Mexico assembles a sexy new crime-deterring unit, the Netherlands grows closer to banning pot tourism, Hertz offers one-way car rentals to New York airports, and more. Here are the stories travellers are buzzing about:
Netherlands approaches possible marijuana ban
The Netherlands — where marijuana is technically illegal, but famously
tolerated — moved one step closer in its efforts to prohibit foreigners from
entering coffee houses that sell marijuana. While Amsterdam's lord mayor, the
city council and the tourist board are all opposed
to efforts to turn the hundreds of pot-selling establishments into
members-only clubs, they might not have any choice. In a supreme court ruling
Wednesday regarding a dispute between the mayor of the border town of
Maastricht and a local coffee shop, the Council of State declared that local
governments cannot legally ban tourists from purchasing soft drugs from coffee
shops. However, the government can impose
such a ban on a national level, which may
happen quickly, Dutch News reports.
Hertz offers one-way car rentals by the
Travellers flying out of New York who don't want to pay the $35 to $50 for cab
fare to JFK or Newark airport now have another option: drive themselves for
about $20. The Hertz on Demand service allows customers the ability to pay per
hour to rent vehicles for one-way trips. The Wall Street Journal took the
service for a test
run, paying $16 an hour (including gas, collision insurance and GPS) plus
tolls. Overall, the review was positive, but noted Hertz had some kinks to work
out, including offering one-way rentals in all Manhattan locations.
Mexico seeking to hire new police
Amid concerns that drug-related violence may cause a decline
in tourism, the Mexican state of Guerrero plans to assemble a new tourist
police force in popular destinations like Acapulco. According to Ramon Almonte
Borja, head of the state's public security secretariat, the new unit will be all
female, "preferably beautiful", and will don a special "gorgeous
uniform" to give "an additional visual attraction" to its
natural beauty. These won't be butt-kicking, gun-toting women of the
Charlie's Angels variety. These unarmed
officers will mostly act as a guide for visitors and try to deter crime
(apparently with their good looks), CNN reports. Meanwhile, local women's
rights groups are up in arms about the situation.
Report examines beach water quality
The Natural Resources Defence Council released a report Wednesday relating to
quality of water at 3,200 beaches along oceans, bays and the Great Lakes
around the US. The report stated that beach closings and health advisories
reached its second-highest level in 20 years. Some of the cleanest beaches were
in Delaware, Minnesota and New Hampshire. Those with consistently poor water
quality include several in Los Angeles and Southern California, among others.
"The adrenaline hit in and I had a moment of panic, which was the worst
thing I could have done at that point."
- Ian Cole, an American tourist snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef discusses an
incident Saturday when his boat left
him stranded at sea. Luckily, another boat was in the area and took him
back to shore.
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