Airports close, but silver lining for hotels from volcanic cloud
15-Apr-10by Annie Byrne
Volcanic clouds from an eruption in Iceland, which has brought all UK outgoing and incoming flights to a standstill, it seems, have a silver lining for many hotels across the country.Venue ACC Liverpool has been hosting international event management agency MCI and its delegates, in town for their annual conference. Some delegates had stayed on an extra night to enjoy the city after the conference, but ended up making it three, because John Lennon airport was closed.BT Convention Centre (part of ACCL) GM Jacquie Rogers tells EN: "We have held hotel rooms at Staybridge as some of our MCI visitors have had their flights cancelled. We are on call to help out if they need our help in any way.The ACC Liverpool policy, in such instances, says Rogers, is "keeping in touch with both clients and facilitating any help they may need as well as keeping them informed regarding travel/airports opening and extra accommodation".In Scotland, where the airports were the first to close in the UK due to the volcanic dust, the SECC is currently hosting the VisitScotland expo with a number of international delegates attending. Director of sales, SECC, Ben Goedegebuure, tells EN: "The most important thing for us as a venue is to ensure our delegates are well looked after and when events like these disrupt their plans we work closely with Glasgow City Marketing Bureau to help arrange alternative accommodation where necessary. "At the moment, we are hosting an international tourism exhibition and while a number of delegates were hoping to travel abroad today others will be going on driving tours around Scotland and remain unaffected."In addition, we are in close contact with event organisers to help recommend and arrange alternative ways to travel to and from the SECC wherever possible."The eruption under a glacier in the Eyjafjallajoekull area of Iceland caused ash to drift across to the UK.The Air Traffic Control Service (Nats) has decreed that all non-emergency flights from airports across the country be grounded from 1200 BST after the Met Office warned planes could be damaged.