Friday, March 22, 2013

Hong Kong Ocean Park Milestone

Hong Kong Ocean Park
One should not be surprised if Hong Kong tours suddenly become more in demand these days. This is after Ocean Park authorities announced the birth of a king penguin in the park. It is a momentous event since it is the first of its kind to be born in Hong Kong.

Dr. Allan Zeman, Chairman of Ocean Park had recently stated that the newborn animal ambassador is doing well in its environment. It is thought to be highly curious as it goes around its habitat with its parents. Ample foods are given to the family, as well as various vitamins to keep it strong. The baby penguin is to stay in a safe zone where it can avoid constant disturbance from the onlookers. The said zone is also guarded by the team to make sure that the chick is kept safe as it still cannot swim.

Hong Kong Ocean Park's King Penguin
The King penguin after 20 days. 
source: The Guardian

Definitely, the presence of the king penguin will attract travelers from major parts of the globe to Hong Kong. However, the birth of this lovely creature is not the lone reason why tours to Hong Kong are expected to double, and why there is a cause for celebration. Ocean Park has announced that in 2012, it recorded a total of 7.5 million visitors. 50% of which comes from China; 35% comprises local visitors, and the remaining 15% encompasses arrivals from other countries.

These record-high statistics are believed to be because of the completion of the Master Redevelopment Plan (MRP). Meaning, more facilities and attractions are opened to cater to the growing demands and needs of the tourists. 

It is not entirely a secret that Ocean Park Hong Kong is striving hard to provide its guests with the best kind of facilities. It is determined to retain its title as the first-ever Asian winner of the Applause Award, a prestigious recognition given to elite theme parks around the world. The head of the amusement park said that they owe gratitude to the people who have constantly patronized the beauty of Ocean Park.

Indeed, Hong Kong Ocean Park has gone a lot better with the birth of the king penguin, and the completion of its developments. Therefore, Hong Kong air tickets are expected to sell like hotcakes these days. Well, it’s not like it’s not a usual thing, right?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Tiger Airways Guarantee Better Transit Experiences at Changi

Tiger Airways
Image source: Travel Daily News Asia

Low-cost carrier Tiger Airways now assures hassle-free transit experiences for its passengers at the Changi International Airport. With this move, the airline company has set better standards for other budget airlines which said the airport had been servicing. This means better travel feats for many who have to fly through Singapore to other cities around the world.

Known as the TigerConnect, passengers with connecting flights at Changi are now permitted to obtain their onward boarding passes directly from the transfer desk at the transit area. Because of this, they can easily continue with their travel without the need to pass through immigration and baggage concerns.

The service, which is basically a part of the Changi Airport Groups’s (CAG) Changi Connects, will require passengers to pay SG$16 (US$13) per person. Budget travelers will surely find it affordable, considering the convenience it assures. Not going through the immigrations and baggage concerns is certainly a comfort for those who are just transiting through Singapore.

It is also stated that TigerConnect will be available not just to Singapore, but to 50 other destinations as well. It will also apply to the partner airline companies of Tiger Airways – Mandala Airlines and SEAir. Join itineraries with Scoot will also be offered, as well as an airport transfer feature.

According to Mandala Airlines President/Director Paul Rombeek , this will particularly benefit those coming from Indonesia as most of the flights to China, Australia, India, and others are transiting at the Changi International Airport in Singapore.

TigerConnect will be offered beginning February 1, 2013.  As a kick-off promo, there will be a 50% discount on connecting flights through selected routes booked from January 10 to 16 from its website.

Tiger Airways is the second LCC to offer this kind of development. Singapore-based Scoot Airlines has previously launched Scoot-Thru which is basically similar to the TigerConnect feature. It is also a program under Changi Connect.

This is definitely an exciting implementation from Tiger Airways and Changi International Airport. Aside from guaranteeing convenience, it will certainly allow passengers to save time and eventually grant them more chances to enjoy the features of the world-renowned airport while waiting for their flights. Hopefully, more and more budget airlines will follow the trend.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Travelling Free and Easy

Relax Traveller

The concept of free and easy tour packages was developed by the tourism industry in order to provide travelers with the freedom of designing their own itineraries while grabbing the different money- and time-saving opportunities offered by many travel agencies.

 Putting it simply, the free and easy concept exempts travelers from a schedule designed by the agency. Without restraint, people can roam around places, on their own. They can go to places they wish to visit, see things they wish to see, and experiences feats they wish to experience. There is no need to worry about wasting money due to coming to attractions that they find boring.

Just a few tips though. When availing of free and easy tour packages, it is best to plan an itinerary prior to the trip. Touring a city impulsively could disregard the advantage of getting cheap flight tickets as it would definitely require tourists to spend way beyond the supposed budget.

 Learning the language used in the city to visit will be very helpful. Conversational phrases will surely come in handy when interacting with locals when, for example, trying to find the way to the subway station or asking where the payphone is. Remember, free and easy means independence. There is no tour guide to translate things, so better learn even just a bit of the language.

Going around the city in groups will be very beneficial for those who choose the free and easy tour package. While it is exciting and challenging to tour a foreign city alone, it sometimes gets boring and scary at times. Having companies will surely lighten up the mood and will make one feel safer and more at ease. Further, it is more fun to have someone to spaz things with.

Talking about security, it is best not to avail of free and easy tours when in doubt about the security implemented in the city to be visited. Remember, touring around in big groups is way much better and safer than getting around a place in smaller factions. Consider the travel warnings, and feel secure.

To avoid danger, it is also advised that the tourists tone their selves low. Flashy outfits could attract unwanted attention. Sporting so much jewelry could tempt robbers. Carrying big backpacks could encourage pickpockets. The hotel safes are there for reasons. If it is unavoidable to leave things behind, use smaller bags.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Yes to Safety Flights!

Long Flights

Safety is the most important issue to press when flying. It is one of the major concerns of people who do flight bookings from time to time. However, the safety of a passenger does not just rely on the services of the airline company. The passenger, himself, has the obligation to do certain things that would assure his well-being while on board.

Here are some of the most typical things to remember:

1) Never leave things unattended
A bag left unattended can cause mayhem. It may be deemed suspicious as its unknown content could pose a threat to the people on the plane. Thus, it is important that people do not leave their things unguarded, or just anywhere. 

2) Do not bring deadly weapons or dangerous materials to the plane
Sometimes, security lapses can occur. Dangerous materials can be brought to the plane and it could cause pandemonium when found out. It is best not to bring these sorts of things on board as it would definitely frighten other passengers. 

3) Pay attention to the pre-flight orientation
Prevention is always better than cure; so it is best to listen to the rules and regulations implemented by the airline company which is to be discussed by the flight attendants prior to the flight. Safety precautions will also be explained; as well as the things to do in case of emergencies.

4) Store heavy baggage under the plane seat
Putting heavy things in the plane compartment can be risky. If the plane meets turbulence and the compartment is not locked, things could fall and eventually hurt the passengers. The best place to store these pieces of baggage is under the seat in front. 

5) Do not get drunk
Some airline companies allow their passengers to drink while on board but it is advisable not to get drunk to not make the other passengers uncomfortable. Sometimes, conflicts during flights are caused by too much intoxication. 

6) Buckle on!
Planes meet turbulences unexpectedly. No one can predict it, after all. That is why passengers must always remember to keep their seatbelts buckled. This will secure them on their seats and keep them safe in case the plane experience instability.

7) Listen to the flight attendants
Flight attendants are there not just to assist the pilots, but also to constantly remind the passengers of the different rules and regulations implemented by the company. For safety purposes, it is best to follow their orders. 

8) Always keep calm
Most of the time, panic is inflicted by paranoia. That is why, it is important to keep calm all the time. In case of emergencies, always listen to the instructions of the flight attendants to avoid pandemonium. 

Upon buying flight tickets, people are also given the responsibility to keep themselves safe from harm. That issue of safety does not just come from the company. It is a two-way process and passengers are expected to keep up with it, for their own satisfaction.

Monday, October 22, 2012

New Stopover Packages from Changi Airport, SIA and SilkAir

Singapore Airlines  Silk Air
Aiming to provide better services to the people, Changi Airport Group (CAG) has renewed its ties with two top airline companies in Singapore, Singapore Airlines (SIA) and SilkAir. This rekindling of partnerships paves the way for the introduction of new stopover packages.

Until March 28, 2013, people can avail of exciting packages for cheap promotional rates which start from S$54 (US$44). Promos are applicable only to flights scheduled from October 1, 2012, to March 31, 2013.

Known as the Singapore Stopover Holiday packages, these offers cover good accommodations and complimentary transfers. Making it more exciting, there are also packages that offer unlimited SIA Hop-on Bus rides and free admission to 14 top Singapore attractions like the Singapore Flyer, MINT Museum of Toys, HiPPO Rivercruise, Singapore Zoo, and National Orchid Garden.

Basically, this move from CAG, SIA, and SilkAir will contribute immensely to the tourism industry of Singapore. According to Peh Ke-Wei, VP for Passenger Development of CAG, these packages will surely encourage travelers to experience Singapore and Changi Airport at their best.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

70 New Airports for China by 2015

Photo by Keith Chan 

Within the next three years, China will be establishing 70 new airports as part of a large-scale plan to expand the aviation industry despite the economic slowdown.

As pointed out by Li Jianxiang, the head of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), this idea to build more airports in the country is based on its significant increase in the fleet – after settling a plan to buy more than 300 carriers in a span of five years.

Li added during the annual general meeting of IATA that aside from the plan to construct new airports, the old ones will be expanded and improved. This arrangement would give China more than 230 flight hubs by 2015, to cater to the 4,700 planes which are expected to be owned by the nation by then.

This ambitious move was set after IATA head Tony Tyler revealed that the global profits from airlines would most likely decrease due to the skyrocketing oil prices and various crises. Although the industry in the Asia Pacific is expected to receive a total of US$2 billion in gains, it is still less than half of the income received in 2011.

The group did not provide any prognosis to the Chinese market, especially since it has been a constant favorite of travelers and the Chinese people love travelling. However, the slowing economic growth of China (along with India) can be partly blamed.

In the first quarter of 2012, China’s economy raised only 8.1%. It is the slowest pace in three years.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

More Filipinos Travel to Hong Kong and Singapore on 2012

Hong Kong travel
Photo by Simon Zhu 

According to recent surveys, many Filipino tourists still prefer to travel to Hong Kong and Singapore for vacation and leisure. Thanks to the frequency of flights to the city offered by different airline companies, said Tim Tio, sales and outbound marketing manager of Travelite Travel and Tours Philippines.

Hong Kong received a 15.6-percent increase in arrival from the Philippines from January to July 2012. In 2011, it received 659,829 visitors. Singapore, on the other hand, has been visited by 677,681 Filipinos that year; and had served 154 flights, compared to the 148 which landed in Hong Kong.

It is the boosting tourism industries of Singapore and Hong Kong that are held responsible for the statistics. Hong Kong is very much known for its shopping culture which Filipino travelers truly take pleasure in. On the other hand, it is the Singapore attractions - Resorts World Sentosa and Universal Studios Singapore - which immensely contribute to the strong number of arrivals from the Philippines.

This kind of set-up is expected to continue especially with the opening of the Legoland in Johor Bahru (Malaysia), which is easily accessed from Singapore. Some travel agencies in the Philippines have begun to offer tours to the amusement park, which will cover transfers from a hotel in Singapore to Legoland, and back.

But if Singapore and Hong Kong are enjoying a great reception from Philippine tourists, Malaysia seemed to have experienced a drop in 2011. That is why Malaysia has prompted a more aggressive tourism program which includes product seminars in Manila, Clark, Cebu, and Davao. Positive results have been noted in June 2012 though.

Furthermore, new air links have been established by different airline companies originating from the Philippines to Malaysia. Airphil Express, Zest Air, and SEAir offered flights to the country earlier this year; while Cebu Pacific Air is set to launch flights from Cebu to Kuala Lumpur, come December.