Latest in Travel: Second Leopard Reserve in Jaipur, Unlimited Travel in Germany for €9/₹750 and More

Vivid Sydney returns after two years, Germany offers unlimited monthly travel for only €9, Spain opens to unvaccinated visitors—check out our weekly news roundup to know all that’s new in the business of travel.

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In 2017, Rajasthan’s forest department made efforts in wildlife conservation under Project Leopard, after which the number of leopards started increasing at the Jhalana Reserve. Photo by: Sourabh Bharti / Shutterstock

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Jaipur becomes the first Indian city to get two leopard reserves

Jaipur is India’s first city to get two leopard reserves—Jhalana Leopard Reserve and the newly-added Amagarh Leopard Reserve, home to 15 leopards. The latter, spread across a total of 1,524 ha, is located in the Aravalis, and is an important wildlife corridor. Plans to organise leopard safaris have also been announced by the forest department. They will take place in two shifts—morning and evening. Safari bookings can be done through the Forest Department, Rajasthan Government official website.

 

Vivid Sydney returns after a two-year hiatus

For the next 23 days, Sydney will witness Australia‘s largest light show—Vivid Sydney. The annual festival, currently in its 12th year, will run until June 18 starting today, and transform the city’s iconic landmarks into a spectacle fusing light installations, music performances and 3D projections in collaboration with local and international artists. Interestingly, the Sydney Opera House (among other monuments) will turn into a giant, animated canvas. “Known as Lighting of the Sails, this year Sydney-based creative technologists Curiious will bring to life the stunning Martumili collective painting Yarrkalpa – Hunting Ground, Parnngurr Area 2013 across the spectacular sails, extending the Martu Artists’ stories beyond the walls of a gallery,” reads an official statement on the website. For more details, visit www.vividsydney.com.

 

Germany offers unlimited travel for only €9/₹750 a month

Deutsche Bahn (DB), which runs most trains in Germany, has launched a ticket costing €9/₹750. The pass—valid on “Regional Express” trains that link cities and towns along the 80-160 kilometre stretch—offers a full month of travel in June, July or August. All local services, including S-Bahn and U-Bahn metro trains, as well as trams and buses, are included in the deal. While there is no limit to the number of tickets and no restrictions on journeys, Intercity expresses classed as IC, ICE and EuroCity are not included. As of now, masks must be compulsorily worn on trains.

 

Venice delays “tourist tax” on day-trippers until 2023

Initial talks suggested that day visitors (anyone not booked in a hotel for at least one night) would have to pay $10 as part of Venice’s new tourist entrance fee starting this June. However, implementation of the plan has now reportedly been postponed until early 2023. The move hopes to get day tourists to make a reservation to enter Venice via an app. The Venice town council said the booking app and online payment system will begin operating in January 2023. In a tweet dating April 18, Venice mayor Luigi Burgrano that the fee was the right move “for a more balanced management of tourism.”

 

Israel drops RT-PCR test requirement for foreign visitors, while Spain opens to unvaccinated travellers from non-EU countries

Travellers entering Israel are no longer required to undertake a mandatory RT-PCR test, according to the Ministry of Health, Government of Israel. Mask mandates have also been lifted on international flights arriving in and departing from the country. Travellers need to note that they will still be required to complete an entry form within 48 hours from departure to Israel.

Meanwhile, the Spanish authorities have decided to permit entry for travellers, including unvaccinated individuals, from non-EU countries provided they are able to present evidence of a vaccination certificate (second dose or third/booster), a certificate of recovery from the virus issued in the last 180 days, a negative PCR test result carried out 72 hours prior to departure to Spain, or a negative antigen test result carried out 24 hours prior to departure.

 

India drops 8 ranks in WEF’s Travel & Tourism Development Index, remains a top scorer in South Asia

The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Travel & Tourism Development Index, which comprises 117 countries, reported that the tourism sector is exhibiting signs of recovery despite still reeling from the aftermath of the pandemic. Japan, U.S.A., Spain, France and Germany are at the top of the list. India drops eight ranks since 2019, coming in at the 54th spot with a score of 4.2. Data shows that India is the top scorer in South Asia.

 

Monkeypox cases suspected in 19 countries

The World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that there are now 131 confirmed cases of monkeypox, a viral zoonotic disease, which was likely sparked initially at recent raves in Spain and Belgium. A further 106 cases are suspected in 19 countries. Experts describe the event as “random” but “containable.” While India has not reported a single case, state authorities remain on alert. Mumbai has set up a ward dedicated to monkeypox patients and Rajasthan will now begin screening flyers.

 

To read more stories on travel, cities, food, nature, and adventure, head to our web forum here or our new National Geographic Traveller India app here.

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  • Pooja Naik is Senior Sub-Editor at National Geographic Traveller India. She likes to take long leisurely walks with both hands in her pocket; channeling her inner Gil Pender at Marine Drive since Paris is a continent away.

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