…And that’s a Wrap: WTM 2013 by Ravi Kalra

It has been a great week here in London at The World Travel Market. Travel Inn does a lot of business in the UK so I always enjoy coming back here and meeting with old friends. Here in Delhi we are meant to be heading into winter but in London they really are. As I stepped off the plane at Heathrow the sun might have been shining but the wind was biting!

Here I am outside the ExCel Centre where WTM is held: cutting a fashionable shape wrapped up in my thermals. Who needs a woolly hat!  outside

The week started off with a well avoided problem in the shape of our stand being moved positions at the last minute. Always swift to come up with a solution, our designer changed the panels around and it ended up looking better than we could have hoped for. In this picture you can see myself and Rajan doing what we do best and speaking with some fellow travel industry partners.

photo 2 (2)Here we are with our good friends at Reni Pani Jungle Lodge. They are pioneers in the wildlife sector and passionate in the  conservation effort to preserve India’s sadly swiftly depleting natural habitats. And with Ellie from another of our good friends in the UK, Ampersand Travel, who specialise in bespoke luxury holidays to the Indian subcontinent. We share their ethos and uncompromising attitude towards travelling the Indian Subcontinent in style! 

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However it was not all work and no play. We did get a few moments to let our hair down and enjoy some of the novel aspects that WTM had to offer. Here is Rajan looking mighty pleased with himself having made some very cosmopolitan new contacts.

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And myself feeling very lucky to have met 2013’s ‘Miss Trinidad and Tobago’ as well as a rather tall Masai warrior!

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In short, it was a very successful week at WTM. There was a lot of buzz around India as always and we enjoyed speaking about the country that we love the most, to anyone who would listen! Probably due to the face that we feel that everyone should know how…

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…really is!

For more information on any of Travel Inn’s products or itineraries please visit www.travelinn.in or alternatively email us on info@travelinn.in – we would love to here from you.

But unfortunately this year’s WTM is all wrapped up, as are we(!) and bound for the much warmer climes of India. London, thank you for having us, we cannot wait to see you again next year!

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The Week So Far: WTM13 by Ravi Kalra

Tuesday, 5th November 2013

This week you will find myself and Rajan Jolly (head of PR & Marketing in the UK) at the India section of the World Travel Market in London. There is really is no rest for the wicked as I jetted out fresh from Sunday’s Diwali celebrations, London bound, over a colourfully lit up Delhi. I enjoyed a crisp sunny morning in London (it’s such a beautiful city when the sun is shining) but then then it was straight down to work. WTM is always a fun but busy week, meeting up with old friends as well as doing some good business – whoever said don’t mix work with pleasure! Despite our booth’s last minute change of orientation it is looking great and we have enjoyed speaking to people about what exactly it is that we do: “Holiday designers for India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar & Sri Lanka”.

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It is without a doubt our innate passion for travel, India and the surrounding areas that makes working not seem like work! We love inspiring people to go to new places and executing their holidays with perfection makes them want to come back again and again!

For more info about Travel Inn and our products come drop in and chat with Rajan and I at WTM. Alternatively contact our offices on 0208 819 9722 or email us at info@travelinn.in

Thanks and hope to see you there,

 

Ravi Kalra

MD and Founder of Travel Inn

Thinking Globally, Acting Locally: Travel Inn do our bit to help save the Amur Falcon

amur falcon

At Travel Inn we are passionate about nature and we aim to do our bit for the wildlife of India that we love so much. That is why we are joining forces with the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) in order to help protect the Amur falcons. Every year the Doyang Reservoir in Wokha district of Nagaland plays host to tens of thousands of Amur falcons between October and November. It is believed to be the single largest congregation of the migrating Amur in the world.

However sadly, it is not just nature enthusiasts that have become aware of the Amur falcons annual migration; this area has also been identified as the major site for hunting. Last year it was estimated that some 60,000 Amur falcons were hunted and killed in the Wokha district alone. As a signatory to the Convention of Migratory Species (CMS), India is duty bound to provide these winged visitors with safe passage on their long journey from Siberia to South Africa.

WTI’s Rapid Action Project (RAP) programme is supporting the authorities and local communities to address the issue by initiating sensitization and livelihood support activities in Wokha to dissuade hunting of these migrating birds. As a result, the local community has pledged to protect the Amur falcon and 15 erstwhile hunters have formed themselves into watch squads to patrol the area of the Doyang Reservoir.

Please follow this link if you would like to find out more or even to donate yourself.

Travel Inn wishes you a very Happy Diwali!

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Diwali is one of the biggest festivals of Hindus, celebrated with great enthusiasm and happiness in India. The festival is celebrated for five continuous days, where the third day is celebrated as the main Diwali festival. Different colorful varieties of fireworks are always associated with this festival. On this auspicious day, people light up clay lamps (diyas) and candles all around their houses. They perform Prayers to Goddess Laxmi in the evening and seek divine blessings of Goddess of Wealth. Diwali celebrates Goddess Lakshmi’s Birthday, who in Her most benevolent mood, fulfills the wishes of all her devotees.

It also celebrates the Victory of Lord Rama, who according to the epic ‘Ramayana’, returned to His hometown Ayodhya after vanquishing Ravana and conquering Lanka. The citizens of Ayodhya decorated the entire city with the earthen lamps and illuminated it like never before. The festival of Diwali is never complete without exchanging gifts, performing traditional prayers and rituals, cooking delicacies and festivity all around.

Team Travel Inn wishes you a very Happy and Auspicious Diwali!

A Recap of Some of Travel Inn’s Most Regal Moments: The Royal Feather in Travel Inn’s Hat!

Taj Mahal

Travel Inn got a stint with Royalty as they ground handled all operations for the Royal Family of Qatar from 1st September 2011 to 12th September 2011. The Her Royal Highness (name undisclosed due to security) along with her sons, after planning for many years, finally decided to visit our very own magical, mystical land!

The charter landed in Jaipur where the family stayed at Taj Rambagh Palace. They got a whiff of the Royal Rajputana era in their suites and enjoyed Elephant safari at Dera Amer. They visited the Amber Fort in their Mercedes and the dinner at Samode Palace was spectacular.

The next stop, Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur took them by surprise and they were spell bound by the architecture and grandeur of the palace. The dinner at Raas, with the Mehrangarh Fort overlooking was in itself a treat to the eyes.

The romantic city of Udaipur and Taj Lake Palace right in the middle of Lake Pichola was a completely exquisite experience for them. Coming from the desert country, they enjoyed the views of Lake from all suites and rooms and felt the jetty experience a very unique one. Visiting Monsoon Palace and enjoying the view of the city from a hill top added glitter to the Udaipur stop.

The Royal Family’s visit to Royal Cities would not have been complete without visiting the city of Nizams- Hyderabad. Taj Falaknuma, as the name rightly says, is just like a mirror to Heaven! The Palace ensured the Royal Family was treated as were the Nizams in the days gone by.

The trip would not have got the final icing on the top without visiting the biggest and the only monument of love and romance – Taj Mahal. The stay at Oberoi Amarvilas gave them views of Taj Mahal from all suites and rooms, at all times of the day!

Team Travel Inn ensured that they at all times, the security instructions of the Royal Family were adhered to and that the operations flowed absolutely smoothly.

‘Maashra’ at the House of Kotwara

Maashra tent exterior   The exterior of the ‘Maashra’ dining tent

Last night Travel Inn was invited to the fine dining experience Maashra at ‘House of Kotwara’. As we made our way passed the sweet smelling jasmine to the end of a candlelit driveway, we were met by champagne and canapés, a taster of what the rest of the evening had in store. Set in the grounds of Muzaffar and Meera Ali’s chic Delhi abode, Kotwara House, we admired Muzaffar’s paintings, with which the dining tent was decorated – one of his many artistic talents.

Interior of Maashra tentThe exquisitely decorated interior of the ‘Maashra’ dining tent

 Guests tucked in to the fragrantly spiced Awadhi dishes made by the Ali’s own personal chef giving one a sense of the intimate experience that ‘House of Kotwara’ aims to create. Muzaffar and Meera are central to the Kotwara experience and, depending on their own personal schedules, guests will be able to meet with guests personally. The Maashra experience at ‘House of Kotwara’ would be an ideal experience for any discerning traveler wanting an intimate, fine dining experience.  Providing guests an opportunity to learn first hand about the origins of Indian art, cuisine and culture provided by two individuals whose lives are enveloped by it.

Beautifully laid tableThe beautifully laid dining table

Some of the other ventures of the ‘House of Kotwara’ include:

‘Dining, Music and Cinema’ at Qaiser Bagh, Lucknow: Muzaffar and Meera are both very passionate about Lucknow as a destination and hope to share this passion with guests. Aims to put this ancient city back on the travel map will not be short lived judging by upcoming plans for the Wajid Ali Shah Festival in collaboration with the Tourism Ministry taking place from November-December. Exact dates yet to be announced.

The annual Jahan-e-Khusrau festival: held in honour of the Sufi mystic, musician and polymath Amir Khusrau, this event will see performances by famed Sufi musicians from around the world. Takes place in Lucknow, Jaipur and New Delhi.

‘Crafts and Textiles’ at Kotwara Studios: incorporating the work of local artisans and the crafts of Awadh , Mazaffar and Meera’s ‘Dwar Pe Rozi’ initiative aims to empower local women and those living in rural India through their humanistic approach to education and craft. Taking place in Delhi, Lucknow and Kotwara.

The Kotwara Camp, Terai:  set among the picturesque grounds of Muzaffar and Meera’s ancestral home, Anhalwara Palace, Kotwara, the Terai camp promises to be a setting like no other. Working in collaboration with ‘The Ultimate Travelling Camp’ this joining of forces promises to blend together the utmost in luxury, culture and bespoke travel. Operating from 20th January – 31st March 2013, the camp is about a three hour drive from Lucknow.