Tourism: Too much of a good thing

August 18, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

BARCELONA, 18 August 2017: “Never again a summer like this”: Exasperated with the hordes of visitors they blame for making their city unliveable, Barcelona residents have risen in protest.

The hugely popular Catalan metropolis has become the latest European hotspot to eye tourism with hostility.

From the romantic canals of Venice to the walled mediaeval town of Dubrovnik via the wilderness of Scotland’s Isle of Skye, tourism is morphing into a nightmare for many locals, despite the jobs and income it undoubtedly generates. Read more

Terrorist attack in Barcelona

August 18, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

BARCELONA, 18 August 2017: Victims of a van rampage in Barcelona that left 13 people dead and around 100 others injured were of at least 18 different nationalities, Spain’s civil protection agency said Friday.

A spokesman said that among the victims in the popular seaside city were nationals from France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Argentina, Venezuela, Belgium, Australia, Hungary, Peru, Romania, Ireland, Greece, Cuba, Macedonia, China, Italy and Algeria — without detailing whether he was referring to those who died or were injured.

A van driver ploughed into crowds of pedestrians on Barcelona’s most popular street in broad daylight on Thursday, killing 13 people in an attack claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group. Read more

Turkey takes a long holiday

August 17, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

ANKARA, 17 August 2017: The Turkish government on Tuesday extended upcoming public holidays to 10 days in the hope of boosting the tourism sector which has been hit by a slump in foreign visitors.

Turks were already looking forward to several holidays in the next few weeks, with Victory Day on 30 August followed by the Muslim Feast of the Sacrifice Festival from 31 August to 4 September.

But there had been pressure from the tourism sector for 28 to 29 August to be declared public holidays, creating a link to the previous weekend and giving people a full 10 days off. Read more

Ryanair calls for booze curb

August 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, EUROPE, News

LONDON, 16 August 2017: Ryanair on Monday called for British airports to impose a two-drink limit on passengers and end boozing at breakfast time to help curb a rise in rowdy passengers.

The Irish no-frills airline wants airport bars and restaurants to check boarding passes and sell no more than two alcohol drinks per pass, in addition to stopping them selling any alcohol before 1000.

Ryanair said its intervention came “in the wake of increased disruptive behaviour from passengers travelling from British airports”. Read more

Outrage at Swiss discrimination

August 16, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, Hospitality, News

GENEVA, 16 August 2017: A Swiss hotel that posted signs telling Jewish clients to shower before using the pool and restricting their access to the facility’s freezer has unleashed outrage and official complaints from Israel.

The Paradies apartment hotel in the Alpine village of Arosa in eastern Switzerland is being accused of anti-Semitism after an outraged guest posted to Facebook a picture of a notice plastered outside the hotel pool.

“To our Jewish Guests, women, men and children, please take a shower before you go swimming,” it said, adding that “If you break the rules I’m forced to (close) the swimming pool for you.” Read more

Air Berlin broke but still flies

August 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, EUROPE, News

BERLIN, 16 August 2017: Germany’s struggling budget airline Air Berlin on Tuesday said it had filed for insolvency proceedings after its main shareholder Etihad Airways said it “would not provide any further financial support”.

The German government was providing a bridging loan to keep flights going, it added in a statement.

In a separate statement German rival, Lufthansa, said it was in talks with Air Berlin to take over parts of the group. Read more

TUI summer sales lift spirits

August 16, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

FRANKFURT, 16 August 2017: German travel group TUI confirmed a bright outlook for its full financial year as summer bookings lifted the mood following a net loss in the first half.

TUI, whose business year runs from October to September, reported a net profit of 47.7 million euros (USD56 million) between April and June, a fall of some 45% compared with the same period last year.

Meanwhile, operating, or underlying profit grew 37.2% to 221.6 million euros on an adjusted basis, on the back of revenues up 12.6% at almost 4.8 billion. Read more

App finds a pilot

August 15, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, EUROPE, News

LONDON, 15 August 2017: A French start-up is reaching for the skies with a flight-sharing app, matching pilots with passengers looking for a low-cost way to take off in a private aircraft.

“It’s a great way to get on planes. It’s quite a unique experience. It’s something new,” says Adam Nicholas, 27, at an airfield close to London.

He is readying for his second trip with Wingly, a French firm connecting passengers and pilots for short flights, and the undisputed market leader in Europe with a community of more than 80,000 members. Read more

Mandarin travels to South America

August 10, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, Hospitality, News

HONG KONG, 10 August 2017: Hotel Santiago opened last week under Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group’s management following the group’s announcement in May.

Formerly the Grand Hyatt Santiago, the property will undergo an extensive room and public area renovation, the first stage of which is scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2018.

Located in Chile’s capital city, the hotel will remain open throughout the period, and is now accepting reservations. This is the group’s first property in South America. Read more

Support emerges for Gulf airlines

August 9, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, Aviation, News

WASHINGTON, 9 August 2017: A coalition of transportation and tourism businesses, on Monday, called on the US government to preserve aviation agreements with Gulf nations despite accusations of unfair trade by major US airlines.

Businesses including courier service FedEx, budget air carrier JetBlue and hotel giant Wyndham, oppose calls from Delta, American Airlines and United to renegotiate open skies agreements with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

The three biggest US air carriers say Abu Dhabi and Doha have pumped billions in unfair subsidies into their national airlines Etihad and Qatar Airways, and they are lobbying the Trump administration to step in. Read more

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