Tag Archives: CEO

MoT bags PATA Gold Award for Marketing – Primary Government Destination

Winners of the 2019 PATA Grand and Gold Awards were recently revealed by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). It has been announced that Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, will be presented the PATA Gold Award 2019 for Marketing – Primary Government Destination for its ‘Find the Incredible You’ campaign. The awards will be handed over at the 2019 PATA Gold Awards Dinner and Award Presentation in Nur-Sultan (Astana), Kazakhstan, during PATA Travel Mart 2019. This year’s awards attracted 197 entries from 78 organisations and individuals worldwide, and winners were selected by an independent judging committee. Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA, said, “On behalf of PATA, I would like to extend our warmest congratulations to all the 2019 Grand and Gold Award winners, as well as all of this year’s participants for their submissions. I look forward to celebrating the accomplishment of this year’s winners who truly represent the values of the Association in working towards a more responsible travel and tourism industry in the Asia Pacific region.”

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V S Abdul Kareem joins Gallery of Legends

V S Abdul Kareem, CEO & Managing Director, Creative Tours & Travels, has been conferred the Gallery of Legends trophy at the India Travel Awards South. Starting his career in 1976 with a passenger shipping company, Kareem had a clear aim to lead the travel and tourism industry. Within three years, he established a premium company in 1979 offering a comprehensive range of holidays, MiCE activities and other tourism services across South India. Accredited by IATA and approved by Government of India, he created a distinctive niche with focus on service excellence. He was quick to recognise the need of the travel industry and through his dedicated effort started another division of professionally managed B2B DMC for agents from North, East and Western India. As one of the first B2B organisations, he established his business on the basis of trust and reliability, offering clients, cost effective solutions and professional handling of their requirements.

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5.4 million more Indians to visit Asia Pacific by 2023: PATA

India is set to generate an incremental increase of 5.4 million visitor arrivals between 2018 and 2023, according to a latest report by PATA’s Asia Pacific Visitor Forecasts 2019-2023. Of the 210 million additional foreign arrivals into Asia Pacific generated between 2018 and 2023, 73.7 per cent will come from Asian origin markets. The strongest Asian generators of additional visitor arrivals between 2018 and 2023 will be led by China and Hong Kong SAR with respective increases of 49.2 million and 30.8 million. These markets will be supported by Korea (ROK), Malaysia and India. The Asian Average Annual Growth Rate for tourism receipts between 2018 and 2023 is expected to be around 9.1 per cent, with Northeast and Southeast Asia showing even stronger average growth. “The growth momentum of Asia Pacific as both a receiver and a generator of international visitors – not just into Asia Pacific but globally – and the receipts that they both receive and generate, is set to continue to at least 2023,” said Dr Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA. “As is always the case, growth in international arrivals across Asia Pacific and indeed globally, is often unequal, with subtle changes and shifts occurring as travellers tune into new experiences and the destinations that offer them,” he said.

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Amadeus-ICM Airport Technics partnership to transform airport passenger experience

Amadeus has agreed to acquire ICM Airport Technics, a global leader in passenger automation and self-service bag drop solutions for airports and airlines, for an undisclosed sum. Following this deal, Amadeus is now in a stronger position in this sector to drive future growth. Amadeus’ airport customers will now be able to enhance and improve their existing services to passengers whilst continuing to ensure passenger safety and security. ICM, headquartered in Sydney, specialises in the provision of passenger automation and self-service bag drop solutions for customers principally in APAC and Europe. Bruno Spada, Head of Airport IT, Amadeus says, “Often the passenger experience in airports is not a good one – long queues to check bags in and disparate services and technologies that do not always speak to each other. In essence, airports are crying out for open self-service solutions to help take the friction and hassle out of the airport experience for passengers. By combining Amadeus’ and ICM’s software and hardware capabilities, by accelerating and introducing more self-service options, and by using the power of biometrics, this deal announced today will ensure that together we can deliver better journeys for passengers in the future.” Richard Dinkelmann, CEO, ICM says, “By combining ICM’s market-leading self-service and passenger processing solutions with Amadeus’ global reach and complementary product offering, we are now in a unique position to offer even better technical solutions to our airline and airport customers.  We are excited about the future, as we share similar values such as strong innovation, reliability, and an uncompromising commitment to improving airport efficiency as well as passenger safety and security.” As part of the acquisition, approximately 150 ICM employees are expected to join Amadeus. ICM …

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Holiday Inn Express expands India presence with multiple hotel openings across cities

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced the opening of seven more Holiday Inn Express hotels from the IHG-SAMHI partnership. The hotels are spread across Pune, Hyderabad, Nashik, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru. With the latest announcement, 10 Holiday Inn Express hotels from the IHG–SAMHI partnership are now open across the country. IHG and SAMHI entered a partnership in 2017 to rebrand 14 hotels (approximately 2000 rooms, operating and under construction) in India to Holiday Inn Express hotels. All hotels in the portfolio were closed while they were being refurbished and upgraded with the latest design directives, to ensure the portfolio is fully representative of the Holiday Inn Express brand globally. The new Holiday Inn Express hotels are located strategically providing easy accessibility to local shopping centres, tourist attractions and business hubs. Promising unparalleled comfort and convenience to the guests, all newly-opened hotels offer well designed, contemporary rooms with a range of in-room amenities, service culture and feature the brand’s signature ‘Great Room’, a dynamic space to socialise as well as relax and unwind. Vivek Bhalla, Regional Vice President, SWA, IHG said, “The Holiday Inn Express brand has gained tremendous momentum in the country and we have also made significant progress towards our commitment to strengthen our mid-scale portfolio in India. We are confident that all newly opened Holiday Inn Express hotels in partnership with SAMHI, will successfully cater to the needs of the modern business and leisure travellers, across cities.” Ashish Jakhanwala, Founder, MD & CEO, SAMHI, added, “We began this journey with IHG in 2017 when we signed an agreement for 14 Holiday Inn Express hotels in India. With the opening of 10 Holiday Inn Express hotels from the portfolio, across seven …

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Best Western Hotels & Resorts acquires WorldHotels to enhance its portfolio of offerings

Best Western Hotels & Resorts has acquired renowned global hotel brand, WorldHotels representing a collection of approximately 300 unique and special hotels and resorts in premier destinations around the world. The WorldHotels brand will play a critical role in enhancing Best Western’s portfolio of offerings to include the upper upscale and luxury segments. “There is tremendous synergy between Best Western and WorldHotels. By joining forces in this new partnership, we will create competitive advantages for both companies,” said David Kong, President and CEO, Best Western Hotels & Resorts. WorldHotels will maintain its distinctive personality and individuality while benefiting from Best Western’s robust and scalable e-commerce platform, strong partnerships, award-winning loyalty programme, effective sales and marketing support, global distribution network and powerful revenue engines. “As we join forces, the combined power of our brands sets the stage for a bright future for both Best Western and WorldHotels. Through its established senior leadership team and regional presence in each market, Best Western brings a new level of expertise that will undoubtedly help grow the WorldHotels brand in key markets,” said Geoff Andrew, CEO, WorldHotels. In the last year alone, Best Western was named one of the world’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company, expanded its portfolio to 13 dynamic brands reaching new guests in new segments, and won a record number of industry awards and accolades. The acquisition is a testament to Best Western’s commitment to growth, modernisation and continued progression, bolstering the company’s position as a trusted leader in the global hospitality industry.

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‘Avalon is Globus’ fastest-growing brand in India’: Globus CEO

The Globus family of brands is witnessing huge growth for its Avalon Waterways brand for river cruising from the India market. “Avalon Waterways is our fastest-growing brand in the Indian market,” claimed Scott Nisbet, President and CEO, Globus family of brands. He was in India recently who visited Bengaluru and Mumbai to meet and thank the company’s trade partners for another great year. “The numbers are still relatively small but it has massive potential in India. When we ask our past travellers if they are interested in river cruising, 61 per cent of them said yes. We see this as a very good sign and we have developed a number of river cruises that are shorter – not the seven or 14-night cruises but three, four and five-nights which is perfect for those who just want a taste of what a river cruise is like and maybe add something around it to make it a part of a bigger trip. This will be our focus for 2019 and 2020,” Nisbet said.  

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‘eVisa On Arrival’ service goes live from February 14 for seamless entry into Thailand

The new eVisa On Arrival (eVOA) service that will enable a faster and convenient arrival into Thailand for travellers from India and 20 other countries, has become available for applicants from February 14, 2019. The eVOA service offers travellers a whole new experience when entering the country at the Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueng airports in Bangkok, as well as at Phuket and Chiang Mai airports. The service is part of the Government of Thailand’s initiative to promote tourism, and has been developed by the Immigration Bureau of Royal Thai Police and VFS Global. Of the over 1.5 million Indians who visited Thailand in 2018, over 900,000 used the old, time consuming Visa On Arrival service at Thailand airports. Commenting on the new eVOA service, Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn, Commissioner of Immigration Bureau, said, “With the eVOA service, we are proud to offer a new age digital solution which enhance the overall experience for the modern-day traveller who seeks to visit Thailand from 21 countries across the globe. In our cooperation with VFS Global, we aim to effectively meet the objective of increasing tourism to the country through this solution especially taking into consideration the all-important security aspect that allows pre-check of travellers prior the arrival.” The new eVOA service offers travellers the conveniences of avoiding long queues, and eliminates the need to fill up application forms on arrival and arrange for paper documentation or local currency which travellers find challenging after a long flight. If there is an urgent visa requirement to travel to Thailand, travellers can also avail online the Express eVOA service for quicker processing. Zubin Karkaria, CEO, VFS Global Group, said, “I am delighted that the …

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Ebix acquires 80% stake in travel technology provider Zillious

Ebix has announced that one of its subsidiaries in India has acquired an 80 per cent controlling stake in India-based Zillious Solutions. Zillious is an on-demand SaaS travel technology solution with market leadership in the corporate travel segment in India. The Zillious Exchange processes over 8 million travel bookings annually, which conducting Gross Merchandise value of approximately $1.4 billion per annum. Ebix is funding the transaction in cash, using its internal cash reserves. The acquisition is expected to be accretive to Ebix earnings immediately. Robin Raina, President and CEO, Ebix Chairman of the Board, said, “Ebix has a successful track history of two decades in terms of providing non-aligned technology solutions, with Ebix bullet proofing its clients from data privacy or data sharing or any alignment concerns. We have been in the business of setting up technology airports to power transactions, without taking any sides for decades now. Thus, this acquisition was a natural one for us as it allowed us to do the same in India’s fast-growing travel industry.” Ebix intends to keep Zillious as a non-aligned technology platform, that it intends to promote internationally in key markets like the Middle East, US and Asia besides further establishing it as a pure-play on-demand travel technology exchange within India. Towards that extent, Ebix has retained both the Promoter founders of Zillious – Harsh Azad and Rohit Gaddi along with all their domain intensive staff, while empowering them to continue to lead Zillious in its mission of non-aligned technology play. Accordingly, the Zillious platform will continued to be offered to the entire travel industry with a glass wall protection for the client base.  

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Avalon Waterways launches river cruise on the Ganges

Avalon Waterways, one of the brands under the Globus family of brands, has launched its new river cruise on the Ganges. Scott Nisbet, President and CEO, Globus family of brands, announced this in Mumbai on his visit to India to meet the travel trade partners. He said, “We started a new river cruise on the Ganges early this week. It is our new Avalon Waterways product and a seven-day cruise, round-trip to Kolkata that goes up north to the little towns. It is a fascinating trip and guests can add to that and turn it into a 13-day, 15-day, and even an 18-day cruise by including the Golden Triangle or Varanasi. So these extensions would not be a river cruise, they would be a tour. We are primarily focusing that on Western markets like US, Canada, Australia and the UK but it is also a great option for Indians as well. It’s a 54-passenger luxury ship, all-inclusive which means all meals, drinks and all excursions. It is also perfect for a small incentive group. We have taken a number of sailing, 75 per cent sold already, agents can start selling now.”  

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