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India becomes 5th tourism-generating market for Singapore, free-visa travel takes Indonesia at the top. CNBC

In 2023, Singapore welcomed 1.1 million Indian tourists, marking a substantial 115% increase in overall visitor numbers, reaching 13.6 million from the pandemic-affected 6.3 million in 2022, Singapore Tourism (STB) said on February 1. The upswing in visitor arrivals was due to robust demand from key markets, However, India was not the primary tourism generating market for Singapore. In fact it fell to the fifth spot, with markets such as Indonesia (2.3 million), China (1.4 million), and Malaysia (1.1 million), becoming the top three markets. India was ranked fifth, after Australia, from where 1.1 million tourists visited the Asian country in 2023. Earlier in November 2023, India was the third tourism-generating market for Singapore. However, after the city-state announced visa-free arrival for Indonesian passport holders, the country witnessed highest arrivals from there.

India Named The Most Beautiful Country In The World; Japan Takes The Second Spot

Social media plays a massive role when it comes to travel inspiration. The more pictures of a destination that can be found on the internet, the more attraction it garners from tourists. That seems to be good news for India, as according to a recent study, it has been called the most beautiful country in the world. The research was conducted by the travel portal, Titan Travel, by collating data from top social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok along with Google search trends. What makes India the most beautiful country in the world? Pahalgam India has around 21,93,06,311 Instagram posts, all showcasing the surreal beauty of the country. This is one of the major indicators that justifies its top position on the list. Complete with palm-fringed beaches, stunning old forts, rich culture and heritage, mountains and hill stations, and bustling metropolises such as Delhi and Mumbai, the country attracts visitors not just from within the nation but across the globe. Tourists can indulge in a number of experiences here, from authentic food tasting and living in palaces to experiencing the best of local flora and fauna and trekking on some of the most beautiful routes. A trip to India is incomplete without visiting at least one UNESCO World Heritage Site, which the country has plenty of, truly making it a must-visit destination. Here are the 10 most picturesque countries in the world as ranked by the portal most beautiful country in the world Following India is Japan, which grabs the second spot with 16,43,00,869 Instagram posts. The Southeast Asian nation is known for its breathtaking natural beauty, spots such as Mount Fuji, blooming cherry blossoms, ancient traditions and delectable cuisine. Combining this with its modern cities focused on fashion, technology and pop culture, Japan caters to all. Third on the list is Italy, with 15,96,48,551 Instagram posts. The country is known for some of the most delectable dishes made with fresh produce, year-round gorgeous weather and being the birthplace of some of the most iconic fashion houses. The complete list of the most beautiful countries in order India (21,93,06,311 posts) Japan (16,43,00,869 posts) Italy (15,96,48,551 posts) Indonesia (12,37,08,951 posts) France (10,06,50,288 posts) Mexico (9,48,55,736 posts) Canada (8,03,65,370 posts) Australia (7,53,24,491 posts) Thailand (7,51,83,341 posts) Turkey (7,48,19,851 posts)

Vistara to add 10 aircraft; shelves plan to fly to US

Full-service carrier Vistara expects to add a total of 10 planes as well as hire more than 1,000 people in the current financial year and has shelved plans to fly to the US, according to a top executive. Currently, Vistara, which is set to be merged with Air India, has a fleet of 61 aircraft and a staff strength of over 5,200. During an interaction here this week, Vistara CEO Vinod Kannan said there has been a ready pool of talent, especially pilots and cabin crew members, with the collapse of Go First. “Just like Air India and IndiGo, we also recruited them. We wanted to make sure that we took the right number, right people. We went through the usual process that every airline will do. Then, there is the entire job market for the cabin crew where freshers are coming in. We still attract good talent,” he told PTI. Around 50 pilots from Go First have been recruited by the airline. Elaborating on Vistara’s hiring plans, Kannan said the airline would add a total of 10 aircraft and would need around 1,000 staff in this financial year. “We need around 1,000 staff… till the end of this financial year… out of 10 aircraft, 1 has come and 9 more have to come, out of which 3 are wide-bodies. The rest are A320s,” he said. Vistara, a joint venture between Tata Group and Singapore Airlines, has a fleet of 61 planes and no aircraft are on the ground, he added. The fleet has three owned and one leased wide-body aircraft. Kannan said the airline has decided not to fly to the US as planned earlier. “The main reason is that to fly to the US, I need a lot of aircraft. One single daily operation from India to the US will need at least three aircraft. I have to wait for three aircraft to come and I don’t know it will be spaced out. By the time it will start, the integration (will be) happening,” he noted. Against the backdrop of the ongoing process of merger with Air India, post which Vistara brand will cease to exist, Kannan said the people who built the Vistara brand are going to be there and it is always good to leave on a high. To a query on what Vistara brand is, he said it is “something that was built with a lot of attention, care, attention, pain, sweat, money and a lot of money was put in. Thankfully, we are in a situation where people realise that we are a good brand to travel with”. “Air India needs people from Vistara. They are growing… whether people have the job, that is not the issue. The issue is what job they will have,” he said. In November 2022, Tata Group announced the merger of Vistara with Air India, and pursuant to the deal, Singapore Airlines will have a 25.1 per cent stake in Air India. Subject to regulatory approvals, the deal is expected to be complete by March 2024. About airfares, the Vistara chief said it is always a matter of supply and demand. “Airfares are sky high because of a few reasons. One is Go First as on routes they were operating, capacity has come down; secondly the seasonality demand, in May, all the destinations Go First used to fly are super peak… as much as we want, capacity has not come back to the same extent as what Go First has taken away. “Biggest solution (to have) is capacity addition,” he said. Earlier this week, the civil aviation ministry asked airlines to devise a mechanism to ensure reasonable pricing of air tickets amid a surge in airfares in certain routes.