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A DDP PUBLICATION
Pages: 56 (Excluding cover)
Vol. XXV No. 3; February 1 st fortnight issue 2013
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FEBRUARY 1 ST FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2013
Dancing to tourism’s tune
Chiranjeevi to lead Indian delegation at FITUR
o highlight the tourism potential of the North East region in the domestic and international markets, the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India organised an International Tourism Mart in Guwahati from January 18- 20, 2013. The overseas delegates included Deputy Tourism Minister from Lao PDR, executive heads of National Tourism Organisations from Cambodia, Singapore, Bangladesh and Bhutan, 55 tour operators, 9 hoteliers and 14 media representatives. Besides foreign delegates, there were approximately 70 domestic buyers from other parts of the country and 108 sellers from the nine K. Chiranjeevi, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism and Parvez Dewan, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, participating states. in a cultural programme at International Tourism Mart held at Guwahati.
T T B U R E AU
Chiranjeevi, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism,
Girish Shankar Additional Secretary, Tourism Govt of India
will lead the Indian delegation at FITUR 2013 to be organised in Madrid from January 30 to February 3. “I,
Lower taxes, improve visa policies The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) behemoth warns taxation and restrictive visa policies can prove disastrous for the Indian tourism industry. M E G H A PAU L
David Scowsill President and CEO, WTTC
avid Scowsill, President and CEO, WTTC has urged the Government of India to address two major concerns – high taxes on aviation and Visa-on-Arrival (VoA) issues
– that are hampering the growth of tourism in the country. Speaking at the Hotel Investment Forum India (HIFI) in Gurgaon, Scowsill says, “India is the 12th largest travel and tourism economy in the world, and has the potential
to become one of the biggest in our industry. Yet it risks squandering this opportunity through excessive taxation and restrictive visa policies.” It is vital, he says, for the government to reduce the tax burden on the industry. According to
Scowsill, India is becoming increasingly expensive. “Taxes are rampant in India’s aviation sector. This indicates the government views the sector as a revenue source rather than a revenue generator,” he laments. Contd. on page 30
along with the PS to the minister, will also be accompanying him. People from the state ministries are also participating along with tour operators. We are going to FITUR with our campaign ‘Find What You Seek’,” says Girish Shankar, Additional Secretary, Tourism, Govt of India.
“In this campaign, we are emphasising on the fact that India has a lot to offer to the tourists from diverse segments, be it golf, medical, wellness, leisure etc.” he added.
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‘Land of Pi’ calling more tourists Recognising the importance of cinema as a powerful tool for developing and promoting various tourist destinations, MOT has launched a new campaign to promote Puducherry and Munnar based on the movie Life of Pi. T T B U R E AU
Chiranjeevi, Union Minister for Tourism, focusses on promoting Film Tourism through movies being shot in India. In this regard, the minister has launched a
K Chiranjeevi Minister for State for Tourism
well as in French, German, Chinese, Spanish and Japanese. Roadshows for promoting tourism of the country will be organised in China and Taiwan, where the film Life of Pi has been very well received.
new campaign ‘Land of Pi’ to promote Puducherry and Munnar as tourist destinations. The campaign will have ‘Land of Pi’ posters produced by Tourism Ministry displayed worldwide through the India tourism offices overseas. These would also be put on the ‘Incredible India’ website and those of the Puducherry and Kerala Tourism Departments. Luxury buses plying between Chennai and Puducherry and Kochi and Munnar will be branded with ‘Land of Pi’ creatives. Special ‘Land of Pi’ tours and walking trails will be organised for tourists visiting Puducherry and Munnar.
Short films on the tourist attractions in Puducherry and Munnar, which have been depicted in the film, have been created and are being shared on social media networks. A boat that hints at Life of Pi with a stuffed tiger will be permanently placed at two prominent locations in Puducherry to provide a photo opportunity for visiting tourists. The campaign will be undertaken in English as
The minister has also decided that a special National Tourism Award will be awarded to Ang Lee, Director and Yann Martel, for promoting India through the film.
Cinema & Tourism The campaign will have ‘Land of Pi’ posters produced by Tourism Ministry displayed worldwide through the India tourism offices overseas
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India Incredibly Unaffordable
he total contribution of travel & tourism to India’s GDP in 2011 was INR 5.6 billion or 6% of GDP. This is due to rise by 7% in 2012 and over the next ten years, it’s contribution to India’s GDP will grow by 8% per annum, which is slightly higher than the rate of growth expected for the Indian economy as a whole. Our industry has been trying to convince the Government that as a country, India needs to remain competitive in the global tourism market. We cannot have such steep taxes clamped down, making India Incredibly Unaffordable - and that without international standards of services offered by other tourism rich countries. Even the WTTC Global President & CEO, David Scowsill, who was recently visiting India for a convention, called on the Indian Government and advised them not to view the aviation and hospitality sectors as a revenue source but as revenue generators. Rampant taxes and this attitude are the two biggest issues that will hold back the growth of the country’s economy through travel & tourism. It is vital for the government to reduce the tax burden on the industry. As a whole, there is an increasing curiosity in the world to see today’s India; Be it for the vibrant festivals, our wildlife, yoga and meditation, or the diversity of our land and our people, also buoyed by Hollywood last year with Slumdog Millionaire and this year with Life of Pi. The government is working towards improving visa facilities by increasing the number of countries eligible for visa-on-arrival. They now need to understand the importance of tourism as a money churner and an employment generator. In 2011, travel & tourism supported 39 million direct, indirect and induced jobs, which is 5% of the total employment in India. This is set to rise by 3% in 2012 to reach 40.5 million jobs. Over the next ten years, travel & tourism jobs in India will increase by 2% per annum to total 48 million jobs in 2022, in other words, 8% of total employment in the country.
Vikramajit Chairman SanJeet Publisher Rupali Narasimhan Editorial Director Deepa Sethi Editor
Editorial Ratan Kr Paul Vivek Sethi Megha Paul Devika Jeet Anita Jain News-Editor Peden Doma Bhutia Desk-Editor Archana Sharma Sr. Sub-Editor Hritvick Sen
Advertising Gunjan Sabikhi General Manager Karishma Khanna Sr. Manager Marketing Shailendra Shukla Sr. Manager Marketing Udit Pandey Sr. Manager Marketing Geetika Pathak Manager Advertising Amit Sarkar Asst. Manager Marketing Photographers Simran Kaur-Delhi Bharat Dangiya-Mumbai
The hotel trail up to 2012 India’s hospitality industry has seen a variety of opportunities and successes, challenges and losses in the last seven to eight years. Horwath HTL and STR Global present a detailed overview of the Indian hotel market. The analysis is based on Occupancy, ADR and RevPAR data, reported by hotels to STR Global. Excerpts: T T B U R E AU
The present scenario First, the range of hotel products has widened across the spectrum of international positionings; in several cases, the brand standards have been ‘upped’ compared to the product in the brand’s home market. Second, there is a greater play from the international hotel companies leading to a plethora of brands seeking and gaining presence in the country.
ness in general and for the hotel sector. Fifth, restaurants and more importantly, meeting and function facilities are playing an important role in generating rooms’ demand, improving cash flows, thereby creating/aiding viability. Lastly, ownership patterns are quite scattered with few major players outside the hotel chains, but with
needs to be viewed in the context of significant supply growth Key performance parameters that has occurred for Indian hotel industry are: since 2006. While ADR has also Year Occ% ADR RevPAR declined by 12.66 per 2006 68.3 7,070 4,829 cent between 2006 2007 68.4 8,293 5,669 and 2012, part of this decline is a down2008 63.1 8,952 5,649 ward rate correction 2009 56.9 6,802 3,868 from supply shortage high rates in 2010 60.8 6,567 3,992 led 2006; a significant 2011 59.3 6,467 3,833 element of this 2012 58.1 6,175 3,567 decline is also on account of increased supply share from the Upscale-UpMid and M-E segments. Of course, the fact of decline in an inflationary economy means a loss of ‘real’ value of ADR earned.
Overview of Performance-India
International hotel witnessed companies now The All India segmental performance Trends Q4 2008 was the have about 46 per tipping point for the cent share of the Year Occ% ADR RevPAR industry. Till then, 2008 total chain- associhad been a very good Lux-UpperUp ated supply, comyear with strong Q1 and pared to about 37.5 2010 61.8 8,543 5,276 a very healthy summer. per cent in 2006. 61.3 8,488 5,202 Demand declined in the Third, the asset- 2011 of the global 59.5 8,120 4,830 aftermath light approach is 2012 financial crisis, followed gaining much by continuing rate losses greater footing with Upscale-UpMid and the trend has been the notable differ- 2010 61.0 4,924 3,004 pretty much downwards ence that there is 2011 58.2 4,901 2,850 since then. The Mumbai increasing invest56.9 4,655 2,649 terror attacks of 26/11 ment commitment 2012 added to the hurt, by hotel chains in impacting the winter of the select service M-E and Q1 2009 in sector. Fourth, 2010 57.5 2,834 1,630 2008 particular. 2010 showed chain-associated 2011 55.6 3,031 1,685 recovery in occupancy hotels are deepen56.0 3,020 1,693 levels and nominally in ing their presence 2012 RevPAR, possibly only in Source: STR Global with increased play comparison to the outside the main extraordinary slump in cities and markets; greater diversification than 2009. The sharp occupancy within cities, several microwas seen 10 years ago. FDI decline is undoubtedly a matmarkets have arisen for busiis increasing, but slowly. ter of concern; nevertheless it
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The occupancy trend clearly challenges the perception of India being 'severely under-supplied' - that position is, in some ways, shown up as a myth; if the undersupply were truly severe then the significant occupancy and rate decline should not have occurred. At the same time, we cannot lose sight of the business reality of the last five years, during which the bulk of capacity addition has taken place - global investment, economic outlook and global travel were severely impacted in the 2008-2010 period due to the global financial crises. The last two years have seen weak investment and economic scenario in India which have impacted business travel and hotel stays in general.
Average Daily Rate The Lux-UpperUp segment enjoyed peak ADR of Rs 10,888 in 2008 following on an ADR of ` 10,113 in 2007. In all other years, ADR has ranged between ` 8,100 and ` 8,600 with limited decline over the years. On the other hand, this segment has drawn increasing premium over the national average ADR 18.8 per cent premium in 2006, gradually increasing to 31.5 per cent premium by 2012. Upscale and Up-Mid hotels achieved ADR below the national average.
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FEBRUARY 1 ST FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2013
FITUR to bring together 9,500+ companies In FITUR 2013, two new forums devoted to Tourism Know-How and Wine-Based Tourism Accommodation will constitute the main new features. T T B U R E AU
uring its thirty-third staging, FITUR, the International Tourism Trade Fair, which is due to take place from January 30February 3, 2013 at Feria de Madrid, will bring together more than 9,500 companies representing 167 countries and regions, as well as all of the Spanish regions.
This event, which is organised by IFEMA, kicks off the international fair calendar for the year. This enables tourism professionals from all over the world to establish the foundations of their business strategies for the year, whilst also gauging the current situation within an industry that is constantly evolving. In effect, according to figures furnished by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), there were 1,000 million travellers throughout the world in 2012 (4% more than in 2011), who generated more than 3,000 million dollars in exports. The participation figures at FITUR 2013, which will incorporate 100 new companies on this occasion, provide the best proof of the favourable climate within the worldwide tourist industry at present, an industry that continues to serve as one of the main sources of development in many nations. In this sense, as far as foreign participation at FITUR 2013 is concerned, the organisers might highlight the growth of Africa, based on the incorporation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, represented through the Chamber of Commerce in the country's capital city. They might also highlight the return of
Number Cruncher According to figures furnished by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), there were 1,000 million travellers throughout the world in 2012 (4% more than in 2011), who generated more than 3,000 million dollars in exports
Libya, as well as the stable presence of companies and institutions from Latin America, for whom FITUR
constitutes the leading trade showcase. These are precisely two of the continents on which tourism recorded its highest growth figures during 2012 (up until August) according to the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Specifically,
Africa enjoyed growth of 6% and the American continent enjoyed growth of 4%. As far as the realm of business is concerned, the organisers might mention the re-incorporation of companies such as Hespedia and Fiesta & Resorts Hotels.
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Branding India’s Northeastern jewels
At the 8th North East Business Summit (NEBS), organised by the DoNER ministry and the Indian Chamber of Commerce, industry experts came together to discuss tourism challenges. PEDEN DOMA BHUTIA
Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India Parvez Dewan, Secretary I have never felt an iota of fear while travelling in the North East. The literacy level in the region is high, and hence there is a great demand for North East people in various sectors, including hospitality. The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, planned an International Tourism Mart from January 18-20 at Guwahati, the first major international tourism event in the North East. It will bring together business fraternity and entrepreneurs behind tourism products and services of the eight North Eastern states of India and West Bengal (Darjeeling).
S Hiato, Tourism Minister
To capture the essence of Mizoram as a tourist destination, I would first like to talk to you about the potential that flourish in the state. Today, Mizoram is the most peaceful state in India, it is easily accessible by road and air, the travel formality has been eased. Mizoram is never very cold or very hot. The state’s tourism wealth can be exploited and packaged into a flourishing industry. The potential that exist can broadly be stated as trekking, rural tourism, adventure sports, leisure holidaying and well-being holiday. Mizoram is an unexplored destination. A wide range of lucrative opportunity is open for those willing to invest and face the challenge of transforming Mizoram into a tourist haven.
IATO Subhash Goyal, President We have been talking about the North East for a very long time. However, it is now time for action. The North-East is the best kept tourism secret in the world, yet we are still just paying lip service to the region. We need to figure out that ‘In spite of being so beautiful, why aren’t the tourists going there?’ Whatever action is being taken is either too little or too slow. Connectivity is an issue here, and it is very difficult to go from one state to the other. The first thing to focus on is connecting the states with one another. We need to start a public-private partnership revolution in the region.
TAAI, Northern Region Jyoti Mayal, Chairperson The perception is that the North East is not a safe place to travel. What needs to be done is the development of infrastructure and connectivity. The latter plays a major role and we need to push it to the extent so much so that positive development takes place. However, there is not much awareness about the North East, so it makes it very difficult to sell the place. The North-East needs to be marketed very aggressively. It is a very beautiful region and there is a lot that needs to be done.
IITTM, New Delhi Manjula Chaudhary, Director Following an evaluation of the campaign for the promotion of tourism in North East region, we found out that only 28% of the people could recollect seeing the commercial. For obvious reasons, the proportion of those who saw the commercial was higher in the North East (73.4%). We need to make more people aware of these states and in turn form a consortium for marketing them. However, we have noticed that most of the youngsters are not willing to go back to their parent state after undertaking skill development workshops, etc.
BM Gupta, Chief General Manager
The addressing theme – ‘Horizons of Heaven - Opportunities in the Tourism and Hospitality Sector’ - has been very aptly chosen by the organisers. We should be able to blend products and knowledge with local destination development, which is very important for local upliftment. Protecting the cultural identity of the area and its people is also very important. We need the North-Eastern states to come up with an overall marketing plan for the region. We assure you that none of the commercially viable projects will face financial problems.
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THEN & NOW
reported arrivals in1991
Not all is despair While we must wait for the original ‘Visit India Year’ to close before we know the actual foreign tourist arrivals and the percentage fall in traffic as compared to 1990, it is possible to arrive at some projections based on available data. A rather pessimistic estimate is that the 17.1 per cent fall in arrivals for the first six months of 1991 will continue throughout the year. Arrivals by this count will total a meager 1.102 million. This is marginally lower than the 1988 figures. In other words, the fall in arrivals in 1991 will be to the tune of 17.02 per cent compared to the actual foreign arrivals in 1990. The shortfall from the IIPO projections for
1991 will be a staggering 35 per cent. But cassandras could also be falsified on Estimated arrivals 1991 Numbers
may continue to affect the foreign arrivals negatively are worldwide recession and the fear of %Change over 1990
%Change over IIPO projection 1991
more than one account and actual arrival figures for 1991 may be higher than the projections. This is especially so because the domestic political situation is likely to be an improvement over what prevailed in 1990. Another helpful factor is that global tension have eased and there is little prospect of another catastrophe like the Gulf war. The only factors that
terrorism. The optimistic view however discounts the effects of recession and terrorism because there are no clear indices to adjust their effects. Infact, optimists feel that the worst is over. From July 1990 to June 1991 was the worst period and now we should expect trends similar to 1989 before the Gulf war and the political strife in this country.
September 1991 Vol 1 Issue 1 Page 9
NOW Arrivals in 2011
Winning slow and steady Statistics released by MOT reveal the reasons behind improvement in India’s foreign tourists arrivals. We now rank 38th in the world, a jump from 54th in 2002. T T B U R E AU
he remarkable improvement in India’s performance is followed by its share in international tourist arrivals that has increased to 0.64 per cent in 2011. UNWTO instilled optimism in the hearts of stakeholders of the travel and
Year 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
tourism by launching unique campaign celebrating the billionth global tourist. The progress had been remarkable in the last ten years, wherein the number of international tourists doubled. India, as most experts believe, is in a transitional phase and could possibly be one of the most bankable growth stories in the next 10 years.
World % Number (in million) Change 683.4 703.2 691.0 762.0 798.0 846.0 894.0 917.0 885.0 943.0 990.0
0.2 2.9 -1.7 10.3 5.4 5.3 5.7 2.6 -3.8 6.6 5.0
The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) statistics also reveal similar trends, as India’s rank has gradually improved to 38th in 2011 in the world from 54th in 2002. Its share in international tourist arrivals has increased to 0.64 per cent in 2011 with 6.31 million arrivals from 2.37 million or 0.40 per cent in
India % Number (in million) Change 2.54 2.38 2.73 3.46 3.92 4.45 5.08 5.28 5.17 5.78 6.31
Source: World Tourism Organization and Bureau of Immigration, India
-4.2 -6.0 14.3 26.8 13.3 13.5 14.3 4.0 -2.2 11.8 9.2
Contd. on page 30
% Share of India
Rank of India
0.37 0.34 0.39 0.45 0.49 0.53 0.57 0.58 0.58 0.61 0.64
51th 54th 51th 44th 43th 44th 41th 42th 42th 42th 38th
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FEBRUARY 1 ST FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2013
Punjab: More investment in hospitality Sukhbir Singh Badal, the Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab speaks about the recent strategies to boost the state’s connectivity and tourism development in what lies ahead. M E G H A PAU L
o boost the tourism and hospitality development in Punjab, the state is now inviting investments from private players in the hotel sector. According to Sukhbir Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab, the state will be the next big destination for investment and tourism will be a major focus area. Badal, who was speaking at the Hotel
Sukhbir Singh Badal Deputy Chief Minister Punjab
The state is in advanced stages of developing a 4,400 acre entertainment circuit in Ludhiana Investment Forum India (HIFI) 2013 in Delhi, also revealed that the state is coming up with an attractive policy this month for the hotel industry. Assuring easy clearances for upcoming hotel projects in the north Indian state, Badal revealed, “We will offer single window clearance for new hotel projects. Punjab is also speaking with some hoteliers and investors to transform some of the forts in the state into hotels. We have some wonderful forts in Punjab and transforming them into hotels would be a good idea to promote tourism and preserve heritage.” Aiming to boost connectivity, the state will unveil the Mohali airport. “We are also developing an international airport in Machhiwara. We have domestic airports in Pathankot and Ludhiana apart from the international airport in Amritsar. The domestic airport in Bathinda is also almost ready,” he pointed out. A network of four-or six-lane expressways across the state, funded by an investment of ` 76 billion (US$1.39 billion),
is due to be ready in the next three years while the ` 75 billion Ludhiana metro project is expected to be completed in five years. As a part of ramping up infrastructure, the state is also looking at integrated
tourism circuits. The state is in advanced stages of developing a 4,400 acres entertainment circuit in Ludhiana that would include hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, sports arenas, adventure sports areas for horse racing, safaris, etc. The proj-
ect will start by the end of 2013 and is likely to be completed by 2018. Punjab is also going to encourage investments in theme parks and is looking for private players to take over the entire project or in parts, Badal added.
Eyeing big conferences in the years to come, the state is in the process of setting up two convention centres, 100 acres each with the capacity ranging between 4,0005,000 pax each at Mohali and Amritsar.
Ranjit Sagar Dam will be developed as a new high-end tourism destination with watersports facilities and a 32 sq km lake as attraction while the island sites would be made available for hotel and resort development.
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125 things to explore The Chhattisgarh government has concentrated on improving facilities at tourist spots during the past decade and now aims at promoting tourism in a big way. sector in Chhattisgarh and the employment opportunities will only grow,” he pointed out. To boost the sector further, the state government is working on a holistic master plan, which will be ready by this year.”
T T B U R E AU
fter improving the infrastructure and facilities in the state, Chhattisgarh is looking at ramping up the service sector. The state is thus eyeing private investments to get into the PPP model. This was revealed by Brijmohan Agrawal, Tourism Minister, Chhattisgarh during his recent visit to Delhi. “The state government has concentrated on improving facilities at tourist spots during the past decade after the state formation. There is immense potential for tourism in the state, which has 44 per cent forest cover and various attractive tourist destinations.
With 125 tourism destinations, Chhattisgarh boasts of country’s biggest waterfall, Chitrakoot. We have built a resort for tourists in the vicinity as well,” he said.
Brijmohan Agrawal Tourism Minister Chhattisgarh
Chhattisgarh has an abundance of natural beauty and is rich in minerals. “To keep it intact, we don’t want to attract huge crowds, but instead target the HNI segment. Our infrastructure is in place. Now we want to strengthen our service sector, for which we are looking at private investment or on PPP model basis,” he added. Boosting the state as a safe destination, the minister feels tourism also provides huge employment opportunities in the rural areas. “Currently, more than 30,000 people are working in this
The state aims to double the visitor inflow in next two years. Currently, it receives over 33 lakh tourists, including domestic and inbound. “At present, a large number of tourists visit the state for its religious destinations. However, the government is looking at rechristening Chhattisgarh as an environment and ecology retreat,” he articulated.
What’s ahead The state aims to double the visitor inflow in next two years. Currently, it receives over 33 lakh tourists, including domestic and inbound The government is looking at rechristening Chhattisgarh as an environment and ecology retreat
AI’s ‘dream’ grounded with stranded Dreamliners are ‘grounded’ along with other carriers internationally with grounding of 50 Dreamliner aircraft worldwide. Ajit Singh, Aviation Minister, Civil Aviation Ministry of India said, “It is too early to even speculate Ajit Singh how long this issue will take. Union Minister, Civil Aviation So at the right time, if needed, AI will seek compensaAdministration asking air- tion from Boeing. For an airlines to provisionally curtail line, safety is top priority.” Due to constant snags in all flights operated by the the B787 aircraft, the airline kept one of the six planes as standby and flew five others Union Minister of Civil Aviation Ajit Singh has constituted a (deployed two on New five-member committee, headed by Prof. Ravindra Dholakia, Delhi – Frankfurt, Dubai, Professor of Economics and Public Systems, IIM-Ahmedabad to Paris route and other suggest various measures for cost cutting and optimal utilisation three on domestic routes of resources in Air India. Other members of the committee are i.e. New Delhi – Chennai Dr. Prabhat Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, and New Delhi – Rajesh Agrawal, Director Finance, ICRISAT, Hyderabad, Bengaluru). While the S. Mukherjee, Ex-Director Commercial and Inflight Services, Dreamliner aircraft Air India, Nasir Ali, Joint Managing Director, Air India. accounted for mere four per cent of the carrier’s ing six Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircrafts as the total capacity, the problem is Dreamliner aircraft starting company (Boeing) has not still massive. However, the September 2012. However, completed a safety review airline said that the routes following an urgent order by related to battery malfunc- operated by the Dreamliner DGCA after the US aviation tions on the twin engine jet. are not affected and are now regulatory authority – With this, all the dreams and operated by B777, B747, the Federal Aviation plans of the national carrier A320 and A321. Air India has grounded Dreamliners after receiving a directive by DGCA following a move by US’ Federal Aviation Administration asking airlines to temporarily suspend all flights on US registered Dreamliners… Air India was contemplating to start services to new destinations, expand route network, save on fuel and intended to increase market share in the Indian aviation sector after receiv-
Cutting costs in Air India
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Five new Gateway Hotels The brand has become an important growth vehicle for the group and it is looking at scaling up the brand to a large number of hotels across India... T T B U R E AU
aj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, owned by Indian Hotels Company (IHCL), launched a new brand ‘The Gateway Hotel’ in the second half of 2008. With a pan-India network of upscale hotels and resorts that offer travellers a contemporary experience, The Gateway Hotel is part of the Taj Groups’ strategy to have a larger footprint across India. The brand has become an important growth vehicle for the group and it is looking at quickly scaling up the brand to a large number of hotels across India. This was revealed by P K Mohankumar, COO, Gateway Hotels and Resorts. The target is to have a multi-location presence in each metro city. In line with this, the brand will target metro cities and also the micro markets within the
Tier-II and Tier-III cities. “Five Gateway city hotels are in the final stages of construction at Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Faridabad, besides Hubli and will be ready in the next two years,” he revealed. The hotel in Chennai would be the first to open and will commence operations by March this year, he added. Also in the pipeline are more Gateway city business hotels in Tier-I and Tier-II cities.
“Management contracts have been signed for another 10 hotels in various locations, including Mumbai, Kolhapur, Pune and Chandigarh,” he said. Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces currently has 22
P K Mohankumar COO Gateway Hotels and Resorts
Gateway hotels across India. Talking about the business model of the brand, he pointed out, “We are investing in assets and are providing only technical expertise. We give the hotel owners technical expertise in architecture, design, etc. After completion, a management contract is signed. We bring in the brand to manage assets and this is how the future hotel business is going to be.”
Golfer’s delight at The Suryaa, New Delhi
Greesh Bindra, Vice President General Manager of The Suryaa, New Delhi hosted the Pro Am Award ceremony of the Shubhkamna Champions Golf Tournament recently at hotel. It was a grand golf evening where guests were spotted having a good time. Seen at the duo – Milkha Singh, Jeev Milkha Singh, Jyoti Randhawa, Luv Malhotra (Executive Director, The Suryaa, New Delhi, Arjun Atwal, Rishi Narayan, Daniel Chopra and many more.
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A new jewel in Jodhpur’s hospitality Indana Palace raises the bar for hospitality as it opens its first hotel in Jodhpur, mixing modernity and old world charm in a perfect blend The Blue City has a brand new hospitality experience in the just-opened Indana Palace, Jodhpur. It serves the needs of contemporary business and leisure travellers with a perfect blend of modern luxury and old palatial charm. Staying at Indana is staying in a fusion of worlds created across 80 elegantlyappointed rooms and eight suites, including a Grand Presidential Suite. Traditional Rajasthani touches in the décor meet modern conveniences and comforts. The wide and varied cuisine and dining experiences at Indana take you on magic carpet rides via your taste buds. Angithi, the multi-cuisine restaurant, serves up delicacies from across the desert, and accompanied by gourmet fare from The Continent
and the Orient, amidst an ambience created by royal Rajasthani motifs, carvings and furnishings. Lotus Café, the coffee shop, invites you to drop by any time of the day or evening for a quick snack or light in-between meal and invigourating cups of your favourite beverage. IBar pours out fine wines, whiskeys, vodkas, gins and more, alongside an extensive menu of cocktails and finger foods. Indana’s palatial courtyard – which can be viewed from most rooms – transforms into a colourful dining experience with a lavish buffet, a festive atmosphere and vibrant folk entertainment. At Indana, leisure travellers will find an escape to a land of adventure, peace, history and untamed natural beauty. Besides the offerings within, the palace hotel is perfectly located near Jodhpur’s primary attraction. Doing business at Indana is a stimulating and invigorating experience.
Asia Special pavilion at GIBTM The Gulf Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings Exhibition (GIBTM) for 2013 has a plan to create a specialist exhibitor pavilion on the show-ﬂoor, providing a dedicated area for exhibitors from the Asia Paciﬁc region. We have a lot of business with UAE, Saudi Arabia and see great potential in the Middle East
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he post-show research, following last year’s GIBTM, confirmed that 46% of the hosted buyers who attended the exhibition in
Networking event. The evening will allow exhibitors who are showcasing destinations in Asia to network with hosted buyers from the Middle East and globally who have expressed an interest in placing business in Asia. According to Lois Hall, Exhibition Manager for the 2013 GIBTM,
Lois Hall Exhibition Manager GIBTM 2013
2012, indicated that they were interested in placing business in Asia. GIBTM 2013 will also launch the Market Focus on Asia
“The incorporation of the Asia Pavilion and networking event into GIBTM is a logical extension to the current show profile and as the outbound business to the region continues to
Martin Kim, Seoul Convention Bureau, exhibiting at GIBTM
grow – Qatar and Etihad Airlines now also offer airline routes in and out of Asia, delivering a direct link between the MENA (Middle East and Northern Africa) region and China, Malaysia and Thailand. Things are also looking positive for the next year with 65% of MENA buyers from our survey reporting an increase in events placed over the next 12 months. Thailand, Malaysia, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Japan have been specified as the top destinations to place future business.”
The new Asia pavilion will provide a meeting area for exhibitors to showcase their products to regional and international visitors as well as hosted buyers. Martin Kim, Seoul Convention Bureau, exhibiting at GIBTM commented, “We first exhibited in 2009 to learn about the market and the response was incredible – we had more than 60 meetings! We have a lot of business with UAE, Saudi Arabia and see great potential in the Middle East. Therefore, we decided to become a part of GIBTM this year.”
Online Booking is the way forward The topic of online versus traditional booking channels will once again be the key focus at the 2013 Arabian Travel Market (ATM) technology seminar sessions as organiser Reed Travel Exhibitions highlights the dramatic shift . T T B U R E AU
he Arabian Travel Market 2012 will be held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre from May 6-9, 2013. A shift in the attitude of the region’s travellers to new booking channels has seen online bookings grow by almost a third in 2012 to reach just under US$10.4 billion, up 31% on 2011 figures.
According to an October 2012 study from Travelport entitled ‘Assessing the Online Travel Opportunity: The Middle East’, this upward trend is predicted to continue with online bookings expected to account for 22% of all travel bookings made in the region within the next two years, with a total value of US$15.8 billion. “In 2011 alone, there was a 39% rise in online bookings in the region. The Middle
East traveller becomes more comfortable with using the Internet as a convenient and credible resource,” said Mark Walsh, Portfolio Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions. “Now that the website www.wego.ae is live in Arabic, we have noticed a surge in local hotel searches and interest in a much wider mix of international flights and accommodation to over 600 destinations,” said Ross Veitch, Wego CEO and Co-
Mark Walsh Portfolio Director Reed Travel Exhibitions
Founder. According to Veitch, searches by local users for flights from Abu Dhabi have increased by 120% year-onyear, and by 106% for Dubai departures. Flight searches to neighbouring Qatar have doubled; with Saudi Arabia registering a 76% increase. Local as well as international hotel searches by UAE residents are also up 121% against 2011 figures, with Wego reporting that Dubai leads the top 20 most searched destinations (as
at April 2012), with 20.2% of total share, followed by Abu Dhabi in third place at 7.7% and Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah also making the top ten. “We have seen a steady increase in online hotel reservations since we opened two years ago, with 2012 year-todate figures showing a 35% revenue increase on 2011,” said Purnima KP, Director of Sales & Marketing, Mövenpick Hotel Deira.
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Prime Travel Agency opens rep office in India In a bid to tap the outbound travel business and increase the Indian footfalls in Hungary, Prime Travel Agency has recently appointed Mumbai-based Global Destinations as their representative and sales partner in India. Headquartered in Budapest, Prime Travel Agency offers packages and tours for Hungary, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia, Slovakia and Germany catering to every segment of traveller – FIT, groups and MICE. Global Destinations plans to start promoting and marketing Hungary among Indian partners by organising sales meet and product training programmes in primary markets like Mumbai and Delhi along with potential secondary markets like Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kolkata.
e-visa to stimulate inbound growth IATO says facilities at par with exporters, in addition to e-visa facility to strategic source markets, will ensure double digit growth in the inbound tourism sector. pared to FTAs of 7.37 lakh during the month of December 2011 and 6.80 lakh in December 2010,” Goyal informed.
he Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), at its first members meeting held in New Delhi, demanded that the government should introduce e-visa facility to countries, where the visa-onarrival facility has not been introduced. Subhash Goyal, President, IATO addressing the concerns of lackluster growth in December 2012, assured MOT officials that evisa facility, along with same treatment for tour operators like exporters, will stimulate inbound growth. “There had been deceleration in rate of growth due to several reasons including the strict two-month re-entry restriction and global slowdown to name a few. The Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during 2012 were 66.48 lakh with a growth of 5.4 per cent as compared to the FTAs of 63.09 lakh during the year
Sarab Jit Singh
Sr. Vice President IATO
The e-visa facility, with equal treatment for tour operators like exporters, will help inbound growth
2011. There was a growth of mere 1.7 per cent in December 2012 over
We are following up with other state tourism boards, that had done the same earlier
December 2011, as FTAs during the month of December 2012 were 7.50 lakh as com-
“However, the scenario looks much better with the removal of restriction on reentry into India on a tourist visa by the government, as was the case earlier. Moreover, if the government creates provision to offer evisa facility to strategic destinations, where there is no facility for Visa-on-Arrival, the growth momentum will accelerate twice as much that is prevalent now. It will also help treat inbound tour at par with exporters,” he added. On its own, IATO is making sure that it delivers more value to the industry by ensuring that the initiatives promised by the various state governments at their annual convention held in Mumbai in 2012, are implemented.
“We are sincerely following up with the relevant government agencies, post the several initiatives they had announced at our Annual Convention held in September last year. We had been successful in getting most of our issues addressed by the government of Maharashtra, who, in principle, had agreed to streamline luxury tax aspects along with various others announced during the said convention,” said Sarab Jit Singh, Sr Vice President, IATO. “We are also following up with other state tourism boards, who made announcements to stimulate foreign tourists in their states. It is one-of-its-kind initiative, unlike any other travel trade body, wherein we want to ensure that we could leverage as much from our annual conventions as possible,” he added.
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Curtains in tourist buses... There are clear specifications for tinted glasses in the Motor Vehicles Act and Central Motor Vehicles Rules to put curtains in the buses. T T B U R E AU
In fact, in its recent letter to Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, ITTA has also highlighted a strong case to act against erring drivers.
here has been a strong drive against vehicles with tinted glasses, or curtains after the heinous crime that was reported in Delhi, which got global attention due to the mass protests. Here, Indian Tourists Transporters Association (ITTA), as a national body of Tourist Transport Operators recognised by the Ministry of Tourism are concerned that law of land be respected both in letter and spirit, as law of land provides provisions to put tinted glasses and curtains. “During the last couple of weeks, the police and other enforcement agencies have come out with certain press statements and advertisements against the use of tinted glasses and curtains in buses, without understanding that there are clear specifications for tinted glasses in the Motor Vehicles Act and Central
Sarab Jit Singh President ITTA
Motor Vehicles Rules,” said Sarab Jit Singh, President, ITTA. “There are provisions to put curtains in the buses under the All India Tourist Permit conditions. Surely, if need of the hour is to have them removed then kindly bring the necessary amendments in the governing laws so that while accepting the orders from authorities, we are not going against the laid out provisions of the law,” he added.
“We are concerned with the act and behaviour of the drivers who are employed with our members and driving various types of tourist vehicles that are extensively used by domestic and foreign tourists. A knee-jerk reaction at this juncture by the administration may not give the desired result in the long run. We would like to request for a proper mechanism to be put in place, so that drivers or other employees who have access to the tourist vehicles cannot use them unauthorisedly,” said Singh.
Nepal boosts Pilgrimage Tourism through roadshows Nepal Tourism Board recently conducted Nepal Sales Mission 2013 in two South Indian cities. The sales missions were held in Madurai on January 8, and in Trichy on January 9, 2013. The Nepalese delegation was led by Rohini Prasad Khanal, Senior Officer – Marketing and Promotion, Nepal Tourism Board. The Nepalese delegation was led by Rohini Prasad Khanal, Senior Officer – Marketing and Promotion, Nepal Tourism Board. Meanwhile, in an effort to attract pilgrimage tourists from South India, the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) recently organised road shows in
Madurai and Trichy. Khanal said that the objective of the roadshows was to facilitate mutual growth in the tourism sector. He pointed out that South Indians, especially those from Tamil Nadu, preferred to visit religious places and NTB is keen to promote Mount Kailash-Mansarovar.
FEEs up by 21.8% Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) from tourism during the year 2012 showed an increase of 21.8 per cent as compared to FEEs of 2011. FEEs from tourism in rupee terms during 2012 were ` 94,487 crore and in dollar terms it was US$ 17.74 billion. Foreign Tourist Arrivals ( FTAs) in the country also registered an increase of 5.4 per cent during the year 2012 as compared to FTAs of 2011. FTAs in India during 2012 were 66.48 lakh.
He added that Nepal had a variety of tourist spots to attract tourists across age groups and has established itself as the gateway to Mount KailashManasarovar. In 2012, Nepal received 164,680 tourists from India by air which is 13.3% increment compared to last year.
Sarovar in Srinagar Sarovar Hotels signed a management contract for managing 55 room Sarovar Portico in Srinagar. This will be Group’s first hotel in Jammu & Kashmir, which is owned by Royal Khazir Hotels & Resorts and will be ready by May 2013. Sarovar Portico brand was conceptualised with a view to provide today’s well-informed traveler with all modern facilities and comforts at value-formoney pricing.
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Seeing challenges as opportunities: IAAI IAAI (IATA Agents Association of India) has postponed its biennial convention ICON 2013 to March 1- 3, 2013 instead January 24-26. With this, they hope to make the convention more educative and effective, addressing the challenges faced by travel agents. has details. D E V I KA J E E T
and we may have to translate these challenges into opportunities,” says Biji Eapen, National President, IAAI.
“From the theme as well as the main business session, one can draw conclusion that our convention is going to be very serious, informatory and educative, which has more vital and relevant subjects from the Indian aviation scenario where the airlines, GDS and travel agents are struggling for their existence. We also believe that the opportunities will not wait for anybody,
Along with addressing the current problems, the association will also highlight some challenges they can see in the future which a majority of agents are still unaware about. HS Chawla, Director, IAAI, further examines the challenges being addressed, “We are going to take up for discussions the plenitude of challenges faced by the industry today such as the zero commission, weekly payments, parity in fares, service tax and ADMs to name a few. In addition to these, we will discuss upcoming challenges, which are still unknown to the agents. The New Distribution Capability (NDC), being one such challenge, is proposed by IATA. Through this NDC system,
he convention theme for 2013 is, ‘Emerging Challenges and Opportunities in Aviation Industry’, and the main business session is, ‘ASHA – Agents Seminar on Handling Adversities’. IAAI hopes to analyse the current challenges being faced by travel agents and shall suggest new methods and steps to be taken to overcome these issues.
National President IAAI
President – Delhi State Committee IAAI
We also believe that opportunities will not wait for anybody, and we have to translate these challenges into opportunities
Through this NDC system, the airlines and IATA want to change the present Global Distribution System models
The biggest threat or challenge is the adverse attitude of airlines towards smaller agents in India
the airlines and IATA want to change the present GDS model, as they believe it is not efficient enough to reach to their customers. The proposed model under NDC would result in severe cuts in the incentives of the travel agents from GDS. A major fallout of such a model is invariably going to be the overruling of the travel agent as the airlines now seek to reach the customers directly. Hence, it is going to be a very serious concern for the travel agents, especially the small and medium ones in the next six months.” The key issues to be addressed during the convention are pertaining to the challenges the Indian travel agent is facing today and how an agent can create more opportunities to sustain and Contd. on page 21
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Indians want more from their holidays With the Singapore Tourism Board announcing the second phase of ‘Singapore - The Holiday You Take Home With You’, the customised and differentiated marketing campaign for Indian leisure travellers, Chee Pey Chang, Executive Director - South Asia, Middle East & Africa (SAMEA), Planning Projects talks about moving beyond numbers to quality tourism. PEDEN DOMA BHUTIA
ver the last 2-3 years, there has been a general shift in focus. We are looking beyond visitor arrival numbers and going towards quality tourism. So, as much as we like to cater to mass tourism, there is an acknowledgement that there’s a certain limit to the number of people who can pass through Singapore. It is like we should not go after numbers, but should try and attract the right segment of
Chee Pey Chang Executive Director - South Asia Middle East & Africa (SAMEA)
travellers who are able to appreciate the products that we have and are willing to pay
for the experience. We try and look into more targeted segments. In India, we are targeting Indians with an annual household income of more than ` 1 million a year. That’s the benchmark we are looking at. Our messaging and marketing are directed to these people, but we do recognize that there will be a lot of spillover, so even as we target this group, some of our messaging will filter down to the people in the second-tier income group.
Singapore - The Holiday You Take Home With You With the new Singapore campaign, the idea is to tell people that holidays can also be about enrichment. It is for people who want to take something more from their holiday. For eg, if you have always wanted to sky dive, but never had the courage or place to do it,
you can take the first step towards sky diving in Singapore, by trying out the I–Fly which is a sky-diving stimulator. It creates a very safe environment for you to try and practice your skydiving skills before you go for the actual jump. For someone interested in food, we
don’t just have a great variety of food in Singapore, we also have some very good culinary schools, where one can learn cooking, one of our taglines is “Leave as a foodie, return as a chef”. We want to sell the idea that you can be transformed by your travel to Singapore.
Providing ‘quality tourism’ to the Indian traveller I was here before from 1999-2002. In 2002, Singapore received around 370,000 visitors, in 2011 we did about 870,000, the number in nine years grew almost by 2.5 times and that despite the depreciating value of the Indian rupee. When I left India, one Singapore dollar was equal to ` 24-25, now it’s almost equal to ` 45. Despite that, many Indians are still excited about going to Singapore and that shows in the numbers. We have not just been doing good marketing in India, but we are also spending a lot of time thinking about what are the new
products that we can bring in. Over the last 5 years we have seen more than 10 billion dollars worth of new attractions opening – we have had two integrated resorts - the Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World. There has also been a lot of conscious effort by the government in encouraging the private sector to invest in new tourism products. People come to a destination not just because of good marketing, but also because you are able to offer them something new and exciting. This constantly evolving investment into the tourism landscape is very
important to keep Singapore fresh and exciting for the Indian audience. As India matures as an outbound country, people are moving beyond just having a checklist of things to see or do. Currently the five Indian metros that we have been active in are Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Kolkata. The other cities we are looking at are Chandigarh, Kochi, Coimbatore and Hyderabad. For us the very first assessment point is air connectivity, all the cities that we mentioned, expect Chandigarh, have direct flights to Singapore.
The competition is not so much between South East Asian countries, going forward the competition is among regions, how does South East Asia compete against North Asia, Japan and Korea, Hong Kong and Macau or Middle East and Europe. I think there are many places in South East Asia that many Indians are not aware of; like Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, and if they choose to go to these destinations Singapore might benefit as they might choose to club this destination with Singapore - a temple experience in Myanmar with a city experience in Singapore. So, competition is not intraregion, it is inter-region, because if people go to Europe or the Middle East, they won’t come to Singapore at all. At the ASEAN level, we have been very open to working with each other, and we have started doing so for cruise tourism. If South East Asia is more appealing to visitors, then Singapore will benefit from it.
To facilitate Bollywood tourism in Singapore it’s very difficult to come up with a cookiecutter incentive scheme. We will customise and support depending on what the production company requires. We are keen on getting more Bollywood films to be shot. We have had good success in the past, and one of the films shot in Singapore that people remember very well is Krissh. We are excited by such stories where Singapore is weaved into the storyline and when such opportunities come by, we’ll be happy to help.
Hotel bathrooms ‘most hygienic place to eat’ The thought of eating dinner in the bathroom would make most people lose their appetite, but this could be the most hygienic area of a hotel room, says a new research. A survey found that the majority of people instead opt to eat their food in bed but this is often the dirtiest part of the hotel room where bacteria is left to thrive. The research done by Check Safety First, a company that offers health and safety risk management systems to hotels, focussed on female business travellers and found that 80 per cent of them chose to eat while sitting on the bed.
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CITI to spur investments The ﬁrst edition of CITI-2013 brought together over 50 investors and a high-proﬁle delegation comprising 15 members of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) along with ﬁve participating states… T T B U R E AU
he Conclave on Investments in Tourism Infrastructure 2013 (CITI) is another pathbreaking initiative started by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), which already have two established platforms to promote tourism in India, namely Great India Travel Bazaar (GITB) and Great Domestic Tourism Bazaar
Amitabh Kant, CEO and MD, Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation sets the stage at the inauguration of the event by highlighting that there are 1 billion international tourists. “The multiplier effect of travel and tourism far surpasses any other sector. Worldwide, tourism creates 450 million jobs annually as against about 50 million by the software sector. India needs to focus on six-Cs,
Period from the 2011 level of 0.6 per cent would require about 2 lakh additional rooms in the 3-star or higher category classified hotels located outside cities with a population of over 1 million. “Our ministry has identified 54 mega destinations and circuits of national importance and is in the process of identifying more such projects at culturally and historically important sites. The ministry
(L-R): Rahul Chakravarty, Prasad, Mitra, Sharma and Patel at CITI
(GDTB). However, the objective of this initiative is to bring together states armed with various projects face-to-face with interested investors. As per preliminary estimates, the first edition of FICCI's Conclave on Investments in Tourism Infrastructure 2013 brought together over 50 investors and a high profile delegation comprising 15 members of AAHOA along with five participating states, which had come together for brainstorming and B2B interactions between interested parties to explore potential investment possibilities.
namely civil aviation development, civic governance, capacity building, constant communication strategy, convergence with other sectors and community participation, other than creating a belief that if India gets more tourists, it would generate more jobs,” said Kant. Giving government’s perspective on tourism, Usha Sharma, Additional Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, in her address, pointed out that the Government’s target of attracting 1 per cent of the world tourist arrivals by the end of the 12th Five-Year-Plan
also provides central financial assistance for the development of mega projects and ensures convergence of resources and programmes of the ministries to ensure that tourism-related and urban civic infrastructure complement each other. The inaugural panel also included Amit Mitra, Finance Minister of West Bengal, Alkesh Patel, Chairman, Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), Arbind Prasad, Director General, FICCI, released FICCI’s Knowledge Paper entitled, ‘Investment in Tourism Infrastructure: Opportunities & Challenges’.
Airlines’ attitude poses threat Contd. from page 18
at the same time be profitable to acquire growth. “The biggest threat or challenge is the adverse attitude of airlines towards smaller agents in India. These policy makers, keeping their members in the dark, sacrifice the interests of small agents in a very planned manner. The other major issue is conventional travel agencies and online travel agencies,” adds Jagdeep Bhagat, President – Delhi State Committee, IAAI. Along with the convention, the association is also working on a white paper to circulate during the convention. “The proposed white
paper shall cover all the relevant issues being faced today, including the anxiety of the industry leaders in thwarting the entry of IAAI into APJC-India. It is proposed to throw light as to why these industry leaders are afraid of IAAI’s presence in the APJC and shall be highlighted with the facts and figures too so that the industry should know what is happening in India and who controls the industry,” adds Eapen. Discussing possible solutions to some of the problems highlighted above, Chawla says,
“Clearly, given the complex nature of challenges being faced by the industry today, there is no panacea to these problems. However, we firmly believe in the age old adage, ‘United we stand, divided we fall,’ and hence, the foremost solution to all challenges calls for entire travel agent community to be united and demand in unison a Productive, Promotive and Profitable (PPP) environment as per the Indian market conditions. Every so often, IAAI has appealed TAAI and TAFI to join forces, but so far, we are all working in isolation.”
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FICCI beckons investors in tourism projects FICCI, in partnership with the state governments and the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, organised the first ever two day Conclave on 'Investment in Tourism. Investors in Tourism Infrastructure from across India and a strong Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) delegation from USA led by their Chairman along with other policy makers attended the conclave.
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STIC Travel opens first international office Celebrating their 40th anniversary, STIC Travel Group (STIC) has decided to open a new office in Singapore. gets details on this first venture abroad. T T B U R E AU
aking most of the strengthening relationship between India and the other ASEAN member nations, STIC has marked its
Subhash Goyal Chairman STIC Travel Group
We firmly believe that our new office in Singapore will allow us to further accelerate and promote travel trade ties between the two countries entry in the global market by opening its first international office in Singapore. “We are looking forward to exploring opportunities in the travel and tourism indus-
Richa Goyal Sikri Director Group Business Development STIC Travel Group
Singapore has always been an important market for STIC as it holds great potential, given the growth witnessed try of Singapore especially given the recent closer economic cooperation. We firmly believe that our new office in Singapore will allow us to further accelerate and promote
travel trade ties between the two countries,” says Subhash Goyal, Chairman, STIC Travel Group. The company is entering its 40th year reaffirming its commitment towards providing quality services to its
travel industry partners, domestic and international. STIC will also contribute to various causes throughout the year through its charitable trust. Commenting on their international expansion,
Richa Goyal Sikri, Director Group Business Development, STIC Travel Group, says, “With expansion of our business in India over these past four decades, this is the perfect time to take a step forward and establish our first international
office. Singapore has always been an important market for STIC as it holds great potential, given the growth witnessed among all categories of travellers between the two countries.” STIC envisages international expansion in
the coming years by opening offices in markets like Sri Lanka, Africa and China. At present, in India, they represent around twenty international travel, aviation, tourism, cruise and hotel brands in India.
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Light, Camera, Action for LHW The group is highlighting iconic properties this year which were a part of international movie sets and backdrops since its inception… A N I TA J A I N
elebrating its 85th anniversary, The Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) has introduced a theme for this year – ‘Lights, Camera, Leading!’ to showcase the global iconic properties to the travel trade. Under this, it has also launched a micro site (www.lhw.com/inthemovies.) to put forward the selected 85 iconic properties available on just one click for trade and guests and also highlight the unique activities for guests to
idaying as more and more properties are coming up with activities to engage their guests for better stay and relaxation. And, increasing number of Indians are opting for iconic properties due to their passion for Bollywood and international film industry. With our set of iconic properties and our theme for this year, we intend to target the audience who are looking at ‘experiential’ stay instead of just a stay at our property.”
Filmy Hotels Participating properties in the India Showcase 2013 were: Grand Hotel Et De (Milan), Brenners Park Hotel & Spa (Germany), Grand Resort Bad Ragaz (Switzerland), Grand Hotel Park (Switzerland), Gstaad Palace (Switzerland), Badrutt’s Palace Hotel (Switzerland), La Mamounia (Morocco), Imperial Hotel (Tokyo), The Datai (Langkawi), KanuHura (Maldives), Capella (Singapore), Sukhothai Bangkok (Thailand) and Orient Express (37 properties worldwide). indulge in at those properties. Moreover, it is also redesigning its India website by making it more informative, interactive and loaded with content and pictures along with getting active on social media channel. Sowmyaragavan TE, Director – India, The Leading Hotels of the World India said, “Hotels are no more a place to just stay during hol-
When asked about the performance of Indian market, he said, “Despite the slowdown in global tourism industry last year, we grew at eight per cent over 2011. This year, we intend to register a minimum 12 per cent growth by expanding our reach to travel trade in metros and Tier II cities.” Recently, LHW conducted the India Showcase 2013
Sowmyaragavan TE Director – India The Leading Hotels of the World, India
This year, we intend to register a minimum 12 per cent growth by expanding our reach to travel trade in metros and tier II cities in Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru with over 13 member property’s representatives. It also launched the Leading Hotels of the World brochure 2013 along with Leading Spa brochure listing the properties with best spa facilities and treatments.
Crowne Plaza in Kochi The hotel boasts the largest meetings and conference space in the city, covering 24,000 sq ft with 14 meeting rooms.. T T B U R E AU
nterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced the opening of the
Douglas Martell Vice President – Operations South West Asia, IHG
Crowne Plaza Kochi. Inaugurated by the Ministers of the State and other dignitaries, the Kochi hotel is the
sixth Crowne Plaza to open in the South West Asia region.
time. That’s what Crowne Plaza Kochi promises.”
Speaking about the new property, Douglas Martell, Vice President -- Operations, South West Asia, IHG said,
Crowne Plaza’s signature ‘meetings programme’ also offers guests with a seamless planning process and an exceptional meetings experience comprising three components: a Two-Hour Response Guarantee, a Crowne Meetings Director and a Daily Meetings Debrief.
“Kochi exemplifies the strong domestic market that we increasingly see more demand from, so we’re excited to welcome Crowne Plaza Kochi to our fast-growing portfolio of hotels in India. Business and leisure travellers in India are seeking a hotel with a brand name they can trust, that caters to their specific needs and will deliver a great stay every
The 269-room hotel offers guests 14 suites with a spectacular view of the backwaters and the city, a health centre, outdoor swimming pool and spa. Located on the banks of the river at Kundannoor and along the National Highway bypass, the hotel boasts the largest meetings and conference space in the city, covering 24,000 sq ft with 14 meeting rooms.
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Malaysia hosts the travel trade After hosting the India Sales Mission 2013, Tourism Malaysia decided to party harder. It hosted a dinner for all its travel partners. The event saw the who's who of the industry, who added glamour to the event.
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Revamped airport in Kolkata President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the brand new integrated terminal in the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata. It has a capacity to handle 20 million passengers annually as compared to the present 7.46 million. T T B U R E AU
he state-of-the-art facility has been built by ITD Cementation India Limited in a joint venture with its parent Italian-Thai Development Public Co Ltd, Thailand. With 128 check-in counters, plush VIP lounge and in-line baggage handling facilities, Terminal 2 can accommodate more than 7,000 passengers per hour. While underlining the economic importance of the terminal, Mukherjee praised the public sector units, including the Airport Authority of India, for doing an ‘exceedingly well-done’
Pranab Mukherjee President, India
job. “I congratulate the Civil Aviation Ministry and Airport Authority of India for constructing this beautiful and state of the art airport terminal,” he said. He said that when the central government decided to undertake the responsibility of modernising the airport, there was a view that the substantial investment which had to be made should come from the private sector, so that there was no pressure on the exchequer. Kolkata is not only the Gateway to the East, but it also plays the most important role in the Look-East policy of the Government of India, Mukherjee added. Touted as a green building with five tiers, Terminal 2 is also a monument to Bengal's leading icons Rabindranath Tagore and Subhash Chandra Bose. Letters from Gitanjali dot the ceiling while an 18 ft high sculpture of Netaji adorns the exterior. Four years and ` 2800 crore on, Terminal 2 will finally take off with the first flight on January 23, coinciding with Netaji's birthday.
The terminal will be fully operational by March. As this new integrated terminal becomes operational , Kolkata can now truly become
the Gateway to the East attracting not just tourists but also connecting its business potential with the rest of the world.
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USA retains its first rank Contd. from page 8
Top 15 Source Countries for FTAs in India during 2010 & 2011 Country
2010 Rank FTAs
USA UK Bangladesh Sri Lanka Canada Germany France Malaysia Australia Japan Russian Fed. China (Main) Singapore Nepal Rep. of Korea Total of Top 15 Countries Others Grand Total
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
2011 %Share Rank Country FTAs
931292 759494 431962 266515 242372 227720 225232 179077 169647 168019 122048 119530 107487 104374 95587 4150356 1625336 5775692
1997. In terms of top source markets for India, its top 15 countries during the year contributed almost 71.86 per cent of arrivals in 2011. Its top 15 markets have remained the same, while Japan and Nepal have improved their rankings,
1 USA 980688 15.54 2 UK 798249 12.65 3 Bangladesh 463543 7.35 4 Sri Lanka 305853 4.85 5 Canada 259017 4.11 6 Germany 240235 3.81 7 France 231423 3.67 8 Malaysia 208196 3.30 9 Japan 193525 3.07 10 Australia 192592 3.05 11 Russian Fed. 144312 2.29 12 China (Main) 142218 2.25 13 Nepal 119131 1.89 14 Singapore 119022 1.89 15 Rep. of Korea 108680 1.72 Total of Top 4506684 71.43 71.86 15 Countries 1802538 28.57 28.14 Others 6309222 100.00 100.0 Grand Total 16.12 13.15 7.48 4.61 4.20 3.94 3.90 3.10 2.94 2.91 2.11 2.07 1.86 1.81 1.65
whereas decline had been observed for Australia and Singapore. FTAs in India from USA (15.54%) were the highest, followed by the UK (12.65%), Bangladesh (7.35%), Sri Lanka (4.85%) and Canada (4.11%) occupying the top five slots. It is
also encouraging to note that over 26 per cent of FTAs in India during 2011 were here for ‘leisure, holidays and recreation’, followed by the purpose of ‘visiting friends & relatives’ ( 24.9%) and ‘business and professional reasons’ (22.5%).
‘Make visa process faster’ Contd. from page 1
While IATA says the country’s aviation industry will be the fourth largest market for domestic passengers globally by 2016, driving profitable operations is still a challenge. “There is oversupply in the hotel sector in key cities in India, which is reflected with decrease in the three performance metrics (occupancy, average daily rate and revenue per available room) during the first nine months of 2012,” he adds. Regarding the recent initiatives taken by India, he
points out, “The expansion of Visa on Arrivals to include Malay and Thai visitors and the ending of restrictions requiring a two-month gap between re-entry for most visa-holders are definitely encouraging developments in India. This reflects the positive government support for the country’s tourism industry. However”, he cautions, “This is not enough.” There is much more to do between India and particularly the other G20 coun-
tries to remove these visa restrictions. “Measures to make it easier for travellers to enter the country is a key priority. Continuing the process of providing VoA to more nationalities is another component in this progress. Along with easing visa restrictions, it is also important to make the visa process faster and ultimately electronic, so that travellers who want to come to the country do not face unnecessary obstacles.”
The Red Dot opens up Vesna Tours – a Destination Management Company that specialises in educational and conference travel recently announced the launch of their Leisure Company – The Red Dot. Focussed on the FIT, group and incentive market, The Red Dot will be a perfect foil to the already successful Vesna Tours. “This is a natural growth for us. Our international offices as well as our clients from across the world have been in constant conversation with us for this expan-
sion and welcome this move. Our on ground partners to India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and UAE too extended immediate support,” say Mishkat Ahmad, Director, Vesna Tours. “We will concentrate on Bespoke and Experiential travel across our destinations. We have spent the last quarter studying and preparing our product accordingly. India is a great place to be right now; it’s a place where everyday something new is being added to our bouquet of offerings. We ourselves are part of the
Mishkat Ahmad Director, Vesna Tours
change, and are excited about this new adventure,” adds Mishkat. The Red Dot will have the advantages of existing Vesna offices in the UK and USA and is also planning to expand its presence in other countries.
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Israel to open rep office in India
'Gujarat Travel Mart' from March 27-29
With each passing year, Israel is attracting more Indians. To cash in on the huge Indian market, Israel’s immediate short-term goal is to set up its Tourism Office in Mumbai to market the nation further.
'Gujarat Tourism' recently announced the third edition of 'Gujarat Travel Mart', India's biggest B2B travel event, in Ahmedabad from March 27 – 29, 2013. Gujarat over the years has contributed towards being a large part of the India’s ever growing
‘Gujarat Travel Mart’ and around 200 exhibitors from India from over 20 diverse tourism segments will mark their presence. The hosted buyers will be invited from the following countries: Netherlands, Kingdom of Bahrain, Australia, Canada,
tourism arrival figures, both to within India destinations and overseas. The inaugural edition of ‘Gujarat Travel Mart’ is set on a B2B platform with over 200 registered buyers from over 30 countries exploring business opportunities for discerning travel and tourism products. Over 800 travel agents are expected to visit the
France, Greece, Israel, Japan, Lithuania, etc. The event is supported by major travel – trade and hospitality association in India such as ‘Association of Domestic Tour Operators Association of India (ADTOI), Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) and Indian Association of Tour Operators.
SA N J E E V B H A R
s the number of Indians travelling to Israel is rising, the country is now planning to open a tourism office in Mumbai to augur its plan to attract more Indian visitors. In a recent interaction with TravTalk, Alon Ushpiz, Ambassador of Israel to India said, “We are planning to open our tourism office in Mumbai, which is our short-term goal and therefore expect it to function within this year. Our Tourism Ministry acknowledges India as an important market and this is a step towards stepping it further.” Also for the fact that India has such a strong Jewish community for over 2500 years makes it an important nation for Israel. “This is an interesting cocktail of Israeli mix in India and other way round that I have not seen with any other country in my over two decades of service,” Ushpiz
remarked. He emphasised that Israel’s relation with India has been that of an existential one. “We cooperate in many areas of economic concerns from agriculture to Defense to energy. Tourism is yet another dimension that is coming of age and due to the strong foundation of shared history, shared values, interests and challenges,” he added.
Growing Numbers In the last 3-4 years, there has been a rise in number of Indian coming to Israel. “We received an annual inbound traffic from India to a count of 40000 in 2011 and are now expecting it to reach 50000 by end of 2013. Our approach is to actively look at promoting the leisure, pilgrimage and MICE capabilities of our country to attract the attention of travel agents,” Ushpiz said. The country is also going to market itself in India based on intellectual and
Alon Ushpiz Ambassador of Israel to India
spiritual belief for this year. He added, “We are in fact investing huge amount of energy to create better tourism infrastructure, easing Visa procedure for Indians, taking initiatives to improve flight connectivity and even adapting ourselves to Indian taste be it food, comfort that they look forward to in Israel.”
Connectivity The fact that the Tourism Ministry of Israel
acknowledges India as an important market for inbound tourist traffic it is taking keen interest to increase the connectivity between the two land mass. Israel Ambassador to India had a recent meeting with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India to discuss increase in frequency of its national carrier between Tel Aviv and Mumbai. “We wish to increase the frequency of flights and are working on the possibility to have chartered flights as well for which we are quite upbeat,” he summed.
Points to Ponder India has a strong Jewish community for over 2500 years which makes it an important nation for Israel Israel received an annual inbound traffic from India to a count of 40000 in 2011
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‘Insure your travel experience’ The travel insurance segment in India is growing at snail’s pace, but with increasing popularity and affordable premium rates, this budding product is becoming a crucial part of outbound travel packages. A N I TA J A I N
fter recording an average of 30-40 per cent growth annually in travel insurance segment, insurance compa-
nies and sellers are focussing on customer-centric products with unique product-lines, attractive premiums, strategic alliances and technology enhancement. Today, GDS
companies are selling insurance; travel agents and operators are clubbing it with travel packages; and even airlines are offering this product to their passengers.
Insurance companies say: Amarnath Ananthanarayanan, CEO, Bharti AXA General Insurance said, “At the moment, travel insurance is not a popular product in India as most travellers don’t buy it. While there is no domestic market for travel insurance, outbound travellers are least interested to buy it. However, we are sure to witness a change in this perception.” He blamed prevalence of conventional products coupled with low awareness among travellers as the reasons for low popularity. Karan Chopra, Business Head – Retail Business Group, HDFC ERGO
Amarnath Ananthanarayanan CEO Bharti AXA General Insurance
General Insurance Company said, “The primary cause would be lack of awareness. Also a lot of travel may be happening to countries which are not considered to be as ‘high cost’ in terms of medical expense levels. The core point to be communicated to trav-
Karan Chopra, Business Head – Retail Business Group HDFC ERGO General Insurance
ellers is that the travel insurance premium is a minuscule proportion of the overall travel expense that would be incurred. The policy provides support in case an adverse situation presents itself when one is in a foreign land.”
Insurance sellers say: As far as travel insurance is concerned, Indian travel trade expects this segment to grow at a faster pace in near future. Without disclosing any sales figures on travel insurance product, Madhavan Menon, MD, Thomas Cook (India) informed that there is very low awareness about travel insurance products in India. “In most countries, travellers don’t travel without buying a travel insurance but in India it is still the last product to book, if needed. It is an important cover when travelling international and we are positive that slowly travellers are opting for it. We are also
Madhavan Menon Managing Director Thomas Cook (India)
bundling travel insurance with packages to make travel experience more convenient and safe for our customers.” With travel insurance premium accounting for less than two per cent of the total
travel cost, it becomes a handy and ‘value for money’ product which is a must-buy for travellers visiting Europe and the US. To increase sale, more and more travel insurance companies are tying up with travel companies, corporate houses, MICE operators and even airlines offering them attractive premium rates and commissions. Travel operators are selling policies for corporate, group and individual travellers with attractive premium rates, convenient covers and offers. For example, together with Sabre, Abacus launched industry’s first travel management service – VirtuallyThere, which Contd. on page 45
As per industry estimates, travel insurance constitutes only 2-3 per cent of the total premium collection of general insurers but is likely to grow faster in the coming years.
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Five ways to make technology work for you D
destinations short. Smartphones and tablets with HD camcorders now make it possible to quickly share broadcast-quality clips online at little cost. You can even live-stream the sights and sounds of dream vacations using apps like Qik or Livestream free for customers to enjoy.
ozens of new high-tech advancements promise to impact travel and tourism in 2013, both from the perspective of industry insiders and everyday travellers. Looking to give your business or promotional campaign an upgrade? Here are five ways to better connect with audiences and tap into these solutions (sometimes quite literally) in the coming months.
Design for mobile devices The future belongs to mobile devices with Gartner predicting over 1.2 billion sales of smartphones and
Capitalise on inbound marketing Scott Steinberg Professional Speaker & Consultant
group sharing, storage and/or collaboration. The good news: All increasingly
Search engines represent a cost-effective way to reach shoppers and compete for visibility with larger rivals. To boost ranking and awareness, routinely publish photos, videos, podcasts and more – every organisation can share attention-getting hints, tips and advice, or information on tours and destinations, including evergreen pieces (“Five Ways to Choose an Adventure Travel Provider”) reusable for future customer reference. Feeling sneaky? Consider also buying Google AdWords (online classified ads) based on rivals’ names or associated keywords (popular search engine terms) that shoppers will see while research competitors.
Invite more audience participation
tablets in 2013. Business, venue and destination websites should be optimised for these platforms – now among users’ primary research tools. Mobile designs need to fit smaller screen sizes, present key information or callouts with fewer clicks, and feature more media designed for rapid search and sharing.
liberate road warriors from their desktop.
Capture and share content Not routinely recording tour highlights or promotional spots on video? Stop selling your events and
Boost audience engagement and awareness by using creative social outreach campaigns that invite audience participation. Example: Next time you’re running a contest, try asking customers to submit photos, videos or stories of favorite vacation experiences, or designs for your next ad campaign, in order to win. All contributions can be shared or featured in ongoing promotional efforts, and provide added incentive for pass-along.
Leverage cloud computing solutions Online (a.k.a. ‘cloud’) computing apps now let your business travel wherever you do. Solutions like SlideShare,MightyMeeting and Prezi allow you to screen presentations for clients on portable screens, while tools including Google Docs, Dropbox and Zoho allow for remote (Bestselling leadership and innovation speaker Scott Steinberg is a regular on the international lecture circuit, and heads management consulting and corporate training firm TechSavvy Global. A top-rated provider of keynote speeches, workshops and seminars, he’s been seen in 600+ outlets from CNN to NPR. For more, visit his website at www.AKeynoteSpeaker.com).
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Thailand: Still fresh & undiscovered Enjoying the privilege of welcoming almost a million annual Indian visitors, Thailand is according top priority to the Indian market and offering more to the Indian travel agents and their clients. I NDER RAJ A HLUWALIA
ery positive about the potential of the Indian market, Runjuan Tongrut, Director North & East India, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), stated that their main focus here is cooperation with the travel trade, media, and alliances. While
Runjuan Tongrut Director North & East India Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)
Thailand has plenty that is new which Indian visitors can experience and enjoy they want visitors across the board, their main target segments in India are leisure; weddings and receptions; golf; luxury; women travellers; health and wellness; and special interest groups. Tongrut feels Thailand has plenty that is new which Indian visitors can experience and enjoy. TAT is introducing and promoting several new destinations that include Koh Chang and Rayong in the East Coast; Ayuttaya, UNESCO World Heritage Site; Khao Yai National Park, World Natural Heritage Site; and Chiang Mai and Chiangrai. Several new activities are also on offer. The Thailand experience goes beyond shopping and theme parks. There are big bike journeys, cycling tours, yachting, wine-tasting tours, golf, and ‘Thainess’ experiences such as Thai cuisine cooking classes; Thai boxing lessons, painting etc. Thailand’s second city after Bangkok, Chiang Mai has emerged as a particularly popular destination for Indians. Wisoot Buachoom, Director Tourism Authority of Thailand, Chiang Mai, feels the Indian market,
which has registered a phenomenal 50 per cent annual growth, is in the top bracket for them, and on their part, they extend a warm welcome to the Indian visitors. Besides general tourism, a major
development is Chiang Mai becoming a popular venue for Indian marriages. With Chiang Mai possessing its own unique culture and heritage, and being cost-effective, Buachoom feels the city
holds special attraction for Indians, and its infrastructure and vast range of facilities ensures convenience and comfort. Half the total of 40,000 rooms in the city are in some fifty 3, 4, and 5-star
Up and coming The most important local infrastructure addition is the sprawling, landscaped, Chiang Mai Convention Centre which is due to open in 2013. With a capacity of 10,000 delegates, the centre is the second largest in Thailand, and is expected to become a big name in the international convention business. Chiang Mai can be conveniently combined with Chiang Rai for Indian visitors. The Golden Triangle is also a high-potential region. hotels. While the main attraction is the holy shrine of Doi Suthep, the other tem-
ples, old historic homes, and natural attractions also draw visitors.
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‘Welcome to Takasaki’ Aware of India’s growing potential, the Japan tourism industry wants to see an increase in the Indian visitor percentage, and Takasaki is taking the lead. I NDER RAJ A HLUWALIA
ishing that many Indians visit and enjoy Takasaki, Kenji Tomioka, Mayor, has promised a warm welcome to his city. Yoshiaki Sembo, Chief Tourism Division, Takasaki City Municipal Office, feels the city holds special value for Indians because of its strong Indian connection.
Their local symbol, Daruma traces its origins from India, and the Kannon Yama, the most prominent structure that dominates the skyline is a giant Buddha statue. That apart, the city and Gunma Province offers myriad attractions such as hot springs, a peaceful atmosphere, and superb accommo-
Dalai Lama graces Jaipur LitFest This year, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, will honour the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival 2013 with his presence. “Literature has played a major role in my life,” the spiritual leader said. “Since child-
hood, reading has been of great importance to me and I am often reminded of the immense kindness of the scholars of the past who translated a vast array of Buddhist literature into Tibetan. I look forward to attending the Jaipur Literature Festival and meeting people writing and reading today.” The Festival is scheduled to take place from January 24-28, 2013 at Diggi Palace, Jaipur. The Dalai Lama’s visit would be a prelude to discussions and readings on the theme ‘The Buddha in Literature’.
dation, dining and transport infrastructure. A great plus point is their proximity to Tokyo, a mere one-hour journey by the super-fast Shinkansen train. With Takasaki as the base, Indian visitors can
explore the riches of Gunma Province, which has everything from culture and heritage to adventure pursuits; shrines; fine dining; and romantic spots like Mount Haruna with its placid lake. Be it groups, incentive groups, or individual trav-
ellers, there’s something for everyone. And it’s the perfect place for honeymooners to escape to. The message is clear. The city wants to welcome Indians and if they have special requirements and
Chief Tourism Division Takasaki
requests, the Tourism Division is totally willing to cater to them to the best
of their ability, and offer what it takes to make them feel at home.
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‘Travel Cloud’ is the next step Small and medium enterprises should focus on tech solutions to enable a multi-channel distribution platform in context to internet and mobile platforms. T T B U R E AU
pbeat on prospects of the travel industry in the BRIC countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and in other developing countries, Vipul Doshi‚ Chief Executive Officer‚ InterGlobe Technologies insists that the small and medium travel agencies should focus on tech-enabled multi-distribution channels, cloud computing and data analytic solutions. “To tap new opportunities, small and medium enterprises should focus on key technologies. They should start with multi-channel distribution platform in context of internet and mobile platform. The internet provides an unparalleled platform to reach out to almost all corners of the world at a nominal cost. Over the last decade, the internet has become a robust platform for providing connectivity across the globe especially in high growth markets including BRIC economies. The modern business traveller is mobile in more than one sense. We see mobile technology gain-
Vipul Doshi Chief Executive Officer InterGlobe Technologies
Holiday booking on mobile phones will be the biggest consumer trend to impact the travel and tourism industry ing great importance in the travel business. The booking of holidays on mobile phones and other new technologies will be the biggest consumer trend to impact the travel and tourism industry,” said Doshi.
“Further, on-demandtravel-service is becoming the benchmark and a huge opportunity in the market. Here, cloud computing helps travel companies move away from a CAPEX model, reduce their costs and create an ondemand-service model. We have increasingly developed and deployed travel solutions on cloud and have partnered with service providers. Cloud-based solutions (‘travel
tomised offerings to customers. Moreover, big analytics enabled companies should take better decisions with better information in areas such as eliminating the travel supply chain waste and enabling ancillary and crosspartner selling,” he added. On the business front, Doshi is confident that IGT will close the present fiscal with a growth of 10-15 per
Three tech trends for 2013 Small and medium enterprises should focus on key technologies. They should start with a multi-channel distribution platform in context of internet and mobile platform Further, on-demand-travel-service is becoming the benchmark and a huge opportunity in the market
cloud’) will increasingly become important in the days to come. Moreover, big data solutions have just arrived in the travel industry. As organisations move towards the continuously connected future where analyzing customers’ data is a huge problem compared to gathering it, an on-time analysis of this data can provide key insights needed to provide cus-
cent. Moving forward, raising hopes, Doshi adds that despite the recessionary effects of an uncertain global economy, the travel and tourism industry continues to remain upbeat. Most market watchers and travel organisations are bullish on the growth of the industry in the long term despite a temporary slow growth in the near term.
Expedia eyeing offline business The group has joined hands with Track India to take the Travel Agents Affliate Programme (TAAP) to Tier-II and Tier-III cities in the country. will be able to penetrate this market. We also anticipate an increase in air ticket sales and hotel room bookings. Expedia India expects Track India to contribute 20 per cent of the overall TAAP bookings in India.”
T T B U R E AU
xpanding its brand presence in India, the international online travel agency Expedia has decided to consolidate its offline presence here. Realising the importance of the offline business in the country, Expedia India has joined hands with Track India to take the Travel Agents Affiliate Programme (TAPP) to Tier-II and Tier-III cities in the country. Track India is the GSA for leading international low-cost carriers (LCCs) such as Air Arabia, Air Asia and Drukair. Boosting the utility value of the travel agents in the Track India network, they can now book hotel rooms, flight tickets, car rentals and tailormade packages from Expedia’s extensive global inventory on behalf of their clients. As part of this tie-up, Track India will issue credit cards to the network of travel agents, specifically for booking through Expedia.co.in. Talking about the new tie up, Vikram Malhi, Country
Vikram Malhi Country Head Expedia India
OTAs have come out of their reliance on flight bookings by becoming a one-stop service provider Head, Expedia India elaborates, “Travel agents in the Tier-II and Tier-III markets generally transact business over cash, therefore, we were not able to leverage that market so far. With this tie-up, we
According to Ram Bhupal, CEO, Track India, most of the agents in Tier-II and Tier-III cities are ownerdriven and are not financial experts. They are not comfortable doing business through credit cards. With this association, they can conduct transactions freely using credit cards on Expedia, he adds. Talking about online travel agencies (OTAs) working towards positioning themselves as one-stop-service providers for all the travel needs, Malhi points out, “In the last few years, OTAs have come out of their reliance on flight bookings by restructuring business and moving towards becoming a one-stop service provider. OTAs are now covering the overall hospitality and travel space by
offering international flights, hotels, international and domestic holidays, car rentals and so on thereby addressing the consumer’s entire travel needs. That’s going to be the way the OTA industry will progress and transpose in the next five years.” As part of its enhanced investment in India, the group is setting up a global technology centre in India and will hire 300 people locally by end of 2013. The new facility in Gurgaon will primarily house employees working on sales and marketing, research and development, and travel supply support services for Expedia Group’s Expediabrand, Expedia.co.in, Hotels.com-brand and Egencia (corporate travel) businesses. According to Malhi, the new office is the largest facility for the group in Asia Pacific and the fifth largest globally. As the Research and Development (R&D) hub for the region, the new development centre in India will create travel applications for local as well as the global markets.
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On the ‘Kaapi Trail’ in Karnataka Unique coffee-growing regions are highlighted in this new initiative by Karnataka, BIAL, Thomas Cook and MOT wherein heritage, leisure and adventure trails are designed to attract a variety of travellers. T T B U R E AU
nnovation is the word in 2013 and this is showcased by a group of industry stakeholders through ‘Kaapi Trail’ packages introduced in South India. Following the success of Kaapi Trail Festival in 2012, Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Karnataka and Thomas Cook (India), has recently launched a series of
packages and trails (adventure, leisure and heritage) covering the top coffee-growing regions in South India. The trails will not only engage the tourist with the history of coffee, processing of the beans and the experience of staying in the middle of coffee plantation, but also connect them with the local culture, cuisine and indulge them in mountain treks, cycling tours and heritage walks to ancient temples and palaces, jeep safari in wild life sanctuaries and much more.
Coffee with ‘Kaapi Trail’ A tourism concept has been built around coffee, connecting all four states of South India with Bengaluru and covering places like Coorg, Chickmagalur, BR Hills, Baba Budangiri, Travancore, Nilgiri Hills, Palani Hills, Shevroy Hills and Araku Valley are part of this new trail package.
Managing Director BIAL
Managing Director Thomas Cook (India)
Through Kaapi Trail, we intend to increase air traffic and showcase the state To promote ecotourism in the region, homestays are also included in the coffee plantation areas. Sanjay
Through this initiative, we offer a flavour of vibrant coffee culture of South India Reddy, Managing Director, BIAL, says, “Our main intention is to make coffee trails just a single-click option for
global coffee lovers. Through Kaapi Trail, we intend to not only increase our passenger and air traffic at the airport, but also showcase the state in a new light and focus for domestic and international tourists (both leisure and MICE). With India consuming over 100,000 tons of coffee a year and it being the sixth largest coffee producer in the world, the Kaapi Trail is a must-do for coffee enthusiasts.” Talking about the unique customer-centric travel experiences, Madhavan Menon, Managing Director, Thomas Cook (India) said, “Through this
unique travel initiative, we intend to offer a flavour of rich and vibrant coffee culture of South India to our domestic and inbound travellers. Our technology platform provides effective showcasing of the diversity of these travel packages with simple booking process.” Travellers can book these trails with any of its 253 offices (including 27 airport counters) in 102 cities across India, Mauritius and Sri Lanka or with any of its 124 Gold Circle Partners and 169 Preferred Sales Agents in over 100 Indian cities. The trail packages cost between ` 28,000-` 32,000 per person for a six-day trip.
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A Gandhian sojourn This tour shows you how Gandhian principles are applied today in conflict with the resolution situations and sustainable development projects, despite persistent poverty and inequality in India. T T B U R E AU
ravel Passion Inc.. for the third time successfully teamed up with Dr. Arun M. Gandhi to offer The Gandhian Legacy Tour to India. Leading this unique Gandhian legacy tour to India are Dr. Arun M. Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and his son Tushar A. Gandhi. In a quest to bring Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence to westerners, Dr. Gandhi says, “The focus is on studying institutions that apply the philosophy of nonviolence in their attempt to transform a community – in urban areas and in rural areas. This tour shows you how Gandhian principles are applied today in conflict with the resolution situations and sustainable development projects, despite persistent poverty and inequality in India.” The programme is a once-in-a-life-time opportunity to hear Dr. Gandhi’s firsthand personal stories about his grandfather and to retrace the footsteps of the great teacher of Satyagraha nonviolent direct action. The tour begins in Mumbai and ends in New Delhi. The sojourn takes you to Ahmedabad in Gujarat to visit the Sabarmati Ashram, Gandhi’s headquarters, during his most active years of resistance to colonial rule. The tour also visits Gandhi’s house, his headquarters and the ashram where Mahatma Gandhi
Travel Insurance Contd. from page 32
has the ability to support more than 600 mobile devices globally, helping travellers stay connected by delivering information on travel insurance bookings. Jet Airways’ JetProtect is a travel insurance supported by ICICI Lombard while IndiGo works closely with TATA AIG for the same. The travel insurance industry in India, which is pegged at ` 400 crore is expected to be a ` 1,200 crore market in the next five years. In the post-9/11 age of failing travel operators, airport security checks and swine ‘flu, travel insurance has become a serious business. So, next time do try to bundle a travel insurance policy for your customer for his convenience and safety.
lived; Kolhapur, where the group has a rare in-depth look at important challenges facing India today; Sunanda Gandhi Memorial School dedicated to Dr.Gandhi’s late wife, etc. Talking about the association with the
Gandhian Legacy tours, Sayyed Sarfaraz-ud-din, Founder and President, Travel Passion Inc opines, “We have been doing educational and Special Interest tours in the country. We are also planning to launch a few more
Inspirational tours to India.” Travel Passion Inc has been associated with Dr. Gandhi and Tushar A. Gandhi since its inception in 2009 and is the official travel partner in India for the Gandhian Legacy Tours.
Sayyed Sarfaraz-ud-din (left-standing), Arun Gandhi and Tushar Gandhi (sitting in the centre) with the Travel Passion Inc team
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FEBRUARY 1 ST FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2013
An evening to thank a million To thank the travel trade in India for their support to Amazing Thailand, Tourism Authority of Thailand organised a ‘A Million of Thanks Evening’ in New Delhi after having welcomed over 1 million Indian arrivals.
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FEBRUARY 1 ST FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2013
TSI celebrates 25 years of success Travel Spirit International completed 25 years in the travel industry and celebrated its Silver Anniversary in New Delhi in Jan 2013. TSI, which started with one employee in 1987, has now over hundred staff, multiple branch offices in India & abroad and involved in promotion of Inbound Tours, Outbound Tours, Ticketing, Tourist Transport and other allied services of travel.
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Travel industry tees off The China National Tourist Office, New Delhi successfully held a golf tournament in the city. Nearly 100 golfers from the travel & tourism industry enjoyed the China Tourism New Year Cup at Golden Greens Golf course. The host, Liu Shijun, Director, CNTO, New Delhi, gave away the prizes to the participants.
Karnatakaâ€™s flavour at Surajkund Crafts Mela A high-level delegation of officials from Karnataka and Haryana gathered in New Delhi to announce Karnataka as the theme state at the Surajkund International Crafts Mela 2013, which is estimated to be visited by over one million people.
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NEWS FEBRUARY 2-3 2-4 5
Austria Chandigarh Mumbai
5-6 5-6 5-6
London London Israel
7-10 8-10 12 14-16 19
Prague Mumbai Kolkata Delhi Mumbai
23-25 24-27 25
Ahmedabad Durban Delhi
Travel Trend India Travel Mart (ITM) Austrian National Tourist Office’s B2B Event The Travel Technology Show Business Travel & Meetings Show International Mediterranean Tourism Market Austrian National Tourist Office’s B2B Event Austrian National Tourist Office’s B2B Event Holiday World OTM Tourism Philippines’ Roadshow OTM Disney Parks - Disney Days Trade Event Disney Parks - Disney Days Trade Event Macau Govt Tourist Office’s Trade Workshop Canadian Tourism Commission Agents Training Programme India Travel Mart (ITM) TAFI Convention Canadian Tourism Commission Agents Training Programme ATOUT France’s Paris Promotion ATOUT France’s Paris Promotion Canadian Tourism Commission’s Focus Canada India IITM Kolkata
Abu Dhabi Ukraine
Starwood Hotels Worldwide’s Sales Expo for B2B / MICE & Corporate Agents IAAI’s Biennial Convention ICON 2013 India International Travel Exhibition (IITE) Starwood Hotels Worldwide’s Sales Expo for B2B / MICE & Corporate Agents Kiwi Link South & South East Asia ITB Macau Govt Tourist Office’s B2B Workshop Macau Govt Tourist Office’s B2B Workshop GIBTM Ukraine International Travel & Tourism Exhibition (UITT)
Special fares to get India going Exciting rail promotions are on for this year, but being a late-booking market, India is still not reacting to these offers. T T B U R E AU
ike every year, Rail Europe India has announced its year-round promotions for 2013 with offers for every segment of traveller – family, senior citizens, youth, businessmen,
Kunal Kothari Executive Director Rail Europe India
11-13 14-16 21-24
Russia Jaipur Auckland
Azerbaijan International Tourism Fair (AITF) Macau Govt Tourist Office’s B2B Workshop International Luxury Travel Market Africa (ILTM Africa) China Outbound Travel Tourism Mart (COTTM) SITT (TOURSIB) Great India Travel Bazaar Tourism New Zealand TRENZ 2013 World Travel Market Latin America Riyadh Travel Fair Kazakhstan International Tourism Fair (KITF)
For more information, contact us at: email@example.com
“However, this year, the market looks too slow. The bookings may increase after the announcement of Union Budget 2013-14.
If only India was an early booking market, passengers could save as much as 75 per cent by booking 90 days prior to their travel dates on the Rail passes,” informs Kunal Kothari, Executive Director, Rail Europe India.
When asked about the top-performing markets in terms of sales figures in India, Western India tops the list, followed by North and Southern India for Rail Europe India. On the other hand, Switzerland is still the number one selling destination for the company from India followed by France, UK, Italy, Spain, Austria, Germany and East Europe. The company has recently added NTV Italo (a private operator of high-speed rail network in Italy) in the Indian product-lines and will soon add it on its online distribution channel. “Since the product is still offline, we make 70-80 bookings per day for NTV Italo. By March 2013, we will successfully integrate their system with our distribution channel and expect to
increase the sales by 200 bookings a day. With the similar price point and better services, NTV Italo is competing with the local operator Trenitalia.” Moving further, the company is also introducing web fares for German Rail and Trenitalia before sum The company recorded sales of 16.35 million Euros from India in 2011, 19.63 million Euros (from January – November 2012) in 2012 and is expecting to perform and witness sales of 22 million Euros in 2013. India contributes close to 10 per cent of the total global sales for Rail Europe. To reach the target, it is going to enter Tier-II cities like Pune, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Coimbatore and others to educate travel professionals.
SW Germany for affordable tours The tourism board has introduced an array of promotions, packages and deals to attract families and FITs. gives details on how the tourism board plans to focus on more sectors to push numbers from the India market… T T B U R E AU
n a bid to encourage affordable travel, South West Germany has recently introduced attractive travel cards covering six cities of the region – Stuttgart, Mannheim, Freiburg, Karlsruhe, Constance and Heidelberg for families, groups, FITs, VFR and corpo-
etc. Last year, with the promotions on, the company recorded a growth of 35 per cent in the first quarter.
Hans-Jorg Hadbawnik Regional Director – Russia and India
rate travellers. It has also introduced ‘Add-on packages’ for corporate travellers who want to extend their business trip to explore the city for one, three, four, five and six nights. According to the tourism board, Indian travellers spend the highest number of nights (6.8 nights per visit) in South West Germany as compared to other nationalities. Over 22,000 Indians visited the region between January – November 2012 accounting for 150,000 overnights and spending 108 Euros on an average per day per person. With 350 destination specialists in India through Cuckoo Specialist Training Program for tour operators, South West Germany intends to further reach out to agents in metros and Tier II cities to increase the Indian overnight figures.
Innovative Sales Guide 2013 South West Germany has introduced its online Sales Guide 2013 with a unique identification code provided to all service providers – tourism agencies, hotels, sightseeing, attractions, transporters, incentive companies, etc. Through this identification code, agents can update their information on rates, services, availability and can also ask for group rates and other queries directly to the service provider. According to Hans-Jorg Hadbawnik, Regional Director – Russia and India, Stuttgart Marketing and Tourism; India is one of the most potential tourism markets for the region and it’s important to make the destination more affordable to further boost the market. He said, “With slowdown in European economy, it is important for us to make tourism more affordable. Since our region is well-connected with top cities in Europe, Indians (both leisure
and business) can visit South West Germany and combine it with other countries. The perception of Germany as a business destination is changing among Indian travellers and we are capitalising on further establishing our region as leisure destination for families, FITs, honeymooners and corporate travellers. With these attractive promotions, we are contemplating a growth of minimum 10 per cent in overnights from India in 2013.”
Environmental Management Workshop Mumbai International Airport Pvt Ltd (MIAL) in Mumbai organised and hosted a 2-day Environmental Management Workshop for Aviation between January 10-11, 2013. Held under the auspices of the Directorate
General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and as part of the European Union (EU)-India Civil Aviation Cooperation Project, 20 representatives of airlines and staff from MIAL participated in the workshop.
This workshop was conducted & delivered by experts from the EU-India Civil Aviation Cooperation Project. The purpose of this workshop was to build both basic and advanced environmental management capac-
ity in aviation through theoretical and practical sessions on the complete range of environmental issues. Special attention was given to the current scenario in India (e.g., carbon footprint of Indian aviation), etc.
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OPPORTUNITY / CLIPBOARD
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Macau Government Tourist Office
The Oberoi Group New Delhi
Courtyard by Marriott Gurgaon
Kapil Chopra has been appointed as President, The Oberoi Group. He will be responsible for all The Oberoi and Trident Hotels in India. An alumnus of The Oberoi Centre for Learning and Development (OCLD), Chopra’s experience as an hotelier spans over 19 years. Most recently, Chopra was the Executive Vice President of the Group and was instrumental in opening the two flagship properties -The Oberoi and Trident in Gurgaon. Under Chopra’s leadership, The Oberoi, Gurgaon was voted ‘World’s Leading Luxury Hotel’ by the World Travel Awards again.
Kanika Hasrat is the new General Manager of the Courtyard by Marriott, Gurgaon. Hasrat has worked in diverse areas of operation within the industry including housekeeping, rooms, and front office. Her association with Marriott is an old one and she has held different positions with Marriott Hotels like JW Marriott Mumbai, Marriott Amsterdam. Most recently served as General Manager, Trident Jaipur, she has a deep understanding and vast knowledge of the hospitality industry having been in this industry for more than one and half decades.
Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes has been appointed as the new Director of Macau Government Tourist Office. Fernandes joined the public service in 1988 and served as the promotion department head of the former MGTO from 1994 to 1998 and Deputy Director of MGTO from 1998 till today. Currently, Fernandes acts as a member of Committee of Nomination of Medals and Honorary Titles, Macau Grand Prix Committee, Tourism Development Committee, Tourism Crisis Management Office and Committee for the Development of Conventions and Exhibitions. She was also a member of the Strategic Intelligence Advisory Committee of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) from 2007 to 2009.
Hilton Garden Inn Saket, New Delhi
DoubleTree by Hilton Gurgaon
Sterling Holiday Resorts (India) Chennai
Satya Prakash has been appointed as the General Manager of
Monisha Dewan has been appointed General Manager of
Hilton Garden Inn New Delhi/Saket. With over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Prakash joined Hilton Garden Inn New Delhi/Saket in 2010 as Operations Manager after having worked with Country Inn & Suites, New Delhi, in a management position. Prior to that, Prakash held various positions in Food and Beverage with Fortune Select Global, Hyatt Regency and Maurya Sheraton in India, as well as Radisson Hotel in Nepal and Le Meridien Hotel in Bahrain.
DoubleTree by Hilton Gurgaon-New Delhi NCR, a full-service hotel conveniently located on the Golf Course Road in Sector 56, Gurgaon. Dewan brings with her over 20 years’ experience in the hospitality industry. She joined Hilton Worldwide in January 2008 and she was responsible for the successful launch of Asia Pacific’s first Hilton Garden Inn brand hotel in Saket, New Delhi. For her efforts, she was recognised as the Regional General Manager – Asia Pacific, Middle East, Europe & Africa in the 2011 Hilton Garden Inn Brand Awards.
Miguel Munoz has been taken on as the Head of Resort Operations by Sterling Holiday Resorts (India). Munoz is a veteran in the Vacation Ownership industry and has been actively involved in Resort Operations in Europe for the last 22 years. During his career, he has worked across segments of the Leisure Hospitality industry with stints in internationally recognised hospitality chains such as Meliá Hotels International, Steigenberger Hotel Group and large Vacation Ownership players such as Vacation Care International, Club La Costa Resort & Hotels, Interval International, and Petchey Leisure.
JW Marriott Hotel New Delhi Aerocity New Delhi
InterContinental Hotels Group Bangkok, Thailand
Balan Paravantavida is the General Manager the first JW
Phil Broad joins IHG as the new Vice President, Food & Beverage
Marriott Hotel in New Delhi which will open in the first quarter of 2013. Before assuming responsibility of the JW Marriott in New Delhi, Paravantavida had an impactful two-year term as the General Manager of the Pune Marriott Hotel and Convention Centre, the 500th Marriott hotel in the world. With over 28 years of experience in handling preopenings, conversions and takeovers of Marriott hotels in six countries across three continents, Paravantavida offers a strong operational background.
for IHG Asia, Middle East and Africa. He will be responsible for leading the region’s Food & Beverage (F&B) strategy. Broad was most recently the Managing Director of Jumeirah Restaurants LLC, where he was tasked to set up and license innovative and successful casual dining restaurant concepts for the Jumeirah Group globally. Prior to joining the Jumeirah Group, his professional portfolio covered internationally renowned brands - Starbucks Coffee Company, T.G.I.Fridays, Teco’s, and Pizza Hut.
Hyderabad Marriott Hotel and Convention Center and Courtyard by Marriott Hyderabad Vivek Bhatt, Executive Chef, brings over 15 years of rich culinary experience to Marriott’s table. Prior to his role with the Hyderabad Marriott, Bhatt was associated with Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts. His journey with the Shangri-La's group began in 2007, as Executive Sous Chef with the Shangri-La Hotel, New Delhi. From the New Delhi assignment he moved on to China and then to Shangri-La's premium resort in Muscat, Oman.
Simon C Barlow, President-
Talking People is a special dedicated corner, created as a sounding board for who’s who of the Indian and International travel industry. With Talking People, it is our endeavour to bring you face-to-face with people. Contributed by: Megha Paul
Jean-Michel Casse , Senior Vice President Operations, India, Accor says that being in the hospitality profession, one needs to be alert and fit. Thus, he likes to hit the gym often. “Being in India, I have also been heavily influenced by Yoga, which I regularly practise,” he says. Casse was overwhelmed when he visited Varanasi recently. “I had to take my friend to Varanasi. The city is very fascinating. The beautiful amalJean-Michel Casse gamation of the holy and traditional with young, Senior Vice President Operations, India, Accor energetic dynamics makes the city reverberate with positive energy. This surely is the best destination for me in India,” he adds.
Asia Pacific, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group loves to play golf. “I spent this Christmas in Australia with my family and played golf.” Collecting wines is Barlow's passion. Talking about his impressive wine collection, Barlow boasts, “I have 2000 bottles of Simon C Barlow wine in my cellar in Australia.” President-Asia Pacific, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group Spending time with his kids is another rejuvenating experience, he feels. “I spent this Christmas with my two kids – 22year-old son and 19-year-old daughter. They will also come to Singapore soon. I hope to have some fun in Singapore when they are around,” he adds.
Aman Aditya Sachdev, Senior Vice President- India Rotana is a fitness enthusiast. “In my free time, I like to workout a lot.” Biking is passion and he loves to go for a ride whenever possible. Kerala and Goa are his favourite holiday destinations in the country. “I love Goa for the complete chilled out and carefree experience it offers. Kerala with its pristine undulated backwaters also features in my top list,” he chuckles.
Aman Aditya Sachdev Senior Vice President- India Rotana
PK Mohankumar , Chief Operating Officer-Gateway Brand, Taj Hotels Resorts & Palacestakes the saying ‘Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise’ very seriously. He wakes up daily at 6 in the morning. “I am a health freak and I love activities such as swimming, jogging and yoga,” he says. Interestingly, he is also a Kalaripayattu (an Indian martial art from Kerala) expert and enjoys outdoor sports such as cricket, football and hockey. “Staying fit is the ethos of my life. For the last ten years I have been practicing veganism and have given up rice completely,” he adds. According to Mohankumar, reading is an important part of life and never goes out of fashion. PK Mohankumar Chief Operating OfficerGateway Brand, Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces
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Postal Reg. No.: DL(ND)-11/6044/2012-13-14; WPP No.: U(C)-178/2012-14 for posting on 1st-2nd and 15th-16th of the same month at New Delhi P.S.O., RNI No.: 53492/91 Date of Publication:30-01-2013
Showcase tourism success stories Dipak Deva, CEO, Destination Management India & South Asia, Kuoni Destination Management; Vice Chairman, WTTCII; and Co-Chair FICCI Tourism Committee shares his opinion on measures to ensure futuristic growth strategies while highlighting certain grim situations that marred Incredible India’s image. hospitable treatment to all visa applicants backed by state-of-the-art technology.
he newly elected Vice Chairman of WTTC-India Initiative, Dipak Deva shares his opinion on making tourism a national priority in India, while fixing various weak points to leverage the true potential of tourism in India. Here are the selected excerpts:-
Tourism as Pro-Poor Tourism sector is propoor with rich employment creation potential. Today, the entire world including the leading economies of the world looks at the potential of tourism to propel economic engines of growth. It’s like looking at the glass half empty, if tourism is still looked at as a mere elitist activity. The multiplier effect of tourism is way higher than any other industry. There are several success stories like the Shahpur Bagh in Rajasthan, wherein entire eco-system in the surrounding area had benefited due to tourism through the various forward and backward socioeconomic linkages. It’s our responsibility to highlight such success stories at international and national platforms to highlight the true potential of tourism. Such success stories will also be able to recognise the role tourism can play to conserve natural resources and also promote ones own cultural heritage.
Tourism as national priority India never had tourism as its priority. Fortunately, things are changing, wherein Ministry of Tourism plays a pro-active role. In fact, even
Dipak Deva CEO, Destination Management India & South Asia, Kuoni Destination Management
the Planning Commission had recognised the importance of tourism in its 12th Five-YearPlan Period. But, we need to move fast. In fact, study should be commissioned to study the emerging scenario in various strategic emerging markets, and other conventional markets. Today, changes are happening really fast. The consumer today is deciding very late on vacation plans. Social media has become a force to reckon with and digital platforms need to be redeemed. Moving forward, through scientific evidence, we should plan for at least ten years ahead in terms of identifying and completing various tourism development projects. There should be adequate thrust on taking the public-private partnership route as our strategy. We should take overseas marketing very seriously. There is exigent need to deploy professional PR managers in strategic source markets that India wishes to tap. Further, our embassies in foreign countries should be made adept to extend most
Lately, our Embassy in Kyiv wrote to the tour operators, “Due to technical reasons, there will be some delay in issuing tourist visa for India. Tour operators are advised to postpone accepting applications from visa seekers for some time. The situation is likely to improve in two-week time. This advisory may be followed till further notice from the Embassy of India.” Its sends a very bad message to foreign tour operators, if merely, due to operational issues, visas couldn’t be processed. Once the confidence of foreign tour operator is lost, the destination suffers. India should also open new offices in strategic markets, where we have no presence. There should also be standardised promotional collaterals made available with all our overseas tourism offices and embassies.
Growing the pie All of us have the responsibility to give back to the industry at some point in time by sharing
wealth of knowledge and experience gathered over a long period. One should strive forward in a non-political and proactive manner to make a difference so that the tourism pie increases. In FICCI, we have done a very decent job. GITB is an international event and GDTB a premium event for the domestic industry, which all national and international stakeholders find beneficial. Further, we have lined up a lot of action that includes the recently concluded conclave on investments in Tourism Infrastructure named Conclave on Investment in Tourism Infrastructure CITI, which will be followed by an event named ‘shoot at site’ to facilitate tourism through films. On the WTTC India Initiative front, I believe it’s an excellent group of people, who are keen to make a difference and take tourism to new heights, where we continuously strive to bring a change in the right direction. We had organised Southern Retreat, which was wellattended by policymakers, hoteliers, tour operators and other stakeholders in the tourism sector. In fact, K Chiranjeevi, Minister of Tourism with independent charge had already announced the setting up of the Southern Zonal Tourism Council (SZTC) comprising the states of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Puducherry. It will help facilitate development of tourism and tourism products of Southern India in a holistic and comprehensive manner.
Thought for the Day
Lately, our Embassy in Kyiv wrote to the tour operators, “Due to technical reasons, there will be some delay in issuing tourist visa for India. Tour operators are advised to postpone accepting applications from visa seekers for some time. The situation is likely to improve in twoweek time. This advisory may be followed till further notice from the Embassy of India
Published on Jan 31, 2013