Tag Archives: CEO

TrawellTag Cover-More to benefit from acquisition by Zurich

Travel insurance provider TrawellTag Cover-More planned an accelerated growth strategy with the recent acquisition of Cover-More Group by Swiss-based Zurich Insurance Group. Dev Karvat, CEO, TrawellTag Cover-More said, “Zurich Insurance Group is one of the top three insurers in the world. With this development, we will benefit from their infrastructure and technology. Our Customer Care facility has now merged with Zurich’s World Travel Protection. We will not only manage claims now but also have a fully in-house support system to take care of customers anywhere in the world.” “The mother brand will continue as is and while the front-end will not change for its travel partners in India, the back-end will in terms of better facilities and infrastructure,” Karvat adds. He also revealed that TrawellTag Cover-More planned to tie up with another airline in the next few months. It currently works with GoAir to offer travel insurance to its passengers.

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Punjab Tourism and MMT to promote farm stays

Banking on its agricultural heritage, Punjab tourism department has authorised 60-plus properties for the purpose of farm stays. They signed an MoU with MakeMyTrip so all these farm stays and B&B are available online. Punjab has been so far one of India’s best-kept tourism secrets, believes Shivdular Singh Dhillon, Special Secretary and Director, Department of Tourism, Cultural Affairs, Archeology, Museums & Archives, Punjab and CEO, Punjab Heritage & Tourism Promotion Board. In order to tap experiential travellers who visit Amritsar, the tourism board is promoting farm tourism. “We have come up with farm stays in the outskirts. Agriculture has been Punjab’s backbone so what better place than here to create this experience. The department has so far authorised 60-plus properties for farm stays. For this, we have just signed an MoU in August 2017 with MakeMyTrip so all these farm stays and B&B are online for everyone to book. Travellers don’t look at Punjab as a tourist destination and this perception will change now,” Dhillon adds.

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PATA Travel Mart 2017 takes off in Macao

The 40th edition of PATA Travel Mart 2017 (PTM 2017) kicked off with ‘Travolution Forum Asia: Redefining Travel Experience’ at The Parisian Macao. Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA, moderated a session on ‘The Importance of Reviews and Personalised Marketing’ at PTM 2017. The Mart will be held in Macao SAR from September 13-15 and is being hosted by the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO). PTM mobilises a relevant contingent of travel trade stakeholders from the Asia Pacific region and around the world and provides a first-hand update about the significant developments in Macao. Last PTM in Macao was held in 2010. Langkawi is the venue for PATA Travel Mart 2018 (PTM 2018) with this signature Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) event being hosted by Tourism Malaysia and Langkawi Development Authority.

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VFS acquires visa service provider TT Services

VFS Global has completed the acquisition of visa service provider TT Services (TTS). The transaction enables VFS Global to leverage on core competences and brands and to further enhance operating performance. UK-based TTS is a provider of integrated visa processing solutions with global presence and a comprehensive portfolio of services. The company operates 51 application centres in more than 35 countries and has 216 employees and offers a range of visa services for its client governments, partners and applicants. Zubin Karkaria, CEO of VFS Global Group, says, “TT Services has, like VFS Global, extended industry experience of more than 15 years and is a trusted service delivery partner for its clients. I see a strong fit by TTS joining VFS Global. This will enable us to further enhance and extend our services towards our client governments and visa applicants.” The change of control will have no bearing on the business operations of the parties and act as a catalyst to improved services and enhanced client and customer satisfaction.

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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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AirAsia connects Bangkok with Jaipur & Tiruchirappalli from September

AirAsia has introduced two new routes between India and Thailand with a Bangkok-Jaipur connection and a Bangkok-Tiruchirappalli connection respectively. While both routes will ply four times a week, the former will run on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday while the latter will run every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday starting September 28, 2017.  Aiming to attract Indian shoppers to Thailand, the new routes come with promotional fares available. Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of Thai AirAsia said that AirAsia plans to continually penetrate the Indian market in the latter half of 2017 as it is a major market with great growth potential.  Indian travellers rank sixth among the most frequent visitors to Thailand while the Kingdom responds to all kinds of lifestyles from shoppers and night-time entertainment seekers to travellers looking for hospitality and wellness retreat.  The airline is confident that the two new routes will stimulate tourism for both countries. Thai AirAsia presently flies direct from Thailand to four fascinating Indian cities of Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Kochi, maintaining a Load Factor average of 80 percent with 80-85 percent of passengers coming from India, indicating determined strength of the market where travellers have consistently showed excellent feedback toward AirAsia.

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Jet Airways appoints ‘Discover the World’ for increased presence in Switzerland

Jet Airways has appointed Discover the World to provide sales and marketing in Switzerland. Jenny Adams, CEO, Discover the World, says, ““Discover is delighted to partner with Jet Airways for the first time. Our team in Switzerland, headed by Director Richard Gugerli, will expand the airline’s visibility, helping to increase its revenues especially through its code share partnership with Air France/KLM.” From 2017 end, Jet Airways will fly to India 54 times a week from London Heathrow, Paris CDG, and Amsterdam to Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, and Chennai. This includes new services from Amsterdam to Bengaluru and Paris CDG to Chennai which will commence on October 29, 2017. Jet Airways also flies daily from Amsterdam to Toronto.

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Seychelles Tourist Office, India, conducts seminar in Seychelles

Seychelles Tourist Office, India recently conducted a seminar for local hoteliers, DMCs, tourism board head office and other establishments in Seychelles. The seminar is aimed at defining the Indian market and presenting its nitty-gritties to the local travel trade fraternity of Seychelles. The event witnessed speeches on the cultural and behavioural differences between the two countries by three eminent speakers from India. These included Ashutosh Mehere, COO Alliances, Cox & Kings, India; Jai Bujhwala, Founder, Holidays Box; and Parthip Thyagarajan, Founder, WeddingSutra.com. Sherin Francis, CEO, Seychelles Tourism Board, was also present at the event. She said, “The seminar was one of its kind and highly informative for all our private sector partners. It created awareness about the diversity of India and answered many questions about the trade and tourist behaviour. It certainly created a high inquisitiveness about the market among the locals which is a great sign for developing further relations with the Indian market.” Lubaina Sheerazi, COO, Blue Square Consultants, Seychelles Tourist office India, explained the cultural diversity and uniqueness of the Indian market setting stage for the speakers. She says, “We were happy with the reception of the seminar and glad that our agenda of bringing out the differences between any other market and India for Seychelles had been met. The speakers gave some highly thought provoking inputs which will certainly better equip the private sector to cater differently to the Indian audience and allow us to further expand our vision for the destination.”

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AHS plans to bring Vienna House in to India

Absolute Hotel Services Group (AHS) has announced a cooperation between AHS and Vienna House, Austria’s largest hotel group, to expand their related brands in Asia and Europe. Vienna House currently owns and/or managed 36 properties throughout Europe. AHS India plans to introduce this new brand in India soon. The new corporation between AHS and Vienna House will be beneficial for both hotel groups with the expansion of AHS’ U Hotels and Resorts brand into the European market via AHS Europe office in Vienna, Austria while also expanding the Vienna House brand in Asia under the auspices of Vienna House Asia. Jonathan Wigley, CEO, AHS, says, “In Vienna House I can think of no better a partner to introduce our U properties into Europe as their reputation precedes them for an unwavering commitment to guest satisfaction and authentic hospitality, which is exactly what we at AHS are looking for to spearhead our expansion westwards.” CEO of Vienna House, Rupert Simoner adds, “Having Absolute Hotel Services as our partner in Asia is a genuinely exciting time for us as now we have the strong background and unwavering support of an already well-established and respected company to bring the Vienna House experience to a whole new market in Asia

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Vistara starts check-in & baggage drop facilities at Delhi’s Airport Express Line

Vistara has joined hands with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and Delhi International Airport (DIAL) to introduce check-in and baggage drop facilities at the New Delhi station of the Delhi Metro Airport Express Line. Phee Teik Yeoh, CEO, Vistara, said, “This partnership with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and Delhi International Airport (DIAL) adds to the multiple check-in options we offer to our customers. This will allow our customers to breeze through the check-in process at any of the Airport Express Line metro stations in Delhi with the same efficiency as they experience at the airport.” Vistara customers can check-in from two to 12 hours prior to their flight’s schedule departure at the New Delhi station of the Airport Express Line Metro, which is also connected to the New Delhi Railway Station of the Railways network. Those already checked-in using the web or Vistara’s mobile app can simply drop their baggage at the counter and head to the airport directly. Vistara uses secured Baggage Handling System (BHS) to transfer the baggage to the airport terminal efficiently. The Airport Express Line of the Delhi Metro runs every 10-15 minutes and takes passengers to Terminal 3 of Delhi’s IGI Airport within 18-20 minutes.

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