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  Europe Ban For Airport   
                 Scan

UK airports using the latest body scan security technology have been given the go-ahead to continue operating the machines while the European Commission investigates further any safety issues.

Europe has banned the x-ray scanners until more testing is carried out and results should be known by March 2010 so for the time being, only security scanners which do not use X-ray technology are approved for use.

Experts have found the body scanners emit low doses of radiation and the EU has told member states not to install them until the risks are assessed.

The British Health Protection Agency said: 'The radiation dose from an examination of two or three scans is less than that received from two minutes flying at cruising altitude

The machines were scrapped at Heathrow after complaints about invasion of privacy but Manchester Airport has installed 16 of them at a cost of �80.000 each and they are now widely used in the U.S


    UK Gov Accused of 
    Grounding Air Travel

Four leading airline chief executives
are calling on the British Chancellor, George Osborne to axe Air Passenger Duty arguing that its negative impact on the UK economy is outweighing any benefit from the revenue raised.

In a letter to the Chancellor, Carolyn McCall from easyJet, Willie Walsh from IAG, Michael O'Leary from Ryanair and Steve Ridgway from Virgin Atlantic say that what is happening in the UK mirrors what occurred in the Netherlands in 2008/09 when a similar air tax was imposed.

After a year, the levy was abandoned after a study showed that its harmful effects on the Dutch economy were nearly four times greater than the revenue it produced.

The letter highlights that passenger numbers at UK airports have fallen consecutively for the last three years to a level lower than 2004. In 2010, there were 7.4 million fewer passengers in the UK while numbers using European airports grew by 66.3 million.

APD was doubled in 2007 and hiked again in each of the last two years. 
The UK has the highest aviation taxes in the world.


    Maldives & Seychelles  
      Patrol For  Pirates

India is providing patrol aircraft around the Maldives to protect tourists from pirates. 

Indian Navy officials have confirmed the jet will monitor the Indian Ocean where Somali pirates have become more active.

Earlier this year US Admiral Robert Willard, head of the United States Pacific Command, said that pirates are posing particular problems for the Maldives and pushed for international anti-piracy efforts.

India has also donated a network of coastal radars and has trained local personnel in how to operate the equipment to spot rogue vessels.

India also assists Mauritius and the Seychelles in the fight against piracy, donating speedboats to the areas.


  USA Scales The Fat Map

America's been named to holiday destination where visitors pile on the pounds, according to a study.

Research  found the enormous food portions dished up in the USA and those all-you-can-eat buffets is making travellers gain an average of 8lb in two weeks

The Caribbean is the second worst offender thanks to the popular all-inclusive hotel resorts where tourists bring home around 7.4lb from their trip.

Researchers questioned 2,000 Brits and found six in ten regularly gain weight and for one in 20 it's often more a stone. Many only notice when they see the holiday snaps

France is third on the 'Fat Map' thanks to its wine and cheese followed by Italy then Greece.


    Big Apple Blossoms In
        US Travel Boom 


New York - The Big Apple is still the core attraction for visitors to the United States according the official tourism figures.
 
60 million international tourists visited the US last year (2010) which is an increase of 9% on 2009, figures from the Commerce Department show.
 
Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom provide the most visitors but there's also growth coming from China and South Korea.
 
After New York, Miami is the top city for foreign visitors followed by Los Angeles, Orlando, San Francisco, Hawaii and Las Vegas

Nearly 49 million tourists visited New York during 2010 making it the Big Apple's biggest and best year for tourism ever,  according to the city's mayor.

The surge in visitor numbers is a 7 per cent increase on the previous year and puts New York on track to reach a goal set by Mayor Bloomberg of attracting 50 million visitors annually in 2012.

Several tourist attractions and museums reported an increase in visitors and it's calculated that 6,000 extra jobs were created by New York's tourism boom last year - adding to the 320,000 workers already employed by the sector.

 USA's Top Tourist Traps

The official chart is below:

10. Los Angeles - Walk of Fame.

18 million visitors flock to LA every year and one-in-ten visit the famous Hollywood Boulevard

9. Mount Rushmore

The immense sculptures of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln attract more than 2 million visitors per year.

8. Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone, with its phenomenal natural geysers is renowned as one of America�s most unspoiled and largest nature reserves visited by 3 million people every year.

7. Yosemite National Park

The site near San Francisco is the third oldest national park in the United States and draws in around 3,5 million visitors.

6. Empire State Building, N.Y.

The Big Apple�s bucking the credit crunch gloom and it seems the biggest attraction in New York is the Empire State Building. It was built in 1931 to be the tallest building in the world.

5. Grand Canyon

The work of the Colorado River produced this truly awesome spectacle which in places stretches 30 kilometres wide.

4. Golden Gate National Recreation Area

This immense attraction in San Francisco is the biggest city park complex in the world covering 300 square kilometres, larger than the city itself. It welcomes more than 14 million people a year

3. Washington D.C.

15 million people visit the capital of the United States every year and the election of Barack Obama could see those numbers increase.

The US capital has seen a decline in visitors since George Bush took office of nearly two and a half million.

2. Las Vegas

The bright lights and glitz attracts just less than 40 million gamblers and fun-lovers to this desert oasis every year.

1. Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando

Orlando's a city of about 2,6 million residents and more than 17 million visitors making Disney  the most visited theme park in the world


  Air Passengers Are Just
            Plane Lazy

Air travellers are failing to exercise on long-haul flights and putting their health at risk, according to a survey.

The survey for Thomson Airways found two in five do not drink enough water on lengthy air journeys and seven out ten did little or no exercise.

As many as 41% of those responding to the survey admitted to drinking only a little water on long flights, while 7% drank none at all.

The survey came as Thomson launched a guide aimed at helping passengers beat jetlag.


   Surprise Surprise Brits
  Are the Booziest Abroad

British tourists are Europe's heaviest drinkers abroad, while Italians are the soberest, according to a survey.

65% of Brits admit they like more booze while away on holiday and around 29% claim they swallow 5 or more drinks compared with around 41% for other Europeans.

Only 28% of Italians say they drink more while away than at home.

The survey based on responses from holidaymakers from the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain also revealed: 

UK holidaymakers are least likely to smoke more when away, while Italian holidaymakers are the heaviest smokers.


      Foreign Roads To
        Steer Clear Of

A warning has been issued to  tourists to take care when driving abroad following a report which claimed 25,000 tourists are killed on the roads each year.

The Association of British Travel Agents insist only 'a very small proportion' of the 60 million UK tourists who travel abroad are caught up in fatal road accidents, it urged holidaymakers to make themselves aware of local driving laws.

ABTA spokeswoman Nikki White said: "Many ABTA tour operators work closely with local companies providing transfers and car hire arrangements to operate appropriate safety standards"

However with 55% of UK holidaymakers travelling independently rather than with tour operators, action clearly needs to be taken by individual governments where required and customers research relevant local rules of the road before travelling.


     Sky-High Food Prices

Some airlines have been accused of charging nearly four times the normal retail price for snacks and drinks, according to a survey by travelsupermarket.com.

For example, a sandwich that costs around �2 in a supermarket costs as much as �4.39 on the budget airline Ryanair and �3.95 on Flybe.

The biggest mark-ups were on items such as crisps, biscuits and cakes.

Many low-cost airlines offer knockdown ticket prices which are often cheaper than an inflight cup of tea.

Snacks on the no-frills airlines are also generally more expensive than those bought at airport outlets, the survey revealed.

Bob Atkinson, of travelsupermarket.com, said: "Prices vary significantly across airlines so by bringing your own you can avoid having to think about it at all."

Strict security measures means liquids can only be purchased in the departure area where it still tends to be cheaper than onboard the plane whereas food can be taken through in the hand-luggage. 


  Universal's Backlot To
           The Future!

Universal Studios, California has unveiled its newly rebuilt backlot tour.

The �137 million construction, which features replicas of New York, London and Paris streets, replaces the outdoor sets which were destroyed by a fire.

The new lot will also be used for filming street scenes as well as being part of the studio tour's attractions.

Prior to the blaze the site was used for filming movie classics such as; Back To The Future and To Kill A Mocking Bird. 

The four-acre site features 13 city blocks and includes sections that resemble Central Park, Broadway, and areas of London with increased heights of buildings 


 Don't Get Your Brits Out!

Bikinis in Egyptian temples and builders' bums in Goa, UK holidaymakers are being urged to 'Put your Brits Away'.

Travel magazine Wanderlust has launched a campaign pleading for Brits to dress appropriately for their holiday comes after several high publicity culture clashes including Katie Price's brush with the law for topless sunbathing in the Maldives and the arrest of several British footballers for dressing up as 'naughty nuns' in Crete.

'As a nation we are travelling outside of Europe more frequently, especially with the arrival of cheap flights to destinations such as 'Showing too much flesh not only causes offence and embarrassment in many countries, but it can also lead to physical threats against tourists. In some areas, skimpy beachwear has provoked attacks on Western women.'

For example it�s acceptable to parade up and down the beaches of Copacabana in Brazil in the tiniest of bikinis, commonly known as dental floss, however topless sunbathing is prohibited. And despite its laid-back ambiance the Caribbean is equally strict with camouflage clothing illegal in most countries.


  Airport Currency Alert

Airport bureau de change outlets have been branded the worst value for money because most  tended to charge for commission, Which? magazine found.

The study revealed travellers could find themselves paying an extra �50 for large amounts of currency 

Which? Money contacted 21 currency providers on six occasions over three months and obtained currency rates from the big four banks as well as selected debit and credit card providers as part of its eurozone currency rate experiment.

The cheapest currency provider on average for US dollars and euros was Eurochange - it charged �351 for 500 dollars and �461 for 500 euros.

The most expensive quotes were from an airport branch of Travelex, charging �40 more for 500 dollars and �47 more for 500 euros on average.

Which? Money editor Martyn Hocking said: "The fall in the value of the pound has increased the cost of hotels, travel and entertainment for UK tourists, so it's more important than ever to shop around for currency.

"Don't just presume that high street providers such as travel agents and the Post Office offer the best deals. Thinking ahead and changing your money before you travel means you'll avoid getting stung at the airport - head to a city centre bureau de change or go online for the best deals."


.

       

 

    Is The Caribbean
     Cruising Into A  
       Bleak Winter
    

Caribbean nations are bracing themselves for a bleak winter and believe the downturn could be blamed on a fall in British visitors.

Tourism Ministers from the region are so concerned they have visited the UK to discuss the British Government's air passenger duty which many claim is putting tourists off travelling long haul.

The savior of Caribbean tourism during the early part of 2012 looks set to be a growth in revenue from the cruise indurty.

Jamaica is expecting 48.4 per cent increase in arrivals on ships. One report suggests there could be at least a 20 per cent increase in tourist arrivals for this winter season thanks mainly to cruise passengers. 


Portugal & Spain Break
    Tourism Records 

Tourism in Portugal, despite the tough economic time is breaking records, according to official figures.

The Office of National Statistics has revealed overnight stays in the Algarve was up by almost a million during the summer of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010.

The surge by foreign visitors was also boosted by an increasing number of Portuguese people opting to spend their vacations in their own country.

There was also a promising report to emerge from
the Spanish Ministry of Tourism which shows an 8% increase in the number of tourists heading to Spain compared with the previous summer season, nearly 6 million visited in September alone making that month one of the best on record.

  Malta Teases Tourist
         Opponents

Malta has also been celebrating a sharp rise in tourist arrivals in 2011 compared to the previous year. 

23 per cent more travellers flocked to the island in the Med bringing an increase in hotel occupancy and revenue.

The increase appears mainly due to uncertainty in Tunisia plus more flights the the island from Ryanair and easyjet.

The most visited countries by UK residents in 2011 were:

COUNTRY             VISITS

1. Spain                  10.4 million

2. France                 9.1 million

3. USA                    3.2 million

4. Irish Republic       3.0 million

5. Italy                      2.2 million

6. Germany               2.1 million

7. Portugal                1.9 million

8. Turkey                  1.8 million

9. Netherlands           1.8 million

10.Greece                 1.7 million


  Harry Potter And The 
           Prize Pot

Orlando's Wizarding World of Harry Potter has won the top award in the 2011 Theme Park Insider survey.

The website's annual vote handed Islands of Adventure the Best Theme Park Award for the second consecutive year, beating Busch Gardens in second place, followed by Disney's California Adventure.

Readers voted Star Tours at Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios as best new theme park attraction. 

Meanwhile thrill-seekers are returning to America's biggest theme parks after the roller-coaster recession ride of the last two years..

Many of the most popular attractions are reporting bigger crowds and some are reporting  all-time high attendance numbers

Knott's Berry Farm near Los Angeles cultivated a record 22.8 million people through its turnstiles.

Walt Disney reports attendance actually dropped slightly at its parks in Orlando but increased at Disneyland in California.

The dip in Florida was mainly due to Universal's launch of the popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction.


    Health Alert For
  European
Travellers

Fifty percent on British tourists heading abroad are ignorant to the benefits of carrying a European Health Insurance Card, according to a recent study.

The credit card-sized more piece of plastic DOES NOT replace travel insurance but it does  entitle the holder to have their medical costs covered or discounted incase of an accident of illness in another European country.

Research for moneysupermarket.com reveals many Brits didn't realise the EHIC needs to be renewed every five years. 

Website spokesman, Bob Atkinson said; "The cost for many serious accidents, extensive treatment and the need for air ambulance repatriation will not be covered by the EHIC and the costs for this can run into tens of thousands of pounds if proper travel insurance isn't bought."


     Is Your Holiday   
  Protected Atol At All?

Many UK travellers booking individual flights and accommodation are to get the same protection as those on package holidays in future, but not all!

The British Government's overhaul of the ATOL holiday protection programme will include online bookings of so-called �dynamic packages� due to the number of independent travel company collapses.

The high volume of  insolvencies in recent years has resulted in many holidaymakers being stranded overseas and losing the money they paid for the trip.

An estimated six million Brits prefer to book independent holidays and the new rules should mean they are properly protected financially.

However there has been criticism that the changes exclude those customers who book each component of their holiday from a separate web-based company, however supporters of the scheme say it does at least offer some guarantees.  


 Australia's Phantom Of
        The Oprah?

A major tour of Australia by Oprah Winfrey with a global TV audience of millions has apparently failed to revive the tourism industry down under.

The US talk show queen took 300 fans on the holiday of a lifetime paid for by Australian tax payers and was tipped to be worth �240 million ($360 million) in worldwide publicity. But the despite all the publicity British were not tempted to travel to the other side of the world to follow in Oprah's footsteps.

 Government figures showed visits from Brits actually dropped 4.6 per cent in the first five months of 2011, 

Canadian arrivals fell by 5.1 per cent year on year while the number of US visitors fell 0.8 per cent.

Industry experts are questioning the publicity stunt and some say the money should have been spent attracting Chinese visitors.


  Hotspots For Tummy
        Travel Bugs

Egypt has been named the most likely destination for holidaymakers to pick up sickness and diarrhoea, closely followed by Morocco, according to a report. 

The study by the Health Protection Agency also listed Portugal as one of the hot spots for tummy bugs and on further examination researchers discovered the most like cause of ill-health abroad was salmonella.

Travellers are advised to wash their hands regularly, carry alcohol gel, be cautious about drinking water and ensure their food is properly cooked.


      Shady Goings-on  
  Beneath Beach Brolly

Beach umbrellas may not protect people from the harmful rays of the sun, experts have warned.

A study in Spain using an ultraviolet ray sensor on the base of a blue and white canvas umbrella found that a third of ultra-violet light still gets through even though the parasol provided shade.

The umbrella intercepted the direct radiation that comes from the sun, but part of the diffused radiation, which makes up approximately 60 percent of the total, reached the sensor from the sky not covered by the umbrella.

Malignant melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, affects more than 10,000 Britons a year and kills more than 2,000.

In addition to the use of umbrellas, doctors recommend people use sun creams, hats and clothing when at the beach to guard against ultraviolet radiation, and avoid hours when the sun is at its highest.


      Airlines Suitcase
              Chaos 

British Airways has rubbished claims it has lost around one in three items of baggage. 

According to a figures from more than 2000 flyers from the UK, the survey showed 29 per cent of passengers had endured lost, damaged or delayed luggage during the last five years

One in 3.8 BA passengers has had lost, delayed or damaged luggage in the last five years, the survey by insurance company LV= claimed.

But BA said the figures were "complete rubbish" and that there was no evidence to suggest that a quarter of its passengers had had luggage problems over the last five years. 

The second worst-hit were passengers on Virgin Atlantic flights, with one in 8.3 having bag trouble.

Third were Dubai-based carriers Emirates, followed by easyJet  and Ryanair.

Airline Baggage Loss Ration

1. British Airways 1 in 3.8

2. Virgin Atlantic 1 in 8.3

3. Emirates 1 in 9

4. EasyJet 1 in 11.1

5. Ryanair 1 in 12.5

6. Thomas Cook 1 in 14.2

7. Bmi 1 in 16.6

8. Bmibaby 1 in 20


    Airport's Sky-High
      Parking Prices 

Heathrow has been named  the most expensive airport to park a vehicle for a week with passengers paying nearly three times as much than their northern counterparts, a  Which? Car survey has found.

The West London airport charges �53 for seven days in a park-and-ride option while the equivalent at Manchester Airport is just �19.84.

The most expensive airport parking in the UK found in the survey was Heathrow's business option costing �88.70 for seven days.

Belfast International, Liverpool and Bristol all offered the cheapest on-site airport parking ranging from �23 to �29.


  It's Not All Ship Shape
     On Cruise Ships


A recent study has concluded that restrooms and public toilets on cruise ships are most likely to be the cause of illnesses onboard.

The undercover testing of restrooms revealed that out of 273 of those checked on 1,546 occasions, only 37 percent of them were cleaned daily.

In 2006, hundreds of cruise ship passengers came down with norovirus twice aboard Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas.

The health professionals tested several surfaces in bathrooms including toilet seats, flush devices, door handles and baby changing surfaces and found most objects had not been touched by cleaning crews.


 Airports Off The Radar

The world�s most ambiguous airports have been named and shamed in a study of their exact proximity to their alleged destination, and the UK has the most offenders

Some airport journey times can add hours onto a travel itinerary because they are located miles away from the city or resort they claim to serve.

A survey by Skyscanner.net has uncovered the worst offenders which we�ve duplicated below.

Barry Smith, director of Skyscanner said:" It's easy to get caught out by flying to an airport that is miles away from where you want to be, especially if you�re not familiar with your destination.

"That low price flight could easily be offset by the cost of a bus or taxi fare. Double check the airport location before your book, especially when flying on low-cost airlines."

Some of the worst offenders:

1. Munich West (Memmingen) � 70 miles (112km) from central Munich

2. Oslo (Torp) � 68 miles (110km) from central Oslo

3. Frankfurt (Hahn) � 68 miles (110km) from central Frankfurt.

4. London (Oxford) � 60 miles (97km) from central London

5. Stockholm (Skavsta) � 59 miles (95km) from central Stockholm

6. Barcelona (Girona) � 58 miles (94km) from central Barcelona

7. Barcelona (Reus) � 58 miles (94km) from central Barcelona

8. Paris (Beauvais ) � 55miles (88km) from central Paris

9. Dusseldorf (Weeze) � 50 miles (80 km) from central Dusseldorf

10. London (Stansted) � 40 miles (km) from central London

11. Tokyo (Narita) � 37 miles (60km) from central Tokyo

12. Verona (Brescia) � 33 miles (53km) from central Verona

13. Glasgow (Prestwick) � 32 miles (51km) from central Glasgow

14. London (Luton) � 32 miles (51km) from central London

15. Milan (Bergamo) � 31 miles (50km) from central Milan


     Cheap Sun Lotion
 Outshines The Dearest

One of the cheapest sun lotions on sale in  the UK provides better protection than some of the dearest, a study's found.

Researchers for a Which? survey claim a �3 bottle of Asda sun lotion gives a better defense than brands which cost three times as much.

Which? investigators tested 14 of the best-selling sun creams in the  factor of 15 bracket and say only five met its standards.

The study found the Asda cream offered a protection rating of 24, nine more than stated on the bottle.

Researchers have warned that sunbathers could be putting their health at risk with protective creams that fail to offer what they claim.

Rival companies such as Tesco, Marks and Spencer and Wilkinsons insist their products live up to their claims under their own independent tests.

Most products offer protection against UVB rays which  is linked to several types of skin cancer.

Some products also claim protection against UVA, which is also linked to some aggressive cancers and ageing.

   

 
 

 

 

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