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Vol X

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Pages 64

August 2013

Rs 60

MICE Matters

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A mighty fall we loved


t was a fall that triggered mixed reactions. Well, we are talking about the depreciation of rupee. The melancholic fall of Indian rupee and its concomitant effect on the Indian economy have got all those votaries of market economy jittery. The various sectors of our economy have seen the ripple effect of rupee depreciation on the Indian front in myriad ways. The rupee depreciation has made India an attractive destination for inbound travellers, making the country affordable for foreign tourists. While the outbound travel has been hit badly, the inbound tourism turned out to be a beneficiary what with an influx of tourists from India’s major source markets, especially

from the `dollar’ countries. The rise in dollar has also resulted in renewed efforts to woo international tourists in India, with more value for their buck.

held in association with India Association Congress in Chennai. The event – to be held 22-23 August 2013 at the Grand Chola, Chennai – aims to provide a onestop platform for industry stakeholders.

On the domestic front, Indian travellers are keen on weekend holidays within India. Turn to page number 11 to read about how various stakeholders are benefiting from this phenomenon. Our cover story this time explores how various NTOs have been using MICE. All the NTOs are leaving no stone unturned to reach out to a market like India, a potential one for corporate and business travel. And this feature is in line with the Business Travel MICE Expo (BTME) to be

BTME provides an ideal marketing as well as networking platform for the meeting industry in India and abroad, with key decision makers of India’s most successful associations. One need not harp on the necessity for such an event in today’s competitive world as it provides the much-needed platform for NTOs to showcase their wide range of conference venues to stakeholders like airlines, cruises, DMCs, event planners, hotels, etc. Warm regards,

Editorial Team

Marketing & Circulation


General Manager

Firoz Fazil

Kaustuv Das Mobile +90-9916129116

Managing Editor

Circulation Executive

Rohit Hangal

Shyam Vishaak

Associate Editor

Operations Executive

Priyamvadha Balaram


Assistant Editor

Published By

Irene Susan Eapen

Surinder Hakhu & Rohit Hangal

Creative Designer Shyam Vishnot

Contents 10

Rupee Fall

46 Hospitality 50 Destination Branding 52 Festival Watch



28 MICE Point

58 Incredible India 60 Happenings 61

Top Appointments

Web Developer Rohith Pinto

# 245, Amar Jyothi Layout, Domlur, Bangalore - 560 071, India Ph: +91 - 80 - 4083 4103, Fax: + 91 - 80 - 4083 4101,

All Rights Reserved, Copyright 2012. No part of this magazine may be reproducted without the prior written permission from Voyagers’s World

In case of a heart attack, whom will you trust more? The general physician or the cardiologist? It’s only natural to depend more on the expertise of a specialist. The chances of the expert knowing more about the heart is pretty high. The fact holds true with wholesalers in the travel industry too. By offering every travel product under the sun, a wholesaler has to divide the resources across the board, leading to compromises.

13 021/

Thankfully, there are specialists in the travel trade too. roomsXML for instance. It does nothing else but accommodation. By focusing in just one area, it has no other option but to do things more efficiently – robust technology, de-duplicated inventory, dependable 24x7 global support and of course competitive rates. We are sorry we don’t offer flights, cruises, carhires, packages, city tours, etc. If you need any of these you can try your luck with scores of them who are already around. But if you do want accommodation, you know where to look. roomsXML – the accommodation specialist.

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Industry Buzz


India is Abu Dhabi's largest source market


ndia snatched the top slot as Abu Dhabi’s largest overseas source market toppling the UK into second place. The emirate has reported a 12% rise in the number of guests staying in its 145 hotels and hotel apartments for the first half of this year compared to the first six months of last year. Some 80,179 Indian nationals stayed in Abu Dhabi’s hotels from January until the end of June 2013, a 22% rise on last year. They accounted for 334,238 guest nights –which is up 43% on 2012 and stayed an average of 4.17 nights – an increase of 17%.

BA launches special offers for Indian students


tudents travelling to the UK, US, Canada and select European destinations can avail of British Airways annual student promotional offer for university students from India. It allows students flying with BA between 1 June and 31 October 2013 to carry an extra piece of luggage weighing up to 23 kilos besides the permitted checked in allowance, which is 20 kilos. offer insurance coverage to travellers

A tied up with ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Ltd for providing travel insurance policy for bus commuters purchasing tickets from Customers would be reimbursed for hospitalization expenses due to injury suffered during bus travel, personal accident cover and daily hospitalization allowance. To avail this, consumers would need to tick the ‘Buy Bus travel insurance’ option while booking on

Four lucky people can win an iPad Mini on booking tickets on; valid until 30 September only.

Ramada Chennai Egmore wins 'Best New Hospitality Product' Award at IITM


amada Chennai Egmore won the prestigious India International Travel Mart Award 2013 for ‘Best New Hospitality Product of the year’ at the recently concluded high profile travel, tourism and hospitality industry event in Chennai. Prakash Chandran - General Manager, Ramada Chennai Egmore received the award on behalf of the property. Ramada Chennai Egmore was amongst 400 odd participants from 20 Indian states and 15 countries. Participants included Travel Agents & Tour Operators, DMC, Hotels & Resorts, National Tourist Organizations, Cruises, Airlines and OTAs at the event held recently at Chennai Trade Centre, Nandambakkam.

Voyager’s World > August 2013

TAT Unveils Marketing Action Plan 2014


he Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) released its action plan for 2014 at a conference in Bangkok. Setting a record of targeting 28.01 million tourist arrivals globally, TAT is looking at generating an estimated foreign exchange revenue of 1.326 trillion Baht, up 13% over 2013. For the domestic market, TAT set a target of 136.8 million trips, estimating 700 billion Baht for tourism income, up by 9% over 2013. This is the first time that TAT targets total earnings of two trillion Baht from both domestic and foreign visitors.

Star chef line-up at Sofitel So Bangkok


ofitel So Bangkok revealed the chef line-up for the second annual So Amazing Chefs 2013. The event, to be staged from September 25 - 28, will bring together nine high profile chefs from around the world under one roof to take gourmands on an enlightening gastronomic journey. The four-day event includes cooking classes by famed chefs, themed seven-course degustation dinners and a wine night.

Industry Buzz


RezNext partners with Yatra and Travelguru

Jonty Rhodes launches South African travel guide


ezNext has partnered with and, to give customers both the OTAs access to realtime information on hotel room availability, ability to book and instantaneous confirmation of their bookings directly from the hotels ERP Software. Yatra. com and are the first OTAs to adopt RezNext technology for giving two-way connectivity to a hotel’s Property Management System and showcase real-time hotel inventory.


outh African Tourism Brand Ambassador in India, cricketer Jonty Rhodes, launched ‘My Travel Escapades in South Africa’, a travel guide he has written in association with Lonely Planet Magazine India, to showcase the fascinating experiences in his home country. After the successful launch of Rhodes’ “My South African Diary” last year, South African Tourism looked at a completely new facet of attracting travellers to South Africa through the ‘Take Me to South Africa’ contest. The four lucky winners of the contest embarked on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to South Africa with Rhodes.

Oman joins the Bollywood bandwagon Berggruen Hotels unveils new brand


he Ministry of Tourism - Sultanate of Oman unveiled a co-branding campaign at a star-studded event in Mumbai with the upcoming Bollywood feature, Once Upon A Time in Mumbai Dobaara.


erggruen Hotels, famously known as the parent brand to Keys Hotels, a chain of business hotels, has launched its new upscale hotel brand ‘Keys Klub’ in the 4 and 5 star categories to service the affluent class of business travelers. With this addition, Berggruen Hotels consolidates its position in India and now offers a larger spectrum of products catering to a wider level of affordability. The new ‘Keys Klub’ brand will establish hotels across India; all owned, managed or franchised by Berggruen Hotels. Properties under ‘Keys Klub’ brand will include 100 and above rooms with room size of 275 sq ft upwards. Keys Klub hotel rooms will be stylishly designed and equipped with 24/7 in room dining. The hotel property will include an all day global cuisine restaurant, a specialty restaurant, a lounge bar, banquets and conference halls.

The aim of this campaign on various media is to create awareness about the wonders of Oman to the discerning Indian audiences, who are looking for short haul experiential holidays.

Air India flies to Australian cities


Emirates launches luxury private jet service


mirates has launched its luxury private jet service which can now be booked on Customers seeking unsurpassed luxury in travel can book a tailor-made experience on Emirates Executive, the ultra-spacious Airbus 319 aircraft, and enjoy new technology and design. Available in English and Arabic, the Emirates Executive website offers visitors a glimpse of the bespoke experience through a video that takes the customer on a journey showcasing the aircraft and offers an insight into its premium features.

Voyager’s World > August 2013

angaloreans can reach the Australian mega cities of Sydney and Melbourne via Delhi as Air India is all set to launch its services to Australia from August 29, 12013. These non-stop flights will be timed to leave Delhi in the afternoon. Air India has made arrangements for through check in of baggage from Bangalore to Sydney /Melbourne and issuance of boarding cards for both the sectors at Bangalore airport itself.

Rupee Fall


The fall that launched a thousand trips!

What are the ways in which the depreciation of Indian rupee has affected the travel industry? Here’s an analysis. IRENE SUSAN EAPEN

Lovesh Sharma Director of Sales and Marketing, Jaipur Marriott.

Travel planners are looking at options within the country for vacationing and the Indian hospitality industry is sure to see gain from this opportunity in the coming season.


he tumbling Indian Rupee has led to a steep decline in overseas holidaying, but the industry is optimistic as Indian travellers are very keen on domestic travel. The other good thing about this is that it has triggered the Indian inbound market, with tourists from both short haul as well as long haul destinations finding India desirable.

A survey conducted by ASSOCHAM reveals a decline in the foreign tourist outflow by 15 to 20 percent due to the weakening rupee. Gaurav Aggarwal, Founder and CEO of Savaari Car Rentals, observes that in the last three months, travel costs and accommodation had gone up by around 20 to 25

Voyager’s World > August 2013

percent outside India. With the State Tourism Boards unfolding captivating tourism campaigns around various themes, Incredible India has begun to experience tourist inflow atanall-time high even when the rupee is hitting at anall-time low. Vishal Suri, Chief Executive Officer, Tour Operating Kuoni India states that the Indian

travellers will continue to travel and plan alternate holiday options within their budget. “Travellers are opting for breaks where price is controllable. We have focused on the value within our propositions and will continue to provide affordable, high quality experiences. There has been a considerable demand for domestic and short-haul holidays. Weekend packages for destinations at drivable distances have gained popularity with travelers looking for a quick getaway from hectic daily life. Budget travellers are opting for domestic and short haul destinations like Kashmir, Goa, Kerala, Rajasthan and South East Asia & Middle East.” “Due to the rupee depreciation, India has become an attractive destination for inbound travellers making

it an affordable and accessible destination for a large number of foreign visitors. Indians too are more likely to explore weekend breaks and short-format holidays within India,” said Rajesh Magow, Co-founder and Chief Financial & Operating Officer, MakeMyTrip. Shwetank, Regional Vice President Operations, Premier Inn South Asia, ex plained that the fall in the Indian rupee automatically makes all the exports attractive, as the hospitality industry exports ‘room nights’ to markets elsewhere in the world through inbound tourists, thus rendering India a much more affordable destination. “All other things remaining equal it should mean more in-bound tourism. That there are other factors such as security concerns and low GDP growth around the world is preventing this from happening is

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Rupee Fall

12>> Vishal Suri Chief Executive Officer, Tour Operating Kuoni India.

The cost for the packages post the depreciation of rupee has gone up by at least 5-7%

another matter all-together.” Vishal said that for the travel industry perspective, the cost for the packages post the rupee depreciation had gone up by at least 5-7%. “It has not had any impact and we have not seen any cancellation due to this factor as we have received substantial number of holiday bookings. As travellers are planning for vacations to short haul destinations and more affordable packages in long haul, to make travel more attractive, the company is offering various deals and discounts to the travellers.” Subhash Goyal, Chairman, STIC Travel Group & President, IATO,remarked that the fall in Indian rupee is not very positive as it is a very temporary phase and no one takes India holidays from overseas on impulse as they think, plan and then decide. “Only those who are already here have taken the advantage of this foreign exchange benefit and had a longer stay. No doubt, there is a mood of optimism and some hotel chains have indicated that they have increased reservations and

getting good inquiries from overseas. But in general, there is now greater interest towards India and whether dollar appreciates or depreciates, tourists, once decided will come.” “Many Indian travellers who wanted to go on a vacation to foreign countries are cancelling their trips and are going on a vacation to various places in India instead. Also, many foreigners have been planning their trip to India and other Asian countries to take maximum advantage of falling rupee as facilities like travel, hotels, shopping, food, etc. turns out to be more cost effective compared to other places,” said Gaurav. The fall in the Indian rupee has seen the hotel industry lose and gain from it. The Indian traveller planning trips abroad has either cut short his travelling days, looking at cheaper accommodation options, or is opting for vacationing within the country. So while outbound travelling has definitely taken a hit due to the dip, domestic travelling is certainly the

new charm. “India has also become an attractive choice for inbound travellers due to the depreciating Indian currency. It is now considered as an economical option for travelling,” says Lovesh Sharma, Director of Sales and Marketing, Jaipur Marriott.

Nishant Kashikar, Country Manager India, Tourism Australia, remarked that leisure travel in itself had become an essential part of the urban Indian lifestyle and the demand for travel was likely to continue growing. While the fall of the rupee could have short term sentimental effect on the outlook of Indian travellers, Indians are known to be willing to spend on experiences that are unique and distinguished, and there is an increasing trend of Indian travellers demanding the best experiences in the destinations they visit. “The Australian dollar has been relatively stable vis-a-vis the Indian rupee

is subject to change but we can optimise the utility of the falling rupee by building a healthy relationship with the new set of tourists, both foreign and domestic so that they intend to visit India more,” he suggested. On the other hand, Nishant notes that India being recognised globally as one of the fastest growing outbound market, the appetite for travelling abroad is increasing among the upwardly mobile audience given the changing lifestyles and relative stability of the economy. “The country offers enormous potential for future growth in terms of visitor arrivals and spends. The United Nations World Tourism Organization has predicted 50 million outbound travellers from India by 2020.”

Gaurav Aggarwal Founder and CEO of Savaari Car Rentals

Tourism is one of the best avenues to generate Forex earnings and stimulates the local economy by generating employment oppurtunities and handicrafts.

He further stated that the industry was certainly experiencing a down turn of outbound travellers to the dollar countries. If the trend of falling rupee and instability between rupee and dollar persists then the industry is sure to face serious chal-

Nishant Kashikar Country Manager India, Tourism Australia

India is globally known as one of the fastest growing outbound market, with the appetite for travelling abroad increasing among the upwardly mobile audience Voyager’s World > August 2013

lenges. One could only be hopeful and optimistic about the situation if the dollar value sees the light of the day.

for the past few months and we continue to see a strong demand for holidays to Australia from India. For the first five months of 2013, there has been a 14% increase in leisure arrivals from India to Australia.” Gaurav anticipates many foreigners would troop in to the country to experience the diverse culture and heritage here, pinning hopes on the fact that the warm hospitality and rich culture would help develop a lifelong relationship with the land and make them want to come back again. “This turns out to be profitable for us because most travellers opt for cabs to travel around the city and keep the car with them for more than a day to travel outstation. Anything volatile

Sharing a similar opinion as the others, K.B.Kachru, Chairman, South Asia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group stated that, the tumbling rupee makes India an attractive destination for international travellers as it has further positioned India as an affordable destination over other popular destinations in the Far East and European markets.“Short haul travel to India may increase as the cost of packages would be lower and travellers may re-plan their holidays to India compared to other destinations. We are also hoping that this would encourage travellers from weaker European economies to consider India as available destination. The effect may be visible in the next few months, provided

Rupee Fall

13>> costs like airfare, logistic costs and operational costs of hotels do not increase significantly to impact our packages.” “Outbound has been negatively affected owing to higher package cost of international holidays. This has fuelled domestic travel and has led hotels in some domestic holiday/leisure destinations seeing some increase in occupancies. Looking at the current scenario where inbound business is concerned, international travelers from Europe and US are showing interest in coming to India,” he added. Boost to domestic travel Shwetank explains that Indians love to travel and holiday, with the devaluation of Indian rupee meaning foreign destinations that

were quite competitive in terms of pricing against the Indian options are suddenly more expensive. Therefore, Indians are likely to travel domestically far more. Kuoni India is offering the European package with attractive discounts which attract travellers to visit European countries despite the fall in rupee. We are also offering attractive discounts and value for other countries as well. “Currently depreciation has not had an impact on travellers. Travellers have opted for summer packages and have now opted for the company’s discounted monsoon packages. We are very optimistic that our customers will continue to opt for holiday packages. We will continue to drive the theme of affordability around travel and people should not cancel their holiday plans,” said Vishal.

T h i s

Shwetank Singh Regional Vice President Operations, Premier Inn South Asia.

Indians love to travel and holiday and the fall in the Indian rupee makes India a more affordable destination.

Rajesh suggests that we could do a lot more to promote India as a holiday destination among foreign travellers and showcase the diverse cultural and geographical experiences, while remaining optimistic that the traveller interest in India would continue to grow regardless of currency pressures.

tions. Even J&K, Sikkim and North Eastern states offer good holiday options. India luxury train journeys like the Deccan Odyssey, Palace on Wheels- the heritage train of Rajasthan and the Golden Chariot train in Karnataka, all are now patronized by domestic tourists which were hitherto being promoted by tourists from overseas only,” says Subhash.

“As the US dollar has appreciated by 30% nearly against rupee, domestic travellers who have been travelling overseas, have now been forced to cut back their plans to visit overseas destinations as it is now cost prohibitive; instead they take holidays within India to places like Goa, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and many more South India destina-





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Rupee Fall Lovesh pointed out that outbound travelling had seen a downturn in H1 of 2013 as compared to last year, as the Indian middle class is conscious about his expenses despite earning well. This has got in great prospects for domestic travelling. Travel planners are now looking at options within the country for vacationing and the Indian hospitality industry is sure to see gain from this opportunity in the coming season. “Owing to the weak rupee, the cost of an international vacation, which includes airfare, accommodation and tours, will be significantly higher when compared to the earlier years. Indian vacationers are conservative and value-conscious. It is anticipated that to boost domestic travel, the aviation industry may introduce

14>> and innovative marketing coupled with attractive deals and promotions for customers. For example, MakeMyTrip works with a variety of Tourism Boards, in many cases exclusively, to provide our customers unmatched advantage and exclusive offers. “Most recently we promoted Tuscany, New Zealand and Singapore in association with their respective Tourism boards. These promotions range from an exciting Facebook photo-based contest, to flexible and exclusive itineraries for North & South Islands in New Zealand and mainsteam media advertisements. Indian Tourism Boards should tie-up with OTAs and airlines to co-promote their respective destinations.” “Tourism promotion is a continuous process and just a few dollars gain does not make much difference in decision making process in the

Subhash Goyal Chairman - STIC Travel Group & President Indian Association of Tour Operators

Tourism promotion is a continuous process and a few dollar’s gain does not make much difference in decision making process in the minds of tourists.

are high so we need to look at all these aspects first to make India competitive. So we have to promote value additions in our packages and publicize those aspects in global campaign regularly,” said Subhash.

like Shimla, Manali, Mussorie and Darjeeling and looking at weekend destinations that offer more than scenic beauty with experiences in adventure or culture such as Ooty, Corbett National Park, Udaipur and Pondicherry.”

Gaurav said that tourism

“In the last few years, NorthEast has emerged as an upcoming travel destination. There has been over 100% increase in the number of people wanting to visit NorthEast India every year since the last three years. The talk-value of having visited a unique destination contributes to the increasing tourist interest in places such as Gangtok, Kalimpong, Shillong, Kaziranga, Cherrapunjee, Pelling and Lachung. The local infrastructure has also geared up to serve the greater number of domestic as well as international tourists visiting these destinations,” he added.

Rajesh Magow Co-founder and Chief Financial & Operating Officer, MakeMyTrip.

A unique destination contributes to the increasing tourist interest in places like Gangtok, Kalimpong, Shillong, Kaziranga, Cherrapunjee, Pelling and Lachung.

special packages. According to industryreports there has been an increase of approximately 20% in domestic travel this season particularly to leisure destinations. Due to rupee depreciation, corporate budgets for international travel have been slashed and corporate travel and incentive trips planned for abroad may look at options within the country this year,” added Kachru. Promotional campaigns While acknowledging the efforts of the government, Tourism Ministry and the State Tourism Boards, Rajesh advocates that more could be done in terms of experiential

minds of tourists. A rising US dollar is a worry for airlines as a large chunk of their expenditure is in US$ with salaries to pilots, leasing charges, engine and aircraft maintenance charges all paid in the foreign currency. These costs can be in the range of 50% of airlines total expenditure. High tickets cost is the main problem for tourists. It is further aggravated with the recent rise of the US dollar against rupees and triggered a rather sharp rise in the prices of the Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) and then state added sales tax. Domestic movements which are generally made in internal movements became also costly. Tax components also

Voyager’s World > August 2013

was one of the best avenues to generate Forex earnings and it also stimulated the local economy by generating employment opportunities and handicrafts. “This also is an incentive to maintain green biospheres like what Kenya has done.” Tourist arrivals Rajesh said that Goa is an all-time favourite for both domestic as well as foreign travellers, it being a 365day destination. “Kashmir, Kerala and the Golden Triangle (Delhi, Agra and Jaipur) also continue to feature in their top areas of interest. Indian travellers have also been exploring hill stations

Subhash stated that tourists mainly come from South East Asia covering Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan and South Korea, also the Gulf and CIS countries which are not affected by the slowdown in the global economy and where air connectivity is much better and cost, affordable. Among the long haul destinations, the USA, Canada, Australia and Germany remain the target markets. Most of the international tourists for India are generated at present from these markets. “North-East, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Rajasthan and the

temple circuit of Tamil Nadu are the main destinations,” saidGaurav.“Bookings are on the rise for weekend getaways destinations for states like Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Hyderabad. With a bunch of tourist who had plans of international visits are opting for domestic destination as this is turning out to be economical.” Nishant further explained that Tourism Australia would continue to build on its current global brand campaign, ‘There is nothing like Australia’, with a focus on showcasing the best of Australia destinations and experiences through its consumer focused activities. It will also evaluate opportunities to undertake suitable branded content initiatives across traditional and new media platforms that help showcase the destination and experiences in greater depth. There were 15,600 visitors from India during May 2013, bringing the total for the five months to May to 70,700 an increase of 3.7 per cent relative to the same period previous year. India is currently Australia’s 10th largest inbound tourism market for visitor arrivals. On a concluding note, Kachru informed that the CRISIL Research expected profitability of five-star hotels to dip to 16 per cent in 201314 due to rising costs and a decline in occupancy. Until then, we have to wait and watch if the rupee rolls further or sways back, its clink quietly resonating across all spheres.


he pure pleasure of travelling is to meet new people, visit foreign lands, eat new foods, dive into the vast pulchritude, to capture picturesque landscapes and to laugh, sing and smile. It is about newer discoveries, about invigorating adventures; it is about filling your spirit with sheer bliss. Kaleidoscope this year let’s you escape the very monotonous college life into something unprecedented, something larger than life. Kaleidoscope in its 28th year has raised head and shoulder above the most. Sophia College, Mumbai’s most awaited annual festival is slated for the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and the 8th of September 2013. To make the best of your experience at Kaleidoscope this year, the workforce would like to give you some on-the-go travel tips: 1. Carry raincoats and flaunt gumboots– Septembers in most parts of the world and especially in Mumbai are considered rainy, muddy, floody and dirty. Make the most of Kaleidoscope with a handy raincoat so that nothing can stop you from experiencing the amazing basketball event, Slamdunk or even Street Football. 2. Be comfortable – Wear the most comfortable clothes or you might freeze to death inside the Bhabha auditorium – most of the performance events commence here. Light jackets and denims would do wonders. 3. Write a Travelogue – All your grandmas and grandpas must have advised you to make tiny notes of your travel to take back a story for home. With the Travelogue writing event, participate and make things easier for you but

mostly, for them. 4. Buy something that you like – When you see something drop-dead desirable and up on sale, buy it. Chances are, if you don’t, someone else will. Chances are also high that you might not find it anywhere else! Souvenirs have stalls all around the campus! 5. Try new foods – Try something new every time you want to eat. Kaleidoscope has a variety! Also, don’t wait for ‘lunch’ time or ‘snack’ time. Your choice of food might just be over even if you return back in an hour. 6. Join a Workshop – When off to a different, minty place, try to learn the culture. Learn tap dancing or skate boarding. If you adore New York, might as well learn the art of graffiti and show it off to the world! 7. Beware of security – Women in black are all over the campus. The security at Kaleidoscope is stronger than ever. Never forget your ID cards – they are your passports for entry. 8. Click Pictures – This is the best place to test your photography skills. People, food, architecture, nature, events and more. Kaleidoscope couldn’t possibly offer anything less. Out of Bounds is the photography contest to be participated in! 9. Stand out in the crowd – Wear a hat or wear mismatched socks, be a man and wear a bright pink poncho or be a girl and wear dark blue, rustic dungarees. Get noticed. It’s only you who will remember the fun of it! 10. Smile – With a zillion photographers flooding the campus, you will never know when

the flashes blaze and glimmer in your direction. Always, always and always, smile. Khachaak! Every year zips by before one has a chance to stop and have a glance. Kaleidoscope is one chance to stop and stare, to enjoy, to feel happy, to break free of the prison-like classrooms and the shackles of education. See something new, feel something newer. As eager as the girls of this college are to put this fest together, so are the participants and visitors. Be ready with your bags stuffed and your flight tickets booked. Kaleidoscope this year is sugar, spice and everything nice! This is what our mascot, Kay’s plan is: • Woke up to the sound of honking cars in a Tokyo apartment
And decided to have Breakfast at Tiffany’s. 
 • Stepped out to visit a dear friend at 221 Baker Street
 • And later stood in line for a glimpse of a balcony in Rome.
 • Skipped lunch at the Eiffel Tower in favor of a vada pav on the streets of the
Indian Big Apple,
 • Only to follow up with dessert at a Masterchef Kitchen Down Under. 
 • High Tea with her Majesty, • And a trek into a Savannah desert where a King waited on pride rock. • As dusk settled and the calls of prayer rang out in a secret land, looked
at my watch and realized, there’s one more place I have to be. Kaleidoscope 2013. This
is where the crowds are at. From the hippy trekkers to
the jet setting tourists, it’s where the meridians will converge. So, whip
out your passports, it’s time you got them stamped. By Khushali Fadia



Voyager’s World > August 2013



TIRUN Travel Marketing Thanks travel partners VW BUREAU


IRUN Travel Marketing, the India Representative for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., announced August as a month to celebrate its travel partners, with the launch of an exciting campaign to extend gratification to all their

existing and prospective travel partners across India. As part of this campaign, starting August 1st, TIRUN Travel Marketing will provide various surprise gifts to all travel partners who contact

their offices pan-India, extending the offer till August 31st. The company also indicated that there were more surprises planned for them during forthcoming months! Speaking on the initiative,

Ratna Chadha, Chief Executive, TIRUN Travel Marketing, India Representative - Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., said, “This new campaign is one of our many trade engagement programmes and its

purpose is to extend our heartfelt gratitude to our nationwide travel partners. We intend to distribute various exciting gifts to them over the entire month, as a token of our appreciation and a reflection of the innovation, fun and vibrancy of our brands.” The campaign is equal and open to all, whereby each travel partner is rewarded with a surprise gift during the month when they first call any TIRUN office. Towards the end of the campaign TIRUN plans to extend the celebrations with some delightful surprises being brought to their partners’ doorsteps. The first time anyone dials in, they are guaranteed to win.


All that one has to do is call any of the offices at the numbers listed below: Delhi: 011-4906 1000


Mumbai: 022- 4311 2000 Chennai: 044- 2829 7022 Bangalore: 080- 3340 4828 Ahmedabad: 2001

# 245, Amar Jyothi Layout, Domlur, Bangalore - 560 071, India Ph: +91 - 80 - 4083 4100, Fax: + 91 - 80 - 4083 4101,, Ahmedabad - Delhi - Hyderabad - Mumbai - Pune

Voyager’s World > August 2013



Hyderabad: 040-6729 2929 Kolkata: 033-2474 0369

Events IITM


IITM Bangalore & Chennai:

trade’s ultimate meeting place VW BUREAU


phere Travelmedia & Exhibitions organised the Chennai and Bangalore editions of the India International Travel Mart (IITM) this July between 19-21 and 26–28 respectively. IITM Chennai was held at the Chennai Trade Centre in Nandambakkam while the Bangalore edition was held at the Karnataka Trade Promotion Organization (KTPO). With this year’s edition of IITM in Bangalore, Sphere Travelmedia & Exhibitions completes 14 years of providing the travel industry and discerning buyers from the travel–trade and corporate sector an opportunity to do business. With organisations and tourism boards from over 20 countries and more than 15 Indian states, IITM showcased a variety of destinations from different spheres such as pilgrimages, adventures, culture and heritage, beaches, hills, luxury travel and many more.

The event had over 400 participants from over 15 countries and over 20 Indian states. The participants included Travel agents and Tour Operators, DMC, Hotels and Resorts, National Tourist Organizations, Cruises, Airlines, Online Travel Portals etc. Some of the international participants who participated were Tourism Authority of Thailand and delegation, Sri Lanka Tourism, Dubai Tourism & delegation, Tourism Malaysia, Oman Tourism, Switzerland Tourism, Egypt Tourism among others. Speaking on the occasion, Sanjay Hakhu, Director, Sphere TravelMedia said: “India, despite the present business environment, is fast emerging as one of the most interesting and productive countries for the travel trade industry both for leisure and business travel. A combination of factors is responsible for the growth

and demand of travel trends from India.” Rohit Hangal, Director, Sphere Travelmedia added: “With the present ongoing recession International Arrivals in India has dropped and India International Travel Mart provided the right impetus to the Indian domestic tourism industry. The participants from the states of Karnataka, Kerala, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and many more destinations were seen aggressively marketing their range of tourism products.” Tourism studies and trends indicate that the year 2013 - 14 will see more than 16 million dollar spending tourists embanking on overseas travel and with the advent of low cost international airfares, holiday packages that are available on monthly instalments payable over a period of time, International

Travel is no longer a luxury. Highlights: • This year Sri Lanka & Thailand were the Partner Countries for the event and Malaysia, Dubai, Oman, Egypt and Switzerland were the Feature Countries for IITM. • Tourism Malaysia had an exclusive special offer for those travelling to Malaysia at an exclusive rate of starting from Rs. 28,888 per person for a 4-nights package to Malaysia including airfare. • From India, Gujarat, Odisha and Rajasthan were the partner states while Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Kerala were the ‘Focus Destinations’ and the states of Delhi, Lakshadweep, Puducherry the Feature States. • ‘Aloft Bengaluru Whitefiled’ was awarded the ‘Business Hotel of the Year’ at the ‘India International Travel Mart’. • Other states represented included Kerala, Tamil Nadu,

Delhi, Assam, West Bengal, and many more. More than 150 hotels and resorts participated from all over India, making it one of the most diverse ranges of hospitality products in the country on display. • Diverse Tourism segments on display such as Pilgrimage Travel, Adventure, Cultural pursuits, shopping tours, etc. • Presence of leading Tour Operators such as Cox and Kings, Kesari. Makemytrip and Thomas Cook provided competitive tour packages to holidays in India and abroad. • Aloft Whitefield, Bengaluru was the ‘Hospitality Partner’ for the ‘India International Travel Mart’. The ‘India International Travel Mart’ provides an ideal ‘marketing opportunity’ and ‘excellent backdrop’ to enhance the participant’s ‘brand-equity’ in the eyes of the discerning end consumer and the travel-trade.

Mohd Izal Bin Mahd Nor, Director, Tourism Malaysia Chennai Sethaphan Buddhani, Director, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Mumbai.

Tourism Malaysia’s association with IITM (Chennai & Bangalore) has been more than a decade. It’s a great platform to showcase our destinations and its USP of our products. It also helps us reach our target audience more efficiently. We look forward to participate in such events in the coming year too. We are confident of a long-standing relationship with IITM and look forward to participating in such industry platforms in the forthcoming year.

We have been associated with IITM for the last few years and a clear reason for the same is the quality of trade and consumers we see year on year. This year too, our experience has been great; the response was phenomenal. Bangalore was a delight as we saw a rich mix of trade and consumers visiting the fair. We saw some serious travelers coming in too who were interested in traveling and more importantly open to experiencing something new. On a whole I think it’s a good decision to Carl Vaz, Director, DTCM be present at IITM. IITM has always enjoyed the respect of the trade fraternity and consumers in Chennai and Bangalore. The 2013 editions of IITM Chennai and Bangalore have been fruitful for DTCM and our co-participants who used the platform to interact with trade members for business. On a consumer level, as DTCM we were able to further enhance Dubai’s image as a multi faceted destination and promote our Summer is Dubai campaign.

Voyager’s World > August 2013

Events IITM





Events IITM


Glimpses of IITM Chennai - 2013

Voyager’s World > August 2013


Events IITM

Glimpses of IITM BANGALORE - 2013


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MICE things in life

NTOs are showcasing the best of facilities in order to have a larger pie of the MICE cake Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre



he Indian outbound market is fast growing when it comes to MICE, what with a plethora of National Tourism Organisations (NTOs) joining the me-too bandwagon to lure MICE business from the Indian market. These NTOs have been witnessing a steady growth in the recent past from India despite the fall in rupee. Indian businesses are very keen on experiencing MICE facilities and exploring various destinations. Destination India for MICE Soma Bhattacharya, Destination Manager, Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority says: “India has always been an important source market for Mauritius as a tour-

ist destination. The island is fast emerging as the new wedding and MICE destination for the Indian travellers. Mauritius has all the key ingredients that are required for successful meetings, incentives, conferences and events, which support a perfect set up to host large groups, provide high-end luxury and accommodation, meetings and conference arrangements and host team building activities.” Korea, too, is poised to be one of the preferred destinations for MICE events, in the opinion of Jae-Sang Lee, Director of Korea Tourism Organization (KTO). “Korea is on the fast-track to become one of the top destina-

Voyager’s World > August 2013

Esther Grob Zurich Tourism.

MICE from India to Switzerland/Zürich are growing with more requests for the last two years from India.

tions for MICE events. Korea has achieved an enormous growth in meetings and convention industry by ranking 8th in the number of meetings and conventions by Union of International Associations in 2011. Korea and India have shared an inseparable link which is reflected in their economic, trade

tourism and MICE events.” The international meetings held at Seoul in 2010 increased 33 percent compared to the previous years, recording 201 meetings. Seoul was ranked ahead of famous cities like Tokyo, Geneva and Barcelona and recorded no. 5 in the world

as a global convention city. With milestone events like the 2010 G20 Summit, Korea’s presence as a meeting destination has been heightened. The Korean government had declared last year as the 2012 Korea Convention Year to boost the country as one of the top five convention destinations in the


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Rajeev Nangia TRAC Representation, Monaco Tourism

Monaco offers strong infrastructure well equipped to host boardroom meetings to big congresses for the Indian market. world apart from the Visit Korea Year 2010-2012 campaign to boost the number of inbound tourists to Korea.

Abhudhabi Tourism Authority

Palacio de Congresos, Madrid

In addition, the 2012 Korea Convention Year joined forces with the Korea MICE Alliance, which a union of regional convention bureaus, destination management companies and professional congress organisers, so that each city’s unique incentive plans are maximised for participants in any of the nine convention destinations across Korea. On a national level, Korea Tourism Organization will increase financial subsidies to the organisers of MICE events. Rajeev Nangia, Chief Operating Officer, TRAC Representation, Monaco Tourism explains that India is an emerging market for Mona-

co and has been recording a steady increase in the tourist arrivals in day-visitors, room-nights and MICE movements in the past few years. “Monaco is more targeted towards high-end travellers, focusing on five experiential aspects that include culture and event, spa, gastronomy, night life and casino. So be it the F1 race or the Jazz festival or the billion dollar yacht cruise, Monaco offers exclusive experiences for a wellinformed high end Indian traveller. Monaco has been positioned as an ultimate leisure, Upscale and Luxury destination. Hence the fall in Indian rupee will not much affect the MICE movement from India.” Karen Bolinger, Chief Executive Officer, Melbourne Convention Bureau said:

“The Indian MICE market is extremely important to Melbourne and in recent years has been growing from strength to strength. The Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) established an incentive and corporate travel unit over seven years ago and India has always been part of this. Last year was the most significant year for Melbourne in terms of the Indian market as the city played host to the largest Indian incentive group in Australia’s history in December – the Amway India Leadership Seminar for approximately 4000 delegates.” Bejan Dinshaw, Country Manager, India, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority says: “India as an outbound market holds a huge potential for the MICE industry

Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa, Malaysia


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with a projected GDP pegged at about 5-6% for the next 5 years. The Indian outbound MICE market is estimated to be around USD 600 million and is expected to increase by 12-13 per cent over the next couple of years.” “The market has not been affected by the global slowdown, the Indian corporates are spending on corporate travel, increasing the outbound market for MICE. These factors project ample opportunity for us to tap the Indian MICE market and look for some good growth from a market which is only between two-three hours flying time away and from which regional hubs will now open up to us with the recently equity part-purchase in Jet Airways by our national carrier Etihad Airways,” he added.

Clouds, Zurich

Down West in South America, the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA) worldwide rankings project Buenos Aires at the top spot in America and Argentina is the most visited

Lucerne, Switzerland

country in the continent. Other Argentinean cities like Bariloche, Rosario, Mendoza and La Plata have also been included by the ICCA. “Travellers have been fascinated with the breathtaking scenery, the vibrant cities, wine tourism bundled with adventure, sport and entertainment. Although Argentina is a long haul destination we have seen some MICE movement from India,” said Medha Sampat, Managing Director for Knack Marketing – Representative Argentina Tourism. Stating that the MICE segment had definitely grown with Turkey welcoming a number of Indian MICE groups, Ozgur Ayturk, Culture and Tourism Counselor for the Turkish Embassy in India said the country had hosted some big MICE groups from travel industry as well like TAAI -Travel Agents Association of India and ACAAI-Air Cargo Agents Association of India.

“Initially not many companies were open to considering Turkey due to high airfares but with revised rates by Turkish Airlines, the perception has changed and we now have a lot more requests and interest. As far as India is concerned, the outbound MICE market is growing fast with a prosperous future. Approximately 50% of all Indian corporate meetings are still held outside India as there are limited facilities available within the country and a lot of Indian companies are now looking for Turkey as a MICE destination,” he added. Another popular short haul MICE destination for India is undoubtedly Malaysia. Malaysia and India have always maintained a strong trade and bilateral ties in hosting successful events from India. Incentives have been performing the best for Malaysia as far as the Indian business events market is concerned. Malaysia is regarded as one of the must

Sanjay Sondhi visit indonesia tourist office

Indonesia is one of the destinations with value-for-money where MICE organizers can organize events in terms of service level and facilities.

Melbourne Convnetion Bureau Voyager’s World > August 2013


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6th World Chambers Congress, Malaysia

Other Convention Centres, Malaysia VENUE

No of Meeting

































































Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre (Langkawi) Genting International Convention Centre (Pahang) Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (Kuala Lumpur) Matrade Exhibition & Convention Centre (Kuala Lumpur) Putra World Trade Centre (Kuala Lumpur) Putrajaya International Convention Centre (Putrajaya) Shah Alam Convention Centre (Selangor) Sunway Convention & Exhibition Centre (Selangor) Melaka International Trade Centre (Malacca) Persada Johor International Convention Centre (Johor) Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (Sarawak)

Ozgur Ayturk Culture and Tourism,Turkish Embassy India

MICE industry is one of the fastest growing segments within the tourism industry generating millions in revenues for cities and countries.

visit incentive destination due to accessibility from any part of India with increased direct flights offered by both the full service airlines and low cost carriers. “Most venues in the country are flexible and able to offer a tailormade menu, created based on meeting planners/delegates’ requirement. MyCEB is always trying to improve the performance of each segment for every market, including India is regarded as one of the Top 10 market source for Malaysia,” says Zulkefli Haji Sharif, Chief Executive Officer, Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB). Honeymoon and Leisure destination, Switzerland, Zurich in particular, is now giving more importance to MICE, as pointed out by Esther Grob, Area Manager Russia, India, Asia Zurich Tourism on the growing requests from India for the last two years. Aishvarya Guhagarkar, Manager-MICE, Switzerland Tourism says: “Since 2011 we had been promoting Swiss Convention Incentive Bureau .We have witnessed the Indian MICE segment doing extremely good and is growing now. We also work in close collaboration with the Swiss consulate and the Swiss embassy.” Similarly, Indonesia is also directing efforts towards attracting MICE clientele from

India, apart from leveraging on its popularity as a wedding destination. Sanjay Sondhi, Country DirectorVITO India said: “One of the biggest events among the Indians is destination weddings for which Indonesia is becoming popular. Bali with its Hindu cultural heritage, extensive tourism infrastructure is suitable for all budgets, and an experienced wedding planner service. The MICE segment from the Indian market contributes significantly to the overall tourism to Indonesia.” Munnmunn Marwah, GM, Think Strawberries, Representative of Jordan Tourism Board(JTB) states Jordan has an unbeatable combination of history, culture, shopping and wellness. With an economy that is on the upswing and most companies wanting to explore exotic and unusual locations for their MICE groups. From the stunning Petra as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and is recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site, to the Dead Sea, flanked by mountains to the east and the rolling hills of Jerusalem to the west, giving it an almost other-worldly beauty. “Jordan is geared up towards the Indian sensibility thanks to its hospitality, food and superb hotels with unparalleled convention facilities. MICE groups and FIT groups from India don’t


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CHIME: promoting indian mice globally


HIME is a two-year-old MICE company, headed by Vineet Batra. CHIME is partnering with several global incentive players to promote India. Besides promoting the metros it has executed conferences in Tier 2 and 3 cities in offbeat venues as Shogi, Simla; and other cities as Nainital, Goa, Jaipur and Chennai. We use a number of 3/4 star properties in major hill stations in India. It will expand its sales and marketing network globally, besides opening up avenues in Singapore, Far East Asia, Australia and expand in the USA. India is receiving much positive publicity within itself as a MICE destination. MICE in India has matured with airports coming of age, with world class facilities, large convention centres and hotels opening in Hyderabad, Chennai and, of late, in East Delhi. So it is poised for a quantum leap in the country. It has grown with inquiries, interest pouring in and improvement in infrastructure. For incentive destinations in India, the Golden Triangle of Delhi-JaipurAgra is still popular with extensions of Udaipur and Jodhpur. MICE in India is still focused on five metros of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore

Sheraton, Indonesia need to fill out any visa paperwork as they can avail of ‘Visa on Arrival’ when they land in Jordan at Queen Alia International Airport. The Indian MICE market presents enormous and positive opportunities for us,” she says. Arturo Ortiz Arduán, Tourism Counselor, Tourism Office of Spain says: In 2012, approximately 15 – 20% of our market consisted of MICE groups and around 25 % business travellers. MICE Segment has been an important segment of our market. It comprises almost 10% of the entire India Outbound share to Spain. In 2013, Spain Tourism is foreseeing an increase in the figures from last year for MICE participation in Spain and hopes to maintain the double-digit figure from last year. Germany has still been receiving a fair amount of MICE travel as confirmed

by the MICE operators. “The economic uncertainty which has been prevailing and the devaluation of the rupee has affected Indian outbound. We are confident of retaining our leadership position as a top destination for Indian MICE to Europe,” added Romit Theophilus, Director, Sales & Marketing, German National Tourist Office, India. According to the ICCA statistics, India’s share is estimated at US$ 4.8 billion worldwide and ranks 27th in the global MICE market. The sector is set to witness an exceptional growth in the coming years with an increase in FDIs and the Indian business growing transnational. “The International Air Transport Association (IATA) data shows India is a fast growing source market for tourists to Oman. We have seen a rapid increase in the number of

Voyager’s World > August 2013

and Hyderabad. Greater NOIDA is coming up and so is East Delhi with a Kempinski Hotel opening there, with 45,000 sq ft banquet space and luxurious inventory of rooms. This combined with the Greater Noida area, makes it an area to watch out for. With the Phase I of Aerocity in Delhi coming up, JW Marriott, for example, will have potential for MICE. The hotel offers large conference facilities, 500 room base and other neighbouring hotels complementing each other. There will be many hotel rooms available in various price bands for MICE in Delhi and NCR region in the times to come. With the recent capacity building in Chennai and rationalisation of prices, with air connectivity, Chennai is set to become a major MICE destination. For MICE in India, we need larger venue spaces -- for example we don’t have convention centres or facilities that can accommodate 15,000 or 20,000 delegates at one go. Also cities such as Agra and Jaipur need to spruce up their images as world-class MICE destinations.

tourist arrivals from India to Oman over the years for MICE as well as FIT’s and group travels,” said Lubaina Sheerazi, India Representative, Ministry of Tourism, Oman. Infrastructure and facilities In Mauritius, the Swami Vivekananda International Convention Centre can accommodate about 5,000 people, offering a chic ambience for conventions, conferences and exhibitions. The convention centre is equipped with modern technology like Wi-fi, video- conferencing, satellite transmission and other amenities. It has hosted many international conferences, including the UN Small Island Developing States Conference and Zee Cine Awards. Mer Rouge is a smaller centre that can accommodate about 1,000 guests at a time. The Inter-

national Conference Centre in Grand Bay can host 600 delegates for smaller conferences and meetings. Apart from these, there are various resorts that have different options and banquet facilities to host regular MICE. Korea has nine newly built and modern convention centres with state-of-the-art video-conferencing systems and high-speed wireless Internet access. Korea offers a wide range from state-ofthe-art convention centres, world-class hotels and shopping malls to stunning UNESCO World Heritage Sites and delectable local cuisine. The International Convention Center (ICC) on Korea’s southern island has attracted major corporate, associations and political leaders to its doorstep. Jeju International Convention Center has

seven floors, equipped with an international convention hall that can accommodate up to 4,300 persons, meeting rooms of various sizes, an exhibition hall and other related auxiliary facilities. Seoul’s major convention facilities are located within an hour’s distance from the Incheon International Airport. As of December 2011, Korea has around 60,000 rooms in 500 star-graded hotels, ranging from superdeluxe (five stars) to 3rd grade (one star). The Grimaldi Forum Monaco is a huge convention centre with three auditoriums, 22 meeting rooms and three catering venues, to host seminars, conventions, shows, exhibitions, product launches or gala dinners and big

Zulkefli Haji Sharif Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB).

Malaysia is one of the must visit incentive destinations due to accessibility from any part of India with increased direct flights offered by both the full service airlines and low cost carriers.


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shows. Monaco has a strong infrastructure, well equipped to host boardroom meetings to big congresses.

German National Tourist Office

Melbourne has the highest concentration of conference facilities, with almost 198,000 square metres of conference space and more than 15,000 hotel rooms, providing accommodation options to cater to all budgets. The pinnacle of business events infrastructure is the state-of-the-art Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) offering the most flexible, integrated and comprehensive meetings facilities in the Southern Hemisphere. Abu Dhabi has added a

(TCA Abu Dhabi) to support the growth of exhibitions and conferences. Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) is one of the biggest and largest convention centres offering 12 halls that are interconnected and gives endless options for organisers with a flat-roofed floor space of 73,000 sq m. ADNEC can accommodate more than 6,000 guests. Abu Dhabi offers distinctive advantages of competitive rates, intelligent pricing, added value and innovative product. Argentina has a capacity of over 480 hotels and 56,400 beds and features more than 500 conference halls and three modern exhibition

plexes, soccer stadiums and other outdoor arenas also allow hosting large events. Significant events that take place in these centres are the Tango Dance Festival, Tango World Championship, the Rally Dakar, the ATP Tour (International tennis circuit), the Independent Film Festival, the Livestock Fair, the Automechanika Fair, Open Polo Championship, International Tourism Trade Fair of Latin America (FIT), Contemporary Art Fair (ArteBA), and the lyrical season at the Teatro Colón that is considered to be one of the most prestigious opera houses in the world. In Argentina’s six tourist regions, over 20 Conventions

Arturo Ortiz Arduán Tourism Office of Spain

Spain is the third most popular destination worldwide for conference tourism with state-of-the-art technology for all kinds of conventions and congresses.

Visit Indonesia Tourism Office

new force to drive its business events ambitions forward with the launch of Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau (Abu Dhabi CB) a new, onestop entity within Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority

centres that can accommodate 50 to 20,000 people. Some of the centres are the Centro Costa Salguero, the Centro Municipal de Exposiciones and La Rural-Exhibition Centre. Several com-

and Visitors Bureaus exist in more than 30 destinations that are prepared to host international events equipped with state-of-the-art technology, convention / exhibition centres and conference

Jordan Tourism Board


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Puthrajaya International Convention Centre,Malaysia halls have multiplied in the main cities including tourist centres. The hotel capacity in Argentina along with general infrastructure has improved to meet with the high demand allowing conferences, events, incentives and festivals to be a major success with large audiences. More than five million tourists arrive in Buenos Aires every year. Turkey’s well equipped international standard meeting and convention facilities, beautiful hotels are complemented by breathtaking scenery to suit various purposes and budgets. Being the 6th most popular destination in the world with over 32 million visitors annually, Turkey is focusing majorly on aspect of MICE tourism including airlines, travel agents and hotels throughout the country and is striving to create favourable conditions in a bid to attract more MICE tourists. The MICE promotional and marketing efforts in Turkey include one-to-one meetings, focused events, direct mail communications and offline and online campaigns with customers. MICE exhibitions also give greater brand visibility along with the opening up of networking opportunities to interact with potential customers. Malaysia has a number of convention centres like

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, two Auditoria, a Plenary Hall (seats 3,000), a Plenary Theatre (seats 500), a Grand Ballroom, three conference halls, a banquet hall, 9710 sq m exhibition space, 20 meeting rooms, plus 3G telecommunications and audio visual facilities. The Borneo Convention Centre Kuching is designed with all meeting facilities on a single level and can accommodate events between five – 5,000 people. The Great Hall with 2793 sq m is complimented by 14 additional meeting rooms, extensive registration and foyer space.

Jakarta Convention Centre

International brand hotels and world class resort in Malaysia include Berjaya Times Square Kuala Lumpur, Genting Highlands International Convention Centre, Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa and Hotel Istana. Switzerland can handle small groups and large groups since every region here is equipped with MICE business and the infrastructure is very good for banquet facilities. The Amway group event was organized in Zurich. The mountain peaks and castles are also well equipped for MICE, gala dinner and award nights. There are also technical visits to the chocolate factory and watch factory for the MICE group.

Voyager’s World > August 2013

Aishvarya Guhagarkar Switzerland Tourism

Every region in Switzerland is equipped with MICE business and the infrastructure is very good for banquet facilities. In Zurich, Congress House is the largest meeting venue with space for 1240 people. Some of the hotels are The Flag – 104 business apartments (July 2013); K-Star Hotel – 102 rooms & event space, Oldtimer Centre Horgen (Spring 2014); Kameha Grand – Int. Lifestyle Hotel,

245 rooms, 2015, Dorint Airport Hotel – 240 rooms, 2014, Ibis Airport – Budget Hotel, 240 rooms, 2014, Sheraton Hotel – 197 rooms in Zürich West, Spring 2014. Indonesia offers good conference facilities, sightseeing and team engagement activities. All the meeting

destinations, venues, as well as accommodation facilities and services rank among the best in the world especially in the major MICE destinations of Jakarta and Bali. In Jordan, some of the convention centres are King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Centre on the shores of


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SVICC, Mauritius

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre

Cendrawasih Ballroom, Indonesia

the Dead Sea, equipped with 25 meeting halls and large wrap-around terraces suitable for breakouts, can accommodate over 3000 people; the Zara Expo, a world class conference and exhibition venue, equipped with three purpose-built exhibition halls, each with its own entrance, a 297-seat conference auditorium with three layer foyer and six breakout rooms, offering a mix of first-class service, style and innovation; the Al-Hussein Cultural Center with 535 seats, latest light and sound theater acoustics. The centre can also be used for film screening, meetings and exhibitions and the Royal Cultural Center that can host up to 700 seated individuals, with four remote-controlled projection screens, teleconference tools and multi-media projection system. As per ICCA Rankings 2011, Spain has become the third most popular destination worldwide for conference tourism with 463 meetings conducted per year, Barcelona and Madrid have a long tradition in this sector. Other cities like Valencia, Sevilla, Bilbao and Malaga have conference centres and facilities equipped with stateof-the-art technology for all kinds of conventions and congresses. The World Heritage Cities by UNESCO in Spain like Avila, Toledo, Segovia, Tarragona are picking

up as MICE cities in Spain. The Spain´s Parador Hotels are ideal to offer a full range of alternatives with a host of leisure possibilities. The Oman International Exhibition Centre (OIEC) has been the principle venue in the Sultanate for events such as consumer exhibitions, trade fairs and other large gatherings, offering up to 12,000 sq m of indoor space that can be configured in a variety of set-ups, plus 3,000 sq m on the exterior. The centre is also the major provider of facilities for offsite exhibitions throughout the country. Some of the MICE Hotels includes ShangriLa Barr Al Jissah, Resort and Spa Muscat, offers 640 rooms in total with 19 Food and Beverage Outlets, three Private Beaches, 1000 Seat Amphitheatre.The pillar-less Barr Al Jissah Ballroom seats 700 guests banquet style including the pre-function area, that can be increased to 850 guests; also seven additional meeting rooms. Grand Hyatt Muscat offers 280 rooms and suites with five meeting rooms of 12 pax and maximum of 400 pax. Germany boasts of more than 6000 conference hotels and event locations and global cities such as Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich and Hamburg. Some of the popular conventions and events venues are the Internationales


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Karen Bolinger Melbourne Convention Bureau

Melbourne is Australia’s business events capital and a major drawcard for planners to organize business events.

Hyatt, Oman

IFEMA, Spain

Shangri La, Oman Voyager’s World > August 2013

Congress Centrum Berlin (ICC Berlin) consisting of 80 halls and rooms seating between 20 and 9,100 with superb technical installations and comprehensive range of services. The Düsseldorf Congress has 10 different event centres, tailored room concepts and services for all types of function. The Munich Exhibition Centre (Messe München), ICM – International Congress Center München and the MOC events centre offer a combined event space of 470,000 sq m. The Frankfurt Messe exhibition centre can accommodate from flexible congress centre to light-filled forum and historical festival hall (Festhalle). The Congress Center is a modern, highly flexible building with space for a total of 3,500 guests in five halls, at the heart of the congress centre is the multi-functional Harmonie hall which can accommodate

up to 2,200 people. Cologne Exhibition Center can organise around 2,000 events and more than one million visitors come here every year. Some of the business hotels are Maritim Hotel, Berlin, Mercure Hotel, Duesseldorf City Center, Marriott Hotel, Munich, the Westin Grand, Frankfurt, Mercure Hotel, Cologne Fiesenstasse. In 2012 Mauritius received 55197 arrivals. Despite India’s economic slowdown, it registered an increase of 15.6% in the India tourist arrivals till April 2013. Korea aimed to attract 10 million tourists from overseas by 2012 and welcomed 11 million visitors topping the tourism record for the country. There were 92,000 visitors from India to Korea up till the end of 2012, leisure visitors were 26% and business travellers were 70%. Out of busi-

ness travellers around 25% were the participants for MICE in Korea. Till the end of June 2013, Korea received around 5.5 million foreigners from overseas and Korea received 56,000 Indians, 26% more than the numbers of previous year till the end of June 2013. Monaco receives over four million visitors every year from across the world. Year on year there has been an evident increase in the room nights from India. There were 905,890 international visitors to Australia stating business as their main purpose of visit till 31 March 2013. Of all business visitors, 32% visited Victoria out of which 8% was from India. With the launch of the direct flight on Air India to Melbourne, growth from India is anticipated in 2014. Turkey had almost 91,000 Indians visiting the country


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Jae Sang Lee Korea Tourism Organization

Korea is an ideal meeting environment that caters to the international business community from traditional banquet halls to trendy yacht clubs. in 2012 and the growth rate was 24% over 2011. The growth rate from India is expected to hover around 25% to 30% this year. Salvotore Ianniello, General Manager, Business Development& Operations- Italy says: “There are about 60 conference centres with capacities of over 1000 places, from the north to the south of Italy. In addition to the traditional convention centres and big hotels with congress facilities, one can choose from a wide range of old palaces, castles, historic residences, resorts and magnificent villas. MICE is

an important segment as far as Italy is concerned which has witnessed a constant growth in the last four years. We have conducted several initiatives in the past to achieve this growth.” “With the collaboration of the Italian Consulate and the Italian Embassy, we have seen a growth of 70% -80% on yearly basis. From the Alps to the southern most beautiful seaside resorts, Italy will enchant you with its art, history, natural beauties and exceptional Mediterranean climate. Each region has something

unique to offer, but when it comes to congress facilities, all of them have a wide range to choose from- from the most modern ones, to the ones housed in charming villas, antique palaces and quaint castles. We are still at the initial stages, but we are very confident that Italy will become a preferred destination for MICE as well,” he added. As regards Malaysia, in 2013, MyCEB had organised more events from India as compared to 2012. The most recent event being the 10th Biennial World Telugu Federation Con-

ference 2013 held at the Sunway Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur last April. The event recorded attendance of 2,000 delegates. The number of delegates from India supported by MyCEB in 2013 is 91% above the arrivals same time last year especially from the incentive segment. Jordan experienced positive growth in the last two years and it expects this to show an upward swing and continue to sustain in 2014. In the last two years, MICE Tourism to Spain had maintained a double-digit figure.

From the entire market scope of Indian tourists to Spain, 20-25% can be attributed to business travellers to Spain, the rest amount to leisure travel. In 2011, a total of 33,591 and 60,675 Indian tourists in 2012 visited Spain, This recorded an all-time high of 80% growth. The first six months of 2013 has recorded an arrival of 21,244. Germany had a growth of 13.6 % in the last two years. India being Oman’s largest inbound market, tourist arrivals to Oman in 2012 were 221,623. There has been a 35.6 % change in tourist arrivals in 2012 as compared to 2011 which was 163,45. For Switzerland, 2012 was exceptionally good since lot of groups where travelling during winter November/ December. There has been a trend in MICE movement from India not only in peak season but also in off season. Expected growth rate for 2014


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Dead Sea Hotel, Jordan “Despite the rupee hitting an all-time low, we expect 2014 to be a year of growth for Mauritius. The rupee value has affected the business globally and corporate houses are restricting MICE movements. But Indians still prefer destination Mauritius. India and Mauritius share a good relation where tourism is concerned and Mauritius Government took lot of steps in the past to further strengthen the relationship like free Visa on Arrival. Recently Mauritius government had raised the cap from the minimum passport validity of six months for Indians when travelling to the destination. Now when travelling to Mauritius visitors can have passport validity even for the number of days they are travelling,” said Soma. “In 2014, we are expecting an increase of 20% in the MICE Tourism figure,” added Arturo. Commonly anticipating a positive growth in 2014, Romit expects the growth of 7% in 2014, while Lubaina foresees a two-fold increase in tourist arrivals from India and Aishvarya remains generally positive. Overnight figures in the sub region Zürich from India

2010: 76‘834 2011: 113‘134, +47.2% 2012: 115‘629, +2.2% 2013: 117‘941, +2% 2014: 123‘838, +5% New destinations Jae explains Korea is a southernmost volcanic island that has long been a favoured holiday and honeymoon retreat and is now a MICE destination. “The Jeju Island was officially proclaimed as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature in December 2011 relatively unknown to Indians. People visiting mainland of South Korea from India need a Korean Visa before beginning their journey from India. They need to submit all the required documents to VFS of Korean Embassy in Delhi and Consulate General of the Republic of Korea office in Mumbai. But if you begin your journey from India via Hong Kong and then directly visit Jeju Island with Cathay Pacific Airline, you do not require a Korean Visa for three months to enter Jeju Island for travelling.” “While Buenos Aires is the main hub for MICE, we also have Bariloche, Rosario, Mendoza and La Plata that have been included by the ICCA worldwide rankings. In the six tourist regions there

Voyager’s World > August 2013

Monaco Tourism are more than 20 Conventions & Visitors Bureaus in over 30 destinations prepared to host international events,” says Medha. In Turkey, Cappadocia and Antalya are popular MICE destinations for a lot of the Indian organizations. Salvatore said that Rome, Florence and Venice are some of the destinations that can cater to MICE segment.

“The new destinations we are promoting for the MICE business are Johor Bahru with attractions like the Johor Premium Outlet (JPO) and Legoland,” said Zulkefli. Legoland Malaysia is a 76 acre theme park with more than 40 rides and attrac

tion for MICE events. It also has some of the best resort hotels for MICE such as the Westin, Datai Resort, the Andaman and Four Points by Sheraton – all providing up to date meetings facilities. Zurich is promoting new regions like Appenzell for an

tions from roller coasters to race cars and other interactive shows. Langkawi, an archipelago made up of 99 islands on Malaysia’s west coast, is another destina-

attached leisure/side excursion idea reachable from Zürich as pre/post convention tour. In Indonesia, apart from

39>> Bali and Jakarta, other potential MICE destinations are Balikpapan, Bandung, Batam, Makassar, Manado, Mataram, Medan, Padang, Palembang, Solo, Surabaya and Yogyakarta; all are equipped to host international conferences, exhibitions, catering, special events and entertainment performances. Jordan’s new products for the Indian MICE market include the Wadi Rum, the largest and most magnificent of Jordan’s desert landscapes where a maze of monolithic rocks capes rise up from the desert floor to heights of 1,750 m. Aqaba is Jordan’s only seaport and one of its fastest developing cities, where tourists can choose from adventurous activities like snorkeling and scuba diving and shop without paying any taxes since Aqaba is an economic free zone. Besides these, the Wadi Mujib is a gorge which enters the Dead Sea at 410 m below sea level, offering adventure sports activities. MICE organisers can also consider having events at an off-beat historic place like Jerash. Jerash is an ancient city exemplifying the grand, formal provincial Roman urbanism found throughout the Middle East, comprising paved and colonnaded streets, soaring hilltop temples, handsome theatres, spacious public squares and plazas, baths, fountains and city walls pierced by towers and gates. Madaba, also known as the city of mosaics, is also another option. In Spain, Sevilla, Valencia and Bilbao are becoming popular in the Indian MICE segment; on the other hand, World Heritage Cities by UNESCO like Avila, Toledo, Segovia and Tarragona are not far behind as preferred choices. In Germany, the Messe Düsseldorf GmbH ranks first in terms of internationality in capital goods trade fairs. In 2010, over 60 percent of exhibitors and more than 40 percent of visitors to Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre came from outside Germany. Trade fairs in Düsseldorf attract customers from 151

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countries. With 50 trade fairs in Düsseldorf, of which 23 are flagship international shows, as well as around 100 independently or jointly organized events abroad, Messe Düsseldorf is one of the leading export platforms in the world. In addition to Zurich, MICE groups are also travelling to Geneva and Lake Geneva region. Switzerland Tourism did a study trip for Geneva and Lake Geneva region for agents to create awareness of new regions. Other places being promoted are Lucerne and Interlaken. Fall in Indian rupee “Trends in the outbound travel indicate that the travellers from India prefer short haul destinations because of the fall in the value of rupee. Mauritius is still being one of the popular and preferred destinations among the Indians. We are very hopeful that rupee may stabilize soon and will not have much effect, “said Soma. Jae is of the opinion that in the current scenario, Indian travellers have become increasingly value conscious. With the movement in the rupee the customers have begun weighing all options, while luxury travellers and the MICE segment are not tweaking their plans because of the recent currency fluctuation and the budget segment customer is rethinking the holiday plans. Karen is optimistic about the Indian market and says they will continue to remain active in their pursuit to attract more MICE groups from India.

Oman Tourism

Munnmunn Marwah Think Strawberries Jordan Tourism Board

Jordan is culturally rich and full of vivid landscapes with a combination of history, culture, shopping, wellness.

Abu Dhabi is at present experiencing an upward graph in the number of hotel guests both leisure and business. We are very hopeful that this trend of upward growth will continue. Presently the popular attractions are the Yas Island facilities of Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and the Yas Waterworld, additionally the culture and art district is being developed at Saadiyat Island. Ozgur says the fall in rupee has impacted the tourism

Abudhabi Tourism & Cultural Authority


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Abudhabi Tourism & Cultural Authority

Bejan Dinshaw Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority

Abu Dhabi is a new destination for the Indian traveler and the Indian outbound MICE market is expected to increase by 12-13 per cent over the next couple of years.

Tourist Arrivals and Growth Target 2012 - 2014 TARGET NO MARKET

2012 % 2013 % 2014 %




5.00 1,750,000 9.38 1,900,000 8.57


















South Korea



8. 9.





































210,000 3.00 225,000 7.14 235,000 4.44

10. UK

200,000 0.29 220,000 10.00 230,000 4.55


























Middle East





























765,000 8,000,000

4.58 9,000,000 12.50 10,000,000 11.11

Source: Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy Indonesia

Voyager’s World > August 2013

industry in general but not a substantial and definitely not an immediate one. Future plans for travel have been affected as people have adopted a wait and watch policy but summer travel plans are on as before. Esther expects the depreciation of the rupee to affect travels to Switzerland, with trips likely to get postponed and that people might rather book a trip within Asia now. Indonesia, Sanjay assures, is one of the great value-formoney destinations where MICE organizers can get fantastic value for their budgets in terms of service level and facilities. Munnmunn feels confident that despite the devaluation of the Indian currency, the intervention of the Indian government and Reserve Bank of India would soon help correct the situation and the MICE movement from India would get back on its normal growth curve. Arturo assured that the Indian rupee’s fall does not influence the Indian tourists travelling to Spain as Spain offers competitive prices for hotel accommodations. “The fall in Indian rupee as well as the increase in air fare has impacted the outbound travel market and the agents are reporting de-

crease in business. However it is hoped that with the corrective economic measures being taken by the Indian govt. the markets will become steady in the near future. The outbound market should be able to fully recover as the Indian economy continues to grow regardless of these temporary hurdles,” says Romit. MICE trends for 2013 Jae foresees the meeting size as growing, meeting space changing and more corporate, incentive groups due to the increase of Korean companies in India. The MICE segment contributes as much as 40-45 per cent to overall travel volumes. “For incentive groups, we saw an increase in enquiries from key Asian markets as well as from the US. With the recent Melbourne Now that campaign Tourism Victoria has launched in India, consumers have rediscovered new products,” says Karen. Medha bets big on the facts that corporates are constantly looking for a new exotic and niche destination. “We have had some MICE movement to Argentina and the growth has been very encouraging,” she added. “We have witnessed a rise in business events and growing demand for the corpo-


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rate incentive market, says Zulkefli. “The trend observed is that leisure programmes attached to meetings and Incentives are enquired of more,” added Esther. “We recently attended MICE India Luxury Travel Congress. We have seen the search of new enquiries, a new trend from wedding planners to organise wedding in Switzerland,” said Aishvarya. Marketing initiatives The KTO is focusing on developing high quality tourism products, global marketing, special incentive programmes while concentrating on online marketing initiatives and social media. It is also working towards building a strong association with travel agents handling outbound from India, as they are an effective medium for reaching out to all kinds of travellers. For developing Korean product, KTO is trying to provide detailed information and knowledge to the travel trade industry. It also plans to promote the destination through training sessions, road shows, workshops, advertisements, joint promotions, trade shows and familiarization trips on a pan-India basis.

“We have also teamed up with our valued members to present the Melbourne Values You programme - a series of special offers for incentive and corporate travel reward planners designed to make booking and planning an event in Melbourne,” said Karen. The ‘Advantage Abu Dhabi’ a specific incentive programme to attract MICE offers a corporate various value additions. There are 12 strategic economic categories under which business event organisers can develop proposals for Advantage Abu Dhabi support. The level of support can range from financial grants, governmental endorsement, leadership patronage, cost rebates and marketing support. Argentina has been working closely with travel agents to educate the corporates on the destination. Turkey recently launched a pan India advertising campaign called ‘Million Reasons’, to reach out to Indian tourists by showcasing the enchanting and rich experiential offerings of Turkey. The campaign includes a 30 second TV advertisement supported by online, print and outdoor elements. The campaign has been designed to reach out to the

Medha Sampat Knack Marketing – Representative Argentina Tourism

Argentina is internationally known as a destination with the breathtaking scenery and unforgettable conferences, conventions, exhibitions.

Korea Tourism Organization

Teatro Colon, Argentina


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German National Tourist Office

Soma Bhattacharya Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority

Mauritius is emerging as the MICE destination for the Indian travellers to handle small as well as large groups.

BEXCO, Korea

Kongresshaus, Zurich Voyager’s World > August 2013

Indian travellers so they can see Turkey in all its glory. “We have recently started the e-visa system for the citizens of 94 countries including India. Indian citizens who hold a valid Schengen visa or a valid visa from any of the OECD member countries or a valid residence permit in these countries can get their e-visa by using www. without going to the Embassy or the Consulate. We are planning a 5-cities road show in association with Turkish Hoteliers Federation and Travel Agents Association of Turkey in the month of November,” said Ozgur. Based on a survey amongst Indian Tour Operators and Travel agents, a very good number of tourist flows to Italy was recorded. MICE is

one of its major targets and will be part of their strategy along with other important segments like honeymoon, weddings, and wine and gastronomy. Last year, MyCEB launched the ‘Asia like never before’ campaign, targeting global corporate and incentive markets. The campaign focuses on four themes namely ‘Team Building’, ‘Theme Events & Experiences’, ‘Unique Venues’ and ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ for corporate and incentive clients planning an incentive trip to Malaysia. In line with the campaign, it also launched the Malaysia Twin Deal (MTD) Programme for the India market to attract more international corporate & incentive groups from the country. The MTD Pro-

gramme was launched in India in August, 2012 and it received encouraging response from the relevant market. This year, it will launch a global campaign in conjunction with the Visit Malaysia Year 2014 (VMY 2014) – Malaysia Twin Deal ++ (MTD++) Programme. Esther says: “We organised a corporate and leisure trade roadshow with our new partner Qatar Airways in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Calcutta. We had participated at MICE India and Luxury Travel Congress 2013 and we will be participating at IBTM Mumbai.” Indonesia is expecting increased MICE inflow from India in 2013. Visa is provided on arrival and there is a good connectivity provided by vari-


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ous airlines like Singapore Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Thai Airways. Indonesia offers various incentives for the MICE groups such as souvenirs, cultural performance and express Visa-on-Arrival facility scheme. If the group size is more than 400 pax then the ministry can also host one dinner. JTB’s strategy is to focus on promoting and marketing the destination and creating awareness about the destination and its offerings. The marketing plan includes sales activities aimed at travel trade, media and end con-

sumer to showcase Jordan as a diverse tourist destination in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore. Further along the year, JTB plans to have stronger presence across Tier II cities in India. It is easy for MICE groups visiting Jordan as they can avail of ‘Visa on Arrival’ if they have confirmed return flight tickets, confirmed hotel booking and USD 1000. Other facilities include uniform visa fees for all nationalities, group visas- five passengers or more- free of charge when arranged through DMCs or TOs. In 2013, Spain has a roadshow planned from 2426 September in Mumbai,

Romit Theophilus German National Tourist Office.

Germany is a world leader in innovation, sustainability to plan meetings and exhibitions for business travelers and MICE delegates.

Bangalore and Delhi followed by a workshop in Madrid and a FAM trip of about 18 travel agents to World

SICC, Indonesia

Lubaina Sheerazi Ministry of Tourism, Oman.

Oman is a destination with rich cultural heritage offering activities such as rock climbing, cave exploration and dolphin watching.

Heritage Sites of Spain. It also plans to take part in IBTM Mumbai. It will closely work with the Spanish Embassy in Delhi and the Spanish Consulate in Mumbai to enable smooth and quick processing of visas for MICE groups. Currently, the Spanish Consulate in Mumbai is processing the visas within maximum five days from the date of application of visa for MICE groups, business and leisure travellers to Spain. It also provides support to travel agents, tour operators and corporates in organising inspection visits in Spain if they chose Spain as their first MICE destination. In February 2014, Emirates will fly its A380 in the route BCNDUBAI and return, which means 1100 more weekly seats per leg, equivalent to almost one more daily frequency with regular flights. Romit ensures the best inductions for the trade that include study tours to facilitate first-hand experience of Germany’s MICE infrastructure. We also conduct workshops and presentations for product updates. “We conduct destination presentations to large corporates planning their MICE visits to Europe. Some new incentive ideas are driving a world war tank just outside of Berlin or going skydiving and jumping off a world war plane. Try the ‘Don 2’ base jump from the roof of the Park Inn, Berlin Alexanderplatz, 125 m off the ground or the Munich Beer Tour, an extensive tour providing interesting and entertaining insights. Create your own Eau de Cologne.” Switzerland Tourism had or-

ganised study trip for meeting buyers of IMEX Frankfurt and it will participate in EIBTM Spain and IBTM Mumbai. “We will be organising Switzerland workshop in September and a study trip for corporate in October. We have a MICE brochure which is very informative and comprehensive for the trade, with the infrastructure details of each region. We have released a new flyer for MICE that focuses on different possibilities of doing MICE in Switzerland,” said Aishvarya. “In the last two years, MTPA had organised two roadshows in India. In 2013, MTPA hosted a 3-city road show in Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Chandigarh with an initiative to tap the growing outbound market potential of India by projecting destination Mauritius as an all-encompassing island of choice for honeymooners, families, MICE, special occasion travellers like wedding segment in specific and new age segments,” Soma added. “Earlier this year, we did a marketing initiative programme with select travel agents and press in the city of Pune in the month of May 2013 and Hyderabad in the month of June 2013. We are planning a special roadshow in northern India for connecting India travel agents in September 2013. In the meanwhile, we will invite Korean state governments for co-campaigning with Indian travel agents as well. There will be many more events in the next four months,” said Jae.


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Associations and events: Not strange bedfellows In view of the third edition of the India Association Congress (IAC) 2013, on 22 and 23, August at the ITC Grand Chola, Chennai, Voyager’s World finds out the ultimate purpose served by associations in the interests of the related stakeholders. PRIYAMVADHA BALARAM Importance of associationcentric conventions The common purpose behind all associations is to bring together people as members sharing similar interests on a subject and provide a forum for them all to concur on issues related to the subject. John Peacock, General Manager, Association Forum (Australia), said: “Associations can learn from each other. The great advantage here is that there is much less competition between associations than the competition that naturally exist s in commercial business.

Meetings as India Association Congress demonstrate this fact”. Alfons Westgeest, Group Vice President, Kellen Company (Belgium), said: “Such a convention like the IAC allows to really focus on strategic and relevant issues for associations, and not just one element (meetings, venues, convention management).” Gangadharan, President -International Federation of Ageing, Director-Heritage Hospital and Chairman Heritage Foundation, Hyderabad, says: “Associa-

Voyager’s World > August 2013

tions abroad, in most of the developed countries, are dynamic and well organised with close associations with members. At this point of time, very few Indian organisations have such a mechanism of touching base with members. Activities stimulate more membership and in an annual convention of this type, we listen to what many organisations do to make sure that the society and members gain benefits. Practices adopted by different organisations are not well known to many of those in the professional circles. There are very successful organisations while there are

many upcoming ones. Such meetings help the new ones from reinventing the wheel and save time, energy and resources.” Benefits for stakeholders John said that delegates learn from overseas experiences and are exposed to best practice in other countries. Suppliers to a particular market, as represented by the relevant association, can showcase their products and services to an international audience. Alfons thinks participation would make stakeholders more responsible and knowl-

edgeable about the role they need to fulfill as professional managers of associations. Gangadharan says: “Individuals in the company/organisations represent in such associations, bringing tremendous level of knowledge and experiences. There are associations that hold elections to elect the new office bearers and committee members, purely based on professional excellence while some others on ‘political’ basis. Both perhaps deliver outcomes. Strategies of each organisation are different and can’t be copied but there is plenty of learning.

45>> Bottlenecks According to John, potential members need to be shown the advantages of membership. “This is a combination of marketing to position what the association has to offer, plus sales to convert interest in an association into actual joining. Associations need to be reminded there are alternative sources of information and knowledge on the Internet, so they must continually strive to prove the value of joining.

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and they add to the bottom line of the associations,” says Gangadharan. Being a global member Networking is done through such global association to connect amongst the countries and within the regions. Representations to governments are made easier with the knowledge gained through global participation.

Relevance of new association laws and regulations Gangadharan states: “Association legislations primarily focus on responsibilities and accountability besides transparency. They promote true representations and ensure regional representation to prevent one-sided or imbalanced views and decision making. In India, perhaps it is not done. When done, we have noticed in several legis-

lations, a poor implementation mechanism. In a global organisation, with so many stringent provisions for ensuring conformity to laws and guidelines issued withpunitive actions for deviations and with associations not wanting to deviate on moral grounds, it does make a lot of sense to have legislations to promote and sustain healthy associations.”

Alfon said that while monitoring of laws and regulations is a first step, influence is also important. “The association can serve as an excellent organizer of statistics, knowledge and promotion towards new changes. So it is not only a re-active but also the proactive duty of associations to represent the overall industry or profession,” he concluded.

Alfons says that the choice of becoming a member is traditionally decided on the basis as a ‘lifetime’ choice in India. But he expects the trend to gradually change as the value proposition for associations would become more competitive. Gangadharan said: “It has to be ascertained whether institutional members run associations or individuals. Some excel in visioning an association to the logical end while some come and go with little impact. Organizations would want to see result orientation. There are companies that see membership in an organisation as a trade union activity detrimental to its very existence. Role of local vendors In international association congresses, the significance of local vendors can’t be ruled out; it is here that outsourcing helps reduce the burden of organisers. John says: “The knowledge of someone who understands the area the conference is held can be very valuable in ensuring optimum outcome for delegates.” “Associations have plenty of stakeholders; vendors being one such key partner. There has to be a proper representation in an association’s management and it must includevendor representatives so their interests are protected.Leadership can be rotated by practice or by constitution to ensure that vendors assume such key roles. Exhibitions in congresses are common sight world over

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Wyndham on an expansion spree in the Indian market Deepika Arora, Regional Vice President - India, Wyndham Hotel Group - Asia Pacific, speaks about the hospitality major’s upcoming plans and projects for the Indian market in a freewheeling interview with Voyager’s World. VW BUREAU

Deepika Arora Regional Vice President - India, Wyndham Hotel Group - Asia Pacific

India is witnessing huge footfalls and fierce competition coupled with a desire to stay in the No. 1 position, promoting hospitality players to introduce innovative ideas and hospitality products and services to woo more customers and stay ahead of competition. What is distinct about Indian hospitality with regard to supply-demand gap, etc? The most distinctive aspect is the profile of the domestic traveller. Domestic travel is expected to be the primary driver of the hospitality and travel industry’s growth. More Indians are now traveling within the country and abroad on business and leisure trips and this is an encouraging trend. Interestingly, a lot of domestic travel is for family holidays or religious reasons and the Indian traveller expects value for money hotels with good facilities and comfortable amenities. The domestic traveller is clearly a discerning customer who is spoilt for choice with a range of options available to him. This is not a monopolistic market and so it is important for brands to cater to these changing trends/ needs to attract the customers.

market in India? The Indian market offers a great opportunity and is key to our expansion plans. The emergence of India as a preferred leisure and business destination has increased pressure on the Indian hospitality industry to constantly improvise itself to cater to the growing demand of the travellers. India is witnessing huge footfalls and fierce competition coupled with a desire to stay in the No. 1 position, promoting hospitality players to introduce innovative ideas and hospitality products and services to woo more customers and stay ahead of competition. Currently, Wyndham Hotel Group has 17 operational properties in India with a total room inventory of 1,800 under Ramada, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Dream and Days Hotel brands.

Our group’s diverse portfolio offers best lodging choices for every segment and needs, from upscale to economy to business and leisure. We also aim at expanding its reach in Tier 2 markets as Amritsar, Lucknow, Jamshedpur etc to cater to the growing demand.

Our portfolio offers best lodging choices for every segment and need, from upscale to economy to business and leisure needs. The Group is poised to cater to every traveller’s needs through its diverse portfolio, offerings and services. It’s an exciting time for Wyndham Hotel Group in India.

How do you see the current

Our group is the world’s

Voyager’s World > August 2013

largest hotel company with over 7,380 hotels as part of Wyndham Worldwide Corporation. We offer not only the most lodging choices around the world but also exceptional customer service and great value. Based on number of hotels what are your marketing and promotional campaigns for India? Online and offline, Wyndham Hotel Group’s team of marketing experts optimize brand exposure through a multifaceted approach. Integrated marketing initiatives include print campaign mainly in travel and inflight publications; exposure on top search engines, travel websites and other online ad networks, public relations and social media initiatives. In addition, the group’s point-based guest loyalty programme, Wyndham Rewards, with over seven million active members, provides a great platform to market our hotels in India and increase guests frequency and by enabling travellers to earn and/or redeem at over 6,600 hotels located around the globe. The group also participated in international key trade fairs and exhibitions to promote our India hotels.

Expected growth rate As a policy we do not share figures. However, Wyndham Hotel Group in India has more than doubled the size of its portfolio in last three years. The Group plans to develop nearly 80 hotels and increase the inventory to 8000 rooms within the next five years. What are Wyndham’s upcoming projects for the Indian market? To further strengthen the expansion in India, the Group has signed a franchise agreement to bring the Wyndham Grand Bangalore Yelahanka which is set to open in 2020. The crown jewel of Wyndham family, the Wyndham Grand Collection of hotels is an exquisite ensemble of hotels and resorts offering guest one-ofa-kind experience in spectacular resorts and urban destinations. Each hotel offers refined guest accommodations, attentive service, relaxing surroundings and thoughtful touches designed to satisfy and delight business and leisure travelers alike. By the end of this year, the Group will open its first Ramada Encore and Howard Johnson Hotels targeted at the mid-market segment.

Wyndham Hotel Group has also signed a deal to bring its extended stay product, Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham brand into Amritsar. In addition to the new launches, the group is working aggressively to strengthen its existing Ramada Portfolio. Upcoming Ramada Hotels in 2013 are as follows: Ramada Amritsar Ramada Jamshedpur Ramada Neemrana Ramada Alleppey Wyndham Hotel Group is the only group that franchises all its brands and this makes its growth strategy unique and distinctive in the Indian market. Relationship with the Indian travel trade. We enjoy an excellent and rewarding relationship with the Indian travel trade. Our hotels in leisure and business destinations (Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Varanasi, Khajuraho, Kochi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Jalandhar, etc.) work closely with Indian trade partners. Our go-to-market strategies incorporate the trade’s feedback and inputs on a consistent basis. With more hotels openings in Indian cities we seek more active participation from the Indian travel trade.



IATO Convention to focus on innovations in tourism Subhash Goyal, Chairman of Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), talks about the 29th convention and the theme surrounding it. VW BUREAU

Subhash Goyal Chairman of Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO)

New products, processes, new material, new forms of organization, carrying capacity, use of technology, creating centres of excellence that treat and disseminate new operational research based on knowledge, and focus on incremental raise of quality staff, niche and revolutionary innovations can really impact tourism and its sustainability positively.


he 29th IATO annual convention is set to be held from 8-11 September, 2013 at the Le Meridien, Kochi. This year’s theme is ‘Indian Tourism – Innovations & Partnerships’.

In the wake of Public Private Partnerships gaining increasing importance in tourism infrastructure development opportunities, these will be explored in the course of business sessions and inputs from the experts who have been invited from India and abroad. This is also visible in research partnership, investigating tourism as a socioecological system, civic governance and tourism in the face of uncertainties created by global warming and peak oil pricing, etc. While innovation can be defined in many ways, new products, processes, new material, new forms of organization, carrying capacity, use of technology, creating centres of excellence that treat and disseminate new operational research based on knowledge, and focus on incremental raise of quality staff, niche and revolutionary innovations

that can really impact tourism and its sustainability positively. Expectations We are expecting over 1200 to 1500 participants as we are receiving good response. We expect more participants from the southern region where the enthusiasm to be present in IATO Convention is more. This will mean the delegate numbers will cross our expectations. Some expectations inter-alia include- Good business sessions wherein experts can give useful tips on doing business at a time when the economy is down. - Meeting challenges of global warming, terrorism, global partnerships and to reach new markets, adopt technology in tourism etc. - There will be also sessions from state governments to get ourselves educated on the new products offered by them; requesting them to earmark lands for infrastructure purpose; whereas tour operators can invest andget soft loansfrom state financeorganisations - Rationalize road taxes, sales tax on ATF so that domestic air operations become cheaper, strict

Voyager’s World > August 2013

safety norms, setup machinery for overall cleanliness in cities/monuments visited by tourists, promotional material in foreign languages, educational tours to know products of the state educational seminars. Benefits The Kerala government is proactive and the trade is very professional. We will boost Kerala with sincere efforts to bring tourists in numbers. We are confident that IATO would make its mark in enhanced tourist arrivals to Kerala postconvention. Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha, Gujarat and Delhi will have booths at the Tourism Mart to showcase their unique attractions. Through A/V presentations and by educating members, the destinations update will help members to workout state-specific holiday packages and also form partnerships with the state governments. The deliberations by experts on various strategic issues will help dovetailing marketing strategies and networking with stake holders.

Thus, this convention becomes a common platform to boost tourism in India with combined efforts and this we value. IATO role IATO is the link between government ministries and stakeholders and this works out benefits for members to boost tourism even in sluggish economic times by holding:- Roadshows in new markets - Holding booths at a cheaper cost the booths and reaching new markets through global tourism exhibition participants - By supporting educational seminars overseas to educate overseas sales team to present India to the clients - By extending financial support to overseas tour operators to launch exclusive India holiday brochures, joint advertisements with overseas tour operators holding specific tourism-oriented festivals like food festivals, for improved awareness, TV quiz or essay contests, inviting travel/ tour operators from overseas to show the products in India so that they can sell India confidently, invite media to write about India.

Promotion Our promotional efforts are:- Press conferences and media releases - Collaboration with ministry officials, Minister of Tourism and other ministries- Civil Aviation, Culture, transportrelated agencies, ASI, Chambers of Commerce, State Governments - Favourable support from Kerala as host state - Support Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Delhi and Karnataka governments - Special supplements on the Convention and daily media publication in course of the convention. - Radio, TV Interviews - Issue of IATO updates from time to time - Online bookings commissioned and Convention updates in the IATO website - IATO run for Responsible Tourism, Auction wall for charity - Inviting Uttaranchal Tourism for the Convention to workout strategies to rebuild tourism in Uttaranchal - Our efforts to save paper via online registration and being eco-sensitive


Destination Branding

The destination brand mantra and what works… Supermarket approach to marketing destinations will not work. It has to be tailored to each destination. ROHIT HANGAL


he lifetime of a ‘destination brand’ and its elements form a distinct identity till the next CEO comes along or for that matter the next advertising agency is on a trigger point pitch-spree! In an era where destinations are more perceived than experienced, the hope to create the next tagline out of a century-long destination baggage is pure ‘nirvana’. The destination brand evolves from a ‘promise’ it brings. Mere play of words or your agency’s most creative line may still fall short of delivery. What drives a destination to go for a change of direction? Is it merely to impose the new-found desire to

create an identity as a ‘supermarket destination’ (there is something-foreverybody kind of approach) or a destination’s new-found love to focus on its geographical or cultural attribute! Do destinations reach a level of brand maturity, where they no longer require a help of a tag-line or a slogan? Destination marketers always seem to be in love with the ‘one big tagline’...What does it take a destination to be independent of any taglines or slogans? Let the consumer decide for himself on the attributes of the destination! Tom Buncle, Managing Director, Yel-

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low Railroad, interestingly says: “Tag lines are brilliant when they are inspired, convey a country’s benefits succinctly in a way that evokes the essence of the country, and could be nowhere else. But mostly they fail spectacularly. I’ve only ever seen two that really tick these boxes: - Croatia - “the way the Mediterranean used to be”. - Ireland used a tag line many years ago for the incentive market in the USA, I believe, along the lines of “Ireland - ancient birthplace of great times” - absolutely brilliant! Other good ones that have achieved impact are: - New Zealand - “100% Pure” and Costa Rica - “No artificial ingredients.” He further adds: “Otherwise, sadly most taglines are no more than distracting noise and marketing blah. How many can you remember? And how many can you look at and say they really talk to you in a way that epitomizes their country, as well as inspiring you? And how much money has been wasted with expensive agencies generating mediocre calls to action in insipid taglines?” If you can’t come up with the holy grail of a killer tagline, use a descriptive one (e.g. “Peru- Land of the Incas”) or be brave and don’t have one - like Australia and Texas. One of the key elements of a branding success is the longevity of the branding elements such as the tagline if one, its logo and visible traits. Trying to change the destinations’ branding every time there is a change at the helm is purely not helping the cause. Incredible India Incredible India! is case study material! A couple of simple words backed with a multi-million advertising budget and smart advertising visuals has bombarded the world over and over again till it claimed marketing nirvana. Incredible India would not be claimed to be successful, if it was not backed by the continuous bombardment over a period of the last 10 years or so. One smart attribute of the campaign is that it did not


Destination Branding

One of the key elements of a branding success is the longevity of the branding elements such as the tagline if one, its logo and visible traits. Trying to change the destinations’ branding every time there is a change at the helm is purely not helping the cause. How often have we seen the promise line change at every change at the helm? The destination brand gains momentum with its longevity in focus, and not on the ‘one smart tagline’ that change along with every season. talk beyond ‘Incredible India!; it left the rest to its visual impact and the consumer’s imagination. It saved the creative team from putting their foot in the mouths! The downside is India being what it is; it is a big country with a plethora of ‘marketable destinations/products’. The fact that India is often at the receiving end of natural and man-made disasters making cancellations of inbound tourist is a tad higher. When something like this happens; most times, tourists taking cue from our television channels on sublime ‘breaking news’ mode,

do not realize how big India actually is; what happens in one part of the country seldom affects other parts. It is more important than ever before, to create ‘regions / city / attractions’ into strong destination brands with an independent brand identity. Kerala has been one of a few success branding stories as far as India is concerned. They have not aligned with the ‘Incredible India’ bandwagon and have gone ahead and implemented an independent marketing plan and have delivered results. Does having a ‘brand document’ help

create a focus, especially for destinations? Tom Buncle adds: “Yes, absolutely. A set of clear brand guidelines - or toolkit - is the critical bridge that links the branding strategy to its implementation. It is the brand manager’s manual - and should also be distributed to all who are in any way projecting the destination brand internationally (e.g. NTO staff, tourism operators, airlines and, ideally inward investment promotion and development agencies, exporters and diplomatic posts - all of whom should ideally have been involved in developing the brand itself, as key stakeholders). It should explain what

the values/essence, personality, positioning statement, emotional benefits and rational attributes are, what they mean, and how to apply them in marketing communications”. “In other words, the brand toolkit is the vehicle that explains how to bring the brand to life in a no-nonsense, easy-to-understand way for everyone. Without it, the brand may be no more than theory and impenetrable gobbledygook for many people, no matter how brilliantly it has been conceived”. How often have we seen the tagline change at every change at the helm? The destination brand gains momentum with its longevity in focus, and not on the ‘one smart tagline’ that change along with every season. At the same time a bad line that adds complexity of trying to sell a bit of everything and the kitchen sink, has to simplify itself into what the consumer will accept! Focus on one big attraction or an attribute, it does not matter if it is geographical or cultural. Super market approach to marketing destinations will not add value, either to the discerning tourist or to the scattered visitor statistic!

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Festival Watch


Cardiff Harbour Festival Wales

23-26 August, 2013

The second edition of the Cardiff Harbour Festival this year at the Cardiff Bay comes with an exciting addition - Extreme Sailing. The Extreme Sailing Series is an innovative format offering a grandstand experience in high-speed action. There are a host of free activities and family favourites including a continental market selling tasty treats. Visitors can also view some spectacular sailing action at close range from around Cardiff’s famous waterfront.

Bonderam Festival Goa

August 24, 2013

The Bonderam festival, celebrated on the island of Divar, located 12 km from Panjim, takes place on the fourth Saturday of August. Derived from the Portuguese word ‘Bandeira’ for flag, the day begins with a flag parade from the Divar junction, accompanied by a brass band. Later in the day there is a fancy dress competition followed by the traditional float parade and a live musical performance featuring the famous music bands of Goa.

Sun Moon Lake Festival, Taiwan

10 October to 11 November, 2013

The Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan’s Nantou County in Taiwan hosts the grand fireworks and music festival annually. The reflection of brilliant bursts of colours, sparkles and fiery trails of light on the lake’s crystalline surface is a sight to behold. It is full of music performances, orchestra, dance, cinema like the Sun Moon Lake Music Festival, Taiwan Mobile Concert, Taiwan Cycling Festival, National Day Celebration Concert, Movies in Concert, etc.

Regata Storica Venice


01 September, 2013

he Regata Storica or Historical Regatta is a spectacular sporting event that takes place along the Grand Canal in Venice to mark the welcoming of Caterina Cornaro, wife of the King of Cyprus in the 15th century. Several Venetian rowing boats with rowers and the locals in period costumes parade on the waters to commemorate the historic welcome. There is also a competition involving several coloured boats and enthusiastic men, women and youngsters setting about in the lagoon of Venice.

Voyager’s World > August June 2013 2013


Onam Kerala

Festival Watch

September 16, 2013

Onam is Kerala’s harvest festival celebrated in the Malayalam month Chingam, from end of August to beginning of September. It marks the Vamana incarnation of Lord Vishnu and the homecoming of King Mahabali. People put flower mats in front of their houses, to welcome King Mahabali. Celebrated for 10 days, the festivities comprise beautiful flower carpets, ‘Sadya’ or elaborate traditional lunch, snake boat races, ‘Puli Kali’ and Onappottan, Thrikkaakarayappan, Thumbi thullal, Onavillu, etc.

Munich Oktoberfest Germany

21 September - 06 October, 2013

The world renowned Oktoberfest is a 16-day festival held in Munich in Germany every year, starting last late September to first week of October. Enormous quantities of Oktoberfest beer are consumed then and tourists can also enjoy several traditional, tasty dishes. There is a wide range of entertainment besides beer like carousels, merry-go-rounds and shooting and throwing galleries. There are beer tents and several kiosks that sell sweets, ice cream, non-alcoholic beverages and souvenirs.

La Tomatina Buñol, Spain

28 August, 2013


his takes place on the fourth Wednesday in August every year in a small town called Buñol near Valencia. People literally paint the town red and pink, throwing tomatoes at one another. Early Wednesday morning, shopkeepers cover windows and doors to prepare for the messy onslaught. Official instigators ceremoniously begin to pelt the crowds with tomatoes trucked in from all over Spain. The squishy barrage is over in about an hour.

Nan Boat racing festival Thailand

1 September 2013 - 30 September 2013

The Nan traditional long boat festival has been held annually in September/October, in the Nan River in Nan province, when the water level is at its peak. Racing boats are usually made from dugout tree trunks and can accommodate up to 60 oarsman, commonly dressed in the same color, in a double row. The event attracts many spectators throughout the country. Trophies and prizes are given to the winning team at the end.

LEFT: WTM Exhibition Director Simon Press with Head of Sales Deborah Dewe (right) and Head of Marketing and Communications Micaela Juarez.

MeeT The TeaM The World Travel MarkeT TeaM coMprises of More Than 30 people across sales, MarkeTing and operaTions. oTher key MeMbers of sTaff include;

WTM ManageMenT TeaM voW To deliver biggesT and besT evenT yeT in 2013 World Travel MarkeT, The leading global evenT for The Travel indusTry, has a high-experienced and knoWledgeable senior ManageMenT TeaM in boTh The exhibiTion and Travel indusTries.

Collectively, Exhibition Director Simon Press, Head of Sales Deborah Dewe and Head of Marketing and Communications Micaela Juarez have almost 40 years’ experience in the travel and tourism industry and 23 years’ experience in the exhibition industry. Press joined WTM as Head of Sales in 2009 from fellow Reed Travel Exhibitions event Arabian Travel Market, where he was Exhibition Director. Following WTM 2009, he was promoted to the role of Exhibition Director. Dewe has been working in the travel industry her entire working life, starting as travel agent from 1996 to 2000, before joining travel trade publication TTG UK’s sales team. She left TTG in 2010 as Sales Director to join WTM as Head of Sales in 2010. Juarez joined WTM in 2000 from Coca Cola and was promoted to Head of Marketing in 2005 before being promoted to Head of Marketing and Communications in 2008. She oversaw

the launch of WTM’s three TV channels –, and WTM 2013 will see the technology region break out in to its own event – The Travel Tech Show at WTM, while a new luxury event – a Taste of ILTM at WTM – will be launched.

collectively 40 years’ experience in the travel and tourism industry and 23 years’ in the exhiBition sector Press said: “One of WTM’s greatest assets is the great mix of experience, knowledge, skills and ability there is in both the senior management and wider team. This has allowed us to continue to deliver an industry-leading event, while also developing a number of highly successful other events throughout the year.”

Press & PR Manager Paul Nelson has been working in the travel and tourism industry for a decade. He started as a journalist for Travel Weekly UK in 2003 before moving to as PR & Internal Communications Manager in 2007. In 2009 he moved to WTM to run the largest recurring press centre in the UK with up to 3,000 media attending each year. In 2012 Nelson helped WTM win the Association of Event Organisers’ Award for Best Use of Social Media. Europe & Mediterranean and UK & Ireland Regional Account Manager Lucie Winter has been working in the travel and tourism industry for 23 years. She joined Travel Weekly/ Executive Travel Magazine in 1990, while at the publisher she worked as Sales Manager for Asia Pacific. In 1990, she joined World Travel Market with responsibility for the event’s largest region – Europe, before adding UK & Ireland to her remit in 2009. Marketing & Buyers’ Club Manager Raj Thakkar has more than 15 years’ experience as a marketing manager in a variety of industries including the education and legal sectors at leading organisations including LexisNexis, and Centaur Communications. Thakkar joined WTM in 2011 and has overseen the successful rebranding of WTM Meridian Club to WTM Buyers’ Club. Americas & Global Village Regional Account Manager Lisa Hopgood has been working in the travel and tourism industry since 1994. She spent five years at Travel Bug in sales and marketing before joining tour operator Flexi Ski as Senior Tour Consultant. In 2000, she joined UK trade publication Travel Trade Gazette as Key Account Manager. Hopgood joined Reed Travel Exhibition’s Business, Meetings and Incentive portfolio in 2009 before joining WTM last year.

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Fall in love again at Banyan Tree Lăng Cô


he Banyan Tree Lăng Cô, Vietnam, stands in the midst of the azure East Sea and the imperial Truong Son (Annamite) mountain range, exuding a tranquil romance, making it the perfect destination for a getaway with that special someone. Couples can re-ignite their passion with the Romantic Getaway package featuring the signature elements of the Banyan Tree experience. Designed to offer absolute privacy and exclusivity, Banyan Tree Lăng Cô is nestled in a unique crescent bay framed by a three kilometer beach on the Central Coast of Vietnam, an area re-

nowned for its pristine coastline, tropical jungles, rugged mountain peaks. A culturally rich destination, couples can spend quality time discovering Vietnam’s most storied UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the cities of Hue and Hoi An, along with the relics of My Son. The resort is easily accessible within a 60 minute car ride from the Da Nang International airport, which is fed by Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh). By booking the Romantic Getaway package with a minimum stay of three consecutive nights, one can enjoy the following benefits:-

Voyager’s World > August 2013

• Three-night stay in a Lagoon Pool Villa • Daily breakfast at The Water Court • Welcome drink and fruit platter upon arrival • Return transfers from Da Nang International Airport • One-time in-villa BBQ • An Intimate Moment set up in villa • One time 60-minute “Classic Rejuvenation” spa treatment for two • Daily shuttle service to Hoi An • Daily scheduled resort activities • 10% off all treatments at Banyan Tree Spa Lăng Cô (except beauty

treatments) • Complimentary late check-out until 1600 hours The Banyan Tree Spa Lăng Cô Spa focuses on a holistic approach of physical and spiritual well-being, drawing on time-honoured Asian spa traditions. Spa therapists are trained at one of the accredited Banyan Tree Spa Academies in Phuket, Thailand; Bintan, Indonesia; or Lijiang, China. Incorporating fresh, indigenous ingredients unique to Vietnam, the signature treatments at Banyan Tree Lăng Cô Spa feature local ingredients as primary components to each

treatment recipe, offering guests an all-encompassing sensory experience. A fitness centre and yoga classes are also available. The offer is open for bookings from now until 17 December 2013 and valid for stays from now until 19 December 2013. For more information or to make a reservation, please contact Banyan Tree Lăng Cô at reservations-langco@ ; or +84 (0) 54 3 695 888, +91-114600 0560. - Advertoroial

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“Are WE there yet?” KALEIDOSCOPE 2013

September 3rd - 8th, 2013 Venue: Sophia College, Mumbai


Incredible India


Chhattisgarh clears the air for tourist safety



he land of many cultures and traditions, Chhattisgarh, is as rich in scenic beauty as it is in history, making it an excellent destination for those craving a break from city life to enjoy the rustic charms of the place. On 7th March 2013, His Holiness Dalai Lama visited the blissful Sirpur and paid his respects to Lord Buddha. The archaeological excavations at Sirpur are soulful masterpieces and resonate with the Lord’s gracious presence. Chhattisgarh is a land full of myriad wonders and vibrant festivals. The Bastar Dusshera celebrated in October is an exuberant showcase of ancient culture and the state’s rich tribal traditions. It is marked by pomp and grandeur to revere goddess Sri Danteshwari Mai. The famous Sirpur Dance and Music Festival in January is a rare confluence of culture and art to create international cultural amity and brotherhood. An upcoming attraction for adventurers is camping at the Mainpat Plateau in tents. Chhattisgarh is a land full of surprises but the Chhattisgarh Tourism Board (CTB) feels that its rich cultural and natural wonders have been unexplored and unseen by many due to fear of

Voyager’s World > August 2013

Naxalite activity. With an aim to draw visitors from the neighbouring states, Chhattisgarh Tourism intends to promote it as a short getaway place.It is located in the heart of India and is a shade greener than the rest of the country. The state is a palpable melange of the old and the new. It is indeed a matter of historical irony that one of India’s newest states sits on the oldest rocks in the Indian subcontinent. The CTB considers safety of tourists a top priority. The Managing Director of the board Santosh K. Misra, IAS cleared the air about the issue saying: “Naxal activity is evident only in the bordering areas of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh, very far away from the tourist sites being promoted by the state government.” He added that tourists willing to visit the state need not be scared of these incidents as no tourist’s life has ever been endangered. The destinations are also highly protected by guards, and officials conduct regular visits to the areas. Last year there were 53,00,000 inbound tourists to Chhattisgarh and he expressed confidence that the number would increase by 15% this year.

Incredible India


Madhya Pradesh Timeless engravings



rchha’s grandeur has been captured in stone, frozen in time; a rich legacy to the ages. The palaces and temples built by its Bundela rulers in the 16th and 17th centuries here retain much of their pristine perfection. Raja Bir Singh Ju Deo built the exquisite Jehangir Mahal, a tiered palace crowned by graceful ‘chhatries’. The view of soaring temple spires and cenotaphs from here is spectacular.

The interiors represent the finest flowering of the Bundela school of painting. In the Laxminarayan temple, vibrant murals encompassing an array of religious and secular themes, bring the walls and ceiling to rich life. What to see: Jehangir Mahal: Its strong lines are counterbalanced by chhatris and trellis work. Raja Mahal: The plain exte-

riors, crowned by chhatris, give way to interiors with exquisite murals, boldly colourful on a variety of religious themes. Rai Praveen Mahal: It is a low, two-storey brick structure, designed to match the height of trees in the surrounding gardens of Anand Mahal. Phool Bagh: Laid out as a formal garden, it has a cen-

tral row of fountains culminating in an eight-pillared palace-pavilion. An ingenious system of water ventilation connected the underground palace with Chandan Katora, a bowl-like structure from whose fountains water droplets filtered through to the roof, simulating rainfall. Sunder Mahal: This small palace, almost in ruins today, is still a place of pilgrimage for Muslims.

How to reach: By Air: Nearest airport is Gwalior (119 km), and Khajuraho (170 km). By Road: Orchha lies off the Jhansi – Khajuraho road. Regular bus services connect Orchha with Jhansi. By Rail: Nearest railhead is at Jhansi (16 km), on the Mumbai- Delhi and DelhiChennai main lines. Your Host: Betwa Retreat (MPT) & Sheesh Mahal (MPT).

KHAJURAHO – World Heritage Site


he temples of Khajuraho stand testimony to the extraordinary breadth of vision of the Chandela Rajputs under whose rule the temples were conceived and constructed. They were built in a short span of 100 years, from 950-1050 AD in a truly inspired burst of creativity. Of the 85 original temples, only 22 have survived the test of time. Each stands on a high masonry platform with a marked upward di-

rection in the structures, enhanced by vertical projection to create an effect of grace and lightness. Each of the chief compartments is mounted by its own roof, grouped so that the highest is in the centre, the lowest over the portico. What to See: The temples are divided geographically into western, eastern and southern groups.

Western Group The temples here are Kandariya Mahadeo, Chaunsath Yogini, Chitragupta temple, Vishwanath Temple, Lakshmana Temple and Matangeswara Temple. Eastern Group The temples here include Parsvanath Temple, the group’s largest Jain Temple; Ghantai Temple, Adinath Temple and three Hindu temples here are dedicated to

Brahma, having a four-faced lingam; Vamana, which has carvings of ‘apsaras’ in sensous attitudes and Javari, with a richly carved gateway. Southern Group The main temples in the Southern group are Duladeo temple and Chaturbhuj temples. Besides these, there are also a sound and light show and a state museum of tribal folk and arts.

How to Reach: By Air: Regular services from Delhi and Varanasi. By Rail: Khajuraho railhead linked to Delhi, Jhansi, Harpalpur & Mahoba, Satna on the Mumbai- Allahabad line of the Central Railway By Road: Regular buses from Satna, Harpalpur, Jhansi and Mahoba. Best Season: July to March Your Host: Hotel Jhankar (MPT), Hotel Payal (MPT) & Tourist Village (MPT).



Philippines to focus on Indian outbound


he archipelago of Philippines garnered a record increase of over 22% from January - May 2013 over the same period last year. It unleashed ‘It’s more fun in Philippines’ campaign in Bangalore, with a travel agent and media Roadshow. The Indian roadshow series this year concentrated at the emerging markets of Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore. Having lost out on its national airline withdrawing flights from New Delhi to Manila, the campaign rolled out attractive promotional fares from Cathay Pacific and Malaysia Airlines. Philippines offers Visa-on-arrival to Indian tourists already having a Shengan, UK or a US Visa stamped on their passports.

Accolade for


IA.COM was conferred with the ‘Best Global Corporate Accommodation & Event Services in India’ award at the 44th Business Networking & Leadership Award Summit by MMG Worldwide at Fariyas Resort, Lonavala on 2nd to 4th August, 2013. The summit was attended by 145 delegates representing top Corporations of Western Region in India. MMG Worldwide presented Industry Leadership Awards to Heads of Corporate Services, Facilities Management & Administration and Procurement Professionals. The summit’s discussion ranged from designing Healthy work environment, the 3C perspective – Cost, Customer & Communication, to Corporate Real estate Management, in the realm of Facility Management and ways to carry forward in the changing environment. The primary focus revolved around the identification, analysis and transformation of marketplace patterns and methods to convert it into business objectives.

Cathay Pacific Airways hosts Iftar for trade


athay Pacific Airways hosted an Iftar dinner at The Park Hyatt for the travel fraternity in Hyderabad in July to observe the breaking of Ramadan fast. The fast was broken with dates, juices and variety of Hummus prepared by a chef flown in from Jordan. Dinner was served with a variety of Hyderabadi specialities, like the Haleem served only during Ramadan.

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Rakesh Raicar, Regional Sales & Marketing Manager-South Asia, said, “It was a pleasure to host an event for the travel agents with whom we work very closely. We are extremely pleased that most agents could join us in this celebration. This is a small gesture to express our gratitude for the support we have received since the time we have started flight operations from Hyderabad to Hong Kong.”

1 Year, 12 Issues Rs. 800 (Inclusive of Rs. 200 for postage) 2 Year, 24 Issues Rs. 1,600 (Inclusive of Rs. 400 for postage) 3 Year, 36 Issues Rs. 2,400 (Inclusive of Rs. 600 for postage) Name Designation Company Name Address City Pin State Tel. Fax E mail

Voyager’s World > August 2013

Cheque/DD to be drawn in favour of Sphere Travel Media & Exhibitions Pvt. Ltd. Payment must accompany order with Enclosed herewith is my Cheque/DD Cheque/Draft No. Drawn on No 245 Amar Jyothi Layout, Domlur, Bangalore - 560071 Phone: 080- 4083 4100

Top Appointments

61>> TripAdvisor Anne Bologna, Vice President-Brand Strategy

TripAdvisor appointed Anne Bologna as the Vice President, Brand Strategy. With about 25 years in marketing, advertising and branding she was MD at MDC Partners in New York, and had worked with advertising companies like Toy and Fallon. In her new role, Anne will lead TripAdvisor’s brand vision efforts.

IDS Next Business Solutions Binu Mathews, Chief Executive Officer

Binu Mathews has been promoted as the Chief Executive Officer of IDS NEXT Business Solutions. He joined IDS NEXT in 2010 and has an experience of over 20 years in many fields and worked in Softbrands and Systems Plus (P) Ltd. In his new role, Binu will oversee the complete running of the company.

Fairfield by Marriott, Bangalore Gaurav Aggarwal, Director of Sales

Gaurav Aggarwal has been appointed as the Director of Sales at the yet-to-be-launched Fairfield by Marriott, Bangalore. With seven years in hospitality, he has worked with Courtyard by Marriott in Chennai and Gurgaon and Marriott International. In his new role, Gaurav will drive business for the property.

The Orchid, Mumbai Rajesh Kr. Gupta, General Manager

Rajesh Kr. Gupta has been appointed as the general manager, The Orchid, Mumbai. He has 16 years of experience in hospitality and has worked with Hyatt, Grand Hyatt, IHG, Taj and Lalit Jaipur. In his new role, Rajesh would be responsible for overseeing the operations of the property.

Accor India Ashish Sud, Director of Finance-Hotel Operations

Ashish Sud has been appointed as the Director of Finance, Hotel Operations at Accor India. He has been with the brand for the last four years and has over 17 years of experience in finance in hospitality and manufacturing. In the new role, Ashish will lend his expertise in the financial initiatives for hotel operations.

JW Marriott, Bangalore Parul Thakur, General Manager

Parul Thakur has been appointed as the General Manager of JW Marriott Bangalore. She has over 10 years of experience at Hilton, New Delhi and Marriott hotels like Courtyard by Marriott, Ahmedabad and Marriott International. In her new role, Parul would be responsible for the operations of the property.

Ramada Encore, Bangalore Renu Varghese, General Manager

Renu Varghese has joined Ramada Encore, Bangalore as the General Manager. With over 20 years of experience, he has worked with many hotels in Bangalore as Clarion Whitefield, Pride Hotel, Chancery, Le Meridien and Oberoi. In his new role, Renu will be in charge of running the complete operations of the firm.

Seychelles Tourism Board Sherin Naiken, Chief Executive Officer

Sherin Naiken has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Seychelles Tourism Board. Prior to this, she was with Department of Tourism in Ministry of Tourism and Culture and Seychelles Investment Board. In her new role, Sherin will head the overall operations of the tourism board.

JW Marriott, Bangalore Prakash Viswanathan, Director of Sales & Marketing

Prakash Viswanathan has joined as the Director of Sales & Marketing for JW Marriott Bangalore. With over nine years of experience, he has worked with Hyatt, Taj, JW Marriott Mumbai and Courtyard by Marriott Chennai. In his new role, Prakash will lead the team for brand promotion and drive quality sales.

Accor India Pavan Kumar, Director of Sales, Corporate

Pavan Kumar has joined as the Director of Sales, Corporate at Accor India. He has been a part of Accor India for seven years, and worked with Novotel Hyderabad & HICC and the Lavasa International Convention Centre. In his new position, Pavan will be responsible for driving the sales of the property.

Events Calendar


networking is the key September 2013

August2013 22, 23

Business Travel & MICE Expo Chennai

& 23 - 24 AUGUST 2013

06, 07, 08

India International Travel Mart Mumbai, India

13, 14, 15 22, 23

India Association Congress Chennai

India International Travel Mart Gurguon (Delhi (NCR), India

24, 25, 26, 27 International French Travel Market, Paris




04, 05, 06, 07

04, 05, 06

06, 07

05, 06, 07, 08

05, 06, 07

World Routes Las Vegas, USA

eibtm Barcelona, Spain

15, 16, 17

22, 23, 24

IMEX AMERICA 2013, Las Vegas, USA

India International Travel Mart Pune


29, 30 Nov & 01 Dec

Luxury Travel Mart Moscow, Russia

Holiday Expo Nagpur, India

02, 03, 04, 05

International Luxury Travel Market Cannes, France

05, 06, 07

Cii Tourism Fest Chandigarh,India

05, 06, 07, 08

Travel Turkey Izmer Tourism Fair & Conference, Izmer, Turkey

06, 07, 08

Chengdu International Travel Fair Chengdu, China

11, 12

Brussels Travel Expo Brussels,Belgium

Voyager’s World > August 2013

World Travel Market, London, UK

Business Travel Market 2013 London, UK

India International Travel Mart Hyderabad

January 2014 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 ASEAN Tourism Forum Malaysia

22, 23, 24, 25, 26 Fitur Spain

22, 23

Conventa Slovenia

29, 30, 31 SATTE New Delhi


Voyager's World - August 2013  

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