Archives for Brooklyn

Airbnb booming in Spain – is it  a good experience?

News that the number of tourist beds in Spain offered by Airbnb operators now outnumbers hotel beds is an interesting development but not necessarily a welcome one. AFP quotes a survey by the Spanish tourism sector body Exceltur that in Barcelona 64 per cent of available rooms are offered by online home rental services. Airbnb and other similar sites now list 2.7 million beds in Spain (December 2014 figures) compared to 2.4 million beds at hotels and other lodgings. Tourism accounts for about 11 per cent of all economic activity in Spain and for one in nine jobs. But apart from quality issues there are two other drawbacks from a national economic perspective. The number of jobs generated from home rentals is just 9.8 per 100 beds, compared to 53 jobs per 100 tourist beds at a hotel, according to Exceltur. It also estimates that up to $1.3 billion is lost in tax due to undeclared earnings. From the tourists’ perspective Airbnb may be cheaper, but I think the practice raises questions about quality. I used an apartment in Brooklyn
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A traveller’s tale in the USA – part one of 2 May

Experience trumps expectations in my travels. Experience, it is said, is a great teacher. Given these four experiences I could have coped with ignorance. My dear wife and I set out from Wellington to New York – a long planned trip. That was the easy bit. Here are four expectations we made, make that I made, that were not met. One: if it’s ok internationally, it’s ok domestically. I bought a couple of little bottles of whisky at Auckland airport – about 200 mls each – enough for a few drinks including on the night we arrived in New York after 23 hours of travelling. No problem having them in my hand luggage on an international flight. So they stayed there for the domestic leg. Never even thought about moving them. No, no says the National Safety Administration lady at LAX, each one is over the allowable liquid limit so either check the bag through or surrender them. The booze was NZ20.00 and a second checked bag was USD 25.00. So you do the maths.  Arriving in New York was
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