Air India has done a major overhaul of its “Flying Returns” loyalty programme. For a limited time periods travellers will now be able to upgrade their tier- status using just 50% of the qualifying points than were needed earlier. FR Members will have access to benefits offered by 25 other airlines who are part of the Star Alliance group. Membership in India’s oldest & largest Flying Returns programme starts with Base Tier. After earning 25,000 points you enter the Silver Edge Club, after 50,000 points you are a member of the Golden Edge Club & finally passengers with 75,000 points are members of the Maharaja Club. Passengers belonging to Silver Edge class have a dedicated check-in facility & boarding while those belonging to the other 2 higher classes have access to airport lounges & other special facilities. Under Air India’s Flying Returns program revamp there will be no blackout dates like other airlines, your earned points & tier will be extended till 30th Jun 2023 with a facility to extend them even further if they are redeemed, facility for back-dated claims, a premium call center dedicated to members & a facility for family pooling to combine points.
Delhi Tourism will soon be launching evening tours to famous landmarks & monuments in Delhi. The program will be called “Delhi by Evening” & will operate on weekends from 17:00hrs to 22:00hrs. The tour will start at National War Memorial & will include India Gate, Kartavya Path, Qutub Minar & Safdarjung Tomb. The last point will be Dilli Haat where tourists would have their dinner after shopping to their heart’s content. This tour will also have pickup & drop facilities & guide services. The Qutub Minar & Safdarjung Tomb will be lit up for the evening & be open to public till 20:30hrs. This tour will cost INR525 and one can book it on the Delhi Tourism website or on the “Dekho Meri Dilli” app.
Kazakhstan, a beautiful country in Central Asia is offering visa free travel to Indians. Indians can stay in Kazakhstan for 14 days without a visa & for 42 days in every 180 days. It is one of the top ten largest countries in the world & is famous for its wild horses, traditional eagle hunting & its architectural marvels. It also has a UNESCO world heritage site at Turkestan, the mausoleum of Khawaja Ahmed Yasavi. The Baikonur Cosmodrome, which is the world’s largest & first space launch facility is also present in this country. It is also a great place to visit for adventure sports enthusiasts for enjoying activities like skiing, horse-riding, hiking & camping.
Delhi airport might soon get 2 international airport terminals. At present Terminal 1 is used for LCC of domestic flights, T2 is used by all domestic operators & T3 is for international as also domestic flights. Indigo Airlines which operates out of all the 3 terminals has requested that international flights are also
allowed to operate from Terminal 1. If this proposal is accepted by DIAL then the T1 will have LCC like Indigo, T2 will have full service carriers & T3 will be for TATA group aircrafts & international carriers. Moving between the T1 & T2/3 has always been a big issue for passengers & hence this move is expected
to help not just the airlines in its operational & staff concerns but also the passengers to navigate between the terminals.
Odisha got its first Vande Bharat Express train on 20th May 2023. The train will run between Puri in Odisha to Howrah in West Bengal. The train will cover a total distance of 500km & pass through many important cities like Khorda, Cuttack, Paschim & Purba Medinipur, etc. The train will run on all days except Thursday. Puri is an a city of religious importance & is also near to Bhubaneshwar, the capital of Odisha as well as other tourist attractions like Konark & Chilika Lake. Now travelers visiting Odisha can easily visit the neighbouring state of West Bengal & visit Belur Math, Howrah Bridge, etc which are some famous tourists spots in West Bengal. Howrah is also just 16km away from Kolkata, the state capital & a major city in the East.
A ‘hop-on-hop-off’ ferry will soon connect seven temples in Guwahati in Assam. The seven temples of Kamakhya, Doul Govinda, Pandunath, Aswaklanta, Chakreshwar, Umananda, and Auniati Satra in & around Guwahati will be connected by a ferry service running on inland waterways. The Central Government also plans to take this project further into the other North-eastern states & connect them internally through the inland water systems. This will provide better connectivity between & within the states & also boost tourism. The ferry service in Guwahati will be able to complete one round in less than two hours & will start from Hanuman Ghat in Uzan Bazar. The project is expected to start within a year.
Go First airlines was in the news recently after it filed for bankruptcy leading to great chaos among passengers & the tourism industry alike. But now it is planning to resume operations from 27th May 2023. An internal memo to that effect has been sent out by the company. They have also started with mandatory training for their pilots before they resume operations. The airline will begins operations on a smaller scale than earlier for the time being.
Partition is a painful memory for most Indians but stories from those times need to be collected & told to the future generations so that we do not repeat our mistakes & learn from history. Hence a Partition Museum has been opened in Delhi 75 years after the dreadful event took place. A Partition Museum
is already present in Amritsar in Punjab. The museum in Delhi documents the memories of those who suffered directly or indirectly via artwork & memorabilia. This museum will also carry the stories of the residents of Delhi & how the residents coped with the daily changes that came in with millions of refugees, stories of their migrations & resettlements as well as oral accounts of their lives. There are 7 galleries at the museum covering different time periods. The museum is at the home of Dara Shikoh & entry is through a free token system which is available on their website.
Malshej Ghat in Maharashtra becomes popular among young tourists once the monsoon starts. This leads to increased traffic on that route which faces immense traffic even on a daily basis. In preparation of the upcoming monsoon season when many youngsters will set out to enjoy the rains the Government has announced repair work at Malshej Ghat. Many a time during monsoons, accidents occur in the ghat area due to bad road conditions. In order to prevent this from 19th May 2023 on every Thursday from 06:00hrs to 18:00hrs the ghat will be closed for vehicular traffic in order to carry our repairs. An alternate route will be available for travellers, however this alternate route too will be closed for heavy vehicles.
Soon tourists from Mumbai will be able to travel to Goa by the Vande Bharat Express. The Mumbai – Goa Vande Bharat Express is expected to start from June 2023 & is expected to reduce the travel time by 45min. It will start from CSMT in Mumbai & the last station will be Madgaon in Goa. The train is expected to set off from CSMT early in the morning & reach Madgaon in the afternoon & then return back to Mumbai the same day at night. The train will have 16 coaches with a total seating capacity of 1128. Out of the 16 coaches 2 will be executive class. After trains to Shirdi, Solapur & Gandhinagar, this is the third Vande Bharat train from Mumbai.
After the successful launch of Vande Bharat trains the Indian Railways will soon be introducing the RapidX rail trains. The first of these Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) will run on the Delhi – Ghaziabad – Meerut route. Operations between Sahibabad to Duhai are likely to begin in June this year. However the entire 82km long stretch of the RRTs comprising of 25 stations will be fully operational only in 2025. The train will be able to carry 450 passengers. It will have 6 AC coaches with a capacity for expansion to 9 coaches if need be. One coach will be reserved for ladies & one coach will be premium.
After the pandemic tourism saw a surge in demand with many people wanting to travel within their country as well as to foreign countries. On one hand while the tourist rush was increasing the tourism industry was hit by worker strikes at Heathrow airport last December. This year too a worker’s strike has been planned at Heathrow airport between 25th May to 27th May 2023. The airport will be open, however many of its services are likely to be affected. The official website of the Heathrow airport states that passengers will be allowed to carry 2 items of carry-on baggage. Check-in baggage limit will be as per ticket. The Gatwick & Manchester airports will not be joining in on this strike however they too are likely to be affected due to increased load at Heathrow. Hence it is advised to plan your travel accordingly.
Kapileshwara Temple in Bhubaneshwar in Odisha is one of the oldest living temples in the state. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva & was built in the 14th century This temple which is visited by thousands of devotees every year has been declared as a monument of national importance by the Ministry of Culture of the Central Government. Owing to this the temple will also be granted care & protection by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Everyone who visits Bhubaneshwar to take darshan at the Jagannath temple also visits the Kapileshwara temple & the Kapila tank which is situated here. Lingaraj temple, Mukteshwara temple, Rajarani temple & the Udaygiri & Khandagiri caves are some other famous destinations in the city.
The Central Government will soon be launching the Vibrant Village Programme under which it will develop 17 villages along the Indo-China border as tourist destinations. A total of 663 villages all over India will be covered under this programme. The 17 border villages are from the states of Uttarakhand,
Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Sikkim, & Arunachal Pradesh. Homestays will be developed in these villages with almost 120 of them planned in Uttarakhand alone & adventure tourism including river rafting, ice skating, skiing, etc. will be encouraged with trekking routes being developed in the hilly states. This will also help the villages as for tourism development infrastructure will be developed to include mobile towers, clean drinking water facilities, excellent roads, electricity & internet connectivity.
Himachal Pradesh has been experiencing heavy snowfall this month. While this has led to many issues for tourists they are also enjoying the snow clad mountains & trees forming breath-taking views as well as the experience of watching actual snowfall. Heavy snowfall was recorded in Lahaul, Spiti &
Kullu districts. The snow also added to the transport woes of travllers. In view of this situation the administration has issued a travel advisory for tourists. Travellers have been advised to drive their car very slowly in first gear & not apply brakes. 14 roads have also been shut down to prevent any
mishap due to skidding or roads closing due to snowfall & tourists getting trapped. Six of these roads are in Lahaul & Spiti, four in Kullu & the remaining four in other districts of the state. The IMD has predicted that snowfall along with light rain is likely to continue in the state with some districts even experiencing hailstorms.
The Gulf Cooperation Council plans to introduce common visa for tourists on the lines of Schengen visa which grants entry to most countries in Europe. A common visa makes traveling between different countries & crossing borders easier. There are also plans to start a common GCC website for tourism along with an online booking platform. The GCC includes 6 nations viz. UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar & Bahrain. Many of these nations have previously launched joint tourism campaigns & greatly benefitted with increase in tourist footfall.
Etihad Airways & Emirates Airline have signed an interline agreement which will help travellers explore more options while visiting Dubai & UAE. An interline is an agreement between 2 airline companies which helps one airline to sell distinct services in which the airline specializes to customers of the other
airline. This helps them serve customers more itineraries which they otherwise would not be able to offer. This agreement between the two aviation giants in the Middle East is expected to boost tourism & help tourists plan their vacations easily. Due to this agreement customers of both the airlines will be able
to buy a single ticket to enter via Dubai or Abu Dhabi & be able to exit from the other city. Travellers also have an option now to explore UAE with a one-stop ticket & convenient baggage check-in. At present the airlines will be focusing on traveller from China & Europe.
As the date for the opening of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya nears hotel chains are rushing to the city to open up new hotels. As Ayodhya is a place of pilgrimage it will attract people from all walks of life. Hence the city has a growing demand for budget as well as five star hotels & homestays. The current hotels &
homestays in the city are proving inadequate to meet the rising demands. The TATA group will be adding 2 new properties; a 100 & 120 rooms hotel under the Vivanta & Ginger brand respectively. Meanwhile, OYO will be adding 50 properties consisting of hotels & homestays both. The Radisson & ITC brands too will be building hotels in Ayodhya. It is estimated that by the end of this decade there will be about 25,000 hotel rooms available for guests in Ayodhya which will serve an estimated 4 crore travellers annually. This will boost tourism in the state with the development of infrastructure connecting Ayodhya with other major cities like Lucknow, Prayagraj, Varanasi & Gorakhpur.
The USA has removed the mandatory COVID-19 vaccine requirement for international travelers. From 11th May 2023 travelers will no longer have to submit proofs of the vaccination while entering the US. While most of the countries have already done away with the vaccine requirement USA had not lifted the travel restrictions. Other than air travel even those entering the US via ports & land will also not need to submit proof of vaccination. The Biden administration had earlier removed the mandatory virus testing requirement for foreign travelers.
The CSMIA has announced that all domestic flights of Spice Jet will henceforth depart from Terminal 1 of Mumbai airport. This will come into effect from 01st June 2023. The airport authorities have requested all the passengers flying by Spice Jet to recheck with the airlines before setting out for the airport in order to avoid any last minute confusion. The two terminals are at a distance of 2km from one another & depending on the traffic it might take up to half an hour to travel from one to the other hence it is advisable to reconfirm the terminal. Other airlines departing from Terminal 1 of the Mumbai airport are
Akasa Air & Star Air while Indigo departs from both the terminals.
Auroras which are commonly spotted in the Scandinavian & the polar regions were for the first time seen at Ladakh in India! On 21st April this extremely rare occurrence was observed at Ladakh at 11:42PM by the Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO). Auroras are natural lights that light up the night sky and com in many colours like green, red, yellow, etc. When charged particles from the sun called ions meet the earth’s magnetic field & collide with the oxygen & nitrogen in Earth’s atmosphere leading to cretion of these colourful auroras. It is very rare for an aurora to be seen at such a low altitude as at Ladakh. More such auroras at relatively lower altitudes have also been observed in Europe & China.
Now your trip to see the Taj Mahal at Agra in moonlight can be booked well in advance from the comfort of your home. Currently one needed to buy the ticket to visit the Taj at night one day prior to the visit. However the ASI has now allowed online booking of tickets to visit the Taj at night. The offline system will be discontinued and a simpler & quicker online system for ticket booking will replace the same. Day time visit tickets will still be available offline as well as online. Night time visit to the Taj is available five times in a month; on the full moon night and the two nights preceding & two nights after the full moon night. A total of 400 people are allowed each night between 20:30hrs to 00:30hrs with 50 visitors allowed in each slot. There are 8 such slots of half hour each.
Soon you will be able to book a seat in the first class compartment of a train for your pet dog or cat online. At present pets needs an offline confirmation which is to be obtained from railway officials by the pet parents an hour before before the journey. This leads to unnecessary stress for everyone involved.
However very soon booking your pet a seat will become easier. Online booking for pets will be available on the IRCTC website. After uploading all the necessary details about your pet & after submitting all the documents like vaccination certificates & various undertakings they website will generate the fare. After payment of the fare you will receive an email sharing the receipt & confirmation.
There is some good news coming from the US Embassy for all the visa applicants! You might soon be able to get that USA visa without an in-person interview. The US Embassy has announced that travelers who have received department authorization & clearance on previous visas can avail of the visa interview waiver process while applying for a new visa. This will simplify the visa renewal process & be a huge relief for travelers who need not spend time & money attending interviews at the embassy anymore. Those applying for renewal within 48 months of expiration & for F, H-1, H-3, H-4, non-blanket L, M, O, P, Q, and
academic J visas are eligible for this waiver. However those applicants whose visa application was earlier rejected; even if approved later, are not eligible for interview waiver under this facility. Visa approval under this category will take three weeks from the time passport is submitted to the concerned
authorities. For more information, contact us
Germany to Issue Authenticity Certificates Digitally for Indian Students
Germany has announced a significant step towards easing the visa processing for Indian students by digitizing the authenticity certificate issuance process. The Academic Evaluation Centre (AEC), which is responsible for verifying student academic certificates, will now issue authenticity certificates digitally instead of on paper.
As part of the visa application process, Indian students are mandated to obtain authenticity certificates by having their academic certificates verified by the AEC. However, the current paper-based system has caused significant delays in the processing of visa applications, putting undue stress on students.
The new digital certificate will be sent via email to the student, eliminating postal delays and reducing processing time. Although paper certificates issued previously will still be considered valid, candidates can now choose the digital option, which is expected to expedite the process.
The AEC has committed to issuing the digital certificate within two weeks of document submission. Once issued, the certificate can be submitted at the VFS, German Embassy, or Consulate during the visa application process. This initiative is a much-needed relief for Indian students who often face challenges in visa processing due to delays caused by the current paper-based system.
It is important to note that the digital certificate is expected to expedite the visa processing time, allowing Indian students to start their academic programs on time. This is a significant step towards facilitating smoother academic mobility and fostering friendly ties between Germany and India.
Overall, the digital authenticity certification initiative is a much-needed relief for Indian students, reducing the stress and uncertainty involved in the visa application process. The expedited processing time is expected to pave the way for a smoother and more efficient visa process for Indian students, making it easier for them to pursue higher education in Germany. For more information, contact us!
The Gondola cable car project in Pahalgam is creating a buzz among tourists and locals alike. The 2km stretch from Yatri Niwas to Bai Saran will be transformed into a scenic journey, offering breathtaking views of the evergreen forests and the Himalayas.
Pahalgam, the base camp for pilgrims visiting Amarnath, is already a popular destination for its serene beauty and adventure activities. The addition of the Gondola cable cars will make it even more attractive to visitors. With easy access to nearby attractions, such as trekking, skiing, and river rafting, all these activities can be done at Manali too but tourists will have an unforgettable experience in Pahalgam.
The project is expected to provide a much-needed boost to tourism in the region, creating employment opportunities for locals and generating revenue for the government. Visitors will be able to enjoy the stunning views of the Lidder Valley from a bird’s-eye view, making it a unique and memorable experience.
The Gondola cable car project in Pahalgam is a perfect example of how sustainable tourism can benefit both the local community and the environment. It is a responsible and eco-friendly way of promoting tourism, protecting the natural resources of the region.
In conclusion, the Gondola cable car project in Pahalgam is a significant development that will transform the region’s tourism industry. It is an opportunity for visitors to experience the beauty of Pahalgam like never before, while also contributing to the local community’s growth and development. Nearest airport to reach is Srinagar. Extension to this Amarnath tour can be done with Gulmarg, Sonmarg and Srinagar or if time permits you can explore Leh and Ladhak sector.
The Madhya Pradesh Government will be taking senior citizens above the age of 65 years on a pilgrimage. Under the Mukhyamantri Teerth Darshan Yojana the MP Government has been helping senior citizens undertake pilgrimages by train since 2012. This year however air travel has been introduced under this scheme. The pilgrimage destinations which chosen under this scheme include Shirdi in Maharashtra, Vrindavan–Mathura in Uttar Pradesh & Gangasagar in West Bengal. The first flight will be to Prayagraj from Bhopal on 21st May 2023 and the last flight will be on 19th July 2023 to Shirdi.
Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi will flag off the country’s first water metro in Kochi, Kerala. These battery operated boats will be plying on 8 routes from tomorrow. While initially only 15 boats will be working, later the number will be increased to 70 metro boats which will connect 10 islands. The boat metro has wide glass windows and is fully airconditioned. This project will not only enhance local transport but will also serve as a tourist attraction being the first water metro in the the country. The minimum fare will be INR20 while maximum fare will be INR40 making it affordable to one & all.
On the occasion of Buddha Pournima, a Buddha Mahotsav has been planned at Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh. This is an annual event that is celebrated by thousands of Buddhists who visit Sarnath on this day. Sarnath is particularly significant as it was the place where Gautam Buddha delivered his first sermon after attaining enlightenment. During the Buddha Mahotsav, many cultural events and activities take place to celebrate the life and teachings of Buddha. One of the highlights of the event is when the monks carry a sacred relic of Buddha in a procession, which is witnessed by thousands of people. This is a special moment for devotees who gather to pray and be a part of the celebrations. Sarnath is located close to Varanasi and is easily accessible by air, train or bus. This makes it a popular destination for people who want to participate in the Buddha Mahotsav and experience the spiritual atmosphere of the place.
The Chardham Yatra begins from 22nd April this year. As a large number of pilgrims are expected to visit the four pilgrimage sites of Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath & Badrinath in Uttarakhand the Government has issued a health advisory for all visitors. As the temples are located at a high altitude pilgrims often suffer from shortness of breath, extreme cold, low oxygen & air pressure, etc. Hence pilgrims have been advised to get a pre-visit checkup done & carry all necessary medicines in sufficient quantities.
Pilgrims visiting Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh will be able to get a bird’s eye view of the holy city soon. Soon a helicopter service will be started in Ayodhya by UP Tourism which will take tourists for a short 10min trip above the city & Saryu river. The tickets will cost INR3000 per person. The first trial run was conducted on Ram Navami and soon it will be available to tourists on a regular basis.
The tulip gardens in Srinagar, Kashmir which are the largest Tulip gardens in Asia, opened to the public on 19th March this year. Since then they have seen a record breaking number of tourist visit the gardens. Nearly 3.60 lakh tourists from various countries have visited the garden in the past one month since
their opening. The Tulip Garden is located at the foot of the Zabarwan mountain range & near the famous Dal Lake.
After banning use of 2-wheelers for tourists Bali is now considering of applying a tourism tax on tourists. In the past few years Bali has seen an increase in number of tourists misusing their tourist visas, violating rules at religious shrines, etc. In order to check the visit of unruly tourists the country is considering applying a tourism tax. The money collected from this tax will be channeled into conservation of environment & upkeep of mangroves & coral reefs.
There is a good news for Ayyappa devotees. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has approved the building of a new airport in Kottayam in Kerala which is close to the Sabarimala temple. The new airport will be built over 2250 acres of land. In the months of November & December thousands of Ayyappa devotees
from across the country as well as from abroad visit Sabarimala for their annual pilgrimage. The development of this airport is bound to help these pilgrims & facilitate an easy yatra.
Your Swiss holiday can become a lot more affordable if you buy the Swiss Travel Pass. A single pass can provide you access to world-class rail, bus, tram & boat routes all across Switzerland. Along with transport it also has additional perks like entries to certain museums, historical monuments or excursions. Children under 16 can travel free of charge on a Swiss Family Card. The Swiss Pass can be purchased for a duration of 3,4,8 or 15 days. From 15th April to 14th May a special discount is being offered to tourists for the 4 & 8 day pass under which you get a day extra when you purchase a 4 days pass & 2 days extra when you purchase an 8 days pass. The offer is valid for both 1st & 2nd class tickets & for travel dates within six months from date of issue.
Rajasthan’s first & India’s fifth Vande Bharat Express train will run between Delhi & Ajmer. The train will cover a distance of 460km within 5hr 15min. It will also halt at Gurugram, Jaipur & Alwar. This will bring Rajasthan much closer to Delhi for short trips & more. The Ajmer Sharif Dargah, Ana Sagar Lake & the handicrafts, textiles & jewellery are famous attractions in Ajmer while Jaipur is world famous for its many forts & historical monuments.
The iconic Waldorf Astoria Hotel is set to open its first hotel in India in Jaipur. Overlooking the Aravalli hills the hotel will have 51 pool villas & 174 guest rooms along with open lawns for celebrations & conference halls for business meetings. Waldorf Astoria is a well-known & respected name in the
field of hospitality & luxury accommodations & it’s hotel in Jaipur is expected to open by 2027.
Himachal Pradesh is a great favourite of tourists in India, especially in the Summer months. Shimla, Manali, Dharamshala, Dalhousie, Spiti are popular destinations among tourists. However the Government of Himachal Pradesh is planning to work on ways to attract tourists year round. With this goal
in view the Government will be developing Kangra as the state’s tourism capital. Popular tourist destinations of McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, Palampur, Bir Billing Chamunda Devi & the upcoming Chamunda ropeway all come in Kangra district providing a wonderful mix of leisure, culture & adventure.
Tourist, business & student visa to the USA will get costlier from this May. USA will be increasing its visa processing fee from the current price of INR13,138 to INR15,190 from 30th May 2023. While this won’t affect those who have already paid the visa processing fee but the new applications will feel the heat of this price rise. Those traveling for tourism, business, study along with temporary workers, E-category visa applicants, and those belonging to categories H,L,O,P,Q & R will be affected by this price rise. The exact increase in price will vary according to category. For more information contact us
Transit & transfer passengers at Changi airport, Singapore can now once again enjoy a free Singapore tour. There are four tours available each of which lasts for 2.5 hours and all of which are available daily. The four tours offered are City Sights Tour, Jewel Tour, Heritage Tour & Changi Precinct Tour. All
passengers who have a layover period of minimum 5hr 30min will be eligible to book these tours as long as they have a valid entry visa in Singapore. This tour was suspended for the past few years due to the pandemic however its finally been restarted much to the delight of tourists.
PROJECT TIGER has completed 50 years. To celebrate this occasion the Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi enjoyed a jungle safari at the Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka and also visited the elephant camp now famous for its Oscar winning elephant handlers. This is the first time a Prime Minister has visited Bandipur which is a very popular tiger sanctuary under this project.He also visited the Mudumalai Elephant Camp in the Nilgiris. Later on he met The Elephant Whisperers Bomman & Belli when he visited the Theppakadu Elephant Camp in Tamil Nadu.
Nepal is a popular destination for adventure seekers & for hiking & trekking enthusiasts. Mountains like the Everest, Kanchenjunga, Manaslu, etc provide a formidable challenge to trekkers and many love taking up this challenge. However sometimes when natural calamities strike or a medical emergency emerges
these travelers are left with no one to turn too as they are in extremely remote areas of the country. This can prove dangerous for the traveler and a search operation is also very expensive & taxing for the Government. Sometimes these issues are further compounded by tourists taking the help of unauthorized travel agents & guides. To reduce such instances the Government of Nepal has decided to ban solo trekkers. Henceforth trekkers will either need to be in a group or will need to hire a Government approved guide on their trip. This will also help novices who are not familiar with the outdoor trails & the challenges they might pose.
Both the runways at Mumbai airport will remain closed on 02nd May 2023 for the yearly maintenance before the start of monsoons. The CSMIA has announced that on 2nd May there will be no flights arriving or departing from the airport from 11:00hrs to 17:00hrs as the airport will undergo repair & maintenance work. Passengers who will be traveling on 2nd May at during these hours will have to check with their airlines regarding cancellations & rescheduling of flights
Soon Schengen visa will be available as a 2D barcode instead of the traditional sticker on your passport. In a bid to keep fraudsters in check, increase efficiency of visa approvals & help genuine travelers the EU has approved the digitization of Schengen visa. Soon applicants would be able to apply for visa online, upload all their related documents, pay the fees online & the visa approval or rejection too will be informed to the applicant online. This will greatly reduce the work pressure on consulates as less number of travelers will need to personally visit the consulate offices for the visa process. However first time
travelers & those whose biometric data is not accepted by the system will still have to pay a visit to the consulate.
Sri Lanka will be developing the Ramayana trail based on the Hindu epic Ramayana which mentions the Lankan King Ravana and Sita’s stay in captivity in Lanka. Sigiriya, the place where Sita spent her days in captivity; Ashoka Vatika in Nuwara Eliya where Hanuman met Sita; Ravana Falls & Divurompala Falls where
Sita undertook the Agni Pariksha will be part of this Ramayana circuit. Trincomalee with its many temples & Koneshwara temple built by Rama for Shiva will also be included in this circuit. Talks are also on for allowing use of Indian rupee in the island nation.
The Summer Holiday Retreat of the President of India in Shimla will be open to visitors from 23rd April. President Droupadi Murmu will be opening this retreat for the public during her Shimla visit. It will be open on all days except Mondays, government holidays & when the President is in residence. The well maintained lawns. the dining halls & various artifacts placed here will be a major attraction for visitors. Apart from this orchards & adventure trails at the Rashtrapati Niwas will also be opened up. Earlier the President’s House in New Delhi & the Rashtrapati Nilayam in Hyderabad too had been opened to public.
In order to boost tourism the African country of Egypt has announced that it will be offering multiple-entry visas to tourists from almost 180 countries. Also more countries will be eligible for visa-on-arrival option. A 5 year multiple-entry visa will cost USD700 while a single entry visa will be USD25. China and
India too have been included in this list.
After successful integration of the 8 cheetahs from Africa at the Kuno National Park, the Madhya Pradesh Government is planning to partner with local communities & other private investors to develop homestays & a tourism village around the National Park. They plan to develop a theme park for wildlife enthusiasts &
to develop a tourism circuit linking Kuno with Ranthambore, Gwalior & the Chambal region. This is expected to drive domestic as well as international tourists to the Park in large numbers.
Following consistent efforts by the USA the wait time for USA visitor’s visa interview has been reduced by 60%. The waiting period in Oct 20222 was 1000 days but this year the time has been considerably reduced. The USA embassy in Delhi has the shortest waiting time (247 days) for B1/B2 visas in India. While many officials were sent from various US embassies all over the world to expedite the visa process, even their embassies in Bangkok, London, Frankfurt & Abu Dhabi are helping out in the process at their end. They will also be opening a consulate in Hyderabad. USA had also expanded visa waivers for Indians recently. There are also plans to help Indians living in USA renew their visa in USA itself without needing to travel back to India.
PM Modi has been encouraging tourism in the North Eastern states for the past many years & the results of this boost are visible in the increased number of tourists, both Indian & foreigners visiting the seven states. These days a butterfly park in the state of Tripura is getting very popular among Indian &
Bangladeshi tourists. It is one of a sort park in the North East region and is developed by the forest department near the India – Bangladesh international border. Situated at Chottakhola it has about 250 species of butterflies. The park is situated close to the Trishna wildlife sanctuary & Indo – Bangla Maitri
Park. Visitors can visit all the three attractions together. There is also a breeding facility at this park & the state goverment has decided to promote this park & the butterflies as a part of its tourism initiative.
Was Finland always on your bucket list? And have you been unable to check it off your list for long? The Finns themselves are giving you the perfect opportunity to visit Finland. Voted #1 on the UN’s happiest countries list for six consecutive years, Finland will be offering a masterclass called “Finding your Inner
Finn” to 10 people from around the world from 12th June to 15th June 2023. The masterclass will be held in Kuru in Lake District and will cover travel & accommodation in a villa in the midst of nature. Applications close on 2nd April 2023
For fastest and comfortable travel to Kashmir Valley after 2014 special efforts has been taken including the tunnel Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Tunnel and Tunnel between Kashmir to Leh. Now one more crown in the J&K tourism is the th first cable-stayed railway bridge in India, inspired by the Bandra-Worli
sea link in Mumbai, is all set to be inaugurated in J&K. Named the Anji Khad bridge it will be ready for use by May 2023. This bridge which is an engineering marvel will connect Kashmir for the first time with the rest of India as well as with Jammu by train. This bridge is a part of the Udhampur – Baramulla – Srinagar
line which will be operational by Feb 2024. This bridge will offer a unique travel experience to tourists.
For the first time in history the Rashtrapati Nilayam in Secundarabad, which is official residence of the President of India when she visits the Southern state of Hyderabad in winter will be open to general public. Except for the days when the President will be in residence the general public can visit Rashtrapati Nilayam by paying a nomial entrance fee. A Knowledge Gallery developed therein will provide information to visitors about the Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi & the Nilayam & about the role of a President in the Indian Government. Visitors will be able to see the building from inside & also visit the Presidential Wing & dining area & click selfies with the President’s Limo & Buggy.
Sea World at Yas Island Abu Dhabi is all set to open for the public & tourists from 23-May-2023. This sea park themed “One Ocean” will tell the story of how life on earth and in the ocean is interconnected. There will be eight zones having exciting rides, encounters with animals, entertainment & also shopping & food. The aquarium here will house 68,000 marine animals of a wide range of species. While providing world class facilities to visitors the Park management has also ensured that the animals receive excellent care sparing no expense in that regard. Guests will have an immersive experience through their ONE OCEAN story which covers the varied topography of our plant from tropics to the Gulf to the Pacific coasts, and also provide information about the region’s maritime history, etc.
On the auspicious occasion of Gudhi Padwa & the start of the Chaitra Navratri Union Home Minister Amit Shah inaugurated the Sharda Devi temple in Kupwara, Kashmir via video conferencing. The Sringeri Math in Karnataka has spearheaded the restoration of this temple and the murti of Sharada Devi was taken out in a procession from Karnataka to Kashmir where it was finally established in the temple after following all the religious rites. The Home Minister also said that he was working on a plan to open a corridor to the Sharada Peeth temple in PoK on the lines of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor. He further added that 35
places across the state were being renovated which includes many ancient temples and Sufi shrines.
Indian Railways will run a train covering all the major sites associated with the life of Shri Ram. Called the “Ramayana Yatra” this Bharat Gaurav train will journey across the whole length of India in 18 days starting from 07th April 2023. Tourists will also get to visit the upcoming Ram Mandir at Ayodhya as well as the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor at Varanasi. In the 18 day long journey various places like Nandigram, Sitamarhi, Janakpur, Varanasi, Prayagraj, Chitrakoot, Hampi, Nashik, Rameshwaram, Bhadrachalam, Nagpur, etc will be covered. The train will have AC-I & AC-II coaches with a total capacity of 156 passengers and will be equipped with a host of modern amenities. The train will start from Delhi’s Safdarjung station & tickets start from ₹ 111910 per person and will be inclusive of train & bus fare, meals, guide charges & travel insurance.
Its Sakura time in Japan! Sakura also known as cherry blossoms have started blooming early this year in Japan. Usually their blooming period begins in late March & the trees are laden with these beautiful blossoms till end of April. This year however the trees have already started flowering in mid-March. Owing
to this Japan has formally announced the start of the cherry blossom season. Japanese love to have picnics under these flowering trees and this tradition is called Hanami. This is also an excellent time to visit Japan as the weather is pleasant with clear blue skies with the cherry trees blooming in full splendour. Some of the popular places for watching cherry blossoms are Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Ueno Park in Tokyo, Hirosaki Castle in Aomori Prefecture, the Philosopher’s Path in Kyoto, and Himeji Castle in Hyogo Prefecture.
Singapore’s Changi airport has regained its #1 position as the World’s Best Airport at the Skytrax Award Ceremony in Amsterdam. Changi airport dislodged Qatar’s Hammad International airport & returned to its position of being the best airport in the world. This was the 12th time that the airport has bagged
this award. Along with being awarded the World’s Best Airport, Changi was also awarded the ‘World’s Best Airport Dining’ & ‘World’s Best Airport Leisure Amenities’. Hammad International Airport at Doha was placed second while Haneda (Tokyo, Japan), Incheon (Seoul, South Korea) & Charles de Gaulle (Paris, France) earned the third, fourth & fifth places respectively.
We are sure you would like to save money while you are on your leisure tour to Bali by hiring a local bike ( same as you can hire in Goa and Pondicherry ) …. But The Government authorities of Bali, Indonesia may ban the use of motorbikes for renting out to tourists as in recent past there has been a steep increase in the number of tourists caught driving without a helmet and not holding a valid driving license. Hence the Government is thinking of banning the use of bikes by tourists & instead will make it compulsory to hire cars from travel agents. Locals are expecting to see difficulty in exploring the island as not every corner of the island is accessible by car and also there can be increase traffic jams let us hope the authorities take an amicable decision.
Dreaming of a European holiday but worried about the long waiting period of visa approvals? While Italy has barely any visa appointments available even countries like Germany, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, etc have visa appointment slots only in April or May. On the other hand Greece, Hungary Budapest, etc have appointments slots free in March but the approval time is 1-2months! Thankfully there are still a few countries which are processing visa quickly. Spain, Sweden, Finland, Georgia, Azerbaijan & Armenia are very efficiently processing their visa applications & hence are your best option for a European holiday. The visa for Spain, Sweden & Finland will even give you access to other nearby European countries provided you spend the maximum duration of your vacation in one of these countries.
In the recently concluded PATWA (Pacific Area Travel Writers Association) International Travel Bourse 2023 in Berlin, Tamil Nadu was recognized as the “best destination for heritage & culture tourism”. The three day tourism trade was held in Berlin, Germany from 07th March to 09th March. Tamil Nadu is famous world-wide for its ancient Hindu temples like those in Madurai, Rameshwaram, Kanyakumari etc whose beautifully decorated gopurams are unmatched even today. It also has beautiful stretches of clean beaches as well as hill stations & wildlife sanctuaries. The state is a great destination for families, couples as well as young people who like to travel alone.
This year pilgrims on the Chardham Yatra will be given coupons so as to reduce crowding at the temples. The tokens will be given in hourly slots & every token will be valid for 4 hours. The tokens which will be issued under directions of the Uttarakhand Tourism board will be distributed outside the respective
temples at Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath & Badrinath. The Chardham Yatra begins from 22nd April this year. While the Uttarakhand Chardham is very famous the actual Chardham Yatra includes visiting Puri in Odisha, Badrinath in Uttarakhand, Dwaraka in Gujarat & Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu. All these cities are famous pilgrim centers even individually & the various state governments have also made them a part of important tourist routes. Puri, Bhubaneshwar is a popular circuit in Odisha, Rameshwaram – Madurai in Tamil Nadu, Dwaraka – Somnath in Gujarat & Badrinath is a part of the famous Uttarakhand tourism circuit.
When temperatures soar in the country everyone heads North to Himachal Pradesh & Uttarakhand to enjoy some cooler weather. These months are also a great time to visit Kashmir for the tulips are in full bloom. The Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden which overlooks the Dal Lake in Srinagar will be open to tourists
starting 24-March-2023. The garden has over 1.5 million tulips in a variety of colour. The city will also be hosting the annual Tulip Festival from 03rd April to 20th April. Visitors not only enjoy walking through the beautiful gardens but during the festival also get to experience the local culture & cuisine of Kashmir. Ticket fare for adults is ₹60 per person & for children is ₹25 per child
The CM of Himachal Pradesh has announced house boats will be run in the dams & rivers of popular tourist destinations in Himachal Pradesh. Preparations are also on to develop Chamera, Bakra, Pong & Koldam into tourist spots. House boats & cruises will be made operative in these areas. Recently in the month of January PM Modi had flagged off the world’s longest river cruise MV Ganga Vilas Cruise from Varanasi to Dibrugarh while house boats have always been extremely popular among tourists at Kashmir & in Kerala. Uttar Pradesh too has been in the news for wanting to explore house boats for tourism on the Ganga.
Australia, the land of sparkling blue oceans, distinct wildlife & a favourite of Indian tourists! Perfectly balancing modern cities on one hand & the vast wilderness on another Australia is on every tourist’s bukcet list. Adventurers seek out surfing, animal lovers visit it for the kangaroos & koalas, cricket
lovers for the Melbourne Cricket Stadium while many just love the vibe of its cities like Sydney. However this time India is welcoming the Australian PM Anthony Albanese. The PM landed in Ahmedabad in Gujarat & visited the Sabarmati Ashram. India is likely to announce significant investments in the Rare Earth sector in Australia & many other decisions of mutual benefit are expected to be reached upon during this visit.
In January this year the Ministry of Tourism launched the Swadesh Darshan 2.0 programme. This programme will focus on developing sustainable & responsible tourist destinations. 30 cities from over 15 states of India have been shortlisted for this initiative. Area of around 50km around the selected city will be developed as a tourism destination. Earlier under this scheme many famous tourism circuits have been launched, e.g.: Buddhist Circuit, Ramayana Circuit, North East Circuit, etc. This time the focus will be on individual destinations instead of circuits covering multiple states. Some of the states selected for this programme are Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, UP, etc. Sites like Dholavira & UT of Chandigarh will also be included. Wildlife destinations like Kokrajhar, Jorhat, Majuli & Shivsagar in Assam are also on the list.
The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is all set to open once again for tourists & devotees by 2024. In 2019 the cathedral a fire had broke out in the cathedral causing extensive damage to the structure. After more than six years the Cathedral will be restored to its original condition by the hard work of nearly a 1000 workers who have been working on it for years. The 96m high spire of the Cathedral which was its focal point had also been damaged in the fire. This newly constructed spire will be revealed this year as a symbol of the restoration of the Cathedral.
The Bharat Gaurav train will be leaving on its maiden journey to the North East on 21-Mar-2023. It will be flagged off from Delhi’s Safdarjung Railway station and will cover Assam (Guwahati, Sivasagar,
Jorhat, and Kaziranga), Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland (Dimapur, and Kohima), Tripura (Unakoti, Agartala, and Udaipur) & Meghalaya (Shillong and Cherapunji) in its 15 day long journey. The train will have AC I & AC II classes & will be able to have 156 passengers onboard. Ticekts start from Rs. 1,06,990PP for AC2 tier, Rs. 1,31,990PP for AC1 cabins & Rs. 1,49,290PP for AC1 coupes. Tourists can also pay the fare in EMI using PayTM & RazorPay.
Direct flights from Israel to far east Asia, including India will be starting shortly. Saudi Arabia & Oman have approved travel of civilian Israeli planes over their countries which will greatly reduce the time & distance needed to travel to & from Israel. This will also aid growth of tourism as well as be of huge benefit to business travelers. PM Netanyahu went so far as to say that Israel has become the main transit point between Asia & Europe. El Al & Arkia will be reopening their routes to India while Israir will be opening new routes to India with travel time as less as 5 hours. Oman visa has also been reduced for the
passengers who wish to travel to Oman from India. For more information regarding visa fees call us on 9820988508 or email us at email@example.com
Indians accounted for 25% of the total visitors to Britain last year. But while Britain was welcoming Indians in such large numbers, Indians traveling to USA had dropped considerably. This was mainly due to the long timelines for visa approvals which had gone up to 2-3 years for some categories of visitors.
The USA has decided to quicken their visa approval timelines for Indians this year & has deputed their officers from the world over to its Mumbai office to clear the massive backlog. Previously steps were taken to bring down the time taken from 3 years to 2 years but that was still quite high. At present the
waiting time for Mumbai office visa interview for B1/B2 is at 694 days while in Delhi it is 614 days as against 961 days last year. For USA VISA requirements and cost send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 9820988508
Mumbai Airport has started Domestic Transfer Facility at its T2 terminal. Passengers who have domestic connecting flights need not exit through the ARRIVALS area & re-enter through the DEPARTURES anymore. Thanks to this facility they will be able to transit within the Terminal itself. This will help cut down on the Minimum Connection Time (MCT) greatly helping the passengers having a short time between two flights. This will also be of great benefit to the airline staff when scheduling duties of their staff members.
After Hong Kong offering free air tickets Taiwan too is trying to win tourists by offering ₹13,600 (USD 165) to travelers who are planning to visit. They plan to award both individual tourists as well as tourists coming in large groups. The money will be credited to the travelers digitally and will help them
cover for their spending in Taiwan including accommodation. Indian citizens will first need to apply for a visa to avail this facility & an invitation letter will be needed for a visitor visa. However Indians traveling in groups for attending events can also apply for e-visa. Indian passport holders who are holding valid visas or permanent resident cards of Canada, Australia, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Schengen nations, the US, or the UK will also be eligible for e-Visa to Taiwan.
India is set to get its first Marina in Karnataka. The Marina will be built in Byndoor in Udupi district & will contribute towards development of coastal tourism.The state also plans to focus on developing tourism to places of historical importance covering places of great dynasties like the Hoysalas, Rashtrakutas,
Ganga, Chalukya, etc. Yatra Tourism will also be promoted to connect various pilgrim centers in the state like Madhukeshwar & Ganagapur.
On the death anniversary of Swatantraveer Vinayak Damodar Savarkar the Government has announced that it plans to start a museum & a theme park dedicated to the life & works of Savarkar at Bhagur, his place of birth. A tourism circuit covering all the places where he worked & toiled for the country will also be developed. This circuit will cover Bhagur & areas in cities like Nashik, Ratnagiri, Pune & Mumbai where he stayed , studied & carried out his revolutionary activities as also wrote his many memorable books & poems.
The long desired decision of renaming Aurangabad & Osmanabad has been finally taken by the Central Government. The Central Govt has approved the name change request of the state of Maharastra regarding these two cities. Aurangabad will be renamed as Chatrapati Sambhajinagar in honour of the son of Shivaji Maharaj who was also the second King of the Maratha Empire. Osmanabad on the other hand will henceforth be called Dharashiva after the cave complex near the city bearing the same name.
Indians along with citizens of 19 other countries are now eligible for a 6 month tourist visa to Russia provided they have a hotel booking. The 19 countries include China, south asian countries like Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia as well as Middle Eastern countries like Iran, Kuwait, Turkey,
Saudi Arabia, among others.Russia is also working on making travel visa free for citizens of 11 countries. With countires like India & Indonesia they plan on relaxing the conditions for visa approval. It also plans to restart the e-visa scheme which was operative before the pandemic. Russia also said that it was thinking of introducting e-visa facility to Indians first before allowing them to enter the country without a visa.
The Char Dham Yatra is set to begin from 22nd April this year. The Government of Uttarakhand has mandated that all domestic & international tourists wishing to undertake the Yatra will have to register themselves beforehand. No pilgrim will be allowed without a prior registration. The Joshimath route will be used this year to reach Badrinath instead of the Heland Bypass. The area of the Char Dham Yatra falls under the fragile zone & hence registration will help keep an eye on the number of pilgrims as well as ensure no overcrowding takes place at any time which can lead to safety issues. Last year nearly 45 lakh
pilgrims had undertaken the Char Dham Yatra.
Come summer it will be the time for Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand. Char Dham which includes Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath & Badrinath in Uttarakhand will open up for pilgrims after a long winter break. The Gangotri & Yamunotri Dham will open on the auspicious day of Akshay Trittiya which falls on 22nd April this year. Kedarnath will open up on 25th April at 6:20 in the morning while Badrinath will be the last to open 2 days later on 27th April. Pilgrims cover a total distance of 1607km while doing this Yatra.
India has relaxed travel rules for passengers coming in from China, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Thailand & Japan. Passengers from these countries earlier needed to upload self-health declaration & had to get a pre-departure COVID test done which will no longer be needed. However random testing of 2% of international passengers will continue in order to monitor infections due to mutated strains of the virus.
Indian Railway will be running a special train called ‘Gurukripa Yatra train’ for Sikh pilgrims on 05th April 2023. Starting from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh it will journey to 5 Takhts in the 4 states of Punjab, Maharashtra, Karnataka & Bihar. Running for 10 nights & 11 days & the train will be back in Lucknow on 15th April 2023. The train will be able to accommodate 678 passengers and will have modern sleeper, AC-2 & AC-3 coaches. The train fare will be inclusive of accommodation in hotel, food, breakfast, pickup & drop by bus from the station.
Wish to vacation but have to work? You can now do that in Portugal. Portugal is the latest country to come up with a one year digital nomad visa. Under this visa scheme you can live in Portugal for a year while working remotely. To be eligible you need to have a minimum income of €2,800 per month & must be working for a company based outside of Portugal. Due to the Pandemic in 2020 digital nomad visas have become popular with countries like Malaysia, Croatia, Costa Rica, and Mexico welcoming remote workers with their special visas aimed at attracting digital nomads.
There is some good news for those planning a Uttarakhand Chardham Yatra in the future! The ropeway at Yamunotri which has been in talks for many years have finally been approved by the Ministry of Environment & Forests. It construction will start from Summer & it will be completed in 2 years. The ropeway will connect Kharsali village to Yamunotri. Right now it takes 5hrs to reach Yamunotri but by ropeway the travel time will be cut down to a mere 10min. The ropeway will greatly benefit the elderly & those with medical conditions who wish to take darshan as many of them face hardships due to the terrain & difficult climb.
India has numerous river tourism destinations like those at Guwahati, Goa, Sunderbans, Chilika Lake, etc. On similar lines the Governmnt of Uttar Pradesh is planning to develop Lawayankala at Prayagraj as a river tourism destination. Home to the Gangetic dolphins, these fish will be the main attraction of this area. A Vedic tent city will be set up along the banks & house boats too will be run on the waters of the Lawayankala like those at Dal Lake in Kashmir for overnight stays. Further boats, catamarans & floating jetties will also be introduced. This dream project of Yogi Adityanath, CM Uttarpradesh will be called the “Ganga Dweep” this will also include the islands of Gangapur & Dhuipur Kacchar. Yoga centers along the banks of the river & Ayurvedic retreats are some of the additional facilities. Other famous Luxury cruises in India are Rive Ganga in UP, River Mandovi in Goa & River Bramhaputra in Assam In view of “Visit India year 2023” this attraction will boost tourism in the sector.
Hampi or Hampe is a must visit destination for every history enthusiast. The capital of the illustrious Vijaynagar Empire the city today it has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To this beautiful tourist sector will soon be added Lakkundi, a capital of the mighty Hoysalas. Lakkundi has numerous Hindu & Jain temples sporting intricate carvings on their walls. The Virupaksha temple is one of the most popular temples in Lakkundi and is still in use as a place of worship. When India is celebrating Visit India 2023 along with Hampi we suggest to follow the circuit of Hampi, Badami, Vijaypura & Lakkundi among many others. Also a Mysuru circuit is being designed which will include Mysuru, Halebidu & Somnathpura.
The Ram Mandir at Ayodhya will be opening soon & preparations are on in full swing by both the state & central Governments to provide a range of facilities to pilgrims who would be visiting the temple. An airport in the city of Ayodhya has already been announced. In its first phase it will serve domestic
travelers and later will be expanded to include international flights. Now the Government of Uttar Pradesh is planning to start chopper services to the city. For this activity bids have been invited as this venture is going to be a joint venture of State Government and private companies This air taxi service will help those who are short of time, the elderly pilgrims as well as the specially-abled travelers visit the city easily while also providing a beautiful aerial view of the temple town. Earlier a similar chopper ride service had been arranged for the Prayagraj Kumbh Mela which had been a great hit amongst tourists.
PM Narendra Modi flagged off 2 Vande Bharat trains from Mumbai between Mumbai – Solapur & Mumbai – Saninagar Shirdi. These trains will improve connectivity between a host of pilgrimage sites like Alandi, Akkalkot, Tuljapur, Pandharpur, etc. Equipped with a range of modern amenities , Vande Bharat trains will reduce the travel time by 1.5hrs. The trains are equipped with modern amenities like WiFi, bio-vaccum toilets, charging points for your electronic devices under every seat, emergency talk-back units in case you need to communicate with the crew urgently, modern pantries, roller blinds,etc. With the start of
these 2 new trains we now have a total of 10 Vande Bharat trains running across various routes. This year has been declared as “Visit India Year 2023” and the quality of Vande Bharat with great connectivity will encourage the tourism to Small time destinations.
Its been a year since the TATA group took over Air India. And since then there have been a host of positive changes taking place at the airlines. The percentage of daily national & international flights has gone up, the total number of operational aircrafts has increased tremendously, flights over new routes are
being launched & the frequency of those on old routes is being increased, the meal plans in the planes are being upgraded & the call center executives have been almost doubled to help serve the customers better. To mark its first anniversary the company will also be placing a large order with Boeing for a new
fleet.This is bound to increase customer satisfaction in the long run & help boost the brand’s image nationally as well as in the international markets.
Before the pandemic Paris, the city of love was on every traveler’s wist list. And today it has reclaimed its number1 spot. Land packages & Seine river cruise are selling out quickly this year. Next year too it promises to attract more tourists from all over the world as the city will be hosting the Summer Olympics in. Not just Paris but cruises to Normandy, Burgundy & Provence too are quickly filling up. For the past few years tourists preferred wildlife safaris & visiting national parks. But with things coming back to normal a survey of over 30,000 people has revealed that Paris is once again on top of the “must visit
Goa a favourite destination of domestic as well as international travelers is famous for its beautiful beaches. In order to ensure that the differently abled tourists or family members of toursists are not left out from enjoying the fun at the beaches the Government has decides to make them better accessible to the specially abled. Ramps will be set up at suitable points to ensure easy access to the beach. Along with this giving a push to mechanization, the Government will also deploy mechanical cleaning devices to keep the city tidy. CCTV cameras will be set up in order to increase safety & security for the tourists.
Singapore Airlines is a great favourite of most travelers who appreciate their customer service, flight experience & well trained crew & has been consistently ranked among the world’s best airlines. Keeping up with their customer centric policies Singapore Airlines has introduced free unlimited WiFi to its
Business Class passengers & PPS Club members & PPS Club supplementary card holders. This makes it the first airlines to offer complimentary unlimited WiFi to passengers traveling in their Suites, Business & First Class. Earlier Business class members had to make do with only limited data. But by popular demand
the airlines has introduced free & unlimited WiFi which is bound to please all its customers.
PM Modi has always promoted tourism as a means of development & with this in mind the Tourism Ministry will be working hard to showcase India during this year when India will be heading the G20 summit. The Union Tourism Minister Mr. G Kishan Reddy has launched the Visit India 2023 campaign & logo. With India presiding over the G20 summit this year the tourism ministry is all set to highlight the country’s heritage, culture, monuments & wildlife. Assimilating the Indic philosophy of “atithi devo bhava” the logo design shows a pair of hands joined in the Namaste pose. Within the logo are represented our past & current achievements like those in the field of space or technology. The ministry hopes that by showcasing our strengths & the opportunities available for development we will be able to attract more investments as also be able to get out of the slump which had come in the tourism sector due to COVID restrictions worldwide. Other than traditional tourism for leisure other types of tourisms like rural, adventure, medical, MICE,etc. will also be encouraged.
Rann of Kutch & Statue of Unity has seen a great increase in bookings and Gujarat has become the talk of the industry. To encourage tourism by Indian Railway which is most preferred and economical option of traveling the Indian Railways will introduce a Bharat Gaurav Deluxe AC Tourist Train under the project of “Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat” programme. Operation of the train will be from 28th February and will start from Delhi’s Safdarjung railway station on 28th February & will visit the major places of tourist interest in 9 days cover Gujarat including Statue of Unity – Worlds tallest statue, Dwaraka, Somnath, Ahmedabad, Modhera,etc. The train will have 1st , 3AC & 2nd class coaches. Additional facilities are pantry car & restaurant car. The train can carry total of 156 passengers in one trip. The cost per person will range between 8000 to 10000 EMI option too will be available for tourists for payment of fare.
Greece, also known as the Hellenic Republic is blessed with a long coastline, beautiful weather & rich history. No wonder then that it is such a popular
place for tourists to head to when visiting Europe. Being just 6 hours away from India by flight it is also the closest country in Europe for Indians.
In Greece, Santorini, Mykonos & Athens are some of the most visited places in Greece. But other than tourism the Greek PM wishes to encourage a variety of sectors to grow in his country. And with this goal in mind the Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis is set to visit India. Before the year ends he plans to visit India with important members from the business community in Greece. He sees India as a key partner and is happy with Indian companies seeking investment opportunities in Europe. Greece is situated at a very favourable position geographically in Europe & can be developed as an easy access point for African & Asian powers into Europe. The country wishes to encourage foreign investment in various sectors like pharmaceuticals & aviation in Greece. Greece VISA requirements have changed. To know more get in touch with us.
Hong Kong is offering 5,00,000 free air tickets!! Under its “Hello Hong Kong” tourism campaign the city is getting ready to welcome tourists from all over the world & for this they will be offering 5,00,000 air tickets to Hong Kong for free. Along with this the city has also announced complete lifting of COVID restrictions with no more isolation or quarantines needed for international tourists. The project will be launched in March in partnership with national airline companies & will go on for the next six months. Under this projects various games, lucky draws, buy-one-get-one-free offers will be included to select who will win the free tickets. Tickets will also be given to Hong Kong residents & the offer will also be first opened for South Asian tourists. Many special offers & vouchers will also be available during this period for the benefit of inbound tourists. If every person who wins a free ticket gets along at least two more family members the tourism in Hong Kong will receive a big boost according to the Government.
After two years of deep crisis of Covid-19 , Travel industry was expecting some good schemes for the industry. Union budget 2023 has provided some relief to Tourism sector. The Indian Railway which is the most preferred mode of travel & which is most economical and fastest mode of transport for many & also with an extensive network all over India received a great boost in this Union Budget – 2023 which brought cheer to the sector. It has been estimated that tourism will contribute to 9.9% of the total GDP of India by the end of this decade. Keeping this in mind the Finance Minister Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman announced various schemes like development of new helipads, airports & water aerodromes to increase connectivity, identification & development of new tourist destinations, setting up ‘Unity Mall’ in various districts of states which will focus on exhibition & sale of local handicraft, products which have earned
GI tag & made by the local artists of that region, etc. The best example of GI Tag is Wooden articles like Toys of Sawantwadi and Silk Sarees made at Mysore. Indian passengers travel abroad but miss on equally good destinations so to promote Indian Destinations amongst Indian tourists, special promotion under ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ initiative, upskilling of labour will be undertaken which will encourage the younger generation to participate in the tourism sector. Under the Digital India Scheme the Government has announced that an app will be developed to upgrade the tourism experience for Inbound and Domestic tourists.
Nepal who has close cultural ties with India has offered 2 Shaligram stones to The Tempe city of Ayodhya where the rebuilding of the Ram Mandir is in full swing. Shaligram – a special stone which is found only in the River Gandki in Nepal is considered a symbol of Bhagwan Vishnu & Shri Ram is his 7th Avtaar / incarnation. The Shaligrams are being transported in trucks and many devotees are flocking to the trucks to have darshan before the truck moves on towards
its final destination of Ayodhya. The murtis of Shri Ram & Mata Sita will be crafted out of these stones & placed in the temple complex. Uttarpradesh is becoming a famous destination because of Ayodhya along with Prayagraj & Varanasi. The cities are quickly developing into a favourite destination for many Indians and becoming a MUST DO destination for all the Inbound tourists. According to the numbers reported, Varanasi has recorded more hotel bookings than
Goa in 2022 and expected to grow in coming years. Once Ram Mandir at Ayodhya is open to all the Hindu devotees it is expected that tourism on this circuit will increase in leaps & bounds. We suggest a small 4 nights tour starting from Lucknow with Ayodhya-Prayagraj & Varanasi with stay of two nights each at Prayagraj and Varanasi.
Last year on the occassion of PM Modi’s birthday eight cheetahs had been flown in from Africa to Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park. Cheetahs were once plentiful in India but due to over-hunting & habitat destruction they became extinct. Hence after the successful migration & integration of the 8 cheetahs South Africa & India have signed an agreement under which 12 cheetahs will be brought to India from Africa every year for the next 8-10 years. The first batch under this agreement is expected to arrive in February 2023 & these cheetahs will be distributed across various national parks in India. This is expected to provide a boost to eco-tourism. Eco-tourism which involves participation by local communities, conservation of local flora & fauna & sustainable development of tourism is the need of the hour & has been the focus of various state governments across India when developing tourism opportunities. This project is
expected to help attain this goal. The locals too will benefit from this arrangement as varied options of livelihood centering around these animals, their protection & care will become available to them.
Rajasthan has achieved great success in promoting tourism by redeveloping & maintaining its historical monuments. Inspired by their success the Pune Zilla Parishad (ZP) has decided to follow in their footsteps. Pune & its surrounding territories which are richly populated with ancient wadas, temples, historical forts will now receive some long overdue attention from the Government. This move will also be cheered by the public which had been requesting for conservation of the city’s heritage since long. The Holkar Wada at Wafgaon, Chandrachud Wada at Kanhersar, Bhuleshwar temple in Daund & many Maratha-era forts & temples are the ones in focus for redevelopement at the moment. A detailed survey has been ordered of the existing structures & conservation efforts will begin after
proper study of the report. Development & maintenance of these historical sites would create new tourist attractions in the state & lead to an increase in rural tourism.
One of the most happening place in South India is Pondicherry or Puducherry now in limelight because of “The Pondicherry Heritage Festival (PHF)” happening between 1st Feb to 15th Mar 2023, one and half month long event is with the theme of “Responsible Tourism”. Organizers are in view that – Puducherry is promoted very well as tourist destination but now they need to have balance between tourism and maintaining the ecosystem of the city. The event will be full of activities like Quiz shows & creativity contests with discussion in local school. As always Food Festivals showcasing local delicacies, fun activities like cycling, kayaking, wetland photography contests will be organized which will all contribute towards raising awareness about the environment. While India is celebrating its 75th year of Gaining her Independence, World is celebrating 150 Birth Anniversary of Shri Aurobindo. In view of these events many happening actives are planned. Other events like Handicraft & handloom exhibitions, poetry reading sessions, dance & music performances by popular artists are also organized for the festival.
India will be Presiding the G20 summit this year, and during its tenure it has been decided to organizing the first ever Global Tourism Summit in New Delhi in the month of April India will highlight investment opportunities; it will have special focus on Cruise. Amusement Parks, Theme Parks, Medical & Wellness Tourism along with Adventure Tourism will be highlighted in this global event. The Government will also introduce Swadesh Darshan 2.0 which will aim at
promoting sustainability in tourism development. The Government of Maharashtra will be having special focus on MICE tourism along with leisure tourism to its costal stretch which is more than 720kms. Special interest tours for back packers and inbound tours will be promoted to mangrove parks & aquariums.
India, one of the most popular destinations for tourism celebrates 25th January as National Tourism Day. Blessed with a rich history, varied climate, welcoming people & with the Government’s constant efforts Indian tourism is booming. Way back in 1948 the first committee was set up to promote tourism in order to help aid the country’s economic & financial growth. Eventually a separate Tourism Department was created in 1958. Since then there has been no looking back for Indian Tourism. From ancient temples like the Chardham, historic monuments like Taj Mahal & Hawa Mahal, serene beaches at Goa, or the romantic valleys of Kashmir India has something to tempt everyone with. On this day the Government organizes several workshops & programs to highlight popular & even lesser known places in India, opportunities for development of new destinations & to create awareness about the importance of Tourism.
Starting from 23rd Jan 2023 20901 Mumbai Central – Gandhinagar Capital Vande Bharat Express will also halt at Borivali. It will arrive at Borivali at 06:23hrs and depart at 06:25hrs. Similarly 20902 Gandhinagar Capital – Mumbai Central Vande Bharat Express will also halt at Borivali. It will reach Borivali at 19:32hrs & depart at 19:34hrs. Also from 30th May 2023 20901/20902 Mumbai Central – Gandhinagar Capital Vande Bharat Express will run on all days EXCEPT Wednesday.
Tired of the usual vacations to Europe, Australia & Singapore? Why not try something different this year by visiting Israel! A small country with a diverse climate Israel is considered as Holy Land by followers of three religions – Christianity, Islam & Judaism. Hence popular destinations include Jerusalem, Nazareth, Haifa & Tel Aviv. Israel’s newly elected PM Benjamin Netanyahu will be scheduling a visit to India in the first half of this year. India & Israel have been long term allies & the Prime Ministers of both the countries too share a great rapport with one another.
For the Republic Day 2023 parade on Kartavya Path Maharashtra’s tableau will showcase the 3.5 Shaktipeeths of Maharashtra, an apt representation of the divine feminine power. The 3.5 Shaktipeeths include Mahalaxmi of Kolhapur, Tuljabhawani of Tuljapur, Renukadevi of Mahur & Saptashringi of Vani near Nashik. A team of 30 people led by Rahul Dhansare will be responsible for completing this tableau for the parade.
Rajasthan ~ the land of the Maharajas, their palaces, forts & vast deserts is all set to get a revamp! In line with PM Modi’s Swaccha Bharat Abhiyaan the Government of Rajasthan will be focusing on maintenance of cleanliness & hygiene at tourist spots. The Government plans to set up or increase the number toilets, garbage bins, potable water drinking facilities, eateries around various tourist hotspots & will also focus on creating awareness about maintaining
& keeping them clean. Taking into account the problems faced by the differently-abled tourists the Government plans to add ramps & elevators at various sites so that they can move about independently with minimal help. Prepaid taxi booths will also be set up to ensure safe travel without the hassle of bargaining for lower costs. Other plans include setting up display boards which provide all the basic information to tourists which will greatly aid solo travelers.
Monuments & Wildlife Zones will have museums built to display information about the history of that place. Lastly under the “adopt a monument” scheme the state along with the private stakeholders will ensure the proper preservation & management of the historical monuments.
The New York Times list of 52 destinations for 2023 features Kerala at #13, the only destination from India to find a place in the prestigious list! And this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone given the amount of efforts the state Government puts in to promote tourism. While Kerala is best known for its beaches & backwaters this time the Government is preparing 100 new destinations for travelers. Local authorities, Government & the local people will be
brought together and villages will be developed & connected to offer a unique experience to tourists. The tourists will get to explore relatively new, lesser known areas far from the maddening crowds & experience living in a rural setting. Currently the Government will be focusing on developing Kumarakom, Maravanthuruthu and Vaikom. Another unique experience will be caravan tourism with “Keravan Kerala” through which tourists would be able to visit &
stay at remote areas where there are limited or no accommodation facilities & other resources.
Tourists from all over the world love visiting Egypt. The land of the Pharaohs, Spinhx & the pyramids, the country linking Northeast Africa with the Middle East, the country which was home to the ancient Egyptian civilization. But which country do the Egyptians love? India of course! Egypt’s Deputy Minister For Economic Affairs has called India an interesting destination for Tourism because of the different cultures. She found the Indian people welcoming & hospitable and added that there is a lot of similarity between Indians & Egyptians with their liking for food, music & religion. Meanwhile the President of Egypt El-Sisi is all set to visit India for the Republic Day Parade this year. India & Egypt have been allies for long & this visit will also boost friendly ties between the two nations.
While planning trips, booking tickets & dreaming of the dream vacation excites every traveler, almost all will agree that the visa process is something most of us dread. From making checklists of documents to paperwork to scheduling appointments & attending interviews its a hectic task even if everything goes smoothly. Hence what will be met with a big cheer from all travelers planning to visit India is the opening up of an avenue to apply online for the Indian visa. Simply visit https://www.indiavisa-online.org/visa to apply for an Indian visa. Citizens of various countries from Europe
(Finland, Iceland,Netherlands), Asia (Philippines, Russia, Singapore), North & South America (Chile, Brazil, USA) among many others will be able to avail this facility. This facility is available for 24hrs a day, 7 days a week.
The Himalayan country of Nepal is sandwiched between India & China. Known for its majestic mountain ranges & home to Mt. Everest it is a dream destination of every addevnture seeker. Other than its famous trails it is also a religious hub for Hindus & Buddhists with many pilgrims visiting temples like Pashupatinath and the Boudhanath Stupa. Nepal shares religious & cultural ties with India & is a favourite destination for many Indian’s first trip abroad.
Usually the PMs of Nepal choose New Delhi as the first place to visit after being sworn in. Keeping up with this tradition Nepal’s newly sworn in Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda who is also the chairpeson of the ruling Communist Party of Nepal will be paying an official visit to India soon. This will also be his first visit abroad after becoming PM. While the exact date is yet to be finalized it is being said that he might visit India in late February or early March. The Nepalese PM is looking forward to enhance ties with India & develop a balanced relationship with India, China & USA.
Irish Citizens who wish to visit India can now receive visas from Indian Government
Travelers coming to India will no longer need to fill up the AIR SUVIDHA form or undergo an RT-PCR test.
Bhutan is now open to tourists. There are no COVID-19 vaccination requirements to enter Bhutan & no quarantine period.
Akasa Air will launch its maiden commercial flight on 7th Aug 2022.
Indian travelers arriving from Singapore, Thailand, Brunei and Indonesia can now avail Visa-on-arrival at Malaysia.
South Korea announces no international traveler is required to quarantine on arrival irrespective of their vaccination status. However COVID-19 testing will still be in effect and travelers will have to submit a negative COVID-19 test result. Travelers must do a PCR or RAT before departing to Korea.
Leh (Ladakh) admin has recently made it mandatory for toursists to undergo 48hrs of acclimatization before heading to higher altitudes
Chardham pilgrims will have to mandatorily register themselves before commencing their journey. No pilgrim will be allowed to go beyond Rishikesh without registration. The Government has also urged the pilgrims to start their journey only after checking the available registration slots on the portal of Uttarakhand Tourism Department.
Kashmir receives highest number of tourists in last ten years, 6 lakhs in past 4 months
Europe to drop mandate for face masks during air travel next week
From August fully vaccinated Indians can now travel to New Zealand without self-isolation on provision of a negative pre-departure test. Negative RAT will be required on arrival and on day 5/6.
Haridwar to have an international airport soon. The proposal has been approved by the Centre and search for land is on.