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On his recent trip to the United States, India's Prime Minister Nahendra Modi confirmed that his country's plan to expand its visa-on-arrival service to 180 countries will include U.S. travelers for stays of up to 30 days.
While we were initially optimistic that the program would be up and running by now, Modi said the expansion will be delayed until sometime next year, most likely coinciding with the introduction of India's new e-visa system in early summer, which will allow travelers to get a visa online prior to their trip. The delay is a bummer, but it makes sense to wait at this point. Otherwise, by the time U.S. travelers got used to the visa-on-arrival system, the new e-visa operation would make it irrelevant.
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There've plenty of grumblings both good and bad regarding the newest airline in India, but only now does it actually have a name: Vistara. The joint venture comes from Singapore Airlines and Tata, the folks behind TajAir.
The full-service airline is looking to bring back the joy of flying in India, which they hope to do with A320s and a touch of Singapore's signature hospitality. The airline will take the keys to their first bird in September and plans to launch operations around the same time. Vistara is pretty confident with the big names behind them, and plan for a 20-strong fleet by their 5th year of operations, including some shiny new A320Neos.
As yoga retreats and tours have gained in popularity, so have the prices of these wellness getaways.
Rainbow Voluntours is now offering a less expensive tour for yogis, that also lets them do good between poses.
Travel Movie Tuesday / Movies / Travel Movies / The Darjeeling Limited / Movie Travel / India Travel / Train Travel / → All Tags
From Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck falling in love in Rome to Julia Roberts circling the globe to find herself, film has played an important role in shaping both the golden years and current day of travel. Thus, we present our newest series, Travel Movie Tuesday, where we detail the most inspiring travel films.
Few movies investigate family bonding, self-actualization, and travel like 'The Darjeeling Limited'. Wes Anderson's flick, about three brothers reunited for a spiritual journey through India while they re-establish their relationship one year after their father's death, had us giggling at some moments and blinking away tears at others, but longing for a long-haul train ride throughout.
Great Projects has put together a once-in-a-lifetime trip to India where volunteers will not only help protect endangered tigers, but they will also stay in the reserve they call home.
The project takes place in the prestigious Kanha National Park, the same location that gave Rudyard Kipling with inspiration to write The Jungle Book.
Jon Hamm spent much of last spring filming his new movie Million Dollar Arm in India and, during a recent press junket, he shared some advice for first time visitors to the country.
Don't Eat The Fruit Basket...
Airline News / Air India / Dreamliner / Boeing / India Travel / → All Tags
Another round of funding and investment is underway in India, and the amount of money that's being thrown around is no joke. The national carrier announced that it has been loaned $200 million by the country's bank, Bank of India, to purchase three brand-new Dreamliner airplanes.
That's not all. Air India expects to raise an additional $500 million from bridge loans and has received a $288 million tax credit to cover the cost of fuel, simulators, and spare parts. If it all comes through as planned, as many as six new Dreamliners could be in the airline's future.
In celebration of a Hindu festival known as Holi, the crews on several SpiceJet flights added a little color to their service by performing a choreographed dance after takeoff last Monday, March 17th. Passengers sang and clapped along with delight, filming the show with their mobile phones and later posting the videos to social media.
The dance seemed harmless, but the subsequent surfacing of videos online ended up shooting SpiceJet in the foot. India's version of the FAA, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), sent the carrier a notice that threatened sanctions and asked for an explanation as to why its license should not be suspended. The DGCA said that the dance could have created an unruly environment on the plane. As you'll see in the video below, even the pilots came out of the cockpit to participate in the organized event. According to reports, a professional choreographer trained about 30 SpiceJet crew members for the dance.
India Travel / Passports / Visas / Travel Tips / Immigration / → All Tags
We’ve seen some good visa news and advice over the last few days, and now we have even more to share. India seems to get be getting on board the technology bandwagon, and they’re streamlining their whole entry process.
The country is boosting its offerings when it comes to allowing visas on arrival to visitors from around 180 countries, and that does include those making the journey from the United States. Right now there’s only like 11 countries that can do this, so it’s certainly quite an expansion. Obviously the thought behind things is convenience, but we’re also thinking that the country is eager to cash in on some more tourist dollars.
Habitat for Humanity is looking for enthusiastic and hardworking people to join a 16-day adventure in Delhi, India.
Volunteers will not only help build decent, safe housing for the community but they will also be able to immerse themselves in the local culture. On their days off volunteers can visit a temple, browse Old Delhi markets or see other nearby places of interest.
Taj Safaris, known for their luxurious Indian jungle lodges in Bandhavgarh National Park, Pench National Park, Kanha National Park, and Panna National Park, are now giving their guests a chance to give back.
Through a new voluntourism program, Taj is working to teach children in neighboring villages the importance of conservation in the national parks. Many kids live near the parks but have never been inside because they can’t afford the cost of a safari drive. Now, Taj Safaris is takes these kids inside and teaching them how each element of the jungle contributes and affects the well-being of the eco-system. They are also hoping to improve the lives of surrounding communities by enhancing basic heath care, education, and incomes.
Flight Attendants / Go Air / Airline News / LCCs / LCC / India Travel / → All Tags
The airline industry is notoriously super competitive when it comes to saving cash and adding some extra fees to make bonus bucks. After all, look at Samoa Air charging passengers per kilogram.
Don't worry, we aren't going to announce a new ridiculous fee from a low-cost carrier; instead the news comes in the form of cost savings from a private Indian airline called Go Air. The 8-year-old LCC has announced they are hiring new flight attendants, no doubt to expand their services in India and the region, and they only want females. The rationale for this sexism? In theory, women weigh less than men and that equates to fuel savings..