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Greece An all-time favourite for tourists

I S S U E 0 8 | V O L U M E I X | M AY 2 0 1 8 | ` 5 0

PA G E S 5 2

The Modi Government's four years have been a mixed bag for India's tourism industry Transformative steps have eluded the sector


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FROM THE EDITOR

Still longing for due consideration

Publisher & Editor Srishti Rai Director Bharat S. Rai Managing Editor Prem Kumar General Manager Marketing Prem Sagar premsagar@tnhindia.com (M) +91 99106 81111 Art Director Sunny Singh Web Designer Mohit Chaudhary Senior Reporter Archana Sharma Correspondent (Kolkata) Swaati Chaudhury Accounts Chander Shakher Balodi Administration Executive Sarwat Jahan

For any query, write to us at: info@tnhindia.com

www.tnhglobal.com Printed, published and owned by Srishti Rai. Printed at Somsons Printing Works, 1/7, DoctorĂŠs Lane, Gole Market, New Delhi - 110001, and published at P- 23/90, Connaught Circus, New Delhi 110001; Editor: SRISHTI RAI

This month the Modi Government completes four years of its 5-year tenure. These four years of the Modi Government have been a mixed bag for India's Travel & Tourism Industry. The reality of four years has belied the expectations of the industry that was hoping for a better deal from the current government. Except for a few incremental changes, the industry has been deprived of any major relief or transformative policy initiatives. There is a huge difference between the priorities of the government and the expectations of the industry. It is very unfortunate that many smaller countries with their limited tourism potential are doing far better than us. The launch of the e-visa has made it easier for foreign nationals to apply for the Indian visa, giving a little boost to tourism, but the number of misses outnumbers the positives. A major miss has been the Government's inability to declare a new tourism policy even after four years. The focus on the development of basic infrastructure such as highways, airports, regional connectivity etc does cater to a major requirement to boost tourism, but for the in-

dustry to exploit the full potential of Incredible India, a conducive business environment with easy access to finances, favorable taxation regime, single window facility for multiple administrative clearances are must. For a detailed analysis of four years of the Modi Government, read our cover story, 'Four years of the Modi Government, a mixed bag for the tourism industry' (page 18). This is the season of holiday, and if you are yet to decide your destination, opt for Greece, an all-time favourite destination for its incredible natural beauty and rich heritage. Read our interview of the month: 'Greece: an all-time classic destination' (page 28) to know why you should visit Greece. Now it is so easy for Indians to get a Greece visa thanks to the initiatives of Global Visa Center World (GVCW) that operates 15 VACs in India to facilitate visa services. These centres are now open on Saturdays as well, so no need to take leave from work to apply for Greek visa! In this issue, also read the exclusive interview of H.E. Farhod Arziev, Ambassador of Uzbekistan to India, who talks about the huge tourism potential of his country and why Indians should visit Uzbekistan, which is so close to India. Enjoy reading!

Srishti Rai Editor


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18 COVER STORY Modi Government's 4 years: a mixed bag for India's tourism industry 06 NEWS Pranob Sarkar continues as IATO's President, EM Najeeb elected as Sr. VP 09 NEWS Visit Monaco launches a new global initiative 'Green is the New Glam'

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10 NEWS Greece visa application centres now open on Saturdays 12 NEWS The future’s not an option: it has to be green 14 INTERVIEW Louvre Hotels to bring Premiere Class and Campanile to India: Group's South Asia MD

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26 16 NEWS Indonesia expects 30% growth in Indian visitors 22 NEWS Sarovar Hotels & Resorts re-launches Sarovar Portico Lonavala 24 INTERNATIONAL Inaugural Ryanair flight arrives in Amman

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26 INTERVIEW Indo Asia Tours: A blend of knowledge and creativity 28 INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH Greece: an all time classic destination for travellers 34 BITE CORNER Magical food presentations at Karma Kismet

38 DIPLOMAT’S CORNER Uzbekistan: an ideal destination for culture and nature lovers 42 NEWS TAAI's 64th convention concluded in Srinagar

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44 FESTIVAL CORNER Popular festivals around the world to see in June


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NEWS

NILAYA SPA OPENED AT RADISSON BLU PUNE HINJAWADI

Nilaya Spa has recently opened at Radisson Blu Pune Hinjewadi. The Nilaya Spa offers a wide selection of holistic healing practices, modern rejuvenation and wellbeing techniques, which relieves the mind, body, and spirit. To welcome in the new season and to rejuvenate from a tough day, Nilaya Spa recommends their signature therapy that would essentially be everyone's need of the hour. The therapy titled Nilaya signature Bodyworks massage- banishes the fatigue and sluggishness that sets in after partying hard. The signature massage helps the mind and the body to de-stress and soothes the senses, restores vitality and revives the spirit Drawing on the best of Eastern and Western techniques, this oil massage also combines soothing strokes and stretching to loosen muscular tension, encourage lymphatic flow to balance the internal system and coax your body to respond positively to the caring language of touch. This therapy can be done in any aroma oil fragrance depending on your choice. The therapists at the Nilaya Spa are wellversed in the art of massage and guide you through elevating experiences that result in reduced stress, skin revitalization, and ultimate relaxation. by TNH DESK

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Pranob Sarkar continues as IATO's President, EM Najeeb elected as Sr. VP The biennial elections of the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) have finally concluded, with EM Najeeb being elected as new Sr. Vice President of the association and Rajesh Mudgill as the Hony Secretary. Najeeb defeated incumbent Rajiv Kohli in a close contest, while Rajesh Mudgill defeated Amarish Tiwari, hony. secretary in the previous team. Earlier Pranob Sarkar, Rajiv Mehra, Ravi Gosain and Rajnish Kaistha have been elected unopposed as President, Vice President, Hony. Treasurer and Hony. Joint Secretary respectively. Pranob Sarkar, Rajiv Mehra and Ravi Gosain got reelected for their respective posts. Raj Bajaj, Tony Marwah, PS Duggal, Deepak Bhushan, and Vinay Tyagi have been elected the new members (Active) of the Executive committee. Sunil Gupta, Zia Siddique, and Vijay Sarthi are the new allied members by TNH DESK of the EC.

V Resorts partners with Zoomcar V Resorts has collaborated with shared mobility platform Zoomcar. As a part of the collaboration, both V Resorts and Zoomcar are extending 20% discounts on their respective platforms for bookings for the partner brand. In line with the objectives of V Resorts to help Indian travellers explore unique locations, the collaboration will help discovery and accessibility of offbeat destinations around India and bringing them into the purview of mainstream tourism. While the alliance directly impacts V Resorts’ entire 130+ portfolio of resorts around the country, the partnership also aim to create visibility for some of its offbeat destinations such as Ghanerao in Rajasthan, Orchha in Madhya Pradesh, and Varkala in Kerala among several others. by TNH DESK


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NEWS

RezLive.com organizes Travel Agents Cricket Tournament in Ahmedabad

RezLive.com had organized a Travel Agents Cricket Tournament on 5th& 6th April, 2018 at Club O7, Ahmedabad. The tournament witnessed eight teams playing the knockout round in which Travel Trip Asia, Faro Holidays, Utopia Holidays and Flamingo Transworld Pvt. Ltd. proceeded to the semis. Travel Trip Asia was paired opposite Faro Holidays while Utopia Holidays was paired against Flamingo Transworld Pvt. Ltd in the semifinals. Faro Holidays tactically overpowered Travel Trip

Asia and won the match with much ease, on the other hand Flamingo Transworld Pvt. Ltd snatched the victory from Utopia Holidays to reach the finals. Accel Holidays P. Ltd., Bleach Tourism P. Ltd, Faro Holidays, Flamingo Transworld Pvt. Ltd, Royal Orient Tours & Travels, The Galaxy Travels, Travel Trip Asia, Utopia Holidays participated in the Cricket Tournament. The cricket tournament, which has a different set of rules and smaller pitches, became the perfect setting for the seething summers. In the finals, both Faro Holidays and Flamingo Transworld Pvt. Ltd., gave each other a tough time. In the first Innings, Faro Holidays batted and scored 165 runs in 9 overs and in reply Flamingo Transworld Pvt. Ltd was kept tight with limited scoring opportunities from the bowlers of Faro Holidays. Both the teams kept each other at bay with their batting and tight bowling, making it an absolute marvel of a match. However, Faro Holiby TNH DESK days inched ahead wining the match.

Bird Academy awarded IATA 2018 Regional top performer award Bird Academy, one of South Asia's Top-10 2011 IATA- certified Authorized Training Centers, has been awarded the IATA 2018 Regional Top Performer Award at the recently concluded Global Training Partners Conference in Istanbul. Speaking on the occasion, Radha Bhatia, Chairperson, Bird Group said, “We are thrilled & thankful to have received this prestigious award from IATA. It is an acknowledgement of the dedication and hard work that has been put in by everyone at Bird Academy since its inception. With our growing portfolio of training programs and our partnership with IATA, we aim to bridge the employability gap within the aviation and aerospace sector.” by TNH DESK

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The Leela wins contract to manage Mahatma Mandir The Leela Palaces Hotels and Resorts announced it has won the competitive bid and management contract to operate India’s largest Convention and Exhibition Center – the 34-acre Mahatma Mandir- and launch Gujarat state capital’s largest hotel, the 300-room The Leela Gandhinagar, which is expected to open in January 2019. The agreements, effective April 1, 2018, are signed with Gandby TNH DESK hinagar Railway and GARUD.


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NEWS

L-R Corinne Kiabski, Press and Communication Director, Monaco Government Tourist & Convention Authority, Huma Qureshi, Bollywood Actress and Jamal Shaikh, National Editor-Brunch and New Media Initiatives at Hindustan Times

VISIT MONACO LAUNCHES A NEW GLOBAL INITIATIVE 'GREEN IS THE NEW GLAM'

Visit Monaco successfully concluded the, "Monaco Residential Conclave 2018" amidst the serene surroundings of Goa. Monaco has been a top-end luxury destination with a commitment towards environmental-friendly living. The Monaco Government Tourist Bureau, with the theme, "Green is the New Glam", endeavored to take major steps in green and sustainable prac-

tices, keeping the prime interest of Indian travellers in consideration. The two-day affair laid emphasis on sustainable tourism and responsible luxury as the core of its communication, through, a Panel Discussion on energy conservation, in association with the luxury lifestyle magazine, Peaklife. Moderated by Jamal Shaikh, National Editor-Brunch and New Media Initiatives at Hindustan

Times, along with, Actor and Celebrity youth icon, Huma Qureshi and Corinne Kiabski, Press and Communication Director, Monaco Government Tourist & Convention Authority. The conclave saw top-notch, industry influencers, travel enthusiasts, corporates, business heads, fashion influencers, wellness professionals and distinguished by TNH DESK decision makers.

1589 Hotels added 16 properties to its portfolio from April 2017 to March 2018 It has been a very successful and aggressive growth year for 1589 Hotels. Pankaj Giroti, CHA – VP Development & PR stated that the Team together have been able to add on 16 Hotels & Resorts to their Multi Brand Portfolio increasing the room count by 828 Rooms, destinations added are Greater Noida, Vridavan, Udaipur, Bhopal, Alwar, Jim Corbett, Bhavnagar, Mirzapur, Ambaji, Jaipur,

Goa, Dalhousie, Dharamshala. 1589 Hotels now commands a total inventory of 1710 rooms between 36 Operational Properties and 9 under Project stage. The Multi 'Brands' of the Company consist of - Brij, Clarks Resort, Arte’, Gen X, RnB Select & Rnb. A very Unique mix of Uber Luxury Heritage Experience, to a 5 Star Resort, a Contemporary 4 Star & 3 Star offerings, to a Bou-

tique BnB Operations. Our Target for April 2018 – March 2019 is to add on 24 Hotels / Resorts to our kitty under Owner Ship Module, Management Contract Module, and Revenue Share & MG Modules. by TNH DESK

TRAVEL AND HOSPITALITY | MAY 2018

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GREECE

NEWS

VISA APPLICATION CENTRES NOW OPEN ON SATURDAYS

Greece Visa Application Centres across India will now be open on Saturdays as well.

I

f you are planning to travel to Greece, but too busy on weekdays to apply for the Greece visa, don't worry. You can now apply for a Greece visa on Saturdays as well. In its endeavour to further ease visa applications for Indians planning to visit Greece, Global Visa Center World (GVCW), the Greek Visa Service provider for India, will open its Visa Application Centres on Saturdays also. Now applicants can avail the Prime Time visa services offered by GVCW to submit their visa applications at the visa centres across India. There are 15 such visa centres across the country including in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangaluru, Hyderabad and Goa. These services will be available every Saturday from 10am to 4am. Applicants can also collect their passports on Saturdays. GVCW has been mandated by the Ministry of Greece to assist the Hellenic Consular Authorities in many countries including India in issuing Greece visas. The granting and issuance of visa,

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however, is the prerogative of the Greek Embassy, New Delhi. The number of Indians travelling abroad for holidays as well as for business is growing fast. To cater to the growing visa demand from Indians and to serve those who were not able to visit the Visa Application Centres on weekdays, GVCW has come out with these Prime Time services. Global Visa Center World is the sole Visa Service Provider for Greece in 4 geographical zones, including zone no. 5, which includes India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. GVCW’s team has an excellent record in process management

worlwide. An all-time favorite destination for its archeological sites, museums, stunning beaches, diverse nature and scenic countryside, Greece retains its position as one of the most popular destinations in Europe. Known for its fabulous islands like Santorini, Mykonos and Crete, Greece is also the most sought-after destination for exclusive and affordable cruises across Europe. Greece is also a very competitive destination due to its affordable accommodation, sight-seeing and great food options, both for vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisine. It is also easily accessible by air from India through major airlines. A weak Euro vis-a-vis USD has made Greece more attractive for travel, giving huge value for money. Indians have begun to realize this and are flocking in large number to this exotic, scenic and affordable destination in the heart of Europe. by TNH DESK


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NEWS

Cleartrip builds Alexa skills for its platform Enables Alexa users to conveniently voice search air travel options Adding yet another technological milestone to its portfolio, Cleartrip, India’s leading online travel and leisure activities platform, recently launched its own Alexa skill for the Amazon Echo platform. This will allow travelers to conveniently search for the cheapest airfares between any source and destination city using their voice on their Amazon Echo devices. With this development, Cleartrip becomes one of the first online travel platforms to integrate with Amazon Alexa.

Kerala records significant rise of 10.93% in tourist arrivals in year 2017 Tourist arrivals to Kerala have registered a significant growth of 10.93 percent during the year 2017, compared with the figures of the previous year. According to statistics compiled by Kerala Tourism, Kerala saw as many as 15.54 lakh new tourists – domestic and foreign travelers combined – visited Kerala’s famed destinations during the year. The year under review recorded the highest number of domestic tourism arrivals in the past nineyear period, with the number posting an 11.39 percent rise compared with the figures of last year.

by TNH DESK

by TNH DESK

Philippine Airlines appoints Bird Group as GSA in India Philippine Airlines (PAL) has appointed Bird Travels Pvt. Ltd., the Airline Management Services arm of Bird Group as its local representative in India. The association marks the airline’s latest step in developing its sales distribution network within the Indian market. The appointment of Bird Travels is part of the intensive preparations undertaken by Philippine Airlines to realize its firm plans to commence operations to India by Winter 2018. Reinforcing the airline’s commitment and growing confidence in the market, Bird Travels is given the challenge to take responsibility for all the airline's sales, marketing

and ticketing activities in India through its centrally located headquarters in New Delhi. “India's tourism industry is expanding rapidly and already we’re seeing a steady flow of leisure and business travellers flying between India and Philippines. Bird Group is a veteran in air travel management and we are challenging them

to capitalize on their strength and capabilities to help successfully launch our upcoming flights to New Delhi and Mumbai and help us strengthen our presence in India and enhance the quality of our services for the Indian market,” said Ryan Uy, Vice President for Sales of Philippine Airlines. by TNH DESK

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NEWS

The future’s not an option: it has to be green v B JULIAN MATTHEWS, CHAIRMAN, TOFTIGERS Y

Let’s cut to the chase. The World Economic Forum’s latest report recognises that India is ranked 6th for its number of natural World Heritage sites – yet theattractiveness of its overallnatural assets is a disappointing 113th, a ‘gap’ that ensures that tourism, a critical conservation tool is not prioritized by governments or supported significantly enough by private enterprises, even though it’s one of the 5T’s in the Government’s own National Development Strategy. Worse than this is the fact that this same report rates India’s environmental sustainability in Travel and Tourism at 134th in the world, with only Kuwait and a war-torn Yemen below it. This is a shocking place for a

major powerhouse to find itself and highlights the reason why nature tourism charity TOFTigers campaigns so hard on sustainability in this sector. It’s also why tools that allow us to encourage, monitor, assess and highlight the very best, like TOFTigers’PUG eco-friendly kitemark and the TOFTigers Wildlife Travel Awards make so much sense. Sustainability in business is no longer an optional extra. It is fundamental for all travel and tourism going forward. We can’t wait for governments – we need to act individually and collectively now. Now for the good news. Despite these negative statistics, nature tourism is winning a fight, even if we have not yet won the war. Na-

Banjara Restaurant comes to

Photo Credit: Bandu Mankar / Sanctuary Photo Library

ture based travel is turning the tide on wildlife conservation and on the tiger’s survival across South Asia. From a low of 1400 wild tigers in a few denuded reserves at the turn of this century, when both domestic and International tourism was small, we now officially have over 2400 wild tigers in India and growing numbers in Nepal too.

serve Mumbai

Enjoy the delicacies of Karnataka in Mumbai as the 25-year-old restaurant of Bengaluru, 'Banjara', opens its doors in Andheri East in Mumbai. A property of Goldfinch Hotel from MRG Group, the Multi-cuisine restaurant offers a delicious spread of Indian, Chinese and Mediterranean fare. Derived from the Tulu dialect widely spoken in South Karnataka, “Banjara” literally means ‘a satiated

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stomach’. True to its name the upscale fine dining restaurant offers an array of traditionally cooked Indian dishes with particular emphasis on flavor along with a selection of beverages, making it one of the finest haunts for food aficionados. The scrumptious menu comprises of specialties like Matka Biryani, Crab Malvani Masala, Chicken Pesto Salads, Irish Money Boxteys to name a few. by TNH DESK


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INTERVIEW

Louvre Hotels to bring Premiere Class and Campanile to India: Group's South Asia MD

v B ARCHANA SHARMA

Q

Y

How and why did you decide to launch the Premiere Class and Campanile in India? The budget hotel segment is growing fast in the Indian hospitality segment and has a huge potential in it. Presently, the budget hotels which are there in the country primarily focus on giving cheap accommodation to travelers, but we plan to give international hospitality and customer experience in the budget segment as well. Hence, we are planning to bring Premiere Class and Campanile in India.

Q

What does your brand ‘Louvre’ stands for? What is its philosophy? Our motto is Do.Dare.Dream and each establishment commits to meet high-quality standards, whilst drawing on the personality of its owner and on inspiration from its local culture. Louvre brand has a positive outlook on life, work and travelling. In line with current business traveler

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trends, our hotels encourage guests to combine work with pleasure, allowing them to live and share their unique and enjoyable experiences with others. Through the wealth and variety of our brands, our management and operating process, we continue daring and boldly inventing, while holding on to our agility and our challenger’s spirit.

Q

What is the present business of Louvre Group in India? How has it grown in recent years? To increase our foot prints in India inorganically, we acquired Sarovar as a part of our expansion plan that gave us great leverage in terms of distribution and spread across the country. Consecutively, we became one of the largest hospitality groups in the country. Currently Louvre operates 100+ hotels in India under Sarovar and Golden Tulip brands spread across segments.

We are looking at increasing our brand portfolios in metros as well as in smart Tier-II and TierIII cities that lack international chain of hotels offering unprecedented services to its customers. We are also working on bringing Campanile and Premier Class in India soon.

Q

Vimal Singh Managing Director, South Asia – Golden Tulip Hotels & Resorts Louvre Hotels Group

In an exclusive conversation with TnH, Vimal Singh, Managing Director, South Asia – Golden Tulip Hotels & Resorts, Louvre Hotels Group, informed about the group’s plans to bring Premiere Class and Campanile in India. He also spoke about huge potential in India’s budget hotel segment.

Tell us about your growth strategy. What are your plans to further strengthen your presence in India? Golden Tulip Hotels and Resorts did extremely well in the year 2017. As per our expansion plan, we launched 106 room properties in Delhi NCR, which is also our fifth property in the region. In addition, we also opened Golden Tulip in Khajuraho and signed up over 8-10 Golden Tulip hotels in various other cities. At present,


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INTERVIEW/NEWS

countries. It offers 1 to 5-star hotels run by the Louvre Hotels Group’s historical brands- Premiere Classe, Kyriad, Campanile, Tulip Inn, Golden Tulip, Royal Tulip; the 5 brands within the Sarovar network in India and 4 Chinese brands-Metropolo, JinJiang Inn, Bestay and Goldmet Inn. we are planning to increase our foot prints in Jeolikot (Nainital), Khajuraho, Kota and Rajkot.

Q

What are the future plans of Louvre in India and expand globally? Globally Louvre Hotels Group acquired significant majority in the high-end chain Hôtels Préférence. This acquisition strengthens Louvre Hotels Group’s brand portfolio and

added a network of 140 hotels, mainly 4- and 5-star, located in France and internationally. Louvre Hotels Group, which runs the Golden Tulip brand in India, is planning to bring more brands into the country and strengthen its position by adding 12 properties over the next two years. Louvre Hotels Group is a key player in the world hospitality sector, with a portfolio which now boasts 2500 hotels in 54

Q

Is there any new project you are going to launch soon? We are looking at increasing our brand portfolios in metros as well as in smart Tier-II and Tier-III cities that lack international chain of hotels offering unprecedented services to its customers. We are also working on bringing Campanile and Premier Class in India soon.

Warner Bros Theme Park in Abu Dhabi to open on July 25 Miral announced that Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, an indoor theme park will open its doors to the public on 25th of July 2018. When the highly-anticipated Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi opens this Summer, it will feature six immersive areas including DC's Metropolis and Gotham City, as well as Cartoon Junction, Bedrock,

Dynamite Gulch and Warner Bros. Plaza. Tickets available now at www.wbworld.com. "The launch of Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi is yet another milestone in the Emirate's journey to further enrich its tourism offering, and help establish it as one of the world’s leading tourist destinations. The park is another great ad-

dition to Yas Island's immersive experiences and award-winning attractions," said His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Miral. "It gives us great pride to have partnered with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to launch the world's largest Warner Bros. branded indoor theme park in Abu Dhabi”, he added. by TNH DESK

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NEWS

INDONESIA EXPECTS 30% GROWTH IN INDIAN VISITORS

v B PREM KUMAR Y

Launch of nonstop flight between Bali and Mumbai will further boost growth in Indian arrivals to Indonesia. Visit Indonesia has been growing exponentially in the Indian market. The year 2017 saw a robust growth of around 29% in Indian tourist arrivals to Indonesia. Indonesia's growth in Indian travel market is quite higher as compared to its growth in overall international tourist arrivals. Last year overall foreign tourist arrivals in Indonesia grew about 22%. In an interview to TnH, Sanjay Sondhi, Country Head, India, Visit Indonesia, said that India is one of the top priority markets for Indonesia. "We have been aggressively and consistently promoting Indonesia in India for many years. As a result of our consistent efforts, we are growing exponentially in this market. Last year Indonesia received 485,314 Indian tourists, thus growing by 28.8% as compared to 2016. "This year we are expecting 30% growth from India, which will be on bigger base,"

added Sondhi. Indonesia's National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia recently launched its direct flights between Indonesia and India. Starting on April 23, the new flight connects Indonesia's most popular destination Bali to India’s commercial capital Mumbai. "The direct non-stop flight will make travelling between Bali and Mumbai quite easier and would save a lot of time for travellers. New flight offers more options for travellers from the western part of India going to Bali and Indonesia," said Sondhi. In the beginning, Garuda Indonesia will operate the flight from Denpasar to Mumbai two times per week on every Monday and Thursday. Sooner, the flight will be increased to three times per week, and ultimately four times in a week. "The new nonstop flight will definitely save at least 3 hours for flyers on Bali-Mumbai route. For large groups and families, catching connecting flights is very inconvenient, and takes a lot of extra time, therefore, the launch of nonstop flight between Bali and Mumbai

Sanjay Sondhi Country Head, India, Visit Indonesia

will give a boost to family and group travel from the western part of India," said Sondhi. The launch of the new flight has also increased the availability of flight seats between the two countries. "Since now we have non-stop flights and more seats, we expect more growth in arrivals from India. We are expecting growth in arrivals from the segments such as families, MICE, Bollywood, etc. Currently, most of those who visit Indonesia go to the country for leisure and MICE purposes. so this is a big opportunity for us to increase the number from India."

UP Tourism dept launches 24x7 phone helpline for tourists The tourism department on Wednesday started its first 24x7 phone helpline (18601801364) for better convenience of tourists. From information about tourism centers to the lodging of complaints, the helpline will provide all the facilities to tourists. There are many cases when tourists are harassed and insulted by locals. This new helpline will lodge their complaints and guide them for the next step to be taken. There will also be arrangements to record the incoming calls on the helpline and the police, administration along with other departments have been appointed to redress all the complaints. by TNH DESK

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COVER STORY

Modi Government's 4 years: a mixed bag for India's tourism industry

The Modi Government's four years in power have been a mixed bag for India's travel & tourism industry, which does not see a break from the past governments apathy towards this industry. Some say it is a missed opportunity for this industry.

v B PREM KUMAR

T Y

he Modi Government is set to complete four years this month. From now on the country will gear up for General Elections 2019, and the government, the bureaucracy and political parties will be more focused on elections than on governance and policy-making. Therefore, it is an opportune time to assess and analyze the performance and achievements of the Modi Government vis-a-vis the tourism sector. The victory of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in 2014 General Elections and the formation of the NDA Government led by Narendra Modi in the Month of May 2014 had generated a lot of euphoria and

its

Launch of e-visa New civil aviation policy Regional connectivity scheme (UDAN) NCR's Jewar airport approved Infrastructure development Bharatmala Pariyojana (highways project) started Medical & Wellness Tourism Promotion Board formed Efforts to promote India as MICE destination Adopt a heritage scheme Clean India Campaign

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expectations across the country and India's travel and tourism industry was no exception. India's travel & tourism industry cheered the resounding victory of BJP and NDA in the elections. Reasons of the huge expectation in the travel & tourism industry were that PM Narendra Modi had a very impressive track record as the Chief Minister of Gujarat, to successfully make Gujarat an attractive destination for tourism. The other reason for the build-up of the expectation in the industry was that for the first time a leading national political party i.e. the Bharatiya Janata Party had promised de-


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COVER STORY

isses

New tourism policy yet to be finalized No single window clearance system No infra status for hotel projects Taxation woes remain post GST implementation Seamless interstate travel still a dream Travel agents/tour operators continue to struggle velopment and promotion of tourism in its election manifesto and its Prime Ministerial candidate had also talked about the tourism in his election campaign. In this backdrop, the formation of the Modi's government gave new hope to the country's tourism industry, which had so far consistently been neglected by successive governments at the Centre. Four years ago, the Modi Government came into power with a promise to put development of the tourism sector on a high trajectory. In the first year of the Modi Government, the expectation remained intact as in its first budget presented in July 2014, the government announced the launch of e-visa that came into effect in November 2014 and was a huge success. Initially introduced for Nationals of selected countries, E-visa is now available for over 160 countries. The MoT launched a 24x7 toll free Tourist Helpline (1800111363 / short code 1363) in 12 international languages in 2017. In its latest development, the MoT in collaboration with Ministry of Culture and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) launched “Adopt a Heritage Project� to provide world class tourist facilities at the various natural/cultural heritage sites, monuments and other tourist sites to make them tourist friendly, enhance their tourist potential and cultural importance in a planned and phased manner across the country.

Clean India campaign has also made some headway as far as cleanliness of destinations and tourist sites is concerned. Some experts agree that his government has taken some bold steps in the right direction to transform India's economy. Decisions like demonetization, implementation of GST, although painful in the short to medium term, are going to have far-reaching and positive impact on the whole economy including with the travel and tourism sector. There has been substantial development in the infrastructure sector such as highways, civil aviation, railways, and there are much more in pipeline. This development is definitely going to bolster India’s image as a tourist destination, as lack of proper infrastructure has been a lingering issue for the tourism industry. As far as tourism industry is concerned, the Modi government has not been able to truly live up to the expectations that he and his party had promised. Many of the demands of the industry remained unfulfilled. There are some incremental changes but not quite enough. The government hasn't shown any interest for the big-bang initiatives for the tourism sector. Starting and ex-

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COVER STORY positive highlights of the policy. Commenting on the new policy, P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, then Union Minster of Civil Aviation had said that the centre-piece of the policy is to make regional air connectivity a reality. It also aims to take flying to the masses by making it affordable and convenient and establish an integrated eco-system which will lead to significant growth of the civil aviation sector to promote tourism and enhance regional connectivity through fiscal support, infrastructure development, simplified procedures and e-governance. The last year Modi Government also an-

ecuting a hospitality project remains a big challenge due to administrative reasons. One needs multiple licenses and clearances to open a hotel, each issued by different departments and authorities. A single window system to grant clearances and licenses remains a pipedream. Financing projects remains a costly affair in the absence of infra status. While PM Modi has spoken multiple times on the need to promote tourism, the concerned ministry has not been able to realize his vision. Even after being four years in power, the MoT is yet to finalize the new tourism policy, long due, since the last one was announced in 2002. The Modi's government track record in the civil aviation sector is much better. The government announced new Civil Aviation Policy in 2016. This was for the first time since independence that an integrated Civil Aviation Policy was declared by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. Scrapping the 5/20 rule and announcement of Regional Connectivity Scheme were the two major and

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nounced its plan to privatize the loss-making national carrier Air India, and the process is in its final stages. This is one of the major economic decisions of the Modi Government. In conclusion, we can say that the four years of Modi government have been a mixed bag of hits and misses.


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NEWS

Aditya Ghosh resigns as IndiGo President InterGlobe Aviation Ltd, which runs the country's top carrier IndiGo, said its president, Aditya Ghosh, would step down effective July 31, after being with the company for 10 years. In the coming months, the Board will consider the appointment of Greg as President and CEO of the Company, subject to receiving the necessary regulatory approvals and paperwork. Taylor - who had an earlier stint with IndiGo and also worked in senior management roles at United Airlines and US Airways - has joined IndiGo initially as a senior adviser, reporting to the airline's co-founder Rahul Bhatia. Bhatia is taking the role of interim

HAINAN AIRLINES RENEWS AGREEMENT WITH SABRE

Aditya Ghosh Outgoing President, IndiGo

CEO, the airline said in a statement. Neither the airline nor Ghosh cited a reason for his departure, but the statement quoted Ghosh saying he would embark on his "next adventure" sometime in the near future. It did not elaborate. by TNH DESK

Sabre Corporation announced a renewed content distribution agreement with Hainan Airlines, reiterating Sabre’s added value as the airline fast-forwards growth and scales global operations. Hainan Airlines has been a long-term strategic partner with Sabre, first adopting its innovative airline solutions over a decade ago with access to a broad, state-of-the-art suite of planning and scheduling technology to support its operations. “Sabre is well-positioned to support Hainan Airline’s fast-growing operations in one of the world’s most rapidly changing markets,” said Rakesh Narayanan, vice president air line of business, Sabre Travel Network Asia Pacific. Hainan Airlines, a leading Chinese carrier, is a making a point to aggressively increase operations with 13 new international routes added to its scheduled flights. These domestic and international routes connect to Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia, Japan and the United States. by TNH DESK

VISTARA BECOMES MEMBER OF IATA Vistara has become the third Indian carrier to be a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the trade association of more than 280 airlines, which will help it provide a seamless travel experience

through an extended global network to travellers to and from India. Vistara, the full-service carrier promoted by Tata Sons Limited and Singapore Airlines Limited (SIA), recently became eligible to start international operations. Air India and Jet Airways are the two other airlines in India that are IATA members.

The IATA membership will enable Vistara to collaborate with other international member airlines for codeshare and interline agreements, and provide a seamless travel experience through an extended global network to travellers to and from India, the airline said in a statement. IATA represents airlines from over 120 countries. It advocates for the interests of airlines across the globe, establishes standards to simplify process and increase passenger convenience, and helps airlines to operate safely, efficiently and economically. "This membership couldn't have come at a better time as we gear up to launch our international operations soon. by TNH DESK

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NEWS

Sarovar Hotels & Resorts re-launches Sarovar Portico Lonavala

v B ARCHANA SHARMA Y

Sarovar Hotels & Resorts relaunched its quaint hotel Sarovar Portico Lonavala located in the charming hill town. Back with a refreshing new look and heartwarming experience, Sarovar Portico Lonavala is an ideal destination for a magical summer holiday complemented with heartwarming services. Amidst a dreamy atmosphere, the hotel offers great facilities and comfortable rooms to create a quintessential vacationing experience. Talking about the re-launch, Ajay K. Bakaya, Managing Director, Sarovar Hotels & Resorts said, “Sarovar Portico Lonavala has been operational

since the year 2005. Lonavala is an exciting weekend getaway destination in the Western region. We have been seeing a peak in the arrivals here over the years with guests coming in from various regions across the country. Now opened with refurbished and well-decorated rooms, Sarovar Portico Lonavala is the perfect destination to relax and rejuvenate while you enjoy the charm of this quaint hill station.” Sarovar Portico Lonavala features 23 well furnished rooms including three Dupleix rooms. Each room is equipped with modern facilities and carefully selected amenities.

Ajay K. Bakaya Managing Director, Sarovar Hotels & Resorts

Etihad Airways enhances its onboard food offering Banyan Tree Phuket launches new Japanese restaurant Banyan Tree Phuket Resort has announced the opening of its newest restaurant – “Taihei”, Gourmet Japanese cuisine headed by Master Chef Shiraishi. Set amidst the serene Spa and Pool zone, guests can enjoy exquisite Japanese cuisine by our veteran chef, whose skills have been nurtured over 50 years of experience. The name ‘Taihei’ originates from the Japanese word for ‘Peace’ and its tranquil setting alongside the Banyan Tree Spa and main swimming pool is the perfect complement to a satisfying meal.The restaurant’s two wings are on either side of the pool, offering diners a refreshing experience as they indulge in authentic Japanese cuisine. by TNH DESK

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Etihad Airways has collaborated with the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, to introduce ‘Weqaya,’ a range of healthy food items, on-board its flights and in its lounges in Abu Dhabi. Weqaya, meaning 'prevention,' is a programme established by the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi with the aim of encouraging people to eat a healthy and balanced diet to promote good health and wellbeing. Starting in April, Etihad Airways will begin to offer a number of Weqaya dishes on menus in First and Business Class long-haul and ultra-long haul outbound flights from Abu Dhabi, and First and Business Class lounges in Abu Dhabi International by TNH DESK Airport.


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NEWS

roomsXML announces merger with getabed to launch Stuba B2B accommodation only specialists roomsXML and getabed are pleased to announced the merger of their businesses. Following their merger, B2B accommodation only specialists ‘roomsXML and getabed’ have announced the launch of a new brand, ‘Stuba’. Both roomsXML and getabed are independently owned and have been successfully providing accommodation only to travel and wholesale partners in their respective markets. Whilst Stuba will be the fresh new identity for the unified group, in the Indian market, the group will continue to represent the Pijoli brand. Stuba’s commercial headquarters will be located in Dubai, where both companies are currently based, but

Ruchir Bang, Executive Director of roomsXML and Matt Stuart, MD of getabed

will retain operational offices in the Australia, UK, India and USA. Ruchir Bang, Executive Director of roomsXML, and also, now the CEO of Stuba commented, “We are hugely ecstatic by this announcement and we look forward to taking it to market and creating further opportunities with suppliers and clients alike. Mathematically, 1+1=2; but now with Stuba, we will change the equation to add up to 3. Stuba will be signifi-

cantly larger in scale to what roomsXML and getabed were individually, but we are very mindful of not losing any of the values and ethos that made both brands so popular and likable.” Matt Stuart, MD of getabed, and also, now the CCO of Stuba said, “We are delighted to announce the launch of Stuba. We wanted something unique and fresh to celebrate the combining of two innovative, experienced and trusted companies in our sector. We felt unifying under a new banner will go a long way to help integrate the by TNH DESK teams across offices.”

Mandarin Oriental launches its Guest Recognition Programme

Eurowings makes basic fare available through Sabre The Lufthansa Group’s low-cost airline Eurowings has expanded its agreement with leading global travel technology provider Sabre Corporation by making its BASIC fare available through the Sabre travel marketplace. The move will help the airline in its aim to grow profitably by offering an unrivalled choice and flight network to its customers. by TNH DESK

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is well known for delighting guests with personalized and intuitive service. Now guests will be even better recognized by joining 'Fans of M.O.' and receiving an elevated range of privileges designed to surprise and delight, whenever they stay at Mandarin Oriental hotels around the world. by TNH DESK

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NEWS

Amman Citadel Tomb

King Abdullah Mosque

Citadel Amman Hand

INAUGURAL RYANAIR FLIGHT ARRIVES IN AMMAN The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and the Jordan Tourism Board announced the arrival of the inaugural Ryanair flight from Paphos, Cyprus to Amman’s Queen Alia International Airport. The passenger flight on the European lowcost carrier arrived in Amman recently and was welcomed by Dr. Abed Al-Razzaq Arabiyat Managing Director of the Jordan Tourism

Board and Kjeld Binger, CEO of Airport International Group. At the welcome reception held at the Queen Alia International Airport attended by JTB and AIG staff in addition to local media Dr. Arabiyat said, “The arrival of the first Ryanair passenger flight is a positive indicator for this project. The Jordan Tourism Board has been working on extensive marketing

Radisson Hotel Group aims for 200 hotels in South Asia by 2022 Radisson Collection added raising India’s portfolio to seven global brands. The newly rebranded Radisson Hotel Group announced its expansion plans at Hotel Investment Conference South Asia (HICSA) 2018. The company aims to expand its portfolio to more than 200 hotels in operation and under development by 2022 in South Asia, where it

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is already a dominant international player. The group has already signed Radisson Blu Resort Visakhapatnam, Radisson Panipat City Centre and Country Inn & Suites by Radisson Agra in the first quarter of 2018. Radisson Gwalior opened last month and the group is on track to open another eight more hotels in India this year. by TNH DESK

campaigns to promote Jordan as a destination in the new markets served by Ryanair. The Kingdom’s rich tourism offering, through this partnership, will become more accessible to a broader segment of potential tourists. We’re excited to see this partnership grow and flourish over the next few years and to witness its impact on the local econby TNH DESK omy.

Visit Finland organises FAM trip for Indian press delegation

As a strategic initiative aligning with the reentry of Visit Finland in the Indian market, Visit Finland in collaboration with Finnair hosted a press delegation from India in Finland. Delegates from leading publications like Travel and Leisure India, National Geographic Traveller India, Times of India, Vogue India, Millionaireasia India and asiaSpa India participated. by TNH DESK


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FEATURE

INDO ASIA TOURS: A BLEND OF KNOWLEDGE AND CREATIVITY

v B NEHA KIRPAL Y

Indo Asia Tours is a destination management company promoting the Indian subcontinent namely India, Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. It is one of the leading ground operators not only in India but in Bhutan, Tibet, Nepal and Sri Lanka. We recently caught up with its Vice President, Vinay Sharda, who spoke to us about various segments of the unique travel experiences they create in the region, including immersive local itineraries, luxury, festivals, weddings, honeymoons and responsible tourism. Your mandate is to provide ‘inspiring journeys in the Indian subcontinent’. Give us some examples of how do you do this with your special interest tours. We are a company which believes in the ethos of knowledge being the king. In this case, it is the knowledge of the area that we are active in, i.e., the Indian subcontinent and its various geographies, people, cultures, arts, crafts, food habits, etc. I am very lucky to have a team of professionals who are very creative. The combination of knowledge and creativity is what helps in curating some

Q

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very special itineraries. Apart from this, while creating new and innovative programs, one has to take care of every minute detail. To give you an example, we recently designed a special programme for vegans, whereby we first did a lot of research on vegans, their preferences, food habits, etc. Other than organizing get-togethers with vegans in India- individuals as well as organisations-we ensured that the journey became a culinary experience for the clients. The menu and the venue for each and every meal was meticulously planned and discussions were held with the chefs of each and every hotel/restaurant. When talking about luxury travel, how do you indulge your elite travellers? We believe that travel is not a commodity. Luxury can mean various things to different people. We do not define luxury for our clients; rather we let them tell us what luxury means to them. Luxury could mean beautiful hotels or luxury trains or cruises. But more importantly, it could mean various experiences that a client can get nowhere other than in

Q

Vinay Sharda Vice President, Indo Asia Tours

India. Luxury could mean something as simple as sitting on a sand dune in Rajasthan watching the setting sun while a musician is playing a folk song on his “Ravan Hattha”. Our philosophy is riveted on these four pillars: Route innovation, Product innovation, Technology infrastructure and Indo Asia Cares. Tell us briefly about some of your itineraries that are curated along festivals in various regions. The Indian subcontinent is a land of festivals. Thus, festival

Q


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FEATURE

Sigiriya Rock Sri Lanka

tours are an integral part of our product line. We have very successfully included various festivals as part of a client’s journey through the subcontinent. Though the list is endless, however, to name a few, we have very successfully built trips around festivals like Holi; the Paro and Thimpu festivals in Bhutan; and the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland. Recently, we also created a trip around the kite festival in Gujarat. Tell us about Indo Asia Tours' commitment to responsible tourism. At Indo Asia, we are conscious that the itinerary should be as unobtrusive to the destination while

Q

Hot Air Balloon Ride in Rajasthan

allowing for an authentic immersion in the destination. This is the only way that a place will be able to retain its original character and the journey will truly be a part of a sustainable culture. To give you an example, our award-winning horse safari programme is known for its relief work in Rajasthan and has won many hearts around

Hornbill Festival Nagaland

For the weddings and honeymoons segment, what does Indo Asia Tours have in store? India is a paradise for honeymooners. Be it the mountains, beaches or culture, all our tours are crafted making sure that their travel experience is everlasting.

Q

Everest Ama Dablam mountan

the globe. Apart from this, we understand and promote responsible tourism so that our future generations can also enjoy and discover our planet. To keep up with our promise, our efforts towards promoting responsible tourism are certified by TourCert.

Tell us about heritage walks and other culturally immersive local experiences that you organize from time to time? The dynamics of travel have changed a lot in the past decade. Today’s client is more interested in offbeat activities, something beyond the usual. For this, our expert team is always on the ground to create something really special for our clients, such as food walks in Old Delhi, visiting a local village temple dedicated to the local God in Tamil Nadu, or a local Indian train experience in Rajasthan. Recently, we went to Kolkata to discover such experiences and we will begin offering these very unique experiences to our guests visiting Kolkata very soon.

Q

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Greece

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INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH

AN ALL TIME CLASSIC DESTINATION FOR TRAVELLERS v B ARCHANA SHARMA Y

Known for its plethora of ancient ruins, whitewashed villages, sunny beaches, delicious cuisine and friendly atmosphere, Greece is an amazing tourist destination for holidaymakers. With so much to offer, this beautiful country is visited by thousands of visitors every year. To make it possible, the visa service provider Global Visa Centre World plays a significant role in providing visa services to travellers. In an exclusive interview with TnH, Yannis-Alexis Zepos, Regional Manager for South Asia, Global Visa Centre World (GVCW) speaks about his organization and its services.

Athens

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Santorini


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INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH

Yannis-Alexis Zepos Regional Manager for South Asia Global Visa Centre World (GVCW)

Greece is made up of a mountainous mainland and hundreds of islands where each one offers its own share of stunning landscapes, historic sites, nightlife scenes and cultural delights. It is a country which an Indian traveller knows about even from the school years. They find acquaintance to Greece because Indian school books have a lot of information on Greek mythology, Greek history and Greek culture to study. A destination expert and an exAmbassador of Greece, YannisAlexis Zepos, Regional Manager for South Asia, Global Visa Centre World said, “Greece is not a very big country in term of size but it has a very diverse nature, where you can find many islands. A lot of Indians love the Greek Islands. An interesting thing about Greece is that no matter what place you choose, you can always combine tourism with archeological sites, museums, stunning beaches and scenic countryside.” Talking about the process to get visa for Greece, he said that Schengen visa is a significant requirement, meaning, one can directly

Be it fares, hotels, or transport, we have a lot of options right from luxury to budget rates.

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INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH

apply visa for Greece at the Embassy or apply for Schengen visa at the newly opened visa application centre, Global Visa Centre World. GVCW is managed in India by DU Digital Global. The government and tourism department of Greece expect not only to continue to interest Indians travelling to Greece but also looking forward to multiplying the number of travellers every year. They also want to make Greece a better known holiday destination to a larger number of Indians and

Acropolis, Athens

Plaka

Meteora

of course have them to return again. The tourist influx of Greece remains competitive and progressive every year. Commenting on the same, Zepos said, “We had ap-

Rhodes

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proximately 40-45,000 applicants last year applying for visa. However, all there were many more Indians that actually travelled to Greece than this mentioned number because there were people who travelled through the other Schengen visas from different parts of the world. Therefore, the number would have increased to approx. 50, 000 to 60, 000. Of course, we expect to easily exceed this number even this year,” he added. Speaking about the similarity that can be found between the two countries i.e., Greece and India, he said that both the countries share ancient civilizations. This is something that we have in common. We both respect each other’s cultures as well as civilizations. Be it the fares, hotels, or transport, we have a lot of options right from luxury to budget rates. To add, Athens, Santorini, Nafplio, Thessaloniki and Volos are some of the lovely destinations to visit amongst many of Greek cities, he concluded.


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INTERNATIONAL

Sukhothai Shanghai officially joins Small Luxury Hotels of the World

Virgin Atlantic partners with master pâtissier Eric Lanlard Customers can now avail this service on DEL – LON flights Virgin Atlantic is announcing a brand new partnership with celebrity chef and master pâtissier Eric Lanlard. Eric has create da series of bespoke afternoon teas for the London Heathrow Clubhouse and for Upper Class, Premium, and Economy cabins on all day flights worldwide. Customers can now avail this service on DEL – LON flights. Starting this month Eric Lanlard will be bringing his award winning culinary experience to the Virgin Atlantic Heathrow Clubhouse, served afternoon tea between 3pm and 5.30pm daily. This latest addition to the Clubhouse menu can be enjoyed with a pot of tea or Lanson rose champagne. by TNH DESK

NEW ZEALAND LAUNCHES A NEW VISA PROCESS FOR INDIAN VISITORS Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) and Immigration New Zealand (INZ) have launched an extension of the Tourism Industry Partnership (TIP) Programme to facilitate faster processing of visitor visa applications for Indian leisure travellers. Riding on the success of the previous partnership between INZ, TNZ and key travel agents, the TIP Programme has now been extended to leisure agents.

Small Luxury Hotels of the World announced its newest member hotel in China, The Sukhothai Shanghai, which opened on 28th April. The official joining ceremony was held at The Sukhothai Shanghai. The contemporary lifestyle hotel is conveniently located at HKRI Taikoo Hui in the vibrant Jingan district which offers a shopping mall and access to the Shanghai Metro. Designed by internationally-acclaimed Neri&Hu Design and Research Office, the 201-room luxury hotel marks the first foray into Mainland China’s hospitality scene by the prestiby TNH DESK gious Sukhothai Hotels & Resorts.

EMIRATES REVAMPS ITS SPIRITS OFFERING Emirates has refreshed its spirits offering across all classes with a range of premium brands. Spirits on board are served complimentary across all classes and routes and include a range of whiskeys, cognacs, gins, vodka and flavoured liqueurs amongst others. The new selection was made by an in-house team of experts who spent two years working directly with suppliers to curate the brand new spirits offering. by TNH DESK

by TNH DESK

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NEWS

All Doors Opened, autobiography of late Inder Sharma, released A doyen of the Indian Travel & Tourism industry, Padma Shri (Late) Inder Sharma’s autobiography ‘All Doors Opened’ was released recently in the presence of Anil Baijal, LG of Delhi, Dr Karan Singh, former MP, former bureaucrats and who’s who of the travel industry. Late Inder Sharma was the former owner and Chairman of SITA World Travel and Chairman of Select CITYWALK, Delhi’s landmark lifestyle shopping centre. “All Doors Opened" is hard to slot into any one particular genre of writing because of its varied flavors offering glimpses into the life

journey of the visionary Late Inder Sharma. Commemorating Late Inder Sharma, Anil Baijal, Lt. Governor of Delhi, said, “Inder Sharma was a “man with a golden heart and dogged spirits” whose views were always respected by one and all.

First Ever Taiwan Expo 2018 in India to have exclusive Tourism Pavilion Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), Taiwan’s foremost trade promotion organisation is all set to organize first ever ‘TaiwanExpo’ at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi, India on May 17-19, 2018. The expo will showcase James Huang Taiwan’s latest technoloChairman, TAITRA gies, eco-friendly products and industrial prowess through eight themed pavilions along with eight specialised industry areas dedicated to diverse industry verticals. Another segment, which Taiwan is eyeing, is Wedding market. James Huang, Chairman, TAITRA said, “India is a great country and great civilisation and more I get to know the country, more common grounds I found between India and Taiwan in social values and cultural background.” by TNH DESK

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Recollecting the years when both were members in the Board of Air India, Baijal said that as a stalwart of the travel & tourism industry, Sharma’s viewpoints always commanded respected in the Board.” by TNH DESK

Many-splendored destination

When it comes to a variegated landscape with Mediterranean cuisine, bygone culture and rich heritage with foot-tapping music, there’s no better option than Portugal. Being one of the oldest European countries with diversified landscapes, seaside destinations, sandy beaches, richly-flavoured cuisine, glorious culture and heritage and a plethora of leisure options for travellers has been the interesting destination of Portugal. The eight-century old country prides in having the oldest borders in Europe. Miguel Moraes, Head of Trade Marketing department, Turismo De Portugal said, “Our exotic Mediterranean-blended cuisine, heart-warming music, over 90 golf courses, remarkable surfing points and water sports are some of the all-time great attractions for Indian travellers. by TNH DESK


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EVENT WATCH

S KAL D ELHI O RGANIZES F IRST W ELLNESS DAY The SKAL Delhi organized its first wellness day for its members on a pleasant morning of Sunday, 15 April 2018 at Delhi's famous Nehru Park, Chanakyapuri. Held in a wonderful ambience and greenery, the wellness programme included Yoga session and cycling tour, from which the participants picked one. They enjoyed the occasion thoroughly, which concluded with scrumptious breakfast.

Images by TnH

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Bite Corner

Char Grilled Scallops

Mushroom Ki Galauti

MAGICAL FOOD PRESENTATIONS AT

KARMA KISMET

Passion Fruit Refresher

v B PRADEEP CHAMARIA Y

K

arma Kismet is the latest entrant in the culinary scene in New Delhi. It is a new modern fine dining restaurant in Greater Kailash offering progressive Indian cuisine. The restaurant provides a unique food and beverage concept, where one imbibes the Karma of their creation. It’s a Luxury Restaurant where Karma meets Kismet. The interiors are based on an architec-

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tural theme; The Interlace: Infinite loop Karma cycle. Designed into two levels, the interiors of Karma Kismet speak for themselves. Contrasting it as everyone has different Karma, different style, and different taste. The first level opens to a well-lit lounge area and the second floor caters to a fine dining experience where the seethrough Kitchen showcases the scrumptious food in preparation. The kitchen staff is well-versed and is led by charismatic young Bangkok Chef


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Bite Corner Deepanker Khosla, and promises your food experience at Karma Kismet to be a dream comes true. The guest starts with a mocktail – Passion fruit refresher, which sets up the mood of the evening at Karma Kismet. This is followed by the awesome Gucci Shorba that is laced with truffle oil. The soup with slow poached vegetables, white truffle oil and Mushroom Pate is light and full of flavour. You will love the way it is served. It re-confirms the belief that “food should first be eaten with your eyes before you dig into those to satiate your hunger”. Gulnar Tikka follows the awesome soup serving; a combination of tandoori Malai Panner with a filling of figs, walnut and topped with micro greens. It certainly is a welcome change to regular Paneer Tikka served elsewhere. Mushroom Ki Galauti melts in mouth; it is delicious, very well done and very well presented. Shatavari Ki Tikki (Asparagus Tikki) is crispy and these Asparagus Shavings, Pine nut and charred Cottage cheese tikkies are full of flavours. All these starters are made with seasonal vegetables keeping in mind the necessity of warmth and energy required by our

Deconstructed Paan

bodies. Main course follows, and it also sticks to the seasonal vegetable theme; Saag Curry and Daal Makhani with various choices of India breads were served. Again a must have while you are at Karma Kismet. There are three dessert items on the menu but the best one is the Deconstructed Paan. The guest is awestruck at this concoction. It is a Paan with a twist; modern avtar of Paan-a combo of Fennel Sponge, Mascarpone Macroon, Strawberry Gel, Choco Soil along with crispy Paan Leaf. Overall the guest has a soul satisfying meal at Karma Kismet.

Address: M25, E Block Rd, Block M, Greater Kailash II, New Delhi-110048 Phone: 09810770807 Food for two: Rs 1500/- approx plus taxes Rating Food Service Tandoori Malai Panner

Ambience

4/5

3.5/5

3.5/5

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EVENT ALERT

Indaba Expo

ILTM Latin ITB China America Shanghai

May 8-10, 2018 Location: Durban, South Africa

Indaba Expo is the largest tourism and travel expo. The event aims at promoting South Africa’s best tourism destination and agencies worldwide. The event aims at establishing networks and provides opportunities for travel agencies to expand their businesses globally. This event strives to foster a healthy environment for business to client or business to business organisations all across the globe. The event provides an immense opportunity where travel meets trade which enables networking, negotiating and conducting business. It aims at providing an immense experience which the visitors can cherish forever.

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May 8-11, 2018 Location: Sao Paulo, Latin America

ILTM Latin America is an invitationonly event that brings together top luxury travel agents from Brazil and Latin America for pre-scheduled meetings with suppliers of the best travel experiences from around the world. Formerly Travelweek Sao Paulo, the event was rebranded to ILTM Latin America to bring you the consistency of a worldwide renowned brand in a smarter format and wider range of networking opportunities. International suppliers, handpicked to ensure the highest standard, bring together an impressive collection at the event. ILTM Latin America brings together the elite of travel agents.

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May 16-18, 2018 Location: Shanghai, China

ITB China is a special kind of travel fair. It is targeted exclusively at handpicked B2B visitors involved in China’s travel industry selected strictly in accordance with the interests of the exhibiting companies. This precise matching guarantees an efficient procedure with a high degree of successful business transactions. The trade fair offer refers to both, business travel, MICE and leisure travel to international, partly undiscovered destinations including all aspects and travel-related services. The latest developments in IT and travel software will be presented as well.

IMEX Frankfurt May 15-17, 2018 Location: Frankfurt, Germany

IMEX is the most important trade exhibition in Germany for meetings, conventions, events and incentive travel. It attracts all types of service providers who have something to offer for events such as hotels, incentive and event agencies, convention centers, meeting and conference planners, event companies and many more. Among visitors are primarily event planners from agencies, various companies and associations as well as business travel managers and marketing managers that are responsible for the planning of events. The IMEX will take place on 3 days in Frankfurt.


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DIPLOMAT’S CORNER

Uzbekistan: an ideal destination for culture and nature lovers Uzbekistan, officially known as the Republic of Uzbekistan, is strategically located in Central Asia, with countries like Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan its neighbors. Uzbekistan became a sovereign independent republic in 1991 following the disintegration of the USSR. Steeped in rich culture and history and blessed with diverse nature, Uzbekistan has been associated with many cultures and civilizations such as Turkic, Persian, Buddhism, Zoorastrism, Islamic etc. Uzbekistan's historical cities like Samarkand, Khiva and Bukhara are treasure trove of antiquities. Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara and Chimgan are some of the very popular places for tourists in Uzbekistan. In an exclusive interview with TnH, H.E. MR. FARHod ARZIEv, Ambassador of Uzbekistan to India talked about the huge tourism potential of his country and efforts to promote it.

H.E. Mr. Farhod Arziev Ambassador of Uzbekistan to India

v B PREM KUMAR Y

Please tell us about tourism potential of Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan is great country with huge and diverse tourism potential. We have very rich culture and history. Uzbekistan had many flourishing trade centres in the ancient time. The historical Great Silk Road that linked Asia including India and Europe used to pass through Uzbekistan. Museums located in the country are replete with antiquities testifying

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Uzbekistan's great historical heritage. It is the rich historical, cultural and architectural heritage, besides the country's natural beauty that make Uzbekistan a wonderful tourism destination. A large number of tourists visit Uzbekistan to explore the architectural and historical sites of the country. The country has many historical sites related to Islam, Christianity, Buddhism and Judaism. Culture and history have been the key to tourism in


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DIPLOMAT’S CORNER Uzbekistan. Now we want to focus on the other aspects of tourism as well, such as nature, MICE, adventure, pilgrimage, ecological tourism, etc. What are the wonderful attractions in Uzbekistan? What are the activities tourists can do there? Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva are among the popular tourist places in Uzbekistan. These are the historical palaces that were located on the Great Silk Road. In total, there are more than 7 thousand monuments of var-

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Bukhara, Poi Kalon

FACT BOX

Country: The Republic of Uzbekistan Capital: Tashkent Best tourist sites: Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Termez Time: GMT + 05.00 Language: Uzbek (official), Russian and English are widely spoken Currency: Uzbek Soum (UZS) Best time to visit: Anytime Flight: Uzbekistan Airways “DelhiTashkent” and “Amritsar-Tashkent”

ious epochs and civilizations. Historical centers of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva are included in UNESCO World Heritage list. Tourists visiting Uzbekistan have multiple options to enjoy such as seeing historical, cultural and religious sites, and undertaking adventure activities. Uzbekistan has very diverse and wonderful nature. Tourism activities such as mountaineering, hiking, rock climbing and skiing are very popular in Uzbekistan. Chimgan, located close to Tashkent and home to the Greater Chimgan peak, is a favorite place for many adventure activities. Uzbekistan is also known for its Sufi culture

Samarkand Registan

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DIPLOMAT’S CORNER and heritage. Many people travel to Uzbekistan to explore heritage sites associated with Sufism and Islam. There are many historical sites in Samarkand, Bukhara and other places related to Sufism and Islam. The country is home to more than a thousand Islamic relics. How important is the Indian travel market for you? We are aware of the huge potential of India's outbound travel market, which is growing apace. We are working with Indian travel trade to increase Indian tourist arrivals to Uzbekistan, which is growing year after year. I am sure Uzbekistan will soon become a favorite destination for every kind of Indian tourists. For Indian market, we are focusing on family and adventure tourism, Ziyarat tourism and also MICE segment, as Uzbekistan has huge potential for this segment of tourism.

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How is the connectivity between India and Uzbekistan? Connectivity between the two countries is not a problem. Uzbekistan is a short-haul destination for Indians; from Delhi it takes just more than two and half hours to reach to Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan Airline, the flag carrier airline of the country, operates daily flights from Delhi to Tashkent as well as from Amritsar to Tashkent. We are now working on opening new air connection between Tashkent and Mumbai.

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What are the new steps being taken to promote tourism? We have started simplifying our visa regime. Starting from 10 February 2018 we have simplified visa for many countries, including for Indian citizens. Now it takes only 2 working days to get your visa. There is no need to get invitation from local partner. You just apply for visa to the embassy. We will soon launch

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Khiva

We are aware of the huge potential of India's outbound travel market, and working with Indian travel trade to increase Indian tourist arrivals to Uzbekistan, which is growing year after year. I am sure Uzbekistan will soon become a favourite destination for every kind of Indian tourists.

E-visa facility for Indian tourists. Online visa system will improve the ease of applying visa and applicants will not have to travel to the embassy to submit application and collect the visa. We are hopeful that E-visa service will go a long way in promoting tourism from India to Uzbekistan. We have also created ‘Green corridor’ at the Tashkent international airport to ensure fast and easy passage of travellers through the customs. To assist the tourists all over the country there has been established a special police


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DIPLOMAT’S CORNER

unit tasked with helping international tourists in every possible way. Hotels and resort areas have also been improved for making the tourists’ stay in Uzbekistan as enjoyable as possible. National Airways Company of Uzbekistan has significantly reduced the airfares for individual and group travellers. What about foods for Indians in Uzbekistan? There are so much similarities between the two countries. We share lots of historical, cultural, spiritual and gastronomic similarities. We also have many similar foods. Indian favorite foods such as pulao, samosa, nan, halva, etc. are very popular in Uzbekistan. Samosa is known as somsa in Uzbekistan whereas pulao is called pilaf. They have almost similar sounds. In fact, pilaf and samosa have its origin in our country from where it came to India. Unfortunately, most Indians are not aware of these facts, so we are trying to create awareness about these similarities in India.

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Tashkent

Highspeed Train Afrosiyob

Tell us about relations between India and Uzbekistan. India and Uzbekistan share a very strong bilateral relations. Both countries work closely on bilateral, international and regional issues of mutual interest. Our relations are characterized as strategic partners. The visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Uzbekistan in July 2015 further strengthened our multi-facet relations. During the meeting of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan H.E. Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev with the PrimeMinister of the Republic of India H.E. Mr. Narendra Modi in June 2017, both sides stressed the need to further enhance our comprehensive cooperation, including in the tourism sector. Exchange of delegations at various levels is taking place between our countries on regular basis. Trade and economic relations are getting more and more dynamic. We are putting effort to increase the volume of our bilateral trade to 1 billion USD in the coming years. Uzbek people are very fond of Indian movies and film stars. Actors like Raj Kapoor and Shah Rukh Khan have been famous in our country.

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NEWS

TAAI's 64th convention concluded in Srinagar The 3-day annual convention of Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) was held at Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) in Srinagar. The convention is expected to boost tourism in Kashmir. The three-day Convention of TAAI concluded successfully in the beautiful city of Srinagar. The threeday annual convention brought Kashmir in focus. The convention evoked good response among the delegates, who were quite overwhelmed by the warmth and hospitality extended to them by the State Government. They expressed confidence that the convention will bring a positive outcome for the state's tourism industry. Sunil Kumar, President of TAAI expressed hope and confidence that the convention will bring Kashmir back into focus as a tourism destination, and will see a substantial increase in the number of tourist arrivals post-convention. The Convention was inaugurated by Mehbooba Mufti, Chief Minister, Jammu and Kashmir. She acknowledged TAAI for the hand-

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holding extended as she delivered a touching address to the delegates and compared Kashmir with “Jannat”. Minister for Tourism, J&K, Tassaduq Hussain Mufti who addressed the convention, was present along with six other ministers of J&K. State Minister for Tourism, Preeti Seth also addressed the audience. Addressing the delegates during the inauguration of the convention, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti lamented that the country has the state (us) alone. The CM said that Delhi-based news channels have created a negative image of Kashmir, giving disproportionate coverage to untoward and security-related incidents and portraying Kashmir as an unsafe destination. Mehbooba asserted that Kashmir is the safest place in the

country for women. Tassaduq Mufti, Minister of State for Tourism, J&K, who was very instrumental in organizing the convention, also expressed hope that things will change for the better for the tourism industry in the state, after the conclusion of this convention. Allaying the security fear about Kashmir, Tassaduq Mufti said that the region is safe for tourists. Sunil Kumar said that the convention gave visibility and opportunity to the state of Jammu & Kashmir. The successful conclusion of the convention and its extensive coverage helped in confirming and showcasing Kashmir as a safe place for tourists. • The TAAI Golf Tournament was held in the Royal Springs Golf Course on 27th March • The India Travel Trade Expo was held in the SKICC, Srinagar, coinciding with the convention.


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TECH CORNER

AIRBNB UNVEILS FIRST PROFESSIONAL CO-HOSTS FOR UK MARKET Airbnb has announced the first three UK companies to join its professional co-host program, aimed at making home sharing easier for hosts. Through the program, Airbnb will share hosting best practices, provide additional platform support and enable direct API integration to Air Agents, Pass the by TNH DESK Keys and BnB Buddy.

TripAdvisor acquires Bokun to grow experiences offering TripAdvisor acquires Bokun to grow experiences offering TripAdvisor has acquired Bokun, a leading provider of business management technology for the tours, attractions and experiences industry. With the acquisition, TripAdvisor expands its offering, now providing suppliers with technical solutions in addition to the sector’s largest distribution channel. by TNH DESK

Cathay Pacific joins Skyscanner direct booking platform Hong Kong’s home airlines, Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon, continue to grow their distribution capabilities by embracing Skyscanner’s direct booking platform. The new integration means that Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon become the first Hong Kong-based carriers to be able to sell tickets directly within Skyscanner, across both web and mobile channels. by TNH DESK

SKYTEAM LAUNCHES DIGITAL AIRPORT MAPS FOR MAJOR HUBS Global airline alliance, SkyTeam, has launched a series of digital maps to help customers breeze through its global hubs, as it continues investing in technology to enhance the airport experience. From check-in and departures right through to baggage collection, the interactive maps provide customers with a clear and detailed view of by TNH DESK their surroundings via their phones.

AL TAYYAR TRAVEL GROUP EXPANDS PARTNERSHIP WITH TRAVELPORT Travelport and Al Tayyar Travel Group have announced a new expanded longterm technology partnership. Under the agreement, Al Tayyar Travel Group’s relationship with Travelport will extend beyond the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia into the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. The Group will also start using Travelport’s Travel Commerce Platform. by TNH DESK

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FESTIVAL CORNER

Popular festivals around the world to see in June

June brings a lot of festivity with variety of colorful and music fests for an intrigue traveller. There are many festivals around the world such as, Yardley Beer Fest and Stonehenge Summer Solstice. Here are some of the best festivals which a traveller must enjoy!

YARDLEY BEER FEST June 2, 2018 Location: Yardley, PA

Each year, Bucks County residents celebrate and cheers to craft beers and the art of brewing at Yardley Beer Fest. From light lagers to imperial stouts, you can try over 100 different beers from local and national breweries. Aside from tastings, guests can also look forward to educational seminars on homebrewing and live musical performances all day long. For over ten years Yardley Beer Fest has been gathering the best craft breweries from around the country to showcase their unique brews. During the festival, participants sample over 100 specialty beers, with styles ranging from rich imperial stouts to easy-drinking lagers.

BONNAROO MUSIC FESTIVAL June 7 –10, 2018 Location: Manchester, Tennessee, US

The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival is an annual four-day music festival developed and produced by Superfly Presents and AC Entertainment; since its first year in 2002, it has been held at what is now Great Stage Park on a 700-acre (2.8 km²) farm in Manchester, Tennessee, USA. The festival typically starts on the second Thursday in June and lasts four days. Main attractions of this festival are the multiple stages featuring live music with a diverse array of musical styles including indie rock, classic rock, world music, hip hop, jazz, Americana, bluegrass, country music, folk, gospel, reggae, pop, electronica, and other alternative music. Musical acts play from around noon until 3:00am or later.

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Sacramento Taco Festival June 2, 2018 Location: Sacramento, CA

A fun-filled day of events and activities celebrating America's number one past-time food, The Taco. Sponsored by Eyeglass World, will have over 25 Taco vendors, two live stages, arts and demonstrations, Lucha Libre (professional wrestling), taco-eating contests, margarita garden, children's zone, and Northern California's one and only Chihuahua Beauty Contest. This is a petfriendly event, but they must be in a leash. The Sacramento Taco Festival benefits the Vida de Oro Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to help adults and children succeed in the arts.


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FESTIVAL CORNER

Oerol Music Festival June 15-24, 2018 Location: Terschelling, Netherlands

Oerol is a cultural festival on the island of Terschelling in the Netherlands that is held annually in June. This ten day festival is focused on live, public theatre as well as music and visual arts. It is one of the most cutting-edge theater festivals in the world, which project site-specific theater and arts projects on a small island. The premise of the festival is to use the entire island as a stage, although two primary stages (Groene Strand and Westerkeyn) are set up. Beaches, woods, dunes and other landscapes can function as performance spaces, and shows have also taken place in farm sheds, boathouses and an army bunker.

STONEHENGE SUMMER SOLSTICE June 18- 21, 2018 Location: Wiltshire, England

BOI-BUMBĂ OR BUMBA MEU BOI June 29- July 1, 2018 Location: Parintins, Brazil

Druids, hippies, New Age prophets and mystery seekers gather at Stonehenge to worship the sun during the northern hemisphere's shortest night of the year. The mythological stone sculptures of Wiltshire County, England attract thousands to watch the sunrise at Stonehenge on June 21st. Solstice Festival is the one and only camping and live music event within the vicinity of Stonehenge during the Summer Solstice. We offer a central hub of entertainment at our Events Barn, from early afternoon each day through until late. The festival invites Neopagans and dashingly-dressed druids conduct ancient rites in spontaneous circles. Drummers fill the air with tribal beats to worship the solstice.

The land of Samba- Brazil is a place where celebrations and carnivals are at its best. One of the most popular festivals in this exotic country is the Bumba Meu Boi, considered to be the richest representations of Brazilian folklore. This a three day fest celebrated with vigor and gaiety in Brazil. Bumba Meu Boi is a beautiful musical, theatrical, and a religious expression of Brazilian people. Basically it is a parade of human, animal and other creatures taken from Brazilian Mythology and beautifully represented in comic dance form. Bumba Meu Boi is centered on a tale between a farmer and a farm worker with a bull as the main topic. The festival started on a modest scale in 1913 as a simple street procession.

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EVENT WATCH

S KAL D ELHI M ONTHLY M EET The members of SKAL Club Delhi met on 17th April at hotel Andaz, Aerocity, New Delhi. The afternoon meeting was attended in large number by Skalleagues and their guests. On the occasion, Ranjit Vig, Secretary, Skal Delhi made a video presentation on the recent wellness day organized by the club and introduced some new members. The video was created by TnH Team. The meeting concluded with a welllaid out lunch hosted by Andaz hotel itself.

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NEWS

Digital tourism and new strategies to boost Rajasthan Tourism FICCI GITB-2018 concludes with an overwhelming response from Foreign Tour Operators. K J Alphons, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Tourism, GoI, inaugurated the Exhibition and took a round of the B2B meeting pavilion of The 10th Edition of the Great Indian Travel Bazaar (GITB-2018), organized jointly by the Rajasthan Government and FICCI in Jaipur on April 23, 2018. He said that Rajasthan has immense potential for tourism growth.

ixigo Skill for Amazon Alexa launched in India Now ask Alexa where you can go next month for under `10,000.

Leading travel marketplace, ixigo has launched the ixigo skill for Amazon Alexa in India. The ability of this skill to understand and analyze almost any travel query has revolutionized travel planning. Travellers will now be able to take advantage of voice assisted travel planning and ask Alexa to track the status for a particular flight, search for flights within a specific budget and even search flights for the date of their choice, among much more. by TNH DESK

by TNH DESK

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MOVING ON

Romil Pant Senior Vice President -Leisure Businesses, Thomas Cook India Romil Pant has been appointed as Senior Vice President for Leisure Business, both international and domestic of Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. Romil comes with more than two decades of experience in operations and credit management across sectors, including, Telecom, Financial Services and Travel. In his role, Romil will provide leadership and functional expertise to drive productivity and results across the Company’s Leisure Businesses, while focusing on Thomas Cook India’s Omni channel growth strategy. Romil has previously worked with MakeMyTrip.com, Capital First, HSBC, Citi Financial and Essar Cell phones. Romil is a Masters in Finance from University of Delhi. Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. is an integrated travel and travel related financial services company, with headquarters in Mumbai, India. The company offers a range of travel services including Foreign Exchange, International and Domestic Holidays, Visa, Passport, Travel Insurance & MICE.

Jan Tibaldi General Manager, One&Only Reethi Rah One&Only Reethi Rah in the Maldives has appointed Jan Tibaldi as its General Manager. In his new role, Jan will be responsible for the overall operation and strategic development of the award-winning all-villa resort, as well as leading the One&Only Reethi Rah Team to continue to create unrivalled guest experiences. Jan brings almost 30 years of international experience in the luxury hospitality industry to One&Only Reethi Rah, having previously held senior positions at some of the most prestigious luxury hotels in the world, including prior roles with One&Only. Prior to joining One&Only Reethi Rah, Jan held the role of General Manager at The PuLi Hotel and Spa, a 5-star resort in Shanghai, China. He has held notable senior leadership positions at global luxury hotel brands including Oberoi, Viceroy and Four Seasons. Jan holds a degree in Hospitality Management from Cornell University in the USA.

Vinay Singh Director of Sales & Marketing, Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel Vinay Singh has been appointed as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel and Lakeside Chalet- Marriott Executive Apartments with over 773 keys. In this role, Vinay Singh is responsible for spearheading the marketing and sales function of both the hotels. A dynamic leader with a driven approach towards achieving goals and maintaining sales figures, Vinay’s expertise lies in building and emerging successful teams and leaders; creating relationships and establishing trust and market positioning of organizations. Armed with an experience of 15 years in the hospitality sector, Vinay has worked with leading Indian and international hospitality brands. Prior to joining Renaissance Mumbai, Vinay was associated with the prestigious St. Regis as the Director of Sales and Marketing. Vinay has completed his Bachelors of Science from Mumbai University followed by a Masters in Management Studies - Business Administration and Management.

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MOVING ON

Suraj Kumar Jha General Manager, Hotel Crowne Plaza Today Gurugram Suraj Kumar Jha has been appointed as the General Manager of Hotel Crowne Plaza Today Gurugram – the best city hotel in Gurugram, part of the InterContinental Hotels Group. Prior to this appointment, he was the General Manager with Holiday Inn Mumbai International Airport for over 4 years. With a career spanning over two decades of experience in operations, development and business development, Jha brings with him an extensive understanding of the hospitality industry in India. Before joining IHG, he served as the General Manager at Hotel Radisson Blu Greater Noida. Earlier, he has worked with Zuri Hotels & Resorts, Unitech’s Hospitality arm for the development of Marriott hotels, and Radisson, among others. He is well known to have worked unstintingly to contribute to the success of the properties he has been associated with along with strong teamwork and leadership skills creating an environment wherein everyone is comfortable and at their best leading to great employee satisfaction.

Hamesh Shetty F&B Manager, Doubletree by Hilton Chinchwad DoubleTree by Hilton Pune Chinchwad has appointed Hamesh Shetty as its F&B Manager. Customer oriented and service minded professional with 13 plus years of extensive experience in Food & Beverage operations. Highly organized and dedicated self-starter who meets project deadlines, while multitasking within fast paced environments. He started his career as a food and beverage apprentice in February 2004. For his commendable work, he was awarded with ‘Spirit to Serve Award’ from Marriott International for exemplary commitment to quality service and customer satisfaction. Hamesh has completed his graduation in Bachelor of Commerce from Mumbai University in 2002. After that, he did a crash course in Food and Beverage Service from Hospitality Training Institute, Mumbai in the year 2003. A strategic thinker and succinct communicator with a consistent record of achievements and currently pursuing his Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resources Management.

Ankita Deorukhkar Human Resources Manager, Hotel Sahara Star Ankita Deorukhkar has been appointed as the Human Resources Manager at the Hotel Sahara Star. She will look after human resources and manage employee development policies and systems. Having worked with Future Group & Max Lifestyle as Deputy HR Manager, leading the HR Department; Retail Division, Deorukhkar will help the hotel on reaching higher heights. Her last job was with The Lalit as Deputy HR Manager. Sahara Star, the flagship hotel of Sahara India Pariwar, is one of India’s most desirable destinations. The 5-star hotel strategically located near Mumbai's domestic airport magnificently blends Indian mysticism and culture, while personifying the country's progressive spirit blending peerless hospitality with ultra-modern technology. Hotel Sahara Star features 348 well appointed luxurious guestrooms with 25 elegant suites and 9 specialty restaurants, 9 unique concepts and 1 inimitable journey.

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AROUND THE WORLD

Lexus opens new business class lounge at Brussels Airport Japan Airlines signs distribution partnership with Travelport Under the agreement, JAL will continue to use Travelport’s Rich Content and Branding merchandising solution, joining over 250 other airlines, allowing them to display their branded fares and ancillary content in a graphically rich manner. by TNH DESK

The Lounge by Lexus at Brussels Airport marked a further expansion of Lexus beyond the premium automotive world as a global luxury lifestyle brand. Lounge guests are provided with a wealth of facilities to make their visit comfortable, relaxing and enjoyable, together with opportunities to immerse themselves in the world of Lexus. by TNH DESK

Air Canada to launch daily non-stop flights from Montreal Air Canada announced it will begin new domestic regional non-stop flights on July 2, 2018. The only year-round service between Montreal-London and Montreal-Windsor will provide services to/from Atlantic Canada including Saint John, Fredericton, Moncton Halifax and St. John's; to Europe including Brussels, Rome, Geneva, Barcelona, Lisbon, Paris, Lyon, Frankfurt, as well as Casablanca, Morocco.Air Canada announced it will begin new domestic regional non-stop flights on July 2, 2018. by TNH DESK

Hainan Island extends visa waiver programme from May From May 1st citizens of 59 countries can obtain 30day visa-free access to Hainan Island, China. Travellers from countries including the United Kingdom, all EU countries, Balkan countries, United States, Canada and many more countries in Asia, Australia and South America are eligible for the new policy. by TNH DESK

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UNITED AIRLINES UNVEILS POLARIS LOUNGE AT SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Beginning April 30th, customers traveling in United Polaris will be able to relax and dine prior to their travels or refresh upon arrival in the new United Polaris lounge at San Francisco International Airport conveniently located in the International Terminal near Gate G92. by TNH DESK


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DL (ND)-11/6167/2017-18-19 | DATE OF POSTING: 5-6 OF MONTH | RNI NO.: DELENG/2010/33723 | DATE OF PUBLISHING: 4 th OF THE MONTH

Travel and Hospitality (TnH) - May 2018  
Travel and Hospitality (TnH) - May 2018  
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