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CONTENT Vol. 2 | No. 1 | OCTOBER 2008

Stage Set For WTM 2008

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This year's edition of World Travel Market (WTM), the global trade event for the travel industry, will open on November 10 at ExCel in London.

A Managing Editor Group Editor Executive Editor Consultant Editor Photo Editor Art Editor Editorial Team

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Director (Operations) Director (Finance) Legal Advisor Financial Advisor G.M-North Sr.Mgr. Tamilnadu

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AUSTRALIA

: Bandana K. Prasad 0061-892757447 : Vladimir Harizanov 00359-36186565 : Sam Mathew 00966-505150513 : Abdul Najeeb 0044-7769940391 : Bob A. Rex 00960 7776212 : Sanjeev S. L. 00971-501640549 : Mariam Titus 00965-6236120 : V. K. Gangal 09871180498 : Prajwala Poojary 09819880751 : Rohil Kumar A. B. 09844001625 : Nisha J. 09841008588 : K.S. Johnson 09441236010 : P. Mohandas 09719055472 : P. Deenadayalu 09843129535 : M. P. Sreekumar 09447118694 : Anurag Sinha 09830015667 : A. R. Azeem 09745444133 : M. Sreekumar : Jaya Rajeshwari Dhanya J. S. Vidhu Krishna

BULGARIA

10 Ram Gupta, MD, Hampshire Hotels and Resorts

13 Dr Lakshmi Parthasarathy IAS Principal Secretary Andhra Pradesh

KSA LONDON MALDIVES UAE

Inaugural ITB Asia Attendance Exceeds Expectations

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KUWAIT NEW DELHI MUMBAI

The inaugural ITB Asia B2B travel show closed in Singapore with 6,208 delegates joining the three-day event.

BANGALORE CHENNAI HYDERABAD

PTM 2008 Hyderabad An Unmatched Success 10 Questions

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Woman of the Month

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM Circulation Administration

NEW REPORT PREDICTS INDIA'S TOURISM INDUSTRY TO DOUBLE BY 2010

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HHR TARGETS METROS, TIER II CITIES IN INDIA

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KTM 2008 CONCLUDED ON A HIGH NOTE

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RS.120 CR SPENT ON TOURIST DESTINATIONS IN TAMIL NADU

FLYING HIGH Pran S Dasan

AS I TRAVEL V Duraikkannan

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MADURAI

KOLKATA

Columns

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DEHRADUN

ERNAKULAM

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Travel Mart held at Hyderabad International Convention Centre in India has been a great success .

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Cover Photo: Retheesh Kariyam

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Publication G. Biju Krishnan G. Gopakumar* Lerbin T. K. Dr. Madhav Manoj Retheesh Kariyam Amal Prasad R. Parameswaran Smitha R. M. P. Sreekumar K. Harikrishnan V. N.Gopalakrishnan Nair B. Prasad Wg. Cdr. V. K. Gangal P. Deenadayalu

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, www.mediastepsindia.com Regd. Office: Media Steps India, TC-27/1915, MBRRA 70, Mathrubhoomi Rd., Thiruvananthapuram–695 001, Kerala State, South India. Mumbai Office: Media Steps India, 1, Akbar Villa, Near Old State Bank Bus Stop, Marol-Maroshi Road, Marol, Andheri (E), Mumbai - 400059 India Tel.: +91 22 29253086 Hyderabad Office: Media Steps India, # B-305 & 309, Vasudha Apartments, Quthbullapur Road, New Jeedimetla, Hyderabad-500 055, Andhra Pradesh, India Tel.: +91 40 23080750, +91 40 23176966, +91 40 23176996, Fax: +91 40 27535260 Chennai Office: Media Steps India, 6/4, Sangeetha Gardens, 19th Street Ext, Jai Nagar, Arumbakkam, Chennai - 600 106. Tel: +91 44 42640531 EDITED, PRINTED & PUBLISHED BY G. Biju Krishnan and Printed at M/s. Safire Offset Printers, Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu for Cristal Printers, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala State, South India. Reg No.: KERENG 01910/11/1/2006-TC EDITOR: G. Biju Krishnan The news items and Advertisements published herein have been collected from various source, which are considered to be reliable. Readers are however requested to verify the facts before making business decisions using the same. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written permission from the Publisher. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2008 *Responsible for selection of news under the PRB Act


EDITOR’S NOTE

ccording to a study commissioned for ITB Asia, the ongoing financial and economic crisis is threatening the survival of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which include from small inns and lodges and niche-market tour operators to restaurants, souvenir shops, guides, MICE event organisers, etc., in Asia Pacific's travel and tourism industry. The study, which has been presented at the inaugural edition of ITB Asia held in Singapore, says that the governments in the region should place a higher priority on protecting their most valuable - and most vulnerable - entrepreneurs. Imtiaz Muqbil, Executive Editor of Travel Impact Newswire, who authored the study titled "Strengthening Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in the Asia Pacific Travel & Tourism Industry," cautioned that "It is time for some serious soul-searching about ensuring and insuring the future of SMEs in travel and tourism. If they suffer, the markets will just continue to consolidate in the hands of the major companies, which is not in the interest of any country." The current economic crisis through which the world is passing has affected every business and economic activity. Not to say tourism is the first sector that got affected. The Asia's Inbound and Outbound markets are getting affected. ITB Asia has discussed the issue and came out with a few observations. The focus should be on customer needs during a downturn - a panel discussion pointed out. The crisis generates new market segments with core values being very much the message of the day. Brands in Asia have generally developed in the shadow of Western ones, which have had a longer presence in global markets. Asian companies have for too long paid little attention to branding. Furthermore, Asian companies often experience difficulties coping with local differences within markets. Panelists also said that another difficult task for local brands, in part, comes from a pan-Asia preference for Western brands, which are perceived as a symbol of economic affluence. At the same time industry observers feel that while there would be a decline in the growth curve of the industry across all segments. The inbound travel from the West to the Asian destinations also stands to get seriously affected. But as on many previous occasions tourism will certainly find a way to bounce back - the industry is hoping for the best.

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G. Biju Krishnan Editor & Publisher

Accolades

Capt. Nair Among Septuagenarian Icons Indian hospitality legend Capt. CP Krishnan Nair, along with three other corporate giants including Basant Kumar Birla, Keshub Mahindra and Kushal Pal Singh, has been listed among the world's top 50 septuagenarian business heads in the likes of Warren Buffet, Rupert Murdoch, Hugh Hefner, Alan Greenspan, Gorge Soros by Business Week magazine. "A self-made businessman, Nair is at ease hobnobbing with the Indian powers as he is with world figures like the Dalai Lama, who often stays at the Leela in Mumbai. Nair oversees his business," commended the magazine about C P Krishnan Nair. Among Indians, 87 year old Basant Kumar Birla is the Chairman of Birla Group and Keshub is the Chairman of Mahindra and Mahindra at the age of 84. While 84-year-old C P Krishnan Nair is the Chairman of Hotel Leela Venture, 77-year old Kushal Pal Singh is the Chairman of DLF group.

Verbatim

Terrorism divides the world and tourism unites the world. Tourism can attract the world attention to the land of Gujarat.

Narendra Modi Chief Minister, Gujarat

ASIAN TRAVELLER OCTOBER 2008

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Stage Set For WTM 2008 his year's edition of World Travel Market (WTM), the premiere global trade event for the travel industry, will open on November 10, at ExCel in London. A full programme of conferences, seminars, B2B meetings, and industry initiatives will run across three days, along with a number of new initiatives such as an extended Responsible Tourism programme and exhibitor to exhibitor networking initiatives. Organised by Reed Exhibitions WTM remains a trade only exhibition and will conclude on November 13.

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New Report Predicts India's Tourism Industry to Double by 2010 ccording to a new report from Report Buyer, India is to see an influx of 10 million international tourists by 2010, up from 5 million in 2007. Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Rajasthan are the leading tourism destinations in India, in terms of total tourist arrivals, says the report. The report 'Indian Tourism Analysis' provides a thorough insight into

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OCTOBER 2008 ASIAN TRAVELLER

the Indian tourism market. With a focus on different parameters of tourism industry the report offers a look into inbound and outbound tourism, expenditure by inbound tourists, medical tourism, as well as hotel industry. The report notes that India is one of the tourism markets with most potential and has expanded rapidly over the past few years. Underpinned by government support, rising income level and v a r i o u s international sports events, the tourism industry will continue to grow at a fast pace, the report says. However it also

driving domestic as well as outbound tourism. Indian outbound tourist flow is expected to increase at a CAGR of 13.30 per cent over the fiveyear period spanning from 2008 to 2012. India's share in the global tourism is expected to reach 1.5 per cent by 2010. The growth in India's tourism market cautions that the industry may have to cope up with several challenges which will limit its growth. Other key findings of the report are: India has been promoting its healthcare tourism by providing visitors with private healthcare facilities. It is expected that the total market for medical tourism will reach USD two billion by 2012, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 60.69 per cent. Personal disposable income during 2002-2007 grew at a CAGR of 14.16 per cent, thereby

is expected to serve as a boom, driving the growth of several associated sectors, including the hotel, medical and aviation industries. Report Buyer is a UK-based independent online store supplying business information.


Historic UNWTO Ministers' Summit at WTM ore than 100 government Tourism Ministers and senior aides will meet at World Travel Market this year to examine the impact of the current economic meltdown. They will look at its impact on the pressing global industry issues of poverty reduction, sustainability and climate change. World Travel Market's Ministers' Summit on November 11, at ExCeL London, part of WTM's Ministers' Programme, is in partnership with the UNWTO. The half-day meeting will be broadcast into a separate room for delegates to watch, as well as on screens in ExCeL's Central Boulevard. "Faced with the economic uncertainty, tourism must seriously look at how these reservations will affect the industry while making sure not to loose sight of its commitment to provide solutions to global challenges, particularly global warming, sustainable development and poverty," Fiona Jeffery, chairman, World Travel Market. The meeting will discuss subjects that are vital to the entire industry including Mitigating GHG emissions from tourism, especially within transport and accommodation, adapting tourism businesses and destinations to changing climate conditions, applying existing and new technologies to improve energy efficiency and secure financial resources to assist regions and countries in need.

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New Admission Policy From This Year Onwards orld Travel Market has an nounced a new admission policy, designed to benefit both exhibitors and visitors alike. The new WTM policy includes changes to the structure of the daily format, with WTM opening day open to Exhibitors, Exhibitor Invitees, Ministers, and press. The following three days, will be accessible to all Meridian Club members, Travel Trade professionals, Ministers and press, giving participants more flexibility to choose the days they wish to visit the exhibition. Students will be invited to attend WTM on November 12 and 13 November, where they will participate in a structured education programme. Individuals from the retail arm of the travel industry including travel agents, home workers and call centre staff will be invited to attend WTM on November 13. WTM remains a trade only exhibition. A full programme of conferences, seminars, B2B meetings, and industry initiatives will run across three days.

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World Responsible Tourism Day

at WTM TM's World Responsible Tourism Day event which will take place on Novem ber 12 at ExCeL London aims to be the most ambitious and controversial ever. The series of presentations, debates, seminars and workshops are expected to rocket responsible tourism issues to the very top of the agenda, pushing boundaries to a new level of scrutiny. "World class leaders, international responsible tourism experts and many respected leaders with passion and commitment to a more sustainable world will be taking a lead in the sessions", said Fiona Jeffery, Chairperson, WTM. "We want to inspire, provoke and above all, make delegates think more deeply about the kind of legacy the industry wants the next generation to inherit. "We will be asking the kind of difficult questions the industry frequently shies away from; we want to make people stop and think," she said. WTM's World Responsible Tourism Day, now in its second year, is in association with the UNWTO and backed by all the leading industry organisations. It is designed to encourage a collective day of global action on responsible tourism.

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FACE TO FACE

HHR Targets Metros, Tier II Cities in India New York-based Hampshire Hotels and Resorts, has plans to invest Rs 5,000 crore to build hotels across India in a span of four years. Major portion of the proposed investment would be dedicated for building up new hotels in southern part of India. The Group plans to set up new hotels under the brand of Hampshire Plaza and Dream Hotels in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Chennai. The group will hold forth the promise of Highest guest service and guest satisfaction across all the properties in the country. Ram Gupta, Managing Director, Hampshire Hotels and Resorts spoke to Asian Traveller exclusively. Excerpts:

Our marketing strategy is based on principle of absolute guest satisfaction and giving them a product that is unbeatable. If these two things are there the product will sell automatically. Definitely we need to take the product to the people as Dream is a new concept in the Indian market.

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Immediate and long term plans of the company Our plans are almost immediate for everything. Currently we have opened one hotel in Hyderabad, 'Hampshire Plaza'. It has been rebranded to 'Dream hotel' which will be open by the middle of next year. The second hotel is in Kochi which we took in practically ready conditions but we have ripped everything out and we are doing it to our standards. This will be opening by the first week of January to the public. Then we are coming up with Bangalore and one more hotel in Cochin in the Silversand Island and one more hotel in Hyderabad in Banjara Hills, followed by two hotels in Bangalore, a hotel in Delhi, a hotel in Jaipur and a hotel in Mumbai. These are the hotels in hand right now. We just entered the Indian market which was just fifteen months ago. To get one hotel rolling in fifteen months and the next one ready to roll, it is a good achievement considering the environment and regulatory systems India and to get the permissions, sanctions and permits. Everybody has been very helpful to us and has encouraged us to move ahead with our projects. About the Group Hampshire Hotels and Resorts is based in New York. We have over 2500 rooms in New York City just in Manhattan and Bavaria. We are the single largest operator of rooms there. All the hotels are Hip, Chick and Botique hotels. The hotels are very much famous among the young people mostly aged between 25 and 35 and maybe up to 40. They have almost 90 plus per cent occupancy. We also have a hotel in London, Bushall which is being renovated. We opened a hotel in Bangkok two years back and last year we added hundred rooms

more full filling our 200 room boutique hotel dream. Then we are coming to India in a big way as there are many opportunities here. Marketing Strategy Our marketing strategy is based on principle of absolute guest satisfaction and giving them a product that is unbeatable. If these two things are there the product will sell automatically. Definitely we need to take the product to the people as Dream is a new concept in the Indian market. That is why we have a full fledged marketing team here. We are confident of attracting the segment that we are aiming at. Expectations from the hospitality market I expect them to do good neat and clean transparent business. We feel that the more the competition the better it is because it will keep them on their toes.

Position of the group in the market We have only one brand in India which is the 'Dream' and the Dream brand is the boutique luxury brand. It is for the high end users. We position ourselves as a niche hotel which is away from the syndrome of categorization to stars. We are boutique. Your message to the youth coming in to the hospitality industry. There is always one message. Nothing comes without hard work.


ITB ASIA

Inaugural ITB Asia Attendance Exceeds Expectations he inaugural ITB Asia B2B travel show closed in Singapore with 6,208 delegates joining the three-day event. The attendance was 24.2 per cent more than the 5,000 anticipated by event organiser, Messe Berlin. The 651 exhibitor companies who took 10,600 square metres of space in the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre were 30.2 per cent more than the targeted 500. Buyers and trade visitors

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arrived from 70 countries. In total, there were representatives from 90 countries at the event. The ITB Asia Convention, the Web in Travel event and the Association of Corporate Travel Executive forum attracted a

Ernst Hinsken; Federal Government Commissioner for Tourism, Federal Republic of Germany; Lim Hng Kiang, Minister for Trade & Industry and Raimund Hosch Chief Executive Officer of Messe Berlin at the Opening Ceremony

improvements to ensure an even better ITB Asia next year." The next ITB Asia will take place 21-23 October, 2009. ITB Asia took place for the first time at Suntec Singapore on during October 22 to 24. It was organised by Messe Berlin (Singapore) Pte Ltd in conjunction with Singapore Tourism Board. The event featured more than 650 exhibiting companies from the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Middle East, covering not only the

leisure market, but also corporate and MICE travel. It included exhibition pavilions and tabletop presence for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) providing travel services. Exhibitors from every sector of the industry, including destinations, airlines and airports, hotels & resorts, theme parks & attractions, inbound tour operators, inbound DMCs, cruise lines, spas, venues, other meeting facilities and travel technology companies all attended.

Positive Digital Storm Brewing

Asia a Major Growth Source

"positive digital storm" is being created that will bring un precedented opportunities and power to online travel companies. That was the assessment delivered by Philip Wolf, President & CEO of PhoCusWright, a US-based travel industry research company. He told delegates at the ITB Asia Convention that unlike a "perfect storm" which had negative connotations, the imminent "positive digital storm" would allow companies to solve big problems for customers, exploit fantastic advances in technology, and avoid skills-focused decision making and business model preservation. The number of agency locations has declined and their market share has slipped. Facing significant upheaval in their industry, many in the agency community have had to respond strategically, tactically and - most of all - aggressively, to adapt, survive and succeed.

ccording to a leading European leisure travel company, Asia and Russia offers a huge growth opportunity for the future. Peter Long, CEO of TUI Travel PLC, speaking at the ITB Asia Convention said, "We expect to see another 600 to 700 million people travelling from and within Asia over the next five years - and mainly to other Asian destinations." TUI Travel, part of one of the world's leading leisure groups operates primarily in markets at a mature stage of development, but it sees its future growth coming largely from emerging markets, which it why it is now focusing on Asia and Russia. Long said that he expects Asian markets to show different demand patterns from its European sources - there will not be the same interest in mass-market products, for example. The fact that TUI believes most of the demand will be for intraregional destinations also explains why the group has invested so heavily in developing infrastructure in the region.

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total of 1,375 delegates, many of them concerned about the global economic situation and how the travel industry should respond. "We are very impressed by the positive response from the travel industry," said Dr Martin Buck, Director of Messe Berlin (Singapore). "This is proof we have met customer expectations by focusing exclusively on Asian source markets, following a B2B format, running a high quality hosted buyer programme, and putting our trust in the convenience and professionalism of Singapore as the host venue. Initial survey results from delegates have shown an 86 per cent overall approval rating for the inaugural event. Over 95 per cent said they would recommend their business partners to attend ITB Asia. More than 94 per cent said they would visit ITB Asia 2009. "We are now in the process of negotiating expanded floor space for 2009," said Dr Buck. "We will analyse the full survey results and make extra

OCTOBER 2008 ASIAN TRAVELLER

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FACE TO FACE

Andhra to Promote Budhist Circuits

Dr Lakshmi Parthasarathy IAS

There are dream destinations and then there is Awesome Andhra Pradesh, says the official website of Andhara Pradesh Tourism. Andhra Pradesh offers everything from amazing beaches to appetizing bir yanis, dense forests to dynastic forts, hot idlis to happening I.T, historic places to happiness personified, shopping zones to spacious zoos and spicy delectable cuisine. Andhra Pradesh is the fifth largest state in India and the largest in South India. The excellent infrastructure of Roads, Rail facilities, Airports and Por ts, makes Andhra Pradesh easily accessible. The availability of transpor t, accommodation and a variety of cuisine makes the state a preferred tourist destination. The best time of the year to visit Andhra Pradesh is during the winter months (November to February), when the climate is pleasant. Summers (March to May) are quite hot with the mercury shooting up to 20째41째C. Monsoons (June to October) are sultry yet fun for those who enjoy rains. Dr Lakshmi Parthasarathy IAS, Principal Secretary to the Government, Tourism, Culture and Archeology & Museums, Government of Andhra Pradesh spoke to Asian Traveller about various aspects of tourism in the state. Excerpts:

How do you position your state in the market? I think we should be in the top slot in the tourism map and we have all the potential for it. What is the role of the state department in the promotion of tourism in Andhra Pradesh? We are by large facilitators, because we are new in the scenario of aggressive marketing and states like Kerala has been in this job for a long time. But now we have a good hotel industry coming up, especially in places like Warrangal and the interiors like Sindpur, Anantapur etc, which are close to Bangalore airport in Karnataka. In case of Tirupati, it was once a place where people come take a darshan and go. But now we are converting it to a place where people can stay with their family at least for a couple of days. A temple town is also being developed there. We are opening up a lot of infrastructure options like resorts in public private partnership. What are the innovative products or projects being brought out by the state? We have a good potential in the water resources and we are trying to bring in the houseboats. There is one place where the sea meets River Godavari, which is really amazing. We are also figuring out the chances to use houseboats as transportation channels from place to place. We are thinking of Nagarjuna Sagar to Sreeshylam as one of them.

What are the major problems that are faced by the tourism industry in the state? Although we have good road networks the travellers don't find it easy to move around the state and lose most of their time in travel. For example Nagarjuna Sagar is one of the beautiful places, and we also have the best of the monuments there. But the visitor coming to Hyderabad will have to travel about four hours to reach the place. With the new airport it has been lessen to about one and a half hour. So we are aiming to develop air strips to solve the connectivity problems. What is the budget allocation for the tourism department from the state government? The budget from the government is about fifty to sixty crore rupees and the department of archeology and department of culture which has separate budg-

ets. Altogether we have about hundred crore. The tourism development corporation is doing quite well. They have a turnover. We don't feel hampered by the budget. We have a lot of potential in the form of land. The chief minister has been very kind and has given a lot of land to the tourism department which attracts a lot of public private partnership. Do you have any joint venture with your neighbouring states? We have been in touch with them especially on the Southern Splendour project along with Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Unfortunately it didn't kick off. Currently we jointly exchange notes etc. We are currently planning to promote the Buddhist circuits. What is your message to the traveller? It is 'Come to Hyderabad, come many times to Hyderabad.'

Andhra to Develop Tourist Spot at Nizamsagar ndhra Pradesh Government has decided to develop 500 acres at Nizamsagar as a tourist spot on the same lines as the Brindavan Gardens. A decision to this effect was taken by the Chief Minister, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, at a meeting with the Tourism Minister and officials concerned in Hyderabad recently. According to a press release from the Chief Minister's Office Dr Reddy has also given the nod for establishing three star hotels - one five-star, one four-star and one three-star hotel - on PPP model on Tourism Department's land near the National Academy of Construction and Hitex in Hyderabad. He asked the department to begin the proceedings by calling tenders. Dr Reddy also reviewed the project of developing eco-adventure tourism resort and mini golf course of Idupulapaya in Kadapa district. The release said the tender for the project has been approved and work has been entrusted to the contractor and the project would consist of entrance plaza, administrative unit, restaurant and conference hall, cottages with 16 rooms, two view towers, parking and landscaping. The mini golf course consultant also has been appointed and design and estimates will be completed by middle October and tenders by Novemberend. It is expected that the golf course will be ready by March 2009 and the total cost of the project is envisaged at Rs 3.80 crore. Dr Reddy also decided to hand over the responsibility of completing the work from canal to sump to the field to the Irrigation Department for speedy completion of the project.

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Q & A

PASCAL DUPUIS GENERAL MANAGER THE LEELA KEMPINSKI GOA, INDIA

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How do you position the hotel in the market? Goa is a great leisure destination and Leela has been here for the last eighteen years. We have completely redone about ten years ago and thereby set the tone for Leela to be one of the top hotels in Goa - not only in terms of facilities but the look, services, activities etc. So being at the top we had to face new competitions after new properties sprang up in the place. The competition is not that high as in Delhi and Mumbai. We have set ourselves to be in the niche market in the Goan luxury sector. We market ourselves to be the leader of the market. How important a role does a hotel play in developing a destination? The hotel has an obligation to set the tone of the destination. Goa is becoming more and more a luxury destination which offers good value for money. The pricing is not as high as in destinations like Maldives or Seychelles. A hotel has the responsibility to announce a destination, not only to promote the destination but each hotel should and must have a feel of the place. That is what Leela is doing and that is important. Tell us about your entry to the Hospitality sector? I like the environment in hotels. So at 15 years I joined a Hotel Management School and graduated from there. After working at a few famous hotels in France I moved to London and became a receptionist at the Regent Piccadilly and later the front office manger. Later I moved to Shelton Park Tower as front office manager and moved to San Martin as Assistant General Manager and was promoted to Manager where I spent four years. After ten years in London I decided to move to Paris and I became the General Manager at a five star property which is a part of the Preferred Hotels and Resorts. From there after all these years in the hotel industry, in the business city hotels I wanted to see another aspect of hotels. So I decided to go to the resorts. After a short stint at Mauritius I joined The Leela. Tell us about your experience with the Leela? From the beginning and even before I joined, the mission is to make sure the Leela remains the top five star hotel in Goa even though the competition is high and catching up. For me it has been a great experience after two months. The work standards I receive from the staff have been exceptional. What contributions have you made to make Leela a better place? The hotel has already set the tone. I bring

my experience to the table, the European experience and the Mauritian experience in top five star hotels. It is important to increase guest satisfaction. For that we always look up to staff satisfaction. We cannot ask the staff something, if we don't provide him the tools and equipments, working environment. That was my first contribution. Which is your favourite destination? I haven't seen the whole world. Mauritius is a growing destination because it combines white sand, sun, beautiful water and great people. I also like the life in the United States. I am from south of France and to me it is a great place. It is very hard to say that I prefer some place until I see everything. Japan is an amazing country. Tokyo is fascinating. I still have the whole of Asia to look for, to Argentina and other South American states and in Africa. What is your impression on India as a country and as a destination? India is a fascinating country in terms of the growth and development they want to achieve. Each state has its own language, traditions, culture etc. and that makes the country more fascinating. I think there is no country that can offer so much diversity. I feel India is destination that is not marketed properly. Where would you like to see yourself ten years from now? I am an operational person. I would like to be a Vice President of operations for a group. I know I wouldn't miss a lot in the operations. I would like to move along as General Manager or Area General Manager. The positions are important but not essential to me. I like to put in a lot of changes and a company which allows me to do this and sets great standards and move from level of service to the other. As long as I have these challenges I will be very happy. I can do this till the end of my career. Tell us about your family. I have a beautiful wife and a ten year old daughter. I have been married for thirteen years. It is not easy to be married to a hotelier because of the odd hours. But she is always a great support. Our ten year old daughter is also amazing. She was born in London, lived in Paris, Mauritius and now in India. She has been adapting well and we make sure the family environment is great. I wouldn't have been what I am with the support and understanding from the family. What are your hobbies? I am addicted to golf. I am glad Leela is having a small court where I can practice.


PTM 2008

PTM 2008 Hyderabad

An Unmatched Success he current edition of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Travel Mart held at Hyderabad International Convention Centre, India has been a great success with the tremendous participations, volume business generation, supplementary events and the superior quality of the international event.

buyers accounting for 10per cent of the total. More than 170 qualified buyers were firsttimers to the Mart, including buyers from 12 new and expanding markets, such as Romania, Slovenia, Brazil, Peru, Cambodia, the Maldives, and the Gulf markets. Selection of India as the host country for PTM 2008 was l a r g e l y because the country's t o u r i s m Industry is among the strongest and most dynamic in the region with strong potential for f u r t h e r growth. "With such a strong Ambika Soni, Minister for Tourism and Culture, India outbound formally inaugurates PTM 2008. Janice Antonson, Chairman, PATA is also seen performance, and doubleApproximately 1,089 trade digit growth in inbound arrivals, delegates, comprising 374 global India is a compelling host buyers from 324 organisations destination for this year's PATA of 56 countries and 715 Asia Travel Mart," were the views Pacific seller delegates from 301 expressed by Janice Antonson, organisations participated in the Chairman, PATA. Travel Mart. Several countries PATA president and CEO and organizations have put up Peter de Jong warned that the their pavilions and stalls over the man-made calamities would 3,700 square metre space. The have an impact on the tourism sold-out PATA Travel Mart this industry. "The great story of Asia year reinforced its position as a Pacific is that regardless of these premier travel trade event in the incidents throughout our recent Asia Pacific Region. history, the growth continues. As host destination, India The rebound of tourism is provided the largest single- phenomenal. We are ready to source market buyer contingent, cope with them and have become with strong growth coming from more resilient about them," he China (PRC). The North America said. pavilion makes its PTM debut in Indian Tourism and Culture 2008, joining a growing list of minister Ambika Soni said that regional, national and state-level global travellers were still tourism organisations that now not deterred by terror make up 12 per cent of the attacks. "They have decided Sellers. Regionally, European that no man-made tragedy buyers lead the way, followed by is going to deter him or her Asian, Gulf, and North American from travelling and bonding buyers, with Pacific and African with other citizens of

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different countries,' she said. She said that while PATA had predicted a six percent increase, India was recording almost 12 to 14 percent increase in the inbound tourist flow despite natural and man- made calamities. She said that India and other developing countries were against the idea of curtailing long haul flights in the name of fighting global warming. Destination "Incredible India" gave ample evidence of its diversity with a large contingent of sellers, representing about 28 per cent of the exhibitors at the Travel Mart, with the remaining 72 per cent being international exhibitors from the Asia Pacific Region. The Indian exhibitors at the Mart comprised leading hotels and tour operators as well as state governments, including the host state Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Uttarakhand. Results from PATA's eSurvey, conducted immediately after the event, show that 97 percent of

buyers rate PTM 2008 as either 'satisfactory' or 'excellent.' Some 96 percent of sellers similarly rated the show. "We're delighted with this response as it reflects the commitment shown by our hosts in Hyderabad and the determination of the industry to weather the current storm," said PATA events director Sheila Leong. In addition to the business sessions, hosted dinners with entertainment programmes, lunches, sightseeing tours and golf games provide multiple opportunities for delegates to savour the culture and cuisine of the country as well as the tourist sites of Hyderabad. A highlight of the event was the environment friendly measures adopted during the Mart, including minimum distribution of papers / documents in kit bags, water dispensers & environment friendly cups, recycling bins for paper and plastic, maximum use of electronic signage to reduce paper signage, and a Tree Plantation Drive in Hyderabad during the Travel Mart.

Macau Named Host for PATA 2010 ith the scenic town of Hangzhou hosting PATA Travel Mart next year, Chinese fielded a delegation almost as large as India's at the PATA Travel Mart 2008. The Chinese delegation consisting 40 buyers and 40 sellers of has been enthusiastic about both PTM 2008 and PATA. Hangzhou Tourism Commission's Han Xiao complimented Hyderabad on its hosting of PATA Travel Mart 2008. "We're proud to host PTM next year, and hope to do as superb a Mart as this," he exclaimed. PATA has also anHangzh ou nounced Macau as the host for PTM 2010, which is expected to attract 1,500 participants. Macau successfully hosted the 54th PATA Annual Conference in 2005 and it was widely applauded by attendees.

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Macau


PERSONALITY

SHILPA SETHI GENERAL MANAGER BUZ TRAVEL MARKETING

How did you become interested in hospitality business? Please tell us about the beginning of your career. I started my career with KLM Airlines with the ground team then moved on to United Airlines handling corporate marketing and sales. Then I started my own company offering consultancy services by way of negotiating bulk rates or discount structures on total business with hotels and airlines for individual corporates. What is your current role in your company? I am the General Manager of Buz Travel Marketing. Our core focus is offering representation services to foreign national tourist offices and non conflicting tourism products. Buzz Travel Marketing represents clients like Netherlands Boards of Tourism and Conventions, Philippines Tourism Marketing Office, Munich Tourist Office, Macau Government Tourism Office and Turkish Tourism Office. What plans - immediate and long term - do you have? Servicing our existing clients and acquiring new clients are the primary

objective. To become the leading representation company in India offering unique marketing solutions, media relations and event management services is our aim. As a hospitality industry professional what is your ambition? Where would you like to see yourself ten years from now? With a host of new clients added to our existing bouquet. What has been the greatest influence in your professional life? The biggest influence is discovering the sheer potential of the growing economy leading to such huge growths in the leisure industry. As woman, what were the challenges you had to face in your professional life? What is your advice to young girls who enter the sector? I haven't faced any real challenges on account of being a woman really. All young girls who get into this sector - if this is the kind of work they enjoy - should excel at it, do what they believe in and stick to their guns. What is the secret of your success? Loving the work I do. What is your proudest moment in your job? I think each time a job is well done is a proud moment for me. Now tell us about your family. My parents live in Nagpur and I have a sister and brother who live in New York What are your hobbies? I read, cook and love to acquire new skills.

Buzz Travel Marketing India Private Limited is one of India's dynamic travel representation companies with a core focus on NTO representation. Buzz has over five years experience working with tourist offices around the world and understands their needs and requirements. Current Representation Clients include Macau, Munich, Holland, Philippines and Turkey. Client Budgets have been successfully leveraged through co-operative partnership marketing campaigns. Buzz maintains offices in New Delhi and Mumbai.

Grand Hyatt Mumbai wins World Luxury Hotel Award rand Hyatt Mumbai, India was declared winner for the best Luxury Hotel and Conference Centre category at the World Luxury Hotel Awards held on October 18, 2008 at 300 year old Lanzerac Estate situated in South Africa's famous Cape Winelands. Among the 22 award categories there were two nominations from India. It was a historical moment when the winners of the World Luxury Hotel Awards where announced on Saturday evening the 18th of October 2008. Top Luxury Hotels, Lodges & Resorts kept their fingers crossed that they would be among the category winners. The World Luxury Hotel Awards is about congratulating hotels that have taken the extra step with regards to their facilities and service excellence and as such differentiated themselves from

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'good hotels' to 'exceptional hotels'. Hotels that guests would recommend not once but for many years to come. "The sheer number of participants in my humble view shows that there is indeed a demand internationally for an award system solely for Luxury Hotels, Lodges & Resorts", said Brandon Lourens, CEO and Founder of the World Luxury Hotel Awards.


KTM

KTM 2008 Concluded On a High Note

he fifth edition of Kerala Travel Mart concluded on a high note at the Le Meridien Convention Centre in Kochi. This year's Travel Mart was the best among all so far, both in terms of quality and response, said E M Najeeb, President, KTM Society. 590 international sellers and 1,050 domestic sellers participated. On the buying front, 309 international and 734 domestic players had registered and delegates from 37 countries had descended on Kochi for the parleys. A trilateral agreement has been signed between India, Brazil and South Africa for a tourism cooperation deal to give the tourism and trade sectors in the respective countries a solid boost.

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Kerala CM Calls for Efforts to Promote Domestic Tourism .S. Achuthanandan, who inaugurated the four-day event on September 20, called for efforts to promote domestic tourism to woo international tourists. As the State gets more aid from the Centre to promote tourism, he said, it can be converted into a most-sought after global tourism destination with its scenic hill stations, water bodies, all-round greenery, moderate climate, rich heritage and above all, a peace loving society. The Chief Minister pointed out that improving infrastructure is essential to attract more visitors. Speaking on the occasion, the State Tourism Minister, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, said that the State's tourism sector is a good example of successful public-private partnership. By making

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tourism beneficial to the local community, the State had set a model for sustainable growth, he said. The Government is taking all steps to ensure that tourists have a safe and secure stay in the State, he added. Leena Nandan IAS, Joint Secretary, India Tourism; S Sharma, Minister for Fisheries and Registration; Dr V Venu IAS, Secretary, Kerala Tourism; M Sivasankaran IAS, Director, Kerala Tourism; Cheriyan Philip, Chairperson, Kerala Tourism Development Corporation; E M Najeeb, President, KTM Society and Sanjay Sharma, GM, Le Meridien attended the function. Amitabh Kant IAS, Principal Secretary and Special Commissioner (Industry), Government, Thomas Chandy MLA and K G Mohanlal IFS, Managing Director, Kerala Tourism Development Corporation India were also present on the occasion besides delegates from India and abroad.

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India, Brazil & South Africa Sign Tourism Cooperation Pact ndia, Brazil and South Africa signed the draft of a tourism co-operation deal at the Kerala Travel Mart, to give the tourism and trade sectors in the respective countries a solid boost. The joint secretary in the tourism department of the central government Leela Nandan signed the agreement on behalf of India. Diplomats Carlos R Santana and Zukiswa Nekhgranye of Brazil and South Africa respectively signed the tourism pact on behalf of their countries. Speaking on the occasion Leela Nandan pointed out that this was a draft deal and that the memorandum of understanding (MoU) would be signed the in New Delhi later in October. Carlos R Santana remarked that agreement would certainly boost tourism activities as well as provide for better understanding and building of goodwill and friendship between our countries.

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MONACO

Monaco Targets

Indian Out-Bounders he Monaco Government Tourist and Convention Authority, who has been active in promoting the exclusive destination of Monaco in India over the past years, is launching a campaign to woo leisure and business travellers to this unique country located in the South of France. Monaco is within reach of less than two hours from major cities in Europe such as London, Paris, Amsterdam, Zurich, Vienna or Rome. Nice Cote d'Azur Airport is the entry point for many visitors. From here The Monaco Government Tourist and Convention Authority with its affiliated company Heli Air Monaco flies visitors in 6 minutes to Monaco. In order to create more awareness among the leisure and business travel industry, The Monaco Government Tourist and Convention Authority has decided to launch an advertisement campaign in the India.

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IT&CMA and CTW Trade Exhibition Concludes he IT&CMA and CTW trade conference to offer the 'Fundamentals of international speakers from 10 countries exhibition and conference held at Business Management Starter Course' and a range of interesting topics such as the the brand new Bangkok Convention conducted by NBTA, where graduates taking latest industry research on global and regional trends in the regions; Centre (BCC) at CentralWorld from October travel and tourism industry, 7 to 9 has concluded on a high note. The forecasts on the regions; tone for the 16th IT&CMA (Incentive Travel business travel industry and & Conventions, Meetings Asia) and 11th airline business, virtual CTW (Corporate Travel World) Asia-Pacific meetings and new technology, has been set with this year's theme, "New safety and security issues Frontiers- Optimise Returns". impacting worldwide and For the seventh consecutive year, the regional travel, management IT&CMA and CTW were held at the Bangkok skills in negotiations and work Convention Centre (BCC) at CentralWorld. life balance and the new 305 exhibiting companies and organisations frontier market of India. The from 32 countries from the Asia-Pacific, IT&CMA 2008 closed in style Middle East, Europe, UK and USA took part with the perennial TTG Travel in the double bill event. Awards and Gala dinner. an exam after the one-day course will earn the CTE (Corporate Travel Expert) designation to their names. The combined IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific 2008 conference Thailand will continue to be the host kicked off with a Curtain raiser, country for the IT&CMA for the next four which featured world renowned speaker, Andrew Matthews who years. The potential of the Asia-Pacific market spoke to attendees about " How to remains strong with more than 100 million be Happy" through using his cartoon MICE tourists expect in the region by 2015. drawings. TTG Asia Media also The CTW became the first Asian presented a line-up of 26

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INDIAN PANORAMA

Railways Have a Critical Role in Promotion of Tourism: Ambika Soni he Ministry of Tourism, with a view to develop niche tourism and to invite potential tourists, domestic as well as, foreign, has been providing financial support to the new concept i.e., luxury trains which take the tourists through different tourist destinations of the states. Apart from promoting the Palace on Wheels and Heritage on Wheels in Rajasthan, Deccan Odyssey in Maharashtra and Golden Chariot in Karnataka, Ministry of Tourism has now provided grant to luxury train of Punjab. (See Box) Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of Tourism & Culture Ambika soni said the Indian Railways have a critical role in the promotion of tourism in India. If offers safe, affordable

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and convenient mode of travel for hundreds of millions of tourists. Last year the estimated numbers of domestic travelers was nearly 450 million. The process of establishing world class stations, opening of new routes, provision of additional trains to popular destinations and the creation of budget accommodations at Railway stations are steps in the right direction, which will promote tourism, the minister added. The Ministry of Tourism has provided support, through its overseas offices across the world, to promote the Train to the media and travel trade in various countries, the minister said. "We have promoted the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation in ITB Berlin and

Union Minister for Railways, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Union Minister of Tourism and Culture, Ambika Soni and the Chief Minister of Punjab Prakash Singh Badal witnessing the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Ministry of Railways and Punjab State Government on the introduction of Luxury Tourist Train, in New Delhi.

other international trade fairs. The Ministry of Tourism has also provided air-passages to the international tour operators and media representatives for marketing the Mahaparinirvana

Train - which connects destinations linked to Lord Buddha, have become major tools of internationally marketing the Buddhist Circuit", she added.

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MARKETING

NYC introduces Online Training Academy for Indian Travel Trade YC (New York City) & Company has announced the launch of NYC Online Training Academy for the Indian travel trade in association with Galileo, Marriott Group of Hotels and Jet Airways. India is the third country after UK and Germany to get the training academy. Online training academies were opened in UK and Germany in March 2008. The online training academy in India will train travel agents and tour operators about the products and offerings of NYC as well as educate them on important facts and provide information about the city. After the successful completion of training, travel agents will be provided the certification of 'NYC Specialist'. Fred Dixon, Senior Vice President, Tourism and

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Convention Department, NYC & Company said, "The online training program offers ten modules based on various aspects of travel needs and requirements of end consumers. After the completion of each module, travel agents have to go through a simple test to go to the next module. The entire module will consume only eight hours for completion." The modules are mainly pertaining to the basic travel information, for instance the first module is related to air travelling and ground handling. Currently Aviareps AG is the official representative of NYC & Company in India and works with about 3000 travel agents. "It was important to introduce the online programme along with the launch of our new office. With this travel agents and tour operators can receive

first hand information either online or through our office in Mumbai. We are aiming to register about 2000 travel agents for the online training by the end of this year. I am sure agents will find this programme very helpful and relevant to their needs," added Dixon. Travel agents selling higher number of packages will also be eligible to win various special deals, discounts and even FAMs to New York. NYC is planning to work closely with top five big tour operators of India along with Online Travel Agents (OTAs) in 2009. "Indian OTAs are growing at a tremendous pace and can become one of the best businesses generating streams and marketing channel for New York tourism," added Dixon. Apart from focusing on

Air Namibia Joins Hands with AVIAREPS amibia plans to extend its representation agreement with AVIAREPS to Asia. With immediate effect, the global leader in airline and tourism management has been commissioned to handle all sales and marketing activities in China, Japan, Korea and India on behalf of Namibia's national carrier. To date, AVIAREPS was contracted as General Sales Agent (GSA) of Air Namibia in 15 countries in Europe and North America. "The intensifying interconnectedness of economies due to ongoing globalisation is causing a

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growing interest among Asians in Western preferences. Hence, an increasing trend of travels to African destinations can already be foreseen - and we want to meet the new demands from Asia at an early stage," said Wimpy van Vuuren, Senior Manager (International), Air Namibia. We are very proud of the longstanding relationship we have with Air Namibia and their trust in our international competencies. We will put all our efforts into exploiting the opportunities in the Asian market in favour of our highly-valued client," said Oliver Kuechler, Chief Operating Officer, AVIAREPS.

Mumbai and New Delhi for the trade marketing campaigns, NYC is also looking at Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bangalore and Kolkata for attracting business, leisure and VFR (Visiting Friends and Relatives) clients. By next year, it is considering to introduce B2C campaign for spreading awareness about New York for end consumers. As per the NYC Tourism figures on Indian tourist arrival in 2007- 2008, 43 per cent consists of leisure tourists, of which 12 per cent are Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR). The remaining 57 per cent are business tourists, of which merely four per cent travel for MICE. In 2007, 1, 57,000 Indians visited NYC and the figures are expected to reach 1,75,000 this year.

AVIAREPS to Represent Sri Lanka VIAREPS will represent Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) in the German and Russian markets. The leading tourism and airline representative assumes all marketing and PR activities for SLTPB. The centre of operations con-

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cerning the Russian market will be AVIAREPS' subsidiary in Moscow. For all actions focused on Germany, News Plus, AVIAREPS' communication agency based in Munich, will be in charge from now on.


HOSPITALITY

Le Meridien, Kochi Plans Novotel Opens Second Hotel Novotel has opened its second hotel in Hyderabad near the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport near Shamshabad. The new hotel comes with an interesting package of `FlexiStay' for people who hop in and hop off within hours. The hospitality group runs a hotel at Madhapur near the Hitec city. The airport hotel has 305 rooms, including 11 suites and 53 premier rooms. It also houses a conference room that can seat 450 people.

Park Hotel Bags Tourism Award The Park Hotel, Visakhapatnam has bagged the Tourism Excellence Award in the five-star hotel category instituted by the Government of Andhra Pradesh for the third successive year. The award was received by Siraj Mukherjee, the Executive Manager, from the State Tourism Minister, A. Ramanarayana Reddy, at a function in Hyderabad. The hotel will strive to make it a unique experience for every guest visiting, said Mukherjee.

Mumbai Will Offer 3000 More Rooms Global hotel investment service firm, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels (JLLH), has released a report stating that Mumbai will offer 3000 additional hotel rooms by 2011. This will be in correspondence with rising demand, specifically business clientele. "The majority of this new supply (about 51 per cent) is anticipated in 2008,'' the report said. It noted that the city witnessed about 7.3 million international tourist arrivals in 2006-07, recording a growth of 9.2 per cent. Currently, there are 9503 rooms in 74 Mumbai hotels that have government approval.

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Addition of 150 Rooms by 2010 e Meridien Resort & Convention Centre, Kochi plans to add an additional 150 rooms to its existing inventory of 223 rooms and suites by 2010. Along with the inventory expansion, it is also looking at expanding its Convention Centre's area. According to Sanjay Sharma, General Manager, Le Meridien Resort & Convention Centre, Kochi the plan is to invest Rs 200 crore for the hotel's overall expansion and renovation. Kochi is increasingly recording a higher number of corporate clients, due to which the Convention Centre is witnessing demand. Sanjay Sharma "Currently, the convention centre has 12 halls in 52,000 square feet of air conditioned space, and theatre style seating capacities ranging from 50 to 2,500. With the improving demand levels, we are looking at

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increasing the area to 200,000 square feet in the future," said Sharma. The hotel has already applied for the expansion of its convention centre area, and its application is at an approval stage. The property is spread across 25 acres, and offers 95,000 square feet of lawn space adjoining the backwaters, which can accommodate up to 7,000 people (ideally for open air gala events). The hotel also plans to renovate its lobby area as well as increase the parking space due to its expansion plans. It is also looking at increasing the car parking capacity from current 200 to 350.

Uppal Group Eyes Budget Hotel Sector eal estate company The Uppal Group, which recently announced a partnership with Marriott International to operate two five-star luxury hotels and also outlined plans to build 10-12 hotels in the next few years - is now mulling a strategy for budget hotels. The realtor is also working on a plan for budget hotels in the medium-term. "We are in the process of talking to international investors for our plans. But our immediate priority is completing the projects that are ongoing. So as far as budget hotels are concerned, we expect some action only by first quarter of 2009," Manish Uppal, Managing Director of The Uppal Group said. According to Uppal, the selling proposition for budget hotels would be the location. "Through the budget hotels, we will be targeting businessmen who visit a city or town for two-four days. We feel that such hotels need to be centrally located, and not be pushed to the outskirts of a city. Since the land is likely to be more expensive given the central location, the project can be made viable by looking at a mixed use development that allows us to sell retail space and bring down the project cost," he said. The company may start the venture in two-three locations.

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Cox & Kings Launches New Brochure ox & Kings India Ltd. has introduced a brochure for the luxury segment called, Luxury Escapades. The brochure is segregated into seven experiences: Spa and Wellness, Entertainment, Heritage, Romance, Shopping, Golf and Business. Each experience presents at least four properties around the world that excel in the same. The Indian luxury market is evolving gradually and according to some estimates 1.8 million Indian households earn over USD 100,000 or more per year and spend about USD 10,000 per year on luxury or premium goods and services. It is this target market that Cox & Kings aims to target and also expects the business in this niche segment to grow. The brochure was launched recently by P Manoharan, Director, Tourism Malaysia.

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EVENTS

Volvo Ocean Race Begins

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During the nine months of this edition of the race, which concludes in St Petersburg, Russia, during late June 2009, the teams will sail over 37,000 nautical miles of the world's most treacherous seas via Cape Town, Kochi, Singapore, Qingdao, around Cape Horn to Rio de Janeiro, Boston, Galway, Gothenburg and Stockholm. After Cape Town, crews will follow new race routes to India and China, aiming to

steer well clear of the east coast of Africa, where Somalian pirates have attacked more than 60 boats in the past year. Organizers have taken precautions so that crews won't have to take too many risks on their way to Cochin, India. Each boat reportedly has a hot line connected to naval forces along the route. The yachts taking part are among the fastest designed, leading to an expectation that the

race record for the fastest 24hour run by a monohull will be broken. The boats are easily capable of covering 500 miles and more - in a 24 hour period given the right conditions. Dave Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race

olvo Ocean Race around the world got under way in Alicante, Spain, with eight teams racing into strong wind and choppy seas, each seeking to claim one of sailing's most prestigious prizes. In one of the most gruelling and hazardous events in sport the 88 crewmen are due to sail 68,500 kilo metres, enduring punishing conditions with little sleep and living on dried food. There are 10 legs and six in-port regattas where teams can score points before crossing the line in June.

Mumbai to host Japanese Food Fest in November ing students, culinary professionals and general public in a series of mouth watering events spread across Mumbai city. "Japanese cuisine is one of the healthiest on Earth, with its focus on fresh ingredients, be it vegetables or seafood. Delicate flavours complement appetizing sauces, and the fine art of presentation turn even simple dishes into ornate, eye-pleasing events. Mouth-watering dishes and great Sake, epitomised in brands such as Akashi-Tai, will showcasing their culinary talent tempt Mumbai foodies to further with the Mumbai glitterati, cater- enjoy the magic of Japanese cuindia is all set to taste the first ever Japanese Food Fest with Mumbai being the host city in November 2008. The month-long Food Fest will have the most innovative celebrity chefs from Japan sharing and

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Scindias at Leela, Kovalam

Rani Usha Raje Scindia during her visit to The Leela Kempinski Kovalam Beach, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

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sine in this first-ever event," said Harry Cheng , Convenor of the Japan Food Fest Organising Committee and Director, Maido Enterprises Pvt Ltd & Director, La Ditta Limited, Tokyo, Japan. One of the highlights of the Food Fest will also be the opening day of the famous Mumbai Horse Racing Season at Mahalaxmi race course on 16 November 2008 which will be run as The Japan Day. The Japan Racing Day at Mahalaxmi will feature "The La Ditta Juvenile Dash" as the Main race of the Opening Day of the Season. Prize money of over Rs 20 lakh will be on offer on the day. According to Harry

Cheng, this Food Fest in November would be an ideal precursor to the first ever full-scale Japan Festival in India aimed at bringing the rich cultures of two great countries together in 2009. The Japan Festival will debut in Mumbai will offer a cross variety of entertaining events, cuisines, films, sumo wrestlers and the cultural feel, scheduled to take place in in the latter half of 2009. The Japan Festival organising committee will run this event as an annual affair with ambitious plans for different Metros like Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, and Chennai, as hosting venues in the coming years.

World Tourism Day

Arun Kumar Sinha, IPS deliver the key note address at the World Tourism Day Celebrations at Kovalam, Thiruvananthapuram organised by SKHF


AVIATION

Jet Flies Daily to Muscat et Airways has recently launched daily direct flight services be tween Thiruvananthapuram and Muscat, the capital cities of the Indian state of Kerala and the Sultanate of Oman respectively. Jet Airways' flight 9W 530 departs from Thiruvananthapuram at 0815 hrs and arrives in Muscat at 1030 hrs. The return flight 9W 529 depar ts Muscat at 0155 hrs and will arrive at Thiruvananthapuram at 0700 hrs. The maiden flight took off on its inaugural services on the sector with a full complement of passengers on a Boeing 737-800 aircraft with a premiere and economy class configuration. With the launch of this new flight, the airline now has three daily services to Muscat from Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Mumbai in India. Commenting on the launch of these services, Mr. Sudheer Raghavan, Chief Commercial Officer, Jet Airways said, "In a remarkably short span of time, Jet Airways has established a dominant presence on the important KeralaWest Asia sector, on the strength of its superior in-flight product and service standards. In a bid to further enhance its connectivity on this sector, and in line with passenger demand, the airline is proud to be the first private Indian airline to' connect Muscat and Thiruvananthapuram."

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Paramount Airways enters Western India aramount Airways has entered the Western India mar ket after launching the Chennai-Ahmedabad direct flights recently. The inaugural flight took off today from Chennai and was greeted with a water salute to mark the commencement of their services when it landed at the Sardar Vallabhai Patel Airport. According to the schedules the flight will leave Chennai at 9.30 hrs and will be reaching Ahmedabad around 11.45 hrs. The return flight will leave Ahmedabad at around 12.10 hrs and reach Chennai at around 14.45 hrs. Passengers from Coimbatore, Madurai and Cochin can now directly travel to Ahmedabad through Chennai. M.Thiagarajan, Managing Director, Paramount Airways, said, "Paramount Airways, a leader in the premium business class segment, is pleased to make its first foray into the western region after its resounding success across South India. We are confident that Ahmedabad, one of India's prominent business hubs, will welcome Paramount Airways."

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AVIATION

BJETS Makes Debut in India JETS, one of the reputed air charter operator based in Singapore has started its operations in India. The air operations of BJETS will be based in Hyderabad, Mumbai and Delhi. 'We have begun our chartered operations with four Hawker variant aircraft in India and south-east Asia. Four more aircraft are scheduled to be included in our fleet by the yearend,' said Mark Baier, chief executive officer, BJETS. Tata Group's Indian Hotels recently bought a stake in BJETS, part of Singapore's Briley Group, which has business

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interests in aviation, hospitality, business process outsourcing and technology. Earlier this year, BJETS ordered 50 jets - 20 Cessnas and 30 Hawkers - worth more than $1 billion at the Singapore Airshow. 'The 50 jets will be added to our fleet over five years,' said Baier. "While India's commercial airports are notoriously overcrowded, business jets can take advantage of a strong network of airports or defence airstrips. We would fly to 120 places. Indian airliners fly to 60 destinations at present. Time is expensive. Flying on our jets will save time and energy," Baier added. BJETS started its dedicated fractional and block charter services last month and will have to compete with other international business charter operators like Maybachs Rolls Royce and Swish Set, active in India for over a year now.

Paramount MD Honoured

Thiagarajan, Managing Director, Paramount Airways receiving the B&E Promising Young corporate leader award from Prof Arindam Chaudhury, Editor-in- Chief of Planman Media at a function held in Delhi. Also seen in the picture is Anurag Batra, Editor-in- chief of Exchange4Media

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COLUMN

Safety on the Ramp

Getting Out of Fashion? n a recent survey, India was found to have the most number of road accident fatalities per annum. Without any intended black humour, I sometimes think that the air-side at most of our airports, are the inadvertent flag-bearers of this dubious distinction. On any average day, you are likely to find news of passenger coaches, fork-lifts, high-loaders‌ anything with wheels, bumping into each other, into airplanes, mowing down people - regardless whether they are passenger or

been stymied, leaving the ramp area vulnerable. The good times that the aviation industry enjoyed over the past five years were punctuated by haphazard growth at breakneck speed. Airlines mushroomed while essential ancillary and support services especially those related to training and human resource development ei- ther lagged far behind or were treated more as an afterthought. Indeed, the extent to which safety on the ramp has deteriorated is alarming and if not corrected, will -

worker, in every other sundry nook and cranny of our chaotic airports. So do we have a problem here? Yes, and a huge one at that. It has been my consistent observation that our aviation growth has been skewed. Ramp incidents are on the rise, employee turnover stunningly high and margins for operators wafer thin. Given the current financial distress of our airlines and airports, efforts to improve operational safety on the ground through regular and better training, with greater attention paid to quality have mostly

seriously endanger the traveling public and those working at the air-side. Over the decades, the industry has worked to alleviate the consequences of ramp damage but growing financial pressures on airlines, quicker turnaround times, and ramp congestion still costs the industry millions annually. According to a study by the Flight Safety Foundation, each dollar of direct costs related to aircraft damage on the ramp is equal to three to five times the cost of indirect costs from issues such as: - Lost ticket sales and cargo shipments. - Passenger re-routing, lodging and food in case of cancellation, delays, diversions

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Replacement labor and overtime including management time Employee relations and morale Incident investigation An adoption of an industrywide "Best Practices" for ramp operations will significantly reduce ramp costs for our struggling aviation industry which could result in savings of millions of dollars bearing in mind the very high procurement costs of all kinds of aviation equipment. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has been working towards the establishment of an AERA - Airport Economic Regulatory Authority. It's an opinion that I have often voiced that the 'A' in AERA should stand for 'Aviation' rather than 'Airports' which drastically curtails the scope and range of its capabilities. The AERA (in either form) or in its absence the DGCA must in turn champion the cause of establishing a new and revised set of minimum standards for ramp operations with Airports taking the lead in its implementation - after all they are the common denominator of all parties concerned. A panel of experts with the proven technical experience and understanding of air/ground safety (and NOT from the IAS) needs to create a framework for standardized licensing, training and certification for ramp operations procedures whether they be vehicular movement, aircontinued on page 50

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COLUMN

he words 'delegation' and 'legacy' are inter-related. Delegating is nothing but successfully passing on your legacy to the next in line. How many of us are doing it, be it a family situation or a company environment? A successful management is more of 'delegating' than 'doing'. The legend has it that the cat was the one that taught everything to the tiger. The cat only taught the tiger how to be agile, how to negotiate through a treacherous passage, how to pounce on its prey etc. Once the tiger got taught the art of pouncing on its prey, the first victim was the very cat itself. The cat ran up a tree for cover and the tiger was stuck at the bottom of the tree for it did not know how to climb a tree. The cat was yet to teach the trick. Might be it had decided not

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V DURAIKKANNAN

Woodrow Wilson

to teach that one piece of trick as its own survival skill. That is why they say the tiger cannot still climb a tree whereas a cat can. Perhaps this is happening in a corporate scenario still. The manager teaches his next in command everything except the key skill which might perhaps empower his deputy so much that he would himself get dislodged. Wo o d r o w Wilson, the twenty-eighth president of US told: 'I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow'. The finest example of borrowing other's

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brains as well as a brilliant case of delegation is from Toyota. On Toyota's assembly lines, the lowest level worker can shut down the line for any reason, even if it is just the suspicion of a problem. Author Peter Sheahen says in his excellent work 'Flip' that in fact Toyota's managers start to worry if the line does not shut down frequently , because it probably means quality problems are slipping through without being checked or fixed. Akio Morita, the founder and former chairman of Sony also said the same thing: 'A company will get nowhere if all the thinking is left to management…We insist that all our employees contribute their minds' IBM has a brilliant and equally admirable concept called InnovationJam. Started in 2006 as a three-day discussion online for a cross-section of 1, 00,000 employees, it is now opened out for all its 3, 30,000 employees worldwide. The website for its 2007 jam said by way of encouraging everybody to participate: 'Don't be shy - you're the expert!' It is quite relevant and interesting to mention about a neologism at this point .It is 'unconference'! The basic idea of an unconference is that apart from the keynote speakers of a conference, even the mute spectators in the audience also will have beautiful ideas and thoughts and those things have to be tapped. It is quite sad that most of the managers at the top-end are shut out from the world of the downthe-line. Neither do they share anything down nor do they encourage a communication upward from the bottom. The socalled brain-storming sessions are more of a comic interlude in most of the corporate houses. Like one CEO was telling his VP 'When I need you advice, I will put that in your mouth and take it!' The primary reason people typically give for their not delegating something to others is the fear factor that they would bungle. It cannot be if it is rightly done. The paradigm of delegation is quite simple:Step 1 'I Do - You Watch'

Akio Morita

Step 2 'We Both Do' Step 3 'You Alone Do - I Watch' Step 4 'You Do' Jenny Craig, the renowned weight-loss management guru said in her story: 'Any business is just four walls and people (meaning, it is essentially your people who make it)...In case somebody has not learnt, it is just that you have not taught!' The sales manager was giving

Peter Sheahen

a pep talk to his executives: 'Hey, you guys! The moment you achieve your targets this month, all of you can have three days off and have fun at my beach house in Goa!' The young guys gasped in disbelief: 'Sir, you have never told us that you have a beach house like that!' The manager replied with a smug glow of happiness: 'The moment you all guys are right on target, I will get my beach house!' So much for the success of successful delegation! I have heard about a CFO of a reputed concern that he is such a great believer in teamwork so much so that he lets the whole team work but not he. That will be carrying the idea of delegation too far!


HOSPITALITY

Muthoot Leisure and Hospitality Services

The Success Story ourism in Kerala is defi nitely happening. With hotels and resorts rapidly burgeoning all over the tiny South Indian state in the past few years, the hospitality industry is seeing a constant flow of paradise hungry visitors every year. However, amongst the plethora of enterprises that have set up shop along the densely populated coastal State, one particular name stands out for its relentless commitment to providing "tourism with a conscience." That is - Muthoot Leisure and Hospitality Services (MLHS), the hospitality wing of The Muthoot Group, an M. George Enterprise a pan-Indian corporate that has taken on the challenge to prove that high quality hospitality can indeed go hand in hand with a dedication towards preserving and enriching the natural environment it takes place in. MLHS runs two full fledged hospitality ventures, Muthoot Cardamom County and Muthoot Backwater Cruises. Though vastly different, with the latter being a purely backwater cruise, at both places one finds that the impeccable service and thoughtful gestures made by the management match up to the extraordinary scenery and natural beauty that they are ensconced in. Making any holiday makers' trip all that much more perfect! This fact is further emphasized with a peek at the certificates garnered by both establishments over the years. Muthoot Cardamom County has the privilege of being the only resort in Kerala to have been bestowed with all three of the following: the ISO 9001:2000 certificate for quality management systems; ISO 14001:2004

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certificate for environment manMLHS only entered the agement systems; and ISO houseboat industry three years 22000:2005 certificate for food ago, but in this short span of safety management systems time, they have managed to not and HACCP. In addition, the re- only expand their fleet, but besort's Ayurvedic Spa has been come beacons of change for an certified by the Kerala Govern- environmentally sounder propament as a Green Leaf Ayurvedic gation of this attractive industry. Centre, for its authentic With eight boats under charge, Ayurvedic practices and mainte- i.e., 2 one-bedroom houseboats, nance of facilities. If that was not 3 two-bedroom houseboats and enough, "in the very first year of 3 three-bedroom houseboats, its inception, Muthoot Backwa- and more in the planning procter Cruises ess, MBC is received the continuously Gold Star rechristening certification, the standfor luxury premium houseboats, ards of high quality on the backfrom the Kerala Government as waters. Hannan Jit Singh, Genwell as the prestigious Green eral Manager, MLHS, explained Palm cer tification for eco- that the expansion of these friendly per formance," said luxury liners was done primarily George M.George, Executive Di- to address the growing demand rector, MLHS. for quality services and ethical Muthoot Backwater environmental pracCruises tices on the backwaThe success of ters. Cardamom County Today, Muthoot led to the expansion Leisure & Hospitality of Muthoot's hospitalServices has become ity venture. In 2005, a name to reckon MLHS began a new with, not just in the project, shifting away Kerala hospitality Hannan Jit Singh General Manager from the cool climes arena, but also as a of the Thekkady hills to below spearheading force in environsea level in the Kerala backwa- mental conservatism through ters near Alleppey. The inclusion tourism. This rare distinguishing of the houseboat cruise has be- factor has come about solely by come part and parcel of every the company's own initiative and travel itinerary focused on drive towards making a differKerala. However, one really has ence where it matters. to indulge in a Muthoot BackwaRecognizing that successful ter Cruise (MBC) for that one ex- and responsible tourism reperience that is a step above quires efficient coordination, everything else available in the communication and coexistence booming houseboat market in with a variety of industries and Kerala. "The quality of house- services in the State, George boats and level of detailing have said "MLHS is establishing tiemade Muthoot houseboats the ups with reputed players in the trendsetters in backwater luxury, hospitality and travel industry, to keeping in mind, responsibility ensure that the customers have towards the environment," said a seamless service offering at George, Executive Director. their disposal." As the visionary behind this pioneering hospitality initiative, George foresees a great

future for his company, and confirmed plans to expand to 40 hotels over the next decade. The results are plain to see. The repute that MLHS has earned for itself is easily gauged on scrutiny of the guests feedback received over the last financial year, which portray 97% of guest delight and satisfaction standards at Cardamom County and an amazing 99.6% level of customer satisfaction at Backwater Cruises. "Our repeat clientele has increased tremendously over the last two years, with a growth of 34.65% at Cardamom County and 63.46% at Backwater Cruises," explained Singh. This is no mean feat and nor is it easily achieved. It's only through the hard work and dedicated nature of the entire staff that has resulted

in such accolades. "Our strength at Cardamom County and Backwater Cruises is our people. They are friendly, cordial, caring, enthusiastic and ever ready to serve to simply delight you, in all aspects, with a smile always," said Singh. He went on to add that this level of dedication and spirit has been achieved through continuous training, counselling, delegation of authority and making the team believe in the product, and most importantly in themselves. Each member of the team is encouraged to tap into their hidden talents to make them an integral part of all success and failure, rather than simply working for the company. "They are our achievers, every one of them," he extolled.


KERALA TRAVELLER

Dr. V. Venu IAS Secretary, Kerala Tourism

70 domestic buyers. 570 international buyers from around 50 countries. 312 stalls. New product launches. Seminars on topics ranging from Responsible Tourism to Rural Tourism. International workshop of tour operators from India, Brazil and South Africa. Book releases‌ The fifth edition of the Kerala Travel Mart was a phenomenal success. From Ayurveda centres to homestays and NGOs like Kudumbasree a key partner in the State's Responsible Tourism drive - the sellers provided the participants with a first-hand experience of Kerala. The Mart also saw the signing of the watershed tripartite tourism agreement between India, Brazil and South Africa. On World Tourism Day (September 27), in line with this year's theme of 'Responding to the Challenge of Climate Change', Kerala Tourism rededicated itself to sustaining nature and the environment by launching

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its unique farm tourism initiative - Green Farms Kerala. An exclusive venture that aims at preparing the farms/plantations in the State to receive tourists, the project is another example of tourism strengthening traditional sectors of the State such as

agriculture. Along with this launch, World Tourism Day also marked a very significant next step for the Responsible Tourism Initiative in that the hospitality industry in Kumarakom pooled together Rs.11.35 lakhs as their contribution to purchase land for the drinking water project sanctioned by the tourism department for Kumarakom. In the

coming months, Kerala Tourism will once again hit the road. After the series of successful domestic road shows, we are now all set to reach out to global markets including new ones like Stockholm. Kerala Tourism will also participate in international fairs including ITB Asia in Singapore. We are also putting together a plan of action for the smooth conduct of the Volvo Ocean Race Kochi Stopover as well as other annual cultural events like Utsavam and the Nishagandhi Dance & Music Festival. Groundwork is also being done for the NRK Meet on tourism to be held on December 23 and 24 as part of the Global Malayalee Network aimed at promoting travel to Kerala. September also saw Kerala Tourism receiving the PATA Gold Awards - for its theme brochure in the Consumer Travel Brochure category and for Utsavam in the Culture category - at the PATA Travel Mart held in Hyderabad.

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INDIAN PANORAMA

Gujarat to Promote Tourism Through Fairs and Festivals ujarat is planning to promote tourism in the state through fairs and festivals. This year the 'Navshakti Gurjari' or Vibrant Gujarat Navratri Festival was celebrated under the aegis of Gujarat Industries Navratri Festival Society (GINFS) on a large scale across the state. Other festivals that the state will promote in order to boost tourism are the Rann Utsav (in December 2008) and the International Kite Festival (January 2009). Gujarat Tourism is also offering special packages for these festivals, which includes stay and sight-seeing options customised to the needs of the travellers. Speaking at the inauguration of the Vibrant Gujarat, Navratri festival at the Gujarat University Grounds, Ahmedabad, Chief Minister Narendra Modi said, "Gujarat's garba is going to be a global event.

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This is the longest dance festival and nowhere in the world has such an event taken place on such a large scale. We will make the world dance to Gujarat's tunes through the Navratri Utsav." During the Vibrant Gujarat Navratri Festival Gujarat Tourism organised packages of four nights/ five days and three nights/four days covering different circuits of various segments like Religious Tourism, Heritage Tourism etc. According Gujarat Tourism spokesperson, approximately one lakh visitors attended the inaugural event in Ahmedabad. The inauguration programme had performance of lesser known Indian dances by 600 artists of the country. The event was also attended by Leader of

Travel Agents Association of India

Elects New Office Bearers ravel Agents Association of India has elected Rajinder Rai (Chair man-Cum-Managing Director, Swiftravel International (P) Ltd, New Delhi) as the president for the year 2008-2009. The meeting of the TAAI members has also elected Shubhada Joshi (Director, Girikand Travels, Pune) as the Vice President; R. Sunil Kumar (CEO, Travel World, Secunderabad); M. Iqbal Mulla (Chairman and Managing Director) as Hon. Treasurer. The following persons have been elected as Managing Committee Members. Hema R V Chander (Director, Kalpataru Tours India Private Limited, Chennai); Sanjay Datta, (Director, Airborne Travels Private Limited, New Delhi); Sanjay Narula, (CEO, Apex Travel & Tours, New Delhi); Mamta Nichani, (Director, Yatrik Network, Bangalore); Vijay Mohan Raj, (Director, Uniglobe Sameera Travels & Tours, Secunderabad); Jagdeep S Rikhy, (Managing Director, Inter Skylinks, New Delhi) and Subhash Verma, (Managing Director, Travel Plus, New Delhi).

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Kuttanaadan Food Fest @ LuLu

A Food Fest focusing on Kuttanaadan Dishes has been organised at LuLu International Convention Center and Garden Hotels

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OCTOBER 2008 ASIAN TRAVELLER

Opposition, L K Advani; Parimal Nathwani, President-Corporate Affairs, Reliance Gujarat; Saurabh Patel, Minister of State for Industries, Energy and Petrochemicals and more than 40 delegates from 30 countries and foreign industrialists.

Work on Development of Hampi Region to Begin Soon arnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) will commence work on the development of the Hampi region by the end of this year in coordination with the Hampi Management Authority (HMA). The project will be implemented by the Authority for which KSTDC will be the nodal agency. The Government of India (GoI) recently sanctioned Rs 81 crore for the development of the Hampi region. The HMA will develop internal roads, introduce electric vehicles, train guides and also upgrade and maintain archaeological monuments. Only 50 monuments in Hampi are under the control of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the remaining 1,200 are under the purview of the Karnataka state government. "We did not have sufficient funds to upgrade and maintain these monuments. But now with the funding released we can begin work on these monuments. We will also introduce facilities for tourists in the form of hotels, restaurants and improve the road connectivity," informed Vinay Luthra, Managing Director, KSTDC. However, work on the master plan for which the state government set aside 220 acres for various joint venture projects in Hampi, is yet to be initiated. A global consultant has been appointed for the project who is working on the modalities.

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NEWSLINE

KITTS Launches Travel and Tourism MBA erala Institute of Tourism and Travel and Tourism Studies, one of the premier institutions in the country that imparts quality education and hands-on training to the travel and tourism professionals of tomorrow has launched a number of new courses including a Travel and Tourism MBA programme. The courses were formally launched by Kodiyeri Balakrishnan,Minister for Tourism, at a function held at KITTS premises in Thiruvananthapuram

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recently. The course is affiliated to Kerala University and has the recognition from AICTE. Post Graduate Diploma in Tourism and Hospitality Management, Di-

ploma in Air Hostess, Travel and Hospitality Management and Certificate Course in IATA-UFTA and FIATA. City Mayor Jayan Babu; Panniyan Ravindran, MP; V. Sivan

Kutty MLA; Dr. V. Venu IAS, Secretary, Tourism; Cheriyan Philip, Chairman KTDC; Shivashankar IAS, Director; Tourism, K.G. Mohanlal IFS, MD; KTDC, Kuldip Verma, Vice president ITDC; E.M. Najeeb, President IATO, Kerala Chapter; Suresh M Pillai, FHRAI, Kerala Chapter; C. Bhaskaram, Chairman, Affiliation Committee, University of Kerala; Kuldip Verma, Vice President ITDC; B. Lekshmi, Councillor; V. Rajeevan IRPS, Director, KITTS and Dr. B.Vijayakumar, Principal, KITTS were also present at the function.

Media Steps India Hyderabad Office Inaugurated

Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, Minister for Tourism, Kerala unveils a portrait of Col. G.V. Raja at the KTDC Head Quarters. Also seen are Cherian Philip, Chairperson KTDC, K.G. Mohanlal, MD, KTDC

ASIAN TRAVELLER OCTOBER 2008

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TAMIL NADU TRAVELLER

Rs.120 Cr Spent on Tourist Destinations in TN s part of its efforts to attract more tourists to the State, the Tamil Nadu Government had spent Rs 120 crore in the last two years for infrastructure development in various tourist destinations, said State Tourism Minister Suresh Rajan in Chennai recently. He was delivering the inaugural address at the fourth thematic Regional Conference on 'Capacity Building: Waste Management Training and Skill Development' organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Union Tourism Ministry. "The objective of the government was to ensure the tourists made repeated visits to the State", he said. In 2007, 5.06 crore domestic tourists and 17.53 lakh foreign tourists visited the State and during 2008 4.09 crore domestic and 12.59 lakh foreign tourists had visited the state till August. Stressing the need for educating the tourism service providers and agents to uplift skill and waste management in the state, he said "we should educate them especially in areas were we can recycle the waste".

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TN Tourism Begins Campaign in North India

The State government has also proposed to introduce recycling of wastes in the tourist town of Udhagamandalam (Ooty). State Tourism secretary V Irai Anbu said the ability to sustain the natural resources is the need of the hour. "We must protect the environment, respect the local culture at the same time it should also benefit the local community" he said. Conserving the natural resources and minimising the pollution should also be taken care of he added. "The increasing population, increasing fuel consumption and depletion of natural resources are becoming a threat to us" Tourism Commissioner and Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation Managing Director M Rajaram said. "In 2007, 3.8 lakh tonnes of e-waste has been generated and it is expected to grow 15 per cent every year", he said. The conference would highlight the need and process for sanitation and waste management which crucially impact repeat visits and image of destination.

State to Promote Lesser-known Destinations he next phase of Tamil Nadu's tourism campaign will focus on hard selling lesser-known destinations. This was revealed by N. Suresh Rajan, Minister for Tourism, Tamil Nadu in Chennai. He was speaking at the valedictory address at "Discover IndiaEnchanting Tourism," a two-day travel and tourism promotion event. According to the Minister first phase of the tourism drive had concentrated on developing basic infrastructure across well-known tourist spots. The various projects launched towards this end had either been completed or were nearing completion, he said. The growth in domestic and international visitors to Tamil Nadu is growing at a rate of 22 per cent, making tourism a key driver of economic progress. The number of domestic visitors during 2006-07 was 5.50 crore, while international visitors aggregated 17 lakh. The Minister complimented Tourism Department officials for their concerted efforts in making Tamil Nadu a sought-after destination.

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amil Nadu Tourism Depart ment has started a publicity campaign to promote the State in North India. With this in mind the state is participating in major tourism events in North India and is providing potential visitors with literature on places of tourist interest in Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu recently participated in the Tami Nadu Cultural Extravaganza 'Poompuhar 2008' held in Chandigarh. The event was organised in collaboration with the Chandigarh administration.

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TTDC Organises Exotic Food Expo food festival has been organised by the Department of Tourism at Island Grounds in Chennai to mark the holiday season. A variety of cuisines from across the country were cat display and sale to tickle the palate. To add a divine touch to the festival the organizers have also put on sale are prasadams from various temples - chakarai pongal from Parthasarathy Temple, Triplicane; palani panchamirtam, puliyodarai from Madhava Perumal Temple, Mylapore; laddu, muruku and adirasam from Kamakshi temple, Mangadu and Kanchipuram Idli from Kamatchi temple, Kancheepuram. The food expo would be taken to the districts if it turns out to be a success, said Tourism Minister N Suresh Rajan. Tourism Secretary Dr V Irai Anbu, TTDC Chairman Sanwat Ram and Managing Director of TTDC were also present at the fest.

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OCTOBER 2008 ASIAN TRAVELLER


KTM 2008 Album

ASIAN TRAVELLER OCTOBER 2008

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KTM 2008 Album

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OCTOBER 2008 ASIAN TRAVELLER


KTM 2008 Album

ASIAN TRAVELLER OCTOBER 2008

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KTM 2008 Album

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OCTOBER 2008 ASIAN TRAVELLER


KTM 2008 Album

ASIAN TRAVELLER OCTOBER 2008

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PTM 2008 Album

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OCTOBER 2008 ASIAN TRAVELLER


ITB Asia 2008 Album

ASIAN TRAVELLER OCTOBER 2008

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VARIETY

IT&CMA and CTW Photo Album

Anju Kalra has been appointed the India representative of Tourism Industry Association of Canada

Manish Palicha has joined Anantara Hotels & Resorts Pvt. Ltd as Head - Leisure Sales

Thanakorn Danthong has been appointed Resort Manager of Away Tusita Chumphon Astudo, Away Resorts, Thailand

Mafalda Mimosa has joined Anantara Hotels & Resorts Pvt. Ltd as Resort Manager - Shalimar Spice Garden

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OCTOBER 2008 ASIAN TRAVELLER

The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island has appointed David Laval as the new Executive Chef, with responsibility for the diverse menus across the resort's seven restaurants and three bars

HariKumar B has been promoted as General Manager of The Accord Metropolitan, Chennai, India

Nisha J. has joined Media Steps India as Regional Head (Chennai), India

Sanjay Aggarwal is appointed Chief Executive Officer of SpiceJet, India. M P Purushothaman, Chairman, Empee Group has been appointed President of the Federation of Hotels and Restaurants Association of India (FHRAI) for the 2008-09.


I N D U S T RY

WINDOWS


VARIETY

Flying High continued from page 32

craft tow and pushback or aircraft refueling. A moot point that industry executives agree to is that the key reason ramp incidents are on rise is the lack of adequate training of front-line personnel. This is exacerbated by the fact that low wages and benefits and little prestige means that quality of labour that it attracts is often very poor. However along with wages, equally important to attract quality workers are the employer's approach to develop team spirit, job pride and a clear path for career progression - all unfortunately ranked very low in importance in our industry in India. The lack of experienced supervisors to train and mentor new ramp personnel has further compounded the problem. Even the numerous Aviation training institutes that have mushroomed all seem to focus on churning out "air hostesses" (cringe!!!) rather than on other vital areas of the industry such as the ramp. There exists an urgent need for these institutions to take the lead and tap into retired and experienced personnel with the technical knowledge and expertise in ramp safety to guide new entrants into the industry rather than leaving the responsibility to cashcrunched airlines that are unable to replenish skilled personnel quickly enough due to retirements, downsizing and cutbacks. Currently our airport terminals have moved forward and introduced the concept of common use terminal equipment (CUTE) where different operators use a common platform of equipment for various functions like passenger check-in, baggage handling etc. A similar model of operation whereby common use of ramp equipment (CURE) could be a possible solution for our airports by not only significantly enhancing safety, but also saving costs and generating higher efficiencies out of both personnel and equipment. In conclusion, our industry needs to invest NOW, for long term cost efficient solutions rather than knee jerk reactions to save costs like the ubiquitous and easily done, employee lay-offs, additional surcharges and user development fees which often recoil disastrously back on the industry itself (like now!). Starting with areas like safety on the ramp, DGCA India should focus on: Establishing a set of minimum standards for ramp operations whose implementation is led by airports. Adopting standardized licensing, training, and certification for safe vehicle operation on the ramp for ramp operators. Adopting a system operator certification programme. Licensing institutions and instructors who qualify to conduct these courses. For all the doomsday predictions, India's aviation industry can take heart from the fact that our economy is comparatively better off (and growing faster) than most other large economies - a situation that is expected to continue for a couple of decades at least. The present cumulo-nimbus cloud into which the industry has flown, too has a silver lining. We need to use this downturn as a breathing space to take a better stock of our aviation opportunities and this time around plan and build the future on a framework that will be more resilient and less susceptible to the next cyclical downturn that must definitely come sooner than later.

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OCTOBER 2008 ASIAN TRAVELLER

1. Who is the author of the book 'Business As Unusual'? 2. Cuil is a good search engine. What does it mean? 3. What are gyri and sulci? 4. What is the origin of the computer brand name Asus? 5. What does Hitachi mean? 6. How is Blue Ribbon Sports better known today? 7. What does the coffee company name Barista mean? 8. Jakarta airport is called Sukarno-Hatta. Sukarno was Indonesia's first President. Who was Hatta? 9. 'e' in eBay stands for what? (not 'electronic' as many think) 10. Strudel is the rolled pastry. What does this German word mean?

Strudel

Compiled by DEEKAY Send in your answers to info@mediastepsindia.com with TYKC 13 in the the subject line. Answers should reach us before the 31st of this month.

Answers of TYKC - 12 1. Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms, 2. the length of the race (500 miles), 3. Better (teeth), 4. El Al (Israel), 5. Gardermoen Airport (Oslo), 6. 112 (International emergency number for GSM network), 7. Mischmetal (German for 'mixed metal'), 8. Bishop Rock, UK, 9. 'Always Ready', 10. July 26 TYKC 12 - Winner

Kanoka Nakpradith 3rd Road, Opp. Soi 4 Bangkok, Thailand

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 MĂŠridien 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


ASIAN TRAVELLER OCTOBER 2008

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