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in this issue VOL.4

6

NO. 2

NOVEMBER 2010

India emerges as an inboundoutbound destination

The travel and tourism industry sees the emerging global economies as the biggest opportunity over the next five years, reveals exclusive research from leading travel and tourism exhibition World Travel Market.

8

WTM 2010 witnesses increase in visitors

P 20

World Travel Market, the premier global event for the travel, has experienced a phenomenal WTM 2010 with visitor numbers significantly higher than at WTM 2009. The first day of WTM 2010 saw a record number of visitors attend the event under the My Invitations system.

10 Global governments should put tourism higher on the agenda Governments around the world should follow the Chinese approach to tourism, according to the UNWTO Ministers Summit which took place at World Travel Market. More than 150 tourism ministers and aides attended the Summit. Qiwei Shao.

P 26

10 India Impresses at WTM India proved one of the major gainers of the WTM 2010 with increased participation and showcasing of its rich products with the theme ‘Colours of India.’ 72 participants including different state governments occupied 756 sq. meters recording a by 28 per cent increase in presence.

6

The first Global Tourism Forum in Andorra

8

Cruise bosses urge destinations to come onboard

Face to Face

Face to Face

ARJUN BALJEE

RICHARD STEVENS

P 16

P 22

14 Aitken Spence adds fifth hotel in India

26 Fortune Select Excalibur opened in

12

As I Travel

24

Rann utsav

Gurgaon

29 GKSF all set for impressive showdown

MANOJ SINGHAL

P 18

29 Kerala State Tourism Awards announced 4

Photo courtesy: Dominican Republic Tourism

ASIAN TRAVELLER

NOVEMBER 2010


EDITOR’S NOTE

T

he International Labour Organisation (ILO)’s Global Dialogue Forum on New Developments and Challenges in the Hospitality and Tourism Sector, which met in Geneva, Switzerland recently, has observed that international tourism which was affected by the global economic and social crisis is all set to grow significantly over the coming decade. One advantage the tourism sector has over other sectors is its ability to take advantage of a crisis as an opportunity to implement proactive measures to overcome the lack of social dialogue and skills development within the sector. Despite the crisis, global employment in the tourism industry has increased by about 1 per cent between 2008 and 2009, a report presented at the forum pointed out. According to Elizabeth Tinoco, Director of the ILO’s Sectoral Activities Department, “Sustainable tourism industry can provide key answers to the problems including private sector-led growth and job creation, social protection, decent work and growth in the least developed countries, poverty, lack of training and skills, ecologically sound development and social protection”. At the same time, though tourism has the potential to become a major generator of jobs after the crisis, social dialogue between governments, employers and workers should ensure that the jobs generated would be decent, observed the Forum. In the mean time world tourism has returned to levels last seen before the global financial meltdown in late 2008, with the Asia-Pacific region leading the way. The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) is expecting the sector’s global economy to provide 296 million jobs by 2019. Tourist arrivals from January to August totalled 642 million, some 40 million more than during the same period in 2009 and one million more than in the last “pre-crisis” year of 2008, which saw record numbers. As the Italian Minister of Tourism, and newly elected Chair of the UNWTO Executive Council, Michela Vittoria Brambilla said “the stage is set for tourism to take its rightful place in the global economy”. G. BIJU KRISHNAN Editor & Publisher editor@mediastepsindia.com +91 9447555222

ASIAN TRAVELLER

NOVEMBER 2010

Editor & Publisher Group Editor Chief Executive Of ficer Executive Editor Photo Editor Art Editor Senior Sub Editor Bureau Chief (Coimbatore) Editorial Team

: : : : : : : : :

Director (Marketing) Financial Advisor Legal Advisor Regional Head-North GM -Tamil Nadu Senior Manager -Marketing

: : : : : :

G. Biju Krishnan G. Gopakumar* M. P. Sreekumar Lerbin T. K. Retheesh Kariyam Anil Kumar R. Krishnadas P. Shree K. R. Parameswaran Lekshmi P., Smitha R. Vinu V. Nair Jayachandran S. Adv. G.S. Prakash V. Narayanan P. Deenadayalu Shaini B. J.

UK: Abdul Najeeb UAE: Sanjeev S. L. Kuwait: Mariam Titus New Delhi: V. Narayanan Mumbai: Mahesh Nair Bengaluru: Sandeep Viswanath Kolkata: Sobha Joshi Chennai: Nisha J. Coimbatore: Shree K. Hyderabad: K.S. Johnson Ahmedabad: Mini Panikar Indore: Manohar Bhati Madurai: P. Deenadayalu Ernakulam: M. P. Sreekumar Thiruvananthapuram: Shaini B. J.

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Administration Jaya Rajeshwari, Soniya S., Sunil Kumar R. All Communications to: Media Steps India, TC-27/1741, PERA-66, Vanchiyoor PO, Thiruvananthapuram–695 035, Kerala State, South India. Tel: +91-471-6540888, 2574411, 09447 555 222 info@mediastepsindia.com, w ww.mediastepsindia.com New Delhi Media Steps India, C-4/9 Sahyadri Apartments, Plot No. 5, Sector-12, Dwaraka, New Delhi-110 075. Tel.: +91 9810116780 Mumbai 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 Media Steps India, # B-305 & 309, Vasudha Apartments, Quthbullapur Road, New Jeedimetla, Hyderabad-500 055, AP, India Tel.: +91 40 23080750, +91 40 23176966, +91 40 23176996, Fax: +91 40 27535260 Chennai Media Steps India, 6/4, Sangeetha Gardens, 19th Street Ex t, Jai Nagar, Arumbakkam, Chennai - 600 106. Tel: +91 44 42640531 Coimbatore Media Steps India, 164/122, Justice Sathyadev Enclave, Race Course, Coimbatore-641018 Tel: +91 422 2234120 Ahmedabad Media Steps India, no. 15/177, Netaji Nagar, Meghani Nagar Last Opp. Bus Stand, Ahmedabad-380 016. Tel.: +91 9998547599 Regd. Of fice: Media Steps India, TC-27/1915, MBRRA 70, Mathrubhoomi Rd., Thiruvananthapuram–695 001, Kerala State, South India. Edited, Printed & Pub0lished by G. Biju Krishnan and Printed at M/s. Safire Of fset Printers, Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu for Cristal Printers, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala State, South India. Reg No.: KERENG 01910/11/1/2006-TC New Reg No.: KERENG / 2007 / 28719 RNI Reg. No.: 101276 The news items and Advertisements published herein have been collected from various source, which are considered to be reliable. Readers are however requested to verif y the facts before making business decisions using the same. No par t of this magazine may be reproduced without the written permission from the Publisher. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2009 *Responsible for selection of news under the PRB Act

5


OVERVIEW

India emerges as an important inbound-outbound destination

T

he travel and tourism industry sees the

five years – again the highest response to the

emerging global economies as the

question.

biggest opportunity over the next five

Furthermore, emerging markets are already

years, reveals exclusive research from leading

having an impact on the travel and tourism

travel and tourism exhibition World Travel

industry. The findings confirm a sea-change in

Market. According to the conclusions based

the way the travel and tourism industry

on a survey, the BRIC economies- Brazil,

operates on a global scale. As the traditional

Russia, India and China - are among the top

markets of North American and Europe

destinations which have a chance to register

mature, the real growth opportunities can be

real growth in the coming days. India is

found in the BRIC economies – Brazil, Russia,

emerging as an important inbound and

India and China - as well as the GCC nations

outbound destination, with the space devoted

such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

to India at WTM2010 28 per cent greater than

Russia is already an important source

last year, thanks to a greater involvement from

market for Europe’s biggest tour operators TUI

the private sector.

and Thomas Cook. Brazil’s largest travel

The inaugural World Travel Market Industry

business, CVC, was bought by US venture

Report, released at World Travel Market,

capitalist Carlyle Group this January. China

revealed close to one in three senior

continues to exploit its post-Olympics tourism

executives in the industry highlight the

legacy with new inbound organisations such

emerging markets – for both inbound and

as the China Luxury Travel Network making

outbound travel – as the greatest single

their debut at WTM.

opportunity for their businesses until 2016.

World Travel Market Chairman Fiona

This was the highest response to the

Jeffery said, “New and emerging markets

question followed by technical advances and

represent the future for the travel and tourism

social media with 24.8 per cent and 20.4 per

industry. Outbound travel is on the increase,

cent respectively. This was supported by

and more and more countries are seeing the

almost half of the 1,200 travel and tourism

potential of tourism. World Travel Market is

executives polled citing emerging markets as

proud to be leading the way in bringing the

one of the leading opportunities over the next

world’s travel industry together.

The first Global Tourism Forum in Andorra

D

espite representing 6-7

scope and objectives of the

meet other sectors of the

sure that the relationship between

per cent of the world’s

Global Tourism Forum, Andorra

economy and political leaders and

Andorra and UNWTO, which has

employment, an

2011: “Building New Models for

work together to make the true

been based on strong

estimated five per cent of its GDP

Tourism Growth: Competitiveness

value of tourism understood by

collaboration since it began 10

and USD One trillion a year in

& Responsibility.”

top level decisions makers and

years ago, will be further

business leaders,” said Rifai,

strengthened in the future through

announcing the event.

the holding of the first Global

export revenues, there remains a

“We want this to be the first

general lack of awareness of

truly global forum where the

tourism’s role in addressing

tourism public and private sector

“Andorra has a strong tourism

Tourism Forum in Andorra,” he

today’s global challenges.

history. We are

Meeting at the World Travel Market

a small country

(WTM) in London, UNWTO and the

in which the

meeting of all the major players

government of Andorra

tourism sector

from the tourism sector, public

announced the holding of the first

plays a vital

and private, as well as

Global Tourism Forum to promote

role and

economists, academia,

the value of tourism to global

Andorra is very

and civil society, allowing the

decision makers (March 6-7, 2011,

pleased to host

tourism community to reach out

Andorra).

the first Global

beyond the sector and

Tourism

demonstrate its role in the post-

Taleb Rifai, and the Andorran

Forum,” said

crisis sustainable recovery,

Ministry of Economy and Finance,

Pere López

climate change, and fair and

Agràs. “I am

inclusive development.

UNWTO secretary-general,

Pere López Agràs, outlined the

6

UNWTO secretary-general, Taleb Rifai, and the Andorran Ministry of Economy and Finance, Pere López Agràs

added. The forum will be the first

ASIAN TRAVELLER

NOVEMBER 2010


WTM

WTM 2010 witnesses increase in visitors

W

orld Travel Market, the

amazing participation in the

premier global event for

expanded Meet The Meridian Club

the travel, has

Buyers (Speed Networking)

experienced a phenomenal WTM

session. Almost 300 buyers took

2010 with visitor numbers

part in the six sessions compared

significantly higher than at WTM

to around 100 when the

2009.

programme was launched in 2009.

The first day of WTM 2010 saw

Impressive visitor figures

a record number of visitors attend

continue on Day-2 with a 41 per

the event under the My Invitations

cent increase in ministers and

system, which allows exhibitors to

aides attending the fourth UNWTO

invite their key contacts and

Ministers’ Summit at WTM, making

people they want to conduct

it a record attendance for the

business with over whole event on

event.

November 8.

Overall onsite unaudited

Onsite unaudited figures show

visitors figures for Day-2 were up

a 21 per cent increases in visitors

18 per cent on the equivalent day

with 6,665 senior industry buyers

in 2009 with almost 17,000 visitors

attending WTM 2010 on the first

attending WTM 2010 to meet and

day. This increase in My

negotiate contracts with

Invitations visitors led to an

exhibitors.

Cruise bosses urge destinations to come onboard

C

ruise bosses have called on

Barbados as a good example of a destination

destinations to see cruise lines as

which works well with cruise lines and other

Travel industr y is the “Gatekeeper of the world”

T

he global travel and tourism industry should be viewed and Hong Kong was highlighted as one port closely with them on joint marketing and said treated as the “Gatekeeper of the which needs to “wake up and invest” as it has World” as it strives to safeguard this vast better dockside facilities were vital to keep passengers disembarking at container berths. resource for our children and grandchilpassengers happy. Bo Larsen, Cruise Baltic Director, admitted dren, was the key message from World Speaking at a cruise debate at World Travel Market – the premier global event for the travel it was a challenge to get people from many Travel Market Chairman Fiona Jeffery as different countries, ports and cities to agree industry – cruise line bosses agreed that she opened the World Responsible on joint marketing. But he highlighted how destinations were still the key factor in why Tourism Day (November 10) at WTM. certain cities are introducing innovative passengers choose a particular itinerary, Jeffery joined forces with environmental excursions to boost cruise line revenues, such heavy weight Tony Juniper to officially even though many ships are akin to floating as the Stieg Larsson ‘Millennium Trilogy’ tour resorts. kick off the day, which seek to highlight Cunard President Peter Shanks highlighted of Stockholm. the industry’s role in encouraging and promoting health and happiness to all it touches while remaining mindful of cost and enormous responsibility that comes with that role. The importance of happiness of both holidaymakers and communities should not be estimated, Jeffery told those gathered at the WRTD opening ceremony with ‘Gross National Happiness’ increasingly nudging its way up the political agenda with officials from 100 countries meeting last year to consider policies Cruise Panel Debate: Lee Hayhurst of Travel Weekly, Bo Larson of Cruise Baltic, Jo Rzymowska of Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Petra Roach of Barbados Tourist Board and Geoff Lawrence of Voyages of Discovery and Swan Hellenic focused on happiness. partners, not “the enemy”.

They also urged destinations to work more

8

stakeholders such as ports and airports to smooth the way for cruise passengers.

ASIAN TRAVELLER

NOVEMBER 2010


WTM

Global governments should put tourism higher on the agenda

G

Argentina have both upgraded the importance of tourism within the structure of their government. Mexico’s tourism minister, Gloria Guevara, said that tourism was a priority for the country, which wanted to become one of the world’s top five destinations. Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, Minister of Tourism and Aviation for the Bahamas, said that the key metric should be economic value not only arrivals. The role of the private sector in this is pivotal, ministers insisted, although competitive concerns and the fragmented nature of the sector often prevent companies from working together. Sustainability also came up high in the Summit’s agenda, with ministers told that they also needed to be

overnments around the world should follow the Chinese approach to tourism, according to the UNWTO Ministers Summit which took place at World Travel Market. More than 150 tourism ministers and aides attended the Summit. Qiwei Shao. Chairman of the China National Tourism Administration, said that the Chinese government started to listen when he was able to show that 109 other sectors were involved in tourism. Some 15 million people are employed directly in tourism, with another 85 million indirectly employed. John Penrose, Minister of Tourism of the UK pointed out that he is the first dedicated tourism minister the UK has had; Italy and

more vocal in defending tourism’s environmental record. Many ministers agreed that sustainability was not only about climate change but

Tax (APD) was blamed for prompting other countries – Germany and Austria to introduce a similar measure shortly. Christopher Brown

also culture heritage, resources and socioeconomics. Taxation was another recurring theme. The UK’s controversial Air Departure

from Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) in Australia warned that governments “could drown small island nations in a sea of taxes before the tidal waves arrive.”

India Impresses at WTM

I

ndia proved one of the major gainers of the

in the sector. Intra regional tourism in Asian

WTM 2010 with increased participation and

region will also be promoted. Developing the

showcasing of its rich products with the

Buddhist circuit with the cooperation of

theme ‘Colours of India.’ 72 participants

International Finance Corporation and

including different state governments

agencies like JICA is also in the pipeline.

occupied 756 sq. meters recording a by 28 per

Infrastructure and connectivity has been steadily increasing. World class airports and

cent increase in presence.

Iraq the nex t tourism hotspot

A

ccording to WTM Global Trends Report presented at London

Iraq is poised to be

a future tourism hotspot. The report, in association with Euromonitor International, shows Iraqi tourism is growing fast with

terminals are being raised.

increased airline and hotel capacity following

at the WTM to convey the

The new open sky policy of

the country’s successful attendance at World

achievements and

the government will

Travel Market 2009 – its first visit to a travel

positives of India, R.H.

improve the situation. India

and tourism

Khwaja. IAS, secretary,

is also working on relaxing

trade event

Ministry of Tourism spoke

the visa regime and has

for 10 years.

already introduced tourist

Last year a

visa on arrival to some

delegation

countries this year which

of senior

At the press event held

on India’s opportunities in tourist arrivals and as an important source market.

R.H. Khwaja. IAS, Secretary, MoT

Anand Kumar. IAS Jt. Secretary, MoT

He also stressed the importance of India being

will be expanded soon. Adventure and sports

Iraqi

a year round destination. He announced that

tourism are the strong areas for growth, along

officials

there has been an increase of 10 per cent in

with MICE and medical tourism, which has

travelled to

international visitor numbers to India this year.

increased by 30 per cent for each of the past

World Travel

three years and is expected to surpass

Market, the premier global event for the travel

future, while being conscious on the

350,000 in the next couple of years. India

industry, to begin the tourism regeneration

responsibility towards sustainability and

would also host its first formula one race in

process and the positioning of Iraq on the

environmental integrity along with the growth

October 2011 in the new track near Delhi.

world tourism map again.

Rural tourism will be the focus for the

10

ASIAN TRAVELLER

NOVEMBER 2010


COLUMN

L

V DURAIKKANNAN

12

ast month I was in Vietnam for four days. Just as we landed Tan Son Nhat International Airport at Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) in Vietnam and proceeded to the city for the Caravelle Hotel for our stay, for all the five to six kilometres stretch of the road I noticed something or rather I noticed not something. That was the city police or the police van and not evens the traffic cops. The three hundred years old city with its 70 million people wears a quaint and calm look. Maybe all the noise and chaos had already happened there leaving the city to rise from its ashes like the proverbial phoenix bird. The crime rate in Vietnam is low compared to industrialized countries. An analysis was done using INTERPOL data for Vietnam. For purpose of comparison, data were drawn for the seven offenses used to compute the United States FBI’s index of crime. Index offenses include murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft. The combined total of these offenses constitutes the Index used for trend calculation purposes. Vietnam will be compared with Japan (country with a low crime rate) and USA (country with a high crime rate). According to the

INTERPOL data, for murder, the rate in 2000 was 1.08 per 100,000 population for Vietnam, 1.10 for Japan, and 5.51 for USA. For rape, the rate in 2000 was 1.64 for Vietnam, compared with 1.78 for Japan and 32.05 for USA.

anywhere. No traffic snarls or any street brawls! The citizens of Vietnam are very proud of their vehicular traffic that it flows like water – neither stopping nor damming up. The city has an abundance of two wheelers averaging one motor bike for two persons! In Vietnam, one

Kim Phuc (the girl in the middile) then ...

... and now

from outside can instantly become a millionaire thanks to its currency denominations. For instance, the cost of the daily newspaper there is 6000 dongs. Dong is the basic monetary unit of Vietnam. The word ‘dong’ in Vietnamese means ‘coin’. Our Indian money one rupee equals four hundred dongs. You can imagine the number of zeroes that would follow a conversion of ten thousand rupees into Vietnamese dongs. As per the latest IMF conversion, it is equivalent to 4386000 dongs. You are luggage, missed connections, already a millionaire in Vietnam! discourteous staff, poor meal What intrigued me further or unclean toilets etc, the erstwhile Air Deccan ( present was when I learned that the Kingfisher Red) manager was dong had a further smaller denomination. One dong is proudly proclaiming: ‘ Our equal to 100 xu. Our heads complaints on catering is an absolute zero!’ Wow! But how would go spinning if we have to deal in dongs and worse was that possible? Only after musing on that for a while, we still xus. Incidentally, xu is nothing but the Vietnamese realized that Air Deccan had variant of the French word for no catering service at all on their old coin ‘sou’! There is a board! Perhaps that analogy very strong and indelible continues in Vietnam! influence of the French in There is nothing much for everything that is Vietnamese a thief and therefore there is no thief and as a result there is – be it architecture, cuisine, no police. Possible! But it was drinks, or literature! The French had ruled Vietnam for good and nice to see a nearly a century (French peaceful Vietnam. We do not get to hear any noise Page 14 For robbery, the rate in 2000 was 1.48 for Vietnam, 4.08 for Japan, and 144.92 for USA. It makes an interesting read. A few years ago, we airlines managers at a meeting were having a chat about the various complaints we got from the travelling public. While all the airlines were coming out with various natures of complaints like lost

ASIAN TRAVELLER

NOVEMBER 2010


COLUMN Page 12

colonization was at its peak during 1874-1954). Someone from Tamilnadu would be in for a pleasant surprise to see a Hindu

Temple in Vietnam. Ho Chi Min City has a century old Mariamman Temple in the heart of the city. One Ayyasamy Thevar had built this beautiful temple in its essential Indian flavour. The third generation is maintaining the temple now. It is a beautiful sight to see the native Vietnamese women and men (predictably more women) offering prayers to the Goddess there with the incense sticks etc. It is not much of a touristic place otherwise but for the Reunification Palace which is housing all the gory evidences of what happened during the wars. Understandably when you look for souvenirs, it is more often the books on the Vietnamese War and its

devastations with the iconic girl Kim Phuc on all the covers running naked, skins peeling off in the napalm bombing! The 1963born little girl is now a Canadian citizen residing in Ajax, Ontario and a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. ‘The Girl in the Picture’ is a must read for anyone who would like to understand the psyche of a war-torn Vietnamese! ‘Most of the poor people look ugly because of the poverty’ wrote Ayn Rand

which you will agree with when you visit the Ben Thanh market where the local Vietnamese women are engaged in selling all kinds of merchandise ranging from the philately stamps to the pretty dolls of Vietnamese village belles. They have a beauty in them but mostly wan and sad!

Aitken Spence adds fifth hotel in India

A

itken Spence Hotels has

a hill resort offering an enchanting

are glad to

announced the addition of

view of the Yercaud Lake on one

increase our

the fifth hotel to its

side and the picturesque valley of

Indian portfolio.

Killiyur on the other.

It is evident that

portfolio in India. The company has taken over the management of

The guest rooms at Grand

we were

the hill resort, Grand Palace Hotel

Palace Hotel provide a

offered the

and Spa in Yercaud, owned by

breathtaking view of the lake or

management of

MSV Hotels Pvt Ltd.

the valley and is an ideal getaway

Grand Palace

for both honeymooners as well as

and Spa as we

emerging player in the Indian

holiday seekers, looking for a

have

hospitality industry already

tranquil place to stay.

established our

Aitken Spence Hotels is an

managing four other resorts in India. “We are happy to expand our portfolio in India with the addition

“The Orange”, multi cuisine

presence in

restaurant, offers a delectable

India.”, stated

array of Tamil Nadu cuisine in

Malin

addition to North Indian and

Hapugoda,

of Grand

Chinese

Managing

Palace Hotel

dishes. The

Director, Aitken

and Spa,

“Cloud 9” bar

Spence Hotels.

situated in one

with its old

of the most

world charm,

Spence Hotels is a part of the

scenic

offers the

leisure sector of Aitken Spence

perfect

Plc, a diversified conglomerate in

ambience to

Sri Lanka and is a pioneer and

relax and

market leader in the hospitality

Spence Hotels to champion

locations in Tamil Nadu. This

Malin Hapugoda, Managing Director

Lakshman Ekanayake, Chief Executive Officer

Aitken

partnership will enable us to

unwind. At the “Bliss Spa”

industry. The flagship property of

sustainable tourism by

further consolidate our presence

therapists and aestheticians are at

Aitken Spence Hotels, Heritance

developing hotels committed to

in South India,” Lakshman

hand to bestow their expert touch

Kandalama was recently awarded

sustainable practices while

Ekanayake, Chief Executive

to rejuvenate one’s senses. The

Asia’s Responsible Tourism Award

focusing on its commitment to

Officer of Aitken Spence Hotel

hotel is also equipped with

for the large scale hotel category

corporate social responsibility

Managements in India said.

banquet and conference facilities.

at the ITB Asia Tourism Trade

initiatives and respecting and

Show held in Singapore.

nurturing the culture in which it

Surrounded by misty mountains, Grand Palace Hotel is

14

“The tourism industry in India has tremendous potential and we

It is the vision of Aitken

operates in.

ASIAN TRAVELLER

NOVEMBER 2010


Q&A

Peppermint Hospitality to launch seven hotels this year How are you planning to position

What will be the mode of

Services) to provide us with a

Peppermint Hotels in the market?

operation of the group? What are

quasi – marketing department. We

What are the quality standards

the segments of the market you

are focusing on direct sales, travel

you offer?

target?

agents and other relationship

Peppermint is a lifestyle brand,

We are into leasing and

based marketing efforts to start

more than just a hotel brand. We

managing of hotels. We prefer for

with.

appeal to the value-conscious

investors and owners to build

What is your opinion on the

design-driven customer. Quality to

hotels to our specifications, which

prospects of the hospitality

us is not luxury. It is simply giving

we then operate.

industry in India? How much more

people more than what they need,

Our model is simple – we

space is there for development of

exceeding their expectations

target anyone with USD100 to

the industry with the foreign

every time, and going that little

spend, be it a leisure traveller or a

arrival rates to boom in the

extra mile, while maintaining costs

business guest. Both of them

coming years?

and profitability. Be it from the way

need to feel equally comfortable

The market has limitless

we design our rooms, our custom

in our hotels, and hence they are

potential. There are hundreds of

mattresses, extensive 24-hour

designed in such a way to suit

unexplored locations around India

services or everything that the

both types.

that have either not been

hotel offers is done at a high

What are your expansion plans for

developed, or aren’t even linked to

standard than any of our price

the group? Where are your

multiple modes of transportation –

competitors.

upcoming properties located?

take Hampi or Bandhavgarh for

We are opening seven

example. So the moment multiple

hotels this year in Baroda,

channels of travel open up, this

Bengaluru, Kumarakom,

country will see an exponential

Jaipur and Jodhpur, with

rise in tourism.

Gurgaon having opened

How important is a Hotel in

already. We will see more

developing a destination? What

openings in state capitals

has your company’s views in this

over the next two years

regard?

What is your marketing

Peppermint Hospitality has plans to launch seven hotels this year and more hotels in state capitals over the next two years. Arjun Baljee, Managing Director, Peppermint Hospitality, spoke to Asian Traveller about the mode of operation and marketing strategy. Excerpts:

Hotels and resorts have the

strategy? Will you be

ability to create destinations. Take

tourists, the local economy has

participating in the

Kumarakom as an example –

improved, roads are built, small

international marketing

however beautiful it might be, until

businesses have developed and

events straightaway?

it had quality hotels and resorts

employment has been created for

and tourism amenities were in

the local community around the

ourselves with HVS

place, the destination didn’t thrive

hospitality community. This is

(Global Hospitality

and develop. With the incoming

beneficial to all.

We have aligned

Festive time at The Leela Kempinski Kovalam

I

n continuing with their tradition, The Leela Kempinski Kovalam has celebrated the traditional cake mixing on November 8, 2010 in their infinity pool deck. This is been done every year in the first week of November, where in, the resort invites a select number of distinguished guests. Everyone participated in stirring this splendid mix to ensure that this ceremony

16

heralds the festive season of Christmas and capture the spirit of New Year. This year, hotel has mixed almost 200 kg of different varieties of dry fruits with brandy and dark rum. This mixture is going to be kept in cool place, without being disturbed. The Leela Kempinski Kovalam will have the first batch of x mas cakes ready by the December 21.

ASIAN TRAVELLER

NOVEMBER 2010


Q&A

Cambay Hotels & Resorts

Eyeing leadership in hospitality business Neesa Group is one of the fastest growing business conglomerates which has created world-class businesses in hospitality, education, agritech, information technology, infrastructure and food processing. For over six years Cambay Hotels & Resorts, the hospitality wing of Neesa Group, has thrived to create a collection of some of the finest and most competitive hotels and resorts in India. Manoj Singhal, Managing Director, Neesa Leisure, spoke to Asian Traveller about the vision, plans and new projects. Excerpts:

Tell us about your foray into

for their respective product

and Raipur with an investment of

tourism and hospitality sector.

offerings. In line with the same,

Rs. 100 crore. Going forward the

CFHC has launched a novel

company intends to spread its

into the hospitality domain in

concept, called ‘Point Program’ for

footprints in tier I and tier II as

2005; while its tourism arm

the Timeshare owners. The catch:

well.

Cambay Family Holiday Club

Opt for one week of holiday and

What is the vision of the Group?

(CFHC) was floated in April, 2008.

enjoy up to four weeks. Members

The rising opportunities in both

can now look forward to enjoying

hospitality business in selected

these sectors encouraged NLL to

one week of holiday, which can be

commercial/tourist destination

venture into these two inextricably

extended up to four weeks, at

cities in western/northern India

linked domains, in different points

selected RCI resorts across India.

and presence in well-known

of time. With Indian growth on

What’s more, the points can be

tourist destinations across India to

fast-track and MNCs making a

accumulated and redeemed for

offer various holiday options to its

beeline into the country in a big

flexible vacations and surely the

Timesare members. NLL has

way, we believe we made a debut

unused points can be carried

stayed away from metros to avoid

into hospitality and tourism, at the

forward. If you wish you can even

high cost of real estate. It is

most opportune time. Incidentally,

borrow additional points from next

moving rapidly to become an

with increased purchasing parity,

year’s allocation.

1150- room plus hotel with two

Neesa Leisure Ltd. forayed

Indian consumers have started

Every resort and all categories

NLL is aiming at leadership in

golf courses and a destination spa

shelling out on holidaying in a big

of holiday accommodation are

by 2011. NLL has chosen to

way and growth in high spending

given point value as per the

become an integrated player in

Spa. Tell us about the beginning

tourists only egged us on to set

season, location, apartment size,

the hospitality business. This

and growth.

our footprint into the tourism

and demand. CFHC is also

means it will conceive, build, own,

sector.

attracting membership via its

market and manage own

making its presence felt across

What is your tourism and

‘experience and engage’ mode.

properties and also operate other

India, via its landmark and budget

hospitality related activities?

The potential members are given

properties under management

class hotels. The hospitality chain

an opportunity to explore different

contract Provide international

today has set its foot in Jaipur,

Leisure Ltd. CFHC works in

properties and thereafter they can

standard education in the

Gurgoan, Udaipur, Goa, Kerala,

collaboration with RCI to offer its

decide on the memberships.

hospitality, spa and related areas

Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar and

club members a truly unique

Which are the current projects

by opening institutes of

Bengaluru.

holiday experience not just in

that are in operation?

management (affiliated to Indian

What is your USP?

The tourism arm of Neesa

Cambay Resorts & Spa is

At present, NLL is the official

and International Universities and

Apart from our high-end Golf

members can enjoy holidays not

hospitality partner and is setting

Institutions) meeting the need for

and Spa facilities we also offer a

just in 10 Cambay properties but

up a full-fledged three- star hotel

quality, trained human resources.

bouquet of affordable amenities

in over 5000 RCI affiliated resorts

with other recreational facilities at

Build timeshare business to

across all properties. In fact the

across the world.

Dajej SEZ. At Neemrana, yet

strengthen brand-equity,

facilities are so designed that it

India but across the world. Our

another three star hotel is coming

customer loyalty and to upfront

caters to the taste of different

concept introduced by time-share

up on National highway-8. Other

revenue.

age-groups, be it the multi-cuisine

companies to attract membership

plans include hotels in Lucknow

Brief us about Cambay Resorts &

Point programmes are a new

18

ASIAN TRAVELLER

Page 28

NOVEMBER 2010


HERITAGE

Assam tea tourism festival

Jorhat beckons Md. Sabir Nishat

C

ome November 26, the curtain will go up on the Assam Tea Tourism Festival at Jorhat. Organised by the Assam Tourism in association with the district administration of Jorhat and tea related organisations like Assam Branch of Indian Tea Association (ABITA), Assam Tea Planters’ Association (ATPA), Tea Association of India (TAI), Tea Research Association (TRA) and Tea Board of India, the tea festival will be celebrated at the Court Field with much pomp and gaiety from November 26 to 28. It is in Jorhat and adjoining districts that one comes across enchanting green leaves keeping travellers spellbound. Sprawling tea plantations cover nearly 2,30,000 hectares of the State’s land surface. The genesis of tea in Assam could be traced back to 1823 when Major Robert Bruce first discovered this indigenous plant of Assam. During the travels, Major Bruce struck friendship with Bessagaum Ningrual Singpho tribal chief, who gave him some indigenous tea plants and seeds. This incident is the turning point in the discovery of tea in India. Dewan Maniram Dutta Borbhandar Barua, popularly known as Maniram Dewan, was the first Indian entrepreneur to venture into tea planting in 1841. Maniram on seeing the specimen plant in Robert Bruce’s hands, remarked, “We have the plant growing in our jungles.” Maniram later served the Assam Tea Company as its dewan (land

20

officer) for quite sometime. Subsequently he left the company to run his own gardens - Cinnamara and Senglung (now Singlo). The world’s first tea company - the Assam Company - was formed on 12th February, 1839 with Dwarakanath Tagore, grandfather of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, as one of its directors. The first tea export can be traced back to 1838 when a dozen precious chests of India’s very own tea sailed for Britain on board a ship named ‘Calcutta’. This very first consignment arrived in London on 23rd January, 1839. The East India Company’s Court of Directors wrote to the Government of India thus: “We have received favourable reports regarding it from the most respectable brokers and tea dealers. An offer is made to contract for five hundred or a thousand chests” This was the first recorded export contract in the annals of Indian tea. The first consignment of Indian tea from Assam comprising 8 chests (about 350 Ibs) was put up for auction at the Commercial rooms in Mincing Lane, London on 10th January, 1839. The lots were: 3 of Assam ‘Souchong’ and 5 of Assam ‘Pekoe’, for which there were altogether 60 bids. It came under the hammer at the extraordinary price of 34 shillings per pound. And it was bought by one Captain Pidding. The tea industry has come a long way since 1823. Assam and tea have both become synonymous with each other. Today Assam produces nearly 450 million

The three-day Assam Tea Tourism Festival 2010 which will be held from November 26 will offer a peak into the history of tea industry in Assam

kg per annum, which is more than 50 per cent of India’s total tea production. It contributes a sizeable chunk of foreign exchange to our national economy. A mainstay of Assam’s economy, the tea industry is the single largest employer which directly employs seven lakh people. Nearly six lakh employees and nine lakhs of their dependants live in the plantations. The tea industry workforce is a unique community, characterised by distinctive cultural practices and rituals. Their forefathers came from various tribal regions of Orissa, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. Over the years, they have assimilated themselves into mainstream Assamese society without losing their strong traditional roots. This has resulted in bringing back to limelight some of the most colourful and joyous aspects of the gentle tea tribe culture, which many vacationers have found most appealing… Known for its rich full-

bodied, bright liquor, Assam tea has carved a niche among connoisseurs at home and abroad. To savour the lush green gardens and a rich aroma of Assam tea what better time of the year it would be then to be in the midst of the Tea Festival. It is going to be an experience of a different kind. No one can bargain either its comfort or its pleasure. Talking to this writer, Minister for Tourism, Government of Assam, Rockybul Hussain said the festival will strive to hardsell the tea tourism potential of Jorhat, Sivasagar and Golaghat districts, unravel the lore and legends, folklore of the tea tribes as well as other communities. “Jorhat and adjoining districts reveal a melting pot of ethnicity, making it the State’s most diverse land from the anthropological point of view,” said Hussain. The attendant activities along with the tea tourism will focus mainly on the

ASIAN TRAVELLER

NOVEMBER 2010


HERITAGE idyllic beauty, flora and fauna and wildlife of the State. The organisers of the festival have lined up a host of programmes - sure to carry home the aroma of Assam tea as well as its rich and varied flora and fauna, which are bound to be a rare feast - a kaleidoscopic fiesta that lures you with its magical richness and stunning variety. On each day of the threeday festivity, tourists will be taken around the sprawling verdant tea gardens against the backdrop of sylvan settings. One can even sip a strong cup of tea that cheers at Tocklai, the oldest tea research centre in the world. That is not all. An exhibition on tea will be organised at the Court Field. Arrangements have been made by the organisers to take the tourists to the abode of the great Indian one-horned

ASIAN TRAVELLER

rhinoceros, the world-famous Kaziranga National Park, the world’s largest inhabited riverine island and the seat of Vaishnavite culture, Majuli, and Sivasagar dotted with architectural marvels of the formidable Ahoms dating back to the 13th century. For the brave hearts, the stunning variety of terrain, splendid landscapes and sparkling rivers offer them a vast choice of activities by way of adventure sports. Golf will be an added attraction. A one-day football match together with an open prize money quiz, art and essay competitions will also be held. Several dance troupes will unravel their cultural treasures during the festival. Eminent Assamese singers will also perform at the cultural jamboree. “This will be a unique event striving to showcase the

NOVEMBER 2010

tea tourism potential, the history of tea tribes, their song and dances, indigenous crafts, costumes and jewellery and

historical, cultural and economical strengths have been irreversibly linked with its superlative verdant rolling

myths and legends and above all the essence of unity among the diverse ethnic, religious and linguistic communities inhabiting Jorhat and the adjoining districts,” said Hussain. For decades now, Assam’s

tracts of tea gardens and the people who form an intrinsic part of the warp and weft of its traditions. For the discerning holiday-maker, nothing could be more enticing than a visit to the tea country - Assam.

21


Q&A

Unit y Resources Group

Support in stable and challenging situations Unity Resources Group (URG) is a professional services organisation that specialises in providing risk management, emergency and safety management and support services. Richard Stevens, General Manager, Unity Risk spoke to Asian Traveller about the importance of having a professional agency to look after the safety and security concerns in the hospitality industry. Excerpts from the interview: What are the services rendered by

How spread is your services in

time services to Microsoft and

service footprint throughout the

Unity Risk?

the Asia Pacific region?

assist other commercial entities

Asia Pacific.

including Veolia, BP, Goldman

What are your challenges you

Unity Risk supplies a wide

Unity Risk, as part of a global

range of operational risk based

resources group, has access to 14

Sachs, Morgan Stanley and many

face in lending your services to

crisis and continuity, security,

country offices, operating in 24

more.

the hospitality and aviation

emergency, safety and support

regional locations and over 1500

What are the main achievements

business?

services. These are designed to

staff. Regionally we have Sydney

of Unity Risk?

provide solutions anywhere in the

and the APAC current HQ in

world and protect and service

Jakarta due to the range and

and testing, we now provide a

make your services commercially

both business and government

nature of risks across the

range of 24/7 support services to

appropriate. The hospitality and

sectors.

archipelago. We have key staff

clients, and also individuals, that

aviation industry are diverse geo

throughout SE Asia that support

truly supports their requirements

markets, and Unity Risk have to

approach is designed specifically

risk services and training for

globally. It is no small order to

ensure constant support with

to support an organisation’s total

clients, and also respond to

offer the right service to the

subject matter experts to ensure

infrastructure nationally or

clients in crisis situations.

client, and deliver in a fashion

that availability in consistent. Both

globally when in stable or

Can you cite some of your

that is appropriate and supportive

industries are 24/7, so Unity Risk

challenging situations. This

prestigious clients?

of their requirements. We now are

provides that constant service and

Unity Risk’s comprehensive

includes its management, staff,

Firstly, you must truly know

After constant development

the market you are assisting, and

the risk services provider to a

support in that fashion, being

critical systems and the facilities

Fortune 500 companies globally,

major global insurance company

available at all times, with a

and environments it operates

comprising a range of different

and deliver training and

selection of specialists in each

from. Unity Risk links a broad

education to universities, which

industry on hand to assist and

range of innovative services and

reflects the level of our

support.

materials internationally in

professionalism.

How do you rate the quality in risk

multiple risk divisions including:

What are your expansion plans?

management and protection

Risk Services (Corporate Crisis

We are in the process of

Unity Risk service a number of

services in this part of the world?

Planning and Response, Business

continuing our planned expansion

What are your contributions in

Continuity Planning , Emergency

throughout the APAC region. We

bettering it?

Management and Security Risk,

are looking at Singapore and

Analysis and Mitigation and

Hong Kong, then China and India

level is high, and others show

Emergency Planning Training),

and assisting in the development

room for improvement. A major

In some places each service

Protection Services (Physical

industries and locations. This

of a cohesive medical support

issue we confront is personal

Protective Security, Technological

includes hotels and resorts, travel

capability that can link all of our

interpretation. The first thing to

Security, Assessments, Audits

companies, insurance, retail,

crisis services to all regions.

note is that different regions face

and Reviews and Commercial

banking, mining, marine, air, road

Through Unity Resources Group,

different threats. It is also

Investigations), Training Services

and rail transport and a range of

an advantage is having our own

important to note the changing

(Professional Industry Training

others.

aircraft (2x Kingair) and having an

face of global, regional and

Courses), Support Services

aviation director where we can

country specific issues that will

(Travel Services and Support,

Starwood Hotel and resort group,

provide and coordinate aviation

affect various industries and

Medical Services) and Response

comprising of a number quality

services, and linking this to the

people in different ways. As a

Services (Regional Disaster

names including Westin,

medical services provides exciting

company, we appreciate that the

Response, Emergency Contact

Sheraton, St. Regis, Le Meridien

prospects.

quality of risk and security

and Response)

and others. We also provide full

22

Brand names include the

Our future will include a large

services can vary dramatically.

ASIAN TRAVELLER

NOVEMBER 2010


ENVIORNMENT What may be sufficient for a local

and look at how other entities

population may not be so for an

provide the same range of

international traveller, so we

services, to assist in providing a

work with our clients towards

true ‘world’s best practice’

bridging that gap with workable

approach.

solutions that are easy to

How do you foresee the growth in

implement, manage and continue

opportunities in your sector?

The Billion Tree Campaign at The Leela Kempinski, Kovalam

Risk is a continual evolution. It

to assist. What is the quality of manpower

is not always a threat, but can

you get employ in your firm?

provide opportunities if managed

Unity Risk source the best of

right. Risk taking for reward! Unity

consultants from an international

Risk has introduced new products

pool, whom have varying

to assist in this regard, entering

backgrounds, qualifications and

further foreign markets with a

skill sets. As a result we trust in

range of risk services and aviation

our product as a global solution to

and medical support solutions,

assist locally. On a local level, we

and forging partnerships with our

suggest companies do the same

clients that are assisting them

also. Especially if you provide a

develop commercially. I would recommend any new

localized service to an

Sting and Sir Bob Geldof with N.C.Somaiah, General Manager and Ashvin Kumar, Executive Assistant Manager (Rooms) at the tree planting ceremony

A

s part of ‘The Billion Tree Campaign’, a worldwide tree planting

international clientele, it is

individual reviewing the industry

important not to have a blinkered

for a career to determine its

Programme, which strongly encourages the planting of indigenous

and localized approach to your

insights, and develop practical

trees appropriate to the local environment, celebrity rock stars Sting

service lines. Many clients provide

steps for incorporating the

and Sir Bob Geldof planted a nutmeg tree on the premises of the

a service role in a certain fashion

concepts within your career plan.

The Leela Kempinski Kovalam. Leela hotels have planted and

because they presume ‘that’s the

Education and quality experience

nurtured nearly four million trees and plants to date, in various

way it has o be done.’ We suggest

will always be the key factors on

locations across the country.

expanding your service horizons,

getting noticed.

ASIAN TRAVELLER

NOVEMBER 2010

programme facilitated by the United Nations Environment

23


GUJARAT TRAVELLER

Rann utsav

Rann Utsav is a celebration of rural Gujarat. This year the festival will take place during the December 19, 2010 to January 18, 2011 period.

Ethos of Kutch xperience the unique colourful and exotic culture festival ‘Rann Utsav’ in December with profusion of design, culture, music and dance in the arid lands of Kutch. Kutch, the most

E

full moon night of the winters is known as the Kutch or Rann Mahotsav. Kutch or Rann Mahotsav, a unique manifestation of varied cultural ethos of the region is known for the ethnic flavor and celebrative zest.

opportunity for visitors to attend folk dance, camel safari, live-in -tents, musical moments, and many more activities.

Rann Utsav, the desert festival to promote Kutch as a destination by TCGL (Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Ltd.) held near the

ecologically and ethnically diverse district of the Gujarat is a celebratory land of art, crafts, music, dance, people and nature. The awe-inspiring three-day festive extravaganza brimming with hospitality, vigor and traditional flavor of the area is hosted during the

The festival provides an exclusive opportunity for the tourist to witness the creative ingenuity of the artisans and craftspeople, assorted array of folk music and performances, mixed representation of culture and communities, along with a vast diversity in ecology and also provides an

The semi parched grasslands of the Banni, hosts the most magnificent display of regional architecture as the exhibition platform for the varied range of arts and crafts of the region organized in the shimmering moonlit landscape provides the most enchanting experience.

beach or banks of lake swings with the spirit of festivity and fervor. The organized tour around Kutch at the festive season is an ideal occasion to be part of the region and experience the true flavor of the region and uniqueness of the people through a celebration of life.

1

2

3

Asian Traveller at WTM 2010: 1. R H Khwaja IAS, Secretary, India Tourism and Anand Kumar IAS, Jt. Secretary, India Tourism at the release of WTM Special of Asian Traveller. 2. Dr V Venu IAS, Secretary, Kerala Tourism with Vinu V Nair, Director (Marketing), Asian Traveller. 3. Vinay Luthra, MD, KSTDC having a look at the WTM special of Asian Traveller. Also present is Vinu V Nair, Director (Marketing), Asian Traveller. 4. Sunil Sikka, Head - Marketing and Business Development, ITC-WelcomHeritage, with Roger Mahal who is Chairman, Sita World Tours, Califronia, USA with Asian Traveller WTM special. 5. Vivek Nair, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Leela Group with the WTM special of Asian Traveller. 6. The Kerala contingent at WTM

4

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5

6

ASIAN TRAVELLER

NOVEMBER 2010


KARNATAKA TRAVELLER

Pristine Island

S

t. Mary's Island is the most beautiful island in Karnataka that offers the visitors an endless coastal line. It is special for its unique formation of basalt rocks crystallized into vertical hexagonal blocks. It is about 58 km north of Mangalore and little to the north of the port of

ASIAN TRAVELLER

Malpe town. It is 6km from Udupi is Malpe, an ideal picnic spot with its virgin beach and endless stretch of golden sand, graciously swaying palm trees; the clear blue sky and the gurgle of the sea all set the perfect mood for an unforgettable holiday. The island 300m long and 100m wide is famous for its unique salt rock formations and one gets to see the palm-fringed Island which bears the cross that Vasco Da Gama placed when he landed here in 1498. St Mary's

NOVEMBER 2010

Island owing to geological importance is declared as a National Geological Monument. Malpe is one of the major fishing harbor in the West coast located 5km West of Udupi town. In the month of December the weather is cool and the visitors can see and enjoy the sun drenched beach Island. There are no accommodations in the island except some concrete tiles to sit, a children's park and a part of

the beach has sea shells scattered around. The guards around restrict visitors from going to the danger zones in the sea. Since St. Mary's island is a big fishing harbor you can catch a glimpse of the life of the fishermen. It is indeed great to watch the fishermen hauling fishes to baskets, covering them with crushed ice and repacking them for export. Fishermen are seen mending their finishing nets.

25


TAMIL NADU TRAVELLER

Rameshwaram

A land of mystiques Dr. S. Bakthavatchalam

R

ameshwaram, one of the most sacred Hindu pilgrimage destinations in India is a small island situated in the Gulf of Mannar. Situated in the Ramanathpuram district of Tamil Nadu, it has been attracting loads of travellers for the pilgrimage as well as other attractions of the place. The main attraction of the

place is the Ramanathaswamy temple famous for its corridors and sculptures. The third corridor here is the longest one in the world. It has 22 theerthas or wells in and around the main temple. The presiding deity is the Linga of Sri Ranganatha, one of the 12 Jyotirlingas situated in different parts of India. The Ramanathaswamy Temple situated right in the center of Rameshwaram. Considered sacred for Vaishnavites and Shaivites, as the Hindu Mythology says that it was the place where Lord Rama offered rituals to Lord Shiva after defeating demon king Ravana. It is believed that no pilgrimage is complete unless one visits Rameshwaram. People who visit Varanasi also comes to Rameshwaram for making his pilgrimage complete.

The other places of tourist’s interests in Rameswaram Island are beautiful beaches at Olaikuda, Dhanushkodi and Pamban. The Olaikuda beach is 1 km from the main temple rich in coral reefs mak`ing it safe for swimming and snorkeling. Rameswaram is a main fishing centre of Tamil Nadu.

Agnitheertham, Gandamadana Parvatham, Dhanushkodi, Erwadi etc are some of the other major places in the island. There are many solitary scenic spots in the place for the travellers. The island is connected to the mainland by road and rail on the Indira Gandhi Bridge or the Pamban Bridge. This was considered as an engineering marvel, a feat unparalleled at that time. Nearest airport to Rameshwaram is Madurai which is around 167 km from here. Chennai, the metropolitan capital is 572 km away.

Fortune Select Excalibur opened in Gurgaon

F

ortune Park Hotels Ltd, a wholly owned subsid iary of ITC Ltd, brings its special blend of hospitality in a new contemporary package, to one more location in Gurgaon. Located on the main Sohna Road, Fortune Suresh Kumar President, Select Fortune Hotels Excalibur, owned by M/s Nimitaya Hotel & Resorts Ltd, is an elegant, upscale, full service business hotel featuring contemporary, comfortable rooms, a selection of quality

26

meeting and dining options, a comprehensive range of leisure facilities, and professional service. The hotel provides quality accommodation and services with a fresh, contemporary approach. The opening of this hotel is yet another addition to the ever expanding portfolio of Fortune Hotels which now has 34 operational hotels, 61 signed alliances across 46 cities. According to Suresh Kumar, President, Fortune Hotels, “The city of Gurgaon, has now virtually become a show-window for the rest of India. The 135 rooms Fortune Select Excalibur may be

considered a contribution towards the vision for the evolving new-age Indian

Our style of functioning ensures that we discuss at length with investors and take

cities. In creating hotels, it is essential to take note of the demands and requirements of each city, a requirement that changes with each location as cultural & aspirational values often dictate the demands.

note of their sentiments as well. All Fortune hotels are thus created to suit the special needs of our investors and simultaneously fulfill the demands of the cities where the hotels are being located”.

ASIAN TRAVELLER

NOVEMBER 2010


Q&A

Cambay Hotels & Resorts Page 18

enough to sustain and develop the tourism prospects of the

restaurant, sip bar, beauty salon, health club, discotheque,

place? All our properties are located

swimming pool, air hockey,

in prime locations, i.e in mega and

billiards, AV Theater, computer

metro cities of India. So the flow

games or the card rooms.

of business and luxurious

How important do you think is the

travelers has to be significant. For

role of hotels in developing a

instance, Cambay Sapphire is

tourist destination? What has your

located in close proximity to

hotel done in this regard?

junctions and airports that makes

From the tourism point of view,

it one of the most-sought after

creating landmark as well as

hotels in different cities. Crystal

budget hotels is incredibly

Beach resort, like the one in Goa,

important, given that tourists look

is designed exclusively for smart

luxurious, 5-star resorts are

appreciable. The campaign

forward to stay in place with all-

business class travelers and is

located far from the hustle and

helped create a colorful image of

encompassing facilities. This

located in some popular tourist

bustle of the city, in the exteriors.

India in the minds of consumers

establishes the inextricable link

destinations of India.

The idea behind setting up such a

all over the world, and has directly

5-star hotel in the outskirts is to

led to an increase in the interest

between hotels and tourism. Also,

Then there are beach-centric,

it won’t be an exaggeration if we

boutique hotels set up in popular

offer a perfect recluse for

among foreign tourists. So overall

say that a particular destination is

destinations like Cambay Palm

travelers seeking tranquility.

support from the government is

gaining traction, because its

Lagoon in Kerala, to serve the

popularity of high-end hotels.

requirements of business

as the ‘Incredible India’ campaign,

to be done when it comes to

How will you value the potential of

travelers and leisure travelers

which promoted India’s culture

maintenance and up keeping of

your destination? Are the

alike. Last but not the least,

and tourist attractions in a fresh

tourists spots.

initiatives taken by the authorities

Cambay Golf Resorts, the ultra

and memorable way, is indeed

www.neesagroup.com

28

Advertising campaigns such

appreciable, however, a lot needs

ASIAN TRAVELLER

NOVEMBER 2010


KERALA TRAVELLER

GKSF all set for impressive showdown

T

he fourth edition of the Grand Kerala Shopping Festival, GKSF will unveil for the world audience from Dec 1, 2010 to Jan 15, 2011. The current edition of the event is made more attractive to the public with the introduction of attractive rewards including gold. The event has been conceived and organized to give a big leap for the trade and commerce in Kerala and to turn the state to a shopping destination.

One of the major attractions of GKSF 2010 is the nine-day ‘Grand Kerala book festival’ to be organised at the Kanakakkunnu Palace, Thiruvananthapuram from December 18 to 26. Over 200 national and international book publishers are expected to take part in the festival. GKSF coupons will be given for all those who purchase books

Kerala Tourism campaign using new-age devices

T

o augment its efforts in getting popular as a major tourist destination in India, Kerala Tourism has introduced a high-level campaign using newage devices like iPhone and iPad. The first phase of this campaign was used for the publicity of the new Kerala Tourism movie; Your Moment is Waiting, in the UK, France, Germany and US markets. iPhone and iPad users in these countries while typing ‘travel’ during the search will be taken to the new Kerala Tourism movie.

worth 1000. Malabar Crafts mela, an international crafts mela will also be held Kottakunnu Malappuram from December 16 to 30 which will be a new market for the traditional handicrafts. The government has also announced a permanent body to promote tourism along with business called ‘Kerala Tourism Trade

Promotion Organisation.’ “The new company will conduct tourism fairs, similar to the Grand Kerala Shopping Festival,” said V S Achuthanandan, Kerala Chief Minister. The event a government of Kerala initiative in association with the Industries & Commerce Department, Finance Department and Local Self Government Departments is the biggest shopping festival in terms of the area covered.

E-governance award for KTDC

T

he official website of Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) Hotels and

Resorts -www.ktdc.com has won the Kerala State Egovernance Awards - 2009 for the best website. KTDC, a synonym for a range of hospitality services to tourists visiting Kerala, has in recent years made an online impact that helped its range of products and services to reach travellers worldwide. Some of the highlights of online features in the current KTDC website include facility for online room reservation; an interactive map to locate KTDC properties in Kerala and virtual reality movies. The site has been developed and maintained by Invis Multimedia, Thiruvananthapuram.

State tourism awards announced

K

erala state tourism awards

Subramoniam, general manager

Centre, Rainbow Cruises,

adjudged the best tourism/hotel

for 2009-2010 has been

of the hotel was selected as the

Alappuzha, the award for the best

management institute,

announced. Intersight

Best Hotel Manager.

approved houseboat and Coconut

Chattanchal Higher Secondary

Creek Farm and Home stay,

School, Kasaragod got the award

Tours and Travels (P) Ltd., Kochi,

Spice Village, Thekkady, won

and The Great India Tour

the award for the

Kumarakom, for the

for the club for best tourism,

Company (P) Ltd,

best four-star hotel,

best approved

Shahriyar of Darul Ul um VHSS,

Thiruvananthapuram bagged the

The Great Way Hotel,

homestay.

Pulepadi, Ernakulam got the

award for the best inbound tour

Marine Drive, Kochi,

T. J. Sreejith of

operator and outbound operator

for the best five-star

Mathrubhumi Yatra

respectively. Periyar House,

hotel and the Le

Magazine got the

Shijimol Jacob, Vocational

Thekkady, of the KTDC Hotels and

Meridian Resort and

award for the best

Teacher, Travel and Tourism, Darul

Resorts has won the award for the

Convention Centre, Marad, Kochi

tourism a0rticle and the official

Ul um VHSS, Pulepadi,

best one star/two star hotel.

for the best five-star deluxe hotel.

website of the KTDC Hotels and

Ernakulam, was selected for the

award for the best student coordinator.

Resorts (www.ktdc.com) bagged

award for the best teacher

Thrissur, was adjudged the best

category, Coconut Lagoon,

the award for the best website and

coordinator and Satyan C.,

tourism destination.

Kumarkom, gets the

Leen Thobias of P4 Panorama,

Tourism Police, Kannur City Police

award. Somatheeram Ayurvedic

Kottayam, got the award for the

Station, Kannur, the award for the

Mararikulam got the award for the

Hospital and Yoga Centre (P) Ltd,

best tourism related photo.

best tourist police. K. Mohan of

best three-star hotel and for the

Chowara, bagged the award for

best innovative tourism project.

the best approved Ayurvedic

Sneehatheeram, Thalikulam,

Marari Beach resort,

ASIAN TRAVELLER

In the best heritage hotel

NOVEMBER 2010

The Oriental School of Hotel Management, Wayanad, was

Ernaikal, Kozhikode, for the best tourism guide.

29


VARIETY

Ashwin Narayanan has been promoted to the post of Chief Operating Officer at Travel Tours Group (TTG), Bengaluru, which has six distinct brands – Travel Tours, Travel Air, Travel Air Representations, Visa Services, MigraDocs and GetOff Adventure Tours .

1.

Which city is nick-named Mile-High City?

2.

Which is supposed to be the birthplace of golf?

3.

What do the names Adam and Eve mean in Hebrew?

4.

The mathematical phrase algorithm comes from which place? 5.

Which vitamin is called the Sunshine Vitamin?

Manjula M. S. has been appointed Vice President - Sales & Business Development of Travel Tours Group (TTG).

Kalyana Sundaram, has been appointed General Manager Tamil Nadu of Travel Tours Group (TTG).

Mohan has been appointed Asst. General Manager – Visa Services, a brand owned by Travel Tours Group (TTG).

6.

Which country’s stock exchange is called SIX?

7.

Which temple town in India is named after the palm trees it abounds with?

8.

The aquarium fish guppy is named after somebody. Who?

9.

Which is watermeal?

10. Name the only English word with three consecutive doubles in it?

Compiled by DEEKAY Hard Rock Hotel Penang has announced the appointment of Shane Coates as the new Executive Assistant Manager.

Dr. Devika Menon has been appointed as Branch Manager (Kerala) of Travel Tours Group (TTG).

ONYX Hospitality Group has announced the appointment of Kirsty MacCormick as Spa Director

Send in your answers to info@mediastepsindia.com with TYKC38 in the the subject line. Answers should reach us before the 30th of this month. Answers to TYKC 37 1. Jan 6 (the twelfth and the last day of Christmas festivities),

L V Kumar has assumed charge as the Principal of the Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology, Kovalam, Thiruvananthapuram

2. Red in Japanese (hence the red color in AKAI logo) 3. 1936 – Berlin 4. From the Yemeni port ‘Mocha’ where it was first shipped from 5. Windshield wiper by Mary Anderson (patented in 1903) 6. The designer of Google logo

7. 40 (FORTY) 8. Brussels

9. Venice Film Festival ( started in 1932) 10. 35

TYKC 37

We haven’t received any all-correct entries for TYKC 37

DECEMBER 2010 Grand Kerala Shopping Festival IITM, Hyderabad

Dec 01- Jan 15 03 - 05

International Luxury Travel Market, Cannes, France Christmas

06-09 25

JANUARY 2011 Hotel Investment Forum, Mumbai, India

12 - 14

ASEAN Tourism Forum, Cambodia

15-21

FITUR, Madrid, Spain

19-23

Dubai Shopping Festival, Dubai, UAE Modhera Dance Festival, Gujarat, India

30

Jan 20- Feb 20 21-23

One all-correct entry will get

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

ASIAN TRAVELLER

NOVEMBER 2010


ASIAN TRAVELLER

NOVEMBER 2010

31


32

ASIAN TRAVELLER

NOVEMBER 2010

Asian Traveller November 2010  

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

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