What we’ve learnt about travel this week, from new routes to border rules

Border reopenings

Argentina has reopened to international visitors, offering quarantine-free stays to fully vaccinated arrivals who can provide a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to travel (argentina.travel).

Fully vaccinated arrivals can now also visit Thailand without the need to self-isolate (tourismthailand.org).

And the US opens its international borders on Monday (visittheusa.co.uk).

Responsible tourism winners

Indian destinations and businesses led the way at the WTM Responsible Tourism Awards, winning four out of six categories. They included the zero emissions Govardhan Eco Village in Maharashtra (ecovillage.org.in), a model farm that hosts study programmes, and the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board (tourism.mp.gov.in), which supports its communities through initiatives such as homestays. Mumbai-based tour operator No Footprints won for its immersive city tours that introduce visitors to niche experiences (nfpexplore.com).

New routes

No-frills airline Vueling has launched a twice-weekly route from Newcastle to Paris Orly (vueling.com).

SkyAlps, meanwhile, is preparing a new route between London Gatwick and Bolzano in Italy’s South Tyrol on 15 December (skyalps.com).

Early next year, Bamboo Airways will launch Heathrow to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh services in Vietnam on Boeing 787 Dreamliners (bambooairways.com).

On the rails, two new sleeper services will launch in Europe, with connections to Eurostar trains. Nightjet will offer a Paris-Munich-Vienna service, alongside Amsterdam-Cologne-Zurich from 13 December (nightjet.com).

London’s new net zero hotel

A new “hometel” will open in Chiswick, west London, on 1 December. Claiming to be “the first hotel in the world to account fully for its entire carbon footprint”, room2 has renewable energy sources, as well as two on-site “lab rooms” to analyse energy and water use, interiors by local artists and designers, plus a laundry room, gym, café and cocktail bar. Doubles from £129, room2.com/chiswick.

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