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Christmas Holiday Rush to the Sun After Worst Summer Ever

Posted by dolly diver on October 30, 2007
Posted in News about Tenerife 

Following the wettest summer on record in the UK, TravelRepublic.co.uk, the nation’s third most popular online travel agency, is recording unprecedented levels of bookings for Christmas holidays to sunshine destinations. Hotel room nights for Christmas holidays are up 240% year on year. With Christmas still nine weeks away, overseas hoteliers can expect to see a huge influx of UK visitors during the festive season.

The most popular destinations reflect the desire for some long-awaited sunshine. Holidays to Tenerife (up 176% year on year), Gran Canaria (up 244%), Lanzarote (up 120%), Fuerteventura (up 560%), Sharm el Sheikh (up 354%) and Benidorm (up 213%) are enjoying the greatest volume of bookings. The traditional favourites of the Costa del Sol (up 329%), the Algarve (up 261%) and Madeira (up 160%) are also performing well. One surprisingly popular destination is Marrakech. Perhaps the warm climate and the chance to escape the Christmas festivities altogether is the explanation?

Paul Furner, Managing Director of TravelRepublic.co.uk, commented “The combination of the terrible summer and the prospect of the clocks changing this weekend have prompted a surge in bookings for Christmas holidays to the sun.
Currently, a week’s holiday in Tenerife at Christmas, for example, is selling for as little as 280 pounds. With such competitive deals in the market and winter due to really bite at any moment, I would expect the trend to gather even more momentum in the coming weeks.”

About Travel Republic

• TravelRepublic.co.uk recently appeared for the first time in the IMRG-Hitwise Hot Shops List which ranks the UK’s top 50 most popular internet retailers, across all sectors. In the online travel agency sector within which it operates the TravelRepublic.co.uk website is now more popular than the likes of Opodo and ebookers.com. Only Expedia.co.uk and lastminute.com rank higher.

• Since its launch in 2003, Travel Republic’s sales have increased from £2.8 million to an impressive £108 million, with the business on track for over £200 million in the current financial year.

• Travel Republic caters for a broad range of customers including families, couples and groups – mainly taking a hard earned break in the sun. The TravelRepublic.co.uk website offers charter, low-cost and scheduled airlines, powerful rate shopping technology for hotel rooms and apartments, plus hotel reviews and resort guides written by its customers.

Tel : 07770 536041
www.travelrepublic.co.uk

More Monarch flights to Tenerife at Christmas and New Year

Posted by dolly diver on October 29, 2007
Posted in News about Tenerife 

Increased services are to be introduced by flyMonarch.com on 18 routes over the Christmas and New Year period.

The additional flights will operate between December 22 and January 2 from Birmingham, Gatwick, Luton and Manchester

Increased services will operate from Birmingham to Alicante, Faro, Malaga, Murcia and Tenerife; Gatwick to Alicante, Faro, Lanzarote, Malaga, Murcia and Tenerife; Luton to Alicante, Gibraltar, Malaga and Tenerife; Manchester to Faro, Malaga and Tenerife.

Managing director Liz Savage said: “We have seen overwhelming demand for seats over the festive period and as a result have introduced these extra services meaning even more people can enjoy low fare flights this Christmas and New Year.”

 www.flymonarch.com

Gatwick airport has announced that hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers eager to make the most of the half-term break traveled through the hub over the weekend.

Between 19th and 22nd October nearly half a million people embarked on holidays via Gatwick.

Friday 19th October was the busiest day of all, with an estimated 115,000 passengers taking off from the Gatewick airport.

The favorite Spanish destination is Malaga, followed by Tenerife, Faro inPortugal, Palma de Mallorca and Dalaman inTurkey.

Gatwick is the UK’s second largest airport, with 32 million passengers moving through every year and 90 airlines operating services from the hub.

Inheritance hunt for N. Ireland man

Posted by dolly diver on October 25, 2007
Posted in News about Tenerife 

Relatives of a Northern Ireland man who is believed to have been living in Tenerife for almost 20 years have asked the media for help to locate him to let him know he has inherited a massive fortune.

Efforts to track down Patrick McLaughlin, aged 46 and originally from Dublin, since the death of an unnamed millionaire benefactor in July have failed and the family is worried that if he is not located the money could end up going to the taxman.

It is thought that he moved to Spain in the late 1980s and then on to the Canaries but initial enquiries have so far been unsuccessful. Tax specialists say that the unclaimed inheritance could be lost unless Mr McLaughlin comes forward by 6 December. Unconfirmed reports from England say the benefactor, Roberta Agnew, lived in Bradford.

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31.10.2007 – The N. Ireland man living in Tenerife has come forward to claim his inheritance.

Patrick McLaughlin, aged 46, is in line for an unexpected windfall after a woman he knew in the 1980s left her entire estate to him. The Bradford millionairess died heirless and included him in her will without his knowledge.

The executors of the will had until 6 December to track him down or the money would have gone to the taxman.

Boat carrying 3,700 kilos of cocaine located off the Canaries

Posted by dolly diver on October 22, 2007
Posted in News about Tenerife 

A boat carrying 3,700 kilos of cocaine has been intercepted in Canary Island water.

The boat is presumed to have come from Senegal according to police sources. The six crew on board are from Holland and Ghana, they have been arrested and are being taken for questioning in Las Palmas.

A statement from the National Police said the drugs were in 128 bales on board the Panamanian registered vessel. ‘Opnor’. The intervention of the police had stopped the drugs being transferred onto smaller speedboats.

Puerto Santiago – Gran Gala Beneficia

Posted by dolly diver on October 22, 2007
Posted in Local News 


Double click on photos to enlarge.entertainment at Puerto Santiago Fiesta

The ‘Gran Gala Beneficia’ in aid of the Bomberos (firemen) held in the square Puerto Santiago over the weekend of 20th – 21st October 2007 was a huge success.

I joined in the celebrations on the Sunday night and it was well in full swing when I arrived. The entertainment ranged from dancers and singer to ventriloquist and comedians, too numerous to mention.

The sum raised was in excess of €15,000 including donations of Santiago del teide Lions club present a cheque to Bomberos€1500 from Santiago Del Teide Lions Club, presented by President Mary Thomson and €2000 from fundraising in Yates Bar, Los Gigantes, presented by Arthur Lewis.

The highlight of the evening, from my point of view, and most Full Monty by Bomberosother ladies there, was the Striptease Full Monty by the Bomberos themselves. It was so hilarious I could hardly take photos for laughing, they must have spent quite a bit of time rehearsing, well done lads, very entertaining. Still Full Monty Santiago del Teide Bomberoslaughing I did manage to get from the side of the stage to the back reasonably quickly to get a place in the front of the queue for pork chop and canary potatoes – served after midnight I was starving!Full Monty Santiago del Teide Bomberos

Masca walk open again

Posted by dolly diver on October 18, 2007
Posted in Local News  | 1 Comment

Burnt bridge 1
Double click on picture for larger size.

Due to pressure from local businesses the Masca Walk has been re opened.

However, the bridge has been totally destroyed in the fire, only a few planks remain in place, making it rather difficult to cross the stream Rope climb Masca Walkwhich runs down the barranco.

A rope has been attached to assist people climbing down, but it is recommended that only people fit enough should attempt the walk. The bridge is aprox 15mins into the walk.Masca Walk

Maritima Acantilados – Los Gigantes (Nashira Uno and Gladiator) are taking booking for organised walks, and pick up by boat from Masca bay. Those people getting as far as the burnt out bridge and then deciding it is not for them can Masca Walkwalk back up to Masca village where the bus will wait for them.

It is unknown if or when the bridge will be repaired, but to get all the materials down the barranco to replace the bridge, to me looks only possible by helicopter!New growth after the fire

However, better news, here is the proof that in only 3 months new life is appearing.

Restaurant and gift shop La Fuenta, which was very badly damaged Gift shop Mascain the fire, have reopened their gift shop, but work still continues on the restaurant.

For bookings and more information on the walk call Maritima Acantilados 922 861918

 Photographs by losgigantes.com

Sharing the secrets of sensational Siam Park

Posted by dolly diver on October 16, 2007
Posted in News about Tenerife 

Siam parkSiam Park. It’s a subject on everyone’s lips. When will it be open? What will it look like? What sort of rides will there be? How much will it cost to get in? Will it be worth the wait?The man with all the answers at his fingertips is general manager Cristoph Keissling who is masterminding the creation of this incredible 50 million euros aquatic theme park, the biggest in Europe and already a world record-breaker.
Interest in Siam Park is phenomenal and for the last year or so, people travelling on the motorway or arriving at Playa de las Américas bus station or the ultra-modern Magma Centre have caught a tantalising glimpse of Thai-style structures.
But it is what you find behind the magnificent entrance building and gates which unlocks the secrets of Siam Park – and after a two hour tour with Cristoph, Tenerife News is able to share them with you.
It is, quite simply, going to be stunning, sensational and out of this world. Let’s try and paint a picture for you. Imagine the best water park you have been to and then super-size everything, including all the rides, pools, shoots and slides. Make them bigger, higher, more spectacular and stomach-churning than anything you have ever encountered in a wondrous water world.
Add a range of uniquely designed buildings, luscious jungle-like vegetation, cascading waterfalls, an imposing plaza, a lazy meandering river with giant bubbles, huge statues of lions, tigers, lizards and elephants, a massive giant’s head glistening with crystals, a Lost City, five restaurants and bars, real alligators and sea lions, a massive pool with record-breaking waves, an amphitheatre, stunning views of the ocean and Gomera….the list is endless.
If you’re getting excited and eager to visit, just imagine how Cristoph feels.
“I cannot wait for the day when we unlock the gates and see the smiles on people’s faces,” he says before admitting: “It’s been a huge privilege but a very emotional journey for me.”
Six years ago, he stood on the edge of a barren baranco and envisaged what a Siam Park could look like below. Today, that dream is nearing reality.

Siam park 3
The latest targeted opening date following several delays is December 2007 although there are sceptics around who think it will not be achieved. If you are looking at the park from the road at Costa Adeje, it is easy to understand their stance. It’s not until you enter the massive site that you realise just how much work has been done. Although the land is still covered in debris and dust, it is a hive of activity with some 300 people involved in the construction. It would be even more if Cristoph could find additional labour, particularly electrians, plumbers and carpenters, and he is eager for more tradesmen to come forward.
All the dramatic water rides are in situ (they encompass a total of 28 water slides in all shapes, twists and sizes) and most of the 25 buildings are nearing completion. Much of the exotic foliage was planted several years ago so huge parts of the park are already green and lush.
It seems as though this massive Thai jigsaw is finally coming together – but will it be finished in time?
“As far as I am concerned, we will do everything within our power to get it ready by the end of this year,” says Cristoph whose family own and developed Loro Parque which also has a Thai village entrance.
Certainly, the official inauguration day is still set for December 17 which is the date Loro Parque also opened but if the park is not ready for the public by then, it would surely take just a few more weeks to reveal all to the many thousands of visitors expected to flock in day after day. Cristoph’s minimum estimate is for 600,000 visitors in the first year alone; any more would be a bonus. It will be open every day from 10am to 6pm and probably later into the evening during the summer months.
As we tour the park, Cristoph takes us up to the most spectacular and thrilling ride you can imagine, The Tower of Power which only the very brave will tackle! We have clambered up a muddy hill to get to the top but when it is ready, access will be via 235 steps so you will need to be fit in the first place. It will certainly help to cut out any queues although Cristoph does not expect people to have to form long lines to enjoy the rides. Each has a huge capacity per hour and you do not have to pay separately for each ride – the admission price is all inclusive, except for your drinks and food, of course.
So just what will people be paying at the gate? Cristoph says the admission fee has already been set but does not wish to make it public yet. All we can say is that it is a hugely competitive rate, one you will certainly not begrudge paying and one which compares very favourably with other Tenerife attractions. There will also be a joint package for both Siam Park and Loro Parque.
The price of refreshments is not going to be extortionate either and although the whole park is Thai-themed with Thai architecture and decorations, you will still be able to buy a burger or a chicken sandwich. Likewise, the sun beds and umbrellas around the main pool – heated to a beautiful 25 degrees we should add – will be free of charge but get in early will be the message.
One thing you won’t find in Siam Park however is any Buddha statues. Out of respect to the Thai Royal family, the Keisslings asked if they could use the name Siam Park and there were no objections at all. However, they were requested not to copy any of the Royal palaces or Thai temples and esteemed Thai architect, Dr Ruthai happily obliged.
The Thai Royal family has kept in touch with the progress of the project and are as fascinated as we are here on Tenerife. The Thai Queen is sent regular updates and pictures on the internet and when I ask Cristoph if they are likely to be at the opening, he smiles secretly and says “I am sure someone will be here.”
They, like us, will be intrigued by the fantastic water rides which have wonderful names such as the Giant where you spin round and round in a powerful twin cyclone, the Volcano which features a spectacular laser show and dancing dragon, the Jungle Snake with its twists and turns and the gravity-defying Dragon which has a huge creature wrapped around its massive cone to resemble gaping jaws. But it is the Tower of Power which will take your breath away most of all. From the departure point up those 235 steps, your kamikaze-style ride includes a record drop of 28m (the second highest plunge in the world) before the slide eventually passes through a clear acrylic pipe right through the heart of the alligator pool and aquarium before coming out to sanity on the other side.
All the rides at Siam Park will be unique as each has been especially adapted by experts but as Cristoph stresses, they are 100 per cent safe and constructed to the very highest of standards. Some have been crafted into the rocks, giving an Indiana Jones atmosphere.
Height restrictions will apply but there will be rides galore for all ages to enjoy. There is a Naga Racer with six lanes, several water ride areas for children such as The Lost City and a smaller version for the very very young, a tea house, beach bar, floating market consisting of Thai houses built on stilts and surrounded by water, full changing facilities, shops and Thai massage and that Slow River on which you and your family can ride around the park, even passing through a cave, around islands and travelling up a hill on a conveyor belt.
The fantastic wave pool will feature a record-breaking 3m high wave and, as it is suitable for surfers, championships will be held here and there will be a Surfing School where people can achieve their certificates. Its fame is already spreading around the world, including to the Maldives and America.
This has been a truly international project with Cristoph having sourced materials from all over the world and visiting Thailand on many occasions for inspiration. There are 600,000 ceramic roof tiles from Thailand, sand from Portugal, decorative items from Vietnam, pumps from Italy, chairs from China and the rides have been made by specialist companies from as far afield as Canada and Scotland.
Similarly, there will be an international team at Siam Park when it opens, speaking a range of languages. There will be between 200 and 250 jobs here and recruitment will start shortly.
Cristoph is also proud that the Park is eco-friendly. It has the first natural gas plant in the Canaries which will very significantly cut carbon emissions and will use salt water taken from the sea with its own desalination plant. The water will later be re-used to keep the trees and plants green.Siam Park 4
Cristoph is very modest when we suggest that Siam Park could totally revitalize the fortunes of the south of Tenerife. He concedes that, together with the Magma Centre, it will give the entrance to the south an entirely new look but says the island should never be afraid of the periodic dips in tourism numbers as it has so much to offer, not least the beautiful weather and fantastic scenery.
There is room to expand at Siam Park (perhaps a roller-coaster for the future?) but Cristoph says that is for the years ahead as all efforts must be put into making the first phase an outstanding success. He intends to listen to what his customers say and react accordingly – his reward will be to see those smiles at the entrance gate echoed by even broader smiles as people leave after a wonderful day out at Siam Park.

Source: Tenerife News by Rita Sobot

Friday 12th Oct – National Holiday in Tenerife

Posted by dolly diver on October 8, 2007
Posted in Local NewsNews about Tenerife 

Saints DayNext Friday – 12th October is a national holiday in Spain. It is also Saint Day for anyone called Pilar (many Spaniards, especially the older generations, celebrate their saint day more than their birthday). Pilar is the Patron Saint of Zaragoza.

The origins of 12th October celebrations go back to the beginning of last century. In 1913 Faustino Rodriguez San Pedro (a wealthy and influential Spanish business man and lawyer and at that time Chairman of an organization called the Iberoamerican Union) proposed that 12th October (which was already a festival in many South American countries and in Zaragoza in honour of the Virgin Pilar) be called Fiesta de la Raza – literally Festival of the Race, i.e. the Spanish race – and be celebrated throughout Spain and Latin America. La Fiesta de la Raza duly became an official national holiday in 1918 in Spain and some American countries, where the 12th October was already a national holiday, started calling their national day Fiesta

Emergency exercise at North airport

Posted by dolly diver on October 8, 2007
Posted in News about Tenerife 

People living near Tenerife’s Los Rodeos Airport thought they were witnessing a re-run of the world’s worst air tragedy yesterday when smoke and flames were seen billowing from a plane parked on the runway.

Fire engines and ambulances rushed to the scene and a helicopter provided assistance overhead during the spectacular incident, which turned out to be an emergency exercise using real people. The drill, consisted of a crash between an airport vehicle and a fuel tanker under the wing of a plane, was ordered by the Airports Authority to test the procedures at Los Rodeos in the event of a major disaster like the tragedy which left over 500 passenger’s dead back in 1977 when two 747s collided.