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

Accor cements hold in villa market

August 8, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

PARIS, 8 August 2017: Travellers will soon be able to experience over 10,000 homes, villas and apartments combined with professional hospitality and concierge service, worldwide,  under a single brand onefinestay.

AccorHotels announced, last week, it was grouping Travel Keys, Squarebreak and onefinestay with the intention to integrate the three companies under a single onefinestay brand by the end of the year.

The announcement signifies the finalising of an agreement with the founders of Squarebreak for the acquisition of the entire share capital. Read more

Portuguese island hit by storms

August 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, EUROPE, News

LISBON, 7 August 2017: Dozens of flights in and out of the Portuguese holiday island of Madeira were cancelled on Sunday due to strong winds, stranding thousands of passengers, airport officials said.

Twenty-four flights which were scheduled to take off from the island’s Cristiano Ronaldo airport were scrubbed, as were 24 that were due to land, Portugal’s airport operator ANA said.

The cancellations affected around 5,500 passengers, an ANA spokesman at the airport near Funchal, the capital of Madeira, told public television RTP. Read more

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