Amman (NITN): Jordan Tourism Board recently announced that it has witnessed 30.40 per cent growth in 2018 from the Indian market.
Dr. Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat, Managing Director of the Jordan Tourism Board, elaborated: “The Jordanian-Indian relationship has witnessed a tremendous positive shift throughout 2018. His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al-Hussein’s visit to India in February 2018 has had a cascading effect on the whole dynamics that connect both countries.”
Granting Indian visitors an upon-arrival visa was one of these changes that helped increase the number of Indian tourists visiting Jordan for its remarkable religious and historic sites, such as the Baptism Site and Petra, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Moreover, close to Petra, one can witness a Mars-like nature-crafted setup called Wadi Rum, which, just like Petra, has been incredibly used by big Hollywood studios to shoot some of its most iconic feature films, from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and The Martian to the upcoming hits Aladdin and Star Wars: Episode IX.
Bollywood has recently discovered the magnificence of Jordan as a filming location to shoot some of its feature films, including Krrish 3, and with the recently facilitated upon-arrival visas, Bollywood’s presence in Jordan is promising to be even more fruitful!
On a marketing level, the Jordan Tourism Board executed a number of marketing campaigns in India in 2018 to promote Jordan, which played a key role in presenting Jordan as a go-to destination in the Middle East.”
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which once captivated ancient travellers, continues to enthral a whole new generation as a modern, vibrant nation. From the haunting, primeval starkness of Wadi Rum, the teeming centre of urban Amman, from the majestic ruins of bygone civilizations to the timeless splendour of the Dead Sea, Jordan is unveiled as a unique destination offering breathtaking and mysterious sights, high standard accommodations, exquisite cuisine and countless activities that can provide visitors with inspiration, motivation, and rejuvenation.
Marveling at herds of gazelles and oryx and migrating birds, camping amidst the grandeur of Wadi Rum or Dana Reserve, trekking the ancient caravan trails from the highlands of Moab and Edom, hiking the wooded hills of biblical Gilead, or experiencing the unique, cleansing mud baths of the Dead Sea are just a few examples of the treasures awaiting visitors to this unique kingdom.
The new stream of luxury hotels emerging in Amman, Petra, Aqaba and the Dead Sea is just adding quality to a refined product that is distinct, accessible and friendly; a product that is home to a new display of modern meeting facilities and unique venues for incentive travel as well.
Whether it is a conference for 5000 people, a lavish dinner in the peerless desert of Wadi Rum, a barbecue at the shores of the Dead Sea, or a reception atop a medieval castle overlooking the Jordan Valley, the amicable and competent people of Jordan will ensure a memorable, once in a lifetime experience.
Bangkok (TAN): The government of Thailand has announced extension of the visa-on-arrival fee waiver from January 31 to April 30, 2019. The Tourism Authority of Thailand said the extension will be applicable for citizens of 20 countries.
Under the waiver, citizens from all these 20 countries will be granted stay in Thailand for up to 15 days without having to pay THB2,000 visa-on-arrival fee.
List of countries eligible for the fee waiver
- China, including Taiwan
- Papua New Guinea
- San Marino
- Saudi Arabia
- Ukraine, and
Tashkent (NITN): Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has announced that tourists from 45 countries will be able to visit Uzbekistan visa free, effective from February 1, 2019.
This is the latest in a series of reforms designed to stimulate the Central Asian country’s tourism development, as Mirziyoyev identified tourism and foreign investment as the two priorities for his term when he came to power in December 2016.
Initiatives including the introduction of e-visas in June 2018 have already resulted in an increase in foreign tourist numbers from 2.6 million in 2017 to 5.3 million in 2018. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs anticipates significant further growth in 2019.
National carrier Uzbekistan Airways will take delivery of two new Airbus A320neos and three new Boeing 787 Dreamliners in spring 2019, increasing its capacity on long haul international routes and enabling it to add new destinations. The airline already provides direct flights between London Heathrow and Tashkent, and expects to add a second UK airport to its network this summer.
From February 1, 2019, the following countries will be able to enter Uzbekistan visa free for up to 30 days:
Andorra, Canada, Iceland, Mongolia, San Marino, Argentina, Chile, Ireland, Montenegro, Serbia, Australia, Croatia, Italy, Netherlands, Slovenia, Austria, Czech Republic, Latvia, New Zealand, Slovakia, Belgium, Denmark, Liechtenstein, Norway, Spain, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden, Brazil, Finland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Switzerland, Brunei Darussalam, Greece, Malta, Republic of Cyprus, United Kingdom Bulgaria Hungary Monaco Romania, and Vatican City.
Nationals of France, Israel, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and Turkey were granted visa free access in 2018. Germans will have visa free access from January 15, 2019.
President Mirziyoyev’s 5 January decrees also stated that:
- The existing e-visa scheme will be extended to cover the nationals of 76 countries, and will allow for double and multiple entries;
- New visa categories will be created for pilgrims, students, academics, and for medical tourism, and will be available within one month;
- Hotels must offer accommodation “regardless of the place of residence, citizenship, kinship and marital relations of individuals, as well as other factors that restrict the right to privacy.” This removes restrictions on unmarried couples;
- A list of prohibited sites (i.e. those of security concern) will be published on or before February 1, and clearly marked with signs. Tourists may photograph and film all unmarked sites without restriction.
September 3 (TravelAndy): Japan is setting up an online system to accept tourist visa applications starting with tour groups from China, the Nikkei Asian Review reported.
Japan plans to start the process in 2020 ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.
According to the report, once the system is in place, Chinese travel agencies or their representatives would be able to submit tourist information online. Continue reading Japan tourist visa process to become online
August 2 (TravelAndy): Indian citizens can now obtain 30-day visa-free entry into Belarus. This facility is available only for entry and exit through Minsk National Airport.
However, this facility is not available for people flying in from or flying out to Russia.
To enter the Republic of Belarus visa-free via the port of entry in Minsk National Airport, Indian nationals must have: Continue reading Belarus offers visa free entry to Indians for 30 days
Japan is a different world and if you are thinking of going somewhere but haven’t decided where, consider Japan.
I’ve talked about Japan so much [Check out my Japan guide by clicking here] that my parents decided to go there next. My dad is 65, and mom, 57, and they prefer to travel by themselves together rather than going with a tour operator.
Earlier, this year they went to Bali for three weeks and had a great time and now they are looking forward to Japan. Indonesia is visa-free for Indians but Japan isn’t. So, I took care of their Japan visa application. Continue reading Japan visa for Indians: The importance of a detailed itinerary
June 24 (TravelAndy): A total of 12,000 tourists from China visited Tunisia till May this year, a 56.8 per cent rise as compared to the number last year, said Xinhua, citing Tunisia tourism ministry figures.
Holidaymakers are returning to Tunisia three years after two terrorist attacks hit the industry hard. Around 2.3 million tourists visited Tunisia between January 1 to May 20, 2018, an increase of 21.8 per cent from the same period last year.
Chinese tourists are travelling to the country either as part of group tours or as self-guided travellers. Continue reading China push to Tunisia tourism revival
June 12 (TravelAndy): If you are planning a trip to Hong Kong from Kolkata, have a Plan B ready.
Thousands of rejections of the online pre-arrival registration of visas without allegedly stating a reason have cut down the number visitors from the east Indian metropolis to the autonomous administrative region in China drastically, say reports.
Hong Kong introduced the pre-arrival registration system in January 2017 and the problems started thereafter. Indian nationals earlier did not need a visa to enter the former British colony. Continue reading Hong Kong visa rejections hit traffic from Kolkata
June 1 (TravelAndy): Indian citizens have long been granted 30-day visa-free travel in Indonesia. (ALSO READ: Indonesia visa for Indians- all you need to know)
India is now reciprocating the gesture.
Addressing Indian diaspora at the Jakarta Convention Centre in the Indonesian capital, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Not only do the names of our nations rhyme but also there is a distinct rhythm in the India-Indonesia friendship.” Continue reading India offers visa free travel for Indonesian citizens
It’s not that I had never been to China. But, then you don’t really consider transit through somewhere as actually “going” there!
I have changed planes (and once, an airport) in China during two separate trips. But this time, I was actually intending to get into the country.
My quest for a Chinese tourist visa began at this website. Continue reading How to secure a China tourist visa
April 24 (TravelAndy): Russia has simplified visa procedures for the citizens of 18 countries, including India, to its far east when the visitors are entering the country through checkpoints at the Free Port of Vladivostok.
A list of 18 countries has been approved whose citizens can obtain electronic single entry business, tourist or humanitarian visas when entering the Russian Federation through checkpoints at the Free Port of Vladivostok. This initiative is aimed at enhancing the investment appeal of the region and expanding business ties by facilitating projects involving foreign companies, and attracting more foreign tourists, an official statement said.
The signed directive submitted by the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East contains an approved list of 18 countries: Algeria, Bahrein, Brunei, India, Qatar, People’s Republic of China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Morocco, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Tunisia, Turkey and Japan. Continue reading e-Visas for 18 countries to Russia far east
Since Donald Trump took charge as US President, I found a lot of people around me speculating whether getting a US visa was going to become more difficult. I had been wanting to visit the United States for some time now and last month, I decided to go there in 2017. So, I went ahead and got myself a ten-year B1/B2 visa, which is for visits related to tourism and business in the United States.
The process was long and I would say a little complicated. But I took on one thing at a time and things worked out pretty smoothly in the end.
Read on to find out how to score a ten-year US tourist visa with an Indian passport. Continue reading How to score a ten-year US tourist visa