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Hotels in Bangkok Thailand closed amid prolonged “red-shirt” rally

Several upscale hotels around Bangkok’s Ratchaprasong intersection, where the red-shirted protesters have been based for more than a month, decided to close from Tuesday until April 25 for safety reasons.

The hotels included Grand Hyatt Erawan, Holiday Inn, Intercontinental and Centara Grand. All guests living in these hotels were asked to check out before noon.

Apart from security concerns, the cost reason was also considered an important factor for the hotel management to make the closure decision since they had to spend big for daily overheads but received fewer and fewer guests.

An earlier report by the Thai Tourism Association said hotel occupancy rate dropped below 30 percent in the country amid prolonged demonstration by the anti-government red-shirts. Hotels near the rally site suffered even bitter loss, with only a few guests staying.

The “red-shirts” started gathering at Ratchaprasong intersection rally site since March 12 and the place, which is home to Bangkok’s posh shopping centers and five-star hotels, has become the only rally site after red-shirted protesters abandoned another base at the Phan Fah Bridge.

Thailand has lost about 21.0-38.0 billion baht (US$ 649.76 million to US$ 1.17 billion) due to the red-shirted mass rallies, the National News Bureau of Thailand reported Monday.

It is projected for the whole 2010, there will be 12-13 million tourists’ arrival, lower than the previous target of 15.5 million.

Posted in Tourism News, travel advisory, Travel and Tourism News, Travel Warning3 Comments

Travel Advisory : Strong earthquake hits Indonesia

Indonesia Earthquake Update : An earthquake with magnitude of 7.6 jolted West Sumatra province at Sumatra island on Wednesday, with no tsunami warning was issued, Meteorology and Geophysics Agency said.

The quake struck at 17:16 Jakarta time (1216 GMT) with epicenter at 57 km southwest of Pariaman and at 71 km. under sea bed, an official of the agency said.

Posted in Asia, travel advisory, Travel and Tourism News, Travel Warning0 Comments

Some 1,017,661 foreign tourists visited Bali Indonesia in the first half of 2009

Bali received a total of 1,017,661 arrivals of foreign tourists from January to June 2009, despite the current global economic crisis.

“It proves that Bali is still considered as a safe and nice place to visit, Rai Budiasa, a tourism practitioner, said here on Saturday.

During the first six months of 2009, the number of tourists from the United States visiting Bali was 51,908 people, and from the European Union 247,211, or up 24.30 percent from that in the same period last year.

Bali received only 8,761 arrivals of American tourists in May 2009 and 10,089 in June 2009.

Posted in Asia, Travel Guide, Travel Tips, Travel Warning0 Comments

Swine Flu Influenza A H1N1 spread to affect tourism, says top economist

The spread of Swine Flu which is also known as influenza type A (H1N1) will definitely affect tourism this year if the government fails to contain the pandemic in an appropriate manner, according to a leading economist.

Anusorn Tamajai, dean of the Rangsit University’s economics faculty, admitted the spread of the new virus strain was worrying people around the country because they are confused by what the government has attempted to contain the disease.

He said the government seemed unable to control the spread of the influenza, causing some people and tourists to panic.

Because of this, the government must consider ways to improve information to the public to keep people informed of what is really happening and how to manage the spread of the influenza.

“Now, the government is busy reporting the number of patients and the pandemic. It fails to tell about preventive measures,” he said, warning that “the spread of the virus strain, if allowed to go unabated, will definitely impact tourism this year.”

Posted in Tourism News, travel advisory, Travel Business News, Travel Warning5 Comments

Air Travel is still the safest way to travel

In spite of several plane crash recorded recently, Air Travel is still considered as the safest way to travel according to recent study. No mater how security and prior checking was done before each flight, accidents may still occur. According to Aviation news, the annual number of deaths in plane accidents has decreased over the past ten years.

Huge cases of fatal plane crash has been recorded which makes people more afraid of travelling in planes, but according to records, planes still remain the safest means of travelling.

In the Philippines, two accidents was recorded in Caticlan airport in just 6 months. Although the Zest Airaccidents are not fatal, Some Filipinos already has fear of flying with smaller air crafts.

safe-air-travel-budget-airlineWith several discount airfare and online promotions in the Philippines, Air Travel in the Philippines is growing in terms of flight frequency. If you compare plane, train or automobile as a mode of transport – then air travel without a doubt is definitely the fastest and still the safest way to travel.

Over the decades, air travel safetyhas considerably increased and it is now more than 5 times better than what it used to be about 20 years ago. Air transportation improvements in safety can be credited to the advancement of technology, tough competition, strict quality control and external quality audits.

According to the Aviation Authorities, planes are the safest way to travel also because they have the least number of fatalities on per kilometre basis.

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Posted in Airline News, Aviation News, Tourism News, travel advisory, Travel Tips, Travel Warning1 Comment

Mexico launches tourism campaign in United States and Canada

Mexico’s Tourism Ministry on Wednesday launched a campaign to encourage North American tourists to the country following a slump in tourist arrivals due to the A/H1N1 flu outbreak.

During the first two weeks of the campaign, the slogan “Believe It” will be used in 12 U.S. cities and six Canadian ones to convince tourists scared off by the flu that the emergency is now over.

From week three to week seven, the campaign will feature the slogan “Welcome Back!” and in the final weeks it will use the slogan “Mexico, it’s time to go!”

The A/H1N1 flu has killed 113 people in Mexico and is now spreading at a much slower rate than when it was first detected in April.

Posted in Tourism Promotion, travel advisory, Travel Warning0 Comments

Australia’s tourism industry at risk of losing billions

Billions of dollars and thousands of jobs are at stake should Australia not reform its ailing tourism industry, a new report revealed on Monday.

The government-sponsored Jackson Report came as Australia’s share of global tourism dropped 14 percent between 1995 and 2008, while also declining as a proportion of Australia’s gross domestic product (GDP) since peaking in 2001.

“If Australia does not make the necessary changes between now and 2030, we risk forgoing 3.6 million international visitors, 17.7 billion U.S. dollars (22 billion Australian dollars) of tourism’ s contribution to GDP, and as many as 100,000 tourism jobs,” former Qantas chairwoman Margaret Jackson said.

The report produced by the Long Term Tourism Strategy Steering Committee made 10 recommendations to enhance research, online capability, skills and investment. Continue Reading

Posted in Australia, travel advisory, Travel Business News, Travel Tips, Travel Warning0 Comments

A/H1N1 Super flu prompts travel insurance offer

HO CHI MINH City travel agents unveiled on June 12 insurance packages for outbound tourists to reassure visitors at a time when A/H1N1 flu is sweeping around the world.

The insurance provides a maximum cover of 50,000 USD for passengers travelling to Europe and 10,000 USD for those going elsewhere, said Vo Anh Tai, director of Saigontourist Company.

Viettravel’s director Nguyen Quoc Ky said his clients would be covered for a maximum of 5,000 USD in case of accident or illness, and 100 USD a day in case of hospitalization.

The travel agents will also provide passengers regular updates about influenza A/H1N1 breakouts at the destinations, and allow them to cancel tours in case of pandemic warnings.

Their move comes at a time when the number of people cancelling inbound and outbound tours has surged since late May due to A/H1N1 warnings.

Duong Thi Tho, a tourism official in Da Nang, said travel industry workers in the central region, already hit by the current low season, were becoming increasingly worried by the pandemic threat.

Posted in Medical Tourism, Travel Tips, Travel Warning0 Comments

How could Swine Flu affect Australia’s travel and tourism industry – a view about the unquantifiable ”X” factors we are all facing

When SARS was in its infancy in 2003, Tim Harcourt Chief Economist at the Australian Trade Commission said, “Every year economic forecasters have to contend with an “X Factor”, and I am sure that it is fair to say that this year we are already not only dealing with two “X Factors” and let’s call the first the global economic crisis and the second, the “X+1 Factor” the dramatic increases in the cost of fuel.

Now though we are dealing with another potentially cataclysmic factor, let’s call it the “X+2 Factor” – the outbreak of Swine Flu in Mexico and its rampaging and potentially devastating progress throughout the world.

As Tim Harcourt also said in 2003, “How many more can there be?” “Sure, we can all do our trend forecasts, factor on tax changes and other once-off policy related factors, seasonally adjust here and there, nip and tuck and so on.”

“And just when we economists think we have a handle on everything – whoosh! – in comes “Factor X” and wipes out all our neat little certainties and sensible predictions.” Continue Reading

Posted in Australia, Travel Warning1 Comment

Fidel Castro welcomes new US travel rules for Cuba

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has given a cautious welcome to the new travel rules for US citizens, saying they are positive but insufficient.

US President Barack Obama announced on Monday that restrictions on travel and money transfers to Cuba would be lifted for Americans with relatives in the Caribbean country.

In an article published on the government website on Tuesday, the longtime communist leader said the decision was “positive, but only a minimal part” of what needs to be done. “Many other measures are needed,” he said.

Castro, 82, also criticized the failure of the Obama administration to address the half-century blockade of Cuba.

“Of the blockade, which is the cruelest of measures, not a word was uttered,” he wrote. Continue Reading

Posted in Travel Warning, USA1 Comment

Bangkok nightclub fire kills 54 leaving 100 injured

A fire swept through a high class nightclub jammed with hundreds of New Year’s revelers in the Thai capital, killing at least 54 people and injuring about 100, officials said early Thursday. Victims died from burns, smoke inhalation and injuries during the stampede to escape from the club, which had only one door for entry and exit, police Maj. Gen. Chokchai Deeprasertwit said.

He said that the fire may have been caused by firecrackers brought into the Santika Club by guests or sparks flying from a New Year’s countdown display on the nightclub stage.

Police said 53 people people were confirmed dead at the club and another person died at a hospital. Workers counting bodies told The Associated Press that about 100 others were injured when the blaze broke out in the building, which has two stories and a basement. Continue Reading

Posted in Asia, Thailand, travel advisory, Travel Warning0 Comments

Bali Indonesia tourist paradise bitten again: now it’s rabies

Rabies has been confirmed in the tourist island of Bali in Indonesia and tourists have been warned to avoid all contact with dogs, cats, monkeys and other animals.

The disease is often fatal, so tourists are urged to seek advice on vaccinations before travelling to Bali.  The warning from Australian health authorities after a meeting this week between all chief health officers, after information from Bali was discussed by Australia’s Communicable Diseases Network (CDNA).

Bali tourism websites are also posting warnings about the outbreak.

Queensland’s chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young issued a warning this afternoon, informing tourists that Bali has lost its “rabies-free” status. Continue Reading

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