Here’s your weekly dose of travel updates!
Check out the latest news and updates about the travel and tourism industry from around the world.
1. Indian Air Travel records new high
On April 30, 2023, with 456,082 travellers on 2,978 flights, domestic air travel in India set new records for the most domestic flyers in a day. According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), in the January – March 2023 quarter Indian airlines have witnessed a 51.7% growth in passenger traffic. India is the World’s Third Largest Aviation Market and air traffic here is expected to reach 395 million in 2023-24.
2. US to end mandatory COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement for International Travellers
Good news for unvaccinated travellers. The USA announced to end its vaccination requirement from May 11, 2023, for international travellers. So if you are not vaccinated, you can enter the country with just a valid US visa and enjoy the country with a US tour package. The announcement also included that certain international travellers will have to follow the vaccination requirement to control the spread of new COVID variants entering the country.
3. India’s First-ever Twin Undersea Tunnels to Open Soon in Mumbai
India’s first-ever twin undersea tunnels, a part of the Mumbai Coastal Road Project, are expected to be operational by November 2023. These tunnels will decrease the travel time between Girgaon and Worli from 45 minutes to just 10 minutes. The tunnels are located 17-20 m below sea level and will start near Marine Drive (Girgaon) and end at Priyadarshini Park (Worli).
4. Saudi Arabia Scraps Sticker Visas, Indians will now get Saudi Evisa
On May 4, 2023, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced that it will replace its sticker visa with an e-visa for 7 countries. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia said that “this move comes as part of efforts to automate consular services and to develop a mechanism for granting different kinds of visas including work, residence and visit visas”. The Saudi evisa facility will be available for 7 countries namely India, UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and the Philippines.
5. GCC Countries Planning for a New ‘Schengen-Style’ Visa
Member countries of the GCC are planning to launch their own ‘Schengen-Style’ visa program which is expected to boost traffic and revenue for the whole region. So far discussions have been going on the ministerial level among the nations on how to act upon this plan. The Schengen visa lets a visa holder visit 27 European countries which are a part of the Schengen Region.
6. New Airfields will allow International Flights to land in 4 National Parks in Uganda
In an announcement made by the Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities of Uganda, 4 iconic national parks of Uganda will soon have new airfields. Once the airfields are operational, international flights will be able to land directly in the national park surrounded by wildlife and tourists will be able to avoid immigration and customs.
7. Beaches in Goa will have trained dogs and AI-powered systems for safety and rescue operations
On April 28, 2023, the Tourism Minister of Goa along with an official from the Drishti Marine announced the first of its kind initiative in Asia. Under this initiative, a self driving robot – Aurus, and an AI-powered monitoring system – Triton, along with a team of 11 dogs called the ‘paw squad’ trained to spot missing children and rescue victims in distress and rocky areas, will be available at beaches across Goa to assist lifesavers at the beach.
8. Railways to Allow Passengers to Book Online Train Tickets for Their Pets
To make travelling with pets easy, the Indian Ministry of Railways has decided to start an online booking facility that will allow passengers to book train ticketsonline for them. Earlier, passengers who wished to travel with their pets first had to book a confirmed ticket for the 1st Class AC coach for themselves and then visit the parcel booking counter at the railway station and then get a ticket for their pet.
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9. Delhi to soon have Heritage Walks across selected Haunted Monuments after Sunset
The Delhi Tourism Department plans to start Heritage walks across selected haunted monuments of the city. As per the reports, these walks will be conducted at the famous haunted places in town such as Tughlaqabad Fort, Bhuli Bhatiyari ka Mahal, Malcha Mahal, and Feroz Shah Kotla between 5:30 pm and 9:30 pm.
10. Details for Purushwadi Fireflies Festival 2023 Announced
The Purushwadi Fireflies Festival 2023 will take place from 3rd week of May to the 3rd week of June. Every year the Purushwadi village in Maharashtra holds the Purushwadi Fireflies Festival before the monsoon, where visitors can gaze upon millions of fireflies lighting up the night sky. Visitors can also take part in night walks and enjoy cultural performances among several activities organised as a part of the festival.
11. Mana village in Uttarakhand renamed as First Indian Village
Recently, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) placed a signboard near Mana that read ‘First Indian Village Mana’. A key highlight of our Uttarakhand tour packages, Mana is a small village in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand and one of the many border villages of India. Since it is close to the Indo-Tibetan border, Mana was previously known as the ‘Last Village of India’.
12. Go First Files for Bankruptcy
As per CEO Kaushik Khona, an application for voluntary insolvency resolution proceedings has been filed by Go First before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). The airline stated that due to Pratt & Whitney, a US company providing faulty engines it had to ground 50% of its fleet because of which they could no longer continue to meet financial obligations. According to a news agency, the amount of debt that the airline currently owes to banks, vendors, financial institutions, etc is more than INR 11,000 crore.
With so much to see and experience in the world who wouldn’t be excited to travel? Head over to Akbartravels.com and find solutions to all your worries related to visa applications, flight tickets, and hotel bookings. What else? We have the best budget holiday packages available to make your holiday truly peaceful.
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