Timor introduces ePassports

June 23, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Southeast Asia

SINGAPORE, 23 June 2017: Gemalto, a leader in digital security, partners with the East Timor government to issue electronic passports (ePassports) to citizens.

The complete solution is built around the ICAO-compliant ePassport model.

It comes with a suite of capabilities such as easy enrolments, biometric data capture, de-duplication of redundant biometric information, disaster and data recovery, as well as a full turnkey public key infrastructure and secure issuance of the document. Read more

Asian travellers seek new experiences

January 13, 2016 by  
Filed under News, Southeast Asia

BANGKOK, 13 January 2016: A high proportion of Asian travellers are seeking new travel experiences this year but only 20% said it would involve an adventure theme, according to findings in the latest TripBarometer study published by TripAdvisor.

These findings are summarised in the  PATA Connected Visitor Economy Bulletin, highlighting six key travel trends for 2016 released earlier this week..

The TripBarometer study, conducted on behalf of TripAdvisor by independent research firm Ipsos, showed that 76% of Asian travellers who participated in the survey want to ‘try something new’ this year (as against 69% of all those questioned globally).

It indicated 25% of Asian travellers will travel solo while 21% will opt for a cruise and 20% are likely to look for adventure travel experiences. Read more

Best places to retire

January 5, 2016 by  
Filed under News, Southeast Asia

BALTIMORE, 5 January 2016: Panama is the best place in the world to retire in 2016, according to a new Index by the retire-overseas experts at InternationalLiving.com.

Malaysia was the top spot in Asia to retire and was fifth overall in the worldwide ranking.

Thailand came in at seventh place with high scores in renting, cost of living, fitting in, and entertainment. Read more

Fires burn Indonesia’s economy

December 16, 2015 by  
Filed under Indonesia, News, Southeast Asia

JAKARTA, 16 December 2015: Indonesia’s economy took an USD16-billion hit this year from forest fires that cloaked Southeast Asia in haze.

It was more than double the sum spent on rebuilding Aceh after the 2004 tsunami, the World Bank said Tuesday.

The fires and resulting haze are an annual occurrence caused by slash-and-burn land clearance mainly instigated by corporations in the palm oil and paper industries. Read more

ADB: Disasters could double

December 1, 2015 by  
Filed under News, Southeast Asia

MANILA, 1 December 2015: Climate disasters may double in the next two decades unless the world cuts its carbon dioxide emissions, the Asian Development Bank said Friday, with “high risk” nations in Asia set to be hard hit.

As the world climate summit opens in Paris, the Manila-based lender said deadlier storms, floods and heat waves were linked to rising global temperatures, adding to a growing chorus on the catastrophic effects of climate change.

The report, which looked at disasters from 1970 to 2013, said if carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere continued to rise at an annual rate of two parts per million, the frequency of climate disasters could double in 17 years. Read more

Drums roll for AEC era

November 24, 2015 by  
Filed under News, Southeast Asia

KUALA LUMPUR, 24 November 2015: Southeast Asian leaders at the weekend symbolically declared the establishment by year-end of an EU-style regional economic bloc, but diplomats admitted it will be years before the vision of a single market can be realised.

At the group’s annual summit, held this year in Kuala Lumpur, the heads of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) signed a declaration that the bloc hailed as “a milestone in the integration process”.

The 10 leaders then put an aural exclamation mark on the agreement by banging once in unison on a traditional drum from each of their nations.

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Asian travellers shun long-haul travel

November 20, 2015 by  
Filed under News, Southeast Asia

SINGAPORE, 20 November 2015: Shorter flights and shorter stays are what travellers from Asia-Pacific are favouring according to Visa’s Global Travel Intentions Study 2015.

The recent study showed that Asia-Pacific travellers are opting to stay closer to home and within the Asia-Pacific region compared with holidays that require long international flights.

The study found similar patterns among their global peers, with an overall decline in the number of travellers choosing to take long-haul flights (nine hours or more) in favour of short-haul flights (four hours or less). 23% of respondents reported taking long flights on their most recent trip, down from 29% in 2013, while the number of respondents who reported taking shorter flights on their most recent trip rose slightly to 46% from 43% in 2013.

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Call for ASEAN to fight haze

October 28, 2015 by  
Filed under News, Southeast Asia

SINGAPORE, 28 October 2015: Singapore has urged fellow ASEAN members to take “firm and decisive action” against the lethal haze still spreading across the region ahead of a group summit in Malaysia next month.

The city-state, one of the most badly affected by recurring smog from land fires in Indonesia, issued the call after Singaporean troops and fire fighters returned from an international assistance mission in Indonesia’s Sumatra island.

“ASEAN must take firm and decisive action, through enhanced regional cooperation, to help prevent the recurrence of this trans-boundary problem,” Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement.

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Asia’s top islands in Asia

April 23, 2015 by  
Filed under News, Southeast Asia

SINGAPORE, 23 April 2015: TripAdvisor announced, Tuesday its top 10 Travellers’ Choice™ awards for Islands in Asia with Thailand dominating the list with five destinations.

Five of Thailand’s popular island destinations were on the Asian top 10 list. The Philippines and Indonesia had two islands each on the list and Malaysia one.

This year’s awards honour more than 100 islands, worldwide, with individual  lists for Asia, Africa, Caribbean, Europe, South America, the South Pacific, UK and US. The annual awards are based on reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travellers, worldwide.

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Sofia cheapest place to stay

April 2, 2015 by  
Filed under News, Southeast Asia

SINGAPORE, 2 April 2015: Four Southeast Asian cities figured in the top rankings for best value according to the latest cost comparison report released Wednesday by TripAdvisor.

However the top spot went to Sofia, Bulgaria, for best overall value when common incidental costs were combined with a stay in a hotel.

The results are taken from the third annual TripAdvisor TripIndex Room Service report, which compares the cost of hotel room service items in 48 popular destinations around the world.

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