Summer is the highest season for tourism in Europe. In a continent in which most countries concentrate their yearly vacation time in July and August, travel sees a predictable peak that nevertheless always brings troubles and complications.
Following a trend that has been going on for months, if not years, this summer a major cause of inconveniences is strikes.
Last Friday Italian Union CGIL proclaimed strikes that froze public transportation for about 4 hours. The day before an air-service strike hit France for 4 hours as well, and only a last-minute agreement between Lufthansa and its pilots prevented the umpteenth strike for the German carrier.
Today it's Croatia's time to make the news. The country's national carrier is canceling a third of its flights for a day as cabin crews begin striking to demand better working conditions.
The strike, which begins today and lasts until Tuesday, came at the start of Croatia's high season for tourism. Croatia has been a rising star in the European tourism industry, being now a major destination for those who look for a Mediterranean vacation at a reasonable price (surprisingly, for Italians too, who find better prices than in their own territory just across the Adriatic sea). Tourism the country's No. 1 source of foreign currency.
"Croatia Airlines" says 33 out of its 96 flights Friday are canceled; others might face delays. It says the strike could affect about 24,000 passengers and cost the company 1 million kuna (euro140,000) a day (Croatia hasn't been granted the Euro as a currency yet).
The cabin crew union says the company repeatedly refused to sign an agreement defining their rights, such as days off and the terms of layoffs.
Not a great start of the season, but hopefully it will all be settled and tourists will be able to reach and experience beautiful Croatia hassle-free.