NOT SO SMART
We recently ventured interstate, and with travelling with children being slightly complicated, there were a few days when it was simpler to stay in our hotel room. However, the prevalence of Smart TVs prompted some concern as they are, of course, connected to the internet. While searching for appropriate kids viewing our six-year-old was merely seconds away from clicking on a link in the history folder which would have instantly streamed hardcore adult pornography. When I raised this with the hotel concierge, and then the manager, both were aghast. Surely it cannot be too hard for hotels to reset before each new guest arrives?
Renée Gagneux, South Yarra, VIC
FEAR OF FLYING
The Federal Government is now strongly encouraging us to visit domestic destinations. What a great idea. Like many Australians, I have planned to do exactly this in the past few months, looking forward to hopping off to some interesting places. That's all very well until suddenly there is a lockdown and planning comes to a halt. I'm sure that many Australians are very unsure about booking a domestic holiday with the fear of sudden state border closures and the possibility of needing to rush home or be stuck in quarantine. Governments can do their bit to ensure a safe domestic situation by making sure international arrivals are not infected before flying into Australia and that hotel quarantine is more secure.
Gary Gibbs, Rozelle, NSW
Unfortunately when the COVID-19 pandemic started and Tasmania shut its borders, many of the state's hire cars were sold (Rants & raves, March 13). It will take some time to restore the balance of travellers and hire cars, but it is coming.
Bruce D Nibbs, Melbourne, VIC
Jamie Luke states that Australian tourism operators need to cut costs to encourage more local travel. It's a simple strategy but it may not be that simple to implement. I can think of many reasons why travelling overseas may be cheaper and a number of them are beyond the control of Australia's tourism operators - factors like high landing fees at Australian airports, environmental management fees, national park entry charges and more expensive insurance and safety measures leading to higher staff costs per traveller. Then there's the fact that Australia has one of the world's highest costs of living, meaning a greater profit margin is needed to provide a liveable income for all those providers to the tour you sign up to. S Cutting tour costs may make a tourism business unviable and may just not be possible.
Ian Rosel, Wantirna, VIC
FLOATS OUR BOAT
My family are Aussie-Kiwi expats in Singapore and leaving the island to go back home is almost impossible. During our time here we went on a four night Royal Caribbean cruise to nowhere. We've never cruised before and, to be honest, if not for the border closures, would have had no real desire to do so. However, it was a fantastic first time experience and a great way to dip our toes into cruising. The crew and facilities were excellent, the food and drinks plentiful and the entertainment exceeded expectations. The effort into social distancing measures was clear and welcomed. Ultimately, it was a great family friendly getaway and far better than any staycation we've done. If the Australian government permits these initiatives, I'd encourage fellow first timers like us to give it a go. You'll be pleasantly surprised.
Nick Inatey, Singapore
I recently lost my Qantas Frequent Flyer membership card. Upon making an application for a replacement card I was informed that until such time as I accrued sufficient Frequent Flyer points to take me to the next membership level, they would not renew my card and membership. I've been retired for more than a decade and have supported Qantas with virtually all my extensive international and domestic travel during 50-plus years in the drilling industry. I also used my Qantas Frequent Flyer card to claim additional points, such as for fuel. I will now be using other airlines for my future travel.
Rod McCallum, Garran, ACT
PAWS FOR THOUGHT
In Tasmania we are extremely fortunate to have a new flight service for pets. Pawmobile is now operating a weekly air service between Victoria and Tasmania, and same day road services between Victoria, SA and NSW. An experienced animal handler is on board with all the animals until they reach their destination. Lodgement of animals is not required until just before take off, which provides less stress for owners and dogs. They can freight all animals from the biggest to the smallest, including Brachycephalic (shortened head) breeds, which aren't usually allowed with other airlines. We have made the choice to fly our new puppy with this service next weekend and pricing was much cheaper than commercial airlines. Fi, Pawmobile's owner, made the whole experience so easy.
Carol Millhouse, Brighton, TAS
I highly recommend that anyone thinking of a break in Port Fairy, Victoria, a gem of a small town, should book accommodation through Langley's Accommodation and Booking Service. I had to cancel a recent booking at very short notice due to the illness of a family member and their response was immediately sympathetic and, on providing a medical report, they reimbursed me in full, without even an administration fee removed. This is customer oriented service of the highest degree.
Sidra Eldridge, Glen Iris, VIC
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