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Southeast Asia’s travel appetite is only getting bigger as its economies boom, and the UK is trailing behind other European destinations in chasing this market, said Kuoni Group. In a statement released last week, Kuoni said the company met with prime minister David Cameron to discuss the importance of inbound tourism and regional development.
An article on the state government news portal Teganukita said a circular with guidelines on attire will soon be released to all Malaysian travel agents and Malaysian tourism offices in neighbouring countries, including Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand. The website states that the guidelines are targeted at tourists, especially female tourists.
Chinese investment is expected to help triple passenger handling capacity of the Maldives international airport with the addition of a new runway, an official said on Thursday.
After presenting a conceptual video of the airport depicting the envisioned developments, the government targets to complete a large portion of the project by 2017. “We estimate that MACL (Maldives Airports Company Ltd) will earn 410 million U.S. dollars in revenue in 2017 as a result of the redevelopment,” Minister of Economic Mohamed Saeed explained, adding that the income would be unprecedented in the government-owned company’s history.
British holiday company Thomas Cook Group is seeking to sell its airline business as part of a cost-saving plan, the Sunday Times newspaper reported.
The world’s oldest travel group has sounded out a number of potential buyers over the last few months including rival carriers and private equity investors but no deal has yet been reached and no talks are currently under way, the newspaper said.
The newspaper quoted the company as saying it was pleased with the development of its airline operation.
Lufthansa passengers can now experience the airline’s new First Class service on all long-haul flights from Munich. At the end of last week, the final Airbus A340-600 in the airline’s Munich-based long-haul fleet was retrofitted with the new First Class cabin. This winter, a total of 24 A340-600 and A330-300 aircraft will serve 22 intercontinental destinations from Munich.
Sri Lanka Tourism took a strategic decision in partnership with the industry to showcase Sri Lanka as a premium travel destination in the UK’s original and largest wedding event, The National Wedding Show, in London last week. By exhibiting images of “one island and a thousand treasures,” Sri Lanka Tourism offered UK couples and their families a unique insight into the country on wedding and honeymoon insights in Sri Lanka for exotic and private vacations.
If you really want to meet the locals in the Maldives, consider going on a manta ray cruise. Expeditions led by the conservation organization Manta Trust escorts guests on dives to observe and track the sea creatures.
You can sail aboard the Four Seasons Explorer, a three-deck catamaran that holds 22 passengers, on all-inclusive sailings for three, four or seven days. During your time in the water, you get to interact with the rays — and count them, photograph them, and collect and share data that’s critical to protecting their habitat, according to a statement by Four Seasons Resorts Madlives. Manta rays and whale sharks, which also thrive in the tropical waters, stay close to the water’s surface, which means you don’t have to dive to see them.
The United Kingdom has alerted British nationals travelling to the Maldives to take security precautions and to avoid large gatherings in Malé following the arrest of former President Mohamed Nasheed on february 22.
The alert also noted that there is a general threat of terrorism in the Maldives, saying that attacks could be indiscriminate, in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travelers including tourists, and urged travelers to take comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.
Official statistics published by the Ministry of Tourism shows that tourist arrivals to the Maldives are declining. Compared to the same time last year, Maldives is seeing a decline of -7.8% in overall tourist arrivals. Occupancy rates fell from 82.5%in Jan last year to 73.9% in January 2015.
“This was the fourth consecutive month where a negative growth was recorded in tourist arrivals to the country,” the ministry noted in its statement last week. “However, the average duration of stay remained uniform at January 2014 level with 6.5 days. This was an increase compared with the 6.1 days at the end of December 2014,” the ministry noted.
Tourism ministry has started training inspectors going out to islands to check whether guesthouses meet required standards.
Twenty participants from seventeen islands took part in the one day seminar held at the National Centre for Information Technology (NCIT).
Under the Tourism Act the ministry is mandated to check guesthouse standards and find out whether they are managed in accordance with regulations.