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. No more wait time for US Visa Appointment
Good news for all US visa applicants! The US Consulate General Mumbai has declared that the visa backlog that happened due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been successfully cleared. As a result, applicants can now book their US visa interviews within the standard timeframe. The Consulate’s goal is to process a minimum of one million US visas by the end of 2023, and they intend to invest in expanding US visa operations to enhance efficiency in the process.
2. Traffic diverted and Flights Rescheduled in Delhi for the G20 Summit, Air India and Vistara announced one-time Flight Ticket Waiver
The New Delhi district has been designated as a Controlled Zone, and authorities have strongly recommended that people refrain from visiting specific areas during the G20 summit. As per the reports, restrictions on online delivery services, except for medicines, have been imposed in the vicinity of the G20 Summit location and the hotels designated for attending delegates. In other news, Air India and Vistara have announced a special one-time waiver on flight tickets for travellers travelling to and from Delhi between September 8, 2023, and September 11, 2023, due to air traffic restrictions.
3. World Travel Awards Asia and Oceania Winners announced in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
In a glamorous red carpet ceremony held in Ho Chi Minh City, all the top travel brands from Asia and Oceania region were awarded. The best of the travel industry came from all corners of the region to Ho Chi Minh City, a star of our Vietnam tour packages, for the 2023 World Travel Awards (WTA) Asia & Oceania Gala Ceremony where Vietnam bagged the “Asia’s Leading Destination” title. Get your Vietnam visa now and check out what sets it apart from its competition!
4. India’s Longest Glass Bridge now open in Vagamon, Kerala
Recently, India’s longest glass bridge was inaugurated at Vagamon in the Idukki district of Kerala. From the glass bridge, visitors can enjoy the sights of far-off popular places in our Kerala tour packages like Mundakayam, Kuttikkal, and Kokkayar. Built at a cost of 3 crores, this 40 metre long glass bridge was constructed using imported glass from Germany and is located at a height of 3,500 feet.
5. Major Tourist Destinations in Himachal Pradesh now open for Tourists
After facing severe natural calamities and facing significant destructions, popular tourist attractions in Himachal Pradesh are now open for tourists. Many inclusions of our Himachal Pradesh tour packages such as Kasauli, Kinnaur, Mcleodganj, Dharamshala, Dalhousie, Khajjiar, and Chamba, were cut off due to landslides and flooding caused by torrential rains but are now accessible and safe for tourists after the relentless efforts of the authorities.
6. Tawang Marathon announced to boost Adventure Sports Tourism in Arunachal Pradesh
The Indian Army and Arunachal Pradesh Government are hosting the “Tawang Marathon” on October 1, 2023 to promote adventure sports and tourism in the state. The event will feature marathon, half-marathon, 10 km, and 5 km races, attracting participants from across the country and armed forces. Tawang, at an average elevation of 10,000 feet, offers a rare high-altitude running experience and the key highlight of our Arunachal Pradesh tour packages.
7. Finland becomes the First Country in Europe to test Digital Passports
A passport which you can carry in your phone can soon be a reality as Finland becomes the first country in Europe to test Digital Passports! The trial is conducted by Finnair, Finavia, and Finnish police in Helsinki, and is applicable for Finnish travellers on flights to London, Edinburgh, and Manchester. The European Commission plans to start a similar trial in multiple European countries, with Croatia being the next in line.
8. To make Tourist Destinations more women-friendly, Madhya Pradesh to employ more Female Staff
The Madhya Pradesh Government plans to implement the “Sankalp: Safe Tourism Campaign”. Supported by the Central Ministry of Women and Child Development Department, it’s a collaboration between Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board, UN Women, and several other departments. The initiative is part of the “Safe Tourism Destination for Women” program, aiming to make Madhya Pradesh’s tourist destinations more female-friendly and promote women’s involvement in the tourism industry.
9. International Cruise Terminal opened in Visakhapatnam
A state of the art International Cruise Terminal was recently inaugurated in Visakhapatnam. This cruise terminal will play a host to a number of international and domestic cruise operations in India. The terminal building is equipped with lounges, immigration counters, restaurants, entertainment, shopping and medical facilities along with money exchange outlets and several other services.
10. Moscow plans to introduce Virtual Foreign Tourist Card to allow Tourists to make cashless transactions
Moscow is planning to implement a Virtual Foreign Tourist Card in order to smoothen the travel experience for visitors. This digital card will allow tourists to make cashless payments for various services and is currently under discussion for potential realisation. Travellers planning a trip to Russia can apply for the Foreign Tourist Card remotely.
11. Around 150 shacks to be set up at Beaches of Andaman and Nicobar Islands to make them more lively
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are set to liven up their beaches with over 150 beach shacks. Top attractions of our Andaman and Nicobar tour packages such as Havelock will have 20 beach shacks, Neil Island will have 40, and 10 each at Corbyn’s Cove and Badabalu in Port Blair. The rustic shacks will be eco-friendly and blend with the surroundings, generating revenue and local employment while preserving natural beauty.
12. Portugal introduces Unlimited Monthly Rail Pass
Just as a Portugal Schengen visa lets you travel around 27 European countries, this Portugal’s newly introduced unlimited monthly rail pass, will allow you to explore its entire coastline. Announced this month, the pass will be available for less than EUR 50 (approx. INR 4,500) and is in line European nations like Germany, France, and Spain, which already offer popular, budget-friendly monthly rail options.
13. Soon Travel to Bhutan from India via Trains
In a bid to strengthen the bond, India and Bhutan are working on cross-border railway connecting both the countries. Joining India in the north-east region, this will be Bhutan’s first-ever internationally connected cross-border railway connection. If all goes well citizens of both the countries will be able to travel to and from their country via trains.
14. Kerala to get Second Cruise Boat Service connecting Kochi to Kottayam via Alappuzha
After the success of the initial cruise service “Michele” that was started in August, Kerala State Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC) is ready to launch its second cruise “Cleopatra”. The cruise will offer all the facilities just like its predecessor and the cruise package will include lunch, tea and snacks and will travel from Marine Drive in Kochi to Kottayam via Alappuzha connecting the backwaters of Kerala.
15. Airline Updates:
- Oman Air and Salam Air announce increased frequency of Flights to Kerala – Oman Air and Salam Air have announced that from October, 2023, they will start daily flight services to Kerala. Oman Air plans to start daily flights on the Muscat-Thiruvananthapuram route in the first week of October, whereas, Salam Air will be starting daily service between Kozhikode and Muscat from October 1, 2023.
- Air India and Bangkok Airways enter into an Interline Partnership – Under this partnership Air India passengers will get easy connectivity via the airline’s Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Singapore getaways to and from top destinations in Bangkok Airways route network such as Thailand, Laos and Cambodia along with access to Bangkok Airways Boutique Lounges and Courtesy Corners available at airports.
- IndiGo resumes Direct Flights between Goa and Abu Dhabi and Hyderabad and Male, announces New Flights between Delhi and Itanagar – From September 2, 2023, IndiGo resumed its tri-weekly operations between Goa and Abu Dhabi. Apart from this, the airlines plans to resume its operations between Hyderabad and Male from October 31, 2023. Along with starting new flights between Delhi and Itanagar operating 4 times a week from October 2, 2023.
- Malaysia Airlines announces 3 New Services between Kuala Lumpur, Amritsar, Thiruvananthapuram and Ahmedabad – To increase connectivity with India, Malaysia Airlines has announced to start new flights between Kuala Lumpur – Amritsar from November 8, 2023, between Kuala Lumpur – Thiruvananthapuram from November 9, 2023 and between Kuala Lumpur – Ahmedabad from December 1, 2023.
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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