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Advice issued for business travellers on protests in European cities

BeTravelwise says travellers should be aware and prepared as protests break out in popular European destinations

Pictured: An anti-tourist protest in Barcelona

Corporate travel safety specialist beTravelwise says business travellers should be aware and prepared as anti-tourist protests break out in popular European destinations.

Activists in destinations including Barcelona, Rome and Dubrovnik have vented their anger in recent weeks over what they say is chronic overcrowding. In the wake of the protests, beTravelwise has issued advice designed to safeguard business travellers who find themselves affected.
BeTravelwise director Andy Prior said it was vital for business travellers to maintain awareness while travelling abroad and to monitor local media reports.
He said: “While it is clearly imperative to avoid violent demonstrations, the biggest issue facing business travellers is the potential disruption caused by social unrest and the unnecessary stress this can cause.
“Business travellers shouldn’t solely rely on their security representative or government advice regarding the potential threat posed by smaller, localised demonstrations. In areas where social unrest is likely, they should enquire at their hotel or with a local contact at least 24 hours in advance to factor in potential delays and identify alternative routes when taking important journeys.”

Tourism to Southern Europe has boomed this year, with Spain seeing visitor numbers rise 12 per cent year-on-year in the six months to June. The rise has been attributed to tourists turning away from popular North African destinations such as Tunisia and Egypt amid ongoing terrorism fears in the region.

However, this means that travellers are now facing rising anger in traditionally benign Western tourism hotspots. While most protests have been peaceful, a recent incident in Barcelona saw local activists smash the windows of a number of popular five-star hotels and attack a bus carrying foreign tourists.
BeTravelwise’s top tips for business travellers visiting Europe this summer:

- Impromptu demonstrations/ gatherings are rare and most are carefully organised and publicly announced through traditional and social media channels

- Demonstrations often occur around the same locations, such as government buildings and national symbols such as monuments

- Demonstrations often coincide with important national anniversaries and the threat is heightened during regional and national elections

- Don’t rely on distant sources for advice. In areas where social unrest is likely, ask your hotel representative or local contact for advice at least 24 hours before travelling

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