MORE TOURISTS WARM UP TO ANTARCTICA TOURS
MORE travellers are making the costly journey down south to get a glimpse of the least-visited continent in the world, mostly on cruise ships.
Tourism in Antarctica rose by 4.6 per cent last year, with nearly 35,500 visitors checking in at the frozen continent, said the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators.
Americans lead the pack, followed by tourists from Australia, China, Britain and Germany.
But nearly all visits are fleeting - 99 per cent of tourists stay on their cruise ships or set foot briefly on the coast. Only 1 per cent go further inland.
A cruise to Antarctica cost at least US$10,000 (S$13,670) a person.
The voyage from the southern tip of Argentina, for example, takes about 40 hours.
EASIER WAY TO ENGAGE A FREELANCE GUIDE IN CHINA
A FREELANCE tour guide programme is being piloted in Shanghai and eight other provinces in China to help tourists cut down on the hassle of finding a suitable guide.
From this month, freelance tour guides in these areas are required to sell their services via online platforms or offline agencies and collect service fees through a third-party payment platform.
The initiative by the National Tourism Administration could also help authorities better supervise the pool of independent guides, who are not affiliated to any travel agencies.
According to a circular issued by the administration, the trial is part of a comprehensive reform of the country's tour guide system that will bring about more job opportunities and create a fair and orderly tourism market.
The other provinces where the trial is being launched include Jiangxi, Guangdong, Hunan and Sichuan.
ONE MILLION ROSES AT KOREA'S EVERLAND PARK
VISITORS to the largest outdoor amusement park in Korea, Everland, can take in the dramatic sight of roughly one million roses scattered throughout the garden areas.
This is courtesy of the theme park's annual Rose Festival held from now till June 12.
The attraction in Yongin, located just outside capital Seoul, is also celebrating its 40th anniversary.
Every weekend during the festival, live performances will be held, including a show by a Beatles tribute band and a performance of Hamlet the opera - a nod to the park's newly established Shakespeare Garden.
For more information, visit www.everland.com.
THE KOREA HERALD