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Vol. XXIV No. 22; November 2 nd fortnight issue 2012

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ddppl.com World Travel Market Globe Award 2012

...and the winner is IndiGo Airlines

IndiGo Airlines has won the prestigious - World Travel Market Globe Award 2012 in recognition for its contribution to India’s travel and tourism industry over the past 12 months. TT T EAM

TRAVTALK

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travtalkindia.com

NOVEMBER 2 ND FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2012

FROM

WTM's Global Media Network, comprising key travel industry media from around the world, put forward a shortlist of organisations which have contributed to their region's travel and tourism industry. A panel consisting of Jeffery and Scowsill, President & CEO, World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) judged the shortlisted entries put forward by . SanJeet jointly presented the award with Jeffery.

L ONDON

F

iona Jeffery, Chairman, World Travel Market, Reed Travel Exhibitions and SanJeet, Publisher, TravTalk presented the award to Aditya Ghosh, President, IndiGo Airlines on November 6 at the World Travel Market VIP Opening & Reception Ceremony in the presence of K Chiranjeevi, Union Minister for Tourism, Government of India.

(L-R): SanJeet, Fiona Jeffery, Barry Gibbons, Aditya Ghosh and K Chiranjeevi, Union Minister for Tourism, India

Contd. on page 20 

Taxes: A roadblock for growth In the recently held poll on ‘What is the biggest challenge faced by a travel agency today to grow their business’, our inbox was inundated with responses. With serious taxation issues and an array of taxes levied on the industry, it was but obvious that 'Too many taxes' emerged as the biggest hurdle. This was closely followed by the challenges thrown open 'technology/ecommerce'. Dearth of innovative ideas and 'No commission' issue also worries the industry and emerged as the other Contd. on page 20  major challenges.

No Commissions

Unorganised structure Lack of guides

6% 10%

25% 12%

Dearth of innovative ideas

Too many taxes

10%

10%

Poor availability of manpower

5%

14%

Poor perception of agents

8% Lack of destination knowledge Technology/ eCommerce

Delhi-Macau direct flights  Ajit Singh, Civil Aviation Minister, has given a go ahead to the new International Traffic Rights. The traffic rights will be applicable for the Indian carriers (Air India, Jet Airways and SpiceJet) for the next three seasons i.e. winter 2012, summer 2013 and winter 2013. Air India: Delhi-RomeMadrid/ Barcelona; DelhiMoscow; Delhi-Sydney/ Melbourne; MumbaiNairobi, Mumbai-Al Najaf (Iraq) Jet Airways: MumbaiJakarta; Delhi-Barcelona; Mumbai-Zurich; DelhiTashkent; Mumbai-Ho Chi Minh City SpiceJet: Lucknow- DelhiMacau; Al Najaf (Iraq); Varanasi- Al Najaf (Iraq); Delhi-Macau; Delhi-Ho Chi Minh City


ASSOCIATIONS

ATOAI debuts in the North East The Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) Convention will be held from January 20-22, 2013 in Guwahati with an objective to establish the North East region as a rich centre of adventure tourism in India… T T B U R E AU

“W

e have many hopes from our 10th annual convention after having held successful convention in Uttarakhand, MP and J&K. We are grateful to the Assam Government and Tourism for having agreed to be our host,” said Tejbir Singh Anand, President, ATOAI. Here, Sanjay Basu, Convention Chairman, added,

“After the emergence of attractions like Kashmir, Rajasthan, Kerala and more recently, states like MP and Karnataka, its time for the North East region to emerge as a leading adventure destination in India.”

“North East India is an outstanding adventure destination, which is endowed with rich history, culture, adventure opportunities, wild life and nature to name a few. The seven North East states, along with state of West Bengal, offer immense potential in terms of promoting adventure tourism. Our theme, this year, is ‘India’s Unexplored Paradise,” he added.

Stakeholders from ATOAI and Assam Tourism Board at the curtain raiser press event of Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI), who will conduct its 10th annual convention from 20-22 January, 2013 in Assam.

The ATOAI event has been strategically dovetailed with the North East International Travel Mart being conducted by the Ministry of Tourism. As per David Singh, Co-Convention Chairman, “The Convention will kick start on the final day of the MOT’s North East International Travel Mart. It will ensure enhanced presence of local, national and international stakeholders. Moreover, there will be three more events being held during the same time at our venueSaruja Sajai. There are five fam trips being worked out, which will extend the true hands on experience of rich culture, diversity and adventure tourism potential of the North East region,” he added.


STATISTICS VIEWPOINT

MOT announces 2 new campaigns

T

he Incredible India campaign had successfully created awareness in various overseas markets, stimulating demand and creating an incremental number of visitors to, and within, India. However, experts have been contemplating on a new avatar for the Incredible India campaign. Critics and stakeholders will equally be elated to know that K. Chiranjeevi, Union Minister of Tourism announced the launch of India’s new international and domestic campaigns at the World Travel Market 2012. The new campaigns, ‘Find What You Seek’ focuses on consumers and will help promote India as a 365-day destination in all the conventional and emerging international source markets and the campaign, ‘Go Beyond’ lays emphasis on encouraging lesser-known destinations within India and will help in promoting domestic and weekend tourism. The stakeholders in the travel and hospitality business should also feel fortunate that the new team in the Ministry of Tourism has shown determination to initiate key measures, ensuring that the growth momentum carries on smoothly. The ongoing national and global economic conditions though showing marked improvement will continue to remain tough. Here, the private sector needs to take a lead and work closely with policymakers, who have shown willingness to promote Incredible India as a year round destination. India will not achieve its target of doubling the number of inbound and domestic visitors till it creates a few mega destinations with an all round experience. Further, our country is seen as a warm and friendly nation but it urgently requires the tag of a clean destination with worldclass hygienic conditions. Here, MOT had initiated a nationwide ‘Clean India’ Campaign, but the private sector is still wanting in its efforts to adopt various monuments and tourist attractions. To make a success of it, the private sector has to come forward and work closely with the Government.

Vikramajit Chairman SanJeet Publisher Rupali Narasimhan Editorial Director Deepa Sethi Editor

Editorial Ratan Kr Paul Vivek Sethi Megha Paul Devika Jeet Anita Jain Dency Mathew News-Editor Peden Doma Bhutia Desk-Editor Archana Sharma Sub-Editor Raina Mandal

Advertising Gunjan Sabikhi General Manager Karishma Khanna Sr. Manager Marketing Shailendra Shukla Sr. Manager Marketing Udit Pandey Sr. Manager Marketing Geetika Pathak Manager Advertising Amit Sarkar Asst. Manager Marketing

India’s travel GDP will grow by 5.7% Travel and tourism’s performance in the first half of 2012, especially international arrivals, has been positive, says the WTTC Mid-Year Update October 2012 on Economic Impact of Travel & Tourism. Excerpts: T T B U R E AU

Regional Hotel Performance

W

orld Travel & Tourism GDP is projected to grow by 2.7% in 2012. This is especially impressive as set against the wider global economic backdrop, many economies are slowing or are showing below-trend or negative growth. In the Eurozone, sovereign debt issues and austerity policies have reduced trade and spending considerably over the first half of 2012 impacting economies around the world. The pace of growth in emerging markets is faster than in advanced economies, however, they too are feeling the impact of Europe’s financial troubles.

Source: STR, STR Global

World GDP v Travel & Tourism demand

Travel & Tourism so far in 2012 Global travel and tourism growth is still being driven by emerging economies, particularly those in Asia. China’s travel and tourism GDP will grow 7.2% and India by 5.7% in 2012, although slight downward revisions have been made. The revision in China’s travel and tourism growth by 1.2 percentage points is largely linked to a weaker export performance elsewhere in its economy as the struggling Eurozone is the destination for around 15% of China’s exports. India’s downgrade is the result of its major infrastructure problems contributing to power blackouts that affected half of its population in Q2 this year.

Region

Europe North America North East Asia South East Asia Middle East South Asia

Advertising (Mumbai) Suchita Saran Branch Manager Harshar Ashar Deputy Genral Manager Rishika Karra Sales Coordinator Advertisement Designers Vikas Mandotia/Nitin Kumar Design: Nityanand Misra Sudhir Mudgal Photographers Simran Kaur-Delhi Bharat Dangiya-Mumbai Production: Anil Kharbanda Circulation: Ashok Rana

Source: Oxford Economics

Revised forecasts for 2012

economic conditions are weak and growth is below trend as the Eurozone breakAlthough most up remains a major risk in the economies are still growing, short to medium term. Travel and Contribution Contribution Contribution tourism GDP will to World to World to World closely track wider Travel & Tourism Travel Tourism Travel & economy growth for total GDP GDP Tourism 2012. Downgrades in (2012) 2022 total this mid-year update Employment have been modest , growth however, with travel (2012-2022, and tourism now pro000s) jected to grow by 26% 22% 2,437 2.7% in 2012, only a .01% decline from the 24% 22% 4,709 2.8% growth that was 20% 24% 23,947 predicted at the start of the year. A slightly 4% 4% 7,348 larger downgrade 3% 3% 1,413 from 3.5% to 3.2% growth is expected for 2% 3% 9,820 domestic and tourism Source: Oxford Economics spending but this is

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

advice before acting on information contained in this publication which is provided for general use, and may not be appropriate for the readers’ particular circumstances. Contents of this publication are copyright. No part of TRAVTALK or any part of the contents thereof may be reproduced, stored in retrieval system or transmitted in any form without the permission of the publication in writing. The same rule applies when there is a copyright or the article is taken from another publication. An exemption is hereby granted for the extracts used for the purpose of fair review, provided two copies of the same publication are sent to us for our records. Publications reproducing material either in part or in whole, without permission could face legal action.

more than offset by the increase in international visitor exports that is now expected to grow by 2.4% in 2012, compared to the 1.7% expected at the start of the year.

The India story China’s travel and tourism GDP will grow by 7.2% and India by 5.7% in 2012, although slight downward revisions have been made India’s downgrade is the result of its major infrastructure problems contributing to power blackouts that affected half of its population in Q2 this year

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EXHIBITIONS

NOVEMBER 2 ND FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2012

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WTM Global Trends Report 2011

Predicting the right future The WTM Global Trends Report, in association with Euromonitor International, has successfully predicted global travel trends for eight years running. T T B U R E AU

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he WTM Global Trends Report 2011 correctly predicted some significant trends in the travel and tourism industry, including;

UK: Rent-a-garden The Global Trends Report 2011 predicted that the rent-a-garden concept would provide a significant source of accommodation for holidaymakers looking to enjoy the Olympic Games in London. The prediction proved correct with several hundred people advertising alternative accommodation during the Games on Campinmygarden.com during the London 2012 Olympic Games. With high household debt, this website provides homeowners with the opportunity to rent out their garden as a campsite to visitors seeking to save money and also experience the local community.

Asia: China’s Growing Influence The Global Trends Report 2011 predicted hotel companies would customise their brands in China, partnering with Chinese companies and creating programmes to cater to the Chinese abroad, on the back of the increasing spending by Chinese travellers on travel accommodation. The prediction proved correct with many hotel chains expanding in China and using their experience in the Chinese domestic market to feed best practices to properties abroad in key destinations for Chinese travellers. For example, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has three projects under development in China, while Marriott International Inc unveiled its ‘Li Yu’ welcome programme that features a suite of cus-

Impressive Numbers The first three days of WTM 2012 experienced a 4% increase in visitor numbers From November 5-7, the event saw 38,735 visitors walk through the doors of ExCeL - London to attend the exhibition.This compares to 37,331 across the first three days of WTM 2011 November 7 saw a 9% visitor increase, compared to the equivalent day the previous year, taking the total visitor number to 13,638

tomised amenities and services tailor-made for Chinese outbound travellers.

Technology and Online Travel: Gamification

The WTM Global Trends Report 2011 also tipped Gamification, or the integration of gaming dynamics in non-gaming environments to create brand awareness and

loyalty as a key industry trend for travel companies. The prediction proved correct with the launch of several loyalty programmes. For example, InterContinental Hotels Group

launched the ‘Win it in a minute’ programme to improve loyalty among younger consumers, while MyMarriottHotel allows players to take on the role of a hos-

Fiona Jeffrey Chairperson WTM

pitality manager in the kitchen, where players must cook, buy supplies, and get dishes to the counter.


STATES

Kerala goes ‘Down Under’ Kerala Tourism is enhancing its promotional activities ‘Down Under’ especially in Australia. It is also releasing a multimedia campaign, solely targetting Australia. D E V I KA J E E T

L

ed by the Kerala Tourism Minister, three roadshows were organised in the last week of October, in three biggest cities of Australia. The multimedia tourism campaign in Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth for tour operators underscored the tremendous opportunities for promoting the state’s tourist destinations. “I am excited by the enthusiasm shown by the Australian tourism trade for Kerala as one of the top destinations in the world,” says AP Anilkumar, Minister for Tourism, Government of Kerala. “The strengthening of bilateral ties between India and Australia demonstrated by the visit of the Australian Prime Minister to India augurs well for tourism and will inspire more Australian travellers to explore Kerala,” he adds. With a new state tourism policy in place and a new bouquet of tourism products available, Kerala has much more surprises in store for the Australian visitors, Anilkumar highlights. Many tour operators from the state took part in the roadshows to explore business tie-ups with their counterparts in Australia. In Brisbane, 30 representatives of tour operators attended the roadshow. The number of Australian business participants in

Melbourne as more than double at 66. The final roadshow in Perth was held with the attendance of local buyers at over 30. Australia is the fifth largest market for Kerala Tourism. Essentially an

growth in tourist arrivals from the Asia Pacific region, with the figures during the last five years showing a phenomenal increase of 168 per cent,” says Suman Billa, Secretary, Kerala Tourism. “With increased focus on the region and improved air con-

AP Anilkumar

Suman Billa

Minister for Tourism Government of Kerala

Secretary Kerala Tourism

The strengthening of ties will inspire more Australian travellers to explore Kerala experiential destination, Kerala’s wide range of nature-based attractions is extremely popular with the widely travelled Aussies. “Over the years, there has been an impressive

There has been an impressive growth in tourist arrivals from the Asia Pacific region

nectivity between Australia and Kerala, with Singapore and Kuala Lumpur as the hubs, we will see more Australian travellers holidaying in the state, in the coming days,” adds Billa.

Quartet of European delights

For the very first time, ‘Quartet of European Delights’, a festival of European cuisine from four countries – Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, was organised in New Delhi jointly by the Embassy of the Czech Republic in India and the Eros Hotel - Managed by Hilton. The event was attended by a large number of diplomatic officials, hoteliers and members of the travel trade fraternity.


STATES

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MP Government attracts tourism investors The 3rd edition of Global Investor Summit in Indore during October 28-30, 2012, organised by the MP Government included the tourism industry for the first time. MP Tourism drew ` 1,192 crore of investment during the event.. SA N J E E V B H A R

A

t the summit MP Tourism and the MP Government signed 9 MoUs with private players worth ` 1,192 crore of investment. The investment came from

Tukojirao Puar Tourism Minister Madhya Pradesh

We don’t need to compete with other states as we have everything to cater to all segments various companies showing their interest in hotel and resort developments in the state. Talking about this

Our state is taking policy initiatives and making every possible opportunities for private players to invest in various projects SPS Parihar Principal Secretary, Urban Development & Tourism, Government of MP development, SPS Parihar, Principal Secretary, Urban Development & Tourism, Government of Madhya Pradesh said, “Our state is taking policy initiatives and making every possible opportunities for private players to invest in various projects. Tourism in this

state has been accorded the ‘Industry Status’ which benefits all investors.” He added that an additional sum of ` 7,215 crore of investment has been committed through 14 expression of interest (EoI) which is going through delib-

erations. The state is also investing ` 300 crore to bring about the tourism facet of its Buddhist circuit. Tukojirao Puar, Tourism Minister, Madhya Pradesh said, “Our Chief

Minister has shown keen interest in tourism and with his advice and support we have done a lot of progress in the development of the tourism department. We don’t need to compete with other states as we have

everything to cater to all segments of travellers.” Further, on the last day of the summit, with focus on ‘Invest Madhya Pradesh’, a session was held on tourism and hospitality with the theme – ‘Making

Tourism Industry a Success Story’, where Amitabh Kant, CEO & Managing Director, Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (DMICDC) said that tourism Contd. on page 28 


HOTELS

Luxury in Jaipur@Fairmont Fairmont Jaipur is an ode to the pink city through superlative luxury highlighted in elegantly appointed rooms, exclusive dining options, established traditions of bespoke service, customised features and leisure experiences. PEDEN DOMA BHUTIA

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he tall wooden gates may seem most intimidating when you arrive at Fairmont Jaipur for the first time, but the fear melts away as the staff with warm smiles on their faces greets you with their hands folded in Namaste. A trait that the Atul Lall, General Manager, Fairmont Jaipur is most proud of and considers a reason to keep the guests coming back to the hotel for more. “Yes, the personal touch that we put to everything will help a lot in taking our brand further. Our staff is handpicked and we make sure that all of us together help to make your stay a memorable one.” For those who are familiar with the brand and what it stands for, the first Fairmont property in India doesn’t really disappoint you. And any doubts about why debut in Jaipur and not any other place in India is immediately quelled when Lall says, “Fairmont is a management company; it is more about the opportunity that we got in Jaipur; an opportunity that we liked made sense and therefore, we took it. Jaipur fitted into our plan. In India, if we look around, besides the metropolitan cities, there are only a few destinations like Jaipur, Udaipur, Goa and a few other destinations in which a Fairmont property would have made sense.” And as Jaipur turns out to be the destination for celebrity weddings, Fairmont Jaipur offers one more reason to wedding planners and soon-to-be-wed couples, to fly to Jaipur for an unforgettable experience. Talking about competition in the city, Lall says, “Yes there is competition around, but then it keeps you on your

toes and it makes you strive for the best. And, when every hotel puts their best foot forward, ultimately the guests benefit from all this as they get the most superior service.” While the luxury segment will definitely drive occupancy in the hotel, the hotel is also targeting MICE

Atul Lall General Manager Fairmont Jaipur

During our opening, we had 40% occupancy and on an average, we have been having 30-35% occupancy travellers and the state-ofthe-art 60,000 square feet of pillar-less convention space is another feather in its cap. “We have marketing offices all over that are marketing the hotel as a MICE destination and the fact that Gurgaon is just a three-hour drive away also helps us to drive MICE travellers to our hotel. We are also looking to explore the Golden Triangle tourism angle, but since we do not have Fairmont properties in Delhi and Agra, we will be tying up with other hotels in these places,” says Lall.

The hotel with 255 guestrooms, including seven suites, has an eclectic array of fine dining options offering authentic cuisines from around the world. Zoya, the all-day dining restaurant, offers food from around the world with a dedicated section for Rajasthani fare highlighting heritage dishes from the royal households. Serving an unrivalled selection of authentic, high quality teas, Fairmont Jaipur’s lobby lounge Anjum offers a local twist to the long standing Fairmont tradition of afternoon teas. At the regency style library bar, Aza, guests can sample an impressive selection of wines and malt whisky with old-world oak display cabinets and bespoke cocktails. With a mix of high and lounge seating, Fairmont Jaipur’s Cigar Diwan, is a classic smoking room. About the profile of the guests, Lall says, “It’s a 50:50 situation for us, we have international guests as well as domestic travellers and since we also host weddings and weddings are a threefour day affair, we host a lot of guests in the hotel during that time. During our opening, we had 40% occupancy and on an average, we have been having 30-35% occupancy.”

MICE & Weddings at Fairmont Jaipur The hotel is also targeting MICE travellers and the state-of-the-art 60,000 square feet of pillar-less convention space is another feather in its cap The hotel caters international as well as domestic travellers and also hosts a lot of guests for wedding affairs

Moulin Rouge@World of Accor Accor and Air France brought the world-acclaimed dance and entertainment troupe, the Moulin Rouge from Paris, to the cities of Mumbai and New Delhi, as part of the “World of Accor” celebrations and Air France’s effort to resonate the distinguished and elegant experience of ‘art de vivre à la française’ - the French art of living, for their loyal travel trade partenrs and customers in India.

(L-R): Fahmi Majhoub, Commercial Director-India, Air France, Fanny Rabasse, Press Relations Manager, Moulin Rouge, Jean-Michel Cassé, Senior Vice-President, Operations, Accor India, Natalie Mesi, Solo performer at Moulin Rouge and Graham Wilson, Vice President-Sales & MarketingAsia Pacific, Accor.


HOTELS

NOVEMBER 2 ND FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2012

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Asset light mantra for Accor The French hotel operator that owns 44 per cent of hotels in its global kitty is eyeing the reduction of ownership stakes to 20 per cent in the coming years. M E G H A PAU L

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o consolidate its position as the global market leader in the hospitality industry, French hotel operator Accor has decided to go asset-light in the near future. Globally, the trend for the entire industry is to go for asset-light model of expansion. Out of the current 44 per cent of hotels that Accor owns in its global portfolio, it will reduce the ownership stakes to about 20 per cent in the next two-three years. This was revealed by Michael Issenberg, Chairman, Asia Pacific, Accor. While talking about the recent downloading of stakes in the Formule1 in India, Issenberg revealed, “We develop assets and then sell, this is our global strategy. We are not in the business of holding assets. In our ongoing strategy around the world, we recycle our capital. We develop assets and then sell. Especially, in economy brands such as Formule 1, where we have a lot of expertise and products are specific, we invest initially and then become partners,” he added. The process will be facilitated by the opening of

5 Ista Hotels rebranded Hotels  Hyatt Corporation on October 30 announced that a Hyatt affiliate has signed management agreements with IHHR Hospitality for five Ista hotels in India to be rebranded by Hyatt. Under the agreement, the fully operational Ista hotels will be known as Hyatt Bangalore, Hyatt Pune, Hyatt Hyderabad, Hyatt Ahmedabad and Hyatt Amritsar. The branding effort is expected to be completed by March 2013. The agreements were signed by both parties on October 29, 2012 in London. According to Ratnesh Verma, Senior Vice President, Real Estate and Development for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts in AsiaPacific, this opportunity allows Hyatt to further consolidate its distribution in India and offers a choice in new markets such as Bengaluru, Amritsar and Ahmedabad.

new hotels and foray into newer destinations.

“The company has 20 operational properties in India and plans to open 90 hotels by 2015.

It will take the total number of rooms to 4,000 by the end of this year and to 6,500 by the next year with the addition of 11 new hotels by 2013,” Issenberg said. The company that runs hotels under the Sofitel, Pullman, Ibis and Formule 1

brands has committed $250 million of investment for expansion of its business here. Accor also announced its foray into Bangladesh, the company’s 17th territory in Asia Pacific with the signing of two hotels in Dhaka and Chittagong.

Michael Issenberg, Chairman, Asia Pacific, Accor (Left) and Jean-Michel Casse, Senior Vice President Operations India, Accor

“Accor is interested in expanding the South Asian network and is exploring opportunities in a number of markets.

We are exploring further opportunities in Sri Lanka, although we have no firm commitments there currently,” Jean-Michel Casse, Senior Vice President Operations India, Accor highlighted.


HOTELS

Banyan Tree pools in Villas While the Indian wedding and honeymoon markets remain a key component of Banyan Tree’s business strategy, the group is also tapping the family segment. T T B U R E AU

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ingapore-based Banyan Tree Hotels is strategically focussing on India, as a key emerging market. The group will mark its debut in India with a hotel that would open early next year at the private island of Nediyathuruthu in Alleppey district of Kerala. The company’s first property will be run under a management contract. Talking about

in line with the group’s worldwide growth expansion plans to increase its presence to over 80 locations in 30 countries by 2012. A signature Banyan Tree Resort designed on the concept of ‘pool villas’, all the 59 villas of the Banyan Tree Kerala will offer views of the waterways, canals and tropical greenery around the island.” While the Indian wedding and honeymoon markets remain a key component of Banyan Tree’s business strategy, the group is also keen on targetting the family segment.

CEO Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts

“We expect the property to attract about 60 per cent domestic footfall as Kerala is popular among Indian travellers.

the property, Abid Butt, CEO, Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts reveals, “This is also

We are also positioning ourselves for MICE travellers, albeit in small groups. We will provide a meeting facility

Abid Butt

which will cater to about 40 people at a time,” he adds. With increased brand visibility in the India market, Banyan Tree aims to attract more Indian travellers to its hotels and resorts in Bangkok, Phuket and Samui in Thailand; Bali and Bintan in Indonesia; Maldives and Seychelles as well. Going forward, the group is finalising plans to enter Goa. “Goa is on our list of destinations and a local partner is already on-board for the Angsana brand. The group will also look at urban locations such as Delhi and Mumbai in the near future,” he adds. On whether the Singapore-based company will invest in greenfield projects in the Indian hospitality industry, Butt opines, “Banyan Tree operates on multiple combination of business models, including wholly owned, wholly managed, joint venture partnerships, etc. We are open to all these models in India if right opportunities come.”

Noida to get ‘The Leela’ The Leela Group is coming up with its 9th property in Noida - The Leela Palace Noida. The group will now get into more management contracts and follow the asset light strategy. T T B U R E AU

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he Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts is coming up with its ninth property in Noida through a management contract agreement with real estate developer Supertech. With an investment of ` 450 crore, the 250-room luxury

Vivek Nair Vice Chairman and Managing Director The Leela Group

property is expected to be ready by 2016. The hotel is part of mixed use project development - Supernova with an overall investment of ` 2,700 crore. According to Vivek Nair, Vice Chairman and Managing

Director, The Leela Group, this is in line with the group’s strategy for growth in the coming years. “Going forward, the group will get into more management contracts and follow the asset light strategy.

We expect to have tie-ups for four additional hotels under management contracts, which we will finalise in a few months,” he said. The company is also looking at launching Leela residences in partnership with Supertech to provide luxury service apartments. The Leela Group will also tie-up with private equity investors to develop properties in Agra and Lake Ashtamudi in Kerala, where the group already owns land. In the property at Agra, each room would be facing the Taj Mahal. Located at a distance of 1.1 km away from the iconic monument, this is pegged as the

closest property to the Taj Mahal. “The group targets to open hotels in Jaipur and Bengaluru. By 2016, the company plans to have 3,000 rooms in its portfolio,” Nair added. Currently, it has around 2,200 room inventory across eight hotels in India. Out of this, six are owned properties and two are run under management contracts at Kovalam and Gurgaon. On whether the company plans to convert its entire business model to only management contracts, Nair revealed, “Hotel companies globally are doing so and keeping only a few trophy assets. We may also go for a mix of both management and ownership in the long term. Our next cycle of growth is only through management contracts.” The group also mulls to raise ` 700 crore by selling its non-core assets. The company is looking at sale of land parcels in Hyderabad, Pune, Bengaluru and a business park in Chennai to reduce its debt burden.


MOT

Marketing India... “We look at marketing India rather than selling India,” said Madhu Dubey, Regional Director, India Tourism, Australasia. gives details on travel agents’ views. L E K H A S H A N KA R

IN

B A N G KO K

“I

t’s good that we will have a common ‘Asean’ zone like Europe, but it’s also important to do a market segmentation and identify the markets for each region. What sells in Kuala Lumpur doesn’t necessarily sell in Thailand or Vietnam. It’s our job to get details of the varying market demands, so that we can work out an action plan accordingly,” stated Dubey. She spoke at a roadshow in Bangkok, which was the last stop in a three-nation tour that included Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Dubey said she was aware that the ‘short haul’ market of the Asian region had become important due to their strong economies. “But we need to identify their individual markets,” she added. This is Dubey’s eighth roadshow,

since she joined her new office five months back. They have included three big cities in Australia -

(L-R); Madhu Dubey, Regional Director, Australasia, India Tourism office, Anil Wadhwa, Indian Ambassador to Thailand

Sydney, Melbourne, Perth as well as Vietnam’s two big cities - Hanoi and Ho Chin Minh. She said she planned to do roadshows in China and Tokyo soon, as she has been given additional charge of these regions too.

Indian Agents Speak The Bangkok roadshow was attended by as many as 80 tour operators and travel houses from Thailand and about twenty from India. The Indian travel houses spoke of the increasing demand for ‘niche’ products. Sandeep Dayal, Executive Director, ‘Le Passage to India Tours & Travels’ spoke of the increase in the wedding market segment to India. Harsh Mittal, Manager, Projects, Punjab Heritage & Tourism Promotion Board mentioned the new demand for farmstays, while Ashutosh Dogra, General Manager (Sales), Sita Travels spoke of the big interest in luxury train packages. Devendra Parekh, Managing Director, India Travel Pro was proud that the North East region, especially Assam and

“I have just understood that the young Japanese are as interested in the Buddhist circuit as their senior citizens,” said Dubey, stating that she was aware of the importance

Sikkim, had begun to attract many tourists from SE Asia. Ajay Thakur, Exec Director, India Vision Tours & Travels informed that the increased air connections between Kolkata and Bangkok has led to a steady increase in the Great Autumn Festival of Kolkata (temple-tours). The travellers to the Buddhist circuit also had many choices from Kolkata, including trains, he added. Speaking of the importance of the Buddhist circuit to the 300 million Buddhist travellers in the region, Raju Mansukhani of Air India informed that the airlines had started direct flights to Bodhgaya from the T3 terminal in New Delhi, which were connected to their flights from Bangkok, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

of the Buddhist circuit in the Asian region. “We need to develop on niche destinations like these,” she said adding,

“We want to make India a year-long destination.” Dubey has been working in the tourism ministry for 26 years and was the Regional Director of the North East region and West Bengal in 2007. She said that she was happy that these areas have now become popular with international tourists. She was proud that the international tourist arrivals to India had increased by 8.9 per cent, last year, leading to a revenue of $ 17.52 billion. “But that’s only .64 per cent share in the international travel industry. We want to raise this to 1 per cent within five years,” she stated. Meanwhile, the Indian Ambassador to Thailand Anil Wadhwa was proud that there were as many as 152 flights a week between Thailand and India, leading to increased tourism traffic between the two countries.

‘Borderless Card’ by Thomas Cook Thomas Cook (India) has launched a prepaid foreign exchange travel card in collaboration with MasterCard Worldwide and Access Prepaid Worldwide. Named as ‘Borderless Prepaid Card’, the multi-currency card facilitates travellers to load a total of eight different currencies – US Dollars, British Pounds, Euros, Australian Dollars, Canadian Dollars, Swiss Francs, Singapore Dollars and Japanese Yens on one single card with a single PIN.


ANALYSIS Experiential Tourism

For that unique experience India is an ideal destination for visitors seeking unique experiences. Leading destination management companies are trying to cash in on with growing number of proponents of Experiential Tourism. gives details. VIVEK SETHI

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here is a single guiding force that motivates over 1 billion tourists worldwide to undertake travel, a quest to attain the most unique experiences. Even, UNWTO defines tourism as a social, cultural and economic phenomenon, which entails the

homes; canoeing through backwaters or even explore rural experience in the Vaikom village of Kerala; private cruises on Hooghly river in Kolkata; change of guard ceremony at The President’s House in Delhi or a ‘culinary experience in Old Delhi’,” he added. Kuoni in India has also stepped into promoting

and charming hospitality, flavoured traditional cooking, stimulating art, intriguing architecture, etc,” he added. The cherry on the cake of experiential form of tourism is its growing popularity with the top-end travellers. “Many high-end clients have also been involved in making volunteer visits to Child care cen-

Arjun Sharma

Dipak Deva

Arup Sen

Managing Director LPTI and TUI India

CEO – Destination Management India & South Asia, Kuoni

Director – Special Projects Cox & Kings

We have seen the number of high-end clients increasing who like to take up such unique experiences as a part of their itinerary movement of people to countries or places outside their usual environment for personal, business or professional purposes. A growing number of these tourists actually have now become proponents of Experiential Tourism and are finding India the best suited destination for the same. As per Arjun Sharma, Managing Director, LPTI and TUI India, “People today like to have more meaningful and unique experiences when they travel to India. In fact, we have seen the number of high-end clients increasing who like to take up such unique experiences as a part of their itinerary or involve in social activities through the CSR foundation of our group.” “We offer many unique experiences for clients such as Dining with Nawabs; where one witnesses the Royal families in their palaces and

Experiential travel has caught on quite fast. Individuals and small group tours in India are shown a different angle of travel

Experiential Tourism. “Experiential travel has caught on quite fast. One of our products called ‘Explore’ highlights this trend in depth. This product line for leisure travellers features out of the ordinary tours in India. Individuals and small group tours seeking a truly authentic and sustainable travel experience here in India are shown a different angle of travel,” said Dipak Deva, CEO – Destination Management, India & South Asia, Kuoni. “With ‘Explore’ the basic premise of the product range is to explore a place through one’s heart. These tours are also based on principles of Responsible Tourism, social consciousness, environmental concerns and unique cultural experiences that bring diverse communities together and increase the understanding. All this is addition to great outdoors, local customs

Experiential Tourism is gaining, but it should not be conducted at the cost of experiments with safety, health and security ters, old age homes and have contributed in the lives of the underprivileged through our CSR division. One of the most interesting experiences was the Elephant Polo match organised in Jaipur along with lunch for special children belonging to our affiliated NGOs under a generous sponsorship by some clienteles of Luxe. Hence, Experiential Tourism is being well received by our high-end clients,” iterated Sharma. All said and done, pursuit of building experiential packages should not create unnecessary risks, cautions Arup Sen, Director – Special Projects, Cox & Kings. “Experiential and Volunteer Tourism is catching up in a small way. There is no denying the fact that Experiential Tourism is gaining, but this kind of tourism should not be conducted at the cost of experiments with safety, health and security,” he added.


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OTOAI seeks clarity on service tax OTOAI is now striving for possible legal remedies and political consensus that help facilitate outbound business, which creates huge employment opportunities. T T B U R E AU

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he Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI) has always been on the forefront to build awareness on the various tax implications for outbound tour operators since the onset

Guldeep Singh Sahni President OTOAI

It is time that we strive for legal remedy and political consensus that help facilitate outbound business of the new service tax regime. Lately, at the recent 2nd members meet, Guldeep Singh Sahni, President, OTOAI apprised its members of the various service tax implication on outbound operators and encouraged its members to share tax hurdles with the secretariat. “It’s high time to build a strong legal and political cause to address the appar-

QUICK READ Air India achieved another milestone when it carried an impressive 34,911 passengers on a single day on October 28, 2012 on its domestic network. In October 2012 (till October 28, 2012), the airline carried over 30,000 passengers in a single day seven times on October 18, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28. Compared to this, Air India had crossed the mark of 30,000 passengers in a single day on 10 occasions during 2011.

ent anomalies in the new service tax regime. We have dealt with many legal and tax experts. We realise that the tax implications for outbound tour operators are different from that of an inbound tourists or even

domestic tourists,” said Sahni at the members meet in New Delhi. “I advise all our members to write to us sharing the issues that they are facing at their end, so that we could

address the various seemingly anomalies in a holistic manner. It is time that we strive for legal remedy and political consensus that help facilitate outbound business, which creates huge employment opportunities,” he added.

The 2nd OTOAI Members meet was attended in large numbers by the association members, while Stefan Ionkov, Head Commercial & Economic Section and Tsveteline Getcheva, Visa Consular from

the Embassy of Bulgaria gave presentation and insight about tourist destinations in Bulgaria as special invitees. Sahni also highlighted OTOAI’s achievements during the last three months until now.


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Turkey aims 10-fold growth Turkish hotels eye India Abdurrahman Arici, Deputy Minister, Ministry of 11 hotels from Turkey under the aegis of the Turkish Culture and Tourism, Turkey, shared his government’s Hoteliers Federation along with the Turkish Ministry vision to grow Indian arrivals over ten fold. of Culture and Tourism are hosting roadshows in India. countries to forge strategic tie-ups to take tourism to a higher pedestal.

VIVEK SETHI

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urkey offers refreshing options for the outbound travellers from India, says Arici, who was in New Delhi recently and took time to grace an event hosted by TUI India in his honour. “Turkey is a perfect alternate destination for the Indian travellers who had been striving hard, for a refreshing world-class location after repetitive visits to South East Asia. We offer best of everything to help create a memorable experience for one and all, which includes choices among type of hotel accommodations, variety of sight seeing options, entertainment avenues, shopping and plethora of venues worthy of conducting MICE to name a few,” explained Arici. “There is immense scope for bilateral co-operation between Turkey and

“We encourage private sectors in Turkey and India to enter into strategic tie-ups. Abdurrahman Arici Deputy Minister Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Turkey

India. I can assure you that our officials will now visit India more frequently to explore every possibility of strengthening tourism ties with India. Presently, stats reveal over 14 million outbound travels from India, while only 80,000-85,000 tourists visit Turkey. We see a distinct opportunity of tapping at least ten fold increase in Indian arrivals,” he added. He also encouraged the private sector of both the

The airlines of both countries should also look into the possibility of further co-operation to enhance new routes, promoting the destinations, while the policy makers paves way for a smooth business environment,” iterated Arici. “We have several initiatives being considered at advance stages, which include relaxations on the Visa front. Efforts are on to develop substantial growth from New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Jaipur and Bengaluru, to name a few,” he concluded.

they have all expressed a keen interest in the roadshows. We believe that the response will be good in every city.”

PEDEN DOMA BHUTIA

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n a first-of-its-kind initiative, the Turkish Hoteliers Federation, in association with the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, will conduct roadshows to five Indian cities. The roadshows will be held from November 19-23 in Mumbai (November 19), Bengaluru (November 20), Chennai (November 21), Hyderabad (November 22) and Delhi (November 23). The 11 hotels that are participating include Mardan Palace, Gloria Hotels & Resort, Adam & Eve Hotels, Rixois Hotels, Susesi Luxury Resort, Lykia Group, Maxxroyal, Titanic, Kapadokya MDC Hotel, Calista and Vertia Otel. Talking about the roadshows, Ozgur Ayturk, the Culture & Tourism Counsellor, Turkish Embassy, New Delhi, said,

Ozgur Ayturk The Culture & Tourism Counsellor Turkish Embassy, New Delhi

“The roadshows will promote honeymoon, golf and wedding tourism. Since Turkey is gaining a lot of popularity in these segments in India, the hoteliers want to put more effort in popularising these. We have been in touch with TAAI, TAFI, OTOAI and other important organisations and

The hoteliers will be accompanied by the president of the federation, Osman Ayik. A professional tourist guide from Turkey will also be present at the roadshows. The guide will answer all questions about the destinations during and after the destination presentation. Talking about the roadshows as a first-of-its-kind initiative in India, Ayturk says, “The idea for this came from queries received from the trade. Such roadshows and training programmes are indeed very necessary. The hotels have been coming to India on their own and promoting themselves, but this is the first time that they are hosting a roadshow as a federation.”


ASSOCIATIONS

Ease working capital stress Praveen Chugh, Vice President, TAFI highlighted the need to address the working capital needs of travel agents at TAFI-NI meet, who after all are professionals not financers. T T B U R E AU

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n the ongoing difficult economic scenario with wafer thin margins and weekly payments regime that is scheduled to set in shortly, the working capital strains have started to show up. Here, the Travel

Praveen Chugh Vice President TAFI

Agents Federation of India (TAFI) is working on a few strategic initiatives that shall ensure that all its member agents don’t face working capital stress.

“Travel agents should function like professionals and not as financers in a rapidly changing business environment. Further, agents are bound to face pressures on the working capital front, as margins continue to get thinner, corporates continue to search for credit and the payment cycle changes stare us in our face.

Hence, we, at TAFI, are working on various key strategic initiatives to collectively ensure that our members face as little working capital stress as possible,” informed, Praveen Chugh, Vice President, TAFI on the sidelines of the recently held TAFI-NI bimonthly meet in New Delhi. “India is the safest market with the lowest rate of default. In fact, we have

had made few representations to the leading credit card companies, whom we have presented a strong case of various possibilities of working together on profitable terms. We are hopeful it will resolve several agents credit pass issues and also create avenues to increase business for both the credit card companies and travel agents. We are also working out a mechanism similar to a joint bank guarantee to do business with our partners as a collective body,” he added. Lately, the travel agents fraternity had got much sought relief with deferment of the weekly remittance, which posed a threat to the industry, till June 30, 2013. The deferment is mainly granted to give adequate time for all representative association of travel fraternity to equip its members with the new modalities keeping in mind the recent developments.

TAFI-NI discusses key challenges

TAFI-NI conducted its bi-monthly, where it highlighted various challenging issues related to the travel industry including the deferment of weekly payments, service tax and also presented a roadmap for its future endeavours. Towards the end of the meet, Gautam Chadha Chief Executive, TIRUN Travel Marketing, made a presentation on Royal Caribbean International. He also announced 5 per cent additional bonus commission in addition to the normal 10 per cent to its Indian travel trade partners for new bookings created effective October 29, 2012 on any sailing of the Legend of the Seas from Singapore from October 31- April 1, 2013.

2 major projects in Varanasi  The Central Government has recently approved two major tourism projects of Uttar Pradesh Tourism department. The Destination Development Scheme in Varanasi has got the nod from Central government and a

fund of ` 389.35 lakh had been sanctioned by the Union Ministry of tourism. The city of Varanasi will now get 195 new sign boards listing down the information about distance, places, important historical places, temples, her-

itage sites, etc. On the other hand, temples and heritage sites will be restored at Garwa ghat. For the same, the Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned ` 4 crore for construction of Garhwa ghat and restoration work.


NTO

India tops in the UK Sandie Dawe, CEO, Visit Britain explained how VisitBritain got its forecast right during the London Olymics. Moreover, India has emerged as top growth market but, Dawe feels that much more needs to be done to take the figures up. VIVEK SETHI

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ith over two decades of experience in promoting Britain, Dawe has full confidence on tourism as it helps in growing economy and in generating employment. In an exclusive conversation, she touched upon the pertinent issues that are changing the tourism industry world over. Here are the selected excerpts:-

time experience and hence stay longer.

Vision 2020 for India India has been the best performing market with 23 per cent growth in the second quarter (April-June) this year. We intend to grow the number of Indian tourists to half a million from 3,55,000 by 2020.

The big achievement for us during the games had been the huge broadcast and awareness generated over the normal pre and post games, which we’ll use to convert viewers into visitors.

Changing dynamics of tourism in Britain In our journey of escalating numbers from 12 million to 31 million visitors, we realise that the world order has shifted. Earlier, 25 five per cent of our visitors used to be from USA, which today has dropped to about 15 per cent. There has been an increase in number of arrivals from other economies that have grown impressively in the past, like economies of India, Brazil and Russia. Visitors’ expectations, particularly from developed economies, had been more on the Experiential Tourism than of mere trophy hunting. Our industry has evolved to create wonderful experiences and hence respond to the experiential quest of visitors. The private sector has responded to the demand of Experiential Tourism in a very creative manner. In Britain, one can do anything from chocolate tours, living the bond life, shopping, whisky tasting, spas to modest bed & breakfast experience as to a name a few.

Broad portfolio of VisitBritain markets Britain has very broad portfolio of markets, which we manage through even spread of our network. For instance, from Europe, we attract visitors on short-haul vacations, who, in their life time, are likely to make several visitors. But, from markets like India and China, we attract visitors who might come for once in a life-

research done on experience of the previous host countries. In fact, we had faired a tad better, as our forecast suggested about 6,00,000 visitors to London specifically for games and the official estimates suggest that there were 5,90,000 visitors. We knew that the numbers went down by 5 per cent, but the expenditure rose by over 9 per cent.

Visa Issue Sandie Dawe Chief Executive Officer Visit Britain

India has been the best performing market with 23 per cent growth in the second quarter (April-June) this year Starting January 2013, in first-of-its-kind partnership with an online Indian player, VisitBritan announced that they had partnered Yatra.com to launch a special campaign during the period of January-March 2013. It will feature the celebrity Salman Khan and feature some special itineraries, which Yatra.com is working out with the help of private sector in Britain.

London Olympics The games experience has matched our projection and forecasts based on the

It’s a perceived challenge with almost 98 per cent issuance through VFS. The cost of UK visa is not a hurdle, while the process and uncertainty is an issue. In low season, it takes about 4-5 days on an average, while it rises to 14 days in peak season. We are trying to initiate adequate measures to reduce time and ensure that the entire process is carried out in 4-5 days irrespective of the low or high season.

Tourism led growth The economic situation has been a real concern with near zero growth in our economy. However, the inbound tourism growth in the previous year had been 7 per cent in value, while it has been 3 per cent in the present year, so far. Hence, we have made a strong case with our government, highlighting the growth and employment generation potential of tourism. Our chairman has also been actively involved in building a case with our government and in the T-20 nations. We have put forth many things with the government in terms of future aviation capacity, more runways, visa and taxation to more aggressively tap the South East Asia.

India Tourism Patna celebrates India Tourism, Patna celebrated the World Tourism Day. In this connection, the office premises of India Tourism, Patna was elegantly decorated. The seminar was graced by Subhash Chandra, Chairman, Bihar State Pollution Control Board. Other eminent speakers were Sagnik Chaudhary, General Manager of Hotel Patliputra Ashok, RN Mahto, Representative of Bihar Tourism, BN Parsad, Manager of M/s Ashoka Tours and Travel and many more.


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NSW chalks out India strategy The Destination New South Wales (NSW) is looking at growing the honeymoon segment, family, Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFRs) and business travellers to the region. T T B U R E AU

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ith the opening of the new office in Mumbai, Destination New South Wales (NSW) has geared up to target the India outbound in a big way. According to Sandra Chipchase, CEO, Destination NSW, the India office is playing the dual role of enticing more Indian holidaymakers to

The set-up of Mumbai office was to leverage the Trade and Investment Department of NSW office in Mumbai Sandra Chipchase CEO, Destination NSW

NSW and tapping into the burgeoning Indian incentive travel market. Elaborating on the targets of the company, Chipchase reveals, “The objective of setting up an office in Mumbai was to leverage the contacts of Trade and Investment Department of NSW, which

The key focus would be to promote destinations around Sydney and to support the travel trade Paramjit Bawa Country Manager India, Destination NSW has an office in Mumbai for the past three years to tap the MICE segment. Tourism Australia is also based in Mumbai and we do work in close partnership with the National Tourist Office.” Destination NSW is also working with Business Events Sydney to promote Sydney as a preferred destination for meetings, incentives, travel reward programmes, conferences and key exhibitions. “Going forward, we are looking at growing the honeymoon segment, family, Visiting Friends

and Relatives (VFRs) and business travellers to NSW,” she adds. Paramjit Bawa, Country Manager, India, Destination NSW asserts the key focus would be business development, promoting destinations

around Sydney, engagement with the travel trade, supporting the travel trade with collaterals, partnering with key tour operators, conducting training and workshops for the travel trade and consumer campaigns among others.

“Currently, the travel trade is only selling Sydney. We will also promote areas around Sydney such as Hunter Valley, Blue Mountains, Port Stephens, Wollongong to add to the various hues of experience a traveller should get,”

(L-R): Bawa and Chipchase

he adds. NSW witnessed 70,000 Indian visitors, which is an increase of two per cent compared to March 2011. The expected growth of visitors from India to Australia in 2020 is expected to grow by more than 100

per cent. The composition of Indian arrivals to NSW is 40 per cent VFRs, 15 per cent students, 13 per cent leisure travellers and 11 per cent business travellers.


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TUI India hosts the Turkish Minister

TUI India hosted a warm cocktail reception in honour of Abdurrahman Arici, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Turkey, who was in New Delhi recently. The event was also graced by the presence of key diplomats from Turkey Embassy in India and private sector players in India. Arjun Sharma, Managing Director, TUI India extended a warm vote of thanks to the minister and all the guests, who graced the event.

IndiGo boosts Aviation  Contd. from page 1

Jeffery said, “IndiGo Airlines has only been in operation for six years yet by pioneering reliable low cost travel, it is competing with the state-funded train system. Its CSR policy which helps the children in the Indian Slums is also praise worthy.” IndiGo Airlines has made the most significant contribution to the Indian travel and tourism industry over the past 12 months now holding a 26% share of the domestic market by pioneering cheap fares. Its success has been based on its operational efficiency and low fares.

We were pleasantly surprised with the size and scale of the whole event. There were a few selected awards that make it quite exclusive for us. In six years of operations, to get such a global recognition means a lot. We hope that we can continue making India proud and focus on what we are doing and do that consistently.

Aditya Ghosh

President, IndiGo Airlines

Lack of guides, a challenge  Contd. from page 1

'Lack of destination knowledge' also poses threat for the industry as it came up as the other big challenge. 'Poor percep-

tion of agents' followed closely behind and showed that the negative image of travel agents is also a major factor blocking the growth of the travel industry. A few agents

also highlighted the unorganised structure as the biggest challenge. The other options highlighted in the poll were lack of guides, and poor availability of manpower.

QUICK READ British Airways is delighted to launch the world’s biggest invitation ‘The Big British Invite’ to its customers in India with a new marketing campaign in association with VisitBritain. ‘The Big British Invite’ campaign features ‘real’ British people inviting the people in India to visit Britain to enjoy their favourite places and experiences.


EXHIBITIONS

A business forum The International Tourism Trade Fair, which is organised by IFEMA, will stage its 33rd event in Madrid between January 30 and February 3. ice of the tourist industry constitutes a key factor when it comes to meeting the demands of today's market and in this respect, the fair will present the latest innovations regarding aspects such as marketing, sustainability, infrastructures, financing and e-commerce, amongst others.

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fair will provide the very best forum for participants to be able to promote and market their products.

With still three months to go before the staging of

The trade exhibition will be complemented by a comprehensive programme of conferences, expert panels, day events and activities aimed at boosting competitiveness within the tourist industry. In this sense, amongst the main new features at the fair, participants and visitors will come across FITUR KNOW-

Along the same lines, the fair will once again host the staging of a series of established initiatives such

the fair itself, the response on the part of exhibitors in the different exhibition areas at FITUR has been highly favourable, with 92 per cent already confirmed their participation at the event. In this respect, the

HOW&EXPORT, a new area promoted by FITUR, ICEX and SEGITTUR that enables tourist companies to present their most innovative solutions within the field of integral tourism management. Know-how placed at the serv-

as INVESTOUR Africa, which will promote Spanish investment in tourism projects on the African Continent, with a view to achieve a sustainable tourism model that serves as an engine for development.

T T B U R E AU he fair will feature some high levels of representation from the international tourist industry. Following the traditions, this fair will inaugurate the international trade fair circuit for the travel industry, presenting a series of different projects designed to boost business within the field of tourism.

49th DGCA Conference showcases vivid India The Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Government of India, hosted 49th Asia Pacific DGCA Conference from October 8-12 in New Delhi. Inaugurated by Ajit Singh, Union Civil Aviation Minister, the conference witnessed the participation of about 250 delegates from 54 countries and international organisations. During the conference, delegates not only experienced India as a potential aviation hub but also experienced its rich cultural heritage.

Agent wins ` 15 lakh for ‘Live Free’ Etihad Airways has announced the winner of its Live Free campaign, which was launched in February 2012 to reward travel agents in India for the support they provide to the airline. The winner, Sidheeque Maliyekkal, an agent working with Akbar Travels received ` 15 lakh as the prize money. was honoured in the presence of Neerja Bhatia, GM-India, Etihad Airways and KV Abdul Nazar, Chairman and MD, Akbar Travels at the Etihad Airways office in Mumbai.


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FAMILY ALBUM

France explored for MICE Atout France, in collaboration with the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau and St Tropez Tourism, organised a MICE Familiarisation tour for Indian travel agents. Agencies such as K-Mice, Kuoni, TravelMart India Pvt Ltd, Cox and Kings, Trail Blazers India Pvt Ltd were represented on this tour which took place between October 12-18.


REMEMBERANCE

Gautam Chadha: A real cruise-ador Gautam Chadha, Chief Executive, TIRUN Travel Marketing, with over 30 years of experience, made a mark in the industry. He worked at ITC Hotels, American Express TRS and British Airways where he last served as the Marketing Coordinator for Asia, Africa, Australia and concurrently Brand Manager - Ethnic Services at the Airline’s headquarters in London. In 1991, Chadha became an entrepreneur. He returned to India to set up a travel marketing organisation. He introduced the concept of cruise vacation in the India market. Vivek Sethi from TravTalk – The last meet... I had met Gautam Chadha on October 29, 2012 at the TAFI-NI bimonthly meet. He didn't show any signs of fatigue & ill health, while he encouraged the travel agents to sell cruise packages and earn handsome remuneration during his 30 minute presentation. In another event organised in early October, he had joked that with the launch of the new ship, he will be able to send more people on a cruise vacation, but will be left with fewer opportunities to go on a holiday with his wife. His last words to conclude the presentation were that agents attract no tax liability on selling a cruise, but we should not discuss such things very often. May God rest his soul in peace.

ADTOI President, Subhash Verma I have known him since my Lufthansa days. A very dear friend, he was one of the first in the industry to initiate an urge for outbound cruises. Thus, I would like to remember him as the real crusader for promoting Cruise Tourism in India. A fine gentleman and a brilliant orator, he was also extremely protective about the interests of the travel agents and tour operators. His demise is a great loss to the entire industry, especially in North India. ATOAI President, Tejbir Singh Anand The industry looked up to him. When Cruise Tourism was in its nascent stage in India, he had the vision of making Cruise Tourism the trend in the next five-ten years. He spearheaded the Cruise Tourism industry for a long time. Today, if there has been an increased interest in the segment, he should be given the due credit. IATO President, Subhash Goyal Chadha's sudden passing has left all of us in shock. He was a dynamic, innovative and marketing wizard who was always very active and full of life. He created a revolution with his pioneering work in marketing of international cruises in the 90s and paved the way for a new segment to emerge from the already growing outbound market. His work in this field also made international cruise companies take notice of the Indian consumer and understand the customisation they had to do if they were serious about capturing a piece of the Indian pie."

PATA India Chapter Executive Director

Runeep Sangha He was a very vibrant person. It is a known fact that he is one of the pioneers for the cruise segment in India. A unique individual with a deep sense of business ethics and integrity, he was always in the forefront when it came to innovation. The industry will miss him. TAAI President, Iqbal Mulla Chaddha was a very disciplined man with the right focus and energy. He always thought out-of-the-box and got some really innovative ideas in the Indian tourism industry. In fact, by bringing Royal Caribbean cruises in India, he opened another revenue stream for the travel agents. During this year’s Annual TAAI Convention, he acted as a great panelist and gave out some real novel ideas and suggestions. After Lalit Seth, he is the second big loss in the Indian travel industry this year and will always be remembered by us.

TAAI-NI Chapter Chairperson

Jyoti Mayal Chadha was a real entrepreneur, who brought cruise option into the Indian market. He was a great person with a very pleasant profile. I had known him for over 30 years. For me, personally, he was not only a friend, but family. I could discuss every topic under the sky with him. It’s a personal loss to me and Balbir.

OTOAI President, Guldeep Singh Sahni I will credit him for bringing quality and value-added products in the travel trade. He launched the first online portal, which was then replicated by many others. He introduced Royal Caribbean International to India. It’s a great loss to the industry, as he was always up to do something exclusive, which no one has done earlier.

TAFI President, Zakkir Ahmed It’s a sad news and really heart-breaking. I met him about two weeks back and he was full of life and energy. He was quiet a proactive personality who use to interact with travel trade associations frequently. We will really miss him.

Cruise Professionals Director, Nishith Saxena Having worked with Chadha for a period of 9 years in the beginning of my career, I learned not to compromise on quality and continue to focus on the bigger picture. His sudden demise has left a big void in the travel industry. More specifically, the Cruise Tourism in India would suffer the great loss of a pioneer & visionary who would always lead by setting examples.


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FAMILY ALBUM

Showcase Canada Asia 2012 in Japan

The Canadian Tourism Commission recently hosted Showcase Canada Asia - 2012, the annual marketplace showcasing Canada from coast-to-coast to key buyers from China, Japan, Korea and India. The trade action unfolded over five days (October 15-19) at the Ritz-Carlton in Osaka, Japan. The showcase started with briefings by market experts who came from the four nations. With over 250 buyers and 145 reps from 87 seller companies from across the country, the event witnessed grand success. The event which has a proven format of pre-scheduled appointments and networking events allowed Canadian sellers to meet with buyers from China, Japan, Korea and India in an intense business-to-business marketplace.


ANALYSIS

A perfect smile from Kerala Having successfully promoted products like Ayurveda, houseboats, backwaters and beaches, the state of Kerala now offers Dental Tourism to its tourists. D E N C Y M AT H E W

M

any tourists are flying into Kerala not only to experience its lush green beauty, lazy backwaters and monumental sites but also to undergo a dental operation, thereby leading to the advent of a new market called ‘Dental Tourism’. Dental Tourism in Kerala is a popular and important segment of the Kerala Medical Tourism market. Kerala is fast becoming a preferred destination for Dental Tourism in India as it provides world-class dentists who are internationally trained along with affordable dental treatment procedures. Dental treatment in Europe, UK, America, Australia and Middle East is at least 5-10 times costlier than the same in Kerala. “Kerala’s Dental Tourism is comparable to the other countries around the world with standard quality and reasonable cost. Your medical bills, airfare and accommodation could end-up much less than what you have to pay in your home country. We receive foreign clients throughout the year with an average of 25 to 30 clients per month. The numbers in patients have increased in the past few years with more and more patients coming down to Kerala not only from US but also from Europe, Japan and Middle East. Apart from foreign clients we also have about 200-300 NRI patients per month from all over the world,” says Dr E Sanjeevan, Managing Director, Novadent Dental Care Center. Dental tour packages are planned as per the duration of treatment, type of holiday chosen and the num-

Siby George

Dr E Sanjeevan

Managing Director Kerala.com Travel Division

Managing Director Novadent Dental Care Center

The government, medical and tourism fraternity need to communicate and co-ordinate better ber of days required for the holiday. Following an online consultation with the dentist, one can decide on the days suitable for touring while undergoing the treatment. Normally, tour sites and hotels/resorts near the treatment facility or clinic are chosen for the sake of convenience. The mixing of tourism and dental care has led to the joining of hands between many private clinics, hospitals and the tourism industry in Kerala. However, there are a few hindrances affecting the promotion of Dental Tourism in Kerala. For starters, it still has to become an integrated and collective tourism undertaken by tour operators and clinics, hospitals.

Apart from foreign clients we also have about 200-300 NRI patients per month from all over the world.

“The government, medical and tourism fraternity need to communicate and coordinate better and more effectively so that Dental Tourism in the state can be carried out in a more efficient and profitable manner. We need to have more details about the number of clinics and hospitals available for dental treatment, so that we as tour operators can provide details to our clients according to the region of their preference. Currently, it is unorganised and hence, we are unable to promote it well. In spite of all these problems, we do get around 20-24 clients per year for dental tourism in Kerala.” says Siby George, Managing Director, Kerala.com Travel Division.

MP Tourism brings money  Contd. from page 7

is an inclusive industry and has a multiplier effect. Convergence is the need of the hour and MP, as a state, is best positioned for its strategic location and strategic diversity which altogether makes it a strong tourism player. Kant said, “I think all states must learn to cater young people in the times to come and therefore, have to imbibe technology, which will become a key driver of tourism business.”

Talking about MP’s position in tourism, Parihar remarked,

“Madhya Pradesh is ranked as the sixth state in the country attracting domestic visits and now we are aiming to achieve the 2nd rank.” During the summit, investors had the opportunity to talk with the Chief Minister and share their

Amitabh Kant CEO & Managing Director Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (DMICDC)

ideas for their tourism vision for the state, he stated.


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TRAVTALK

31

OTOAI conducts its 2 members meet nd

OTOAI conducted its 2nd members meet for its members. The meeting also included a presentation by Stefan Ionkov, Head of Commercial and Economic Section, Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria and his Visa Team. Guldeep Singh Sahni, President, OTOAI made a presentation on the burning issue of service tax, while Rajeev Sabharwal, Treasurer, OTOAI shared the details of its first balance sheet.


32 TRAVTALK

NOVEMBER 2 ND FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2012

AVIATION

Indian carriers loss return in Q2: CAPA With high structural challenges remaining, Indian carriers noted a loss in Q2. With the promising growth figures in the first quarter, the industry hopes rest on a robust third and fourth quarter. Abstracts from the latest CAPA report… T T B U R E AU

Q

uarter one (Q1) of the present financial year marked the best result for Indian carriers in 18 months. In the three months ended June 30, 2012, all private Indian carriers, with the exception of Kingfisher, were profitable, albeit that in several cases this was a result of saleand-leaseback and other income. Q1 reflected two key

Air India shows continued improvement

SpiceJet likely to order 30-40 B737MAX

Air India continued its upward trend in Q2 with overall daily losses reduced by 15-20 per cent yearon-year, as a result of improved pricing discipline and passenger loads. In Q3 and Q4, which include the peak inbound and outbound travel periods, international operations will contribute to lower losses. However, there are strategic concerns about the overall slow pace of the revival of the carrier. Air India needs to be more aggressive to take advantage of the current market dynamics. The carrier has failed to be decisive in its plans to launch domestic low cost operations which have been repeatedly delayed. Air India is likely to yet again postpone a decision on establishing a domestic LCC. However, the airline is reconfiguring its A320 fleet to single-class configuration and 16 aircraft have so far been completed.

The Q2 losses will increase SpiceJet’s challenges with respect to funding which will add pressure on the airline to improve its performance in the second half of the year. However, the airline is also taking a long-term perspective with respect to its fleet requirements. Advanced discussions are underway to order 30-40 B737MAX aircraft. Meanwhile, three of the 15 Q400s that were ordered are yet to be delivered pending financing which has been a challenge. However, management is increasingly focussed on driving profitability and the next six months will be critical in this regard.

Jet Airways focussing on yields

Kapil Kaul, CEO South Asia, CAPA

trends faced by Indian carriers. On the one hand, improved matching of demand and supply (largely as a result of the contraction of capacity by Kingfisher), combined with greater pricing discipline resulted in a substantial increase in average yields which contributed significantly to the improved performance. But this was offset by a hostile cost environment primarily related to high fuel prices and a weak currency. The particularly strong performance by Air India, which achieved the

With Jet now presented with an opportunity to take a dominant position in the full service, corporate market, the airline’s strategic focus is on yields and margin, but its domestic market strategy remains uncertain. Jet Airways has not fully managed to leverage the opportunities presented by the downsizing of Kingfisher over the last six months. All single-class domestic aircraft are being reconfigured to two-class with the introduction of eight business class seats. This is expected to have a positive impact on yields. Business class occupancy has improved significantly to about 65 per cent and is expected to stabilize at this level. The earlier focus on low cost operations has been shelved as the airline re-assesses its strategic direction in light of the developments at Kingfisher. highest average fare and reported a small operating profit on domestic operations, reflected the changing market dynamics. But Q2 highlights that underlying structural challenges remain. However, CAPA estimates that Q2, traditionally a weak quarter, saw a return to significant losses across the board, with the airlines combined losing USD 470-550 million. However, it was also observed that airlines maintained pricing dis-

cipline and were prepared to sacrifice load factors rather than compromise yields, which were higher than the corresponding period last year. CAPA estimated losses by Indian carriers, three months ended September 30, 2012; Air India (USD 280320 million loss); Go Air (USD 2.5-2.8 million loss); IndiGo (Break-even-5.7 million loss); Jet Airways (USD 45-60 million loss); Kingfisher (USD 110-130 million loss); SpiceJet (USD 25-28 million loss.) The airlines are hoping

IndiGo remains the strongest performer IndiGo remains the leading performer in the market, although based on CAPA’s estimates the airline at best broke even and may have made a modest loss. However, service quality challenges have arisen at some of the larger airports, particularly during peak hours, and these have not been adequately addressed.

Go Air, small but steady Go Air continued to be rewarded for operating a small fleet in a situation of tight demand and supply. The carrier’s modest Q2 loss suggests a stable trajectory. Overall the airline continues to be well-received by the travelling public

for a robust second half of the year. The month of October has not lived up to expectations, with most carriers breaking-even and some posting modest losses. However, November and December look encouraging with strong yields and load factors. Supply and demand are better aligned, but costs remain a major concern. Kingfisher has been steadily contracting over the last 12 months such that in September 2012, the last month before it suspended

services, it had only a 3.2 per cent share of the domestic market. As a result, the sector has already largely adjusted to the reduction in capacity; however the current grounding of the airline could result in a seat crunch on key routes such as Delhi-Mumbai and Mumbai-Bengaluru, particularly during the upcoming holiday season. The decision by the DGCA to revoke Kingfisher’s licence does not change much in practice except to formalise the grounding of the airline.

Outlook for Q3 is promising Based on CAPA Research’s analysis of current traffic and yield trends, CAPA has developed the following outlook for Q3 financial performance, which will be largely driven by what looks to be a promising November and December. The private carriers combined could post a profit of USD120-140 million for the quarter, although including Air India will keep the sector in the red.

Cox & Kings teams up with Berlin Tourism  Cox & Kings Ltd has teamed up with Berlin Tourism to improve MICE traffic from India and promote Berlin among Indian corporate sector. For the same, the com-

pany has recently organised a two-city roadshow in New Delhi and Mumbai wherein corporate decision makers were invited to see for themselves the various attractions

that Berlin had to offer and to encourage them to choose Berlin for their forthcoming incentives movements. Indian outbound MICE movements have been growing at a steady

pace and Indian companies are exploring new destinations that have a recall value and at the same time provide them with unique visitor opportunities.

According to Ajay Seth, Vice President Outbound MICE, Cox & Kings Ltd, “Berlin as a destination is diverse with its range of offering from world

famous museums to avante-garde galleries and has state-of-the-art MICE facilities making it an attractive destination for outbound MICE.”


ANALYSIS

Durga Puja boosts tourism West Bengal has geared up to attract the inbound market and domestic tourists. This was witnessed during the recently concluded Durga Puja in October, where the state promoted itself to the inbound and domestic segment. M E G H A PAU L

A

ccording to Rachhpal Singh, Tourism Minister, West Bengal, the State had earlier hosted roadshows in Bengaluru and Mumbai besides organising campaigns in the US and Canada. Efforts have been on to woo tourists from Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and from the neighbouring countries with the help of various central and foreign agencies. “Though profit making is not the target of the state government, more tourists will open up sources of income, for many people here,” Singh added. In order to showcase Durga Puja, the West Bengal Tourism Department had recruited tourist police on a temporary basis to guide visitors. All these efforts also led to a spurt in the bookings of the inbound tour operators. Says Sham Lal Soni, Chairman, West Bengal

Rachhpal Singh

Rodney Kaypee

Tourism Minister West Bengal

General Manager, Hotel Hindusthan International, Kolkata

More tourists will open up sources of income for many people here the Ganges and river cruise connecting Belur Math,

We witnessed an increase in bookings by almost 30 per cent during the Durga Puja period Sham Lal Soni, Chairman, West Bengal Chapter – IATO Chapter - IATO, “We witnessed an increase in bookings by almost 30 per cent during the Durga Puja period. Some of the packages that sold extremely well included visits to major puja pandals and those of erstwhile aristocratic families, celebrating puja on

Dakshineswar and Botanical Garden.” West Bengal offers a rich variety of Experiential Tourism and Durga Puja boosts the destination selling capacity, he adds. Even the hospitality industry has performed

The overall increase in occupancy during the Puja days was nearly 12 per cent exceedingly well during the period. Talking about the increase in the number of bookings for the Durga Puja period, Rodney Kaypee, General Manager, Hotel Hindusthan International, Kolkata reveals, “This year, we saw an increase of 40 per cent over last year in terms of hotel stays. One of the factors was the long Durga Puja holidays encompassing two weekends. The overall increase in occupancy during the Puja days was nearly 12 per cent.” According to Kaypee, the business during the Durga Puja was largely domestic FITs coming in from satellite towns.

Oman slashes visa fee for Indians  Oman’s Ministry of Tourism recently announced that the new Tourist Visa fee reductions introduced will now apply to Indian travellers as well. In early 2012, Oman introduced heavily discounted

and more flexible Tourist Visas. Single entry Visas for up to 10 days cost OMR 5 and single entry stays of 10 days to a month are OMR 20. Maitha Al Mahrouqi, Undersecretary, Ministry of

Tourism, Oman said, “We want to reaffirm to India’s travel trade and consumers that Oman’s heavily discounted and more flexible Tourist Visas work for India’s holiday and business travellers.”

Visa process gets simpler  Cox & Kings Global Services Sweden AB, announced the commencement of visa services on behalf of Embassy of India, Stockholm. The Embassy of India signed a contract with M/S Cox and Kings Global Services Sweden AB on October 23,

2012, post which, it will provide visa assistance on behalf of the Embassy of India in Stockholm with effect from November 5, 2012. Speaking on the tie-up, Sanjay Bhaduri, CEO, CKGS said, “We are certain that this

tie-up will provide great assistance and convenience to travellers from Sweden who want to visit India. This will not only make the process simpler but will also aid in increasing the demand for Indian destinations.”


34 TRAVTALK

AVIATION

NOVEMBER 2 ND FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2012

India needs 200 airports by 2020: AAI AAI is in the process of deploying international airport facilities at destinations with tourism potential along with developing non-metro airports for regional connectivity and modernising metro airports (through PPP model) to expand the passenger capacity in the country. A N I TA J A I N

A

irports Authority of India (AAI) is working on a multi-prolonged strategy to make India a preferred aviation hub in South Asian region. Currently, there are 454 airports and airstrips in India (both operational and non-opera-

tional), of which AAI is managing 125 airports. It is estimating that India will need a total of 200 operational airports and airstrips by 2020. To manage the passenger growth, AAI is modernising metro airports, developing non metro airports, deploying international airport facilities at

Aviation and hand-in-hand In a bid to improve domestic and international tourism in tourist potential destinations like Bhubaneshwar, Mangalore, Lucknow, Varanasi, Coimbatore and Agra; Airports Authority of India (AAI) has recently sanctioned permission to develop international airport status and facilities at these eight airports. In next one year, AAI will develop international airport facilities

Tourism

tourist potential destinations, talking to defense ministry to operate passenger aircraft on airstrips used by defense authority for certain time slots and is also enhancing the security and radar system to save cost and enable secure air movements. VP Aggarwal, Chairman, AAI said, “In

goes

like immigration and custom counters along with security personnel for international operations. Aggarwal said, “The new facilities will enable airports to manage international airlines’ operations. So both domestic and international carriers can operate directly to these tourism hubs, resulting in more convenient and time-saving travel for passengers and tourists.”

Aviation is not a milking sector AERA (Airport Economic Regulatory Authority), which monitors and permits airport operators to increase charges, was not in place when AAI dedicated to modernise metro airports through PPP model. When asked about the increasing airport taxes, multiple service taxes charged by state governments and tax of ATF, Aggarwal rectifies, “We don’t want our airports to be the second expensive airport in the world. We are looking at capping the pricing part and implementing reasonable charges at the airports. Also, cost to the passengers needs to be lowered to make air travel cheaper.

Government should realise the positive impact of airport development in the state. For example, New Delhi aviation industry contributes 21 per cent to the state’s GDP. Government has to give certain concession to developers as the impact is impressive on state’s GDP growth. This is not a sector which can be always milked; it has higher multiplier effect on national economy as a whole.” AAI is looking out for international airport developers who are interested in the Indian airport industry with realistic returns instead of high returns in short period of time.

terms of air traffic services, we will lead the Asia Pacific region as we are 25 per cent cheaper than Europe and 20 per cent cheaper than China. Thus, we are offering quality service at cheaper rates. We are looking out for more international airlines to operate in Indian skies. With increas-

ing traffic, India will need 200 airports by 2020. To meet the increasing demand, all state governments have been asked by AAI to check out for helipads and non-metro airport opportunities in their states. We have opened the opportunity to develop nonmetro airports through PPP

Musing on LCC airport/terminal model in Tier II and Tier III cities The increasing airport charges are blurring the concept of ‘Low Cost Carriers’ in India. To cut terminal charges so the no-frills airlines can reduce cost, AAI is contemplating a LCC terminal design which is apt for LCCs and passengers. Aggarwal said, “The market share of LCC in India is increasing, however, there is no dedicated terminal or airport for these carriers. There is a terminal for

LCC in Delhi but the operating cost remains the same for all airlines, thus no benefit for airlines or passengers. We are looking for an efficient and effective model for LCC airport/terminal in Tier II and Tier III cities of India which will benefit both airlines and passengers, making air travel viable for more Indians.” One option, according to AAI, will be to use old airport terminals as low-cost terminals.

India will need 200 airports by 2020 Currently, AAI is managing 125 airports/air strips in India. It is modernising 60 non-metro airports (more than developing the airport terminal building). It has also taken up development of 35 non-metro airports which are important for regional connectivity and development of regional hubs. According to Aggarwal, AAI has completed development of 27 non-metro airports out of which four will be operational by March 2013 (Indore, Raipur, Lucknow and Bhopal) while the remaining

four are in progress. Furthermore, it has also taken development of 26 airports of which 15 has been completed. Five are under development and six will soon go into development. On the other hand, through green field airport development policy, AAI has sanctioned 15 airports under PPP model at destinations like Kohima, Itanagar, Pakyong, Tawang, Kokrajhar, etc.

VP Aggarwal Chairman AAI

model as state governments don’t have the money to fund it.”

Enhancing security and saving fuel Started last year, AAI is done with 70 per cent of its job on integrating radar networking and expects the system to be in place by mid next year. The new system will improve the surveillance of flights and reduce delays resulting in saving fuel and cost for the airline. Moreover, it is also working on Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) and Gagan satellite where airlines will be given more straight routes with least diversions resulting in saving almost 20-30 per cent of fuel. Aggarwal adds, “The fuel saved will vary from sector to sector. The focus is on reducing flying time for passengers and saving fuel for airlines. Flight time can be reduced anywhere between five to 20 minutes if the system is used optimally,” he added.


36 TRAVTALK

NOVEMBER 2 ND FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2012

NTO

Philippines for countless experiences With 7,107 islands, the Philippines has been beckoning a larger number of India outbound now. An added bonus to the Indian traveller is also the new visa permit. M E G H A PAU L

A

IN THE

Manila

ccording to the recently introduced norm, Indian passport holders with valid multiple visas for the US, Japan, Australia, Canada, Singapore, UK and the Schengen Visa can have a

Boracay

PHILIPPINES 14-day visa-free visit to the Philippines. As the national campaign for tourism – ‘It's more fun in the Philippines’ – rightly states, the Asian archipelago offers some myriad experiences. The country

where the rich Spanish and American culture blend with the true Filipino hospitality, checks out what the destination has in its kitty for the discerning and demanding travellers.

A joyride on the vibrant colourful jeepney, a walk by the Manila’s Roxas Boulevard or the popularly called Baywalk, an exploration of the Spanish walled city of Intramuros... are a few of the unique experiences that Manila has to offer. Erected on the ruins of a Malay settlement at the mouth of the Pasig River, Intramuros was the centre of Spanish political, religious and military power. Literally meaning the walled city, visitors can experience Spanish-era Manila through the walled city’s churches, restaurants and museums. The major attractions inside Intramuros include Fort Santiago, the oldest Spanish fortress in the Philippines and Casa Manila, a museum in Intramuros depicting colonial lifestyle during Spanish colonisation of the Philippines. Adjacent to this walled city is the historical urban Rizal Park.

Located approximately 315 km south of Manila and 2 km off the northwest tip of Panay Island in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines is the Boracay island. Known as the beach that never sleeps this island with its pristine waters offer a plethora of water sports. Be it scuba diving, helmet diving or snorkelling, Boracay is a must visit for adventure enthusiasts. And the fun in the island doesn’t stop when the sun sets. Known for a pulsating nightlife, one can hop from bar to bar and the beach shack restaurants.

Palawan The City of Puerto Princesa in Palawan offers powdery white sand beaches. With the coves and bays of Puerto Princesa’s coastline, the islands on the nearby Honda Bay offer beach lovers an uncrowded haven. Dive sites are located from five to 40 minutes away from the beach by speedboat inside Puerto Princesa Bay. These are preferred sites for open water training dives as they offer slopes and walls. Colourful reef fish are common and various colonies can be observed in one dive.

Buyers-sellers workshop@Switzerland The Indian Agents workshop was conducted in St.Moritz in Switzerland (period from Sept. 12 -14). It was a buyer & seller workshop in Switzerland. Participants were 35 tour operators from all over India including main metros & Tier II and Tier III cities in India(including agents from Pune, Nasik, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Cochin besides the main metros like Mumbai and Delhi).


38 TRAVTALK

FAMILY ALBUM

NOVEMBER 2 ND FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2012

China Southern’s ‘hi5’ in India NOVEMBER 19

Mumbai

Destination Turkey Roadshow

20

Bengaluru

Destination Turkey Roadshow

21

Chennai

Destination Turkey Roadshow

22

Hyderabad

Destination Turkey Roadshow

23

New Delhi

Destination Turkey Roadshow

23-25

Jaipur

India Travel Mart

23-25

Pune

India International Travel Mart

27-29

Spain

The Global Meeting and Events Exhibition (EIBTM)

28

New Delhi

PHD Chamber 2nd India Heritage Tourism Conclave 2012

30 -2 Dec Hyderabad

China Southern Airlines has completed five years of its operation between Delhi and Guangzhou. To commemorate the eventful years, the airline hosted a cocktail & dinner on October 31 in New Delhi for its business partners. Present on this occasion were Chen Yong Guang, GM-India, China Southern Airlines and Vikramjit Ahluwalia, MD, GSSA for the airline, to welcome the guests and felicitate their top travel agents.

India International Travel Mart

DECEMBER 3-6

Cannes

International Luxury Travel Mart

5-7

Panama

MITM Americas: Meetings and Incentive Travel Market

6-9

Turkey

Travel Turkey Izmir Tourism Fair & Conference

7-9

Lucknow

India Travel Mart

7-9

Guwahati

Holiday Expo

8-16

Paris

Salon Piscine & Spa

10-12

Guangzhou

Guangzhou International Hotel Equipments & Supplies Exhibition

12

Gurgaon

World Travel Awards Grand Final 2012

12-13

Brussels

Brussels Travel Expo

13-15

Dubai

Dubai International Outdoor Show

15-17

Hong Kong

Diving & Resort Travel Expo

JANUARY 2013 4-6

Chennai

Travel & Tourism Fair

8-13

Gujarat

International Travel Tourism & Hospitality Expo

8-13

The Netherlands Holiday Fair

11-13

Bengaluru

Travel & Tourism Fair

12-20

Italy

Tour.it Expo

18-20

Switzerland

Vacances

18-20

Kochi

India International Travel Mart Cochin

20-22

Guwahati

ATOAI’s Annual Convention

24-27

Singapore

Zak Salaam India Tourism Expo - Singapore

24-26

Poland

ITM Warsaw

25-27

Switzerland

Travel Expo

25-27

Coimbatore

Holiday Expo

25-27

Ireland

The Holiday World Show – RDS Dublin

25-27

Nagpur

India International Travel Exhibition

25-27

Germany

Leisure Travel Market

30-3Feb Spain

Fitur

For more information, contact us at: talk@ddppl.com

Sarovar’s 11th property in Delhi Sarovar Hotels announced the opening of Park Plaza in Shahdara CBD, New Delhi. The upscale full service business hotel is the company’s 11th property in Delhi and NCR and hopes to fill the much needed gap for a luxury hotel in east Delhi. T T B U R E AU

T

he hotel is 30 kilometers from Indira Gandhi International Airport and 10 kilometers from New Delhi railway station. The hotel provides 91 rooms and suites

equipped with LCD television, minibar, tea/coffee maker, Wi-Fi etc. The suites also feature Jacuzzis. It also offers 6,000 sq ft state-ofthe-art banqueting space, keeping in mind, the global trends for the MICE segment. Other services include multicuisine restaurants, currency exchange, florist, gymnasium, concierge, spa and salon.

“We are targetting corporate markets from Noida, Sahibabad and Patparganj industrial area. Siddharth Chaudhary General Manager Park Plaza Shahdara CBD

The Hotel property is strategically located close to

all these industrial hubs. We are only 10 km away from Connaught place and less than a kilometer away from the nearest metro station ‘Karkarduma’. This makes accessibility easy for anyone travelling to Connaught Place, Pragati Maidan or Akshardham Temple and even to South Delhi. We will also be targetting the leisure market from the Far East and also tourist groups travelling to India for the golden triangle,” says Siddharth Chaudhary, General Manager, Park Plaza Shahdara CBD. Chaudhary also added that in spite of the existence of several hotels in Delhi, he was confident of earning

profits, within the first few months of opening, as the hotel has primarily been built as a food and beverage hotel. The hotel is expecting 40 per cent of occupancy on their 91-room inventory at an average room rate of ` 4000. The hotel is also hoping that meetings and conferences will generate a larger proportion of the revenue and hence, they want to attract MICE events.

Easy Access The hotel is 30 kilometers from Indira Gandhi International Airport and 10 kilometers from New Delhi railway station


CLIPBOARD

NOVEMBER 2 ND FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2012

TRAVTALK

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40 TRAVTALK

NOVEMBER 2 ND FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2012

MOVEMENTS

Travelport Singapore

VisitBritain India Gurgaon

The Westin Pune Koregaon Park Mumbai

Patrick Andres has been appointed as the new Singapore-based Vice President and Regional Managing Director of Asia-Pacific for Travelport. He comes with 25 years of experience in the travel and hospitality technology industries. In his new role, Andres will be a key member of the company’s senior management team and responsible for driving revenue growth, attaining new business and identifying key strategic opportunities for the company. In his past, he has worked with global organisations such as Sabre Hospitality Solutions, IATA, Expedia and SAP.

Shivali Suri has been appointed as the Country Manager of VisitBritain in India. She brings with her extensive experience in marketing and sales and has headed various marketing and sales operations of the travel and tourism industry. She has also worked with Club Med - India as a manager where the area of focus was target driven sales and brand management. Suri worked in various travel and tourism related organisations gaining expertise in areas.

Anuraag Bhatnagar is appointed as the General Manager

Thomas Cook (India) Mumbai

MCVB Melbourne

Cathay Pacific Airways Andhra Pradesh

Abraham Alapatt is appointed as the Head of Marketing for Thomas Cook (India). He is a marketing & brand professional with over 17 years of full-time professional experience at senior strategic levels across varied domains of brand buildingadvertising, corporate communication, PR & media relations, internal communication, customer service and Internet-technology. At Thomas Cook, Alapatt’s mandate as Head of Marketing is to lead the Group’s brand building efforts as well as support and grow individual lines of business in line with existing and emerging opportunities.

Jasmine Lim is the new Director - International Incentives for

Naveed A Khan has been appointed as the Area Sales

the Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau (MCVB). She has almost 14 years of experience in the tourism and the business events industry. Lim has extensive experience and sound knowledge of the incentive and corporate travel market. She has been with MCVB for six years, starting out as Regional Sales Manager, South East Asia before being promoted to Regional Sales Director, South Asia in 2009.

Manager – Western India for Cathay Pacific Airways. In his present profile, he will oversee passenger sales & revenue for the airline and will be responsible for the development and execution of sales strategy for the region. With a total work experience of 12 years, Khan began his career in the Hospitality Industry in July 2000 as a Management Trainee. He graduated with a Hotel Management Degree & Bachelor of English degree.

The Westin Mumbai Garden City Mumbai Priyanka Jena joined The Westin Mumbai Garden City as Manager Marketing & Communication. She has over 5 years of experience in Marketing and Public Relations. Jena’s last assignment was as the Corporate Communication Manager, Scomi Group. Her previous appointments include Public Relation Manager at Lowe Lintas and Brand Communications Specialist at GAS Jeans. She completed her Masters in Luxury Brand Management from Istituto Marangoni, London and Bachelors in Mass Media from Bhavans College, Mumbai.

Pallavi Gore has been appointed as the Heavenly Spa and Recreation Manager for The Westin Mumbai Garden City. She completed her diploma in cosmetology from Carsten Aveda Institute, New York and Diploma in Esthetics from Atelier Esthetique Institute of Esthetics, New York. Gore has over 5 years of experience and her previous appointment includes Spa Manager at The Leela Kempinski and Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur.

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, Dency Mathew and Megha Paul

Aly Shariff

Moondeep Aggarwal, Director, Wizie.com says, “I am a true automobile enthusiast and love driving my sedans that include a Cadillac, a BMW and a Mercedes Benz. I have been blessed with two sons aged 14 and 8. My wife is a home maker. “We are proud of our Indian roots and live proudly as joint family in the United States of America. In my opinion success will only come your way, if your respect your family bonds,” he says. Moondeep Aggarwal Director Wizie.com

Managing Director Premier Inn South Asia

for The Westin Pune Koregaon Park and the Area General Manager for Westin Hotels, Mumbai and Pune. He is a hospitality veteran and comes with 22 years of enriching experience in the industry. In his present profile, he will be responsible for the operation of The Westin Mumbai in addition to overseeing The Westin Pune. Prior to this, he was the General Manager of Le Royal Meridien Mumbai.

The Westin Gurgaon and the Westin Sohna Resort and Spa Delhi-NCR Deepak Bhatia joins The Westin Gurgaon, New Delhi and The Westin Sohna Resort and Spa as the new Complex Executive Chef. He comes with a distinct culinary heritage of having created distinct palates for a global audience. In his new role, Bhatia will oversee culinary operations at the various F&B venues of the properties. His first tryst in the kitchen started in Delhi with The Oberoi, after which he worked for 16 years with Hyatt International before moving to different brands.

Aly Shariff, Managing Director, Premier Inn South Asia feels Delhi is extremely dynamic and has a pulsating life. Handling South Asia operations requires a lot of travelling and Shariff enjoys it. In India, his favourite destinations include Kerala due to its pristine backwaters. He also likes the hill station of Darjeeling. His all-time favourite overseas destination is Maldives. Shariff is a keen observer and that makes him an ace photographer as well. "I love to click pictures of landscapes and marine life. I am extremely fascinated with the rich marine life and that often forms the subject of photographs," he says. In his free time back home in Delhi, he loves to spend time with his wife and three kids.

Anthony Slewka, Regional Director of Sales, Sofitel South East Asia & India says, “On my short breaks, I like to go camping, hiking, jogging and generally do anything that is an outdoor activity.” “And out of the 100 odd destinations I have visited so far, my favourite destination is South Africa. Also, my wife is from there so it is emotionally very special for me. But I also like travelling to India and Thailand to experience the variety of culture and traditions there.” Anthony Slewka Regional Director of Sales, Sofitel South East Asia & India


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:14-11-2012

HIGHLIGHT

Indian arrivals in Canada up by 19-25% Based on an in-house research that promises approximately a million keen visitors willing to be tapped, Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) eyes India as an important market. D EEPA S ETHI

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O SAKA

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uring the recently held Showcase Canada Asia 2012, interacted with Charles McKee, Vice President, International, CTC and Siobhan Chretien, Regional Managing Director, CTC to get their perspective on India as a source market. The event brought together Canadian sellers and leading buyers from China, India, Japan & Korea in an intense business-to-business marketplace. Here are selected excerpts:

Showcase Canada Asia 2012 Charles Our Rendezvous Canada event has been running for over 25 years, which is Canada’s premier international tourism marketplace. Similarly, Showcase Canada Asia 2012 is an annual marketplace, which brings together Canadian sellers and leading buyers from China, India, Japan & Korea in an intense business-to-business marketplace with a proven format of pre-scheduled appointments and networking events. It’s like a mini Rendezvous Canada. These trade events are still very popular in today’s age of technology and internet, which is encouraging. It exhibits that the human dimension is important and our show brings the best minds face-to-face to do business.

We are tapping the higher educated and the higher yielding Indian tourists Siobhan Chretien Regional Managing Director, CTC

Canada in India

Charles It has been three years, since we restarted our office in India. Things have been terrific and the market has grown. India is a very important market for Canada. Indian visitors to Canada have registered a growth in the range of 19-25 per cent. Canada and India are natural partners and share many bonds, including the commonwealth heritage. Chretien and I were recently in India for a quick visit. We had open discussions on the perception of Canada and how our destination is performing. We have returned with over 32 pages of notes with viable feedback from the best of travel brands in India to be converted into actionable goals.

Direct Air Connectivity

Charles There are very few aircraft that have the range to profitably fly a sector as long as India and Canada. We are hopeful that with new aircraft like the 787, all airlines will be pressed to think about these routes, which have a strong enough traffic base and a good enough mix comprising business and leisure between Delhi, Mumbai and Canada. We are witnessing a new chapter in the global aviation sector, wherein it will be possible to fly long range at lower costs with more advanced aircraft. It’s our job to continue to build demand, which, in due course of time, will certainly bring in the planes.

Change in Tourist Profile Siobhan There has been a shift in our travel numbers. There has been growth in leisure travellers and the average spend of the VFRvisitors has been growing. We are tapping the higher educated and higher yielding Indian tourists, as we continue to work with our trade partners to take Canada to the travellers keen on a true Canadian experience.

Charles I would like to

share an interesting query from a gentleman in Mumbai, who asked whether we are concerned about brand USA coming into India. We are, in fact, happy about the said development for two reasons. Firstly, competition for a country like Canada is not MICE Window Siobhan Presently, our focus in India has been predominantly from USA, but Australia and Europe, which take tourists leisure. We do see the potential in MICE, especially with the away from us. The positive feedback we received from leading travel brands in India, whom thing in the said developwe met recently. Going forward, we will like to address the ment is anothunique requirements of this segment. er voice talking Charles We have had some wonderful oppor- There are about about North tunities to showcase our MICE potential to America. 9,60,000 Indians key decision makers in India, like at the IIFA Canada’s awards. We now want to see who would like to offerings are a growth in this market. visit Canada in the very different MICE market also creates from the US. opportunity next few years The most for repeat Charles McKee important visitors. Vice President - International, CTC aspect in my opinion is to find the right set of travellers. According to our research, there are about 9,60,000 Indians belonging to middle and upper class, who would like to visit Canada in the next few years. Hence, there is a big opportunity and the pie fortunately is big enough for both USA and Canada, which we will also look into as joint packages.


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