Qantas kills Wi-Fi trial ... China theme park in Australia ... Eurostar France deal
This doesn't bode well for those of us who'd like Wi-Fi on Air Canada.
An item on travelmole.com today says Qantas is killing its plan to provide wireless Internet access on flights. The airline has been trying the service on six of its A-380 long-haul flights to London and Los Angeles. But officials said only five per cent of folks on board bothered to sign up for the service, which cost about $12 to $35, depending on the package.
Officials said most folks seemed to prefer sleeping on the long-haul flights. Which I guess makes some sense. Being one of those people who can't sleep at home, let alone on a plane, I'd love to have the Wi-Fi. At least, I think I would. I don't know, really. I DO find that one of the only times I ever see a movie is on an airplane. And a plane ride is a great chance to dig into a good book, too. So maybe I wouldn't use the web all that much. And I certainly don't want to answer emails at 36,000 feet....
The popular and fast Eurostar train service is launching a new direct program from London to three great spots in the south of France: Lyon, Avignon and Aix-en-Provence.
The new weekly spring service will be offered for a trail period in May and June of next year, and tickets go on sale Dec. 11.
Return fares from London to Lyon start at $160 (about the price of two cab rides from downtown Toronto to Pearson Airport) and trains for Avignon and Aix-en-Provence (a beautiful town with lots of history and good food: see photo at left) start at $175.
CHINA THEME PARK FOR AUSTRALIA
Here's something I'm surprised Rob Ford hasn't tried. A regional council in the Australian state of New South Wales wants to rival the Sydney Opera House by building a China-focussed theme park.
Wyong Shire Council has signed a deal to sell 15.7 hectares of land to a company that proposes a full-size replica of the gates to Beijing's Forbidden City and a nine-storey temple. Construction on the park, about 80 kilometers north of Sydney, is supposed to start in 2015.
"Outside the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, this has the potential to be among the biggest tourist attractions in the state," Mayor Doug Eaton told Agence France Presse. (Sounds like a relative of super salesman Mel Lastman, doncha think?)
It seems EVERYONE is after the Chinese market these days. Canada is trying to get more Chinese tourists. So is the U.S. So is Europe in its new Destination Europe 2020 program, which I outlined in this space yesterday.
It seems pretty cheesy and silly to try to build a Chinese theme park in Australia, though. I mean, what's next? A Disneyland in Tokyo or Hong Kong? Oh. Wait ....
JAUNT.CA DEAL OF THE DAY
Jaunt, a division of Torstar, has a great deal on tap for The Rosseau, a J.W. Marriott resort in Muskoka. Packages start at $199 for a one-night stay from Sunday to Thursday and that includes two free cocktails and a $100 resort credit.
For a two-night stay on weekends, it's still just $399. Factor in the cocktails and the resort credit savings and you're looking at a room in a beautiful resort in a gorgeous part of Ontario for about $150 a night; not much more than what you might pay for a generic property along Highway 401.
The deal is valid from Dec. 4 to March 30 but there are blackout dates. For more information on this and other deals, go to www.jaunt.ca.