In Case You Missed It: All the latest in travel news and trends

In Case You Missed It: All the latest in travel news and trends

22 September 23

Just in case you haven't had the chance to catch up on the latest happenings, we've gathered some interesting and unusual travel news from all over the world.

From the winter vacation spots that everyone's searching-for to a number of brand new luxury hotels making their debut in London, and even a few travel updates to keep you in the loop - we've got you covered:

The Red Sea International Airport opening takes off with inaugural flights

The Red Sea International Airport is ready to welcome visitors.

On Thursday September 21, a historic milestone was achieved, as the Red Sea International Airport officially commenced operations with an inaugural flight landing, and later departing the brand new commercial airport.

The inaugural moment unfolded as Saudia Flight SV1571 gracefully touched down on the newly completed runway, marking the beginning of a new era for the airport. This momentous occasion also marked the commencement of a twice-weekly flight service connecting Riyadh to the airline, this significantly enhances the connectivity between the capital city and the Red Sea region.

Read more about the flight schedule and inaugural flights, right here.

Several luxury hotel brands set to open in London in September

Slated to open on September 12, the Peninsula London will be nestled in the upper-class area of Belgravia, and will overlook Hyde Park Corner and close to Buckingham Palace. This will be the first time the Peninsula brand's first foray into the British capital, and room prices will begin from £1,300 per night.

Mandarin Oriental Mayfair will open in late September. Taking a more boutique route in comparison to the Mandarin Oriental Knightsbridge location. MO Mayfair will offer almost 80 suites dedicated to residences, and just 50 hotel rooms.

Despite an expected opening in early spring of this year, Raffles London will open at the OWO on September 29. With an imposing staircase clad in marble, swathes of velvet and gigantic chandeliers, this hotel will be located in one of London's most iconic buildings in the heart of Whitehall.

Peninsula London: 1 Grosvenor Place, Belgravia, London SW1x 7HJ
Mandarin Oriental Mayfair: 22 Hanover Square, Mayfair, London W1S 1JP
Raffles London: OWO, Whitehall, Westminster, London SW1A 2EU

Would you pay extra to fly in an adults-only section?

You had us at adults only. If this sounds like something you've been dreaming of, read on.

Dutch carrier, Corendon Airlines will be the first European airline to test child-free zones on its flights. The airline will be introducing an adults-only section on their flights from Amsterdam to the Caribbean from November 3 of this year. The adults-only zone will comprise of 102 seats at the front of an Airbus A350-900: children below the age of 16 will not be permitted to sit in this area. Similar to different travel classes on a plane, this adults-only section will be separated using curtains.

Of course, this selection would come at an additional cost, however the airline has confirmed that this rate would be relatively nominal, starting from a suggested €45.

Riyadh redefines airport comfort with innovative sleeping capsules

Riyadh's King Khalid International Airport has unveiled a number of futuristic sleeping capsules.

The newly launched Wassan Lounge will elevate the relaxation options for tourists and travellers with a number of futuristic, sleeping pods, lined in a dormitory style. These compact sleeping pods are ideal for travellers with long layovers or experiencing delayed flights who might be hoping to relax or catch up on some sleep.

Click here to read more on this.

Bali announces the introduction of 'tourist fee'

From February 2024, visitors to the popular Indonesian destination of Bali will have to pay a tourist entry fee of IDR 150,000 or USD $10.

This new measure comes as Bali grapples with the impacts of its popularity, as the region draws in millions of international visitors annually. The introduction of this 'tourist fee' is anticipated to serve as a safeguard against the adverse effects of over-tourism, aiming to safeguard the region's cultural heritage sites, marine ecosystems, and wildlife.

The funds generated through these fees will contribute to initiatives aimed at the conservation of coral reefs, mangrove forests, and other sustainability projects, ultimately ensuring the long-term ecological health and vibrancy of this much-loved tropical destination.

Paris says 'non' to electric scooters

From September 1, electric scooters or e-scooters will no longer be found zipping down the streets of the French capital city. This news comes following a referendum vote by Parisians supporting the removal of the two-wheeled electric vehicles.

Although a relatively handy and cheap way to travel in congested cities, e-scooters - and the parking of them - have become a modern nuisance. These e-scooters are common place and found in cities across the world, including here in Saudi Arabia, so this move comes as a surprise to many, particularly ahead of the Paris Olympics 2024.

However, it was confirmed that e-bike rentals will still be available, and this ban will only encompass e-scooters.

Click here to read more about this story.

These are most Google-d destinations for winter getaways

Although in the Middle East, we are lucky to have sunshine and warm weather almost all year-round, in other locations the autumn and winter months have already begun to slowly creep in, where the days get shorter and the temperatures start to cool.

This leads to many people from around the world are searching for their next dose of sunshine. And, of course the start of the school year nudges parents to look at vacations for winter break.

According to details released by Google Flights, these are the most searched destinations for winter vacations:

1. Cancun, Mexico
2. Florida, the United States of America
3. London, the United Kingdom
4. New York, the United States of America
5. Toyko, Japan
6. San Juan, Puerto Rico
7. Honolulu, Hawaii
8. Paris, France

Canada launches a new visa targeting 'digital nomads'

Aiming to develop the country's pool of tech talent, Canada has launched a new program that will make it easier for digital nomads to relocate to and work from the country.

Launched this month, the new 'international mobility' program will allow the fostering the talent working within the nation's tech and informations systems market. This visa and immigration update follows the country's acknowledgement of the importance of the tech industry, and the need to supply a talented workforce to affirm its continued growth.

This work permit will facilitate digital nomads to relocate or extend their stay in Canada for up to three years, however this is contingent upon them securing employment with a Canadian employer.

Click here for a direct link to visa page.

Via Riyadh's only hotel - St. Regis Riyadh - set to open very soon

The much-anticipated opening of St. Regis Riyadh is now confirmed as being just one month away.

Inspired by the rich historical aspects of the area, much like other St. Regis locations, St. Regis Riyadh will feature remarkable artworks and installations created by international artists and creative talents.

With a total of 83 rooms, St. Regis Riyadh promises a luxurious and intimate boutique-style stay. This includes 60 guest suites, 22 junior suites, and one Royal Suite. Guests can anticipate the highest standards in interior design, ambiance, and top-notch service during their stay at St. Regis Riyadh.

Read more about St Regis Riyadh here.

Save money on flights with this brand new Google Flights feature

Google Flights now offers a new customer-oriented feature - price prediction: this recent addition to the already popular app and widget, focuses on helping users secure the most affordable flight prices.

A unique algorithmic feature has been integrated into Google Flights. It suggests the optimal time to book flights for the lowest prices. Furthermore, the platform now displays whether current search prices for specific routes are below average, average, or above average based on historical data.

Learn more about the price prediction feature here.