To tea lovers the fragrance adds a finishing touch to the drink they cherish so much. However, the world has too many varieties of tea that can be tasted. Travelling the world may not be everyone’s cup of tea hence, Shangri- La- Eros Hotel has come up with Mister Chai-a new Tea restaurant. It is a first of its kind tea restaurant which serves exquisite variety of tea and coffee. It a unique concept that has been curated to give patrons a local ‘tea shop feel’ focusing on regional Indian street food and beverages with a strong focus on tea. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Conceptualised by the renowned Dubai based interior design company. Stickman Designs, Mister Chai is an intimate and relaxed space, with a seating capacity of up to 50 guests, enclosed by a beautifully detailed brass balustrade, with each bookend creating a unique design detail. This quaint and exquisite element ensures that guests enjoy privacy from the main lobby. Unlike a conventional tea lounge, Mister Chai is a dining destination in its own right. Popular Indian street food has been re-invented and presented in exceptional style. Experienced and talented chefs under the guidance of executive hef Neeraj Tyagi, have collaborated to design a menu that is as creative as it is well thought out. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe Chai Ki Tapri, which consists of the traditional Cutting Chai, Meri Apni Cutting and Kadak Masala Chai provide the quintessential Indian Chai experience. The beverage menu further offers a variety of Black Teas, Green Teas, Oolong Teas and Herbal Teas, Regional Teas, as well as Chai Thandi a variety of Iced Cold Teas. The menu also contains a section called the Mister Chai’s Microbrewery, which offers a selection of freshly brewed lavazza coffee. The Single Origin Coffee selection is inspired from specific coffee native regions such as Blue Mountain (Jamaican, Full Bodied and powerful), Rain Forest (Costa Rican, Aromatic and Refined) and more. Mister Chai also offers non-tea specialties from the streets of India under the Indian Chaska selection such as Masala Cola, Nimbu Lemon, Orange Ginger Punch, among other similar exciting beverage options. The collection of mouth-watering snacks that have been created is a kaleidoscope of regional dishes with a modern twist. The ‘Namkeen ka Dabba ‘, which is also considered to be the famous Indian savoury teatime snack, comprises of Ajwani Matthi, Curry Patta Peanuts, Cheese Fan giving your palate the perfect flavourful punch. The Wow Pao is a modern take on the native Maharashtran snack consisting of aperitifs such as the Goan Chorizo Pao, Shikampuri Pao or even the classic Vada Pao. Continuing with the Maharashtran inspired relishes, the menu also contains a ‘Taste of Mumbai’ section comprising of classics such as Colaba Fish Fry Sandwich, Bun Maska and much more which encapsulate the authentic flavours of Maharashtra. The Chaat Pe Charcha selection comprises of Corn Bhel, Kale Pakora Chaat, and Shakarkandi Chaat encapsulating flavours in sync with the most popular street food in the Capital.
PERU — G Adventures’ first-ever Change Makers Summit, held earlier this month in Peru, was no ordinary FAM.Agents had to earn a spot on the trip based on their sales, as well as ‘social good’ entry submissions. They knew the week-long summit would take place in June, but they didn’t know where. Nor did they have advance details about the itinerary, except that they’d see first-hand the impact of responsible travel on local communities.Ultimately more than 100 travel agents from around the world took part in the Change Makers Summit. Travelweek attended the FAM as well.Bruce Poon Tip speaks to travel agents at the first-ever Change Makers Summit (all photos courtesy Vawn Himmelsbach)G Adventures’ novel approach is meant to inspire change in the way FAMs are run. “I’ve been extremely angry for years about the traditional FAM policy of this industry,” Bruce Poon Tip, founder of G Adventures, told Travelweek during the summit.“I know it’s super controversial when I talk about these FAMs,” he says. “Travel agents don’t get paid a lot so they’re in the travel industry to travel, and the head offices are taking advantage of that by not paying them more and offering these FAMs as their incentives to retain employees.”As a result, many agents pick FAMs based on the date or destination, but “there’s no connection to the operator or why they’re choosing it,” he says. “They’re the face of our company when they’re delivering our brand promise to their customers, and there’s a huge disconnect with this traditional FAM and a lack of innovation in this accepted behaviour of FAMs.”That was the inspiration behind the brand-new Change Makers Summit, which involved 147 attendees from 17 countries, including 15 Canadian travel agents. The FAM included stays in Lima, Cusco and the Sacred Valley, as well as a day trip to Machu Picchu and a ‘Big Night Out’ bash on the last night of the summit.More news: Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”Poon Tip says previously G wasn’t always getting the right type of agent on its FAMs. But with Change Makers, agents had to earn a coveted spot on the FAM.“The travel agent becomes an instrumental part of delivering our really aggressive brand promise,” says Poon Tip. “Our product is just not commoditized like it is when you’re selling capacity on ships or in resorts.” People don’t know what to expect when they book a trek in Nepal, a bike trip across Vietnam or a river boat cruise up the Amazon. “They have tons of questions, and that’s the role of the agent.”While the summit was a chance to connect with agents, it was also a chance to showcase G’s social enterprise projects. Rather than offering volunteer experiences for travellers (a concept Poon Tip feels can’t be done in a meaningful way on organized group trips), G created the Planeterra Foundation in 2003. This non-profit organization supports social enterprise projects connected to G’s tours.“Planeterra was created because we believe that travel is the biggest form of wealth distribution the world has ever seen and we want to make sure the communities and local people that we visit benefit from travel,” says Victoria Houle, Planeterra’ director of development.Locals can earn income from tourism by providing accommodations, meals, transportation and cultural experiences. So far, Planeterra’s projects around the world have received more than 500,000 travellers.Travel agents visit the Ccaccaccollo Women’s Weaving Cooperative in PeruPlaneterra lives under the ‘G For Good’ umbrella, which also encompasses the Ripple Score (the percentage of money G spends locally on trip services), Responsible Travel Policies and G Values Fund. “We do this because it’s estimated that out of every $100 that somebody spends in a country on a trip, only about $10 of that actually stays in that community,” says Houle.During the summit, Planeterra announced the next phase in its evolution. The foundation started out with 25 projects, and in 2015 launched ‘50 in 5,’ with 50 additional projects to be completed within five years.More news: Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA Sales“We’re so happy to say that we just met our goal of 75 projects in total around the world,” says Houle. “We decided we wanted to up the game, so now we’re going to launch ‘Project 100.’ We are going to be adding 25 more projects by the end of 2020.”Travel agents visit the Ccaccaccollo Women’s Weaving CooperativeWhile in Peru, agents visited the Ccaccaccollo Women’s Weaving Co-op in the Sacred Valley. The Planeterra-supported co-op provides an economic alternative for women who previously didn’t benefit from the tourism industry. Today, 60 women are directly employed by the co-op — which uses traditional weaving methods to produce textiles from llama and alpaca wool — but the impact extends to 440 community members, with 10,000 travellers visiting each year.Agents also visited Parwa Community Restaurant in Huchuy Qosco, also in the Sacred Valley. All income earned by the restaurant is used for investment in social projects for the community. The project directly impacts 65 people, but also benefits 1,000 community members (the ingredients used in the restaurant, for example, are purchased from local farmers).“My a-ha moment [on this trip] was when we visited Parwa Restaurant,” says Vicky Young, an international travel consultant with Flight Centre in Calgary, one of the Canadian agents who earned a spot on the FAM. “I’ve talked about this project for a very long time with clients.” So seeing it for the first time is something she won’t soon forget.“Seeing how Planeterra has changed that community is incredible — it’s given new life to them and they continue to pay it forward,” says Young. “I feel blessed to be a change maker and come here this week. I know we love changing lives, but I truly feel that all of our lives have been changed by being here as well.” Share Friday, June 28, 2019 Tags: FAMs, G Adventures, Peru “Huge disconnect” with typical FAMS spurs G Adventures to create Change Makers Summit By: Vawn Himmelsbach << Previous PostNext Post >>