By Jennifer Hohepa-Lam and Tim van der Pas, Efficient Hotel Partner, 28 July 2017
Earthquake off Greek and Turkish coasts
A 6.7 magnitude earthquake rocked the Greek Island of Kos early last Friday, killing at least two people and injuring hundreds of people. The quake’s epicenter was just 16.2 kilometers (10.1 miles) east-northeast of Kos, in the sea between Greece and Turkey. About 200,000 tourists were on the island at the time of the quake and ferries were unable to dock at the port of Kos due to the damage. The epicenter was also close to the Turkish port city of Bodrum, a seaside resort popular with tourists and Turks alike. At least a dozen aftershocks shook the area over the three hours following the initial quake and may continue for weeks.
The electronic travel ban is over
The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced last week that an estimated 180 airlines around the world will not face any restrictions after they complied with the first phase of enhanced security measures. The DHS also announced that it has lifted the previous ban on large electronic devices including laptops and tablets for airlines which fly to the U.S., including Saudi Arabian Airlines. The original ban on larger electronic devices was implemented in March to combat the possibility that terrorists could smuggle explosives via laptops or tablets on U.S.-bound international flights.
US Government issues full travel ban to North Korea
Visiting North Korea may soon become illegal as the United States government will reportedly issue a full travel ban for the country. Two tour groups operating in the country have been contacted by officials from the American government and told that the passports of U.S. citizens would be invalidated starting 30 days after July 27. Officials from President Donald Trump’s administration also confirmed the change. In the past, between 800 and 1250 U.S. citizens visited North Korea each year, but the number dropped drastically after the imprisonment of 21-year-old University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier.
World’s first Marvel superhero hotel to open at Disneyland Paris
Disney is bringing the Avengers to Paris with the opening of its new Marvel Universe-themed hotel. The Disneyland opening will be called Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel (replacing the resort’s current Hotel New York) and will display props and costumes from numerous Marvel films and television shows, as well as artwork inspired by the original comic books. The exterior is rumoured to resemble Stark Tower, Tony Stark/Iron Man’s Manhattan skyscraper. Inside, the four-star hotel will offer 565 guest rooms, as well as a distinctive New York-inspired décor that, from the renderings, also appears to resemble Iron Man’s fictional high-rise hideout. An opening date has not, as of yet, been revealed.
New hotel policies mean a late cancellation will cost you
Business travel can be unpredictable: Flights can be delayed, meetings rescheduled or assignments changed, sometimes with little notice. But now, those last-minute changes could prove costly as more hotels impose 48-hour minimums for cancelling a stay without penalty. Marriott International was the first with the new policy. Last month, it put into effect a 48-hour cancellation policy for new bookings within the Marriott and Starwood brand families in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America. Hilton Worldwide is imposing a similar cancellation policy in the United States and Canada for new bookings as of the end of this month.
National Tequilla Day
On Monday, July 24, it was National Tequila Day. Did you know about this, and if you did, did you consume any? National Tequila Day can be celebrated all around the world. Made from the blue agave plant, you may have heard tequila referred to as the ‘champagne of Mexico.’ Whether you’re taking a shot, just sipping or mixing up a delicious margarita, Mexico is the best place to enjoy tequila. If you’re not in Mexico anytime soon, you can still hit up your local liquor store for one of these tasty tequilas to celebrate this fun holiday: Casa Noble, Jose Cuervo, Patrón and Casamigos.