As time goes by, 150,000 UK citizens currently find themselves stranded abroad, unable to return to their loved ones. Stories I'm hearing all too regularly are of people being told they might be able to return in May. Of course, this is where social media is really coming into itsown. I am receiving alerts from google about people writing on their blogs while stuck in their hotels in Egypt, Greece, France, USA, Canada and more. In addition to this, Facebook allows a fully informed, up-to-date version of what is happening in different countries to people you know and allows an excellent exchange of ideas on how to return home and the situation they are currently facing. At the same time, I'm hearing of people desperate to travel to the Far East and elsewhere for the sake of their businesses, which may be put into jeopardy if transactions cannot be performed in person. At Darren Panto Associates (www.dpaglobal.co.uk), we have been working hard to try and assist tour operators and individuals get people back to the UK, any way possible, generally by train and road. Of course, ferry companies between many different companies are also full to the brim.The consequences of all these seemingly endless cancelled flights may be dire and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Whilst the internet is keeping people in touch, what the internet cannot do just yet is blow away a cloud.
What a strange phenomenon. A volcano in Iceland is spewing tonnes of volcanic ash into the sky and it is drifting acorss the UK, slowly. The result of this is that once again Iceland is hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons, only this time it really has brought Europe to a standstill. Well, at least as far as air travel is concerned. The real money apears to be on international flights re-starting in a couple of weeks, but we see everything postponed day by day, one at a time, officially. The implications are going to become clearer as time rolls on, with dire consequences for some, not least those in the travel industry and the travel news in Travel Weeekly (www.travelweekly.co.uk) , TTG (ttglive.com) and Travel Bulletin (www.travelbulletin.co.uk) is likely to be dominated by stories coming out of the industry. Those with a sense of responsibility to their clients are likely to be the hardest hit, ironically. for those in the hotel representation and destination marketing fields, well, it is a case of wait and see. I'm not a fan of the "staycation", but it has some merit. Conversely, how will the fruit and products get to the UK if not by air? Watch the supermarket shelves empty, fast.