VIENTIANE, 21 February 2017: Lao PDR’s Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism says the country should develop tourism products and improve safety measures to attract more visitors and build tourist confidence.
Lao New Agency quoted the ministry’s deputy minister, Bouangeun Saphouvong, saying the tourism sector in Laos should develop integrated tourism products to attract more visitors to the country.
“We also have to ensure visitors that they can enjoy themselves, get a broad knowledge of Laos and its culture, see beautiful places, taste delicious food, as well travel safely on good transport.” Read more
PARIS, 10 February 2017: A glass wall 2.5 metres (eight feet) high will be erected around the Eiffel Tower in Paris this autumn, part of a multi-million euro plan to prevent attacks on the iconic monument, the city said Thursday.
The wall will replace the metal fences thrown up around the 324-metre (1,063-foot) Iron Lady during the Euro football tournament last year.
“The terror threat remains high in Paris and the most vulnerable sites, led by the Eiffel Tower, must be the object of special security measures,” said deputy mayor Jean-Francois Martins. Read more
BRUSSELS, 9 February 2017: European tourism demand continues to grow and demonstrates resilience in the face of security and political turmoil according to the European Travel Commission.
Overall growth, however, has slowed from the previous year (+5% in 2015) affected by those destinations required to rebuild market confidence following tragic events.
The most visited region in the world welcomed 620 million international tourist arrivals in 2016, a 2% increase compared to the same period in 2015. Read more
LONDON, 8 February 2017: British fighter jets on Tuesday diverted a Pakistan International Airlines flight which had been bound for London’s Heathrow airport, due to a “disruptive passenger” police said.
The Royal Air Force said its quick reaction jets were launched on Tuesday afternoon from an airfield in central England.
“The aircraft was intercepted and safely escorted to Stansted airport,” an RAF spokesman said. Read more
WASHINGTON, 20 January 2017: FlyerRights, a group that lobbies for airline passenger rights and safety, kicked off the New Year calling for stronger measures to make US airports safer.
While the group targets US airports, the message could equally apply to airports worldwide that are face a growing risk of terror attacks.
The group said US passengers should be able to count on TSA as well as local and state law enforcement authorities to protect them. Read more
CHIANG RAI, 17 January 2017: Travel to the Mekong Region is often called the ‘last frontier,” but with a littler effort the frontier hassles can be rolled back for the determined traveller.
A phrase coined to conjure up the mystique of travel ironically identifies the major snag for travellers to the Greater Mekong Sub-region; frontiers.
Myanmar is a contradiction as far as last frontiers are concerned. It rolls back obstacles through its widely popular e-Visa programme, while frustrating innovative travel providers with frontier closures that put the tourism of entire regions at risk. Read more
PARIS, 13 January 2017: Hosting the Euro 2016 football tournament cost France less than 200 million euros (USD211 million) but brought some 1.22 billion euros into the country, according to figures released by the ministry of sports Tuesday.
There was controversy over the public funds poured into the tournament, with some 24 million euros — double the expected cost — spent on security in light of an increased terrorist threat.
The state spent a further 160 million euros on building and renovating venues for the June and July event, while private funds and tournament organiser UEFA covered the remaining costs. Read more
BERLIN, 4 January 2017: Germany’s interior minister on Tuesday outlined plans for a security services overhaul, seeking greater federal powers on domestic intelligence and quicker expulsions of illegal migrants following the Berlin truck attack.
Thomas de Maiziere also wants federal police to be given wider oversight across the country’s 16 states, and for a new national crisis management centre to be set up.
“We don’t have federal jurisdiction to deal with national catastrophes. The jurisdiction for the fight against international terrorism is fragmented,” he wrote in a guest column for the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Read more
PHUKET, 21 December 2016: Phuket International Airport has intensified security at a beach near the runway as more beachgoers visit that area to take photographs and videos of landing aircraft.
According to the airport statement security will be improved along the beach to reduce risks for tourists and the aircraft that take off and land.
There are concerns about the health risk to people who encroach on a beach area to take photographs of aircraft up close as they land or take-off. But it is also a potential security risk for aircraft. Read more
BRUSSELS, 17 November 2016: The EU unveiled plans Wednesday to charge travellers five euros (USD5.30) for security checks to get visa-free travel to Europe’s borderless Schengen area, and confirmed the fee would apply to visitors from post-Brexit Britain.
The proposal is based on a US system and will allow EU countries to quickly cross check identity documents and other details from visa-exempt travellers with a host of data bases.
Nationals from nearly 60 countries are exempt from having visas to the Schengen zone, including those from the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Taiwan, Brazil, Chile, Argentina as well as neighbours like Albania and Bosnia. Read more