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. India – The Second Most Visited Country in the World
According to a recent report by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), India has emerged as the Second Most Visited Country in the World, after China, in 2023. The report revealed that India received 143 million international tourists, an increase of 12% from the previous year. China topped the list with 156 million visitors, while the United States came in 3rd with 141 million visitors. The report attributed India’s popularity to its rich cultural heritage and diverse natural attractions which one can explore with our India tour packages, along with improved connectivity and infrastructure.
2. Ferry Service between India and Sri Lanka to start from October 14, 2023
Neighbouring nations India and Sri Lanka to start passenger ferry service that will connect Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu with Kankesanthurai in Jaffna – a must-visit during your holiday in Sri Lanka. The service, which was inaugurated on October 10, 2023, can accommodate up to 150 passengers and will operate twice a week covering the distance in 3 hours. The ferry service is a revival of the historical maritime links between the two countries and is expected to boost tourism, trade, and cultural ties between India and Sri Lanka.
3. Udaipur to Become India’s First Wetland City
The key highlight of our Rajasthan tour packages, Udaipur – the city of lakes, is on its way to becoming India’s “First Wetland City”. The Rajasthan Government has submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) to declare Udaipur as a Ramsar site. A Ramsar site is a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention, an intergovernmental treaty that aims to conserve and sustainably use wetlands.
4. Taste Atlas Announces the World’s Best Bean Dishes, India’s Rajma grabs the 18th Spot
Rajma, a popular North Indian dish made with kidney beans, has been ranked among the “Best Bean Dishes in the World” by Taste Atlas, a global food catalogue and review website. Rajma has made it to the list twice, once as a curry on the 18th spot and once as a combination with rice on the 24th spot. Rajma is a simple yet satisfying vegetarian meal that is flavoured with various spices and was introduced to India from Central Mexico and Guatemala.
5. Thailand’s famous Bikini Beach Race to take place on October 28, 2023
The Central Pattaya Bikini Beach Festival 2023, Thailand’s largest beach running event, will be back for its 5th edition on October 28, 2023. The festival features four running categories and is expected to attract over 10,000 runners from around the world, who will enjoy the scenic views of Pattaya Bay and the Gulf of Thailand. The festival is organized by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Central Pattaya, and Move Asia, with the aim of promoting Pattaya – the star of our Thailand tour packages, as a world-class sports and tourism destination. Want to be a part of this exciting event? Then get your Thailand visa now!
6. Amsterdam to introduce Tourist Tax for travellers staying overnight or visiting on Cruise ships from 2024
One of the most popular tourist destinations in our Europe tour packages, Amsterdam is planning to raise its tourist tax by 3% in 2024. The city council said that the increase in tourist tax is necessary to cover the costs of maintaining the city’s infrastructure, culture, and environment, as well as to reduce the negative impacts of mass tourism on the quality of life of the residents. The city expects to collect an additional 105 million euros per year from the higher tax rate.
7. Cultural Troops from over 20 Countries to Arrive in Himachal Pradesh for Kullu Dussehra Festival 2023
Himachal Pradesh is all set to host the 9th edition of the International Kullu Dussehra Festival 2023, a grand celebration of culture, heritage, and faith. The festival will take place from October 24 to October 30, 2023, in Kullu and will showcase the performances of cultural troupes from over 20 countries, such as Romania, Russia, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Croatia, Thailand, Panama, Taiwan, Maldives, Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, South Sudan, Zambia, Ethiopia, and Ghana.
8. Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve to Reopen for Tourists from October 15, 2023
The home to the world’s largest population of one-horned rhinos, the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve in Assam, will reopen for tourists from October 15, 2023. The park which is a must-visit during your holiday in Assam, has been closed to visitors since May due to the monsoon season. Considering the road conditions that were impacted due to the monsoon the park will currently be only partially accessible for the jeep safaris and will temporarily remain closed every Wednesday afternoon.
9. Lahaul and Spiti Receive the Season’s First Snowfall, turn into a Winter Wonderland
Lahaul and Spiti, the most scenic destinations of our Himachal Pradesh tour packages, have received fresh snowfall ahead of the winter season. This has brought relief from the heatwave and transformed the hills into a winter wonderland. Tourists from across India and the world are flocking to witness the beauty of the snow-clad landscapes. Lahaul and Spiti are ready to welcome travellers who want to experience their winter magic.
10. Railway Updates:
- Special Vande Bharat Trains Planned for India-Pakistan World Cup Match – For the first time in Western Railways history, a special inter-city train was scheduled for a sporting event. The Mumbai – Ahmedabad Vande Bharat Express Train that operated on the night of October 13, 2023 was planned specifically for the India Pakistan World Cup 2023 match scheduled to take place in Ahmedabad on October 14, 2023.
- The First look of Vande Sadharan Trains leaked online, to be launched by the end of October 2023 – The first look of the non-AC Vande Bharat Express Train is going around the internet. Also called the Vande Sadharan Express, this non-AC and economical variant of the high-speed train is expected to be equipped with all the top of the class features while being affordable for the common man.
- Varanasi to get its Second Vande Bharat Train before Navratri – After getting the first ever Vande Bharat Train in 2019, Varanasi will now get its second Vande Bharat Train. Connecting Varanasi to Tatanagar in Jharkhand, it is expected to operate 6 times a week and will be on tracks soon.
- Rapid Rail Line – RAPIDX reduces travel time from 35 to 12 minutes between Sahibabad to Duhai – The first phase of India’s first Rapid Rail Line – RAPIDX is expected to be operational soon. This first phase, covering a distance of 17 km will reduce the travel time between Sahibabad and Duhai from 35 minutes to 12 minutes.
11. Airline Updates:
- Air India to operate Non-stop Flights between Kolkata and Bangkok from October 23, 2023 – In a recent announcement, Air India, announced that it will start operating flights on the Kolkata – Bangkok route from October 23, 2023, just after Durga Puja which is a major festival in the region.
- IndiGo starts operations from Khajuraho and Salem and announces Direct Flights between Delhi and Hong Kong – In a bid to expand its network, IndiGo has announced 2 new destinations and commencement of service on an old route:
- Daily Flights to/from Khajuraho from October 10, 2023 to Delhi and Varanasi.
- Flights to/from Salem from October 29, 2023 to Chennai, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru.
- Flights on the Delhi – Hong Kong route resumed operations from October 5, 2023.
- Vistara announces Non-stop Flights between Delhi and Hong Kong from October 29, 2023 – As per recent reports, Vistara has announced to operate direct flights on the Delhi – Hong Kong route from October 29, 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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