By Jennifer Hohepa-Lam and Tim van der Pas, Efficient Hotel Partner, 1 September 2017
Currency rates hit new low at airport bureaux de change
Travellers buying their currencies at UK airports are being offered as little as 86 euro cents to the pound. This rate, from Moneycorp at Southampton airport, was the worst at any airport bureau de change. The average euro rate across 16 big UK airports was trending higher, at 95 euro cents to the pound. Ten months ago the average at these outlets stood at 99 euro cents.
Paris visitor numbers hit ten-year high
Tourists are returning to the French capital in record numbers, despite fears over terrorism and a warning by Donald Trump that Paris was “out of control”. Figures released this week by the Regional Tourism Authority (CRT) for the first half of 2017 suggest Paris and the surrounding Île-de-France region are on course to hit a ten-year tourism high. Hoteliers in the Paris region registered 16 million guests for the first half of this year – the highest number for the same period in the past decade – while visitors to the city and Île-de-France region rose by 14.6 per cent.
When is the best – and cheapest – time to take the Eurotunnel?
The Eurotunnel is a fast route from the UK to France; the crossing from Folkestone to Calais takes just 35 minutes, compared to 90 minutes on Dover-Calais ferries. It’s also less hassle. That said, Eurotunnel will cost you a lot more. Travelling during the summer season, at peak times, you’ll pay as much as £320 on a Saturday; midweek will set you back about £200 (trending fares given are standard returns). Travel very late or very early in the day and you can cut the Eurotunnel fare to around £200 return on Saturdays or £165 return midweek.
Australian politician ‘targeted by massage scam’ at New York hotel
An Australian politician has said he was targeted by a blackmail scam after booking a massage to a New York hotel. Gareth Ward, a New South Wales assembly member, said he was confronted by two “aggressive” visitors at his room. They began filming him before demanding a “quantity of money”, US police said. Mr Ward said in a statement: “I asked for a massage – but when it became clear that more was on offer, I asked them to leave and then they became aggressive demanding money.”
Abandoned French castle attacked by the Nazis up for sale – yours for €50
Anyone with aspirations of becoming king or queen of the castle should heed the call of a French campaign looking for people to become part owners of a remarkable 15th century chateau for just €50 (£46.25). Chateau le Paluel in Perigord in the Dordogne region has been seized by the state after concerns that the impressive building was falling into a state of irreversible disrepair. The owner, understood to be a Monaco-based company managed by an Englishman, has until September 21 to pledge to save the castle before the authorities auction it off.
The oldest passenger planes still in service
Would you feel uneasy about flying on a plane built in 1970? Harold Wilson was enjoying his first stint at Number 10, George Best was in his free-scoring pomp, and man’s first small step on the surface of the moon was still fresh in the memory. And 1970 was also the year that a Boeing 737-200, with the serial number 20335, made its maiden flight for Air California. Almost 50 years on, Air California has long since folded, Harold Wilson and Bestie have shuffled off this mortal coil, and Nasa is hoping to start a colony on Mars. But 20335 is still going strong in the services of Airfast Indonesia, under the registration PK-OCG. Trending.