SriLankan Airlines organises event in New Delhi to promote tourism

SriLankan Airlines organised a gala event in New Delhi recently to promote Sri Lanka as a tourist destination.

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The event at the ITC Maurya was attended by cricketer Kumara Sangakkara, the airline’s brand ambassador, and Jacqueline Fernandez, the Sri Lankan beauty queen who is making a name for herself in Bollywood. Mr. Subhash Goyal, Chairman STIC Travels Pvt Ltd was also present at the event. STIC Travels holds the GSA for SriLankan Airlines in India, along with various other leading aviation companies, such as, Air China, Mihin Lanka to name a few.

He said he has enjoyed India, but “Sri Lanka is my home. It is to me paradise. From beaches to nature adventures, wellness, culture, cuisine, shopping…we have it all—-complemented by a warm, smiling and friendly people with a world renowned excellence in hospitality.”

In a brief speech, Jacqueline Fernandez too exhorted Indians to visit Sri Lanka in large numbers.

A group of dancers specially flown in from Colombo performed at the well attended event.


Deccan Odyssey: Romance India by Rail in 2016

Each journey on the Deccan Odyssey is an exploration of India’s diversity, exotic locales and discovery of her timeless traditions; where you breathe in the vibrancy, sounds and colours of India’s cities and her countryside. Mysteries, intrigues unfold as the train snakes her way through royal cities showcasing the opulence and extravagance of the palaces, the traditions and culinary wonders of cities and villages well protected from the sands of time.


Deccan Odyssey, Deccan Odyssey train, Deccan Odyssey luxury train

In 2015, Deccan Odyssey won a string of awards and amongst them are the World Travel Awards for Asia’s leading luxury train and The India Travel Awards for the Best luxury train in India.

The Deccan Odyssey gives you an unhurried and intimate introduction to the grandeur of India.  The traditional is beautifully juxtaposed with the contemporary through vintage cabins, gastronomic cuisines and lively off-board entertainment in each of the deluxe train journeys. Each journey on the Deccan Odyssey is an exploration of India’s diversity, exotic locales and the discovery of timeless traditions. Each journey on the Deccan Odyssey is an exploration of India’s diversity, exotic locales and the discovery of timeless traditions.

Deccan Odyssey insight

Cox & Kings Ltd ,the company which operates it has announced an enticing offer for journeys commencing October 2016.

The offer includes a 7-night journey at the price of 6 nights and would only cost US $ 7188 per couple, per journey, instead of US $ 8386. This also includes a complimentary 60-minute spa session for a couple. The train has been refurbished to reflect the changing needs of the new age traveler. The offer is limited to bookings done on or before 30th April 2016. The early bird offer is to pay for six nights and seventh night is free.

The Deccan Odyssey train boasts of unique features and amenities such as 24*7 Wi-Fi connectivity, cell phones & LCD TVs in every cabin, spa, gym, beauty salon, doctor on call, two restaurants and a bar. Deccan Odyssey has 21 coaches, out of which 12 are passenger cars that can accommodate 8 people per coach (10 passenger / deluxe Cars, 4 coupes per coach – 2 Presidential Suite Cars, 2 coupes per coach), 1 Conference/Entertainment Car, 2 Dining Cars, 2 Generator Cars with Luggage Store, 2 Staff Cars, 1 Spa Car, 1 Bar Car. The capacity of the train is 88 passengers.

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The Itineraries set are:

Maharashtra Splendour: (Mumbai – Nashik – Aurangabad (Ellora Caves) – Ajanta Caves – Kolhapur – Goa- Ratnagiri –Mumbai) 7N/8D.

Hidden Treasures of Gujarat: (Mumbai – Vadodara – Palitana – Sasan Gir – Little Rann of Kutch – Modhera (Patan) – Nashik – Mumbai) 7N/8D.

Indian Sojourn (Mumbai – Vadodara – Udaipur – Jodhpur – Agra – Sawai Madhopur – Jaipur – Delhi) 7N/8D.

Indian Odyssey (Delhi – Sawai Madhopur – Agra – Jaipur – Udaipur – Vadodara – Aurangabad (Ellora Caves) – Mumbai) 7N/8D.

Jewels of the Deccan (Mumbai – Bijapur – Aihole – Pattadakal – Hampi – Hyderabad – Ellora Caves – Ajanta Caves – Mumbai) 7N/8D.

Maharashtra Wild Trail (Mumbai – Ellora Caves – Aurangabad – Pench (Ramtek) – Tadoba – Ajanta – Nashik – Mumbai) 7N/8D.

Quintessentially a true Banarasi experience at Brijrama Palace

With such a scenic and pious location on the banks of the holy river Ganga, Brijrama is indeed the jewel of Varanasi. A palatial hotel, which was once the residence of Maharaja Darbanga and his wife, the palace dates back to 1798 and has one of India’s oldest lifts. Telling more about the property’s distinct features and charm, Udit Kumar, Joint Managing Director, 1589 Hotels, shares more.

Mr Udit Kumar, Joint Managing Director, 1589 Hotels

Inputs by Mr. Udit Kumar, Joint Managing Director, 1589 Hotels:

Having taken over the charge of the palace a decade ago, there has been a constant effort to restore the palace to its original charm. The palace is his Grandfather’s much cherished project, who took it upon himself to give this project life. Being the resident of Varanasi himself, it has been completed by him along with the professional guidance of renowned architects. Given the city’s cultural lineage and company’s immense fondness for this city, the location couldn’t have been better.

Hinting upon the property’s uniqueness, Udit says “Brijrama is truly one of a kind. Today, all luxury hotels offer the same services, from personal butlers to a highly efficient and operative concierge. We have all of this and in the luxury segment, such services seldom set properties apart. Our most outstanding feature is the essence of the Varanasi Ghats, undeniably, an exceptional one. The palace is located on the banks of river Ganga, you arrive at the hotel via a Bajra (traditional banarasi boat) on which you are checked in to your room. The F&B outlets of the property overlook the Awe Inspiring view of River, Ghats and the Sunrise to Sunset. Here guests can experience at leisure the Serenity and Heritage of the oldest living city.

He further says, “During its restoration, we came across multiple carvings and sculptures emulating our national bird, the peacock and as a result the palace carries the same theme forward. The Palace has 32 keys, 3 F&B outlets and an Al Fresco venue to accommodate approximately 100 people . Brijrama is a palace which will provide an uber luxury experience to the guest.  We are also keen in restoring the beauty and charm of the ghats and is one of the few fighting for the cleanliness of the holy river Ganga.”

Adding further, Udit shares, “The complete palace has been furnished with pure Banarasi silk. We have come down to the simple things that Varanasi offers and we bring that to our guests, from chai being served in Kulhads to types of thandai and the most famous Aalu ka rassa. The interiors of the palace have been carefully hand painted with primarily gold leaf work to provide royal aesthetics to the guests. There are so many facets that truly set this property apart.  For someone looking to experience Varanasi and luxury; this is definitely a setting where they should be heading to.

1589 Hotels

Moments at Mountains of Angels- Mt. Titlis

A Mecca for the Indian travellers, Mt. Titlis is one of the most preferred and visited mountains in Switzerland. The recently conducted FAM trip by the Titlis cableways, hotels and restaurants for the Indian travel agents and media provided a first hand experience of the destination Engelberg and Mt. Titlis. Here’s a look…

Rachita Sehgal

titlis mountain, titlis cliff walk, titlis

The breath taking vista of flurry capped mountains and the exquisite Alpine site append moderate bout of glamour and glitz, making the reverie’s ingenious voyage smooth and content. Engelberg was the former most in all of Switzerland to identify the potential of the Indian business and since then has advanced into Switzerland’s Mecca for the Indian group business. All the hotels in Engelberg provide Indian meals or have contracts with the Indian food providers for the same. The Terrace Hotel in Engelberg with over 160 rooms has the total capacity offered only in the Indian market. It offers free Indian masala chai every day. Six Indian chefs prepare Indian breakfast and a sumptuous Indian dinner. The disco of the hotel has a Bollywood evening 4 times a week and almost all the occupants of the hotel shake a leg there. Besides that, other hotels also have Indianized their offers a little bit, especially on the food aspect. The Titlis Resort, a collection of 65 apartments, had over 200 Indian staying there at one time. This goes to show that even the individual Indian traveler sees the benefit of staying in Engelberg, to feel a fresh air of the alpine village.

The Zentralbahn Luzern–Engelberg Express takes you from Lucerne to Engelberg in only 43 minutes. And from there the Titlis-Rotair aerial cable car elevates up to 3238 metres above sea level, to the ceaseless snow and ice of the Titlis range, and many more added views.  Located in the heart of Central Switzerland the high valley of Engelberg in Central Switzerland boasts an action-packed summer and winter programme while also offering every opportunity for relaxation.


A paradise for leisure travellers and adventure junkies, the place offers an array of activities while in Engelberg or Mt. Titlis.

Engelberg Monastery: The Benedictine Monastery, built in 1120, forms the center of Engelberg. To date there are still approximately 30 monks living and working in the Engelberg monastery. The Engelberg monastery offers a guided tour from Wednesday to Saturday.

SnowXperience at Truebsee: You can’t miss upon this if at Mt. Titlis. The expert guides at Truebsee take you through all the fun filled adventures activities like Snow biking, Skii and a walk through the ice igloo. At lake Truebsee you can have it all, drinks at the sun deck of the hotel, play in the snow at the snow toy park, sleep in a real igloo or push your adrenaline in the first and only snowXpark in Europe.

Titlis Rotair: The ‘rotair’ gives you a 360 degree view of the range , the TITLIS rotair gondola rotates its way up towards the snow-covered summit of TITLIS. The world’s first revolving gondola transports you from the middle station at Stand up to the mountain station at 3,020 metres above sea-level. The gondola revolves 360 degrees during the five-minute trip, treating you to idyllic panoramic views of steep rock faces, deep crevasses and distant snow-covered mountain peaks.

Cliff Walk: 3,041 metres above sea-level. 500 metres off the ground. 150 heart-pounding steps. This is what awaits you on the TITLIS Cliff Walk, the spectacular suspension bridge high up on the summit. The TITLIS Cliff Walk holds the record for being the highest suspension bridge in Europe. Entry to the Cliff Walk is free of charge.

Titlis Cliff Walk

Glacier Walk: The glacier walk through a snow covered tunnel leaves you spell bound the minute you step inside. This glacier cave forms the frosty heart of TITLIS. The ice here was frozen long before prehistoric man discovered how to make fire using pyrite. The cave can be easily accessed via a corridor from the TITLIS rotair Cableways mountain station. Entry to the glacier cave is free of charge.

Ice Flyer: The Ice Flyer chair lift sweeps you smoothly and safely over crisp, snow fields and icy depths. Some of the crevasses are up to ten metres deep. In the summer months, the Ice Flyer will carry you and your snow-loving friends from the mountain station to the Snow Park Up On The Glacier. And in winter, the chair lift will take you all the way up to the fantastic ski slopes on the summit.

Subsequent to an adventurous day at Titlis one can enjoy a candle light fondue meal at one of the highest restaurants at Mt. Titlis. You can get the tables reserved well in advance from the ticket desk. Engelberg has slowly and steadily caught up as one of the most liked destinations by the Indian tourists.

5 Celebrities living with Diabetes

By: Mr NaishadhSutaria, Co-Founder, Aermed

 Mr Naishadh Sutaria Co-Founder Aermed.png

Sonam Kapoor

“Not many people know that I’m suffering from juvenile diabetes. Diet plan and insulin has kept me on the toes in all these years,” informs the pretty actress.

Sonam has spoken about how busy schedules took a toll over her health, despite being disciplined. “Diabetes is something I have a control over but due to hectic shoots, I ignored a stomach infection which aggravated to intestines. I was hospitalized for ten days and the doctors had suspected tuberculosis which fortunately wasn’t the reality.”

The actress concludes by saying, “But, now I’m more careful with my health and won’t take any risks henceforth.”


The King of Swing was diagnosed with diabetes when he was 30. It was shocking for the ace swing bowler who always associated diabetes with a sedentary lifestyle. Nonetheless, he modified his diet and exercise regime to counter the illness and also took insulin doses. The disease didn’t stop him from making his mark in the cricketing world, and becoming one of the greatest bowlers cricket has ever seen.

Halle Berry

The Bond girl was diagnosed was diabetes when she was 23 after she fainted on a TV set. She was taken aback by the disease because none of her family members suffered from it. Since then, she has been taking daily insulin injections for the rest of her life and overhauled her diet. She now follows a diet that is low in fat, sugar, processed carbs and avoids all junk food or sweets.


Kamal Haasan

The talented actor suffers from type 1 diabetes and is part of 5% of  Indian diabetic population that suffers from this variety of diabetes. The actor hasn’t let the disease dampen his zest for life and has even become an advocate for diabetes awareness.

Salma Hayek

The curvy actress suffered from gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy), which she claimed runs in her family. She told American Baby magazine, ‘I had gestational diabetes, which I didn’t realize at first. It occurs in women who have high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. I didn’t know whether I was feeling bad because I was pregnant or whether something was seriously wrong. I was nauseated for nine months, which can be one of the symptoms.’


Bengal tourism to benefit from the Kolkata-Colombo direct flight launched by Sri Lanka’s national low cost carrier Mihin Lanka

Last year, Mihin Lanka announced the launch of its direct flight from Colombo to Kolkata, thrice a week. This has resulted in a higher tourist traffic in Bengal as the flight is not only time-saving but also economical. The flight operator had already announced its plan to join hands with local tour operators for tapping the local market. Around the launch of the new flight schedule, Mr Subhash Goyal, president of Indian Association of Tour Operators said “For a trip from the city to Colombo and back, Mihin Lanka is charging Rs. 15,500 as against Rs. 26,000-27,000 offered by other operators, whose flights, however, operate via New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai or Bangalore. We are focussed on providing customers with world-class travel facility at an affordable price.”

Mihin Lanka, Mihin Lanka airlines

As every year, last year too, the West Bengal tourism is tried making Durga Puja the most happening event and thereby maximize tourist footfall in the state. As per the bookings made by the private tour operators and hoteliers, 2015 saw a noteworthy rise in the tourist attraction in Bengal around the festive season of Durga Puja. Simultaneously, some special travel packages during Durga Puja and Diwali with attractive discounts on hotel rooms and sight-seeing was well thought over, and showed positive results. Other than Bengal, the flight has been significant in improving tourist footfall in nearby states too, such as, Odisha which shares a long history with Sri Lanka.

Recently, Mihin Lanka also announced its plan to commence its operations on the Muscat-Colombo route in October 2015. The flight operated four days a week initially, and then increase up to five days a month later. The airline provides direct flights to destinations across the Indian subcontinent, Asia and the Middle East including Dhaka in Bangladesh; Jakarta and Medan in Indonesia and Madurai, Kolkata, Gaya and Varanasi in India. It offers connectivity to further 20 destinations with code sharing partner SriLankan Airlines.

AAE travel appoints Jonathon Neal as CEO

Jonathan Neale, AAE travel appoints Jonathon Neal as CEO

Expedia, announced the appointment of Jonathon Sinclair Neal, as the Chief Executive Officer of AAE Travel, a joint venture between AirAsia and Expedia Inc. Jonathon will be based out of Singapore. In this new role, Jonathon will provide strategic direction to the Singapore-based online travel company that drives two brands, Expedia and AirAsiaGo, across 12 countries including India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea. Jonathon will be responsible for managing PandL and business strategy in the Asia Pacific, aiming to capture the top slot for the brand. He joined Expedia in 2003 in London where he supported Expedia’s early European businesses.