HONOURING THE BEST - 10th Annual Today’s Traveller Awards

August 10, 2016


Vijay Goel, Minister of State (IC), Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India, felicitates the winners of the 10th Annual Today’s Traveller Awards 2016 at Taj Palace New Delhi


The long anticipated event, the Today’s Traveller Awards ceremony and Cover Launch of the Coffee Table Book 2016 Game Changers, was attended by Vijay Goel, Minister of State (IC), Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, who was the Chief Guest for the Cover Launch of the 10th Annual Today’s Traveller Coffee Table Book, Game Changers.


The event was presided over by Vinod Duggal, Former Governor of Manipur and Mizoram, Union Home Secretary, Member National Disaster Management Authority who presented  the 10th Annual Todays Traveller Awards 2016 at the Taj Palace New Delhi.

Over 300 top-level management professionals from the Travel and Hospitality segment, as well as, heads of the Corporate world attended the grand event.

 Chief Guest, Vijay Goel, joined the celebrations and took the stage to personally recognise the felicitated leaders for their achievements. Vijay Goel while congratulating the winners said, “Every award brings both joy and responsibility. The joy of being recognised and the responsibility of setting and maintaining new bench marks.”

Today’s Traveller Awards, the most respected awards in the travel industry, has always identified and recognised the achievements and accomplishments of progressive companies and leaders from the industry. The 10th Today’s Traveller Awards recognise Game Changers who have changed the rules of the game.

The event was attended by dignitaries like Ashwani Lohani, Chairman and Managing Director, Air India; Vinod Ajmera, IAS, Commissioner Rajasthan Foundation, Department of Industries and Additional Chief of Protocol, Government of Rajasthan; Dr AK Manocha, Chairman and Managing Director, IRCTC; SP Arora, Managing Director, Tourism Finance Corporation of India; Farooq Ahmad Shah IAS, Secretary & Director General Tourism, Government of Jammu & Kashmir; Nidhi Mani Tripathi IAS, Secretary (Tourism), Government  of Manipur; Basanta Rajkumar, Executive Director, Punjab Heritage & Tourism Promotion Board; BM Gupta, Executive Director, Tourism Finance Corporation of India; Dr Subhash Goyal, Former President, IATO & Chairman, Stic Travel among many others.

Corporate leaders who attended the event included Sanjay  Rishi, President, American Express South Asia; Binoy Jacob, Chairman, Triune Projects Pvt Ltd; Alok Lall, Director, Microsoft India; Rajan Bahadur, Managing Director and CEO, CARE India, and many others. 

The event was also privileged to have leading entrepreneurs and leaders from the Hospitality industry, such as, Dr Ramesh Kapur, Chairman and Managing Director, Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi; Ashwini Kakkar, Executive Vice Chairman, Mercury Travels and Chairman Via.com; Rahul Rai, Executive Director, Unique Merchantile India Pvt Ltd; Suresh Kumar, Managing Director - Fortune Park Hotels Limited; Raj Rana, CEO, South Asia at Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group; Sunil Gupta, Chief Executive Officer, WelcomHeritage; Jal Goiporia, Vice President – Development, Rajesh Wadhawan Group (WHPL).

As part of the 19th anniversary celebrations, Today’s Traveller Awards Night had the pleasure to host its first Film Tourism Seminar and was delighted to welcome delegates from the film tourism fraternity for the panel discussion. To grace the event we had, Tanuj Garg, Founder and Managing Director, Ellipsis Entertainment; Aashish Singh, Vice President – Production, Yash Raj Films; Marijke deSouza, Executive Producer, Dharma Productions and Yogendra Mogre, Head of Production, The Walt Disney Company India.

The event was partnered and supported by Film Tourism Seminar Partner and Gold Partner IRCTC; Gold Partner Arunachal Pradesh Tourism, Film Tourism Seminar Partner Gujarat Tourism; Charity Partner CARE India; Health Care Partner Apollo Hospitals; Hospitality Partner Taj Palace New Delhi and Tourism Finance Corporation of India (TFCI).




Hon'ble Minister Vijay Goel speaks about being a game changer in heritage as well as in the field of sports

I would like to define myself as a game changer, perhaps not in politics, but most definitely in the heritage sector. Before I introduced new elements to recreate the old charm and culture of Chandni Chowk, it was an area that was largely ignored by the people. I have endeavoured to restore a haveli to its original splendour, which was quite a Herculean task, since it was in a dilapidated condition for a long time. I am happy to say that it is now a symbol of pride for the residents of Chandni Chowk.

If someone were to ask me what is closest to my heart, I would say that India’s heritage occupies that special place, because I love my country, and I am entirely devoted to it, heart and soul. Some people were, and are, still sceptical and amazed at the seemingly impossible and incredible renovation that the haveli has undergone. Both my daughter and I have contributed enormously to the restoration of the haveli. Finally, after six years, through our cumulative efforts, the building has finally been restored to its original glory.

In our country, we need to encourage the development of sectors like heritage, travelling and tourism. Similarly, it is imperative to encourage the development of sports. In the present Olympics 2016 at Rio, our country has sent its largest ever contingent, which consists of 119 athletes. Recently, we organised a run called ‘Run For Rio, Khelo Aur Jio.’ As a first step towards achieving this transformation, we involved 30,000 people who participated in the event.

Our aim is to explore newer avenues of doing things. It is this vision that guides the government of today, and this is what our PM actively encourages.  We are therefore looking to bring about an enormous change in the way the Olympics are viewed in the country, for ways and means to bring about a greater participation of the people with the Olympics. This is our strategy - we have inaugurated an exhibition of Olympic Games in Central Park on the August 5. A giant screen has been installed, which will enable people to watch the Games all day. In a similar attempt, we have inaugurated a Wall of Wishes at India Gate where people can express their support for the athletes participating in the Olympics. We have set two agendas before us, one of them is achieving excellence in sports and the other is promoting and encouraging the Olympics.

With a view to promoting heritage, we conducted a festival called Chaudhavin Ka Chand. The event witnessed the participation of about 5 lakh people.

On this occasion, I wish to congratulate Kewal and Kamal Gill for hosting this beautiful event, and at the same time, I also wish to congratulate the award winners.  Winning an award in one’s lifetime is very significant, since it acts like a motivation for setting higher goals and higher standards, and constantly endeavouring to achieve them.

I remember when I was elected as a Member of Parliament for the first  time, I was garlanded heavily by my supporters and well-wishers. Turning towards my neighbour, I asked him to take a look at the garlands that I had been honoured with. In what I thought was a witty reply, he suggested that I view them less as decorations and accomplishments, and more as responsibilities that I had to fulfil in the future. The same thing could be said for awards, that they increase one’s responsibilities manifold, yet at the same time, one must prove oneself capable of deserving them.

We must always keep reminding ourselves of the reason the awards have been given. I congratulate the recipients of the awards once again. I’ve got great plans set up for the future as far as the development of heritage is concerned.

So there is a lot of potential when it comes to showcasing the heritage of this country and promoting it in a way that earns one a substantial amount of revenue. The encouragement of heritage as a factor will greatly enhance the tourism industry as a whole. Our PM is a great visionary and is always welcoming new ideas, if anyone of you may have a new idea or a new concept which would like to share, please share it with the PM. I once again thank everyone and congratulate everybody.

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