Holidaymakers in Italy will be able to incorporate some high-octane sport into their Venice tours this spring at the city’s annual Raid Pavia-Venezia event.
This popular speedboat race is scheduled to come to Italy’s famous aquatic city on May 31st this year.
Raid Pavia-Venezia sees vessels varying from top-of-the-range speedsters to vintage boats racing along waterways from Pavia, in northern Italy just south of Milan, to Venice on the north-east coast.
The competition is an inclusive event, inviting participation from anyone with a full FIM/UIM licence.
Italian speedboat racer Dino Zantelli currently holds the record for the highest speed achieved during Raid Pavia-Venezia – an impressive 203km per hour set during the contest held in 2005.
People planning to enjoy some slightly more relaxing activities during their trips in Venice can take a gondola ride along the city’s picturesque canals or sample some famous Italian cuisine in a Venetian restaurant.
Venice – Fall in love all over again on a Gondola ride on the Grand Canal and lose yourself in the grand St Mark’s Square.
Travellers consider a good book the most essential item to take on holiday, according to a survey by flight search engine Skyscanner.
A poll on the company’s website found that nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of people consider books a crucial part of a holiday, followed by an mp3 player (22 per cent).
Perfume or deodorant and a laptop or personal digital assistant also appear important to travellers, gaining 14 per cent and ten per cent of the vote respectively.
Rob Innes, head of marketing at Skyscanner, said: "The humble paperback is the ultimate travel accessory. It’s a low cost, no-tech form of entertainment that you can take anywhere – from the beach to the bar. You don’t need to worry about books getting lost, stolen or damaged, or that your battery will die mid-flight.
"Books can also be exchanged with fellow travellers, giving you some entertainment currency. iPods and laptops are great for music and films but their high value means they can be more of a burden when travelling."
The flight search engine recently revealed the destinations that customers have been showing an interest in ahead of the Easter holidays, with London taking the top spot.
Rome also appeared in the top ten, along with Barcelona, Paris and Dublin.
Rome – Visit some of the ancient landmarks such as the Colosseum or tour the opulent Vatican.
Music fans taking London tours in May will have no shortage of live entertainment to choose from as some of the leading artists of recent times come to the Royal Albert Hall.
First up will be the former Smiths singer Morrissey, who will perform at the famous Kensington venue on May 11th.
Morrissey, who has been described by the NME as "one of the most influential artists ever", has forged a successful solo career since the Smiths broke up in the late 1980s, with ten singles making it into the top ten of the UK charts.
The Royal Albert Hall will then play host to one of the most famous guitarists of the 20th century, Eric Clapton, who will play on May 16th following a run of sold-out shows in America, Scandinavia and Europe in 2008.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Jackson Browne will bring his tour to the Albert Hall on May 21st before George Thorogood, who found fame in the 1970s with his band the Destroyers, performs on May 27th.
People who prefer their music to have a classical feel can visit the London venue on May 8th to hear the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra play a number of well-known pieces from films.
London – Ride the London Eye, visit the Tower of London or take a day out of the city to see Stonehenge.
Travellers should be sure to fit a visit to Espace 12 Madeleine into their tours of Paris over the coming weeks as the venue hosts an exhibition dedicated to the wonder of the human body.
Our Body – A corps ouvert will be open at this new cultural institution on Boulevard de la Madeleine until May 10th.
The exhibition, which features real human bodies and organs, is described as "both artistic and educational".
Showing for the first time in Paris, Our Body is designed to give visitors a better knowledge of the human anatomy and more awareness of their state of physical health.
People with an interest in these subjects can also see the Body Worlds exhibition, a touring show that is currently open in London, San Diego, Tampa, Sevilla and Heidelberg.
Later this year, Body Worlds will open in Berlin, Zurich and Haifa.
Visitors to Paris can head to La Cite des Sciences at de l’Industrie in the French capital to learn about all sorts of other scientific subjects.
Paris – Enjoy the view from the Eiffel Tower or see the Mona Lisa in the "city of light".
A record number of participants have signed up to compete in this year’s Vienna Marathon, it has been announced.
With the event set to take place on April 19th, organisers have advised anyone still wishing to run through the historic streets of the Austrian capital that just a few open places remain.
Among those due to take part are Reuben Kosegi, who won gold at the Sydney Olympics and who is making his race debut in Vienna, and Markus Hohenwarter and Gunther Weidlinger, Austrians who will benefit from strong home support.
Aside from the main 26-mile-long race, a number of shorter events will also be taking place across Vienna over the course of the marathon weekend.
These include the Pink Ribbon Run, which will see thousands of participants follow a 2.5 kilometre-long course through the centre of the city with the aim of raising money for the Austrian cancer charity.
Vienna is also well-regarded as a classical music location, with numerous concert venues across the city offering performances of Austrian composers such as Mozart and Johann Strauss to tourists.
Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.
Celebrate Easter with New American Traditions
Easter brings with it the promise of springtime and holiday fun, making it the perfect time to travel and indulge. It is Australia’s most popular time to fly and why not with the excess of events happening world-wide? The Easter Bunny certainly gains a few frequent flyer miles on his tour of the United States. Every year he visits almost every shopping mall in the country to meet his fans! Take a break from a shopping tour to snap a picture with the big bunny and tell him what you hope will be in your basket.
If touring Washington DC, visit the White House and get access to the South Lawn for an Easter Egg Roll. You must have a child under age 10 to attend but children of all ages can buy the souvenir eggs, given free at the event, online. These hand painted eggs will be signed by President Obama and the First Lady!
Cultural experiences are highly important to travellers and the thing that people are most willing to pay extra for on a holiday, a new survey suggests.
Visa and the Pacific Asia Travel Association (Pata) polled holidaymakers from major source markets including the UK, Australia and the United States and found that 57 per cent are willing to extend their budget to experience a foreign culture.
The survey also found that the majority of travellers would pay extra to guarantee good customer service or to visit an exotic destination.
Pata spokesperson Meranda Chan said: "As time is precious, people want to make the most out of their holidays and so are willing to spend more to have a unique experience that goes off smoothly.
"It is now easier than ever to travel to a wide range of destinations and people are using this opportunity to learn more about different cultures."
Greg Duffell, president of the travel association, said an interest in new holiday experiences is leading to an increase in tourist numbers in the Asia Pacific region.
Pata released a report earlier this year which indicated that Australia, Japan and Hong Kong will be the top three destinations in the region over the next two years.
Hong Kong – Part mystical Chinese city, part 21st Century metropolis Hong Kong combines temples and skyscrapers.
There has "never been a better time" to take Cape Town tours, according to a travel article in the Daily Telegraph.
Following a trip to the popular African travel destination, writer Graham Boynton said that the range of activities and experiences combined with the favourable exchange rate makes Cape Town an unmissable destination for Brits.
One of the major attributes of the city is its status as a sporting hotspot, with a number of events set to take place this year.
It was recently announced that the Indian Premier League cricket competition will get underway in Cape Town on April 18th and the city is also expected to prove popular with people visiting South Africa for the British Lions rugby tour later this year.
The destination will be one of the leading travel destinations when South Africa hosts the 2010 World Cup, along with other major cities such as Johannesburg and Durban.
For people with no interest in sport, there is always the natural appeal of Cape Town and attributes such as "blue skies, caressingly warm weather [and] cool, clear nights", which make the city an "absolutely beautiful" destination, according to Mr Boynton.
Cape Town – From the wine route to the game parks there is so much to see and do in Cape Town.
Travellers in many destinations around the world may notice lights going off all around them this weekend as a host of cities participate in Earth Hour.
This initiative will see some 538 towns and cities turn off their lights for 60 minutes from 20:30 local time on March 28th to show support for action on climate change.
Some of the world’s most iconic travel destinations and tourist attractions will participate in Earth Hour, including the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Sydney Opera House and Las Vegas’ MGM Grand casino.
The initiative was launched in 2007 in Sydney and expanded to some 371 destinations the following year.
Speaking ahead of the 2009 event, Earth Hour executive director Andy Ridley said: "Earth Hour is bringing together the diverse peoples of the world in a truly universal and unifying way.
"From Auckland to Hawaii and Cape Town to St Petersburg, people are coming together to vote with their light switch for action on climate change."
It was recently confirmed that the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx will participate in Earth Hour, with Egypt’s first lady Suzanne Mubarak describing climate change as "a growing international crisis no country can afford to overlook".
Special Interest – Nightlife – From an extravagant meal to an eerie ghost walk – plenty of things to keep you entertained after the sun goes down.
The recession and the credit crunch will not stop British people from taking holidays, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has claimed.
An economist from the WTTC said that the likely effect of the economic crisis will not be fewer holidays taken by British people but more affordable breaks within the UK.
According to Amir Girgis, the tourism industry has picked up on the possible repercussions of the credit crunch and the weak value of the pound by launching new campaigns to promote domestic travel.
"You see more promotions for domestic travel here because there is a market due to the weakened exchange rate and due to the recession," he said.
"People want cheaper holidays. People still want to travel and that is the difference between this recession and any other blips we have had in the travel and tourism industry."
London tours could prove a more popular option this year following the recent launch of a £2 million marketing campaign to promote the city.
The international initiative will showcase the sights, experiences and attractions on offer in London that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
London – Ride the London Eye, visit the Tower of London or take a day out of the city to see Stonehenge.