London on fire
Photo: Reuters

Israeli tourists undeterred by London riots

Travelers continue to flock to one of most popular destinations among Israelis. 'Passengers don't view the situation there as they would view a tsunami in Thailand or Japan,' travel agent explains

The summer's busiest travel season begin Wednesday, a day after Tisha B'Av. This Thursday is expected to be the busiest day, with more than 62,000 incoming and outgoing passengers scheduled to pass through Ben-Gurion Airport.


London, one of the most popular vacation destinations among Israeli travelers, is in the midst of violent riots, which have spread to other cities in the kingdom. Some 16,000 police officers have been deployed on the streets to help maintain order.


Those who have already purchased flight tickets, and are now afraid of visiting the kingdom, will find it difficult to cancel their trip at such short notice without having to pay a fine. Airlines flying from Israel to Britain have not made any changes in their schedules, and a passenger having second thoughts will be forced to pay a cancellation fee or even the entire cost of the ticket.


Passengers are advised to contact their travel agents for information on the cancelation policy, and decide accordingly. The same applies for hotel reservations.


What about tourists who have already arrived in the English capital? The British transportation authorities have been trying to convey calming messages. London Transport Commissioner Peter Hendy has been quoted as saying that 'good services are operating across London's transport networks. Some bus routes remain on local diversion and Tramlink services are partially suspended."


A special website offers live public transportation news from London, including real-time changes and updates on the lines closed due to the riots.


Spain next in line?

"People are asking a lot of questions, because the images on the news are not fun to watch," Issta Lines VP marketing Ronen Carasso told Ynet, adding that cancellations were rare.


"We are pretty immune against these things," he said. "Passengers don't view the situation there as they would view a tsunami in Thailand or Japan. We Israelis are quite undeterred by it."


Dana Lavi, marketing director for the Hadaka 90 travel agency, told Ynet there had been no requests from passengers to cancel flight tickets to London. "The demand is very similar to what we've seen in the past, without any changes," she said.


But England is not the only problematic destination. Some of Spain's airports are facing disruptions in the coming days after tens of thousands of workers have threatened to launch a strike. According to the latest information, disruptions are expected on August 18 in the airports of Malaga and the Canary Islands. Madrid's metro workers are also threatening to launch a strike in the coming days.


Meanwhile, good news appears to be coming our way from Greece – another popular travel destination among Israelis: The taxicab drivers' strike in the country has been halted after putting many tourists in great distress for several days.



פרסום ראשון: 08.10.11, 13:07
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