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Courtesy: Papaya Films – India
We are all made of this earth. And our souls are connected to the spirit of this land, constantly reminding us that we are essentially one. Today, this essence of human experience is lost in our race to make ends meet. Pause… Look around… Listen… Let these mystical tales of the land and its people inspire us to be better human beings and responsible caretakers of the earth. Evolve. Back.

Orange County Resorts (now Evolve Back) is a member
of the All India Resort Development Association.
http://www.airda.org

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Talk to us about the romance and magic often associated with the Taj – what makes it so special?
You need a little eloquence here to answer that question, and I quote William Shakespeare – “A wonder of wonders in the world, the Taj Mahal is a living edifice of human passion, which neither History dares to bury in its grave nor does Time dare to forget.”

When you’re right there, standing in front of it, the Taj is like a painting with a warm glow of passion, love and romance – intricately woven into the architectural highlights. I am also fascinated with the thought of how a monument of love can turn into one of the Wonders of the World.

The Taj Mahal is perhaps the biggest and most magnificent symbol of love – and the visual appeal here is just as romantic as the stories associated with it. Both the Taj and the Mehtaab Bagh nearby, are popular locations for wedding and advertising related photo-shoots – sometimes the backdrop can make all the difference to the story.

More on our interview with Vidushi Gupta at this link >
Q&A Interviews / June 2020

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Priyanka Rastogi

Priyanka Rastogi is an author and travel entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience in Tourism & Hospitality. She has just published her first book Early Sunrise, Early Sunset : Tales of a Solo Woman Traveler Across North East and East India. The book is an outcome of more than 100 trips done in the region over last 6 years.

Priyanka is an IATA qualified travel and tourism professional with industry experience across contracting, sales, operations, customer care and product development in the domestic travel sector. She has held senior level positions in India Hotel Review, Goibibo and Stayzilla. As a senior marketing manager at Goibibo, she was in charge of operations in the east and north east region – directly responsible for 1200 properties.

Priyanka is currently involved in the incubation of kiomoi.com –a technology-enabled experiential holiday planning & booking platform. Through this innovative business model, she plans to help the under-served markets of north east India.

More on our interview with Priyanka Rastogi at this link >
Message of the Month Interview / June 2020

 

 

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This is an interview with “mobile” film maker from Mumbai, Shiva Prasad – in our Message of the Month section.

How can lay people on a vacation take better pictures using their mobile phones?

People love to capture their travel and adventure photos and look forward to preserving them as fond memories for the rest of their lives. That’s where the mobile phone comes in to capture beautiful imagery and footage on your vacation.

Many of the recently launched mobile phones have interesting creative presets such as slow motion videos, time-lapse (passage of time) giving you the ability to film in variable frame rates like 30 and 60 frames – and going right up to 970 frames on some phones. The latest Samsung Galaxy S 20 allows you to capture footage in true cinematic 24 frames in 8k resolution – the only mobile phone which offers this feature till date.

More on our interview with Shiva Prasad at this link >
Message of the Month Interview / May 2020

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This is an interview with James George from Dubai, in our Q&A section.

How hard does it become to take a break for a vacation?
My brother Joel and I look forward to the great outdoors, together – because I live and work in Dubai and he is based in Bangalore. Oftentimes, life gets in the way and the time we do eventually spend when we meet is with other family members at home. When I came down this time, he had planned this trip so we could spend some quality time together and really unwind. Naturally we wanted the quality of our destination to be enhanced by the locale of our stay.

But, taking a break isn’t easy – you need to align calendars and make concrete plans that you can stay with. I am glad we were able to make this trip in the beginning of February – before more than half of the world’s population went into lockdown due to Covid19. Since the experience is recent, I have fond memories at our resort in Virajpet, of the Club Mahindra experience.

More on our interview with James George at this link >
Q&A Interviews / May 2020

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In the last months of 2019, people looked at 2020 as the turnaround year for business and enterprise, building up to a year of strong consolidation. The anticipation was short-lived as Covid-19 literally took the world by storm. As we present this story, the world is no longer the same – but we always have tomorrow to look forward to. (We do.)

This month’s Q&A session reflects the thoughts, feelings and emotions of people who actually planned to go on vacation during March / April this year. With bookings made, all they needed to do was pack their bags.

However, these conversations also reflect an understanding of the current situation. People are overcoming their initial disappointment with responsible thinking.

More on this story at this link >
Q&A Interviews / April 2020

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A swimming pool with a beautiful backdrop – at Sterling Wayanad

Ullas Abraham is a young hospitality professional based in Mangalore. He runs two transit guest houses in the city –a 64-room property and a smaller 12-room establishment. He also has hands-on experience in running a standalone restaurant – which means he knows what it takes to keep his guests happy, comfortable and satisfied.

Before he ventured into the world of hospitality, Ullas worked with Thomson Reuters as a content analyst, and says working within the rigid framework of the corporate world was not what he had in mind as a long term career path. More importantly, “hospitality” was something he always had a passion for – to be with guests, to anticipate their needs, and make them comfortable.

In this interview Ullas talks to us about his vacation at Sterling Resorts in Wayanad. He also talks about the one good reason he was forced to take a break from his hectic work schedule.

More on this story at this link >
Q&A Interview / March 2020

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Picture : copyright Shiva Prasad

Shiva Prasad is a Mumbai-based management graduate in international business. He chose filmmaking as his career, and has worked in Indian and British films. He also worked as a creative researcher for the Hindi feature film Irada, which won the Indian National Award in 2018. He has also been rated as a top photographer on Google Maps. As an extension to his passionate interest in anything smartphone, Shiva is an active stock video producer for leading stock agencies across the globe.

Shiva tasted success as a filmmaker in the year 2013, when he was stranded in the Uttarakhand flash floods. He managed to survive that and captured nature’s fury in great detail on his smartphone. (That was all the shooting kit he had with him at that point.)

Shiva has filmed a 20-episode television series on India’s holy river “Krishna”, with his smartphone. And Samsung, too, was inspired to produce a promotional video about Shiva Prasad’s creative journey in movie making.

For our Message for the Month feature we chatted with Shiva on his personal journey, and how people on vacation can take better pictures and videos on their smart phones. (This is the first segment in a two-part series of interviews.)

More on this story at this link >
Message of the Month / March 2020

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Every month, hundreds of personal items are left behind at hotels and resorts all over the country. A lot of these go unclaimed as they could be inexpensive items – and returning something small can sometimes be cumbersome, or impractical.

But if the item left behind is valuable or expensive, you can expect an anxious call from the guest – to check if the item has been found, and explore ways of having it picked up by someone.

For this month’s Q&A column, we spoke to five housekeeping supervisors at different locations, to hear their Lost & Found stories.

More on this story at the link below >

In conversation with Housekeeping Professionals
Q&A Session / February – 2020

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Dominique Hoover is an experienced and independent researcher, with project related experience in Aquaculture, Coral Reefs and Snorkeling. She has a professional interest in projects that address coral reef restoration and conservation.

Dominique has a Masters Degree in Marine Biology and Oceanography from Annamalai University, and is a Research Fellow from the National Institute of Oceanography at Dona Paula, Goa.

We now chat with Dominique on the growing need to protect our environment, and how responsible tourism can play a huge support role in this effort.

More on this story at the link below >

In conversation with Dominique Hoover
Message of the Month / February – 2020

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