If you’ve spent any time in Italy, you know that transportation strikes are not uncommon. They’re so much a part of the culture, in fact, that an official Web site (in Italian) tracks and announces them well in advance. Working with a local destination management company or professional congress organizer to be informed of planned strikes is a regular piece of due diligence for any program in Italy.
With nine E.U. countries in recession at press time, however, the potential for strikes elsewhere is higher than ever. Already this year strikes have affected Greece, Belgium, Portugal, Spain—even Germany, where Lufthansa canceled hundreds of flights when Frankfurt ground handlers went on strike in March.
Your local partners are key to keeping you informed, but here are some online resources as well:
London Olympics—The Web site Get Ahead of the Games www.getaheadofthegames.com is a comprehensive resource that covers travel, parking, and other logistics issues affected by the Summer Olympic (July 27 to August 12) and Paralympic Games (August 29 to September 9). Any strike announcements will be listed here.
U.S. State Department—From the home page, click on “International Travel.” Use the drop-down menu to choose your country; click “Recent Embassy Notices,” then “Messages to U.S. Citizens” to find strike announcements.
Foreign & Commonwealth Office—Start at the home page of this United Kingdom government Web site. Click on “Travel Advice,” then on your specific country.