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- India's first space tourist
Bingo Bindass is
finally going to space. Hardik Gajjar, a science
undergraduate from Ahmedabad, has won UTV's Bingo
Bindass Go to Space Contest to become the country's
first space tourist.
makes minister Soni's job easier
Tourism Minister Ambika
Soni doesn't have to work too hard to promote India as
a destination. Bollywood has done much of the job
already with most of her counterparts keen to tie up
with the land that produces the mass entertainers
denial to Indian girl ruins Xmas party in Canadian
The denial of visa to a
Varanasi girl by the Canadian High Commission in New
Delhi has ruined the Christmas party of her foster
parents in Hamilton city near Toronto.
mesmerises South African schoolboys
Lizo, 17, is the
grandson of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and he is thrilled
to be part of a group of South Africans visiting Jammu
a bonus: Goa tourism minister
Tourism in Goa gets a
boost during the annual International Film Festival of
India and is an extra bonus for the state, said
Tourism Minister Francisco Xavier Pacheco.
'set-jetting' in Britain, Bollywood style
That is the latest
jargon of the travel and tourism industry and, in
simple words, means tourists travelling to the sets
and locations of popular Bollywood and Hollywood films
struggling to cope with Russian tourist influx
offering flights to Goa will have to increase their
capacities dramatically this year to be able to handle
the ever-growing tourist traffic. This fall,
1,400-1,500 Russian visitors are expected to fly to
Goa's resorts every week, as compared with last year's
average of 800-900.
experts to explore parts of ancient Patliputra
A three-member Italian
archaeologist team, in a joint collaboration with the
Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), will explore the
undiscovered parts of the ancient Patliputra, near
to be a partner in Chandigarh Carnival
Canada has been chosen
to be a partner country in the two-day Chandigarh
Carnival to be held here Nov 24 and 25.
can now rent a motorcycle in Rajasthan
Tourists in Rajasthan
can now rent motorcycles to visit their favourite
holiday destinations. It is a novel scheme modelled on
one that has proved a huge success in Goa.
'batik city' seeks to shed extremism image
The ancient Central
Java city of Solo is a quaint city that remains famous
for Javanese batik and other fabrics, despite being
considered a hotbed for regional terrorism.
plans grand shopping festival in December
A 46-day Grand Kerala
Shopping Festival (GKSF) will open Dec 1, at 14
district headquarters across the state, to attract
foreign tourists and buyers.
Island ideal for wildlife enthusiasts
Alaska is considered
one of the prime destinations for people who like to
get far from the madding crowd and who long to spend
their days in unadulterated, natural surroundings.
skies, time to open up land: tourism experts
The Pacific Area Travel
Writers Association (PATWA), a body with members from
70 countries that promotes tourism and is supported by
the United Nations World Travel Organisation (UNWTO),
to offer floating hotels for 2014 FIFA World Cup
If Brazil are granted
the right to host the 2014 World Cup, football fans
from all over the world may find floating hotels to
stay, said Brazil's local government officials.
film buffs boost Britain's tourism revenue
Film aficionados from
all over the world, including India, keen to visit
locations where popular films have been shot, have
boosted tourism in Britain to the tune of 1.8 billion
pounds, according to newly released official figures.
NATO soldiers killed in Afghanistan
Two soldiers of the
NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)
were killed in Afghanistan, an ISAF statement said
to take Indian tourism to new high: Ambika Soni
An Indian festival on
the streets of London, rural, medical and wildlife
tourism, and now helicopter travel to remote areas...
Tourism Minister Ambika Soni is simply brimming with
ideas to make India more visible on the world map.
tourism centre opens in Kolkata
government has set up a tourism information centre in
Kolkata to woo tourists from the east.
India in London
A London street will
bear a striking resemblance to an Indian one, complete
with colour, music and gaiety, when India's Ministry
of Tourism in association with the London mayor
launches the Regent Street Festival Tuesday.
brown bears roam - Kodiak Island is ideal for wildlife
Alaska is considered
one of the prime destinations for people who like to
get far away from the madding crowd and who long to
spend their days in unadulterated natural
ups tourism investment before 2010 FIFA World Cup
As South Africa
prepares to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Mozambique
has decided to invest $600 million in its tourist
ministry now on YouTube
The tourism ministry
Monday launched itself as a Brand Channel on YouTube
and its 'Incredible India' promotional videos will now
be available on the popular video sharing website.
abroad - Great Race or Disgrace?
The new British
government of Gordon Brown has conceded that it is
faced with a culture of drunkenness that is out of
tourism industry to get a big boost
A 32-member Chinese
tourism delegation will visit India from Aug 19-26 on
an invitation extended by Minister of Tourism Ambika
Soni to meet and discuss further cooperation between
the two countries.
motorcyclists to hoist tri-colour in India's highest
Four motorcyclists are
driving from here to Kibber, the country's highest
village located in Himachal Pradesh, to hoist the tri-colour
this independence day
capital heaves sigh of relief - except for strippers
A young stripper
wearing braids and a skimpy black outfit has a bored,
blank stare as she sits slouched on the backrest of a
chocolate-brown leather club chair.
- India's first space tourist leaves for zero gravity
India's first space
tourist, Santhosh George Kulangara, left Tuesday for
the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida where he will
undergo four days of training, including a
zero-gravity flight, ahead of his space flight next
Himachal gears up for festival
By Baldev S. Chauhan,
Shimla, Sep 18 Planning a getaway to Himachal Pradesh
during the Navratri and Dussehra holidays? It may be just too
late now with most hotels reporting mass advance bookings for
the upcoming festival season.
Holidaymakers from West Bengal, Gujarat and some northern states
head in large numbers to the hill state during the autumn
"Over half the accommodation in our hotels located in popular
destinations of Shimla, Manali and Dharamsala have already been
booked so far," said R.C. Gupta, a Himachal Pradesh Tourism
Development Corporation (HPTDC) official.
"We have also made special arrangements to provide vegetarian
fare and meals consisting of fruits to tourists observing a fast
during the Navratri in our hotels," said Gupta.
The HPTDC, with over 50 properties, has hotels located in some
of the most scenic locations of the state. Some of the
properties are heritage buildings - an added tourist attraction.
The state tourism body started online bookings for travellers
earlier this year.
Private hotels, which bag the bulk of the tourist traffic, are
also gearing up for the festival season. Many of the large
hotels have reported advance bookings in large numbers through
travel agents. The budget hotels look forward to walk-in
travellers during the tourist rush season.
"The festival season definitely attracts a huge number of
visitors, after the lean monsoon season," said Rajiv Madan,
general manager, Shimla Hotel and Restaurants Association.
Tourist arrivals in the state till the end of August stood at 5
million domestic and 145,000 foreign tourists, which is higher
than the number last year during the same period, say state
Officials have warned hotels to stick to the fixed tariffs and
not over charge during this peak festival season.
Dussehra is being celebrated this year on Oct 2.
Chhattisgarh wooing visitors from China
By Sujeet Kumar,
Raipur, Sep 18 Tour operators in China have promised to
send their tourists to visit sites of historical importance in
Chhattisgarh, especially Bastar, say top officials of the Indian
state visiting China.
A four-member delegation led by Revenue and Tourism Minister
Brijmohan Agrawal held talks with tour operators and private
investors in Shanghai and Beijing to help promote the hilly
state as a dream tourist destination.
Agrawal, in his five-day trip to China from Sep 14, showcased
the natural beauty of the state and the eco-tourism sites.
"I have held meetings with private tour operators and told them
about the tourism potential of Chhattisgarh. They will now
arrange regular trips of Chinese tourists to the state," Agrawal
told IANS Monday over telephone from Beijing.
"We made presentations at Shanghai on Sep 15 and at Beijing the
next day about the many key tourists sites in Bastar, besides
other historical and well-known Buddhist religious places,"
Among the Buddhist sites mentioned was Sirpur, 75 km from
capital Raipur, where 7th century Chinese scholar Hiuen Tsang
According to Agrawal, the Chinese officials appreciated the
sites of historical importance and scenic beauty in Bastar as
well as eco-tourism locations.
"We held discussion on how to create the world's best quality
facilities around the tourism sites and maintenance of
historical monuments," said Rakesh Chaturvedi, Chhattisgarh
Tourism Board (CTB) managing director.
Agrawal invited Chinese private investors to bring money into
the state's tourism sector and promised to provide special
concessions on commercial tax, sales tax and stamp duty.
Apart from Agrawal, the team also consisted of state principal
secretary T. Radhakrishnan, Rakesh Chaturvedi and senior CTB
official Sanjay Singh.
The Bastar region, spread over 40,000-sq-km, is full of
picturesque hills, valleys and waterfalls. The Kutumbsar caves,
among the oldest existing caves of the world, and Chitrakot, one
of the largest waterfalls in Asia, are located in the region.
Some of the rocks in Bastar are said to be 3,000 to 3,300
million years old.
Chhattisgarh has vast potential for eco-tourism with 44 percent
of the state under forest cover - a dream for tourists and
trekkers. The state government has drawn up a package to develop
infrastructure facilities at its 105 tourism sites.
Agra laser show to bring alive Mughal grandeur
Agra, Sep 18 Tourists coming to the Taj Mahal city will
soon be able to enjoy an audio-visual extravaganza and a laser
show on the historical monument and Shah Jehan, the Mughal ruler
who built it.
A private initiative by the Oswal Tourism and Travel Group here,
the tourist attraction would be at a new auditorium being built
near the Shilpagram, a crafts village on the eastern side of the
The initiative, which will unfold the love story of Shah Jehan
and his wife Mumtaz Mahal, will definitely be a reason for
visitors to stay back in the city for the night, said Ashok
Kumar Jain of Oswal Tourism while announcing the project.
The show is scheduled to begin in January 2007.
The one-and-a-half-hour programme will be complete with
cultural, architectural and historical highlights. It would
centre on a 12-foot-long marble model of the Taj, which will
dazzle in different shades of light and colour through laser
The audiences will have the choice of listening to the programme
in 12 different languages.
A promo of the programme, aptly titled "Mohabbat - the Taj", was
shown at the recently held Indian Tourism conference in Jaipur.
Apart from Shah Jehan's story, audiences will also get glimpses
of the culture of the Braj region and the colourful Indian
festival of Holi.
Jain added that he is currently preparing a set of 24
promotional films for tourists. "Monuments alone cannot keep
their interest alive, they need some good engagements for the
evening also," he said.
Meanwhile, the tourism industry here is looking forward to the
coming tourist season beginning Sep 27 - World Tourism Day.
Hotels have already registered a decent number of bookings and a
number of conferences are on the tourist calendar.
Civic authorities, on their part, are gearing up to upgrade the
infrastructural facilities the city has to offer.
The Fatehabad Road leading to the Taj is being widened and a
number of malls have also opened on this vital stretch to lure
First female space tourist blasts into space
Moscow, Sep 18 (DPA) A Russian Soyuz rocket blasted off Monday
with the first female space tourist on board, heading for a
mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
Anousheh Ansari, 40, an Iranian-American telecommunications
entrepreneur, left Earth with Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin
and American astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria at 6:08 a.m. (0408
GMT) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the
mission-control centre said.
Tyurin and Lopez-Alegria are to remain for six months as the new
crew for the station while Ansari is due to return to earth in
10 days with the station's departing crew.
India's fastest train makes a dream run
New Delhi, India's fastest train, the Delhi-Bhopal Shatabdi Express, had its inaugural run Wednesday, reaching the Taj Mahal city of Agra in just one hour and 56 minutes.Railway Minister Lalu Prasad flagged off the train at the New Delhi railway station. After covering the 199 km run between New Delhi and Agra at a speed of 150 km an hour, it ran at 120 km per hour on its way to Bhopal."Feb 15 will mark the beginning of a new chapter in the history of Indian Railways," the minister
said. "We have started this train as an experiment. We will study the performance of this line and may go for 150-km-an-hour trains on the Delhi-Howrah and Delhi-Mumbai routes also," Lalu Prasad told
IANS. The New Delhi-Bhopal Shatabdi has sparklingly new eight Chair Car compartments with 78 seats each as against 67 seats earlier, an executive coach of 56 seats and two power cars.
full news )
Rajasthan goes big on adventure tourism
New Delhi, Move over camel safaris. Exciting new adventure sports like hot air ballooning, desert skiing and water scootering are set to hit
Rajasthan.This drive by the Rajasthan government will be initiated with an eye to further consolidate its position as the numero uno destination for foreign tourists in the country.
"Rajasthan has been the destination of choice for both foreign and domestic tourists and by offering them more choices on how to spend their getaways, we hope to further increase the inflow of tourists to our beautiful state," Rajasthan government tourism secretary Vinod Zutshi told
IANS. "All this while, people have been coming to visit Rajasthan to see its heritage - from its beautiful palaces to its haunting forts - but now we will give them another reason to come and that will be as the destination of choice for adventure tourism in India."
This initiative by the Rajasthan government began here with the announcement of a 12-day long hot air ballooning fiesta in which 50 balloonists from 11 countries will take part with 20 balloons.
full news )
British travel agencies eye Kerala call centre
Paharganj, a microcosm of India, or is it? (SPECIAL)
Kerala gears up for another tourist season
Incidents of tourists missing in Nepal increasing
Storm in Pushkar after tourist bathes naked
18 climbers missing after Nepal avalanche
Jharkhand works towards first heritage hotel
Jharkhand to feature at London tourism fair
Foodies devour Delhi chefs' special spread
Spain eying more Indian tourists
Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka increase
Shimla's Yak rides upset animal lovers
Rise in sex workers a cause for worry
Jayalalitha promises hotel industry more city space
Bangalore hotels world's third most costly
Scotland to target tourists from India, China
Pomp and pageantry marks Mysore Dasara fest (LEAD)
Mysore decks up for grand Dasara finale
Rajasthan lifts ban on elephant rides to Amber Fort
Russian spacecraft makes safe comeback
Tourists to Britain unfazed by London blasts
Kiwis take flight to India as sports tourists
International mountain biking rally in Himachal
Size-friendly tours for overweight travellers
Gloom looms over sunshine island Bali
Fear of terrorism, violence has risen globally: travel survey
Venezuelan team on Hummer expedition reaches Delhi
Jet setting Indians travelling to Asia, Pacific
Incredible India tourism campaign gets a face-lift
India targets 10 million tourists by 2010
Modi appeals to industry to develop tourism at Lothal
Uganda in tourism promotion deal with CNN
Elephant rides in Amber Fort banned
Srinagar's Dal Lake to get facelift
Shimla woos tourists with golf, paragliding and races
Red tape pulls down tourist submarine
Rajasthan to probe trampling of guide by elephant
Blast at Kuwaiti office in Beirut kills one
Red-tapism hurting Sikkim tourism prospects, say mountaineers
'Blind elephants also carry tourists in Jaipur'
Rains affect major Buddhist shrine at Sanchi
Elephant kills one, injures two Belgian tourists