TravelBiz Monitor

Round Up

Thursday, 22 December, 2016, 17 : 26 PM [IST]
French Ambassador’s Travel Awards

H.E Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India with Zubin Karkaria, CEO, VFS Global & Kuoni Group

The annual Ambassador’s Travel Awards soirée, an initiative by Atout France - France Tourism Development Agency - under the patronage of the Ambassador of France to India was held at the Chambers Terrace of the Taj Mahal Palace and Towers in Mumbai earlier this month. The awards aimed at strengthening France’s ties further with the Indian travel fraternity and encourage their endeavours in showcasing France as a premier tourism destination. Launched in the form of a contest in October 2016, the Ambassador’s Travel Awards invited travel agencies to submit their published travel itineraries showcasing France as either a stand-alone destination or included a minimum 4-night stay in the country. Close to 100 itineraries were received, out of which 15 were shortlisted and judged by a panel of jury members, including H.E. Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India. A selection of 6 winners was then made with awards divided into the following categories:H.E Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India with Zubin Karkaria, CEO, VFS Global & Kuoni Group

Launched in the form of a contest in October 2016, the Ambassador’s Travel Awards invited travel agencies to submit their published travel itineraries showcasing France as either a stand-alone destination or included a minimum 4-night stay in the country. Close to 100 itineraries were received, out of which 15 were shortlisted and judged by a panel of jury members, including H.E. Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India. A selection of 6 winners was then made with awards divided into the following categories:

L-R: Sheetal Munshaw, Biswajit Chakraborty, H.E. Alexandre Ziegler and Suzanne Pereira, Sr. Vice President, Trade Relationships & Communications, Thomas Cook India Limited
Sheetal Munshaw, Director, Atout France, Biswajit Chakraborty, GM, Sofitel Mumbai, Parul Mehta, Director, Global Destination and H.E Alexandre Ziegler
L-R: Sheetal Munshaw, Biswajit Chakraborty and H.E. Alexandre Ziegler awarding Usha Nadar and family, the receipient of the 150,000th French Schenghen Visa
L-R: Sheetal Munshaw, Biswajit Chakraborty, H.E. Alexandre Ziegler and Suzanne Pereira, Sr. Vice President, Trade Relationships & Communications, Thomas Cook India Limited
1. Best Promotion of France through Travel Itineraries.
Platinum Award: Best Showcase of France as an Experiential Travel Destination WINNER - DESTINATION GLOBE.
Diamond Award: Best Showcase of France as a Family-friendly Destination WINNER - SOL TRIPS
Gold Award: Best Showcase of France as an Incentive Destination WINNER - BLUE MOON TRAVELS PVT LTD

2: Exemplary Achievements in Visa Issuances.
DIAMOND AWARD - THOMAS COOK INDIA LTD for registering the highest number of visa deliverances. GOLD AWARD - COX AND KINGS LTD for registering the best growth in French visa issuances.

This year’s edition also had a special award for the recipient of the 1,50,000th French Schengen visa, who won a stay in France as a family. The recipient was Usha Nadar and her family.

On this occasion, H.E. Alexandre Ziegler also conferred the French distinction, Chevalier Dans l’Ordre du Merite (Knight of the National Order of Merit), on Zubin Karkaria, CEO, VFS Global and Kuoni Group as well as a member of Atout France’s Advisory Board Council. The award comes in recognition of Karkaria’s stellar role in conceiving the visa facilitation system and promoting France as a premier travel destination, thus contributing to strengthening Indo-French ties and facilitating tourism influx.

Commenting on the initiative, Sheetal Munshaw, Director, Atout France India, said, “This dynamic initiative endorsed by our Ambassador has given an impetus to our efforts of showcasing France as a leading travel destination. We believe these awards will further reinforce France’s positioning as a preferred destination across segments and will motivate our travel industry partners to create many more innovative handcrafted French travel experiences for their clientele.”


Zubin Karkaria
“I am deeply honoured and humbled to be judged worthy of receiving this recognition. I have always believed in the enormous potential France has as a destination, and over the years, it has been my privilege to work with Atout France, France’s Tourism Development Agency, and many other stakeholders from the travel fraternity in promoting and facilitating travel to this beautiful country. I am grateful to the Government of France and Atout France for the trust they have placed in the Kuoni Group and in VFS Global, and of course, to all our employees for their engagement and passion to deliver first-class services every day. This recognition is truly inspirational for me and our team to aim higher in our commitment to excellence in developing travel and tourism to France.”

 
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