The latest British Region Bulletin is now available for all members to read (log in required)
6 May 2015 - Italian Politics
Italy has been long known for delays in Parliament because of fights between the multitude of small, diverse political parties blocking, delaying and demanding concessions. Now a change in the political system in Italy will see a proportional representation system come into effect next year.
6 May 2015 – Swiss Borders
The Schengen agreement has meant that often Swiss border posts are closed off peak and if travelling by train you won't find a tax office. It is not allowed to leave the refund forms in a post box. Gubelin has a stamp free system in operation. Please check their website for details. NOTE: Retail outlets are requesting passenger lists with nationalities and passport numbers, including Tour Manager details.
Renovations complete in Lucerne, information for coaches
The renovation works at Schwanenplatz are now complete, however there are some restrictions on coaches at Schwanenplatz during peak periods. Dropping off passengers is possible at all times, picking up passengers is no longer possible between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. During this time, you may pick up your passengers at Löwenplatz, where there are no restrictions. Coach parking is also available at Löwenplatz. If you are visiting Lucerne for the first time this year note that the Swiss Franc has risen against the Euro and is almost at parity! A result of this is that agreements have been made with clock manufacturers to lower prices in Swiss Francs as the Euro prices have risen, making Swiss shopping more competitive. As always please support our Allied members whenever possible.
Members may now log-in to read the May issue of the IATM Newsletter
6 April 2015 - Border checks on coach parties delayed
Full passport checks on coach passengers leaving Britain are to be delayed for several weeks in another watering down of the border controls coming into force this week. Ministers have agreed that only one in four organised coach parties should be monitored as they leave via ports when exit checks are introduced on Wednesday 8 April. They have already agreed that only one in five cars carrying British and EU citizens should be checked when they exit via the rail shuttle after being warned that 100 per cent checks risked gridlock. As well as being warned of the potential chaos at ports, ministers are also desperate to avoid bad traffic on major roads near Dover and the consequent embarrassment during the election.
22 April 2015 - National Strike Belgium
Due to a National Strike in Belgium on 22 April 2015, Eurostar services on the Brussels route will only be able to operate to and from Lille Europe on this day, resulting in a reduced timetable. There will be no services to or from Brussels Midi.
02 April 2015 - Richard 111
A Leicester camping shop was quick to cash in on the media frenzy surrounding Richard lll's re-burial in the Cathedral. It re-named itself the Richard lll Camping Shop and a large window notice told bargain hunters "now is the winter of our discount tent."
02 April 2015 - Cut! Tourists coming through…
Visitors arriving at Laycock got an unexpected bonus when they were allowed to mingle with the actors of Downton Abbey, who were filming the final series in the High Street. They were allowed to walk through the film set to get to their lunch venue.
02 April 2015 - The peasants are revolting!
The Queen could experience the first-ever industrial action in any of her Royal Households. Windsor Castle staff, in dispute over low pay, will be balloted about taking industrial action, which could lead to wardens not answering tourists’ questions.
CUBA - New United States government regulations, as of February 20th, 2015
Copa Airlines will begin U.S. ticket sales to Cuba via Panama. This new general license allows persons under United States jurisdiction to offer travel services to Cuba, as long as the travel is authorized. There is no need for a specific license from the OFAC and the visit is NOT FOR THE PURPOSE OF TOURISM. The passenger must certify to the airline that the purpose of his/her travel falls within one of the 12 categories authorized by this amendment. This document will be requested at the first point of contact with the airline at the outbound airport, and is a requirement in order for the passenger to travel.
30 March 2015 - Parisian Shops opening on Sundays
Despite recent press coverage, neither of the Bvd. Hausmann giants have announced changed opening hours. Printemps however have opened an outlet in the Louvre from 10.00am to 8.00pm, 7 days a week
25 March 2015 - ASTA Members March on Washington, Assemble CAC, Review Consumer Awareness Campaign
ASTA’s Second Annual Legislative Day was met with huge success on March 19 when at least 50 members representing all segments of our industry marched to Capitol Hill to present legislative priorities important to travel agents. http://contactbeacon.com/cb/r2.php?id=2096968-335205775
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) has launched a new app that allows users to search for war graves in more than 23,000 locations in 153 countries.
Bookings through smartphones and tablets represent the biggest part of the growth in the online travel sector globall (Tourism Review).
Trafalgar Tours has announced 11 new tours for smaller groups in 2015.
09 September 2014 - Schönefeld airport Berlin
Berlin: As one of Europe's short haul weekend favourites with 1.18 million British visitors in 2013, there are many "no-frills" flights available, and most of these use Schönefeld Airport, a 45 minute ride by rail from the centre. However the airport lies just out side AB zone, A ticket to zone C is €3.20, only 60 cents more expensive than AB. If you are caught without the correct ticket there is an on-the-spot fine of €40. Signs in English are not readily visible.
Free admission to Italian museums for over 65's, which had benefitted over a third of visitors, has been withdrawn (Tourism Review).
IATM members resident in EU States are reminded that Citybond offers a discount for travel insurance. Click the link above for further information. (Member log-in required).
From today roaming charges in EU countries have been cut in half ahead of plans to scrap them completely (BBC).
EU Member States are considering whether to greatly restrict air passengers' rights to compensation for cancellation or delay.
G20 leaders have for the first time recognized the importance of Travel and Tourism to the world economy.
In a debate with Globus over marketing strategy, President of Trafalger, Paul Wiseman, says that the No. 1 element in group travel is a professional travel director. Read the full article by clicking the above link (travelweekly.com).
At a meeting of the IATM board of directors held in London, 9-11 November, 2007, the board made an important statement of policy regarding the employment status of Tour Managers.
08 November 2004 - IATM Policy on GVI Class Action
A meeting of the IATM Board of Directors held 5-7 November, 2004, considered the implications of the recent GVI Class Action. A policy statement was agreed stressing the desire of Tour Managers to retain their freelance (independent contractor) status and encouraging Tour Operators to give greater recognition and value to their Tour Managers.