December 2017

Air India to fly Jaipur-Agra-Jaipur from December 8

Online visas drive Australia’s rising Indian tourist arrivals

Hilton launches Hilton Garden Inn in Lucknow

Adventure Rock Hill at Jatayu Earth Centre, Kerala opens for public

Air India is all set to start its inaugural flight on the Jaipur-Agra-Jaipur route from December 8, 2017.

India has emerged as Australia’s fastest-growing source market for tourist arrivals. .

Hilton has announced the opening of Hilton Garden Inn Lucknow, the first Hilton Garden Inn and second Hilton property in Uttar Pradesh, following the opening of DoubleTree by Hilton Agra.

The key highlight of the Jatayu Earth Centre is the world’s largest bird sculpture, which has an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records.

Dear Partners,
Namaste from India!

Long fabled among travellers for its legendary beaches, world-class diving and far-flung location in the middle of nowhere, the Andaman Islands are still the ideal place to get away from it all.
Its lovely opaque emerald waters are surrounded by primeval jungle and mangrove forest, and snow-white beaches that melt under flame-and-purple sunsets. The population is a friendly masala of South and Southeast Asian settlers, as well as Negrito ethnic groups whose arrival here still has anthropologists baffled. Adding to the intrigue is its remote location, some 1370km from the mainland, meaning the islands are geographically more Southeast Asia – 150km from Indonesia and 190km from Myanmar.

This month we bring to you Andaman & Nicobar Islands, as the destination of the month.

Sanjeev Joshi


Online visas drive Australia’s rising Indian tourist arrivals

India has emerged as Australia’s fastest-growing source market for tourist arrivals. One of the main reasons for this is the introduction of electronic lodgement of visa applications for Indian passport holders, which is likely to further boost arrivals. Arrivals from India to Australia grew by 15 percent for the year ended October 2017, with an influx of 294,000 visitors, compared to the same period last year. This makes India the ninth-largest inbound market for Australia, and inches it closer towards achieving its Tourism 2020 goal of 300,000 visitors annually, three years ahead of target.

14.4% growth in foreign tourist arrivals in November YOY

Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) this November were 10.05 lakh as compared to FTAs of 8.78 lakh in November 2016 and 8.16 lakh in November 2015, according to the latest data released by the Ministry of Tourism. The growth rate in FTAs in November 2017 over November 2016 was 14.4 percent as compared to 7.6 percent in November 2016 over November 2015. FTAs during the period January- November 2017 was 90.1 lakh with a growth of 15.5 percent over the same period of previous year, as compared to the FTAs of 77.83 lakh with a growth of 9.4 percent in January-November, 2016 over January-November, 2015. The percentage share of FTAs in India during November 2017 among the top 15 source countries was highest from Bangladesh (16.77 percent) followed by USA (14.77 percent), UK (9.93 percent), Russian Fed. (4.41 per cent), Canada (4.39 per cent), Australia (3.96 per cent), Malaysia (3.50 per cent), Germany (2.90 per cent), France (2.51 per cent), Sri Lanka (2.32 per cent), China (2.26 percent), Singapore (2.04 percent), Japan (2.03 percent), Thailand (1.87 percent), and Rep. of Korea (1.31 percent).

Adventure Rock Hill at Jatayu Earth Centre, Kerala opens for public

Jatayu Earth’s Center – Kerala’s first build–operate–transfer (BOT) model ecotourism project, ‘Adventure Rock Hill’, is now open for visitors. Located at Chadayamangalam in Kollam district of Kerala, the Jatayupara Nature Park was rechristened as Jatayu Earth’s Center. Covering four hills in Chadayamangalam, there are few more ventures pending to make the Nature Park fully operational by April 2018. Adventure Rock Hill is open for a group of 10-100 people, with an entry of Rs 3500 per person. Spread across 65 acres, it offers abundant activities like camping, rock climbing, trekking, 6D theatre, a virtual reality museum, a Siddha and an Ayurvedic cave resort. The key highlight of the Jatayu Earth Centre is the world’s largest bird sculpture, which has an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records.




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Our motto, “The Company that cares”, says it all.






Air India to fly Jaipur-Agra-Jaipur from December 8
Air India is all set to start its inaugural flight on the Jaipur-Agra-Jaipur route from December 8, 2017. The flight will ply between the destinations thrice a week - Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, and will be using an ATR aircraft. The flight will depart Jaipur (AI 9687) at 11:15 am and arrive in Agra at 12:05 pm. The airline will then depart Agra (AI 9688) at 12:25 pm and land in Jaipur at 1:15 pm.

Jazeera Airways sets course for Kochi and Ahmedabad from Jan 2018
Following a successful launch in Hyderabad in November, Kuwait’s leading low-cost airline, Jazeera Airways will now fly to Ahmedabad and Kochi starting January 17 and 18, respectively. Rohit Ramachandran, CEO, Jazeera Airways, said, “This is a major strategic move for us to extend our network into India and provide greater choice and value for the Indian community in Kuwait and broader GCC.


Best Western Hotels & Resorts debuts in Central Delhi with two properties
Best Western Hotels & Resorts continues its rapid expansion plan in India with the addition of two new hotels in New Delhi. They are the first international hotel brand to make inroads into Paharganj in Central Delhi. The pre-opening activities for the newly constructed upper midscale ‘Best Western Plus Central’ have been initiated with a soft opening slated in January 2018. The midscale ‘Best Western Pearl’, which is a conversion hotel, is scheduled to open in September 2018 after renovation. Both the hotels have been designed to meet the needs of the business as well as leisure travellers. Best Western Plus Central will feature 71 well-appointed rooms, including rooms with a private balcony for large families or small groups, a multi-purpose hall, health club, and three F&B outlets. Guests can cool off in the outdoor Jacuzzi, enjoy sumptuous kebabs at the terrace Barbeque that offers a pleasant view of the old city and the distant high rise buildings of Connaught Place. Best Western Pearl will have 35 rooms, one multi-cuisine restaurant connected to a terrace restaurant, fitness centre, and a small conference room. A street café will be added to the facilities offered by the hotel soon. “As we continue our journey in taking the reimagined Best Western brand into the future, we are dedicated more than ever to offer the best in hospitality to our guests,” said Atul Jain, Chief Operating Officer, Best Western Hotels & Resorts – India, Bangladesh & Sri Lanka.

Royal Orchid Hotels opens new hotel in Dwarka
Royal Orchid Hotels has announced the opening of its new hotel ‘Regenta Inn The Dwarika’ in Dwarka, taking the number of properties under Royal Orchid group to 46. Situated at a walking distance from the main shrine of Dwarikesh Temple in Dwarka, the hotel offers a range of category of rooms including Deluxe Rooms, Executive Rooms, Royal Suites, Club Rooms and Family Suites.

Hilton launches Hilton Garden Inn in Lucknow
Hilton has announced the opening of Hilton Garden Inn Lucknow, the first Hilton Garden Inn and second Hilton property in Uttar Pradesh, following the opening of DoubleTree by Hilton Agra.
Hilton Garden Inn Lucknow boasts 125 contemporary guestrooms, including four junior and executive suites. The hotel provides an abundance of amenities to elevate guests’ stay experience, including bedding with hypoallergenic pillows, 43-inch LCD TV and a spacious workstation with Herman Miller ergonomic chair. Complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi access is available throughout the hotel and guests may choose to stay connected and productive at 24-hour business centre, which offers complimentary printing facilities.  



Time Recommends

Tour of the month

Andaman & Nicobar Islands

"Veritable Garden of Eden", as the tourism department of the union territory terms it. Port Blair is capital and largest city of the Andaman and Nicobar island group, with a population of around 100,000.
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands were shrouded in mystery for centuries because of their inaccessibility. These are the paragon of beauty and present a landscape full of scenic and picturesque extravaganza. These islands shimmer like emeralds in the Bay of Bengal. The dense forest which covers these islands and the innumerable exotic flowers and birds create a highly poetic and romantic atmosphere. Here the white beaches on the edge of a meandering coastline have palm trees that sway to the rhythm of the Sea. The beat of tribal drums haunts the stillness and Technicolor fish steer their way through crystal clear water.


Port Blair is the capital of the Union Territory of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. It is located on the east coast of the South Andaman Island. Port Blair is the gateway to the pristine islands. Port Blair is also an Island town offering water-based activities like snorkelling, scuba diving, sea-cruises, and glimpses of the history and culture of the region. The Aberdeen Bazaar forms the centre of the town. Most of the restaurants and hotels are around this area. The main bus station is just west of the bazaar and the Airport 4 Kms. to the south-west. The main passenger dock for ferries-the Phoenix Bay Jetty is 1 Km. to the North West.



The Cellular jail, a National Memorial, is located at Port Blair which stood as a mute witness to the most brutal and barbaric atrocities meted out to national freedom fighters, who were incarcerated in this jail.
The jail, completed in the year 1906 acquired the name ‘Cellular' because it was entirely made up of individual cells for solitary confinement. It originally was a seven-block structure with three stories and a central tower acting as its fulcrum comprising of honeycomb-like corridors. This jail, now a place of pilgrimage for all freedom-loving people draws everyone down memory lane to the years of the freedom struggle. Jail Museum open from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon and from 1:30 pm to 4:45 pm all days except National holidays.

The Sound and Light show in the Cellular Jail narrates the saga of the Indian freedom struggle, brought alive through sound and light effect of the brutal and barbaric atrocities piled on the freedom fighters deported to these islands and incarcerated in the small cells of this jail. This show is very popular among the tourists visiting these islands. Timing: Two Hindi shows on all days at 6:00 pm and at 7:15 pm except on Monday, Wednesday & Friday when the second show is in English at 7:15 pm.

This small island, less than a square kilometre stands right across Port Blair. This island served as the capital to the Britishers from 1858 to 1941 when the Japanese occupied it and converted it to a ‘POW site'. This island homes the ruins of the church, Chief Commissioner's house, the Cathedral and graveyard of the Britishers and few other important landmarks which today is hugged by wild wines and huge roots and trunks of century-old trees. To reach Ross Island, private ferries are available from Aberdeen Jetty except on Wednesday.
Sound & Light show narrating the history can be seen on all days except Wednesday at 5.30 pm.

Havelock is a picturesque natural paradise with beautiful white sandy beaches, rich coral reefs and lush green forest. It is one of the populated islands in the Andaman group with an area of 113 sq. km. and is located 39 km of north-east of Port Blair.
This island, with beautiful sandy beaches fringed with green canopy of the rain-fed forests, beckons everyone to enjoy the frolic and fun at the azure sea.

The Anthropological Museum in Port Blair started in the year 1975-76, is an ethnographic museum. It showcases the four Negrito Tribes of the Andaman viz. the Jarawas, Sentinelese, Great Andamanese and the Onges and two Mongoloid Tribes of the Nicobar viz. the Nicobarese and the Shompens. This museum is closed on Mondays and Govt. Holidays.
Situated opposite Andaman Teal House, Delanipur, Port Blair, this museum create awareness on various aspects of oceanic environment and houses a vast collection of cells, corals and a few species of colourful fishes of the sea around the islands. Closed on Mondays and Holidays.

Corbyn's Cove Beach - The coconut-palm fringed beach, six kilometres away from Port Blair town is ideal for swimming and sun-basking. Facilities like hotels, restaurant, bar, changing room, adventure water-sports are available here. Historical remains like Japanese Bunkers can be seen on the way to this beach. The Snake Island situated just across the beach is popular for scuba diving. The Waves Restaurant & Beer Bar run by Tourism department provides delightful cuisine at reasonable rates in a soothing ambience.

North Bay Beach - The iconic lighthouse of North bay appears on every 20 rupees Indian currency note. North Bay beach which is north of Port Blair provides snorkelling opportunities around its fringing coral reefs. Private ferry service takes you from Aberdeen Jetty across North Bay and brings back after a three-hour stay. The corals at North Bay are spread over a large area. During snorkelling, one can spot many species of fish, lobsters and even clams on the coral reef. Sea walk is the latest addition to facilities there to watch underwater life.

Chidiyatappu - The southernmost tip of South Andaman Island situated at a distance of 28 Kms from Port Blair. Frequent bus service is available from Port Blair. It is famous for bird watching, sunset view, panoramic scenic beauties, and many colours of oceanic view. Swimming can be done at Chidiyatappu. Safety places boards are erected in Chidiyatappu. But beware of crocodiles. The biological park at Chidiyatappu is the added attraction.

Wandoor & Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park - About 29 Kms. west of Port Blair is the famous Wandoor beach known for scenic beauty and is very popular amongst tourists. The range of the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is just across Wandoor Beach. To visit the Marine National Park, boats are available from Wandoor Jetty. Just at the entrance of the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, one can visit the state of art world class Marine Interpretation Centre. It has dioramas depiction of marine world and auditorium. The Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park at Wandoor is at a distance of 29 Kms from Port Blair and covers an area of 281.5 Sqr. Kms. This Marine Park comprises of open sea, creeks and 15 small and large islands, which is one of the best found anywhere in the world. Viewing of rare corals and underwater marine life through glass bottom boats, scuba diving and snorkelling are a lifetime experience.

Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex - This water sports complex, the first of its kind in India, offers aqua-sports facilities including safe water sports and Adventure water sports within one water sports complex. In the safe water sports complex paddle-boats, row-boats, glass-bottom and bumper boats are available. In the adventure sports front, Jet Ski, parasailing, banana boats, speed boats are offered. This complex also offers open-air eateries. The spectacle of marina park that surrounds the complex is enchanting.

Foreign nationals require a permit (RAP - Restricted Area Permit) to visit the Andaman Nicobar Islands, which is easily available on arrival at Port Blair by flight or ship from the Immigration Authorities for 30 days subject to availability of valid visa. This is extendable for another 15 days with permission and the delegated authority to extend permission, is the Superintendent of Police, Andaman District-Port Blair.
The Restricted Area Permit can also be obtained from the Indian Missions overseas and also from the foreigner's Registration offices at New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata and also from the Immigration Authorities at the Airports of New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. Particulars to be filled up by Foreign Nationals arriving at Port Blair during Immigration.

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