Thai Tourism sector braces for fallout
Yesterday’s tsunami scare could have a short-term negative impact on the tourism sector, business leaders say.
Hotels, tour agencies, restaurants and airlines in Phuket and five other southern coastal provinces scrambled to execute evacuation and contingency plans following two large earthquakes off the coast of Indonesia.
Thousands of tourists and residents sought shelter at evacuation centres or moved to higher ground after tsunami alarms were sounded at Phuket’s Patong beach and other areas on the Andaman coast yesterday afternoon.
By nightfall, many had returned to their accommodation after authorities called off the tsunami warnings.
But tourism authorities expressed resignation at the latest blow to one of the country’s biggest and most lucrative service sectors.
Future of Mali tourist attraction uncertain
When turban-swathed Tuareg rebels swept into Timbuktu last Sunday to plant the flag of their northern Mali homeland, they found very few tourists in the bars, hotels, museums, mosques and libraries of the fabled and ancient Saharan trading town.
Local guides say numbers of foreign visitors had already fallen off after a Dutchman, a South African and a Swede were seized by gunmen in the historic Malian city in November. A German was killed in the abduction claimed by al-Qaeda.
With the rebels, including Islamist factions preaching sharia, now in control of Timbuktu’s streets, tourists may not return soon to the spot near the Niger river that for centuries was a symbol of remoteness, bewitching voyagers with tales of wealth, wisdom and life-giving water.
Airlines are protesting passenger taxes. What about their own fees?
The Seattle Times
To say that air travelers spend as much time complaining about fees and surcharges as they do flying might not be much of an exaggeration. And now the airline industry wants you to add another complaint to that list: taxes.
Air travelers are overtaxed, say the airline trade organization Airlines for America (www.airlines.org) and a coalition of other interest groups. In a campaign cleverly timed to coincide with this month’s deadline for filing federal income tax returns, they’ve called on Congress to “reform” the way the government taxes U.S. fliers.
Destination Hotels Up to 50% off summer rates
Starting Friday, Destination Hotels & Resorts will launch its Half-Yearly Sale that offers a discount of between 30% and 50%.
The sale – set to last for 10 days – is good for all of Destination’s nearly 40 hotels, which include mountain retreats, downtown hotels and beachfront resorts.