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www.tourismindia.travel

Vol. 16

No. 04

Thiruvananthapuram

www.tourismindiaonline.com

August 2013

Pages 20+4

Price: (India) Rs.50 (Overseas) US $5 £3 Dh10

Madhuban Highlands

Malaysia New Zealand

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Reg. No. KL/TV (N) 432/2012-2014

nternational tourist arrivals grew by 5% during the first half of 2013 compared to the same period of 2012, reaching almost 500 million, according to data released by UNWTO. Growth was above the projection made at the beginning of the year (+3% to +4%) and is also exceeding the trend of the UNWTO long-term outlook Tourism Towards 2030 (+3.8% a year). Destinations around the world welcomed an estimated 494 million overnight visitors in the first six months of 2013, according to the Advance Edition of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer released on the occasion of the UNWTO 20th General Assembly. This represents an increase of 5% or an additional 25 million international tourists compared to the same period of 2012. Growth was stronger in emerging economy destinations (+6%) than in advanced economies (+4%), a trend which has marked the sector for many years now.

Gujarat

“The fact that international tourism grew above expectations confirms that travelling is now part of consumer patterns

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Oberoi Udaivilas

for an increasing number of people in both emerging and advanced economies,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Mr. Taleb Rifai. “This underlines the need to rightly place tourism as one of the key pillars of socioeconomic development, being a leading contributor to economic growth, exports and jobs,” he added. In a still uneven global economic environment, results were positive in all regions and subregions, though the overall picture was mixed. Europe (+5%) performed surprisingly stronger than expected, driven by Central and Eastern Europe (+10%) and Southern and Mediterranean Europe (+6%).

uring 12th Five Year Plan, the Union Ministry of Tourism (MOT) has targeted to create additional employment of about 2.5 crore in the tourism sector both direct and indirect. India’s share in the International Tourist arrivals is also targeted to increase to 1% from the existing 0.64%, said Dr. K. Chiranjeevi, Minister of State for Tourism (I/C), Govt of India. During the 12th Five Year Plan, Ministry of Tourism is poised to address the various issues related with development and promotion of tourism in the country including Punjab, in consultation with the concerned State Governments/Union

Asia and the Pacific (+6%) also exceeded expectations, boosted by South-East Asia (+12%) and South Asia (+7%). On the other hand, results were weaker than anticipated in the Americas (+2%), as South America and the Caribbean lagged behind. The first semester normally accounts for some 45% of the total arrivals count of the year (the Northern hemisphere high season months of July and

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Territory Administrations and Tourism Industry Stakeholders. The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) provides Central Financial Assistance (CFA) to various State Governments/Union Territory Administrations for various tourism projects prioritized every year in consultation with them subject to availability of funds, inter-se priority and adherence to the scheme guidelines. Further to resolve Inter-Ministerial issues involved in the development of tourism in the country an Inter-Ministerial Coordination Committee (IMCCTS) has been constituted under the Chairmanship of the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister.

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Education is the key to Success

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he increase in international tourist arrivals in the first half of this year shows a good sign to the tourism industry all over the world. According to the UNWTO World Tourism Barometre, destinations around the world welcomed an additional 25 million tourists in the first six months of 2013. The increased growth of tourist arrivals in emerging economies compared to that of advanced economies shows the importance of tourism in countries like India. According to UNWTO Secretary General, Mr. Taleb Rifai, the growth of international tourism above expectations confirms that travelling is now part of consumer patterns for an increasing number of people in both emerging and advanced economies. The Indian tourism industry must utilise this newly formed trend wisely to attract more overseas tourists to the country. The aptly timed decision by the Union Tourism Ministry to create additional employment of 2.5 crore in the tourism sector during the 12th five year plan is projected as a good response to this global trend. India’s share in the International Tourist arrivals is also targeted to increase to 1% from the existing 0.64%. If adequate policies are made at the right time,

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nion Tourism Minister Mr. K Chiranjeevi called on Union Civil Aviation Minister Mr. Ajit Singh and discussed the preparations and a joint campaign strategy, in the run up to the launch of the Air India’s maiden Dream liner flight from Delhi to Sydney and Melbourne on August 29, 2013. The launch of the Dream liner service

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he Union Ministry of Tourism has undertaken joint development of tourist amenities at Amritsar & Rai Bareilli, Trivandrum, Gaya and Agra Cantt Railway

we can increase our share above the said one per cent. The UNWTO study shows the dominance of Europe, South-East Asia, and South Asia in the business. This also will encourage the players in India to provide quality travel experience to the tourists coming from all around the world. However the situation of the industry is not so great in the country when it comes to manpower and related services. To address the promise of the Tourism Ministry, the industry has to find qualified personnel in order to provide good service to the tourists. The lack of good education in the grass root level remains as a big problem. The solution to obliterate this is the inclusion of basic tourism studies in the school level. However, the mental attitude of the society on the dignity of labour in tourism sector also creates serious hurdles. If we can destroy these barriers, The tourism industry in the country will flourish unexpectedly.

between India and Australia could further increase the tourist traffic between the two countries. Australia already ranks among the top ten source destinations for in-bound tourists to India. The Number of Australians visiting India has significantly risen in the last five years, from 1,35,925 in 2007 to 1,86,002 in 2011. Besides, the large Indian diaspora in Australia will also be

benefited through this service. Both the Ministers are scheduled to travel on the Air India’s maiden Dream liner flight to Australia next month and

Stations in association with the Ministry of Railways. Central Government assistance of Rs. 10.28 crores, Rs. 5.98 crores, Rs. 5.18 crores, and Rs. 5.05 crores has been

provided by the Tourism Ministry for the development of Amritsar & Rai Bareilli, Trivandrum, Gaya and Agra Cantt Railway Stations respectively. This financial support is being provided as part of an initiative of Dr. K. Chiranjeevi, Minister of Tourism to provide assistance to Central agencies for tourism infrastructure development. As part of the joint initiative, International Tourism Demand

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he number of foreign tourists visiting India has shown a steady increase in the past three years. The number of foreign tourist visits has increased to 207.31 lakh in 2012 as compared to 194.97 lakh in 2011 and 179.10 lakh during 2010. This shows an increase of almost 16 per cent in the past two years. The highest number of foreign tourists inflow was recorded in Maharashtra at 51.20 lakh followed by Tamilnadu at 35.62 lakh and Delhi at 23.46 lakh in the year 2012. The Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) from tourism has also shown a significant growth rising to Rs. 94,487 crores in 2012 as compared to Rs. 77,591 crores in 2011 and Rs. 64,889 crores in 2010. This marks an increase of around 46 per cent in the three year period from 2010 to 2012. The Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) is estimated as Rs. 50,448 crores in the period January to June, 2013. The number of Domestic Tourist Visits

Editorial & Corporate Office: SRL C-36, Sankar Road, Sasthamangalam P.O, Thiruvananthapuram-695010, India Tel : +91.471.2315256 Fax: +91.471.2315197 E mail: info@tourismindiaonline.com Internet edition: www.tourismindiaonline.com

(DTVs) to States/UTs has also shown an impressive growth of around 39 per cent in the past three years. The number of DTVs in 2012 is estimated at 103.64 crores as compared to 74.77 crores in the year 2010.

August fall into the second semester). Growth is expected to continue in the second half of 2013 but at a gradually slower pace. UNWTO forecasts 2013 to end at 4% or slightly above, thus exceeding the initial estimate for the year. Asia and the Pacific and Europe lead Asia and the Pacific (+6%) saw robust growth boosted by the increase in arrivals to South-East Asia (+12%), a subregion which is maintaining the extraordinary momentum of recent years, and South Asia (+7%). In Europe, international tourist arrivals were up 5% despite the lingering economic difficulties. Growth was led by Central and Eastern Europe (+10%) and Southern and Mediterranean Europe (+6%). The Americas (+2%) reported a rather weaker first half of 2013 compared to the strong growth of previous years. Central America (+4%) performed above the region’s average, while arrival numbers were flat in the Caribbean and in South America. In Africa (+4%), the growth of recent years was sustained during the first half of 2013 due to the continued recovery of North Africa (+4%) and the positive results of Sub-

participate in the road shows in Sydney and Melbourne to spread awareness and boost the prospects of bi-lateral tourism. It may be recalled that the then Australian Tourism Minister Mr. Martin Ferguson had met Mr. Chiranjeevi in December last year and had requested for direct air connectivity to boost tourism between the two countries. The launch of the Dream liner service is a significant step in this direction. To effectively leverage the launch of the Dream liner, Ministry of Tourism will be organizing road shows in Australia, with the participation of Air India and the Travel and Tourism Industry to build on the better connectivity between two countries. Ministry of Railways shall make land for the project available free of cost and render all possible assistance for completion of the project on time. The Ministry of Railways shall set up a monitoring committee with a member from the Ministry of Tourism to monitor physical and financial progress of the above projects.

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Saharan destinations (+4%). The Middle East rebounded after two years of negative growth with an estimated increase in international arrivals of 13%. Yet, results should be taken with caution as growth is rather uneven across destinations and this assessment is based on still limited available data and reflects data up to June only. Tourism expenditure growth driven by emerging economies Emerging economy outbound markets continue to drive growth both to emerging and advanced economy destinations. China (+31%) and Russia (+22%) led the growth in expenditure on travel abroad among the top ten most important source markets in the world during the first half of 2013. Outside the top ten, Brazil is back with a 15% increase after a more moderate 2012. Expenditure from traditional markets, on the other hand, was more modest. Canada (+3%) and France (+2%) led the group, followed by the flat results of the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom, and negative figures from Japan, Australia and Italy.

Managing Editor: Ravisankar K.V. Executive Editor: Rajani A. Art Editor: N. Bhattathiri Sub Editors: Rahul Krishnan, Anoop B. Special Correspontant: James Joseph Correspontant: Ganesh Mohan, Jeeth Thomas Senior Layout Artist: Vijayagopalan G. Marketing: Ravikumar.K. (AGM) Mob: +919847560531 Director - International Marketing - Theresa Van Den Dool Consultants: Baby Mathew (Hospitality) Ashokan C.V. (Technical) R. Bhadrakumar FCA& D Ravi FCA (Financial) P. Govardhan (Legal) Dr. S. G. Pandalai (Editorial) Business Offices: UK-England: T. Haridas (Advisor) 86 Tooting High St. London SW 17 0RN Mob:+447775833754 New Delhi: D. Anil Kumar Tel: +91 11-24634248, Mob: +91 98681 23311, Mumbai: K.V. Sathyanath Tel: +91 22 29209285 Kolkata: Jayasree Singh Tel: +91 33 24187750 Mob: +91 9433060333 Bangalore: Damodaran K. Nair Mob: +91 9035616040 Hyderabad: Premraj A. Mob: +91 9446514732, Pondichery: K.Ramasubramanian Mob: +91 98949 77161 No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written permission of Tourism India Publications Pvt. Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2013


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total of 298 million international tourists travelled worldwide between January and April 2013, 12 million more than in the same period last year, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Prospects for the current tourism peak season remain positive with some 435 million tourists expected to travel abroad in the May-August period. International tourist arrivals grew by 4.3% in the first four months of 2013 to reach a total of 298 million, up from 286 million, despite a challenging global economic environment. Results were positive in all regions, with the strongest growth in Asia and the Pacific (+6%), Europe (+5%) and the Middle East (+5%) and weaker growth in the Americas (+1%) and Africa (+2%). By subregion, South-East Asia (+12%), South Asia (+9%) and Central and Eastern Europe (+9%) were the star performers. “International tourism continues to show an extraordinary dynamism,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Mr. Taleb Rifai. “The 4.3% growth in the number of international tourists crossing borders in the first months of 2013 confirms that tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors of our times, contributing in a central manner to the economy of a

as classic Charcoal. With key features comprising internal recessed lockdown handle system, a 3 dial combination Travel Sentry Approved (TSA) lock and 4 wheeler spinners, PRISMO is definitely a great choice for frequent travellers. These range of new luggage products come with a divider pad inside along with elastic packing straps, a detachable pocket as well as a push button trolley and retractable handle on side and top. A perfect choice for fashion savvy travellers, PRISMO gives you ample reasons to pack your bags for an exciting weekend ahead. Price range begins from Rs. 5,950 onwards depending on the sizes Available at leading American Tourister stores across India.

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merican Tourister, a brand known for stylish, trendy and tough durable luggage presents their latest range of lightweight products ideal for A/W travel titled PRISMO. With 360 degree smooth rotating wheels and oodles of added features, PRISMO allows customers to opt for easy and hassle free travel all through the upcoming season. As the name suggests, this newest line from American Tourister has sleek front panels with joining edges that reflects light creating a prism effect. Together with colour matching components and contrast coloured interiors, PRISMO is available in quirky seasonal colours like Neon orange and Purple as well

growing number of countries” he added. Growth was stronger in emerging economy destinations (+4.6%) as compared to advanced economies (+3.3%), a trend which has marked the sector for many years now. By region, growth was positive in all regions, but results where rather mixed. Asia and the Pacific (+6%) saw the highest relative growth boosted by arrivals in South-East Asia (+12%) and South Asia (+9%). International tourist arrivals to Europe, the most visited region in the world, were up by 5%; an excellent result in view of the economic situation in the region. Central and Eastern Europe (+9%) continues to lead growth, while Southern and Mediterranean Europe (+5%) also turned in strong results. Africa (+2%) and the Americas (+1%) reported a rather weak growth in the first four months, though following the strong progress of 2012 (+6% and +5%, respectively). At the subregional level, results were rather flat in all subregions of the Americas except in Central America (+4%). In Africa, the 3% growth in Subsaharan Africa contrasts with even results in North Africa. Growth in the Middle East is estimated at 5%, though this

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s a pilgrimage and for the Holy Land Tour – Jordan holds extreme significance and importance for Christians. Sites of Biblical importance in Jordan such as Madaba, Mount Nebo, Mukawir, Tall Mar Elias, and Anjara were all designated as Jubilee Year 2000 pilgrimage sites in the Middle East by the Catholic Church. Three Popes also visited Jordan – Pope Paul VI in 1964, Pope John Paul II in 2000, and Pope Benedict XVI in 2009. Jordan has a wealth of biblical sites across the country that still echo with stories that have been recorded in the Holy Bible of Abraham, Job, Moses, Ruth, Elijah, John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, Paul, and a number of leading Biblical figures. Some of the world’s earliest churches have been found in Jordan, including the 2nd or 3rd century ‘prayer hall’ at Bethany Beyond-the-Jordan, the 4th century church at Umm Qays, and the remains of what is believed to be the oldest purposebuilt church in the world at Aqaba. The Bible confirms that John preached and baptized in Bethany Beyond the Jordan, which Byzantine and Medieval texts, as well as modern archaeology identify as the site called Tall Al-Kharrar

figure should be taken with caution as it is based on still rather limited available data. 435 million tourists expected to travel abroad during the tourism peak season. Prospects remain positive for the period May-August, the Northern Hemisphere’s summer season. Around 435 million tourists are expected to travel abroad during these four months which account for as much as 40% of all international tourist arrivals registered in a year. The pace of growth might slow somewhat, as shoulder seasons tend to show faster growth than the peak season. International air travel reservations for May-August from business intelligence tool Forwardkeys support this outlook with a 4% increase in bookings for that period. The highest growth is recorded in international flight reservations from Africa and the Middle East (+7%) and the Americas (+5%), followed by Europe (+3%) and Asia and the Pacific (+2%). This outlook is confirmed by the UNWTO Panel of Experts Confidence Index survey which shows sustained confidence for this period, though with variations by region and activity. Confidence picked up significantly in Europe, the Middle East, among Global operators, tour operators and travel agencies. On the other hand, confidence decreased among experts in Asia and the Pacific, the Americas and Africa, as well as among experts in the transport industry. For the full year of 2013, international tourist arrivals are expected to increase by 3% to 4% in line with UNWTO’s long-term forecast of 3.8% per year for the period 2010 to 2020.

and Elijah’s Hill. Stunning archaeological discoveries since 1996 reveal pottery, coins and architectural remains from a 5th century Byzantine monastery. The Jordan River runs nearby and several hundred still come here to be baptised with its water or to just take a dip in it. At Madaba, in the 6th century Byzantine church of St. George, there is the mosaic floor map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land which has helped modern-day archaeologists to identify and excavate many of these Biblical sites. Mount Nebo, just a ten minutes drive west of Madaba, was the final station in Moses’ historic flight from Egypt to the Holy Land. This also became a place of pilgrimage for early Christians from Jerusalem and a small church was built there in the 4th century to commemorate the end of Moses’ life. The 1st Century AD Roman-Jewish historian, Josephus, identifies the aweinspiring site of Machaerus (modern-day Mukawir) as the palace / fort of herod Antipas, who was the Roman-appointed ruler over the region during the life of Jesus Christ.


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he beaches of Malaysia are the most peaceful places to be – ideal for starry-eyed lovers. Nestled in secluded islands and coves, each offers a different experience. Take time off to get closer, with the backdrop of soft sands, emerald waters, breath-taking sunsets and moonlight strolls. The best places to romance your loved one are the idyllic resort islands of Pangkor, Tioman, Redang or Perhentian. Enjoy a lazy day on the beach, or stare up the stars at night, listening to the music of roaring waves. Langkawi is another favourite with couples, for in this beautiful archipelago you’ll find scenic lakes and forests, sparkling waterfalls, exotic fauna and flora, and long blue coral beaches. In Sabah and Sarawak, you can spend many tender moments strolling along the sweeping coastlines or exploring bewitching islands. Give your passion for watersports an outlet, and indulge in sea walking, snorkelling, scuba diving, windsurfing, kayaking or parasailing. Heady experiences await you among the mountains and the mist, where you and your spouse are sure to feel on top of the world. Tucked away in the clouds at 1,829 metres above sea level is Pahang’s premier hill resort, Cameron Highlands. For newly-weds, it’s the ultimate thrill to stroll through verdant rose gardens and strawberry fields, quaint little villages

and charming marketplaces, butterfly and honeybee farms, and tea plantations. Take a trip back in time and savour a traditional English tea amidst the charming gardens of Tudor styled country inns. If it’s fun and action you crave, head for Genting Highlands. Situated 2000 metres above sea level, this ‘City of Entertainment’, packed with a multitude of attractions. Theme parks, a casino, a shopping mall, a horse ranch, an 18-hole golf course and a world-class entertainment centre will make your sojourn here really exciting. At Penang Hill, spend quality time together riding the funicular railway, exploring the forest from above as you go on the Canopy Walk, or marvelling at the gorgeous views of the island. Nature lovers can savour an enchanting experience at Sabah’s Kinabalu Park, home to South-East Asia’s tallest peak, Mount Kinabalu. A trek through the Park sets the right mood for romance, as you traverse lush jungle trails, scale misty peaks, get up-close with shimmering cascades, and meet exotic life in the wild. Malaysia offers a plethora of nature parks and forest reserves, from Taman Negara in Pahang, Endau-Rompin in Johor, the Bako, Niah, Mulu and Lambir National Parks in Sarawak, to the Danum Valley in Sabah. Capture the rare moments when you spot the huge Rafflesia flower or the endangered Sumatran rhinoceros, ignite your senses as you venture through Penang’s luxuriant Tropical Spice Gardens, or catch enthralling views from the Poring Canopy Walkway in Sabah. Explore the wonders of the past in mesmerising Malacca. Walk the narrow streets with beautiful Florentine architecture or take a trishaw ride – a unique experience for couples, as it takes you through the city’s main attractions and fascinating by-lanes. The passion of its people is retold in epic tales of the innocent Mahsuri and legendary Monsopiad, and a wealth of history is yours to savour at Penang’s Khoo Kongsi temple-cumclan home and Fort Cornwallis, Kuala Lumpur’s distinctive Moorish buildings,

the half-finished Kellie’s Castle, the ancient Bujang Valley, and many more. There’s nothing quite as romantic as a cruise on Malaysia’s enchanting lakes and rivers, be it on a luxury yacht, catamaran, fishing boat, or on the Malay styled ‘gondolas’. If you prefer history, try the Malacca river cruise; if Nature is your first choice, enjoy the remarkable experience of feeding brown eagles along the peaceful Kilim River in Langkawi, a trip which also takes you past verdant mangrove forests, bright white beaches and awesome blue lagoons. Malaysia appeals to your craving for shopping sprees, as well as your hunger for delectable cuisine. As shopaholics the world over will recommend, this is the best place to plan your first shopping outing together, for the variety is immense. Surprise your spouse as you visit duty free shopping outlets, to pick up the best of designer wear, international brands and accessories, or hit the street for bargain buys, handicrafts, retail fabrics and exotic souvenirs. Go from the upmarket Suria Shopping Centre in Kuala Lumpur, to a quaint stall on Malacca’s Jonker Street, and you’re sure to find something suited to your budget and taste. Don’t forget to take back a piece of Malaysia - exquisitely crafted pewter ware, batik, kairi songket or silk. If both of you are foodies, welcome to paradise. On the menu is a spread of traditional Malay, Nyonya, Chinese, Indian, Arab and Thai delicacies, as well as a fusion of cuisines that boast their very own Malaysian flavour. Not to forget Continental, Thai, Mediterranean and more. Go for gourmet meals at five-star restaurants, but do try the street food as well, which is high in tastiness but really low in price. Must-taste dishes include satay, rendang, roti canai, laksa, fried noodles, chicken rice and nasi lemak. Penang’s street fare is legendary, and it was voted as having the ‘best street food in Asia’ by TIME magazine. Rejuvenate your senses to make the most of your time together, with a sensuous spa experience. Soak in a pleasurable blend of aromatic oils, herbs and spices or luxuriate in the soothing sensuous strokes of a traditional massage. Spas are in abundance here and blend in with their surroundings – a beach, rainforest, mountainside, hot spring or city setting to

heighten your pleasure. Astounded by the beauty and culture of this land, many lovers make Malaysia their first choice for a perfect wedding. The options are unlimited for those who want to get married in Malaysia – from traditional Malaysian ceremonies with an entire village to exquisite venues with contemporary glitz and glam. With the best locations and help from the government, your Malaysian wedding dream comes true so easily. Check out the Association of Wedding Professionals Malaysia at www.awpmalaysia.org, whose wedding coordinators can organise your big day in traditional Chinese, Malay, Indian or Western style. All you’ll need is here – from majestic places of worship and impressive venues, to wedding industry professionals like photographers, designers, florists and more, who make your special day go off smoothly and memorably. Mr. Manoharan Peraisamy, Director of Tourism Malaysia says, “Malaysia has unlimited options for honeymoon and wedding destinations. With many exotic destinations like Sabah, Langkawi, Penang and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia gives couples the chance to tailor their itinerary in such a manner that they can plan for a long stay wedding and honeymoon experience.”


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ndhra Pradesh Continues to be the Most Popular Destination Among Domestic Tourists While Maharashtra Most Favoured State of Foreign Tourists. The number of domestic tourist visits (DTVs) to States/UTs registered an increase of 19.87% during the year 2012 over 2011 as compared to an increase of 15.6% in 2011 over 2010. According to the latest statistics on tourism in India released by the Ministry of Tourism, during the year 2012, the number of domestic tourist visits to the States/ UTs was 1,036 million as compared to 865 million in 2011 and 748 million in 2010. The top ten States in terms of number of domestic tourist visits (in millions), during 2012, were Andhra Pradesh (206.8), Tamil Nadu (184.1), Uttar Pradesh (168.4), Karnataka (94.1), Maharashtra (66.3), Madhya Pradesh (53.2), Rajasthan ( 2 8 . 6 ) , U tt a r a kh a n d (26.8), Gujarat (24.4) and West Bengal (22.7). The

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he State of Maharashtra received a special note during a National Tourism Ministers’ Conference for the progress of Mahrashtra in developing infrastructure and growth from Mr. K. Chiranjeevi, Union Minister for Tourism. The Conference was held in Delhi to discuss the future strategies for realising the full tourism potential of the country. Mr. Chhagan Bhujbal, Minister for Tourism, Government of Maharashtra, while presenting the state’s achievements and commitment in tourism sector, also invited Chiranjeevi to inaugurate the stateof-the-art Visitors Information Centre at Ajanta and Ellora which is scheduled to be

contribution of these States was about 84.5% to the total number of domestic tourist visits during 2012. Andhra Pradesh has occupied the first rank in terms of DTVs in 2012, whereas Tamil Nadu, which was at third rank in 2011, has moved to the second rank. Uttar Pradesh which was at first rank in 2011 has moved down to third place. Though the top ten States in terms of DTVs in 2012, remained the same as those in 2011 the rank of some to the States, changed slightly (by one place). The number of foreign tourist visits (FTVs) to States/UTs registered a growth of 6.33% during the year 2012 over 2011 as compared to a growth of 8.9% in 2011 over 2010. The number of foreign tourist visits (FTVs) to the States/ UTs was 20.7 million in 2012 as compared to 19.5 million in 2011 and 17.9 million in 2010. The top ten States in terms of number of FTVs (in millions) during 2012 were Maharashtra (5.1), Tamil Nadu (3.6), Delhi (2.3), Uttar Pradesh (2.0), Rajasthan (1.5), West Bengal (1.2), Bihar (1.1), Kerala (0.8), Karnataka (0.6) and Himachal Pradesh (0.5). The contribution of these States was about 90.1% to the total number of FTVs in the country during 2012. The top ten States in terms of FTVs in 2012, remained the same as those in 2011.

opened in September this year. Safety of tourists was one of the major issues discussed at the Conference. Mr. Bhujbal said, “Maharashtra has already been declared safest state and Mumbai is the safest city in the country. Tourism police were trained and deployed by state 7 to 8 years back at important tourist centres and monuments. Yet, especially Mumbai police has always tried innovative ways through PPP model to handle the tourists.” Mr. Chiranjeevi said, “We appreciate the work of Maharashtra towards development of infrastructure. I have been discussing with the Surface Transport

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ccording to the State Government of Uttarakhand, the study undertaken by the PHD Chamber of Commerce of India (PHDCCI) reveals an estimated loss to the economy of about Rs. 12,000 crore. Loss of Government tourism properties has been assessed to be approximately Rs. 102 crore. Due to lack of access to the affected areas the loss to private tourism assets has not been assessed so far. The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India has announced a special financial package of Rs. 100 crore for rebuilding/ building destroyed/damaged government tourism assets. In addition, the Ministry has already sanctioned Central Financial Assistance of about Rs. 95 crore for various tourism infrastructure projects in the State under the current financial year. Besides

Ministry for the development of wayside amenities like that of toilet, refreshments, and similar infrastructure to boost the tourism.” Mr. Satish Soni, Joint Managing Director, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), said, “We can encourage formulation of tourism cooperative society at the important tourism centres and locations. This will involve all stakeholders of tourism sector. The special officers will be deputed who will concentrate on providing security for visitors and will be visible in tourist areas. We have taken initiative for having separate budget head for creating awareness among

this, the State Government has also prioritized projects for an approximate amount of Rs. 58 crore for development of tourism infrastructure in the State during the current financial year. The State Government informs that they plan to evolve a regulation and registration to control tourist movement with bio-metric support at all important points within the State. It is also proposed by the State to advise tour operators to get the tourists insured before entering the State. With a view to assess the need for a national consensus on regulating religious tourism to avoid such tragedies, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India has decided to conduct a study which will include an assessment of the State’s Tourism Carrying Capacity (TCC), its practical analysis and measurement and its efficient application, destination management, etc. in the State of Uttarakhand. As per the Government of Uttarakhand, it has started developing plans for disaster resilient tourist infrastructure & safe tourism by involving various Departments like Weather Forecasting, Forest & Environment, Police Transport, District Administration, Disaster Management, Tourism etc. so that recurrence of such calamities can be checked in future.

localities about pros and cons of tourism so that development is socially sustainable. State will established the code of conduct for safe and honourable tourism.” The Conference deliberated on various agenda items, which included the safety and security of tourists, Campaign Clean India to improve cleanliness at important tourist destinations, rationalisation of Taxes to make Indian tourism products competitive, bringing uniformity in the structure of Road Taxes and promote seamless travel, the timely implementation of tourism infrastructure projects, the time bound issue of licences and no objection certificates for various tourism related services, the provision of single window clearance for hotels and tourism projects and MICE activities, promoting accessible and sustainable tourism and improving coordination between various State Governments and Union Territory Administrations for promoting Intraregional Tourism. During the conference while an exchange of ideas took place between the Ministry of Tourism and various State and Union Territory Tourism Authorities, interaction between the State and Union Territory Tourism Authorities and industry stakeholders also took place. Delegates attending the Conference laid stress on the safety and security of tourists, particularly women. The Conference launched a new campaign “I Respect Women” with Ministry of Tourism issuing badges in Hindi and ten international languages.


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ith the launch of Emirates’ services to Stockholm less than a month away, Sweden is expected to receive an economic boost thanks to the airline’s extensive global network. “As well as attracting new trade and investment into Sweden, Emirates will play an important role in supporting the country’s US$ 2.5 billion tourism industry, introducing new audiences to Stockholm and drawing in visitors from a host of points across the globe, including China, Japan, Australia, Korea and numerous points in the Middle East,” said Mr. Hubert Frach, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations West. Sweden is the most visited country among the Nordic nations, with five million international travellers in 2011, projected to grow to 5.4 million by 2016. The Travel and Tourism Competitive Index (TTCI) ranked Sweden as the world’s fifth most attractive destination for travel and tourism industry

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rand Prix Season Singapore (GPSS) will once again kick start Singapore race fever by playing host to yet another exciting selection of exciting events. Comprising both familiar lifestyle and entertainment standard bearers and new activities for all to enjoy, GPSS 2013 will be held from 13 September to 23 September in several key precincts around the island. The FORMULA 1 SINGTEL

development. This is primarily driven by Sweden’s stable economic growth, rising government expenditure on infrastructure improvements and tourism promotional efforts. From Sweden, the number of international travellers is projected to grow from 13.1 million to 18.6 million by 2016. Popular destinations for Swedes include Bangkok, Beijing, Tokyo, Phuket and Hong Kong. Dubai has become a popular destination for Swedish holidaymakers with over 15,000 Swedes visiting the city on a yearly basis. “We are delighted that Emirates will shortly operate a direct link between Stockholm and Dubai. This kind of groundwork is exactly what is needed to bolster already excellent trade ties between Sweden and the UAE, in addition to the wider Gulf countries. We also hope that this will enable more people to discover Sweden as an attractive tourist

SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX is still the only night race in the global FORMULA 1 circuit. As such, many party-goers can once again expect the return of nightlife highlights like Amber Lounge and Podium Lounge. However, as in past years, there is again something for everyone happening at all times of the day - from multi-brand

destination,” said Counsellor Lennart Nilsson of the Embassy of Sweden. “The new service will also accelerate the trade ties which have grown between the UAE and Sweden in recent years. Despite the challenges of the global economic downturn, the value of goods Sweden exports to the UAE has risen by over 12% per cent since 2011, totalling over US$ 811 million in 2012. With a direct air link between the two countries, we fully expect this growth pattern to continue, and new business opportunities to be fostered,” Mr. Frach continued. There are nearly 200 Swedis h companies that currently operate in the UAE, supporting the growing trade links to Sweden through import volumes estimated at US$ 34 million. The 4,000 Swedish citizens residing in the UAE add to the interesting multicultural mix of the country. In Stockholm, Emirates will have a

team of 20 employees, covering sales, reservations and airport duties. Emirates’ operations will also benefit third party suppliers such as catering companies and ground handlers, in addition to firms that deal with business and leisure traffic. Emirates SkyCargo has been operating freighter flights to the Swedish city of Gothenburg since 2003, supporting the trade of pharmaceuticals, plastics, iron and steel, heavy machinery, vehicles and vehicle parts and furniture. In 2012 alone, Emirates SkyCargo carried over 1,600 tonnes. Emirates SkyCargo will offer 238 tonnes of extra belly-hold capacity per week on the new service to Stockholm. Emirates will operate the Boeing 777200LR between Dubai and Stockholm. From 4th September, Emirates flight EK157 will depart Dubai at 0715hrs and land in Stockholm at 1200hrs the same day. EK158 will depart Stockholm at 1355hrs arriving in Dubai at 2255hrs.

pop-up Hidden Finds by Public Garden to stunning dining offers to an inaugural pop-up exhibition from Pinacotheque de Paris and of course, the 2013 FORMULA 1 SINGTEL SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX itself. Together, they offer a stunning lineup of high impact, innovative offerings. Entertainment takes centre stage with stellar in-circuit headliners like The Killers, Tom Jones, BigBang and global superstars Rihanna and Justin Bieber. Ticket holders can also look forward to several fringe acts, including world music acts like the UK’s Dhol Foundation and New Zealand’s Waiora and local bands The Sam Willows, The Great Spy Experiment and more.

Outside the circuit, the party vibe extends into the Civic District, the Central District and the Arts & Heritage District, where a wide range of industry stakeholders is pulling out all stops to give both visitors and locals experiences with a difference. “We have found that travellers to Singapore are becoming increasingly discerning and are looking for new and unique experiences to complement their travels. So we are very pleased indeed at the level of participation from our industry players this year. We have seen lots of enthusiasm and great ideas coming forward from all sectors, from dining and retail to visual art and entertainment. Compared to last year, the number of participating establishments has grown significantly to over 50 with many partners coming on board with new or enhanced offerings,” said Ms. Lynette Pang, Executive Director, Arts & Entertainment, F1 & Sports, Singapore Tourism Board. “GPSS is meant to encourage innovation – it’s thus truly a delight to see both big and small players using this opportunity to experiment with their new concepts. All of us are looking forward to seeing some very exciting new content and interesting collaborations coming forth at this year’s GPSS,” she added. The Singapore Tourism Board spearheads the Grand Prix Season Singapore initiative and works with strategic partners such as Changi Airport Group and MasterCard to amplify its marketing efforts. There will also be a GPSS 2013 Guide and associated marketing collaterals produced to help locals and visitors alike navigate the plethora of experiences on offer. More information on GPSS 2013 can be found on www. yoursingapore.com/gpss.


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erggruen Hotels, famously known as the parent brand to Keys Hotels, a leading chain of business hotels, has announced the launch of its new upscale hotel brand ‘Keys Klub’ in the 4 and 5 star categories to service the affluent class of business travelers. With this addition, Berggruen Hotels consolidates its position in India and now offers a larger spectrum of products catering to a wider level of affordability. Derived from the word ‘club’, Keys Klub denotes the association of like-minded people with a common interest. The Keys Klub is meant to be elite, stylish, world-class and cheerful with cutting edge technology and infrastructure support. It aims to appeal to the urbane and contemporary world traveler like senior managers and professionals seeking personalized experience with crisp and prompt business service within a viable price range. Mr. Sanjay Sethi, Managing Director and CEO, Berggruen Hotels said while unveiling the new brand, “This heralds a new chapter in the journey we started in 2006. After having extensively studied the consumer and having successfully established Keys Hotels chain across India, we are delighted to announce our foray into the upscale category. This move is in the direction of turning Berggruen Hotels into a holistic hotel company catering to all categories of customers. Adding a new brand to our basket will help us grow faster

and ensure that we have a strong presence across key potential hospitality segments.” The new ‘Keys Klub’ brand will establish hotels across India; all owned, managed or franchised by Berggruen Hotels. Properties under ‘Keys Klub’ brand will include 100 and above rooms with room size of 275 sq ft upwards. Keys Klub hotel rooms will be stylishly designed and equipped with 24/7 in room dining. The hotel property will include an all day global cuisine restaurant, a specialty restaurant, a lounge bar, banquets and conference halls. To fulfill the business requirements of the guests, each property will be equipped with a board room and a business centre. The guests will also be able to avail the recreational facilities with a 24/7 gym with latest fitness infrastructure, a swimming pool, elite club lounge, a bookshop and a rejuvenating spa. Berggruen Hotels has an aggressive growth plan for its brands. Mr. Sethi elaborates, “Our strategies will ensure that by 2016, we expand to 75 hotels with an inventory of 6600 rooms. We plan to add at least 2 Keys Klub Hotels into our bouquet every year in our target cities at Pune, Mumbai, NCR, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Jaipur, Kolkata and Hyderabad. By 2016, we are expecting combined revenue of INR 410Crs from the owned and managed hotels. We have kept the luxury space available for future brand expansion.”

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n a pristine New Zealand national park, the Blue Lake - also known as Rotomairewhenua - holds the title of the world’s clearest lake. Scientific tests carried out in 2011 by New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) showed Blue Lake to be the clearest natural body of fresh water known to man. According to the NIWA research results, visibility in the lake is up to 80 metres meaning the water is considered almost as “optically clear” as distilled water. Blue lake is characterised by blue-violet hues seen only in such clear natural waters. Part of the Nelson Lakes National Park conservation area in the northern South Island, Blue Lake is fed by waters from nearby Lake Constance. The park is a popular hiking and fishing destination. The lake is a two-day hike from the park boundary or, for an aerial view; there are scenic flights with Reid Helicopters. The spring-fed source of the water, and its 1,200 metre altitude above sea level, just below the tree line of stunted mountain beech, ensures that Blue Lake is always cold, ranging between 5 and 80C. These astonishingly clear waters are regarded by the local Maori iwi / tribe as “tapu” or sacred which means that humans are not permitted to enter the lake. However, in early 2013, Danish

literally made my heart cry with joy! It’s the most beautiful thing to give an endangered animal its freedom back.” Rainbow Springs is the perfect place for international volunteers to experience New Zealand’s history. It’s the largest kiwi hatching facility in the country and successfully incubates and hatches brown kiwi eggs from around the North Island. Staff at Rainbow Springs are all dedicated to looking after the kiwi and are passionate about the work they do, but say they couldn’t exist without the generosity of volunteers’ time. Rainbow Springs Sales & Marketing Manager, Michelle Caldwell says, “Volunteers really are vital to keeping the park running smoothly, from helping with the busy hatching programme, to feeding baby tuatara, it’s wonderful to work with volunteers like Kira who give up so much of their time, and are also passionate about

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otorua’s Rainbow Springs is one of New Zealand’s Tourism icons, so it’s no wonder that it’s attracting the interest of international volunteers, who are proving to be essential in the running and on-going operation of the native wildlife park. Rainbow Springs offers unique wildlife experiences and amazing personal interactions with native species like the kea, kiwi and tuatara; one of the main reasons international volunteers like German traveller Kira are flocking to help at the park.

Kira is a passionate conservationist and has volunteered in many countries, but says discovering Rainbow Springs’ Volunteering programme has been life changing. “Volunteering is a great chance to try something new and fulfill a dream – without a university degree! When I arrived in New Zealand earlier this year, I was so lucky to find Rainbow Springs and volunteer here,” Kira says. “I’ve been able witness a Kiwi being released back into the wild, which

photo-journalist and environmentalist Klaus Thymann was granted special permission by Maori, NIWA and New Zealand’s Department of Conservation to capture the clarity of the lake for conservation purposes. Nelson Lakes National Park begins at the northern end of the Southern Alps - a grand series of mountain ranges that forms the South Island’s main divide. The port city of Nelson is the nearest main centre. The national park, formed in 1956, covers some 1,020 sq km, and is popular for camping, tramping and fishing. The Park is characterised by impressive native beech forests, glacial lakes and rivers beneath craggy peaks. There are remote mountain passes to challenge the experienced solitude-seeker, but the lower reaches offer accessible hiking trails and overnight, camping and fishing. The park is home to the Rotoiti Nature Recovery Project, which aims to revive populations of kiwi, other native birds and lizards. Blue Lake / Rotomairewhenua is on the multi-day Travers-Sabine Circuit track. The 80 km. hiking route through Nelson Lakes National Park reaches deep into the national park, through tranquil forests surrounded by 2000m peaks. Comfortable hiking huts maintained by the Department of Conservation are scattered along the track.

our many projects.” Rainbow Springs is an icon of New Zealand tourism, and has been open since 1932. Spread over 22 acres of Rotorua Parkland, Rainbow Springs is a conservation and breeding haven for endangered species like the Kiwi and Tuatara. Features of the award winning tourist attraction include New Zealand’s only “open to view” Kiwi hatchery, and a range of wildlife including trout, tuatara and native birds.


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even New Zealand centres have been chosen to host matches in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 - spreading the major international event throughout both the North and South Islands. Auckland, Hamilton, Napier and Wellington in the North Island and Nelson, Christchurch and Dunedin in the South Island will join seven Australian cities to jointly host the tournament in the summer of 2015. The announcement is welcome news to Kiwi sporting fans who fondly remember the “stadium of four million” concept that brought the country to life during the Rugby World Cup in 2011. The ICC Cricket World Cup is one of the world’s largest sports tournaments and the flagship event of the international cricket calendar. All eyes will be on the chosen cities from 14 February to 29 March 2015 as they not only host thousands of players, officials and fans, but are also profiled globally to an expected television audience of more than a billion people. As well as a warm welcome, visitors can expect a diverse range of scenery and a varied cultural experience as they travel the throughout New Zealand’s host regions. From north to south, the regions preparing to host ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 in New Zealand offer varied landscapes and experiences - no two the same. Auckland Auckland is New Zealand’s biggest city and boasts the country’s largest sporting stadium - Eden Park, the home of Auckland cricket since 1910. As well as being the country’s main gateway for international travellers, the city is home to a third of New Zealanders and ranks as one of the top 10 places in the world to live. The blend of harbour, islands, Polynesian culture and modern downtown has created a unique urban outdoors lifestyle. Auckland’s

natural assets are ideal for land and water activities - from bungy to sailing, casino to wildlife experiences, food and wines - or getting away from it all on island sanctuaries. Within half-an-hour of downtown Auckland, visitors can relax on an island in the Hauraki Gulf, trek through native rainforest, sample wines at a local vineyard or take a walk along a wild, black sand surf beach. Hamilton Just an hour and a half south of Auckland is the bustling commercial centre of Hamilton - a fast-growing university city and major events centre on the banks of the mighty Waikato River. The city lies in the heart of the lush Waikato farming region which provides the setting for The Shire of Hobbiton made famous by The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogies and the perfect example of New Zealand as 100% Middleearth. Waikato is also the home to the Maori royal family, the vast Waitomo cave system and one of the country’s most notable public gardens. Napier Further south on the North Island’s east coast is the famous wine region of Hawke’s Bay where the city of Napier will host matches at McLean Park - regarded as one of the most batting friendly wickets in the world. Napier is famed for its extensive collection of Art Deco architecture as a result of being completely rebuilt following

a massive earthquake in 1931. As well as its colourful heritage story, the city is the main centre of Hawke’s Bay wine country. The region’s sunny, Mediterranean climate makes it New Zealand’s leading producer of red wine and the second largest wine producing region overall - with more than 30 award-winning vineyards. Hawke’s Bay is also known for its artisan gourmet foods, glorious beaches and iconic Cape Kidnappers where a world class golf course sits high on the cliffs above a gannet colony. Wellington Wellington is New Zealand’s creative as well as capital city - and home to the country’s oldest first-class cricket ground, the Basin Reserve. The inner city venue is known throughout the cricket world and is the only sporting ground in New Zealand registered by the NZ Historic Places Trust. Within an easy walk of the Basin Reserve is a vibrant inner city mix of lively cafés and restaurants, boutique shopping, heritage buildings, museums and galleries, and entertainment venues. Nestled between harbour and hills, Wellington is also home to a world famous wildlife sanctuary and has easy access to a variety of outdoor activities. It is also New Zealand’s film capital - sometimes known as Wellywood as it is home to film-maker Sir Peter Jackson and his production empire. Nelson Across Cook Strait at the top of the South Island lies Nelson, a sunny pocket paradise famed for outdoor lifestyle. The region is home to many top New Zealand artists and craftspeople, including traditional and contemporary Maori artists. Artistic works are often inspired by the region’s ever-changing light over luscious coastal, forest and valley landscapes. Food,

wine and some of New Zealand’s best walking tracks and national parks are also part of the Nelson experience. The boutique cricket ground of Saxton Oval was described as a “beautiful, lovely little ground” by ICC management and has new facilities in preparation for the forthcoming world cup. Christchurch The garden city of Christchurch is embracing the chance to welcome international cricket supporters. It is now officially liberated from the red cordon erected following the devastating 2011 earthquake, and the city rebuild has included historic Hagley Oval which has been home of Canterbury cricket since 1851. Christchurch is New Zealand’s oldest city and the centre the country’s largest region, Canterbury - bordered in the west by the Southern Alps and the east by the Pacific Ocean. With a vastly contrasting landscape, the region offers a myriad of outdoor nature and adventure opportunities from whale watching off Kaikoura coast in the north to cheeky alpine parrots that entertain tourists at mountainous Arthur’s Pass. Christchurch is also a centre of art, culture and beautiful gardens - with 700 public parks. Dunedin Dunedin is a city of firsts including New Zealand’s first university and the University Oval which has been home of cricket in this historic region since play began last century. The city’s strong Scottish heritage is a unique colonial experience and Dunedin is renowned for being one of the world’s best preserved Victorian/Edwardian cities. On dramatic hills above a natural harbour, Dunedin has been home to Maori, whalers, goldminers and migrants from Scotland, China and other distant places. The region is also incredible for its local wildlife - the world’s rarest penguins, an albatross colony, fur seals and sea lions. And as well as first newspaper, first medical and dental schools, first female lawyer and first public art gallery, Dunedin also claims the world’s steepest street.


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NN has compiled a list of the World’s 100 best beaches, according to its survey, and three beaches in Malaysia made it to the top 50. These top ranked beaches are: Perhentian Kecil Island, Terengganu (ranked at No. 13); Juara Beach in Tioman Island, Pahang (ranked at No. 21); and Tanjung Rhu in Langkawi, Kedah (ranked at No. 49). The CNN survey was compiled from various sources, taking into consideration the feedback from travelers, colleagues and readers, as well as on-site visits and research. CNN wrote, “Malaysia’s Perhentian Islands are to beach bums what Kobe beef is to carnivores; once you’ve experienced

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nion Tourism Minister Mr. K Chiranjeevi has launched the Project “Clean India Campaign” at Taj Mahal, Agra. Taj Mahal is the second heritage site to be covered under this project. The first being Qutub Minar, Delhi which has been adopted by India Tourism Development Corporation in June 2012. Clean India Campaign has been initiated by the Ministry of Tourism with the objective to increase tourist arrivals to the country and to improve quality of services and provide a hygienic environment in and around tourist

it, nothing else quite matches up. The two main islands are the backpacker-happy Pulau Perhentian Kecil (Small Perhentian Island), and Pulau Perhentian Besar (Big Perhentian Island), which has slightly more expensive accommodations.” The highlight of Pulau Perhentian Kecil is the blue waters, which invariably contain turtles and small sharks. “Less developed and less polished than Thailand, Tioman Island’s Juara Beach brings an all-natural, quiet vide to the beach experience. This isn’t the place for parties or nightlife, unless you like your parties hushed and your nightlife nonhuman, “ CNN stated.

destinations across the country. On the request from the Tourism Minister, the Oil & Natural Gas Commission (ONGC) has agreed to adopt and upkeep the environs of Taj Mahal Complex including up gradation of tourist facilities in the monument. The ONGC will directly fund the aforesaid works covered under the Clean India Campaign to Archaeological Survey of India. Under the Clean India project, issues pertaining to the heritage site are taken care of, including providing drinking water facilities, cleaning, providing uniform signage’s in and around the premises, placing of garbage bins, various repair/replacement work, management and garbage clearance, landscaping, tourist help desks and deployment of volunteers for better management amongst others. Clean India Campaign is a multi pronged action and comprehensive strategy to ensure an acceptable level of cleanliness and hygiene practices at tourist destinations for an inclusive and sustainable development of tourism through ownership and involvement of private and public sector stakeholders. This initiative aims to

Tioman Island is also a great place for adrenalin junkies who want a rockclimbing challenge at Nenek Semukut Mountain. “Most tourists on Langkawi flock to Pantai Cenang beach, but the quieter Tanjung Rhu has an earthy beauty and serene atmosphere. The long beach area is surrounded by ancient limestone caves, rippling waterways and dense mangroves.” During the low tide, the sea splits open and a sandy patch appears from the beach towards the rock. Visitors can then walk right in the island – an incredible experience not to be missed! In addition to these three beaches, Malaysia has hundreds of tropical islands dotting its waters and countless picturesque beaches lining its shore, making it one of

the region’s top destinations for sun, sea and sand holidays. Blessed with a tropical climate all year round and unparalleled natural beauty both on land and underwater, Malaysia truly is one of Southeast Asia’s favorite beach vacation destinations. Mr. Manoharan Periasamy, Director, Tourism Malaysia said, ”Malaysia is honoured to have been conferred this esteemed recognition, which will motivate us to further intensify our efforts in positioning Malaysia as the world’s leading Beach destination, while promoting its natural attractions and also, major ecotourism experience such as caving, hiking, jungle trekking, white water rafting, rock climbing, bird watching, snorkeling, diving, and river cruising”.

create a collective mindset that promotes cleanliness and hygiene by a balance of persuasion, education, sensitization, training, demonstration, regulation and involvement of every individual. The Ministry of Tourism launched Clean India Campaign as part of Government strategy for 12th Five Year Plan for improving the quality of

services and environs in and around tourist destinations across India. The campaign is aimed at undertaking both sensitization and action at field level on bringing tourism destinations and their surroundings to an expectable level of cleanliness and hygiene. The campaign is being implemented with the involvement of private and public sector stakeholders.

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n order to ensure safety and security of tourists, including foreign tourists, Ministry of Tourism has advised all the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations to deploy Tourist Police in the States/Union Territories. ‘Public Order’ and ‘Police’ are State subjects as per the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India. As such, the prevention of crime, including crimes against tourists, is the primary responsibility of State Governments/ Union Territories. The State Governments/Union Territory Administrations of Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh have deployed Tourist Police, in one form or the other. The other measures taken by the Ministry of Tourism towards safety and security of domestic and foreign tourists including women travelers are: • Issuance of guidelines for formation of Tourist Facilitation and Security Organisation (TFSO) comprising of ex-servicemen in consultation with Ministry of Defence, Home and

Directorate General of Re-settlement. • Grant of Central Financial Assistance to Government of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh for setting up of TFSO on a pilot basis. • Adoption of code of conduct for Safe and Honorable Tourism which contains a set of guidelines to encourage tourism activities to be undertaken with respect to basic rights like dignity, safety and freedom from exploitation of both tourists and local residents, in particular women and children. • Letters have been written to all the Chief Ministers of the State Governments and Administrators of Union Territory Administrations to take immediate effective steps for ensuring conducive and friendly environment for all tourists and also request them to publicize the steps being taken/ proposed to be taken to increase the sense of security amongst the present/ prospective visitors and also to counter the negative publicity. • In the wake of some unfortunate incidents involving foreign tourists, Ministry of Tourism has posted an advisory on its website www. incredibleindia.org


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he hugely acclaimed Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India’s first such contemporary international art event, has fetched for its media consultant top honours at the inaugural Indian edition of the prestigious Sabre Awards, 2013. MD Niche, a fledgling Delhi-based media consultancy company, was conferred The Gold Sabre Award For Excellence In Public Relations in two categories — media relations and not-for-profit for turning the country’s first-ever biennale into a spectacular media success story. The much-coveted PR awards, decided by an illustrious jury after long-drawn deliberations, were announced at a glittering function at Pullman Hotel, Gurgaon, near Delhi. The three and a half year old MD Niche, with offices in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi, won the awards in the face of stiff competition from established PR biggies like Ketchum Sampark, The Practice, Genesis BursonMarsteller and PR Pundit. “Gaining local, national and international acceptance was vital to the successful conduct of the Biennale. We are happy that we had the professional PR and media management support of M D Niche to achieve this,” said artist Riyas Komu, the Biennale’s co-curator. The Kochi-Muziris Biennale was the first Indian edition of a biennale event that celebrates contemporary art form around the world by bringing together some of the best artists from India and abroad. “It is an honour for us to be recognized alongside some of India’s best PR and media consultancy firms,”

said MD Niche CEO, Mr. S. Suresh, a former journalist. “The Biennale campaign was extremely satisfying for us not just because we managed to successfully meet the PR requirements of a massive project with our limited resources, but more importantly we were able to help promote an event of immense social and cultural significance for our country.” The awards have bolstered our confidence and ability to perform and compete with the established players in the field. For four months, we generated stories and features for the media — without a day’s break. We are happy that the 96-day-event ended in a blaze of glory, creating a hallmark in India’s cultural landscape,” he added. MD Niche, which was roped in just three weeks ahead of the Biennale that began on 12/12/12, completely altered the public perception about the pioneering mega show. With its judging panel that included some of India’s biggest names in PR industry, the Sabre Awards are in their ninth year worldwide — and are considered a global benchmark for PR work, attracting more than 2,500 entries across North America, Europe, Middle-East and Africa, besides Asia Pacific. While this is the inaugural Sabre India award, instituted by New York-based Holmes Group and Public Relations Consultants of India (PRCAI), India is the only country that has Sabre awards of its own, revealed Mr. Paul Holmes, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of the Holmes Report.


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By Ajith Somarajan t started with a casual call from Renjith one lazy afternoon last November – “How about a nature trip to Gujarat? Just 4 of us – Nahar, Ganesh, you and me”. It sounded irresistible; Gujarat has an amazing variety of biospheres: from deciduous forest to wetland to grassland to salt marsh to dessert. To get to explore these with a like-minded group was just incredible. Saying yes was instantaneous; booking ticket was immaterial; but the task was to fix dates for the trip. It was a major balancing act. We wanted to cover maximum places and maximise experiences with a clear focus on nature. But at the same time we want least possible pinch on wallet, least possible days away from home (to limit question marks from wife) and take least possible leaves at office (to limit question marks from boss). What resulted was a tight-budgeted, thick-packed, well-timed, ambitious itinerary covering the best of Nature Gujarat: Over 1100 kms of crisscrossing Gujarat, morning & evening safaris at Gir (dry deciduous forest), 6 hours of quality time in Little Rann of Kutch (salt-marsh; dessert lands), early morning safari at Velavadar black buck sanctuary (savanna grasslands), some bird watching at Nal Sarovar (marshy wet land), understanding Lothal (Indus valley civilization), a peaceful evening at Sabarmati ashram and a bit of catching up with old friends – all in 3 days flat! Even more delightful – we managed it in a thin budget of ~Rs.6000 per head, excluding flight. Gir Safari Pass The plan was to tie up Gir safaris first so that other things can be planned around it. True to typical officialdom, Gir safari booking is an unadulterated bureaucratic affair. It is run by the forest department, with daily passes limited to 150 vehicles equally divided between 3 trips a day (6.30 am, 9.30 am, 3.30 pm). Further, safaris are not allowed for a few months every year. It is fair that the passes are issued under strict monitoring and no external influences are known to work. While the intentions are good, the process kills. On the face of it

there is advance booking facility, which simply means more processes. Since the department still lives in a hardboundregister world, there is no online booking or anything remotely similar. Nowhere any information was available on how to make advance booking. Determined, we called a few hotels nearby to understand how the booking was done and to check our luck whether we can get this done through them. Everyone said the same thing: No advance passes available for Gir safaris! What we could gather was as follows: Since no one knew how advance booking is done, most of the passes are available on the spot. One needs to stand in queue to get the pass. Only a small glitch, the queue for 6.30 am starts at 10 pm the day before!! Further, locals are not allowed to stand in queue! Even to get a chance for the safari, one have to keep aside 2 days. We were aiming for 6.30 am safari to get the best possibilities of sightings and to return for the evening 3.30 pm safari; now having one safari itself was posing a question mark! We boarded our evening flight from Bangalore with no surety of a safari at Gir next day. Our connection night train to Junagad from Ahmendabad was comfortable and we reached Gir at 5.30 am, thanks to Ramesh Bhai’s driving skills who took us in his taxi from Junagad to Gir in no time. There was a sizable crowd in front of the forest department (Sinh Sadan) gate, which got opened just when we reached. Our running skills came handy and luck had our way, we could manage a decently close position in the queue from the counter. Gir Magic Gir is huge with about 1500 sq km. Each of the 50 open safari jeeps was allotted one of the 7 routes. It was 8.30 am, about 2 hours into the safari and with just half an hour left. Forget lions, we didn’t see any animals other than a couple of spotted deer, which we get to see in umpteen even outside Bannerghatta, back in Bangalore. Where all those beasts had gone? Were our luck got over by getting the safari pass?

We counted about 15-20 jeeps crossing us all with gloomy faced travelers like us. Our naturalist (one accompany each jeep, else we can easily get lost in the forest), Raju looked very restless and somehow seemed determined to show us lions. He was already impressed with all our photography gears. Serious photographers earn respect and there were a couple of them with us in Ganesh and Nahar. Raju was seen talking to forest guards (many of them posted inside the forest) at length in local Gujarati slang and some code language. At 8.45 am he took us to a particular water hole and instructed to switch off the jeep. We could see so many jeeps rushing past us returning as the safari time was about to get over. After 5 minutes, we heard a loud roar! Very close! Renjith’s telescopic lens fell from his hands. From behind the thick green growth, entered a beautiful lioness into the golden rays of morning sun, as if a heroine introduced in a bollywood flick. She was promptly followed by His Majesty. He was massive, elegant and was in his elements. Our pain and wait had been for this moment. I could hear only clicks around me. Soon they were joined by another lion couple. We had already overshot our time by half an hour. On our return, we heard a sudden alarm call from the spotted deer herd just by our right hand side. Just in front of us – on the left – was a leopard eloping from a tree. It gave us an unceremonious look, as if to remind that leopards were not less a disarming feline it is made off than lions, and disappeared in the bushes. We were back at 10 am; almost 1 hour late and promptly got flakes from forest officials for the delay. But what a feast we had with all those remarkable sightings.

Our luck run continued, as we managed to get pass for evening safari as well, against all odds. This time we got to see a lioness with her 3 adolescent kids, one male and 2 female. Gir had excellent birding opportunities, which we made use between the safaris, thanks to Nahar and Ganesh, the birding experts with us. It was a satisfying day with sightings of so many lions, leopard, a variety of birds, sambars, nilgais, langoors, etc. Little Pink Rann We had a much needed sumptuous Gujarati thali from Geeta Lodge at Junagad. The night train off-loaded us in Viramgam at about 2 am. The resort (Desert Courses) where we made arrangement for early morning safari in Little Rann of Kutch was about an hour away. We waged a valiant war against the chill and mosquitoes (I didn’t know that both can go hand in hand) before the resort’s cab scooped us away from station at around 4 am. After a quick fresh up, we started at 5.30 am along with driver cum naturalist Ashraf Bhai. We went straight to the chota thalab. With a wonderful sun rise in the backdrop all those pink lesser flamingos flocks appeared godly. Timing and settings being perfect, photographers in us got into action. The thalab was nothing but a large swamp with shallow waters in the middle. The fact that one could not walk close to the waters due to impossible sticky mud did not deter Ganesh who was literally wallowing in the mud for that perfect shot. After almost 1.5 hours of non-stop photography, we set out for the desertier parts. It supported a sizeable fauna – wild bores, dessert foxes, etc. Those wild asses were a real beauty and birds were countless. A determined and knowledgeable Raju ensured that we don’t miss a part of Little Rann – the normal 3

Photos: Ganesh Mohan

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hour safari, extended for about 6 hours. By this time, we had lost 2 nights sleep, 1 lunch and 2 breakfasts. Desert Courses offered us very good food which we consumed in tonnes. We also managed to get a room for free to freshen up. The Rs.500 we paid per head for the safari, food and rest was paltry compared to what we got. Enroute to Ahmedabad, we had a quick round of Nal Sarovar and lost our count of birds. With about 40% of all bird

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ocated on the Charleville Road on your way to the famous Company Gardens and Kempty Fall, Madhuban Highlands Mussoorie is a subtle blend of Indian Hospitality & Western Innovation. 40 tastefully decorated rooms and suites centrally air conditioned, with the latest amenities offering the finest

varieties in India seen in Gujarat, it is truly a bird watcher’s paradise. The birding experts with us ensured that we were fully engaged. By evening in Ahmedabad, it was time to charge up. Sabarmati ashram offered a perfect setting. Surprisingly, the river looked rejuvenated (when I saw it some years back, it was not better than a drain). For dinner, we pampered ourselves with the best of bites from Manek Chowk and its famous joint High Street Food. In

in accommodation comfort. With a breathtaking view of the Himalayas, with Mini Bars and Tea, Coffee makers in room. The hotel was established in the year 1997. There are 40 well represented rooms and 2 suits in this hotel. All rooms & suits are spacious and tastefully decorated, designed, furnished & equipped to meet the

MONSOON PACKAGE Offering an exciting “Monsoon Package” for 2 nights and 3 days in the lap of magnificent Himalayas for a complete blissful experience, Madhuban Hotels is going to enchant you with the Mussoorie’s serene beauty. This attractive package is valid till October, 31, 2013 for celebrating the pleasant monsoon season. The special MONSOON PACKAGE for 2 Nights / 3 Days at Hotel Madhuban Highlands, Mussoorie, has in offer the following: Room – Double Deluxe Room Special Rate – Rs. 9490/-; Valley View Rooms Special Rate – Rs. 11500/ Extra Adult; Rs.1500/- Extra Child (6 Years to 11 Years) Rs. 850/ (All rates are exclusive of taxes) The exquisite Monsoon Package includes: • A Welcome Drink (Non Alcoholic) & Fruit Basket on arrival • Buffet Breakfast & Dinner • Complimentary use of Gymnasium • 2 Complimentary bottles of Mineral Water per day • Complimentary Tea, Coffee makers in room with tea & coffee with condiments replenished once daily, • Complimentary stay for 2 Children below 05 years (without an extra bed) in the same room • 10% Discount on Food & Beverages 10% • Discount on Laundry 10% Discount on Spa Transfers • To and from Dehradun Railway Station, Airport on prior request, on actual charges. (All Taxes extra as applicable)

Gujarat, ones’ stomach is a slave to ones’ mouth. A Slice of African Savanna In the wee hours, we started for Velavadar black buck sanctuary in Bhavnagar district to reach there for the morning safari (some 6 hour drive from Ahmedabad). We went with no expectations, but it turned out to be yet another wonderful experience. The view just blown us – the feel was as if we were transported to Masai Mara for an African safari. Black bucks aptly enhanced the overall beauty of the park. It was exciting to learn that we were at the world’s largest natural breeding spot for Harriers, a migratory bird. All the 6 varieties of Harriers were found there. We were blessed with the awe-inspiring view of a flock of large common cranes, religiously following the “V” regiment, landing at the little water body nearby. After inspecting for some 10 minutes, they decided to continue their flight, again in a “V”. May be the less remarkable we were not up to their mark. A 4000 Year Old SEZ While returning, we had sufficient enough time to peek into our past, 4000 years back, in Lothal. However it was heart breaking to see the way things were kept and managed in Lothal. It seemed discerning guests’ needs and are divided into categories like Standard Room which present a statement that is stylish and functional, Club Class deliver the aura of a rich contemporary environment and Suites are a delight for our Premier guests. Unashamedly grand the cottages located at the back of the hotel are spacious and beautiful in typical ethnic and modern decor. The cottages provide a haven of quiet luxury and sophisticated elegance. They are spacious and beautiful apartments desired in typical ethnic and modern decor. Wall to wall carpeted, with a bed room, living room, space for an office, private kitchenette & kitchen ware available on demand. Indeed the finest accommodation offered in the region. The cottages give you a Comfortable Sense of Privacy & a relaxed Sense of Luxury. The elegant furnishings are designed with the comforts of our distinguished guests in mind. The cottages overlook the breathtaking view of the well maintained lush green gardens at the back of the hotel. The Hotel offers a wide range of facilities such as business centre, direct dial telephone, ayurvedic health SPA, Wi-Fi internet connectivity, bar & lounge, doctor on call, centrally air conditioned, health club. For less strenuous exercise, there is the Joggers track and the entertainment area offers a choice of games that interest children of all ages. The state of the art fully equipped conference rooms & halls are a delight for any & every business activity. Dedicated to the convenience and comfort of meetings and events, the true tradition of a fine business hotel is reflected in the excellent meeting facilities at Hotel Madhuban Highlands, Mussoorie. The business center at the hotel boasts a touch of flattering modernity, offering well equipped, beautifully done conference and board rooms, with state-of-the-art equipments and facilities and attentive & hospitable staff standing by for all your business requirements. The hotel offers comprehensive Conference arrangements & management services. The conference halls are large, well furnished & well equipped & have the potentials to accommodate 10 to 400 persons with state of the art facilities like communication assistance, email, fax and internet. All types of layouts for the conference are available depending on the nature of the conference & the number of delegates likely to attend it. The health and fitness regime of the

like even the archeological guys around doesn’t realize the significance of what was being preserved. But the very thought that at a time when half of the globe was yet to be discovered by man and when today’s developed world then were busy hunting mammoths, here were a group of people making fine micro beads and jewellery for export to other civilizations like Mesopotamia, was mind blogging. We had one evening left in Gujarat which we spend judiciously to buy some essentials to placate spouse and kid flocks back home. We loaded ourselves with those countless snacks which only Gujarat can boast of. Next day morning 9 am I’m back in office, straight from airport. I was just 3 days away from Bangalore. But it felt like I’m back from a time machine - too many things happened in too little time. A lot of work was bugging me at office; but I could see only wild asses around. hotel opens a window to a plethora of choices. There are immense possibilities for the health freaks with arrangements for some great work-outs in the hotel gymnasium and rejuvenating health spas in relaxed corners. Facilitated with modern equipments, easy to use gazettes and sound professional assistance it’s a place ideal for a great beginning or unwinding of a day. There’s everything for the health and physique conscious here, with body building equipments, toning, and slimming, exercising machines and tools in abundance. Madhuban Highlands also offers holistic and wellness programmes at their Spa which include Shirodhara, ayurvedic massage and therapies as well as Himalayan body wraps, that has skin polishing, slimming programme, body wraps, exotic baths and much more of the likes. A pollution free environment friendly hotel and an enclave of peace and tranquility, the hotel is set amidst 2.5 acres of manicured lawns and landscaped gardens. High rising Pines and Palms and over 100 varieties of rare plants with an unobstructed view of the Himalayas.


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our of the world’s authority on Associations and Association Management are collaborating with TTG Events to debut IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific’s inaugural Association Day on 2 October 2013. Catered for Association Executives, the Association Day will comprise of forums delivered by the four collaborators – Kenes Asia, International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA), Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE) and Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE) – as well as business presentations by Convention Visitor Bureaus and networking sessions. “We are acknowledging the importance of Associations in the MICE industry through this dedicated one-day programme for Association Executives. With the calibre of organisations leading this initiative, the Association Day at IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific is probably the best platform for Association Professionals to learn management best practices, and consider destinations, products and services for their next international conference.” said Mr. Darren Ng, Managing Director of TTG Asia Media – the company behind TTG Events, organisers of IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific. As the event’s industry partner, Kenes Asia will be tapping on its 5 decades of experience in organising medical and scientific conferences globally, to champion the development and hosting of the day’s forums. Kenes Asia views its involvement as a great opportunity to reach out to the Associations industry in the Asia-Pacific region. Mr.

Marcel Ewals, Director for Asian Business Development remarked, “This is a great way to share the Kenes knowledge, which is a key driver of our mission statement. By bringing along a team of Kenes clients who can express their experience and best practices with the delegates, we can educate the fast evolving industry.” Long-time endorsing and supporting associations of IT&CMA and CTW AsiaPacific – ICCA as well as AuSAE and CSAE – will each be fronting a session during the forum. ICCA, that already organises an annual Database Workshop for its members as a partner event in conjunction with IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific, is eager to take on a bigger role at the show through Association Day. “There is a lot of room for growth for the association sector in the Asia Pacific region. It is our fervent hope that we could share some of our best practices, as a global association with over 1,000 members in 88 countries with our fellow association colleagues in this region,” shares Mr. Noor Ahmad Hamid, Regional Director Asia Pacific of ICCA. AuSAE and CSAE – the duo behind the ‘Association Professional Competencies Briefing’ certification course for Association Executives held at the show each year – are also looking forward to impart much coveted know-how about what Associations are looking for from industry suppliers in their Association Day forum session ‘What Associations want from the Meetings and Events Industry’.

“Meetings and events industry players will learn two key takeaways: the inside story on just what their not-for-profit clients think of their meetings and events suppliers, and the latest updates on the health of meetings and events trade in the not-for-profit sector around the World. We believe that no PCO or provider to the meetings and events industry should miss this popular and valuable session,” said Mr. Simon Pryor, FASE FAIM, Principal Professional Learning and Certification Advisor of Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE), Australia. Echoing similar sentiments is Mr. Michael Anderson, President and CEO of Canadian Society of Association Executives. “We are both delighted that we are able to be joined by Mr. Noor Ahmad Hamid, Regional Director Asia Pacific of ICCA for this session. It means that every participant will be able to takeaway news about the very latest in research about the not-for-profit sector and their meetings and events activity, but more importantly also be given the tools necessary to relate this information to their own role and business within the international meetings and events industry.” Underscoring the importance of Association Day is Mr. Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, President of Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau. “The inaugural Association Day will be an inspiring platform for local professional associations to share and learn new knowledge and practices with international experts, which contribute to efficient, effective and innovative association meetings. We aim to make Thailand a point of connection for the association and corporate sector, as well as all key stakeholders in the meetings industry.”

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r. Pranay Verdia has been appointed as the General Manager of Fairfield by Marriott, Bengaluru.

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r. Akhil Arora has been appointed as the Director of Rooms at Renaissance Mumbai Hotel and Convention Centre, Mumbai.

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r. Gaurav Aggarwal has been appointed as the Director of Sales at Fairfield by Marriott, Bengaluru.


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irgin Atlantic passengers will get a sneak peek of the airline’s new uniform designs when wearer trials of the Vivienne Westwood uniform begin on 12th July at airports, in Clubhouses and on-board the aircraft. Over 180 specially selected staff including Virgin Atlantic crew, pilots, ground staff, Clubhouse employees and Virgin Holidays staff will trial the uniform for a number of months to ensure it is both comfortable and practical before the designs and fabrics are finalised and sent to the manufacturer. Staff will provide feedback after each flight or shift so adjustments can be made ahead of the full launch in 2014. The uniform will be assessed on fit, comfort, breathability, ease of movement, creasing

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ooking one’s holidays at the last possible moment continues to be a popular trend: among the world’s most important travel markets last-minute bookings make up the biggest percentage of holidays. Russian citizens in particular prefer to book their holidays at short notice (less than a month before departing). This is the result of a special survey by IPK International’s World Travel Monitor, which was commissioned by ITB Berlin. Among the top ten international source markets for travel abroad (with at least one overnight) Russia reported the highest percentage of last-minute bookings. In 2012 Russians booked 73 per cent of their trips at the last moment, less than one month before departing. The habit of booking trips

before and after the shift, look and feel of the uniform after laundering and how the uniform handles marks and stains. Mr. Luke Miles, Head of Design for Virgin Atlantic commented: “Our staff, and particularly our cabin crew, are some of the most envied in the airline industry when it comes to uniforms. Our iconic red outfits are globally renowned and when we make changes to the design, it isn’t something we take lightly. These wearer trials are a key part of the feedback process we engage in with our teams around with world. The uniforms have to look sleek, all the while being practical and easy to wear - its a challenging design brief but means so much to our staff and customers so we have to make sure we get it right. We’re confident our Vivienne

late has always been popular in Russia. Over the past five years the trend towards booking travel at the last moment has remained unchanged and has fluctuated hardly at all. The Italian and Chinese markets also clearly belong in the same category. Unlike in Russia last-minute bookings in the above markets have declined. In 2008, 69 per cent of Italian holidaymakers booked their trips at the last moment, whereas in 2012 that figure was only 64 per cent. In China the number of last-minute bookings fell from 73 per cent in 2008 to 62 per cent in 2012. At 58 per cent and 53 per cent respectively lastminute bookings in Japan and France were comparatively low, although both markets

Westwood designs will continue to turn heads in the airport and in the sky.” Earlier this year Virgin Atlantic announced its partnership with leading British designer Vivienne Westwood to redesign the airline’s uniform across all areas of the business. With original design and sustainability being vital factors to both Richard Branson and Vivienne Westwood, this long-term partnership aims to bring these ideals together in an exciting and innovative collaboration. Vivienne Westwood and her team had a number of practical challenges to consider when designing the airline’s new look. Approximately 7,500 staff wear the Virgin Atlantic uniform in different climates around the world. The designs of the garments need to cater for staff working in New York during the winter to high summer season in St Lucia. Staff also carry out a variety of job roles, all with differing levels of movement; and the uniform must be comfortable to wear for everyone with a degree of flexibility. Fabrics must be durable in order to withstand constant wear and tear. For the suiting garments the team have used fabrics with cutting-edge nano-technology which repels stains and enables clothing to retain its colour and finish for longer therefore the fabrics retain their shape over time and look pristine. With sustainability a key factor in this new design, all items are being development with Closed Loop Recycling in mind. This new technology takes worn polyester clothing and turns it back into fibres that can be woven again into new fabrics and in turn new clothing. Virgin Atlantic uniform facts: • All ties and scarfs must be quick release for health and safety reasons • Crew walk an average of seven miles on each flight so it is important that shoes

are comfortable • Many items of the new uniform will be produced using recycled materials - in particular working with recycled polyester yarn made from used plastic bottles. • Crew must go through a five and a half week training course to earn their Vivienne Westwood designed wings and uniform • All crew must carry a torch and spare batteries in their handbag • All shoes must have a non-slip sole and be SATRA (Shoe and Allied Trade Research Association) tested and approved • Although male shoes have laces, so they can be slip on in case of a slide evacuation – it also makes it much easier for the crew to go through security!

reported a slight upward trend. In 2008 the figure for Japan was 53 per cent and for France it was 51 per cent. At 46 per cent, the German market’s share of last-minute bookings was relatively high. However, compared with other western European countries this figure was below average. When it comes to their next holidays the Dutch prefer to make their plans in advance. At 33 per cent the Dutch market reported the highest percentage of early bookings (four months or more before departing). Nevertheless, there is a shift taking place here too: over the last five years early bookings have fallen by 27 per cent. At 29 and 28 per cent respectively, the German and UK markets also reported a relatively high percentage of early bookings. In

Germany last-minute bookings have fallen by six per cent since 2008, whereas in the UK they have risen slightly, by four per cent. Early bookings are of only minor importance in Russia, China and Japan. In 2012 only six per cent of Russian holidaymakers and eight per cent each of Chinese and Japanese travellers booked their trips four months or more in advance. Commenting, Dr. Martin Buck, Director of Travel & Logistics at Messe Berlin, said: “The fact that the various source markets report widely differing booking habits could carry an important message for all those commercial providers who are already operating in the respective markets or are planning to do so. The intense level of debate on this subject, which in Germany at least has been taking place over the last few years, is an indicator of how important the aspect of booking ahead is when buying a holiday. We are delighted that conducting market surveys of this kind gives us the opportunity to provide the travel industry with even more essential information that extends far beyond the traditional function of our show.“

www.tourismindiaonline.com www.keralatourismmagazine.com www.brandkerala.biz


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he Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur has been voted the Best Resort in Asia for the third consecutive year by Travel + Leisure, World’s Best Awards, 2013. This ranking is the result of a Readers’ Poll conducted by the magazine. Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards are amongst the most prestigious in the international travel industry as it is the readers who define excellence in hospitality and travel. The readers rate their experiences and evaluate hotels across the world on the following characteristics – rooms and facilities, location, service, restaurants, food and value. Mr. P.R.S. Oberoi, Executive Chairman of The Oberoi Group said, “It is indeed a moment of pride for us that The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur has been voted the Best Resort in Asia for the third consecutive year. This is a significant landmark for Indian tourism that will make India a preferred destination amongst international travellers”. In addition to The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur; The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur and The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra have also been ranked amongst the Top Ten Resorts by Travel + Leisure, World’s Best Awards, 2013. The Oberoi, Gurgaon and The Oberoi, Mumbai are amongst the Top City Hotels in Asia.

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he President of UFTAA, Mr. Joe Borg Olivier recently paid a visit to its member association ASTINDO’s new offices in the centre of Jakarta (Indonesia). He had an interesting and fruitful meeting with ASTINDO’s Board during which a number of items that relate to the travel

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here really is no place like home, unless it’s a hotel which offers free internet connection according to new research from IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) which has found that being able to connect online with family and friends is now the top priority for travellers. The global research was commissioned to mark the launch this month of IHG’s renamed loyalty programme, IHG Rewards Club. It reveals that not being able to contact home due to lack of internet connection is now the biggest travel headache for people away on business, cited by 40% of travellers as their biggest stress factor, ahead of difficult transport links (26%) and noisy location (24%). The research covered 10,000 people who travel for business, worldwide. It is helping IHG to understand hotel guests’ priorities when travelling, as it becomes the first and only hotel group to offer free internet access globally to all its

trade in general and to the Indonesian travel agents were raised and discussed. Ms. Elly Hutabarat, President of ASTINDO welcomed Mr. Borg Olivier and expressed her content that ASTINDO was welcoming an UFTAA President for the first time. She highlighted some

loyalty members. This new benefit started with Elite members at the beginning of Julyand will roll out to all members from 2014, whether they are staying the night at a hotel or coming in for a coffee or impromptu meeting. Other findings underline the importance of internet access: • 61% of those surveyed said that internet was the most important additional facility in their hotel room above TV (17%); bath (5%); fridge (3%); and mini bar (1%). • Logging onto the internet in their room when they first arrive topped the list of things that help travellers feel most at home in their hotel room (31%), above exploring the room (25%), taking a hot shower (14%) or even unpacking (13%). • Nearly two thirds (64%) of travellers say that they would prefer to communicate with people back home over the internet rather than using the phone.

of the problems that her members were encountering and hoped that with UFTAA’s assistance a number of them would be solved. Amongst the topics that were discussed were the New Distribution Capabilities (NDC), IATA fees on change of agency shareholders, reporting and other related matters. In his reply the UFTAA President stated that UFTAA was in constant touch with IATA on a number of issues and that IATA has recognized that problems in various countries do exist and that discussions are held on an ongoing basis. He reiterated that UFTAA will keep on doing the utmost to assist, advice, write letters, issue press releases and meet the authorities and/or suppliers on behalf of its members to try and find solutions that its members need. He informed ASTINDO that IATA • Over half of parents (53%) surveyed cited connecting with family at home as the best way to de-stress at the end of a working day. • 89% said that free internet would make them happier whilst travelling away for business. • And, nearly two thirds of respondents, (65%), would be very unhappy travelling if they had no way of connecting with loved ones back home. Relationship expert, Mr. Jenni Trent Hughes explains: “Just hearing a voice on a telephone is no longer sufficient for the 21st century traveller, we need the comfort of being able to see loved ones too. We want to see our children’s smiles when we’re reading them their bedtime story over Skype; be able to look our partner in the eye when we tell them how much we miss them, as well as keep up with all our social media obligations and emails. We now believe that when staying away from home,being connected with a minimum fuss and maximum ease is crucial for keeping

has invited UFTAA to attend an Airline Agents Forum which is being held in Washington on 8th July. He also congratulated the other Travel Agents Association, ASITA Jakarta for hosting around one hundred street children who are homeless, beggars or buskers to a fun day which he termed as a “nobel cause”, and hoped that other associations around the world would take up this example. ASTINDO’s members together with ASITA Jakarta chapter’s member have donated funds for this activity. He finally augured that ASTINDO will be the hallmark for the Indonesian Travel Trade. The President of UFTAA on the occasion presented Mrs Hutabarat with a memento for her.

our various relationships ticking over. When these expectations aren’t met, we feel anxious and frustrated so it’s no wonder that nowadays many of us can’t relax until we are safely checked-in and logged-on.” Mr. Richard Solomons, Chief Executive, IHG, said: “We understand how important it is for our guests to be able to stay in touch whilst travelling. That’s why,alongside great existing benefits such as points that never expire, we have introduced free internet for our members as part of IHG Rewards Club. These leading benefits are why IHG Rewards Club has been chosen by more travellers than any other hotel loyalty programme worldwide. IHG’s family of brands across 4,600 hotels ranges from an award-winning InterContinental resort to a city-centre Holiday Inn hotel. Our scale and diversity means that our hotels can meet our guests’ needs whatever the occasion – whether an overnight getaway, a business trip, a family celebration or a once-in-a-lifetime experience.” IHG Rewards Club, formerly Priority Club Rewards, is the world’s first and largest hotel loyalty programme with industry-leading benefits including no blackout dates for Reward Nights, fast track to Gold Elite status when guests explore IHG’s family of nine trusted brands and points that never expire.


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ulture Holidays, one of the leading travel management companies has taken a significant step towards changing the face of the car rental industry in India and launched “Instant Cabs” 24X7 online car rental service. Instant Cabs is the only online car rental service which provides economy to luxury cars in more than 100 cities in India. India incorporates one of the most prevalent railway and airline networks in the world which is incredibly dynamic and significantly contributes in the growth of car rental industry. The market is primarily driven by increasing volumes of local and international tourists that visit India either by air or train in order to witness the countless tourist places. The unique feature of Instant cabs is that one can plan and book an entire itinerary including multi cities by seeing the shortest route on map provided on Instant Cabs website. The system of working is completely online, from selection to confirmation and there are no hidden terms and sheer transparency till the end. The company has made it easy and effortless for their patrons, one has to follow the simple steps which will lead them to their desired

purpose: • The customers explore the website online • Choose their preferred destination • Make booking online • Get instant confirmation Mr. Sanjay Bhasin, CEO, Culture Holidays highlights about the Indian car rental market and said, “India’s car rental industry grew at a CAGR of 21.95% over the review period. To cater to this need we have established business partnership around the world to provide the most advanced range of services. Customers can choose among variety of cars ranging from budget to luxury, mid size to SUV’s. We exclusively incorporate a strong network of local vendors which is widely spread in over hundred cities in India.” Through a strong local network of loyal vendors, the company provides the most innovative services like airport transfers, sightseeing, excursions, social visits, shopping, or medical visits, inter and multi city transport and some more of the same kind. The company also uses the services of well versed local guides to offer some exciting activities.

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he developmental impact and potential of tourism was highlighted at the World Trade Organization’s Fourth Global Review of Aid for Trade in Geneva. At the meeting, UNWTO emphasized the increasingly prominent role of tourism in developing countries, particularly Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and called for increased support for tourism in international aid for development. The Fourth Global Review of Aid for Trade, centered on the theme “Connecting to value chains”, aimed to examine development assistance in connecting developing countries and firms of developing countries to value chains. For the first time tourism has been identified by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), as one of the key five sectors with great potential for high impact in Aid for Trade. Speaking at the event, UNWTO Secretary-General Mr. Taleb Rifai made a call for the increased recognition and support for tourism. “Recent research shows a striking disparity between tourism’s high potential and current contribution to development and the low priority it has been given so far in terms

of aid, namely regarding Aid for Trade and Official Development Assistance (ODA),” he said. “Tourism is a key trade category in developing countries, accounting for 56% of the overall service exports of LDCs and thus has a great potential for high impact in Aid for Trade.” Mr. Rifai added. In spite of tourism accounting for 9% of global GDP, including direct, indirect and induced impacts, the sector is only allocated 0.13% of ODA and 0.5% of Aid for Trade, with average projects size at US$ 300,000 in Aid Support, according to ‘Connecting Developing Country Firms to Tourism Value Chains’, a joint study by the OECD, the WTO and UNWTO, launched at the meeting. As part of the Fourth Global Review of Aid for Trade, the ‘Joint WTO-OECD side event on the Aid-For-Trade Monitoring and Evaluation Exercise’ underscored the tourism sector´s actual and potential developmental impacts, with multiple linkages into the rest of the economy. It cited actions that developing countries, their development partners and tourism stakeholders could take to maximize positive linkages, in order to help achieve job creation and sustainable development objectives.


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18 targeting Indian tourists because it would not be possible to attract foreign charter tourists during the monsoon. “The charter tourists come from October to May. The Europeans come from October to March when it is winter time there. They come to get away from the cold for some days. In Russia it is freezing even during May. And then when it rains here, during the monsoon, it is summer there, so they prefer to stay there during their summer. That’s why foreign charter arrivals are not possible during the monsoon.” Ralph de Sousa too seconded that view. “Goa is branded as a long-haul winter destination and the international movement is from October to April. During the summer which is our rainy season, the international tourists prefer sunny destinations like Spain, Greece, Crete and south of France. They avoid the Indian subcontinent, islands in the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia and the far east during the monsoon,” he said.

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s it possible to attract even more tourists to Goa during the monsoon? In one of the most ambitious promotional efforts undertaken by the state’s tourism department, starting mid-June in New Delhi, road shows and promotional events are being held all over India to showcase Goa as a monsoon tourism destination. The road shows will continue till August 15. The focus, according to the tourism department, is on projecting Goa as a destination for MICE tourism. With a large number of resorts and hotels either shutting down during the monsoon or running at reduced capacities, tourism industry stakeholders are hoping that corporate hold their conferences or meetings in Goa by doing bulk bookings at reduced offseason rates.

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ouble Bay’s legendary hotel situated at 33 Cross Street is soon to become InterContinental Sydney Double Bay. Singaporean-based Royal Hotels and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) have signed a management agreement for the 140-room InterContinental hotel on this famed site in one of Sydney’s most luxurious suburbs. Royal Hotels will undertake a multimillion-dollar refurbishment of all guest rooms and public areas of the hotel, after which it will reopenas InterContinentalSydneyDoubleBay in

Commenting on this, Ralph de Sousa, spokesman for the travel and tourism association of Goa, said, “The department’s effort in promoting monsoon tourism is showing results. We need to create a hype and come up with a calendar of events showcasing the festivals and activities we have in the monsoons, to convince people to visit Goa. It is a great effort from the department of tourism and should continue. The participation of the trade along with the department of tourism at road shows and fairs will give a push to the promotion. This promotion will definitely yield results in the near future.” Tourism minister Dilip Parulekar, who launched the road shows in New Delhi, says Goa has a lot to offer during the monsoon too. But he said they are only

January 2014. Purpose-built in 1991 as the RitzCarltonDoubleBay, the hotel established a reputation as the place to stay for celebrities when visiting Sydney. It became the Stamford in 2001, before closing in 2009 with a view to being redeveloped. Australian architects, Bates Smart have been appointed by Royal Hotels to restore the hotel to its former glory. Facilities will include a ballroom for up to 300 guests, meeting space, an all-day

dining restaurant, Club InterContinental, café, lounge and bar, rooftop pool and bar and generous underground parking. Underneath the hotel, a ground floor arcade will be developed and is anticipated to include a health club or day spa as well as retail space. Bobby Hiranandani, Director of Royal Hotels said, “We are tremendously excited about re-launching this property and becoming a member of the internationallyrenowned InterContinental family. We selected IHG as our partner for

this hotel based on the strength of the InterContinental brand both here and worldwide, and its proven ability to deliver premium returns on the assets that bear its name. “Our plan is to rejuvenate this ideallysituated hotel and its surrounds, making it the destination for Eastern-suburbs locals and Australian and international visitors alike. InterContinentalSydneyDoubleBay will become an ideal destination for weddings, conferences and dining as well as luxury hotel accommodation. “We are pleased to be partnering with IHG in this, a landmark in the Australian market. We have been impressed with IHG’s support to date, and in them believe we have a partner that will assist us creating an exciting new guest experience in Sydney”, said Hiranandani. IHG Asia, Middle East and Africa CEO, Jan Smits continued: “The signing of InterContinentalSydneyDoubleBay is a significant development for the InterContinental brand in Australia. The site at 33 Cross Street has long awaited the arrival of a new luxury hotel for Sydneysiders and visitors, and we feel confident that in partnership with Royal Hotels we will create something very special for our guests”. InterContinentalSydneyDoubleBay will be the fifth InterContinental hotel in Australia, and will join the family of 169 InterContinental Hotels & Resorts around the world.


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honoured with 3 prestigious awards: Special Award for endeavors in launching new tourism products and exemplary performance during the year 2011-12; Tour Operator Promoting Niche Segments other than Adventure and MICE and Award of Excellence: Best Tourism Promotion Publicity Material ‘Pure India – Luxurious

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homas Cook (India) Limited’s education and training vertical, Centre of Learning, conducted a convocation ceremony to felicitate 220 students of its batch of 2012-13. Held at the Indian Merchants Chamber, the ceremony was graced by Mr. Stephan Heuberger, Director of Swiss Tourism in India, who delivered the keynote address, inspiring the students to achieve greater heights in an increasingly competitive business environment. Also, present were Mr. Andreas Banholzer, Director of the Lake Geneva Region, as the Guest of Honour and Mr, Madhavan Menon, Managing Director, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. as the Chief Guest of the ceremony. Scholarships were awarded to the top 3 students of Centre of Learning’s Travel Professional Program - a Post Graduate course in Travel and Tourism Management. Thomas Cook India’s Centre of Learning is the recipient of the internationally renowned IATA accreditation of one of “Top 10 South Asia IATA Authorized Training Centers”, 2012 & 2013. Another noteworthy achievement is that India’s top ranking students at the IATA March 2013 exams were students of Centre of Learning. Commenting on the occasion, Mr Madhavan Menon, Managing Director, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd, said “It is indeed a proud moment for all of us today, as we see off 220 students graduating today, from the Thomas Cook India’s Centre of Learning. As a leader in the Indian travel industry for over 132 years, one of our primary focus areas at Thomas Cook (India) has remained the training and professionalising of people for the industry, so they can better deal with the opportunities and challenges that are ahead. At Thomas Cook’s Centre of Learning, our mission is to arm travel professionals with world class skills and training - not just for potential careers at Thomas Cook, but for the entire Indian travel and tourism industry in line with its rapidly evolving needs.”

About Centre of Learning: Centre of Learning is an initiative of Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. to develop talent for the organization as well as for the Industry. In the context of high growth and increasing customer expectations, talent management will be one of the important challenges to the Travel Industry. This relates to both the shortage of actual numbers and the desired capability levels from both a technical and managerial perspective. Thomas Cook - Centre of Learning has been set up with the objective of proactively facilitating the talent management in the travel industry and would strive to grow, harness and nurture the skill sets in the industry. About Thomas Cook (India) Limited: Thomas Cook is the leading integrated travel and travel related financial services company in the country offering a broad spectrum of services that include Foreign Exchange, Corporate Travel, MICE, Leisure Travel, Insurance, Visa & Passport services and E-Business. The company set up its first office in India in 1881. TCIL’s footprint currently extends to over 241 locations (including 23 airport counters) in 99 cities across India, Mauritius & Sri Lanka and is supported by a strong partner network of 132 Gold Circle Partners and 165 Preferred Sales Agents in over 150 cities across India. Thomas Cook (India) Ltd has been honoured with The Most Trusted Brand in travel services by The Brand Trust Report™, India study 2012 and voted Best Tour Operator at the Lonely Planet Travel Awards 2013, Favourite Specialist Tour Operator at the Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Travel Awards 2011 & 2012. In addition, TCIL has been chosen as the Best Corporate Travel Management Company by World Travel Brands 2012, the Most Trusted Tour Operator Brand by the Times Travel Honours 2011 and recognized as a “Consumer Superbrand” 2011-2012 by Superbrands. The Company was also selected Retailer of the Year – Leisure & Holidays by ET NOW. At the National Tourism Awards 2011-2012, TCIL was

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arriott International has launched XplorSM, a groundbreaking mobile travel game celebrating bold adventure. A first in the hotel industry, Xplor engages people of all ages to virtually see the world by visiting five gateway cities and accomplishing varied sightseeing challenges along the way. “Social gaming is part of our innovation strategy to engage customers and attract the next generation of social, mobile travelers and employees to Marriott,” said Mr. David Rodriguez, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Marriott International. “With more than half a billion people playing social games globally — this is an exciting new channel for our company to promote travel and engage with people.” Xplor lets virtual adventurers hone travel skills while visiting New York City, Paris, Beijing, Dubai, and São Paulo. To begin, Xplor gamers select an identity from five different traveler types, ranging from backpacker to jetsetter, and can individualize avatars from a variety of different interchangeable physical and style attributes, resulting in millions of possible character combinations. From there, players travel to top tourist destinations where they collect items and get their passports stamped. Players can friend one another, chat live and closely collaborate to solve Xplor’s many challenges. “We see guests effortlessly blending work and play in a global, mobile world,” said Ms. Stephanie Linnartz, Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer, Marriott International. “They embrace technology as a central part of their lifestyle.” Children and adults alike will enjoy touring iconic landmarks and local neighborhoods, and along the way, recharging at a Marriott hotel. Throughout the intuitive game, travelers can experience unique cultural variations native to the region they are visiting including food, customs, and

Escapes’Thomas Cook India’s Centre of Learning has received IATA accreditation as “Top 10 South Asia IATA Authorized Training Centers”, 2012 & 2013. Thomas Cook (India) Limited is promoted by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Fairbridge Capital. Fairbridge is responsible for the execution of acquisition and investment opportunities in the Indian subcontinent on behalf of the Fairfax family of companies.

architectural design. Each city “Xplored” will offer mini-games that are guaranteed to keep both serious and recreational gamers excited and engaged. For social adventurers, Xplor successes can be shared on Facebook and other social networks. Simultaneously, fans, travel aficionados and gamers can connect with one another and the Marriott community through Xplor’s dedicated site at www.xplorthegame.com. The fan site offers valuable new game information such as leaderboard rankings and a discussion board. On Twitter use #xplorthegame. “I applaud the entrepreneurial spirit behind this game, which was conceived by a group of employees from various departments, age groups and levels across the company,” said Mr. David Grissen, Group President, Marriott International. “They observed guests playing games to decompress between meetings, while waiting to board a flight, or even lounging by the pool, and convinced us to test a new way of engaging with guests.” Xplor was developed by Marriott International in partnership with Evviva Games, a division of Evviva Brands. It is the second social game offered by Marriott. In 2011, Marriott was the first global hospitality company to launch a social game with My Marriott Hotel. The game was designed to attract potential employees to careers in hospitality by engaging them in the virtual experience of operating a hotel kitchen and attracted players from 138 countries in the first year alone. Marriott International, Inc. is a leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 3,800 properties in 72 countries and territories and reported revenues of nearly $12 billion in fiscal year 2012. The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 18 brands.

Edited, Printed and Published by Ravisankar K.V. for Tourism India Publications Pvt. Ltd., Printed at Arsha Offset Graphix Sreehari, TC 9/2519-1, Janvilla Lane, Vellayambalam, Thiruvananthapuram 695 019 and Published from TC 9/1785, Anandam, Pattanikkunnu Lane, Sasthamangalam P.O,Thiruvananthapuram-695010. Editor: Ravisankar K.V.


Tourism India

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Vol. 162013 No.04 August

August 2013

RNI. No.: KERBIL/1998/7642

Postal Reg. No. KL/TV (N) 432/2012-2014

TI August 2013  

Tourism India Magazine's August 2013 issue

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