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  • 37.5% to its GDP and will support over 750,000 jobs by 2020

    Latest Oxford Economics Report examines continued impact of aviation sector on Dubai’s economy and projects continued growth beyond 2020 

    Emirates airline, Dubai Airports and the aviation sector as a whole contributed $26.7 billion to the Dubai economy in 2013, which was almost 27% of Dubai’s GDP and supported a total of 416,500 jobs accounting for 21% of the emirates’ total employment. These figures were based on the latest report “Quantifying the Economic Impact of Aviation in Dubai” conducted by global research firm, Oxford Economics, as a follow-up to a 2011 study done by the same firm.

    The objective of the report was to quantify the economic impact of the aviation sector and its subsequent Dubai-based supply chain. In addition, the report explains the benefits that aviation brought to Dubai’s economy in 2013 in terms of gross value added (GVA)** and employment, and provides forecasts for the sector and its knock-on effects in 2020 and 2030.

    The report re-affirms aviation’s growing significance as a major engine of economic development, and its far-reaching contributions to other industries as a catalyst for a spectrum of economic activity.

    “Dubai’s success stems from a clear vision, careful planning, and collaborative execution. It is no accident that we are a global aviation hub today. It has taken us years to build up the critical competencies and infrastructure that we have today, and we now have a solid base on which to further develop. We will continue to take a consensus-based approach to infrastructure investment, embrace open competition, and focus on opening up and connecting markets through efficient operations. At the end, we want Dubai to be the top choice for international travellers and traders - as a destination, and as a transport hub,” said HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, Chairman of Dubai Airports and President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority.

    Core impact of aviation: It is estimated that the aviation sector, including the Emirates Group, Dubai Airports, and other aviation businesses such as airlines flying into Dubai, regulatory authorities and Dubai Duty Free, had a core impact of US$16.5 billion GVA in 2013. This includes direct, indirect and induced contributions and is equal to 16.5% of Dubai’s GDP, supporting over 259,000 Dubai based jobs.

    Moreover, for every $100 of activity in the aviation sector, a further $72 is added in other sectors of the local economy from supply chain connections and expenditures. For every 100 jobs created in aviation, an additional 116 jobs are created elsewhere in Dubai.

    Tourism benefits: Aviation has proved to be an indispensable catalyst for the growth of Dubai’s tourism industry. Tourism and travel activities in 2013 had an economic impact of $10.2 billion GVA supporting a further 157,100 jobs. In 2013, Dubai welcomed nearly 10 million non-UAE visitors who spent $13 billion, accounting for around 1% of foreign visitor spend globally that year. The success of Dubai as a destination has been a public and private effort to invest in world-class aviation and tourism infrastructure to support the influx of visitors. The results have paid dividends and Dubai currently captures a 0.4% share of the world’s business and tourism traffic, double the share it had in 2000.

    Connectivity: One of Dubai’s greatest assets is its enhanced connectivity. In 2013, Oxford estimated that passengers could connect from Dubai to 25 cities (or 81% of world cities) with populations of over 10 million people. Overall, Dubai had direct passenger flight connections to 149 cities with populations of over 1 million people, creating potential export markets of over 916 million people, or 13% of the world’s population. Cargo tonnage between 1990-2013 handled in Dubai has grown on average of 13.5% per year, compared to global average trade volumes of 5.6% per year.

    The passenger and cargo connectivity provided from Dubai has positively impacted Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and trade. It also has provided greater access to foreign markets, encouraging exports, and increasing competition in the local economy, benefiting consumers.

    Economic benefits in 2020 and 2030

    Between 2014 and 2020, the contribution of the aviation sector to Dubai’s economy is expected to grow at a faster rate than the economy as a whole, on the back of strong growth in international passenger traffic and cargo. The sector’s airline and airport capacity continues to expand to accommodate for growing demand.

    Using industry growth forecasts and modelling projections based on current expansion plans for Dubai International (DXB) and Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC), it is estimated that the overall economic impact of both aviation and tourism related activities will rise to a robust $53.1 billion in 2020. This will be equivalent to 37.5% of Dubai’s GDP, supporting over 754,500 Dubai-based jobs.

    By 2020, it is estimated that Emirates will fly 70 million passengers, and the airline and its partners are already progressing plans for the right infrastructure to be in place to support and capitalise on passenger growth. The same year, Dubai expects to welcome over 20 million visitors for Expo 2020. Projects to support the six month mega-event in Dubai are already underway. This includes a sizable increase in airport capacity which encompasses expansion of airspace, airfield, stands and terminal areas to allow Dubai International to accommodate 60% more aircraft stands by 2015, and service 90 million passengers by 2018. By 2020, Dubai International is estimated to receive 126.5 million passengers, almost 30% higher than its original 2010 assessments.

    Looking further ahead, the total economic impact of aviation by 2030 is projected to grow to $88.1 billion and will support 1,194,700 jobs.

    A summary of the report and the full Oxford Economics report, “Quantifying the Economic Impact of Aviation in Dubai,” can be found at:

    *The Oxford Economics Report only quantifies the direct, indirect, induced and tourism benefits, and do not attempt to put a value on ‘connectivity benefits’ as in the 2011 report Explaining Dubai’s Aviation Model. For comparison, the direct, indirect, induced and tourism benefits in the 2011 report totalled US$19.6 billion, or 24% of GDP.

    **Gross Value Added (GVA) is defined as the contribution an institution, company or industry makes to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The sum of GVA contributions of all Dubai organizations is equal to Dubai GDP. In simple terms GVA is understood as turnover minus the cost of bought-in goods and services used in the production process.

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  • Resource efficiency, conservation, and new technologies are the focus of a new international partnership on sustainable tourism

    A new international programme that aims to catalyze a shift to more sustainable tourism over the next decade was launched at the World Travel Market in London this week.

    The Sustainable Tourism Programme of the Ten-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns (10YFP) will be led by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) of the United Nations and the Governments of France, the Kingdom of Morocco and the Republic of Korea, with the support of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which hosts the 10YFP Secretariat.

    Tourism is today one of the largest and fastest-growing economic sectors in the world. It contributes 9 per cent to global GDP, accounts for one in 11 jobs worldwide, and for 6 per cent of global exports. By 2030, UNWTO forecasts that there will be 1.8 billion international tourism arrivals annually.

    If not sustainably managed however, tourism can deplete natural resources leading to water shortages, loss of biodiversity, land degradation and contribute to climate change and pollution, among other impacts. Tourism’s contribution to global warming is estimated at 5 per cent of global CO2 emissions.

    UNEP’s 2011 Green Economy Report reveals that under a ‘business-as-usual’ scenario, projected tourism growth rates to 2050 will result in increases in energy consumption by 154 per cent, greenhouse gas emissions by 131 per cent, water consumption by 152 per cent, and solid waste disposal by 251 per cent.

    “As tourism continues to grow, so too will the pressures on the environment and wildlife. Without proper management and protection, as well as investments in greening the sector, ecosystems and thousands of magnificent species will suffer,” said UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.

    "Tourism has been identified by UNEP as one of the ten economic sectors best able to contribute to the transition to a sustainable and inclusive green economy. This important initiative is about steering the industry onto a truly sustainable path -- one that echoes to the challenge of our time: namely the fostering of a global Green Economy that thrives on the interest, rather than the capital, of our economically important nature-based assets." he added.

    UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai said, “As the leading organization for tourism, the World Tourism Organization seeks to maximize tourism’s contribution to development while minimizing its negative impacts. UNWTO is pleased to be at the helm of such an important initiative and to be collaborating with governments and institutions to implement the 10YFP Sustainable Tourism Programme.”

    For example, in the Galapagos Islands and Palau, visitors pay an entry tax to protected areas, which are sometimes referred to as ‘green fees’. The revenues generated from these fees - which in Palau’s case is US$1.3 million annually since 2009 - are used to support conservation and sustainable human development.

    The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Tourism Trends and Policies 2012, reports that, as the importance of the tourism sector continues to grow in OECD countries, the greatest challenge to achieving sustainable tourism is horizontal and vertical policy coordination.

    Addressing these challenges is the mandate of the 10YFP Sustainable Tourism Programme as it strives to achieve major shifts in tourism policies and stimulate greater sustainability within the tourism supply chain. A collaborative initiative, the programme aims to improve resource efficiency, management effectiveness, and the use of new technologies to promote sustainable consumption and production patterns in this key sector.

    As the most visited tourism destination in the world, France highly values the preservation of its rich culture and natural heritage. This is fundamental to maintain the quality of a destination which receives 85 million tourists a year.

    Building on its support to sustainable tourism, as former Chair of the International Task Force on Sustainable Tourism Development, and former Chair of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism, France will pursue its commitment by co-leading this programme. France’s experience in this regard will be of benefit to the 10YFP and partners in this important programme.

    Dr Lahcen Haddad, Minister of Tourism for the Kingdom of Morocco, emphasises that the aim of Morocco’s new Vision 2020 is to make the country one of the world’s top 20 tourism destinations, making it a model of sustainable tourism development in the Mediterranean.

    “This ambitious strategy aims to capitalize on and preserve our natural and cultural advantages so that their exploitation yields the most sustainable social and economic benefits for all stakeholders,” said Minister Haddad.

    “By taking this proactive role, Morocco seeks to establish itself as a leading sustainable tourism destination in the Mediterranean. Morocco is committed to the 10YFP and has been since our active participation in the work of the International Task Force and its successor, the ‘Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism”.

    Morocco served as the Chair of this Partnership since 2013 and is delighted to be a co-lead of the 10YFP Sustainable Tourism Programme.”

    Ms. Hyeri Han, Deputy Director of the International Tourism Division of Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, one of the Programme’s co-Leads said, “The Government of the Republic of Korea already integrates principles of sustainability into its tourism policies and is accelerating programme implementation nationally, with the intention of offering best practices and lessons learned on sustainable tourism.”

    Korea has been committed to the promotion of global sustainable tourism and actively supported the process of the inclusion of ‘sustainable tourism’ in the Rio+20 outcome document.

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UNWTO Awards finalists for innovation in tourism announced

The finalists of the 11th UNWTO Ulysses Awards for Innovation in Tourism, one of the three categories in the annual UNWTO Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism, have been announced at Madrid on December 22, 2014. Every year since 2003, the UNWTO Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism have honored tourism initiatives that contribute to advance tourism through knowledge and innovation, in line with the principles of the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and the Un ...

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Air Transport and Tourism to Grow Together

The 2013 UNWTO and WTM Ministers´ Summit at the World Travel Market (WTM) will put a spotlight on the essential connection between air transport and tourism, debating the challenges and opportunities of promoting higher policy coordination between aviation and tourism.

Air transport, being an important factor in outbound or inbound tourism, plays a vital role in foreign tourist arrival in India. Therefore, the discussions on the matter must be considered as important for the tourism industry in the country. New alliances with tourism boards and airlines all around the world is needed  to boost the business. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on all partners and stakeholders involved in passenger travel to work together to deliver greater value to passengers. This is a remarkable decision that will encourage travellers all around the world to visit foreign countries.

Air travel is one of the major part, travellers worried about in their journey. Addressing their issues is the most important thing for the sector to grow their business. According to IATA Director General and CEO, Mr. Tony Tyler, Aviation makes possible $2.2 trillion worth of economic activity and supports about 57 million jobs around the globe. Every day more than 8 million passengers take advantage of the safety, speed and convenience of air travel. Therefore, any new strategy implemented will work as a catalyst that makes big changes.

The alliances by airlines also play a major part in air transport. The recent joining of Qatar Airways in “Oneworld” shows a positive approach by major airlines that hold major part of the market share. These alliances give the consumer better offers, which encourage them to travel frequently. The initiatives by WTM and IATA are expected to give new possibilities for air transport and tourism to grow together. Let's hope for a better connected world that encourages people to travel and make the tourism industry to grow to a new level.

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DESTINATION MANAGERS

Signature Tours new GSA - India for Insight Vacations

Insight Vacations Announces New Appointment of General Sales Agent in India Signature Tours by Creative Travel will promote Europe & US Tours for Insight Insight Vacations (www.insightvacations.com) has announced the new appointment of a General Sales Agent for its Europe and US escorted journeys. Signature Tours by Creative Travel. ‘Signature Tours’ is the outbound holidays division of Creative Travel, one of India’s most we ...
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HOTELS PROMOTIONS

Get Cosy This Winter at The Venetian Macao

Limited-time special Ice World Package available now  The Venetian® Macao, one of the most sought after theme resort in Macau, is launching its newest hotel promotion, the Ice World Package, offering hotel guests exciting benefits, including entry to the exclusive ice sculpture exhibition - Ice World with the DreamWorks Gang, to take advantage of the winter holidays and spirit. Travellers wondering where to cosy up this winter can h ...
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ENTERTAINMENT

Hobbiton brought to life

 The Hobbiton Movie Set is known to be a magical experience as visitors traverse The Shire depicted in the Peter Jackson directed The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies. The Hobbiton Movie Set - an idyllic landscape of green rolling hills and lovingly tended farmland, where Hobbit Holes are framed by wild flowers and bumbling bees - is a glorious experience for Tolkien fans and tourists. So much so it has grown to become one ...
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PRODUCTS

Christmas Classics from the House of Fratelli: SETTE 2010

Christmas is just around the corner and wine lovers are in for a Fratelli kind of treat. Known for excellence in wines, Fratelli has recently launched the SETTE 2010, a SUPERTUSCAN blend from Fratelli’s most premium category. This sumptuous red wine which leaves one with a warm and toasty feeling is the perfect pick to add a thrill to winter festivities. A signature blend of legendry wine maker Piero Masi, Creator Fratelli Wines, SETTE ...
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TOURISM STATISTICS

Foreign Exchange Earnings from Tourism Increases by 7.26 percent in November 2013

Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) from tourism in Rupees terms in November, 2013 increased by  7.26% to Rs.10,429 crore as compared to Rs.9723 crore in November, 2012.  Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in November, 2013 was 7.18 lakh as against 7.01 lakh in November 2012 showing a growth of 1.41%. The following are some of the important highlights regarding FTAs and FEEs from tourism during the month of November, 2013: Foreig ...
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TRAVEL EVENTS

ibtm America- Strong Interest from Regional and International Hosted Buyers

“Exhibitors requesting buyers according to their objectives” Working in partnership with ibtm america exhibitors, the new format 2015 event is in the process of recruiting buyers who exhibitors have specifically requested according to their business objectives. Registrations are currently being qualified and already represent some of the leading associations across the US including: Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Co ...
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TECHNOLOGY @ EVENTS

Travel media to forecast technology trends in tourism at ITMM@Fiturtech2014

Organized by Instituto Tecnológico Hotelero (ITH) and the Spanish International Tourism Trade Fair (FITUR), the International Travel Media Meeting-ITMM@Fiturtech2014 -to take place on Thursday January 23rd 2014 at FITUR, Madrid, Spain will gather international and Spanish journalists specialized in tech and travel industry to advance influence and changes technology may bring to tourism Key international and Spanish travel and technology ...
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TECHNOLOGY

RezNext Global Solutions raises $5 Million from NEA, leading global venture capital firm

RezNext Global Solutions, the world’s leading real-time distribution company has announced that it has raised $5 Millionof funding from New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA), one of the world’s largest and most active venture capital firms, to further accelerate the company’s already impressive growth and customer success. RezNext offers the best in distribution technology for hotels in a real-time environment, helping hotels demyst ...
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AWARDS

Ezeego1.com wins ‘Travel & Tourism Business of the Year’ Award

Award presented at Franchise India’s 5th Annual SME & Small Business Awards Ezeego1.com, India's leading online travel portal has been awarded ‘Travel & Tourism Business of the Year’ at The 5th Annual SME & Small Business Awards presented by Franchise India. These awards recognize unparalleled excellence in micro, small and medium businesses across India. The award ceremony took place on November 27, 2014 at The Lal ...
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TRANSPORTATION

GENIE Cabs Launched in Hyderabad

Genie is an initiative by Meru Cab Company to make a safe and reliable travel experience available to the people of Hyderabad. It is a brand new, professional, pocket friendly Air conditioned  cabs service which intends to revolutionize the regular city travel. Genie Cabs fleet would inherit many of Meru Cabs’ technological advancements and hence ensure a safe, professional and extremely efficient service at affordable prices. Exte ...
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HOTELS

IHG® REWARDS CLUB ANNOUNCES THE NEXT “BIG WIN” HOTEL PROMOTION

More ways for members to win points or miles with customized offers in 2014 InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is kicking off 2014 in a big way by offering loyal IHG® Rewards Club members more opportunities to earn free travel through the next installment of its hotel rewards promotion, “The Big Win.” This is a first of its kind promotion, which provides each loyal guest with an individually tailored set of offers.  "We have ...
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Appointment

Kamal V Rao IAS is the new Secretary, Kerala Tourism

Mr. Ganji Kamala Vardhana Rao, has took charge of  the Secretary, Kerala Tourism on Monday ( 01.12.2014) in place of Mr. Suman Billa IAS, who was posted as Joint Secretary of Tourism, Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India at New Delhi. Mr. Rao will also hold additional charge of Food and Civil Supplies department, Kerala.

Mr. Kamal V Rao, a 1990 batch Indian Administrative Service officer of Kerala Cardre, who has returned to service after putting in his papers while holding the post of Revenue Secretary, Kerala, to take up a private sector job, but the procedures to relieve him from service were not yet completed, paving the way for his return. Mr. Rao hails from East Godavari District of AP  did his M Phil from Hyderabad Central University.

He was earlier held the various posts includes Chairman of Indian Tobacco Board, Private Secretary of Union Minister of State for Human Resources Development Mrs. Purandeswari, Director of Fisheries Department, Director- Culture of Department of Tourism & Culture, Govt of Andhra Pradesh, Managing Director of SC /ST Corporation in AP and the District Collector, Kollam, Kerala. 

Photo Courtesy: The Hindu

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Airline News

Boeing, Kuwait Airways Finalize Order for 10 777-300ERs

Airplanes will play key role in airline's fleet renewal, expansion strategy

World's top airlines use 777-300ER as flagships for long-haul routes

Boeing and Kuwait Airways have finalized an order for 10 777-300ERs (Extended Range), valued at $3.3 billion at list prices.

The order underlines the popularity of the 777-300ER as the preferred long-haul aircraft of many of the world's leading airlines including those from the Middle East. The airline originally announced its intent to order the 777-300ER in November.

"Kuwait Airways has plans to renew its fleet as well as expand its operations and the 777-300ER is a perfect airplane for our strategy," said Rasha Al Roumi, Kuwait Airways CEO. "The airplane has already validated its position in terms of high reliability, low operating costs and fuel efficiency. We are looking forward to having the 777-300ER join our fleet."

The 777-300ER is the most fuel and cost-efficient airplane in its class today with 99.5 percent reliability, making it the most reliable twin-aisle aircraft in the world. The flagship of the world's elite airlines, the 777-300ER carries 386 passengers in a standard three-class configuration up to 7,825 nautical miles (14,490 kilometers), on non-stop routes.

"This order marks another feather in the cap for the 777-300ER which not only continues to be an integral part of the fleet of many of the world's airlines but is also being ordered by new customers who see the value of the airplane," said Ray Conner, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "The aerospace industry in the Middle East continues to enjoy a phenomenal growth and we are proud to be part of that growth and look forward to an enduring relationship with Kuwait Airways."

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Destination Review

Length of stay, segment size and treatment choices look immensely positive

According to Ms Sheila McCann, General Manager at one of Thailand’s best-known wellness brands in India, Chiva Som Hua Hin, the Indian traveller is showing an increasing penchant for holistic wellness. The luxury holistic wellness resort in the beach-town of Hua Hin has observed a remarkable 30.18 % increase in Indian visitors in 2014 (till date) as compared to 2013.

The numbers are in line with the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s endeavours to attract high-end travellers from India who focus on experiences and personal enrichment while on vacation rather than the trigger-happy whirlwind holiday-maker that has been TAT’s focus in the past. Ms Soraya Homchuen, Director, TAT Mumbai says, “TAT’s strategy for India has shifted from whole-heartedly targeting budget tourists: the new roadmap involves a significant focus on India’s outbound luxury traveller. The land of smiles continues to welcome the budget-seeker with its value-for-money proposition but we are keen to underline our capabilities to the luxury-seeker. Holistic wellness is one of Thailand’s many attributes that are likely to appeal to this segment.”

Ms Sheila McCann said that Indians are investing not just resources but also time in a holistic wellness vacation, an indicator that luxe, immersive holidays are coming of age. “The average length of stay from Indian guests is between 5 and 7 nights,” she says. Evidently, a straight-forward Thai massage is no longer sufficient. People want to dig deeper and reap benefits from Thailand’s traditional wisdom. This is also evident in the fact that gorging on Thai food is no longer enough \" people want to take a culinary lesson to immerse themselves in the joys of Thai cuisine. Similarly, buying Jim Thompson no longer suffices. The Indian traveller wants to visit his home and understand his life and struggles.

According to McCann, looking good tops the charts among requests from India. “The most popular retreat among our Indian guests is the Weight Management Retreat,” she shares. Indeed, the well-travelled Indian visitor is picking up tips from Thailand’s largely lean population. Homchuen cites a few examples saying, “Indian travellers take a few Muay Thai lessons so as to make this an enjoyable fitness routine upon their return. They also ask chefs about how to ensure their Thai cuisine is healthy from a weight-management point of view.”

Chiva Som offers their guests a 360-degree approach to wellness \" encompassing food, activities and exercises in addition to treatments. McCann says, “I think our Indian guests enjoy this concept of a completely Thai experience that is completely health-driven and all of this while cocooned in luxury resort.” Homchuen backs this up saying, “Queries about luxurious wellness retreats from affluent travellers who have already experienced Thailand’s highlights are on the rise.”

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An Indian-born adventurer has taken an unexpected journey from the slums of India to the extremities of Middle-earth.

Mr. Naresh Kumar, a 32-year-old originally from Chennai, India, has completed New Zealand’s epic walk Te Araroa - The Long Pathway, a 3000km continuous trail that begins at sacred Cape Reinga, at the tip of New Zealand’s North Island, and ends at Bluff, at the bottom of the South Island.

Rewarding expedition

What is perhaps even more impressive is how the minimalist running enthusiast has forgone a more traditional hiking boot or running shoe in favour of the humble sandal to complete the often arduous but incredibly rewarding expedition.

The story behind Naresh Kumar’s decision to walk Te Araroa is just as inspirational as the scenery and landscapes he’s experienced in New Zealand.

As a teenager growing up in Chennai, Naresh fell in love with the Sir Peter Jackson directed The Lord of the Rings movies.

He was so mesmerized by New Zealand’s depiction of Middle-earth, he announced to his parents that one day he would move to the country where it was filmed.  Fast-forward 13-years and his dreams have come true in more ways than he ever imagined.

Varied landscapes

Along the Te Araroa pathway \" one of the world’s longest walking trails which can take experienced hikers around five months to complete \" Naresh has experienced everything from white sandy beaches to towering mountain ranges, ancient volcanic landscapes, rural farmland and trout-filled rivers.

Te Araroa also connects country settlements, townships and cities across New Zealand, giving walkers the chance to experience a unique slice of Kiwi life.

Naresh says that during the walk he has discovered there is so much more to New Zealand than beautiful landscapes - including the generosity of the people, their kindness and their hospitality.

Special ending

At the end of his journey, Naresh was presented with a special plaque by the Mayor of Invercargill Tim Shadbolt, at Stirling Point in Bluff.  Along with offering panoramic views of the Tasman Sea, Stirling Point marks the end of State Highway 1 which runs the length of New Zealand and has an iconic sign marking the distances to other major cities in the world.

The Invercargill City Council has recently decided to present those who traverse the country along the Te Araroa with plaques that are made from material from New Zealand’s Tiwai Point smelter.

Through-out his journey Naresh has had one goal in mind \" to finish Te Araroa before the official release of the final Hobbit movie, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies which will be released in New Zealand at midnight on Friday (12.12.2014).

Naresh’s story is one of courage, discovery, and adventure, pushing through pain, inspiration, and living your dream. In some ways it draws a lot of similarities from Bilbo Baggin’s journey through Middle-earth and showcases the worldwide effect Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies have had.

Naresh has been so touched by the magic of New Zealand he is even taking steps to make the country his permanent home.

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Kochi Marriott Hotel Launches in Kerala - 'God's Own Country'

Kochi Marriott New Age Hospitality Awaits Your Exploration

Marriott International has officially announced the opening of its fifth hotel under the company’s flagship Marriott Hotels brand in India, Kochi Marriott Hotel. This will be the second Marriott International property in the Kochi city and is located amidst the Lulu Mall campus, Kochi Marriott exteriorone of the largest malls in the country. Strategically located at just 22 km from the Kochi International Airport and 9 km from the main City Center, the hotel design embraces a wonderful blend of contemporary style, warmth and sophistication, all inspired from the natural landscapes of the city.

Mr. Ramesh Chennithala, Minister for Home, Kerala has officialy inaugurated the Kochi Marriot Hotel on December 21, 2014 in the presence of Mr. M. A. Yusuf Ali, Managing Director of Lulu Group, Mr. Ibrahim Kunju, Minister for Public Workds, Kerala, Mr. Benny Behanan MLA and Mr. Rajeev Menon, Area Vice President- South Asia- Marriott International.

Speaking on the occasion of the launch, Mr. Rajeev Menon, Area Vice President- South Asia- Marriott International said, “Kochi Marriott Hotel is an exciting addition to the Marriott Hotels portfolio. This property embodies the brand’s drive to enable its guests to Travel Brilliantly. We believe the city of Kochi has tremendous potential for business and hospitality growth, making it an obvious choice for the Marriott Hotels brand.” He further added “The Kochi Marriott Hotel will set new standards in offering guests a dynamic hotel experience.”

Kochi Marriott hotel offers its guests 274 spacious and elegantly designed rooms which include 25 club suites, one vice presidential suite and one plush presidential suite. Coupled with state-of-the-art facilities and services, these rooms provide an elevated standard of design and décor that reflects real comfort and style.

Kocki Marriott ballroomThe Kochi Marriott Hotel has been conceptualized to meet the varied tastes of travellers; business and leisure alike. With 720 sq. mts. of stylish banquet and meeting space, equipped with the latest technology and amenities, the hotel would make an ideal venue for large conference’s and intimate gatherings alike.

The hotel offers an exciting range of dining options, each one special in its own authenticity and flavours. “Cassava”, the exclusive Kerala Cuisine specialty restaurant, will have on its menu delicacies from across 3 influential cultures, i.e. Moplah, Syrian- Christian and Sadya that give Southern cuisine its perfect blend of taste and flavours. The menu has been crafted by masters of these respective cuisines, from recipes that have been passed down over many generations.

“Kochi Kitchen” the all-day-dining, will be the place to spend quality time with friends and family, as the restaurant offers indulgent menu options, of world cuisines across Asian, Continental and Italian specialties. Lit with beautiful, natural sun-light the restaurant pulsates with warmth and energy. From dawn to dusk, we have it all at the Kochi Marriott Hotel, unwind after a long day’s work at “10 Degree’s North”, a classic wine and whiskey bar, with just the right mix of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and delectable finger food accompaniments. Catching up with friends, or just some “me time” on your mind, this is the place to be

To complete this holistic experience, the wellness floor at the Kochi Marriott Hotel has the renowned “Quan Spa” offering both Western and traditional Ayurveda treatments, a well-equipped fitness center and a lap size pool. Indulgence has never looked or felt this good.

Mr. Vineet Mishra, General Manager, Kochi Marriott Hotels aid, “Kochi Marriott Hotel introduces stylish, modern hotel experience for guests and has been designed to provide the best in-house service and facilities for business and leisure travelers. We are excited to offer our guests fresh, new concepts in service and food & beverage, and the Marriott Hotels’ signature Greatroom Lobby for guests and locals to gather for work or to socialize as a team as we will strive to ensure our guests can travel brilliantly..

As a part of Marriott Hotel’s transformation, the iconic brand has been innovating throughout its hotels globally. The brand new Marriott mobile app makes travel easier than everwith a brand new design, improved user experience, and enhanced features such as Mobile Check-in and Checkout. Reflecting the transformative change, Marriott Hotels has also launched a new multi-year global marketing campaign called “Travel Brilliantly,” a bold move amplifying the brand’s dedication to leading the future of travel. The dynamic campaign reflects the lifestyle of the next generation of travelers, who seamlessly blend work and play in a mobile and global world.

The Kochi Marriott Hotel ushers in new age hospitality to the city and look forward to welcoming guests from the 21 December 2014.

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THE LEELA HOTELS ENTERS NEPAL

INDIA'S PREMIER LUXURY HOTEL GROUP - THE LEELA PALACES, HOTELS AND RESORTS - ENTERS NEPAL

 PM Sushil Koirala witnesses signing of agreement for first of four hotels with local partner- Summit Group

The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts, India's premier luxury hospitality brand and Summit Group of Nepal signed a Memorandum of Understanding in the presence of Prime Minister of Nepal, Mr. Sushil Koirala, to collaborate on the first of four hotels, to be established across Nepal, marking a new era of partnership in tourism between India and Nepal. The Leela Kathmandu, the first of the series, a 5-star deluxe hotel to be built in the heart of Kathmandu, is expected to be completed within 36 months.

Summit Group, which has extensive interests in real estate, hotels and allied businesses, will develop the property, while The Leela will market and manage it as part of its award-winning portfolio of eight iconic properties in prime urban and holiday destinations across India.

At the signing ceremony, Prime Minister Koirala welcomed the entry of The Leela and urged the Group to establish hotels in other parts of Nepal. Both Prime Minister Koirala and his Indian counterpart, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have shown serious intent in developing their tourism across the member nations of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

Emphasizing the crucial role travel and tourism plays in the economic development of the country, Mr. Vivek Nair, Chairman and Managing Director, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts said: “We are delighted to begin our foray in the international markets with Kathmandu. Given the potential of tourism worldwide, we look forward to expanding our footprint in India and overseas."

Located close to the Narainhity Museum, The Leela Kathmandu will be the first of a series of hotels to be established across Nepal. It will be followed by a hotel in Lumbini, birthplace of the Buddha, as part of The Leela Group's plans to pave a Buddhist Trail from Nepal to Bodhgaya, Nalanda, and Varanasi in India. Other places in Nepal where hotels are being planned under the Leela banner include Pokhara.

Mr. Amrit Shakya, Chairman and Managing Director of Summit Group said: “The entry of the Leela Group in Nepal would dramatically raise standards and help stimulate tourism. I believe the time has now come for the government and private sector to collaborate in revitalizing the tourism sector. We have to work together with the government to frame policies that attract international expertise and investment to help consolidate the tourism industry.”

The Leela Kathmandu will be designed by the internationally renowned architect, Mr. John Gerondolis, of Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart & Associates, Inc, in Atlanta, US. He had earlier created the much admired Leela Palaces in New Delhi and Chennai, each of them drawing strong inspiration from local architectural and cultural influences. Mr. Gerondolis is currently designing The Leela Palace Agra, where every room will offer a view of The Taj Mahal.

The Kathmandu property will draw heavily from the rich Newari tradition that dominates the Kathmandu valley, blending it with modern elements of the highest international excellence in luxury hotels, and adorned by the unmistakeable touch of the Leela grandeur. This high quality branding will be seen in the oversized guest rooms and suites, and will include signature restaurants, lounges, banquet facilities as well as a state-of-art spa and fitness studio. The Leela’s high standards of excellence will also ensure exclusive services for the corporate sector.

"The Leela Kathmandu will be a part of our Group that has established high standards of excellence and personalized service is catering to upscale segments of corporate, leisure, and adventure tourism," said Mr. Nair. “It will be even brighter if Nepal augments its infrastructure in terms of enhanced hotel accommodation, world-class airports, and highways.”

Mr. Nair further added that Nepal could be confident in meeting the forecast of the World Travel and a Tourism Council (WTTC) in its authoritative, 2014 annual report.

According to the report, WTTC predicts that the total contribution of the travel and tourism sector to the Nepalese GDP, including jobs indirectly supported by the industry, will rise from Nepali Rupees 145.3 billion to 257.4 billion, by 2024. The report also forecasts employment rising from 1.112 million jobs in 2013 to 1.7 million jobs in 2024.

Mr. Nair also emphasized the need to enhance skills development in the sector and establish a world-class hotel and tourism management institute in Nepal.

The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts, headquartered in Mumbai, India, and owned by Hotel Leelaventure Ltd, owns and manages properties in India, and soon in other parts of the world too. Its exclusive properties are located in Mumbai, New Delhi, Gurgaon, Bangalore, Chennai, Goa, Udaipur and Kovalam, with new hotels under development in Jaipur, Bangalore, Agra, Lake Ashtamudi, Kerala, and Lucknow.

 

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