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Do we really need to travel?

According to the UNWTO (UN World Tourism Organisation) there are now over 1 billion people travelling internationally each year; a number that is expected to increase sharply as more people in India and China acquire the means to go on foreign holidays. In the world of travel and tourism this travel bonanza is being embraced […]

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Rule 1 of basic customer service: it’s about the customer, not you

I read a recent article written by a hotel receptionist (I’ve searched through my archives to try and find a link, with no success) that had me banging my head on the desk in frustration (metaphorically, of course). The author was scathing about the inventor of rolling luggage (suitcases with wheels), saying that they had […]

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How to make a tourist town

Many British cities look on with envy at places such as York, Bath and Canterbury. These tourist honey pots attract thousands of visitors every day, pouring into town to snap a few photos, eat an expensive meal at a chain restaurant and buy something from a shop they have in their own local high street. The same […]

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Peseta waffles: a nostalgic look at travel before the Euro

In a small box in my living room I have 51 Austrian schillings, 2300 Italian lira, a couple of thousand Yugoslav dinar and a few Danish coins that look like Polo mints (but are probably worth a lot less). There are many other old coins with varied coatings of rust and dirt; one of these […]

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War, what is it good for? Tourism, actually

Take a trip to almost any country in the world and you’ll find war and conflict behind many of the major tourist attractions. Perhaps this should not come as a surprise: war has afflicted every corner of the world and has left a mark, usually both physical and emotional, that is in most cases more […]

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What price a friendly face: who are a country’s local ambassadors?

Tourism officials go to great lengths to promote how friendly their country is to foreign visitors and with good reason: ask someone who has just come back from a holiday to describe their experience and it’s likely that the hospitality they received (or lack of it) will be one of the first things mentioned. It’s […]

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Has the internet taken the fun out of travel?

Is there anything you can’t check on the internet? Research a hotel before you go and you can read hundreds of reviews about it, usually ranging from those singing its praises to others saying that they’d rather have slept in a sewer. Look up an airline and you can get reviews of the size of […]

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$5 and an opportunity missed – a hotel customer service lesson

    It really isn’t a big deal. I didn’t lose any money over the incident and the hotel acted fully within its rights. Yet by a simple action (or inaction) what had been a very pleasant stay ended with us saying that we would stay elsewhere when we next return to the same place. […]

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Taken for a ride: the price of top tourist attractions

  People travel thousands of miles to see the world’s top tourist attractions. When they arrive they are hardly likely to be deterred by an overpriced entrance ticket. With this in mind, is it reasonable for tourism chiefs to charge any amount they can get away with, or is there any benefit in providing a […]

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3 favourite hotels and what made them memorable

  I’d have trouble counting the number of different hotels I’ve stayed in, but I would guess the total is somewhere around 700, give or take a hundred or so. Most have been entirely forgettable: a bed for the night, a room along a dreary corridor, a passport handed over for copying, a credit card […]

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