Private equity firm Permira, and France’s Axa, have received the “go” from EU regulators in their bid to buy online travel entity Opodo. The two investors intent to merge the Spanish Opodo company with Go Voyages and eDreams will create one of the digital world’s biggest online booking agencies.
The EU has now granted fee visa privileges to Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina in an effort to spur democratic reforms and progress. These two Balkan republics’ citizens can now travel freely within the Schengen area, basically all of the EU. Officials warn of a withdrawal of privileges should serious problems with immigration ensue.
Travel and tourism for Russia is up this year despite slow progress on the free visa issue. The EU’s apparent stalling of Russia on free travel is holding up what could be a boom for the industry worldwide. Business between the EU and the Russian Federation could take many countries out of the recession with expanded cooperation, so just why the EU is holding back makes little sense to many.