MEMBER LOGIN
Forgot password?
    • TOP STORIES
    • GALLERY
    • PHOTOS TODAY
  • Sustaining village life- Manisha Pande,CEO, Village Ways

    Village Ways, right from its start in the foothills of the Himalayas, determined that sustainability is key to the survival of rural villages, that economic opportunity is best achieved by encouraging and building on the villagers’ own strengths, skills and knowledge to develop enterprise. Working in partnership with the villagers, they encourage low-key tourism that runs alongside, but does not displace, traditional livelihoods.

     Village Ways works in partnership with each village to establish, develop and manage a unique kind of ethical, responsible tourism. A local tourism enterprise is created with the help of funding through Village Ways, ownership of which is in the hands of villagers. Typically a village-owned guest house is at the centre of the enterprise - if you like - a form of ‘home-stay’ offered by the whole village. The village communities have embraced new roles as hosts, guides, cooks with huge heart. They are happy to undertake regular training to improve steadily their new skills, providing you, their guests, with the warmest of welcomes in a delightfully natural way.

     As a daughter of an Indian Army man, from childhood onward Ms. Manisha, had the opportunity to move place to place within India and that was an important learning experience for a typical Indian Village girl to adapt to different environments. During her college days, she opted to study English Literature to pursue her inclination towards arts and creativity and later completed a course in textile and garment designing to be able to pursue a career as a designer.  

     After her marriage, she moved to her native village with her husband, who is  running a hotel in the Binsar wildlife Sanctuary in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand.  Manisha recalls “While we spent a considerable amount of our time in the area, my husband was very concerned to see villages within the Sanctuary under serious threat of outmigration. He wanted to do something for these villages, so that the communities could have a sustainable future. It was a fortunate chance that some of our friends from India and UK who had varied backgrounds of working in Tourism, handicraft and Rural development sectors, were also very supportive and keen to be involved.  We all focused our thoughts on developing tourism as a possible option for these villages.

    Until then, these villages were largely bypassed by any benefits from tourism, though it is a major source of livelihood within the state as a whole. With efforts from the team, the idea started taking shape and Village Ways emerged as a social enterprise helping rural communities to run their own enterprises to sustain their villages and work with pride and dignity. 
    My initial involvement in Village Ways started mainly to support my husband and our other team members, who had many years of working experience, and I was completely new to this field and lacked any real knowledge. I was also looking after my personal commitments towards my family and particularly as a mother, and so there was much in hand.

     During this early period, however, I was very closely interacting with the local communities, getting to know the challenges they faced, meeting young people who were working in towns and cities to support their families, and meeting women who worked so hard, waking up before sunrise and managing to go to bed only by late night.  These interactions transformed my perspective on life and the motivation of being able to change lives of people in a positive manner through this special kind of tourism, paved the way for my close involvement in rural tourism through Village Ways. 

     After initial years of hard work and learning, I was chosen by my team to take on the overall management of the company and this was something I did not expect, as I was not sure if I will be able to balance my various responsibilities of life.  However I was very proud that my team had bestowed their trust on my capabilities and I did work very hard and kept my mind open to learning from others and to manage situations patiently.  I would have faced many challenges in this role, had it not been the support and encouragement from our team, the village communities we work with and also from my family.

     I am still learning and there is much more to learn!

     • What are the challenges that you faced when you entered in this sector?

     The main challenges for us at the starting phase, were to mobilize the communities to get involved in a collective approach of Tourism where we aimed to benefit the community as a whole. It was also a task for us to motivate them to take initiatives and regain the faith on their abilities and skills.

     We had no support from any funding agency and it was not possible to start without any capital available to spend on the project. Human resource was also a difficulty considering our limited resources.

     However we overcame these challenges because of our hard work as a team and we did not leave any stone unturned to keep things moving and the project took off successfully in 5 villages of Binsar, with our first guest arriving in 2006.

     • What are the progress and development that you initiated in the current arena?

     The outcome of our initiative is the creation of 23 village-owned and run guest-houses across India and Nepal, including three tented camps and one houseboat, and the employment of people from 261 families in those villages. Impacts include a reduction in out-migration, with young people choosing to stay in their home villages and work as guides, and an increase in transferrable skills through the training provided.  Our village communities are now also training other community members from different states.

    Since we started, our stress was on involving women in all sides of the business. I am very proud of our all women sales team, our many women guides who guide our guests, our many housekeepers who participate in running of their village guest - houses, our lady porters who walk up the hill carrying luggage and return back with the grass for their livestock. They are balancing their household responsibilities with a professional life to bring in the much -needed income to run their families and to build the confidence in their skills.

    • More women entrepreneurs are now enter into the Social arena of Travel & hospitality sector today. What is the advice you give to such young women?

     Each one of us can make a positive difference by getting involved. The results may not be immediate, but if good time is spent in researching about different aspects, before making an entry, that will be very helpful in the longer run.  I would also say that we must use our creativity and have faith in our ideas and beliefs, as that helps us to create something positive for the community and overcome any challenges.

     • Compared to men, how women can enhance this industry from a woman-point of view?

    Women have a natural talent and attitude for hospitality and administration. And I think these are the key factors in Tourism, as everything begins with natural hospitality and good administration. Therefore I feel that women can enhance the different experiences of Tourism by using their creativity and their caring and alert attitude.

      What is the future of Responsible & Rural Tourism sector in India? Do you have any suggestion to authorities and tourism industry stake holders to take this into next level?

     India has a very good potential to develop Rural Tourism and there are many parts of our country, which can offer some of the most unique experiences and opportunities for travellers to understand local life and to immerse in our rich traditional and cultural heritage. However, the way to make this work,  is only possible when efforts from Public and private sectors are collaborated to create something for the betterment of the local communities. If each effort works independently without any consultations from each other, there is no collective responsibility created in Tourism. ‘’Responsible Tourism is only possible when each stakeholder takes the responsibility of its impacts’’. 

    ...
  • Chitra Gurnani Daga , CEO of Thrillophilia Adventure Tours

    The passion for travel with a firm belief that India as a destination has abundant opportunities when it comes to adventure travel and local experiences which sown the seed of Thrillophilia in Chitra Gurnani Daga and she co-founded  Thrillophilia Adventure Tours Pvt Ltd. with her husband Abhishek Daga in 2009.

    Over the years, Thrillophilia has evolved from being an online service provider to being a marketplace connecting vendor partners and customers with more than 10,000+ activities, tours and excursions. Our business model is similar to that of any marketplace where any transaction happening results in vendor partners getting business and we are getting a certain percentage for helping them acquire customers. 

     Chitra a MBA graduate served at SAP labs is a woman who loves to take risks and  very passionate about traveling, exploring and seeking adventure.Both she and her husband have a passion for adventure and on one such adventure break when they realized a business opportunity with unprecedented potential and jumped into it.

    Chitra said “We, at Thrillophilia curate unique, genuinely local and high quality travel experiences. Our customers love how we add thrill to their regular holidays and make them truly memorable. Our suppliers love how we simplify business operations and sales for them and let them focus on the core of their outdoor business.USP of Thrillophilia is the understanding and the learning  developed over the years which have helped us tremendously in not only getting to know our customers but also to develop phenomenal outdoor products while at the same time delivering exceptional customer service”.

     She added that the reason why Thrillophilia is doing well is mainly due to the fact that it is not like a me-too online activities platform or a rip off of some business model operating in some part of this world. We ourselves encountered a problem while wanting to book an adventure based activity and that’s when this idea came. So, essentially, in a largely disorganized market, full of chaos, wrong commitments and unpleasant experiences, this came as an opportunity and more importantly, we are solving a real world problem.

     Thrillophilia has started, when other Traditional and many prominent Travel companies are struggling to survive and many  OTA’s have holiday travel as one of the offerings amongst a plethora of categories and if we further deep dive into it, then we will come across adventure travel which will constituent a very small part of their overall business, hence the low focus.

     Travel as a sector has undergone a 360 degrees’ evolution. Gone are the days when you would be visiting a palace in Amber (in Jaipur) and a guide would be vomiting all that he parroted about the history of this monument. I mean, why would I waste my time listening to something that I can google and read on Wikipedia? Today’s travel is all about storytelling. I fondly remember all the stories that my grandmother told me not because they were extra ordinary stories (some were) but because of the manner in which they were told. Travelers today are looking for stories associated with places all the more because they kind of relate to them. These stories could be about the place, the food, the culture, the people and so on.

     In today’s world where there is practically no time even to meet your relatives (though you live in the same town!), social media is the one platform where one can meet all his friends and family virtually and share his stories, pictures, statuses etc… and that’s when we realized that this is the medium through which we need to create and communicate stories of our travelers. Another reason why platforms like Fb, Instagram have become so popular is that all the travellers are looking for that at least one instagrammable picture from the holiday to brag about and what better place than the social networks to post the same!

     As an experienced traveler and inspiring women entrepreneur Chitra have a word of warning to upcoming entreprenuers, My  sincere advice to them would be to do something only with their 200% heart and soul. Don’t get into travel because you see Thrillophilia as a success or you see me as an inspiration. Do it because you want to do it. Do it because this is your passion. And once you get into it, give it your best shot and keep giving it each day















    Tourism India,India's Travel Magazine,Kerala, India.


    .

    ...
"image_1384506043.jpeg","image_1382369302.jpeg","image_1382360537.jpeg","image_1473510208.jpeg"
  • HEAD LINES
  • EDITOR'S WORD

Strong outbound trends in 2017

All top 25 source markets reported higher spending on international tourism in 2017, reflecting continued strong demand for international tourism across all world regions. China consolidated its leadership as the biggest spender in travel abroad in 2017 with US$ 258 billion in expenditure (+5% in local currency). As highlighted in the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer both emerging and advanced economies fuelled growth, led by the United States which spent US$ 12 billion more on trav ...

More » More Stories »

Polar Escapes ; Enjoy uncertainty with a quiet smile

Every travel experience helps to change your outlook slightly, maybe travel is the only way to ease people into accepting everyone and situations, teaching you how to go with the flow.Sometimes, it’s a way to connect us with the elements of nature. Travelling sets people on a path towards the infinite vastness and abundance of the universe but it’s up to the traveler to choose how to traverse through this path. Bringing a state of mind which allows one to embrace uncertainty with a smile and ... ?>...

Under Construction
Under Construction
Under Construction
Under Construction
FOOD

Taj in a Chai mood

Guests can  choose  the  experiences from traditional colonial afternoon tea experiences, to the signature spiced Masala  Chai served on the streets of India  spanning the length and breadth of the Indian subcontinent and beyond. The iconic Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts Safaris offers some of the most exclusive and exotic afternoon tea offerings at their hotels. Royal ChaiTo celebrate the upcoming Royal Wedding between ...
More »
TOURISM EDUCATION

Give Wings to Your Aviation Dreams

Speed Wings Aviation Academy: /Give Wings to Your Aviation DreamsSpeed wings aviation academy, a pioneer in aviation training, with two decades of legacy, experience and expertise got an endorsement from IATA and DGCA to provide training in cargo and DGR (dangerous good regulation). It is the only certified and authentic institute to give training in DGR. The IATA ratified Speed Wings to start their three new courses relating to DGA; IATA Unit lo ...
More »
NEWS

World's 1st underwater CEO conference at Kovalam.

Kerala Tourism has always tried to maintain, a momentum to keep their destinations are pro active and an experiential one to tourists. The Government and Industry stake holders are working in a tandem and this synergy turns Kerala- God’s Own Country as one of the most happening place in the Indian Sub Continent.     Recently few of the senior corporate leaders under Mr. Raj Gopaal Iyer, a Professional Hotelier joined toge ...
More »
PRODUCTS LAUNCH

Iconic Indian Motorcycle® Vroom into the IT Capital of India, Bengaluru

2015 Ultra-luxurious Indian® Roadmaster™ and Indian® Chief Dark Horse® unveiledDealership in Bengaluru inaugurated by Mr. Scott Wine, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer; Mr. Bennett J. Morgan, President & Chief Operating Officer; and Mr. Michael Dougherty, Vice President - Asia Pacific & Latin America from Polaris Industries Inc.; and Mr. Pankaj Dubey, Managing Director, Polaris India Pvt. Ltd. Keys of the legendary Indian® ...
More »
ADVENTURE TRAVEL

The Q Experiences 'Luxury Travel' Reimagined as The White Continent

After the successful completion of the maiden journey to the icy continent of Antarctica in December 2017,  The Q Experiences, also known as the storytellers, design handcrafted luxury journeys to rare locations,  announced The White Continent 2018. Bring in 2019 in the white wilderness of Antarctica, as the 14 days voyage begins on 27th December 2018, with a 2 days stay in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Moreover, The White Continent 2018 is ...
More »
DESTINATION EXPERIENCE

MTDC TO REVIVE STATE’S FORT HISTORY

The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has planned to revive the iconic Sewri Fort in Mumbai as a pilot project. The success of the project could be replicated to all other forts which are not by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) or the state directorate. A proposal to revive tourism and to attract more tourists, at a cost of Rs. 11 crores at Sewri Fort \" famous as a location to spot the migratory Flamingoes \" ...
More »
TRAVEL

Self-Drive 365 by Cox & Kings to redefine travel

For those who wish to see the world from behind the wheel, Self-Drive 365 brings the freedom to veer off the main road, that excitement to head down a turn one never took, liberty to find out about a place that few know of, and that pristine connection between man, machine and the road.Self-Drive 365 , powered by Cox & Kings  aims to encourage travellers to discover and be a one-stop road trip planner while offering a wide array of road- ...
More »
DESTINATION MANAGERS

Kuoni - SOTClaunches in Prabhadevi&Margoa

Kuoni -SOTC, India’s leading Tour Operator, has announced the launch of its new outlets in Prabhadevi, a small up-scale southern neighbourhood of Mumbai and at Margoa, a bustling commercial centre and cultural capital of the Indian state of Goa. A thriving residential district, situated near a major landmark, the Siddhivinayak Temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha, Prabhadevi attracts hundreds of devotees every day. The PrabhadeviStore wa ...
More »
ART & CULTURE

Conversations and Salon@ Art Basel Hong Kong

Conversations and Salon: Art Basel announces details of its talks program in Hong Kong Bringing together leading artists, curators, gallerists, collectors, and critics from across the world, Art Basel’s talks program in Hong Kong will again offer dynamic discussions between prominent figures of the international art world. Featured artists include Nadim Abbas, Chim↑Pom, Chow Chun Fai, Chu Hing Wah, Fiona Hall, Kwan Sheung Chi, Lam Tun ...
More »
HOTELS PROMOTIONS

THE LEELA LAUNCHES CRICKET SERIES WITH GUJARAT TRADE PARTNERS

THE LEELA LAUNCHES THE FIRST EVER PREMIER LEAGUE CRICKET SERIES WITH GUJARAT TRADE PARTNERS  The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts, one of India’s leading luxury hospitality group, announced the launch of its first edition of “The Leela Gujarat Premier League”, a unique cricket property to celebrate the Group’s partnership with its esteemed trade partners.  The special floodlit evening at Umiya Farms, Ahmedabad, saw ...
More »
ENTERTAINMENT

THALAIVAR STORMS ON TO TWITTER

SUPERSTAR RAJINIKANTH PARTNERS WITH FLUENCE TO MANAGE HIS DIGITAL PRESENCE DEBUTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA WITH TWITTER One of India’s most prolific and influential superstars, the inimitable Rajinikanth, makes his much awaited debut on Twitter today ( 05.05.2014). This also marks the superstar’s debut in the digital space. CA Media Digital’s first venture, Fluence - India’s leading celebrity digital network, will manage Rajinikanth’s ...
More »
TRAVEL EVENTS

MEETINGS draws record number of exhibitors

A record number of exhibitors have registered for the business events industry’s premier trade show MEETINGS. More than 180 exhibitors from all over New Zealand will be ready to book business at the Auckland ASB Show grounds when MEETINGS 2014 opens on June 18. Among them are several newcomers to the business events industry, including Wanaka-based Peak Functions and Auckland-based Team Up Events. Team Up Events has only been in busines ...
More »
TECHNOLOGY

CHINA INTRODUCES SMART CARDS

China will issue smart cards to gradually replace current paper permits for those commuting between the mainland and Hong Kong and Macao. The Ministry of Public Security will launch a pilot programme in Guangdong province in south China adjacent to Hong Kong and Macao and applications for the permit open starting May 20. Similar to an e-passport and permit has an integrated circuit chip containing personal information, fingerprints and entry ...
More »
AWARDS

HolidayIQ announces superior Holiday Awards

HolidayIQ, India’s largest travel community announced the best in Indian travel and tourism at The Better Holiday Awards recently. This annual tourism award has been established to celebrate the sheer beauty in diversity that India offers and equally importantly acknowledges the role of the Indian traveller that is driving Indian tourism like never before. The award ceremony was attended by a host of dignitaries including Mr. Suresh Pr ...
More »
HOSPITALITY TRENDS

DINNER IN THE SKY IN BRUSSELS

This is a unique event meant for anyone who wishes to transform an ordinary meal or meeting into a magical moment that will leave a lasting impression on their guests!Dinner in the Sky is hosted at a table suspended at a height of 50 metres, by a team of professionals. As shown in the 2014 Michelin Guide, Brussels has become an essential part of the European gastronomic scene. With its 19 starred restaurants, Brussels stands at a good posit ...
More »
CRUISES

FIFA WORLD CUP COCA-COLA PARTY @ ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES

ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL TO HOST THE ONLY COCA-COLA PARTY AT SEA CELEBRATING THE 2014 FIFA WORLD CUP Fútbol, Football, Soccer Matches to be Broadcast Fleet-wide Throughout June and July 2014 Royal Caribbean International today announced a partnership with Coca-Cola to bring the excitement of the most prestigious soccer competition in the world to its fleet with The Coca-Cola Party at Sea celebrating the 2014 FIFA World Cup.  ...
More »
HOSPITALITY

TRADITIONAL LEGACY AT SPRING DALE

Another resort has come up to grace the pristine location of Thekkady, Kerala. Spring Dale Hotels & Resorts, unveiled its premium brand of Resort, Spring Dale Heritage. Located on the banks of the Periyar River, just 12 kms from Thekkady \" Kumily. Spring Dale Heritage provides a complete range of premium services and traditional ambience. Dr. Thomas Rony, Director of Spring Dale Hotels & Resorts said, “Spring Dale Heritage dr ...
More »
Hotels

UDS Kovalam & La Classic Bengaluru shies @ World Luxury Hotel Awards

Once again the World Luxury Ho­tel Awards turned the spotlight on some of the world’s most sought after hotels, lodges, resorts & private islands as they scooped the world’s most prestigious honors for luxury hotels and several luxury hotel from India crowned the glory along with their counter parts from across the world at the annual red-carpet Gala event hosted by the world-renowned Pan Pacific Kuala Lumpur Interna­tional Airport ...
More »
Appointment

Zoe Wall Joins MSpa International as Group Director of Spa-Asia

From the Caribbean to the Middle East and now Asia, Zoe Wall brings a wealth of global experience and a unique record of success to her new role as Group Director of Spa-Asia at Minor Hotel’s MSpa International in Bangkok.Zoe displays an all-rounder approach to the job, having worked her way up from spa therapist at sea to GM of a consultancy for five-star properties in the Middle East and Indian Ocean. Her particular strengths lie in pre-opening development and large-scale operations, and she ...
More »
Airline News

More wings to fly under Udan scheme

UDAN, the regional airport development and "Regional Connectivity Scheme" (RCS) of Government of India, will spread its wings to all under served destinations. UDAN Scheme which have  the objective of "Let the common citizen of the country fly" and aims to make  air travel affordable and widespread, to boost inclusive national economic development, job growth and air transport infrastructure development of all regions and states of Indi ...
More »
Destination Review
Udupi, 60 km north of Mangalore, Karnataka has been rightly described by Sarojini Naidu, India’s famous poetess as ‘Nandanavana’ (garden of pleasure’). It is renowned for its rich cultural heritage and literary traditions and is also one of the most sacred spots in the country. The Vaishnavite coastal town is the birth place of the 12th century saint Madhawacharya, who set up eight sanyasi matts. The famous Krishna temple situated in the heart of the town is a celebrated place ...
More »
With its central location, warm climate, beautiful parks, acclaimed hotels, fine dining, health and wellness offerings and storied past, the city Beverly Hills is the destination of choice in Southern California. More than 100 years since Beverly Hills grew from a lima bean farm, this picturesque and walkable city has become the crown jewel of greater Los Angeles. Scratch the surface of many current Beverly Hills attractions to discover part of the city’s rich history. Once home...
More »

GRAND HYATT KOCHI BOLGATTY OPENS

Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty, the first Hyatt brand hotels in Kerala has officially opened its door for guests, on April 28, 2018. The 264-room luxury hotel is a waterfront urban resort situated in Kochi backwaters is the third Grand Hyatt branded hotel in India. Mr. Pianarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister of Kerala inaugurated the Grand Hyatt Kochi...

More »

The Spaces at Cocoon Maldives…

Cocoon Maldives blends the best of Italian design with the Maldives’ stunning natural beauty, all set against the backdrop of the azure Indian Ocean. All of the villas and suits in Cocoon Maldives have interiors that are exclusively designed by Lago, an award-winning Italian designer. Cocoon’s 150 guest villas blends Maldives’ natural beauty ...

More »