By Mandeep S Lambaand Dipti Mohan
This article briefly highlights some of the measures that can help Bhopal, the capital city of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, become a popular leisure tourism destination.
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Indonesia-based PT Kios Ria Kreasi and US-based Paramount Pictures have recently signed a deal to start building a theme park in Pekutatan, Jembrana regency in Bali. The event of the signing was broadcasted and virtually attended by Indonesian officials including the People’s Consultative Assembly Speaker, Bambang Soesatyo, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister, Sandiaga Uno, and Bali Governor, Wayan Koster. According to Soesatyo, the theme park is set to boost Bali’s economy and international tourism standing post-COVID-19. The targeted location of the theme park at the 95-kilometre Gilimanuk-Mengwi toll road development area is strategically located to connect the Gilimanuk port to the cities of Denpasar, Badung, Gianyar, and Tabanan, which increases the ease of access to the theme park. The theme park is estimated to hold a soft launch in 2025 and is expected to attract up to five million visitors annually.
On 27 July 2021, the Taiwan government has lowered its COVID-19 pandemic alert from Level Three to Level Two. Following this announcement, various counties have eased restrictions and have progressively reopened for tourism. The Lienchiang County government has lifted restrictions on Matsu Island, where indoor dining is permitted, and tourism attractions are partially reopened with a limit of 50 people. Pingtung County has authorised five beaches to reopen in Kenting National Park, while the Penghu County would also reopen all tourism attractions and tourist centres from 27 July 2021, with social distancing and masking measures in place. Yilan County has announced that Turtle Island would be open from 29 July 2021, with whale and dolphin-watching cruises to continue its operations. Domestic visitors are only permitted to travel to these regions if they are either fully vaccinated for 14 days or have a negative PCR test three days before their departure, or a negative COVID-19 result at the airport. In addition, the Taiwanese government is currently in talks with the Palau government, to restart the travel bubble between the countries.
Hong Kong government has announced a series of policies to lift border restrictions to overseas travellers from 9 August 2021 onwards. The government has reclassified countries into three tiers: high-risk, medium-risk and low-risk. Vaccinated Hong Kong residents could now enter Hong Kong from ten previously banned high-risk countries including the United Kingdom, Russia and India with 21-day quarantine at designated hotels. Travellers, including Hong Kong residents and inoculated non-residents, from medium-risk countries, are allowed to enter Hong Kong with different quarantine rules. Vaccinated travellers from medium-risk countries with a positive antibody test result would only require a seven-day quarantine now. All vaccinated travellers from low-risk countries (Australia, New Zealand, Macau and Mainland China) could enter Hong Kong with seven-day quarantine, or 14-day quarantine if they are not vaccinated. 38% of the entire Hong Kong population have received the first dose of vaccine as of 5 August 2021. While the vaccination rate is insufficient to drive herd immunity, coupled with the fear of the spread of the delta variant, Hong Kong faces pressure to ease border restrictions to resume international trade, after seeing over 50 days of zero local infection.
The City of Melbourne has announced its approval for Australia-based IMG Investments Australia’s plan to construct the 27-storey Pullman hotel over a 105-year-old Edwardian poultry food warehouse. The AUD120 million hotel is designed by Elenberg Fraser and consists of 344 hotel rooms and 27 parking spaces. The heritage council’s adviser initially opposed the plan, stating their concerns that the new hotel would diminish the perception and appreciation of the integrity of the original heritage building. Therefore, the approved plans are to adopt a contemporary design distinguishable from the heritage building, blending a respectful contextual design that avoids a direct reproduction from its original form. To achieve this, the hotel would retain the building’s original façadeandrestore the brickwork but would utilise steel-framed doors and windows in replacement of the original. Other facilities within the hotel include hotel offices and retail spaces on the ground floor, a coworking and meeting space on the fourth floor, and a wellness centre on the fifth floor.