Here’s what’s been happening in the travel world over the last seven days. This week: the UN launch their Clean Seas campaign in Bali; The Silo hotel opens in Cape Town; Iceland sees record levels of snow in its capital; rhino killings decline in South Africa; Sir David Attenborough speaks out against plans to build a bridge in pygmy elephant habitat in Borneo; and Cathay Pacific will launch their first direct flights between Hong Kong and Christchurch, New Zealand, in December.

The UN launches its Clean Seas campaign

Following the World Oceans Summit in Bali, the UN has launched its Clean Seas campaign, which aims to tackle plastic pollution. The initiative will target the use of single-use disposable plastic products and microplastics in cosmetics (such as microbeads in face scrubs). Indonesia – which, after China, discards more plastic into the sea than any other country – has already pledged to reduce its marine garbage by 70% by 2025, allocating up to US$1 billion a year to the issue. – Source: treehugger.com and theguardian.com.

UN Environment launches its Clean Seas campaign in Bali, Indonesia
UN Environment launches its Clean Seas campaign in Bali, Indonesia with actor Adrian Grenier. Image copyright UNEP / Shawn Heinrichs.

The Silo opens in Cape Town

Cape Town’s newest luxury hotel, The Silo, opened its doors on 1st March 2017. Run by the Royal Portfolio, who also own La Residence, Birkenhead House and safari lodge Royal Malewane, the Silo has been a long-anticipated development on Cape Town’s waterfront. On the uppermost floors of a refurbished grain silo – once Africa’s tallest building when it first opened in 1924 – the hotel features 28 individually designed rooms and one lavish penthouse, ‘bubble’ windows, signature bathrooms and incredible views of Cape Town from all angles. Read our inspection report here. – Source: theroyalportfolio.com.

The Silo.
One of the bathrooms at The Silo.

Iceland receives record-breaking snowfall

On Monday night, Reykjavík saw 51cm of snow fall in just a few hours overnight, which is the most since January 1937 when a depth of 55cm was recorded . The Icelandic capital was blanketed in snow, captured by photographer Gunnar Freyr, who was woken by trees breaking in his backyard at 3am. – Source: bbc.co.uk.

Rhino killings decline in South Africa as arrests increase

Last year, rhino killings decreased by 10% in South Africa as arrests of poachers and traffickers increased from 317 in 2015 to 680 in 2016. There were a reported 1,054 rhinos killed for their horns last year, which is down from 1,175 the previous year. The majority of the killings happen in Kruger National Park, which shares a porous border with Mozambique. – Source: bloomberg.com.

Rhino killings are on the decrease in South Africa.

David Attenborough asks Borneo government to reconsider building a bridge through pygmy elephant sanctuary

Sir David Attenborough is one of several conservationists asking the Borneo government to rethink plans for building a bridge through the habitat of the rare pygmy elephant. The bridge will cross the Kinabatangan River, which flows through the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, home to orangutans, proboscis monkeys, sun bears, pangolins and clouded leopards, aside from the elephants. Attenborough wrote: “If this construction is allowed to go ahead, I am left in no doubt that the bridge will have significant negative effects on the region’s wildlife, the Kinabatangan’s thriving tourism industry and on the image of Sabah as a whole.” – Source: theguardian.com.

A pygmy elephant in the Kinabatangan River.

Cathay Pacific will fly direct from Hong Kong to Christchurch, New Zealand

In December, Cathay Pacific will launch its first direct flights from Hong Kong to Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island. The route will be between 11 and 12 hours, one of the airline’s longest flights, and will take off three times a week from 1st December 2017 until 28th February 2018. – Source: scmp.com.

Surfing in Christchurch, New Zealand.