Speaking out against harassment
India's Tourism Ministry's latest "Incredible India" commercial features film star Aamir Khan, campaigning against sexual harassment of tourists in India. In the advertisement, the Bollywood star confronts a man harassing foreign women tourists and hands him over to the police.
He tells the gathering crowd that the country's image abroad depends on how Indians treat their visitors. But with recent reports of sexual assaults on foreign tourists, India finds itself in the international headlines for all the wrong reasons. Recently, a 39-year-old Swiss tourist on a cycling trip with her husband was gang raped in central Madhya Pradesh state. A 25-year-old Briton was hospitalised after jumping off her hotel balcony in the Taj Mahal city of Agra, to escape two molesters. - DPA
Tourist street goes wireless
The Yogyakarta administration and PT Telkom have launched free wireless Internet access on the city’s most famous tourist thoroughfare, Jl Malioboro. The famous tourist street has been deliberately chosen to be the first spot to enjoy the WiFi access service because it is the city’s icon and a centre of tourism activities. The free Internet access is aimed at helping tourists keep in contact and local traders to sell their merchandise online. - The Jakarta Post/ANN
Laos' national carrier Lao Airlines has purchased more aircraft in response to increasing passenger numbers, as the country becomes more closely integrated with the region and the world. A new Airbus A320 arrived in Vientiane this month, bringing the total number owned by the carrier to four, while a new ATR will join the fleet later this month. Lao Airlines will begin direct flights to Myanmar in October as part of the provisions for increased air connectivity within the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) countries. - Vientiane Times/ANN
Malaysia Airlines goes high tech
Malaysia Airlines cabin crew have started using iPads to enhance in-flight services to customers travelling on the airline's A380 flights. The iPads are part of an innovative digital cabin crew solution called CrewTablet, which enables crew members to quickly and easily access passenger and operational data. The crew will be able to access everything from weather reports to safety manuals with the touch or swipe of a screen. Cabin crew processes are normally paper-based.
No visa for Russians
Laos has waived tourist visa requirements for Russian nationals, a fast-growing market for the landlocked communist country. The visa waiver was announced at the 8th Intourmarket travel fair in Moscow, which attracted Lao tour operators and the deputy minister of tourism Chaleune Warinthrasak. Russian tourists who visited Laos in 2010 reached 4,835, and exceeded 7,000 in 2011. Tourist arrivals in Laos reached 3.3 million in 2012, an increase of 22 per cent compared with 2011 figures. - DPA