Saturday snippets: June 17th 2017

By | Category: Travel news

From last Thursday there is free mobile roaming in EU countries

On Thursday the new rules on roaming charges came into force. It means that you will not be charged for roaming when you travel abroad in the EU. Of course, not all European countries are in the EU so the rule won’t appear if you travel to Switzerland or Norway for example. Other popular holiday destinations like Turkey and Morocco are outside the EU but some suppliers include free roaming in their packages. You will need to check your contract. For Brits, this may only last for two years until the UK leaves the EU. It may be one of things on the long list for negotiation but who knows what will happen.

If you live in Northern Ireland, I understand that as part of the negotiations by the Democratic Unionist Party for supporting the British government, a removal of APD in the province is being discussed. This will put it on a par with its land neighbour, Ireland. The DUP also included a reduction in VAT for tourist services in its manifesto. Is that included in the negotiations? For the rest of the UK there are likely to be no such reductions on the horizon.

poster advertising Mallorca

is the property you rent in Mallorca properly registered?

Last Sunday the Mallorca Daily Bulletin reported that two Brits had been arrested in Majorca by police investigating bogus claim scams. The previous week, the newspaper had run a story that two women had been trying to encourage holidaymakers in Alcudia to say they have had stomach bugs. The paper says that the two that were arrested were allegedly working for claims companies back in the UK and that “introducers” were paid £100 a time by the claims agents. This scam is spreading across destinations popular with British visitors and it appears that only Brits are the targets.

Staying in Mallorca it is estimated that only 77,000 of an estimated 201,000 beds up for rent on the island are registered with the local authorities. Does this matter to the visitor? If you have a problem with the booking you won’t have much support in seeking redress so check before you book.  The same is happening in Barcelona where the city has doubled the number of inspectors. Theoretically, the inspectors, coming across an unregistered property, can close it down but this seems unlikely. Airbnb has been fined €600,000 for advertising unregistered properties in the city.

Suffolk has its own day as does Yorkshire. Will other counties follow?

Next Wednesday, June 21, is Suffolk Day. Never heard of it before? I’m not surprised as this is the first time that it will exist. The idea behind it is to celebrate all things about the county and of course make the rest of us aware of what tourist sites the county boasts. Suffolk Punch horses, are set to lead afternoon free-admission at the Suffolk Food Hall on the Shotley Peninsula and there will displays of genuine Suffolk timber snigging; an historical method by which heavy timber was moved and transported before the introduction of modern day machinery.  Between 3pm and 7pm, the Suffolk Land Rover Owners Club plans to take people on a 4×4 assault course underneath the Orwell Bridge.  There are plenty of other events happening. Click here to see more.

As the Isle of Wight Festival closes for another year, the Isle of Wight‘s annual Festival of the Sea is not far away. This year it starts on June 23 and lasts until July 9 and is at various destinations on the island. For example, the Pirate Plunder at Chine is on two weekends, the 24th and 25th of June as well as the 1st and 2nd of July. For those with an adventurous spirit, the 26.5 mile night hike across the island takes place on the 24th of June starting at the Needles. The Round the Island Race starts and ends at Cowes on the 1st of July and that same day will see the Mardi Gras in Ryde and the Carnival at Sea concert at the Medina Theatre. But sailing and the sea is the key theme so the festival also includes the Edinburgh Cup and the Panerai British Classic as part of the fun.

In our forecasts for the year, Iran was tipped as a hotspot. News comes from the head of the Hotel Owners Association of Fars Province, Hasan Siadatian that nearly two thirds of all the hotels in Iran’s ancient city of Shiraz have been booked by foreign tourists for the last quarter of 2017. The province attracted more than 165,000 foreign tourists in April and May, showing a 42% growth compared with the same period last year.

image of Disneyworld -Kissimmee

Arec Disney characters happy because Florida’s tourism marketing budget has been restored?

Readers might remember that I wrote a couple of months ago about the marketing arm of the US state of Florida being stripped of its budget as a result of a vote in the state legislature. The state governor, Rick Scott, fought for the budget and succeeded this week in the $76 million being restored. Last week a local newspaper, the Naples Daily News revealed, that Visit Florida, had signed a contract to market the state to various countries in the Middle East which included Syria listed by the US government as a state sponsor of terrorism. That contract was cancelled last week and a new one signed which specifically did not include Syria. The governor must hope that Visit Florida vets its contracts more assiduously that it had done before.

What last minute qualms do you have before you go on holiday? A survey from Airport Parking & Hotels suggests that not packing travel documents, such as a passport came out on top followed by concerns about being delayed due to traffic on the way to the airport. Other problems were concern over luggage limitations which isn’t surprising given the confusion on where you have to pack laptops and other portable electronic devices!

Valencia – nearly time for the Great Valencia Fair

It isn’t long to the Great Valencia Fair 2017, the annual month-long festival that brings music acts as well as a full programme of cinema, theatre, street markets, parades and fireworks to the city every July. One of the highlights of the July fair are the open air concerts at the Viveros Gardens, taking place from 30 June to 25 July this year and featuring Jamie Cullum, Michael Nyman Band and American jazz legend Chick Corea. For those planning a weekend break to Valencia during this time, whilst the tickets to particular events are inexpensive, (€12 -€40) hotels can be just the opposite. Try some of the neighbouring towns for better deals.

easyJet is a low cost airline. I am perplexed, therefore,  why it has signed a deal with Signature Flight Support that will enable easyJet passengers to use Signature’s luxury private jet terminal at Luton Airport. Costing £475 for the first passenger and £120 for any additional travellers in the group, the price would be more than any easyJet passenger would pay for a flight. The airline says that this a chance “for a VIP experience for their loved ones and we think it will be particularly popular for those celebrating a milestone birthday, anniversary or other special occasion or for those travelling on business.” Really!

Tunisia has announced that it has extended the state of emergency for another four months. That must mean that the FCO won’t change its travel advice on not to travel there and tour operators won’t start selling holidays there as most travel insurance policies won’t cover holidaymakers travelling there. Last time it was extended for just a month. Have the Tunisian authorities heard something that makes them less optimistic this time?

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