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This is Wikitravel's Travel news section, about issues affecting travelers, both positively and negatively. For more general news, see Wikinews (

Please feel free to or add to news items below. For instructions on how to use the Newsitem template or how to add news items to the Main Page, please see Wikitravel:How to add travel news.

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Travel news

January 2006

Caracas airport bridge closure

11 January 2006

Due to signs of impending bridge collapse, the main highway between Venezuelan capital Caracas and its international airport has been closed. Land travel via alternative routes may take up to five hours, although business travellers in a hurry may opt for a helicopter transfer instead. A replacement bridge will not be ready until mid-2007 at the earliest. (more...)

Travel news

Harbin Ice Festival opens

05 January 2006

The 22nd International Snow and Ice Festival in the Chinese city of Harbin has kicked off. The festival continues until February 5. (more...)

Travel news

Ukrainian gas dispute

04 January 2006

The Ukraine may experience a signuficant decrease in natural gas supplies from the Russian owned Gazprom company. The dispute started as four-fold increase in the price of natural gas from the Ukraine's natural gas suppliers. The Ukraine has protested that rate increase and supplies were cut off. The dispute affected reserves and prices in several West European nations and could affect heating prices and various other prices in the Ukraine. (more...)

Travel news

New passport policy for U.S. travel

03 December 2006

By 2008, all travelers, including U.S citizens, to and from the Caribbean, Bermuda, Canada, Mexico and Central and South America, will be required to have a passport to enter or re-enter the United States. The aim, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (, is to strengthen border security. By December 31, 2006, the requirement will be applied to air and sea travel to or from Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. One year later, it will be extended to all land border crossings as well as air and sea travel. (more...)

Travel news

December 2005

Travel news

Nauru and Kiribati inaccessible

22 December 2005

After its last plane was impounded, Air Nauru has been forced to halt services, cutting off all scheduled air traffic to the Pacific island nations of Nauru and Kiribati. Air Pacific, Air Vanuatu and Alliance Airlines will continue some services on an ad-hoc basis, but future arrangements remain unclear. (more...)

Travel news

Arlanda airport has opened sleeping rooms

19 December 2005

Stockholm Arlanda International Airport opened forty-four sleeping rooms today. The options are a short rest of maximum 4 hours for 1-4 persons at the price of 295 SEK, or a longer period of up to 10 hours starting at 445 SEK for 1 person. The mini-hotel is located very close to the check-in discs at terminal 4. Visit the Homepage ( for further information. (more...)

Travel news

New nightlife in Singapore

16 December 2005

Singapore's campaign to shake off its staid image continues with Parisian topless revue Crazy Horse ( and London's megaclub Ministry of Sound ( both opening new outlets in Clarke Quay. Legendary nightclub Zouk ( has also struck back with a S$9 million renovation. (more...)

Travel news

Pune Airport is now international

12 December 2005

Pune Airport has been upgraded to take international flights. The first flight to Dubai goes out at 3:15 pm on 12 December 2005. This upgrade will take some pressure off the international airport in nearby Bombay (more...)

Travel news

Swiss Rail Smoking ban

10 December 2005

As of 11 December 2005 a complete smoking ban will take effect on all trains of the Swiss Federal Railway ( The ban will also include interior spaces of all Swiss train stations. The railway expects to save 2.5 million swiss francs per year on cleaning expenses alone. (more...)

Travel news

Paragon Bangkok opens

9 December 2005

Bangkok's largest shopping mall, the immense Siam Paragon ( opposite Siam Square, has opened. The mall also features South-East Asia's largest aquarium. (more...)

Travel news

Goodbye, Routemaster

8 October 2005. This Thursday London will see the withdrawal of its iconic double-decker buses from their last remaining route. The aged vehicle will be replaced by more user-friendly buses. 16 Routemasters, however, will be restored to their full 1960s glory and keep running on two heritage routes through the center of the capital. 1 (

Travel news

Indian Airline changes name to "Indian"

7 December 2005 India's public sector domestic airline "Indian Airlines" has gone in for a rebranding exercise and changed its name to "Indian". It will also get a new logo and will buy new planes for the first time in 15 years 2 (

Travel news

Cold wave in North India

7 December 2005 The northern states of India are experiencing a cold wave 3 ( This cold weather is rather unexpected at this time of the month. It usually gets cold towards end-december. It snowed in Srinagar(Kashmir) - 4 ft - last week.

Travel news

Situation under control in Madras

7 December 2005 The media had exagerated that three fourths of the city is under water. Only the low lying and lake-adjacent areas were flooded. However, the current situation is stable. Rails have started plying and the airport is also back to normalcy. They even played 2 days of the India-SriLanka Cricket match yesterday and the day-before-yesterday.

Travel news

Flooding in Madras (Chennai)

4 December 2005 Cyclone "Baaz" has affected 4 ( Madras badly. Three fourths of the city is under water. 300,000 people have been affected, with 75,000 reportedly evacuated. More rains have been forecast on SUnday night. The water has entered the railway station and the airport. Travel is likely to be disrupted for the next few days.

Some parts of the state of Tamil Nadu are still affected. If you are planning to travel around TamilNadu, it would be advisable to ask local authorities before doing so.

Travel news

US Air travel rules revised

1 December 2005 The Indianapolis Star (among others) is reporting ( the US Transportation Safety administration is making some of the most sweeping changes in travel security since the agency came into existence in late 2001. It appears that nail clippers may once again be allowed on flights.

Travel news

UK Rail Travel Disruption expected for Christmas

1 December 2005 The Times Online is reporting (,,9077-1899128,00.html) that rail travel in the South of England will be severely disrupted during work which is to commence 26 December, 2005 and which will continue for several weeks into the new year.

Travel news

November 2005

Travel news

Bombings hit Amman, Jordan hotels

9 November 2005 At least three bombs exploded in the hotel district of Amman, Jordan in an attack that appears to have targeted US-based hotels chains. Currently, 53 deaths and several hundred injuries have been reported. The targeted hotels include Grand Hyatt Hotel, Radisson SAS Hotel, and the Days Inn Hotel. Streets are closed and the city is under a "security lockdown" as of Wednesday night. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Travel news

France declares state of emergency

8 November 2005

France declared a 12-day state of emergency in an attempt to calm nightly rioting that began in the suburbs of Paris and has quickly spread to suburban housing projects (estates) in the rest of the country. The United States state department has issued an alert ( but unless you intend to visit large public housing facilities after dark it is unlikely you'll see or hear anything.

Travel news

September 2005

Travel news

Unrest in Indonesia

10 October 2005

In Indonesia, a 126% fuel price on October 1st has caused rapid increases in transportation and goods prices across the archipelago. Violent protest demonstrations have, however, so far been notably absent.

29 September 2005

In Indonesia, a fuel price increase scheduled for October 1st has sparked hoarding, shortages and numerous public demonstrations. Public transportation has also been disrupted.

Fuel shortages currently affect the entire country, including Bali. Strategic points in large cities such as Jakarta and Surabaya have heavy police and security presence. Steer clear of demonstrations, as they have the potential to turn violent and police may also use heavy-handed methods to clear them. However, a repeat of the 1997 mayhem that led to the downfall of Suharno's regime is unlikely, as the Indonesian economy is generally considered to be in better shape.

Travel news

Hong Kong Disneyland opens

12 September 2005

Hong Kong's Disneyland (, the first in China, has opened to the public. Tickets start from HK$295, but have been sold out for the first days. The park is located on the island of Lantau, a 20-minute train ride from the city center or airport.

Travel news

July 2005

Travel news

Spring is in the air

19 July 2005

China's first low-cost carrier, Spring Airlines (, has completed its maiden flight between Shanghai and Yantai. Prices start from Y200, a quarter of rivals' fares, and a revolution in Chinese flight pricing seems set to follow. 800-820-6222

Travel news

Explosions in the London Underground

5 August 2005

Full service is now running on all lines.

18 July 2005

Transport in London is slowly returning to normal after the bombings, but the entire Circle Line and sections of some other lines remain closed. Bus services operate to replace most closed sections. Up-to-date information for line closings and network status is available on the Transport for London ( site.

7 July 2005

Four nearly simultaneous explosions rocked central London's transport network at the height of the morning commuter rush hour in what appears to have been a well-planned terrorist attack, presumably made to coincide with the G8 Summit at the Gleneagles Resort in Perthshire, Scotland. A group connected to al-Qaida have claimed responsibility for the atrocities.

Thirty-seven people have been killed and hundreds more have been injured, several critically 5 (

Transportation systems throughout London were shut down or disabled in reponse to the incidents. The Underground is closed for the day, and may remain closed longer. Rail service in and out of London is interrupted, and the bus service is also disabled in the Central Zone 1. By evening, many - though not all - services were beginning to return to relative normality.

British Transport Police have a number for calls from family concerned about victims: +44 20 8358 0101. People outside the UK should contact their local British embassy or consulate.

Travel news

Currency revaluation in Romania

1 July 2005

Romania has introduced the new leu (RON) at an exchange rate of 10000 old lei to one new leu. Old banknotes and coins remain legal tender until the end of 2006. Further information (|)

Travel news

June 2005

Travel news

Historic Paris department store closed "for reasons of safety"

28 June 2005' The historic Samaritaine ( department store, occupying the same building in the 1st arrondissement of Paris since 1901 closed today "for reasons of safety" according to an announcement by LVMH Paris, the company which owns the store. The store will be closed for at least 6 year for study and renovation.

Some activists have raised the suspicion that the company plans to replace the store with a hotel; LVMH denies this, and has significantly promised "no layoffs at all" will result from the closing.

Travel news

Civil unrest in Bolivia

10 June 2005

Protests in the Bolivian capital La Paz have abated after president Carlos Mesa stepped down and the situation is returning to normal. Travellers are still advised to exercise caution.

8 June 2005

The Bolivian capital La Paz has been crippled by protests against the government, including a transport strike, food shortages and a blockade of the road to the international airport. Most flights have been cancelled and travellers are advised to steer clear.

Further information: US State Department travel advisory for Bolivia (

Travel news

May 2005

Travel news

Cheap flights in India

24 May 2005

Spice Jet ( has joined India's fast-growing discount airline market. There are now three operators in the country, offering fares starting from Rs 99.

Travel news

April 2005

Travel news

Wynn Las Vegas opens

28 April 2005

Wynn Las Vegas (, at $2.7 billion the most expensive resort ever built, has opened in Las Vegas. The casino-resort features a private golf course, an artificial mountain with a 5-story waterfall and a million-gallon water tank for the nightly show. Needless to say, there's also over 100,000 square feet of casino space. Room rates start at $250.

Travel news

Egypt to re-open tombs of Thutmose III, Merenptah

16 April 2005

Egyptian Minister of Culture Farouq Hosni announced he will today re-open the tombs of Thutmose III and Merneptah in the Valley of the Kings after their 6 month closure for restoration.

Zahi Hawwas, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), said the tombs of Ramesses III and Ramesses VI, meanwhile, will be closed for regular rejuvenation work.

Travel news

Acela Express suspended

27 April 2005

The service suspension is now expected to continue until "sometime in summer". 6 (

15 April 2005

Amtrak ('s Acela Express service between Washington, New York and Boston has been suspended until further notice while cracks in brake rotors are investigated. Additional Regional and Metroliner services are running instead. Services are planned to resume on April 23 at the earliest.

Travel news

March 2005

Travel news

Expo 2005 opens

25 March 2005

Aichi Expo 2005, held near Nagoya, Japan, has opened. The $3-billion 121-country extravaganza with the theme "Nature's Wisdom", featuring robots, frozen mammoths and much more, will run until September 25. Tickets cost ¥4500 per day at the door and 15 million visitors are expected.

Travel news

February 2005

Travel news

Chubu International Airport opens

17 February 2005

Chubu International Airport, Japan's third major international gateway, has opened near Nagoya. Also known as Centrair, the 24-hour airport is on an artificial island 30 minutes south from the center of town and opens on time to serve Expo 2005, kicking off in March. The new airport replaces the existing Nagoya airport and also takes over its IATA code NGO.

Travel news

Tropical cyclone strikes Cook Islands

6 February 2005

Cook Islands emergency center officials expressed relief today that damage from Tropical Cylone Meena, a category 5 storm, was less severe than anticipated after the eye of the storm bypassed the main island of RarotongaRarotonga. Over the previous 2 days, as the storm made its way through the island group, flights to and from both RarotongaRarotonga and the outlying islands had been suspended, planes put under cover or flown out of the area and tourist resorts evacuated in the face of forecasts of 270 km/h wind gusts and 10 metre storm surges. Although flights resumed only 15 hours after the storm passed to the east, there was significant local flooding caused by 15 m high waves. Iconic store Trader Jacks was inundated by the sea as were other parts of AvaruaAvarua town and northern Rarotonga coast. Although the cleanup is expected to take several weeks, damage was nowhere near as severe as that caused by Cyclone Heta to Niue in January 2004.

Travel news

State of emergency declared in Nepal

On Feb 1st 2005, King Gyanendra of Nepal dismissed the government and declared a state of emergency. Kathmandu airport is open and internet and phone lines are operating as usual (after a temporary suspension). There has been no violence in the capital, but the future remains uncertain. Foreign tourists are not a target in this internal dispute, and have continuously been welcomed by all sides. However, the situation could deteriorate, and so it is recommended to check news reports and government travel advisories before traveling to the kingdom. If you do decide to travel in Nepal and wish to avoid possible trouble spots, the Everest (Khumbu) region is no doubt the place least likely to be effected.

Travel news

January 2005

Travel news

Egypt announces price rises for tourist entry to monuments

21 January 2005

Reports from Egypt reveal that the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities has raised all ticket prices for tourist admission to the country's vast array of ancient and medieval monuments. Above-inflation price hikes, effective immediately, range between 40% to 175%, with the average increase standing around 75% - the largest increase was applied to the Valley of the Kings, with tickets allowing entry to three tombs each leaping from LE (Egyptian Pounds) 20 to LE 55 (175%).

The list below (not exhaustive) displays both the previous prices and the increased prices for Egypt's primary monuments and sites, arranged from north to south:


  • Greco-Roman Museum (16) 30
  • the Catacombs (12) 20
  • Pompey's pillar (6) 10
  • the Royal Jewelry museum (20) 35


  • the Egyptian Museum (20) 40
  • the Royal Mummies (40) 70
  • the Citadel (20) 35
  • the Coptic Museum (16) 30
  • the Giza Plateau (Pyramids) (20) 40
    • the Pyramid of Khufu (40) 100 (price increase took effect in 2004)
    • the Pyramid of Khafre (10) 20
    • the Pyramid of Menkaure (10) 25
    • the Solar Boat Museum (20) 35
  • Saqqara (20) 35
  • Memphis (14) 25
  • Dahshur (10) 20

Dendera (12) 20


  • the Temple of Luxor (20) 35
  • the Temple of Karnak (20) 40
  • Luxor Museum (20) 35
  • the Mummification Museum (20) 35
  • the Valley of the Kings (20) 55
  • the Tomb of Tutankhamun KV62 (40) 70
  • the Valley of the Queens (12) 20
  • the Valley of the Nobles (12) 20
  • Deir el Medina (12) 20
  • Deir el Bahari (Temple of Hatshepsut) (12) 20
  • the Ramesseum (12) 20
  • Medinet Habu (12) 20
  • the Temple of Seti I (12) 20

Esna (8) 15

Edfu (20) 35

Kom Ombo (10) 20


  • the Unfinished Obelisk (10) 20
  • the Nubian Museum (20) 35
  • the Aswan Museum (10) 20
  • the Temple of Philae (20) 35
  • the Temple of Kalabsha (12) 20

Abu Simbel (30) 50

Travel news

Turkey introduces new currency

1 January 2005

Turkey has introduced the New Turkish lira code TRY 7 ( as a replacement currency for the old Turkish lira - the new currency is marked YTL (Yeni Türk Lirası) is equivalent to 1 million of the old, allowing quoted prices to be slashed by six zeros "x,000,000" or six decimal places. The hugely inflated figures were the result of escalating inflation in the Turkish economy during the 1980s and 1990s, and were the basis for any number of tourist scams - not least the handing back of short change, owing to tourists' carelessness and / or confusion over the zeros. The old currency will be valid until the end of the year (2005), allowing frequent travellers opportunity to exchange old notes.

Conversion rates on 1 January 2005:

  • USD 1.00 = TRL 1,325,700.00 = TRY 1.3257
  • EUR 1.00 = TRL 1,798,179.00 = TRY 1.79818
  • TRY 1.00 = USD 0.75432
  • TRY 1.00 = EUR 0.55612
Travel news

Giza Pyramid of Khafre re-opens to the public

1 January 2005

As of the New Year, the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities has announced that the Pyramid of Khafre (Chephren), the second largest pyramid on the Giza plateau, has now re-opened to the public on a permanent basis after nearly two years of renovation and conservation. Under the system of rotation, the smallest Giza pyramid, that of Menkaure, will now close to the public for a similar program of cleaning and conservation.

Travel news

December 2004

Travel news

Earthquake and tsunami devastates south-east and south Asia

28 December 2004

Travellers are now being warned to revise their travel plans to the affected areas, not merely on account of the devastation and danger of aftershocks, but also on account of threat of disease from contaminated water and unrecovered bodies.

27 December 2004

Although hampered by distance, isolation and poor communications, reports are coming in that tell of potentially hundreds (if not thousands) of tourist deaths in the areas, alongside the horrific toll the waves have taken on local inhabitants.

26 December 2004

An extremely powerful, undersea earthquake of magnitude 9.0 8 ( off the north coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra created a devastating tsunami (tidal wave) that has wrought devastation along the coasts of countries neighbouring the north Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal - these include Thailand, Sri Lanka, India and the Maldives.

Tsunami were historically referred to as tidal waves because as they approach land they take on the characteristics of a violent onrushing tide, rather than the sort of cresting waves that are formed by wind action upon the ocean. However, as they are caused by uplift earthquakes displacing large volumes of water rather than the tidal action of the Moon's gravitation, the term is considered misleading, and its use is deprecated by experts.

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