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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com 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.