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Cities & States

IQRA 2019: A celebration of Kondotty Culture and Togetherness

Celebrating the cathartic spirit of Kondotty culture, IQRA: Kondotty Sufi Fest, 2019 was conducted by Thakkiya Foundation for culture and development on 16th and 17th November 2019 at Qubba Premises, near Calicut Airport. Storytellers, poets, eminent musicians created the aura of the fest and transformed it into an event unlikely to forget. One of the major highlights of the festival was the procession with Muttum Vilijiyum from Kalothu Thakkiya to Kondotty Thakkiya. Other than that, …

Cities & States

Maharashtra to privatize 22 forts, ropes in private sector for heritage conservation

Maharashtra state government has given the go-ahead to privatise 22 forts under its jurisdiction. On the lines of Rajasthan and Goa, the new tourism policy promulgated by the state government would enable private players and consortia to manage 22 forts that are not under the purview of the ASI. These structures are categorised under class 2, meaning they are of lesser historical significance and can be developed by interested parties. Besides resorts, the new policy …

Cities & States

HRAI backs govt.’s plan of amending e-Visa rules to boost FTAs

The Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) along with its regional Association the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) have appreciated the Government’s plan to introduce a five-year electronic tourist visa against a fee of $80 along with easing several e-Visa regulations and reduction of other charges. The Tourism Ministry has also hinted at introducing a one-month e-Visa for foreign tourists at a fee of $25. FHRAI has stated that …

Cities & States

MMT rolls-out ‘MyIndiaMyTrips’ campaign to support PM’s vision for domestic tourism

MakeMyTrip has rolled-out its digital campaign #MyIndiaMyTrips to inspire and assist Indian travellers to plan their travel and explore the best of India. In line with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to all Indians to visit at least 15 destinations in the next three years with in India, the campaign has been conceptualised to make it intuitive for Indians to book their travel per their interest. MakeMyTrip’s digital campaign has been thematically designed to …

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

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 …