Delhi Tourism Ministry to launch ‘Brand Delhi’ in 2016

kapil mishra, delhi tourism minister, tourism minister

Shri Kapil Misra, Tourism Minister, Delhi, is a young, dynamic, enthusiastic and full of ideas. He talks about Delhi; he feels it and envisions taking Delhi to greater heights, by boosting its tourism in its various aspects. Just in six months of taking the charge as Delhi’s Tourism Minister, he has strategically picked out the small elements and through them is working towards achieving the larger vision he has for the state. In 2015, the Delhi Tourism Department was fairly dormant, however, he plans to change the same and bring in many new initiatives giving Delhi Tourism the much needed push. He shares his plans for 2016 exclusively with TTJ.

Sudipta Saha

2015 was not an unusual year for Delhi in terms of tourist flow in the state; it has been an average year. But one improvement which has happened in the year 2015 is that the networking of Delhi Tourism Department has improved, which has been an achievement. Earlier what use to happen was that tour operators were working on some other activities and government was taking some other initiatives and the connection between both were missing. We have started emphasising on relation building and even on policy making; we are taking feedback from the tour operators. For example, Delhi didn’t have any Tourism Policy earlier, so we are in the process of making it and it are on the final stage now. This particular stage, I will name it as a foundation stage, we can’t accept a dramatic result in the moment but, atleast we have started working in a positive direction which for sure in the years to come will give an encouraging outcome.

Key highlights of Tourism Policy:

The policy will carve out an overall overview including what significant approach we will be taking to encourage tourism in the state and in what direction we will be taking it. What will be our vision and what kind of facilities will we provide to tourists coming in the capital. At present the scenario is that, tourists coming in the capital often get lost and do not know where to head towards. So, we are developing quiet many tours, mobile application and are also upgrading our website. We are also in the process of opening up tourist information center. So, first of all, we have shaped our larger goals and now are identifying the small components with the help of which we can achieve the vision we have set.

Vision 2016:

2016 is going to be a year of events for Delhi. All the big events are coming to Delhi. Already we have seen Zubin Mehta, A R Rehman, everyone year after years have came to Delhi and performed. We have changed the event organising policy and are also giving a single window clearance. We are also planning Delhi Festival at massive scale in the month of February 2016, which will later on become an annual event. We are also planning few major events on the banks of Yamuna River. All the major events will be coming to Delhi and this will be the year when we will launch Brand Delhi. The first phase of marketing Brand Delhi campaign nationally and internationally will also start. This is going to be a very interesting year for us. We are also working on certain ideas, few logos or symbols or products which one can identify with the capital. At present we are working with Delhi I Love, running a campaign on Twitter, taking feedback from people. Yet, we have not taken any concrete decision. Definitely, there will be symbol, punchline, and a whole marketing exercise will be done for Delhi.

Reviving unknown heritage sites:

There are around 200 heritage sites which are unknown and are reviving many of those. We also have an archaeological section in South Delhi, which have never been maintained. We now are putting all the records online which are approx 10 lakhs pages. We are also planning small tours to these heritage sites and around 100 walks these not so known sites and will also launch several walks such as food walk, history walk, etc. For this we are looking for partners, several NGOs have come forward, there are other commercial organisations and others such as FICCI, CII are coming forward. It is going to be a mass exercise where so many people are coming forward.

Other initiative:

We are going to brand the food heritage in old part of Delhi. People are already going there and experiencing it, but it is not well managed and promoted. There are some food walks in the southern part of Delhi which we are going to initiate in the coming two months. Apart from this, other major issue is to deal with touts in the airport, railway station and bus terminal area. There are also many fake tourist information centers. These touts does not allow people to enter Delhi, the moment they land wrong information is passed on to them saying there is a curfew or strike in the city and take people outside Delhi. We have reports and I have also written to Delhi Police Commissioner and Lt Governor to organise a joint meeting with Delhi Police and Tourism Ministry. There are many FIRs and need a corporation from Delhi Police. We are also changing the DTDC website and it will be dynamic and interactive website and will also launch Delhi Tourism on Twitter and Facebook.

Promotional plans:

We are in touch with people who have organised Singapore Festival and Mumbai Festival and we are learning from. We are also connecting all the events which we are doing in Delhi. So with the launch of Delhi Festival you will see the change. Without any initiative people are coming to Delhi and would like to visit Delhi despite of any negative feedback. Earlier there was no strategy there and if they were doing any events, there was no long term strategy behind it. We need to have an action and we are working on a long term policy and strategy and once we roll it out in February 2016, you will see that we have a plan.

Buyer confidence in Fiji remains high

Fijian Tourism Expo, Buyer confidence in Fiji remains high, Fijian Tourism Expo 2016, Fijian Tourism Expo, Buyer confidence in Fiji remains high, Fijian TourismBuyer confidence in selling Fiji as an aspirational destination for business and leisure travel remains high, after Tourism Fiji closed registrations for international buyers and travel trade media for the third Fijian Tourism Expo (FTE) to be held in Denarau next month.

FTE 2016 has attracted over 160 international buyers and travel trade media and a number of them will be selling Fiji for the first time, specifically from long-haul markets which are now more accessible with Fiji Airways’ opening up the Singapore route.

Fijian Tourism Expo, Buyer confidence in Fiji remains high, Fijian Tourism Expo 2016, Fijian Tourism Expo, Buyer confidence in Fiji remains high, Fijian Tourism

The recent devastation caused by natural weather events has not deterred quality buyers from Fiji’s traditional, new, and non-traditional tourism markets from as far as Italy, Pakistan, Spain and Sweden.

“Buyer confidence in Fiji remains consistently high and this is evident after Tourism Fiji received 148 buyer and 14 international media confirmations to attend Fiji’s premier tourism industry event,” Tourism Fiji’s Global PR Manager, Ms Patricia Mallam says.

“The last two months have been challenging for the tourism industry but we at Tourism Fiji have kept our guards up and continued to work behind the scenes to bring in the best people from all over the world to be part of FTE 2016 for the benefit of our industry and its stakeholders,” she says.

The international buyers and media are qualified by Tourism Fiji’s Regional Directors based in Tourism Fiji’s key source markets and in consultation with Fiji Airways, the Platinum Sponsors of FTE 2016.

“The programme for the three day expo is custom-made and prepared based on the feedback from participants in the first two event. It is kept compact to enhance B2B opportunities, promoting a win-win situation for everyone attending FTE,” Ms Mallam says.

She adds that FTE 2016, “will offer enormous networking opportunities during the evening networking events for connections with peers within the industry, decision-makers, buyers and exhibitors from all over Fiji.”

FTE 2016 will be held at the Denarau Island Convention Centre from 3-5 May 2016.

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.

Deccan Odyssey 2

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.

Explore wildlife tourism in ‘Heart of India’ Madhya Pradesh

Kanha – Call of the Wild

kanha, wildlife sanctuary, deers, kanha deer
Kanha’s sal and bamboo forests, rolling grasslands & meandering streams stretch over 940 sq km in dramatic natural splendour. Kanha National Park forms the core of the Kanha Tiger Reserve created in 1974 under project Tiger. The park is the only habitat of the rare hardground Barasingha. In the 1930s, the Kanha area was divided into two Sanctuaries, Hallon and  Banjar, of 250 sq km  & 300 sq km each. Though one of these was subsequently disbanded, the area remained a protected one until 1947. Depletion of the tiger population in the years that followed led to the area being made  an  absolute sanctuary in 1952.

What to see-

Bamni Dadar: Known as Sunset Point, this is one of the most beautiful areas of the park, from where a spectacular sunset can be watched. The dense luxuriance of Kanha’s forests can  best be seen from here. Animals that can be sighted around this point are typical of the mixed forest zone.
Less commonly seen species are-  Tiger, Indian hare, dhole or Indian wild dog, barking deer and Indian bison or gaur. Patient watching should reward the visitor with a sight of:

Indian fox, sloth bear, striped hyena, jungle cat, leopard, mouse deer, chausingha or four horned antelope, nilgai, ratel and porcupine. Very rarely seen species are-Wolf, which lives in the far east of the park, chinkara, to be found outside the park’s northern boundary, Indian pangolin, the smooth Indian otter and the small Indian  civet.

Commonly seen species include: Cattle egret, pond heron, black ibis, common peafowl, crested serpent, racket- tailed drongo, hawk, eagle and red wattled lapwing, various species of fly catcher, woodpecker, pigeon, dove, parakeet,babbler and mynah, Indian roller,white breasted kingfisher and grey hornbill. Avian species: Kanha has some 200 species of birds. Watchers should station themselves in the hills , where the mixed and  bamboo forests harbour many species, and in the grassy forest clearings. Water birds can be seen near the park’s many rivulets and at Sarvantal, a pool that is frequented by water birds and the area in front of the museum. The sal forests do not normally yield a sight of Kanha’s avifauna. Early mornings and late afternoons are best for bird watching, binoculars are an invaluable aid to the watcher.
Jeep and Elephant Hire MPSTDC jeeps are available on hire for touring the park. Elephants are used for tiger tracking and should a tiger be located, the elephants can take  visitors to the site. For jeep hire, contact the MPSTDC Managers at Baghira Log huts, Kisli and  at   Kanha Safari Lodge, Mukki. Bookings for a morning run should be made the previous day.Please bear in mind that jeeps are not always available during peak visiting periods.

Best Season: Mid October to June. (The park is closed from July 1- Oct 15 due to rains). For those planning a visit, a stay for at least three nights is recommended in order to have a good chance of seeing the more elusive animals- although  a brief visit is also interesting.

Food: Kisli has a restaurant and a canteen . The restaurant serves both Indian and Western food. The canteen serves  reasonably priced meals and  snacks. Mukki also has a multi – cuisine restaurant.

Useful Information –
THERE IS NO FACILITY FOR ENCASHING TRAVELLER’S CHEQUES at Kisli or Mukki, the nearest bank dealing in foreign exchange is the State Bank of India at Mandla.

How to reach
Khatia (3km from Kisli) and Mukki are the two main entry points to the Kanha National Park. From Jabalpur,Kisli is 165 km via Chiraidongri and  Mukki is 203 km via Motinala and Garhi.

By Air- Nearest airports are at Jabalpur -160 km, Raipur-240 km and  Nagpur-335 km

By Rail-  Convenient railheads are at Jabalpur & Bilaspur.By Road- There is a daily bus service available for Kisli & Mukki from Jabalpur & back. Taxis are available for hire from Jabalpur,Bilaspur and  Raipur. It is advisable to reach Kisli before sunset as vehicles are not permitted within the park after dark. For assistance at Jabalpur, contact MPSTDC’s Tourist office at the Railway Station or Kalchuri Residency(MPT)

Your Host

Baghira Log Huts,Kisli (07649) 277227 (MPT)

Tourist Hostel,Kisli (07649) 277310 (MPT)

Kanha Safari Lodge,Mukki (07636) 290715(MPT)

Bandhavgarh -National Park with a Rich Historical Past

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This is a small national park; compact, yet teeming with wildlife. The density of the tiger population in Bandhavgarh is the highest known in India. This is the original home of the white tigers.  These have been found in the old state of Rewa for many years. The last known was  captured by Maharaja Martand Singh in 1951.This white tiger , Mohun, is now stuffed and on display in the palace of the Maharajas of Rewa.

Bandhavgarh is densely populated with other species: sambar and  barking deer are a common sight, and nilgai are to be seen in the more open areas of the park.

The terrain is of great rocky hills rising sharply from the swampy and densely- forested valley bottoms.The finest of these hills is Bandhavgarh, sided with great cliffs and eroded rocks and on its highest point stands Bandhavgarh Fort, thought to be some 2000 years old. Scattered throughout the park, and particularly around the fort, are numerous caves containing shrines and ancient Sanskrit inscriptions .

bandhavgard, bandhavgard national park

What to See:

The Fort- No records remain to show when Bandhavgarh Fort was constructed.It is thought, however, to be some 2000 years old, and there are references to it in the ancient books, the Narad -Panch Ratra & the Siva Purana .Various dynasties have ruled the fort,for example, the Maghas from the first century AD, the Vakatakas from the 3 Century AD, the Sengars from the 5th Century AD ,the Baghels took over, ruling from Bandhavgarh until 1617, when Maharaja Vikramaditya Singh moved his capital to Rewa. The last inhabitants deserted the fort  in 1935.

How to reach

By Air-The nearest airport is at Jabalpur(190 km). From Khajuraho (237 km), Bandavgarh is a five-hour drive via Panna, Satna & Maihar across stretches of the Vindhyachal.

By Rail-The nearest railway stations near  Bandhavgarh are Jabalpur (190 km) , Katni(102km) & Satna (120 km) on the Central Railway & Umaria(35km) on the South Eastern Railway.

By Road-State/Private transport buses ply  between Katni & Umaria and  from Satna & Rewa to  Tala (Bandhavgarh). Taxis are available at Satna, Jabalpur,Katni, Umaria & Khajuraho. .

Best Season– Mid October  to June. The park is closed from 1 July to 15 October due to rains.

Your Host- White Tiger Forest Lodge ( MPT), Ph:  (07627) 265406