The global tourism industry is expected to create almost 126 million jobs worldwide within 10 years, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) said in a report released on Thursday in the Philippine capital.
The WTTC's latest Economic Impact Report (EIR) says the travel and tourism sector will be a driving force of the global economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, reports Xinhua news agency.
The report forecasts that the travel and tourism sector's GDP will grow at an average rate of 5.8 per cent annually between 2022 and 2032, outstripping the growth rate for the global economy, to reach $14.6 trillion, equivalent to 11.3 per cent of the total global economy.
WTTC President and CEO Julia Simpson said at the Global Tourism Summit in Manila that "one in three of every new job created will be related to the sector".
The report predicts that the travel and tourism sector across Asia and the Pacific region will rebound significantly and is estimated to create almost 77 million new jobs over the next decade.
At the same time, the sector's contribution to regional gross domestic product (GDP) is forecast to grow at an average annual rate of 8.5 per cent between 2022 and 2032, faster than the region's overall economic growth.
The report also shows that global travel and tourism GDP could reach pre-pandemic levels by 2023, just 0.1 per cent below 2019.
"This will be matched by a boost in travel and tourism employment, which is expected to approach 2019 levels in 2023, only 2.7 per cent below," Simpson added.
According to the WTTC, the global tourism sector started recovering in 2021 when its contribution to GDP climbed by 21.7 per cent year on year to reach more than $5.8 trillion.
The 1955 model Mercedes-Benz 180 T bearing the registration number CAN 42 has always been the pride of the erstwhile Travancore royal family, but very soon it will have a new owner in billionaire M.A. Yusuff Ali.
Sree Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma, the former Maharaja of Travancore who passed away in 2013, had promised Ali that this iconic vehicle, which was the envy of many including its manufacturer Mercedes Benz who had approached the royal family that it would be glad to take it and compensate them, but it was politely denied by the Maharaja.
The vehicle by now has covered a staggering 23 lakh miles and according to vehicle buffs and those who have seen it, "it's in mint condition" and is presently with the late Maharaja's son Padmanabha Varma and the Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma Foundation.
Bought for a then princely sum of Rs 12,000, its present value according to those conversant with vehicles, is priceless. This car will now be parked by its new owner at a stone's throw from the Palace, where Ali has built a new home.
India is one of the few countries that has something to offer adventurers of all types. When it comes to adventure excursions in India, there's something for everyone, from the majestic Himalayas to the vast Thar desert, the Rann of Kutch, the seashore, and the islands of Andaman and Lakshadweep. Trekking, hang-gliding, bungee jumping, scuba diving, hot-air ballooning, white river rafting, and snow skiing are just a few of the exhilarating adventure activities available.
Adventure sports are becoming increasingly popular, and some locations have become hubs for these activities, earning them the title of county adventure destinations. If you want to feel thrilled, here is the list of the 8 best adventure sports places in India:
Bungy Jumping in Rishikesh and Goa
Rishikesh has become one of the best places to experience the bliss of weightlessness, with the highest bungy jumping platform, Jumpin Heights. That's your own official ticket to getting high - figuratively speaking! Enjoy this adventure sports with your companions while relaxing in the Ganges' clean water! You can experience bungy jumping with Jumpin Heights, which has a record of 1,00,000 jumps. Goa is also growing as one of the best places for bungy jumping in India. Here also you can plan your bungy jumping with Jumpin Heights.
Giant Swing in Rishikesh
Adapted from the Canyon swing in New Zealand, this is a once in a lifetime experience. The highest spot is in Rishikesh, from a height of 83 meters, where one is fitted with a chest and seat harness. Due to the different processes of the Jump from the Bungy, the Giant Swing in India allows you to enjoy double the freefall of the Bungy, with considerably more speed, and almost as much fear.
River Rafting in Uttarakhand
India's most exciting adventure destination is Uttarakhand's valleys. The tremendous Himalayas of Garhwal are one of the state's many adventure attractions. The Tons River runs through Garhwal, making it the greatest place to go river rafting. The Tons valley is located in the Jaunsar Bawar region, and the river gives numerous rafting opportunities.
Trekking in Sikkim
Sikkim attracts hillside lovers from all around the world, particularly trekkers, thanks to Mount Kanchenjunga, the world's third-highest peak. Most trekkers prefer solo hiking in Sikkim because it allows them to relax and enjoy the scenery. There are numerous treks in Sikkim to choose from, but Damthang to Tendong, Darap Village, Hillay to Varsey, and Ravangla to Maenam Hill Top are among the most popular short treks in the state.
Skiing in Gulmarg
Gulmarg skiing is suitable for both beginners and experienced skiers. Gulmarg's snow-covered hills and terrains are breathtaking. Consider Gulmarg as one of the top adventure destinations in India, with classes for amateurs and equipment available for everyone. Prepare to have the time of your life on this trip!
Caving in Meghalaya
Meghalaya, known as the "Land of Clouds," is always on the minds of travellers for a reason. 'Caving,' which means 'exploring the wild cave systems,' may or may not be a new phrase for you. This 5- to 10-day caving experience in Meghalaya takes you through those caverns available, ranging in difficulty from easy to medium. You'll need someone to help you with caving gear and equipment. In addition, he will give a professional tour guide to assist you in navigating the caves.
Waterfalls, narrow corridors, flooded passages, and species such as small fish, crabs, beetles, and bats can all be found depending on the cave you're in. The longest cave in Meghalaya, and also one of the longest in the world, is Krem Liat Prah.
Waterfall Rappelling in Shillong
Shillong, with several adventure sports, deserves to be considered one of India's greatest adventure destinations. And going water rafting at Elephant Falls in Shillong is a fantastic way to spend your weekend and clear your thoughts. This activity, which is among the most popular things to do in Shillong with friends in the winter, cannot be overlooked. The rappelling begins at the bottom of the 40-foot fall and goes all the way to the top.
Adventure awaits! So, what exactly are you looking for? Choose from one of India's top adventure sports destinations, and live your life. These exciting activities in India will stimulate your interest and fulfil all of your trip fantasies. So, be brave and try these things to sate your wanderlust!
Glee Kashmir, a brand that aims to provide digital space to kashmiri manufacturers and exporters without aiming for profit as business in snow falls down in the area and shops are closed for days.
The idea of Glee Kashmir popped to Ms Prashanti Tiwari who was on travel trip to Kashmir and in interaction to various business people witnessed the challenge of sale during tough times.
The brand focuses on lifestyle products such as precious, semi-precious gem stones, kahmiri traditional and modern jewellery, phiran, woolen cap, blazer, leather socks, fur bags , stole, saffron cream and scrub, wooden tray of deodar wood, jewellery box and dry fruits from the valley of kashmir.
You can have a look at the Instagram handle: @gleekashmir
The Nautilus Maldives, a highly tailored bohemian hideaway and private island resort, has collaborated with Ananda in The Himalayas, one of India's top ranked destination spa and wellness retreat, to create a first-of-its-kind wellbeing experience that is customised, opulent, and genuinely one-of-a-kind.
This collaboration, will offer the finest of both worlds: the confluence of the beautiful Himalayas and the broad Indian Ocean, where the luxury of space and time becomes boundless. Two locations where you may re-energize, revitalise, and experience nature at its finest.
Ananda is known for its traditional ayurveda, yoga, meditation, and Vedanta with transformational wellness programmes led by notable specialists in these fields, and is set in the serene Himalayan foothills.
Yoga at Hawa Mahal and Meditation
Set against the stunning background of the Baa Atoll in the Maldives, the Nautilus is known as the most personalised private island experience, and its "anytime, anywhere, as you please" style of hospitality invites guests to come as they are.
. As part of the daily schedule at the Solasta Spa overwater yoga pavilion, guests at The Nautilus will be able to experience signature Ananda Meditation and Breathwork practises as part of the hotel's extensive spa offerings. The Ananda Dhyana meditation and breathwork series is specifically designed for guests at The Nautilus to recharge themselves by improving clarity of thought and achieving a heightened sense of balance.
. From January to March 2022, guests at The Nautilus will be able to sample a selection of signature Ananda gourmet wellness cuisine as part of The Nautilus' culinary offerings. Ananda's signature wellness cuisine incorporates key Ayurvedic principles, such as whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, low-fat dairy products, and the avoidance of added or artificial salts, colours, flavours, or preservatives.
. At the same time, Ananda guests can enjoy signature dishes from The Nautilus' three gourmet restaurants: Zeytoun, which focuses on intriguing infusions of Mediterranean and Arabic cuisine; Ocaso, which celebrates simplicity with Japanese and Latin-American creations; and Thyme, which specialises in island-inspired tropical cuisine.
. In addition, a one-of-a-kind multi-day Ananda Wellness Retreat at The Nautilus is already planned for April 2022. From April 7 to 11, 2022, Ananda experts will be in residence at The Nautilus, conducting daily classes, workshops, and guided sessions in yoga, meditation, and presenting Ananda's gourmet wellness cuisine.
A dish served at Zeytoun at The Nautilus
"With recent events and changed life circumstances, our guests' health awareness and sustainable lifestyle are becoming increasingly important." As a result, we are delighted to have found such a strong partner in the field of holistic wellbeing and to further enhance our guests' wellness journey with Ananda's strong expertise," says Mohamed Ashraf, General Manager of The Nautilus Maldives.
"The Ananda concept is a journey to discover one's inner self, aided by ancient wellness practises and retreats to places of solace where tranquil nature and nurturing care create long-lasting transformations." The combination of Ananda's wellness expertise and bespoke luxury from The Nautilus across two magical destinations presents a one-of-a-kind and immersive opportunity for our global patrons," says Mahesh Natarajan, Chief Operating Officer, Ananda in the Himalayas.
After selecting a new buyer for Air India, the Central government has accelerated the process of handing out luxury hotels belonging to the ITDC on a long-term lease of around 40 to 60 years, industry insiders said.
The details of the plan have been kept under the wraps even as an inter-ministerial panel has completed the consultation process on the issue. As per industry sources, a draft note has been circulated on the matter and the likely lessee will be selected soon based on a bidding process.
However, it is not known if all the Ashok Group of Hotels which are 100 per cent owned by the India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) will be leased via a single bidding process.
At present, ITDC has a network of three Ashok Group of Hotels and one joint venture hotel, amongst other properties. Nevertheless, it is certain, said industry insiders, that The Ashok, New Delhi will be the first one off the blocks. The hotel is amongst assets of the ITDC which are slated to be leased-out under the National Monetisation Pipeline.
It is widely speculated that the new lessee will be allowed to convert a part of the property by introducing service apartments as well as a new and enlarged retail space amongst other facilities.
A landmark property, The Ashok is spread over a 25-acre area next to the diplomatic enclave of Chanakyapuri in Lutyens' Delhi. It was Prime Minister Jawarahlal Nehru, who ordered the construction of the hotel to host a UNESCO conference in 1956.
Interestingly, several royals of erstwhile princely states at that time played a part in the development of the project with land donations coming from Prince Regent of Jammu and Kashmir, Karan Singh amongst others.
Heathrow airport has warned that air travel may not recover to pre-Covid levels until 2026 despite improving passenger numbers in the past three months, as it reported that losses since the start of the pandemic have reached £3.4bn, The Guardian reported.
The airport said international travel could be "on the cusp of a recovery" but it faced a "long road ahead", the report said.
Heathrow reported its first quarter of passenger growth since the start of the pandemic as the loosening of restrictions begins to unleash pent-up demand.
Heathrow reported a loss of just over £1bn for the nine months to the end of September, compared with a loss of £786m in the same months last year. The company warned in its results announcement that traffic may not recover fully for up to five years, the report added.
John Holland-Kaye, the Heathrow chief executive, said the UK was "on the cusp of a recovery which will unleash pent-up demand, create new quality jobs and see Britain's trade roar back to life... But it risks a hard landing unless secured for the long haul."
Passenger numbers in the three months to the end of September recovered to 28 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, while cargo climbed to 90 per cent of its levels in the equivalent period in 2019.
Despite the increase in recent months, Heathrow's losses have grown over the year as a whole. Passenger numbers for the first nine months reached 10.2 million, compared with 19 million for the same period last year, the report said.
Ayodhya, Aug 22 (IANS) Ayodhya, which is all set to be catapulted onto the world tourist map, will soon have a high-speed train between Delhi and Ayodhya.
The superfast train will cut the travel time to just three hours between Delhi and the holy city.
Anoop Kumar Agarwal, executive director of National High-Speed Rail Corporation, visited Ayodhya last week to finalise the site for the railway station.
He said that there is a "plan to directly connect the city of Lord Ram with the national capital".
An aerial survey has been done and the plan has also been approved by the Centre.
A 130km railway track will be laid connecting Ayodhya to Lucknow, which will be part of the 941.5km high-speed railway corridor linking Delhi to Varanasi via Agra-Lucknow-Allahabad. A portion of the high-speed train railway corridor may go underground in Lucknow and Agra, the official said.
"National High-Speed Rail Corporation will begin work as soon as we receive a no-objection certificate from the AAI. It will take seven years for completion of the project," he added.
Guwahati/Itanagar, Aug 19 (IANS) With private airline Flybig launching its operations on the new route connecting Assam's Guwahati with Arunachal Pradeshs Tezu on Thursday, air connectivity powered by the Regional Connectivity Scheme -- UDAN -- expanded further in the hilly northeastern region, officials said.
According to Airport Authority of India (AAI) officials, Flybig on Thursday started direct flight services from Guwahati's Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport to Tezu in eastern Arunachal Pradesh's Lohit district.
A water cannon salute was accorded to the first flight at the newly developed Tezu airport, where a new terminal building spread across an area measuring 4,200 sq mt, a runway, and a new Air Traffic Control tower is being developed at a cost of Rs 140 crore.
India's scheduled commuter airline Flybig operates flights to Indore, Bhopal, Raipur, Kolkata, and five airports in northeast India -- Guwahati, Rupsi, Dibrugrah, Pasighat and Agartala -- along with the newly-added Tezu. It also offers charter services from Delhi to Shillong.
Thursday's flagging off function was attended by Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu, the state's Aviation and Tourism Minister Nakap Nalo, and AAI's Regional Executive Director Ravi Kant, among others.
Ravi Kant said that the AAI has always been pivotal in connecting the remote and small places through air transportation, and the expansion of air connectivity in the northeastern states would boost tourism and trade in the region.
The ATR-72 type aircraft of the FlyBig would operate on the Guwahati-Tezu-Guwahati route every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
A FlyBig statement said that commemorating India's 75th Independence Day, the airline is offering a special fare of Rs 75 for Army officers, their immediate family members and senior citizens, honouring their exemplary service to the nation.
"In order to reinforce its network, the airline is adding two new aircraft to its fleet in September and another two in October. The new planes would be stationed at Guwahati and Indore hub," the statement said.
An AAI official said that the RCS-UDAN scheme would offer flight fares lower than the normal rates.
The scheme was launched by the Union Civil Aviation Ministry in October 2016 to stimulate regional air connectivity and make air travel affordable to the common people.
Currently, there are 15 airports in the northeast region -- Guwahati, Silchar, Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Tezpur, Lilalabari and Rupsi (Assam), Tezu and Pasighat (Arunachal Pradesh), Agartala (Tripura), Imphal (Manipur), Shillong (Meghalaya), Dimapur (Nagaland), Lengpui (Mizoram) and Pakyong (Sikkim).
The AAI at a cost of Rs 650 crore is also developing the Hollongi airport near Arunachal capital Itanagar, to boost air connectivity in the mountainous areas.
New Delhi, Aug 10: With a view to boost film tourism, the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had set up a Film Facilitation Office which paid handsome dividends as a number of filmmakers have started shooting in India.
Before the Covid pandemic hit the world, in 2019 itself, more than 10 foreign film projects were shot in India. This included the box-office hit and critically acclaimed Tenet by Christopher Nolan, which was shot in Mumbai and the locations included the Breach Candy Hospital, Cafe Colaba Market, Gateway of India, Royal Bombay Yacht Club, and the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel among others.
In fact, to ease filmmaking in India, the National Film Development Corporation operated FFO, offers a single-window clearance online system for international film shoots in India.
With film tourism gaining currency, India is now going to face competition from other nations in the region, which too are providing facilities and environments for shooting movies. These include Singapore where the global superhit Crazy Rich Asians was shot, Eat, Pray, Love, starring superstar Julia Roberts, which launched several holiday trips to Bali, Angelina Jolie's Lara Croft: Tomb Raider which put Cambodia's exquisite temples on the tourist map. among others.
Now, Bali, the Indonesian island -- which has been the backdrop for several films since the 1930s -- is inviting investors, both local and foreign, to build film studios. This plan was unveiled at last month's Cannes Film Festival by the local group United Media Asia and Creative Artists Agency in the US.
According to an article in asia.nikkei.com, Missy Davy, Creative Artists Agency spokesperson in statement said: "Through their productions, UMA will employ thousands of local talent[s] to bolster the Bali economy, which has been severely impacted by the global pandemic. Bali is the ideal location to create a production destination."
The statement also reflects the Indonesian Government's backing for this project as evident from a comment by Sandiaga Uno, the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy said: "I am very excited to see United Media Asia's effort to build and cultivate Bali as a world-class hub for international content."
Founded in 2018 by Indonesian actress and producer Michy Gustavia, UMAZ received a $20 million investment from media conglomerate Kompas Gramedia with its focus on local content in the language of 270 million people of the country.
Films have been doing well in Indonesia as box office receipts have registered a growth of seven percent annually over the past five years. Viewers love offerings of over-the-top platforms like Netflix which is predicted to have 50 million as its users there.
Talking about this, Davy said: "Indonesia's entertainment market is one of the fastest-growing in the world, if not the fastest, outside of China [and] UMA is strategically positioned to capitalize on the increasing global appetite for local content."
Despite its natural calamities like floods and lack of power, can Bali attract filmmakers as it competes against Australia and South Korea? Andre Dananjaya feels it can. "From sound and costume designers to cinematographers, Bali has thousands of talented creative professionals that could be engaged by foreign production houses if they do start operating in Bali." Dananjaya represents NGO Kopernik that produces films on human rights issues.
Dananjaya added: "Studios are limited but with Bali's diverse landscapes it is more likely that producers would choose to shoot on location rather than in a studio.And when it comes to steady electricity, film production companies almost always use backup generators, so main electricity supply isn't an issue."
On a similar vein, US national who is Bali based, Lakota Moira, who produced a Pulau Plastik or Rubbish Island, stated: "There is so much good talent on this island but too much of it is spent on creating commercial content for Instagram or weddings -- work that does not necessarily foster their potential. And when they are hired by filmmakers from overseas, it's usually just as fixers or [microphone] grips. But if we had a platform that could expose their work to wider audiences, it would broaden their horizons and give them much more creative license."
With the pandemic playing havoc with economies across the world, filmmaking too has been adversely hit due to lockdowns and restrictions on cinema halls. Indonesia too is no exception. Much like India, it too needs Government support.
The Indian film industry was pegged around 183 billion rupees in 2020 and has been severely dented with the postponement of big releases and halting of film, television and web series shootings.
Government support is vital as other nations like Australia have given $665 million as Government rebates to the film industry in the last 10 years. Likewise, South Korea's Korean Film Council has announced a $17.8 million package as a stimulus for its movie industry to bail it out of Covid created limbo.
To keep the local industry afloat, the Indonesian Government directed the State-owned production house Perum Produksi Film Negara to invest in potential blockbusters and homegrown content. Reportedly 1.97 trillion rupiah ($137 million) has been set aside to finance 135 hours of film and content production this year.
Besides this laws need to be tweaked to facilitate visas for filmmakers to come to shoot while also providing them tax incentives to make Bali as the most preferred location for shooting films.
New Delhi, Aug 10 (IANSlife) Indicating an intent to travel, USA, Russia and Maldives are among the top 3 most searched international destinations for August 2021 as Indians hope for ease in international travel restrictions revealed a survey by Booking.com. Closer to home, in addition to metro cities, travellers are looking forward to enjoying nature and escaping to the outdoors - searching for leisurely destinations like Lonavala and Leh which are amongst the topmost searched domestic destinations by Indian travellers in August 2021.
With a bank of accrued vacation days and restrictions finally starting to ease in India and other parts of the world, travellers are looking to escape their lockdown surroundings.
Destination preferences for international travel:
With hopes for ease in international travel restrictions, especially for fully vaccinated travellers, Indians have shown interest in travelling to international destinations. For travellers who are open to flying and cross borders again, USA, Russia, Maldives, Switzerland and Qatar are amongst the top 5 most searched destinations for outbound travel as per the list which includes
Domestic travel preferences
Domestic travel continues to remain prevalent with many Indian travellers looking forward to exploring their own country and choosing destinations closer to home. Booking.com data backs this, with earlier research revealing 52 percent of Indian travellers are looking forward to exploring their home country this year. Metro cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru continue to be the top searched destinations. Closer-to-home and leisurely destinations such as Lonavala, Jaipur and Leh are also some of the top searched destinations.
1. New Delhi
Top searched domestic destinations by Indian travellers in the month of August 2021*: