Tripti Mehta

Restart tourism in a timely and responsible manner: UNWTO

UNWTO’s Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili, has said that commitment to international cooperation will be important as we move forward and rebuild confidence and trust. “Restarting our sector must be done in a timely and responsible manner, avoiding all costs coming at the expense of fair and equal treatment of tourists,” he said. The World Committee on Tourism Ethics, an independent body convened by UNWTO, has stressed on the importance of safeguarding the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism as travel restrictions are eased.

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Rajasthan opens borders; implements screening at entry and exit for persons crossing

Government of Rajasthan has restored the free movement of persons in and out of the state, thereby removing the restriction imposed earlier vide its letter dated June 10, 2020. According to the statement released by the state government, the relaxation comes keeping in view that “daily new COVID-19 positive cases have now stabilised, that the recovery rate in the state has improved to being among the best in the country, and that regulations imposed on the inter-state movement of persons is causing difficulty to the people”. Free movement, however, is subject to the condition that all persons entering and exiting the state shall be screened at the point of entry or exit, respectively. There will no longer be any requirement for any person to obtain a pass or NOC for the purpose of entry or exit into or out of Rajasthan.

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IndiGo and SpiceJet begin charter services to domestic and international destinations

Low cost carriers IndiGo and SpiceJet have started charter flight service for providing safe and private experience to flyers travelling to both domestic and international destinations. Charter services will be conducted in line with prevailing government regulations. SpiceJet claims to fly even a group of less than 6 passengers, up to a group as large as 212 passengers.

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I will fulfil my promise of doubling tourist numbers by 2024: Prahlad Singh Patel

Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State (I/C), Tourism & Culture, has said that while domestic tourism will be a priority in the near future, inbound is also important. He claimed that by 2024, he will fulfil his promise to the Prime Minister, of doubling the number of international arrivals to India. Citing UNWTO Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index, he said that India jumped from 65th to 34th rank in 2019. “We wanted to travel to 1st position, but the COVID-19 crisis came in between. However, I can confidently say that in 2024, I will fulfil my promise to the PM to double the number of international arrivals in the country. In fact, I am sure that we will achieve that before time. We are capable of doing it and all the stakeholders are participants in that journey,” asserted Patel.

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Create National Archaeological Database: NITI Aayog to PMO Working Committee

A NITI Aayog working group under the chairmanship of Amitabh Kant has presented an action plan for improving heritage management of monuments in the country and key action points for separate sections have been outlined. The implementation strategy covers, among others, creation of a National Archaeological Database, and a National GIS Database for monuments and sites to be authenticated and validated with ISRO.

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Alitalia to increase flights and serve more destinations in July

Alitalia will increase number of flights and destinations served in July, operating over 1,000 weekly flights reaching 13 new domestic and international airports that will include Amsterdam, Athens, Boston, Malta, Nice, Tel Aviv, Tirana, Tunis and in Italy, Brindisi, Florence, Lampedusa, Pantelleria and Reggio Calabria. Alitalia will operate 60 per cent more flights compared to June, and double the number of services compared to May.

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PATA to organise Update & Outlook Meeting with MOT this month

Jatinder Taneja, Vice Chairman, PATA India Chapter, has revealed that they will start holding their EC meeting, webinars and an Update & Outlook Meeting with Ministry of Tourism (MOT) from this month. “PATA India Chapter has already planned and is starting with the EC meeting. We will also hold webinars and an Update & Outlook Meeting with the Ministry of Tourism from this month,” he shared.

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A study by Deep Knowledge Group has ranked Switzerland as the safest country to travel post-COVID-19 in a list of 200 countries

Deep Knowledge Group recently completed a study assessing the Covid-19 condition in 200 countries. Switzerland has been ranked as the safest country in the world, with a total score of 752 points against all 130 parameters under categories of quarantine efficiency, healthcare readiness, risk management among others. Germany emerged as a close second with 749 points. Even though Switzerland was very close to major epicentres of initial COVID-19 spread in Europe, the country has managed to control the virus.  Despite experiencing significant volumes of infection spread and mortality at the early stages of the pandemic, the rates of mortality and new cases now, continue to decline.

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Spain will open its borders to members of the Schengen Zone and the UK on June 21

Spain’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, has announced that the country will open its borders to the Schengen Zone and the UK on June 21, which were originally due to remain closed until July 1. The Portuguese border, however, will remain shut until July 1. It has also been announced that travellers from non-Schengen countries will not need to self-quarantine July 1 onwards, based on the reciprocal agreement on travel.

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BLS Lake Cruise Switzerland begins operations; awaits Indian travellers

Switzerland, currently being regarded as one of the safest countries to travel to, has announced the opening of tourism businesses with cautious optimism. In light of the same, BLS Navigation, that owns and operates boats on Lake Thun and Lake Brienz in the famous Interlaken region of Switzerland, has announced selective resumption of operations for tourists. Represented and promoted by AccessIndiaReps in the Indian market, BLS Lake Cruises in Interlaken have become a favourite for Indians in the past few years. “All boat journeys here are included in the Swiss Travel System Pass free of cost for individual travellers, and we offer great prices for groups,” says Ashish Saran, Founder & CEO, AccessIndiaReps. Kaspar Stettler, Head of Sales, BLS Navigation, adds, “We are happy to resume our Interlaken Lake Cruise operations with necessary precautions and are operating our boats from various locations popular with tourists and local visitors, including restaurant services on the boats. We are positive that cross-border travel will open up from other parts of Europe and the world, and we resume full services soon. We love Indian tourists and have been seeing good numbers in the past years and are extremely hopeful that the Indian market will recover soon and we will see our Indian friends again.”

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