Where Indians can fly

airindiaEven though continue its embargo on international flights , “air bubbles” or “air bridges” have become the only medium through which commercial international travel has resumed since mid-July. Since then, India’s air bubble count has gone up with Bhutan and Kenya are the latest to make it to the list. Earlier listed were United Kingdom, Canada, the Maldives, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Nigeria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Japan.

In addition to Indian nationals being allowed to travel on inbound flights operated either by Indian carriers or foreign carriers, certain categories of foreign nationals are also allowed to travel to India. Until recently, only certain holders of Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cards were allowed to enter India but the government has now allowed all OCI cardholders to arrive into India.

It’s understood that discussions are in progress to establish air bubbles with Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and other Pacific countries

However it’s recommended to check government restrictions and rules with respect to current pandemic situation before making any travel plans.

Isolate Amidst Nature

isolate-imgNature has a magical way of calming your mind and recharging your batteries. Rejuvenate yourself from the fatigue of being indoors with exciting wilderness experiences offered by Taj’s jungle lodges in the midst of some of the most renowned National Parks in India and Nepal and a heritage hunting lodge by Vivanta in Rajasthan’s tiger country. Appreciate the spectacular wildlife and authentic experiences in remote but luxurious surroundings, all while making a positive social impact as you travel.

Visit India’s most prized National Parks in the central state of Madhya Pradesh and the UNESCO World Heritage listed jungle of Chitwan in Nepal with Taj Safaris. Be it the thrill of a close encounter with India’s Royal Bengal tigers or spotting herds of the gentle chital, Taj Safaris present an unmatched opportunity to embrace adventure at its best across its five jungle lodges with daily safaris drives by expert naturalists. From the magical landscape of Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand to the private hunting reserve of the Maharajas of Jaipur at Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan, adventure seekers will experience an unforgettable glimpse of exciting wildlife in India.

From interpretive bush walks beside the Banjaar River in Kanha to castaway picnics by the serene Khoka Lake in Pench; experience the incredible joys of being amidst nature. Get inspired by the simplicity of mud houses amidst farmlands at Ranchha, a village in Bandhavgarh; or book a jungle walk with a Pardhi guide; member of the indigenous tribal community, at Panna. At Corbett, go beyond the tiger trail while exploring the area of Choti Haldwani replete with stories of Sir Jim Corbett or enjoy an early morning breakfast at Awan ki Choki; an outpost at the edge of Ranthambore National Park, in true royal tradition of hunting.

#TravelForIndia and rediscover all that nature has to offer while putting a smile on the many faces you meet along your wilderness vacation. Choose from the many options to book your stay curated with the highest levels of hygiene and safety and where social distancing is a way of life!

Use #TravelForIndia to share your favourite jungle vacation experiences across with us on:

Instagram| @TajHotels; Facebook | @TajHotels; Twitter | @TajHotels; LinkedIn | @IHCL & @TajHotels


Because when you travel, India moves.

Travel for India – An Initiative By IHCL On World Tourism Day

taj The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) and its subsidiaries bring together a group of brands and businesses that offer a fusion of warm Indian hospitality and world-class service. These include Taj – the hallmark of iconic hospitality and India’s Strongest Brand as per Brand Finance India 100 2020 report, SeleQtions, a named collection of hotels, Vivanta, sophisticated upscale hotels and Ginger, which is revolutionizing the lean luxe segment.

 On the occasion of World Tourism Day, Indian Hotels Company (IHCL), South Asia’s largest hospitality company, has launched #TravelForIndia – a campaign to inspire safe travel and help rebuild the tourism and hospitality industry that touches millions of lives. In line with the Government’s ‘Vocal for Local’ vision, #TravelForIndia aims at driving awareness about the importance of domestic tourism and its impact on livelihoods. With a number of initiatives supporting indigenous tourism in the pipeline, #TravelForIndia was kick-started with a special video today, celebrating the incredible diversity of India whilst spreading a message of optimism, hope and unity in solidarity of its vast ecosystem.

Speaking about the initiative , Mr. Puneet Chhatwal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, IHCL, said, “One of the most critical sectors, the travel and hospitality industry, which accounts for over 8 per cent of India’s total employment with over 4 crore jobs, is one of the most affected by the pandemic. ‘Travel for India’ supports responsible travel by showcasing the millions of people dedicated to making tourism a unique experience. It reiterates IHCL’s commitment to support the revival efforts of the sector whilst conveying the far-reaching social impact each traveler’s journey can make.”

The campaign video, going live at 14:00 hours IST on Sunday 27th, September, is the beginning of a concerted effort from IHCL to initiate a discourse around the role hospitality will play in the coming months in helping people rediscover all that India has to offer, while driving a sense of curiosity in exploring its many facets as well as making a difference to the community.

Let us come together and give the future of travel a new meaning. Rediscover India with Taj while putting a smile on the many faces you meet along your journey. Because when you travel, India moves.

Watch the video here and use #TravelForIndia to share your favourite travel experiences across India with us on:

Instagram| @TajHotels; Facebook | @TajHotels; Twitter | @TajHotels; LinkedIn | @IHCL & @TajHotels

OTOAI receives WTTC Safe Travels Stamp

oatiIt’s reported that AITTC MOU partner OTOAI (Outbound Tour Operators Association of India) has recently joined the list of Global Travel Trade Associations to have been granted the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Safe Travels Stamp. OTOAI has become the second Association in India to receive the prestigious accreditation.

Safe Travels Stamp is issued only after a series of criteria are complied.

While each industry within the Travel & Tourism sector must develop clear and practical protocols to enable the sector’s recovery, the approach of receiving a Safe Travels Stamp is even more important for tour operators given their dependence on other tourism entities such as destinations, airlines, hotels, transportation, travel insurance as well as government policies such as border restrictions, as tour operators are often responsible for guests throughout their journey.

For alignment across industries within the Travel & Tourism sector, WTTC has divided the protocols in four pillars namely – Operational and Staff Preparedness; Delivering a Safe Experience; Rebuilding Trust & Confidence and Implementing Enabling Policies. A detailed document mentioning the protocols and procedures has been put up on the OTOAI website for the members to observe and follow. For those who need any kind of assistance, OTOAI office bearers are available round the clock.


Rebooting tourism in NSW in 2020

sydneyharbourThe NSW State Government is calling on all Sydneysiders and NSW residents to be a COVID safe tourist in their own backyard and support local businesses by booking tours and visiting attractions.

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said NSW residents could help reboot the state’s visitor economy by hitting the road for a short-break, taking a Sydney ‘playcation’, or even making the most of a day trip.

“There’s something special about being a tourist and giving yourself permission to enjoy experiences that we usually reserve for holidays,” Minister Ayres said.

“Treat yourself to a ‘playcation’ around Sydney and NSW – take a guided tour, book a hotel stay, dine at a special restaurant, or visit a local attraction.

“We all want to make a difference by staying and spending locally, so let’s enjoy all corners of NSW and jam-pack our itineraries with NSW’s finest experiences.

“You’ll be rewarded with the diversity and beauty of our state and make a huge difference to our tourism businesses that are doing it tough.”

The NSW Government is releasing two new tools to inspire holidaymakers and help them ‘value-add’ to their stay:

An interactive ‘Love NSW’ map that allows travellers to search for and identify tourism experiences based on theme. Users can also find experiences within three hours’ drive of a selected location, or zoom in to street level to see links to even more tourism businesses (www.lovensw.com.au)

A series of new Sydney ‘playcation’ itineraries highlighting the luxury, family, outdoor adventure, foodie, culture, romance and wellness experiences on offer across the CBD and Greater Sydney (www.sydney.com)

Trends in holiday planning show that the top three types of holiday Australians will take in the next 12 months are a road trip (68%), a trip to visit friends and family (66%) and a trip to the countryside (65%).

“Recent research shows that, compared to pre-COVID, travellers are 76% more likely to support local businesses and communities, and 68% more likely to visit parts of Australia they haven’t been to before,” Mr Ayres said.

“We’ve all had our lives on hold for six months or more, now’s the time to get out there, enjoy our NSW stories, landscapes and experiences and turn 2020 around together.

“Now’s the time to support our local tourism operators but it’s not a time to be complacent.”

Visitors, locals and businesses are reminded to stay COVID safe during the school holidays by maintaining social distancing, good hygiene and staying home if unwell. Holidaymakers are encouraged to phone ahead to confirm bookings and check local conditions with business operators. For more information www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19

For travel inspiration: www.visitnsw.com and www.sydney.com


newgmTourism Australia has recently appointed Andrew Hutchinson to the newly created role which is responsible for leading the organisation’s focus on the domestic tourism opportunity, as well as the approach in New Zealand once border restrictions start to lift.

With 25 years of experience in the tourism industry, Mr Hutchinson started in the Sydney-based role in August .

Mr Hutchinson joins Tourism Australia from Adventure World Travel and he has previously worked for major brands such as Flight Centre, Qantas Holidays, STA and Pinpoint Mastercard.

In 2019, domestic travel accounted for $78.8 billion in overnight trips and 1.4 million visitors from New Zealand spent $2.6 billion in Australia


covidTourism Australia has recently launched a new ‘Australian COVID Travel Portal’, which brings together key safety information, travel restrictions and guidelines from across the country to help make travel planning easier.

For the first time, both travellers and operators will be able to access up-to-date travel information in the one centralised resource, consolidating content currently being provided by each of Australia’s states and territories as they reopen in different ways.

Specifically, the new site will include the up to date status of all state and territory borders and associated travel restrictions, relevant information on transport, hotels and accommodation, activities and experiences, as well as health and safety tips.

Tourism Australia Managing Director Phillipa Harrison said the new portal would give Australians the confidence to plan and book an Australian holiday and help them travel around Australia safely.

“One of the significant changes that we’ve seen in consumer behaviour as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak is, unsurprisingly, a heightened awareness around health concerns, hygiene and physical distancing,” Ms Harrison said.

“As Australians begin to travel again, it is crucial that travellers feel confident to holiday safely, and that tourism businesses and their communities are ready to welcome them warmly but also safely.

“We want travellers to know it’s safe to travel and show how the Australian tourism industry is putting in place the highest standards and stringent COVIDSafe measures to ensure their wellbeing and safety at every point in the customer journey.

“The portal will provide up to date, practical information relating to all aspects of travel in the one place to help people better navigate all of the different COVID-19 restrictions.”

The Australian COVID Travel Portal can be accessed at https://www.australia.com/en/facts-andplanning/useful-tips/coronavirus-travel-safety.html

The initial focus of this new tool is on domestic and interstate travel, however, it is likely to be extended to international visitors as well once international borders reopen.


kimberly“Where to travel in 2021”?

The Kimberley in Western Australia which has featured in Condé Nast Traveller’s list of 21 places to visit in 2021.

Condé Nast Traveller is one of the world’s most influential luxury travel outlets and the inclusion will help to keep Australia top of mind for British consumers and encourage them to keep dreaming of travelling to Australia

Supported by Tourism Australia and Tourism Western Australia, the online feature will also be shared via their newsletter and social channels.


aus-imageTourism Australia has launched a series of new immersive videos which are pledged to  transport viewers from around the world into the heart of some of Australia’s most breathtaking destinations and keep them dreaming of all of the experiences awaiting them when they are able to travel to Australia again.

Harnessing innovative 8D audio technology, the six videos take viewers on a sensory journey, immersing them in the unique sights, sounds and textures of iconic destinations such as Uluru, Sydney Opera House, Fraser Island and the Daintree.

The videos have each been themed by colour – blue, red, magenta, green, black and white – to evoke a range of feelings and emotions, and showcase the visual diversity and vibrancy found in Australia, and provide inspiration for future holiday plans.

Tourism Australia Managing Director Phillipa Harrison said the videos would give travellers around the world a taste of what it’s like to experience Australia firsthand, but from the comfort of their homes.

“Many people have had to put their travel plans on hold this year, but reassuringly the demand for Australian holiday experiences hasn’t waned with many still dreaming about travelling here in the future,” Ms Harrison said.

“Although the current border restrictions mean that international travellers can’t visit right now, we need to continue to keep Australia top of mind through bold and engaging initiatives, and remind them of the exceptional experiences that await them when they can travel here again.

“Australia is such unique and diverse destination and this collection of new videos captures the unique colours, sights and sounds of some of our most spectacular landscapes – giving people a real sense of being there in the moment.”

8D audio is a sound engineering treatment that, when the viewer wears headphones, gives the music and sounds a three-dimensional effect for an immersive experience. It is the first time a tourism body has utilised this technology for a video series.

The videos are part of Tourism Australia’s renewed international content marketing program to drive traffic and engagement to its channels, and can be viewed on Australia.com/8DEscapes  and Tourism Australia’s YouTube channel YouTube.com/Australia.

They are supported by a series of articles on Australia.com providing information on the experiences and destinations to give further inspiration for travellers considering where they might holiday in the future.