Tag Archives: CEO

Sabre promotes Sean Menke to President and CEO

Sabre Corporation’s board of directors has appointed Sean Menke as President, CEO and a member of Sabre’s board, effective Dec 31, 2016. Menke will succeed Tom Klein, who has served as president, CEO and board member since 2013. “After an extensive search of qualified candidates, the board unanimously concluded that Sean is the right choice to lead Sabre. Since his arrival last year, Sean has demonstrated that his strong industry knowledge and expertise coupled with his decisive, results-oriented management style are an effective combination. These traits will help Sabre drive innovation as the travel industry’s technology leader and serve the needs of airlines, hotels, travel agents and travelers alike.  I look forward to working with Sean to make this happen,” said Larry Kellner, executive chairman of Sabre’s Board of Directors. Menke joined Sabre in October 2015 and currently serves as executive vice president of Sabre and president of Sabre Travel Network, Sabre’s largest line of business.  Under Menke’s leadership, Sabre Travel Network has won major new business opportunities, increased global market share and secured Sabre’s position as the leading global distribution system in three of its four major operating regions (North America, Latin America and Asia-Pacific), and successfully extended new multi-year agreements with many of its largest global travel management companies, online travel agencies and travel retailers.  In addition, he has led the innovation that enables the sale of more customized fares and ancillary products through Sabre Travel Network and strengthened the technology solutions that will be offered to travel agencies next year as part of the launch of the new Sabre Red platform.  Prior to Sabre, Menke served as CEO of Frontier Airlines and held senior executive positions at …

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PATA appoints Young Tourism Professional Ambassador

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has appointed Jie Cheng Wong as Young Tourism Professional Ambassador effective January 1, 2017. This new role has been created as part of the Association’s continuing commitment to the development of young tourism professionals. In her new role Wong reports to PATA’s Director – Human Capital Development Parita Niemwongse. “The development of human capital is one of our industry’s biggest challenges and it is vitally important that we engage and inspire the next generation of leaders,” said Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA. “JC joined our organisation as an Associate Intern before accepting a full-time position as Communications and Marketing Assistant. She is the perfect candidate to connect with dynamic young industry professionals and I am sure that she will revel in this new role as our Young Tourism Professional Ambassador.” PATA has established a new membership category exclusively for young tourism professionals and Wong’s activities will centre upon the launch and development of a programme of youth-centric activities throughout the year. She will also manage and further develop the network of PATA student chapters, working closely with the Association’s events team to ensure that students and young professionals are given the opportunity to attend and participate at PATA events. “We want tomorrow’s tourism industry leaders to have a platform today to share their views. PATA is committed to providing that platform and we look forward to creating many opportunities for positive engagement with this influential group, “added Dr. Hardy.

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Wesgro, PATA’s newest member

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) welcomed Wesgro from South Africa as its newest government member. It is the official Tourism, Trade & Investment Promotion Agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape. The announcement was made by Dr. Mario Hardy,  CEO,  PATA at the Association’s annual Aligned Advocacy Dinner in London, UK on Monday November 7, 2016 where the guests included Inge Dykman, Head of Leisure Tourism and Trade, Wesgro. Their aim is to promote the city and its five surrounding regions: the Cape West Coast, Cape Overberg, Cape Karoo, Garden Route & Klein Karoo and the Cape Winelands to the domestic and international markets. “As PATA continues to strengthen the tourism links between the continent of Africa and the Asia Pacific region we remain committed to helping destinations in Africa attract greater numbers of international visitors,” said Dr. Hardy. “Wesgro will surely benefit from our in-depth research and insights, human capital development programmes and our busy calendar of conferences and marts as they look to develop a responsible, sustainable and profitable destination.” Tim Harris, CEO, Wesgro said, “The Asian market is extremely important and valuable for Cape Town and the Western Cape’s tourism, trade and investment strategy. PATA provides an excellent platform for us to directly engage key stakeholders in this market, learn from them and make Cape Town and the Western Cape a more attractive and accessible destination for them.”

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Zubin Karkaria honoured with TAAI’s ‘Award of Distinction’

Zubin Karkaria, CEO of VFS Global, and CEO of Kuoni Group, was conferred with the ‘Award of Distinction’ by the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), for his long-standing contribution to the Indian travel and tourism industry. The award was presented to Karkaria at the 63rd TAAI Convention held in Abu Dhabi on 14 October 2016. The award recognises his pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit and his role as a mentor in the industry. Presently, VFS Global serves 51 client governments and operates in 126 countries across 5 continents. The company, which pioneered the concept of visa process outsourcing, has facilitated travel across the world by enhancing efficiencies in the visa application process and making the overall visa application experience easier and more convenient for potential travellers. The ISO 27001:2013 certified company (for Information Security Management System) has been recognized for maintaining highest levels of security, while adhering to best practices in technology, innovation, and streamlined service delivery. Karkaria, who has been a part of the travel industry for more than 25 years, established visa processing multinational VFS Global in 2001. In 2015, he became the first Asian to head the Switzerland headquartered Kuoni Group.

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Deutsche Hospitality’s India plan: Open 20 hotels in 15 years

Deutsche Hospitality is very ambitious about the brand’s growth in the India market. In a recent interview, Puneet Chhatwal, CEO, Steigenberger Hotels AG, says, “We are very ambitious concerning our growth in the Indian market. In fact, we are already present there as partner in the joint venture ‘MBD Steigenberger,’ which is currently in process of being registered under Indian company law. Together with our Indian partner MBD group, India’s largest education and leading hospitality company, we are planning to open at least 20 hotels in India over the next 15 years. The first hotel will be in Bangalore.”

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Vistara celebrates its 3 millionth customer

Vistara surprised its three millionth customer at Kolkata’s Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport with a grand welcome and a live acoustic music performance. The passenger also received a courtesy upgrade to Vistara’s Business Class cabin on his flight to Delhi. Expressing delight on the milestone achievement,  Phee Teik Yeoh, CEO, Vistara, said, “There’s nothing more satisfying for us than to see our customers reacting positively to our product and service. 3 million is not just any number to us. It is a significant milestone in our journey to become a world-renowned airline of choice esteemed for its exceptional customer service. This milestone celebration could not have been more timely, taking place just before Diwali. Our fast growing fan base is a strong endorsement of our brand and a fruition of our relentless commitment to transforming the flying experience in India, forever. This milestone achievement only strengthens our resolve further to delight our customers at every encounter, on every journey. We look forward to welcoming our five millionth customer on board soon.”

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Vistara receives CAT III-B certification for low visibility operations

Vistara has received the Category III Bravo (CAT III-B) certification from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Permitting its CAT IIIB compliant fleet and crew to safely take-off and touch-down with a Runway Visibility Range (RVR) of as low as 75 meters, the approval is a milestone achievement as it is the highest level of low-visibility rating awarded in India currently. The certification will enable Vistara to safely operate under low visibility conditions due to fog or any other poor weather conditions, which is anticipated in north east and northern parts of the country, typically during year-end and the beginning of the year. Phee Teik Yeoh, CEO, Vistara said “Although a bad weather condition is beyond our control, we always endeavor to minimise the inconvenience faced by our customers during a flight delay or diversion arising from inclement weather. We value the trust and faith our customers repose in us when they make Vistara their choice of travel. We are therefore committed to offer a seamless flying experience to them – be it in terms of deploying the most advanced technologies and systems for our aircraft, adequately training our crew or providing a memorable on-board experience. I am proud of my team’s relentless efforts in the past months to secure the regulatory approval for Cat 3B well in time before the fog season sets in. This certification will allow us to provide a seamless flying experience to our valued customers.” Vistara’s current fleet of 13 brand new A320s come with the integrated CAT IIIB auto land system, and its crew is given rigorous training to ensure the safety of its customers and providing a world class travel experience. Vistara …

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Ramesh Marwah appointed UFTAA CEO

Ramesh Marwah has been appointed the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of United Federation of Travel Agents’ Associations (UFTAA) to better administer UFTAA and offer regular support to members. He will endeavour to create increased connect between members as well. This was informed by UFTAA to all its members through a formal circular. Commenting on his position, Marwah said, “I am very excited and proud to be a part of UFTAA-the illustrious global federation which is also celebrating its golden jubilee this year. Every initiative will be in the direction of retaining confidence of travel agency associations in UFTAA; making UFTAA a global platform for knowledge, learning and networking and also maintaining free flow of communication to ensure UFTAA remains first point of contact when any issue props up in any part of the industry worldwide.” He is a proven professional with about 40 years experience of serving in various leadership positions with reputed organisations including international airlines, Italian DMC, global OTAs, etc.

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Go Beyond to represent City Lodge Hotel Group in India

Mumbai-based Go Beyond Representations has been appointed as the marketing representative of City Lodge Hotel Group in South Africa. The City Lodge Hotel Group is a multi-brand chain offering a variety of locations, features and budget choices to business and leisure travellers. Shantanu Chand, CEO, Go Beyond Representations, says, “The group has five distinct brands, currently offering 7,072 rooms at 57 Locations throughout Southern and Eastern Africa. Each of the five Courtyard hotels has its own distinct character and personality. We will be selling and marketing this entire hotel chain pan India.”

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Explora to promote Jordanian DMC in India

Mumbai-based travel representation company, Explora has been appointed to represent a Jordan-based DMC called Zawaya Travel & Tourism. Speaking about the appointment, Karishma Bijlani Kazi, CEO, Explora, says, “We have been appointed as the representatives of Zawaya Travel & Tourism to do their PR, marketing and sales in India. In today’s aggressive market place, we want our travel partners to stand out from the competition. To do this, we provide a robust custom-made service designed to meet individual needs, with the aim of creating strong brand awareness and more importantly, increase financial return. We want our travel partners to regard us as an extension of their own sales and marketing team and for us to work closely together to further develop and maintain successful relationships.” Explora was launched two months and is Kazi’s brainchild. Ghaleb Saloum, General Manager, Zawaya Travel & Tourism, says, “We have produced many successful meetings and incentives programs over the years for different markets. Zawaya Travel &Tourism handles all aspects of organising event from researching our clients’ requirements to the design of meetings and incentives programs, procurement of the massive sound and light systems to meeting and assistance of participants from all around the world. Incentive travel is one of the fastest growing segments within India’s outbound MICE movement thus; we have seen a great opportunity in providing a selection of customised, value-added experiences that cater to the tastes of this important market through its INSPIRE incentive programme. We have partnered with Explora to help us generate ideas, develop content and design our engagement activity. Explora can also help us develop relationships with different travel trade partners.”

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