Saturday snippets: May 6th 2017

By | Category: Travel news
hump back whale

The hump-back whale sanctuary on the coast of the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic says there was a 6.4% increase in tourism in 2016 with 6.1 million visitors to the country up by 100,000 over the projections of the tourist board. The tourist board says that visitors are looking for holidays that take them away from the beaches and are showing greater interest in multi-destination travel – 80% of all visits to protected areas are by overseas visitors which, it says, is proof that visitors are increasingly looking to explore beyond their hotel.

The growth in fraudulent sickness complaints against tour operators and hotels has resulted in a rather unusual situation. Jet2holidays is hiring private detectives in resorts to stop touts coaxing holidaymakers into making false sickness claims. According to the company, touts have been handing out leaflets “telling British holidaymakers that they can cover the cost of their trip by just filling out a form, irrespective of whether they have been ill or not.” As Just about Travel wrote a little while ago, claiming whenever you haven’t been ill is fraudulent and can lead to a gaol sentence.

There is a warning on the travel advice site of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office warning passengers about the attitudes of passport control staff in Vietnam. About 200,000 Britons holiday there and the number of Brits travelling there is rising year-by-year. It says that a number of British nationals have been refused entry due to their passport being damaged and tells future holidaymakers ton the country to make sure your passport is in good condition before arriving in Vietnam.

Tate Modern – one of the finalists for the Art Fund award

The shortlist for the prize of the £100,000 Art Fund Museum of the Year was announced this week. The finalists are the Lapworth Museum of Geology in Birmingham, the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art in Newmarket, Sir John Soane’s Museum in London, Tate Modern in London, and The Hepworth Wakefield.  The winner will be announced on 5th July.

Railway rover tickets may provide good value for money if you can travel a lot during the time of the ticket so the introduction of a new one will interest a number of readers. The rail company, TransPennine Express has introduced   ‘North of England Rover Ticket’ which allows people the opportunity to explore four famous northern cities on a cultural voyage of discovery. Those cities are Hull, Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool and the ticket that is valid for eight days. The price of the tickets start from just £79 per person

This month is California Traveller Month and, to coincide with that, the state tourist authority has released figures showing how important tourism is to the state. Last year, alone, it was worth $126 billion into the state’s economy, $10.3 billion in tax revenue and supported 1.1 million jobs. It performed much better than the USA did as a whole last year. Could that be due to the fact that Visit California was advertising quite widely on UK television earlier this year rather as opposed to other states?

Less of passengers’ hold baggage is going missing © Dan Sperrin

A number of us have parted ways with our baggage when we have flown, me included. But the latest baggage report from SITA, a company that provides software technology for baggage management at airports around the world, suggests fewer bags are being lost. It says that the rate of mishandled bags was 5.73 bags per thousand passengers in 2016, down 12.25% from the previous year and the lowest ever recorded. Setting this against the rise in the number of passengers then he rate is even better. It should improve even more because by June 2018, the industry has pledged that every piece of checked baggage will be tracked along its journey at four points – at check-in, aircraft loading, at transfer between carriers, and on arrival as the bag is delivered back to the passenger.

Finally, congratulations to Sally Cogley who was elected to the council in East Ayrshire following the local elections on Thursday. She founded the Rubbish Party just two months ago to make people aware of waste and littering to the extent that she has led groups to clean up her part of the county. Given the amount of litter and rubbish left in tourist hotspots and beaches I, for one, would like the Rubbish Party to go national. In my village, the tourists have started to return. All of a sudden dog fouling has become a problem again. During the winter it seems that locals clean up any mess their dogs leave.

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