Tag Archives: CEO

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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Thai immigration with VFS Global to introduce Thailand eVisa service from February 14, 2019

In line with the Government of Thailand’s initiative to promote tourism, the Immigration Bureau of Thailand has partnered with VFS Global to offer the new eVisa On Arrival (eVOA) service that will enable a faster and more convenient arrival process for travellers from 21 countries like India, China, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, to name a few. Travellers who are eligible to use the online eVOA service provided by VFS Global will receive their travel authorisation from the Immigration Bureau of Thailand prior to their departure from their country of origin. The eVOA service will be available as of February 14, 2019 on thailandevoa.vfsevisa.com. The new Thailand eVisa On Arrival offers travellers a whole new experience when applying for a travel pre-authorisation to Thailand and when entering the country at the Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueng airports in Bangkok, as well as at Phuket and Chiang Mai airports flying by Thai Airways and other airlines. In three simple steps, eligible travellers can apply online for eVOA for Thailand by visiting thailandevoa.vfsevisa.com anytime, anywhere or get assistance at VFS Global visa application centres across the globe. Travellers receive their pre-departure travel authorisation online before the trip within 24 to 72 hours. 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, as …

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Yatra acquires PL Worldways to strengthen foothold in South India

Yatra Online has announced the acquisition of the corporate travel business of PL Worldways Limited (PLW), a Chennai-based corporate travel services provider. This acquisition will help strengthen Yatra’s foothold in the southern India region along with adding over 100 corporate clients to its existing client base of over 700. Commenting on the acquisition, Dhruv Shringi, Co-Founder and CEO, Yatra Online, said, “PL Worldways has an unparalleled reputation in corporate travel in the southern part of the country due to its strong customer focus and unmatched service. With this acquisition, we not only strengthen our position in the growing corporate travel market in India but also in Southern India, which has been in our cross-hairs for some time. Our endeavour will be to deliver best-in-class service to PLW’s existing customer base, through our self-booking platform and expense management solution software. We look forward to welcoming PL Worldways team to the Yatra family.” Anil Pathak, Chairman, PL Worldways, said, “We are excited for PL Worldways to join Yatra family. PL Worldways’ local connect and customer service expertise will complement Yatra’s technology platform and leverage the largest hotel network in the country; helping clients optimise their travel spend and improve their travel processes.”

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AION Capital acquires InterGlobe Technologies to accelerate service expansion in travel

Private equity firm, AION Capital has acquired InterGlobe Technologies, the business process outsourcing (BPO) services arm of InterGlobe Enterprises at an undisclosed amount. A joint venture of ICICI Venture and US-based buyout firm Apollo Global Management, AION Capital said in a statement that it will support InterGlobe Technologies (IGT) in its next phase of growth as the company accelerates service expansion in current and new verticals in the travel industry. It didn’t disclose financial details of the deal. InterGlobe Enterprises, the parent company of IndiGo airlines, had been looking to sell its back-end services unit for the past few months. “With its strong customer base and deep domain expertise in the travel sector, we believe that IGT is uniquely positioned. We expect IGT will continue to leverage and further strengthen its digital capabilities and global footprint to meet the growing demand for differentiated customer experience,” said Utsav Baijal, Partner, AION Capital. IGT was founded in 1998 by InterGlobe Enterprises. It is focused on the travel and hospitality industry and has more than 70 marquee customers globally. It provides digital contact centre services, digital services and solutions including chatbots, robotic process automation, travel analytics and social media services. Source: VCCircle

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EbixCash acquires Weizmann Forex, Essel Forex

Ebix has announced that its EbixCash World Money subsidiary in India has entered into an agreement to acquire 100 per cent assets of India-based Essel Forex for approximately US$8 million. Ebix will be funding the entire transaction in cash, using its internal cash reserves. The acquisition of Essel Forex following the recent announcement of the Weizmann acquisition, further strengthens EbixCash’s position as the largest financial exchange in India, besides being the undisputed leader in the inward remittance, outward remittance and foreign exchange markets in India. With a national network of 44 branches in 31 cities serviced by 400+ employees, Essel Forex has been one of the five largest foreign exchange providers in India with a wide spectrum of related products including sales of all major currencies, travellers’ checks, demand drafts, remittances, money transfers and prepaid cards primarily for the Corporate clients. Besides being a foreign exchange business partner to leading banks such as ICICI, Axis, Indus Ind, Yes and HDFC Bank, Essel Forex has been associated with Western Union and MoneyGram for inward money transfers. Essel Forex will be tightly integrated into the EbixCash Financial Exchange offering in India and abroad. The retained Essel Forex executives will become an integral part of the combined EbixCash remittance and forex leadership team headed by EbixCash World Money Managing Director TC Guruprasad. Ebix believes the Essel Forex business can generate operating margins of 40% or more, once fully integrated. Ebix expects the acquisition to be immediately accretive to its earnings. Robin Raina, Chairman, President and CEO, Ebix said, “Essel Forex has a rich focus on the corporate clientele with strong partnerships with many leading banks. Their geographical, product and client overlap with EbixCash made the …

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‘The Postcard Hotel’ launched with three luxury hotels in Goa

Set to redefine the luxury hospitality scenario, ‘The Postcard Hotel’ has been launched by its Founder and CEO, Kapil Chopra, at a press conference held in Delhi. The Postcard Hotel is a brand of unique, intimate luxury hotels in India and the world. Transformative experiences and local community are at the heart of The Postcard Hotel’s offering. “What I wanted to do with The Postcard Hotel, is make luxury hotels for the modern audience but bring back the romance and charm of holidays. We wanted it to be rich in its experience but also wanted it to be simple. We believe guests want to stay in a place where the hotel does the thinking for them, where they get the simple things right, yet offer fantastic spaces for them to relax, meet like-minded people and experience local culture. This is why, we handpick our locations and our hotels, so that guests have a different experience whether they are in Goa or overlooking the snow-clad Himalayas,” stated Chopra. In an unprecedented move, The Postcard Hotel has announced the opening of three luxury hotels on the opening day, ready to receive guests that are spread across unique neighbourhoods in Goa – The Postcard Moira, nestled in one of the four heritage villages of Goal; The Postcard Velha, surrounded by 300 acres of virgin coconut plantations in old Goa; and further south, The Postcard Cuelim, that houses a 350-year-old chapel. The brand is committed to building and operating 50 hotels in the next five years. In the next 12 to 18 months, the brand will be present in Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Dhauladhar Mountain Range, Sikkim, Darjeeling, Sundarbans and Kanha.  

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