Tourism India march 2018

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Women Travel Special

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Women Entrepreneurs – New light in the horizon

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big area of research still remains empty in focus on the differences between female and male entrepreneurs with regard to several aspects, such as access to capital, personal characteristics and motivations. Entrepreneurial motivations among women are increasing in recent times due to various factors like government support, education among women, and urge for economic independence etc. While looking around the globe Women hold more ministerial positions in tourism than in any other field. Nevertheless, one in five tourism board (NTAs) CEOs are women, and only one in four tourism industry associations have a woman chair. In March 2010, 21% percent of countries had a women tourism minister compared to 17% of ministerial positions in general. The highest proportion of women tourism ministers is in Africa, where one third of all tourism ministers are women. In African countries, the post of tourism minister is almost twice as likely to be held by a woman as other ministerial posts. In contrast, just 6% of tourism ministers in the Caribbean and 15% in Asia are women. Analysis of tourist boards shows just over 20% are run by women. The Caribbean was the region with the most women tourist board CEOs (35%). In seven out of the 23 Caribbean countries, the chairperson of the tourism board is a woman. Tourism associations are slightly more like to have a women chair. The inherent abilities of innovative thinking, self motivation, persistence, persuasiveness along

with favourable external factors like Education, government Policies for women entrepreneurs have acted as catalysts resulting in the growth of women entrepreneurship. Tourism is suitable for women as nature and expectations of tourism industry are conducive for the manifestation of the inherent qualities (Entrepreneurial abilities) of women. There are women entrepreneurship concerns the barriers and constrains women face in the process of becoming, and being, entrepreneurs. The policy makers play a big hand in materialize the idea to equilibrate the rights and opportunities of men and women as a matter of social justice. In the case of the rationale of resources, some policy makers have created the concept of smart economics to denominate the process of getting the best of an underutilized part of the population and the labor force: women. As the place of women has been relegated to their homes and families, it is high time to understand the dynamics of female entrepreneurs. As March arrives with International Women’s Day, we have a bunch of female entrepreneurs, whose focus and strategies made their tourism and hospitality businesses successful with their commitment to social responsibility in a challenging business environment. This is the right time to draw literature about some outstanding Women Entrepreneurs from India in the world of Travel &Tourism sector. Rajani A Executive Editor

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Sri Lanka targets 440,000 Indian Tourists in 2018

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March 2018

Vol 20 No. 11

Managing Editor Ravisankar K V Executive Editor Rajani A Consulting Editor Biju Thomas Art Editor N Bhattathiri Design Editor Gopakumar K Photographer Vivek R Nair, Murukesh Iyer Management executive Divya N.S Business & Editorial Associates London T Haridas +44 7775833754 Germany Thomas Kannenkeril +4915124367982 New Delhi D Anilkumar +91 9868123311 Mumbai K.V. Satyanath +91 9745598126 Kolkata Jayasree Singh +91 94330 60333 Bangaluru Damodaran K Nair +91 8310955261 Coimbatore Biju Thomas +91 9944562027 Pondicherry Ramasubramanian +91 9894977161 Editorial & Corporate office Tourism India Publications Pvt. Ltd SEKT 52, Tourism House, Thamarakulam Lane Sasthamangalam P o, Trivandrum, Kerala, India 695010 Tel: +91 471 2315256 fax: +91 471 2315197 Contact us editor@tourismindiaonline.com Mob: +91 9847060531 circulation@tourismindiaonline.com Mob: +91 99471 60531 marketing@tourismindiaonline.com Mob: +91 99472 60531 Internet edition www.tourismindiaonline.com No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written permission of TOURISM INDIA PUBLICATIONS PVT LTD. All rights reserved. Copyright @2018 Edited, Printed and Published by Ravisankar K V on behalf of Tourism India Publications PVT LTD, SEKT 52, Tourism House, Thamarakulam Lane, Sasthamangalam P O, Trivandrum, Kerala, India 695010 Printed at Maya Offset Printers, Eroor, Ernakulam for Arsha Offset Graphix, Janvilla Lane, Sasthamangalam PO, Trivandrum 695010 Editor: Ravisankar K V

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Balancing work & life Women’ s social entrepreneurships are widely identified and discussed around the globe but lack of empowerment, confidence, gender centric factors are still the hurdles for Women Entrepreneurs in India.

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A countryside escape Jupiter Capital Venture announces the opening of Luxury Boutique Resort named “Niraamaya Retreats Aradura” at Kohima, Nagaland.


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Women have a natural talent and attitude for hospitality and administration. Manisha Pande, Managing Director, Village Ways Travels Pvt Ltd.

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INDIAN AIRPORTS WIN AWARDS IGIA New Delhi and CSMI, Mumbai are the global winners for world's best airports of Airports Council International award 2017

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My journey in tourism only started in my late 30’s, when I realized that India has so much more to offer tourists than just monuments and shopping.

Mercure Chennai Sriperumbudur is AccorHotels’ 6th property in Chennai and 7th property in Tamil Nadu, features 100 wellappointed guest rooms, including six suites

Mercure Chennai Sri perumbudur is now Open

Magic walks of mumbai

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a unique cultural exchange platform Two girls came up with the idea after realizing how little exposure they had in different cultures when they were growing up

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ITB Berlin reflex positive notes

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Kerala Tourism win ITB award Kerala Tourism has bagged two prestigious Golden City Gate Awards for its Kochi Muziris Biennale campaign ‘Live Inspired’.

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ABU DHABI POSTS RECORD NUMBERS OF HOTEL GUESTS IN 2017

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Sri Lanka targets 440,000 Indian arrivals

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LOVE IS EVERYWHERE IN MONACO


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Mr. K.J. Alphonse, Union Minister of State for Tourism, Government of India, Mr. Sumna Billa IAS, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Mr. Prasanth Nair IAS, PS to Union Tourism Minister along with India Tourism officials and industry stake holders with ITB Berlin Best stall award - Asia & Australia region

ITB BERLIN 2018- REFLEX ON POSITIVE NOTE First time in the history of ITB Berlin, Incredible India Tourism pavilion has won Best stall award in the Asia & Australia region category.

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s ITB Berlin 2018 concluded, the global travel industry presented itself in good health and in an optimistic mood, more so than for a long time. The results of the five-day exhibition on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds mirrored the good atmosphere. With around 110,000 trade visitors from Germany and abroad, ITB Berlin was able to reaffirm its standing as the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show. Despite the warm spring weather around 60,000 members of the general public flocked to the display halls on the weekend to find out about the wide range of information available from exhibitors. The ITB Berlin Convention, which examined current issues such as overtourism and digitalisation, also 8

Tourism India March 2018

underlined its role as the global travel industry’s leading think tank. The positive economic climate in the eurozone is the mainreason for industry’s positive mood. Dr. Christian Göke, CEO of Messe Berlin GmbH: “The consistent forecasts of sustained global economic growth for the next two years decisively contributed to the positive mood among exhibitors and visitors these past few days. Against the backdrop of a booming economy, record low employment and good wage settlements, more and more consumers are willing to spend money. Furthermore, because of the strong euro and correspondingly weak dollar holidaying in numerous countries outside the eurozone is becoming noticeably cheaper.“

”The extremely positive economic trend in the travel industry should not blind us to the fact that the industry faces great challenges around the world. The digital transformation of an entire industry continues to move forward apace and affects every company and provider, regardless. On the other hand, issues such as the need for greater security on one’s travels, the increasingly important and controversial phenomenon of overtourism, and the globally changing face of travel brought about by companies such as Airbnb are decisively influencing the social discourse on the future of tourism. This year, ITB Berlin again presented itself as a platform that without exception debated all the important


trends and the current issues in accordance with the industry’s future needs.“he added The huge prospects that medical tourism has to offer the global tourism industry were highlighted at ITB Berlin. Due to high demand this segment, which was introduced only last year at the World’s Largest Travel Trade Show, was relocated to a larger hall (21b). Travel Technology was one of the segments which displayed strong growth. Exhibitors including eNett, Traso,Triptease and Paymentwall, which increased their display areas, returning exhibitors, among them Travelport, as well as the Hospitality Industry Club, a newcomer, highlighted the excellent prospects of

ITB Berlin The ITB Berlin (Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin) is the world's largest tourism trade fair. The companies represented at the fair include hotels, tourist boards, tour operators, system providers, airlines and car rental companies. The ITB Berlin takes place annually in March at the Messe Berlin.

initiative we are also establishing ourselves in a role that devotes even more attention to this growth market and are showcasing this trend on the exhibition grounds.“ For the third year running ITB Berlin organised the ITB Chinese Night, where visitors were able to find out more about the Chinese travel market, exchange views and establish new contacts. Other partners of the ITB Berlin Convention included the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) in the role of co-host, Ctrip.com International, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and the Ministry for Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey.

Mr. K.J. Alphonse, Union Minister of State for Tourism, Government of India inaugurating the Incredible India pavilion at ITB Berlin by lighting the traditional lamp.

this fast-growing segment. The large increase in Chinese exhibitors there was particularly noticeable. The online portal Ctrip displayed its products in Berlin for the first time. Two new formats celebrated their debut in Berlin, reflecting strong growth in the Luxury Travel segment. With the new Loop Lounge @ ITB organised in collaboration with Loop, the trade show for luxury products, ITB Berlin had created a new platform for

networking in an exclusive atmosphere with a select group of exhibitors, and with the first ITB Luxury Late Night the show provided an opportunity for visitors to cultivate contacts. Currently, luxury travel accounts for seven per cent of the market and annual growth is in double-digit figures. David Ruetz, head of ITB Berlin: ”Luxury travel is booming and with our innovative formats we are responding to this welcome development. With this

March 2018 Tourism India

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Mr. KadakampallySurendran, Minister for Tourism, Government of Kerala, and Mr. P Bala Kiran IAS, Director, Kerala Tourism receiving the award from Mr. Wolfgang Jo Huschert, President of The Golden City Gate at the Kerala Tourism pavilion at ITB Berlin.

Kerala Tourism bags Golden Gate City awards at ITB Berlin Kerala Tourism has bagged two prestigious Golden City Gate Awards for its Kochi Muziris Biennale campaign ‘Live Inspired’.

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he Biennale multimedia campaign, ‘Live Inspired’ which showcased the cultural, artistic and human experience in Kerala and the posters designed as part of the ‘Live Inspired’ campaign of Kerala Tourism has bagged two prestigious Golden City Gate Awards at the world’s leading travel trade show ITB Berlin. “ Live Inspired’ was chosen for the awards out of 157 films from 37 countries by a 45-member jury who scrutinised and rated the films and print advertisements in 15 categories. 10

Tourism India March 2018

‘The awards were presented to Mr. Kadakampally Surendran, Minister for Tourism, Cooperation and Dewaswoms, Government of Kerala,

Kerala Tourism had 15 co-exhibitors including Hotels, Ayurveda Resorts & Tour Operators, for this year’s ITB.

and Mr. P Bala Kiran IAS, Director, Kerala Tourism at the Kerala Tourism stall at ITB Berlin by Mr. Wolfgang Jo Huschert, President of The Golden City Gate. The Diamond Award for the Best Film out of all First Star Awards, was bagged by Catalunya/Spain for its “The Route of Fate”. The Golden City Gate has been positioned as the creative and innovative expression of the tourism industry and has been taking its place within ITB Berlin as an international film and multi-media competition.


news/appointments

Samir M C, MD of Fortune Park Hotels & WelcomHeritage

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r. Samir M. C has been appointed as the Managing Director of Fortune Park Hotels Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Indian Hotel major ITC Hotels Limited. He would also oversee the functioning of the WelcomHeritage brand. Mr. Samir was working as Chief Operating Officer of Fortune Park Hotels Ltd., from September 2017 as part of the transitional role to succeed the outgoing Managing Director Mr. Suresh Kumar, who superannuated in February this year.

With full responsibility for the leadership and development of Fortune Hotels, Samir plays a key role in meeting the company’s aggressive growth goals as well as building on the brand’s outstanding reputation for providing efficient service to the customers as well as to the promoters. His knowledge and experience, which will be vital as the brand continues to increase its presence in India. Prior to joining Fortune Hotels,

he worked with InterContinental Hotels Group for 22 years in operational and leadership roles at various locations in India, Southeast Asia and Korea. Mr. Samir was working as the Director - Operations Support, South East Asia & Korea of Inter Continental Hotels Group based at Bangkok, Thailand. He started his carrier with Holiday Inn Ahmedabad in May 1995, after perusing his Graduation in Hotel Management from IHMCT Ahmedabad. He moved to Holiday Inn Gem Park Ooty as FOM from October 2000 and shifted to InterContinental Marine Drive Mumbai in 2004. He scored the Masters of Business Administration degree from University of Southern Queensland, Australia and IHG management has noticed this dynamic and passionate hospitality professional and promoted him as Revenue Manager in Holiday Inn Park View Singapore in April 2005. Within a short span of time, he moved to higher position as Director Rooms and EAM there and in July 2010, he joined the General Manager of Holiday Inn Bangkok Silom, one of the prime property with more than 700 rooms under IHG in South East Asia region. He got promoted again in October 2013 as the Director of Operations, South West Asia of IHG based at Gurgaon during 2013-15 period to oversees Indian Operations with more than 25 properties across InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express brands.

Dileep Kumar, new GM of The Leela Raviz Kovalam

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r. Dileep Kumar.P.I has been appointed as the General Manager of The Leela Raviz Kovalam. Prior to this, he was associated with Crowne Plaza Kochi as Executive Assistant Manager. He will be responsible for the overall direction of the 183-rooms luxury unit which will include operational setup, business development and strategic planning. Incidentally this is a home coming for Mr. Dileep, one of the vibrant hospitality Sales & Marketing professionals, Kerala has ever produced, He started his career with ITDC’s Ashok Group as Assistant Manager Marketing & Hotel Sales in Delhi; subsequently he was moved to Regional Sales Office Chennai and Ashok Hotel Bangalore. While leaving ITDC during the disinvestment of their hotel division, he was heading the Sales & Marketing department of Kovalam Ashok Beach Resort (Present Leela Raviz Kovalam), the first five star hotel of Kerala. He continued to head the department under the new management of the property and played a major role in rebranding of the hotel as Le Meridien Kovalam Beach. Later he moved to Le Meriden Cochin, where he held the position of Associate Director of Sales.

March 2018 Tourism India

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busiest airports by passenger traffic

INDIAN AIRPORTS WIN AWARDS

IGIA New Delhi and CSMI, Mumbai are the global winners for world's best airports of Airports Council International award 2017

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ndira Gandhi International Airport at New Delhi (DEL); and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (BOM), Mumbai have been announced as winners for world’s best airports In the category of carrying Over 40 million passengers per year by Airports Council International (ACI). As per the Airport Service Quality (ASQ 2017 ) rankings, both these Indian Airports have been adjudged as joint winners over Beijing (PEK) and Shanghai Pudong (PVG) airports. Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) is the winner of third position. Mumbai CSIA has also scoops first place for airports in Asia-Pacific serving over 40 million passengers a year. In North America, this top spot goes to Toronto Pearson and in Europe to Rome Fiumicino. Hyderabad (HYD) International Airport has coveted the prestigious first position in the category of 5–15 million passengers per year, while Cochin International Airport had shared the third position along with Kolakata and Pune airports. Balikpapan (BPN) and Hohhot (HET) are the joint runners up in this category. Lucknow (LKO) International Airport is the winner in the smaller 12

Tourism India March 2018


Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi

World Ranking

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Passenger traffic in 2017

Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai

World Ranking

63,451,503

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Passenger traffic in 2017

47,204,259

airport category of 2–5 million passengers per year. Second place won by Guayaquil (GYE) and third place goes to Bandung (BDO) airport. Bangalore (BLR) International Airports comes in the second position In the 15–25 million passengers per year category, while Denpasar (DPS); Haikou (HAK) and Sanya (SYX) are the joint winners in this segment. Chennai (MAA) and Surabaya (SUB) are the joint third prize winners. Ahmedabad (AMD)airport is the winner of Asia-Pacific region for Most Improved Airport by Region category

Hyderabad, Lucknow, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Kolakata, Pune and Cochin Airports also win award in various categories while Dubai (DXB) adjudged as winner in the Middle East. Indore (IDR) Airport has also bagged the Asia-Pacific winner’s trophy in the category of Best Airport by Region (under 2 million passengers per year). Abu Dhabi (AUH) international airports bagged the best airport in Middle East region, while Dubai International Airports (DXB) selected for third position and Amman (AMM) and Medina (MED) airports

are joint runners up in this category According to Airports Council International (ACI), in 2017, over half of the world’s 7.7 billion travelers passed through an ASQ airport and this year an unprecedented 16 airports are first time winners, challenging best- in-class airports in the delivery of top-quality customer service. This phenomenon reflects the increasingly competitive airport industry operating environment,

where continuous service improvement is a key ingredient in business performance. Airports make the customer experience a high priority. The ASQ Awards Ceremony will be held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada from 10–13 September 2018, during the inaugural ACI Customer Excellence Global Summit hosted by Halifax International Airport Authority.

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‘Free Fly to Kashmir’ Holiday by Cox & Kings Ltd Glorious Kashmir' and 'Kashmir Delight ' are the two package s by Cox & Kings Ltd. in its bid to promote Tourism in Kashmir

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ox & Kings Ltd., announced the ‘Free Fly to Kashmir’ packages in its bid to promote Kashmir Tourism under its domestic brand ‘Bharat Deko’. The unique initiative offers free airfare ex New Delhi, thus making the package attractive. ‘Glorious Kashmir’ and ‘Kashmir Delight’ are the two packages announced for both who wish to opt for Group Tours and those who want to independently plan their holiday. The special packages were formally launched by Mr Mahmood Ahmad Shah, Director Tourism Kashmir along with Mr Yusuf Poonawala, Senior Vice President, Cox & Kings at the Nigeen Club, Srinagar.

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Tourism India March 2018

The packages that span for a week have been specially crafted to offer a holistic Kashmir experience with price starting from only Rs 22,099. The Free Fly tours will allow the tourists explore Kashmir’s pristine nature, the local culture and history. Sonamarg, also called The Meadow of Gold, Thajwas Glacier, Pahalgam, the valley of Shepherds, the 9th-century temple complex of Awantisvamin and Betaab Valley that is named after Bollywood movie Betaab are a few of the many sites that have been included in the tour and the package offer is valid for a l period from 01st Jan to 30th June 2018

Kashmir experience with price starting from only

Rs22,099 The packages that span for a week have been specially crafted to offer a holistic Kashmir experience.


news/INCREDIBLE INDIA

Speedwings Academy bagged IATA World Top 10 Speedwings bagged “Premier Circle Memebr-2018’ recognition from IATA

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he Speedwings Academy Kochi has been ranked by IATA as its “Premier Circle Memebr-2018’, “World Top 10” from the 455 IATA authorized training centers worldwide on the criteria of quality, dedication, innovation, achievements and impact potential. Speedwings owns the IATA record for being successfully honoured with IATA’S global awards for continuously 10 years since 2009. All the 9 years “Premier Circle Member-World Top 10 “ and in 2017, the very special award “Industry Professionals” in recognition for its continuous effort in innovating and enhancing the quality of aviation education. The recognition plaque will be presented on the awards night on April 17, 2018 in Istanbul, Turkey during the 2018 Global Training Partners Conference. The letter signed by IATA Director General & CEO Mr. Alexandre de Juniac states that “IATA Training would like to congratulate Speedwings Academy for Aviation Services, India on qualifying as a 2018 Premier Circle Member. This recognition identifies Speedwings Academy for Aviation Services as a center of excellence for training. In

With IATA’s support, we have developed some cutting-edge concepts in our teachinglearning process to help our students become professionally aviation expert and employable. Mr. Biji Eapen Chairman & CEO, Speedwings Group

2017 Speedwings Academy for Aviation Services achieved impressive results, demonstrated professionalism in delivering IATA Training Programs and commitment to student success.” Speedwings founded in 1994 is an IATA authorized training school imparting 43 IATA aviation courses and also an IATA and Govt of India (DGCA) accredited training school (ATS) for the all 12 categories of dangerous goods and radioactive material (DGR) certifications. Mr. Biji Eapen (Chairman & CEO, Speedwings Group) said, “This recognition is a benchmark of quality and testimony of our 24 years dedication and commitment in providing the best professionalized quality education in aviation. With IATA’s support, we have developed some cutting-edge concepts in our teaching-learning process to help our students become professionally aviation expert and employable. And we would especially like to thank our students , parents and the industry partners too, who believed in us and gave us continuous support which motivated us to work harder to give them the best services in our capacity.”

March 2018 Tourism India

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feature/INCREDIBLE news/HOSPITALITY INDIA

A countryside

escape

Jupiter Capital Venture announces the opening of Luxury Boutique Resort named “Niraamaya Retreats Aradura” at Kohima, Nagaland.

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Tourism India March 2018


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iraamaya Retreats, a Jupiter Capital Venture has announced their expansion to Nagaland with its management lease of Classic Inn a charming boutique property at Kohima in Nagaland. The Classic Inn Aradura now rechristened as Niraamaya Retreats Aradura is lapped in the eastern frontiers of the Himalayan mountain range at Kohima. Overlooking the verdant pine forests, Niraamaya Retreats Aradura offers a countryside escape amidst some of the most beautiful scenery in the region featuring elegant accommodation and spectacular vistas. “This expansion is the first in the series of many more that Niraamaya Retreats has envisaged for this year. In Aradura, we saw a perfect alignment to our philosophy of Niraamaya Retreats being a selection of bespoke experiences in spectacular locations that our clientele expects from us.” said Manu Rishi Guptha, CEO Niraamaya Retreats Private Limited. Niraamaya Retreats Aradura’s charming personality will be preserved and enhanced while it will undergo a refurb and will uphold the high-quality Service and Hospitality standards of Niraamaya Retreats. The property has a total of 12 accommodations with expansive views and eclectic décor which exude elegance and warmth. The

Niraamaya Retreats properties offer transformational experiences for a sensory journey suites are equipped with modern amenities and are an aesthetic fusion of tribal and contemporary design concepts. Complementing the relaxing atmosphere, the Niraamaya Spa offers invigorating therapies to rejuvenate the mind, body and spirit. Located away from the bustle of

the city, the retreat is also a perfect venue to host conferences and offsites for corporate groups. Niraamaya Retreats is a unique collection of boutique properties that offer transformational experiences for a sensory journey. The retreats are an embodiment of wellness and luxury, integrating a seamless blend of regional heritage and culture. Located in some of the most unique destinations in India, the retreats are designed with craftsmanship that offer the stillness and charm of a peaceful retreat. With properties across Kovalam and Thekkady, Niraamaya Retreats is further expanding its footprints with a set of upcoming properties in Kumarakom and Jaipur.

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news/HOSPITALITY

Mercure Chennai Sri perumbudur is now Open Mercure Chennai Sriperumbudur is AccorHotels’ 6th property in Chennai and 7th property in Tamil Nadu, features 100 well-appointed guest rooms, including six suites

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riperumbudur-Oragadam, Chennai’s largest and upcoming industrial and automobile belt gets its first international hotel Mercure Chennai Sriperumbudur which marked as AccorHotels’ sixth property in Chennai and seventh property in Tamil Nadu. The perfect mix of modernity and tradition, the hotel allows its guests to truly experience South India by offering a contemporary ‘home away from home’. Ideally located for business travellers with 45 minute drive from Chennai International Airport and its proximity to major corporates and IT 18

Tourism India March 2018

First international hotel group in the industrial hub of Sriperumbudur. companies It is also in the vicinity of Kanchipuram famous for its historic temples and Kanjeevaram sarees. Mercure Chennai Sriperumbudur features 100 well-appointed guest rooms, including six suites. Each guest

room features spacious interiors and modern design, and comes equipped with in-room amenities, including complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi access. The hotel also features a stateof-the-art fitness centre where fitness enthusiasts can enjoy their work out with the best and latest equipment. Mr Neeraj Govil, Chief Executive, SMP Management Group said: “We have a long standing association with Chennai and hence, it was quite logical for us to commence our association with AccorHotels from Chennai. We are privileged to partner with AccorHotels in bringing


Mercure, the first international brand to the new and fast-growing industrial corridor of Oragadam. Leading national and international brands in the automotive sector have already set-up operations here and the market is ready and looking forward to a brand new property offering international standards of amenities and operations.” “It is a proud moment for us to announce our first Mercure in Sriperumbudur. The opening of the hotel marks yet another milestone for AccorHotels’ expansion and growing brand presence in the country,” said Jean-Michel Cassé, Chief Operating Officer, India & South Asia, AccorHotels. “Chennai is an important market for us as it enjoys the unique positioning of being a business hub with a rich cultural heritage. The launch of this hotel has made us the largest hotel operator in Chennai with six hotels and a combined inventory of more than 950 rooms. We are well represented in the Tamil Nadu market with brands like Novotel, Mercure and ibis.” said Jean-Michel Cassé. True to its lineage, Mercure Chennai Sriperumbudur features local elements which are reflected in the design and the cuisine to offer guests an authentic experience. Drawing from the deeprooted cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu and the rich corpus of literature, the hotel rooms give guests a taste of this ancient history through the writing of “Thirukkural” by the celebrated Tamil poet and philosopher, Thiruvalluvar which is depicted in the wallpaper used in the hotel. Omnipresent throughout the hotel is the theme of the Lotus as a symbol of Creation, while, the lobby is an ode to the local

Jean-Michel Cassé - Chief Operating Officer, Indian & South Asia, AccorHotels, Rahul Nama - General Manager, Mercure Chennai Sriperumbudur and Neeraj Govil - Chief Executive - SMP Management Group & Executive Director SAK Buildtech Pvt Ltd.

Mercure Mercure Chennai Sriperumbudur is ideally located for business travellers with its proximity to major corporates and IT companies, Mercure Chennai Sriperumbudur marks AccorHotels’ sixth property in Chennai. The hotel features 100 well-appointed guest rooms, including six suites along with three F&B options for guests. Drawing from the deep-rooted cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu and the rich corpus of literature, the hotel rooms give guests a taste of this ancient history through the writing of “Thirukkural” by the celebrated Tamil poet and philosopher, Thiruvalluvar which is depicted in the wallpaper used in the hotel. For event and social gatherings, the hotel features six modern meeting room with state-of-theart audio and visual systems and banquet facilities.

craftsmanship thorough vibrant and colourful displays of Tamil art. To ensure that guests have an allround experience, staff includes personnel from the city and nearby places who can assist guests in understanding the local culture and help in sight-seeing. Rahul Nama, General Manager, Mercure Chennai Sriperumbudur said, “We are excited and proud to introduce the Mercure brand to Tamil Nadu. The property is designed in a contemporary and modern style, yet blends perfectly with the local ambiance. We look forward to welcoming corporate and leisure travellers seeking the high level of comfort, service and quality which are synonymous with the Mercure brand.” The hotel also joins Le Club AccorHotels; one of the most powerful and rewarding loyalty programs in the world, which offers more than one million members in India benefits including the most attractive rates, faster check-in, late check-out and upgrades, among other exclusive privileges.

770 61 hotels are a part of mercure

countries are known to have mercure hotels March 2018 Tourism India

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news/HOSPITALITY

Surf, Sun and Sand on the Beach of Novotel Resort Novotel Dona Sylvia Resort, situated in South Goa have 181 wellappointed and spacious rooms, villas & suites, is the 4th Novotel in Goa with the partnership of Alcon Victor Group.

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or those who have perhaps forgotten the feeling of sand on their feet while their thumbs may swollen with the constant touch of a screen in this online world and for those who have an unintended consequence of the new #hashtag world, has been the disconnection of the individual from their surroundings, family, community and the people who matter, Novotel Dona Sylvia Resort offers the perfect resort enclave, to reconnect with fun, deepen family ties, improve relationships and rekindle the spirit of living, through the pleasure of luxury, with surf, sun and sand on the beach. Goa, India’s most visited destination and the recipient of around 50 percent of its domestic tourism, welcomed the new Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort. At the majestic lawns of the Novotel Goa AccorHotels launched its latest Novotel in partnership with the Alcon

Victor Group and its fourth property in the mushrooming Goa market. Tempting travellers with powdery white sands, water sports, magnificent sunsets, plush rooms and local and

The rebranding of Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort strengthens AccorHotels’ presence in the Indian market. international gastronomy, AccorHotels has rebranded the globally known Dona Sylvia Resort to Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort, adding the Novotel brand essence with modern refurbishments

Varun Albuquerque, Director, Alcon Victor Group, Vishal Khosla, GM, Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia & Mr. JeanMichel Cassé, COO, Indian & South Asia, AccorHotels

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and creating a fairy-tale essence on the sands of Cavelossim Beach. Situated in South Goa, the resort features 181 wellappointed and spacious rooms, villas & suites on the Arabian Sea coastline. Mr. Varun Albuquerque, Director, Alcon Victor Group paid tribute to the acumen and craftsmanship of the late Charles Correa who had originally conceptualized and designed the resort. He said “Dona Sylvia Resort has always resonated with old-world charm and new-world luxury, creating an authentic Goan ambience along with its perfect location on Cavelossim Beach. Today through the rebranding of the property, as a Novotel Resort, we look forward to offering an international standard product to our guests”. Mr. Jean-Michel Cassé, Chief Operating Officer, India & South Asia, AccorHotels shared, “The rebranding of Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort strengthens AccorHotels’ presence in the Indian market. With 17 Novotels in the country, we believe this brand is particularly well targeted for the modern Indian traveller and international guests. Novotel is the world’s most recognized hotel brand that offers modern easy living hotels and resorts located in major international cities, business districts and tourist destinations. We are delighted to partner with the Alcon Victor Group and look forward to bringing our expertise in hospitality to this relationship.” The property provides a glimpse into the rich traditional Portuguese culture


through a mix of contemporary and local heritage architecture, built like a small luxury village in itself. The resort also offers an eclectic range of spectacular dining options. Seagull, the all-day dining restaurant, serves delectable buffet spreads, scrumptious a-l-a carte meals and offers an impressive dining experience with live cooking stations and plush interiors. Further, guests with an Indian palate can head towards Kebabs & Kurries, the fine dining Indian outlet that presents enticing signature dishes from the royal kitchens of India. At Mama Mia, the resort’s seasonal poolside grill restaurant offers guests an appetizing

selection of fiery grills prepared by the talented Chefs of the eatery. Guests can also pick an assortment of experiences from intimate bar settings to mesmerizing views of the pool at Amalia & Tia Maria, the poolside and lobby bars. Said Mr. Vishal Khosla, General Manager, Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort, ‘’We seek to offer solace to the #hashtag tired traveller, offering a place where the incessant mobile phone ring can be forgotten and activities indulged in that bring back fun and laughter, making it into a style of living. At Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort we aim to host a complete getaway package,

where guests can come and enjoy the simple but luxurious pleasures of a resort.” Appreciating the needs of today’s travellers, Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort features two dedicated conference rooms with a capacity to serve 200 guests. The resort also offers two magnificent Seaside Lawns by the beautiful white sands of Cavelossim Beach, making it a perfect setting for glamorous events and black-tie affairs. With a team of skilled professionals, Sohum Spa at the property provides a variety of Indian Ayurvedic treatments, aromatherapy sessions and revitalizing western massages.

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feature/INCREDIBLE cover story/views INDIA

Balancing

work& life

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Tourism India March 2018


Women’ s social entrepreneurships are widely identified and discussed around the globe but lack of empowerment, confidence, gender centric factors are still the hurdles for Women Entrepreneurs in India.

by Rajani A

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he first lessons of Hospitality always come from mothers and if a woman becomes a hospitality entrepreneur, she will be under the spotlight for the rest of her life. The feminine energy chooses self-employment because she values the ability to pursue carrier goals while facing family obligations in order to balance work and family. Despite the potential that lies in women entrepreneurs, they face different social, cultural, educational and technological challenges than men in establishing and developing their own enterprises and accessing economic resources. Starting and flourishing an entrepreneurship is always challenging for both men and women. Even though we are living in an era of software, our male dominated society still holds back the hard ware in case of women fun. The men who were asking why women need to travel by themselves? I have always the counter question ‘Why not?’ It’s not a matter of conflict it’s a matter of independence a matter of self esteem as an individual. Of course, there will be tails with stings in the crowd throughout your journey to bring you down on gender basis. It’s high time to stop the gender bias discriminations and rules from the part of the society which constrain women’s’ interaction, mobility, participation in business development and all it has to start from the root up, from family. Women Entrepreneurs have been defined by Government of India as “Enterprise owned and controlled by women having a minimum financial interest of 51% of the capital and giving at least 51% of employment generated in the enterprise to women”. Women entrepreneurship has been gaining popularity in India these days and Less than 7% of women entrepreneurs have been found in formal sector and most of the women entrepreneurs are found in informal sector as it is easy to make an entry and to survive.

When come to the entrepreneurship being female is the most valuable asset. Women with her multitasking ability are more willing to take risks and bear hardships than men and the feminine energy is always prepared for some hard times. The flexible time and job make her more comfortable to meet the balance of work and life. It’s not good to label Travel and Tourism as man’s world. In some cases women are more inclined to venture into business due to their needs to supplement family incomes and some others participated in business as a hobby or to gain more freedom. Tourism is suitable for women as nature and expectations of tourism industry are conducive for the manifestation of the inherent qualities (Entrepreneurial abilities) of women. It is a positive indicator that Women entrepreneurs have finally started to work in the tourism industry as entrepreneurs – some are travel agents and tour operators, others own tourism enterprises, hotels, home stays and managing self help groups and women account got around 70% of travel Industry. If entrepreneurs have the ability to manage the right balance between the social and commercial aspect of an enterprise and have strong sense of social responsibility and sustainability the future will be come out with colours. It provides evidence of how women integrate social transformational and commercial goals in their business strategies, while serving defined communities around the tourism sector. Community needs the development impacts from Women entrepreneurships but presently, lack of internal and external support and cooperation, Women Entrepreneurs are more apprehensive about their performance. Women’ s social entrepreneurship s are widely identified and discussed around the globe but lack of empowerment, confidence, gender centric factors are still the hurdles for Women Entrepreneurs in India.

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cover story/FACE-TO-FACE

SustaininG village life

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Sustainability is key to the survival of rural villages, that economic opportunity is best achieved by encouraging and building on the villagers’ own strengths, skills and knowledge to develop enterprise.

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illage Ways, right from its start in the foothills of the Himalayas, determined that sustainability is key to the survival of rural villages, that economic opportunity is best achieved by encouraging and building on the villagers’ own strengths, skills and knowledge to develop enterprise. Working in partnership with the villagers, they encourage low-key tourism that runs alongside, but does not displace, traditional livelihoods. Village Ways works in partnership with each village to establish, develop and manage a unique kind of ethical, responsible tourism. A local tourism enterprise is created with the help of funding through Village Ways, ownership of which is in the hands of villagers. Typically a village-owned guest house is at the centre of the enterprise - if you like - a form of ‘home-stay’ offered by the whole village. The village communities have embraced new roles as hosts, guides, cooks with huge heart. They are

happy to undertake regular training to improve steadily their new skills, providing you, their guests, with the warmest of welcomes in a delightfully natural way. As a daughter of an Indian Army man, from childhood onward Ms. Manisha, had the opportunity to move place to place within India and that was an important learning experience for a typical Indian Village girl to adapt to different environments. During

Village Ways works in partnership with each village to establish, develop and manage a unique kind of ethical, responsible tourism.

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cover story/face-to-face

Make a positive difference for better life Women have a natural talent and attitude for hospitality and administration. And I think these are the key factors in Tourism. Manisha Pande, Managing Director, Village Ways Travels Pvt Ltd.

What are the challenges that you faced when you entered in this sector? The main challenges for us at the starting phase, were to mobilize the communities to get involved in a collective approach of Tourism where we aimed to benefit the community as a whole. It was also a task for us to motivate them to take initiatives and regain the faith on their abilities and skills. We had no support from any funding agency and it was not possible to start without any capital available to spend on the project. Human resource was also a difficulty considering our limited resources. However we overcame these challenges because of our hard work as a team and we did not leave any stone unturned to keep things moving and the project took off successfully in 5 villages of Binsar, with our first guest arriving in 2006.

What are the progress and development that

her college days, she opted to study English Literature to pursue her inclination towards arts and creativity and later completed a course in textile and garment designing to be able to pursue a career as a designer. After her marriage, she moved to her native village with her husband, who is running a hotel in the Binsar wildlife Sanctuary in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand. Manisha recalls “While we spent a considerable amount of our time in the area, my husband was very concerned to see villages within the Sanctuary under serious threat of outmigration. He wanted to do something for these villages, so that the communities could have a 26

Tourism India March 2018

sustainable future. It was a fortunate chance that some of our friends from India and UK who had varied backgrounds of working in Tourism, handicraft and Rural development sectors, were also very supportive and keen to be involved. We all focused our thoughts on developing tourism as a possible option for these villages. Until then, these villages were largely bypassed by any benefits from tourism, though it is a major source of livelihood within the state as a whole. With efforts from the team, the idea started taking shape and Village Ways emerged as a social enterprise helping rural communities to run their own enterprises to sustain their villages and

work with pride and dignity. My initial involvement in Village Ways started mainly to support my husband and our other team members, who had many years of working


you initiated in the current arena? The outcome of our initiative is the creation of 23 village-owned and run guest-houses across India and Nepal, including three tented camps and one houseboat, and the employment of people from 261 families in those villages. Impacts include a reduction in out-migration, with young people choosing to stay in their home villages and work as guides, and an increase in transferrable skills through the training provided. Since we started, our stress was on involving women in all sides of the business. I am very proud of our all women sales team, our many women guides who guide our guests, our many housekeepers who participate in running of their village guest - houses, our lady porters who walk up the hill carrying luggage and return back with the grass for their livestock. They are balancing their household responsibilities with a professional life to bring in the much -needed income to run their families and to build the confidence in their skills.

today. What is the advice you give to such young women? Each one of us can make a positive difference by getting involved. The results may not be immediate, but if good time is spent in researching about different aspects, before making an entry, that will be very helpful in the longer run. I would also say that we must use our creativity and have faith in our ideas and beliefs, as that

Since we started, our stress was on involving women in all sides of the business. helps us to create something positive for the community and overcome any challenges.

More women entrepreneurs are now enter into the Social arena of Travel & hospitality sector

Compared to men, how women can enhance this industry from a woman-point of view? Women have a natural talent and attitude for hospitality and administration. And I think these are the key factors in Tourism, as everything

experience, and I was completely new to this field and lacked any real knowledge. I was also looking after my personal commitments towards my family and particularly as a mother, and

so there was much in hand. During this early period, however, I was very closely interacting with the local communities, getting to know the challenges they faced, meeting young people who were working in towns and cities to support their families, and meeting women who worked so hard, waking up before sunrise and managing to go to bed only by late night. These interactions transformed my perspective on life and the motivation of being able to change lives of people in a positive manner through this special kind of tourism, paved the way for my close involvement in rural tourism through Village Ways. After initial years of hard work and

begins with natural hospitality and good administration. Therefore I feel that women can enhance the different experiences of Tourism by using their creativity and their caring and alert attitude. What is the future of Responsible & Rural Tourism sector in India? Do you have any suggestion to authorities and tourism industry stake holders to take this into next level? India has a very good potential to develop Rural Tourism and there are many parts of our country, which can offer some of the most unique experiences and opportunities for travellers to understand local life and to immerse in our rich traditional and cultural heritage. However, the way to make this work, is only possible when efforts from Public and private sectors are collaborated to create something for the betterment of the local communities. If each effort works independently without any consultations from each other, there is no collective responsibility created in Tourism. ‘’Responsible Tourism is only possible when each stakeholder takes the responsibility of its impacts’’.

learning, I was chosen by my team to take on the overall management of the company and this was something I did not expect, as I was not sure if I will be able to balance my various responsibilities of life. However I was very proud that my team had bestowed their trust on my capabilities and I did work very hard and kept my mind open to learning from others and to manage situations patiently. I would have faced many challenges in this role, had it not been the support and encouragement from our team, the village communities we work with and also from my family. I am still learning and there is much more to learn!

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cover story/INTERVIEW

Magic walks My journey in tourism only started in my late 30’s, when I realized that India has so much more to offer tourists than just monuments and shopping.

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eel the pulse of Mumbai through walks with Mumbai Magic. untold stories and myths of forts ,enjoy vibrant street markets, the colourful people, the multi-cultural mix of mosques, temples and derasars, the different cuisines, and the sheer throbbing energy of the place . The Woman with magical wand Mrs. Deepa Krishnan, Founder, Mumbai Magic shares her story with Tourism India. Mumbai Magic is considered as one of the rarest Responsible Travel experience in India. How it all began? I graduated in 1990 with an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta. I had travelled widely and met people from many countries as I spent nearly two decades in banking Technology for my career in the corporate world. My journey in tourism only started in my late 30’s, when I realized that India has so much more to offer tourists than just monuments and shopping. Initially I set up a guided tours company that offers bazaar walks, heritage walks, art walks, food walks, home-cooking, textile trails, craft trails etc. it was just a hobby along with my corporate career. But what started as just a hobby in 2006 has now become the largest pan-Indian guided tours company in the inbound segment, offering offbeat experiences in 27 different

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cities. Mumbai is our flagship city, but we are not just “Mumbai Magic”; we have 27 different Magic cities! I have personally visited these cities, read a lot about them, walked and explored the lanes and bazaars, and created these tours. So we are not just tour resellers, we are an imaginative company that creates tours, and we continue to launch at least 5-6 new tours each year. Across India, we now have a

Across India, we now have a network of more than 100 guides and experts, who help tourists to see the “real India”. network of more than 100 guides and experts, who help tourists to see the “real India”. I believe that tourism is a great area for women to work, since the work is flexi-time and part-time. We employ female guides wherever possible – in fact, we currently have the largest network of women guides in the country, and many companies approach us for providing safe travel for female tourists.

Mumb


mbai

I believe that tourism is a great area for women to work, since the work is flexi-time and part-time. Deepa Krishnan

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cover story/INTERVIEW You are one of the pioneers in Responsible Tourism initiative in urban travel segment who have already created different aspects to Travel through our cities, especially in Mumbai. I have always wanted to make a positive impact through the tourism business. So we employ and train students from slums, in order to help them earn incomes and get work experience while they are in college. We have created two flagship tours – MUMBAI LOCAL and DELHI BY METRO – in partnership with local non-profits. These tours are run by college students from low-income neighborhoods, and they use local transport (bus, taxi, train, rickshaw, metro, etc.) to explore the city. Tourists really enjoy these experiences, because they are offbeat and interesting. The income from the tour is shared between the student guides, the non-profit, and our company, thus providing a winning combination. These tours have been running successfully for the past 10 years and have contributed significant income to the students as well as the non-profits. We have had 52 college students work with us (usually for 3 years or more), and they have all made us proud through their achievements. Some of our students have now entered fullfledged careers in tourism, some have acquired jobs in top multinationals, some are studying for MBA, some have gone to the USA for studies, and some have started their own tourism ventures. It makes me really happy to see these students doing so well. In many of the cities where we work, we partner with local non-profits and actively canvas for donations to these non-profits. We try to bring incomes to marginalized sectors. Since many of our customers are foreign educational institutes, we create experiences for them where they can understand social issues in a sensitive way without disrespecting local communities. In Mumbai we are ourselves working

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An entrepreneur is one who is willing to take risk, show leadership, and bear hardships. This is not an easy thing. Anyone who enters this – whether man or women – has to be prepared for some tough times. Deepa Krishnan

in 4 adivasi villages (around 4hrs drive from the city), building dams, wells, ponds and other rainwater harvesting structures. In addition, I myself run an education NGOin Mumbai called Abhyudaya, with 500+ children. Last year I also founded Abhyudaya Community Initiative, a women’s self-help group which creates textile craft products. I do a lot of work in promoting Indian handlooms and I am a member of the NABARD Task Force for handlooms. More women entrepreneurs are now enter into the Travel & Tourism sector today.


What is the advice you give to such young women? An entrepreneur is one who is willing to take risk, show leadership, and bear hardships. This is not an easy thing. Anyone who enters this – whether man or women – has to be prepared for some tough times. For new women entrepreneurs, my advice would be to develop a strong spine and a somewhat thick skin! Don’t let anyone discourage you, because many people will be very skeptical of your journey.

How women can enhance this industry from a woman-point of view? I would urge all people in the industry to provide flexi-time, flexilocation jobs. This is a real boon for women. Even for men, it helps to bring more work-life balance. In our office, we provide opportunities for our staff to work part-time and flexi-time.

The employees receive a share of the profits, thus everyone is a part of the growth journey. Due to these people-friendly policies, our team has been stable since the beginning. Stability brings deeper expertise, which benefits our tourists.

exciting and interesting segments. I am hoping to bring more balance to this.

How you feel when looks back the journey from an ordinary Indian girl to a respected Travel professional ? How you foresee the future of Indian Travel Industry ? I don’t look back very often, but when I do look back, I am happy with the value we have added to all stakeholders – employees, contractors, customers and society. There is still a lot of work ahead, so I am very much occupied with the future! Although I have travelled a lot in India, there are still many new places to explore and new experiences to bring to tourists. The Indian tourism industry is still focused on specific geographies, and does not do justice to many

Travel & Tourism sector considered to be a man’s world. How did you make entry into this sector and What are the challenges that you faced in this journey I don’t believe that any sector is “a man’s world”. When women are flying fighter jets and facing combat situations, why should we have this mindset? In fact, travel and tourism is a great area for women to work in. I can honestly say that I have never faced any challenges specifically due to my gender. Creating and growing a business is always challenging; whether for men or women. If anything, I believe being female is an asset, as you are more easily able to stand out among the crowd. Besides, a lot of foreign tourists often prefer dealing with women.

FORM IV

Statement about ownership and other particulars about newspaper TOURISM INDIA to be published in the first issue every year after the last day of February 1. Place of publication : Thiruvananthapuram 2. Periodicity of its publication : Monthly 3. Printer’s Name : Ravisankar.K.V Nationality ; Indian Address : SEKT 52, Thamarakulam Lane, Sasthamangalam.P.O Thiruvananthapuram- 695 010, Kerala, India 4. Publisher’s Name : Ravisankar.K.V Nationality ; Indian Address : SEKT 52, Thamarakulam Lane, Sasthamangalam.P.O Thiruvananthapuram- 695 010, Kerala, India 5. Editor’s Name : Ravisankar.K.V Nationality ; Indian Address : SEKT 52, Thamarakulam Lane, Sasthamangalam.P.O Thiruvananthapuram- 695 010, Kerala, India 6. Names and addresses of individuals who own the newspaper and partners or shareholders holding More than one per cent of the total capital. : Tourism India Publications Pvt. Ltd. SEKT 52, Thamarakulam Lane, Sasthamangalam.P.O Thiruvananthapuram- 695 010, Kerala, India I, Ravisankar.K.V, hereby declare that the particulars given above are true to the best of my Knowledge and belief. Ravisankar.K.V Date 01.03.2018 Signature of Publisher

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cover story/OFF THE BEAT

Travel is all about storytelling Thrillophilia curate unique, genuinely local and high quality travel experiences.

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he passion for travel with a firm belief that India as a destination has abundant opportunities when it comes to adventure travel and local experiences which sown the seed of Thrillophilia in Chitra Gurnani Daga and she co-founded Thrillophilia Adventure Tours Pvt Ltd. with her husband Abhishek Daga in 2009. Over the years, Thrillophilia has evolved from being an online service provider to being a marketplace connecting vendor partners and customers with more than 10,000+ activities, tours and excursions. Our business model is similar to that of any marketplace where any transaction happening results in vendor partners getting business and we are getting a certain percentage for helping them acquire customers. Chitra a MBA graduate served at SAP labs is a woman who loves to take risks and very passionate about traveling, exploring and seeking adventure. Both she and her husband have a passion for adventure and on one such adventure break when they realized a business opportunity with unprecedented potential and jumped into it. Chithra said, “We, at Thrillophilia curate unique, genuinely local and high quality travel experiences. Our customers love how we add thrill to their regular holidays and make them truly memorable. Our suppliers love how we simplify business operations and sales for them and let them focus on the core of their outdoor business.” 32

Tourism India March 2018

Chitra is a woman who loves to take risks and very passionate about traveling, exploring and seeking adventure. According to Chitra, “USP of Thrillophilia is the understanding and the learnings developed over the years which have helped us tremendously in not only getting to know our customers but also to develop

phenomenal outdoor products while at the same time delivering exceptional customer service”. She added that the reason why Thrillophilia is doing well is mainly due to the fact that it is not like a me-too online activities platform or a rip off of some business model operating in some part of this world. We ourselves encountered a problem while wanting to book an adventure based activity and that’s when this idea came. So, essentially, in a largely disorganized market, full of chaos, wrong commitments and unpleasant experiences, this came as an opportunity and more importantly, we are solving a real world problem. Thrillophilia has started, when other


Thrillophilia Adventure Tours Pvt Ltd is one of the biggest online platform in experiential travel, when it comes to adventure, treks, biking and excursions and activities in India, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. Currently they are the biggest supplier of adventure activities across Asia, with a record number of 370,000 plus travelers in Himalayas in the last 6 years. Thrillophilia have more than 320 products in various categories and served 90,000+ travelers on Experiential tours and excursions in Iceland, Norway, Magnolia, Sweden, Spain, Jordan, Israel, Greece, Seychelles, South Africa, Switzerland, Madagascar and Antarctica. Over 2 Million travelers use Thrillophilia every month to explore and book from more than 15000 curated travel experiences spread across the globe.

Ms. Chitra Gurnani Daga, CEO and Co- Founder Thrillophilia

March 2018 Tourism India

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cover story/OFF THE BEAT

Traditional and many prominent Travel companies are struggling to survive and many OTA’s have holiday travel as one of the offerings amongst a plethora of categories and if we further deep dive into it, then we will come across adventure travel which will constituent a very small part of their overall business, hence the low focus. Travel as a sector has undergone a 360 degrees’ evolution. Gone are the days when you would be visiting a palace in Amber (in Jaipur) and a guide would be vomiting all that he parroted about the history of this monument. I mean, why would I waste my time listening to something that I can google and read on

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Travelers today are looking for stories associated with places all the more because they kind of relate to them. Wikipedia? Today’s travel is all about storytelling. I fondly remember all the stories that my grandmother told me not because they were extra ordinary stories (some were) but because of the manner in which they were told.

Travelers today are looking for stories associated with places all the more because they kind of relate to them. These stories could be about the place, the food, the culture, the people and so on. In today’s world where there is practically no time even to meet your relatives (though you live in the same town!), social media is the one platform where one can meet all his friends and family virtually and share his stories, pictures, statuses etc… and that’s when we realized that this is the medium through which we need to create and communicate stories of our travelers. Another reason why platforms like Fb, Instagram have become so popular is that all the travellers are looking for that at least one instagrammable picture from the holiday to brag about and what better place than the social networks to post the same! As an experienced traveler and inspiring women entrepreneur Chitra have a word of warning to upcoming entrprenuers, My sincere advice to them would be to do something only with their 200% heart and soul. Don’t get into travel because you see Thrillophilia as a success or you see me as an inspiration. Do it because you want to do it. Do it because this is your passion. And once you get into it, give it your best shot and keep giving it each day.


cover story/WOMEN TRAVEL

Do what you good for ultimate Success Women only travel is a new trend in India

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rom a dull student to School National champion in sports is what made the difference in Rashmi Chadhas life back then. Always being supported by her mom, a graduate in journalism with sportsman spirit did her research into foreigners traveling to India specially females by conducting few tours as freelancer. She found that foreign female travellers really want to Travel India but they feel insecure and are reluctant to travel the most incredible country of the world. While thinking about the remedial measures to reduce the risk sparks her mind about the business opportunity with loads of potential waiting to be explored which finally shaped a women travel company Wovoyage in 2016. As the name loads Wovoyages offers women friendly customized packages, assign them expert women guides. Women are challenging they are good in many things that’s what tourism requires people who are looking to buy there experience through a company they want a women touch, caring, explanatory, assistance and budgeted women are good in all these. Yet consumer research shows that women make 70% of all travel -buying decisions.women listen to other women easily and trust them. “Women only travel is a new trend in India specially when women who of any relationship status prefer to travel with women and feel more comfortable. See we have to take care of few situations while travelling its not in India only but If someone is travelling to south Africa or Paris going out late night some

streets ,some colonies are avoidable. May be wont feel comfortable wearing sarees on street at Ibiza so adopting culture is way to have a great Travel “Rashmi said There is big demand of Quality, Secure and risk free Travel in India by foreigners/expats and we are looking to deliver them to our clients as seamlessly as possible. They are more than happy to pay for such service without hassle as long as all that is promised is catered without compromising quality. wovoyage is working for women safe travel which is the most important topic for tourism boost for any country which is again a part of Job Creation. she added I think staying updated and working on new modules which is again experience based is important she opined about her challenges. Now working with embassies and solo travellers have 40 lakh turnover in last 8 months she felt happy.Rashmi opined First Find what you good at. Second do what you good at Success will be yours.

WOVOYAGE

WOVOYAGE is a Women Friendly Travel Company. We started provide risk free & safe tours for female foreign travelers by providing them with female tour guides and designing their tour with Real India Experience. We also organize group departures which includes concept tours like Photography, Rejuvenation, Yoga, Trekking, Cycling etc.

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cover story/rendezvous

TRAVEL WITH SOUL ‘Planet Abled’ carving its niche in Accessible Tourism by Sharada Devi R

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ourism has been recognized as the largest growth industry in the world, with multitudes of people travelling everyday across different parts of the world for a variety of reasons. Travel can be liberating, empowering, exciting, joyful and much more. The whole touristic experience is a corporeal one, centered on the senses, organs and emotions. Each traveller goes through different experiences while travelling. Persons with disabilities and senior citizens with health issues constitute a significant market segment of tourism. But often, disabled persons are found getting excluded from leisurely activities like travelling because of their disabilities. In Leisure of Disabled Tourists: Barriers to Participation, R. W. Smith has pointed out that “people with disabilities have the same motivations to travel as the rest of the population”. However, lack of accessibility and societal attitude often become roadblocks in the way of disabled travellers. Thus, there emerged a new field of tourism: Accessible Tourism (Inclusive Tourism or Barrier-Free Tourism). A multi-disciplinary field, accessible tourism incorporates concepts like disability, accessibility, geography, culture, economics, public policy etc… Through accessible tourism, tourist destinations, products and services are made accessible to all, regardless of gender, age or disability. This enables 36

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persons with disabilities and senior citizens to travel independently and with dignity. Accessible tourism is based on the idea that a person is rendered disabled not only by his bodily deformities but also by the notion and attitude of the public. Thus, a disabled traveller is created by unfriendly environment and social stigma attached to disability. Accessible tourism creates enabling environments for disabled travellers through the adoption of universal design. The policy makers all over the world have now become cognizant of the immense potential of accessible tourism. In 2005, the UNWTO had passed its resolution on ‘Accessible Tourism for All’. Despite all these, the tourism service providers and entrepreneurs appear balky to implement the universal accessible


SOUL

Planet Abled

Planet-Abled provides accessible travel solutions and leisure excursions for people with different disabilities. There are over a billion people with different disabilities in the world, but the percentage of them travelling is miniscule, owning to lack of accessible travel options available.

design because of the high investment it requires. It is in this context that I would like to draw your attention to ‘Planet Abled’. Neha Arora, a former Enterprise Account Manager at Adobe, was anointed to transform the travel experiences of a number of persons with disabilities, transforming their

Planet Abled is the only organization in the world, where we mix people of all disabilities together into one group and travel together.

Born to a wheelchair-user mother and a visually impaired father, Neha needed no one to explain to her the challenges faced by disabled people while travelling. It was this personal experience that spurred in her mind the idea of ‘Planet Abled’. Started in 2016, this company follows universal design and is rooted on the idea of “giving people with disabilities the freedom to travel, leaving behind social inhibitions and apprehensions about their capabilities”. It offers diverse choices like solo tour, group tour, trips with family/friends and colleagues etc…

Persons with disabilities and senior citizens with health issues constitute a significant market segment of tourism. lives altogether. She has become a trailblazer by setting up ‘Planet Abled’, a Delhi-based company which provides travel solutions for people with all kinds of disabilities. “We want to open doors for people with disabilities to travel the way they want”, points out Neha in a brief e-mail interview.

“Whether they want to experience a small facet of the city they are in or they want to travel across multiple cities of varied interests, Planet Abled has something unique, safe and enjoyable for everyone”, Neha states. The travel recounts of disabled people brimming with words of appreciation

for ‘Planet Abled’ bear testimony to its popularity and success within this short span of two years. But it has never been an easy stride. Neha says, “The hardest part I feel has been that though there is a market, those people had to be made aware at first that yes accessible travel is possible for you”. She points out that it took time to convince many parents to let their adult children travel alone. Lack of the right people to as moderators and guides has been another challenge. Lack of physical and technological infrastructure has also been a major problem. “At many places there are steps, and no ramps. To solve this problem, we have procured a portable ramp to make the place accessible for wheelchair users to some extent”, states Neha. The people are mostly insensitive towards disabled people. Neha mentions about the kind of looks on their faces seeing disabled travellers as if “they have seen aliens wondering from where all these people came from”. With over 350 happy travelers and counting in its kitty, ‘Planet Abled’ has so far received many national and international accolades. The society is now slowly recognizing the position of disabled people as respectful citizens.

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feature/INCREDIBLE cover story/OUT INDIA OF THE BOX Business can be diffic ult for anyone, not only women Be committed and work hard.

W

hen the world has not completely freed itself from the biased privileges that it offers men, arising out of a perception that is embedded in the norms and assumptions which guide decision making and business behaviour, some women engage themselves in the pursuit of challenging the popular definitions of the society. Ms. Thinlas Chorol is one of the pioneer Himalayan Women Travel guides in Leh – Ladakh region in Jammu & Kashmir. She attended government schools in Ladakh and had been a foundation year student at the Students’ Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh (SECMOL). She graduated in Arts stream from Jammu University. Ms. Thinlas owns a small cafe

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It was totally Thinlas’ decision to enter the Travel and Tourism sector which was considerably untouchedbywomen untilrecently. called Ladakhi Women’s Café and is actively involved in a volunteer society called Ladakh Women Welfare which attempts to aid women who are caught up in botched situations. She worked as a freelance travel

guide in the Himalayan region, before setting up her maiden company, “Ladakhi Women’s Travel Company”. She also worked as an instructional aide for NOLS in India and for the American based company, “Where There Be Dragons”. Married to a Sri Lankan born Swedish national, Ms. Thinlas hails from a traditional Ladakhi farmer family. It was totally Thinlas’ decision to enter the Travel and Tourism sector which was considerably untouched by women until recently. She began as a freelancer and as she gained experience she ventured into establishing her own company. In an attempt to adjudge the need of solo female trekkers, she agnized that the assurance of safety is an uncompromisable concern for these travellers. This apprehension demands a tour group exclusively of women, which in turn drove Ms Thinlas to give shape to “Ladakhi Women’s Travel Company”. She doesn’t opine that the Tourism sector was very unwelcoming in the beginning though once when she approached a travel agency for freelance work she was offered the job of a tour guide while expecting that of a trekking guide. She recalls that the second agency she approached did not want to hire her at all but ever since then there had not been much obstruction for


growth in the sector. This company outranks others by virtue of the fact that they provide free training to the women they hire. Aspiring guides start as porters and are provided classes on various topics to match their skills to that of a professional guide. This opportunity rolls out the welcome mat even to those who have no experience in the field before. The outlook Ms Thinlas holds towards business is invigorating and the piece of advice she has in store for young women entrepreneurs says much about her own journey. “Be committed and work hard. Business can be difficult for anyone, not only women. But it can also be very beneficial if you are successful”. When drawn parallels to the prospects of men, women entrepreneurs in Travel and Tourism sector seem to be benefitted with an icing on the cake since they can ensure the level of comfort women long for more than other reputed agencies while going on journeys. India is undoubtedly no safe haven for women. It cannot be demanded from this dynamic entrepreneur for any research to assess the degree of safety for women in India for she herself

Thinlas Chorol

Thinlas’s outlook towards business is invigorating and the piece of advice she has in store for young women entrepreneurs says much about her own journey. “Be committed and work hard. Business can be difficult for anyone, not only women. But it can also be very beneficial if you are successful”.

has experienced few unwelcomed advances from men while travelling to different parts of the country. Nevertheless, she doesn’t intend to blame all men and is confident that she has set strong boundaries and know when and how to dissent such approaches. Ms.Thinlas doesn’t consider comparing the safety issues of India to that of countries as she hasn’t travelled much alone outside India. There had been several other experienced women tour guides in the Himalayan range but Ms.Thinlas has been in the field for 15 years now and she knows the sector well. The impact that she has made and yearns to make further in her business is deserving of high regard. She ponders, “Overall, my experience has been good. One of the big challenges in my case was to find staff. Since there were so few women in trekking before, it was hard to expand. We often had to turn down people wanting to trek with us because we did not have enough guides. This problem has diminished, but in the peak season we still have a shortage of guides.”

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feature/INCREDIBLE cover story/EDUCATION INDIA

Clap Global a unique cultural exchange platform two girls came up with the idea after realizing how little exposure they had in different cultures when they were growing up

I arrive at the school gate in the Fort area of Mumbai in good time on the morning of my second day in India. I wasn’t expecting to go to school on my holiday until I heard about Clap Global. Now I am the guest speaker for a class of 13-year-olds”, said Patrick Widdess, who writes poetry, prose, and arts and travel features, based in Norwich, UK. “Clap” is a unique platform for cultural exchange that enables international travellers to visit local school classrooms and have eyeopening conversations with students, which makes classroom learning more experiential and travel more meaningful. It is an online platform, launched in 2016. Through the website, travellers can sign up to visit schools and give a Clap Talk. This means talking about their life, country, and culture before asking and answering questions to stimulate conversation. Clap’s vision is to bring global perspectives to education in order to raise a more compassionate, culturally-adept and well-exposed new generation of young minds. Founders AartiChhabria and ShirinJohari came up with the idea after realizing how little exposure they had to different cultures when they were growing up. “As a child, my only exposure to foreigners was my dad’s Dutch and Swiss business customers. I remember the women being dressed 40

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in ‘bold’ clothes and consuming alcohol. I grew up with the idea that being ‘Western’ somehow meant being superior,” Aarti recalls. Shirin too grew up with a long list of prejudices: “In school, I thought Germany was a ‘bad’

Through the website, travellers can sign up to visit schools and give a Clap Talk. country because my textbooks only spoke of World War II. I believed white skin was more beautiful than brown. I thought telling your family about your boyfriend was wrong if you didn’t intend to marry him. Till I grew up, I thought cooking was a pretty much a woman’s job.” Travelling outside India in her 20s had broadened Shirin’s

outlook, as her new global friendships made her question the many stereotypes about foreign cultures that she had unconsciously imbibed as a child. She found herself asking: “Why must children wait to grow up before their stereotypes are questioned, before they discover new worlds, cultures and ways of thinking? What if foreign travellers could come into classrooms and share stories of their lives and dreams directly with children?” Aarti, meanwhile, had found from her ten years of working experience in education sector that textbook learning was very limited andlonged to introduce children to diverse perspectives from around the


In school, I thought Germany was a ‘bad’ country Shirin, Founder

Clap has reached and collaborated with

1000 travellers

world. She aspired to change the way learning is experienced and create adaptive education ecosystems. Teachers, too, wanted more international exposure for children, but they didn’t have a system or resources to do it regularly or effectively. When Aarti and Shirin discovered their shared vision, Clap Global was born. Shirin conceptualised ‘Travellers in Classrooms’ as an automated platform with an aim to harmonise this into the global education and tourism systems. This concept also received an overwhelming response at Shirin’s 2016 TEDX Talk in Mumbai. Shirin is responsible for creating the product, communication and co-creating the Clap Curriculum, whereas Aarti is in charge for co-creating Clap Global’s curriculum, platform and strategy. Schools and educators around the world are fast realizing that education needs to move beyond rote learning

and that children need to be regularly exposed to diverse perspectives and ways of life. Not all parents, however, can afford to send their children on education tours and exchange programs. Travellers, meanwhile, are growing increasingly wary of typical ‘touristy’ experiences. They want their travel to be more authentic and their interactions with a new place more immersive. Thus, Clap offers enriching experiences for both groups. Children get to learn about different cultures through real stories and real people, and gradually develop an understanding of the world that is deeper than popular stereotypes. And travellers get to witness a slice of real life in a foreign land while making an actual difference to the lives of the people they meet. Aarti and Shirin hope to make the talks a regular part of the curriculum. According to them, a child who has six Clap Talks a year throughout their education could gain exposure to 80 different cultures. Since its launch in 2016, Clap has reached and collaborated with 1000 Travellers, 100 countries, 239 classrooms and 78 schools; and has conducted 655 Clap Talks. Over 19,000 students have experienced a Clap Talk till December, 2017, in 11 cities.

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cover story/OFF THE BEAT

Take a break with Wonder world ‘Wonderful World‘ is a novel initiative created by Ms Shibani Vig and Ms Liane Ghosh, who have always been passionate about travel, where they craft journeys and memories for women with a thirst for something new. “I see trees of green, Red roses too I see them bloom For me and you And I think to myself, What a wonderful world”

D

o you crave for the road less travelled? Do you long to take a break from life’s responsibilities, dust off your old backpack, and explore the world’s vistas? “Wonderful World” is a novel initiative created by Ms Shibani Vig and Ms Liane Ghosh, who have always been passionate about travel, where they craft journeys and memories for women with a thirst for something new. They aren’t your uncle’s budget travel agency – these ladies go against trends and beyond the grain to create truly offbeat journeys that fuel your wanderlust. They are confident that, every trip is an intimate, unforgettable experience personalized for a woman traveller and a small group of likeminded travelers. Be it destinations as close to home as Hampi or Arunachal Pradesh, or as exotic and otherworldly as Iran or Norway – they research and plan every trip, location and itinerary to save a traveler from cookie-cutter experiences. And by ‘research’, they mean personal visits 42

Tourism India March 2018

– not the first two pages of Google Search. So why settle for the ordinary? Leave your footprints around the world. Get the ‘me-time’ you deserve while adding a new page to your scrapbook of memories. Travel and tourism sector had been regarded a man’s world – bike rides, off-road spree, camping and so the list goes on like the photos uploaded in the social networking sites. Well, Shibani and Liane shattered this fallacy by offering something for women, run by women, as this sector needed to create a safer space for women to explore their country and the world. Though

Travel and tourism sector had been regarded a man’s world – bike rides, off-road spree, camping and so the list goes on like the photos uploaded in the social networking sites.


there are many reputed and trusted travel agencies in India, they voted for a Women’s Only trip. “Women’s only groups offer a certain level of safety and comfort. In addition, as many women in India are still governed by societal and family norms, it is easier for them to tell their families that they are going in women’s only group and you should see how women let their hair down in these trips! They are truly liberating in addition to being lots of fun”, they opined. What makes these two minds unique in this marketing world is that they

do not function like a typical, large travel agency. They operate in small groups that make room for intimate and exciting experience, thus allowing flexibility in the schedule and catering to everyone’s individual needs. These women are doing a wonderful job because all the places they offer are personally researched including the offbeat spots which a free spirited explorer always appreciates. gaining the trust of people in a new brand like theirs and convincing women to travel to less trodden places like Central Arunachal Pradesh and Spiti valley were no cake walk for them. “Women feel very comfortable going outside India - but within India they are concerned about their safety. It is a challenge to convince them to come along to places not always on the tourist itinerary - especially within India”, they expressed their concern. It is great to know that Shibani and Liane have actually turned some of our personal dreams into reality. They are venturing into places where there is no organised tourism, for example Aalo and Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh. They also embark on exploring alternative stay options to hotels and make it a requisite to spend a couple of nights in home-stays in some rural places that they travel to as a means to help the local community. If there is a women’s initiative in a place, they always visit and encourage the clients to buy local products with the same motif. Being young entrepreneurs, both of them have just one thing to share with those who have decided to shake a leg like them – take that leap of faith! Because, according to them albeit it is a tough market and there is a lot of competition, as we now have increasingly discerning travellers in India. “She’s no longer looking for just a cheap package holiday! Everyone is looking for that special experience”, they mentioned. While most of the women still believe that the glass ceilings

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cover story/OFF THE BEAT

“Wonderful World” of Shibani Vig & Liane Ghosh

LIANE GHOSH, Director

SHIBANI VIG, Director A solo traveler at heart, Shibani has traversed the country on her own. And it was on one sojourn through Arunachal Pradesh that she understood what holds other women back from exploring on their own – lack of safety and comfort. This insight is what fuels the fire in her to offer women unique travel opportunities through Wonderful World. Meet Shibani at any point of time, and chances are that she’s planning her itinerary to another dream destination. That’s how passionate she is about travel – having been on the move with her Army dad as far back as she can remember.

remain rock solid, Shibani and Liane strongly feel that gender based lines are blurring as there are enough women out there who are designing adventure based holidays and enough men designing products that would traditionally be considered part of a woman’s sensibilities. Women’s only

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We travel in groups and that in itself offers a certain level of safety.

The travel bug has been on Liane’s shoulder since childhood – and from the looks of Wonderful World’s growth, it’ll be there for a long time to come. She views chaos and order as Yin and Yang, and is just as home in an outdoor tent as she is in a 7-star hotel. For Liane, all of this is secondary compared to the sheer joy of travel, experiencing new places, meeting new people, and living in the now.

travel companies - whether run by men or women - are helping women to break out and travel on their own. Regardless of gender, anyone can enhance this industry by looking at unique experiences. Talking about their wanderlust diaries, it is pretty amazing that it envisages every Indian woman’s travel desires! “I do believe India is safe for women’s only travel. We travel in groups and that in itself offers a certain level of safety. However I travel extensively solo as well - and use local transport and other than the curious eye, have never really faced any issue.” Not that they ever had any unpleasant experiences, but they do feel one would be a little bit safer venturing out late at night when travelling outside of India. Because the Indian social setup demands one to think about where one is, to dress appropriately and be a little vigilant. But this is not exclusively an Indian issue. There are some places internationally as well that aren’t completely safe (like some ghettos of Athens, for example). “But yes, by and large one does feel a bit safer as a woman outside of India - no one looks at you, you can dress as you want and no one will bat an eyelid!”, they added.


cover story/YOUNG TALENT

sailing her way to

victory

Eleven year old sails through the backwaters on her own

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iya Kaushiq, a 11 year old girl from Calicut in Kerala, now lives in Dubai has ventured into a unique water adventure through the beautiful backwaters of Kerala. During the Muziris Paddle Kayaking event, she sailed almost 40 kilometers alone on a boat. After thorough research, from wind patterns to weather, with her trusty GPS and favourite sail boat, she sailed her way to reach the target, all while barely receiving any support from all the other older participants of the Muziris Paddle event, which was held at Kerala Backwaters recently. Beginning at Kottapuram, the famous ancient port of Muziris Port, near Kodungallur in Central Kerala, Riya completed her journey a day later at Marina in Bolgatty Palace, near Kochi. On the first day, she sailed almost 18 kilometers and the rest she covered on the second day, impressing all the

other Kayakers and people gathered at Bolgatty Palace, Kochi with her commendable feat. Riya is a 6th grade student at Dubai International Academy and loved watersports since her early childhood and has participated in the Chaliyaar River challenge, a major River Kayaking event in the country in 2016 and 2017, covering 68 kilometers on a kayak with her parents Kaushiq and Rubina, who are just as adventurous and daring. The family lives in Dubai and runs Kerala’s first water sports centre, Jellyfish at Calicut (Kozhikode) in Kerala since 2013. Riya enjoys Standup paddling and

kayaking as well as gymnastics and videogames. On the December of 2016, she was introduced to Sailing by her Coach Mr. Amrit Kumar of Sailing de Goa. She completed her level 1, 2 and 3 certification training at Jellyfish water sports camp under the guidance of Coach Amrit, a qualified YAI sailing instructor. She sailed at the Muziris Paddle on her own, and now has a Level 3 certification from YAI (Yachting association of India) to her credit and is looking forward to participate in competitions across India and the Middle East. Riya aspires to one day, represent India in International Water sports events and to win a gold medal for her country.

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feature/INCREDIBLE cover story/WOMEN INDIA TRAVEL

Travel Tribe with a Different Wibe Convincing women and their families that they will actually be safe outside their known territory was possibly the biggest hurdle. 46

Tourism India March 2018

P

iya Bose being never realised that Tourism sector as a man’s world when she started off Girls-on-the-Go Travel Club and Later, she realised that it was more challenging to women. But then, almost everything else is more challenging for women. In retrospect she is glad and was naïve to start off without thinking too much. ‘Why not try out a women’s only trip?’ asks Priya Bose, It’s a tribe with a different vibe. There is a misconception that put women together and all they do is gossip or try to pull each other down. On the contrary, the women who come on our tours are tired of this stereotype and focus on overcoming boundaries of the body and mind. Convincing women and their families


Priya likes to focus on Common sense, Intuition and Presence of mind and women are blessed with all three and should tune in to these more instead of giving in to years of programmed fear and insecurity psychosis. It also helps to do a thorough research of the place, read hotel reviews, connect with locals, keep emergency contact numbers handy, keep family and friends informed about your whereabouts and stop believing every single negative thing the media has to say about a place. According to Priya, for every narrative, there is a counter narrative.” I have personally seen incidents

We travel in groups and that in itself offers a certain level of safety.

that they will actually be safe outside their known territory was possibly the biggest hurdle. Fast forward 10 years. Today we have men who are booking tours for their women family members and friends. GOTG has always focussed on innovation instead of only repeating a known formula. Whether it is in the destinations or the style in which trips were done, the only numbers they are interested in is the innovation scale. The rest follows suit on its own Priya advices young women entrepreneurs to look at identifying new sub groups within the larger and ever growing women travellers segment and think of how can we use travel as a tool to cater to specific emotional needs of women. Instead of focussing on ‘dangers’

PIYA BOSE Founder & CEO Girls-on-the-Go Travel Club

adversely affecting women’s safety happening in developed countries that I have never seen in India. I have also met several long term women travellers in India from abroad who have had great experiences in India”. She said But, the point is not to defend, point fingers or compare. It is only to point out that the world is not black and white and to explore these multiple perspectives is the very reason why we need to break free from our limited comfort zones and travel. she added. Instead of comparing with women, I am keen to see how men can partner with women entrepreneurs to make this world more accessible for women travellers. Man and women are designed for partnership, not competition. Yes India is safe for women travellers. And I will say this a hundred times. It’s not like incidents don’t happen here. But it also happens in the most developed countries too.

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cover story/ADVENTURE

Audaciouswomen trip down the Himalayan valleys! A lifetime delight for an enchanting experience of biking

A

diti Singh and Manali Sakpal began their travel on the Royal Enfield for a period of 12 days. It’s important to have thrilling experience of nature once a while, which would make life more inspiring and adventurous. Both of the bikers come from two different field of work and different cities too, Aditi works in social development sector and Manali as an architect. The bikers checked various portals before finalizing to approach Cruise team for sorting out a destination ride when travelling. The biker here gets awe-inspiring views of places like Leh, Khardungla Pass, Tsomoriri, Sarchu, Jaspa, Manali and others. It’s a once in a lifetime delight for an enchanting experience of biking through the hilly

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I was sure I was making memories without worrying about my safety. It is ease with them Aditi

roads in India through rugged terrains, winding roads, when it comes to the Himalayas. The destination is ultimate with a spectacular view of the gravels, water crossings, huts and rivers flowing just next to the lines of tree. This turns out to be a complete visual treat facing tough challenges which would make this trip full of attraction to the vibrant and lively culture. The most challenging part was to cope with climatic conditions and riding at highest altitude crossing thick forests, also non-stop riding in the terrains and rugged off beat roads was risky. Aditi has been travelling for the past three years and before she starts her stretched journey. She usually travels around 300 - 400 kms on weekends to avoid muscle swell or tissue break. The food available throughout expeditions to Leh was soups, maggie, thukpa, bread,omlette, tea and coffee. You could taste authentic Himachal food available at decent stays. Whenever one travels in high altitude you are advised to carry candies, dry fruits, garlic and ORS for breathing issues. At times body won’t even rehydrate.


Experience with Cruise

Aditi said “A thing that segregates Cruise from other agencies is their Professionalism. Being a solo traveler I generally have to manage my travel and stay all on my own. Every single minute throughout my journey; I was sure I was making memories without worrying about my safety. It is ease with them”. Manali said “operations team was very friendly, well aware of the landscapes, routes and safety measures. The appropriate planning, guidance of the road captain and enthusiasm of the riders made it possible”.

Climatic conditions

Aditi replied “The climate in Ladakh

The biker should be well aware of their bike in case some problem arises and there is no one to attend the issue in miles of distance. is extremely cold, dry which takes with fluctuating blood pressure. We make sure we took frequent breaks at suitable intervals. To manage it all, I pushed to have lots of ORS to hydrate for myself. Since breaking was a huge concern; I put a garlic in my mouth

that managed the air pressure in body kept breathing easy”. Manali replied “Having tab dimox every morning for few days, along with smelling camphor helped us a lot. Although a friend of mine faced severe breathing issues, to which the operation team was well equipped with medical aid and oxygen cylinders and helped us even through the midnight. The biker should be well aware of their bike in case some problem arises and there is no one to attend the issue in miles of distance. Moreover, for such a trip of physical endurance, training should be started days ago to be fit when the day to initiate the trip comes.

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feature/INCREDIBLE cover story/OFF INDIA THE BEAT

An Ordinary Woman with not-so-ordinary a Bucket List There existed a sect of torch bearers who explored far and wide led by the inextinguishable flame “to seek and to find”. by Gatha Rajagopal

T

he prospect of extensive globetrotting devoid of the comforts of 21st century might not seem very appealing to most itinerants of today. Nevertheless, before far sickness deprived us all of our sleeps, there existed a sect of torch bearers who explored far and wide led by the inextinguishable flame “to seek and to find”. Santhakumari, now aged 77, from Nilambur the northern part of Kerala is one such pacesetter who had the insatiable thirst to see what lies beyond that aided her traverse the subcontinent and explore over sixty destinations. Born in 1941, she put an end to her formal education after tenth grade and got married in the age of 16 who now is the head of a family of 86 members. Having had her roots in a humble background, she sure did not live a life of luxury and barely enjoyed the privilege of having a forerunner who could introduce to her the ecstasy of backpacking. Funny that the humbleness of her background could not cast shadow on her passion to travel! Although as a teenager she did pay visit to tourist places like Pondicherry, Chennai, Mumbai, Dhanushkodi, Mahabalipuram, Gujarat etc, it is after the demise of her husband that she dropped the baggage of responsibilities and made travel a part of her life. It is a 10 day pilgrimage through the heart 50

Tourism India March 2018

of Tamil Nadu with few other relatives that kick-started Santhakumari’s travel spree. On that trip she visited around 25 renowned ancient temples including ThanjavurBrihadeshwara temple, Srirangam, Chidambaram, Kumbakonam, Kanjeepuram, Samayapuram, Swami mala, Mahabalipuram, Madurai, Rameswaram, Thirupramkundram, Palani, Pazhamudhirchola, Thiruthani, Kanyakumari etc…After arranging transportation by bus ,they gathered on a fine morning, boarded bus from Manjeri in Kerala to these destinations, stayed in dormitories, explored the tastes of traditional Tamil Nadu dishes and made memories. Subsequently the range of her travel widened and she embarked on moving towards the northern regions of India. Mysore, Bangalore, Mookambika, Dharmasthala, Udupi, Gokarnam, Sringeri in Karnataka, Vishakapatnam, Hyderabad, Thirupathi, Puttaparthi, Kalahasthi and Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, Puri, Konark, , Buvaneshwar in Orissa, Gaya, Budhagaya, Ayodhya, Nymisharanyam in Bihar, Varanasi, Allahabad, Prayaga and other major places in UP, Delhi, Agra, Amritsar, Jaipur, Goa, Waghah Border and why say so much, she has journeyed to almost every part of the country, even to places that lay on the lap of the Great Himalayas. The list would do no justice to the number of places she has set foot

on. And it is not just once that she has gone to some of these places. “Once you see certain places, you always feel like going back again”, she said with brimming excitement. She recalls how the enchanting Taj Mahal gave her goose bumps even on a third visit. Yes, most of her destinations encompassed holy places but she did make it a point to cover other tourist spots and learn about the history and culture of these places. The idea may seem belittled to the travellers of today. When the travel enchantress puts her under a spell she talked to friends and relatives, planned the trip and got going. She is all words when talking about the planning that underwent in making these journeys happen. “When you have your mind set to go and have an idea where you are going, money and circumstances will show up themselves.” The only piece of advice she has in reserve for the young minds looking for inspiration reminds one nothing less than what the poet Robert Herrick once offered, “ Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old time is still a-flying”. Listening to Santhakumari’s impactful life and zealous stories of travel would undoubtedly leave one in a moment of contemplation and get us questioning ourselves, “Don’t we keep adjourning things a little bit unnecessarily when circumstances do show up when needed?


news/AVIATION

Flights with an all Women Crew Jet Airways celebrates women’s contribution

I

n keeping with the global tradition of recognizing the significant and growing contribution of women, Jet Airways, India’s full-service, premier international airline, celebrates the International Women’s Day (IWD) by operating flights with an all-women Cockpit and Cabin Crew members, along with a host of other measures, as part of its JetViva initiative. Women’s Day represents an opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate women and their contributions and achievements in all spheres of life. Demonstrating confidence and pride in its women employees who comprise more than one-third of its workforce, this time the airline spreads the International Women’s Day celebrations not only pan-India, but also on its long-haul, transatlantic flights. Additionally, Jet Airways is also undertaking a special in-flight fundraising drive to support the work of two leading NGOs working on women’s issues. The airline will

contribute the benefits of these inflight collection proceeds to Mijwan Welfare Society that aims to empower the underprivileged with a focus on the girl child through education, technical skills and employment generation, and Save the Children India’s - Women’s

Launches a special in-flight fundraising drive to support two leading womenfocused NGOs. Institute for Social Education, which provides vocational training programmes for adolescent girls from marginalized sections of society across Mumbai. The fund raising drive runs from until Mar 16, 2018 on all its domestic flights.

Mr. Vinay Dube, CEO, Jet Airways, said, “International Women’s Day celebrates the presence and contribution of women in our midst. As India’s leading carrier and an equal opportunity employer, women have played an instrumental role in our growth and success. We take immense pride in not only working with them shoulder to shoulder every day, but also in having welcomed and flown countless women as our guests in our services to the nation over the last 25 years. Today, we thank our women employees for their efforts, passion and dedication to work as well as our guests in having given us the opportunity to be of service to them.” Jet Airways has been creating awareness about initiatives for women’s healthcare, education, empowerment and inclusion in the society through ‘Jet Viva – Celebrating Womanhood’. It has been at the forefront of such initiatives over the past years and remains grateful for the support provided by its guests.

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feature/INCREDIBLE news/AVIATION INDIA

Ladies on center stage @ Emirates Emirates highlight the integral role of female employees.

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s a part of International Women’s Day which falls on March 8, Emirates Airlines released a special video which documents the breadth and diversity of the operational and technical roles performed by women in the Group. Through the video Emirates highlights the integral role played by its female employees. The Emirates A380 aircraft was piloted by Captain Patricia Bischoff from Canada and First Officer Rebecca Lougheed from the UK with cabin crew led by the purser Weronica Formela from Poland.gives the audience a behind the scenes look at women employees from various Emirates Group business units, carrying out all key activities for the operation of flight EK 225 from Dubai to San Francisco.. In addition to the flight crew, an all-woman team worked on 52

Tourism India March 2018

all ‘above wing’ and ‘below wing’ activities in the lead up to flight departure. This included women in roles spanning customer service in the airport such as the Passenger Duty Service Manager; ramp operations monitored by the Ramp Duty Controller and Ramp Operations Team Leader; technical services carried out by Licensed Aircraft Engineers and Technicians; and a myriad of other roles within the flight dispatch, aircraft appearance, crew operations, catering and security teams.

75

women from more than 25 nationalities worked on the flight.

In total, a team of over 75 women from more than 25 nationalities worked on the flight. This mirrors the overall diversity within the Emirates Group which employs staff from over 160 nationalities. The operational team for EK 225 also included Emirati women working in the Engineering, Flight Dispatch, Security and Cargo operations teams. “Every flight that we operate needs an entire ecosystem of staff from a number of business units to come together and work seamlessly. Emirates is proud that we have women represented in all these key functions,” said Abdulaziz Al Ali, Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Emirates. “Women have been part of the Emirates success story from the start and on International Women’s Day we celebrate their extensive contribution to Emirates and to the broader aviation industry.”


outbound/TRAVEL

ABU DHABI TOUCHES RECORD IN HOTEL GUESTS IN 2017 India is the second largest international source for Abu Dhabi

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uring 2017, the emirate recorded an impressive 9.8% year-on-year rise a record of 4.875 million people stayed in Abu Dhabi’s 162 hotels and hotel apartments. The Figures released by Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT) for its hospitality sector reveal that the number of guests staying in Abu Dhabi city during the year rose by 10.3% to reach 4,295,030 across its 131 hotels and hotel apartments, which provide 26,821 rooms.The Al Ain Region recorded a 5.5% increase to 450,328 guests across its 20 hotels and the Al Dhafra Region rose 8.2% to number 130,180 guests at its 11 hotels and hotel apartments. HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General, DCT, said: “Record numbers of people are visiting Abu Dhabi year after year and we continue to go from strength to strength in positioning ourselves as a distinctive global tourist destination steeped in culture and heritage. A near double digit year-onyear growth in the number of guests staying in all three regions of the emirate is testament to our drive and determination in helping the emirate evolve into a ‘must-visit’ place on any traveller’s itinerary. “Abu Dhabi’s unique cultural archetypes, combined with diverse natural landscapes, cultural and historic sites, dynamic familyleisure entertainment and ambitious business opportunities, will continue to stimulate visitation and help us grow by 11 per cent per annum to achieve 8.5 million visitors by 2021. However, we more than ever aware of the challenges we face in supporting key metrics such as length-of-stay and

occupancy rates for the emirate’s hotels and are working hard to continue the focus on these measures.” India is the second largest international source market with more than 360,000 guests recorded during the 12 months, an increase of 11%. The United Kingdom remains the largest European source market, registering a 13% rise to more than 270,000 while the United States’ market also showed a considerable rise of more than 23% Domestic tourism from within the UAE increased 2.6% to

Emirate sees 9.8% year-on-year rise to

4,875,499 guests

number slightly over 1.5 million hotel guests. The emirate benefited throughout the year from a packed calendar of events, with the opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi on November 11 being the highlight and garnering worldwide headlines. The museum, built in collaboration with the French government, instantly became an iconic landmark on the city’s geographical, cultural and tourist landscape and is expected to attract huge numbers of cultural tourists. Guests from France increased by 61%, the numbers supplemented by the opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi, while other key source markets also performed well with the numbers of American guests rising by 54%, China 39%, India 29%, the UK 22% and Germany 12%.

March 2018 Tourism India

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OUTBOUND/TRAVEL

Sri Lanka targets 440,000 Indian Tourists in 2018 India is Sri Lanks's top source market and growing as ‘a destination for all seasons’.

S

ri Lanka Tourism announced, a path breaking record of historic growth, with 384, 628 arrivals from India market in 2017. Understanding the unique offerings for Indian travellers, destination Sri Lanka now targets for 440, 000 Indian arrivals, this year. Sri Lanka is growing as, ‘a destination for all seasons’. The Survey conducted by Sri Lanka Tourism, highlights 63.7% of Indians opt for Sightseeing excursions and 49.82% go for shopping while 41.64% prefer Sea Bathing and 32.74% spend hours swimming in the pool. 37.01% Indian travellers visit the historical sites in Sri Lanka while Wildlife

remains to be the choice for 21% only. The overall experience of the Indian visitor to Sri Lanka, has been very delightful for 69.1% and satisfying for 30.69%. Thus, it would be right to mention, that nearly 100% Indians visiting Sri Lanka have had a good & enjoyable visit. The other important highlights of the survey conducted, shows that, 44.84% Indians come home with a memory of Sri Lanka being a beautiful tropical country; 29.54% say that the people of Sri Lanka are nice and hospitable; 24.2% talk about the pristine beaches with golden sand; while, 24.20% loved the diverse attractions on this small island

Mr. Sutheash Balasubramaniam, Managing Director, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, on his visit to India said, ‘’India continues to be our top source market. We believe that the potential of the Indian travel market is yet to realize in terms of attracting longer stay and higher spending travellers. It is our fervent hope to make Sri Lanka the most preferred destination in Asia for Indian

Sri Lanka offers travellers an array of diverse product offerings and experience spread across the small island and caters to all ages. travellers. Sri Lanka offers travellers an array of diverse product offerings and experience spread across the small island and caters to all ages.‘’ Sri Lanka is a top-notch tourist destination and known as the Wonder of Asia for its long-preserved culture and heritage. Sri Lanka is the home to eight UNESCO World Heritage site, is renowned in “Sigiriya Rock Fortress” the succession of ancient civilizations of the Island, showcasing in addition some other attraction that are interesting colonial legacy of the country.

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Tourism India March 2018


Sri Lanka

percentage of indi an tourists’ activities in sri lanka

49.82% 41.64% 63.7% 32.74% shopping

Sightseeing excursions

Capital: Colombo

A landmark destination in the ancient Spice Trail, Sri Lanka is bursting with wonder. This tropical island is famous for its diverse landscape: from the blue seaside belt to green mountains, and the island’s lavish greenery ranging from coconut palm groves to paddy fields and tea plantations, adorn by over 200 natural waterfalls. One must explore Sri Lanka’s pristine beaches and visit the `Ramayana trail’ sites, UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sigiriya and fascinating history of Dambulla. Be it family and leisure getaways, adventure and rejuvenation, Sri Lanka has all to explore.

Sea Bathing

swimming pool

37.01% historical sites

21% Wildlife

March 2018 Tourism India

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outbound/TRAVEL

LOVE IS EVERYWHERE IN MONACO

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onoco, has a beautiful romantic side to offer as the ultimate romantic experience besides from having unforgettable shopping sessions, casinos, sports, cultural events and larger-than-life parties. The romantic hotels of Monte Carlo provide delicious gastronomy coming straight by the Michelin starred chefs with embracing personalised leisure activities as if it were a precious gift. The tiny details like a bottle of champagne, a fruit basket, a bouquet of freshly-cut flowers and a box of pralines, all to make your moment a magical one! The Hotel Metropole, a Destination in itself has been celebrating love and art since years. This time it brings you the ultimate leisure experiences that will surely exceed the expectations, leaving you with memorable and neverending romance. Craft together magical moments to create remarkable emotion 56

Tourism India March 2018

and incredible memories with this experience Discover the charms of the French Riviera in an Aston Martin and kick-start with a fly-over in a helicopter before stopping at Yoshi, the Hotel’s Japanese restaurant for

The Hotel Metropole has been celebrating love and art since years. lunch. A romantic evening followed by a candlelit dinner by Joël Robuchon on the terrace of the Carré d’Or suite, overlooking the Principality’s panoramic view while the Casino and its gaming tables wait for you in the later evening. And of course the

The perfect place to celebrate your love in a magical setting overlooking the Mediterranean and the legendary Rock, the Principality’s everlasting symbol. experience will be incomplete without champagne and rose petals prepared in your room. This historic luxury hotel offers an intimate and relaxed ambiance, a haven of peace in the heart of Monte-Carlo. Turn dreams into reality in exceptional settings. It’s the perfect place to celebrate your love in a magical setting overlooking the Mediterranean and the legendary Rock, the Principality’s everlasting symbol. Treat yourself to an enchanting break at the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo / Suite Accommodation starts at EUR 407.00. The restaurant le Vistamar, the centre’s One Michelin star restaurant, treat you with a gastronomic experience for a delicious intimate meal under the spell of Cupid’s love arrow.


outbound/TRAVEL

Penang 4-City Sales Mission to Woo the Indian Travel

PCEB organized the first ever Penang Sales Mission to India with the objective of promoting Penang, a destination in Northern Malaysia

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enang, Northern Malaysian world-class travel destination, famed for its unique offerings of an modern international island city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with lush rainforests, beautiful hill station, shopping galore and fabulous food and also a top ranked Business destination. The Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) is orgsmized the first ever Penang Sales Mission to India with the objective of promoting Penang as the preferred and ideal destination for corporate and association meetings,

This mission is joined by some of Penang’s finest offerings in the hospitality, travel and events sectors, and will showcase the best of what Penang can offer to the Indian market. Mr. Ashwin Gunasekeran, Chief Executive Officer, PCEB

incentives and leisure travel. Penang recorded 1251 events with an estimated economic impact of USD 200 million. The mission led by Ashwin Gunasekeran, Chief Executive Officer of PCEB, is supported by a Penang delegation of 17 partners, including the state bureau for leisure travel – Penang Global Tourism, hotels, destination management companies, event experts and PCEB’s official airline partner, Malaysia Airlines. The 4-city Sales Mission kicked off from Kolkatta to Delhi, then Mumbai & Bengaluru.“This mission is joined by some of Penang’s finest offerings in the hospitality, travel and events sectors, and will showcase the best of what Penang can offer to the Indian market,” says Mr. Ashwin Gunasekeran, the Chief Executive Officer of PCEB. Edited, Printed and Published by Ravisankar K V on behalf of Tourism India Publications Pvt. Lltd. SEKT 52, Tourism House, Thamarakulam Lane, Sasthamangalam P O, Trivandrum, Kerala, India 695010 Printed at Arsha Offset Graphix, Janvilla Lane, Sasthamangalam PO, Trivandrum 695010 Editor: Ravisankar K V



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