Travel News 2018. Share
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December 2018 - Cape Verde: Removal of the visa for European nationals.
As from January 1, 2019, nationals of countries of the European Union, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland will be exempted from applying for a visa for stays not exceeding 30 days in Cape Verde. On the other hand, an airport security tax will be applied from 1 January 2019 at the rate of 150 CVE escudos (about US$ 1.50) for domestic flights and 3400 CVE escudos (about US$ 35) for international flights. Read more.
December 2018 - Tanzania: Launch of the e-visa system.
The online portal of the Tanzanian immigration service now allows you to apply online for a tourist, business or transit visa to Tanzania, both mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar. Read more.
November 2018 - Hong Kong: Opening of the bridge between Hong Kong and mainland China.
Since the end of October, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge has been opened for traffic. Crossing the Pearl River Delta, it consists of a succession of bridges, tunnels and artificial islands with a total length of 55 km. It connects the island of Lantau (home to Hong Kong international airport) on the east side of the bay to Zhuhai and Macao on the west side. Read more.
October 2018 - Turkey: End of visa on arrival.
From 28 October onwards, tourists travelling to Turkey must obtain the required visa before they depart to Turkey (either at the Turkish Embassy or on the official Turkish e-Visa website). Read more.
October 2018 - Iran: Visa separate from the passport.
Tourists who want to visit Iran must continue to apply for the visa from the Iranian Embassy in their country. But, from now on, most of them will then receive it by e-mail (just like an e-visa) and no longer in the form of an annotation and a seal in their passport. Read more.
September 2018 - Israel: Express Train between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
At the end of September, Israel put a high-speed train between the Tel Aviv Airport and a new underground station at the entrance to Jerusalem into operation. Read more.
September 2018 - Reunion Island: New eruption of Piton de la Fournaise.
Piton de la Fournaise, a volcano located on the island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean, erupted for the fourth time this year. The eruption started on September 15 and ended on November 1. Read more.
September 2018 - Turkey: Upcoming opening of the new Istanbul airport.
On October 31 at midnight, the new Istanbul airport will take office and replace Atatürk International Airport, which will then cease operations. Read more.
August 2018 - Europe: Air Passenger Rights.
In the European Union, air passengers are entitled to compensation in the event of delay (of at least 3 hours), cancellation (announced less than 14 days prior to the departure date) or overbooking (with denied boarding) of their flight. These rights were recently clarified by the Court of Justice of the European Union on two points. Read more
August 2018 - Belarus: Thirty-day stay exempted from visa.
Citizens of 80 countries, including all countries of the European Union, Australia, Japan and the United States, can now stay up to 30 days (instead of five) in Belarus without a visa, provided that they arrive at the Minsk International Airport (without transiting through Russia) with a valid passport. Read more.
July 2018 - World: Quick connection between Star Alliance flights.
Star Alliance, which brings together a large number of airlines, including United Airlines, Lufthansa (and its Belgian, Swiss and Austrian subsidiaries), Air India, Air China, Air Canada, ANA, Thai Airways and many others, offers an assistance service to travelers in case of tight connection between flights. This service monitors flight delays and passengers' connection time. It intervenes to help each traveler with a close connection in order that he does not miss the connection with his next flight.
This proactive service operates in 11 major hubs: Frankfurt (FRA), London Heathrow (LHR), Munich (MUC), Chicago (ORD), Denver (DEN), Houston (IAH), New York-Newark (EWR), Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Washington Dulles (IAD) and since end July 2018 Toronto (YYZ).
June 2018 - New Zealand: Plan to tax tourists.
New Zealand authorities announce the introduction of a tax of NZ $ 25 to NZ $ 35 (US $ 17 to 24) payable as from May 2019 by each foreign visitor. Read more.
May 2018 - Africa: Benin and Zimbabwe adopt the E-visa system.
Benin and Zimbabwe have just introduced an e-visa system. Read more.
May 2018 - Balearic Islands: Ban on vacation rentals of apartments.
As from July, vacation rentals of apartments in Palma de Mallorca will be banned. Read more.
April 2018 - Réunion: Eruption of the Piton de la Fournaise.
On the island of Réunion, the Piton de la Fournaise volcano erupted on 27 April. Mid-May, the eruption of the volcano continued, but it occurred then largely in tunnels. Read more.
April 2018 - Philippines: Boracay Island closed to visitors.
As from April 26, 2018 and for a period of 6 months, tourists have no longer access to Boracay Island in the Philippines. Read more.
March 2018 - World: Low cost travel.
The growing popularity of low-cost airlines continues to generate responses from their competitors. For example, as for transatlantic flights, several conventional airlines (Air France, KLM, British Airways, Iberia, Alitalia, American Airlines and others) announce that they will offer low cost tickets provided travelers do not have checked baggage or want to choose their seat in the plane. Travelers will be entitled to the meal at no extra cost.
Another strategy is to serve new destinations that are not popular with low-cost airlines. Thus, Iberia announces flights three times a week between Madrid and Managua, the only air link between Europe and Nicaragua.
Promotional offers, such as the Hi Belgium Pass that Brussels Airlines offers for the second year in a row, remain among the best responses. This Pass allows you to visit two Belgian cities of your choice departing from 50 airports in Europe for only €149, excluding accommodation. It includes round-trip flight (without checked luggage), unlimited train rides during the stay and a city pass to museums and attractions in both cities.
As for the low-cost carriers, they continue reaching agreements about connections between their short- and medium-haul flights and cheap long-haul flights of other airlines. Following the Easyjet agreements with Norwegian and Westjet in 2017, Ryanair has just signed an agreement with Aer Lingus about connections between flights of both airlines.
March 2018 - World: E-visa systems more and more popular.
More and more countries are introducing an electronic visa system. Thus, since a few weeks, Brazil has been offering it to American, Canadian, Japanese, and Australian citizens. Uzbekistan and Pakistan have just decided to implement soon (as from July 2018 in Uzbekistan) such an electronic system. Other countries go further and cancel other ways of obtaining a visa: for instance, Uganda and Oman no longer allow you to get a visa from the local embassy.
Travelers must be careful though. Unofficial sites sometimes appear in first position in the results of Google in this matter. Some of these sites are reliable third-party sites. However, it may happen that others issue fake visas. This is in any case a recent warning of the Indian authorities.
February 2018 - Cambodia: New National Marine Park.
The government of Cambodia has just established the Koh Rong archipelago located off the seaside resort of Sihanoukville as a national marine park in order to preserve its ecosystem and promote responsible tourism. Read more.
February 2018 - Thailand: Smart Visa.
As from February 1, Thailand introduces a 4-year visa for foreign experts, investors, executives and entrepreneurs. Read more.
January 2018 - Congo Brazzaville: Online Visa
The Embassy of the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) in Paris has just put online a website to apply online for a visa. Read more.
January 2018 - Oman: New official website for tourism.
Tourism in Oman is in full development. The Minister of Tourism of Oman has just put online a new and comprehensive website for tourists who are planning a trip to the Sultanate. Read more.
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