Home to 550 species of birds and 100 species of mammals, Assam’s Barak Valley has received approval from the government for a second Wildlife Sanctuary. The Barak Bhuban Wildlife Sanctuary will be perched between the Barak river and the Sonai river over an area of 320sq km. The area boasts of eight distinctive species of primates such as hoolock gibbon, capped langur, slow loris, Assamese macaque, stump-tailed macaque, rhesus macaque, pig-tailed macaque and phayre’s leaf monkey. The Chachar Forest Division also enlists the place as an important habitat for king cobras. The establishment of the wildlife sanctuary sows hopes of employment opportunities for the locals of the valley as well as a boost to the valley’s tourism.
Following reports of Thailand becoming the first Asian country to decriminalise Cannabis in the previous month, the South-East Asian nation is in talks to establish legal casinos to boost tourism. In a bid to tempt tourists, Thai lawmakers have proposed permission to establish entertainment complexes with legal casinos in all prime cities across the country to the Parliament. Greater Bangkok is being eyed to house the initial casino and southern provinces such as Phuket, Krabi and Phang Nga are to follow. The facilities are expected to bring annual tax revenues of 400 billion baht (1,100 crores) to Thailand’s economy.
Passengers can now skip the previously compulsory detour to pre-approved cities and quarantine prior to reaching the Chinese capital. Beijing has opened doors for inbound direct passenger flights for the first time since the ban by the Chinese Civil Aviation Administration in 2020. ANA will resume weekly flights from Narita, Japan in August while Air China has resumed a direct flight from Paris, France once a week. Even as quarantine rules relax, the increase in inbound flight activities to the city currently limits airlines to one international flight a week with ceilings on passenger numbers. The future of air travel to China is gradually steering north with cuts on Covid-19 restrictions as Chinese airlines plan to increase overseas services. Air China hopes to restart multiple flights to and from Europe and Asian countries while China Eastern Airline. Corp has set targets to operate 130 international flights per week in the near future.
Uttarakhand has called the attention of trekkers and mountaineers with the opening of 10 high-altitude trekking routes and 30 peaks. Trekkers can anticipate exploring the Nanda Lapak, Yan Buk, Ratangarian, Mahalay Parbat, Bhagnyu, Pawagarh, Lamchir South, Narayan Parbat and Nar Parbat. Peaks greeting tourists include Rishi Pahar, Guru Parbat, Devtoli, Manda II, Manda III, Rishi Kot, Avalanche, Kali Dhang and Bhirgu Parbat. At a staggering average height of 6,000m above sea level, the state government welcomes adventurers to magnify tourism. In efforts to sustain the ecology of the regions, climbers will be mandated to submit INR 10,000 per team on entrance, and the amount will be remitted upon presenting the waste accumulated during the trip while returning. The announcement also caps visitors to 12 teams of 10 members twice a year. Trekkers and mountaineers will be guided by eco-development committees for safety and ease of visitors as well as income opportunities for locals.
Azerbaijan Airlines has commemorated ticket sales for direct flights between Baku and New Delhi with the first tour from the Indian capital scheduled on the 10th of August. Inbound flights from Baku will be operational on Tuesdays and Fridays while flights from New Delhi will depart on Wednesdays and Fridays in a bi-weekly affair. Emerging as a popular tourist destination country, the capital city of Baku is proud of sandy beaches perched on a serene 20kms long coastline, volcanoes and a breath-taking cityscape where history marries modernity. Tickets are available on the official website of Azerbaijan Airlines and affiliated agencies. Meals and free baggage allowance (23 kgs for economy class and 32 kgs for business class) are included in the tickets. International travellers to Azerbaijan are required to submit official Covid-19 vaccination or recovery documents for eligibility to enter the country.
Sudrisha Goswami hopes to connect people with engaging stories from spectrums of art, culture, design and communities. She can be spotted sipping a cup of hot chocolate on any given day with a book in her hand and her eyes scanning crowds for different journeys.