Tag Archives: Chairman

Maharashtra, Virgin Hyperloop One to build India’s first hyperloop

Virgin Hyperloop One has announced Maharashtra’s intent to build a hyperloop between Pune and Mumbai beginning with an operational demonstration track. Richard Branson, Chairman, Virgin Hyperloop One announced the framework agreement in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to begin the development of the route. Recognizing the Maharashtra government’s contribution to the country’s economy, Modi said, “51 per cent of total investments in India have come to Maharashtra, and the state is attracting global investors. The state’s overall development in the past few years is a shining example of improving conditions in the country.” “I believe Virgin Hyperloop One could have the same impact upon India in the 21st century as trains did in the 20th century. The Pune-Mumbai route is an ideal first corridor as part of a national hyperloop network that could dramatically reduce travel times between India’s major cities to as little as two hours,” said Branson. The hyperloop route will link central Pune, Navi Mumbai International Airport, and Mumbai in 25 minutes, connecting 26 million people and creating a thriving, competitive mega region. The high-capacity passenger and cargo hyperloop route will support 150 million passenger trips annually, saving more than 90 million hours of travel time, and providing citizens with social and economic mobility.  

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Park Plaza Kolkata Ballygunge is now Radisson Kolkata Ballygunge

Park Plaza Kolkata Ballygunge has been re-branded to Radisson Kolkata Ballygunge. Strategically located in the heart of upscale South Kolkata neighbourhood Ballygunge, the hotel is within proximity of the international airport and railway station. Radisson Kolkata Ballygunge has been revitalised with a new look in several areas of the hotels and features upgraded amenities to better serve its discerning guests. “I am glad to welcome our first Radisson hotel in the heart of Kolkata. West Bengal is a key market for us and Kolkata remains a promising destination due to its thriving leisure and business footprint. We appreciate the investment that Mukti Group has made in upgrading this hotel and the trust they have demonstrated in the Radisson brand,” said Raj Rana, chief executive officer, South Asia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. “We are excited about re-launching the hotel as Radisson and are confident that the new facilities and services would be greatly appreciated by our guests. We are delighted to be partnering Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group for the repositioning and are looking forward to continued association with them,” said Rajkumar Gupta, chairman, Mukti Group. Radisson Kolkata Ballygunge features 92 well-appointed, spacious and modern rooms across Superior, Business Class, Junior and Executive Suites categories. Equipped with modern amenities, new upholstery, superior bath amenities and colorful art work, the hotel assures a comfortable and enjoyable stay for guests.

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TAAI signs MoU with Faizabad university

The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand Chapter has signed an MoU with Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Avadh University in Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh to establish a cooperative relationship between the two that will help students of tourism. The MoU is with respect to offering a Bachelor in Vocational (B.VOC) Tourism & Hospitality Course, a three-year degree course. It will be conducted at Dr. RML Avadh University. Sunil B. Satyawakta, Chairman, TAAI – Uttar Pradesh & Uttarakhand Chapter, says, “This MOU sets the framework for the cooperative relationship between the parties to enhance quality of education in courses and designing the curriculum to make it industry relevant. This is the third MoU signed by the chapter with education institutes in the last two years. The others were with Lucknow University and Banaras Hindu University.”

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SpiceJet is not bidding for Air India stake

Ajay Singh, Chairman, SpiceJet, has confirmed that the airline will not bid for any stake in the process of privatisation of Air India. Speaking at the recently-concluded CAPA India Aviation Summit 2018 in Mumbai, he said, “We are just too small to bid for Air India. We may not be the appropriate candidate for this. Vistara and Singapore Airlines will probably do it. Conceptually, we are too small for this. Nevertheless, it’s a great asset and a fantastic brand.” Speaking about government’s move to privatise the national airline, Singh added, “The government has taken an appropriate decision and the reason for that is not lack of performance. I think we had some really great managers at Air India. Problem is the government system itself. If Air India is required to take every decision through a tender process, it is almost impossible to function. Either you need to allow them to run like a private operator or sell it to a private operator. .” He also confirmed that SpiceJet will expand its international routes albeit without mentioning any destinations. CAPA acknowledged his effort in turning around the airline over the last 32 months.

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TAAI holds badminton tournament for members in Lucknow

The Travel Agents association of India (TAAI) Uttar Pradesh & Uttarakhand Chapter held a badminton tournament for its members on January 7, 2018, in Lucknow. Sunil B. Satyawakta, Chairman, TAAI UP & UK Chapter, said, “The tournament was a success. We had received overwhelming response to our Tigerair Cup (TAAI Badminton League – 2016) and that motivated us to hold TAAI Badminton League – 2018. As expected, about 40 per cent more participants registered for this event. They were from travel agencies, tour operators, airlines, tourism boards and hotels.” The league was held at the Babu Banarsi Das UP Badminton Academy in Lucknow. The league was played under the categories: Travel Agents – Singles Male, Travel Agents – Singles Female & Family – Singles, Airlines/GDS/Insurance/Forex/Hotels – Singles, Travel Agents – Doubles Male, Mixed Doubles and Kids under 18. The event was inaugurated by Avnish Awasthi, Principal Secretary & Director General, Uttar Pradesh Tourism. The tournament was sponsored by UP Tourism and supported by Oman Air, Scoot, Fly Dubai, Indigo, Jet Airways, Vistara, Saudia, Asian Roots Tour Co. Ltd., Royal Gulf Tourism Dubai, Decathelon, Udaan, TLC, Levana Suites and Hyatt Regency, Lucknow. Also present were Office Bearers Anupam Shukla, Hon. Secretary, and Umair N Shah, Hon. Treasurer of TAAI Uttar Pradesh & Uttarakhand Chapter.

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Mumbai Port Trust lays foundation stone for international cruise terminal

A top-level delegation led by Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways and Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Govt of India, gathered inside Mumbai Port to lay the foundation stone for the new international cruise terminal. Mumbai Port Trust (MPT) proposes to handle 80 per cent of the cruise passengers that will arrive at the port once the terminal is complete. Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman, MPT, said, “As per our consultant’s report, we have the potential to bring in 30 lakh passengers. Based on that projection, we have prepared a second SOP on a national level. We have also recently exempted cruise passengers from e-visa and this is in line with our efforts to make immigration process for international tourists easier and faster. With the new terminal, the area of cruise terminal will be 4.15 lakh sq feet, almost 10 times bigger than what we have today.” Bhatia added that the new terminal will have all the facilities of the domestic airport. Also present at the ceremony were Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister, Maharashtra and Jaykumar Rawal, Minister of Tourism, Government of India.

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Mumbai Port to spend Rs 51 crore to revamp Sassoon Dock

Mumbai’s Sassoon Dock will soon become a tourist attraction once the upgradation project initiated by the Mumbai Port Trust is complete. Sharing details of this is Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman, Mumbai Port Trust, who says, “Sassoon Dock is getting a complete revamp. We are doing this in four phases. The first phase is just complete. The area that is known to be dirty is getting some sort of a status and upgrade. We are going to spend Rs 51 crore altogether on the revamping of Sassoon Dock.” Tenders have been invited and the work is expected to start in about three or four months, Bhatia said. “This is being done along with the state government and Sagarmala Project. Meanwhile, work has already started at the international cruise terminal whose foundation stone will be laid by the CM and the Shipping Minister on January 11. This will take about two years to get completed. Currently, the demolition work of two godowns is underway after which the construction work shall begin.”  

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Mumbai Port Trust to build Rs 300-crore worth projects by June

The Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) is planning to open up a slew of citizen-focused facilities being built at a cost of up to Rs 300 crore over the next six months, a senior official has said. “Many projects are in different stages of development and nearing completion. Works of around Rs 250-300 crore will be opened before the onset of the monsoon,” said Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman, MbPT. The port remains one of the biggest land owners in the cramped megapolis and is undertaking a slew of projects aimed at benefiting the citizens and also the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors. The projects to be completed include starting the ropax ship, which ferries both passengers and motor vehicles, from Mumbai to Mandwa for which a separate jetty and break water is being built, a ferry service connecting south Mumbai with Belapur in the satellite city of Navi Mumbai and beautification of the waterfront at Princess Dock. Bhatia said a domestic cruise terminal with restaurants will also be inaugurated, which is slated to handle a cruise service between the financial capital and Goa that will be starting soon. The projects to be inaugurated also include water taxis on the eastern waterfront, two floating restaurants at Gateway of India and one at Marine Drive, he said, adding that for deepening the tourism potential, a ferry service to the Kanhoji Angre island at Khanderi will also be started. The port is planning an event for the Rs 3090-crore International Cruise Terminal on January 11. It will take up to 18 months to complete the project that is aimed at upping the calls by global cruises to the country. MbPT is also working on starting …

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Goa in the list of top five Indian states in tourism

Goa has been ranked third in the list of top five states in tourism as per the 5th biennial Hotelivate State Ranking Survey for Tourism in association with the World Travel and Tourism Council-India Initiative (WTTC-II). While Delhi and Maharashtra occupy the top two places, Goa stands third followed by Tamil Nadu and Gujarat. The survey   which looked  at states from the hospitality industry’s standpoint considered 11 parameters  namely, state expenditure on tourism, number of tourist visits, number of branded hotel rooms, GSDP per capital, literacy, aircraft movement, ease of doing business, urbanization, road and rail network, marketing campaigns and some intangible aspects. Manohar Ajgaonkar, Minister for Tourism, Goa, said, “Goa Tourism is in the spotlight again for achieving success in various tourism parameters. It should be our endeavour to get to the top and work on improving in those parameters where we are lagging behind so as to attract more tourists to Goa.” Nilesh Cabral, Chairman, Goa Tourism Development Corporation, said, “It has always been the endeavour of the Goa Tourism Development Corporation to work with various segments of tourism whether infrastructure, accommodation, tourism activities, tourism related development and so on.”

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Chander Mansharamani to continue as Vice Chairman, ICPB; new appointments in Governing Body

Chander Mansharamani has been re-elected as Vice Chairman of India Convention Promotion Bureau (ICPB) for another two-year term. Amaresh Tiwari and Girish Kwatra will also continue on their respective posts of Hon. Secretary and Hon. Treasurer. This was declared during the association’s 30th Annual General Meeting and Elections for the Governing Board held at The Ashok in New Delhi which was also attended by Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and Chairman, ICPB. New appointments were made in the Hotel, Tour Operator and Congress / Convention Centres categories. The two new appointments in the hotel category were Hemant Mediratta and Saurabh Bhargava & Abinash Manghani (due to a tie for the second post). Gunjan Suri and Naveen Chibber took up the two new posts in the travel agency category while Ajay Vinayak and Anuj Wadhwa took the two posts in tour operator category. The post for the Congress / Convention Centres went to Sudeep Sarcar. Talking about the key priorities for the bureau now, Chander Mansharamani, Vice Chairman, ICPB, said, “the government has been looking at us as the frontal organisation for marketing India as a convention destination. Keeping that in mind, we are completely invested to take things to the next level. Currently we have outlined three core areas to focus on; first is market creation wherein creating our chapters and bidding of international conferences will be a part of that. Market creation will involve conducting roadshows both in India and international markets. The second priority is Visa, lobbying and making the entire process easier to get a visa for delegates attending conferences in India and thirdly we want to sensitise the central and state governments on the …

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