Travel / Tourism

Tel Aviv to hike tax for short-term rent providers like Airbnb

Views - 12 Wednesday, 23 January 2019 00:00

ERUSALEM, AFP: Israel’s economic capital Tel Aviv on Monday announced plans to raise taxes for short-term accommodation provided by services like Airbnb to match an increase in long-term rentals. “The aim is to create an equilibrium” between t


Emirates introduces entertainment playlist syncing ahead of travel

Views - 13 Wednesday, 23 January 2019 00:00

Emirates has introduced an innovative new function on its app to allow customers to create bespoke playlists ahead of their flight and sync it to their seats once on board. Customers can plan their trip more effectively, and maximise their onboard ex


TAJ welcomes top Russian delegation

Views - 31 Wednesday, 23 January 2019 00:00

The delegation from Russia were warmly welcomed by Taj Samudra, Colombo Hotel Manager Pulkesin Mohan this morning at the hotel. The Russia-Sri Lanka Friendship Society arrived in Sri Lanka for strengthening the bilateral relationship further between


Sri Lanka successfully participates in SATTE 2019

Views - 23 Wednesday, 23 January 2019 00:00

India’s biggest travel and trade engagement show ‘SATTE’ was held at the India Expo Centre, Greater Noida from 16 to 18 January. In its 26th edition, the three-day event bagged an excellent response with market leaders increasing their stand s


Scoot to launch flights to Coimbatore, Trivandrum and Visakhapatnam in India

Views - 22 Tuesday, 22 January 2019 00:00

Scoot has unveiled plans to launch flights to Coimbatore, Trivandrum and Visakhapatnam in India. Scoot aircraft at Changi Airport in Singapore. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com. Flights to Trivandrum will operate five times weekly and


World’s largest underwater park to open in Bahrain

Views - 38 Tuesday, 22 January 2019 00:00

Bahrain is set to become a global leader in the field of ecotourism as it plans to open the world’s largest underwater theme park, said a report. Details of the new project were revealed in a statement issued by the Personal Representative of His M


Thailand extends visa-on-arrival fee waiver for citizens of 20 countries

Views - 69 Tuesday, 22 January 2019 00:00

The Royal Thai Government has approved the extension of the visa-on-arrival fee waiver for citizens of 20 countries until 30 April. Previously, the exemption of the visa-on-arrival fee was originally scheduled to end on 13 January. The extension will


TUI to launch first carbon-neutral destinations in 2020

Views - 18 Tuesday, 22 January 2019 00:00

HELSINKI: TUI Group, the world’s largest leisure tourism company, will start offering carbon-neutral destinations to Nordic holidaymakers next year – with a long-term goal of turning all its destinations carbon neutral for Nordic travellers. To s


SL tourism: From TOM to experience the brand in 2019

Views - 280 Tuesday, 22 January 2019 00:00

Last week I had just crossed the border that separates Laos from Thailand and was on route via land to Thailand. My mind was on Laos – a country branded globally as ‘Simply Beautiful’ (backed by the ADB in 2018) to attract visitors into the cou


ComBank joins with Alipay to facilitate QR Code-based payments for Chinese tourists

Views - 42 Monday, 21 January 2019 00:00

Chinese travellers visiting Sri Lanka can now enjoy a host of goods and services and pay for them through ‘Alipay’ – China`s leading mobile payment platform, thanks to a partnership between Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC and Ant Financial Servic


Cyprus smashes tourist arrivals record in 2018

Views - 25 Monday, 21 January 2019 00:00

NICOSIA (AFP): Cyprus welcomed a record 3.93 million tourists last year, smashing the previous record set in 2017 by a whopping 7.8%, official figures showed on Thursday. The eastern Mediterranean island has benefited from its reputation as a region


Japan sees record 31 million tourists in 2018

Views - 24 Monday, 21 January 2019 00:00

TOKYO, AFP: Japan welcomed a record 31 million foreign visitors in 2018, official data showed Wednesday, as the country gears up to host the Rugby World Cup this year and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The world’s third largest economy, also known for i


Sri Lanka takes centre stage at Vakantiebeurs

Views - 43 Monday, 21 January 2019 00:00

Netherlands being one of the top 10 sources markets for Sri Lanka has seen a steady growth of arrivals in the recent years. Last year alone, the numbers totalled 57,000 by December 2018. In an effort to capitalise on the growing trend of Dutch touris


Aussie businesses complain Google sending outback tourists off the map

Views - 40 Thursday, 17 January 2019 00:00

SYDNEY, AFP: Tourism operators in Australia’s vast outback say wild inaccuracies in Google Maps are making remote hot spots appear out of reach, deterring people from visiting the region. A number of businesses promoting their small towns as remot


Kuwait Airways cruises Sri Lankan airwaves with Legends 96.6

Views - 46 Thursday, 17 January 2019 00:00

Hot off the heels of its recent expansion into Europe and the Mediterranean, Kuwait Airways, the national airline of Kuwait and an Airline with a monumentally impressive and colorful history in Sri Lanka that spans over four decades, is now set to ta


Cathay Pacific makes second first class blunder in two weeks

Views - 48 Thursday, 17 January 2019 00:00

HONG KONG, AFP: For a lucky few, it’s the gift that keeps on giving: a Cathay Pacific snafu offering premium tickets at a fraction of their value, for the second time in less than two weeks. On its website Sunday morning, Cathay was offering first


Srilal appointed international board member of Asian Eco-Tourism Network

Views - 36 Thursday, 17 January 2019 00:00

Srilal Miththapala, senior tourism industry personality, has been appointed to the Board of the Asian Eco-Tourism Network, (AEN) with effect from 1 January 2019. He will initially function as a non-voting member on the board, for a period of six mont


WTTC unveils finalists of 2019 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards

Views - 38 Thursday, 17 January 2019 00:00

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has unveiled the 15 finalists for its 2019 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. The 2019 finalists are organised into the following new categories: Climate Action, Investing in People, Destination Stewardship, Soci


Sri Lanka Insurance ‘Travel Protect’ insurance relaunched with unique benefits

Views - 38 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

The insurance giant Sri Lanka Insurance sets new standard for the travel insurance market providing exclusive benefits for travellers with the re-launching of Sri Lanka Insurance ‘Travel Protect’ insurance policy. For the first time in Sri Lanka


The Eden Resort continues to bag top local and global accolades

Views - 69 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

The Eden Resort & Spa in Beruwala, Sri Lanka which is the flagship resort of Browns Hotels & Resorts recently won top awards in the hospitality industry. These include the prestigious, globally acclaimed ITS Red Star Award and the Silver Award at the


The Galle Face Hotel appoints Nalaka Dissanayake as a Cluster Director of HR

Views - 51 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

South Asia’s leading grand dame, the Galle Face Hotel is testimony to the colonial past and Sri Lanka’s independent present. Celebrated within the hospitality world, and being the oldest hotel East of Suez, it is a property that had the world’s


Emirates announces network updates for 2019

Views - 43 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

Emirates has announced adjustments to its operational schedules in 2019 to minimise the impact of the closure of Dubai International Airport’s Southern Runway in April and May, and to respond to global travel demand trends. The airline also outline


Tourist arrivals on upward momentum

Views - 131 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

An exotic destination, a prime bucket-list country, low on the travel radar is now teeming with tourists. Sri Lanka’s international endorsements, leisure additions, increased connectivity has positioned her as a must-visit destination. With the adv


HI-AIM 2019 in SL to promote MICE tourism

Views - 115 Monday, 14 January 2019 00:50

In a bid to promote MICE tourism in the country HI-AIM (Hospitality Industry-Architecture, Interiors and Management) has organised its eighth conference to be held in Sri Lanka this year. “This is a green conference and it is special because of th


MICE tourism expected to increase tourist arrivals by 20-25% this year

Views - 86 Monday, 14 January 2019 00:45

It is expected that MICE tourism will increase by 5% this year while contributing 20-25% to the overall tourist arrivals of the country, said industry experts recently. Speaking at a press conference this week, Sri Lanka Convention Bureau Chairman K


Sagala takes immediate actions to standardise whale watching boat services

Views - 83 Monday, 14 January 2019 00:40

A special meeting headed by Minister of Ports and Shipping and Southern Development Sagala Ratnayaka, was held recently, at the ministry auditorium, to discuss issues related to the whale watching business popular in the Mirissa tourism region. Acco


oneworld is best alliance for on-time flights for 6th year running

Views - 27 Monday, 14 January 2019 00:37

oneworld is the best alliance for on-time flights, according to FlightGlobal Incorporating FlightStats, the leading airline industry data services and solutions technology company, which ranks oneworld as the alliance with the most punctual airline o


Sri Lanka Tourism makes inroads in India

Views - 194 Monday, 14 January 2019 00:03

Sri Lanka Tourism made its presence felt at the India International Travel & Tourism Exhibition held in Mumbai, India on 10 and 11 January. Minister of Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs John Amaratunga met heads of India


Raffles resort in Maldives to open 1 February

Views - 59 Friday, 11 January 2019 00:00

AccorHotels has confirmed the 38-villa Raffles resort in the Gaafu Alifu Atoll of Maldives will open on 1 February Raffles Maldives Meradhoo is located at the southern end of the Maldives archipelago, near the equator on the Gaafu Alifu Atoll. The re


Air Arabia to launch direct flights to Belgrade

Views - 23 Friday, 11 January 2019 00:00

Air Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa’s largest low-cost carrier, has announced plans to introduce a new route to Serbia’s capital city, Belgrade, direct from Sharjah, UAE. Air Arabia’s inaugural flight to Belgrade will commence on 28 Ju


Today's Columnists

Lasantha, journalists and diplomats

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

We find scarce little to celebrate in a sullied land, marking our days remembering the tragedies that tell our blood-soaked history. In the troubled decades preceding, many, from the highest in the land to average citizens, have met with violent ends


Automation and machine learning: Helping organisations extract deeper value from data

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

The world is in the midst of a data explosion. Humans are generating an estimated 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every single day1, according to Forbes, and more data was created in the past two years than in all of human history. No wonder data now r


SL tourism: From TOM to experience the brand in 2019

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Last week I had just crossed the border that separates Laos from Thailand and was on route via land to Thailand. My mind was on Laos – a country branded globally as ‘Simply Beautiful’ (backed by the ADB in 2018) to attract visitors into the cou


Questionable (or absurd) official report on poverty indicators

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

The latest Report issued by the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs on ‘Poverty Indicators’ is both questionable and outrageous.1This Ministry is under the responsibility of the Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe. Most of the sta


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