Welcome to our official TripAdvisor UK blog. This is where we aim to share our thoughts, quirky updates, new research and anything else we hope you will find useful and interesting.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Nearly half of Brits hit by unexpected card charges abroad

Following the submission of a super-complaint to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) regarding credit and debit card charges for overseas transactions, a brand new TripAdvisor® poll reveals that nearly half (48%) of British travellers have experienced unexpected card charges on transactions or withdrawals made abroad.

According to the poll of over 2,000 travellers, these unexpected card charges are a significant issue: 48%* of Brits say they’ve been hit with unexpected charges for their transactions and ATM withdrawals abroad. 

“These poll results show unexpected card charges are indeed a significant issue for British travellers, with many people confused about when, if and how they’ll be charged for their card use abroad,” commented Emma Shaw, TripAdvisor spokesperson. “As credit and debit cards have increased in popularity as the payment of choice on holiday, a whole new set of fees and charges have cropped up and travellers who have returned home to find their bank accounts lighter than expected will surely welcome further clarity from card providers.”

The super-complaint was brought to the OFT by Consumer Focus.  The complaint centres on concerns that consumers are being unfairly charged for buying holiday money in the UK by banks and credit card providers, that charge structures are presented in a confusing way, and that common phrases used in the UK holiday money market are misleading.

*Poll carried out on 2,163 respondents from 23-28 September 2011

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Oktoberfest in Munich

Authentic Bavarian experiences when the beer tents are full

Munich’s world-famous Oktoberfest is renowned for its beer, hearty food and traditional music, but also for its crowds. Beer tents in the Wiesn – where many of the celebrations take place – are often met with long queues, and even closures, to avoid overcrowding.

If you’ve packed the dirndl and lederhosen, and are beer-bound in Munich, avoid the crowds and closures but not the Bavarian experience - TripAdvisor has rounded up Munich’s best Bavarian bars and restaurants outside the Wiesn. 

These are Munich’s best Bavarian bars and restaurants according to TripAdvisor travellers and the sites’s Popularity Index:

Augustiner Braustuben – as one TripAdvisor traveller said, “Superb spot in Munich - The biergarten was packed with people out enjoying themselves and lots of local people dressed in traditional Bavarian garb”. 

Wirtshaus In Der Au – as one TripAdvisor traveller said, “Great beerhaus to discover Bavarian food”.  

Zum Alten Markt – as one TripAdvisor traveller said, “The restaurant serves good Bavarian food in a charming and atmospheric traditional setting that looked as if it had come from a film set”. 

Spatenhaus – as one TripAdvisor traveller said, “Great Bavarian meal”. 

Weisses Brauhaus – as one TripAdvisor traveller said, “Beer is the thing here. So many different choices it would make your head spin”.

“There restaurants are tried, tested and deemed by TripAdvisor travellers to be Munich’s best Bavarian haunts” commented Emma Shaw, TripAdvisor spokesperson.  If you find yourself stuck in endless queues, head out to one of these restaurants for Bavarian beer and hearty fare.”

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Tourist interest wanes for the Big Apple as Statue of Liberty is set to close

British tourists may postpone trips to New York City until famous monument re-opens

TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel website, today reveals New York City may see a decline in British visitors as the Statue of Liberty closes.  The iconic statue, a priority for most travellers to NYC, is scheduled to undergo a one-year renovation, beginning in late October.

A poll of over 8,000 travellers revealed that 42% of respondents would wait for the statue to re-open before travelling to New York City, while 58% would visit the Big Apple regardless.

“The Statue of Liberty is one of the most iconic sites in the world and is a top priority for New York City tourists,” commented Emma O’Boyle, TripAdvisor spokesperson. 

“Although Liberty Island, where the statue sits, will remain open, travellers will not be able to tour the statue or see the views from her famous crown.  It seems that British travellers hold the iconic site in such high regard that they’d actually put-off travelling to NYC until they can experience the Statue of Liberty in her full glory. “

The planned closure is part of an extensive renovation project to improve traveller safety and accessibility of the Statue of Liberty and will include the addition of new staircases and elevators.  The statue’s interior will remain open until 28th October 2011 before closing for one year.**

*Poll carried out on 10,657 respondents on TripAdvisor.co.uk between 12th and 31st August

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Brits say no to turbulent tots on planes

Brits say no to turbulent tots on planes

A TripAdvisor poll* of over 1,200 travellers reveals the majority of Brits would pay a premium to fly on a child-free plane.

Over half of respondents (53%) said they would pay extra to fly on an adults-only flight, while a minority 46% don’t begrudge sharing the plane with tiny travellers.  An additional poll question revealed 55% of respondents revealed that, when it comes to first class cabins, young children should be banned entirely.

“Many travellers experience discomfort and frustration when faced with noisy children on flights,” commented Emma O’Boyle, TripAdvisor spokesperson.  “This has long been a hotly-debated topic and was recently brought to a head with Malaysia Airlines’ ban on babies in first class. It will be interesting to see whether any other airlines follow suit or even go one step further and consider banning children from certain areas in economy class.”

According to TripAdvisor’s family survey***, carried out earlier this year, children on planes are receiving frosty receptions.  One quarter (24%) of parents who have flown with children under the age of three claim to have experienced negative reactions from fellow passengers.

Respondents who have not yet flown with their young children are seemingly sensitive to the issue  - nearly one quarter (22%) claim they took the decision because it’s unfair on other passengers, while the remaining gave the following reasons for not flying with their children:
·         26% claim it is unfair to their child
·         21% say flying is too expensive with their child
·         32% prefer UK holidays with their child

*Poll carried on TripAdvisor.co.uk from 2nd – 4th August on 1,281 respondents
**Poll carried out on TripAdvisor.co.uk from 19th – 28th July on 8,229 respondents
***Survey carried out in February 2011 on 2,000 parents with school-aged children from 5 to 16 years-old