Positive sign for travel agents, Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) said ARC-accredited travel agencies saw a 328% year-over-year increase in airline ticket sales in August 2021.
“Airlines and travel agencies were anticipating a decline in overall sales and passenger travel in August as new mandates and border restrictions began to take effect in July,” said Steve Solomon, vice president of global sales, marketing operations and customer experience at ARC. “Our data shows that the decline starts to stabilize towards the end of August. Over the next few months, there will be some uncertainty and volatility as schools reopen, businesses delay return-to-office dates, and countries introduce new travel restrictions. “
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According to the CRA, the consolidated dollar value of tickets sold by agencies in August was $ 3.2 billion, up from $ 715 million in August 2020 but down from $ 4 billion. of July 2021 dollars.
The ARC also reported that the total passenger trips settled by the ARC in August increased 151% year-on-year, from 6 million to 15.2 million, and that domestic passenger trips and internationals in the United States grew 145% and 168% year-on-year, respectively.
In total, domestic passenger travel in the United States reached 10.9 million and there were 4.3 million international trips.
Airline tickets have also increased. In August, the average price for round-trip tickets in the United States rose to $ 398, more than $ 70 from $ 321 in August 2020.
Sikkim: Sikkim, which borders Tibet to the north and northeast, Bhutan to the east, Nepal to the west and West Bengal to the south, is one of the most popular tourist states in the northeast from India. Hosting Kangchenjunga, India’s tallest peak and the third highest on Earth at 28, 208 feet, Sikkim is certainly one of the most refreshing and must-see places to explore in India.Also Read – THIS Indian State To Lift COVID-Induced Restrictions From November 1
From rough mountains, deep valleys, dense green forests to rivers and waterfalls, Sikkim truly has all the potential to provide a visual feast for visitors. In addition, passes like Nathu-la, Jelep-la, Cho-la and many others which were once important passageways between Sikkim and Tibet are worth the detour. Also read – If you have an Indian passport, you can travel to these countries on a tourist visa
Another point of interest here, as we already mentioned above, is Mount Khangchendzonga floating above the cloud-covered Lower Himalayas and towering over the Sikkim landscape. Also Read – Covid Travel Update: Thailand Wants To Reduce Quarantine Period For International Travelers
Here, we’ve curated an essential travel guide for those planning to explore the raw beauty of Sikkim and prepare to soak up a calming travel experience. Check it out!
Sikkim Travel Guide To Beating Your Covid Blues – 5 Top Tourist Attractions To Explore
Lachung is a popular town in Sikkim at an altitude of 3000m (9600ft) and about 125km from Gangtok. Lachung’s phenomenal snow-capped peaks attract tourists from all over the world. For the uninitiated, Lachung is inhabited by Lepcha and Tibetan descendants. Besides its spectacular beauty, Lachung also offers ski and hiking trails for adventure junkies. The historic Lachung Gompa Monastery has beautiful ancient inscriptions. In addition, in August of this year, the Sikkim State Government also opened the famous Yumthang Valley in Lachung Village to tourists.
Best time to visit: October to June.
At an elevation of 14,000 feet, 56 km east of Gangtok, Nathula is located along the Indochina border and is one of the most exotic places in Sikkim. Forming an offshoot of the ancient Silk Road, the city can only be visited by Indians after obtaining permits from Gangtok. This beautiful place got its name from the Tibetan words where, Nathu means to listen to the ears and La means to pass. It is one of only two trading posts open between India and China. While it was closed during the Sino-Indian war, the road was reopened in the hope that it would promote the development of trade between the two countries. Some of the popular places to visit here are Nathula Pass and Tsomgo Lake.
Best time to visit: May to October.
Home to the world’s largest statue of Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche, the patron saint of Sikkim, Namchi is located about 78 km from Gangtok and is famous for its Buddhist monastery and scenic spots. This place offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the mountain ranges and the valley below at 1,675 m above sea level. Literally translating to “sky high” in the Bhutia language, Namchi is the seat of the Southern District of Sikkim in northeast India and is the second most populous district in the state. Predominantly Buddhist, the monastery of Shedrup Choeling, the monastery of Dichen Choeling and the monastery of Ngadak are among the many monasteries in the region. The pilgrimage centers, natural wonders and biodiversity of Namchi attract crowds of visitors who come for the breathtaking views of the Rangeet Valley and Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world.
Rimbi Waterfalls, Borong and Ralong Hot Springs, and Temi Tea Estate are other popular tourist destinations. While in Namchi, be sure to visit Tinkitam, the natural habitat of a rare species of terrestrial orchids (other orchids grow on trees) and home to football star Baichung Bhutia.
Best time to visit: March to May is a good time to visit Namchi when the temperature remains moderate. You can also visit between the months of September and November. To attend the Flower Show Festival, visit during the month of February and watch many Himalayan flower species bloom in beautiful shades.
Pelling is located at the foot of Kanchenjunga and is known for the magnificent views it offers. It is located 115 km from Gangtok, the capital of the state of Sikkim, at an altitude of 19.00 m. In fact, Pelling is the closest view to Kanchenjunga that you can get without leaving the comforts of good hotels. Known for its pristine natural beauty, the people of Pelling ensure that the natural and cultural resources of its land remain intact. This has enabled some of the city’s finest tourist attractions to be its waterfalls and lakes.
Khecheopalri Lake is considered one of the holiest lakes in the state. Another tourist attraction in Pelling is Pemayangtse Monastery, the oldest and most important monastery in Sikkim.
Best time to visit: From mid-February to May and September to December.
Located right in the middle of the Himalayan range, Gangtok is one of the most scenic places to visit in India for travelers. Without a doubt, this place presents the perfect picture of India’s large and varied topography. Popular for its vibrant nightlife, restaurants, shopping complexes, pool lounges and more, Gangtok is a favorite tourist destination for many people. Moreover, with the presence of so many monasteries, religious educational institutions and Tibetology centers, Gangtok has become a major center for the culture and learning of Tibetan Buddhism.
One of the things that makes Gangtok such an attractive vacation spot is its geography. It is located in the Lower Himalayas at an altitude of 1,650m, which makes it a cool destination. It sits on one side of a hill with a promenade named The Ridge which houses the Residence of the Governor (Raj Bhawan) at one end and a palace at the other.
Best time to visit: September to June.
For all of you who are planning to visit Sikkim, one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in the Northeast, here are all the post-pandemic guidelines for traveling with ease and enjoying your vacation hassle-free:
> First of all, you must apply for a travel card on the official Sikkim tourism website and be presented at the entry point to RENGPO / MELLI and carry it throughout your stay in case the authorities ask you to .
> If you are fully vaccinated, you do not have to submit a negative RT-PCR report to enter Sikkim.
> The partially vaccinated tourist or under the age of 18 must carry a negative RT-PCR test report.
To make sure your trip to Sikkim is hassle-free, contact reputable Sikkim Tourism operators like https://www.esikkimtourism.in who will relieve you from planning headaches. Once you’re ready to go, here are some of the top attractions to include on your Sikkim itinerary:
Lush Greens Sanctuaries and Parks
Sikkim, India’s second smallest and least populated state, with its dense green landscape, is home to many wild animals and birds. Let’s take a look at the ones you can visit during your stay:
Khangchendzonga National Park: Less explored due to its demographic location, this park is a treat for nature lovers.
Best time to visit: March-May and September-mid-December.
Hours – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Fambhong Lo Shrine: Located about 20 km from Gangtok, this sanctuary is home to the Himalayan black bear, red panda, civet cat, and other rare species of birds and butterflies.
Best time to visit: April – July
Hours: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary: This sanctuary belongs to the beautiful and serene landscape of the Himalayas and is located near Lake Tsomgo (Changu) along the road to Nathula. You can get a glimpse of the national tree of Sikkim which bears the name of Rhododendron niveum in addition to savoring the richness of flora and fauna.
Best time to visit: April-August and October-November
Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary: A paradise for nature lovers and hikers, there is something for everyone in one of Sikkim’s most popular tourist destinations. It also offers stunning views of Mount Kanchenjunga and the Teesta River.
Best time to visit: Morning hours are recommended
Hours: 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Holy caves to rejoice in your Holy Spirit
Marked as Paanch Dham, a visit to these caves should be on your travel list for its rich history and sacredness. For the Buddhists of Sikkim, these four caves are like the Char Dham of the Hindus.
North (Jhang Lhari Nyingphug) – Also known as “Cave of the Heart of the Gods” and considered the holiest of all caves comprising seven small caves representing seven different deities.
How to get there: This is a moderate 3 day hike from Labdang village.
South (Lho Kando Sangphug) – Popularly known as “Secret Dakinis Cave” and surrounded by other sights like Longevity Vase, Hot Springs, Witches Bridge, Witches Stone, Lhakhang Temple.
How to get there: 7 km from the Leg Bazar ship and 20 km from the cave road.
> East (Sharchog Beyphug) – The mysterious cave with an old fable that says it holds the clues to the secret treasure and that is why it is called “the secret cave of the East”
How to get there: only 6 km from Rabangla followed by a 20 min drive. walk.
> West (Nub Dechenphug) – Cave of great happiness which blesses its visitors with longevity.
How to get there: This is a moderate 3 day hike from Nambu village.
For all adrenaline junkies
What should we call a cluster of 28 mountain peaks, over 80 glaciers, 5 beautiful hot springs and over 100 rivers and streams, this is Sikkim for you?
Due to its demographics, it invites many adventure travelers every year who come here to quench their thirst for thrills and excitement while challenging themselves to explore the wilderness. So, let me introduce you to the buffet of activities that you can opt for visiting the state –
Trek – For all of you Here is the list of hikes to choose from:
* Goecha La
* Kanchenjunga base camp
* Versay * Tosar and Lac Vert
Rafting – Fancy taking on the river and experiencing its roar as you navigate its rapids and bends, then don your rafting gear and meet Teesta (the longest and largest river in Sikkim) and Rangit (a tributary of Teesta) .
Best time to visit: March-May
Difficulty level – Beginner – Intermediate – Advanced
Yack Safari– Yak is a majestic animal that can be found in the hills and you can enjoy a ride to Tsomgo Lake, 40 km from Gangtok, and also can go on a 2-5 day yak safari while enjoying the panoramic view from Lake Dzongri.
Paragliding – Who said you can’t fly without wings? All you need is a parachute, an adventurous jump sequence and you see yourself hovering in the sky. You don’t need any training other than a few jump and landing instructions and that’s safe with a qualified paraglider accompanying you during the flight.
Best Places for Paragliding – Tashi Viewpoint, Pangthang, Bojoghari Village
Best time – September – November
The above list is not exhaustive and if you still want more than other fun and adventure activities like camping, mountain biking, ziplining, mountaineering and bike rides to sate your appetite for thrills strong and excitement.
Open only to Indian nationals due to its proximity to China, this is a high altitude mountain pass of ethereal beauty with a breathtaking panoramic view, which is among the favorite tourist destinations for travelers. .
There are several amazing tourist spots in the surrounding area that you can visit –
> Tsomgo Lake
> Baba Mandir
> War memorial and exhibition center
> Menmecho Lake
Best time to visit – May-October
So what are you waiting for to pack your bags and your jet set for Sikkim.
-This article is written by Rahul Chadha
Disclaimer: No Deccan Chronicle reporter was involved in the creation of this content. The group also declines all responsibility for this content.
The travel agency JTB Corp. on Tuesday announced it had sold its head office in Tokyo as well as another building in Osaka as it moved forward on a restructuring effort to consolidate its finances after the COVID-19 pandemic killed demand for its services.
JTB sold the buildings for tens of billions of yen to bolster its cash reserves, a company source said. A spokesperson for JTB declined to comment on details regarding the sale value or the buyer’s name.
The company will continue to use the building in Tokyo’s Shinagawa district as its headquarters on a lease basis, the source said.
The leading travel agency is trying to weather the COVID-19 storm as it posted a record net loss of 105.2 billion yen in the fiscal year ending in March.
Demand fell due to travel restrictions imposed during the coronavirus pandemic, and the company’s capital adequacy ratio fell to 6.9% at the end of March, from 24.3% a year ago.
To cut costs, JTB plans to cut its group’s headcount by 7,200 and close 115 national outlets, or about 25 percent of the total, while raising 30 billion yen ($ 271 million) to strengthen its base. of capital through an allocation of preferred shares by a third party. with financial institutions.
Likewise, its national rival HIS Co. sold its head office in the capital’s Minato district for 32.5 billion yen in order to improve its cash flow.
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American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA), Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) and European Travel Agents ‘and Tour Operators’ Associations (ECTAA) – which , together, representing the interests of hundreds of thousands of travel agencies and employees around the world, collectively call on the leaders of global governments to align their policies in order to restart international travel as safely and quickly as possible. They say reopening the borders should be an immediate priority.
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) reported that travel and tourism was one of the largest sectors in the world in 2019, generating 10.4% of total global GDP ($ 9.2 trillion). Globally, the industry was also responsible for 10.6 percent of all jobs (334 million) and was credited with creating 25 percent of all new jobs.
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The coalition said the recovery of this crucial sector from the devastation caused by the pandemic can only truly begin if global governments standardize their entry requirements, such as vaccine verification and testing protocols. He stressed the urgent need for a universal set of border regulations and agreed with The Economist when he called the current system, “a jumble of rules [that] causes confusion, stifles tourism and leaves businesses struggling to determine who can do what and where.
The agency associations jointly pointed out that, for over a year now, global governments have enacted inconsistent and multifaceted travel restrictions in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. The variety and scalability of these rules has created confusion and uncertainty among travelers, with catastrophic effects on “future bookings and countless other challenges for travel agencies that are members and partners of our associations.”
In addition to hurting small businesses and people employed in the travel industry, this inability to unify entry requirements also hurts the economies of destinations that depend on tourism income and, to some extent, has a huge impact. on the world economy.
ASTA, ABTA, ACTA, CHTA and ECTAA have highlighted concerns about the continued ruinous effects of COVID-19, especially given the new life the Delta variant has breathed into the pandemic. “With continued uncertainty on the horizon, this kind of news makes those who want to travel less likely to do so,” they wrote.
The coalition therefore calls on government leaders around the world to “create an aligned and synchronized response” by 1) rapidly developing a clear and universal set of vaccine tests and standards; 2) relaxation of entry restrictions for fully vaccinated travelers; and 3) supporting the struggling travel agency sector with economic aid measures.
Travel agencies and advisers are an integral part of the travel industry, the group of industry associations stressed, which have for too long suffered “the bitter consequences of the abrupt cessation of travel caused by the pandemic.” . Now more than ever, they play a vital role in helping consumers navigate the vast complexities of travel planning.
Australia could adopt the Travel Pass app to help restart international travel, with the International Air Transport Association – which developed the app – describing its ongoing discussions with the federal government as “encouraging.”
The smartphone app, which records both vaccination status as well as Covid test results, has already been adopted by dozens of airlines, including Qantas, which plans to integrate the app into its systems. here October before a restart in December for the international. flights.
Joyce said the Travel Pass would become “part of the check-in process to ensure that we comply with the countries that require it, as well as our own requirements for people to travel.”
Singapore has also selected the Travel Pass app for use at its international borders as the city-state reopens cautiously in some countries.
The federal government would start issuing “international Covid-19 vaccination certificates” from October as part of a campaign to establish international travel bubbles, which would be based not only on proof of vaccination but on recognition mutual vaccine, because not all countries have approved or issued the same shots.
IATA describes the Travel Pass as a “digital health” app that connects passengers, airlines, governments and accredited laboratories performing verified Covid tests.
“We have been and continue to involve the Australian government, in particular the Australian Border Force, in efforts to restart international travel, including on the IATA Travel Pass,” said Albert Tjoeng of IATA. Executive traveler.
“The discussions continue to be encouraging.
Tjoeng described the Travel Pass as “a tool the Australian government can use when it restarts international travel where testing or vaccination is a requirement of entry.”
“This gives governments confidence in a traveler’s stated Covid-19 status, whether for testing or vaccination, as paper certificates are vulnerable to fraud.”
“Being able to digitally verify travelers’ health credentials will improve the efficiency of airlines, airports and immigration authorities in dealing with large numbers of passengers when demand for travel. will increase from the current low figures. “
“Singapore accepts the IATA Travel Pass to enter immigration control, and we hope the Australian government will consider doing so as well.”
Parklife will be underway soon after being canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The massive festival takes place in Heaton Park, about five miles north of Manchester city center, and since it is an off-campsite event, ticket holders must visit and return each day.
The Parklife Travel Pass is designed to make travel to and from the festival site as easy as possible for festival goers.
Read more: Parklife 2021 festival tickets, lineup, dates and all the latest news
Developed in partnership with Transport for Greater Manchester, Metrolink and Manchester City Council, the travel pass can be used on Parklife shuttles or Metrolink services.
Parklife Travel Passes can be purchased online through the Parklife website.
Where to redeem the Parklife Travel Pass for a travel bracelet
Passes purchased online will need to be redeemed for a travel bracelet prior to boarding services – e-tickets are not valid for travel.
Festival-goers will be able to redeem their Parklife Travel Pass electronic ticket for a travel bracelet throughout the festival weekend, Saturday September 11 and Sunday September 12.
Travel passes can be redeemed either at Aytoun Street at the Parklife shuttle departure point, or at the Cathedral Gardens opposite the National Football Museum.
Below are the times when you can redeem your Parklife Travel Pass for a Travel Bracelet:
- Rue Aytoun – 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
- Cathedral Gardens – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Be careful not to lose your travel bracelet as Parklife does not offer a replacement.
Where to take the Parklife shuttle
With direct access to the festival site and a dedicated service, the Parklife shuttle is the easiest way to get to the festival.
It offers high frequency service from the city center from Aytoun Street, which is located on the corner of Minshull Street near Piccadilly Station, M1 2DD.
The shuttle will run all weekend at the following times:
Return buses will leave at 6.30 p.m. between Heaton Park and the city center.
Where to get the Metrolink to the Parklife festival site
To get to Heaton Park using the Metrolink tram network, you will need to board the tram to Bury and get off at the Heaton Park stop.
However, the Heaton Park Metrolink station will close at 6 p.m. on both days of the event.
If you wish to use the tram back to the city center after this time, services will depart from Bowker Vale instead.
Directions to the stop will be signposted by all customer exits.
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UK ski holiday sales appear to be on a rollercoaster right now, with some companies recording record sales, others claiming they are suffering from a lack of stock to sell.
It’s a complicated picture with now several years of pandemic and the impact of Brexit, two important factors.
First, there are a lot of “carry over” vacation bookings, which means most ski vacation companies have more bookings and fewer vacations to sell for next winter than usual.
But then the impact of the virus led many tour operators to scale back their operations, so there are fewer vacations to sell anyway.
Brexit means that it is very difficult for holiday companies to find staff for the chalets (in most cases they must hold an EU passport) and therefore the number of chalet vacations available has also fallen. dramatically for the coming winter.
But there is also a strong pent-up demand for new bookings from skiers who have missed a vacation or two and are looking for that elusive vacation, with some wanting two or three weeks to make up for the missed weeks of previous seasons.
Until now, it has been difficult to determine how many of those large numbers of bookings were postponed bookings and how many new sales in the summer of 2021, but at least one company reports that its sales are booming right now.
“We’ve seen some of our busiest weeks in our 20 years in business over the past month or so – showing that skiers are exploring options beyond tour operators (where we’ve heard that the options are from increasingly limited) and proactively seek broader options. market expertise and tailor-made agent support, ”said Rupert Longsdon, CEO of The Oxford Ski Society.
Mr Longsdon’s statement is echoed by several tour operators who did not want their names or sales figures released for fear of starting a price war, but claimed business had grown significantly.