Airport for Attapeu
Laos is building an airport in the south-eastern province of Attapeu in a bid to attract tourists and investors to this remote area.
Phetmixay Khampakdy, director of Atteapeu’s Public Works and Transport Department, recently told the Vientiane Times that the new airport would be operational by 2014. Attapeu, which borders Vietnam and Cambodia, is rich in history, handicrafts and natural attractions. Its key tourist attractions include the 16th-century Saysetthatthirath pagoda, three waterfalls on the Xepain River and pottery urns traditionally used to store rice wine. - Vientiane Times/ANN
Obstacle free Cologne
The Cologne Tourist Office has produced free maps showing two obstacle-free routes that can be taken through the western German city's historic downtown area. The maps are not only meant for inline skaters but also for the disabled and families with buggies. One route takes in Cologne's historical highlights, including the city's famous cathedral and town hall as well as the memorial to famous German stage and TV actor Willy Millowitsch, while the other follows the city walls through historic Cologne. The free maps also contain brief descriptions of all the tourist sites found en route. Visit www.KoelnTourismus.de. - DPA
Mausoleum to re-open in May
Lenin's Mausoleum in Moscow's Red Square is to remain closed to tourists until April 30. The building beside the Kremlin walls has been shut since last September because of serious building damage and is currently completely covered by a white tent. The large plastic tarpaulin is there to protect the memorial and construction workers alike from the bitter Russian winter in Moscow during the four-month renovation period. The monument containing the preserved body of the Soviet revolutionary leader is undergoing its first complete renovation work. - DPA
Room requisitions upset Myanmar hoteliers
Myanmar hoteliers are said to be upset by room requisitions for delegates attending the Southeast Asian Games later this year. Rooms have been requisitioned at 10 hotels in Yangon, 16 in Mandalay, 31 in Naypyitaw and three at Ngwe Saung beach resort, which have been ordered to reduce their rates during the event that will occur in the December peak tourism season. Hotels that are not on the government list have been ordered to keep 30 per cent of their rooms available for SEA Games guests, the Myanmar Times said. - ANN
On board with Wi-Fly
Etihad Airways introduces its new "Etihad Wi-Fly" inflight Internet and mobile connectivity service, powered by the Panasonic Avionics Global Communications Suite. Equipped in Airbus A330-200 aircraft, the "Wi-Fly" connectivity solution is offered to guests at a cost of US$13.95 for one hour or $24.95 for 24 hours. The service will be complimentary for Etihad Airways' Diamond First Class guests. Mobile telephone usage will be charged based on the international roaming rates of guests' mobile network providers. Etihad Airways currently operates six connectivity-enabled aircraft under an agreement with OnAir: three Airbus A320s and three Airbus A330-300s.