Amman (NITN): Jordan Tourism Board recently announced that it has witnessed 30.40 per cent growth in 2018 from the Indian market.
Dr. Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat, Managing Director of the Jordan Tourism Board, elaborated: “The Jordanian-Indian relationship has witnessed a tremendous positive shift throughout 2018. His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al-Hussein’s visit to India in February 2018 has had a cascading effect on the whole dynamics that connect both countries.”
Granting Indian visitors an upon-arrival visa was one of these changes that helped increase the number of Indian tourists visiting Jordan for its remarkable religious and historic sites, such as the Baptism Site and Petra, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Moreover, close to Petra, one can witness a Mars-like nature-crafted setup called Wadi Rum, which, just like Petra, has been incredibly used by big Hollywood studios to shoot some of its most iconic feature films, from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and The Martian to the upcoming hits Aladdin and Star Wars: Episode IX.
Bollywood has recently discovered the magnificence of Jordan as a filming location to shoot some of its feature films, including Krrish 3, and with the recently facilitated upon-arrival visas, Bollywood’s presence in Jordan is promising to be even more fruitful!
On a marketing level, the Jordan Tourism Board executed a number of marketing campaigns in India in 2018 to promote Jordan, which played a key role in presenting Jordan as a go-to destination in the Middle East.”
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which once captivated ancient travellers, continues to enthral a whole new generation as a modern, vibrant nation. From the haunting, primeval starkness of Wadi Rum, the teeming centre of urban Amman, from the majestic ruins of bygone civilizations to the timeless splendour of the Dead Sea, Jordan is unveiled as a unique destination offering breathtaking and mysterious sights, high standard accommodations, exquisite cuisine and countless activities that can provide visitors with inspiration, motivation, and rejuvenation.
Marveling at herds of gazelles and oryx and migrating birds, camping amidst the grandeur of Wadi Rum or Dana Reserve, trekking the ancient caravan trails from the highlands of Moab and Edom, hiking the wooded hills of biblical Gilead, or experiencing the unique, cleansing mud baths of the Dead Sea are just a few examples of the treasures awaiting visitors to this unique kingdom.
The new stream of luxury hotels emerging in Amman, Petra, Aqaba and the Dead Sea is just adding quality to a refined product that is distinct, accessible and friendly; a product that is home to a new display of modern meeting facilities and unique venues for incentive travel as well.
Whether it is a conference for 5000 people, a lavish dinner in the peerless desert of Wadi Rum, a barbecue at the shores of the Dead Sea, or a reception atop a medieval castle overlooking the Jordan Valley, the amicable and competent people of Jordan will ensure a memorable, once in a lifetime experience.
Bangkok (TAN): The government of Thailand has announced extension of the visa-on-arrival fee waiver from January 31 to April 30, 2019. The Tourism Authority of Thailand said the extension will be applicable for citizens of 20 countries.
Under the waiver, citizens from all these 20 countries will be granted stay in Thailand for up to 15 days without having to pay THB2,000 visa-on-arrival fee.
List of countries eligible for the fee waiver
- China, including Taiwan
- Papua New Guinea
- San Marino
- Saudi Arabia
- Ukraine, and
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.
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.
Kochi (TAN): Sub-zero temperatures and South India do not often go hand in hand. Yet, the mercury in Munnar, one of Kerala’s most favourite tourist getaways, dropped below zero degrees last week, covering the hill station in thick layers of frost.
Places such as Chittuvara, Lakkad, and Chendura in Munnar saw temperatures fall up to -3 degree Celsius.
Tourism benefited as travellers flocked to Munnar to witness the unusual weather conditions first hand. Hotel and business owners were hopeful further fall in temperatures would boost business in the area.
Not just Munnar, other places in Kerala including Wayanad, Alappuzha, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram, and Kannur too recorded dip in minimum temperatures. The cold and dry weather in South India has been attributed to the cold wave sweeping across the subcontinent. Ooty, Tamil Nadu’s popular tourist destination, was hit by the cold wave and experienced a chilly weather. Continue reading Munnar turns winter wonderland as mercury dips below zero
December 29 (TravelAndy): VietJet started operations between Vietnam’s Phu Quoc Island to South Korea’s capital Seoul on December 22 this year.
The airline operates daily between the Vietnamese island and Seoul. While flights from Phu Quoc leave at 3.40 pm and reach Seoul at 10.55 pm, local time, the return flights take off at 1.45 am from the South Korean capital and arrive at Phu Quoc at 5.35 am, local time.
VietJet offered souvenirs and flowers to passengers on the inaugural flights to Seoul and back. The airline is also running special promotions on the tickets to celebrate the new route. It has tied up with Phu Quoc’s Vinpearl Discovery resort, which will offer promotions between March 25 and November 30, 2019.
October 20 (TravelAndy): The tourism minister of Iceland has proposed limiting the number of tourists to certain sites in the island country, media reports said.
According to the Reykjavík Grapevine Magazine, minister Þórdís Kolbrún R. Gylfadóttir has furnished a report in parliament that says specific sites are reeling from the adverse affects of over-tourism and contended that these places couldn’t withstand more pressure from tourism.
The minister wants a pilot project in place to see how caps can be imposed on the number of tourists allowed in specific areas. The talks of such project have been doing the round over the past five years but nothing specific has been done to this effect. Continue reading Iceland mulls capping tourist numbers
October 1 (TravelAndy): An elephant trampled a German tourist in Zimbabwe last weekend, the second such incident in the country within a week, said reports.
The incident took place at Victoria Falls National Park on Saturday afternoon.
The elephant had left him for dead.
The man, who is in his fifties, is critically injured and currently undergoing treatment, said Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority spokesman Tinashe Farawo. Continue reading Elephant attacks German tourist in Zimbabwe
September 20 (TravelAndy): The familiar view of tourists resting or eating on church steps or squares in Venice could be a thing of the past with the authorities considering a ban on it.
Such activities could be made illegal and fines between EUR50 and EUR500 slapped on offenders if the ordnances, which is now before the city council, is passed, Ansa reported.
Tourists could even be expelled from the city that sees millions of tourists every year in particularly serious cases of offending the city’s “decorum”, the report said, citing sources and added that such offenders could be banned from the lagoon for life.
September 8 (TravelAndy): Vietnam has recorded the biggest increase in tourist arrival in Asia as compared to the previous year, reports citing United Nations World Tourism Organization figures said.
Vietnam’s tourist arrival numbers climbed by 29.1 per cent. The country stands third on the list after Egypt (56.1 per cent) and Togo (49.7 per cent).
A major chunk of tourist arrivals in Vietnam are from Japan and representative of the both the countries’ tourism bodies discussed how to sustain and increase tourist flow between the two countries at the ongoing international travel expo on at Ho Chi Minh City. Continue reading Tourist arrival numbers soar in Vietnam
September 5 (TravelAndy): The UAE has announced that eligible tourists will be able to receive a proportion of the VAT as a refund when they shop at registered stores from November, the Khaleej Times reported.
Eligible retailers would be able to register for the Tax Refund Scheme from September 10.
Outlets and points of sales across the country will be connected for proper implementation of the tourist refund programme. Continue reading From November, tourists to UAE can claim VAT refund
August 28 (TravelAndy): A tourist from Alabama has been fined USD1,500 for touching a sleeping Hawaiian monk seal and chasing a turtle, said reports.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, monk seals and sea turtles are considered “part of the identity of the islands and hold a special place in the minds and hearts of the people of Hawaii”.
Signage is put up on touristy beaches asking people not to bother these endangered animals.
The man got into trouble after posting videos on his touching a sleeping seal and aggressively chasing a turtle while snorkelling on Instagram. Continue reading Tourist fined for touching seal & chasing turtle in Hawaii