Tag Archives: tourists

Google Maps Banned on Sardinia? Mayor Wants Service Blocked After Putting Tourists in Danger

Google Maps Banned on Sardinia? Mayor Wants Service Blocked After Putting Tourists in DangerGettyROME—Salvatore Corrias, the mayor of the Sardinian hamlet of Baunei, is fed up. Emergency services in his island town have been called out 144 times over the last 18 months to rescue tourists who nearly followed Google map directions to their deaths. The last straw was last week when the owners of a Porsche were trying to reach a secluded white sand beach but ended up being directed to a steep cliff several hundred feet above it. “There was no way down to the beach on foot for them,” Corrias told The Daily Beast. “There wasn’t even a way to turn their expensive car around. But even worse, if they had followed the directions at night, Google would have sent them right off the cliff.”In the end, Baunei first responders had to turn the car around by physically lifting it up and pointing it back down the mountain range after rescuers reached them on foot (knowing they could not actually drive on the road they were called to). Now Corrias has put up signage all over the island to warn visitors “no Google maps.” The rescues are depleting the tiny town’s coffers so Corrias has filed a complaint to the ministry that oversees internet matters to try to block the Google Map signal on the island. “We wrote to Google hundreds of times, so we have no choice but to file a legal complaint to block it,” he says. In the meantime, he’s asked managers of hotels, museums, and restaurants on the island to warn tourists in cars and hikers exploring the island on foot not to rely on the popular service, urging them to use paper maps instead.Baunei is not the only town that has a problem thanks to bad directions by GPS navigation services. Several hamlets in the Alps have also signed petitions to try to block the signals because of the number of skiers trying to reach remote mountain areas who end up on service roads traversable only with heavy equipment. Last year alone, four parties had to be airlifted out of remote areas they reached entirely by bad directions. Google Maps also notoriously sends drivers into Venice despite the fact that the city is car-free.Comune di BauneiIt should be noted that Google is not the only provider with a GPS app that leads people astray. Waze, which is widely used in Europe, bills itself as a real-time traffic-beating app, but there have been plenty of complaints that the app sends people to road construction sites, which is why they seem like less congested routes. Near-death by GPS is not just about sending drivers off cliffs or into rivers. In 2016, 52-year-old Italian tourist Roberto Bardella died in Brazil when he and a friend were on motorcycles touring the city. They followed Google Map directions to the beach from the Christ the Redeemer statue, which sent them into the dangerous Rio de Janeiro favela of Morro dos Prazeres where they were accosted and killed. Bardella was wearing a helmet cam, which the thugs thought was a police camera, authorities said at a time. Had they asked directions from a real person, they would have never been sent through the dangerous area. Google does know it has a problem. When asked for a comment, Google public affairs sent a blanket statement that has been printed widely since the news of the ban broke. “We’re aware of an issue in Sardinia where Google Maps is routing some drivers down roads that can be difficult to navigate due to their terrain,” the statement reads. “We’re currently investigating ways that we can better alert drivers about these types of roads.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Off the rails: Hanoi closes trackside cafes thronged by selfie-seeking tourists

Off the rails: Hanoi closes trackside cafes thronged by selfie-seeking touristsIt's the kind of shot every Instagram connoisseur yearns for: century-old railway tracks cutting through dusty backstreets, flanked by tourists drinking beer or iced tea mere inches from the slow-moving trains. The sight has become such a draw in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi that authorities have set a weekend deadline for the removal of dozens of cafes that have cropped up, citing safety concerns. It's crazy, and completely different to anywhere I've been before," said Australian tourist Laura Metze, after a train rumbled by.



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Off the rails: Hanoi closes trackside cafes thronged by selfie-seeking tourists

Off the rails: Hanoi closes trackside cafes thronged by selfie-seeking touristsIt’s the kind of shot every Instagram connoisseur yearns for: century-old railway tracks cutting through dusty backstreets, flanked by tourists drinking beer or iced tea mere inches from the slow-moving trains. The sight has become such a draw in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi that authorities have set a weekend deadline for the removal of dozens of cafes that have cropped up, citing safety concerns. It’s crazy, and completely different to anywhere I’ve been before,” said Australian tourist Laura Metze, after a train rumbled by.



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Tourists to be welcomed back to Indian Kashmir: governor

Tourists to be welcomed back to Indian Kashmir: governorTourists warned by India to leave Kashmir just days before stripping the restive valley of its autonomy will be welcomed back later this week, the region’s governor said Monday. Authorities in early August called for holiday-makers to leave “immediately” over “terror threats” to a major Hindu pilgrimage, sending thousands scrambling for places on planes and buses. New Delhi also imposed a clampdown on movement and cut off all communications including the internet and phone lines just before the controversial autonomy decision to quell unrest.



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Saudi Arabia: As kingdom opens up to tourists, will people visit?

Saudi Arabia: As kingdom opens up to tourists, will people visit?Those who study international tourism say a combination of geography, history and culture could make the kingdom an attractive tourist destination.



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Saudi Arabia implements public decency code as it opens to tourists

Saudi Arabia implements public decency code as it opens to touristsSaudi Arabia said on Saturday it would issue fines for 19 offences related to public decency, such as immodest dress and public displays of affection, as the Muslim kingdom opens up to foreign tourists. The Interior Ministry decision accompanies the launch of a visa regime allowing holidaymakers from 49 states to visit one of the world’s most closed-off countries. Violations listed on the new visa website also include littering, spitting, queue jumping, taking photographs and videos of people without permission and playing music at prayer times.



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Canadian police release findings of report into murders of three tourists

Canadian police release findings of report into murders of three touristsTwo dead Canadian teens who were the subject of an intense manhunt this summer confessed to the murders of three tourists in northern Canada in a series of videos, but did not reveal a motive behind their actions or indicate remorse, Canadian police said on Friday. The bodies of Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and Kam McLeod, 19, were found on Aug. 7 after a two week-long search that began in northern British Columbia and ended in the remote and hostile terrain of northern Manitoba, three provinces and several thousand kilometers (miles) away. The pair were first reported as missing after leaving their hometown of Port Alberni, British Columbia, in search of work.



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Saudi Arabia opens to tourists with investment appeal and no abaya rule

Saudi Arabia opens to tourists with investment appeal and no abaya ruleSaudi Arabia threw open its doors to foreign tourists on Friday, launching a new visa regime for 49 countries and appealing to foreign companies to invest in a sector it hopes will contribute 10% of gross domestic product by 2030. Tourism chief Ahmed al-Khateeb told Reuters in an interview ahead of the official announcement that abayas will not be mandatory for women tourists but modest dress is, including at public beaches. Access to the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina is restricted.



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3 Chinese tourists still critical in deadly US bus crash

3 Chinese tourists still critical in deadly US bus crashSeveral Chinese tourists injured in a deadly tour bus crash in Utah are improving, but three remain in critical condition, hospital officials said Monday. The three people listed in critical condition marks a decrease from the five in that category on Saturday. One other person is in serious condition and eight are in fair condition, Intermountain Healthcare officials said.



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4 die after bus with Chinese tourists crashes in Utah

4 die after bus with Chinese tourists crashes in UtahA tour bus carrying 30 Chinese tourists left Las Vegas in the morning and set off through the other worldly red-rock landscape of southern Utah toward Bryce National Park. When he yanked the steering wheel to put the bus back onto the highway Friday morning, the momentum sent the bus rolling down into a guard rail, leaving carnage and debris in its wake on a two-lane highway, authorities said. As is common in tour buses, not everyone was wearing a seatbelt when the bus from a tour company based in Southern California rolled, crushing its roof and ramming the guard rail’s vertical posts into the cab, Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Nick Street said.



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