DUBAI ISSUES NEW RULES
AS DESERT TOURS HEAT UP
OPERATORS who provide desert tours and camps in Dubai will have to meet quality benchmarks as part of new regulations aimed to improve the "desert experience" for visitors.
The move by Dubai Tourism comes as the city welcomed an increasing number of tourists, with over 14.2 million visitors last year - up 7.5 per cent from the previous year.
It is estimated that about one in five tourists will sign up for a desert excursion as part of the itinerary.
Some criteria by which operators will be evaluated include visitor experience, health and safety measures, insurance coverage, marketing and advertising as well as transport and logistics. For instance, tour drivers must be properly licensed. The regulations also cover whether the agencies adopt environmentally sustainable practices.
FLOWERS OF THE WORLD UNITE
AT GARDEN EXPO IN CHINA
BLOOMS from all over the world can be found flowering at one spot in China - the Tangshan International Horticultural Expo in China.
Ten "exotic gardens" from countries like Japan, France, the Netherlands and Germany are on show at the major event in China's north-eastern Hebei province.
The 2016 edition of the event, which is open now till Oct 16, will also showcase fashion gardening, environmental protection, low-carbon lifestyles and harmonious co-existence between man and nature.
The event, which covers an area of 22.6 sq km, coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Tangshan earthquake, which killed at least 255,000 residents when it struck in 1976.
The city has since been rebuilt and has become a tourist attraction.
JAKARTA AIMS TO ATTRACT 20 MILLION TOURISTS TO INDONESIA ANNUALLY
TOURIST arrivals in Indonesia rose nearly 9 per cent in March from a year earlier, following a 3.3 per cent increase a month before, the statistics bureau said on Monday.
There were 806,118 tourists visiting Indonesia in March, compared with 768,118 in February, the bureau noted.
Indonesia is keen to expand tourism to boost South-east Asia's largest economy. It aims to attract 20 million foreign visitors a year by 2019.
Last year, 9.73 million came.
As part of efforts to expand the sector, the government plans to allow greater foreign ownership in tourism-related businesses.