Goa's Spirited Online Weekly Magazine.

All new flights lead to Kerala

November 4-10, 2013

Team GS

Five airlines are looking to fly to Kerala soon, among them, four are international carriers.  They are Gulf Air, RAK Airways, Air Asia and Malindo Air while the domestic carrier Air Costa intends to bring Thiruvananthapuram under its network.  Bahrain's national carrier Gulf Air had in August 2010 terminated its Kerala route but is now having a relook at Kerala, so is Bahrain Air which suspended its Kerala services in February this year.

A third carrier Malaysia’s low cost Air Asia which also called off its flights in 2011 is showing renewed interest in that state.  Another Malaysia-based carrier Malindo Air, which recently commenced international operations, also wants to fly to various Indian destinations including Thiruvananthapuram.  Meanwhile, Air Costa which recently commenced operations from Andhra Pradesh has also included Thiruvananthapuram among its destinations.

Kovalam shrinking too

The good news for Goa is that the popular Kovalam beach like Goa’s beaches is shrinking despite the artificial reef that was built some years to save the sea front.  An estimated 2,00,00,000 domestic and foreign tourists are expected to go there this season.  Local fishermen use the remaining stretches of Hawa and these parts have not been damaged as yet.  The Kerala tourism department has said the problem was “disturbing” and that the also popular Light House beach “was a total mess as there is no shore left”.

Peru, India mulling air link

Peru’s National Tourism Chamber (Canatur) is studying the possibility of establishing air connections with India via Panama, possibly through Air India.  The possible launch date is sometime in 2014, and looks likely to happen because this is going to be a political decision that the Union government will have to take to energize economic ties with South America.  Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Venezuela also support the establishment of air links between India and South America through a Panamanian hub.

LP: Sikkim numero uno

Sikkim, the tiny Himalayan mountain state in north-east India, is top of the Lonely Planet’s regions to visit in 2014 after LP said Sikkim set new benchmarks for responsible travel in India, with sustainable community-based tourism and eco-friendly policies that have reinvigorated the state.  Along with Goa, it is one of only two states in India to permit gambling.  But, the comparison ends there.

According to LP, organic farming is being promoted in Sikkim, which has a population of around 6,00,000.  Also, a new airport scheduled to open near Gangtok in 2014 will shave several hours off travel time to the region. Reaching the state now involves a winding journey from West Bengal on narrow mountain roads, which are often flooded or blocked in winter.
The Kimberley in Australia was second on the Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2014 rankings for regions.  It was followed by Yorkshire in England, Hokuriku in Japan, Texas, US, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Zambia, the Spanish island of Mallorca, the west coast of New Zealand, the Chinese province of Hunan and the Tongan island group Ha’apai.