Tourists continue to travel to Europe, but in May and June, they will face new challenges: the tourism sector is no longer dealing with the pandemic, but it is definitely dealing with its consequences, which are superimposed on rising oil prices and now strikes that took place all over Europe.
As the portal Schengenvisainfo reported, due to mass protests that will cover at least four countries, tourists will face forced changes to their vacation plans. To understand the scale of the problem, the well-known low-cost airline Ryanair provided some figures: due to the 50-day strikes of air traffic controllers across Europe, 3,700 flights were disrupted from January to April and the plans of more than 666,000 passengers were disrupted.
Here is a list of states where protests are expected in the coming days and weeks:
Belgium. On May 22, on Monday, employees of the transportation sector will take to the streets to protest against violations of workers’ rights and social dumping. Disruptions are expected in the operation of buses, trams, and the metro. It is recommended to check with Brussels’ main transport operator (STIB-MIVB) for information on possible delays and timetable changes.
Spain. Airline pilots are protesting against the actions of the Ministry of Transport. Protest actions should begin on May 22, Monday. Strikes and flight delays are expected until Friday, May 26, and their continuation on May 29, 30, June 1, and 2. Other categories of workers can join the protests.
Italy. Trade union strikes were postponed to June 4 due to floods in Emilia-Romagna. However, two unions, CUB and USB, have continued to protest unstable labor contracts and low wages since May 19, prompting Italy’s national carrier ITA to cancel 113 domestic flights and forcing passengers to find other ways to leave. Domestic flight cancellations and flight delays are expected in May and June. A general strike is planned for May 26, which may affect the operation of trams, subways, and buses, and possibly flights as well.
France. Locals take to the streets, declaring their disagreement with the reform on increasing the retirement age. The next strike dates are scheduled for June 6 and 8. Cancellation of flights and closure of tourist routes are possible.
What should tourists who are heading to the region do? Passengers are advised to be prepared for possible flight delays and cancellations, as well as to monitor updates from airlines and transport operators, as protests, which often develop into powerful and protracted clashes, can negatively affect travel and visits to European countries in general.