Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Come back tourists (

meg Nov 14th, 2002 05:49 AM

Come back tourists
I've just visited the Tourist Information Centre in Stratford. I live here and have used the American Express office there to exchange money. BUT they're closing down (only the money exchange part) due to lack of custom. The lady there says the tourist trade in Stratford has collapsed since September 11th last year. So PLEASE come back- you'll find a warm welcome and after next weekend, the fabulous Christmas lights to enjoy.

xxx Nov 14th, 2002 06:30 AM

Meg, perhaps it is more than the 9/11 indident. I have been to Stratford several times in the last 15 years. It used to be a quaint and charming town. Now it is so overrun with cheap and tacky souveneir shops and people hawking tours, etc. that it has really lost its charm. I still go for theatre, but will not be spending any extra time there as I used to do. Perhaps the town needs to address the cause rather than looking for blame.

x Nov 14th, 2002 06:37 AM

Perhaps it also has something to do with ATMs. American Express travellers checks are becoming a thing of the past.

Annie Nov 14th, 2002 07:06 AM

The last time I was in Stratford was 1989. Still somewhat quaint, so I was wondering if the changes have been since then.

Jason Nov 14th, 2002 07:22 AM

Meg<BR>I have friends who work at AmericanExpress Travel.There have been many more money/currency booths in the travel offices shut down world wide.It used to be a handy convenience.But we have to remember--AmericanExpress is NOT primarily a travel company.They are a credit card company providing travel services,originally exclusively for card holders.They have admittedly never been interested in making money off the travel end.But now like so many other corps,they are cutting back where they can.Yes its a shame.People will be inconvenienced.But a signe of the times.<BR>Jason

Sheila Nov 15th, 2002 03:09 AM

Interesting.<BR><BR>Two things- 1. This morning's Business AM (a Scottish financial daily) has an article in which it reckons it will take at least two more years for Scottish tourism to recover from the mixture of Foot and Mouth and 11/9/01.<BR><BR>2. I was telephone surveyed by American express about their travellers' cheques last week. I could find very little positive to say about their use in today's market. I wasn't trying to rubish them you understand, it's just that it's many years since I bothered with them. They have been made redundant as far as I am concerned by ATMs.

Patrick Nov 15th, 2002 05:39 AM

American Express lost me as a customer for travelers' checks a number of years ago when I was in Geneva. I would be returning to the states the next day and had a $100 US TC, so thought I'd cash it to return home with. Although the Geneva office had a drawer full of US dollars and they would cash it, they'd only do so by first taking a horrible rate to cash it into Swiss Francs, then another horrible rate to convert those into dollars. The bottom line is that I'd only get less than $70 -- over a 30% fee to cash one of their own travelers' checks.<BR><BR>But yes, the real deal is that they are totally archaic with today's ATMS.

Keith Nov 15th, 2002 05:39 AM

I don't think I have seen an ad for American Express travelrs' checks in years.<BR><BR> Keith

xxx Nov 15th, 2002 06:13 AM

Wow, Keith, you haven't been looking. They are still on TV, and in every travel magazine I get.

Edmond O`Flaherty Nov 15th, 2002 11:41 AM

In my teenage years I was fortunate to have relatives in Stratford who welcomed me every summer and I really had a most enjoyable time at the Shakespeare plays.<BR>Many years passed and everyhing was changed when I went back.The small town of 20,000 that I knew well was absolutely crowded.I never went back.The magic was gone.<BR>There are three small towns in Ireland I visit regularly that in some ways remind me of Stratford in my youth.Sligo always reminds me of Yeats and has lots of history stretching back 5,000 years.Killarney is a great beauty spot but the town has become very touristy-the National Park though remains a jewel.Finally Wexford ,the smallest of the three,has a lovely Opera Festival every October which takes over the town and is really quite charming.

Sherry Nov 15th, 2002 12:37 PM

Well, My husband and I are coming to England and Scotland for 12 days over the holidays, come rain or shine! We are excited, no matter what has happened to detour tourism. Won't probably be going to Stratford, but will be all around the country! I just hope they are as welcoming to us, as we are excited to be there!

PortdF Nov 15th, 2002 01:10 PM

Stratford is the problem not American Express. I was there for a University reunion about 5 years ago and it has become a tacky town without any redeaming features about it - meaning that the whole charm of Stratford has gone. I could not even get any information about plays from the Net at the time and there was absolutely nothing of interest going on there when I stayed. <BR>The hotel was very expensive and worst of all was that although the rest of the world ( with the exception of Europe) thinks that people should not smoke in restaurants this particular hotel did. Not so bad in countries with good ventilation in restaurants or outside areas but in England where there are even few windows, let alone aircondition vents or air vents, to eat there is to suffer if you happen not to be a smoker!!!!!!<BR>The whole of England with the exception of part of the Cottswolds has become a car park and there is little left of nice countryside to speak of. It is dreadfully expensive and no value for money. <BR>This is from an ex-Pom who has absolutely no wish to ever return to England because you have lost the plot!

Mac Nov 15th, 2002 01:32 PM

Who on earth calls themselves an ex pom?

Portdf Nov 15th, 2002 01:43 PM

What do you mean &quot; who on earth calls themselves an ex Pom&quot;? All ex Poms call themselves ex Poms.

Mac Nov 15th, 2002 01:49 PM

You might say that to yourself...but to everyone else you will still be a pom! Australians wouldn't call you an &quot;ex&quot;

Portdf Nov 15th, 2002 02:10 PM

Well being married to an Australian I must beg to differ. I guess all your confusion can be explained by the fact that your name starts with Mac.

Mac Nov 15th, 2002 02:21 PM

Hahaha! Being married to an Australian doesn't change where you were born in Australian eyes!

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:00 PM.