New Ayush Visa Category Introduced for Foreign Nationals

New Ayush Visa Category Introduced for Foreign Nationals

By Author

Published on August 6, 2023

The Government of India has introduced a new category of Ayush (AY) visa for foreign nationals seeking treatment under Ayush systems and Indian systems of medicine. This Ayush visa aims to facilitate therapeutic care, wellness, and yoga for foreigners visiting India.

The new Ayush visa category, incorporated as Chapter 11A in the Visa Manual, will cover treatment under Indian traditional medicine. This initiative is part of India's efforts to promote Medical Value Travel and make Indian traditional medicine a global phenomenon.

The idea of creating a special Ayush Visa was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Global Ayush Investment and Innovation Summit in Gujarat in April 2022. This step is aligned with the government's Heal in India initiative, which aims to establish India as a preferred medical value travel destination.

The Ayush and Health & Family Welfare Ministries are collaborating to develop a comprehensive Heal in India portal to promote medical tourism in India. The Global Wellness Institute projects significant growth in the global wellness economy, with the Ayush-based healthcare and wellness economy expected to reach USD 70 billion by 2025.

In addition to the Ayush Visa, the Ministry of Ayush has signed a memorandum of understanding with the India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) to promote medical value travel in Ayurveda and other traditional systems of medicine. These efforts reflect the government's commitment to promote and expand the Ayush system of treatment both nationally and internationally.

Leadership Transition at World Sustainable Hospitality Alliance: Daniella Foster Takes Over from Wolfgang M. Neumann

Leadership Transition at World Sustainable Hospitality Alliance: Daniella Foster Takes Over from Wolfgang M. Neumann

By Nishang Narayan

Published on May 24, 2024

The World Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, a pivotal organization in promoting sustainability within the hospitality sector, has announced a change in its leadership. Wolfgang M. Neumann, who has served as Chair for nine years, has stepped down, marking the end of a significant era of leadership that saw the Alliance emerge as a global leader in sustainability.

Daniella Foster, previously the Vice Chair, has been appointed as the new Chair. Foster, who is also the Executive Board Member and Global Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, Market Access, and Sustainability at Bayer's Consumer Health Division, brings a wealth of experience to her new role. She has been a part of the Alliance's board since last year and has played a critical role in strategic planning and execution.


During Neumann's tenure, the Alliance focused on setting ambitious sustainability targets and fostering a Net Positive Hospitality vision. His contributions were pivotal in shaping the organization's direction and impact. Following his resignation from the board, Neumann will continue to influence the industry as he chairs the faculty board of the newly established World Academy for Sustainable Hospitality.

In her remarks, Daniella Foster expressed gratitude to Neumann for his leadership and outlined her vision for the Alliance. She emphasized the importance of creating industry-wide sustainability standards and driving collective impact through collaborative efforts. Foster's leadership is expected to guide the Alliance through a period of substantial growth, focusing on cross-industry collaboration to achieve significant economic and environmental outcomes.

The Alliance also welcomed three new trustees this year:

  • Denise Naguib, Vice President of Sustainability & Supplier Diversity at Marriott International

  • Inge Huijbrechts, Global Senior Vice President of Sustainability, Security & Corporate Communications at Radisson Hotel Group

  • Jonathan Worsley, Chairman & Founder of The Bench

Inge Huijbrechts will take over as Vice Chair, supporting Foster in her new role. The leadership changes coincide with the Alliance's ongoing efforts to implement its five-year strategy, which includes establishing universal criteria for sustainability standards and launching educational initiatives like the World Academy.


Reflecting on the leadership transition, Glenn Mandziuk, CEO of the World Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, praised Neumann's visionary leadership and expressed optimism about Foster's appointment. Under Foster's guidance, the Alliance is poised to further its mission of moving the hospitality industry towards a more sustainable and positive future.

For more details on the World Sustainable Hospitality Alliance and its initiatives, visit their official website.

IHG Launches Summer Soiree Series Across Luxury & Lifestyle Hotels in the Americas

IHG Launches Summer Soiree Series Across Luxury & Lifestyle Hotels in the Americas

By Nishang Narayan

Published on May 21, 2024

IHG Hotels & Resorts is set to enhance the summer season with its newly launched Summer Soiree series, taking place at various luxury and lifestyle properties across the Americas, including brands like InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Vignette Collection, and Hotel Indigo. This series, which runs from June 1 to September 2, promises an immersive experience through its bespoke seasonal offerings.

The Summer Soiree series is designed to embody the essence of summer, transforming hotel spaces with lush botanical decor and providing a sensory journey with a curated playlist of summer tunes. Each property will feature unique floral pop-ups and themed events, ensuring a memorable stay for guests.


Key highlights include interactive and immersive installations at select hotels, offering guests unique experiences such as cocktail crafting with botanical ingredients and luxury dining experiences that showcase the best of summer flavors. These installations, created in collaboration with Wanda Barcelona, bring an artistic flair to the hotel lobbies, making them vibrant hubs of summer activity.

Participating hotels, such as the InterContinental The Willard Washington DC and the Kimpton EPIC Hotel in Miami, will host special events including live music evenings and interactive art sessions, elevating the guest experience and fostering a sense of community and enjoyment.

IHG’s commitment to delivering exceptional experiences is reflected in the thoughtful integration of local culture and seasonal themes across its hotel brands, making each stay uniquely delightful. From the Club InterContinental lounges to the rooftop events at Kimpton hotels, guests can expect a summer filled with joy, relaxation, and luxury.


For more details on the Summer Soiree series and to make reservations, guests can visit IHG's official website or use the IHG One Rewards mobile app to access exclusive member pricing and benefits.

This summer initiative by IHG not only promises a series of unforgettable experiences but also underscores the brand’s dedication to innovation and excellence in hospitality.

For more information and to book your summer escape, please visit IHG’s Summer Soiree page. IHG's Summer Soiree is a celebration of the season, inviting travelers to immerse themselves in a world of luxury, culture, and exquisite hospitality, perfectly curated to enhance the summer vacation experience.

Cross Hotels & Resorts Unveils New Hybrid Hotel Brand Lumen in Bangkok

Cross Hotels & Resorts Unveils New Hybrid Hotel Brand Lumen in Bangkok

By Nishang Narayan

Published on May 20, 2024

Cross Hotels & Resorts has introduced a groundbreaking hotel brand, Lumen, marking its debut with the opening of Lumen Bangkok Udomsuk Station. This new brand reflects the company's dedication to creating tailored guest experiences that capture the essence of their respective locales under the tagline ‘A Brighter Way to Stay’.

Lumen hotels are designed to immerse guests in the local culture and feature unique signatures that resonate with the destination. “Lumen is a distinctive brand that seamlessly blends the hotel experience with the local neighborhood, enriching guests' stays with genuine local interactions,” said Harry Thaliwal, CEO of Cross Hotels & Resorts.

The newly opened Lumen Bangkok Udomsuk Station boasts 102 guest rooms and a variety of dining options, catering to the tastes and preferences of every guest. The hotel’s facilities include a rooftop infinity pool, a modern gym, a family-friendly game room, and a versatile co-working space complete with a boardroom. Additionally, guests can enjoy around-the-clock service at the hotel’s 24-hour bar.


Strategically located for both leisure and business travelers, the hotel offers easy access to Suvarnabhumi International Airport, making it an ideal choice for international visitors.

This partnership between Cross Hotels & Resorts and Italmar (Thailand) builds on the success of their previous joint venture, Cross Vibe Bangkok Sukhumvit, launched in 2017. Direk Vongvairoj, Chairman of Italmar (Thailand), expressed enthusiasm about the new venture, stating, “Lumen represents an innovative concept in hotel development, especially for Udomsuk and the eastern part of Bangkok.”

Cross Hotels & Resorts continues to expand its portfolio, which currently includes 28 properties across Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, and Vietnam, under six distinct brands. The launch of Lumen is a testament to the company’s ongoing commitment to innovation and excellence in the hospitality industry.

For more details about reservations and the unique offerings at Lumen Bangkok Udomsuk Station, visit the Cross Hotels & Resorts website. This new brand promises a refreshing approach to hospitality, ensuring that each stay is not just a visit but a rich, culturally immersive experience.

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