Shanghai rises to become world’s most connected city

Shanghai has dethroned London to become the world’s most connected city as the coronavirus shakes up international travel. London has seen a 67% fall in connectivity in air travel, according to airline industry body IATA, Shanghai has risen up the ranks, and the world’s four most connected cities are now all in China. IATA says the pandemic has “undone a century of progress” for connectivity between cities. “The dramatic shift demonstrates the scale at which the world’s connectivity has been re-ordered over the last months,” said Sebastian Mikosz, a spokesman for the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Large transport hubs … Continue reading Shanghai rises to become world’s most connected city

China pushes for QR code based global travel system

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for a “global mechanism” that would use QR codes to open up international travel. “We need to further harmonize policies and standards and establish ‘fast tracks’ to facilitate the orderly flow of people,” he said, the codes will be used to help establish a traveller’s health status, but Human Rights advocates warn that the codes could be used for “broader political monitoring and exclusion”. Mr Xi made the comments at the G20 summit, an online meeting of heads of state from the world’s 20 largest economies, which was hosted by Saudi Arabia over the … Continue reading China pushes for QR code based global travel system

TripAdvisor warns users over Thai hotel that legally pursued reviewer

TripAdvisor has warned about a Thai hotel that made a legal complaint against a customer for a negative review, resulting in his arrest. Wesley Barnes, who is a US citizen, posted a scathing review of the Sea View Resort on the travel review site. He was subsequently detained and charged under Thailand’s strict anti-defamation laws, he was later released after issuing a public apology. Now TripAdvisor has hit back, the saga appeared to have ended when Mr Barnes left Thailand last week, but TripAdvisor has had the last word by leaving a warning notice on the hotel’s page. “This hotel or individuals … Continue reading TripAdvisor warns users over Thai hotel that legally pursued reviewer

Indian airline turns to seaplanes to boost travel

In this era of coronavirus pandemic, an Indian airline, SpiceJet is turning to seaplanes to boost travel during the pandemic downturn, the country’s biggest regional airline has approval for 18 seaplane routes, one of these routes is to Kevadia, the site of the world’s tallest statue, an 182-metre tribute to the country’s first home minister, Vallabhbhai Patel. During the pandemic, SpiceJet is focusing on new sources of revenue, including transporting cargo and regional flights using smaller planes, airlines have struggled during the coronavirus to remain profitable and many have gone bust, including the UK’s Flybe and Virgin Australia, many others … Continue reading Indian airline turns to seaplanes to boost travel

Japanese man invents ‘edible’ plastic bag to save Nara’s sacred deer

 A local entrepreneur in the Japanese tourist destination of Nara has developed an alternative to plastic shopping bags, to protect the town’s sacred deer, Hidetoshi Matsukawa, who works for Nara-ism, a souvenir wholesale agent, told reporters, he heard last year that the deer, which roam the city’s park, were dying after ingesting plastic bags. I wanted to do something to protect the deer, which is the symbol of Nara,” he said. The bags are made from rice bran and milk cartons. The city is home to around 1,000 sacred deer, which are officially designated as a national natural treasure in Japan, and many tourists feed them … Continue reading Japanese man invents ‘edible’ plastic bag to save Nara’s sacred deer

Europe’s most spectacular rail journeys

Train on viaduct in Switzerland   With a rail network that spans hundreds of thousands of kilometres, Europe is one of the world’s most diverse and accessible train travel destinations. From five-star luxury sleepers in Spain to 100-year-old rail routes in Slovenia, we pick the continent’s most spectacular train journeys for your next European rail adventure. The ultra-luxurious Transcantabrico sleeper train takes guests on an 8-day journey from Spain’s historic Santiago de Compostela to the Romanesque city of Leon. Travelling through the country’s northern coastal towns of Santander and Bilbao, the 643 km route offers views of the Cantabrian Sea and … Continue reading Europe’s most spectacular rail journeys

Peru opens Machu Picchu for single tourist stranded by Covid

Peru has opened the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu for a single Japanese tourist who had waited almost seven months to visit the world heritage site, Jesse Takayama was due to visit Machu Picchu in March but it closed because of coronavirus. Culture Minister Alejandro Neyra said Mr Takayama was granted access after submitting a special request, the ancient Inca citadel, Peru’s top tourist attraction is expected to re-open at reduced capacity next month, no exact date has been given. Mr Takayama planned to spend only a few days in Peru, but became stranded in the town of Aguas Calientes, … Continue reading Peru opens Machu Picchu for single tourist stranded by Covid

Update: US man avoids jail in Thailand over bad resort review

A US man in Thailand who was arrested for writing a negative hotel review will avoid legal action and jail time, Wesley Barnes had posted several reviews allegedly accusing the Sea View Resort of modern day slavery, he was subsequently detained and charged under Thailand’s strict anti-defamation laws. Police said Mr Barnes and the resort had managed to reach an agreement, which included an apology to the hotel and to Thailand’s tourism authority. Colonel Kitti Maleehuan, superintendent of the Koh Chang police station, the island where the resort is located told the AFP news agency that both parties had met … Continue reading Update: US man avoids jail in Thailand over bad resort review

China clamps down on climbing ‘wild Great Wall’

As China’s busiest holiday season approaches, Beijing has warned that it will punish those who climb the “wild Great Wall”. The term is often used to describe parts of the famous landmark that are not restored and closed to tourists. Fines will be enforced more strictly over Golden Week, with thousands of domestic tourists expected to visit, China is banking on the holiday to boost its badly hit tourism industry. “This year’s National Day holiday lasts eight days and the number of visitors to explore the ‘wild Great Wall’ is bound to increase,” Yu Hankuan, director of the Yanqing District … Continue reading China clamps down on climbing ‘wild Great Wall’

Tourist faces jail in Thailand over hotel review

A US man is facing up to two years in jail in Thailand after posting negative reviews of a hotel he stayed in, he was sued by the resort under the country’s strict anti-defamation laws. Wesley Barnes, who works in Thailand, posted several reviews on different platforms allegedly accusing the resort of “modern day slavery”. The Sea View Resort, however, said the harsh criticism by the former guest was untrue and damaging to the hotel’s reputation. The owner filed a complaint that the defendant had posted unfair reviews on his hotel on the TripAdvisor website, police told the AFP news … Continue reading Tourist faces jail in Thailand over hotel review

Taj Mahal reopens after longest shutdown due to covid-19

The iconic Taj Mahal has reopened its doors to visitors after six months the longest it has ever been shut. It was closed as the country went into a stringent lockdown in March to halt the spread of coronavirus. It will now allow only 5,000 visitors daily and enforce Covid-19 safety measures as cases spike in India. The Taj Mahal is one of the world’s leading tourist attractions, and drew as many as 70,000 people every day before the pandemic. The 17th-Century marble mausoleum was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his queen, Mumtaz Mahal. It was … Continue reading Taj Mahal reopens after longest shutdown due to covid-19

Thai national park mails trash back to tourists

If you litter in this Thai national park, your trash may just come back to haunt you. Well, not exactly haunt, but it’ll be shipped to your home as a pointed reminder that when out in nature, you better clean up after yourself. Authorities in the popular Khao Yai National Park near Bangkok will start sending rubbish back to litterers, Thailand’s environment minister said. Offenders will also be registered with the police. Visitors to the park have to register with their addresses, making it easy for rangers to track them down if they leave rubbish behind. Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa posted … Continue reading Thai national park mails trash back to tourists