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Dear Eunice,


You have been shortlisted as a finalist for Outstanding Online Feature for the first ever VisitBritain Media Awards (APMEA). In recognition of your journalistic skill and excellence, and to show our gratitude for the support you have extended to Britain through your compelling story, we would like to invite you to attend the awards ceremony, to be held this year at our flagship trade event, Destination Britain and Ireland (DEBI), from the 15th to the 17th May, at the Leela Palace Kempinski in Bangalore, India.


It took me a while to organise my thoughts when I received this email in March, especially when I skimmed through the message then only realised that I was invited to attend the media awards event in Bangalore, India after I opened the attached file.

All thanks to VisitBritain, STA Travel and Topdeck for the opportunity to visit Wales, England and Scotland in August 2010. Jacky and I enjoyed the trip tremendously and we took loads of photos and blogged about our 11-day of travel experience in Britain. From Cardiff, the beautiful capital city of Wales, we travelled to Oxford, Stratford-Upon-Avon, the medieval city of York and Hadrian’s Wall in Northern England before crossing over to Scotland, immersing ourselves in the world’s largest arts festival in Edinburgh – The Fringe. We even ventured into the Scottish Highlands to look for Nessie! Glasgow was the final leg of our journey where we did lot of shopping there.

‘Britain You’re Invited’ media event in Bangalore, India

On 15th May, we flew to India where I attended the exclusive ‘Britain You’re Invited‘ media event held at the Leela Palace Kempinski Hotel in Bangalore on 16th May.

As part of DEBI (Destination Britain and Ireland) – VisitBritain’s biggest trade event of its kind in the APMEA (Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa) region – the 4-year ‘Britain You’re Invited’ campaign aimed at extending the Britain invite to the rest of the world. High profile celebrities were presented as Goodwill Ambassadors for this campaign and they are Karan Johar, the leading Bollywood fimmaker, Asha Gill, the internationally acclaimed host for Lonely Planet Six Degrees and Alex Hua Tian, the leading 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games Event Riding candidate.

At the event, Sandie Dawe, the Chief Executive of VisitBritain, said, “Britain welcomed over 4 million visitors in 2010 from the APMEA region. These travellers spent approximately £4.5 billion during their travel to Britain. As one of our major growth regions, Asia will be a key area for the global roll out of the ‘Britain You’re Invited’ campaign.

The upcoming mega-events in the 2012 calendar includes:

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee that will mark 60 years of the Queen’s reign and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Left: Alex Hua Tian, Asha Gill and Karan Johar as goodwill ambassadors to invite the world to Britain.

VisitBritain Media Awards 2011 APMEA

The Media Awards 2011 APMEA was held at the poolside of the Leela Palace on the same night. This prestigious event “recognises excellence in travel journalism that has made a significant contribution in shaping Britain’s brand … Each feature was judged based on quality of the story, journalistic skill and style, message, and its innate ability to inspire its audience and showcase the destination from a fresh perspective.”

The four main award categories are Outstanding Newspaper Feature, Outstanding Magazine Feature, Outstanding Broadcast Feature and Outstanding Online Feature. emerged as one of the three finalists for Outstanding Online Feature. The other finalist was Travel Tart from Australia and the winner was Fan Yi Ren from China (congrats to both of you!). Lastly, thanks to the officers for shortlisting TravelerFolio!

A screenshot of TravelerFolio.

A photo shot with Asha Gill. She is gorgeous!

The standing dinner at the hotel poolside.

We put up two nights of stay at the luxury Leela Palace Kempinski Bangalore that bears the architectural style of the Royal Palace of Mysore.

Photos of our deluxe hotel room, the interiors and exteriors of Leela Palace.

Check out this blog soon for more updates on our trip in exotic India!