Tag Archives: ‎Vice President

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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Air Canada to launch direct Mumbai-Toronto service on July 2

Air Canada inaugurates new, non-stop Toronto–Mumbai service on July 2, the only non-stop flight from Canada to India’s financial hub. The four-times weekly service will be operated with Air Canada’s most modern aircraft, the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. The aircraft feature 29 International Business Class lie-flat seat suites, 21 Premium Economy and 247 Economy Class seats, with upgraded in-flight entertainment at every seat throughout the aircraft. With the new Toronto–Mumbai route, Air Canada now offers three Boeing 787 Dreamliner routes between Canada and India, including year-round daily Toronto–Delhi service and seasonal Vancouver–Delhi service, which resumes in October and will be expanded to up to five times weekly this winter from three-times weekly last winter. “Our non-stop flights from our Asia-Pacific Vancouver hub feature 787-9 Dreamliner service and offer the shortest elapsed flying time from Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Seattle, Portland and Los Angeles to the Indian subcontinent,” said Duncan Bureau, Vice President, Global Sales, Air Canada. “Our non-stop flight, coupled with our streamlined and seamless connections process at Vancouver translates to a savings of three to five hours compared to itineraries with connections in Europe or Asia.”

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IATO announces Chairman, Co-Chairman for Convention

The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) has finalised the Chairman and Co-chairman of their convention scheduled from September 7-10, 2017 at The Mayfair Convention Centre in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Rajiv Mehra, Vice President, IATO, is the Chairman, while Lally Matthews, Hon. Secretary, IATO, has been designated as the Co-Chairman for the convention. On their planning for the convention, Mehra said, “We are looking forward to an excellent convention, and discuss various issues like GST, role of social media, as well as how to get leads through websites and developing websites. Through sessions, we will be working towards the ultimate aim of telling our members how to grow their business. We are choosing topics through which we can do something for our medium and small sized operators.” Matthews, on the other hand, said, “Right now we are trying to get the registrations started. Also, we are waiting for the GST roll out, so that the hotel rates can be finalised under the new regime.”

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Nepal gets its first Marriott hotel

Fairfield by Marriott, part of Marriott International, has announced the opening of Fairfield by Marriott Kathmandu, which marks Marriott International’s entry into Nepal. Mike Fulkerson, Vice President, Brand & Marketing Asia Pacific, Marriott International, says, “As with all Fairfield by Marriott hotels around the world, guests can expect the same high standards of service and seamless experience so they never have to skip a beat. We are very proud to debut in the kingdom of Nepal and introduce the Fairfield by Marriott brand as Marriott International’s first hotel in the country.” Fairfield by Marriott Kathmandu is located in Thamel, a district at the heart of the capital’s central commercial hub, which was previously known as a bohemian haven before it became a popular shopping destination. Close to all the destination’s popular attractions including the Narayanhiti Palace Museum, Garden of Dreams and the Kathmandu Durbar Square, the hotel is also situated 5km away from the airport. Neeraj Govil, Area Vice President, South Asia for Marriott International added, “We believe this is exactly the right product for this market as it fills a much-needed gap in the moderate tier segment with its fresh, contemporary design, service excellence and great value. We are confident this will resonate well with both leisure and business travelers to Kathmandu.” Fairfield by Marriott Kathmandu is the latest addition to the brand’s footprint in South Asia, with four hotels in India currentlyopen including Fairfield by Marriott Bengaluru Rajajinagar, Fairfield by Marriott Bengaluru Outer Ring Road, Fairfield by Marriott Lucknow and Fairfield by Marriott Belagavi. The hotel offers 115 rooms. Kava, the all-day dining restaurant, serves local, Indian and international cuisine. Meanwhile, Kava – The Bar and lobby lounge …

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IHG to launch next-gen cloud-based GRS in 2018

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is getting ready to become the first hotel company to develop and launch a next-generation Guest Reservation System (GRS) that will revolutionise the technological foundations of the global hospitality industry. This is in partnership with Amadeus and it had started work on this early 2015. Amadeus will use a new cloud-based community model, a first in the hotel sector, and similar to the model it developed for the global airline industry. Speaking about this major development is Sudeep Jain, ‎Vice President, Development, South West Asia, IHG. He says, “The biggest change we have seen in the industry is the advent of digitisation. Applications on mobile phones that allow hotels to reach consumers directly is going to drive the change forward. We as a company have invested heavily in the digital space in partnership with Amadeus. We will get a cloud-based Guest Reservation System (GRS) which can customise and personalise the experience of our guests in terms of booking, choosing and deciding how to stay. It is being tested now and will be launched globally next year. These developments will help us automatically drive relationships with our customers.”

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