UAE Travel Becomes an Unrivaled Icon of Tourism and Culture

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has become a very interesting city for visitors in recent years because it has evolved from a financial and political center to a megalopolis with significant tourist and cultural projects, such as the Guggenheim Museum, which will be located on the island of Saadiyat and is scheduled to open in 2025.

This cultural commitment continues following the intergovernmental agreement signed on March 6, 2007 between the UAE and France, which culminated in the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Arab world’s first universal museum.

It also has other tourist attractions such as the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, which has 82 vaults of various sizes and minarets that reach 100 meters in height, decorated with Swarovski crystal chandeliers; the Heritage Village, an open-air ethnographic museum where you can see the ancient customs and traditions of the Arab peoples before the exploitation of oil; and Ferrari World, a theme park dedicated to the famous racing team that attracts millions of visitors.

Dubai, on the other hand, has been named Tripadvisor’s best tourist destination in the world for 2022. Its diverse range of culture and entertainment has resulted in more than 7 million foreign tourists visiting in 2021, thanks in part to the momentum generated by the Dubai Expo 2020. But it’s not just the number of visitors that’s increasing; the city’s economic data is also improving, with over 5,500 new jobs created solely in this sector, and the outlook couldn’t be brighter thanks to the pandemic’s end.

According to Borja Gervás, CEO of the consultancy Access UAE: “Although the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the countries with the largest oil reserves (6th) and gas reserves (7th) in the world and its economy has traditionally been based on this sector, the Emirati government is betting on tourism and culture as a key part of the country’s productive diversification policy, with the aim of exceeding 31 million tourists by 2025”.

 

 

Source : atalayar

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Qatar Tourism Celebrates New Visitor Record

The number of visitors to Qatar reached a new high of 151,000 in July, the most for a summer month since 2017 and a 297 percent increase year on year, according to Qatar Tourism.

Qatar has received ten award nominations, including the Middle East’s leading destination, at this year’s World Travel Awards Middle East ceremony, which will be held on the 18th of this month in Jordan.

Qatar has also updated its COVID-19 requirements for incoming visitors, making travel even easier for those planning to visit for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 in November by eliminating its red travel list and mask mandate. Visitors to Qatar should bring a negative PCR test result that is valid for 48 hours or a negative rapid antigen test result that is valid for 24 hours.

The announcement comes on the heels of the launch of the new Qatar Tourism stopover campaign, which features David Beckham, as the country prepares to welcome 1.2 million visitors for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 later this year. In the run-up to the start, Qatar is adding 105 new hotels and serviced apartments to its already extensive portfolio. The recently opened Pullman Doha West Bay (opened 1 August) and The Double Tree by Hilton Downtown Hotel (opened 1 August), as well as the upcoming The Outpost Al Barari (opening November) and Katara Hills LXR Hotels & Resorts with 15 luxury villas each with private pools, are among the new hotels (opening October).

Other major upcoming tourism developments in the country include the Doha Winter Wonderland, a sister event to the famous Hyde Park event; Fuwairit Kite Beach – a state-of-the-art kitesurfing resort; Qetaifan Island North – dubbed the first “Entertainment Island” in Qatar; and West Bay North Beach Project – a new premium beachfront in the heart of Doha. The latest in a string of new resort and attraction openings in Qatar in recent years is

 

 

 

source : breakingtravelnews

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7 Destinations in Asia that Have Eased COVID-19 Entry Rules

South Korea

If you are traveling to South Korea, you will no longer be required to present a negative COVID-19 test result prior to departure. This went into effect on September 3, but travelers must still take an on-arrival PCR test within 24 hours of their arrival and upload the results to the country’s Q-code website.

All passengers, including children under the age of six, must register for Q-code prior to departure. The email address of the traveller will then be sent a QR code. According to the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Singapore, this is only valid for a single entry.

Visitors who are eligible for visa-free entry must also register for the Korea Electronic Travel Authorization, or K-ETA, if they are staying for less than 90 days. South Korean quarantine requirements were lifted for all travelers, regardless of vaccination status, on June 8.

Japan

Tourists will be able to visit Japan on package tours without a guide beginning September 7. However, compared to many other major economies, the country still has strict border restrictions. Tourists will be able to visit Japan on package tours without a guide starting September 7. However, in comparison to many other major economies, the country still has strict border controls.

Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France, for example, are on Japan’s blue list, which means no on-arrival tests or quarantine will be required. There is also no need to submit a COVID-19 vaccination certificate.

If a traveler from a country on the yellow list, such as India, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, or Portugal, does not have a valid vaccination certificate, they must be quarantined for three days. Japan’s visa-exemption policies remain in effect.

Hongkong

Hong Kong reduced the hotel quarantine period for all arrivals from seven to three days on August 12. They must then self-monitor for the next four days. During this time, if they test negative, they can go out, but only to low-risk areas, such as restaurants and bars where mask-off activities take place.

The status of their isolation will be updated on the LeaveHomeSafe mobile application. Only fully vaccinated visitors are permitted to enter Hong Kong. For passengers aged three and up, a pre-departure PCR test is required, which must be completed within 48 hours of the scheduled flight time.

They must also have confirmation of a room reservation in a designated quarantine hotel for three nights beginning on the day they arrive in Hong Kong. This applies to all visitors who have spent 14 days outside of China prior to arriving in Hong Kong.

Singapore

Non-fully vaccinated short-term visitors aged 13 and above who travel to Singapore no longer need to apply for entry approval as of August 29.

The health ministry stated that they are not required to complete a seven-day stay-at-home notice upon arrival or to take a PCR test at the end of the stay-at-home notice period, citing the improving local and global COVID-19 situation.

Travellers who have not been fully immunized must, however, present a negative pre-departure test within two days of leaving for Singapore. They must also purchase COVID-19 travel insurance that covers their entire stay. All air and sea travelers entering Singapore must submit an electronic health declaration using the SG Arrival Card e-service up to three days before arrival.

Malaysia

From August 1, all travelers, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status, are allowed to enter Malaysia and do not need a pre-departure or on-arrival COVID-19 test.

They will no longer need to enter the traveller’s card into the MySejahtera mobile app. According to Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, authorities will increase monitoring of travelers’ health symptoms at all international entry points into Malaysia.

All newly arrived international travelers should self-monitor their health, follow standard operating procedures, and seek medical attention if they become ill, according to Mr. Khairy.

Thailand

Travellers no longer need to apply for a Thailand Pass, which was an online platform for submitting documents before entering Thailand.

Travelers entering Thailand will only need to show proof of either a certificate of vaccination or a passport. Those who have not been fully immunized must have a negative PCR test or a professionally administered ART result. There is no need to quarantine if these conditions are met.

Taiwan

Taiwan no longer requires negative pre-departure PCR tests. However, upon arrival, a PCR test is still required. In June, it reduced the number of days new arrivals spent in isolation from seven to three. These requirements, as well as the weekly limit of 50,000 arrivals, will be maintained for the time being, according to Command Centre chief Victor Wang on September 5.

All foreign visitors to Taiwan must apply for a special permit under COVID-19. Visitors must have hotel reservation confirmation from a quarantined hotel.

 

 

 

source : channelnewsasia.com

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Venice Asks Tourists to Help Reduce Pollution

Venice, Italy, is doing everything it can to keep its famous canals, streets, and squares in pristine condition.
In order to reduce pollution, the government is now asking tourists to drink from the many public water fountains that dot cities like Venice rather than using plastic water bottles.

City officials have launched a local marketing campaign to inform the millions of visitors who visit Venice each year of the request. And, with the lifting of travel restrictions imposed in the aftermath of the COVID pandemic, tourism in Italy is nearly back to pre-pandemic levels.

Nonetheless, as important as tourism is to the venerable Italian city of Venice, the city has worked hard to keep tourists at bay. For example, it previously announced a plan to charge day visitors an entry fee, which was later amended to begin in 2023 rather than this year.

To assist tourists, city officials in Venice have begun issuing maps of public drinking fountain locations, particularly in the historic center of St. Mark’s Square. There are 126 public drinking fountains that are classified as safe to drink from, so tourists should never be more than a few steps away from quenching their thirst – and avoid throwing plastic water bottles into the street, as is sometimes the case in Venice.

 

 

Source : breakingtravelnew

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Low-Cost Carriers are Seeing Increased Business

Low-cost carriers (LCC) airlines in Southeast Asia are regaining traction after experiencing a drop in passenger numbers as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The recovery of the LCCs will almost certainly have an impact on the business strategies of many Japanese and Japanese-affiliated companies that place a premium on the Southeast Asian markets.

The tourism industry is vital to the economies of Southeast Asia. Following the relaxation of coronavirus-related entry restrictions, many regional LCCs announced a significant increase in flight services.

New airlines are also entering the market. Super Air Jet launched a number of routes in Indonesia last year, including one connecting Jakarta and Bali Island. The company’s goal is to attract young people, known as the “millennial generation,” to local resorts. Meanwhile, in Malaysia, plans are in the works to launch a new low-cost carrier (LCC) in the near future.

Strategy Shift because of Low-Cost Carriers

Many major airlines in Southeast Asia are government-affiliated, which has hampered their business efficiency. Low-Cost Carriers began offering lower airfares in the 2000s, buoyed by the region’s economic growth.

Many LCCs have increased their presence in areas where flying is an essential mode of transportation. During the pandemic, Southeast Asia, like other regions around the world, saw a sharp drop in passenger numbers, resulting in disastrous business results. One LCC, a joint venture between Thailand and Singapore, was forced to liquidate.

Several LCCs have revised their respective business strategies. AirAsia, a pioneering Malaysian LCC, changed the name of its holding company to Capital A in January. The holding company is now focusing much of its efforts on digital service fields such as ride-hailing and food delivery.

In related news, Vietjet Air of Vietnam has expanded its cargo flight service, and Nok Air of Thailand has improved its services across the board to differentiate itself from competitors.

Tough Competition 

Singapore’s Scoot and the Philippines’ Cebu Pacific Air have introduced larger planes and increased flights on their mid- and long-distance routes. Such moves are likely to have an impact on the business strategies of Japanese competitors.

ANA Holdings will launch a new subsidiary airline, Air Japan Co., in the second half of the next fiscal year, offering higher-level services than ANA group firm Peach Aviation Ltd. Both subsidiary airlines are interested in serving Southeast Asia.

Zipair Tokyo, a subsidiary of Japan Airlines Co., operates flights between Narita Airport and Thailand, as well as Singapore.

 

 

source : asianewsnetwork

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Increasing the Expense of Traveling to South East Asia

New government policies are aimed at increasing the expense of traveler spending as tourism in South East Asia begins to recover following long Covid-19 border closures.

Aligning hotel rooms and airline seats with designer handbags may be overkill, but the current debate in South East Asia is about how to increase revenue from tourism. Essentially, how to find new ways for travelers to pay more.

The Struggle of Increasing the Expense for High-Quality Tourism

Following the devastating two-year economic impact of closed borders, South East Asian governments are putting tourism at the forefront of their recovery plans. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. of the Philippines wants tourism to be a “major pillar” of the national economy, and Indonesia is developing new policies to improve “tourism resilience.”

These goals are directing the discussion toward “quality tourism.”

Political leaders offer various interpretations. These include high-quality tourism (Indonesia), high-yield tourists (Malaysia), high-end tourists (Cambodia), and high-value, low-impact tourism (Thailand). The goal is the same: to increase average visitor spending.

As a result of this ongoing effort to monetize inbound tourism, the overall cost of travel in South East Asia will rise. This will have an impact on both international and domestic tourists.

Increasing the Expense of Taxing Tourists in Thailand and Beyond 

In Thailand, two distinctive policies are being discussed to bolster tourism revenues.

In January, Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism & Sports announced it will collect a THB300 (around $NZD13) Tourism Tax from all non-Thai arrivals to the country. Although a start date is unconfirmed, the tax should enter into force in 2022. The government says the fees will be used for a new national fund to provide medical treatment for foreign tourists, which was a widely acknowledged financial burden for Thailand before the pandemic.

Malaysia implemented a per-night hotel tax of RM10 (approximately $NZD3.50) for foreign visitors in September 2017. In addition, a ‘city tax’ is levied on hotel guests in places like Penang and Melaka. The hotel tax was a contentious issue. Malaysia’s hotel industry lobbied against collecting the fee from guests on behalf of Customs and Excise. As a result, implementation was repeatedly postponed.

In July 2019, New Zealand began collecting a $NZD35 International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy, two years later. This is part of a broader national discussion about the future of tourism and environmental protection. The tax revenue is used to fund projects that restore natural landscapes and species while also improving environmental resilience.

Tourism fees can also take on subtle forms. In July, Indonesia raised the passenger service charge at 19 airports across the country. The new fees differ for international and domestic flights, but they will raise the cost of airline tickets.

Increasing the Expense Borobudur Entrance Fee Hike

Tourism professionals criticized the fee for foreign visitors as being excessive and potentially prohibitive. Most backpackers would be excluded.

The proposal also raised concerns that visiting a prized site of national cultural heritage would be out of reach for Indonesian tourists. According to the government, a UNESCO study recommends limiting visitors to 1,200 per day at Borobudur, and the fees will help maintain the magnificent ruins, which are showing visible signs of over-tourism.

Komodo Island Pricing

Travelers can reach Labuan Bajo, the gateway to Komodo National Park, after a three-and-a-half-hour flight east from Yogyakarta (the closest city to Borobudur). Tourists flocked here before the pandemic to see the Komodo Dragons, the world’s largest lizard species, in their natural habitat.

Developers pushed ahead, and Indonesia wants to limit the number of visitors to Komodo Island. The mechanism it chose is to increase the expense from IDR150,000 (approximately $NZD16) to IDR3.75 million (approximately $NZD400).

Local communities claim they were not consulted and are concerned that increasing the expense will discourage visitors from visiting Komodo Island and harm small businesses such as hotels and restaurants. To emphasize their point, tourism workers began a one-month strike in early August.

The standoff was quickly resolved. Local governments agreed to keep the previous IDR150,000 entry fee until the end of 2022.

 

Source :  Asiamediacentre

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Luxury Tourism Industry Is Expected To Be Worth $82 Billion by 2030

According to Global Market Insights Inc ,the global Luxury Tourism sector would hit a new high of $82 billion by 2030. There will be a considerable demand for exotic safari experiences in the luxury tourism market, notably in the Middle East and Africa.

Because of the emphasis on developing effective strategies to assist sports tourism growth, the adventure and sport segment of travel is predicted to exceed $12 billion by 2030.

Luxury Tourism

According to American Express Travel’s 2022 Global Travel Trends Report, 58 percent of respondents choose solo travel to their favorite destination, which should increase demand for luxury travel.

Travelers over the age of 60 will exhibit a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of roughly 15% until 2030. The increasing desire to spend leisure time traveling, as well as the availability of sufficient means, contribute to this generation’s acceptance of luxury travel.

While the luxury market in Asia Pacific is expected to account for more than 28 percent of the market in 2021, the Latin American luxury tourism business is expected to be one of the fastest expanding, reaching about $200 million by 2030.

Luxury Tourism

The survey included Audley Travel, Travelopia, Backroads, G Adventures, Jet2 Holidays, TUI Group, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., Silversea Cruises, and Abercrombie & Kent USA, LLC as participants.

According to a poll conducted earlier this year by GlobalData.com, luxury tourism in the United States has recovered faster than budget tourism, owing in part to a growth in “high-net-worth individuals.”

 

Source : travelpulse

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Legendary Luxurious Resorts in South East Asia For Your Getaway

These legendary luxurious resorts in South East Asia are ideal for soaking in the rays, splashing in the surf, and living the high life. They’ll make for the most satisfying weekend or short getaway getaways, with luxury living at their core, so you can expect a weekend of pure happiness.

From white sand and pure blue oceans to lush woods and majestic mountains, these resorts in Southeast Asia will satisfy all of your trip wishes, especially if you’re a nature lover and looking a place for your peace of mind.

  1. Anantara Koh Yao Yai Resort, Thailand

One of the Luxurious resorts in ASEAN is Anantara Koh Yao Yai Resort, located in the center of Phang Nga Bay, midway between Phuket and Krabi, offers tourists a look into rich traditional Thai culture, southern culinary delights, and beaches dotted with coconut and palm trees. The 148-key property here provides a pristine island escape, with 1km of private white sandy beach situated against a background of towering limestone formations that line Phang Nga Bay. One- and two-bedroom beachfront pool villas, as well as ocean-view large suites and penthouses, provide opulent living, and an ocean-facing dining restaurant serves produce-driven Thai and Asian dishes when you’re hungry.

  1. One and Only Desaru Coast, Malaysia

Check out the Desaru coast, a gorgeous white beach on Malaysia’s south-eastern shoreline. The One & Only Desaru Coast, also known as the Palm Village, offers a beautiful refuge in its Rainforest Suites, Ocean Suites, and Villas near the sea. These quiet rooms are ideal for lazing around and watching the world go by, whether by the al fresco eating space, tropical veranda, or private plunge pool.

  1. Amanjiwo, Indonesia

Amanjiwo marked itself as one of the luxurious resorts in South East Asia. It is set against the emerald-green countryside of Java, Indonesia. The vistas at this ultimate sanctuary are accentuated by the presence of Borobudur, the world’s biggest Buddhist temple and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which extends beyond the horizon. Many Hollywood celebrities, like Richard Gere has stayed in this resort. Amanjiwo’s suites cascade down the slopes and are distinctively furnished with outdoor spas, private pools, terraces, pavilions, and romantic huge four-pillar beds.

 

  1. Rosewood Luang Prabang, Laos

The Rosewood Luang Prabang, designed by the acclaimed Bill Bensley, wonderfully embodies the romantic atmosphere of bygone Indochina while surrounded by a tropical jungle and beautiful waterfalls. This picturesque resort offers a natural retreat, royal Laotian culinary experiences, and a traditional Lao heritage therapeutic spa all in one. Another enjoyable experience is the Royal Laotian Cooking Class, which will take you from scouting for ingredients in the forest to learning to cook near a waterfall.

Source : Lifestyle Asia

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New Zealand fully reopens borders for tourists

New Zealand has fully reopened to international tourists, removing the last vestiges of one of the most stringent border controls imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The country began reopening its borders to New Zealand citizens in February, followed in May by the return of tourists from more than 50 countries, including the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Tourists from non-visa waiver nations, international students, and cruise ships were able to enter the country after the final border restrictions were lifted at midnight on Sunday.

Most visitors will still need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and undergo two tests upon arrival, but they will not be quarantined.

During the pandemic, New Zealand mostly kept COVID-19 out of the country until the emergence of the extremely contagious Omicron strain in December rendered its strict border restrictions mostly ineffective.

While the South Pacific country had had one of the lowest death rates on the planet, its remoteness destroyed businesses like tourism and left thousands of New Zealanders trapped abroad.

Tourism and foreign education were New Zealand’s top and fourth-largest exports prior to the pandemic, with the former employing over 225,000 people.

The removal of border restrictions, according to Eve Lawrence, general manager of Haka Tourism Group in Auckland, is a “great step” toward the revival of the travel and tourism industry.

“As a country that relies on working holiday visa holders, our largest difficulty now is managing immigration processing times, settings, and huge staff shortages.” However, based on our experiences in LA and Europe thus far on our trip, this appears to be a global issue.”

Source : Aljazeera

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Post Pandemic, Tourism Industry in Japan Expects For More Sustainable Growth

Tourism industry in Japan reached 4.8 trillion yen ($34.5 billion at the current currency rate) in 2019 – greater than the export value of several of Japan’s major industrial sectors, such as electronic components (4 trillion yen) and steel (34.5 billion at the current conversion rate) (3.1 trillion yen). Then, visitors had been wiped out after more than two years of severe epidemic restrictions.

Experts believe Japan now has a chance to determine what kind of destination it wants to be as it takes modest measures toward recovering the industry. It could also alleviate some of the issues that arose during the first boom. Unknown places such as Hachinohe could play a significant role.

For the time being, the focus is on when Prime Minister Fumio Kishida would reopen the borders and capitalize on the assets that propelled Japan to the top of the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Travel & Tourism Development Index, which was released in May. The World Economic Forum praised the country’s cultural treasures and airport infrastructure.

Kishida’s government began admitting tourists on escorted group trips in June. The prime minister has not committed to further loosening the regulations, and a surge in COVID-19 cases to record levels throws skepticism on a quick turnaround.

According to experts, the influx of visitors visiting Kyoto, Osaka, and Tokyo overwhelmed local residents. Kyoto’s tranquil temples and shrines, for example, were frequently thronged by selfie-taking visitors.

At the same time, the rest of the country received little benefit.According to a 2019 Japan Tourism Agency poll, 47 percent of visitors stopped in Tokyo and 39 percent in Osaka. However, for over half of the country’s 47 prefectures, the figure was 1% or less. Only 0.7 percent of those polled visited Aomori Prefecture.

According to Joseph Cheer, a professor at Wakayama University’s Center for Tourism Research, the government should go beyond prominent sites and prepare other destinations to deal with tourism industry in the post-COVID age.

English training for personnel at information centers and traditional ryokan inns, for example, or financial incentives for entrepreneurs to encourage rural tourism, according to Cheer

Aside from border limitations, researchers believe COVID-19 has impacted tourism industry in ways that will last long after the pandemic is ended.

Source :  Nikkei Asia

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