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. Kashmir’s Aharbal witnesses tourist surge amidst snowfall

A lesser-known hill station in the Kashmir Valley, Aharbal, has experienced heavy snowfall resulting in high tourist footfall. The spectacular hill station has received a record-breaking footfall of 3,10,000 tourists, a threefold increase from previous years. The Aharbal Development Authority (ADA)is well prepared for the tourist influx. CEO Ghalib Mohiuddin Shah said. The snow-covered Aharbal has witnessed a surge in tourists, which is expected to boost the local business sector. The Kulgam district administration is preparing for a grand winter carnival in the coming days. This festival will feature a range of activities aimed at attracting more tourists to Aharbal.” 

Many visitors are rushing to Kashmir to witness this winter wonderland witnessing a surge in Kashmir Tour Packages

2. 17.5M Tourists: Dubai smashes highest visitor record in 2023

With a smashing surge in records, Dubai has hit a record-high number of 17.15 million international tourists according to Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET). Fuelled by innovative tourism and the D33 Agenda, initiated by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has a vision to propel Dubai as one of the top three global cities for both business and leisure, creating an unparalleled environment for residents and visitors alike.

Some facilitators of this tourist surge are incentives like quick Dubai Visa online, cheap flights to Dubai and all-inclusive Dubai Tour Packages

3. Iconic Palace On Wheels to offer tours to Ayodhya, Kashi and Varanasi from May

The iconic Indian luxury train, Palace on Wheels will now be offering religious tours across Ayodhya, Varanasi, Prayagraj, Mathura, and Vrindavan. The train will be altering its routes after 42 years in May 2024. According to reports, the 6-day spiritual journey will be commencing in Delhi. There will also be changes in cuisine options, only vegetarian options will be served on the train and even alcoholic beverages and onion/garlic dishes will be excluded from the menu. For the initial stage, these religious tours will be scheduled twice a month. 

Want to earn extra income? Become an IRCTC agent and earn up to Rs. 80,000 pm. 

4. Lost lake returns to California after 130 years: A Valley Miracle

Tulare Lake in California’s Central Valley, which had vanished about 130 years ago has miraculously resurfaced in the valley. This dramatic comeback in the valley landscape has left the locals excited about the resurgence of this beautiful water body. Ecologists are looking forward to witnessing the revival of lost ecosystems and biodiversity, while the government is looking to tackle the challenges of water rights and management. 

5. Viva Goa! Viva Carnaval 2024 at Panjim from 10th February to 13 February

The unmissable cultural calendar event, the annual Goa Carnaval is back. This rich and lively festival will be held in Goa’s Panjim from 10th February to 13th March with visitors pouring in from all over. The energetic festival will fill the streets of Goa with music, dance, elaborate costumes, grand parades and overall a kaleidoscope of Goa’s rich cultural heritage. Visit Goa during the Carnaval with affordable Goa Tour Packages and indulge in the Seafood Festival to be held in Miramar. The Carnaval’s iconic figure, King Momo invites revellers to Eat, Drink & Make Merry! in true Goan style. 

6. Indian tourists can visit Iran without Visa for 15 Days, subject to conditions

In the latest news, Iran had announced that Indian tourists can visit the country for 15 days without an Iran Visa. While Iran has announced a visa-free programme, as of 4th February it will be subject to four conditions.

Four conditions to travel to Iran Visa-free are:

  • Indians holding ordinary passports will be allowed to enter the country without a visa once every six months, with a maximum stay of 15 days. This 15-day stay period cannot be extended.
  • The visa-free rule applies to individuals entering Iran for tourism purposes only.
  • If Indians wish to stay for a longer period or make multiple entries within a six-month period, they must get a visa.
  • The visa-free rule specifically applies to Indians entering the country by air.

Even Vietnam, Thailand and Sri Lanka have eased visa mandates for Indian tourists. 

7. Patina Maldives, Fari Islands receive 5-star rating from Forbes Travel Guide

Following a rigorous and comprehensive evaluation and stringent 900-point criteria by Forbes Travel Guide, Patina Maldives, Fari Islands have received a 5-star rating for the second year running. This recognition has improved the resort’s position as a ‘beacon of refined and forward-thinking guest experiences in the global hospitality scene’. Patina Maldives, Fari Islands GM Antonia commented, “We are deeply grateful for this consecutive recognition from Forbes Travel Guide. It speaks volumes of our passion for delivering a hospitality experience that is both innovative and intimate. Our commitment to enriching our guests’ lives through thoughtful, immersive experiences is at the heart of what we do.”

While Patina Maldives itself is an outstanding contemporary experience, immerse yourself in a relaxing getaway to this oceanic paradise with all-inclusive Maldives Tour Packages. Book your hotels in Maldives in advance from a range of options from beach villas to overwater bungalows. 

8. Two of the most-visited cities in the world are in Turkey: Istanbul and Antalya

With international travel gaining back momentum to pre-pandemic levels international travel is booming. According to Euromonitor International’s Top 100 City Destinations Index 2023, two of the four most-visited cities on Earth are in Turkey – Istanbul and Antalya. “Istanbul tops the list for the number of international arrivals in 2023 with 26% growth year-on-year, while Antalya was in fourth place with 16.5 million international visitors. A massive increase in the availability of flights to Istanbul and Antalya and the ease of getting a Turkey Visa online has led to this tourist influx. 

9. Lufthansa to launch new Hyderabad-Frankfurt service

A fifth direct connection between India and Germany, Lufthansa has launched a new direct service between Frankfurt, Germany and Hyderabad, India. Lufthansa Group senior director, South Asia, George Ettiyil, said: “With our new Hyderabad-Frankfurt service we now offer Indian passengers 64 weekly flights to our hubs in Europe and onward connections to the biggest network on the European continent.” The route will be serviced by Boeing 787 Dreamliner Aircraft with flights operating five times weekly. 

10. Akasa Air announces Srinagar as the 20th destination in its network

From 1st March 2024, domestic carrier Akasa Air will be adding Srinagar as its 20th destination to its expanding network. The airline will operate daily flights between Mumbai and Srinagar to catch up with the growing air travel demand between the two prominent cities, especially for peak tourist season. 

11. Lufthansa to cancel upto 90% flights due to strikes

Owing to an ongoing wage dispute, global airline Lufthansa had to cancel up to 90% of its approximately 1,000 scheduled flights on Wednesday due to the industrial action at five German airports. The strike by the airport ground staff affected 100,000 flyers. Discussions are going on between Trade Union Verdi and the airline’s executive board to significantly improve its current wage offer for ground staff.

However, there are many other options available for cheap flights to Europe

12. Italy: Tackling over-tourism by stopping tourists from lingering on bridges

In a bid to tackle overtourism, Italy has taken up measures like entry fees and group tour restrictions in Venice for 2024. Another rule states that tourists will no longer be allowed to stop or linger on bridges while travelling, it might also invite fines. Options like affordable Italy Tour Packages and Schengen Visa online that gives access to 26 countries has made Italy a popular tourist destination. 

Even short-term rentals will be heavily regulated in popular Italian destinations. “We are putting a simple ban in the UNESCO area to meet our responsibilities of protecting the cultural and material identity of the Centro Storico, and to dampen the effect of rent increases across the entire city – which are directly linked to the boom of short-term tourist rentals,” Dario Nardella, the mayor of Florence, told reporters in 2023. 

With so much to see and experience in the world, who wouldn’t be excited to travel? Head over to 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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