The news that the Danish parliament moved on Friday to reintroduce limited border controls, should not really come as any surprise. With one segment of the EU pushing hard for austerity measures on the other side, and the Russian Federation being nixed at every turn on free visa travel, and general upheaval increasing overall, isn’t it clear more than one border crossing is at risk?
Just when you’d think European travelers may have had their fill of airline delays and disruptions, industry workers in the UK, Greece, and France decide it’s time to strike some more. A walk out by taxi drivers in Paris, striking air traffic controllers in Greece, and UK border officials demonstrating, these latest upheavals cannot help Europe travel.
The European Travel Commission recently announced a travel contest via their Facebook engagement to attract US tourists to the continent. In what could be classified as either symbolic, or simply Europe’s latest and greatest online misfire, the pronounced Facebook engagement is nowhere to be found. The so called “I Wish I Were There” contest, is so far only a dream?
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.