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. World’s Most Powerful Countries Revealed! India ranks 12th
In the latest 2023 Global Power Rankings by the US News & World Report, the United States, China, and Russia maintained their top positions as the World’s Most Powerful and Dominant Nations, while India ranked 12th. As part of the ‘Best Countries’ study, the survey gathered opinions about 87 countries from 17,000 people. The rankings calculate a country’s power based on factors like its political, economic, and military strength, as perceived by those surveyed.
2. World’s Most Overcrowded Tourist Destination for 2023 – Phuket!
Phuket, the star of our Thailand tour packages, has earned the undesirable title of World’s Most Overcrowded Tourist Destination 2023, according to a study. Phuket tops the list, followed by Pattaya and Krabi in Thailand. Overtourism has caused several places like Bali and European cities like Venice, Athens, and Amsterdam, to implement crowd control measures, such as tourist taxes and limited visitors at iconic landmarks.
3. World’s Best Hotel Announced – India’s Oberoi Amarvilas (Agra) grabs a spot among the top 50!
In an awards ceremony recently held in London, the world’s top 50 hotels were announced. The prestigious event showcased luxurious hotels from 35 different countries all over the world. Passalacqua, on Lake Como’s shores in Italy, secured the top spot. Rosewood Hong Kong claimed 2nd place, the 3rd spot went to Four Seasons Bangkok, while India’s only entry, the Oberoi Amarvilas in Agra, ranked 45th.
4. Singapore’s Changi Airport which is the World’s Best Airport to allow Passport free travel from 2024
Singapore’s Changi Airport is revolutionizing its immigration processes to enhance passenger convenience. Certain travellers will be able to travel without passports from the first half of 2024. Singapore’s Communications Minister, Josephine Teo, announced the adoption of biometrics at various automated checkpoints, including bag drop, immigration clearance, and boarding, to streamline the process and reduce document presentations.
5. India-Canada visa suspension, what’s actually happening?
Due to the ongoing tensions between India and Canada, BLS International on September 21, 2023, announced that the India visa services for Canadians were suspended citing operational reasons. Meaning, that Canadians planning a trip to India wouldn’t be issued an India visa. Meanwhile, Indians planning a trip to Canada could still apply for a Canada visa. However, the statement was later retracted.
For more details check out our Canada Travel Advisory: Is travel to Canada from India safe right now?
6. With the addition of Shantiniketan and Hoysala Temple, there are now 42 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India
On September 18, 2023, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee announced including India’s Shantiniketan and Hoysala Temple to its prestigious heritage list. Prior to this announcement, there were 40 UNESCO Heritage Sites in India! Apart from these culturally significant areas such as Cambodia’s sacred temples, China’s ancient tea forests, and Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay-Cat Ba Archipelago were also awarded the prestigious tag.
7. Myanmar may offer Myanmar visa on arrival to Indian and Chinese visitors
In a bid to promote tourism and attract foreign investment, Myanmar has announced plans to offer Myanmar visa on arrival to Indian and Chinese visitors. The one-year trial scheme, is set to be announced soon, and will allow tourists to explore all non-restricted areas. Currently, both Indian and Chinese citizens must apply for Myanmar visa online before visiting the country.
8. The MotoGP Bharat Grand Prix to take place from September 22 to 24, 2023
India is hosting its first ever Motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP) at Greater Noida’s Buddh International Circuit, from September 22 to 24, 2023. The event, known as MotoGP Bharat Grand Prix, features some of the world’s fastest and most skilled motorcycle riders. The event will see 22 riders from 11 teams competing in this thrilling motorsport spectacle.
9. Kerala Nipah Update: No fresh cases reported, it is now safe to travel to God’s Own Country
After a travel advisory released last week, the Kerala Government has announced that it is safe to travel to Kerala. The advisory was released due to the growing number of cases affected by the Nipah Virus. However, now that there are no new cases this week, visitors are free to visit God’s own country. So, stop stalling and book your Kerala tour package now!
10. Second batch of Cheetahs from South Africa to arrive in Gandhi Sagar Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh
By the end of the year, India will be ready to welcome the second batch of Cheetahs from South Africa. But unlike last time, this batch of Cheetah won’t be housed in the Kuno National Park. This batch of the spotted feline will be housed in the Gandhi Sagar Sanctuary or Nauradehi in Madhya Pradesh. These sites were chosen due to their favourable climatic conditions.
11. Mamallapuram Temple – India’s First Green Energy Archeological Site
Mamallapuram’s (Mahabalipuram) historic Shore Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, now proudly holds the title of India’s First Green Energy Archaeological Site. It is a result of the Green Heritage Project, a collaboration between Renault Nissan Technology & Business Centre India and Hand in Hand India. The temple uses clean energy generated by the solar plants and surplus power is fed back into the grid.
12. Vande Bharat Express Updates:
- Kerala to get its Second Vande Bharat Express – On September 24, 2023, Prime Minister Modi will flag off Kerala’s second Vande Bharat Express Train. Operating on the Kasaragod – Thiruvananthapuram route, this new orange-coloured Vande Bharat Train has 25 upgrades including improved safety features.
- Vande Bharat Metro to be operational by January 2024, Vande Bharat Sleeper Coach by March 2024 – The Integral Coach Factory (ICF) is busy producing the coaches for Vande Bharat Metro Train and Vande Bharat Sleeper Train. The 12-coach Vande Bharat Metro Train will be used for shorter distances, whereas the sleeper coaches will be used for long-distance travel.
13. Airline Updates:
- Vistara to operate non-stop flights to Hong Kong from October 29, 2023 – In a recent announcement, it was announced that from October 29, 2023, Vistara will be operating daily non-stop flights between Delhi and Hong Kong, increasing connectivity between the regions.
- IndiGo signs codeshare partnership with British Airways – In a bid to increase connectivity between India and the UK, IndiGo has signed a codeshare partnership with British Airways. Under this partnership, British Airways will integrate its code to several key destinations in IndiGo’s network.
- Akasa Air to start International Operations from December 2023 – Recently, Akasa Air received approval from the Union Civil Aviation Ministry to begin international operations. The airline is eyeing the South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Middle east sectors to begin its international expansion by the end of the year.
- VietJet announces services from Tiruchirappalli to Vietnam – Following the success of flight service between Kochi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s budget air carrier VietJet plans to operate flights from Tiruchirappalli to Vietnam from November 1, 2023.
- Airfares for inbound flights to Ahmedabad see a 415% increase for Ind- Pak World Cup Match – The India Pakistan cricket fever is at an all-time high and the cost of flights to Ahmedabad is an undeniable proof of it. Cricket fans planning to watch India Pakistan play in Ahmedabad for the World Cup 2023 are paying around 415% more than the usual airfare. But with Akbartravels.com, you need not worry about paying such high prices. Simply visit our website and book your flight to Ahmedabad by availing our special deals and discounts and enjoy the match live in Ahmedabad!
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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