Are Thailand’s tour buses safe

August 9, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

PHUKET, 9 August 2017: Thailand’s horrifically poor record for road safety was highlighted again when a tour bus carrying 25 Chinese tourists careered off a hilly road in Phuket and almost plunged down a steep mountain slope, late Sunday evening.

The accident occurred near Patong beach close to the scene of two other earlier accidents that occurred 11 July and 30 June.

The latest accident follows reports in the travel trade that Chinese tour operators have cancelled hotel allotments at some hotels in Patong Bay saying they would not risk transferring their guests over the hilly road that leads to the bay. Read more

Popularity causes checkpoint delays

August 9, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 9 August 2017: Thailand’s second gateway Don Mueang International Airport pledges to improve airport immigration services after passengers suffered delays of up to four hours to pass through immigration checks last weekend.

The country’s Immigration Bureau acknowledged that it was grossly understaffed and efforts to recruit hundreds of new officers to staff empty checkpoints at both Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports have largely failed.

Thailand’s tourism planners and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports are partly to blame for the long queues. More support was needed to head off the immigration bureau staff shortage when alerted three years ago. Read more

Malaysia tweaks tourist tax

July 27, 2017 by  
Filed under Malaysia, News

KUALA LUMPUR, 27 July 2017: Malaysia has revised yet again its tourist tax exempting its citizens from paying, while levying a flat MYR10 tax on all foreigners.

Foreigners staying at paid lodgings in Malaysia will be charged a flat rate of RM10 (USD2.30) per night as a tourist tax, while Malaysians will now be exempted from it completely.

Commenting on the changes, Tourism and Culture Minister, Nazri Aziz, said on Wednesday the federal tourist tax was scheduled to apply 1 August. Read more

Double deckers screech to a halt

July 26, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Vietnam

HANOI, 26 July 2017: Just weeks after double decker tourist buses were introduced at tourist destinations, Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport has called a temporary halt to the project.

Tuoi Tre News reported the decision was announced only seven months after Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc approved a five-year pilot programme, in November 2016, to operate double-decker tourist buses in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Danang, Quang Nam, Hue, Lam Dong and Kien Giang.

According to the transport ministry, the trial programme has been temporarily put on hold until new directions are given by the PM based on feedback from ministries and local authorities. Read more

Cambodia to link World Heritage

July 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Cambodia, News

PHNOM PENH, 26 July 2017: Cambodia will develop heritage tourism packages now that it has three World Heritage sites under its belt.

The three World Heritage Sites are Angkor Wat, listed in 1992, Preah Vihear (2008) and the Sambor Prei Kuk archaeological site in Kampong Thom province listed earlier this month.

Khmer Times quoted Tourism Minister Thong Khon saying the addition of Sambor Prei Kuk archaeological site as a UNESCO world heritage would prompt new tour programmes. Read more

Elephant kills its handler

July 26, 2017 by  
Filed under AFRICA, News

VICTORIA FALLS, ZIMBABWE, 26 July 2017: An elephant that gave tourist rides in the Zimbabwean town of Victoria Falls trampled his professional handler to death, the local tour operators’ association said Tuesday.

Enock Kufandanda, 50, was killed on Saturday by a bull elephant called “Mbanje” (“marijuana” in the local Shona language).

Parks and wildlife authority rangers shot and killed the elephant, reported to be about 30 years old, soon after it charged and killed Kufandanda. Read more

Steady tourism growth for Singapore

July 6, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Singapore

SINGAPORE, 6 July 2017: Following a positive performance in 2016, tourist arrivals to Singapore improved 4.4% during the first four months of 2017 to reach 5.79 million.

In 2016, tourist arrivals grew 8% to 16.4 million and tourism receipts by 13% to SGD24.6 billion.

Preliminary figures, released by the Singapore Tourism Board last week, indicated that of the 5.79 million arrivals January to April, 1.1 million visits came from China.
Read more

Double deck bus debut in Hanoi

July 5, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Vietnam

HANOI, 5 July 2017: The first double-deck bus to ferry tourists around the city on sightseeing tours started its trial run in Hanoi last Friday.

Local media reported double-deck, open-top buses, the first of their kind in the capital city, are providing services under the management of the Transport Corporation Hanoi and Truong Hai Automobile.

Each double-deck bus can seat up to 14 persons with two specially designed seats assigned for wheelchair users on the lower deck. The upper open-deck can seat up to 42 passengers. The bus has a retractable roof that can be closed during bad weather. Read more

Cambodia to target Russian tourists

June 30, 2017 by  
Filed under Cambodia, News

PHNOM PENH, 30 June 2017: Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism has outlined key strategies to attract more Russian tourists.

Khmer Times quoted Tourism Minister, Thong Khon, saying Russia is one of the main markets in Europe for all ASEAN nations and has strong potential for Cambodia.

To boost arrivals, Cambodia has set out four priorities. Read more

Asia cities draw US and UK tourists

June 27, 2017 by  

BANGKOK, 27 June 2017: Asian cities are gaining in popularity with tourists from the United States and the United Kingdom, according to that reported increased bookings from these two markets during the summer.

The report based on data from the first quarter of 2017 showed bookings for June to August increased when compared with trends monitored last year.

Cities in China and India are key destinations for US travellers this summer. The most popular mainland China cities are Beijing and Shanghai, with Hong Kong also in the mix. Read more

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