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Security worries after passport sent to wrong person

A British passport seen in close up. Credit: Reuters

The Passport Office insisted it took security "extremely seriously" after it emerged that a passport, birth certificate and visa documents were sent to the wrong person.

The documents, intended for a Pakistani man living in Lancashire, were sent to nursery worker Sarah Threlfall in Broughton, North Wales.

Passport office 'told me to cancel my holiday'

A frustrated father was told to cancel his holiday by the passport office when they failed to renew his documents within the three week time frame.

Vincent Woodwood told Good Morning Britain he had phoned the passport office to check he had enough time to renew his documents before sending it off, only to be repeatedly told it was either delayed or they did not have his application.

While Vincent's has now arrived, he is still waiting for his daughter's new passport to be delivered before the family can travel on holiday on July 4.

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Helen Grant 'confident' passports will arrive on-time

Tourism Minister Helen Grant has said she is "confident" Brits will get their passports on-time after suggesting would-be holiday-makers 'stay at home'.

Helen Grant says she's confident people will receive their delayed passports on-time. Credit: Reuters

"Helen Grant was crystal clear that she was confident that people would get their passports to be able to travel overseas," said a Department for Culture, Media and Sport spokesman.

"As tourism minister it is completely right that she champions the domestic tourism market, but she was in no way linking the two issues."

Ms Grant's comments that "there's a lot to be said for the staycation" angered Brits as a backlog of 30,000 passports continued to plague travel plans, during the highest demand in applications for 12 years.

Read: Theresa May apologies for passport application delays

Cameron: 'Up to individuals where they holiday'

David Cameron has waded into the 'staycation' discussion saying it is "up to individuals" where they chose to holiday.

His comments came after Tourism Minister Helen Grant suggested Britons 'stay at home' this year, amid a passport backlog disaster.

David Cameron says it's up to individual families where they take their holidays. Credit: Reuters

"It is always a matter for individuals and individual families where they may choose to take a holiday," said the Prime Minister's official spokesman.

"The Prime Minister himself and his family, of course, have often holidayed in the UK. But the decisions individual families take are up to them."

Frustrated Brits 'appalled' at 'staycation' comments

Holiday makers hit by the delayed passport debacle have branded Tourism Minister Helen Grant's 'staycation' comments as "appalling".

Up to 30,000 passports have been caught up in a backlog preventing Brits going on holiday. Credit: Reuters

Ms Grant said Britons should consider staying at home in what she called a "staycation".

Retired nurse Eileen Shepherd, 68, who missed out on a £1,750 cruise due to the huge passport backlog, said: "How dare she tell us where to go on holiday? I think people will be gunning for her. "She is not living in the real world with people like us, it is appalling.

"I've worked all my life and saved all my life to be able to go on one big holiday a year and I was robbed of that chance."

Tourism minister on passport crisis: 'Stay at home'

Tourism Minister Helen Grant has encouraged people to holiday within the UK in what she's coined the "staycation".

Tourism minister Helen Grant encourages people to "stay at home" amid passport crisis. Credit: PA

"We have some fantastic places to visit and holiday not that far from here," she said.

"I think there's a lot to be said for the staycation".

"I think we are going to have a great summer, we are certainly going to have a great summer of sport too, there's lots of opportunities to build your holiday around a spoilt-for-choice list of events," she added.

Her comments risked the wrath of holiday makers across the country, as a backlog of 30,000 passports continued to plague travel plans, in the highest demand in applications in 12 years.

Read more: Theresa May apologises for passport application delays

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USA and Canada looking to UK for holiday

Travellers from long-haul markets such as the USA, Canada, China and Sinapore are increasigly looking to the UK as a possible holiday destination, according to a survey by TripAdvisor.

Internet search traffic for the UK has continued to grow on the site, year-on-year:

  • USA is the fastest growing market - with searches up 23%
  • Canada was next - with searches up 21%
  • UK was next, as the staycation continued - with searches up 20%
  • Searches from Singapore rose 19%
  • Searches from China rose 19%

Looking at sheer numbers rather than the rise in growth, UK residents made up the majority of searches for UK destinations on TripAdvisor, with the USA second and Germany third.

More Americans searching UK tourism options

Royal baby news and the success of TV shows like Downton Abbey are driving increased interest in the UK from American would-be tourists, according to holiday website TripAdvisor.

The Royal baby has reignited international interest in the British monarch, according to TripAdvisor. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

The USA topped the list of fastest-growing markets, with a 23% year-on-year growth in internet searches for the UK, the company said.

  1. Wales

Weather expected to impact on tourism

As parts of North Wales enter a fifth day of snow, tourism businesses are bracing themselves for a poor start to the season. The industry is worth £4.2bn per year to the Welsh economy.

The cold snap looks set to continue into the weekend, which is normally seen as the start of the tourism season.

In Tenby, tourists are wrapping up against the unseasonably cold weather:

Balcony fall victim highlights dangers

Young people travelling out to resorts will be handed leaflets which include the story of 18-year-old Jake Evans from Liverpool. He narrowly survived a fall from a seventh floor balcony last year. Speaking to ITV1's Daybreak he said:

I was on a balcony with a couple of friends and I did the balcony step down and I asked a guy off the balcony below to throw me a lighter. I was quite drunk, I tried to grab the lighter and I went over head-first. I woke up on a sun lounger, which actually saved my life.

Mr Evans suffered a fractured skull, split both his eyelids open, had a cut to his face and smashed his teeth through his lip, as well as snapping his wrist and fingers, suffering leg damage and seriously injuring his back.

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