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January 2012

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31 January 2012 - London Olympic Bed Debacle

Posted by: Alan

Britain is going to lose billions of dollars in tourism earnings this year because Olympic Games organisers have blocked off far more hotel rooms than they need. The claim is being made by industry leaders following a weekend disclosure that the Games committee has over-estimated by 25% the number of rooms needed for officials, media and sponsors.

It will see 120,000 of the 600,000 booked nights handed back to hotels.

But tour operators say the sudden flood of unsold rooms will come too late to be of any use.

London newspaper The Independent says an analysis suggests that up to one million beds will now go unsold over the Games period.

The paper quotes Premium Tours, a leading sightseeing operator based in London, predicting a one-third decline in business this year.

MD Neil Wootton said: "Prices have been so high that tourists are moving elsewhere.

"Overseas wholesalers who traditionally push London have switched to other cities this year.

"If the Parisian and Italian hoteliers do their job then the tours may never return to London."

By the end of January his company has normally sold one-fifth of summer capacity. It is currently 60% below that figure.

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30 January 2012 - Spanair collapses

Posted by: Alan

An estimated 22,000 travellers were left stranded at the by the Friday night collapse of Spain’s fourth-biggest airline, Spanair. "Faced with the lack of financial visibility for the coming months, the company has decided to cease its operations as a measure of caution and safety," the carrier said in a statement.

The move reportedly came without warning, with passengers continuing to arrive as airport check-in counters after flights were grounded.

Airports authority AENA said 54 flights were scrapped at Madrid airport and 54 at Barcelona.

Spanair was founded in 1986 and recently tried to survive by a tie-up with Middle East carrier Qatar Airways, but this fell through.

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03 January 2012 - Child Smuggling Ring Thwarted

Posted by: Alan

Alertness and quick thinking by Emirates staff at Dubai Airport have foiled an attempt by people smugglers to traffic children into Europe.

Four Chinese children arrived at Dubai Airport en route to a European country, accompanied by a man and a woman claiming to be their parents.

Emirates airlines employees in the airport transit hall became suspicious about the groups’ identities and contacted police.

Their passports were found to have been forged and DNA tests on the six passengers revealed that the two adults were not the parents of the children.
The children, aged 11, 13, 15 and 16, were not related.

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