Dutch roll out ‘cannabis card’ to stop pot tourists
Keen to stub out an era of dope tourism, the Netherlands on Tuesday starts restricting cannabis sales in the country’s south to residents only, despite opposition from pro-pot lobby groups.
Famous for decades for its laid-back attitude to marijuana, the Netherlands will now require so-called coffee shops in some regions to only sell to signed-up members who live in the country, not to foreign visitors.
The tougher rules, set to take effect nationwide from next year, effectively turn coffee shops into private clubs with no more than 2,000 members, who must be over 18 and legal residents of the country.
London 2012 Businesses Promise Not to Gouge Tourists During Olympics
When the greatest show on earth heads to one of the world’s most expensive cities, it goes without saying that more than a few credit cards will be working overtime. But for the brave souls who are heading to London this summer, a pioneering scheme from its mayor may well mean that at least one of their kids still gets to go to college.
The London Visitor Charter (LVC) might sound like an agreement not to chew gum in Trafalgar Square, but in fact it’s the very first instance of an Olympic host city pledging to provide “reasonable and fair pricing” for the duration of the Games. So far 63 companies responsible for hundreds of outlets — including hotels, restaurants, bars, tourist attractions and transport firms – have signed the voluntary pledge, promising their Olympic prices will be no more than 15% above normal rates.
Unionists pan ‘leprechauns and donkeys’ all-Ireland tourism drive
An all-Ireland tourism bid to encourage the Irish Diaspora to return home relies too heavily on leprechauns and donkeys and does not deserve Stormont support, an Assembly member has warned.
But concerns raised by the DUP’s Stephen Moutray and other unionists over the Dublin government-backed “The Gathering” initiative was criticised by SDLP and Sinn Fein members, who stressed the economic importance of supporting the promotion.
An Assembly motion tabled by the SDLP calling on the Executive to join the campaign to encourage the huge worldwide population with ancestral links to Ireland to make a trip to the homeland in 2013 provoked heated debate in the chamber.
While nationalists highlighted potential benefits of adopting an all-Ireland approach, Mr Moutray said the concept it promoted was alien to him and insisted the power-sharing administration should instead focus on selling a distinct Northern Ireland image.
Airlines ready to pay to end Heathrow delays
Airlines using London’s Heathrow airport would be prepared to pay higher landing fees to reduce long queues at the British hub which have reached “crisis” levels, according to the chief executive of British Airways owner IAG.
Passengers arriving at BAA operated Heathrow have suffered lengthy delays at passport control in the past week. Travellers have complained of empty border control desks and the failure of iris scanners brought in to speed up the processing of arrivals.
“We have had a crisis for some time and therefore we need urgent action … we have demonstrated we are prepared to pay where we get the right service,” IAG (ICAG.L) Chief Executive Willie Walsh told Radio 4 on Tuesday.