Laptop or bomb who knows?

March 22, 2017 by  
Filed under Don Ross, Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 22 March 2017: The latest inflight ban on laptops and other devices larger than a mobile phone sends mixed messages, most of them the worrying kind.

Once the US declares an aviation related ban it is usually adopted worldwide. Within hours the UK introduced a similar ban and Canada is likely to follow later today.

Right now the US ban relates to 10 airports in the Middle East and airlines based there that fly to US destinations, but three of the identified airports – Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi – are major hubs for global networks. Read more

Laptops banned on US-bound flights

March 22, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, Aviation, News

WASHINGTON, 22 March 2017: The United States and Britain on Tuesday banned larger electronic devices from the passenger cabin on flights from some airports in Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa.

American officials warned that extremists are seeking “innovative” ways to attack airliners with smaller explosive devices hidden in consumer electronics bigger than smartphones.

The US has given nine airlines from eight countries until the weekend to tell travellers to America to pack laptops, tablets and portable game consoles in their hold luggage. 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

Turkey tourism falls 26%

January 17, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

ISTANBUL, 17 January 2017: Yavuz Indere has worked as a hotel receptionist in Istanbul for nearly half a century, witnessing coups, unrest and economic crises.

But as a string of terror attacks erodes the backbone of Turkey’s key tourism sector, Indere admits he has never seen anything like this in the city.

“I’ve been doing this job for 45 years, obviously I’ve had tough years, but this time it was different,” he told AFP at his tiny hotel in the historic Sultanahmet area, the scene of a deadly attack, 12 January 2016, that rocked the tourism industry. Read more

Bomb hoax grounds plane

January 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Middle east, News

KUWAIT CITY, 16 January 2017: A German plane carrying 299 passengers made an emergency landing in Kuwait on Sunday over a hoax bomb threat, authorities in the Gulf emirate said.

The aircraft was operated by Eurowings, a low-cost carrier owned by Lufthansa, that competes head-on with Ryanair and Easyjet.

The aircraft was travelling from Salalah in Oman to Cologne in Germany when the captain requested an emergency landing. Read more

Thai airports tighten security

October 12, 2016 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 12 October 2016: Airports of Thailand tightened security, Monday, at  six airports nation-wide,  following a police alert that warned bomb attacks could target Bangkok’s airports and tourist attractions in late October.

AoT’s president, Nitinai Sirismatthakarn, said security checks would be increased at airports following the announcement by National Police chief, Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, who instructed police to step up security following an intelligence report of possible bomb attacks in Bangkok and its suburbs, later this month.

According to deputy police chief, Srivara Ransibrahmanakul, there was information suggesting several car bomb attacks were being planned for the Thai capital and its suburbs between 25 and 30 October. The targets of the attacks could be airports, parking lots, tourist attractions and shopping malls. Read more

Bombs fail to slow Thai tourism

October 5, 2016 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 5 October 2016: Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports reports international visits to Thailand exceeded 22.41 million, an improvement of 11.75% during January to August this year.

Released Tuesday, the ministry’s data showed the country attracted 22,412,610 international visits during the first eight months of this year, compared to 20,055,513 visits during the same period last year.

The data is based on foreign passports, or ID holders  (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia,) through international checkpoints (land, sea and air). Read more

Bomb blast in New York

September 19, 2016 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, News

NEW YORK, 19 September 2016: An explosion rocked one of the most fashionable neighbourhoods of New York on Saturday night, injuring 29 people, one seriously, a week after America’s financial capital marked the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Mayor Bill de Blasio indicated the blast was not accidental, even if there was no known link to terrorism.

“We believe it was intentional. As soon as we’re able to determine what specifically caused this explosion, we will report it,” de Blasio said. Read more

Bangkok: Daily travel tally declines

September 6, 2016 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 6 September 2016: Tourist arrivals through the country’s main gateway, Suvarnabhumi Airport, have continued to slow down, between 4% to 12% daily, for the 19-day period following the bombs attacks in the seven southern provinces 11 to 12 August.

At the time of the bomb attacks the daily tally of tourist arrivals was 55,000 plus, but by the end of August the tally was around 34,000 visitors.

Ministry of Tourism and Sports’ Department of Tourism updated the daily tally, late last week, covering the period, 13 to 31 August, on its website. Read more

Tourist town bomb suspect arrested

September 5, 2016 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 5 September 2016: Thai authorities have arrested the first suspect linked to a string of bomb and arson attacks that rocked southern tourist towns mid- August, a police officer said Saturday.

The coordinated blasts erupted across seven provinces on 11 to 12 August, killing four and injuring dozens, including foreign tourists.

No one has claimed responsibility for the bombing spree but analysts say it bore the hallmarks of ethnic Malay insurgents behind a 12-year rebellion concentrated further south. Read more

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