Capt. Krishnan Nair conferred Lifetime Achievement Award – Express TravelWorld: “Capt. Krishnan Nair conferred Lifetime Achievement Award
Capt. Krishnan Nair, chairman of The Leela Palaces and Resorts, has been bestowed the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the tourism industry by R. L. Bhatia, the Governor of Kerala, at a ceremony held at the Kanakakunnu Palace, Thiruvananthapuram recently.
The ceremony was attended by several dignitaries including Padmashree Dr. K.J. Jesudas, E.K. Bharat Bhushan, IAS, principal secretary, tourism; T. Balakrishnan IAS, principal secretary, industries; and M.R. Narayanan, president, Chamber of Commerce. The award was instituted by the Chamber of Commerce.
The latest offering from the Leela Group, The Leela Kovalam is all set to turn Kerala’s most famous tourist spot into a world-class destination. ‘What we created in Mumbai, Goa and Bangalore will be repeated here,’ said Capt. Nair. ‘The Leela Kovalam is poised to become the focus of world tourism and environment. We are taking all steps to make it a world-class resort from the beginning.’ He added that facilities like conventions, celebrity weddings, Ayurveda and well being treatments would give guests a chance to enjoy the solitude and serenity of the place. The Leela Kovalam Beach is a homecoming of sorts for Capt. Nair, who hails from the state.
The hotel that redefined luxury for Kerala introduced a new dining experience for the discerning travellers with the launch of its new rustic seaside restaurant, Tides. With a breathtaking view of the beach and the blue sea, Tides encompasses the best of Kovalam. From grills to stir-fries, from Keralan to Sichuan specialties, it offers a wide variety of dining choices. Guests can also relish the ‘fresh catch of the day’ – they actually get to see the local fisherman return with the bounty from the sea – while a DJ entertains them with live music into the n”
After backwaters and ayurveda, it’s experience tourism in Kerala – Newindpress.com: “After backwaters and ayurveda, it’s experience tourism in Kerala
Wednesday December 7 2005 00:00 IST
KOCHI: As Kerala becomes a hot tourist spot for more travellers from Europe, backwaters and ayurveda may not be the only attractions to lure them.
The State Tourism Department is planning to promote ‘experience tourism’ which enable the tourists to interact with the locals and enjoy the ambience. “We have several ideas in mind like rural tourism, farm tourism, culture tourism etc. In the case of farm tourism, the tourists can stay with the farmers,” says B Suman, Tourism Director.
The concept brings in additional income for the farmers. The state is targeting high-end tourists with experience tourism. Along with that the Tourism Department is going to unleash a tourism promotional campaign in the US jointly with the Taj and Oberoi groups in March. Unlike Europeans, Kerala has not become must-see place for the Americans. The tourist inflow from the US is still limited.
The tourism season in Kerala is looking quite buoyant this time. Apart from the traditional strongolds of the UK, Germany and France, Kerala is getting lot of enquiries from tourists from Russia and Italy, says Suman.
In fact, the Italians are taking a fancy to Kerala among the South Indian states, says E M John, general manager of Iterveda Tours & Services. “We are bringing around 120 tourists from Italy. We are also trying to promote the North Kerala in a big way,” he says.
Another trend observed in the current season is the rise in individual tourists. Says Jose Dominic, managing director of cghearth: “A visible trend is that of alert independent traveller, who contribute to what is called responsible tourism, particularly in the matter of environment.”
There is less demand for pre-scheduled and tailor-made programmes. Also the tourists seem more oriented towards culture than beaches, perhaps because at the time of the booking around six months ago, tsunami could have been at the back of their minds, he says.
The hotel bookings are better than that of last year when tsunami affected the tourist flow. Overall the tourist arrivals are expected to pick up in the current season. “Our hotels are all 100 percent booked,” says T Damu, vice president (corporate affairs), South, Indian Hotels Company Ltd, owning the Taj Hotels.
Apart from the regular tourists, there is a good demand for rooms from those attending weddings and international conferences. Damu feels Kerala could benefit from encouraging new trends like adventure and culture tourism.”
Business Standard Ltd.: “Kerala is not only ‘God’s own country’, but is now also the land of Ayurveda especially until the middle of August.
Tourism in Kerala has got a different dimension during the monsoon season which was hitherto neglected as offseason. But now business is flourishing for tourism thanks to the ayurvedic treatment. This year the season has been a boon to the tourism sector and business.
In Malayalam era Karkidakam is the month of treatment and now-a-days it has become a passion of the people in and outside Kerala. Ayurvedic resorts and hospitals sport ‘housefull’ signs for the special Panchakarma treatment which includes uzhichil, pizhichil, dhara, kizhi and special vegetarian food. The food habit is similar to that of ‘Sathwik Bhojan’ in North India.
Panchakarma treatment has different packages from three days to 21 days according to need of the customer and the cost varies from Rs 5,000-25,000 and more for the various speciality treatments.
Normally in Kerala tourist season ends by April when the monsoons begin. But for the last few years, tourists have pouring into Kerala from abroad for ayurvedic treatment. It is well known that the treatment during the month of Karkidakam is effective for many of the ailments.
In the organised sector of ayurveda treatment the turnover is around Rs 400-500 crore annually and 40 per cent of this comes during the monsoon season, say ayurvedic doctors here.
Incidentally, even health department of the state is does not have a data on the treatment centers and its functioning and there is no control over the working of these centres. Unorganised sector is bigger than the organised sector and there is no official record of their treatment facilities of this sector.
Most of the massage parlours in major cities of Kerala are being run under the cover of ayurveda treatment centres and girls are employed for attracting customers.
Life & Leisure: “Kerala all set for bountiful tourism season
George Joseph / Kochi December 05, 2005
As the God’s own country has geared up for a new tourism season, various sources of the tourism industry are of the opinion that the season would be fairly good.
But the tourism department of Kerala is rather bullish on the new season since the flow of foreign tourists is marginally higher, especially at Kovalam.
During last season 3.43 lakh tourists from abroad had visited Kerala and domestic tourists inflow was to the tune of 59 lakh. Ashok Kumar Singh, additional director, department of tourism told Business Standard that the initial response from the industry was promising as charted flights are on the increase this time.
Interestingly, almost all the hotels of Kerala have been reserved for the entire season and high-end hotels are fully booked till the end of February 2006.
E M Najeeb, chairman, Great India Tour Company and a leading tour operator of Kerala said that according to initial response from the industry there is no growth in the inflow of tourists as expected earlier, but is maintaining the same level as in last season.
He said that the industry expected a good season this time as more charted flights had confirmed their visit to Kerala. Two flights from London on a weekly basis have started coming to Thiruvananthapuram since the beginning of November. He said that chartered flights from Russia would come by the end of January 2006.
Mahan Airlines of Iran has agreed to introduce chartered flights to Kochi this season itself. The government is focussing on tourism sector now since it contributes almost Rs 6,000 crore to the GDP of the state every year.
According to Ashok Kumar Singh this would come to 6.5 per cent of the GDP of Kerala and the foreign exchange earning was to the tune of Rs 1,200 crore during last season. But the major threat to the tou”
Iran News – Mahan Air of Iran starts direct flight to Cochin: “- Mahan Air, a private airline of the Islamic Republic of Iran, started its operation of direct weekly flight on Tehran-Cochin sector, IRNA said.
With the arrival of Mahan Air flight to Cochin in Kerala, India from Tehran on Wednesday, the regular weekly operation of this airline is expected to enhance trade and tourism between the two friendly countries.
A gathering of Iranian and Indian delegation was present at the Cochin airport on the occasion.
Siyavosh Zargar Yaqoubi, the ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to New Delhi in his message read by Mohammad Ahani, deputy chief of the mission said, growth of trade exchange between the two countries has made it imperative to increase direct flight operations.
Presently, direct flights operate between Iran and India on Tehran -Mumbai and Tehran-New Delhi sectors. The direct flight between Tehran and Cochin started from today, is an unprecedented event in the history of transport ties between the two countries.
‘I have no doubt that these few flights do not fully meet the requirements of the ever growing cooperation between the two countries,’ Iran’s ambassador said in his message.
‘I am sure that in future we would witness the establishment of direct flights between different cities of Iran and India as well,’ the message said.
Establishment of direct flights between Tehran and Cochin, in view of the tourist attractions in this state and also good opportunities in the fields of information technology and pharmaceuticals, along with holding of trade exhibitions and joint tours, can greatly contribute to the expansion of cordial relations between the two countries, the message concluded.”
India’s economy grew an annual eight per cent (8%) in the July-September 2005 quarter, beating forecasts due to strong output in services and manufacturing.
And the performance – though less than China’s 9.4 per cent over the same period – has prompted analysts to consider raising their full-year growth forecasts also.
The expansion was marginally below the April-June rate of 8.1 per cent but above analysts’ forecasts of 7.4 per cent growth in gross domestic product (GDP) compared with a year earlier.
“This is much better than expectations. The strength is mainly on account of industry and services with manufacturing continuing to do quite well,” said Rajeev Malik, an economist with JP Morgan.
JP Morgan’s forecast for the financial year to March 2006 was likely to go up to 7.5 per cent from 7.2 per cent, he said.
By comparison, growth in Scotland’s GDP for the current year is expected to be 1.7 per cent, with 1.6 per cent forecast for the UK.
Prospective visitors to India often worry that they are visiting a sub-saharan African country of poverty. They are actually visiting one of the fastest growing and most vibrant economies on the planet.