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Demonetization ; A bold decision without proper home work on implementation India’s Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has taken in an emboldened move and declared that the 500 and 1000 Rupee notes will no longer be legal tender from midnight, 8th November 2016 as the part of his war against black money and corruption, He announced that RBI will issue new Rs. 500 and Rs. 2,000 notes which will be placed in circulation from 10th November 2016. This demonetization drive will have varied effects on the many sections of the tourism and hospitality industry in the country, but in the long term will positively impact the growth of the hospitality sector in the short and medium terms, Often, the strong season for the hospitality sector in the country extends from October to March, which to a large extent defines the success for the industry in any given year. The lack of available currency has already forced many tourists to either postpone or cancel their travel and accommodation. The demonetization drive will benefit the organized hospitality sector in India the most. Combined with the general uptake in the sector, the movement of customers to the organized sector due to ease of alternate modes of payment will positively impact the market in the long run. However, given the larger base of hotel rooms in the country is in the unorganized sector, the general performance of the industry to witness some stress in the short term. The hospitality and the tourism markets are renowned for their ability to create a large number of direct and indirect jobs in the country. With the inability of customers to easily spend on frills due to lack of available currency, the unorganized industry will suffer the most in its ability to create new jobs. The impact of demonetization will also be felt by the suppliers of consumable goods, who often work on cash transactions with their wholesale counterparts. In addition, the leisure sector hotels and restaurants segment will see a higher impact on account of the discretionary nature of spending in this sector, and the substantially larger base of cash transactions that occur in its when compared to mainstream business hotels. The organized banqueting business will witness growth, as customers move from the almost cash-only unorganized sector of standalone party venues and farm houses to hotels for want of non-cash means of payment. The weddings business will also return to Indian hotels from their overseas counterparts, as unofficial channels for offshore transfers of cash have dried up, forcing the cancellation of many Indian weddings from foreign locales back to hotel venues in India. The tourism and hospitality sectors are intrinsically tied to the economic conditions of any country. The boost provided by the demonetization move to the macro economy of the country will effectively trickle down to the industry. With banks being flush with liquidity, we anticipate a major reduction in interest costs, which augurs well for the growth of the industry. As more liquidity enters the organized sector along with some further softening of land rates and gradual movement towards cleaner real estate transactions, we anticipate investments into the sector to increase from the organized players who have, in the past, shied away due complexities associated with underlying real estate. Forex travel spends can be significant and use of cash in travel related business is rampant. Although RBI limits cash payment for purchase of forex to Rs 50000 only, this limit is per person only. it will be a loss to local money changers who deal in cash for large numbers of transactions, it is major gain for online forex marketplace companies like BookMyForex that have introduced online forex and have been promoting plastic money (forex travel cards) against online or electronic payments.

Ravisankar K.V. Editor Tourism India | November 2016 | 7


November 2016 Vol No. 19 No. 07

CONTENTS

Managing Editor Ravisankar.K.V

Executive Editor Rajani A

Consulting Editor Biju Thomas Associate Editor Jayashree T.

Art Editor N. Bhattathiri Layout Artist

Sambhu Murali

Photographer Murukesh Iyer

Sr.Coordinator

Sreeram Sethunath

Director - Business Devolepment Bina V Nair

Director - International Relation O . Thomas

Consultants Adv. C.P. Udhayabhanu ( Legal) Baby Mathew ( Hospitality) Dr. S.G. Pandalai ( Editorial) Asokan CV ( Production) Bhadrakumar FCA( Financial) Ravi D FCA (Financial) KrishnaPrasad ( Company Affairs)

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Kadakampally Surendran new Kerala Tourism Minister

10 SKAL World Congress 2017 @ the City of Pearls 12 India Holds out Huge Potential for Abu Dhabi’s Tourism 14 TAAI honours Tourism India 16 Kerala Tourism wins two awards at WTM London

Business & Editorial Associates

T. Haridas – London, UK Thomas Kannenkeril- Berlin- Germany Santhosh Joseph- Australia New Delhi: D Anilkumar, Mob: +91 9868123311 Kolkata: Jayasree Singh, Mob: +91 94330 60333 Pondicherry: Ramasubramanian, Mob: +91 98949 77161

Editorial and corporate office: TOURISM INDIA PUBLICATIONS PVT LTD

PRL A 14/1, Tourism house, Panickers lane, Sasthamangalam P.O Trivandrum, Kerala, India - 695010 Tel: +91 471 2315256 Fax: +91 471 2315197 info@tourismindiaonline.com www.tourismindiaonline.com Editorial: editor@tourismindiaonline.com Mob: +91 9847060531 Circulation: circulation@tourismindiaonline.com Mob: +91 99471 60531 Marketing: email: marketing@tourismindiaonline.com Mob: +91 9947260531 No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written permission of Tourism India Publications Pvt. Ltd. All right reserved. Copyright@2016 Edited, Printed and Published by Ravisankar.K.V on behalf of Tourism India Publications Pvt. Ltd, PRL A 14/1, Tourism house, Panickers lane, Sasthamangalam P.O., Trivandrum, Kerala, India - 695010 Printed at Amarakerala Industries, Ernakulam for Arsha Offset Graphix, Janvilla Lane, Sasthamangalam P.O., Trivandrum 695 010 Editor: Ravisankar.K.V

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WTM London closes on a high


2016 20 A Passage to India More Trips to ‘Incredible India’ Predicted 22 “Indians are Warm, Funny, Joyous and Welcom-

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California’s Halloween Celebrations

ing” 23 How to Enhance the Guest Experience in India 25 After BRICs and MINTs, Check out ChIIC Destinations 28 Brits Fear as Travel Firms Prepare to Increase Rates 30 Global Giants Rub Shoulders with Niche Operators @ WTM London 32 New Pleasure Cruise Line between Haifa and Acre in Israel 33 Unique Dining Experiences at San Francisco 36 Raffles Singapore 38 Chocolaty Trails in Flanders 40 San Diego Food and Wine Festival 41 Museums for America Award for Neon Museum 42 Oman Air Wins Twice at WTA Middle East 2016 45 Beverly Hills-Luxury Five 46 Golkonda Hotel Celebrated Cake mixing Ceremony 2016 47 The City of Gold-A Unique Experience for the Little Ones 48 Brexit to Hit Inbound and Outbound Markets 49 Indi-pendent Ladies How Tourism is Empowering India’s

Women 50 What’s your ‘Bleisure’ The Rise of the Microadventurer! 52 On Role Models, Confidence and My next 20 years in the Travel Industry 54 AP Beckons International Investors with Acres of Virgin Land 55 Incredible India @ India International Trade Fair 2016 56 13.4% Growth in Foreign Tourist Arrivals in September 2016 57 116.9% Growth in Foreign Tourists Arrival on E-Tourist Visa in Sept 2016 60 IHG Introduces New Brands to AMEA Region 62 2016 World Tourism Award for Lindblad Expeditions

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CLIA Unveils Amazing Cruise Destinations

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he Prestigious SKAL World Congress will be organised from 5th October to 8th October, 2017 at Hyderabad International Convention Center (HICC) - India's first purpose built convention facility located in the emerging business hub of India - Hyderabad. It took two years of hard work and canvassing to eventually succeed in garnering votes to get elected amongst stiff competition from Toronto, Copenhagen, Stavanger, Miami and Bangkok. Hyderabad won by a whopping 136 votes as compared to its competitor- Bangkok that won only 33 votes. SKAL International, the only international organization bringing together sectors of the travel and tourism industry while networking, conducting business and helping communities locally, nationally and internationally, was founded in Paris, France in 1932 by travel trade managers. From that modest beginning, SKAL members now number more than 18,000 in over 450 clubs spread throughout 87 countries from all arms of the Travel and Tourism Industry, Tour Operators, Destination Management Companies, Airlines, Hotels, Restaurants, Technology Providers and Travel companies. SKAL International promotes global tourism and friendship. It is the only international group uniting all branches of the travel and tourism industry. Its members, the industry's managers 10 | Tourism India | November 2016

and executives, meet at local, national, regional and international levels to discuss and pursue topics of common interest. To illustrate the vastness of this event, below are the countries that will participate in this Congress: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Belgium, Bermuda, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Spain, Fiji, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, Red Sea Bay, Romania, South Africa, Switzerland, Turkey, Uganda, UK, USA, Vanuatu, Zimbabwe, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Norway, Sweden, Columbia, Ecuador, EI Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Venezuela, Bahrain, Bangladesh, China, Chinese Taipei, Guam, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile apart from other countries who shall be added to the list until 20;1.7. It is imperative that SKAL International encourage such members to visit our country and experience our rich culture, heritage, infrastructure and world class convention facilities and their ability to attract tourists. It is this segment of delegates who will market India as a destination and therefore act as a catalyst to promote Tourism

into India. To ensure maximum advantage of showcasing the Indian subcontinent and the various destinations, SKAL staged this event at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC) which is not only the best Convention facility in India but also one of the best in the World. In addition to this, SKAL dedicates 25,000 square feet area of pillar less exhibition space to ensure that there is adequate display of the Tourist destinations of India and across the globe. At the outset, SKAL require the support of the media to promote their endeavour in facilitating the promotion of tourism in India.

The SKAL International Hyderabad Club wins the bid to host the SKAL World Congress 2017, in the City of Pearls – Hyderabad.


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r.Kadakampally Surendran has assumed the charge of the new Minister for Tourism, Government of Kerala. He will also hold the charges of the Devaswom and Cooperation Departments in place of Mr. A. C. Moideen, who is elevated and allotted the important portfolio of Industries by Mr. Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister of Kerala during his cabinet reshuffle.

Secretariat.

1996-2001. He was elected twice to the Syndicate of the University of Kerala (2006 & 2014) and was the President of Kerala State Co-Operative Bank from 2006 to 2008. He served as the Thiruvananthapuram District Committee Secretary of CPI (M) in the period 2007 - 2016. He was served as the president of Thiruvananthapuram district library council during 1995-2010 and also served as vice president of Kadakampally Grama panchayat and Member of first District council Thiruvananthapuram.

Mr. Kadakampally was active in student movements and cultural activities right from his school days and has been a prominent figure of CPI (M) and Leftist progressive movements in the state for more than three decades. In CPI (M) he has served various positions such as branch secretary, local committee secretary, area committee secretary, district committee secretary and Mr. Kadakampally Surendran, MLA member of state committee from from Kazhakkoottam in Thiruvanan- 2008. thapuram District is currently serv- Mr. Kadakampally was the Unit ing as Minister for Electricity and Leader of Kerala Socialist Youth Born to Mr. C. K. Krishnankutty and Devaswom in the LDF led ministry Federation (KSYF) which later be- Mrs. Bhagavathi Kutty at Kadakamheaded by Mr. Pinarayi Vijayan. in Thiruvananthapuram came Democratic Youth Federation palli 12.10.1952. He completed his Kerala is already in the global tour- of India (DYFI). He was the national ism map and better connectivity, Vice President of DYFI for fifteen higher studies from S N College improvement of Infrastructure and years (1980-1995) also served as Chempazhanthy and University Colcleanliness in the tourism destina- a Member of Legislative Assembly lege, Thiruvananthapuram. His wife tions will be given top priority, he of Kerala from Kazhakuttom con- Mrs. Sulekha is a teacher and they said after assuming the charge of stituency and the chairman of Back- have two sons (Arun Surendran and Tourism Minster of Kerala at State ward Caste Welfare Committee from Anoop Surendran). Tourism India | November 2016 | 11


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ndia’s leading travel agents have been urged to seize the potential of Abu Dhabi’s diverse tourism offering to further boost their already growing business relations with the Emirate. The call came at a welcome gala reception for up to 600 agents,

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all members of The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) - the ‘voice’ of the country’s rapidly expanding travel and tourism sector - which is staging its 63rd annual convention at Abu Dhabi’s signature Emirates Palace this week for the first time in Abu Dhabi.

Addressing the agents, HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), who hosted the gathering, said the outbound Indian market is of paramount importance to the Emirate as it is now the largest overseas source


of hotel guests. In the first half of this year 152,423 Indians checked into Abu Dhabi hotels which were a 20% yearover-year increase. Indian guests accounted for 7% of all hotel stays in the Emirate, with a longer-thanaverage stay of 3.4 nights. Ghobash said with three airlines now operating more than 300 combined flights a week to Abu Dhabi from 15 different Indian cities, the Emirate could be promoted within India as a convenient short-break choice, a luxury wedding celebration destination and a world-class meeting and convention venue in less than four hours flying time. “Abu Dhabi could cater to the various travel segments because of its product diversity which spans capital city luxury, Yas Island entertainment, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Al Ain and superb desert and island resorts within Al Gharbia” said TCA Director General. He also pointed to new attractions taking shape on Yas Island and the near completion of the Louvre Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island. Abu Dhabi was selected as host venue for the TAAI convention following a successful bid by the Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau – the dedicated TCA Abu Dhabi divi-

sion which champions the Emirate as a dynamic global business events leader. During their stay in Abu Dhabi, the TAAI delegates will be hosted on city tours and will visit Yas Island, the Emirate’s entertainment destination, where they will experience Ferrari World Abu Dhabi – the world’s only Ferrari theme park. The TAAI Convention is the second major overseas summit being hosted in Abu Dhabi this month. From October 10-12, the emirate hosted the 2016 convention of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), which featured decisionmakers from the UK travel and tourism industry, including influential media representatives. The convention was held at the iconic, five-star Yas Viceroy – the only hotel in the world to straddle an F1 race track. HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), who hosted the gathering, said the outbound Indian market is of paramount importance to the Emirate as it is now the largest overseas source of hotel guests. Tourism India | November 2016 | 13


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ravel Agents Association of India (TAAI), pioneer Travel trade association of India has been honoured Tourism India, India’s leading Travel & Tourism Publications for its outstanding contribution and support extended to the TAAI and its 63rd Annual convention which was held at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, UAE from Oct 14th to 16th. Mr. Ravisankar. KV, Managing Editor & Publisher of Tourism India received the plaque from Mr. Sunil Kumar, President of TAAI in the presence Mr. Lokesh Bhettaiah, Hon. Secre-

tary General, Mr. Marzban Antiam Vice President, Mr. Jay Bhatia, Treasurer of TAAI and Mrs. Jyothi Mayal, Chairman, Media & Aviation Committee. Tourism India since its launch in 1998 onwards actively support and cover all the activities of TAAi in national and regional level activities.

Mr. Ravisankar of Tourism India, Mr. Valsaraj MD of AL Hind Travels Calicut and Mr. Ross Masood , TAAI Kerala Chapter Chairman with delegates from Kerala

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Mr. Sunil Kumar President of TAAI honouring Mr. Zubin Kerkaria MD & CEO of Kuoni Group for his outstanding contribution to India Travel & Tourism Industry.

The convention was concluded with a very positive and confident note to take Indian Tourism industry to its next level. Theme of this convention was “Tomorrow Begins Now�. According to many delegates and media attended in the previous convention rated this as the best ever annual industry event conducted so far an industry trade organiza-

tion. The convention discussed various issues which is challenging and prosperous in the future of travel industry. The Convention has also discussed various travel, tourism, hospitality and aviation sectors issues. Many industry stalwarts like Mr. Aswani Kakkar, Chairman of Via.com, Mr. Kapil Kaul, CEO of Centre for Avia-

tion, Mr. Anukush Nijahavan, Managing Director of Travel Boutique online etc. aired their views, analysis and opinion about the future and way forward for the travel and tourism industry. TRAVEL AGENTS ASSOCIATION OF INDIA (TAAI) is the most recognized travel industry association India more than half century.

Mr. Sunil Kumar President of TAAI honouring Mr. Sham Nijhawan - Chairman, Nijhawan Group for his outstanding contribution to India Travel & Tourism Industry.

Tourism India | November 2016 | 15


Dr Venu V., Principal Secretary (Tourism), Kerala, receiving the award for 'Best Stand Feature' at World Travel Market 2016 in London. Mr. Abraham George, President of Kerala Travel Mart is also seen. The Kerala Tourism pavilion was conferred the award for sporting three striking snake boat replicas together with images and a video of a boat race.

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nake boat themed Kerala Tourism pavilion beats international competition for award The fabled snake boat races of Kerala are poised to woo more tourists to ‘God’s Own Country’ from the UK, going by their standout performance at World Travel Market (WTM) 2016 in London. Sporting a centerpiece of three vibrant and visually appealing replicas of the spectacular snake boats – with images and a video of a ‘vallam kali’ adding to the experience, the Kerala Tourism pavilion was judged to be the ‘Best Stand Feature’ by an expert panel at WTM. Spread over 120 square metres, the pavilion wowed visitors at the three16 | Tourism India | November 2016

day WTM 2016, the world’s leading travel and tourism show held from November 7-9. In awarding Kerala Tourism, the judges noted that the snake boats made them “want to go to Kerala just to see that in action”. “The award and response to our stand is a reflection of Kerala’s stature on the world tourism map. We are very proud to have been able to showcase Kerala as a top tourism destination at the WTM. Tourism remains one of the most important sectors for Kerala and we are keen to develop the potential of the state further by catering to foreign tourists through such prestigious events,” said Mr. A.C. Moideen, Minister for Tourism, Kerala The eye-catching theme provided

Kerala Tourism with better visibility and branding at WTM 2016, which featured 5,000 exhibitors from 182 countries and regions and attracted important tourism industry stakeholders from across the globe. Dr Mahesh Sharma. Union Minister of State for Tourism and Culture and Mr. Vinod Zutshi IAS, Union Tourism Secretary were among those who visited the Kerala Tourism stall. “The snake boats are synonymous with Kerala and have once again showed why they are a big attraction among visitors to the state from across the world. We want to further popularise to a global audience the many culture and festivals associated with our tourist-friendly state,” said Dr Venu V., Principal Secretary


many diverse products and destinations,” said Mr. U.V. Jose IAS, Kerala Tourism Director. The WTM’s location added to its importance as the UK is the primary source market for Kerala Tourism. Kerala received 1,66,792 tourists from the UK last year, accounting for 17 per cent of the total foreign tourist arrivals to the state. On Monday (Nov 7), WTM 2016 hosted a talk on Responsible Tourism titled “India: Enhancing the tourist Experience”. Mr. K. Rupeshkumar, Kerala State Responsible Tourism Coordinator spoke at the “The award is a coup for Kerala session. Tourism’s marketing strategy. It re- The pavilion was conceptualised wards our innovative approach in and designed by Stark Communicashowcasing the legendary snake tions, Kerala Tourism’s creative and boats and the quality of the state’s brand management agency. Flanders (Tourism), Kerala. Dr Venu led the state’s delegation to the trade event, which showcased Kerala’s best-selling products, including its award-winning Responsible Tourism initiatives, pristine beaches, hill stations, backwaters, houseboats and Ayurveda therapies, among an array of offerings. The Tourism Secretary also participated in a roundtable interview chaired by BBC presenter Aaron Hazelhurst on Tuesday (Nov 8) to mark WTM Responsible Tourism Day.

Mr. Abraham George, President of Kerala Travel Mart receiving the People’s Choice award at World Travel Market 2016 in London for Kerala Tourism

(Belgium) and Egypt were other winners in the Best Stand awards. Kerala Tourism was joined at the event by nine private exhibitorpartners: Kumarakom Lake Resort, Punarnava Ayurvedic Hospitals, Punnamada Resort, Uday Samudra Leisure Beach Hotel, Xandari Resorts, Jayasree Travels and Tours, Intersight Tours and Travels, Pioneer Personalised Holidays and Spiceland Holidays.

Kerala Tourism pavilion which depicted the traditional Snake boats in the back drop of beautiful Kerala Backwaters has won Best Stand Feature award and People’s choice award – Kerala Tourism.

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ourism ministers, bloggers and party goers turned the final day of the revamped threeday WTM London into a festival of business and fun. The UNWTO & WTM Ministers’ Summit is one of the highest-profile sessions of the entire event. Now in its tenth year, more than 100 tourism ministers and their aides from around the world were joined by board-level representatives from some of the biggest travel companies. This year’s Summit called on the industry and governments to 18 | Tourism India | November 2016

work together to help destinations cope with the threat of terrorism, which UNWTO Secretary-General Dr Taleb Rifai described as “forces of darkness”. Mohamed Yehia Rashed Tourism Minister Egypt assured delegates that his country has the technology and security measures in place to protect tourists and urged for standard security measures to be introduced globally. Vinod Zutshi, Secretary of Tourism in the government of India – WTM London’s Official Premier Partner – said countries needed to be more responsible when issuing

travel advisories as perception of safety in destinations is a key factor. Zutshi’s call was echoed by Fritz Joussen, Chief Executive TUI Group, who noted people’s perceptions often compound the problems of terrorism. “The probability of being killed by a terrorist is lower than having car accident on the way to the airport,” he said. As the leading global event for the travel industry, WTM London welcomes all levels of participants in the business, from ministers to bloggers. At a dedicated Speed Networking event, 100 bloggers from 15 different countries talked to exhibitors interested in using this increasingly important channel. Valentina Correa, based in Germany but originally from Colombia, runs www.unpocodesur.com,


an adventure blog. “We have relationships with tour operators but WTM is a fantastic chance to talk to tourist boards and hotels as we look to widen our coverage. It is a great chance too to educate some of the exhibitors about the benefits of working with bloggers.” WTM London is now applying its highly successful Speed Networking concept to new verticals, with a dedicated Wellness session also taking place today. Lisa Wakefield Programme Leader University of Derby said: “We run International Tourism and Spa Management degrees and courses in hospitality, the culinary arts and event management and I’ve managed to talk to lots of businesses about taking our students on place-

ment.” While spa speed networking is new, Richard Cope Senior Trends Consultant Mintel is a WTM London regular. Attendees at his well-attended session were given first access to its 2017 consumer trends analysis, getting advance notice on wearables as a payments device, travel brands sponsoring the restoration of iconic monuments across Europe, chatbots and AI becoming a mainstream customer service channel and the potential time-limited offers and promotions. Elsewhere Mexico City Tourism Trust Director Magdalena Sanchez noted that Donald Trump’s victory in the US election today came on the 27th anniversary of the day the Berlin

Wall came down. “The most important thing is to say Mexico is open for business to the world. As a tourist service we are working to strengthen our markets, this is why we are here,” Simon Press, Senior Director, WTM London 2016 said: “Our decision to revamp WTM London as a three-day event was in response to our listening and responding to our core audience of buyers, exhibitors and visitors. We are confident we have, yet again, delivered a best-in-class event which reconfirms our status as the leading global event for the travel industry.”

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“India has been a key exhibitor at WTM London in recent years so I am delighted it is our Premier Partner for 2016. It puts India in prime position to promote the incredible range of tourism products to more than 9,000 of the world’s most important buyers through the WTM Buyers’ Club.”

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alf of travel companies which conduct business in India expect to do more business in the country next year, according to research by World Travel Market London, the leading global event for the travel industry, in a release on 7th November. A travel industry survey quizzed 2,044 firms and found that 1,445 conduct business in India – and 49% of these expect to do more business in India during 2017. Two-fifths (43%) thought business would stay the same, and just 9% thought it might decrease. Furthermore, a survey of 1,145 UK holidaymakers, found that a fifth (20%) would 20 | Tourism India | November 2016

be interested in visiting India in the future. India is WTM London 2016’s Premier Partner as it aims to build on its tourism success, with a focus on luxury travel and cruises. The Minister of State for tourism in India, Dr Mahesh Sharma, was at WTM London and discussed how the country aims for more than 13 million visitors a year by 2020. India expects foreign tourist arrivals to rise 10% year-on-year in 2016, taking visitor numbers to a projected nine million. In the last 18 months, India’s government has invested more than U$300m on developing tourism infrastructure around the country.

Also helping promote the country during WTM London will be Harry Potter movie star and TV actor Miriam Margolyes, who featured in the hit BBC2 series The Real Marigold Hotel, set in India. India’s most popular destinations are The Golden Triangle (Delhi, Agra and Jaipur); Rajasthan, Goa; Kerala; Kashmir and the North East, but other “hidden gems” and sectors are also being developed, such as coastal tourism and eco-tourism. It uses the ‘Incredible India’ branding to highlight the quality and variety of experiences available for tourists. There were 870,000 UK visitors to India last year and the UK market is


seeing strong growth – numbers over the past three years have risen by almost 100,000. New flight routes from Manchester and increased airlift from Birmingham will enable more UK travellers to reach India in 2016 and 2017. Next year, India expects more success with its e-Tourist Visa (eTV), which was introduced to 113 countries in August 2015. The country will also mark the 70th anniversary of independence in 2017 and plans for celebrations will be revealed at WTM London. WTM London, Senior Director, Simon Press, said: “India has been a key exhibitor at WTM London in recent years so I am delighted it is our Premier Partner for 2016. It puts India in prime position to promote the incredible range of tourism products to more than 9,000 of the world’s most important buyers through the WTM Buyers’ Club.” WTM London is the event where the travel and tourism industry conducts its business deals. Buyers from the WTM Buyers’ Club have a combined purchasing responsibility of $22.6 billion (£15.8bn) and sign deals at the event worth $3.6 billion (£2.5bn). The annual gathering of 50,000 senior travel industry professionals takes place at ExCeL – London from Monday 7 to Wednesday 9 November 2016.

WTM London is the event where the travel and tourism industry conducts its business deals. Buyers from the WTM Buyers’ Club have a combined purchasing responsibility of $22.6 billion (£15.8bn) and sign deals at the event worth $3.6 billion (£2.5bn). The annual gathering of 50,000 senior travel industry professionals took place at ExCeL – London from Monday 7 to Wednesday 9 November 2016. WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day business-tobusiness exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. Almost

50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embark on ExCeL – London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM London. WTM London is the event where the travel industry conducts and concludes its deals. WTM London will generate around £2.5 billion of travel industry contracts. WTM London is part of Reed Travel Exhibition’s World Travel Market events, which also includes Arabian Travel Market, World Travel Market Latin America and World Travel Market Africa.

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: “India really is a wonderful country. Not only is it wonderful because of its beauty, variety and richness of culture but the people make it so special. The people are warm, funny, joyous, welcoming and very, very intelligent –particularly the women; they are extraordinary.”

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arry Potter actress Miriam Margolyes joined the Indian tourism minister at WTM London to sing the praises of ‘Incredible India’. The star of The Real Marigold Hotel TV series, filmed in India, told delegates: “India really is a wonderful country. Not only is it wonderful because of its beauty, variety and richness of culture but the people make it so special. The people are warm, funny, joyous, welcoming and very, very intelligent –particularly the women; they are extraordinary.” She was joined by leading tourism officials from India, which is the Official Premier Partner of WTM London as part of its bid to encourage more visitors from around the world. Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State for Tourism, highlighted the 22 | Tourism India | November 2016

sheer variety of experiences, including UNESCO heritage sites, luxury travel, ecotourism, medical tourism, religious travel, undiscovered regions such as north-east India and wildlife. In the last 18 months, India’s government has invested more than U$400 million in developing tourism infrastructure around the country. The minister said the government is expanding its e-Visa scheme to make it easier for overseas visitors to travel to India, and is tackling issues of safety and cleanliness. It has also identified cruise tourism and MICE (meetings, incentives, conference and event) travel as growth sectors. A new free 24/7 helpline has been established for visitors to call for answers to travel queries in one of

12 languages, and themed tourism circuits are being developed across the country to encourage special interest travel. The minister also launched a website for a new Incredible India Global Tourism Mart in New Delhi next February. India expects foreign tourist arrivals to rise 10% year-on-year in 2016, taking visitor numbers to a projected nine million. There were 870,000 UK visitors to India last year and the UK market is seeing strong growth – numbers over the past three years have risen by almost 100,000. New flight routes from Manchester and increased airlift from Birmingham will enable more UK travellers to reach India in 2016 and 2017. The country will also mark the 70th anniversary of independence in 2017.


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he 2016 responsible tourism programme at WTM London opened with a public ‘Conversation’ on ‘How to Enhance the Guest Experience in India’. A new format for this year, these Responsible Tourism Conversations have no prepared speeches or presentations, instead providing an extended time for anyone with an interest in the topic to discuss what works and what doesn’t with those with shared passions and experiences. Attendees at this first session ranged from Indian government and civil society representatives, to international responsible tour operators including Village Ways, Explore and Intrepid.

embedded in his country’s official tourism policies. “We have to study the carrying capacity of destinations and ensure there is not too much tourism for a destination to bear.” he explained, adding that India is also looking at adopting the principle of polluter pays for the industry.

spot anything that is put on for a show,” said Richard. “The reason for them going is to experience village life, and the most common expression of satisfaction they give is privilege.” Addressing the question of how one can ‘prove’ this authenticity and responsibility, Andy Rutherford from Fresh Eyes – People to People Travel said his company was now providing totally transparent pricing so everyone knows what people are being paid for their services, whether they are a DMC, guide or taxi driver. “The argument for doing responsible tourism has been wom with many people,” he said. “Our guests are now demanding that we prove the sustainability we claim.”

Mr. Rupesh Kumar, State Responsible Tourism Field Coordinator for Kerala, said villages looking to develop community-based tourism – and the companies that work with them – should be focusing on showcasing activities that are the core part of the villagers’ livelihoods – such as farming – rather than “adding on dedicated and additional tourism experiences such as tiger tours The session was opened by Mr. and elephant tourism.” Glynn O’Leary from Transfrontier Vinod Zutshi, Secretary of Tour- His comments were supported by Parks Southern Africa also reism for India, who laid out how Richard Hearn from Village Ways. flected on the challenges of auresponsible tourism is being “Our guests are very quick to thenticity and meeting consumer Tourism India | November 2016 | 23


expectations, asking: “How do we explain to guests wanting to see how Bushmen lived 100 years ago explain that they have arrived 100 years too late?” Closing the session, WTM Responsible Tourism Co-ordinator Harold Goodwin summed up the many contributions saying: “If we can get rebellious tourists and rebellious locals to work together, then we will get the development of a truly sustainable tourism.” Later on Monday it was once again standing room only at a discussion on Disintermediation and Destination Management in the Travel Tech Theatre.

Denmark said that the country was working well with the likes of Airbnb and other home sharing platforms, explaining that not only had the country put in place legislation in terms of how long people can rent out their accommodation, it was also putting in place a new government policy on home sharing websites.

tions they look to ensure a maximum amount of positive impact with a minimum disruption, citing the hotel schools they have set up in Morocco and the Taste of Fethiye project supporting local farmers to supply all inclusive hotels in Turkey. ‘For us the sharing economy is about looking at how widely we can share the benefits Nikki White Wright, Director of of us running tourism in their Destinations and Sustainability at destinations,” he said. ABTA, said as an industry body “it is all very well have frameworks, but how will we enforce them?” and that ABTA wants to see a level playing field for all involved stakeholders. James McClure, UK & Ireland General Mr. Rupesh Kumar, Manager, Airbnb, replied that State Responsible rather than a level playing field, the industry should have a “pro- Tourism Field Coportional playing field” so that ordinator for Kersomeone who only rents out ala, said villages a room for a certain number of nights a year has to meet a “pro- looking to develop portionate amount of legislation” community-based compared to someone who runs tourism – and the a B&B for 365 days a year.

“I think the classic package holiday is a thing of the past,” said Garry Wilson, Managing Director, Product and Purchasing at TUI Group, adding that what was most interesting for companies like TUI is the way in which Airbnb and new players are interacting with the customer. “There is a very holistic approach in terms of talking to other customers, to hosts and to other people The discussion concluded by in destinations as they make their looking at issues around overmind up,” he added. crowding. “People will go where “How do these universal plat- they want to go,” said Barceforms adapt to the different re- lona’s Jordi Carne. “But we can alities of different cities and set up initatives to encourage DMOs,” asked Jordi William Car- people to see new neighbournes, General Manager of Turisme hoods.” Airbnb’s James Mclure de Barcelona. “London is a differ- added that research his company ent reality from Copenhagen or had undertaken this year found Paris or Barcelona. The sharing that 50% of people would rather economy is all right. Sharing the go to the dentist than experience overcrowded destinations or exbenefits would be better.” periences with excessively long Anja Hartung Sfyrla, Head of queues. Garry Wilson from TUI Business Development, Visit- said when assessing new destina24 | Tourism India | November 2016

companies that work with them – should be focusing on showcasing activities that are the core part of the villagers’ livelihoods.


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hina, India, Iceland and Cuba are tipped as hot spots for travel in 2017 – and have been dubbed the ‘ChIIC’ new destinations by World Travel Market London. Surveys of 2,000+ WTM London exhibitors and 1,145 UK consumers highlighted how these disparate destinations are rapidly rising in popularity, thanks to new airline services, publicity and geopolitical changes.

business in China next year, and 49% expect to conduct more business in India. Meanwhile, 40% said they hoped to conduct more business in Cuba, and 37% expect to see levels of business rise in Iceland. With the consumer survey, the ‘ChIIC’ countries were among the most popular when respondents were asked which destinations they are interested in visiting. Almost two fifths (39%) said Iceland, followed by Cuba (24%), China (21%) and India (20%).

between the UK and Chinese governments, allowing more than double the number of flights to operate between the two countries. Links between the countries had already been boosted this year with new services from Manchester and Gatwick. Also, from 1 October, 2016, foreign tourists arriving in Shanghai on a cruise are allowed up to 15 days of visa-free stays. Passengers may remain in Shanghai or travel to Beijing, the northeastern port city of The industry survey found that 55% The market to China was buoyed Tianjin, and coastal provinces where of travel firms expect to do more by an agreement signed in October ships often berth. Tourism India | November 2016 | 25


India – WTM London 2016’s Premier Partner – has spent more than US$300m developing its tourism infrastructure as it aims for more than 13 million visitors a year by 2020. There were 870,000 UK visitors to India last year and the UK market is seeing strong growth – numbers over the past three years have risen by almost 100,000.

will also mark the 70th anniversary of independence in 2017 and plans for celebrations were revealed at WTM London.

Iceland is forecast to welcome two million tourists in 2017 – about five times the number it received in 2010. It has seen its profile in the UK rise thanks to the outstanding performances of its football team Its most popular destinations are and fans during the Euro 2016 the Golden Triangle (Delhi, Agra tournament – and increased sightand Jaipur); Rajasthan; Goa; Kerala; ings of the Northern Lights, during Kashmir and the North East, but a peak in solar activity. other “hidden gems” and sectors In October, Scotland’s First Minisare also being developed. These ter Nicola Sturgeon announced an include coastal and beach tourism, historic formal agreement between luxury, cruise and eco-tourism. VisitScotland and the Icelandic

between Iceland and Scotland. The Icelandic Tourist Board works with Promote Iceland, a public-private partnership which will be exhibiting at WTM London with 23 other companies including Icelandair and WOW Air. One of the key themes for 2017 will be balancing responsible tourism and its fragile environment in the wake of a huge increase in demand from tourists worldwide.

Meanwhile, Cuba is on the cusp of a tourism boom as former President Obama has eased restrictions on US travellers heading to the Caribbean destination. Eight US airlines won the green light to start scheduled Next year, India expects more suc- Tourist Board, which will see the two flights to Cuba this autumn. Cuba is cess with its e-Tourist Visa (eTV), organisations sharing information already popular with British holidaywhich was introduced to 113 coun- and best practice. The agreement makers, especially those seeking alltries in August 2015. The country follows the launch of new air routes inclusive resorts, and is featured by

26 | Tourism India | November 2016


mainstream tour operators such as in 2017. The island is also in Condé From the geysers of Iceland to the Thomas Cook, Saga and Thomson. Nast Traveller Top 10 ‘destinations architecture of Havana, and from the Great Wall of China to the Taj Thomson parent TUI Group is add- to watch’ in 2016. ing new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner However, agents report that Brits are Mahal in India, these countries have aircraft to its Cuba route, while keen to go soon, before the influx of some of the most iconic sights in the Thomas Cook Group has reported American tourists mean that Cuba world. And thanks to the efforts of strong growth in summer 2017 opens up too much and changes the travel trade and tourist boards, bookings to Cuba. Figures from its character. WTM London, Senior there are increasing numbers of the Caribbean Tourism Organisa- Director, Simon Press, said: “It was British holidaymakers flying out to tion show Cuba received 14% of fascinating to see such as diverse see these marvellous destinations – the region’s UK visitors (199,000), range of destinations emerge as hot- and the exhibitors at WTM London and Gold Medal said its bookings to spots for 2017 from our research are in the best place to make the Cuba have risen 71% year-on-year of travel companies and consumers. most of these trends.”

Tourism India | November 2016 | 27

From the geysers of Iceland to the architecture of Havana, and from the Great Wall of China to the Taj Mahal in India, these countries have some of the most iconic sights in the world.


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majority of Brits fear their holidays will cost more next year because of Brexit – and almost a third of travel firms expect to raise prices as a result of the vote to leave the European Union, reveals research by World Travel Market London, the leading global event for the travel industry, released on November7, 2016 at World Travel Market London. Research among British holidaymakers found two thirds (65%) expressed concerns about Brexit, mostly because of the plunging value of sterling and the impact on overall costs. However, a resilient 70% said the result of June’s referendum will have no impact on their holiday choice next year. When asked about Brexit, the top worry – cited by 44% of the 28 | Tourism India | November 2016

1,445 respondents – was the sterling-euro exchange rate and how that will make holidays in EU destinations more expensive. The second concern – cited by 43% – was a more general worry about overall holiday costs rising. A third mentioned the potential loss of European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs), and a quarter said they were concerned about longer passport queues at airports. However, just over a third (35%) had no concerns surrounding Brexit, while almost half (43%) said they would like to see a return to the traditional blue UK passport when Britain does leave the EU. The findings reflect trends seen in the market, with travel agents reporting a slowdown in foreign

exchange sales, and the share prices of leading travel groups falling in the wake of sterling’s slumps in June and October. John Strickland, Director at aviation consultancy JLS Consulting, said the fall in sterling generated immediate cost increases for UK airlines, as important expenditure items such as jet fuel and aircraft leases are denominated in dollars. He said the UK outbound market


to Europe and the US is one of the largest, and Brexit uncertainties could see airlines trimming capacity to and from the UK. Caroline Bremner, Head of Travel and Tourism Research at Euromonitor International, commented: “The depreciation in the pound will help to entice visitors to the UK in the immediate short term as international visitors will benefit from the favourable exchange rate for spending indestination. Yet it has yet to been seen whether capacity will remain at its previous pre-Brexit levels with some airlines already reducing their exposure to the UK market. “In terms of UK outbound, the drop in the pound and the economic uncertainty will be a big drag on UK residents travelling abroad, which will be a boon for domestic tourism.” WTM London, Senior Director, Simon Press said: “With the pound at a record low, it means WTM London is great value for overseas participants, and a huge opportunity for the UK inbound and domestic travel trade. “But the outbound trade may well feel the impact for summer 2017, as headlines about sterling make people think twice about an overseas holiday, and airlines have to pass on costs to consumers. “However, as we have seen in the past, the UK holidaymaker is very resilient and is determined to book an annual break in the sun – and 70% of those we surveyed told us that Brexit would have no impact on their booking plans.”

“The depreciation in the pound will help to entice visitors to the UK in the immediate short term as international visitors will benefit from the favourable exchange rate for spending in-destination.”

Tourism India | November 2016 | 29


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s the leading global event for the travel industry, WTM London is able to connect buyers with suppliers from some significant travel businesses which are less well known in Europe. Peng Peng, air tickets senior director for Tuniu. com, China’s third largest online travel agent, and Yogesh Mehta, vice president of hotels for via. com, a technology platform which powers some 60,000 offline travel agents in India, were taking part for the first time. Regulars include Roseanne Twigg, senior product analyst at Australia’s TripaDeal, who connected with suppliers for its group travel, tailormade package business. She said “[speed networking] allows me to get a good idea of who’s out there, what they offering and what they are planning. Miroslav Mihajlovic, product manager, Mtours, Slovenia, another regular participant, said: “I always come away with a few good contacts that I can follow up with later” while Prajakta Marwaha, founder and director, The Indian Journey, said “I have been meeting tour operators, DMCs, and museums…I have arranged lots of meetings and I will get some good business”. Business was particularly in focus on the opening day of WTM London, with many destinations taking the opportunity to update the 30 | Tourism India | November 2016


market on 2016 and to look ahead. Elena Kountoura, tourism minister for Greece, said this year was in line to become its busiest ever year with more than 27 million international arrivals expected, including cruise. Kountoura told a packed press conference that Greece is trying to become a year-round destination, with city breaks and ski two niche areas which can attract visitors outside its traditional peak period. India is also looking to reposition its tourism offer. Mr. Vinod Zutshi, Secretary, Minister for Tourism India, said that his government was prioritising tourism by investing in the public infrastructure in order to facilitate specific tourism investments from the private sector. Brexit remains a common theme across the seminar programme, as the UK and global travel industry awaits the actual terms of the UK withdrawal from the EU. Aviation expert John Strickland told the Forecast Forum about a possible issue arising in terms of flying rights if the UK is not part of the EU Open Skies agreement – UK airline easyJet is allowed to fly within France and Spain while Ryanair can operate in the UK

with an Irish airline operators certificate as a result of the EU Open Skies agreement. And in a separate session, two senior airline bosses – Willie Walsh, chief executive of International Airlines Group and Emirates president Tim Clark – suggested that airline alliances could become a thing of the past. Walsh said: “I would question if [alliances] are around 10 years from now” with Clarke describing the oneworld, Star Alliance and Skyteam concepts as “anachronistic”. On the proposed Heathrow expansion, Walsh said: “There is no way on this world that can justify £17.6 billion in the manner it is going to be spent.” Elsewhere, a specific debate on Brexit focused on the freedom of movement of people. Andrew Swaffield, Chief Executive, Monarch Airlines, said: “We need clarity on the free movement of people, and we need that clarity very quickly”. Terry Williamson, Chief Executive, JacTravel put Brexit into context: “I’ve been in the industry for 30 years – this is one hell of a resilient industry, whatever challenge is

thrown at it.” The industry’s resilience was highlighted by travel writer Doug Langsky. By looking at hotel searches for Paris, Brussels and Orlando, he found it took two to three months for interest to return to pre-incident levels and in some cases as little as three weeks. “We’re getting desensitised to terror… bounce-back is quicker,” he said. Lansky suggested that destinations needed a crisis plan in place before the crisis happened, and that one useful strategy is to know which source markets are “the bravest” and to devote marketing resources to these destinations. The timetable for Brexit is also unknown and there are other long-term factors the travel industry needs to consider. Futurist Brian Solis told attendees at the WTM Leaders Lunch to be aware of the “generation C” – consumers living “active, digital lifestyles”. One challenge this group presents is they are not age-defined: “[Generation C] exhibit similar behaviours that go across different age groups…You need to understand their connected behaviour and how it spills into the real world.”

Tourism India | November 2016 | 31

Business was particularly in focus on the opening day of WTM London, with many destinations taking the opportunity to update the market on 2016 and to look ahead.


First project in Israel to start the water route between two cities.

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new pleasure cruise line has been launched for better connectivity between Haifa and Acre (Akko) ports. This new initiative will decrease the travel time between the two cities and will enhance tourist experiences through this beautiful water route. The sailing takes 45 minutes and the boat has a capacity of up to 200 passengers. The Tourism Ministry invested about NIS 11 Million (approx. USD 2.88 Million) in upgrading the two ports and the Haifa and Acre Municipalities will assist in marketing the line that will, in the future, include a combined ticket offering tours in the tourism sites in Acre and Haifa. The Tourism Ministry estimates that the pleasure 32 | Tourism India | November 2016

cruise line will attract thousands of attraction and will help significantly tourists, domestic and international, in promoting tourism to Haifa and each year. Acre." The new pleasure cruise line was launched in the presence of the Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, Tourism Ministry Director-General Amir Halevi, the mayor of Haifa Yona Yahav and the mayor of Acre Shimon Lankri. Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said: "We launched the tourist pleasure cruise line between Haifa and Acre. This is the first such project of its kind in Israel, a complex one that I set as a central objective in developing the tourism infrastructure in the north, and this, after many years of talk but without implementation. This scheduled pleasure cruise line will serve as a fixed-price tourism

Israel is a vibrant and modern country with vast diversity and rich culture. Jerusalem - the well known city is among the most sacred places in the world. Along the eastern Mediterranean coastline is the vibrant, modern, fashionable and cosmopolitan Tel Aviv. One must explore Israel’s diversity and visit archaeological sites of Eilat, beautiful beaches of Haifa, UNESCO World Heritage Site of Acre (Akko) and fascinating history of Nazareth. Be it family and leisure getaways, party and nightlife experiences, adventure and rejuvenation, Israel has a variety of holiday options to explore.


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ooking for unique dining experiences in San Francisco? The city is filled with great food and the restaurants who serve them. And while many of these places are delicious, some dining experiences are more unique than others. Here are five unique places to eat at that offer plenty of atmospheres, from the funky to the fantastic.

restaurant is like entering an underwater fantasy, with aquatic elements throughout. The Jellyfish Lounge is a playfully designed place to come by for happy hour and oysters from the raw bar, while the dining room is high on drama, but still elegant. As you’d expect, the menu highlights seafood, but here it’s also sustainable and top of the line, featuring the best of what’s in season.

usually scooped up quickly. The dinners include communal seating and a 14-plus-course tasting menu with prices varying by day and time. Diners don’t know what they’ll be eating until they arrive as the menu changes by meal. The chefs come out and describe each dish to the diners as they all are served and eat together. It’s like a dinner party, but with new friends instead of established ones.

San Francisco city is filled with great food and the restaurants who serve them and unique cuisines surprise Forbes Island (Pier 39) AsiaSF (201 Ninth St.) Opaque (689 McAllister St.) Things are not quite what they apDining in the dark is literal at you. It’s true, this restaurant is on an

Opaque. Diners eat in the pitch black, totally abandoning one of their five senses so they can focus more on the sounds, smells, tastes and feels of the experience. Servers at Opaque are visually impaired or blind and have been trained to serve these meals in complete darkness. Before entering the dark room, diners are able to view a menu to Lazy Bear (3416 19th St.) In a city where chefs are likened to choose their meal, which is crerock stars, Lazy Bear sells tickets to ated by a sighted chef. Opaque is their dinner, much like a concert. a unique place to experience food Each month, tickets for two seated while using your other senses to Farallon (450 Post St.) create a complete picture. Walking into this Union Square dinners per night go on sale and are island (a manmade one, but still, it’s an island in San Francisco Bay). You’ll even be picked up on a little boat for a quick jaunt to the island (say hello to the sea lions) and be sure to climb the lighthouse for a great view. The main dining room is underwater (there are a few portholes where you can see the water). The set menu is Continental/American, with options including a tasty mushroom ragout and lamb lollipops.

pear to be here. The female performers at this SoMa club are actually transgender (and absolutely, utterly gorgeous)—the ladies perform a few shows on a runway while guests dine on Cal-Asian dishes and drink cocktails. This place is bachelorette and birthday party central, but small parties are welcomed too.

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o other place delivers the most ghoulishly delightful Halloween celebrations as California does. Dare to walk through bloodcurdling mazes and legendary haunted mansions filled with shocking surprises; scream at the top of your lungs on terrifying thrill rides; dance the night away in magicallycrafted Halloween wonderlands; or score some sweet prizes while trick-or-treating with your little ones – the possibilities are endless! So throw on your spookiest disguise and check out some of California’s Halloween happenings. GOLD COUNTRY Fright Planet Presented by Fright Planet Haunted House and California Exposition & State Fair at Cal Expo, an entire night of scary fun awaits you at this 34 | Tourism India | November 2016

scream-inducing theme park. With ghoul-like attractions, a ScreamMax Theater and spine-chilling mazes, this is the place to come and get scared – if you dare! SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA Halloween Candlelight Tour As autumn winds swirl, full moons rise and black cats come out to play, it’s time to book a visit to Winchester Mystery House, one of America’s most legendary haunted mansions. During your visit, you’ll be guided through a brand-new immersive experience where braves souls will discover what the restless spirits have in store for them. California’s Great America Halloween Haunt Head down to Northern California's biggest and scariest Halloweenthemed attraction. In addition to the

thrilling roller coasters and rides of Great America, Halloween Haunt will bring eight horror-filled mazes and three hair-raising live shows, with three scare zones scattered between the attractions. CENTRAL COAST Safe Trick-or-Treat A spook-tacular seaside will welcome the family at this annual Halloween event, hosted on October 29th, where Ventura Harbor Village provides safe trick-or-treating with visits to local businesses. Festivities include face painting, arts and crafts, arcade games, carousel and pedal-boat rides, and, of course, lots of sweet treats. DESERTS 5K Halloween Graveyard Deck out in costume garb, grab your family and friends, and run/walk this


Halloween-charged 5K (starting at 8 a.m. sharp on October 29th) that will route you through Palm Springs’ Welwood Murray Cemetery into scenic trails through spook-tacular neighborhoods. Be sure to watch out for frightening surprises as you climb "Haunted Hill"! LOS ANGELES COUNTY Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights Prepare for the scariest Halloween event in Southern California created by the most twisted minds from the studio that invented the horror film genre itself. This year features all-new terrifying mazes, including three demented installments of American Horror Story, and electrifying series of performances courtesy of the award-winning, hip-hop dance crew Jabbawockeez. West Hollywood Carnaval On Halloween night, from 6 to 11 p.m., Santa Monica Boulevard will welcome hundreds of thousands of Halloween revelers, masquerading

in spook-tacular costumes and cele- Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” are also in brating one of the largest Halloween store. parties with food and drinks, dancing plus lively entertainment. SAN DIEGO COUNTY SeaWorld San Diego’s Halloween ORANGE COUNTY Spectacular Knott’s Scary Farm San Diego’s premiere not-toHalloween enthusiasts can fight off spooky, family-fun extravaganza demon samurais whose souls are allows kids to dance the day away cursed to rot within the depths of with Tabitha Taffy and Timothy Tofpurgatory, take a trip to the blood- fee, trick-or-treat in a sea-inspired soaked barn filled with carnivorous atmosphere and adventure through animals, enlist to fight the zombie SeaWorld’s fun-filled park in their apocalypse in an all-out war against Halloween best – and make sure to the undead and do much more at catch the Halloween-themed aquatthis Knott’s Berry Farm-hosted ic shows! fright fest. Dos Equis Monster Bash Knott’s Spooky Farm San Diego’s most epic Halloween This park-wide, family-friendly Hal- festival will transform the Gaslamp loween celebration, geared for kids Quarter and East Village into a parages 3 to 11, will deliver all new adise for haunted souls and fabufun activities in Ghost Town, Fiesta lous freaks. Don’t miss out on this Village, Boardwalk Ballroom and Halloween-takeover, taking place on Camp Snoopy. Live entertainment, October 29th, boasting five haunttrick-or-treating, a costume contest ingly crafted stages that will host and exclusive festivities honoring over 20 DJs and entertainment acts the 50th anniversary of the classic through the course of the night. animated TV special “It's the Great

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Raffles Hotels & Resorts has announced that it will embark on a careful and sensitive restoration programme.

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affles Hotel Singapore, the iconic luxury property managed under the awardwinning international hospitality group, Raffles Hotels & Resorts, has announced that it will embark on a careful and sensitive restoration programme. The restoration of this acclaimed heritage hotel, owned by Katara Hospitality, a globally recognised hospitality owner, developer and operator, will be conducted over three phases to ensure every detail of the programme is approached with careful consideration. 36 | Tourism India | November 2016

Phase one of the programmes will begin in January 2017 and see the Raffles Hotel Arcade undergo restoration works while other areas of the property operate as normal. The Raffles Hotel Arcade is an integral part of this landmark building, offering a broad range of facilities for visitors to enjoy. It houses 40 regional and specialty shops, indoor and outdoor function areas including The Ballroom and The Lawn and a variety of restaurants and bars including well-known Long Bar, home of the iconic Singapore Sling. The Singapore Sling will continue to be served at the hotel’s Bar & Billiard

Room during the first and second phases of restoration. Phase Two will begin in mid 2017 when restoration efforts will commence on the main hotel building and Lobby as well as a portion of the hotel suites. Following that, Raffles Hotel Singapore will close for the final phase near the end of 2017 before a grand reopening in the second quarter of 2018. “Raffles Hotel Singapore has always evolved to stay distinctive and relevant, moving with the times and adapting to the changing needs of today’s traveller. We have a rich and


This extraordinary undertaking will also reimagine the facilities, spaces and experiences within the hotel to delight the well-travelled and the community. By introducing new experiences for our guests while respecting the history and heritage of the hotel, we want to ensure that The restoration project will be led this hotel continues to remain at the by Aedas Singapore, a leading epicenter of Singapore’s social and global architecture and design firm cultural scene,” added Mr. Simon who was behind restoration projects Hirst, General Manager, Raffles Hoincluding the London Coliseum tel Singapore. and the revitalised Mallory Street/ Declared a National Monument Burrows Street in Wan Chai, Hong by the Singapore Government in Kong. The interiors of the project 1987, Raffles Hotel Singapore has will be handled by award-winning through the years, gained both lodesigner Alexandra Champalimaud cal and international recognition as who has worked with many high pro- an oasis for the well-travelled with file luxury hotels around the world its unique blend of classical archiincluding New York’s The Plaza, tecture and tropical garden setting. Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, The Raffles Hotel Singapore is considDorchester in London and the Wal- ered a national treasure among dorf Astoria in New York. Singaporeans who deeply value its “This restoration is designed to en- historical significance and unique sure that we retain what is so special heritage. colourful history and are about to begin a new chapter in our ongoing story – a sensitive restoration that will enable us to continue to offer what our guests expect and value,” said Ms. Diana Banks, Vice President, Raffles Brand, Raffles Hotels and Resorts.

about Raffles Hotel Singapore – the ambiance, the service, the charm and the heritage of the hotel. We have always changed and evolved to keep in step with the needs and expectations of our guests - this has been one of the secrets of our success for more than a century.

The last restoration was conducted from 1989 to 1991 where the hotel closed for two and a half years. The luxury hotel has 103 individually designed suites – 84 Courtyard and Palm Court Suites, 12 Personality Suites, 5 Grand Hotel Suites and 2 Presidential Suites.

“We are pleased to embark on the meticulous restoration of Raffles Hotel Singapore, a distinctive hotel that is emblematic of Katara Hospitality’s commitment to creating extraordinary experiences on the backdrop of iconic heritage hotels and unsurpassed service to our esteemed guests,” said Mr. Hamad Abdulla Al-Mulla, Chief Executive Officer of Katara Hospitality. “Since opening its doors in 1887, Raffles Hotel Singapore has maintained a lasting legacy as a landmark hotel, hosting some of the world’s most famous and elite personalities. As a National Monument of Singapore and one of the few remaining 19th century hotels in the world, the hotel’s restoration is a testament to our continued pursuit in preserving portraits of historic charm, while growing Katara Hospitality’s portfolio of iconic properties in key travel destinations. Raffles Hotel Singapore is no exception, with its carefully implemented restoration programme that is poised to unveil contemporary charm and elegance; reminiscent of the luxurious splendour of Katara Hospitality hotels,” added Mr. Al-Mulla.

Tourism India | November 2016 | 37


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he Flemish cities like Antwerp, Ghent, Brussels all standout as one of the world’s most chocolaty destinations mesmerizing the visitors with their amazing Belgian chocolate offerings. Given the already known attractions like ‘Bruges Choco Story’ and the famous chocolaty trails of Antwerp, the cities have recently added some extensions to completely woo their tourists while provid38 | Tourism India | November 2016

ing a memorable time in Flanders. in Antwerp. After a cup of coffee New Chocolate Demos, and a brief explanation of workWorkshops & Tastings in ing around with chocolate, visitors can create their own chocolate Antwerp and practice for 2-2.5 hours. All techniques like tempering, moldCarolien Krinjnen, a chocolate ening, enrobing can be experienced thusiast, Antwerp-lover and chocat this place in a beautiful setting. olate tours organizer has gone an ‘Chocovibes’ is another organanother step forward by now openizer that has initiated tastings and ing her own professional chocolate workshops in the chocolate bar studio exclusively designed for Quetzal in the city centre. Durtasting, workshops and chocolaty ing the tasting session, visitors can fun in a cozy Sint-Andries quarter


taste different chocolate blends with different chocolate percentages while finding out more about the history of chocolate in the different countries producing the chocolate. To end it on the high note, the session ends with the tasty chocolate fondue. The two hour session gives few tasting options including introduction to chocolate, chocolate and spices, chocolate and infusions, chocolate and spirits. Not just that, while tasting all the chocolate, visitors can prepare their own chocolate drink or desserts.

Newly Opened Workshops in Choco Story, Bruges ‘Choco Story’, the chocolate museum of Bruges conducts workshops for all kinds of audiences. There are specialized workshops for kids between 9-12 year olds where they learn to draw and colour using chocolates. On the other hand, some other themed workshops include tutorials to make pralines, truffles, mendiants and much more. The museum has also initiated ‘A stone’s Trow,’ a

chocolate walk through the city with information about the beautiful sights, curiosities in the city and tickets for chocolate samples at some artisan chocolatiers along the road. Both the cities are rocking themselves up with their chocolate offerings on the display. Not just that, Bruges also flaunts some perfect chocolaty feels like chocolate cosmetics and therapeutic centre, museum of Bakery and Patisserie, and much more making it a perfect choco-lover’s paradise.

Visit Antwerp and Ghent for their tasty Belgian chocolate extensions

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he San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival is San Diego’s largest wine and culinary event. Local and international talent gathers at the gustatory tribute to all that’s good about wine & food (and there’s beer too). Held each November, thousands attend, and why wouldn’t they? This time the festival falls on the date November 14-20, 2016. 40 | Tourism India | November 2016

The festival includes gourmet food, wine and beer tastings, celebrity chefs, cooking demonstrations, wine tasting classes and auctions.

viding you with tastes of the region’s latest food trends. Chefs square off in the “Chef of the Fest Competition” (previous winners have pulled out all the stops with the likes of It’s also a great way to have some- duck fat-fried beignets), and the one do your legwork work for you; People's Choice Award allows you festival organizers spend the year to render your own decision, which, doing personal research, and then of course, requires a taste. invite San Diego’s hottest restaurants and chefs to their table, pro-


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he Neon Museum announces it has been granted Museums for America Award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The museum will use its $24,500 grant to expand and digitize its collection archives for research and education. For Fiscal Year 2016, IMLS received 548 applications requesting a total of $57.1 million and selected 206 projects to receive funding totaling $21.1 million. “As a 501(c)(3) non-profit learning institution, the Neon Museum relies upon grants to fill specific areas of need so we may serve our audiences more completely,” explained Rob McCoy, president and chief executive officer, Neon Museum. “This ‘Museums for America Award’ will enable us to make our existing part-time collections assistant position into a full-time one so we can make faster headway on digitizing our entire collection.” A portion of the funds will also be used to fund much needed equipment utilized by the collections assistant, including a new digital camera, computer, expanded digital storage and software.” “As centers of learning and catalysts of community change, libraries and museums connect people with programs, services, collections, information, and new ideas in the arts, sciences, and humanities. They serve as vital spaces where people can connect with each other,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “IMLS is proud to support their work through our grant making as they inform and

inspire all in their communities.” Founded in 1996, the Neon Museum is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, studying and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas signs for educational, historic, arts and cultural enrichment. It has been named “Best Museum” by Las Vegas Weekly, one of “Sin City’s Best Retro Sites” by MSN, “No. 1 Las Vegas Museum Sure to Entertain and Educate” by USAToday’s 10best. com, “One of the Top 10 Coolest Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do” by Forbes.com, one of the “Top 10 Historic Spots in Las Vegas” by Vegas.com; one of “15 Most Fascinating Museums in the U.S.” by VacationIdea.com; and earns a consistent 4.5 out of 5 rating on TripAdvisor. In addition to an approximately two-acre Neon Museum campus, which includes the outdoor exhibition space known as the Neon Boneyard, the museum also encompasses a visitors’ center housed inside the former La Concha Motel lobby as well as nine restored signs installed as public art throughout downtown Las Vegas. Public education, outreach, research, archival preservation and a grantfunded neon sign survey represent a selection of the museum’s ongoing projects. Both the Neon Boneyard and the La Concha Visitors’ Center are located at 770 Las Vegas Blvd. North in Las Vegas.

innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. The Museum grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive.

Grant will go toward expanding the museum’s digitized archives

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Their mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance Tourism India | November 2016 | 41


This is the fourth consecutive year that Oman Air has been named as ‘Middle East’s Leading Airline, Business Class’ and Middle East’s Leading Airline, Economy Class’ at the’ World Travel Awards Middle East.

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man Air has been named ‘Middle East’s Leading Airline Business Class’ and ‘Middle East’s Leading Airline, Economy Class’ at the World Travel Awards Middle East 2016. The awards were presented at a glittering red-carpet ceremony, hosted by Shereen Mitwalli at the St Regis, Dubai on 29th September. They 42 | Tourism India | November 2016

were accepted by Mohammed Al Shikely, Vice President Marketing at Oman Air, on behalf .of Chief Executive Officer Paul Gregorowitsch. Mr Gregorowitsch commented: “Oman Air is delighted to accept these prestigious awards, in recognition of the high quality of our Business Class and Economy Class services. This is the fourth consecutive year that Oman Air has been

named as ‘Middle East’s Leading Airline, Business Class’ and Middle East’s Leading Airline, Economy Class’ at the’ World Travel Awards Middle East. Such consistent Corporate Communications & Media Department Oman Air News 4th of October 2016 Oman Air Wins Twice At World Travel Awards Middle East 2016 acclaim demonstrates that Oman Air’s commitment to offering customers the very best in


21st Century air travel remains absolute. “On behalf of all my colleagues at Oman Air, I would like to thank the jury and all those knowledgeable and experienced professionals from the travel and tourism and the consumer travel buyer sectors whose votes have contributed to our success. “Most of all, however, I would like to express my gratitude to the millions of guests who have booked and flown with Oman Air over the last year.” World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all key sectors of the travel tourism & hospitality industry. Today, the World Travel Awards brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire. Since late 2014, Oman Air has been engaged in an ambitious fleet and network expansion programme which has seen the delivery of brand new Airbus 330 Boeing 737 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. Each features newly-designed cabins and seats, as well as the latest IFE technology, providing the perfect setting in which to relax and enjoy the flight. Oman Air’s new long haul business class cabin offers 24 seats, each of which converts to a long, fully lieflat bed within an 82-inch pitch. The seats are fitted in a 2-2-2 configuration and, thanks to an ingenious cabin .layout, provide direct aisle access for every passenger. In addition, every seat includes electricallycontrolled .backrest, leg rest and seat depth features. Inflight entertainment (IFE) is pro-

vided via the new Thales AVANT inseat audio video on demand (AVOD) system. This is accessed via a neat IFE handset and offers an expanded range of movies, music, games and information. Furthermore, the huge 17-inch/43cm personal monitor can also be used to screen the content of laptops or personal devices, and Oman Air’s ALNA connectivity system enables live in-seat internet connections via the onboard wireless network, as well as .mobile (GSM) telephone usage. The business class seats on Oman Air’s new short and medium haul B737s are also brand new. The backrest, leg rest and seat depth of each of the 12 seats in the business class cabin are electrically controlled, and the reading light, literature pocket and PC power outlet features have all been welcomed by customers. A 10.6-inch/27cm IFE screen offers access to the IFE system. Furthermore, Oman Air has just announced that it is to become the launch customers for brand new Business Class seats, which will .be fitted to the airline’s single aisle aircraft from 2018. In addition, Oman Air offers Business Class customers across most of its network a complementary door to door limousine service, and the airline has recently launched an exclusive lounge-to-aircraft chauffeur service at Muscat International Airport. The Business Class passenger experience is further enhanced by outstanding premium airport lounges at Muscat .Salalah and Bangkok. Each of Oman Air’s new Economy Class seats provides exceptional comfort and features a one-piece composite seat back structure and a four-way adjustable headrest Seat pitches reflect the length of flights

each aircraft will be deployed upon, with the A330’s 265 seats offering 32 inches and the 737-900ER’s 171 seats offering 30 inches. The 10.6-inch seatback LCD screen offers access to the same IFE options as those enjoyed in Business Class. In addition, a USB port is mounted on the seatback screen allowing customers to charge any mobile phone and each pair of seats shares a PC power port.

Tourism India | November 2016 | 43


44 | Tourism India | November 2016


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everly Hills is known around the world as one of the most fashionable places to shop. Being an illustrious icon of sophistication, luxury and service, the legendary lifestyle destination, beyond doubt, has its own unique charm of shopping amidst sheer originality. Below are the fast five, luxury brands that are classic and offer a superbly best experience for their guests in Beverly Hills.

some of the world’s greatest artisans and craftspeople. The area’s tradition of working leather with unparalleled ingenuity lives on at Bottega Veneta, “where your own initials are enough.” 457 N. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills.

In 1923 Stefano Serapian discovered his passion and his incredible talent for crafting leather goods. Their quality and uniqueness were immediately appreciated by his sophisticated Milanese clientele. The In the 1920’s Coco Chanel grew Serapian client base is now worldtired of having to carry a handbag, so wide, from Via della Spiga in Milan she designed a bag that freed up her to 204 N. Rodeo Drive, Beverly hands. Inspired by the straps found Hills. on soldiers’ bags, “Mademoiselle” In 1837, Thierry Hermès first esintroduced her shoulder-bag design tablished the Hermès brand as a to the market in 1929. Chanel bags, harness workshop in the Grands like everything else initialed CC, Boulevards quarter of Paris, dedihave come a long way since then, as cated to serving European nobility you’ll see at the Chanel Boutique. (and their horses). Today Hermès 400 N. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills. specializes in all sorts of leather

sories, home furnishings, perfumery, Beverly jewelry, watches and ready-to-wear. Hills offers 434 N. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills. unique Most famous for their women’s handbags, Prada, founded in 1913 in Milan, offers men's and women's clothing, leather goods, footwear, eyewear, and fragrances. 343 N. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills.

Italy’s Veneto region is home to goods, in addition to lifestyle acces-

Tourism India | November 2016 | 45

charm of shopping amidst sheer originality.


A fitting prelude to Christmas @ The Golkonda Hotel

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he Golkonda Hotel is holding its Christmas Cake Mixing ceremony for 2016. Held a few weeks before Christmas, this event is headed by the Actress Madhu, Corporate Executive Chef, Mr. Sailesh Verma, General Manager, Mr. Vipul Bhargava, and F&B Manager, Mr. Rajesh Chatterjee. A select audience is led through the interesting and fun process of mixing a variety of fruits, nuts, spices, liqueurs, and 46 | Tourism India | November 2016

syrups. This mixture is then preserved to let it set and come December the mixture will be ready for baking! Diners can dig into the cake and much more at the Christmas Eve Turkey Dinner or the Christmas Day Luncheon. Gloved hands gently knead a massive confluence of flavours – dried fruits, nuts, spices, a multitude of spirits, golden syrup, molasses, honey, vanilla essence, and many many more. Patrons learn the art of

cake-mixing and come together to spread joy, in the true spirit of the season of jolliness and merriment, Christmas.


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hile every city in the world has multiple facets and different sides to it, it’s more so the case with Dubai. With numerous nationalities co-existing peacefully in a melting pot of cultures, Dubai is a cosmopolitan city that’s still rooted in its heritage. That’s why a trip to Dubai will give you, and your family, a completely unique experience, one that you wouldn’t find in too many other cities. The ideal time to visit Dubai is from November to February, especially when you’re travelling with kids. With perfect weather, and the Dubai Shopping Festival taking place, the city turns into an exciting wonderland with fireworks, fairytale musicals, street performers and plenty of shopping options. Along with that, your little ones can also enjoy horse rides, camel rides, desert safaris and so much more. But, in a nutshell, here are some of the things you can see and do in Dubai. Desert Safaris one of the specialties of Dubai, a desert safari is something that you absolutely cannot miss. An adventure that stretches into miles and miles of sand, a desert safari is basically offroading in sand. Dhow Cruises Imagine cruising down

Dubai Creek in an old-fashioned dhow that looks like its come straight from a history book, complete with a sumptuous five-course dinner and a tanura dance show. Ski Dubai a truly exciting experience for the little ones, Ski Dubai is an indoor ski resort with 5 slopes of varying steepness and difficulty, including a 400-metre-long run, the world's first indoor black diamond run, and a quad lift and a tow lift that carry skiers and snowboarders up the mountain. Adjoining the slopes is a 3,000-squaremetre snow park comprising of sled and toboggan runs, an icy body slide, climbing towers, giant snowballs and an ice cave. Ski Dubai also houses penguins that will provide your little ones with an unmissable opportunity to see them in their natural habitat. Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo One of the largest suspended aquariums in the world, Dubai Aquarium houses thousands of aquatic animals, comprising of over 140 species. Over 300 sharks and rays live here, including the largest collection of Sand Tiger Sharks in the world. BurjKhalifa a stunning feat of architecture and engineering, the BurjKhalifa boasts of two massive observation

decks and a luxurious restaurant bar. The world’s tallest building pierces the sky at 828m and opened in January 2010, six years after excavations began. Ferrari World Though not located in Dubai, Ferrari World deserves a mention as it’s the first and only Ferraribranded theme park in the world. Located just a short drive away from Dubai, Ferrari World,Abu Dhabi, boasts of innumerable family rides, thrill rides, roller coasters, children’s rides, and shows like the Tyre Change show and Viva Ferrari. The Amazing Shopping Experience Whether a power shopper or a bargain hunter, Dubai’s malls, markets and souks have something for everybody. Whether it’s the wonder of an Ibn Battuta themed mall for the little ones to the incredible shopping opportunities, every mall is an experience in itself. “With world-class infrastructure and amazing sights for both, parents and children, Dubai is an excellent vacation destination, while being just a threehour flight from India,” says NidhiBatra, Little Nirvana Explorers’ co-founder. “So, in this way, you spend as little time as possible travelling and you get more time for the actual tourism and sightseeing.” Tourism India | November 2016 | 47

It’s glamorous, it’s rooted, it’s Arabic, it’s westernized; it’s an oxymoron.


“We are the most uncompetitive country with APD. Cutting it will stimulate more travel into the country and make better prices for people who want to go overseas.”

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ountries around the world will see a decline in visitors from the UK as Brits feel the pinch following the referendum vote, according to experts in a WTM London debate on Brexit. However, for inbound and domestic markets, there is a golden opportunity to capitalise on the falling pound, as the UK is about 15% cheaper for overseas visitors. The predictions came from Caroline Bremner, Euromonitor Head of Travel, who said the best-case scenario would be for the UK to keep access to single market and open skies. However, she told delegates that a disorderly or ‘hard’ Brexit would mean there would be two million fewer visitors coming to the UK by 2020. She also warned that a Trump presidency would see the dollar will weaken and markets will be “spooked”. Andrew Swaffield, Chief Executive at Monarch Airlines, said the key issue was the freedom of movement for people. “We need clarity on the free movement of people, and we need that clarity very quickly,” he told the audience. “If we get that, we can keep visa-free travel and lib48 | Tourism India | November 2016

eral air traffic.” Chris Mottershead, Managing Director of Thomas Cook UK & Ireland, called on the government to act on tourism VAT – which is 20%, while other European countries have rates around 5% – and Air Passenger Duty, which makes travel in and out of the UK much more expensive. “We are the most uncompetitive

country with APD. Cutting it will stimulate more travel into the country and make better prices for people who want to go overseas.” Patrick Richards, Chief Commercial Officer, Combined Buying and Distribution, at Cox & Kings, said the inbound and outbound sectors should not be pitched against each other, as they have plenty in common. “We rely on the same air capacity and transport links,” he told the debate. He also said that VisitBritain,

along with TV and films with characters such as James Bond and Poldark, were helping change perceptions about the UK for the better. Terry Williamson, Chief Executive of JacTravel, said the initial boost caused by the fall in sterling would soon dissipate as the rising prices of fuel and food in the UK affected costs for businesses in the inbound sector. “The single, biggest thing that we need to get across is that we are open for business and we want to welcome guests and make them feel good,” he said. “We need open skies – and we should build at Gatwick as well as Heathrow.” The panelists highlighted how the travel industry has been resilient to many knocks over the years, including terror attacks and volcanic ash clouds, and Brexit was just the latest challenge. Richards said: “We have been living in a state of chaos for the past 15 years and this is another punch that we have to roll with.” Williamson added: “I’ve been in the industry for 30 years – this is one hell of a resilient industry, whatever challenge is thrown at it.”


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ourism in India is helping to empower women by providing unique employment opportunities, reveals the WTM Global Trends Report 2016, in association with Euromonitor International, which was released at World Travel Market London. The noticeable trend highlights a more positive attitude to women in the country, which has had to deal with a number of high-profile incidents of crimes against women – both tourists and locals. Euromonitor International, Head of Travel, Caroline Bremner said: “Tourism is often seen as an ideal entry point for women in India to join the formal economy, by providing access to opportunities and improving quality of life. “A growing number of companies are offering women-only services or employing women in roles that were previously largely held by men.” With the safety of female travellers

in India in the spotlight, transport companies have started to provide female taxi-driver services. One example is She-taxi, which operates in Kerala for female-only clients, using women-only drivers. In a bid to satisfy demand, a project called Women on Wheels has been established to boost the number of female breadwinners in the family by training to become professional drivers. Another project, called Stand Up India, has been launched by the Indian government to supply loans to women to create their own businesses. And, in celebration of International Women’s Day in 2016, Air India Flight 173 flew from Delhi to San Francisco with an all-female crew, making it the longest flight staffed entirely by women in history. There has also been a rise in Indian travel clubs and tours for women, such as Women on Wanderlust and Girls on the Go, which organise all-women trips all over the world.

In addition, a number of safety apps have been developed for women in India, such as Ridesafe, which offer tracking, emergency messaging and route deviation detection. Rural tourism in India can be particularly empowering for women as it has the potential to diversify employment opportunities based on local tourism assets, the report says. WTM London, Senior Director, Simon Press, said: “Although travel and tourism in India is still maledominated, it is good to see this is slowly changing through different initiatives and government support.”

“A growing number of companies are offering women-only services or employing women in roles that were previously largely held by men.” Tourism India | November 2016 | 49


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The trend seems to accompany the general consumer shift away from a desire for material possessions towards an interest in actual experiences.

involvement in the activity or the destination itself.”

ATTA Executive Director – Europe, Chris Doyle, said: “More and more adventure opportunities are being made available, providing people Since then, there has been an explo- with an ‘a la carte’ menu of different sion in demand for microadventures, experiences. These microadventures particularly among busy Europeans. can be a stepping stone to a deeper

tures in European destinations, for example, three or four days hiking or kayaking with nights spent in a local hotel. While on-shore excursions have long been a feature for cruises, increasingly active adventures are now on offer such as cycle

hrill-seekers who are short on time but big on seeking new experiences are opting for a ‘microadventure’ in order to fulfill their passion, according to the WTM Global Trends Report 2016, in association with Euromonitor International, at World Travel Market London. The term ‘microadventure’ was coined by British explorer Alastair Humphreys two years ago to describe a small and achievable outdoor adventure for normal people with real lives.

50 | Tourism India | November 2016

Airlines and tour operators are embracing the concept, according to the report. For example, easyJet has There are a number of new oppor- created a number of microadventure tunities the travel trade has seized ideas across Europe, based in and upon to grab a slice of this poten- around cities, seen as an alternative tially lucrative market, according to to classic city break activities. the Adventure Travel Trade Associa- A growing number of adventure tour tion (ATTA). companies are offering microadven-


tours, zip-lining and even waterfall activity holidays. climbing. Largely focused on the US, Expedia In the future, hotels could create offers ‘mancation back-to-nature’ microadventures around their loca- weekends, and the Fairmont hotel tions for guests, potentially targeting group has created mancation pack‘bleisure’ guests – those who stay ages offering city or activity stays. on for an extra night or two to add a Euromonitor International, Head leisure element after a business trip of Travel, Caroline Bremner said: – to carry out the adventure. “Many busy Europeans do not have

ence. They tie in with an increasing drive for healthier lifestyles.”

WTM London, Senior Director, Simon Press, said: “Many of us have probably had a microadventure without knowing we were part of this new phenomenon. In such a fast-paced world, the microadventure is a great way to fit new experitime for traditional adventuring and ences into busy lives. so are opting instead for a microad- “It’s fascinating to follow the proventure – an adventurous break to gress of this phenomenon and to get away from it all – either stand- watch where the microadventure alone or added on to a holiday. trend will head next – and which “Sometimes known as soft adven- travel companies succeed in staying ture, these types of activities tend to ahead of the game and keep up with be low risk and are usually achiev- consumer demands.”

Microadventures can be solo affairs or undertaken with friends or family, with multi-generational holidays often seeing different microadventures for varying tastes. A close relation of the microadventure, the ‘mancation’ has been embraced by hotels and online travel agents wishing to build on the popularity of male-only able with minimum previous experi-

Tourism India | November 2016 | 51

The term ‘microadventure’ was coined by British explorer Alastair Humphreys two years ago to describe a small and achievable outdoor adventure for normal people with real lives.


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achel O’Reilly, Head of Communications for Kuoni UK discusses the importance of the right role models and the opportunities she had working in the travel industry. Rachel spoke at the Women in Travel Meetup at WTM 2016 as part of the Leadership Panel. She came as a guest blogger in the World Travel Mart. My friends don’t believe that I have a real job. How can hosting a press trip to the Maldives, presenting at conferences in Barbados or attending glitzy awards dinners in floor length frocks be real work? They do have a point. There are times when I conclude that work shouldn’t be as much fun as it is. Yet it’s a job just as real as being a dentist, a PA or engineer, though admittedly it was never advertised in the careers handbook at school. I’m frequently reminded how lucky I am to have found a profession that has taken me from being a 22-year old executive in a London travel PR 52 | Tourism India | November 2016

agency to being Head of Communications for one of the UK’s leading travel brands. Yet navigating our way along the professional path isn’t easy, despite attempts to make it appear effortless. My mother was a wonderful role model for me. She trained as a nurse and kept working whilst she had four children. She looked ahead at the trends in medical care and spotted the future of nursing when she moved into a general practice supporting a team of GPs. One important lesson I learnt

from my Mum was that she always identified new opportunities to train and add to her skills set, becoming an expert in both asthma and advanced ear care when she was 50 and 56 respectively. Plus she always looked fabulous and had a fun and friendly outlook so generated a huge amount of respect and warmth from her colleagues. As a result she worked happily as a top grade nurse until she was 65. Now in my mid-forties, I am looking to the next 20 years of my career. That does seem like a


daunting thought if I allow it to be. One of my biggest hopes for the future is that attitudes to age in the workplace changes and we look positively at those who bring experience and new ideas to the table beyond the ages of 50, 60 and even 70. I also hope that I have inherited some of my mother’s wisdom for staying one step ahead. Equipping myself with new skills, being open to different ways of working and radiating an optimistic attitude are some of the things I aspire to. Being asked to be part of the leadership debate at WTM is an honour. Believing in ourselves as women and having the confidence to speak up when it matters is vital. It’s always easy, no matter what

stage you’re at in your career, for that fear of not being good enough to creep in. Don’t let it, I say, and believe that you can and will be brilliant if not all of the time, then most of it. When Hilary sits in the White House (I am indeed an eternal optimist) I’d like to think there are times when even she has a secret, perfectlymanicured freak out. Finding our inner strength to walk tall, trust our instincts, monitor trends and listen carefully to trusted advisors when it matters will see us through even the rockiest of paths to ensure a rich and rewarding life of work. Despite my friends’ jokes about job-envy, I hope I will pass my

strong work ethic and lessons I have learnt along the way to my own 11-year old daughter, just as my own gorgeous mother did for me.

Tourism India | November 2016 | 53


T The state has categorised projects under 7 major themes such as MICE, beaches, recreation, ecotourism, religious tourism, wayside amenities and heritage/historic tourism.

he sunrise state of Andhra Pradesh being ranked No. 2 in Ease of Doing Business by World Bank (2014-15) beckoned international investors for developing tourism projects in 79 virgin land parcels spread across 13 districts in the state at the UAE – India Economic Forum 2016 in Dubai. Culminating into 1,279 acres of land, the state has categorised these projects under 7 major themes such as MICE, beaches, recreation, ecotourism, religious tourism, wayside amenities and heritage/historic tourism. Banking on a futuristic Tourism Mission launched by the state last year along with a Tourism Policy with multiple incentives for investors, the state has so far realized projects worth Rs. 4,019 Cr. in the last one year with another Rs. 10,000 Cr. worth of investments in the pipeline. Andhra Pradesh’s Tourism Policy which has won multiple accolades so far offers both fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for the investors. The policy also identifies a clear roadmap of investment approach in infrastructure project development where in majority of the projects would 54 | Tourism India | November 2016

be build either through private investments or through PPP model. The government will also undertake select tourism projects in its endeavor to build a sustainable ecosystem for tourism in the state. Under the dynamic leadership of Hon’ble Chief Minister Mr. N. Chandrababu Naidu, the tourism department is taking progressive steps towards multifaceted tourism development in the state to ensure that not only the tourists carry good memories each time they visit Andhra Pradesh but also encourage their close acquaintances for a visit. As a key note speaker at the UAE – India Economic Forum 2016 in Dubai, Dr. Srikant Nagulapalli, I.A.S., Secretary to Government, Tourism & Culture, said “Our aspiration is to develop Andhra Pradesh as one of the most preferred destination globally. To fulfill this dream and give a major fillip to tourism we aim to create a world-class tourism infrastructure in the state duly supported by best-in-class hotels, most modern rail, road and air network and excel in every aspect of tourism infrastructure development.” “India and UAE share an illustrated his-

tory of economic and trade relations. At this august gathering attended by distinguished guests, I would like to take the opportunity to make an appeal to the industry leaders to come and invest in tourism projects in the sunrise state of Andhra Pradesh. We assure you all round co-operation right from a favourable land lease policy, to fiscal benefits and non-fiscal incentives. With a single desk window in place we assure clearance of all approvals in 21 days. Our focus is on fast tracking projects to enhance infrastructure and tourist engagement.” The UAE-India Economic Forum (UIEF) is the definitive platform to discuss and evaluate UAE-India trade opportunities and aims to address the policy framework and guidelines required to attract investors, sovereign wealth funds, large corporate and industries, focusing on critical sectors like infrastructure, tourism, renewable energy and banking. This year the forum was held between the periods October 19 – 20, 2016 and attended by some of the most eminent policymakers and industry leaders from both the countries.


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he Union Tourism Secretary, Mr. Vinod Zutshi has inaugurated the Ministry of Tourism’s ‘Incredible India’ stand at the India International Trade Fair 2016 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. The Incredible India stand located at Hall No. 18 (Stand No.25) aims to nurture the tourism potential of less frequented destinations which are located closer to the popular destinations for attracting domestic visitors. Inaugurating the Incredible India stand the Union Secretary said “The stand has been designed with an idea of promoting “lesser Known

destinations”. Domestic tourism continues to be an important contributor to the tourism sector providing much needed resilience. There has been a continuous increase in domestic tourist visits, with the Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of domestic tourist visits to all States/UTs from 1991 to 2015 being 13.63 per cent. In 2015, it grew by 11.63 per cent to reach 1431.97 million visits. And there is an encouraging sign for the Inbound Tourism too. Inbound travel to India has increased. Foreign Tourist arrivals in India during the

period January- September, 2016 were 6.2 million with a growth of 10.5% as compared to the Foreign Tourist Arrival of 5.6 million with a growth of 4.8% in January-September, 2015 over January- September, 2014. This positive development is expected to continue during remaining period of this year. The Ministry of Tourism is participating in the IITF after a long gap. The attractions of the stand are two ‘Selfie Points’ with the Taj Mahal and the Valley of Flowers as background.

Tourism India | November 2016 | 55

Inaugurating the Incredible India stand the Union Secretary said “The stand has been designed with an idea of promoting “lesser Known destinations”.


1 Bangladesh Accounts for Highest Share of Tourist Arrivals followed by USA and UK in September 2016. Rs. 11,781 Crore Foreign Exchange was earned through tourism in September 2016

3.4% growth in Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in September 2016 over the same period in 2015. Bangladesh accounts for highest share of tourist arrivals followed by USA and UK in September 2016. Rs. 11, 781 crore Foreign Exchange was earned through tourism in September 2016. Ministry of Tourism compiles monthly estimates of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) on the basis of Nationality-wise, Port-wise data received from Bureau of Immigration (BOI) and Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) from tourism on the basis of data available from Reserve Bank of India. The following are the important highlights regarding FTAs and FEEs from tourism during the month of September, 2016.

Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs):• FTAs during the Month of September, 2016 were 6.15 lakh as compared to FTAs of 5.42 lakh during the month of September, 2015 and 5.09 lakh in September, 2014. There has been a growth of 13.4% in September, 2016 over September, 2015. • FTAs during the period January- September, 2016 were 62.07 lakh with a growth of 10.5% as compared to the FTAs of 56.15 lakh with a growth of 4.8% in January- September, 2015 over January- September, 2014. • The Percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during September, 2016 among the top 15 source countries was highest from Bangladesh (20.58%) followed by USA (10.96%), UK (7.97%), Malaysia (4.98%), Sri Lanka (3.98%), Australia (3.47%), China (3.36%), Germany (2.83%), Japan (2.79%), Canada (2.58%), Nepal (2.16%), France (2.15%), Singapore (2.08%), Afghani56 | Tourism India | November 2016

stan (1.57%) and Pakistan (1.36%). • The Percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during September 2016 among the top 15 ports was highest at Delhi Airport (30.99%) followed by Mumbai Airport (16.28%), Haridaspur Land check post (11.62%), Chennai Airport (8.30%), Bengaluru Airport (6.01%), Kolkata Airport (4.43%), Cochin Airport (3.22%), Hyderabad Airport (3.01%), Gede Rail (2.28%), Tiruchirapalli Airport (1.99%), Ahmadabad Airport (1.72%),Trivandrum Airport (1.49%), Ghojadanga land check post (1.29%), Amritsar Airport (1.01%) and Attari-Wagh Land check post (0.99%).

Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) from Tourism in India in Rs. terms and in US$ terms • FEEs during the month of September, 2016 were Rs. 11,781 crore as compared to Rs. 10,415 crore in September, 2015 and Rs. 9,057 crore

in September, 2014. • The growth rate in FEEs in rupee terms during September, 2016 over September, 2015 was 13.1% as compared to the growth of 15.0% in September, 2015 over September, 2014. • FEEs from tourism in rupee terms during January- September, 2016 were Rs. 1,12,068 crore with a growth of 14.5% as compared to the FEE of Rs. 97,843 crore with a growth of 10.1% during January- September, 2015 over January- September, 2014. • FEEs in US$ terms during the month of September, 2016 were US$ 1.765 billion as compared to FEEs of US$ 1.573 billion during the month of September, 2015 and US$ 1.488 billion in September, 2014. • The growth rate in FEEs in US$ terms in September, 2016 over September, 2015 was 12.2% compared to the growth of 5.7% in September, 2015 over September, 2014.


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total of 68,809 foreign tourists arrived in September 2016 on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 31,729 during the month of September 2015 registering a growth of 116.9%. UK (15.5%) continues to occupy top slot followed by USA (12.4%) and China (9.0%) amongst countries availing e-tourist visa facility During September 2016. The facility of e-Tourist Visa has been made available by the Government of India to the citizens of 150 countries, arriving at 16 International Airports in India. The number of e-Tourist Visa availed by foreign tourists visiting India during the month of September, 2016 has registered a substantial growth rate over the corresponding month of 2015. The salient highlights of eTourist Visa for and up to the month of September during 2016 are as follows:During the month of September, 2016 a total of 68,809 foreign tourists arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 31,729 during the month of September, 2015 registering a growth of 116.9%. During January- September 2016, a total of 6,75,302 tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 2,01,705 during January-September 2015, registering a growth of 234.8%. This high growth may be attributed to introduction of e-Tourist Visa for 150 countries as against the earlier coverage of 113 countries. The percentage shares of top 10 source countries availing e-Tourist Visa facilities during September, 2016 were as follows: UK (15.5%), USA (12.4%), China (9.0%), Australia (6.0%), Germany (4.8%), France (4.3%), Spain (3.6%), Canada (3.1%), UAE

(2.6%) and Malaysia (2.6%). The percentage shares of top 10 ports in tourist arrivals on e-Tourist Visa during September, 2016 were as follows:New Delhi Airport (51.71%), Mumbai Airport (21.06%), Bengaluru

Airport (6.44%), Chennai Airport (6.27%), Kochi Airport (3.50%), Hyderabad Airport (2.45%), Kolkata Airport (2.34%),Trivandrum Airport (1.35%) , Amritsar Airport (1.18%) and Dabolim (Goa) Airport (1.11%).

Tourism India | November 2016 | 57


“From sunny beaches in Australia to bustling villages in Asia, cruise travel offers more diverse and unique destinations than ever before.”

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lan a Cruise Month and the cruise industry is celebrating by unveiling some of the most amazing and unbelievable cruise destinations around the globe. A trip to the tropics may be the first destination that comes to mind for many. At the same time, cruise lines are continuously expanding itineraries to reach more exotic corners of the world and hidden gems for travelers. According to Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) 2016 State of the Cruise Industry report, there are nearly 1,000 cruise ports and destinations around the world and that number continues to grow each year. “From sunny beaches in Australia to bustling villages in Asia, cruise travel offers more diverse and unique destinations than ever before,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “Traveling by cruise to beautiful and unique corners of the world has never been easier to reach and experience these amazing locales is unmatched.” 58 | Tourism India | November 2016

Unbelievable Cruise Destinations – River Cruises River cruises are a wonderful way for cruise passengers to discover authentic cruise travel destinations along the world’s most famous rivers. The Never-Ending Nile: History-loving travelers looking to sail 5,000 years of history along the world’s long river, the Nile can see the sights on Avalon Waterways’ Highlights of Egypt cruise from Cairo to Cairo. Guests on this river cruise can sail through and explore 5,000 years of history, This cruise sails down the infamous Nile while offering cruisers the chance to visit the Luxor Temple, the Temple of Isis and the Great Pyramids of Giza. The Beauty of Bucharest: Cruisers can tour Romania’s capital city and soak in the history of the largest Parliament building in the world, the Palace of the Parliament aboard Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s Ultimate European Journey cruise. The

cruise offers travelers the chance to sail from the North Sea to the Black Sea visiting bustling capital cities and quaint villages along the way. The Joy of Christmas: Travelers looking to revel in the holiday spirit can visit Germany’s most famous Christmas market in Nuremberg. CroisiEurope’s Christmas Markets Cruise offers passengers the chance to celebrate the holidays along the Rhine River while visiting an array of Christmas markets in the European capital of Strasbourg, the “Christmas City” of Nuremberg, and Rudesheim which features the Christmas market of nations. Let Them Eat Cake: Travelers sail along the famous Seine River and take in the storied history of Versailles, Montmarte, and more on Tauck’s Rendezvous on the Seine cruise. Guests can indulge in all the luxury and beauty France has to offer while voyaging along one of the world’s most famous rivers. A Historic American Trip: American


history buffs or travelers just looking to see historic sites can sail aboard American Cruise Lines’ Lewis and Clark Cruises. This paddlewheeler cruise follows Lewis and Clark’s trail along the Columbia and Snake Rivers in Washington and Oregon with excursions that include volcanic craters and Portland’s waterfront. The Culture of Cambodia: Travelers searching for an unforgettable, exotic getaway need not look any further than AmaWaterways’ Vietnam, Cambodia & the Riches of the Mekong cruise. After exploring the sights, cruisers can dive into the rich Cambodian culture with regionally-inspired cuisine and spa treatments. Unbelievable Cruise Destinations – Ocean Cruises Ocean cruising opens up the vast distance of the world to travelers and gives them access to the globe. A Japanese Journey: Cruisers can experience the aesthetic beauty and wonder of Japan’s most famous landmarks along Princess Cruises’ Highlights of

Japan cruise. Passengers aboard the cruise have the opportunity to marvel at the 410 year old Nijo Castle in Kyoto, board the famous bullet train to Tokyo, and take a scenic drive along Mount Fiji. Sailing The South Pole: The World travelers who wish to hit every continent can journey to the Great White Desert to experience the excitement. Ponant’s luxury yacht cruises offer passengers stunning views of Antarctica’s natural icy beauty as well as excursions to see penguin colonies and outings in Zodiac dinghies. Exotic Africa: Travelers can bask in the urban beauty that Cape Town has to offer, from surfing along beautiful beaches to the famous Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. Oceania Cruises’ Marvels of Time cruise takes guests on the water from Dubai to Cape Town with scenic stops in Mumbai and the Maldives. Perusing the Panama Canal: For a unique and historic view of the world, cruisers can sail along some of the world’s most famous waterways. Sea-

bourn’s Panama Canal Odyssey cruise journeys along the Crossroads of the Americas with stops in Cabo San Lucas and Portobelo, Panama. Beautiful Bora Bora: Looking to book an once-in-a-lifetime sun-filled journey? Paul Gauguin Cruises takes cruisers to the oceanic beauty and white sand beaches of Bora Bora to Paul Gauguin’s exclusive inlet Motu Mahana for the ultimate in luxurious rest and relaxation. Every Corner of the Globe: Cruisers can circle the globe and see all corners of the globe aboard a ship. Crystal Cruises’ Grand Continental Odysseys cruise takes passengers around the world, literally. From Los Angeles to Monte Carlo, cruisers can take in the wonders of the world with a multitude of stops around the globe and excursions that include exploring tropical rainforests in Hawaii, shopping for native handcrafts in Samoa, exploring the beauty of St. Helena, and indulge in the artistic and architectural wonders of Barcelona.

Tourism India | November 2016 | 59


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nterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), one of the world’s leading global hotel companies, has outlined plans to strengthen its position as a leading lifestyle hotel operator in its Asia, Middle East & Africa (AMEA) region. Capitalising on the industry’s growing segment, IHG will introduce its EVEN® Hotels brand to Australia and New Zealand, while expanding its existing Hotel Indigo brand port60 | Tourism India | November 2016

folio, and has set out its ambition to introduce Kimpton® Hotels & Restaurants to the market over time. Jan Smits, Chief Executive Officer Asia, Middle East & Africa (AMEA), IHG said: “We identified a key opportunity to accelerate our growth in the lifestyle segment with the introduction of these brands to the region. We know that there is a growing segment of travellers – whether they

are on a business or leisure trip – who are looking for an experience beyond bed and board. This is why we are confident of the potential of our lifestyle brands, which can provide that unique experience but at the same time, also a sense of reliability and familiarity, as they are part of one of the world’s largest hotel companies. I believe there is fantastic potential for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants in the region, EVEN


Hotels in Australia and New Zealand as well as building on the already successful introduction of the Hotel Indigo brand in early 2015 in the region.”

gone from strength to strength since its launch in the region last year with the opening of Hotel Indigo Bangkok Wireless Road. With no two properties alike, Hotel Indigo caters to the rise in demand for those guests looking for the individuality and style of a boutique hotel with the security and consistency of one of the world’s largest hotel groups. This year Hotel Indigo launched in Singapore with Hotel Indigo Singapore Katong, and in the coming months, will see the opening of Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak, the first Hotel Indigo property to open in a resort location shortly.

In a move set to expand the hotel group’s lifestyle business in the region and support its ambitions in the segment, IHG will take the EVEN Hotels brand outside the United States for the first time. The deal, signed at this week’s HICAP conference in Hong Kong, involves IHG working with long-term partner Pro-invest to establish a portfolio of EVEN Hotels across Australia and New Zealand in response to growing demand for wellness travel. The KimptonHotels & Restaurants brand is credited for introHotel Indigo, the world’s first ducing the boutique hotel conglobal boutique hotel brand, has

cept to the United States over 35 years ago and was acquired by IHG in 2015.Each property is individually designed, blending with local culture to deliver guests a boutique experience that is both authentic and reflective of its location. Commenting on the potential of the brand in the region, Mr Smits said: “We recognize that there is strong potential, with like-minded partners, to develop the Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants in the region across city and resort locations. The AMEA region is a perfect for the brand.” “We identified a key opportunity to accelerate our growth in the lifestyle segment with the introduction of brands to the region.”

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The first award will honor Lindblad Expeditions “in recognition of its commitment to conservation, research, education and community development in the geographies they explore, and their establishment of the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Fund.”

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ER Committed to the World Initiative by DER Touristikand Tompkins Conservation on November 7, 2016, the opening day of World Travel Market London, ExCel Centre. The annual award ceremony is sponsored by Corinthia Hotels, The New York Times, United Airlines and Reed Travel Exhibitions. Peter Greenberg, CBS News Travel Editor and world renowned travel expert, will host the Award presentation. The distinguished 2016 Honorees are being recognized for their outstanding initiatives and commitment to conservation, fostering sustainable tourism and in developing programs that give back to the local communities. The first award will honor Lindblad Expeditions “in recognition of its commitment to conservation, research, education and community develop-

ment in the geographies they explore, and their establishment of the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Fund. Together with their guests, Lindblad has raised over $12.7 million for critical projects since 1997.” The second award will honor the DER Committed to the World Initiative by DER Touristik “in recognition of its Give Education a Home program, which since 2014 has funded through the DER Touristik Foundation e.V., the construction and expansion of more than 20 schools in 15 countries around the world, providing children and young people with a better education and future.” The third award will honor Tompkins Conservation “in recognition for its 25 years of work establishing new protected areas, recovering imperiled species, supporting leading-edge activism, and promoting healthy communities in

Chile and Argentina through the creation of national parks.” The Award itself, Inspire, was specially designed and handcrafted on the Mediterranean Island of Malta by Mdina Glass, and celebrates the qualities of leadership and vision that inspire others to reach new heights.

About the World Tourism Awards The World Tourism Awards, celebrating its 19th Anniversary, are presented annually at World Travel Market London and sponsored by Corinthia Hotels, The New York Times, United Airlines and Reed Travel Exhibitions. It was inaugurated to “recognize individuals, companies, organizations, destinations and attractions for outstanding initiatives related to the travel and tourism industry, and in fostering sustainable tourism and developing programs that give back to local communities.”

Edited, Printed and Published by Ravisankar.K.V on behalf of Tourism India Publications Pvt. Ltd, PRL A 14/1, Tourism house, Panickers lane, Sasthamangalam P.O., Trivandrum, Kerala, India - 695010 Printed at Chakkala Printers, 62 Lane, | Tourism IndiaP.O., | November Trivandrum for Arsha Offset Graphix, Janvilla Sasthamangalam Trivandrum 6952016 010 Editor: Ravisankar.K.V


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