Last updated: 09:34 AM ET, Fri December 11 2015

EMEA Pulse: Stories You Should Read for Dec. 11, 2015

Destination & Tourism | Josh Lew | December 11, 2015

EMEA Pulse: Stories You Should Read for Dec. 11, 2015

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock 

Is Australia’s Infrastructure Causing It To Miss The Tourism Boom?
Long customs lines, a lack of taxis, the hit-or-miss quality of the hospitality industry and a lack of transportation options to some tourist attractions: these are a few of the problems that some pundits are saying could cause Australia to miss out on a potential tourism windfall. 

Air New Zealand Begins Using Biometric Scanners At Self Baggage Check
Air New Zealand has installed new self-baggage-check kiosks equipped with biometric scanners. Passengers swipe their boarding pass and passport then have a picture of their face taken. The photo is scanned by a biometric program. If their identity is confirmed, they can check their a bag without having to wait for an agent.

Japanese Firms Bid To Build High-Speed Rail Network In India
India’s cabinet ministers have cleared a $14 billion Japanese bid to build a high speed rail link between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. The trip, which currently takes seven hours, could be cut to two hours. Chinese, French and Spanish companies are also studying the feasibility of funding and building bullet train routes on the subcontinent.

Taiwan Billed As “Peaceful Antidote To Bustling China”
Because it never underwent the Cultural Revolution or the no-holds-barred overnight modernization that took place in the PRC, Taiwan remains a bastion of traditional Chinese culture, with hot springs, forests, relatively clean air and a relaxed pace of life.


Travelers in the EU will soon be able to access their Netflix and SkyGo accounts when they are outside of their home country. Many people were previously not able to use their Netflix service once they left their home country. A commission argues that “cross-border portability” for subscription services should be a right for all EU consumers.   
Australia’s Federal Tourism Minister, Richard Colbeck, is floating a radical idea that could draw more Chinese tourists to Australia. The plan is to include Chinese translations on highway road signs. Colbeck told the Associated Press "with China being one of our most important markets, we need to make sure we service it properly.” 

Chinese companies are trying to take advantage of the huge number of Chinese tourists heading to Japan. Chinese investment firms are buying shares in hotels, ski resorts and other hospitality-related businesses in Japan. For  example, Shanghai Yuyuan Tourist Mart recently acquired a 100 percent share of the popular Tomamu Ski Resort on Hokkaido. 

Ryanair has announced that it will start offering flights from Greece to Malta. Overall, the budget carrier will deliver 1.5 million travelers to Malta from 37 destinations next near. Most of these people will come during the summer vacation season.  

Tokyo’s newest craze? Owl cafes. This new nightlife fad is the latest in a long line of animal cafes (apparently cat cafes, rabbit cafes, and lizard cafes are now passé). For a fee, guests can interact up close with one of the venues' winged residents. 


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