SAN FRANCISCO, 9 February 2017: Facebook on Wednesday updated its Safety Check feature with a way for people to lend, or get, helping hands after disasters.
A new “Community Help” feature provides a forum at the leading social network where assistance can be offered to victims of floods, earthquakes, fires or other kinds of natural or accidental tragedy, according to Facebook vice president of social good, Naomi Gleit.
“In times of crisis, connecting is more important than ever,” Gleit said. Read more
MADRID, 20 January 2017: Demand for international tourism remained robust in 2016 despite challenges.
International tourist arrivals grew by 3.9% to reach a 1,235 million, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Some 46 million more tourists (overnight visitors) travelled internationally last year compared to 2015.
2016 was the seventh consecutive year of sustained growth following the 2009 global economic and financial crisis. A comparable sequence of uninterrupted solid growth has not been recorded since the 1960s. As a result, 300 million more international tourists travelled the world in 2016 as compared to the pre-crisis record in 2008. International tourism receipts grew at a similar pace in this period (complete 2016 receipts results will be reported in May). Read more
HANOI, 20 January 2017: National carrier Vietnam Airlines will open direct flights to the United States in 2018.
Vietnam Net Bridge media reported the US Federal Aviation Administration will send a team to Vietnam in the first quarter of this year to assess Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam’s safety supervision capability in preparation for Vietnamese air carriers to open a direct air routes to the US.
Vietnam Airlines has mulled over a US flight for a decade or more, but earlier studies and assessments suggested the route might not be profitable. There were also challenges convincing the US that safety standards would meet FAA requirements. Read more
BERLIN, 12 January 2017: ITB Berlin will present a record selection of conference content for delegates attending this year’s travel fair, 8 to 12 March.
The show’s convention component over four days will deliver 200 sessions, 400 speakers on the latest topics ranging from geopolitical crises and disasters to artificial intelligence.
One of the key up-to-the-minute topics will be ‘Disruptive Travel: The End of the World as We Know It’. Read more
SYDNEY, 12 January 2017: Airlineratings.com has announced its top 20 safest airlines and top 10 safest low-cost airlines for 2017 from the 425 it monitors.
The safety and product rating website, which has been monitoring airline safety since 2013, named Australia’s Qantas at the top of list of safest airlines for the fourth year in a row.
Qantas is famed for its fatality free record in the jet era, an extraordinary record. Read more
BANGKOK, 6 January 2017: Thailand’s holiday peak season turned into carnage with road deaths and injuries spiking at a 10-year high.
Government officials said they were disappointed that efforts to reduce drink driving and raise safety standards had failed to reduce casualties.
Local media calls the festive season, “New Year’s seven deadly days”, a reference to road fatalities that resemble statistics usually associated with war zones, not a country’s highways. Read more
SEOUL, 23 December 2016: South Korea’s top carrier Korean Air said its staff followed company procedure in restraining an unruly passenger, earlier this week, after 80s pop singer Richard Marx tweeted that he helped the “ill trained” crew handle the situation.
Marx said he and his wife were flying from the Vietnamese capital Hanoi to Incheon airport, the South’s main hub, when a passenger started physically attacking another passenger sitting next to him and the crew members.
“Passenger next to us attacked passengers and crew. Crew completely ill trained,” Marx said on Twitter, posting a series of photos showing him trying to hold down the unruly passenger. Read more
BANGKOK, 19 September 2016: At least 13 people were killed on Sunday when a boat crowded with passengers sank on Thailand’s Chao Phraya River after hitting a bridge, an emergency response official said.
The accident happened near the ancient city of Ayutthaya, a popular tourist attraction, although no foreigners were believed to be among the dead.
“There are 13 confirmed dead and 33 injured so far,” said Udomsak Khaonoona, disaster prevention chief for the city which is 80 km (50 miles) north of Bangkok. Read more
BANGKOK, 13 September 2016: Three Thai airlines have banned the inflight use of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones.
They also prohibit passengers from storing the devices in check-in luggage.
Thai PBS TV reported that Thai AirAsia, Nok Air and Thai Airways International had all announced bans on the smartphone. Read more
PHNOM PENH, 29 August 2016: Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism has instructed tourism departments in coastal provinces to push a campaign to ensure safety, public order and cleanliness at beach resorts in cooperation with local authorities.
Khmer Times quoted Tourism Minister Thong Khon as saying tourism departments will work with the National Committee for Coastal Area Management to ensure visitors to Cambodia’s coast are safe.
One of the measures involves improving signs to identify risks to swimmers at beaches where currents and tides are dangerous. Read more