Fox Sports Goes Big for Big East Opening Night; Intros New Graphics Look


Fox Sports tipped off its college basketball season last night by doing something it has never done before: broadcast a Big East Opening Night Tip-Off show on FS1 that shared a similar viewing experience as The NFL Red Zone channel. The Big East had seven games tipping off roughly 20 minutes apart and the goal was to give viewers at home a taste of each game.

Fox Sports had a busy night to open the 2021/2022 college basketball season.

“We don’t have enough bandwidth to show all those games on all of our linear channels, so it starts with that,” says Geordie Wimmer, Fox Sports, VP of production of the decision to offer something new. “But then Kent Camera, the head of our studio group, was producer of the NFL Red Zone when it first started. We’ve been pitching the idea to the Big East for the past three years and it worked out this year.”

As each game tipped off the studio show stayed with that game for about 20 minutes (roughly eight minutes of game time) before the next game tipped off. Host Rob Stone was traffic cop, like Scott Hanson does on the NFL Red Zone, while Jim Jackson, Steve Lavin, Bill Raftery provided analysis.

Wimmer says the goal was to show every tip live and then have the opportunity to dip in and out of games that are getting exciting. In addition, the team was able to do post-game interviews with all the coaches when there’s downtime or when the games end.

Brad Cheney, Fox Sports, VP, Field Operations and Engineering, says those games will all be streamed to the Fox Sports app, the first games of nearly 300 that will be delivered to fans this season.

“We have 19 games in the first week so it’s an absolute deluge of games, including 8 the first day in a 6 hr window,” he says.

The productions of the 300 games will be a mix of full on-site productions as well as home run productions with announcers working from home or the Pico studio in Los Angeles.

“The majority of the shows will be HRPs from either Los Angeles or Charlotte,” he says. “We’ll do more than 15 in 4K HDR and the Big East Men’s Tournament and the Big Ten Men’s Tournament will also be done in 4K HDR. So, we’re pushing forward on that.”

The typical HRP will feature four cameras and replay, and the kits will be a mix of Fox-built kits as well as kits from LTN which acquired DTAGS.

“The beauty of the kits is the flexibility as they can go as small or as large as you want,” says Cheney. “We will have 16-20 paths to the control rooms in LA and Charlotte so they can run at full tilt,” says Cheney.

The Fox Network HRP shows will have nine or 10 cameras and things like above-the-rim and super motion cameras.

“Our HRP workflows are also going to use EVS Xtramotion so that we can make any camera a super motion camera,” adds Cheney. “That’s going to be really beneficial to our productions just like it has for baseball and football. We’ve been championing that technology for the past nine months to really raise the level of production.”

Talent working from home will have access to all of the looks via a multiviewer. With travel still a tricky proposition (especially with the increasing number of cancelled flights) staying at home ensures the talent is, ironically, in place to call a game.

“The great part about it is we’ve got some amazing voices in college basketball and you’re going to get to hear more of them,” he says.

Adds Wimmer: “We found that there were some efficiencies in calling games from home and we installed a camera in Bill Raftery’s home in New Jersey last year (this year the camera will be at his home in Florida),” says Wimmer. “He can call two to three games a week without having to leave this couch, which is great for him. And it’s great for us to put the best voices we have. We’re also putting a camera in Donny Marshall’s house, which we didn’t have last year.”

Wimmer says that when conference play starts in January the plan is to start getting announcers back on site.
“It’s hard to replicate the emotion for a guy calling a game if he’s not courtside,” says Wimmer. “But right now, there are so many different variables that we’d rather be safe than sorry, especially going into the holiday season.”
Also look for some experiments with new ways of calling a game. On Nov. 23 FS1 will take the at-home commentary to a new level for the network when Titus and Tate, who have a highly watched podcast for Fox Sports, call a St. Johns game from the studio but as if it were a podcast, not a traditional broadcast.

“It’s a really cool way to just a have different perspective watching a game,” he adds.

Fox Sports also rolled out a new graphics package for college hoops, the first in six years. Wimmer says the new package was the vision of Fox Sports Executive Producer, EVP, head of production and operations, Brad Zager who envisioned the graphics packages allowing viewers to know what sport they were watching based only on the graphics. It’s also been six years since the last refresh.

“It’s vibrant, it’s big, it’s bold, it’s colorful,” he adds. “And its more readable than ever as everything’s streamlined.”

One of the biggest changes is that during free throws the Fox Box will shift over and allow for a heads-shot display with stats of the player who is taking the free throw.

“Previously the Fox Box would swap to a lower third and when you’re coming out of replay and quickly cut to it its was challenging,” he says. “And now we have score and clock present almost the entire time which is important.”

Wimmer is looking forward to an increasing sense of normalcy across campuses as last year there were different rules for everything from where talent could sit, when masks had to be worn, and handheld cameras were not allowed under the basket. Those cameras will be back, a move Wimmer says will bring more coverage of the emotions thanks to being closer to the action.

“Our mantra is this is the year of the fan,” says Wimmer. “We plan on highlighting that we’re back in the building, that the fans are back in the building, and the emotion of what these kids are going through and what the players are going through.”





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The United States is opening to vaccinated international travelers on Monday. Here’s what to expect


(CNN) — The United States is flinging its doors wide open to vaccinated international travelers on Monday, welcoming many visitors who’ve been shut out of the country for 20 months.

With new requirements going into effect for air, land and ferry arrivals, there’s bound to be some congestion as the rules are rolled out.

“It’s going to be a bit sloppy at first, I can assure you,” Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said at a late October travel industry conference. “There will be lines, unfortunately,” he said, citing “an onslaught of travel all at once.”

Many Delta flights due to arrive on Monday are 100% full with high load factors in the following weeks, according to Delta spokesman Morgan Durrant. Delta has seen a 450% increase in international bookings in the six weeks since the US reopening was announced, he said.

John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York (pictured in January 2021) will welcome more international flights on Monday.

John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York (pictured in January 2021) will welcome more international flights on Monday.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

International flight arrivals will be up 11% on Monday over a similar day in October at Newark Liberty and John F. Kennedy international airports, with 253 flights scheduled to arrive, according to the Port Authority of NY & NJ.

The Port Authority expects a gradual increase at those airports over the next two months, with international traffic reaching about 75% of November and December 2019 levels, based on current international schedules which are likely to change.

A gradual recovery seems to be in the cards for international air travel. According to figures from aviation analytics company OAG, the number of filled seats arriving in the US from Europe this December is projected to be about 67% of the December 2019 level.
Airlines are still bringing back employees and aircraft sidelined because of the pandemic. Staffing issues, which could be exacerbated by employee vaccine mandates, have complicated operations for some carriers.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Transportation Security Administration have also been short staffed and face a looming deadline right before Thanksgiving for federally mandated employee vaccinations.

Increased wait times are expected by CBP at busy land border crossings from Canada and Mexico.

All this to say, preparation and patience will be key for international travelers heading into the US.

Here’s what travelers can expect and prepare for:

When you get there

The United States is largely wide open, although there are some state and local restrictions that still apply.

For example, there are mask mandates in Hawaii, Illinois, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Washington, DC and Puerto Rico also require masks in indoor public spaces.

In some cities, including New York and San Francisco, there are vaccine requirements for indoor public spaces including restaurants.

Hawaii, which had some of the strictest entry requirements in the US, will now align with the new federal rules for international air travel. Although capacity restrictions in the state are easing, there are still some limits in place.

California (with Santa Monica pictured here), New York and Florida are leading destinations for incoming international travelers.

California (with Santa Monica pictured here), New York and Florida are leading destinations for incoming international travelers.

Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

New York, Miami and Los Angeles may see some of the most significant influxes of international visitors. They are travel app Hopper’s top destinations for foreign travelers this holiday season.
Those spots line up with client demand at Trailfinders in the United Kingdom, where the US is back to being the travel company’s top destination. New York, California and Florida lead the way in bookings, according to Nikki Davies, public relations director at Trailfinders.

Before you go

Getting vaccinated is the key requirement for the vast majority of international travelers hoping to enter the United States.

Travelers must meet CDC criteria for being “fully vaccinated.” Paper and digital documentation are acceptable. Airlines are responsible for gathering and verifying this information from air travelers.
Visitors to the new Summit One Vanderbilt observatory in New York ride up a glass elevator on October 21.

Visitors to the new Summit One Vanderbilt observatory in New York ride up a glass elevator on October 21.

Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

Anna Zwing, 28, who lives near Wiesbaden, Germany, hasn’t seen her boyfriend in more than two years. She’s flying to Chicago from Frankfurt on Monday and plans to check in at the airport in person on Sunday to make sure her ESTA application and all the new Covid documentation she has vigilantly gathered and double-checked is in order.

Zwing lucked out with the US reopening date. When the travel ban hadn’t been lifted, she rebooked October flights for November 8 before the specific date was announced, hoping she’d finally be allowed to make the trip to the US.

“I couldn’t believe it at first but both me and my boyfriend are over the moon!,” she said when the date was finally announced in mid-October. “I can’t wait to hop on the plane on Nov 8th!”

For air travel

Air travelers also need a negative Covid-19 test. Testing is required of all fully vaccinated air travelers ages 2 and up, regardless of nationality. Passengers are required to test negative for Covid-19 within three days of their flight’s departure for the United States.

Unvaccinated Americans and a very limited number of unvaccinated international travelers exempted from the vaccination requirement must test within one day of departing for the US.

Many airlines have mobile apps and portals on their websites where vaccination and testing information can be processed digitally.

Most Delta customers on international routes bound for the US can directly upload and verify their proof of vaccination status using the Delta FlyReady tool.
A Delta Air Lines employee works on the departures level at Los Angeles International Airport in August. Delta will operate 139 flights from international destinations into the US on November 8.

A Delta Air Lines employee works on the departures level at Los Angeles International Airport in August. Delta will operate 139 flights from international destinations into the US on November 8.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

British Airways’ VeriFly mobile digital health pass works on all BA’s flights to the US, the airline confirmed.

Hard copies are a good idea, too.

“I would definitely make sure I have paper copies … of my passport and vaccination card and major credit card, kept separate from my wallet/handbag. And have digital copies of the same on my phone and emailed to my email account in case my phone/handbag/backpack/etc. gets lost or stolen,” said Kathleen Bangs, a former airline pilot who is a spokeswoman for flight tracking site FlightAware.

“Proof of who you are, your vaccination status, and front and back of a credit card can go a long way to turning the nightmare of losing your documents into a reasonable situation.”

Miami (with Ocean Drive in Miami Beach pictured here) is among three top destinations for international travelers on Hopper.

Miami (with Ocean Drive in Miami Beach pictured here) is among three top destinations for international travelers on Hopper.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

At land borders

Customs and Border Protection anticipates an increase in travel volumes and wait times at land and ferry crossings and is encouraging travelers to have their identification and vaccination documents ready. The agency also encourages travelers to use its CBP One app.

Staffing levels will be at pre-Covid levels, according to CBP, but the agency will be balancing multiple priorities.

“Trade and travel facilitation remain a priority,” a Department of Homeland Security Q&A about the new policy says. “However, we cannot compromise national security which is our primary mission.”

Digital and paper documentation is acceptable for proof of vaccination, and vaccine cards do not need to be in English.

Travelers should be prepared to attest to their vaccination status and reason for travel. They should also be prepared to show proof of being fully vaccinated, if requested by a CBP officer.

Children under 18 traveling with vaccinated adults are exempt from the vaccination requirement.

Covid tests are not required at land and ferry crossings.

The web of rules and requirements to travel internationally right now is undeniably tangled.

“Just hopping on a plane and going someplace doesn’t work anymore,” says travel adviser Dave Hershberger of Prestige Travel in Cincinnati, Ohio. “You’ve got to do your homework.”



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Pandemic travel news: Australia, Thailand and Madagascar are all opening up


(CNN) — The people of Melbourne have spent 260 days under lockdown, but that ended this week. Locals celebrated the lifting of restrictions on October 21 by going to bars, hugging their friends and dancing in the streets.

Let that be the same energy you take into this weekend, whether your plans involve taking in fall weather, scrambling to figure out a Halloween costume that doesn’t involve “Squid Game,” or just enjoying doing absolutely nothing.

Here’s all the pandemic-related travel news that you may have missed this week.

1. Madagascar is the latest destination to reopen to tourism

The African island nation has announced that it will slowly begin welcoming back flights from nearby Mauritius and Réunion beginning October 23 and then from Europe November 6. Cruise ships can also return.

Travelers must show proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of boarding their flight and then take another test upon arrival. While waiting for the results of the second test, they are required to stay in an approved hotel and take a dedicated shuttle to get to their accommodation.

Upon testing negative, guests can travel freely about the country, but anyone who tests positive will have to spend up to 14 days self-isolating at their own expense.

Madagascar has the largest population of lemurs in the world, so head to some of the country’s beautiful national parks to catch glimpses of these cute primates.

2. Australia’s Victoria state is gearing up for a tourism return

Melbourne is known as Australia's Garden City.

Melbourne is known as Australia’s Garden City.

Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images

Victoria, home to the city of Melbourne, is ending local lockdowns now that officials have hit their goal of fully vaccinating at least 70% of the state’s adults against the coronavirus. Next up: reopening the state’s borders and preparing to resume international tourism.

“There will no longer be a cap on fully vaccinated returning Australians wishing to enter Victoria, and the opening of our borders to Victorians coming home will reunite families and friends and boost our vaccinated economy,” State Premier Daniel Andrews said in a statement.

First priority will be Australian citizens and residents and their immediate family members as of November 1. Fully vaccinated foreign nationals will be next, although there’s no specific date yet.

Those looking to drive the Great Ocean Road and visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building can start dreaming about 2022.

3. A town’s tourism plea to a superhero has paid off

The actor said the #GetChristoCowra campaign “warmed his heart” and promised to visit the Australian town next year.

Elsewhere in Australia, the small town of Cowra in New South Wales came up with an unconventional tourism campaign — they asked actor Chris Hemsworth to come visit.

Hemsworth, who is the celebrity ambassador for Australia’s national tourism department, shared the viral #GetChristoCowra ad on his Instagram and said he plans to stop by after he finishes filming a movie overseas.

“Big love to all the folks in Cowra for this amazing campaign, warmed my heart and made me smile!” he wrote.

4. There’s a new name on planes in Italy

The ITA Airways livery was inspired by the sky-blue stripes on the national soccer team's uniforms.

The ITA Airways livery was inspired by the sky-blue stripes on the national soccer team’s uniforms.

Handout/ITA Airways

After Italy’s national airline Alitalia went bankrupt, a new logo is visible in the country’s skies — meet ITA Airways.

The new carrier and its sleek blue planes debuted at a press event in Rome.

“We have been born as a new Italian brand, and we have chosen to work only with Italian companies,” ITA’s president said at the unveiling.

However, not everything is hewing to tradition. The airline is trying out an interesting new pay structure where all employees will have a part of their salary linked not only to company profits, but also to customer satisfaction.

5. The CDC has advised against visiting Singapore

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has added Singapore to its list of level four countries as its coronavirus cases have increased. Level 4 countries are deemed high-risk and Americans who go there are advised to be fully vaccinated.

Singapore doesn’t seem to have the same sentiment about the US, though — it is one of the countries whose residents can now enter the Asian city-state without quarantining, provided they can show proof of being vaccinated.

While the level 4 listing could sound ominous, it is only a suggestion and not a ban. Other popular travel destinations currently at the same level include Greece, Ireland, Switzerland and the UK.

Singapore’s Ministry of Health has extended local restrictions until November 21 — that means that employees are encouraged to work from home as much as possible and public gatherings are limited to just two people.

6. A big plane takes on a small project

Speaking of Singapore, the country’s national carrier has announced that it will fly some of the superjumbo A380 planes on short-haul flights between Singapore and Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur.

The flight, which takes about an hour, may now be the shortest A380 route in the world.

The planes, which usually fly much longer routes like London to Singapore, are popular with aviation fans due to their roominess and relative quiet on board.

Singapore Airlines’ global public affairs head, Siva Govindasamy, told CNN that some people specifically decide where to travel based on whether they can fly on one of these Airbus planes.

6. Thailand prepares to open its borders

Many pairs of eyes are watching Thailand as the country heads toward its November 1 reopening goal.

The Southeast Asian country has announced that fully vaccinated travelers coming from one of 46 countries and territories — including Australia, Canada, China, France, Japan, Singapore, the UK and the US — will be eligible to visit without quarantining.

These tourists must provide proof of an insurance policy that covers treatment for Covid-19 up to the cost of $50,000 and a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure.

Upon arrival, they will need to undergo a second PCR test and check into a Thailand Safety and Health Administration accredited (SHA+) hotel for one night to await the results of their test.

Two programs, the Phuket Sandbox and Samui Plus, started over the summer as test cases for how travel reopening could work in Thailand.

7. Saudi Arabia unveils a new kind of theme park

A rendering of what The Rig will look like.

A rendering of what The Rig will look like.

Public Investment Fund

Move over, Disneyland and Peppa Pig World: Saudi Arabia is building an “extreme park” on an oil rig in the Arabian Gulf. It will be called The Rig.

Dubbed the “world’s first tourism destination inspired by offshore oil platforms,” the attraction will feature roller coasters, bungee jumping and skydiving. There will also be three hotels and eleven restaurants spread across 150,000 square meters.

There isn’t an opening date for the project, so don’t start packing your suitcases just yet.

“The Rig” is a pretty good name for an action movie, though. Just think of the cross-promotion potential.

8. China and Laos have just leveled up their relationship

Part of China’s “Belt and Road Initiative,” the 621-mile railway connecting Kunming to Vientiane is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2021.

A new railway connecting China and Laos is nearly complete. The route connects Vientiane, Laos’ capital, with the Chinese city of Kunming in Yunnan province.

The Vientiane station was unveiled this week, and the rest of the line is set to be completed by the end of the year.

This new railway project, which was financed and built by the Chinese government, is intended to take the Southeast Asian nation from “a land-locked country to a land-linked country.”

The trains will be able to bring passengers between the two countries more easily, which in turn will likely improve tourism on both sides.

9. Canada will make it easier to show proof of vaccination

Though each province has been issuing their own credentials, Trudeau wants to make sure that every vaccinated Canadian will have something that is easily recognized by the WHO, other countries, airlines and more.

The announcement comes ahead of some of the world’s tightest requirements for domestic travelers.

As of October 30, everyone over the age of 12 boarding a train or plane in Canada will be required to show proof of full vaccination in order to travel.

Since it may take a while for the process to be streamlined, for the month of November only, people will be permitted to show a negative Covid-19 molecular test within 72 hours of travel as an alternative.

10. What happens when you test positive for Covid on vacation?

Many destinations require proof of a negative Covid test in order to enter — but what happens when you test positive after arriving?

The answer will depend on the country you’re in.

Even though many of these tourists had travel insurance, an entry-level plan often wasn’t good enough to cover huge expenses like medical evacuation.

The bottom line: do your research, plan for the worst and consider taking an at-home test yourself just in case.

CNN’s Julia Buckley, Karla Cripps, Tamara Hardingham-Gill, Paula Newton, Akanksha Sharma, Francesca Street, and Hilary Whiteman contributed reporting.



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Morant, Melton lead Grizzlies to opening win over Cavs


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Ja Morant had 37 points and six assists, De’Anthony Melton added 20 points and the Memphis Grizzlies pulled away in the fourth for a 132-121 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night in the opener for both teams.

Morant and Melton combined for 14 points down the stretch as the Cavaliers pulled within a point on a couple of occasions but could never overtake Memphis. Desmond Bane added 22 points for Memphis.

Jarrett Allen led the Cavaliers with 25 points, hitting all 11 of his shots from the field. Allen is the first player since in the shot-clock era (since 1954) to go 10 of 10 or better in a season opener. It’s also the second time in his career that he’s gone 11 for 11. He also did it on Feb. 21, 2021, against Oklahoma City.

Collin Sexton and rookie Evan Mobley added 17 points each. Cedi Osman, keyed a first-half burst and finished with 15.

The Cavaliers, who trailed by as many as 16 in the first half, chipped away at the Memphis lead, trailing by 94-90 heading to the fourth. Allen had hit all nine of his shots from the field, and Osman had missed only one, going 5 of 6 through the first three quarters.

But Memphis opened the fourth quarter with 10 straight points to create some space. The Cavaliers had one more push — getting to 119-118 with just under two minutes left. But Morant’s floater and a layup by Melton clinched the victory.

Memphis broke open a close game in the second quarter as Melton connected on a trio of 3-pointers early in the frame and Cleveland struggled from the field. Meanwhile, Morant continued to get to the rim, converting 10 of 15 shots in the first half.

Morant scored 20 in the half as the Grizzlies stretched the lead to as many as 16 in the second quarter, eventually taking a 73-61 lead into the break. The 73 points was the fifth-highest for a first half in franchise history.

Allen had 14 first-half points to lead the Cavaliers.

TIP-INS

Cavaliers: Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff coached the Grizzlies from 2017-2019. … C Evan Mobley, the third overall pick in last summer’s draft, scored on the Cavs first possession, knocking down a 15-footer. … Allen tied a career high with three steals.

Grizzlies: G/F Dillon Brooks was out of action recovering from a left hand fracture. …Memphis is now 6-21 in season openers in franchise history. The last opening win for the Grizzlies was in 2017 over the New Orleans Pelicans. … Bane picked up Memphis’ first technical of the year, punching the air when he was called for a foul in the second quarter.

UP NEXT:

Cavaliers: Play their home opener Friday, entertaining the Charlotte Hornets.

Grizzlies: Travel to Los Angeles to face the Clippers on Saturday in the opener of a four-game West Coast swing.

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports





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2021-22 NBA opening night: Live updates, analysis, scores as Bucks-Nets, Lakers-Warriors tip off season


NETS

James Harden, Joe Harris, Bruce Brown, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin — Alex Schiffer

BUCKS

There should not be much drama in regards to the Bucks’ starting lineup. The Bucks headed into this season with four returning starters from last season’s roster. Those four are locked into this year’s starting lineup. The fifth starter from that squad, Donte DiVincenzo, is out as he recovers from left ankle surgery, and his replacement during the postseason, P.J. Tucker, now plays for the Miami Heat.

Bucks general manager Jon Horst traded for Grayson Allen during the offseason, and then Monday, the organization signed Allen to a two-year rookie-scale contract extension. Per league sources, the contract contains $17 million guaranteed over the next two years and could end up being worth as much as $19.6 million with likely and unlikely bonuses. Before he even played his first game, the organization made a long-term commitment to Allen. He has served as the Bucks’ fifth starter in the preseason, so expect him to do the same tonight. That means the Bucks’ expected starting lineup against the Nets will be: Allen, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton. — Eric Nehm

WARRIORS

The Warriors will start Steph Curry, Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney in Los Angeles. Poole’s spot was the only of the five up in the air when training camp opened, but he quickly and loudly claimed it with an explosive preseason: 30, 17, 28, 18 and 16 points in the five games, making 16 3s (many from 28 feet out), while getting to the rim with an explosive first step and an array of sharpened dribble moves. He’s become a popular pick for Most Improved Player, and the Warriors will need a huge couple of months from him as he keeps Klay Thompson’s starting spot warm. — Anthony Slater

LAKERS

The Lakers have three starting spots locked up: LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook. Not only do we not know the final two starters, but we also technically don’t know at which positions Davis and James, respectively, will be starting. The buzz this offseason was that Davis was finally going to start at center after two seasons in which the Lakers’ on-court metrics were much better with him in the middle. But preseason injuries to Trevor Ariza and Talen Horton-Tucker have depleted the Lakers’ wing depth, increasing the likelihood that the Lakers will start bigger, keeping James and Davis at their natural positions of the three and the four.

Since training camp began in late September, all indications have been that DeAndre Jordan was the favorite for the starting center spot and Kent Bazemore was the favorite at shooting guard. Yahoo Sports reported this afternoon that Lakers will indeed start Jordan, Davis, James, Bazemore and Westbrook against the Warriors. — Jovan Buha





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U.S. Confirms Broad Nov. 8 Opening for Vaccinated International Travelers


The U.S. government confirmed it will lift restrictions on international travelers beginning Nov. 8, allowing individuals fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to cross the border.

White House assistant press secretary Kevin Munoz confirmed the change on Twitter, calling the new U.S. travel policy “guided by public health, stringent and consistent.” The change applies to both land and air travel.

The U.S. in September announced that it was looking to a November date to begin allowing foreign citizens into the country following more than 18 months of borders being closed for non-U.S. citizens due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Travelers will need to show proof of vaccination prior to boarding a flight to the U.S. as well as negative results from a Covid-19 test taken within three days of departure.

Global Business Travel Association CEO Suzanne Neufang in a statement hailed the move. “I am delighted that the U.S. will reopen its borders to the many countries shut out for so many months—and in our most recent GBTA pandemic recovery poll, nearly 75 percent of respondents wholeheartedly agree with this particular action,” she said. “International travel is critical to promoting global trade and growing worldwide understanding.”

U.S. Travel Association president and CEO Roger Dow in a statement noted that the formal setting of a reopening date “is critically important for planning—for airlines, for travel-supported businesses, and for millions of travelers worldwide who will now advance plans to visit the United States once again. Reopening to international visitors will provide a jolt to the economy and accelerate the return of travel-related jobs that were lost due to travel restrictions.”

“The first two weeks of October 2021 have seen a 76 percent increase in the volume of U.K.-U.S. air bookings, as compared to the same period in September 2021,” said John Keichline, CEO of Reed & Mackay North America, in a statement. “Following the announcement today that U.S. borders will re-open to fully vaccinated travelers on Nov.8, we expect to see this increase further.”

Reacting to the announcement, Shai Weiss, CEO of Virgin Atlantic, which operates a number of flights between the U.K. and U.S., in a statement said that “we’ve been steadily ramping up flying to destinations such as New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and we can’t wait to fly our customers safely to their favourite U.S. cities on holiday or to reconnect with friends, loved ones and colleagues.”

Sean Doyle, CEO and chairman of British Airways, in a statement commented: “Nearly 600 days since the introduction of the U.S. travel ban, this is a pivotal moment for the entire travel industry and finally provides the certainty we have so desperately needed.”

Clive Wratten, CEO of the Business Travel Association, in a statement said: “The restart of this vital corridor will pay huge dividends for both economies and businesses on both sides of the Atlantic and is another important step on the road to recovery for the business travel sector. We now urge both governments to work together to simplify the testing procedures currently required for U.K.-U.S. travel to ensure it is as frictionless as possible.”

Scott Davies, CEO of the Institute of Travel Management, agreed: “The reopening of arguably the U.K. and Ireland’s most important trade and travel corridors is excellent and long anticipated news. We will now see the pent-up demand for business travel between our nations released. 

“Consistency and simplicity of the testing protocols will now be essential.”

According to CNN the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention informed airlines that all Food and Drug Administration authorized vaccines and all those with an Emergency Use Listing from the World Health Organization will be accepted for land and air crossings. It is not yet clear whether there will be exceptions for travelers under 18, who may not be eligible for vaccinations in their home countries. 





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The Burj Al Arab, one of the world’s most exclusive hotels, is opening its doors to the public


Editor’s Note — Editor’s Note — CNN Travel series often carry sponsorship originating from the countries and regions we profile. However, CNN retains full editorial control over all of its reports. Read the policy.
(CNN) — Showers embellished with 24-carat gold tiles. Duvets filled with eiderdown harvested from abandoned duck nests in Iceland. Pillow menus. Thirty different types of marble. A ceiling made of 21,000 Swarovski crystals representing the Milky Way. These are just some of the luxuries that await at Dubai‘s Burj Al Arab, one of the world’s most exclusive hotels.

Up to now, if you weren’t a paying guest at the hotel or dining at one of its restaurants, your Burj Al Arab experience was likely confined to snapping photos of the structure from the adjacent public beach.

But from October 15 this year, the Burj Al Arab’s secretive doors are finally sliding open, with a new Inside Burj Al Arab experience promising to offer visitors a glimpse inside, and lift the veil on some of the UAE hotel’s intriguing stories.

For almost 22 years, the Burj al Arab has been standing proud on its own private island just off the Jumeirah seafront, instantly recognizable with its design modeled on the shape of a billowing sail.

Its cantilevered helipad, suspended 210 meters above the water, has played host to many headline-grabbing events over the years. Andre Agassi and Roger Federer knocked a tennis ball around in 2005. David Coulthard spun donuts in an F1 car in 2013.

In February 2021, with the world in lockdown, DJ David Guetta used it as the stage for his “United at Home” livestream event. And in August 2021, as part of Dubai Tourism’s glitzy new campaign, Hollywood duo Zac Efron and Jessica Alba skydived off it.

So why allow public access now? Andy Nicholson, general manager and experience director of Inside Burj Al Arab, points to 2021 being the 50th anniversary of the United Arab Emirates and the recent opening of Expo 2020 Dubai, the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East.

This year “the spotlight is really on Dubai, and it seems like the perfect time to open up one of the city’s icons to visitors,” he says. “It’s a glimpse of the original home of luxury in Dubai.”

Epic opulence

So what exactly will visitors experience when they enter these rarefied spaces? Starting from a new welcome center, the 90-minute tour begins with a buggy ride over the 340-meter bridge that connects to the private island on which the hotel stands. But there’s a pit stop to make first.

“We noticed that most guests come and stand on the bridge to take photos of the hotel,” says Nicholson. A new platform has been created to let visitors have the perfect vantage point.

On arrival at the Burj Al Arab, after a traditional welcome with a sprinkle of rosewater by Emirati hosts, you enter the cavernous atrium — at 180 meters, the tallest in the world — and the tour proper begins.

Without the context of other skyscrapers flanking the building, it’s hard to grasp its scale, but at 321 meters in height it’s three meters shorter than the Eiffel Tower (including tip) and 60 meters shorter than the Empire State Building.

The atrium manages to feel modern and retro at the same time, an Arabian Nights-meets-Jetsons setting, with layer upon layer of curves and color shades that become lighter the closer they get to the sky. At the top of the escalators, that glide upwards past twin aquariums, a fountain dances to the rhythms of traditional Emirati dance before shooting a final plume, geyser-like, 42 meters up into the air.

A glass elevator speeds visitors up to the 25th floor (in real terms, the 50th — each suite in the hotel is spread over two floors) for the main event, a tour of the opulent Royal Suite, after which there’s time to explore the interactive Experience Suite, sipping Arabic coffee and learning trivia about the Burj Al Arab’s architecture and interiors, as well as the pivotal role the hotel played in the development of Dubai.

Original sketches by interior designer Khuan Chew are on display, as is the napkin on which British architect Tom Wright sketched the first draft of his proposed structure in October 1993.

Building an instantly recognizable icon

The Burj Al Arab is the result of the vision of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai. His brief for the building was simple — to create the most luxurious hotel in the world, a building that would become an icon for the city.

Prior to coming up with the now instantly recognizable shape, Wright considered various symbols of Dubai’s culture and history for inspiration. But he came to a clear conclusion — if the building was to become an icon of a city that was boldly looking to the future, it should not be rooted in the past. Rather, it should be moving forward, and thus the sail-shaped building was born.

It took five years to build the Burj Al Arab — two years to create the artificial island on which it stands, and three years to build the hotel itself. When originally announced, the location was considered an unusual choice by many due to the fact that it was around 15 kilometers from what was the center of Dubai at the time. But its seaside backdrop on Dubai’s loveliest beach is one of the reasons it has become such an icon.

The great indoors

The interior of the Burj Al Arab is perhaps even more jaw-dropping than the exterior. Sheikh Mohammed envisioned an aesthetic inspired by Arabic styles from across the Middle East and given a contemporary interpretation, and instructed designer Khuan Chew to push the boundaries of color and decoration. And push them she did, creating interiors that dazzle with a sense of the theatrical in a space that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

“Fun is something that we want to include in the Inside Burj Al Arab experience,” Nicholson explains. “The whole building is full of joy with its audacious design and colors, and the new tour picks up on that.”

Royal Suite butler Roman Sedev, dressed in a gold tailcoat and white gloves, fully embodies that sense of fun as he opens the doors to the suite with a flourish and a grin, welcoming the visitor into a space dominated by a central staircase covered in leopard-print carpet.

A superlative space

Whether it’s your personal style or not, the Royal Suite is nothing short of astonishing with its no-holds-barred exuberance. The highly polished yellow floor reflects the 24-carat gold ceiling, just part of the 1,790 square meters of the material used throughout the hotel. There’s a private lift to take you up to the second floor. And it’s on the second floor where things become even more “extra.”

“Khuan Chew called the dining room a ‘sunburst room,'” says Sedev, pointing to the trompe l’oeil blue sky ceiling dotted with fluffy clouds above a dining table set for 10, sitting on top of a carpet that’s like a burst of sunlight. Leopard print makes an appearance again on the high-backed velvet dining chairs, in the cushions in the adjacent majlis room, on the ottomans in the bedrooms, and in some of the carpets.

And it’s those carpets that really stop you in your tracks. The attention to detail and craftsmanship that goes into them is extraordinary, each one taking three months to make by hand. And this being the Burj Al Arab, a stain or fray is unthinkable. “We always have an extra one in storage so we can change it immediately if anything happens,” Nicholson explains.

Once your eyes adjust to the opulence, the details start to jump out. Golden falcon talons grip the door handles. Walls are covered in silk that appears to change color depending on where you stand, with hand-stitched ladybirds embroidered in more of that 24-carat gold. There’s a dedicated team of artisans who come and do repairs whenever needed.

A glimpse into an exclusive world

Now that the doors are open to visitors, is there a chance that the hotel’s guests might be a bit miffed to be sharing their space?

“Our atrium is the biggest in the world, and we definitely have space for everyone,” says Nicholson. Each group is limited to a maximum of 12 people, and most of the experience takes place on the 25th floor which is reserved exclusively for visitors to Inside Burj Al Arab. In-house guests can take the tour too. “This is a working hotel, open 365 days a year,” continues Nicholson, “and the new tour offers a glimpse behind the scenes, bringing to life 21 years of amazing stories about the hotel and its people.”

Visitors won’t be asked to vacate the premises immediately after the experience, either. A new outdoor lounge, Uma, has opened exclusively for Inside Burj Al Arab, and each of the hotel’s restaurants can be booked by non-guests.

You could also just go all out and book yourself in for the night, although with prices starting at around $1,500 a night, it’s about 14 times the cost of a tour.



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Travel news: India, Bali and Vietnam announce opening plans


(CNN) — This was a pretty good week for the world’s wannabe jetsetters. The UK and Israel both cleared out their travel “red lists,” while India, Bali and Vietnam all announced reopening plans.

Here are 10 things we learned in pandemic travel this week.

1. The UK cut its ‘red list’ to just seven countries…

Thailand -- including Phuket, home to Vijitt Resort -- is coming off the UK's red list.

Thailand — including Phuket, home to Vijitt Resort — is coming off the UK’s red list.

Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP/Getty Images

The UK introduced a new system for international travel, relaxing testing requirements for many fully vaccinated travelers and designating destinations either “red” or “green.”

From October 11, England is set to remove 47 countries from its red list, leaving only seven red destinations: Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.

The rules vary in the rest of the UK (that’s Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.) Here’s the CNN Travel lowdown on what travelers need to know.

2. …But there was anger over its quarantine rules

There were accusations of discrimination at the start of October when the UK relaxed its inbound travel rules but fully vaccinated visitors from India and many African countries still faced mandatory quarantine in the UK.
The UK has now changed its restrictions so that from October 11, vaccine certificates will be accepted from close to 40 countries that were previously ineligible, including India, Brazil, Chile, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya.

The UK’s recognized vaccines are Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), or formulations of these.

3. The CDC lowered the risk category for France, Portugal and South Africa

The CDC is now okay with vaccinated Americans heading to Iceland's Seljalandsfoss waterfall.

The CDC is now okay with vaccinated Americans heading to Iceland’s Seljalandsfoss waterfall.

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

There was good news for Argentina, France, Iceland, Lesotho, Morocco, Nepal, Portugal and South Africa, and for Americans keen to travel there.

All eight were moved from Level 4 — the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s highest risk category — down to Level 3 (which is still “High,” FYI). This means the US travel advisory is to be fully vaccinated before traveling there, and to avoid nonessential travel if you’re unvaccinated.

Meanwhile, six destinations have moved from Level 3 to Level 4 (“Very High”) which means nonessential travel should be avoided by US citizens.

Those destinations are Armenia, Austria, Barbados, Croatia, Latvia and New Caledonia.

4. India will start letting tourists in this month…

India will begin granting tourist visas for foreign visitors for the first time in 18 months, the country’s government announced Thursday.

Tourists arriving by chartered flight will be able to do so from October 15, according to a press release from India’s Ministry of Home Affairs. Other arrivals will be permitted from November 15, it said.

5. …And Bali will gradually reopen too

People visit Kuta beach during sunset near Denpasar on September 26, 2021.

Bali’s Kuta Beach is pictured at sunset in September 2021.

Sonny Tumbelaka/AFP/Getty Images

The Indonesian island of Bali will reopen its airport to international arrivals on October 14, officials have announced.

Bali Ngurah Rai Airport in Denpasar will begin welcoming arrivals from a select number of countries, according to Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, Indonesia’s minister of maritime affairs and investment.

However, he didn’t clarify whether foreign tourists would be permitted. Here’s what we know so far.

6. Vietnam plans to fully reopen by June 2022

01 Phu Quoc FILE

Sanato beach on the Vietnamese island of Phu Quoc.

Adobe Stock

Vietnam plans to reopen key tourist destinations from December to vaccinated visitors from countries deemed “low risk,” Reuters reports, ahead of a full reopening targeted for June 2022.

Vietnam still has a way to go when it comes it vaccinating its population: Just over 13% are fully vaccinated, making it one of the lowest rates in Asia.

7. Soon New Zealand will only let foreign nationals enter if they’re vaccinated

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces the country is moving from eliminating Covid-19, amid a persistent outbreak of the Delta variant, and will instead transition to a strategy of ‘living with the virus.’

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced in press conferences this week that the country is transitioning away from its Covid-19 elimination strategy and will start using vaccine certificates as early as next month.

From November 1, all foreign nationals entering New Zealand will need to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Air New Zealand, the country’s flag carrier airline, has also announced that passengers on its international flights will need to be fully vaccinated from February 2022. Get the full details in our Covid travel guide to New Zealand.

8. Canada has issued a vaccine mandate for trains and planes

air canada plane in flight against blue sky

“By the end of November, if you’re 12 or older and want to fly or take the train, you’ll have to be fully vaccinated,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

iStock

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a nationwide Covid-19 vaccine mandate for rail and air travelers aged 12 and over, as well as for staff.

The mandate will start to be enforced by the end of October, with a short month-long grace period in which negative Covid-19 tests will be accepted. (More details here).
Over in South Asia, from the start of this month Pakistan has been requiring all air passengers aged 17 and over to be fully vaccinated.

9. Israel now lets its citizens travel anywhere

Venturing into the fairy chimneys begins a journey of discovery in this unusual place.

Israel has emptied out its “red” travel list, meaning Israeli citizens and residents can now travel anywhere in the world.

Until October 4, Israelis were still barred from traveling to Turkey, Bulgaria and Brazil because of high Covid rates.

Under current guidelines, travelers returning to Israel who have been vaccinated three times, or twice within the past six months, are only required to quarantine for 24 hours, or upon receipt of a negative PCR test — whichever comes sooner.

Unvaccinated individuals or those whose second dose was more than six months ago are still required to quarantine for a full week or receive two negative PCR tests.

The Israel Ministry of Tourism has also announced that it’s working on plans to allow individual vaccinated tourists to visit the country from November. Currently it’s only open to small groups of tourists or individuals visiting family members.

10. The airline industry is set to lose nearly $52 billion in 2021

An Air France plane prepares to take off from Nice Cote d'Azur airport in August 2021.

An Air France plane prepares to take off from Nice Cote d’Azur airport in August 2021.

JP Pariente/Sipa via AP Images

Airlines will lose $51.8 billion in 2021, more than previously forecast, according to an updated outlook from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Net losses for 2020 were also revised higher, to $137.7 billion. More woes are expected next year too — a $11.6 billion dollar loss is projected. The group expects the industry to return to profitability in 2023, IATA Director General Willie Walsh said October 4 at the group’s annual meeting in Boston.

The other big news out of Boston is that the global group of 290 airlines agreed to a resolution committing them to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

CNN’s Melissa Alonso, Pamela Boykoff, Matt Friedman, Hadas Gold, Swati Gupta, Marnie Hunter, Masrur Jamaluddin, Lilit Marcus, Francesca Street and Nimi Princewill contributed to this report.



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Travel news: India, Bali and Vietnam announce opening plans


CNN

By Maureen O’Hare, CNN

This was a pretty good week for the world’s wannabe jetsetters. The UK and Israel both cleared out their travel “red lists,” while India, Bali and Vietnam all announced reopening plans.

Here are 10 things we learned in pandemic travel this week.

1. The UK cut its ‘red list’ to just seven countries…

The UK introduced a new system for international travel, relaxing testing requirements for many fully vaccinated travelers and designating destinations either “red” or “green.”

From October 11, England is set to remove 47 countries from its red list, leaving only seven red destinations: Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.

The rules vary in the rest of the UK (that’s Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.) Here’s the CNN Travel lowdown on what travelers need to know.

2. …But there was anger over its quarantine rules

There were accusations of discrimination at the start of October when the UK relaxed its inbound travel rules but fully vaccinated visitors from India and many African countries still faced mandatory quarantine in the UK.

The UK has now changed its restrictions so that from October 11, vaccine certificates will be accepted from close to 40 countries that were previously ineligible, including India, Brazil, Chile, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya.

The UK’s recognized vaccines are Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), or formulations of these.

3. The CDC lowered the risk category for France, Portugal and South Africa

There was good news for Argentina, France, Iceland, Lesotho, Morocco, Nepal, Portugal and South Africa, and for Americans keen to travel there.

All eight were moved from Level 4 — the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s highest risk category — down to Level 3 (which is still “High,” FYI). This means the US travel advisory is to be fully vaccinated before traveling there, and to avoid nonessential travel if you’re unvaccinated.

Meanwhile, six destinations have moved from Level 3 to Level 4 (“Very High”) which means nonessential travel should be avoided by US citizens.

Those destinations are Armenia, Austria, Barbados, Croatia, Latvia and New Caledonia.

4. India will start letting tourists in this month…

India will begin granting tourist visas for foreign visitors for the first time in 18 months, the country’s government announced Thursday.

Tourists arriving by chartered flight will be able to do so from October 15, according to a press release from India’s Ministry of Home Affairs. Other arrivals will be permitted from November 15, it said.

5. …And Bali will gradually reopen too

The Indonesian island of Bali will reopen its airport to international arrivals on October 14, officials have announced.

Bali Ngurah Rai Airport in Denpasar will begin welcoming arrivals from a select number of countries, according to Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, Indonesia’s minister of maritime affairs and investment.

However, he didn’t clarify whether foreign tourists would be permitted. Here’s what we know so far.

6. Vietnam plans to fully reopen by June 2022

Vietnam plans to reopen key tourist destinations from December to vaccinated visitors from countries deemed “low risk,” Reuters reports, ahead of a full reopening targeted for June 2022.

The country announced in September that it would reopen the popular resort island of Phu Quoc to vaccinated foreign tourists this month, but that reopening has been postponed until November.

Vietnam still has a way to go when it comes it vaccinating its population: Just over 13% are fully vaccinated, making it one of the lowest rates in Asia.

7. Soon New Zealand will only let foreign nationals enter if they’re vaccinated

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced in press conferences this week that the country is transitioning away from its Covid-19 elimination strategy and will start using vaccine certificates as early as next month.

From November 1, all foreign nationals entering New Zealand will need to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Air New Zealand, the country’s flag carrier airline, has also announced that passengers on its international flights will need to be fully vaccinated from February 2022. Get the full details in our Covid travel guide to New Zealand.

8. Canada has issued a vaccine mandate for trains and planes

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a nationwide Covid-19 vaccine mandate for rail and air travelers aged 12 and over, as well as for staff.

The mandate will start to be enforced by the end of October, with a short month-long grace period in which negative Covid-19 tests will be accepted. (More details here).

Over in South Asia, from the start of this month Pakistan has been requiring all air passengers aged 17 and over to be fully vaccinated.

9. Israel now lets its citizens travel anywhere

Israel has emptied out its “red” travel list, meaning Israeli citizens and residents can now travel anywhere in the world.

Until October 4, Israelis were still barred from traveling to Turkey, Bulgaria and Brazil because of high Covid rates.

Under current guidelines, travelers returning to Israel who have been vaccinated three times, or twice within the past six months, are only required to quarantine for 24 hours, or upon receipt of a negative PCR test — whichever comes sooner.

Unvaccinated individuals or those whose second dose was more than six months ago are still required to quarantine for a full week or receive two negative PCR tests.

The Israel Ministry of Tourism has also announced that it’s working on plans to allow individual vaccinated tourists to visit the country from November. Currently it’s only open to small groups of tourists or individuals visiting family members.

10. The airline industry is set to lose nearly $52 billion in 2021

Airlines will lose $51.8 billion in 2021, more than previously forecast, according to an updated outlook from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Net losses for 2020 were also revised higher, to $137.7 billion. More woes are expected next year too — a $11.6 billion dollar loss is projected. The group expects the industry to return to profitability in 2023, IATA Director General Willie Walsh said October 4 at the group’s annual meeting in Boston.

The other big news out of Boston is that the global group of 290 airlines agreed to a resolution committing them to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Melissa Alonso, Pamela Boykoff, Matt Friedman, Hadas Gold, Swati Gupta, Marnie Hunter, Masrur Jamaluddin, Lilit Marcus, Francesca Street and Nimi Princewill contributed to this report.



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Vietnam celebrates opening of Expo 2020 pavilion in Dubai | News


Vietnam has unveiled its pavilion as Expo 2020 gets underway in Dubai.

With the theme ‘Distilling the Past, Shaping the Future,’ the location will explore the innovations that are transforming Vietnamese lives.

It will also seek to showcase how stability and rapid development are fostering opportunities for industry.

Cutting the ribbon for the event, Ta Quang Dong, Vietnam minister for culture, sports and tourism, said: “On behalf of the Vietnam ministry of culture, sports and tourism, I am delighted to welcome you all here to the opening of our pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has had one of the most devastating impacts on tourism in modern history, and has touched on every aspect of our lives.

“We see Expo 2020 Dubai as a chance to demonstrate our efforts to overcome the pandemic, and showcase our commitment to tourism.

“Vietnam will use this event to promote the image of the country, its culture and people, creative values and history.”

With its pavilion, Vietnam aims to fulfil its political commitments to the global community, while demonstrating it is a responsible member of the Bureau International des Exposition (BIE).

At the pavilion, visitors can experience destinations via virtual reality and explore ‘Make-in-Vietnam’ products such as Dragon satellites, sneakers made from discarded coffee grounds and plastic bottles.

Ta Quang Dong added: “Expo 2020 Dubai is an opportunity for us to build mutual understanding around the world, and to present Vietnam to the world as a country with a rich and diverse culture.

“We offer magnificent natural beauty, hard-working and friendly people, unique traditional art and world-renowned cuisine.

“Moreover, Vietnam offers opportunities for trade and investment in different sectors.

“Strengthening multi-lateral diplomacy, Vietnam has played an active role in the international community.”

Special events at the Vietnam pavilion will include ASEAN Day on December 13th, Vietnam National Day on December 30th and Vietnam coffee week, which will begin on January 1st.

Throughout the event, there will be a showcase of contemporary art as well as water puppet shows.

More Information

Find out more about the Vietnam pavilion on the official site.





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