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Holidays: Spain tourists could face jail if they do THIS in the Canary Islands | Travel News | Travel

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Holidays to Canary Island hotspots Gran Canaria and Tenerife now come with a warning for tourists. Holidaymakers who graffiti some of the protected sand dunes on Gran Canaria, Spain could face jail time. From writing love hearts in the sand on the dunes to carving faces into rocks – environmentalists and police have had enough. The sand dunes on Gran Canaria – known as the Maspalomas Dune system – are protected by the Canarian government as a Nature Reserve of special value.

Covering around 1,000 acres, the dunes are considered one of the most important ecosystems of Gran Canaria.

However, the dunes are now severely at risk due to the careless behaviour of some people.

Police had discovered stone circles, graffiti on stones, faces carved into rocks, huge hearts drawn into the sand, carvings in the ground and giant crosses made from volcanic stones.

Doing any of the above is punishable by a fine, but if culprits are caught they could face prison.

Another problem is volcanic rocks being painted with red in order to signpost walks.

This is believed to be done by foreign tour guides “because of their ignorance” and is particularly problematic as the paint is difficult to remove from the porous rock.

Environmentalists have complained that some graffiti works – such as writing in the sand – are so enormous they are visible from space and show up on Google Maps.

They claim tourists are guilty and are creating the “art” in order to take selfies with them.

The campaigning group Telesforo Bravo-Juan Coello Foundation have received photos and messages alerting experts to damage being caused – and are calling for tougher action, reported The Sun.

The group are calling the behaviour ”abuse to the environment” and want to increase sanctions and have more patrols.

Supporters of the foundation say visitors should be given leaflets on the problem at the airport, or even be told of the issue on their flight before they land.

The island of Tenerife shares these concerns, and damage in its protected parks, including around the Teide volcano, is being reported to the police.

Perpetrators could be fined up to €600 (£525) and will have to pay the cost of the restoration work.

The news comes as smaller Canary Island, Isla de Lobos, tries to limit numbers and protect from overpopulation.

Anyone wishing to visit needs to seek written permission three days in advance.

The island’s council is enforcing a limit of no more than 400 people a day, divided into two lots of 200 maximum.

A spokesman said: ”The aim is to guarantee the preservation of this unique space and natural park.”

Additional reporting by Rita Sobot.



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Brexit news: Will the pound strengthen if a Brexit deal is reached? | Travel News | Travel

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The pound to euro exchange rate has been “fluctuating” throughout the uncertain months of UK Brexit negotiations. After Prime Minister Theresa May’s latest vote on her Brexit divorce deal on February 14, the value of sterling plummeted. Meetings in Brussels this week, which have increased potential for a no deal Brexit, have also prompted a fall in the value of the pound. Yet should Mrs May and European Commission boss, Jean-Claude Juncker, come to an agreement about the terms of exit prior to March 29, as part of an official deal, finance experts suggest this could spell good news.

Ian Strafford-Taylor, CEO of currency expert, FairFX, has suggested it is “possible” a deal-oriented Brexit could be favourable.

He told Express.co.uk: “It’s possible that the pound will strengthen if the UK and EU can agree a divorce deal, but it all depends on the deal itself.

“If the market feels the deal isn’t economically favourable to the UK, then we could even see the pound lose ground.

“The most likely way we could see the pound strengthen is if a deal is agreed that is economically favourable to the UK.”

Meanwhile, Ian maintained any outcome was possible in light of the current political turmoil.

He added: “The pound is yet to return to pre-Brexit rates against the euro.

“That means holidaymakers heading to Eurozone destinations are now getting £147 worth of Euros less for every £1,000 they exchange.”

“Whenever there is a parliamentary vote or update on the UK’s negotiations with the EU, we see a spike in support requests as customers try to understand what the latest developments mean for the value of the pound.”

He added: “Brexit is an unprecedented event so it’s no wonder there is heightened anxiety around the consequences it may or not have.”

On Wednesday, Express.co.uk reported how a no deal Brexit could prompt a “fall across the board” for sterling.

The European Commission president insisted that a lack of a parliamentary majority in London is at the heart of the deadlock. He bemoaned the lack of progress being made despite holding talks with the Prime Minister last night in Brussels.

Meanwhile, today, EC President Juncker said he was “not optimistic” a deal could be reached with Mrs May.

Speaking at a session of the EU’s European Economic and Social Committee, the eurocrat said there is still not a majority amongst MPs for a solution that can break the impasse.

Mr Juncker said: “If no deal were to happen, and I cannot exclude this, this would have terrible economic and social consequences in Britain and on the continent, so my efforts are oriented in a way that the worst can be avoided.

“But I am not very optimistic when it comes to this issue.”



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Dublin Airport drone sighting – are flights still running? | Travel News | Travel

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What is the situation at Dublin Airport?

Dublin Airport flights were disrupted by a drone on Thursday.

A sighting of the device was confirmed, before airport chiefs took action to suspend flights.

A representative made the announcement on their Twitter page and wrote: “For safety reasons we are temporarily suspending flight operations @DublinAirport due the confirmed sighting of a drone over the airfield.

“Passengers should contact their airline’s website for flight updates.

“We will post updates here when they become available.

“The safety and security of customers is our key priority at all times.”

Are flights still suspended?

The drone sighting only caused minimal impact for passengers.

Disruption to inbound and outbound flights lasted around 15 minutes.

Dublin Airport again took to Twitter to announce the update, which no doubt would have delighted worried passengers.

It put: “Flight operations have now resumed @DublinAirport following an earlier drone sighting.

“We apologise for any inconvenience. The safety and security of passengers is always our key priority.”

Have other British airports been cancelled due to drone sightings?

Drones are causing more and more havoc to airports in the UK

A potential drone sighting at Heathrow Airport caused the north runway to close in January.

Britain’s biggest airport, which serves more than 200,000 people daily, was ground to a halt with several passengers left in aircrafts waiting to depart.

The closure of the runway came after thousands of passengers faced cancellations to their flights following multiple drone sightings near Gatwick airport.

More than 140,000 people were hit after around 1,000 flights were cancelled or diverted over three days of chaos from December 19 to 21 at the airport.

During the Christmas chaos, passengers were stuck on flights for hours and missed important engagements such as job interviews and holidays.

Many were forced to sleep on the floor at Gatwick Airport.

How do Britons travel to Dublin?

British passengers can enjoy direct flights to Dublin Airport, which is a short trip across the Irish sea.

Irish carrier Aer Lingus offers direct routes.

Meanwhile budget carrier Ryanair is one of the many providing low-cost journeys.

The flight time is around one hour 30 minutes, depending on which airline a customer chooses.



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Queen Elizabeth news: Royal’s ‘frugal’ behaviour revealed amid Prince Philip contrast | Travel News | Travel

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Queen Elizabeth II might be the figurehead of the nation, but her sheer wealth does not mean official engagements or pleasures are the height of glamour. The 92 year old has visited more than 120 countries around the globe since the age of 21. Her role as nation figurehead and ambassador has seen her appearance come under scrutiny. While she is always immaculately turned out, with a team of personal staff to help, this might not match her personal taste.

Despite the fact Prince Charles’ mother could draw upon any designer, jewellery or accommodation she wishes, she seems to enjoy the more basic pleasures in life.

This is in stark contrast to her husband, Prince Philip, according to royal biographer Kitty Kelley.

In her new book, the Royals, she details a trip to Mexico.

The parents of four visited Merle Oberon, who owned a villa in Acapulco, and Philip appeared particularly impressed by the facilities.

She noted how he “enjoyed being cosseted in superlative comfort.”

Making a surprise revelation about the Queen, she continued: “Although Philip was married to the world’s richest woman, and accustomed to the highest levels of royal service, he did not live sumptuously.

“His wife was frugal and accustomed to scratchy tweeds and sensible shoes.

“Her palaces were cold and draughty and required electric space heaters in every corner.”

Kitty pointed out how Philip seemed the complete opposite in taste to his wife.

She added of their Mexico trip: “With Merle Oberon, Philip appeared more beguiled by opulence.”

Meanwhile, it seems Prince Philip also preferred a lavish experience when it came to jetting away on such royal trips.

Members of the Royal family usually always fly commercial class, particularly when venturing abroad for a personal reason, or on official duties they make take a private jet.

He retired from royal duties on 2 August, 2017, before which he met members of the Royal Marines as his final engagement.

Yet prior to this, he made his thoughts on Economy class – usually the cheapest form of ticket on an airline – very clear indeed.

Prince Philip previously announced his preferences to the Aircraft Research Association.

He said: “If you travel as much as we do, you appreciate the improvements in aircraft design of less noise and more comfort – provided you don’t travel in something called economy class, which sounds ghastly.”



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