I get a lot of news about the travel industry, and each month I am going to advise you about a few items which I think might interest my readers.
Trouble with Russian Visas: According to a report, the long waits for visas has caused trip delays, cancellations and law suits. A new contractor to handle the visas has been brought in.
Travel Agent Fees: An industry report states that travel agents must charge fees and refuse to work with unpleasant clients.
London: Princess Diane exhibit of jewelry and gowns at Kensington Palace will be extended until October 28.
International Airfares: Fares could increase if countries opposed to a planned expansion of the European Union's emissions-trading program make good on their promise to retaliate.
Fewer Travelers in Europe: Report shows disparity in travel growth between Europe and the United States Travel from Europe to the U.S. grew 5.6% in 2011 while travel to Europe rose 3%. Negative economic news in Europe is discouraging people from going there.
Disney on the upswing: Disney completed a $1 billion revamp. Attendance of 6.3 million is a 12 percent increase.
Airline Passengers Unhappy: Passenger satisfaction is down 2 percent according to a recent survey. On an average, it is 681 out of 1000-point scale. People are not happy with U.S. airlines.
London Warns of Phony Cops: Criminals posing as undercover cops are issuing fines for tourists and demanding cash. Police are also warning about bogus Olympic ticket websites.
Turkish Airlines may bid for Aer Lingus Stake: The airline is looking at bidding for the 25% stake owned by the Irish Government.
South American Merger Creates Mega Airline: The merger of Chile's LAN airline and Brazil's TAM has created an airline with an estimated market capitalization of $13M, the largest of any line in the world.
Work starts on Refloating the Concordia: Salvage crews began preliminary work this week on preparations to refloat the half-submerged Costa Concordia cruise liner in what is set to be the biggest ever operation of its kind. A barge has been moved next to the liner and the ship's radar has been removed from the upper deck. The swimming pool slide and the large yellow funnel will be taken off next. The ship is expected to be stablized by the end of August.
Carnival Corporation has reported that its profits has dropped by 96% since this disaster.
The Great American Steamboat Company has a new name: It is changing its name to the American Queen Steamboat Co.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line is Upgrading Internet Service: The cruise line has announced that it will be upgrading its internet service next summer. At present, it is costly and slow. No pricing has been announced yet.