Top International Travel News January 03 2016

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David Pegler, chief executive of the ExCel convention centre, told John Mulligan that he was interested in bringing the Web Summit to London after its stint in Lisbon.

  • The Alps got their first snowfall in over a month on New Year’s Day, it was just a dusting but more significant and potentially season-changing snow is on its way. The outlook for the Pyrenees is also looking better with snow due this weekend.Most lifts are open in the western USA and more terrain is opening up almost daily on the east coast.
  • Switzerland experienced its warmest December on record, with temperatures 3.4C above average. Switzerland’s stripper visa programme expired on January 1, which, since 1995, allowed women outside the EU to work as strippers and cabaret dancers for up to eight months.
  • A proposal was put forward to develop the World War II forts off the coast of Kent into luxury suites, bars, restaurants, retail outlets, banqueting rooms and rooftop terraces. The forts were built to defend England against a Nazi invasion.
  • A report by the Association of Tour Operators of Russia said that Russian tourists are travelling to Thailand, Vietnam and India in exchange for Turkey and Egypt.
  • The ancient city of Hatra in Iraq was added to the Unesco list of World Heritage Sites under threat. So too were the Old City of Sana’a and the Old City of Shibam in Yemen.
  • Malaysia claimed it will receive 30.5m tourists in 2016.
  • China will open 100 ski resorts in 2016, catering for 10m domestic skiers.web summit
  • In a bid to revive its tourism industry after last April’s earthquake, Nepal is offering free visas to Chinese visitors.
  • Dubai expects 10,000 people to attend mass yoga sessions at the two-day XYoga Dubai Festival on February 19 and 20. Dubai’s new zoo and safari park is slated for mid-2016. It will feature 1,000 animals and 100 species of plants.
  • Iran’s I Run marathon will be open to international runners for the first time on April 9, but women are banned from taking part because of local laws.
  • Plans for a Universal theme park in the Hwaseong region, South Korea were revived after being on hold for three years, The park is expected to open in 2020.
  • Vietnam opened a 500 hectare safari park at Phu Quoc, featuring 3,000 animals across 140 species, including Bengal tigers, gazelles and rhinos.
  • Nine tourists were injured after a Big Bus Tours double decker crashed in San Francisco.
  • Graceland will celebrate 60 years since Elvis’s debut, starting on January 7 with the opening of the Elvis in Hollywood exhibit, an auction, a Birthday Proclamation and a performance by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra.
  • Las Vegas saw a record 42m visitors in 2015.
  • The annual Zillow survey found that Americans would most like Taylor Swift as a neighbour, but would hate to live beside Donald Trump.
  • USA, Japan, Australia and Canada citizens will be given a visa waiver for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics for visits between June1 and September 18. Visitors are allowed stay for up to 90 days.
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