Monday: The results are now final, Mohamed Morsi, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, was elected head of the Egyptian state. Should we be worried? A bit soon to comment, but here at Easyvoyage, we are wondering how the new leadership will affect travel and tourism in the country - a country that has topped the holiday charts for some years now. Tourism is the second resource of Egypt (after the Suez Canal), so it is hardly surprising that the travel industry is up in arms over Egypt's uncertain future. We're not having a knock at democracy here, but the fact that Morsi surrounds himself by the army on one side and religious fundamentalists on the other, makes him a dubious choice voted in by the people. At the risk of sounding like we are taking it light-heartedly, all we can do now is sit back and wait.
Tuesday: Still faffing around with its fairly newly-acquired territory, China closes Tibet's borders to tourists for the second consecutive summer. On the other hand, China is planning a major remodelling of Tibetan houses and settlements in hope of attracting tourism. Confused? So are we. This closure infers growing friction between the Chinese and the Tibetans that the Chinese are desperate to keep behind closed doors. The media has reported on the various immolations of monks in recent months - shocking for a territory that has long been known for its peaceful outlook and benevolent Buddhist values. It has been implied, as it has been the case for the last few decades, that the Chinese army is once again rallying the troops in an effort to 'convert' Tibetans to the Chinese way.
If you had planned on visiting Tibet, you can turn around and head home. Not only is the territory closed to foreigners, but the handful of travellers who made it were under close watch by the Chinese authorities throughout the duration of their trip. Back to the drawing board it is for the Chinese, who have come up with a million-dollar idea - or 50 million, to be exact. Twenty-two model villages will be built especially for tourists. Not quite what we had in mind when they announced a re-building of the region. And just in case these hypothetical tourists actually make it on Tibetan land, they will have to travel over 100 miles from the airport in Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, (also the cradle of Tibetan protests) to reach the specially-designed resort villages. 'Nothing to see here!' we can already hear the Chinese repeat to incoming passengers as they wave them along onto designated tour buses before anyone can so much as catch a glimpse of the Potala Palace. A holiday of a lifetime overlooking the Himalayas? We'll let you decide.
Wednesday: News flash: apparently the financial crisis is leading to a severe lack of disposable income. It's old news, but it still tops Eurozone leaders' agendas, and ours. Needless to say that the crisis is digging a deeper groove on home turf while far flung dream destinations are rapidly becoming a distant memory for Eurozone countries, but also for us Britons. Let's save you the trouble of even looking up unattainable destinations. Your next holiday basically boils down to five destinations where the pound sterling is still strong enough to buy you a pint without putting you out of pocket. Czech Republic, Poland, Mexico, Brazil and South Africa are on our hotlist for the year to come.
Thursday: Mac or PC? Choose Mac and you're likely to shell out more for your holiday. Don't believe us? According to the Wall Street Journal, American tour operator, Orbitz, revealed that Mac owners actually spend up to 30% more than PC owners on hotel rooms. As a result, it is going to create a system whereby Mac users have access to more expensive travel options. The tour operator clarified that the prices won't change according to which computer you have, but that certain offers will just be made more eye-catching depending on the user's computer. "Just as Mac users are willing to pay more to acquire a higher quality computer, we noticed that Mac users are 40% more likely to book a 4 or 5 star hotel in comparison to a PC user" said the CEO of Orbitz. If you've got an old Atari lying around somewhere, dig it out because it might just be the key to an Aladdin's cave of holiday bargains!
Friday: It's generally known as 'greed', but the French rail provider didn't seem to have any qualms over stealing Eurolines's market share when it launched its snazzy long-distance coach service. We're talking leg-room and Wi-Fi access included. Starting during the London Olympics, we should be seeing some 46 buses on our motorways and throughout Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris among other European countries. The market leader, Eurolines, should be shaking in its boots as the French transport giant encroaches on its target market. Sneaky and sly SNCF was judged guilty of not playing fair by French courts a few years ago when the company tried to rival online holiday retailers by selling travel offers. However, this hasn't stopped hungry SNCF from scoffing way beyond its share of the pie.
'A week of travel misgivings' is an adaptation of the original version in French, 'Des choix discutables', by Laurent Serfaty and was published on our French site on Monday 2 July 2012.
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