Ripping off Tourists at home

By | Category: Travel rumblings

When you’re on holiday, you know that the chances are you will pay a little over the odds for something, the taxi will take the scenic route rather than the shortest and that meal; well what was it you ate?
I still have a shapeless, tacky looking hat I bought in Beijing (I can’t remember why, probably at the behest of my wife who wanted me to cover my bald patch). Its part of the life of the tourist just as we like saying that we had this fantastic bargain is such and such or we had the best meal ever in this restaurant for what was little more than the cost of a first class stamp.
But we take a dim view of what looks to be a deliberate attempt to fleece the public with sub-standard offerings particularly at home. We like to think that it couldn’t happen here. But happen here it did and in the New Forest in Hampshire.
The Lapland story has received a lot of press coverage for it shoddy offering and high prices. TV pictures of wooden huts and stage sets make it look worse than some of the words written say. It has now been closed down and anybody trying to open a similar event will have a hard time overcoming the memory of people who came, who paid and who fled disgusted at what they found.
In Essington in Staffordshire, a Lapland West Midlands was due to open yesterday. It didn’t due it said to bad publicity and a poor response for ticket sales. Apart from seemingly not having permission to have an events licence (but having planning permission), it seems that it was only on Thursday this week that South Staffordshire Council said it couldn’t go ahead. Was this due to not having an events licence or not providing what publicity handouts said would be there?
In both cases it seems that councils should vet what is being offered before they open and, maybe, until that approval is given all monies paid over in advance ought to be held in an account (almost like an escrow account) so that when things like this happen monies are easily refunded.

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