Cusco (TAN): Machu Picchu has introduced new ticketing rules to fight overtourism, starting January 1, and they are stricter than ever before!
Under the new policy, visitors will be able to opt from three hour-specific time slots – early morning (hourly from 6 to 9am), morning (hourly from 9am to 12pm) or afternoon (hourly between 12 and 3pm), media reports said.
The rule requires visitors to choose their favoured time slots, and arrive within an hour of them, failing which they will not be permitted to enter at all.
Springfield, MA (TAN): Peter Pan Bus Lines started a new bus service connecting Cape Cod to multiple destinations in northeastern United States from January 16.
The service will link 15 points on Cape Cod including Provincetown, Hyannis, Barnstable, Sagamore, Orleans, and Harwich to cities such as Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C., among several others.
Talking about the initiative, Peter A. Picknelly, chairman and chief executive officer, Peter Pan Bus Lines, said: “We are very pleased to expand our routes on Cape Cod. Our modern fleet, with free Wi-Fi and charging stations, can now connect passengers from Provincetown (and other major locations) to Hyannis, Boston Logan Airport, NYC and the entire northeast. Passengers can book their seats right up until departure time, or online in advance with guaranteed seating.” Continue reading Peter Pan kicks off new bus service for Cape Cod
Washington D.C. (TAN): Amtrak, the government-owned passenger train services in the US, has announced that in order to enhance customer experience at Washington Union Station, it is looking for a general contractor to modernise the Claytor Concourse.
Claytor Concourse, Union Station’s intercity passenger and commuter rail pathway, was constructed in the 1980s. It consists of the waiting areas for Amtrak passengers, along with retail and food joints, and toilets. Maryland Area Regional Commuter Rail, and Virginia Railway passengers too can use it.
After releasing a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) on January 4 this year, the railroad company and its partners are all set to start a two-stage process to pick a contractor for the concourse’s revival.
Tokyo (TAN): Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Central) has announced that it will carry out test runs of the new N700S Shinkansen at speeds of up to 360kmph this year, ahead of its scheduled commercial running in fiscal 2020.
Presently, the fastest Shinkanshen – Nozomi using N700 equipment – reaches speeds of 300kmph. The new train, all set to debut on the Tokaido Shinkansen line, will transport passengers faster.
Shin Kaneko, president, JR Central, said, “We aim to carry out test runs at 360 kph this year so that we can demonstrate safety when we export the train to such markets as the United States and Taiwan.”
New Delhi (TAN): Air India has announced that it will operate new flights to Allahabad (Prayagraj) from several Indian cities in order to ease the rush of devotees during Kumbh Mela.
The new flights will be scheduled from Kolkata, Delhi, and Ahmedabad from January 13 to March 30 this year.
Tashkent (NITN): Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has announced that tourists from 45 countries will be able to visit Uzbekistan visa free, effective from February 1, 2019.
This is the latest in a series of reforms designed to stimulate the Central Asian country’s tourism development, as Mirziyoyev identified tourism and foreign investment as the two priorities for his term when he came to power in December 2016.
Initiatives including the introduction of e-visas in June 2018 have already resulted in an increase in foreign tourist numbers from 2.6 million in 2017 to 5.3 million in 2018. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs anticipates significant further growth in 2019.
National carrier Uzbekistan Airways will take delivery of two new Airbus A320neos and three new Boeing 787 Dreamliners in spring 2019, increasing its capacity on long haul international routes and enabling it to add new destinations. The airline already provides direct flights between London Heathrow and Tashkent, and expects to add a second UK airport to its network this summer.
From February 1, 2019, the following countries will be able to enter Uzbekistan visa free for up to 30 days:
Andorra, Canada, Iceland, Mongolia, San Marino, Argentina, Chile, Ireland, Montenegro, Serbia, Australia, Croatia, Italy, Netherlands, Slovenia, Austria, Czech Republic, Latvia, New Zealand, Slovakia, Belgium, Denmark, Liechtenstein, Norway, Spain, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden, Brazil, Finland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Switzerland, Brunei Darussalam, Greece, Malta, Republic of Cyprus, United Kingdom Bulgaria Hungary Monaco Romania, and Vatican City.
Nationals of France, Israel, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and Turkey were granted visa free access in 2018. Germans will have visa free access from January 15, 2019.
President Mirziyoyev’s 5 January decrees also stated that:
- The existing e-visa scheme will be extended to cover the nationals of 76 countries, and will allow for double and multiple entries;
- New visa categories will be created for pilgrims, students, academics, and for medical tourism, and will be available within one month;
- Hotels must offer accommodation “regardless of the place of residence, citizenship, kinship and marital relations of individuals, as well as other factors that restrict the right to privacy.” This removes restrictions on unmarried couples;
- A list of prohibited sites (i.e. those of security concern) will be published on or before February 1, and clearly marked with signs. Tourists may photograph and film all unmarked sites without restriction.
Miami (TAN): We all pretty much know there’s no free lunch, but no free room service? Now, that’s heartbreaking! Carnival Cruise Line has recently announced it will end complimentary room service on its ships, from mid-January this year.
The company’s senior cruise director and brand ambassador John Heald revealed on his Facebook page that they would shift to a fleetwide a la carte stateroom service menu, while keeping prices nominal at USD2 to USD5 per item.
Guests will be charged for lunch, dinner and late-night menus. However, there will be one exception — the continental breakfast, which will be the only room service that will ‘continue to be offered free of charge’. Continue reading Free room service ends for Carnival Cruise Line guests
Edinburgh (TAN): Visiting Edinburgh could burn a deeper hole in tourists’ pockets very soon, as plans of introducing a tourist tax has won huge support. If implemented, visitors may have to shell out GBP2 per person per night.
In a research conducted by the City of Edinburgh Council, 85 per cent of 2,500 respondents, including over half of accommodation owners, supported the move, media reports said.
The public consultation on Transient Visitor Levy (TVL) proposed a GBP2 or a 2 per cent charge per room, per night on all types of accommodation, on short stays up to seven nights.
Los Angeles (TAN): Bird Box, Netflix’s latest hit, has left the Internet gushing over it so much that fans are flocking to a Los Angeles suburb where parts of it were shot.
The Sandra Bullock-starrer psychological thriller featured a house in which she and her two young co-stars hid from an unseen evil force. According to media reports, the house has turned into a tourist attraction.
The house, located in the small suburb of Monrovia, near California’s Los Angeles, has been attracting visitors. A handful of admirers have been dropping by to take photos every day, even on Christmas Day, the owner of the house told tmz.com.
New Delhi (TAN): Gajraj, a 70-year-old elephant who served half a century as a tourist attraction, has finally retired.
After spending most of his life in chains at an Indian temple, Gajraj was rescued and later admitted to a recently-opened elephant hospital as its first ever patient. The hospital, by Wildlife SOS, is India’s first, and one of the few elephant hospitals on the planet.
Working in poor conditions took a serious toll on Gajraj’s health – he developed abscesses and wounds on his feet from standing for long hours, walking on paved roads, and giving rides to people. Reports said he was malnourished and dehydrated.
Brussels (TAN): Brussels Airlines has quite a few offerings up its sleeve for the upcoming summer. While it has announced an increase in flight frequencies to multiple African destinations, the airline will not just add frequencies to its existing flights but also introduce new ones to various European destinations.
The services constitute the airline’s effort to connect its flyers with its extensive continental and intercontinental network via Brussels. Continue reading Brussels Airlines plans multiple services for summer 2019
Venice (TAN): Vacationing in Venice is all set to turn dearer, even if you have just a day trip in mind. City officials have plans to charge tourists up to EUR10 for visiting the Mediterranean destination.
The move was announced as part of a new budget policy in Italy, in order to curb overtourism and push the local economy.
Many travellers including cruise ship passengers come to the city for a day or less. While they usually choose not to book accommodations for this tiny window, they definitely end up adding to problems of crowding and overtourism.