Activists who claim that tourism in Spain is destroying Spanish cities, driving up rents and forcing out young people are staging protests outside restaurants and hotels and in public areas.
This summer four hooded activists attacked a tourist bus in Barcelona, slashing tyres and spraying slogans on it. In other incidents smoke flares were set off outside a seafront restaurant in Palma, Majorca, and paint was sprayed across the HQ of the Basque Country Tourist Board.
The Spanish Association of Travel Agents has warned that the protests could escalate into “incidents of real violence” against visitors to Spain, where tourism employs 2.5 million people.
An Alpine hotel in Arosa, Switzerland has been branded as anti-Semitic after it put up a poster by its pool aimed at Jewish guests.
The poster, placed at the Aparthaus Paradies hotel, was headed “To our Jewish Guests. Men, Women and Children” and warned “Please take a shower before you go swimming and although after swimming (sic) If you break the rules, I’m forced to cloes (sic) the swimming pool for you. Thank you for understanding” It was signed by the hotel’s manager Ruth Thomann.
Ms Thomann, who quickly took the sign down when reports appeared in newspapers, claimed that there was no anti-semitic intent but admitted that it was “naive” and that the message should have been addressed to all guests using the pool, and not just the Jewish ones.
Spokesman for Swiss Tourism Markus Berger admitted the sign was “unacceptable” but urged the press to keep the “one unfortunate incident in perspective” and accept that Ms Thomann was “just one lady at one hotel who was not on top of the situation”.
Organisers booking delegates into hotels overseas might want to enquire reference the hotel’s policy for guests who become ill, or are injured during their stay.
Some hotels are being bribed to deliver them to expensive private clinics where the guest’s travel insurance cover may not be valid, leaving them to foot the bill.
Guests, or their organisers, should always contact their insurers on the emergency hotline for any kind of medical emergency or need for treatment, to allow them to find a state-run facility in preference to a private clinic that may have bribed the hotel.
Tiny Cow, organisers of the recent new Hope and Glory music festival in Liverpool cancelled the second of the two days after a “chaotic” first day that saw music fans forced to wait for hours due to overcrowding.
Fans, many of whom had travelled from all parts of the UK for the weekend of August 5/6 were promised a line-up of bands including James, the Lightning Seeds, Razorlight and Charlotte Church were treated to a “no festival today” statement from Tiny Cow CEO Lee O’Hanlon, who blamed production difficulties for the collapse, along with accusations that Liverpool City Council had stolen food provided for performers.
It is thought that those who paid to attend the aborted festival will not get any of their costs back.
O’Hanlon’s event management company Tiny Cow use the advertising slogan “we make it happen”.
The American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) is warning travellers that search engines are taking bookers to sites that look like the hotel’s direct or “official” site but are in fact clever copies of them.
Customers who the book find out when they get to their chosen hotel that they have in fact booked through a third party, paying an additional 25% booking fee. Some find that they have also paid for things they didn’t need, like an extra bed in the room, or disabled access, and others, who have tried to cancel have found it impossible to get their money back.
Management of London Luton airport say they are “disappointed” at the results of the Which? survey giving them a customer satisfaction score of 29%, with descriptions such as “chaos” and “a rip of”. The airport has been at the bottom of the Which? ranking for the last five years.
Top marks went to Doncaster Sheffield at 87%, with good scores achieved by London Southend at 84%, Norwich and Southampton both at 75% and Exeter at 71%. Joining Luton lower down was Manchester Terminal 1 at 50%, Aberdeen at 44%, Manchester Terminal 3 at 43% and London Stansted at 38%.
Organisers booking events at Bath University, or planning to, may like to know that they are helping Britain’s highest paid Vice-Chancellor and her well-paid team get even richer.
Dame Glynis Bakewell enjoyed a package worth £451,000 last year, including her free £1.6 million home in Bath, a fact that has prompted four MPs so far to leave the Court of Bath University in protest and call for her resignation. Her pay has been described as “unjustifiable” and “unfair” against the fact that “students take on a debt of £60,000 and spend 30 years of their working lives paying it off.”
Apparently 66 senior managers at the University are on six-figure salaries, with 13 trousering more than £150,000, facts that will doubtless inspire event organisers earning considerably less.
Given that Theresa May has announced war on the “abhorrent greed” of fat cat business types she might want to take on board that some of the young, developing minds at our universities are being set a bad example by Bakewell.
The modern Ely Cathedral Conference Centre offers one room for 80 theatre-style, divisible into two, two rooms for 30 and one for 20. All have free secure internet connection and upper rooms have lift access. There is a fully equipped kitchen area and free car parking nearby.
The Centre is adjacent to historic Ely’s impressive cathedral and close to Oliver Cromwell’s House. Inside the Cathedral is a unique Stained Glass Museum with more than 1,000 stained glass panels and windows illustrating more than 800 years of the art.
Tel: 01353 659668 Web: centre.elycathedral.org
The Academic Venue Showcase takes place on Wednesday October 11 at the Emirates Stadium, London.
Entry is free and a range of short 20-minute educational sessions are offered to visitors.
“Men cluster to me like moths around a flame, and if their wings burn I know I’m not to blame” So sang Marlene Dietrich, one of the screen’s first femme fatales in Josef Sternberg’s The Blue Angel, (1930), one of seven films he made with her.
Twenty three years later he revisited the theme of the lethal siren with his last, and reportedly favourite film, The Saga of Anatahan, based on a true story and charting the sad decline in morals and humanity of twelve Japanese male sailors shipwrecked off the tiny three mile by one mile rocky, jungle-covered island of Anatahan in June 1944 after their ship is sunk by American planes. Continue reading