Author Archives: Jeremy Albelda

Surprise: Duty Free Shops in Europe Selling a Lot of Tobacco

An annual report by Fast Market Research, detailing the trends of European business travellers as they make their way through airports, revealed some surprising results where tobacco is concerned. It turns out that duty free shops in European airports are selling an awful lot of tobacco, perhaps a lot more than many people would believe.

Fast Market Research says that the two most popular product categories sold to business travellers at duty free shops are tobacco and personal care items. Where pre-planned purchases are concerned, 90% of those surveyed said tobacco was on the list of the items to purchase. Personal care products came in second, at 78%.

The tobacco numbers are very surprising given how much headway we have made in reducing smoking rates around the world and especially Europe. Yet the numbers also reinforce something we have known about airports and flying for a long time: smoking is a very popular habit among travellers who do not otherwise deal well with the pressures of travelling.

There is also something to be said about purchasing tobacco at duty free shops within the airport terminals. It is cheaper than purchasing tobacco products on the street or at local shops. It is entirely reasonable to suggest travellers who smoke are choosing to purchase their cigarettes at airports because they know they will pay less in that environment.

Having said all of that, one must wonder whether the rising popularity of electronic cigarettes would affect the sales numbers in any way. Unfortunately, we do not know if the Fast Market Research includes electronic cigarettes in their data. If not, they should when next year’s survey is conducted. The e-cigarette market is now growing fast enough that it is having a definite impact on tobacco sales.

1. Ten-Year Timetable

For the last several years, there have been a number of analysts claiming electronic cigarettes would overtake traditional tobacco within the next decade. However, it may not take that long. A report from earlier this year says it could happen as early as 2021, given the current state of falling tobacco sales. The report went on to say Big Tobacco is likely to become heavily invested in e-cigarettes as a matter of survival. That will likely accelerate the market even more quickly

Assuming this is the case, we would expect to see increased electronic cigarette sales at duty free shops and airports. Making the case for more shops to sell e-cigarettes is the fact that some airports are now even allowing their use in controlled ‘vaping lounges’. Heathrow, for example, welcomed its first ever lounge opened last year in the airport’s brand-new terminal.

vapour lounge in Heathrow Airport

The new lounge is operated by the makers of the Gamucci brand. However, we would expect other companies to get on board in the near future. VAPESTICK would be a great candidate, being that they are one of the fastest growing brands in Western Europe. They were recently acquired by US-based Victory Electronic Cigarettes Corporation and are now poised for some serious expansion.

2. Smoking Replacement

What is the appeal of electronic cigarettes in a world that now largely views smoking as taboo? They are devices that allow smokers to continue their habit without many of the nasty consequences associated with tobacco smoking. Just the constituents of electronic cigarette vapour versus tobacco smoking alone are causing many people to give the products serious consideration.

Tobacco smoke contains thousands of chemicals and dozens of carcinogens. We all know that – it is well documented. We also know that the nicotine in tobacco is not the cause of most smoking-related illnesses and deaths. It is the chemicals and carcinogens that are causing the problem. Smokers are realizing that e-cigarette vapour is largely free from most of those chemicals and carcinogens, leading them to perceive the products as less dangerous. Whether or not that’s true is up to the scientific community. Nevertheless, public perception is very important here.

If the traveller believes the electronic cigarette is less dangerous, and he knows he will be able to use it in the designated vaping lounge at the airport, the chances of him purchasing one is pretty high. It’s likely he would rather puff on a cigarette while waiting for a departing flight if given the choice of doing so or chewing a piece of nicotine gum. After all, vaping does replicate the smoking experience rather accurately.

It will be interesting to see what next year’s report says about e-cigarette sales in duty free shops at airports. We suspect the report will be very good for the vaping industry.

What is the difference between camping and glamping?

Across America, the warm sunny days of summer are beginning to spread across the land, and the desire of outdoor lovers to get out into the outstanding natural spaces of this country is rising along with it. For generations, most of these folks would gather together groundsheets, sleeping bags, a camp stove, a cooler, and a tent, and head for the mountains, the forests, and the coastlines around the USA to take in the outdoors, rain or shine.

In more recent years though, outdoor recreation providers, in an attempt to draw a crowd that is less willing to give up the comforts of civilization, but still want to experience the wonders of nature, have come up with a sub niche called glamping. From reinforced canvas tents with a comfortable mattress to full-blown cabins, the options are many.

So which option should you choose this summer? This depends on what you seek from your outdoors experience, the aspects of which we will detail below…

Riga Travel Guide

Riga, Latvia has a Western vibe with a difference. There is the modern Riga – dynamic and exciting – and the old Riga with its cobblestone streets and historic buildings. Cultural activities abound, including the Latvian National Opera, exhibition halls and museums, to the lively modern side offering trendy cafés, restaurants and excellent nightclubs. As with any beautiful city, it can be expensive, however there is a wealth of things to do which are either free or great value for money. Read on to learn more about this amazing city in our Riga travel guide.

Riga Travel guide photo

Riga – Shopping

There are many wonderful department stores, such as Podium, offering a huge selection of different items, however for a true Riga shopping experience head to the Old Town. Here you will find narrow streets with wonderful little shops selling souvenirs and hand-made crafts. Visit one of the art galleries to see what the local artists are producing and perhaps pick up a great investment. Prices of imported goods can be very expensive, but local products including food and alcohol are still relatively cheap and there are bargains to be had.

Getting Around Riga

It is possible to travel around Riga in a variety of different modes of transport, such as trams, mini and trolleybuses, but nothing can beat strolling around on foot. Be sure before setting out that you have taken adequate cover such as Bupa travel insurance – important whenever you travel. A great free walking tour is available which is run by extremely enthusiastic local people who take the greatest of pleasure in showing you the real Riga; you will get to discover far more than just the usual tourist areas. The tour starts each day at 12:00, meeting in front of St Peter’s Church and operates on tips only, so feel free if you have had a good time.

So Much To Do

Visit the Centrāltirgus Market with its five separate pavilions housed in old German Zeppelin hangers, but remember to take your own shopping bags, as goods are generally sold without. Take a romantic stroll around Bastion Hill, a stunning park in the Bastejkalns area, or if you prefer something more active, then rent a bicycle, perhaps from “Gandrs” bike rental and do visit Fantasy Park which offers bowling, snooker, children’s playgrounds, party rooms and video games. On Friday and Saturday nights it becomes a nightclub that is popular with locals and visitors alike.

Riga is an amazing city in northeastern Europe that will enchant and enthrall – guaranteeing that you will return very soon.

Check Out Some of The Top Reasons to Visit Greece!

Words aren’t enough to describe how beautiful the top reasons to visit Greece truly are. Greece has it all – from ancient ruins and fascinating history, to the breathtaking city of Athens. Of course, don’t forget the countless pristine beaches and islands rich in culture and heritage.  You will truly take pleasure in the numerous sights to explore and experience in this beautiful country nestled in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea.

The Parthenon atop the Acropolis in Athens, Greece

A place like no other

Visiting Greece as a first-timer is really a life-changing experience because you will get to take in a unique place which exudes extraordinary charm and beauty. The country’s tranquil pace of life and marvelous panoramas are simply one of the top reasons to visit Greece that will awe and make you fall in love with the place over and over again. So, just sit-back and expect a journey that will linger in your heart for a lifetime. Trek the matchless terrain in Meteora. Dive into the virgin, still-to-be-delve-into coves. Swim into the globally recognized beaches such as Belgrina, Myrtos and Balos and be revitalized by their refreshing clear blue waters.

Greece is affordable

Greece is one of the most affordable countries in Western Europe (even though it’s located at the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula). So whether you’re a luxury vacationer, or looking to trace the path of Homer and Plato, there are cheap holidays for the Philosophers, spenders, and of course, the backpackers. Just look into the flight prices/accommodations and you’ll see!

Ideal weather

Owing to the country’s location in southern Europe, Greece’s favorable climate enables all tourists to have fun whatever time of the year they may choose to visit, regardless of the type of activity they may pick to engage in.

Delectable Greek gastronomy

It’s undeniable that one of the top reasons to visit Greece is for its mouth-watering cuisine. Greek food is healthy and the fare well-balance. In fact many diets are based upon the Greek way of eating, including the famous, Mediterranean diet. Dishes here are prepared meticulously and food is a way of life for the Greek people, and they are proud to share their centuries-perfected recipes with visitors.

World renowned capital city

You’re vacation to Greece would be deemed incomplete if you haven’t been to the wonderful city of Athens. Through the years, many tourists have been attracted to experience the capital city of Greece (and chances are you’ll probably fly in here as well). Just in 2005 alone, around 6 million tourists spent their holidays in the city. One of the most famous tourist attractions is Acropolis Hill which houses the Parthenon as well as the Temples of Nike and Erectheion.

These are just a few of the top reasons to visit Greece on your next great escape. You’ll just have to give it a chance to discover the rest! Bon Voyage!