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. Just like the Dubai International Festival, Mumbai to have its own International Festival, the “Mumbai International Festival” in 2024

Inspired by the Dubai International Festival, the Mumbai International Festival, scheduled from January 20 to 28 next year, will become an annual event in 2024. An organization, led by Anand Mahindra, will oversee festival planning, guidelines, and policies, with Sachin Tendulkar among its members. The state cabinet approved this initiative to boost tourism and establish Mumbai as a global tourist hub. The government has allocated INR 25 crore for festival marketing.

2. Indians will soon be able to travel to Space and enjoy Space Balloon Rides

As per the reports, SpaceVIP, a US based space exploration firm is all set to come to India soon. This will provide Indians with an opportunity to take part in various out of the world experiences offered by the company such as zero gravity flights – stimulating lunar, martian, and zero gravity environments, space balloon rides, etc. The company also plans to take passengers to the International Space Station.

3. Soon travel from India to Bhutan by train

If all goes well, then by 2026, we will be able to visit Bhutan via trains from India. As per the reports, the work on the India Bhutan railway link – Bhutan’s first railway line connecting Kokrajhar in Assam, India, to Gelephu in Sarpang, Bhutan has commenced. Once completed this 57.5 km long railway will boost trade and tourism in both countries.  

4. Mumbai International Airport receives Level 4 Accreditation from the Airports Council International (ACI)

Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) recently announced its Level 4 accreditation from the Airports Council International (ACI). The achievement is a result of recent initiatives, including customer journey mapping, enhanced passenger facilities, streamlined processes, and real-time flight information displays, all aimed at enhancing passenger experience and convenience. 

5. Malaysia eager to promote Bilateral Tourism with India

As per the Consul General of Malaysia in Mumbai, Malaysia is eager to improve its bilateral ties with India, with a particular focus on tourism and culture. He expressed the intent to establish twin city relationships between Goa and Malaysia’s Melaka due to their cultural similarities. He also highlighted the opportunity for mutual learning between the two destinations.

6. 7 locations in Odisha to organise Eco Retreat from December 1, 2023

Odisha Tourism’s annual Eco Retreat camping event, featuring 220 tents at 7 locations, will start on December 1, 2023. Tourists can book their stays at Konark, Putsil, Sonapur, Daringbadi, Bhitarkanika, Satkosia, and Hirakud from September 15, 2023. According to Lenin Mohanty, Chairman of Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC), Eco Retreat has become synonymous with Odisha, promoting sustainable tourism and contributing significantly to the state’s economy. 

7. Mask up! Kerala Government issues travel advisory as Nipah Virus cases increase

Booked your Kerala tour package and planning a trip soon? Then please make a note! Kerala’s Kozhikode district is facing a surge in Nipah virus cases, with the total number of cases now at 5. Kozhikode is under a COVID-like lockdown, and the government has implemented stringent measures, including declaring nine panchayats as containment zones. Travellers to Kerala must wear masks in public, avoid containment zones, and expect rescheduled cultural events. 

8. To boost tourism, Uttarakhand Government plans to form “Auli Development Authority”

On September 12, 2023, the Uttarakhand Government approved the proposal to form the ‘Auli Development Authority’. The main motive behind forming this committee was to boost tourism and increase sports facilities in Auli, a key inclusion of our Uttarakhand tour packages. The state government is keen on promoting sports, tourism, and adventure activities in the region.

9. Rajasthan Tourism Department to develop new tourist destinations across all districts of the state

Soon your Rajasthan tour packages will include many new destinations. The Rajasthan Tourism Department is ambitiously revamping the state’s tourism by identifying and developing new destinations in all districts. Each district will see two tourist spots undergo development, restoration, and conservation efforts, funded by the Tourism Development Fund. This initiative aims to boost the state’s economy through tourism expansion.

10. 50 villages in Madhya Pradesh to be developed to boost Tribal Tourism in the state

The Madhya Pradesh Tourism Department’s proposal for developing tourism in tribal rich areas of the state has been accepted. As part of the project, the tourism department plans to develop homestays in tribal dominated areas such as Dhar, Jhabua, Alirajpur, Khargone, Ratlam, Betul, Tikamgarh, and Dindori, etc., create market platforms, conduct community development programs and train locals on different hospitality segments.

11. Goa preparing camping grounds to promote Eco Tourism in Forests

The Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) is planning to develop eco-tourism in the hinterland areas and forest camping grounds, which are managed by the Goa Forest Development Corporation (GFDC). The GTDC is seeking a consultant to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) at a cost of approximately INR 30 crore to kickstart this plan. 

12. Punjab CM announces plans to develop Amritsar as a Wedding Tourism Destination

The Chief Minister of Punjab, Bhagwant Mann recently announced an upcoming project called ‘Celebration Point’. The project is a part of the plans to develop Amritsar as a Wedding Tourism destination. The ‘Celebration Point’ will include marriage palaces, banquet halls, and accommodation options suiting all types of budgets.  

13. Ayodhya Airport coming soon, meanwhile, Rajkot International Airport begins operations

The first phase of Ayodhya Airport in Uttar Pradesh is close to completion. It is expected that by November 2023, the airport will be able to handle flights to and from Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Bangalore. In other news, on September 10, 2023, Rajkot International Airport began its operations by welcoming its first flight from Indore. On the first day itself, the airport handled 2,546 passengers and 11 flights seamlessly. 

14. Airline Updates: 

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