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Travel 2012 Report

Singapore

Capital City

Singapore is a city-state.

Population

The approximate population of Singapore is 4,928,000.

Major Industries

Singapore’s major industries include banking and finance, biomedical sciences, and tourism.

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Major Religion

Buddhism and Daoism make up the majority. Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism are also practised.

Languages

The four official languages of Singapore are English, Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil.

Climate

Singapore has an equatorial climate. The annual temperature varies from 24°C to 27°C. It rains approximately 180 days of the year.

Getting There

There are no direct flights from Vancouver to Singapore. However, there are multiple airlines that offer connecting flights including: Air Canada, Air China, British Airways, and US Airways.

Visa Requirements

A Tourist or Business Visa is not required for a stay of less than 30 days. Canadians visiting Singapore must have a passport that is valid for six months after the date of expected departure.

Currency

The unit of currency is the Singapore dollar (SGD).

Tipping

Tipping is not expected in Singapore, and many hotels and restaurants post signs asking people not to tip.

Interesting Fact

During the 14th century a visiting prince gave Singapore its name after he thought he saw a lion in the jungle. Singa Pura means “Lion City” and the symbol of the city is a Merlion, which is a mythical creature that is part lion and part fish.

Papua New Guinea (PNG)

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Capital City

The capital of PNG is Port Moresby.

Population

The approximate population of PNG is 6.3 million.

Major Industries

Three of the top 25 gold-producing mines in the world are located in PNG. Agriculture accounts for approximately 25% of the GDP of PNG.

Major religion

The major religion is Christianity.

Languages

There are more than 850 identified languages spoken in PNG.

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Climate

PNG has a monsoon climate. The best time to travel there is May to December.

Getting There

There are no direct flights from North America to PNG. North American travellers generally fly to Australia and then on to PNG.

Visa Requirements

Travellers must have a passport, visa, and an entry permit to visit PNG. Passports must be valid for at least six months from the intended date of travel.

Currency

The unit of currency in PNG is the Kina (K), pronounced KEE-nah.

Tipping

Tipping is discouraged in PNG.

Interesting Fact

PNG has one of the world’s most diverse indigenous populations in the world. The mountains create so much isolation in PNG that some of the indigenous communities were once unaware that there were others only a short distance away.

Japan

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Capital City

The capital of Japan is Tokyo.

Population

The approximate population of Japan is 128,057,352.

Major Industries

Manufacturing, construction, real estate, and communication are Japan’s major industries. Its main export goods are cars, electronic devices, and computers.

Major Religion

The two dominating religions in Japan are Shintoism and Buddhism.

Languages

The major languages in Japan are Japanese, Korean, and Okinawan.

Climate

Japan’s climate varies from tropical in the south, to temperate in the north.

Getting There

Air Canada, American Airlines, and Japan Airlines offer direct flights to Tokyo daily.

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Visa Requirements

Canadians need a valid passport, a return airline ticket, confirmed accommodation arrangements, and proof of sufficient funds when entering Japan. Business visas are required if compensation for work is being received while in Japan in addition to regular salary.

Currency

The unit of currency is the Yen (¥).

Tipping

Tipping is not a part of Japanese culture. A 10-15% service charge and 5% consumption tax is added in restaurants.

Interesting Fact

When doing business in Japan, officials will often invite you to go to karaoke. Acceptance is important because it will strengthen business rapport.

Hong Kong

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Capital City

Hong Kong is a city-state.

Population

The approximate population of Hong Kong is 7,122,508.

Major Industries

Hong Kong’s major industries are garment and textile manufacturing, banking, and tourism.

Major Religion

Local religions include Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism.

Climate

Hong Kong has a subtropical climate with hot, humid summers and cool, dry winters. Warm temperatures occur between March to May, and in September.

Getting There

Three major airlines that fly to Hong Kong are Air Canada, Cathay Pacific, and China Airlines.

Visa Requirements

Visitors must have a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the date of departure. Canadians do not need a visa for visits up to 90 days.

Currency

The unit of currency is the Hong Kong dollar (HKD).

Tipping

Tipping is not a big part of Hong Kong culture. However, if you wish, you can tip HKD5–HKD20 to workers in the service industry. At restaurants, leave a tip of 5–10%. For taxi drivers, round up the fare to the nearest dollar.

Interesting Fact

Gift giving and entertaining are a critical part of doing business in Hong Kong. Gifts should be given using both hands. Avoid giving clocks, books, and blankets.

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