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Yas Experiences appoints VFS Global as its representative in India

'We believe in best practice, customizing products and enhancing customer values' It’s a family affair as IHG offers 3G holidays

I S S U E 11 | V O L U M E I X | A U G U S T 2 0 1 8 | ` 5 0

DIPLOMAT’S CORNER

'OUR PEOPLE AND HOSPITALITY MAKE US A UNIQUE TOURIST DESTINATION'

Representation business in India is set to grow PA G E S 5 2

FEATURE

REDISCOVERING THE UNCONVENTIONAL WAY

GREECE

Plus Oriental touch: Enjoy Oriental Cuisines at Vintage Asia, JW Marriott Kolkata


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INTERVIEW

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India's Cruise tourism: a long way to go

NEWS Yas Experiences appoints VFS Global as its representative in India

'We believe in best practice, customizing products and enhancing customer values'

NEWS It’s a family affair as IHG offers 3G holidays

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INTERVIEW

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FEATURE

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INTERVIEW

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Betting on youth, Barcelos aims high in Indian Market

Rediscovering Greece the unconventional way

Representation business in India is set to grow

BITE CORNER Tummy treats with Oriental touch

DIPLOMAT'S CORNER 'Our people and hospitality make us a unique tourist destination' - Czech Ambassador


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FROM THE EDITOR

A leg-up for cruise tourism

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

These days India's Tourism Ministry has been quite proactive. The MoT has made a flurry of announcements, the most important being the decision to hold the first ever India Travel Mart (ITM) in New Delhi, in partnership with Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH), in September this year. Another important initiative is related to the development of cruise tourism in the country, for which the Tourism Ministry is working jointly with the Ministry of Shipping. The Shipping Ministry after consultations with the MoT and other stakeholders recently announced an action plan to develop cruise tourism in the country. The plan focuses on infra development, passenger amenities and issues like the case of doing business.

Cruise Tourism is one of the major segments of tourism globally, but not so far in India, in spite of the country having all the necessary ingredients for a thriving cruise tourism industry. The blame lies squarely with our policymakers, who, in the past, paid little heed to cruise tourism. Now that the government has actively started developing cruise tourism, we hope that it will continue to focus on it. The country has a long way to go to realize its cruise tourism potential. Read our cover story on page 18, 'India's Cruise tourism: a long way to go'. We are again carrying a feature on all-time favourite destination Greece. Go to page 28 to read on how to make your holiday in Greece interesting and memorable by revisiting Porto Heli and Spetses. Our issue features the exclusive interview of H. E. Milan Hovorka, Ambassador of Czech Republic to India on page 38. Enjoy reading!

Srishti Rai Editor


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NEWS

VFS Global

Yas Experiences appoints as its representative in India VFS Global has been selected to help promote Yas Island in India, with three strategically located offices.

Y

as Experiences, Yas Island’s recently launched trade arm, has signed an agreement with VFS Global, appointing them as the company’s representative in the Indian market. The appointment will see the new partner work closely with the Yas Experiences’ business development team in Abu Dhabi to promote the leisure and entertainment destination and provide package solutions

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for trade partners across India. As part of the agreement, VFS Global will set up three sales offices in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru to cater to travel partners in Central, North and South India, respectively. The sales rep office headquartered in Mumbai will support Yas Experience’ sales & marketing efforts to further promote Yas Island to Indian travellers. Marina Cipriano, General Manager, Yas Experiences, said, “Yas Island is no stranger to the Indian traveller. Guests over the past few years have been enjoying some of the Island’s top attractions, namely Yas Marina Circuit - home to the FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX - and our award-winning theme parks Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas Waterworld. Our

partnership with VFS Global will allow us to further secure Yas Island’s positioning as a one-of-akind holiday destination in Abu Dhabi, and tailor packages with partners that allow travellers to experience more of what we have to offer such as recently opend Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi.” Around nine million Indians are expected to travel to the GCC by 2021, according to the latest figures from Colliers International. Reports also suggest that growth of the global travel industry is being led by Asian travelers; Indian tourist arrivals in the region expected to grow by CAGR of 78%. Cipriano added, “We’ve seen 14% growth in Indian visitation to our theme parks in the first quarter of 2018, and we are confident the popularity of Yas Island will con-


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NEWS

Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group Chief Operating Officer – China, Middle East and South Asia, VFS Global and Marina Cipriano, GM of Yas Experiences

tinue to grow as we add more leisure and entertainment experiences in the mix.” The two parties will work together to explore approaches to target Indian holidaymakers, and with a strong network presence across India, both are confident of the results this strategic partnership will reap. “We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen as the India rep-

resentative for Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Yas Island is a vibrant and unique destination that is renowned for its assortment of experiences. We are confident that we will be able to further establish the island as a premier destination for discerning Indian travellers,” said Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group Chief Operating Officer – China, Middle East and South Asia, VFS Global.

Today, Yas Island is home to Warner Bros. World™ Abu Dhabi (opening on 25 July 2018), the award-winning theme parks Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas Waterworld, Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Marina, Yas Links golf course, Abu Dhabi’s largest mall, more than 160 dining experiences, seven hotels, and indoor and outdoor concert venues - all of which are complemented by a range of visitor services that connect all attractions to one another. Yas Experiences was established in January 2018 and has been active in building relationships with travel partners as it expands its operations. Headquartered on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Yas Experiences operates a network of offices that covers the GCC, China, Europe, the CIS and India, all of which collaborate with destination partners to tailor Yas Island packages for travel companies based on the latest holiday trends and travellers’ preferences. by TNH DESK

Miss India 2018 to visit South Korea Korea Tourism Organization collaborates with Cox & Kings and Femina Miss India winners to reveal the hidden gems of South Korea. With an aim to promote South Korea as a memorable tourist destination, Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) in association with Cox & Kings Ltd is organizing a FAM trip for Miss India 2018 winner Anukreethy Vas and 1st Runner-up Meenakshi Chaudhary to create Miss India Travel Diaries called the #18 Reasons to

Visit South Korea. To support this initiative, Gyeonggi Tourism Organization, Seoul Tourism Organization and Jeju Tourism Organization have joined hands with KTO to build awareness around South Korea among Indian tourists. Jong Sool Kwon, Director, Korea Tourism Organization, New Delhi said “South Korea is a hidden gem waiting to be explored - futuristic cities, advanced technology and buzzing by TNH DESK nightlife.”

Anukreethy Vyaas

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NEWS

Dubai FDI partners with VFS Global to ease foreign investors licensing Dubai FDI, the investment development agency of Dubai Economy (DED), announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with VFS Global, one of the world’s leading specialists on visa processing, identity and citizen services with presence across 139 countries to facilitate administrative processing requirements of investors, including visa and other documentation services.

The partnership with VFS Global is part of Dubai FDI’s efforts to ensure a smooth journey for investors and advance their business. The agreement was signed recently between Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO, Dubai FDI and Zubin Karkaria, CEO, VFS Global Group, in the presence of other senior officials from both parties. Under the agreement, VFS Global

will provide and manage administrative tasks related to visa, passport, identity management and other citizen services for Dubai FDI’s investor partners and enable them to successfully pursue their by TNH DESK business initiatives.

Swiss International and IDS Next enter into partnership

Air Arabia takes delivery of two new Airbus A320 aircrafts Takes total A320 dedicated fleet strength to 53 as it explores new geographies. Air Arabia announced it has taken two new Airbus A320 aircrafts deliveries bringing its total operating fleet to 53 aircrafts. The latest Airbus A320 arrived on schedule from the Airbus facility in Toulouse, France, marking the completion of all deliveries this year. Adel Al Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer, Air Arabia, said, “The delivery of our last two aircraft for 2018 marks a significant step in the development of our fleet expansion strategy especially as we by TNH DESK added 12 new routes this year.

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Swiss International Hotels & Resorts and IDS Next Business Solutions Pvt. Ltd, a global leading hotel technology solutions provider announces that they have entered into a global agreement. With this partnership, IDS Next Business Solutions Pvt. Ltd will provide its hotel ERP technology solutions to Swiss International Hotels & Resorts. With its solid presence in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, Swiss International has 15 hotels currently in operation with a healthy pipeline of new hotels under development across these regions. IDS Next’s hotel ERP solution will facilitate in streamlining operations, in managingthe distribution and managing the revenues efficiently, while improving both the guests’and the hotel users’ experiences for the hotel chain. by TNH DESK


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NEWS

WelcomHeritage flags-off new property in Nainital WelcomHeritage added one more property to its existing portfolio WelcomHeritage Ashdale in Nainital, launched recently. This old Manor from the British Era, built by the English as their summer residence is now owned by the Royalty of Sahaspur. Talking about the new property, Sunil Gupta, CEO, WelcomHeritage shared, “Adding WelcomHeritage Ashdale in our group is a part of our expansion plans for 2018. This heritage building, which is now converted into a hotel, is a unique property, nestled amidst the green oaks and deodars. What makes this property more unique is serenity of the location and oldworld charm which is still untouched. Like every WelcomHeritage property, Ashdale has also been a true reflection of

Indian culture. We are extremely proud to have it in our WelcomHeritage family. With this new addition, the group has increased the list to 41 properties in India.” This nineteenth century bungalow has been renovated and refurbished to high standards and converted to a boutique hotel. It has 24 meticulously designed guest rooms with Balconies and verandas, overlooking the greenery. The galleries adorn pictures full of history and the furniture stand to tell a story of a gracious lifestyle, not yet gone by. The property also has a Multi Cuisine Restaurant - Green Oak, serving Indian, Continental and Chinese cuisines and a picturesque tennis court. “WelcomHeritage Ashdale has been meticulously designed keeping all the elements and features in-

Textron Aviation appoints Bird ExecuJet as its authorized service facility In keeping with its vision of providing a one stop shop for all aviation needs, Bird ExecuJet Airport Services Private Limited, a joint venture between Bird Group and ExecuJet Aviation Group, has been appointed an authorized service facility in India for multinational company, Textron Aviation Inc., a Texby TNH DESK tron, Inc. company.

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tact and creating an old world charm for guests to enjoy a taste of a bygone era and get a taste of gracious living the way it used to be”, shared Rani Reena Kumari. Apart from that WelcomHeritage will be launching few more properties in upcoming months in South India and Northeast India.” by TNH DESK

MakeMyTrip launches smart multi-city travel solution A simple ticket booking option on MMT that will make building itineraries a breeze. MakeMyTrip launches a smart solution for the Do-It-Yourself new age traveller: Multi-City Travel. This solution works best for travellers who regretted missing out a great location en route their destination because they couldn’t draw up multiple flight itineraries. This feature will help travellers build multicity itineraries – picking best time and price options in by TNH DESK a matter of few taps on the app.


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NEWS

Turkish Tourism appoints Linkin Reps India representative Linkin Reps recently bagged the PR & Media representation account for Turkish Culture and Tourism Office in India. In brief, to promote Turkey as a complete tourism destination in the greater Middle East will be the prime focus of Linkin Reps during its tenure. The decision was driven by Turkey’s growing outbound demand, witnessed in the steady rise in visitation from India, along with rises in the length of stay and spending power of Indian travellers. Speaking after the announcement, H. Deniz ERSÖZ, Culture & Tourism Counsellor, Turkish Culture and Tourism Office in India, said, “International arrivals to Turkey have been on a steady growth since 2015, and the Indian market has been one of the fastest growing source markets for us. Our partnership with

Linkin Reps will further strengthen our outreach and presence in the country. We have a very interesting calendar planned out for the year which will be executed in partnership with Linkin. We are aiming at increasing the outbound travel from India to Turkey and invite more Indian travellers to experience the rich culture and beauty of the Republic of Turkey.” Commenting on the appointment, Komal Seth, Director, Linkin Reps. Pvt. Ltd. said, “We are elated to have entered the partnership with Turkey Culture and Tourism Office. With India being the growing source market for Turkey, we aim to derive greater growth into the region through PR and marketing partnerships and working closely with media PAN India. With a series of campaigns planned, we will give a complete spin

H. Deniz ERSÖZ, Culture & Tourism Counsellor Turkish Culture and Tourism Office

Komal Seth Director, Linkin Reps. Pvt. Ltd.

to the brand outlook in India and strengthen Turkey’s positioning for by TNH DESK tourists from India.”

17 sites in the country to be developed as Iconic Tourist Sites: Alphons Ministry of Tourism has identified 17 sites in 12 clusters in the country for development under Iconic Tourist Sites Development Project, pursuant to Budget Announcements of 201819. Following are the 17 sites: Uttar Pradesh- Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri; Maharashtra- Ajanta and Ellora; Delhi- Humayun’s Tomb, Red Fortand Qutub Minar; Goa- Colva beach; Rajasthan- Amer Fort; Gujarat- Somnath and Dholavira; Madhya Pradesh- Khajuraho; Karnataka-

Hampi; Tamil Nadu- Mahabalipuram; Assam- Kaziranga; Kerala- Kumarakom; Bihar- Mahabodhi. The aforementioned information was shared by the Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism Shri. K. J. Alphons, in a written reply in Rajya Sabha in the ongoing Monsoon session. The Ministry shall be developing the above sites in a holistic manner with focus on issues concerning connectivity to the destination, better facilities/experience for the tourists at

the site, skill development, involvement of local community, promotion & branding and by bringing in private investment. In the budget 201818, Presenting the annual Union budget for 2018-19, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced to develop 10 popular tourist destinations into iconic tourist destinations. by TNH DESK

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NEWS

IndiGo launches flights for Gorakhpur To further enhance its flight connectivity from the largest state of India-Uttar Pradesh, IndiGo has announced the launch of Gorakhpur as its 57th destination. The country’s largest low-cost airline, IndiGo is introducing a daily non-stop flight between Delhi and Gorakhpur at INR 3199. This new service will start from September 01, 2018. From Uttar Pradesh, Gorakhpur will be the 3rd city IndiGo will be connecting from, after Lucknow and Varanasi. Both cor-

porate and leisure customers who wish to plan their travel can book tickets via our official website www.goindigo.in. The introduction of these flights will bring Gorakhpur closer to the other cities of India with all-inclusive fares starting from INR 3199. William Boulter, Chief Strategy Officer, IndiGo said, “We are pleased to announce Gorakhpur as our 57th destination effective this September 2018. Providing increased connectivity from Uttar Pradesh is in line with our growth strategy in the Indian market, and Gorakhpur is a key market for us.”

IndiGo bags 'the Passenger's Choice Awards' at the World Airline Awards 2018 6E adjudged the ‘Best Low Cost Airline in Central Asia & India’ IndiGo has once again been named as the ‘Best Low Cost Airline in Central Asia & India’ at the Skytrax World Airline Awards 2018. The airline was recognised for winning this award for the 9th consecutive year. Skytrax World Airline Awards presented the plaque to William Boulter, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo, who along with IndiGo colleagues, Airport Manager Varun Dwivedi and Lead Cabin Crew Christina Kadam, accepted the prestigious accolade at a grand ceremony in The by TNH DESK Langham Hotel, London.

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by TNH DESK

Tourism Minister interacts with diplomatic representatives of different nations with aim to develop bilateral tourism Tourist facilities in and around Sarnath to be developed under Buddhist Circuit by the end of this year: K J Alphons. The Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism, KJ Alphons, held an interactive session with Ambassadors and diplomatic representatives of various countries stationed in Delhi on 10th July. The Ambassadors/representatives of fifteen countries including Austria, Argentina, Bhutan, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Philippines, Brazil, Malaysia, Germany, Indonesia, Finland, Russia, New Zealand and Oman were present for the meeting. by TNH DESK


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NEWS

Standard Chartered Private Equity to acquire stake in TBO Group Standard Chartered Private Equity (SCPE) Standard Chartered Bank’s private equity arm, has agreed to acquire Naspers’ stake in TBO Group (TBO or the ‘Company’), a leading online B2B travel distribution company in India. Naspers first invested in TBO in 2012. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. TBO (also known as Travel Boutique Online, headquartered in India) was founded in 2006 and has since expanded its operations to more than 90 countries. TBO leverages its proprietary online technology platform to distribute airline and hotel inventory to its customer travel agents. SCPE is committed to backing best-in-class management teams, and continues to actively seek opportunities in Asia,

Ankush Nijhawan Co-founder of TBO Group

Africa and the Middle East. Udai Dhawan, Managing Director at SCPE India, stated, “We are extremely excited to partner with Ankush and Gaurav, both first class entrepreneurs, who have built a profitable and scalable business

with a strong market position. We look forward to supporting the Company by leveraging our experience and network to drive the Company’s growth strategy.” Ankush Nijhawan, Co-founder of TBO Group, said, "We are very happy to have SCPE as our partner as we embark on the next stage of TBO’s growth. Through leveraging SCPE 's extensive network and business planning expertise, we would be able to strengthen our position as a leading B2B travel distribution player in the global by TNH DESK landscape.”

Choice Hotels India’s Comfort Inn Benaras opens in Varanasi Choice Hotels announced the opening of its new property in Varanasi – Comfort Inn Benaras. A boutique hotel ideally located in Cantonment area of Varanasi overlooking Varuna corridor. It is built in contemporary style and offers modern amenities to ensure pleasant stay for travelers. With Comfort Inn Benaras, Choice Hotels India has expanded its footprint of over 30 hotels in India. The Food and Beverage options include The City Spoon: serving multicuisine restaurant with a

choice of Oriental, Northwest Frontier, South Indian, Chinese & Tandoor delicacies to tickle the best of foodie’s taste buds; The Café Hashtag: a rooftop restaurant having an amazing view of entire city from top with an open kitchen serving barbeque, Continental with unmatchable innovative mocktails & beverages. The Café by Corridor:24x7 coffee shop offering variety of tea, coffee with snacks. The hotel has a modern architectural structure with banqueting facilities to cater for

meetings, conferences and social gatherings. by TNH DESK

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INTERVIEW

'We believe in best practice, customizing products and enhancing customer values'

In an exclusive interview, Dev Karvat, Founder–TrawellTag & CEO – Emerging Markets, Cover-More Group said that TrawellTag would like to grow in the market by enabling their channel partners in improving conversions. Excerpts:

v B PREM KUMAR Y

us about the new initiatives and achievements Q Tell of TrawellTag Cover-More.

Post Zurich Insurance Group’s acquisition of the CoverMore Group in 2017, we became a part of the world’s leading providers of travel insurance. Our foray into the ecommerce business and subsequent capture of a good chunk of the market share in this arena is also noteworthy. With cutting edge technology and product innovations, we have added value to our OTA and Airline partners and are successfully gaining new business in this segment as well. And I am proud to say that, as a group today we are the official insurance partners for Arsenal Football Club. How has your organization been growing in

Q India? What are the milestones you have achieved

so far in the Indian market? Right from starting this organization in a single office with 10 people to becoming India’s leading dedicated travel assistance & insurance provider, the journey so far has been full of memorable achievements. The inception of the online travel agent’s service portal was a stepping stone towards a successful venture. Next we introduced ‘TrawellTag’ – the first metallic luggage tracking tag and got Cox & Kings on board who have been with us for over a decade now. This was followed by a host of innovate assistance services and insurance offerings. The most significant milestone, of course, was becoming a part of the Cover-More group and subsequently, the Zurich Insurance Group. What has been your growth strategy for this market? We believe in best practice, customized products and

Q

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Dev Karvat Founder – TrawellTag & CEO – Emerging Markets, Cover-More Group

compelling customer value with a focus on innovation. We would like to grow the market by enabling our channel partners in improving conversions, which is below 20% today. We aspire to achieve this by leveraging Zurich’s capabilities and the experience that we have gathered, catering to our E-commerce clients in offering digitally enhanced solutions. What kind of growth are you expecting here in

Q the next couple of years?

As the travel industry booms, so will the travel assistance services industry. The rise of the Indian economy


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INTERVIEW

tance and insurance. While we are taking necessary action to improve the situation, our association with the travel fraternity and the right measures that we take together will ensure that the landscape for travel assistance and insurance changes.

will in turn boost the tourism industry and the vast population of India with increasing travel rate, will further propel exponential growth for our business. is your perspective about India as a market Q What for travel insurance? Travel Insurance in India is no longer at the nascent stage nor is it any longer a niche product. Global exposure and awareness have made consumers sensitive towards the potential risks, prompting them to buy travel insurance. Global Travel Assistance is also one of the upcoming trends that is picking up in the country today. No travel experience comes with a zero risk tag and the need for travel assistance is gaining importance. Cancelled trip cover, adventure sports mishap protection, and concierge services, are increasingly being perceived as essential. The future lies in innovation with customers at the core. The industry has extremely high potential to grow and all that needs to be done is educate customers about the importance of travel assistance & insurance services. This shall transform the travel assistance & insurance product from an ‘option’ to a ‘must-have’. are the opportunities and challenges for a Q What travel insurance provider like yours? More than 80 per cent of Indian travellers do not opt for trip cover, mainly because of lack of awareness of its utilities. Tapping this section of travelers is an opportunity for us and our key focus is working towards improving this percentage. The only challenge we see here is to increase further awareness among the customers. However, together with the travel fraternity, we are sure to overcome this challenge. insurance is still not very popular in India. Q Travel Your comment.

are your key market segments in India like Q What leisure, corporate, etc? For us leisure, corporate and student are the key market segments. Our focus is to provide customized protection benefits for each of the market segments. With myriad needs of travellers in mind, TrawellTag CoverMore provides innovative travel protection solutions to secure various aspects of domestic and international trips. us about your distribution network? How are Q Tell you expanding this? We are the preferred travel assistance and insurance provider for a client base of 11,000 including noted travel agents, airlines, e-commerce giants and travel management companies across India. We are constantly monitoring market demand and exploring new opportunities, to enhance our offerings through innovative travel ancillary products which will appeal to the travellers and support our channel partners. are the steps to enhance value for your cusQ What tomers and partners? Our forte is to offer customised products to the customers that suit their specific travel needs. The capability of designing the right protection plan and supporting our partners to upsell, has given our business an edge and a substantial boost to their revenues, which is a win-win for both. We would like to grow the market by increasing awareness of travel assistance & insurance to the Indian travellers. To facilitate the same, we are providing marketing support to our trade partners, particularly travel agents, so that they can in turn educate their customers. One of our biggest initiatives is our ‘Travel Agent’s Engagement Programme’, which reaches out to travel agents across India to enhance their knowledge of ancillary products and enable them to upsell these products.

Yes, I agree and there still exists a segment of customers that doesn’t believe in opting for travel assis-

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NEWS

UAE exempts visa fee for children Exemption applies for those travelling to the country till September 15.

MoT to host 1st ever 'India Tourism Mart' in New Delhi India's Tourism Ministry in partnership with the Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) and with the supports of State /UTs will organize the ‘first ever’ India Tourism Mart (ITM) from 16th to 18th September, 2018 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. The announcement to organize the ‘first ever’ India Tourism Mart (ITM) was made by K. J. Alphons, Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism. The objective of the event is to create an annual Global Tourism Mart for India in line with major international travel marts being held in countries across the world. The Mart will provide a platform for all stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality industries to interact and transact business opportunities. Addressing the media in New Delhi, the Tourism Minister said that India with its great potential in tourism and hospitality sector needs to dramatically increase the foreign tourist footfall and reap the benefits. The Minister added that the Tourism Ministry has been conducting foreign road shows, releasing theme based promotional videos and thus, the ITM 2018 will be a big step which will get buyers from all over the world. Shri Alphons also hoped that through ITM 2018, India can showcase its hidden destinations to the world, especially to emerging tourism markets like China, by TNH DESK Latin America, and Japan etc.

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Children of tourists, under the age of 18 visiting UAE will be exempted from visa fee, during the summer season from July 15th to September 15th of each year UAE cabinet announced recently. The new law came in support of family tourism and to reduce the cost on visitors in the holiday season. The Cabinet's decision reflects the UAE's position in the global tourism sector as a prime destination attracting visitors and families from all over the world. The number of passengers traveling through the country's airports reached 32.8 million passengers during the first quarter of this year. by TNH DESK

Incredible offer from Lords Hotels and Resorts Lords Hotels and Resorts offer great deals to its guests booking from www.lordshotels.com. With each booking, you can avail up to 20% discount on stay, 15% discount on food and beverage, free room up gradation & early check in - late check out (subject to availability), free wifi, etc. One can avail this discount by using a promo code called Lords20 on their website. The special offer is available till 30th September, 2018. Experience exhilarating hospitality at budget friendly tariffs with Lords Hotels by TNH DESK and Resorts.


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COVER STORY

India's Cruise tourism: a long way to go

Nitin Gadkari Union Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping

Cruise Tourism has emerged as a key segment of tourism globally. However, India is still lagging behind in this lucrative game. Of late, the government is taking some concrete steps, but the country has a long way to go. v B PREM KUMAR Y

KJ Alphons Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism

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Cruise shipping has emerged an important segment of the Global Tourism, with its contribution in the world economy growing constantly. Cruising is one of the fastest growing holiday segments. Even Indians are travelling abroad increasingly for cruising experiences. Although there is huge potential for the development of cruise tourism in India along with a growing market for such tourism, the country lacks sup-

porting infrastructure for cruise tourism. India has more than 7,500 km coastline and many small to big rivers that offer huge potential for cruise tourism. Considering our vast cruising potential, we have not even been able to scratch surface in this area. Of late, it appears the government of India has realized the potential of this segment, and has announced a slew of initiatives to develop cruise tourism.


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COVER STORY 'Cruise Shipping' is one of the most dynamic and fastest growing components of the leisure industry worldwide, and that it is fast emerging as a new marketable product. India with its vast and beautiful coastline, virgin forests and undisturbed idyllic islands, rich historical and cultural heritage, can be a fabulous tourist destination for cruise tourists, according to India's Ministry of Tourism. With the steady growth of the Indian economy and increasing incomes of its middleclass, India's expenditure on leisure activities are increasing. Such conducive milieu offer an excellent opportunity for cruise shipping in India. The government recently formulated an action plan for boosting cruise tourism, after deliberations with representatives of travel and tourism industry. Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, presided an interactive session of various stakeholders of the travel and

tourism trade in Mumbai recently to formulate the action plan. Union Tourism Minister KJ Alphons also attended the session. The Action Plan focuses on developing certain identified sites as attractive tourist destinations and generating awareness about them both within the country and abroad. As par the action plan, Mumbai would be the hub of Cruise Tourism in the country, and areas like Sassoon Dock and Sewree Fort, Kanhoji Angre Island, Mandwa, Alibaug and Vijaydurg in and around the city would be developed as attractive tourist destinations. Mandwa will be developed as a wellness destination with facilities for activities like Yoga and meditation. Restaurants and other tourist facilities will be developed in the Mumbai Port area. The Action Plan lays a lot of emphasis on publicizing the tourist destinations within the country and abroad through regular interactive sessions with all stakeholders. The Action Plan also lays emphasis on

the cleanliness of tourist areas, roadways, sidewalks, venues and beaches. The MoT through its various schemes are also undertaking initiatives like development of port infrastructure, purchase of ferries, development of river cruise circuits, etc. Tourism Minister Alphons recently informed that cruise ports are being developed at Mumbai along with an entertainment complex, and also cruise jetties in Goa, Cochin, Chennai and Visakhapatnam. In a written reply, the Tourism Minister informed Lok Sabha during its Monsoon session that his ministry has sanctioned various projects for the development of cruise terminals related infrastructure in Goa, Maharashtra, Kerala and Tamil Nadu at the major ports for Rs.106.39 Crore under the Scheme for ‘Assistance to Central Agencies for Tourism Infrastructure Development’. He also informed that a task force on cruise tourism has been

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COVER STORY formed by the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Shipping jointly along with representatives of all major ports and stakeholders for coordinated efforts to create an enabling ecosystem for the development of Cruise Tourism in India. The Task Force meets regularly and the last meeting of the Task Force was held on 21st May, 2018. The Tourism Minster informed that in 2017-18, a total of 1,62,660 cruise passengers and total 139 cruise ships visited India, at its six major ports namely Mumbai Port, Chennai Port, Cochin Port, Kolkata Port, New Mangalore Port and Mormugao Port. To tap the vast potential and attract more vessels, the Government of India is working on a new cruise tourism policy. With the new focus on the development of cruise tourism, the Government aims to attract up to 700 vessels against 70 vessels a year currently. According to Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Tourism, Government of India, some companies have expressed interest in starting cruises

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GoI aims to put India on the global cruise map New cruise terminals are being constructed New infrastructure being developed at major ports Hotels, shopping facilities, restaurants, etc are planned at such ports MoT has allotted Rs 106 crore for cruise promotion 1, 62, 660 cruise passengers visited India in 2017-18.

from India. While globally more that 23 million passengers are taking cruise holiday, the number of Indians taking cruise annually is approximately 120,000. The last year in July, India's Ministry of Shipping in tandem with the Ministry of Tourism announced reforms in the regulatory processes governing the cruise tourism industry in the country. These reforms include simplification of customs & immigration processes, single window system for pre cruise requirements, uniform security procedures, and im-

plementation of collaboration between the Bureau of Immigration and CISF. The objective is to revolutionize this industry which has a high employment generation potential, by simplifying the rules and procedures pertaining to various aspects of cruise port operations like security, immigration, and customs. The promotion of cruise tourism requires not just improvement in infrastructure but also uniformity, transparency and predictability in the procedures followed by multiple government organizations. Ease of Doing Business is critical for the success of cruise tourism. In order to boost the cruise tourism in the country, new infrastructure is being developed at the country's five major ports such as Mumbai, Goa, New Mangalore, Chennai and Cochin that have dedicated terminals and required infrastructure for berthing of cruise vessels and embarking and disembarking of cruise passengers. Further infrastructure facilities such as hotels, shopping centres and restaurants, etc. are being developed in and around these ports.


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NEWS

It’s a family affair as IHG offers 3G holidays 3G holidays, vacation by three generations of the same family together, is a perfect way to plan a trip with the extended family. In today’s hectic world, it is becoming increasingly difficult for family members to spend time together. Escaping on a multi-generational holiday offers a chance to forge lifelong memories of family bonding, plus other advantages such as sharing childhood responsibilities, with grandparents often babysitting so the parents can get a day or night off. “3G holidays are a major growth area and we’re witnessing an increasing number of families embracing the trend as retirement affords grandparents the time and flexibility to travel,” said Pascal Gauvin, MD, India, Middle East & Africa, IHG. IHG's top 3G Getaways are: Holiday Inn Resort Phuket: The ideal tropical retreat for the whole family, Holiday Inn Resort Phuket has earned the reputation as one of the most beloved family-friendly resorts in Phuket with activities, amenities and excursion to delight the whole family from dawn till dusk. InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort: This property offers world-class accommodation to discerning guests

who can unwind, and be pampered in the lap of luxury. The resort is located in a picturesque location overlooking the Bay of Bengal on East Coast Road, making it one of the most exclusive properties in the city. InterContinental Bali Resort: Located near the southern Bukit surf beaches, this resort is the perfect playground for multi-generational families. InterContinental Fujairah Resort: Situated on the shoreline of the exquisite Al Aqah Beach, beneath the spectacular backdrop of the Hajjar Mountains, the five-star InterContinental Fujairah Resort is ideal for a multi-generational holiday closer to home.

InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort: Located on the pristine Phu Quoc Island, off the southwest coast of Vietnam on one of the country’s most stunning white sand beaches, this resort is easily accessible for family members travelling from different locations. by TNH DESK

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INTERVIEW

Betting on youth, Barcelos aims high in Indian Market

Rohit Malhotra Business Head, Operations, Barcelos India

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arcelos, a South African casual dining restaurants chain, is increasingly spreading its footprint in India, through its Indian arm Barcelos India. The company is internationally acclaimed for its flame-grilled menu with peri peri sauces. Recognizing the huge growth potential of this market, the company has set out an ambitious expansion plan for India. The chain aims to have as many as 20 operational restaurants in India by 2019. The plan is to spread beyond metros and open restaurants in tier-2 and tier-3 cities and also in upcoming tier-2 cities. The company has also planned to set up smaller outlets in food courts across the country. At present, the company has five restaurants across India located in cities of Delhi, Gurugram, Kolkata, Jaipur and Hyderabad. Under the dynamic and visionary

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leadership of Rohit Malhotra, Business Head of Barcelos' India Operations, the brand is growing apace in the country. "We are very ambitious and positive about the Indian market as we see huge growth opportunity here for a brand like us due to the large size of the market and large youth and middle-class population," said Malhotra. The company is all set to open its restaurants in Mumbai, Chennai and Lucknow, and also looking at opening restaurants inside 3- and 4-star hotels. "After 2019, we will be opening 20-25 outlets every year in the country, and in the next three to four years, we will have a strong presence here. We will remain focused on young generation, and will be their favourite destination for outdoor eating," said Malhotra. "We recently launched our new menu, and since then our sales are up by 50%. Our new menu is 4550% vegetarian." Malhotra added, "As an international brand, we are

not here to serve local cuisines; we came here to introduce our international flavour in this dynamic market, with our focus on youths who are experimental and ready to taste the new flavours, new cuisines. We aim to offer more value for money in this price sensitive market. Our objective is to become one of the best restaurant brands in India. We want to be a household name in the country, and the preferred choice of youths." Talking about the USP, Malhotra said, "Our USP is our exotic variety and flavour that we offer besides standing of our brand." As regards challenges in this market, Malhotra said, "Operating a restaurant is quite challenging in this market due to the multiplicity of regulations, higher taxes and high cost. One needs to comply with numerous rules and regulations and take licenses and clearances from multiple departments to start an outlet; that is a formida-


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INTERVIEW/NEWS

ble challenge." Today an entrepreneur has to run from pillar to post, from one department to another, to get various licenses in order to set up and operate a restaurant, said Malhotra. He added that there is a critical need for having a single window clearance system for India's hotel and restaurant industry. "India needs to liberalize and simplify its regulatory framework for the food and hospitality sector so that the industry can tap its full potential and India can emerge as a popular culinary destination. This will also contribute handsomely to the economy." The restaurant industry has been denied input tax credit that has escalated the overall cost of operating a restaurant, putting pressure on its profit margins. Malhotra hopes that the government will restore input tax credit to the restaurant industry without increasing GST rates applicable to this sector. "Our industry

needs encouragement and incentive from the government to grow and contribute to the Indian economy, especially to its travel and tourism sector," said Malhotra. According to Malhotra, unlike other markets, rentals in India is quite high. "Property rentals in malls and at high streets are quite high. Expensive rentals plus high taxes without input tax credit increase our cost, but we cannot pass our burden to consumers as India is a price-sensitive market," said Malhotra.

As for the issues related to the GST, he said that it is more than a year since the GST came into effect, and it has now almost settled down. The demands have peaked up. The last two quarters have been better as compared to the same period last year. "Going ahead, what will make difference for the industry is the extent of GST rates and availability of inputs credit. The lesser the actual tax rate, the more competitive the industry will be.

TTF Hyderabad concluded with excellent response Travel and Tourism Fair (TTF) in Hyderabad concluded with an excellent response from more than 930 travel trade visitors and 900 walk-in visitors, bringing together more than 180 exhibitors from 12 countries and 19 Indian states at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC). TTF Hyderabad was inaugurated by Panyala Bhoopathi Reddy, Chairman, Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation and B Manohar Rao, Managing Director (FAC), Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation in the presence of a host of dignitaries and senior tourism officials. Expressing his happiness on visiting TTF, Panyala Bhoopathi Reddy, Chairman, Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation said, “TTF is an

excellent platform for showcasing varied tourism products as exhibitors from 12 countries and 19 states have come forward and participated in this mega tourism event. by TNH DESK

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NEWS

SIA Introduces additional non-stop services from Singapore to USA • World’s longest commercial, non-stop flight from Singapore to New York (Newark) to be operated 7 times per week • Non-stop Singapore to Los Angeles flights to be operated 10 times per week • Non-stop Singapore to San Francisco services to increase from 7 to 10 flights per week Singapore Airlines (SIA) will launch non-stop flights between Singapore and Los Angeles using the new Airbus A350-900ULR (ultralong-range) aircraftin November. In addition, SIA will step up existing daily non-stop Singapore-San Francisco services to 10 times per week. SIA currently operates 40 flights per week to the US cities of Houston, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Together with the earlier announced non-stop Singapore-New York services, total US frequency will increase by TNH DESK to 53 per week by December 2018.

Dnata celebrates 25 years of international growth Dnata, one of the world’s largest air services providers, celebrates the 25th anniversary of its first overseas operation. The Gerry’s Group in Pakistan and UAE-based Dnata joined hands in July 1993 as Gerry’s Dnata to provide ground handling services at Karachi Airport. The joint venture has since grown to become Pakistan’s largest cargo and ground handling company operating at by TNH DESK seven major airports in the country.

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Initiative to strengthen India-Ecuador ties India is an emerging market for Ecuador. Considering this fact, the Embassy of Ecuador, in cooperation with Aska Tourism and Consultancy Services, recently organised an official social gathering to promote tourism and trade between the two Dr Patrico Graces, Ambassador of Ecuador countries. The event was held on June 8, 2018, at the ITC Maurya Chanakypuri, New Delhi. The initiative was backed by Jammu and Kashmir government, which was the state partner. Tassaduq Mufti, then minister for tourism, Jammu and Kashmir, along with his cabinet colleague Mohammad Ashraf Mir, then Minister of food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Af-

(L-R) Rajbir Singh and Tassaduq Mufti

fairs, Jammu and Kashmir Government, marked their presence. Speaking of the relations cultivating between the two nations - equally popular for its tourism across the world, Rajbir Singh, MD, Aska Aska Tourism and consultancy services, said, “It is a privilege for our company to promote tourism and trade between India and Ecuador. On behalf of the entire organisation, I would like to thank Dr. Patricio Graces from the embassy of Ecuador for extending support and all sort of help needed to take forward the relationship between the two by TNH DESK countries.”


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NEWS

TRAVELPORT SMARTPOINT 8.1– A SMARTER WAY TO THE TOP Your favorite platform is all tech-ed up and is as convenient as ever. Travelport Smartpoint, the pioneer in travel commerce as you know it, has offered you content from 400+ Airlines, 650,000 unique hotel properties and 36,000 car rental locations. Till now it had increased your productivity and improved the customer experience. Its Handy GUI has helped you deliver best kind of customization options.

This new version follows closely the launch of 8.0 version and add-on to make the interface better. It combines point-and-click and graphical screens with the ability to use cryptic commands allowing you to choose how you want to work. The new Flex Windows theme provides up to eight active windows plus a PNR Viewer to support your need to do more in less time. It puts the world's travel content at your fingertips that allows you to create the perfect personalized service for your customers. And with enhancements to TripQuote, sending your customer travel options has never been faster. Travelport Smartpoint by TNH DESK release 8.1 is PCI DSS compliant.

One of Africa’s longest & highest Ziplines re-opens in the Mother City On 2nd July 2018, the Cape Town Ziplines, an SA Forest Adventures initiative, reopened in Silvermist Estate on Hout Bay Road. Following a two year closure, the site has been re-opened with GoPro partnering with Cape

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Town Ziplines last month. Reported as one of the brands top selling products, the partnership marks the first GoPro resort partnership on African soil. Present to officially re-open the Zipline was the Provincial Minister of Transport and Public Works, Minister Donald Grant, who commented: "Tourism has long been identified as a key driver of the Western Cape’s economy and forms part of our economic growth strategy, Project Khulisa. This zipline, as an addition to our many tourist attractions, will not only expose

visitors to this area’s natural beauty and distinctly South African topography, but will also offer a unique experience to our visitors, unlike that which they may have experienced elseby TNH DESK where."


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NEWS

Chatbox launches messaging ecosystem for personalized experiences

Phil Gordon CEO Chatbox

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Chatbox Instant Apps facilitate the dynamic exchange of rich, structured data within messaging streams and can be deployed to any channel, carrier or hardware Chatbox has announced the launch of its new integrated messaging ecosystem. The Chatbox platform helps businesses deliver hyper-personalized, messagingbased customer experiences at

scale across texting, chat and social channels. Today’s consumers are less and less willing to waste time when interacting with companies. They want to get questions answered, make purchases, or get the service they need -all on their timeline, preferred channel and with no loss of context from their previous conversations. The market opportunity to offer messaging experiences at scale, plus engagement on an individual level, creates a hotbed for adoption. The Chatbox ecosystem addresses the industry need and provides a customizable, flexible and open solution for businesses to create and automate personalized conversations. Talking about its USP, Phil Gordon, CEO and founder of Chatbox said, “The Chatbox platform is open, flexible and exten-

sible. It stitches together the key technologies companies need meet consumer demands for personalized messaging at scale, while allowing companies to leverage and integrate their existing investments, data sources and tools. Direct to enterprise pricing is based on monthly customer usage. The entire platform, and Instant Apps on a stand-alone basis, is available on a select basis as a white-label solution.” Phil added that use of Chatbox will enable to help companies deliver game-changing experiences their customers expect and deserve. There’s a massive market opportunity for Chatbox and the customers using our messaging ecosystem. 80% of Fortune 1000 CIOs intend to deploy messaging-based applications to their customers by 2020, and very few of them already have.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises announces inaugural 2020 summer itineraries Seven Seas Splendor, the ultraluxurious ship joining Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ fleet in February 2020, will voyage across Europe during her inaugural 15 destination-rich summer sailings. Seven Seas Splendor is the sister ship to Seven Seas Explorer, which debuted in 2016 and is lauded as the most luxurious ship

ever built. Seven Seas Splendor is now perfecting that luxury, and will bring guests during summer 2020 to the hidden gems of Zadar (Croatia) and Koper (Slovenia), as well as the culinary capitals of Bordeaux and Barcelona. She will take guests to the iconic Isles, both British and Greek, and she will ar-

rive at the stunning shores of the Italian and French Riviera. Guests will witness the beauty of the by TNH DESK Iberian landscape.

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FEATURE

Rediscovering Greece the unconventional way

Greece is one of the top holiday destinations in the world. This wonderful country is blessed with some of the exotic places where you can spend quality time with friends and family. Read on to explore more on how to make your Greek holiday interesting and memorable.

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fficially known as the Hellenic Republic, Greece is a beautiful country located in southeastern Europe. The country is combined with thousands of islands throughout the Aegean and Ionian seas. It is known to be very influential in ancient times and therefore, it's often called the cradle of Western civilization. Among plenty of beautiful islands, Athens, also its capital, is the main island as well as major stopover in Greece. The city of Athens has a lot of ancient significance which is well preserved in the ruins. One of such magnificent landmarks is the 5th-century B.C. Acropolis citadel

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View from GB Roof Garden Restaurant

Travelling in Spetses


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FEATURE

Acropolis and Lycabettus Hill. As far as the shopping is concerned, you can indulge yourself at the art galleries, luxury labels such as Gucci, Hogan, Armani, Chanel etc., and hip boutiques present in the city.

Roam around the unconventional way

Poseidonion Grand Hotel

with the Parthenon temple. This UNESCO Heritage Site is also claimed to be one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

The Ancient city of Athens Talking about the beautiful city of Athens, this ancient city has got a unique charm in its every part. It is often said that the city has got an old city underneath it, which is

quite evidently found in every property’s basement under their glass floor showing some ruins of the old city. This shows that the ancient Greece truly present underneath the Greece of today, which is a modern European colony. Greece is most likely the only country that has a lot of ancient history evident together.

For first time travellers, the beautiful Santorini and Mykonos is the thing. In fact, many travellers spend majority of their time in these places. But if you wish to go somewhere unique then you must take the unconventional way. One of such places to explore is ‘Porto Heli’.

Porto Heli Porto Heli is a cosmopolitan port village on the eastern side of Peloponnese. This stunning island is dotted with magnificent villas, mansions and luxury resorts surrounded

Where to stay in Athens? One of the best places to stay and feel the grandeur of the city is ‘Grande Bretagne’. This five star property is located in the heart of the city since 1874 and offers luxurious stay to its guests with breathtaking views of the fabled Acropolis, regal Syntagma Square and the Parliament with an unrivalled perspective of Athens' mythical history. One can truly feel the eternal elegance in the heart of Europe's historic capital by staying in this state-of-the art hotel. You can enjoy your favourite meal of the day in the GB Roof Garden Restaurant with the mesmerizing view of the

Reaching Porto Heli You can travel to Porto Heli by taking ferry, bus or car from Athens. But, if you wish to witness the stunning landscapes, then taking the roadways is a good idea. It takes around three hours drive with journey through fantastic highway with mountain on the right and the endless sea on the left. The route to Porto Heli includes journey from an under bridge which is carved inside a mountain for a drive through.

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FEATURE

Spetses

by olive groves, which are simply counted as the seductive pleasures of any vacation. One of the interesting things about this place is that almost every multi-millionaire of this country normally has a house in the capital city and a separate holiday home in the form of luxurious villa in Porto Heli. In fact, the ex-king Constantine II and King of Netherlands also have their plush villas here. Apart from the small beach in Porto Heli, you can unwind by swimming at Ververonta with clear water and relax at beach bars. Besides witnessing the beautiful vistas, you can opt to stay at the famous Nikki Beach Resort and Spa here for a wonderful holiday experience. Porto Heli also makes a convenient base for excursions in the Saronic Gulf and road trips in eastern Peloponnese.

Spetses Another affluent island that combines a refreshingly low-key holiday along with Porto Heli is ‘Spetses’. It is an authentic charm, having remained relatively undis-

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Reaching Spetses

Porto Heli

covered by visitors. Spetses is a charming island overlooked by whitewashed, Neoclassical houses and fringed by smart cafés and nice restaurants, eateries, stylish boutiques and luxurious boutique hotels. You will love spending weekend in the relaxing and elegant atmosphere here, stressed by the yacht marinas. Spetses is a word-ofmouth kind of place, where most of the affluent Greeks come to unwind during the weekends or holidays. One of the best places to enjoy stay here is the ‘Poseidonion Grand Hotel’. It is an impressive, august hotel styled like a château offering luxurious accommodation to travelers from around the world. One of the most unique aspects of this

Only two hours ferry ride from Athens, Spetses in Greece is a wonderful island for short holidays or weekend break. While, it’s just 7.3 km away from Porto Heli which can be covered by ferry rides available at regular intervals.

place is the absence of private automobiles in the town limits. You can move around by walking, comfy horse-drawn carriages, bicycles and mopeds. There is no sense of the wealth being ostentatious as the Spetsiots place real value in the island’s natural beauty and history: the secluded beaches, pine-clad hills and ancient churches. This place also host some of its upwardly-mobile sporting events such as the Spetses Tweed bicycle race, the Classic Yacht Regatta etc. Therefore, book your holiday now and explore Greece with a difference.


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NEWS

TOURISM MINISTER VISITS SHRI RADHA BRIJ RESORT During his visit to Govardhan to review the proposal of Uttar Pradesh Government regarding development of Govardhan region, Tourism Minister K.J. Alphons along with Meenakshi Sharma, Additional Director General Tourism, and other dignitaries of the state tourism department visited Shri Radha Brij Vasundhara Resort & Spa located on Govardhan Parikrama Marg, Mathura. During the stay, the minister and the ADG planted a sapling at the resort and were presented with souvenier paintings of Krishna and Radha. by TNH DESK

India gets its 37th World UNESCO World Heritage site Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai declared recently as a World Heritage Property by UNESCO in Manama, Bahrain. In yet another landmark achievement, India’s nomination of the "Victorian and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai " has been inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage list. The decision was taken at the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO at Manama in Bahrain today. As recommended by the World Heritage Committee, India accepted the renaming of the ensemble as “Victorian Gothic and

Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai”. India has been successful in securing the inscription of the "Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai” on UNESCO's World Heritage List under Criteria (ii) and (iv) as defined in the UNESCO's Operational Guidelines. This makes Mumbai city the second city in India after Ahmedabad to be inscribed on the World Heritage List. In the past 5 years alone, India has managed to get inscribed seven of its properties/sites on the World Heritage List of UNESCO. India now has overall 37 World Heritage In-

scriptions with 29 Cultural, 07 Natural and 01 Mixed sites. While India stands second largest in number after China in terms of number of World Heritage properties in ASPAC (Asia and Pacific) region, it is overall sixth in by TNH DESK the world.

Uniforms of Tourist Police should sport Incredible India Logo A study report also recommended that the Tourist Police should work under the control of District Police Administration of the concerned State with policing power exclusively for maintaining

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the safety and security of tourist. A study conducted by the Ministry of Tourism through IITTM had titled 'Functioning of Tourist Police in States/UTs and Documentation of Best Practices,' had

recommended introduction of the Tourist Police with uniforms sporting Incredible India Logo for the safety and security of the tourists. by TNH DESK


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INTERVIEW

Representation business in India is set to grow In an exclusive interview, Priyanka Nijhawan talks about the future of tourism representation business in India.

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Priyanka Nijhawan is successfully leading the representation vertical of Nijhawan Group since last 7 years. The Group today represents top luxury hotels brands including the Armani Hotel Dubai, Address Hotels + Resorts, Vida Hotels & Resorts, Rove Hotels, Dubai, The Harbour Plaza Hotels, The Aitken Spence Hotels and Aitken Spence Travels in Sri Lanka, Adaaran Island Resorts and Maldives, etc. It also represents Dubai Parks and Resorts, Ocean Park Hong Kong and iVenture Card. The latest achievement of the Group in this vertical is that it has been appointed as the Advisor to the Embassy of Uzbekistan in New Delhi, for tourism promotion. The past eight-nine months have been quite good for the group’s representations vertical as it signed many clients during this period, such as Dubai Tourism, Kempinski, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The more recently it has been appointed the advisor for promoting Uzbekistan in India. Talking about the journey of her representation business, Nijhawan said, “With great support from the travel industry, it has been a period of excellent growth, innovation, development and achievements. We started with just three accounts and a team of

five people, which has now grown to 17 and 30 respectively.” Although having a family business legacy has helped her, she has carved out a niche for herself with her hard work and dedication over the years. On her foray into representation business, she said, “Probably, it came to me as something God has planned for me. With having a strong Mathematics and Computer Science background, looking at a marketing plan and evaluating and understanding the return on investment procedure came to me as a natural progression.” Talking about her plans for the next five years, she said, “We look forward to adding new accounts, but at the same time we will continue to focus on the existing accounts and retaining their trust. As a group, we strongly believe in, and follow, the principles of integrity and honesty. I as an individual also strongly believe in these principles.” Until December 2017, Nijhawan Group was mainly representing theme parks, hotels and attractions but since the last year, it added two

Priyanka Nijhawan Director, Representations, Nijhawan Group

“Years ago, while pitching for a client we had to explain what / how it was going to work and why is it better than having your own office, but now we no longer need to do that.” tourism boards to its portfolio. While talking about the growth of the representation business in India, she said, “Years ago, while pitching for a client we had to explain what / how it was going to work and why is it better than having your own office, but now we no longer need to do that. Most of the clients have figured out that India works very differently. Therefore, just having only one local office is not going to work here. You have to have local team to understand and be regular in the market. Therefore, the representation business in India is surely set to grow.”

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Bite Corner

Vintage Asia, Interior Lotus Root Coyote melon dumpling

Tummy treats with Oriental touch

Vintage Asia of J W Marriott Kolkata offers unforgettable dining experiences for connoisseurs of Oriental cuisine.

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ith rainy season in full bloom, it’s the right time to gorge on Oriental cuisine and there can be no better way to relish the delights from Far East than heading to Vintage Asia, the fine-dining outlet of JW Marriott Kolkata. The food outlet specializes in authentic Chinese and Thai delights and took shape sometime in December, 2016. Within a short period of time, the outlet has earned the distinction of churning out the best of Chinese and Thai cuisine in the city of Kolkata.

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Moreover, the restaurant is incidentally the favourite address for Royal Thai and Chinese Consulates of Kolkata. The 80-seater restaurant boasts of traditional interiors recreating the ambience of Far East with its rustic, textured wooden stuff. The setting is cozy with a blend of art deco and contemporary Oriental touches. There is beverage lounge at the entrance with seating facilities. There are two live stations where chefs churn out real Chinese and Thai culinary dishes. The menu on offer is a la carte and one can get to choose from a range of options for Sunday brunch including dim sums, starters, soups, the main

Tub Tim Krob

course items and desserts. One of the highpoints of the outlet is that it serves freshly cooked items. The focus is on finest, fresh, traditionally-sourced ingredients. The menu crafted by chefs appears quite impressive in taste and look. The outlet procures lotus roots and Jasmine tea from Thailand. It was on one Sunday afternoon that I had a chance to head to Vintage Asia to enjoy the lunch menu. I began with starters and was offered Asparagus Water Chestnut


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Bite Corner

Stir Fried Lotus root, Snow peas, Black Fungus

Verdict

For luxury diners interested to savour the real taste of China and Thailand in Kolkata, Vintage Asia’s stunning culinary offerings would completely blow them away. Vintage Asia - Green Papaya salad,runner beans, tomato, peanuts& hot chili

Crystal Dumpling, Raw Papaya salad or Som Tam and Schezwan hot and sour soup that certainly deserves mention. I was waiting to have my fill with the main course and I was served burnt garlic fried rice, a Chinese recipe containing spring onion and this is best savoured with Thai yellow curry comprising silken tofu, pumpkin and butter mushroom. I moved on to have other platters including stir fried lotus roots with snow peas and black fungus that is a typical Thai dish. One should not forget to sample the Chinese preparation- Wok tossed fresh noodles rustled up with carrots, beans, onion, garlic and chilly flakes. The outlet’s hot pot tofu- a spicy preparation of onion, peppers and bean sauce is to die for. The perfect way to round off one’s Oriental meal is to go for Thai desserts like Tub Tim Krob –a popular coconut milk based dessert of

Spiced caramelized pork belly, pineapple, crispy garlic

Thailand prepared from chilled, jellied water chestnut served in sweetened coconut cream. The homemade tender coconut ice cream garnished with pomegranate, a popular Thai dessert is a signature creation of the food outlet. The coconut ice cream is a must-have item that tastes heavenly and would leave you asking for more. According to Abhishek Guha, Junior Sous Chef, J W Marriott Kolkata, “Our Chinese dishes are mainly Cantonese and Schezwan cuisines and one of our non-vegetarian items-Schezwan chicken is another signature dish of the outlet. The hottest selling dishes are Thai yellow curry, hot pot tofu to be savoured with burnt garlic fried

Rating rice.Food Our SundayService brunch menu is Ambience

pegged at Rs 1,999 for a single person. We are hosting promotional campaign once in every alternate month.” The food outlet stands tall with its high-profile visitor list. Guha said, “We have corporate visitors from the Information Technology sector and business barons coming to our outlet.” The outlet is into serving both lunch and dinner on Saturdays while dinner is only served on weekdays. Address: Vintage Asia, JW Marriot Kolkata, 4A, JBS Haldane Avenue, Kolkata-700105 Phone: (033)-66330000 Food for two: Rs. 3,500 (without Alchohol, inclusive of all taxes) 3.5/5 4/5

3.5/5

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Travel Industry Exhibition August 21-22, 2018 Location- Sydney, Australia

Travel Industry Exhibition is a must-attend industry event for travel professionals and corporate travel planners. The program includes a key forum for education, updates, networking and making new connections. The expo also showcases travel products and services to people from across the industry, with the show providing a cost-effective and convenient way of updating key travel distribution channels. This groundbreaking event has something for everybody. Attendees can look forward to engaging with the highest quality suppliers from across the globe including the newest destinations and other venders.

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South African 4x4 & Outdoor Show August 25-26, 2018 Location: Pretoria, South Africa

South African 4x4 & Outdoor Show is a 2 day event being held from 25th August to 26th August 2018 at the Zwartkops Raceway in Pretoria, South Africa. This event showcases products like 4wd trucks, lighting solutions, campers, trailers, led lights, cameras, to that of clothing associated with this field etc. in the Sporting Goods, Toys & Games, Travel & Tourism industries. The South African 4×4 & Outdoor Show is a jam packed event of high quality and is setting the benchmark in the 4×4 & Outdoor industry.

TRAVEL AND HOSPITALITY | AUGUST 2018

Corroboree Asia August 26-31, 2018 Location: Gold Coast, Queensland

Corroboree Asia is a biennially Australiabased trade event that combines a training workshop and familiarization visits exclusively for qualified Aussie Specialist agents from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. The event provides a professional forum for Australian sellers to train Aussie Specialists and strengthen their specific product knowledge. It is Tourism Australia’s leading agent training event providing a business, educational and social environment for agents who will have the opportunity to experience a range of travel experiences on the Gold Coast and across Australia.

Uttar Pradesh Travel Mart August 27-28, 2018 Location: Lucknow, India

FICCI in partnership with Government of Uttar Pradesh is organizing the fourth edition of Uttar Pradesh Travel Mart from February 27 -28, 2018 to promote this all important strategic area of tourism in a substantial way for the state of Uttar Pradesh. This threeday international travel mart is an opportunity for one to one meetings with foreign tour operators from across the world. During the event, opportunities for pre-scheduled B2B meetings with over 277 foreign buyers from around 55 countries will be provided.


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NEWS

Virgin Atlantic celebrates 18 years of flying from Delhi to London Virgin Atlantic celebrated 18 years in India this July since it launched its first flight from India on 5 July 2000 on board an Airbus A340 from New Delhi to London. Since the year 2000, Virgin Atlantic has welcomed over three million customers on board and served over three million glasses of bubbly at 38,000ft. Today, customers travelling with Virgin Atlantic enjoy a daily service to London Heathrow on-board a state of the art Boeing 787-9 with Wi-Fi in all its cabins making it the only airline on the Delhi-London route to offer Wi-Fi connectivity to all its customers. Virgin Atlantic has been consistently working on innovation and personalization for its passengers. To commemorate the special day, the airline introduced a spe-

cial birthday offer with one way fares. The airline also hosted a fabulous party and raised a toast to its 18 years in India with the Glenfiddich 18 years Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Staying true to the spirit of innovation and personalisation, the event had Virgin flair spread throughout engaging guests with entertainment, whisky tasting and trade partner

awards. David Hodges, Country Manager at Virgin Atlantic, India said says, “This is a momentous time for Virgin Atlantic in India. The Delhi route is as popular as ever among Indian customers who love the great Indian food, the latest Bollywood films and interacting with our Indian crew”. by TNH DESK

Korean Air launches cargo flights to Delhi Korean Air has launched cargo flights between Incheon and Delhi, a trade and business hub of Northern India from July 17, 2018. Korean Air is currently operating direct passenger flights from Incheon to Mumbai and Delhi, each three and five times a week. The decision to introduce the cargo flight accompanies the South Korean government’s new diplomatic strategy to strengthen partnership with India, and rapid

growth of the Indian market. After the launch, Korean Air operates its Boeing 777F freighter three times a week (Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday). The flight departed at 11:10 PM

from Incheon, made a stop at Hanoi and arrived at Delhi at 6:15 AM the next day. From Delhi to Incheon, there were two stops at Vienna, Austria and Milan, Italy. The Boeing 777F is a next-generation lightweight freighter with a maximum payload of over 100 tons. Once filled with fuel, it can travel over 9,000 kilometers (5593 miles). Its fuel efficiency allows the aircraft to be used in long-haul cargo routes by TNH DESK such as Europe.

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DIPLOMAT’S CORNER

'Our people and hospitality make us a unique tourist destination' People-to-people contact is key feature of our bilateral relations, says H.E. Mr. Milan Hovorka, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to India.

H.E. Mr. Milan Hovorka Ambassador of the Czech Republic to India

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DIPLOMAT’S CORNER v B PREM KUMAR

T Y

he Czech Republic is gradually emerging as a popular destination for discerning travellers from across the world. The destination is also becoming popular among Indians with increasing number of them packing their bags to this beautiful country. In fact, the Czech Republic does offer a lot of varied and in-

There are myriad reasons for Indians to travel to our nation. We have beautiful nature, rich history, delectable cuisines, beautiful countryside, western classical music, festivals, spa and so on. All these make the Czech Republic an ideal place to visit.

the Ambassador of Czech Republic to India, H.E. Mr. Milan Hovorka, who strongly believes that people to people contact benefits every aspect of the bilateral relations. As the ambassador for two and half years in India, he has been quite instrumental in creating awareness about the Czech Republic as a tourist destination and other opportunities available in his country. As a result, the country has seen substantial growth in the number of Indians visitors. In an exclusive interview with TnH, H.E. Mr. Hovorka said that the two countries are yet to utilize the full potential of their bilateral relations, although growing. Excerpt of the interview: will you describe relaQ How tions between India and the Czech Republic? India and the Czech Republic have had very friendly relations for decades. Our relations are older than our diplomatic ties and are

based on similar perspective of jointly shared prosperity and common values of democracy, freedom and rule of law. Today, we enjoy a thriving relations in a number of areas. Our economic, commercial and cultural ties are growing up. There are consistency and dynamism in our relations. India is an emerging economic power. I am pleased to witness so many positive changes happening here. Similarly, a lot of positive developments are taking place in the Czech Republic. These changes are creating new potential and opportunities for our bilateral relations. Having said that I must admit that in spite of so many positive changes and wonderful opportunities, we are yet to utilize the full potential of our relations in areas like trade, investment and tourism, but we are making tremendous efforts towards realizing our full potential.

credible wanderlusts. The country recognizes India as a key market for its tourism sector, and has accordingly been working to attract Indian visitors. Encouraging people-to-people contact and cultural exchanges between the two countries has been the key priority of

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DIPLOMAT’S CORNER do you see the interest of Q How Indians increasing in Czech Republic? Due to our concerted and consistent efforts, the people-to-people contact between the two countries is thriving. We have been promoting interactions between our two great nations through tourism, culture exchange and exchange of students. All these exchanges generate tremendous synergies from which both countries can benefit in areas like trade, investment and innovation. Thus, I believe that we should do our maximum to deepen them. Tourism is definitely a powerful instrument helping nations of the world to generate better understanding and goodwill, promote stability, peace and prosperity. We are happy that we have been quite successful in the last couple of years in increasing the number of Indian visitors to the Czech Republic. How important is Indian

Q market for the Czech

Tourism? India is definitely a very important market for our tourism. Its size is of a continent. With its high economic growth, large middle-class, and young population, India is one of the fastest growing markets for outbound travel. Indian travellers are very enthusiastic to visit new destinations and have new experiences. The growing size of Indian travel market coupled with Indian travellers' penchant to explore new destinations makes India an important market.

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to you, why should Q According Indians visit the Czech Republic? There are myriad reasons for Indians to travel to our nation. We have beautiful nature, rich history, delectable cuisines, beautiful countryside, western classical music, festivals, spa and so on. All these make the Czech Republic an ideal place to visit. Most of the places in the Czech Republic have a rich and long history that have been embodied through beautiful architectural sites such as monuments, castles, palaces, cathedrals, etc., all wellmaintained and preserved for future generations. All these are available for tourists. We have 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. I know that Indians love to explore history and nature, so they would like to visit the Czech Republic. Wedding is also becoming a popular travel segment in our country.

People are visiting our nation to spend the very special moments of their life in our romantic landscapes. We have many affordable golf courses across the country that are reasonably priced. Our country is also a great place to have unique dining experience. When I was young our capital had only one Indian restaurant, today the city has 70 such restaurants serving Indian foods. Another key motivation for Indians to visit the Czech Republic is what Indians call western classical music or world classical music. We have number of spas across the country offering unique wellness experience. Our spa treatment is very different from Ayurveda in India, but worth of being explored. Our country is also a great place for shooting movies with its phenomenal landscapes. Many Bollywood romantic movies have been filmed


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DIPLOMAT’S CORNER in the Czech Republic in recent years. We are very committed to offering very competitive and high-quality services to visitors. Most importantly, it is our people and their hospitality that makes our country a unique destination. Visitors are quite delighted with warmth and hospitality of our people. There is a seasonal element in our tourism. I would encourage Indians to visit our country in different seasons as every season has its own beauty and charm. Landscapes and monuments have different looks and colours depending on seasons and weather. How many tourists did you Q receive last year? Last year we received 85 thousand Indian visitors, and the average length of stay of an Indian was three and half day. In 2017, our arrivals from India grew by 27 per cent as compared to previous year. In the last five years, our arrivals

from India have tripled. We hope to sustain this growth and substantially increase it. We are probably doing our best. We are ambitious about the Indian market and anticipate that we will be receiving 100 thousand visitors from India by the end of this year. That would be a great achievement. have been your strategy Q What to promote Czech republic in India?

We have been reaching out to as many places as possible in India. We regularly organize press conferences to explain opportunities available in our country. We regularly attend events and tourism shows in India, most importantly SATTE. I was present at the inaugural session of SATTE this year along with other dignitaries. Our tourism authority organizes road shows in different parts of the country to create awareness about our tourism products. We have built a solid base, and now we will do our best to maintain what we have achieved and take it to the next high level. We have expanded our visa facilities in India. We have now 16 visa centres across India in partnership with VFS Global. Three years ago it was just one. The one thing we lack is direct connectivity from India that we used to have earlier. I believe it will eventfully happen due to commercial consideration, hopefully during my tenure.

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NEWS

4.9% growth in Abu Dhabi's hotel guests in 2018's first five months The growth is expected to further increase with the implementation of reduced tourist and municipal fees. The number of hotel guests staying in Abu Dhabi increased by 4.9% during the first five months of 2018 compared to the same period last year. According to statistics from the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), 162 hotels, resorts and hotel apartments offering 31,236 rooms across the emirate welcomed 2,073,586 guests during January to May.

Occupancy rate has averaged 75% during the same period (January to May), with a 1.4% increase, while the average length of stay was 2.7 nights, an increase of 2.4% compared to the same pe-

riod in 2017, with China topping the number of visitors, recording 192,500 visitors, an increase of 19.9%. India came in second with 166,700 guests and a 22.2% increase, followed by the UK with 119,900 amounting to a 12.7% increase, the United States with 82,300 guests and a 25.7% increase, and Germany with 71,300 guests at a 20% increase. Abu Dhabi continued its outstanding performance across most of its target markets in May 2018, compared to the same month of last year, with a 7% growth in the number of visitors from India, followed by the UK at 7.9%, the United States at 42% and Gerby TNH DESK many at 35%.

CONSOLIDATING CULTURAL TIES

Cape Town proves its resilience as a water-smart destination! Due to sustained and heavy rains over the last two months, Cape Town’s dams have collectively increased by over 20 percentage points. There is now more water currently in the dam system, mid-way through winter, than there was at the end of last year’s winter-rainfall period in October. With several months left in the winter rainfall calendar, it is now clear that Cape Town will continue to have enough water for its by TNH DESK residents and visitors.

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Vietnam with its robust economy is pulling out all stops to popularize its culture and tradition to the Indian travellers. The Socialist Republic of Vietnam enjoys long, historic and cultural ties with India and fares high in the tourism vertical with eight UNESCO listed World Heritage sites. The country has tremendous potential for inbound tourism and tourism revenue has risen to USD 22 billion last year. Nguyen Le Thanh, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Socialist Republic of Vietnam explained, “We are contemplating to increase the mutual understanding between citizens of both India and Vietnam and look ahead to organize tourism road shows in Chennai and Mumbai. We are interested to highlight the culture and tradition of Vietnam. We want the Indian travellers to know and understand Vietby TNH DESK nam.”


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FESTIVAL CORNER

Popular festivals around the world to see in September Toronto International Film Festival September 6 – 16, 2018 Location: Toronto, Canada

SAN DIEGO READER BURGERS & BEER September 8, 2018 Location: San Diego, California

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF, stylized as tiff.) is a publicly attended film festival held each September in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is world-renowned film fest that brings top-notch movies and loads of celebrities to the Great White North, for an 11-day Hollywood binge. The Toronto International Film Festival, originally known as The Festival of Festivals, was founded by William Marshall, Henk van der Kolk and Dusty Cohl. This festival is a VIP event bringing Hollywood VIPs to Canada's largest city for 11 days of glamour and gleaming white teeth.

Ravenous foodies, hopheads and casual eaters have a lot to look forward to at the scrumptious San Diego Reader Burgers & Beer festival. There’s no time to watch your weight when juicy festivals like San Diego Reader Burgers & Beer roll around. Put off that waist-trimming diet and exercise routine for one more day so you can devour San Diego’s tastiest meat patties and suds without shame. Curated exclusively by Reader’s food writers, this delicious battle pits local restaurants and vendors against each other in a competition that determines the best burgers in the city, of which you–yes, you!–get to be the judge.

The Original Long Beach Lobster Festival September 7-9, 2018 Location: Long Beach, California

The Original Lobster Festival prepares fresh, live Maine lobsters in the world’s largest cooker, which steams up to a thousand pounds of lobster at a time—so there’s plenty to go around! Maine lobsters have a certain sweetness and tenderness to them, compared to their Canadian counterparts, due to the warmer waters in which they reside. They’re some of the best-tasting lobsters around

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and are world famous for that reason. There is something for everyone, including kids, Comedy Magic Show, Balloon Twisting, Face Painting, Games and Inflatable Bounces.


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FESTIVAL CORNER

London Design Festival September 15 - 23, 2018 Location: London, England

The London Design Festival is a city-wide celebration of design which spans over a period of nine days in every September. Conceived by Sir John Sorrell and Ben Evans in 2003, this concept was to create an annual event to promote the city’s creativity, drawing in the country's thinkers, practitioners, retailers and educators to a deliver a diverse celebration of design. Since 2009 the Victoria & Albert Museum has acted as the central Hub location for the London Design Festival. In succinct, it is a big smoke that catches fire by design, exploding in a

OKTOBERFEST September 22 - October 7, 2018 Location: Munich, Germany

colorful burst of innovative exhibits, talks, installations, pop-ups and more. The festival programme is made up of over 400 events and exhibitions staged by over 300 partner organisations across the design spectrum and from around the world.

Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival September 28 - 30, 2018 Location: Galway, Ireland

Munich's largest and most traditional breweries, Oktoberfest is the largest beer fest in the world. It has become a significant part of the Bavarian culture. Drinking beer by the liter, relish traditional Bavarian foods, listen to live brass bands playing traditional Bavarian music and enjoy yourself along with hundreds of people from all over the world. Oktoberfest began as a wedding for the Bavarian crown prince Ludwig to Princess Therese from Saxony-Hildburghausen on October 12, 1810, and was attended by the local community. Held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, it is a 16-day folk festival.

More than 20,000 people from over 25 countries descend upon Galway during the last weekend in September to indulge in oysters and practically anything else from the sea. Founded in 1954, the Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival celebrates the lowly but inspired mollusc, Ostrea edulis, aka European flat oyster, or a belon, in menu-speak. Pubs along the city’s Oyster Trail sell oysters by the thousands during the three-day culinary festival. Of course, an oyster’s decidedly salty nature only encourages the eater’s thirst - unsurprisingly a remedy roundly suggested by participating pubs is a pint of Guinness.

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EVENT WATCH

S KAL D ELHI J ULY M EET Skal Delhi organized its monthly luncheon meeting on 18th July at The Park Hotel, New Delhi. The meeting held after the summer vacation saw a strong gathering. Rajeev Talwar, CEO of DLF and a former IAS officer, was the Chief Guest on the occasion, who spoke about the latest tourism trends across the Globe. The meet concluded with a delicious lunch hosted by The Park Hotel, New Delhi.

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NEWS

Lords Hotels & Resorts announces expansion plans To venture into the East & South, earmarks 30% of its hotel portfolio for pilgrimage segment. With the hospitality industry showing signs of recovery from the decade long slump, India’s premium mid-market hotel chain – Lords Hotels & Resorts has decided to switch its expansion drive into top gear to become a 40 properties chain by the end of FY 2020. With the demand for hotel rooms outpacing supply, the hotel chain is not only aiming at increasing its foot-prints at a faster rate but is also looking to venture into new geographies and focus on niche segments. With 26 operational hotels and four more scheduled to commence operations later this year, Lords Hotels & Resorts has been growing at an average of three hotels per year since

ANANTARA TO OPEN NEW VILLA RESORT IN QUYNHON Rishi Puri Vice President, Lords Hotels & Resorts

its inception in 2007. India’s fastest growing hotel chain in the mid-market segment, Lords Hotels & Resorts will now also target at becoming the fastest growing pilgrimage hotel chain in the country. In the current financial year, the hospitality chain has plans of establishing hotel properties in Kolkata and Bhubaneswar in the East.

Adding a third property to its portfolio of luxury resorts in Vietnam, Anantara Hotels and Resorts has announced the development of its newest villa retreat which is scheduled to open in late November 2018. Located in a secluded bay in south central Vietnam, Anantara QuyNhon Villas will comprise 26 one- and two-bedroom ocean-facing villas ensconced amidst 7.2 hectares of landscaped tropical gardens. A creative collaboration between HB Design and Marques and Jordy (M&J) architectural firms, Anantara QuyNhon is designed to seamlessly blend into the natural environment.Locally-sourced materials, traditional craftsmanship by TNH DESK and regional influences.

by TNH DESK

USHUAÏA IBIZA BEACH HOTEL UNVEILS NEW WEBSITE The ushuaiaexperience.com is a new digital universe that gathers all online elements from the hotelmeets-music venue, as well as the best of Ibiza, in one site for the first time. Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel has launched THEUSHUAIAEXPERIENCE.COM, a brand new website that brings together all the satellite sites of Ushuaïa Ibiza

to showcase its luxurious accommodation, exquisite restaurants, ticket sales for all events and its broad portfolio of VIP services under one platform. THE CLUB section features the complete events calendar for the season, organised in a user-friendly way so that clubbers can browse between the different parties on each day by TNH DESK of the week.

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MOVING ON

Jean-François Ferret CEO, Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) has appointed Jean-François Ferret as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), to be effective from September 2018. Based in the company’s London headquarters, Ferret will take responsibility for SLH’s international teams and will lead strategic direction of the brand’s luxury portfolio of over 500 SLH hotels in more than 80 countries. Ferret has extensive broad sector experience of 30 years and most recently worked at the French association Relais & Châteaux, where he held the position of CEO for more than six years. Ferret is passionate about hospitality, new technologies and multicultural management. He is fluent in French, English, German and has also studied Russian and Japanese.

Pradeep Vaid General Manager, Lords Hotels & Resorts Lords Hotels & Resorts has appointed Pradeep Vaid as its new General Manager. With over 40 years of experience in the field, he holds a Master’s degree in hospitality and served as the GM of Madhuban Group of Hotels prior to joining here. A specialist in managing and operating large commercial and convention hotels across all star categories, he is also well versed with the complexities of running a multifaceted hotel chain operation. With proven track record in generating business, meeting operational goals and achieving business targets at Lords Hotels & Resorts he will be responsible for driving implementation of change initiatives across customer services, F&B, and staff development and training among other key areas.

Devraj Halder General Manager - Operations (North), The Fern Hotels & Resorts Devraj Halder has been appointed as the General Manager - Operations (North) at the Fern Hotels & Resorts as. Before joining The Fern Hotels, he was associated with Royal Orchid, Jaipur. Armed with an MBA, Devraj carries with him more than two decades of work experience, having worked with some of the best national and international brands. Some of the brands he has worked in the past include, Renaissance Goa Resort, Crown Plaza New Delhi, The Suryaa New Delhi etc. The Fern Hotels & Resorts is amongst the fastest growing hotel brands in India. A living thing, the fern is a perennial plant, retaining a rare consistency and many of its best characteristics over millions of years.

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MOVING ON

Chef Murali Velan Executive Sous Chef, Courtyard by Marriott Pune Chakan Chef Murali Velan has been appointed as the Executive Sous Chef of Courtyard by Marriott Pune Chakan. With 12+ years of experience in the culinary department, Chef Murali Velan comes with a comprehensive skill set and knowledge in Kitchen Operations. Murali has recently joined Courtyard by Marriott Pune Chakan as the Executive Sous Chef. Born and brought up in Chennai, Chef Murali Velan had the passion to become a chef since his childhood. He completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel and Catering Management from Vel’s Institute of Hotel Management, Chennai. Murali expertise in the Culinary domain of hospitality industry and his roles and responsibilities include the in-room dining, restaurant (s), banquet event operations and hotel’s overall culinary operations, menu planning, buffet profitability and menu engineering and strategic planning.

Ilandhirai Vadivel Executive Chef, Radisson Blu Pune Hinjawadi Radisson Blu Pune Hinjawadi has appointed Ilandhirai Vadivel as Executive Chef. He is an experienced Chef with a demonstrated history of working in the hospitality industry. Skilled in Catering, menu engineering, food & beverage, and Hospitality Management- he is a strong operations professional with a Bachelor's degree focused in Hotel Administration/Management from Anna Malai University. Chef Ilandhirai has varied experience in Hotels at a Management level. In his span of the carrier he has worked with various national and international brands and has also worked in Dubai for a long span of time.

David Ansted Executive Chef, Grand Hyatt Goa Grand Hyatt Goa has appointed David Ansted as the new Executive Chef to spearhead the resort’s culinary operations. A graduate from the Culinary Institute of America in New York; David comes to Hyatt with over 25 years of industry experience. Originally from Florida, USA, Chef David started his hospitality career in 1990. His experiences range from boutique hotels, very large casino-resorts, Michelin star restaurants, private clubs and five star hotels. Prior to joining Grand Hyatt Goa, David was the Executive Chef at the Fairmont in Bermuda, a luxurious beach resort that is home to ten full service restaurants.

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TECH CORNER

Marriott to trial facial recognition in partnership with Alibaba Singapore Tourism Board joins with Alipay to promote destination Alipay and the Singapore Tourism Board have launched a series of joint marketing initiatives aimed at raising destination awareness and driving tourist spending among Chinese visitors. Under the deal, both parties agreed, among other things, to explore co-investing in joint-marketing initiatives to encourage Chinese tourists to spend with by TNH DESK Alipay while in Singapore.

CENTARA INTRODUCES WECHAT PAY TO WOO CHINESE GUESTS Centara Hotels & Resorts is now accepting WeChat Pay transactions on its websites for online room reservations. This is in addition to the 15 hotels that already deploy nearly 100 EDC devices for QR code scanning on WeChat Pay, making it the largest hotel group in Thailand offering Chinese tourists omni-channel payment by TNH DESK solutions.

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A joint venture between Alibaba Group and Marriott International has announced it is spearheading Marriott International’s facial recognition check-in pilot with Fliggy, Alibaba’s travel service platform. This announcement comes hot off the heels of the joint venture’s recent global rollout of the Post Pay functionality, to continually elevate the travel experience for tech-savvy Chinese travellers. by TNH DESK

NORWEGIAN RENEWS DISTRIBUTION AGREEMENT WITH AMADEUS Norwegian and Amadeus have announced a renewed partnership. The airline has signed a distribution agreement that ensures Amadeus travel sellers access to the airline’s fares. This agreement also welby TNH DESK comes Norwegian Air Argentina.

HONG KONG TAPS WEGO TO ATTRACT TRAVELLERS FROM SOUTHEAST ASIA The Hong Kong Tourism Board has partnered with travel marketplace platform, Wego, to promote Hong Kong as a ‘Soul Cool’ summer destination. As Hong Kong continues to grow as a tourist melting pot, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has rekindled its partnership with Wego, an online platform that compares prices and proby TNH DESK vides booking deals in the travel market.


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