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Edited & Published by Shailendra Kesari • For Online News visit: www.safariplus.co.in • Email: info@safariplus.co.in • July - August 2015 • Vol: 16 Issue: 6

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KRABI Every Journey begins with the first step...

TRAVEL DIRECTORY MUMBAI CD

In CD & Booklet *

Connect with Travel Partners in Mumbai Region Exclusive data of Mumbai Travel Fraternity

5000/Hurry limited space.... Advertise with us Cut this to avail the offer and send us to Corp. Office: Shop No:1, B-4, Highland Garden, Dhokali Road, Thane (W) - 400 607

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TRADE PLUS

TRADE PLUS Hong Kong Tourism Board On Circulation Of Unsubstantiated Information On Immigration

Requirement For Indian Passport Holders In response to the circulation the Hong Kong Tourism Board has made the following statement: “It has come to our notice that some tourism suppliers in Hong Kong are circulating unsubstantiated emails about a new immigration requirement for Indian passport holders visiting Hong Kong, which requires them to carry a minimum of USD650 in cash when entering Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Tourism Board would like to clarify that there is no such new requirement for Indian passport holders. We seek the kind assistance and cooperation of all our trade partners to accordingly communicate this to their clients and

staff as well as to other members of the travel trade community.� Hong Kong welcomes travellers from India and the rest of the world. Hong Kong is one of the few travel destinations that grant Indian passport holders a visa-free period for visits not exceeding 14 days. In general, all visitors to Hong Kong must have a passport that is valid for at least one month after their intended stay in Hong Kong. Presently, similar to other passport holders, Indian passport holders visiting Hong Kong should show that they have adequate funds to cover the duration of his/her stay in Hong Kong without working.

Steffi Graf To Be Brand Ambassador Of Kerala Tourism The Kerala Tourism has decided to rope in tennis legend Steffi Graf as brand ambassador to promote Tourism and Ayurveda in international market. The decision was taken at a meeting of the cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. Details of Graf's remuneration package have not been spelt out. The State government has also been wooing actor Shah Rukh Khan and a few other international celebrities for the purpose. Graf had already declared her willingness to push Kerala Tourism and Ayurveda internationally. The Kerala Tourism Department was given sanction to sign an agreement

with Graf to become Ayurveda brand ambassador as part of the department's 'Visit Kerala Scheme', Chandy said. The tourism department had already held discussions and reached an agreement with the German former World Number 1 tennis player, who had bagged 22 Grand Slam single titles.

Automatic Refund of Confirmed/ RAC PUBLIC ADVISORY From E-Tickets on Cancellation of Trains Government of India Ministry of Ministry of Railways have decided to cancellation of trains. This will become grant automatic refund of effective very shortly. External Affairs CPV Division C o n f i r m e d / R A C e - t i c k e t s o n In case of cancellation of trains, PRS Indian citizens living in India and abroad are advised to apply for urgent reissuance of their passports in the following cases:(i) HANDWRITTEN PASSPORTS The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has set a deadline of the 24th November, 2015 for globally phasing out of all non-Machine Readable Passports (MRPs). From the 25th November, 2015 onwards, foreign Governments may deny Visa or entry to any person travelling on a non-Machine Readable Passport. The Government of India has been issuing Machine Readable Passports since 2001. The Passports, however, issued before 2001 and particularly those issued during mid 1990s with a validity of 20 years will fall in the category of non-MRPs. All handwritten passports with pasted photographs are also considered non-MRPs. By the end of November 2014, it is estimated that there are approximately 2.86 lakh handwritten passports in circulation. Approximately 6 crore Indian hold valid passports. Indian citizens residing in India and abroad and holding such passports with validity beyond the 24th November, 2015 are advised to apply for re-issue of their passports well before the deadline in order to avoid any inconvenience in obtaining valid visa or international travel.

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(ii) PASSPORTS VALID FOR LESS THAN SIX MONTHS Many international travellers may not realise that having an unexpired passport is sometimes not enough to obtain Visas or to enter certain foreign countries. Indian citizens travelling on Passports which may expire in less than six months should renew their passports before any upcoming international travel. It is especially important to check the passports needs of any minor who may be accompanying their parents as passports for minors have a shorter validity period (5 years) than passports for adults (10 years). The universal practice in vogue now is; "Once your passport crosses the nine-year mark, it is time to get new passport". (iii) EXHAUSTION OF VISA PAGES Some countries do not accept passports which may have fewer than two pages remaining. Please check your passport to ensure that you have enough visa pages. There is no provision of additional booklets/pages and you will be required to apply reissuance of passport following standard procedures. Frequent travellers may opt for Jumbo Passport containing 64 pages. All Passport Issuing Authorities have instituted a simple and fast-track procedure for renewal of passports. For more details: www.passportindia.gov.in or the National Call Centre (1800-2581800 - Toll Free) may be accessed.

cancellation of trains similar to waitlisted e-tickets. There shall not be any requirement for cancellation/filing of TDR for refund of e-tickets in case of

counter ticket shall continue to be refunded across the reservation counter as per the existing provisions.

Amendment in Tatkal Scheme Timings for Booking Staggered for AC and non AC Classes At present, the booking under Tatkal scheme opens at 10.00 hrs on the previous day of journey from train originating station. It has been decided that w.e.f. 15.06.2015, timings for booking of Tatkal tickets will be staggered for AC & non-AC classes to 1000 hours onwards and 1100 hours onwards respectively. Hence, now the reservation under Tatkal scheme will open at 1000 hours on the previous day of journey from train originating station for AC classes whereas that for non-AC

classes will start at 1100 hours on the previous day of journey from train originating station. Moreover, all types of ticketing agents (YTSK, RTSAs, IRCTC agents, etc.) will now be debarred from booking tickets during the first thirty minutes of opening of booking i.e. from 0800 to 0830 hours for general bookings, and from 1000 to 1030 hours & 1100 to 1130 hours for Tatkal booking in AC & non-AC classes respectively.

SMS based alert service for cancelled Trains Ministry of Railways has started yet another passenger friendly measure on pilot basis, under which SMS messages would be sent to passengers informing about train cancellation in case the train in which they have booked their tickets for is cancelled due to unavoidable circumstances. Under this pilot project, the SMS messages are being sent to those passengers who are boarding at

originating station. At a later stage, this will be extended to cover enroute station also. This exclusive SMS based service has been commenced on all India basis. The SMS will be sent to their respective mobile numbers entered by them in reservation slips while buying tickets from PRS counters or while purchasing online e-tickets. The cancellation information would be sent quite in advance to the passengers for their convenience so that it may help them plan alternative arrangement in time.

July - August, 2015

3


EVENTS

TRADE PLUS FBOs In Favour Of Health Ministry’s Proposal To Revamp The Food Regulatory Structure

The 14th edition of Thailand Travel Mart Plus 2015 successfully concluded, with 3 days of business discussions, familiarisation tours and educational forums designed to raise the profile of the “2015 Discover Thainess” brand campaign, create more networking opportunities for small and medium sized enterprises, promote new provincial and regional destinations, and encouraging interest in nichemarket products. Organised by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the country's largest B2B travel trade show, known officially as the TTM Plus Amazing Gateway to the Greater Mekong Subregion, also saw the launch of a new strategy to better position Thailand as a Muslim Friendly Destination. An Overview of the eventThe event was attended by 378 buyers from 52 countries (+10% or 35 buyers) over TTM 2014. Of these 172 (45.5%) were first-timers and 206 (54.5%) were repeaters. Most of the buyers were from

China (41), the United Kingdom (27), Australia (21) and India (17). Buyers from China showed special interest in joining the TTM Plus every year. Overall, buyers showed keen interest in the new niche-market products; such as, weddings and honeymoons and health and wellness. They also saw great opportunity for developing packages linking Thailand and its neighbours in the Greater Mekong Subregion. The number of sellers totalled 372 (-7%, or 27 sellers) over TTM+ 2014. A breakdown by category showed that 73% of the s e l l e rs we re f ro m hotels and resorts and 7% tour operators / travel agents. A total of 80 sellers were firsttime participants, and 292 repeaters. The survey showed 41% of the sellers reporting higher sales projections

this year over last year as a result of their participation in the TTM+. Fourteen exhibitors were from the GMS countries. The four pre-TTM+ tour programmes provided an opportunity for 49 buyers and media to survey new tourism products and services in Bangkok a n d t h e surrounding areas. The most popular routes were the “Experience the Slow Life of Old B a n g k o k ” , “Experience Street Food Tour” and the B a n g ko k N i g h t Ride (Biking Tour). This reflected the growing demand

Safari Plus INTALK with Mr. Amnuay Thiamkeerakul, Executive Director, ASEAN, South Asia & South Pacific Region TAT Q1) India has always been a key market for Thailand Tourism, what are your plans to attract second time visitors? And tell us more about the u n t o u c h e d destinations of Thailand? India is a key Market for us and to target second time visitors we are promoting “Discover Thainess” making country to stand out as offering unique experience to all visitors who visit Thailand. With this in mind, TAT is encouraging tourists to experience the distinct entity and

characteristic of the Thai people and the nation’s cultural assets or “Thainess” which can be characterised in seven unique aspects - 1. Thai Food; 2. Thai Arts; 3. The Thai Way of Life; 4. Thai Wellness; 5. Thai Festivals; 6. Thai Wisdom; 7. Thai Fun. We are also promoting the North East of Thailand which is still undiscovered and has many things to offer second time visitors. Q2) Big fat Indian wedding, MICE, LEISURE, FIT and GIT, NICHE market all these segments were in your top priority list to target. What next? Wellness and Medical Tourism by Natural Therapy are the main streams

we look forward to promote in India. We are introducing more luxury hotels to promote Wellness and Medicial Tourism and target the upcoming segment of India market specially tier II cities. Q3) How you market yourself as a Family Destination? And steps taken to attract single women traveller? To attract Family, we have historical sites which can be explored by bi-cycles apart from that we have numerous man-made Theme park for the family traveller. The good c o n n e c t i v i t y, o u r h o s p i t a l i t y, infrastructure are some of our USP’s to attract traveller to visit us again and again. Our brand ambassador Ms Mary Kom will be promoting Thailand as family destination and single women traveller.

for experiential tourism and was entirely in line with the theme of TTM+, “Experience with Us.” TAT Acting Governor Mrs. Juthaporn Rerngronasa said, “This year's TTM+ was carefully designed and structured to send a message of confidence in the fullscale recovery of Thai tourism after the downturn of 2014 and further energise the 2015 Discover Thainess campaign going into the second half of the year. We believe this strategy has worked well. The response from buyers, sellers and media has been more than satisfactory.” She said that the keen interest by buyers from world over will ensure that Thailand meets its quantitative visitor arrivals targets in the years to come. Hence, this will require TAT to shift its attention towards better nationwide

dispersal of tourists and growing their average length of stay and daily expenditure. Both these latter strategies are being met by the launch of new promotions focussing on the “12 Hidden Gems” and strategies directed at nichemarket segments; such as, culinary tourism, health and wellness, weddings and honeymoons, sports tourism, marine tourism, green tourism, etc. Mrs. Juthaporn said, “The sellers also indicated that the amount of time slotted for the business appointments should be longer than 15 minutes. Both buyers and sellers also mentioned the need for a free Wi-Fi Internet service. All this will certainly be taken into consideration for the TTM+ 2016.” “We would like to thank the entire Thai tourism industry as well as our airline partners and all the public and private sector organisations for their invaluable support and cooperation in helping to advance the cause of Thailand's largest foreign-exchange earning service industry,” Mrs. Juthaporn said.

The Hotel and Restaurant Association Western India (HRAWI) has backed the Health Ministry’s proposal to the Union Cabinet for revamping the food regulatory structure in the country. In a recent communication, the association has asked its members to be fully cooperative with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and expedite completing the process of seeking conversions and renewals for existing license or registration. The health Ministry has sent a Rs 1,700crore proposal to the Union Cabinet for a major overhaul of the food regulatory structure. The objectives of the proposal are to strengthen the states’ inspection a p p a rat u s , b o l ste r t h e FS SA I ’s manpower, give the FSSAI more powers and ensure that the authority has access to state-of-the-art technology. “The HRAWI has always been a proactive institution when it comes to adopting safety and hygiene standards in the industry. We have always worked as a partner with the government in the interest of hospitality and tourism in the country. There is a big need to reform the regulatory structure because inconsistencies in food safety and standards are serious issues and if not addressed, will negatively affect the image of tourism in the long run. We fully back the Health Ministries’ proposal and wish to assert its importance to the Union Cabinet,” says Mr. Bharat Malkani, President, HRAWI. The FSSAI has assigned August 4th, 2015 as the deadline for obtaining Food Business Operator (FBO)’s license for all food businesses, from roadside eateries to restaurants. The deadline is applicable for FBOs seeking conversions and renewals for existing license or registration under a repealed order.

IATO CONVENTION IATO announced the dates of its 31st Annual Convention from 20 - 23 August, 2015 at The Grand Bhagwati Palace, Indore, Madhya Pradesh. The theme for this year's Convention is 'Tourism -We will change the Indian Economy’. Mr. Pronab Sarkar, Hony Secretary, IATO have been appointed as Convention Chairman whereas Mr. Ravi Gosain, Joint Secretary, IATO, and Mr. Sanjeev Joshi, Executive Committee Member, IATO, have been appointed as Co-Chairmen. Giving for details of the convention Mr. Subhash Goyal, President IATO said, “Chief Minister and Tourism Minister of Madhya Pradesh have agreed to bless the convention with their presence. Also the Chief Minister has assured that he will personally invite the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for the inaugural

function on 20 August, 2015 as Chief Guest. Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Union Minister of State (IC) for Tourism and Culture and Minister of State for Civil Aviation has also assured his full support. There will be lot of activities like Travel Mart, Post Tours, Spouse Tours, IATO Run for Responsible Tourism, Silent Auction, Cultural Evenings etc. Special hotel rates are being negotiated and are in the process of finalization.” IATO Annual Convention is one of the most important events on the Indian travel calendar. It attracts delegates not only from directly involved in handling tourists, but also brings in a strong participation from the various State Governments, as well as numerous senior dignitaries from the political and administrative arms of central and state

governm ents. Accordin g to Mr. Goyal, “India has got much potential for tourism and IATO being one of the apex organisation and since a major amount of the foreign earnings are done by our members , its our responsibility to create awareness and help market the Indian states and provide a platform for better interaction between the states and the operators.” Mr. Goyal also stated “The tour operators should be a par with physical exporters in terms of exemption from service tax and therefore there will be a session about the implications of "Taxation Policies". Other sessions would focus on social media marketing & technological advancements beneficial to the tour operators.”

Promises To Be A Bigger Show With New Entrants IT&CMA 2015 will be held from 29 September to 1 October 2015 at the B a n g ko k C o nve nt i o n C e nt re at CentralWorld. Berlin Tourismus & Kongress GmbH and Dubai Business Events have taken their first foray into the Asia-Pacific MICE market with their participation at IT&CMA 2015. Ralf Ostendorf, Director Market Management of Berlin Tourismus & Ko n g re s s G m b H ex p l a i n e d t h e motivation behind exhibiting at IT&CMA 2015 for the first time, “Our first experience with IT&CM Events was at IT&CM China earlier in Shanghai this year, and it proved to be a successful show for us. We are looking forward to the same success at IT&CMA 2015, as we see a lot of potential for Berlin as a MICE destination in Asia.”

He continued, “visitBerlin has intensified marketing activities in Asia for the past years to develop new incoming markets for tourism to Berlin. The city is not just a leading tourism destination, but is also one of the leading destinations worldwide in the MICE business. We believe that IT&CMA is a well-positioned platform for us to learn more about the MICE industry in Asia-Pacific and nurture our popularity in the region.” Dubai Business Events' Senior Manager – Sales and Convention Services, Karina Lance, concurred with the value of IT&CMA, “The Asia-Pacific market represents 30% on the generated MICE leads for Dubai. This is a growing market, benefitting from the growing economics that various Asian countries have been experiencing. Exhibiting at IT&CMA enables us to engage with buyers, especially those from Asia, through the

online appointment system and dedicated targeted events.” Eager to leverage on the opportunity to exclusively engage some 150 quality attending corporate travel buyers from across Asia-Pacific, Hotel Reservation Service (HRS), Europe’s leading hotel portal for business and private travellers has come on board as a CTW Asia-Pacific 2015 silver CTW Asia-Pacific’s dedication and track record of delivering this niche buying segment cements HRS’ confidence in the event as a powerful platform that provides outreach to the corporate buying segment. Todd Arthur, Managing Director of HRS explained, “CTW Asia-Pacific offers a unique opportunity to increase our brand awareness, and the ability to directly engage 150 top corporate professionals to showcase our best-in-class hotel solutions through our sponsorship.”

Lets Explore The Exotic Destinations

Nepal Bhutan Sp e

cial packa

ges f or

) Yatra Packages ) Hidden Himachal (Kinnaur - Kara - Spiti) ) Adventure Tours ) Domestic and International Packages

Parul Kesari 7, 1st Floor, Annapurna Sadan, B/d Moonlight Bldg, Nr Vishal Hall, Andheri (E), Mumbai 400069 T: 022-26824030 | M: 7666595110 E: thedepartures@gmail.com W: www.thedepartures.co.in

Corp. Office: Shop No:1, B-4, Highland Garden, Dhokali Road, Thane (W) - 400 607

4

July - August, 2015

www.safariplus.co.in

www.safariplus.co.in

July - August, 2015

5


EVENTS

TRADE PLUS FBOs In Favour Of Health Ministry’s Proposal To Revamp The Food Regulatory Structure

The 14th edition of Thailand Travel Mart Plus 2015 successfully concluded, with 3 days of business discussions, familiarisation tours and educational forums designed to raise the profile of the “2015 Discover Thainess” brand campaign, create more networking opportunities for small and medium sized enterprises, promote new provincial and regional destinations, and encouraging interest in nichemarket products. Organised by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the country's largest B2B travel trade show, known officially as the TTM Plus Amazing Gateway to the Greater Mekong Subregion, also saw the launch of a new strategy to better position Thailand as a Muslim Friendly Destination. An Overview of the eventThe event was attended by 378 buyers from 52 countries (+10% or 35 buyers) over TTM 2014. Of these 172 (45.5%) were first-timers and 206 (54.5%) were repeaters. Most of the buyers were from

China (41), the United Kingdom (27), Australia (21) and India (17). Buyers from China showed special interest in joining the TTM Plus every year. Overall, buyers showed keen interest in the new niche-market products; such as, weddings and honeymoons and health and wellness. They also saw great opportunity for developing packages linking Thailand and its neighbours in the Greater Mekong Subregion. The number of sellers totalled 372 (-7%, or 27 sellers) over TTM+ 2014. A breakdown by category showed that 73% of the s e l l e rs we re f ro m hotels and resorts and 7% tour operators / travel agents. A total of 80 sellers were firsttime participants, and 292 repeaters. The survey showed 41% of the sellers reporting higher sales projections

this year over last year as a result of their participation in the TTM+. Fourteen exhibitors were from the GMS countries. The four pre-TTM+ tour programmes provided an opportunity for 49 buyers and media to survey new tourism products and services in Bangkok a n d t h e surrounding areas. The most popular routes were the “Experience the Slow Life of Old B a n g k o k ” , “Experience Street Food Tour” and the B a n g ko k N i g h t Ride (Biking Tour). This reflected the growing demand

Safari Plus INTALK with Mr. Amnuay Thiamkeerakul, Executive Director, ASEAN, South Asia & South Pacific Region TAT Q1) India has always been a key market for Thailand Tourism, what are your plans to attract second time visitors? And tell us more about the u n t o u c h e d destinations of Thailand? India is a key Market for us and to target second time visitors we are promoting “Discover Thainess” making country to stand out as offering unique experience to all visitors who visit Thailand. With this in mind, TAT is encouraging tourists to experience the distinct entity and

characteristic of the Thai people and the nation’s cultural assets or “Thainess” which can be characterised in seven unique aspects - 1. Thai Food; 2. Thai Arts; 3. The Thai Way of Life; 4. Thai Wellness; 5. Thai Festivals; 6. Thai Wisdom; 7. Thai Fun. We are also promoting the North East of Thailand which is still undiscovered and has many things to offer second time visitors. Q2) Big fat Indian wedding, MICE, LEISURE, FIT and GIT, NICHE market all these segments were in your top priority list to target. What next? Wellness and Medical Tourism by Natural Therapy are the main streams

we look forward to promote in India. We are introducing more luxury hotels to promote Wellness and Medicial Tourism and target the upcoming segment of India market specially tier II cities. Q3) How you market yourself as a Family Destination? And steps taken to attract single women traveller? To attract Family, we have historical sites which can be explored by bi-cycles apart from that we have numerous man-made Theme park for the family traveller. The good c o n n e c t i v i t y, o u r h o s p i t a l i t y, infrastructure are some of our USP’s to attract traveller to visit us again and again. Our brand ambassador Ms Mary Kom will be promoting Thailand as family destination and single women traveller.

for experiential tourism and was entirely in line with the theme of TTM+, “Experience with Us.” TAT Acting Governor Mrs. Juthaporn Rerngronasa said, “This year's TTM+ was carefully designed and structured to send a message of confidence in the fullscale recovery of Thai tourism after the downturn of 2014 and further energise the 2015 Discover Thainess campaign going into the second half of the year. We believe this strategy has worked well. The response from buyers, sellers and media has been more than satisfactory.” She said that the keen interest by buyers from world over will ensure that Thailand meets its quantitative visitor arrivals targets in the years to come. Hence, this will require TAT to shift its attention towards better nationwide

dispersal of tourists and growing their average length of stay and daily expenditure. Both these latter strategies are being met by the launch of new promotions focussing on the “12 Hidden Gems” and strategies directed at nichemarket segments; such as, culinary tourism, health and wellness, weddings and honeymoons, sports tourism, marine tourism, green tourism, etc. Mrs. Juthaporn said, “The sellers also indicated that the amount of time slotted for the business appointments should be longer than 15 minutes. Both buyers and sellers also mentioned the need for a free Wi-Fi Internet service. All this will certainly be taken into consideration for the TTM+ 2016.” “We would like to thank the entire Thai tourism industry as well as our airline partners and all the public and private sector organisations for their invaluable support and cooperation in helping to advance the cause of Thailand's largest foreign-exchange earning service industry,” Mrs. Juthaporn said.

The Hotel and Restaurant Association Western India (HRAWI) has backed the Health Ministry’s proposal to the Union Cabinet for revamping the food regulatory structure in the country. In a recent communication, the association has asked its members to be fully cooperative with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and expedite completing the process of seeking conversions and renewals for existing license or registration. The health Ministry has sent a Rs 1,700crore proposal to the Union Cabinet for a major overhaul of the food regulatory structure. The objectives of the proposal are to strengthen the states’ inspection a p p a rat u s , b o l ste r t h e FS SA I ’s manpower, give the FSSAI more powers and ensure that the authority has access to state-of-the-art technology. “The HRAWI has always been a proactive institution when it comes to adopting safety and hygiene standards in the industry. We have always worked as a partner with the government in the interest of hospitality and tourism in the country. There is a big need to reform the regulatory structure because inconsistencies in food safety and standards are serious issues and if not addressed, will negatively affect the image of tourism in the long run. We fully back the Health Ministries’ proposal and wish to assert its importance to the Union Cabinet,” says Mr. Bharat Malkani, President, HRAWI. The FSSAI has assigned August 4th, 2015 as the deadline for obtaining Food Business Operator (FBO)’s license for all food businesses, from roadside eateries to restaurants. The deadline is applicable for FBOs seeking conversions and renewals for existing license or registration under a repealed order.

IATO CONVENTION IATO announced the dates of its 31st Annual Convention from 20 - 23 August, 2015 at The Grand Bhagwati Palace, Indore, Madhya Pradesh. The theme for this year's Convention is 'Tourism -We will change the Indian Economy’. Mr. Pronab Sarkar, Hony Secretary, IATO have been appointed as Convention Chairman whereas Mr. Ravi Gosain, Joint Secretary, IATO, and Mr. Sanjeev Joshi, Executive Committee Member, IATO, have been appointed as Co-Chairmen. Giving for details of the convention Mr. Subhash Goyal, President IATO said, “Chief Minister and Tourism Minister of Madhya Pradesh have agreed to bless the convention with their presence. Also the Chief Minister has assured that he will personally invite the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for the inaugural

function on 20 August, 2015 as Chief Guest. Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Union Minister of State (IC) for Tourism and Culture and Minister of State for Civil Aviation has also assured his full support. There will be lot of activities like Travel Mart, Post Tours, Spouse Tours, IATO Run for Responsible Tourism, Silent Auction, Cultural Evenings etc. Special hotel rates are being negotiated and are in the process of finalization.” IATO Annual Convention is one of the most important events on the Indian travel calendar. It attracts delegates not only from directly involved in handling tourists, but also brings in a strong participation from the various State Governments, as well as numerous senior dignitaries from the political and administrative arms of central and state

governm ents. Accordin g to Mr. Goyal, “India has got much potential for tourism and IATO being one of the apex organisation and since a major amount of the foreign earnings are done by our members , its our responsibility to create awareness and help market the Indian states and provide a platform for better interaction between the states and the operators.” Mr. Goyal also stated “The tour operators should be a par with physical exporters in terms of exemption from service tax and therefore there will be a session about the implications of "Taxation Policies". Other sessions would focus on social media marketing & technological advancements beneficial to the tour operators.”

Promises To Be A Bigger Show With New Entrants IT&CMA 2015 will be held from 29 September to 1 October 2015 at the B a n g ko k C o nve nt i o n C e nt re at CentralWorld. Berlin Tourismus & Kongress GmbH and Dubai Business Events have taken their first foray into the Asia-Pacific MICE market with their participation at IT&CMA 2015. Ralf Ostendorf, Director Market Management of Berlin Tourismus & Ko n g re s s G m b H ex p l a i n e d t h e motivation behind exhibiting at IT&CMA 2015 for the first time, “Our first experience with IT&CM Events was at IT&CM China earlier in Shanghai this year, and it proved to be a successful show for us. We are looking forward to the same success at IT&CMA 2015, as we see a lot of potential for Berlin as a MICE destination in Asia.”

He continued, “visitBerlin has intensified marketing activities in Asia for the past years to develop new incoming markets for tourism to Berlin. The city is not just a leading tourism destination, but is also one of the leading destinations worldwide in the MICE business. We believe that IT&CMA is a well-positioned platform for us to learn more about the MICE industry in Asia-Pacific and nurture our popularity in the region.” Dubai Business Events' Senior Manager – Sales and Convention Services, Karina Lance, concurred with the value of IT&CMA, “The Asia-Pacific market represents 30% on the generated MICE leads for Dubai. This is a growing market, benefitting from the growing economics that various Asian countries have been experiencing. Exhibiting at IT&CMA enables us to engage with buyers, especially those from Asia, through the

online appointment system and dedicated targeted events.” Eager to leverage on the opportunity to exclusively engage some 150 quality attending corporate travel buyers from across Asia-Pacific, Hotel Reservation Service (HRS), Europe’s leading hotel portal for business and private travellers has come on board as a CTW Asia-Pacific 2015 silver CTW Asia-Pacific’s dedication and track record of delivering this niche buying segment cements HRS’ confidence in the event as a powerful platform that provides outreach to the corporate buying segment. Todd Arthur, Managing Director of HRS explained, “CTW Asia-Pacific offers a unique opportunity to increase our brand awareness, and the ability to directly engage 150 top corporate professionals to showcase our best-in-class hotel solutions through our sponsorship.”

Lets Explore The Exotic Destinations

Nepal Bhutan Sp e

cial packa

ges f or

) Yatra Packages ) Hidden Himachal (Kinnaur - Kara - Spiti) ) Adventure Tours ) Domestic and International Packages

Parul Kesari 7, 1st Floor, Annapurna Sadan, B/d Moonlight Bldg, Nr Vishal Hall, Andheri (E), Mumbai 400069 T: 022-26824030 | M: 7666595110 E: thedepartures@gmail.com W: www.thedepartures.co.in

Corp. Office: Shop No:1, B-4, Highland Garden, Dhokali Road, Thane (W) - 400 607

4

July - August, 2015

www.safariplus.co.in

www.safariplus.co.in

July - August, 2015

5


Heritage of Bengal km north of the village of Pandua. Accessible by road from Malda, there are bus and taxi services.

NADIA

By Gour Kanjilal

MALDA Malda, located 365 km north of Kolkata (Calcutta), was formerly known as English Bazaar. An English factory was established here in 1771. Malda is a base for visiting Gaur and Pandua. Gaur, capital to three dynasties of ancient Bengal – the Buddhist Palas, the Hindu Senas and the Muslim Nawabs – has seen three distinct eras of glory. Pandua, once the alternate seat of power to Gaur, has the t h i r d l a r g e s t concentration of Muslim monuments in Bengal. PLACES OF INTEREST There is a museum at Malda that houses the archaeological finds at Gaur and Pandua. GAUR: Historical relics of 14th and 15th Century B e n ga l p a r t i c u l a r l y worth seeing are the Bara Sona Mosque, Dakhil Darwajah (built in 1425), Qadam Rasul Mosque, Lattan Mosque and the ruins of the extensive fortification. There are colourful enamelled tiles on the Gomti Gate and Firoz Minar. Pandua: The impressive Muslim architecture includes the vast Adina Mosque built in 1369 by Sikander Shah. It was one of the largest mosques in India, built over a Hindu temple, and has 378 small domes. Nearby is the Eklakhi mausoleum (built at a princely cost of one lakh rupees) and several smaller mosques. SPECIALITIES - Malda is now famous for Fajli Mango orchards. COMMUNICATION - Malda may be reached by road-bus service from (Calcutta) Kolkata, Murshidabad and Siliguri, and train services from Kolkata and New Jalpaiguri. Gaur is 12 km south of Malda, right on the Indo-Bangladesh border. Connected by road, bus, taxi and rickshaw services from Malda. Located on the main highway, Pandua is 18 km north of Malda. Adina is another 2

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Places of Interest Mayapur : Connected by bus services from Krishnanagar and Kolkata (Calcutta) and a ferry ride across the Bhagirathi river from Nabadwip, Mayapur is the headquarters of ISKCON. Chandroday Temple: The temple, set amidst a garden, is a picturesque sight. There are quite a few big and small temples also. 139 km from Kolkata, this temple is well connected by rail and road. Nabadwip: 19 km from Krishnanagar and 120 km north from Kolkata, stands on the banks of the Bhagirathi river. The great social reformer and saint Sri

Chaitanya was born here in 1486. Nabadwip is the seat of the Vaishnava culture in Bengal and an ancient centre of Sanskrit studies. Sonargouranga, the temple with the golden statue of Sri Chaitanya, is the most important shrine here. There is a profusion of temples, each one worth a visit. Nabadwip remains an important pilgrimage centre in Bengal. Nabadwip is connected by bus and rail service from Kolkata. Krishnanagar: 118 km north from Kolkata, Krishnanagar on the banks of Jalangi river was the residence of Maharaja Krishnachandra, a great patron of art and culture. Places worth visiting at Krishnanagar Rajbari: (Royal Palace) with a beautiful Durga temple in the courtyard. Every year, the famous Jhulan Mela is celebrated around the Rajbari in the July/Aug months and Baro Dol in March/ April. Roman Catholic Church: The church is famous for its architectural and

sculptural splendour. There are 27 oil paintings describing the life of Jesus Christ. Of special mention are the wooden sculptures by Italian artists. Others include the College Bhavan (1846), The Public Library (1856), the Krishnanagar Academy and the Protestant Church. The clay models /figurines crafted here are collectors' items. Connected by rail and road from Kolkata.

HOOGHLY The heritage trail of West Bengal leads to the district of Hooghly, 47 km north of Kolkata. This historical district abounds in relics of foreign settlers – the British and Portuguese at Hooghly, the Dutch at Chinsurah, the French at Chandannagore, the Germans and Austrians at Bhadreswar. The

Portuguese settled here in 1537, but were routed out by Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor, in 1632. The British East India Company also established a factory here in 1651. Places Of Interest - There are many places of historical interest in the district. Antpur: 76 km north of Kolkata, is the site of a number of 18th century temples built by Krishnaram Mitra, a Zamindar. Chief among them is the Radha Govinda temple in Aatchala style of architecture. The front walls of the Jagamohan, the covered courtyard, have exquisite terracotta panels and the vaulted inner roof has coloured mural paintings. The Chandi Mandap has fine artistry in wood. The other temples in and around the area are those of Jaleswara, Baneswara, Gangadhara, Fuleswara and Rameswara. Bansberia: The main villages of ancient Saptagram. The temples of Ananta Vasudeva and Hanseswari are famous h e re . T h e Va s u d eva te m p l e i s

constructed in the traditional ekaratna style with curved cornices and an octagonal tower. Hanseswari temple has a unique architectural style. There are thirteen minars, each shaped like a lotus bud, and the inner layout follows the human anatomy! Bandel: is the site of the Portuguese settlement. The Portuguese Church and the Monastry were built here in 1599. Destroyed by Shah Jahan in 1640, they were rebuilt in 1660. It is the oldest Christian church in West Bengal and is dedicated to Nosa Senhora di Rozario. Chinsurah: was a Dutch settlement from 1656 to 1825. It was later exchanged by the Dutch for the Britishheld Indonesian island of Sumatra in 1825. Fort Gustavus, a church, three barracks and many old tombs stand testimony to the bygone days. Chandannagore, a former French colony, is a beautifully laid out town, on the banks of the river Hooghly. The churches, convent and t h e F r e n c h Administrator's residence are the points of interest here. The famous Imambara at Hooghly was established by Hazi Mohammad Mohsin in 1836. The gateway is flanked by lofty minarets, the walls are decorated with texts from the Koran and the interior has rich carvings and inlaid marble motifs. Further away is B e l u r M a t h , headquarters of the Ramkrishna Mission. The evening aarti (light ceremony) is worth watching here. Across the river is the beautiful Dakshineswar Kali Temple. Formerly known as Fedricnagar, Serampur was the seat of missionary activity from 1793 to 1834. It holds an important place in Bengal's history. It was a Danish settlement till East India Company took over in 1845. The house of the Danish Governor, the Roman Catholic Church and St Olaf Churchstill stands here. There is also a museum in Serampur College with exhibits about the missionaries, Dr Williams Carey, Ward and Marshman and their activties. FAIRS & FESTIVALS - Mahesh, 3 km from Serampur, has a very old Jagannath Temple, where the annual car festival is held in June / July each year. COMMUNICATION - Hooghly, 47 km north of Calcutta on the west bank of the river Hooghly, a main rail and road connection. Bansberia, 47 km north of Calcutta, is connected to it by road and rail. Located 48 km north of Kolkata, Bandel may be reached by rail and road. About 45 km from Kolkata, Chinsurah is connected by road and rail.

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TRADE PLUS

Travelling With A Vision Lets See Tour and Travels, a travel company based in Guwahati, Assam was started in 2010 by Mr. Lohit Sharma (Proprietor and Business Director), with a dream to become a world leader in connecting people to travel and tourism. The company today is not only one of the fastest growing inbound operators in NorthEast and Bhutan, but also one of the most trusted. The company is specialised in conducting several group tours, which include educational excursions, corporate/MICE tours, religious tours, adventure-based tours and much more. The company's dedicated team are committed to provide flawless service and is gemmed with the well-trained d r i ve rs a n d p rov i d e s exc e l l e nt transportation facilities which allow the tourists to enjoy their journey. Why choose the north-east? The natural beauty and the rich culture of north-eastern part of India attract many domestic and international tourists. The seven sister namely Assam, A r u n a c h a l P r a d e s h , M a n i p u r, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura are rapidly becoming one of the major hotspots for tourists world over. The tourists can now enjoy the untouched beauty of these states. The tourism departments of each state have

ta ke n l a rg e st r i d e s to promote their states by providing better roads and transportation facilities. Travellers coming on trips can stay at the various global hotel chain properties. Even in the remotest of regions one can enjoy safe and hygienic stay along with best services, if not luxurious

amenities. These are some of the many reasons why the tourism industry in north-east continues to be on the boom and over the years have become one of the major tourism hotspots. Assam: Considered as the gateway of the northeast, Assam has no dearth in natural bounty. The state has abundant resources of flora and fauna in its national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Kaziranga, famous for one-horned Rhino, Pobitora and Manas are just a few of these wildlife reserves. The state is also famous for its Ahom dynasty architecture, which can be best witnessed at the historic Siivasagar town. Arunachal Pradesh: The state is at the north-eastern

corner of the country and is also one of the most picturesque destinations for tourists. Also known as the Orchid State of India is famous fo r t h e p l a c e called Tawang, wherein prime tourist attractions include Galden Namghey Lhatse or the Tawang Monastery—the second largest monastery in the world, Sela Pass and Jang Waterfalls. Manipur: The 'land of jewel', Manipur is truly one of the most precious states among the seven-sisters. The state has been blessed by Mother Nature and boasts of an exotic landscape with picturesque valleys and azure lakes.

the state. Mizoram: This state is almost 90% under forest cover. The place covered with green rolling hills is also popular among tourists for its rich culture such as the world-famous Cheraw dance also known as 'bamboo dance'. Nagaland: This state is one of the most colourful states among the sevensisters, not only due to the presence of ethnic diversities and cultures but also due to its rich flora and fauna. The state hosts the world famous Hornbill Festival during December every year, which is also termed as the 'festival of festivals'. Tripura: The former princely state of Tripura, which was once ruled by the Tripuri dynasty, is another one of the popular tourist destinations among the seven-sisters. The state has several archaeological locations; the notable ones include Unakoti and Pilak. Furthermore, one can visit the magnificent Ujjayanta Palace, the former abode of the Tripuri Kings.

Tourists regularly flock to visit the Loktak Lake, which is the largest freshwater lake in north-east. Meghalaya: The abode of clouds, is a virtual paradise for tourists. Asia's cleanest village, Mawlynnong, one of the most elaborate caves, Mawsmai, Noh-Kalikai and Seven Sisters Falls are some of major tourist attractions of

OFFICE: 116, Tower- A, 1st Floor, Vardhman Grand Plaza, Rohini, Sector 3, New Delhi 110085, India Ph: +91- 27941980, Cell- +91 9911556361, +91 08375030340 E-mail: sales@spiritofindiatravels.com & spiritofindiatravels@gmail.com For more details, log on to www.spiritofindiatours.com

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INTERNATIONAL YOGA DAY & TOURISM

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Yoga: A journey from "Aham to Vayam; Sva to Samasti."

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated a mass Yoga event at Rashtrapati Bhavan to commemorate the International Yoga Day on June 21, 2015. Te Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, described Yoga as a journey from "Aham to Vayam; Sva to Samasti." (I to we; Self

to Universe). He said that if we perceive our human body to be a unique creation, then Yoga is similar to a "user manual" that made one aware of the immense ca p a b i l i t i e s o f t h at creation. He described Yoga as a means to achieve harmony w i t h o n e s e l f, o n e ' s b o d y, surroundings and nature. He said that when practised correctly and with discipline, Yoga leads to greater fulfilment in life. The Prime Minister said that as the world united in celebrating

“India- The Land of Yoga’ Brochure giving details of Yoga destinations also released The Minister of State for To u r i s m (Independent Charge), C u l t u r e (Independent Charge) and Civil Aviation, D r. M a h e s h S h a r m a launched the new edition of “Atithi Devo Bhava” television commercials and a brochure titled “India- The Land of Yoga” in New Delhi. The four films, made on the theme of “Atithi Devo Bhava” spread awareness about ways to extend hospitality to tourists visiting India by adopting an honest and helpful attitude, as well as maintaining cleanliness and hygiene. Veteran actor Aamir Khan is the brand ambassador for these impressive films and they have been directed by the eminent ad maker Shri

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Prasoon Joshi. While launching the brochure “India- The Land of Yoga” on the occasion of the ‘International Day of Yoga’ b e i n g celebrated across the world on 21st June, 2015, Dr Mahesh Sharma said that the celebration of International Yoga Day is a matter of pride for India and many countries of the world are supporting us in this endeavour. The brochure on Yoga includes details of Yoga destinations which will help to promote Yoga as a tourism product. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Lalit Panwar, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism said that Yoga Day is our unique gift to the world and it will help in promotion of Global Tourism in India.

the International Day of Yoga, there would be a lot of expectations, regarding Yoga, and India stands ready to the shoulder the responsibility of these expectations, for the greater good of the world. He added that it may have originated in India, but it draws its energies from the

millions who practice it around the world. He reiterated India's resolve to reach out and foster a culture of inclusiveness, of fraternity, of one global family – Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. The Minister for AYUSH (I/C) Shri Shripad Yesso Naik, the Minister of State for Finance Shri Jayant Sinha, and Yoga exponents Baba Ramdev, Dr Nagendra and Dr. Veerendra Heggade were present on the occasion. The Prime Minister acknowledged that 177 countries co-sponsored the resolution in the United Nations, for adopting June 21st as International Yoga Day.

Yoga steps into Guinness World Records The Ministry of AYUSH, Govt. of India has been awarded with two Guinness World Records in two d i f f e r e n t categories on the first International Day of Yoga. Category 1 was for the largest number of participants in a Yoga Lesson at single venue. The earlier record was of 29,973. To beat that record a target of 30,000 was required. The Ministry broke that record as 35,985 participants performed Yoga at Rajpath on June 21, 2015. Category 2 was most number of nationalists in a Yoga Lesson. To achieve this at least participants from 50 countries were required to perform. But participants from 84 countries performed Yoga at Rajpath.

Shri Shripad Yesso Naik, MoS(I/C). Ministry of AYUSH and Secretary AYUSH received the awards which were presented by the representatives of Guinness World Records Ms Victoria from UK and Mr. Marco Frigatti from Italy. Speaking on the occasion the Minister expressed his gratitude towards the officials of the Ministry for making the programme of Rajpath a great success and efforts made towards achieving two world records. Also present on the occasion were Yog Gurus, Mr. Guru Malladi, coordinator of EY Company and senior officials of the Ministry.

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TRADE PLUS ‘The Weekend Plan’ (A Mafatlal Initiative), a full-fledged vacation rental portal with an ever growing portfolio of handpicked and personally inspected villas currently in Khandala, Alibaug, Panchgani & North Goa.

Since its inception in 2013, The Weekend Plan has catered to 1000+ plus travelers who can't stop raving about this unique vacationing experience. It started as a way for travelers to find a p r i vate re s i d e n c e i n a n e a r b y destination by Satish and his wife Vridhi Dodani (both avid travelers). What began as a simple web page with a few villas near the city for personal friends has now grown into a full-fledged

vacation villa rental portal. Close friend and business entrepreneur Chirag Mehta shared his vision and helped align this company with the powerful business house of Mafatlals. Renting a villa can always come with

apprehensions of the experience. Understanding this concern they decided to be different by ensuring quality and consistency. Every villa has been hand-picked according to strict standards and only the very best are invited to be part of the collection. To make that vacation experience special and memorable, they decided to focus on providing comfortable villa with amenities like swimming pools, air

a first of its kind holiday home specialist! conditioned bedrooms, good quality bed linen, soft comforters, shower / hand towels, facilities of a cook-on-call and more. To effectively combine the space and comfort of private vacation homes with the five-star service of luxury resorts. Unlike typical online vacation rental agents that broker third-party homes, they manage most residences themselves 365 days-a-year for the exclusive use of the Guests, investing in them to meet high standards. "As with many other sectors, the Internet's arrival changed everything. For us the path ahead is many fold, focus

on customers, not channels has been our approach unlocking the power of partnerships and mastering the entire customer experience. At the forefront of the "Comfort For Less" movement, The Weekend Plan is a vacation solution ideal for travel with family and friends, offering a handpicked / personally inspected growing list of comfortable villas in popular travel destinations across the country. We ensure the villas we offer are the very best and the service starts from the very first call. We help you choose the right property, answer your questions and make the booking process as simple as possible, you are even assigned a relationship manager who will take care of every detail of your booking." Says co-founder Satish Dodani.

Atlantis, The Palm announces a 3 city on Tour

Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai announces an Atlantis The Palm on Tour for travel agents and partners from Wednesday, 8 July to Friday to 10 July, 2015 in Pune, Ahmedabad and Nagpur. The on Tour will highlight the latest offerings of the grand resort. Observing a growing demand in the Indian market, Atlantis will emphasize on three key cities and aim to promote leisure travel, lavish weddings and celebrations and MICE events. With its enviable location atop the crescent of The Palm, the opening of Atlantis has redefined tourism in Dubai being the first fully integrated entertainment destination resort. Pune - 8 July, 2015 (09am – 06pm) Courtyard by Marriott, Pune City Centre, C.T.S. No. 37 & 37/1 Bund Garden Road, next to Jehangir Hospital, Pune 411001 Ahmedabad - 9 July, 2015 (3pm – 6pm) Radisson Blu Hotel,Off C.G. Road, Ambawadi, Ahmedabad Nagpur - 10 July, 2015 (03pm – 06pm) Hotel Centre Point, 24, Central Bazar Road, Ramdaspeth, Nagpur Atlantis, the unique ocean-themed resort features a variety of marine and entertainment attractions, as well as 17 hectares of waterscape amusement at Aquaventure Waterpark, all within a 46 hectare site. The Lost Chambers Aquarium, a maze of underwater corridors and passageways providing a journey through ancient Atlantis. Aquaventure features 18 million litres of fresh water used to power thrilling waterslides, a 2.3 kilometre river ride with tidal waves and pools, water rapids and white water chargers.

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July - August, 2015

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Chilly Thrills

The Heart of India Madhya Pradesh leaves no stones unturned in making the stay for their visitors one of the very best. The state of Madhya Pradesh invests in a rich historical past and very exciting geographical demographics, offering something to one and all. From taking a trip down memory lane into India’s glorious past, to dwelling on some spiritual insights, onwards to soaking up all the natural goodness, and witnessing the then dwindling population of tigers growing gradually in its natural habitat. One cannot overlook walking the cultural trails, and relaxing and rejuvenating. Madhya Pradesh offers all this and much more to its visitors.

Indore Strategically located on the banks of the river Khan and Saraswati, Indore fascinates visitors with the romantic charms of its architectural grandeur and historical enigma. The drama unfolds during the monsoons as the outskirts of the city the region comes alive with breathtaking vistas of the flora and fauna surrounding the region. Apart from basking in the glorious historical past Indore is emerging as one of the upcoming high-tech cities, where wellknown IT and automobile brands invest. The Sights Indreshwar temple - Temple of Lord Shiva situated on the sangam of khan and saraswati rivers in Juni Indore. Raja Indra Singh on his way to Ujjain formed the Indrapur city while his stay here. The city of Indore derives its name from this very temple. Bada Ganapati, better known for its size than antiquity, this temple houses perhaps the largest Ganesh idol in the world measuring 25 feet from crown to foot. It was built in 1875. Central Museum – Also known as Indore Museum invests noteworthy relics from the pre historic era. Rajwada – is the two-century-old living

residence belonging to the Holkars. The seven-storeyed building is a living exemplary of Maratha architecture. The building is housed close to the Chattris,

in the centre square. Chattris- Cenotaphs (Chattris) built by the skilled Maratha’s to honour the Holkars, very close to the Rajwada. These chhatris are intricately carved and

some, like the Krishnapura Chhatri, also have temples and other structures near the place. Choki Dani- A Rajasthan inclined Resort, themed around the typical Marwari village life, complete with live counters and lip smacking village food, puppet shows and the works. Kaanch Mandir - Built by a very rich textile merchant, this temple including the shimmers of a million mirrors. The temple serves as an ode to Lord

Mahavira, of the Jain faith. Lal Baug Palace - Built by Maharaj Shivaji Holkar in the late 19th and early 20th century, this beautiful three-storeyed palace sits comfortably nestled alongside the banks of the river Khan.

Town Hall/ Mahatma Gandhi Hall- This building is considered as the city’s landmark. Built by the British, the building is inclined on an indo-gothic note and is known for it lovely domes and steeples. Even to this day one could enjoy an art or book exposition. The hall is capacitated to house about 2000 people. Some tourist attraction close are famous for its beauty in Monsoon Season -Paatal Paani (35 km from Indore towards Mhow), Sitala Mata fall, Choral Fall and

Tincha Fall Shopping - For the shoppers who want to enjoy the delectable slice of culture, one must jaunt along in the Sarafa Bazar, Sitlamata Bazar, and Heritage market. Indore is best known for its fabric, especially cotton and jute. The tie and dye, block prints, and zari work (embroidery using real gold threads) can never be missed. Leather stuffed toys are just another speciality. Foodies too can have a ball in the city, as it has an eclectic number of cuisines to offer ranging from Marwari, Gujarati, to even Maratha.

Ujjain A trip to Ujjain can also prove exciting indeed. From Indore one can reach Ujjain both by car and train. It is also an important centre of leaning for people of the Hindu and Jain Faith. Back in the years Ujaain was considered as the Greenwich for all astrologers. Ujjain comes alive with millions of religious zealots every 12 years, as it serves as a venue for the Kumbh Mela. 2016 marks the year of the ‘Simhastha Kumbh 2016’ (Poorna Kumbh Mela). The same was celebrated last in 2004. The event is graced by 10 million Hindus and from around the world. Ujjain celebrates the ritualistic bath from the

22 of April 2016 to 21st of May 2016. The important auspicious bathing dates are 22nd May 2016, 6th May 2016, 9th May 2016, 11th May 2016, 17th May 2016, 21st May 2016. The sights Omkareshwar Temple – Devotees coming to Ujjain never miss on this t e m p l e . T h e Omkareshwar temple is an ode to Lord Shiva housing one of the 12 Jyotrilingas. The temple is situated on an island called ‘Mandhata’, about

a 136 kilometres from the city of Ujjain. Omkareswar ksh etra ‘parikrama’ is the very essential thing to do in Omkareswar tour. Bade Ganseshji ka M a n d i r, C i n t a m a n G a n e s h Te m p l e , Mandsaur, Pir Matsyendranath, and Kaal Bhairav Temple, are important temples around Ujjain worth visiting Sailana – For all those who love nature the Sailana bird century is the place to be. it is also one of the parks that is know for it 1200 different varieties of cactus. Bhanpura – A perfect jaunt for lovers of history as this museum houses the relics of the Gupta’s era. The Hinglajgarh fort close by the fort is another popular tourist attraction.

Some other important historical sites include Kaliadeh Palace, Bhartihari Caves, Durgadas Ki Chattri, and the Vedh Shala Observatory. Kalidas Academy and Vikram University – Ujjain upholds the tradition of being an important centre of learning. Infact it is a hotbed for all the literary art forms. The universities have a special course enabling the research and study of Sanskrit, and other classical traditions. The Vikram Kirti Mandir is another archaeological and educational site that cannot be missed. Madhya Pradesh has all this and a lot more to offer to its visitors. It is only about when you, our eager readers and travellers set off to witness the unending charms of this wonderful state.

Leh Ladakh

As summer beckons, it is time to pack your bags, and set off on that most awaited vacation of the year. This year the youngest member and the Brand Ambassador of Safari Plus VYOM KESARI took off to the thrilling and chilling regions of Leh, Kargil, and the Drass Village. Let us see to what this young tot is to say about these exciting locales.

Heaven on Earth (Srinagar and Sonmarg) After landing in Srinagar, famously described as the summer capital of old India, our sights didn’t just get off the scenic vistas. The charms of nature overwhelmed us, and I was transported to heaven. Snow-capped peaks, surrounded by fir trees, and heavenly cascades making their way to the nearby rivulet, left a lasting imprint on my mind. After spending a rather wonderful night tucked up in the cosy of warm and richly carved Cedar finished beds, we head to Sonmarg the next day. The 80-kilometre ride is smooth and ever winding topped off with the sights of beautiful snow capped mountains. Zorbing, trekking, and drafting are some of the activities that tourists often indulge in.

Drass Village The next morning the editor’s family, me included, off to Drass Village. An interesting fact of the Drass village is that it is enlisted as the second coldest regions in the world after Siberia (Russia). The important places to visit in Drass include the Kargil War Memorial, and the Tiger Hill (this is the highest point in all of Drass. One can take part in

trekking activities and also indulge in some shopping later in the valley. One can also enjoy watching the traditional sport of polo, played by the locals of the Drass Village. Another important feature of this valley is the Zojila pass. This was one of the most important routes used for training by the foreigners in the yester years. Also one can site a drastic transition between the wonderful snow capped valleys of Kashmir, and the ochre stained plateau of Ladhak.

Mulbekh and Lamayuru On day three after breakfast we departed for Leh. Situated 45 km from Kargil and 260 km from Leh in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, ‘Mulbekh’ Monastery is famous for its two ‘gompas’ and the nine-meter tall statue of ‘Maitreya Buddha’. Carved onto the rock face, the sculpture of standing Maitreya Buddha overlooks situated around 127 kms from the town of Leh. Tourists who visit Ladakh halt in Lamayuru as a rule to visit the monastery. The monastery serves as home to about a 150 monks, and comes alive with Buddhist art, Tanka’s, wall paintings, statues, and carpets. The beautiful landscape around the monastery serves as a magnet attracting millions of tourist. Lamaruyu also has the oldest surviving temple.

Alchi Gompa Magnetic Hills

and

On the way before hitting Leh, we also visit Alchi Gompa. The Alchi Gompa, is a village monastery known for the numerous murals that deck the walls. Some of these murals have been refurbished, while some cannot be done at all. It is one of the oldest monasteries in the region. The atmosphere around the monastery is very friendly and inviting. The next stop was the Magnetic hill. Also known as the gravity hill, this spot has become a famous tourist spot located at 11000 feet above sea level. The speciality of this hill is that the

layout of the surrounding land produces optical illusion, backed by some supernatural forces too.

Sangam Valley On the way to Leh we visited Sangam Valley where one can observe the confluence of the two rivers Indus and Zansar. The colour difference is distinct at the confluence. The river activities can involve anything from a simple boatride to river rafting too.

Pathar Sahib Darbar We also took a stop at Pathar Sahib Darbar, where Guru Nanak is said to have vanished into thin air like a demon. Even while it was being constructed there were numerous obstacles were faced, however today the same is being maintained by the Indian Army.

Pangong Lake After spending a night in Leh we hit the Pangong Lake using the Changla pass. This is the third highest motorable road in the world. Spending a night at the lake was indeed a blissful experience. The lake is known for its colour changing property. The Tibetan derivative of the word ‘Pangong’ means long narrow and enchanted lake. The lake is blue to look at, but on freezing turn white owing to its saline features. The lake doesn’t support any aquatic life, but is home to many of the exotic birds. Staying in a tent alongside the lake is a truly blissful experience.

Nubra Valley After spending a night at the lake next was Nubra Valley. We drive via Khardungla road, which is the highest motor able road in the world, 18,380 feet. On the way, we were lucky to get snowfall and this was the wonderful moment. We came out from the vehicle and enjoyed the snowfall and snow around making snowman and hit snow ball on each other. Nubra is abbreviated as a tuft of land at the scalp of India. The region comprises of two rivers with heavy glaciated peaks

of the Karakoram range. About 10km west of Diskit, stands Hunder village. Camels can often be seen grazing on the dune-like landscape between the foot of the mountains and the braided Shyok River. The two hump camel safari is indeed a one of its kind experience.

Deskit Gompa This is one of the oldest monasteries in the Nubra valley region, and is the oldest surviving one too, founded by Changzem Tserab Zangpo, a disciple of Tsong-khapa. very recently the 100 feet Maitreya Buddha statue was inaugurated by his holiness the Dalai Lama. Colour becomes an imperative part of this monastery. Coming back to Leh next day, we got two days to spend in Leh. So, we were able to see beautiful city Leh and visited the Hall of Fame Museum, Spituk Gompa, Leh Fort, Thiksey Monastery and Shanti Stupa. Ranchos School - The Druk White Lotus School that was filmed in ‘3 Idiots’, has lately garnered much clout. The school instills values of Tibetan Buddhism along with the modern day values. The school does not encourage class barriers, encouraging students from various walks of life to come and learn. War Memorial - The Hall of fame, is a museum cum war memorial. It is an ode for all those who fought in the Kargil war. The army maintains the premise. Also there is an adventure park nearby filled with fun activities that they use for army training for families to enjoy. Shopping - You may find a lot of things in the market, but some of the best things to pick up are pashmina shawl, kesar, metal statues, dry fruits and stone studded jewellery. This trip was insightful in its own right. There was peace, calm, thrill, adventure, scenic vistas and a lot more that a destination can offer. However for those with respiratory problems, and heart ailments we strongly reckon Doctors advice before traveling the scenic pathways. And most importantly proper

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July - August, 2015 13


Chilly Thrills

The Heart of India Madhya Pradesh leaves no stones unturned in making the stay for their visitors one of the very best. The state of Madhya Pradesh invests in a rich historical past and very exciting geographical demographics, offering something to one and all. From taking a trip down memory lane into India’s glorious past, to dwelling on some spiritual insights, onwards to soaking up all the natural goodness, and witnessing the then dwindling population of tigers growing gradually in its natural habitat. One cannot overlook walking the cultural trails, and relaxing and rejuvenating. Madhya Pradesh offers all this and much more to its visitors.

Indore Strategically located on the banks of the river Khan and Saraswati, Indore fascinates visitors with the romantic charms of its architectural grandeur and historical enigma. The drama unfolds during the monsoons as the outskirts of the city the region comes alive with breathtaking vistas of the flora and fauna surrounding the region. Apart from basking in the glorious historical past Indore is emerging as one of the upcoming high-tech cities, where wellknown IT and automobile brands invest. The Sights Indreshwar temple - Temple of Lord Shiva situated on the sangam of khan and saraswati rivers in Juni Indore. Raja Indra Singh on his way to Ujjain formed the Indrapur city while his stay here. The city of Indore derives its name from this very temple. Bada Ganapati, better known for its size than antiquity, this temple houses perhaps the largest Ganesh idol in the world measuring 25 feet from crown to foot. It was built in 1875. Central Museum – Also known as Indore Museum invests noteworthy relics from the pre historic era. Rajwada – is the two-century-old living

residence belonging to the Holkars. The seven-storeyed building is a living exemplary of Maratha architecture. The building is housed close to the Chattris,

in the centre square. Chattris- Cenotaphs (Chattris) built by the skilled Maratha’s to honour the Holkars, very close to the Rajwada. These chhatris are intricately carved and

some, like the Krishnapura Chhatri, also have temples and other structures near the place. Choki Dani- A Rajasthan inclined Resort, themed around the typical Marwari village life, complete with live counters and lip smacking village food, puppet shows and the works. Kaanch Mandir - Built by a very rich textile merchant, this temple including the shimmers of a million mirrors. The temple serves as an ode to Lord

Mahavira, of the Jain faith. Lal Baug Palace - Built by Maharaj Shivaji Holkar in the late 19th and early 20th century, this beautiful three-storeyed palace sits comfortably nestled alongside the banks of the river Khan.

Town Hall/ Mahatma Gandhi Hall- This building is considered as the city’s landmark. Built by the British, the building is inclined on an indo-gothic note and is known for it lovely domes and steeples. Even to this day one could enjoy an art or book exposition. The hall is capacitated to house about 2000 people. Some tourist attraction close are famous for its beauty in Monsoon Season -Paatal Paani (35 km from Indore towards Mhow), Sitala Mata fall, Choral Fall and

Tincha Fall Shopping - For the shoppers who want to enjoy the delectable slice of culture, one must jaunt along in the Sarafa Bazar, Sitlamata Bazar, and Heritage market. Indore is best known for its fabric, especially cotton and jute. The tie and dye, block prints, and zari work (embroidery using real gold threads) can never be missed. Leather stuffed toys are just another speciality. Foodies too can have a ball in the city, as it has an eclectic number of cuisines to offer ranging from Marwari, Gujarati, to even Maratha.

Ujjain A trip to Ujjain can also prove exciting indeed. From Indore one can reach Ujjain both by car and train. It is also an important centre of leaning for people of the Hindu and Jain Faith. Back in the years Ujaain was considered as the Greenwich for all astrologers. Ujjain comes alive with millions of religious zealots every 12 years, as it serves as a venue for the Kumbh Mela. 2016 marks the year of the ‘Simhastha Kumbh 2016’ (Poorna Kumbh Mela). The same was celebrated last in 2004. The event is graced by 10 million Hindus and from around the world. Ujjain celebrates the ritualistic bath from the

22 of April 2016 to 21st of May 2016. The important auspicious bathing dates are 22nd May 2016, 6th May 2016, 9th May 2016, 11th May 2016, 17th May 2016, 21st May 2016. The sights Omkareshwar Temple – Devotees coming to Ujjain never miss on this t e m p l e . T h e Omkareshwar temple is an ode to Lord Shiva housing one of the 12 Jyotrilingas. The temple is situated on an island called ‘Mandhata’, about

a 136 kilometres from the city of Ujjain. Omkareswar ksh etra ‘parikrama’ is the very essential thing to do in Omkareswar tour. Bade Ganseshji ka M a n d i r, C i n t a m a n G a n e s h Te m p l e , Mandsaur, Pir Matsyendranath, and Kaal Bhairav Temple, are important temples around Ujjain worth visiting Sailana – For all those who love nature the Sailana bird century is the place to be. it is also one of the parks that is know for it 1200 different varieties of cactus. Bhanpura – A perfect jaunt for lovers of history as this museum houses the relics of the Gupta’s era. The Hinglajgarh fort close by the fort is another popular tourist attraction.

Some other important historical sites include Kaliadeh Palace, Bhartihari Caves, Durgadas Ki Chattri, and the Vedh Shala Observatory. Kalidas Academy and Vikram University – Ujjain upholds the tradition of being an important centre of learning. Infact it is a hotbed for all the literary art forms. The universities have a special course enabling the research and study of Sanskrit, and other classical traditions. The Vikram Kirti Mandir is another archaeological and educational site that cannot be missed. Madhya Pradesh has all this and a lot more to offer to its visitors. It is only about when you, our eager readers and travellers set off to witness the unending charms of this wonderful state.

Leh Ladakh

As summer beckons, it is time to pack your bags, and set off on that most awaited vacation of the year. This year the youngest member and the Brand Ambassador of Safari Plus VYOM KESARI took off to the thrilling and chilling regions of Leh, Kargil, and the Drass Village. Let us see to what this young tot is to say about these exciting locales.

Heaven on Earth (Srinagar and Sonmarg) After landing in Srinagar, famously described as the summer capital of old India, our sights didn’t just get off the scenic vistas. The charms of nature overwhelmed us, and I was transported to heaven. Snow-capped peaks, surrounded by fir trees, and heavenly cascades making their way to the nearby rivulet, left a lasting imprint on my mind. After spending a rather wonderful night tucked up in the cosy of warm and richly carved Cedar finished beds, we head to Sonmarg the next day. The 80-kilometre ride is smooth and ever winding topped off with the sights of beautiful snow capped mountains. Zorbing, trekking, and drafting are some of the activities that tourists often indulge in.

Drass Village The next morning the editor’s family, me included, off to Drass Village. An interesting fact of the Drass village is that it is enlisted as the second coldest regions in the world after Siberia (Russia). The important places to visit in Drass include the Kargil War Memorial, and the Tiger Hill (this is the highest point in all of Drass. One can take part in

trekking activities and also indulge in some shopping later in the valley. One can also enjoy watching the traditional sport of polo, played by the locals of the Drass Village. Another important feature of this valley is the Zojila pass. This was one of the most important routes used for training by the foreigners in the yester years. Also one can site a drastic transition between the wonderful snow capped valleys of Kashmir, and the ochre stained plateau of Ladhak.

Mulbekh and Lamayuru On day three after breakfast we departed for Leh. Situated 45 km from Kargil and 260 km from Leh in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, ‘Mulbekh’ Monastery is famous for its two ‘gompas’ and the nine-meter tall statue of ‘Maitreya Buddha’. Carved onto the rock face, the sculpture of standing Maitreya Buddha overlooks situated around 127 kms from the town of Leh. Tourists who visit Ladakh halt in Lamayuru as a rule to visit the monastery. The monastery serves as home to about a 150 monks, and comes alive with Buddhist art, Tanka’s, wall paintings, statues, and carpets. The beautiful landscape around the monastery serves as a magnet attracting millions of tourist. Lamaruyu also has the oldest surviving temple.

Alchi Gompa Magnetic Hills

and

On the way before hitting Leh, we also visit Alchi Gompa. The Alchi Gompa, is a village monastery known for the numerous murals that deck the walls. Some of these murals have been refurbished, while some cannot be done at all. It is one of the oldest monasteries in the region. The atmosphere around the monastery is very friendly and inviting. The next stop was the Magnetic hill. Also known as the gravity hill, this spot has become a famous tourist spot located at 11000 feet above sea level. The speciality of this hill is that the

layout of the surrounding land produces optical illusion, backed by some supernatural forces too.

Sangam Valley On the way to Leh we visited Sangam Valley where one can observe the confluence of the two rivers Indus and Zansar. The colour difference is distinct at the confluence. The river activities can involve anything from a simple boatride to river rafting too.

Pathar Sahib Darbar We also took a stop at Pathar Sahib Darbar, where Guru Nanak is said to have vanished into thin air like a demon. Even while it was being constructed there were numerous obstacles were faced, however today the same is being maintained by the Indian Army.

Pangong Lake After spending a night in Leh we hit the Pangong Lake using the Changla pass. This is the third highest motorable road in the world. Spending a night at the lake was indeed a blissful experience. The lake is known for its colour changing property. The Tibetan derivative of the word ‘Pangong’ means long narrow and enchanted lake. The lake is blue to look at, but on freezing turn white owing to its saline features. The lake doesn’t support any aquatic life, but is home to many of the exotic birds. Staying in a tent alongside the lake is a truly blissful experience.

Nubra Valley After spending a night at the lake next was Nubra Valley. We drive via Khardungla road, which is the highest motor able road in the world, 18,380 feet. On the way, we were lucky to get snowfall and this was the wonderful moment. We came out from the vehicle and enjoyed the snowfall and snow around making snowman and hit snow ball on each other. Nubra is abbreviated as a tuft of land at the scalp of India. The region comprises of two rivers with heavy glaciated peaks

of the Karakoram range. About 10km west of Diskit, stands Hunder village. Camels can often be seen grazing on the dune-like landscape between the foot of the mountains and the braided Shyok River. The two hump camel safari is indeed a one of its kind experience.

Deskit Gompa This is one of the oldest monasteries in the Nubra valley region, and is the oldest surviving one too, founded by Changzem Tserab Zangpo, a disciple of Tsong-khapa. very recently the 100 feet Maitreya Buddha statue was inaugurated by his holiness the Dalai Lama. Colour becomes an imperative part of this monastery. Coming back to Leh next day, we got two days to spend in Leh. So, we were able to see beautiful city Leh and visited the Hall of Fame Museum, Spituk Gompa, Leh Fort, Thiksey Monastery and Shanti Stupa. Ranchos School - The Druk White Lotus School that was filmed in ‘3 Idiots’, has lately garnered much clout. The school instills values of Tibetan Buddhism along with the modern day values. The school does not encourage class barriers, encouraging students from various walks of life to come and learn. War Memorial - The Hall of fame, is a museum cum war memorial. It is an ode for all those who fought in the Kargil war. The army maintains the premise. Also there is an adventure park nearby filled with fun activities that they use for army training for families to enjoy. Shopping - You may find a lot of things in the market, but some of the best things to pick up are pashmina shawl, kesar, metal statues, dry fruits and stone studded jewellery. This trip was insightful in its own right. There was peace, calm, thrill, adventure, scenic vistas and a lot more that a destination can offer. However for those with respiratory problems, and heart ailments we strongly reckon Doctors advice before traveling the scenic pathways. And most importantly proper

Approved by Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India.

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Mumbai: Shop No 3 Ganjawala Tower, SVP Road, Borivali (W), Mumbai - 400092. Maharashtra, INDIA Mumbai: +91 22 28936320 / 32954953 M: +91 9967009904 / 9322647575 E: ravinetrek@gmail.com Branch Operational Ofce: Leh, Srinagar, Delhi, Manali, Mumbai (Andheri Lokhandwala)

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July - August, 2015

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July - August, 2015 13


Vyoms ’ Journey To Leh Ladakh The best men to plan your travel to Ladakh Mr. Kamlesh Lalan and Mr. Tundup Dorjey

Leaving from Mumbai Airport

A view of Dal Lake, Srinagar

A view of Dal Lake, Srinagar

Mulbek a giant Buddha Sculpture on Rock Mountain, Lamayuru, the oldest Monastery of Ladakh

I swear

Rancho’s School - learn differently

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July - August, 2015

Leh City

On the way to Alchi Gompa

Thiksey Monastery

Shanti Stupa

Cultural performance at Pangong Hotel, Leh

Leh Fort

Leh

From Srinagar to Leh, via Sonamarg

Rinchin Adventure Park

Hall of Fame

At Changla Pass

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At Sangam Valley, Leh

THE SUN- On the way back to Leh from Pangong Lake

At Pangong Lake with ducks

Snow Play at Drass - Kargil

Fellow Tourists enjoying at Drass Kargil

Aerial view from Shanti Stupa

On the way to Pangong Lake

Adventure Park at Hall of Fame

My Family at Thiksey Monastery, Leh

Vijay Samark (War Memorial Kargil) Tololing Hill

Leh City

Pangong Lake 14,500 ft, through Changla Pass 17,350 ft, 3rd Highest Motorable road

Me, Mom and Dad on the way to Leh

Snow Play at Drass - Kargil

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Adventure Park near Hall of Fame Museum

Snow Play

Salute to our Soldiers Vijay Samarak, Drass

Hall of Fame Museum

Back Home with the sweet Memories

July - August, 2015 15


Vyoms ’ Journey To Leh Ladakh The best men to plan your travel to Ladakh Mr. Kamlesh Lalan and Mr. Tundup Dorjey

Leaving from Mumbai Airport

A view of Dal Lake, Srinagar

A view of Dal Lake, Srinagar

Mulbek a giant Buddha Sculpture on Rock Mountain, Lamayuru, the oldest Monastery of Ladakh

I swear

Rancho’s School - learn differently

14

July - August, 2015

Leh City

On the way to Alchi Gompa

Thiksey Monastery

Shanti Stupa

Cultural performance at Pangong Hotel, Leh

Leh Fort

Leh

From Srinagar to Leh, via Sonamarg

Rinchin Adventure Park

Hall of Fame

At Changla Pass

www.safariplus.co.in

At Sangam Valley, Leh

THE SUN- On the way back to Leh from Pangong Lake

At Pangong Lake with ducks

Snow Play at Drass - Kargil

Fellow Tourists enjoying at Drass Kargil

Aerial view from Shanti Stupa

On the way to Pangong Lake

Adventure Park at Hall of Fame

My Family at Thiksey Monastery, Leh

Vijay Samark (War Memorial Kargil) Tololing Hill

Leh City

Pangong Lake 14,500 ft, through Changla Pass 17,350 ft, 3rd Highest Motorable road

Me, Mom and Dad on the way to Leh

Snow Play at Drass - Kargil

www.safariplus.co.in

Adventure Park near Hall of Fame Museum

Snow Play

Salute to our Soldiers Vijay Samarak, Drass

Hall of Fame Museum

Back Home with the sweet Memories

July - August, 2015 15


HOSPITALITY PLUS FHRAI’s 50th Annual Convention at Bhubaneswar

Slated to be one of the biggest events in Hospitality and Tourism in India The Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI), has announced its Golden Jubilee Convention on 25th, 26th and 27th September 2015 at Mayfair Convention, Bhubaneswar, the temple city of India. This is slated to be one of the biggest events in hospitality and tourism in India and Odisha Tourism has joined FHRAI as Partners of the event. The Convention theme is the much adored Sanskrit verse Atithi Devo Bhava meaning ‘Guest is God.’ This will be a high profile event with more than 1000 delegates representing top echelons of the hospitality and tourism industry in India, leading hoteliers and other stakeholders in the industry, likely to participate.

The inauguration ceremony will be held on 25th September and will be followed by a number of technical sessions where industry stalwarts will interact, discuss and debate the issues relating to growth of hospitality industry in India. The technical sessions will be held on 25th and 26th September. The second day of the Convention 26th September 2015 will be the Odisha Day. Folk dances and cultural programs by well-known artistes from the state will be part of Odisha Day. Since a large number of entrepreneurs from hospitality industry will be present, Odisha Tourism will make a presentation showcasing the potential of Odisha and invite them to set up hospitality and tourism ventures in the state.

On the concluding day 27th September coinciding with the World Tourism Day, a Heritage Walk is being organized jointly with the Government of Odisha. The walk will essentially be a cultural extravaganza with tableaus, folk dances and performances. Invitations have been sent out to a number of foreign countries and different states in India to participate in the event. The theme of the walk will be ‘Tourism Unites the World’. Launching the Golden Jubilee Convention mnemonic here today, Shri Ashok Chandra Panda, Minister of Tourism and Culture, Government of Odisha, said “We are pleased that FHRAI has chosen Odisha to hold its Golden Jubilee Convention. Our state has a rich diversity of tourism assets and the event will help us to showcase to the world the splendors of Odisha.”

Absolute Hotel Services expands its wing in India Signs 2 property in Goa and Vadodara which are to open in 2016 Absolute Hotel Services India/Middle East has signed a management agreement with M/S Dynamic It Park Developers, for a new-build property in Calangute Goa. Eastin Easy Calangute Goa which is scheduled to open in 2016.

Eastin Easy Calangute Goa is located on the main road with close proximity to the Calangute beach which is the most popular beach in North Goa. All 40 rooms will have modern architecture which will blend well with the rustic setting and fun spirit of Goa and also adds to the attitude of the city which never sleeps. Facilities at the hotel will include an all day dining restaurant serving local and regional favourites, a roof top bar, gym, swimming pool with kids section and banquet room for group meetings or get together events. Absolute Hotel Services also signed the management agreement with Paramount Hospitality and Infraprojects LLP, for newly build property in Vadodara, Eastin Residences Vadodara which is scheduled to open in 2016. Eastin Residences Vadodara is a 4 star hotel with 43 rooms, located in Alkapuri,

the western side of Vadodara City and also the commercial hub. The hotel is conveniently located just 15 minutes away from the airport. The hotel facilities provide value and flexibility to serve the needs of customers for extended stays, whether for business or pleasure; spacious accommodation, personalized services and modern facilities. Facilities will include an all day dining restaurant serving local and regional favourites, gym and a mini mart.

16

July - August, 2015

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HOSPITALITY PLUS IHG Signs InterContinental Hotel in Mahabalipuram Chennai InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), announced the signing of the management agreement for InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort with Adyar Gate Hotels Limited. The signing of the 106-room InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort follows closely behind the recently announced deal between IHG and Adyar Gate Hotels Limited for Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park. This marks the fourth hotel in the company's development pipeline in Chennai, cementing IHG's leading position as one of the largest international hotel operators in the city when the four hotels (around 900 rooms) across four brands open by the end of next year: InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express. The company currently has one hotel open in Chennai: Holiday Inn Express Chennai Mahindra World City. InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort is located along the picturesque beachfront on East Coast Road in the south of Chennai, just 30 kilometres from Chennai International Airport. Opening to guests later this year, the luxury resort will offer world-class accommodation coupled with unparalleled service and amenities such as three gourmet dining outlets including an all day dining restaurant, a speciality restaurant and a bar. Guests looking to unwind can enjoy an array of treatments and therapies at the spa; work out at the fully-equipped health club or relax by the outdoor pool. The resort will also feature a banquet facility for large scale events. Manav Goyal, Director, Adyar Gate Hotels Limited said, “The InterContinental brand is known the world over for delivering luxury experiences and it was clear that's what we need to complement the strategic location the resort is in to draw business and leisure travellers. This will be one of the first five star beach resorts around the east coast of India, designed with a huge focus on environmental planning and design. IHG as a company is very driven and focussed on delivering great guest experiences and we are very pleased to have IHG manage what we envision will be one of the most highly sought after hotels in Chennai. We also see a huge potential to drive synergies across both Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park and InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort, with their unique attributes on location as well as the facilities in each hotel which cater to the needs of our guests across the leisure, corporate, meetings and events segments. We look forward to a great partnership with IHG and to welcoming guests through our doors when they open.”

www.safariplus.co.in

The World's First Underwater Nightclub The world-first underwater nightclub, Subsix, PER AQUUM has evolved the pioneering venue into an underwater playground, a creative space which can be transformed into whatever guests imagine it to be – from private Champagne breakfasts to lunchtime celebrations to midnight proposals. Located at PER AQUUM Niyama in the Maldives, Subsix first opened in 2012. The recent redesign by Poole Associates draws inspiration from the aquatic surroundings and sets a very surreal stage for guests to dive beneath the surface and explore their desires. Guests reach Subsix via speedboat, skipping over the reef to its 500-metre offshore location. Upon arrival, the

Subsix underwater revellers descend a dramatic three-tier staircase. Overhead, Italian-designed abstract chandeliers illuminate the descent like shining coral or white stars sparkling through the sea's surface. Brancusi cabinetry and mirrors line the path. In the centre of the room, a huge claminspired bar strikes an imposing form, its fibreglass shell glowing with Subsix's mood lighting that shifts throughout the day from pure white mornings to a lavender

dinner setting to latenight blues. Among the many activities hosted by Subsix, marine biologist-led immersions into aquatic life give guests an expert's insight into the rich environment and its secrets. Other highlighted activities in the restyled venue include subaquatic lunches, gourmet dinners, weddings, hosted events, wine tastings, a weekly Glow Party and DJ nights carrying on the tradition of its birth as a pioneer-of-the-deep club. The new avatar of Subsix is now open. The last finishing touches are being completed as of May 2015 with new activities to be innovated over time and in response to valued opinions of PER AQUUM's jet set guests.

MAKING A LUXURY LANDMARK WITH PRIDE LAUNCHING NOW AT AEROCITY, DELHI

385 Luxurious rooms • Extensive Banqueting and Convention Venues • Multi Function Lounge • Poolside Barbeque 24 Hrs Coffee Shop • PAN Asian Restaurant SPA • Health Club • Fitness Center

BRAND ACHIEVERS AWARD OF THE YEAR

July - August, 2015 17


HOSPITALITY PLUS FHRAI’s 50th Annual Convention at Bhubaneswar

Slated to be one of the biggest events in Hospitality and Tourism in India The Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI), has announced its Golden Jubilee Convention on 25th, 26th and 27th September 2015 at Mayfair Convention, Bhubaneswar, the temple city of India. This is slated to be one of the biggest events in hospitality and tourism in India and Odisha Tourism has joined FHRAI as Partners of the event. The Convention theme is the much adored Sanskrit verse Atithi Devo Bhava meaning ‘Guest is God.’ This will be a high profile event with more than 1000 delegates representing top echelons of the hospitality and tourism industry in India, leading hoteliers and other stakeholders in the industry, likely to participate.

The inauguration ceremony will be held on 25th September and will be followed by a number of technical sessions where industry stalwarts will interact, discuss and debate the issues relating to growth of hospitality industry in India. The technical sessions will be held on 25th and 26th September. The second day of the Convention 26th September 2015 will be the Odisha Day. Folk dances and cultural programs by well-known artistes from the state will be part of Odisha Day. Since a large number of entrepreneurs from hospitality industry will be present, Odisha Tourism will make a presentation showcasing the potential of Odisha and invite them to set up hospitality and tourism ventures in the state.

On the concluding day 27th September coinciding with the World Tourism Day, a Heritage Walk is being organized jointly with the Government of Odisha. The walk will essentially be a cultural extravaganza with tableaus, folk dances and performances. Invitations have been sent out to a number of foreign countries and different states in India to participate in the event. The theme of the walk will be ‘Tourism Unites the World’. Launching the Golden Jubilee Convention mnemonic here today, Shri Ashok Chandra Panda, Minister of Tourism and Culture, Government of Odisha, said “We are pleased that FHRAI has chosen Odisha to hold its Golden Jubilee Convention. Our state has a rich diversity of tourism assets and the event will help us to showcase to the world the splendors of Odisha.”

Absolute Hotel Services expands its wing in India Signs 2 property in Goa and Vadodara which are to open in 2016 Absolute Hotel Services India/Middle East has signed a management agreement with M/S Dynamic It Park Developers, for a new-build property in Calangute Goa. Eastin Easy Calangute Goa which is scheduled to open in 2016.

Eastin Easy Calangute Goa is located on the main road with close proximity to the Calangute beach which is the most popular beach in North Goa. All 40 rooms will have modern architecture which will blend well with the rustic setting and fun spirit of Goa and also adds to the attitude of the city which never sleeps. Facilities at the hotel will include an all day dining restaurant serving local and regional favourites, a roof top bar, gym, swimming pool with kids section and banquet room for group meetings or get together events. Absolute Hotel Services also signed the management agreement with Paramount Hospitality and Infraprojects LLP, for newly build property in Vadodara, Eastin Residences Vadodara which is scheduled to open in 2016. Eastin Residences Vadodara is a 4 star hotel with 43 rooms, located in Alkapuri,

the western side of Vadodara City and also the commercial hub. The hotel is conveniently located just 15 minutes away from the airport. The hotel facilities provide value and flexibility to serve the needs of customers for extended stays, whether for business or pleasure; spacious accommodation, personalized services and modern facilities. Facilities will include an all day dining restaurant serving local and regional favourites, gym and a mini mart.

16

July - August, 2015

www.safariplus.co.in

HOSPITALITY PLUS IHG Signs InterContinental Hotel in Mahabalipuram Chennai InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), announced the signing of the management agreement for InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort with Adyar Gate Hotels Limited. The signing of the 106-room InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort follows closely behind the recently announced deal between IHG and Adyar Gate Hotels Limited for Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park. This marks the fourth hotel in the company's development pipeline in Chennai, cementing IHG's leading position as one of the largest international hotel operators in the city when the four hotels (around 900 rooms) across four brands open by the end of next year: InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express. The company currently has one hotel open in Chennai: Holiday Inn Express Chennai Mahindra World City. InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort is located along the picturesque beachfront on East Coast Road in the south of Chennai, just 30 kilometres from Chennai International Airport. Opening to guests later this year, the luxury resort will offer world-class accommodation coupled with unparalleled service and amenities such as three gourmet dining outlets including an all day dining restaurant, a speciality restaurant and a bar. Guests looking to unwind can enjoy an array of treatments and therapies at the spa; work out at the fully-equipped health club or relax by the outdoor pool. The resort will also feature a banquet facility for large scale events. Manav Goyal, Director, Adyar Gate Hotels Limited said, “The InterContinental brand is known the world over for delivering luxury experiences and it was clear that's what we need to complement the strategic location the resort is in to draw business and leisure travellers. This will be one of the first five star beach resorts around the east coast of India, designed with a huge focus on environmental planning and design. IHG as a company is very driven and focussed on delivering great guest experiences and we are very pleased to have IHG manage what we envision will be one of the most highly sought after hotels in Chennai. We also see a huge potential to drive synergies across both Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park and InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort, with their unique attributes on location as well as the facilities in each hotel which cater to the needs of our guests across the leisure, corporate, meetings and events segments. We look forward to a great partnership with IHG and to welcoming guests through our doors when they open.”

www.safariplus.co.in

The World's First Underwater Nightclub The world-first underwater nightclub, Subsix, PER AQUUM has evolved the pioneering venue into an underwater playground, a creative space which can be transformed into whatever guests imagine it to be – from private Champagne breakfasts to lunchtime celebrations to midnight proposals. Located at PER AQUUM Niyama in the Maldives, Subsix first opened in 2012. The recent redesign by Poole Associates draws inspiration from the aquatic surroundings and sets a very surreal stage for guests to dive beneath the surface and explore their desires. Guests reach Subsix via speedboat, skipping over the reef to its 500-metre offshore location. Upon arrival, the

Subsix underwater revellers descend a dramatic three-tier staircase. Overhead, Italian-designed abstract chandeliers illuminate the descent like shining coral or white stars sparkling through the sea's surface. Brancusi cabinetry and mirrors line the path. In the centre of the room, a huge claminspired bar strikes an imposing form, its fibreglass shell glowing with Subsix's mood lighting that shifts throughout the day from pure white mornings to a lavender

dinner setting to latenight blues. Among the many activities hosted by Subsix, marine biologist-led immersions into aquatic life give guests an expert's insight into the rich environment and its secrets. Other highlighted activities in the restyled venue include subaquatic lunches, gourmet dinners, weddings, hosted events, wine tastings, a weekly Glow Party and DJ nights carrying on the tradition of its birth as a pioneer-of-the-deep club. The new avatar of Subsix is now open. The last finishing touches are being completed as of May 2015 with new activities to be innovated over time and in response to valued opinions of PER AQUUM's jet set guests.

MAKING A LUXURY LANDMARK WITH PRIDE LAUNCHING NOW AT AEROCITY, DELHI

385 Luxurious rooms • Extensive Banqueting and Convention Venues • Multi Function Lounge • Poolside Barbeque 24 Hrs Coffee Shop • PAN Asian Restaurant SPA • Health Club • Fitness Center

BRAND ACHIEVERS AWARD OF THE YEAR

July - August, 2015 17


TRADE PLUS India’s ONLY Spiritual Holiday Portal www.spiritualyatra.co.in In the spirit of celebration of 1st International Yoga Day, Mumbai based, Start-up Spiritual Yatra has launched India’s only spiritual holiday p o r t a l www.spiritualyatra.co.in. India has a plethora of religious places but because of lack of time and little knowledge about the spiritual destinations people avoid visiting the places. The brainchild of Sarita Nair, an avid traveler and explorer of spiritual destinations across boundaries has come up with a one stop solution for spiritual travel plans. Spiritual Yatra is formed after a research of 2 years by the team who has explored 750 Spiritual Destinations across India. The major attraction is the most awaited Nashik MAHAKUMBH Mela, happening

in the month of August. Spiritual Yatra is hosting a specialized tour which will provide facilities like guide, food, accommodation and travelling. Ms. Sarita Nair, Founder, Spiritual Yatra explains, “The idea of Spiritual Yatra was born after witnessing the unorganized ways in which the local touring handle the travellers to these spiritual destination, I thought of launching a onestop solution to address the needs of spiritual travellers across the globe by giving a deeper meaning to their vacation, we, at Spiritual Yatra make your travel comfortable, affordable,

easy and memorable. Here, travellers can plan their trips as per their needs and Spiritual Yatra will help them in designing a customized tour. Through the portal, customers can do all bookings directly like hotel, flight, bus and buy a package too. The main purpose is to provide all services with comfort and most important customer satisfaction”.

EasyCabs Available On IRCTC EasyCabs, a radio taxi service by Carzonrent has associated with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to ease their customers commute. Currently the service is available for Delhi & NCR but in the coming few months the service would be prevalent for other cities as well. Customers can now book an EasyCabs on IRCTC website at the time of train reservation. EasyCabs complies with all the rules laid down by the government. Not only are all the EasyCabs centrally tracked through GPS but also all the drivers are well trained. After a long train journey, customers will not have wait in long queues to get a cab. This association not only makes travelling convenient and hassle-free for the customers but is also the safest option for travel from the railways station. Mr. Rajiv Vij, MD & CEO, Carzonrent said, “We are proud to be associated with the renowned platform like IRCTC. This partnership further bolsters our commitment to provide safe & reliable mobility solution, keeping the customer at the center. And providing a complete hassle-free travel for our customers.”

Yatra.com Launches Special

Yoga Packages Celebrating the 1st International Yoga Day, Yatra.com, announced special yoga packages which will be available on Yatra’s website from June 20, 2015. Yatra.com is launching their first packages in Hrishikesh in the North and Kovalam in the South of India. They would like travelers to have a choice in terms of the places they want to travel to while experiencing the yoga process. The itineraries are prepared in such a way that they will have a complete focus on wellness programmes and Yoga in particular being a critical component. The packages have been designed in order to provide a rejuvenating experience for the customers’ and drive overall positivity and well-being. The packages on offer are designed between 3 to 10 days and range from Rs.30,000 to Rs.96,500. Besides, accommodation, this package would include sessions by instructors in the morning and evening along with walking trails and relaxation therapy amongst others. A typical day in the package would start with sunrise meditation sessions along with Surya Namaskar. People can also look forward to Yoga sessions and practice various assanas in the lap of nature during the course of the day. In addition, special diets for every individual will be planned and administered. Customers who are looking for a healthy and revitalising experience combined with a good relaxing holiday can opt for these products

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July - August, 2015

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AVIATION PLUS

AIR ARABIA Now Accepts Debit Card And Net Banking Payments In India Air Arabia customers can now pay for flights using Indian debit cards and net banking solutions in addition to previously available credit card options on the airline's website. Customers from India can already book Air Arabia flights using an Indian or an International credit card. The addition of local online payment methods covering the full spectrum of Internet payments means customers can also now pay with their local Indian debit card as well as via net banking from around 50 banks in India, including State Bank of India, HDFC, ICICI, Citibank and Axis Bank. Air Arabia customers in India can choose from a wide range of online payment options now including credit and debit

cards, or through already available sales offices and partner travel agents. Air Arabia started operations in India in 2005 and now flies to 13 cities in India which includes Jaipur, Kochi, Nagpur, Coimbatore, Thiruvananthapuram, Goa, Kozhikode, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, and Chennai. It operates over 112 weekly flights from its hub in Sharjah to the thirteen cities in India.

AVIATION PLUS Srilankan Airline Codeshare With Mihin Lanka To Boost Tourism From Kolkata SriLankan Airlines announced a code share agreement with Mihin Lanka for the operations of flights between Kolkata and Colombo. A special introductory fare to Colombo will mark this agreement beginning from the 17 June, 2015. With the commencement of the new codeshare with Mihin Lanka, SriLankan Airlines continues to build seamless connectivity from their hub in Colombo across various regions in India, expanding on its codeshare and direct operations to and from 11 cities in India, creating new travel options for the business traveller and holidaymakers from Kolkata to access Sri Lanka delivering a boost for local tourism. SriLankan Airlines currently operates 86 flights per week to India with direct daily

frequencies to the 07 cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Trichy, Trivandrum and Kochi. The flights from Kolkata will be operated thrice weekly by Mihin Lanka every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The scheduled days of the flights are based on the Kolkata traveller’s convenience, and will facilitate greater access to Colombo on Mihin Lanka, and affording seamless connections with SriLankan Airline’s convenient schedules to key destinations in Europe, Middle East and the Far East. The aircraft servicing this route will be Mihin Lanka’s Airbus 319 and A321 that boasts of business and economy class service, and renowned Sri Lankan hospitality.

Air India Codeshare With Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand has signed a codeshare agreement with Air India. The deal will see Air New Zealand codeshare into several Indian cities over multiple gateways. Fellow Star Alliance carrier Air India will also be able to access the New Zealand market on Air New Zealand services, including over the Tasman, connecting its current Sydney and Melbourne services. Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon and Air India Chairman and Managing Director Rohit Nandan signed the agreement at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Annual General Meeting in Miami. Mr Luxon says, “The sheer size of India and its growing middle class make it an aviation force that will positively impact international traffic flows. Close to 90,000 people currently travel between India and New Zealand every year and this number is growing. This codeshare agreement will provide greater choice and convenience for those travelling between our two countries in both directions.” Codeshare services are expected to go on sale in the coming months.

20

July - August, 2015

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New Flight To Link Goair Offers Amazing China's Jinan And New Delhi Fares On Customer Demand China's Shandong Airline announced that they will soon be launching a new air services between Jinan city in east China's Shandong province and New Delhi in India. The Airlines will commence the services with the Boeing 737 which will fly twice a week between the two cities via Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan province.

Travel time will be cut to about eight hours. The flight is expected to boost tourism and economic cooperation between Shandong and India.

GoAir, announced the launch of its special one-way fares starting from Rs. 999 for travel from January 27th to April 14th, 2016 and from Rs. 1,299 for travel from July 1st to September 30th, 2015. These fares can be availed by customers to go to their favourite destinations across GoAir's network. GoAir has always focussed on consumer needs, be it leisure or business travel. Therefore the airline regularly launches

meaningful offers with special affordable fares, so that more people can enjoy the comfort and benefits of air travel at immense value across GoAir's network, including professionals who work far away from home and want to visit their families, relatives and friends during the festive season. With a Mumbai – Goa, Ahmedabad – Mumbai, Bengaluru – Goa, Delhi – Leh or Jammu or Srinagar, Kolkata – Guwahati or a Pune - Bengaluru fare at Rs. 999.

IATA’s Premium Traffic Monitor for April 2015 KEY POINTS

!‡ Passenger travel on international markets rose 3.8% in April compared to a year ago, slower than the 4.6% result in March. The growth trend for international passenger numbers remains sluggish overall; ‡ For premium international travel (up 4.9%), there was an acceleration on March (up 4.6%), but the growth trend remains fragile when looking at the past 6 months; ‡ There was a rise in premium international air travel volumes in April compared to March, but given developments in demand drivers and the inherent month-to-month volatility in the data, this does not necessarily mean an upturn in the trend; ‡ Global economic growth appears to be have slowed for the second consecutive month in May, according to measures of business activity and world trade is experiencing the steepest decline since 2013; ‡ Nonetheless, some markets continue to show solid increases, at least for the time being. International travel within Far East was up 11.7% overall, and on premium markets, travel within Europe rose 5.4%, consistent with recent indicators that economic recovery is on track; ‡ L o o k i n g a h e a d , t h e re c e n t developments in the global economy present downside risks for growth in international air travel. Economic weakness in Asia from falling trade activity could lead to deterioration in business related air travel for that region. That said, there has been no sign of weakness in demand so far. It is unclear if these negative developments will be offset by improvements in advanced markets like Europe and the US, which should support demand for air travel. ‡ Looking at international air passenger volumes (first chart above) reveals weakness in the growth trend, particularly for premium passenger

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numbers. There was a rise in premium international air travel volumes in April compared to March, but given developments in demand drivers and the inherent month-to-month volatility in the data, this does not necessarily mean an upturn in the trend. Prior to the April result, premium international air travel volumes had been broadly flat since August 2014. Looking ahead, indicators are mixed. Latest data show a pick-up in business confidence in the Eurozone and US, but developments in emerging markets present a downside

markets, which in turn has supported the financial performance of the longerhaul network airlines, compared to shorter-haul mainly leisure travel focused airlines in some, though not all, regions. ‡ The profile of air travel growth, with a strong first half in 2014 and relatively slower growth during the second half of the year and into 2015, has been driven by wider economic developments. World trade and industrial production accelerated during parts of 2014, but that trend failed to continue through to

risk to growth in business-related international air travel for the coming months. Business activity in those economies has dipped into contractionary territory for the first time in 12 months. ‡ In 2013 and during earlier parts of 2014, when premium travel was expanding at a faster pace than economy travel, there was a boost to the share of premium travel from total travel. This was positive for yield growth and revenues. With the exception of April, weakness in business-related premium travel during the recent past has placed downward pressure on the share of premium seats from the total. At the same time, a rebound in economy class travel has also contributed to a fall in premium’s share of total travel. Economy class leisure travel, the relatively more price sensitive travel market, has been given a boost by falling fares. ‡ Even though there has been no marked gain in premium’s share of total traffic, growth on longer-haul markets has been robust. This has helped support premium yields on some

the end of the year, with growth slowing, particularly for business confidence, in Q4 2014. The lagged impact of that weakness in business confidence in late 2014 has been showing up the sluggish growth trend for premium travel.

TRAFFIC GROWTH BY MAJOR ROUTE ‡ Results for the within Far East market remain robust, even after the positive impacts of the Lunar New Year celebrations. The holiday provided a boost for leisure travel for several weeks, this year extending into March. In April, premium and economy international travel within the Far East was up 11.9% and 11.7%, respectively. The trend for this market was weak in 2014, with travel declines in Thailand and Malaysia as well as some slowdown in the Chinese economy. This year, adverse economic impacts had not had a

negative impact on international air passengers numbers, yet. A slump in C h i n e s e e x p o r t h a s w e a ke n e d manufacturing for the past several months, and trade in the region overall was down 10% in March compared to Q4 2014. ‡ Economic conditions in the Eurozone remain fragile but there have been some positive developments with April data showing increases in business activity. Recent efforts by the ECB to stimulate economic growth have led to an improvement in business sentiment in the region – this may support stronger demand for air travel in the coming months. Premium travel growth within Europe was up 5.4% in April year-on-year, consistent with these developments. ‡ Premium travel growth on the North Atlantic market was up 4.7% in April year-on-year. This is a solid result and is consistent with fundamental improvements in the US economy, as well as signs of improvement in the Eurozone, as mentioned above. In the US, latest economic data showed a disappointing first quarter of GDP growth, with a contraction compared to Q4 2014. However, better economic performance is expected in Q2, as the impacts of bad weather, falling oil prices and US sea port congestion will dissipate. Stronger growth in Q2 will likely support further expansion in air travel demand in the coming months. Premium revenues comprise a significant share (up to 55% on the North Atlantic market) on these markets.

July - August, 2015

21


AVIATION PLUS

AIR ARABIA Now Accepts Debit Card And Net Banking Payments In India Air Arabia customers can now pay for flights using Indian debit cards and net banking solutions in addition to previously available credit card options on the airline's website. Customers from India can already book Air Arabia flights using an Indian or an International credit card. The addition of local online payment methods covering the full spectrum of Internet payments means customers can also now pay with their local Indian debit card as well as via net banking from around 50 banks in India, including State Bank of India, HDFC, ICICI, Citibank and Axis Bank. Air Arabia customers in India can choose from a wide range of online payment options now including credit and debit

cards, or through already available sales offices and partner travel agents. Air Arabia started operations in India in 2005 and now flies to 13 cities in India which includes Jaipur, Kochi, Nagpur, Coimbatore, Thiruvananthapuram, Goa, Kozhikode, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, and Chennai. It operates over 112 weekly flights from its hub in Sharjah to the thirteen cities in India.

AVIATION PLUS Srilankan Airline Codeshare With Mihin Lanka To Boost Tourism From Kolkata SriLankan Airlines announced a code share agreement with Mihin Lanka for the operations of flights between Kolkata and Colombo. A special introductory fare to Colombo will mark this agreement beginning from the 17 June, 2015. With the commencement of the new codeshare with Mihin Lanka, SriLankan Airlines continues to build seamless connectivity from their hub in Colombo across various regions in India, expanding on its codeshare and direct operations to and from 11 cities in India, creating new travel options for the business traveller and holidaymakers from Kolkata to access Sri Lanka delivering a boost for local tourism. SriLankan Airlines currently operates 86 flights per week to India with direct daily

frequencies to the 07 cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Trichy, Trivandrum and Kochi. The flights from Kolkata will be operated thrice weekly by Mihin Lanka every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The scheduled days of the flights are based on the Kolkata traveller’s convenience, and will facilitate greater access to Colombo on Mihin Lanka, and affording seamless connections with SriLankan Airline’s convenient schedules to key destinations in Europe, Middle East and the Far East. The aircraft servicing this route will be Mihin Lanka’s Airbus 319 and A321 that boasts of business and economy class service, and renowned Sri Lankan hospitality.

Air India Codeshare With Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand has signed a codeshare agreement with Air India. The deal will see Air New Zealand codeshare into several Indian cities over multiple gateways. Fellow Star Alliance carrier Air India will also be able to access the New Zealand market on Air New Zealand services, including over the Tasman, connecting its current Sydney and Melbourne services. Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon and Air India Chairman and Managing Director Rohit Nandan signed the agreement at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Annual General Meeting in Miami. Mr Luxon says, “The sheer size of India and its growing middle class make it an aviation force that will positively impact international traffic flows. Close to 90,000 people currently travel between India and New Zealand every year and this number is growing. This codeshare agreement will provide greater choice and convenience for those travelling between our two countries in both directions.” Codeshare services are expected to go on sale in the coming months.

20

July - August, 2015

www.safariplus.co.in

New Flight To Link Goair Offers Amazing China's Jinan And New Delhi Fares On Customer Demand China's Shandong Airline announced that they will soon be launching a new air services between Jinan city in east China's Shandong province and New Delhi in India. The Airlines will commence the services with the Boeing 737 which will fly twice a week between the two cities via Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan province.

Travel time will be cut to about eight hours. The flight is expected to boost tourism and economic cooperation between Shandong and India.

GoAir, announced the launch of its special one-way fares starting from Rs. 999 for travel from January 27th to April 14th, 2016 and from Rs. 1,299 for travel from July 1st to September 30th, 2015. These fares can be availed by customers to go to their favourite destinations across GoAir's network. GoAir has always focussed on consumer needs, be it leisure or business travel. Therefore the airline regularly launches

meaningful offers with special affordable fares, so that more people can enjoy the comfort and benefits of air travel at immense value across GoAir's network, including professionals who work far away from home and want to visit their families, relatives and friends during the festive season. With a Mumbai – Goa, Ahmedabad – Mumbai, Bengaluru – Goa, Delhi – Leh or Jammu or Srinagar, Kolkata – Guwahati or a Pune - Bengaluru fare at Rs. 999.

IATA’s Premium Traffic Monitor for April 2015 KEY POINTS

!‡ Passenger travel on international markets rose 3.8% in April compared to a year ago, slower than the 4.6% result in March. The growth trend for international passenger numbers remains sluggish overall; ‡ For premium international travel (up 4.9%), there was an acceleration on March (up 4.6%), but the growth trend remains fragile when looking at the past 6 months; ‡ There was a rise in premium international air travel volumes in April compared to March, but given developments in demand drivers and the inherent month-to-month volatility in the data, this does not necessarily mean an upturn in the trend; ‡ Global economic growth appears to be have slowed for the second consecutive month in May, according to measures of business activity and world trade is experiencing the steepest decline since 2013; ‡ Nonetheless, some markets continue to show solid increases, at least for the time being. International travel within Far East was up 11.7% overall, and on premium markets, travel within Europe rose 5.4%, consistent with recent indicators that economic recovery is on track; ‡ L o o k i n g a h e a d , t h e re c e n t developments in the global economy present downside risks for growth in international air travel. Economic weakness in Asia from falling trade activity could lead to deterioration in business related air travel for that region. That said, there has been no sign of weakness in demand so far. It is unclear if these negative developments will be offset by improvements in advanced markets like Europe and the US, which should support demand for air travel. ‡ Looking at international air passenger volumes (first chart above) reveals weakness in the growth trend, particularly for premium passenger

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numbers. There was a rise in premium international air travel volumes in April compared to March, but given developments in demand drivers and the inherent month-to-month volatility in the data, this does not necessarily mean an upturn in the trend. Prior to the April result, premium international air travel volumes had been broadly flat since August 2014. Looking ahead, indicators are mixed. Latest data show a pick-up in business confidence in the Eurozone and US, but developments in emerging markets present a downside

markets, which in turn has supported the financial performance of the longerhaul network airlines, compared to shorter-haul mainly leisure travel focused airlines in some, though not all, regions. ‡ The profile of air travel growth, with a strong first half in 2014 and relatively slower growth during the second half of the year and into 2015, has been driven by wider economic developments. World trade and industrial production accelerated during parts of 2014, but that trend failed to continue through to

risk to growth in business-related international air travel for the coming months. Business activity in those economies has dipped into contractionary territory for the first time in 12 months. ‡ In 2013 and during earlier parts of 2014, when premium travel was expanding at a faster pace than economy travel, there was a boost to the share of premium travel from total travel. This was positive for yield growth and revenues. With the exception of April, weakness in business-related premium travel during the recent past has placed downward pressure on the share of premium seats from the total. At the same time, a rebound in economy class travel has also contributed to a fall in premium’s share of total travel. Economy class leisure travel, the relatively more price sensitive travel market, has been given a boost by falling fares. ‡ Even though there has been no marked gain in premium’s share of total traffic, growth on longer-haul markets has been robust. This has helped support premium yields on some

the end of the year, with growth slowing, particularly for business confidence, in Q4 2014. The lagged impact of that weakness in business confidence in late 2014 has been showing up the sluggish growth trend for premium travel.

TRAFFIC GROWTH BY MAJOR ROUTE ‡ Results for the within Far East market remain robust, even after the positive impacts of the Lunar New Year celebrations. The holiday provided a boost for leisure travel for several weeks, this year extending into March. In April, premium and economy international travel within the Far East was up 11.9% and 11.7%, respectively. The trend for this market was weak in 2014, with travel declines in Thailand and Malaysia as well as some slowdown in the Chinese economy. This year, adverse economic impacts had not had a

negative impact on international air passengers numbers, yet. A slump in C h i n e s e e x p o r t h a s w e a ke n e d manufacturing for the past several months, and trade in the region overall was down 10% in March compared to Q4 2014. ‡ Economic conditions in the Eurozone remain fragile but there have been some positive developments with April data showing increases in business activity. Recent efforts by the ECB to stimulate economic growth have led to an improvement in business sentiment in the region – this may support stronger demand for air travel in the coming months. Premium travel growth within Europe was up 5.4% in April year-on-year, consistent with these developments. ‡ Premium travel growth on the North Atlantic market was up 4.7% in April year-on-year. This is a solid result and is consistent with fundamental improvements in the US economy, as well as signs of improvement in the Eurozone, as mentioned above. In the US, latest economic data showed a disappointing first quarter of GDP growth, with a contraction compared to Q4 2014. However, better economic performance is expected in Q2, as the impacts of bad weather, falling oil prices and US sea port congestion will dissipate. Stronger growth in Q2 will likely support further expansion in air travel demand in the coming months. Premium revenues comprise a significant share (up to 55% on the North Atlantic market) on these markets.

July - August, 2015

21


INTERNATIONAL NEWS 2016 Declared Year Of ‘VISIT MALDIVES’ At the inaugural day of t h e U N W T O Conference held recently at the Bandos Island Resort of Maldives, Maldivian P re s i d e n t A b d u l l a Yameen unveiled the stunning logo of ‘Visit Maldives 2016’. The target set by the beautiful Island nation is to increase the tourist arrivals to the island to 1.5 million in 2016 and in a bid to achieve this target, the ‘Visit Maldives Year 2016’ campaign has been organized by the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), which will run from June 2015 to June 2016. The year of Visit Maldives will be marked

by a number of competitions, festivals and activities such as: ! P ro fe s s i o n a l p h o to competition for locals, grand raffle prize and countdown clock at airport, launch of the timeline of Maldives history at airport ! Airport raffle draw - buy and win ! New Year Show 2015 ! Activities at ITB Berlin to celebrate the partner countryand promote 50th anniversary of ITB ! Identify first visitor and every 100k tourists for special giveaways and prizes ! Underwater festival – Free diving event

! Maldives Marine EXPO 2016 ! International surf event ! Whale shark day Maldives ! Cultural Eid festival ! Mega Wedding Event ! World Travel Awards Gala Event

2016 ! Maldives International Travel exhibition Indian visitors to Maldives remained at an all-time high during the first quarter of 2015. India is a leading and important source market for Maldives, as Indian visitor arrivals to Maldives were up by 17% vis-à-vis the same period during last

year. Also, a total of 45,587 visitors from India visited Maldives last year which is a growth of 19.9% compared to year 2013, Maldives offers Free Visa on Arrival for all nationalities which is a further incentive for the Indian traveler to visit Maldives.

SYDNEY

Waived Off The VISA Fees

Still No. 1 Destination For Business Events

22

July - August, 2015

consecutive nights in Jordan ! Reducing visa fees for tourists entering

Jordan through land borders. The visa fee will be reduced from 40 JOD to 10 JOD with a condition that the tourist spends a minimum of three consecutive nights ! Waiving the departure tax and entry visa for all low cost and charter flights departing from King Hussein International Airport in Aqaba ! Reduction in electricity tariffs for the hotel sector, which will make the hospitality sector more competitive amongst the region.

DUBAI's Popularity With International Leisure, Business Visitors Continues To Rise: 4th Most Visited Global City

! Maldives Marathon

JORDAN

The Jordanian Government has approved several measures to uplift the tourism sector. These facilitations were proposed in order to make travelling to Jordan more convenient and worthwhile for people of all nationalities. The below mentioned measures are applicable with immediate effect: ! Waiving visa fees for tourists of all nationalities coming through Jordanian tour operators whether travelling individually or in groups. The visa fee will be waived on a condition that the traveler spends a minimum of two

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Sydney has once again been ranked Australia's leading destination for conferences and professional meetings following the release of the Union of International Associations (UIA) 2014 International Meetings Statistics Report. Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Mr. Stuart Ayres said, "This is a tremendous achievement and reinforces Sydney's appeal as one of the best places in the world to meet. I applaud Business Events Sydney for securing major international events for our city, having delivered over $1 billion worth of economic impact for NSW over the past five years.” Business Events Sydney CEO, Mr. Lyn

Lewis-Smith said results complement the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) rankings which also placed Sydney as number one in the nation. "These results are just fabulous and better than many might have anticipated or expected. They really are a credit to the city – its can-do and collaborative spirit and reputation as a reliable place to do business," Ms Lewis-Smith said. Business Events Sydney has secured almost 120 events worth $277 million in new money for the NSW economy, including more than 20 events for International Convention Centre Sydney, opening in December 2016.

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Dubai's ongoing efforts to position itself as a premier leisure and business hub have resulted in growing visitor numbers to the city, as well as higher rankings on various global travellers and meeting indexes. Official figures released by Dubai's Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) in May of this year showed that the emirate welcomed 13.2 international overnight visitors in 2014. Dubai retained its top ranking in the Middle East region for international association meetings, and climbed 19 places globally to 44th position in the 2014 International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA) World Rankings - up from 63rd place in 2013. According to the Union of International Association (UIA) report, Dubai made huge leaps forward in the number of international meetings hosted. Hosting 146 international meetings in 2014, compared to 80 in 2013, Dubai jumped from 21st position to 14th globally. We are very pleased that the efforts being exerted by the city's tourism stakeholders to deliver the Tourism Vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and create

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remarkable experiences for both leisure and business visitors are seeing results, and will continue to seek to reach into new markets while maintaining and increasing our share of existent markets. As international meetings in the city continue to rise, so do the number of international travellers who are choosing to visit Dubai. The city welcomed 13.2 million international overnight travellers in 2014, an 8.4 percent increase over 2013. The purpose of visits, although dominated by leisure at 59 percent, saw over 21 percent visiting for business, and another 17 percent visiting friends and/or relatives. As a hub between East and West, and a gateway to emerging markets across the world, Dubai International Airport (DXB) has become the world's number one airport in terms of international passengers, with over 70.47 million passengers using DXB in 2014. Construction is also expected to begin later this year on the expansion of

Dubai's second airport, Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC). The existing six million passengers per year capacity terminal is set to be to be increased to 26 million passengers per year by Q1 in 2017, as part of a US$ 32 billion expansion project announced in September 2014 to create the world's biggest airport, with an ultimate capacity in excess of 200 million passengers per year. DVPC easing the VISA process to Dubai Dubai as a destination is exceedingly popular and for Indians has always been a favourite. Keeping the tourist inflow in mind, VFS Global's Dubai Visa P ro c e s s i n g C e nt re ( DV P C ) h a s

introduced a wide new range of visa services for all types of travelers – be it a business or leisure traveller, the bleisure segment or MICE - to extend convenient visa application facilities to applicants travelling on Emirates. The newly introduced multiple entry visas valid for 30 and 90 day travel are only offered at DVPC centres and via the DVPC website. DVPC uniquely also supports the service with contact centres and email support to assist the applicant throughout the process. Passengers can now apply for a UAE visa 24 x 7 x 365 in their own time zones and locations worldwide. DVPC offers a uniform pricing model that is consistently maintained throughout the year with a range of value added services based on the needs of the traveller. Some of these include: - Express Visa – Delivery within 48hrs from the time of application - Door to Door service for delivery of visas - Dubai Airport Meet & Assist DVPC operates 33 Dubai visa application centers in 16 countries across the globe.

July - August, 2015 23


INTERNATIONAL NEWS 2016 Declared Year Of ‘VISIT MALDIVES’ At the inaugural day of t h e U N W T O Conference held recently at the Bandos Island Resort of Maldives, Maldivian P re s i d e n t A b d u l l a Yameen unveiled the stunning logo of ‘Visit Maldives 2016’. The target set by the beautiful Island nation is to increase the tourist arrivals to the island to 1.5 million in 2016 and in a bid to achieve this target, the ‘Visit Maldives Year 2016’ campaign has been organized by the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), which will run from June 2015 to June 2016. The year of Visit Maldives will be marked

by a number of competitions, festivals and activities such as: ! P ro fe s s i o n a l p h o to competition for locals, grand raffle prize and countdown clock at airport, launch of the timeline of Maldives history at airport ! Airport raffle draw - buy and win ! New Year Show 2015 ! Activities at ITB Berlin to celebrate the partner countryand promote 50th anniversary of ITB ! Identify first visitor and every 100k tourists for special giveaways and prizes ! Underwater festival – Free diving event

! Maldives Marine EXPO 2016 ! International surf event ! Whale shark day Maldives ! Cultural Eid festival ! Mega Wedding Event ! World Travel Awards Gala Event

2016 ! Maldives International Travel exhibition Indian visitors to Maldives remained at an all-time high during the first quarter of 2015. India is a leading and important source market for Maldives, as Indian visitor arrivals to Maldives were up by 17% vis-à-vis the same period during last

year. Also, a total of 45,587 visitors from India visited Maldives last year which is a growth of 19.9% compared to year 2013, Maldives offers Free Visa on Arrival for all nationalities which is a further incentive for the Indian traveler to visit Maldives.

SYDNEY

Waived Off The VISA Fees

Still No. 1 Destination For Business Events

22

July - August, 2015

consecutive nights in Jordan ! Reducing visa fees for tourists entering

Jordan through land borders. The visa fee will be reduced from 40 JOD to 10 JOD with a condition that the tourist spends a minimum of three consecutive nights ! Waiving the departure tax and entry visa for all low cost and charter flights departing from King Hussein International Airport in Aqaba ! Reduction in electricity tariffs for the hotel sector, which will make the hospitality sector more competitive amongst the region.

DUBAI's Popularity With International Leisure, Business Visitors Continues To Rise: 4th Most Visited Global City

! Maldives Marathon

JORDAN

The Jordanian Government has approved several measures to uplift the tourism sector. These facilitations were proposed in order to make travelling to Jordan more convenient and worthwhile for people of all nationalities. The below mentioned measures are applicable with immediate effect: ! Waiving visa fees for tourists of all nationalities coming through Jordanian tour operators whether travelling individually or in groups. The visa fee will be waived on a condition that the traveler spends a minimum of two

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Sydney has once again been ranked Australia's leading destination for conferences and professional meetings following the release of the Union of International Associations (UIA) 2014 International Meetings Statistics Report. Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Mr. Stuart Ayres said, "This is a tremendous achievement and reinforces Sydney's appeal as one of the best places in the world to meet. I applaud Business Events Sydney for securing major international events for our city, having delivered over $1 billion worth of economic impact for NSW over the past five years.” Business Events Sydney CEO, Mr. Lyn

Lewis-Smith said results complement the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) rankings which also placed Sydney as number one in the nation. "These results are just fabulous and better than many might have anticipated or expected. They really are a credit to the city – its can-do and collaborative spirit and reputation as a reliable place to do business," Ms Lewis-Smith said. Business Events Sydney has secured almost 120 events worth $277 million in new money for the NSW economy, including more than 20 events for International Convention Centre Sydney, opening in December 2016.

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Dubai's ongoing efforts to position itself as a premier leisure and business hub have resulted in growing visitor numbers to the city, as well as higher rankings on various global travellers and meeting indexes. Official figures released by Dubai's Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) in May of this year showed that the emirate welcomed 13.2 international overnight visitors in 2014. Dubai retained its top ranking in the Middle East region for international association meetings, and climbed 19 places globally to 44th position in the 2014 International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA) World Rankings - up from 63rd place in 2013. According to the Union of International Association (UIA) report, Dubai made huge leaps forward in the number of international meetings hosted. Hosting 146 international meetings in 2014, compared to 80 in 2013, Dubai jumped from 21st position to 14th globally. We are very pleased that the efforts being exerted by the city's tourism stakeholders to deliver the Tourism Vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and create

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remarkable experiences for both leisure and business visitors are seeing results, and will continue to seek to reach into new markets while maintaining and increasing our share of existent markets. As international meetings in the city continue to rise, so do the number of international travellers who are choosing to visit Dubai. The city welcomed 13.2 million international overnight travellers in 2014, an 8.4 percent increase over 2013. The purpose of visits, although dominated by leisure at 59 percent, saw over 21 percent visiting for business, and another 17 percent visiting friends and/or relatives. As a hub between East and West, and a gateway to emerging markets across the world, Dubai International Airport (DXB) has become the world's number one airport in terms of international passengers, with over 70.47 million passengers using DXB in 2014. Construction is also expected to begin later this year on the expansion of

Dubai's second airport, Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC). The existing six million passengers per year capacity terminal is set to be to be increased to 26 million passengers per year by Q1 in 2017, as part of a US$ 32 billion expansion project announced in September 2014 to create the world's biggest airport, with an ultimate capacity in excess of 200 million passengers per year. DVPC easing the VISA process to Dubai Dubai as a destination is exceedingly popular and for Indians has always been a favourite. Keeping the tourist inflow in mind, VFS Global's Dubai Visa P ro c e s s i n g C e nt re ( DV P C ) h a s

introduced a wide new range of visa services for all types of travelers – be it a business or leisure traveller, the bleisure segment or MICE - to extend convenient visa application facilities to applicants travelling on Emirates. The newly introduced multiple entry visas valid for 30 and 90 day travel are only offered at DVPC centres and via the DVPC website. DVPC uniquely also supports the service with contact centres and email support to assist the applicant throughout the process. Passengers can now apply for a UAE visa 24 x 7 x 365 in their own time zones and locations worldwide. DVPC offers a uniform pricing model that is consistently maintained throughout the year with a range of value added services based on the needs of the traveller. Some of these include: - Express Visa – Delivery within 48hrs from the time of application - Door to Door service for delivery of visas - Dubai Airport Meet & Assist DVPC operates 33 Dubai visa application centers in 16 countries across the globe.

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INTERNATIONAL PLUS Viet Nam Taps Potential Of Indian Tourism Market India is an important source market of international tourism industry with the population of 1.27 billion people of which 1.2% travelled abroad and spent USD 12.3 billion in 2012. According to the UNWTO, the number of Indian outbound tourists will increase to 50 million arrivals by 2020 and total outbound spending will achieve USD 91.2 billion in 2030. Viet Nam is an attractive destination for Indian tourists who favour friendly people, safe and secure environment, various fascinating destinations and especially sea tourism, spiritual destinations, renowned heritage sites and culture of Viet Nam. In the past five years, the number of Indian tourists to Viet Nam increased by 344%, from 16,000 arrivals in 2010 to nearly 55,000 arrivals in 2014. To fully tap this potential market, Viet Nam tourism has implemented many promotional activities in Indian market. By 2014, Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) has

completed research on 15 source markets, including India, aiming at market diversification. Tr a d i t i o n a l f r i e n d l y relations and strategic partnership between Viet Nam and India has become more profound after the Prime Minister N g u ye n Ta n D u n g ’s official visit to India on October 27 – 28, 2014, which creates favourable conditions for development of bilateral cooperation in various fields, including tourism. To concretize the commitment between the two countries to strengthen tourism cooperation, from March 18 – 25, 2015, VNAT’s delegation led by Director General of VNAT Nguyen Van Tuan had a business trip to India and worked with Indian Tourism Ministry. Accordingly, the two sides agreed to strengthen tourism cooperation in the future,

including opening direct flights between t h e t w o c o u n t r i e s ; o r ga n i z i n g roadshows to promote destinations and welcoming famtrip, presstrip delegations; supporting each other to participate in tourism fairs; creating favourable conditions for investors of the two countries to develop tourism infrastructure; exchanging experience in p ro d u c t d e ve l o p m e n t , to u r i s m promotion, etc.

From 23-28 April 2015, VNAT collaborated with Vietnamese Embassy in India to participate in Global Exhibition on Services (GES) in New Delhi and organize roadshows in Hyderabad and Chennai cities to introduce Viet Nam’s tourism. This was a good opportunity for Viet Nam’s localities to introduce tourism potentials, and for tourism businesses, hotels, airlines of the two countries to exchange experiences and strengthen cooperation. In 2015, VNAT will implement various promotional activities in Indian tourism market: organizing famtrips to India, welcoming a number of Indian famtrips, presstrips and film-producer delegations. VNAT is also expected to participate in PATA Travel Mart in Bangalore and hold roadshow to promote Viet Nam tourism in Mumbai in September 2015.

Tourism Toronto Offers Attractive Incentives For The Indian Tourism Toronto is offering exciting incentives exclusive to its Indian agency partners ― the India Agency Incentive Program. This attractive reward program offers financial incentives to Handling Agencies in India for corporate group travel to Toronto. Indian agents can earn lucrative incentives from 2,500 CAD to more than 10,000 CAD by meeting the required room nights over this calendar year. Meetings, Incentive and Training are examples of the types of groups that will qualify for this program. Travel dates do not necessarily have to be within 2015; however, they have to be confirmed before 10th December 2015.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Sudarshana Kar, Business Development Manager MICE, Tourism Toronto, said, “With this introductory program offering exclusive rates to Indian agents, MICE traffic to the city of Toronto is bound to increase. Rewarding agents for their efforts is essential to Tourism Toronto, as they will be making groups aware of all the wondrous and impressive MICE facilities Toronto has to offer.” One of the world’s top destinations for MICE, Toronto is enriched with capable infrastructure and modern, wellequipped conference venues along with hotels that promise a high accommodation capacity making it suitable for the MICE travelers.

Discover the wonders of Taiwan's off-shore islands! Taiwan is truly blessed with nature’s bounty – clear waters, blue skies and billions of shimmering stars is what you will see when you plan a visit to one of its off-shore islands. Or you can walk through its many far-flung and pictureperfect fishing villages. This and much more will be on the agenda when you visit the offshore islands of Taiwan! Located along the southeast coast of the Asian continent, Taiwan stands on the fault line where the Euro-Asian and

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Philippine continental plates meet. This unique geographic location and frequent seismic activity not only created an extremely diversified topography and natural environment on Taiwan, but also resulted in the diverse characters of its off-shore islands. Main offshore islands include Penghu, Ludao (Green Island), Lanyu (Orchid Island), Kinmen, Matzu, Turtle Island, and Little Liuqiu. As their locations, topographical characteristics, and human activities differ; each has its own unique scenery and culture. Therefore, e a c h i s l a n d o ffe rs something different to satisfy the various needs of visitors, such as sightseeing, snorkelling, or sport fishing. Penghu The most famous of all off-shore islands is the Penghu archipelago which forms part of

Taiwan’s offshore island group, situated in the straits that separate Taiwan from China. Penghu is made up of 90 small islands with a combined

coastline that stretches more than 320 kilometers. Each season brings its own scenery, and rich natural and cultural resources can be found here. The landscape here is characterised by basaltic rocks, coral reefs, sea-eroded formations and beaches, while the fishing culture and migratory birds add to gorgeous landscape of the area. From the air some coral formations close to

the surface of the water appear heart shaped, further adding to the romantic and dreamy quality of the islands. Taiwan is well connected with a number of airlines such as China Airlines, Cathay Pacific, China Southern and Thai Airways fly directly or with a stopover in to Taipei’s Taoyuan International Airport from the Indian metros of New Delhi and Mumbai. The average flight time between India and Taiwan is of about 6.5 hours; and Taiwan is 2.30 hours ahead of India.

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Krabis ’ Nature Trial

Lets explore the nature trails of Krabi, Thailand which is located on the Andaman Sea Coast, around 814 kms from Bangkok. Covering an area of 4,708 s q u a r e k i l o m e t e rs , c o m p r i s i n g mountains, islands, highlands, lowlands, and mangrove forests. The best of nature and adventure can be digged in the small but beautiful village in Krabi named Koh Klang. Koh Klang Village is a charming, peaceful island, located 5 minutes by boat from Krabi town, populated mainly by Muslim small-fisher families which they are proud to share with visitors searching for an insight into authentic southern Thai culture, away from the crowds and tourism traps of nearby resort islands. The Hands on with Local fishers and Farmers In Koh Klang , allows guests an i n s i g ht i nto l o ca l , a g r i c u l t u ra l livelihoods, and the relationships between culture and nature, faith and family which define Koh Klang. The island is surrounded by pristine mangroves with great bird watching opportunities. Some Fun Filled activities in Koh Klang Clam and Shellfish Digging - The villagers come to the beach during low tide to dig for clams and seashells. The most common types found in Koh Klang include the Spotted Babylon, Tongue Shell, Scabies, Brackish-water snail,

Blood cockle and many more. To find each one different techniques are used. One can also try hand on shallow-water fishing. The local guide will teach you how to scoop out fish, prawns, crabs and other seafood. After this, you will carry your catch back to cook a simple but tasty seafood lunch. Koh Klang Rice Farm - Learn about their inspiring efforts to support organic agriculture, and the farming cycle. And a visit to rice mill, where you can have a go at de-husking organic rice. (July and October rice planting, November and

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January rice harvesting) Koh Klang Patae (Batik Paint Workshop) You can try hand on batik designs, which are printed onto plain white cloth, with hot wax, using a heavy Patae stamp. Colours are painted into the cloth by hand. Designs are a mixture of traditional and inspired adaptation. Kayaking Along the Mangrove Forest The mangrove forest of Koh Klang is located at the mouth of Krabi River and is considered the 1,100th most important wetland in the world. Truly an interesting eco attraction, you can hire a tour boat to the mangrove forest at Khao Kanab Naam, Koh Klang up to Baan Taling Chan. Long-tailed boats are found at Chao Fah Pier or Tha Hin Pier. For kayaks, these are available for hire at Tha Hin and Khao Kanab Naam Piers. Visit to boat making workshop - Koh Klang is the place where the long tail boats or the traditional Hua Tong boats (long tail boat symbol of Krabi) originated. In the workshop the same technique is used to make these small model boats. DIY packs are also available for tourists to try there hand on boat assembling which is just add superglue to the cut pieces and your Hua Tong boat is ready. CAVES - Khao Khanap Nam which is a large cave close to mainland Krabi. We walk up the steep steps into the cave which is famous for bats at night time, and step into a slightly

surreal world where scenes of how the caves have been used during prehistoric times right through to war times are depicted with models of caveman and soldiers placed throughout the cave. TREE TOP ADVENTURE - Thailand's tropical rainforests provide a unique setting for adventure activities while

enjoying pristine natural environments. Almost hidden beneath a dense jungle canopy and enclosed by piercing limestone cliffs lays Tree Top Adventure Park. The newest attraction at Ao Luek, its discreet integration into nature contrasts to the exciting and thrilling sensations adventurers will experience. From one platform to another and from tree to tree, adventurers balance themselves through an assortment of games such as rope bridges, tarzan swings, flying skateboards, a tight rope walk, and giant zip lines. Tambon Khlong Thom Nuea, Composed of lowland forest, this area features the Emerald Pool or Sa Morakot, which are three hot springs with a temperature of 30–50 degrees Celsius. The forest is home to varied flora and rare birds like G u r n ey ' s p i tta , r u fo u s - co l l a re d kingfisher, and black hornbill. There is a 2.7 km nature trail known as the Tina Jollife (Thung Tiao) Trail, named after an English conservationist. It is the last remaining fertile lowland forest in Thailand, a source of the largest biodiversity, comprising several types of forest including evergreen rain forest and the ecology of a large peat swamp forest, with water flows in the midst of the forest, a habitat of the gurneys pitta once thought to have been extinct it is also the location of as Morakot the emerald pool a well known unseen site, consistining of s e v e r a l connected

pools, some with deep green algae under water, some vast pools of crystal clear water, but the one dubbed as sa morakot is a large round basin with tiny cascades flowing in , as a pool to dip in and relax sa morakot can be found, filled with unbelievable bright blue water, a riddle which u cant miss by clapping

WAREE RAKSHA HOT SPRING SPA Waree Raksa which has been awarded the title of The Amazing Day Spa and Traditional Thai Experience in the 2012 Thailand Spa and Well Being Awards. There are some natural hot springs water which are rich in beneficial minerals and is therefore an ideal condition for bathing and hydrotherapy Each hydrotherapy pool contains 3 different temperature zones; hot, warm and cool designed for hydrotherapeutic activities, water exercises and relaxation providing 3 levels for the body to adjust to the heat of the water, starting from foot bath, knee height and full body bath. Best place to stay - Islanda Eco Village Resort - a peaceful, comfortable resort, woven seamlessly into the natural and cultural tapestry of Klang island. Built in the style of a southern Thai fishing village, Islanda is infused with easy going, southern culture. The resort’s 30 stylish bungalows are spacious, simple, tastefully decorated and equipped with modern amenities. A tranquil retreat for nature lovers, who can listen to the waves lapping and birds singing, breathe in refreshing sea air, and kayak along nearby mangrove forests with their fantastic birds and animals. The resort is also a haven for couples and families seeking insight and inspiration in Southern Thai culture. Getting there -

By bus - From Bangkok there are daily buses departing from the Southern Bus Terminal, Borom Ratchachonnani Road to Krabi province. The trip takes approximately 12 hours. By train - From the Bangkok Railway Station (Hua Lamphong), take a train to Surat Thani, Trang or Thung Song, Nakhon Si Thammarat. From there, take a bus or taxi to Krabi. By air - There are daily flights between Bangkok and Krabi.

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Shopping in Kenya throughout Kenya. The art of bargaining has deep roots in Kenyan culture, and is regarded as an essential business skill. Major streets in Mombasa Kenyan products are as diverse and unique as the country itself. There are traditional artifacts, fantastic jewelry, beautiful carvings, the world's best coffee, precious stones, furniture, beautiful cloth, excellent local music, wonderful modern art and so much more to be found here. Excellent, well stocked gift shops can be found in many hotels, lodges and camps throughout the country. But often real finds can be found a little further off the beaten track. For the dedicated bargain hunter, Kenya's markets are the place to be. Nairobi, the safari capital of Africa, is a perfect place to combine the safari and shopping experience. Nairobi is a place of great contrasts where diverse cultures all become components of a unique Nairobi character. The city hosts several separate open markets on various locations around the city commonly christened the Maasai Market. Bargaining is the expected norm in Markets and even in some shops

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July - August, 2015

have numerous souvenir shops and galleries, and trader stalls are abundant on Moi Avenue and Nyerere Street. Tribal beads and bracelets are predominant, and will be presented to you for purchase almost anywhere you go. Soapstone from Western Kenya has been carved into an infinite variety of souvenirs, and can be acquired at very affordable prices. Wood carvings are economical and are widely found in every animal shape as well as salad servers and napkin rings. Lamu is an ideal place to shop for well priced coastal handicrafts. Lamu is famous for

its woodcarvers, whose specialties include the famous carved Lamu Doors, Furniture, signboards and Swahili boxes, intricately carved and inlaid with brass, copper or marble work. Maasai Market offers a range of colourful African artifacts such as baskets, Musk, bangles, earrings and Bead necklaces, wood carvings, T-shirts, safari hat etc. One of the great experiences for souvenir hunters is the Maasai Market, which can be found in Nairobi on different days. Shopping malls in Kenya are very convenient, places where you can do all your shopping in one location. Diamond Plaza, The Junction, Adams Arcade, The Village Market, the s p i n n e r ’s w e b , Diani Beach shopping centre, Yaya Centre etc are some of the most famous shopping malls in Kenya. Built to withstand tough terrains while still providing great comfort to the wearer, the Safari boot, hand stitched at the Bata Limuru factory has been a Kenyan icon for decades. You also get a chance to do duty free shopping at Nairobi Airport, which host a wide range of stores. There are African clothes shops,

jewellery shop, book shop, fashion shops and Liquor shops, cosmetics, toiletries, gift items and much more. Amarula Fruit Cream Liqueur, distilled from the fermented fruit of the Marula tree, a native of the African plains is also very famous in Kenya. The spirit is aged for three years, and then blended with cream. If you like Bailey's you should give this a try. And the favorite tusker beer. Last but not the least Kazuri's handpainted ceramic or glass beads jewellery. Every bead which makes up a necklace or bracelet is shaped by hand by one of the 300 local women employed by Kazuri. The beads are then kiln fired once, glazed and fired again before being strung. The workshop is in Karen, named after Karen Blixen of 'Out Of Africa' fame, on part of the farm once owned by her. Karen, a beautiful area just a few miles outside Nairobi, lies under the Ngong Hills between Kenya's bustling capital and the spectacular Rift valley.

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July - August, 2015 27


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Safari Plus - July August 2015  

Shailendra Publication is a Mumbai-based publication house, publishing newspapers and books related to Tourism industry, since 1999. Under t...

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