International Golf Tournament back in Victoria

The Andrews Labor Government is bringing the Vic Open back to Victoria, with the international golf tournament set to return at 13th Beach Golf Links on the Bellarine Peninsula in 2024.

Acting Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Ben Carroll confirmed the tournament would return for the eleventh year – from 1 to 4 February in 2024.

Attracting more golf players and fans to the region, the tournament will be played across the Beach course and the Creek course at the popular seaside facility near Barwon Heads. The men and women players will compete for equal prizemoney on the same courses at the same time, with $420,000 on offer for each event.

More than 200 men and women will start out in the first round, with the top 35 men and 35 women and ties making it through to the final day on Sunday, 4 February 2024.

The 2024 Vic Open will again coincide with the Victorian Inclusive Championship for golfers with a disability, and the Australian Wheelchair Golf Championship, which will return for its third year.

The Vic Open, owned and operated by Golf Australia, has become one of the marquee attractions on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia and the WPGA Tour of Australasia schedules. It continues to champion men and women playing at the same time, at the same venue, for equal prizemoney.

The Labor Government is ensuring equal prizemoney for the joint men’s and women’s Vic Open format, with its first instalment back in 2012 breaking new ground.

Golf in Victoria generates $883 million to the state’s economy and supports 6,900 jobs. Major events such as these are an integral part of Victoria’s Golf Tourism Strategy and help to attract more visitors to Victoria, supporting jobs across the tourism sector.

The Acting Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Ben Carroll said that Vic Open remains an important tournament for our golf superstars, and it’s fantastic that it will return to the sparkling Bellarine Peninsula next February.We know how much this tournament means to the local community and hosting it at 13th Beach will encourage fans and visitors alike to experience all this beautiful region has to offer.

 WPGA Tour of Australasia CEO Karen Lunn said that Our players love coming back to 13th Beach every year and competing in front of the wonderful galleries who turn out to enjoy seeing the women’s and men’s tournaments, plus the all abilities, contested side by side.

PGA Tour of Australasia Tournament Director Nick Dastey said that the Vic Open will be a key event on the second half of the 2023/24 Tour calendar. It has established itself as a major feature of our schedule and 13th Beach has played a huge role in its ongoing success.

Travel Event News TRAVEL NEWS

Australian Marketplace India witness record participation

Tourism Australia held the 18th edition of its flagship trade initiative, Australia Marketplace India (AMI), in Bengaluru from 23 to 25 July.

The return of this key B2B event, for the first time since 2019, aims to assist representatives from the Australian tourism industry to develop and establish business relationships with key qualified travel agencies and tour operators from India. At the three-day event, 86 Australian tourism businesses displayed their products and services to a record 94 Indian travel agents, demonstrating the country’s rising appeal as a holiday destination for Indian tourists.

AMI has been a pivotal platform in connecting India’s top travel agents with Australian tourism industry stakeholders and delegates to promote Australian holidays with the country’s latest and diverse offerings and experiences. This year’s participating Australian tourism representatives and distributors included a diverse set of businesses, including lodging and tour operators, attractions, experiences, cultural institutions, along with state and local tourism organizations. Compared to AMI 2019, this year’s event saw a 20% increase in seller delegates, who support Tourism Australia’s commitment to growing tourism demand from India to enable a competitive and sustainable tourism industry by exploring destinations through new experiences and products. The Indian travel buyers have been represented by 94 companies from across 8 Indian cities – Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Ahmedabad, and Kolkata.

Commenting on the event, Mr. Andrew Hogg, Executive General Manager – Eastern Markets and Aviation, Tourism Australia, said, “India has been Australia’s fastest growing source market and continues to be one of Australia’s most valuable and promising tourism markets now and into the future.

Australia Marketplace India is our prime platform, bringing together some of Australia’s leading industry experts and tourism delegates to showcase Australia’s world-class appeal to India’s trade stakeholders; to drive future growth in visitation and tourist spend from India. We continue to receive outstanding support from our Indian travel partners, who are some of our biggest advocates in making Australia a preferred holiday destination for India’s High Yield Travellers.”

Mr. Nishant Kashikar, Country Manager – India & Gulf, Tourism Australia, shared, “India has improved its ranks among Australia’s source markets, and reached a milestone of emerging as the first market to recover to pre-Covid levels, with several marketing, public relations, distribution, and partnership initiatives aimed at enhancing Australia’s attractiveness and consideration. Our Key Distribution Partners, Aussie Specialists and Business Event agents have been vital in inviting Indians to Australia. We seek to maintain our current trajectory and unlock India’s potential growth towards the next decade of travel.”

The demand for travel to Australia has been stimulated by Tourism Australia’s direct to consumer communication with the launch of the global Come and Say G’day campaign aimed at building consideration amongst High Yield Travellers (HYTs) through integrated media campaigns and a robust Public Relations and Advocacy program as well as through partnerships with Key Distribution Partners (KDPs) and airline partners to drive conversions through tactical co-op campaigns. Demand has also been encouraged by the tripling of direct aviation capacity between India and Australia and the ease of obtaining a visa – which is a completely digitized process, that does not require in-person attendance for lodgements, biometrics, or an interview.

Tourism Australia’s distribution strategy in India includes dedicated trade engagement initiatives and a range of online resources such as the Aussie Specialist Program (ASP), Trade Resource Hub and Australia 365 On Demand. As on date, Tourism Australia has over 4,650 Qualified Aussie Specialists across India, who promote and sell Australian holidays. The ASP agents receive special access to a resourceful online toolkit to sell Australian holidays and a chance to participate in innovative training programs and remain updated on the destination through informative newsletters. Tourism Australia has also introduced a second tier to its Aussie Specialist program in India with the introduction of the Premier Aussie Specialist Program. Up to 40 agents in India have been awarded the Premium Aussie Specialist title and are known to sell bespoke experiences across Australia. In addition, there are opportunities for select frontline staff and product teams to gain a first-hand experience of Australia through global trade events like the Australian Tourism Exchange and G’day Australia.

India ranked as Australia’s fourth-largest inbound tourism market for arrivals for the year ended May 2023. According to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), visitor arrivals data for the year ended (YE) May 2023 confirms Australia welcomed around 375,500 visitors from India, surpassing the pre-Covid levels. Spending by Indian visitors for YE March 2023 was A$ 1.97 Bn (+16% over YE March 2019), exceeding pre-Covid levels.


Exploring Atomic Museum: Unveiling the World of ‘Oppenheimer’ in Las Vegas

The premiere of Christopher Nolan’s most successful blockbuster film “Oppenheimer” has piqued public interest in nuclear history, making the Atomic Museum in Las Vegas a popular destination for history buffs.

The Ground Zero Theatre of the museum provides an exciting recreation of an above-ground nuclear test, immersing visitors in the dramatic consequences of such occurrences. It is a self-guided tour that digs into Robert J. Robert Oppenheimer’s important role in building the atomic bomb during WWII and offers background for the Nevada Test Site’s founding.

The Atomic Museum provides a thorough overview of nuclear history and its repercussions, with changing displays displaying current nuclear technology, artefacts, and an homage to the World Trade Centre.

Ground Zero Theater: A Thrilling Simulation

Guests witness a spine-chilling simulation of an above-ground nuclear test in the gloomy darkness of the Atomic Museum’s Ground Zero Theatre, replicating the explosive power and aftermath of such a monumental event. The Atomic Museum, originally known as the National Atomic Testing Museum, has renamed to reflect a larger objective, digging into the social, political, and cultural repercussions of the nuclear business globally. With the recent release of the film “Oppenheimer,” tourists to Las Vegas may now immerse themselves in the scientific and historical elements of nuclear testing by taking a self-guided tour at the Atomic Museum.

Unraveling the Legacy of Oppenheimer and Nuclear Testing

The Atomic Museum’s self-guided tour goes beyond simply showing Robert Oppenheimer’s involvement in building the atomic weapon during WWII. It adds political background to the construction of the Nevada Test Site in 1951, formerly known as the Nevada Proving Grounds and now known as the Nevada National Security Site. This location, located about 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas, was dedicated to testing new nuclear weapons. At one point, mushroom clouds from air testing could be seen in Las Vegas and up to 100 miles distant. Underground testing were undertaken until 1992, totalling over 1,000 tests over four decades.

The Rebranded Atomic Museum: Embracing a Broader Mission

The Atomic Museum has changed its name to better reflect its broader focus on nuclear history, which includes social, political, and popular culture implications throughout the world. The museum, led by CEO Rob McCoy, wants to appeal to a wide range of consumers while also fostering enthusiasm and interest about atomic-related themes. Its vast collection includes rare images, movies, and over 3,500 artefacts and studies that demonstrate the significant influence of nuclear technology on civilization.

Journey through Time: Engaging Exhibits

The Atomic Museum features an enthralling assortment of displays that engage visitors while also providing a comprehensive overview of nuclear history. The exhibit “The Bomb Without the Boom” displays how modern scientists use lasers, low-explosives, and computers to verify the safety and dependability of the country’s nuclear weapons arsenal without the use of underground testing. The exhibition “Trinity — The Day the World Changed” has a model of the first atomic bomb, immersing visitors in the momentous moment that irrevocably altered the path of history. “Beyond the Manhattan Project” delves into the efforts of the Department of Energy’s Environmental Management team to clean up locations impacted by decades of nuclear weapons manufacture and nuclear energy research.

Atomic Pop Culture and Spy Exhibits: Uncovering Unique Aspects

The “Atomic Testing in Pop Culture” exhibit at the museum provides an intriguing look into atomic-themed comic books, sweets, children’s toys, and other artefacts associated with atomic tourism in Las Vegas. Furthermore, the current collaboration with the National Security Agency’s National Cryptologic Museum brings to life the “Spy” exhibit, which details how the NSA collected telemetry intelligence about foreign governments’ missiles and space vehicles, assisting the US in keeping up with technological advancements.

A Tribute to History: The Steel Beam from the World Trade Center

A moving exhibit at the Atomic Museum remembers the start of the war on terrorism with a steel beam from the World Trade Centre. This memorial not only honours the deceased, but also informs visitors about the nuclear materials that terrorists may utilise. First responders from all across the country travel to Nevada to learn about possible threats and strengthen national security.

A Smithsonian Affiliate: An Emblem of Excellence

The Atomic Museum, run by the non-profit Nevada Test Site Historical Foundation, is one of 37 museums certified as an affiliate partner of the famous Smithsonian Institution, cementing its status as a repository of knowledge and historical value.

Visit the Atomic Museum: A Unique Experience Awaits

The Atomic Museum is located at 755 E. Flamingo Road, about a mile east of the Strip, and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (until 5 p.m. after Sept. 15).

Tickets for general admission are $29 (plus tax and fees), with discounts available for seniors, military members, and first responders.

Plan on spending 1-2 hours studying the remarkable world of nuclear testing and its far-reaching consequences for an engaging voyage through history.

Discovering the World of ‘Oppenheimer’ in Vegas

The Atomic Museum in Las Vegas is a fascinating experience for lovers of the film “Oppenheimer” and anyone interested in nuclear history. The museum serves as a symbol of commemoration and education, from its dramatic Ground Zero Theatre simulation to the variety of displays offering insight on the social, political, and cultural repercussions of nuclear technology. As a Smithsonian Affiliate, it continues to attract varied audiences and pique people’s interest in all things nuclear, demonstrating the profound and enduring impact of nuclear testing on a worldwide scale.


Karnataka Tourism to unveil its diverse tourism treasures at IITM Bengaluru 2023

Karnataka Tourism is pleased to announce its participation at IITM Bengaluru 2023, a prestigious travel and tourism event scheduled to be held from July 28th to 30th at Tripura Vasini Palace Ground, South Indian city, Bangalore.

This event provides an ideal platform for Karnataka Tourism to showcase the state’s abundant heritage, vibrant culture, and diverse tourism potential to a vast and diverse audience.

IITM is a pioneer in travel-trade exhibitions and provides participants with a platform to connect and accelerate their business by reaching potential customers/ collaborators and other businesses.

The primary objective of this event is to position the state as a comprehensive and top-notch tourism destination, offering a wide range of services. Tourism Service providers from Karnataka will be participating in the exhibition, making it an ideal opportunity to engage with industry professionals, travellers, and potential business partners. The event promises to create lasting impressions and foster collaborations that will further boost Karnataka’s tourism industry.

Karnataka is renowned for its captivating beauty and diverse experiences. It boasts a splendid blend of ancient temples, palaces, historical monuments, hill stations, pristine beaches, wildlife sanctuaries, and national parks. With UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Hampi and Pattadakal, the majestic Mysore Palace, and the intricate Hoysala temples in Belur and Halebidu, Karnataka’s rich history and architectural brilliance are evident.

Having been associated with notable dynasties like Kadamba, Chalukya, Rashtrakuta, Hoysala, Vijayanagara, and Wodeyar, the state’s culture and traditions have been deeply influenced. Karnataka is home to 747 unique protected monuments, offering a glimpse into its glorious past and stand as testaments to its cultural significance and architectural brilliance.

The Western Ghats in Karnataka boast breathtaking landscapes, complemented by 35 wildlife sanctuaries and 5 national parks that showcase diverse flora and fauna. Along its 320-kilometre coastline, Karnataka’s beaches are renowned for their scenic beauty and offer an array of thrilling water sports activities. The state also has stunning hill stations like Coorg, Chikmagalur, Sakaleshpura, and Kodachadri, providing opportunities to explore homestays, savour local coffee and cuisine, and immerse in unique traditions. The best places for Jungle Stays and to spot elephants and tigers are Kabini, Bandipur, Dandeli and Nagarhole.

Karnataka takes pride in its diverse cultural heritage, highlighted by a myriad of festivals like Dasara, Karaga, and Ugadi. These celebrations exemplify the state’s vibrant and colourful traditions. The cuisine of Karnataka is renowned for its mouthwatering and flavorful offerings, encompassing a wide array of vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies. From the ever-popular masala dosas and idlis to the delightful bisi bele bath and nutritious ragi mudde, the state’s culinary delights never fail to tantalize taste buds.

Karnataka’s appeal is further enriched by the bustling city of Bengaluru, often referred to as the IT hub of India. Its well-earned recognition as the Silicon Valley and startup paradise of Asia is attributed to the multitude of startups and unicorns that thrive within its boundaries. The city’s distinctive combination of talent, entrepreneurship, academia, and technological advancements cultivates a dynamic atmosphere, fostering innovation and propelling growth.

Bengaluru and Mysuru serve as prominent hubs for Naturopathy and Yoga, hosting a plethora of Ayurvedic wellness centers that offer a wide range of treatments and therapies, all aimed at promoting holistic health and overall well-being. Karnataka, known for its rich heritage of silks, spices, and sandalwood, is renowned for its beautiful hill stations, mesmerizing waterfalls, revered pilgrimage centers, and a coastline adorned with pristine and untouched beaches. With its diverse and all-encompassing range of tourism landscapes, including archaeology, religious sites, ecotourism, wildlife, and more, the state presents a multitude of experiences for discerning travellers to indulge in.

Karnataka Tourism’s presence at IITM Bengaluru aims to showcase the states diverse and captivating tourism offerings. From exploring archaeology and religious sites to immersing in ecotourism and wildlife adventures, Karnataka stands as a premier tourist destination in India, appealing to travellers throughout the year. At the Karnataka Tourism stand, visitors will have the wonderful opportunity to delve into an array of travel experiences, engage with well-informed representatives, and acquire valuable information to plan their trips. Whether you seek a tranquil escape to the beaches, an exploration of ancient monuments and palaces, thrilling wildlife encounters, or exhilarating scuba diving adventures, the state’s tourism industry is geared to fulfill every traveller’s desires. They will be exhibiting at stand no. P1.


It’s time to immerse in an ultra-relaxing experience in New Zealand’s special hot springs

New Zealand is well-known for its breathtaking scenery, and among its natural beauties are hot pools and health spas, which provide a unique and refreshing experience. These therapeutic havens, nestled among scenic settings, provide a hideaway for relaxation and well-being. The country’s geothermal activity endows it with a plethora of hot springs and thermal pools rich in minerals that may soothe hurting muscles and aid recovery.

Visitors may immerse themselves in the warm, mineral-rich waters, allowing the soothing sensations to permeate their bodies and minds. From volcanic hot springs in Rotorua to solitary natural pools in the bush, New Zealand’s hot pools and health spas provide an amazing and joyful retreat, whether you seek peace in the steaming waters, indulge in a relaxing spa treatment, or simply marvel at the pristine beauty.


Rotorua, New Zealand’s geothermal paradise, is famous for its healing hot springs and peaceful leisure options. These geothermal wonders, nestled among stunning surroundings, provide a calm haven. Immerse yourself in mineral-rich, therapeutic waters that will soothe both your body and your spirit. Your problems drift away as you bathe in these natural pools, replaced by a profound sensation of serenity. Sulfur’s energising aroma permeates the air, contributing to the unique experience. The indigenous Maori have revered Rotorua’s hot springs for millennia for their therapeutic abilities. Allow yourself to be seduced by the attraction of these thermal baths and bathe in nature’s warm embrace.

Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa

Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa is the largest spa and wellness complex in the Southern Hemisphere, located on the lakeside in Rotorua’s city core.  Wai Ariki is really a feast for the senses, inspired, curated, and owned by the local iwi, Ngti Whakaue. This one-of-a-kind spa and wellness experience will provide you with a true taste of manaakitanga, the centuries-old and globally recognised Mori idea of welcome manuhiri (visitors).  It offers a luxurious, five-star experience. Wai Ariki is a relaxing and rejuvenating retreat that offers a unique combination of ancient Mor healing practises and modern wellness experiences. Visitors may relax in the mineral-rich hot springs, which are known for their medicinal and relaxing characteristics.

Kerosene Creek

Kerosene watercourse is a bathing and relaxing geothermally heated watercourse. It is 35 minutes’ drive south of Rotorua. Hot water rises from a natural spring beneath the earth and flows into the frigid waters of the stream, creating wonderfully warm water. Swimmers have built hot pools adjacent to the 2m waterfall by stacking tiny smooth pebbles. Kerosene Creek is surrounded by dense native foliage and is popular with both visitors and locals, providing a unique natural swimming experience. There is no admission fee; only be kind to your fellow bathers and take any garbage with you.


Canterbury, in New Zealand’s South Island, has a plethora of hot springs and leisure opportunities. You’ll find geothermal delights that promise to revitalise your senses among the breathtaking scenery.

The area has something for everyone, from natural thermal pools to upscale spa getaways. Dip into warm mineral waters, which are known for their therapeutic characteristics and can help to relieve stress and anxiety. Surround yourself with stunning views and experience unparalleled tranquillity. Whether you’re looking for a calm getaway or an opulent spa day, Christchurch-Canterbury’s hot springs welcome you to relax and let the therapeutic enchantment of geothermal bliss embrace you.

Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa:

Indulge in perfect tranquillity and find ultimate calm at Hanmer Springs’ magnificent hot pools in New Zealand. Every thermal water drop is naturally heated and enhanced with a variety of minerals, demonstrating nature’s loving touch. Relax in the velvety-smooth sulphur pools, and enjoy the relaxing currents and natural rock formations of the moderate cascades and pools. Relax your hurting muscles with the water spouts and jets, or simply immerse yourself in the breathtaking mountain panorama while the world goes by. This hot spring is less than two hours from both Christchurch and Kaikura.

He Puna Taimoana

Relax in one of He Puna Taimoana’s five magnificent hot pools while admiring the stunning ocean views.  Do you require rehabilitation? Cool down in the plunge pool or walk into the steam room and enjoy the coastline views from the sauna for ultimate relaxation.

The Sunrise Soak is their most opulent session ever. Sunrise Soak is the epitome of pampering and relaxation, and it’s excellent for a special occasion, a well-deserved indulgence, or a thoughtful gift. Enjoy a 2-hour soak in the pools with endless sunrise views, a luxurious robe to wear, a complimentary mocktail to sip, and an optional guided meditation to calm and refresh you.


Taup, located on the shores of Lake Taup in New Zealand, is a haven of hot springs and leisure. Immerse yourself in the healing delights of nature by visiting the region’s geothermal pools. The mineral-rich waters caress your body, removing tension and revitalising your spirit. Imagine yourself relaxing among stunning scenery, enjoying tranquillity like you’ve never experienced before. Taup offers to all seekers of tranquillity, from opulent hot spring resorts to hidden jewels in the countryside. Allow the relaxing environment of Taup to immerse you in a really restorative getaway as you surrender to the warm embrace of these natural treasures.

Wairakei Terraces and Thermal Health Spa

Taup, a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, is only an hour’s journey from Rotorua. Bathe in silica-rich therapeutic waters at the Wairakei Terraces and Thermal Health Spa. The therapeutic properties of the pools at Wairakei Terraces are derived from silica terraces and geothermal water flow from 1.5 km deep, providing an unparalleled combination of geothermal and mineral water. Immerse yourself in the mineral-rich, hot thermal pools at the bottom of silica terraces and enjoy the silky smoothness of your skin and the warmth that spreads throughout your entire body. Water has been shown to help regenerate collagen, strengthen bones, and boost immune.

Before entering the steam, walk around the silica terraces or see a Māori cultural performance.

DeBretts Spa Resort:

The best all-year-round relaxation and leisure destination is DeBretts Spa Resort! There’s something for everyone here, from the mineral waters of the historic Taupo Hot Springs to their modern Living Waters Spa and award-winning Taupo Holiday Park. Inhale the fresh forest air while resting in these outdoor pools with bubbling hydrotherapy zones surrounded by lush landscaping and natural vegetation. There are a variety of spa treatments offered on-site to help you recuperate your mind, body, and soul. The widely regarded full-body thermal mud wrap will envelop you in bliss.

Choose your own Taupo DeBretts experience. Their accomodation options range from luxury hotels to Kiwi favourites including motels, cottages, campers, and campervan/RV sites, all within walking distance of Lake Taupo and a million miles away from worry.

Get ready to immerse yourself in an ultra-relaxing experience in New Zealand’s special hot springs.

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Sustainable Hospitality Alliance forms cooperation agreement to accelerate positive change across the tourism sector

The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance (the Alliance have formed a co-operation agreement to accelerate positive change across the tourism sector.  

Through the partnership, the Alliance and Travalyst aim to accelerate the industry on the path to net positive hospitality and create a positive impact on the communities and destinations the travel sector serves. The strategy combines both the Alliance’s and Travalyst’s technical and sector-specific expertise with the scale and reach of their respective members to further enhance joined-up action on sustainability across all parts of the industry. Initial areas of collaboration are intended  to enhance understanding of the latest in innovation and key sustainability indicators, to advance common measurement and empower positive consumer choices.

The travel and tourism industry brings huge economic, and other, benefits to communities worldwide. Prior to the pandemic, the industry accounted for over 10% of global GDP and over 10% of employment. While this provides great opportunity for people from within the local communities from all backgrounds, with the number of tourists travelling across borders expected to reach 1.8 billion a year by 2030, the industry needs to ensure this growth is managed with environmental and social impact accurately measured for. Last year the Alliance launched its Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality in direct collaboration with the hospitality industry and its value chain, including in consultation with Travalyst. The Pathway first outlined the environmental ambitions across four stages which take account of the different levels of sustainability maturity across the industry. The latest part of the Pathway now incorporates social and economic elements, bringing together people, planet, place and prosperity to create a better and more sustainable future for all. The framework provides pragmatic direction, over four stages, which enables every hotel to advance their positive impact, no matter their starting point. 

Glenn Mandziuk, CEO, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, said: “I have been involved with the hospitality industry for all my career and have witnessed the immensely positive impact it can have – especially where the business sector works in harmony with their local communities and ecosystems to tackle the pertinent issues for that region and ensure the benefits are reaching those who most need them. I am delighted to welcome Travalyst as a strategic partner. We each recognise the need to protect our planet and its people and places, and bring expertise from our complementary parts of the tourism ecosystem. I am confident we can work together to accelerate the industry on the path to net positive hospitality.”

Sally Davey, CEO of Travalyst, said: “The strategic partnership with the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance marks another significant milestone in Travalyst’s mission to change the way we travel for good. Our active collaboration will make our frameworks even more robust, ensuring operators can contribute in a meaningful and scalable way. A lack of access to reliable, consistent information has been cited as a barrier to travellers making more sustainable choices, so collaborating on bringing clear and comparable data to the mainstream will not only make it easier for customers, but reduce the impact on operators to manage information requests.”

The Alliance network comprises world-leading hotel companies, including Hilton, IHG Hotels and Resorts, Marriott International and Radisson Hotel Group, as well as regional brands and other parts of the hospitality value chain, including owners, investors and suppliers. Travalyst’s coalition comprises nine of the biggest brands in travel; Amadeus,, Expedia Group, Google, Skyscanner, Travelport, Group, Tripadvisor and Visa.


Independence Day August weekend: Destinations that Indians love to visit

Long weekends energise everyone, whether you are a last-minute packer or a thorough planner. A common ambition among tourists is to visit a region that provides unique experiences while minimising the hassles associated with visa formalities, language hurdles, and long-haul flights.

Plan ahead of time for the two upcoming long weekends, August 12-16 and August 26-30. We’ve made the ultimate wish list for you, and it’s now up to you to complete your leave application. Whether you like alone travel, a journey with companions, a family holiday, or exhilarating activities, these conveniently placed nations provide it everything.

Sri Lanka

Flight Duration: 3-4 hours

Visa Process: Sri Lanka ETA

Sri Lankan tourism has grown significantly over the years, attracting a varied spectrum of visitors, including many Indian families. The island nation has a rich cultural legacy, magnificent scenery, and lovely beaches, making it an ideal destination for Indian travellers on a budget. Sri Lanka’s affordability, along with its proximity to India, makes it a perfect vacation destination for families looking for an affordable yet entertaining trip. Sri Lanka offers a range of experiences at affordable pricing, from seeing ancient ruins and lush tea plantations to enjoying water sports and wildlife safaris, making it a popular choice for Indian families looking for unforgettable trips.


Flight Duration: 3-4 hours

Visa Process: 3-4 days of processing (30 days)

Azerbaijan has a wide range of activities to offer, from experiencing the old walled city of Baku with its modern architectural marvels to exploring the picturesque landscapes of the Caucasus Mountains and the gorgeous Caspian Sea shoreline. Visitors may immerse themselves in Azerbaijan’s rich legacy by visiting old historical monuments, indulging in local cuisine, and enjoying thriving arts and music scenes. Azerbaijan is rising as an intriguing destination for global travellers looking for new and adventurous activities, thanks to its friendly hospitality and expanding infrastructure.


Flight duration: Average 4 hours

Visa process: No visa for Indians

Seychelles, located near the equator on the Indian Ocean, is a wonderful tourist location with nice weather all year. Indians may visit Seychelles without a visa by taking a 4.5-hour journey from Mumbai to Mahé on Air Seychelles, the country’s national airline. Other carriers, including Air India, IndiGo, Emirates, Ethiopian, and Qatar Airways, provide connecting flights from other Indian hubs. While Seychellois Creole is the official language in Seychelles, English is widely spoken and understood. 

As a result, Indian visitors may converse with locals and traverse the site without difficulty. Indian rupees may be exchanged for Seychellois rupees at approved currency exchange desks at airports, hotels, and banks. Carrying cash in small quantities is preferable because not all local businesses take credit cards. Seychelles, with its 115 islands, is an ideal location for island hopping. Each island, from the inner islands of Mahé, Praslin, and La Digue to the distant islands of Aldabra Atoll and Desroches Island, provides a unique escape to the world of tropical delights. You can discover world-class water-based sports such as diving, snorkelling, kayaking, surfing, and sailing anywhere you go in Seychelles.


Flight duration: Average 3-4 hours

Visa process and duration: Visa-on-Arrival (15 days)

Thailand is one of the most accessible and cheap tourist destinations in the world, offering breathtaking scenery and gastronomic pleasures. There are several airline alternatives from India’s major cities to Bangkok and Phuket, both of which are only a 4-hour flight apart.

The Southeast Asian country has also implemented e-Visa-on-Arrival to make visa acquisition easier for Indians. The country also provides a variety of low-cost lodging, transportation, and dining choices, making it a budget-friendly vacation.

Because Thailand is a tourism-driven country, tour guides, hotels, hospitality personnel, and even local sellers can speak in English, making it much easier for Indian travellers to traverse the country. Most major Thai banks and money exchange outlets accept Indian rupees.


Flight duration: Average 4 hours

Visa process and duration: Visa-on-Arrival (30 days)

Vietnam Airlines and VietJet offer direct flights from Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata to Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Phu Quoc, making it one of the closer destinations to India. You may apply for an e-Visa on their official website, pay a little cost, and obtain your visa in four working days. Because Vietnam is a tourism-driven country, local tour guides and sellers are fluent in English.

Foreign currencies may be easily converted into Vietnamese Dong at airports, banks, and other approved currency exchange jewelery stores around the nation. Beyond the tourist traps, Vietnam has a lot to offer, particularly the beach cities of Mui Ne and Nha Trang.

If you stay at an all-inclusive hotel like The Anam Vietnam, which is easily accessible from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, you can not only enjoy world-class culinary experiences, but you can also visit historical relics of the former Champa Kingdom, which ruled south-central Vietnam and has an ancient Indian connection. You may go to the centuries-old city of Phan Thiet and its Hamu Lithit hamlet. It was named by the Cham people and first appeared on the world radar in 1995 as a result of a unique solar eclipse observation. Adventurers may go on a desert safari over white and red dunes, view the fairy stream, and even visit a fish sauce museum. 



Flight duration: Average 3 hours

Visa process and duration: e-Visa application (30 days)

Oman is an exotic destination replete with incredible attractions and unique experiences. Its capital Muscat is a gem for travellers seeking a culturally immersive vacation.

The port city is famous for its vibrant souq and seafood. It is also a great place to trek, spot dolphins, and indulge in Omani hospitality at clifftop resorts like Shangri-La Muscat. This resort’s private beach happens to be one of the top five turtle nesting sites in Oman.

If you visit between February and September, you can witness more than 100 turtles from the endangered hawksbill and green turtle species and their hatchlings returning to the sea. You can join hands with the hotel’s Turtle Ranger to protect their nests.

The Oman Electronic Visa (eVisa) allows Indian citizens to apply for an Omani visa online in minutes by paying the fee and getting it via email within five business days. Oman Air, Air India, Vistara, and IndiGo offer direct flights. English is widely spoken and the Indian rupee can be exchanged for Omani Rial at airports, money exchange companies, banks, and hotels at a standardised rate.


Flight duration: Average 3-5 hours

Visa process and duration: Visa-on-Arrival (30 days)

Qatar is a dynamic desert peninsula bordered by a stunning coastline, full of natural and cultural attractions, and has been named the safest country five times in a row by the Numbeo Crime Index 2023. Qatar Airways, the national carrier, links Doha to more than 160 destinations on six continents. Qatar is easily accessible due to its free visa-on-arrival policy for nationals of over 95 countries, including India, and an average travel distance of 3-5 hours from everywhere on the planet.

With the updated Hayya platform, the visa application process for all other nationalities is straightforward. Qatar provides the finest of the Middle East in one secure and accessible location, with world-class hotels, restaurants, beaches, and a vibrant environment. Qatar, as a country, offers the ideal blend of indoor and outdoor sun, sea, and sand activities, making it a fantastic match for all types of tourists and budgets.

Doha’s Hamad International Airport has been named the ‘Best Airport in the Middle East’ and the ‘Third Best Airport in the World’ by Skytrax World Airport Awards. Because Bollywood has such a huge cultural effect, meetings with Hindi-speaking people are regular. In airports, malls, and souqs, Indian cash may be exchanged at standardised rates. Qatar is blessed with year-round excellent weather for a variety of activities, and its strategic position makes it an ideal stop-over destination. Qatar is a top-tier destination for everyone since it combines modernity and history.


Flight duration: Average 6-7 hours

Visa process and duration: Visa-on-Arrival (60 days)

Mauritius, a tropical paradise recognised for its cultural variety and enthralling natural wonders, provides a simple Visa-on-Arrival process for Indian visitors with modest documentation needs. Airlines like as Vistara, IndiGo, Air Mauritius, Air Seychelles, and Emirates fly from India to this enthralling island nation.

The Residence Mauritius is a superb hotel choice that offers a balanced combination of modernism and history. This coastal property’s architectural design is inspired by ancient plantation mansions. There are other significant spots to visit in addition to water-based activities, including Sancho Island, Riviere des Galets Beach, Black River Gorges, Gris Gris, and Vanilla Nature Park.

A trip to Chamarel is strongly advised if you want to marvel at the multicoloured dunes. Mauritian rupees are the local currency in Mauritius, and may be easily obtained by converting Indian rupees at the airport, money exchange facilities, travel agents such as Thomas Cook, or banks. English is spoken fluently by certified tour guides, hotel personnel, and local hosts. Hindi, one of the languages brought to Mauritius by Indian migrants in the early 1800s, is widely spoken, making it handy for Indian tourists.


Travelex launches Heathrow’s first automated FX kiosk

Travelex launched a new automated, self-serve currency kiosk that affords customers more choice and convenience in their foreign exchange transactions.

Installed within the Travelex landside departures store at Heathrow Terminal 2, the first-of-its-kind kiosk enables customers to place their order at a touch screen kiosk before collecting their cash from a designated ATM machine. The process is fully automated, meaning no human interaction is required.

Customers will be able to choose from an initial five currencies that reflect the main currency profiles in Terminal 2 (Euro, Swiss Franc, or US, Canadian or Australian Dollar), and – unlike ATMs – a cash withdrawal limit imposed by financial institutions won’t apply, enabling customers to order more currency than permitted at a traditional ATM.

An initial two kiosks and three designated ATMs have been installed at the Heathrow Terminal 2 store. To ensure Travelex continues to meet the varying needs of its customers, the ATMs also provide regular ATM services for those who wish to directly withdraw either GBP or a smaller amount of foreign currency. The kiosks will be supported by Travelex sales consultants, who will be on hand to assist with any queries and support customers with their transactions if required.

The launch of the kiosk marks the latest milestone in a new digital-focused approach from Travelex. As part of this new approach, the company is increasing investment in developing digital solutions, launching more innovative products, and moving more nimbly in the style of a tech brand, whilst ensuring the customer remains at the heart of its product design.

Earlier this year Travelex relaunched their Travel Money Card app in partnership with KAYAK, enabling customers to order a Travelex Money Card or cash, manage their card, and search for flights, stays and rental cars through the app. Late last year the company also launched the retail FX industry’s first ATM click & collect service in the UK and Australia – a service that has subsequently been expanded across Heathrow, Manchester and Birmingham airports in the UK. The company has also been increasing investment into ‘digital first’ airport experiences, including self-service stores and ATMs, across their international store portfolio.

Richard Wazacz, Travelex CEO, said: “Convenience is at the heart of our proposition, and so we are really excited to launch a new digital product that complements our existing services and further simplifies our customers’ access to travel money. As we continue to digitally transform both the front and back end of our business, the automated currency kiosk represents another significant landmark in that journey.”

Fraser Brown, Director of Retail, Heathrow said: “I am delighted that Heathrow’s longstanding partnership with our foreign exchange provider Travelex continues to grow and evolve. The launch of fully automated FX services is part of Heathrow’s recent digital acceleration, offering passengers greater choice on how they journey through Heathrow and supporting our vision of delivering the best airport service in the world.”


Greece tourism at stake as fire engulfs

The terrible flames that ravaged the Greek island of Corfu are being blamed on arsonists.

After investigating three areas where the flames broke out on Mount Pantokratoras, Corfu Mayor Yorgos Mahimaris decided that the fires were purposefully caused. Theofanis Skembris, the deputy mayor of North Corfu, agreed, claiming that four fires started at the same time, prompting investigators to suspect arson.

The fires in Corfu forced large evacuations, and firefighting operations, including the evacuation of tourists were stepped up to put out the flames. The situation has subsequently improved, with the majority of the flames now under control, although officials remain on high alert. Chariton Koutscouris, Corfu’s deputy mayor for tourism and building, voiced his dismay, criticising those who gain joy from causing harm to others.

The Corfu fires were part of a larger wildfire outbreak in Greece, which saw 82 fires registered across the nation. Approximately 19,000 people were evacuated from various sites on the island of Rhodes alone as the fires persisted for a sixth day.

TUI provides information on the current situation

TUI has reassessed the current situation due to the ongoing challenging situation caused by the forest fires on Rhodes. In order to ensure the safety of the guests and to be able to offer them a trouble-free vacation time, the following measures have been taken:

All TUI Reisen bookings to Rhodes will be canceled up to and including Friday 28 July 2023. No guests will be brought to the island up to and including Friday. All scheduled flights to Rhodes take place without holiday passengers in order to bring guests back to their home countries. Guests with bookings whose vacation begins in the coming days up to and including Sunday, July 30, 2023 can rebook to other destinations free of charge or cancel their trip. TUI recommends all travelers to Rhodes who plan to start their vacation in the coming days to switch to other destinations.

All TUI Reisen bookings to the south-eastern part of the island will also be canceled up to and including Sunday, July 30, 2023 (see list of affected hotels).

For further information, the holidaymakers concerned are asked to contact TUI. The group is in contact with the local authorities in Rhodes, the South Aegean region and with the Greek government in Athens. On Monday morning, TUI deployed six additional aircraft to bring holidaymakers from Germany and the UK back to their home countries.

The group had around 39,000 guests on the island, of whom 7,800 were affected by the situation. They have been transferred to other locations on the island and are staying in hotels or in accommodation designated by the local authorities. More than 300 service employees in the southeast of Rhodes ensure the safety of TUI guests and provide them with alternative accommodation, food and drinks. The situation on site is constantly evolving and changing and is regularly reassessed by the travel group.

List of affected hotels in the southeast of the island:


Absolute Kiotari Resort

Boutique 5 Hotel & Spa

Gono’s mansion

LABRANDA Kiotari Miraluna

Lindian Village

Lindos Imperial Resort & Spa

Mayia Exclusive Resort & Spa

Mitsis Hotel Rodos Village

Mitsis Rodos Maris Resort and Spa

Princess Andriana Resort & Spa

Princess Sun Hotel

Rodos Princess Beach Hotel


Atlantica Dreams Resort

Ambelia Hotel (ex. Zenith Seaside Hotel)

Gennady Grand


Magic Life

Atrium Prestige


Amaryllis Hotel Lardos

Lindos Princess

Cosmos Maris


Aqua Grand of Lindos exclusive deluxe resort

Elena Studios

Raphael Studios

Lindos View

Mitsis Lindos Memories Hotel


Amfitriti Hotel and Studios

Evi Studios

Finas Hotel and Apartments

Hotel Ziakis

Island Blue Hotel

Lindia Thalassa Resort

Pefki Islands

Pefkos Village Resort


White Olive Premium Lindos


Lindos Blu

Lindos Grand Resort & Spa

Lindos Mare

Lindos Royal

Lindos Village Resort & Spa

Lindos White Hotel & Suites

TUI BLUE Lindos Bay

An ABTA spokesperson said: “ABTA is continuing to work with members to support customers affected by the wildfires in Rhodes. We understand that some of the resorts have had their evacuation order removed by the Greek authorities and people have been advised that they can return to the resorts of Lindos and Pefkos. Travel companies will be liaising with their accommodation providers to ensure that they are ready to receive customers and customers will be notified accordingly.”

The flames not only wreaked havoc on the environment, but they also had a substantial impact on the mainly tourist-dependent economy of Greece’s islands. Tourism accounts for 18% of Greece’s production and employs one in every five people, with specific islands, such as Rhodes, relying substantially on the industry. The tourism industry is set to suffer significant consequences as thousands of visitors return home after their vacations were disrupted.

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TTC Line 3 train derails in Scarborough

During rush hour on Monday evening, a TTC Line 3 train was involved in a major incident in Scarborough, causing it to split and derail off the rails.

The incident occurred at Kennedy Road and Ellesmere Road, and several passengers were treated for injuries. According to Deputy Fire Chief Jim Jessop, five people were sent to the hospital for evaluation, with minor injuries.

According to a TTC representative, the incident occurred after the train’s back car on Line 3 became detached from the remainder of the train. The train’s 44 passengers were evacuated as a result of the crisis. Rick Leary, the TTC’s CEO, apologised to all impacted and vowed an immediate investigation to establish the source of the event. Safety is still the number one concern, and Line 3 Scarborough will continue to run using shuttle buses until train service can be restarted safely.

The TTC stopped service between Kennedy and McCowan stations while the Ellesmere station was closed for investigation. During the disturbance, shuttle buses were sent to help passengers.

Line 3 Scarborough, a 6.4-kilometer intermediate capacity rapid transit line with six stations that started in 1985, presently has trains that are 10 years old. The line will be decommissioned in November and replaced by buses until the Province of Ontario completes the Scarborough Subway Extension in 2030. As the inquiry continues, more information about the occurrence will be made available to the public.