Exotica, the wellness magazine from the Pioneer Group, was judged the ‘Best Wellness and Travel Publication’ at the third Hospitality India Annual International Awards 2007 held in the Capital. ITC Chairman YC Deveshwar was honoured for his Lifetime Contribution to the tourism sector.
The Awards celebrated India’s growing tourism potential and honoured those who are playing active roles to forward the cause. The event was attended by Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel; Peter de Jong, President and CEO, Pacific Asia Travel Mart (PATA); and several other dignitaries of the tourism and hospitality sector.
Speaking on the occasion, Patel said, “Earnings from the travel and tourism sector have been increasing steadily over the years. We had predicted that this money flow would grow by almost 25 per cent in the next 10 years. But with the boom in the first three years itself, the target seems more than achievable.”
According to Rinku Ghosh, Editor, Exotica, “The USP of our magazine is wellness. We cater to corporates, business travellers and the foreign crowd who come to India and do not want the run-of-the-mill experiences from India. We believe that being niche is the way forward for us at a time where the market is flooded with various travel magazines.”
Launched in October last year, Exotica is currently available at five-star hotel chains like The Leela, ITC, Hyatt and Intercontinental, while a small number of copies are available at select bookstores in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai and stands through an association with Central News Agency (CNA). A tie-up with the India Book House (IBH) was on the anvil, which, Ghosh said, would enable a pan-India presence of the magazine.
Talking about the factors affecting India’s tourism growth, Patel added, “The Indian aviation sector is on a growth path, but more needs to be done. The inward flow of tourists will grow further if infrastructure for tourism is improved. A committee on infrastructure has been formed under the aegis of the Prime Minister’s Office, and travel and tourism is high on its list of concerns.”
PATA’s de Jong observed, “India has one of the fastest growing travel and tourism sectors in the world. In the first six months of 2006-07, inbound international tourists to India grew by almost 8 per cent, with about 3.2 million footfalls. Tourism in India is being fuelled by a consumer-driven economy, a growing aviation sector and improving infrastructure.”
Jong also announced Hyderabad as the venue for PATA Travel Mart 2008.