BW adds hotel in Tokyo

March 27, 2017 by  
Filed under Hospitality, News, North Asia

BANGKOK, 27 March 2017: Best Western Hotels & Resorts will open its third hotel in Tokyo, Best Western Tokyo Nishikasai Grande, 1 April.

Located between Tokyo Disneyland and the central districts of Marunouchi and Ginza, Best Western Tokyo Nishikasai Grande is positioned for both business and leisure travellers.

The hotel’s 105 rooms – all designated for non-smokers – include triple rooms for families mostly those who are visiting Tokyo Disneyland. Read more

Shoe slap fury over seat dispute

March 27, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, News, South Asia

NEW DELHI, 27 March 2017: An Indian airline said at the weekend it had cancelled a booking by a Hindu nationalist lawmaker who repeatedly hit an Air India steward with his sandal in a row over which seat to take.

Ravindra Gaikwad has admitted to hitting the 60-year-old employee of the national carrier 25 times because he was denied a business class seat on a flight to New Delhi from his hometown of Pune.

Indigo, a private airline, said it had also cancelled Gaikwad’s return booking and banned him from future flights after the incident on an Air India flight. Read more

India’s ski resort thinks big

March 27, 2017 by  
Filed under News, South Asia

GULMARG, INDIA, 27 March 2017: It’s an area better known as a hotbed of insurgency but Indian Kashmir’s only ski resort -– a favourite among aficionados for its silky snows — is now trying to attract international-level competition to its slopes.

Nestled in the mountain range that encircles the Indian-controlled Kashmir Valley, Gulmarg is a stone’s throw from the highly-militarised unofficial border with Pakistan.

Since the sub-continent’s partition in 1947, Kashmir has been divided between the two nuclear-armed rivals who both lay claim to the picturesque Himalayan region in its entirety. Read more

Lost without my laptop

March 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Middle east, News

DUBAI, 24 March 2017: Travellers across the Middle East expressed frustration Wednesday at a ban on large electronic devices for flights to the United States and Britain that has sparked confusion and speculation.

From Saturday, passengers on flights to the United States and Britain from major hubs in Turkey and the Arab world will have to check in any device larger than a smartphone, including laptops and tablets.

The United States and Britain have cited intelligence indicating passenger jets could be targeted via explosives planted in electronic devices. Read more

Airbnb changes name in China

March 23, 2017 by  
Filed under News, North Asia

SHANGHAI, 23 March 2017: Airbnb, the home rentals website, said on Wednesday it would double its investment in China, triple its workforce there and change its name to “Aibiying” in Chinese.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said the name, which translates to “Welcome each other with love”, reflected the company’s commitment to succeeding in the country.

“There’s a whole new generation of Chinese travellers who want to see the world in a different way,” Chesky said at a launch event in Shanghai. Read more

India adds eVisa channel

March 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, News, South Asia

MUMBAI, 20 March 2017: Mangaluru will be the second airport in India’s Karnataka state, after Bengaluru, to offer an eVisa immigration lane, effective 1 April, according to the Hindu a leading daily newspaper in India.

Currently, eVisa travellers visiting Mangaluru have to pass through immigration in Bengaluru, or  at other gateway airports that have eVisa immigration facilities.

The airport has installed two immigration checkpoints  for eVisa holders separate from channels that process traditional visas. Read more

Routes Asia opens in Japan

March 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, News, North Asia

OKINAWA, 20 March 2017: Routes Asia opened at the weekend here Okinawa attracting over 930 route development professionals from 110 airlines, 170 airports and 20 tourism authorities.

The event is being held at the Okinawa Convention Centre through to 21 March.

“Routes Asia 2017 highlights Okinawa airline’s access from Asian cities, such as Taipei, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul and Bangkok,” said Takeshi Onaga, Governor of Okinawa Prefecture at the opening ceremony. Read more

China’s Nuke bunker a tourist draw

March 20, 2017 by  
Filed under News, North Asia

FULING, CHINA, 20 March 2017: It was a top-secret Chinese nuclear facility with a deadly Cold War mission — to make plutonium for an atomic bomb — but these days its doors are wide open as a tourist attraction.

The cavernous “816 Nuclear Military Engineering” installation was burrowed into lush green mountains in southwest China over a 17-year span by 60,000 soldiers toiling day and night in dangerous conditions.

Construction on the vast site began in 1967, three years after China successfully tested its first atomic weapon, as China hurried to catch its nuclear programme up with that of Cold War rivals the United States and Soviet Union. Read more

Bets are back on in Macau

March 20, 2017 by  
Filed under News, North Asia

MACAU, 20 March 2017: The mood in Macau is buoyant once again. Gaming figures that tanked for more than two years after being hit by an ongoing Beijing corruption crackdown are up again, and the move towards mass market gamblers seems to have worked.

Semi-autonomous Macau is the only part of China where casino gambling is legal and a favourite haunt of mainland big spenders.

But after President Xi Jinping announced his war on graft in 2014, many stayed away from the enclave, which had gained a reputation as a money laundering centre for illicit cashflows out of China, with the crisis compounded by a growth slowdown on the mainland. Read more

Disney characters join springtime carnival

March 16, 2017 by  
Filed under News, North Asia

HONG KONG, 16 March 2017: Hong Kong Disneyland Resort is launching its first-ever character-themed springtime celebrations, the Disney Friends Springtime Carnival to attract family travel from around Asia.

From today 16 March to 28 May, more than 100  Disney Friends will appear across the resort in various forms, ensuring this spring has a carnival spirit.

Visitors and Disney Friends will gather to celebrate this first-of-its-kind Disney Friends Springtime Carnival. Read more

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