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FCO advise tourists to allow more time for travel in Spain

Written by Andrew Daniel

Posted on August 3, 2012

Industrial action from rail workers will affect 25% to 60% of national, regional and local train services today, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office reports.

Travellers are advised to check revised timetables and expect some cancellations.

The two largest trades unions have been calling for large scale public demonstrations across Spain in July and August. Travellers are advised to stay clear of the demonstrations, avoid confrontation at all times and allow extra time for transfers to and from airports.

The FCO also warn of increased seismic activity on the island of El Hierro, Canary Islands. Combine this with the fact that the Iceland’s Katla, big sister to the unpronounceable volcano that paralysed air traffic in 2010 is overdue an eruption, travellers would be well advised to check their travel insurance for volcanic ash cover.

Spain, which sees over 12 million British nationals visit per year is due to implement a VAT increase on 1st September 2012. The timing, after the busiest part of the holiday season, means most holidaymakers will escape the effects. VAT will rise from 18% to 21% and from 8% to 10% on the reduced rates applied to most tourist industry activities such as hotels and restaurant bills.

Despite this, with the exchange rate around 11% better than last year, tourists should still get better value for money on their foreign currency, even more so if they shop around and get the best travel money rates and avoid common pitfalls on holiday spending.