Grown-up Travel Guide News Update – 15.12.2011

In which we present a regular round-up of news from the world of Grown-up Travel

Airline offers chance to pick who you sit next to using Facebook

Travelling alone on an aircraft can be a lottery. But now the Dutch airline, KLM, is offering passengers the chance to pick who they sit next to by using Facebook and LinkedIn profiles.

It is developing an internet service known as “meet and seat” which will give fliers access to to their fellow travellers’ Facebook and LinkedIn profiles.

The scheme will be launched next year and KLM admitted that many details still have to be worked out.

Many airlines already charge passengers if they wish to pick their seats more than 24 hours ahead of travel as they look to wring as much money as they can out of passengers over and above the cost of the plane ticket.

However KLM was unable to say whether it will levy a fee for what is believed to be the first such matchmaking service to be adopted by an airline.

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London 2012: 13,500 troops to provide Olympic security

BBC News

Up to 13,500 military personnel will help to provide security at the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Ministry of Defence has announced.

Security would be police-led but the military would make a “significant contribution”, the MoD said.

Some 5,000 troops will support the police, up to 7,500 will provide venue security and 1,000 will provide logistical support.

Last week, ministers revised the Games security budget from £282m to £553m.

In addition to the 13,500 figure, there will be a 1,000-strong unarmed contingency force ready for deployment in the event of an “Olympics-related civil emergency”.

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Tourists heading back to Japan post-tsunami

Japan’s tourism industry is bouncing back faster than expected following this year’s earthquake and tsunami.

While the number of overseas tourists travelling to Japan in 2011 is expected to be 25 per cent lower than last year, international tourist arrivals are forecast to recover by early 2012.

The World Travel & Tourism Council report said the tourism industry had rebounded strongly in the second half of the year and more rapidly than previously thought.

“Nine months after the devastating earthquake and tsunami which hit northeast Japan, the country’s tourism industry has exceeded even the most optimistic forecasts and is well on the way to recovery,” WTTC president David Scowsill said.

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Royal Family plans for Queen’s Diamond Jubilee unveiled

BBC News

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh intend to travel as widely as possible across the UK to mark 2012’s Diamond Jubilee, Buckingham Palace has said.

The Diamond Jubilee will mark 60 years of the Queen’s reign.

Other members of the Royal Family will visit the 15 other countries where the Queen is head of state, as well as some other Commonwealth countries.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit Malaysia, Singapore, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

It will be the couple’s second overseas tour following their visit to Canada earlier this year.

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