afaqs!

Travel Trendz TV: Soon, a new travel channel on the block

By Anindita Sarkar , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | March 26, 2012
Promoted by the Agri Gold Group, the channel will be launched in the second quarter of 2012; Tajamul Hussain has been roped in as chief strategy officer, national.

Agri Gold Group, a 3,500 crore entity in the state of Andhra Pradesh, will soon foray into the television broadcast space with a specialised travel channel named Travel Trendz TV. The channel is founded by R Rama Rao Avvas, who is the chairman of the group. For the record, the Agri Gold Group's core competencies include media and advertising, agro and farm products, real estate, infrastructure, theme parks and resorts.

Housed under the unit Tourism & Travel Media Entertainment, Travel Trendz TV will go live in the second quarter of 2012/03. The channel will be headquartered in Hyderabad and will launch with programming in both Hindi and English. Also, the programmes will be subtitled in English.

P R Satheesh

R Rama Rao Avvas

Tajamul Hussain

Abdul Azeem

The channel notes that in India, most of the programming in the travel and tourism genre is either dubbed international content or very limited local content. Travel Trendz TV programming will focus to meet the needs of the Indian viewer with local content which is original and relevant.

P R Satheesh, president, Travel Trendz TV, says, "The travel space has seen sustained growth year on year. Coupled with the fact that there aren't any channels focusing clearly on this space in India, we have decided to fill the void. The vision is to showcase 5,000 years of India and as we go along, there will be more feeds in languages such as Bengali, Tamil and Telugu."

Earlier last month, the channel had appointed P R Satheesh as president. Teams and offices in the key markets are also under way and there will be more announcements soon, the channel adds.

Avvas says, "The Indian media and entertainment industry is growing at 15-17 per cent CAGR and we intend to be a part of this industry. Through Travel Trendz TV, we aim to educate and inform the growing number of travelling Indians and foreign tourists who are arriving in India about India and its diversity."

The programming of the channel will primarily focus on genres such as history, heritage and culture, adventure tourism, eco tourism, world art and culture, celebrity travel diaries, evolution of gourmet culture, wonders of the world, business travel and festivals of the world.

Meanwhile, the channel has roped in Tajamul Hussain as chief strategy officer. Earlier, Hussain was the founder and CEO of En Suite, an integrated communications company based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Armed with 21 years of experience, Hussain has worked across the areas of media planning and buying, brand communication, marketing and the media business. Some of the advertising agencies that he has worked with include DDB, Tribal DDB, Optimum Media and Saatchi & Saatchi. He was also a part of the GCC Media Research Committee - a grouping of agencies, advertisers and media, as head of the technical committee.

He has worked on various sectors including FMCG, durables, services, finance and telecom in international markets such as West Asia, North Africa, Europe and North America.

Commenting on the appointment, Abdul Azeem, executive director and CEO, Tourism & Travel Media Entertainment, says, "All his life, Tajamul has observed evolution of the media organisation from the other side of the table and his coming in as the CSO will ensure Travel Trendz TV's successful launch, thereafter developing strategic business opportunities in the domestic as well as international markets. His long and diverse international experience both in the traditional and new media space will help Travel Trendz TV bring innovation for its long term growth and success."

Hussain adds, "Worldwide, the name of the media game is fast becoming aggregating attention with aggregated content distributed through multiple platforms and technologies. I feel that Travel Trendz is well poised and ready to ride the new media fragmentation wave to catapult itself as one of the significant niche media channels in the travel and tourism genre of resurgent India."

It is pertinent to note here that with concerted efforts by brand Incredible India, the FTA (Foreign Tourist Arrivals) in India has increased to an estimated 7 million in 2011. There are approximately 750 million Indians who travel within India and around 13 million Indians who travel abroad on leisure or business.

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