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Incredible Yindu at the Olympics China

The ELEPHANT is seducing the dragon at the Beijing Olympics.
India has leveraged the Games as a marketing venue for tourism. since there is a redy adertising audience of five lakh Olympics tourists and athletes in the capital this month.

Ji qing Yindu. deng ni lai: a passionate India waits for you said the First-ever Incredible India jingleon Chinese radio on Monday. The 30-second jingle with an English voiceover by a Chinese radio jockey will run all week on a music channel popular among the Chinese youth and foreigners.

Since August 1, the Taj Mahal and south indian dancers gleam at 20 busy subway stations in advertisements put up only for the Olympics. "Since Beijing has diverted transport from private vehicles to subways this month, we canreach a wider audience of Chinese and foreigners, "India Tourism Director Shoeb Samad told HT in his Beijing office that opened in April on the 29th floor of a luxury high-rise.

Travel brochures, yoga booklets and the tourism web-site are in Mandarin. But the office pantry stocks chai, Harldiram snacks and Maggi noodles for Chinese visitors who attend Know-India seminars conducted in English and Mandarin.

Together, India and China make up almost 40 per cent of the world's population, but india ia a little-understood nation inside its largest trade partner. Last year, about 4.62 lakh Indians visited China, but only around 90,000 Chinese .......

Since August 1, the Taj Mahal and South Indian dancers have been gleaming at 20 subway stations in advertisments visited India - up from 1.371 Chinese in 1981 and 62,000-odd in 2006.

Most Beijingers have not hear of Mumbai but they enjoy Bollywood dances played on india restaurants screen. "Only 20 % of my Chinese clients visiting India are tourists. the rest are business men, " says Vivek Prabhakar chief representative of Travel Network Services, Beijing.

Vivek Prabhakar says most Chinese hit the Delhi - Agra - Jaipur belt, but his office is now introducing them to Kerala. Mumbai-Ajanta-Ellora is next on India's marketing list, along with Bodh Gaya and Nalanda to target Chinese Budhists.

Samad's white board displays list of Beijing international schools. He has met six principles to market study tours to India and more meetings are lined up in Beijing and Shanghai.

For India, budget does not seem an issue for this venture. The Tourism office has sponsored 18 Chinese travel agents to fly to Hyderabad for a conference next month. Online contests are planned, with free air ticket rewards.

The hardsell also relies on gold embroidered Zardozi. Several unstiched Lehngas were sent from Delhi - as table cloths - for the India Embassy's Olympics party held last weekend
(Reshma Patil will write this daily column until the end of the Beijing Olympics)

AAI (Airport Authority of India) to begin Chennai, Kolkata aiports in modernisation very soon,

For both, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) will fund 80 per cent of the project cost through internal resources and the balance 20 per cent will be through commercial borrowings. As a result of the modernization, additional passenger handling capacity of Chennai and Kolkata airports will be 14 million and 20 million passengers per annum (mppa) respectively. According to the ministry of civil aviation, estimated costs for the purpose will be Rs.1, 942.51 crore and Rs.1, 808 crore for Kolkata and Chennai airports respectively. Airport Authority of India (AAI) has already spent Rs. 32 crore and Rs. 20.35 crore in 2007-08 for Kolkata and Chennai airports respectively towards consultancy and other preparatory works. At Kolkata airport for tourists visiting india four india tours, tour packages for india, india tribal tours, the existing secondary runway will be extended and made suitable for operations of large commercial aircraft. The runway will be extended to a total length of three thousand two hundred thirty nine meters at an estimated cost of Rs.35 crore. The navigation facilities at the airport will also be upgraded and additional parking space and taxiways to facilitate parking and movement of aircraft will be created. Kolkata is the gateway to East Asia and there is huge possibility of surge in traffic to and from this airport. In view of the 'Look East' Policy of the government and the signing of several bilateral agreements with ASEAN and SAARC countries, this region is likely to see significant traffic growth in future. At Chennai airport too, the secondary runway will be extended and made suitable for operations of large commercial aircraft and additional parking space and taxiways to facilitate parking and movement of aircraft will be created. The secondary runway is proposed to be extended by 832 m (to make the total runway length of 2,917 m) across Adyar river into approximately 130 acres of additional land provided by the state government. The project involves an expenditure of Rs.535 crore for airside works. With the proposed expansion, the airside capacity is expected to increase to 50 movements per hour as against the present capacity of 25 movements per hour. The Chennai airport has an area of approximately 1,152 acres with two runways of 3,658 m and 2,085 m. It has separate international and domestic terminal buildings with the capacity of 3 mppa and 6 mppa respectively. Meanwhile, the new domestic terminal will be able to handle 10 million passengers. Extension of the existing international terminal will add an additional annual capacity of 7 million passengers. It has a provision of multi-level car parking for 2,400 vehicles. Peak hour aircraft handling capacity will get enhanced from 25 aircraft per hour to 45-50 movements per hour. After completion of the project, total passenger capacity will be about 23 million. A total of Rs 1, 077.16 crore is estimated to be spent on the new domestic terminal, extension of the international terminal and facelift of the existing international and domestic terminals. The car park will also be extended to a multilevel car parking, in front of the respective terminals, at an estimated cost of Rs.195.84 crore. The project envisages improved city-side connectivity of the airport in coordination with the state government, railways, NHAI and Chennai Metro.

About Chennai Airport:
  • Chennai airport has separate international and domestic terminal buildings with capacity of 3 mppa and 6 mppa respectively
  • International traffic at Chennai airport in 2007-08 was 3.41 million and domestic traffic was 7.25 million
  • Chennai airport will further witness 20 per cent domestic and 10 per cent international growth till 2011-12

Neeleshwar Herimtage: A peaceful Bohemian retreat in Kerala

In this fast-paced city life one yearns for tranquil moments to attain a balanced life. But in the skyscrapper cities this becomes a far-fetched dream. For these moments one has to travel down south and reach Northern Kerala, which is home to Neeleshwar Hermitage. Set in 12-acres, it is the first luxury resort to open in this part of unspoilt Kerala. Unlike Southern Kerala, there are no hotels, no beach bars and no crowds, which mean that one gets the perfect setting for some soul-searching. The Hermitage is built according to the traditional architectural principles of Kerala Vastu. The buildings are constructed in the local idiom of wood and laterite and modelled on palm-thatched fishermen's huts. Complementing the eco-friendly environment are the friendly and warm staff that make the environment all the more relaxed. Cuisine at Neeleshwar represents an eclectic mix of Indian, Middle Eastern and European influences. Emphasis is on using fresh ingredients cooked with authentic local flavours. Each morning, fishermen's haul with their fresh catch from the nearby waters is a pleasing sight. If satisfying your gastronomic palate is not enough then one can learn local cuisine under the guidance of experienced chefs at one of the cookery classes. One can also spend relaxing time to rejuvenate oneself in their ayurvedic Priya Spa, which offers a range of treatments from the restful Smruthi where warm oil is dropped onto the forehead to the jet lag-busting Sajooya. Apart from delectable cuisine and relaxing spa treatments, Neeleshwar Hermitage also offers hoards of activities like astronomy, bird-watching, lounging and soaking up the sun in the pristine beaches.Take a trip to the tranquil environments of Neeleshwar in Northern Kerala. Unwind in the beach cottages and soak up the sun in the pristine beaches.

DTTDC DELHI TOURISM AND TRANSPORT DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION is offering and promoting Bed & Breakfast Scheme to boost tourism. In an interview with, principal secretary of tourism, Sumati Mehta,

In India, Delhi Tourism is now taking many steps to boost india tourism and to address the problem of accommodation in view of the expected coming season tourist rush (Coming to india for india tours, rajasthan tours, and exclusive and adventures tours to india) during and after the Commonwealth games 2010. The department of tourism has initiated registrations under Bed & Breakfast Scheme. It is estimated that during and after the games there will be huge shortfall of rooms, which stands at 30,000 as per MOT. Elaborating on the Bed & Breakfast Scheme, Mehta said, "The Bed & Breakfast Scheme of Delhi Government is a government- citizen partnership and addresses the shortage of hotel accommodation for Commonwealth Games 2010. The scheme would help in making available large number of rooms by 2010. The Bed & Breakfast Scheme is divided into two categories - silver category and gold category depending upon the facilities being provided in the premises." According to the scheme the citizens who have properties and facilities in Delhi can lodge tourists coming from abroad for india tours and india tour packages and other states as a paying guest within a regulated framework. In the process the citizens who will be providing food and accommodation facility under the scheme will be gaining from the fee charged by them on guests; so it is an added source of income as well. Mehta sounds upbeat about the scheme. She said that that the scheme is getting good response, and informed that government of Delhi has registered a total of almost 700 rooms available under the scheme. Delhi is the first Indian state to launch this scheme after passing the 'National Capital Territory of Delhi Bed and Breakfast establishment (Registration and Regulation) Ordinance, 2007'. The premises registered under this scheme are exempted from luxury and value-added tax. The registered homes do not need to take another license, also there is no hike of power and water charges as it continues to be at domestic rate. Any residential premises with one to five rooms with attached bath and toilet can register under this scheme.

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