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Cities & States

Kerala Tourism banks on human-nature connect; new campaign a huge success

Kerala Tourism has drawn enthusiastic response to its recently launched brand campaign – ‘Human By Nature.’ The symbiotic relationship and harmony between human and nature is the essence of the three-minute long video. The global brand campaign was launched by Kerala Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran in New Delhi. The video offers a snapshot of the state –backwaters, beaches, houseboats, catamarans, Theyyam artistes, hill stations, wildlife, festivals, and scrumptious cuisines. Describing the latest campaign as a …

Cities & States

Now a politician, Farooq Shah promises to continue his focus on matters of tourism in J&K

Tourism was one of the casualties as Pulwama-attack and its aftermath brought India and Pakistan perilously close to an all-out war. Kashmir suffered the most as tourists steered clear of the valley, resulting in a near washout of seasonal business in the months of February and March. Jammu and Ladakh, thankfully, fared better. Ladakh remained aloof of recent developments and adventure and leisure tourism went on unabated.  Religious and spiritual tourism in Jammu also did …

Cities & States

Global tourists, NRIs take to election tourism as India heads for polls, says Gujarat’s leading operator

‘Election tourism’ was a growing niche segment as Indian elections had now gained global significance, said Manish Sharma, Owner of Akshar Travels. He explained that visiting an ongoing rally, meeting political leaders and connecting with them were some of the elements of the experience on offer. The trend was expected to intensify as India’s stature and bilateral connect grew with time, he argued. Excerpts from an exclusive interaction. The election season is upon us. With …

Cities & States

Green tourism, culinary tours finding traction among new-age travellers, says Sharat Dhall

Increasing digitalisation of services is assisting companies in curating a more personalised, intimate experience for the consumer, writes Sharat Dhall, President, Yatra.com. He notes that culinary tours, green travel and insta-worthiness of a destination have become important drivers of travel for the new-age traveller who is constantly on the lookout for a new experience. Excerpts from his writeup:    The Indian travel industry has been growing at an exponential rate at the backdrop of burgeoning socio-economic …

Cities & States

FSSAI felicitates HRAWI for outstanding contribution towards Swasth Bharat Yatra

The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) was felicitated by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) during the concluding ceremony of the Swasth Bharat Yatra held recently. The Association was recognised for its valuable contribution in arranging refreshments and accommodation for FSSAI’s delegates and volunteers who cycled through the Western region promoting the Eat Right Initiative. The HRAWI also actively and independently promoted the campaign through its social media channels, …

Cities & States

4th edition of Udaipur World Music Festival concludes with global participation

150 global artistes from countries including Israel, Spain, Portugal, Indonesia, Iran, Greece and Switzerland gave a majestic performance at Udaipur World Music Festival, featuring artistes such as Vibha Saraf (India), Albaluna (Portugal), La Dame Blanche (Cuba – France), Natig Rhythm Group (Azerbaijan) among others performed at the three-day musical event. The festival featured several genres of music, with musicians from countries such as Spain, Italy, France, Cuba, Brazil, India, and many more. Conceptualised and produced …

Cities & States

Kerala tourism surmounts floods, Nipah and hartals to rake up record revenue in 2018  

Powered by more tourists and higher spends from traditional source markets, Kerala’s unprecedented revenue from tourism in 2018 is a remarkable accomplishment. Kerala tourism confronted incredible odds in 2018. It was a year of Nipah virus outbreaks, devastating floods, and Sabrimala strife. Travel advisories were issues and a spate of itinerary cancellations followed as Nipah virus outbreaks were reported. As the state administration battled to contain the damage, floods in August further brought tourism to …

Cities & States

Interim budget skips the ‘T’ word, but industry gives a thumbs up

The government has laid out the interim budget for 2019. Union Finance Minister Piyush Goel’s speech in the parliament made no direct reference to the ‘T’ word, a contrast to PM’s mention of tourism (it was one of the 5 Ts enunciated by PM Modi) on several occasions during his tenure.  Notably, however, infrastructural development, regional connectivity, most notably UDAN, Sagarmala and Digital India, among others have been adequately stressed upon in the latest budget. …

Cities & States

Kerala bags maiden honours for responsible tourism initiative at WTM, London

Kerala Tourism has won gold at the maiden International Travel and Tourism awards, presented at the World Travel Market (WTM) in London, for its Responsible Tourism initiative. The awards, decided by an eminent jury from among international competitors, were instituted in 14 categories. With Kerala Tourism winning the gold in the Responsible tourism category, the first silver medal went to Cinnamon Elephant Project of Cinnamon Hotels (Sri Lanka) and the second silver to Coral Reef …

Cities & States

Taj Mahal a global draw, but air-connectivity Agra’s major concern, says Paritosh Ladhani

Despite all the bad press that the Taj Mahal has garnered in the past few months, it has yet emerged as the second-best UNESCO World Heritage Site in a survey conducted by the online behemoth TripAdvisor.  However, the absence of air-connectivity to major Indian gateways has continued to restrict Agra’s potential as a destination, reasons Paritosh Ladhani, Executive Director, Radisson Blu Agra. Excerpts from the interview: In a recent survey released by the global online …

Cities & States

Collective efforts bringing Kerala’s tourism back on track: EM Najeeb

Concerted efforts by tourism stakeholders in the state, backed by the state and central government, was bringing tourism back to normalcy in the ‘God’s Own Country,’ asserted EM Najeeb, Chairman Airtravel Enterprises and SVP, IATO in an exclusive interview. He also noted that the recently concluded KTM had played a crucial role in hammering the message across that Kerala was open for business and tourism. Excerpts from the interview: The fateful day of 8th of …

Cities & States

Odisha must tap millennials, market ingeniously: J K Mohanty

J K Mohanty, President, HRAO and CMD, Swosti Group had some unique ideas up his sleeves. Speaking at the 3rd edition of Odisha Tourism Conclave held at Swosti Premium Hotel, Bhubaneshwar, he suggested the state’s tourism stakeholders to market Odisha on the lines of Thailand and Bhutan, focussing on aspects such as the happiness quotient. He illustrated his argument by adding that top Indian movie stars were being roped in by several of the top destinations, …

Cities & States

Infra, an enabling environment core concerns at Odisha Tourism Conclave

A mix of new and somewhat long-persisting concerns came to fore in several panel discussions at the recently held Odisha Tourism Conclave. The third edition of Odisha Tourism Conclave was a congregation of decision makers in the state, with participation from the central ministry, experts from verticals of the tourism sector, tour operators and national media to take stock of challenges facing the sector and moot the way forward for the coastal state. Issues such …

Cities & States

ATTA’s Asia debut slated to be in Bhopal as AdventureNext comes to India

ATTA’s first stop in Asia will be in Madhya Pradesh, as the global adventure body would undertake AdventureNext in the coming December in Bhopal. To be held between 3-5 December, the event will include adventure trips for buyers and media across the country but, more importantly, bring special emphasis on Madhya Pradesh’s diverse offerings. Adventure tourism in the country has received a shot in the arm, as in a first, AdventureNEXT, held by Adventure Travel Trade …

Cities & States

To reinvigorate tourism in J&K, focus on positive publicity, suggest local stakeholders

Tourism in Jammu and Kashmir is in turmoil again. The accidental death of a tourist in the valley has undone the efforts of the industry and local stakeholders who have been assiduously trying to reinvigorate tourism. While footfalls remain lukewarm, local stakeholders suggest a slew of measures, including focus on spreading positive tourist experiences in the media and ramping up air-connectivity to bring tourism to normalcy. The unthinkable happened in Jammu and Kashmir. A 22-year-old …

Cities & States

Karnataka Tourism gets a new director in Ramu B.

Ramu B. took charge as the new director of Karnataka tourism. The 2010-batch IAS officer had earlier served as the District Collector in Chamarajanagar.  He said his priority in the new role would be to improve the marketing of Karnataka tourism. “One State Many Worlds” is all about selling an experience. I need about some months to study and understand the kind of experience we are trying to market,” he said. “The officials of tourism …