Thailand’s rail plans speed up

August 28, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 28 August 2017: Thailand’s government  approved a draft contract for the  construction and design of the first phase of the country’s high-speed railway project with China, last week.

The first stage of the  high-speed railway will link Bangkok and the northeast province of Nakhon Ratchasima and is scheduled to be operational by 2021.

The Thai cabinet and the National Legislative Assembly, have approved the first phase of the new railway and once all phases are completed, it will offer a fast train link from Yunnan province in China to the eastern seaboard on the Gulf of Thailand and eventually to Malaysia and Singapore. Read more

VFS Global acquires competitor

August 25, 2017 by  
Filed under Middle east, News

LONDON, 25 August 2017: VFS Global completed the acquisition of visa service provider TT Services (TTS) earlier this week a move that strengthens VFS hold on the lucrative visa processing business.

According to VFS Global, thee transaction enables it “to leverage core competences and brands and to further enhance operating performance.”

The press statement says the change in control will have no impact on the business operations of the two companies. Read more

Cambodia introduces marine tax

August 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Cambodia, News

PHNOM PENH, 24 August 2017: Sihanoukville authorities confirmed, this week, they will introduce a new tax on tourists claiming it will help to protect the environment.

News of the new environment tax surfaced earlier in the month. In its latest update to travel partners, Asian Trails, a leading tour operator in Cambodia, confirmed the tax would be levied on all tourists using boat transport for an overnight stay or a  full-day excursion to off-shore islands.

Tourists will be charged a USD2 tax at the point of departure. Read more

Air Berlin on the brink

August 18, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, News

FRANKFURT, 18 August 2017: Air Berlin is in talks with three competitors about buying up its assets, the insolvent airline’s boss said, Thursday, warning that not all jobs would be saved.

“Aside from Lufthansa, we are in contact with two other interested parties from the aviation industry,” Air Berlin chief executive Thomas Winkelmann told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.

The negotiations have been going on for weeks, he said, and all three airlines were financially sound and large enough “to offer Air Berlin a secure future” while keeping Germany as an operations hub. Read more

Old habits die hard

June 30, 2017 by  
Filed under Myanmar, News

YANGON, 30 June 2017: Myanmar’s civilian government on Wednesday defended the detention of three journalists who were reporting on an armed ethnic group, an incident that has fueled alarm at the erosion of press freedom.

The journalists were among seven people detained by the military, Monday, as they left a drugs-burning ceremony organised by the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), one of several rebel groups fighting the state.

The journalists, who have been held incommunicado since then, included reporters from The Irrawaddy and DVB, which for years challenged the former junta’s iron grip on free expression with their covert reporting. Read more

Not brave enough to buy Air India

June 30, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, News, South Asia

NEW DELHI, 30 June 2017: Indian billionaire Anand Mahindra said he was not brave enough to take on debt-laden Air India after the government said it would privatise the ailing national carrier.

Air India, known as the “Maharaja of the Skies” for its turbaned mascot, is reeling under 520 billion rupees (USD8 billion) in debt which clouded the government announcement of the selloff late Wednesday.

It is unclear if the government will write off any part of the debt. But there appeared little enthusiasm among potential buyers as markets opened Thursday. Read more

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

STB rejigs travel agents act

June 23, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Singapore

SINGAPORE, 23 June 2017: Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Singapore Tourism Board are seeking feedback on proposed amendments to the Travel Agents Act and Regulations.

The public consultation exercise will run through to 12 July.

The review of the Travel Agents Act and Regulations is part of the government’s efforts to strengthen the regulatory framework and facilitate a pro-business environment in the travel agents industry as well as enhance consumer protection (1).  Read more

Tourism top of the Thai pile

June 23, 2017 by  
Filed under Thailand, TRENDING

LONDON, 23 June 2017: Thailand’s tourism sector is one of the strongest performers out of nine of the country’s industry sectors covered in a new study released by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

The WTTC Benchmarking Report 2017 compares Travel & Tourism to eight other sectors, which are considered to have similar breadth and global presence, across 27 countries and six regions.

The section on Thailand showed that business and leisure travel directly contributed THB1.3 trillion (USD37 billion) to Thailand’s GDP in 2016, which is higher than all other eight sectors researched in the study. Read more

Twerking Thai star told to tone down

June 15, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 15 June 2017: Twerking nine to three is the new way to make a living for a teenage Thai music star whose eye-popping dance moves have enraged the country’s military strongman.

Country music singer Lamyai Haithongkham, known for her signature “Nine Levels” twerking routine, has become a sensation in her homeland thanks to the kind of gyrating move that might even make Miley Cyrus pause for thought.

But now the 18-year-old has agreed to tone down her dancing after coming under fire from the country’s military leader. Read more

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