We bumped into the prolific radio and TV travel writer last Sunday in the most unlikely place just as he was about to broadcast his weekly travel show to London.
Known as the ‘Man who pays his way’ Simon Calder is the UK’s top travel broadcaster featuring on BBC and independent TV and radio stations.
Fethiye Times met up with him last Sunday just before he went on air for his weekly travel programme on LBC radio.
His unique take on this show is that he broadcasts from the place he is visiting and last Sunday he was broadcasting from the remote Isles of Scilly some 28 miles off the tip of Land’s End.
With a laptop and a suitcase of basic recording equipment he performed his two hour radio show complete with phone in and local guests too. Now that is what we call a mobile worker!
We managed to squeeze in a chat with Simon as he prepared for the live show.
We found out that he is a frequent traveller to the Mediterranean but prefers it outside of the ultra hot July and August period. He said it really is too hot down there right now especially for his young family.
His last visit to Turkey was a trip to Istanbul just over a year ago. The last time he visited Fethiye was some 5 years ago. We said we thought it well worth his while to take another trip back to Fethiye to see all of the rapid change that has taken place in that time. Maybe he could broadcast his show from there one Sunday?
We discussed the recent failure of Holidays 4 U / Aegean Airlines and the upset caused by cancelled holidays. He said that this year was very tough for the small to medium players in the travel industry and the demise of Holidays 4 U and Aegaen Airlines are early victims of this tough season. Rumours have been rife that other middle players in the holiday business could also be under pressure. Of course the big players will be able to weather the downturn.
We also had a brief chat about airlines pricing, credit card surcharges and the relentless squeeze on luggage allowances. Simon seems to think that the airlines are probably going to soften on these areas when they try to get back market share with the reduction in demand for flights over the short to medium term.
Time moved on and as Simon’s show deadline fast approached we told him a little bit more about Fethiye, the unique tourist helpline Alo 179 and, of course, about Fethiye Times.
And finally we asked ‘Where in the world would you recommend visiting before it’s too late?’ Cuba was the reply. This unique country that has been insulated from the rapid development of the last 40 years but will make some rapid changes over the next 5 years. Try and see it before it is gone forever.
Get the very best travel advice from the LBC Travel Show presenter Simon Calder, Sundays 7-9pm. If you are not in the LBC broadcast area then you can listen online.
More about Simons show can be found at his pages here.