China will waive visas for foreign tourists visiting Beijing for 72 hours in order to make the capital an open international city.
From January 1, visitors from 45 countries will be allowed a three-day stay without a visa. The programme, of particular benefit to transit passengers and business people, will make the city more accessible and allow tourism to be a strategic pillar of the economy.
– China Daily/ANN
More domestic airlines for Indonesia
Four new Indonesian domestic airlines are scheduled to begin commercial flights in 2013, giving travellers more alternatives when travelling to domestic and regional destinations. Batik Air, Nam Air, Kartika Airlines and Jatayu Air are on their way from the airports around Indonesia. Batik Air is likely to be the first carrier to fly next year, because it has already obtained a flight permit. The other airlines should begin operating in the third and fourth quarter of 2013. – The Jakarta Post/ANN
Celebrity rules the waves
Celebrity Cruises has launched its maiden Asian season with the sailing of the “Celebrity Millennium” last Sunday. The 91,000-gross registered ton ship arrived in Singapore for the first time on last Friday and stayed for two nights at the end of her 17-night cruise from Sydney. For her maiden Asian season, which runs until next April, the “Celebrity Millennium” will visit nine countries new to the brand, including Vietnam, Thailand and China.
Up close and cosy with a Swede
A new website in Sweden is helping tourists who want to learn more about the country to make contact with local residents. The site – www.VisitASwede.com – helps to promote cultural exchange between visitors and Swedes. For tourists, it's a chance to learn about Sweden from a genuine Swede. Meet with a Stockholm local at his favourite tavern, make a date for coffee, or explore the site’s many other meet-up offerings. – DPA
Caverns by the river
The region of caverns along the Margaret River in Australia is getting a new addition: Moondyne Cave is being reopened again after 10 years. A torchlight guided tour takes three hours and ends with everyone sitting down together over lunch, Australia Tourism reports. The tours are held Tuesdays and Fridays. Organisers provide overalls, helmets and gloves. Visit www.MargaretRiver.com. – DPA