Chinese authorities have recognized that tourism is a key pillar of their economy, and they continue to invest heavily to improve infrastructure and standards, in addition to opening up the country with increasingly tourism-friendly policies and initiatives.
At the World Travel Market in London, Euromonitor International’s Head of Travel Caroline Bremner said: “Destinations like China are poised for a successful performance in inbound tourism, with China set to overtake France as the leading destination worldwide by 2030.”
The report estimates there will be 127 million arrivals in China each year by the end of the next decade, compared to 126 million in France and 116 million in the US.
And as household incomes and standards of living continue to rise, more Chinese are predicted to be travelling overseas in the coming decade than any other nationality.
Read more at World Economic Forum
From YouTube: Sakha is a region of highs, lows and little else. It’s home to Pik Pobeda, the highest mountain in Siberia, and where the lowest temperature in the Northern Hemisphere was recorded – a deadly -71.3C. It’s also the desolate and hostile landscape in which alpinists Tamara Lunger and Simone Moro found themselves in February 2018, preparing to attempt the first ever winter ascent of this 3003m frozen monolith.
The Henley Passport Index is a ranking of the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without first obtaining a visa.
Henley & Partners released this press release today:
Japan has overtaken Singapore to claim the top spot on the 2018 Henley Passport Index, having gained visa-free access to Myanmar this month. Japan now enjoys visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to 190 destinations, compared to Singapore’s total of 189. The countries have been neck and neck since they both climbed to 1st place in February, pushing Germany down to 2nd place for the first time since 2014.
Germany has now fallen further to 3rd place, which it shares with South Korea and France. Their nationals enjoy visa-free access to 188 countries. France moved up a place last Friday when it gained visa-free access to Uzbekistan. Iraq and Afghanistan continues to sit at the bottom (106th) of the Henley Passport Index — based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association(IATA).
The US and the UK, both with 186 destinations, have slid down yet another spot — from 4th to 5th place — with neither having gained access to any new jurisdictions since the start of 2018. With stagnant outbound visa activity compared to Asian high-performers, it seems unlikely they will regain the number 1 spot they jointly held in 2015 any time soon.
In general, the UAE has made the most remarkable ascent on the Henley Passport Index, from 62nd place in 2006 to 21st place worldwide currently, and looking ahead, the most dramatic climb might come from Kosovo, which officially met all the criteria for visa-liberalization with the EU in July and is now in discussions with the European Council.
Russia received a boost in September when Taiwan announced a visa-waiver, but the country has nonetheless fallen from 46th to 47th place due to movements higher up the ranking. The same is true of China: Chinese nationals obtained access to two new jurisdictions (St. Lucia and Myanmar), but the Chinese passport fell two places, to 71st overall.
Dr. Christian H. Kälin, Group Chairman of Henley & Partners, says countries with citizenship-by-investment (CBI) programs all fall within the top 50 of the Henley Passport Index. Newcomer Moldova, which is due to launch its CBI program in November, has climbed 20 places since 2008. “The travel freedom that comes with a second passport is significant, while the economic and societal value that CBI programs generate for host countries can be transformative,” says Dr. Kälin.
1. Japan (190 countries)
2. Singapore (189 countries)
3. Germany (188 countries)
4. (Tied) France, South Korea, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Sweden, Spain (187 countries)
5. (Tied) Norway, United Kingdom, Austria, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, USA (186 countries)
6. (Tied) Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, Ireland (185 countries)
7. (Tied) Australia, Greece, Malta (183 countries)
8. (Tied) New Zealand, Czech Republic (182 countries)
9. Iceland (181 countries)
10. (Tied) Hungary, Slovenia, Malaysia (180 countries)
History is full of long and legendary highways but none – frankly – come close to the Silk Road. It’s not just the magnitude (at least 4,000 miles, in more than 40 countries) but the mythic potency of the project. The world was cleft into east and west in the Middle Ages.
But long before, the Silk Road – which has existed in one form or another since the fourth century BC – breached any such divide. While trade was its raison d’être – Chinese silk, of course, but also salt, sugar, spices, ivory, jade, fur and other luxury goods – the road forged deep social, cultural and religious links between disparate peoples.
The Silk Road was not a road, but a network. The central caravan tract followed the Great Wall, climbed the Pamir Mountains into Afghanistan, and crossed to the Levant. Along the way were spurs branching off to river ports, caravanserai, oases, markets and pilgrimage centres. Journeys demanded meticulous preparation: the Silk Road and its tributaries cut through some of the harshest, highest, wildest places on Earth.
There are others. These were suggested by readers of The Guardian.
More at The Guardian
Ada Blackjack was barely five feet tall and 100 pounds and lacked any wilderness skills. Left alone in the arctic, she survived by teaching herself to hunt and trap, pick roots, haul wood, make her own clothing, and avoid hungry polar bears.
Except for the polar bears, a corpse, and a small house cat named Vic, Ada Blackjack found herself alone on Wrangel Island in late June 1923. Nearly two years had passed since a schooner dropped her off with four young white explorers who intended to claim the Arctic isle for the British.
Blackjack, a petite 23-year-old Inupiaq woman, had come along as a seamstress. Her job was to sew foul-weather clothing out of animal hides so the men could survive the northern winters. The team was planning to live off six months’ worth of supplies and local game before being relieved a year later with a new crew. But when a ship didn’t show up as promised in the summer of 1922, the expedition turned desperate. Three men went for help by dogsled over the ocean ice, some 100 miles south to Siberia, leaving Blackjack on her own to care for the remaining expedition member, Lorne Knight, who was bedridden with scurvy.