Tag Archives: ‎Vice President

Sunil R. Kumar re-elected as UFTAA President

The new Universal Federation of Travel Agents Association (UFTAA) board was elected at its AGM held during the UFTAA Congress held in Tel Aviv. The new UFTAA board now included Sunil R. Kumar from India as the new president, Yossef Fatael from Israel as the Vice President, S.G. Kaka from Kenya as the Vice President – Finance, and Cetin Gurcun from Turkey as the Vice President – Tourism. Sunil R. Kumar has been re-elected as the President of UFTAA for the third time starting from 2015. Kumar says, “It is delightful to be assigned with the responsibility to lead the most prestigious UFTAA once again. The association has a glorious past and a roaring future in the world of global networking that is extremely important in our fast evolving industry. UFTAA’s tourism initiatives and getting more parts of the world into Active UFTAA is what does matter for the success of UFTAA. I attribute this success to TAAI and India, for our respect globally is well acknowledged and accepted. It also implies that we have greater responsibility of our shoulders and this will certainly be delivered well. Congratulations everyone one in the Indian Industry for this global lead opportunity, which is historic to have been re-elected.” The Board of Directors meeting of UFTAA was held on February 6, 2018, at Tel Aviv. During the Congress, UFTAA welcomed some prominent regions of the world who joined UFTAA. This includes COTAL, the federation of travel & tourism associations of 25 countries of Latin America and China Association of Travel Services (CATS) that joined UFTAA as its Association Member.

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Cleartrip launches ‘Shortlist’ to enhance hotel selection experience

Cleartrip has announced the launch of Shortlist feature to facilitate a more seamless, hassle-free booking experience for its users. Shortlists can be shared with other users to enhance planning amongst groups travelling together. Ankit Rastogi, Vice President, Hotels Cleartrip, says, “Constant improvement and evolution focused on improving the travel process make Cleartrip the platform of choice for millions of users. We’ve made it simpler, quicker and more collaborative an experience when you book hotels with Cleartrip. With Shortlist, we hope to drive 25% higher conversion to begin with and optimise it even further along the way. We will be tracking engagement and conversion from this feature to continue improving it.” The purpose of the feature is to improve how user’s research and plan for a trip by allowing them the flexibility to select amongst thousands of available hotels at their convenience, without having to start from scratch every time they resume their search. Users can, moreover, compare the location of shortlisted properties and the price on a map of the area, adding new insights to help them make their choice.

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Uniglobe launches Impact 100 campaign for agencies

Uniglobe Travel South Asia has launched  its Impact 100 campaign, a unique programme which will help independent travel agencies survive in the ever-changing travel environment. The aim is to attract independent agencies that require a global brand and the benefits of being part of a franchise organisation to survive in today’s travel marketplace. “We have begun an aggressive campaign to help independent travel agencies prepare adequately for the new environment. We are reaching out to as many independent agencies as possible making them aware of our marketing tools, customer servicing systems and cost saving technologies”, said Ritika Modi, Regional President, Uniglobe Travel South Asia. “In discussions with independent agencies, we are highlighting the benefits of joining Uniglobe and the tools and programmes they receive as members. We feel strongly that being Uniglobe branded, having access to our preferred programmes and being part of a global network provides any agency with the best opportunity to be successful in today’s evolving marketplace,” noted Amanda J Close, Vice President, Global Operations & Regional Services, Uniglobe Travel International.    

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Mumbai–Kabul air-freight corridor opens

In a historic move, an aircraft carrying perishables arrived at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) from Kabul, Afghanistan, marking the launch of a dedicated air freight corridor service between the two cities. An initiative implemented with the joint efforts of Danish Sarwar, Vice President of Afghanistan and Chennamanneni Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra, this connectivity will provide the land-locked Afghanistan greater access to markets in Maharashtra. Additionally, it will allow Afghan businessmen to leverage the economic growth, enhance trade networks and offer Afghan farmers direct access to the markets in western India for their perishable goods. The event was presided over by the Principal Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra, diplomats from the office of Governor of Maharashtra and officials of the Consulate General of Afghanistan. The dignitaries along with officials of CSIA welcomed the inaugural flight routed Kabul-Mumbai-Kabul which carried 40 tons of fresh apples on the inbound and 20 tons of bananas along with 20 tons of fresh tomatoes on the outbound.

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A sad move as agents generate bulk sales: Rajat Sawhney

Rajat Sawhney, Vice President, ADTOI, says, “It’s a worldwide strategy where all the airlines are aiming at zero per cent commission to agents and Jet Airways has followed suit. It is sad and unfortunate that though bulk of the sales is generated through travel agents, there is no incentive for them to sell their products. This is probably a unique example in business where channel partners are not given any incentive to sell their products. It is high time that agents act as advisors and sell experiences. They should sell packages under their own brand name and offer bundled products with hotels, airlines tickets, transfers, visa, sightseeing and F&B etc. The agents should discourage the selling of stand-alone products which anyway would not fetch them any revenue.”

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OTOAI elects Mahendra Vakharia as President for 2017-19

Mahendra Vakharia, Managing Director, Pathfinders Holidays has been elected as the President while Himanshu Patil, Director, Kesari Tours is the new Vice President for Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI). The other office bearers are Chitra Bhatia, Director, Aashman Air Travels who is the new General Secretary; Gurdeep Gujaral, Founder Director, Gujral Tours and Travels continues to hold the post of Joint Secretary while Siddharth Khanna, Partner, Khanna Enterprises is the new Treasurer. The Executive Committee members include Ankush Nijhawan, Managing Director, Nijhawan Group, Sujit Nair, Founder and Group Managing Director, Akquasun Group, Riaz Munshi, Managing Director, N. Chirag Travels, Shravan Bhalla, Chief Executive Officer, High Flyer, Adl Karim Director, Creative Tours and Travels (India) and Rajeev Sabharwal, CEO, Gaurav Travels. Vakharia says, “I feel extremely happy, privileged and honoured to be trusted with this position. Increasing our membership across India remains to be our top priority.” The state chairmen will be announced in due course of time, informs Vakharia.

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IHG & SAMHI to expand Holiday Inn Express portfolio in India

InterContinental Hotels Group has partnered with SAMHI to rebrand approximately 2000 rooms (operating and under construction) within its India hotel portfolio, to Holiday Inn Express® hotels. The recently signed portfolio comprises 14 hotels, including 10 open hotels across key cities such as Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi NCR, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai. The additional four hotels are under construction. The signing sees IHG grow its pipeline by 41 hotels, positioning IHG as one of the largest players in India’s growing midscale hotel market. All hotels in the portfolio will be closed while they are being refurbished and upgraded with the latest design directives, to ensure the portfolio is fully representative of the Holiday Inn Express brand globally. The hotels will feature the next-generation design, several additional public areas and feature brand hallmarks to enhance guest service delivery. Commenting on the announcement, Sudeep Jain, Vice President, Development, South West Asia, IHG said: “It is with great pride and excitement that we are announcing our partnership with SAMHI for conversion of their existing mid-market hotel portfolio in India to Holiday Inn Express. This is a significant move towards establishing IHG as a leading player in the midscale hotel segment in India, while we continue to build on our upscale and luxury offering in the country with InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts.” Jain added: “With this signing, we now have close to 60 hotels open and in the pipeline, across the Holiday Inn Brand Family. SAMHI is keen to accelerate Holiday Inn Express’ highly efficient operating model and engage the brand’s growing familiarity in the country. Holiday Inn Express is the rest and go hotel brand that delivers a …

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Marriott International rolls out culinary loyalty programme

  Marriott International has launched the new Club Marriott in India, a leading dining loyalty programme that integrates three powerful dining loyalty segments—Club Marriott, Eat Drink & More and Star Privilege—into a single paid membership programme. The newly combined Club Marriott provides members with more choices and benefits whenever they dine out in their hometowns or visit one of the 250 participating hotels across 16 brands in 13 countries across the region. The new programme will be granting its members exclusive access to a diverse assortment of hotels that will furnish locally relevant benefits and dining options. As Club Marriott members, the guests will have easy access to a range of select hotel facilities and also be entitled to lucrative discounts over fine dining and accommodation at the participating hotels across APAC countries. “We’re all set to recognise and reward our Indian guests with memorable experiences with a distinctive range of dining options and exclusive benefits across our wide portfolio of brands under Marriott International,” said Ralph Frehner, Vice President, Food and Beverage, Asia-Pacific for Marriott International.  

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ADTOI launches its Andhra Pradesh Chapter

The Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India (ADTOI) launched its Andhra Pradesh Chapter during its 8th Annual Convention held in Visakhapatnam recently. Vijay Mohan, Member, Andhra Pradesh Tourism Authority, Government of Andhra Pradesh and President of Tour and Travels Association of Andhra Pradesh, will head this chapter for the association. Rajat Sawhney, Vice President, ADTOI, said, “The membership of the association is predominantly based in North, East and West India. In the South, barring Kerala we had less presence in states like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The launch of the Andhra Pradesh State Chapter of ADTOI is a maiden attempt to set its imprints and penetrate the southern parts of India for the larger benefits of the domestic tour operators.” Commenting on the targets of this newly formed state chapter of ADTOI, Mohan said “The association of tour operators of Andhra Pradesh has about 187 members. We received 12 registrations just in 24 hours. We would work towards increasing membership and are looking at approximately 50 members at the end of this financial year.”

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Hyatt Regency Lucknow opens doors

Hyatt announced today the opening of Hyatt Regency Lucknow, the first Hyatt-branded hotel in Lucknow. Hyatt Regency Lucknow is the 27th Hyatt-branded hotel in India and further expands the company’s brand presence in South Asia. With 206 guestrooms, including 19 suites, Hyatt Regency Lucknow offers elegantly decorated, bright and spacious accommodations. Kurt Straub, Vice President, Operations for India at Hyatt, said, “The opening of Hyatt Regency Lucknow marks a significant milestone for the Hyatt Regency brand as it continues to expand its footprint throughout India.” “Not only is the hotel strategically located for business travelers visiting Lucknow, it is also well positioned for leisure guests who are interested in enjoying a journey through the Uttar Pradesh Heritage Arc of Lucknow, Agra and Varanasi.” “We are delighted to announce the opening of Hyatt Regency Lucknow in the dynamic capital of the largest and most populous state of India. Chartered Hotels Private Limited remains focused on developing full service hotels across tier one and tier two cities in India for the ever growing business and leisure traveler,” said Varun Saraf, managing director, Chartered Hotels. “The hotel’s strategic location along with the food and beverage offerings and large state-of-the-art meeting and banqueting facilities will provide guests with an unforgettable experience which Lucknow has not yet seen.” Conveniently located in the corporate hub of Vibhuti Khand, Hyatt Regency Lucknow is designed to connect business and leisure travelers to all Lucknow has to offer. The hotel is in close proximity to the city’s High Court and multiple public sector head offices, and the Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport is less than 16 miles (25 kilometers) away. Additionally, landmarks and tourist attractions include Bara Imambara, La …

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