India’s long-awaited plan to extend the option of a visa on arrival to more tourists was finally confirmed this week, following discussions between the relevant ministries.
By easing the paperwork for international visitors, India hopes to boost the tourism industry which has taken a hit over the past year as concerns over security have hurt India’s reputation. Continue reading »
The fortunes of airlines may fluctuate from tricky to troubled the world over, but new numbers out on Monday show that one sector is booming, at least in the number of seats available.
Asian carriers have expanded the number of low-cost seats available dramatically in 2013, leaving other regions trailing in terms of growth, and catching up with the low-cost capacity of the US and Europe. Continue reading »
Edward Snowden must be getting a lot of sympathy in China, at least among those fed up with being stranded at airports. Delayed flights are a common experience and it’s getting worse. Why is it so hard to get flights on time in China?
Airport outrage has exploded into more and more violent encounters between passengers and airport staff. Click here for a video showing one recent example from Beijing Airport. Continue reading »
Poland’s flat countryside hasn’t been regularly visited by elephants since mammoths disappeared at the end of the last ice age, but a new elephant has appeared not far from Warsaw – a white one.
That would be the problem-plagued Modlin airport about 40km north-west of Warsaw. This week it was dealt a body blow by Hungary’s low-cost Wizz Air airline, which announced it would not be returning to Modlin after the airport was forced to close for more than half a year to rebuild its runway. Continue reading »
Is today (Tuesday) the right day to announce a new investment in Turkey, when police and protestors are battling for control of Taksim Square?
The world’s largest car hire company thinks so. Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the US group that operates the Enterprise, National Car Rental and Alamo brands, has done a deal with Yes Oto Kiralama, a subsidiary of Gurbaşlar Automotive Group, to move into Turkey. Continue reading »
It’s been billed Africa’s “best airline” for a good ten years running now but South Africa’s troubled SA Airways (SAA) has little to celebrate nowadays, with news that it could slash more flight routes to save money. Continue reading »
Every year, China stages the largest human migration on earth as up to 1bn people go home to their roots. The FT’s Patti Waldmeir reports on the phenomenal combined buying power of China’s 260m migrant workers and looks at the type of gifts they are buying this year.
For the tens of millions of Chinese who will journey back home next month for the Chinese New Year, fighting over the limited supply of train tickets is nothing new. But this year, the fight has moved online, and somewhat controversially. Continue reading »
The Chinese government’s decision to suspend toll charges during the current eight-day autumn holiday has generated huge traffic jams – and an internet debate about what to do about them.
In the free-market camp, are those who argue that far from scrapping tolls, the authorities should have raised them to produce manageable flows on some of the busiest days of the year.
Nonsense, reply the socialists, the government should have gone further and extended the toll-free travel from passengers to long-distance buses, to benefit poorer Chinese. Continue reading »
Richard Solomons, chief executive of InterContinental Hotel Group, the world’s largest hotel group by rooms, says he remains confident about China despite its slowing growth.
Most foreign visitors to Indonesia never make it out of Jakarta, the capital, or the resort island of Bali.
But Accor, the Paris-based hotel group that owns the Novotel and Ibis brands, is pinning its Indonesian expansion hopes on the growth of secondary cities like Balikpapan, Makassar, Lampung and Pekanbaru, which are thriving thanks to the ongoing commodities boom. Continue reading »
Thomas Cook announced Wednesday that it planned to sell its India business – in which it owns a 77 per cent stake – in order to ease its mounting debt problems, sending shares in the Indian company up 19.9 per cent, compared to a 0.5 per cent gain in the Bombay Stock Exchange’s benchmark Sensex.
As the FT reported, the British company showed a £91m underlying operating loss in the quarter ending December 31, in line with analyst expectations but more than double the £37m loss a year earlier, having been hampered by depressed consumer spending in Europe and political unrest in the Middle East. Continue reading »
More evidence, as if it were necessary, of the damage done to tourism by the unrest in North Africa and the Middle East. Tui Travel, the UK-based operator, on Tuesday reported a £23m increase in its operating losses for the three months to December.
The blame was put squarely on North Africa, with French travellers, in particular, staying away in droves from their traditional winter sunshine haunts. But Tui is taking this in its stride: as expected, it is doing much better than rival Thomas Cook, where the impact of North Africa has been compounded by financing challenges. Continue reading »
Domestic travel by Chinese citizens shot up during the first three days of the current lunar New Year holiday, demonstrating continued consumer confidence in China despite the slight economic slowdown. Continue reading »
Walmart is hemorrhaging senior executives, Best Buy is wondering what went wrong, and Barbie had to shut up shop and leave town: is it time to rethink the future of the Western brand in China?
Keith Barr, greater China CEO of InterContinental Hotels Group, thinks the balance of power between Western brands and Chinese consumers may be at a tipping point. Continue reading »