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TOURISM AND HOTEL INDUSTRY AWARENESS - October 2019

Oct 2019

Oct 30, 2019

Gatwick Trial Cuts Plane Boarding Time By 10%

  •  The frustration of waiting for someone to put their bag in an overhead locker may soon be over if a trial to get people on planes quicker is successful.
  • Gatwick says it is working with EasyJet to try out new ways to board passengers at the London airport.
  • They include boarding people in window seats first, starting at the back, followed by middle then aisle seats.
  • Gatwick said different boarding methods could reduce the journey from airport gate to seat by about 10%.
  • The airport operator says that the window-to-aisle seat pattern of boarding is best suited for individuals and business passengers.

IRCTC Introduces OTP-Based Refund System For Booking Through Travel Agents

  •  Railway passengers who book their train tickets through travel agents, but end up cancelling the tickets, or cannot travel as the ticket continues to be on the waitlist, can now get a text message directly from IRCTC, regarding the exact refund amount that they are supposed to get from it. 
  • To enable this, the passenger is required to provide the number to the IRCTC authorised agent at the time of booking e-ticket.
  • Under this new process, whenever a ticket booked through the authorised IRCTC agent is cancelled by the customer or a fully waitlisted ticket, IRCTC will send a one time password (OTP) through SMS to the passenger's mobile number.
  • The passenger is supposed to share the OTP to the ticket booking agent, as the ticket booking agent can claim the refund amount only after he shares the OTP.

Australia's 'Backpacker Tax' Ruled Invalid By Court

  •  Australia has used a so-called "backpacker tax" to illegally tax foreign workers from eight countries, according to a landmark ruling.
  • In 2017, the government imposed a controversial 15% tax rate on two visa categories for working holiday-makers.
  • But a court found the levy was in breach of existing treaties with the UK, US, Germany, Finland, Chile, Japan, Norway and Turkey.
  • About 150,000 foreigners travel to Australia every year on working holiday visas, with many finding work in the farming and hospitality industries.

Oct 29, 2019

Pakistan to Offer Tourist Visas to Non-Indian Sikh Pilgrims

  •  The Pakistan government announced that it will give tourist visas to non-Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib through the proposed Kartarpur corridor. It also exempted them from paying a USD 20 fee, levied on Indian Sikh pilgrims.
  • Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will inaugurate the Kartarpur Corridor on November 9, 2019, three days before the 550th festival of Baba Guru Nanak, slated for November 12, 2019.

Oct 28, 2019

Railways to Convert 200 Saloons into 10 Tourist Trains to be Run by IRCTC

  •  Railways has decided to convert 200 saloons into 10 luxury tourist trains to be run by the IRCTC in a bid to regulate the use of the colonial era-style carriages and generate additional revenue for the national transporter.
  • Conceived initially as inspection cars to be exclusively used by railway officials to visit far flung areas, these saloons comprise of two bedrooms, a lounge, a pantry, a toilet and a kitchen which are built to facilitate stay for up to five days.

Oct 26, 2019

White Water Rafting Expedition - Rudrashila' Flagged in at Jodhpur

  •  The white water rafting expedition christened as 'Rudrashila' undertaken by Kalidhar Battalion was flagged in by Lieutenant General VS Sreenivas, General Officer Commanding Konark Corps on 25 October 2019 at Jodhpur Military Station.
  • The white water rafting expedition was organized by Kalidhar Battalion  to commemorate its 75th Raising Day. The team comprising of two officers, four Junior Commissioned Officers and 18 Soldiers led by Major Ravikant Gaurav covered a total distance of over 140 km from Rudraprayag to Rishikesh in the mighty Ganges River in the mountains of Uttarakhand.
  • Lieutenant General VS Sreenivas, expressed that such expeditions in our Army are carried out to prepare the soldiers to overcome adversities with determination and grit.
  • It also helps to promote spirit-de-corps and courage amongst the soldiers. The team also spread awareness among locals on current social issues of 'Swachh Bharat Campaign' and 'Preservation of River Eco-Systems'

Brazil No Longer Require Visas from Chinese, Indian Citizens

  •  Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said that  the South American nation will drop its requirement  for visiting Chinese and Indian tourists or business people to obtain visas.
  • Bolsonaro, a far-right politician, came to power at the beginning of the year and has made it a policy to reduce visa requirements from a number of developed countries.
  • But the announcement, made during an official visit to China, is the first he has made expanding that policy to the developing world.

Oct 24, 2019

Railway Ministry to provide WiFi Services Inside Trains

  •  The Railway Ministry is planning to introduce WiFi services inside the trains in the next four and a half years. The free WiFi service is currently available at around 5150 railway stations in India.
  • The Railways is planning to extend the WiFi services to all 6,500 stations by the end of 2020.
  • Providing WiFi inside the trains is a more complicated technology subject, as the service would require investment, towers would need to put and equipment will need to be provided inside the trains. 
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