TOURIST SERVICES AND MONEY OF BRITAIN
TOURIST OFFICES. Visit Britain, formerly the British Tourist Authority (www.visit-britain.com) is an umbrella organization for four separate UK tourist boards outside the United Kingdom.
British Tourist Offices at Home: Australia, Level 2, 15 Blue Street, North Sydney, NSW 2060 (02 9377 4400; www.visitbritain.comau); Canada, 5915 Airport Rd. Ste. 120, Mississauga, ON L4V 1T1 (888-847-4885; www.visitbritain.comca); New Zealand, P.O. Box 105-652, Auckland (09 303 1446; ww.visitbritain.comnz); South Africa, Lancaster Gate, Hyde Park In. Hyde Park, 2196 (011 325 0343; www.visit-britian.comza); US, 551 5th Ave. 7th fl. New York, NY 10176 (800-462-2748 or 212-986-2266; www.travelbritain.org).
MONEY. The pound sterling is the main unit of currency in the United Kingdom. It is divided into 100 pence, issued in standard denominations of lp, 2p, 5p, lOp, 20p, 50p, and £1 in coins, and £5, £10, £20, and £50 in notes. Scotland has its own bank notes, which can be used interchangeably with English currency, though you may have difficulty using Scottish £1 notes outside Scotland. As a general rule, it is cheaper to exchange money in Britain than at home. Expect to spend anywhere from £25-50 per day. London in particular is a budget-buster, with the bare minimum for accommodations, food, and transport costing £30-40. The European Union imposes a value-added tax (VAT) on goods and services purchased within the EU, which is included in the price (16). Tips are often included in the bill, sometimes as a service charge. If gratuity is not included, you should tip 10-15%. Tipping the bartender is not expected, though a pub waiter should be tipped. Taxi drivers should receive a 10-15% tip, and bellhops and chambermaids usually expect between £1 and £3. Aside from open-air markets, don’t expect to bargain.