Tag Archives: Asia Pacific

Indian business travellers feel safer in ride-sharing services than in taxis: Carlson Wagonlit Travel

Indian business travellers feel safer in ride-sharing services than in taxis, according to research commissioned by Carlson Wagonlit Travel. More than a half (56%) of the Indian respondents surveyed expressed safety concerns about using taxis when traveling for business, compared with 47% for ride-sharing services. Business travellers in several other newly industrialised countries like Mexico and Brazil also responded similarly. “In cities across the globe, using ride-sharing services has become a way of life,” said Bindu Bhatia, Managing Director – Asia Pacific, Carlson Wagonlit Travel. “The familiar and convenient experience they provide has made them a preferred mode of transport for many business travellers. Still, one continues to hear about safety incidents surrounding ride-sharing services around the world, which might explain in part why some travellers are worried about using them.” Looking at ride-sharing, 56% of Asia Pacific women feel somewhat nervous versus 38% of men. For taxis, that is 48% and 35% respectively. Even though ride-sharing is associated with the younger generation, the findings show that these travellers are more concerned about personal safety. Millennials, in all regions, are the most worried, followed by gen X travelers and baby boomers. In Asia Pacific, half of the millennial travelers are very/somewhat concerned when using a rideshare service, followed by 44% of gen X and 35% of boomers. In the Americas, the percentages are 47% for millennials, 42% for gen X and 29% for boomers.

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Vietnam records strongest growth in Asia Pacific domestic tourism market

According to a latest report by Horwath HTL, Vietnam recorded the strongest growth in domestic tourism in Asia Pacific between 2013-16, driven by the growing middle class. The low cost carriers have also been a growth catalyst with Vietjet Air increasing its fleet size from 18 to 45 aircraft between 2014-16. Besides the world’s largest outbound tourism market, China is also leading the world in terms of domestic tourism, recording 4.44 billion trips in 2016. In the first half of 2017, growth of outbound tourism slowed and an increasing number of Chinese tourists travelled domestically. The growth is driven by improved transportation with high-speed railways, flights and other traffic systems, together with innovated and upgraded travel products.

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Travel Air Representations to distribute Intrepid Travel in India

Travel Air Representations, the B2B wholesale travel division of FCM Travel Solutions, has announced the launch of adventure travel brand, Intrepid Travel in India. It will distribute and promote Intrepid Travel products and services in India. Headquartered in Australia, Intrepid Travel has over 800 different itineraries across Europe, Asia, Africa, North & South America, the Middle East, Australia, and both the Arctic and Antarctica. Joseph K Jose, Vice President & Head – Wholesale, FCM Travel Solutions (India), said, “We are delighted to announce the launch of Intrepid Travel, yet another leading global travel brand, in India. The diverse offerings of Intrepid Travel have been well-received globally and will strengthen our endeavour to address unique requirements of India’s leisure traveller market. Through this collaboration, we aim to offer Intrepid Travel’s bouquet of travel products in the country while focusing on Tier -II and Tier-III markets.” On the partnership, Brett Mitchell, Regional Director – Asia Pacific, Intrepid Group, said “We look forward to working with Travel Air Representations to launch Intrepid Travel to the Indian market”.  Currently Travel Air Representations works with over 2100 agents (Business Partners) across 110 cities and towns in India, with a team of over 110 passionate and professional team members.”

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Radisson Hotel Group aims for 200 hotels in South Asia by 2022

The newly rebranded Radisson Hotel Group announced its expansion plans at Hotel Investment Conference South Asia (HICSA) 2018. The company aims to expand its portfolio to more than 200 hotels in operation and under development by 2022 in South Asia. The group has already signed Radisson Blu Resort Visakhapatnam, Radisson Panipat City Centre and Country Inn & Suites by Radisson Agra in the first quarter of 2018. Radisson Gwalior opened last month and the group is on track to open another eight more hotels in India this year. “This is the most exciting period in our company’s long history,” said Katerina Giannouka, President, Asia Pacific, Radisson Hotel Group. “With the rebranding of our company, we are positioning Radisson Hotel Group for a bright future. India has been a key market for us for many years. We look forward to working with hotel investors, owners, developers and other stakeholders across the country as we accelerate the expansion of our portfolio to India,” added Giannouka. “With a robust performance, ahead of industry average and continued investment in technology and revenue driving platforms, we are optimistic of meeting our five-year goals. I am delighted that India is leading the way in Asia Pacific with a total of seven global brand offerings,” said Raj Rana, Chief Executive Officer, South Asia, Radisson Hotel Group.

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Country Inns & Suites By Carlson rebranded as Country Inn & Suites by Radisson

Country Inns & Suites By Carlson has announced that it has renamed itself to Country Inn & Suites by Radisson. This strategic name change will allow the brand and individual hotels to leverage the global recognition and strength of the Radisson brand. Changes will include a new visual identity, updated logo and refreshed marketing and hotel collateral. Country Inn & Suites by Radisson is a part of Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, which also includes Quorvus Collection, Radisson Blu, Radisson, Radisson RED, Park Plaza and Park Inn by Radisson. The consumer-facing changes will be made in stages throughout the first half of 2018. Katerina Giannouka, President, Asia Pacific, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, “We are delighted that our Country Inn & Suites brand will be taking on a new name to leverage on the strength of the Radisson brand, drive awareness and increase marketing efficiency. Country Inn & Suites hotels deliver modern country warmth and heartfelt experiences, through inviting design, products and services.” “Country Inn & Suites is a market leader in the mid-scale segment in India. Identification with our core brand Radisson will lend further strength to its brand identity and appeal to investors and promoters in the fast growing mid-scale segment”, added Raj Rana, Chief Executive Officer, South Asia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.  

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285-room Conrad Bengaluru opens doors

Conrad Hotels & Resorts has expanded in India with the opening of Conrad Bengaluru. The 24-storeyed hotel is owned by Prestige Group and managed by Hilton. Featuring 285 guestrooms including 21 suites, Conrad Bengaluru offers five dining and bar experiences, a full-service spa and salon, 17,000 square feet of event space, a 24-hour fitness centre and an outdoor temperature-controlled infinity pool overlooking the expanse of the city as well as a dedicated kids’ pool. “Conrad Bengaluru is an outstanding addition to our luxury portfolio in Asia Pacific and we are delighted to be partnering with the Prestige Group on this project. The timely arrival of Conrad Bengaluru in India demonstrates Conrad Hotels & Resorts’ commitment to growing the brand’s presence in the country, complementing its sister property Conrad Pune,” said Daniel Welk, Vice President—Operations, Luxury and Lifestyle, Asia Pacific, Hilton. “Conrad Bengaluru enhances our fast growing portfolio of 34 properties and underscores our commitment to delivering exceptional hotels in key gateway locations to meet the growing needs of global luxury travellers,” said John T. A. Vanderslice, Global Head, Conrad Hotels & Resorts. “Conrad Bengaluru will delight guests with customised service, as well as provide them access to a world of connections and inspired experiences.”

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October passenger demand bounces back after weather-hit September

Passenger demand in airlines rose 7.2 per cent in October compared to the same month last year, according to global passenger traffic results by International Air Transport Association (IATA). The capacity grew 6.2 per cent and load factor climbed 0.8 percentage points to 80.8 per cent, a record for the month. October’s performance was a strong rebound after the hurricane-related disruptions in September. Domestic and international travel growth largely was in balance. “As expected, the recent severe weather in the American region had only a temporary impact on the healthy travel demand we have seen this year, and we remain on course for another year of above-trend growth,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. For Asia-Pacific carriers, the large markets in India, China and Japan mean that domestic travel accounts for 45 per cent of the region’s operations. Asia-Pacific airlines led all regions with traffic growth of 10.3 per cent compared to the year-ago period, which was up from an 8.7 per cent rise in September. Capacity climbed 8.4 per cent and load factor rose 1.3 percentage points to 78.0 per cent.

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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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CWT names Bindu Bhatia as new Managing Director, Asia Pacific

Carlson Wagonlit Travel, the global travel management company, has announced Bindu Bhatia as its the new Managing Director, Asia Pacific, effective September 1. Bhatia succeeds Kai Chan, who will be leaving the company on August 31 after making significant contributions during her five-year tenure. “Asia Pacific is the world’s fastest-growing market for corporate travel – there are huge opportunities here,” said Kurt Ekert, CEO, Carlson Wagonlit Travel. “Bindu is perfect for her new role: with her proven entrepreneurial skills, commercial savvy, and deep understanding of the global travel market, she will hit the ground running.” Bindu Bhatia has been with the company for more than 20 years in a number of key roles, most recently serving as Senior Vice President, Global Program Management, where she has looked after CWT’s biggest global clients. Bindu has extensive leadership experience in strategic client management, operations, people management, and business development. Reporting to Kelly Kuhn, Chief Customer Officer, she will soon will be relocating to CWT’s Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore, where she will have responsibility for approximately 3,000 people across nine countries. Ann Marie Stone will be taking over Bindu’s current role, also effective 1 September, reporting to Cathy Voss, Executive Vice President, Global Program Solutions. Ann Marie has been with the company since 2000, most recently serving as Vice President, Global Program Management.

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8.7% hike in air pricing expected in 2018; GBTA & CWT

Airfares in India are forecast to see an 8.7 per cent hike in 2018, according to the 2018 Global Travel Forecast. The Asia Pacific region will see a 2.8 per cent rise in airfares in 2018, with domestic demand increasing in India and China. The report has been prepared by GBTA Foundation in partnership with Carlson Wagonlit Travel, and with the support of the Carlson Family Foundation. The report suggests that global airfares are expected to rise 3.5 percent in 2018; hotel prices are expected to be 3.7 percent higher; and ground transportation such as taxis, trains and buses are expected to rise only 0.6 percent. Jeanne Liu, Vice President – Research, GBTA Foundation said, “The most successful programs will have to keep a watchful eye on both geopolitical risks and a rapidly-changing supplier landscape as they re-evaluate strategy often and adapt as necessary.” “The higher pricing is a reflection of the stronger economy and growing demand,” said Kurt Ekert, president and CEO, Carlson Wagonlit Travel. “The global numbers from this forecast should be considered strong leading indicators of what 2018 will mean for global businesses, as we anticipate higher spending.”

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