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CONTENTS Vol. 2 | No. 9 | JUNE 2009

Woman of the Month

India Gets New Tourism Minister

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Kumari Selja is India's new Tourism Minister. Indian President, Pratibha Devisingh Patil administered the oath as Cabinet Minister to Kumari Selja, at a Swearing-in Ceremony in New Delhi.

Global Travel & Tourism Summit Ends on an Optimistic Note Page

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10 Questions

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The recently concluded 9th Global Travel & Tourism Summit by the WTTC held in Florianópolis, Brazil has once again reaffirmed its integral role in today's business of travel and tourism.

A New Era Has Dawned for Sri Lanka Tourism

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The defeat of terrorism and successful end of war in Sri Lanka has certainly lifted the spirits of all and sundry. People are beginning to breathe fresh air of tranquility after the guns went silent in the North.

Destination Page

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16 First Person

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WTTC ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF TOURISM FOR TOMORROW AWARDS

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AVIAREPS BOOSTS MARKET-LEADERSHIP POSITION IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC

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THAILAND UNVEILS MARKETING STRATEGY TO ATTRACT BUSINESS EVENTS

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Home Ground

TRAVELLER’S NOTE BOOK Florian Mayer

FORT KOCHI Sara Stefanini

22 Cover Photo : Tourism Authority of Thailand

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Publication

Managing Editor Group Editor Vice President & CEO Executive Editor Consultant Editor Photo Editor Art Editor Editorial Team

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

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BULGARIA

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KSA

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LONDON

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UAE

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KUWAIT

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NEW DELHI

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MUMBAI

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BANGALORE

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CHENNAI

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HYDERABAD

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DEHRADUN

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MADURAI

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ERNAKULAM

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KOLKATA

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

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Administration

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G. Biju Krishnan G. Gopakumar* M. P. Sreekumar Lerbin T. K. Dr. Madhav Manoj Retheesh Kariyam Amal Prasad R. Parameswaran Smitha R. K. Harikrishnan V. N.Gopalakrishnan Nair B. Prasad Wg. Cdr. V. K. Gangal P. Deenadayalu Bandana K. Prasad 0061-892757447 Vladimir Harizanov 00359-36186565 Sam Mathew 00966-505150513 Abdul Najeeb 0044-7769940391 Sanjeev S. L. 00971 508914709 Mariam Titus 00965 6638670 V. K. Gangal 09871180498 Mahesh Nair 022 32499989 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 M. Sreekumar 09745001001 Jaya Rajeshwari Soniya S. Vidhu Krishna Nujum

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, Unit 9 & 10, Sardar Pratap Singh Industrial Estate No. 2, LBS Marg, Bhandup West, Mumbai-400078, India Tel.: +91 22 32499989 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

dversity has its uses - says an old English proverb. According to a report published by World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in March last year, the global travel industry was on target to generate sales of USD 8 trillion in 2008 - and that in a year of slow growth - and the prediction, in spite of the economic slowdown, is for sales to increase annually by 4.4 per cent till 2018. But things have changed drastically since and world over the industry is going through hard times. And this is an opportunity for the industry to sit back and take stock of the situation - not just about the current crisis but many issues that the industry has been facing but never had the time to address - and set the house in order. According to statistics released by United Nations, tourism is the world's biggest industry, employing about 220 million people worldwide. But according to a report titled 'Sun, Sand, Sea and Sweatshops', by Tourism Concern' - a UK based charity organization (which is a non industry based one), "in prime tourist destinations, governments are often more interested in maintaining tourist economies than ecosystems, even if it means displacement, cultural conflicts and unacceptable working practices". Both the industry and the travellers have to recognise the benefits that responsible tourism can bring to destinations, in terms of employment and the preservation of cultural and natural heritage. Another area of concern is the carbon dioxide emissions caused by the aviation industry. According to the EU, aviation accounts for three per cent of Europe's carbon dioxide emissions. The growth of the aviation industry is in direct conflict with the need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 in order to avoid irreversible climate change. This is the right time to address these issues, which the industry has not been giving the serious consideration they deserve. Another English proverb says, "Charity begins at home".

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G. Biju Krishnan Editor & Publisher

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Towards a Low Carbon Economy report titled ‘Towards a Low Carbon Travel and Tourism Sector’ has been presented by the World Economic Forum at the World Business Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen during the last week of May. The Summit was a global get together of business leaders in anticipation of the UN climate conference COP 15, to be held in six months time. This study represents the fruit of collaboration between UNWTO and several key organisations and is part of a longstanding action by the tourism and travel sector to respond to climate change. For UNWTO it is an important element of the Davos Declaration Process initiated in 2003 with the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The study - a collaboration between the World Economic Forum, UNWTO, the International Civil Aviation Organization, UNEP, and Tourism and Travel business leaders issued by the WEF with Booz & Company as senior advisor and research partner - puts forward proposals for the mitigation of greenhouse gas emission

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in various sectors such as transport and accommodation. It also considers market mechanisms and innovative methods of financing the transformation towards a green economy and encourages new public-privatepartnerships. ‘Towards a Low Carbon Travel and Tourism Sector’ also supports global approaches regarding emission trading for aviation and calls for proceeds to be used to set up a “Green Fund for Travel and Tourism” to help finance the trillion dollar mitigation projects identified within the industry. The study points out how governments, industry stakeholders and consumers can collectively improve the low carbon sustainability of travel, which will in turn enable the continued growth of the sector and the sustainable economic development of nations. It emphasizes the importance of tourism as a development driver for poorer nations and calls for the continued growth of sustainable air transport in these countries. Finally it underscores the need to continue to address climate change and poverty alongside the economic crisis.

"Tourism is one of the sectors that can, and is, bucking the recession trend, and further investment into boosting the

tourism industry will help ensure the economy does not slip further in recessionary terms."

Mmastsatsi Marobe Chief Executive Officer Tourism Business Council of South Africa

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WORLDVIEW

India Gets New Tourism Minister umari Selja is India's new Tourism Minister. Indian President, Pratibha Patil administered the oath as Cabinet Minister to Kumari Selja, at a Swearing-in Ceremony, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on May 28, 2009. She also holds the Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation portfolio. Sultan Ahmed is the Minister of State in the Ministry of Tourism.

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Kumari Selja

Indian President, Pratibha Devisingh Patil administering the oath to Kumari Selja and Sultan Ahmed at the swearing-in ceremony, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi

Global Travel & Tourism Summit Ends on an Optimistic Note he recently concluded 9th Global Travel & Tourism Summit by the World Travel & Tourism Council held in Florian贸polis, Brazil has once again reaffirmed its integral role in today's business of travel and tourism. There was a high number of delegate participation and the event endorsed the recommendations of WHO and TERN with regard to the influenza A (H1N1) epidemic. The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) called for an urgent review of the WHO terminology and its

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classification system. "Every effort should be made to ensure we avoid unnecessary alarm," said Jean-Claude Baumgarten, WTTC's President & CEO. "One of the main problems is that we are not getting a clear and consistent message across to reassure travellers," said Baumgarten. "There is too much information out there that is confusing to travellers, and we have little control over how the media handle the story, or over how governments react when they are scared. We need to communicate more

WTTC Announces Winners of Tourism for Tomorrow Awards

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he Tourism for Tomorrow Awards was presented at the annual Global Travel & Tourism Summit, held in Florianopolis, capital of the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina. The 2009 winners are Grupo PUNTACANA, Dominican Republic - Destination Stewardship Award, NatureAir, Costa Rica Conservation Award, Zakoura Foundation for Micro-Credits, Morocco for Community Benefit Award and Marriott International Inc, USA and Global won the Global Tourism Business Award. The award instituted by World Travel & Tourism Council for the past five years, recognise and promote best practice in sustainable tourism development all over the world.

This year's Tourism for Tomorrow Award winners represent a more diverse group of businesses, organisations and destinations that are helping to take sustainable tourism to new levels of innovation," Costas Christ, Chairman of the Judging Panel, told the assembled delegates at the Summit. "For the first time, we have the airline sector represented, as well as microlending financial credit organisation, one of the world's largest hotel groups, and a major Caribbean tourism destination," Christ added. "We are now seeing sustainable tourism principles and practices represented across much more diverse sectors of the global Travel & Tourism industry."

effectively." The panellists at a special session of the event agreed that, while the epidemic of the influenza virus A (H1N1) commonly known as 'swine flu' - had so far been relatively mild outside Mexico, its possible return in mutated form in the northern hemisphere winter remains a serious cause for concern. The World Health Organization (WHO) is not recommending travel restrictions, because it believes that limiting travel and imposing travel restrictions would have very little effect on stopping the spread of the virus, but would be highly disruptive to the global community. Through its Tourism Emergency Response Network (TERN), managed by UNWTO, the worldwide travel community - comprising some 30 organisations and associations representing the public and private sectors of Travel & Tourism - is working

closely with WHO and sharing views on a regular basis. This will hopefully ensure that the special situation of travellers is taken fully into account by WHO and that the industry will be able to provide the best and most accurate advice to travellers as the situation changes. While the mantra "keep traveling" was reiterated by the Global Travel & Tourism Summit discussion panel, Geoffrey Lipman, Assistant Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), offered a note of caution - saying that any potential second wave of the H1N1 influenza virus could affect the industry a lot more. Lipman's warning was reiterated by John Walker, Chairman of Oxford Economics, which has just completed preliminary research on behalf of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) to assess the potential impact of a possible H1N1 pandemic.


SERENDIP

A New Era Has Dawned for

Sri Lanka Tourism

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he defeat of terrorism and successful end of war in Sri Lanka has certainly lifted the spirits of all and sundry. People are beginning to breathe fresh air of tranquility after the guns went silent in the North. The country’s private sector has seen its confidence being regained and new optimism blossoming. Since the end of the war the country has seen an unprecedented wave of jubilation and patriotism. There is new hope, says an official release of the Srilanka Tourism. All Sri Lankans are eager to embrace a new dawn where Singhalese, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher and all races, religions and creeds unite as one around an undivided island. Despite the conflict, Sri Lanka

has continued to remain one of the most attractive travel destinations in the world, being consistently rated by travelers and tourists from around the world as one of the most charming and fascinating places to visit. From the verdant hill country of Kandy and Nuwara Eliya, to the sacred cities of Anuradahapura and Polonnorawua; the lush jungles and rainforests of Yala and

Sri Lanka Benefits From Using .travel he Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau is witnessing the benefits of using the .travel domain name with www.srilanka.travel. Since its launch in 2007, the srilanka.travel site has received over 1.6 million page views, over 600,000 were unique, first time visitors. .travel is the top-level domain created specifically for the travel and tourism industry. Kicking its promotional efforts into full gear with www.srilanka.travel, the country joins many other popular tourist destinations and organizations in using .travel. “When we were developing our website initially, we decided to use the .travel domain because it was globally accepted,” said Dileep Mudadeniya, Managing Director, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau. In fact, the Sri Lanka Tourism website will be revamped with a new look and feel in line with a new brand strategy launching this month.

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Wilpattu to the tranquil beaches of the Southern Coast, Sri Lanka with bite size experiences has something to suit every taste. With the conflict now over, Sri Lanka is looking forward to opening up the North and the East of the country, a hitherto undiscovered part of the island that is teeming with untouched beaches, idyllic villages and cultural treasures galore. The Government has already launched a 180-day rapid development plan for the North with the participation of all ministries. With the coastlines rebuilt for travelers and plans to develop the North and East of the island, the time is right for Sri Lanka to reap the benefits of tourism. From Arugam Bay the Surfer’s Paradise, to Batticaloa where many cultures meet, going further up the coast to Trincomalee and Nilaveli, where one finds Sri Lanka’s most admired and pristine beaches, infra structure development has begun with the hope of attracting more tourists to these areas. For long only accessible only to those who dared to defy caution; today these locations are being developed with heightened interest and expectation of a revival in tourism Meanwhile a massive global

communication campaign will be rolled out next month with a focus on attracting more tourists to the island during the winter season. A local island-wide campaign titled ‘Making of the Small Miracle’ has been launched to draw on the ideas of people in projecting Sri Lanka’s image to the world. The campaign is intended to bring out information on special stories, people, places and objects in each of their area enabling Sri Lanka Tourism to share the same with the world. The local campaign will lead to the launch of the new tourism brand scheduled for 23rd June 2009. Sri Lanka Tourism has come out with a brand new set of communication materials which included new TV commercial, brochures, new internet site, memorabilia’s and other corporate gifts . Sri Lanka Tourism is hopeful that the new Sri Lanka benefits from its renewed focus in the eyes of the world and attracts the same tourists and travelers alike who have yet to experience the enchanting island.

Hiran Cooray, Chairman-Elect of PATA for 2010-11 he Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has announced Hiran Cooray, the Chairman of the JETWING brand as its Chairman Elect for 2010-11. Hiran Cooray has been bestowed this honour at the Annual General Meeting of PATA, held in April. This is the first time a Sri Lankan will take up this high office, in PATA. Hiran Cooray has served PATA since 1996 and has received several awards for his outstanding work. He also had the distinction of serving as Vice President of the Asia Pacific region, of the International Hotels and Restaurants Association based in Paris. An Immediate Past President of the Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL), he has also been conferred the title of ‘Sri Lanka Sikhamani’.

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PERSONALITY

Pariva Rustagi, is the Director of Sales & Marketing (Delhi) of Marriott Hotels India Pvt. Ltd. She has more than a decade’s experience in the hospitality business – especially in the sales and marketing division. PARIVA RUSTAGI DIRECTOR OF SALES & MARKETING - DELHI MARRIOTT HOTELS INDIA PVT. LTD. INDIA

How did you become interested in hospitality business? I had the opportunity of attending a career counseling session way back in my eighth grade and the message was very powerful and convincing. I certainly did not know or understand the path that I may need to take but the

direction was clear. A few years later I see myself walking into the doors of the finest hotel school in India, Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration in Manipal, after a splendid and fulfilling three year course, it was time to make some realistic choices to face the real world. I was placed by campus as a

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Management Trainee for a year at International Travel House, a wholly owned subsidiary of ITC. A year later the opportunity came to join Hilton New Delhi in Sales & Marketing and there began the journey which I am still enjoying and learning from. What is your current role at your company? Please elaborate. My current assignment is at Marriott International Inc. based out of NCR as Director of Sales & Marketing. It's an exciting and challenging role to ensure that we are solicit the right customer for the right brand. The possibilities are ample and the options are plenty, the strength comes from the energized team that helps me perform my job successfully even in damp times like this. Marriott is a well known International hotel brand, an inspiration for those who are away from it, and so is the weight of carrying out assigned responsibilities. We are in a pre natal stage in the country right now and to create a strong and lasting demand for all customers is my core responsibility. What plans - immediate and long term - do you have? The plan is simple and straight - keep enhancing your own benchmarks and set the right examples. As a travel industry professional what is your ambition? At this stage my ambition is to continue to deliver results and continue to learn to roll into a larger role in Hospitality. The most fulfilling thought even after many years of being in this industry - is "there is so much more to do". Who or what has been the greatest influence in your professional life?

A perfect combination of continued support from my family and people who have touched my life at sometime and working with stalwarts from the industry, keeps me positively influenced and guided. A self driven commitment and passion for hotels has an overwhelming influence on me. As woman, what were the challenges you had to face in your professional life? Equal opportunities are given to performers, and so far in all these years I have never faced a challenge because of being a woman. All my mentors only evaluated people on merit and caliber and I have been able to live up to these expectations. This industry is as versatile as any other and I would encourage young girls and boys with fire in the belly to certainly be on this side of hotels. What is the secret of your success? I guess this is no secret but like all, it has been perseverance and deep belief in my job. An air of positivity and the people around me have substantially contributed each day. What is your proudest moment (till date) in your job? I find myself to be getting opportunities that interest me and I continue to explore them - each such opportunity in the past has given me a sense of achievement and learning. Tell us about your family. My family is my strength and the highlight of my life is my seven year old daughter Siya - an inspiration for me. What are your hobbies? Lazy Sundays at home watching movies, meeting friends and reading occasionally.


Q & A

Lemuel Herbert started his career more than a quarter century ago and at present is Associate Vice President & General Manager, The Park Chennai. LEMUEL HERBERT ASSOCIATE VICE PRESIDENT & GENERAL MANAGER THE PARK, CHENNAI INDIA

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Tell us about your hotel and its USPs. The Park in Chennai is all about cutting edge design and fresh concepts in dĂŠcor, the best food in Chennai, Service that is friendly, unconventional, yet efficient. It is vibrant, young and energetic offering a continuing medley of the most talked about events in town. It is situated on a historic landmark- the premises of the erstwhile Gemini Studios and the center of Chennai's business district. An urban haven. How do you position the Hotel in the market? We are positioned as a leading premium 5 star deluxe luxury Boutique hotel. Our strategy is to sustain and enhance our position of leadership in the market by creating customer value through unique customer experiences. How important is a Hotel in developing a destination? Supporting infrastructure, such as good hotel accommodation has been in every context of developing destinations, a critical factor. Our very entry and presence in Chennai has complemented the growth of Chennai into a hub for industry and IT among other businesses and corporate conglomerates who have headed for and settled in Chennai. Our hotel rooms and restaurants have been a source of attraction for travelers into Chennai. This aside, we have actively participated in Chennai Sangamam organized by the Tamil Maiyam & a Government initiative in the last two years. This annual mega event showcases the richness of Tamil cuisine from across the state, taking it to parks and streets for the locals and wayfarers to savor. Could you tell us about your background and how did you come to the industry? I finished my schooling from Cambrian Hall, Dehradun. I graduated from Madras Christian College, Chennai, and immediately joined the Oberoi Hotels as a Management Trainee in 1981. I had initially not planned on joining the industry but I think it was because I was glamour struck by the Oberoi School of

Hotel Management that I took the plunge and I'm happy I did ! Tell us about your experience so far? Is there an unforgettable moment in your career ? It was rough at first for the first 4-5 years, the industry is taxing and demanding, but once you are conditioned to the environment its fine, for very long now I really enjoy what I do . There have been many unforgettable moments in my career both good and bad. One that is etched in my mind is when I was in Baghdad, Iraq, as senior lobby Manager in Hotel Al Rashid in 1991 at the time Kuwait was annexed by Saddam Hussain. That night on duty the sky rang with the sound of gunfire that heralded his victory. What plans - immediate and long term - do you have? I value my responsibilities with The Park Hotels and look forward to growing and continuing my 9 year relationship with The Park as it grows too. Where would you like to see yourself, say, 10 years from now? If I'm not employed at that time, I will be running my own consultancy that offers hotel operations, development and training expertise. Tell us about your family? I am proud to be the son of Jaya and Leslie Herbert. We are from Mysore. My father was a Brigadier in the Indian Army which involved considerable resettling in different parts of the country during my childhood. My wife Jeeju and I were classmates (she was the university topper!), we graduated together & we have three children, a daughter and two sons. Tell us about your hobbies ? I enjoy listening to music. I strum the guitar and sing occasionally, I am an avid fan of Discovery, Animal Planet and National Geographic. I enjoy a spot of gardening every now and then. My family and I love going for plays and musical concerts. Which is your favorite destination? Of the many destinations I've visited, New Zealand and Kruger National Park, South Africa were really awesome and I think it was because of the people and sheer beauty of their bountiful natural resources. I would love to revisit these two places.


COLUMN

few months ago, I was booking a flight ticket to Singapore by our national carrier for my wife to visit our daughter. The journey was fixed and the ticket was obtained. While making the booking I gave my mobile number for the sake of contact, a mandatory element for making an airline booking. It so happened that my wife had to advance her journey by a day that instead of flying on a Thursday afternoon flight, she took the Wednesday's night flight by advancing the booking on the same ticket. So far so good. The next day I had a call on my mobile from the airline in the morning asking for my wife. I told that it was me, her husband and said that she had already left for Singapore by the previous day's night flight. They said they wanted to inform of the delay on the flight that day. Fearing that they had not heard me all right; once again I told that she had already left for Singapore the previous day. They insisted: 'All the same, we would like to inform you that there is a delay of fifty minutes on your flight today!' Further they went on to take down my name for having passed the information to for their record. With due reverence to my first employer airline, I had to call it the height of being perfunctory. Recently my cousin and I were on the noon flight from Chennai to

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Singapore. To our pleasure, the flight took off on time and everything was going fine for first two hours. Then the captain's voice crackled on the cabin mike: 'Ladies and gentlemen! I am sorry to inform you that we have a mechanical problem. We are returning to the base‌' Such kinds of returns were not unusual in airline industry. But what was partly inane and partly hilarious was the cabin

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Goethe

crew's announcement as we were landing back: 'Ladies and gentlemen, we welcome you to Chennai (sic)!' It looks like gradually we all have developed the couldn't-careless attitude. Years ago a marketing department of a private airline helped the airline land in a big mess. They had prepared wonderful desk calendars for the year. They were sent to their offices in the Gulf as well. The folks at the receiving end also could not care any less. They were happily issuing tickets based on those desk calendars and landed in a deluge of wrong dated issues. In India the Sundays would be in red. In the Gulf, it should have been Fridays in red. But then there was no appropriate change done for them! Goethe had rightly said: 'Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world!' A shabby work is worse than no work. Sculptor Michelangelo was commissioned to paint the Sistine Chapel. Though he was more of a sculptor than a painter, still he took up the assignment as desired by the Pope then. For about four years he was doing all those wonderful paintings (40.5 m x 14 m) on the

Michelangelo

ceiling of the chapel at a height of twenty meters. It is said that even after completing everything, on the last day of his work, he was not getting off from the scaffold and still peering at a painting. People down from the floor hailed him as to what he was still looking at. Michelangelo told that he had to correct the nose of Adam a little. The people who were in a rush to call it a day shouted back: 'It looks perfect from here. And at such a height, nobody would know it or see it from the floor. You just get down!' Michelangelo refuted them saying that still one person would know it and see it from wherever and that was he. He took some more time, completed the correction he wanted and got down. That is the mark of a perfect work and attention to the detail. Pay major attention to minor details is one of the best lessons one can learn! Recently Sharjah Airport honoured a little school boy from Delhi with an air ticket to fly Air Arabia free for a suggestion he gave to improve the efficacy of the Sharjah Airport. 11-year old Kunj Shah suggested that they have a playpen for the kids at the waiting lounge. The kids normally, without a coop for them, are all over their parents and turning the airport into a veritable bedlam. A playpen would be the best solution by way of entertainment for the kids and relief for the parents. The boy also gave another suggestion that there should be a display of flowers with the slogan 'Smile, You Are in Sharjah!' All these thoughts can spring from only pure care and concern for people at large. No wonder the words 'care' and 'cure' are of the same origin. Unless you care, you cannot cure at all!

Sistine Chapel


NEWSLINE

AVIAREPS Boosts Market-leadership Position in the Asia-Pacific region

Amadeus, Yatra.com Partner to Offer More Hotel Choices

viareps, one of the leading international tourism and airline representation continues its rapid growth in the Asia-Pacific region: two years after its first investment in renowned tourism, public relations and marketing consultancy Marketing Garden Ltd. Three

madeus, the global leader in technology and distribution solutions for the travel and tourism industry, has signed a major agreement with Yatra.com, one of India's largest online travel companies, to distribute its hotel content on Amadeus' Global Distribution System (GDS). This deal will mean that, for the first time, more than 100,000 travel agencies using the Amadeus GDS will be able to offer travellers a choice of over 900 one to three-star and independent hotels in India. Dhruv Shringi, Co-Founder and CEO, Yatra.com, said, "We offer customers a choice of booking channels including online and traditional retail

At the time of the merger, Marketing Garden was already operating from wholly-owned offices in Shanghai (China), Tokyo (Japan), Seoul (Korea) and Taipei (Taiwan). Meanwhile, three new offices in Beijing (China), Sydney (Australia) and Dubai (United Arab Emirates - U.A.E.) have been opened, and a jointventure office in India (Mumbai) has been formalized. "The Asia-Pacific region is a key market for new offices were set up in Beijing AVIAREPS. Our offices in these (China), Sydney (Australia) and Dubai (U.A.E.) in 2008 and thirteen countries are crucial for us, as many of our clients demand renowned tourism clients were services in the region. The positive contracted in 2008 and 2009. development of our efforts within a In order to further enlarge its short period of time indicates that global tourism and marketing network, AVIAREPS had entered the our decision to partner with and invest in Marketing Garden Ltd. Asia-Pacific market through was the right one," states Thomas investments in Marketing Garden Drechsler, COO Tourism at Ltd. in April 2007 to create AVIAREPS Marketing Garden. AVIAREPS.

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methods. This milestone agreement will help our hotel partners to sell their rooms globally through GDS with." David Brett, President, Amadeus Asia Pacific, said, "Demand for midrange and independent hotels is growing as travellers look for more budgetfriendly options in today's economic climate." Ankur Bhatia, Managing Director, Amadeus India, said, This agreement with Yatra.com will deliver more choice for travellers, and help Yatra.com and its hotel partners reach out to new markets."

Fortune Hotels in Expansion Mode ortune Park Hotels Ltd has commenced operations in three of its new properties making the total number properties to 29. They new properties are Fortune Inn Grazia Hotel in Noida, Fortune Inn Valley View in Manipal and Fortune Select Dasve', in the heart of Dasve village's rolling green hillside in Lavasa. The hotels at Noida and Manipal are the fourth and fifth Fortune Inn branded hotels respectively after Jammu, Pune and Visakhapatnam. Fortune Inn Grazia', is centrally located in Sector 27 of Noida. Fortune Inn Grazia is the second operational Fortune Hotels property in the NCR region after Gurgaon and there are five more to open in the near future. The Fortune Inn Grazia is located next to the commercial and shopping hub of Sector 18. With the Fortune Inn in Noida, the total number

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of l Fortune Inn category hotels in the country now stands at four with Jammu, Pune and Visakhapatnam hotels already operational. Targeted at businesses

category. Located amidst beautiful rural farmlands, hills and inland waterways, the hotel is just 10 kms away from Arabian Sea and 60 kms drive from the Western Ghats. The hotel offers a choice of dining facilities, including Rangoli-a multi-cuisine restaurant and Cosmopolitan- the coffee shop and a pastry shop.

free India's first and largest Hill City being developed by Lavasa Corporation Ltd., an HCC Group Company. The 60room hotel with standard rooms and suites is set amidst the Sahyadri hills and facing the Warasgaon Lake and is spread over 1.5 acres. All hotels provide contemporary styled amenities

travelers, the hotel offers a choice of 42 well appointed rooms including 30 standard rooms and 12 Fortune Club Rooms, equipped with all modern amenities to ensure pleasant stay for travelers. The 68-room Manipal hotel was started by Dr T A Pai Foundation in 1969 with a view to cater to the accommodation needs of the medical tourists and parents of the students from various educational institutes in Manipal. This splendid Fortune Select Dasve is including gym, spa, swimming property now dons the Lavasa's first business hotel pools restaurants, banqueting Fortune banner, in its 'Inn' from Fortune Hotels. Lavasa is and business facilities. ASIAN TRAVELLER JUNE 2009

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EXPERIENCE

Chinese, Portugese, Dutch and Kochi SARA STEFANINI rriving in Kerala's Fort Kochi after travelling around nearby towns and cities, I was struck by the quiet tranquility of this quaint town on the southwestern coast of India. The narrow roads, lack of traffic and small cafes offered a muchneeded repose from the bustle and chaos of the area's neighbours. Fort Kochi sits on the edge of the southern peninsula opposite other islands that make up the

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greater Kochi. Fort Kochi and Mattancherry, an area just a 20 minute's walk away, offer great views of the Chinese fishing nets that date back to the 1400s, and the fish market near them, and of remaining structures from Portuguese, Dutch and British settlers. Having spent a day and a half in Kumily, a small but busy town near the Periyar

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National Park, and having taken a six-hour, bumpy bus ride from there to Kochi, I found Fort Kochi's relaxed, small-town feel to be a welcome relief. The neighbourhood is small and easy to cover in just a couple days. Each of the four or five roads that make up Fort Kochi's center are lined with shops selling typical Indian souvenirs, such as cotton and silk tunic tops, pashminas, silver jewellry and "Ali Baba" pants, and friendly restaurants serving a mixture of traditional Keralan food and Western fare. In just a few days, it's easy to feel at home here. By my second day walking around Fort Kochi, I was greeting and chatting with shop owners sitting outside their stores and giving directions to newly-arrived tourists. One of my favourite spots in here was the fish market, which runs between Fort Kochi and Mattancherry. The peninsula's coast is dotted with Chinese fishing nets - large pyramid-shaped devices made from net and bamboo poles and suspended over the water. Each evening, groups of fishermen drop the pyramids into the water. The following morning, they pull the nets up by ropes that have stones attached as counterweights, collect their catch and sell it on the sidewalk nearby. It can take at least four people to hoist the net back up. Watching the fishermen work the nets felt like witnessing workers from a past era. Chinese traders from the Kubla Khan court set foot in Kochi in the 1400s and set up the fishing nets. They then remained intact through the

Portuguese rule, which began in 1503, followed by the Dutch takeover in 1683 and the British control that started in 1795. While the nets are one of Fort Kochi's prime tourist sites, the fishing area has retained a functional feeling, with more locals than foreigners gathered around the water's edge to buy fresh fish. The walk along the coastline from Fort Kochi to Mattancherry offers a good look at local working areas. The tight roads are crowded with trucks dropping off bags of rice and spices in front of shops, construction workers building new structures and schoolchildren walking to or from school. Walking along this road, I also stumbled upon several small art galleries displaying works by contemporary local artists something I had yet to see while touring around Kerala. The numerous countries that have occupied Fort Kochi at one time or another have given the area a rather diverse array of sites to see in Fort Kochi and Mattancherry. The Indo-Portuguese Museum houses the remains of Fort Immanuel, the Portuguese structure after which Fort Kochi was named. Not much remains of the fort, after the Dutch destroyed it, but the museum also exhibits remnants from the area's early Catholic communities, such as a processional cross, a piece of an altar made from teak wood and silver and wood donations boxes, among other artifacts. The Mattancherry Palace, built in 1555, instead displays and mixture of Portuguese architecture and well-preserved Hindu murals and portraits of different maharajas from

the 1800s. Tourists can also visit the Dutch Cemetery, where traders and soldiers Sara Stefanini were buried during the Netherlands' rule, the Paradesi Synagogue, which the Portuguese demolished and the Dutch rebuilt and Jew Town, a busy area full of shops selling spices and clothing. Along with the site-seeing, however, much of the Fort Kochi experience, I believe, is in sitting in its charming cafes and staying in one of its "homestays" - the Keralan version of an American bed & breakfast. Staying in a homestay gives tourists a real feel for local culture. Some homestays provide cooking lessons or dancing lessons for guests, while others offer traditional dishes for breakfast. Overall, the small, cozy homestays fit in perfectly with the friendly streets of Fort Kochi, allowing tourists to feel like they're actually living in the small town during their short visit.


THAILAND TRAVELLER

PATA Thailand Chapter to Host Crisis Seminar ATA Thailand Chapter is hosting a one-day seminar on 'Risk & Crisis Management' at the Dusit Thani hotel in Bangkok on June 17. The seminar aims to show participants 'the management techniques and implementation systems of how to consider potential risks to their destination and their business - and then plan to handle them or avoid them'. Leading the seminar is Bert

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TAT to Tap Wedding Tourism

Van Walbeek, an experienced crisis management practitioner and member of the PATA Thailand Chapter Education Committee.

also hear case studies on recent crises affecting the hospitality sector in particular and the tourism industry in general. "This one-day PATA Thailand Chapter seminar is directed to owners and senior executives of hotels, tour operators and other tourismDelegates will gain insight into related organisations that the implementation risk accept the responsibility for the safety and security of their management concepts, learn about PATA's four phases of customers, staff and assets," crisis management and will says Bert.

Thailand Offers Best Value For Money in Asia Pacific Region hailand has been chosen as representing the best value for money for travellers in the Asia Pacific region, in a survey conducted by CNN International across CNN English websites. Thailand came out as the best value in Asia-Pacific for respondents over China in second place and India in third. The comprehensive survey

also revealed that although times are tough, the recession hasn't reduced people's desire to travel. On the contrary - people are trading down, not trading out - but not compromising their experience. In addition, more business leaders are likely to travel over the next 12 months than in the past year.

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ourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has aggressive plans to tap the Wedding Tourism segment from India. TAT India has formulated a special scheme to be launched specially for the Wedding Tourism segment. Under this scheme, if the couple gets married in Thailand, TAT will Chattan Kunjara sponsor the Na Ayudhya honeymoon for Director, TAT the couple. According to Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, Director, TAT, "This scheme is an India specific initiative and we are looking at starting this scheme from October this year and continue it till September 2010." Thailand at the moment facilitates close to 30 to 40 big weddings a year and with the introduction of this scheme, it intends to considerably increase the number of weddings celebrated in Thailand.

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Thailand Unveils Marketing Strategy to Attract Business Events he Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) has unveiled three strategic initiatives to boost awareness and confidence in Thailand as a dynamic business event destination. The "Meetings More Memorable and Meetings Plus" campaign will target smaller groups of 25-50 delegates from

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longhaul markets by offering value added golf, spa, welcome receptions and cultural shows. Secondly, a new cluster marketing drive will aggressively promote the advantages of holding events in five distinct geographical areas of Thailand: Bangkok/Pattaya, Chiang Mai/Chiang Rai, Nakon Ratchasima/Khon Kaen, Cha-am/ Hua Hin, and Phuket/Krabi/ Phangnga. To support the initiative, TCEB has produced a new 174-page "Venue Variety" directory with full information about business event facilities in each location. Thirdly, TCEB will emphasize testimo-

nials from organizations with first-hand experience of holding recent business events in Thailand. The emphasis on building trust by via testimonials is part of TCEB's "Thailand Moving Forward" campaign launched in February. Details on the three initiatives were revealed to media at IMEX 2009 in Frankfurt, a specialist event for the global business event industry which has attracted 3,500 exhibitors from 150 countries. Attending IMEX, TCEB's Senior Manager for meetings and incentives, Puripan Bunnag, gave details to media and industry delegates. "The initiatives have been launched to rebuild confidence, add real value to meetings and incentives clients, and give assurances to

event organisers who are considering Thailand again," he said. Thailand Prime Minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva has endorsed the TCEB campaign. TCEB now estimates that the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) industry in Thailand will bring in 41 billion baht (US$1.24 billion) this year and attract half a million participants.

www.amazingthailand.co.in • For details, contact : tatdel@tat.or.th ASIAN TRAVELLER JUNE 2009

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THAILAND TRAVELLER

Where Thailand Unveils

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ituated off the west coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea, Phuket one of the southern provinces of Thailand was formerly known as Tha-Laang. It is one of the largest islands of the country spanning 48 km in length, 21 km at its widest and an area of approximately 570 square km. The name Phuket is derived from the Malay word 'bukit' meaning hill as the island appears like one from a distance. The island is connected to mainland Thailand by a bridge. Earlier the island was one of the major trading routes between India and China and was frequently mentioned in foreign trader's ship logs. The traditional Thai hospitality and the Thai massage are still the best ambassadors of tourism here. Phuket, with its gorgeous beaches has an ideal place to relax and soak up the sun. It is also a center for activities like diving, sailing, golf and other water sports along with all popular activities. It is also fast becoming a sailing centre for Asia. There are 18-hole golf courses golfers and numerous

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reefs, dive spots for the divers. The night life is vibrant here. The dizzy array of bars and various types of restaurants adds to the flavour. It is also a shopper's destination. The shopping happens mainly in the night as there one can find value buys. The major beaches from north to south are Mai Khao, Nai Thon and Nai Yang, Bang Thao, Surin and Pansea Beach, Laem Sing, Kamala Beach, Surin Beach, Kalim Beach, Patong Beach, Karon and Karon Noi, Kata Yai Beach, Kata Noi Beach, Nai Han and Ao Sen, Ya Nui Beach, etc. Hat Patong is the most developed beach which offers numerous leisure, sporting, shopping, nightlife and recreational options along its 3-kilometre long crescent bay. Laem Chao, or the God's

ascetic displays, including firewalking and ascending sharpbladed ladders. The Kata Beach Resort hosts Phuket King's Cup Regatta is held in December in which international yachtsmen compete for royal trophies. Laguna Phuket Triathlon is also held in December which include a 1,800 - metre swim, a 5.5 -kilometre bike race and a 12kilometre run and a 6 -kilometre fun run. Phuket Travel Fair also called the Patong Carnival starts from November 1 every year. It is on the middle of the sixth and eleventh lunar months the Chao Le (Sea Gypsy) Boat Floating Festival in which the sea gypsy villages hold their ceremonies. One can experience some real southern Thai food while visiting Phuket. Gaeng Massaman and Panaeng, are the two renowned curries of the place. Southern Thai food makes more use of coconut milk than elsewhere in the country. Curries are richer and creamier here. With the heavy Muslim influence, less pork is consumed

rate the two great heroines who rallied the Thalang people to repel Burmese invaders. The Vegetarian Festival, in which the islanders of Chinese ancestry commit themselves to a 9-day vegetarian diet, a form of purification believed to help make the forthcoming year "trouble-free" is held on the first day of the 9th lunar month i.e. by the end September or early October). The festival is marked by several

here than in other parts of Thailand. The descendants of the Chinese migrants has brought along a strong Chinese influence. Phuket is hot and humid throughout the year. The high season is generally considered to be from November to May. The period between May to October is the cool season, and when the weather gets tolerable. Surfing is possible off the western beaches.

Photo Courtesy: Thailand Tourism

Phuket

Cape, Hat Karon, the second largest of Phuket's tourist beaches, View Point located between Nai Han and Kata, Khao Phra Thaeo wildlife park are the main crowd pullers of the place. Phuket has a wide range of accommodation befitting the different travelers coming to the place. It also houses some of the finest hotels in the world. The tourists can rent taxis or motorbikes to roam around the island. Phuket is a melting pot of Buddhists, Thai-Chinese, Muslims and sea gypsies living in peace and harmony. The events and festivals at the place is another attraction for the people traveling to the region. Thao Thep Krasattri and Thao Si Sunthon Fair is held on March 13 every year to commemo-


MALDIVES TRAVELLER

Shangri-La's Villingili Resort in Maldives to Open in July sia Pacific's leading luxury hotel group, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, will open Shangri-La's Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives, the first luxury resort south of the equator in the Maldives, on July 26, 2009. The resort will offer guests a stylish experience in a spacious, boutique-style environment. Located on Addu Atoll, the resort

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will encompass over six kilometres of coastline and nearly two kilometres of white sandy beach. First-time visitors and Maldives aficionados will be rewarded with a distinctive new experience of the archipelago. The natural dense vegetation sets it apart from many other resorts in the Maldives. The three-kilometre-long island features 12 hectares of lush vegetation, 17,000 coconut trees and 45 species of plants. The island has over six kilometres of coastline and three natural freshwater lagoons. The resort will comprise 142 spacious stand-alone villas, from private ocean retreats to tropical luxury tree house villas with panoramic views. The resort will also feature 16 luxury tree house villas, a first for the Maldives, perched on

stilts offering a special three metre-high perspective of the island through tropical foliage. The tree house villas will have their own private infinity pool. Other distinct villa options available to guests will be the water villas with terraces and outdoor showers extending over the clear ocean water; beach villas with separate bedroom and living room, connected by a wooden deck to a private infinity pool; twin beach villas, comprising two bedrooms and an infinity pool; and water pool villas. Two presidential villas will also be available for guests, one of which is constructed over water and featuring a huge private pool. CHI, The Spa - Shangri-La Shangri-La's signature spa brand will offer treatments, therapies and well-being programmes based on Chinese, Himalayan and Asian

healing rituals and traditions from across the region as well as "Kandu Boli" experience, unique indigenous treatments inspired by the cowrie shell and other natural treasures found in the Maldives. To discover the fascinating lifestyle and culture of untouched Maldivian villages, guests can simply take a short boat ride to neighbouring islands. Shangri-La's Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives has been constructed around large trees, including some towering old banyan trees. Underwater work and detailed marine surveys have been carried out to ensure the preservation of coral. Shangri-La's Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives will provide a selection of bars and restaurants. The resort's salon will offer wedding gowns and wedding ceremonies for couples.

ASIAN TRAVELLER JUNE 2009

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VARIETY

Asish Nair, Head of Sales, The LaLiT Resort & Spa Bekal gold medalist from Kerala Press Academy, Kochi with a Post graduate diploma in Journalism and Mass communi cation, I have been directly involved in hospitality industry for the last six years. I never took my profession as a job - instead it's driven by passion. Selling hotels, resorts and holidays require more travelling and meeting people. Since holiday decisions are emotionally oriented it needs a close understanding of the customers I deal with. I was extremely blessed to be associated with brands like Kumarakom Lake Resort, Radisson Plaza Kumarakom, and Dream Cochin and now with The LaLiT Resort & Spa Bekal. What I perform and how I perform, the final appraisal is done by the almighty himself. Professional satisfaction from the results for the efforts is some thing more than the serendipity. I am putting the best of my efforts to the best of my ability, thus the inspiration. During evenings I surf the internet to fetch details on topics and trends related to my industry. I firmly believe that one must be updated about the current trends in the industry so as to keep pace and perform. On Sundays, if not in town, I watch three or four movies at one go and spend the rest of the day in the hotel room sleeping. (Sleeping and watching comedy programmes and movies are my way of relaxing. Mr. Bean is my favorite). But if at home I would spend time with my family. I am married to Nidhi (who is a lecturer at an Engineering College) and we have a daughter - two-year old Jovita. They understand the fact that I am working for them.

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My profession is to sell umpteen numbers of holiday ideas, but when it becomes personal I would rather leave it to my family and every time we end up on a beach. For day outings we prefer long drives or spending an entire day in a nearby local temple. With my family even our home can be a favorite destination. I don't follow any sport in particular, but I like to listen, people talking about M.S Dhoni and Christiano Ronaldo. Once I was flying from Cochin to Mumbai and I got acquainted with Captain Mohan at the airport. 15 minutes after take off he came out of the cock pit and took me inside where I spent five minutes. The entire incident occurred in front of the whole passengers and I was so exited. In today's professional world every next moment is a challenge as well as a God given opportunity to act or explore. When it comes to a role model in professional life I can't figure out one person. Instead I would like to assimilate and imbibe some specific qualities of personalities whom I came across in my professional life. Jose Thomas Pattara who was the man behind Kumarakom Lake Resort (branding and market aggression); Jaideep Singh, former Vice President of Radisson Plaza Resort & Spa Kumarakom (sophistication in work); E.M Najeeb, Chairman of ATE (public relations); Abraham George, Chairman & Managing Director of Intersight (winning simplicity) and Sajan Joseph, General Manager of Wild Corridor (guidance with compassion).

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Asia’s Doublebill Travel Trade Shows to be Held in October ne of Asia Pacific region’s premier tradeshows for the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Exhibitions) and business travel industries – IT&CMA (Incentive Travel & Conventions, Meetings Asia) and CTW (Corporate Travel World) Asia-Pacific (also popularly known a “doublebill event” (two shows at one location),)will be held at Bangkok Convention Centre (BCC) at CentralWorld, Thailand, from 6 to 8 October 2009. Darren Ng, Managing Director of TTG Asia Media, the show organiser, said, “We are committed to growing IT&CMA and CTW as the leading business and education platform in AsiaPacific, which showcase MICE destinations, source for products and services and enhance knowledge for all participants.” The 2009 doublebill event, themed “Feast on Asia!”, is expected to attract more than 2,000 leading industry professionals from Asia-Pacific and the rest of the world.

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Commenting on the new theme, Ng added, “The doublebill event is in every essence, a ‘Feast on Asia!’. Once again, delegates can look forward to savouring a banquet of events, from the business, education, social and networking aspects. The newest, hottest and best destinations, products and services in the Asia-Pacific region’s meetings and business travel sectors will be served up in the highly-anticipated 2009 doublebill.” As an ideal platform for exhibitors to sell to a vast potential market of industry professionals from AsiaPacific and the world, the doublebill event has introduced new show specials this year. “Green Showcase”, “Meetings & Events Technology Showcase” and “Gifts and Premiums Showcase” are a few of them. More than 350 exhibiting companies and organisations from 35 countries are expected to exhibit at the combined MICE and corporate travel exhibition under one roof.

IATA Calls for Global Approach on Carbon Emissions he International Air Transport Association has reiterated avia tion's commitment to addressing responsibly the challenges of climate change. IATA has called upon governments to deliver a global and sectoral approach to reducing aviation emissions in Kyoto 2. "Air transport is a global industry with a good track record and ambitious targets for environmental performance. But, to achieve them, we need governments to take a global approach," said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's Director General and CEO in a statement to the World Business Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen. Bisignani called on governments to define a sectoral approach in Kyoto 2 with global accounting for aviation's emissions through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and open access for airlines to properly regulated carbon markets. Such an approach would maintain a level playing field for all airlines and replace overlapping national and regional schemes.

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TAMIL NADU TRAVELLER

Krishnagiri Land of Mangoes Dr. S. BAKTHAVATCHALAM

migratory butterflies passing through this forest like a cloud is a feast for the eyes. rishnagiri, one the na The district produces 3,00,000 ture's bounty to the Tamil tones of mangoes, their main crop Nadu tourism is a mountainous terrain and full of flatlands. annually. The Mango Festival is held at Krishnagiri on the last three It is also the headquarters of days of June. It is one of the main Krishnagiri District. The best time business venues for these manto visit is between the months of goes as well as an exhibition of November and March. different kinds of the fruit. Krishnagiri got its name after Krishnagiri is easily accessible the black granite hillocks scattered from the outside world as the over the place. 'Krishna' refers to nearest airport is at Bangalore (91 black and 'Giri' refers to hill. Waterfalls, ponds, lakes, reservoirs, km) and the nearest railway Junction is Jolarpet (60 km) and the historical forts and other monunearest railway station is Rayakottai ments make the place more scenic. The flora and fauna adds to (30 km). NH -7, the Longest National Highway of India connectthe attractions along with a lot of ing (Varanasi - Kanyakumari) passes temples. The main places of through Krishnagiri. pilgrimage here are Arulmigu Maragathambigai Chandra Choodeswara Temple and Hanumanthathirtham situated on the bank of Pennaiyar. The district has a forest cover of 2,024 Sq. km. The place is mostly known for its mangoes and large poultry farms. The place also has a rich collection of wild animals including Elephants, Sambar, Spotted Deer, Gaur, Wild boar,

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Panther etc. The Cauvery elephant reserve, which is one of the renowned elephant habitats, has an area of about 450 Sq. km is in this district. The bird population is another attraction here as the area hosts a large variety of migratory birds like painted storks, teals along with the local ones. The lovely eco system also houses a large variety of butterflies. The

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The main tourist attractions in Krishnagiri include: Krishnagiri Reservoir Project which is also called KRP Dam is one of the main crowd pullers in weekends. Situated at a distance of seven km from Krishnagiri, it is situated in between Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri. Scenic gardens have been maintained on both sides of the dam and it is an ideal picnic spot. Kelevarapalli Reservoir Project (KPRP) is another tourist attraction situated 10 km away in Hosur. A children's park and boating facilities are made available here. Thalli, a hilly area located at about 25 km from Hosur is called the 'Little England' after the peculiar climate prevailing round the year. It is situated at the Tamil

Nadu - Karnataka border and is mainly a land of valleys and cliffs. The Venugopala Swami temple here is one of the other attractions. Car festival is held here during the month of May every year. The Government Museum depicts the traditional culture, Art

and Architecture, Heritage and Historical Background of the place. The museum which started functioning since 1993 exhibits historical monuments after collecting, classifying and preserving it. Rayakottah is a hill fort, situated at a distance of 30 km from Hosur which marks the border of the Palghat plateau. Even after the Mysore wars, for the British it was a strategic place where their troops were stationed till 1861. The ramparts and the bastions of the fort are more or less intact. The fort is a protected monument. Mallachandram located 19 km from Krishnagiri is an ancestors cult which was worshiped by the Megalithic people in the ancient period. In Krishnagiri District three kinds of memorials are observed and they were named a Cairn circle, Dolmen and Urnburials. In Mallachandram more than 100 Dolmens have been identified in the Moral Pari.


TAMIL NADU TRAVELLER

25 Tourist Friendly Autos Flagged Off amil Nadu Tourism Minister N Suresh Rajan has flagged off 25 ‘Tourist Friendly Autos’ in Chennai recently. It was the third time the autorickshaws, which were exclusively selected and painted and named in an attractive manner, were introduced after being selected

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from various tourist spots in the state, including Chennai, Kanyakumari, Courtallam and Madurai. These rickshaws will also be introduced in Tiruchirapalli, Thanjavur and Cuddalore districts soon, informed the report. Insurance and uniforms were provided by TVS Insurance and Radio Mirchi to the drivers of the three-wheelers.

New MD for TTDC r. A.Chittaranjan Mohandoss, IAS has been appointed as the new Director of Tamil Nadu Tourism and Managing Director, Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation Limited. He replaces Dr. M. Rajaraman, IAS who has been at the disposal of the Tamil Nadu Cement Corporation Limited for appointment as its Managing Director.

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Cycle Tourism Inaugurated at Elagiri

Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation Ltd has introduced "Cycle Tourism" in joint operation with TI cycles at Beach Resort Complex, Mamallapuram, Kodaikanal, Yercaud and Ooty. It has been well received by visitors. To extend this scope to other tourist destimations, it has decided to introduce cycle tourism at Yatri Nivas, Elagiri Dr. M. Rajaram, I.A.S. formally inaugurated the venture recently.

ASIAN TRAVELLER JUNE 2009

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VARIETY

ana Linhartova - Samdani is married to Ghulam Samdani, Area Director (Southern Region), Sarovar Hotels & Resorts. Though a qualified tourism professional (who had worked as a tour guide and front desk staff in Prague, a resident manager at a resort in Italy, ann F&B staff in Switzerland) Jana is now a happy housewife and mother of threeyear-old Mustafa Ghulam Samdani. She met Ghulam at The DCT Hotel Management School at Lucerne in Switzerland ("Actually I gave him some tuition", Jana laughs). They got married in Hyderabad in 2004, November and came to Kerala a year later. "I will never forget the moment I stepped on this land", says she. What Jana likes most about Kerala is "People, Ayurveda and the nature" but she can't stand the "summer heat in Kerala". No wonder she makes it a point to visit cooler parts of the world - like her home in Prague, Czech Republic - around this time. "We are forced to go every year to Europe, to Prague, Czech Republic, from where I am coming from and where the rest of my family is still living. Usually we take one week off with my husband and go somewhere for our yearly honeymoon. Our favourite spot surely is Switzerland". What is one quality of your

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Jana Linhartova Samdani

Behind every successful professional there is a family which stands by him or her. With out an understanding spouse and a supportive family it is difficult to succeed in today's highly competitive professional world which demands a lot of your time energy and attention. But this support seldom comes to the limelight. In this section ASIAN TRAVELLER introduces the families behind successful persons who work in the travel and tourism industry.

husband you like most? He is family oriented. Always calm and ready to solve even the hardest challenge. And he is daring. He proved it by marrying me (laughs). But I think he likes this job too much - so do I. What is one thing you like about your husband's job? I get to know first all about the food promotions in the city! Your Hobbies My son is a 'full time hobby' for me now. But when I get somebody to babysit I love cinema, cooking, baking and traveling. I love cooking but must be in peace; therefore during my usual schedule I cook very fast and

in -law. How do you support your husband in his professional life? By listening to him after his hard day at work, trying to give some opinions and suggestions, which are backed up by my European experience. On the other hand he is supporting me by allowing me to use his name and position in finding funds for the needy ones. Jana knows tourism is hard for wives of anyone working in the sector. "I can't force my husband to be home early or to have free weekends. But we have few rituals which make our family life unique. Sunday brunches prepared by my

Jana Linhartova with Mustafa and Ghulam Samdani

simple dishes. But on Sundays I cook my strong dish "spanish chicken" or "pasta any kind". My favourite dish is "chicken curry" prepared by my husband or "kijri" with mango pickles by my mother -

husband and son, Sunday dinners cooked by my husband, yearly vacations, and Sunday bath time (fun hour reserved only for my husband and son! - and I can watch Oprah show", she adds.

Bird Academy Launches Training Centre The institute aims to meet the demand for internationally competent human resource in the travel and tourism industry. Bird Group, one of India's largest diversified groups in the aviation, travel and information technology arena, has inaugurated its first training centre in Mumbai for specialized aviation and Radha Bhatia Chairperson Bird Group

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hospitality courses. The courses offered by the academy are accredited by global bodies thus ensuring high standards of education at par with world-renowned training institutions. The courses have been conceptualized with a view to provide in-depth understanding and technical skills in the fields of aviation, travel & tourism, information technology and hospitality management involving soft skill training. The other important courses are IATA Consult-

ant and Foundation Course, Airport Handling and IATA Cargo Courses, Computerized Reservation System, Automated Ticketing and GDS Fares & Ticketing and Tally Financial Accounting Programme. Aviation Law and Dangerous Goods

Regulation are the courses in demand among professionals. According to Radha Bhatia, Chairperson, Bird Group, "At Bird Academy, our vision has been to

provide world-class training to aspirants through focused and industry oriented courses so as to open newer avenues for them in the Indian travel and tourism industry. Despite the current economic scenario, we believe the travel and tourism sector has potential for employment generation provided the right talent can be brought to the sector through well-equipped institutes and trained faculty. In this context, our academy is fully geared to create a skilled resource pool for the industry."


PROFILE

Deira Metro Station and close to Dubai International Airport and Al Ghurair shopping mall. The Hotel Apartments has meeting facilities to accommodate up to 400 people and with a range of fine dining specialty restaurants such as Persian, Arabic, IndoJapanese and Oriental (opening shortly) to suit every palate At Lotus Spa one can experience the journey to a world of

H.E. Abdulla Humaid Al Mazroei, Chairman

Lotus Hospitality

The Essence of UAE otus Hospitality hallmarks the essence of UAE. Part of the NMC Group, the company's Luxury 4-star Hotels and Deluxe Apartments are increasingly sought after by the discerning business and leisure traveller. Starting in 2002 with the landmark Lotus Hotel in Deira, the vision and guidance of the Chairman, H. E. Abdulla Humaid Al Mazroei and Founder Partner, Managing Director & C.E.O, Padmashri Dr. B.R. Shetty, has seen Lotus Hospitality transformed into a growing chain of Hotels, Boutique Hotels and Grand Hotel Apartments. At Lotus Hotel one can relax and unwind in the inviting comfort of its 101 rooms and suites. Whilst the chefs conjure up a myriad of dishes at Rendezvous, The Resto - bar is open round the clock. At Dakshin, the award winning Indian specialty restaurant one dines like a Maharaja while the ghazal singers would set the mood for an incomparable dining experience. Indulge in regional delicacies of the North and the South in an ambience that would take you back in time. Al Hodaj, Banquet Hall offers

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state of the art conference facilities and can seat up to 80 delegates, the venue is also ideal for corporate get togethers and cocktails dinners Lose those extra pounds in the gymnasium. Dip into a warm, sensuous bath, at the rooftop swimming pool or just relax and unwind in the Jacuzzi or sauna. Guests could also avail the daily complimentary transport to nearby beaches. Lotus Boutique Hotel offers modern convenience and facilities of the highest standards. The 80 spacious and elegantlydesigned rooms and suites are the largest in the 4 star categories in Dubai, with an average double bedroom size of 47 square meters. The state of the art banquet hall can accommodate up to 100

persons, and the health club with its gymnasium, temperaturecontrolled swimming pool, jacuzzi and sauna are the ideal answer to a stressful day. Lotus Hotel Grand Apartments is situated close to Dubai International Airport. The luxurious 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments have an open plan design that consists of a fullyequipped kitchen and spacious living rooms,. Lotus Grand Hotel Apartments is a meeting and events destination in its own right, geared to meet any requirements, from business meetings to banquets, weddings and even outdoor catering to any destination in Dubai. Lotus Downtown Metro Hotel Apartments & Spa consist of 150 spacious and well appointed one and two bedroom deluxe apartments in the commercial district of Deira, located opposite the main

B.R. Shetty Managing Director & CEO

absolute tranquility and well being with Lotus Harmony, Thai Oriental and Heritage signature therapies to name a few. Lotus Hotel Apartments & Spa Marina (opening shortly) located on the Dubai Marina, the hotel is in the heart of New Dubai and has fantastic views of the Marina waterfront. Its studio, 1 and 2 bedroom deluxe apartments provide the ideal base to explore Dubai. Tandushi, a specialty restaurant open to the prestigious Marina Walk offers a revolutionary fusion of Indian and Japanese cuisine and is complemented by the Teppanyaki and Sushi counters offering a wide variety of salads and live cooking. The meeting room with its state of the art technology is the ideal venue for corporate decisions. The Lotus Spa at Lotus Downtown Metro, Apartment & Spa & Lotus Hotel Apartment & Spa Marina takes you on a neverending journey where the mind, body and soul exist in a complete state of harmony. www.lotus-hospitality.com

ASIAN TRAVELLER JUNE 2009

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MARKETING

The Grand New Delhi

Ready to Receive Guests he Grand New Delhi is pleased to announce the soft opening of the premier business and convention hotel, which offers its guests world-class facilities in an ideal resort setting. The Grand New Delhi a premier business and convention hotel, is spread across a luxurious expanse of 10 acres of landscaped gardens. The majestic, low-rise structure is in keeping with the architectural

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Apartments. The Grand Ballroom, one of the largest banqueting facilities in the city, can accommodate upto 800 persons in its pillar less banquet hall featuring a contemporary chandeliers and elegant French windows that lead onto an outdoor terrace overlooking landscaped gardens. For leisure activities, the hotel offers a world standard swimming pool and the state of the art health

design of New Delhi amidst vast green expanses. Located in Vasant Kunj, the hotel is the business vantage point with easy access to the domestic and international airport and close to the business and diplomatic circuit of the Capital. The facilities are truly international and the hotel has 390 rooms including 24 suites, 1 Presidential Suite and five Serviced

club equipped with the best for the fitness conscious. A truly spectacular and splendid experience awaits you at Spa Oasis, which has been designed keeping in mind the expectations of the health conscious and experienced modern traveller. The Grand New Delhi also offers an array of dining experience ranging from National and International cuisine, 24hr coffee shop and Lobby level tea lounge.

Paramount Commences

Delhi Services s part of the major expansion plans of the network, Paramount Airways has launched the daily flights from Chennai to Delhi. The carrier will operate e-jet 175 on this route with a two class configuration of 11 seats in first class and 64 seats in business class. The airline forays into the northern India following the recent introduction of flights to Kolkata and North East

passengers out of New Delhi will enjoy the unique Paramount Experience.” “Our M.Thiagarajan, MD, aircrafts are Paramount Airways enabled with Satcom Technology (subject to regulatory approvals); by coming September we will be able to provide mobile connectivity in all our aircrafts. This will allow passengers to make calls during take off, India. Paramount Airways landing and on cruise,” added will enhance the connectivity Thiagarajan. of other southern Indian Paramount is now set to cities into the Capital. repeat its successful business On the launch of the new model for its Northern India route, M.Thiagarajan, operations. Paramount Managing Director, Airways operates brand new Paramount Airways said, e-jets with luxurious seating; “Paramount Airways is gourmet cuisine with value delighted to be entering into added services, coupled with northern India. We expect to the airline’s competitiveness see excellent passenger has always ensured that it traffic from this route. We attracts discerning are confident that discerning passengers.

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Le Meridien to Open 5 More Hotels in India e Meridien will be opening five more hotels in India in the next three to five years. According to Don Elliot, Starwood, Asia Pacific Hotels Regional Vice President, "We are looking at setting up five new properties of hotels and resorts in India adding around 1,000 rooms capacity over the next three to five years. 'We are negotiating with our partners and these properties will be set up in Tier I and Tier II cities." Le Meridien recently opened new hotels in Bangkok, Chian Mai, Chiang Rai and Shimei Bay in China, and will open in Dallas and

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Philadelphia in the coming months. It has also signed new hotel deals in Taipei, Xiamen, Chongqing Nan'an and Qingdao in China. New Website Le Méridien has also announced the launch of the re-designed LeMeridien.com, a website created for guests interested in traveling to discover a new perspective in arts, music, fashion, design and cuisine. The re-designed website offers a unique imagebased navigation system, allowing guests to create a personalized interactive experience in those fields. Based on Le Méridien's

core values of Chic, Cultured, Le Méridien's passion points. Discovery, the creative conceptThe LM100 programme for the re-designed website is involves creative individuals curating original experiences 'Discovery Starts with You'. The aim of the website is to let for Le Méridien that show the its guests take an interactive established and the known journey into the world of Le from a different point of view. Méridien by placing them in control of their own hotel guest experience. LM100, a key strategic LM100 members will develop pillar of Le Méridien brand, is experiences for Le Méridien a community of cultural hotels worldwide through innovators that are offering their creativity for Le recommended and selected by Méridien projects and Jérôme Sans, Le Méridien's interactive initiatives, or Cultural Curator, from the proposing other established or fields of art, architecture, emerging talents that reflect cuisine, design and fashion - the brand's core values. ASIAN TRAVELLER JUNE 2009

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PROFILE

Emerald Hotels Striving to be at the Helm merald Hotels, one of the upcoming hospitality brands based in Kochi is in the process of expansion and aggressive marketing. With their products matching global standards in quality services, the group from the God's Own Country is striving to be at the helm of the industry. The group owns luxury hotels, resorts, spas and business hotels at Perinthalmanna, Mannarkkad, Munnar, Alappuzha, Cochin, Chennai and New Delhi. The essence of India is always the major attraction of the different properties where elegance, tradition and comfort are coupled with modern business facilities, banquet halls, conference rooms,

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boardrooms and meeting rooms. All the hotels and resorts place a very strong emphasis on contemporary design in its private and public spaces. Style and luxury enhances everything including paintings, furniture, accessories or dining and entertainment concepts. Market leadership is being attained by constant upgradation of products and Faisal, MD services to a truly cutting edge level. The group is very much committed to employing the best environmental and ecological practices in technology, equipment and operational processes. The multi cuisine restaurants serve healthy and vivid

varieties of food. The health spas provide guests with Ayurvedic and natural therapies with the help of dedicated and trained team of professionals. With Emerald the guests also can opt for yachting and houseboat cruises. The Silent Valley

Hotel at Mannarkkad is one of the largest hotels in this beautiful town of Mannarkkad. Situated at the busiest area of the town, it has close proximity to major shopping areas and entertainment hubs and is easily accessible. It is nestled between two rivers Kunthippuzha and Nellippuzha which makes it scenic and tranquil. Misty Mountain Resort is Ayurvedic situated at 6000 ft above sea level Health Resort at Munnar, the summer resort of is situated in the colonial British government. Pulamanthole The Pristine Isle is the backwanear ter resort located in a beautiful Perinthalmanna piece of island situated in the which is about middle of the Kaithapuzha Lake. It one hour drive gives the unique feel of the Sudhish A. Nair, GM from Calicut backwaters of Kerala. While the on Airport and four hours from Cochin going projects include the Emerald Airport. The resort offers nature at Hotel in Chennai situated close to its best to the travellers with the Chennai Central railway station, forests, air, water, animals etc. Business Hotels in Cochin and New supplemented by the authentic Delhi which are extremely accessiAyurvedic treatments for ailments ble commercial and business and rejuvenation. The Silent Valley spots.


KERALA TRAVELLER

Dr. V. Venu IAS Secretary, Kerala Tourism

he month of May was a significant one for Kerala Tourism - one that witnessed the launch of the pioneering initiative, Jet2Kerala. Jet2Kerala is the meeting of two great brands in the travel and tourism industry, to make

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holidays to Kerala more attractive and cost effective. For the first time in India, a partnership has been established between a carrier and a destination board, bringing benefits to all stakeholders in the industry. Tour operators have a golden opportunity to prepare and sell packages, combining great deals offered by the properties in Kerala with the highly discounted fares offered by Jet Airways. So cash in on this

Bekal Becoming an International Travel Destination he encouraging signs of developmental activities at Bekal, one of Kerala's wellknown beach destinations are sure indications of it becoming a destination of international repute in the near future. Bekal Resorts Development Corporation (BRDC) is spearheading the developmental works here at Bekal. Two resorts, out of the six, would get commissioned by September and December this year. They are the ones that belong to 'The Lalit' (Bharat Hotels) and 'The Taj' (Khanna Group). Construction works are going on in full swing at the remaining four

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plots meant for the UAEbased Holiday Group, Globlink Hotels and Entertainment, Green Gateway Leisure Ltd and cghearth. Bekal, with its shallow beach is also backed by an equally attractive network of backwaters. For those who would like to go for backwater cruises, BRDC is gearing up to make the current cruise from Valiyaparamba to Ezhimala more exciting. An information centre at Edayilakadu and a houseboat terminal at Ayyiitykadavu are other upcoming facilities in and around Bekal.

partnership. You can learn more about J2K and how to enroll by logging on to www.keralatourism.org/ jetairways. Our roadshows at Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur targeting the western India market were well-received, and reinforced our belief that our huge domestic market has the potential to bring more business to the State. Kerala Tourism is committed to putting in more effort to forge partnerships with businesses across the country, in order to bring Kerala holidays closer to more and more Indians. Always one to look at new ways to inspire and engage with the market, Kerala

Tourism tied up with Radio Mirchi to bring Kerala to the radio audience of New Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Bangalore. As a part of this, four radio jockeys visited Kerala and their experiences in the beaches, backwaters and hill stations of the State were broadcast to listeners. In addition to the domestic market, Kerala is grabbing attention overseas too. Participating in the Arabian Travel Mart along with India Tourism, Kerala Tourism evoked immense response from the trade - which I am sure will go a long way in strengthening our presence even more in the Middle East market.

KTDC Hotels and Resorts

Targets Global Customers he KTDC Hotels and Resorts, formerly known as the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) is all set to unleash its network of 30 properties, including premium destination properties by the end of June to travellers worldwide. As part of the marketing plans, the official K.G. Mohanlal, IFS website of MD, KTDC KTDC Hotels and Resorts would soon carry details of all the 30 properties under it. The website would help potential travelers to find properties of their choice based on criteria like budget, destination and facilities.

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KTDC Hotels and Resorts currently has eight premium properties along with seven medium hotels and 14 budget hotels. The 14 budget hotels are being promoted in the brand name Tamarind. These are aimed at providing modern facilities at affordable rates. The website besides carrying relevant details of each and Cherian Philip every Chairman, KTDC property under the KTDC Hotels and Resorts will also have facility for online reservation. Besides, packages attached to properties will also be available for users of the website. ASIAN TRAVELLER JUNE 2009

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KERALA TRAVELLER

How Green Was My Valley FLORIAN MAYER id you take a look at one of your photo albums lately? Did you talk to one of your old friends about the good old times? Or did you return to some places where you have been many years ago, maybe for holidays? Yes, not only do we change but also the environment around us. When you compare your pictures or memories with the present and how all those locations look today you might say "Oh wow, look at all those green fields on that picture where we used to play cricket, they

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Mobile Phone to Become

A Key Publicity Tool long with the popular radio and television mediums, Kerala Tourism has resorted to the emerging popular medium of mobile phones to invite the attention of domestic tourists to Kerala. A two-phase mobile strategy will soon be launched by Kerala Tourism. Phase I will commence with the onset of the monsoon, and the period will witness a three-month 'Discover Unseen Kerala' contest on GPRS-enabled mobile phones. The contest requires users to identify unseen locations featured on the 'mobsite' and also answer questions about Kerala. And the winners of the contest will get a fully paid trip to some of the outstanding

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destinations in Kerala. The database of mobile users collected during phase I will be the capital of phase II. During this phase, the members of the Kerala Tourism mobile group will be fed with regular mobile alerts about Kerala Tourism, especially about its new packages. And once the group reaches a significant size, the members will be encouraged to upload their photos and comments on the Kerala Tourism mobile site.

are all gone now!" or "Can you remember this little hut where this old man used to live? Last week they just finished a shiny six floors business glass tower there" or "do you remember our long hard way to school on foot; two years ago they built a new school just 300 meters down the road from my old parents' home and also there are two bus stops and one metro train station close to our former residential." "And can you remember this little shop my uncle worked for where we used to have our tea after school? Now they set up this fast food chain restaurant there." or, "my wife and I travelled to this nice little fishermen village on the Atlantic, where we went for honeymoon; I tell you I hardly recognized it, the whole place is covered with four and five star hotels." Many of those changes might hurt in some way; others might be quite welcome because they make

life easier and more comfortable. Whatever your feelings about those changes are, in some way I think it is kind of strange when places change so much that we cannot recognize them anymore ten years later. I personally also feel quite sad when I realize that we cannot go back to same places of good memories for the simple reason because they do not exist anymore. Of course we cannot stop time or what we call progress either but I think we should adhere at least to some things which are typical for the concerned region or place, because they only make our towns and cities what they are, our homes. The environment in which we grew up, I think, is also part of our identity. So if we do not care about keeping the character of our towns and cities we will loose a part of our roots, a part of our identity too.

Wayanad Gears up for

Monsoon Tourism This monsoon season, the northern hill district of Wayanad is getting ready for welcoming tourists to savour its monsoon attractions. For the first time, Wayanad which usually receives good Monsoon showers is opening up this rainy season with the cooperation of private stakeholders in the district. With the onset of rains, Wayanad traditionally has certain activities that are bound to become attractions for the tourists. Some of these include the racing of bulls in paddy fields, planting of rice saplings and fishing. The district would also be looking forward to have visitors to go for trekking during the Monsoon, which is perceived as yet another enjoyable activity during the June-July rainy season.


KERALA TRAVELLER

Leela Tops Culinary Honours he Leela Kempinski Kovalam has once again bagged a number of culinary honours at a culinary event, conducted by India Exhibition and Conference Services (IECS) in Cochin, Kerala. This prestigious Chefs competition in the South - conducted annually - showcases some of the finest culinary creations by

Chef Rejimon of the Leela Kempinski Kovalam was declared the most outstanding chef after winning two gold and a silver in the genre of hot cooking fish, rice preparation in the Kerala style of authentic cuisine. Other award winners from The Leela in the culinary challenge are: Chef Narendra (Pastry Chef) won two gold and a bronze for cake decoration, plated deserts and bread display. Chef Yogesh Sharma (Continental) won two silver and a bronze medal for his preparations in hot cooking fish, rice and chicken. Chef Raju (Gardemanger) won a silver medal for his expertise in live vegetable carving Chef Suresh (Asian The winners with Executive Chef Vijayan Parakkal; Executive Sous Chef Dinesh cooking) was awarded a Lal, Sr. Sous Chef Thomas and Biswajit Chakraborty, General Manager, The bronze for his chicken dish. Leela Kempinski Kovalam Beach.

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OBITUARY

individuals and teams from the leading hotels and restaurants in Kerala. Winners of the culinary challenge have been chosen among the numerous chefs from all over Kerala who participate in this live culinary challenge exhibiting their creativity, presentation and cooking skill and taste of their products.

World Environment Day Celebrated

World Environment Day Celebrations at Leela Kempinski, Kovalam lead by Biswajith Chakraborty

Asian Traveller deeply mourns the sad demise of K.R. Rajasekharan Nair, Managing Director, Hotel Seaweed, Kovalam, Thiruvananthapuram and Founder Member and Patron of South Kerala Hoteliers Forum (SKHF).

Mango Utsav at Leela

It is the season of mangoes in Kerala and The Leela Kempinski Kovalam Beach has a number of exotic Mango Desserts prepared by Corporate Pastry Chef, Avijit Ghosh, to offer as part of the Mango Promotion

New Course at IHMCT

At the World Environment Day Celebrations organised by Green Uday Samudra, Kovalam at Thiruvananthapuram. Binoy Viswam, Minister for Forest & Wildlife and Cherian Philip, Chairman, KTDC release pigeons.

Cheriyan Philip, Chairman, KTDC, inaugurating the one month long course at the IHMCT, Kovalam for youth from below poverty line families. Grace Gideon, Principal, IHMCT Kovalam and Mohan Kumar are also seen

ASIAN TRAVELLER JUNE 2009

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VARIETY

Suresh Kumar PG has been appointed as Deputy Director, Publicity and Marketing for the Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala

Sriram Sundaram has been appointed as the Head of Business, Bird Res, Bird Group, India.

Ritu Bararia has been appointed as the Head of Corporate Communications, Bird Group, India

1. Who is known as 'the Father of Oil' in the Gulf? 2. Where is Galileo Galilei airport? 3. Which country has the internet domain name of 'ch'? 4. A solar year has 365 days. How many does a lunar year have?

Peach

Thomas Reupke has been appointed as General Manager of Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi, of Centara Hotels & Resorts in Thailand.

PIE expressway

5. Singapore's longest expressway is PIE (42.8 kms). What does it stand for? 6. What is the literal meaning of the fruit peach? 7. What is the origin of the country name Brazil?

8. What is Yahoo!7? 9. What is a vlog?

Skål Asia Has a New President eaders in travel and tourism from Skål have gathered in Incheon, South Korea during the last week of May for the 38th Asian Area Congress. Hulya Aslantas Skåls World President, Earl Wieman Asia President, Adrian Slater President of Seoul, Choi, Jae Geun President of Incheon tourism Organization and senior representatives took part in this congress. Gerry Perez from Guam, took over the Asian presidency from Wieman who had completed his four years term. They also announced that preparations are on the way to submit a bid for hosting the Skål World Congress in 2012.

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10. Poland's airline is called LOT. What does LOT mean? LOT

Compiled by DEEKAY

Send in your answers to info@mediastepsindia.com with TYKC21 in the the subject line. Answers should reach us before the 30th of this month. Answers of TYKC - 20 1. Promoting consumption of local, home-grown vegetables rather than supermarket fare, 2. Edinburgh, 3. It means Watchmaker in Turkish ( a surname that came out of the profession of the Jewish family), 4. Rating of a brand's fame and popularity, 5. The world's largest salt flat is there ( 10582 sq.km), 6. It is a contraction of ' by eight' ( 1 byte = 8 bits ), 7. A retailer selling on the Internet, 8. Techniques d'Avant Garde, 9. For 116 years ( 1337-1453), 10. The Pentagon

TYKC 20 - Winner

JUNE 2009 TTM+ 2009, Bangkok

June 3 - 7

Asia Luxury Travel Market, Shanghai, China Aviation Outlook India, Mumbai, India

June 15-18 June 30 - July 1

JULY 2009 TTF OTM, Hyderabad Champakkulam Boat Race, Kerala

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One all-correct entry will get July 3-5 July 6

TTF OTM, Kolkata

July 11-13

IITM, Bangalore

July 18-20

Teej, India and Nepal

July 24-25

IITM, Chennai

July 24-26

TTF OTM, Ahmedabad JUNE 2009 ASIAN TRAVELLER

SUGANDHA S. Mira Road East, Thane Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

July 31-August 2

Free Stay at Le-Meridien, Kochi

[ 2 nights and 3 days for two ]* Nestled amongst 25 acres of coconut groves and backwater rivers, Le Méridien Cochin Resort & Convention Centre sits at the heart of one of India's most naturally beautiful cities, Kochi. This prestigious landmark houses 5 floors of luxurious accommodation for international business and leisure travelers. The 151 spacious rooms and suites, most with breathtaking views over the manicured gardens and the backwaters. * Conditions apply



Asian Traveller June 2009