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Vol. 16

No. 02

Thiruvananthapuram

www.tourismindiaonline.com

June 2013

Pages 20+4

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

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

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The Oberoi Emirates

Brussels

Meru Cabs

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he Union Ministry of Tourism is planning to promote tourism in the Himalayas to a further extend. As part of the plan, Mr. K. Chiranjeevi, Minister of States for Tourism (Independent Charge) has announced the launch of a new campaign to publicise the tourism potential of the Himalayas and promote this incredible tourist product internationally. To be called “777 days of the Indian Himalayas”, the campaign will have a twofold objective, one to attract more international tourists to India during the lean summer season and second, to remind the world that 73 percent of the Himalayan region is in India. The decision was taken after a meeting with the office bearers of the Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) and the Indian tourism industry has hailed the decision. The Minister pointed out that the aim of this campaign is to promote not only the Himalayan States but also the gateway cities which will serve them with their international and domestic airports and railway stations. He explained that at the time of arrival or departure, the gateway cities will offer an opportunity to the visitors to see the tourism attractions available there. Mr. Chiranjeevi emphasized that it is the time to change the image of India from the one entirely in the plains to one having major attractions in the Himalayas and to change the image from only a winter destination to a summer destination as well. He stated that the Ministry plans to launch the campaign on September 27 this year on the occasion of the World Tourism Day. The first major event after the launch will be the Himalayan Run & Trek Event in October, 2013. The ATOAI members agreed to offer attractive discounts to the tourists during the period of the campaign. The Ministry would be holding meetings with the various State Governments and other stakeholders including the airlines to offer similar discounts. The Ministry is preparing relief maps of the Indian Himalayas in different States in sections which when put together would spread over a width of seven feet. The Ministry is preparing to launch this map along with a brochure on Himalayas at the launch of the new campaign. The ATOAI has come forward to organize Trekking, River rafting, Himalayan run, Mountain & Bike events as part of the campaign. The Himalayas provide a wide potential in tourism that has yet largely remained unexploited. The perennially snow-capped mountains, lush green tropical and temperate forests, gurgling streams and the rich flora and fauna – a true “Nye-mae-el” which simply means ‘heaven’. The new campaign will not only boost the tourism in the Himalayas but also benefit the Indian states Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura as well as Assam and West Bengal, which have Himalayan presence in their hill regions.

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dream project of Kerala took wing from Ashtamudi in Kollam as the first commercial seaplane service in mainland India was formally launched by Chief Minister Mr. Oommen Chandy. A Cessna 206 H six-seater operated by Kairali Aviation became the first aircraft to enter the pioneering service that will connect some of the most popular backwater destinations in the state. “Tourism has consistently been one of the fastest growing sectors and

among biggest revenue generators for Kerala,” the Chief Minister said in his inaugural address. “However our state has much untapped potential in this sector and we are confident will be able to utilize our resources optimally. The start of the seaplane service is a first step in that direction,” he added. The minister said accusations that the service will affect the livelihoods of

fishermen or be environmentally damaging are unfounded. “We are confident that the Contd. on Page 15

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Digital Impact

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igital technologies and digital marketing tools are reshaping industries worldwide. Travel and tourism business in India will risk losing ground unless and until they are not in digital pace. Internet and Mobile association of India (IAMAI) and Indian Market Research Bureau confirm that digital commerce in the country is expected to touch Rs 62967 crore in 2013 that is 33% higher than the previous year. Hovering a 73% of the total digital marketing, online travel transactions amounting upto Rs. 34,544 crore; and this is projected to grow by 30% to Rs 44,907 crore by the end of this year, thus displaying the mighty and lucrative digital medium. The International Conference on Travel Technology (ICTT) India held at Kovalam, Kerala recently. During the discussions, one of the industry’s most respected professional and prominent face in country’s tourism, Mr. Himmat Anand stressed to change according to time and alter the way we do business. He expressed concern on traditional travel agents taken over to online players. Travel and tour operators in India need to look at ways to provide new experiences for their guests to be successful in a highly competitive space. Mr Anand said: “Look, for example, at the welcome given to tourists in north India, with the tilak, the aarti and the garland – it has stayed the same for decades, down to the flowers used for the garland. While traditions are nice, it is time for the industry to rethink the way we do business.” He was of the opinion that tourism is yet to become a priority for India

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entered on the theme ‘Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future’, World Tourism Day 2013 will underline tourism’s responsibility and needed commitment to preserving the world’s vital water resources. Maldives will host the official celebrations on 27 September 2013. This year’s World Tourism Day (WTD) theme focuses on tourism’s significant role and contribution to worldwide water conservation efforts. The theme is in line with the UN General Assembly’s declaration of 2013 as the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation, providing the opportunity to further highlight the shared responsibility of the tourism sector to the wider sustainability objectives. As a trillion dollar economic sector, tourism is a powerful force capable of tackling this challenge by offering effective solutions geared towards a more sustainable water future. With over one

as a whole, which leaves the industry to device its own ways to push growth. “Kerala is perhaps the only state to excel in tourism; most others have been left behind.” Mr Avijit Arya, the founder and CEO of Internet Moguls, exposed the viral effect of property reviews. In his talk on managing reviews, he pointed out that as much as 85% of hotel business can be lost due to poor reviews resulting from poor customer service. “Most of the reviews for a hotel are a function of what is being done offline, at the property,” he said. “Travellers tend to get influenced by people they haven’t even met and these days they are always connected, so they have an opportunity to share their experiences instantly and it goes viral. Reviews are the next level of word-of-mouth and bad reviews can be very damaging.” His advice to hoteliers was to see reviews as a constructive platform for feedback, respond in a timely manner, use professional language and use search engine friendly content on the internet. Using social media spaces for promotion of businesses instead of social interaction was discussed by Ms Sheila Scarborough, a US-based writer and speaker. Digital impact on tourism is unfathomable and industry has to move along it’s rapid pace and precision.

billion people traveling internationally each year, tourism can also be an important vehicle of raising awareness and changing behaviors. “As one of the largest economic sectors in the world, it is the responsibility of the tourism sector to take a leadership role and ensure companies and destinations invest in adequate water management throughout the value chain. If managed sustainably, tourism can bring benefits to the national and local communities and support water preservation,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Mr. Taleb Rifai in his official WTD 2013 message. “I urge all those involved in the tourism sector to join our global World Tourism Day campaign and continue to devise innovate solutions to ensuring sustainable access to water resources worldwide.” Clean, accessible water is vital to tourism, running most of the sector’s businesses, from hotels and restaurants to leisure facilities and transportation. More

importantly, wetland tourism is growing, with many of the world’s coastlines, lakes and other wetlands among the most popular tourism destinations. World Tourism Day will be a unique opportunity to examine the challenges facing water management in tourism and the measures being undertaken by the sector to protect and promote water resources while creating benefits for local populations around water tourism destinations. Official WTD celebrations in the Maldives will include a High-Level Think Tank bringing together public and private tourism stakeholders and water experts to devise policies and strategies aimed at ensuring the tourism sector contributes to protecting water resources.

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

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 © 2012


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irst snows are already dusting the mountain tops of Middle-earth where the countdown to New Zealand’s 2013 winter season is on. Family-friendly or intrepid alpine adventure, a winter ski holiday in New Zealand can be everything from lessons on a beginners slope to guided heli-ski or snowboard expeditions into remote mountain regions for breathtaking long haul descents across vast expanses of virgin snow. New Zealand is also the wintering-over destination choice for many of the northern hemisphere’s international snow sports stars and national ski teams who move downunder to continue their training schedule in the renowned Southern Alps region - a 450km chain of high mountain ranges that run the length of the South Island. New Zealand’s main ski regions Ruapehu in the North Island’s volcanic central plateau, Mt Hutt and Tekapo in Canterbury, Queenstown and Wanaka in the Southern Lakes region of the South Island - offer a wide range of easily accessible downhill skiing and boarding, terrain parks, ski trails, and dedicated domains for beginners, tubing and snowshoe fans. The ski areas are all well located near resort towns and après-ski action. Off-piste there is always lots to do from sightseeing to launching into another level of activity - lake cruising, jet boating, scenic rides, wilderness walks, exploring - and never too far away from a relaxing massage or a glass of local world-beating pinot noir beside a roaring fire place. Easy access The ski areas of the South Island are easily accessible with flights into the main international hubs - Auckland and Christchurch - and direct domestic and trans-Tasman flights into Queenstown. Six ski areas are within 1.5 hours drive

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he Oberoi Group has announced the opening of their new luxury hotel, The Oberoi, Dubai. The Oberoi, Dubai will be the Group’s first property in the United Arab Emirates. Located at The Oberoi Centre, The Oberoi is a contemporary luxury hotel that embodies height, light and space. The hotel overlooks the iconic Burj Khalifa and each of the 252 rooms and suites have floor to ceiling windows which afford spectacular views of the city’s skyline. The hotel enjoys a central location and is a few minutes drive from downtown Dubai and the Dubai Mall.

of Queenstown, two are within 1.5 hours of Christchurch, and the three Mackenzie Country ski fields are an easy 3-hour drive from Christchurch. Ruapehu, in the central North Island, is a five-hour scenic drive from Auckland. The New Zealand ski season is usually long. Ski areas open progressively from the first week of June and generally remain open until early to mid-October. Natural snow is augmented by snow making systems at most ski areas. Mother Nature shines on the slopes, with longer sunnier days in September and early October. New Zealand’s diverse geography means huge variety on the slopes and the high mountains - including 16 peaks over 3000m in the Southern Alps - which are great for consistent snow. Snow enthusiasts will find everything from gentle beginner slopes to long runs, while powderhounds will love the vast array of helicopteraccessed pristine backcountry. Typically in New Zealand, skiers and snowboarders stay in one of the resort towns and drive to the mountain of their choice each day. Winter 2013 events Winter 2013 will feature two major international snow sports events - Winter Games New Zealand 2013 (15 - 25 August 2013) is a biennial event alternating with the Winter Olympics and one of the world’s top five snow sports events attacting a swag of world ski stars, and the adrenalin-pumping and spectacular World Heli Challenge. Queenstown is also famous for two quirky annual winter festivals - the

American Express Queenstown Winter Festival and DNA Gay Ski Week which are all about fun downtown and on the mountains. Mt Ruapehu - North Island skiing Mt Ruapehu, the main North Island winter playground, has New Zealand’s largest ski areas - a natural skiing and snowboarding terrain with huge snow filled basins, steep chutes, drop-offs, and secret powder staches. It also offers the unique experience of skiing on an active volcano in a dual world heritage national park that includes three mountains sacred to the Maori people. Whakapapa and Turoa ski-fields have every terrain type for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels including a dedicated freestyle terrain park. On a good day, the hike to Mt Ruapehu’s Crater Lake is well worth it for the 1,000m vertical ride back down. Whakapapa, on Mt Ruapehu’s northwestern slopes, is New Zealand’s biggest and busiest ski field with 550 hectares of ski slopes and another 400ha of lift-accessible terrain. Pistes range from a dedicated learners slope to the pinnacles backcountry where the annual Extreme Competition takes place. Turoa ski field, on Ruapehu’s southwestern side, is New Zealand’s highest ski area and has Australasia’s longest vertical drop. Turoa has 500ha of skiing, and 400ha of back country. Visitors can access both Whakapapa and Turoa with one ski pass during the June to mid-November ski season. Offpiste, nearby Ohakune is a buzzy little winter resort with accommodation, bars, restaurants and entertainment. Canterbury - South Island skiing Christchurch International Airport - the main gateway into New Zealand’s spectacular South Island - is an easy 1.5 hour drive to the Mt Hutt and Porters ski areas in the Southern Alps of the

Canterbury region. Mt Hutt towers above the resort town of Methven, which is a hour from Porters. Christchurch and Canterbury has a mountain to sea backdrop - spectacular Pacific coastline, snow-capped mountains to the west and the hidden bays of an ancient volcanic peninsula to the south. Within two hours of the international airport, visitors have a choice of world class alpine skiing, hot pools, golf, bungy, rafting, mountain biking, wind surfing, whale watching, top vineyards and gardens. Canterbury’s regional highlights include New Zealand’s highest peak, Aoraki Mount Cook, the picturesque bays and seaside villages of Banks Peninsula, whale watching in the leading eco-tourism destination of Kaikoura, relaxing in the hot pools of Hanmer Springs, hiking in Arthurs Pass National Park and an out-of-this-world international dark sky experience in the Aoraki Mackenzie Basin. Methven - a laid-back heartland Kiwi country town on the Canterbury Plains is the place to be after a day on the slopes of either Mt Hutt or Porters. Methven’s après-ski is relaxed and fun with loads of good restaurants, bars and entertainment. Accommodation ranges from budget to luxurious, and fabulous high country hosted accommodation. Off-mountain activities include walking, golf, horse riding, fishing and hunting (in season), jet boating and hot air ballooning at dawn. South of Methven, the Tekapo Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve shines brightly above New Zealand’s highest point Aoraki Mt Cook, the vivid turquoise blue waters of Lakes Tekapo and Pukaki and over the high country snow station of Mt Dobson. This region has a reputation for clear crisp days and sunny blue skies - winter, summer, spring and autumn. The three ski fields of the Mackenzie, Roundhill, Mt Dobson and Ohau, provide outstanding skiing and snow-boarding both on and off-piste, with personalised service (the ski field owner is probably the person in the ticket office or making the coffee), car parking right beside the slopes and unsurpassed vistas.

“We are pleased to present The Oberoi, Dubai which offers the highest standards of luxury and hospitality. The opening of the hotel is significant for us. A number of Oberoi Hotels have been consistently recognised as amongst the best in the world. I am confident that The Oberoi, Dubai will continue this tradition.” said Mr. P. R. S. Oberoi, Executive Chairman of The Oberoi Group. Mr. Karim Bizid, General Manager of The Oberoi, Dubai added, “With the opening of The Oberoi, Dubai we offer discerning business and leisure

travellers an oasis of tranquility with service which is warm, caring and personalised. We are confident that The Oberoi, Dubai will add tangible value to the hospitality sector in the United Arab Emirates.” In keeping with the Group’s pioneering tradition, The Oberoi, Dubai brings an ethos of service without compromise to the UAE with key team members who have been trained at The Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development. The Oberoi, Dubai will have seamless in-room check in, 24 hour butler and Les Clefs d’Or concierge

services. Culinary highlights at The Oberoi, Dubai include an array of sensory experiences. UMAI, a contemporary Pan Asian restaurant, NINE7ONE, an all day dining restaurant, which offers the best of world cuisine and ANANTA, an Indian specialty restaurant. Legendary service delivered by attentive and caring team members will make The Oberoi, Dubai the preferred choice for discerning business and leisure travellers to the United Arab Emirates.


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mirates, one of the world’s fastest growing airlines is inviting globalists to visit its home and hub, Dubai this season. The airline has announced a three day sale on its’ Business Class fares world wide between 20-22 June 2013 with tickets starting to Dubai from Rs. 52,000 and discounts of up to 15 percent on fares to its global network beyond.

Travel is for the period 12th July until 9th August and passengers will be able to choose from selected destinations across Emirates’ global network which spans six continents. Now is an ideal to visit Dubai as it celebrates the summer with its annual summer shopping bonanza “Dubai Summer Surprises” ,which in full swing now until 7th July. The festival is one of the highlights of Dubai’s summer calendar with tourists flocking to the city, looking for bargains in over 6,000 participating stores. Now in its 15thyear last year’s event saw over 4 million people visiting Dubai during the month long event. Activities are also heavily geared towards families with each mall holding

An Emirates A380 flies over the iconic Burj al Arab hotel in Dubai

Most Successful IT&CM China Show Since Its Inception

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his year’s event has surpassed the show’s previous 6 instalments, making it the most successful in IT&CM China’s 7-year history. And by success, organisers TTG Events, CITS International M.I.C.E. and MP International have many indicators to go by. First, IT&CM China 2013 is the largest and most diverse show, with an attendance of 3,000 MICE professionals from sectors including DMCs, PCOs, corporate travel and associations, including some 400 hosted delegates. Over 10,000 business appointments were conducted with more than 60 business, education and networking sessions featured during the 3 day event. IT&CM China was also the anchor event of Shanghai Business Events Week held from 14 to 19 April, which provided 8 other business, education and networking activities for delegates. Next, delegates’ affirmation proved that IT&CM China made the right moves to enhance the value and quality of this year’s event: • Over 85% of exhibitors expect orders from IT&CM China 2013 buyers over the next 6 to 12 months • Order volumes are expected to reach as high as above USD 1 million for selected exhibitors

• Over 90% of buyers gave top scores to the quality of exhibitors • Over 86% of buyers gave top scores to the quality of their business appointments. • Over 80% of buyers felt that IT&CM China 2013 surpassed other similar events in terms of Quality of Exhibitors, Quality of Business Matching, Potential Business Generated, Networking Opportunities and being a Must-Attend Event. Among the new initiatives that gave IT&CM China 2013 a significant boost was the larger mix of Chinese buyers (65% Chinese – 35% International) as well as a greater proportion of Corporate Travel buyers and Association buyers from across China and around the world. The 1.24 buyers: 1 exhibiting company ratio was also considered ideal. Exhibitor Vichaya Soonthornsaratoon, Director of Meetings Industry Department, of Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau expressed satisfaction with this year’s buyer profile. “China is now the top three MICE markets of Thailand and we believe this trend will continue due to China’s strong economic performance. IT&CM China is definitely a trade show

a programme of events for children of all ages. Modhesh World focuses on entertaining youngsters, led by the festival mascot, the smiling yellow character named “Modhesh”.This huge entertainment space is divided into different themed zones. Toddlers, children and teenagers will all find plenty to do and discover there - from playgrounds and soft toy areas to the latest video games and a 4D cinema. “This special fare of Rs. 52,000 is a very attractive added incentive for our Indian customers to visit Dubai this summer and take advantage of the numerous shopping bargains plus many leisure attractions for the whole family to enjoy”, said Essa Sulaiman Ahmad, Emirates Vice President, India and Nepal. “The 15 percent discount on numerous other destinations beyond Dubai means that customers can save even more whilst exploring our global network and experiencing Emirates’ award-winning Business Class.” Emirates goes to great lengths to ensure comfort, efficiency and attention to detail for its passengers arriving into Dubai in Business Class. On the ground, Business Class customers and Gold card members of Emirates Skywards, the airline’s awardwinning frequent flyer programme can relax before their flights in one of Emirates’ 35 global Business Class lounges, including the world’s largest Business Class lounge located in Concourse A in Terminal 3, Dubai International Airport. Opened in January this year and spanning over 16,000 square metres, the lounge features: to tap into rising opportunities in the Chinese market. It is also a perfect platform to showcase our new destinations, like Chiang Mai, to buyers in China.” “We are proud that our efforts to engage more of China’s buying powers to attend IT&CM China have paid off. While Corporate Travel and Association buying is still a relatively new concept for the Chinese, we are confident that IT&CM China will be a significant market force in changing this, by providing the industry with education, networking and business exposure.” said Chen Yueliang, Vice-President of China International Travel Service (CITS) Limited, Head Office. CITS is the parent company of CITS International M.I.C.E. that co-organises IT&CM China. Another first was that exhibitors and buyers were able to schedule 100% of their appointments prior to the show via the PreScheduled Appointment and Online Diary facilities. More than 90% of exhibitors took advantage of the new online diary facility, with over 60% of exhibitors achieving 80% completed schedules 10 days before the event. In collaboration with industry partner MCI Group, the inaugural Association Day and Corporate Travel Forum on 18 and 19 April respectively drew a full audience, especially the attendance of both Association and Corporate Travel buyers. Each day featured a keynote address and forums by reputed experts in the respective fields including MCI Group, American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE), Canadian Society of

Emirates Business Class

showcase kitchens, business centres, fully stocked bars and restaurants, a Timeless Spa with 29 treatment rooms, and an entertainment zone. Onboard, Emirates’ award-winning Business Class offers passengers state-ofthe art seats with fully connected inflight communications and entertainment. A highlight is its renowned ice inflight entertainment system which offers passengers up to 1400 channels of the latest multi-lingual entertainment and has been voted the world’s best at the Skytrax World Airline Awards for nine consecutive years. Emirates’ in-flight dining options frequently exceed the passengers’ expectations with offering a choice of regionally-inspired menus created by our award-winning chefs accompanied by some of the world’s finest beverages. In addition, Emirates’ Business Class passengers can enjoy Complimentary chauffeur-drive service to and from selected airports including Dubai, Dedicated Business Class check-in desks, Priority baggage handling, Fast track immigration on arrival and departure from Dubai. Association Executives (CSAE), American Express Meetings & Events, MasterCard Worldwide and Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). “IT&CM China improves greatly each year and provides a good mix of exhibitors and quality appointments. I look forward to 2014!” praised buyer Anthony Jepson, General Manager of Conference Venues and Booking Services, Australia. “We are extremely satisfied with this year’s results. The show’s new initiatives have proved a hit among delegates, while achieving its objectives of bringing IT&CM China 2013 to the next level. The industry can look forward to an even more compelling IT&CM China 2014 from 15 to 17 April.” Said Darren Ng, Managing Director of TTG Asia Media. TTG Events, co-organisers of IT&CM China is a business group of TTG Asia Media. The success of IT&CM China 2013 has also led to encouraging one-year advance booth bookings for the 2014 event, with buyer and media registrations already pouring in. First time exhibitor Haruhiko Sakano, Manager from Inbound Business JTB Global Business Unit Headquarters who has also secured his space for IT&CM China 2014, remarked, “We believe by consistently participating in the exhibition, we will be able to strengthen our presence in the Chinese market. Our appointments matched not only with the Chinese clients but also in other Asian regions. This is a good opportunity for us to expand our sales channels.” For more information on the event, please visit www.itcmchina.com


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he State of Belgium and VFS Global, the world’s largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for diplomatic missions and governments, extended their visa application services for Belgium to Ahmedabad, with the opening of the Belgian Visa Application Centre. Mr. Karl Van den Bossche, Consul General of Belgium in Mumbai inaugurated the new centre located at the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industries building at Ashram Road. This new initiative is in continuation to the decision of extending such services to six new locations across India. Catering to the growing demand of Belgium bound travellers in the region, this strategic move is aimed at offering new services, facilities and benefits to visa applicants, and boost tourism, trade and investments, and bilateral ties with India. The joint announcement was made by Mr. Van den Bossche and Mr. Vishal Jairath, Regional Head - South Asia, VFS Global at a press conference held on the occasion of opening the new Belgian Visa Application Centre in the city. Speaking on the occasion, the Consul General, Mr. Van den Bossche said, “We are bringing our service closer to the public and business community, to enhance the user friendliness. We recognize the importance to open more Visa Application Centres in India, together with VFS Global who has been our trusted partner for many years. These centres will offer a high quality and expedient service to our applicants. We strive to return passports within 3 working days. With this initiative, Belgium further intensifies its cultural and economic ties with India. Ahmedabad is a logical choice to this end.” He further stated, “In 2012 we received well over 5000 visa applications from Gujarat. The ties between Belgium and Gujarat are particularly strong, mainly thanks to the diamond trade but also more and more other

sectors. Moreover a few thousand Gujaratis have made Belgium and specifically Antwerp their home. Next steps in our focus on India are the opening of a Consulate General in Chennai and the visit of a large business delegation headed by HRH Prince Philippe, Crown Prince of Belgium, to New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai on November 23 – 29. Also Belgium’s festival Europalia, one of Europe’s largest cultural events, will put India in the spotlights this year.” In 2012, nearly 34,000 visa applications were received from travellers in Western and Southern India by the Belgian Consulate in Mumbai. This increase over the last few years in Belgium bound travellers has encouraged the new initiative for expansion in the regions. Mr. Jairath said, “It is our privilege to be the trusted partner to the Government of Belgium in providing services to facilitate visa application process for travellers in India. We are committed to provide professional and convenient services to all applicants applying for a Belgian visa in the region. VFS Global is privileged to be associated with the Government of Belgium in India since 2006, apart from nine other countries globally. This extension of our association with the Belgian Government reflects their faith in our abilities, and we are sure this will go a long way in forging a longstanding partnership with VFS Global.” The VFS Global operated Schengen Visa Application Centre (SVAC) at Ahmedabad will accept visa applications for Belgium from applicants in the region.

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Reading glasses, Mobile phones, Cameras, iPod and MP3 players. Accoring to Mr. Stephen King, General Manager, Virgin Atlantic- India, “Passengers leave all sorts of items on our flights ranging from the predictable to the quite unexpected. We were surprised to find an artificial limb left behind by one of our Upper Class passengers but were delighted that we were able to re-unite them. Many passengers start their vacation the moment they get on the aircraft and when they relax into their holiday mood, they often forget personal belongings onboard.” Virgin Atlantic is the only airline offering a generous check-in baggage allowance of 2 bags of 23 kg in Economy and 3 bags of 23 kg in Premium Economy so passengers can take everything they need on their trip.

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visitor attractions. You could soar over mountain tops and experience a bird’s eye view of the Fiordland World Heritage National Park with a scenic flight by helicopter, fixed wing or float plane and have the adventure of a lifetime. Lake Manapouri is often described as the ‘loveliest’ of all lakes with its array of 33 small islands, backdrop of the majestic Cathedral Mountain range, native bush clad edges, sandy beaches coves and many visitor activities. The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) acknowledges the closure will be disruptive and has met with local tour operators and businesses to explain the situation and the need to move quickly to bring this unstable rock down in a managed way. “While there is never an ideal time to do this sort of work, right now is likely to be the least disruptive with Milford visitor numbers at seasonal lows,” says the NZTA Southland Area Manager Peter Robinson. “We have a limited window of opportunity before the on-set of winter to remove the remaining unstable rock feature using carefully targeted precision blasting but we have to act immediately,” he added. Mr. Robinson says road user safety is NZTA’s top priority. ”Successful completion of this emergency work will ensure greater stabilisation of the rock face and ensure safe access is maintained between now and the start of the busy summer tour season.

irgin Atlantic has revealed the strangest items passengers leave behind after travelling with the airline. A survey of cabin crew and ground staff shows it’s not just the expected things like reading glasses, books, headphones, makeup kits, neck pillows, CDs and duty free shopping, etc. Some passengers also leave behind often valuable items such as personal electronics like smartphones, iPods, cameras, iPads, kindles and even laptops. Appearing on the survey were, surprisingly, items like wedding rings, baby strollers, shoes, passports and even artificial body parts. Virgin Atlantic makes several attempts to reunite the left items with the passengers. And any left items that are not claimed for more than 6 months, if not perishable, are donated for charitable causes. The most frequent items that have been left behind by the passengers are Books,

rom the grandeur of Doubtful Sound to the thrill of watching a Takahe in Te Anau – the Fiordland region has its arms open and is welcoming the world to visit its many and variedattractions. Visitors are being assured there’s a multitude of world-class experiences on offer while the Milford Road is partially closed. A number of Milford Sound cruise companies are offering Milford fly-cruisefly packageswhile the road is partially closed and Doubtful Sound is an excellent alternative option for visitors wanting to experience the grandeur of this region’s fiords. Operators in Doubtful Sound have significantly increased their operations to meet demand as a result of reduced accessibility to Milford. On the small islands at the entrance to Fiord, New Zealand, Fur Seals and Fiordland Crested Penguins can be seen. Fiordland has so much to offer and Destination Fiordland is encouraging visitors to consider the wide range of attractions and activities on offer in the region. Fiordland offers some of the finest walking tracks in the world as well as a wide range of half- to full-day adventures including: the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves; jet boat trips; lake cruises; horse treks and farm tours. Te Anau, the gateway township to Fiordland, provides visitors with a large range of accommodation and dining options as well as wide variety of


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eychelles is taking the lead in promoting regional tourism and will host a travel and tourism mart with the member states of the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) next year to give the industry a further boost. This comes in the wake of the enthusiastic support that Seychelles and other Vanilla Islands member states of Reunion, Comoros, Mauritius, Mayotte provided to Madagascar for its International Tourism Trade Fair held at the end of May. Seychelles’ Minister for Tourism and Culture Mr. Alain St. Ange in the company of Mr. Derek Savy, the Director of Marketing for the Vanilla Islands, met with the IORARC Secretary General recently in Mauritius where the 19-nation group is headquartered. The IOR-ARC confirmed that the tourism ministers of its member states would come together in the tourism mart in Seychelles in 2014 to discuss how to strengthen and expand the region’s tourism industry. This mart will not only open new avenues for the region but it will further strengthen and solidify the Vanilla Islands organization in its quest to generate more visibility and growth in tourism. India, Bangladesh, Australia, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and

Seychelles are members of the IOR-ARC set up in Mauritius in 1997. China, Japan, Egypt, France, and Britain have the status of dialogue partners in the group. The importance of the Indian Ocean, the world’s third largest, as a trade corridor and energy highway is being seen as undeniable as it provides passage to half of the international container ships and more than 70 percent of crude and oil shipments. And the possibilities for tourism growth and expansion within the region are massive. The association is conducting a tourism feasibility study in the region of which the second phase will commence soon. This study will be vital for the proper planning and strategy formulation, aimed at mapping out the future development of this vital sector within the region. During the meeting, the Secretary General and the Minister also discussed strengthening cooperation between the IORARC and the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Regional Organization, a group currently headed by Minister St. Ange who was reelected as its President for a second term during the annual meeting in Madagascar on June 1 following a joint motion presented by La Reunion, Madagascar, Comoros, and Mayotte for the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture to consider leading the organization for a second year.

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piceJet has reportedly raised Rs. 100 crore from three travel agents since April towards working capital. This is the first time when the airline has raised deposits from travel agents. While the agents stand to get higher incentives and productivity commission on the money lent, industry players say the trend points to a possible working capital crunch in the civil aviation sector. The practice of raising deposits from travel agents is common overseas, however, in India it is not in vogue. SpiceJet CEO, Mr. Neil Mills, while confirming the sum raised from agents, said it was minuscule when compared to the company’s total revenues. “Our recent results saw an annual turnover of Rs 5,500 crore and the airline is currently selling approximately Rs 25 crore per day. So an amount of Rs 100 crore is a few days’ collections,” Mills said. GoAir had raised money through this route around two-and-a-half years ago when losses were high. Kingfisher Airlines too, resorted to the step during its last days

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ravelocity has announced the version 4.9 of its iPhone app which is available for free download on the Apple App Store. The 4.9 update features several enhancements, including the implementation of an innovative credit card scan tool that uses the iPhone’s camera to capture and auto-fill the billing information fields to save on-the-go travellers the hassle of typing in numbers. Another popular Travelocity iPhone app, Hotel Deals by Lastminute.com, was the first travel app to introduce this technology and there are currently no other travel apps with the unique feature. The scanning feature, too, has been updated and now captures a customer’s credit card expiration date in addition to the number. “Through customer feedback on the Lastminute.com app, we know that the credit card scanning feature is an added convenience for the on-the-go traveller who relies on our apps to make life a little easier on the road,” said Kelly Mulroney, Vice President, Products, Travelocity. “We look forward to introducing other features, not only to the iPhone app, but to our entire suite of mobile products throughout the rest of the year.” Travelocity’s iPhone app continues to offer “Mobile Exclusive Deals,” discounted rooms from both major chain hotels and independent properties which are priced on average, ten percent lower than the online version of the site.

of operations. Unlike full-service carriers, which pay commission to agents, low cost carriers (LCCs) collect advance deposits from agents and release seat inventory worth that amount. They are paid 1 per cent deposit incentive and productivity commission of 1-3 per cent, if the sales target is met. An official working with a travel agency confirmed that his firm had deposited the money with SpiceJet. “The more the money deposited with the airline, higher is the discount and the incentive. Hence, we have given money to the airline,” said a travel agency official, without sharing details of the sum deposited. An industry insider said that the money given by travel agents is much more than the inventory required, which in effect is credit to airlines. Airlines do this, when they require money and cannot borrow from other sources like financial institutions. Mr. Mills added that SpiceJet also provide a deposit incentive, in line with what other Indian LCCs do, which is a substitute for the interest earned had it been deposited in a bank account instead.


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cons don’t just emerge overnight - the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival has been celebrating winter for 39 years, and this year from June 21st – 30th 2013, forty five thousand people will be in town for New Zealand’s biggest winter party. It all began in 1975 when some locals decided that winter was an excuse for a party. They dreamed up madcap races on the mountains, sweets for kids, beers for grown-ups, hilarious entertainment and a massive all-over-town ball. A great time was had by all, word of mouth did the rest and the festival has been pulling crowds into Queenstown every winter since. Queenstown Winter Festival is a 10-day extravaganza of the alpine resort’s dramatic alpine landscape and unique local culture - an intriguing mix of resident Kiwis and an eclectic international community that has been drawn to the year-round alpine playground. The festival - a sizzling combo of street parties, fireworks, international and local acts, lakeside amusement and capers up the mountains - kicks off with a bang at the American Express Opening Party as colourful fireworks light up Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables. This year Kiwi music legend Dave Dobbyn will perform for 10,000 fans. Madness on the Mountain On the mountain - at nearby Coronet Peak, Queenstown’s best-loved family ski area - there’s a full programme of gravity-driven action as mountain bikes, suitcases, farmers and their dogs scramble to the finish line in a series of fun-filled races. Mophie Mountain Bikes pits man and machine in a mad downhill dash over an icy track that’s a match for intrepid cyclists. Mountain Mayhem sees kids digging in the snow for prizes, while mums and dads spin down the slopes on their suitcases in the Auckland Airport Suitcase Race. There’s even some fun for man’s best friend as the Speight’s Dog Derby encourages farmers and their fourlegged mates to test their bonds between hopping on the

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he Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group is planning to add 38 new hotels in India and increase their employee strength by over 9,000 by 2015. “We are aspiring to have 100 hotels in India by 2015, and currently we have 62 hotels in operation,” said Mr. K B Kachru, Executive Vice President, South Asia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. There are more than 5,000 rooms, a part of the expansion scheme, under development, he said. Currently, the company is mostly looking for management contract in the country. However, the hospitality group expects to have an equal number of properties under the franchise and management contract models by 2015. This expansion will mainly be in major gateway cities and up-and-coming leisure destinations. “We are fortunate to have brands catering to a wide range of market segments. We hope to further establish our presence and extend our network of hotels to locations where our customers want to be, in major gateway cities and up-and-coming leisure destinations,” he said. At present the group has more than 14,000 employees across 62 hotels in India. The Group has four hospitality brands in India: Radisson Blu, Park Plaza, Country Inns & Suites by Carlson and Park Inn by Radisson.

“The anticipated hiring over staggered period depends on hotels’ opening dates from now to 2015. We estimate a requirement of over 9,000 employees as we continue to progress towards our Ambition 2015, where we aspire to have 100 operating hotels in South Asia,” Mr. Kachru said. When asked if the group is planning to bring its Hotel Missoni brand to India, he said that they will continue to explore opportunities. “Globally, we have six brands, of which all are represented in India except Hotel Missoni. We will keep exploring opportunities to establish Hotel Missoni in India. However, it has to be the right fit for the brand in terms of product and location,” he said. Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, headquartered in the US, has more than 1,300 hotels around the world.

ski lift and slipping down the snow. Lakeside laughs Down off the mountain, the spectacular programme continues in town. On the lakeside, the MoreFM Birdman is a long-time Festival favourite inspiring brave competitors in clever costumes to leap off the wharf as they attempt to fly for a few crazy moments before submerging in the icy waters of Lake Wakatipu. This memorable Birdman entry saw an ambitious replica Earnslaw - a 100-year-old tourism icon usually seen sedately steaming across the lake - proving that boats really can’t fly. Strange sights about town during Winter Festival also include the MoreFM Drag Race featuring some of Queenstown’s leading businessmen suitably glammed up, in heels and clutching their handbags zipping through an obstacle course - the event that has been putting the ‘Queen’ in Queenstown for more than 20 years. The American Express Queenstown Winter Festival 2013 opens on Friday June 21st 2013, and finishes on Sunday June 30th 2013. Additional Information Visa procedure: A visitor visa for NZ is processed within 15 working days. www.immigration.govt.nz Airline connections: There are no direct flights from India to NZ. Connecting flights on Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, and Cathay Pacific with stop-overs in their respective hubs are available. International gateways in New Zealand are Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Domestic services: You can fly between all New Zealand cities and most major towns using domestic air services. Air New Zealand and Jetstar are the main providers. Their services are complemented by regional airlines, charter companies and scenic flight operators.

astronomy has close ties to Brussels as the success of Brusselicious demonstrated in 2012. Dinner in the Sky, among the most surrealistic gastronomic concepts, is still a resolutely fixed item in the heavens. Over a period of six years, Dinner in the Sky has become world famous and has managed to build up a solid reputation among the community of top chefs, the most famous of whom have been creating meals in the kitchen of this unusual dining concept. Belgian and Brussels since its inception, Dinner in the Sky has prepared thousands of meals in more than 45 countries including more recently Qatar, Morocco and the Las Vegas Strip. Following the success of Dinner in the Sky as part of Brusselicious, an ambitious gastronomic festival will be held in the sky over Brussels in partnership with Visit Brussels, an annual festival which will see seven Brussels-based starred chefs interpreting the gastronomic culture of a country invited to perform in one of the most beautiful squares in the world, in

Currency Conversion: NZ $ 1 = INR42 For more information, please log on to www. newzealand.com

front of the Grand Place: Brussels in the Sky. This first edition of “Brussels in the Sky” will be held from 3 to 30 June 2013 at the Mont des Arts and will be welcoming 22 guests to partake of a lunch and two daily gastronomic dinners in the sky in the European capital. The seven Brussels based starred chefs are: -­ Yves Mattagne of Sea Grill** - Lionel Rigolet of Comme chez Soi** -­ Pascal Devalkeneer of Chalet de la Forêt** -­ David Martin of La Paix* -­ Giovanni Bruno of Senzanome* - Gaetan Colin of Jaloa* -­ Luigi Ciciriello of Truffe Noire* Information & reservations: www.dinnerinthesky.be


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he Sanno Matsuri is famous as a festival permitted by the Shogun to enter the grounds of Edo Castle during the Edo Period (1603-1867), along with the Kanda Matsuri. It is also one of the three largest festivals of Japan. The main procession called jinkosai takes place in the middle of June in every other year according to the Western calendar. For the festival, about 300 people dressed in ancient costumes parade through the heart of Tokyo including Tokyo Station, Ginza, and in front of the Diet Building. Consisting of mikoshi (portable shrines) adorned with a phoenix on the roof, dashi floats, people carrying drums, people on horseback, the procession extends over a length of 600 meters. You will also see people dressed as the legendary goblin called Tengu, characterized by a red face and a long nose, and believed to possess

supernatural powers. The procession which departs from Hie-jinja Shrine at 8 o’clock in the morning does not return to the shrine until early in the evening. During the festival week, you can also experience various traditions of Japan. For example, there are displays of flowers arranged in Japanese style known as Ikebana, and special tables and seats are set up in the shrine garden so that you can savor Japanese tea. You might also see people going through a large ring made of thatch, which is believed to purify the sins you have unconsciously committed in the past 6 months. The doll you hold as you stroke your body and pass through the ring is said to take on your various sins for you. Perhaps you will want to try walking through the thatched ring in the hope of spending the remaining 6 months of the year in peace and happiness.

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live performers. Thanks to an excellent sound, nice surroundings and a pleasant audience, this festival provides a unique musical experience. Every year this long-established, ten-day cultural event takes over Gent’s historic city centre. There is free music on all the central squares and hundreds of other activities, plus six international-level festivals: 10 Days Off, MiramirO, the International Puppet Buskers’ Festival, the Jeugd circus festival, Boomtown and Gent Jazz Festival.

he Gent Jazz Festival is a festival exclusively for music enthusiasts that spread over two weekends, one weekend for the pure-bred jazz fans and second for fusion artists. Since its first edition in 2001, when it was called Blue Note Festival, the festival became loved among a great deal of people as it welcomes over 35,000 people each year. Gent Jazz Festival also got a good international reputation and became member of the International Jazz Festival Organisation. Gent Jazz Festival, the largest jazz festival in Belgium, presents promising talents as well as international stars. The first weekend of the festival you can enjoy mainstream and avant-garde jazz in the pleasant gardens of the Bijloke site. During the second weekend it is all about fusion, singer-songwriters and brilliant


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irAsia has appointed Mr. S Ramadorai as Chairman and industry leader Mr. Ratan Tata as Chief Advisor to the board of its Indian venture. “I would like to confirm Mr. Ramadorai as Chairman of Airasia India. A giant of Indian Industry. A great thinker. Man from the south,” tweeted Mr. Tony Fernandes, CEO, AirAsia. “That completes our team. Advisor, Chairman, CEO, and Board. Quite a heavyweight team for super exciting AirAsia India,” he added. S Ramadorai is the Non-Independent, Non-Executive Vice Chairman of Tata Consultancy Services. On May 15, AirAsia India announced the name of its new CEO Mr. Mittu Chandilya. After convincing Ratan Tata to come

on-board as Chief Advisor, AirAsia announced and promised “Nano airfares” once it begins operating flights in the country. Asked whether to expect ‘Nano’ price or cheapest air tickets from AirAsia India, Fernandes replied in affirmative, “Yes. It’s all about low fares. And everyday.” AirAsia is widely expected to bring in competitive pricing in the Indian aviation market, once it begins in service later this year. Welcoming Ratan Tata to the AirAsia family, he further said that the Chairman of the board is also “someone who has redefined many parts of India. A towering man who brings unbelievable experience to AirAsia India board”.

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eru Cabs, India’s favourite and largest radio cab service provider, with a total fleet of 5,500 cabs across the country, has been chosen by Trip Advisor travellers as their most preferred radio taxi brand. This accolade, honours excellence in service provided and is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor. Meru Cabs have been the pioneers in the industry and have recently completed six years of success, consistently providing commuters with world class services. Commenting on Meru’s Win, Mr. Siddhartha Pahwa, CEO, Meru Cabs stated, “We are excited to announce that Meru Cab has received an outstanding response from TripAdvisor travellers, as the most preferred radio taxi service in the country. It has been our constant commitment to provide our customers a superior quality radio taxi service that is reliable and hassle-free. Our efforts have been well rewarded, by our very own customers who have selected us as their favourite. We thank our customers who not only patronize our services but take the time out to write reviews and compliment our services. Trip Advisor is the largest travel website in the world and we are honoured to receive this award.”

“TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Awards for Travel Favourites voice the community of travellers from the world’s largest travel site, who have helped recognise the most favoured and loved travel brands around the world. We congratulate Meru Cabs on their win as the brand of preference in the Cab Service category for Indian travellers,” stated Mr. Nikhil Ganju, Country Manager, TripAdvisor India. Over the years Meru’s primary focus has always been to provide its customers high quality services, and a safe and comfortable commuting experience. Meru is consistently distinguishing itself as a provider of superior quality transport and continues to raise the bar, providing high end innovative services and value for money to its customers.


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ubai has become the seventh most popular city globally in terms of inbound international visitors, outranking destinations such as Hong Kong, Barcelona, Rome and Milan, according to a report released recently. According to the third annual MasterCard Global Destination Cities 2013 Index, Dubai has improved upon its last year’s 8th ranking and climbed a notch higher. At 10.9 per cent, the Gulf city registered the strongest g r o w t h in arrival numbers among the top ten global markets. It shared the feat with this year’s number one city of Bangkok. A b o u t 9.89 million overnight visitors are expected to visit Dubai this year. Dubai also topped the list of Middle East and Africa’s favourite destination cities with international overnights visitors to the tune of 9.9 million. “While the Middle East and Africa’s top ten cities’ lineup is exactly the same as in 2012, there is a striking difference in how far Dubai is ahead of the other cities,” said Mr. Yuwa

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eneva has taken over from Paris as the most expensive city in the world to order a Club Sandwich, at an average of Rs. 1652. According to the research released by Hotels.com, New Delhi remained the cheapest destination to buy one, with an average price of just Rs. 494, although several other holiday favourites also appeared under the Rs. 850 threshold, including Madrid (Rs. 801), Rio de Janeiro (Rs. 781), and Bangkok (Rs. 640). Using the classic hotel staple of chicken, bacon, egg, lettuce and mayonnaise sandwich as a barometer of affordability, the Hotels. com Club Sandwich Index (CSI) offers holidaymakers an indication of the cost of living associated with their destination of choice. The CSI average price is calculated from the real prices paid by guests for a Club Sandwich in 30 hotels in the capital or an important tourist city of each country surveyed, across five, four and three star

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Hedrick-Wong, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard and the author of the report. “Its international arrival number is almost twice that of Riyadh in second rank, and about four times as high as the thirdranked Johannesburg,” Mr. Hedrick-Wong added. D u b a i also ranks eighth in the world as far as international overnight v i s i t o r spending is concerned, with an estimated US$ 10.4 billion expected to be spent in the city during 2013. The Index indicates that if all top 10 destination c i t i e s maintain their current rates of growth in the next few years, Dubai will surpass Singapore and New York in 2016 and Paris in 2017 in terms of international visitor arrivals. The index for the first time has put an Asian country, Bangkok, at the top of its list. London, Paris, Singapore and New York rounded off the top five followed by Istanbul, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Barcelona.

categories. In total, 840 hotels globally were canvassed. Now in its second year, the Index reflects not only changes in the actual

ccording to a new report released by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with The Boston Consulting Group, four new solutions based largely on existing technology could drastically improve the safety and efficiency of travel and transportation by 2025. The report, Connected World: Transforming Travel, Transportation and Supply Chain, is the product of a cross-industry effort involving over 50 leading companies from the travel, transportation, and information and communications technology industries. It outlines scenarios of how the world may look in 2025, reflecting potential sociopolitical, economic and environmental developments. The four solutions, all of which have the potential to deliver solid social and economic benefits, are: • The Integrated Proactive Inter modal Travel Assistant, enabling travellers to use one ticket per journey, regardless of the mode of transport, and providing real-time advice on congestion and route-change options. • Condition-based Megacity Traffic Management System, integrating and processing information from vehicles, travel infrastructure, individuals and the environment in real time to forecast and counteract congestion and reduce total vehicle emissions. • Fully Automated Check-in, Security and Border Control/Smart Visa, harnessing technology such as biometric identification, real-time risk classification of passengers, improved full body and luggage scanners and electronic visa procedures to improve efficiency and security. • Tracking and Transparency-based Logistics Optimizer, using RFID (radio-frequency identification) chips

to provide supply-chain management assistance in the form of real-time updates on products’ attributes, condition and carbon footprint. “Each of these solutions enables a transformation in global transportation systems that would drive economic growth and improve our daily lives. Each solution is entirely achievable. The technology is readily available; the main challenge is coordinating diverse stakeholders from multiple industries and government agencies,” said Mr. John Moavenzadeh, Senior Director, Mobility Industries, World Economic Forum. “Once we fully integrate the information and communication technology systems managing different modes of transportation, we will gain real-time, end-to-end information that makes transportation more convenient, controllable and cost-efficient,” said Mr. Ken Hu, Deputy Chairman of Huawei Technologies. Thomas Enders, Chief Executive Officer of EADS, values the scenarios, which provide “new perspectives to rethink travel and transportation in a hyper connected world”. The Forum is currently working with companies, governments and other stakeholders to develop road maps that would enable progress on all four solutions. Mr. Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Management Board of AUDI AG, puts it: “The project encourages the dialogue between politics, the industry, and science on how to implement game-changing solutions.” The Connected World report is part of the World Economic Forum’s Hyper Connectivity Initiative, offering insight on how the increasing prevalence and speed of connections around the globe will have an impact on security, cyber crime, and privacy.

price of a Club Sandwich across the globe but also the effect of currency fluctuations. Travellers will be pleased to note that, on the whole, prices are falling: the Genevan average of Rs. 1,652, although higher than any other destination, is also lower than last year’s most expensive, which was Rs. 1,735 in Paris. In the Swiss city, prices for the humble ‘Club’ ranged from an extraordinary Rs. 2,841 in one five-star hotel to a more reasonable Rs. 767 in a three-star establishment. Gastronomic hub and last year’s chart topper, Paris, this year slipped to number two with a new average of Rs. 1,489 , closely followed by Oslo, which held on to the number three spot with Rs. 1,449. “The Club Sandwich, available on hotel menus across the globe, is the perfect spending barometer, helping tourists factor

into their travel plans the everyday cost of simple items such as food and drink. The price changes when comparing 2013 to 2012 hide a complex story of factors from changes in the local price of basic food items through to currency fluctuations. The beauty of the CSI is that we are able to offer travellers a simple price comparison to show how far their money may stretch in each country,” said Mr. Alison Couper from Hotels.com.


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erala has established itself as a key rural tourism destination on the global tourism map thanks to its abundance of natural resources, skilled manpower, supportive entrepreneurial community and multitude of micro enterprises. Kerala will host an international conference on responsible tourism, themed “Looking Back, Moving Ahead”. This conference will look into the progress Kerala has made after the second edition of International conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations (ICRTD) held at Cochin in 2008. It will also discuss the latest advances in the field of RT across the world. Kerala is the first Indian state that has implemented sustainable practices

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through proactive Responsible Tourism initiatives. The concept of Responsible tourism was initially launched here at four places: Kumarakom, Thekkady, Kovalam, and Wayanad. Kumarakom holds the unique distinction of being first ever destination in India to successfully implement RT. Responsible Tourism generates more employment options for the local community, rejuvenates traditional farming methods, preserves nature and local culture, implements participatory approach to tourism, helps the eradication of poverty, builds healthy relationship in private-public partnership, conducts skill development programmes for local

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continue to form part of the show’s entire buying delegation. Finally, to enhance the show’s Luxury Travel programme, eligible international buyers can look forward to the first-ever Luxury post-show tour aimed at promoting Thailand’s upmarket appeal and ready offerings. Not only do luxury suppliers get to showcase their services beyond the exhibition grounds, luxury buyers will also experience first-hand, a luxuriously crafted itinerary that includes stays at high-end properties with premium ground services. This year also celebrates IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific’s 10th year of co-location, with Thailand being the host country for the last decade. “We have participated at IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific for the last 12 years. And we are satisfied with the quantity and quality of buyers we meet every year. These benefits are incentives for our exhibitors to participate, and it also helps to secure support for the government Meet Taiwan Project,” Said Mr. Thomas Tsou, Secretary General of TCEA. His sentiment is mirrored by Sabah Tourism Board, Malaysia which has been a perennial feature of the show for the last 15 years. “IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific serves as an important annual platform for our exhibitors to showcase Sabah as a MICE destination. The quality of buyers and good mixture of international buyers are part of the show’s appeal for us to come back year after year.” said Josephine Chai, Marketing Manager of Sabah Tourism Board.

r. Darren Ng, Managing Director of TTG Asia Media has remarked that they are confident that the IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific will benefit from greater business generation as delegates are able to maximise the outcome of their participation. Exhibitors can expect to reel in the benefits of a more diversified buyer profile that includes a significantly higher percentage of Association Executives and Corporate professionals. “Associations and Corporates are important segments of the MICE buying industry. Our collaboration with MCI Group to launch a dedicated education-led Association Day and Performance Improvement Forum enables the show to cater to a larger proportion of these professionals respectively. Our exhibitors now have the added advantage of reaching multiple niche buyer segments at a single industry event, which equates to greater opportunities for business generation,” Explained Mr. Ng. Association Day and the Performance Improvement Forum, which take places on 2 and 3 October 2013, provide a unique opportunity for both Association executives and Corporate professionals to network with like-minded peers, share issues and concerns they have in their own organisations, and to pick up best practices from industry experts. Corporate Travel buyers delivered by co-located conference event CTW Asia-Pacific that targets Corporate Travel Managers, and luxury buyers introduced by the show’s luxury travel component last year, will

community, etc. Today, Kumarakom has became a model for economic responsibility with the strong support of the Kudumbasree groups, local self government, farmers and industry partners. The conference will see eminent speakers from India and abroad sharing their insights on economic responsibility, sociocultural responsibility, environmental responsibility and more. Tour operators, hoteliers, airlines, travel writers, photographers, naturalists, NGOs working in tourism/environment sustainability,

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local development bodies and societies, Tourism institutes/universities, Tourism/ environmental publications, Ministers and departments of Tourism, Researchers /academicians/students, National and International tourism organizations, etc will participate in the conference which will be held at Kumarakom from 27 to 29 June.

whopping 78 per cent of British travellers are happy to use their mobile phones on holiday, despite concerns about the cost. Almost two thirds of people are worried about the effect roaming abroad will have on their pockets, according to the poll by Aero Mobile, the leading mobile phone operator for the aviation industry. The survey of 2,000 UK consumers revealed that most people (62 per cent) use their phones to keep in touch via text message when overseas, with only 13 per cent using them to check social media sites. Just under a fifth currently use their mobile phones for browsing abroad, with men more likely than women to surf the web whilst away. A fifth of British however admit to leaving their phones at home when they

travel abroad. Men are more likely to leave their phones at home, with 26 per cent of them travelling phone-less, compared to 16 per cent of women. The older generation are also more likely to lock their phones away when they venture abroad; nearly 30 per cent of over 55s don’t travel with a mobile phone, compared to just 13 per cent of 25-34 year olds. “What’s clear from this research is that there is demand, particularly from the younger generation, to be connected whenever, wherever. In the past, roaming has been a contentious issue, but we’re now seeing better deals available for consumers who want to use their mobile devices overseas,” says Mr. Kevin Rogers, Chief Executive, Aero Mobile.

A recent survey with 2012 buyers who attended IT&CMA and CTW AsiaPacific has revealed that close to 70% have confirmed purchases with exhibitors within 6 months of the event, where the total value of all purchases made thus far is estimated at over $45 million. More sales are expected to close in the next 6 months, which could bring the aggregate purchase figure to above $120 million. The results only reaffirmed The World’s Only Doublebill Event In MICE and Corporate Travel as an effective industry platform for business generation. Feedback from

exhibiting Convention Visitor Bureaus (CVBs) such as Taiwan Convention and Exhibition Association (TCEA) also confirms the importance and value that IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific delivers to both the destination and its exhibitors. Delegates can expect several new implementations to this year’s show that will further harness opportunities for business generation. One new initiative is the Online Diary facility that enables delegates to complete up to 100% of their business appointments before their arrival in Bangkok. The existing Pre Scheduled Appointments (PSA) facility will computer-match up to 60% of exhibitorbuyer meeting requests and 40% of the remaining appointments can be scheduled via the Online Diary facility. Additional appointments can be scheduled on site at the event during the Buyer-Meet-Seller (BMS) appointment scheduling session.


June 2013

13 Seaplane service launched in Kerala

seaplane will not adversely impact local communities, however we respect their concerns. If any issues are raised during the three month trial run of the seaplane, the government will look into it very seriously,” he said. The seaplane service that took just nine months from planning to completion is one of the fastest projects to be executed in the country. It was formally presented at the Emerging Kerala Global Connect in September last year. The Minister for Tourism Mr. A. P. Anil Kumar, who presided over the inaugural ceremony at the Inland Water Authority of India (IWAI) Terminal in Ashtamudi described it as a victory achieved through collective effort. He thanked the central government, particularly the Civil Aviation ministry, for helping fast-track the service which is a new, eminently marketable product for Kerala Tourism.

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ew apps are aiming to make travelling in a foreign country easier by putting translation tools in tourists’ pockets, makers of the devices said. A set of free apps for iOS devices from the language learning company Rosetta Stone, which is based in Virginia, give users short exercises so they can learn the basics of another language and commonly used phrases in French, Spanish, German and Italian. The exercises in the Rosetta Stone Navigator apps use speech recognition to test whether the user is repeating a word correctly.”It’s about speaking - not just about reading and thinking through it,” said Mr. Jonathan Mudd, Senior Director, Global

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ax Hotels, the full service Hospitality Management Company, known for setting benchmark in the field of hospitality has introduced its first hotelThe Continental – PAX Hotels in the historic city of Nawabs, Lucknow. The strategic location of the hotel makes it the choicest destination for corporate as well as leisure travelers to have the finest feel of comfort and leisure. The Continental – PAX Hotels, Lucknow a boutique hotel focused on style, comfort and customization with 42 fully appointed spacious rooms thoughtfully designed with all modern amenities alongside unpretentious and authentic hospitality

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seaplane said the launch of the service was a milestone for aviation in India. Except for a few isolated services that ran on experimental basis, the country has never had a commercial seaplane operation before, he said. “Backwaters are the strength of Kerala Tourism and the seaplane is a value added product linking these. It is one of the best projects undertaken by the state,” Mr. Venugopal said. Union Minister for Labour and Employment Mr. Kodikunnil Suresh, while inaugurating the official website of the service, said that the state needs more projects that provide basic infrastructure for tourists. Mr. K. Babu, Minister for Fisheries, Ports and Excise, formally presented the key to Col. Sasi Kumar, the head of Kairali Aviation, the first operator of the service.

The Minister said that the launch of the seaplane was a victory for the Emerging Kerala initiative and a proud moment for Kollam. The district will have another longstanding demand fulfilled later this month when the first cargo ship service to Kochi is introduced, he said. Earlier, in his welcome address Tourism Secretary Mr. Suman Billa IAS said five agencies have been identified for operating the seaplane service. The remaining four are expected to start operations soon and by the end of the year around eight to ten seaplanes are expected over Kerala’s skies. He said the waterdromes built for the seaplanes are as robust and secure as airports. Specially trained personnel from the State Industrial Security Force (SISF) have been tasked with the security at these facilities.

Communications, Rosetta Stone. “When you get over that obstacle of hearing yourself say words in new languages, and messing them up, you will get comfortable a lot faster,” he added. Another free language app launched by Duolingo, for Android and iPhones, makes learning a new language into a game. Languages are broken down into different components, such as tenses and nouns, and when a user perfects a skill they can unlock new ones.

Other language apps, such as Google Translate and Vocre for iPhone and Android, use speech recognition technology paired with translation technology to translate speech. After speaking a phrase, the app converts it to one of dozens of other languages. An app called VerbalizeIt, for iPhone and Android, takes a different approach. It connects translators around the globe with people struggling with a language. Users choose the language they need to be translated and after touching a button on the app they are connected to a person on the other end of the phone. The app is free but the cost of the service ranges from $US1 to $US2 per minute.”That call from the customer is routed through our virtual call center to the next available

translator for that given language you need,” said Mr. Ryan Frankel, CEO of New Yorkbased company VerbalizeIt. The company said more than 8,500 translators, who have passed a language proficiency exam, work for it. It has also launched a platform for businesses to translate documents. “We realized that when you build up this community of translators they’re capable of doing so much more than phone translations,” Mr. Frankel said. He added that it may still be some time before apps can accurately translate speech from one language to another. “I think the biggest hurdle - and this is the reason why you will always need humans is that understanding local context, dialect, sarcasm and emotion is difficult. There’s so much that a machine cannot pick up on that humans are capable of picking up on,” he said.

experience makes it most popular amongst its loyal customers. The hotel has Premium rooms, Executive and Suites, Banquet halls, Board Rooms, Multi – cuisine restaurant and a roof top restaurant managed by trained chefs who have created a wide range and imaginative menu to tempt the guests. According to Mr. Anirudh Raithwan, Director, Operations & Planning, Pax Hotels, “We are extremely proud to introduce our first hotel in the beautiful city of Lucknow. Being in Lucknow, a city known for its rich culture and royal heritage, we commit to provide our guests an unforgettable stay by acquainting them with

the lineage of the city and its vicinities. WE will organise a visit to the historical places, which are a testimony to the architectural significance and a treat to the eyes of the visitors, is surely going to be a highlight of your stay at PAX Hotels.” Through highest level of guest satisfaction, Knowledge and passion for exceptional personalized service are the foundation upon which this Hotel Management Company is built, and these desires are infused in each destination. Pax Hotels provide economy and comfortable hospitality experience to all its loyal customers. With more than 50 years of industry experience and expertise,the professional team of talented individuals at Pax Hotels has mastered the art of hospitality. The company has been formed to provide the highest quality of services in Hospitality Sectors by providing Human Resources Management, Facility Management, Tours & Travel Management and other related hospitality assets, by practicing good business ethics and strong moral values. This is the only of its kind organisation, which will be promoting the heritage of this wonderful city alongside their hospitality and rich experience of staying in their maiden property The Continental – PAX Hotels, Lucknow.

Besides Ashtamudi, the service will be made available at popular backwater tourism destinations of Punnamada in Alappuzha, Kumarakom in Kottayam and Bekal in Kasaragod district. The seaplane will use the airports at Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Kozhikode and Mangalore as base stations. “A tourist arriving at the airport in Thiruvananthapuram will be able to reach Alappuzha in less than 40 minutes and Kochi in about 50 minute. A journey from Ashtamudi to Punnamada will take just 12 minutes,” said Mr. Anil Kumar. “Even more attractive that for a tourist will be the spectacular views of our lush green landscapes, backwaters and hills.” he added. Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mr. K. C. Venugopal, who inaugurated the waterdrome built in Ashtamudi for the


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r. OommenChandy, Chief Minister of Kerala urged young entrepreneurs with small, startup businesses in the travel and tourism sector to take advantage of digital technology which is opening up vast global markets that were once unreachable through traditional marketing tools. Inaugurating the country’s first International Conference on Travel Technology (ICTT), Mr. Chandy said India, which is ranked 41st in terms of international tourist arrivals, has a long way to realise its full potential, given its natural and cultural attractions. However, a key step forward is the arrival of a large number of educated youth and qualified professionals in the industry which is driving innovation and growth, he said. And technology is fuelling this surge of entrepreneurship by providing platforms to market their products and services. “Another significant aspect is that it has enabled micro-enterprises and individuals to reach out to their markets across the seas. A homestay in Kerala can now market itself just like one of the big hotel chains to its target audience in London or Sydney. In Kerala, we have a lot of entrepreneurs in the tourism sector and I’m sure technology will give them wings,” Mr. Chandy said. ICTT India is being organised by the Association of Tourism Trade Organizations, India (ATTOI) at The Leela in Kovalam, with the support of Kerala

Tourism. Dr. ShashiTharoor, Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development who delivered the keynote address said one of the most important uses of the web for tourism business is review and response of customer feedback which is increasingly influencing travellers’ decisions. “The real danger from the web is that it is an unmediated platform. Opinions can easily be doctored or manufactured. The best way to counter fake reviews is to put out correct information; alert hoteliers and destination managers must come up with quick responses,” he said. Dr. Tharoor, a well-known Twitter user with over 1.8m followers, is also the quizmaster of an innovative daily online quiz organised by Kerala Tourism that offers generous prizes. He described the project as an example of “the creative use of the web to stimulate interest in a destination”. Mr. A P Anil Kumar, Minister for Tourism, Kerala, who was the guest of honour at the function, said the Kerala government was among the pioneers in marketing tourism through the web and has had a long standing policy of utilising the internet for tourism promotion. “Our marketing strategy based on the internet is headed the right way. IT has not just complemented our promotional

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Mr. Himmat Anand

ravel and tour operators in India need to look at ways to provide new experiences for their guests to be successful in a highly competitive space, according to one of the industry’s most respected professionals. MrHimmatAnand, the founder and CEO of Jaipur-based Tree of Life Resort & Spa, says that tourism business in the country has often tended to get stuck in traditional offerings that have remained unchanged. In his talk at the International Conference on Travel Technology (ICTT) India on how traditional tour operators can handle competition from online players, Mr. Anand said: “Look, for example, at the

r. Harikishore IAS has been appointed as the new Director for Kerala Tourism. He has taken over the new responsibility from Ms. Rani George IAS, who has been holding additional responsibility of the department. The 2008 batch IAS officer, hailing from Kannur, he completed his graduation from Kannur Engineering college and later he pursued M Tech from IIT Kanpur. He started his administrative role in the Civil Services as Asst Collector of Kollam and Chengannur. He also served as Sub Collector of Mananthavady, Wayanad prior to his appointment as the Director

of SC/ST Development Department, Govt of Kerala. Mr. Harikishore had a successful tenure as the DTPC, Secretary, Wayanad. Top most on his agenda is taking the stakeholders into confidence so that new and innovative tourism products and services can be rolled out. He wants to improve the marketing of Kerala tourism by utilizing social media to a greater extent. He assures that he will fulfill the projects mentioned in the Tourism Policy, such as newly constituted State Tourism Advisory Committee. It may take some time as he is yet to get into grips with his new responsibility. Mr. Harikishore is confident about taking Kerala Tourism into further heights by rolling out innovative products and services favored by the new age traveler.

activities, but has helped to reduce expenditure and significantly lowered our consumption of print products,” Mr. Anil Kumar said. Mr. SumanBilla IAS, Tourism Secretary, Kerala made a presentation on Kerala Tourism’s initiatives in IT over the past few years. Some of the milestones over this period: include 8.5 million visitors annually for the official Kerala Tourism website which also became the highest ranked web page on Google beating the likes of TajMahal, more than 3 lakh likes on the official Facebook page in the past three months alone and over 25,000 visitors to the Ayurveda blog in just three months. Mr. V. SreekumaraMenon, President of ATTOI said India is today one of the best markets for players in the tourism industry as the numbers of both inbound and outbound tourists are on the rise. “ATTOI, which is committed to ecofriendly tourism and ethical practices has achieved yet another of its stated objectives with ICTT, that of skills development,” he said. The conference will discuss the latest trends in travel technology, social media and how digital platforms can be leveraged by the industry.

Mr. Anish Kumar P K, ICTT Organising Secretary, welcomed the guests and Mr. Shailesh Nair, ICTT Convenor proposed vote of thanks. Mr. E M Najeeb, President, Confederation of Kerala Tourism Industry (CKTI) offered felicitations. ICTT featured 17 eminent speakers from countries such as the US, UK, Australia, UAE and India with expertise in the travel industry and digital entrepreneurship. The three day conference covered around 23 topics including social media, online marketing, mobile applications, pricing and distribution strategies, managing reviews and handling competition, revenue management, business intelligence and the future of technology. More than 250 delegates, including tour operators, travel professionals and bloggers, from around the world attended the three day event.

welcome given to tourists in north India, with the tilak, the aarti and the garland – it has stayed the same for decades, down to the flowers used for the garland. While traditions are nice, it is time for the industry to rethink the way we do business.” He was of the opinion that tourism is yet to become a priority for India as a whole, which leaves the industry to device its own ways to push growth. “Kerala is perhaps the only state to excel in tourism; most others have been left behind,” Mr. Anand said. “Tour operators in Kerala are also successful because they are no longer handling agents for people sitting elsewhere, which is a great business model.” He advised tour operators to specialise and find niche areas like weddings, meetings and incentives. “Give customers new experiences, don’t make it repetitive. Guests are your ambassadors; if you provide them great service they will effectively do your marketing for free through word-of-mouth.” He also urged them to leverage the power of digital space through online video marketing, creating partnerships

with bloggers, rewarding customer loyalty, engaging through social media, including responsible travel in packages and using powerful and unique visual imagery to promote themselves. Sessions on the third and final day of ICTT India on Sunday dealt with the subjects of review management and handling competition, revenue management and business intelligence, generating leads and the future of travel technology. India’s first conference on travel technology, organised by the Association of Tourism Trade Organizations, India (ATTOI), with the support of Kerala Tourism, attracted more than 250 delegates and featured 23 sessions by 17 eminent speakers on a number of subjects relevant to the industry. Mr. AvijitArya, the founder and CEO of Internet Moguls, in his talk on managing reviews, pointed out that as much as 85% of hotel business can be lost due to poor reviews resulting from poor customer service. “Most of the reviews for a hotel are a function of what is being done offline, at


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15 the property,” he said. “Travellers tend to get influenced by people they haven’t even met and these days they are always connected, so they have an opportunity to share their experiences instantly and it goes viral. Reviews are the next level of word-of-mouth and bad reviews can be very damaging.” His advice to hoteliers was to see reviews as a constructive platform for feedback, respond in a timely manner, use professional language and use search engine friendly content on the internet. Ms. Sheila Scarborough, a US-based writer and speaker specialising in tourism, said that the social media space must be seen by businesses more as a platform for social interaction than simply a medium for promoting themselves. “Don’t get wound up about the tool. You are still the same business, just having access to a powerful communication medium. Act the same way online and offline and give yourself bigger ears to listen to the customer and respond accordingly,” she said. Tour operators at the conference were given tips on how to create a niche in the crowded online space by consultant and web entrepreneur Mr. Jaydip Parikh, the founder and CEO of digital marketing company TejSolPro. Mr. TarunLakhanpal, the General Manager for the Lemon Tree Company, spoke about revenue management strategies for hotels and maximising revenues through value-added ancillary services. Social Media was among the most discussed topic at the three-day conference

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ndia’s first conference on travel technology call to tourism and allied businesses to utilise social media, the blog world and digital apps for marketing their services to the new, tech-savvy global traveller. As travel decisions become increasingly influenced by peer reviews and opinions on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest, experts are advising businesses to factor in the internet in their marketing strategies. “Social Media has become a constant presence throughout the traveller life cycle – from decision and planning stage, to the actual vacation, to post holiday,” said Ms. Selina Power, a social media specialist from Australia. “It has become our information network and our source of news.” A large proportion of travellers today use smartphones when they are travelling, to take photos, use maps or search for restaurants, she said. “They post photos and reviews for others to see and be influenced by; which travel businesses need Mr Philip Calvert

with speakers elaborating on how the power of the internet could be leveraged by the travel industry. UK-based social networking entrepreneur, Mr. Philip Calvert in a presentation earlier said people are in the ‘Do It Yourself’mode and social media is the best platform to creatively engage with them. “Friends and connections will influence travel decisions and social media should also be used as a listening tool,” he said. Mr. Calvert spoke on the trends in social media such as powerful imagery and visuals, short content, visualisation, and engagement and emphasised the importance of using info graphic tools such as icharts,visualy, infogram and instagram strategically. Elaborating on the new revenue slogan SoLoMo (Social, Local, Mobile), Mr. SiddharthDabhade, Industry Manager

Travel for Google India, spoke about the convergence of social, local and mobile mediums. “Indians have a high propensity to share on social networks. E –commerce is expected to grow to 40 billion in 2015 and 80% of it will be travel customers,” he said. He pointed out that the five stages of travel namely dreaming, researching, booking, experiencing and sharing will all be greatly influenced by the latest advancements in technology. Mr. KarthickPrabu, General Manager, Asia, Tnooz, India, a thought leader in the travel technology space spoke on mobile application for service industry, its need and value generation. In tune with his stand that ‘Travel is mobile’, he advocated some tips for making the best use of mobiles such as building a mobile web, compressing images, placing tap to call links and banking on location based services. “Cost reach and trust get better online and therefore distribution is getting more and more online”, said Ms. NamritaSehgal, D i r e c t o r of internet marketing at Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, India. Ms. Sehgal whose forte lies in creating

Ms. Sheila Scarborough

to take seriously.” Her advice to those in the industry is: “create engaging social conversations with the traveller, ask customers to share images with you on social media, ask them to get in touch with you for new deals, create mobile applications for tourists, and write content for the traveller’s friend”. Ms. Power also put emphasis on quick response to complaints. “There is lot of power in what people say. There are surveys that show more than half of travellers revise their original plans if there is negative social media feedback about their chosen destinations.” Mr. Chad Wiebesick, Director of Social Media and Interactive Marketing for the tourism agency of Michigan state in the US, who spoke about opportunities in tourism marketing using social media commended Kerala Tourism’s use of Facebook to engage with customers, both existing and potential. “Kerala Tourism is doing a phenomenal job by making its fans heroes on Facebook. By posting good, user generated c o n t e n t , particularly Mr. Chad Wiebesick

photographs it is able to constantly generate likes, shares and interest from people,” he said. M r . Wiebesick pointed out that smartphones have for the first time overtaken desktops and laptops as the Ms Selina Power most popular device for using social media. “Companies can drive traffic to their website from multiple platforms if they have a responsive web design – a template that looks the same whether it is on the desktop, or a tablet or a mobile phone.” He said firms should measure social media impact not simply by the total number of followers, but by the number that are actually talking about them and the demographics of the followers. Blogs were also cited as one of the best tools for increasing visibility online. “Google SEO loves blogs because they have fresh content and lots of it,” said Mr. Wiebesick said. “A blog is the only social media channel you own. Facebook and Twitter change their algorithms periodically so you need to keep up with it, but a blog is your own space. Integrate it with your main website and you will generate more leads, opportunities and customers.” Mr. Adam Franklin, Marketing Manager for Australia-based Bluewire Media, described blogging as an inexpensive medium to generate leads and value for websites. “Use your blog as a business tool. Have social media buttons on it, have people you network with comment on it,” he said. “More than three-quarters of people on a website are there looking for information

Mr Bicky Carlra

next-gen marketing solutions that are at the intersection of business, brand and technology spoke on how and why it is important to distribute a hotel online. Mr. BickyCarlra, Founder & President of TraVisionInc, centred his presentation on the need to sell on value additions and not discounts. “Customise your products by tiering them. Offload last minute inventory for much less”, he said. He stressed on the importance of price parity, and rate integrity ways to effectively use tools such as early bird discounts and friend rates. ICTT India, organised at The Leela, Kovalam from June 7-9, 2013, is a first-ofits-kind, aimed at helping the country’s tourism sector to take advantage of the huge marketing potential of the web and social media. and for research. Make your blog content rich in information. He said since blogs show up high on search engines, it was essential for firms to keep them active, have keywords inserted in articles, connect with other Mr Adam Franklin bloggers and preferably have the blogs on their own websites because it generates backlinks and leads. Mr. Philip Calvert, an author and social networking entrepreneur from the UK, spoke about the benefits of LinkedIn for travel professionals and companies. “LinkedIn is a massive mine of data and one of the best social networks for lead generation,” he said. “It allows you to demonstrate expertise, increase visibility, networking and contacts, research target markets and is an excellent search engine.” He said one of the biggest advantages of social media for businesses is that it “humanises brands”. On LinkedIn, Mr. Calvert said, professionals should take the time to thank people who have looked at your profile, make sure the most relevant keywords are inserted in all the important profile sections, set up a multi-media professional portfolio, upload pictures and videos. He advised business owners to have separate company pages on the website and to personalise requests sent out to other people to connect. An exhibition is also being organized on the sidelines of the conference to provide an opportunity for travel and tourism businesses to showcase their products and services.


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The proud office bearers of ATTOI after the successful conference (sitting L to R) Mr. Abbas (MC), Mr. Oomen Mathew, Mr. Sreekumara Menon, Mr. Anish Kumar, Mr. Chandrasenan, Mr. Subhash Ghosh, (standing L to R) Mr. Shailesh Nair, Mr. Jayachandran, Mr. Janeesh Jalal, Mr. Zacharia George, Mr. C.S. Pramod, Mr. Sanjiv Kumar and Mr. Benny Thomas

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he first international conference on Travel technology (ICTT) organised by ATTOI, came to an end by the late afternoon of the 9th of June 2013, at LeelaKovalam. It was an amazing three days packed with insightful sessions from world renowned speakers, from across the globe including India. Inaugurated by Chief Minister of Kerala, Mr. OomenChandy, along with Dr. SashiTharoor , Mr. Anil Kumar and the organisers of ATTOI and followed up by a cultural performance which wowed one and all in the audience, the meeting took of to a flying start by the evening of June 7th 2013. The sessions started on the 2nd day with a stimulating session by Selina Power from Australia, renowned as the ‘Social media Powerhouse’. The topic of the session was ‘ How travelers use social media and how

travel business need to respond’. It was followed up with thought-provoking and gripping sessions from Chad Wiebesick, Director of Social Media and Interactive Marketing, USA; Philip Calvert, Social Networking Entrepreneur, UK; Adam Franklin, Social media Marketing specialist, Australia; NamritaSehgal, Director of Internet Marketing, Taj Hotels, Suresh Babu founder of Web Marketing academy; BickyCarlra; Transvision, UAE and many other eminent speakers. The competence of the speakers and the selection of the topics for the conference impressed the delegates and speakers alike. Dr. Ajit Kumar, CEO of GCMG said that he was happy about the way the conference was conceptualized and was at lose of words in praising ATTOI for organising such a

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Vazhapizhiyal, Archery for kids, Archery for grownups, Slow cycle race, Crab tour, Swimming competition, Rock climbing, Uriyadi, Njarunadal competition, Churam marathon, Rafting in Kuruva, etc. will be organised to make the festival an unforgettable one to all the participants. Both locals and tourists compete in these events to make it spicier and entertaining. Not only for the tourists & local tribes, but for those who wish to establish or promote their business in Wayanad, Splash Monsoon festival is a good platform. Business stalls of organizations from various streams, let it be tourism related or not, can be equipped with in the venue. The concept of WayanadSplaash hit its sense in the earlier months of 2009 by Wayanad Tourism Organization (WTO), a tourism committee organized by well reputed resort owners, home stay owners, tourism consultants & travel agents. With WTO’s imperious efforts and support from the Kerala Tourism Department, Splash, the monsoon fest hit like a large wave in the tourism aspects and brought Wayanad tourism to luminosity. From the start of Splash in 2009, Wayanad Tourism Organization never had to drop off the idea, as it became a huge hit with its next version in the year 2010, making Splash the largest Monsoon Tourism festival in the country. Splash festival was an idea put forwarded by Wayanad Tourism organization to bring world’s attention to one of the most naturally preserved area which belongs to the Northern Malabar region of Kerala.

or the lovers of rain, the Wayanad Tourism Organisation (WTO) yet again organises the Wayanad Monsoon Carnival – Splash 2013 from 12th to 14th July 2013 at Wayanad. Enjoy the 5th edition of Splash with outdoor events like mud football, destination & property visits, B2B, etc. WTO organises the carnival with the support of key members of the travel and tourism fraternity and the backing and co-operation of local bodies and district authorities. Every evening of the carnival will come alive with songs and dance performances by eminent artists from all over India. The whole tourism industry that includes tour operators, destination connoisseurs, travel writers, etc. are expected to be present in this marvellous Monsoon carnival. The monsoon carnival would bring the attention of the ‘global tourism’ into the monsoon rains of the already successful green Spot - Wayanad! The focus of this year’s programme will be the ‘Business To Business’ meet (B2B) in which more than 400 travel agents across the nation are expected to interact with the property owners. Already 350 travel agents registered for the meet. However, Splash is not just about business magnets sticking together to find new opportunities in Wayanad. It is more about improving the local economy and lifestyle of Wayanad and inhabitants. Over the last couple of years, Splash festival has brought immense changes to the lives of many tribal castes who reside in various parts of the district. Contests like mud football, Vadamvali, Kabadi, Treasure hunt, Kambukayattom,

wonderful event. For him, a single session from Philip Calvert, was worth his delegate fee and the conference was worth many times over. According to Ms. Chinnu Jimmy, Asst. Manager, PR&Marcom, Le MERIDIEN Kochi, the conference shed light into reach of social media and provided various tips to efficiently utilize social media. For Mr. Mahesh Arvind, Asst. Manager, Revenue, Le MERIDIEN Kochi, the final day of the conference had many thought provoking and insightful sessions. Both of them were happy with the sessions and quality of speakers in the conference. Mr. Philip Calvert, Linkedin specialist from UK, was all praises for ATTOI, for the stupendous organisation of the conference. Mr. NamritaSehgal-Director of Internet Marketing, Taj Hotels, was happily surprised by exemplary line up of expert speakers in ICTT and it was also a conference which she could never miss, as the sessions were excellent. She was very happy to speak to such an attentive audience, who were very serious about the conference. Ms. Selina Power, the social media specialist from Australia was all praise for the conference and Kerala. For her the meeting was a give and take affair where she could share her knowledge to a great audience and learn new ideas from such great speakers. The delegates were very happy for the valuable insights they received from the conference. The B2B networking sessions

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peaking at the Cannes International Film Festival at Cannes, France, Union Tourism Minister Mr. K.Chiranjeevi has said that India is a complete Film making destination. “ We try constantly for creating new opportunities for the International Filmmakers, to access diverse Indian locations, and state of the art production and post-production facilities. India offers range of locations from magnificent Himalayas to sprawling beaches; from vast deserts to placid lakes and back waters; from legendary Forts to world heritage sites,” the Minister said. “Our country represents immense vibrancy and enthusiasm waiting to be captured on global cinema screens. India is a land of dreams and ideas. There are many films, many musical numbers that have been conceived and shot in India. The Oscar winning film Life of Pi is the latest example,” Mr. Chiranjeevi added. Referring to the single window clearance system, to facilitate film shooting and

in the conference helped the delegates to exchange ideas and to develop positive business relationships among themselves. The networking sessions acted as a platform for the delegates to meet the speakers and to get more insight about the various topics and to clear the doubts. The speakers were always at hand and very forthcoming in talking with the delegates and therefore it made the conference much more valuable. All in all, the first international conference organised by ATTOI was of stupendous standard and the effort of the organisers is to be lauded. VicePresident of ATTOI, Mr. Zacharia said that the conference was conceived 10 months back and it took a mammoth effort to convince all the partners about the need of such a conference and to bring every one onboard. To say that, ICTT is a success is an understatement, as it exhibited exemplary standard in the selection of the speakers, the topics and the choice of the venue, not to mention the excellent food and hospitality. It was acknowledged by one and all who attended the conference form the speakers from around the globe to the delegates who came from all over India. Mr. Prashant IAS, the MD of KTDC was the chief guest at the valedictory function and was all praise for organising such an event which was very relevant for the tourism and related businesses. According to him, such a conference should have been organised earlier when one considers the power social media wields in the present global market.

making in India, the Minister said that Ministries of Information and Broadcasting and Tourism will work in tandem in simplifying the procedures and fast tracking multiple clearances that are required for shooting. He said “Our endeavor is to offer the film makers best of the facilities. I take this opportunity to invite every director, every producer and every actor to India. I promise, you will find the location and facility what you are seeking in our beautiful country.” The Minister referred to the IndoFrench co production film ‘The Lunch Box’ which is being screened in Cannes 2013 as part of the Critics’ Week and expressed the hope that many foreign film makers will come forward for joint film production with their counterparts in India. He also had detailed discussion with Ms. Aureli Fillipeti, Minister for Culture, France; Mr. Gilles Jacob, President, Cannes Film Festival; and Mr. Ang Li, Director of the film Life of Pi.


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et Airways has introduced attractive JetEscapes Holidays to Bangladesh for guests seeking a holiday break. Guests to Bangladesh may choose between two attractive all inclusive holiday packages – Amazing Bangladesh, spread over three nights and four days, and Best of Bangladesh, spread over six nights and seven days. The tour packages will showcase the historic and touristic Bangladesh and also its many natural wonders – the lush green countryside, the myriad waterways, and diverse flora and fauna in the rain forest areas. “We are pleased to introduce JetEscapes Holidays on the Bangladesh route. Jet Airways’ holidays brand JetEscapes, attempts to showcase Bangladesh’s rich and diverse regional destinations through attractively packaged all-inclusive tours for our guests from India. We are confident that travel on the India – Bangladesh route will be popularised with the launch of JetEscapes’ exciting and convenient tour packages,” said Mr. Sudheer Raghavan, Chief Commercial Officer, Jet Airways. The Amazing Bangladesh package includes a stay in the capital city, Dhaka

which has its origins dating back to the 7th Century AD, as also a stay in Srimangal, the picturesque tea capital of Bangladesh, where guests may savour the local ‘seven layer’ tea. The region is popular for its tea and pineapple plantations and aromatic lemon orchards. Excursion trips include visits to the Lawachara rain forests – declared a National Park with its rich biodiversity, and to the magnificent Madhabpur Lake area. Apart from Dhaka and Srimangal, the Best of Bangladesh tour includes excursions to the magnificent Rangamati Hills area, Chittagong, the famous Cox’s Bazar beach – the longest unbroken beach in the world, popular tourist spots like the Burmese Market and St. Martin’s Island, Bangladesh’s only coral island with its scenic sunset view. JetEscapes Holidays for Amazing Bangladesh and Best of Bangladesh include return air travel in Economy on Jet Airways, airport transfers, three star hotel accommodations with breakfast, and sightseeing, as also allowing JetPrivilege guests the opportunity to earn 5 JPMiles for every INR 100 spent.

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ack your holiday bags and gear up to witness the essence of magical monsoon and experience the pleasant moments at The Resort, Malad. The lush greenery, smell of wet earth and cooling showers offer a welcoming respite to those seeking to get away from their urban concrete jungles into more natural surroundings. Welcoming the monsoon winds, The Resort, Malad that offers a monsoon getaway package designed to help you reconnect with nature. The first of the two offers is designed for guests, who desire a quick break of onenight and is inclusive of two buffet meals and applicable taxes. While, the second package, inclusive of buffet breakfast for two guests, comes with a value-add that incentivises a guest to stay an additional night. Experience the real grandeur and beauty of a lush green this monsoon at The Resort, Malad which offers a wide variety of exciting offers in entertainment, loads

of enjoyment, and cool moments. It offers a true monsoon gateway packages from 11th June to 30th September. “We are offering a buy one day monsoon holiday and get 2nd night on half price, which is a truly value for money as well as ensures an experience of a lifetime,” says Anuj Prakash, General Manager, The Resort. Besides, it is also offering a flat 15 per cent discount on all food and soft beverages and an additional 15 per cent discount on all body and beauty treatments. Monsoon Tariff (Valid from 11th June 2013 to 30th September 2013) Package – 1: Rs 3,550 /-per person per night on twin sharing basis for Standard room Rs 4,050/- per person per night on twin sharing basis for Deluxe room Package – 2: Rs 3,750 /-per person per night on twin sharing basis for Standard room Rs 4,250/- per person per night on twin sharing basis for Deluxe room


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ew Zealand’s natural hot pools include picturesque springs inforests only accessible by walking tracks and isolated roads. These pools are truly magical - here, you can enjoy a soak amongst lush native bush serenaded by birdsong. A favourite amongst the locals, these types of hot pools are part of New Zealand’s many natural gems and include places like Kerosene Creek in Rotorua and Hot Water Beach in The Coromandel.If you’re after something a little more modern for your clients, thermal pool complexes can be found in both the North and South Island. New Zealand’s larger cities offer luxurious day spas that make an ideal addition to your client’s holiday. There are also quiet retreats in the countryside or deep in the forest that combine relaxing therapies with picturesque landscapes. Here are just a small selection of hot pools and health spas in New Zealand:Rotorua WaiOra Spa Internationally-acclaimed WaiOra Spa therapies offer superb spa facilities with nine

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cientific study confirms regular breaks have a positive effect – several short trips are better than a long holiday – psychologist presents her latest findings at the ITB Berlin Convention Berlin, 4 June 2013 – Holidays benefit people’s health and let them recover from the stress of their day-to-day lives. A recent study has now confirmed what many travellers regularly experience. Dr. Jessica de Bloom, a work and organisational psychologist at the University of Tampere in Finland, has examined how holidays benefit people’s health and wellbeing and come to some fascinating conclusions from

treatment rooms (including double rooms), private and public hot spa pools, steam room and “Kawakawa” infused steam sauna. WaiOra Spa features the award winning “New Zealand Cultural Spa Experience” based on New Zealand’s healing waters, geothermal muds and traditions of Maori, and has been awarded the coveted 2011 World Luxury Spa Awards. For more information please click on:www. waioraresort.co.nz Polynesian Spa Polynesian Spa is New Zealand’s leading internationally acclaimed spa. Enjoy this unique lakefront thermal spa experience offering a wonderful fusion of relaxing hot mineral spring bathing, spa therapies and picturesque views of Lake Rotorua. Discover why Polynesian Spa was voted a world top ten spa 2004-2007, 2009 & 2011 by the prestigious Conde Nast Traveller magazine. From the 26 thermal pools, simply select one of four bathing areas - deluxe lake spa, adult pools (with historic priest spa), private pools, or family spa. Or indulge in a spa therapy or

which the tourism industry can profit. She presented her findings at a workshop organised by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Tourismusforschung at this year’s ITB Berlin Convention. According to the study, holidays not only benefit people’s health but make them happier as well. These latest research findings on the topic of personal happiness confirm that people who spend their money on concerts, family trips or short breaks are happier than those who acquire material objects such as jewellery, clothing and electronic devices. The reason, according to Dr. Jessica de Bloom, is that they cannot be

hydro spa therapy, at the inviting haven of the lake spa retreat. For more information please click on:www. polynesianspa.co.nz Taupo TaupoDeBretts Set in a steaming thermal valley, Taupo Hot Springs offers you a unique opportunity to totally relax & unwind with the wide range of accommodation on offer at the resort, with outstanding views, and a bed for all budgets. Bathe away every care in the world in our hot mineral pools. Indulge in a relaxing massage, or allow yourself to be tempted by one of our treatments, guaranteed to rejuvenate and restore you. Or let our therapists work their magic on you. We also provide a range of fun activities, perfect for the kids. Let them play the day away on the interactive playground and dragon hydro slide, while you relax and unwind! Bring a picnic lunch, get great food at the cafe or use one of our BBQs. For more information please click on:www. taupodebretts.co.nz Canterbury Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa Situated only 90 minutes’ drive from Christchurch or Kaikoura, Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa is an extensive thermal complex in an alpine environment with large native gardens. The complex offers thermal mineral, sulphur and freshwater pools, as well as a large children’s activity area. Private thermal pools, sauna and steam rooms available, with licensed cafe on site also. To gain extra benefit from the thermal waters, visit the wonderful new spa for a variety of beauty and massage treatments. For more information please click on:www. hanmersprings.co.nz

Tekapo Springs Tekapo Springs offers three tiered Hot Pools landscaped in local greywacke rock and surrounded by the regions native alpine plants to create a natural setting. Pool temperatures range from forty degrees Celsius to thirty six degrees Celsius. The pools have benched seating so you can sit back, relax and soak. The Hot Pools are open from 10am - 9pm daily. The pools take advantage of the wonderful views looking out over Lake Tekapo and the Two Thumb mountain range. The site is surrounded by mature Radiata and Douglas fir trees which shelter the area. Over winter it is not uncommon to have snow on the ground around the Hot pools, adding to the winter experience. For more information please click on: www.tekaposprings.co.nz Queenstown The Spa at Millbrook As Queenstown’s most prestigious and award-winning day spa, The Spa at Millbrook epitomizes the ultimate in rest in relaxation. From the inviting welcome area to the quiet and spacious treatment rooms, post treatment relaxation rooms and superb outdoor relaxation areas, The Spa at Millbrook provides a peaceful environment to relax and be pampered. Located in an idyllic position, carefully angled windows ensure that the stunning views across manicured fairways, rolling hills and surrounding mountains are enjoyed from the majority of treatment rooms. The Spa at Millbrook has been chosen as one of the Top Ten Hotel Spas in the World by luxury lifestyle website gayot.com and recommended by Conde Naste Traveller magazine.

compared. “One can compare a designer suit with an expensive watch, but not one’s diving holidays on the Red Sea and a colleague’s city break in Barcelona. What is more, experiences do not wear out over time.” Switching off to shut out stress Taking a break from everyday routines also benefits one’s health. Scientists and doctors conducting the Framingham Heart Study found that people who do not go on holiday for longer periods are at greater risk of becoming ill or even dying earlier than those who regularly go on breaks. Frequent breaks rather than extended holidays are crucial to maintaining good health. Every type of holiday examined by the study, whether a short break or a three-week hiking trip, produced evidence of comparative benefits to people’s health and wellbeing. Dr. Jessica de Bloom compares this with the effects of sleep: “One cannot postpone one’s sleep or relaxation requirements. One long summer holiday cannot compensate for a whole year of hard work and overtime.“ In order to remain healthy the important thing is to relax on a regular basis, she added. Freedom to make one’s own choices on holiday helps one to relax Whether or not a holiday is relaxing and remembered as such depends on a variety of factors. According to de Bloom’s study, 17 per cent of people feel worse when they are on holiday than before they went. Among the reasons are negative events such as travel stress or a sudden illness. Her study also confirms that, crucially, this is influenced less by the type of holiday activities people undertake than by them

having the freedom to make their own choices. Activities should satisfy people’s needs and it is the holidaymakers who should be able to choose them. In other words, being able to make one’s own choices when on holiday is the key to a perfect break. In fact, activities play an even greater role as they influence people’s perception of how long they were on holiday. Time simply flies for those who undertake a lot of holiday activities. Afterwards, they remember having had a long holiday, in contrast to those who spend their time in the hotel or on the beach. The last day on holiday can well decide how people remember their trip: “Packing suitcases and other unappealing activities are best dealt with a day before leaving to make sure the last day on holiday can be enjoyed to the full“, advises de Bloom. Reducing stress factors and inspiring happiness The findings of this study on holidays and relaxation could be of practical use to the tourism industry. According to de Bloom, travel agency sales of holiday tours could improve a customer’s holiday experience, providing travel agents are aware of the positive effects and how to reduce stress. What is more, tourism products need to be further improved to ensure tourists enjoy maximum satisfaction when on holiday. Dr. Martin Buck, Director of Travel & Logistics, Messe Berlin: “These latest research findings give us a deeper insight into the needs of today’s travellers. They offer valuable inspiration for creating innovative tourism products and give companies the decisive edge in a hotly contested travel market.“


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ichelin has published the 2013 Special Edition Michelin Guide Hiroshima, which lists the region’s best eating establishments. 278 restaurants, 48 ryokans and 36 hotels are featured in the guide. For the first time, Michelin inspectors visited Japan’s Hiroshima region, with the goal of helping readers to find its best restaurants, hotels and ryokans (Japanese inns similar to a bed and breakfast). Their travels enabled them to discover gastronomy that is rooted in Japanese tradition as well as local culinary specialties like Anago (salt-water eels) and Okonomiyaki (Japanese crepe). In addition to the extensive food offering, the inspectors noted very high-level cooking standards based on top-quality ingredients and carefully prepared dishes. The 2013 selection also includes the region’s first threestar restaurant Nakashima, located in the city of Hiroshima, which joins the select circle of the world’s very best restaurants. In addition, two stars were awarded to 5 restaurants and one star to 23 restaurants and 1 ryokan. “ W i t h the launch of Tokyo edition in 2007 as the first Michelin Guide in Asia and the increase in Michelin starred restaurants we have come a long way to being known as one of the world’s top gourmet cities (Tokyo). Today Tokyo has more Michelin stars than any other city in the world. With the introduction of Michelin special edition guidebook of Hiroshima, it clearly demonstrates that cuisine in Japan is gaining momentum through which there has been a rise in demand for the local cuisine in the restaurants,” commented Mr. Motonari Adachi, Executive Director - Singapore office, JNTO. Alongside the starred restaurants, the 2013 Special Edition Michelin Guide Hiroshima lists 49 Bib Gourmand restaurants, chosen by the inspectors for their excellent value for money. All offer a complete menu for no

more than 3,500 yen (£23). Featuring a very broad array of cooking styles that includes Japanese curry, ramen, udon, yakiniku and yoshoku, as well as Thai, Italian, French and Spanish cuisine, the wide range of establishments enables readers to find exactly what they’re looking for, regardless of their budget or desires. “We are very pleased to expand our collection with this new guide, which will allow lovers of Japan to discover the gourmet dining scene in Hiroshima,” said Mr. Michael Ellis, International Director of the Michelin Guides. “The inspectors began preparing this Special Edition in autumn 2011, and their diligent efforts have allowed them to unearth and showcase a number of culinary treasures that are particular to Hiroshima and illustrate the region’s gastronomic wealth, including such specialties as anago, okonomiyaki and dishes made with oysters. This represents the first time that these cooking styles have been featured in a Michelin Guide. In the end, this very broad selection will enable our readers traveling in the Hiroshima region to discover local dishes.” The Michelin Guide collection comprises 24 editions available in 23 countries. The latest addition to the collection, the 2013 Special Edition Michelin Guide Hiroshima, is the fourth guide introduced in Japan following the Michelin Guides to Tokyo-YokohamaShonan and Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe-Nara, as well as the 2013 Special Edition Michelin Guide Hokkaido. The 2013 Special Edition Michelin Guide Hiroshima was released in Japan on 17 May 2013. The selection comprises 362 establishments, of which 278 restaurants 48 ryokans and 36 hotels. Specifically, it includes 1 three-star restaurant, 5 two-star restaurants, 23 one-star restaurants, 1 one-star ryokan, and 49 Bib Gourmand restaurants.

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t the initiative of Ministry of Tourism under the aegis of Union Tourism Minister Mr. K. Chiranjeevi, Archeological Survey of India (ASI) has agreed to the proposal of ONGC for adopting six monuments under Campaign Clean India. The six monuments/tourist destinations are: Taj Mahal at Agra, Ellora Caves in Maharashtra, Elephanta Caves in Maharashtra, Red Fort in Delhi, Golkonda Fort Hyderabad and Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu. To expedite the process, Ministry of Tourism has taken up the matter with ASI to work out details of various activities, cost estimates, identification of executive agencies and nomination of nodal officers for each monument without losing any time. ONGC is adopting these six monuments

as part of their corporate social responsibilities and it is the endeavour of Ministry of Tourism that Campaign Clean India is carried out for maximum number of monuments/tourist destinations so that tourists inculcate the feelings and spirit of cleanliness and respect for such monuments. The “Campaign Clean India” is aimed at undertaking both sensitization and action at field level on bringing tourism destinations and their surroundings to an acceptable level of cleanliness and hygiene. The Campaign will ensure that these levels are sustained through ownership and involvement of private and public sector stakeholders. The campaign will be part of Government’s strategy of the 12th five year plan for improving the quality of services and environs in and around tourist destinations across India.

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.


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Vol. 16 JuneNo.02 2013

June 2013

RNI. No.: KERBIL/1998/7642

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


Ti june 2013