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Experience in India

India Tourism Development Corporation Development Limited

Thursday, May 29, 2008
India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) came into existence in October 1966 with the objective of developing and expanding tourism infrastructure in the country and thereby promoting India as a tourist destination. Working on the philosophy of public sector, ITDC succeeded in achieving its objectives by promoting the largest hotel chain in India and providing all tourist services, i.e. accommodation, catering, transport, in-house travel agency, duty free shopping, entertainment, publicity, consultancy, etc.,under a single window. It also offers consultancy services from concept to commissioning in the tourism field both for private as well as public sector.

In pursuance of the disinvestment policy of the Government, 18 hotels have been disinvested. Keeping in view the changed scenario, the Corporation has suitably been restructured so that it continues to fulfill its original mandate for tourism development in the country. Besides consolidating and expanding its existing business areas, ITDC has made diversification into new avenues/innovative services like full-fledged money changer services and Western Union Money Transfer, Training Consultancy in hospitality sector, event management and consultancy and execution of tourism and engineering projects.

ITDC has been a pioneering tourism organisation which provides the entire tourist services/facilities under one roof. ITDC's present network consists of 8 Ashok Group Hotels, 7 joint venture hotels including one under construction, two restaurants (including one Airport Restaurant), 13 transport units, 1 tourist service station, 37 duty free shops at international as well as domestic custom airports, one tax free outlet, one Sound & Light Show and four catering outlets. Besides, ITDC is also managing a hotel at Bharatpur and a Tourist Complex at Kosi and an S&L show at Sabarmati, Ahmedabad owned by the Department of Tourism. The Ashok International Trade Division of ITDC offers world class duty free shopping facilities to international travelers at its 38 outlets, earning crucial foreign exchange for the country and showcasing Indian products to the world. The Ashok Travels and Tours (ATT) handles work relating to domestic/ international ticketing, hotel booking and tour packages, car and coach rentals, money changing services, money transfer services, overseas insurance and organising exhibitions.

The Ashok Reservation and Marketing Services (ARMS) Division of ITDC, which is mainly responsible for marketing of Ashok Group of Hotels, participated in national/international events like ITB Berlin to ensure direct interaction with Foreign Tour Operators to promote various services of ITDC.

The Ashok Institute of Hospitality & Tourism Management (AIH&TM) of ITDC has been associated with the pioneering efforts in human resource development for more than three decades. Awarded the ISO-9001-2000 Certification, the institute conducts 18 months Craft/Certificate courses in the field of Culinary Skill Development, besides providing training to management trainees/apprentices and organising Executive Development programmes for the officials of ITDC. Under an MOU signed with the prestigious Kurukshetra University, the AIH&TM started 4- year Bachelors' Degree Course in International Hospitality Business Management from August 2004.

Guru Gobind Singh Bhawan

Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Guru Gobind Singh Bhawan is a building located at Punjabi University, Patiala. Guru Gobind Singh Bhawan has four doors, houses the literature for study of all religions. This beautiful has become a de-facto insignia of Punjabi University, Patiala.

A great example of unique and significant venture in the history of higher education in India, this building was established in 1967. The foundation stone of the edifice was laid by the then President of India Dr. Zakir Hussain. It is dedicated to the memory of the great Guru Gobind Singh. Having a well equipped library consisting of a massive collection of about 33000 books and journals on all the religions,the Bhawan also expresses symbolically the ideas of the five major religions of the world. The white marble art at the entrance is symbol of human heart. The glowing light at the top is the symbol of Sarv Dharam Sambhav.

Organisations

Friday, May 23, 2008
The organisations involved in the development of tourism at the Centre are Ministry of Tourism, Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management, National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology, India Tourism Development Corporation Limited, Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering and National Institute of Water Sports.

The Ministry of Tourism is responsible for formulation and implementation of policies and programmes for the development of tourism within the country and for attracting foreign tourists to India by way of developing tourism infrastructure, publicity and promotion, dissemination of information, co-ordination and supervision of activities of various segments of industry such as hotels, travel agencies, tour operators, etc.

There are 20 field offices of the Ministry of Tourism in India and 13 in other countries to undertake both developmental and promotional activities. While the overseas offices are in constant contact with tourists, travel intermediaries and media to promote tourism in India, the field offices in India provide facilitation services to tourists and co-ordinate with the State Governments on tourism infrastructural development. The main objectives of the overseas tourist offices are to position India in the tourism generating markets as a preferred tourism destination, to promote various Indian tourism products vis-a-vis competition faced from various destinations and to increase India's share of the global tourism market. These objectives are met through an integrated marketing strategy and synergised promotional activities undertaken in association with the Travel Trade and State Governments.

Khajjiar

Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Khajjiar is a small hill station in Chamba District, Himachal Pradesh, India. Another hill station, Dalhousie, is 24 km away.

Khajjiar sits on a small plateau with a small stream-fed lake in the middle that has been covered over with weeds. The hill station is surrounded by green meadows and dense forests. It is about 6500 ft. Above sea level in the foothills of the Dhauladhar ranges of the Western Himalayas and snowy peaks can be seen in the distance.

Khajjiar is often called the Mini Switzerland of Himachal Pradesh and was officially baptized thus by the Swiss Ambassador on July 7, 1992. It has a rare combination of three ecosystems: lake, pasture and forest, all in one place.

Exotic India Beckons

Tuesday, May 20, 2008
India has some of the most alluring beaches, majestic mountains, picturesque hill stations, surging rivers, magnificent historical monuments, ancient temples, exotic wildlife and rich vegetation. India is a large country spread over 3,287,590 sq. km with a population of more than one billion. India is a secular country where people have the freedom to practice any faith of their choice. As per the latest survey, Indian population consists of 80%Hindu, 14% Muslim, 2.4%, Christian, 2% Sikh, 0.7 % Buddhist, 0.5%Jain 0.4% Zoroastrian and others. According to Census of India of 2001, 29 languages are spoken by more than a million native speakers I India. In India there flourishes over 350 species of mammals and 1200 species of birds. India is where you find unity amidst diversity.

India boasts of some of the most enchanting beaches in the world. Calangute, Baga Beach, Colva Beach in Goa; Juhu Beach in Mumbai; Kovalam beach in Kerala; Marina Beach, Covelong Beach and Mamallapuram in and around Chennai.The majestic Himalayas, the Thar Desert and the sprawling Indo-Gangetic plains offer the tourist visiting North India variation in climate and topography. Himalayas hold some of the scenic hill stations of the subcontinent. Delhi, capital of India is also located in north India Delhi has many historical monuments. . Close to Delhi is Agra, which is famous for the Taj Mahal, the greatest monument of love. This resplendent marble structure is an architectural marvel and is one of the wonders of the world.

Near Agra are the twin cities of Mathura and Vrindavan – the two important pilgrim centers of the Hindus. In Uttar Pradesh, on the banks of Holy River Ganga lie Varanasi or Banaras yet another very sacred place for the Hindus. Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir have plenty of hills stations and the dry Thar desert of Rajasthan is home to the historic cities of Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur where palaces, forts, gardens and lakes add variety and color.

While the lofty Himalayas have been guarding India’s northern frontiers, the southern plateau has been littered with some of the ancient temples, exotic palaces and scenic spots.The back waters of Kerala, the charming coral islands and the lush green hill stations in South India all beckon the tourists. The garden city of Karnataka, Bangalore is a holiday maker’s delight. Then there is Hyderabad, an enchanting city earlier ruled by the Nizam, Hyderbad houses the famous Salar Jung museum and the historic Charminar. The state capital of Tamil Nadu, Chennai is another historical place in the south, rich in cultural wealth. The golden Marina beach in Chennai is one of the longest beaches in the world. In Tamilnadu are the two fascinating hill stations Kodaikanal and Ooty where one can enjoy the peace and greenery. South India had many things to offer, what you need is to explore the region.

Pondicherry is the place where Sri Aurobindo Ashram is located. Pondicherry also has a salubrious beach alongside promenade and other historical French monuments.Amongst the most sought-after tourist destinations of western India are Mumbai, the largest and heavily populated metropolis of India and also its financial capital, the historic Ajanta and Ellora caves, and the holiday spots of Lonavala, Mahabaleshwar and Pune.

The 100 km. long coastline of Goa boasts of some of the loveliest beaches in the world. Sandwiched by the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea, Goa combines scenic beauty with Portugese heritage. For the beach enthusiasts, Goa is truly a paradise that helps the tourist to discover an exciting new beach every day.Travel to East India and watch the cultural attractions of Kolkata, the Buddhist monasteries of Sikkim, the grand temples and beautiful beaches of Orissa, the Jagannath temple in Puri, where giant chariots are pulled by hundreds of devotees in an annual ritual. See to believe him wildlife, culture and exotic scenery of the seven sisters - the states of North Eastern India.

Tourism

Sunday, May 18, 2008
Tourism has emerged as an instrument for employment generation, poverty alleviation and sustainable human development. During 2003-2004, direct employment in the tourism sector was estimated to be 21.54 million. Tourism also promotes national integration and international understanding and gives support to local handicrafts and cultural activities.
Tourism in India has grown substantially over the last three decades. Foreign tourist arrivals in India recorded an increase of 13.2 per cent during the year 2005 as compared to the year 2004. India's share in the world tourism market during the year 2005 was 0.49 per cent, as against 0.44 per cent in 2004. Foreign exchange earnings during the year 2005 were Rs. 25,172 crores as against Rs.21,828 crores in 2004.

Domestic tourism plays a vital role in achieving the national objectives of promoting social and cultural cohesion and national integration. Its contribution to generation of employment is very high. With the increase in income levels and emergence of a powerful middle class, the potential for domestic tourism has grown substantially during the last few years. During the year 2004, about 366 million domestic tourist visits were made and for the year 2005 it was estimated at 382 million visits.

Holi

Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Holi (Hindi), or Phagwa (Bhojpuri), also called the Festival of Colors, is a famous Hindu spring festival experiential in India, Guyana, and Nepal. In West Bengal, it is known as Dolyatra (Doljatra) or Boshonto Utsav (spring festival).

On the first day, burning of the demoness Holika, Hiranyakashipu's sister, in a enormous bonfires at night. It is also know as Kama dahanam in Andhra Pradesh.

On the second day, known as Dhulhendi, people use the day throwing colored powder and water to friends and neighbor. The spring season, when the weather changes, they believe to cause viral fever and cold. Thus, the playful throwing of the colored powders has a medicinal significance: the colors are traditionally made of Neem, Kumkum, Haldi, Bilva, and other medicinal herbs prearranged by Ayurvedic doctors. A special drink called thandai is prepared, sometimes containing bhang (Cannabis sativa).

Rangapanchami occurs a few days later on a Panchami (fifth day of the full moon), mark the end of festivities connecting colours.

Holi takes place over two days in a while of February or March. As per the Hindu calendar, it falls on the Phalgun Purnima (or Pooranmashi, Full Moon), which will take place on March 22 in 2008. On the first day (22 March 2008 CE), symbolic burning of evil takes place, while the fun part of playing with colors takes place on the second day.

Marina Beach

Thursday, May 8, 2008
The Marina Beach is a beach located along a 12 km shoreline in the city of Chennai, India along the Bay of Bengal, part of the Indian Ocean. Unlike the short, rocky formations that make up the Juhu Beach in Mumbai on the west coast of India, the Marina is mostly sandy. Although many locals claim the Marina to be the world's longest or second longest beach. The width of the beach at the most widest stretch is 437 meters long.

Extent

The beach begins near Fort St. George in the north to Besant Nagar in the south, a distance of about 12km. A famous quality of the beach is the set of stone statues that adorn the roadside area of the beach. Most statues are of Indian/local legends like Mahatma Gandhi, Kannagi, Thiruvalluvar, while others have symbolic consequence like the Statue of Labour. Also memorials for M. G. Ramachandran and C. N. Annadurai, former Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu are present on the beach. Recently, a statue of actor Sivaji Ganesan was installed.

The Marina used to be famed for its pristine beauty, jolly feel, and rich ecosystems. However, since the middle of the 20th century, the beach and water has turn into polluted. An explosion of plastic bags, human waste and other pollutants have rendered many parts of the beach not viable. In recent years, many voluntary organizations have taken up the task of cleaning up the Marina and caring the ecosystem. Particular efforts include protection of Olive Ridley turtle nests along the Neelangarai section of the beach. Despite these problems however, a visit to the Marina is a sine qua non for any tourist coming to Chennai.



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