French Ambassador’s Travel Awards Soiree

French Ambassador Mr Alexandre Ziegler hosted Travel Awards Soiree in Mumbai to promote tourism in France and strenghtening ties with the Indian travel fraternity.

Mumbai, 2 December 2016

French Ambassador to India, Mr Alexandre Ziegler, hosted the annual Ambassador’s Travel Awards soirée, an initiative spearheaded by Atout France (France’s tourism development agency) under the high patronage of the Ambassador of France to India. This awards aim to strengthen France’s ties further with the Indian travel fraternity and encourage their endeavours in showcasing France as a premier tourism destination.

Every year, France and its capital welcome the highest number of tourists in the world, with 84 million visiting in 2015. It is also a leading outbound destination for the Indian traveller, with an impressive half a million Indians choosing France as their holiday destination in 2015.

On this occasion, H.E. Mr Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India, conferred the French distinction, Knight of the National Order of Merit, on Mr Zubin Karkaria, CEO of both VFS Global and the Kuoni Group as well as a member of Atout France’s Advisory Board Council.

Zubin Karkaria is Chief Executive Office Kuoni Group and VFS Global. He is also a Global Member of the WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council). Having pioneered the concept of visa process outsourcing in 2001 with the launch of VFS Global, Mr. Karkaria has contributed to the increased inbound tourism into France. VFS Global today serves the Government of France through the launch of 51 Visa Application Centres in 18 countries around the globe (14 in India). For details:

The award comes in recognition of Mr Karkaria’s stellar role in conceiving the visa facilitation system and promoting France as a travel destination, thus contributing to strengthening people-to-people contacts between France and India.

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 with their family.

Ambassador’s Travel Awards

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 standalone 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 an eminent panel of jury members, including Ambassador Alexandre Ziegler. A selection of 5 winners was then made with prizes divided into the following categories:

1. Platinum Category: Best Showcase of France as an Experiential Travel Destination
2. Diamond Category: Best Showcase of France as a Family-friendly Destination
3. Gold Category: Best Showcase of France as an Incentive Destination
4. Diamond Category for registering the highest number of French visas issued
5. Gold Category for registering the best growth in French visas issued


PLATINUM AWARD: A trip for two to France. Their French experience will commence in the cocooned comfort of business-class travel courtesy Air France. Travelling within France will be a smooth ride thanks to complimentary France Rail Passes offered by Rail Europe. Thanks to the active participation of our French regions and hospitality partners, the winners will experience a stay for 2 nights in Strasbourg, Alsace, 2 nights in Reims, Champagne, 2 nights at the St James Relais et Chateaux in Paris and 2 nights at the Scribe Sofitel Paris Opera by Accor, along with a soiree Parisienne at the Paradis Latin.

DIAMOND AWARD: 2-night stay for 2 at Samode Safari Lodge Bandhavgarh, courtesy Relais et Chateaux

GOLD AWARD: 2-night stay at Fairmont Jaipur, courtesy Accor Group of Hotels


DIAMOND CATEGORY: 2-night stay at Fairmont Jaipur, courtesy Accor Group of Hotels
GOLD CATEGORY: 2-night stay at the Novotel Shrem Resort in Goa, courtesy of the Accor Group of Hotels


The lucky recipient will win a stay in France with their family. The package includes round trip tickets on Air France and an 8-night stay courtesy Accor Group of Hotels comprising of 2 nights at Pullman Bercy Paris, 2 nights at Mercure la Baule, 2 nights at Mercure Nantes and 2 nights at Mercure Amiens in Picardy.

Ordre National du Mérite

French National Order of Merit was instituted in 1963 by General Charles de Gaulle. It is awarded for distinguished services rendered in public, civil, military posts, or a private profession.

Last modified on 16/12/2016

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