Travel news: Souvenir Alert
Sunday 12 March 2006
Souvenir Alert: Hands off ivory
The International Fund for Animal Welfare is warning tourists against buying "wildlife souvenirs". Offending products include ivory, reptile-skin products from South America and coral jewellery from the Caribbean. Details: ifaw.org
Iceland: Springtime jazz
Some of the best in jazz and world music are on offer at the Rite of Spring festival in Reykjavik from 27 to 30 April. Confirmed acts include Iceland's leading jazz-funk group Mezzoforte, the Serbian Gypsy octet Kal, and Storsveit Nix Noltes, Icelandic musicians specialising in Balkan folk music. The festival is being held in association with Icelandair, which is offering a Rite of Spring pass from £265, including return flights and entry to the festival. Details: 0870 787 4020; icelandair.co.uk
Childcare: Come to nanny
Gulf Air is recruiting an extra 50 nannies after the success of its free childcare service introduced in 2003. The recruits will receive four days' training at Norland College in Bath.
Horse-racing: A breed apart
Racing enthusiasts should head for Orne in Normandy where the Haras du Pin, the French National Stud, is opening a new interactive museum on 8 April. In addition to seeing multimedia displays on the breeding and training of racehorses, visitors can learn about the Percheron, the breed traditionally used to carry French knights into battle. Details: ornetourisme. com or from Haras du Pin, 00 33 2 33 36 68 68.
Internet: Web failures
Ninety five per cent of travel websites offer service equivalent to "the worst high-street shops", Craig Hanna of the web consultants E-Consultancy said at the British Travel Trade Fair. Mr Hanna said that in tests, 52 per cent of users asked to book a flight were unable to do so. He adds, "Figures show that 67 per cent clicked off pages because they encountered difficulties. Of those, 35 per cent went direct to competitors' sites."
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