Holiday Makers Urged To Research Destinations To Stay Safe

Friday, 17 October 2008

British holidaymakers are being urged to research their destinations before travelling to avoid getting into trouble abroad.

Travel firms such as Directholidaybookings.co.uk are signing up to a Foreign Office initiative in the wake of the Dubai “sex on the beach” case.

The ‘Know Before You Go’ scheme will not only advise Brits on safety, but will also equip them with knowledge of local customs, avoiding any embarrassing incidents or travelling faux pas.

The website warns against sunbathing topless or eating and drinking in public during Ramadan, both of which are illegal in some Muslim countries.

Common examples of social no-no’s in other countries include talking during a toast in Russia, leaving your chopsticks upright in China and giving someone carnations in Germany, all of which are frowned upon. However the height of bad etiquette is the thumbs up sign; a friendly gesture here in Britain, yet seen as an insult in Iran.

The initiative comes after Brits Michelle Palmer and Vince Acors were jailed in Dubai for having sex on a beach. The pair were sentenced to three months imprisonment after being found guilty of public indecency and having unmarried sex.

Andrew Gibson, director of DirectHolidayBookings.co.uk, said: “The Dubai incident was an extreme case, but there are many other incidents of tourists getting into trouble by acting inappropriately or unsafely whilst abroad.

“People tend to be far more relaxed whilst on holiday and perhaps forget to take the usual safety measures that they would at home. Not only this, but every country has different customs and traditions, and it is essential to be aware of these when travelling abroad.”

The website offers travel advice by country, as well as a wide range of topics including driving abroad, surviving tropical storms, and even travelling to football matches abroad.

Andrew added: The ‘Know Before You Go’ website is an indispensable tool for anyone who is travelling abroad, meaning that your passport isn’t the only thing you should check before you leave for the airport.”

DirectHolidayBookings.co.uk is Europe’s leading holiday home rentals website, with more than 10,000 apartments, cottages and villas worldwide. For more information visit www.directholidaybookings.co.uk or www.fco.gov.uk/en/travelling-and-living-overseas/about-kbyg-campaign.

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