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. Passport Index 2023 is Out – UAE Ranks 1st, India Falls to 144th Position
Financial advisory firm Arton Capital released its Passport Index 2023. The Passport Index ranks countries as per their mobility scores based on visa-free visits, visa on arrival, eVisas (if used within three days), and electronic travel authorization (ETA). With the highest mobility score of 181, the UAE passport bagged the top spot whereas the Indian passport secured 144th place with a score of 70. Please note that this ranking is not the same as the ‘Henley Passport Index’.
2. Digital Schengen Visa Coming Soon
A proposal to digitalize Schengen visas was passed by EU member states on March 29, 2023. If the new Digital Schengen Visa proposal is accepted and implemented, it is expected to make the Schengen visa application process more efficient and cost-effective for applicants as well as member state consulates and embassies.
3. The ‘World’s Busiest Airports in 2022’ Announced – Delhi Airport among the Top 10
The list of the ‘World’s Busiest Airports in 2022’ was recently released by the Airports Council International. As per the ranking, USA’s Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport secured the top spot whereas Dallas/Fort Worth TX and Denver airports secured the 2nd and the 3rd places respectively. Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, which secured the 9th place was the only Indian airport on the list.
4. Indians will soon be able to get an Egypt Visa on Arrival
In a bid to promote tourism, the Egypt Tourism Minister recently announced their updated visa policy. As per the update, along with a 5-year multiple-entry Egypt visa, Indians will soon be able to get an Egypt visa on arrival with a validity of 30 days from the day of arrival in the country. Please make note, to avoid any last-minute visa troubles and long wait times at the airport it is highly recommended to get a pre-approved Egypt visa.
5. Sri Lanka to Develop Ramayana Trail and Allow Indian Rupee for Transactions
As per the reports, Sri Lanka plans to allow Indian Rupee for transactions in the country along with creating a Ramayana Trail. The Ramayana trail will take visitors through various sites where key events of the Ramayana took place such as Sigiriya Rock, Ashok Vatika in Nuwara Eliya, Ravana Falls in Ella, Divurumpola Temple near Bandarawela, etc. With all of these places already included in our Sri Lanka tour packages and your Sri Lanka visa getting processed in just 8 hours, there’s no reason to delay your Sri Lanka trip anymore!
6. Bird Paradise, a New Avian Park in Singapore is set to Open on May 8, 2023
Singapore is all set to inaugurate Bird Paradise on May 8, 2023. This avian park, located within the Mandai Wildlife Reserve in northern Singapore, will include 8 walk-through aviaries filled with various species of birds such as Starlings, Lories, Pelicans, Barbets, African Hornbills, etc. The Mandai Wildlife Reserve is already home to the Singapore Zoo, Night Safari, and River Wonders, all of which are included in our Singapore tour packages.
7. Air India Offering Premium Economy Cabin Class on Select Flights to US
Planning to book flight tickets to US? Then this news is for you! Air India recently introduced Premium Economy Cabin Class on its select flights to the US. Passengers will be provided with better in-flight services and a variety of quality cabin products along with added conveniences such as dedicated check-in counters, priority tags attached to the check-in luggage, and also being among the first ones to board the aircraft.
8. Changi Airport to Resume Free Singapore Tour for Transit Passengers after a Gap of 2 Years
Transit and transfer passengers at Changi Airport in Singapore can now take advantage of a free city tour. Singapore Tourism Board, Singapore Airlines, and Changi Airport Group have recently announced that the free tour will be re-launched after a 2 year hiatus due to COVID-19. Along with the introduction of the new Changi Precinct Tour, new points of interest have been added to the already existing tours such as City Sights Tour, Jewel Tour, and Heritage Tour.
9. World’s Largest Surfing Wave Pool opens in Hawaii
The Wai Kai Wave, which is the largest deep-water standing surf wave pool in the world, recently opened in Hawaii on the island of Oahu – the home of some of the world’s best surfing sites. Wai Kai Wave is 100 feet deep, has the capacity to hold 1.7 million gallons of water, and is a part of The LineUp – a recreational project spread across 52 acres of land and built at a cost of $40 million.
10. The New Terminal Building of Chennai International Airport to be inaugurated on April 8, 2023, by Prime Minister Modi
Phase 1 of the New Integrated Terminal Building of the Chennai International Airport is completed and set to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi on April 8, 2023. All international operations will be moved to the terminal and the existing terminal will be demolished as a part of the redevelopment project. Prime Minister Modi will also flag off the Chennai – Coimbatore Vande Bharat Express from the Chennai Central Railway Station.
11. 3 New Routes of Vande Bharat Express from West Bengal Announced
West Bengal is all set to get 3 new Vande Bharat Express trains. The trains will operate on the Howrah – Puri, Howrah – Ranchi, and Howrah – Patna routes. The proposal for a 4th train on the Howrah – Varanasi route is currently awaiting approval. This announcement comes just days after the new Bhopal – New Delhi Vande Bharat Express was flagged off.
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12. Vistara to start Direct Flights between Mumbai and London
From June 1, 2023, Vistara will start direct flight services on the Mumbai – London route. The airlines will operate 5 weekly flights between Mumbai and London in 3 class configurations – business, premium economy, and economy.
13. Vietnam Airlines to Now Operate Flights to Mumbai
The national carrier of Vietnam, Vietnam Airlines recently announced 7 weekly flights to Mumbai. Starting from May 20, 2023, there will be 4 weekly flights operating on the Mumbai – Hanoi route and 3 weekly flights on the Mumbai – Ho Chi Minh route.
14. IndiGo to Operate Direct Flights from Bhubaneshwar to Dubai
With IndiGo’s announcement of direct flights between Bhubaneshwar and Dubai, the Bhubaneshwar Airport will soon get its first-ever international flight.The direct flight services will commence on May 15, 2023, and operate thrice a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Plans to operate direct flights to Singapore and Bangkok from Bhubaneshwar Airport are currently in the pipeline.
15. 2 Mega Adventure Tourism Trails to be Developed in India
To promote adventure tourism in India, the Ministry of Tourism plans to develop 2 Mega Adventure Tourism Trails in India by the end of 2023. The Ganga Trail and the Northwestern Himalayan Trail will offer several adventure tourism activities to the visitors and provide the locals residing in the region with an opportunity to earn their livelihood.
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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