A lot has been happening in the world of travel this week.  Here is a round-up of the news that I think may interest you.

1.  Our prayers are with the wonderful people of the Philippines as they continue to suffer....International travel to the Philippines is resuming after one of the most powerful storms on record swept across the country, leaving thousands dead and many without access to food, water and electricity.

Typhoon Haiyan, which made landfall last Friday, left a trail of destruction as winds of up to 235mph battered the central part of the country before moving north-west towards Vietnam and China. The three main international airports – in Manila, the Visayas and Mindanao – have reopened after hundreds of flights were grounded as the eye of the storm entered Philippine territory. According to the Philippine Department of Tourism there are currently no updates of disruption for international travel flights to and from Manila.

2.  London's airspace may soon see a paradigm shift if a proposed new airport comes to fruition: A plan is in place to build a six-runway airport called London Britannia Airport that is expected to cost $75.6 billion.

According to the BBC, the consortium behind the plan has said that the airport could be built on Boris Island, a new island in the Thames Estuary, within seven years. Breaking Travel News noted that the Davies airport commission is currently reviewing potential sites for more airport capacity in the South East, including additional runways at Gatwick and Heathrow.

Meanwhile, a report commissioned by Heathrow Airport is suggesting that splitting airline "hubs" throughout London's airports would not be feasible. The study, conducted by independent aviation consultants JLS Consulting, reportedly found no evidence that any cities across the world have successfully split their hubs, or that low-cost carriers, new aircraft or relocating alliances will change that.

3.  After several years of wrangling over the appropriateness of large cruise ships traversing the Venice lagoon, it appears Italy is prepared to limit large cruise ship traffic in Venice.  Thank God!!!

Reportedly, 96,000-plus, gross registered tonnage (GRT) ships will be banned, starting in November 2014, while additional limits will be placed on the number of 40,000-plus-GRT ships sailing close to St. Mark’s Square, starting in January 2014.

The story was reported here by London’s Globe and Mail:

Environmentalists and historic preservationists have long called for limits on cruise ship traffic in the environmentally sensitive Venice Lagoon. Their rhetoric was further intensified after the 2012 Costa Concordia accident off the coast of Giglio, Italy.

4.  Looking for an excuse to visit the City of Light this summer? (Who isn't?) Here's a good one: The Peninsula Paris has announced an August 2014 opening date (according to local website Le Figaro), and we can't wait to see it.

When it opens its doors (after four years of renovation), the Peninsula Paris will mark the brand's European debut, and we say it's done a good job of balancing the classic and contemporary. The building is old-fashioned Beaux-Arts and more than 100 years old. 

5.  I am most excited about the highly anticipated opening of The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba on November 22.

With 320 oceanfront rooms and suites, The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba offers a luxury vacation lifestyle that combines a passionate and dedicated service philosophy while catering to an array of personal tastes and interests. The resort encompasses signature Ritz-Carlton service, with a selection of unique offerings consisting of savory dining experiences, including four restaurants, a luxurious 13-treatment room Ritz-Carlton Spa, two swimming pools, a 24-hour casino, one of the largest state-of-the-art meeting facilities in Aruba and the white sand beaches and turquoise waters of the Caribbean.

This weekend, I am heading to Peaceful Bend Winery for some good food, great wine with awesome friends and family.  Have a great weekend!


Julie Jones