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Holidays 2019: Cheapest place for winter sun in Europe revealed | Travel News | Travel

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The prospect of winter sun will shine even brighter for holidaymakers in 2019 after the cheapest places for a start-of-the-year tan were revealed. The three cheapest designations for 2019 vacations were all in Spain, in the Costa Blanca. The top budget friendly hotspot is Torrevieja, with totals for flights, accommodation, dinner and a boat trip amounting to £79.72 per person, according to Home To Go. Santa Pola came in second, still falling shy of £100 at £92.73.

Meanwhile, Brit favourite Benidorm came in second cheapest for accommodation and food costs yet the price of a boat trip pushed the overall total to £93.10.

Home To Go’s head of Inbound Marketing, Joanna Booth, said: “Winter holidays are a popular option for British travellers, but are often seen as unaffordable.

“By focusing on Spain, a top destination for British travellers, we were able to provide amazing data on gorgeous destinations that are both affordable and a short plane ride away.

“We hope this study helps more travellers find the perfect winter sun holiday for their budget.”

La Gomera, as well as Ibiza resorts Cala Tarida and Cala Vadella topped the list of the most expensive destinations for winter sun.

A winter holiday in Cala Vadella costs almost four times as much as a holiday in Torrevieja.

Accommodation in Cala Vadella, meanwhile, costs over eight times as much.

The ratings might prove a positive boost for Benidorm in particular, after Britons were reported to be fleeing the resort amid a drastic fall in holidays.

Figures released by local hotel association Hosbec show the number of overnight stays in the famous Costa Blanca holiday resort by Brit tourists last year plummeted by 454,000.

The drop represented an eight per cent fall, although the five million overnight stays registered by UK visitors still made Britain Benidorm’s number one foreign tourist market.

In December 41.7 per cent of the foreign holidaymakers who stayed in Benidorm were Brits according to the Hosbec figures, compared with just three per cent from second-placed Belgium and 2.2 per cent from third-placed Holland.

Spanish holidaymakers accounted for just over half the tourists who made overnight stays in the resort.

Hotel bosses say the resurgence of the domestic market – with the number of overnight stays by Spaniards last year jumping by 494,000 to 5.3 million – has countered the problem the British slump could have caused.

The Spanish rise – helped by a 17 per cent increase in the number of Portuguese tourists – has meant Benidorm hoteliers have been able to grade last year as one of the best-ever and on par with its historic 2016 when the number of overnight stays came close to reaching the 12 million mark.

The Brit fall has been blamed on competition from countries including Turkey and Egypt, the reduction of air capacity and the choice of apartments as accommodation.

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Travel & Escape

American woman faces $2,800 parking bill after leaving car in Toronto during pandemic

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Parking in the city can be costly, but one American woman is learning just how bad it can be after being unable to retrieve her car for nearly a year.

Detroit resident Kim Richardson left her 2004 Honda Element at the Park2Sky lot by Pearson airport in March 2020 before flying out to Europe for a medical procedure. She originally planned to retrieve it within two weeks but partway through her trip, the Canada-US border got closed due to COVID-19 precautions.

Richardson’s return flight was rerouted to Detroit and she’s been unable to return to Toronto since.

What was originally a $100 bill has now inflated to $2,800 as the lot’s owner says he has a business to operate and is owed payment for 11 months of storage. However, Richardson believes she’s being extorted for an issue beyond her control.

Park2Sky personnel claim that several Americans who found themselves in similar predicaments have had their cars shipped home.

“I don’t understand, I don’t know what’s going on here. Business is down, I’m not making any money at all. People who leave their car are paid. She’s the only one that hasn’t paid,” said the owner to CBC News this week.

The stalemate is expected to last a while longer as travel restrictions remain in place and Ontario Provincial Police have said they won’t get involved in a civil matter.

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All systems are go for St. Lawrence Cruise Lines in 2021

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KINGSTON — Despite Canada’s newly extended cruise ship ban, Canadians still have a small-ship cruising alternative in 2021 with St. Lawrence Cruise Lines.

The small-ship operator, which sails on the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers, has confirmed operations for 2021, with overnight cruises on both rivers from May 20 to Oct. 24. A variety of cruises ranging from four to seven nights will depart from Kingston, Ottawa and Quebec City, sailing exclusively in domestic waters with stops at select ports in Ontario and Quebec.

On Feb. 4, Canada’s Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra announced that Canada’s cruise ship ban will be extended until Feb. 28, 2022. This measure, which effectively prohibits cruise vessels carrying more than 100 passengers from operating in Canadian waters, does not impact the small-ship operations of St. Lawrence Cruise Lines and its 32-stateroom CANADIAN EMPRESS.

“We are excited to offer travellers a small ship option for the 2021 season,” said President Jason Clark. “Our overnight cruises stay close to shore in Canadian waters and our COVID-19 Health and Safety program has been recognized for its high standards.”

This past December, the cruise line was awarded the Safe Travels Stamp by the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) for adherence to global standards of health and hygiene. The program includes a wide range of safety measures, including reduced passenger loads, masking, physical distancing and hospital-grade electrostatic disinfecting for both private staterooms and shared spaces. Plus, all staterooms have access to fresh air, climate controls and views of the river.

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Here’s How Canada’s ‘Screening Officers’ Will Check On Travellers During Quarantine

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The federal government is reminding all travellers in Canada that “Screening Officers” may pay them a visit post-arrival.

In a statement about the country’s latest travel restrictions, Transport Canada confirmed that newly-trained officials would be tasked with checking up on travellers during their two-week quarantine period.

The role of the Screening Officers will be to visit travellers’ quarantine locations to “establish contact, confirm identify and confirm that travellers are at the place of quarantine they identified upon entry into Canada.”

This is to make sure individuals are complying with Canada’s mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement.

The checks will be conducted across 35 Canadian cities, having already started in Montreal and Toronto back in January.

The officials will provide “compliance education” and will be able to issue verbal warnings, but stronger enforcement action will be referred to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and then law enforcement for follow-up checks. 

Failing to comply with the Quarantine Act or with Screening Officers’ instructions could result in fines of up to $750,000 or even jail time.

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