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TRAVBUZZNEWS Vol 3 | Issue 2


23rd | 24th | 25th SEPTEMBER


WHATSAPP 8800739595, 8800309596



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From the desk of


Hello Readers


ravel Industry is back on track almost, but some destinations are still struggling due to visas, political issues. But if you look at the overall travel sentiments of travellers, it's crazy. Flights are going almost full and so are the accommodations. Travel events are going on with full enthusiasm. Recently TAAI has organized the 66th convention onboard Spectrum of the Seas. The convention was a super hit being the first ever convention on cruise by any travel trade association.

Presenting you another power packed edition of Trav Buzz News, your favourite Travel E Magazine

TAFI is coming up with its convention in Malaysia in September 2022. and there are so many other events going on. Travel O Manthan the signature event of Trav buzz News is on its way this month from 23-25 September. Good luck to all industry players for the good time ahead. The current issue of Trav Buzz News brings together diverse news pieces for you to read and get acquainted with the latest from the global travel industry arena.

Letters to the editor are welcome on


Sachin Manocha

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20 17


10 6 9 10


Chris Gayle to assist Jamaica Tourism Promotion in Asian Market Lancashire Cricket announces overseas signing of Washington Sundar SSR TRAVEL SOLUTIONS A wing of SSR Group of Companies, forays into representation by welcoming WILD TREK SAFARI & EIHAB TRAVELS LLC to its portfolio The Fern Hotels & Resorts Introduces Ferntastic Monsoon Happiness Packages at select Fern resorts in India


Anantara Hotels


‘Outside of recruitment and rising costs there is no more important industry topic than Instant Book’


Anantara Announces Management Appointments for Key Resorts in Thailand


CWT signs ECPAT’s Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children in Travel and Tourism


TAT’s marketing plan 2023 to revitalise Thai tourism towards high value and sustainable growth


TAAI to hold its 66th Cruising Convention in Singapore in August

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CHRIS GAYLE to assist Jamaica Tourism Promotion in Asian Market Chris Gayle, being one of only four players to have scored two triple centuries in Test cricket, has not only made a name for himself on the world stage but has emerged as an iconic figure and one of the most well-known sportsmen throughout all of Asia. Jamaica’s Ministry of Tourism intends to capitalise on the popularity of explosive West Indies and Jamaican opening batsman-turned-reggae-artist Chris Gayle, in making inroads in the huge-but-untapped Asian market. “Chris Gayle is certainly a huge asset to Jamaica and a central figure in the engagement of Asians, particularly Indians,” Tourism Minister,

Edmund Bartlett said.

When you call his name in India it is magic, so whatever important values he brings to this engagement, however, it can enhance Jamaica’s presence in that market, that is something we are not about to pass on,” he added.

Minister Bartlett prompted that Asia, including the Middle East, is one of the newer markets that the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) has been pursuing. The Asian market has been growing exponentially and has taken on renewed interest. The largest continent in the world, with a population of 4.5

billion people, Asia is diversely rich in people, culture, and resources. The technological boom, the decline in poverty, and the rise in income levels have made the Asian market attractive. “I just want to say that Asia is the next frontier for us, and we have already started working in India. We will be calling on Chris, as we know that he is an icon in the cricket space in that beautiful country,” he added. Bartlett’s endorsement of Gayle, who now plays mostly T20 cricket, comes at a time when Chris Gayle has launched an album, titled as ‘The Tropical House Cruises to Jamaica: The Asian Edition’. The album will soon be heavily promoted in Asia and features international artists such as R&B singer Jason Derulo, King Tiger, Alistar, Lady Marga MC, Gentleman, Morgan Heritage, Sashi the Don, rapper Redman and Lauren Hill. For his part, Gayle, in a recent interview at the release of his new single ‘Gimme Your Love’ said he is not only thrilled to be making the transition from cricket to music but feels the foray into the Asian market is “a win-win” for both himself and Jamaica. The album is targeting India as well as other Asian countries where Chris Gayle is basically idolised as a sports icon.

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TAAIs Meeting with Shri Sanjay Verma, secretary - West ministry of external Affairs regading for application for US Schengen Visa/ Securing Appointment and related Aspects way of addressing the issues and challenges faced by the travel trade fraternity of India to make it more robust. The pandemic era has been a struggle for tourism survival & there is a huge opportunity to quickly revive as people are wanting to restart travel with huge enthusiasm.

Jyoti Mayal, President, TAAI had an interaction with Shri Sanjay Verma, Secretary-West, Ministry of External Affairs, Goverment of India. The meeting request was made to the MEA to discuss and deliberate on the delay in the issuance of Visas to the United States, Schengen and other countries. In a communication addressed to the Hon'ble Minister of External Affairs TAAI sought interference of MEA through a government-to government dialogue to resolve / address the issues. TAAI being the apex and oldest body representing the trade has been regularly taking up issues related to the ease of travel & tourism with concerned ministries & stakeholders & thus increasing footfalls for outbound, inbound & domestic markets. While sharing the concerns of the industry with Shri Verma, Mayal said that we at TAAI are seeking MEA's assistance by

During the discussions, Mayal conveyed that the issuance of Visas to the United States, and many Schengen countries, especially Greece is a major hurdle that which travel trade fraternity is facing these days. Members & clients have been reaching out to TAAI that they are unable to secure an appointment for visas for travellers & then the long delays in the stamping of visas without any proper communication. In addition, some missions keep the passports for an indefinite period resulting in uncertainty & cancellations which incur a huge cost to the traveller given that confirmed air tickets & hotel vouchers are a requirement for visa applications, which must be done away with, requested Mayal. Further, she conveyed that the extension of the free visas to India and the duration to be of minimum 6 months with multiple entries must be resumed immediately. In line with that, E-Visa must be reinstated for all countries including UK & Canada as pre covid, to boost inbound tourism. Highlighting the administrative bottlenecks for which TAAI has been communicating to other concerned ministries too & are hampering the growth of the sector, Mayal said that the Air Suvidha form is an encumbrance protocol and therefore the same should be immediately scrapped & supported at the home ministry. Parallelly, mandatory health & comprehensive travel Insurance on Inbound E-Visa/Visa for the safety and security of travellers must be introduced. Mayal apprised Shri Verma that Tourism comes under a wide spectrum of ministries & therefore there is a need to work collectively to achieve progressive & effective results. Taking this thought further, TAAI looks forward to being in continuous communication with the MEA to take more various discussed points into becoming a motivator & enhancer of tourism & bring in ease of travel to drive economic growth.

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LANCASHIRE CRICKET ANNOUNCES overseas signing of Washington Sundar a number of LV=County Championship games in July. The 22-year-old all-rounder, who bowls off-spin, has already represented India in all three international formats and has also made over 50 appearances in the Indian Premier League (IPL).


ancashire Cricket announces overseas signing of Washington Sundar Lancashire Cricket is delighted to confirm the signing of Indian international, Washington Sundar. Following the approval of his UK visa, Washington, will arrive in the country and link up with his new teammates at Emirates Old Trafford next month. Washington, who is currently following a period of rehabilitation with the BCCI after a recent injury, will be available for the whole Royal London One-Day Cup competition, and fitness depending,

In 2017, at the age of just 18 years and 80 days, Washington became the youngest player to debut for India in T20Is and he has since made 31 appearances in the shortest format for his country – taking 25 wickets. Washington’s also represented India four times in One Day Internationals and in four Test matches, most recently in the home Test series win against England in early 2021. He plays domestic cricket in India for Tamil Nadu and has often been compared to fellow spin bowling all-rounder, R Ashwin, who also progressed through the ranks in the Southern Indian state. After representing India at the 2016 Under-19 World Cup,

Washington replaced Ashwin at Rising Pune Supergiant for the 2017 IPL, bowling at an impressive economy rate to help his side to the final. In First-Class cricket, Washington has claimed 36 dismissals in 17 matches whilst also striking five fifties and a century with the bat. He’s also picked up 44 wickets in List A cricket. Speaking after his moved to the Club was confirmed, Washington Sundar said: “I am extremely excited to play county cricket for the first time with Lancashire Cricket. “To play in English conditions will be a great experience for me and I can’t wait to play at Emirates Old Trafford. “I would like to thank

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both Lancashire Cricket and the BCCI for allowing this opportunity happen and I’m looking forward to joining up with the squad next month.” The signing of Washington Sundar signals the latest step in Lancashire’s long association with Indian cricket, which stretches back more than 50 years when Indian International wicketkeeper batsman Farokh Engineer joined the county in 1968. He would go on to become a Lancashire legend and now serves as a Vice-President of the Club. Since Engineer retired, four further Indian Internationals – Murali Kartik, Dinesh Mongia, V.V.S. Laxman and Sourav Ganguly – have represented the Red Rose with distinction. Lancashire Cricket has continued its multi-layered strategic relationship by hosting a pre-season training camp in Mumbai in February 2020, whilst more recently the Club signed India batter Shreyas Iyer in 2021 but was unfortunately ruled out due to injury.

Lancashire’s Director of Cricket Performance, Mark Chilton, added:

Washington is a multi-format all-rounder whose skills with both bat and ball will be a great addition for us in the Royal London Cup and County Championship this summer.

“ “

His international and IPL experiences will be invaluable in the development of our younger cricketers, many of whom he will be playing with during his stay. The addition of Washington is one that will excite our Members and supporters, along with helping our continued push to bring silverware back to Emirates Old Trafford.

We would like to thank the BCCI and particularly the men’s Head Coach Rahul Dravid, for their co-operation and support in helping make this happen.”

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SSR TRAVEL SOLUTIONS A wing of SSR Group of Companies, forays into representation by welcoming WILD TREK SAFARI & EIHAB TRAVELS LLC to its portfolio Wild Trek Safaris (WTS), a registered member of KATO (Kenya Association of Tour Operators), has a wide range of products tailored to experience Kenya differently and targets to expand its reach across key Indian markets and emerging segments through the appointment of SSR Travel Solutions. WTS is certain that the association will assist in strengthening their market presence and boost sales in the upcoming years.

Sapneal Rao, Director, SSR Travel Solutions

SSR Travel Group, after its successful league in the travel trade for over a decade, has set foot into representation business by starting SSRTS - SSR Travel Solutions and adding two leading Destination Management companies – Wild Trek Safaris – Kenya & Tanzania and Eihab Travel- Oman. Furthermore, SSRTS has also added Cordelia Cruises effective 1st April 2022 to its collection, wherein the founder, Mr. Sapneal Rao, achieved to become No. 1 PSA as on 31st March 2022.

Similarly, Eihab Travel, an established DMC for the Sultanate of Oman, positions India as one of its top source markets and is excited to delegate SSR Travel Solutions as its representative to enhance its market presence and entice more Indian travelers to Oman. On the expansion of SSR’s gamut of travel services, Sapneal Rao, Director, SSR Travel Solutions, expressed,

“As travel revives slowly but steadily, we are thrilled to announce our expansion and welcome Wild Trek Safaris and Eihab Travel. Owing to our extensive network of B2C players pan India we will drive our efforts to enhance business and boost sales for both Wild Trek Safaris & Eihab Travels. We are positive about the resumption of travel owing to the pent-up demand that will further lead to acceleration in outbound travel and expansion in business forums.” SSR Travel Solutions, through its growing service wing, aims to capture the post COVID revenge travel traffic by providing holistic solutions to luxury and adventure seekers in India.

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The Fern Hotels & Resorts Introduces Ferntastic Monsoon Happiness Packages at select Fern resorts in India The Fern Hotels & Resorts, India’s leading environmentally sensitive hotel chain has introduced its Ferntastic Monsoon Happiness Package across select Fern resorts in India. The main highlight of the package offer is that the guest stays for three nights and pays for only two. The Happiness Package is valid up to 30th September, 2022.

Noshir A Marfatia, senior VP, Sales & Marketing, The Fern Hotels & Resorts said. "We have introduced these happiness packages so that more and more people can celebrate and enjoy our hospitality for a longer period and come away happy with their stay .”

The happiness package comes with a whole lot of goodies, which include:

Accommodation for 3 nights on double occupancy

Complimentary buffet/set-menu breakfast daily

Complimentary stay on 3rd night, on room-only basis

20% discount on Food & Beverages during the stay

Happiness Gift Hamper in the room

Complimentary sanitization & exterior cleaning of guest’s vehicle before departure

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Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas announces the upcoming addition of a new resort in Brazil. With a modern and sustainable design focused on the location’s natural beauty, the launch of Anantara Mamucabo Bahia Resort will represent the debut of the luxury brand both in Brazil and in South America. The property will be located in Baixio, a district on the northern coastline of Bahia, approximately 150 km from the state capital of Salvador. Known for its crystal-clear lagoons, the small fishing village has a setting that inspires tranquility and is one of the most sought-after destinations on the region’s coast throughout the year. The ocean and one of the largest protected sandbank reserves in Brazil will serve as the backdrop for Anantara Mamucabo, which will be spread across a 500,000 square metre site. Construction of the new-build property will begin in 2023, with the resort slated to launch in 2025. Anantara Mamucabo will offer a total of 116 guest rooms, suites and pool villas, with sizes varying from 70 to 163 square metres. The resort innovative and unique architecture and interior decoration is being designed by Sidney Quintela Architecture + Urban Planning, with landscaping by Alex Hanazaki, considered one of the most creative landscape designers in Brazil. The leisure areas will be distributed throughout the resort’s vast grounds and will include three restaurants, two outdoor swimming pools, a beach club and water sports area, a kids club and an area for babies and infants. The main pool will feature a multi-level “waterfall” design, creating different environments for relaxing and enjoying the pool and water.

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Inside the beach club, a restaurant and a bar will serve regional cuisine from Bahia, while the hotel main restaurant will offer contemporary international and Brazilian cuisine with a view overlooking the entire grounds. An Asian restaurant will be located in the central area of the resort that will boast a stunning view of the Mamucabo River, from which the resort gets its name. Additional facilities at the resort will include a substantial sports area, including both a tennis court and a paddle tennis court, a well-equipped fitness centre, a yoga terrace and a relaxation area. Children’s entertainment will be provided by a kids’ club including an exclusive playful space in a large green and wooded area. With its design complementing the tranquil character of the local area, the resort will feature an Anantara Spa focused on both body and mental health, offering an extensive range of treatments and wellness offerings. Integrated and isolated environments, such as a swimming pool, massage rooms, a sauna and a hydrotherapy circuit, will promote total relaxation.

For corporate and social events, adaptable spaces with state-of-the-art facilities will allow for various sizes of meetings. Social events such as weddings, cocktails, and end of the year parties can be held next to the Beach Club, with an incredible sea view. Dillip Rajakarier, CEO Minor Hotels, parent company to Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas, and Group CEO Minor International, commented,

“We are excited to announce the development of this future Anantara in Brazil, which will represent the brand’s debut on the South American continent. It is a part of the world we have been keen to expand Anantara’s footprint into and this exciting project represents the perfect opportunity.” Anantara Mamucabo Bahia Resort will be a true refuge for nature lovers in an enchanting region on Brazil’s northern coast of Bahia. It will join the brands collection of luxury hotels and resorts, which offer guests genuine experiences in some of the world most exciting destinations.

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HOSPITALITY NEWS ‘Outside of recruitment and rising costs there is no more important industry topic than Instant Book’

“Outside of recruitment and rising costs there is no more important industry topic than Instant Book in the simple meetings arena.” This observation by Sian Sayward of Inntel helps to understand why almost 150 members of beam and non-members from all over the UK, were keen to come together for the beam Instant Book Summit at the Doubletree by Hilton Oxford Belfry Hotel. The beam Summit was organised in partnership with headline sponsor venuedirectory. com. Michael Begley, Managing Director of explained: “Instant Book offers so many valuable benefits. There’s so much to gain by bringing together agencies, clients, suppliers and technology providers to discuss the opportunities and issues, turn them into action and move the solution forward faster.” It proved to be a day of enthusiastic debate and energetic discussion with no shortage of questions and opinions from the audience all day. After an introduction by Juliet Price, Consultant Executive Director of beam, Michael Begley set the scene discussing “What do we define as a small meeting?” venuedirectory .com data shows that meetings for up to 30 delegates cover 82% of bookings.

Kate Scully, Global Business Travel Manager of Howdens Group shared a Corporate Buyers’ perspective in conversation with Chetan Shah of Micebook. Kate said “I would be happy to see venues listed on a booking platform, with instant access to support. This would make everything more efficient and give us hours back.” During the Agency Panel, Richard Shacklock of Agiito observed “You can book accommodation out of office hours but you can’t book a meeting room.” Paul Casement of Clarity said: “We have to sharpen up the booking side for small meetings. Instant Book allows us to streamline and better place our resources to serve our clients – this is particularly pertinent given current resource pressures we’re all experiencing”

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The technical panel moderated by Caleb Parker of Bold considered what was limiting the rate of adoption in the UK. Luis De Souza of NFS Tech said: “Many of our venue clients like to deal with all enquiries in a personal way so are reluctant to lose that. But it is changing. Venues are becoming more comfortable about releasing access to inventory.” Dan Humby of Groups 360 said; “It’s a complex issue with a lot of legacy technology to overcome and many different technologies in use.”

Summing up the day, Matthew Davies of Cvent said: “Direct booking is here now. The industry is ready. Event planners want it. There are hurdles that can be overcome, not brick walls.” Rich Matthes of Amadeus who came over from the U.S. thought. “It’s been excellent, well worthwhile. I think we have started to move the issue forward.”

Costs are always a key consideration when deploying technology and the travel industry has had a history of adding cost layers to a booking and this was often a criticism of the Global Distribution System or GDS used by the travel sector. Will Helsby of confirmed that “there will be no additional charge from venuedirectory to connect a venue to Instant Book if it is already a client.” After Douglas O’Neill said that there “needs to be parity of price no matter which booking channel is used,” Julie Shorrock of HTS said “We should learn from mistakes and also take what works well in the accommodation sector in developing this.” Jacqui Kavanagh of EDGE Venues lead a panel asking ‘what does success look like in Supply, Distribution & Book’, Danny Yates summed up the views of many with one word; “Adoption.” When Callum Mclean of Agiito called for an industry working party, many people volunteered to be on it. “A first task will be to define Small meetings sizes and / or simple meetings” Callum added.

Judi Oliver of Silverstone commented “It’s great to get everyone in one room to discuss the various issues and the challenges around Instant Book,” while Lucy Sikora of The Savoy said “This is the perfect topic to discuss in person. We need more education around the technicalities of Instant Book in order to drive confidence and move forward.” “So many people have said that, before today, they didn’t really appreciate what an important topic this is and that they had learnt so much.” Juliet Price concluded. Michael Begley added “We need to come back together in about six months to review progress and keep up the momentum.”

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Anantara Announces Management Appointments for Key Resorts in Thailand

Effective this month Serge Cuypers has been appointed as the new General Manager of Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas, an all-villa hideaway in Phuket, while Arnaud Béril joins Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp and Resort as the new Resort Manager of the luxury jungle retreat in Chiang Rai. A holder of dual Swiss and Belgian nationality, Serge Cuypers is very familiar with the Anantara brand, starting as Hotel Manager at the flagship Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel in Thailand in 2019 as well as General Manager of Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp and Resort from 2021. Serge brings over 22 years of professional experience in high-profile

international luxury hospitality properties. With a career spanning the globe, he is comfortable leading a multicultural workforce and has several luxury hotel openings under his belt. Over the years, Serge, whose background is in Food & Beverage, has worked at some of the most illustrious properties around the world, including The Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland, Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok, Armani Hotel Dubai in the UAE, and Conrad, Seoul in South Korea, among others. Serge holds a degree in Hospitality from Lausanne Hotel Management School and in Economics and Marketing from Lemania School in Lausanne, Switzerland.

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In 2018, he was promoted to the position of Director of FB at Avani+ Hua Hin Resort, before being given the role of Cluster Director of FB at Anantara Hua Hin Resort and Avani+ Hua Hin Resort. Most recently, Arnaud held the position of Director of Operations (Executive Assistant Manager) with Avani+ Samui Resort and the newly opened Avani Chaweng Samui Hotel & Beach Club.

“I am thrilled to continue my journey with Anantara and call Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas my new home,” said Serge. “It is a great opportunity and an honour to join this spectacular resort at a time when the travel industry is experiencing a revival. With the team, we will focus on creating bespoke memorable island experiences for our guests, as well as continuing our sustainability and conservation efforts alongside the Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation.”

“Anantara Golden Triangle is one of the most unique hospitality offerings in the country, if not the region, and I am excited to have the opportunity to join the team and bring Chiang Rai to the world,” said Arnaud. “From our Jungle Bubbles to Walking with Giants and other sustainable elephant experiences to cruising down the Mekong River, there is so much Chiang Rai and Anantara have to offer.”

Arnaud Béril, the new Resort Manager at Anantara Golden Triangle, is a graduate of Vatel Bordeaux International Business School in France, Arnaud holds a Bachelor’s degree in Hotel Management. Arnaud is a Minor Hotels veteran, having started his career at Anantara Rasananda Koh Phangan Villas as Food & Beverage Manager in 2013, where he received the Minor Award of Excellence. Arnaud then worked at the award-winning Anantara Chiang Mai Resort, followed by a stint at Anantara Sathorn Bangkok as a Food & Beverage Manager.

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CWT SIGNS ECPAT’S Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children in Travel and Tourism

resources to use in their daily operations. CWT is an active and longstanding supporter in the fight against human trafficking, dedicated to The Code’s efforts to raise awareness externally, engage employees internally, develop more effective policies, research, and build tools against human trafficking and child sexual exploitation.

“Every child in the world has the right to grow up free from the fear of exploitation and have a decent and safe life. It is paramount that we all stay vigilant, and hopefully businesses like ours can help make that a reality”, says Lauren Aste, Executive Vice President & Chief Legal Officer.

Ahead of World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, CWT, the business-to-business-for-employees (B2B4E) travel management platform, is proud to sign The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism (The Code). The Code is a partnership initiative between the travel and tourism sector and ECPAT, a global non-profit organization working to protect children from trafficking, sexual exploitation, and online abuse. By becoming a member of The Code, travel and tourism companies gain access to tools and

“Signing The Code from ECPAT marks CWT’s continuous commitment and leadership to keeping children safe anywhere around the world.” “ECPAT-USA is thrilled that CWT remains a steadfast ambassador and partner of The Code, lending its unwavering support to our child protection programs in truly meaningful ways. We thank CWT for its continued leadership in the anti-trafficking movement," said Yvonne Chen, Director of Private Sector Engagement, ECPAT-USA. By signing The Code, CWT has committed to uphold the six criteria of The Code, including establishing policies and procedures, training employees, implementing contractual clauses, providing information to travelers and engaging with stakeholders on prevention and annually reporting on all related activities.

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TAT’S MARKETING PLAN 2023 TO REVITALISE THAI TOURISM TOWARDS HIGH VALUE AND SUSTAINABLE GROWTH The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced the marketing plan for 2023 that will continue this year’s goal to revitalise and transform Thai tourism, while placing greater emphasis on the recovery of the tourism sector towards stronger and sustainable, more responsible, more digital and more inclusive tourism growth. Staged in a hybrid meeting format, the annual TAT Action Plan for

2023 conference was presided over by H.E. Mr. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports. Also present at the event were Dr. Thosaporn Sirisumphand, TAT’s Chairman of the Board, and officials and figures from the Thai public and private tourism sectors, as well as members of the media. Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said, “TAT sees

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2023 as a year of a new beginning for Thai tourism. Hence, we have outlined our marketing strategy for next year adhering to the TAT’s Corporate Plan 2023-2027, which aims to heighten the TAT’s position as the strategic leader in driving Thailand towards experience-based and sustainable tourism. “TAT is committed to help revitalise and transform Thai tourism under our three strategic objectives, which are: to ‘drive demand’ for meaningful travel, to ‘shape supply’ by developing a new tourism ecosystem, and to ‘thrive for excellence’ by making the TAT a data-driven organisation. We believe this will heighten our goal for Thailand to achieve high value and sustainable tourism growth,” Mr. Yuthasak added.

TAT will continue to use the “Visit Thailand Year 20222023: Amazing New Chapters” as the communication strategies for the international market. Thailand will continue to be promoted as a world-class destination that offers something for everyone under the ‘From A-Z: Amazing Thailand Has It All’ concept. This will be showcased alongside the kingdom’s 5F, 4M soft-power foundations; namely, Food, Film, Fashion, Festival, Fight, Music, Museum, Master, and Meta. Particularly for long-haul international market, TAT recognises 2023 as the ‘time is the new currency’ era. Therefore, emphasis will be placed on promoting Thailand as a year-round destination for health and wellness aficionados, families with kids, active seniors, and remote workers / teleworkers through co-promotions with leading brands. Strategic marketing activities will be launched in new source markets, including Saudi Arabia and the USA’s large secondary cities through partnerships with the airlines.

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For the short-haul international market, TAT has outlined ‘The Great Resumption’ under the ‘2Qs, 5News’ strategy. The ‘2Qs’ are ‘Quick Win’ to drive back the demands of tourists and ‘Quality’ to achieve more numbers of revisits and higher trip expenditure. The ‘5News’ include ‘New Segments’ with growth potential, ‘New Areas’ for source tourist markets, ‘New Partners’ in existing markets, ‘New Infrastructure’ relating to travel and tourism, and ‘New Way’ of travel experiences that will focus on responsible tourism. TAT will also promote all points of entry into Thailand, via land, water, and air with an aim to reinstate more than 80% of the regional air seating capacity in 2019. In addition, more collaborative partnerships will be formed between TAT and the airlines to help boost the international tourism business by increasing the air seating capacity to Thailand. Initially, this will focus on key source markets with no travel restrictions to drive the travel demand of high-disposable income groups (Millennials, Gen-X, and Silver-Age People), hyper-personalisation groups (health and wellness, sports tourism, and responsible tourism), and new segments (digital nomads and remote workers / teleworkers). For the domestic market, TAT will focus on increasing the travel frequency of domestic tourists by promoting Thailand as a year-round destination under the ‘REAL’ strategy: Responsible Tourism, Extra-ordinary Experience,

Avantgarde Marketing and Less for more Economy. Highlights of each of the five regions of Thailand will be promoted, including nostalgic experiences in the North for Multi-Gen Families, ‘Trend C2’ innovative routes in the Central Region for Gen-Y and Gen-Z, culinary and luxury tourism offers in the East for high-income Gen-Y and Millennial Families, Dharma – Nature – Culture routes in the Northeast for Gen-Y and employed people, and inclusive responsible tourism in the South. Moreover, TAT will promote secondary cities up and down Thailand. TAT has formulated the marketing plan for 2023 adhering to the Thai government’s Bio-Circular-Green or BCG Economy Model, which is conforming to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The BCG model is being used to revive the tourism industry with the aim of safe, inclusive, and sustainable travel. Moreover, to ‘thrive for excellence’ by making TAT a data-driven organisation, TAT will use the Thailand Tourism Virtual Mart (TTVM) via as the key online B2B platform for Thai tourism business and international tourism operators. “For 2023, TAT expects Thailand to generate a total tourism revenue of 1.73 trillion Baht with 970 billion Baht from the international market and 760 billion Baht from the domestic market, for base case scenario, and 2.38 trillion Baht with 1.50 trillion Baht from the international market and 880 billion Baht from the domestic market, for best case scenario. This represents about 80% of Thailand’s tourism performance in 2019,” Mr. Yuthasak concluded.

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DWARKA ASSOCIATION OF TOUR OPERATORS, (DATO) HOSTED THE ANNUAL BASH ON 15TH JULY 2022 IN DWARKA 100+ hoteliers both Chain hotels, Standalone hotels and representative sales offices of hotels all over India based in Delhi and Transport companies attended the event. DATO President Mr. ShivRam alongwith the Secretary Mr. V. Jayaram and Mr. K K Shivdas, Treasurer- DATO, welcomed the august gathering. The President addressed the esteemed guests who graced the occasion and spoke about the strong bonding and friendship that Dato and its members enjoy with the hospitality industry. The office bearers and members of Dato expressed their Gratitude to the esteemed guests for gracing the occasion which reinforced the strong belief of their support in rebuilding this tourism industry and restoring the ecosystem of the industry to its former glory in days and months to come.

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MADAME TUSSAUDS shifts to Noida - Invites Travel Trade for a show around evening The iconic Madame Tussaud wax museum, India has shifted to a new location at DLF Mall of India, Noida recently. The management invited travel trade for a show around event of the attraction. The attraction houses famous bollywood and hollywood figures, political leaders, stars from the world of sports , and figure of Motu Patlu to welcome your kids to the attraction.

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TAAI to hold its 66th Cruising Convention in Singapore in August

Jyoti Mayal, President, TAAI





has been advocating the need for bilateral


Committee Members at both National

and multilateral tourism promotion even

learning; networking; exploring;

and Regional levels of TAAI informed

before taking over as the President in


and invited their members to the 66th

2019. She shared that the close proximity


Cruising Convention from 22nd ~

of Singapore & the opportunity to promote


25th August 2022.

regional tourism is the need of the hour

their participation and not miss

to strengthen bi-lateral relations, develop

out on exciting and momentous

Speaking about the event, Jyoti

trade, investments & tourism, to experience



the serene beauty of destinations like

Bettaiah Lokesh, Hon Secretary

Singapore and Penang, Malaysia.





that association's strength is



looking to

forward situations

beyond must


to and





Shreeram Patel, Hon Treasurer


-to-business and people-to-

Jay Bhatia, Vice President added that

informed that TAAI will soon

-people contacts to support

the TAAI’s 66th Cruising Convention will

be rolling out the registration

its members. And, therefore,

be a lifetime experience. The Cruise-to-

opportunity. This 66th Cruising

we are inviting members to

-Cruise experience will begin and end in

Convention is designed to be




Singapore. We have roped in the Royal





Caribbean International and shall be


boarding the ‘Spectrum of the Seas. The


largest, best, and newest Cruise ship in the


A strong and committed travel trade

world, ‘Spectrum of the Seas’ offers great


professional for four decades; Mayal

food, warm hospitality, and various other




relationships post-pandemic.

restricted, availability of


however, we





unique experience, apprised Bhatia.

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Vandita Singh has joined THE


as General Manager - Marketing & Communication Vandita brings with her 10+ years of rich and diverse global experience of working with some of the biggest brands in the world like Qatar Airways and Ogilvy and Mather across the Middle East, India and Nepal. She has completed MSc in marketing and management from Lancaster University. In her career journey, she has contributed to the global success of Qatar Airways with large scale events, CSR and sponsorship tie ups with FIFA, AS Roma, FC Bayern Munich, UNICEF, Farnborough air show etc. She comes with strong roots in the service industry driving multimillion dollar projects. Her strengths are her strategic and analytical skills with deep marketing knowledge of topline, sponsorships, Market Analysis, Brand positioning and Digital Marketing. Vandita is delighted to be moving to take on the leadership role. She is keen on collaborating with the team towards building on the brands performance, while striving to further enhance brand value focussing on a strong brand positioning of the hotels while creating a positive workforce environment.

Vandita Singh General Manager - Marketing & Communication

An ardent traveller, she also enjoys adventure sports, visiting new places and is a certified scuba diver

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World’s Greatest Wax Museum Madame Tussauds’ opens to public in Noida, India on 19 th July

Merlin Entertainments, one of the world’s leading visitor attraction operators, today announced its re-entry into the Indian market, with Madame Tussauds India in an all-new avatar at a new location. The Madame Tussauds India attraction opens the gates to fanfare today at DLF MALL OF INDIA – NOIDA. The venue is alight with some of the brand-new attractions along with the most interactive experiential displays that will offer a unique experience to the visitors. The attraction is specially designed to offer an exceptional experience to visitors, with the opportunity to interact with their favourite celebrities and role models.

India, recognised for its rich cultural past, sparkling Bollywood star-studded actors and entertainment sector diversity, is an iconic destination to host the world renowned attraction brand. The new wax attraction by Madame Tussauds will feature close to 50 figures from various genres, including history, sports, music, film, and television. Each wax figure is crafted by over 20 international artists working concurrently for 3-6 months to create the magic. The attraction’s audiences have long held a special place in their hearts for Madame Tussauds and visitors are promised an unforgettable star-studded experience. Spread over 16,000 Sq.ft and showcasing close to 50 wax figures, the attraction will open to the public from today, 19 th July 2022. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet international and domestic current and late famous figures, such as the honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, India’s greatest freedom fighters such as Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Bhagat Singh, Subhas Chanda Bose, Cricketing legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil Dev and Virat Kohli, Bollywood celebrities like Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Anil Kapoor, Katrina Kaif and Madhubala; singing legends Asha Bhosle and Sonu Nigam, and many more. For those with younger children, they will also have the chance to meet their favourite cartoon characters including Motu- Patlu.

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Speaking on the opening Mr. Anshul Jain, General Manager and Director Merlin Entertainments India Pvt Ltd said: “We are overjoyed to announce




famous wax attraction, Madame Tussauds, is finally opening its doors in India, at the new and exciting location of the DLF Mall of India Noida. The wax attraction will provide the Indian audience with an immersive and thrilling glimpse into the glamorous world of well-known celebrities and

Ms. Pushpa Bector, Executive Director, DLF Retail said,

personalities. I truly foresee an

“The re-opening of Madame Tussauds is one of the most

exhilarating presence of fans not

anticipated launches in the country and we are glad to

only from Noida & Delhi NCR, but

be their partner of choice. Entertainment continues to

from all over the country. We have

be one of the key attractions at DLF Mall of India and

emphasised on Indian superstars,

with this new addition, we are curating a whole new

knowing that both residents and

level of unique experiences for our patrons across age

visitors will enjoy meeting these

groups. DLF Mall of India is a hub for some of the most

icons who have made a difference

prominent retail brands in India and we look forward

in their lives in many ways. Madame

to continuing to provide a rejuvenated mix of the latest

Tussauds is set to serve each one

offerings to our customers.”

of our visitors with a magical and

Adding to this, Mr. Manish Mehrotra, SVP & Head of Mall Operations, DLF Shopping Malls said, “DLF Mall of India, has been at the forefront at enhancing experiential value for its patrons. A hub to a vast catalogue of retail brands, the mall has grown with the ever-evolving tastes of its customers. We are thrilled to have partnered with Madame Tussauds and aim to further expand the entertainment quotient at the mall. Our visitors will now have the opportunity to get up close and personal with their favourite known personalities and experience a thrill like never before. We hope to continue catering to our patrons in unique ways and provide new, exciting formats which encourage them to come back to our mall.” Attraction tickets are will be available via walk-in at the counter of Madame Tussauds India at 4th floor, DLF Mall of India, from the opening day. Tickets are available at Rs 960 for adults and Rs 760 for children, with the added benefit of flexibility in enabling visitors to visit at any time and for any duration for the day the ticket is booked for.

unique visit they’ll remember for years to come.”

Mr. Rob Smith, Divisional Director, Midway




Entertainments Group said: “We ar excited as we get ready to capture all the smiles and excitement as fans meet their favourite Indian and International superstars. It will be an amazing experience to welcome people to their most loved wax attraction. Moreover, we are delighted to give our Indian fans, their most loved attraction in a new avatar and at a new location in DLF, Mall of India.”

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Padels up for a game of

Padel Tennis at Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa


he Maldives is the perfect tropical escape, surrounded by white sandy beaches and embellished with lush natural island beauty. It is also ideal for active travellers looking for a retreat in a sunny paradise filled with many adrenaline-filled activities to break out a sweat in the tropical weather. As such, Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa is the perfect destination for your

similar balls but slightly less pressure. The court, rules, and play styles are very different from regular tennis. The main differences are that the court has walls where players can play the balls off them, similarly to the game of squash, and that solid and stringless bats are used. The height of the ball being served must be at or below the waist level. Padel Tennis is considered the fastest growing sport in the world. It has been the second-most popular game in Spain, and in cosmopolitan tourist destinations like Singapore and Dubai, more and more hospitality providers have Padel courts. Padel has been attracting celebrity players and advocates in recent years, including

next island vacation due to the sheer number of recreational experiences available at the resort, and now with one additional recreational activity available from this month onwards – Padel Tennis. Padel Tennis (also known as Padel) is a racket sport typically played in doubles on an enclosed court roughly 25% smaller than a tennis court. Scoring is the same as regular tennis, with

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these activities include, professionally surfaced two tennis courts, a huge and well-stocked gym, a rec room with table tennis and foosball, an outdoor gym with a punching bag, a half- basketball court, and many more experiences on the way. In addition, due to the expert landscaping of the large island, it is also the perfect place for outdoor running or biking to stay fit and get your daily fix of Vitamin D. “Creating novel and exciting experiences has always been an important part of the ethos

Peter Crouch, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Andy Murray. As Padel Tennis courts are being built worldwide, Maldives is no exception. Currently, Hideaway is proudly one of the few providers of this experience in the Maldives. Hideaway and its Signature Collection guests can book the courts to play together or, if just by themselves, can opt to book one of our sports masters or tennis pros to have a hit together. The new Padel Tennis court is next to the Hideaway Golf Centre – a fairly recent addition to Hideaway’s vast number of recreational activities. Notable among

of Hideaway so that there is no shortage of activities to do during your stay at the resort. Guests are spoilt for choice with novel experiences from our state-of-the-art Golf Simulator, beautiful five-hole Putting Green, and now Padel Tennis. Some more exciting experiences are in the works, and we look forwards to unveiling them soon”,

says Christophe Adam, General Manager at Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa. So come on down to enjoy this juxtaposition of tennis and squash with a game of Padel Tennis at your perfect hideaway in the Maldives!

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Sun Siyam Maldives hosts travel companies for a

familiarization trip to the Resort in July 2022. Travel Companies from Mathura, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata and Ahmedabad joined the trip.

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India remains and has been one of the top market sources for Malaysia and has contributed 735,309 arrivals (+22%) in 2019. Apart from its objective to instill confidence among Indians to feel safe to visit Malaysia once again, the roadshow aims to provide a platform for the industry community to steer the tourism sector and return even stronger.

This is the right time to be back in India, and planning for this roadshow is very opportune. The resumption of

scheduled international flights from India coincides with the reopening of Malaysia’s international borders. We are very thrilled to welcome Indian travelers once again to our humble abode,” said Datuk Seri Dr. Santhara J.P.

Fully-vaccinated travellers can now enjoy quarantine-free travel to Malaysia, and are no longer required to undergo pre-departure and on-arrival COVID-19 tests. Currently, Malaysian eVISA can be applied online and more than 14,000 seats are offered weekly between India and Malaysia through Malaysia Airlines, Batik Air, AirAsia, IndiGo, and Air India Express. Tourism Malaysia continues with its second roadshow to India this year, together with the Malaysia Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) across four cities from 17th to 24 August 2022. The roadshow kicks off in the city of Visakhapatnam, followed by Kolkata, Kochi and Tiruchirappalli. The mission is headed by the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, YB Datuk Seri Dr. Santhara J.P., together with Malaysia’s tourism fraternity which consists of one (1) Malaysia-based airline, eighteen (16) travel agents, two (2) hoteliers, and one (1) state government agency. Since the reopening of Malaysia’s international borders on 1st April 2022, Tourism Malaysia initiated its first roadshow to six major cities in India from 18th to 30th April, followed by its participation in this year’s South Asia Travel & Tourism Exchange (SATTE) from 18th to 20th May.

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Mr. Saurabh Mishra

joins Crowne Plaza New Delhi Rohini as Crowne Meetings Director “Crowne Plaza New Delhi Rohini welcomes Saurabh Mishra as the new Crowne Meetings Director as of July 2022. He is an experienced sales leader with a demonstrated history of working in the Hospitality industry. His last assignment was as a Cluster Associate Director of Sales at Roseate Hotels and Resorts, Delhi. Saurabh is an expert in pre-opening hotels and Sales. He brings with him deep knowledge of Hospitality industry with professional experience in Customer Service, Hospitality Management, MICROS, Front Office, and Food & Beverage. His professional portfolio includes working with renowned brands like Hyatt Hotels and Taj Hotels. His strong managerial and team leadership skills come handy in his professional roles. Saurabh holds a graduate degree in Hospitality Management from Amity University, and started his career in the Guest Service roles at The Claridges Hotels and Taj Hotels. He eventually made Sales as his main domain and gained experience as a Sales Manager and Associate Director of Sales at Hyatt Hotels. He loves to explore different genres of music.”

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IATO hails Govt. decision to scrap TCS on sale of overseas tour packages to foreign tour operators/foreign tourists

IATO expresses its sincere gratitude to the Government for withdrawing completely 5 percent Tax Collection At Source (TCS) charged on sale of overseas tour packages to foreign tour operators. The same was earlier withdrawn only for individual foreign tourists but now on IATO’s representation, Govt. has announced removal of tax, both on individual foreign tourists as well as foreign tour operators (FTO’s). The removal would make the tour packages offered by Indian tour operators to foreigners a bit cheaper and would help provide some succor to the pandemic ravaged sector. Lot of foreigners book overseas tour packages for neighbouring countries like Bhutan, Nepal and Maldives through Indian Tour Operators. But since there was a levy, they preferred booking the tours directly with tour operators in those countries as there was no such charge there.

According to Mr. Rajiv Mehra, President IATO, “The impact of this notification is that both foreign individuals and FTOs (buyers) buying overseas tour packages from the Indian Tour Operators will be exempt from TCS provisions. It is not necessary that the foreign tourist should visit India for an onward journey to the neighbouring country. Secondly, the FTO / Corporate entity established in foreign country and not maintaining any permanent establishment / branch in India would also be exempted from TCS provisions.” Mr. Mehra adds further,

Indian tour operators were losing a lot of clients because of this tax, besides the govt. was losing precious foreign exchange as the entire money was going to the other countries. We represented the Finance Ministry on this and they found merit in our plea and thereby announced the withdrawal. We express our gratitude to the Finance Ministry and Tourism Ministry for this.”

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TAAI,s 66th Cruise Convention Kicked off in Style on-board Spectrum Of the Seas Jyoti Mayal, President TAAI welcomed all delegates to this exclusive limited edition Convention.

NAMASTE INDIA - OCEAN OF OPPORTUNITIES The three day convention commits to bring the most engaging discussions from the travel, Tourism, Hospitality and cruise business with clear focus on regional and cruise tourism

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Ms Jyoti Mayal President TAAI


Cocktail dinner was hosted by PCEB during Halt at Penang. PCEB CEO, Ashwin Guansekeran welcomed the TAAI delegation to Penang. PCEB also invited local partners from Penang to network with TAAI delegation led by President Ms Jyoti Mayal.

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GLIMPSES FROM TAAI 66TH Convention onboard Spectrum of the Seas

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Glimpses from TAAI 66TH Convention onboard Spectrum of the Seas

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Glimpses from TAAI 66TH Convention

onboard Spectrum of the Seas

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Khao Lak is only an hour and a half north of Phuket and is a great destination to travel with kids,whether they are toddlers or teenagers. Avani+ Khao Lak, the regions newest upscale resort, offers stylish and varied accommodation, delicious dining and family fun. Four pools, a fun water park, an AvaniKids club for kids from 1 years old, a cool surf school and a host of facilities and activities to ensure everyone in the family is entertained.

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A Spirit for Adventure

Surfs Up

Kids will feel a sense of freedom

Khao Lak is a great place for kids and adults to learn to surf as the waves are very beginner friendly especially from May to October at Pakarang Beach, Thailand’s up and coming hottest surfing destination, that comes alive in the rainy season. Sign up for surf school, rent a longboard and ride the swell. Memories Beach and Bar is the perfect après-surf spot to hang loose and refuel.

at Avani+ Khao Lak. They’ll enjoy riding bikes on nearby trails and building sandcastles on the beach. AvaniKids offers a complimentary daily supervised programme in separate zones - one for 1 – 4-year-olds and one for 5 – 12-year-olds, which includes indoor and outdoor games, aerobic classes and arts and crafts. The kids pool complete with waterslides is the perfect place to enjoy hours of fun during the day. Situated within 24-acres of tropical gardens, Avani+ Khao Lak lets families leave the modern world behind. Kids can feed the resident ducks and chickens and pick vegetables, fruit and herbs from the resort’s produce gardens.

Kids, Teen and Adult-friendly Amenities AvaniFit offers a variety of lifestyle elements for a healthy body and healthy mind with state-of-the-art aerobic and anaerobic machines and weights and an indoor rock climbing wall. Teens have their own AvaniKids zone upstairs, away from younger kids where they can play video games, PlayStation and enjoy fun karaoke nights. There’s also an opportunity to learn Thai boxing from a Muay Thai master in a full scale boxing ring, play tennis and hone their skills on the outdoor climbing wall, then scale newheights climbing and

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rappelling the regions limestone cliffs. The skate park is ideal for both intermediate and newbie skaters and offers plenty of smooth concrete, half pipes, rails, ramps and funboxes. Check out the water sports centre on the beach which provides stand-up paddle boards, sea kayaks, and kiteboarding equipment.

Get Out and About Bamboo rafting offers a unique way to explore the lush waterways and local reptiles in the area. Propelled with bamboo poles by expert locals, these traditionally crafted bamboo rafts glide through the crystal-clear water and small rapids. The polers, who stand at the front of the raft, watch for small animals hiding in the tree canopy and find tranquil spots where adventurers can take refreshing dips in cool water.

For scuba divers, the nearby Similan Islands are easily reached by boat. Diving season is from late October to early May and the beautiful granite islands offer numerous dive sites where hawksbill turtles, moray eels, reef sharks, cuttlefish and large schools of yellow snapper can be found. The Andaman coastline is one of the most iconic seascapes in the world with stunning rock formations and karst islands and it’s just waiting to be explored. Go island hopping by speed boat to Phang Nga Bay or Phi Phi. Spend the day soaking up the sun and snorkelling. Family Style Accommodation There’s ample family accommodation including 327 spacious rooms and suites ranging from Premier Rooms, Three Bedroom Suites to Two Bedroom Beach Access Pool Suites and everything in between. The suites feature kitchenettes for families who wish to self cater. Avani+ Khao Lak is the perfect place to spend time together as a family. Enjoy a private family yoga session on the beach and indulge in the poolside spa menu and kids&fruity body scrubs and massages.

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Kandima presents #anythingbutordinary opportunities for couples to start their new lives together in style with each other and their loved ones! The K’Krew creates oh-so incredible celebrations to remember for a lifetime, from unique proposal ideas, pre-wedding get-togethers and photo shoots to tailor-made (desti)nation weddings in the most Instagram-worthy settings. Say ‘I Do’ or renew your vows on an idyllic Maldivian island and celebrate the koolest new chapter in your lives as husband and wife. A secluded 3-km island surrounded by crystal clear waters and white sands, Kandima creates the ultimate experiences to suit your requirements with a host of indulgences acrossextraordinary settings and picturesque locations. Kandima takes pride in being one of the very few resorts in the Maldives where experiences are tailor-made for guests, positioning itself as the ultimate lifestyle desti(nation) in the affordable luxury segment. The island resort has successfully hosted various small to large-scale events and celebrations, including full island buyouts for weddings.

The wedding planners at Kandima leave no stone unturned to curate bespoke events from start to finish, from magnificent venues to sumptuous menus, and signature settings to experiences that every guest can remember forever! From the very first moment, Kandima’s kool wedding planners will guide you through each step of the wedding planning process, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free on-ground implementation. With up to 10 choices of dining options including 3 à la carte restaurants, 2 cafés, 2 all day dining restaurants and 3 stunning bars overlooking the blue waters. Various locations at Kandima allow guests to customise each celebration venue to reflect their unique style and preferences. For instance, a movable marquee setup is an excellent

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option for larger groups, with a maximum capacity of 120 guests, while Azure offers a combination of indoor and outdoor seating with a capacity of up to 40 guests. Forbidden Bar is great for an evening gathering with drinks and music for up to 60 guests. For bigger events, the Ken’s Cove Private Island is just 5 minutes from Kandima and can accommodate up to 500 guests. Situated at the tip of the island, Kakuni Point and Coconut Grove are popular outdoor wedding venues. In total, there is a whopping fifteen choices on the island when it comes to private venues. If you are looking to add some groovy entertainment, then Kandima is the place to be. With in-house bands and DJ’s and a fully equipped team of audio-visual support, you’ll have a beach party full of memories to last forever.

LOOK AT THESE UNIQUE PROPOSAL IDEAS AND CURATED WEDDING PACKAGES AT KANDIMA: Oh-so Kool Wedding Proposals: Choose from a range of personalised proposal ideas and packages filled with adrenaline and love! The Coconut Love package includes a bottle of bubbly with signage with coconuts on the beach saying – Will you marry me? The Bubble Maker package – is a unique underwater marriage proposal idea to woo your partner! ‘I Do’ with a View: Arrive at the jetty and head over to the floating platform just minutes away from the island – the perfect location to say ‘I do’ surrounded by turquoise waters of the lagoon. ‘I Do on the Beach’: Arrive at your chosen pristine white sandy beach location, where a stunning wedding-set up awaits for your special day on the beach. Oh-So Kool Kandima Wedding: Take this signature wedding package for an event of a lifetime! Exchange vows in front of your loved ones on the soft coral-white sands with glittering waters as your backdrop. Dance your nights away at the adults-only Forbidden Bar or other entertainment venues at Kandima, or book a private group affair – your own deserted island for lunch, dinner, picnics, sundowners (you name it!). ‘I Do’ with a View: Arrive at the jetty and head over to the floating platform just minutes away from the island – the perfect location to say ‘I do’ surrounded by turquoise waters of the lagoon.

Kandima Maldives has optimal safety measures in place, and the staff takes all the necessary precautions, PCR test facilities and temperature checks are available on call. Kandima’s Medical Klinic has state-of-the-art technology and medical equipment available for guests 24x7. There are three doctorson the island, a visiting dentist and a diving safety officer. The resort’s safety programme K’OnGuard is run by an internationally trained health and safety manager. Additional procedures cover the safety and wellbeing requirements across all contact points, including transfers, public areas, restaurants and kitchens, bars, rooms, activities, the spa and fitness centre, and all back-of-house operations.

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SriLankan Airlines welcomes Top Travel Agents and Elite Sports Influencers for the

Sri Lanka Vs Australia Test Series

SriLankan Airlines, the award-winning National Airline of Sri Lanka and a member of the prestigious one world airline alliance, recently took top Travel Agents and elite sports influencers from India to watch the first match of the test series between Sri Lanka and Australia, which was held at the Galle International Cricket Stadium, Sri Lanka.

The visit also served an opportunity to the influencers and agents to witness normalcy in the country and how inbound tourism is flourishing across the island. The tourism industry of Sri Lanka has always been one of the largest sources of foreign revenue for the country. It has been no secret that the country is currently passing through the most difficult time in its recent history due to the ongoing economic crisis just after the COVID 19 pandemic which had previously destructed tourism in the country. In order to inspire travellers across India which is the Airline’s single largest source market and also to reassure that Sri Lanka is welcoming and safe, the Airline took this initiative whereby inviting the tourists arriving in Sri Lanka to make the most of this much sought-after tourist paradise – with high exchange rates and great travel offers.

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Ever since the easing of travel restrictions following the global pandemic, SriLankan Airlines has steered an extensive content creator campaign #NamastefromSriLanka, in order to build advocacy and familiarity to the brand SriLankan Airlines and destination Sri Lanka. Under this programme, SriLankan has welcomed over 60 elite content creators/social influencers from India so far, and the agents’ fam tour is another extension of this initiative. SriLankan Airlines, Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Richard Nuttall met the group at a fellowship and dinner where he spoke his sentiments; “We believe that Sri Lanka holds a timeless appeal to the discerning Indian traveller; whether you are travelling solo or with family; or whether you are a seasoned repeater or a first-timer. During these challenging times, I firmly believe that the India Market will be largely helpful in our bounce back efforts. I am confident that our long-standing affinity with the Indian travel trade partners will pave the way for fruitful results in the days to come.” The Fam tour included a memorable opening day of the first test between Sri Lanka and Australia played in honour of the legend the late Shane Warne, at the Galle International Cricket Stadium, a city tour of Colombo and experiencing a range of luxury hospitality properties in Colombo and the Southern Coast of the island. The Airline also offered them a memorable flying experience inclusive of a Business Class service. Some of the sentiments expressed by the participants of the fam tour are as follows; Kesari Tours, Head of FIT Products, Contracting, Cruises & Trade Relations, Pradnya Naik said, “Thank you SriLankan Airlines for inviting me to your beautiful island and the on- ground situation is very safe. A lot has been said and talked about the current scenario in Sri Lanka which has been portrayed in the media with partial truth and fake news. All my worries vanished post visiting this gorgeous country. Sri Lanka is open for travel and rest assured you will be in safe hands.

Vikas Kashyap of said,

“We felt so comfortable. Everything worked out on time and was handled perfectly. We felt very safe and were treated like royals or VIPs. We will definitely recommend SriLankan Airlines to our customers/ agents and to our friends who are also planning trips out of India. Sports blogger/ social influencer, Nashpreet Singh said, “Despite all what the country is going through, it is perfect for tourists. The people were nothing but welcoming and friendly, I am in awe of the resilience they have shown during these tough times. Sri Lanka is completely fine to visit. This was my second trip this year. It is a beautiful country with the friendliest people and the most delicious food.” Sports blogger/ social influencer,

Suhail Chandhok said,

“My journey to and through Sri Lanka with SriLankan Airlines was certainly a very memorable one. At a time filled with so much uncertainty and media chatter back in India, it was amazing to experience first-hand that the spirit and warmth of Sri Lanka was still very much intact. It has been a childhood dream as a former cricketer to watch a Test Match from the top of the Galle Fort and that was just one of several incredible moments spent with the fantastic team at SriLankan Airlines. I can't wait to head back to the country and I do hope that more Indians see it as a destination given the proximity and the absolute diversity on offer for any traveller.” SriLankan Airlines, Head of Marketing Mr. Saminda Perera said, “Our intension has been to portray Sri Lanka as a safe and secure destination to the travellers from our closest neighbour, and to re-emphasize that the timeless charm of the destination remains intact despite what one sees or hears about the country on media which is mostly exaggerated.”

Hospitality Partners, Cinnamon Grand Colombo, Radisson Blu Resort Galle, Cinnamon Bentota Beach, Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo and Malabar Hills Weligama extended their state-of-the-art hospitality to the visiting agents. Walkers Tours closely worked with the Airline to curate the itineraries, seamless ground arrangements including hotel transfers.

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ILLUMINATES 300+ MINDS ONBOARD “SPECTRUM OF THE SEAS” Regional Tourism, Rebuilding Connect and addressing the needs of a Connected Traveler being the theme of TAAI’S 66th convention, the three day event turned out to be a mega block buster event, which was very well acknowledged and appreciated by all the participants onboard Spectrum of the Seas. The newest cruise ship on the sailing of 3 days itinerary with a stopover at Penang, provided the right itinerary to go with the theme of Regional Tourism for TAAI’s Convention. The event was also attended by key representatives from Nepal Tourism Board, Sri lanka Tourism, Kazhak Tourism and a meeting with key stakeholders from Penang was also arranged during the Cocktail dinner hosted by Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau. With 300+ delegates attending the convention and shaking hands with each other in style on board (Spectrum of the Seas), the event set the right stage for addressing the topics like Regional Tourism, Connected Traveler, and Relevance of Technology and so on.

The Guest of Honor P. Kumaran, High Commissioner of India to Singapore addressed the participants with a clear message of using this platform to build stronger ties enabling more tourism between South East Asia and India. Discussion topics ranged from War, Peace and Tourism to Regional Tourism and Connected Traveler. Moreover, the situation update from Sri Lanka Tourism let the audience be aware of the fact that Sri lanka is ready to welcome tourists again. Nepal Tourism Board attended the event with a powerful delegation of tourism stakeholders to connect with the travel fraternity from India. A Presentation from Singapore Airlines showcased the various offerings for the trade and special benefits for MICE groups. The event focused on the importance of promoting Cruise Tourism in India from Inbound, Domestic and Outbound Tourism too. India with a vast coastline of close to 7500 KM carries a huge potential for cruise tourism to be developed and contribute more to GDP out of Tourism business.

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Cruise is a fantastic product for all kinds of travelers. The destination moves with you for the entire duration. And it’s a complete package for MICE Traveler too. We at Royal Carribean (Spectrum of The Seas” take care of all your needs once onboard. Starting from meals to entertainment to event needs, we have it all “Mrs. Ratna Chadha, Chairperson-Tirun Travel Marketing shared. Jyoti Mayal, President TAAI shared “India has a huge potential to develop Cruise Tourism based on the huge coastline we have. The Government needs to develop the ports to enable Cruise Business, which I am sure will be a big hit in India. This will add on more employment and generate new business opportunities too.” “66th Convention of TAAI has been a really successful one. 300 + delegates, great support from our sponsors, insightful discussions, opportunity to connect with each other and the experience sharing, it had all. The Theme of the convention has served its purpose by Illuminating the Minds” Mayal concluded.

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Bangkok Ranks

Top in Asia-Pacific Local Knowledge Leaders Attracting International Conferences

Bangkok was ranked in the top position in Asia-Pacific for its ability to leverage its knowledge leaders in international associations to attract international conventions, according to GainingEdge. GainingEdge, a consulting firm in international conferences, released its latest report on “Leveraging Intellectual Capital”.The report shows that Bangkok has local knowledge leaders assuming positions in the boards of 194 international associations and they can attract 123 international conferences of the associations to their city. The performance was translated into “Harnessing Ratio” at 63.4%. The percentage is the highest in Asia-Pacific, followed by Shanghai (51.7%), Singapore (50.8%), Taipei (45.9%), and Kuala Lumpur (44.3%). The firm ranked MICE destinations worldwide on the basis of the influence of their knowledge leaders in attracting international conventions. It compared the number of knowledge leaders from each city who are on the governing bodies of international associations and the number of international conventions that the city has hosted from 2018–2021. The correlation between the two numbers – or how efficiently representation converts to bid wins – is defined as a city’s Harnessing Ratio. On a global scale, Bangkok ranked 6 th place behind Prague (95%), Dublin (81.9%), Lisbon (81.8%), Montreal (77.2%) and Berlin (64.7%).

Mr. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, President of Thailand Convention &Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), Mr. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, President of Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), said:“GainingEdge’s recommendation that destinations undertake “smart” bid strategies by engaging local knowledge leaders with a strong reputation to support their bids is in line with a new initiative of TCEB called Thailand Convention Ambassador Programme. We have so far appointed Prof. Emeritus Dr. Somsri Pausawasdi (Honorary Convention Ambassador – Medical) and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Djitt Laowattana (Convention Ambassador – Robotics) as Thailand’s first Convention Ambassadors. The two ambassadors have played a role in supporting Thai medical and robotics professionals to assume the positions in the governing bodies of international associations”. The roles of the Convention Ambassador are persuasive advocates for Thailand. They will help communicate the value of hosting a convention and put together intellectual resources and support necessary for local associations to win bids. The Thailand Convention Ambassador Programme will be expanded progressively to include other “Thailand 4.0” and “Bio-Circular-Green Economy Model” industries such as food, and agriculture.

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Mr. Kapil Vig joins New Delhi Rohini

Crowne Plaza Kapil brings with him a rich experience of more than 20 years in the Hospitality industry. He is an expert in all the departments of Hospitality, with strong background in F&B and operations, and has led renowned brands to greater heights such as The Lalit New Delhi, and Crowne Plaza Chennai. In his last assignment, he opened Holiday Inn Agra as the General Manager and has successfully positioned that hotel for bright future. Kapil holds a diploma in Hotel Management from Institute of Hotel Management Catering and Nutrition, Ahmedabad. He started his career as a Hotel Operational Trainee at Holiday Inn Ahmedabad. From Restaurant Manager to Food & Beverage Manager, he has worked in India and New Zealand, thus gaining rich experience and uplifting the Food & Beverage.

as General Manager

Kapil’s professional experience and profound knowledge is reflected in his work. He has been awarded with various accolades for his exceptional service in the Hospitality industry. The recent feather in his cap was receiving the Top Most Hospitality Icon (General Managers) by the World Leadership Congress & Awards in March 2022. When not at work, Kapil likes to explore different genres in English music and is an avid traveler. He is a die-hard fan of Cricket, with India and New Zealand being his favorite teams. Speaking about his new journey, Kapil said,

“Crowne Plaza New Delhi Rohini is an iconic property. It’s great to lead a switched on team as we prepare to scale new heights.”

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HKECIA WELCOMES reduction in hotel quarantine requirement and hopes Hong Kong to fully reopen and reconnect with the world

The Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association (HKECIA) welcomes the decision of the HKSAR Government to reduce hotel quarantine for inbound travellers from seven to three days, followed by four days under medical surveillance at home. Reducing the number of days for hotel quarantine will help ease the burden on Hong Kong residents returning to the city and incoming international travellers. However, inbound visitors are not allowed to attend any exhibitions held in event premises, e.g. trade fairs, exhibitions, conferences, etc, during the four days of medical surveillance. The new arrangement and the reduction of number of days for hotel quarantine thus will make no difference for the exhibition industry. Mr Stuart Bailey, HKECIA Chairman, “While the HKECIA commented, appreciates Government’s direction of relaxing restrictions, our members and the exhibition and convention industry urge the Government to implement quarantine-free travel as soon as possible. During this interim period, we hope the Government

to relax restrictions for business travellers and allow overseas exhibition organisers, exhibitors and buyers with the Amber Code to run and attend exhibitions at event premises with their face masks on and appropriate social distancing and preventive measures.”

With decades of effort by the HKECIA members, Hong Kong has attained its hard-earned reputation as the Trade Fair Capital of Asia. Some 140 exhibitions were held in a ‘normal’ year at the AsiaWorld-Expo and the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, drawing millions of trade buyers and exhibitors from all over the world. These high-spending business travellers generated tremendous tourism receipts for hotels, restaurants and shops, and hence created tens of thousands of jobs. The exhibition industry has been an important pillar to Hong Kong’s economy and will be a core engine for the economy rebound. Hong Kong exhibition industry is beginning to see renowned international trade exhibitions relocating from Hong Kong to destinations with less restrictive policies. Mega and international exhibitions have a long lead-time and therefore, exhibition organisers urgently need a clear road map to start exhibitor and buyer recruitments. Otherwise, Hong Kong exhibition industry is unable to bounce back and Hong Kong will lose advantages to other Asian cities. The exhibition industry and business sector need to be able to freely reconnect with the world to enable the economy to recover.

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MR SAURABH KHANNA GENERAL MANAGER – Courtyard By Marriott, AGRA What is the Current market trends and business recovery After having been in the eye of the COVID-19 storm for over 24 months, the hotel industry is finally getting back to its feet and if the past 4-5 months are any indicator to go by, we seem to be poised for a “W” shaped recovery. There’s been a gradual transition for hotels, which have so far survived solely on domestic leisure and taken a big chunk out of the big fat Indian wedding pie! We are witnessing the return and resurgence of corporate travelers, corporate incentives and the odd inbound tourists have begun to trickle in with the gradual opening of international borders and commercial flights. Fueled by the positive business sentiment, directives from Corporate’s to return to offices and with the urge to engage in face-to-face meetings, there is a sense of reassurance that the business is here to stay.

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To meet these needs requires the right mix of talent, energy, commitment and experience. In fact the biggest challenge facing the industry is not the uncertainty of the future, but the acute lack of skilled talent. COVID-19 induced a mass exodus of talent from the industry, most of whom are reluctant to come back. Colleges and institutes were closed and with almost negligible on-the-job training experience, there is a dearth of ready and available talent.

Change in customer experience The

The travel and hospitality sector is showing signs of strong revival, with a better than expected summer season behind us, we stand at the cusp of the season months with far more confidence and promise. Our business has slowly begun to sway towards the traditional business segments – Monday to Friday, there is significant Corporate demand for individual traveler as well as meetings. These are then topped- off with a trickle inbound tourists and domestic leisure. Weekends - Saturday to Sunday, are packed mostly with domestic tourists and a handful of inbound travelers. Peak wedding “saaya” dates are blocked out for wedding guests and topped with the odd corporate or domestic individual traveler(s). A great way to measure the buoyancy in business is to look out for the job market. Every hotel is in the process of ramping up their hiring, not just at the shop floor level but at senior management levels as well. As the demand comes back to pre-COVID levels, so does the travelers needs and their expectations.





hospitality landscape and while there was a paradigm shift in business segments, the underlying expectations on cleanliness, safety, hygiene and guest services pretty much remains the same across all business segments. We re-looked at all the spaces within the hotel to monetize all the possible avenues of revenue, we tweaked our cuisines to suit the palate of our customers and looked at adding more experiences in-house to keep our customers more engaged. Now, as we see things normalize, we are slowly moving towards a hybrid model to provide our customers the best of both worlds! Contactless payments, digital menus, heightened safety and hygiene protocols are some initiatives that we believe will carry forward as we enter the new era in hospitality.

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Challenges faced by the industry post recovery The hospitality industry seems to be fighting a war on two fronts, on one side there’s a constant battle to shake-off the adverse effects of the pandemic and generate crucial revenues & cash flow to sustain operations. On the other side, the geo-political equations have placed undue pressure on operating costs and supply chain. With materials and equipment costs going up, procurement cycles have increased significantly as well. It is taking up to 3 months from the date of ordering to replenish and replace regular operating supplies and stocks, the process in turn has become extremely cumbersome and time consuming. These supply chain constraints and back log of orders have led to high cost of procurement and has become an expensive affair. Additionally, the cost of energy resources (Heat, Light and Power) has gone up significantly over the last few months. With the surge in prices of diesel, cooking gas and electricity units, the impact has started to trickle down and adversely affect the bottom line of an industry that is just about beginning to pick up the pieces and walk on its feet. While we are definitely on the road to recovery, we still need to tread carefully and maintain the perfect balancing act in delivering high level of customer experience while also keeping a track on the bottom line!

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s the Indian outbound travel grows, the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), hosted a robust series of four city roadshows in Kolkata, Bengaluru, Kochi and Chennai last week with the objective of introducing the travel trade fraternity in key Tier II cities to new offerings in Dubai. The Roadshow offered an excellent networking and engagement opportunity with a wide delegation of Dubai Tourism stakeholders ranging from mid-segment to luxury hotel brands, attractions, DMCs, airlines and cruise liners. The trade engagement program was attended by

over 150 travel trade partners in each city, fostering new networks with the stakeholders and deepened knowledge about the destination. The strong turnout at the roadshows reinstated the heightened interest of the Indian travel trade in all that Dubai has to offer. Be it futuristic innovations, sports, gastronomy, tourism or bleisure (business + leisure) options, since reopening to the global market in July 2020, Dubai has never looked back. Indian visitors including families, honeymooners and MICE travelers have made their way to Dubai in 2020, 2021 and continuing the trend in 2022 to participate in strategic initiatives for growth. Dubai recorded 858,000 Indian tourists in H1 2022, making India

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the no. 1 source market for the emirate. As compared to H1 2021, Dubai witnessed a 100% growth in visitor arrivals from India. Moreover, this number was close to the number of tourists achieved in the first half of 2019, which saw 996,000 Indian arrivals. The emirate’s ability to quickly return to near pre-pandemic tourism levels is even more remarkable given the impact of unprecedented challenges and other macroeconomic factors on the global economy and tourism sector. Bader Ali Habib, South Asia International Operations Region Head of Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism, said,

“Looking at the economic growth trajectory of Tier II cities in India and the growing purchasing power among consumers, the accessibility that Dubai enjoys into smaller cities as well as the growing appetite for travel in India, we see an opportunity to further penetrate through a more targeted and personalised approach. Tier II audiences have a different travel pattern and behavior and we continue to closely study them and tailor our efforts for them..” Habib further added, “As India remains our no. 1 Source Market for the year, a lot of our efforts in the market are tailored, data-driven and dedicated to the tastes and liking of our audiences. From a B2B perspective, this year we have taken a more aggressive route in terms of B2B engagements, visits and outreach to ensure we can continue building relationship with the trade in smaller cities across all regions of India. We have partnered with leading travel agencies, OTA’s and B2B travel platforms. These strategic tie-ups have calendar plug-ins to ensure packages are dynamically pushed throughout the period addressing different audience segments and profiles.”

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As travel confidence increases, Dubai is anticipating a sustained visitation from India in 2022 and beyond, as more and more travellers discover and re-discover the city and the emirate’s diversification of offerings and experiences. With the continued support of Dubai Tourism’s stakeholders and partners, Dubai is committed to always offering something new, unique and world-class for the sophisticated global traveller. Early on this year, the emirate witnessed the inauguration of the beautiful building, the Museum of the Future, by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Many other mega projects are in the pipeline as Dubai continues to build on the destination pillars – whether it is culture or gastronomy, entertainment, wellness and relaxation, outdoor adventures or beach activities, family-oriented experiences and shopping in line with the emirate’s visionary leadership’s goal to make Dubai the most attractive destination and the best city in the world to live in and work.

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TAFI CONVENTION IN SARAWAK – REGISTRATION CLOSES ON SEP 1st 2022 The upcoming TAFI convention with the theme Build Back Better is getting a great response from all its members community as the event is on the verge of getting close to Full House. Sarawak Tourism Board has made a formal announcement stating that Sarawak is going to Welcome TAFI Convention 2022 which is scheduled to be held at Kuching from September 20 to 23. The convention is supposed to attract 700 delegates from India to attend this 3rd TAFI Convention in Malaysia. The TAFI Convention 2022 will see collaborations between Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Sarawak (MTCP), Tourism Malaysia (TM), Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) and Business Events (BE) Sarawak. Themed “Build Back Better” to strengthen the tourism industry and moving towards a resilient economic recovery, the convention will highlight sustainability, advanced greening efforts, conservation and responsible tourism during its sessions. YB Dato Sri Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah stated that the convention would act as a catalyst to entice more visitors from India to Sarawak in the near future. “The TAFI Convention’s theme this year, ‘Build Back Better’ is very much aligned with our post-COVID-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030 with Sarawak’s aspiration to empower the community and to ensure a sustainable environment, post-Covid. We look forward to organising this event together with TAFI with the sustainability factor being the heart of the convention,” he added.

Mr Ajay Prakah, president of TAFI said: “The

Indian market is growing, and they are constantly looking for newer destinations, products and experiences and Sarawak has a great potential to become popular destination in the Indian market because today’s generation is concerned about the planet, conservation and sustainability. With the support of Tourism Malaysia, Sarawak Tourism Board and Business Events Sarawak, I think we are going to have a wonderful convention and we are looking forward to it.” “The response to the convention so far has been beyond expectations and we are on the verge of getting close to Full House. So post 1st Sep 2022, no more registrations will be entertained” concluded Mr Ajay Prakash. Representing the Travel Trade in India, TAFI is a progressive and vibrant association with a nationwide membership base of 1,400 members and growing. The majority of TAFI members are IATA Accredited agents and contribute to more than 75% of the outbound business in India.

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Amazing Thailand


In efforts to promote Thailand as a perfect destination for Indian weddings & special occasion celebrations like anniversary, birthdays, reunions etc, Tourism Authority of Thailand, New Delhi organized a networking session for Indian wedding planners, Thai hotel representatives & a few luxury agents based in New Delhi. The event took place at ITC Maurya on 31st August 2022, the auspicious day of Ganesh Chaturthi. The afternoon started with a welcome note by Mr. Vachirachai Sirisumpan, Director- TAT New Delhi who spoke about, Tourism Authority of Thailand’s new marketing campaign “Amazing New Chapter” for A to Z Thailand has it all. This campaign emphasizes that Thailand has everything to suit each traveler’s needs and wants, and offers new perspectives as well as new experiences in Thailand. He also highlighted the importance of Indian Weddings & Celebrations for Thailand Tourism and Hospitality Businesses. He further said that TAT is looking forward to welcoming Indian tourists to celebrate the special moments in their life like honeymoons, babymoons, birthdays, bachelor/bachelorette parties and many more such occasions, in Amazing Thailand.

Mr Sirisumpan ended by saying “After

a long gap of over 2 years, we are pleased to inform you that from 1 January 2022 until 31 August 2022 we have welcomed more than 440,000 Indians visiting Thailand and we expect by the end of this year, that we could welcome 850,000 Indian visitors to Thailand. I am sure we can achieve this milestone by the continuous support of our industry partners and friends of Amazing Thailand” The welcome was followed by product presentations by the Thai hotel partners, that included well known hotel chains in Thailand like Minor hotels, Centara hotels

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& Resort, Banyan Tree hotels, Avista Group of hotels, The Preffered Hotels & Resorts (Landmark hotel), Kata group & Beyond hotels, Kempinski hotels, Melia hotels and Onyx hospitality group (Amari hotels). The representatives highlighted the offerings and arrangements by their hotels to welcome and organize Indian weddings and special occasion celebrations in Thailand, from the availability of suitable décor, wedding artists, pundits to a variety of Indian food and of course the warm Thai hospitality. The event saw a good attendance of about 35 wedding planners and 15 luxury travel agents and was a great initiative to connect the Thai hotels with some of the top wedding planners in North India to promote “Vivaha in Amazing Thailand.”

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AGENT FAM TRIP TO PHUKET Aimed at strengthening Thailand as a Top preferred destination for Indian travellers

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) New Delhi in association with Indigo Airline has organized a travel agent fam trip from Raipur, India “Amazing New Chapters- Phuket and Around” during 23rd-27th Aug 2022 to Phuket. The purpose of this trip was to acquaint them with the new routes, hotels and attractions in Phuket that enable them to better understand and sell the holiday experiences to their clients.

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Phuket is always one of the top destinations in Thailand for most Indian visitors with stunning views of beautiful beaches, white sand and crystal-clear blue sea, a perfect place for weddings, parties, and celebrations. This time the group explored some new attractions like Andamanda Water Park, Thanyapura Sports & Health Resort along with Kata and Karon beach areas. Phuket Tourist Association welcomed and hosted the business Networking Session and gave the opportunity to both Indian and Thai partners to personally meet and RE-Connect.

“Travelling to Thailand is now as easy as before with some new Visa on Arrivals facilities and process. With a direct INDIGO flight from India to Phuket grows the demand both of Family & Friends and MICE movements specially from the 2 & 3 cities of India which has a lot of potential”, said Vachirachai

Sirisumpan, Director, Tourism Authority of Thailand, New Delhi.

We would like to thank all our partners for their continuous support and encouragement through the years and working with TAT.

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NIMA'S MICE FORUM 2022 held at Hotel Crowne Plaza Jaipur from 29th to 31st July Mr. Anand Kumar Tripathi Additional Director(Dev.) Department of Tourism Government of Rajasthan was the Chief Guest.100+ Member delegates from all over India and over 20 Exhibitors participated.2000+ B2B meetings conducted Rajasthan Tourism supported the event as the Host State and Chhattisgarh Tourism supported as the Partner State. Abu Dhabi Convention and Exhibition Bureau participated as Principal Sponsor. Mr Rajeev Kohli - CIS, CITP, DMCP, SITE Global President 2016 & 2017 gave the Keynote Address "Transcending Boundaries" The Forum had the privilege of listening to the doyen of the Indian tourism industry DR SUBHASH GOYAL, MemberNational Tourism Advisory Council Ministry of Tourism and Chairman STIC Travel Group. Nikhil Jeet Country Manager India,Abu Dhabi Convention & Exhibition Bureau Department of Culture and Tourism presented the unlimited MICE possibilities in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and incentives offered

to Indian MICE Operators. Unveiling VISION 2025 for Network of Indian MICE Agents (NIMA), the National Coordinator Mr Jagdeep Bhagat announced that NIMA will soon roll out India specific Certificate program NCMP - NIMA Certified MICE Professional for the industry. "The program curriculum to have all the established processes but customised according to Indian working conditions", he added.

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Avani Hotels Opens Retro-Chic Utopia on Koh Samui's Legendary Chaweng Beach The latest addition to the buzzing Chaweng Beach, the newly opened Avani Chaweng Samui Hotel & Beach Club brings the glamorous, freewheeling spirit of the 1950s Palm Beach and Miami to Koh Samui’s powdery white sand. An unconventional hideaway that blends unbridled socialising with serenity-inducing pursuits, the property invites guests to swan dive into the sights, bites and sounds of the island as they hit the party circuit.

with snug cabanas and a mixology station that moonlights as a check-in area for guests who just want to get on with it. Va-va-rooms Samui’s only mid-century modern-inspired beach destination, Avani Chaweng adds a Mad Men vibe to public spaces and its 80 chic rooms and suites. Conceptualised by SOHO Hospitality, the property’s clean lines and organic shapes are infused with a dose of 1950s nostalgia to create sultry spaces where you want to entertain and be entertained in.

Sitting mere metres away from the sumptuous stretch of silky white sand, the retro glam spot offers access to the best sunsets, dining, entertainment and people-watching on the island. SEEN Beach Club Samui, the hard-hitting party central next door, throws epic pool parties with top DJs and world-class entertainment on tap. The resort’s social swimming pool feels like a hopping bar,

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With names such as Cool Pool View, Sweet Sea Breeze and Fabulous Sea View the rooms deliver what they promise — picture-perfect views from spacious balconies, modern comforts and interiors that make you want to dress up and head somewhere fabulous. On the ground floor, Funky Poolside rooms with terraces that open onto the courtyard pool take the resort’s social concept to the next level. At 61 sqm and 90 sqm, Groovy Sea View Suite and Double Groovy Sea View Suite are where pre-parties take place. With costumes, wigs and other good time essentials on loan and vinyl record player and cocktail-making station at their disposal, guests can throw a party as big as their poolside networking skills allow. At Avani Chaweng, suite guests can even call on their private DJ to spin the decks and a paparazzi-for-hire to ensure no moment of revelry goes undocumented. Party fuel From dusk till dawn and all night long, Avani Chaweng’s dining venues offer substantial sustenance, snacks and tasty tipples. Start with a decadent bubbly breakfast or a wholesome lunch of Mediterranean, Asian and American flavours at SEEN Beach Club, then decamp to the 24-hour Social Bar where late-night comfort foods and summery cocktails will keep you company as you catch up on emails or relax to sweet jukebox tunes.

AVANIHOTELS.COM Outdoor leisure and fun-in-the-sun activities, meanwhile, range from pool parties, diving and sail into the sunset SEEN style on a magnificent catamaran for an afternoon of sun-kissed fun on the water. Gym bunnies are well served at AvaniFit, a dynamic, 24-hour facility that aims to challenge fitness enthusiasts with a combination of endurance and resistance training, aerobics and high-intensity interval training, and personal trainers on demand. Other wellness and leisure pursuits include SUP yoga, ice breathing and ice bathing on the beach, and portrait sessions with a resident artist to capture your enviable Avani glow.

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Jyoti Mayal President TAAI

History is Witnessed by NO Nominations for Office Bearers Position unopposed: TAAI TAAI successfully conducted the process of scheduling the 71st Annual General Meeting of Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) and Election of the Office Bearers and Members of the Managing Committee for the term 2022 2024. The receipt of nominations was closed at 5 PM on 15th September, 2022. The nominations received in sealed envelopes were opened in presence of the members who were present at 5 PM on 15th September, 2022 and were available while the scrutiny was being done. It was informed to the nominees that if any of the above member wishes to withdraw his / her nomination the same can be done before 17:00 hours on Friday, 23rd September, 2022, by giving intimation in writing to the Hon. Secretary General, by post at the registered address of TAAI or by email generated through the members registered email ID. We are pleased to share that TAAI created history once again by no one filing for nominations for position of Office Bearers. The members showed complete confidence in the current dynamic team spearheaded by the most formidable Jyoti Mayal. The Annual General Meeting and the Elections will be held on Thursday, 29th of September 2022 at ITC Maratha, Sahar Airport Road, Near International Airport - T2, Ashok Nagar, Andheri (East), Mumbai - 400099 at 11:30 AM

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INDIA MEANS BUSINESS Co ns ulting fo r To u ris m B oa rds a nd B urea u s, Ho te ls a nd Reso rts, Ve nues a nd Attra ctio n s

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