Travel Case

Maldives Offers New Islands for Resorts

The Indian Ocean island of the Maldives plans to open 11 new islands to foreign investors to develop upmarket tourist resorts, an official said on Wednesday.

The new resorts, some to be built on reclaimed land, will add to the 33 resorts islands currently under development, the island’s Planning Ministry executive director, Mohamed Shareef, said.

Potential investors also win the right to 100 hectares of coral reef, from which they can reclaim up to 15 hectares for additional resort land.

Bikini Nuclear Site Diving Closes

A unique Pacific tourist operation offering diving amongst a fleet of sunken World War II ships at Bikini Atoll is closing due to unreliable air links and rising costs, officials said.

The scuba-diving business that has lured thousands of visitors from around the world to the former nuclear-bomb test site in the western Pacific state of the Marshall Islands will close in June, Bikini Atoll Divers manager Jack Niedenthal said.

“After 13 great – though challenging – years as one of the premier wreck diving and fishing tourism sites in the Pacific, Bikini Atoll will be closed to tourists as of June 11,” Niedenthal said.

Singapore Receives Record Visitors

SINGAPORE ~ Singapore received a record 826,000 visitors in April, up 0.8 percent over the same month a year ago, tourism officials said this week.

Indonesia, China, Australia, India, and Malaysia generated the most visitors to the city-state last month, accounting for 51 percent of total arrivals, the Singapore Tourism Board said.

The average hotel room rate jumped 32.5 percent to S$254 (US$187), while the average occupancy rate dropped 1 percentage point to 84 percent over April last year.

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