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Travel News - 22 May, 2009

Kid's Air Fare reduced to 50%

In a bid to cash on the summer traffic Spice Jet Airways, a domestic carrier of India has reduced air fares for children aged between two and twelve. The low cost airlines has also launched numerous special attractive packages for children but it will be available only for selected days in a week. Those who will make bookings between May 15 to May 25 will also receive early bird prizes along with this special package for children. ss

Increasing Trend of Tourists from Bahrain to India

With economic ties between India and Bahrain improving it has also led to increasing number of Bahrain citizens visiting India. Keeping in mind the keen interest the people of Bahrain in touring round India the Indian Embassy in Manama has organized a special exhibition titled 'Visit India year 2009' offering travel information on India.Expert C Gangadhar, Dubai-based West Asia director believes that during the current year this increasing trend of Bahrain visitors to India is going to touch at an unprecendented 8%.

Daily Flights From Ahmedabad to Frankfurt

The business class of Ahmedabad has reasons to cheer for Air India will operate daily scheduled flights from Ahmedabad to German city Frankfurt. Air India officials reported that Boeing 777-200 with a passenger seating capacity of 291, will depart from the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport at 2.05 a.m and reach Frankfurt at 6.50 a.m. according to IST. The daily return flight will leave Frankfurt at 11.10 a.m. (I.S.T local time) and reach Ahmedabad at 10.25 p.m. This particular air service will be launched from 1st June this year.

Lower Return Fares and Reduction in Fuel Surcharge by Malaysia Airline

In a bid to woo the travellers this summer Malaysia Airlines has cut down on fuel surcharge by 53% though the air fare has also come down but it will vary from region to region. Fuel surcharge for flights to Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand is low at Rs.2,650 while in countries of India and Bangladesh where it operates its scheduled flights the reduction in return fare is 27%. Therefore, now a down return fare from India to Malaysia with an all-inclusive package will cost only Rs.16,528.

Travel News - 14 May, 2009

Luxury Train 'Heritage on Wheels' Will Be Made A Restaurant Soon

Luxury train ’Heritage on Wheels’, presently consigned to the railway yard, may be transformed into a restaurant in Jaipur. It was used to carry tourists to view the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan for two years.

Presently the beautiful train is parked in shed and since the Tourist Development Corporation of Rajasthan does not want the effort to go waste, they’ve planned it to not to go waste.

With interiors decorated traditionally. This is done to attract both tourists and residents. The train started operating in January 2006.It was left idle for various reasons. Now a suitable spot for parking the train in this form is being searched.

Keeping in mind the famous train "Palace on Wheels", "Heritage on Wheels" was demanding a $300 per person per night for single occupancy, $200 for double occupancy and $150 for triple occupancy. Three nights and four days service was covered.

According to tourism officials the service for the train was suspended not just because of low occupancy rate but also because for a change from metre gauge into broad gauge. The service was earlier running on metre gauge.

Some other luxury trains that operate in the country include The Deccan Odyssey, covering Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad, Ajanta and Goa, and The Golden Chariot, covering Bangalore, Mysore and Goa.

Now that the train is being made into a restaurant it is hoped that tourists will start coming on board to get a taste the country's rich heritage.

Jumeirah To Enter India

Jumeirah Group which is famous for its line of hotels is heading towards India to add 60 hotels in the existing chain by the year 2012.

The target cities in their list are Mumbai, Delhi and Goa.

It is hoped that the affluent people might boost the demand for luxury hotels for business as well as for leisure purposes.

According to a recent report by World Travel and Tourism Council, the travel and tourism sector is expected to grow 6% or approximately US$67.3 billion to India's gross domestic product in 2009.

Jet Airways To Tie Up With Kerala Tourism

Jet airways is set to enter a partnership with Kerala tourism to reduce air fares for domestic tourists who’ll be flying to the state.

According to the agreement, Jet Airways will reserve 20 seats in the domestic flights to Kochi and Thiruvanthapuram and the price is 20-30 percent lower than the present going rates. The rates will be available on flights plying from Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad. There will be five flights to Kerala a day. It was always cheaper to fly from destinations like Sri Lanka or Mauritius cheaper always than to the state from Delhi.

This facility is already online. Any tourist can avail this faciliy right now.The launch will be held in Mumbai.

The discount will be given only on holidays.

The prime objective is to attract more tourists to the state in the domestic season. These lower air fares are offered through tour operators and hotels.

All have to register at the Kerala Tourism website in order to offer the discounted rates to their clients.

Travel News - 13 May, 2009

Baglihar Dam Reservoir To Get Ferry Services Soon

To encourage tourism and also strengthen the operators involved in Tours and Travel of different travel agencies a meeting was summoned between Beopar Mandal Doda, the District Development Commissioner Doda Sh.Syed Sharief-ud-Din, the local people and the Hoteliers.

The DDC Doda conveyed in his address that they promote tourism both long and short term. He also said that at present they intend to follow short term policy Under which they would utilize the available resources in the best possible way and under long term policy they would build infrastructure including guest houses, parks and augmentation/construction of roads and also tourist reception centre.

Now even boats can be utilized to attract tourists, considering this committee has been constituted in order to identify spots for ports of ferry services.

The set of local people appreciated the efforts of the District Administration and tourism Department for Doda which has been brought on tourist Map and it is hoped.

There is also the scheme of the DDC Doda of the Tourism Department in which help is being provided to the people who wish to make guest houses in their residential houses and hence income is being produce. It was also revealed that registered houses are 15 in number.

Jet Airways Announced Reduced Fares Between London And India

Private carrier Jet Airways declared that between Indian cities and London the economy ticket will be now Rs.20, 000 cheaper than the previous fare. This would be applicable only to the return tickets between the two cities. Earlier the cost was Rs 50,000 for economy class while for premier and first class would cost around Rs.125,000 and Rs.2000,000 respectively.

The scheme has come into effect from 6th may. This is an attempt to encash on the holiday season.

The fares would be effective till June 30, but bookings would have to be made in May.

Jet Airways functions two daily flights to London from Mumbai, and one from Delhi.

Mumbai and Delhi would be the main stops to board flights for London, this would connect 17 other Indian cities, which would include Hyderabad, Kolkata and Ahmedabad, Chennai and Bengaluru. Services to London from Jet Airways are amongst the most popular ones. The positives of the situation are the holiday season which is awaited or can say have started.

Another Airline Lowers Return Fares

Malaysia Airlines cuts down return fares and also lowers fuel surcharge. The fares were reduced to Rs.16528 from flights plying from India to Malaysia.

This is an attempt to target customers who fly in holiday season. The fuel surcharge was slashed by Rs.2650 for flights to New Zealand, Australia and Malaysia apart from flights to India.

It will also reduce it 27 percent to surcharge of fuel from India and Bangladesh by 53 percent to Kuala Lumpur and to Australia and New Zealand by 27 percent.

Presently, the airline operates from Mumbai, Chennai, New Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad to various Malaysian cities including Kuala Lumpur.

Travel News - 05 May, 2009

India is now the favorite destination for travelers across the world: Tourism Satellite Accounting report

According to the latest Tourism Satellite Accounting (TSA) report, India is now one of the most preferred tourist destinations for travelers across the globe with Mumbai featuring on every travel route to the country. The TSA research released by the WTTC or World Travel and Tourism Council estimates India's travel and tourism industry to have generated about USD 100 billion in 2008. Growing at an average of 9.4 per cent over the next ten years, this figure is expected to go up to almost USD 275.5 billion by 2018.

Further, according to this research, travel and tourism is expected to contribute 6.1 per cent to India's GDP and provide almost 40 million jobs by 2018. “India offers diversity in the form of excellent backwaters, world heritage sites, hill stations and wildlife. There are honestly luxurious heritage palace hotels on one hand, something that overseas tourists look forward to and budget hotels with affordability on the other.

No swine flu in UP

The state administration has put health department on alert making elaborate arrangements to deal with Swine flu threat. However, there is no case of suspected swine flu in the state. On Friday, the administration called a meeting on Friday to discuss the preventive measures for it.

Atul Kumar Gupta, the Chief Secretary of UP, said the health department has been directed to take preventive measures by formulating a strategy to deal with any situation.

Also it has been said by the Principal Secretary of Medical and Health Pradeep Shukla that though there is no case of suspected swine flu in Uttar Pradesh, the orders has been given for screening of the people coming from swine-flu-affected countries.

He said there are clear instructions to screen the passengers making entry to the state at Gauri Fanta, and Sonauli and Rupaidiha from Nepal and from international airports, including Varanasi and Lucknow.

He also added that if any patient is diagnosed with the disease, he will be kept in an isolated chamber for treatment. At the same time, the district magistrate and chief medical officer of the district, where foreign tourist visits, will be intimated so that he can get medical aid in case of appearance of symptoms related to swine flu, he said.

At least 10 districts, including Lucknow, Agra, Varanasi, Kushinagar, Mathura, Behraich, Lakhimpur Khiri, Maharaj ganj and Noida have also been put on alert, said the chief secretary.

The police will be informed immediately by the management of the hotel, if a person from swine-flu-affected countries comes and stays in their hotel.

Senior officials from Home, Health, Medical and Airport Authority attended the meeting.

Traffic reopens on Rohtang Pass

The Rohtang Pass located at an altitude of 13,050 feet in Himachal Pradesh's Kullu district has re-opened for vehicular traffic.Due to heavy winter snowfall, the pass had been closed since mid-December.

The crucial road link to the tribal Lahaul Valley through the Rohtang Pass was re-opened," S.K. Doon, commander of the General Reserve Engineering Force (GREF) 38 Task Force, told IANS by phone.

"At present, only small and emergency vehicles are allowed to cross the pass. After May 7, all types of vehicles can ply through the pass," he said.

Doon also said regarding the opening of 475-km Manali-Leh National Highway 21 that the work of clearing snow was going on at a fast pace at different locations.

"The work is now on at different locations to open the entire highway by this month," he said.

"Our first priority was to make the 60-km stretch between Manali and Rohtang Pass motor able so that link to the Lahaul Valley would open before the general elections," the official added.

The hill state will go to the polls May 13.

Travel News - 04 May, 2009

Buy-1-get-1-free booster shot for medical tourism

The tourism ministry is finalizing a scheme wherein a tourist visiting India for a particular medical treatment will be offered an additional treatment free of cost for a smaller ailment. The scheme will be part of the schemes implemented by the government to increase foreign tourist arrivals in the backdrop of the global slowdown, a senior official in the tourism ministry said.

The ministry is in advance discussion with all major hospital chains such as Apollo, Manipal, Moolchand, Fortis and Wockhardt to offer the complementary treatment.

"Now, foreign medical tourists would be offered one additional treatment for free. Almost all major hospitals have expressed their interest in partnering with us," tourism secretary Sujit Banerjee told ET.

As per the plan, medical tourists coming for a surgery or any other major treatment in the country would be offered a smaller additional treatment for free. For example, a patient coming for a bypass surgery could be offered a complementary skin treatment or something similar according to the patient's preference.

Foreign tourist arrivals in the country have been hit hard by the recessionary trend all across the world. The number of foreign tourists visiting India has been in the negative territory since November last year. Tourist arrivals picked up slightly in February, thanks to various promotional schemes launched by the government along with airlines, tour operators and hoteliers.

Under the existing promotional scheme, a companion of a foreign tourist gets free air passage provided they fly with Jet Airways, Kingfisher and Air India. The tour package also provides extended stay in hotels across the country and complimentary sight-seeing tours to rural eco-holiday destinations. The tourism ministry has also roped in spa centre operators into the scheme. The measures are part of the government's 'Visit India 2009' plan. The bookings under the proposed scheme beginning this month will continue till the end of the year.

The tourism ministry has set a target of doubling the number of foreign tourists arrivals to the country by the end of 2010. It has launched road shows in various source countries such as the US, the UK, Canada and Australia to increase the number of visitors.

Ancient temples to discover buried in hills

Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has taken the work of excavating and discovering the 'disappeared temples' in the four hills at Jatkara village near the world famous tourist destination Khajuraho.

''In 2000, the village's mountain was excavated and a vast 'Beejamandal' of 10th century was found whose size was bigger than any other 'Beejamandal' in the temples here,'' ASI Superintending Archaeologist A K Shukla said.

He informed that the captivating Saraswati and Parvati idols of archaeological importance was found in the Beejamandal.

There was a grand Shiv temple, which was being constructed from the bottom and was completed up to the 'Beejamandal'.

''A proposal of excavating rest three hills is sent to the government and the excavation will be started after getting the approval,' Mr. Shukla said.

Khajuraho was ruled over by Chandel dynasty rulers during 9th to 11th century. They built 85 temples here but with the passage of time it buried under the earth.

At present, only 22 temples were left and the rest were being discovered by the ASI. In this series, acquisition of the four hills was done.

In a bid to protect the temples against the changing weather and time, a cleanliness drive was being carried out since 15 years under which the temples were being cleaned with chemicals and the basic salts and algae deposited on its outer layer and cracks were washed.

ASI Chemical Department Assistant Conservator H K Asthana and Surendra Agrawal said, ''a chemical named H D is used with the soft brush made of 'date fruit tree' to remove the salts''.

They said that the layer of salt was deposited due to the atmospheric pressure and chemical treatment enhances the temples' age for hundreds of years. In this way we could conserve them for our coming generations.

Mr. Asthana informed that at present temples built surrounding Vishvanath and Kandaria were being cleaned. The cleanliness work of Lakshman Temple was over and in the eastern group temples the cleanliness drive was in programme.

Come summer and a guidebook on north India in Polish

New Delhi, April 26: Emelia Kubik was majoring in geography and tourism at the University of Lodz when she developed a fascination for India and, come summer that will translate into the first guidebook on northern India and Nepal in Polish.

Railway Board clears new projects for Uttrakhand

Towards this, a special weekend tourist package train from New Delhi for the famous Jim Corbett National Park in the Kumaon region would start soon. A new Shatabdi train is also in the offing between New Delhi and Kathgodam in this region.

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