The Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) report into the consular assistance which was requested by Britons abroad in the past year has just been published. Not only does it cast a spotlight on the sheer variety of assistance that we expect our consulates to provide it also gives us a valuable insight into the destinations to which Britons choose to travel.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, France tops the list with 17.1million visits followed by Spain with 13.6million. The USA in third place is a long way behind with 3.8million visits. However when it comes to requests for consular assistance, Spain is far out in front with 24% of the 19,244 worldwide requests.
On the back of the report the FCO has issued a reminder to travellers of the importance of checking local laws and customs before travelling. Simple acts such as eating in the vicinity of a church in Florence or feeding the pigeons in Venice are likely to result in a fine or worse; whilst in Spain visitors should avoid leaving the beach areas of Barcelona unless they are fully clothed.
Actually in fairness to Spain, although its visitors are responsible for a high percentage of worldwide requests for help, when the number of requests as a proportion of the number of visitors is taken into account it falls to eleventh on the global list. This is good news for the many people who combine business with pleasure and take a working holiday in Spain.
But how easy is it really to take your leisure in Spain whilst simultaneously carrying on day to day business exchanges. Well realistically that depends on your business; but when it comes to business calls, by taking advantage of services such as Calling Spain it is quite possible to enjoy the Spanish lifestyle without having to give up on your normal business telephone routine.
With the Calling Spain package, calls to your UK business number are automatically and seamlessly directed to your mobile or nominated overseas number. As a result, when your clients call your UK business phone, you can answer the phone from your overseas base. As you pay for the call transfer service there is no additional cost to your caller.
The Calling Spain package generally includes calls being pre-announced so you can screen out those annoying cold sales calls and still keep in touch with important clients. Add in an answerphone and you can call back if you are in the pool when the call comes through. Best of all, as our international phone numbers service is available in more than one hundred countries across the world, whether you are sunning in Spain or skiing in the USA, you need never be out of touch. And don’t forget Calling Spain can work in reverse so if you have clients in Spain, on any one of a number of other countries, you can seamlessly switch calls to your UK base.
Of course, the Calling Spain package won’t stop you from getting into trouble if you chew gum in Singapore or wear camouflage clothing in Barbados but it will help you to holiday or travel on business and still negotiate that special deal or take that all-important order from your main client. So whilst Calling Spain keeps you in touch, it is still a good idea to check the FCO country specific website before you travel.