Beijing’s new mega airport will challenge Air China’s dominance

Like ancient warlords, China’s three biggest airlines have dominated their regional cities: Air China Ltd. controlling Beijing, China Eastern Airlines Corp. holding sway in the financial center of Shanghai, and China Southern Airlines Co. ruling the roost down in export gateway Guangzhou. Until now.

Rising on a plain south of Beijing is a mega airport that is about to change the balance, bringing all three head to head in the capital as it becomes the world’s biggest aviation hub.

The new airport, due to open in 2019, has been designated by authorities as the hub for members of the SkyTeam alliance, a global group of airlines that includes China Eastern and China Southern. The two Chinese carriers will each be allowed to capture 40 percent of the airport’s passengers, gaining coveted time slots to Europe and the U.S. in Air China’s backyard.

“This is an absolute game-changer for China Eastern and China Southern,” said Corrine Png, chief executive officer of Crucial Perspective in Singapore. “Having all the SkyTeam alliance members under one roof will enable seamless flight connections.”

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The invasion of Air China’s regional rivals has repercussions beyond China. As well as dominating their home bases, the big three Chinese players have each carved out a position abroad. Air China, through its Star Alliance ties with Deutsche Lufthansa AG and United Continental Holdings Inc., commands many of the routes to Europe and North America. China Eastern is the biggest carrier to Japan and South Korea. And China Southern is strong in Australia and Southeast Asia.

With access to more slots in Beijing, China Southern and China Eastern would potentially get more access to lucrative North American routes while their SkyTeam partners would get better access to the Chinese capital. In addition, China Southern, the nation’s biggest airline, would be able to draw traffic from its Southeast Asian links to fly via Beijing to the U.S.

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#Seoul unveils city’s first highway-turned-park

Modeled after New York’s iconic High Line, Seoul’s soon-to-open elevated park will bring visual and spatial respite to busy city life, with a stretch of greenery, cafes and street markets, the city government said Tuesday.

Opening part of the “Seoullo 7017” on Tuesday, ahead of the official opening in May, Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon on Tuesday described the urban sky park as a place where “nature and humans can live side by side.”

“(The launch of Seoullo 7017) will not only restore the overpass, but become a catalyst for the revival and regeneration of neighboring regions through the high number of visitors,” Seoul Mayor Park said.

The pedestrian-friendly park will stretch for about a kilometer and link seven surrounding areas including Seoul Station and Namdaemun Market to 12 pedestrian walkways.

Touted as a rival to New York’s High Line Park, the city government said it will feature over 24,085 plants representing 228 species of trees, shrubs and flowers found in and outside Korea.

Complementing the plants will be cafes, street markets, flower shops and performance stages, the city said.

Officials said the park will provide not only a stretch of greenery, but also a botanical education, allowing citizens to have a closer look at the labeled plants arranged in alphabetical order.

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The project began four years ago to make use of an old overpass that once served as a major road connecting western and central Seoul. Public calls for its removal had mounted after a safety assessment classified the outdated overpass as dangerous in 2006.

The “70” in the name Seoullo 7017 refers to the year 1970 when the Seoul Station flyover was constructed, while 17 is a reference to the number of walkways connected to it and the year 2017 when its construction is to be completed.

Putting safety as a top priority, about 40 percent of the 59 billion won ($52 million) of construction cost was put into securing the earthquake-proof structure, the city said.

“The elevated urban park was constructed to stand up to a magnitude 6.5 earthquake, and to allow over 50,000 people to walk on the park at once,” said Seoul City official Kim Kwon-ki.

A total of 29 surveillance cameras will be installed around the park to enhance security for citizens, he added.

The official opening of the Seoullo 7017 is slated for May 20. The lighting ceremony and the celebration chorus will begin at 7 p.m.

A variety of events involving citizen participation will take place at Seoullo 7017 and continue until June 18, the city said.

This article appeared on The Korea Herald newspaper website, which is a member of Asia News Network and a media partner of The Jakarta Post

5 Ultimate Travel Destinations for Animal Lovers

1/ Island full of rabbits

Okunoshima is a Japanese island where tens of thousands of rabbits live. On the island are not allowed dogs and hunters, the rabbits are sacred. You can just stroking, because they do not scare of people.


2/ Island full of cats

We stay here in Japan. Bunnies are not quite your thing, but you love cats, then you have to be on another island. Tashirojima is full of street cats.


3/ Swimming with pigs

In the Bahamas you can swim with piglets. Pig Beach is a beach on Big Major Cay, an uninhabited island. Not quite uninhabited, because this island is home to dozens of pigs, who just like to take a dip in the azure waters.

4/ Hundreds of dogs

In the Scottish Invernesshire find this Golden Retriever Festival annually in July. About 222 golden retrievers and their owners come to the festival. The breed comes from Scotland and therefore stood here annually at. During the festival there is a dog show, dinner and dancing there.

5/ Spotting deer

We also close the list off in Japan. This country shows heaven on earth for anyone who likes located between animals. Nara Park, you’ll find more than a thousand deer that just walking around the streets, on the market, you see them everywhere.

Thailand – Doi Inthanon frost attracts 5,000 visitors to peak

About 5,000 tourists have been attracted to the peak of Doi Inthanon, the highest mountain in Thailand, for the past four days as temperatures have dropped to 5 degree Celsius, causing frost over the landscape.

“The lowest temperature at Doi Inthanon and Kiew Mae Pan view point this morning is 5 degree Celsius. With clear weather, there’s frost at Kiew Mae Pan right up to the peak between 42nd and 47th kilometres.

“The number of visitors at Doi Inthanon during this period is not less than 5,000 each day,” said the Doi Inthanon National Park chief Roong Hirunwong.

Source: TheNation

Netherlands – Holiday Fair in danger

The survival of the annual Tourism Fair in Utrecht has seriously entered the danger zone.
Again there last five days fewer visitors came than in previous years.

The travel fair attracted in 2017 for the first time in years less than 110,000 visitors. Last year there were more than 120,000.
In the boom years the number was 190,000 people according to a spokesman.

The exhibition management will see in their own words how to do it differently. A day trip is still an important driver of visitors, but more and more exhibitors who have to pay a lot of money to stand at the fair, questioning the usefulness and necessity of a physical meeting.

It is expected that the Internet is a big part of the needs of tourists to take to travel information and advice. The holiday atmosphere at a trade show decreases in relevancy off, experts say.

Thailand being overtaken by tourist-hungry neighbours

Last week it took 90 minutes to fly the 987 kilometres from Hanoi to Bangkok. It took another 95 minutes to cover the relatively short distance from the aircraft gateway to the car in Don Mueang Airport’s car park.

The main hold-up, of course, was at Immigration, where there were long queues, with only half the desks manned.

What greatly aggravated the situation, at least in my queue, were the arriving tourists who had not completed their immigration forms.   When they arrived at the desk, instead of being asked to step aside and complete their forms, they were allowed to fill them out on the spot while the rest of us waited. This happened no less than eight times.

I watched speechless at this inanity while others in the queue grew increasingly restive and impatient.

Last year tourism netted Bt1.56 trillion. The entire Thai tourism infrastructure needs to lift its game if it hopes to continue to profit from tourism, and it needs to start with a very critical examination of the inadequacies of the immigration procedures at all international airports.

I travel extensively in Southeast Asia and it is my observation that other countries are rapidly overtaking Thailand as preferred destinations. Vietnam in particular is racing ahead, thanks to seamless immigration and customs procedures, safety for tourists, a comprehensive and efficient transport network, competitive pricing and service with a genuine smile.

One night in Vietnam I ordered ice for a nightcap whiskey in my hotel room. The bellhop refused a tip, saying, “No thank you, I am happy to do my job.” Can you imagine that happening in Thailand? Yes, perhaps when pigs fly.

A Tourist

Source: TheNation

This is how Thai students think expats see Thailand (Video)

Water boxing, riding “beautiful elephants” in a commercial elephant camp, and grabbing a quick bite of fried bugs and Pad Thai on the street are what a group of award-winning students think expats love about Thailand.

This homemade video by five Communication Arts students at Nation University, in the northern province of Lampang, won first prize in the government-sponsored contest “Through the eyes of foreigners: Youth’s reflection on the image of Thailand.”

Their three-minute video was awarded THB50,000 cash by the National Legislative Assembly.

According to the announcement that called for submissions, the project was a chance for young Thais between the ages of 15-25 to present a story that reflects their perception of the expat community towards Thailand and paint a picture why they think those foreigners chose to settle down in the land of smiles.

And the result is in: VIDEO

The video by winning team “Kapook Creator” was released to the public by the National Legislative Assembly last night — it offers an interesting look at what the government and Thais think expats are interested in.

Nukul Kammin, a third-year advertising major who was the cameraman for the project, said his group was inspired by the music video “Bangkok City” by Thai-American hip hop group Thaitanium, which might remind you of Jay Z’s “Empire State of Mind.”

Asked how he thinks expats see Thailand, the junior said: “Just like in the video. Travel, culture, massage, world-famous Muay Thai, food, elephants, I think these are why foreigners came to Thailand.”

“I didn’t expect we’d win. I think our video is pretty cool, but I thought we’d only get experience, not an award,” the filmmaker said.

Adviser to the project Ajarn Chinnagrit Udomlappaisan commented that it was more about the opportunity for his students to develop a video with a set of instructions.

“The project gave the kids an opportunity to think how they would present Thainess within a limited time,” Chinnagrit said.

Source: Coconuts.co

Full bloom Wild Himalayan cherry blossoms

The pink glory of wild Himalayan cherry blossoms is a sight to behold in Phu Lom Lo, Loei

Seven years ago no one would have ever thought that mountain grasslands without a single tree at Phu Lom Lo in Loei would one day be a popular tourist destination.

Last year, from December to February, about 80,000 visitors traveled to Phu Lom Lo to see the pink flower blossoms of the wild Himalayan cherry trees, known in Thai as phaya suea khrong, which dotted the hills as far as the eyes could see.

“We are ethnic Hmong who grow cabbages for a living. We never imagined that we would open our village to welcome tourists,” said Poh Wachirawongworakul, president of the Community Based Tourism Club of Ban Rong Kla, the gateway to Phu Lom Lo.

Their lives changed after a project to reforest the mountains was initiated by a former chief of Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park. The park covers 191,875 rai (30,700 hectares) in Dan Sai district of Loei and Nakhon Thai district of Phitsanulok where Ban Rong Kla is located.

The now-retired chief chose to grow wild Himalayan cherry trees, like he did in Chiang Mai. “While planting cabbages, we also grew and took care phaya suea khrong trees. We planted about 300,000 seedlings in the total area of 1,200 rai in 2009,” he said.

Read full story > BANGKOKPOST

Bangkok – New mall ‘SHOW DC’ opens with durian room and shower for tourists

Another new shopping mall, SHOW DC, recently opened their doors near RCA. They hope to serve as the city’s tourist hub by offering basic facilities that all travelers need — such as a shower.

Located 30 minutes from Suvarnabhumi, SHOW DC will soon offer shuttle buses from the airport, Petchaburi MRT station and other attractions in the city. With its goal to become “Bangkok Tourist Terminal,” it offers a shower room, a courier service counter, a prayer room, a tourist police center, travel agents counters and a tourist information center with multi-language assistants.

Meanwhile, to please Thai travelers, its “K-District” on the first floor boasts the world’s biggest Koreatown with all things Korean such as street fashion, cosmetics, lifestyle products, groceries, cafes and restaurants owned by K-Pop artists. This is an attempt to give customers that they are shopping in one of Seoul’s shopping destinations like Myeong Dong.

For the first time in Thailand, Lotte Duty Free will also open at the mall, occupying two whole floors.

In the Thai Market, you will be able to find the best products from all regions of the country. There’s even a room for you to buy and eat durian so you don’t have to worry about the smell bothering other shoppers.

The mall is located on a 14-rai parcel (68,800 sq.m.) on Jaturatid Road, Huai Khwang. While some features have not opened yet, the mall will have its soft opening on Jan. 22.

Source: Coconuts.co

 

Tourist looks for safety

Nothing adventurous, risky and dangerous. The average vacationer chooses for security during his vacation this summer.

Vacationers find this summer a sense of security on their vacation is more important than ever.

Of all consumers say 60% consciously paying attention to safety aspects when choosing hotel and destination.

“That has never been so high,” says director Kees van der Most NBTC Nipo, who did with trendwatcher Cherry Laboratory research on the travel trends this season. The results are presented today at the ‘Holiday Fair’ in Utrecht / Netherlands

Large guarded all-inclusive resorts and parks are responding with more and more facilities and entertainment indoors.

“Tourists are also in need of familiar places, which are also safer in their perception. Even retro places like Benidorm are back “, also Italy, the former Yugoslavia and Portugal are in demand.

Attacks make tourists wary.