The Top 10 curfew-free Tourist Destinations in Thailand

The Thailand Tourism Authority announced that a total of 10 main tourist destinations are now curfew-free. These destinations are:
1: Phuket
2: Ko Samui
3: Pattaya City
4: Hua Hin
5: Cha-am
6: Krabi
7: Phang-nga
8: Hat Yai
9: Ko Chang
10: Ko Phangan (including Ko Tao)

This took after the last night announcement by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to lift curfew in Hat Yai, Ko Chang and Ko Phangan Districts with immediate impact. Two days preceding that, the council lifted curfew in Hua Hin, Cha-am, Krabi and Phang-nga, and prior a week ago (on 3 June, 2014) it repudiated the nighttime restriction for Phuket, Ko Samui and Pattaya.

These 10 travel destinations are among the most-loved and visited tourists regions in Thailand, in this way the curfew demonstrates the NCPO’s dedication to push tourism, which it identified as one of the kingdom’s key economic drivers.

The TAT needs to guarantee all travelers visiting Thailand that tourism remains unaffected since the nation was put under the adminstration of the NCPO on 22 May 2014.
All airports throughout Thailand, including at key international gateways – Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang), Phuket, Ko Samui, Hat Yai and Chiang Mai – as well as modes of transport (road, rail and waterway) are working as per normal. Airlines likewise keep on operating incoming and outgoing flights as per normal.

All tourism-related businesses and services (hotel, resorts, spas, restaurants, entertainment venues, cinemas, convention centers, shopping malls, superstores, convenient stores, as well as banks, petrol and gas stations) all through Thailand are open and working as usual. Phone and internet services keep on being accessible 24 hours.

In Bangkok and other traveler destinations, life proceeds as normal and all tourism-related business and services are working as per normal. Voyagers can keep on enjoying the many fine-dining and nightlife, provided that they observe the curfew time from midnight to 4 a.m.

For visa application and procedure, travelers can keep on applying for visa as usual at Royal Thai Embassy and Consulates internationally. For visa-on-arrival, all international checkpoints – airports, border checkpoints and sea ports – are open and operating as per normal.

Uganda self Drive holidays with African Jungle Adventures

Uganda is one of the perfect destinations for self drive holidays in East Africa. You can explore the country’s beautiful landscapes, diversity of wildlife, unique cultures and water bodies. If you want a private adventure and explore Uganda on your own, organize a self drive Uganda holiday to over 10 national parks in Uganda. Among these National parks include Murchison falls national park, Uganda’s largest park, famous for big game drives in search for some of the Big 5 like Leopard, Lion, Elephants, Buffaloes, then giraffes, and many antelope species, also famous for fantastic boat cruise to the bottom of the falls and Nile Delta as well as bird watching and Chimpanzee tracking in Budongo forest.

self-drive-campingAnother area never to miss while on yourself drive holiday in Uganda is Queen Elizabeth Park also famous for wild game drives, boat cruise on Kazinga channel, chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura gorge, tree climbing lion spotting in Ishasha sector and excellent birding with over 600 species.

For primate lovers, you can for chimpanzee tracking or habituation experience in Kibale national park that inhabits about 13 species of primates and 350 bird species. Here you can still explore local communities, historical and cultural sites around fort portal area and the crater lakes in the region at your own pace.

Mountain gorilla tracking is the highlight for any safari in Uganda! This is a must do activity while on your self drive Uganda safari. According to the 2011 gorilla census, there are only 880 mountain gorillas left in the whole world, and this world’s last remaining population is found in the Virunga chain of mountain ranges, shared between Uganda, DR Congo and Rwanda. This means that mountain gorillas are critically endangered species. Gorillas in Uganda are found in Bwindi Impenetrable forest and Mgahinga national park. These are the only places to see mountain gorillas in the wild found in south western Uganda.

In the same locality, other attractions include the Batwa trail in Mgahinga, Batwa experience in Buhoma, Caves exploration, golden monkey tracking in Mgahinga, Gahinga mountain hiking and bird watching as well as community tours, not forgetting a boat / canoe ride on the beautiful Lake Bunyonyi.

Other National parks include Lake Mburo park, Mount Rwenzori national park, Mt. Elgon Park and Kidepo valley National park. Plan a memorable self drive Uganda adventure in one of our reliable vehicles. We have 4×4 Toyota Rav 4 for hire and land cruisers at the best prices in the market. Contact us on info@rwandagorillasafaris.com, website: www.rwandagorillasafaris.com

Primate Safaris with Gorilla Expeditions in Rwanda

I took a trip with Gorilla Expeditions Ltd to see the mountain gorillas in 2013 and decided to organize my trip with Steve, the travel consultant of Gorilla Expeditions, specialists in gorilla tours and wildlife safaris in Rwanda and Uganda. After spending 14 days in Tanzania on the northern safari circuit it was so refreshing to see the green Rwanda country side. Tom was our driver/guide and he was superb! We kept him fairly busy driving us around and really wanted to get to see as much of the country as we could in the few short days we were there.

silverback-gorillaTom seemed to relish the idea of showing us as much of his country as we could fit in to 8 days Rwanda Gorilla and Cultural expedition. We came by RwandAir a day before to our amazing Rwanda trip one day earlier; Gorilla expedition understood and took care of the change very quickly agent booking of double room at Kigali Serena Hotel at a very affordable price and it was all fun staying at this luxury hotel in the whole world!

Our house keeper was so hospitable and flexible to our needs, for so many times I have traveled to Africa Serena Hotels whole over Africa that is in Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, this hotel has the international first class hospitality facilities straight away from external out look of the amenities and when you enter into the rooms there really worse the money you pay, when you come to the décor and the services bit the continental and African cuisines Serena hotels are the home to be on your travel to Africa.

As we were still in our nice room, Steve the travel consultant of Gorilla Expedition Limited arrived at the lodge to orient us and when he started describing Rwanda and what really the country offers for instance the mountain gorillas and the culture of Rwanda, I started getting the exact pictures of what our, I and my wife safari will be.

At this very night gave us each an itinerary that was describing all places that we were entitled to visit and as our first experience was to meet the mountain gorillas in the mist, Volcanoes National Park I and my wife we spent the whole night imagining what the experience will be and we slept prepared with all what Steve advised us to come with in order to enjoy this gorilla trekking expedition in Africa.

Early in the morning we were met at the hotel by the guide/driver and we started hitting the road transferring to Ruhengeri where we had our second overnight before the next day we enjoyed the gorilla trekking experience and on this evening we visited the amazing Rwanda twin Lakes (Burera and Ruhondo). The driver-guide was a great source of information on history, current events, animals, where to go and pretty much more questions we had as we were eager to learn more about Rwanda and the Africa in general.

Travel Alert: U.S. State department encouraged citizens to avoid Russia

department-of-stateThe State Department of the United States of America has issued a travel alarm for all Americans wanting to travel Russia. The State Department has prompted U.S. natives in Russia to be alert aimed the potential for increase public demonstrations and hostile to American actions in Russia in connection with Russian activities in the Crimea.

According to the reports, the State Department said that United States citizens acknowledging travel to Russia ought to assess their personal security in light of political tensions and the likelihood of viciousness or anti U.S. actions directed against American or interests.

For U.S. natives who are living in Russia, the U.S. officials also encourage to keep away from all open demonstrations and any huge swarms and public gathering that lack enhanced security measures.

Travel to Africa and meet the mountain Gorillas in the Mist

When you are planning to travel to Africa for your safari or business issue, Uganda, Rwanda and Congo are the best destinations that you would not to miss on your travel in Africa. These 3 regions have got the great apes of the world and these mountain gorillas. Uganda and Rwanda gorilla tours can be booked through African Jungle Adventures Limited, the No.1 gorilla tour company in Africa.

During my travel to Africa last year 2013 in July, I went to Kenya for 3 days in Masai Mara National Park for wildlife safari to mainly spot the 5 big cats of Africa and other wildlife species, and this one I contacted African Jungle Adventures who recommended me to the Kenyan tour operator partner and my safari was luxury but the price I got from the operator I was not sure whether I will get what expect but when I arrived in Kenya they picked from the airport but the comfortable safari jeep which gave an impression of the lodges that I was going to stay and thereafter we drove to the lodge and it was 5 star lodge.

gorilla-tours-rwandaThen, the following my professional English speaking guide, Makau early in the morning arrived at the lodge to pick me and already I was done with my breakfast and then I had to board the jeep and transfer to the park and as we traveling Makau was not guiding but extremely educating me more about Kenya which was much amazing. Then, upon arrival at this park I started spotting various wildlife species and the big cats of Africa were close to our jeep and I took unforgettable photos.

As soon, as finished this unforgettable wildlife safari in Kenya my experienced guide Makau transferred me to the Jomo Kenyatta airport to embark Kenya Airways to Uganda and upon arrival at Entebbe international airport our guide Paul was at arrival point to pick us and dropped us at hotel in Kampala.

Then, early in the morning Steve and my guide Paul came to hotel and meet me for orientation before my safari, thereafter my guide Paul drove me to Kibale Forest National Park where I had my chimpanzee trekking and the spotting of other primates, during my stay at this forest I stayed at Kyaninga lodge with the spacious view of the nearby Crater Lakes and this can be viewed while in your room or at the verdant trail of the lodge.

After the chimpanzee trekking we transferred to Bwindi impenetrable national park where I had the gorilla trekking and when we entered the forest and show the mountain gorillas on their turf and their conditions? It was simply an amazing, once in a lifetime experience. The trek was hard though. The family that we visited was the Rushegura group and our information said, “to reach the Rushegura one must endure a fairly steep climb” and they weren’t kidding. However, turning that last corner and seeing a gorilla sitting right in front of us, banished all the difficulties of the climb. There was one baby in the group and multiple silverbacks so we saw all sizes. This group is known as a gentle, peaceful group and they were that. Such a beautiful sight for my visit to Africa!

Namibia awarded for conservation effort

Namibia has, for the second time, received the global gift to the Earth Award from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for its unprecedented protection effort and strengthening of its rural people.

The award was presented to Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba throughout the official opening event of the tenth Adventure Travel World Summit in Windhoek on Saturday.

Namibia is the first nation to incorporate the protection of its environment in the constitution when the first four conservation regions were structured. It was likewise in that year when, in distinguishment of its innovative legislation power that was developed over its environment, Founding President Sam Nujoma was given the Gift to the Earth in October 1998.

The nation now gloats of over 79 conservancies covering 19.5% of its land. The nation likewise boasts of the biggest free-meandering population of rhinos on the world and predators, for example cheetahs, leopards and lions have increased in numbers as a consequence of communal conservancy.

Pohamba, who expressed his gratitude for the accolade, said the world’s attention was presently kept tabs on what Namibia offers, not just regarding its extraordinary wildlife and scene, however in preservation strategies and successes.

“Namibia’s Constitution plots the protection of our environment. One of our auspicious protection efforts is the establishment of our conservancies to protect our wildlife, to minimize human-wildlife conflict and likewise to derive benefits from our tourism sector,” he said.

Pohamba likewise said the fact that the nation had been chosen and recognized for its conservation efforts for the second time is something Namibians ought to be pleased with.

Chief Emeka Anyaoku of Nigeria, who presented the gift to Pohamba, said Namibia’s success story on protection is one that numerous countries should learn from and that the nation’s award in shared preservation serves as a worldwide model.

“I have been to numerous nations around the world; however I find Namibia’s protection truly astounding. The ideas and principle behind Namibia’s communal conservancy movement are presently contemplated by over 20 nations from Africa, Asia, and the Americas with a perspective to similarly devolve environmental management responsibility and the benefit from wildlife and tourism to rural communities,” he said.

Flight makes Emergency Landing at Egypt Airport

airplaneA flight from Britain conveys 262 travelers on board made an emergency landing at Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh Airport. Consistent with reports, the flight encountered an engine problem constraining the pilot to make an emergency landing. Nobody was harmed and the travelers left the flight in normally.

The leader of the Egyptian airports company told journalists that the flight needed to land after a problem with one of the plane’s engines.

Because of some unforced error in communication with the Egypt official, the flight that made emergency landing was accounted for as Airbus A380. However, later updates show that the flight was Airbus A30.

Roatan demonstrates global leadership in sustainability

roatanROATAN, HONDURAS – The island of Roatan is the first tourism destination in Honduras to complete a comprehensive 360-degree assessment and action plan for destination-level sustainability.

The long-term viability of Roatan’s tourism sector is of critical importance to the economic health of Honduras. The idyllic island, renowned for its top diving sites and diverse marine biodiversity, as well as its rich Caribbean culture, draws 55 percent of the 1.8 million annual international arrivals to Honduras. It also generates a significant share of the overall contribution of tourism to GDP which is estimated at 5.8 percent.

The Rapid Sustainable Destination Diagnostic was carried out by the Mesoamerican Reef Tourism Initiative in close collaboration with leading global non-profit Sustainable Travel International, Honduras’ Ministry of Tourism, and Roatán’s local Geotourism Council. The diagnostic process evaluated Roatán’s performance on five key pillars of sustainability, which include sustainable tourism planning and governance, economic linkages, preservation of cultural heritage, social and community issues, and environmental protection.

The results of the destination diagnostic indicate that Roatán is making progress on destination management issues, and highlight the priority areas for the travel and tourism sector to focus on moving forward.

“Roatan ranked highly on the issue of visitor management planning and monitoring, which recognizes the local conservation community’s efforts to minimize tourism’s footprint by promoting environmental practices among tour operators, tour guides and tourists,” said Seleni Matus, Sustainable Travel International’s Vice President of Latin American and the Caribbean, who conducted the assessment. “At the same time, there is an urgent need to establish in situ destination management, incorporate native island culture more deeply as part of Roatán’s tourism product, and tackle waste management and water conservation issues.”

In response to the diagnostic results, more than 50 leaders and leading organizations from the government, private sector and civil society joined forces to define a visionary yet practical roadmap, which will address the critical sustainability issues facing Roatán. The resulting action plan is built around three key initiatives:

  • Establishment of a destination management organization (DMO) for the Bay Islands, which includes Roatán, Guanaja and Utila;
  • Preservation of native island culture through an inventory of tangible and intangible local, traditional and cultural knowledge, as well as the establishment of a permanent Cultural Marketplace for the promotion of intangible cultural heritage; and
  • Development of a destination-level action plan for waste management and water conservation.

Destination stakeholders have also formed Working Groups to help bring these three initiatives to life in the near-term.

“This is an important step for Roatan and Honduras,” said Syntia Solomon Bennett, Honduras’ Vice Minister of Tourism. “These efforts will help put our tourism industry on a sustainable trajectory, and the process will serve as a model to replicate in other tourism destinations in Honduras.”

This project was made possible through the generous support of The Summit Foundation and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd’s Ocean Fund.

Roatan joins the ranks of a growing number of tourism destinations that recognize the potential of sustainable destination management to drive economic growth and inclusive development.

Bollywood superstar to take Sydney by storm

ParamasataSYDNEY – Destination New South Wales, the New South Wales (NSW) Government’s heading tourism and major events agency, announced they have protected Bollywood legend Shahrukh Khan to visit Sydney in October as part of the fourth annual Parramasala Festival in Parramatta.

Shahrukh Khan, known as SRK and dubbed the ‘King of Bollywood’, will headline a two hour Indian variety show of music, dance and comedy – Temptation Reloaded as part of the cerebration. The visit was secured by the NSW Government as a Sydney-exclusive event.

Destination NSW Chief Executive Office Sandra Chipchase said, “Parramasala is a key arts and cultural event on the NSW Annual Events Calendar and brings some of the world’s best artists to Western Sydney. We are thrilled to welcome Shahrukh Khan to Sydney and Parramatta for the event and invite him to experience the very best of what Sydney and NSW have offer while he’s here.” said Ms Chipchase.

SRK has featured in 75 films and has more than four million Twitter followers and is one of the most popular and influential Bollywood actors. His show will attract an audience not only of Indian origin, but will also appeal to his fans overseas including Fiji, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.

“We are expecting SRK and the Temptation Reloaded show to attract significant international visitors to Sydney and more than 5,000 people from around Australia.”

“Temptation Reloaded offers a unique cultural experience and it is a great event for Western Sydney with many hotels and restaurants expected to reap the tourism rewards,” Ms Chipchase added.

SRK will be invited to experience some of Sydney and NSW’s most iconic experiences city including climbing the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge; meeting a kangaroo and koala bear at Taronga Zoo; dining on a Snow Egg at Quay restaurant as featured in MasterChef Australia; visiting the luxury Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa in the Blue Mountains region, one-hour from Sydney; and the Bradman Cricket Museum in the Southern Highlands, one-hour South of Sydney.

Earlier this year, SRK topped the Forbes India Celebrity 100 list after earning US$37.7 million in 2012. He has also been awarded one of India’s highest civilian awards, the Padma Shri, for his contribution to Indian cinema.

Global Tourism Economy Forum to be hosted by Macau

macauGlobal Tourism Economy Forum in Macau will have Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Wynn Resorts Stephen Wynn as one of the prominent key speakers of the occasion.

Also speaking at the September 17-19 meeting in the Macau Tower Convention and Entertainment Centre, will be Shao Qi Wei, Chairman of China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) and Michael Frenzel, Chairman of the World Travel and Tourism Council.

They will be joined by Mari Elka Pangestu, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy of Republic of Indonesia, Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism of Cambodia and Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

It will be the second sequential year such a gathering has been had in the previous Portuguese enclave with more than 1000 delegates from 34 cities around the world to attend last year’s inaugural occasion.

The discussion is billed as a standout amongst the most critical tourism occasions in China’s prosperous Pearl River Delta Region. To enroll costs $US650 or 5070 MOP, group discounts apply.

Around a year ago 48 speakers was Australian Christopher Brown, special representative of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

This year’s theme – Regenerate Our Economies: Invest in Travel and Tourism – is required to lure an alternate high-level meeting of key decision makers in the international travel and tourism sector.

The forum’s target is to give influential government and business pioneers from China, and nations from Asia and around the world a chance to impart experiences and solutions, and in addition an opportunity to connect and co-operate.

“By providing the economic points of interest and resource of the East with the innovation and skill of the West, the forum intends to start useful organizations that have the ability to shape the industry towards feasible development on a international scale,” say coordinators.

“The world is changing at an astounding pace. Asia, specifically, has been at the front line of this conversion and exceptional development.

“One of the portraying phenomena of the period is an expansion of tourists driving domestic voyage, as well as international movement of people. With the expanded wealth from the East, the travel industry is rapidly modifying and adjusting to the new market dynamics, not only to attract tourists to destinations abroad, as well as harness investment chances from inside source markets such as china.

“With its great location at the gateway to China and additionally its administration position in Asia’s blasting tourism economy, Macau is a natural decision for hosting the first Global Tourism Economy Forum.”

Over the previous decade, Macau has developed at a supernatural pace, with the tourism industry controlling this conversion. Regardless of a populace of 600,000, Macau recorded a record of more than 28 million travelers in 2012.

Like a year ago forum, the target of the 2013 assembling will be to impart ideas and produce results on how the industry can press on to emphatically impact the world economy.

Conceived by the China Chamber of Tourism, had by the Macau SAR Government and coordinated by the Global Tourism Economy Research Centre, the gathering is an interactive discussion platform intended to capture “a macro perspective of the transaction between tourism and other major economies, and the energy that each builds the development of the other.”

Through discussions between delegates and tourism stakeholders, the gathering is r expected to reveal an abundance of chances in the industry, and in addition a force to drive social and economic development

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