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The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
The OTA - Hotel story
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The OTA - Hotel story

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  • 1. 1 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 2. 2 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 3. 3 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 4. 4 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 5. 5 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 6. CONTENTS From the Editor’s Desk Dear Reader, I ncredible India has launched a new advertising campaign at the World Travel Market (WTM) London 2012. Launched by the new tourism minister K Chiranjeevi, the campaign, under the tagline ‘Find What You Seek’, will have the UK as a target market. It is a timely and apt marketing push for the Incredible India campaign. The new campaign creates an awareness of the destinations and products available in India. The aim of the campaign is to increase global visitor figures by 12% until 2016. As the name indicates, the promotional campaign sends across a message that tourists world over can find whatever they want to see while holidaying in India This is a welcome development for the Indian inbound segment, especially if we take into account the recent lifting of travel advisory by the UK for Jammu and Kashmir. This surely is going to give a boost to the tourism prospects of the scenic valley, better known for its serene lakes and houseboats. Lately the valley David Scowsill has seen the revival of tourism with foreign tourists flocking the President-CEO – World destination. The industry is earnestly wishing that no untoward Travel and Tourism incident that will mar the tourism hopes of the state will happen. Council (WTTC) In this issue we have on the cover an analysis on the relationship between OTAs and hotels. It seeks to give some insights for both the hotels and the OTAs. After all, both need each other. Also on the menu is a feature on the loyalty programmes of hotels and The US lost their significance. $600 billion (in tourism) Warm regards, in the last FIROZ FAZIL 10 years Editor due to visa refusal. editor@voyagersworld.in www.voyagersworld.in OTA-hotels matrix 08 Filipino Fiesta 26 Hotel Loyalty 18 Festival Watch 42 Hospitality 24 Cruise Lounge 44 Destination 26 Incredible India 45 Flight Talk 33 Happenings 46 India Outbound 34 Top Appointments 496 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 7. 7 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 8. COVERSTORYCAN’T LIVE WITHOUT EACH OTHER!Are hotels and OTAs getting along nicely in matters like revenue-sharing? Thedefinitive mantra guiding both the players should be based on the edifice of amarriage of convenience for mutual benefits, writes Firoz FazilC an hotels afford to ignore all those Online Travel Agencies(OTAs) out there? Obviously not! and OTAs. A strained relationship? Hardly any hotels Voyager’s online,” explained Manish. He suggests that hotels can run various promotional programmes property’s gateway to the world,” explained Jean Francois. Although the average OTA commission rateIt is preposterous on their part to World spoke to admit that their to make it more attractive. “And might be double previous travelremain OTA-agnostic in this dog- relationship with OTAs is a strained business from this source definitely agencies, the expense is worth it!eat-dog marketplace, for, there’s no one when it comes to issues like improves RevPar, with most times Explaining further as to whyturning away from the fact that OTAs revenue sharing. But, a few OTAs distressed inventories getting sold OTAs are indispensable for hotels,are here to stay. The percentage of admit that it is a problem area. at last minute or decent amount he said, “OTAs are working toroom bookings through OTAs at According to Manish Raj, Vice of inventory getting sold well in secure bookings for your propertypresent may not be so encouraging. President, Hotel Relationship – Via. advance.” 24/7. They provide travellers withBut hotels, faced with the double com, the hotel-OTA relationship is Jean Francois Mourier of a way to search the availablewhammy of increasing competition a strained one ‘to a certain extent’. REVPAR GURU, an ardent properties in their destination, soand the dwindling margins, are According to him, it is time for hotels advocate of ‘hotels-should-use-OTA’ if you aren’t online, you’re losingrealising that they have to make the to accept OTAs as an additional theory, asserts that it will be a great out on valuable visibility. Like withbest use of all the avenues at their continuous source of dependable mistake on the part of the hotels not every business, it costs money todisposal. revenue, and an effective marketing to use OTAs to their advantage. make money. Consider this: using And it is premature on their part tool. “Just like it would have been a the old business model (hard-copyto get squeamish when it comes “OTAs and hotels should work mistake not to work with traditional brochures) hotels had to spendto issues like commission sharing closely and have a better revenue travel agents in the past, today, it money on printing and distributingwith the OTAs. The best bet for sharing model, which I think should is a huge mistake not to use the the brochures. Today, that expensethem is to adopt an eclectic blend improve in times to come. With OTAs because the Internet is your is no longer necessary so hotelsof distribution channels which increase in room supply, OTAscomprise, of course, the traditional can help in routing customerstravel agents, hotels’ own websites from undefined segments to book8 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 9. COVERSTORY question of bookings through OTA need to share it with OTAs to get being increased,” she added. more transactions and room nights. Abhyuday Prashad, Co- The margins for OTAs are going Founder of CheckInTonight agrees to shrink with more OTAs coming that there will always be a constant up. Most of the branded hotels like tussle between OTAs and hotels for Marriott, Accor are spending more revenue sharing. It is important for money on in-house IT to reduce both sides to appreciate the benefit business on OTAs,” added Anil. that the other is providing. According to him, OTAs are “Going forward, as online hotel looking at strong growth on non-air bookings increase as a share of total segment and the most important hotel bookings, and it will, coupled revenue and business growth is with the increase in inventory due to looked upon online hotel bookings. new hotel constructions which will He says that only people who find it drive down occupancy levels, OTAs hard to share higher commissions may have more leverage than they are small boutique hotels, home do now. Having said that, hotels stays, serviced apartments and are brands in themselves and are also the high-end luxury hotels. ultimately the service provider “Rooms distribution and for the customer (OTAs are just inventory management on OTAs is ashould be taking that same more room bookings. “OTAs are intermediaries), so they inherently must to promote the sales of distressmoney, and investing it in OTA medium to generate incremental have certain advantages vis-à-vis inventory or unsold inventory andcommissions,” he further said. revenue and increase online OTAs,” he said. OTAs also provide the platform for In short, he points out, hotels visibility. It is a source which should “Having said that, the number hotels to market themselves to themust not fear technology. They be used by the hotels as and when of traditional agents will reduce unknown customers.”should embrace these changes needed.” over time as we will certainly see He said AxisRooms’ offering hasand make sure they have the best “With YoY increase in supply a greater number of hotel bookings just become better this year with theconnections with OTA market and demand being not increased being made online due to various launch of two way channel manager,managers, to ensure that the proportionately, going forward all reasons such as greater population new version of online bookingonline channel is as profitable as hotels will endeavor to secure having online access, etc.” engine and corporate / SME toolpossible. business through low cost for hotels to manage their corporate Komal Kapoor, Asst. Revenue channels. More than focusing on Share the revenue business. “We will be launching ourManager, Holiday Inn Mumbai occupancy or rate individually, in AxisRooms CEO Anil Kumar next product which caters to theInternational Airport, has a different times to come hotels will be after Prasanna feels that the current offline travel industry; they will gettake on this. She does not consider GOPAR. Profitability will be the OTA-hotel relationship is going well, the same access of inventory likeOTAs as a crucial medium to drive key. In such scenario, there is no except a few issues on rate parity OTAs and at their own contracted and the fact that sold out updates rates with minimal technology cost. are not instant. We hope this will do well in the “On the revenue front hotels will leisure hotels segment.”9 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 10. COVERSTORY The highest AxisRooms has According to Travelchacha.comseen is approx 30% of available CEO Sanjay Bhasin, even thoughinventory sold online and lowest there’s a strained OTA-hotels change due to changing consumer OTAs they dont have to be overlybeing 4%. He said that online relationship, the fact is that they behaviour. Today’s consumer is concerned.business is still at nascent stage can’t live without each other! As buying actively on mobile phones According to him, the OTAin India. “At present on an average for now, it’s not possible to predict and that platform is still open for the market will continue to expand inwe can see just 10% of total sales anything about the future of the taking. The next wave is going to be the world. They have the resource toand we expect it to grow up to 30- relationship between the two. “We smart TVs which will add another continually invest, evolve, iterate and40% by 2015-end. There is a huge should concentrate on building distribution channel.” provide the best user experience. Inopportunity and have seen new a stable long-term partnership Rajesh affirms that hotels that the Indian market it will be the sameOTAs like HotelTravel.com and between us,” he adds. find it hard to use OTAs have to as it is a big market and there areSplendia showing interest in India According to him, either have a way of filling the rooms left number of independent hotels whoHotel Contracting.” hoteliers or OTAs or both have to empty. They must have a strong need distribution and exposure. The Agoda CEO Robert Rosenstein focus on building a stable long-term base business, group business, branded hotels have the resourcesfeels that both hotels and OTAs partnership. “These are just small great rate strategy and effective and devote time to develop theirrecognize the shared value in crisis that come and go as soon as, online presence to drive bookings. direct booking channels. They willpartnerships. “It takes time to the climate changes. As for now, If they are strategic with their use of have to continue to invest to keepdevelop these relationships, and we don’t need to worry much aboutmuch like anything else, the more them irrespective of this situation,”effort you can put in, the more he concludes.you stand to get out of it. We are According to Rajesh Rajan,committed to adding value to our Revenue Management Consultanthotel partners and we think this with Rethinkhotels, the hotel-OTAshows in the support we get from relationship is always strained ashotels.” the commission percentage paid Pratik Mazumder, Head of out by the hotels is ‘really high’.Marketing & Strategic Alliance, Rethinkhotels is focused onYatra.com, also vouches for a very educating hoteliers in revenuehealthy relationship between yatra. management, Internet marketing,com and hoteliers. He feels the reputation management and hotelrelationship is getting stronger with technology.larger volumes coming from OTAs The dynamics between OTAsin the future. and hotels are changing and, Rajesh He reveals that Yatra.com’s adds, it has changed to some extent.hotel bookings domain is booming “If you look at Booking.com theysince its acquisition of Travelguru: are growing really fast; they have“We do over 1000 room nights a a flexible commission structure andday.” treat the hotels fairly. It will further10 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 11. COVERSTORY on-the-go even easier.” with respect to hotel, usually work with last room availability basis best The hotel speak available rates- a boon for hotels Prasad Iyer, Cluster Ecommerce looking to realize maximum revenue - India, Malaysia & Maldives, for rooms, especially as last minuteup with OTAs, he concluded. Marriott Intl Inc, says that OTAs bookings,” he said. Jean Francois complains that are an integral part of Marriott’s Atul Lall believes that the hotel-too many hoteliers focus only on 65% of the room rate (after paying distribution strategy. “Our main focus OTA relationship is based on a clearthe commission and not the benefits commission).” is to strengthen our direct channels understanding of what commissionof the online channel: the billboard He explains: “Almost 80% of the but we also have to recognize that levels are expected and the hoteleffect (free marketing) and increase population in the US is using the not all customers will think about objectives for maximizing revenues.in bookings. This despite the fact that Internet every day. Online travel Marriott in the first place. Marriott He is foreseeing an increase inonline is the most important source and tourism continues to experience continues to be very selective and commissions but it is “alwaysof revenue and this will continue to solid growth and this is just the its OTA engagement strategy in balanced out in terms with additionalbe the case going forward. beginning of the Internet revolution. order to protect our brand.” business commitments.” “My message to hoteliers is That’s not even mentioning the Regarding the revenue from Gaurav Aggarwal – Associatethat 100% of $0 is still zero, so it consumer craze for smartphones OTAs, he said: “OTA contribution Director of Sales, Courtyard byis better to list online and make and tablets, which make bookings varies from markets to markets but Marriott, Gurgaon, feels that the remains a very small percentage.” online segment has huge potential According to him, OTAs will for a business hotel like theirs. have to better explain what service “Marriott considers Commission as they provide to hotels in order to a Cost of Doing business and hence justify the cost. Hotels are the main to yield high rated business and it is customers of every OTA. more profitable to the hotel.” For Fairmont Jaipur about He informed that Marriott has 10% of its total room revenue is contracted globally with OTAs like generated through OTAs. The Expedia, Travelocity and Agoda. hotel has tied up with MakeMyTrip, “They have also been our largest Agoda, Bookings.com, Expedia and supporters within the online space. Cleartrip. There is also a constant endeavour According to Atul Lall, GM, to increase the base of the OTA’s Fairmont Jaipur, OTAs are across India and across the world. becoming more influential in terms Marriott has a dedicated team, of driving room revenue to hotels, based in regional offices that are not just here in India, but worldwide gauging and contracting new as well. accounts for a region/market.” “OTA tie ups command a higher According to him, the OTA-Hotel visibility amongst consumers and relationship is growing all across11 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 12. COVERSTORYthe country. There is constant and international, such as Expedia,education between the two parties Booking.com, Yatra, Makemytrip,and both are working hand in hand etc.to increase revenues for their According to him, the hotelbusiness. “Marriott has always been bookings will increase throughproactive in terms of commission OTAs in the times to come. “Onlinesharing and has found ways in booking provides convenience andusing these funds for marketing.” power to the end user to pick and Shaleen Mathur - GM sales and choose the hotel they want andmarketing - Citrus Hotels & Resorts they can also review various hotels,doesn’t think that the OTA-hotel compare photos and rates, lookrelationship is strained at present. for some deal which a traditional“All OTAs work on different model; travel agent might not extend themsome deduct their commissions in order to increase their margin.up-front and make payments to the The ultimate aim is to drive thehotels and some prefers the hotel customers who have booked youto process the commissions later. through various OTAs to yourBoth hotels and OTAs should be website or to other channels whichpro-active on the commissions front saves you commission.”and ensure that the money is paid He foresees a future whereinto each other on time.” the majority of OTAs supporting strength of our OTAs to grow the bases that we can tap into and drive According to him, OTAs are a ‘Direct Payment Model’ wherein the Macao market and therefore our our destination from guests aroundvery crucial medium for bookings guest just makes the booking online share of room nights.” the world. We have negotiatedas they have a good base of people without paying anything to the OTA While refusing to divulge the good term with our OTAs, so weand a wide market. and pays directly to the hotel for revenue on room bookings through embrace the relationship. We are “So by slicing the revenue all the services rendered and the OTAs as it is `internal’, he said that in an OTA early adopt phase in ourby a few percentages in terms commissions for the same is later the hotel’s major OTAs vary by hotel market and we work with the OTAsof commission is always a better being processed by the hotel to the and brands. Some of the biggest help them develop their businesschoice and a win-win situation for OTA. ones are Agoda, Ctrip, Makemytrip, and in turn our businesses.both. We don’t work on allocation Brian Koroll, VP of Revenue Zuji, Elong, Orbitz, Rakuten and According to Aamod Directorbasis with any of the OTA which Management, Venetian Macau Expedia. Gaurav Jain, the importance of OTAsmakes it easier for us to manage Limited, says: “OTAs are our He further added: “Our company is likely to increase in the future.the inventory more dynamically and partners. We don’t find it difficult doesn’t have a strained relationship Various offers, deals from the OTAsthe risk of un-occupied rooms is to share a commission with any with the OTAs on revenue sharing. have made the market very lucrativenullified,” added Shaleen. business that is able to drive OTAs are our partners and they for the end customers, resulting Right now, the revenue room nights to our hotels. We have access to large customer in increased room bookings. “Thecontribution through OTAs is very negotiate hard for the commissionless for Citrus: it is close to 6%. percentages but at the same timeHowever, the potential, added we recognise that OTAs help driveShaleen, is huge. Citrus is with all the customer decisions to visitthe major players, both domestic Macao. We try to leverage the12 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 13. COVERSTORY Hoteliers have seen that they everyone is leveraging it.” are much less profitable than the According to Anil Kumar industry originally projected. Prasanna, recently there has “Because of the increased been a great acceptance from transparency of the online channel, independent hotels to get into fixed rate channels are obsolete. Channel Manager to maximise the The main advantages offered by inventory distribution and revenue the OTAs are dynamic pricing, management. “I can see independent yield ability, last-minute bookings, hotels spending time and money to flexibility, real-time pricing updates, improve their websites, add online allotment control, etc,” he further booking engine, work on corporate said. distribution on a platform and also Sanjay Bhasin says: “OTAs direct manage offline tour operators a 25% increment in the bookings. business and we expect this trends Moreover, OTAs are witnessing to grow in coming years.” changes in their business model as, Manish Raj feels that the world just being a standalone ticketing will see hotel bookings more through agent to a full-service travel agent the OTAs in the times to come offering hotels, visa assistance, for sure. “From 2% to 3% of hotel surface transportation, packages, bookings generated through online language support, corporate travel channels 10 years back, todayvarious mediums including social apps heavily promote last-minute automation system, Social media online booking accounts to almostmedia interface adopted by OTAs bookings (i.e. Hotel Tonight). Most marketing, channel support: B2C 25% to 30% of sales, dependingto interact with the end customers of these apps are linked to existing as well as B2B.” on city to city, worldwide. Thereactually helps the customers to gain OTAs; so it is becoming even Rajesh Rajan puts mobile at is no stopping in growth throughmore information about hotels and more important to use real-time the centre of the latest trend as the this channel in future. It’s basicallytheir deals,” he added. As of now automated revenue management ‘biggest disruptor’. “It is platform convenience and wide optionsthe revenue from room bookings systems to be able to capitalize that will continue to change how available on one platter.”is not much at this point of time for on this lucrative business. Finally, the industry functions. Apps like As regards to the trend in theAamod, but it’s increasing as new I see that there is an increase in Gogobot, Schemer, Trover are sector, he elaborated: “We seeplayers are entering the market. hotels using social media sites – focused on social discovery, which more interest from clientele as well both for marketing and reservations is a big trend. The mobile platform as travel agents to book hotels fromLatest trends purposes.” allows anyone to record wherever OTA as they get complete travel Jean Francois says there is a According to him, flash sale they are and share it with anyone.” solution on one platform. Moreproliferation of new OTA apps both sites (i.e. Groupon) are losing their Emphasising the connection attractive packages, quality hotels,for Apple and Android. “These new effectiveness in the hotel market. between personalisation and timely fulfillment and better service social media, he said: “A hotel will ensure that this continues. can leverage networks like Twitter Social media, like Facebook have and Instagram to understand what also started diverting interested the guest likes, what sport they buyers to OTAs/hotels. People want watch, who they idolize, this is to see other’s experience with their very powerful information but not stay and would like to try post that.13 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 14. COVERSTORY a hotel. The latest trends are the the coming years. mobile bookings which deploy Shaleen Mathur says that online ‘Smartphones’. The advances in bookings have eaten major chunk of mobile technology and availability business coming through traditional of broadband have made it easier to booking channels. “Hotels prefer search for a hotel and book through selling various packages to fence an online reservation system. their rates and prefer to sell a Value Consumers today opt for online Proposition to the consumer. People bookings in order to save time and prefer booking a bundled package avoid the hassle of unnecessary (flight + hotel) which gives them a trips to travel agencies or phone price advantage. Majority of hotel calls to the hotel.” chains want to charge a nominal fee Pratik further says: “Online if booked through their Call Centre bookings are far more convenient which will ultimately route the guest and cost-effective to compare to book the stay online which incurs room rates of different hotels online less cost to the hotel.” and then choose the best option Rajiv Malhotra feels that available. All this can be easily done creating effective process for refund from the comfort of a home. Online is a challenging task for most new hotel booking is beneficial not only OTAs. “Being in this business forTrip Advisor has also become an a one-stop destination offering all for the customers but also for hotels, over 20 years we have been ableimportant reason to decide a hotel the services under one roof,” added as it helps them reduce operation to streamline most of our backendas more and more people refer the Pratik. and infrastructure cost considerably. processes to ensure that we providerating before confirming a hotel. “Catching up with the pace of Online hotel reservations are also the best customer service to users,”Important point for an OTA is to be the growing economy, by 2012 helpful for making last minute travel he added.transparent in what it approximately arrangements as hotels sometimes Robert Rosenstein feels:sells; there cannot be one-third bring down room tariff in the event “With the widespread use ofhidden cost or hidden of the that rooms are still available. It’s mobile devices, we are workingshocks.” been estimated that more than one hard to maintain a unified Agoda Tracing the history third of global travel is likely to be product across different platforms.of OTAs, Pratik booked online by the year 2013.” Consumers are constantly evolving,Mazumder explained According to Atul Lall of Fairmont and we need to stay connected,that the concept of Jaipur, developing trends show a listen and change our business toOTAs was introduced leaning towards lower lead periods suit their changing needs. With soto the Indian travel for bookings for both domestic many markets to cover, languagesindustry in early 2000. Up and international clientele. Earlier to speak, there’s a lot of complexitytill the 90’s, Indians were people used to book their holidays in customisation and personalisationcompletely dependent on six to eight months in advance. This that is needed in an e-commercetravel agents. Gradually, the is no longer the current scenario. business of scale.”online travel industry grew In addition, a new segment that Online is the way going forward,as OTAs gave consumers is essentially B2B business is a says Komal Kapoor. There willthe complete autonomy rapidly growing segment and one be more mobile bookings andof the entire booking that has huge potential to grow in research.procedure market transactions are expectedin their to be transacted online courtesy ahands. well-established air segment which “With our back-to-back will continue to grow at a doubleacquisitions of Magicrooms and digit growth rate and is estimatedTravelguru, we have emerged as to contribute nearly two-third of thethe premiere aggregator and sellerof domestic hotels and holidays OTA market in 2012.” According to him, the best is Gauravin India. Now our customers can yet to come for the sector with Aggarwalreach out to more number of hotels broadband penetration just starting Courtyard by Marriott,across the globe. MagicRooms to take off. Online travel industry is Gurgaonoffers access to a live inventory certainly up for a radical progress inof over 3,000 hotels across India coming years. With this, India is allwhereas Travelguru reaches out set to become the top three online The trends vary from city-to-city and market-to-to over 6,500 hotels in India and travel markets in the world over the market. At Courtyard by Marriott Gurgaon, we have72,000 hotels worldwide. As a part next decade. seen growth of special corporate business from theof our special offering, we provide “Gone are the days when it was GDS perspective. As time is of the utmost essence,our customers complete holiday conceptualized as an alternative tosolutions which include tickets to the bulky ledgers and reservation corporates are preferring to tie up with TMCs and usethe hotel bookings, making Yatra book kept with the receptionist in their GDS tools to get hotel confirmations.14 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
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  • 16. PRIVATE JETS Private jet segment is the spark for stimulating tourismIndia has 400 airports, but commercial airline connectivity is pathetically low.How far developing the private jet segment will benefit the tourism industry?Voyager’s World caught up with Vinit Phatak - Chairman of Invision Group andCo-founder of the Invision Air – who is vouching for the importance of the privatejet in tourism development. 80 on weekly basis. Our private jets destination. The private jet segment millions of dollars and can have a can fly to 200 Indian airports as of is the initial spark needed to start serious impact on the purchase today. As the balance 200 airports up certain areas of India for tourism decision for a private individual as get developed further, the number and business. well as an operator. There are no reached by business jets will local manufacturers of business increase. Commercial connectivity Industry challenges jets to protect; so this duty really to these airports is still far away as There is globally a direct does not make any sense. these small locations are not yet relationship between the GDP and Parking availability: In certain developed enough to handle 70 or 130 passenger aircraft in terms of passenger loads and infrastructure; however four to 10 passenger business jets can easily handleHow do you perceive the the needs of these locations. Thepotential of private jet current needs being fulfilled aresegment in India? How can for speciality tourists (religious andthe segment be beneficial to wildlife) and top managements of the general aviation industry and airports there are difficulties inthe Indian tourism sector? corporates along with potential so if you look at the global figures parking aircraft for short and long I perceive the potential for the investors. For these clients the they have been impacted by the term. Specifically airports likeprivate jet segment as similar to business jets are ideally suited. recession. For us the impact was Mumbai, Goa and Chandigarh withthat of the mobile communications When you have 200 airports more in terms of availability of no parking available increase thesegment in 1994. There is a large now accessible compared to 80, financing and investments than end user costs as the aircraft havelatent demand which will take a few you can clearly understand what in terms of reduction in demand. to be constantly repositioned toyears to actualise. And when it does, this can do for the Indian tourism. The current segment in India is still other airports.it has the potential to be probably It begins with a few very high-end fairly price inelastic, so regardlessamong the top five markets in the resorts in remote locations where of what is going on in the economy Any tie-up with the Indianworld. only a certain top level tourists they were still flying privately. There travel trade? The latent demand comes can access and then gradually the was a slight dip but not a significant We have a limited relationshipfrom poor commercial airline number of resorts and tourists in one. We adjusted our plans due with some high-end specialisedconnectivity to Tier 2 and 3 cities. these locations will start to increase. to the recession by reducing our travel agents, but we hope to reachWe have 400 airports in India and Eventually commercial connectivity overall fleet plan from 20 aircraft to out to more agencies in the travelcommercial connectivity exists to will come and then the location has 12 and charting out a more flexible trade. We believe that our serviceonly 38 cities on a daily basis and now sprung into a major tourist aircraft induction schedule. is a high value opportunity that the Fuel Costs: For commercial travel agents can use to differentiate aviation the fuel costs make up their offering to their clients. It is 40% of the overall cost of operation, true that in the past reliable charter for general aviation this figure is partners were not available. This closer to 25%. So, although the is primarily because most of the impact is not as high, it still affects charter operators who actually overall pricing. If we can have the own their aircraft have a priority sales taxes, that can be up to 28%, for internal use. Charter is only a reduced to reasonable levels this side revenue earner. Often when will help ‘fuel’ the industry growth. an aircraft is booked by a charter Customs duty: Nowhere else client it will get cancelled at the last in the world is there a custom minute since the owner wishes to duty on aircraft. In India the duty fly. This is not the case with us, as ranges from 25% to 2.5% which is we are a pure charter operator with extremely high for aircrafts that cost our own aircraft.16 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
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  • 18. HOTEL LOYALTY Your’s Loyally How pertinent and relevant are loyalty programmes when it comes to customer retention? Irene Susan Eapen analyses various loyalty programmes of a few Indian hotelsB rand familiarity and positive word-of-mouth referrals areinvaluable tools when it comes to travel. We reward them with special rates and unique benefits when they book guests into our hotels upgrades and other perks.” According to Sajid Mahmood, Vice President-Marketing, Sarovar that service and use another one. Hence, a bonding instrument like a loyalty programme becomespromoting your business and an and resorts. As a new benefit for hotels Private Ltd, with increasing critical,” he said.opportunity no one wants to leave travel professionals in India, points competition, loyalty programmes Giving an outline of the directon the table. These days, it would earned through the Famous Agents are no longer a USP, they are a benefits, service level upgrades,be difficult if not impossible to name programme can be redeemed for necessity. “In the hospitality sector, price advantages and privilegesan airline, hotel brand or restaurant Sodexo Gift Cards, for use towards the cost of switching over is zero. If of loyalty programmes, Kamalthat has not developed some type thousands of products and services a person is unhappy with a service, Deep Sharma – Head of Sales andof programme to reward and retain across India,” she said. As for all he or she has to do is to stop Marketing, Hotel Ista, said, “Whileits most loyal clients. business travel, Fairmont uses Resplus, a programme designedRelevance of Hotel Loyalty for corporate bookers, whereinProgrammes members can earn points towards Sharon Cohen, Executive their own travel, gift certificatesDirector, Loyalty Marketing from from top retailers and other exciting Sharon CohenFairmont Hotels & Resorts asserts rewards every time they book one Fairmont Hotelsthat reward programmes can be a of their colleagues into a Fairmont & Resortsvaluable method to build and retain property on business travel.customer loyalty. Seconding Sharon’s opinion, “At Fairmont, in addition to our Rainer Stoll, Managing Director,Fairmont President’s Club which Seasons Hotels, also feels thatrewards guest loyalty through besides being an effective retention Scustomised service levels and tool, loyalty points in hotels are pecial loyalty programmes include deep-sea fishingexclusive experiential opportunities, easy to redeem. “Hotel loyalty at Fairmont Orchid in Hawaii, private lessons inwe also have our Famous Agents programmes are getting easier toprogramme that acknowledges use and more generous, often with painting landscapes by reputed artists at The Fairmontthe travel agent as an important no blackout dates. Consumers are Jasper Park Lodge, one-on-one guided excursiondistribution channel for selling luxury signing upto earn free hotel rooms, through the art galleries near Fairmont Beijing.18 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 19. HOTEL LOYALTY CatherineMcNabb Dusit International T ransparency and simplicity are key trends. Customers want recognition, flexibility and ease when redeeming rewards, by phone, in person or via the internet. Strategies to protect hard-earned brand equity and revenues resulting from negative online postings will continue to be important trends. particular, value not only the points that are less transactional and they earn when they stay, but more emotional through personal also the recognition they receive recognition of their preferences, as they move through the tiers of elite on-site benefits and engaging the programme,” said Kadambini opportunities to explore their Mittal, Director Commercial SWA, destinations. InterContinental Hotels Group “Programmes like Subway’s (IHG). Sub Club and a stamp-based loyalty Having realised the role of programme, which customers loyalty programmes in customer could earn by purchasing products retention, hotels are going all out to and redeem for rewards, are now stand apart in the market and offer far more advanced and can be the best deals to their customers. tailored to suit individual customer’srecognition appeals to most of us can be a very important decision- The Seasons Hotels, for instance, behaviour and preferences,” saidbinding us in a relationship, reward maker, especially for frequent has launched the Seasons Elite Sunil.acts like a positive reinforcement to travellers, who are often the hotels’ Privileged Programme for the Taking in to account therepeat our action, which in this case, highest-earning customers. Seasons Hotel at Tarudhan Valley changing needs of members andrefers to repeat product usage. Many Citing the initial speculation and Living Room in Goa. the importance of social mediacustomers stick to evaluation based over airline loyalty programmes as In the same way, the Fairmont platforms, the InterContinentalon core benefits of a product. Under a comparison, Catherine McNabb, President’s Club, Sharon says, seeks Hotels Group has engaged in asuch circumstances, products of Vice President-Sales and Marketing, to offer its members experiences two-way communication process tosimilar kind appear standardised Dusit International said, “There isand factors like loyalty programmes little doubt that loyalty programmesact to tilt balances, thus influencing strongly affect consumer behaviourdecisions.” – we only have to measure the He also said that business exponential growth of Frequenttravellers mostly have basic boarding Flyer programmes (which many SajidMahmoodand lodging expenses covered. believed was a passing trend Sarovar HotelsLoyalty programme benefits, which in the 1980’s) to understand & Resortsprovide additional personal comfort the compelling attraction andand convenience, during or after effectiveness of loyalty programmesthe product experience, become the as a key revenue driver.” The Dusitfavourites and can act very strongly Group generates millions of dollarsto influence usage decisions. in revenue for accommodation I n the future, loyalty programmes will get increasingly On the other hand, while most and food and beverage via ourhotels have loyalty programmes, loyalty programmes each year, she segmented to retain key market segments,most place very little importance on added. see innovative approach by providers; they willthem as a driving factor to increase In addition to allowing hotelsconsumer bookings. However, to learn more about the needs of get specialized, thereby increasing outsourcingaccording to Sunil Kumar, Director their guests, loyalty points can opportunities and will become stronger as brands inof Rooms, the Westin Mumbai be especially useful to frequent themselves besides representing parent branding forGarden City, loyalty programmes travellers. “Frequent travellers, in the customer.”19 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 20. HOTEL LOYALTY primarily on member feedback and for the service earn loyalty points the necessity to leverage more every time they sign into major LBS effectively on technology, for better apps at any of our 4,480 hotels. and faster service to our guests and The IHG also launched an online loyalty members.” gaming platform, when it awarded Kamal Deep Sharma The IHG has also come up almost three million points a week with a host of new rewarding ideas during a promotional period last Ista Hotels for its guests such as the Priority year to PCR members who took Club Rewards® Sweepstakes, an part in a new game, called ‘Win it industry-first redemption option in a Minute’. that enables members to instantly redeem their points for entries into a Trends prize draw in the UK, USA, Canada, Loyalty programmes areI n the future, loyalty programmes will get increasingly China and Japan. projected to be more flexible on segmented to retain key market segments, “Our new Topguest service is rewards in the coming future, said the first hotel scheme to reward Kamal. “The future trends will besee innovative approach by providers; they will guests who use Location Based influenced as the market shareget specialized, thereby increasing outsourcing increasingly comes under pressure. Service (LBS) technology, such asopportunities and will become stronger as brands in FourSquare, Twitter and Google Loyalty programmes will carry morethemselves besides representing parent branding for Latitude, to check in at hotels,” said value to the customer and mean athe customer.” Kadambini. Members who sign up higher payback by the provider and will invite technological investmentsserve its guests better. “Our Priority to become multi-utility,” he stated.Club Rewards (PCR), with 67 Last year, the IHG undertookmillion members worldwide, allows an extensive global research tomembers to earn points when they better understand the attitudes andstay at hotels from the IHG family habits of its guests. The findingsof brands. With the use of social provided an insight into the globalmedia, we now offer targeted rates travel loyalty marketplace and wereand promotions to our Priority Club used to develop a new positioningmembers,” said Kadambini. “Every for Priority Club Rewards.month, on an average, 600,000 It also identified that frequentpeople sign up to PCR and, after travellers place a higher perceivedenrolling, we find that members value on hotel loyalty programmeshift over 40 per cent of their hotel currency over frequent flier milesstays to our hotel brands so that and business travellers value loyaltythey benefit from the scheme.” more than price. “Hotels can also add value within these programmesNew Loyalty Programmes by making reward redemption more In addition to providing convenient,” Kadambini said.access to exclusive member-only “The use of online customerevents and amazing experientialopportunities, Fairmont Hotels & while they are travelling and stayingResorts has taken customisation at Fairmont hotels worldwide,” sheone step further by introducing their added.‘Passions Program’ this year. “The The Starwood, too, hasprogramme provides an array of incorporated some new loyaltyadditional benefits that talk to the programmes. “Starwood Privilege Kadambini Mittaltravel-related interests and passions is now changed to Eat Drink & More InterContinentalthat members have identified to and we have recently launched Hotels Groupus in their profiles. From ‘Food SPG Restaurants & Bars,” stated& Drink’, ‘Arts & Entertainment’, Sunil.‘Leadership & Philanthropy’, ‘Spa Sajid said the current loyalty& Fitness’, ‘Shopping & Style’ or base of Sarovar Hotels is about‘Sports & Adventure’, a number of 8000 members. “Once we cross Ispecial packages and opportunities the 20,000 mark we plan create n the future, loyalty programmes will get increasinglyhave been developed to appeal to different tiers of the programme segmented to retain key market segments,each category,” said Sharon. “We i.e., something like a Platinumplan to continue building on this membership for high users, Gold, see innovative approach by providers; they willplatform through the addition of Silver etc,” he aded. get specialized, thereby increasing outsourcingmore passion related benefits like Catherine says, “We are in the opportunities and will become stronger as brands inFairmont Fit, allowing our members process of re-engineering all the themselves besides representing parent branding forto enhance their lifestyle passions existing loyalty programmes based the customer.”20 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 21. HOTEL LOYALTY Hotels Loyalty Programmes InterContinental Hotels Reward Nights: For a free night at any of our hotel Group Travel: On airline, hotel and travel packages Merchandise & Entertainment: On electronic items, magazines, accessories Gift Cards: Wide selection of gift cards from leading retailers Charitable donations: Donate points to select NGOs Experience: Opportunities to enjoy vineyards, sports, food, etc Other rewards like No Blackout Dates, Points & Cash, ‘Flights Anywhere, Hotels Anywhere’, No Points Expiration Westin Mumbai Garden Starwood Preferred Guest: Room Loyalty Programme across all Starwood Hotels City With complimentary enrolment Eat Drink & More: F& B discount programmes Westin Retreat: Westin WorkOut Fitness Centre and Spa of The Westin Mumbai Garden City Dusit International Dusit Gold Program: For repeat guests and new customers Dusit Stars Program: For individuals who book accommodation and meeting facilities on behalf of their organisations. Wine and Dine Program: To drive revenue in dining outlets and increase spend in all areas of the hotel including accommodation Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Club: For new members Premier: For members with five stays or 10 room nights in a calendar year Platinum: For members with 10 stays or 30 room nights in a calendar year Great Rates-Great Dates: For members with significant savings at select Fairmont properties over a range of dates Fairmont Moments for President Club members: Bringing fantasy bucket list trips Complimentary BMW chauffeured shuttle service and BMW bicycles to explore places Ista Hotels Ista Select: For guests using accommodation Ista Hi Life: For diners Namaskar: For bookers who are an integral part of the buying process. Sarovar Hotels & Resorts SarovarRewards: Loyalty points for the money spent Restaurant Discount Card: These are managed by individual hotels to promote food hotels.feedback sites such as TripAdvisor, partners via loyalty programmes forcan damage your brand if not targeted marketing. “The informationmanaged properly, therefore if you on customer transactions, likes,want to maximise guest retention it dislikes and preferences givesis important to understand that your brands the deep level of customerbrand value goes hand in hand intelligence needed to deliver the Sunil Kumarwith the success of your loyalty most relevant, highest-quality The Westin Mumbaiprogrammes,” said Catherine. customer experience and drive Garden City Fairmont Hotels & Resorts long-term loyalty,” he said.foresees more loyalty programmes “Customer engagement is thewanting to gain the emotional loyalty journey, loyalty is the destination.of their customers by attempting to Loyalty is no longer just aboutbetter understand their customers . points, discounts, miles, and“We are also seeing many smallerindependent brands / hotels joiningforces to create more powerful rewards; it is about the way processes, technologies, ideas, and interactions engage individuals with W hile most hotels have loyalty programmes, most place little importance on loyalty programmes as a driving factor to increase consumer bookings.alliances through joint loyalty the brand and effectively render However, the truth is that loyalty programmes canprogrammes,” Sharon said. a quality experience at all touch be a very important decision-maker, especially for Rainer foresees hotels use points at all stages of the customer frequent travellers, who are often the hotel’s highest-more of rich information on buying life cycle,” Rainer concluded. earning customers.21 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 22. TOP VIEW Hotelier insights: Knowing a guest’s true worthFabian Bartnick, Senior Hospitality Consultant for IDeaS, dwells at length on theimportance of sensing the true value of guests for increased guest satisfaction,loyalty and profitability for Indian hotels value considering all ancillary and valuable customers. Common solutions with predictive analytics spend, from the time they make promotions include percentage and optimisation capabilities are an online reservation to the time discounts, based on the length of a needed. they check-out. This should include guest’s stay. While this has proven The next generation of revenue everything from food service to the to be a useful strategy for retaining management systems will consider day spa usage, guest rooms to gift existing customers, it is less not only the optimal set of prices shop purchases and more. effective in attracting new business, to offer, but also who to offer those In addition to making more and, as well as undermining the prices to, which guests are most profitable decisions about which hotel’s perceived value, it can also valuable and which are most likely guests’ reservation requests to sabotage potential revenue. to develop a long term relationship accept, a deeper understanding Hoteliers should instead focus with the company. of guest preferences leads to on strategies to attract specific This demand-centric view of better decisions about promotions, markets, with targeted initiatives revenue management results inI n today’s highlyhave a heightened understanding competitive Indian hotel sector, it is vital to service offerings, inventory levels and F&B options. Furthermore, this integrated customer behaviour data that drive new customers into their hotels and increase their share in the market. This is achieved long term, sustainable revenue performance, but relies on centralised credible and accurateof a guest’s preferences and total supports wiser pricing decisions, by increasing the relevance of guest information, predictiveworth. This knowledge is becoming supplier choices and financial promotions to those customers who analytics and strong integrationeven more vital due to the growing strategies. Forecasting and are most likely to have the greatest between customer intelligence andpresence of third party wholesalers optimisation then provide controls lifetime value. For example, instead revenue optimisation systems.and OTAs. Local hoteliers need to ensure revenues are optimised of sending blanket marketing If the fundamentals of revenueto gain a better understanding of and costs are minimised across the campaigns, your customer base management aren’t in place, Indiantheir guests at a property level so entire operation. should only receive offers they are hotels face an uphill battle in firstthey can offer a more personalised The path to sustained likely to be interested in, based identifying and then understandingexperience and maximise guest profitability and growth has taken on their product preferences and their market segments. This canloyalty in the future. a turn for hotels across the country. previous purchases. Using this be a labour intensive process and While there have been Room rates still bring in the highest approach will protect hoteliers from puts hoteliers at risk of throwingcountless advances within the portion of profit, but retail, food and cannibalising their products and will money at a marketing campaignIndian hotel sector in recent years, beverage (including restaurants also attract the right customers to that is destined to produce amany hoteliers (in particular – used by outside customers), spas the right products without a ‘free for negative return on investment.smaller, locally owned hotel chains and entertainment are increasingly all’ scenario. Revenue management must takeor independent properties) are still important sources of income. Hoteliers should also aim a holistic view and be focused onstruggling to effectively target or With so many different business to achieve improved timing and driving value from targeted marketunderstand their market segments. arms and management systems targeting of campaigns, based segments instead of trying the ‘oneIn many cases there is an overlap being used across hotels these days, on forecasted demand by market size fits all approach’.between channels, sources, it is difficult to get a complete view segment and property, so demand The approach should insteadcompanies, agents and segments of total guest spend. A regular hotel is generated when and where it is integrate a complete customerwhich makes it hard for hoteliers to guest may not be worth as much as needed and rates are protected revenue profile, including overalldrive specific, targeted promotions. a guest that stays infrequently, but during peak periods. Integrating ancillary spend and set hotel room For the sake of ongoing revenue who spends freely on a variety of this marketing data with revenue control and pricing based on theoptimization and to enhance ancillary activities within the hotel. management data means both enterprise profit contribution ofcustomer loyalty, it is vital that local Importantly, by leveraging this departments have the information each customer. As those in thehoteliers gain a holistic view of their holistic view of a customer, hoteliers they need to make the right industry are all too aware, informedguests’ lifetime value, not just their can maximise their chances of not decisions about pricing and decisions can lead to increasedroom rate spend. only winning, but keeping their best promotions placement. guest satisfaction, loyalty and Data from all transaction customers. Often Indian hoteliers Today’s intelligent hotelier profitability, whereas assumptions,systems needs to be integrated to use straight discounting as a is recognising that in order to or poorly planned decisions, canprovide a true picture of a guest’s promotional tool, without a clear stay ahead of the competition, mean sending your best guests topreferred activities and their overall long-term strategy for attracting new more advanced decision support a competitor.22 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
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  • 24. HOSPITALITY HHI forays into BangaloreK olkata-based Hotel Hindusthan International (HHI) has forayedinto Karnataka with the launch of its in Karnataka. We have trained the staff of the hotel so that they now are at par with the other HHI look forward to a good response to the Select category of brand,” said Sanjiv Banerjee, VP, Sales & great food. We are thrilled to offer to the residents of Bengaluru and people travelling here this uniqueproperty in Bangalore under the hospitality experience” added Nair,brand The HHI Select. GM, HHI Select Bengaluru. The property originally known The rooms are well furnishedas The Emilion was taken over by with complimentary Wi-fi, LCD TVsthe HHI group and has been re- and 24-hour in-room dining. Themodeled to be a business hotel with rooms offer web-enabled televisionmodern amenities and affordable which allows the guest to enjoypricing. This is the first hotel under internet facilities on a bigger screenthe HHI Select brand. sitting in the comfort of their bed. Conceptualized by the MD of The single multi-cuisinethe group, D.K. Jaiswal, the HHI restaurant Onyx serves some of theSelect Bengaluru like any other best cuisines over a select varietyHHI hotel reveals a new world of classic spirits. The interiors doneunfolding from the old. Located at J in lilac, white, steel grey shades ofP Nagar, HHI Select Bengaluru is a onion pink makes it warm, inviting59-room property with a gym, rest- with distinct music playing at theo-bar, two banquets. Stylish and backdrop. Splashes of colour,boutique in design, the hotel offers trendy furnishings, and artistic fooda dedicated business center for the presentations set the tone.business traveller. Guests can look The food offerings have beenforward to HHI’s unique offerings created with an eclectic touch toin Bengaluru with this expansion in suit all tastes. This rest-o-bar offersbrand presence. a lounge environment complete “We have extensively renovated properties. We are committed to Marketing, HHI Group of Hotels. with a DJ Console for the gueststhe property and we are very happy lay a strong foundation to deepen “HHI Select Bengaluru promises looking to unwind themselves in theto have launched our first property our focus in hotel development and leisure, impeccable service and evening. Hyatt to rebrand five Ista Hotels in India Each of the five Ista hotels development in India, which are new markets such as Bangalore, enjoys premium locations within expected to add more than 12,000 Amritsar and Ahmedabad. TheH yatt Hotels announced that Corporation aaffiliate has signed management Hyatt their respective cities and reflects a contemporary and modern design that offers the business traveller a rooms. The Hyatt Place brand will be the next to enter India, with Hyatt Place Hampi opening later this re-branding will also our representation with a great enhance collection of high quality hotels thatagreements with IHHR Hospitality convenient and stylish place to live, year, followed by Hyatt Place Pune, are already recognised as marketPrivate Limited (IHHR) for five Ista dine and meet. Hinjewadi. The next six months leaders in guest experience andhotels in India to be re-branded by The re-branding will mark the will also mark the opening of three performance.”Hyatt. entry of the fourth brand from the other Hyatt hotels in India – Hyatt The association will, in turn, Under the agreement, the fully company’s portfolio into India. Regency Gurgaon, Hyatt Regency enable the five hotels to enlargeoperational Ista hotels will be known Currently, India has five Hyatt Ludhiana and Hyatt Raipur. their global reach, become a part ofas Hyatt Bangalore, Hyatt Pune, Regency hotels in Mumbai, Pune, Said Ratnesh Verma, Senior Hyatt’s popular Hyatt Gold PassportHyatt Hyderabad, Hyatt Ahmedabad Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata, two Vice President, Real Estate and loyalty programme and otherand Hyatt Amritsar. The branding Grand Hyatt hotels in Mumbai and Development for Hyatt Hotels marketing initiatives, take advantageeffort is expected to be completed Goa, and three Park Hyatt hotels & Resorts in Asia-Pacific: “This of Hyatt’s well-established systemsby March 2013. The agreements in Goa, Chennai and Hyderabad. opportunity allows Hyatt to further and processes, and participate inwere signed by both parties on There are currently more than consolidate its distribution in India Hyatt’s extensive network of hotelsOctober 29, 2012 in London. 50 Hyatt-branded hotels under and offer its guests a choice in in 45 countries.24 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 25. HOSPITALITY New business centre at Vivanta By Taj – President, MumbaiV ivanta has by recently Taj -President launchedbusiness center in new avatar. The itsnew and well equipped businesscenter provides top notch bespokeservices to meet the needs of itsglobal travelers. The business center ‘Oval’has recently been renovated thatmeets the international standardsfor smart conference facilities forglobal travellers. The architecture& design of the renovated businesscenters have been crafted keepingin mind the style and spirit idiomof Vivanta by Taj that appeal tocontemporary business travellers.The business center consists offour meeting rooms – Agenda I& IIand Strategy I & II. The hotel launched the newfacilities and world-class structure atthe new business centre. Vivanta byTaj constantly innovates to providesmart and intellectual facilitiesfor guests who are witnessingadvanced globalization each day. With cutting-edge interiors andsoothing ambience a prerequisitefor business meetings, thebusiness center promises a uniqueexperience to business travellers.The hotel also provides facilitieslike world-wide courier service,hi-speed broadband connection,access to Wi-Fi, office equipmentlike computers, laptops, cellphones, Dictaphones, projectors,audio-visual facilities at a requestaway. The business center isopen 24 hours a day and providesassistance and expertise throughtrained secretaries for variousdocumentation purposes.25 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 26. DESTINATION A Filipino Fiesta White sandy beaches, rich marine life, plenty of sea food and good conservation lessons… Firoz Fazil unravels the many facets of Philippines after a recent trip to one of the beautiful archipelagos on earth. War. Take the face of a jeep, add a to see the exquisite furnishings, lives and times of the great hero slightly slanted version of bus and kitchen utensils, and artworks of Philippines. This museum will sprinkle a lot of decorations during the 17th century onwards. interest anyone, especially history and interior art Antique furniture, age-old music buffs as they can see all those works for instruments, chandeliers and interesting memorabilia, such as his visual taste! Chinese ceramics stand testimony books the visiting cards of a bygone You have the to the kind of opulent life led by the era (Rizal was also a medical Filipino Jeepney upper crest. doctor). T hough it is a common knowledge ready. It has got an old-world charm We also visited Fort Santiago, that Philippines consists of as it chugs along the roads quietly an important historical site in Palawan and Boracaymore than 7,000 islands, it took a and smoothly. Manila, which was built by Spanish The next day we landed inrecent one-week media FAM trip to The ubiquitous tricycle, an colonialists. José Rizal, the Palawan, the largest strip of islandsrealise how beautiful the country is, autorikshaw-like custom-made Philippines ‘Gandhi’ according to in Philippines and the country’sand its rich marine diversity. body built around a motorcycle, our local tour guide, was jailed here largest province. It is a narrow Manila is the typical third world which are in abundance on the before he was executed in 1896. archipelago comprising of 1,780place for you with all its pluses and roads of Boracay and Palawan, just Filipinos hold the multi-talented and islands. Unlike other islands, itminuses. The authorities, however, astonish you on account, again, of vivacious Rizal in high esteem and is geographically remote withare trying their best to provide good their sheer ingenuity and creativity adulation; for he provided what they some of the islands even closer toinfrastructure. of the Filipinos. Four, sometimes called the ‘intellectual stimulation’ Malaysia. In Manila, the most frequent mode six, passengers can travel in tri- for the uprising against the Spanish It is a one-hour flight journeyof public transportation is Jeepney. cycles. invaders as he set about providing from Manila. Domestic carriersIt shows the resourcefulness of In Manila, we visited Casa a non-violent background for the like Cebu Pacific and Sea Air haveFilipinos; it was their way of making Manila Museum, which showcases revolution. frequent flights to all major islandsuse of the military jeeps discarded by the Spanish-era colonial lifestyle of At the Rizal Shrine Museum such as Palawan. There are ferrythe US soldiers post-second World upper class Filipinos. Here you get one can take a peek into the services from Manila to various26 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 27. DESTINATIONdestinations. We were told Manila- towering cliffs, rivers, ponds,Palawan ferry takes almost a day. streams and numerous creeks.But it must be worth trying if you Puerto Princessa is the cleanesthave the time, for, you can watch and greenest local governmentup close the numerous islands and unit. No wonder it is the firstother signature attractions on your and the only recipient of the UNway. We took the Cebu Pacific flight Global 500 award for its innovative– a 100-seat - and every one of us and sustainable environmentalpreferred a window seat to get a protection, conservation andbird’s eye view of the islands and development programmes.blue waters down under! Amazing are the ways the people Rain greeted us when we landed of this land care for and conserveat the Puerto Princesa City airport the environment. Criss-crossing thein the morning. After checking in interiors of Palawan, one can reallyto the hotel, we went for the city feel the tranquility in the air; cleantour. Palawan is a sleepy and laid- environs and verdant land are too sports lover, this is the place to be fitted with scuba/snorkeling gear. Itback place but with all the modern tempting for someone who loves in! On offer is a host of water-based was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.facilities at your disposal. nature. The place is untouched activities such as snorkeling, helmet Here you are, inside the Nature’s There are varying theories to by civilisation, a civilisation whose diving, fish fly, banana boating, etc. own Aquarium taking a closer viewhow Puerto Princesa got its name. hallmarks are mindless concrete We went for island hopping of the aquatic wonders such as theBeing a Spanish word, it is obvious structures and plastic-littered in a country boat, which is such wonderful corals and the fish. Youthat it has to do with the Spanish pathways. Special efforts are a thrilling experience as you will cannot stay longer, even though onecolonials. One story goes like this: undertaken, involving tour operators get to see the myriad wonders of would wish to stay longer period, asin the ancient times, a beautiful and all other stakeholders at local Philippines. Small islets and reefs the pressure of underwater is tooprincess used to roam the bay at levels, to conserve the nature and of various sizes dot the sea. The heavy to stand; you need to hold onnight and thus the name. Another minimize the negative impacts of blue ocean gives you the rush to the helmet gear, lest you shouldtheory is that the name is derived tourism. and the picturesque surroundings falter and fall due to the underwaterfrom the uniqueness of the port: it is Another attraction in Palawan with small islands and islets are a pressure.endowed with the natural protection is the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and lifetime experience. We were treated to the best offrom stormy weather across Conservation Centre. The crocodile As part of the itinerary, we were food. If you are a seafood lover,seasons with sufficient depth to farm, where crocodiles of various supposed to go for the underground Philippines is the paradise. Prawns,allow ships of all sizes to anchor. sizes are reared, is worth visiting. river cruise, but couldn’t because lobsters, various kinds of fish etc arePuerto Princesa is Spanish means The Palawan bearcat here provides the river was overflooded. on offer. But a small caveat: don’tPrincess of Ports. photo-op. Though it may look scary, Unlike Palawan, one can expect that your pepper-induced Known as the ‘Last Ecological this creature is a harmless one. see that Boracay is receptive to Indian dream will come true as youFrontier of the Philippines’ on Aquatic wonders too much of tourism with plenty await your Filipino food! Thanksaccount of its unique ecological Having been born and raised in of resorts. But this ‘too much of to Luisa, the tourist officer fromtreasure trove, Palawan is home to a coastal region, a sea shouldn’t be tourism’ does not mean pollution Philippines Tourism who was our232 endemic species and a wide a tempting proposition for me. But and other resultant consequences tour guide throughout the itinerary,variety of flora and fauna. Because there is something so exhilarating we are used to witnessing in India. we were doing restaurant-hopping,of its natural wonders, Palawan has about the blue aquatic wonders May be our ministers and industry savouring various delicacies.the most number of protected areas of Philippines. The white powder stakeholders can take a lesson or I will be doing a disservice toin Philippines. Dotted with almost sandy beaches and crystal clear two from these places. Philippines if I don’t mention about11,000 square kilometers of coral blue waters are too alluring to Boracay looked much exciting the people there. Uncomplicatedreefs, the province is endowed with resist; too tempting even for those than Palawan. Its powdery, soft and friendly people minus the you-magnificent caves, virgin forests, fearing water. And if you are a water sand and blue shallow waters have-come-to-pollute-our-country are fun to play with. We stayed at kinda gaze at you. To use the term Boracay Regency, close to the sea. ‘tourist-friendly’ will be trivializing At Boracay and Palawan, we the cool nature of the people. After did snorkeling and helmet diving. all, where else you will find cops Floating on the water, snorkeling greeting you with a friendly smile? provides you the perfect opportunity One week is not enough to to get a closer view of the rich relish the enormous beauty of this marine life – corals and hundreds beautiful archipelago. 7107 islands! of lovely small fish. There is no That’s the total number of islands ‘diving’ in helmet diving! You go in Philippines. Some are remote under the sea, may be 12-15 feet, and uninhabited. But Palawan and with a oxygen cylinder-connected Boracay were a microcosm of what transparent helmet with the help must be in store in those numerous of two trained guides; one of them pretty islands out there! Photos clockwise from top: El Nido, Palawan Island; Boracay Island; Boracay beach27 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 28. RELIGIOUS TRAVELHalal travel: For the pious and obedientCrescentrating rates establishments to help consumers make smart choices whentraveling. Here its CEO-founder Fazal Bahardeen speaks to Voyager’s World aboutthe potential of Halal-friendly travel market. What was the inspiration? educated choices when it comes to are specialised establishments that It began with an idea when my places to stay, eat or enjoy. serve only Halal food, no alcohol previous work required that I travel Our website, www. and have various family-friendly and comprehensively, and I found it crescentrating.com, is a specialised Halal-friendly services available. difficult to cope with my basic needs portal focused on catering to as a Muslim traveller (Halal foods, the needs of Muslim travellers How do you market your prayers times, Qiblah direction, etc.). worldwide. Hotels, tours, mosques offerings? In 2006, I outlined a proposal with and restaurants are just a few of Our most important channel the goal of increasing awareness of the topics you will find. For those is our partners. We also use our the unique market segment to the looking for a nearby masjid, our website www.crescentrating.com. industry with a Halal-friendly rating website offers lists of mosque We also utilise various social media system. locations along with information on platforms. By December 2008, I the language of the sermon as wellWhat do you mean by incorporated Crescentrating as the map to help you get there. How has been the responseHalal-friendly travel? What as a Singapore company with from the market?prompted you to enter into shareholders from Singapore and How has been the growth and There has been anthe segment? Dubai. Its been a gradual process forecasts for the future? overwhelmingly positive response We are the pioneer and the but we have had immense success. We forecast the expenditure of from our core market and it is basedworld leader in ‘Halal-friendly travel’. In this short period we were also the Muslim travellers to grow from on this that we have decided toFor Muslim travellers ‘Halal-friendly awarded the Halal Journal award the current 10 percent to around 14 expand into other rating systems.travel’ means that they can explore for travel and hospitality in 2010. percent by 2020. This will mean thatthe world with peace of mind by Crescentrating is a rating they will be spending around 200 Are Indians eager for yourchoosing those travel services and system, which can be applied to billion a year by then. Crescentrating services?destinations that cater to their basic businesses internationally, that has big plans for expansion in the Muslims who have the meansunique needs. For travel service allows establishments to be rated near future. During the coming and ability to travel, whether it be forproviders it means to have services based on the services and facilities months, Crescentrating will launch leisure or business, and regardlessand facilities that take into account they provide to cater to the needs of rating services for theme parks, of age, make use of our services.the needs of their Muslim guest. Halal-conscious travelers. hospitals, restaurants, etc. and will A majority of our current country We most definitely are the Through Crescentrating, the eventually cover all facilities related statistics of consumers who referpioneers in this segment. We are service provider can choose the to travel and hospitality. to www.crescentrating.com hailnot a form of Halal-certifying body level of Halal-friendly services they from the Middle East – we havethough, as people sometimes are able to accommodate – from What is your USP? begun branching out to consumersconfuse us to be. markings of the Qiblah direction in Our USP is our rating system. in the UK and the US. Last year Crescentrating rates rooms to providing separate prayer Theres nothing else that compares we partnered with Halal India andestablishments so that Muslim rooms for males and females. – establishments in the travel and this has increased our popularityconsumers can make smart The establishment is then tourism industry are rated on how in India dramatically – there arechoices when travelling. We dont promoted on our website and useful they would be to a Muslim many Indian Muslims using www.convert establishments to be Halal- other portals; this allows Muslim consumer. crescentrating.com to plan theircompliant or certify that they are travellers to browse through various The Crescentrating System for halal-friendly travel itineraries.Halal-compliant. We identify what hotels, airports and restaurants and hotels is based on a scale of onefeatures they have that will appeal choose one based on the level of to seven, with seven being the Do you see high potential into Muslim travellers and rate them Halal-friendly facilities they are highest rating given. Businesses your offerings in India?on that basis and highlight those to comfortable with. with a rating of one to three are Of course. India has manyour customers. Crescentrating benefits both the establishments with some Halal- services and facilities that cater to We ,of course, provide service provider and the Muslim friendly services and may provide Muslim inbound travellers. Whatconsultancy to the establishments traveler – we promote businesses information as to nearby mosques, is needed is to highlight them toon how to adopt their services and to Halal-conscious travellers restaurants, etc. Ratings of four the right market segment. Indianfacilities to make it more ‘Halal- worldwide through our website, to five are given to businesses Muslims are also beginning tofriendly’ without impacting the social media networks and various that offer some level of Halal food travel abroad for many reasons andservices they provide for other other forms of marketing, while services. our services will be a great help fortravel segments. giving travellers the option of making Establishments rated six or seven them.28 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 29. EVENTS / WTM WTM 2012 visitors up 4% for first three days and the role it plays in facilitating million in industry deals, with this business for sector. year’s event poised to facilitate even “WTM 2011 generated £1,653 more business for our exhibitors.”T he first three days of World Travel Market (WTM) 2012experienced an impressive visitor as it is the first day the event is open to the whole industry following on from the exhibitor-invite only policyincrease of 4%. on the Monday. Monday 5 to Wednesday 7 The first day of WTM 2012November saw 38,735 visitors was a resounding success withwalk through the doors of ExCeL exhibitor invitation visitors up 5%– London to attend WTM 2012, on last year’s event to almost 8,000reveals unaudited figures. This (7,992). The Monday of WTM iscompares to 37,331 across the first an exhibitor Invite-only day withthree days of WTM 2011. the aim of allowing exhibitors to Wednesday November 7 hold discussions and negotiationswitnessed a phenomenal 9% with those buyers that they want tovisitor increase, compared to the conduct business with.equivalent day last year, taking the Reed Travel Exhibitions Directortotal visitor number 13,638. World Travel Market Simon Press On Tuesday 6 November more said: “I am delighted with thethan 17,000 (17,105) visitors came visitor attendance of WTM 2012to WTM, a 1% increase on the across the first three days. Thesesecond day of last year’s event. figures demonstrate the power andTuesday is the busiest day of WTM importance of WTM to the industry29 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 30. AWARDS / CONFEDERACY TAAI Travel Awards recognize best in the industryThe association appeals to the industry to focus on overall growth at the thirdedition of ITTET he Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) felicitated thewinners of the fourth edition of Resort & Spa (Individual Property) awarded to The Oberoi, Vanyavilas, Ranthambore. two days. The sessions on ‘Inside India,’ ‘Maximizing your Revenue’ and ‘Future Trends of Travel Trade India. A key business session on ‘The United Voice’ - President’s Roundthe TAAI Travel Awards, held on A special TAAI Appreciation in India’ were paneled by prominent Table, held on the second day ofOctober 22, 2012 in Mumbai. The Award for Outstanding Contribution personalities like Ashish Kumar the expo, was specially arrangedawards were held alongside the to the Travel Trade in India was Singh, Secretary to Chief Minister of by TAAI where all the key travelIndian Travel Trade Expo (ITTE) and hospitality associations of India2012. The chief guest for the like Enterprising Travel Agentsfunction was Subodh Kant Sahai, Association (ETAA), Associationex-Tourism Minister who felicitated of Domestic Tour Operators ofthe winners. India (ADTOI) Indian Association TAAI President Iqbal Mulla of Tour Operators (IATO), Indiansaid: “These awards are in order to Tourist Transporters Associationshow our appreciation to the travel (ITTA), and Air Cargo Agentsindustry and encourage them to Association of India (ACCAI) werecontinue providing best-in-class represented along with TAAI. Thisservices and products for the end session brought together all the keyconsumer.” associations from the travel and A few of the important awards given to Air India. Maharashtra; Vipul Mittra, Principal hospitality sectors and proved to bethat were given out include Best ITTE 2012, inaugurated by Secretary - Tourism, Civil Aviation & a great platform for the associationIndian State Tourism Board Maharashtra Tourism Minister Pilgrimage, Govt of Gujarat; Dr. Adel leaders to voice their issues andawarded to Maharashtra Tourism Chhagan Bhujbal, also saw industry El Masry, Director-India, Egyptian problems.Development Corporation, Best experts sharing their knowledge Tourism Office; Jasdev Singh, ITTE 2012 hosted over 30 stallsHeritage Hotel awarded to Taj Lake in four insightful and interactive Director – Indian Subcontinent, and recorded around 850 visitorsPalace, Udaipur and Best Leisure business sessions conducted over Expedia; Rajeev Wagle, MD, Kuoni this year. OTOAI members meet heldS econd Outbound members’ Tour meet OperatorsAssociation of India (OTOAI) was of OTOAI members took part at PATA Travel Mart 2012 in Philippines. He informed that Macau Tourismheld on October 26 in New Delhi. Board, Philippines Tourism Special invitee Stefan Ionkov, Marketing Office, Canadian TourismHead of Commercial & Economic Commission and Thailand TourismSection and Tsveteline Getcheva, Authority have joined OTOAI.Visa Consullar from the Embassy of He also highlighted the serviceBulgaria, gave insights about tourist tax issue.destinations in Bulgaria. Stefan Ionkov assured to President Guldeep Singh Sahni organize FAM trips for Indianspoke about OTOAI’s achievements outbound tour operators – to visitduring the last three months with Bulgarian golf, spa and summerspecial focus on IT&CM Supporting resorts; which will lead to theAssociation Agreement for IT&CM- He informed that OTOAI has (Thailand, china & India). 50% of development of India’s tourismASIA, IT&CM-CHINA and IT&CM- signed a MoU with the organizers hosted buyer quota for India will be relations and as a result shallINDIA with compelling benefits for of IT&CM, TTG Asia as supporting allotted to OTOAI Active Members. bring tourist groups from India toOTOAI members. association to all IT&CM shows He said that more than 25 Bulgaria.30 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 31. TRAVEL TRENDS The India holidayer is maturingIndians are increasingly becoming open to exploring lesser known destinations,says Sunil Hasija, Executive Director, TUI India the air tickets are too. Indians targeted at different customer There is definitely an interest and segments, tailored to meet the Top trends in the destination/ demand for newer destinations from tastes of the Indian consumer; at holiday preferences in 2012 the consumers. The India holiday the same time as bringing some of The compounded situation maker is maturing in their choice our existing tried and tested unique mentioned above has definitely and preference of destinations and brands from within our Specialist led to a slight shift in the holiday hence, is increasingly becoming and Activity Division to the Indian preferences this year. Due to open to exploring the so-called market for the first time. the rising dollar rate and airlines lesser popular destinations. We are issues there has been a change in witnessing interest in destinations Challenges in the Indian travel demand for destinations. We have in East Europe like Croatia, Czech market seen a dip in travel to Europe and Republic, Hungary, Poland etc. But A dollar which was dropping like the Americas. Due to the rising at the same time are also exploring a parachute and was at Rs 45 aHow do you evaluate the Indian exchange rates consumers are options to countries like South year ago, is now at Rs.56-57. This istravel market at present? looking at options that are closer Africa, where the currency has been nearly a 20% increase. Everything The Indian travel market has to home. Customers who would more stable. bought abroad is now 20% morebeen undergoing some rough time normally undertake 2-3 holidays expensive. Hotels, food, transport,lately. The two key contributing a year are now opting for lesser TUI’s future plans shopping. In a family of four, if afactors are the increasing dollar rate number of holidays and/or looking Our focus will remain on package gets more expensive byand the increase in taxation in the at domestic destinations as well. exclusive and differentiated products Rs 10,000/- one ends up payingairline industry. That is a double hit or experiences that you can only an extra 40,000/- Clearly this hasfor the leisure traveller. Not only is Top new outbound get from us. In India we intend to hit the travel industry especially thethe holiday getting more expensive, destinations to be visited by create a range of specific products outbound leisure travel. Adventure is top reason for leisure travelT his year, adventure has been the most popular reason forboth domestic and international mountain activities. A family holiday was the second most important reason for leisureleisure travel with one in every travel with 17.5% users searchingfour users searching for such an for the ideal family destination.experience, reveals a survey by While a large number of domesticJourneyMart.com. travellers favoured the hills, those While destinations such as seeking international family holidaysAuckland and Bali were among preferred destinations offering spathe favourites for international and wellness opportunities, followedholidays in this segment, some of closely by luxury experiences.the most commonly researched Destinations such as Bhimtal third most preferred reason to travel. it the third most common reasondomestic adventure destinations and Lavasa, interestingly ranked Most popular beach destinations for leisure travel within the country.were Lansdowne, Auli, Aizawl and amongst the top few domestic family are Bali, Phuket, Cape Town and Kodaikanal, Kasauli, Shimla andNaukuchiatal. There are various holiday spots while internationally Bora Bora. Among those looking at Srinagar emerged as the hottestadventure options offered at these the favourites were Bangkok, Hong domestic travel options, only 9.7% honeymoon destinations in Indiadestinations including Trekking, Kong, Langkawi and Barcelona. opted for beach vacations, whilst while Goa, Kovalam and Alibag areKayaking, Skiing and other Beach holidays emerged as the 10.3% chose ‘Honeymoon’, making the favourite beach spots.31 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 32. ANCESTRAL TRAVELHAVE YOU TRACED YOUR ROOTS YET?The desire to reconnect with one’s roots will emerge as a strong travel trend.Tom Nocera, Managing Director of Clearwater – Florida-based Ancestral TravelNetwork, speaks to Voyager’s World about ancestral travel and its potential,especially in emerging markets like India. over a decade ago. Other countries the many ebooks as well as other realised the potential to market resources currently being provided Major source markets many international destinations. by its parent company, Millisecond Britain, Scotland, Ireland are Genealogy or collecting information Publishing Company, Inc at www. considered the current frontrunners, about one’s distant ancestors really familyforest.com. mainly because we are based took off with the advent of Internet. in the US and many of our early Have you tied up with the immigrants came from ports located Brief about the company Indian travel trade? in those nations. France, Italy, Ancestral Travel Network So far we don’t have a connection Greece, Spain and Portugal follow. was set up to serve as a central in India. Expanding there is one Sweden and Norway lead the gateway for ancestral travellers. of our priorities, and the same is Scandinavian countries followed by A key to successful ancestral true with other Asian nations. It is Finland. Hungary, Russia, Poland travel experiences is working with natural to start the development of and Romania are now on theTom Nocera experienced tour guides and finding Asia with India. increase. We are seeing interestM D, Clearwater suitable lodging. for Thailand, Vietnam, and the Other aspects include translation How do you see India as a Philippines. Japan is very much aAncestral travel and its services and ideas for cultural side market? significant player. China is new topotential excursions. We set up a ‘Partners’ There are millions of people the concept. Those in Japan hold Ancestral travel is about planning page, where those connections from India now living in the US their ancestors in such high esteemvisits for the purpose of finding out take place every day. and Canada. Many are now and show their respect by visitingabout the places where one’s family There has second, third even familial temples which are shrinesmade their home during a particular been a very fourth generation to their ancestors.period in time. It is about seeing serious economic Americans whothe sights they would have been downturn in the share Indian Latest trendsfamiliar seeing – both natural and US. However, descent. They Trends include digitallyman-made landmarks that do not there is a pent-up are definitely high documenting ancestral travels viachange much over the centuries. It demand. It’s on value candidates digital photography, Facebookincludes visits to the places where millions of people’s for identifying, and Instagram and of coursebirth, death and marriage records ‘bucket lists’ – the establishing video programmes being createdare kept. It covers visits to family things they want partnerships with, overnight and YouTubed. Trendscemeteries to pay respects and to do, and places they want to go and of course, linking to via our include more sharing of informationlearn more about one’s distant before they die (or ‘kick the bucket’ Partners page. with other family members via theancestors. as the expression goes). We are receptive to connecting Internet. I am also seeing the power It also can involve working new ancestral travel destinations, of renewed family relationships inwith skilled genealogists who can What is your USP? Indian tourism sites, tour operators, bringing families closer togetherspeak and read the language – We can uniquely introduce lodging facilities, and genealogy and instilling a greater appreciationespecially the older variations of ancestral travellers to more deep professionals. We would be of cultural traditions.the languages spoken in a region information about their family delighted if this coverage inwhich the ancestral traveler may homelands (note that is plural – Voyager’s World helps us identify Challengesnot know, or not know fluently. It we’ve all migrated over the centuries and begin digitally linking to ancestral For many, the challenge can becan involve looking up and building usually in search of greater travel-related resources throughout summed up as uncertainty. Therenew relationships with one’s own opportunities, but sometimes as India. Ancestral travel tie-ins can seems to be a reluctance to spendcousins, and other relatives who slaves, or prisoners of war, etc.) bring new visitors and help lengthen ones savings on overseas travelare often still living in the area. It We introduce people to the Family the visits of people coming to India due to uncertainty about the future.can involve scrapbooking the Forest® Project, a 16-year effort to from North America. In the US, there has been a focusexperience, photography, sampling precisely digitally connect the family on shorter vacations or what isthe foods and beverages that trees of humanity. Marketing activities called ‘staycations’ where peopleare customary to the area, even It can serve as the world’s leading We use Search Engine stay home and take day trips topurchasing clothing, antiques or resource for approximately two Optimisation (SEO), word-of-mouth nearby places. It is about conservingother souvenirs to serve as family billion of earth’s current inhabitants. and social media. We have also money for unforeseen future needs.heirlooms. It is headquartered on the Big designed a videogame, WAYBACK This is the worst period for the US Britain and Scotland figured out Island of Hawaii and expands its 2, with genealogy and travel economy in my lifetime, the worstthe vastness of its potential first reach every day. Learn more about components. since the Great Depression.32 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 33. FLIGHT TALK Virgin Atlantic launches Mumbai- London with links to US cities launch also signifies the airline’s be a winner for businesses across record demand for travel between biggest connectivity offering and all three continents. Delhi, London and New York. Last commitment to India. The move will “Given the importance of both year there was a 13% increase in also create 140 new jobs across of our Indian markets, we are the airline’s passenger numbers India and the UK. introducing our newest aircraft on between Delhi and London. The The restarting of the Mumbai flights from India which represents airline attributes much of the route will double capacity to India hundreds of millions of pounds of increase to more passengers for the airline with daily services investment. Our arrival will offer the connecting via London. to both key markets and strong people of Mumbai more choice and a The airline expects to connectivity to the US along with the better service. It goes without saying develop this trend further with the UK. One million people fly between that we will be bringing to Mumbai introduction this weekend of a new Mumbai and the UK each year, our unique product and services but service to New York. The latest Richard Branson with the market increasing by 10% with local relevance. With Indian addition to Virgin’s schedule meanV irgin Atlantic has stated that its product investment programmefor India would reach more than in the last two years alone. With India’s economy remaining one food, Indian entertainment and warm Indian crew, I am confident passengers can connect seamlessly to New York along with the existing of the fastest growing in the world Mumbaikars will choose to fly with connection to Newark from Delhi£300m as it starts its flights from Virgin Atlantic expects passenger Virgin Atlantic.” also. This sixth daily service toLondon Heathrow to Mumbai numbers to continue to rise. The key market for the airline will New York will depart at night fromoffering connections to New York, The President of Virgin Atlantic, be business travellers, passengers Heathrow which returns early theBoston, Washington, Miami and Sir Richard Branson, said, “The visiting friends and family and leisure next day from JFK airport.Chicago. importance of strengthening travellers which represent 80% of Mumbai, along with London, The two new A330 aircrafts with the connections between the the 300,000 plus passengers that will also have daily two waythe latest Upper Class product to economies of India, the UK and the British airline will initially carry connections to New York, Bostonboth Mumbai and Delhi represent USA cannot be emphasised enough each year to and from India. and Washington along with foura record product investment in the – our new daily connecting service With its Mumbai route launch, weekly connections to Miami andregion for the airline. The Mumbai from Mumbai all the way to USA will Virgin Atlantic is seeking to build on summer connectivity to Chicago. Etihad Airways flies to AhmedabadE tihad Airways’ inaugural passenger flight to Ahmedabadtouched down at Sardar Vallabhbhai Etihad Airways’ President and CEO James Hogan said, “Etihad Airways is committed to serving the confident that the addition of the Ahmedabad service will further strengthen commercial and cultural in traffic flows between India, Abu Dhabi and beyond.” With the addition of Ahmedabad,Patel International Airport on Indian market and people, whether ties between India and the UAE and Etihad Airways now flies to nineNovember 6. The new daily is the in India or the diaspora. We are will lead to continued strong growth Indian destinations.airline’s ninth service to India andconnecting key strategic cities withits home base of Abu Dhabi. In the lead up to the flight, EtihadAirways invited trade partners andagents on a ride on the AhmedabadEye Balloon Safari, before going tothe airport to witness the arrival ofthe inaugural flight EY216 as it waswelcomed with a traditional Indianlamp lighting ceremony. The Ahmedabad Eye balloonhas been prominently branded withthe Etihad Airways logo for the pastweek to announce the new servicewhich will offer nearly 1,000 seats aweek into the Gujarati city. Neerja Bhatia and agents from Gujarat cutting the inaugural cake33 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 34. INDIA OUTBOUND Oman to project as a quality leisure destinationOman’s target for 2013 will be to increase leisure travellers from India and enhanceOman’s positioning as a high end quality leisure destination, says Lubaina Sheerazi,Ministry of Tourism, Sultanate of Oman- India Representative talked about campaign- ‘Opulent tourism expenditures have Do you expect a surge in Oman’. We also participated in increased from US$ 1.3 billion in tourist inflow from India in many trade shows and were able to 1997 to US$ 8.2 billion in 2008 2013? take Oman to newer cities. and over 12 million in 2010 and We definitely are expecting an India is one of the most important expected to reach over 20 million increase in the number of tourist markets today for all countries by 2015. With more than 1.3 billion footfalls to Oman in 2013. There looking at boosting tourism. Indians inhabitants and GDP increasing has been a remarkable increase in love to travel and the industry has by more than 6.9% every year, the the last two years and we hope to just opened up now. country offers enormous potential only up the destination through our With the number of Indians for future growth in outbound travel. efforts. taking to travelling abroad it’s a The UNWTO predicts that India will huge opportunity for Oman to tap account for 50 million outbound Connecting with the Indian the young traveller’s minds. The tourists by 2020 and that the total travel tradeHow has 2012 been for you? destination has a lot to offer and outbound spending will cross the We will continue to buildWhere do you put India among the most important being its close US$ 28 billion mark in 2020. awareness in the trade, media andall your source markets proximity to India. Oman is one destination consumer community. Our primaryglobally? which has carved its niche in the objective for 2013 will be to increase The year started with some How do you think 2013 will tourism world. People know about leisure travellers from India andpower-packed action from be for the Indian outbound the destination and the thrills it enhance Oman’s positioning as aOman. We opened the year with industry and your country? offers. Through this year’s focused high end quality leisure destination.roadshows in four cities- Delhi, India is one of the fastest- approach we are confident that We will also continue our focus onMumbai, Bangalore and Chennai growing outbound travel markets Oman will see a fruitful 2013. the established markets of Mumbai,and engaged with 800 plus agents in the world. International tourism Delhi, Bangalore and Chennaiacross the country. We also released departures from India have grown Will the rupee slide have and further strengthen the travela coffee table book and the much from 3.7 million in 1997 to 11.5 an adverse impact on the trade network in the cities of Pune, million in 2011 and international outbound travel? Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, which It is the frequency of outbound were tapped in the year 2012. travel that may take a dip; however, Road shows, participation in I don’t think it would really weaken trade fairs, joint tactical promotions, or, as one says, have an adverse familiarisation trips, trainings and effect. Indian outbound travel looks incentive programmes are being promising for next year and I hope chalked out for the trade. We are it remains so. also working towards increasing visibility for Oman through Indian films.34 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 35. INDIA OUTBOUND France to launch Be There! Do That! campaign for 2013France is all set to launch its campaign, Be There! Do That! for next year, whichfocuses on unique experiences in France, encouraging experiential travel, saysCatherin Oden of Atout France. different light - we would like our coming year. guests to explore our regions, to go off the beaten track and discover Connecting with the Indian the French way of life. travel trade in 2013? Our existing campaign, France We are hopeful that our two Celebrates India will also continue campaigns find favour amongst in 2013. Aimed at presenting Indian clients and we have more of France as a warm and welcoming Indian visitors to our shores. We work destination, France Celebrates very closely with travel agents and India is an exciting collection of tour operators on communication 70 odd travel offers designed campaigns promoting FranceHow has 2012 been for you our Indian guests. and conceptualised for the Indian through various media platforms.with regard to the Indian traveller. We are always ready to providemarket? Where do you put Will the weakening rupee Launched in 2011 with the them with assistance for tailorIndia among all your source have an adverse impact on support of our French and Indian making itineraries. In an attempt tomarkets globally? the outbound travel in 2013? travel partners, we put forth a encourage the agents to learn more 2012 has been fairly average yet Do you foresee a reversal? collection of complimentary or about the destination, we have anpromising for us. A lot of outbound The weakening of the rupee discounted travel offers on a range of online certified training system,travel this year has been affected by is inherently linked to global services spanning accommodation, divided into several modules. Inthe economic scenario. In 2011, we economies and eventually to travel. travel, sightseeing , entertainment collaboration with our partners, wewelcomed 300,000 Indian tourists It would indeed be great news for all and other services. We will shortly also conduct trainings in variousfrom the 80 million international of us to expect a reversal. We can present renewed offers for the cities pan India.visitors that come to France. We only hope that this phase gives wayhave witnessed a growth in Indian to a healthier economy ahead andtourist arrivals over the last few years that the rupee finds a strong footingand this is extremely encouraging vis a vis its global counterparts.for us. We are cognizant of Indiaspotential as a developing market Do you expect a surge inand are hopeful of an increase in tourist inflow from India inIndian visitors to our destination in 2013?the coming years. Over the last three years, France has witnessed a growth ofHow do you think 2013 will 5% on this market. For 2013, webe for the Indian outbound are hopeful of retaining this growth.industry and your country per We may not have huge numbersse? but we do hope to have an increase It will all depend on the in FIT visitors.prevailing economic situation. If thecurrent scenario continues, people Marketing strategies andmight take shorter holidays and budget plans for India in 2013perhaps to destinations closer to We are very pleased to launchhome. We are motivated to work our campaign, Be There! Do That!around this economic challenge for next year. Todays keyword isand will do our best to present experiences with visitors wantingFrance as an affordable destination. to include novelties while onDepending on consumer trends holiday. This campaign focusesand preferences, we will create on unique experiences in France,communication strategies adapted encouraging experiential travel.to the needs and requirements of We want to present France in a35 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 36. INDIA OUTBOUND Malaysia aims to promote high-end tourismIn 2013, Malaysia wishes to promote itself as a choice holiday and business tourismdestination for travellers from India, in addition to promoting wedding tourism,says Manoharan Periasamy, Director, Tourism Malaysia country in particular? Cambodia (-4.2%). also conduct special events in order The Indian outbound travel This change has also affected to attract Indian tourists. market is expected to increase at Australia arrivals which declined a compounded growth rate of over by 10.4% since many Australian What will be your marketing 25% over the period 2010 to 2015. permanent residents were nationals strategies and budget plans With a population of more than 1.1 of other countries such as New for the Indian market in billion and GDP growth of more Zealand, Europe, Middle East, India 2013? than eight percent per annum, the and China. A segment that has grown country offers enormous potential Despite the economic slowdown exceedingly well in Malaysia is the for future growth in outbound travel. in India, its number of outbound wedding segment. Many discerning It reveals clear Indian families opportunities now prefer to host for market their weddings inHow has 2012 been for you segmentation more exclusivewith regard to the Indian and niches, and surroundings andmarket? Where do you put the market has Malaysia has plentyIndia among all your source already shown of those. In 2011,markets globally? signs of maturing over 30 Indian Malaysia welcomed 11,632,478 in the past year weddings weretourist arrivals for the first six months alone. held in Malaysia.of 2012, registering a growth of 2.4% In addition, for More than acompared to 11,362,862 arrivals for 2013, we wish to dozen of India’sthe same period last year. promote Malaysia leading wedding Correspondingly, total tourist as a choice planners have beenreceipts from January to June 2012 holiday and taken on hostedrose by 4.0%, generating RM26.8 business tourism tours to Malaysia,billion for the country’s revenue destination for to discover thecompared to RM25.7 billion in travellers from this best that is on offer.2011. country. Malaysia Many wedding The ASEAN region continued to offers many exciting events and tourists is rising year on year. networking dinners are also beingbe the largest contributor of tourist fascinating attractions to Indian organised.arrivals. The Philippines recorded visitors. Do you expect a surge in We have drafted severalthe highest growth of 45.3% year- tourist inflow from India in affordable travel packages and tie-on-year followed by China (34.2%), Will the weakening rupee 2013? ups with Malaysia Airlines and otherJapan (32.5%), Indonesia (20.0%), have an adverse impact on Certainly, in the year ahead, 5-star properties. These packagesIndia (6.9%) and the United the outbound travel in 2013? Tourism Malaysia aims to promote are very attractive and we areKingdom (5.9%). Do you foresee a reversal? high-end tourism like spas, eco- getting a tremendous positive Other long-haul markets that ASEAN saw a 1% decrease tourism, golf, exotic destinations, response for the same.had posted remarkable growth were in arrivals due to the change in etc. We aim to tap new markets Honeymoon packages are ourOman (33.2%), Russia (28.2%), recording arrivals based on the too, and reach a wider audience by premium products. Couples hireFrance (20.6%), USA (18.9%), nationality instead of the country of going beyond Tier 1 markets, to Tier lonely islands to be together, awaySouth Korea (18.0%), Kuwait residence; thus expatriates working/ 2 and Tier 3 markets. To achieve from the hustle and bustle of life.(17.4%) and Denmark (15.7%). living in ASEAN countries were not this, we will ensure that travel regarded as ASEAN travelers. This agents in the top 30 towns in India What will be your programmesHow do you think 2013 will reflected in the decreased arrivals are equipped with all the relevant to lure Indian tourists?unfold for the Indian outbound from Singapore (-4.8%), Thailand information they need to market Malaysia has always been aindustry in general and your (-11.5%), Brunei (-1.2%) and Malaysia to their customers. We will favourite honeymoon destination for36 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 37. INDIA OUTBOUND Indians. This is so because of the have conducted many FAM tours relatively close proximity, the widest for Indian wedding planners to possible range of accommodation experience first-hand the services options and locations spread from and facilities available, as well pristine beaches to exotic tea as possible venues for different estates and luxury city hotels. A budgets. This will be a continuous wealth of shopping options and process in the years to come, spa and wellness facilities are because this segment from India is other attractions that keep the growing. honeymooners occupied. There The favourite destinations are are Indian honeymooners who Langkawi, Pangkor, Penang and are already moving beyond Kuala Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia also offers Lumpur and Langkawi to islands exotic destinations like Sabah such as Tioman and the states of and Sarawak for Indians who are Sabah and Sarawak to experience seeking locations closer to nature. that exotic touch. We expect many more Indian We do promote Malaysia as weddings in Malaysia in 2012. a wedding destination in Indian We are planning to schedule our Genting Skyway fairs, our sales missions and Sales Mission 2013 / Roadshow in presentations. Besides this, we January 2013. Tourism Flanders to use Brussels as a gateway cuisine, art and culture, shopping, situation; we expect to sustain the destination perceptions, travel diamonds as well as fashion. We positive growth in 2012 as well. We motivators and channels influencing want to channel all our activities in are mainly targeting Delhi National travel planning process. The key introducing these segments to the Capital Region and Greater findings reveal that most of the Indian market. An important event in Mumbai. Besides these primary participants associate destination Flanders in the coming years will be source markets, we have now Flanders with its popular Belgian the commemoration of World War I, also expanded our reach to key chocolates. The fact that Belgium which will start in 2014. World War I secondary Indian cities.” produces 170,000 tonnes of witnessed a significant participation Earlier this year, Tourism chocolates every year in over 2,000 by the Indian soldiers as part Flanders conducted a nationwide chocolate shops was rated as the of the Commonwealth Forces”, survey to study the diverse yet top most tempting element about commented Bourgeois. understudied Indian outbound the Fabulous Flanders.Geert Bourgeois The visit includes a meeting travel market. The study targeted Other major destination with the Minister’s counterpart in to 765 consumers and 417 travel elements like theme parks, BelgianS enior-level Flemish delegation meets leading players in theIndian travel industry the Government of India and senior officials of the Indian National trade professionals trade preparedness in addressing included beer brands, diamonds and gourmet cuisine also add to its appeal in the Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage emerging outbound travel trends, Indian market. Tourism Flanders (Belgium) is (INTACH), Archaeological Surveyfurther strengthening its marketing of India (ASI) and Indian Diamondinitiatives in the Indian market in Council & Export Zone in Mumbai.view of the encouraging outbound Besides pure visitor arrivals,travel trends to Western Europe. A Tourism Flanders is also targetingsenior delegation headed by Geert to enhance the visitor experiencesBourgeois, Vice Minister-President by encouraging tour operators toof the Government of Flanders, was use Brussels as a gateway for theiron a week-long visit to New Delhi European itineraries, by leveragingand Mumbai recently. on its connectivity to other popular The delegation interacted destinations in EU.with the key players of the Indian Peter De Wilde, Administrator-government, tourism industry, General, Tourism Flanders adds:media, airline and trade partners. “In 2011, Indian arrivals grew up“Flanders has a lot to offer to Indian by 14% despite the challenges oftourists: historic art cities, Flemish the contracting global economic Bruges-Bridge and Canal37 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 38. INDIA OUTBOUND Tourism New Zealand hinges on ‘Indian Active Considerers’Mischa Mannix-Opie, Regional Manager- South and South East Asia New Zealand,talks about the potential of the Indian market in the country’s tourism landscape.Excerpts from an interview she gave to Voyager’s World: time where visitor numbers to New Considerers. TNZ will be running the Kiwi Zealand are lower. We continue to invest in growing Link South & South East Asia in the Indian market, and as for the Bangkok, Thailand in March 2013 Do you expect a surge in year 2013 it is expected that the and a number of Indian product tourist inflow from India in Indian inbound arrivals will continue managers will be invited to attend. 2013? to rise. • New Zealand’s total visitor Outlook for 2013 with regard arrivals during the 2010 to 2012 Connecting with the Indian to the Indian market period were as follows: travel trade We are confident about the 2009: 25,336; We have just concluded our steady growth of the Indian market 2010: 29,486; major travel trade event in India, in 2013, and the organisation will 2011: 28,310 (all calendar year called Kiwi Link India. This was continue to work with partners on figures) • Our holiday arrivals during theWhere do you put India among 2011 to 2012 period were:all your source markets 12.841 (year ending Februaryacross the globe? 2010), India is New Zealand’s 12th 14,636 (year ending Februarylargest inbound market and visitor 2011),numbers continues to grow. In 13,106 (year ending Februarythe period year ending July 2012, 2012).29,552 Indians visited New Zealand held during August, with over 30 the ground to make New Zealand a(+1.7%). In the same period, there Our target market in India are New Zealand tourism operators top of mind destination in India.were 14,096 holiday arrivals from what is referred to as the ‘Active participating in the event in NewIndia (+4%). Considerers’, generally aged over Delhi and Mumbai. The event saw Efforts to boost tourist inflow TNZ believes that there is 18 who are seriously considering Tourism New Zealand and their from Indiapotential for significant growth New Zealand as one of their next operators train over 280 travel We will continue its marketingfrom the Indian market. India is an preferred holiday destinations. agents during the programme. efforts in India, focusing on theimportant market for New Zealand Based on Tourism New Zealand’s TNZ will be taking part in SATTE honeymoons, families and businesswith visitors usually travelling research, it is estimated there with some New Zealand Operators events sectors. These activitiesthrough the shoulder season, a are over 21 million Indian Active in January 2013. will be integrated across a rangeTunnel beach walk, Dunedin38 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 39. INDIA OUTBOUNDof marketing channels including that the 5-star resort in early Rings, the Glenorchy tour takes you takes the ‘high’ way through theadvertising, promotional, public September and will offer lunch and on a journey into the real-life Lord Ruakuri Cave as visitors traverserelations and travel trade and airline dinner 7 days a week, with seating of the Rings country. Tours include across black chasms, edge acrosspartnership work. for up to 18 people at one time. café lunch and pick up/drop off from bridges elevated above roaring central Queenstown. streams, spider-walk throughNew destinations being Southern Lakes Sightseeing ancient rift passages and challengepromoted in 2013 among Southern Lakes Sightseeing Welcome Aboard - Punting on themselves with high rope work,Indians are pleased to present the newest the Avon abseiling and flying foxes. BlackOver The Top addition to our world renowned Welcome Aboard is pleased Odyssey tours will be available from Join specialised mountain tours, a tour especially for those to be back in their city Worcester December 2012.guides on an expedition of discovery interested in seeing Middle-earth Street Bridge landing site from Skyline Star Gazing Skylineto a beautiful and endangered New from Paradise. Saturday August 18th. Entry to the Star Gazing will take visitors to aZealand glacier location. Departing This tour is recommended for site is from the Gloucester Street specially constructed area highfrom Queenstown, The West those who want a tour through & Oxford Terrace corner. This 30 above the main complex, whereCoast Glacier Explorer Scientific some of the most famous scenery minute punt trip will take visitors on there is no trespassing light,Expeditions is a new product where in the Queenstown-Southern Lakes the Avon River through the central allowing for a clear view of the nightyour itinerary is limited only by your area, with a distinct Lord of the city. sky. Top-of-the line telescopes willimagination. Don Crampons for a Rings focus and flavour throughout Punting is still operating from give stargazers the chance to viewtraverse over an ice blue glacier, the day. the Antigua Boat Sheds for a punt the Southern Cross,nebula, planets,enjoy a high altitude luncheon and The tour includes some specific ride through Hagley Park alongside the Milky Way and other galaxies.learn about the rate of recession locations from the making of the Lord the Botanic Gardens. The star gazing tours willand effect of the warming of the of the Rings, as well as a snapshot be headed up by experiencedglobe on this frozen frontier. of Glenorchy itself, delicious cafe- Tourism Holdings Limited astronomer and Skyline Star style lunch at a local Glenorchy (THL) - Black Odyssey Gazing Co-Ordinator Matt Hall.Millbrook gets teppanyaki favourite, and a chance to explore THL and The Legendary Black Hall has joined Skyline Star Gazing Millbrook Resort is about to the Paradise Valley in all its scenic Water Rafting Company have from the Mt John Observatory atopen the Queenstown region’s glory. Where the Trails of Middle recently announced their new dry Lake Tekapo and brings with himfirst Japanese teppanyaki grill Earth tour immerses travellers more caving experience, Black Odyssey. over four years’ experience as anrestaurant. Kobe Cuisine is opening in the production of the Lord of the This four hour caving adventure astronomy guide.39 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 40. INDIA OUTBOUND Korea as a preferred destination for MICEJae-Sang, Lee, Director of Korea Tourism Organization, talks about the potentialof Korea as a major MICE market. across Korea. On a national level, more MICE inflow from India Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) The Korean government has How do you add value to the will increase financial subsidies to declared the year of 2012 as discerning corporate travelers the organizers of MICE events. Korea Convention Year. This will from India? Some of the well known MICE strategically overlap with the final Korea is taking its place in the Venues are COEX, Songdo year of the Visit Korea Year 2010– world tourism stage by warmly Convensia, Kintex, EXCO and ICC 2012 campaign. welcoming visitors from around the Jeju to name a few. Various programmes by the world through the Visit Korea Year We expect almost 10% increase Ministry of Culture and Tourism Campaign, held from 2010 through in the grow rate for 2012. and the KTO in cooperation with to the end of 2012. seven MICE Alliances in regional Korea and India share an Please share numbers convention destinations have been inseparable link which is reflected Result of 2011 MICE in Korea: planned to provide better services in their traditions, culture, heritage,How has Korea been economic, trade and tourism ties.performing in the MICE The year 2012 has a unique mixmarket? of arts, film, sports, cultural and Since the turn of the century, environmental events that highlightsKorea has achieved an enormous the campaign and positions Koreagrowth in meetings and convention as a must visit destination for theindustry by ranking 8th in the number Indian market.of meetings and conventions by The Visit Korea Year CampaignUnion of International Associations aims to make all the delightfulin 2011. Especially, international elements of Korea even moremeetings held at Seoul in 2010 We expect almost 10% increase and support to MICE participants accessible and exciting. Anincreased 33 percent compared to in the grow rate for 2012 and organisers as well. During extensive variety of special eventsthe previous years, recording 201 the 2012 Korea Convention Year, and promotions have been put inmeetings. Seoul was ranked ahead Has recession affected the special support and incentives for place to ensure that vacationing inof famous cities like Tokyo, Geneva MICE business from India? events in Korea will be provided for Korea exceeds your expectations.and Barcelona and recorded Definitely not because many qualified meetings, conventions and Highlights include a 3+1/4+1 salenumber five in the world as a global Indians travelling to Korea are incentive tours. Convention centers on select hotel rooms called theconvention city. With milestone business travelers especially from and hotels will offer discounts on One More Night Promotion, and aevents like the 2010 G20 Summit, the MICE sector. Korea is a MICE meeting venues up to 10 percents. free shuttle service to destinationsKorea’s awareness as a meeting planner’s preferred choice with Incentives like traditional as Busan, Gyeongju, and Jeonju.destination has heightened. a world-class infrastructure and performances tickets, souvenirs, There will also be fun filled events In order to boost the country Korea is far advanced in technology. tour programmes and more may throughout the Visit Korea Yearas one of the top five convention Whatever the size and requirement also be provided for qualified period. A discount coupon for up todestinations in the world, the Korean of MICE, Korea fits the bills so events. To qualify for the Korea 30% off for using KTX (Korea Traingovernment has declared this year Indians should come to Korea for Convention Year’s incentive Express) is issued to foreigners.as the 2012 Korea Convention the quality and value pricing. programme, conventions should Korea boasts of at least 300Year to overlap with the final year The high disposable incomes meet the Union of International Indian restaurants, of which aroundof the Visit Korea Year 2010-2012 and easy accessibility to overseas Associations (UIA) meeting criteria 50 are in the capital city alone, socampaign to boost the number of destinations has made Indian while incentive tours and corporate the Indian corporate traveller caninbound tourists to Korea. travellers quite experimental in their meetings should have more than feel at home. In addition, the 2012 Korea approach. Though the prevalent 100 foreign participants. MICE planners are focusingConvention Year joined forces with scenario of high air fares and The event, which may take on Korea’s unique culture. Thethe Korea MICE Alliance, which economic slowdown is proving to place between 2012 and 2015, is most requested visits are historicalis a union of regional convention be rather challenging for the tourism required to confirm that Korea will sites and cultural programmesbureaus, destination management industry, it poses no real threat to the be its host country during the year throughout the peninsula. Specialcompanies and professional Indian traveller. The Indian traveller 2012. Events with more than 500 cultural programmes as Taekwondocongress organizers, so that each is always evolving and will not be participants from the Asian region training courses and Temple Stays,city’s unique incentive plans are deterred by the ongoing problems. only or those with more than 1,000 for instance, enrich the participant’smaximized for participants in any of international participants may experience as it is an once-in-a-the nine convention destinations all Marketing initiatives to lure qualify for airline discounts. lifetime opportunity.40 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 41. INDIA OUTBOUND Malaysia showcases i-City the 2010 World Cup, i-City also as it has been approved as a management, landscaping, rubbish screened the matches live from technopreneur campus, where management and township services Johannesburg on its 6.5m x 8.5m cosmopolitan lifestyle outlets can will be i-City’s responsibility. video wall, the largest video screen operate on a 24-hour basis. Under This is in recognition of i-City in Southeast Asia. this concept, i-City will be a ‘gated as a night tourist destination and a i-City is open 24 hours a day but open’ zone where security, traffic knowledge hub.M alaysia is showcasing i-City as the latest tourist spot in ShahAlam, Selangor. Dubbed the City ofDigital Lights, it is reputed to be thefirst lightscape tourist destination inMalaysia. Showcasing state-of-the-artLED technology, i-City is an excitingand fascinating place to visit,especially during festive seasonssuch as the Chinese New Year.The combination of the LED lightstechnology and traditional elementpresents a strong selling point fori-City. As visitors stroll around thecolourful forest that resembles afour-season park, they get to seedozens of wonderful sculptures.Besides that, many beautiful red andyellow lanterns can also be seen.The sculptures and themes, as wellas the lighting decoration in i-Cityare changed periodically. Hence,there will always be something newfor visitors to see and enjoy. With beautiful scenery andunique display of dazzling digitallights, it is not a surprise that i-Cityis a haven for shutterbugs. It alsoprovides a beautiful setting forwedding photography. With numerous bulbs lightingup i-City nightly, some peoplemight be concerned about theireffect on the environment. i-Cityis quick to assure that the digitallights with total power consumptionequivalent to about four shop lots,are environment-friendly. i-City has hosted various large-scale events and programmes,such as Malaysia’s IndependenceDay Celebration on 31 August andthe Mid-Autumn Festival. During41 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 42. FESTIVAL WATCH Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival, Bruges 23 November 2012-6 January 2013 T he annual Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival in Bruges is a unique winter experience, with international artists creating a fantasy world with ice and snow. This year being the 10th edition, the event will take place at the railway station square in Bruges, featuring Disneyland Paris in ice. In a special thermal and cooled tent, the sculptures are created with about 300 tons of clear ice and 400 tons of fresh snow, at a temperature of minus 5o Celsius. The blocks are up to two metres high. A single block weighs easily two tons and takes up to four weeks to complete. Working with ice in an enclosed space is a dangerous business. The artists need to be mindful of sliding and falling chunks.www.visitflanders.com Cologne Carnival, Germany November 11, 2012 T he Cologne street carnival begins at 11.11am on Women’s Day, the Thursday before Ash Wednesday. Offices and businesses close, with hordes of people streaming into the old quarter and Südstadt from the early morning onwards. All day long, it is customary for ‘mad’ women to cut off men’s ties. The Carnival Saturday is the day of the first processions through Cologne’s districts. The evening then brings the ghost parade and lavish costume balls and ceremonies in the city’s halls. The official highpoint of Cologne carnival is the Rose Monday procession – the excitement overflows and even the most straight-laced of locals get caught up in the spirit.The German National Tourist Board International Balloon Festival, Thailand 23-25 November, 2012 T he balloon festival in Thailand is a major activity in which everyone in the family joins and enjoys. There are demonstrations of balloon lifting into the air in which visitors have the opportunity to travel in a balloon, buy local agricultural products, demonstrations of viticulture by Thai and foreign producers in which visitors can taste wine as well as have barbecue. There are dance performances, arts and crafts exhibits, food and beverage, souvenir shops and various games and contests. Each balloon’s height is equal to a seven-storey building with various decorative designs. The spectacular event comes with a colourful display of light and sound with fireworks and music that one should not miss.www.tourismthailand.org Rann Utsav, Gujarat, India 15 December 2012 -31 January, 2013 R ann Utsav is a colourful carnival organised by Gujarat Tourism on the white salt desert expanses in Kutch every year in the month of December. During the moonlit nights, the salt flats of the Rann are bathed in silvery light and the desert comes to life with folk songs, dance and other festivities. Guests are housed in tents with all modern facilities and treated to traditional Kutchi food whilst enjoying performances. The carnival showcases vernacular art and craft as well as architecture and is the best way to get closer to the varied and colourful life of the people living there. There are tours arranged to nearby sightseeing places like the beach and villages.www.gujarattourism.com42 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 43. FESTIVAL WATCHChichibu Yomatsuri, Japan2-3 December, 2012C hichibu Yomatsuri takes place in the ancient Chichibu Shrine in Chichibu in Saitama Prefecture. It is one of Japan’s three greatest float festivals,along with the Gion Matsuri and the Takayama Matsuri. Two large parasol-likeobjects called ‘kasabok’ are decorated with spears and artificial flowers andfour yatai floats shaped like small houses and paraded through the streets.In the afternoon, the floats are changed into stages by pulling out the wingsto perform Kabuki plays. The highlight unfolds on the evening of 3 Decemberwhen the floats, weighing 10-20 tons each and lit up with countless lanterns,climb up a steep slope with a mikoshi (a portable shrine) accompanied by thesound of drums, flutes, fireworks and shouts of ‘Ho-ryai’. Japan National Tourism OrganizationChristmas and New Year in SpainDecember 22 –January 6T he Spanish Christmas usually kicks off on December 22 with the world’s biggest lottery draw called the El Gordo (The Fat One). This takes placeover many hours throughout the day. The prize fund for the lottery totalsto 2.1 billion Euros. One may even find whole towns and villages clubbingtogether to buy tickets. On Nochevieja (New Year’s Eve), the locals gatherat the city’s main squares and eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight. Thebig day of giving presents, called the Dia de los Reyes Magos or the ThreeKings Day, falls on January 6, the day of the Epiphany. The Three Kings andtheir helpers ride on horses or floats and distribute thousands of sweets andgoodies to the people lining the street. Tourism­ Office of SpainRostock Christmas Market, Germany22 November-22 DecemberT he Christmas market at Rostock is the largest and one of the most gorgeous X’mas markets in North Germany. Father Christmas traditionallyarrives in the town harbour by boat, along with the fairy godmother anda retinue of fairies, to open the market. Some of the attractions include astage of the fairytale castle, archery tournaments, carrousels, fairytale tentand story tellers. Tall and well-lit X’mas trees, old town hall, stalls sellingtraditional crafts and food take one back to the Middle Ages. At dawn andin the evenings, fire bowls and flaming torches spread a warm festive spirit.Candied apples, deep-fried bananas, doughnuts, burnt almonds, Swedishbiscuits, wine and smoked sausages are some of the treats sold here. The German National Tourist BoardHogaita-Ichi Fair, Tokyo17-19 December, 2012T The Hagoita-Ichi (Battledore Fair) is an annual fair held in the premises of the Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa, Tokyo. About 50 open-air stalls sellhagoita (battledores), shuttlecocks, kites and other New Year decorations.This fair dates back to the Edo Period, but it became popular after World WarII. A hagoita is a rectangular board with a handle used for playing a New Yeargame called Hanetsuki. It involves hitting badminton shuttlecocks with largeping-pong rackets. These battledore are not for practical use; they are usedas lucky charms and for decoration. The front of the hagoita is designed withimages of popular celebrities, athletes and anime characters. The sellers andbuyers to clap their hands in harmony whenever a battledore is sold. Japan National Tourism Organization43 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 44. Riviera Cruise debuts in Miami in November Oceania Cruises, said, “With Miami Tomas, Honduras and Florida; as Riviera’s home port this winter, Island Holiday, a 14-day roundtrip our guests will have the opportunity to Virgin Gorda, Philipsburg, San to enjoy this truly outstanding ship Juan, St. Vincent, Bridgetown while experiencing all that the and British Virgin Islands and Caribbean has to offer.” Caribbean Hideaways, a 10-day The 1,250-guest Riviera is roundtrip to Curacao, Grenado, purpose-built for epicureans with six Aruba, Willemstad, Kingstown and open-seating, gourmet restaurants St. Barts. – including a French bistro by Food lovers can partake in Master Chef Jacques Pépin. Oceania Cruises’ popular Culinary Interior design highlights include a Discovery Tours and explore theOwners Suite Bedroom Lalique-designed grand staircase, gastronomic landscape of severalR iviera, Oceania newest ship in the upper-premium cruise segment, arrives Cruises’ wonders and the diverse cultures of the Caribbean while foodies can experience the line’s new Culinary elegant public rooms, spacious accommodations Suites furnished and Owner’s exclusively in Caribbean ports. These tours take culinary enrichment to a new level combining hands-on classroomat her homeport of Miami on Discovery Tours exploring the local Ralph Lauren Home. learning in the Bon Appétit CulinaryNovember 29, 2012 for her food offerings of the islands side- Travellers can choose from five Center with visits to local foodinaugural winter season. Riviera will by-side with an expert chef. different itineraries over 12 departure markets alongside the ship’s chefs.sail five Caribbean voyages over 12 Riviera comes to the U.S. dates such as Idyllic Isles, an 11-day In Tortola, for example, the Culinarydeparture dates featuring ports of fresh from her inaugural European roundtrip from Miami to Philipsburg, Discovery Tour includes a visitcalls from the exotic Eastern to the season, which kicked off in May St. Maarten, Antigua, Gustavia, to Good Moon Farm, an organicdeep Southern Caribbean. after a gala christening ceremony in Puerto Rica and Barbados; Mayan oasis of plants and crops where the Guests can enjoy the sun- Barcelona. Mystique, a 10-day roundtrip to planting is orchestrated around thedrenched beaches, natural Kunal S. Kamlani, President, George Town, Mexico, Belize, Santo lunar cycle. Crystal Cruises opens bookings for 2014, 2015I n a luxury industry-first, Crystal Cruises recently openedbooking, its full year of ultra-luxe, for such as Istanbul, Dubrovnik, Tallin, Casablanca and Takoradi. The new ports include Galway, Richards Bay, South Africa; Sanya, China; and Albany, Australia. There will be returns to locales less- President-Marketing Crystal. “Our 2014 to & early Sales, 2015worldwide voyages for 2014, plus Ireland; Luanda, Angola; Lombok, frequented include Alter do Chão, calendar is especially exciting, withitineraries up to mid-April 2015. New Indonesia; Ibiza, Spain; Oban, Brazil; Yantai, China; and Maputo, dozens of new routes and places toseven- to 89-day cruises in 2014 Scotland; Skagen, Denmark; Mozambique. see, via one of the most pamperingare among the 61 sailings aboard and Puerto Limon, Costa Rica. “we are constantly pushing ways one can travel- a Six-StarCrystal Symphony and Crystal The return trips to places less- ourselves to find new ways to Crystal cruise.” Crystal Cruise isSerenity, with 16 maiden calls, frequented by Crystal include the show the world to savvy travelers,” represented in Inida by Comfort194 total ports and 68 countries, Andaman Islands; Brunei; Ghana; says Jack Anderson, Senior Vice Leisure Pvt LTD.including a glamorous World Cruise. Helsingborg, Sweden; Ko Samui,Early 2015’s global calendar offers Thailand; Zihuatanejo, Mexico;15 exotic cruises and a 20th World Tokyo, Japan; Kuala Lumpur,Cruise, as well as nine maiden calls Malaysia; and Korcula, Croatia.and a return to ports Crystal has not The highlights of 2015 includevisited in more than a decade. Crystal’s 25th anniversary year of Under the 2014 itineraries, ultra-luxury cruising with brand newUNESCO World Heritage Sites itineraries from January to mid-April.are featured on 54 of 61 cruises, New ports include Ambodifototravisiting 135+ historical destinations and Tôlanaro, Madagascar; Crystal Symphony at sea44 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 45. INCREDIBLE INDIA Madhya Pradesh: Something for everyone’s taste! JABALPUR height of 100 feet. Boating facilities From being the seat of the Gond are available between November kings and the Kalchuri dynasty and May. These charming marble several centuries ago, to being white tops transform the whole river ruled by the Marathas and later into a silver stretch on a moonlit the British, Jabalpur has a number night, making the experience of heritage and natural attractions, enchanting. the most famous being the Marble Dhuandhar Falls: River Rocks at Bhedaghat, Dhuandhar Narmada twists her way through Falls and Bargi Dam. the Marble Rocks and tapers down Jabalpur is the most convenient to plunge in a waterfall called as point of access to Kanha (165 the Dhuandhar or a cascade of km) and Bandhavagarh (190) smoke. The plunge narrow, making National Parks. The Dumna Nature its way through the Marble Rocks,KANHA NATIONAL PARK heron, black ibis, common peafowl, Reserve is an eco-tourism reserve narrows down and then plunges in The Kanha National Park in crested serpent, racket-tailed that shelters spotted deer, jackal, a waterfall known as Dhuandhar orMadhya Pradesh is alive with drongo, hawk eagle and red wattled porcupine, wild boar and many smoke cascade.sal trees, bamboo forests, rolling lapwing, flycatcher, woodpecker, speicies of birds. Chaunsath Yogini Temple: Notgrasslands and winding brooks over pigeon, dove, parakeet, babbler Bargi Dam: Located at about very far from here is the Chaunsatha sprawling 940 sq km. The area is and mynah, Indian roller and grey 40 km from southwest Jabalpur city Yogini Temple. This 10th centurythe mainstay of the Kanha Tiger hornbill. near Bijora village, the Bargi Dam temple has exquisitely carvedReserve founded in 1974 under Tourists can opt for government over River Narmada is one of the figures of deities belonging to theProject Tiger. The Kanha National jeeps that are available on hire to major dams in Madhya Pradesh. Kalchuri period.Park is the sole habitat of the rare tour the park or go on elephants for There are local cruises at the Nearby attractions: Thehard-ground Barasingha or swamp tiger tracking. Bargi Boat Club and also a cruise 12th century Madan Mahal Fort;deer. Best Season: The best time ride to Mandla, which is a five-six Rani Durgavati Memorial and The Forest Department guides to visit is from February to June, hour journey. Tourists can alight Museum, exhibiting a fine collectionaccompany visitors around the park although the cool season is more at Mandla for onward journey to of sculptures, inscriptions andto see a cross-section of Kanha’s comfortable. The park is closed Kanha by road, which is 100 km or prehistoric relics; the Tilwara Ghatwildlife. The best areas are the from July to mid-October due to stay overnight at Mandla and return and the Narmada Club.meadows around Kanha where monsoons. to Bargi the following day. How to Reachblackbuck, Chital and Barasingha For a first –time visitor, a The scenic Temar falls is a By Air: Jabalpurcan be seen throughout the day. mimimum of three nights is popular attraction near the dam By Rail: Jabalpur, on theThe Bamni Dadar, also known as recommended to stay and spot site. Mumbai-Howrah via AllahabadSunset Point is one of the most various animals. main line, is the main railhead. Allbeautiful areas of the park, to spot How to reach: MARBLE ROCKS mail, express and passenger trainssambar, barking deer, Gaur or Khatia (3 km from Kisli) and The Marble Rocks at Bhedaghat halt here.Indian bison and the four-horned Mukki are the two main entry are perpendicular magnesium By Road: frequent buses, taxis,antelope. There are around 22 points to the Kanha National Park. limestone rocks flanking River tempos from Jabalpurspecies of mammals in Kanha. From Jabalpur, Kisli is 165 km via Narmada on either side, rising to a Best Season: Oct and May. Less commonly seen species Chiraidongri and Mukki is 203 kmare the Tiger, Indian hare, dhole or via Motinala and Garhi.Indian wild dog, barking deer and By Air: Nearest airports are atIndian bison or gaur. Visitors can Jabalpur (160 km), Raipur (240 km)sometimes get lucky with spotting and Nagpur (335 km).elusive animals like the jungle cat, By Rail: Jabalpur and Bilaspursloth bear, nilgai, ratel, porcupine, By Road: There are daily busmouse deer, leopard, striped hyena services from Jabalpur to Kisli andand Indian fox. Wolves, Indian Mukki.pangolin, India otter and civet can Taxis are available for hire frombe seen outside the park’s northern Jabalpur, Bilaspur and Raipur. Itboundary. is advisable to reach Kisli before The park has some 200 species sunset as vehicles are not permittedof birds like cattle egret, pond within the park after dark.45 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 46. HAPPENINGS Kerala Tourism holds Malaysian Food Fest atroadshows in Australia Sheraton PuneK erala Tourism recently organised three road shows inMelbourne, Brisbane and Perth. In Brisbane, 30 representatives of tour operators attended the road show. Those who participated in the T ourism Malaysia and Malaysian Airlines partnered with the Four Points by Sheraton Pune to present flights were introduced from the city. Guests could indulge their taste Led by Kerala’s Tourism Minister Melbourne numbered 66 while the the Malaysian Food Festival from buds on an exotic treat at PanashA P Anil Kumar, the multimedia final road show in Perth received 24 October to 4 November, 2012 at with assorted flavours of Malaysiantourism campaign for tour operators more than 30 buyers. Australia is the hotel. cuisine and culture. The array ofin the three cities highlighted the the fifth largest market for Kerala Starting October 30 this year, food, prepared by renowned Chefsopportunities for promoting the Tourism. the number of weekly day B737- Irwan Bin Sutan Chairul and Hafizalstate’s tourist destinations. Kerala participants included the 800 flights between Mumbai and Bin Ishak from Hotel Sheraton A number of leading tour Abad Group of Hotels, Ayurveda Kuala Lumpur was increased to Imperial Kuala Lumpur, includedoperators from Kerala took part in the Mana, Kumarakom Lake Resort, four from the erstwhile three. Along Murtabak, soft Roti Canai and tangyevents to explore business tie ups Pepper Tours Private Limited, with the daily B777-200 daily night Sambal with signature Nonya stylewith their counterparts in Australia. Pioneer Personalized Holidays. departures, a total of 11 weekly shrimp noodles and Nasi Lemak. Etihad campaign for La Classic Bengaluru travel agents on an expansion spreeE tihad Airways has announced the winner of its ‘Live Free’campaign, which was launched in travel agents were asked to register on the Etihad Airways website, and then enter details of Etihad Airways RFebruary 2012 to reward Indian flight bookings made during the aj Hospitality, which manages shuttle, badminton and table tennis.travel agents for their support to entry period. Different points were La Classic, has also added The La Classic Bengaluru wonthe airline. The winner, Sidheeque awarded for each booking made. another property for marketing- the World Luxury Boutique HotelMaliyekkal, an agent working with Neerja Bhatia said: “Sidheeque Gardeenia Comfortes & Suites, Award 2012 at a gala ceremonyAkbar Travels, was honoured in the Maliyekkal has relentlessly worked which shall be re-branded as in Malaysia in October 2012. Itspresence of Neerja Bhatia, Etihad towards promoting our airline and Semanta. Executive Director, Raja GopaalAirways’ GM in India, and KV Abdul achieving the highest sales target This sprawling property is Iyer won the Arch of Excellence inNazar, CMD of Akbar Travels, at the in the past five months. Our trade situated in the industrial belt of the hospitality sector awarded byEtihad Airways office in Mumbai. partners have constantly supported Bommasandra in Electronic City the All India Achievers Conference. Maliyekkal received Rs 15 us since we entered the Indian with 140 keys and a resort with Raj Hospitality will later takelakhs. Mini prizes including iPads market and through this initiative we two conference halls, two food and over Semanta’s operations. It shalland iPhones were presented to the aimed to show them our gratitude beverage outlets, a Club house also acquire and develop anotherrunners up. and maintain our strong ties with with a pool and a state-of-the-art boutique hotel in Hosur and another To qualify for the campaign, the Indian travel community.” gym and indoor sports facilities like brand called Kaluva in Kerala.46 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 47. NEWS SCAN Chinese VAS Center Turkish Road Show in opens in Kolkata five Indian citiesT he the Consulate Peoples General RepublicChina in Kolkata has introduced of of for Chinese visas from applicants residing in Kolkata and neighbouring areas. All applications will continue T he Turkish Tourism Board in association with the Turkish Hoteliers Federation will be holding show will highlight matrimonial and honeymoon destinations for people seeking to enjoy their early days ofa new facility for collection of visa to be assessed and processed a five-city road show over five days marital bliss.”applications and delivery service by the Consulate General of the between 19 and 23 November More than a dozen Turkishwith the appointment of VFS Global, Peoples Republic of China in 2012, during which they will meet hotels will participate in the 5-citythe world’s largest outsourcing Kolkata. travel agents in all five cities. road show, according to Mr Osmanand technology services specialist The key features of these The cities covered will Ayik, president, Turkish Hoteliersfor diplomatic missions and centres will be longer operating include Mumbai (19 November), Federation, who said: “Apart fromgovernments worldwide. VFS hours, dedicated website for easy Bangalore (20 November), Chennai its art, history and food, it is timeGlobal will operate the new Chinese access, visa information including (21 November), Hyderabad tourists are acquainted with theVisa Application Service Center at visa types, applicable fees and (22 November) and Delhi (23 other finer aspects of TurkishSalt Lake in Kolkata. professional and responsive staff November), with the focus on culture, which has moved along VFS Global already offers visa dedicated to handle visa queries, Turkey’s Wedding, Golf and with modern times.”application services for the Embassy dedicated call centre unit and email Honeymoon destinations. The Mumbai event will be held atof the People’s Republic of China, support. Ozgur Ayturk, Culture and the Four Seasons Hotel, beginningin New Delhi and the Consulate Murali Raghavan, COO - South Tourism Counsellor, Turkey, said: at 7:00 pm. The events at BangaloreGeneral of the Peoples Republic Asia and CIS, VFS Global, said: “We “Turkey today offers numerous (Taj West End Hotel), Chennai (Tajof China in Mumbai. Applicants invite applicants wishing to travel leisure-and-pleasure options for Club House), Hyderabad (Marriotseeking visa for China can now to China to visit our new state-of- modern tourists. Hotel) and Delhi (The Lalit Hotel)also avail of similar services offered the-art and well equipped Chinese Apart from locales for golf will begin at 10:30 am and concludeat VFS Global operated Chinese VAS Center and benefit from the enthusiasts, the present road with lunch.Visa Application Service Center at renewed and additional servicesKolkata. offered by the Consulate General Opportunities VFS Global will be responsible of the Peoples Republic of China inonly for accepting applications Kolkata, and VFS Global.” Emirates adopts Abacus Groups suiteA bacus International announced that Emirates hasimplemented the Abacus Groups has who are given the empowerment to manage airline Group bookings, are also more committed to push salessuite of solutions. Abacus Group for those airlines; thus, leveragingis the first Group Management Abacus Group can be a source ofSolution adopted by Emirates competitive advantage.in Asia. Emirates joins a host of “Asia still has a high propensityairlines across the region as well to travel in Groups due to the non-those specifically in the Middle East homogeneous markets and locallooking to drive higher efficiency in languages. Abacus has investedgroup booking management and significant resources to create agreater sales revenue by leveraging Group Management product thatthe Abacus Group solution in South is customised for Asian work-flowsKorea and Malaysia initially. and we are very pleased that Abacus Groups is designed Emirates has joined our long list ofto help airlines enhance the airline customers who recognizedadministration of day-to-day group the value of our product. Abacus isbooking activities and maintain all about helping airlines to reducecontrol over the booking process. It distribution costs, drive higherprovides an important productivity revenue and increase productivity,”and sales generation tool. Through said Ho Hoong Mau, Division HeadAbacus’ proprietary solution, of Airline Distribution, Abacusairlines can leave much of the group International.servicing and ticketing to Abacus The signing between Emiratesagents; thus freeing up valuable and Abacus is the latest in a numbertime for the airline sales team to of Abacus Groups implementationsdrive new business. The agents, in the Middle East.47 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 48. NEWS SCAN Tourism Flanders is announced as Premier Partner at WTMF landers has been confirmed as the Premier Partner at WorldTravel Market (WTM) in London for annually. WTM 2011 facilitated a massive £1,653 million in business deals for travel and tourism2013 and 2014. This will ensure that exhibitors over the four days.Flanders will feature as a “guest Furthermore, WTM is the mostregion” at WTM for the next two important trade fair in the worldyears, at one of the most important for English speaking markets andtourism exhibitions in Europe. Commonwealth countries. Flemish Minister for Tourism, Each year, WTM focuses onGeert Bourgeois said: “I am one specific country or region todelighted with the exclusive co- promote its “Premier Partnership”.operation agreement which has just Last year, Abu Dhabi had this Bourgeonis added. brand itself at Excel during WTM inbeen signed by Tourism Flanders opportunity. Tourism Flanders will use its 2013 and 2014.and the organisers of WTM, Reed “We are very proud to become position as the Premier Partner Opportunities include theExhibitions. the new Premier Partner at WTM primarily to bring “2014-2018, decoration and branding of several This provides an ideal position for the next two editions. The Great War Centenary” to spaces at the Excel hall in line withto present “2014-2018 the Great As Britain and the Commonwealth attention in its association with its international marketing brandingWar Centenary” to the attention are the most important foreign the international travel industry. strategy. A clear emphasis on “2014-of the travel industry. With this target groups for the remembrance There will be a particular focus on 2018 the Great War Centenary” willagreement we will also look forward of The Great War Centenary, it the English speaking markets and be visible throughout. Examplesto promoting a greater awareness of is strategically very beneficial for the Commonwealth countries to include a “poppy pathway”, createdFlanders and Brussels as a tourism Tourism Flanders to be able to promote this project. using the image of 51 squaredestination.” deploy such a large promotional The new partnership also metres of imaged tiles from the More than 48,000 international tool via this partnership, over the provides a unique opportunity for main entrance hall to the maintourism professionals visit WTM next couple of years at WTM,” Tourism Flanders to strategically Flanders stand. Oman’s visa bonanza South Africa roadshow for Indians for 2013 make Oman a more competitive destination and a unique stopover” she said. IATA data shows India is a fast growing source market for tourists to Oman. For the Year Ending July 2012, total arrivals from India to Muscat and Salalah increased to 751,997, 6% up on 2010. InO man’s Tourism Ministry has reaffirmed that recentlyintroduced tourist visa fee reductions addition there were transit passengers from India to other destinations with 4% being 197,448apply to Indian travellers. In early 2012, Oman introduced First or Business class travellers mostly destined for the United Arab S outh African Tourism announced the dates for its 2013 roadshow in India. The annual has African suppliers to interact with each other and identify mutually beneficial areas of collaboration.heavily discounted and more Emirates.flexible tourist visas. Single entry Lubaina Sheerazi, India four-city roadshow will kick off from The registration procedure willvisas for up to 10 days cost OMR 5, Representative Ministry of Tourism, Mumbai on 28th January 2013 and begin shortly and we look forward toand single entry stays of 10 days to said: “Oman and India are well culminate at New Delhi on 02nd receiving an encouraging responsea month are OMR 20. connected by air services, with February 2013. from our South African suppliers Maitha Al Mahrouqi, the Oman Air operating from 10 points Hanneli Slabber, Country and the Indian travel trade.”Undersecretary of Oman’s Ministry in India. We want to build on this Manager, South African Tourism As per the latest total arrivalsof Tourism, said: “We want to by making travel easy for all, India said: “The success of our figures for the period Jan-Junereaffirm to India’s travel trade and and our discounted Tourist Visa annual roadshows has underlined 2012, 53,291 Indians visited Southconsumers that Oman’s heavily arrangements and a value-based the fact that we are moving on the Africa as against the 43,979 visitorsdiscounted and more flexible Tourist stopover campaign with Oman Air right track. The roadshow provides during the same period in 2011,Visas work for India’s holiday and go a long way to achieving this” she an ideal platform and opportunity for recording a significant increase ofbusiness travellers. The changes said. trade partners from India and South 21.2%.48 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 49. TOP APPOINTMENTS ITC Windsor, Bangalore Kuoni India Virender Razdan,General Manager Vishal Suri, Deputy COO, Tour Operating V irender Razdan has been appointed as the General Manager at ITC Windsor, Bangalore. He has a vast experience in the K uoni India has appointed Vishal Suri as the Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Tour Operating.He has over 22 years of experience hospitality industry, particularly in Food and in consumer-centric industries like telecom andBeverages. He has worked with brands like Hyatt Regency Delhi, Sheraton travel, office automation and Internet. Prior to joining Tour Operating, hePark, Hilton and Oberoi. worked with Thomas Cook. In his new role, Virender will be responsible for running the core In his new position, Vishal will be responsible for research and promotionalmanagement of the hotel. activities for sub-brands and developing and innovating products. Kempinski Ambience Hotel Delhi Kempinski Ambience Hotel Delhi Manish Nambiar, Hotel Manager Aditya Singh, Director-Sales & Marketing T he Kempinski Ambience Hotel Delhi has announced the appointment of Manish Nambiar as the Hotel Manager. With over 16 A ditya Singh has joined Kempinski Ambience Hotel Delhi as the Director of Sales & Marketing. With more than 17 years years of hospitality experience, Manish has of experience in the Indian hospitality sector,worked with Kempinski properties in Egypt, Serengeti, Zanzibar, Bahrain, Aditya was earlier associated with JW Marriott Chandigarh, Hyatt RegencyTanzania and Djibouti. In his new role, he will be in charge of directing New Delhi, The Best Western Hotels and The Suryaa, New Delhi.finance, marketing and guest services, conceptualizing restaurant themes In the new role, he will spearhead room sales, catering sales, marketingand Operating Supplies and Equipment identification and procurement. and revenue divisions besides building the sales team. Le Meridien, Bangalore Concept Hospitality Rajesh K. Madan, Vice President- Sarosh Khatib, Senior Vice-President- Operations Sales & Marketing L e Meridien, Bangalore has announced the appointment of Rajesh K. Madan as the Vice President- Operations. He has more than S arosh Khatib has been appointed as Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing at Concept Hospitality (CHPL). Previously, he 25 years of management experience in the was the General Manager, Corporate Sales athospitality industry in Africa, Middle East, USA and India. In his most recent The Leela Palaces, Hotels & Resorts. He brings with him over 22 years ofrole, he served as the General Manager of Le Meridien Kochi. experience in the hospitality industry at senior positions with brands as Taj In his new role, Rajesh will offer his expertise in the area of operations. Mahal Palace, Mumbai and Grand Hyatt, Mumbai as Director of Marketing. Concept Hospitality Citadines Richmond Mrunalini Willis, General Manager, Sales Sue Ponnudurai, General Manager & Marketing M runalini Wills has joined Concept Hospitality (CHPL) as General Manager, Sales & T he Ascott Limited has appointed Sue Ponnudurai as the General Manager at its apart’hotel Citadines Richmond in Bangalore. Marketing. In her most recent assignment, she served as the Associate Director, Sales for the She has more than 25 years of experience inRoyal Orchid Hotels, Mumbai. Her career in the hospitality industry spans the hospitality industry and has already worked with Ascott for six years. She12 years in brands such as Sarovar Hotels & Resorts and Royal Orchid. has also held leadership positions in international hotel chains like Sofitel,In her new role, Mrunalini will be responsible for driving group sales from Hyatt and Hilton. In her new role, Sue will be responsible for managing theMumbai. operations of the property. Eastin Easy Citizen Ahmedabad U Tropicana Alibaug Mandar Vasant Kumta, General Manager Hrishikesh Madhukar Joshi, General Manager A bsolute Hotel Services India has appointed Mandar Vasant Kumta as the General Manager of Eastin Easy Citizen Ahmedabad. A bsolute Hotel Services India has appointed Hrishikesh Madhukar Joshi as the General Manager of U Tropicana Alibaug. He has more Kumta has over 16 years of hospitality than 14 years of experience in many internationalexperience in the Middle East and India in Astoria & Ambassador Group of hotel chains including Le Royal Meridien, Taj, Holiday Inn and Ramada. PriorHotels, Hotel Marine Plaza and Jebel Ali Hotel & Golf Resort.In his new role, to joining U Tropicana Alibaug, he was working with Keys Hotel Cama. In hishe will lead the team to the pre-opening and the opening of the property. new position, Hrishikesh will be in charge of the running of the hotel.49 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
  • 50. TRAVEL EVENTS CALENDAR50 www.voyagersworld.in Voyager’s World l November 2012
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