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Travellers get confidence back with unlocking phase, OYO index reveals

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January: Coronavirus pandemic’s worse hits were travel and hotel industry, however, amid this OYO claims that India has topped the chart for the hospitality chain as it became the most booked country after the lockdown was removed and global restrictions were also eased down. OYO Travelopedia 2020 report claimed that India topped the charts for OYO as the most booked country, along with Delhi clocked in the most bookings around the world for it in 2020.

OYO Travelopedia 2020 is an annual year-end travel index which is an analysis of actual bookings, cancellations, enquiries and searches taking place on the hospitality chain’s platform. Based on the information bestowed by the index, January 2020 was witnessed to be the most travelled month, however, April 2020 was considered to be witnessing the most number of cancellations across the country as the Centre imposed a national lockdown to prevent the virus spread.

It also said the since many cities are witnessing an unlock, December has been emerged to be the ‘most demanded’ month ahead of the holiday season. The index also revealed that the gradual unlocking process is helping in strengthening the consumer confidence to travel again but safely as major bookings were for October 2 and Christmas long weekends. Over 8.5 million new user bookings were done on OYO app and website this year. Goa was also a hotspot when it came to beach destinations followed by Kochi, Vizag and Pondicherry.

Also read: Air travel to stay uncertain even in 2021, claims CAPA

Talking about the index and the travel scenario in 2020, OYO Hotels and Homes, India and South Asia, CEO Rohit Kapoor said, “The findings of OYO’s Travelopedia is a testament that India is ready to travel again, and we at OYO are here along with our partners ready to welcome them again. I can confidently say that we are emerging stronger out of this crisis compared to when we entered it. While 2021 will be a new learning in itself, we’re hopeful that the changes we have brought in 2020 will set new precedents in the travel and hospitality sector.”

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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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