An explosion of Chinese tourists: The potential and expectations of Chinese travellers in the UK and worldwide

Relative newcomers to international tourism market, the Chinese traveler is the new target for a tourism industry that suffered major losses during the crisis. Thanks to a bustling local economy and the government’s relaxation of travel restrictions, in 2013 Chinese tourists took a total of 97 million trips abroad and spent some $102 billion, becoming the “world’s biggest spenders” according to a report by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). A study conducted by the Chinese government predicts those figures will rise to over 100 million overseas voyages by 2015, and 200 million by 2020.

Taken in perspective with the recent past, these numbers represent a spectacular amount of growth, when in 2004 only 29 million went overseas. However, when isolated on a per-country basis, the growth can seem even more shocking. For instance, the number of Chinese tourists who visited Thailand last year more than doubled over the year before.

According to Abagail Haworth of The Guardian, the Chinese tourist represents “a global phenomenon, an unstoppable trend, a lucrative opportunity… Now millions are on the move.” CNN labeled the new found market, “the biggest phenomenon to hit the global travel industry since the invention of commercial flight.” International travel has been growing among the Chinese over the past decade, with rising prosperity at home and the relaxation of Communist government travel restrictions.

So aside from the economic and political explanations, why are so many Chinese flocking abroad? The firm Morgan Stanley predicts that in two years, Chinese tourists could spend $194 billion on vacations abroad, much of it on luxury products. Despite government policy to encourage spending at home, Chinese flock abroad in droves to take advantage of the lower prices on foreign designer products. This is because the government imposes import duties and taxes that can mean an additional 60% added to the price one would find in another country. A researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences called his compatriots “walking wallets,” due to the amount they’ve become known to spend abroad.

Thus it becomes clear why London, Paris and Hong Kong have become favorite destinations for the Chinese: luxury shopping. To put things into perspective, by 2015 the total amount of spending from Chinese abroad will exceed total sales of luxury goods worldwide, when compared to 2008 when it represented solely one third of that figure. A government crackdown implemented two years ago reinforced this phenomenon, as the growth in the domestic luxury market grew a mere 6%, whereas Chinese luxury spending abroad increased 37% over the preceding year. Some sectors, such as high end liquor and watches even saw a decline in sales.

This potential market has inspired Paris to invest in a manual for the city of light’s business owners to better understand the new wave of boutique-obsessed clientele. French-speaking guides do their best to meander giant tour groups through the crowds at department stores and on high streets. They much watch out for the guests, who have become an easy target for pickpockets and other criminals. New campaigns have begun by tourism officials to raise awareness among tourists of the dangers of dressing conspicuously and showing fancy electronics or jewellery in public. In London, the famous department store Harrod’s has hired 70 Mandarin-speaking employees. An additional one hundred China Unionpay registers permit direct payments by Chinese tourists from their home bank accounts.

The growing presence of Chinese tourists comes along with it a greater exposure and international visibility. However, surveys about the perception of tourists worldwide do not characterize Chinese tourists in a very positive light. One analyst even called them the world’s new “ugly” tourists. While self-organized trips are on the rise, the majority of international travel still occurs in tourist groups. Sociologists believe this “increases their collective visibility and amplifies stereotypes and cultural unfamiliarity on both sides” by limiting individual interactions between the tourists and locals. Media reports flourish about the negative impression left by Chinese tourists, that they “are loud and rude, or that they refuse to queue or give tips…”

Other complaints range from the practical to the surreal. In July, residents of the small Swiss city of Lucerne protested that up to 120 Chinese tour buses a day were paralysing local traffic, as they deposited tourists who wanted to buy luxury watches. Then there were bizarre reports, picked up by the Chinese media, of competing Chinese honeymooners brawling in French lavender fields over the best spot for photos to capture a “Monet moment”. A group travelling to North Korea drew scorn for throwing sweets to children as though they were “feeding ducks”, while a number of Chinese tourists in the Maldives were reportedly caught giving fake marriage papers to upmarket resorts in order to get free dinners offered to newlyweds.”

Beijing has been so bothered by the potentially negative perception of its people in other countries that the government has instituted a new clause that applies to Chinese citizens specifically when they travel abroad. Section 13 of the new bill states, “Tourists shall respect public order and social morality in tourism activities, respect the local customs, cultural traditions and religious beliefs, take care of tourism resources, protect the ecological environment and respect the norms of civilised tourist behaviours.”

In terms of which countries can benefit from the growth in demand of accommodations and travel services, Thailand tops the list. For a mere £500, Chinese tourist can spend a week in the country with an organized tour, with flights included. The combination of historically and architecturally significant temples, pristine beaches and duty-free shopping brings Chinese here for the first time, if not on return trips. In fact, Thailand ranks as number three on a list of the most visited foreign destinations by Chinese, not far behind the “satellite Chinese territories” Hong Kong and Macao. London still leads at the top destination in terms of cities, but faces a threat from Bangkok, quickly gaining steam as a potential replacement.

uk colour flip flop

Disposable slippers from Caractere

What does this profound change in visitor composition mean for hotel, resort and Bnb operators? First of all, they’ll have to adapt to Chinese cultural standards. Since the ability to travel abroad for a Chinese person already assumes a certain standard of living and income level, one can expect that these travelers will not be the easiest to please. Standards for hygiene vary quite a bit in Eastern Asian from those typical of Europe or on other continents.

How can managers of accommodations adapt? By trying disposable products, of course!

At Caractère, we make a variety of popular disposable slipper and sandal solutions to prevent the spread of infections on the floors of hotels, resorts, salons, saunas, showers, locker rooms, changing areas, baths, pools, hot tubs, spas, etc.

Disposable bath robe

Bathrobe by Caractere

Another favorite product in finer establishments is our popular line of luxurious Bath robes, available in several designs. For perfect hygiene and the ultimate protection of your clientele (not to mention your business investment), try our other disposable, recyclable solutions, and discover the reason why we’re the buzz of the most luxurious hotels of Paris, the world capital of fashion and design. Our products will be sure to meet the standards of even the most difficult to please clients, including Chinese tourists on luxury shopping sprees.

Sources
Haworth, Abigail. “Chinese tourism: ‘Finally, we are seeing the world.’” The Observer, Dec. 22, 2013
http://www.theguardian.com/theobserver/2013/dec/22/chinese-tourism-changing-the-world
Kuo, Lily. “By 2015, Chinese tourists could spend more than all the world’s luxury shoppers combined.” QZ.com, Nov. 15, 2013.
http://qz.com/147703/by-2015-chinese-tourists-could-spend-more-than-all-the-worlds-luxury-shoppers-combined
M., K. “Chinese tourists: Mind your manners.” The Economist, Nov. 6, 2013.
http://www.economist.com/blogs/analects/2013/11/chinese-tourists
“‘Walking wallets’: Chinese tourists the world’s biggest travellers.” The Sydney Morning Herald, Jan. 10, 2014
http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-news/walking-wallets-chinese-tourists-the-worlds-biggest-travellers-20140110-30lce.html
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Where to ski this season: The most popular destination for Brits for a fun-filled, family-friendly holiday

Want to hit the ski slopes this winter but not sure where to head? Caractere UK has rounded up a list of the top ski destinations in the Britain and around Europe just in time for you to book your holiday trip or spring excursion. Check out our list of award-winning, unique and  destinations toin style this year.

Scotland
Feeling a desire to stay local for your ski holiday? Some may doubt it’s possible but the Scottish tourism bureau wants to prove otherwise by raising awareness of the country’s numerous ski areas. Scotland offers five great ski resorts for locals and international travelers alike to enjoy. In terms of season, snow falls on a somewhat regular basis from December until March, allowing four months of winter sport fun, as long as the current weather conditions permit it. One must take care on the route to the resorts however, as driving in the Scottish highlands during a blizzard does not rank among the most simple of tasks. However, since the five resorts are situated within a relatively small distance of one another, it’s possible to visit them all in the span of a week or two.

Cairn Gorm, Scottish Highlands

Cairn Gorm, Scotland

Cairngorm National Park’s mountain range features three ski areas: Glenshee, Lecht and Cairngorm Mountain. The first, Glenshee includes some 25 miles of ski slopes spread out across four mountains, making it the largest resort in Scotland. Lecht provides an ideal launch pad for beginners to the sport with its abundance of easy slopes. Cairngorm Mountain, or Cairn Gorm as it’s sometimes called, offers a mixed selection of runs for all levels of experience. The two other resorts, the Nevis Range and Glencoe Mountain, lie near Fort William, making them only a few hours away by car from the Cairngorn ski areas. Glencoe, the “original” ski area is Scotland is home to the longest continuous descent in the country, at 2600 ft. Its popular Microlodges permit an affordable lodging solution for guests on a budget. Finally, the Nevis Range boasts an impressive 12 lifts and over 20 km of slopes. Experts advise checking the weather forecast before planning a trip to either of these destinations, as snowfall can be anything but predictable.

France
The most common destination for Brits wanting to ski abroad, France continues to lure visitors from our shores above all to its stunningly beautiful Alps. Among its strengths, the country can claim Mont Blanc, the highest point in Europe, as well as one of the largest ski areas (Les Trois Vallées) and biggest floored cable cars (the Vanoise Express) in the world. A relatively late player on the international ski scene, France saw a flurry of resort development starting in the 1960s, meaning most equipment and infrastructure comes with a modern twist.

Val d'isere ski resort

Skiing at Val d’Isère

Near Provence in the region of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, ski enthusiasts can find a brilliant landscape of mountain ridges, valleys and generally sunny weather. Check out the Espace Lumière, which includes more than 200 km of slopes at two different resorts. Closer to Switzerland one can visit the famous region of Haute-Savoie. Called “the roof of Europe,” at 4,810 m Mont Blanc sits among a list of other world-renown local landmarks, including Lake Annecy, the Chamonix ski mecca and the gorgeous Lake Geneva. At the Three Valleys area, newcomers can literally spend weeks trying to cover all the slopes of the Courchevel, Méribel, Les Menuires and Val Thorens resorts. In Savoie itself, one can find the reputed La Plagne, Tignes and Valmeinier resorts. A bit south of there, other impressive peaks lie among a varied terrain in the Hautes-Alpes region, with hundreds of kilometres of pistes available at Dévoluy, Forêt Blanche and Serre Chevalier. Finally along the Mediterranean coast, the Maritime Alps make a lovely location for winter sports in close proximity to the sea and the French Riviera’s chic resorts.

Pyrenees

Baretous Piemont in the Pyrenees

Along the Spanish border and closer to Germany, skiers can rejoice in two of France’s less well-known ski destinations. A diverse offering of resorts call the Pyrenees home, from the rustic Font-Romeu to the luxurious Cauterets and the famous Pic du Midi. Near to Germany, the Alsace region offers impeccable ski slopes in the pristine Vosges Mountains. Don’t miss Gerardmer, which some call the most beautiful resort in the area, as well as the massive La Bresse ski area.

Andorra
Sandwiched between its better known neighbours of Spain and France, many overlook Andorra when considering continental ski vacation options. While it may seem relatively small in terms of geographic size, Andorra offers some world-class skiing opportunities. Between its two resort areas, Grandvalira and Vallnord, a variety of steep and peaceful runs await the visitor. The former ranks among the largest ski areas in Europe outside the Alps. The latter provides a more unique experience, with two very different resorts, one for beginners and one for experienced skiers who enjoy forested runs. While in Andorra, take advantage of this shopping mecca’s affordable prices and lack of taxes on certain products.

Arcalis Andorra

Arcalis Ski Resort, Andorra

Slovakia
In the centre of Europe, skiers can find a wonderful, hidden gem to practice their favorite sport. Surrounded by a mix of diverse cultures (Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary and Ukraine), a visit to Slovakia is an original experience to say the least. Along with its unique location, Slovakia also provides a seemingly limitless span of forested mountain land for outdoor adventures. Nine national parks protect nearly every undeveloped corner of the country, ensuring it will not disappear due to the threat of development, as has been common in other European ski destinations. Since the 19th century, people have been venturing to the remote villages high in Slovokia’s mountains to take advantage of these zones ideal for skiing. The most famous ski areas in the country lie within two mountain ranges, the Tatras and Fatras. While the High Tatras count among the smallest high mountain ranges in Europe, they provide unrivaled mountain views, rustic cottages and breathtaking lakes. The Low Tatras, in contrast, host a network of underground caves, traditional villages and peaceful wooded slopes for beginner and intermediate skiers.

To learn more about the different types of products we make that can make guests’ stays in your ski resort more comfortable,  check out the Caractere Paris’ UK website, Disposable Linen!

Caractere UK’s Disposable Linen on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/CaractereUK

Caractere UK’s Disposable Linen on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/CaractereUK

Sources:
http://ski.visitscotland.com/faqs/experienced-faq/
http://www.snowtrex.co.uk/france/ski_deals.html
http://www.inghams.co.uk/ski-holidays/ski-resorts/france
http://www.snowtrex.co.uk/andorra/ski_deals.html
http://www.snowtrex.co.uk/slovakia/ski_deals.html

Caractere’s Disposable Linens Mobilized to Aid Syrian Refugees in Germany

This fall, Germany’s administration broke apart from the position held by its neighbors and other members of the European Union on the subject of a pressing humanitarian aid crisis: Syrian refugees. Germany became the first country on the continent to accept a large contingent of asylum-seekers from the war-torn country.

The pilot program will allow 5,000 Syrians to relocate over the course of one year, thanks to the organisation of 25 private flights by the German government. Counting those who will receive this assistance and other refugees who migrate on their own, estimates place the number of people to flee Syria in recent years for Europe at 17,000+ by the beginning of 2014.

Germany and the UNHCR are lobbying other European members to contribute space for the refugees or other resources to help smooth their resettlement.

The UNHCR, or the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees,  selected the initial group of refugees according to a number of factors.

Those considered “particularly vulnerable,” such as single mothers, minorities and the chronically ill were atop the list.

For the purposes of integration, German speakers had an advantage over other applicants. Additional consideration was also given to applicants with a connection to Germany, such as time spent in the country studying or family currently located there.

Finally a certain number of spots went to the intellectual, academic and professional elite of Syria, judged the group most important for the reconstruction of the country after the resolution of the current crisis.

The first group landed in Hannover a few weeks ago, sending a message the German government wants its neighbors to notice. The government then transported them to Friedland, a transit camp where the refugees spend two weeks.

Germany is no stranger to waves of refugees, as it decided to welcome 300,000 during the wars in the Balkans of the early 1990s. Nearly a million refugees have passed through Friedland over its history.

Given the basics of shelter and food, the newcomers attend German language and culture classes every day. Administratively a step ahead of other asylum-seekers, the Syrians are granted instant refugee status, which means they can start working whenever they want.

After the two week integration and orientation period, the different states of Germany each accept a number of refugees for permanent placement.

Certainly Germany’s actions represent a noble gesture, but this recent decision risks being seen as merely “a drop in the bucket.” This is because some two million Syrians seek asylum abroad, in addition to the four million already internally displaced, according to figures released by the United Nations.

This represents one third of the country’s population, a figure the UN estimates could reach as high as one half by the end of the year. More than 700,000 Syrians have officially registered as refugees in Lebanon. This has overwhelmed Syria’s neighbor, a country normally with a population of 4.5 million.

Unfortunate for the refugees, airline regulations impose a 44 pound limit per person for luggage. Within this limit, refugees must pack all the personal items and effects intended to prepare them for a stay of two years in Germany. Many left their homes in a rush, fleeing violence or destruction, without the time to pack up properly.

Often because of these constraints, refugees come to airport with little more than the clothes on their backs. For these reasons, it’s essential for countries planning to welcome refugees must prepare adequate infrastructure and supplies in advance.

While the core of our activities stem from the hotel industry or public institutions like hospitals and schools, Caractere already has experience in the field of humanitarian aid. Thus, it was with great honor that Caractere recently received a substantial order from Germany to help welcome Syrian refugees in their transition to life in Europe.

Some of our most popular items to deal with natural disasters and large population migrations include those from our hotel supply unit, including warm blanketssleeping bags and children’s linens. Caractere also manufactures a variety of uniforms and work outfits to properly equip the staff and volunteers associated with the reception of refugees.

baby sleepingbag by caractere

Caractere’s Baby Sleeping Bag

To learn more about the different types of products that can help with the reception of refugees,  check out the English language version of the website for Caractere Paris, Disposable Linen!

Caractere UK’s Disposable Linen on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/CaractereUK

Caractere UK’s Disposable Linen on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/CaractereUK

Sources
Amos, Deborah. “For Some Syrian Refugees, A New Home In Germany.” NPR, Sept. 12, 2013.
http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2013/09/12/221764124/for-some-syrian-refugees-a-new-home-in-germany
Heine, Friederike. “Gateway to Freedom: Camp Preps Syrian Refugees for German Life.” Der Spiegel, Oct. 11, 2013.
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/second-syrian-refugee-group-arrives-at-friedland-transit-camp-a-927372.html

How to avoid getting sick in hotels, BnBs and resorts during flu season

Image courtesy of Classroom Clip Art

Falling ill can be a party for germs, but not for their victim

Everyone enjoys going on holiday, but what can be worse for a vacation than becoming sick while there? How can hotel, BnB, resort, inn and other vacation property owners avoid the spread of germs this flu season to optimize their clients’ ability to relax and enjoy? The answers to these questions are two-fold, in terms of planning and prevention.

First, a look at the threats that loom on the horizon. Farming UK published a press release from the UN News Centre that claims Bird flu may be back with a vengeance this year, with a greater risk for human health than before.  According to Fresh Business Thinking, the flu, colds and other ailments already cost employers in the UK over £29 billion a year due to the time and productivity lost during sick days.

Image courtesy of Marin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Who wants to get sick during a holiday?

A common method to avoid the flu is to get “jabbed,” or in other words, vaccinated against the threat of the flu all together. Dr. Shelia Newport gave readers of the Derby Telegraph a stern warning, saying “Flu can increase the risk of developing more serious illnesses, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and can make existing conditions much worse… In the most serious cases, seasonal flu might land you in hospital – it can even be a killer.”

In addition, the NHS, Department of Health and Public Health release a report every year to help guide health professionals in the best practices to avoid the spread of the flu virus. The NHS also maintains a mini-site specifically about the symptoms of flus and common colds, as well as a list of treatment methods for those already infected. However, if these ideas seem a bit abstract and you’d like to find some concrete solutions, Caractere Paris has you in mind. We offer several products to ensure a hygienic and comfortable stay for everyone, no matter their expectations in terms of quality.

Bath mats by Caractere Paris

Our popular disposable bath mats

Disposable Bath Mats
One of our most popular hotel supply products is the Disposable Bath Mat, which includes an underside with an anti-slip coating to prevent falls. The upper side is made of a soft, absorbent material that quickly dries the feet. The non-woven underside also prevents water from reaching the surface of the floor, protecting your valuable tile or wood investment from the threats of mould and water damage. The seam around the edges gives this product a fine, classy look.

Each bath mat may be used once or several times depending on the preferences of the client, and then can be thrown away. Imagine an end to problems with stains or shoe polish that requires smelly and hazardous bleach, the need to replace stolen bath mats, or expensive laundry bills: we offer the perfect, all-in-one, low-cost solution. In fact, the incredible price makes it cheaper to buy a new disposable mat for each guest rather than washing and drying your old ones, when you include the costs of time, labour, cleaning products and electricity. For more information, click here.

Wash Mitts

Caractere's wash mitts

Caractere’s unique and innovative wash mitts

Made from a non-woven, highly absorbent and soft yet durable fabric, these innovative, disposable wash mitts do not rip or tear, even when wet and covered in cleaning products. Instead of the paper-like feel of other disposable mitts, our unique Absorbtex ® finish gives these mitts an extreme level of comfort while guaranteeing total hand and wrist protection.

As an improvement to our product lines, we now offer two design and packaging options. The gloves come either packaged individually with a high-quality border, which ensures their hygiene (most common for hotels and luxury establishments) or in sets of 10 without the border (the more cost-effective option, for inns, motels and camp sites).

For more information, please see our website.

Face Cloths

Disposable Face Cloths by Caractere

Caractere’s popular disposable face cloths

Ideal as a welcome product, these facecloths can be used in resort, restaurant and hotel bathrooms or lobby powder rooms to ensure cleanliness and hygiene every time for every client. Face wash cloths are the number one most commonly stolen item in hotels. They disappear every day and over the course of the year end up costing a fortune to hotel owners, who have to replace them on a constant basis. Conventional facecloths also need careful laundering to maintain hygiene, which unfortunately has a deteriorating effect on the colour and fabric. Eventually, pure white ends up being rather off-white!

Our disposable facecloths are the perfect solution to put an end to these hidden expenses. In this era of cost-cutting, disposable products provide a simple and practical solution that eliminates time and money wasted in search of new face flannels every few weeks and guarantees cleanliness every time. The square facecloth is composed of Absorbtex ® material, which is highly absorbent (absorbs up to 500 times its weight of water) and composed of 100% vegetable fibre, meaning they are both biodegradable and recyclable. The honeycombed, embossed finish offers superior washing and softness, and the neat hemming on each side contributes to the luxury appearance. Not intended to be laundered, this non-woven material guarantees cleanliness and hygiene for your discerning guests. As beautiful as the traditional square facecloth, at a fraction of the price, you can’t go wrong! For more information, see the product page here.

Check out our website, disposable-linen.co.uk, for a variety of other smart, classy and hygienic solutions to avoid the spread of disease in your hotel, resort, spa or BnB this holiday season. Also feel free to contact us directly by phone or email for customised order inquiries, at info [at] disposable-linen.co.uk.

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Hard to Find the Right Sized Pillow Cover? Caractere has the Solution!

Disposable Linen has got your pillows covered!

With Caractere, you don’t need to worry about pillow sizes any longer

Not all pillows are created equal! However, now you can find a high-quality, disposable pillow cover for your accommodations no matter your location and your pillows’ sizes. Ever since the formation of the European Union, a trend of standardisation across the continent has taken place. The ISO norms, for example, gained adoption in the EU Parliament and have played a major role in transforming regulations in a wide variety of industries, including agriculture, manufacturing and transport.

One field that has continued to elude standardisation, however, happens to be tourism — and more specifically, the hotel industry. The sizes of beds, and by consequence their sheets and linens, varies greatly between one country and the next. In addition, often the most variable aspects of linens dependent on nationality comes in the form of the pillow.

Caractere's new disposable pillow covers

Disposable Linen’s new pillow covers now available in a variety of sizes

Who would have thought getting a good night of rest would prove this difficult? Caractere sought to resolve the controversy over pillow sizes once and for all by conducting research with hotel and guesthouse owners throughout the continent. What we concluded was, there are five standard pillow sizes in Europe:

  • British (also known as Oxford or Queen) – 50 x 75 cm / 20″ x 30″
  • French (also known as square or continental) – 65 x 65 cm / 26″ x 26″
  • Italian (rectangular) – 50 x 80 cm / 20″ x 32″
  • Spanish 50 x 75 cm / 20″ x 30″
  • Our brand new, large German size – 80 x 80 cm / 32″ x 32″
  • Finally, the stylish Navy Blue Cushion pillow covers, sized 45 x 65 cm / 18″ x 26″

Manufactured with care from a technologically-advanced material, these soft and durable, disposable pillow covers are ideal for hotels, motels, hostels, inns, B&Bs, day care centres and even unexpected visits from friends at home.

Disposible hotel pillow covers

Caractere UK now covers all sizes of pillows in Europe!

The hypo-allergenic fabric has no chemical or plastic smell, so guests will be able to enjoy a wonderful night’s sleep, whether you use with another layer as a pillow case or not. The covers are also effective at preventing the spread of lice, bed bugs, bacteria and dust mites in pillows, mattresses, and other bedding materials. After up to one month of use (or more, depending on the user’s preferences), these pillow cases can be thrown away or recycled.

The pillow cases come individually packaged, so cleanliness and hygiene are guaranteed for every client, every time. They open in the middle of the underside, which means fast and easy deployment, as well as an improved level of protection and coverage for both the pillow and the client. Each pillow case comes over-sized direct from the manufacturer, which ensures they will fit virtually all pillows sizes in the EU.

So now, British hotel owners, as well as others throughout Europe, can  rest assured with their choice to open accommodations anywhere on the continent.

For more information, visit Caractere UK’s website Disposable Linen, here:
http://disposable-linen.co.uk/bed-sheet-towelling-bedding/contents/en-uk/p37.html

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Maintaining Safety and Protection for the Staff of Nuclear Power Plants in the UK

A picture of a nuclear plant

The UK calls itself home to 9 different nuclear power plants

The nuclear industry plays a major role in providing power for a number of countries in Europe, especially in countries like France, Spain and the UK. Several large companies maintain a presence on the British Isles, including Areva, Hitachi, EDF and Westinghouse. In addition, the Universities of Sheffield and Manchester maintain a partnership called the NAMRC, or the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, which allows academic and industrial actors from different backgrounds in the nuclear supply chain to collaborate on projects of mutual interest.

With nuclear power comes its advantages, such as minimal greenhouse gas emissions and relatively safe containment methods. However, an accident could strike at any moment, as exemplified by the disasters of Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and most recently, Fukushima. For this reason, a constant standard of safety and protection must be kept for workers at nuclear power plants, so they can conduct their jobs in a secure, effective fashion.

A "smart" robot

Robots of this style are often employed by nuclear plant staff for dangerous missions

A total of nine nuclear plants are currently active in the UK, eight of which maintained by EDF Energy, and the remaining one by Magnox Limited. Together, the plants provide nearly one fifth of all electricity in the UK. The provision of supplies and maintenance of equipment in a hostile environment, specifically in close proximity to nuclear reactors and the plants that contain them, must be possible throughout day and night on a year-round basis.

Security cameras and robotic technologies have provided new, technologically-advanced methods to ensure safety even when people cannot intervene on ground. Still, nothing matches the precision and skills offered by the human eye, or the dexterity afforded by a pair of hands.

Full body protection by Caractere

Check out Caractere’s protective clothing offerings by clicking above.

Whether in the UK or elsewhere, the workers at a nuclear site find themselves constantly required to enter into zones of dangerously high levels of radiation, where they’re exposed to the hasards of this occupation. Regularly, the levels of radioactivity in these areas surpasses the normally acceptable levels for everyday life. All the heat generated from the reactor also causes concern, especially on warm summer days when the outside temperature can exceed those planned during the design process of the reactors.

Security and safety personnel can lower the amount of radiation to which they’re exposed by careful and assiduous use of vests, bodysuits, shoe covers, gloves and other protective equipment, as long as they remove these layers of protection after each exit from the dangerous zones.

Often, the workers must communicate with coworkers in other parts of the plant, if not from outside agencies or governmental structures, thanks to walkies-talkies and other closed-circuit communication devices.

Caractere's head set covers in white colour

One of the most popular products from Caractere, our white earphone covers!

In order to limit the amounts of radiation to which these brave workers are exposed, we’ve designed and manufactured protective covers for ear pieces and microphones of the type often necessary in this line of work. They allow the personnel to avoid getting into direct contact with a listening device that has already been exposed to radiation.

These headphone covers are a hygienic and disposable solution that slides over the listening portion of headsets. Using advanced manufacturing techniques, they’re crafted from a non-woven tissue of softened polypropylene, which is also entirely hypoallergenic.

Caractere's head set covers in black colour

Black earphone covers by Caractere

Each pair of earphone covers comes in an individually-wrapped clear plastic bag to assure perfect hygiene each and every time. What’s more, this closed bag method allows the staff of the plant to conduct a quick examination of the situation before distributing used covers. If the bag appears like it’s been opened, or that one earphone cover is already missing, that’s probably an indication that the set has already been used in a hazardous zone.

After each visit into the dangerous areas of the reactor, the covers can be removed and disposed of in the proper manner to maintain a constant level and standard of safety.

Disposable earphone covers by Caractere Paris

Caractere’s famous head set covers, available in white and black

It’s recommended to use a colour different from that of the headset, in order to permit easy identification. For example, on a black or gray headset, it makes the most sense to stick to white protective covers so your workers and managers can monitor the whole team’s status and ensure their safety.

For more information, please click here: http://bit.ly/1bedeAF

Of course, this information could be of equal importance to those working in other preventative fields, such as health and security inspectors, responsible for assuming some professional risks when on the job.

A Revolution in Bedding Protection: Wet Protect Mattress Covers by Caractère

Tired of traditional mattress protectors just not cutting it, or not doing the job well enough? Experiencing leaks, stains and odours even though you thought your beds were thoroughly protected? Try the new Wet Protect Mattress Cover from Caractère Paris!

Caractère Wet Protect

The new Wet Protect system from Caractère Paris!

Caractère is proud to introduce a series of new technological innovations rolled into one: Wet Protect! A cutting-edge, new line of mattress covers and protectors that assures your beds will be able to withstand even the heaviest of leaks, yet still remain soft and silent to the touch.

Did your hotel or guesthouse recently acquire new mattresses? Always a costly endeavour, those experienced in the tourism industry know that new bedding can prove a worthy investment over time. While expensive up front, this sort of expenditure will pay for itself through positive reviews and word of mouth from satisfied clients.

However, once you’ve bought top quality sleeping arrangements to make everyone happy, how can you make sure to guarantee a quality night’s sleep for every client, all the while keeping your mattresses in shape? Too often, hotel owners sacrifice comfort for safety. How many times have you tried to fall asleep on a bed while traveling and felt that crinkly, odd plasticized layer pressing against you through the sheets? Often, guests wake up in the middle of the night in these situations, covered in sweat and unable to fall back asleep. The next day, they cannot understand the exact cause of their fatigue, but it certainly makes it more difficult for them to enjoy their holiday. In the end, this can all be due to a low quality mattress protector that prioritizes covering the mattress rather than providing a restful sleep.

Caractère thought long and hard about how to resolve this conflict between the interests of the client and the interests of the accommodation owner. Finally, we believe we’ve reached the perfect compromise: The brand new Wet Protect system! Now you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for hygiene. At the same time, you can ensure your mattress investment won’t need to be replaced as frequently thanks to Wet Protect’s full mattress protection system against leaks and incontinence. Don’t throw out anything more than the sheets if you don’t have to! While you can easily wash and replace linens as part of typical daily maintenance and cleaning schedules, there’s no simple way to remove the stench of urine or defecation from a mattress. Too many of us know, there’s nothing worse than paying for a top-shelf hotel room or suite and than discovering your place of sleep, the most sacred part of a stay, will be bothered by unwanted odors, dampness or a noisy mattress cover.

mattress protector for hotel bedWet Protect answers all these needs with its combination of spongy cotton and polyester fibres sewn together in tiny, almost micro-fibre rings. Washable and breathable, this new mattress cover is one of the most sophisticated mattress protection system available on the market. Combined with a layer of polyurethane as a liner on the inside, no rival product comes close to this perfect combination of attributes. The unique and innovative materials prevent Wet Protect from causing those noisy, crackling disturbances so common in guest houses.

the mattress protector Wet Protect can resist 50 washs

Caractere’s Wet Protect  mattress covers can easily resist 50 washes

Resistant against the use of a washing machine, these sturdy new covers can withstand more than fifty wash cycles in lower temperature settings without shrinking or losing their leak resistance. The technological advance of polyurethane provides a never before seen or felt experience of softness, while still ensuring total impenetrability, even during the heaviest of leaks and accidents. Increased width of the ridges on the sides of  the covers, from 25 to 35 cm (10 to 14 inches), offer the highest quality protection possible for the top of your mattress, as well as the sides and corners of the bed. Manufactured in a neutral white tone and sold individually, Wet Protect guarantees maximum versatility in establishments both large and small, from the most basic to the most prestigious. When you’re looking for mattress protectors, choose a product that will make your accommodations stand out from the rest! Choose Wet Protect for a better night’s sleep, for both you and your guests.

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