‘Even though we train so much’

first_imgBinyamin Even talks to OUBC President Robin Bourne-Taylor in about life as a Blues rower in Oxford Robin Bourne-Taylor represents you. As President of Oxford University Boat Club (OUBC), far more people see him as an image of an Oxford student than any current member of the student body. Literally millions watched him lead Oxford to victory in the Boat Race; millions more saw him in national newspapers, on the radio, on billboards or in ITV adverts, and he therefore inadvertently symbolises the life of an Oxford student.This appears fairly bizarre. Bourne-Taylor is a quadruple Blue and an Olympian. There is not an area of his life that isn’t affected by the sport and yet the majority of students have little to do with rowing. I decided to travel back to Oxford during the Easter vac to find out: does Robin Bourne- Taylor have anything in common with the students he so publicly represents?[quoteimg]“We don’t train that much; maximum actual training is four hours a day. But if we have to travel there’s plenty of days of nine hours.”[/quoteimg] I start by asking Bourne-Taylor just how much of his life rowing really takes up. “Training starts on 1 September, but a lot of the guys will be training permanently. I came straight back from the Olympics, and a lot of people were rowing internationally in the summer. It’s a long commitment to the Boat Race, but it means we hit the ground running.” In terms of dayto- day workload, “We don’t train that much: maximum is four hours actual training a day, but we can waste a lot of time if we have to travel to London or something like that. There’s plenty of days where we spend seven, eight, nine hours.” So far, then, no luck – discovering ITV’s claim that rowers train six months for the Boat Race was actually an underestimate only made Bourne-Taylor seem even more irreconcilable with the “normal” students I’ve met.As we move to the topic of motivation, however, he becomes more human. For Bourne-Taylor is the ultimate team player, playing for the jersey: “Obviously the Boat Race is an amazing event, with so much history – there’s nothing else like it in the rowing world. But for someone like me, who’s been here a long time, it becomes more than that. You want to do it for your club, and for the passion you have for your club.” It’s not as catchy as “Up the Nose!” or “For the Pelican!” but the message is the same. He speaks with passion about his team mates, saying, “This year at Oxford there was a really great bunch of guys. The personalities were fantastic, and that’s one of the most important things I’d take out of it.” And he leaves no doubt about the importance of those closest to him. “A big part of my success, and of the success of guys on the team, is that support from your friends. It’s those little things that help out – if it’s people getting lecture notes, or helping you catch up if you missed something, or girlfriends cooking you dinner.”Picking up on Bourne-Taylor’s mention of lecture notes, I find it is no token academic reference. “People come to Oxford because it’s one of the finest academic institutions in the world. You can’t get in because of rowing – there’s no one here who’s in this university because of their talent at rowing. They’re here because they’re of a sufficiently high academic standard. If they set their ambitions on something like the Boat Race, I think that’s great. It’s good for the University, and it’s good for them.” He applauds his team mates for completing Blue Boat training on top of their academic workload, “It’s a real credit to the guys who do it, because it’s so much of a commitment of effort and time.” He mentions Jason Flickinger, 7 man in the Blue Boat. “He’s doing the MBA programme, one of the most intensive courses in Oxford, and he’s going on barely any sleep.” Despite this, the giant American “won the [BUSA] ergo champs, on about three hours sleep”.So, Blues rowers do study. But doesn’t the combination of an Oxford academic workload and a Blue Boat training regime leave him socially detached from anyone outside the tiny rowing bubble? Bourne-Taylor recognises this as a downside. “It’s difficult, because you do get isolated from college life. You don’t know as many people, because you don’t have the time.” Nevertheless, “Even though we have to spend so much time training, we still feel part of the student body of the university.”Rowing also presents its own social opportunities: “What you do gain is a really tight group of about twenty friends who are likeminded, all on the same goals, and you go through the same things together. You build some really strong friendships.”When he can, Bourne-Taylor gets involved in college and university life. He’s a member of his College’s drinking society, The Cardinals, and as a student who will join Sandhurst after graduation, he has a long commitment to the Oxford University Officer Training Corps: “I go down there whenever I can,” he says. He speaks particularly warmly of the OTC Colonel who helped set up a team building day for the Blues at the local barracks.Bourne-Taylor has also rowed for his College in Summer Eights on a number of occasions. He dismissed any doubts that such a successful oarsman would not commit himself to the less glamorous world of college rowing when he stroked Christ Church to First Division Blades in his first year. In fact, he has warm praise for college rowing. “College rowing is really good in Oxford. It’s a haven for really keen rowers, and there are not many places you get that enthusiasm so focused on one thing. College rowing’s brilliant for the sport, and events like Summer Eights and Torpids are really good spectacles and a good thing for people to get involved in.” This year, Summer Eights clashes with a Rowing World Cup event, but he’s sure “any members of the team who can will do it, because it’s a great way to take part in your college and show support for them”. He particularly encourages talented college rowers to think about joining the Blue Squad. “College rowers out there with aspirations should really put themselves forward and not be afraid to have a go. If you get in early, you may not be very experienced, but if you do a year’s worth of training you’ll improve phenomenally, and next year you might make the spot in Isis and if you keep going you might get a spot in the Blue Boat. It’s about how much you’re willing to give and how much you’re willing to learn.”As my meeting with Bourne-Taylor drew to a close, it remained clear that he was a very unusual student. The sacrifices he makes for rowing, particularly with respect to his social life, demonstrate he prioritises his sport in a way very few others do. But I felt much more comfortable with the fact that, for millions of people, he portrayed a group of which I was part. Fundamentally, Bourne-Taylor is no different to many Oxford students who devote time and energy to an activity outside of their degree. In this respect he represents Oxford students who strive for excellence in all that they do and perhaps he is not as far removed from the reality of student life as some would believe.ARCHIVE: 0th week TT 2005last_img read more

‘Pleb’ poetry candidate

first_imgThis week the race for the Oxford Professor of Poetry has taken a new turn, with the nomination of Steve Larkin, a slam poet and writer “for the hip-hop generation.” In contrast to the establishment favourite, Geoffrey Hill, Larkin says he represents the “pleb candidate”. Larkin vows to overcome the association of the title with “dusty books and civilised lectures” and aims to bring poetry to bars, nightclubs, and festival tents. Such is his belief in performance art that he will not allow his work to appear in print.“As a practitioner of live literature,” Larkin said, “I represent a major and significant form of poetry that is increasingly relevant in modern society, a form of poetry adapted to live performance as well as to new media…I aim to create new enthusiasm and energy for poetry which will complement Oxford’s rich and varied tradition of poetic expression.”Unlike many of the other candidates, Larkin is a well-known figure around Oxford.He founded and runs the national live poetry organisation Hammer & Tongue, and lectures on Performance Poetry at Oxford Brookes University.Guardian journalist Stephen Moss revealed that he is also hoping to be nominated for the position.Moss stated that he would stand in an article in the Guardian in June 2009. he pedged that if he won, “the £6,000 stipend will be made available to assist struggling poets and poetic ventures.”With less experience at spoken word performance than Larkin, Moss once attended a poetry slam, saying that it was “good fun, but quite distressing that my entire oeuvre was finished in under three minutes.”Michael Gibson, a poet who entered the contest last year, but failed to gain enough votes for a nomination, has announced he is planning to run again . He will be visiting Oxford later this week to try to win support.Larkin hosted the first Oxford University Poetry Slam Podcast competition last year. It was won by Chris Turner, a student at St Hugh’s and a member of the Oxford Imps. He won the Spoken Word Olympics in 2004.Larkin is the founder and president of Hammer & Tongue, the UK’s leading poetry slam promoters.In an exclusive interview on the Cherwell website, Larkin can be seen performing a recent piece, Fat Sex, which is a frenzied assault on women’s magazines and everything they represent.last_img read more

Oxbridge application may contravene EU law

first_imgCompetition lawyers speaking to the Times Educational Supplement have suggested that the rule of combination, that prevents students from applying to Oxford and Cambridge simultaneously, could be unlawful.EU law prohibits the artificial restriction of consumer choice by forming inter-institutional agreements, and applies to companies in particular.Universities are not usually treated as companies, but recent increases in tuition fees may have affected this status and according to the Times, UCAS itself is a limited company.The agreement dates from the 1980s when UCAS (then UCCA) tried to stem a flood of joint applications which had become too costly to process.Dr Farrington, visiting fellow at the Oxford Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies, said that there “may be an element of uncompetitive practice … given the pre-eminence of those universities and their domination of the market”. However he added he would “not like to stick (his) neck out and say this is definitely the case”.Christopher Townley, senior lecturer in international competition law and regulation at King’s College London also said that competition law “does have lots of implications in universities we haven’t thought through”.A successful challenge to the Oxford/Cambridge agreement would complicate the admissions process at both universities, with the number of candidates deserving an interview potentially doubling. A change might also give more importance to the UCAS form and pre-admission tests, with more candidates being eliminated without an interview.A spokesperson for the University of Oxford said: “…we compare all applicants for each subject against one another in one go in a gathered field, using multiple selection methods.“This would be made significantly more difficult if the rule of combination was removed and applications increased sharply.”Cambridge also wrote: “(t)he rule benefits students by accommodating the university’s holistic admissions selection process, which is central to our commitment to fair admissions and enables students from all backgrounds to demonstrate their potential.”OUSU and CUSU, the universities’ student unions, expressed strong support for the rule of combination saying it aided fair access. It is difficult to know if similar support could be among students who made unsuccessful applications to Oxbridge.The lack of overlap between some of the undergraduate courses on offer at Oxford and Cambridge would test applicants’ skills at writing personal statements that were relevant to tutors at either university. In Economics for instance Oxford only offers joint degrees, whereas Cambridge offers the subject as a standalone degree.Most students asked by Cherwell said that they would probably have applied to both Oxford and Cambridge, given the chance.last_img read more

June inflation level lowest for 31 months

first_imgThe latest figures have revealed the headline rate of inflation dropped 2.4% in June – the Consumer Price Index’s (CPI’s) lowest level since November 2009.According to the Office of National Statistics, June’s CPI annual inflation was down from 2.8% in May. The largest downward pressures contributing to the figure were from clothing and footwear, transport, food and non-alcoholic beverages.The Retail Price Index’s annual measure stood at 2.8% for the month, down from 3.1% in May, with downward pressures coming from food as well as motor fuels, clothing and footwear. Leisure goods and housing were the largest upward pressures.last_img read more

Despite Holy Half cancellation, some still plan to run their own race, donate registration fees

first_imgThough many Americans have withdrawn into their individual homes as shelter-in-place mandates press pause on unnecessary travel, others have turned to the pavement, trails and tracks to spend some time outdoors. It seems running is one activity allowing for appropriate social distancing in the midst of the current pandemic.Saint Mary’s senior Katie Glenn is a member of the cross country team and has taken to running twice a day to spend some time alone and out of the house.“It has probably saved my life,” Glenn said. “I remember talking to my team right after all this happened, and just saying, ‘We are so lucky that our sport is the one sport that we can still do.’” Courtesy of Katie Glenn Senior Katie Glenn (bottom, third from right) planned on running this year’s Holy Half with other members of the Saint Mary’s cross country team. She will run the race on her own Saturday.Though the team has scattered since Saint Mary’s announced the continuation of spring semester through distance learning, many members have continued to train for the upcoming season together. They keep each other motivated and focused, Glenn said, even during ab workouts completed twice a week on Zoom.Running has not only kept the team together, but also created a sense of normalcy, she said. Leaving the house to train has helped Glenn cope with the stress of living under new COVID-19 health and safety regulations.“We’re definitely really lucky that the thing we love most is not being taken away from us,” she said. “It’s just been really nice to go into nature and do like I said, what I love the most and what feels so normal to me.”Though Glenn still enjoys the freedom of running on her own, she said she feels the loss of the upcoming fall season, which many of her teammates still have to look forward to as underclassmen. A graduating senior, Glenn has also missed her chance to run the Holy Half Marathon as a student, as the annual race was officially cancelled March 17.”When we heard about the University closure — just the initial four weeks, not until the end of the semester — our first thought was that there weren’t going to be any other weekends that were going to work just because April at Notre Dame is so jam-packed with different events,” Holy Half race director Kateri Budo said. “This was the only weekend that we were going to be able to hold an in-person event.”The Notre Dame senior said she spoke with University officials and proposed a virtual race for those who registered to run on their own time. However, with student organizers spread out around the country, planning such a race did not seem feasible, Budo said.In the email announcing the cancellation, Budo said the all of the registered runners would receive a full refund, scheduled to be issued over the following weeks. The three charities selected for sponsorship this year — Our Lady of the Road, Misericordia and Girls on the Run Michiana — will be the recipients of next year’s half marathon funds.Though they had been offered a refund, some runners insisted their registration fees still be donated to the three organizations. Budo sent a follow-up email to all who had signed up for the race, officially offering the option to fill the donation instead of receiving a refund.“We have had a number of you request that your registration be given as a donation to our charities rather than refunded,” Budo said in the email. “We are so grateful for your generous hearts in this time of uncertainty.”Runners who still wished to give were instructed to fill out a Google form indicating their choice. From this year’s cohort, 280 runners opted to go this route.These donations are especially appreciated, Budo said, as the three organizations are losing the expected contribution from the 2020 race.“They really need our help, and they weren’t going to get the same amount of support that we could have given them if we had actually had the race,” Budo said. ”It was really wonderful getting everyone’s emails and seeing the numbers climb. It’s been really great to get that response and hear from people who love the Holy Half so much and are really willing to keep it as a donation even though we couldn’t provide a race this year. Especially in light of everything that’s happening right now, to see the way that the Notre Dame community comes together was really beautiful to see.”In the same email inviting those registered to donate, Budo suggested participants still run their own 13.1-mile race April 4, the scheduled Holy Half date.Glenn has run seven half marathons in her life, but this year would have been her first time running the Holy Half. Almost the whole Saint Mary’s cross country team registered and trained for the race together, but Glenn plans on running the distance alone Saturday. She’s also considering running the full marathon she was scheduled to run later this year.“I just figured, why not? I’m still training for the marathon even though that was cancelled, so the distance itself isn’t too crazy for me,” Glenn said about her decision. “I think it’s kind of nice just to maintain some sense of like solidarity and normalcy. Even if you’re not all together, you know that there’s been a lot of people that have been working for this and you’d all be doing it together if this wasn’t the situation. So there’s something comforting about that.”Though she was aiming to set a personal record of 1:30 on the flat Holy Half course, Glenn said she won’t hold herself to the same standards when she runs her own race through the hilly streets of downtown Atlanta.“I would just do it more for the experience, not the time,” she said. “It would be a good story.”Glenn said she sympathizes with first-time half marathon runners who will miss their chance to run the Holy Half this year, but encourages them to continue to push forward.“I’ve run a lot of halves in my life so far, so I was more bummed for people that this was going to be their first one,” she said. “I know what that feels like to train for something that you’ve never done before, and it’s such a big feat to get through that. It’s definitely tough. I think they shouldn’t discount all that they did though, even if they don’t get to have the race day.”Despite being such an individual sport, running manages to bring people together in community in an indescribable way, Glenn said.“I think it’s just working towards a goal and then finishing it and realizing that you’re capable of pretty much anything — it’s really addicting once you get into it,” she said. “And seeing other people do the same thing … you’re happy for yourself and you’re happy for everyone around you and it’s super uplifting.”Tags: coronavirus, COVID-19, Holy Half Marathon, Kateri budo, running, Saint Mary’s Cross Country, Social distancinglast_img read more

Trail Mix | Charlie Faye & The Fayettes

first_imgVintage soul is on the rebound. Of that, there can be no denying.St. Paul & The Broken Bones. Anderson East. Leon Bridges. All of these gents are making waves and turning heads with songs and sounds that originated in the 1950s and 1960s, inspired by the likes of Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, and Sam Cooke.Not to be outdone, singer/songwriter Charlie Faye, of Austin, Texas, is elbowing her way up to the table, offering up a most pleasant reminder that girl groups won’t be denied a seat at the vintage soul revival.Charlie Faye & The Fayettes – Charlie, joined by fellow singers BettySoo and Akina Adderly – draw inspiration from groups like The Shirelles, The Ronettes, and The Supremes, female powerhouse groups all that topped the charts throughout the 50s, 60s, and 70s and achieved worldwide acclaim.Earlier this month, Charlie Faye & The Fayettes released their eponymous debut record, a collection of songs that could easily serve as your singalong dance party soundtrack of the summer.I recently caught up with Charlie Faye while she was on her way to New York to chat vintage soul, singing with the girls in her band, and vintage fashion.BRO – Vintage soul is in the midst of a comeback. What drew you to this particular sound?CF – I’ve always loved 60s soul and the girl groups of the 60s. I’ve been listening to that stuff since I was a kid. And in the past few years, I’ve just gotten deeper into the Stax catalog. After my last solo record, it seemed like everything I was writing sounded kind of like those simple old soul songs. So I made a conscious decision to make a whole record that felt like that.BRO – Can you describe that moment when you first sang with BettySoo and Akina and you knew you were on to something good?CF – Yes! BettySoo and I have been singing together for years, so as soon as I had the idea to do a girl group, she was on board. Then, just as we were looking for a third girl for the band, Akina sent me a message on Facebook, so we invited her over to the house for the three of us to try singing together. And she was just amazing. Also, BettySoo and Akina have a really similar way of working out parts. They’re both super pro. I think the three of us together have something pretty special. Plus, we’re all the same height, which is hard to come by when you’re 5’1″.BRO – We are featuring “Eastside” on this month’s Trail Mix. What’s the story behind the song?CF – “Eastside” is a song I had been wanting to write for a long time. I got the idea for the song when I realized, for some reason, that it’s always the east side of town that starts off as the more run down side of town, and then it becomes the super hip side of town. Why is that? East Austin. East Nashville. The east side of L.A., the East Village and Lower East Side of NYC. So I was carrying this idea around for a few years. I brought it into a writing session with Eric Holden and Dave Raven and they came up with the rhythmic and melodic backbone for the song, which in turn inspired me to finish the lyrics.BRO – One record you would recommend that I snag that really defines your love of this sound?CF – Oh, that’s tough. I would recommend getting the Stax box set –  The Complete Stax/Volt Singles. You could dive into that thing and not come out for a year.BRO – 60s fashion . . . “Oh, yes!” or “Goodness, no!!”CF – Well, if you’ve seen our photos you already know my answer to this one. Hell yes!!The tour schedule for Charlie Faye & The Fayettes is a bit quiet right now, but that should be changing soon once this new record catches fire. For more information on the band, when they might be hitting the road and a stage near you, or how you can get your hands on the new record, please direct your browser to their website.Also, be sure to check out “Eastside” from Charlie Faye & The Fayettes on this month’s Trail Mix.last_img read more

New York man attempts to steal more than $1.1 million from PenFed

first_imgNew York and federal authorities allege a Brooklyn man attempted to steal more than $1.1 million from the $24 billion Pentagon Federal Credit Union in McLean, Va., by using the stolen identities of more than 170 individuals to apply for loans and credit cards.PenFed helped authorities nab Joseph Batrony Jr., 28, of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, who allegedly used the stolen identities of persons from past data breaches, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, announced March 20.From September 2017 to May 2018, Batrony allegedly stole more than $320,000 from PenFed and attempted to siphon more than $870,000, according to investigators. He allegedly used stolen personal information of more than 178 individuals, primarily from the Western states, to open PenFed membership accounts and apply for loans and credit cards in their names before transferring the money to his own accounts or accounts of people related to or associated with Batrony.Just one month after Batrony allegedly began his fraudulent scheme, PenFed began blocking his attempted money transfers, including several online applications he filled out in his own name in the name of an alias, “Aaron Green.” ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

Record flu vaccine supply expected next season

first_imgJan 26, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – An influenza vaccine conference in Atlanta this week brought predictions of a record supply of flu vaccine next year and talk of extending vaccination recommendations to include children between the ages of 2 and 6.The meeting also featured discussions about expanding the federal government’s role in buying and tracking vaccine in an effort to eliminate shortages and distribution problems, according to federal officials and press reports.Vaccine manufacturers represented at the meeting predicted they may produce as many as 130 million doses for the 2006-07 season, according to Lola Russell, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) spokeswoman. That compares with roughly 86 million doses produced for this season.Sanofi Pasteur estimated next year’s production at 50 to 60 million doses, while Chiron Corp. estimated it would provide 40 million, Russell told CIDRAP News.GlaxoSmithKline, which entered the US market this season, estimated next year’s production at 7 million to 9 million doses, but said it might expand to 20 million to 30 million, according to Russell. She said MedImmune, maker of the nasal-spray vaccine FluMist, did not give an estimate.According to an Associated Press (AP) report, manufacturers cited several factors that warrant increased production: better government reimbursement for shots, signals that federal officials may eventually recommend flu shots for almost everyone, and public fears of avian flu (even though seasonal flu shots would not protect people from avian flu). The record amount of vaccine is 95 million doses, set in 2002-03, the report said.Figures from Russell add up to between 86 million and 87 million doses of vaccine produced for the current season. The numbers include 63 million doses from Sanofi, slightly less than 15 million from Chiron, 7.5 million from GlaxoSmithKline, and about 1.5 million from MedImmune.”We don’t know how many of the 86 million have been sold,” Russell said. “We know that vaccine is available. Chiron said they had 1.3 million available to be sold.”Recent flu seasons have brought varying degrees of vaccine shortages, usually temporary. Most seasons have ended with millions of doses unused. In 2004-05, the supply was drastically reduced by the contamination-related shutdown of a Chiron plant in England, leading to widespread US shortages in the fall. But after millions of healthy people skipped their shots in favor of those in greater need, the season ended with about 3 million doses unsold out of roughly 61 million produced for the US market.This week’s conference was billed as an opportunity to assess flu vaccination efforts during the current season and develop strategies for future seasons, according to the CDC, which sponsored the meeting in cooperation with the American Medical Association.Reports from the meeting suggest a good possibility that the CDC will include 2- to 6-year-old children in its formal flu vaccination recommendations soon.”That’ll be on the agenda at ACIP,” the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, when it meets in February, Russell said. But she couldn’t predict how soon the committee might decide.CDC officials at the meeting said a decision on recommending shots for 2- to 6-year-olds is expected by the end of the year, according to a report published today by the Boston Globe.Flu shots are currently recommended for various groups at risk for serious flu complications, including people aged 50 and older and toddlers aged 6 to 23 months, plus people in close contact with those groups.”A lot of people think it makes sense to routinely offer influenza vaccine to more children,” the Globe report quoted Dr. Ray Strikas, a CDC flu expert, as saying.Some studies have suggested that children play a key role in spreading flu to adults and that vaccinating more children would therefore pay big dividends.In other discussions at the meeting, CDC officials promised to consider expanding the government’s role in buying vaccine and tracking its distribution, according to a Jan 25 Boston Globe report.For this season the CDC bought about 11.5 million doses and then resold many of them to state health departments, the report said. CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding was quoted as saying that because the agency doesn’t own the vaccine supply, it can’t do a lot to support appropriate distribution.According to Russell, Gerberding said the CDC is considering various options to remedy that situation, including buying more vaccine, helping to direct early-season vaccine to private physicians and clinics, taking more control over distribution, and expanding vaccination recommendations.See also:CDC flu sitehttp://www.cdc.gov/flu/last_img read more

Latest UK foot-and-mouth cases linked to earlier ones

first_imgSep 13, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – British officials who are investigating the latest outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) said today that initials tests show the virus strain matches the strain found in outbreaks that surfaced in late July at two nearby farms. The focus of the outbreaks is an area in Surrey on the outskirts of London. The two earlier incidents are believed to have been caused by FMD virus that leaked from wastewater drains at a laboratory facility in nearby Pirbright. The facility houses a commercial FMD vaccine producer and a government-funded research institute. The United Kingdom’s Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), in a statement today, said initial virus sequencing indicates the virus in the new outbreak is type 01 BFS67, the same strain found in the earlier outbreaks. The latest cases were confirmed yesterday. In the two earlier FMD outbreaks, which were confirmed in early August, veterinary authorities culled nearly 600 animals to control the spread of the disease. A massive outbreak in Britain in 2001 led to the destruction of 7 million cattle to stop the disease. DEFRA said yesterday that animals on a farm next to the infected site would be destroyed as a precautionary measure. See also: Sep 12 CIDRAP News story “UK reports another foot-and-mouth outbreak” The current outbreak site is a farm near the town of Egham, about 10 miles from the two earlier outbreaks, the London Telegraph reported yesterday. Cattle on the farm were culled, and protection and surveillance zones were set up around the area, DEFRA reported. FMD is an extremely contagious disease that affects cattle, sheep, pigs, and other ruminants, causing sores in the mouth and on the hooves. The debilitating condition does not usually kill adult animals, but it drastically reduces milk production. The disease very rarely affects humans, according to DEFRA.last_img read more

In Slovenia, in addition to the tourist tax, guests will also pay a promotional tax

first_imgIn Slovenia, in addition to the tourist tax, guests will also pay a promotional tax.In addition to the increased sojourn tax, tourists will soon be charged a promotional tax, which aims to improve Slovenian tourism, as defined by the new law adopted by the Slovenian parliament, writes Vecernji list.The amount of the tourist tax will continue to be determined by the municipalities, with the new law increasing its maximum amount per day from the previous 1,265 euros to 2,50 euros, and the news is that tourists will now pay a promotional tax, which can be a quarter of the sojourn tax. .In the worst case, in the most expensive destinations, the new amount of combined fees is 3,125 euros per day, which is 23 kuna per day, and the paid advertising fee will fill the budget of the Slovenian Tourist Board. By the way, it was adopted in Croatia last year new regulation on the amount of residence tax, which has been in force since 2018. Thus, in accordance with the new regulation, the amount of the sojourn tax is determined in the range from HRK 2,50 to HRK 8,00, depending on the class of the tourist place and the seasonal period.It is interesting that the Ministry of Tourism calculates that the umbrella Slovenian tourist organization will earn an additional 4,7 million euros, while local communities and municipalities will earn another 6,9 million euros a year by increasing fees. Last year, 1,3 million domestic and 3 million tourists visited Slovenia, who spent 4 million nights. Of the foreigners, most Germans, Italians, Austrians, Croats and Serbs visited the country.A revolutionary idea or a total failure?It is interesting that instead of encouraging the development of tourism, ie the arrival of tourists in their country, with this “revolutionary idea” in the tourism market, Slovenia seems to charge for entry into its country, as in a museum. If you want to visit Slovenia – pay the entrance fee, more precisely 3 euros per day, per person.The promotional tax is exclusively a new fee paid by guests, and the Ministry of Tourism in Slovenia, with one decision, directly influenced the increase in the price of the entire destination, without tourists receiving any added value, increased service or the like.Personally, I consider this decision a failure, which reminds me of the ridiculous political moves when we talk about closing holes in the budget… raise taxes, VAT, new levies, additional health insurance, real estate tax, etc. građ. and here’s the money to patch holes in the budget. So in this case of advertising fees, the budget needs to be filled, so we will introduce a levy on tourists. The tourists we want to attract.You don’t need any intelligence, college or anything like that for such moves, anyone can be so “smart”. But strategically and planned to develop a tourist destination, create new tourist products or a smart strategy of promotion and branding in order to attract as many tourists to one tourist destination, which would generate tourist consumption, and thus fill the budget for better promotion of tourist destinations…. And for that you already have to think a little and fight in the market.Raising prices due to some whim, ie to fill the budget for the best possible promotion is, in my opinion, a total failure, which will negatively affect the competitiveness of Slovenia in a highly competitive tourist market. Also, no changes in prices are made during the year, as all travel agencies have already agreed and sold travel arrangements the year before.last_img read more