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South Africa allows Indian tourists to country with renewed restrictions

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Releasing its new relaxed travel restrictions, South Africa has allowed leisure travel for Indians. Now, the country has allowed entry of both business and leisure travelling from India. According to the reports, the travel will begin from November 23, (for business or leisure travel) Indians can send their tourist visa applications to any nearest VFS Global Office.

South Africa’s Consulate General of the Republic is thought to have said that all international arrivals will be allowed but along with the required safety rules and a negative covid-19 test certificate which is mandatory. International travel was shut in Africa from March 2020. The government had decided to open the country’s border for international tourists in October 2020, however, barring India, Germany and the USA, as the number of covid cases is high there.

Now Indians are free to travel to the country but they will have to follow a certain set of rules:

– Compulsory to present a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction test, taken not more than 72 hours before the time of flying.
– In event of inability to present the aforementioned certificate, travellers will have to self-quarantine at their own expense.
– For international flights, the operational airports are Cape Town International; O.R. Tambo International, Johannesburg; King Shaka International, Durban.
– In case your journey begins or involves passing through the ‘yellow fever belt’ of Africa or Central and South America, a yellow fever vaccination certificate is also required.

These are the documents required if you want to apply for a tourist visa to South Africa:

A passport valid for 30 days after the journey dates, with at least two blank pages.
– Three months’ bank statement, with a balance of INR 3,000, officially stamped on the bank letterhead.
– A complete visa application Form-11 (DHA-84).
– Proof of hotel booking.
– A daily itinerary.
– Valid air tickets or proof of a hotel reservation.
– Two passport-sized photographs.
– Passport copies.
– Original cover letter confirming the duration of travel and trip details, signed by the traveller

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Kevadiya railway station becomes India’s first with green building certification

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22 January: Located in Gujarat, Kevadiya railway station has become India’s first railway station with a green building certification. For being India’s first Green Building certified station, it is also registered with the Indian Green Building Council.

The key features of the station paved the way for the city’s public transport spot to build the record. Various installations have been made in the station in order to conserve electricity like LED lights and other branded electrical appliances.

A tribal art gallery is introduced on Kevadiya railway station to attract more passengers. A viewing gallery is also made to enable the visitors to view the Statue of Unity from level three of the station. For water management, several facilities have been installed like rainwater harvesting, eco-waterless urinals, drip irrigation and sewage treatment plant.

Also read: IndiGo launches daily flights between Delhi and Leh starting Feb 22

The station area also has facilities laid for vehicle parking, food courts, landscaping, and others as well like wide traffic way, horticulture plants, thematic park with selfie zone and children play zone.

The country is preparing to facilitate the travel and tourism opportunities for the tourist, these developments are a part of it. Previously, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also flagged off 8 trains in order to ease travel to Statue of Unity from various other regions of the country. With these developments, the access and travel to the world-famous Statue of Unity in India have become easier and sorted as now people can travel directly to Kevadiya through these trains.

For more information on which trains will carry you to Gujarat’s Statue of Unity, read our report:

8 new trains connect to Kevadiya; improves connectivity with Statue of Unity

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IRCTC offers free air fare to passengers booking for Golden Chariot

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22 January: In a surprising offer reportedly, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is offering free air tickets for the passengers who are opting for luxury tourist packages in the Golden Chariot which is a luxury train. This offer can be availed by anyone.

The Tourism and Marketing spokesperson of the IRCTC, Shubham Arya said that they will offer flexibility in booking the ticket dates and that will be according to the demand of the passenger only.

Adding that the train bookings can be done 2 to 3 days in advance, he said that the passengers can also book the tickets 2-3 days after the Golden Chariot tour is completed. He also informed that free airfare will be between Chandigarh-Bengaluru-Chandigarh.

Also read: 8 new trains connect to Kevadiya; improves connectivity with Statue of Unity

Divulging the details of this offer, IRCTC Regional manager MPS Raghav mentioned that this offer is valid for the domestic air travel to and from Bengaluru and Chandigarh and for those who are booking tickets for the luxury train Golden Chariot.

Further, he also added that the Indian railway has introduced 2 itineraries that are first, departing from Bengaluru and covering locations such as Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Goa and then returning to the starting point. Any citizen going fo the higher package of the 2 itineraries would be given free tickets of the train.

These luxury tour packages to South India will provide an opportunity for travellers to understand the cultures and royalty of the Indian region, South India.

The luxury Golden Chariot train will provide the best of the state-of-the-art amenities to the passengers on board. From smart TVs installations, to clean bathrooms, from fire alarm systems to CCTVs for security, the train is keeping all amenities on top priority to bestow the best travel experience of the passengers.

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Seychelles reopens for tourism, allow vaccinated tourists for now

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22 January: The island nation Seychelles located in East Africa is all set to re-welcome the visitors into the country, however only for the vaccinated ones. Setting up the scenarios to reframe the travel in the country and avoid the arrival of more covid cases, both at the same time, the country has developed few travel restrictions.

The visitors in the country must be recognised as ‘vaccinated’ by taking both the doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. Also, they must carry a negative report from the RT-PCR test, that too, not taken prior to the 72 hours of their journey period.

According to orders by the government, Seychelles will welcome the tourists with a two-step approach. In the first phase, it will allow the ones who have taken both the doses of the vaccine and have a negative covid report.

Also read: It snows in the Sahara Desert! Snow-laden pictures hit the Internet

As per reports, the second phase will begin from mid-March’ it is expected that the island nation will vaccine a significant part of its population by that time.

As stated by the country’s Tourism Promotion Board, going by the numbers, it is assumed that as much as 25% of the country’s population will be vaccinated by the mid-March which can allow the government to roll down the second phase. It is also expected that the country may then allow the unvaccinated tourist into the country with only a negative RT-PCR report done within 72 hours of their journey.

Another statement also noted that Seychelles has already allowed Indian travellers to the country, however, by private jet transfers only for now.

As of now, according to the health and travel advisory issued by the government, all the citizens arriving in Seychelles are bound to follow the safety norms including social distancing and wearing face masks.

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