1. US Consulate General in Mumbai clears visa backlog caused by COVID pandemic.
The Mumbai office stated that following the pandemic, appointment wait times for immigrant visa applicants stood at over two years. But from now on, applicants whose immigrant petitions are current-meaning visas are available and applicants are ready to book an appointment-can schedule their appointments for immigrant visa interviews within the standard time frame.
2. UAE Visa Update: Citizens of 82 countries can now enter UAE without prior visa.
Indian citizens holding ordinary passports valid for at least six months from their date of arrival, along with certain additional criteria like having a US visit visa or resident card or a resident visa from the UK and EU countries (also valid for at least six months), are eligible for a 14-day visa on arrival. This can be further extended for an additional 14 days if needed.
3. Facilities for tourists coming up at Unakoti, ‘Angkor Wat of the Northeast’
Unakoti, known for its centuries-old ‘Shaivite rock’ sculptures in the northern part of Tripura, will soon have a cafeteria, toilets, drinking water, and other facilities for travellers. Presently, only rudimentary facilities exist at the site. The Tourism dept has initiated a move to build a modern accommodation facility at Sonamukhi Tea Estate, 7-8 km away from Unakoti archaeological site.
4. Bhutan halves daily tourist fee in drive to attract more global visitors.
The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is to halve the $200 daily fee it charges tourists in an effort to boost a sector still struggling to recover a year after the end of COVID-19 restrictions. The new rate of $100 per night would come into effect from September and last for four years.
5. Vizag International Cruise Terminal (VICT) to launch services in November 2023.
The Rs 96 crore Vizag International Cruise Terminal developed jointly by Visakhapatnam Port Authority (VPA) and the Ministry of Tourism, can handle 2,000 passenger cruise ships. The port, in association with cruise lines and the Chennai Port/Puducherry government, would make VICT a cruise port of call.
6. J&K received 109 lakh domestic tourists and 16 lakh foreign tourists from Jan-Jun 2023.
Ministry of Tourism has shared tourist figures for Jammu and Kashmir. It was reported that the Union Territory welcomed 109 lakh domestic tourists and 16 lakh foreign tourists between January and June this year, which is much more than what it was last year.
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