Something To Declare: Snow-sure Italy; crime in Kenya; Club World at Christmas; Sri Lankan visas
Destination of the week: Snow-sure Italy
Saturday 03 December 2011
Destination of the week: Snow-sure Italy
Even though much of the Alps have experienced a dearth of snow since the start of winter, resorts in Italy are reporting some of the most promising snow bases in Europe.
Simon Cross, managing director of Crystal Ski, says: "The Presana Glacier above Passo Tonale is reporting a two-metre base – deeper than anywhere else in Europe."
Cervinia is also doing well, with a 1.45-metre base. Some of the country's big-name resorts, such as Bormio and Livigno, above, are already open. Alagna and Madonna di Campiglio plan to open this weekend.
Warning of the week: Crime in Kenya
The US State Department does not issue many official "travel warnings" – on average, fewer than one a week. They are triggered by "long-term, protracted conditions that make a country dangerous", and rarely apply to popular tourist destinations.
But it has issued one for Kenya, saying: "The drought affecting the Horn of Africa is causing thousands of people to pour across Kenya's porous borders each week. With Kenya's endemic poverty and the availability of weapons in the area, the result could be an increase in crime, both petty and violent."
The capital, Nairobi, is singled out as the most dangerous location, with "violent and sometimes fatal criminal attacks, including armed carjackings, home invasions/burglaries, and kidnappings". The advice further recommends "carrying small amounts of cash and credit cards, wearing small amounts of jewellery, knowing emergency phone numbers, and being aware of your surroundings" to ensure safe and enjoyable travel in Kenya.
Bargain of the week: Club World at Christmas
Airlines are naturally keen to fill their business-class cabins, especially at times of low demand, such as Christmas and new year – but are careful to try to keep "real" business travellers from taking advantage of deals aimed at leisure passengers.
One traditional way to do this is by offering partner fares, where two people must travel together. British Airways (0844 493 0787; ba.com) yesterday launched one such promotion for anyone who can book by close of business on Monday and travel out between 20 and 31 December. You must return by 12 January next year. The flat rate is £1,006 return per person – representing very deep discounts on some of the airline's key long-haul routes.
The best deal in terms of both distance and weather is Sao Paulo, pictured, in Brazil. Meanwhile, Tokyo is an option for skiers keen to try new territory. And with Las Vegas, San Francisco and Los Angeles all on offer, and outstanding snow in the US, you could create a luxury city-and-ski trip to either California or Nevada.
Tip of the week: Sri Lankan visas
The Indian Ocean island plans to copy the US by introducing an electronic travel authorisation system – with a $50 (£33) charge for visitors. At present, British tourists have no need to apply for a visa, nor to pay. The plan is to start the scheme on 1 January, but tests this week suggest that the software at eta.gov.lk is not yet up to the task. The Sri Lankan government has said that the scheme will now be optional for visitors travelling in January, February and March.
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