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. Revolutionizing Travel: Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train to slash journey time to just 2 hours across 500 km

Recently, Railway Minister Ashwini word used twice shared a glimpse of what the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train corridor will look like. This marvellous engineering project is likely to reduce the travel distance of over 500 ks between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, which usually takes 6-7 hours to a mere 2 hours. Along with being a time-saver, the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train boasts of other salient features like 12 new state-of-the-art railway stations along the route, a 7 km long undersea tunnel, an earthquake detection system, etc. The tentative deadline for the project is 2026-2027.

2. Vietnam Triumphs as ‘World’s Leading Heritage Destination 2023’ – A Jewel of Cultural Riches

In a remarkable feat, Vietnam has won the title of the ‘World’s Leading Heritage Destination 2023’ at the world-famous World Travel Awards. This award appreciates the country’s extraordinary cultural heritage, historical landmarks and commitment to preserving the war history. 

The easy and hassle-free Vietnam Visa online application process and varied options for Vietnam Tour Packages have resulted in this Southeast nation’s dominance on the global platform. 

3. Planning a trip to Thailand? Travel worry-free with up to $14,000 in Medical Care

Thailand’s tourism department has implemented a new initiative in which –foreign travellers will receive medical coverage of up to USD 14,000 in case of accidents. This scheme is likely to be followed until August 2024. The Tourism Minister commented that ‘the primary objective of the campaign is to assure visitors that Thailand prioritises their well-being and ensures they receive proper care’. In the unfortunate case of the visitor’s death, they will be compensated USD 37,270. This financial protection is a bid to lure in visitors along with affordable Thailand tour packages and eased restrictions for Thailand Visa

4. ‘Dome of Harmony’: Explore the Sanctum Sanctorum of Abu Dhabi’s new Hindu temple

While the UAE already sees a majority of Indian tourist arrivals with a quick Dubai Visa online facility, the newly inaugurated BAPS (Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha) Hindu temple is another landmark to add to your Abu Dhabi Tour Packages. Built at a whopping cost of INR 700 crore, this will be the largest temple in the region spanning 27 acres. 

The Sanctum Sanctorum or ‘Done of Harmony’ pays homage to various Hindu deities and also represents different elements—fire, earth, air, water, and space. 

5. OTM Mumbai 2024 hailed as a top travel trade show in the world

The curtains have fallen on the OTM 2024, Asia’s largest and most influential travel trade show organised by Fairfest, held in Mumbai’s BKC. The show was a display of the best innovations and collaborations in the travel sector and received accolades as the best platform for travel trade to meet in this part of the world. About 40,000 industry professionals explored the vast exhibition space featuring 1600+ exhibitors from 60 countries and 30 Indian States & Union Territories graced the show with their presence. 

One of the many exhibitors in the show, Akbar Travels Online had a successful participation citing global travel market expansion. 

6. Atal Setu Access Widened: Locals to enjoy Public Bus Services on Atal Setu soon

The Atal Setu Bridge was recently inaugurated in Mumbai on 12th January. The Mumbai Trans Harbour Link MTHL or Atal Setu will soon be plying bus services to cater to the local public. NMMT has proposed four regular bus services and two AC bus services between Nerul and Mantralya. For now, the suggested fare is the existing fee of Rs. 90 for the 52-km long journey. The government will soon make a decision considering the demands of the route. 

7. India’s UPI Extends Reach: Now Available in Sri Lanka and Mauritius, Facilitating Seamless Transactions

On February 12, India’s United Payment Interface (UPI) launched its services in Sri Lanka and Mauritius. This move will not only facilitate faster and seamless transactions for Indian nationals but also enhance India’s scope in fintech services and foster digital connectivity. 

These two countries have joined the list of already existing countries that use India’s UPI including Bhutan, Oman, UAE, Southeast Asia, Nepal and France. With this ease of transaction, more and more International Tour Packages are gaining demand. 

8. Marbella crowned European Best Destination in 2024 – A Must-Visit Gem

Well, the travellers have had their say in the European Best Destinations 2024 ranking! Marbella, the coastal city of Spain, has been voted as the best place to travel in Europe in 2024. This notorious beach destination is quite popular with golfers, beach lovers, shoppers and foodies as well. 

Other amazing destinations to add to your Europe tour packages that can be covered with a single Schengen Visa are:

  • Monaco
  • Malta
  • Geneva, Switzerland
  • Batumi, Georgia
  • Riga, Latvia
  • Madeira, Portugal
  • Florence, Italy
  • Lège-Cap-Ferret, France
  • Siena, Italy
  • Ponza Island, Italy
  • Porto-Vecchio, Corsica, France
  • Champagne Wine Region, France
  • Faroe Islands
  • Sirmione, Lombardy, Italy
  • Piran, Slovenia
  • Newquay, Cornwall
  • Thassos, Greece

9. Now convert your Bahrain visit visas into work or dependent visas with these new rules

The Bahrain Nationality, Passports and Residence Affairs (NPRA) is making changes to the rules and regulations regarding the conversion of visit visas into work or dependent visas and making them stricter. The Labour Market will promote the new procedures to stop the exploitation of people arriving in the country on visit visas. This regulation is likely to affect current visit visa holders and job seekers in Bahrain. 

10. 79-year-old Luisa Yu has visited all 193 countries around the globe!

Luisa Yu, a 79-year-old Filipino American is being called a globetrotter for achieving a remarkable feat of accomplishing her dream of exploring the world. She has done that by visiting all 193 countries over the past half-century. According to Ms Yu, “When I [went to] the movies, I [saw] this beautiful backdrop about the scenery, the nature, the rivers, the mountains, and that fascinated me. That’s why I always thought someday I will go to these places and travel.” 

She visited her final country, Serbia on 9th November 2023, after completing her ventures in European countries, Asian nations, African nations and Middle Eastern destinations. 

11. China’s New Year Travel surge signals pickup in consumer spending

The Chinese Lunar New Year holiday this year has signalled signs of a resurgence in consumer spending. Bouncing back from the Covid slump, the second largest economy has marked a 61% increase for the same period in 2023. There were almost 61 million rail trip bookings and even road and air travel so significant improvement. 

12. Bali’s new tourist tax starts this week

In an attempt to safeguard the island’s natural beauty and cultural resources, Bali is now imposing a new tourist tax from this week. The Bali Tourist Tax 2024 is set at IDR 150,000 (approx. INR 800 or $10) for foreign visitors including children. The Love Bali website and application make it easier for visitors to pay this tax beforehand online. 

Planning to visit Bali? Make sure you have all the information about the  Bali Visa for Indians on arrival and also pay the new Bali Tourist Tax online beforehand. 

13. Indian Arrivals in Fiji Soar by 300% in December 2023

The islands of Fiji in December 2023 has witnessed a 300% record growth in Indian arrivals as compared to December 2022. Robert Thompson, an official of Tourism Fiji commented, “Indian arrivals to the South Pacific Island nation in 2023 reached pre-Covid numbers of 2019, underlining the increased appetite for premium and experience-led travel… India is primary a honeymooners market, but what we have started seeing is multi-generational travel post Covid.”

Tourism Fiji is also concentrating on improving the numbers by providing all-inclusive Fiji Tour Packages as well as cheap flights to Fiji with Fiji Airways. 

14. ITA Airways to resume flights to Israel from 1st March

The Italian carrier, ITA Airways is looking to resume flights to Israel from 1st March with cheap flight bookings online. Later on, these flight frequencies will increase for summer 2024. Initially, the services will be three flights between Rome Fiumicino and Tel Aviv Ben Gurion. Many flight services, including ITA Airways, Lufthansa Airlines, Air France, etc. that have cancelled flights to and from Israel citing Israel’s war on Palestine are looking to resume their services. 

15. Enjoy the Pangong Lake marathon on Feb 20, but with a focus on Climate Change

The Tourism Department and Ladakh Administration are collaborating with Adventure Sports Foundation of Ladakh (ASFL) to hold the second edition of the Pangong Lake marathon in Ladakh. The organisers are making efforts to focus on climate change and take a sustainable approach. Both full and half marathons will be held on the frozen Pangong Lake with proper safety measures in place. 

Visitors are also welcome to be spectators for the marathon as it can be an unique addition to their basic Ladakh Tour Packages

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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