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Vol. 3 • No. 9 • June 2010

Inside 6

this issue

Public-Private Partnerships Key in Recover y: UNWTO

20 Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuar y Nature at its Best

While grow th is returning to international tourism, led to a large ex tent by Asia and the Pacific, public and private bodies in the region must continue to work together on responses to the crisis to ensure a sustained recovery.

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Celebrating Tourism and Biodiversit y

This year's World Tourism Day celebrations will be of ficially hosted by China and will take place under the theme "Tourism and Bio Diversity" at Guangdong Province in China on September 27.

11 Thailand Getting Back its Smiles

25 Srirangapattana Where Histor y is Present

The Thailand capital Bangkok which has witnessed violent demonstrations by anti-government protestors in the recent weeks is get ting back to normal.

15 WTTC Announces Winners of 2010 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards Whale Watch Kaikoura, EmiratesHotels & Resorts, Botswana Tourism Board and Accor are the four winners of World Travel & Tourism Council's 2010 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards.

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BRIC Countries to Lead Tourism Growth Globally

Woman of the Month

10 Questions

13 ITB Asia 2010 Buyer Applications Surge 18 Karnataka Expects Rs 4000 Cr Investment During GIM 2010 B. GOPINATH

FARIDA ATTARWALA

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p 14

22 GKSF to Attract More 29 Artificial Reef at Kovalam Commissioned

Column 16 As I Travel Cover Photo Courtesy: Holland Tourism

JUNE 2010

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ASIAN TRAVELLER


editor ’s note

A Editor & Publisher Group Editor Vice President & CEO Executive Editor Photo Editor Art Editor Editorial Team

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ourism is mostly considered a money-making activity, which produces and creates wealth, generates employment and earns foreign exchange for the host nations and thus help them in economic advancement. But tourism has a far more significant and relevant role to play in today's world. While discussing the role of tourism in this particular aspect - the sociocultural value of tourism - of tourism more often than not takes a back seat. Tourism and tourism related activities play a major role in bridging the cultural gaps and creating an understanding between nations and thereby promoting cultural pluralism. Tourism benefits from the marketing of cultural and natural heritage. These resources have to be preserved and awareness should be created among the hosts as well as the visitors. But care has to be taken as unplanned growth could affect them adversely. These assets need to be promoted in an inclusive manner in order to make it sustainable. This year's World Tourism Day, which will be hosted by China, has the theme "Tourism and Biodiversity" which "provides a unique opportunity to raise public awareness of the importance of biodiversity to tourism and the role of sustainable tourism in the conservation of life on Earth". Biodiversity is another key tourism asset and fundamental to the sustained growth of the sector. Tourism has an important role and responsibility in managing and conserving biological natural resources and as a key source of income and employment, it often provides strong incentives to protect biodiversity. Tourism is arguably the biggest businesses in the world but it is also very fragile. Each time normal life gets affected anywhere in the world, tourism suffers first and most. Overuse and poor handling also affects tourism adversely. Tourism needs the support of the local community to remain sustainable product.

G. BIJU KRISHNAN Editor & Publisher editor@mediastepsindia.com ASIAN TRAVELLER

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Publication : : : : : : :

G. Biju Krishnan G. Gopakumar* M. P. Sreekumar Lerbin T. K. Retheesh Kariyam Amal Prasad R. Parameswaran Smitha R. Director (Marketing) : Vinu V. Nair Director (Finance) : K. Harikrishnan Legal Advisor : Adv. G.S. Prakash Financial Advisor : B. Prasad G.M-North : Wg. Cdr. V. K. Gangal Sr.Mgr. Tamilnadu : P. Deenadayalu Sr.Mgr. Marketing : Shaini B. J. KSA Sam Mathew, Tel: 00966-505150513 London Abdul Najeeb, Tel: 0044-7769940391 UAE Sanjeev S. L., Tel: 00971 508914709 Kuwait Mariam Titus, Tel: 00965 6638670 New Delhi V. K. Gangal, Tel: 09871180498 Mumbai Mahesh Nair, Tel: 022 32499989 Bangalore Sandeep Viswanath, 09845179243 Chennai Nisha J., Tel: 09841008588 Hyderabad K.S. Johnson, Tel: 09441236010 Indore Manohar Bhati, Tel: 09893559563 Madurai P. Deenadayalu, Tel: 09843129535 Ernakulam M. P. Sreekumar, Tel: 09447118694 Thiruvananthapuram Shaini B. J., Tel: 09745444144 Administration Jaya Rajeshwari, Soniya S., Vidhu Krishna, Sunil All communications to: Media Steps India, TC-27/1741, PERA-66, Vanchiyoor PO, Thiruvananthapuram–695 035, Kerala State, South India. Tel: +91-471-6540888, 2574411, 09447 555 222 info@mediastepsindia.com, w w w.mediastepsindia.com Regd. Of fice: Media Steps India, TC-27/1915, MBRRA 70, Mathrubhoomi Rd., Thiruvananthapuram–695 001, Kerala State, South India. Mumbai Of fice: Media Steps India, Unit 9 & 10, Sardar Pratap Singh Industrial Estate No. 2, LBS Marg, Bhandup West, Mumbai-400078, India Tel.: +91 22 32499989 Hyderabad Of fice: Media Steps India, # B-305 & 309, Vasudha Apartments, Quthbullapur Road, New Jeedimetla, Hyderabad-500 055, AP, India Tel.: +91 40 23080750, +91 40 23176966, +91 40 23176996, Fax: +91 40 27535260 Chennai Of fice: Media Steps India, 6/4, Sangeetha Gardens, 19th Street Ex t, Jai Nagar, Arumbakkam, Chennai - 600 106. Tel: +91 44 42640531 Edited, Printed & Published by G. Biju Krishnan and Printed at M/s. Safire Of fset Printers, Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu for Cristal Printers, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala State, South India. Reg No.: KERENG 01910/11/1/2006-TC New Reg No.: KERENG / 2007 / 28719 RNI Reg. No.: 101276 The news items and Advertisements published herein have been collected from various source, which are considered to be reliable. Readers are however requested to verif y the facts before making business decisions using the same. No par t of this magazine may be reproduced without the written permission from the Publisher. All rights reser ved. Copyright © 2009 *Responsible for selection of news under the PRB Act

JUNE 2010


over view

Public-Private Partnerships Key in Recover y: UNWTO

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hile grow th is returning to international tourism, led to a large ex tent by Asia and the Pacific, public and private bodies in the region must continue to work together on responses to the crisis to ensure a sustained recovery. This was the main conclusion that emerged from the 22nd Joint Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for Asia and the Pacific and the preceding Conference on the Socio-Economic Benefits of Tourism, organized in collaboration with the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism at Hanoi in Vietnam from May 10 to12 this year. "Following one of the toughest years for the tourism sector, Asia and the Pacific has emerged a star per former and is expected to show the strongest rebound given its renewed economic dynamism", said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai at the opening of the Commission. "Indeed, data reported for the first months of 2010 shows that the region is already leading the recovery with an increase in international tourist arrivals of 10 per cent", he added. Despite these encouraging figures, public and private tourism industry representatives at both events were well aware of the fragile nature of the global economic recovery and the need for

increased collaboration to ensure sustained grow th. Meeting with Pham Gia Khiem, Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam, during his visit to the country, Rifai debated these issues and expressed UNWTO's commitment to continue working with Vietnam to strengthen its tourism sector and make it a sustained driver of economic grow th and development for the country. The core of the Commission Meeting was taken up with an interactive workshop in which destinations and private stakeholders reported on successful strategies employed to counteract the negative impacts of the

tourism's recovery was further underlined at the Conference on the Socio-Economic Benefits of Tourism at which leading speakers from around the world explored tourism's key role, current and future, in job creation, income

should be at the forefront to combat global economic and ecological challenges. Strong public-private cooperation, as witnessed during both these important events, will prove key in a sustained recovery for interna-

recession. Sharing the experiences of destinations and companies in this way will work towards increasing total world tourism to the advantage of all; counteracting the negative impacts of the recession on economies and employment; and spreading the benefits of tourism to less developed countries, thereby making an important contribution to poverty alleviation. The importance of securing

generation, infrastructure improvement and poverty alleviation in the region, assessing the challenges to be faced and identif ying key oppor tunities. Rifai welcomed the focus on public-private collaboration. "Success stories coming out of Asia and the Pacific destinations have shown the world that tourism, as an important sector for socioeconomic development, can and

tional tourism". Af filiate UNWTO members representing the industry were for the first time directly involved at both events, and a more interactive format was developed to allow ma ximum participation from all attendees. In addition to the UNWTO members present, some 200 representatives from Vietnamese local tourism authorities and from the private sector also actively contributed.

BRIC Countries to Lead Tourism Growth Globally

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razil, Russia, India and China which are collectively known as the BRIC countries, will dominate the next 10 to 20 years of global tourism, growing twice as fast as an average country. This was stated by Anna Stupnytska, macro economist from Goldman Sachs. She was addressing delegates at the World Travel and Tourism Council's (WTTC) Global Travel and Tourism Summit in Beijing, China. Stupnytska said, "Global tourism will

JUNE 2010

grow on average at five per cent over the next two years but BRIC countries and in particular India and China will grow at more than twice

this level and this in itself is four times what established economies such as the USA

and the Euro zone will grow at." "Real growth patterns have already returned to prerecession levels and by 2030 most BRIC countries will see a massive rise in middle incomes. This in turn has great consequences for the travel and tourism industry globally," she added. Stupnytska explained that middle income earners have a greater propensity to spend

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on leisure activities and as such the massive rise in BRIC middles classes will also lead to a substantial rise in travel patterns. She said "'The rise in income levels does however lead to much greater demand upon energy supplies and all of the BRICS have higher than average growth rates in this area also. We are confident however that new energy technologies and policies will lead to a reduction in the current levels of greenhouse gases." ASIAN TRAVELLER


newsline

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World Tourism Day 2010

Celebrating Tourism and Biodiversit y

Taleb Rifai Secretary-General UNWTO

World Tourism Day Photo Competition

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NWTO is holding a global online photo competition to raise awareness of the World Tourism Day theme. UNWTO invites all to participate with photos that capture the strong link bet ween tourism and biodiversity showing how tourism not only depends on healthy ecosystems, but can also contribute to them. The deadline for participation is August 31, 2010. Winners will be announced in early September. First prize includes a round-trip to China (Guangdong Province), and the four runners-up will each be awarded a digital camera. The best photos will be displayed at a photo exhibition on WTD in China and featured in UNWTO News and on UNWTO.org.

JUNE 2010

his year's World Tourism Day celebrations will be officially hosted by China and will take place under the theme "Tourism and Bio Diversity" at Guangdong Province in China on September 27. The theme provides a unique opportunity to raise public awareness of the importance of biodiversity to tourism and the role of sustainable tourism in the conservation of life on Earth. Biodiversity is a key tourism asset and fundamental to its sustained growth. Intact and healthy ecosystems form the cornerstone of thousands of tourist enterprises and products worldwide, attracting hundreds of millions of tourists each year. As a leading economic activity, sustainable tourism has an important role and responsibility in managing and conserving biological natural resources. As a key source of income and employment, tourism often provides strong incentives to protect biodiversity. Sustainable tourism can furthermore generate significant revenues for conservation and community development and help to raise awareness of biodiversity issues. The theme, "Tourism and Biodiversity," is particularly pertinent in 2010. Concerned by the continued loss of biological diversity, the United Nations Assembly declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity. The year coincides with the target adopted by governments in 2002, to achieve by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss. "Tourism and biodiversity are mutually dependent. UNWTO wishes to raise awareness and calls upon the tourism stakeholders and travelers themselves to contribute their part of the global responsibility to safeguard the intricate web of unique species and ecosystems that make up our planet," said UNWTO secretary-general Taleb Rifai. Alongside a series of cultural events organized by the Chinese government, the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) will host the 2010 World Tourism Day Think Tank around this year's theme. The Think Tank will bring together leading public and private tourism stakeholders, as well as biodiversity experts and members of the media, to highlight the close relationship between tourism and biodiversity, and identify how tourism can contribute to preserving life on Earth and its unique biodiversity. •8•

India Revises Visa Rules for Tourists

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he Union Ministry of Home Af fairs (MHA) has revised the tourist visa guidelines, following representations and objections from several quarters over the stringent tourist visa rules. The new visa guidelines give reprieve to tourists visiting India. They can now re-enter the country three times within the visa period. However, the cooling-of f period of two months before a foreign tourist can be issued a new visa stays. But the restriction does not apply to foreign nationals coming on any other visa or People of Indian Origin (PIO) holding PIO or Overseas Citizenship of India cards. Under the new guidelines, if a foreign national holding a tourist visa, af ter initial entry, plans to visit another country in the neighborhood and then wants to re-enter India within 60 days before finally exiting, he can do so up to three times. This would help those tourists who plan to visit many countries using India as a transit point. The revised rules even authorize the immigration authorities in the country to allow tourists to re-enter up to three times, even if they do not carry authorization by the Indian missions abroad. The tourists again need to show some documents supporting their travel plans and ticket bookings in dif ferent countries. The visa rules also say the total period of stay during the three entries cannot exceed the stipulated period of 180 days or 90 days, as the case may be. If the tourist has availed the three reentry chances or has completed the visa term, then there has to be a gap of t wo months from the date of final exit. However, in emergency cases where the tourist needs to visit India within the cooling-of f period, then he has to seek permission from the Indian missions abroad. Indian missions have been asked to be strict in granting a tourist visa for the purpose of recreation, sight-seeing, or casual visits. No other activity such as work or business is permit ted on this visa. Spouses or relatives of foreign nationals already on employment, or a business or research visa, can only be issued an X-visa and not the tourist visa. Similar rules will apply to PIO's and foreign nationals married to Indians. They can only be granted an X-visa.

ASIAN TRAVELLER


personality

B. Gopinath is widely experienced in the hospitality business, especially at the managerial level. He shares his thoughts and experiences.

B. GOPINATH Vice President & General Manager The Residency - Coimbatore Tamil Nadu, India

JUNE 2010

Tell us about your hotel and its USPs. The Residency Coimbatore is a four-star deluxe property with 133 rooms and a part of The Residency Group of Hotels which operates six hotels across Chennai, Coimbatore, Bengaluru, Pondichery and Karur. Located on Avinashi Road and some of it's facilities include a 24-hour cof fee shop, t wo specialty restaurants, a pastry shop, a lounge bar, a restobar, a magnificent ball room, banquet halls and a state-of-art business centre. The hotel is equipped with a full fledged fitness center/spa, swimming pool and a beauty parlour. Our guests find our round the clock travel desk very convenient and one cannot miss our popular book shop. We boast of the unique 24-hours check out

facility making it truly "value for money". "Five-star facilities for a four-star rate", location and the unmatched guest services are the USPs of the hotel. How do you position the Hotel in the market? What is your marketing strategy? The hotel is positioned as the number one choice for the business travellers with fully equipped rooms, wide choice of food and beverage options and prompt services. "Value for money" and "deliver more than what is promised" are the mantras on which the entire business model is built upon. Uncomplicated pricing strategy, culinary expertise, unbeatable consistency and standardisation of services are incorporated into the

system which turns every first time customer into a loyal repeat customer. How important is a Hotel in developing a destination? What has your company done in this regard? Infrastructure is one of the key factors in developing any destination either for business or leisure like proper travel connections, safety and security, along with comfortable accommodation and entertainment facilities. Being the first and only hotel to of fer all services, for the past thirteen years in Coimbatore, it has facilitated international business travellers in the tex tile, foundry, automobile and other industries to interact ef fectively with their local counterparts. Tell us about your background and how did you come to join the hospitality industry? Hailing from Chennai, India, I have done my master's in Hotel Management combined with a graduation in Psychology. While at school, I had the opportunity to interact with a couple of chefs at a neighbourhood hotel and was thoroughly fascinated by the nature of their work .Being a "foodie" at heart also added on to my joining the industry. Is there an unforget table moment in your career which you can share with us? There are many incidents that come to my mind while looking back; but probably would like to share this one as it has remained etched in my mind. It was an overwhelming experience when the crown prince of Saudi Arabia and twelve other princes stayed in the international beach resort I managed sometime ago. The entire resort was closed down for general public during their visit due to security reasons and my entire team worked round the clock for 10 days in order to leave no stone unturned to make their stay comfortable. Along with each prince came his own French Chef and a butler. Separate storage, cooking range and the works for the 13 French chefs had to be allocated, and not to forget that we even bent backwards to cover 8000 sq. f t beach area with white

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carpet, for them to sit down and watch the sunset in the evenings! What plans - immediate and long term - do you have? Presently I'm actively involved in further modernising the entire hotel with out af fecting the present business. Facility planning, standardisation of operations, concept designing, profit ma ximisation, human resource management is some of the core areas which I shall be looking into in the process. Drawing out and executing group policies, acquisitions and mergers, franchisee operations are some of the key functions which I am looking forward to handle to nurture my career goals. Believing strongly that in every adversity there is an opportunity to learn and improve oneself has helped me put my best foot forward always. Where would you like to see yourself, say, 10 years from now? 10 years from now I look forward to playing a pivotal role in the development of the hotel industry by way of bridging the gap bet ween the requirements and the resources available. Now tell us about your family? Though a manager all along, my house is ef ficiently managed by my wife Srividya, also a Hotel Mangement graduate. Ipshita my 14 year old daughter keeps us connected to the teen world while my 11 year old son Ishwar doesn't miss out to track a single record of M S Dhoni. How do you spend your free time? My way of spending my "me" time is by reading books and listening to various genre of music. My day does not feel complete without my fitness regimen. Spending quality time with my family everyday is what makes me tick. Which is your favourite destination? Undoubtedly Egypt! The place reflects the history of the human race in every moment one spends there. The grandeur of the pyramids and the undiscovered secrets that lie beneath them are a true marvel to the modern world. Any number of visits will not suf fice to have a good look at that country ever.

ASIAN TRAVELLER


thailand traveller

Thailand Getting Back its Smiles

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he Thailand capital Bangkok which has witnessed violent demonstrations by antigovernment protestors in the recent weeks is getting back to normal. Thailand, which is known "Land of Smiles", now faces the challenges of repairing its image and its tourism industry. The political standof f and the subsequent violent clashes caused losses of about 60 billion to 70 billion baht (USD1.9 billion to USD 2.2 billion) in tourism-related revenues. The government is talking with trade organizations to pinpoint the exact amount of the losses. This week of ficials from the tourism industry, including hotel associations and airlines, met to devise a marketing plan to help revive the industry, according to spokesman for the Tourism Authority of Thailand. Already, the government has earmarked USD154 million to help tourism-related businesses af fected by the turmoil and rioting. The package is awaiting the Cabinet's approval.

Political Developments In Thailand Statements by Thai Prime Minister and TAT (India) Director

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e have restored order in the capital of Bangkok and the provinces of Thai land. We have been able to do this with the cooperation of government of ficials, volunteers, and of course the people of Thailand. We will continue to move swif tly to restore normalcy and we recognize that as we move ahead there are huge challenges ahead of us, particularly the challenge of overcoming the divisions that have occurred in this country. Let me assure you that the Government will meet those challenges and overcome these dif ficulties through the five-point reconciliation plan that I have previously announced. That plan is based on the principles of particiAbhisit Vejjajiva pation, democracy and justice. We will allow the due process of law to operate, and Prime Minister, Thailand use our parliamentary democracy to resolve the problems with the participation of all groups of people. At the same time, that plan will include an independent investigation of all the events that have taken place during the protests, so you can be assured that this government has every intention to move the country forward, restore order, and make sure that our recovery is well on track and that we will do so in a transparent manner.

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s part of our focus on promoting Thailand as an up-market golf destination, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Mumbai recently concluded a familiarization visit for professional golf trainers from the cities of Chennai and Bangalore. This familiarization visit to the cities of Bangkok, Phuket and Pat taya was conducted in order to further enhance the image of Thailand as a premier golfing destination among the southern states. For shopping lovers, be ready for our annual three-month shopping ex travaganza: The Amazing Thailand Grand Sale from 15 June to 15 August. Thailand of fers an excellent shopping experience with a diverse selection of quality products, services and special discounts. For honeymooners and romantic getaways, we have the islands of Koh Kood, Ko Chang, Hua Hin, Krabi, etc. We of fer culture and history lovers Kanchanaburi, Ayut thaya, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and last but not the least with its Seven Amazing Wonders, MICE / Corporate / Incentive groups get an amazing value for their money. We take this opportunity to reassure our travel trade partners that the situation in Sethaphan Buddhani Bangkok has now come under control and it is back to business as usual. For your Director, TAT-India information, in this month's newslet ter, we are at taching the latest statement issued by H.E. Abhisit Vejjajiva, Prime Minister of Thailand. I thank you and look forward to your continued support towards promoting "Amazing Thailand'

ASIAN TRAVELLER

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Thailand Reschedules TTM to September

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ourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has rescheduled Thailand Travel Mart (TTM) 2010 to September 8-10, 2010 and will be held at Impact Muang Thong Thani in the northern suburbs of Bangkok. Originally, TTM 2010 was scheduled to be held from June 2-4, 2010 but TAT was forced to postpone the event due to numerous cancellations by hosted buyers, due to the recent political upheaval in the Thai capital. The new dates are convenient for mid and longhaul market buyers because they can combine a visit to Bangkok and the TTM with a visit to the PATA Travel Mart that will be held the following week, September 14-17 in Macau, said Suraphon Svetasreni, Governor, Tourism Authority of Thailand. JUNE 2010


worldview

IT&CMA, CTW 2010 Backed by MICE, Corporate Travel Industry Demand IT&CMA 2010, Asia's only double bill event in MICE and Corporate Travel, sees returning exhibitors pledging substantial increase in their participation. National Convention and Exhibition Bureaus such as Thailand, Brunei, Indonesia, Seoul and Korea have commit ted to larger floor Darren Ng MD, TTG Asia spaces of 20

per cent to 50 per cent. "The increased participation af firms Asia-Pacific's desire to further expand the MICE industry in Asia. Choosing IT&CMA is testimony of their confidence that the event can deliver superior business prospects." acknowledges Darren Ng, Managing Director of TTG Asia Media, organizer of IT&CMA and

CTW 2010. With some five months to the event in October 5 to 7, IT&CMA 2010 has sold more than 90 per cent of its' exhibition space. Confidence in the show remains buoyant despite the recent challenges in Bangkok. "The safety and welfare of our delegates are our utmost priority. As normalcy returns to Thailand we are confident that the event will be staged with minimal disruption." assures Darren Ng. Long-standing partner Thailand Convention and Exhibitions Bureau (TCEB) have

‘There's Nothing Like Australia‘ Campaign to the Global Travel Trade

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ourism Australia has recently launched the nex t stage of its new global tourism campaign - There's Nothing Like Australia - featuring the personal holiday experi ence recommendations of the Australian people. Launched at a function attended by around 2,000 international and local tourism industry delegates at the Australian Tourism Exchange trade show in Adelaide, the new campaign uses digital, print and broadcast media to show what is unique and iconic about Australia and why others should visit. Tourism Australia Managing Director, Andrew McEvoy said at the heart of the campaign was a new online interactive map of Australia, featuring almost 30,000 images and stories submitted by the Australian people. "Our research found that 80% of Australians wanted to promote their country as a travel destination so we invited them to share their pictures and stories at the campaign website." Now potential travellers around the world will be able to access this information using the latest interactive digital media technology at w ww.australia.com and www.nothinglikeaustralia.com to research and plan their trip to Australia. "Australians have identified our people, wildlife, beaches, the reef, the outback, vibrant cities and laid-back lifestyle as the things that make Australia a unique and special place to visit. These suggestions are highlighted in all the elements of the new campaign," said McEvoy. Supporting the website is a suite of adaptable digital, print and broadcast advertising materials that give the travel trade the ability to consistently sell Australia's tourism experiences internationally with the There's Nothing Like Australia message. The video advertising piece created for the campaign has been directed by internationally acclaimed director Michael Gracey, who has had significant international success. Accompanying the spectacular images featured in the video is the There's Nothing Like Australia song writ ten by Josh Abrahams. The use of the song represents a back to basics approach by using music to ensure that consumers remember the advertising long af ter they have seen it.

JUNE 2010

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also re-af firmed their support and commitment to making IT&CMA and CTW 2010 a success. The team remains positive that industry demand will spur IT&CMA and CTW 2010 to outper form last year's sales and delegate numbers. In addition to exhibitor bookings, the organizers have received more than 500 applications from interested buyers, corporate travel managers and media to date. These numbers are set to increase as marketing ef forts heighten in the run-up to the event.

DTCM introduces New Hotel Classifications

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he Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing has announced the launch of its new hotel classification which will be implemented from this year-end. Hospitality properties will continue to be rated on the scale of one to five stars, but new categories have been added to highlight their uniqueness. Presently, all hotels are classified simply on the one to five stars rating, but the new system will rate in many categories including business, beach, desert and heritage. Under the new ratings, five-star hotels will have three categories - Platinum, Gold and Silver. The selection criteria for other hotels categories, ranging from four to one star, have also been overhauled. The new star ratings for hotels and hotel apartments in the Arabian Gulf region's tourism hub which last year received close to seven million guests will replace the system that is in place since the past 12 years. The hotel apartments will now be rated in three categories instead of t wo - Basic, Standard and Deluxe. There will be no changes in Guest House classification. Majid Al Marri, Director of Classification at DTCM's Licensing and Classification Division, said the new hotel classification system has been in the works since the past three Majid Al Marri years and will pave the way for qualitative changes in the hospitality product of ferings and enhance the service standards.

ASIAN TRAVELLER


southasia

Macau Continues to Explore the ME Tourism Market

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acau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) organized for the first time a Macau destination presentation in the Middle East to promote

this part of the world, stimulating the diversification of the source of visitors to Macau. MGTO has been striving to explore opportunities to

the forth consecutive year at the most important tourism fair in the region, the Arabian Travel Market, held in Dubai. For the first time, on the eve of the event,

MGTO booth at the event decorated with Experience Macau campaign colors

the tourism of the city among travel operators and media in the region, aiming to attract more visitors from

expand the tourism market from the Middle East, a market with huge potential. Macau is participated for

MGTO hosted a Macau destination presentation. During the presentation, MGTO's Market Division

chief Betty Fok introduced to dozens of Middle East travel trade and media, the Macau World Heritage, its leisure tourism products, infrastructures for business tourism and entertainment, among others, presenting Macau tourism situation and helping to expand the market in this part of the world. The number of visitors from the Middle East to Macau more than tripled from 2,000 in 2004 to 7,700 in 2009, revealing that Macau is an increasing popular destination among Middle East visitors. On the first quarter of the year, the number of visitors from the Middle East increased by 21.88 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Macau to Tap the Indian Leisure Market

ITB Asia 2010 Buyer Applications Surge

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acau which has been promoting itself as a Mice destination in the Indian market is now eyeing the leisure sector. It is keen to attract families, FITs and wedding groups from the Indian market. The recent Mini Mart (road show) organised by Macau

ive months before ITB Asia, more than 900 travel industry buyers have already applied for hosted buyer status. Limiting the final amount of hosted buyers to 700 has encouraged buyers to apply early. ITB Asia exhibitors favour this arrangement as it allows them to complete their appointment schedule in advance. “The response has been beyond our expectations,” said Nino Gruettke, Executive Director of ITB Asia, which takes place in Singapore 20-22 October. “The applicants are diverse - from the MICE, leisure and corporate sectors and from a wide range of Government Tourist Office (MGTO) geographic markets,” he said. Based on in Mumbai recently is one step in that buyer applications received so far, direction. While Macau has been show organizer, Messe Berlin promoted as a multi-faceted (Singapore) (MBS), reports that 50 per destination in the Indian market, with cent of buyer applications are from joint packages for Hong Kong and leisure travel buyers, 44 per cent from Macau, MGTO plans to aggressively MICE buyers and 6 per cent from promote the destination to increase the corporate travel buyers. length of stay of the Indian tourist. MBS has enhanced the ITB Asia ASIAN TRAVELLER

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hosted buyer programme this year by applying more stringent quality control filtering on applications. As part of the development, buyers with a strong track record are being invited to recommend other buyers for MBS to invite. The aim is for buyers become

partners in increasing the show's quality. In Nino Grüttke addition, exhibitors are being encouraged to nominate buyers. Once approved, these buyers will be invited by Messe Berlin (Singapore) on behalf of the exhibitor. Before the third batch of invitations goes out in July, MBS will adjust specifications of wished-for applicants to ensure that the final 700 buyers represent a balanced spread of markets and travel industry sectors. JUNE 2010


personality Travelling is a passion for Farida Attarwala and she makes holiday plans for others with the same passion. How did you become interested in travel and tourism business? My parents loved to travel and had shown us, the children, the entire country which sowed the seeds of understanding what travel is all about. At the age of 16, I travelled to USA all by myself, which gave me the know-how of handling travelling arrangements independently. It was followed by more independent travel adventures to Europe, Africa and other countries. I had started of f on science studies to become a doctor but when I reached 12th grade I realised that was not what I wanted. However I continued in the same stream and graduated in Zoology nevertheless. I immediately went on to do a diploma in

FARIDA ATTARWALA Travel Counselor Butterflyers Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India JUNE 2010

travel in 1986. Later I ran a gif t boutique in Ahmedabad for eight years which burned down in the 2002 riots. For a couple of years, I took a break but there was a need to work so I took up a job as a teacher in my son's school for a year. But my quest for planning holidays was always alive in me and I took up a job for a couple of

years in a travel agency as a holiday planner. My son's health made me give up my full-time job. But my husband persuaded me to continue with my passion. He of fered me an of fice and asked me to work at my convenient hours which gave birth to But ter flyers, my own travel company. What is your current role in your company? I am the proprietor of my company, But ter flyers, and personally handle my clients' travel arrangements, understanding their profile and smallest needs to give them a quality holiday of their desire. I counsel my clients for the choice of holiday destinations. I have clients from all over the world and I plan inbound and outbound travel packages and arrange tickets. What are your immediate and long term plans? I want my clients to travel to destinations in and outside India which they have never explored and design unique holidays. I also want to take Indian students on holidays where they get experiences which will help them to come out of the shell of parent dependency and assist them to learn to see through varied spectacles rather than do run of the mill activities. As a hospitality industry professional what is your ambition? My ambition is to have Butter flyers a global presence. I like to take each day as it comes. Who or what has been the greatest influence in your professional life? I come from a family of jewellers, where honesty and trust was a tradition. My father had excellent people management skills and he was very much endeared by his clients. My mother always put a drive in me to be go-getters. She always encouraged us to take risks, and step out. My husband has helped me maintain calm in stress situations and has been my pillar of support. All these qualities from them have influenced me consciously and unconsciously in

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my professional life. As woman, what were the challenges you had to face in your professional life? As a woman, one has to balance time bet ween family and work, which is a huge challenge. My advice to young girls entering the sector would be that this work does not only involve selling tickets or packages. One needs to be equipped with good destination knowledge which needs to be updated from time to time and creativity with passion. You are responsible for handling valuable time and money of the client. So you better make it good as time gone will never come back and we want to see the clients come back with good memories. What is the secret of your success? First is to be able to understand the client and his needs, followed by hard work, honesty, clarity and quick responses and making the client feel secured by the personal touch. Also, important is a desire to have in-depth knowledge of destinations. What is your proudest moment (till date) in your job? Seeing a family (who gets a chance to spend time with each other) satisfied makes me proud. Every time my passengers return with a smile and consider me responsible for their wonderful holiday, I have the feeling of receiving an award. Now tell us about your family. We are a close knit family of five. Habil, my husband has conceptualised a unique modular unit for rainwater harvesting. Alisha 19, my elder daughter is a passionate documentary film maker. Sharmeen 17, my younger daughter is a good artist and Aadil 14, enjoys watching movies and loves to devour new cuisines. We encourage each other's endeavours. What are your hobbies? Travelling, playing the piano, reading, swimming, making candles, gardening, adventure sports- my hobbies make me a true Sagit tarian.

ASIAN TRAVELLER


worldview

WTTC Announces Winners of 2010 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards

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different parts of the world. Whale Watch Kaikoura, the indigenous Maori-owned and locally-operated company has won the Community Benefit Award for its outstanding achievement in rebuilding the local economy through community-based tourism.

Photo Credit: © Whale Watch Kaikoura

hale Watch Kaikoura, Emirates Hotels & Resorts, Botswana Tourism Board and Accor are the four winners of World Travel & Tourism Council's 2010 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. The awards were announced at the 10th

Located in Kaikoura on the East Coast of South Island in New Zealand, the Whale Watch Kaikoura specializes in giving more than 100,000 visitors annually the opportunity for up-close observation of marine life, including rare Sperm Whales, using

Whale Watch Kaikoura

Botswana Tourism Board

Global Travel & Tourism Summit at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, China. The winners were crowned for their successful work in advancing sustainable tourism best practices in

Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa

environmentally-friendly vessels. Founded in 1987 by local Maori to create jobs for the indigenous Ngati Kuri community the company has since grown into a multimillion dollar nature tourism business. Emirates Hotels & Resorts won the award in the Conservation category, for creating the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR) - the first protected area in the United Arab

Emirates - through the establishment of the Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa. Botswana Tourism Board is awarded the Destination Stewardship Award for its "low-volume - high-yield" approach to tourism in the Okavango Delta - an internationally-recognized Ramsar Site (ODRS) and particularly for the legislative framework put in place and ecotourism standards to ensure proper management of one of the world most iconic nature travel destinations. Accor wins the award for Global Tourism Business for its Earth Guest Program and company-wide philosophy based on hospitality, respect for diverse cultures, environmental best practices, and the social welfare of local people where they operate in more than 40 countries. The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards is organized in association with Travelport and the Travel Corporation's Conservation Foundation.

US Visa Fee Increased

Singapore Registers 20 pc Growth

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ingapore Tourism Board (STB) has announced that Singapore received 9, 38,000 visitor arrivals in April 2010, registering 20.4 per cent year-on-year growth, the highest ever recorded in the month of April. Visitor days were estimated at 3.7 million days, a year-on-year growth of 15.5 per cent in comparison with April 2009. The top five visitor-generating markets in April this year were Indonesia (163,000), P R China (92,000), Malaysia (77,000), India (73,000) and Australia (70,000). These markets accounted for 51 per cent of total visitor arrivals for the month. Also 14 out of the top 15 markets (Indonesia, P R China Malaysia, India, Australia, Philippines, Thailand, UK, Hong Kong SAR, Japan USA, Vietnam, South Korea, Germany and Taiwan) registered positive year-on-year growth in April this year.

he US Consulate has increased the visa fee for non-immigrant visas from June 4. All applications for business or tourism (B-1/B-2), crew member (C-1/D), student (F or M), or exchange (J) categories will now cost USD140 and a white receipt will be issued. Applications for petition-based work visa categories (H, L, O, P, Q, and R), will be charged USD150 and a green receipt will be issued.

ASIAN TRAVELLER

These two receipts can be purchased at approved HDFC Bank branches. Applications for treaty trader (E) visas will cost USD390. This fee has to be paid at the Consulate General. At present, the application fee is USD131, for all visas. Applicants who purchase their receipts before June 4 should pay the balance between the old and new fee at the time of the interview, according to a release.

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JUNE 2010


column

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V DURAIKKANNAN

ast week I was in Port Blair and as I was driven from the airport by a relative, I saw on the road at a signal point the amber turning to red and we stopped. The traffic sign did not flash 'STOP' but it said 'RELAX'! Nice thought! In fact there is a touch of poetry in it (maybe the typical beauty of an island living and thinking). A positive replacement to the minatory word 'STOP'! But then the question is: Do we get onto the road only to relax?! Life is funny, hilarious, and sweet with its uncanny ironies, come to think of it! Then a trail of longbrewed weird questions was running in my mind: Why the word 'ABBREVIATION' is so long? Why there is no anagram for the word 'ANAGRAM'? How come there are five syllables in the word 'MONOSYLLABLE'? And apartments are not really apart from each other but are stuck together! We say the nose runs but the feet smell. We lift the glass of whiskey and say cheers to our friend 'Drink to your health!' and spoil our health! We go to the restaurant and order our favourite dish and 'wait' for a neat twenty to thirty minutes to savour the same. But then they, the bearers are called waiters and

not we. The man who does the actual stunts and fights for the hero in the movie is ironically called the dupe as if the original acts were done by the celluloid hero! The so called Public Schools are not really open for the common public but to a select, elite group of students who can cough up a mighty tuition fee for their schooling. Scientists are finding something new but then it is called 'RE-SEARCH'. Why? We talk about 'untimely death'. Is there something called 'timely death'? In fact, Oxford publishes every year a kind of sequel to its dictionary's edition of the year listing the bad English and the timely death was one of the top ten irritating phrases listed by it. When people go by a train to a place and as they reach the destination, they invariably call out that the station or the city has arrived whereas in fact it is that only they have reached. It was Osho Rajneesh who pointed out the absurdity of our birthday celebrations. He

said our birthday is not an occasion to jubilate over but to be concerned about our death as we are now already closer to death by a year! These are all more than just a Osho Rajneesh play on words or incidental puns. There is a method in its madness as the Bard would say. So much so, it is high time that we started reversing or inverting all our knowledge and information, thoughts and ideas and got to the missing half-truths. For instance, every ATM boasts of 24 HOURS service. Can it be anything

Shakespeare

Aesop

else other than that? Just like the former President Bush's alleged statement in the senate: 'Most of our country's imports come from outside our country!' (sic) While all this comedy of errors can be laughed at, what would really pain is the tragedy of errors as seen from this Aesop's Fable:There is a mimicry competition in the town where the challenge is that people have to mimic like a pig. There are three prizes for the first best, second, and third. A lot of people take part Top L to R - Sully Prudhomme, Paul Heyse, Jose Echeragay, Henryk Sienkiewicz, Giosue Carducci in the Bottom L to R - Frederic Mistral, Bjornstjern Bjornson, Theodor Mommsen, Selma Lagerlof, Rudolf Christoph Eucken competition. A

JUNE 2010

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ASIAN TRAVELLER


column the real pig could come only as a poor third in a pigmimicry competition! Just read the list of these names: Sully Prudhomme, Theodor Mommsen, Bjornstjern Bjornson, Frederic Mistral and Jose Echeragay (both in Top L to R - Mark Twain, Robert Frost, Marcel Proust, Jorge Luis Borges, Vladimir Nabokov 1904), Henryk Bottom L to R - Emile Zola, W.H. Auden, Leo Tolstoy, Henrik Ibsen, James Joyce Sienkiewicz, Giosue panel of judges evaluates the climbing up the stage. He is Carducci, Rudolf Christoph performances and picks the fully cloaked and he also Eucken, Selma Lagerlof, and top three. The winners are looks a little bloated in that Paul Heyse. called on the stage in the dress. As he manages to get And now read this list of order of first, second, and on the stage and is about to names: Jorge Luis Borges, third. The first man climbs receive his prize there pops Vladimir Nabokov, W.H. the stage, collects his first out from the inside of his Auden, Robert Frost, Emile prize and goes. The second cloak a real, live pig and Zola, Henrik Ibsen, Marcel man also does the same way goes: 'Oink!' Proust, James Joyce, Leo with the second prize. It is In fact, in the third man's Tolstoy, and Mark Twain. the turn of the third prize. case it was not the man at all What's the deal? How But the third man has who was making the noise. It many of the people from the obviously some difficulty in was the actual, real pig. But first list do you know and

ASIAN TRAVELLER

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how many from the second list? While everyone in the first list is a Nobel Prize winner, none of them from the second list is - including the most influential writer Tolstoy! Gandhi became Gandhi because of Tolstoy. Gandhi listed Tolstoy as one of the three life-changing things that happened in his life. And ironically enough, neither Gandhi was a Nobel laureate!

JUNE 2010


indian panorama

Karnataka Expects Rs 4000 Cr Investment During GIM 2010 anardhan Reddy, Minister for Tourism and Infrastructure Development, Karnataka has said that his ministry is expecting Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) worth Rs 4000 crore to be signed for investment purpose at the Global Investors Meet, which will be held on June 3-4, 2010 in Bengaluru. "Tourism will be a key sector to be promoted

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at the Global Investors land has Meet," said Reddy. been The state government will identified, seek investors' interest in 12 both with mega projects including, a the state wellness city and film media government city, an international and private convention centre at the sector, to Bengaluru International Janardhan Reddy make it Minister for Tourism easier and Airport, an 18-hole golf Karnataka course at Thhannirbhavi and faster for wellness centres to be set up tourism investors to set up in the state. their projects. An investor and industry-friendly Around 3000 acres of

JLR to Open 5 More Resorts in Select Areas

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ungle Lodges & Resorts (JLR), owned and managed by Karnataka State Tourism Develop ment Corporation (KSTDC), is to expand its operations in Karnataka by opening five eco resorts in select tourism places in the state, in order to promote Ecotourism under public-private partnership. The profit-making state-run agency is investing Rs.5 -7 crore in each of the five resort projects over the nex t 12 months to create and expand capacity for stay and leisure activities. The new eco resorts

are coming up at Vilaspur in Bidar district, Talakalale at Jog in Shimoga district, Hampi in Bellary district, Pilikula Nisarga Dhama in Mangalore district, at Khanapur in Belgaum district and Yagachi in Hassan district. "Besides opening up five more resorts in select tourist hot spots, we are inviting entrepreneurs from the health sector to set up health and wellness centres in strategic locations across the state to promote tourism in a holistic way," said N.D. Tiwari, Managing Director, Jungle Lodges. Started as a single resort company in 1979/80, Jungle Lodges & Resorts is today the mother of all eco tourism activities in India. JLR at present operates 13 eco and wildlife resorts at exotic locations in the state, with about 80 percent occupancy rate round N D Tiwari, MD, JLR announces the expansion plans the year.

MoT Sanctions Rs.100 cr for Rajasthan Tourism

Chandigarh to Develop Valley of Animals

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he Ministry of Tourism (MoT) has sanctioned close to Rs 100 crore for tourism developmental work in select places like Pali, Jalore, Baran and Virat Nagar in Rajasthan. The projects sanctioned under the centrally enforced scheme include: JodhpurJaisalmer-Barmer-Bikaner for mega Desert Tourism circuit for which Rs 50 crore has been sanctioned, while not much explored Pali- Jalore- Sirohi sector received Rs eight crore, while Daang Tourism circuit (Bharatpur, Karauli and Sawai Madhopur), Virat Nagar and Alwar district circuit received Rs eight crore for development. In addition to these circuits, Bhand Devra destination in Baran is envisaged to be developed in a circuit for which Rs five crore has been sanctioned.

JUNE 2010

he Department of Tourism (DoT), Chandigarh is soon going to develop Valley of Animals in Sector 49, which will be built around the concept of housing various eco-systems in one expanse. It will give a glimpse into the hot Safari desert, as well as freezing Tundra region, lush Asian forests and animals from every belt will inhabit the park, in their topiary form (the art of creating sculptures in the medium of clipped trees, shrubs and subshrubs). The Ministry of Tourism (MoT) has already sanctioned a grant of Rs 1.40 crore for the development of the project. • 18 •

Tourism Policy had been announced in 2009 providing a comprehensive package of subsidies and incentives, including making loans available at ten per cent interest, VAT exemption for three years, and availability of up to five acres of land for establishing hotels and resorts. A master plan has been formulated to attract Disney-land type of mega projects.

ADTOI's Gujarat Chapter Inaugurated

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ssociation of Domestic Tour Operators of India (ADTOI) has opened its Gujarat chapter recently. Vipul Mit tra, Secretary Tourism, Gujarat inaugurated the Gujarat chapter in Ahmedabad. The function was attended by Rajat Sawhney, Secretary, ADTOI; Mukesh Jagga, former President, ADTOI; PP Khanna, EC member, ADTOI, etc., as well as travel trade members from Gujarat. Bimal Mehta, Promoter, Travel Designer has been appointed as Chairman of the Gujarat chapter, and Ashok Dhoot, Proprietor, Harsh Travels has been appointed as the Secretary. This is the third regional chapter of ADTOI, af ter Jammu and Kashmir and Kerala.

Tourism Complex, Aquarium Inaugurated in HP

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tourism complex with wayside amenities and an aquarium has been inaugurated in Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh by the state Chief Minister Prof Prem Kumar Dhumal recently. These were constructed at a cost of Rs 1.17 crore. With the completion of the complex tourists will get facilities of wayside amenities to make their journey more convenient.

ASIAN TRAVELLER


tamilnadu traveller

Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuar y

Nature at its Best Dr. S. BAKTHAVATCHALAM

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ituated on the northern and north-western side of the Nilgiris, the Mudumalai wildlife sanctuary is a continuation of the Bandipur National Park. The

sanctuary is about 80 km northwest of Coimbatore in the northwestern corner of Tamil Nadu, bordering the boundaries with Karnataka and Kerala states. Mudumalai, the first sanctuary in south India is separated from the Bandipur National Park by the river Moyar which flows through the border of the state. It has been growing popular among wildlife enthusiasts for its rich biodiversity. This 321-sq-kms wide sanctuary houses a National Park measuring an area of 103-sq-kms. It has a wide range of terrain too,

including flat land strips, open grasslands, ravines, watercourses, swamps and valleys which house a plethora of flora and fauna. The vegetation includes tropical moist deciduous forests, dry deciduous forests and scrub forests.

In the animal family Common Langur, bonnet macaque, tiger, leopard, Banner, Chital, Panther, wild dog, hyena, jackal, sloth bear, elephants, gaur, sambar, spotted deer, Indian muntjac, mouse deer, wild boar, rodent, giant flying squirrels, Py thon, Barking Deer, Four Horned Antelope, Otter, Crocodiles (Mugger), Flying Squirrel, Hare, Porcupine and Mongoose etc. can be spotted at Mudumalai. The sanctuary is also rich in bird life that includes Malabar trogan, Grey hornbill, Peacocks, Grey Jungle Fowl, Red

'Kodai Thiruvizha' Festival Inaugurated

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odai Thiruvizha,' a 45-day festival of food and fun, organised by the Department of Tourism at Island Grounds in Chennai was inaugurated recently by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi. Tourism Minister N.Suresh Rajan, Union Textiles Ministor Dayanidhi Maran, Ministers Ko.Si. Mani and Parithi Ellamvazhuthi, Tourism Secretary V. Irai Anbu and Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation Managing Director A.C. Mohandoss were present. As part of Kodai Tiruvizha, a replica of Taj Mahal and artificial waterfall was set up on the banks of Cooum river at the entrance of Island Grounds and is a huge hit among the tourists.

JUNE 2010

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Spur Fowl, Grey Partridge Quails, Goggle Eyed Plower, Malabar Whistling Thrush, Large RacketTailed Dronge, the Magpie-robin, Spot ted Babbler, Small Green Barbet, Green Pigeons, Brown Dove, Bulbuls, Mynahs, etc. Crested hawk eagles, crested serpent eagles, Hawks, Buzzards, Harriers, Falcons and King Vultures along with some migratory birds are also found in plety. Bamboos (Bambusa Arundinacea) Natural teak (Tectona Grandis), Anogeissus latifolia, Terminalia, Crenulata/Terminalia Tomontosa, Grewia, and blooming trees like Indian Labumusum, Aredesia, Solanancea are some of the flora. Mudumalai can be easily accessed. The nearest airport is Coimbatore while the nearest railway station is in the renowned hillsatation of Udagamandalam. The Mysore - Ooty highway runs through the park. The best time to visit here is from February to June.

Grand Luxe to Invest Rs 800 cr.

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rand Luxe Hotels, formerly ETL Hospitality Services, a division of Indian Green Grid Group plans to invest Rs 800 crore in its hospitality business over the next three years. Grand Luxe Hotels will construct eight hotels in three years in South India, including a luxury hotel in Pud-ukottai and a business class hotel in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu which will be opened in September. ASIAN TRAVELLER


aviation

AirAsia Named World's Best Low Cost Airline by Skytrax

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irAsia has been chosen as the World's Best Low Cost Airline for the second consecutive year in the annual global survey conducted by Londonbased aviation consultants Skytrax. Almost 18 million travellers worldwide polled in the survey. Dato' Abdul Aziz Abu Bakar, Chairman, AirAsia accepted the award on behalf of the airline at the ceremony held recently in Hamburg, Germany. AirAsia's status rides on the wings of its consumer-friendly products and services, including low fares, a modern fleet, an extensive network and flight frequencies, convenient booking and payment channels, and choose-your-own features for meals, seats and baggage allowances. The airline is known for its innovations,

popularising technology-backed travel services such as web bookings; web, mobile and kiosk check-in services; and the use of

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real-time interactive platforms such as YouTube, blog, Facebook and Twitter in communicating with guests.

IRCTC Introduces Domestic Airfare Bookings

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ndian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has introduced the service of booking domestic air tickets on its website. The procedure to book air tickets will be similar to that followed for booking rail tickets and travellers will get printed e-tickets for the chosen destination. Details like timing, airfares, etc. will be available on the site.

Government Sets up Civil Aviation Advisor y Council

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s part of the initiatives to strengthen aviation safety environment through synergisation of available expertise, the Indian Government has set up a Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Council (CASAC) in DGCA under the Chairmanship of Director General of Civil Aviation. The council comprising of 28 members drawn from various aviation sub- sectors such as airlines (both public and private), flight operations, Operations etc has been constituted for a period of one year. In addition, representatives

ASIAN TRAVELLER

Air Travel Witnesses Significant Growth in April

from ICAO, FAA, Boeing, Airbus and other organisations will be invited as special invitee as per requirement to participate in the meetings of CASA. The Council will be advisory in nature and advise DGCA in areas of operations of aircraft (commercial and general aviation), aerodromes and Heliports, air navigation services, air operator certification, airworthiness of aircraft including maintenance, certification of aeronautical products, and human performance and training. It would also review the

existing regulatory framework and give recommendations to further strengthen the aviation safety. It will also develop, examine and recommend incorporation of best regulatory practices, recommend short, medium and long term measures for safety enhancement and reflect public views on aviation safety matters. It will have a quarterly meeting or as may be decided by the Chair. The Council can set up Working Groups in focused areas and can also conduct business by electronic means.

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ith the economy improving domestic air travel has increased significantly. In April 41.9 lakh people took to air travel which is 24.7% higher than last year April figures of 33.6 lakh. The number of people travelled by flight in April surpassed the preslowdown April 2008's figure of 37.8 lakh. Since travel season starts from April, the industry is expecting enormous grow th in the nex t couple of months. LCC's dominate Indian skies, thanks to the economic slowdown which witnessed even corporate using budget flights. Jet and kingfisher also have majority of their flights in LCC. According to Kapil Kaul, India head of the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) said, "Today almost 70% of all domestic flights are budget ones. Full service domestic service will further find its share falling as biggest LCCs like IndiGo and SpiceJet will induct more planes this year. Domestic and even regional international travel (to neighboring countries) will be dominated only by this model." Air India currently does not have a domestic LCC and witness lowest occupancy of 73% in April. With LCC's dominating the industry, Air India will have no option but to introduce domestic LCC's. As far as the market share is concerned, Jet Airways enjoys 26% share, followed by Kingfisher with 21.4%. The major contributor for this increase in air travel is economic grow th, rela xation on curbs on air travel by government and corporate sector.

JUNE 2010


kerala traveller

GKSF to Attract More Customers

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he Global Kerala Shopping Festival (GKSF) held investors meet recently at Thiruvananthapuram which turned into an effective communicative session between the officials and representatives from different brands, shops and establishments. According to the speakers the previous editions of the shopping festivals had exceeded

expectations and want to make it more colourful. All the representatives from the industry promised their continued participation in the event. The function was attended by Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, Minister for tourism, Elamaram Karim, Minister for Industries along with T. Balakrishnan, Principal Secretary, Industries, KN Satheesh,

Director, GKSF and Venugopal, Chairman, Federal Bank. The fourth edition of the GKSF will be made more attractive with increased gift options for the customers. The grand prize is increased to 100 kg of gold from 40 kg. The number of small gifts will also been increased. Crayons will continue to be the event managers for the coming season.

Monsoon Packages From KTDC

Spanish Cultural Fest in Kerala

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erala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) has announced special monsoon packages for tourists. The focus of the package will be 'see and experience' rains. Cheriyan Philip, Chairman, KTDC informed that three schemes, ranging from five to eight days, have been designed under the packages involving prime locations like Kochi-Bolghat ty, Tea Cheriyan Philip County-Munnar, Thekkady-Aaranyanivas, Kumarakom-Waterscapes and Kovalam-Samudra. The packages will involve house-boating at Alappuzha besides boarding and lodging at af fordable rates. There will be additional services like spa treatment.

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he BarcelonaKerala Festival (BKBe) held recently was inaugurated by Spanish Ambassador Ion De La Riva and film director Adoor Gopalakrishnan at Tagore Theatre, Thiruvananthapuram. Mayor C Jayan Babu, Shashi Tharoor MP, V Sivan Kutty MLA, Chalachitra Akademi chairman K R Mohanan, KTDC chairman Cheriyan Philip, Tourism Secretary Alkesh Sharma and Tourism director M Sivasankar were

Protest Against new Law

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present. The festival showcased a variety of cultural exchange including cinema, dance, music, puppet shows etc.

ouse boat owners from dif ferent parts of Kerala protested publicly against the flaws in the newly envisaged law "Kerala Inland Vessel 2010." The Kerala House Boat Owners' Association led by its President V C Zachariah, Lakes and lagoons told Asian Traveller that the safety norms termed in the new law is impracticable for their cause and has to readdressed. The move mandating ITI certification for the houseboat drivers has also at tracted protest as majority of the lot will be stranded jobless. The protest was inaugurated my Oommen Chandy MLA, the leader of Opposition.

Chefs from Leela Kempinski Kovalam Beach Resort, who have won awards at the 'Kerala Culinary Challenge 2010, a culinary skills competition organised by India Exhibition and Conference Service held in Trivandrum with GM NC Somaiah, Chef Vijayana Parakkal and F&B Manager Neville Pimento.

JUNE 2010

Initiatives for improved participation of local self governments will be increased and local made articles like handloom will be introduced among the gifts so that the local crafts man will also get job opportunities.

Dillu Kumar, Chief Chef, Keys Hotel Chief who won a 'Bronze Medal' at 'Kerala Culinary Challenge 2010, a culinary skills competition organised by India Exhibition and Conference Services.

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ASIAN TRAVELLER


hospitality

WelcomHeritage

Enjoy the Adventure of Wildlife

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magine a place where you could see the tiger, catch the toughest sporting fish, trek on the foothills of Almora Ranges, where a whif f of fresh air and fragrance of exotic flowers greet you at every step, raf t down the Ramganga River, drive to Manila to enjoy the sunrise as it splashes hues of red on blushing mountains or go on a day picnic with special lunch under the clear blue sky with Nanda Devi, Trishul, Bander Punchi and other high peaks of Himalayas for company. Per fect spots to enjoy all these and more are Resort in Ut tarakhand and Ranthambhore Forest Resort in Rajasthan.

ASIAN TRAVELLER

Situated on the northern boundary of famous Corbet t National Park, right on the banks of the Ramganga River, the resort is spread over 20 acres of land. For the adventure lovers, there are jeep safaris to Durgadevi, Domunda and Lohachaur. A rich variety of fauna available inside the park includes wild elephants, leopard, sambar deer, barking deer, chital, wild boar and the lord of the jungle - the tiger. It is also home to over 500 species of birds and reptiles. That's not all.

If fishing interests you, the Ramganga is just right for testing king of the river - the mahseer. There are also elephant rides, river raf ting, trekking, hiking, swimming, rock climbing, rappelling, river crossing, jogging and much more to enjoy. WelcomHeritage Ranthambhore Forest Resort in Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan is the ultimate in comfort and hospitality. Spread over five acres, the resort borders the lush green forest, behind which mountains provide a

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unique backdrop. On all sides it of fers a spectacular view of untamed nature in all its manifestations of flora and fauna. Migratory and local birds can be both seen and heard around the resort. The unsurpassed diversity of the wildlife consists of a number of animals such as deer, hyenas, foxes, sloth bears, jungle cats and many others. And, of course, the major attraction - the tiger. In the evening, cultural programmes like folk music, dances and puppet shows can be organized. It also of fers facilities for Conference and safari tours to the Ranthambhore National Park.

JUNE 2010


heritage

Srirangapattana

Where Histor y is Present Srirangapattana, the erstwhile capital of Mysore with its palaces and forts, still retain an old world charm

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rirangapattana also called Srirangapatna and Seringapatam by the British is a municipality situated in the Mandya district of the Indian state of Karnataka. The town was the erstwhile the capital of the Warrior-Kings Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan. The town takes its name from the renowned Ranganathaswamy temple. Located within the two subdivisions of river Cauvery the place is in the shape of an egg-shaped island. As the whole town is surrounded by the river it gives a look of an island. With great religious, cultural and historic importance the city is 19 km away from the ASIAN TRAVELLER

city of Mysore. Srirangapattana witnessed the last and decisive battle, the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War fought between Tipu Sultan and a combined force of the Nizam of Hyderabad and the British which brought about political and historical changes to the place. The fort of Srirangapattana is the main attraction of the place which houses a very ancient temple dedicated to Sri Ranganathaswamy, a form of Lord Vishnu, the Jumma Masjid (a Mosque). Tipu Sultan was killed within the fort and the spot where he fell is marked. The other places of interest for the

an urban center and place of pilgrimage since time immemorial. It was one of the important Vaishnavite centers of pilgrimage in South India. The Ranganathaswamy temple was built by rulers of the Ganga dynasty in the 9th century and was improved three centuries later making it a mix of the Hoysala and Vijayanagar styles of temple architecture. There are a number of temples in the place include God Ganesha Temple In Front of Ranganatha Swamy Temple, Gangadhareswara Swamy Temple Lakshminarasimha Swamy Temple, JyothiMahaswara Temple, Bidhcotta Ganesha tourists include the Daria Temple, Panduranga Swamy Daulat Gardens, the summer Temple, Sathyanarayana palace of Tipu Sultan, the Swamy Temple, Anjunaya Rangantittu Bird Sanctuary, Swamy Temple Ayyapa is the breeding site for Temple and Subramanya several bird species, Temple In front of including the Painted Stork, Gangadhareswara Swamy Open-billed Stork, BlackTemple, Raganatha Nagara headed Ibis, River Tern, Ganesha Temple. Great Stone Plover and The town is easily Indian Shag is near accessible to other as Srirangapattana. The Bangalore and Mysore is also Karighatta and its temple of well-connected by train and Lord Srinivasa is a few by road as it is on the kilometres away from the Bangalore-Mysore highway. town. The Shivanasamudra The nearest airport is Falls, the second biggest Bangalore. Special care is waterfall in India and the taken to minimize any sixteenth largest in the world impact on the monuments is located 27 km upstream here because of the highway from the town. that passes through the Srirangapattana has been town.

• 25 •

JUNE 2010


album

LaLit Suri Hospitality Group has organised a get-together of Travel and Tourism industry professionals at The LaLit Ashok Bangalore, in Bangalore

‘The LaLit Suri Green Initiative’ Launched

T

he LaLit Suri Hospitality Group has recently launched "The LaLit Suri Green Initiative, Bangalore 2010", a comprehensive and proactive programme to green Bangalore and bring back its lost glory of being the "the Garden City". As part of this initiative The LaLit Suri Hospitality Group will be planting 1.5 lakh saplings in and around Bangalore, and thus contribute towards restoring Bangalore's green cover.

JUNE 2010

The Green Initiative was inaugurated by Minister of Urban Development and Parliamentary Lalit Suri Founder Chairman Af fairs, S Bharat Hotels Ltd Suresh Kumar, Jyotsna Suri, Chairperson and Managing Director, The LaLit Suri Hospitality Group, Suresh

Heblikar, Founder EcoWatch, A. S. Sadashivaiah, Chairman Karnataka State Pollution Control Board and K Jaisim, Architect FounderJaisim Fountainhead. Speaking on the occasion, Jyotsna Suri, Chairperson and Managing Director, The LaLit Suri Hospitality Group, said, "The LaLit

• 26 •

Suri Hospitality Group has always identified causes close to the heart of a region and championed them. From starting 'Project Disha' as an initiative to make quality education accessible to the youth of the local population to planting thousands of Khajur trees in Khajuraho, our objective has been to espouse a cause and see them through to fruition. This year, the group has chosen to direct its energies towards Bangalore and do its bit for the bet terment of the city".

ASIAN TRAVELLER


kerala traveller

variety

Universal Tours & Travels

For Hassle Free Holidays

U

niversal Tours and Travels one of the upcoming names among holiday shops is establishing itself with all round operations including Tour packages, Travel Arrangements, Hotel Reservations, Honeymoon Trips, Professional Guide Services, Airline Booking, Car Rentals, Houseboat and Motor Boat Cruises, Conference and Convention Arrangements etc. The professionally managed company is fully committed to its customers in providing the very best in products in Travel, Tourism, Entertainment and Event Management. The top management has an experience in the trade for more than two decades. While offering various packages for the inbound tourists from various parts of the world, most of the outbound tourists seek packages for the Far East countries including Malaysia and Singapore from the company. According to their officials the honeymoon packages Manu T.G. Nair Salim Shaw for Mauritius is also Managing Partner Managing Partner having great demand. The international guests mostly seek Ayurveda and wellness holidays along with leisure where as the Domestic tourists go for houseboats and hill stations says Manu T.G Nair managing partner of Universal. They are also planning to take up some resorts in Kanyakumari and Kerala from the next conventional tourist season. It also does ground handling for other agents. The specialized and dedicated team has always come up with something better for the clients stating from planning, cost valuations, hotel bookings, transportation, travel assistance, tourist information, sightseeing, shopping, multilingual tour guides, special interest tours, air ticket bookings. The best prices and high quality services are the building blocks of their success in the business. Marketing the destinations done through the internet and the overseas offices of the company by which a good reach as well as a personal touch is imparted to the guests. Their luxury cars and coaches with trained and service oriented service staff and drivers make guests even more comfortable during their holidays. Hassle free bookings and prompt services are possible with Universal being a IATA accredited agent having centralized reservation system (Galileo & Abacus). http://universaltoursindia.com

ASIAN TRAVELLER

1. 2. 3. 4.

What is a scareware? Which state in USA is called 'the Tar Heel State'? What does the hypermarket chain Carrefour mean in its original French? What is the connection bet ween the Carrefour two shoe companies - Adidas and Puma? 5. What does the Icelandic volcano's name Eyjafjallajokull (that caused the recent havoc over Europe) mean? 6. How many chapters are there in the Bible? 7. Which planet has the highest number of satellites? Eyjafjallajokull

8.

Where was the first escalator installed in England? 9. What is tiramisu? 10. Which famous sportsperson's daughter's name is Camera (named af ter her mother's profession of photography)?

• 27 •

Compiled by DEEKAY

Send in your answers to info@mediastepsindia.com with TYKC33 in the the subject line. Answers should reach us before the 30th of this month. Answers to TYKC 32 1. Ot to Wichterle, Czech chemist (1913-98) 2. It is Finnish for 'door' 3. Stock market index of Hong Kong like Sensex for India 4. Abraham Lincoln (1861) 5. 'Empty Orchestra' (music minus the song or the singer) 6. It is Italian for 'heroic' 7. Turmeric (from Latin 'terra' - earth & 'merita' - meritorious) 8. American author Vincent Gaddis (1964) 9. F1 (Formula 1) 10. Amazon.com

TYKC 32 - WINNER PRAMOD SRINIVASAN Tilak Nagar, Kurla Mumbai

One all-correct entry will get Free Stay at Le-Meridien, Kochi

[ 2 nights and 3 days for two ]*

Nestled amongst 25 acres of coconut groves and backwater rivers, Le Méridien Cochin Resort & Convention Centre sits at the heart of one of India's most naturally beautiful cities, Kochi. This prestigious landmark houses 5 floors of luxurious accommodation for international business and leisure travelers. The 151 spacious rooms and suites, most with breathtaking views over the manicured gardens and the backwaters. * Conditions apply

JUNE 2010


kerala traveller

Artificial Reef at Kovalam Commissioned

Kollam Info Booklet Launched

A

K

multi purpose artificial submerged reef has been commissioned recently at Kovalam, the famous beach destination in Kerala, recently. The reef, installed bet ween the Light House and the Edakkal rocks of f the Light House beach, will protect the severely eroding coast besides making the resort a round-the-year sur fing destination.

with sand are the building blocks of the reef which is 110m long, 38m wide and has a volume of 4000 cubic meter. It has been placed at a depth of three metres to seven metres so that the reef will block breakers more than one-metre high, leaving only small waves to wash up the shore. Kerala Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan commissioned the reef and the walkway the presence of Fisheries Minister S. Sarma, Revenue The project, funded under the Centre's tsunami Minister K.P. Rajendran, MLA George Mercier, Addirehabilitation programme, was executed by the NewZealand-based Artificial Sur fing Reef Ltd. The Harbour tional Tourism Director K N Satheesh IAS, Vizhinjam Engineering Department has set up the reef for Kerala Panchayath President Sudha Devi and Harbour Engineering Dept. Chief Engineer N Mohan Kumar. Tourism. 28 geo-tex tile bags of dif ferent sizes filled

ASIAN TRAVELLER

• 29 •

erala Tourism has launched a Kollam information booklet. This is the first part of the 'Quiet Alternatives to Overcrowded Destinations' series which highlights offbeat and idyllic destinations of Kerala. As part of this venture, the state tourism department has published a map and booklet on Kollam. The booklet has a comprehensive listing of all hotels, home stays, restaurants, Ayurveda treatment services and hospitals available in Kollam, along with substantial data to facilitate travel within the district.

JUNE 2010


variety

JUNE 2010 Asia Luxury Travel Market, Shanghai, China

14 - 17

JULY 2010 Aviation Outlook China 2010

06 - 08

IITM, Bangalore

10 - 12

Puri Rath Yatra, Orissa

13

IITM, Chennai

16 - 18

TTF, Hyderabad

23 - 25

TTF, Calcutta

31 - Aug 2

Shaveta Varma has been appointed The PR and Communication Manager for India Market of South African Tourism.

Manu T. G. Nair, Managing Partner of Universal Tours and Travels, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala has been elected as the Southern Regional Chairman for IAAI

AUGUST 2010 Teej Festival, Jaipur, India Punnamada Boat Race, Kerala, India

12 - 13 14

TTF, Ahmedabad

20 - 22

TTF, Surat

27 - 29

CIBTM, Beijing, China

31 - Sept 02

SEPTEMBER 2010 IITM, Mumbai

03 - 05

PATA Travel Mart, Macau

14 - 17

KTM, Kochi, India

23 - 26

JUNE 2010

Jayakrishnan G. has been promoted as Asst. Vice President (Sales) of Thomas Hotels & Resorts India (P) Ltd and will be the sales head for the group properties which includes Estuary Island, Turtle on the Beach, Magic Days, Tomsinn, Leisure Villas and Sukhshantin Ayurvedic Resort

• 30 •

Shaini B. J. has joined Media Steps India (the publishers of Asian Traveller) as Senior Manager-Marketing

ASIAN TRAVELLER


Asian Traveller June 2010  

Travel & Trade Publication on travel and tourism industry in the Asia Pacific region

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