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Ahmedabad Becomes India's First World Heritage City

The historic city Ahmedabad has been declared as a World Heritage City at the 41st session of Unesco's world heritage committee meet in Karkow in Poland on Saturday. This is the first time an Indian city was declared a world heritage property.

The nomination of Ahmedabad was supported by close to 20 countries, including Turkey, Lebanon, Tunisia, Portugal, Peru, Kazakhistan, Vietnam, Finland, Azerbaijan, Jmaica, Croatia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, South Korea, Croatia, Angolam, Cuba, and the host country of the Unesco session, Poland.

The countries unanimously supported Ahmedabad citing a secular co-existence of Islamic, Hindu and Jain communities along with exemplary architecture of intricately carved wooden havelis dating back hundreds of years. The countries also recognized that the city was a cradle for India's non-violent freedom struggle led by Mahatma Gandhi.

The walled city has 26 ASI-protected structures, hundreds of 'pols' that capture the essence of community living and numerous sites associated with Mahatma Gandhi who lived here from 1915 to 1930.

It will now join the likes of Paris, Cairo and Edinburgh. Of the 287 world heritage cities across the globe, there were only two cities in the Indian subcontinent-- Bhaktapur in Nepal and Galle in Sri Lanka. The Unesco tag will add immense value to the city and boost tourism.


Dudhwa Has 100 Elephants, Reveals First-ever Census

In a first-ever census, 100 elephants have been counted in Dudhwa Tiger Reserve of the state. The ministry of environment and forest's Project Elephant conducted a synchronized elephant census in all states in May, including at Dudhwa, to determine the elephant population and demographics.

The exercise has estimated at least 100 elephants in the reserve. The number is significant because UP never had resident elephants earlier. The census used direct and indirect methods. Direct method was used in areas where elephants are visible easily due to high population and it was easier for field staff and census workers to click photographs and prepare a profile of the animals. There is usually one elephant every 5sqkm to 8sqkm.

The indirect count, meanwhile, was done in areas where density is low and elephant sightings are less. Instead of counting elephants, the census team on foot had counted piles of elephant dung.

Though Dudhwa has no history of resident elephants, a herd of elephants, in all possibilities from Nepal has been staying in Banke Taal of Dudhwa for the last about two years.The herd has localised and is now even growing in number.


Vistara Opens Check-in Desk at Delhi Metro

Passengers can now drop their bags at the Airport Express station. Vistara has teamed up with the operator of the Delhi Metro to introduce check-in and baggage drop facilities at New Delhi station on the Airport Express Line. The new facility will enable the airline's passengers to check in at the station between two and 12 hours prior to their flight's departure. They can then drop their baggage at the counter and head to the airport directly, as their bags are transferred to the airport separately.

The Delhi Metro's Airport Express Line runs every 10-15 minutes, taking passengers to Terminal 3 of Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport.

A joint venture between Singapore Airlines and Tata, Delhi-based Vistara currently serves 19 destinations across India.



Carlson Rezidor Expands in Rajasthan

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has continued to expand its presence across India with the launch of a new midscale hotel in the city of Kota, Rajasthan. The company is already India's largest international hotel group, and this leadership position has been strengthened by the launch of the Country Inn & Suites by Carlson Kota.

Located in the centre of Kota, the new hotel features 85 rooms and suites, a rooftop swimming pool, spa, health club and four F&B outlets, including Indian and international restaurants. For the MICE market there is a large banqueting hall and outdoor event lawn. All guests are offered complimentary Wi-Fi and breakfast.

This becomes the second Country Inns & Suites hotel in Rajasthan, following an existing property in Ajmer.



Odisha Tourism Minister Officially Announces IATO Convention 2017

Ashok Chandra Panda, minister of tourism and culture, Government of Odisha was invited by the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) to officially announce its 33rd IATO Annual Convention scheduled to be held in Bhubneshwar next month.

The venue of the convention is Mayfair Bhubaneshwar while the hotels, airlines and post tours are in the last stage of finalisation. The theme for this convention is 'India Tourism- Time to reinvent ourselves'. Rajiv Mehra and Lally Mathews from have been appointed as the chairman and co- chairman for the convention respectively.



Tourist Footfall to Meghalaya See Two-fold Growth in Last 10 years

Tourist inflow to Meghalaya has doubled in the past 10-years and the number is increasing at a rapid rate, officials said.

In 2006, a little over four lakh domestic tourists visited the state while in 2016, there were 8.3 lakh domestic footfalls whereas during the same period, the foreign tourist visits has increased from a little over 4,000 to nearly 8,500 footfalls till December last year.

There has been a steady increase of about 50,000 more footfalls every year and going by the current rate, the number of tourists visiting the state will double in the next seven-eight years.

The tourist inflow has also witnessed an increase of beds even in far flung villages. The state government has identified over 40 tourist spots and East Khasi Hills district, in which Sohra, the wettest place on earth is located, attracts the bulk of tourists, a senior government official said.