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Vol. XXIV No. 11; June 1 st fortnight issue 2012

Sliding `: Industry worried

New ADG

Representative associations of the inbound, domestic and outbound segments are concerned about the direct and indirect fall out of the steep downslide in value of Rupee. finds out more… VIVEK SETHI

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he partially convertible Indian rupee fell below the key psychological level to hit a new record low and is hitting a life-time low. It’s perhaps due to risk aversion in the ongoing economic difficulties in the European countries, subdued investor confidence in the Indian market, fear psychosis, speculative forces or a complex of such issues. The Indian tour operators are worried about the steep fall in the value of the

India rupee and its longterm repercussions. For the inbound industry, it means increase in tourist arrivals, but they worry the implications on the macro front. The domestic tour operators are equally a worried lot. The outbound industry, which is facing maximum challenges due to slide in value of rupee, is also concerned about the need to uplift the broader economic sentiments along with the lowering steep tax on the outbound packages. Contd. on page 28 

Usha Sharma ADG, Ministry of Tourism

Guldeep Singh Sahni

Sarab Jit Singh

Rajat Sawhney

President, OTOAI

Sr. Vice President, IATO

General Secretary, ADTOI

Prospects of outbound segment are challenging

Negative impact can lead to an economic slowdown

The present situation seems to be very complex

Build biz@WTM Latin America WTM Latin America will target over 1,000 exhibitors and is expecting over 7,000 visitors. The event will also run a targetted regional and international Hosted Buyer Programme. T T B U R E AU

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n the ongoing uncertain global economic environment, Latin America has emerged as one of the resilient regions that offer immense potential for

global stakeholders in the tourism industry. To tap the potential in this region, Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) have announced a global event to tap the tourism potential in Latin America on April

23-25, 2013 titled WTM Latin America. As per Lawrence Reinisch, Exhibition Director, World Travel Market Latin America, “The Latin American travel and tourism

industry has grown rapidly and is poised to grow even faster over the next few years. Latin America attracted 33,127,000 tourists in 2011 rising 5.2 per cent a year to 55,191,000 in 2021. This growth sees the region

top the table of percentage increase in tourism spending over the coming years, rising 7.5 per cent over the period to $70.8bn in 2012, according to the World Travel &Tourism Council.” Contd. on page 5 

Usha Sharma has recently taken over as the Additional Director General of Tourism in the Ministry of Tourism. She had previously served the Rajasthan Government for over five years. Previously, she was the Principal Secretary, Tourism, Government of Rajasthan. She had been a leading force behind the Great Indian Travel Bazaar (GITB), which has become one of the most coveted marts in the South East Asia region.


BULLETIN

PATA-India roadshows in Aus, NZ With successful roadshows over USA, UK & Canada in 2010 and 2011, PATA-India will now organise roadshows in Australia & New Zealand.

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2011 respectively, this year, PATA India Chapter is working on conducting roadshows in Australia and New Zealand. Vasudeva said,

“Post the successful PATA Travel Mart 2011 in New Delhi, our resilient PATA-India Chapter is striving to register substantial number of repeat and new Indian buyers/sellers for the PATA Travel Mart 2012 in Manila from September 2528,” said Kabir Vasudeva, Executive Director, PATAIndia Chapter.

“We are working on three roadshows covering New Zealand and Australia in October 2012. One thing we ensure in our roadshows is the quality of attendance. In fact, in the previous edition, we had opted for services of an independent well-placed consultant.”

T T B U R E AU he PATA-India chapter is gearing up for the strategic events lined for September and October 2012. The first of its strategic initiatives is the PATA Travel Mart in Manila to be held from September 25-28, which will be followed up by three overseas roadshows.

Vikram Madhok Vice Chairman PATA India Chapter

“We hope that we will succeed in attracting a substantial number of participants amid the fact that ITB Asia is also lined up around the same period,” he added. Moreover, like the previous edition of successful roadshows spread over USA, UK and Canada in 2010 and

“This year also, we are preparing in a manner that our delegates get to meet quality trade partners, which yields possibility of fruitful business association in times to come,” he added.

High Hopes The first of its strategic initiatives is the PATA Travel Mart in Manila to be held from September 25-28 which will be followed up by three overseas roadshows PATA-India Chapter is striving to register substantial number of repeat and new Indian buyers/sellers for the PATA Travel Mart 2012


STATISTICS VIEWPOINT

What’s in store for private airlines?

New benchmarks

With myriad of problems plaguing Kingfisher Airlines and Air India, the Indian domestic market is now dominated by low fare players. However, profits still seem to be a distant dream. Excerpts from an HSBC survey:

Vikramajit Chairman SanJeet Publisher Rupali Narasimhan Editorial Director Deepa Sethi Editor

Editorial Ratan Kr Paul Megha Paul Anita Jain Vivek Sethi Devika Jeet Desk-Editor Archana Sharma Sub-Editor Raina Mandal Photographer Simran Kaur

Advertising Gunjan Sabikhi General Manager Karishma Khanna Sr. Manager Marketing Amit Sarkar Sr. Marketing Co-ordinator Advertising (Mumbai) Suchita Saran Branch Manager Harshal Ashar Deputy General Manager

T T B U R E AU

The significant cutback in domestic capacity by Kingfisher has brought about some capacity rationalisation in the industry and a better demand-supply balance. Kingfisher’s capacity is roughly down to 30% of its full scale operations

The Indian domestic market is now clearly dominated by low fare players whose market share reached 54 per cent in March 2012. Separately, Jet Airways (including JetKonnect) still commands the largest share of the market at 29 per cent, closely followed by IndiGo at 22 per cent.

The survey suggests that average fares in the fourth quarter were not significantly below third quarter levels, despite the latter being the seasonally strongest quarter. After registering a demand growth rate of 17% in 2011, the domestic passenger growth rate has slowed down to 7% in Q1 2012.

(Mumbai) Rishika Karra Sales Coordinator Advertising (South India) Vinu V Nair Regional Head-South India Advertisement Designers Vikas Mandotia Nitin Kumar Renuka Mahich Design: Nityanand Misra Sudhir Mudgal Production: Anil Kharbanda Circulation: Ashok Rana

The forecasts for FY13-15 suggest a moderate growth of 13-14% over the next two years, but there are three caveats: • We assume Kingfisher maintains its current fleet size of 20 aircrafts • We assume two-thirds of IndiGo’s fleet deliveries are used for domestic operations and the remaining aircrafts are used for international operations • This exercise excludes the fleet of National Aviation Company of India Limited due to unavailability of data. Although the option to acquire aircrafts on lease remains (i.e. unplanned capacity addition), suppliers may be wary of Indian carriers’ ability to meet obligations, especially after Kingfisher’s troubles. Also, industry players would not ramp up capacity, especially as costs remain elevated and would focus on yields instead. Therefore, the risk of unplanned capacity addition is low.

TRAVTALK is a publication of DDP Publications Private Limited. All information in TRAVTALK is derived from sources, which we consider reliable and a sincere effort is made to report accurate information. It is passed on to our readers without any responsibility on our part. The publisher regret that he cannot accept liability for errors and omissions contained in this publication, however caused. Similarly, opinions/views expressed by third parties in abstract and/or in interviews are not necessarily shared by TRAVTALK. However, we wish to advice our readers that one or more recognised authorities may hold different views than those reported. Material used in this publication is intended for information purpose only. Readers are advised to seek specific

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Disclaimer: This report is dated as of May 10, 2012 • All market data included in this report are dated as of May 7, 2012, unless otherwise indicated in the report

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TTC’s latest Economic Impact Research shows that world Travel & Tourism continues to grow in spite of continuing economic challenges. Despite progressive downgrades to growth forecasts through 2011, the industry grew by 3% over the course of the year (in terms of Travel & Tourism’s contribution to GDP). Tourism’s direct contribution to GDP in 2011 was US$2 trillion and the industry generated 98 million jobs. Taking account of its direct, indirect and induced impacts, Travel & Tourism’s total contribution in 2011 was US$6.3 trillion in GDP, 255 million jobs, US$743 billion in investment and US$1.2 trillion in exports. This contribution represented 9% of GDP, 1 in 12 jobs, 5% of investment and 5% of exports. Growth forecasts for 2012, although lower than anticipated a year ago, are still positive at 2.8% in terms of the industry’s contribution to GDP. Longer-term prospects are even more positive with annual growth forecast to be 4.2% over the ten years to 2022. The Indian tourism industry had a brilliant run in the year 2007, just before the world realised that many of the iconic institutions and sub-prime mortgage lending in the developed world will pull the global economy down into the hands of the recessionary monster. Fortunately, riding on the back of strong economic fundamentals, the Indian economy and the Indian tourism industry came out of the unprecedented global economic meltdown. But today, it seems the global economy has not completely managed to get out of the grip of the toxic recessionary monster, as disturbances continue to create new threats for European economies. When the world is going through such uncertainties, the Indian economy is bound to have its own set of ups and downs. The steep fall in the value of Rupee is one such instance, which had been more a result of global risk aversion than a change in the macro picture of the Indian economy. The visionary and brave will see many new opportunities in the present times that look challenging. The Indian tourism industry, which is most vulnerable to such global uncertainties, now also needs to change, so as to emerge as a leading force.


ANALYSIS

JUNE 1 ST FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2012

TRAVTALK

5

Lacking desirable manpower? Representatives from hospitality education institutes in India argue that the trend of employee attrition in the Indian hospitality sector is self created by hotels. However students and parents too need to change their attitude towards the industry. M E G H A PAU L

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eeling under a severe manpower shortage. Manpower shortage and attrition is the single

WTM Latin America in April Contd. from page 1 

Lawrence Reinisch Exhibition Director World Travel Market Latin America

The Indian and Latin American markets have great potential to work together “This growth has, and will continue, to position it as one of the most important regions for the travel and tourism industry, meaning the region needs a global event to promote it to the world as both an inbound market and increasingly important source of outbound travellers,” Reinisch added. “The Indian and Latin American markets are two of the most important emerging travel and tourism economies and have great potential to work together,” said Reinisch. “I would highly recommend WTM Latin America to those in the Indian travel industry; it will be the event where they will be able to strike deals with countries from the Latin American region. This will help to improve the travel and tourism industry for both India and the Latin American region,” added Reinisch. With this, RTE has already organised two leading global event for the region which will launch in the next 12 months. Before WTM Latin America launches in 2013, ILTM Americas will launch in Mexico this October (1-3 in Mayakoba).

largest problem in the hospitality industry. Being a service industry, where talent redeems the brand promise, employee cost on an average is increasing and this is dent-

ing the profits of the industry. A recent survey conducted by global recruitment tendering platform MyHiringClub.com also echoes the same sentiments. To understand the

trend of employee’s attrition rates in Q4 of FY12 in India, the survey revealed that aviation and hospitality sector witnessed the highest attrition rates. On one hand, the

hospitality industry is complaining that it is grappling with attrition. On the other hand, the hospitality education institutes see a dichotomy here. They argue that the

problem of less students opting for hospitality is self created by the hotels. The impression passed on to the industrial training candidates leave a wrong tale in their minds and they head towards other industries for a career. Hence, this leads to the shortfall or lack of desirable candidates. Contd. on page 30 


PASSPORTS

127% growth in number of passports issued in 2011 The spurt in the India outbound segment is evident largely by the 58.69 lakh passports that showcased a rise of over 127 per cent in the number of passports issued by the Ministry of External Affairs. Passports issued during January 1- December 31, 2011

VIVEK SETHI

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ndia has emerged as an important source market for the world, which has led UNWTO to forecast a supply of over 50 million outbound travellers by 2020. An important indicator of the increasing willingness to travel is the increase in passport applications.

As per the statistics released by the Ministry of External Affairs, in 2011, 37 passport offices, headquarters and the office of the chief Secretary of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, issued 58.69 lakh passports (inclusive of 2,840 Diplomatic passports and 28,067 Official passports) and rendered 4.68 lakh passports-related miscellaneous services. The 178 Indian missions and posts issued 10.27 lakh passports. Thus, the Government of India, in total, rendered 73.65 lakh passport services. The total revenue generated from all Passport Offices in 2011 was Rs 728.99 crore, compared to the total revenue of Rs 679.11 crore in 2010. Indian passports are issued by the Ministry of External Affairs through a network of 37 Passport Offices, while the CPV Division issues only diplomatic and official passports and the office of the Chief Secretary of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Moreover, this network is being expanded considerably under the Passport Seva

Passports issued under General & Tatkal category during January 1 – December 31, 2011

Name of RPO/ PO

No. of No. of passports passports issued issued under Tatkal Hyderabad 443,605 77,224 Bengaluru 384,044 65,250 Delhi 335,210 58,568 Lucknow 351,097 14,684 Mumbai 321,264 26,506 Chennai 257,987 86,120 Ahmedabad 320,864 4,789 Kochi 243,718 51,554 Kolkata 256,476 12,139 Chandigarh 254,166 13,090 Kozhikode 195,356 31,992 Jaipur 199,720 21,069 Thane 202,007 9,644 Malappuram 164,065 28,328 Thiruvananthapuram 143,231 37,249 Patna 172,062 2,962 Pune 141,184 19,597 Ghaziabad 133,444 8,897 Trichy 115,626 8,873 Madurai 113,790 1,952 Jalandhar 109,782 2,176 Surat 100,359 2,425 Bhopal 99,382 14,512 Coimbatore 84,258 12,037 Nagpur 88,691 6,475 Amritsar 86,994 3,244 Vizag 76,500 8,631 Bareilly 71,883 1,438 Bhubaneswar 52,481 9,768 Guwahati 54,483 6,639 Dehradun 54,840 4,147 Ranchi 47,964 9,802 Srinagar 41,566 628 Raipur 33,054 4,422 Panaji 33,455 2,008 Shimla 25,628 2,599 Jammu 25,410 147 Port Blair 2,892 476 Total of RPOs 5,838,468 672,061 HQ CPV Division 2,840/28,067 (Diplomatic/ Official Passport) Passport Issued by 1,027,000 178 Mission/ Posts Abroad Courtesy: Ministry of External Affairs

Rising demand for Passports No. of Passports Issued (in lakhs) Percent increase over the previous period

197980

1989- 19991990 2000

JanDec 2011

8.51

15.58

58.69

83

25.80

66 127.48

Courtesy: Ministry of External Affairs

Project. Under this transformative e-Governance initiative, 77 Passport Seva Kendras (PSK) are being established all over India. For Indians living abroad, passport, consular and other miscellaneous services are rendered by 178 Indian missions and posts.


AGENTS

Fairfax has 77% stake in TCIL

JUNE 1 ST FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2012

TRAVTALK

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Go green, says QBA

The sale of Thomas Cook India is expected to be completed within the current financial year and total cost of deal is approximately ` 817 crore. T T B U R E AU

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airfax Financial Holdings Limited (Fairfax), a Canadian company, on May 21, 2012 announced an agreement through its Fairbridge Capital subsidiary with UK-based Thomas Cook Plc to purchase its 77% stake in Thomas Cook India. The deal has been struck at a purchase price of ` 50 per share for a total cost of

Madhavan Menon CEO Thomas Cook India

` 817 crore, which is subject

to Thomas Cook’s shareholders and Indian regulators approval. “We are pleased to announce this acquisition and to own such well-known and strong Indian business. We look forward to a seamless ownership transition under the continued leadership of Madhavan Menon, CEO, TCI and his excellent team,” said Prem Watsa, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fairfax.

“This is the inaugural acquisition in India by Harsha Raghavan and his colleagues at Fairbridge Capital and we are excited by the exceptional opportunities we expect we will see in Indian in the future,” he added. TCI is the largest integrated foreign exchange and travel services company

QUICK READ The Tourism Authority of Thailand has revealed that a record number of 917,832 Indians travelled to Thailand in 2011 compare to 791,185 in 2010, making it the number one destination for Indians with a growth rate in excess of 16% in 2011.

in India. Its services are mainly focussed on foreign exchange, and also include outbound and inbound leisure travel, corporate travel and insurance. It is listed on BSE and NSE and Thomas Cook held 77 per

cent stake in it. This deal is part of Thomas Cook’s previously announced plans to reduce debt and strengthen its financial position. The sale of TCIL is expected to be completed within the current financial year.

Employees of QBA walked through the entire Connaught Place picking up garbage from the ground on April 21, a day before World’s Earth Day. This activity will be organised regularly by the company. Rotary Club of Delhi also extended its hands to make this event a success.


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JUNE 1 ST FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2012

ANALYSIS

Can we sell Indian summers? As per the statistics available with the Ministry of Tourism, December has been the peak month for FTAs in India followed by November and January, while May has been the leanest month. T T B U R E AU

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ncredible India needs to work out a detailed strategy to address the seasonality impact in the inbound segment and ensure that no periods are termed lean periods, as India strives to become a round-the-year destination.

Seasonal variations have been observed in Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) to India. As per the statistics available with the Ministry of Tourism, December has been the peak month for FTAs in India followed by November and January, while May has been the leanest month.

In 2010, the maximum number of foreign tourists visited India during December (11.8 %) and minimum during the month of May (5.7 %), which has been the pattern in 2008 and 2009 also. Fortunately, the conventional belief that the weather conditions at different tourist

destinations are one of the important determinants of tourist arrivals has been changed with the emergence of destination like Dubai. here brings the way forward to sell India in a holistic manner during the summers, while being aggressive in approach.

Vijay Thakur

Lajpat Rai

Vishal Suri

Immediate Past President IATO

President Hony Joint Secretary, IATO

Chief Operating Officer Inbound, Thomas Cook India

Every year, we talk of making Incredible India a 365-day destination, but fail to deliver anything substantial in the said direction. India is an incredible destination, which has to offer more than any other destination. However, lack of marketing support and attractive campaigns specifically aimed at selling the summer season ensure that we witness a lean period. To start with, we should target some specific countries to generate visitor arrivals in that specific period. The Visa on Arrival scheme along with the other incentives like partial or complete visa fee waiver should be extended to create demand.

The biggest obstacle in my opinion is the perception among the overseas tour operators that India as a destination gets too hot during the summers that travelling gets very difficult. These perceptions are more or less reinforced due to lack of adequate marketing support to promote the summer season. It’s high time now that we change the perception and position India as a 365 day destination offering the best of overall travel experience. If other destinations can get tourist even after touching 55 degree celsius, there are no reasons that Incredible India can’t become one of the most preferred summer option. Look at Dubai, Bangkok, and Indonesia to name a few, who have successfully marketed summers. But, our conventional marketing campaign has always promoted India as a winter destination.

India’s popular tourism gateways are adversely impacted by the summer temperatures. Due to this, tourists from western countries are discouraged from exploring India. Making India a year round destination is not a challenge; instead if constant effort is put into changing the perception of India, inbound tourism during summer will increase automatically. Destinations like Kashmir, Leh-Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh amongst others need to be promoted as alternatives during this season. Further, the Foreign Tour Operators (FTO) and Foreign Agents (FA) need to be suitably briefed to publicize these destinations. Also, the Indian Ministry of Tourism should promote and create awareness about India through suitable promotional campaigns across the world.


10 TRAVTALK

HOTELS

JUNE 1 ST FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2012

How hotels are pampering the ladies As more and more women prefer to travel solo on business or leisure, the hospitality industry is also going all out to woo women travellers by offering them perks and pampering them with special services. M E G H A PAU L

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recent TripAdvisor survey – Summer Holiday Travel Survey – shows the Indian woman is ready to go solo with 64 per cent female respondents willing to travel alone on leisure. Also, statistics reflect an ever increasing number of women are now travelling for business, which has spawned the hotel industry to sensitise their services as per women’s needs, reorienting them to be in-tune with the industry’s international trends. Today hotels are pampering this niche segment and offering special services to make women feel not only secure but also at home. Most hotels have incorporated free pick-up and drop services from the airport for their women travellers. Rooms are offered near elevators where it is well lit and a guard is present. Video phones to check the identity of any person seeking entry into the guest room, and screening of telephone calls, is likely to become an industry norm. But the recent, more dynamic trend has been of entire floors or rooms being dedicated for the individual woman traveller. Says Sanjay Sharma, Complex General Manager, The Westin Gurgaon, New Delhi and The Westin Sohna Resort and Spa, “We have seven dedicated rooms, one on each floor, for single

Sanjay Sharma, Complex General

Pranay Verdia

D Kavarana

Manager, The Westin Gurgaon, New Delhi and The Westin Sohna Resort and Spa

Director-Operations Jaipur Marriott Hotel

General Manager ITC Maratha & Area Manager, West

We have seven dedicated rooms, one on each floor, for single woman travellers named after the Greek Goddess of Breeze - Aura woman travellers named after the Greek Goddess of Breeze - Aura. Dedicated to the chic, modern women onthe-go, these rooms are generous in size and conveniently located close to the elevators on each floor for easy access.” The Aura rooms are serviced by female associates only for elevated security of the single female travelers, he adds.

Single women guests are now being considered as an important client category for our hotel

The Westin Gurgaon, New Delhi features 313 keys, including seven Aura rooms. Regarding the business generated by these exclusive women rooms, Sharma states, “There is definitely a trend of women, especially single women travellers on leisure and business trips, using these rooms. They account for 16 per cent of our hotel’s total business. Not just this, but

At the ITC Maratha, a set of Eva rooms are dedicated exclusively to the single lady traveller

their per capita spend during the stay is 35-40 per cent more than the average spend of their male counterparts.” Reiterates Pranay Verdia, Director-Operations, Jaipur Marriott Hotel, “Women do not just seek comfort and security in their hotel rooms, but, they also expect the finer things in life. Single women guests are now being considered as an

Radisson Blu Plaza in Delhi ‘Marine life’ in Noida The Bhasin Group in collaboration with a Singapore-based leisure and tourism attraction company, Andover Leisure will soon be inaugurating a public aquarium the Blue Planet at Greater Noida. Slated to open by the end of the year, this property is set over a carpet area of approximately 1,00,000 sqf.

 Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi is India’s first Blu Plaza business hotel located near the Delhi international airport. The transition to Radisson Blu Plaza reflects the hotel’s new personality complete with newly renovated and designed

rooms, new ultra-modern banquets, a new upcoming Thai restaurant Neung Roi and The Orb, the new avant-garde bar. The new brand identity is a reflection of leading-edge style and comfort with individual interiors.

important client category for our hotel.” Jaipur Marriott Hotel ensures that the guest is tracked right from the moment the reservation is made with special VIP code to their arrival and then through their stay until they depart. “We ensure the complete patrolling of the floor through the day and night. Especially, when a single lady checks in, the list is shared with the Loss Prevention department (Security Department) to have the complete patrolling of the floor, especially during the night,” he reveals. Some of the added amenities for the women travellers consist of rooms being serviced by lady associate from housekeeping. The reception also does not permit any outsider into their rooms without getting appropriate clearance from their end, he informs. ITC business hotels were one of the first hotels in the country to dedicate entire floors – Eva floors -- with standardised facilities for women travellers. Confirms D Kavarana, GM, ITC Maratha & Area Manager, West, “At the ITC Maratha, a set of Eva rooms are dedicated exclusively to the single lady traveller. Conceived as a haven of relaxation and contemporary style, the Eva rooms cater to the requirements and preferences of our special lady guests. Whether it is providing airport assistance on arrival to lady butlers, unpacking clothes,

guidance in terms of travelling within the city, aid with hiring of reliable transportation, draping a sari, announcing of calls after 10 pm or a video phone in room, all these are part of the service design. However, the option of staying in an Eva room is at the discretion of the single lady traveller.” A significant advantage that ITC Hotels have is the ‘Women Aware’ certification that ITC hotels have been accredited with, making it the preferred choice of single lady travellers from across the globe, he adds. At the ITC Maurya, there is one Eva floor with 14 rooms, which is dedicated to womenonly travellers. What is interesting is that without the room key card, one cannot even stop at the Eva floor. The card needs to be swiped in the elevator to direct it to the Eva floor, allowing limited entry and optimal security. The defining moment of the Eva floor is the interactive door bell, where the guest is able to see without moving from where she is seated as to who is at the door.

Amenities The recent trend has been of entire floors or rooms being dedicated for the individual woman traveller Rooms are offered near elevators where it is well lit

Globus strengthens presence  The Globus family of brands recently announced the change of its status to a wholly-owned subsidiary for its office in India. The strategic move is in line with the firm’s objective of strengthening its presence in India.

“India is one of our key growth markets and we are very excited about the possibilities that this change presents,” said Gauri Jayaram, Regional Director – South Asia & Middle East, family of brands.


12 TRAVTALK

1 crore visitors in Kerala

K

HOTELS

JUNE 1 ST FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2012

erala registered over one crore visitors during 2011, said A P Anil Kumar, Tourism Minister, Government of Kerala. Revenue earnings recorded by the sector during the period stood at ` 19,037 crore, the Minister said. Of all inbound tourists, 7.3 lakh were foreign and 93.7 lakh

domestic. This represented a year-on-year rise of 73,720 in the number of foreign tourists and as much as 7.86 lakh in domestic tourists, according to a report by The Hindu Business Line. Foreign exchange earnings have gone up from ` 3,797.37 crore in 2010 to ` 4,221.99 crore in 2011.

Kerala in Saudi Arabia

Looking to entice the cash-rich Arabs to the shores of God’s Own Country, Kerala Tourism launched an aggressive campaign in Saudi Arabia with a series of road shows to re-ignite the charm of the southern state among the traders and travellers in a big way. The roadshows were held at Jeddah on May 6, followed by Riyadh on May 7 and Dammam the next day, kick-starting the new drive to focus on Saudi Arabia as one of the key future markets. Kerala Tourism Minister AP Anil Kumar led the delegation, along with the Tourism Secretary TK Manoj Kumar, to the Gulf region that is now turning out to be a high-profile spender in the world tourism map.

‘Constance’ eyes high-end Indians After Maldives, Seychelles & Madagascar, the luxury hospitality chain is now focussing on key markets-Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai & Kolkata. T T B U R E AU

D

espite the weakening Indian rupee, the Indian outbound traveller is still catching the fancy of the international hotels. Joining this bandwagon now is the Constance Hotel Experience. A luxury hotel group with addresses in Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles and Madagascar, it is now focussing on key markets such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Kolkata this year. Realising the growing importance of India, Dyanna Pudaruth, Chief of Marketing, Constance Hotel Experience says, “Right now, we have almost zero presence in India. Hence, in the first phase, our aim is to introduce the brand and create awareness in India.” Last year, of the 53,395 Indians who visited Mauritius, only 199 stayed at the Constance properties. Around 100 Indians checked in at Constance hotels in Maldives and 25 in Seychelles.

Dyanna Pudaruth

Ankush Nijhawan

Chief of Marketing Constance Hotel Experience

Managing Director Nijhawan Group, India

We have almost zero presence in India. Hence, our aim is to introduce the brand and create awareness To increase these numbers, the company has entered the Indian market by

Near 75 per cent of Indians travelling to destinations such as Mauritius opt for high-end accommodations

appointing Nijhawan Group as its Marketing Representative and Blue Square Consultants

as its PR arm. According to Ankush Nijhawan, MD, Nijhawan Group, India with an estimated potential of 50 million outbound Indian travellers by 2020, is a key market to be captured by Constance Hotels. Around 75 per cent of Indians travelling to destinations such as Mauritius and Maldives opt for high-end luxury accommodations, hence giving Constance Hotels a great opportunity in the Indian market. Nijhawan says, “For the travel trade fraternity in India, there will be partnerships with the key tourism stakeholders and collaborators from destinations which have presence in India for Mauritius, Maldives and Seychelles. In order to give the Indian travel agents a feel of Constance hospitality and firsthand experience of our services, USPs and accommodation facilities, we will host fam trips to all destinations.”


14 TRAVTALK

JUNE 1 ST FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2012

DESTINATIONS

Fast cars and vineyards, all in Stuttgart With over 100,000 Indian visitors last year, the capital of Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart, surely has a lot to offer. Here is a look at their marketing strategy and future plans for India. DEVIKA JEET FROM GERMANY

Marketing- und Tourismus GmbH. Surrounded by vineyards and forests on the banks of River Neckar, Stuttgart provides the perfect scenic getaway with the comforts of a city. Home to the Mercedes-Benz and Porsche Museum, Stuttgart has also manifested its reputation as a center of the German automotive industry.

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rom grand palaces to skyscrapers and trendy museums, the Southwest German capital has a variety to offer to its visitors. “Stuttgart is the city with the highest increase in overnights from Indian visitors last year and we hope for a similar growth this year,” says Hans-JörgHadbawnik, Regional Director for India & Russia, Stuttgart- Marketing GmbH, Regio Stuttgart

Hans-JörgHadbawnik Regional Director for India & Russia Stuttgart- Marketing GmbH Regio Stuttgart Marketing- und Tourismus GmbH

“We are very active in the Indian market and attend many roadshows in India. I visit five Indian cities, meet-

Vroom-Vroom The Mercedes-Benz Museum is the only one in the world that can document in a single continuous timeline over 120 years of auto industry history. On nine levels and covering 16,500 sq m, the museum presents 160 vehicles and over 1,500 exhibits. The tour consists of seven Legend rooms that narrate the chronological history of the brand. The wealth of vehicles is on display in five rooms. The exhibition is rounded off by a display which offers a glimpse into the day-to-day work at Mercedes-Benz.

Thrilling drive The Porsche Museum is an astonishing 35,000-ton building, which seems to float on concrete pillars. It is dedicated to connect the past, present and future of the company. It hosts about 80 Porsche sports cars ranging from historic to modern. The exhibits include some of the outstanding technical achievements of Professor Ferdinand Porsche from the early 20th century. Spanning 600 square meters, the museum also has a conference area providing facilities for meetings, conferences and lectures.

‘Babe’ on the block The old administration building of Stuttgart's former slaughterhouse is now home to the world’s biggest pig Museum, Schweine Museum. More than 50,000 exhibits from everywhere in the world, ensures an extremely unforgettable experience. Separated on 25 thematic rooms, pigs of any kind present their story and history. The exhibitions offers you a fascinating overall view on the world and the figure of the pig. Don’t miss the golden pig! ing at least 100 travel agents and tour operators in each city. We also conduct workshops,” adds Hadbawnik. The promotional agenda also includes an online training programme for travel agents. More than 800 Indian travel agents have participated and on passing the test, they have become South West Germany specialists.

“First we want to inform the travel trade about our destination at reasonable prices. We have helped design packages for one day, three days and five days. These have been priced and can be booked online. We find these packages also useful for business travellers,” says Hadbawnik. Addressing some of the common concerns of an

Indian traveller, he adds, “Indian will not face any problems when it comes to food, vegetarian food is easily available in every restaurant and Stuttgart has over 20 Indian restaurants.” Stuttgart is also a member of the German tourism initiative, India pool and supportsits promotional activities.


EVENT TALK JUNE Date

Particulars

1-2

ATOAI’s First Aid and CPR Course, New Delhi

4-7

International Luxury Travel Mart Asia, Shanghai

6-8

Thailand Travel Mart Plus 2012, Bangkok

7-10

Korea World Travel Fair, Seoul

14-17

International Travel Expo, Hong Kong

15-17

Beijing International Tourism Expo, Beijing

22 & 24

Cultour Global Heritage & Cultural Travel Exhibition, Quito, Ecuador

27

Capacity Conclave on furthering quality Capacity Building in Tourism 2012; Rejuvenating Tourism Experience, FICCI, Federation House, New Delhi

JULY Date

Particulars

10-12

HAI’s F&B Profit Maximization, The Park Hotel, New Delhi

13-15

Travel & Tourism Fair, Kolkata

20-22

Travel & Tourism Fair - Hyderabad

20-22

India International Travel Mart (IITM 2012), Chennai

23

B2B Full Day Indonesia Sales Mission, Kolkata

25

B2B Indonesia Sales Mission, Ahmedabad

26

B2B Indonesia Sales Mission, Pune

27–29

India International Travel Mart (IITM 2012), Bengaluru

AUGUST Date

Particulars

10-12

Holiday Expo, Vadodara

13-14

Kiwi Link India B2B Event, New Delhi

16-17

Kiwi Link India B2B Event, Mumbai

21-23

HAI’s Rooms Revenue Management – Products & Pricing, WelcomHotel Sheraton, New Delhi

24-26

Travel & Tourism Fair, Ahmedabad

24

FICCI’s The Great Domestic Tourism Bazaar, The LaLit, New Delhi

25

The Great Domestic Tourism Bazaar, FICCI, New Delhi

27

MGTO’s Macau Tourist B2B Megamart, Chennai

29

MGTO’s Macau Tourist B2B Megamart, Mumbai

31

MGTO’s Macau Tourist B2B Megamart, New Delhi

31-2

Travel & Tourism Fair, Surat

31-6

Tourism Australia’s India Mega Famil & Workshop, Australia

German events industry breaks its own record The German event industry has concluded the year 2011 with record results: 2.72 million events took place and were visited by 338 million participants throughout Germany. Compared to 2010, which had already been a very positive year, the number of visitors grew by another 4.5 percent. The number of events increased by 1.2 percent, the proportion of foreign participants remained stable at 5.9 percent (increase of 0.1 per cent). The boom of the past two years has also led to a growing range of offers. In 2012, the country offers 6,614 conference and event sites, three percent more than in the previous year, according to the results of the Meeting & Event Barometer 2012, the essential annual study for Germany's event industry. The initiators of the study are the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC), the German Convention Bureau (GCB), and the German National Tourist Board (GNTB). The study was conducted by the European Institute for the Meetings Industry (EITW). The Meeting & Event Barometer is the only study that researches the entire German event market – conferences as well as events - and gives an in-depth, meaningful analysis of the industry.


16 TRAVTALK

JUNE 1 ST FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2012

GUEST COLUMN

Strong case for privatisation of AI The Air India saga continues to unfold in its dismal. It is not the first time that this tragic farce is being played out and certainly will not be the last if Air India continues as a public sector enterprise (PSE).

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he answer to the simple question as to who benefits from this ongoing mess is a rather straightforward one. Continuing with Air India as a public sector enterprise serves the entrenched vested interest of no more than a hundred thousand persons, including the employees in a country of 1.2 billion!! Its continuation as a PSE has no strategic implications and not even in the wildest stretch of imagination does it serve the interest of either the poor or the so called aam aadmi.

There is though one patently spurious argument in support of its continued status as a PSE. This is about connecting far flung and sparsely populated regions of our country and for serving the annual air travel needs of the religious pilgrims. This argument is as spurious as saying that villages can be connected to the telecom network only by BSNL

contemplate getting there. So any attempt to find a 'solution' or fix the problem within the present framework is bound to fail as happened in a previous phase when the Air India's Board with leading lights from the corporate world tried to devise a plan to revive it.

ship, with the government partly footing the bill as in viability gap funding.

Rajiv Kumar Secretary General FICCI

and only public sector road transport services can connect rural destinations. Both these arguments have been proved totally false in real life experience. And even the slightest bit of honest thinking will reveal to all concerned that public service objectives can be far more efficiently achieved by a judicious and well-regulated operation of the public private partner-

All rational persons I am sure, will back a privatisation plan for Air India. Even in private hands, it will remain an Indian company and if its performance does improve, as it will most likely do under private ownership, we will all be proud of it as we were of the Maharaja and are of other Indian airlines which are now competing successfully with the best in the world. The short but critical point is that Air India should be privatised as soon as pos-

sible. This should be done even if it means having to pay a strategic investor perhaps by offering them the lucrative bilateral routes currently owned by Air India under the IATA's global oligopolistic arrangement, which itself is a bit of an anachronism. The global civil aviation industry is a tough place with cut throat competition and owners with deep pockets and airlines with massive economies of scale. They are

out to grab greater market share. In this viciously competitive environment, made more difficult by the industry's long cycles of troughs and peaks, only the best can hope to survive. Air India, as a PSE, with its senior management being made up of civil servants, who are perpetually uncertain of both their actual authority and tenure, is badly hamstrung to face this competition. We are too far away from that paradigm to even

There is simply no alternative to privatising Air India. The longer we refuse to bite the bullet, the greater will be the damage to national pride, the public exchequer and the Indian civil aviation industry. For India's sake let's act decisively now. (The writer is a well-known economist and author of several books. He is also the Secretary General of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)

The views expressed in this column are solely of the author’s


AVIATION Mumbai-Johannesburg route

SAA fills in Jet gap After Jet Airways’ move to temporarily suspend its Mumbai-Johannesburg services, South African Airlines will now have five days a week service from June 16. A N I TA J A I N

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outh Africa as a destination is picking up in a big way among Indian travellers. But with Kingfisher Airlines already wrapped up their international operations, Air India going through turbulent times and Jet Airways temporarily suspending its South African operations (from June 12, 2012), South African Airways is all ready to take over the market. Currently operating four flights a week, the airline has announced to add one more frequency on Mumbai – Johannesburg route effective June 16, 2012. Thus, it will be operating additionally on Sunday along with Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday. It has deployed Airbus A300-200 on India-South Africa route which has 186 economy and 36 business class seats.

Providing further details on new addition, Sajid Khan, Country Manager – India, South African Airways said, “Our performance is better than 2011 and the load factors are much healthier.

With one more addition in our frequency, we are expecting a consistent load factor for the next few months. However, with the success of BRIC Summit 2012, there are many business opportunities opening up between India and South Africa. We are very bullish about it and are working to increase our corporate base along with a strong focus on MICE.”

Sajid Khan Country Manager – India South African Airways

According to Khan, close to 95 per cent of ticket sales for the carrier is done through its indirect channel – travel trade and thus the airline works very closely with them. When asked if the airline is looking at expanding its route network in India, Khan said, “First, we want to consolidate our operations in Mumbai and will later expand our wings in India.”

CX daily on Chennai-Hong Kong route  Cathay Pacific Airways recently announced that it will increase frequencies between Chennai and Hong Kong from four flights a week to daily, with effect from September 1, 2012. The latest increase highlights the airline’s belief in the near and long-term potential of the Indian market and its ongoing work to strengthen Hong Kong’s position as one of the world’s leading international aviation hubs. Chennai is an important market for Cathay Pacific, which has been operating

flights to the city since June 2008. Together with sister airline Dragonair, a total of 35 passenger flights and 35 freighter flights per week between Hong Kong and the four major gateways of Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai & Bengaluru are in service. Tom Wright, General Manager South Asia, Middle East and Africa said: “We are delighted to announce the increase in frequency of our flights between Chennai and Hong Kong. This will enable us to provide passengers with greater flexibility for travel from Chennai to Hong

Kong and onward to other destinations, specifically Mainland China, Asia, North America and Australia. “Hong Kong has long been an important destination for both business and leisure travellers from Chennai, and the addition of more Cathay Pacific flights will further enhance ties between the two cities. Demand to and from India in general has held up remarkably well, despite the challenges we are facing in our network as a whole. We expect a good response to this increase of flights.”

SpiceJet’s ` 777 anniversary offer recently  SpiceJet announced an offer for all its guests buying tickets on May 23, 2012, marking the completion of 7 successful years of operation. To celebrate its birthday, SpiceJet offered a special base fare of just ` 777 (excluding govt. taxes) for booking tickets on any of its network. On this special fare, fuel surcharge was not charged. The bookings for these special fares were open on May 23, 2012 from 7 am and lasted till 77 minutes. Reiterating SpiceJet’s mission, Chief Executive

Officer, Neil Mills said, “Our mission is to become India’s preferred low-cost airline, delivering the lowest air fares with the highest consumer value, to price sensitive consumers. We hope to fulfill everyone’s dream of flying. We are thankful to all flyers, who prefer SpiceJet as their airline of choice and invite them to enjoy this special offer on our 7 th birthday.” SpiceJet began its commercial operations on May 23, 2005, and has become the people’s choice of air-

line during this journey. At present, the airline has over 17% of market share in the domestic market. On an average, over 36,000 guests prefer to fly and enjoy the hospitability of SpiceJet daily. With India's economic and business growth, the percentage of travelling population is burgeoning. More and more Indians are travelling for both business and pleasure, and everyone needs to save both time and money. SpiceJet's vision is to address that and ensure that flying is for everyone.


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JUNE 1 ST FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2012

NTO

All tourism boards get together Talking about her role as the Honorary All India NTO & Events Calendar Co-ordinator, Punam Singh says the NTO Forum can not just avoid date clashes between various members, but also benefit travel agents immensely. What prompted the need to form such a forum?

P EDEN D OMA B HUTIA

First and foremost, can you tell us more about the NTO Forum; what is it all about? As of today, there are around 50 NTOs carrying out activities in India and maintaining offices in the country. Almost all of them have the primary remit of engaging with and through the Indian travel fraternity and their main route to market here is through pan India roadshows for the travel trade. As such, maintaining a regular calendar of events is imperative for adding and updating events, circulating the same amongst all the NTOs on a weekly basis and sorting out potential clashes between NTOs when they

Punam Singh Honorary All India NTO & Events Calendar Co-ordinator

choose the same date and city in which to hold the event. All this has been achieved in the last two years and we have a regular calendar which is refreshed every week and circulated to all concerned.

Frequent date clashes between two or more tourism boards which end in them ‘cannibalising’ each other’s events needed to be sorted. Sharing best practices and where possible, updated databases, warning against unsuitable trade practices, advising suitable media relationships, vetoing activities if detrimental to an NTO’s best interests, suggesting suitable markets and cities for promotions, sharing event space and budgets and utilising the target audience to the best that we could were the basic principles on which the NTO Forum was founded .

Having been set up with these goals in mind, how are you working towards fulfilling its objectives?

I personally maintain the calendar and disseminate it weekly with new event information, sort out potential same-day event clashes amicably, offer varied marketing opportunities across B2B and B2C segments for consideration, share information on databases and venues for roadshows across India, manage events for certain partners, organise meetings every 6-8 weeks for members to network in Delhi and Mumbai, share best practices and warnings and generally act as the connector for all the NTOs and other members.

How many members do you have so far? We have about 60-odd members.

What has been the reaction of the members so

far? Are they all happy with the way things are going? The members have been very appreciative of the NTO Forum’s initiatives and activities till date and have also commended my efforts often.

Any problem that you have been facing concerning the Forum? Finding the time to do justice to this Forum single-handedly has remained a huge challenge, especially since it is an honorary service.

How will the forum help travel agents? Travel agents can benefit immensely from this if they join the Forum as it will make them aware of the monthly activities of the

NTOs and other outbound marketing associations. Activities can be planned together to co-promote brands and common marketed destinations saving on time and budgets and targetting similar segments for greater effect. Furthermore, I have also introduced the trend of large agencies & tour companies doing reverse fam trips, where the NTOs etc are invited to participate in a fam trip as guests instead of playing the usual hosts...The prospective hosts contact me and I float the idea to the NTO fora and facilitate the planning of this fam event! This gives us a clearer idea of the agent’s marketplace and clients and helps us facilitate them better.

Tourism Fiji logs on to Indian social media To establish destination awareness among Indian travellers, Fiji is now eyeing the two most important marketing tools in India – social media and Bollywood! The destination is now focussing to attract high-end travellers. Zealand’s tourism pie are showing consistency with marginal growth. It is focussing on Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Surat, Kolkata and Hyderabad markets to attract high-end Indian travellers.

T T B U R E AU

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iji Tourism is targetting the two most proven marketing channels in India – Bollywood and social media. The tourism government is now offering a 47 per cent tax rebate for Indian film production houses making it a competitive destination shooting in overseas market. It is also logging in the social media space in India to make the travellers and travel trade aware about the unique offerings of Fiji. Fiji Tourism intends to increase the average length

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum Attorney-General and Minister of Tourism Civil Aviation, Industry and Trade, Fiji

of stay from India and China; two of the top emerging source markets for the destination, as its traditional markets - Australia and New

“We are still in the process of creating destination awareness among Indian travellers,” said Aiyaz SayedKhaiyum, Attorney-General and Minister of Tourism, Justice, Anti-Corruption, Public Enterprises, Communications, Civil Aviation, Industry and Trade, Fiji.

“We are working with individual travel companies, offering attractive rebates on film productions and meeting with more production houses as Bollywood is one of the most viable tools for promoting Fiji in India. Currently, the average length of stay by Indians is about eight to ten days. We

Fiji Airways back to service! Fiji's national air carrier, Air Pacific, has announced a return to its 1958 name - Fiji Airways - to better reflect its dedication to transporting travellers to and from Fiji. The official name change, complete with branding and the introduction of new aircraft, is expected to take place by June 2013. The new brand will be rolled out across ticket offices, check-in counters, lounges, the website, and advertising over the next 18 months.

intend to further add five to six days in the itinerary. We will continue promoting Fiji in India through fam trips for travel trade, training programmes, roadshows and off course through our representative in India.”

Speaking on MICE, Sayed-Khaiyum said, “We have over 10,000 rooms along with casinos and international standard convention facilities. By September 2013, we will also have a convention centre with capacity of 1,500 pax.”


VISAS

JUNE 1 ST FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2012

TRAVTALK

19

CKGS outsourcing visa applications in western India

Want Thai visas faster? Cox & Kings Global Services (CKGS) aims at issuing around 1.5 lakh Thai visa from its five visa application and processing centres in western India. T T B U R E AU

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fter the northern and southern Thai Consulate outsourced the visa processing and application services, the Royal Thai Consulate General in Mumbai appointed Cox & Kings Global Services (CKGS) to outsource visa applications for western

Serving western India CKGS to have Thai visa application services across five major cities in western India: 1. Mumbai 2. Pune (Maharashtra) 3. Ahmedabad (Gujarat) 4. Panaji (Goa) 5. Indore (MP) India. Till June 8, 2012, CKGS will have Thai visa application services across five major cities in western India – Mumbai and Pune (Maharashtra), Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Panaji (Goa) and Indore (Madhya Pradesh). Talking about the need to outsource the visa application service, Tomwit Jarnson, Consul General of Thailand in Mumbai, said, “We decided to outsource the visa application services due to the high demand generated from western India. More people are travelling to Thailand so it will be convenient for both travellers and us to process faster visas through CKGS services. In 2011, we processed close to 1.5 lakh visas from this region, and overall 910,000 visa applications were processed from across India.

This year, we expect the number to reach 1.75 lakh in western India and reach more than one million mark by the end of 2012. Off the 1.5 lakh applications, 50 per cent came from Gujarat, 40 per cent from Maharashtra and 10 per cent from Madhya Pradesh and Goa. We expect that the new service will enhance the service levels and add convenience to travellers and travel agents.”

According to Sanjay Bhaduri, CEO, CKGS, travel agents and travellers can fill out visa application forms online on www.th.ckgs.in and also schedule appoint-

ments to submit their passports. They can also track their visa applications online. CKGS will charge an additional amount of ` 185 per person for individuals,

` 170 for groups ranging between 11-25 pax and ` 155 for groups consisting of more than 25 passengers, over and above visa application fee as service fee.

L-R: Kamolwan Sriposil, Consul, Royal Thai Consulate General, Mumbai; Tomwit Jarnson, Consul General, The Royal Thai Consulate-General in Mumbai; Sanjay Bhaduri, CEO - Cox & Kings Global Services and Anuurag Arora, Business Head, Thai Visa Application Centre addressing the press conference in Mumbai.

Presently, CKGS renders services to the Embassy of India in Berlin, Consulate General of India in Munich, Embassy of India in Greece and Consulate

General of India in Hong Kong. CKGS also carries out the registration process for the Emirates Identity Program in the UAE.


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EXHIBITIONS

ATM: New trends and new technology The recently conducted Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2012 witnessed a rise in the number of visitors, motivated by new B2B focus and upbeat indicator from the region’s tourism sector. spoke to a few veterans of the industry to know about the prevalent travel trends and the responses from the exhibition. T T B U R E AU

Vikas Rustagi

Sanjay Kumar Jain

ATM 2012: Under the banner ‘Incredible India,’ the entire length of tourism potential, including business and leisure travel, was showcased during the Arabian Travel Market 2012. We had 22 exhibitors representing the tourism diversity of Heritage, Nature, Culture and Wellness Tourism from India depicting the country as a multi-faceted tourist destination.

ATM 2012: ATM 2012, this time, was a fresh wave of change. This was my first time at the ATM. We showcased our product, which is really high-end. The main purpose to participate in ATM was to increase the brand awareness. Our product is very high-end and hence, needs proper marketing.

Regional Director India Tourism, Dubai

TRENDS: India’s presence and strength during ATM clearly indicated that India is taking Gulf and ME region very seriously and there is lot to be proven.

Group General Manager-North Zone IRCTC

TRENDS: Technology will be a crucial factor. Also, it is evident that luxury which is a niche segment is emerging as one of the most important verticals in the tourism industry.

RESPONSE: According to agents, participating in ATM, is always fruitful. It is more than an investment, if they can be able to transact with a couple of new contacts to penetrate in the region and that’s what they want to attain from Arabian Travel Market.

RESPONSE: At ATM 2012, there were many new developments. More of participants in the technology segment reflect the growing importance of technology.

Pronab Sarkar

Ankush Nijhawan

Managing Director Swagatam Tours ATM 2012: This year, India Pavilion was at a new hall and also did not get the prime location in front of the entrance gate as it used to get every year. So the first difference was that we lost priority in front of other countries. I suggest Indian Tourism should make all efforts to get the front location during ATM 2013.

TRENDS: Most of the operators were being attracted by the online booking system. All hotels were available online with better price to attract direct business which was diluting our hotel booking business. Many ‘dot com’ companies are making a change in the present scenario. RESPONSE: We all felt that this year, there were more visitors from the Gulf countries as we were busy all 4 days. For our stand, we had approximately 25% growth of visitors for business discussion compared to last year.

Managing Director TBO

ATM 2012: The ATM 2012 was more focussed and in my opinion, the quality of exhibitors were much better. The show was better organised and well-coordinated between the halls. It was easier for the buyers and sellers to meet. The number of participants was less this time; the width was lacking but there was lot of depth in the products.

TRENDS: Key focus was on Technology and lot of people were looking for cutting edge travel solutions. Mobile Applications in my opinion was newest trending topic. RESPONSE: Travel Boutique Online, Middle East and North Africa (TBO MENA) and our Technology company Techmaster witnessed one of the best trade shows. We had buyers from all GCC countries who were very curious to know about our products. About 300 customers came to our stand and am sure this will help us in growing in the MENA

Gaurav Chiripal

Suresh Dissanayake

ATM 2012: There was an appreciable response from the existing

ATM 2012: This was my 5th ATM and compared to previous year,

tours and travel companies who were looking for online technologies to expand. Also, they were looking for the consolidation of their online and offline business.

I feel fewer consumers turned up. It is losing its image since the product has reached the maturity stage. The organisers have to re-think about their strategy if not, the product will reach the decline stage soon.

TRENDS: The companies showed great interest in learning more

TRENDS: The latest trend is to increase demand for Ayurveda hol-

about Technology products like online booking systems, B2B, B2C platforms, Hotel consolidation System and the Mobile Platforms.

idays. However, they are not willing to travel for a longer time like European clients. Their avg. stay is 2-3 days and some clients who come for weight losing programmes will have 5-7 days average stay.

CEO Quadlabs

RESPONSE: As the ATM witnessed more dignitaries and decision makers other than just the visitors this year, our company was able to create a direct association with the companies creating better opportunities and leads. With the new launch of Hotel Consolidator System and Mobile Distribution Platform, we were able to grasp better attention from the prospect customers through the exhibition.

Head of Sales & Marketing - Indian Sector Aitken Spence

RESPONSE: We have a strong hold in ME market for SL & Maldives. We were able to break in few major accounts during ATM. We were also able to educate many agents about our product. This will have short-term and long-term results for all our properties. We were also able to create the brand awareness in the market.


NTO

Malaysia: VoA for India P. Manoharan, Director for India, Tourism Malaysia , says Visa-on-Arrival (VoA) could facilitate repeat travellers. long-haul travel. People who had planned to go to America or Europe this year could now choose destinations that are closer to India.” This summer, three-in-one MalaysiaSingaporeThailand packages are selling like hot cakes, he adds.

T T B U R E AU

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he withdrawal of Malaysia’s long-haul budget carrier AirAsia X flights from Delhi and Mumbai could have had an adverse impact on tourism in Malaysia. Yet taking it in its stride is Tourism Malaysia. Beating the blues this summer, Tourism Malaysia is eyeing a 10-15 per cent rise in the Indian tourist arrivals this summer. “We had earlier expected that the suspension of Air Asia flights from Delhi and Mumbai sectors would negatively impact tourist traffic to Malaysia. However, it has been offset to a large extent by Malaysian Airlines, which introduced four additional flights from Mumbai for the summer rush,” Manoharan says. To cater to the increase in demand during the ongoing Indian holiday season, Malaysia Airlines has hiked the frequency of its daily Mumbai-Kuala Lumpur service to 12 flights per week till the end of the month. The director also feels the weakening of the rupee

P. Manoharan Director Tourism Malaysia

Malaysia is also considering to reinstate the VoA facility for Indian nationals to keep up with the rising number of Indians to the country might encourage outbound travel from India to shorthaul destinations such as Malaysia. “The sliding rupee will obviously impact

Speaking on the possibility of starting VoA facility for Indians, Manoharan says, “Malaysia is also considering to reinstate the Visa-on-Arrival (VoA) facility for Indian nationals.” The facility was withdrawn in May 2008 amid concerns over illegal immigration. This move will help in encouraging more repeat- and experiential outbound travellers from India. “There has been a steady increase of Indian arrivals in Sarawak. Their number went up to 17,000 last year, which is a sign that increasingly, Indian FITs are going off the beaten track. These are evolved travellers who are more experiential and participative.”

Kiwis zoom in on MICE Tourism New Zealand is implementing its Business Events Strategy in India to make a strong hold on Indian market. ners will be important in growing this segment to New Zealand and we look forward to working with them.”

D E V I KA J E E T

N

ew Zealand welcomed more than 28,500 visitors from India in the year ending February 2012 and experienced 4.7 per cent growth in total arrivals to New Zealand between December and February from the same period last year.

“Our holiday travellers grew 2.5 per cent during the same period and we look forward to seeing this as we move into our high season for Indian travellers visiting New Zealand,” says Mischa Mannix-Opie, Regional Manager, South and South East Asia, Tourism New Zealand. Along with focussing on the leisure market, New Zealand plans to tap the business events sector. “Tourism New Zealand has developed a

Mischa Mannix-Opie Regional Manager, South and South East Asia, Tourism New Zealand

Business Events Strategy last year and this is now being implemented in key markets around the globe. India has been highlighted as a key market in this strategy. New Zealand is already an inspirational destination for Indian businesses that run incentive programmes and we believe there is plenty more growth in this segment given the exceptional product that we offer,” adds Mannix-Opie. Discussing their initiatives for the Indian travel agents, Mannix-Opie highlights, “Our relationship with the key trade and airline part-

Some of their plans include joint marketing, fam trips and training programmes. The Kiwi link India 2012 will be held in New Delhi and Mumbai between August 13-17 with two days of workshops in each city. The event will provide information to the Indian travel sellers about New Zealand's regions and products. Last year, over 120 travel companies attended Kiwi Link India, with over 300 participants. From July 2011, the tourism board has educated and trained around a 1,000 Indian agents about the destination. In spite of no direct flights between India and New Zealand, tourism to the destination is on a rise. Emphasising on the importance of the India market, she says, “India is an important market for New Zealand particularly as travellers visit after the typical summer high-season has concluded.


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ANALYSIS

JUNE 1 ST FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2012

How India travels Bollywood style In a bid to attract travellers, foreign countries are now opening their doors to Indian filmmakers to shoot in exotic locales and offering them various incentives. And why not, the results they say have been most encouraging! P EDEN D OMA B HUTIA

W

hen Hrithik Roshan and his gang of boys were painting Spain red during the Tomatino festival, didn’t you also want to join in on the fun? When Ranbir Kapoor was dancing around the streets of Prague, didn’t you feel like doing the same? Films are truly our window to the world, and if the slew of movies portraying Spain, New Zealand, Prague

passion! Little wonder then that outbound travel has greatly benefitted from exposure via Hindi cinema. We’ve seen movies playing the role of not just an influencer, but also a decision maker! Case in point has been Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara in bringing the spotlight to Spain. I Hate Luv Storys too worked extremely well in showcasing New Zealand. One must not forget that Yash Raj’s films have always been synonymous with Switzerland, and till

Besides being the ideal platform to showcase a particular location, films are also of great aspirational value. What could be more exciting for fans than reliving the very experience that has been lived by their favourite stars! Rajiv Duggal, the Managing Director of Kuoni India, also points out, “Indian tourists seek to visit the film shooting locales and take

Radka Neumannova

Burkhard Kieker

Arturo Ortiz

Director CzechTourism India

CEO VisitBerlin

Tourism Counselor-Mumbai Embassy Spain

Indeed, this year, the main tourist season will still be driven by the images of the Czech Republic from Rockstar

or Berlin in a most picturesque manner is anything to go by, then we surely know that foreign countries too are taking note of our love for films and wooing potential Indian travellers through this medium. As Madhav Pai, COO, Leisure Travel (Outbound), Thomas Cook India Limited, rightly puts it, “If cricket is India’s religion, then Bollywood is clearly India’s

With Don 2, we want to enthrall an audience of millions for destination Berlin and invite Indian visitors to our city

10- 20% of the increase over the last months was due to the movie-effect, though we will still be seeing travellers this and the next year

today Switzerland features among the top three soughtafter destinations, especially for the first-time travellers.”

photographs to recreate the movie magic… We have witnessed a substantial increase in the enquiries as well as booked holidays for various destinations after they were promoted in popular movies. For instance, Spain became a popular destination after it was extensively featured in a popular Bollywood movie. With the popularity of Spain, we also started getting queries for Costa Brava, Seville, Pamplona, Barcelona

During the time that Shah Rukh Khan had been shooting in Berlin for Don 2, Burkhard Kieker, the CEO of visitBerlin, had remarked, “With this movie (Don 2), we want to enthrall an audience of millions for destination Berlin and invite Indian visitors to our city. Don 2 has two

as well as advice and provide excellent companies for the services that a shooting needs.”

starring roles, Shah Rukh Khan and Berlin.”

Madhav Pai

Rajiv Duggal

COO, Leisure Travel (Outbound) Thomas Cook India Limited

Managing Director Kuoni India

If cricket is India’s religion, then Bollywood is clearly its passion! Little wonder that outbound has benefitted from Bollywood exposure and Valencia that were featured in the movie.” Radka Neumannova, Director CzechTourism India, also acknowledges that Rockstar helped to create awareness about the country, especially of Prague among Indian tourists. “Indeed, this year, the main tourist season will still be driven by the images of the Czech Republic from Rockstar, and we are definitely positive on growing numbers of Indian tourists to the Czech Republic,” she says. When questioned on how ZNMD has helped the tourist arrival scenario in Spain, Arturo Ortiz, the Tourism Counselor-Mumbai, Embassy of Spain, says, “The main results will come in the long term. The main purpose of the movie was to create awareness of the destination. Probably 10 to 20% of the increase over the last months was due to the movie-effect, though we will still be seeing travellers this and the next year.”

We have seen increase in the enquiries as well as booked holidays for destinations after they were promoted in popular movies

And with demand pouring in, these destinations are making sure that they provide an environment that’s conducive for shooting films, which ultimately results in increased footfall from the Indian travellers. As Neumannova points out, “The Czech Republic currently offers 20% rebate on Czech spend and the eligible spend is capped at 80% of the total budget. CzechTourism is also currently developing a film support programme for selected film projects with a strong potential for destination marketing. The programme is more focussed on barters against local services for film crews rather than a cash-back or direct financial support.” In Spain, however, Ortiz says that incentives vary from region to region. “We do not have an incentive scheme and the region’s policies vary. In general, they offer VAT deduction, free permissions, single window procedures,

And of course, with destinations wooing travellers, how can travel companies be far behind! Having identified this trend, these companies are making sure that they too are able to cash in on it. As Duggal adds, “Today, travellers tend to research on destinations before planning a holiday. They contact us for packages to unique destinations they seek to explore after watching them in movies. For instance, we got substantial queries for La Tomatina festival in Spain after the same was featured in a popular Bollywood movie. We introduced a 7-day special package for this festival which received a phenomenal response. Even in the past, we had introduced packages for Switzerland locales, where popular Bollywood movies were shot.” Pai too acknowledges that they leverage the interest piqued by films and convert that into bookings, “We have had several instances when honeymooners come in asking to go to locations straight out of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge or young adults request for a package that includes adventure sports in Spain.” So, the next time you decide on a holiday destination make sure you don’t miss out on the places that the blockbuster was shot at in that season!

Shooting Demand With demand pouring in, the destinations are making sure that they provide an environment that’s conducive for shooting films, which ultimately results in increased footfall from the Indian travellers.

IRCTC joins hands with ITDC  Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) and India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) have joined hands to provide improved hospitality and tourism services for their customers by making use of their expertise and vast network of facilities all over the country. An MoU in this regard was

signed between Rakesh Tandon, MD, IRCTC and Dr. Lalit K. Pawar, CMD, ITDC at the Ashok Hotel, New Delhi, on May 18, 2012. With this cooperation both the organizations will work towards development of joint tourism products, opening and managing various catering and hospitality outlets,

budget hotels etc. utilizing their joint strength at railway and non-railway locations. ITDC’s HRD Division, with its expertise in running the Ashok Institute of Hospitality and Tourism Management, will impart service training to the IRCTC staff. It will also train the security staff for the tourist trains. IRCTC, on the other

hand, that has an experience of managing, www.irctc.co.in, the largest e-commerce site in the Asia Pacific will render IT solutions to ITDC. The corporations will also work together towards development of lounges/meet and greet services for tourists; event/conference management services; and marketing of other parties’

products and services to their own customers (through both physical outlets and websites). Speaking on the occasion, Tandon said that hoped that a favourable result would come out of this association while Dr Pawar, CMD, ITDC said that it would definitely benefit both the corporations and the tourism & hospitality sector at large.

Rakesh Tandon Managing Director IRCTC


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ASSOCIATIONS

JUNE 1 ST FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2012

Conventions: Business or social carnival

Do annual conventions of key trade associations offer the right mix of intellectual content, networking and socialising platform to its members? finds out the details… VIVEK SETHI

T

he month of August onwards, hectic parleys of deliberations are witnessed at the secretariats of all the key travel trade asso-

ciations. These deliberations are mostly related to their annual conventions. Lately, more than the excitement about these conventions, there had been considerable debate on whether they

have become an ideal platform for building business, or do they end up as mere social extravaganza. spoke to various representatives of

trade associations, who explained the importance of annual conventions that balance work, market intelligence and entertainment quotient for its members.

Ajay Prakash

Iqbal Mulla

President, TAFI

President, TAAI

In my opinion, the annual convention of key travel trade associations are on top priority list and offers great value to all its members. Tourism is all about people and speaking about our annual conventions. It offers significant intellectual content and an unparalleled networking platform. Our knowledge-based sessions and globally renowned speakers always get good attendance due to the significance. The annual convention also gives first hand information on the destination that holds considerable business sense. It makes our members better equipped to sell the destinations, backed by first hand in-depth knowledge. One must realise that the conventions offer subsidised rates and over 80 per cent of our membership consists of medium and small companies, who tend to benefit from such initiatives. The annual convention also plays an important role in generating revenues for the association. Our membership fees are kept modestly priced for the benefit of our members and the annual convention plays a role in ensuring that such benefits continue to reach our members. Post day-long work, all members look forward to evenings full of entertainment, which helps them further build on networking in a more relaxed manner. It is a misconception that our conventions are more of a social extravaganza than a serious platform to build business, which is spread by people who don’t attend the convention.

All the representative spokespersons featured in the story unanimously agreed that the annual conventions are must attend events for all the members. It also serves

as an ideal platform to dwell on the policy changes and also give members an opportunity to interact with them during the question and answer session, as well.

The annual conventions are very important and significant for all members. It is a place where all members can come together on a single platform, meet, network and work on new business opportunities. Thus, it is a ready digest of the challenges the industry has gone through, new challenges the industry needs to be prepared for and an unparalleled opportunity to increase one’s knowledge by attending the many panel discussions featuring eminent speakers. It is also an ideal platform to dwell on policy changes, be it the Passport Seva Kendra, Railways, Convention policy, dual taxation or sight seeing issues. At such platforms, we can call upon the policy makers from all relevant government departments, ministries and share with them the best way forward to unleash the potential of tourism. In fact, when we take our conventions to overseas destinations, we make sure that all deliberations focus on addressing bilateral tourism potential, visa aspects, and air connectivity issues to name a few. The conventions are a great platform for showcasing the destination as well. Further, the ITTE is also an important platform to meet interested parties and build business, where leading travel operators, NTOs and other stakeholders put up their stalls. We also get an opportunity to felicitate important stakeholders who excelled in their business or honour their contribution to the sector through the Hall of Fame award.

P P Khanna Vice President, ADTOI The annual conventions are very important, as it brings all the members on to a single platform. We deal with all our members throughout the year, but it is during these times when we meet them face-toface. It is a platform, where we get to meet both old and new faces. We all need each other, and when we are on a common platform, we are in a better position to discuss the issues confronting our industry, dwell on future opportunities, trends, online and offline channels and much more. It is an important platform to send across a clear message to policy makers and various value chains, including hotels, airlines, guides and others. The business session and various panel discussions add immense constructive value to the interactions and business possibilities. The evenings are reserved for entertainment and further networking at ease. From my experience, during the evening people talk more freely and dwell on business possibilities, while letting their hair down. These so-called social carnivals are also important to give a more personalised shape to business relationships. For instance, if we need to book an important guest, say in a hotel in Indore, our office will get the booking and also speak to the General Manager. But, if we know the General Manager and have met him at such a convention, then the service delivery will include a reasonable degree of personal touch to the guest service.

Lally Mathews Hony. Secretary, IATO The annual conventions are very important event. One needs to realise that our members are spread across the length and breadth of the country and most of them look forward to the annual convention to bring all of them together. It’s the best networking event, where one gets to meet all the value chains including the state tourism boards, hotels, airlines, and excursion agents to name a few. Many of them exhibit at the travel mart that is inaugurated along with the annual convention. Moreover, the business sessions and the guest speakers provide a lot of information, market intelligence and leads that our members can built on. It’s the annual convention that also brings many of the leading policy makers share the dais with our representatives and also the members get an opportunity to interact with them during the question and answer session. Post the hectic parley of day-long events spread through out the convention, our members also get opportunity to relish the relaxed atmosphere of the evening gatherings. At the evening party, our members get to interact more freely over cocktail and dinner with our peers, guests and other invitees.


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TRAVTALK

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Rocky Mountaineer win-win for agents The new offer introduced by Rocky Mountaineer is over and above the standard commissions that the agency stands to make on the sales of Rocky Mountaineer, says Ashish Saran. T T B U R E AU

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ne of the world’s leading travel experiences by train, Rocky Mountaineer after launching its dedicated India sales office in October 2010, is now focussing on developing the knowledge quotient of the Indian travel trade to further strengthen its relationship. The company on May 7 unveiled a new bonus programme for the travel agents. Elaborating on the new programme that will be valid from May 7-June 30, Ashish Saran, Group General Manager, Canadian Destinations Marketing informs, “The main focus of

Ashish Saran Group General Manager Canadian Destinations Marketing

The offer is over and above the commissions that the agency stands to make on the sales of Rocky Mountaineer this new bonus is for the travel agencies to start thinking about Canada and Rocky Mountaineer in Canada as a product the moment they have a guest with the spending potential for this luxury product. This offer is over and above the commissions that the agency stands to make on the sales of Rocky Mountaineer.” Since this is specifically directed towards the executive at the counter who is in touch with the guest, this should be a great incentive for him to sit back and look at how he can promote Rocky Mountaineer in India to his guests. The other focus on this incentive is to ensure that agencies are made aware that we offer complete packages with the rail portion on Rocky Mountaineer. These packages range from three nights/four days to 16 nights/17 days and

cover one or most of our routes in one itinerary, he adds. On how this move will benefit the travel agents, Saran feels, “The bonus is a financial incentive for the travel agency to enrich their financial bottom lines. More sales

mean more earnings for the agency by way of handsome commissions and every sale increases the knowledge of the individual selling Rocky Mountaineer at the frontline. Imagine an executive booking four families on Rocky Mountaineer and walking

away with ` 4,500x4 = ` 18,000 as incentive in one month. The agency makes their commission over and above the same. It is a winwin situation for us all.” According to Saran, the company is eyeing at least an increase of 10-15 per cent over

and above the growth that it has already witnessed in this market. Rocky Mountaineer has been growing since the company initiated a dedicated marketing platform from India in the end of 2010. The numbers are certainly up as compared to the outbound travel

statistics. “Not only are we seeing an increase in the numbers but we are also seeing a trend of longer stays in 2012, which range from seven nights/eight days in Canada compared to 2011, which saw an average of four-five nights stay, not counting the cruising itineraries which fit extremely well in conjunction with Rocky Mountaineer journeys.”


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PATA has a new-found Next Gen agenda  To reinvent the 61-yearold travel association in this digital era, PATA CEO Martin J. Craigs has committed the association to a four-year phase of “Next Generation” action at the recently concluded Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Annual Conference in Kuala Lumpur. Craigs felt aligned advocacy, mobile technology, business building events and crisis management readiness would define the association’s new operational mindset, which would formally be called the PATA Next Gen. “PATA Next Gen is ageless, neither old nor young,” Craigs said. “It is a state of mind, a commitment to speed, relevance, informality and getting things done on behalf of our members who want to build and defend their business in an increasingly competitive marketplace,” he added. According to Craigs, the association’s new mobile platform for integrated travel intelligence -PATAmPOWER is a major proof point in PATA Next

ASSOCIATIONS

` falls, falls & adds uncertainity Contd. from page 1 

Guldeep Singh Sahni, President, OTOAI

Martin J. Craigs CEO, PATA

Gen delivery. PATAmPower presents the latest travel industry insights and statistics in a user-friendly visual format that PATA members can access on their mobile devices 24/7 as long as they have an Internet connection, he revealed. Urging more industry experts and travel professionals to join the association, the CEO stated, “It is now time to start using PATA Next Gen effectively in the Internet Age as Asia rises on the world stage. PATA is your industry’s voice that will help you build - and defend - your business. Use it. Join us.”

The steep fall in the value of rupee has made the prospects of outbound segment even more challenging. The government had already scripted an increase of `1500-5000 per ticket as additional burden in the Union Budget of 2012. The fall in value of rupee has increased the burden by another 10-15 per cent. May and June witness around 50-60 per cent of the outbound business. But, due to rise in costs, our clients are showing interest only in short-haul destinations like Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. The interest in long-haul destination like Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa to name a few had seen drastic fall, along with queries on many of Far East destinations. In simple words, the taxation cost adds up to 50 per cent of costs of an outbound tour package. The steep fall in value of rupee will mean a

further hit on the margins. The cause of such steep depreciation is nothing more than a fear psychosis led by difficult economic condition in Greece and Europe. The fundamentals of the Indian market are so strong that it came out of the recent global economic downturn as one of most resilient economies in Asia and our outbound tours also increased during the same period. The Government should not merely watch the global events, but initiate such actions that lift the market sentiments in India. Bringing down the taxation in lieu of recent fall in value of Rupee will be a welcome step; otherwise the medium and small outbound tour companies will take a major hit that makes up of almost 90 per cent of the industry. The ideal exchange rate value is between ` 47-49 to a US dollar, which now looks like a distant dream.

Sarab Jit Singh, Sr. Vice President, IATO The steep fall in value of Rupee is worrisome. In the short run, we can expect that the appreciation in the value of US Dollar will be an enabler and get more inbound tourists to our shore. But, the nature of contracting these days is such that the inbound tour operators and their foreign tour operators factor in the foreign exchange risks against the fluctuation. The foreign tour operator will benefit out of the steep increase in the value of US

Dollar. Only, in some cases our inbound tour operators will temporarily benefit. On the macro front, such a steep depreciation in value of Rupee will make our import get more expensive and oil is one major constituent of our imports. It also will have a negative impact on the broader sentiment and can lead to an overall economic slowdown. The ideal range of Rupee and Dollar rate is about 45-47 and serves all purpose.

Rajat Sawhney, General Secretary, ADTOI There has been a steep rise in the value of US Dollar against the Indian Rupee. It’s a very complex phenomenon and there are many explanations in the market ranging from Greece Debt crisis, recession in Euro Zone. But, it’s too early to have any conclusive reasoning. From our perspective, the indicators had been very good

on the domestic tourism front. Due to increase in the cost of overseas travel, we have had registered strong growth in domestic packages and hope the same trend will continue in the short run (30-60 days). In my opinion the ideal RupeeDollar range that is widely acceptable is between `4548 to a US Dollar.


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ANALYSIS

How to handle the talent crisis Contd. from page 5 

While India’s government-run and private sector hotel management schools turn out a little over 10,000 graduates a year, many of these graduates are not lured by the hospitality industry. Laments Ranjit Chaudhury, Principal, IHM, Kolkata, “Even a top job as a management trainee is not luring the students. They are reluctant to join as the entry level salary structure is too low even now. What adds on to the woes of the students are the taxing long working hours and the inter-personal relationship among the hierarchy of the employees and employer.” The hotels rather than creating future workforce with leadership qualities often become the roadblock. Most of the students after industrial training do not want to join the industry, Chaudhury feels. “At IHM Kolkata, students spend at least one semester in industrial training at reputed hotels. The average stipend for this training ranges from a meagre Rs 500 to Rs 5,000.

There are big hotels who pay the candidates as low as Rs 500-800. At least 30-35 per cent of the students return with bad experiences and hence, the disillusionment is obvious.” The system says that the four-week long training should include one week each in housekeeping, front office, F&B and food production. However, many times students complain that this is not adhered to by the hotels. This is another grey area, he states. Urging the hotels to develop more amicable working conditions, he says, “The hotels should not treat the students as regular manpower at such a tender age.” This year, out of 34 companies that visited the IHM Kolkata campus for recruitment, 22 companies consisted of hotels and international food chains. Among 204 final year students, almost 150 have already been placed as management trainees in the hotels. What also attracts these students is the retail and BPO sector. “IT-service, retail and BPO industries too nibble at the available talent pool, leaving

only a fraction of this for the hotel industry. Mushrooming stand-alone restaurants too poach trained hands from hotels, leading to attrition. With their lucrative pay packages and comfortable fiveday work structure, these pose a major threat to the industry.” However, this is an inevitable phenomenon. The BPOs and retail segment are mainly looking for students with brilliant soft skills and this is where our students score above the rest. Hence, the only way forward is that hotels have to mend their ways. They need to realise that the manpower crunch can only be avoided if they retain skilled workforce. And this will only be possible when amicable working conditions are created within the industry, he claims. Elaborating the reasons for attrition in this industry, Sarah Hussain, Assistant Professor, Banarsidas Chandiwala Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology, New Delhi feels, “The reason for high attrition in hospitality industry is the high stress and pressure levels

as the service industry does not have quantifiable measures to satisfy guests’ needs. It is the initial three years which are the toughest as

hotels have to change their practices and become more humane towards the fresh graduates and women

other service sectors. We are dealing with a generation which has the option of choosing from so many different avenues.”

Ranjit Chaudhury

Sarah Hussain, Assistant Professor

K V Simon

Principal, IHM Kolkata

Banarsidas Chandiwala Institute New Delhi

Regional VP, American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI)

Even a top job as a management trainee is not luring students. They are reluctant to join as the entry level salary structure is low these are the learning years and most of the people who leave the industry do so in this period. We at the college level prepare the students for the real picture but there are so many other industries which attract them when they join various hotels.” Women find it more difficult to combine and balance career goals and family needs. Success in the industry usually involves long hours and frequent geographical moves and it is difficult to meet these needs and still satisfy family needs, Hussain confesses. Calling upon for a more compassionate approach by the hospitality industry, she says, “The

We at the college level prepare the students for the real picture but there are other industries which attract them employees if they want them to keep them for good.” KV. Simon, Regional VP, American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI), however begs to differ. Responding to the MyHiringClub.com survey, Simon opines, “There is a non-alignment in the survey. There is an aspiration actualisation gap. Increasingly, entry level jobs are being perceived as transitory vocations. This calls for some reality check and transformation.” Regarding the scene of attrition in the industry, Simon feels, “Attrition is nothing new and it exists not only in the hospitality but even the the

Attrition is nothing new and it exists not only in the hospitality but even in the other service sectors Simon believes that attrition necessarily need not be a negative phenomenon. It has positive aspects as well. “One will not like drinking from a pond but a river as that has flowing water. Similarly, some amount of attrition is good as it helps the personality to grow by not letting him become stagnant.” Also, the hotels need to change their approach but the students and parents also need to change their attitude and perception about the industry. It is a two-way process. The accountability in this case rests as much with the students as the industry.

Mansingh Group on CSR way

As part of its corporate social responsibility, Ashok Kumar, Chairman, Mansingh Group of Hotels & Resorts and Seth Jai Prakash Mukund Lal Institutions held its 2nd Blood Donation Utsav in Gurgaon on May 4, 2012. It will be followed by the 10th Blood Donation Utsav in Jaipur on May 21, 2012. The Chairman presided over the function and encouraged his entire team.


STATES

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Bihar’s 50% subsidy to private hotels DK Srivastava, Director and Special Secretary, Bihar Tourism talks about the current plans and ongoing developments… T T B U R E AU

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here has been an exponential increase in foreign and domestic tourist arrivals into the state in the last five years. While the state received just 94,000 foreign visitors in Bihar in 2006, it has now risen to 9.7 lakh foreign visitors in 2011. This was revealed by Srivastava while speaking at a seminar organised by the PHD Chamber in Delhi. According to Srivastava, Bihar contributes to 20 per cent of India’s foreign tourist arrivals. Every year, there are five million FTAs in India. Out of this, around 1 million come to Bihar which means that Bihar contributes 20 per cent to FTAs in India, he claimed. The Bihar Tourism department is also in the process of revamping its website, which will be launched by June this year. Information about Bihar will be made available in five different languages on the site. It will also offer a 360-degree virtual tour of about 70 important tourist sites in the state, he added. For upgrading the existing facilities at the privatelyoperated hotels and restaurants in the region to improve the hospitality facilities, Bihar Tourism is also looking at capital subsidies as well. The state government will offer 50 per cent capital subsidy to private hotel operators for all types of improvement work which follow norms laid down by the Bihar Tourism Department.

“Similar financial help will also be extended to private households in rural areas who wish to upgrade their facilities to accommodate tourists,”

QUICK READ Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Limited (TCGL) plans to set up a 24x7 call centre, a mobile application and geographic information system (GIS) mapping of the tourist destinations of the state. This will help tourists to get information about the destinations, facilities and hotels in Gujarat, along with arranging for taxi services and online bookings.

Delegates at the PHD seminar

Srivastava said. The tourism department will also start upgrading its properties in the state. There are around 21 hospitality units under the department and these will be upgraded to star-category hotels as per the Ministry of Tourism norms. The process of appointing consultants for this job has already

started. Bihar Tourism is also considering incentives such as exemption from sales tax on jet fuel to lure private airlines to operate direct flights between Bodhgaya and Delhi, he added. “The state government has also approached the AAI to reduce airport charges at Gaya airport,” he said.

Slew of initiatives Bihar Tourism to unveil revamped website by June 21 hospitality units to be upgraded to star-category hotels Bihar Tourism mulls incentives like exemption from sales tax on jet fuel


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NTO

JUNE 1 ST FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2012

South African Tourism says...

Emerging? India’s an established market South African Tourism is poised to handle increasing number of tourist arrivals to the country, and adapt to the dynamics of the future of travel business. I NDER RAJ A HLUWALIA

A

ccording to Thulani Nzima, Chief Executive Officer, South African Tourism, INDABA, one of the travel trade exhibitions of the country, had the main objective to create a platform which brings buyers and service providers together. It was well achieved as shown by the presence of

rative process, and they are investing in marketing activities and relationships with everyone from travel agents to airlines. In this positive scenario of increased numbers of tourist arrivals to the country, China and India have burst onto the scene and become particularly strong markets. Against this backdrop, South African Tourism intends to

in the immediate future, it would no longer be termed as an ‘emerging market’, but rather, an important, established one. This is a significant up-gradation in terms of market classification and status. This is indicated by the fact that they now have an agency dedicated to facilitating visas in India. Sharing this upbeat opinion of the Indian market,

Thulani Nzima

Hanneli Slabber

Evelyn Mahlaba,

Chief Executive Officer South African Tourism

Country Head India South African Tourism

Regional Director, Australasia South African Tourism

It would no longer be termed as an ‘emerging market’, but rather, an important, established one

some 1,500 exhibitors and 12,000 visitors. Nzima felt that the 8.3 million arrivals in South Africa in 2011, and a good growth of 8 per cent in the past year, were clear signals that they were on the right track. South African Tourism views the tourism business as a collabo-

India’s economic upturn will ensure that its potential as a source market will continue to grow

focus and continue to invest in these prime markets. The idea is to keep up their media engagements and other promotions to tap the huge potential at hand. Nzima felt that with India putting up such a strong show, and expecting to produce 100,000 visitors

This successful branding is playing a role in making the country a favoured destination in India

Hanneli Slabber, Country Head India, South African Tourism, feels India’s economic upturn will ensure that its potential as a source market will continue to grow. The indications are all very positive. Their promotional efforts in India are paying off, and the perception of South Africa in

Rodney Wyndham

Joss Kent

Cindy Sheedy Walker

Managing Director Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve

Chief Executive Officer, &Beyond, a wildlife and conservation company

Managing Director, Extraordinary

We are well equipped to handle Indian business as we offer a special family programme

With the Indian travellers’ interest in wildlife increasing, all factors point to the increased Indian business

the Indian market is very favourable, and there’s great enthusiasm in the marketplace. According to Evelyn Mahlaba, Regional Director, Australasia, South African Tourism, South Africa’s brand is successful and this has helped boost tourism to the country. This successful branding is playing a role in making the country a favoured destination in the Indian market. Stating that India ranks among their top ten markets, Rodney Wyndham, Managing Director, Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, feels the Indian market will grow further. With families and honeymooners being important components of

the Indian market, they feel they are well equipped to handle Indian business as they offer a special family programme. Also upbeat about India is Joss Kent, Chief Executive Officer, &Beyond, a wildlife and conservation company which besides their operations in Africa, is involved with four properties in India. With the Indian market growing, and Indian travellers’ interest in wildlife and conservation increasing, all factors point to the increased Indian business, he concludes. Cindy Sheedy Walker, Managing Director, Extraordinary, which represents Kingfisher Resorts, feels

India which is the biggest market for them is poised for further growth that India which is the biggest market for them is poised for further growth. On their part, they offer a perfect package to Indian visitors, with staff trained to service Indians, and Indian food, including vegetarian served with all meals. While South Africa will always use wildlife as a tourist draw, South African Tourism, with its latest slogan ‘inspiring new ways’, wants to emphasise that the country has lot more to offer. They want to focus on the baskets of experiences available, from culture and heritage, to lifestyle and sports. And they want to tap to the hilt the enormous potential seen in countries like India.


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AVIATION

Where is the Indian aviation headed? Indian aviation reported an estimated record loss of just over US$ 2 billion in the last financial year. CAPA India Outlook 2012/13, forecasts an outlook for the Indian aviation industry in the present financial year. T T B U R E AU

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eak balance sheets, increasing costs, regulatory uncertainty, a sluggish Indian economy and a difficult global environment will continue to pile the pressure on airlines, especially the poorer performing carriers. However, this may in turn create market opportunities to exploit for those that are better positioned.

Expected domestic capacity growth of 7-8% Indian carriers are expected to add approximately 24 aircraft during the year, which includes 8 Q400s to be inducted by SpiceJet. This corresponds to the equivalent of 20 narrow body aircraft on domestic routes. CAPA estimates this would result in capacity growth of 7-8 per cent in a best case scenario.

Domestic growth of 8-10% Domestic passenger traffic will grow by 8-10 per

cent in this financial year and more likely towards the lower end of the range. Much will depend upon the impact of oil prices and other input costs on airfares.

Airlines might post a loss of US$ 1.3-1.4 bn Air India is once again expected to be the worst performer in the industry and to report a loss of INR70 billion (US$ 1.3 billion). Kingfisher Airlines is projected to lose INR12-14 billion (US$ 220-260 million). However, the remaining four private carriers combined could post a modest profit of approximately INR11 billion (US$ 200 million).

Jet Airways to be the primary beneficiary Although the troubles facing Air India and Kingfisher Airlines have been positive for all other carriers, Jet Airways has been and will continue to be, the largest beneficiary.

Kingfisher’s dramatic contraction from 66 to 16 operational aircraft, of which half are regional ATR aircraft, has left the domestic business market open for Jet Airways. Similarly, the temporary industrial action on Air India’s long haul international routes has driven North American and UK traffic to Jet Airways.

Air India could face a temporary shutdown Air India is expected to enter a defining period. The merger between Air India and Indian Airlines is defined by the fact that the most critical issue, namely that of the integration of human resources has been ineptly handled and almost willfully ignored, with noone taking responsibility.

Kapil Kaul CEO South Asia, CAPA

and has declined to become India’s smallest domestic airline by market share. CAPA estimates that Kingfisher has a funding requirement of close to USD1 billion, of which US$ 500-600 million is needed immediately and a further US$ 300-400 million in the next fiscal.

Kingfisher’s revival depends on FDI

Expectations raised, dashed and then delayed

Kingfisher has deliberately downsized over the last six months to conserve cash

In January 2012, the Ministry of Civil Aviation gave its strongest support to

date for a proposal to permit foreign airline investment of up to 49 per cent. There remains a slim chance that it may be approved shortly after the close of the current parliamentary session at the end of May 2012, but publicly raising and then dashing expectations of an imminent change in regulations is a poor way to play the industry. However, if the restriction is lifted, SpiceJet, GoAir and Kingfisher are the most likely candidates to seek foreign airline investors with SpiceJet, arguably, the most attractive of the three. The longer that approval is delayed, the more damaging it will be for Kingfisher. CAPA expects that the investors most seriously considering opportunities in India include the Gulf carriers such as Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways, although others such as International Airline Group is also believed to be actively watching the market.

Removal of the restriction on foreign airlines could in fact open up a strategic partnership opportunity for Air India should the government wish to pursue such an approach.

Jet to order for up to 100 narrow-body aircraft Jet Airways has been the main beneficiary of the negative situation at Air India and Kingfisher. Despite the carrier’s own weakness, it may decide to take advantage of the situation to expand both domestic and international as it had done in 1996 when a number of its competitors had closed down. CAPA expects Jet Airways could place a large narrow body order for over 100 aircraft in FY12/13 to meet both replacement and growth requirements. The airline is understood to be actively evaluating the A320neos and it is also likely to lease up to 10 A330s to support the expansion of its European route network.


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HOTELS

JUNE 1 ST FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2012

Hotels now log on to social media With social media playing a larger role in hospitality, speaks to various hoteliers to gain insight into how social media marketing techniques are boosting footfalls in hotels and helping build better relations with guests in India… T T B U R E AU

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t is a no brainer to see that social media is here to stay for good. The hospitality industry cannot discount the buzz of social marketing. How hotels decide to address it and what technologies they would invest time and money into should be a thought out plan – much like the approach to any good marketing initiative to increase footfalls. Thus, the hotel industry is now increasingly looking at leveraging social media as a way to engage with customers and increase affinity and loyalty. Hospitality business has embraced effective social media marketing techniques to boost their customer service, enhance brand reputation and develop strong professional relationships.

Says Anuradha Kumar, Director Sales and Marketing, Hyatt Regency Delhi, “We are

introduced in January 2012. The tool is available on every restaurant page on the Hyatt.com website and there has been a 50% monthly growth in online reservations from this channel alone.

seeing a major growth in social media uptake in India. Hyatt has a strong market presence worldwide and social media marketing enables us to sustain and further our brand recognition in the Indian markets.” Social network is seen as a way to enhance the consumer’s experience. “An online concierge can do it all for you – from generating reservations and making travel plans to shop for a lastminute gift. Having a concierge on your side is like having a full-time assistant ready and waiting for your next command. Although we do not have a virtual social concierge facility, we do have an E-Concierge option in place, which helps us a lot and is much appreciated by our guests,” Kumar opines. According to her, Hyatt Regency Delhi is the only hotel in Delhi to offer online restaurant reservations, which it

Anuradha Kumar

Kriti Budhia

Director Sales and Marketing Hyatt Regency Delhi

ADOS e-commerce Accor India

An online concierge can do it all for you – from generating reservations and making travel plans to shop for a last-minute gift

Social media has come up in a big way, and despite its benefits one must be cautious before going overboard

Online reputation management has become the frontrunner for any hotel’s PR policy. It is not a question of whether hotels use social media but how effectively these networks are being utilised to improve brand recognition, loyalty and bookings. Apart from gaining customer loyalty, boosting conversations and building online reputation, one of the key reasons that hotels now maintain a consistent social media presence is for online bookings. This is where social medium and the hotel websites play a pivotal role. Feels Kriti Budhia, ADOS e-commerce, Accor India, “Social media has come up in a big way and although there are obvious benefits on engaging through this medi-

um, there are a certain few things also that need to be taken care of before going overboard. We are looking at social media very seriously as a platform to engage with our customers and also potential customers and drive loyalty. For the same, we do a lot of work with TripAdvisor, Facebook, etc.” Regarding the increase in business via this medium, she argues, “A consistent social media presence has helped Accor India see an upward trajectory when it comes to the contribution of online bookings. The focus for Accor India will remain on increasing our engagement with the customers, in order to ensure they are captivated and get the information they want from the medium.” The French hospitality chain is actively involved in taking note of what is driving online purchase through research to understand what best can be offered to the customer, she adds.


AGENTS

JUNE 1 ST FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2012

Contiki’s 50 birthday celebration th

To kickstart the 50th year celebrations, the company treated its 90 top selling agents from around the globe to the trip of a lifetime in California… T T B U R E AU

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ontiki has inspired 18 35 year olds to travel to the world’s most fantastic destinations for last 50 years.

“It’s a rare achievement for any brand to remain relevant for 50 years, let alone a brand that targets the ever-changing youth market,” said David Hosking, Global Managing Director, Contiki who has worked with the Contiki brand since 1975. “While the core of what we do remains the same;

offering young people the chance to see the world and create unforgettable memories; we have kept our finger on the pulse of what our consumer wants and constantly adapted to meet their needs,” he added. To kick off the birthday celebrations, the company treated their 90 top selling agents from around the globe to the trip of a lifetime in California. “It’s a poignant sign of our bond with the trade that we have chosen to celebrate our 50th anniversary with key performers at our ‘Rock Around the World’ event in Las Vegas on April 29,” said Hosking. The ‘Rock Around the World’ trip included agents from all Contiki selling regions, who hit up the epic 3-day Coachella festival, before travelling through San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Paso Robles, ending up in Vegas for Contiki’s birthday weekend. Contiki will continue to celebrate its birthday over the next few weeks, with internal team festivities planned to recognise the importance the company has always placed on supporting its passionate

and inspiring staff. In addition, it has also started a fan-based competition. With new innovative technology (the company launches an interactive iPhone app next month for

passengers on tour), new product launches and continued connectivity with consumers and trade partners, Contiki looks forward to another solid 50 years in the youth travel market.

Trade partners celebrating the Golden Jubilee

TRAVTALK

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42 TRAVTALK

JUNE 1 ST FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2012

HOTELS

See, who has their eyes on India... Mauritius-based Constance Hotels Experience has recently appointed The Nijhawan Group as its marketing representative in India for the travel trade. To introduce the brand in India, the group hosted a cocktail and dinner party for the travel trade in Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru.

Constance

Delhi

Mumbai

Constance

It’s Destination India all the way for them Handling sales and marketing in India for Dubai-based The Address Hotels + Resorts and Armani Hotels (Dubai and Milan), The Nijhawan Group recently hosted a cocktail and dinner party for the travel trade in Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru. During the event, Marc Dardenna, CEO, Emaar Hospitality Group expressed his interest to soon introduce The Address branded property in India.

The Address and Armani

Delhi

Mumbai

The Address and Armani

Emaar Hospitality Group bets big on India  Emaar Hospitality Group is extremely bullish on India as its source market. The group’s The Address Hotels + Resorts is targetting various segments in India, including the leisure traveller, especially the short-haul distance traveller, weekend getaway traveller and the shopaholics. Highlighting the priority given to India, Amit Arora, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, The Address Hotels + Resorts said, “A lot of high-end segment that visits Dubai stays at our hotels. This makes India the third largest source market for the group after the GCC and the UK.”

Cashing in on the destination of Dubai, the group also attracts a huge clientele that stops over in Dubai for a few days. “There are many flights between India and Dubai and with Dubai being one of the favourite stopover destinations, this segment is big for the group.” Talking about the USP of the property, Arora commented, “The 5-star premium global hotel brand has been well received. Aiming not to cannibalise the market, the Address hotels have literally five addresses in Dubai currently.” The repeat clientele at this hotel is as high as 15 per cent. “This

is because each time a traveller comes to Dubai, he can check into a different Address hotel,” Arora boasted. Suited for travellers with different needs, each hotel is tailor-made for a particular category of clients. The Address, Downtown Burj Dubai faces the iconic Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest building. The Address, Dubai Marina is ideal for MICE. The Address Montgomerie Dubai is a golfer’s paradise. Downtown Dubai lures people who are looking for a heritage experience. The group also operates the Armani Hotels & Resorts. An ultra-luxury proposition,

Armani Hotel Burj Dubai in the world’s tallest building – Burj Dubai -is a world of Amit Arora understated Chief Sales and Marketing Officer elegance. The The Address Hotels + Resorts hotel that opened two years ago has this unique concept of lifestyle managers. The group has recently another second Armani hotel in its portfolio – Armani Hotel Milano.

Shangri-La website now gets a new look  Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts has unveiled a revamped website that will allow travellers to experience the world’s most enchanting destinations even before their journeys

begin. Enhanced features, which include sharing the best of the group’sphotography, will help travellers get closer to their destinations. To commemorate the new site, Shangri-La

will launch the ‘LovingTheMoment’ Instagram initiative to encourage everyone to share photos of their location. “After 10 months in the making, we are proud to

launch the new ShangriLa.com,which is just the beginning of an exciting lineup of digital and social initiatives that we will be rolling out in the coming year to create richer user experiences

for our guests,” said Michael Leong, Director of Corporate Digital Marketing at ShangriLa Hotels and Resorts. “We hope the site will make it easier for our guests to explore destinations, make and man-

age bookings, connect and share through their social media communities, and allow travellers who have not yet stayed with us to have a beautiful entry into the world of Shangri-La.”


HOTELS

Full service pilgrimage hotel Daiwik Hotels will be launching 5 four-star properties in key pilgrimage locations across India with an investment of ` 180 crore in 30 months. T T B U R E AU

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n a first-of-its kind initiative, Daiwik Hotels has announced the introduction of its specialty chain of full service four-star hotels in prominent pilgrimage destinations across India. Daiwik Hotels aims to create a niche segment in the pilgrimage hospitality sector in India with its brand presence in five major pilgrim locations, namely Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and Dwarka in Gujarat, which are

Only for Pilgrims Brand presence in 5 major pilgrim locations, namely Varanasi; Rameswaram, and Dwarka, which are part of the Char Dhams and Jyotirlingams, along with Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh and Katra in J&K The company is aiming to be the leader in the pilgrimage hospitality circuit by expanding its capacity base to 2000 keys in the course of next five years

part of the Char Dhams and Jyotirlingams along with Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh and Katra in Jammu & Kashmir. Commenting on the new brand, Debashis Ghosal, Managing Director and CEO, Daiwik Hotels said,

“We chose to enter pilgrimage hospitality because of the huge demand and supply gap in the country for quality branded products, which are standardised in the mid-segment market.” According to Ghosal, pilgrim tourists are the largest travel group after ‘travel for social purpose’ in India. With an initial investment of ` 180 crore, these five company-owned hotels will be operational in the next 30 months.

Commencing with its aggressive expansion plans, Daiwik Hotels is presently focussing at the southern market with its first pilgrim hotel undergoing soft

Debashis Ghosal Managing Director and CEO Daiwik Hotels

pilot run in Rameswaram. Tapping opportunity in this segment, the company is aiming to be the leader in the pilgrimage hospitality circuit by expanding its capacity base to 2000 keys in the course of next five years and plans to acquire additional land banks in 15 other pilgrim destinations in next two years.

Three more Pullman hotels A Pullman Hotel is slated to come up near Delhi Airport besides one each at Lavasa and Gandhinagar, says Xavier Louyot, VP, Global Marketing, Pullman Hotels & Resorts… T T B U R E AU

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fter the recent debut of the Pullman brand in Gurgaon, the French hotel company will establish three more Pullman hotels to increase the brand awareness about the hotel.

“A Pullman hotel is slated to come up near the Delhi International Airport besides one each at Lavasa and Gandhinagar. These are in various stages of construction,”

3 new properties Accor unveiled three new brands this year in India. 1. Sofitel in Mumbai 2. Formule1 in Greater Noida 3. Pullman in Gurgaon

Xavier Louyot, Vice President, Global Marketing, Pullman Hotels & Resorts said. Talking about the importance of brand positioning of the various hotel categories in Accor, Louyot

Xavier Louyot Vice President, Global Marketing Pullman Hotels & Resorts

believes that due to the presence of separate marketing tools for each category to establish a clear brand distinction, there is no cannibalisation in the market.

Clearly targetting the business clientele in the region, the VP commented, “With increasing opportunities for holidays, leisure and business, India is becoming one of the leading venues for MICE in the region,” he said. Speaking about the segments the new upscale hotel would be targetting, he said, “Pullman will target corporates, FITs, meetings and conference clients and leisure travellers for the new property.” Designed for the requirements of the business traveller, the Pullman Hotel will provide an extensive range of tailored services, access to groundbreaking technologies, and ‘CoMeeting’, a new approach to organising meetings, seminars and high-end incentives.


OPPORTUNITY / CLIPBOARD

JUNE 1 ST FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2012

TRAVTALK

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46 TRAVTALK

MOVEMENTS

JUNE 1 ST FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2012

Turkish Airlines Mumbai

Radisson Blu Hotel Jaipur Airport Jaipur

Country Inn & Suites by Carlson Ahmedabad

Mehmet Akay has been appointed as the General Manager,

Sanjeev Kumar Dass is the new General Manager of the

Southern and Western India, Turkish Airlines. In his new role, Akay will be taking charge of Turkish Airlines’ strategic success in this region and will be responsible for growth and expansion of the company’s market share in the country. He started his career with Turkish Airlines in Istanbul in 1999 as a reservation agent. He will be responsible for guiding the Airlines’ journey towards world class growth and achieve new heights in sales and brand building. He also had a brief stint as Regional Commercial Manager in Vietnam for two years.

Radisson Blu Hotel Jaipur Airport. He has brought with him 23 years of rich experience, having worked with ITC Fortune Select Metropolitan, Jaipur, Hotel VITS in Aurangabad, Club Mahindra at Avalon Resorts in Mussoorie and with various ITDC hotels (Ashok Group of Hotels). Under his leadership, the hotel in Mussoorie bagged the Gold Crown Award for 2003, Resort of International Distinction for 2004, 2006 and achieved the ISO 9001:2000 certification.

Jitesh Patta has been appointed the General Manager of Country Inn & Suites by Carlson in Ahmedabad. He brings with him 15 years of experience and is an F&B specialist. He was awarded the Youngest Vice President Operations Hospitality by Hindustan Times in Delhi. He has also worked for brands like Clarks, Fortune, Royal Resorts, Tivoli, Parkland and Carlson. He has the advantage of working in the city and resort hotels that gives him the edge. He is an IHM graduate and MBA from Amity Business School.

The Galaxy Hotel, Shopping and Spa Gurgaon

Grand Hyatt Goa Goa

The Courtyard by Marriott Gurgaon

Pradipta Narayan Biswas has been appointed as the General Manager, Hotel Operations of The Galaxy Hotel, Shopping and Spa in Gurgaon. He has 18 years of experience, and has worked with companies like Orchid, Mumbai, Novotel Hyderabad, Grand Hyatt Delhi, Intercontinental Mumbai Sahar, ITC Hotels, Park Plaza Royal Palms Mumbai and others. He passed out from Presidency College – Hotel Management, Bangalore, in 1997. In his current role, he will be responsible for positioning the hotel as a highend boutique hotel, with varied mix of F&B options.

Kenneth Coelho has been appointed as the Director of Spa and Recreation of Grand Hyatt Goa. He has an extensive experience of 19 years. He has worked with the London Hilton Heathrow Hotel, London Heathrow Marriott Hotel, Dubai International Financial Centre, Kensington Close Hotel London and David Lloyd Leisure. He will be responsible for elevating operations at the Shamana Spa at the Grand Hyatt Goa, and create a peaceful and serene retreat in wellness and relaxation.

Gaurav Agarwal has been promoted to the post of Associate

The Leela Mumbai, Mumbai

The Claridges Delhi NCR

The Westin Gurgaon Gurgaon, Delhi NCR

Vishrut Gupta is the new F&B Manager at The Leela Mumbai.

Cajetan A. Araujo, a Portuguese national, has been appointed as the Executive Assistant Manager at The Claridges, Surajkund, a luxury five star business resort. In his new capacity, Araujo will be responsible for all matters pertaining to hotel operations and will act in conjunction with the head of departments as a key support member. He brings knowledge and experience over 18 years, and has been associated with leading brands such as Inter Continental Central Park South, New York Palace, both in New York; Fairmont Southampton Resort in Bermuda and Fairmont Dubai as Director Food & Beverage.

Chia Kok Sing has been appointed the Chef de Cuisine of EEST

In his new role, Gupta has been tasked with the responsibility to manage day-to-day Food & Beverage operations. He has graduated with a Bachelors degree in Hotel Management from IHM, Pusa, New Delhi. He is also an alumnus of Welcomegroup Management Institute. His career graph is illustrious, since he has worked with some of the best hotels in the luxury hospitality sector. Over the last ten years, he gained immense experience, while holding various positions in the Food & Beverage department.

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: Vivek Sethi and Megha Paul

Hony. Treasurer, ICPB and Chief Knowledge Director Incredible Design

(authentic Asian F&B venue) of The Westin Gurgaon. Hailing from China, Sing started his career by working with his father who was in the culinary business. He took formal training in a Chinese restaurant and went on to become an Executive Chef at the age of 30. Since then has worked in Malaysia and Burma before coming to India. He is all set to create a culinary journey, where each dish will have its unique highlights, resulting in an exciting dining experience.

Bharat Aggarwal, Vice President, Hotel & Restaurant Association of Northern India, and Managing Director, Inter-Continental Hotels & Resorts, loves travelling. His first preference in travelling terms is exploring travel attractions within India. He has explored most of India and is now keen on exploring most of the eastern states in India starting from Arunachal Pradesh. Horse riding is one of his passions since his school days at Modern School, Barakhamba Road, New Delhi. For keeping in touch with the latest developments in the world, he prefers to go online and surf for the latest updates. His mantra for striking balance between work and life revolves around ensuring that office work is completed in office only and spending quality time with his family over the weekends.

Sanjay Soni , Hony. Treasurer, ICPB and

Sanjay Soni

Director of Sales at The Courtyard by Marriott, Gurgaon. In his new role, he will be responsible for generating avenues for further business, strategic efforts and leverage the presence of global sales offices to drive more business potentially client servicing driven destinations. Previously, he was the Sales Centre Manager. His corporate experience spans six years in the hotel industry. Gaurav is a graduate in Hotel and Hospitality Administration from the Institute of Hotel Management Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition, Chennai.

Chief Knowledge Director, Incredible Design, is a devoted reader, who likes to read mostly non-fiction books. He also loves to watch movies of all genres, provided it can bring a smile on one’s face. He says it helps him switch-off and switch-on with a firm conviction to strive ahead and crack new business opportunities. He is blessed with a fourteen-yearold son and a seven-year-old daughter and believes that anyone claiming to have stuck a perfect worklife balance is no more than a liar. In his career that spreads over two decades, he has seen Indian exhibition industry and exhibitors grow manifolds. Mandip Singh Soin Founder and Managing Director of Ibex Expeditions

Bharat Aggarwal VP, Hotel & Restaurant Association of Northern India, and MD Inter-Continental Hotels & Resorts

Mandip Singh Soin is the Founder and Managing Director of Ibex Expeditions. Established in 1979, Ibex is a specialist tourism company in India that specialises in Ecotourism, Adventure, Luxury & Safari Travel. A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, UK, Soin holds a Master’s degree in History from St Stephens College, Delhi University. He began his pursuit of adventure at the age of 14 while he was studying at The Air Force School, Delhi. He lectures worldwide on responsible and ecologically sound tourism and is deeply committed to being a good trustee of this earth. On May 30, he will be delivering a lecture at University of Berkeley, prior to his expidition to Peru on May 31. His other passions, when not on expedition, are listening to Beethoven, fly fishing, indulging in puns, flipping omlettes to perfection and for relaxation he takes the occasional bungee.


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:30-05-2012

HIGHLIGHT

Kenya Airways: ‘Hello Delhi’ To strengthen its market in India and highlight India’s growing importance, Kenya Airways is now spreading its wings here. It mulls operations to four more destinations in India such as Ahmedabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai and Bengaluru, says Evanson Mwaniki, Chairman, Kenya Airways. M E G H A PAU L

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vanson Mwaniki was in the Indian capital to launch the direct flights from New Delhi to Nairobi. The Indian capital is now the airline’s 57th destination, the latest since the airline launched flights to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia in October last year. It is also the second destination that Kenya Airways flies to in the Indian sub-continent, the other being Mumbai. Kenya Airways will be flying to New Delhi four times a week on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Kenya Airways will deploy Boeing 767-300 aircraft on the four-times-aweek New Delhi – Nairobi (DEL NBO) service. Looking at increasing the destinations the airline will fly to, the chairman said, “We are planning to increase our fleet size from the current 34 to 68 in the next five years and to 110 in the next ten years. We shall start operating to the new routes in India as per the availability and delivery of the ordered aircraft.” Not just is it increasing its fleet size, the airline is also strengthening its portfolio by adding more destinations. The airline is also going strong on expanding its global network with plans to fly to 115 destinations in the next ten years. The carrier has plans to increase its network from the existing 57 to 91 destinations in the next five years. Kenya Airways is also seeking compensation from the US-based aircraft maker Boeing for delay in delivery of the 787 Dreamliner aircraft. Discussions between the two companies are tak-

ing place even as Boeing is yet to deliver the first of the nine 787s ordered by Kenya’s national carrier. “We are asking for compensation as we have lost business due to the delay,”

ket for the airline. The airline plans to position Nairobi as a stopover destination. “Apart from the existing market, we are targetting customers travelling to other African destinations via Nairobi as

Evanson Mwaniki

Mohan Chandra

Chairman Kenya Airways

Commercial Director Kenya Airways

We shall start operating to the new routes in India as per the availability and delivery of the ordered aircraft Mwaniki lamented. He, however, declined to comment on the amount it was seeking. The first of the Boeing 787 aircraft was to be delivered by October 2010 but it would now be delivered between January and March 2014. According to Mohan Chandra, Commercial Director, Kenya Airways, India is a big potential mar-

The New Delhi – Nairobi service will surpass the Mumbai service in terms of business very soon the capital is also well-connected to other African countries. The existing market from Delhi consists of tourists, wedding groups, leisure travellers and professionals,” he informed. Talking about the performance of the Mumbai-Nairobi flights, he revealed, “The Mumbai-Nairobi flights are doing well and have achieved a yearly load

factor of above eighty per cent. However, the New Delhi – Nairobi service will surpass the Mumbai service in terms of business very soon.” The airline has recently increased its frequencies in Mumbai from seven to 10 to cater to the demand between India and Africa. Along with the airlines pursuing a network expansion strategy that targets to link all African countries with the world, Kenya is also betting big on Indo-Kenya relations. India is Kenya’s sixth largest trading partner. Recently, Kenya-India relations have improved buoyed by increasing bilateral trade that hit US $4.8 billion in 2010-11. Recently the airline announced a right issue offer to be launched on March 30. The company hopes to raise Kshs20.7 billion from its shareholders. Proceeds from the rights issue are projected to fund implementation of the ambitious 10-year expansion plan dubbed Project Mawingu; which would see the airline increase its number of destinations from the current 56 to 115 destinations by the year 2021.

Going Strong The airline has recently increased its frequencies in Mumbai from seven to 10 to cater to the demand between India and Africa The Mumbai-Nairobi flights are doing well and have achieved a yearly load factor of above eighty per cent


TravTalk India June