Anil Mohan

Refurbished Gateway Hotel Gir Forest opens

The Gateway Hotel Gir Forest, located just outside the popular Gir National Park has re-opened its doors for guests. Set in an idyllic setting, the property is perfect for a relaxing holiday. Farhat Jamal, Senior Vice President -Operations(West India) & Africa, Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces said, “We are pleased to welcome guests once again. It is the ideal time of the year to watch the majestic Asiatic lion and wildlife or indulge in a cultural expedition to interesting historical places like Junagadh and Gondal.” The Gateway Hotel Gir Forest, is a nature lover’s getaway. With its rich surroundings of dry deciduous and tropical thorn forests, the hotel faces the Hiran River to offer a picturesque and serene setting, away from the bustle of the city.  Home to the Asiatic lion, the Sasan Gir Forest is one of the only two natural habitats of this subspecies around the world. The latest census recorded the lion count in Gir at 411.  The leopard, jungle cat, rusty spotted cat, cheetal, sambhar, four-horned antelope, wild boar and hare are also easy to spot here, along with over 200 species of avifauna. Also integral to the experience will be the jungle safaris, the hotel will provide in an open Gypsy. For those who prefer a cultural expedition instead, the hotel is also close to various temples such as the Somnath, Banej and Kankai Temple, and historical destinations such as Junagadh, Gondal and Rajkot.

Read More »

IRCTC to partner with self-help groups to boost e-catering

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is planning to tie up with a string of self-help groups (SHGs) and include the famed culinary skills of Indian women to the food served on the country’s trains, in order to enhance its e-catering portfolio. The empanelled SHGs will be displayed on e-catering websites with their menu and prices. Passenger may choose meal or food items offered by SHGs and place the order. This will help in sustainable development of SHGs. “The proposed association with SHGs is part of our plan to empower women,” said IRCTC Chairman and Managing Director Dr AK Manocha. “The initiative aims to develop local communities and ensure all-inclusive growth,” he added. He noted that India has no less than one crore SHGs, mostly functioning in rural and semi-urban areas with 10 to 20 members (majority women) per group. “We plan to collaborate with some of them which are into making food items,” he added. “The finer points will evolve clear in the weeks to come.” Currently, IRCTC provides e-catering facility in all the trains passing through the most important 45 stations of Indian Railways. It also provides food to 1516 trains without pantry cars. The food is directly delivered by the vendor on the berth/ seat of the passenger. In its e-catering service which facilitates supply of food on ordering two hours before boarding the train, IRCTC is already in a collaboration with Foodpanda, KFC, Domino’s, Street Foods, Wimpy, TFS, Jan Aahar, Mio Amore, Alibaba, Cafe Lite, Hello Curry and Ratna Cafe besides IRCTC Food Plaza and IRCTC Fast Food Units. The e-catering facility allows passengers to have food of their choice at agreeable prices while travelling. …

Read More »

J&K to organise 15 roadshows starting Jan 15

Jammu & Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC) is all set to organise 15 roadshows across the country starting January 15, 2016. Farooq A. Shah, Secretary Tourism, Jammu & Kashmir and Managing Director, JKTDC, said that Jammu will emerge as an independent tourist destination. “This year Jammu festival will be organised at a large scale to showcase the rich culture tradition and heritage of Jammu and will showcase its immense unexplored tourism potential through these roadshows. Conducted in all metro cities like Hyderabad, Pune, Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai and more, the roadshows will also have 10 food festivals organised in specific towns and cities across the country to attract maximum visitors to the state of Jammu & Kashmir. These roadshow will be professionally organised to reach out to the majority of the relevant market segments, which are important for Jammu & Kashmir tourism.    

Read More »

Now, V Resorts Black for luxury stays

V Resorts has launched a distinct V Resorts Black collection, which includes properties that are ingeniously designed to blend with the environment, the buildings aesthetically sculpted to fit the natural contours of the hills or plains. Some resorts are built using reclaimed wood and stone from old dilapidated British Era barracks, while others are built around the forest areas to accommodate the existing foliage. Each experience is curated to delight the guests – from bush dinners by lanterns in the wildlife reserves, to breakfasts served on private decks overlooking a quiet stream. The guests are escorted through their journey by a private butler, dedicated to serve them during the course of their stay. The local chefs prepare food inspired by traditional cuisines – Jungli Maas or a Rathathani Ker Sangri, Grilled Rainbow trout in Manali, Bhang ki chutney / Aloo ka gutka in Uttarakhand, Lobsters Kohlapuri in Maharasthra and many more. Each meal can be experienced under the stars, or while picnicking amidst vineyards, pine forests and the like. Entrenched within the concept of local experiences the Black collection of resorts also houses beautifully crafted local products made by the village artisans – hand knit woolens from Umang – an all women’s initiative, beauty products from SOS Organics and homemade jams, herbs and other delectable’s from V Resorts very own Old Forest.  

Read More »

15,000+ visitors expected at MP Water Festival

Madhya Pradesh Tourism is organising Jal Mahotsava (Water Festival) from February 12-21, 2016, to attract domestic and international tourists. The festival will be organised at Hanuwantiya Water Sport Complex, which was inaugurated on December 26, 2015. “The water complex has already seen a good response. Nearly 4,000 visitors have been recorded at the facility. The estimated number of visitors for Water Festival is approximately 15,000 to 20,000, which includes both domestic and international tourists. We are also trying to provide value additions to Indore, Mandu, Omkareshwar and Maheshwar for night stays to be clubbed with the festival,” said Commander Rajendra Nigam, Advisor, Madhya Pradesh Tourism for Adventure and Water Sports. “We are also offereing Fam tours to agents to promote the region better,” added Nigam. Regional Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation (MPSTDC), has set up 120 tents to accommodate visitors at the festival where water sports like jetty, floating house boats, cruises, two speed boats, water scooters, water para sailing and peddle boats will be organised apart from Food and Craft Bazar.  

Read More »

Helicopter tours in Mumbai

The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has signed a MoU with Pawan Hans to start city tours on a helicopter for tourists from January 7, 2016. The helicopter flights will take off from Juhu airport and fly north, keeping to the city’s west so as not to interfere with air traffic to/from Mumbai airport. The base fare of approximate Rs 320 per minute excluding taxes has been arrived at between the state government and Pawan Hans. A 10 minute inaugural launch ride will cost about Rs 3200, per person. Paraag Jaiin Nainuttia, IAS, MD of MTDC, said, “Initially two choppers will be in service for Mumbai Darshan. The idea is to provide an enthralling experience to the tourists and boost potential tourism in state. Gradually, we will shift rides and tours to south Mumbai and then to Matheran, Murud-Janjira, Aurangabad (Ajanta-Ellora), Nashik, Shirdi, Konkan beaches and Tadoba forest near Nagpur.” Bookings can be made at Pawan Hans’s reservation number 022 2626 1700 or at MTDC reservation office. Government issued photo identity will be required to make the booking.

Read More »

Punjab flags off Tirth Yatra train

Sukhbir Singh Badal, Deputy CM, Punjab, flagged off the first Tirth Yatra train from Amritsar railway station to Takht Sachkhand Sri Hazoor Sahib, Nanded. Eleven trains to different pilgrimages are set to be launched in January under the Mukh Mantri Tirath Yatra Yojana. Speaking on the occasion, Sukhbir Singh Badal said, “Punjab government has been working relentlessly to preserve and promote the precious heritage of Punjab. It is our duty to transfer the rich cultural legacy of Punjab to the future generations. Furthermore, the cultural heritage will also boost the heritage tourism in the state and will be critical in building sustainable visitor economy. Mukh Mantri Tirath Yatra Yojana is yet another attempt of the Punjab government to preserve and promote majestic culture and royal heritage of Punjab.” The train comprising of 18 coaches can accommodate 1,080 pilgrims and its pantry can cater to 1500 passengers. The train will return on 6 January and the pilgrims will be provided transportation, boarding and lodging facilities free of cost. Audios of chanting of hymns will also be played in the train. Seven more such trains will ply for Nanded Sahib from Maur (Bathinda), Sri Anandpur Sahib, Tarn Taran, Patiala, Batala (Gurdaspur), Sri Muktsar Sahib and Beas in this month. Apart from the trains to the famous Sikh pilgrimage, two trains to Varanasi from Ludhiana and Jalandhar and one to Ajmer Shariff from Malerkotla will also start in January. 11 more Tirth Yatra trains are planned to start in January and February under this scheme. Tirath Yatra trains to Katra for Maa Vaishno Devi and to Chennai for Basilica in San Thome built over tomb of St Thomas, an apostle of Jesus, are …

Read More »

VFS to train TAAI members

The new Managing Committee at the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) has initiated a training workshop on visas for its members along with VFS Global this month. Bhagwan Ramnani, TAAI Managing Committee Member and Chairman – Allied Services Committee, said, that the joint visa training program for TAAI members will be pan India. “This is being conducted for the first time. Member training is our priority. This will begin in the second week of January on a quarterly basis in conjunction with the Regional/Chapter meetings of TAAI. There are regular changes in visa processes and most embassies and consulates work with VFS Global. Hence TAAI had talks with them to conduct training sessions for our members across India on visa processing, which will not only enhance their knowledge but enable them to share it with their clients.” The first phase will be to interact with personnel from VFS Global and consulates and embassies. The second will be to impart knowledge and conduct training for front line staff by VFS Global in association with TAAI. The training will commence in Gujarat and Kolkata, followed by Southern and Northern India.

Read More »

SA Tourism’s 4-city roadshows from Jan 18

After successfully conducting multi-city roadshows pan India in 2015 along with the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), South Africa Tourism is back with its second round of shows in Kolkata (January 18, Monday), Delhi (January 19, Tuesday), Hyderabad (January 21, Thursday) and finally reaching Mumbai again (January 22, Friday). These shows will strive to give greater insight into the wide selection of experiences that South Africa has to offer – from adventure to shopping, nature and culture.

Read More »