KATHMANDU, 4 January 2011 – A record number of tourists flew to Nepal last year, with most of the growth coming from neighbouring India and China, according to official figures released Monday.
The Nepal Tourism Board said the arrival of 448,769 foreign visitors at the country’s only international airport in 2010, 15% more than in 2009, showed tourism had recovered from the impact of a 10-year civil war.
KATHMANDU, 23 December 2010 – Angry protesters have closed a famous bungee jump in Nepal in a dispute over ownership of the bridge from which tourists dive into a narrow gorge while attached to an elastic cord.
The Last Resort bungee jump, 160 metres (520 feet) above the raging Bhote Kosi river, boasts one of the longest free-fall bungee dives in the world, but the row has brought the high-adrenaline action to a halt.
The suspension bridge was purpose-built for bungee jumping in 2000, close to the border with Tibet, by a private company that had scoured the region for the perfect adventure sports location.
SEOUL, 17 December 2010 – A South Korean property developer said Wednesday that it had won a US$1 b illion order from Cambodia to build an international airport in Siem Reap province, home to famous Angkor temples.
Lease A and A said it would start work on the airport at the end of next year and complete the project by 2015.
“We have secured approval from the Cambodian government to build the airport,” spokeswoman Park Seo-Young told AFP.
WASHINGTON, 26 November 2010 – The United States is planning to replace its color-coded terror alert system drafted in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks with detailed threat advisories, US media reported Thursday.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has drafted a proposal sent to the White House to end its five-colored system — mocked by critics as a relic of post-9/11 frenzy that caused alarm without explaining the reasons for the alerts.
CHICAGO, 25 November 2010 – US airline passengers seemed resigned to invasive security screening early Wednesday, the busiest travel day of the year, as a much-hyped, if loosely organised call for protests against intensive security went largely unheeded.
The online organiser of National Opt Out Day was urging holiday travelers to request full-body pat-downs rather than submit to what he calls a “naked body scanner” to “send a message to our lawmakers that we demand change.”
LONDON, 5 November 2010 – A close associate of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi has called on foreigners to visit military-ruled Myanmar to witness the suffering of its people, a British newspaper reported Thursday.
Win Tin, a co-founder of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD), told The Times that contrary to a previous call for a tourism boycott, the party now wants outsiders to learn more about the country, also known as Burma.
BERLIN, 7 October 2010 – Germany’s interior minister hit out Wednesday at travel warnings for visitors to Europe issued because of the risk of Al-Qaeda attacks, saying such tactics helped “terrorists” spread fear.
“We are taking things seriously. But public accompanying music is also something that terrorists use, because they want to spread fear,” Thomas de Maiziere told radio station Deutschlandfunk.
“We are working without talking a lot.”
PARIS, 5 October 2010 – Japan on Monday became the latest country after Britain and the United States to issue a travel alert for its citizens amid growing fears of a major Al-Qaeda attack on landmark sites in Europe.
Tokyo joined Washington and London in issuing an alert warning of “possible terrorist attack” by Al-Qaeda and affiliated groups against their citizens travelling in Europe.
WASHINGTON, 4 October 2010 – The US State Department issued a formal alert Sunday warning Americans travelling in Europe to remain vigilant against “potential for terrorist attacks” and urging precaution in public places and transportation systems.
France and Britain immediately voiced support for the security statement, which said “current information suggests that Al-Qaeda and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks.”
BEIJING, 1 October 2010 – China has issued a travel warning for Japan after a Chinese tour group was attacked and harassed there, amid a bitter row between the two Asian powerhouses.
The National Tourism Administration warned “Chinese tourists and tour groups currently in Japan or planning to go to Japan in the near future to watch their travel safety,” in a statement on its website late Thursday.