(Dive Travel Business News - Tuesday January 15, 2012) --The U.S. Department of State is warning U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Kenya. The department said it is concerned about continuing and recently heightened threats from terrorism and the high rate of violent crime in some areas. The levels of risk vary throughout the country. The new warning replaces the Travel Warning of July 3, 2012.
The U.S. government continues to receive information about potential terrorist threats aimed at U.S., Western, and Kenyan interests in Kenya. Terrorist acts can include suicide operations, bombings, kidnappings, attacks on civil aviation, and attacks on maritime vessels in or near Kenyan ports. Although the pursuit of those responsible for previous terrorist activities continues, many of those involved remain at large and still operate in the region. read more »
(Dive Travel Business News - January 14, 2012) -- The British, Canadian and Dutch ambassadors to Thailand have arrived in Phuket to outline their concerns about the "scams and cheats" continuing to plague Phuket's tourism industry.
Although the mission was shrouded in diplomatic-speak, the ambassadors were there to alert local leaders that they are very concerned for the safety of their citizens in Phuket.
The Phuket Gazette reported that British ambassador Mark Kent introduced Phuket governor Maitri Inthusut to the website Phukettuktuks.com, which "lists incident after incident of tourists in Phuket being cheated, scammed and even violently attacked by tuk-tuk and taxi drivers".
"The police are doing their best, but there is a serious shortage of officers in Phuket," said the governor.
In June an Australian travel agent was fatally stabbed in a bungled street robbery in Phuket, while a British tourist was shot dead in a Thai bar popular with backpackers in nearby Koh Phangan on January 1.
(Dive Travel Business News - December 6, 2012) -- At least 325 people have been confirmed dead and nearly 400 still missing after a typhoon hit the southern Philippines. Typhoon Bopha caused havoc in eight provinces but eastern Mindanao was the worst hit. Typhoon Bopha, the strongest storm to hit the country this year, packed winds of 160 mph - equivalent to a category 5 hurricane - when it struck Mindanao on December 2, 2012.
The head of the national disaster agency said 332 people were killed and 379 are missing after Bopha triggered landslides and floods along the coast and in farming and mining towns inland in the southern Mindanao region. Nearly 200,000 people remain in shelters in more than a dozen provinces in the southern Philippines, as officials appeal for food, water and clothing.
Many of the victims were killed when flash floods hit emergency shelters. Roads and bridges have been destroyed and many parts of the country have been left without electricity. The death toll could rise further, with local government officials reporting higher numbers of missing and dead. read more »
(Dive Travel Business News -- October 25, 2012) --Tens of thousands of tourists and residents have been evacuated from vulnerable areas as Hurricane Sandy hits south-east Cuba. The US National Hurricane Center said Sandy has now strengthened into a category two hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 114 mph reported in Santiago de Cuba, the country's second largest city. read more »
(Dive Travel Business News - September 3, 2012) -- Bali hotels have again been forced to step up their security and be on high terror alert for the second time this year, after attacks on police in Solo (Surakarta) in central Java early last week. Bali is on high alert to assure the world that the island is safe. The step up in security comes just six weeks before the 10th anniversary of the 2002 Bali bombings considered to be the deadliest act of terrorism in the history of Indonesia.
Head of the Bali tourism office, Kade Subhiksu, has warned managers of all types of accommodation, including star-rated and non-starred hotels, villas, apartments, as well as homestays, to follow strict security measures. read more »
(Dive Travel Business News - August 27, 2012) -- Tropical Storm Isaac rolled over the open Gulf of Mexico on Monday, where it was expected to grow into a hurricane before hitting land somewhere between Louisiana and Florida and close to the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane warnings have been issued along the northern Gulf Coast from Morgan City, La., to Destin, Fla., including New Orleans and coastal Mississippi. According to the National Hurricane Center, a storm surge between six and 12 feet could threaten the northern Gulf Coast if the storm makes landfall during high tide.
At 2 a.m. ET on Monday, the center of the storm was located about 110 miles west of Key West and 455 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, according to the National Hurricane Center. It was moving west-northwest at about 15 mph. The storm had maximum sustained winds of about 65 mph. Isaac is expected to strengthen as it moves out over the open, warm water of the Gulf of Mexico. read more »
(Dive Travel Business News - August 9, 2012) -- It's among Australia's most popular overseas holiday destinations - but new figures reveal one Australian dies on Bali every nine days, while hundreds more need consular help after experiencing problems.
Information released by Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs reveals 39 Australians died in Bali in 2011-12. Another 93 sought consular help after being taken to hospital, while 36 were arrested, 18 jailed and eight needed support after being attacked.
Bali has had to deal with its share of problems. The specter of terrorist attacks that killed 202 people over nine years ago has been overshadowed recently by drug busts, bar room brawls, poisoned rice wine and earthquakes. read more »
(Dive Travel Business News - July 11, 2012) -- TravelMole Asia -- Phuket, Thailand's provincial police commander has ordered all police stations across Phuket to boost patrols in key tourist areas from 9pm to 4am. The move comes in the wake of the killing of 60 year-old Perth, Australia travel agent Michelle Elizabeth Smith and injuries to her colleague, 42 year-old Tammee Lynn, following a bungled bag snatch on the island of Phuket.
The women were part of a group of 10 travel agents visiting Phuket on a familiarization trip to inspect the five-star Katathani Beach Resort. Smith died in front of her Phuket hotel after being stabbed in the heart. It is understood the trip was organized by Asia Escape Holidays. A spokeswoman for Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs said Thai police had launched an investigation into the woman's death. Two men are in police custody after admitting to the crime. read more »
(Dive Travel Business News - July 10, 2012) -- This year's Atlantic Hurricane Season began June 1, 2012 and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted a less active season compared to recent years.
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center says there’s a 70 percent chance of nine to 15 named storms (with top winds of 39 mph or higher), of which four to eight will strengthen to a hurricane (with top winds of 74 mph or higher) and of those one to three will become major hurricanes (with top winds of 111 mph or higher, ranking Category 3, 4 or 5). Based on the period 1981-2010, an average season produces 12 named storms with six hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.
While the overall trend toward is toward stormier seas since 1995, three factors are expected to limit hurricane formation:
1. Strong wind shear, which should tamp down hurricane formation.
2. Cooler sea surface temperatures in the far eastern Atlantic, where storms are often given life.
3. The potential for an El Nino in the Pacific, which tends to limit Atlantic hurricane activity. read more »
(Dive Travel Business News - July 8, 2012) -- The Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season has gotten off to a busy and early start of the season. So far there have been 5 named storms, including 3 that have turned into hurricanes.
The season was scheduled to officially start on May 15, 2012, but started one day early when Tropical Storm Aletta unofficially kicked-off Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season on May 14. Aletta reached maximum sustained winds of 65 kph located about 650 mi south-southwest of Acapulco, Mexico before dissipating further out to sea.
Hurricane Bud began off Panama on May before moving northward to the western coast of Mexico. On May 24, Bud intensified into a Category 3 major hurricane before weakening to a strong tropical storm, as it began making landfall on Western Mexico.
On June 13, Tropical Storm Carlotta gathered strength turning into a Cat 2 Hurricane before it weakened and made landfall near Puerto Escondido, Mexico. read more »