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. Entry fee to Taj Mahal and other monuments waived off from November, 19 to 25 for World Heritage Week
The entry fee of Taj Mahal and all the other monuments protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), has been waived off. This decision was take to commemorate the World Heritage Week, which takes place between November 19 and 25, every year. Started in 1945 to build moral and intellectual solidarity after the 2 World Wars, the World Heritage Week is celebrated to help build lasting peace worldwide.
2. Agroland: 115 million years old lost Continent discovered in Southeast Asia
Scientists have recently discovered fragments of the old lost continent of Agroland. Found in Southeast Asia, these fragments were a part of Australia and have now drifted towards eastern Indonesia. A part of the landmass as big as the USA, Agroland existed 115 million years ago and it took scientists 7 years to gather information regarding this fragmented land.
3. Avoid non-essential travel to Myanmar: Indian Government issues travel advisory to Indians
Due to the ongoing conflicts between the military and the ethnic armed groups in Myanmar, the Indian Government has issued an advisory asking Indians to avoid non-essential travel to Myanmar. The advisory also asked Indians living in Myanmar to exercise precaution and avoid inter-state road travel and visiting the regions affected by violence. In addition to this, Indians in Myanmar are asked to register themselves with the Embassy of India in Yangon.
4. Kerala’s Responsible Tourism Mission added to United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s list
Time to book a Kerala tour package and check out ‘God’s own country’, as Kerala’s Responsible Tourism (RT) Mission has gained global recognition after securing a spot on the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) prestigious list of case studies. This recognition highlights Kerala’s innovative approach towards the state’s development that seamlessly integrates UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while promoting tourism.
5. World’s Oldest Whiskey discovered in a Castle in Scotland
A rare collection of 40 whiskey bottles believed to be the world’s oldest whiskey have been discovered in the Blair Castle in Scotland. Founded by the resident trustee of the castle in 2022, the whiskey is believed to be casked and distilled in 1833 and bottled in 1841. Once the dates are verified, this whiskey will be replacing Baker’s Pure Rye Whiskey from 1847 as the world’s oldest whiskey in Guinness World Records.
6. New US Consulates opening in Ahmedabad and Bangalore to reduce US Visa wait time
To reduce US visa appointment wait time and clear the US visa backlog, the US has decided to open new US Consulates in Ahmedabad and Bangalore. Eric Garcetti, the US Ambassador said that, in the recent weeks the number of US visas issued in India had increased by one-third. The US Embassy plans to issue 10-15% more visas in the current year compared to the previous years.
7. 10 Sites for Sea-plane operations identified in Andaman and Lakshadweep Islands
The Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways (MoPSW) has identified 10 sites for sea-plane operations across the Andaman and Lakshadweep Islands. So far Havelock Island, Port Blair, Neill Island and Long Island, have been shortlisted in Andaman. Whereas the discussions are still ongoing for locations in the Lakshadweep. The authorities plan to set up floating navigation systems and water aerodomes to enhance the maritime infrastructure and aid in smooth operations of the airplanes.
8. Few high altitude ski resorts in France opened up before the Christmas Holidays, others to open soon
Just days after storms wiping off early snow in the northern Alps, a few of the high altitude French ski resorts are open for visitors ahead of the Christmas holidays. A major inclusion in any France tour packages, these ski resorts provide a great opportunity to adventure enthusiasts to strap on their skies and zoom down the steep slopes on a bed of glittery white snow. So far 2 resorts above 2,000 metres and a few cross country trails for short loop in Bessans are open.
9. Tiger Safari Zone coming up in Chamarajanagar in Karnataka
As per the reports, the Chamarajanagar in Karnataka will be getting a unique Tiger Safari Zone. Planned in the southernmost district of Chamarajanagar, this initiative is expected to boost and revamp the tourism industry while strengthening the local economy of the region. Based on the similar models of well known reserves like Nagarhole and Bandipur, this 18 kms long safari will allow visitors to observe a variety of wildlife and have the opportunity to explore the dense and intimidating jungles.
10. Delhi to Bangkok flights cheaper than Flights to Northeast
At the recently held B2B meet for the International Tourism Mart, entrepreneurs from tourism industry expressed regret that airfares to domestic northeast destinations are more expensive than those in Thailand. The Delhi to Bangkok flights costs Rs 11,470, while flights from Delhi to Shillong cost around Rs 14,974. Travel agents from all NE states agree that airfares from Delhi/Mumbai to Bangkok are cheaper than those to Shillong or Agartala or any of the state capitals of the region making it unfair and want the government to intervene.
11. Vietnam may offer visa free entry to Indians
Soon there will be no more Vietnam visa! Just book your Vietnam tour package and flight tickets and fly off to this Southeast Asian gem. Why? Because, Vietnam is considering introducing visa-free entry for Indian tourists to boost its tourism sector. Vietnam’s Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism Nguyn Van Jung is pushing for short-term visa waivers for key markets like China and India recognising their importance in the global tourism landscape. If implemented, Vietnam would join Sri Lanka and Thailand in the list of visa free countries for Indians.
12. Saryu River in Ayodhya to get Solar Powered Cruise Ships
Before the Ram Mandir is inaugurated in January 2024, the Saryu River in Ayodhya will get 2 solar powered mini cruise ships. These Ramayana cruise ships equipped with the state of the art facilities will share the knowledge of Lord Ram’s life including his childhood, his days in Gurukul, Swayamwar, Vanvaas, meeting Lord Hanuman, defeating Ravan and his return to Ayodhya.
13. Betla National Park in Jharkhand now offers Open Jeep Safari
Soon tourists visiting the Betla National Park in Jharkhand will be able to enjoy open jeep safaris. Currently, the Betla National Park offers safaris in closed vehicles due to which visitors sitting at the back of the vehicle are not able to fully enjoy the whole experience. Efforts are being made to replace these enclosed vehicles with modified open vehicles to provide the tourists with an enriching experience.
14. Railway Updates:
- Kalka – Shimla Toy Train: To reduce travel time, 10 stations removed from route – As per reports, the railways authorities have decided to remove 10 stations from the Kalka- Shimla toy train route on an experimental basis. This decision is expected to reduce the travel time from more than 5 hours to 4.5 hours.
- Ahmedabad – Jamnagar Vande Bharat Express service extended till Udhna – The 34th Vande Bharat Express train running between Ahemdabad and Jamnagar will now be extending its service till Udhna. Covering a distance of 560 km in less than 5 hours it is the fastest train on this route.
15. Airline Updates:
- Emirates becomes First Airlines to operate a Demo Flight with 100% SAF – By using 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel on a demo flight from the Dubai International Airport, Emirates helped demonstrate SAF’s potential as a sustainable replacement to jet fuel’s technical and chemical requirements, making it the first airline in the world to do so.
- Oman Air: APEX Five Star Major Airline for the 4th year in a row – Airline Passenger Experience Association – APEX, awarded the 2024 Five-Star Major Airline award to Oman Air. Previously known as APEX Official Airline Ratings, they are awarded based on the passenger feedback and insights.
- AirAisa to operate Tiruvanamthapuram to Kuala Lumpur from February 2024 – Starting on February 21, 2024, AirAsia’s Tiruvanamthapuram to Kuala Lumpur flight will be the 2nd direct route from Kerala to Kaula Lumpur after Tiruchirappalli. The flight will be operating 4 times a week.
- IndiGo: First Indian airline to operate over 2,000 daily scheduled flights – IndiGo has surpassed the mark of more than 2000 scheduled flights per day, establishing IndiGo as the first Indian airline to reach this historic achievement. The most recent OAG Data for October 23 shows that IndiGo is among the top 10 airlines in the world in terms of frequency and seat capacity.
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.