Last updated: 09:30 AM ET, Thu December 10 2015

EMEA Pulse: Stories You Should Read for Dec. 10, 2015

Destination & Tourism | Josh Lew | December 10, 2015

EMEA Pulse: Stories You Should Read for Dec. 10, 2015

These are the travel stories worth reading as you make your way around the internet this Thursday. 

Hard Rock Hotel To Open At Berlin’s Checkpoint Charlie
Germany’s first Hard Rock Hotel will be built next to one of Berlin's most iconic locations. Checkpoint Charlie was the name of one of the only crossings between East and West Berlin during the Cold War. The 372-room hotel, which will officially be called the Hard Rock Hotel Berlin Checkpoint Charlie, will open in 2020.

American Airlines Woos Aussie Passengers With Free Snacks And Pajamas
In a bid to compete with higher-rated carriers, American Airlines announced a new list of services for long haul flights from Australia. Fliers on transpacific routes will soon get to enjoy more leg room and noise canceling headphones. People who bump up to business class will get a free set of pajamas to wear on the overnight Australia-US flights.

India Considers Banning Elephant Rides
Courts in India have expressed concern for elephants being used to give tourists rides in Goa and Rajasthan. The Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre petitioned the court after they investigated and found evidence of mistreatment by the elephants' handlers. Judges will look at the issue within a month, and could possibly ban elephant rides.

British Airways Challenges Emirates With Dreamliner Flights To Dubai
British Airways will try to score an upset by challenging luxury carrier Emirates on its London-Dubai route. BA will compete by using one of its new 787 Dreamliners. The 787s will also be used on routes between the UK and Abu Dhabi and Muscat.


Palau has offered visa waivers for travelers from the European Union. The program, which officially started on Dec. 8, will allow EU passport holders to visit the tiny South Pacific nation visa free for up to 90 days. 

Best Western is offering a sweet deal to travelers in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. The hotel chain is reducing its rate by 20 percent for guests who book at least a two-night stay. 

Thanks to an increased number of Chinese shoppers and travelers, Japan and South Korea saw a huge jump in tax-free shopping revenue. In fact, the two countries accounted for 18 percent of the global tax free shopping spending in October. 

Even before their government issued warnings, Russians were traveling less. According to data from the tourism organization RATA, Russians took 10 million trips abroad during the first three quarters of 2015. That is down from 14.5 million during the same period in 2014  

Norway is apologizing after a picture on its official Instagram account offended some people. The picture was of gingerbread cookies shaped like F-35 fighter jets. Some of the country's peace-minded citizens took offense to the use of military aircraft shapes in being used for the popular holiday treat. 


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