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A DDP PUBLICATION
Pages: 36 (Excluding cover)
Vol. XXV No. 22; November 2 nd fortnight issue 2013
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NOVEMBER 2 ND FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2013
Sarovar wins the
Sarovar Hotels & Resorts has won a prestigious -World Travel Market Global Award in recognition of its development of mid-market hotels in India over the past 12 months. D E E PA S E T H I
a very tough year for the hotel industry in India, Sarovar delivered a growth of 9.8% in turnover and a 15% growth in profitability. It achieved this with careful online pricing strategies, a new loyalty programme called Sarovar Rewardz, and strict cost control.
icaela Juarez, Head of Marketing & Communications, World Travel Market, presented the award to Ajay K. Bakaya, Executive Director, Sarovar Hotels & Resorts and Pradeep Kalra, Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing, Sarovar Hotels and Resorts, alongside SanJeet, Publisher, India, at the WTM Global Awards.The Awards give WTM’s Official Media Partners, an excellent platform to congratulate and
recognise those companies and individuals which have made the greatest contributions to travel and tourism in their region for that year. The award for India was judged by Simon Press, Senior Director, World Travel Market, Reed Travel Exhibitions; Geoffrey Breeze, Marketing Director, World Travel & Tourism Council; and SanJeet from India, the Official Media Partner. Sarovar Hotels & Resorts has made a significant contribution to the hotel industry of India over
SanJeet, Publisher, India (centre) with Ajay K. Bakaya, Executive Director, Sarovar Hotels & Resorts (second from right) and Pradeep Kalra, Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing, Sarovar Hotels and Resorts (left) with Micaela Juarez, Head of Marketing and Communications, World Travel Market
the past year. A pioneer in the mid-market segment, the company is now the fastest growing hotel management
company in India, with 60 properties in its range of brands. An additional 25 hotels are at various stages of
development and by the end of 2013, Sarovar aims to be a 65-hotel chain, with 100 by 2020. Despite 2012-13 being
90 days for hotel classification To bring transparency in the classiﬁcation process after inspection of the hotel, the Committee has to inform the hotel management about their decision on the spot. K A N C H A N N AT H
Anand Kumar Joint Secretary, MOT
lassification in the hotel industry is a voluntary scheme floated by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. Classification of hotels is a
process by which hotels are rated in accordance with certain global standards. These standards are used to determine the level of comfort, facilities and services offered in a hotel. On the sidelines of the 2nd HRANI Convention
Process of classification is completed within 90 days from the date of complete application received. I carry a personal list and monitor the progress made.
Contd. on page 4
Simon Press, Senior Director, World Travel Market, Reed Travel Exhibitions, said, “Sarovar Hotel & Resorts’ development of three-star to a four-star brand is very credible – this winner is a great example of how India can develop its own brands.”
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BULLETIN India Travel Bazaar
9000 B2B meetings in 1 edition st
A foreign tour operator committee has been formed led by the Ministry of Tourism and FICCI to shortlist Foreign Tour Operators (FTOs), who are sincerely keen to promote Incredible India. VIVEK SETHI
ncredible India is gearing up for a new platform for the inbound industry. In fact, the first edition of the India Travel Bazaar, which will be organised in collaboration between India Tourism Development Corporation, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and
USP of India Travel Bazaar O Exclusive focus on Inbound Tourism O Pre-scheduled B2B meetings between Indian sellers and foreign buyers O 216 booths of Indian sellers O 240 foreign buyers from 50 countries O “A foreign tour operator committee has been formed led by the Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India and FICCI O The members of the committee include leading hotel chains and tour operators from India
The USP of India Travel Bazaar would be the intensive and sharp focus on inbound tourism and buyer-seller meet spread over two days Jyotsna Suri, Vice-President, FICCI
FICCI, is geared up to set new benchmarks from the very start. As per Jyotsna Suri, Vice-President, FICCI, “A new platform ‘India Travel Bazaar’ which retains the flavour of ‘The Great Indian Travel Bazaar’ will be organised on April 8-9, 2014 at The Ashok Hotel, New Delhi, by India Tourism Development Corporation, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and FICCI. The USP of India Travel Bazaar would be the intensive and sharp focus on inbound tourism and buyer-
seller meet spread over two days. It shall result in significant transacting and capitalising on business opportunities between international buyers and Indian sellers.” “In the first edition itself, around 9000 pre-scheduled B2B meetings are expected to materialise between foreign buyers and Indian sellers on April 8-9, 2014. As of now, there will be 216 booths of Indian sellers and 240 foreign buyers from 50 countries,” she added. Further, to make sure that the best of decision makers, who are seriously pro-
moting Incredible India or are keen on the brand, a high level committee has been set to shortlist relevant FTOs. “A foreign tour operator committee has been formed led by the Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India and FICCI. The members of the committee include leading hotel chains and tour operators from India. The committee collectively screens each FTO’s name and discusses the potential of each such contender, prior to finalising their name in the final list of invitees,” said Suri.
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TIME MACHINE VIEWPOINT
November 1991 | Vol 1 | Issue 3 | Page 1
Finally, UK barricades removed
Currently, India is happy with the withdrawal of the UK's proposal to subject visitors from six countries to pay a surety of £3,000 for a visa. However, visa fee has been an issue for Indians. , reports the situation that prevailed 23 years earlier.
Visa Fee Hike Shocks The Trade
he UK has scrapped its controversial 3,000-pound security bond for some ‘highrisk’ foreign visitors, including those from India. The decision to scrap the bond is a welcome step and should boost outbound tourism from India to the UK. In fact, it has come as a much-needed relief for travellers from our country. It also reflects India’s efficient diplomatic efforts. One of the countries targeted for the bond, India had expressed its concern to the UK government both at the ministerial and official levels. Even the travel trade industry had joined hands to raise voice against the imposition of the security bond. Slamming the proposed norm, OTOAI had said this lacked clarity on what constituted as a high risk country or what filters the UK government was using to determine whether the tourists were high risk or not. The move was opposed tooth and nail.
Benchmarking with Standards
he Hotels and Restaurants division of the Ministry of Tourism is making positive efforts to bring transparency in the classification process. The Inspection Committee has to inform the hotel management about their decision on the spot after they finish inspecting the property. They claim that the final decision is given to the hotels within 90 days of receipt of the complete application. Every applicant can track his/her application with a unique username and password. In these times, many hotels are reinventing themselves under different brand segments. Brands alone can give the rating sense of a hotel to the consumer. This is one of the reasons why the process of Classification offered by MOT today has been made voluntary. In a market which is going to become highly competitive, where the midsegment hotels are almost challenging fivestar hotels, it becomes imperative to be identified by Classification or Brand segments. At the end of the day, the internet-savvy tourist today makes the intelligent choice of staying only at those hotels that offer him the best deal in services and value.
Vikramajit Chairman SanJeet Editor & Publisher Deepa Sethi Editor-in-Chief
Editorial Ratan Kr Paul Vivek Sethi Megha Paul Devika Jeet Anita Jain Lyandra D’Souza News-Editor Peden Doma Bhutia Desk-Editor Archana Sharma Sr. Sub-Editor Hritvick Sen
Advertising Gunjan Sabikhi Asst. Vice President Karishma Khanna Sr. Manager Marketing Udit Pandey Sr. Manager Marketing Geetika Pathak Manager Advertising Amit Sarkar Asst. Manager Marketing Photographers Simran Kaur-Delhi Bharat Dangiya-Mumbai
Further drop in arrivals feared S Dharamarajan
An appaling increase of 10 times in the visa fee for visitors from abroad has sent shock waves in the travel trade which fears that the enhancement will ruin whatever prospects are left of visit India year. The unprecedented hike notified by the ministry of external affairs, without consulting the trade or even the ministry of tourism could not have come at a worse time. For, by October the steady decline in tourist arrivals had come close to 11 per cent. The fee has been raised to $50 for tourist or business traveller on a visit of up to one year. The fee for the period exceeding one year has been fixed at $100. The new rates are effective from November 1, 1991.
Strong criticism of the Indian move has come from overseas operators as well. A typical comment is by a Singapore travel agent Tan Chye who wonders whether the “government of India has gone berserk or is not interested in tourism.” The government decision brought together the different trade organisation as their members equally “face the prospect of mass cancellations and litigations as the package tours already sold to tourist groups, took into account only the pre-November rate.” The Indian Association of Tour Operators, the Travel Agents Association of India, the American Association of Travel Agents (India Chapter), the Pacific Asia Travel Association (India Chapter) and
Spokesman of the trade wondered at the wisdom of the authorities in enhancing the levy at a time when the need was for scraping it altogether as an incentive to India bound tourism.
International Convention & Conference Association, (Asia chapter) have sent a joint memorandum to the P.M. seeking revocation of the increase. They said, “It is rather paradoxical that when competing destination in the region such as Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Hongkong, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and China are relaxing visa requirements, simplifying procedures and even abolishng the visa for certain countries, our government has thought it fit to increase the fee nearly 10 fold. Characterising the measures as “retrograde and ill conceived”, they said the government could have extended the courtesy of consulting the tourism industry on such a crucial matter affecting tourism. If it was found absolutely essential to increase the fee, they could have given a minimum notice of a year so that the overseas tour operators could take this factor into account while selling their packages.”
On the spot decision takes off Contd. from page 1
held in Gurgaon, Anand Kumar (IAS), Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism (MOT) enumerated the benefits of the classification. Stating that by this exercise the hotels make a statement about their services globally to the consumers. He said, “Within 15 days of receipt, the application is examined for completeness. However, we have found that in most of the cases, the applications received are incomplete. On receipt of the application the Ministry sends an email with a password and from there on you can track down progress of your application. The password and username is individual, is unique. This is because we want to respect privacy of each stakeholder.
Advertising (Mumbai) Suchita Saran Branch Manager Harshal Ashar Deputy Genral Manager Priyanshu Wankhade Asst. Manager Advertising Rishika Karra Sales Coordinator Advertisement Designers Vikas Mandotia / Nitin Kumar Aarushi Agrawal Design: Nityanand Misra Sudhir Mudgal Production: Anil Kharbanda Circulation: Ashok Rana
We schedule an appointment and complete the inspection within 90 days from the date of complete application received. I carry a personal list and review it every day. So in case you do not get a final decision within 90 days, please do let me know. To bring transparency, we have made it mandatory that whenever a committee is inspecting, they have to inform the decision on the spot to the management after the inspection.” The customers want to know what they are going to get from a particular hotel, property or resort. The latest set of revisions that we have done is keeping in mind the customer. We have said that on the website, it should be
TRAVTALK is a publication of DDP Publications Private Limited. All information in TRAVTALK is derived from sources, which we consider reliable and a sincere effort is made to report accurate information. It is passed on to our readers without any responsibility on our part. The publisher regret that he cannot accept liability for errors and omissions contained in this publication, however caused. Similarly, opinions/views expressed by third parties in abstract and/or in interviews are not necessarily shared by TRAVTALK. However, we wish to advice our readers that one or more recognised authorities may hold different views than those reported. Material used in this publication is intended for information purpose only. Readers are advised to seek specific
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Kumar Speaks O Classification brings in the national and international
standards. O It tells the consumer what to expect. If hotels have their
own brand standardisation nationally or internationally known, they may not need the classification of the Ministry of Tourism. O Precisely for this reason, we have made the classification
system voluntary. O It is for the hotel owner, hotel management to seek or
not to seek hotel classification. O The guidelines are changed from time to time keeping
pace with the trends in the industry and suggestions. O Our effort is to make classification system consumer
focussed and responsive to stakeholders. displayed what facilities are available free of cost to the customer. This should be known to the guest especially when he is booking a room. Finally, he added, “The classi-
fication process is open for revision and further debate. If you feel any changes are needed to be made, we will be happy to consider the same.”
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NOVEMBER 2 ND FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2013
HAI elects a new team for 2-year term It would be Bickson’s endeavour to lead HAI’s drive in key areas, in close collaboration with the govt. which could help develop a globally relevant hospitality sector that will be attractive to foreign and domestic travellers for the beneﬁt of economy. T T B U R E AU
he 17th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Hotel Association of India (HAI) held in New Delhi has elected Raymond N Bickson as the President for the next twoyear term. Bickson, Managing Director, Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) succeeds Nakul Anand, Executive Director – Hotels Division of ITC Limited, as President of HAI. The AGM also elected a 15-member Executive Committee.
Raymond N Bickson Managing Director, Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL)
Tourism and hotel industry perform an important role in promoting economic growth in the country
Bickson, whose hospitality career spans more than 30 years and across four continents, joined the Taj Hotels in January 2003 to oversee all its luxury property operations and was elevated in July 2003 as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL), a Division of India’s Tata Group, with responsibility for all Taj Hotels’ operations. Under his leadership, the Taj Group has seen rapid global expansion, with new developments and acquisitions in key world markets, including Africa, Australia, Bhutan, Dubai, India, Maldives, Malaysia and the US.
Jharkhand is set to unveil three projects, including a luxury hotel and a foodcraft institute in the temple town of Deoghar and a rural development project in East.
Designation for HAI
• Vikram Oberoi, COO & Jt. MD (Operations), The Oberoi Group • Suresh M Talera, Chairman, Talera Group of Hotels • Rupak Gupta, Jt. Managing Director, UP Hotels Ltd
Vice President Honorary Secretary Honorary Treasurer
• PRS Oberoi, East India Hotels (EIH Ltd.) • Nakul Anand, ITC Hotels; • Priya Paul, Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels • Dr Jyotsna Suri, Bharat Hotels Ltd. • Vivek Nair, Hotel Leelaventure Ltd.
Executive Committee Members
• KB Kachru, Carlson Rezidor Hotels • Patu Keswani, Lemon Tree Hotels • Anil Madhok, Sarovar Hotels • Veer Vijay Singh, Vivanta Hotels • JK Mohanty, Swosti Premium • Suresh Kumar, Fortune Park Hotels
Addressing the AGM, Bickson stated that tourism and hotel industry performs an important role in promoting economic growth in the country. It contributes 6.4 per cent to India’s GDP and provides employment, direct and indirect, to 53 million people. It would be his
endeavour to lead the HAI’s drive in key areas, in close collaboration with the government, which could help develop a vibrant and globally relevant hospitality sector that will be attractive to foreign and domestic travellers for the benefit of the overall economy.
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Hotels in harmonised list
Now projects will be entitled to long-term loans with repayment tenures of 15 years at lower rates of interest, access to more funds through low-cost external commercial loans and financial assistance. M E G H A PAU L
he Ministry of Tourism (MOT) has welcomed the Ministry of Finance’s decision to include hotels projects
able for eligible prospects for three years from the date of notification. Eligible costs exclude cost of land and lease charges but include interest during construction.
S M Shervani
Secretary Ministry of Tourism
There will be more cash flow, competitive rates of interests & long term for repayment schemes
with investment of ` 200-`300 crore in the Harmonised Master list of Infrastructure Sub-Sectors. The list includes hotel projects that cost of more than ` 200 crore at any place in India and of any star rating, and convention centre with a project cost of more than ` 300 crore each. This facility will be applicable with prospective effects from the date of notification and avail-
In the current scenario of high interest rates, this is a welcome step The inclusion of hotels and convention centres in the Harmonised Master list of Infrastructure sub-sector will have an immediate multiplier effect on the overall economic development and will provide a fillip to employment generation in the country. The inclusion of convention centres will also help to set up niche products in tourism which have year-round business.
Giving thumbs up to the new development, Parvez Dewan, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism said, “The hospitality industry in India has currently applied brakes on expansion plans and investment. Now there will be more cash flow, competitive rates of interests and long term for repayment schemes. This will help in boosting the industry.” According to SM Shervani, President, FHRAI, such projects will be entitled to long-term loans with repayment tenures of 15 years at lower rates of interest, higher debt-to-equity ratio, access to more funds through low-cost external commercial loans and financial assistance, including take-out financing from specialised agencies such as IDFC, India Infrastructure Finance Company and the new Infrastructure Debt Funds. “FHRAI has been articulating proactive policy action which is imperative to insulate the requisite longterm investment in the sector from cyclical macroeconomic volatility. Especially, in the current scenario of high interest rates where the industry is witnessing a temporary demand-supply mismatch, this is a welcome step,” he informed. The Reserve Bank of India last year also began including three-star or higher categories of hotels located outside cities with population bigger than one million to its infrastructure lending list.
SKM Group launches first property Kolkata based SKM Group has recently marked its entry into the Indian hospitality sector by launching its first property near Kolkata. The 30-room boutique property with four-star rating located in close proximity to the Kolkata Airport (4kms) seeks to provide premium hospitality services to the city's fast growing business travel and tourism. It is an upper midscale hotel brand based on the concept of tradition with style. Keeping with its motto of “Continuity of Unspoken tradition”, traditional Indian arts and handicrafts like Patta Chitra, Madhubani paintings and Kantha have been used to add richness to
the elegant interiors. The Pipal Tree Hotel caters to the needs of leisure and business travellers seeking the finest facilities and world-class services. It is appealing to customers seeking five star facilities at four star rates. The hotel boasts of three Banquet Halls "Dhani",
‘Malhar’ & ‘Bhairav’ are equipped with modern technology and can accommodate up to 120, 200 & 300 people respectively. The hotel is offering a special inaugural offer where rooms are available between ` 4449 – ` 5499 for single occupancy and a suite for ` 8999.
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NOVEMBER 2 ND FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2013
IATO elections in April 2014 It’s as per a unanimous resolution passed in IATO’s AGM in New Delhi on 30 October 2013, where the house agreed to conduct elections in April henceforth. T T B U R E AU
he Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) will now be conducting its election in April 2014, which otherwise was due in
Subhash Goyal President IATO
It’s a busy season till Dec and election in April will give members a better opportunity to participate in the election process December 2013. It’s as per a unanimous resolution passed in IATO’s AGM in New Delhi
Lally Mathews Hony. Secretary IATO
We still have hopes that the coming season will be good and we will see some good results
on 30 October 2013, where the house agreed to postpone the conduct elections in April henceforth. “Going forward, the elections now will be held towards the end of April at end of the term. It serves
dual purposes. Firstly, the treasurer in the new term now will not have to look into the past nine months of the previous term, which helps to start fresh sets of initiatives for inbound growth immediately at the start of the new term. Moreover, its busy season till December
and election in April will give members a better opportunity to participate in the election process,” said Subhash Goyal, President IATO. Here, Lally Mathews, Hony. Secretary, IATO, presented the annual report for the year 2012-13. “Like the
previous year, tourism industry had to face a lot of challenges. Increase in international tourist arrivals was very minimal and members could survive with their old business links. Lots of complaints were received for non-issuance of visas. Though our ministry has
tried their best to get visa for all those who registered such issues, but it did not give a good image of our country as a tourist destination,” said Mathews. “While the South East Asian countries and our neighboring countries are making all their efforts to attract more number of
tourists, we could hardly make any positive impact to increase our share. Let us hope that the proposed Visaon-Arrival for 40 countries becomes a reality…We still have hopes that the coming season will be good and we will see some good results,” he added.
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Indian culture woos Italians India Tourism receives excellent response from Global Online Campaign which started in June 2013. A NITA J AIN
FROM I TALY
he Ministry of Tourism (MOT) is coming up with innovative strategies to bring in more inbound tourists to India in the coming years. Apart from launching international campaigns, introducing new travel products and participating at international travel exhibitions, MOT is also operating strong India Tourism branch offices across the globe. With Europe becoming one of the key travel source markets for India, India Tourism office in Italy is focussing on increasing the FTA (Foreign Tourist Arrivals) numbers to India. As per India Tourism Italy office, FTAs in India between January - August 2013 were 4.3 million with a growth of 3.6 per cent as compared to 4.1 million over the same period in 2012.
Growing Numbers N FTAs in India between January - August 2013 were 4.3 million with a growth of 3.6 per cent as compared to 4.1 million over the same period in 2012
C Gangadhar Director, India Tourism – Italy, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India
MOT has identified several niche products which are further helping us to promote India in European market Countrywise, the figures are not available, but a total of 2.17 million visitors from Europe visited India during 2012 while the total FTA in India during 2012 stood at 6.57 million. According to C Gangadhar, Director, India Tourism – Italy, Ministry of Tourism, Government of
India; a total of 98,743 visitors arrived to India from Italy in 2012. He said, “The biggest strength to attract Italians to India is culture and heritage. Apart from that, MOT has identified several niche products like adventure, wellness, MICE, river cruises, eco holidays, etc which are further helping us to promote India in European market. We are taking efforts to develop such products which will help Italian travellers to experience India in real sense.” Moreover, the Global Online Campaign (launched in June 2013) targetting major international websites received immense response and popularity for India tourism in global markets. “Internet and social media cannot be undermined in any marketing activity. This year, MOT has redesigned its website to make it more user friendly. Links of the website have been provided to the IATO website for booking of tour packages besides links for hotels and airlines booking. This is really pushing India as a preferred destination for Europeans in the Asian market,” adds Gangadhar.
HRANI for reduced interest rates Hotel & Restaurant Association of Northern India (HRANI), during its second convention in Delhi, demanded lowering of the infrastructure lending cap to ` 50 crore for hotel projects. According to Garish Oberoi, President, HRANI, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recently announced inclusion of hotel projects with project cost in excess of `200 crore and convention centres related project worth above ` 300 crore under the harmonised list of infrastructure lending. “This current cap of ` 200 crore prohibits budget hotel projects to avail the facility as the project cost for budget hotels is much lower. The governments, both at the centre and in the states, should revisit the tax and licence regime on the hospitality establishments, ”he pointed out. The land cost in India is abnormally high and this makes hospitality investments unviable in the long run. When the share of land cost in the overall project cost in overseas markets is
The governments, both at the centre and in the states, should revisit the tax and licence regime on the hospitality establishments
There are around 20 lakh rooms in non-classified sector in India and no permits or licences apply to them
between 10 and 15 per cent in India, the same is about 40 per cent, Oberoi added. Opined SM Shervani, President, FHRAI, “In India, it is easy to run non-mainstream hotels than a mainstream hotel. While owners who built hotels on land bought through auction process in Aerocity in Delhi
are not able to commence operations because of permission issues, the end number of guest houses and hotels are allowed to operate ‘just across the road’ without approvals or licences. There are around 20 lakh rooms in the non-classified sector in India and no permits or licences apply to them.”
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FINAL TT_NOVEMBER-2nd-2013:TT Layout 11/19/2013 10:01 AM Page 10
Time for price correction A spurt in the number of hotels has increased competition reducing the average room tariff. The developers and hotel industry should go to lesser- known areas and tap new markets rather than create oversupply in the market. MEGHA PAUL
ooking at the potential of religious tourism in Kurukshetra, the state government is planning to make it a hub for religious tourism. This will give a boost to Haryana including Karnal. confirmed was This by Manbeer Choudhary, President, Hotel & Restaurant Association of Haryana; Member, Haryana Tourism Development Council. to According Choudhary, the state government is looking at setting up the replica of Tirupati temple, and temple Iskon Akshardham temple in Kurukshetra. This is expected to boost the hospitality development in the region. Talking about the potential of Karnal for hospitality development, Choudhary, who is also CMD of Noor Mahal said, “Noor Mahal is the first five-star luxury hotel venture in Karnal just off NH1 between Delhi to Lahore. We have made a five-star but with a pricing of a four-star hotel. Noor Mahal is not only catering to Karnal city but to the Haryana region also, which is devoid of any hotel in the five-star luxury segment. Also, the good connec-
tivity from Delhi and big cities like Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Patiala and Gurgaon has shaped the hotel
Manbeer Choudhary, President, Hotel & Restaurant Association of Haryana; Member, Haryana Tourism Development Council
into an ideal weekend and MICE destination.” Hotel Noor Mahal has separate convention floor measuring nearly 50,000 sq. ft of three banquet halls, which are interlinked along with adjoining lawns on either side catering to a total capacity of nearly 5,000 people at any given time. This is one of the biggest convention spaces available in any fivestar hotel in this belt. The hotel also has the facility for parking 1,200 cars, he added. Responding to the sluggish growth in the industry at the moment, Choudhary
opined, “India is going through a correction phase now. A drop in occupancy and tariffs do not spell well for the industry. Going forward, the developers and hotel industry should go to lesser-known areas and tap new markets rather than create oversupply in the market.” For example – Gurgaon is an oversaturated market at the moment. It has nearly 5,000 three to five-star hotel rooms and according to assessments by industry experts, another 4,000 are set to be added in the next five years. A spurt in the number of hotels has increased competition and affected business. Average occupancy in Gurgaon hotels has decreased from nearly 60 per cent in 2008 to 40-50 per cent presently. The average room tariffs of 3-5 star hotels have also come down from `10,000 - `12,000 in 2008 to ` 5,000 - `6,000 at present, he said. Talking about luxury tax in the state, he lamented, “We pay 10 per cent Luxury Tax and 7.38 per cent Service Tax. Thus, we pay almost 17.38 per cent tax in total. This is higher compared to other states like Himachal Pradesh and J&K. We are requesting the government to reduce these taxes.”
All for convention facilities The state has proposed to develop heritage hotels by converting forts and integrated tourism parks on PPP mode. An integrated resort is also being proposed at the Madhogarh Fort in Haryana with private sector support. sector support as well, he revealed. Currently, Haryana Tourism operates 42 tourism complexes with accommodation facilities.
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he Haryana government is setting up convention and conferencing facilities around the existing tourist complexes of the state.
Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Chief Minister, Haryana, said that the state has also identified EcoTourism, MICE Tourism, Medical Tourism and Golf Tourism as major segments of travel for promotion in the state. Hooda, who was inaugurating the second convention of Hotel & Restaurant Association of Northern India (HRANI) in Gurgaon, said the state government has proposed to develop heritage
Bhupinder Singh Hooda Chief Minister Haryana
hotels by converting forts, amusement parks and integrated tourism parks on public private partnership (PPP) mode. An integrated resort is being proposed at Madhogarh Fort in Haryana with private
A new Institute of Hotel Management is being set up in Bhamboli village in Yamuna Nagar and is likely to be inaugurated in 2015. The state government has also commissioned convention centres at Surajkund, Tilyar Lake, Rohtak and Bhiwani and the work for the same at Hodal and Dharuhera has also been completed. An ultra-modern convention centre will also be opened for tourists at Red Bishop Tourist Complex, Panchkula in December this year.
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Kerala puts inbound on priority The state has already set its eyes to tap more inbound business from all its key source markets and new markets with a global campaign built around state’s majestic backwaters. T T B U R E AU
erala is in an overdrive mode to stimulate growth in the inbound seg-
AP Anil Kumar Tourism Minister Kerala
The United States is the fourth major market for Kerala Tourism after the United Kingdom, France and Germany
ment. To add further momentum, it lately reached out to key cities in the USA and has readied a global built around state’s majestic backwaters. “The United States is the fourth major market for Kerala Tourism after the United Kingdom, France and
Suman Billa Secretary Kerala Tourism
Here in our backwaters, the primordial relationship between mankind and water comes alive like nowhere else Germany,” said AP Anil Kumar, Tourism Minister, Kerala who led the delegation of government and industry
representatives from the state on a three-city roadshow covering New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. “An increase in arrivals of visitors from the biggest economy in the world will be a significant factor for the growth of tourism in the state,” he added.
Lately, Kerala had hosted over 2500 leading stakeholders in travel and hospitality segment during recently held IATO and FHRAI convention. While moving ahead, its now in advance stages of launching the global campaign to catapult the state’s majestic backwaters
into the league of the Grand Canyon and the Great Wall of China as once-in-alifetime experience. “The backwaters of Kerala are not about houseboats alone. It is about discovering a fascinating water world unlike any other on our planet. The ‘Great
Backwaters’ campaign is expected to significantly increase the number of both foreign and domestic visitors to Kerala, boosting the state’s development while bringing in valuable foreign exchange to the country,” said Kumar. “Many countries are bestowed with great reserves
of water, but there is none as gifted as Kerala where nature’s most amazing resource creates a magical world for the visitor. It is a world of astounding visual beauty, abundant flora and fauna and a vibrant cultural life,” he added. Contd. on page 14
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Marriott Global Sales Mission 2013 Marriott recently held its annual global sales mission in India. Marriott Global Sales Mission 2013 at Delhi was hosted at the newly opened JW Marriott. The event offered a platform for the travel trade and corporate houses to interact with hoteliers, know more about hotels, promotional activities and explore business opportunities with the Marriott brand.
Autograph Collection & Edition on cards While the Marriott group operates all its properties in India solely through management contracts, the group is now looking to experiment with the franchising model for its brand Fairﬁeld. T T B U R E AU
S hotel chain Marriott is betting big on its aggressive growth strategy in India. The group’s journey in the country started in December 1999 with the opening of the Goa Marriott Resort. With close to 47 projects for India in the pipeline, it is now looking at 100 hotels and over 15,000 rooms up and running by 2015. After opening Asia’s first Fairfield in India in Bengaluru recently, Marriott
is looking at bringing other new brands -- Autograph Collection and Edition -- in India. “We are in discussion with the owners to bring the Autograph Collection. The Edition, a boutique hotel, is under construction in Gurgaon, NCR,” Rajeev Menon, VP - South Asia and Australia, Marriott Hotels India said during the recent Marriott Global Sales Mission 2013. However, Fairfield will lead the next expansion thrust in the future. “We see great oppor-
tunities for Fairfield. And therefore we have gone into a joint venture with Samhi Hotels that is currently developing properties around the country. We believe Fairfield, between today and 2015, could see 810 operational hotels with another very strong pipeline of about 20-25 hotels for the future. Under this JV, Marriott will develop Fairfield hotels at a cost of USD 25 million,” he added. While the Marriott group operates all its properties in
India solely through management contracts, the group is now looking to experiment with the franchising model for its brand Fairfield as it would enable them to scale up the brand quickly. Talking about the recent opening of the 523-room JW Marriott Hotel at the Aerocity, Ramesh Daryanani, Area Director-Sales & Marketing, South Asia, Marriott Hotels India pointed out, “It is the first hotel that
VP - South Asia and Australia Marriott Hotels India
Area Director-Sales & Marketing, South Asia, Marriott Hotels India
has opened at the Aerocity. The hotel has opened with a capacity of 300 rooms as of now. Hotels are usually opened in phases, so we are opening with a limited number of rooms. The rest of the rooms will also be opened in
days to come. We believe the fifth JW in India hotel will become the most soughtafter venue for the business and MICE segment in New Delhi.” The hotel claims to have the largest indoor banquet facilities in the city.
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OTOAIâ€™s first workshop goes international Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI) organised their first international workshop for its members in Rimini, Italy. A total of 32 OTOAI members from across India participated in the workshop. Post the three-day workshop, the OTOAI members were taken to Lake Garda and Lake Como for a few hotel inspections and destination knowledge.
Contd. on page 16
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Brand Kerala shines Contd. from page 11
“Kerala is blessed with 44 rivers and a network of canals and lakes stretching from one end of the state to
S Harikishore Director Kerala Tourism
As one of the vital elements of brand Kerala, the backwaters deserve a special campaign to showcase their vast potential as a leading international attraction
the other,” said Suman Billa, Secretary Kerala Tourism. “Here in our backwaters, the primordial relationship between mankind and water comes alive like nowhere else. Whether it is the canal networks, floating markets, houseboats, snake boat races or a whole way of life that thrives around water, this is a miracle of nature that will captivate the world.” he added. The campaign, the first of its kind for the destination, was conceptualised and created by Stark Communications, which handles marketing and communications for the state tourism department. “As one of the vital elements of brand Kerala, the backwaters deserve a special campaign to showcase their vast potential as a leading international attraction,” said S Harikishore, Director, Kerala Tourism. “We felt that an innovative perspective like this is definitely needed to draw the attention of the evolved international traveler to this ‘water world’,” he added.
For Incentives & Weddings Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) is gearing to tap MICE with its attractive Incentives scheme for groups of over 50 people. to Cyprus and would jointly undertake marketing campaigns with them in the Indian market. In such joint promotions and advertising, CTO will bear 75 per cent of the cost, while the remaining 25 per cent will have to be borne by the partner agency.”
M E G H A PAU L
ndia is the biggest potential market among the developing nations for Cyprus. Thus, Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) aims to aggressively tap the Incentives and Wedding segments in the Indian market. For the same, CTO will focus on promoting MICE and Wedding Tourism for FITs, groups and corporate segments through the travel trade channel. This information was provided by Vassillis Theocharides, Director, CTO, during its first roadshow in Delhi for the travel trade. According to the CTO director, tourist arrivals to Cyprus grew 6.9 per cent. However, from the combined region of Middle East and India, it grew 49.5 per cent. Going forward, the association is gearing up to tap MICE with its attractive Incentives scheme for groups of over 50 people. It entails reimburse-
Deputy High Commissioner Cyprus High Commission in Delhi
CTO will identify trade partners who have the capacity to send large groups to Cyprus ment of EUR 25 per person for lunch or dinner, as well as a welcome at the airport and special gifts for group members, he revealed. Regarding
If all documents are in place, it would not take more than three days to process the Cyprus visa the alliance with such travel trade stakeholders in India, he added, “CTO will identify trade partners who have the capacity to send large groups
He pointed out that Cyprus has emerged as a wedding destination for the Middle East and UK markets. “We have a dedicated website to promote weddings. Many events and weddings can be organised around archaeological and historical sites,” he added. Talking about the visa regime in the island country, Rona-Marie Panteli, Deputy High Commissioner, Cyprus High Commission in Delhi, confirmed that if all documents are in place, it would not take more than three days to process the Cyprus visa. However, due to infrastructural constraints at the lone consulate in Delhi, the travel trade should apply for the visa in advance, she suggested.
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OTOAI’s three-day workshop in Italy Contd. from page 13
India’s 1st Ritz-Carlton in Bengaluru The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., has officially opened the doors of its first hotel in India. Located on Residency Road in the heart of downtown Bangalore, the hotel is part of a destination renowned for its world-class shopping, dining and entertainment. Bengaluru is India’s third largest city and best known as the Silicon Valley of India, though vast expanses of lush greenery have also earned it the name of The Garden City. Bengaluru is home to 400 of the Top Fortune 500 companies and is the fastest growing major metropolis in India. The
city also enjoys a rich cultural heritage with a thriving theatre and arts scene. The 277 room contemporary Ritz-Carlton
hotel embraces tradition with the Jaali (lattice screen) design from the Mughal era and many architectural and interior design features, including pointed archways and ample white marble rem-
iniscent of the Taj Mahal. “We are redefining the international standard for luxury hospitality in India with a truly unique property in Bangalore,” said Herve Humler, President and Chief Operating Officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. “The hotel will bring our RitzCarlton service philosophy to life in this magical country, and blend it with traditional Indian hospitality to create memorable experiences for our guests. Our first hotel in India underlines our commitment to the Indian people who have long been supporters of our hotels overseas” Humler added.
20 tourism projects worth ` 300 crore in Goa More than 20 infrastructure development projects of Goa tourism estimated to cost over 300 crore are in the pipeline and are expected to be completed in the next one-and-half years. The projects deal with beautification and upgradation of tourist amenities across the state. Of these, three major projects are in Panaji - the tourism jetty, tourism information plaza and multi-level car parking facility to the west of the old Mandovi bridge. Nilesh Cabral, Chairman, Goa Tourism Development Corporation, said that they will attempt to see that all major projects are completed in the next one-and-a-half-year.
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Yunnan calling Indian travellers Li Qianguo, Dy. Director China National Tourist Office, talks on the sidelines of China International Travel Mart 2013 about increasing Indian arrivals in China and how important is the India market for China. PEDEN DOMA BHUTIA
hina National Tourism Administration (CNTA) is giving significant importance to the Indian tourism market as it is well aware that there is tremendous potential in this market. The tourism exchange and cooperation between India and China has been increasingly growing over the recent years. From January to July, 2013, the total visits from India to China were 399,400, registering an increase of 13.77% over the same period last year; the direct first-stop visits from mainland China to India were 85,000, increasing 11.3% over the same period as last year.
Indian tourism fraternity. I also hope that through this, we will be able to promote
Li Qianguo Dy. Director, China National Tourist Office
Li Qianguo, Dy. Director China National Tourist Office, says that this momentum is very encouraging, especially in the face of the current global travel trends where the international arrivals increased only about 5% from January to July, 2013.
Through CITM 2013, we expect to build a lasting partnership between the Chinese and the Indian tourism fraternity. We will be able to promote Yunnan destinations in India
The China International Travel Mart 2013 that was hosted at Kunming had a good number of Indian agents participating at the event. Talking about his expectations from the event, Qianguo says, “Through CITM 2013, we expect to build a lasting partnership between the Chinese and the
Yunnan destinations in the Indian market.” Upbeat about the increased Indian arrivals to China, in spite of the fall of the rupee, Qianguo hopes that next year will be even better than this year. “India is an important emerging source market for China.
The increase in Indian arrivals has been very encouraging and we hope that there will be a continuous growth of Indian arrivals to China in 2014 as well. We hope to achieve a growth of above 5% next year,” he says. About CNTO’s attempt to woo Indian travellers to China, he says, “We have many plans to further tap the Indian market. The CNTO office in Delhi will be hosting events, including travel fairs, seminars and of course fam tours for the Indian travel trade community. We also plan to come up with a new roadshow of China Tourism next year.” In September, CNTO had hosted roadshows in Delhi and Bengaluru in which tourism officials, executives and travel agents from different regions of China, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Sichuan, Guangxi, Shaanxi etc were also present. About the new destinations that they are planning to promote, he says, “Besides the big cities of China, we will continuously promote medium and small size cities with well known attractions and modern tourist facilities, such as Dali and Lijiang in Yunnan, Dalian in Liaoning, Sanya in Hainan, Changsha in Hunan, etc.”
Cleartrip partners with eRevMax Cleartrip, has completed integration with eRevMax to offer XML connectivity to eRevMax’s growing base of hotel customers. Hotel companies partnering with Cleartrip will now be able to make real-time ARI (Availability, Rate & Inventory) updates and receive bookings generated on these channels through eRevMax solutions directly into their property management system. Following a two-way XML interface certification with eRevMax to leverage its RateTiger and Connect enterprise distribution services, Cleartrip joins a growing list of certified distributors - part of the eRevMax Channel Ecosystem.
Amit Taneja, Director – Hotels, Cleartrip said, “Discerning Indian travellers today look for competitive rates, exhaustive choices, room availability and last minute deals. With eRevMax embracing new technology and offering seamless connectivity for Cleartrip, we’re confident of bringing unparalleled convenience to our Hotel Partners to access Cleartrip’s customer base. This is just another step at Cleartrip to showcase to all its partners and users, the ability to make travel simple, with comprehensive content, innovative technology, responsive customer service, and a travel platform that strives to just work better.”
“Online travel is growing at over 30% in India, the fastest in the world. We have a significant customer base with top brands including The Park, Royal Orchid, The Leela and Oberoi using our products. Our integration with Cleartrip will improve our portfolio by offering a diverse range of distributors through the eRevMax Channel Ecosystem. Given that we cater to properties ranging from independent properties to enterprise hotel groups, it is important for us to offer quality certified connections through which both the channel and the hotel can benefit,” said Greg Berman, Chief Operating Officer, eRevMax.
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HOTELS Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central
For family segment With 3,896 rooms, the hotel which opened last year is also targetting MICE traffic from the country. The hotel is also promoting Macau as a destination in India. reports... Sheraton Macao Hotel, but about Macau as a destination as well. Our success is based on the destination. We aim at giving the travel trade more of an understanding of Macau’s tourism products and offerings.”
L YA N D R A D ’ S O U Z A
acau is a destination that is constantly evolving. The Macau Government is focussed on developing the destination into a premium tourism and leisure hub. The Cotai strip in Macau, in particular, is undergoing significant development, with several integrated resorts planned. The newest entrant on the strip, situated in the integrated resorts of the Sand Cotai Central, the Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central has over 3,896 rooms making it the Starwood Hotels and Resort’s largest property worldwide. Opened in September 2012, the hotel has tied up with DreamWorks Animation to offer its guests The DreamWorks Experience Package. Ruth Boston, General Manager – Sales & Marketing, Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central said, “The DreamWorks Experience package is a great way for guests to immerse themselves in the DreamWorks Experience. The family segment of outbound
Business Source N China, Hong Kong and Taiwan account for 80% of the business for the hotel. The other top markets include Korea, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, India and Indonesia
Ruth Boston General Manager – Sales & Marketing, Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central
We aim at giving the travel trade more of an understanding of Macau’s tourism products and offerings leisure travel from India is constantly growing and we are keen on tapping that segment for our hotel.” The 3,896 room hotel , which can accommodate up to 5,000 guests in its ballroom, is also targetting the MICE segment. The hotel is also promoting Macau as a destination in India. Boston explained, “Macau has, so far, enjoyed a lot of success in India. There has been a huge growth in leisure and MICE travel from India, but our goal is not just to increase awareness about the
As part of its efforts to promote the DreamWorks Experience package, the Sheraton Macao Hotel recently visited its two target cities of Delhi and Mumbai. Elaborating on the strategy for the Indian market, Boston said, “Our focus cities in India are currently the two main metros, Mumbai and Delhi. Going forward, we hope to slowly expand our target markets to other metros and Tier II cities in the country. As part of our initiative here, we are making sales calls to travel agents and tour operators as well as conducting training programmes and workshops for the frontline staff of travel agencies.” Boston concluded, “The first year of operations for the Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central has been a fruitful one and we are expecting 2014 to continue in the same trend. The feedback we have been receiving from the industry also tells us that next year will be a good year for the industry as a whole. The Indian market is in our top 10 markets currently, not including China, Taiwan & Hong Kong which accounts for 80 per cent of our business, and we see significant growth coming from India in 2014.”
Fam to Mauritius & Seychelles
Constance Hotels & Resorts, represented by Nijhawan Group in India, organised a familiarisation trip to the Constance Le Prince Maurice and Constance Belle Mare Plage properties in Mauritius and the Constance Lemuria and Constance Ephelia properties in Seychelles from Sept 12-Sept 21, 2013. The 9 nights, 10 days trip to Mauritius & Seychelles was aimed at allowing top consolidators and senior travel agents from India to enjoy hotels located in extraordinary sites, unique in their beauty and environment.
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CTC grows by 7.1% in Indian arrivals Despite the economic downturn and the depreciating rupee value, Indian outbound travellers continue to inject millions in Canada’s tourism economy. T T B U R E AU
s per the latest report, figures revealed indicate an encouraging 7.1 per cent increase with over 18,129 Indian arrivals to Canada in the month of August 2013 over the same period last year.
Tina Singh Assistant Vice President, Canadian Tourism Commission, India
We expect the numbers to grow further in the coming months and also in the summer of 2014 “We expect the numbers to grow further in the coming months and also in the summer of 2014,” says Tina Singh, Assistant Vice President, Canadian Tourism Commission, India. The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) has been on an expansion spree since December 2011. The first
From Mumbai to Singapore Jet Airways introduced a second daily direct frequency on November 1, 2013, from Mumbai to Singapore, making it the only Indian carrier to operate six daily direct flights between the two countries. This new service, with Boeing 737800 Next Generation (NG) aircraft, will complement the night Airbus A 330 flight currently in operation and also make Jet Airways the only Indian carrier to operate two daily direct flights connecting Singapore with Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai.
phase of development included the newer growth areas of Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata. After receiving a great response from these markets, the tourism board decided to further strengthen its ties among the potential market of Bengaluru & Ahmedabad. It also just con-
cluded a successful roadshow in the latter, earlier this month. Being the second largest country in the world, the destination offers a myriad of experiences for every traveller type. The expanse of Canada's natural beauty, from mountains and glaciers to secluded lakes and forests is
almost unparalleled worldwide. But Canada's allure is not just the great outdoors, it has cosmopolitan cities that are safe, clean, friendly and multicultural. The brand which initially promoted its four major provincial partners – Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec and Alberta is now
moving towards launching the Canadian Signature Experiences (CSE) collections in India, a set of once-in-alifetime travel experiences found only in Canada. The CSE is designed to help the travel trade sell the destination better. The launch is scheduled for November 26, 2013.
“With the launch of the CSE in India, we would be able to market the destination much better. The Signature Experiences would also tremendously help the trade to package their products differently and sell more to the consumer,” adds Singh.
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Canada expands its horizon
Targetting the newer growth areas of the Indian market, the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) conducted roadshows in Ahmedabad and Bengaluru on October 10 & 28, 2013 respectively. The roadshows aimed at educating the trade partners in these cities and received a very encouraging response from over 100 trade attendees. The last leg of CTC's India roadshow will be held in Chennai on December 23, 2013.
Iran showcased to Indian travel agents Mahan Air, in collaboration with Minar Travels, operated a fam tour of leading Indian outbound travel agents to Iran. On this occasion, the travel agents from India had discussions with their Iranian counterparts and explored this new destination for Indian tourists.
Shaping hospitality talent Hilton Worldwide and Christ Universityâ€™s Department of Hotel Management have signed an agreement to cultivate talent for Indiaâ€™s rapidly growing hospitality industry. Under the Hilton Class programme, Hilton Worldwide will offer students from Christ University rigorous onthe-job practical training and a theoretical curriculum designed to equip them for successful careers in hospitality.
Under the partnership, every year, 15 firstyear students will be selected for the Hilton Class programme by Hilton Worldwide and Christ University. Each student will be offered a 24-week internship at hotels and resorts operated by the leading global hospitality company through the four-year Bachelor in Hotel Management (BHM) course at Christ University.
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‘Budget segments are recession proof’ In a freewheeling conversation, PK Mohankumar, Managing Director & CEO, Roots Corporation, talks of hospitality trends and more. T T B U R E AU
elling us about the industry, he said, “I think, in the hospitality industry today, the major players in India are pretty much well positioned. We can take on the global competition and are also globally competitive in our products and services.’ Mohankumar also spoke about the mid segment. He said, “India is all about mass market and is discovering this new segment called budget, I would not like to call it budget though. I would call it smart basics, affordable price point market or mid-market.
PK MohanKumar MD & CEO Roots Corporation
We need recognition as an infrastructure industry; land should be available for hotel development In this segment, there is a capacity inadequacy. We need 50,000 rooms in their capacity. We have around 8000 branded products; of course there are a lot of unbranded and unorganised sector family-run hotels.” He added, “For Ginger, it has been a good year. We have witnessed a certain growth year-on-year. Indian industry is very fortunate to have a 200 million middle class domestic market. I do not think the industry would go completely dry if you have the agility to finetune yourself to the realities that are happening in the market. It is after all a cyclical business; industry will go through these ups and downs. It is upto the leadership of every company to see how we can respond to every situation. At least, the midmarket in India would witness some kind of growth.
There is a certain challenge for the top brands.” Talking about his expectation from the election year, he said, “I think the corporate India is largely isolated from the political fluctuations that happen. We are a global market economy. There will be a slowdown in business and
corporate decisions. Political elections also mean a lot of movement. We can also shift our focus to attracting those people in the country who are moving a lot due to elections.” Talking about the inclusion of hotels and convention centers in the harmonised
master list of infrastructure sub-sector, he said, “I think it’s a welcome move; it’s a step in the right direction. I wish it had come through earlier. The question is how far these ` 200-300 crore projects will become feasible. When it comes to the cost of land, we can never look at a
healthy return of capital employed in the short term. What Indian hospitality industry needs is zoning of land allocation in each city, like how it’s done internationally. We need recognition as an infrastructure industry; land should be available for hotel development.”
The USP O The major players in India are pretty much well positioned. They can take on the global competition and are also globally competitive in their products and services
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TAAI Convention The Indian Travel Congress - 2013, 61st Convention & Exhibition of TAAI will be held at Vivanta by Taj, Yeshwantpur, Bengaluru from December 13 – 16, 2013. On the first day, the inaugural will take place at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC). TAAI Travel Awards will also be presented during the convention.
Hot-air balloon service kicks off in Maharashtra as a new tourism product which is aimed at increasing domestic tourism and improving inbound. A N I TA J A I N
Iqbal Mulla President, TAAI
Hyatt’s 30 years in India Hyatt Hotels & Resorts is celebrating 30 years of successful operations in India. Thirty years after the Hyatt Regency Delhi was flagged as a Hyatt, the company has added another 16 hotels and four new brands across India - Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt and Hyatt Place. Thomas Pritzker, Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hyatt Corporation, who was in India recently to attend the company’s first board meeting in Mumbai, said, “Our prod-
Adventure tourism in Maharashtra
uct is really our people!” Commenting on the occasion, Shiv Kumar Jatia, Asian Hotels North, owner of Hyatt Regency Delhi said, "We opened the first Hyatt in India and our association with the brand has become stronger with each passing day. We are pleased to be part of this 30 years celebration." Aseem Kapoor, General Manager, Hyatt Regency Delhi adds, "Being a part of the 30 years celebration makes me really proud.”
iving wings to adventure tourism in the state, Sky Waltz Balloon Safari in association with Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) and Rainbow Riderss (the SkyWaltz franchisee operating the hot air balloons) recently launched hotair ballooning services. Being the second state in India to launch such services, MTDC is positive to receive good response from both domestic and inbound tourists. The service is available in Lonavala – a hill station located about 90 km from Mumbai. The company will operate hot-air ballooning flights in Lonavala, Pune and surrounding area, starting with two balloons. However, the company will deploy a balloon for special MICE and promotional events in Mumbai. The one hour flight is charged at ` 12,000 per person and it is offering 30 per cent off for the first 200
Bhujbal addressing the event in Mumbai
seats. Travel agents and operators are offered a ten per cent commission to sell this product and it might increase considering the size of the group. Talking on the sidelines of the event organised in Mumbai to announce this service, Chhagan Bhujbal, State Tourism Minister of Maharashtra said, “The increasing tourism in the country has provided an impetus for not only development but also introduction of innovative and exciting tourism products. We are positive to
record growth in tourism figures post this launch as many Indians opt for hot-air ballooning experience while travelling international. So by offering it in Maharashtra, we will not only receive tourists from within the state but also from neighbouring states.” Apart from catering to the family and FIT segment, the company is also targeting MICE segment, especially incentives, weddings and film production houses. Sky Waltz has a fleet of seven hot air balloons. Over 15,000 people have soared
above the clouds since 2008 when Sky Waltz launched its hot air balloon safaris in Rajasthan. Incidentally, Sky Waltz is the first Indian company licenced by the ministry of civil aviation to operate commercial hot air balloon flights across the country.
Agents & Commissions N Travel agents and operators are offered a ten per cent commission to sell this product
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Odisha looks beyond Phailin After Odisha was rocked by cyclone Phailin, a sizeable chunk of tourist infrastructure was destroyed. Tourist destinations like Gopalpur, Rambha, Barkul, Konark, Puri, Satpada, Chandipur and Chandbali bore the brunt of the cyclone. The Tourism Department, hoteliers and travel agents are gearing up for damage recovery. M E G H A PAU L Maheswar Mohanty Tourism Minister, Odisha The state government is trying its best to attract as many tourists to the state. We are banking on domestic tourists for this season. There will be a delay in implementation of tourism projects that were supposed to be launched during this year’s tourist season from October to February. The most important among them are the proposed water sports projects that were to be commissioned this month after the State Government’s empowered committee on investment gave its nod. The committee had approved the projects, which were to be implemented on the beaches of Puri, Chandrabhaga and Ramchandi near Konark at a cost of Rs one crore each. A Mumbai-based company had been assigned to set up the infrastructure for water sports in public-private-partnership (PPP) mode.
Chairman, Odisha Hotel Association and CMD, Swosti Group of Hotels
Director-Marketing, Toshali Resorts International
Prior to the arrival of Phailin, the state government had issued a directive to all hoteliers to vacate their beach properties. Most of the hotels followed this direction and this saved many lives. The hotels and resorts on the beaches of Puri and Gopalpur have been damaged quite a bit by the cyclone. Reconstruction has already started. At Swosti, we had residential conference bookings for entire October. We have seen at least 50 per cent cancellation as people panicked.
The cyclone hit us right at the beginning of the tourism season starting from Durga Puja. Visitors will either postpone their travel to this region or look for some other destinations. At least 70-80 per cent of our bookings got cancelled. Toshali Resort is two km from the Puri beach and many guests here got stuck due to the cyclone. I would like the government to support by giving soft loans to hotels and the industry. Banks should extend term for loan payment period by two quarters.
MR Patnaik Director & Additional Secretary, MD, OTDC Currently, OTDC manages 22 properties in Odisha. Out of this, around 12 properties have been damaged, like the Pantha Nivas and Panthika in Ganjam, Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts. Tourism Department’s total property loss is estimated to be more than Rs 1 crore. It would not be before mid-November that these properties can be restored completely. Tour bookings of OTDC have also been cancelled for the month of October. The lone houseboat of OTDC at Barkul, Chilika, has been damaged beyond repair. Designed on the lines of Kerala, it was inaugurated in 2009 and had two air-conditioned suites. Also, we had another 35 boats on the Chilika for daily rides. They have been destroyed but should be repaired by the end of this year. Trying to woo back domestic tourists, OTDC has initiated a series of roadshows pan-India. We did our first roadshow post Phailin in Varanasi. A number of Buddhist tourists visit Varanasi every year. Since the Buddhist train – Mahapari Nirvan Express -- is coming to Odisha from Delhi (via Varanasi). The roadshow will help in drawing many tourists from Varanasi. This will be followed by a roadshow in Hyderabad and other cities as well.
Passengers accepting tech but mobile usage still low CSIA, Mumbai is one among six of the world's airports surveyed More than 90% of airline passengers say technology helps them when travelling but using a smartphone for travel services has yet to go main stream. This is despite the finding that three quarters of passengers carry a smartphone, according to results of the 2013 SITA/Air Transport World Passenger IT Trends Survey released recently. The survey conducted at six leading airports around the world paints a picture of techsavvy passengers who are equipped to use the latest mobile travel services but are cautious about doing so. At
76%, the proportion of passengers carrying smartphones outstrips the global average of 40% in the general population. Even though passengers are carrying smartphones and say that they would use mobile services, the majority has yet to make the transition. Despite the increase in recent years, actual rates of usage of these services, such as check-in and booking remains below 5%. The majority of passengers - 78% -cite usability concerns and limitations of the device as a possible reason for not
Technology sweeps the market In this year’s survey, 69% of respondents booked their travel through a website and 20% used a kiosk for checkin on the day of travel. The next wave will be the widespread adoption of mobile services. Passengers have said that information services are what they want most on their mobiles – with 63% saying they would definitely use their mobile for flight search and 58% for flight status. This compares with 29% who would definitely want to receive promotions on their mobile and 37% who would buy tickets. using mobile for travel. Francesco Violante, CEO, SITA, said, “Technology has become an indispensible travel tool for the vast major-
ity of today’s passengers. Our survey this year has seen 90% of them say that technology has helped them when traveling.
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India market is bullish: Boeing Keeping a firm eye on the India market, Boeing showcased a host of smarter products for the aviation industry in New Delhi on October 30. reports more on the development. ated both by Air India and Jet Airways) and the future variants of the 787 Dreamliner, and also the 787-10 that was launched at the Paris Air Show, this year.
RAMYA JS D’ROZARIO
ith rising fuel prices across the globe, unprecedented depreciation in the Indian rupee and subsequent soaring operating costs for airlines, the profitability of the airlines has been severely affected. Due to this sensitivity, it poses a serious problem for the airline planning department and airline marketing department on how to reach the golden mean to strike profitability. Boeing has focussed on improving its products, particularly from the fuel burn point of view, operations point of view, from the passenger appeal they give and how airlines can reduce their operating cost in this tough environment. Offering products which are more fuel efficient, less expensive, the company unveiled the versions of the 737, 777 (oper-
Dinesh Keskar Vice President – Sales Boeing Commercial Airplanes
The future of Indian market is bullish. The country of billion people with growing middle class is going to be a factor in the world’s aviation market
Among the new products is the 737 MAX. The first flight is scheduled in 2016, with deliveries to customers beginning in 2017. The plane has already garnered 1,567 orders. The new engines enable the aircraft to emit 305,000 fewer tons of CO 2, 14 per cent more fuel efficient carrying the same number of passengers. The 787-10 Dreamliner has greater fuel efficiency and a carrying capacity of 300-330 passengers. Its first delivery is expected to be in 2018. However, regarding the safety concerns related to the Dreamliner, Keskar reiterated that teams are working constantly with the airline customers the world over. They
have an operational control centre in Seattle which monitors every single 787 in flight. They even have experts from Boeing and vendors in India, and are in constant touch with Air India. Commenting further on the aviation industry, Keskar said, “The future of this market is bullish. The country of billion people with the middle class growing is definitely going to be a factor in the world’s aviation and is definitely going to be a major contributor to the Southeast Asia market.” He added, “The good news is that we have been through our trough. More capacity is being deployed in the international market, which is healthy. In the domestic market, which saw a dip, is now in the mend, but the rate of growth is not as much as it used to be.”
NOVEMBER 2 ND FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2013
Bonton’s new office in Noida Bonton Tours has strengthened its presence in the north of India by opening a 2,500 sq. ft. office in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. The regional office has been set up with state-of-the-art IT infrastructure in order to serve the expansion plan of the Company for North India.
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TRAVTALK NOVEMBER 2 ND FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2013
HRANI hosts 2 convention nd
The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Northern India (HRANI) hosted its second convention themed ‘Hospitality Industry – Shaping the Future Growth’. The convention at Pullman, Gurgaon Central Park, Gurgaon, Haryana was attended by bigwigs of the MOT, hotel and the travel trade industry. The event also saw many sessions like Sustainable Brands of Tomorrow, Culinary Innovations: The future of food, marketing mantras for future success, Ministry of Tourism at a glance – public service delivery system through e-governance, industry concerns and the way forward, etc.
Agents felicitated in Delhi Air France-KLM, along with Delta AirLines, hosted an evening of cocktails and dinner to appreciate and thank the small and medium agents in New Delhi. Present at the event were Rajat Kumar, Regional Sales Manager, Air France – KLM – Delta and Jason Philip, Commercial Manager – Indian subcontinent.
Korea roadshow in Delhi KTO organised a two-city roadshow in Delhi and Mumbai recently. Held at Hotel Claridges in Delhi, the first leg of the roadshow witnessed members of the Indian travel fraternity networking with Korean DMCs for leisure and MICE options.
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TRAVTALK NOVEMBER 2 ND FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2013
India Exclusive Retreat in Malaysia Abacus International recently organised its India Executive Retreat in Kuala Lumpur from 24-26 October, 2013. The leaders of the industry discussed the latest trends and explored new opportunities in the India travel industry.
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Techies exchange notes at Abacus meet Contd. from page 30
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FAMILY ALBUM NOVEMBER NATIONAL 15-17 22-24 26
Hyderabad Pune Delhi
Hospitality Business Fair IITM Pune German National Tourist Board’s B2B Event Canadian Signature Experiences Launch German National Tourist Board’s B2B Event German National Tourist Board’s B2B Event IITM Hyderabad
CITM 2013 calls for co-operation The four-day China International Travel Mart (CITM 2013), jointly organised by China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), the People’s Government of Yunnan Province and the Civil Aviation Administration of China, was held at the Kunming International Convention and Exhibition Center (KICEC) from October 24, 2013. From India, mainly agents from the East and North participated at the mart.
Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)’s Tourism Fest India Travel Mart Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority’s B2B Roadshow Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority’s B2B Roadshow Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority’s B2B Roadshow Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority’s B2B Roadshow Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority’s B2B Roadshow TAAI Annual Convention Canadian Tourism Commission’s Workshop India Travel Mart
INTERNATIONAL 1-4 2-5 4-11
Manila France Australia
OTOAI Convention International Luxury Travel Market Tourism Australia’s Dreamtime 2013 Travel and Tourism Fair Chengdu International Travel Fair
JANUARY-2014 NATIONAL 3-5 10-12 13
Bengaluru Chennai Chandigarh
14 15 16-18
Delhi Chennai Mumbai
16 17 17-19 20
Kolkata Mumbai Cochin Kolkata
24-26 24-26 27 28 28 29 30-31
Kolkata Nagpur Delhi Ahmedabad Mumbai Bengaluru Mumbai
Travel & Tourism Fair Travel & Tourism Fair Queensland Tourism’s B2B workshop Queensland Tourism’s B2B workshop Queensland Tourism’s B2B workshop India International Travel & Tourism Exhibition Queensland Tourism’s B2B workshop Queensland Tourism’s B2B workshop India International Travel Mart Cochin South African Tourism’s B2B Roadshow South African Tourism’s B2B Roadshow South African Tourism’s B2B Roadshow South African Tourism’s B2B Roadshow India International Travel Mart India International Travel Exhibition Grayline Latin America Roadshow Grayline Latin America Roadshow Visit Britain’s Trade Mission Grayline Latin America Roadshow Grayline Latin America Roadshow
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A corporate evening by Cox & Kings Cox & Kings recently organised a corporate evening in association with Gold Coast Business Events at the 212 Bar and Grill in Mumbai in association with Gold Coast Business Events. The event was an exclusive evening for high-ranking corporate decision makers to showcase Australia’s Gold Coast, which is rated as one of the world’s most popular conference and incentive destinations. It had its element of fun as well when India’s leading comedian Cyrus Broacha entertained the gathering with his own brand of humour. The evening was made even more memorable with Ajay Seth giving away prizes to a lot of lucky winners.
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TRAVTALK NOVEMBER 2 ND FORTNIGHT ISSUE 2013
Sarovar Hotels & Resorts
Courtyard by Marriott
The Zuri Kumarakom, Kerala Resort & Spa
Anil Verma has been appointed as Vice President – Sales for Sarovar•Hotels & Resorts. With over 11 years of rich experience in the hospitality industry, he brings with him knowledge and skills in diverse areas of both corporate and leisure business. Verma has previously worked with Jaypee Hotels, The Grand, Oberoi Hotels & Resorts and his last assignment was as Director, Sales & Marketing, with JHM Interstate Hotels India. At Sarovar, he will conceptualise and implement sales strategies and will further strengthen the group’s efforts in driving more business from existing as well as new markets.
Gaurav Singh has been appointed as the General Manager at Courtyard by Marriott, Ahmedabad. A hotelier with an experience of over 14 years, Singh started his career in 1999 as a management trainee at ITC Hotels, Delhi. Prior to joining Marriott International, he served as the Resident Manager of the Leela Kempinski, Mumbai since 2011. He was also the officiating General Manager of the hotel for almost a year.
Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa
Kumarakom Sarat Valsraj has been appointed as the new General Manager of The Zuri Kumarakom, Kerala Resort & Spa. With over 17 years of hospitality experience, he joined The Zuri Hotels & Resorts as the Food and Beverage Manager in the year 2008, while the Kumarakom property was still managed as The Radisson Plaza Resort and Spa, Kumarakom. He has become the Resident Manager by 2013 and worked at both domestic and international properties of The Zuri Hotels & Resorts.
Siddhartha Sen has recently joined as the General Manager Marketing and Administration for a boutique resort in Almora Imperial Heights. He has more than 14 years of work experience, out of which Public Relations has been an area where Sen has excelled for the last 8 years with his strong communication skills. He has worked with many renowned companies like such as Wipro, Integral PR, Mileage Communications and Perfect Relations.
Rachna Mehra has joined Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa as Director–Sales & Marketing. She has a repertoire of more than 11 years of experience in the travel and hospitality industry. Mehra has joined Khyber from the Oberoi Group of Hotels and Resorts. With her rich experience, she will be enhancing the sales and marketing growth of Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa.
Taranviir S Kaur has been appointed as the new Country Head-India Operations of Imperial Servcorp. She has taken over her new responsibilities from midSeptember. Prior to joining Imperial Servcorp, she was with The TIMES Group and was responsible for Thought Leadership and Intellectual Properties in the B2B and the B2C space. Kaur has also worked as a Senior Consultant in JIL Information Technology.
Tourism New Zealand
Naomi Lobo has joined Tourism New Zealand as its new PR Manager. Lobo is from Beehive Communications and was previously responsible for public relations activities for Korea Tourism Organisation throughout India and the trade relations with travel agents and customers for the western region of India that includes Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa. She used to previously handle media relations for Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Star Cruises and Resorts World Sentosa.
Sandeep Raghav has been appointed as the Director of Sales Fraser Suites, New Delhi. He will be responsible for driving sales and distribution strategies in its key markets. Prior to this, he has worked for Accor Group, Jumeirah Group and Guoman & Thistle Hotels UK in Global Sales for India Market. Raghav has 12 years of experience in the hospitality industry.
Sanjay Temkar, in his new role as Director of Sales for India, is responsible for enhancing sales growth in the country, including business development and portfolio management. Temkar will be now be responsible for enhancing sales growth in India, including business. Trafalgar began as a group travel company in 1947, and was subsequently acquired by the Travel Corporation in the 1970’s. Trafalgar today specialises in authentic guided holidays to over 200 destinations worldwide.
Suchana Bera, MARCOM Head, The Lalit Palaces, Resorts & Hotels, is a fitness
Talking People is a special dedicated corner, created as a sounding board for who’s who of the Indian and International travel industry. With Talking People, it is our endeavour to bring you face-to-face with people. Contributed by: Megha Paul, Kanchan Nath, Lyandra D’Souza
Rajindera Kumar is a keen golfer and at one time was a twelve handicap. Wherever he is, he loves to visit hotels, to check out their new innovative ideas and learn from them. Another of his passions is to cook. He feels that cooking is an art; also it is inherent in an individual. He loves to create his own recipes in Indian food with a continental base. Meticulous about getting dressed up, he loves his collection of colognes and watches. He feels travelling has become cumbersome due to security issues, his favourite destinations in India are Kashmir and Kerala.
enthusiast and has been practising Yoga for years. A normal day for her starts with her yoga and a long walk. “I believe in rejuvenation, living a healthy life and enjoying the moment." Suchana loves going back to nature whenever she is on holiday. “On my holidays, I like to go for nature walks. I spend my time sitting and gazing at the sky, rivers, wildlife or trees. I find an instant connection and experience serenity. I try and take a break at least once in four months,” she says.
Iqbal Mulla, President, TAAI says, “Normally, I am always on the move and busy so when I get some free time I like to completely switch off and unwind. My favourite way to do this is by spending some quality time with my family. Since I lead a very sedentary lifestyle, I also like to engage in some physical activity such as swimming or even running on the treadmill in order to keep fit. The exercise also helps me to relax after a busy working day.”
Takeshi Yagi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Embassy of Japan, remembers that the first destination that the ambassador and his family travelled to in India was Agra. They have also been to Jaipur, Bodh Gaya, Chennai, and Sarnath. Plans are in the pipeline to visit Varanasi and Ajanta and Ellora. “I loved the Taj Mahal in Agra and was fascinated by the Amber fort in Jaipur. I also loved to see a lot of cultural heritage here. My hobby here is that I have started doing a lot of Yoga instead of playing golf.” He wants Indians to discover Japanese food which is not only healthy but also aesthetically beautiful.
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Postal Reg. No.: DL(ND)-11/6044/2012-13-14; WPP No.: U(C)-178/2012-14 for posting on 1st-2nd and 15th-16th of the same month at New Delhi P.S.O., RNI No.: 53492/91 Date of Publication:14-11-2013
‘85% of our biz is from travel agents’ In Hangzhou, China at Showcase Canada Asia, Deepa Sethi spoke to Jon Mamela, the recently appointed Vice President, International and Siobhan Chretien, Regional Managing Director, Emerging Markets, Americas/Asia for Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC). A few extracts from the interview... D E E PA S E T H I
Do you feel that Indian tourists have changed in the last few years, wherein even the VFR traffic is looking for hotel stays and different experiences?
Siobhan Chretien: In the last four years, we have tried to introduce Indian travellers to some of the iconic experiences, keeping in mind the diversity that we have in Canada. We will also be launching the Canadian Signature Experiences in India in the last week of November. These are once in a life time experiences found only in Canada. For years, Canada has seen a majority of VFR travellers coming to visit their relatives and friends and meet their family obligations. But things are changing now. The new generation has different requirements They have a strong interest in doing things, by involving themselves in local activities. Because of this, the VFR traffic is also high even during the week when their relatives are away at work. This is a new phenomenon. We are seeing much younger travellers who are looking for local flavours and cuisines and are not hesitant to try new things With the growing income in India, we are attracting the high yield customer.
What are your plans after taking over your new job?
Jon Mamela: It’s a little early in the job so I speak on a very broad level. I see foremost, the
opportunity of integration between the media, the travel trade, consumer activity and interaction with us at CTC We still need to focus on the FIT customer and work with the travel agents on how we can further enhance his/her experience in the best way I really want to see focused activities with the travel trade to promote Canada.
How do you plan to promote Canada in India?
Jon Mamela: We have so much to offer in Canada and an early judgment of what the Indian consumer wants will strongly help us position Canada better, by concentrating on our brand correctly, to attract the customer and grow the number of visitors coming to Canada. We would also like to learn from the best practices of some of the other countries we are doing well with. We see that media exposure is important and social media has been very popular for us in countries like Japan, Korea and especially Germany, and now we are hoping for the same in India as well.
Siobhan Chretien: Canada definitely attracts the high-end traveller from India. The dynamics have changed in terms of appreciation of things they like to do today as compared to yesteryears.
Has the steep rise of the Dollar slowed things down?
Siobhan Chretien and Jon Mamela
Jon Mamela: People who want to see and get new experiences will still travel. Since Canada is still an expensive destination, not many people changed their plans.
Direct flights to Canada must have helped – is CTC pushing for direct flights from India again?
Siobhan Chretien: Airlines actually make their money on Business Class, but the India route has so much competition and seasonality makes aircraft availability an issue. Of course it helps Canada as a destination to have direct flights from India, and the nice thing is that we are conditioned for that kind of travel demands, so we will continue to try.
What are you doing in the Indian market to encourage travel to Canada?
important for us. We are carrying out trade activities and putting up billboards in these cities to support our partners. Training helps in familiarising people with Canada so we do these regularly. We try to get as many agents on familiarisation trips and invite them at our events as well. We are also focussing on the promotion of Signature Experiences. We need to differentiate Canadian experiences from others. We feel that en masse people don’t know Canada very well, so we rely on our offices/partners to build the Canadian brand in the country.
If it’s the high-end traveller visiting Canada then why don’t you market high-end products like spas, golf, skiing, wine etc.?
85 per cent of our business comes from travel agents, B2B or B2C. We are sure we need to build our relationship with the travel trade in India.
It is part of our strategy and is being implemented through our roadshows.
We also recognise that selling to Tier II cities is
Moving forward, we hope to see an excellent response, especially with the growing affluence in India.