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UK accepts Covishield as approved vaccine for inbound travellers

UK has given a nod for Covishield being accepted as approved vaccine for inbound travellers to the country. Under a new set of guidelines, UK Govt has accepted a full course of the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen vaccines from a relevant public health body in some countries. “Formulations of the 4 listed vaccines, such as AstraZeneca Covishield, AstraZeneca Vaxzevria and Moderna Takeda, qualify as approved vaccines,” it said. The guideline says, “From 4am Monday 4 October, you will qualify as fully vaccinated if you are vaccinated either under an approved vaccination programme in the UK, Europe, USA or UK vaccine programme overseas or with a full course of the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen vaccines from a relevant public health body in Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan or the United Arab Emirates (UAE). You must have had a complete course of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before you arrive in England.”

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Maldivian to start direct flights from New Delhi to Maafaru & Male’ Airport in Maldives

Maldivian is set to start direct flights from New Delhi to Maafaru and Male’ on 21st October 2021 and will be operating A321 & A320 on this route offering both business and economy class configuration. The national carrier of Republic of Maldives, owned and operated by Island Aviation Services Limited (IAS), currently operates to Trivandrum, Cochin and to Dhaka, Bangladesh. Bird Travels, the airline management arm of Bird Group is the General Sales Agent (GSA) for Maldivian and will be managing their sales and marketing activities in New Delhi. Flights on the new route, New Delhi to Maafaru, will operate on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Maafaru International Airport located in Noonu atoll was opened in 2019 and is also managed by Island Aviation Services Limited (IAS). With three direct weekly flights to Maafaru, another international hub of the largest source market, will connect North Maldives from India. Cocooned by some of the most sought-after luxury resorts in the destination, along with a large number of guest houses, the region is home to over 10,000 tourist beds spread across four atolls making this new route a highly lucrative leisure market. Speaking on the new route, Vijay Bhatia, President, Bird Group said “We are delighted to launch this new service connecting New Delhi with Maafaru and Male’ effective 21st Oct 2021. This direct flight will offer the fastest connection for Indian travelers looking to holiday in North Maldives luxury resorts”. Bird Travels will help Maldivian to further strengthen the airline’s sales team and provide support to the Indian travel trade.

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Govt to focus on air connectivity with Commonwealth countries: Scindia

Jyotiraditya Scindia, Union Minister for Civil Aviation, has said that the central government will focus on building air connectivity with countries that are part of Commonwealth of Independent States, while the world slowly comes out of coronavirus pandemic. He also added that the 2 Cs that are quintessential to economic growth is connectivity and commerce between India and the CIS region.

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Mussoorie tourist places open throughout the week

Uttarakhand Government have opened Mussoorie throughout the week for tourists. However, they will allow only 15000 tourists during weekend, owing to COVID-19 situation. Dilip Jawalkar, Secretary, Uttarakhand Tourism, said, “The system and rules allowing 15 thousand tourists to come on weekends are applicable from Saturday morning till 8 am on Monday. On other days tourists can easily enter Mussoorie. This is only being done to provide a safe and clean environment to the tourists.” It is mandatory for tourists to bring a negative report of one of the tests, which includes RTPCR / Rapid Antigen Test (Rat) / True Net Test / Antibody Test or certificate of dual vaccine up to 72 hours before arrival. Along with this, registration and hotel booking will have to be brought along with the registration in the Smart City Portal. Jaspal Singh Chauhan, District Tourism Officer, said that information claiming Mussoorie only being open during weekends are wrong. Tourists can easily contact helpline numbers and get accurate information regarding any changes in the guidelines.

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MOT sanctions 16 projects, Rs 200 crore for tourism development in Northeast

Kishan Reddy, while addressing the recent conference of tourism and culture ministers of North Eastern states. has said that under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme, MOT has sanctioned 16 projects in the North Eastern region. He also informed that under the PRASHAD schemes, the MOT has sanctioned number of projects in the region. Approximately Rs 200 crore has been sanctioned for these projects, he added.

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Indian Government withdraws e-visa facility for citizens of United Kingdom & Canada

In a reciprocal reaction, the Indian government has withdrawn the e-visa facility for the citizens of Canada and the United Kingdom. According to a senior Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) official, post-Covid, UK and Canada have posed a lot of restrictions over the entry of Indian nationals in their country and many times, travellers have to face inconvenience despite several requests were made to the concerned embassies to take up and matter and resolve it. “The e-visa facility to UK and Canada citizens have been withdrawn from the first week of August this year. Now, they have to apply for a regular sticker visa at the Indian embassy. Tourist visa is already suspended and people visiting India under other categories of visa now have to apply for regular sticker visas,” said the official. Earlier, the e-visa facility was denied to Chinese nationals following the Galwan Valley incident in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed in violent clashes with China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) personnel in June last year.

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Jammu & Kashmir gets its first-ever cruise facility with musical fountain in Dal Lake

Jammu and Kashmir get first-ever cruise facility with musical fountain in Dal Lake, attracting tourists in large numbers, reveals Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Ind. Charge) Science&Tech and (Ind. Charge) Earth Sciences. He called it a historic breakthrough in tourism sector on his recent visit to the Union Territory.

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G Kishan Reddy meets tourism stakeholders in Goa, discusses issues & inaugurates helipad

G Kishan Reddy held a review meeting with the officials of MOT, ASI and Goa Tourism along with Shripad Yesso Naik MoS, Tourism and Manohar Azgaonkar, Goa Tourism Minister. He discussed key issues pertaining to promotion of tourism & culture in the state of Goa. He also inaugurated helipad at old Goa. “The helipad will facilitate tourists with easy travel & will further heli tourism as envisioned under Swadesh Darshan Scheme of MOT in the state,” he said in a tweet.

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South African Tourism to conduct 3-day maiden virtual roadshow starting October 20

South African Tourism is all set to kick off the last quarter of 2021 with its maiden virtual roadshow. Titled ‘VirtuallyYoursSouthAfrica’ the roadshow aims to showcase unique offerings from South Africa starting from October 20 to 22, 2021. It will have a delegation of approximately 100 suppliers from South Africa who will meet 1,000 Indian buyers from across India. Neliswa Nkani, Hub Head – MEISEA, South African Tourism, said, “This roadshow is a testament of our unwavering commitment to the Indian market. We expect mutually beneficial partnerships and impactful business conversions between South African exhibitors and Indian buyers to stem from our first virtual roadshow.”

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Final week of #ThailandBetterTogether campaign brings luxury & wellness centre stage

In the final week of #ThailandBetterTogether campaign, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) India offices will highlight luxury and wellness. Vachirachai Sirisumpan, Director, TAT, New Delhi, shares, “For the final week, our theme will be luxury and wellness in Thailand, and our team will bring you up to the northern part of Thailand, where we’ll be learning about Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, which are the two charming provinces in the Northern part of Thailand. Chiang Mai is regarded as the Rose of the North because of the charm of its people, culture and nature. One can do a lot of things in Chiang Mai from eco-tourism, adventures, shopping, local experiences, learning about cooking, and last but not the least is spa, Thai massage and the hospitality of the people in the Northern part of Thailand. Going up a little bit is Chiang Rai, which is very nice and charming and its highlight is that it’s a place of art. There is a very beautiful temple, called White Temple or Wat Rong Khun, as well as another temple called Blue Temple or Wat Rong Suea Ten. These two temples represent the craft and art of the Thai people. Apart from this, there are a lot of adventures and other activities that one can do in Chiang Rai as well.”

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