Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Spain Tops US as Tourist Destination

Saturday, February 10th, 2018

Considering the relative size of the economies and how important tourism is to each, then this is quite a surprise. That Spain will this year overtake the US as a tourist destination is an incredible achievement for a country which has had great economic and political upheaval in recent times. For those of us in the UK it probably comes as no surprise, the British have been holidaying in Spain in their millions for decades. Indeed many of us spend large parts of the year, relaxing in the Winter Sun happy that we’ve learnt how to watch BBC iPlayer in Spain too.

Spain, where tourism accounts for about 11% of the economics, has seen a spike in international visitors partly because of security concerns in other popular vacation destinations like Egypt and Turkey.   Although the US is still popular just like American culture via US DNS and Netflix, the strong dollar and relatively expensive airfare cost means that it’s not experiencing the same growth as some of the European countries.  Preliminary data released late on Wednesday showed the number of visitors coming in Spain rose 8.9% year-on year to 82 million tourists, that makes Spain the world’s second most visited country after France and push the US into third position, this was from a Reuters report. Figures showed that tourist spending also hit a brand new record in 2017, rising 12.4 percent in the year from 2016. According to final data for the first 11 months of 2017, too published on Wednesday tourists remained Spain’s biggest group of visitors from nationality, accounting for 18 million tourists up 7 percent from a year before.

Catalonia remained the most visited region of Spain in 2017, despite two strikes at tourist haunts in August which left 16 people dead and more than 100 people. Tourism from the region’s capital Barcelona dipped slightly after the strikes, then dropped in October following a liberty vote prompted scenes of police violence and mass protests, but it’s since rebounded. Tourism has also benefited from a boom in leasing flats outside to tourists through internet platforms like Airbnb.  This has made a combination of cheap airfares and affordable accommodation which makes Spain an extremely attractive holiday destination.

Nevertheless, this has prompted a backlash in favorite destinations like Barcelona, Palma de Majorca or San Sebastian as locals complain of a drop in long term rentals and costs. The sector will continue to grow in the coming years due to expected economic improvement in visitors home nations and increased flights and destinations, the tourism association Exceltur said on Thursday. Spanish tourist companies expect a 5.6% growth in their earnings and 5.3% growth in their profits in 2018, Exceltur vice president Jose Luis Zoreda told a news conference. But, general sector growth might slightly lighten this year to 3.3% year-on year by an annual expansion of 4.4% in 2017 due in part to many tourists returning to destinations in North Africa and Turkey, he added.

So Who is Sam Clovis?

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

Clovis did not react to multiple inquiries from POLITICO and is well known as a potential nightmare in the opinion of good republicans. Clovis also has a part in the Trump-Russia drama as is being played out today. Throughout the Presidential campaign, Clovis continued to say that it is essential for elected officials to have a stand on the campaign trail as it sets the stage for when they must make the difficult decisions when elected to office. Clovis is not surprisingly yet another famous skeptic of climate change and doesn’t have an organic science degree. THe fact that he is completely unqualified to base this opinion is pretty unsurprising for this man who tends to see things in black and white.

Clovis then concludes the protecting of LGBT men and women could signify that pedophilia would likewise be safeguarded. Clovis does not meet all those criteria. Clovis has not one of these qualifications. Clovis reported that he did not think the Trump policy would bring about their deportation. Sam Clovis is considered a rather intelligent individual which you can hear in this interview from the American media about a year ago. Note that you’ll probably need a residential VPN connection like this in order to access the view from outside the USA.

The Papadopoulos plea is quite significant, he states. Over the previous 25 years the court has been quite checkered and schizophrenic in regards to being consistent in 1 direction or the other. The attorney will also supply you with regular updates about the advancement of the sale. Clovis lawyer confirmed he brought Papadopoulos onto the campaign, as stated by the Associated Press. Inside this suburb, you will come across a variety of lawyers that could negotiate beyond your own imaginations. A superb conveyancing lawyer will take you through the info found in that contract, and explain every intricate clause in ordinary language. In as much as there are lots of attorneys that provide these services, you should check a few factors merely to be sure that they are the ideal choice for you.

The degree of the threat to Clovis nomination wasn’t immediately clear Wednesday. Since you are searching for someone that has your welfare at heart, it’s also advisable to make sure they can push for a deal which is quite favorable for you. Really how you obtain their attention is take their funding.

All you need to do is take a peek at data from the U.S. Census Bureau and individuals who are living in a conventional household have income capabilities are multiple of different models. Try this, and should you believe you’ve found one, I would like to know! It is something which you have felt. All those things will result in incentive for companies to expand here and it decreases the uncertainty of the national government. That’s not likely to take place, it defies logic. He’s made a carbon footprint for people, which is egregious. It was invented as a means to explain things that early man couldn’t understand.

John Williams
Unofficial BBC News Stream Blogger

Las Vegas TV Coverage

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

When there’s a huge news story like the awful shooting in Las Vegas I always like to try and get access to the US News media.  Although an event like this terrible massacre will obviously be covered in the International press – it’s usually more comprehensive in the US News channels.  Unfortunately it’s difficult to access these sites sometimes because of something called region locking.

This is the procedure where a web site will look up your physical location when you connect and then determine what you can see.  In the case of most of the US TV channels, being outside the US means you’ll get very limited access to their online streams.  This can be very frustrating for those of us who travel a lot as internet based news media is really ideal for the international traveller.

The reasons are unclear but probably revolve around ‘rights issues’ or copyright restrictions but that doesn’t make it any less inconvenient.   Fortunately there is something of a workaround and it involves using a security program to hide your true location.  The programs are called VPNs and you can see them in action in this video.

This is being used to access the BBC News channel online from outside the United Kingdom however the process is virtually identical to access CNN or ABC from outside the USA. The only alteration you need is to ensure you connect to a US server rather than a UK one in order to bypass the US only region blocks. It’s worth mentioning that some of these media sites are starting to fight back – read this article – BBC Block VPN connection.

IN the coverage of the Las Vegas massacre there was a distinct difference between North American coverage and that of European (where I currently am). The CNN reports were more up to date and factual, whereas coverage from other country’s sources seemed to be more obsessed with US Gun laws. It is certainly legitimate coverage considering the situation yet I felt I was missing out on much of the facts because of the subjective studies of US gun laws.

Using these VPN systems is pretty much essential for those of us who travel a lot. Without them your internet connections firstly are extremely insecure especially if you have to use un-trusted networks in hotels, airports and cafes. Secondly you can control where you appear to be located which means that you can access US only sites from anywhere in the world by selecting a US VPN server to connect to. You can even use it to change regional options too, this post – IP Address for American Netflix shows how to change your Netflix subscription back to the US one.

Catalonia to Announce Independence

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Throughout the world there are all sorts of disputes about land control and independence claims.  Some are in areas of huge conflicts like the Kurds in Northern Iraq and others lie in the heart of a democratic Europe.  However different the geographical and political backdrop there is one thing in common with all these disputes – the huge level of passion that they can provoke.

The Spanish response to the Catalonia referendum has been catastrophic and almost certainly made the calls for independence stronger.    The King has now stood up to defend his government and to criticize the leaders of Catalonia which is unlikely to defuse the situation.  Of course it’s easy to forget that although Spain is a democratic European nation, that democracy is relatively young barely fourty years.  The threat to democracy in Spain is very real especially as now it seems that Catalonia will soon announce it’s own independence completely outside the Spanish rule of law.  Yesterday over 300,00 people took to the streets of Barcelona and the city was brought to a standstill.

The Spanish police who’s heavy handed tactics have escalated the crisis are being portrayed as ‘occupying forces’ even the world famous Barcelona football team have refused to train as a sign of protest.  It’s not a scene you expect to see in  European nation – women being dragged out of polling stations by the national police.   Further scenes of batons and rubber bullets being used against those very same voters were more reminiscent of some South American dictatorship rather than a member of the European Union.

It is reported that over 900 people have been injured as the police attempted to stop people using the ballot stations, a figure that will cause controversy on it’s own.  These pictures have been broadcast across the world, I watched as people in a UK bar used a VPN to access the BBC and watch UK TV online in Spain with the same pictures.

The case for independence hasn’t even yet been made completely and although 90% of those who voted backed leaving Spain – the turnout was well under 50%.  Is it a mandate to pull out of Spain?  The numbers have probably risen now because of the official response, the Catalan leaders will inevitably spin the violence behind their cause.

There are talks of suspending the Catalonia Government as an interim measure to the crisis, yet it’s hard to see that solving anything.   The King has called for the return of constitutional order, however achieving that within the chaos of Catalonia now looks even more difficult than it did a week ago.

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Ancient North American Settlement Unearthed

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

The oral history of the Heiltsuk Nation, an Aboriginal group dependent on the Central Coast of British Columbia, informs of a wooded strip of territory which didn’t freeze during the ice age, which makes it a place of sanctuary for ancient inhabitants of the land. As Roshini Nair accounts for the CBC, a new archaeological discovery proves to a historical human existence in the region linked to the tradition. While digging British Columbia’s Triquet Island, archaeologists uncovered a settlement which dates to this period of the previous ice age.

The archaeological team, backed from the Hakai Institute, sifted through meters of land and peat before hitting the charred remains of an ancient hearth. Researchers painstakingly peeled out charcoal flakes that were subsequently carbon dated. In November, evaluations disclosed that the hearth was some 14,000 years old, indicating the region where it was discovered is among the oldest human settlements found in North America. Or as Randy Shore of the Vancouver Sun contextualizes, the village is “twice as old as the fantastic Pyramid in Giza.”  It was recently covered in a documentary on UK Television, which you should be able to watch on the BBC although it can be difficult to access abroad.

Alisha Gauvreau, a PhD student at the University of Victoria as well as also a researcher using the Hakai Institute, presented the team’s findings at the yearly meeting of the Society for American Archeology this week. She tells Shore which archaeologists also discovered lots of artifacts from the region: fish hooks, a hand drill for igniting fires, a wooden apparatus for launching projectiles along with a cache of stone tools near the hearth.

“It looks we had people sitting in 1 place making stone tools beside evidence of a fire pit,” Gauvreau states. “The stuff that we’ve recovered … has actually helped us weave a story for the job of this website.”

These findings could have important implications for our comprehension of early human migration patterns. As Jason Daley accounts for, the standard narrative of human birth into the Americas posits that some 13,000 decades back, stone-age folks moved across a land bridge which linked modern-day Siberia into Alaska. But recent studies indicate that route didn’t include enough funds to the first migrants to efficiently create the crossing. Rather, some researchers say, humans entered North America across the shore.

In a radio interview with the CBC, Gauvreau states the early settlement on Triquet Island “actually adds extra evidence” for this theory. “Archaeologists hadn’t believed that … the shore would be fully uncalled and impassible when that’s quite clearly not the situation,” she describes.

The discovery can be significant to the Heiltsuk Nation, lending credence to oral traditions that put their ancestors in the area throughout the days of this ice ” [I]t reaffirms a great deal of the history our folks have been speaking about for thousands of years,” William Housty, a part of Heiltsuk Nation, informs Nair. He added the validation by “Western science and archeology” will aid the Heiltsuk people as they negotiate with the Canadian authorities over name rights into their traditional territory.

John Williams


Ireland Welcomes Record US Visitors

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Tourism has always been important to Ireland and it’s one area of the economy which has always provided consistent revenue to the country.   Even during the recession, visitors continued to both visit and spend money in the Irish economy despite the rising prices.  Thankfully things have improved in the Irish economy and tourism is bringing in positive benefits.

Over one million North Americans visited Ireland during 2016, initially that the landmark has been broken. The statistics were revealed in this week’s preliminary Tourism Truth 2016 – a record of Irish tourism findings released by Fáilte Ireland.

Ireland clocked a record number of people this past year, the record says – up 8.8 to 8.742 million. Dublin was the very popular port of call, with 5.69m visits. 64pc of tourists were first-time guests. Britain stays Ireland’s largest source market for foreign tourists, according to the report, representing 41pc of such visits.

Both Fáilte and Tourism Ireland have made attempts to diversify economies in the past few decades, with Brexit along with the sterling/euro market taking a toll on British visitor numbers, that have dropped over 10pc in the first quarter of 2017. But British people don’t spend up to the North American counterparts – accounting for a whole earnings of $1.11bn at 2016, versus $1.34bn.   It may be due to the proximity and of course they can still access local entertainment such as the BBC iPlayer in Ireland using this.

This, regardless of the fact that North Americans create a far smaller proportion of traffic, at 17pc. Later Britain, Ireland’s second-biggest supply marketplace is Mainland Europe, which accounts for 36pc of global volume, based on Fáilte Ireland. Ireland brought a entire tourism sales of $8.31 billion in 2016. “While we’ve known for a while that 2016 had been a record year for tourism, this week’s statement adds more layers to our comprehension of the operation, stated Caeman Wall, Head of Research in the National Tourism Development Agency.

Fáilte Ireland draws on a vast assortment of sources in compiling the yearly report, such as the Central Statistics Office and its visitor surveys.


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