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The Globe and Mail

Canadians tops in snorkelling, Germans lead in nude beach vacations

On the beach

Fifteen per cent of Germans sunbathe nude on beach vacations, the highest ratio among 21 nationalities surveyed by Expedia for its just-released Flip Flop Report. Only 5 per cent of Canadians engage in the practice, but that still puts us ahead of Americans and Brits at 2 per cent each. Canadians (34 per cent) go snorkelling, making us tops in that category. And Canadians (20 per cent) are second only to Indians in participating in beach bar games.

At the airport

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Virtual customer service agents will be telling fliers where to go at three New York airports starting this summer. The helpful avatars are life-size projections of a professional-looking woman, who will smile and give prerecorded directions to boarding gates, baggage pickup and transportation. The installations at JFK, LaGuardia and Newark are the first in North America for the figures created by Airus Media of Florida. A future version will allow the avatars to respond to specific questions from individuals.

On the road

No longer will Canadians be turned back at their own border when driving a vehicle rented in the United States. A June 1 change to the Motor Vehicle Safety Act will allow Canadian residents to import a U.S.-rented vehicle for up to 30 days for non-commercial purposes. Vacationers will be able to rent a car in Alaska after a cruise and drive into Yukon. It will also be easier for Canadians to go sightseeing in another part of their country while taking advantage of less-expensive airfares between U.S. border airports.

Sources: Expedia, Airus Media, CBC News

Douglas McArthur Special to The Globe and Mail

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