Sicily’s famed cliffs defaced by vandals

An investigation has been launched after Sicily’s normally white Scala dei Turchi cliffs were stained red. The marl cliffs, which attract thousands of tourists every year, were defaced sometime overnight on Friday. Sicily’s President Nello Musumeci has condemned the “cowardly gesture”. The Scala dei Turchi, said to have once been a hiding place of pirates, are one of the island’s most loved tourist attractions, in part thanks to the Inspector Montalbano books. The staircase-shaped cliffs near the southern town of Realmonte appear regularly as a backdrop in the popular series about the Sicilian detective. Luckily, it appears the red stains … Continue reading Sicily’s famed cliffs defaced by vandals

US tourists fined for sneaking into Rome’s Colosseum for a beer

If you’ve travelled to Rome, you may have been warned that drinks in popular tourist spots can be rather expensive. Well, earlier this week, two American travellers likely racked up one of the priciest drinks bills in the Italian capital’s long history. The pair, both in their 20s, snuck into the Colosseum in the early hours of Monday morning to enjoy a beer. They were spotted sitting on the second ring of the ancient gladiator stadium at about 05:30 local time (04:30 GMT). However, entry to the almost 2,000-year-old landmark is prohibited overnight. And while the drinks and the scenic … Continue reading US tourists fined for sneaking into Rome’s Colosseum for a beer

Thailand to reopen for some vaccinated visitors on 1 November

Thailand plans to end Covid-19 quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers from at least 10 low-risk nations from 1 November, officials say. PM Prayuth Chan-ocha admitted that “this decision comes with some risk” – but it is seen as a key step to revive the country’s collapsed tourism sector. The 10 nations seen as low risk include the UK, China, Germany and the US. The country has been recording more than 10,000 positive infections daily since July. It has fully vaccinated around 33% of its almost 70 million people. Half the population has received one dose. Mr Prayuth said Thailand … Continue reading Thailand to reopen for some vaccinated visitors on 1 November

Vietnam delays reopening resort island over low vaccination rate

Vietnam has pushed back a plan to re-open the resort island of Phu Quoc to foreign tourists until November, after failing to meet targets for inoculating residents due to insufficient vaccine supplies, state media reported.Views from a beachside restaurant are seen at the Mango Bay resort in Phu Quoc island The Southeast Asian nation, which is currently shut to all visitors apart from returning citizens and investors, has been struggling to speed up inoculations to help contain a spike in Covid-19 cases driven by the Delta variant in recent months. Authorities had initially planned to allow vaccinated foreign tourists to … Continue reading Vietnam delays reopening resort island over low vaccination rate

Billionaire’s Swiss luxury hotel to accept crypto payments

The Chedi Andermatt, a luxury hotel controlled by billionaire Samih Sawiris, said it will allow guests to use cryptocurrency to pay for their stay in the Swiss Alps.  The hotel will accept both Bitcoin and Ethereum and will consider taking other cryptocurrencies in the future, it said in a statement.  A top-end suite at the five-star Chedi Andermatt, about a 110 kilometers (70 miles) drive from Zurich, can cost thousands of dollars per night, according to the hotel’s website.   The resort began considering taking cryptocurrencies as a payment option about four years ago, but waited until it was able to … Continue reading Billionaire’s Swiss luxury hotel to accept crypto payments

Strange: Spanish village tells visitors who complain about the mess to not go there

After numerous visitors called officials of Ribadesella, Spain, to complain about the mess left behind by various animals, the village had one response…don’t come here. “Last week we had a lady who called us three or four times over a rooster that was waking her up at 5 a.m.,” said Ramón Canal, Ribadesella’s mayor. “She told us that we had to do something.” Town officials wanted the complaining public to know how they really felt and came up with a tongue-in-cheek poster campaign that asks the urban tourists to “assume all the risks” that come with life in the rural … Continue reading Strange: Spanish village tells visitors who complain about the mess to not go there

Just in: BA plane damaged after tipping forward at Heathrow

A British Airways plane was damaged when it tipped on to its nose at Heathrow Airport. It happened while the aircraft was parked on tarmac at the west London airport earlier. The airline said it was a freight aircraft and there were no passengers on board. Images on social media showed more than a dozen emergency service vehicles in attendance. A BA spokesman said: “Safety is always our highest priority and we are investigating the matter.” Continue reading Just in: BA plane damaged after tipping forward at Heathrow

Taj Mahal reopens for tourists as India eases curbs

India’s iconic Taj Mahal has reopened to the public as the country, still reeling from a disastrous second wave of the pandemic, rushes to lift restrictions in a bid to revitalise its economy. The 17th-century monument, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the northern city of Agra, was closed in early April as India introduced strict lockdown measures in an effort to contain a surge in Covid-19 infections that is still killing thousands every day. Only 650 tourists will be allowed inside the premises of the Taj Mahal at any point in time, Prabhu Singh, the district magistrate of … Continue reading Taj Mahal reopens for tourists as India eases curbs

WOW: United Airlines offering free travel for a year to promote vaccinations

United Airlines announced on Monday that it is giving travelers a chance to win a year of free flights to anywhere in the world it flies in exchange for getting vaccinated against Covid-19. As part of United’s “Your Shot to Fly” sweepstakes, frequent fliers in the airline’s MileagePlus program can upload their vaccination records to a mobile app or website until June 22. On July 1, the airline will announce the five MileagePlus members who won a year of travel for themselves and a companion, in any class of service, to anywhere United flies. United will also give away 30 pairs … Continue reading WOW: United Airlines offering free travel for a year to promote vaccinations

Spain to lift restrictions for UK and Japanese travellers

Spain has said it is officially lifting restrictions for UK travellers from Monday, when a decree takes effect. The government says the UK and Japan will be on a list of countries whose residents are not affected by restrictions on non-essential travel to the EU. They will not need a PCR test. The EU is currently deciding on an expanded “white list” of countries whose citizens can enter the EU freely. Only seven, with very low Covid-19 infection rates, are on the list now. The BBC has been told a final decision has been delayed for another two weeks. The … Continue reading Spain to lift restrictions for UK and Japanese travellers

What???: Airline passengers may have to get weighed before boarding

Airline passengers may have to reveal their own cabin size before boarding, a new report claims. Citing an FAA advisory, travel site View from the Wing reports that because Americans are getting heavier, airlines may have to revisit estimates on how much cargo each plane is carrying for the sake of safety. According to that report, when it comes to planes that carry more than 70 passengers, estimates based on standard weights published by the CDC will suffice. But new considerations are being given for smaller airliners where passenger and baggage weights need to be more accurate. Being weighed or … Continue reading What???: Airline passengers may have to get weighed before boarding

Losses deepen at Hong Kong Disneyland

Reporting results fully seven and a half months after the fact, Hongkong Disneyland Resort said that it lost nearly $1 million per day last year. For the financial year to September 2020, theme park and hotel revenues were $185 million. Net losses reached $341 million (HK$2.66 billion). The global coronavirus pandemic meant that the theme park was closed for some 60% of the financial year. The park’s hotels were open longer, but operated at minimum safe levels. Management described the turmoil as: “a year of unprecedented uncertainty and challenges to the global tourism industry.” “These numbers do not provide a meaningful … Continue reading Losses deepen at Hong Kong Disneyland