The Channel Islands

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he hoof-and-mouth disease publicity mainly has affected travel to the British countryside but there are other destinations that are in jeopardy of losing business.

Among them are the Channel Islands of Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark.

In an e-mail the other day, David Seymour, managing director of Seymour Hotels on the islands, pointed out that the Channel Islands actually are closer to the Normandy coast of France than they are to the south coast of England.

"Before we were British we were actually French," Seymour writes. Our problem is that many of our visitors from the U.S. arrive in the islands by air via London.

"Clearly many American visitors are concerned about traveling to Britain at the current time and it is likely that our own tourism industry will suffer as a result."

Seymour asks us to point out to our American travel agency readers that they have the option of sending clients to the Channel Islands by air via Paris or by sea from St. Malo in France.

Up-to-date information about the islands can be found at www.jersey.com where there is a separate section on the hoof-and-mouth situation.

The islands' officials report that there currently are no cases of the disease everything is open as usual.

"Visitor attractions are unaffected," the Jersey site reports, "as are activities such as walking and cycling along the fifty-mile network of Green Lanes. The coastal paths and many miles of beach are also accessible."

As a precaution, visitors are being asked to walk on a disinfectant mat on arrival and all vehicles are being sprayed upon entry at the ports. Visitors also are being asked not to bring foodstuffs ashore and a ban is in place to prevent the movement of pets into and out of the islands.

David Seymour of the Seymour hotel chain tells us he'll be happy to talk personally with anyone who'd like more information about travel to the islands.

His telephone number is (011) 44-0-1534-875926; the fax is (011) 44-0-1534-780726, or you can contact him through www.seymourhotels.com.

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