June 17, 2024

Uttar Pradesh Amps Up Adventure Tourism Efforts to Raise Footfall

The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to implement its Water Tourism and Adventure Sports Policy-2023 to boost tourism in the state. 

The policy would be effective for 10 years and be applicable on all inland, air and water routes, dams/reservoirs, lakes, rivers, ponds and water bodies in Uttar Pradesh, said state tourism minister Jaiveer Singh.

“Hills in the Vindhya and the Bundelkhand regions, about 16,620 square kilometers in the foothills of the Himalayas as well as forest areas, rivers and waterfalls, dams, reservoirs and lakes have a lot of potential for water-based tourism, adventure sports and water sports,” he said.

Adventure sports units would be developed at divisional levels. UP State Tourism Development Corporation and the Ex-servicemen Welfare Corporation would sign a memorandum of understanding to include ex-servicemen in the adventure sports units, Singh said.

He further added that necessary guidelines would be worked out for giving licenses for tourism and adventure sports and a standard operation procedure would be developed within 60 days of the release of this policy.

The state cabinet also approved a proposal to develop nine heritage buildings as heritage tourism units on a public-private partnership model. The buildings would feature a heritage hotel, resort, museum, banquet hall and adventure tourism center, the minister said.

Earlier in April, Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy spoke about focusing on infrastructure development to make India a top adventure tourism destination.

IHG Hotels & Resorts Signs Voco Goa Arpora

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has signed a management agreement with Ginger Tree Goveia to bring a new hotel to Goa. Centrally located in North Goa, voco Goa Arpora is set to open its doors in January 2025

Earlier this year, the company announced the signing of two voco hotels in Jim Corbett and Gurugram, both expected to open in 2024. The latest signing marks the rapid expansion of voco, IHG’s seventh brand in the country in a prime leisure destination.

Last month, IHG opened a 192-room Holiday Inn Lucknow Airport in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. 

Switzerland Halts Schengen Visa Applications from Indians 

The Swiss embassy in New Delhi has said that it will not be accepting Schengen visa applications for Indian tour groups until October due to the high volume of applications that still need processing.

Following the announcement from the embassy, tour operators said they had been asked to plan group trips for a later time so that visas can be submitted and issued in time before the travel date.

Simon Bosshart, head of markets east at Switzerland Tourism, stressed that the Swiss embassies are currently dealing with a lack of staff, adding that the staff shortages are also affecting travelers from China who wish to visit Switzerland in groups.

In June, the U.S. said it will open new consulates in Bengaluru and Ahmedabad to help expedite the Indian visa application process. 

Kerala Takes the Lead in Number of Five-Star Properties

The southern state of Kerala has made it to the top of the national database in the availability of five-star hotel accommodation by beating Maharashtra, which came second. The national database puts the number of properties under this category at 46 for Kerala and 40 for Maharashtra.

“While the government plays a major role in developing infrastructure and amenities, private players develop amenities provided to them, helping increase the influx of national and international tourists to Kerala,” said PB Nooh, director of Kerala Tourism. 

Most recently, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts has opened its second hotel in the state — a 93-room The Leela Ashtamudi, A Raviz Hotel

Fly IndiGo on Delhi-Almaty Route from September 5

Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation has granted approval to budget carrier IndiGo to commence operations between Delhi and Almaty in Kazakhstan, starting from September 5.

The airline plans to introduce three daily flights to Almaty. IndiGo currently serves 26 international destinations, and with the upcoming additions, this figure will grow to 32. 

In the coming months, IndiGo is set to launch direct flights connecting Mumbai to Nairobi, Kenya, and Jakarta, Indonesia, in late July or early August. Furthermore, Delhi will be linked to Tbilisi, Georgia (3x) and Baku, Azerbaijan (4x) in August, and Tashkent, Uzbekistan (4x) in September. 

Indian Hotels Company Signs a Ginger Hotel in Jorhat, Assam

Tata Group-owned Indian Hotels Company has signed a 100-key Ginger-branded hotel in Jorhat in the eastern state of Assam. With the addition of this hotel, the company will have five hotels in the state, including three under development.

Indian Hotels Company signed 11 hotels and opened five properties across destinations in the second quarter of this year. With a current portfolio of 270 hotels, the company remains well poised to achieve its vision of over 325 hotels by 2025. This fiscal, the hotel will be stepping into Gangtok in Sikkim, Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, Jaisalmer in Rajasthan while adding to its portfolio in Mumbai, National Capital Region, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Srinagar, Tirupati, Ranthambore, among others.

MakeMyTrip Returns to Profit 

MakeMyTrip said that all its travel segments have now grown past pre-pandemic levels, and that it posted its highest-ever quarterly gross bookings at $1.98 billion

Some other highlights from the online travel agency’s quarterly results include a return to profits, more inventory for homestay properties, new AI tool for booking flights and holidays, demand for pilgrimage destinations, catering to price-sensitive tourists with the most economical airfare, new offerings for students, and expansion of its holiday packages segment.

In domestic packages, MakeMyTrip observed a 54% increase in average room nights. It generated revenue of $196.7 million in the quarter, an increase of 38%.

Its profit for the period was $18.6 million versus a loss of $10 million during the same quarter last year.

The Fern Bambora Fort, Bambora-Udaipur Opens Doors

India-based environmentally sensitive hotel chain The Fern Hotels & Resorts has opened a 32-room The Fern Bambora Fort, Bambora-Udaipur in the north Indian state of Rajasthan. 

Earlier this week, the company signed a 70-key The Fern Residency, Mira Road, Mumbai, which is scheduled to open in 2024. The Fern has also announced its latest addition of The Metropole Hotel in Ahmedabad in the western state of Gujarat, soon to be rebranded as The Fern Residency Subhash Bridge, featuring 69 rooms. With this takeover, the hotel became the company’s 24th operational property in the state.

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