Catalan crisis cuts hotel bookings

December 8, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, Hospitality, News

MADRID, 8 December 2017: Hotel reservations in Barcelona are down by 10% in the first quarter of 2018 over the same time last year due to Catalonia’s separatist crisis, which could lead to job losses in the sector, industry lobby group Exceltur said earlier this week.

If the trend continues “tourism company heads may have to start adjusting the number of their employees to adapt to lower levels of demand,” Exceltur — which groups Spain’s major hotel chains and tour operators — said in a statement.

Hotels expect they would have to reduce their staff by an average of 8.2%, while car rental firms predict they would shrink their payrolls by about 5%, it added. Read more

Pressure mounts on Myanmar

September 18, 2017 by  
Filed under Myanmar, News

DHAKA, 18 September 2017: Bangladesh restricted the movement of Rohingya refugees, Saturday, banning them from leaving overcrowded border areas where over 400,000 who have fled violence in neighbouring Myanmar are living in squalid conditions.

The tough new measures came as Dhaka struggled to cope with the scale of the “unprecedented crisis”, with Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina heading for the UN General Assembly to plead for global help.

Conditions are already worsening in Bangladesh’s southeast border district of Cox’s Bazar, where the majority of refugees are living in desperate circumstances after fleeing Myanmar’s violence-wracked Rakhine state. Read more

No winners in Gulf crisis

June 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Middle east, News

DUBAI, 13 June 2017: Qatar Airways has made Doha a global hub in just a few years, but barring it from Gulf states’ airspace threatens its position as a major transcontinental carrier, experts say.

Along with its Gulf peers — Dubai’s Emirates Airlines and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad — Qatar’s national carrier has captured a sizable portion of transit travel, capitalising on the Gulf’s central geographic location.

But political differences between Qatar and neighbouring Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, as well as Egypt, exploded last week into a full-blown regional crisis, including severing air links. Read more

TripAdvisor steps up crisis aid

September 21, 2016 by  
Filed under News, Singapore

SINGAPORE, 21 September 2016: TripAdvisor announced, Tuesda,y a commitment of at least USD5 million from the TripAdvisor Charitable Foundation over the next three years to aid the humanitarian refugee crisis.

For its initial contribution, the foundation will expand its partnership with The International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Mercy Corps providing USD1 million over two years to each organisation.

Additionally, through its TripAdvisor Media Group, the company has committed to provide in-kind support in multiple areas. The multi-year commitment was announced in advance of the White House’s Private Sector Call to Action Roundtable on 20 September at UN Headquarters. Read more

Costly encounter with a bird

February 6, 2015 by  
Filed under Don Ross, Travel Logs

NAY PYI TAW, 6 February 2015: It’s a crisp cool dawn, perfect weather for a sortie around Nay Pyi Taw’s brand new airport. They say the early bird catches the worm, but one particular bird flying from its nest this particular morning will catch far more than breakfast.

A Golden Myanmar captain fires up the A320-200 for a routine flight from Yangon to Nay Pyi Taw airport to pick up 179 ASEAN Tourism Forum delegates in a hurry to return home after a week-long  trade show. It’s going to be a long day.

Buses pick-up delegates from hotels as early as 0300 arriving at the slick-looking airport a good one hour and 20 minutes before the flight is due to depart at 0520. Restaurants and coffee station are closed in this carpeted airport that looks as if it has jumped fresh out of the pages of an Ikea catalogue section called ‘choose your perfect airport.’

Read more