Letter: Please give a warning as well as a welcome

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The Independent Online
Sir: It was saddening to learn of yet more British tourists attacked in Orlando ('Britons mugged in Florida', 9 August), but the attacks are symptomatic of the lack of advice that tour companies offer to clients who visit the area. We visited Orlando, for our honeymoon, in April. After a long flight, our first few hours were hectic. Within an hour of landing we had been given the keys to our hire car, a sketch map of our hotel, the wish for the proverbial 'nice day', but no safety brief or precautionary advice.

The drive to the hotel from the hire centre was very confusing; we got lost twice, but were too scared to stop and ask directions after hearing of the fate of some who did. We had received strict instructions to attend the 'reps' meeting at 10am the following day, at which we expected to be given the 'safety and advice brief'. However, the whole hour was devoted to the selling of day trips and Disney tickets; there was no mention of 'no-go areas' or dangerous practices, even though a German tourist had been killed the previous day in Miami.

We travelled with Thompson, but such treatment is not the sole preserve of that company; many of our friends have travelled with a range of companies and none received any safety advice or protection from the mistakes so easily made by new arrivals. We were extremely fortunate in that we enjoyed an excellent holiday, but Sunday's wicked attack reminded us that it could have been very different.

Yours faithfully,

DAVID PICTON

ANNE-MARIE PICTON

Little Paxton, Cambridgeshire

9 August

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