Between the Bodensee and the Neusiedlersee there are a lot of different tourist cards available offering a wide range of discounts for travellers as well as for locals.
Targetgroup: Mainly Tourists
They are called "Sommer-Card", "Activ-Card", "Erlebnis-Card" or are named after the province they are valid for. Such cards are mainly intended for tourists who like to explore the region, use cultural services, visit museums or make a trip through a specific city, rather than just sunbathing.In general tourist cards entitle to use several services for free or at lower costs.
Guest Cards – Gästekarten
These are cards for tourists that stay overnight in a specific region. “Gästekarten“ are usually free of charge. They include a wide range of services for free or a reduced price. They cannot be bought, but are available via the hotel or the landlord of the guest room.
Touristcards – Touristenkarten
The so called „Touristenkarten“ can be bought by tourists. They are valid for a specific season or for a specific region. Tourist cards are mostly available between April/May until September/October. The exact period and validity depends on the specific card. These cards are sold at tourism bureaus, at the offices of mountain railway stations, at hotels or simply online. Price of the tourist cards depends on range of services offered and validity. Special prices may be offered for childer or seniors, etc. In such cases i tis recommended to bring an official document (eg. passport) when buying the card so the age might be proven if necessary.
A list of these tourist cards for the respective Austrian regions can be found under http://www.europakonsument.at/cs/Satellite?pagename=Europakonsument/MagazinArtikel/Detail&cid=318858338653 in English language.
On the Internet, shopping can be easy. Shops are open 24/7, customers can get more choice and often great prices. Whats more, if you buy something online you have the same rights as if you buy it in person. So you are entitled to repairs, refunds and/or your money back if necessary.
Tips on internet shopping are to find up under http://www.dolceta.eu/united-kingdom/Mod1/Tips-for-shopping-online.html . Propagatory videoclip to this page is on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Srwb2zrXR8o.
Webchat with EU Consumer Comissioner Meglena Kuneva on 13 March 2009
On 13 March 2009, Commissioner Meglena Kuneva will have an online chat with consumers.
This is not only to mark the 10th anniversary of the European Consumer Day but also part of her efforts to empower EU consumers by raising their awareness ot their EU-wide rights and of what the European Commission – jointly with its key national partners – is doing to address the daily concerns of real consumers.
Commissioner Kuneva is hoping to have a direct and truly interactive discussion with individual consuemrs from different EU countries about topics which, in today´s uncertain economic climate, are likely to matter to them more than ever: their rights as consumers, whether buying online or in the high street or taking out a bank loan, the safety of the products they buy, or the option which they have if they want to complain against unfair trader or scam.
But the intention is not only to talk about status quo. It is probably just as important to talk to consumers about what the Commission wants to achieve for them in the near future in order to give them more power, more choice and fairer deals. This includes debating with citizens about the rights that they would enjoy under the proposed Directive on Consumer Rights aiming to give consumers EU-wide rights to make it easier for them to shop wherever they go in Europe.
The webchat will start on 13 March 2009 at 15:00 and will end at 16:30. Visitors will be able to ask questions and receive answers in 12 languages (Bulgarian, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese, Italian and Spanish). Anyone interested in joining the webchat will be able to do so by visiting http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/chat_13march_en.htm.
Scientists warn of health risks from exposure to noise from personal music players
Listening to personal music players at a high volume over a sustained period can lead to permanent hearing damage, according to an opinion of the EU Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks. The scientific opinion shows that 5-10% of personal music player listeners risk permanent hearing loss, if they listen to a personal music player for more than one hour per day each week at high volume settings for at least 5 years. The European Commission had asked the independent scientific committee to examine this issue, given the widespread use of personal music players and the surge in the number of young people exposed to such noise. Scientist confirm tht there is cause for concern and the European Commission will now examine Member States and stakeholders, possible measures that could be taken to better protect children and adolescents from exposure to noise from personal music players and other similar devices. Based on the scientific evidence, the Commission is organising a conference in early 2009 in Brussels to evaluate the findings of the Scientific Committee with Member States, industry, consumers and other stakeholders and to discuss the way forward. The seminar will address precautions that users can take, as well as technical solutions to minimise hearing damage and the need for further regulations or revisions of existing safety standards to protect consumers.
Personal music player usere can already take certain very practical precautions sucha s checking their device to see if a maximum volume can be set as to keep the volume lower, or they can lower the volume manually, and they can take care not to use the personal music player for prolonged periods in the interest of their hearing.
EU introduces email address for passengers in difficulty
17 November 2008
BRUSSELS - The European Commission on Monday introduced an emergency email address to help travellers affected by strikes, flight cancellations, overbookings and other disruptions to claim their rights.
Inconvenienced travellers can send their queries to email@example.com, and will receive a "concrete and easily accessible service," to help them out, the commission said in a statement.
EU "rules on passenger rights need to be rigorously applied," said EU Transport Commissioner Antonio Tajani.
"The European Commission will provide precise information to those making use of this email address on how to exercise these rights," he added.
Among the cases addressed by the new service are strikes, flight cancellations, prolonged delays and overbooking.
The announcement came as Air France cancelled more flights on Monday, the fourth and final day of a strike by French airline pilots against plans to raise the retirement age by five years to 65
.Meanwhile more than 100 Alitalia flights from Rome and Milan were cancelled as the airline entered its eighth day of a pilots' strike over job losses and revised contracts.
Price transparency and improved safety: more competition and better quality for the air transport sector
Improved safety and price transparency: these are the key features of the new Regulation on the single market for air transport which has entered into force on 1 November 2008. It lays down rules for the granting of licences, control of airlines and market Access, thereby ensuring more competition in the air transport field and better quality for the public. The new legislation requires airlines to include all taxes and charges in their published ticket prices. This will enable passengers throughout the European Union to be better informed about the prices and to compare offers. Price discrimination based on place of residence is banned.
From now on, ticket prices will have to be published inclusive of all taxes and charges. Also, passengers will be able to see the breakdown of the different categories of costs making up the final price: tariff, taxes, airport charges and other fees. Travellers will benefit from precise information on actual prices, making it possible for them to avoid misleading advertising and compare prices more easily. In addition, it will not be possible to impose optional additional charges on passengers without their express consent (´opt-in´). Moreover, any price discrimination between passengers solely on the basis of their place of residence within the European Union or their nationality will be prohibited.
INFORMATION COMPAIGN ON CONSUMERS´ RIGHTS IN THE INTERNAL ENERGY MARKET
Since 1 July 2007, when electricity and gas retail markets fully opened in the remaining 14 EU countries, all European citizens have the right to choose their energy products such as green electricity, and their energy provider. To make sure that citizens are fully informed about their rights as energy consumers, the European Commission, through its departments for energy and consumer protection, has launched an EU-wide information campaign under the moniker “You Choose!”
One of the major tools of the campaign is an awareness raising website – www.agathepower.eu, which includes specific country information on the opening of the energy markets and the choice of energy suppliers. The site, which is available in 22 languages, also provides information about consumer rights issues.
More is available here.