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Travel news round up – May 2014

Summer’s officially here – we promise! – and so we’ve taken another look back at the month in travel, this time for May. This month the champagne corks have been flying over Mauritius and Spain as both countries celebrate some new benchmarks, while by contrast Canada offers a new way to drink in some of its most spectacular icy expanse…

More power to Mauritius

The tropical island paradise of Mauritius has scooped the prize for Best Travel Destination in the first ever Consumer Choice Awards, presented in May. Mauritius saw off fierce competition from the likes of New York, Bermuda and Barbados to win the accolade. The Indian Ocean island’s popularity continues to grow, thanks to a strong reputation for outstanding natural beauty and beaches. It’s an especially popular destination for British holidaymakers, with the country witnessing an 36% annual increase of UK visitors by April 2014.

Glacier Walkway Unveiled

One of Canada’s most hotly anticipated tourist attractions of recent years has finally opened to the public. The Glacier Skywalk in Jasper National Park, a day trip’s distance from Vancouver, lets visitors look out from a spectacular new glass-floored viewpoint some 280 metres high over the Sunwapta Valley, providing visitors with a dizzying view over one of the world’s most awe-inspiring glacial vistas. The observation platform stretches some 30 metres over the cliff’s edge and cost a whopping $21 million to build!

Blue Flags Hoisted

The 2014 Blue Flag beaches have been announced at the World Tourism Organisation’s press conference in Madrid last month, with big wins in particular for Mediterranean hotspots Spain and Greece. Spain’s beaches and marinas were granted a total of 681 flags, with 34 new flags consolidating Spain’s prime position as global leader. The region of Galicia alone has 142 flags, including Rondas Beach, lauded by the Guardian as the best beach in the world. The Balearic Islands saw the biggest growth, with some 23 new flags, while the Murcia region has added 7 new beaches to the list. This means that Spain can now boast that one in five of its beaches has Blue Flag status. In second place came Greece with 407, followed closely by Turkey with 397.

While not quite as stellar as our Mediterranean rivals’, Blighty’s performance is not too shabby either, with 168 blue flags!

Have a favourite beach in the UK or elsewhere you want to share with us? Or perhaps you’re planning a trip to the hair-raising Glacier Skywalk? Let us know your thoughts on May’s travel news in the comments below!