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Foreign Airlines Sells Tickets N4 Million, Charges N1 Million to Change Date – NANTA

foreign airlines operating in Nigeria now demand as much as N4 million for air flight tickets and as much as N1 million to change ordinary date

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Foreign Airlines

The Nigerian Travel Agents under the auspices of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) has said foreign airlines operating in Nigeria now demand as much as N4 million for airflight tickets and as much as N1 million to change ordinary date.

Mrs. Susan Akporiaye, the President of NANTA, disclosed this at a press conference held in Lagos on Thursday.

According to her, this unacceptable, exploitative and hostile to the survival of Nigerian aviation downstream sector despite the fact that the federal government has paid more than half of their trapped fund.

She said “It is sad that Nigerians have to buy tickets to the tune of N3m to N4m and be charged as high as N1m to change travel dates even on tickets bought before this problem started.

“This is unacceptable, exploitative, and hostile to the survival of Nigerian aviation downstream sector and to which we call for sanity and return to the best inventory practices and deployment.”

Explaining the reason for the unreasonble jumped in flight tickets, Mrs. Akporiaye said Nigerian travel agents were logged out of Global Distribution system of airlines to ensure that they can not directly access flight tickets at actual price, largely due to their over $400 million trapped fund.

However, she claimed over 50% or $265 million of the $464 million trapped fund has been cleared by the federal government.

Just recently, the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria released about $265m to service these trapped funds and to which IATA hailed Nigeria for taking strategic measures to end the problem,” she said.

“Sadly, that gesture instead birthed an order that emboldened the foreign airlines to visit the Nigerian traveling public with the most exploitative response in the name of protecting their business.

“As usual with them, their response which we could describe as “high fare pandemic, is solely targeted at Nigeria and Nigerians, and cannot be seen anywhere in Africa even in countries where they also have their funds being trapped.”

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Education

Canada Raises Cost-of-Living Requirement for Study Permit Applicants

IRCC Announces Adjustments to Financial Guidelines and Student Work Hours Effective January 1, 2024

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EU-Canada Trade Deal

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has revealed changes to the cost-of-living requirement for study permit applicants, effective January 1, 2024.

The new requirement, set at $20,635 for a single study permit applicant, more than doubles the existing amount of $10,000 established in the early 2000s.

The adjustment aims to align with the rising cost of living in Canada, preventing instances where students’ funds fall short of covering their expenses.

This financial guideline applies to study permit applications received on or after January 1, 2024, and is in addition to the first-year tuition and travel costs.

Furthermore, IRCC states that the cost-of-living requirement will now be annually adjusted based on Statistics Canada’s updates to the low-income cut-off (LICO), reflecting the minimum income necessary in Canada.

In addition to the financial adjustments, IRCC has extended the waiver on the 20-hour-per-week work cap for international students until April 30, 2024.

This extension applies to students currently in Canada and those who submitted a study permit application by December 7, 2023.

The waiver, initially introduced on November 15, 2022, allows students to work more than the standard 20 hours per week during the academic term.

Minister Miller also announced two updates related to the Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).

The provision allowing international students to include online study terms toward their future PGWP, as long as it doesn’t exceed half of the total program duration, will be extended until September 1, 2024.

However, there will be no further special extensions for PGWPs beyond this period, emphasizing IRCC’s commitment to maintaining clarity and stability in its policies.

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Travel

Egypt Eyes Tourism Boom Despite Regional Tensions

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egypt

Despite the recent Israel-Hamas conflict, Egypt’s tourism sector remains optimistic about meeting its target of 15 million arrivals in 2023 with expectations of further growth in 2024.

The North African nation is gearing up for a hotel-building initiative to address the pressing need for additional capacity, aiming to add at least 25,000 rooms in 2024 and 40,000 the following year.

Tourism Minister Ahmed Issa emphasized that the scarcity of hotel rooms is the primary challenge, prompting the government to consider incentives such as tax breaks to expedite construction.

“The No. 1 challenge that Egypt faces today is the number of hotel rooms. We need at least 25,000 additional rooms in 2024 and 40,000 the year after,” said Issa.

Tourism, a crucial component of Egypt’s economy, is gaining increased significance amid the country’s fiscal challenges.

Despite concerns raised by the Israel-Hamas conflict impacting nearby countries, including Egypt, the relative containment of the conflict and the favorable exchange rates due to currency devaluations have made Egypt an attractive destination.

In the past financial year, tourism revenue in Egypt reached a record $13.6 billion, with a focus on attracting higher-spending tourists and solid visitor numbers from countries like Germany and Russia.

The government is also looking to tap into the vast potential of Chinese tourists, aiming for 1 million Chinese visitors between now and 2028. While Red Sea cities like Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada continue to be popular, efforts are underway to promote tourism in the northwestern Mediterranean coast.

To encourage further development, the tourism and finance ministries are proposing incentives for hotel builders, including rebates for funding costs and potential tax holidays on capital expenditure.

Issa stated, “We’re going to seek the approval of the cabinet over the coming couple of weeks” and expects to announce the incentives “before the end of December.”

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Winter Travel Tips Around the Iconic Southern Cross Station

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What’s more beautiful than Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station, adorned with twinkling winter lights, a light dusting of frost on the platforms, and the buzz of travelers eager to embark on their winter adventures?  Winter has cast its enchantment over the city, and you’re about to dive headfirst into the wonderland that is Melbourne during this chilly season.

Before you do, one essential aspect of your journey deserves special attention: luggage storage near Southern Cross Station. It’s the unsung hero that allows you to explore the city unburdened, and we’ll dive into that soon. First, let’s talk about getting to this iconic station.

Making Your Way to Southern Cross Station

Navigating your way to Southern Cross Station is like embarking on the first chapter of your winter adventure. Whether you’re a local planning a staycation or a traveler from afar, there are multiple routes to reach this central hub.

If you’re a public transportation enthusiast, you’re in luck! Melbourne’s well-connected tram and train network makes it a breeze to reach Southern Cross Station from virtually anywhere in the city. Just hop on a tram or a train, and you’ll find yourself right at the heart of the action.

What if you’re rolling into Melbourne with your trusty car? Don’t worry! There are plenty of parking options available near Southern Cross Station. Secure parking facilities make it convenient for those who prefer to bring their own wheels.

Dressing for the Chilly Weather

Now that you’ve safely stowed away your luggage, let’s chat about the first order of business regarding winter travel: dressing for the weather. Melbourne’s winter is a delightful mix of crisp mornings, occasional rain showers, and pleasantly cool afternoons. To conquer this ever-changing climate, layering is your trusty sidekick.

Start with a cozy base layer, add a stylish sweater or cardigan, and top it off with a waterproof jacket. Remember to pack a high-quality pair of waterproof boots to keep your feet dry while you explore. Of course, a stylish scarf and beanie combo will keep you warm and looking like a true Melburnian.

Embracing Melbourne’s Winter Events

Melbourne doesn’t let the chilly weather dampen its spirits. In fact, it thrives in winter with a slew of exciting events and activities to keep you entertained. From June to August, the city comes alive with winter festivals, art exhibitions, and food extravaganzas.

Imagine gliding gracefully on an ice skating rink under the open sky, surrounded by the city’s stunning skyline. Or perhaps you’d prefer to immerse yourself in the vibrant art world, exploring galleries showcasing Melbourne’s creative talents. Finally, let’s not forget the food festivals that’ll have your taste buds dancing in delight.

The best part? Many of these events are conveniently located near Southern Cross Station, making it the perfect starting point for your winter adventure. But before you rush off to partake in the festivities, let’s talk about warming up from the inside out.

Warm Eats and Hot Drinks

One of the great pleasures of winter travel is indulging in the heartwarming cuisine and beverages the city has to offer. Melbourne knows how to do comfort food right. From hearty soups and savory pies to mouthwatering pasta dishes, you’ll find a plethora of options to satisfy your cravings.

And what’s winter without the perfect cup of coffee or hot chocolate? Melbourne takes its coffee seriously, and there’s no shortage of charming cafes near Southern Cross Station to enjoy a steaming cup. Sip slowly, savor the flavors, and take in the cozy atmosphere.

Exploring Melbourne’s Winter Scenery

As winter blankets Melbourne in its cozy embrace, you’ll discover that this city transforms into a captivating wonderland. Its parks and gardens take on a magical allure, with glistening dewdrops adorning the foliage and crisp air, making each stroll a refreshing experience.

One must-visit spot is the Royal Botanic Gardens, where you can wander among stunning winter blooms and serene lakes. For architectural enthusiasts, Federation Square and its intriguing design will be a sight to behold. Melbourne’s winter scenery is Instagram gold, with every corner providing the perfect backdrop for your next post.

Safety Tips for Winter Travel

Safety always comes first, especially when navigating a new city and in winter when sidewalks can get slippery. Be mindful of icy patches, and invest in a good pair of non-slip shoes to avoid any unexpected ice-skating incidents.

Above all else, stay hydrated. The cooler weather might trick you into thinking you don’t need as much water, but staying well-hydrated is crucial for staying healthy during your travels.

Embrace the Chill: Your Melbourne Winter Adventure Awaits!

And there you have it, fellow adventurers — your comprehensive guide to winter travel around Melbourne’s iconic Southern Cross Station. We’ve covered everything from the ever-changing weather to the picturesque scenery and all the safety tips you need to know.

Winter in Melbourne is a unique and enchanting experience, and with the right preparation and a touch of wanderlust, you’re bound to create lasting memories. So, grab your winter coat, pack your sense of adventure, and let Melbourne’s winter charms captivate your heart. Here’s to an unforgettable winter getaway!

 

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