Check out the latest news and updates about the travel and tourism industry from around the world.

1. ATM 2024 sees record-breaking year with 15% year-on-year growth in attendees 

Starting 9th May UAE held the 31st edition of the Arabian Travel Market 2024 at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) Across 4 days, the event was graced by more than 46,000 industry professionals from over 160 countries. The theme for ATM 2024 was ‘Empowering Innovation: Transforming Travel Through Entrepreneurship’. This year the event saw a 15% increase in attendance compared to the previous year. Many travel agencies, including Akbar Travels, have shown positive signs of growth at ATM 2024. 

2. Pling Island in Thailand shut down due to alarming coral bleaching discovery

Pling Island- Akbar Travels
Pling Island, Phuket, Thailand
Image Credit: Rachata Teyparsit

Owing to rising sea temperatures as a result of scorching heat waves, Pling Island of Southern Thailand has been closed due to the alarming discovery of coral bleaching. Currently, Thailand is a tourist favourite holiday destination. However, other famous tourist attractions in Thailand Tour Packages are still open for tourists to explore. 

3. Abu Dhabi Stopover Program: Etihad Airways’ New Initiative with Free Hotel Stay

Good news for those booking cheap flights with Etihad Airways and choosing to transit via Zayed International Airport! Etihad Airways has unveiled its latest initiative- the ‘Abu Dhabi Stopover’ Program. With this move, travellers can enhance their travel experience by enjoying a one or two-night stay at a variety of hand-picked hotels throughout the city at no additional cost. 

4. Just like Schengen now travel across all 6 Gulf Countries with one GCC Visa

In a recent announcement at ATM 2024, the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Authority revealed that ‘the unified GCC tourist visa system will be established by the end of this year by the regional Gulf countries.’ The unified GCC Tourist Visa will allow tourists to stay and travel in the 6 GCC countries for more than 30 days. While Abu Dhabi Tour Packages, Saudi Tour Packages, etc. are quite popular individually, once it has been implemented, you can book combined Tour Packages to these gulf countries. 

5. Air India Express is cancelling 40 flights daily until 13th May; check your ‘flight status’ beforehand

As a result of challenges faced by Tata Group’s airline merger continuing with a widespread sick leave among cabin crew members, Air India Express has seen cancellations of about 150+ domestic and international flights. It has also scheduled cancellations for 40 flights daily until 13th May. The carrier has instructed  “Guests may visit the ‘Flight Status’ section on our website for real-time information. If their flight is cancelled, or delayed beyond 3 hours, they may opt for a full refund or reschedule to a later date without any fees on Tia on WhatsApp (+91 6360012345) or” It is advised for travellers to check before booking flights online. 

6. Thailand Visa Free Entry extended for Indians up till November 11, 2024

Here’s another chance to plan a trip to Thailand soon as PM Srettha Thavisin announced a Thailand Visa Free extension; i.e. Indian and Taiwanese nationals will be permitted to enter Thailand visa-free up till November 11, 2024. It will allow travellers to stay for up to 30 days at a time along with cheap flights to Thailand

7. Lakshadweep to Mangaluru: Travel time reduced to 5 hours with high-speed ferry

Parali Ferry travel news
Parali Ferry- Passenger ship between Lakshadweep and Mangaluru
Image Credit: The Hindu/ H.S. MANJUNATH

Starting on 3rd May, the high-speed ‘Parali’ ferry reduced the sea travel duration between Lakshadweep and Mangaluru to just five hours. Earlier it took 13 hours to cover the same route. However, concerns remain about the sea’s roughness once the monsoon season begins. Planning a trip to Lakshadweep? It is advised to book your hotels in Lakshadweep beforehand due to limited availability. 

8. Previously inaccessible, Sikkim’s SanglaPhu Lake opened to the public for the first time in history. 

SanglaPhu Lake
SanglaPhu Lake in Sikkim
Image Credit:

Perched at 16,670 ft high and previously inaccessible to tourists, the Sangla Phu Lake is now open to the public. The lake not only has immense religious significance but also offers breathtaking scenery with snow-capped peaks, pristine wilderness and unmatched tranquillity. Book your flights to Sikkim as soon as possible to visit this marvellous beauty with affordable Sikkim Tour Packages

9. Kedarnath Dham now open for Visitors. Devotees start planning your CharDham Yatra now!

Kedarnath Temple
Kedarnath Temple

Among the CharDham’s, the Kedarnath Dham commenced its pilgrimage season by opening its gates for devotees on the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya (10th May), marking the end of the temple’s winter closure. Even gates for Yamunotri Dham have been opened. Other parts of the CharDham Tour Packages, the Gangotri Dham and Badrinath Dham will also be opened soon.  

10. Ooty Flower Festival 2024: Experience floral beauty from May 17 to May 22

Held every year in Ooty’s Botanical Garden, the most-anticipated and vibrant festival celebrating nature’s finest creations, is the Ooty Flower Festival. This year, the festival will take place from 17th May to 22nd May, showcasing 250 exhibitors presenting over 150 varieties of flowers. Tickets will be available online or at the ticket counter for INR 30. 

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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