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. Ae Haalo! Gujarat’s Garba grabs a spot on the UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List
Gujarat’s popular folk dance and a religious and cultural tradition, Garba has been added to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. The dance, performed during the nine-day festival of Navratri, has become a community event with thousands of participants across India. The UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage India List includes other cultural heritages, such as Bangladesh’s rickshaw painting, Songkran, Thai New Year Festival, Hiragasy, Junkanoo, etc.
2. Kerala Major Updates:
- Peralassery Subrahmanya Temple Pond in Kerala presented the National Water Heritage Tag – The Peralassery Subrahmanya Temple Pond in Kannur, has been declared a National Water Heritage Site by the Ministry of Jal Shakti. The pond, known as ‘Ayanivayal Kulam’, is believed to have been constructed around 1,500 years ago and features Vastu-based architectural elements. Renovated in 2001, it is an integral part of the Peralassery Subramanya Swamy Temple and has been featured in numerous films and albums.
- Kerala becomes the state with the highest number of 5 Star Hotels in India – With ‘45’ 5 star hotels in Kerala, it has become the country’s top state for five-star hotels, according to data from the National Database for Accommodation units. This surpasses states like Maharashtra, Goa, and Delhi, with 35, 32, and 27 5 star hotels respectively, which are popular tourist and corporate destinations. Kerala also has the highest number of hotels in all categories, including 3, 4, and 5 stars.
3. 66 Indian Airports operating on 100% Green Energy,a huge step towards Sustainable Travel
According to Dr. V. K. Singh, Minister of State in the Ministry of Civil Aviation, 66 Indian airports are operating entirely on 100% green energy. The ministry is working towards carbon neutrality and achieving net-zero emissions by urging developers and state governments to adopt practices contributing to achieving carbon neutrality and net-zero emissions.. Major airports like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru have achieved Level 4+ and higher ACI Accreditation.
4. Blue Lake in New Zealand named ‘World’s Clearest Water Lake’ by Researchers
Located on New Zealand’s South Island, Blue Lake is known for its crystal-clear visibility and is considered the world’s clearest water lake. Researchers discovered the lake’s extreme visual clarity in 2011, and it is a popular inclusion to any New Zealand tour package for watersports and marine enthusiasts. However, diving is restricted due to its sanctity and spiritual significance for the Maori tribe. The lake is set in a conservation area, and its water is fed glacial debris by another lake above it.
5. Kolkata – Safest City in India for the 3rd consecutive year
According to a report by the National Crime Records Bureau, Kolkata has consistently been ranked as the safest city in India for 3 years in a row. The city recorded the least number of cognisable offenses per lakh population among 19 major cities in India. Kolkata’s iconic landmarks, included in our Kolkata tour packages, such as the Victoria Memorial and Howrah Bridge, provide a peaceful environment for travellers, offering safe and welcoming spaces for families, friends, and solo travellers.
6. For the safety of Visitors, Goa sets up ‘Safe Swim’ and ‘No Selfie’ Zones at Beaches
Goa has established ‘No Selfie’ and’Safe Swim’ zones at beaches to ensure beach safety amid tourist rush. Lifesavers have successfully rescued 392 individuals from drowning incidents along the state’s beaches this year. The initiative is beneficial for tourists visiting the beaches and may help prevent future incidents. Goa’s beaches, major part of our Goa tour packages offer a perfect coastal experience with over 30 unique charms, water sports, vibrant beach culture, and unique flora and fauna.
7. An Underwater Mountain found in Pacific Ocean is twice the size of Burj Khalifa
Scientists have discovered a massive underwater mountain off the coast of Guatemala, believed to be a remnant of an extinct volcano. The mountain, standing at 1600 meters (5249 ft), is almost twice the height of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. The discovery was made during an expedition using a multibeam echosounder on the research vessel Falkor, which uses sound waves to map the seafloor. The mountain was absent from ocean depth databases, and the discovery highlights the importance of a comprehensive seafloor map in understanding the ocean.
8. Gangotri National Park sets a record – welcomes 33,453 tourists so far this year
The Gangotri National Park (GNP) experienced its highest-ever visitor count this year, with 33,453 visitors from April 1 to November 30, including 17,208 visitors to the Gartang Gali skywalk and 16,245 visitors to the Gaumukh region. Home to rare Himalayan flora and fauna, the park, which is a must to visit while enjoying your Uttarakhand tour package experienced a slow pre-monsoon phase due to bad weather, but improved in the post-monsoon season. Park officials are working on improving facilities and anticipate an even better response when the park reopens on April 1 next year.
9. Uninhabited Aves Island in Andaman to be opened for travellers soon
Our Andaman and Nicobar tour packages will soon have a new addition! In a bid to boost tourism the Union Territory administration plans to open up uninhabited Aves Island in the North and Middle Andaman district for tourists. The island, known as Coconut Island, is dotted with natural features like coral flat beds, coconut plantations, forests, and a pristine beach. The administration is partnering with the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Integrated Development Corporation Limited (ANIIDCO) to develop a five-star eco-tourism resort with 50 rooms, offering activities like shopping, game fishing, scuba diving, forest trekking, nature camping, and a wellness centre.
10. US Consulates opening up more US Visa Appointment Slots, wait time to reduce significantly
Indian students and visitors to the USA will be getting more US visa appointment slots and processing centres as US Consulates aim to reduce wait times in India. US Consul General Mike Hankey in Mumbai emphasized the importance of speeding up renewal processes, prioritizing students and categories like medical emergencies and business reasons. The consulates have also implemented remote processing of interview waiver cases for applicants with previous US visas. US consulates have released lakhs of new US visa appointment slots for first-time travellers. A new facility in Hyderabad is expected to process 3,500 visa applications daily. Whereas, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru will soon get new US Consulates.
11. Airline Updates:
- Sri Lankan Airline announces double daily flights between Colombo and Mumbai – In a bid to strengthen the airline’s network in India, Sri Lankan Airline has started double daily service on the Mumbai – Colombo route. This move will boost 50% capacity on this route. India is the only country with 9 destinations on the airline’s route.
- Vistara to introduce new routes to Bali and Doha – By starting direct flights between Delhi and Bali from December 1, 2023, Vistara became the first airline offering exclusive service on this route. In addition to this the airline plans to start services on the Mumbai – Doha route from December 15, 2023.
- Saudi Airlines to operate direct flights from Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad to Medina – Soon pilgrims will be able to book direct flights from Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad to Medina with Saudi Airlines. Earlier, pilgrims had to book flights to Jeddah and take a train or a bus or cab to travel to Medina.
- Malaysia Airlines starts direct flights between Ahmedabad and Kuala Lumpur – From December 1, 2023, Malaysia Airlines has started operating flights on the Ahmedabad – Kuala Lumpur route. This route is expected to increase the connectivity of Gujarat with Malaysia.
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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