This Morning’s travel expert has spoken of the vile abuse he has received from people who didn’t agree with his advice.
Simon Calder was the subject of more than 100 complaints last week from unhappy viewers.
He was on the ITV show to discuss the prospect of booking a UK break for the upcoming half-term.
Simon angered some viewers after suggesting people could visit areas in mid-Wales – as south and north Wales face local lockdowns.
Some claimed it was ‘unacceptable’ for him to suggest people outside the country enter when residents face tough restrictions in neighbouring regions.
As well as Ofcom complaints, Simon had personal abuse on social media.
Writing in a column in The Independent, Simon said he received messages calling him ‘a maggot’.
He said he was told to ‘f*** off and stay in England’.
Another called him ‘absolute scum of a man’.
Simon wrote in response: “I have written to many people who have contacted me on social media, including these three detractors, to highlight the remarkable alignment between my recommendations and those of the Welsh tourism agency.
“Quite rightly, it is for the people of Wales to decide whether, when and which tourists should visit the nation.
“The hundreds of people I inadvertently angered may be glad to hear that I have no further plans to book a stay in Wales.”
He added: “I intended to inspire travellers to enjoy, responsibly, a part of the UK that is rich in wonders, and hoped their visits would in turn support local businesses.
“Anyone who chooses to offer their views in the media must be open to a robust response. I take criticism on the chin and seek to learn from it. Never, though, have I encountered such intense abuse as my well-intentioned remarks triggered this week.
“From the privileged position of someone able to express their views in the media, I simply say: in these difficult times, tourists increasingly cherish the virtues of kindness, tolerance and welcome.”
Simon told Mirror Online : “I understand the deep concern of any community that is fearful of outsiders spreading this vile virus. Quite rightly, it is for the people of Wales to decide whether, when and which tourists should visit the nation.
“Ahead of the broadcast I saw that Visit Wales, part of the Welsh government, was recommending exactly the same locations as me – the town of Machynlleth and Cardigan Bay resorts such as Aberystwyth.”
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