The first group of tourists to the United States from India, since the outbreak of the pandemic, flew from Kochi on Friday. A group of 24 tourists took off from the international airport here.
The group flew out of Kochi by Qatar Airways to JFK, New York via Doha, Qatar and will be spending 15 days in the US visiting NY, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Washington DC, Niagara Falls, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Soman’s, the tour company, which has organised the trip said. “We understand that this is not just the first from India but the first ever group tour to the US from anywhere in the world since Covid-19 outbreak,” M K Soman, Managing Director of Soman’s, said in a release. Since the markets opened, we began operating in the European, Russian and Middle Eastern sectors, he added.
“We were the first to operate tours to Europe from South India and second in India after Thomas Cook, when we took a group of 32 tourists to Europe on October 18. On October 30, we took another 30 to Russia. However, taking tourists to the US was a totally different ball game as the main catch was US consulates had not started issuing visas yet and we had to find people who already hold valid visas,” Soman said. The company hopes to inspire tour operators and the hospitality industry across the country and the world to shun fear and start their operations.