You are currently viewing Planning tourism’s Budget itinerary; Dua Lipa’s India soiree

Planning tourism’s Budget itinerary; Dua Lipa’s India soiree


“It’s one banana, Michael. What could it cost? $10?”

Though not quite the same, quick commerce startup Zepto had its own Arrested Development moment earlier this week when the platform listed 100 grams of coriander for over Rs 130. The company has now attributed the exorbitant price to a system glitch.

Looks like inflation isn’t that bad…yet.

Speaking of rising prices, tomatoes, onions, and potatoes are getting costlier as extreme heat and heavy floods in several states have disrupted agricultural production.

Improving farm output is a key goal for Indian agritech startups and investors are taking notice. Indian grain commerce platform on Wednesday said it raised $29 million in Pre-Series D funding in a round led by Switzerland-based Blue Earth Capital. 

Moving on to the world of tech, the call for an indefinite strike at Samsung Electronics–one of the world’s largest smartphone makers–has industry watchers concerned. The strike, which was originally meant to last three days, could affect the company’s attempts to navigate the AI chips race. 

Lastly, here’s one for the bookmark: MIT Tech Review’s magnum opus on what is AI. It’s long, but a fantastic read.

ICYMI: Telecom titans Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel have poured billions of dollars into building 5G networks. Now, it’s time to monetise. 

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Planning tourism’s Budget itinerary
  • Dua Lipa’s India soiree
  • Healing trauma through somatics

Here’s your trivia for today: An “octothorpe” refers to which popular social media symbol?

Union Budget

Planning tourism’s Budget itinerary

Post the COVID-19 pandemic, the travel and tourism sectors have undergone an evolution. Travel-related digital platforms, visa-free international destinations and the rise of staycations have seen an uptick among Indian travellers. 

Against this rapidly changing backdrop, hospitality sector stakeholders are holding a series of expectations from this year’s Budget: industry status for tourism, a reduced GST rate, and funding and enhanced technologies for airport infrastructure, among others. 

Travel checklist:

  • A sustained focus on improving road, rail, and air connectivity has boosted local tourism and seen the emergence of new tourist places, especially in rural and semi-urban India. 
  • Last month, Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India President Pradeep Shetty discussed Budget expectations with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, including granting infrastructure status for hotels across categories. FHRAI also recommended a 12% GST rate across all hotels.
  • EaseMyTrip Co-founder Nishant Pitti also expects the upcoming Budget to invest in airport expansions, new air routes, and improved connectivity to boost domestic tourism and job creation and attract international tourists.
tourism &travel sector

Funding Alert

Startup: Skild AI 

Amount: $300M

Round: Series A


Amount: $29M

Round: Pre-Series D

Startup: Immuneel Therapeutics

Amount: Rs 100 Cr

Round: Series A


Dua Lipa’s India soiree 

Dua Lipa fans are in for a treat as Zomato plans to bring the Grammy Award-winning pop icon to headline an upcoming event hosted by the food delivery giant, according to sources familiar with the developments.

She will be the biggest star to headline an event hosted by Zomato, which also organises Zomaland, a multi-city food and music carnival, typically held between December and March in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, and Kolkata.

Pop bonanza:

  • This would be Dua Lipa’s second performance in India, after previously opening for American pop star Katy Perry’s first show in Mumbai in 2019.
  • Zomaland has previously featured performances by pop, Punjabi, and indie artists, including When Chai Met Toast, MC Stan, and Jay Sean.
  • This latest development comes as Zomato aims to strengthen its going-out business and is in talks with Paytm to acquire its movies and ticketing business.
Dua Lipa

Mental Health 

Healing trauma through somatics

Recovering from the emotional and physical effects of trauma necessitates aligning with the body’s natural healing abilities, which are often obstructed by the trauma itself. 

Today, an increasing number of people are finding their way to somatic therapy, helping them address and identify the physical effects of trauma first in the body—symptoms like tightness in the throat and pain along the shoulder blades—and connecting them to corresponding thoughts of shame, anxiety or stress. 

The art of healing: 

  • Somatic experiencing is a trauma-informed modality that looks at the body from a biological evolutionary standpoint, wherein human beings are considered part of the animal kingdom, sharing a common biological framework through cellular structures, genetic codes, and basic physiological functions.
  • Adults who live in dissociation were children who couldn’t complete the fight-flight-freeze responses and have been stuck in these states for years, says Bengaluru-based Rajini Divya Kumar, a somatic therapist. As a result, their body hasn’t learnt how to exit the threat response states they entered as children. 
  • Somatic art and movement therapies employ expressive arts techniques, such as creative arts or body awareness techniques like yoga or meditation to uncover and address pain and illness within the body.
How somatics is changing the course of mental health therapy

News & updates

  • Job cuts: News outlet CNN will cut about 100 jobs as part of a plan to consolidate news operations and bolster its digital business, Reuters reports. The company will merge its news-gathering and digital news teams, invest in video operations and launch pay-per-view news products, CNN Worldwide CEO Mark Thompson told staff in the memo.
  • AI race: Advanced Micro Devices said on Wednesday it will acquire Finnish artificial intelligence startup Silo AI for about $665 million in cash as the company tries to enhance its AI chip capabilities to compete against industry leader Nvidia.
  • Shrek returns: Movie studio Dreamworks Animation confirmed in a post on X that “Shrek 5” will hit the big screen on July 1, 2026. The big stars have already signed up again, according to the post–Mike Myers will voice the eponymous ogre, Cameron Diaz will return as Princess Fiona and Eddie Murphy will reprise his role as the irrepressible Donkey.

An “octothorpe” refers to which popular social media symbol?

Answer: Hashtag

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