Tourism fails to ease poverty

September 25, 2017 by  
Filed under Indonesia, News

RAJA AMPAT, Indonesia, 25 September 2017: A tableau of white sandy beaches, colourful coral reefs and turquoise water, the islands of Raja Ampat are set to be Indonesia’s next tourism hotspot — but locals fear the government is failing both them and the environment in its development push.

Stretching across 67,000 square kilometres in Indonesia’s far east, the picture-perfect islands might be as close to paradise as visitors can find.

“It’s amazing. We’ve been to millions of islands and I would say it’s the most beautiful one,” Canadian Angelika Redweik-Leung said at a lookout above the Pianemo island group. Read more

Pandaw launches second Mekong boat

September 18, 2017 by  
Filed under cruises, Laos PDR, News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 18 September 2017: A new double-deck river boat, RV Sabei Pandaw, will set sail shortly on the Mekong River offering trips through Laos to Yunnan province in China.

The 45-metre vessel has been specially designed to navigate the shallow waters of the Mekong River and the navigational challenges of narrow gorges strewn with massive boulders.

Its owner, Pandaw River Expeditions claims the shallow draft will enable it to offer year-round cruises to and from Yunnan China passing through Laos. Read more

Traveltek opens shop in Hong Kong

September 7, 2017 by  
Filed under cruises, News, North Asia, Technology

HONG KONG, 7 September, 2017: UK-based Traveltek Group has made its debut in North Asia, opening an office in Hong Kong to sell its dynamic packaging and cruise booking technology.

Asia’s cruise industry is growing rapidly, with passenger numbers from the region rocketing 40% from 774,536 in 2012 to 2.08 million in 2015, according to Cruise Lines International Association figures.

China was the biggest source market by far, accounting for 47.4% of total passenger volume. Read more

DFS expands at cruise centre

August 10, 2017 by  
Filed under News

SINGAPORE, 10 August 2017: DFS Group, a leading travel retailer, has unveiled its updated duty-free stores at Singapore Cruise Centre.

Since being awarded SCC’s first ever master duty-free and general merchandise concession in 2016, DFS has created a retail environment inspired by the local landscape that delivers DFS’ signature luxurious shopping experience.

For the first time, SCC consolidated a number of its existing duty-free concessions across six categories including wines, spirits and tobacco, beauty and confectionary into a single contract. Read more

Cut the cost of a China visa

August 4, 2017 by  
Filed under Don Ross, Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 4 August 2017: China has been making it easier to travel to and through the country without any cost since last year. But the message might not be getting through.

UK’s Independent newspaper alerted UK travellers that they can now visit Shanghai stay for up to six days on what is for all intents and purposes a free transit visa. Read more

Fly and ferry service at Changi

June 7, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Singapore

SINGAPORE, 7 June 2017: Changi Airport Group and Singapore Cruise Centre launched of a new shuttle bus service, last week, to transfer passengers from the airport to Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal.

The move should improve connectivity for passengers who travel to and from Changi Airport and the Riau Islands of Batam and Bintan in Indonesia.

The shuttle buses depart from TMFT, or Terminal 2 at Changi Airport, offering eight return services on weekdays and 10 on weekends. The one-way transfer costs SGD2. Read more

Luxury: Cruise on Omani dhow

May 18, 2017 by  
Filed under Middle east, News

MUSANDAM, OMAN, 18 May 2017: What better way to say goodbye to the stresses of modern life than by escaping to another century on a classic Omani dhow?

Inspired by the word, dhahab, which means golden in Arabic, this handcrafted vessel is reminiscent of the golden age of Arabian voyages as it cruises the rugged Musandam fjords at a comfortable 10 knots.

Developed by Six Senses Zighy Bay and a team of specialist designers, the private cruiser is furnished in a artisan style in tune with its resort roots. Read more

Halong Bay brings back Kayaks

May 3, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Vietnam

QUANG NINH, 3 May 2017: Kayak tours are making a comeback on Halong Bay after the Quang Ninh People’s Committee gave boat operators the green light effective 1 May.

Halong city’s authorities halted kayak tours, 1 April, prompting protests from travel firms. They argued it was an arbitrary decision without first seeking feedback from the travel industry.

Kayak sightseeing trips, usually sold by overnight cruise boats on Halong Bay, are popular with tourists, according to the Halong City People’s Committee. But authorities said tour companies were over charging tourists and boat crews were leading kayak tours instead of attending to the safety of their cruise boats. Read more

Cruise ship in hit and run

March 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Indonesia, News

JAKARTA, 20 March 2017: Indonesia summoned the British ambassador Friday after a cruise ship on a voyage organised by a London-based company smashed into coral reefs in a popular tourist spot and caused extensive damage.

Raja Ampat, in eastern Indonesia, is one of the world’s most biodiverse marine habitats that attracts intrepid travellers and divers to its palm-fringed islands surrounded by coral and fish.

The accident happened this month when the 4,200-ton Caledonian Sky smashed into the reefs at low tide around Kri, one of hundreds of small islands in Raja Ampat, after taking tourists on a bird-watching expedition. Read more

Cruise executive captains Skål

October 10, 2016 by  
Filed under News, People, Trade Talk

BANGKOK, 10 October 2016: Skål International announced the appointment of Daniela Otero as its new CEO, late last week.

She joins Skål from Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd Pullmantur, where she held the position of marketing and revenue manager.

Otero, originally from Argentina and holds Spanish nationality. Read more

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