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Kenya: tourism minister issues open letter regarding piracy

According to eTurboNews, the Kenyan tourism minister Najib Balala has issued the follwoing open letter:

"The Government of Kenya is working closely with British, French and international authorities to ensure that acts of piracy; such as that committed [on October 2] on Manda Island; by Somali nationals are stopped and that hostages are released.

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UK: Office of Fair Trading received super-complaint about travel money

On Sep. 21, 2011, the Office of Fair Trade (OFT) has received a super-complaint from Consumer Focus about the cost of obtaining foreign currency and overseas use of credit and debit cards. Consumer Focus identified three features which it has called on the OFT to investigate:

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European Commission publishes results of the Online ticket Sales Sweep

Results of the 2010 sweep websites selling tickets to cultural and sporting events are positive, the Commission announced on 29 Sept. 2011: 88% of the websites checked for breach of EU consumer rules are now in line compared to only 40% in 2010.

This sector was chosen after European Consumer Centres received numerous complaints.

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Seychelles: Sustainable Tourism Label announced

On the occasion of World Tourism Day on September 27, 2011, the Seychelles Tourism Board in partnership with the GOS-UNDP-GEF Program Coordination Unit has officially launched the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label with the unveiling of the label’s logo.

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USA: DOT fines Virgin Atlantic for deceptive online advertising

The U.S. Department of Transportation has fined Virgin Atlantic USD 50,000 for deceptive online advertising. The DOT said that Virgin Atlantic displayed air fares, but without government taxes and fees. To see taxes and fees, consumers had to scroll down to the bottom of the page to read the fine print.

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USA: Travel Association and ATA support new Visa legislation

The U.S. Travel Association (USTA) and the Air Transport Association of America (ATA) are supporting new legislation just introduced by Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.), H.R. 3039, the "Welcoming Business Travelers and Tourists to America Act of 2011" that would address problems with the U.S. visa system that are currently discouraging international visitors from doing business and traveling here.

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World Travel & Tourism Council addresses governments on World Tourism Day

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) on the occasion of World Tourism Day on Sep. 27 urged governments to recognize the vast economic and social contribution of travel and tourism - particularly as a driver of sustainable economic growth and revival. The World Travel & Tourism Council was formed over 20 years ago by the heads of some of the largest private travel and tourism companies in the world to ensure that governments, the media, and the society understood the enormous economic and social contribution of travel and tourism.

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France to impose new tax on luxury hotel rooms

On 7 September 2011, the French National Assembly has adopted a finance bill which includes a new 2% tax on hotel stays where rates exceed EUR 200 per night. The bill is subject to ratification by the French Senate. Once ratified the new tax shall be due as from 1 November 2011.

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USA: DOT to require airlines to make their websites and kiosks accessible to disabled travelers

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) proposed a regulation that would require airlines to make their websites accessible to individuals with disabilities and ensure that their ticket agents do the same.  DOT also proposed that airlines make automated airport kiosks at U.S. airports accessible to passengers with disabilities. U.S.