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Asia Minute: Regional tourism hotspots ramping up traveler plans

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The travel industry is once again making some new adjustments because of the pandemic — and this time the changes involve some of the most popular tourist destinations in the Asia Pacific.

Bali is opening the door a bit wider to international visitors.

In October, the Indonesian island lifted restrictions on travelers from a few locations — including China and Japan.

But there were few takers.

One challenge: a lack of direct flights.

Later this week, Bali is opening to all vaccinated foreign travelers — and Singapore Airlines has already announced it will resume direct flights to the island in about two weeks.

Any visits will require five to seven days of quarantine.

Vaccinated travelers heading for Thailand face different rules.

Starting Tuesday, those who register for the government’s “Test and Go” program, will have to make two bookings at a hotel that can carry out tests with a partner hospital.

The first will accommodate a test and a day’s quarantine upon arrival, and the other covers a second test on day five of the visit.

As long as that first test is negative, visitors are free to travel wherever they want to until their follow-up test.

The government says Thailand welcomed about 185,000 visitors in the first thirty days of January — including more than 10,000 Americans.

The biggest source of foreign visitors to Thailand: Russia — with nearly 20,000 travelers during the month.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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