21 October – 5 November 2023
    Visitors will be able to uncover the mystery of one of the world’s most famous heritage sites, Stonehenge, with the help of famous detectives Sherlock Holmes, Dr Watson and Mrs Hudson. This themed event will be included in standard pricing and there will be British Sign Language sessions taking place every Saturday and Wednesday. Tickets start from £20.90.

    Terror Island, Isle of Wight
    27 – 29 October & 3 – 4 November 2023
    Terror Island offers a complete Halloween experience with four scare mazes, thrilling rides, street food, live music, roaming characters entertainment and games. New this year is the addition of ‘Extinction’, an attraction in which riders are launched 360 degrees into the air, experiencing total darkness. Tickets start from £15.00.

    Harry Potter Themed Trip to Alnwick Castle, Newcastle Gateshead
    29 October 2023
    Visitors can experience the wonders of Harry Potter this Halloween by going to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry itself to discover all its filming locations from the first two films. The day will include Harry Potter-themed activities and the chance to roam Alnwick Castle’s state rooms where the 12th Duke and Duchess of Northumberland reside, as well as sample free tasters of locally brewed alcohol. Tickets start from £39.00.

    Gruesome Ghost Tours
    Canterbury Ghost Tours, Kent
    Groups will be led on a 90-minute tour by award-winning ghost hunter, author and local historian, John Hippisley who will reveal Canterbury’s darker side with an entertaining blend of history and humour. The city of Canterbury dates to the pre-Roman era and is the location of the infamous murder of Thomas Becket on 29 December 1170. The tours are available every night of the week and start from £12.00.

    Bodmin Jail, Cornwall
    Groups can embark on a historical journey around Bodmin Jail, which dates to the 18th century. Led by award-winning Heritage Guides, these in-depth tours cater to the entire family and offer an exploration of the jail’s past. From examining crimes and court proceedings to exploring the gallows and graveyards, the tour provides a glimpse into the lives of Georgians and Victorians. Visit the meticulously restored Victorian execution pit to gain insight into the era’s criminal justice system and the severe punishments that awaited wrongdoers. Tickets start from £18.00.

    Shrewsbury Prison Ghost Tours, Shropshire
    Every Wednesday
    Tours at the Victorian Shrewsbury Prison begin by taking visitors back to the late 18th Century, to a time where public executions were commonplace and attitudes towards guards were fickle. Guests will learn about the treatment of prisoners during this time and the ghostly encounters that have occurred over the past 200 years. The tour explores various locations on the grounds including the original Georgian prison beneath the current building. 90-minute tours run every Wednesday, from £25.00.

    Supernatural Tours, Southern England
    5 September 2023– 29 November 2024 (Selected Dates)
    Supernatural Tours, an award-winning theatrical ghost tour company, uses live actors to retell the gruesome tales and ghostly goings-on in Southampton, Winchester, Portsmouth and The New Forest. The outdoors tours run for 60 to 75 minutes and prices start from £8.00.

    Ghost Tram Tours, Blackpool
    October 2023 (select dates)
    On selected dates throughout October, the UK’s only ghost hunting tram will take riders along Blackpool’s promenade, revealing spooky tales from the seaside town’s haunted history. Although the tour will include some spooks and scares, it is suitable for all ages with tickets starting from £7.00.

    Ghost Tales at Eltham Palace, Greenwich
    27 – 28 October & 31 October 2023
    Visitors will be able to experience Eltham Palace after dark this Halloween and hear about the horrors from the past that took place on these ancient grounds. With history dating back to the Medieval period there are plenty of stories to be told. The palace’s guides will take guests around the estate, reiterating tales of ghosts and supernatural sightings. The event is suitable for those aged 16+ and start from £14.00.

    Family-Friendly Frights
    Halloween at Muncaster Castle, Cumbria
    Muncaster Castle offers a whole host of Halloween experiences this year. During the daytime, visitors can embark on a family-friendly adventure with “FRANKENSTEIN,” a castle tour that takes them into Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory, where mischief and chaos unfold. As night falls, “Scarecaster” awaits braver souls, a night festival featuring a maze, live music, food and a bar. Attendees are encouraged to dress up and participate in the scariest costume contest. For the fearless, “The Vanishing” offers an immersive poltergeist experience where visitors can unravel a 150-year-old mystery. Expect jump scares, suspense and psychological torment in this 18+ attraction. Tickets start from £9.00 for the Halloween Family Festival, £15.30 for Scarecaster and £6.00 for Twilight Owls.

    The Glorious Glowing Lantern Parade, Cheshire and Norfolk
    14 – 31 October 2023
    This year at BeWILDerwood’s Glorious Glowing Lantern Parade, families will be able to wander through the illuminated woods at both the Chester and Norfolk locations, follow mysterious paths exclusive to the event and witness the story unfold. It’s a family-friendly adventure, not a scary one, so everyone can enjoy. There will be a chance to craft ‘Boggle Bindle Lanterns’ at Hazel’s Hideaway, and as dusk falls, the Boggles will be lighting up the woods. Snacks and hot drinks will be available at the onsite Munch Bar. Prices start from £10.50.

    Cholderton Scare Breeds Farm, Hampshire
    21 – 31 October 2023
    Families are welcome down at the farm where they can take part in the interactive spooky trail to find freaky friends and take advantage of photo opportunities. There will also be broom making workshops and a Family Halloween Party (28 October 2023) where monsters big and small can bust a move to spooky classics. Fancy dress is encouraged and those who have gone to the effort will receive a free child return ticket to visit the farm in the new year and a free bag of animal feed. Tickets start from £7.00.

    Halloween Shriek Week at Drusillas Park, East Sussex
    21 – 29 October 2023
    It’s live action galore at Drusillas Park this Halloween with plenty of immersive experiences and roaming actors. Kids can test their nerve in Haunted Heights, Drusillas’ very own haunted mansion, where they will meet Hocus and Pocus, the resident witches. There will also be Mummy Mayhem, a child-friendly terror maze that will take visitors back to ancient Egypt where they must escape the curse of the dead. Throughout the park there will be Halloween decorations offering families photo opportunities as well as tasty treats. Tickets start from £26.00.

    Halloween Punt and Hunt, Cambridge
    21 October – 31 October 2023
    A Halloween scavenger hunt for all the family, this event will take groups on a quest both on land and by boat to locate Cambridge’s most haunted places. Those who have successfully located all the ghosts, witches and monsters can claim a sweet treat at Hardy’s Sweetshop. The activity takes up to an hour to complete and is suitable for those aged between 4 and 11. Tickets start from £2.50.

    Brick or Treat at LEGOLAND, Windsor
    28 September – 5 November 2023
    LEGOLAND Windsor resort will turn into a pumpkin-filled paradise this autumn, ready for the spooky season. The Brick or Treat event will be led by LEGO monsters for a frightfully fun family experience filled with photo opportunities, 4D movies, themed LEGO builds, the Monster Jam Show and the return of Monster Street. Entry starts from £34.00 and includes access to all 55 rides at the park.

    Pumpkin Picking
    The Pumpkin Patch at Rectory Farm, Oxfordshire
    Weekends from 7 October 2023
    Spanning across 45 acres of Oxfordshire fields and offering 30 types of produce open to visitors for harvesting, The Rectory Farm is a popular spot for pumpkin picking each October. This year, over 25,000 pumpkins are up for grabs with plenty of fringe events happening on the farm such as the garden games, tractor and trailer rides, a straw bale maze and a special harvest show performed three times a day.

    Pumpkin picking and carving at Cannon Hall Farm, South Yorkshire
    14 – 31 October 2023
    This multi-award-winning farm based in South Yorkshire sees the return of its pumpkin patch, boasting almost 10,000 pumpkins for visitors to pick. Parents won’t need to worry about knife whittling for the jack-o’-lantern creation as there will be an expert team of carvers on-site to transform the pumpkins into ghoulish characters. Tickets to the event include all-day farm admission and entitle every child to a free pumpkin.

    Pick your own at Hatton Adventure World, Warwickshire
    Weekends from 14 October & 28 – 31 October 2023
    Set across 100 acres of countryside and home to over 450 animals, Hatton Adventure World is a regular for family day outings. This October it will see the return of its Halloween Spooktacular, featuring pumpkin picking and carving, saving parents the mess at home. The pumpkins aren’t the only stars of the attraction, new for this year there will be Haunted Cabins where kids will be greeted with either a trick or a treat.

    Cammas Hall Pumpkin Patch, Hertfordshire
    30 September – 29 October 2023
    Situated on the Hertfordshire and Essex border, this family-owned farm offers 60 varieties of pumpkins and squash, all up for grabs to pick. On the grounds there will be Halloween characters to meet and greet, wicked walkways, a terror tunnel and a Halloween themed maize maze.

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    DAMAC Introduces DAMAC Casa: Holiday Living at the Heart of Dubai

    DAMAC Properties, a luxury real estate development trailblazer, unveils its latest architectural masterpiece, DAMAC Casa. Poised at the heart of Dubai, this remarkable tower reimagines the concept of vertical island living, offering residents an extraordinary fusion of water, tranquillity, and opulence.
    DAMAC Casa takes inspiration from the essence of water, serving as the driving force behind this innovative architectural endeavour. Located in the Al Sufouh area and with Dubai’s iconic Palm as its backdrop, the tower encapsulates the serenity of island living in every facet of its design. Drawing inspiration from the lotus flower, which thrives in aquatic environments, the tower aims to enhance residents’ experience with unparalleled water views.“We are proud to present our latest offering, DAMAC Casa, which adds another feather to our portfolio of unique, luxury towers. With every detail thoughtfully crafted, the tower reflects our vision of providing unparalleled experiences to our discerning clientele. Drawing from our years of experience and feedback from our community, this addition exemplifies the essence of what we stand for as a company,” said Niall McLoughlin, Senior Vice President at DAMAC. Amenities Beyond Imagination

    Situated close to DAMAC’s Cavalli Tower, DAMAC Casa boasts amenities that redefine luxury living. At its heart is the “Flying Island,” a breathtaking oasis enveloped by water and its super luxury units feature circular outdoor terraces, capturing 270-degree water views.The tower will feature oasis-inspired retreats with the pools transforming into an island oasis surrounded by lush greenery, offering a Dubai living experience like no other. The Aqua Spa is an aquatic haven, with treatment rooms seemingly floating on water, providing an ethereal relaxation experience.
    DAMAC Casa is set to introduce one of Dubai’s first scuba stimulators offering diverse virtual reality experiences, from the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean, or even the wonders of space. The pools will be surrounded by palm gardens.Aqua art will embellish the tower and kids’ play area. Children can express their aquatic creativity in dedicated spaces, with their aqua sketches displayed on digital screens in the lobby.A chill-out lounge recreates the essence of island living, while a 360-degree transparent glass pool concept is under exploration. Public areas within DAMAC Casa will immerse you in an underwater world, harnessing digital components to create stunning aquatic effects. Indoor beach effects grace the walkways. The tower will offer 1, 2, and 3-bedroom luxury apartments, and 3, 4 and 5-bedroom super luxury apartments with each its own private lift. Each super luxury unit boasts its own oasis-vibe pool, providing an exclusive retreat within this vertical paradise.ADVERTISEMENT

    Saudi Arabia leads in commitment to sustainable tourism More

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    Saudi Arabia leads in commitment to sustainable tourism

    Saudi Arabia has become a “must-see destination”, Zurab Pololikashvili, secretary-general of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, said in Riyadh during the opening ceremony of World Tourism Day this weekend.“This is a country that always looks forward, and in big ways,” he continued. “Saudi Arabia is now the second-biggest place for foreign direct investment projects in all the Middle East and Africa. I’m proud to say we count on the support of Saudi Arabia.”
    The UNWTO has celebrated World Tourism Day in September since 1980. Every year, world leaders meet to discuss objectives and milestones to further boost the tourism sector, and this year was no different as about 500 top officials from 145 countries convened at the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh to talk about the industry’s latest developments, with a focus on sustainability, humanity and prosperity.“This World Tourism Day, we focus on the vital need to invest in building a more sustainable sector for people, planet and prosperity,” said Pololikashvili. “The day also makes clear why UNWTO underscores the need for investment in education and for greater innovation as the foundations for long-term growth and transformation.”The kingdom’s dynamic tourism industry was also under the microscope, as leaders congratulated the country on its vision and discussed issues of climate change, governance and empowering people across the world.
    Saudi Arabia is the chair of the UNWTO Executive Council this year as Riyadh is home to the organisation’s first regional office for the Middle East. Last year, Saudi Arabia also hosted the 116th session of the UNWTO Executive Council with a focus on advancing sustainability across the board, from governance to investing in infrastructure and youth.
    The fastest growth in the Middle EastAround the world, the tourism sector accounts for 1 in 10 jobs, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) said, although it’s an industry that was significantly affected by the pandemic. Saudi Arabia, however, has seen unprecedented growth over the past few years, since it opened its borders to recreational visitors.
    “Since embarking on our tourism journey, Saudi Arabia has been committed to enhancing the sector and generating an impact that extends beyond borders,” said Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al Khateeb.Fahd Hamidaddin, chief executive of Saudi Tourism Authority, said the country is “blessed to experience a growth like no other”.ADVERTISEMENT
    “The last seven months have seen a record-breaking growth for Saudi Arabia. We are experiencing an economic revolution … and all of this is a manifestation of a new leadership,” he said.
    The value of the tourism sector in Saudi Arabia is expected to reach $93.4 billion in 2023, said Arnold Donald, chairman of WTTC. He said it makes up 10 per cent of Saudi Arabia’s GDP and they expect the sector to “grow at the fastest pace in the Middle East”.
    By 2030, the country hopes to welcome more than 100 million visitors annually.
    The sector will also add one million jobs over the next 10 years, the Ministry of Tourism announced earlier this month. At the event, Al Khateeb also unveiled plans for the Riyadh School for Tourism and Hospitality, an ambitious project that will cost more than $1 billion. It aims to be a student-centric facility, which will span five million square metres in Qiddiya and offer a hybrid curriculum that aims to bridge the global tourism skills gap.
    “The Riyadh School of Tourism and Hospitality is Saudi Arabia’s gift to the world,” he said. “Through its pioneering curriculum, that will offer comprehensive higher education courses covering all aspects of the tourism and hospitality industry, the school represents Saudi Arabia’s commitment to providing comprehensive, progressive education that empowers individuals, both domestically and internationally.
    “As we invest in the next generation of tourism professionals, we are not only securing the industry’s future, but also fostering a legacy of excellence that will drive prosperity, stimulate individual growth of citizens and foster cultural exchange for years to come.”
    Saudi Vision 2030 focuses on sustainability and regenerative tourismThe $500 billion megacity Neom in Tabuk, north-western Saudi Arabia, will be the country’s first city to have zero carbon emissions and 95 per cent of the development will remain untouched for nature and conservation.
    In a major step in Saudi Arabia’s shift away from an oil-based economy, Neom will also be powered entirely by clean energy, with no carbon-emitting vehicles.
    Elsewhere, Red Sea Global is pioneering regenerative tourism with its Red Sea project, located on Saudi Arabia’s western coast, as it aims to preserve the kingdom’s pristine and untouched waters, coast and to further enhance coral reefs. The development, which is already in the first stage of opening, spans 28,000 square kilometres of land, including an archipelago of more than 90 islands, promising turquoise-lined coastlines, unrivalled marine life and a variety of upscale accommodation options.
    The under-construction King Salman International Airport in Riyadh will also incorporate green technology in its design and aims to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) platinum certification, the Saudi Press Agency said, which means it generates less waste, consumes less energy, water and other resources, making it more resilient and environmentally friendly.
    A sustainable hospitality industryHotels in the kingdom have also aligned with the Saudi Vision 2030, to lead and build with the most sustainable practices.
    Guests are paying more attention than ever to how a hotel leaves its mark on the world around it, with an increasing number deciding to book a stay based on a property’s carbon footprint and how it supports the communities in which it operates, said Haitham Mattar, managing director at IHG Hotels & Resorts, which currently operates 40 hotels across Saudi Arabia.
    “New destinations such as the Red Sea Development and Neom, for example, are incorporating key initiatives to ensure environmental sustainability.
    “With a massive footprint across the globe, the tourism and hospitality sectors play an important role in working towards a sustainable future. As one of the world’s leading hotel companies, we embrace our responsibility and opportunity to make a positive difference and help shape the future of responsible travel.”
    Guenter Gebhard, regional vice president and general manager at the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh, told The National on the sidelines at World Tourism Day that the hotel takes its sustainability initiatives seriously. “The hotel does not use plastic water bottles, we only use glass. We will have a hydroponic plantation, we will start growing tomato, salads, herbs and more higher up rather than on ground,” he explained.
    “We have changed our lighting systems into LED to reduce our electricity load and we intend to do the same with ACs,” he added. “We’re just finishing off our water bottling plant, which will go active hopefully by either December this year or January of next year. That means we’re not even bringing water in any more. We have our own water purification system – that will then be bottled as still and sparkling and will go out into the restaurants and into the rooms. This will be free.”
    Radisson Hotel Group also aims to remain steadfast in its commitment to a sustainable future, with a goal to become net zero by 2050, said Basel Talal, the group’s managing director for Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Levant.
    Park Inn by Radisson Makkah Al Naseem hotel, for example, utilises a state-of-the-art food recycling system, transforming 75kg of daily food waste into organic compost, reducing waste volume by about 90 per cent.
    “It is imperative to strategise on how tourism can be a catalyst for fostering opportunities for people, spearheading a green transformation, and manifesting sustainability for the planet, thus paving the way for inclusive prosperity,” said Talal.

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