What’s hot: July 2012
CD-Traveller tells you what’s hot and what’s not in the travel world. This month, it’s good news for motorists and mobile phone users in Europe, but anyone heading to a malarial country should take extra special care
Croc hunting down under
A controversial scheme to allow tourists to shoot crocodiles is being considered in Australia. The Northern Territory government hopes to sell licences to kill 50 saltwater crocodiles to tourists for up-to £25,000. Selling the crocs would create jobs for the land’s indigenous people.
Southeast Asia made easy
A single visa allowing tourists to visit all 10 countries of the Asean confederation – step forward Burma, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam – will be available from 2013. We can’t wait!
Driving in Europe
Good news for anyone driving in Europe this summer: a post office survey has revealed that petrol prices are down by as much as 8.6 per cent on last year with the price of diesel down by up to 10.4 percent. Andorra is the cheapest place to fill up your tank, followed by Luxembourg. However the cheapest place for petrol remains America. Route 66 road trip anyone?
Reduced roaming charges
EU caps on roaming charges come into effect today meaning that heart attack inducing mobile phone bills will hopefully be banished as a thing of the past. Under the new regulations, data will now cost a maximum of 56p per MB with calls costing 23.5p per minute to make and 6.5p to receive and texts 7.3p. Huzzah!
If Dutch entrepreneur Jim Halfens gets his way, divorce hotels could be coming to Britain. Halfens’ hotel chain specialises in arranging a last weekend together for separating couples with legal types around to help with the paperwork.
Revealing too much in Dubai
Two emiratis, Hanan Al Rayyes and Asma Al Muheirir, have launched a campaign calling for the Dubai police to get tough on tourists who persist on ambling around the emirate;s shopping malls scantily clad. The campaigners say they are not about changing the law but enforcing it. Anyone convicted of inappropriate dressing could face a minimum of six months in prison.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that there has been a surge in malaria cases this year and that the risk of malaria is at its highest for a decade. The message? If you’re heading to one of the 106 malarial countries (www.malarialhotspots.co.uk) be sure to book an appointment with your doctor in advance and get the right medication for your destination.
Travelling with children on United
American airline, United, has done away with the tradition of allowing parents travelling with children to board its planes first. Critics are concerned that other airlines might follow suit but good old BA says it will continue to “invite families to board before other customers.”
Silence on Virgin Atlantic flights
“Silence is golden” – so sang American rock band, The Four Seasons, back in 1964. But it seems that Virgin Atlantic never got the memo. Sir Richard Branson’s airline has become the first British airline to offer in-flight mobile phone calls. The service – which will initially be for 02 and Vodafone customers – will be available on Virgin’s London to New York route before the year is out.
The hidden charges of London hotels
The InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) whose portfolio includes the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza has come under fire for promoting its rooms at prices that don’t include VAT. However IHG isn’t the only hotel company guilty of misleading customers: luxury London properties such as The Mandarin Oriental, Ritz-Carlton and The Dorchester and budget bolt holes like Travelodge and Premier Inn also advertise/quote room prices at what is effectively 20 percent less than the actual price.