Tag Archives: Chairman

Piyush Goyal launches ‘Rail Heritage Digitisation Project’ to showcase India’s rail heritage

Union Minister of Railways and Coal, Piyush Goyal has launched ‘Rail Heritage Digitisation Project’ of Indian Railways in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture through video conferencing. The project is a landmark effort to showcase the country’s rail heritage to national and international audience in an online story-telling platform. Ashwani Lohani, Chairman, Railway Board; Rajan Anandan, Vice President—South East Asia and India, Google; Amit Sood, Director, Google Cultural Institute, among other dignitaries and UNESCO representatives were among those present on the occasion. Goyal said, “As a 165 year old organisation, the Railways has a lot of material which we need to preserve and leave behind for posterity. Mumbai has a special place in the Railways, being the first railway line to be set up in India. We will be setting up 22 digital screens across different locations in India for showcasing this historic project. This partnership between the Railways and Google also has the dimension of the Wi-Fi, which we have proliferated to over 400 stations in India.” Lohani said that collaboration with Google Art & Culture has enabled Indian Railways to digitise National Rail Museum, Rewari Steam Centre, three World Heritage Railways, CSMT Mumbai building and other prominent aspects of country’s rail heritage.

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IATO brainstorms on key issues on the first day

With a day stacked with business sessions focusing on imperative issues and state presentations, the audience was treated with intense discussions on day one of the two-day convention in Vishakhapatnam. The day started with the conventional IATO Run for Responsible Tourism in the morning. The first session of the day aimed to highlighted the challenges of touching the ambitious milestone of 20 million foreign tourist arrivals within the next few years. The panelists also touched upon the ways in which this can be achieved. The second session brought together members of key hotel companies face to face with tour operators to discuss what both industries can do to help the other since it is getting harder and harder to do business, whether it is the hotels or the travel trade.  The following session had an all-women panel who spoke about their personal experiences that are evidence that India is a safe country. However, they did present ways in which the safety of women travellers could improve. The final panel discussion, moderated by Rajesh Mudgill, MD, Planet India Travels, deliberated on how to change one’s business to adapt to the changing mindset of today’s travellers. In between the state presentations and panel discussions, the audience also took advantage of individual presentations made by Nakul Anand, Chairman, FAITH; an informative session on how travel agents can use digital marketing by Avijit Arya, Founder, Internet Mogul.  

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Akbar Travels donates Rs 1 crore to Kerala CM Relief Fund

K V Abul Nazar, Chairman and Managing Director, Akbar Travels recently met with the Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan and handed over a cheque of Rs 1 crore towards the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund. Owing a majority of its growth story to Kerala, Akbar Travels currently has 35 branches in the state, spanning almost all the districts of God’s own country. Currently, the company has a total of 57 IATA approved branches and 40 non- IATA offices across India.

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Kerala trade hopes to be back in business by September 1

After the severe floods in Kerala, the tourism industry in the state is geared to be back in business by September 1, 2018, says Sejoe Jose, Chairman, IATO Kerala Chapter. “The airports are expected to open on August 26, and even if we keep a buffer owing to DGCA permissions, it should be operational by September 1. In fact, the airport management is insisting to resume operations from August 26,” he adds. Jose insists that tourists would be able to visit Kerala starting September. “Kerala would be ready to receive guests from the first week of September. However, nobody is expecting the bookings to start immediately as it is going to take time. There have been cancellations as well. At a recent meeting with KTM Society, we estimated a loss of Rs 1000 crores for the tourism industry, for people directly and indirectly affected. The loss owing to cancellations is estimated to be around Rs 120 crores,” he informs.

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IATO gears up for 34th Annual Convention in Vizag

In an aim to update its members about the 34th Annual Convention set to be held from September 6-9, 2018, IATO recently hosted a luncheon meet at Le Meridien, New Delhi. The association felicitated Mukesh Kumar Meena, Secretary Tourism, Andhra Pradesh and Himanshu Shukla, CEO, Andhra Pradesh Tourism Authority. Convention Chairman Rajeev Mehra said, “We are getting close to our desired goal in meeting the required number of professionals of the trade from various parts of the country to make our 34th Annual Convention successful.” With the utmost support of Andhra Pradesh Tourism, IATO is confident of its convention. Meena, while addressing the members, said, “We are excited to be the hosts for IATO convention as we’ve been looking forward to it since 2016. We will also be hosting post tours for the delegation of about 200 or more.”

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Breakthrough technological developments for railways this September

India’s much-awaited high-speed train sets will roll-out on September 30, 2018. By next year, these train sets will replace most of the Shatabdi trains. Ashwani Lohani, Chairman, Railway Board, highlights that these trains will be a technological breakthrough for the railways at the Iconic forum in New Delhi. The train has some striking features to enhance passenger comfort. The most prominent feature is that all coaches are interconnected by fully sealed gangways to enable passenger movement from one coach to another.  

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SIHRA Convention 2018 to be held in Madurai from October 4-6

The SIHRA Convention 2018 is scheduled to be held in Madurai from October 4-6, 2018 on the theme “Together for a better tomorrow”. Bringing together all the southern states of India and providing abundant opportunities for the growth of the hospitality industry, the convention serves as a platform to showcase the contemporary trends, cutting edge technologies and international best practices in the rapidly growing hospitality industry. SIHRA looks at connecting the all the South Indian states and brings about varied opportunities in exploring the hospitality and tourism fraternity. This convention shall bring together individuals from varied sectors and aims at interlinking the common areas of interests within the mentioned industries. The sectors concentrated upon for this year’s convention are emerging trends, culture & culinary arts, new trends in the beverage industry, women leadership in hospitality, etc. Hari Arumugam is Chairman – Convention organising committee.

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TAFI Western India launches credit facility scheme with IHCL

The Western India Chapter of the Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) became the first association chapter to initiate a joint bank guarantee scheme for its members for hotels. It has started the pilot project with India Hotels Company Limited (IHCL). Abbas Moiz, Chairman, TAFI (Western India), said, “TAFI has signed an agreement for credit facility for small and mid-sized agents on the lines of a joint bank guarantee arrangement. With this, mid-sized agents will be able to get credit from IHCL for their domestic hotels for booking of up to eight rooms. This is a pilot that IHCL is running with the Western Indian Chapter of TAFI. It could be a new stream of income or business for agents. It is like getting recognition directly from the hotel rather than going through a third party aggregators or online portals. You are now getting a chance to create an identity for yourself and building a relationship with them with a very good arrangement and at a very good price.” Moiz adds that while some of them are already booking the hotel directly, this way offers a bit of leeway and extends a credit facility for at least for a month as long as they don’t cross that slab. “It allows you to pay through a centralised billing and accounting is not an issue here. It has its advantages and that is why we thought of offering this to our members,” he says.

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GPS Lucknow opens with 650 pre-registered buyers

The Global Panorama Showcase (GPS) witnessed 650 pre-registrations on its first day in Lucknow. The inaugural lamp was lit in the presence of Sunil Satyawakta, Chairman, TAAI UP Chapter; Vivek Pandey, President, TTAUP; M Shoeb, President, TAFCA; Manish Marwah, Director-Sales, Indigo; SMA Sheeraz, Managing Director, Sheeraz Tours and Yogesh Aggarwal, Manager-Sales, Oman Air. Harmandeep Singh Anand, Managing Director, GPS, said, “The numbers speak for themselves; 650 is a great number to begin with in Lucknow. The industry is accepting what we are offering at GPS. GPS. The exhibition is more of an opportunity for future endeavours.”  

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HPMF Sri Lanka Chapter launched during International Housekeepers Summit 2018 in Colombo

HPMF Sri Lanka Chapter was recently launched at Shangri-La Hotel Colombo during International Housekeepers Summit 2018. This will be the second international chapter after the launch of Middle East Chapter in Dubai in February 2018. HPMF has grown to over 12 Chapters in India and 2 outside India. The membership base has increased from its initial three to almost 2000 members across India and the Middle East. The launch event was attended by several industry professionals from Asia which mostly included housekeepers, buyers, General Managers and hotel owners. Soon the HPMF Sri Lanka chapter council members will be announced so that top fraternity professionals from Sri Lanka take forward the vision of HPMF to all members. Before the Annual Convention at Varanasi from October 25-27, 2018, HPMF intends to launch the Nepal and Bangladesh chapters. Mohan Deshpande, Chairman, HPMF was thrilled on the overall turn-out of the hospitality professionals at Summit.

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