35 % of hotel guests admit to pocketing room amenities : Survey
Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau
NEW DELHI, APRIL 18 :
While globally 65 per cent say they've never taken an item from a hotel room (excluding toiletries) it is the Danish travellers that come out on top as exceptionally honest, with 88 per cent saying they've never pocketed anything they shouldn't from a hotel room. Among Indian travellers, 62% admit that they have never pocketed any hotel property. The common items which catch the attention of sticky fingered travellers include magazines and books.
While it is in-room magazines, books, linens and towels that seem to be the main focus for sticky fingered travellers, other items that those surveyed admitted to taking include the bathrobe, pillows, electronics, irons and even in-room furniture such as lamps or alarm clocks.
Alison Couper from Hotels.com said, "While we all love that holiday feeling, it seems travellers in some countries are taking this a bit too far by removing a wide variety of items from their hotel room to take home with them as a memento of their stay. We should applaud the Danes as the most honest nation in resisting temptation, closely followed by the Dutch and Norwegians – assuming all respondents were honest when completing the survey…!"
While more than a third of global travellers admit to removing hotel amenities, there are a few niceties that guest are willing to pay for: a room with a view (29 per cent) and a balcony (17 per cent) came out on top.
250 delegates to join UNWTO Conference
To be held in Hyderabad from April 12 to 14, 2013 the meet bring together tourism authorities from 27 member countries and two associate members .....
Thesynergyonline Tourism Bureau
NEW DELHI, APRIL 04 :
Announcing this in New Delhi on Thursday Union Tourism Minister Mr K. Chiranjeevi said the need of the hour is not the tourism growth alone but development of tourism in sustainable manner.
He said at this meeting, International experts; delegates from the member countries of the UNWTO Commissions for South Asia and East Asia and Pacific, UNWTO, various state governments of India and tourism industry will participate. The exchange of ideas will take place at the conference on the way forward to develop tourism in a sustainable manner.
He said “India has been working with UNWTO closely for the cause of developing nations. Our initiative at the international level to host the two events, no doubt, will go a long way in highlighting India’s role in promoting global and regional tourism in sustainable manner for the economic growth, employment generation and social integration”.
Mr Chiranjeevi said South Asian region has rich and varied tourism products to attract visitors from the world over – with heritage and culture dating back to thousands of years, architectural and natural marvels, an unmatched bio-diversity and home to almost all the world religions.
He said “In spite of rich heritage, the market share of South Asia in World Tourist Arrivals is only 1.3 per cent - which is a cause of concern. On a positive note the average annual growth in international tourist arrivals to the region during the period 2005 to 2011 has been 7.2 per cent as compared to the world annual average growth of 3.5 per cent in the same period”.
Mr Chiranjeevi said the 25th meeting of the UNWTO Joint Commission will bring together tourism authorities from 27 member countries and two associate members and give them an opportunity to review the tourism performance of the two regions and deliberate upon measures and policies to be adopted for future. In this meeting, the best practices and policies adopted world over will also be shared.
India is currently the chairperson of the UNWTO Regional Commission for South Asia and considering the fact that the 25th Joint Meeting is being held in India, we would be chairing this meeting with Malaysia as co-chair, the Minister added.
Mr Chiranjeevi informed that till date 21 countries namely Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Fiji, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, LAO PDR, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor Leste and Vietnam have confirmed their participation.
He said the UNWTO will be represented by Mr Taleb Rifai, Secetary General and his team. This meeting will also be attended by the Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).
He said that for the first time Ministry of Tourism will be sending an electronic invitation and itinerary in form of a short film to all delegates and invitees welcoming them to the city of Hyderabad. This film shows them in advance the venues of the meetings, dinners and tours.
The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, in collaboration with the Government of Andhra Pradesh is hosting the joint meeting and the conference.
Over 250 delegates are expected to participate in the Sustainable Tourism Conference. These will include UNWTO delegates as well as representatives from State Governments & Union Territories and private stakeholders from the travel and hospitality industries. The Joint Commission Meeting will have approximately 125 delegates from the UNWTO member countries.
In addition to the meetings, various events have been organised to give the visiting delegates a glimpse of the rich culture and cuisine of the country. These include dinners and cultural programmes at the Taramati Baradari, Golconda Fort, Shilparamam and Ramoji Film City as well as a tour to the Buddhist Heritage sites at Nagarjuna Sagar and Nagarjuna Konda.
The event will provide a great opportunity for the State of Andhra Pradesh and particularly the city of Hyderabad to showcase the varied attractions and facilities to the international tourism fraternity and would help in promoting tourism to the State.
Move to bring transparency in granting approval for hotel projects
Thesynergyonline Tourism Bureau
NEW DELHI, APRIL 03 :
Speaking on the occasion the Minister said that with the help of this system, all applicants seeking hotel project approvals, hotel classification and approvals for other related services will be able to track the progress of their cases online on a real time basis.
He said " By putting this system in place, there will be a pressure on the officers of the Ministry to deliver on time and an increased accountability on their part. Now onwards, all applications will have to be examined within 15 working days from receipt for completeness. Thereafter, all hotel inspections will be scheduled within next 15 working days. The recommendations of Hotel and Restaurants Approval & Classification Committee will be communicated on the spot to the applicant and these recommendations will also be put on web with final decision within 10 days of the inspection".
He stated that in due course, the Tourism Ministry would move towards an e-regime and accept e-applications and proposals. The Ministry of Tourism will now erect such systems in other spheres of functioning also. Shri Chiranjeevi urged his officers in the Ministry and industry to work in 'one vision one mission' framework.
Mr Nakul Anand, president, Hotel Association of India; Mr Vivek Nair, president, Federation of Hotels & Restaurants Association of India and Mr Rakesh Mathur, Executive Committee Member, Heritage Hotels Association of India also spoke on the occasion and lauded the efforts of the Ministry and stated that this is a path breaking initiative taken by the Ministry of Tourism to bring transparency in its functioning.
In his address "Union Tourism Minister Mr K Chiranjeevi said "There has been some speculation in the media about the state of Indian tourism because of some extremely unfortunate events. I would like to place on record that the growth of foreign tourist arrivals to India in January and February, 2013 has been positive and not negative as reported. Foreign tourist arrivals to India have grown by 2.1 per cent in these two months. There is no negative growth. During these two months foreign exchange earnings from tourism rose by 19.8 per cent in rupee terms and 11.4 per cent in dollar terms."
Presently, the hotel promoters and owners seek voluntary approval from the Ministry of Tourism for their projects and classification from one Star to Five Star Deluxe by submitting applications. These requests are processed for a final decision within 90 days from the receipt of applications. At present, the applicants remain unaware of the status of their applications till the final decision is conveyed to them.
With the new move, all information relating to such applications indicating the latest status will be put on the website of the Ministry of Tourism www.tourism.gov.in . All applicants will be given a password to access the details posted on the web. The web details will indicate the date of receipt of applications, status regarding project approval, proposed date of the visit of Hotel and Restaurant Classification Committee, final recommendation of the Committee and final status of Classification/Approval.
This measure will bring in more transparency, make officials more accountable in working and enable the applicants to access information and check status of their applications sitting at their own places .
Indo-Canada cooperation in
Thesynergyonline Tourism Bureau
The possibility of signing an agreement/MoU between India and Canada was also discussed. It was also agreed that Tour Operators and Travel Agents of both the countries will interact with each other in order to promote two way tourism between India and Canada. The possibilities of promoting more package tours in either of the countries could also be explored by the travel trade of two countries. Both sides also explored the possibilities of promoting joint venture investment in the field of hotel industry and tourism infrastructural sector.
Now that hotels and tourism sector has been opened for foreign direct investment up to 100 per cent on automatic routes, Canadian investment in tourism infrastructure in India could be one of the major areas of cooperation.
Ministry of Tourism has hosted a total of 16 journalists, photographers, travel agents, travel writers etc. from Canada in the year 2011-12 under its hospitality scheme. Fourteen guests have visited India from Canada in 2012-13 .
India Tourism Office in Toronto takes care of promotion and marketing of India in Canada. India Tourism Office participates in Tourism Fair, organize workshops and seminars to showcase India’s tourism destinations and products to the tour operators and consumers of Canada. Some of the travel fairs in which India Tourism Office participates in Canada are: Travel & Vacation Show, World Culinary Show, Addison Travel Shows, International Travel & Tourism show and Maritime Show. The Ministry of Tourism organised India Tourism Road Shows in Vancouver in September , 2012.
Both India and Canada can benefit greatly by sharing experience and know-how in destination management & management of heritage sites. India could benefit from the initiatives undertaken by Canada in the field of Adventure Tourism.
Mahakumbh Mela- 2013 likely to generate Rs 12,000 crore
Bring boom to airlines, hotels, create over 6 lakh jobs
Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau
NEW DELHI, JANUARY 11 :
In a Forecast Paper on `Maha Kumbh Mela 2013- Possible Revenue Generation Resources for Uttar Pradesh' brought out by Assocham, it has been projected that the Maha Kumbh event alone will generate additional employment opportunities for over 6 lakh workforce in sectors such as airlines and airports, hotels, tour operators, flyover besides medical and eco-tourism. The unorganised sectors activities would also gain the best out of Maha-Kumbh event as its boom will accrue it the maximum economic gains.
According to Assocham Secretary General, Mr D S Rawat, Australia, the UK, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, New Zealand, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka will be the main countries from where tourists arrivals are expected to attend the Maha Kumbh.
Hotel industry is aiming at 100 per cent occupancy rate for Maha-Kumbh which currently is 70 per cent on an average and will witness a growth of 25 per cent in Maha-Khubh from current growth rate of 15 per cent including small, budget and luxury hotels. National and international media will arrive in large numbers. Duration of foreign tourists stay in India will be 20-30 days. These are likely to employ over 2.5 lakh skilled and unskilled workforce.
"Apart from Allahabad, other nearby States like Rajasthan (Jaipur, Jabalpur, Udaipur, Bhilwara, Kota etc), Uttarkhand (Nainital, Musoorie, Aulli, Dehradun, Haridwar, Ranikhet, Almora), U.P. (Agra, Lucknow) Punjab (Amrtisar, Chandigarh, Ludhaiana), Himachal Pradesh (Shimla, Kufri, Manali, Panchkula) will also be the major beneficiaries States in revenue generation where large number of foreign tourists are expected to explore tourists destinations", said Mr Rawat.
The Paper further projected that Airlines industry particularly national and international Airlines will do much better, feels the Chamber Secretary General.
Uttar Pradesh Tourism, privately owned hospitals, traders, railway and international airport are likely to earn whooping revenue of over Rs. 1,500 crore in Maha-Kumbh through increased inflow of foreign & domestic tourists by offering attractive tour packages and medical tourism facilities, according to Assocham paper.
"The Maha-Kumbh will generate so much of direct and indirect activities in almost every key segment that touches masses with large number of beneficiary, the fruits of which hopefully benefit the masses of Uttar Pradesh", said Mr Rawat.
Interestingly, the Assocham estimates that the overall business during the stretch of two months of Kumbh could touch anything between Rs 12,000 to 15,000 crore and contribute revenues in the state coffers, said Mr. Rawat. Kumbh will not just reap short time benefits but it will also have a long time benefit.
Mr Rawat also said security of women would be given priority and besides deploying a large number of female constables, special arrangements will be made to check incidents such as eve-teasing.
According to Assocham, over 1 million foreign tourists will explore popular tourist destinations in Kumbh and the lead countries will include Australia, UK, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, New Zealand, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka etc. Out of these 1 million, Uttar Pradesh tour operators attracts over 5 lakh foreign tourists for their attractive and different tour packages and each foreign tourist spends an estimated amount of Rs.25,000/- in tourist packages, state conveniently generate revenue of Rs.1,250 crore (Rs.25,000 x 5 lakh). Uttar Pradesh Tourism organises varieties of tour packages which can attract foreign & domestic tourists.
Tourism minister calls for
Thesynergyonline Tourism Bureau
NEW DELHI, JANUARY 03 :
Addressing a seminar on Trade and Investment organized by the Embassy of India in Hanoi on Thursday in coordination with Ministry of Industry and Trade and Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry the Minister said, “ We stand ready to add more content to our ‘Strategic Partnership’, especially in economic, commercial, defence and security, scientific and technical and cultural fields.
” While emphasising on bilateral trade Shri Chiranjeevi said; “We have set a target of US$100 billion for ASEAN India trade by 2015. The ASEAN India FTA in goods and the conclusion of negotiation on the ASEAN India FTA in services and investments have laid the foundations for an ASEAN India Free Trade Area, comprising 1.8 billion people and a combined GDP of US$3.8 billion.”
The seminar was attended by Mr. Phung Tan Viet, Vice Chairman of People’s Committee of Danang, Mr. Hoang Van Dung, Vice Chairman of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Nguyen Van Tuan, Chairman of Vietnam National Tourism Administration and representatives of about 150 Vietnamese companies.
The Tourism Minister also had a bilateral discussion with the Chairman of Vietnam National Tourism Administration Mr.Nguyen Van Tuan. During the discussion, the Minister said that the potential for cooperation between the two countries in tourism is very big and proposed that government authorities of both the countries should give the lead to promote the cooperation’s among tour operators in both Vietnam and India.
He urged Vietnam to introduce a good package for film making delegations from India so that they can come and shoot films about Vietnam. He invited the Vietnamese delegation to participate in the Indian International Tourism Mart which will be held later this month in Guwahati.
India an upcoming destination
By Dr Beena Muktesh, Sr IVF Consultant, Miracles Fertility & IVF Clinic
WITH the dawn of globalization, the world has shrunk into a global village. Countries now appear closer than they have ever been. Medical tourism, the process of leaving home for treatments and care and moving abroad or elsewhere domestically is an emerging phenomenon in the health care industry. People from developed countries are also travelling to developing countries offering comparable quality medical care.
Opportunities to combine medical treatment with leisure and vacationing alongside affordable costs and medical services available without a short wait are some of the reasons cited for a growth in medical tourism.
The concept of ‘medical tourism’ was originated to help global citizens enjoy their tourist sojourns while under world-class quality medical care. Over the last decade, India has emerged as the preferred destination for medical (healthcare) tourism, capitalizing on its strengths of “lower cost skilled personnel, cultural factors, natural endowments and unique forms of medicine and advance technology.
India has well equipped private hospitals with facilities second to none. It boasts of highly qualified doctors with specialization in different branches of medical science. Major advantage for medical tourists in India is the cost-effectiveness of treatments. Estimates claim that treatment costs in India start at around a tenth of the price of comparable treatment in developed countries like America or Britain
Medical travellers have many motives while deciding their destinations. Most of these people seek the world’s most advanced technology, quality of treatment, connectivity, world class facilities and infrastructure. Cost of treatment, ease of access, competence of doctors and staffs, professionalism in management of hospital and facilitation and care available during this stage of theirs is other important factors. Other reason for a growing number of medical travelers is long waiting period at many of the countries.
According to one of the McKinsey report 15 per cent of medical travellers seek faster medical services, which are overburdened and patients have to wait a long time to see a doctor or specialist. In Britain and parts for North America, for example, the waiting time for a hip replacement can be a year or more, while in India a patient can begin treatment shortly after arrival.
India is a relative new comer to this industry, but it is emerging as one of the world’s most cost efficient medical tourism destinations. In the recent years, government support, low cost, improved healthcare infrastructure, and rich cultural heritage, have taken the Indian medical tourism to new heights.
The Indian health and wellness market has recorded remarkable growth during last few years. Indian Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) suggests that the Indian Healthcare sector is expected to become a US$ 280 billion industry by 2020 with spending on health estimated to grow 14 percent annually. India’s medical tourism sector is also expected to experience an annual growth rate of 30 percent, making it a Rs. 9,500 crore industry by 2015.
Advantages for medical tourists coming to India include reduces costs, the availability of latest medical technologies and a growing compliance on international quality standards, as well as the fact that foreigners are less likely to face language barriers in India.
According to Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), India offers holistic medicinal services like yoga, meditation, allopathic and other systems of medicines, which places India as a top choice among medical tourists. India is knee/hip), cosmetic surgery, dental surgery, bone marrow transplant, cancer treatment, IVF treatment and the unique part is that most of the Indian clinics are equipped with world class medical diagnostic equipment.
Not only patients come for treatment, but patients also look for other banners of medical tourism like different wellness services like Herbal treatments, complementary healing, Nature tourism and Rehabilitation services like, addiction programs, Elderly care programs and counseling programs as such. Apart from it Indian pharma markets have been proving low cost drugs which can be seen as an added advantage to India’s medical tourism market. Known for its specialized hospitals in the field of open heart surgery, pediatric heart surgery, join replacements.
There is also a gradual growth in Reproductive tourism in India in last few years. Clinics are providing everything from in-vitro fertilization to surrogacy, with good medical care. India is now one of the leading destinations for couples seeking infertility treatment and is gaining popularity among western customers. The high success rate of treatment, less administrative paperwork and the highly skilled manpower in India make it one of the most attractive destinations.
Patients from countries like Ethiopia, Nigeria, Uganda etc. have been regularly visiting Indian hospitals for efficient IVF treatment. Countries who are finding it difficult to get donor’s egg are turning towards India and also as compared to international standards; IVF treatment in India is cost effective and is as good in quality as other countries. Many international patients are now realizing the benefits of travelling to India for IVF procedures.
There are also incidences where the Indians who are residing in other countries choose to come to India for having an IVF & fertility treatment. Reason being they are comfortable in an environment where they know the language and culture. Often they have close relatives with whom to stay both before and after their medical treatment. For third party reproduction also home countries are preferred because of availability of a similar donor. In addition wait periods for visits and treatments is often less than that found in other countries.
Still there are few pros and cons of choosing to travel abroad for IVF which leads one to take proper time to carefully research over the destination. Though the major concern for medical tourism is money constraint but one should also take care of the increased stress of travel before an IVF cycle. IVF treatment takes months to actually show any positive result so there should be a proper residing facility.
These are all important points one should take care of before embarking on an international IVF journey. Many hospitals are nowadays also providing facilities like lodging, transportation, arranging visa. All these are leading to a growth in the Indian market for medical tourism.
India still has to go far to meet this growing demand of medical tourism market. This is the duty of policy makers to decide consciously regarding which segment to target and position India as a medical tourist destination accordingly. There should be a high quality of doctors and clinical infrastructure to satisfy the tourists. There is also a need for training non medical staff for cross cultural sensitivities including language skills for the targeted source markets.
Jaipur and Agra becoming preferred destination on New Year Eve: Survey
Thesynergyonline Tourism Bureau
NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 28 :
According to ASSOCHAM survey, nearly 62 per cent of the respondents have planned to go on a vacation to destinations within or around Delhi, like Jaipur, Agra, Shima, Nanital, Kasauil etc and likely to shrink holiday trips budget due to increased costs which will be the determining factor for more families opting for destinations nearer to their home, said Mr. D S Rawat, Secretary General ASSOCHAM while releasing the survey.
Around 82 per cent of the respondents said that ‘Jaipur’ is their first priority and attracting many more visitors followed by Agra this year. Shima and Nanital are third and fourth on the list of favoured holiday destinations, reveals the ASSOCHAM survey.
The findings are condensed at a random survey conducted by the associated chambers of commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) in which approximately 2,500 executives poured their responses on their preference for holiday trip.
Around 55 per cent of the respondents fall under the age bracket of 20-29 years, followed by 30-39 years (26 per cent), 40-49 years (16 per cent), 50-59 years (2 per cent) and 60-69 years (approx. 1 per cent).
The report was able to target corporate employees from 18 broad sectors, with maximum share contributed by employees from IT/ITes sector (17 per cent) followed by financial services (11 per cent) includes banking sector, stock brokerage house, insurance sector, financial consultancy and chartered accountants. Employees working in engineering and telecom sector contributed 9 per cent and 8 per cent respectively.
Nearly 6 per cent of the employees belonged from market research/KPO and media background each. Management, FMCG and Infrastructure sector employees share is 5 per cent each. Respondents from power and real estate sector contributed 4 per cent each. Employees from education and food& beverages sector provided a share of 3 per cent each. Advertising, manufacturing and textiles employees offered a share of 2 per cent each in the results.
The survey found that majority of family going on a holiday between end of December 2012 and beginning of January 2013 will nearly spend an average of Rs 10,000 to 15,000 on the trip which is about 40 per cent less than last year budget. Mr. Rawat also said that even the duration of the holiday planned is down to an average 2 nights this season from 3 to 5 nights last year.
The survey points out that nearly 52 per cent of families have planned their ‘family trips’ this year along with their children and rest 48 per cent will go along their friends, highlights the survey.
Around 15 per cent of respondents have set aside higher budgets trips to Goa, Kerala, Andaman and Nicobar and Rajasthan, the survey found. A Meager share of the respondent has planned their holiday for international trip like Singapore, Malaysia etc. for the New Year eve celebrations.
Occupancy rates for New Year eve at major tourists destinations especially in North, West and deep South India has so far the capacity utilization of merely 50% and is unlikely to exceed this limit, as per ASSOCHAM estimates which have directly come to it from hospitality and services sector of its constituents.
Coming back to tourists, Mr. Rawat pointed out that last year, over five to six lakh tourists had visited various tourists destinations such as Jaipur, Udaipur, Massourie, Nanital, Shimla, Kullu-Manali, Kashmir valley, Goa, Mysore and Trivantapuram to celebrate their Christmas and New Year eve’s holidays.
However, Massourie and Nanital will remains the best tourist destinations for North Indians as tourists can attain twin objectives their - one is that of site seeing and another of religious tourism as both Haridwar and Rishikesh are nearer to Massourie and that of Nanda Devi close to Nainital.
Forex earnings from tourism rises by
Thesynergyonline Tourism Bureau
NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 10 :
There has been a growth of 3 percent in November 2012 over November 2011 as compared to a growth of 10.1 per cent registered in November 2011 over November 2010.
FTAs in the period January- November 2012 were 58.99 lakh with a growth of 5.9 per cent , over the same period in 2011, as compared to the FTAs of 55.72 lakh with a growth of 9.4 per cent during January- November 2011 over the corresponding period of 2010.
Foreign exchange earnings (FEEs) from tourism in the month of November 2012 were Rs.9,723 crore as compared to Rs 7,941 crore in November 2011 and Rs.6,516 crore in November 2010.
The growth rate in FEEs in rupee terms in November 2012 over November 2011 was 22.4 per cent as compared to 21.9 per cent in November 2011 over November 2010.
FEEs from tourism in rupee terms during January- November 2012 were Rs.83,938 crore with a growth of 22.1 per cent over the same period in 2011, as compared to the FEEs of Rs.68,721 crore with a growth of 18.8 per cent during January-November 2011 over the corresponding period of 2010.
FEEs in US$ terms during the month of November 2012 were US$ 1,776 million as compared to FEEs of US$ 1,566 million during the month of November 2011 and US$ 1,448 million in November 2010.
The growth rate in FEEs in US$ terms in November 2012 over November 2011 was 13.4 per cent as compared to the growth of 8.1 per cent in November 2011 over November 2010.
FEEs from tourism in terms of US$ during January- November 2012 were US$15,806 million with a growth of 6.3 per cent over the same period in 2011, as compared to US$ 14,876 million with a growth of 17.7 per cent during January- November 2011 over the corresponding period of 2010. .
Sonepur Mela kicks off ;
75 global companies showcase their products
Thesynergyonline Tourism Bureau
HAJIPUR (BIHAR), NOVEMBER 28 : PLANNING to travel India the first hand experience of Indian culture and fairs is the essential corollary of the whole travel plan. Sonepur cattle fair plays predominant place in the mind of travel aficionado where one can quench the thirst of knowing legend of a month-long extravaganza.Against this backdrop the Minister of Bihar Tourism Sunil Kumar ‘Pintu’ , inaugurated the month long Asia’s largest Sonepur Mela (November 27, 2012 to December 26, 2012). in Sonepur, Bihar.
For the first time Bihar Tourism has taken this homogeneous responsibility of organizing the Asia’s largest cattle fair in Sonepur. Sonepur Mela is also known as Harihar Kshetra Mela and it attracted many visitors from all over India on the first day of its inauguration.
The fair owes its origins to ancient times when Chandragupta Maurya used to buy elephants and horses across the river Ganges. The mela used to attract traders from places as distant as Central Asia.
The fair begins during the full moon of the Hindu month of Kartik at the confluence of rivers Ganga and Gandak. It will end on December 26.
Elephants, horses, dogs, donkeys, ponies, rabbits and goats are sold from the mela, which is also known as the Harihar Kshetra Mela.
Last year approximately 8-9 lakh visitors came to Sonepur to experience the Sonepur mela but this year, according to Bihar Tourism, the estimated visitors will be more than 3-5 million.
This year the inauguration of Sonepur mela was at a different level altogether where the tradition and religion of Bihar were showcased through cultural and religious performances by the regional artists across Bihar, musical gathering, amalgamation of the reflections of human civilization of majestic past of Hari Kshetra, scientific and technological showcases that all came across at the time of the inauguration function.
A dozen of elephants, hundreds of horses of various breeds and cows had come till the tie fair was inaugurated traditionally. The inauguration pandal which has been given a new eye-catching looks depicting all cultural aspects of fair with a sand based art greeting the fair visitors attracted huge curious audience.
In evening, cultural and musical soiree surcharged the ambience of fair with patriotic zeal and religious fervor; on the other hand, Sonepur mela also lured the kids with the exclusive 3D movie hall and enactment of Ram Lila near famous Hari Har Nath temple to promote metaphysic serenity of fair which attracted huge crowds.
Bihar Tourism is providing the best lodging facilities in the form of Swiss cottages for the visitors to have a comfortable stay during the mela time. Swiss cottages would be a perfect blend of rural ambience with modern amenities and most of the cottages have already been booked by the foreign tourists.
Many factors had been kept in mind for this year mela like hygiene, layout, security, lighting, and the world class pandal to be set up in the mela. Department of Tourism have brought in many changes in the mela this year and there are dedicated zones for different segments like Automobiles, FMCG, Electronics, Entertainment, Kids zone, etc.
The entire mela area is under CCTV surveillance from a centralized control room. Intensive monitoring of each and every finer aspects of the mela is being done by the team of officers of Tourism Department led by D.K.Srivastava Director/Tourism.
Originally, the venue of the fair was Hajipur and only the performance of the puja used to take place at the Harihar Nath temple of Sonepur.The luscious mango grove, where the fair is organized, turns into a virtual wonderland to overwhelm all and sundry.
Indian Oscars for travel,
Thesynergyonline Tourism Bureau
NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 22 :
Also present on the occasion were K C Venugopal, Minister for state for Civil Aviation and Dr. T. Subbarami Reddy Member of Parliament and Chairman Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology and Environment and Forests as guest of honor for the evening along with Shri TKA Nair, Advisor to the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India who graced the occasion.
ITDC pays Rs 3.95 -crore dividend to Govt
Thesynergyonline Tourism Bureau
NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 25 :
He was speaking after receiving a divided cheque of Rs. 3.95 crore for the financial year 2011-12 from Dr Lalit K. Panwar, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, ITDC here on Tuesday . Mr Sahai said ITDC is a brand ambassador of India Tourism and has to show its worth. The Minister appreciated the performance of the company and wished it more success in the years to come.
The turnover of the corporation increased from Rs. 392.36 crore to Rs 423.06 crore , registering an increase of 7.82 per cent in 2011-12. The corporation has earned a profit of Rs 22.02 crore (before tax) for this financial year against a loss of Rs 11.73 crore in 2010-11 and a loss of Rs. 20.51 during 2009-10.
At the 47th Annual General Meeting of the corporation, the dividend at the rate of 5 per cent (that is Rs 4.28 crore) was approved. The corporation could not distribute dividend to its shareholders during the past two years due to operational losses during 2009-10 and 2010-11. As in the year 2011-12, there has been a profit; a dividend of RS 3.95 crore is being paid to the Ministry of Tourism and Rs 0.33 crore for distribution to other shareholders of the corporation.
India and Bulgaria to explore cooperation in tourism sector
Thesynergyonline Tourism Bureau
Both countries will identify areas for working together and explore new opportunities in tourism sector especially in the field of Hospitality Training, Promotion, Marketing, Development and management of Tourist destinations.
Both sides gave an overview of the "Tourism Sector" in their respective countries and re-emphasised on its potential for employment generation and economic growth. It was also agreed that increased tourist traffic between the two countries could strengthen the bilateral relations at people to people level.
Both sides also exchanged views to explore the possibilities of promoting investment in the field of hotel industry tourism and infrastructural development.
India and the Bulgaria emphasised upon the need of exchange of visits of tour operators and opinion makers to promote tourism between the two countries. The importance of interaction between the tour operators and destination managers of the two countries was stressed upon to develop better packages for tourists.
The information about investment of opportunities in the tourism sector in both the countries was also shared. Both the countries agreed that growing opportunities in tourism sector should be showcased to attracts investments from the private stake-holders of the two countries.
It was also agreed to explore the possibilities of enhancing air-connectivity between both the countries as lack of direct air connectivity between India and Bulgaria is one of the major reasons for small number of tourists traveling between the two countries.
Earlier in his welcome address Mr Sahai said that India and Bulgaria have enjoyed traditionally close and cordial bilateral relations sustained through regular high level political contacts.
Mr Delian Dobrev in his address appreciated the friendly relations between the two countries and emphasised upon the importance of pursuing a closer relationship based on the emerging potential in the tourism sector in the two countries.
He said Bulgaria with its beautiful mountains, the Black-Sea coast boasting of cities like Varna has become an attractive destination for Indian film Industry.
Mr Delian Dobrev is on a visit to India in connection with the 17th session of the Indo-Bulgarian Joint Commission on Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation of which he is the co-chairman.
Arrivals of foreign tourists to
Thesynergyonline Tourism Bureau
Mr Kamlesh Barot, president (FHRAI), says , "There are many impending issues hurting the growth of the Indian hospitality industry. The issues including, high taxes on tourism and moral policing due to archaic laws are primary issues among many.
Moreover, high interest rates, inflation, lack of provisions for hospitality under infrastructure policies, sanitation, airport and tourist services, licensing, lack of trained manpower, exporter status, visa issues and the laws pertaining to the land acquisition for projects are also the areas of concern."
Currently, the size of industry is pegged at $11.2 billion with 6.29 million FTAs, earning the country foreign exchange of $11.394 billion. The industry's contribution in India's GDP is 5.92 per cent (in 2011) which is expected to be at 7.3 per cent in 2012. The industry also contributes 9.24 per cent employment in the country with 53 million people employed.
FHRAI has also sought the Ministry of Environment and Forests to adopt recommendations of the Dr M S Swaminathan Committee to rationalize the coastal tourism norms.
FHRAI has pressed for the implementation of Hospitality Promotion Development Board (HPDB) in each such State, chaired by the Chief Secretary, for fast track approval of new hospitality projects.
At present about 128 licences are required for setting up and running a hotel. An effective single-window clearance scheme under the Chairmanship of the Secretary Tourism of the State would be effective in obtaining quick approvals for the setting up of hotels and removal of ongoing hurdles in tourism, suggests FHRAI.
EU campaign to keep Europe in
Thesynergyonline Tourism Bureau
NEW DELHI, SEPTERMBER 10 :
With contributions from well known travel writers, journalists, and bloggers, the campaign aims to showcase the wide variety of unique opportunities that Europe has to offer international tourists.
Contributors' first-hand experiences, spread through videos, blogs, magazines and websites, will unlock the not-to-be missed sights as well as the 'roads less travelled' of a number of select European destinations.
"There is a lot to discover in Europe: Thematic packages and itineraries, covering all four corners of the EU, are available. These include pan-EU and regional tours on religious, cultural heritage and gastronomic themes — such as wine and olive oil routes — and tailored packages incorporating historic and natural UNESCO sites. And it is easy to travel to Europe with its single currency, open borders, well-designed infrastructure and passenger rights. Yes, it is a lifetime experience to discover Europe's rich cultural heritage and stunning natural beauty" said European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship.
Financed by the European Commission, the 'Europe – Whenever you're ready' campaign will be organized in partnership with the European Travel Commission (ETC), the umbrella organisation for national tourism boards in Europe and the campaign aims to add value to promotional activities of Member States and the European tourism industry.
'25% of Indian travellers change
Women lead the percentage as compared to men by 20% among the travellers who change their travel schedule after booking
Thesynergyonline Tourism Bureau
NEW DELHI, AUGUST 24 :
The top routes for travel plan changes have been found to be Bangalore-Delhi and vice versa followed by Mumbai-Delhi. The top five reasons for the same are : 'Change in business travel plans', Extension of stay at destination', 'Travellers health issues', 'Personal or family emergency' and 'change in flight timings' by the airlines. Women have been found to change their travel plans more frequently than men.
Bangalore has the highest number of women travellers followed by Mumbai, Hyderabad and Delhi , the report says.
Ashish Kashyap, Group CEO, ibibo Web said, "At Goibibo.com we are obsessed about data and analytics and thereby leveraging the same to drive a superior user experience. We publish travel insights based on real data that we study every hour of the day. With the insights of large volume of changes in a travellers plan, Goibibo has enabled the traveller to access the fastest re-scheduling, cancellation and refund processes.
Best viewed at 800 x 600 resolution with IE 4.0 or higher
© Copyright 2010 : TheSynergyOnline.Com
Head Office : Thesynergyonline.com , Synergy House , 569/3, Chattarpur Hills , New Delhi-110074 (India) Tel : 09810878945 , 91 011 32440558 ; e--mail: email@example.com , marketing @thesynergyonline.com , firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org