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

Guangzhou to host World Routes 2018

October 2, 2017 by  
Filed under Events, News, North Asia

BARCELONA, 2 October 2017: The annual World Routes forum was officially handed over to next year’s host city, Guangzhou, at the closing ceremony in Barcelona late last week.

World Routes brings together airlines, airports and destinations to plan and negotiate future air services.

Guangzhou, an economic hub on the Pearl River in Guangdong Province, South China, often promoted alongside Hong Kong and Macau will host the event in 2018. Read more

World Routes heads for Barcelona

September 4, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, EUROPE, Events, News

LONDON, 4 September 2017: World Routes, a major global gathering of airlines, airports and tourism destinations, says the world top 10 airlines will attend its global event World Routes 2017 to be hosted in Barcelona, Spain later this month.

World Routes identities the top 10 airlines by passengers carried in a single year.

The annual event presents a platform for route development professionals to discuss, develop and plan network strategy. Read more

World’s biggest food fight

September 1, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

BUÑOL, Spain, 1 September 2017: Extra police were deployed at Spain’s annual “Tomatina” tomato throwing festival in the eastern town of Buñol on Wednesday to beef up security for one of Spain’s most popular events.

A total of 740 security forces were on duty, including police officers, firefighters and ambulance workers, an increase of around 5% over the same time last year, according to Buñol city hall.

In addition, police cars were parked at the entrance to the town’s narrow streets, where revellers pelted each other with tomatoes during the hour-long festivities, to prevent unauthorised vehicles from entering. Read more

Spain hunts terror suspects

August 21, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

BARECELONA, 21 August 2017: A grief-stricken Barcelona commemorated, Sunday, victims of two devastating terror attacks at a mass in the city’s Sagrada Familia church, as police hunted for a Moroccan man believed to be the driver who mowed down sauntering tourists last week.

As investigators scrambled to piece together the attacks which killed 14 people in all, Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido said Saturday the cell behind the carnage that also injured 120 and plunged the country into shock had been “dismantled,” though local authorities took a more cautious tone.

Police said they had cast a dragnet for 22-year-old Younes Abouyaaqoub, who media reports say was the driver of a van that smashed into people on Barcelona’s busy Las Ramblas boulevard on Thursday, killing 13. Read more

Spain will recover fast

August 21, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

PARIS, 21 August 2017: The attacks in Catalonia may hit tourist numbers, but the recent experience of other European countries suggests it will likely be brief, industry experts said.

Cancellations, early departures, fewer reservations: the impact of a terror attack on an European city can last from three to six months, said tourism professionals.

But the effect is dissipating quicker and quicker, they argue. Read more

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

France tops tourism chart

August 4, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

MADRID, 4 August 2017: France retained its position as the world’s favourite tourism destination in 2016, the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) said Wednesday, defying concerns over terror attacks.

The United States came second followed closely by Spain, according to annual figures that the Madrid-based UNWTO normally announces in January, but which were delayed this year.

But although France stayed on top of the tourist arrivals chart by welcoming 82.6 million visitors in 2016, that was a more than 2% drop from the previous year, the figures showed. Read more

Spain’s tourism heads for bumper year

July 17, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

MADRID, 17 July 2017: Spain’s tourism sector is poised for another bumper summer season as security concerns continue to lure visitors away from rival destinations to its cities and beaches, industry lobby group Exceltur said late last week.

Tourism activity will increase by 4.1% in 2017, Exceltur — which groups Spain’s major hotel chains, travel agents, tour operators and airlines — said in a statement. It had previously forecast an increase of 3.5%.

The body said the higher forecast was mainly due to the “strong increase in foreign demand, which was higher than forecast.” Read more

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