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Kerala to have International Hospitality Institute

Kerala Home and Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told the State Assembly that the Government was planning to set up an International Hospitality Institute (IHI) in Kozhikode district.
In a written reply to Mr K V Kunhiraman (CPM) yesterday, he said a project report for the purpose had been submitted to the Centre.

The total cost of the project would be Rs 12.65 crore and the State had sought Rs ten crore as Central assistance, he added.

Mr Balakrishnan said such an institute of international standards would effect serious changes in the tourism sector in the State.

Pointing out that people from the State were going outside the State and also abroad to get degrees in tourism by spending a huge amount, he said that once the institute was materialised, the job aspirants would be able to get degrees at a low cost and also at par with international standards.

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Orient-Express turns down Indian Hotels tie-up plan

U.S.-based Orient-Express Hotels has turned down a proposal from Indian Hotels Co Ltd for a strategic alliance, saying it aimed to remain focused at the luxury segment on its own.

Indian Hotels, which owns India's Taj group of luxury hotels and resorts, said earlier this week it had paid $211.3 million for a 10 percent stake in Orient-Express Hotels.

The largest hotels operator in India also wrote a letter to

Orient-Express to initiate talks for an alliance.

"The company has today responded to IHCL stating that it does not wish to pursue the proposals for discussion contained in their letter," Orient-Express said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The Orient-Express Hotels portfolio of hotels and other travel related services is aimed specifically at the top end of the luxury travel market," it said.

"The company believes its future growth plans should continue to focus on this segment as an independent company."

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WITT society launches in India

Non-profit organisation, WITT (Women in Travel & Tourism), has been recently launched in India with the single-minded objective to help and support women who aim to pursue their education and further their careers in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. Headquartered in New Delhi, the society has recently applied for official registration to be considered as an instituted social organisation.

WITT has been formed with the efforts of 12 women associated with the travel, tourism, hospitality trade and also the ministry of tourism. Its membership is by invitation only and it is a completely India initiative.

Speaking on WITT's objective, Ritika Modi, regional president of Uniglobe Travel (South Asia), said, "It has been formed by women to help women who wish to pursue a course or a career in the tourism, hospitality and travel trade. Our aim is to raise funds through events that can fund the education and career plans of women who do not have the financial resources."

Members who are a part of WITT include: Ragini Chopra of Jet Airways, Rathi Vinay Jha, former secretary tourism, Government of India, Ritu Chowdhry of Jet Airways, Arshi Burman of Jetways Travel, Rohita Jaidka of Air India, Ritika Modi of Uniglobe, Manjira Khurana of Indian, Leena Nandan, tourism joint secretary, Government of India, Gunjan Mubayi of Air India, Chandani Luthura, Ex - ITDC, Ayesha Lumba of The Travel Company and Abha Dayal of ITC.

Source: Reema Sisodia - Mumbai, Express Travel World