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Daughters of slain Aussie tourists break silence

<p>The daughters of the Australian man who was killed in The Philippines alongside his partner have broken their silence after their family's "cruel" deaths. </p> <p>On Wednesday last week, the bodies of David James Fisk, 57, his wife Lucita Barquin Cortez, 55, and Ms Cortez’s daughter-in-law Mary Jane Cortez, 30, were found dead inside their Lake Hotel room in Tagaytay, south of Manila. </p> <p>Authorities have since confirmed that a man has <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/travel/travel-trouble/huge-breakthrough-after-aussie-couple-murdered-on-overseas-holiday" target="_blank" rel="noopener">handed himself in</a> to police in connection to the alleged murders. </p> <p>It is understood the man accused of killing the trio was a former employee of the hotel who wanted to “get back at the hotel management” for his dismissal.</p> <p>Mr Fisk’s daughters, Lucinda and Brittany Fisk, said they have been afraid and confused ever since learning their father had been killed. </p> <p>“We have been living and continuing to live a nightmare until any of this makes sense,” Lucinda told <a href="https://www.9news.com.au/world/david-fisk-lucinda-cortez-suspected-killer-surrenders-to-police-philippines/e2f70137-af63-4b60-9f05-0e1981618d7f" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>9News</em></a>.</p> <p>“For someone to take our father away from us so cruelly... it just doesn’t make sense."</p> <p>“We won’t stop fighting until we find out why, and we won’t stop fighting until we have justice for our father and Lucita.”</p> <p>Brittany said she hoped nobody else will ever have to go through the nightmare her family are enduring.</p> <p>“I’m angry, I’m really angry, and I’m scared... I don’t want this to happen to anyone else,” she said.</p> <p>A hotel worker found the victims’ bodies with their hands and feet bound and packaging tape covering their mouths on Wednesday last week, according to a police statement.</p> <p>Police located the main suspect in the killings using CCTV footage from the hotel, and when they arrived at his house for questioning, the man surrendered himself to police. </p> <p>Capagcuan and Tagatay City Mayor Abraham Tolentino said the deaths had been a “wake-up call” after decades without similar incidents.</p> <p>“Tagaytay City is a tourist-driven local economy,” he said. “We are a safe place, we are a peaceful place, and for the last 30 years there’s no crime like this in the area.”</p> <p>After hearing the news of the couple's sudden and tragic passing, Mr Fisk’s family released a statement sharing their grief and pleading for answers.</p> <p>“The love we have for our Father and Lucita is so dear and this situation is like living a nightmare,” the statement read.</p> <p>“We pray for answers and the truth in this horrific matter and just pray for their safe return to Australian shores.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: GoFundMe / 9News</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Happy Days star's warning to tourists after costly mistake

<p><em>Happy Days </em>star Henry Winkler has issued a warning to fans about rickshaw rides in London, after he was charged £134 (AU$250) for a short trip.  </p> <p>The star revealed on X, formerly Twitter, that he was left with the huge bill after taking a ride on the pedicab, and attached a picture from the back of the rickshaw. </p> <p>“TRAVEL TIP: Do not take one of these bicycle taxis without absolutely negotiating the price first. This person in London rode us around in circles then finally to our destination seven blocks away … for $170 US!" he wrote. </p> <p>“My fault, I paid, but passenger beware!</p> <p>A few hours later, he reiterated his point and added:  "Can NOT say this enough."</p> <p>Fans were quick to back the veteran actor, with one saying: “How can the guy do The Fonz like that?”</p> <p>Others urged him to take the tube or a cab instead, with one writing: "I would've taken you for free." </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">TRAVEL TIP: DO NOT take one of these bicycle taxis without absolutely negotiating the price first. This person in London rode us around in circles then finally to our destination 7 blocks away...for $170 US! My fault, I paid, but passenger beware! <a href="https://t.co/l9yxNUkOuM">pic.twitter.com/l9yxNUkOuM</a></p> <p>— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) <a href="https://twitter.com/hwinkler4real/status/1808556199824273671?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 3, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>Another former cab driver added: "London cabbies are known for being honest, knowledgeable, and decent-It takes a full year for someone to gain all the Knowledge necessary to become a cab driver. I believe they drive black cars. Anyway, this is a former cabbie telling you to grab a real cab."</p> <p>To which Winkler replied: "I did all the time. For that moment I LOST my mind."</p> <p>According to the U.K's Local Government Association, pedicabs have been able to charge extortionate prices because they are "exempt from the regulations which cover taxis and private hire vehicles.</p> <p>"They do not need a [license] to operate, are able to set their own prices and are not subject to checks on the safety and ability of their drivers, or the road worthiness of their vehicles."</p> <p>However, Transport for London is stepping in to license rickshaw riders and regulate their fares to bring it into line with other forms of transport in the city. </p> <p><em>Image: Mark Doyle/ Shutterstock Editorial</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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New Zealand tourist brutally slain in front of husband while on holiday

<p>A tourist from New Zealand has been tragically killed during an armed robbery while on holiday with her husband in America. </p> <p>Patricia (Trish) McKay and her husband, prominent Auckland businessman Doug McKay, were exploring Newport Beach in California when they were set upon by two men in a shopping centre.</p> <p>The couple were shopping when the armed robbery began, as a struggle ensued before the men dragged Ms McKay to a carpark, according to local authorities. </p> <p>It was there she was allegedly run over by a third person driving a white Toyota Camery before the trio reportedly made a getaway from the Fashion Island mall.</p> <p>Mr McKay luckily walked away uninjured from the incident, although three shots were reportedly fired during the ordeal, however no one was struck by the stray bullets.</p> <p>Speaking to media, Heather Rangel from LA’s Police Department said an investigation continues however three male suspects, one aged 26 and two aged 18, had been taken in to custody.</p> <p>The three men were arrested after a lengthy car chase through the streets of Newport Beach, and eventually along highways to Cypress, where the suspects ditched the car and tried to run away before being captured.</p> <p>In a new statement released by those close to Ms McKay, family say “no words can express our sadness as we try to come to terms with the loss of our mother, wife, and friend Patricia”.</p> <p>“We ask for privacy at this time as we work through this as a family.”</p> <p>New Zealand’s Prime Minister Christopher Luxon called Ms McKay’s death “an absolute tragedy”.</p> <p>Auckland’s Deputy Mayor Desley Simpson also paid tribute to Ms McKay, saying the 68-year-old was “amazing, funny, loyal, and loving” and that she was “beyond devastated”.</p> <p>“Trish was amazing – funny, loyal, and loving. My absolute deepest sympathies to Doug and her family. In absolute shock.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: ABC7 LA</em></p>

Caring

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Why you should expect to pay more tourist taxes – even though the evidence for them is unclear

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rhys-ap-gwilym-1531623">Rhys ap Gwilym</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/bangor-university-1221">Bangor University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/linda-osti-1431286">Linda Osti</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/bangor-university-1221">Bangor University</a></em></p> <p>In April 2024, Venice began its controversial experiment to <a href="https://www.timeout.com/news/venice-will-charge-tourists-5-to-enter-the-city-from-next-year-090823">charge day trippers</a> €5 (£4.30) to visit the city on some of the busiest days of the year. But it’s not just the lagoon city, with its <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/travel/article/20230928-venices-new-5-entry-fee-explained#:%7E:text=Over%20the%20past%20three%20decades%2C%20Venice%20has%20become,thirds%20of%20visitors%20come%20just%20for%20the%20day.">30 million visitors</a> a year which is interested in trying out new tourism taxes.</p> <p>In the UK, a council in the county of Kent <a href="https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Ftheconversationuk.cmail20.com%2Ft%2Fr-l-tiuhhult-iukktlluuk-o%2F&amp;data=05%7C02%7Cr.a.gwilym%40bangor.ac.uk%7C39ac5db833674c1a026508dc63a24fa7%7Cc6474c55a9234d2a9bd4ece37148dbb2%7C0%7C0%7C638494795990617858%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C0%7C%7C%7C&amp;sdata=D6oVizx3pFoiwRaTcKaakQ079%2FIQx86jcbFpj2%2FS0RQ%3D&amp;reserved=0">has recommended</a> introducing a tourism tax on overnight stays in the county. In Scotland, it seems likely that <a href="https://edinburgh.org/planning/local-information/visitor-levy-for-edinburgh/#:%7E:text=The%20Edinburgh%20Visitor%20Levy%2C%20otherwise%20referred%20to%20as,would%20then%20be%20invested%20back%20into%20the%20city.">visitors to Edinburgh</a> will be paying a fee by 2026, and the Welsh government <a href="https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/welsh-government-announces-tourists-pay-26591498">plans to introduce</a> similar legislation later this year.</p> <p>Such taxes may seem new to the UK, but there are more than 60 destinations around the world where this type of tax is already in place. These vary from a nationwide tax in Iceland to various towns across the US. Some have been in place for a long time (France was the <a href="https://www.impots.gouv.fr/taxe-de-sejour">first in 1910</a>), but most were introduced during the last decade or two.</p> <p>Before the pandemic really struck (and tourism was put on hold), 2020 was described by one newspaper as the <a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/tourist-tax-amsterdam-venice/">“year of the tourist tax”</a>, as Amsterdam joined an ever-growing list of destinations, which includes Paris, Malta and Cancun, to charge visitors for simply visiting.</p> <p>Introducing these tourist taxes has often been controversial, with industry bodies <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-62707152">voicing concerns</a> about the potential impacts on the tourist trade.</p> <p>And it appears that the link between such levies and visitor numbers is not simple, with several studies reaching different conclusions. For example, some have suggested that tourism levies have hindered <a href="https://www-sciencedirect-com.bangor.idm.oclc.org/science/article/pii/S0261517704000238">international tourism in the Balearics</a> and <a href="https://journals-sagepub-com.bangor.idm.oclc.org/doi/pdf/10.1177/00472875211053658">the Maldives</a>, and that they may dissuade people from participating in <a href="https://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/35087/1/ADEDOYIN%2C%20Festus%20Fatai_Ph.D._2020.pdf">domestic tourism</a>.</p> <p>Yet in one of the world’s most popular tourism spots with a levy, Barcelona, visitor numbers have <a href="https://groupnao.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/TOURISM-TAXES-BY-DESIGN-NOV12-2020_rettet-compressed-2.pdf">consistently risen</a>, with hotel guests increasing from 7.1 million in 2013 to 9.5 million in 2019.</p> <p>In fact, the relationship between a visitor levy and tourist flow is so complex that there is no unified view, even within the same country. Italy has been one of the most studied, and results <a href="https://crenos.unica.it/crenosterritorio/sites/default/files/allegati-pubblicazioni-tes/Indagine_Villasimius_Quaderno_Crenos_ISBN.pdf">are inconsistent</a> <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jtr.2123">there too</a>.</p> <p>Another study, looking at three neighbouring Italian seaside spots finds that only in one destination has the visitor levy <a href="https://www.rivisteweb.it/doi/10.1429/77318">reduced tourist flow</a>. And a study on the Italian cities of Rome, Florence and Padua shows that these cities <a href="https://link-springer-com.bangor.idm.oclc.org/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-61274-0_23">have not experienced any negative effects</a> either in terms of domestic or international demand.</p> <p>So the impact of tourism taxes on visitor numbers is inconclusive.</p> <p>But what about other effects, such as the potential benefits of spending the revenues raised? As part of an ongoing research project, we looked at seven different destinations in which tourist taxes are levied to look at how the money raised is then spent.</p> <p>For most places, tourism tax revenues were being used to fund marketing and branding – so invested directly into promoting more tourism. The income was also commonly used to fund tourism infrastructure, from public toilets and walking or cycling paths to a multi-billion dollar <a href="https://www.occc.net/About-Us-Media-Relations-Press-Releases/ArticleID/569/Orange%20County%20Board%20Votes%20to%20Approve%20Convention%20Center%20Completion%20with%20Tourist%20Development%20Tax%20Revenues">convention centre</a> in Orange County, Florida.</p> <p>In <a href="https://www.caib.es/sites/impostturisme/en/l/projects/?mcont=95762">the Balearics</a>, revenues tend to go to projects that mitigate the negative impacts of tourism on the environment, culture and society of the islands. These include waste management, conserving natural habitats and historical monuments, and social housing.</p> <p>But in general, tourism taxes have been implemented successfully across the destinations we looked at, and there is little evidence of tourists being put off from visiting.</p> <p>Research also suggests that when tourists are told what the levy is used for – and when it relates directly to <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2227-7099/5/2/21">improving their experience</a> or <a href="https://ejtr.vumk.eu/index.php/about/article/view/2813/605">enhancing sustainable tourism</a> – <a href="https://www-sciencedirect-com.bangor.idm.oclc.org/science/article/pii/S2212571X20301621?casa_token=HcD-yQh65XcAAAAA:GhVRo4vX9JY1E3Lcx5ZPaTr5ZHArMGNrmK_2ASJCtMPjVpdCQLdun25BmFEYquGgz8-1riOWdg">tourists are willing to accept and pay</a> the levy.</p> <h2>Day trippers</h2> <p>For many tourism destinations, the major problem is not overnight tourists, but rather <a href="https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/fuming-snowdonia-visitors-demand-self-30203642">day visitors</a> who use local resources while making little in the way of a financial contribution. For these reasons, taxes might also be used to deter day visits and instead encourage longer stays.</p> <p><a href="https://www.economist.com/why-venice-is-starting-to-charge-tourists-to-enter?utm_medium=cpc.adword.pd&amp;utm_source=google&amp;ppccampaignID=18156330227&amp;ppcadID=&amp;utm_campaign=a.22brand_pmax&amp;utm_content=conversion.direct-response.anonymous&amp;gad_source=1&amp;gclid=Cj0KCQjw_qexBhCoARIsAFgBleshST3IQMYR8hONLSLnA_loj9dukAqxURhdVCn1RmGeD5iOQzw_r2caAsqrEALw_wcB&amp;gclsrc=aw.ds">Venice is at the forefront</a> of this shift. And in April 2024, after long discussions between the local authority, residents and business owners, Venice started a <a href="https://cdamedia.veneziaunica.it/en/video/it-is-difficult-to-book-a-visit-to-venice/">trial</a> of a day visitor tax (a so-called <a href="https://cda.veneziaunica.it/en">“access fee”</a>).</p> <p>Back in Kent, it may take longer for any such radical plans to come to fruition. In contrast to Scotland and Wales, there are currently no national plans to <a href="http://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2023-09-13/199425">introduce tourist taxes</a> in England.</p> <p>This might be considered shortsighted, given the dire need of many destinations in England to improve local infrastructure that tourists rely on, including <a href="https://www.reading.ac.uk/news/2024/Research-News/Swimming-in-sewage-Bathing-forecasts-not-keeping-people-safe">clean bathing water</a> and <a href="https://www.lancs.live/news/cumbria-news/lake-district-warning-parking-issues-27173650">public transport</a>. In <a href="https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/business/finance-strategy/manchester-acts-as-trailblazer-for-tourist-tax">Manchester</a> and <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/0e0385e6-29ec-4302-9903-6fbf63d8854a">Liverpool</a>, businesses have implemented voluntary overnight charges on visitors, in the absence of the statutory basis to implement compulsory levies.</p> <p>Many other English towns and cities will probably follow their lead. Tourism taxes are something we might all have to consider budgeting for in our future travel plans, wherever we choose to visit.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/229134/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rhys-ap-gwilym-1531623">Rhys ap Gwilym</a>, Senior Lecturer in Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/bangor-university-1221">Bangor University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/linda-osti-1431286">Linda Osti</a>, Senior Lecturer in Tourism Management, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/bangor-university-1221">Bangor University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-you-should-expect-to-pay-more-tourist-taxes-even-though-the-evidence-for-them-is-unclear-229134">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Trouble

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"So embarrassing": Tourist slammed for "stupid" stunt in Bali

<p>A British tourist has gone viral for all the wrong reasons after his "stupid" stunt in a Bali resort left him red-faced. </p> <p>The British traveller was believed to be staying at the 5-star Apurva Kempinski hotel in Nusa Dua, considered the island’s most luxurious location, when he came across a large decorative bowl filled with water and flower petals. </p> <p>The man was then filmed and egged on by a friend who can be heard saying "Okay now put your face in it", before he followed the instruction.</p> <p>When he went to submerge himself, he proceeded to accidentally tip over the bowl sending water and rose petals flying through the lobby of the resort, and all over himself too.</p> <p>The video, which has amassed a whopping 41 million views, was quickly subject to a wave of backlash online, with many slamming the tourist's "stupid" actions. </p> <div class="embed" style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; outline: currentcolor !important;"><iframe class="embedly-embed" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; border-style: none; vertical-align: baseline; width: 600px; max-width: 100%; outline: currentcolor !important;" title="tiktok embed" src="https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2Fembed%2Fv2%2F7380708475237666081&amp;display_name=tiktok&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2F%40milzo09%2Fvideo%2F7380708475237666081&amp;image=https%3A%2F%2Fp16-sign-useast2a.tiktokcdn.com%2Fobj%2Ftos-useast2a-p-0037-euttp%2F9eff1d6040b74f98b167ccb18b4559ef_1718455117%3Fx-expires%3D1718924400%26x-signature%3DIcusEtP7QnSZKUZGZe5cGhO6cFg%253D&amp;key=59e3ae3acaa649a5a98672932445e203&amp;type=text%2Fhtml&amp;schema=tiktok" width="340" height="700" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></div> <p>“You come to Bali without bringing your brain? Why do you have to destroy everything in someone else’s country?” one person wrote.</p> <p>“Omg money can’t buy brains. So stupid and embarrassing.” said another.</p> <p>A third added sarcastically, “Well that’s just lovely isn’t it, so careful and respectful and cultured.”</p> <p>Despite the thousands of comments sharing their condemnation of the tourist's actions, others were quick to leap to his defence, saying it was clearly an accident. </p> <p>“I mean it’s just a bowl of water and flowers. Nothing broke it’ll be OK. Just say you’re sorry,” one person said. </p> <p>“Am I the only one who feels bad for him,” another wrote</p> <p>.Other viewers admitted they would be “mortified” if it had happened to them.</p> <p>“I would just lay on the floor like I passed out,” one joked. “I would leave the country,” another wrote.</p> <p>It’s not clear what happened afterwards but many were hopeful the tourist helped staff clean up the mess.</p> <p><em>Image credits: TikTok</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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"Why is the water so salty?" and other priceless questions from clueless tourists

<p>In the heart of the stunning intersection where the Daintree Rainforest kisses the Great Barrier Reef, you’ll find <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attraction_Review-g499639-d1045292-Reviews-Ocean_Safari-Cape_Tribulation_Daintree_Region_Queensland.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Ocean Safari</a> – a top-notch, eco-certified tour company. Brooke Nikola, one of their delightful tour guides, has been guiding wide-eyed adventurers through this paradise for years. With thousands of tourists coming from all corners of the globe, she’s accumulated a treasure trove of amusing anecdotes that could rival the size of the reef itself.</p> <p>Let’s dive right into the deep end with some classic moments <a href="https://www.news.com.au/travel/australian-holidays/queensland/hilarious-comments-from-clueless-tourists/news-story/ad90a419cbf4fed9d454d3edef0cb096" target="_blank" rel="noopener">per news.com.au</a>. One sunny day, while marvelling at the endless blue expanse, a curious tourist asked Brooke, “Why does the water taste so salty?”</p> <p>“Well, it’s the ocean,” Brooke gently reminded them. Ah, the wonders of seawater – still a mystery to some.</p> <p>Then there was the time aboard the Ocean Safari vessel, cruising serenely over the waves, when a perplexed guest inquired, “How far above sea level are we?” </p> <p>And who could forget the would-be scientist who attempted to bottle the stunning blue ocean water, only to be baffled when it turned out clear. We can only imagine Brooke explaining the tricky science of light refraction and how the ocean's mesmerising blue doesn't quite fit into a bottle. No doubt their holiday turned into an impromptu science lesson.</p> <p>The complaints Brooke hears are just as priceless. One guest, dripping after a snorkelling session, grumbled, “Ugh, snorkelling makes me so wet.” </p> <p>Then there was the revelation about the rainforest. As rain drizzled through the lush canopy, a bewildered tourist remarked, “It’s so rainy in the rainforest!” Who knew that rain would be part of the rainforest experience? Certainly not that guest!</p> <p>Geography can be tricky, especially in a place as uniquely named as Cape Tribulation. As tourists boarded the Ocean Safari vessel from Cape Tribulation beach, one asked where the Daintree Rainforest was – oblivious to the verdant scenery they had driven through for the past hour. Brooke had to kindly point out that they had been in it this whole time.</p> <p>Another classic came from a guest who thought Cape Tribulation was an island. They earnestly asked, “So, how big is the whole island?” To which Brooke replied, “It’s pretty big. So big, in fact, it’s known as Australia!”</p> <p>Through all of these delightful moments, no doubt Brooke remained a fountain of patience and good humour. So, next time you find yourself at Cape Tribulation, remember to bring your sense of wonder – and a good laugh. Because as Brooke can tell you, the Great Barrier Reef is full of surprises, both above and below the water!</p> <p><em>Images: Ocean Safari / Instagram</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Why tourists in London want to complain to King Charles

<p>For many tourists travelling to London for the first time, Buckingham Palace is a must-see destination. </p> <p>But for some, they have been left feeling let down by the "ugly" and "boring" attraction, making them want to complain directly to the King himself. </p> <p>On popular travel website TripAdvisor, the iconic Palace has been dubbed "lame" and the least interesting place in London to visit. </p> <p>"We only visited from the outside and I'm not going to lie, it was pretty lame and kind of ugly," one review reads.</p> <p>"It does not look like a palace at all. There are more beautiful-looking buildings around London that look more like a palace than this place."</p> <p>While some people are content with looking from at the Palace from outside the gates, others want the behind the scenes look into royal life and book a tour of the inside of the Palace.</p> <p>But for some who have stepped into the historic landmark, they have also been sorely disappointed by the tours.</p> <p>"All those security guards spoiled the entire experience for me and my parents!," one person wrote, complaining about not being allowed to wear backpacks while inside.</p> <p>"They tortured me to hell and spoiled my entire tour experience. I will complain to King Charles!" </p> <p>Even those who live in London aren't impressed by the palace, as one local wrote, "Boring. Nothing happens there! Just an old, ugly building."</p> <p>"It was too crowded, making it very hard to get good pictures. I thought it was very boring," another review read.</p> <p>However, not every review was a complaint, as one traveller raved about the tour he took, despite the high price of £90 ($173 AUD).</p> <p>"Since the King was out of town, this tour included intimate visits to state rooms, the throne room, the royal gallery, and amazing views of the initial set-up for garden party season," they wrote.</p> <p><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-4036259f-7fff-eea5-4e4b-3cd8a760fb9b">Image credits: ANDY RAIN/EPA-EFE &amp; Aaron Chown/WPA Pool/Shutterstock Editorial</span></em></p>

International Travel

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Tourist's shocking behaviour sparks fury

<p>Locals were left fuming after a picture of a tourist wearing next to nothing while shopping down a busy street went viral in Palma, Mallorca. </p> <p>The man confidently made his way through the sunny city centre in nothing but a pair of Speedos and shoes, surrounded by others who were fully dressed. </p> <p>“Please arrest these near naked people,” one woman wrote.</p> <p>“Or the shirtless, near nude, bikini wearing morons who wander around markets, towns and shops. Ukkk! Quality tourism can’t come soon enough!" she added. </p> <p>“Another moron that should be banned from the island," another commented. </p> <p>“If the government/police were serious, they could slowly improve Mallorca by banning all these types of idiots.”</p> <p>Another local added that tourists would not behave like this at home and that his behaviour displayed a “lack of respect” typical of many tourists.</p> <p>Others were confused about where the holidaymaker was keeping his wallet as it seemed like he only held on to his phone and a red garment. </p> <p>One local even asked why he wasn't arrested, and someone replied:  “Mallorca has some great laws in place. Unfortunately, nobody seems to enforce them.”</p> <p>It is illegal to only wear a bikini or swimming shorts in some public parts of Spain – including the Balearic Islands.</p> <p>Tourists can cop a fine of up to $1000 for wearing swimwear or going shirtless anywhere but the beach. </p> <p>The incident comes after weeks of furious anti-tourist protests, with residents in the Tenerife saying they are “fed-up” of “low quality” Brit tourists who only come for the cheap beer, burgers and sunbathing. </p> <p><em>Image:  Majorca Daily Bulletin</em></p> <p> </p>

Travel Trouble

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World's most disappointing tourist hotspots revealed

<p>While many travellers tend to flock to must-see tourists attractions while exploring somewhere new on their holiday, it turns out not everyone is impressed with the hype. </p> <p>A host of scathing online reviews have targeted landmarks such as Stonehenge, the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and even Bondi Beach, calling the sites "unimpressive", "boring" and "pointless".</p> <p>According to travellers, there are 15 tourist hotspots that don't live up to the hype, with many leaving the destinations feeling disappointed. </p> <p><strong>Mona Lisa - Paris, France</strong></p> <p>One of the most "disappointing" attractions, according to travellers, is da Vinci's masterpiece the Mona Lisa, which hangs in the Louvre in the French capital city. </p> <p>According to online reviews, nearly four in ten (37.1 per cent) visitors posted negative comments about visiting the work, saying it did not live up to their expectations. </p> <p>One review left on TripAdvisor described the experience as "a bit boring", adding, "The Mona Lisa was very small and not as beautiful as I thought it would be."</p> <p>Several other reviews stated how irritating the experience of actually seeing the artwork was, with one person claiming the Louvre had a "zoo-like atmosphere".</p> <p><strong>The Eiffel Tower - Paris, France</strong></p> <p>Tourists visiting France were double disappointed, after also being let down by the iconic Eiffel Tower, which many described as "not a very special place... it's just an iron building."</p> <p>"It's boring, nothing special about it. You have to wait in a long queue just to go up and take pictures," another person wrote. </p> <p>Others claimed the landmark is nothing but a "tourist trap", claiming it is "seriously underwhelming".</p> <p><strong>Stonehenge - England</strong></p> <p>For many, Stonehenge continues to be a wonder of mystery, as one of the most architecturally sophisticated ancient stone sculptures in the world, but for others, it's just a "big disappointment". </p> <p>One reviewer went so far as to say it was the "biggest disappointment of my life", saying, "I was expecting so much more. Do not waste your time people. The only magical thing about this place is that somehow it has the power to draw people on to look at it."</p> <p>Another person put simply, "It's a pile of rocks. Pointless."</p> <p><strong>The Leaning Tower of Pisa - Italy </strong></p> <p>While many tourists visiting Italy opt to check out the famous leaning tower, others tend to lean away from it, calling it a "tourist trap". </p> <p>One person reviewed the famous landmark, saying, "It's literally just a leaning tower. I wouldn’t make a stop here just to see it. It is overly crowded and hot in the summertime."</p> <p>Others claim they were hassled by countless street sellers, writing, "The whole area is crawling with at times aggressive street hawkers who feel it is OK to keep hassling and trying to sell you tourist crap."</p> <p><strong>Checkpoint Charlie - Berlin, Germany</strong></p> <p>Set up as a reminder of the former border crossing and the partition between East and West Berlin during the Cold War, Checkpoint Charlie is often known as a must-see spot. </p> <p>However, others have been left feeling let down by the historic spot. </p> <p>One traveller rated the site just one star, writing, "The only place in Berlin where we encountered street traders who were deeply unpleasant. The museum is overpriced and very tired. The whole area was uninspiring and a complete waste of our time."</p> <p><strong>The Empire State Building - New York City, USA</strong></p> <p>Every year, thousands of people pay to head to the top of the iconic Empire State Building to catch a glimpse of the New York City skyline. </p> <p>However, given the over-crowding of the observation platform and the hefty cost to enter, many have left feeling "underwhelmed" and "ripped-off".</p> <p>One person reviewed the landmark, writing, "Wow! What a waste of $185 for a family of three to struggle to fight our way to finally see a view obscured by a metal crisscross railing. Long lines, rude staff, cheesy "museum", and overpriced. It's as bad as an amusement park."</p> <p><strong>Bondi Beach - Sydney, Australia</strong></p> <p>A trip to Bondi Beach is often at the top of a tourist's travel itinerary when heading Down Under for the first time.</p> <p>But as the beach gains popularity, travellers have been increasingly underwhelmed by the picturesque beach given the over-crowding. </p> <p>One review read, "The beach is all the hype and show but it's like having a bath with your entire family and a dozen strangers. It's packed on any normal day and should be regulated with a fence line and tickets so it's not like cramming sardines into a can."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Travel Trouble

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How to avoid 6 common tourist scams

<p>Often when people are on holidays their focus is on relaxing or seeing the sights of the area. But if you don’t keep your wits about you, it’s possible you might end up losing everything to scammers who will do anything to get their hands on your belongings.</p> <p>Here we have six common scams to look out for while you are travelling abroad.</p> <p><strong>Scam 1:</strong> You are in a busy bar in a tourist friendly area when some locals ask where you’re from and offer to buy you a drink. Without thinking, you accept the drink and then find yourself waking up hours later without any of your belongings as you’ve had your drink spiked.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Solution:</em></span> If people seem too friendly, be aware that they may be scammers. Don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know, and don’t leave your drink unattended to use the bathroom.</p> <p><strong>Scam 2:</strong> You are about to put your handbag and computer on the conveyer belt to go through the scanner. The people in front of you walk through the metal detector and while one goes through, the other sets off the alarms. They step back into where you are standing and take their time removing wallets and coins from their pockets. While you are waiting for your turn to walk through the metal detector, the other person has taken your belongings and is long gone.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Solution:</em></span> Don’t place your items on the conveyer belt until there is no one else waiting in front of you to go through the metal detector.</p> <p><strong>Scam 3:</strong> In a busy area such as after a concert or a busy night like New Year’s Eve it can be impossible to get public transport or a taxi back to your hotel. A friendly looking guy comes by and offers you a lift for a reasonable fee using his private car. The scam itself can then range from being charged an exorbitant amount when you arrive at your hotel – or you could even find yourself robbed and dropped by the side of the road with no way home.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Solution:</em></span> However tempting it is, never get in the car with an unlicensed taxi driver. This is even more important to note if you are travelling alone.</p> <p><strong>Scam 4:</strong> While you are waiting with your luggage for a train or bus, a passer-by appears to drop their wallet and walk off without noticing. You might try to do the right thing by grabbing the wallet and running after the person to return it. By the time you get back, your luggage is missing.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Solution:</em></span> When travelling alone, never leave your items unattended even if it means you don’t help someone when you normally would. This is especially true in airports where baggage will quickly be confiscated if left alone.</p> <p><strong>Scam 5:</strong> You’re taking in the sights when a couple of men dressed as policemen approach you. They demand to see your wallet and let you know that counterfeit money has been given to tourists in the area. When your wallet is returned it has had much of the contents removed.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Solution:</em></span> Police would never demand to see your wallet. If something doesn’t feel right, suggest that you continue the discussion at the nearest police station as you don’t feel comfortable. Most likely they will not push their luck.</p> <p><strong>Scam 6:</strong> You receive a phone call in your hotel room late at night from someone claiming to be from the front desk. They apologise for the late call but request that you just confirm your credit card details as their system is playing up. You read out the numbers and hang up. Before too long your credit card has rung up a huge bill as this was a scammer calling you, not a staff member.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Solution:</em></span> Organise payment in person by letting the caller know that you will come down to the front desk to discuss it.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Travel Tips

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Tourist slapped with $225k bill after simple mistake

<p>An American tourist has revealed the moment he was charged with a $US143k (AU$225k) bill after a short holiday to Switzerland. </p> <p>Rene Remund and his wife Linda went on the trip last September.</p> <p>Prior to their travels, Remund made sure to inform his mobile phone provider, T-Mobile, that he was going overseas and as a customer of 30 years, he was told he was “covered”.</p> <p>So, with no worries at all, the tourist shared photos of his moments in the Swiss countryside with friends and family via photo messages. </p> <p>Imagine his surprise when he came home to a six-figure bill, after he racked up thousands and thousands of dollars in daily roaming costs. </p> <p>“I get this T-Mobile bill and it doesn’t bother me very much because I was reading $143,” he explained, adding it wasn’t until he went to pay the bill that he realised a few more zeros were involved.</p> <p>“I look at the bill and I say, ‘excuse me’,” he said.</p> <p>“$143,000 … are you guys crazy?”</p> <p>According to the bill, Remund had racked up 9.5 gigabytes of data while in Europe, which cost him thousands of dollars each day. While it wasn't a huge amount of data, not being covered by roaming fees will cause a user to run up a huge bill very quickly. </p> <p>“I called [T-Mobile] and the girl put me on hold for a while,” he explained.</p> <p>“She said let me check this out and I’ll get back to you. She gets back and says, yeah this is a good bill.</p> <p>“I said, ‘what do you mean it’s a good bill?’ And she says ‘well, this is what you owe’.</p> <p>“I said ‘you’re kidding me … you’re crazy’.”</p> <p>After confirming that his bill was in fact  AU$225,000, Remund hired a lawyer to argue the fact that he was covered for international roaming. </p> <p>His lawyer issued a letter to the president of T-Mobile, and they only received a reply a few days ago. </p> <p>The letter from T-Mobile allegedly said that the service provider was “sorry” for the charges, and that Remund would receive a “credit” to eliminate the entire bill. </p> <p>In an email shared to local media <em>Scripps News Tampa</em>, the mobile phone provider said that customers should always “check the travel features of their plan, such as international data roaming, before departing”.</p> <p>“If a customer is on an older plan that doesn’t include international roaming for data and calling, they’ll need to make sure they’re using aeroplane mode and wi-fi when using data to be certain the device doesn’t connect to an international network.”</p> <p><em style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #323338; font-family: Figtree, Roboto, 'Noto Sans Hebrew', 'Noto Kufi Arabic', 'Noto Sans JP', sans-serif; background-color: #ffffff; outline: none !important;">Images: ABC Action News</em></p> <p> </p>

Travel Trouble

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The most boring tourist attractions in the world revealed

<p>Nobody wants waste their time and energy visiting a boring attraction while travelling, so a new study has analysed 66.7 million Google reviews and compiled a list of the top 100 most boring attractions across the globe so you can enjoy a holiday free from the mundane. </p> <p>The study conducted by Solitaired, was based on 3,290 popular tourist attractions worldwide spanning 384 cities across 71 different countries. </p> <p>A boredom score was calculated for each site, based on 11 keywords indicative of tiresome, lifeless and boring impressions. </p> <p>At the top of the list was Branson Scenic Railway in Missouri, with a boredom score of five out of five. The heritage railroad departs from an old depot in downtown Branson and travels through part of the Ozark Mountains on a 40-mile round trip. </p> <p>While some praised the beautiful foliage, others were unimpressed by the views "limited to trees on both sides of the train." </p> <p>Illuminarium Atlanta, in Georgia U.S. came in second place, with a boredom score of 4.5, with one reviewer saying that it was "cool for about the first 15 minutes" and "after that… just boring." </p> <p>In third place is Tennessee's Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride, an indoor attraction that takes visitors through a river passing artificial cave sets, waterfalls and mechanical dinosaurs, which scored 3.7 on the boredom scale. </p> <p>Australia's least interesting attraction, which came in 16th on the list and scored 2.5 on the boredom scale, is the WA Museum Boola Bardip in Perth, which tells stories of WA through interactive exhibits. </p> <p>This is followed by the Legoland Discovery Centre in Melbourne, which ranked 24th on the list and had a score of 2.3</p> <p>The Museum of Sydney came in 32nd place, with a score of 2.2, while the Museum of Transport and Technology in Auckland, New Zealand came in 54th place with a score of 2.1. </p> <p>Check out the full list <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-13310853/Most-boring-attractions-world-Shrek-Adventure-London.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a>. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p> <p> </p>

International Travel

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Selfies and social media: how tourists indulge their influencer fantasies

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/brendan-canavan-228682">Brendan Canavan</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-nottingham-1192">University of Nottingham</a></em></p> <p>A town in the US state of Vermont <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/news/vermont-town-banning-influencers-tourists-visiting-fall-foliage-rcna117413">closed its roads to tourists</a> in September 2023 after a social media tag sparked a swarm of visitors that overwhelmed the rural destination.</p> <p>Videos on TikTok were seen by thousands and the hashtag #sleepyhollowfarm went viral, prompting a tourist rush to the pretty New England town of Pomfret, where visitors tried to take photos of themselves against the countryside backdrop. The town, famous for its fall foliage, criticised this as problematic and “influencer tourism”, part of <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160738320300426">a travel trend</a> where a social media phenomenon can spark an overwhelming and unexpected rise in visitor numbers.</p> <p><a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0002764292036002005?casa_token=gQo4-8jeYdIAAAAA:Oq3Nf5gTtAFK7N00D1NgPO7_zl9ONlOEnzFZnojX6fX1nKXQWJZ4ERn52MlV3abn4fDN4_C4hJjq">Traditionally</a>, we think of tourists as travelling to gain new experiences. They look at sites, take photographs and collect souvenirs. However, this relationship between the tourist and touring is changing.</p> <p>Driven by <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/how-instagram-changed-the-tourism-industry/a-65348690">24-hour access to social media</a>, some tourists now travel primarily to have an experience that <a href="https://www.americanexpress.com/en-us/travel/discover/get-inspired/Global-Travel-Trends">looks good online</a>. Around 75% of people in a recent American Express survey said they had been inspired to visit somewhere by social media. Some tourists may be prompted to choose a destination by seeing a <a href="https://www.elle.com/culture/travel-food/a27561982/best-instagram-spots/">backdrop that is popular on social media or on television</a>, in order to create a high-status photo.</p> <p>The expansion of social media and ubiquity of smartphone cameras has had a <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/13/13/7312">major impact on tourists’ behaviour</a>. This has also led to what’s been called a <a href="https://www.traveldailynews.com/column/articles/who-are-the-selfie-gaze-tourists/">selfie “tourist gaze”</a>, creating photos where the traveller is at the forefront of images rather than the destination.</p> <p>Indeed, according to my research, increasingly, some tourists go somewhere <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160738320300426">to be spotted</a> – to be observed by others both online and in person at these destinations.</p> <h2>Looking for drama</h2> <p>Studies have highlighted how tourists <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0261517715300388?casa_token=W51WkDKJSK8AAAAA:DG99dEWkyYKWIe6hNcLXR4KRApXV24QksHIzrRNcjVY3FngukDgIv9HLHG4o3NV4rqNJtdet">head for</a> particularly dramatic or luxurious destinations because of their social media links. Dubai, for example, with its bling culture and high-end shopping, has become a <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/17/in-this-world-social-media-is-everything-how-dubai-became-the-planets-influencer-capital">playground for influencers</a> looking for a luxury backdrop to add to their celebrity-style image.</p> <p>Some tourists aim to photograph themselves in prestigious locations, rather than taking shots of their <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/13567667221113079?casa_token=xbdUjWECQvMAAAAA:mc4rqleOqgjazW9DAYduW7LaPTu4KEw1DIfbPbWF0vl0efwNPC_GQ0U-HjltguwsIsCoO4ycXgyW7Q">travel surroundings</a>. Others choose to <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160738320300426">act like mini-celebrities</a> and perform for the camera, expecting and wanting to be looked at by those they encounter – or even narrating their participation in extreme events.</p> <p>One of these is the <a href="https://www.theadventurists.com/rickshaw-run/">Rickshaw Run</a>, a 2,000km race across India. This adventure tourism event encourages participants to dress up, act eccentrically and get noticed. Driving tuk-tuks around India, from Kerala to Darjeeling, vehicles are personalised with eye-catching designs. Many participants film themselves and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2p3wd0ii2oQ">upload the results</a> to social media, and the events tend to create a significant following. For instance, this YouTube video series created by Rickshaw Run participants drew 3.6m subscribers:</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2p3wd0ii2oQ?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">Taking part in the Rickshaw Run.</span></figcaption></figure> <p>However, some of these tourist “performances” can cause controversy. For instance, <a href="https://www.nzherald.co.nz/travel/mexico-tourist-beaten-with-stick-for-climbing-chichen-itza-pyramid/EL5KGLB4CNC5ZONNZCKAMX3LLE/">climbing over</a> fragile archaeological sites in search of social media content might damage them. <a href="https://www.unilad.com/news/russian-tourist-deported-nude-photo-bali-064402-20230330">Posing for laughs</a> in areas considered sacred can offend. The reducing of cultures to <a href="https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/selfie-tourists-get-up-easter-islanders-noses-sgfxdtkj7">backdrops for social media content</a> can suggest a lack of interest in or respect for hosts by tourists.</p> <p>My research points to a growth in <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/09669582.2016.1263309">narcissism in society</a>, and connects this with what tourists desire from travel and how they act when travelling. This may be reflected in increased sense of entitlement and exhibitionism by tourists who aim to take photos in more difficult to reach locations or off-limit areas, for instance.</p> <p>Selfie culture arguably promotes <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/09528822.2015.1082339?casa_token=tbsXw1drBAEAAAAA:qfSfJBbHWi3x8MSVeoyHBIceP7W_8C55rVctylf-2zRBzx-aG_EeFwvTmHHsOdjQpMd8LVaUrjSo">self-involvement rather than social responsibility</a>. It is well established that tourists <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/1368350050408668198?casa_token=K4p5aZCN8t4AAAAA:96p7f3qNu2WndpE-C-D0rs5mJaOlnJ5F6P4iXQlWQopseMGWuJ_5TiaFmRggxFsEjrMCoAr14Kn4">can be selfish</a>, putting their own comfort and entertainment ahead of concerns about local issues. This is especially true of the super-rich. Private jet users <a href="https://www.transportenvironment.org/discover/private-jets-can-the-super-rich-supercharge-zero-emission-aviation/">are responsible for</a> half of global aviation emissions.</p> <p>However, the desire to promote the individual and their values could be <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/09669582.2016.1263309">harnessed to promote</a> more sustainable tourism. Those volunteering abroad might be motivated by the image enhancement opportunities of doing good, but they often offer something back to the social and natural environments of <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/09669580903395030?casa_token=NvJorz8d1F4AAAAA:AXXTdW7ePimqFkWNg1W5w8umGCBwXIjus0WICRIoNZH_gsdr1hHomvMAQV21PYA2HkLwBGsO_Qus8g">their host destinations</a> in the process.</p> <p>There are signs that there’s another tourism trend, with travellers looking for deep and meaningful experiences, and ecotourism could help provide those. The act of travelling in a <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09669582.2020.1825458">more environmentally friendly way</a> could also be seen as a way to show off, and still provide selfie material.</p> <p>The environmental pros and cons of tourist self-obsession might be <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/09669582.2016.1263309">debatable</a>. However, self-fixation is arguably not good for tourists themselves. For example, the desire to “perform” on camera could affect people’s mental health, according to one <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/10253866.2018.1467318?casa_token=wI7sETKEKJAAAAAA:ebds6fykbyHAGSXIk9iv6-tyziFSIvganp32S65hiX8KeWlaQDwhPxF_2tWEgkNqssqd-SCE-w_3Eg">study</a>.</p> <p>Research has shown that <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14616688.2012.762691?casa_token=Jb9SzAGXBD0AAAAA:L5Q-HhPs9jWtfm0Zq4nB0uFHrZ3W8N7o1Liq0KAIRqC4ivEhKyEexEZN-ACoz1qzm7CMqD96zXOm">unexpected encounters help tourists to gain self-insight</a>. In addition, getting out of your comfort zone can lead to <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213078020300074?casa_token=MkMbkdyr_cMAAAAA:LLu44kUbbsP5e-iW-kDdI7iSEo3WkLgH5IvKqb2txZA504q74J4OAhTuXIx8m90oDMSvuiq4Mg">rewarding personal growth</a>.</p> <h2>A disconnect between self and place</h2> <p>Taking yet more selfies could cut people off from their surroundings. In doing so, they could be <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016073831730097X?casa_token=tOaqrhfVQ-wAAAAA:uxb7djQMWjifvjjgPMZzbq2IQqlgoaGHzWoJkkGbQYQqkbZoeuOqLD91zqwBuWs1SfY7dcK4">less present in the travel experience itself</a>. Indeed, the <a href="https://english.elpais.com/usa/2021-10-29/rise-of-selfie-deaths-leads-experts-to-talk-about-a-public-health-problem.html">growing number</a> of <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/15/asia/french-man-selfie-death-intl-scli/index.html">selfie-related tourist deaths</a> might attest to a disconnect between self and place. A <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6131996/#:%7E:text=selfie-related%20deaths.-,From%20October%202011%20to%20November%202017%2C%20there%20have%20been%20259,respectively%2C%20in%202016%20and%202017">2018 report</a> estimated 259 deaths to have occurred while taking selfies between 2011-2017.</p> <p>Other research suggests that individuals who are motivated by the desire to present a particular online image may be <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211973620301458?casa_token=-HkTUB7WC7cAAAAA:455BE0L2jP-CL1nD18__Ey3fj5GsLmYfKL_EB_P7IWa7lDddpJYIW3UIo5fUjg68e7Nvm7PUlTA#s0050">more likely to take risks</a> with their travel selfies, with potentially fatal consequences.</p> <p>Tourists have always been somewhat self-obsessed. The 18th-century <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0160738385900027">Grand Tour</a>, a leisurely trip around Europe, allowed the wealthy to <a href="https://www.historyhit.com/what-was-the-grand-tour/">indulge themselves</a> in <a href="https://www.salon.com/2002/05/31/sultry/">ways</a> that might not have been socially acceptable back home. And at the beginning of the 21st century, <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160738301000305?casa_token=C5eb2NJQvGsAAAAA:YrdY-xjJwBrUE9RjwyOJ3kRBS4-o7e5Jni5sluTCuZOrgnCULybO8EgJtQqsuSL7B5nZJwiH3Q#BIB37">academics worried about</a> self-involved backpacker communities in southeast Asia having little interest in mixing with local people.</p> <p>What is different about smartphones and social media is that these allow some tourists to present such self-indulgent, and sometimes insensitive, tourism traits immediately. Wifi and mobile data mean that these tourists can travel with one eye on finding the perfect selfie backdrop – filtering and sharing their travel as it happens, responding to likes and comments.</p> <p>For better or worse, living this influencer fantasy may have become an integral part of tourism for some time.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/214681/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/brendan-canavan-228682"><em>Brendan Canavan</em></a><em>, Senior Lecturer in Marketing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-nottingham-1192">University of Nottingham</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/selfies-and-social-media-how-tourists-indulge-their-influencer-fantasies-214681">original article</a>.</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Seasoned travellers share the most underwhelming tourist attractions

<p dir="ltr">When it comes to travelling the world, there are always places and attractions that have been overhyped by those who travelled there before. </p> <p dir="ltr">While some places are known as hotspots for a reason, others can fail to deliver. </p> <p dir="ltr">Sharing some of their experiences, a group of travel writers have shared stories of the times they were left feeling deflated while travelling the world. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Mona Lisa, Paris, France</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">While most travellers who visit the world-famous Louvre museum in Paris are destined to join the hoards of people to catch a glimpse of the Mona Lisa, others have dubbed her underwhelming. </p> <p dir="ltr">According to one travel writer at <em>Stuff Travel</em>, the small dimensions of da Vinci’s masterwork make it difficult to see. </p> <p dir="ltr">They wrote, “You either need to BYO ladder or be over six feet tall to even catch a glimpse over the hordes of tourists waving their cellphones.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“A security barrier also means that it's impossible to appreciate the finer details of the hyper-realistic work - which essentially defeats the point altogether.”</p> <p dir="ltr">They concluded by writing that despite being ‘the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world’, the Mona Lisa is also one of the world's biggest letdowns.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Playa del Carmen, Mexico</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Located in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, this vibrant tourist hotspot is a treat for the senses, or, as others have called it, an overstimulating nightmare. </p> <p dir="ltr">A combination of the blazing heat, suffocating humidity, loud clubs, and seemingly endless floods of tourists, this vibrant destination is not for the faint of heart. </p> <p dir="ltr">One seasoned traveller admitted that while some might find the holiday spot idyllic, for those searching for somewhere a bit less overstimulating, “head a little bit further south to Tulum”. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>That Wānaka Tree, New Zealand</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">One of New Zealand's most popular tourist hotspots, especially on social media, is the picturesque Wānaka tree, located on the South Island. </p> <p dir="ltr">A travel writer made the trip to NZ with her sister to view the stunning landscape, but both women were left severely underwhelmed when they arrived. </p> <p dir="ltr">“From the carpark, over the bridge and down the trail to the lakeside to find That Wānaka Tree had not a single leaf. "Is that it?" my sister blurts out. I must agree, was that it?” the seasoned traveller wrote. </p> <p dir="ltr">“A true case of Instagram versus reality.” </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

International Travel

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Tourist arrested for disgusting act at sacred UNESCO World Heritage Site

<p>A tourist has been arrested after he committed this disgusting act on top of the Leshan Giant Buddha, a sacred UNESCO World Heritage Site in China. </p> <p>The man allegedly found a blind spot away from CCTV cameras, climbed over the security fence and on top of the statue. </p> <p>Once he reached the top of the monuments head, he proceeded to pull down his pants and urinate in front of horrified visitors who filmed the act. </p> <p>Security guards quickly removed the unidentified man and handed him over to police, after being informed of his actions. </p> <p>It is reported that the man was taken to a nearby hospital for psychiatric evaluation.</p> <p>The UNESCO World Heritage Site itself is a 71-metre-tall monument, which is considered to be the largest and tallest stone Buddha statue in the world. </p> <p>The Leshan Giant Buddha monument is located in the Sichuan Province of China, and was carved out of a cliff face between 713 and 803 AD. </p> <p>The statue and surrounding Mount Emei Scenic Area have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.</p> <p>This act is one of many incidences of tourists behaving badly across the world. </p> <p>In June 2023 a German tourist was detained after <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/travel-trouble/tourist-accused-of-causing-over-8-000-in-damages-to-iconic-roman-statue" target="_blank" rel="noopener">climbing up</a> a 16th-century Fountain of Neptune, and was accused of causing over $8,000 in damages to the iconic statue. </p> <p>Prior to that, an Irish tourist landed himself into <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/tourist-busted-for-carving-name-into-world-s-most-famous-roman-relic" target="_blank" rel="noopener">trouble in Rome</a> after carving his and his girlfriend's name onto the walls of the Colosseum. </p> <p><em>Images: News.com.au</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Tourist slapped with a fine while in a coma

<p dir="ltr">An American tourist has been slapped with a fine while fighting for his life in a coma, after being involved in a devastating collision. </p> <p dir="ltr">Rod and Barbara Maroney, an elderly couple from Phoenix, Arizona, were holidaying in Sydney and strolling down George Street, when Rod was hit by an e-bike riding down light rail tracks. </p> <p dir="ltr">The 64-year-old retired aerospace engineer was crossing the light rail tracks in September 2023 and did not see the electric vehicle coming, with the collision causing him to fly into the air.</p> <p dir="ltr">Rod had to undergo emergency brain surgery from his injuries and then spent the subsequent weeks in a coma. </p> <p dir="ltr">Even now, in the weeks after the accident, Rod is still struggling to recover.</p> <p dir="ltr">As the 64-year-old recovered in St Vincent’s hospital, Barbara was shocked to see a fine for $86 being shoved into the letterbox of her AirBnb by NSW police.</p> <p dir="ltr">Despite the fact that E-bikes are not permitted on the footpaths of Sydney’s CBD, and are also banned on the light rail corridors, Mr Maroney was the one who was slapped with the fine. </p> <p dir="ltr">The letter stated that Rod had committed the offence of “moving into rider’s path”, despite the fact that riding a bike along light rail tracks is not permitted, NSW Transport confirmed.</p> <p dir="ltr">Barbara, who is a semi-retired lawyer herself, decided to get the help from a lawyer who contested the fine, and as a result, it was withdrawn.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Him serving me while my husband is in the hospital in a coma was outrageous,” she told <em><a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/ebike-rules-regulations-in-australia-tourist-fined-coma-sydney/f4f8fcde-1698-4aa6-a1b6-a30d6a1910d0">9News</a></em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">“In the US, that would not be good service of process because my husband never lived at the Airbnb.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“If he really wanted to serve the citation, he should’ve gone to the hospital and dropped it in my husband’s unconscious lap, I guess.”</p> <p dir="ltr">After their ordeal, the couple wants authorities to take action over e-bikes in Sydney.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We shed a lot of tears at night together, both of us grieving for our loss of the man he was,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Why is Sydney’s council allowing silent, deadly bikes? Given the speed of the bike, Rod could have been killed.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“Why are e-bikes not regulated like vehicles?”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: 9News</em></p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-351f33a9-7fff-f7ec-f7a1-5efccc27e302"></span></p>

Travel Trouble

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Tourist fined after posting this one photo on social media

<p>A man has been fined after flouting the rules to get the perfect photo with a quokka at Rottnest Island. </p> <p>The tourist was visiting the popular nature reserve, off the coast of Western Australia, when he was tracked down by authorities after posting a photo of him holding the marsupial on Instagram, despite signs saying not to touch the vulnerable animals. </p> <p>"Feeding and touching quokkas is not permitted for the safety of visitors and the welfare of the animals," A Rottnest Island Authority spokesperson told <em>Perth Now</em>. </p> <p>The unnamed tourist copped a $200 fine and an infringement was issued over the weekend, but the spokesperson said he was not evicted from the island.</p> <p>The Rottnest Island website also clearly states the rules against touching the furry animals.</p> <p>"It’s important, for their safety and yours, that you don’t touch the quokkas," the website read. </p> <p>Tourists are also warned that touching the marsupials can make them sick, spread disease and cause mothers to abandon their young if they carry an unfamiliar scent. </p> <p>Samuel Cornell, a research fellow from UNSW, told <em>Yahoo News Australia </em>that these rules exist for a reason. </p> <p>"The rules are there usually to protect people's own safety, first and foremost. And then secondly, of course, we enact rules to protect the environment," Cornell said. </p> <p>"They are still wild animals, but because they're plastered all over social media and people are used to seeing pretty pictures with them, I think people then have this interpretation of them that they're just some fluffy, safe creature that you can just go up to and pick up."</p> <p>Cornell added that tourists flouting the rules is not just an issue in Rottnest Island, but "a problem across Australia," including popular tourists destinations like K'gari (formerly Fraser Island), Babinda boulders, and Wedding Cake Rock in Sydney. </p> <p>"Some people do just ignore rules or signs because they think they know better or they really want a photo in a certain place," he explained. </p> <p>"But there are a subset of people that will claim 'oh, I didn't actually see the sign or I wasn't really aware'".</p> <p><em>Images: PerthNow/ Getty</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Tourists' narrow escape after Great Barrier Reef plane crash

<p>Nine tourists and a pilot on board a plane that flipped and crashed while trying to land on Lizard Island in the Great Barrier Reef are "lucky to be alive". </p> <p>The light plane bound for Cairns, was carrying nine adults and one 14-year-old girl, when it crashed shortly after 7:30am on Monday morning. </p> <p>It is believed that the plane tried to return to the Island after a mechanical malfunction, colliding with trees as it came down. </p> <p>Queensland Ambulance operations sent two rescue helicopters to the Island, shortly after the accident, and four passengers were flown back to Cairns Hospital for treatment.</p> <p>Royal Flying Doctor Service nurse Stephanie Beatty said it was remarkable that they managed to come out of the crash relatively unharmed. </p> <p>"Minor injuries, minor head injury and a fractured arm, otherwise most shaken but okay," she said.</p> <p>"I think the people are very lucky to be alive." </p> <p>Queensland Ambulance Service Acting Assistant Commissioner Brina Keating also said that it was "incredible" they managed to walk out alive. </p> <p>"All were walking — they were able to get out of the aircraft," she told ABC News. </p> <p>"To walk away from something like that is incredible."</p> <p>Ms Keating also said that the cause of the crash was being investigated. </p> <p>Footage of the wreckage shared on <a href="https://twitter.com/AnnaRawlings_/status/1744170681749946773?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1744170681749946773%7Ctwgr%5E4bc69f9710cd8300d7b1080153bf7dc1e4e405d4%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&amp;ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.9news.com.au%2Fnational%2Fplane-crash-lizard-island-great-barrier-reef%2F78af78a6-2df7-4ad3-86ce-57e724512856" target="_blank" rel="noopener">social media</a> show the mangled plane lying upside down with broken propellers, and emergency tape closing off the area. </p> <p>According to the Cairns Hospital and Health Service, all 10 people are in a stable condition. </p> <p><em>Images: Anna Rawlings/ X</em></p> <p> </p>

Travel Trouble

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Selfie-taking tourists launched from Venice gondola after refusing to sit down

<p>A group of rowdy tourists have ended up in the waters of a Venice canal after causing a ruckus onboard the boat. </p> <p>Six passengers were travelling on a canal in the Italian hotspot when the boat was heading towards a low bridge that they needed to pass under. </p> <p>The gondolier explained to the tourists that they needed to sit down and be still as the boat passed under the bridge, explaining that a change in weight would cause an issue. </p> <p>Despite the gondolier's warning, the tourists continued to stand up and move around the narrow vessel to take selfies of their journey. </p> <p>Predictably, ignoring the requests of the gondolier caused the vessel to capsize, sending the tourists into the freezing water as the gondolier jumped to safety. </p> <p><iframe style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?height=314&href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FSkyNewsAustralia%2Fvideos%2F854034223389998%2F&show_text=false&width=560&t=0" width="560" height="314" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>No one was injured in the mishap, as the tourists swam to safety at the bank of the canal, before seeking refuge at La Fenice theatre, according to Venice police.</p> <p>According to a spokesman for the city’s gondola association, the gondola was not damaged, although the upholstered furniture in the vessel was ruined by the water. </p> <p>The spokesperson went on to confirm that the gondolier had instructed the tourists not to move around or stand up to take selfies during the manoeuvre, but due to a language barrier, the tourists did not comply.</p> <p><span style="font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, Segoe UI, Roboto, Helvetica Neue, Arial, sans-serif;">A video of the incident was posted to an Instagram page called Venezia Non è Disneyland (Venice Is Not Disneyland), an account run by young locals to chronicle tourism in the city, with the video being flooded with comments about the misbehaved tourists. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, Segoe UI, Roboto, Helvetica Neue, Arial, sans-serif;">Many Italian locals were quick to point out how rowdy the tourists must've been to cause the incident, with many pointing out they "didn't know it was possible to capsize a gondola". </span></p> <p><em><span style="font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, Segoe UI, Roboto, Helvetica Neue, Arial, sans-serif;">Image credits: Facebook</span></em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Passenger slammed as he takes "manspreading to ANOTHER LEVEL"

<p>A frequent flyer has sparked outrage online after posting a video of one man's poor plane etiquette. </p> <p>Claire Zhu, 27, who has gained a following while documenting her travels with boyfriend Peter Ovendorf, 29, after quitting their nine-to-five in what they call their "corporate gap year", shared the video on TikTok. </p> <p>"Goodbye," she captioned the clip, with a text overlay that read: "The way this man took manspreading to ANOTHER LEVEL on my flight." </p> <p>At the start of the clip, Claire showed herself covering her mouth in shock, before panning over to the man sitting across from her, with his legs spread so wide that it crossed the aisle and reached her seat. </p> <p>His other foot was sitting so close to the passenger next to him, that even they could barely move. </p> <div class="embed" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #323338; font-family: Figtree, Roboto, 'Noto Sans Hebrew', 'Noto Kufi Arabic', 'Noto Sans JP', sans-serif; background-color: #ffffff; outline: none !important;"><iframe class="embedly-embed" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; border-style: initial; vertical-align: baseline; width: 580px; max-width: 100%; outline: none !important;" title="tiktok embed" src="https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2Fembed%2Fv2%2F7307690077772172587&display_name=tiktok&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2F%40claireandpeter%2Fvideo%2F7307690077772172587&image=https%3A%2F%2Fp19-sign.tiktokcdn-us.com%2Fobj%2Ftos-useast5-p-0068-tx%2FoovOIIFx0GSNezDUDCDAQEa7R5lgQBDEliE7fV%3Fx-expires%3D1701982800%26x-signature%3DNXp8xnv9BnN83wAEogQY%252BWxMv3Q%253D&key=59e3ae3acaa649a5a98672932445e203&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=tiktok" width="340" height="700" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></div> <p>People flooded to the comments to express their anger. </p> <p>"I would lose my mind," wrote one person. </p> <p>"That isn't man spreading, that's literally splitting," another quipped. </p> <p>"Absolutely not," added another. </p> <p>"Bestie you got to step on his foot. This is the final straw," commented a fourth. </p> <p>A few others were concerned that his actions might be hazardous. </p> <p>"He will trip someone!" one wrote. </p> <p>"Not only across the aisle but made it into your floor space..." another added. </p> <p>One commenter even shared their own horrific experience with another passenger taking over their space. </p> <p>"A lady did this to me on a long haul flight except I felt something on my thigh AND IT WAS HER FOOT," they said. </p> <p><em>Images: TikTok</em></p> <p> </p>

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