Steve Vickers updates us with the latest news from the world of travel, which this week includes Indian visas, emails you can physically track and luxury doggie bags….
Indian visa update
Last year we reported that India would be simplifying its visa application process, and now more details have emerged. As soon as October this year, tourists from 180 countries will be able to apply for a 30-day visa on arrival at nine international airports, including Delhi, Mumbai and Goa. For the time being, the visa application process for most tourists remains bafflingly complex, and involves a wait of around one week.
How far do your emails travel?
Keeping in touch with distant friends and family has never been easier. But have you ever wondered how far your emails actually travel when you hit ‘send’? This new plug-in being pitched on Fund Anything is designed to show recipients how far their email has physically travelled and provide the names of the countries the message has passed through, along with a map of the route. The purpose of the project, according to Email Miles founder Jonah Brucker-Cohen, is to expose the ‘disconnect’ we experience when sending data over huge distances. After Edward Snowden’s surveillance disclosures, there is another potential use: drawing attention to the complex routes our personal messages take, often through multiple countries.
A luxurious travel bag – for your dog
If you love dogs as much as you love travel, why not treat your pooch to this luxurious new dog carrier designed by suitcase manufacturer Tumi, which comes with its own leather passport holder? Well, because dogs like walking, and their pet passport would fit perfectly well in your pocket. Not to mention that the £375 price tag could buy you – and Fido – a nice holiday somewhere warm.
Swedish streets get even
Sweden’s second-biggest city is putting equality on the map. According to local news reports, more newly built streets in Gothenburg will be given ‘female’ names as local authorities try to promote gender equality. Since 2006, just 20 new streets in the city have been given names relating to women, while 38 have taken their names from men. Also on the agenda are plans to introduce new street names that better reflect the cultural diversity of the city.
Doctors on call
Top-end hotels in Florida have begun using an app to help poorly guests find a doctor without leaving their room. So far, around 160 hotels in the Miami area have started using the Skydoc app, which allows doctors to communicate with patients remotely and check their vital signs. If necessary, doctors can then visit the patient’s room and administer medication, avoiding unnecessary trips to hospital or a clinic. If the pilot programme works out well in Florida, it could be rolled out to luxury hotels around the world.
London to New York the quick way
Concorde is no more, but quick trips to New York could soon be back on the cards. Spike S-512, a super-fast business jet, is currently being developed in the USA and could be up and running by 2018. With room for up to 18 passengers, the supersonic jet will be capable of flying at 1,100mph, which, in theory, would make it possible to travel from London to New York in less than four hours. Part of the designers’ plan is to completely remove windows from the cabin (windows require heavy structural supports that could slow the plane down) and instead use cameras to stream panoramic views onto the interior walls.
The Age of Aquarius
This month, the Public Aquarium of Brussels is hoping to attract new visitors by offering free entry to anyone whose star sign is Aquarius. The aim is that the ‘fish’ offered free admission between 21st February and 21st March will take time to learn more about their endangered cousins in the tanks, and help to protect threatened species for future generations.
Made up of footage originally intended for a tourism campaign, this video by Ninja Milk flits between shots every couple of seconds, giving us a whistle-stop tour of Oman.