Egypt delays visa hike

February 27, 2017 by  
Filed under Middle east, News

BANGKOK, 27 February 2017: Egypt says it is delaying an increase in its tourist visa until 1 July, mainly due to pressure from the tourism industry that said the move would damage tourism.

Struggling with the task of winning back tourist confidence, Egypt’s Ministry of Interior has taken the unusual step of more than doubling tourist entry visas from USD25 to USD60. It was supposed to be introduced 1 March.

The country’s State Information Service announced the changes that prompted a strong backlash from the country’s travel industry. Read more

US extends its social media checks

February 27, 2017 by  
Filed under News, North Asia

BANGKOK, 27 February 2017: Social media is now the latest tool to vet travellers applying for a visa to visit the US.

The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a notice, last week, confirming the Department of Homeland Security would extend its social-media vetting to include for the first time Chinese visitors.

Chinese US visa applicants will be asked to provide the names of their social-media accounts in their visa application. Read more

SpiceJet flies to Bangkok

February 22, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, News, South Asia

BANGKOK, 22 February 2017: SpiceJet, an Indian low-cost carrier, will launch a direct flight between Delhi and Bangkok effective 15 April.

According to the airline’s website, the Delhi-Bangkok route will be served by six weekly flights.

Flights will increase to daily, effective 9 May. Read more

Free visas for another three months

January 23, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 23 January 2017: Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Minister says she wants to extend the free tourist visa concession for another three months after it lapses at the end of February.

Tourism Minister, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, is expected to present her proposal to the Thai Cabinet, Tuesday.

She will also include extending the period visitors can obtain a visa-on-arrival for THB1,000, instead of the customary THB2,000. Read more

Danang residents get a visa break

December 15, 2016 by  
Filed under News, Trade Talk, Vietnam

DANANG, 15 December 2016: Embassies of Australia and the UK  in Vietnam opened visa application centres, Tuesday, in Vietnam’s central city of Danang.

Local media reported the centres are located in the ACB Building on Bach Dang Street in Hai Chau district.

Visa applicants, residing in central Vietnam, will no longer have to travel to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City to submit their documents, the report said. Read more

Saudi bumps up visa fees

November 17, 2016 by  
Filed under Middle east, News

RIYADH, 17 November 2017: Saudi Arabia’s commerce minister said, Wednesday, that the kingdom is seeking reciprocal treatment on visas, after critics said the introduction of higher fees risked deterring investment.

Saudi Arabia last month introduced higher work visa fees for citizens of some countries, one of many moves adopted by the kingdom to cover a 51% slump in oil revenue, last year, following a sharp drop in global crude prices.

Speaking to AFP on the sidelines of the MISK Global Forum, Commerce and Investment Minister Majed al-Qasabi said Saudi Arabia was seeking “bilateral agreements with other countries” and that higher fees would not apply “as long as we’re treated equally.” Read more

Singaporeans climb travel spend chart

October 6, 2016 by  
Filed under News, Singapore

SINGAPORE, 6 October 2016: Overseas travel spend by Singaporean households is expected to double to almost USD45 billion by 2025, placing the country in the top 10 globally and in the top three in Asia Pacific, according to Visa’s “Mapping the Future of Global Travel and Tourism in Asia Pacific” report.

Average annual spend on overseas travel per Singaporean household is projected to hit USD30,230 by 2025, almost six times the Asia Pacific household average of USD5,230 and the global household average of USD5,309.

In Asia Pacific, households in China (USD255 billion), Hong Kong (USD47.4 billion) and Singapore (USD44.9 billion) are likely to be the top markets with the largest outbound travel spend. Read more

Canada delays visa change

September 21, 2016 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, News

OTTAWA, 21 September 2016: For the second time in six months, Ottawa delayed, Tuesday, the implementation of new rules requiring visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly or transit through Canada to obtain an electronic travel authorisation (eTA).

A leniency period had been in effect since mid-March, when the new regulations were rolled out, due to technical glitches.

That was scheduled to end, 30 September, but the government announced an extension to 10 November in order “to give travellers and airlines more time to prepare for changes,” said a statement. Read more

Visa introduces airport app

August 19, 2016 by  
Filed under News, Technology

SINGAPORE, 19 August 2016: Visa announced the launch of “Visa airport companion” programme that uses an integrated mobile platform.

Visa claims it is the first of its kind in Asia-Pacific,  offering cardholders an improved airport experience by offering access to privileges and discounts for amenities and services at the airport.

It sources availability and special offers for lounges, restaurants, spas, retail, limousines and meet & greet services. Read more

Thailand’s medical tourism thrives

August 2, 2016 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 2 August 2016: Thailand has once more been confirmed as one of Asia’s top medical tourism destination in the company of Singapore and South Korea, according to a report by VISA and Oxford Economics.

Looking forward the report confirmed that medical tourism globally has a value exceeding USD439 million with a projected growth rate of up to 25% year-over-year for the next 10 years.

The research claimed that 3 to 4% of the world population will travel internationally for healthcare and health related treatment. Medical travel market revenue could soar to an astronomical USD 3 trillion by 2025 and Thailand figures as one of top three destinations in Asia that is well positioned to benefit. Read more

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