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. Sikkim – One of the ‘Coolest Places to Visit in 2024’ as per a National Geographic survey

Sikkim has been named one of the ‘Coolest Destinations to Visit in 2024’ by a National Geographic survey. The survey praised Sikkim for its natural beauty, cultural diversity, and sustainable tourism practices as Sikkim is the first state in India to be fully organic, and ban single-use plastics, Styrofoam, and firecrackers. National Geographic said that Sikkim is a perfect example of how tourism can be a force for good, and encouraged travellers to plan a holiday in Sikkim and visit this Himalayan paradise.

2. Gwalior tagged ‘City of Music’ and Kozhikode named ‘City of Literature’ by UNESCO, added to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN)   

Two Indian cities, Gwalior and Kozhikode, have been designated as UNESCO Creative Cities in the fields of Music and Literature respectively. This is a prestigious recognition that honors the cities’ cultural heritage and creativity and also opens up new opportunities for tourism and urban development. The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) includes 246 cities from 86 countries and was created in 2004 to foster cooperation and innovation among cities that use creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable development.

3. Taj Mahal ranked the 2nd ‘Most Loved Landmark in the World’ as per an analysis by Bounce

India’s iconic monument of love, the Taj Mahal has been ranked as the 2nd ‘Best Loved Landmarks in the World’ by Bounce, a travel platform that conducted a comprehensive analysis of the globally renowned landmarks. Bounce considered factors such as visitor numbers, entry fees, Google searches, TikTok views, Tripadvisor ratings, and Instagram posts to rank the landmarks. The Taj Mahal received a score of 7.67 in 2022 and 7.60 in 2023, only behind Niagara Falls in Canada and the United States. It welcomed over 6.5 million visitors in 2022 and had about 23 million Google searches between August 2022 and July 2023.

4. India’s Highest Gondola in Jammu Kashmir gets 500 tourists regularly

Located at Patnitop in Udhampur, India’s highest gondola, is attracting around 500 tourists every day. Offering a panoramic view of the valley, the gondola, which was inaugurated in 2020, covers a distance of 2.8 km and reaches an altitude of 2,024 metres. A part of the Patnitop Ropeway Project, which also includes a ski lift, a chair lift, a tubing sledge, and a sky bridge, the gondola has been a huge hit with visitors enjoying their Jammu and Kashmir tour package. The gondola is expected to attract more visitors in the winter season when the area is covered with snow.

5. Getting Permits for Restricted and Protected Areas in the Northeast now easier for Foreigners

The Indian Government has eased the travel restrictions for foreigners visiting the northeast region of the country. Foreign tourists can now get permits for restricted and protected areas (RAP/PAP) online through a portal launched on October 30, 2023. The RAP/PAP permits are required for visiting certain areas in Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim. The portal, a part of the initiative to develop the northeast as a tourist destination, aims to promote tourism and cultural exchange in the region, which is rich in natural beauty, biodiversity and cultural diversity.

6. India’s 1st International Aerial Acrobatic Show – Tehri Acro Festival, to take place in Uttarakhand

India is going to host its 1stinternational aerial acrobatic show, the Tehri Acro Festival, from November 24 to 28, 2023. The festival will take place in Tehri and will feature 150 internationally recognised paragliders who will participate in aerial competitions and acrobatic exhibitions. Showcasing other activities such as D-Bagging, Wing Suit Flying, Acro Flying, and Syncro Flying the festival will also mark the launch of paragliding activities in Tehri, including training and recreational options.

7. Leopard Park coming soon in Gurugram!

In a significant development for wildlife conservation and eco-tourism, a blueprint has been created for a 15 km stretch of the Aravalis in Gurugram (Gurgaon), which includes plans for a leopard park in Behrampur village. The project aims to establish a jungle trail between the Bandhwari landfill and Damdama lake and is expected to reduce the number of incidents involving leopards straying into urban areas. It is a proactive measure to manage human-wildlife interactions more effectively and to provide a safe habitat for leopards.

8. Hills Festival 2023 in Meghalaya to begin from December 1, 2023

If you are looking for a cultural extravaganza in the northeast, you might want to book your Meghalaya tour package and attend the Hills Festival 2023 in Shillong, Meghalaya. Commencing on December 1, 2023, the Hills Festival is a celebration of the spirit of Meghalaya, and a great opportunity to discover its rich and diverse heritage through music, cuisine, art, and nature. Featuring folk and contemporary melodies from local and international artists, the festival will also offer a taste of Jaintia cuisine, which is known for its wild and unexplored dishes.

9. Cross Country World Cup Paragliding International Championship taking place in Bir Billing right now!

The world’s best paragliders are competing in the Himachal Cross Country World Cup at Bir Billing in India from October 27, 2023, till November 4, 2023.  It is the first international paragliding championship to be held in India after the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 100 pilots from 25 countries are participating in this competition organized by the Paragliding World Cup Association and the Bir Billing Paragliding Association. Bir Billing, a must inclusion in any Himachal Pradesh tour package is one of the most popular and suitable sites for paragliding in the world and has hosted several national and international events in the past.

10. Dudhwa National Park reopening on November 15, 2023 

One of the most popular wildlife destinations in India, Dudhwa National Park, is set to reopen for tourists from November 15, 2023. The park, which is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna, including tigers, rhinos, elephants, and birds, offers an exciting opportunity for nature lovers and adventure seekers to explore its natural beauty and biodiversity. Authorities at the park have also announced that they will soon launch a helicopter service while offering other activities such as jeep safaris, elephant rides, birdwatching, and camping. It will remain open till June 15, 2024, before closing again for monsoon.

11. Visa Update:

12. Railway Update:

13. Airline Update:

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