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Daylight saving ends in Spain this weekend when the clocks are turned back one hour – from 3am to 2am early Sunday morning. This could be the last time Spain, and other European countries, shift from different summer to winter times, following a recommendation by the European Commission to end the practice. Responding to a… Read more about Spain Returns to Winter Time from Sunday The post Spain Returns to Winter Time from Sunday appeared first on Corvera Airport...
Daylight saving ends in Spain this weekend when the clocks are turned back one hour – from 3am to 2am early Sunday morning. This could be the last time Spain, and other European countries, shift from different summer to winter times, following a recommendation by the European Commission to end the practice.
Responding to a daylight saving debate among social groups across the continent, in 2018 the Commission held a public consultation in which more than 80 per cent of the 4.6 million citizens taking part were in favour of ending the time change.
Based on this result, the Commission proposed that March 2019 would be the final hour change. However, a lack of agreement between member states and impact evaluations prompted the EU to delay any change until 2021, and give countries the option of maintaining daylight saving time or the alternative winter hour.
According to the Commission, if a decision is eventually taken to permanently adopt daylight saving time, the final hour change will take place in March 2021. Alternatively, for those countries that decide to remain on winter saving time, the clocks will be turned back for the last time in October 2021.
The Spanish government has not yet decided which option it will settle on, but its decision is likely to be influenced by surveys such as the one carried out by the Sociological Research Centre in November 2018, in which 65 per cent of those surveyed expressed a preference for daylight saving time.
The first regulations on daylight saving time were adopted in Europe in 1980. In 2000, under European Directive 2000/84/EC (which applies to all member states), rules were established setting March and October as the respective start and end dates.
Geographically, Spain is located in the local time zone UTC/GMT+1, the same as most of Europe, except for the United Kingdom, Ireland and Portugal, which remain in UTC/GMT+0. Spanish signed up its “official time” – which is 60 minutes ahead of “universal time” – to this local time zone in 1940.
The number of sunlight hours is almost consistent throughout Spain’s various latitudes: plus-minus 10 in winter and plus-minus 14 in summer. Nevertheless, sunrise and sunset don’t occur at the same time in the east and west, as there is a difference of more than one hour between the two extremes. Vigo in Galicia, for example, is the European city with the latest sunset.
So what about potential energy savings? In 2018, the European parliament’s industry, research and energy commission published a report noting that, although seasonal hour changes could lead to savings, they were not significant – or necessarily beneficial for all member states. The results were also inconclusive about energy savings for lighting (possible) and heating (could result in increased consumption). The accuracy of the results also depends on the influence of external factors such as weather conditions and user behaviour.
Whatever the official time, Murcia’s superb weather makes it the ideal holiday destination throughout the year.
Murcia’s Balneario of Archena has provided a relaxing and rejuvenative refuge for guests since the Roman times. Now, the award-winning natural spa has been awarded the official “Safe Tourism” seal of approval, ensuring it remains a popular haven of tranquillity for modern-day visitors during this complicated new era of health and safety concerns related to… Read more about Invigorating Spa Havens in the Murcia Region The post Invigorating Spa Havens in the Murcia Region appeared...
Murcia’s Balneario of Archena has provided a relaxing and rejuvenative refuge for guests since the Roman times. Now, the award-winning natural spa has been awarded the official “Safe Tourism” seal of approval, ensuring it remains a popular haven of tranquillity for modern-day visitors during this complicated new era of health and safety concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Balneario de Archena is a natural thermal baths complex extending over more than 200,000 square metres in the Valle de Ricote Nature Park, next to the Segura River on its way through Archena. It is just 24 kilometres from Murcia capital city and 40 kilometres from Corvera Airport Murcia – while also a convenient distance for tourists wanting to travel on to La Manga and the Mar Menor.
Its recuperative thermal waters rise from a spring that is believed to have remained stored underground for 15,000 years. Today, the complex features a full range of leisure options highlighted by a diverse array of health and beauty treatments, providing both relaxation and medicinal qualities for spa enthusiasts. Hotels and restaurants are also available at the venue for visitors wanting to enjoy longer stays.
According to a press release from the Instituto de Turismo de la Región de Murcia, “Amid the ongoing precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Archena Spa has now been rewarded for its extensive efforts to make the facilities as safe as possible with the recognised national certification after passing the audit by inspectors.
“It means guests and visitors will be able to continue to enjoy the experience with water temperatures of 52.5 degrees Celsius and a high mineral content, which makes it particularly beneficial for treating sore joints and the skin.”
The Archena Spa was selected as best spa in Spain, Portugal and Andorra at the 2019 Wellness Experience Awards, and the Hotel Thalasia was honoured at the same awards as best thermal therapy for its “Water Dream” treatment.
La Manga Club has been receiving guests since the start of July, and notes that it “places the highest emphasis on their well-being… committed to all guarantees around safety, hygiene and quality, guided throughout by national health authorities and the World Health Organisation”.
The spa treatments available at the resort’s Hotel Principe Felipe this autumn are highlighted by the new 75-minute “Diamond Cocoon Experience”. Bookable for €100 per person, the revitalising face treatment is described as using “powerful ingredients and immersive massage techniques to reduce the signs of stress and wrinkles, resulting in radiant skin and a glowing complexion”.
Additional treatments include manicures, pedicures, facials and body massages, accompanied by a range of healthy drinks.
La Manga Club’s natural setting, next to the Calblanque Regional Park and the Mediterranean, is also an ideal place to enjoy the outdoors, with walking, cycling, golf and tennis among the many activities available.
Culinary options include La Manga Club’s La Cala seafood restaurant (available for lunch from Wednesday to Sunday), Luigi’s Italian menu (served in the hotel from Thursday to Saturday) and the Asia restaurant menu (available from Sunday to Wednesday in the Piano Bar).
Leading European low-cost airline Ryanair has called on governments to adopt the “traffic light” system for travel throughout the European Union. In a statement supporting the initiative, due to be discussed at a EU Council meeting in Brussels next Tuesday (13 October), Ryanair said, “Europe’s aviation and tourism industries cannot suffer any delay to the… Read more about Ryanair Backs EU “Traffic Light” System to Help Restore Confidence in Travel The post Ryanair Backs EU...
Leading European low-cost airline Ryanair has called on governments to adopt the “traffic light” system for travel throughout the European Union.
In a statement supporting the initiative, due to be discussed at a EU Council meeting in Brussels next Tuesday (13 October), Ryanair said, “Europe’s aviation and tourism industries cannot suffer any delay to the adoption of this new system, as millions of jobs are at risk as Europe moves into a very difficult winter season. This common EU framework will help restore confidence in air travel and end the contradictory different national policies across Europe that have damaged customer demand.”
Under the system, overseen by the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC), safe travel to and from 15 countries listed as “green” and “amber” would be allowed with no restrictions. For 15 countries listed as “red”, restrictions such as testing pre-departure/on arrival would remain in place. The new system also recommends that member states apply a regional approach where possible to ensure regions (such as Murcia) or islands with low levels of COVID-19 are not penalised.
According to Ryanair, health experts (including the WHO and ECDC) “confirm that quarantines don’t work, and air travel represents minimal risk for the spread of the virus. In fact, Ryanair has carried over 16.5 million passengers this summer with zero inflight transmissions. The adoption of the EU ‘traffic light’ system will allow families to re-unite and businesses to thrive, as the world recovers from the COVID-19 crisis.”
In urging all EU governments to adopt the system without delay, Ryanair CEO Eddie Wilson said, “The implementation of this coordinated regional approach will help restore consumer confidence ahead of a difficult winter season, and also allow all airlines to plan for summer 2021, with millions of jobs dependent on the recovery of our aviation and tourism sectors.”
Meanwhile, Murcia authorities say this weekend’s UEFA’s Futsal Champions League final four competition will highlight the region’s status as a “Safe Tourism Certified” destination. Local team ElPozo Murcia Costa Cálida FS is competing against FC Barcelona (Barça) and Russian teams Tyumen and KPRF from today (Friday) until Sunday (11 October) at the Palau Blaugrana stadium in Barcelona.
During an official presentation to send off ElPozo Murcia Costa Cálida team members, minister for tourism, youth and sport Cristina Sánchez said, “This event is going to attract significant media attention and focus on the ‘Costa Cálida-Murcia Region: Safe Destination’ brand through the team, which is a standard-bearer for the sport, both nationally and internationally.”
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Two of the main airline companies operating at Corvera Airport Murcia have announced special initiatives to provide more flexible options for travellers. Ryanair is extending the waiving of its flight change fee for all customers who book to travel in October and November 2020, “giving them peace of mind and greater flexibility if their travel… Read more about Holidaymakers Offered Greater Flexibility with Travel Bookings The post Holidaymakers Offered Greater Flexibility with...
Two of the main airline companies operating at Corvera Airport Murcia have announced special initiatives to provide more flexible options for travellers.
Ryanair is extending the waiving of its flight change fee for all customers who book to travel in October and November 2020, “giving them peace of mind and greater flexibility if their travel plans change”.
According to the low-cost airline, customers who book for travel in October and November will be able to change their flights with zero change fee to travel until 21 March 2021. Changes must be made at least seven days prior to the departure date of the original booking.
Announcing the extension, Ryanair’s director of marketing and digital, Dara Brady, said, “In order to provide as much flexibility and confidence as possible for our customers this autumn, we have extended the waiving of our flight change fee to October and November bookings. Customers can now plan a well-deserved break knowing that if their plans change they can move their flights to any new date up to 21 March 2021 without additional fees.”
Meanwhile, EasyJet’s holidays division has launched Protection Promise, “an industry-leading guarantee of flexibility and protection for customers”. The company says this new long-term customer policy has been introduced in addition to its existing short-term commitments to support customers’ bookings impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. “This has included a promise to cancel any holidays where there is a known quarantine or self-isolation requirement in the destination, and any customer refunds have been processed in an average of 12 days.”
A new report from EasyJet Holidays into consumer travel trends has revealed that, in spite of ongoing travel restrictions, almost a quarter (24 per cent) of Britons still plan to go on holiday abroad in the next three months, a figure that rises to 37 per cent when extended to the start of next year, “showing a rise in confidence in the industry”.
Almost two in five (38 per cent) “are even willing to quarantine for two weeks on their return in order to get away, with just over one in five (21 per cent) saying that not having a holiday or break away has affected their mood”.
Nevertheless, the report – “Taking the Temperature: Consumer holiday trends in 2020 and beyond” – also found that holidaymakers were demanding increased security and flexibility, with more than half (53 per cent) “only willing to book a holiday abroad at the moment if they feel confident their money is protected. Meanwhile 38 per cent are worried about losing money if they need to change their travel plans.”
The company’s five-point Protection Promise is described as “the only long-term policy in the UK travel sector to include a refund guarantee, best price guarantee, deposit protection, flexible payment options and the ability to easily amend bookings, free of fees”.
The report also revealed that what Britons are looking for in a holiday has, understandably, changed dramatically compared with before the pandemic. “Of those who agreed COVID-19 had made them reconsider their priorities, four in 10 (40 per cent) proactively look for destinations that have a low rate of infection, while three in 10 (31 per cent) said they now prefer self-catering or self-contained holidays.”
One aspect of holidays that has not changed is the positive effect they have on travellers. According to the report, “having a holiday booked makes many of us feel happier, with holiday planning giving 57 per cent of Brits an exciting boost to their mood.
“Meanwhile, just under half (49 per cent) say that having a holiday on the horizon helps them to manage the stresses of daily life. Looking ahead to long-term holiday plans, a beach holiday in the sun was ranked the most popular choice for Brits followed by a trip to spend quality time with family and friends.”
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Already hugely popular among tourists for its stunning coastal resorts, Murcia is now also focusing special attention on the region’s enchanting inland areas. This focus is especially relevant in the coronavirus era as an increasing number of travellers seek bucolic destinations away from the main population centres, and is also in tune with the 2020… Read more about Murcia Showcases Inland Attractions on World Tourism Day The post Murcia Showcases Inland Attractions on World Tourism...
Already hugely popular among tourists for its stunning coastal resorts, Murcia is now also focusing special attention on the region’s enchanting inland areas. This focus is especially relevant in the coronavirus era as an increasing number of travellers seek bucolic destinations away from the main population centres, and is also in tune with the 2020 World Tourism Day theme of “Tourism and Rural Development”.
Coinciding with this year’s UNWTO celebration, the regional ministry of tourism shone a spotlight on its hinterland villages and mountain ranges, noting that the number of bookings in these areas had increased in recent months as visitors sought “safe” destinations.
The ministry has devised a programme of activities comprising more than 20 travel experiences and guided tours in municipalities throughout the Murcia region, and is running a raffle for 10 weekend getaways (for two people) – with entries open until 11.59pm on 27 September.
Other initiatives by the ministry include a sustainability plan to promote eco-tourism in one of the region’s pictureseque inland mountain areas, Sierra Espuña.
According to minister for tourism, youth and sport Cristina Sánchez, the main aim is to promote Sierra Espuña as “a top-quality and sustainable destination from a social, economic and environmental point of view”, and to enhance conservation of the area’s natural and cultural resources.
Sierra Espuña Regional Park is located in the heart of the region, comprising a mountainous massif whose natural aspects are mainly calcareous. It rises to 1,500 metres above sea level, and has interesting karst landforms at its summits. Keen hikers can enjoy a network of forest roads and paths that are closed to vehicles.
In designating 2020 as the “Year of Tourism and Rural Development”, the UN’s World Tourism Organisation said it wanted to “advance inclusion and highlight the unique role tourism can play in preserving and promoting natural and cultural heritage and curbing urban migration”.
In a news release outlining details of the celebration, the UNWTO noted that this year’s international day of observation “comes at a critical moment, as countries around the world look to tourism to drive recovery, including in rural communities where the sector is a leading employer and economic pillar.
“The 2020 edition also comes as governments look to the sector to drive recovery from the effects of the pandemic and with the enhanced recognition of tourism at the highest United Nations level.
“This was most notably illustrated with the recent release of a landmark policy brief on tourism from UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres in which he explained that ‘for rural communities, indigenous peoples and many other historically marginalized populations, tourism has been a vehicle for integration, empowerment and generating income’.”
The Murcia region’s network of tourist offices and information stands became the first in Spain to receive the “Safe Tourism Certified” stamp from the Spanish Tourist Quality Institute (ICTE).
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Murcia’s regional government has stressed its ongoing commitment to guaranteeing a safe, top-quality and attractive destination for tourists. Speaking during the formal presentation of Molina de Segura’s inclusion in a national certification system that monitors quality tourism, ministry for tourism, youth and sport Cristina Sánchez said the region was a standard-bearer in this respect –… Read more about Murcia Reinforces Status as Flagship Safe Destination in Spain The post...
Murcia’s regional government has stressed its ongoing commitment to guaranteeing a safe, top-quality and attractive destination for tourists.
Speaking during the formal presentation of Molina de Segura’s inclusion in a national certification system that monitors quality tourism, ministry for tourism, youth and sport Cristina Sánchez said the region was a standard-bearer in this respect – as well as being at the forefront of health and safety measures.
In addition to receiving the SICTED (Sistema Integral de Calidad Turística en Destinos) distinction, Molina de Segura – located 10 kilometres from the capital and home to a line of walls dating to the Almohad era – was also presented with the “Safe Tourism Certified” stamp for its tourist office.
A total of 238 businesses in the region are now officially part of the SICTED protocol, while 58 entities have received “Safe Tourism Certified” recognition.
Molina de Segura’s inclusion means a total of eight municipalities in Murcia, which encompasses the Costa Cálida coastline of popular holiday resorts, are SICTED-approved (Águilas, Lorca, Mazarrón, Murcia, Puerto Lumbreras, San Javier and Sierra Espuña, plus Molina de Segura), while several more are pending ratification (including Archena, Jumilla, Bullas, Calasparra and Cartagena).
“The signing of this protocol,” said Cristina Sánchez, “reflects a commitment by the regional government and town halls to ensure quality tourism, in a safe way that provides tourists with confidence, as well as security, and to showcase the destination’s attractions.
“It’s important for the SICTED list to grow, as that will mean we are seen for what we are, a top-quality and safe destination, and we want all municipalities in the region to benefit from this honour, because that’s what will help us stand out from other destinations.
“We must achieve a homogeneous level of quality in public and private services that are offered to tourists within the same destination, so that the perception and satisfaction of those who visit us is at a maximum level, with the added advantage that these areas are officially certified as safe destinations.”
According to the minister, establishments receiving the “Safe Tourism Certified” stamp “have to overcome a demanding external auditing process which accredits the implementation of measures that reduce COVID-19 infections”.
The 58 recipients of “Safe Tourism Certified” stamps, in various segments, include 26 tourism offices, two information booths, Corvera Airport Murcia (officially, “Aeropuerto Internacional de la Región de Murcia”), maritime transport company B&F Ferrys and the Terra Natura Murcia amusement park, which was the first company in Spain to receive the certification.
Also certified are 14 beaches in San Javier, and six in San Pedro del Pintar, seven “Cartagena Puerto de Culturas” cultural-tourism areas, and the Palacio Consistorial in Cartagena.
By municipalities, San Javier has the most certifications (15), followed by Cartagena (11) and San Pedro del Pinatar (eight).
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