Tag Archives: COO

Seychelles Tourism Board concludes its three-city roadshow

Seychelles Tourist Office, India recently organised a three city roadshow from September 3-7, 2018 in Kolkata, Bangalore and Pune. Following the success of 2017’s format, the roadshow saw the same ‘pre-fixed meeting’ format in all three cities. This by-invite only format ensured quick 15 minute meetings between top agents from the cities and the private sector partners from Seychelles. Elsie Sinon from Seychelles Tourism Board shared information about the destination with all agents. Other partners included DMCs, hotels and airline partner Air Seychelles. Sherin Francis, CEO, Seychelles Tourism Board said, “We are happy to note the immense success of the three-city roadshow in India. We believe that growth of any destination relies heavily on its perception and knowledge among the travel trade of the country. We look forward to strengthen our bonds with the Indian travel trade by many more interactions with them in the form of roadshows, workshops and destination trainings in multiple cities of India.” The roadshow did not just introduce a new way of interaction but also saw the highest turn out of participants from Seychelles. The contingent had partners from various establishments. Lubaina Sheerazi, COO, Blue Square Consultants, Seychelles Tourist office India, said, “The cities were chosen due to their current and potential capacities for outbound tourism to Seychelles. We are pleased to have received such positive and encouraging feedback about the format and quality of meetings.”

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India generates over 8k visitors to Seychelles in the first half of 2018

Seychelles continues to ride the wave of growth with increasing number of Indian tourists each year. 2017 marked India’s placement as the top seventh source market for the destination with over 13500 visitors from India. The numbers are only increasing with over 8000 passengers having travelled in the first half of 2018, even before the peak honeymoon season of October-December. The destination now sees a growth in family and celebrations segment as well with a steady rise of 13.3% in Indian tourist arrivals from January to July 2018 vis-a-vis the same time period in 2017. This increase can be attributed to the India tourist office’s committed focus on promotion of the destination, interest and efforts from the hotels and DMCs to capture the Indian market, increased customer awareness due to innovative digital presence along with direct flights from Mumbai five times a week. Commenting on this accomplishment, Sherin Francis, CEO, Seychelles Tourism Board said, “We have always adopted innovative strategies and marketing collaborations to present Seychelles as the ideal luxury holiday destination in India. The growth would not have been possible without the constant support of Air Seychelles, the DMCs and the hotels who walk with us hand in hand in going the extra mile to ensure year on year success.” Lubaina Sheerazi, COO, Blue Square Consultants which is the India office for the Seychelles Tourism Board accounted this increase to focused efforts into innovative marketing campaigns and precise targeting of the destination to the Indian audience.  

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The Fern Residency opens in Yeshwanthpur, Bengaluru

The Fern Hotels & Resorts has started managing The Fern Residency, Yeshwanthpur-Bengaluru in Karnataka. With this opening, the tally of the hotels managed by the group under The Fern Residency brand goes up to 22 hotels. Located 30 kms away from the Kempegowda International Airport, The Fern Residency, Yeshwanthpur is a mid-scale business and leisure hotel with 64 well appointed rooms. Suhail Kannampilly, COO, The Fern Hotels & Resorts, said, “The Fern Residency, Yeshwanthpur strives to offer excellent services with affordable pricing. I am happy that guests to Bengaluru and local residents will be able to experience our ​services at our second hotel now open in the Garden City.” ​The hotel has large banquet facilities and latest business services​ for the discerning  business traveller​. Guests can enjoy various facilities such as high-speed Wi-Fi, LCD TV, digital in-room safe, in-room tea and coffee, minibar, etc.

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Use PhonePe to pay for Goibibo bookings

Goibibo has announced its partnership with PhonePe, a digital payments start-up, to provide a unified login and payments experience to over 100 million PhonePe users while making their hotel bookings. As a part of this partnership, Goibibo will be live with their ‘Hotels’ store (microapp) on the PhonePe app. Leveraging mutual synergies, the alliance brings together a streamlined travel booking experience through Goibibo, and assured reliability and integrity of payments through PhonePe. In an industry first, PhonePe users will also be able to use their goCash balance (Goibibo’s promotional currency) in the PhonePe app to book domestic and international hotels. Commenting on the partnership, Sanjay Bhasin, COO, Goibibo said, “This partnership will extend Goibibo’s extensive selection of over 50,000 domestic hotels and homestays, including Goibibo certified goStays and half a million international hotels to PhonePe’s growing customer base. PhonePe has taken a unique approach to solve digital payments, and their open ecosystem allows us to build the Goibibo experience into their app and engage with a wider user base on their platform.” Rahul Chari, Co-founder & CTO, PhonePe said, “With this partnership, Indian travellers can easily and conveniently make hotel bookings within their PhonePe app. The microapp storefront was built by GoIbibo in just three weeks, which is testimony to how simple it is to build out a merchant experience on PhonePe.”

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Yatra.com appoints Mudit Shekhawat as Chief Marketing Officer

Yatra.com has announced the appointment of Mudit Shekhawat as Chief Marketing Officer of the company. He will be responsible for leading marketing activities, alliances and ancillary revenues across all Yatra.com business-lines and group entities. In addition to further strengthening Yatra’s brand positioning, he will also manage all consumer marketing initiatives across platforms to drive customer stickiness and loyalty. Commenting on the new appointment, Sharat Dhall, COO (B2C), Yatra.com said, “We are delighted to have Mudit come on board with us. As a veteran of the industry, he brings with him vast experience in digital and consumer marketing, which will spur additional growth for us and cement our position as India’s travel planner.” Shekhawat comes with rich consumer marketing experience of more than 12 years in the consumer internet space, most recently with Ola, where he was head of marketing. In his earlier stints, he has worked with Myntra, Yahoo and HCL Technologies in various marketing leadership roles. Shekhawat is an alumnus of IIT Madras, from where he went on to do a Masters in Engineering from Pennsylvania State University before finally finding his calling in marketing, and rounding it up with an MBA from ISB Hyderabad.

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Hahn Air Lines to fly to Balearics this summer

Hahn Air is set to operate a weekly flight from Düsseldorf (DUS) to Palma de Mallorca (PMI) with one of its business jets, a Cessna Citation Sovereign starting May 2018. Flights to the new destination will be scheduled for 19:15 every Friday throughout the 2018 summer season, with the return flight at 16:45 on Sundays. “We’re proud to be adding another European destination with Palma de Mallorca and thereby, offering our passengers another attractive holiday destination,” says Daniel Rudas, General Manager & COO, Hahn Air Lines.  

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Fern Hotels & Resorts opens 34-key hotel in Rajkot

The Fern Hotels & Resorts has added another hotel to its portfolio with the launch of KK Beacon Hotel in Rajkot. This is the eighth hotel which is managed by the company under the Beacon Hotels brand. Suhail Kannampilly, COO, The Fern Hotels & Resorts, said, “The 34-key hotel is the second property which the group is managing in Rajkot. We already have The Fern Residency. With this launch, we have further consolidated our position in Gujarat.” The other Beacon properties are located in Ajmer, Amritsar, Bhopal, Jodhpur, Mumbai and Udaipur. Beacon Hotels (brand owned by The Fern Hotels and Resorts) is positioned as ‘smart and efficient’ hotels in the economy segment. The new hotel comprises 34 air-conditioned rooms with amenities like internet facility, cable television, direct-dial telephone, multiple computer/mobile phone charging points, mini bar, hairdryer and multiple dining options. The hotel is located 3 km from the airport and in close proximity to the railway station and bus stand.

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Blue Square Consultants to represent ‘Australia & Beyond Holidays’ in India

Blue Square Consultants has been appointed as the sales and marketing representative for ‘Australia & Beyond Holidays’ in India. Formed by Simon Bernardi, Australia’s inbound travel management operator provides global solutions to Indian travel agents, from both DMC products and FIT. Through its online Agora booking system, the company offers thousands of land products and hotels worldwide, many with allocations. Simon Bernardi, Director, Australia & Beyond Holidays, said “India continues to be an important tourism market for Australia, with growth of over 15 per cent in arrivals over last year and a 30 per cent increase in travel spend. The Indian market spends on average 13 nights in Australia allowing us to develop itineraries to inspire our customers from India. Blue Square Consultants is the apt partner to have in India because of their highly professional team and undisputed knowledge of the travel trade in India.” Lubaina Sheerazi, COO, Blue Square Consultants, added, “Our emphasis has always been to associate with reputed clients and we have achieved this once again with our recent alliance with Australia & Beyond Holidays. We are confident that our association will not only be beneficial for the client but also for Australia as a destination.”  

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Pricol launches empowerment programmes for Indian agencies

Pricol Travel, in association with Advantage Travel Partnership UK, will offer holiday agencies products, technology and services to help them better manage their business. The Advantage Asia consortium offers programmes that will provide an edge to holiday travel agencies, enabling them to offer the best blend of travel products and services to their customers. The agencies can subscribe for the membership on a monthly subscription plan. The services the programme offers includes operations management, marketing, overall business management, training and networking opportunities. The partnership programme is suitable for small to medium sized travel agencies, who aspire to grow their business in the outbound leisure segment. Advantage Asia will work with their member partners and share collective knowledge. Vikram Mohan, Chairman, Pricol Travel said, “Advantage Travel Partnership UK has empowered thousands of small and medium travel agents in Europe, providing them with the necessary updated product knowledge and current technology for them to be relevant at all times.” A Dharmaraj, COO, Advantage Asia Travel Partnership said, “The programme provides different services that support various aspects of an agency. We work closely with our member partners to provide them with tools to offer their customers the most inspirational, yet affordable range of travel products. We are looking forward to associate with over hundred agencies within the next three years.”

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The Fern opens business hotel in Udaipur

The Fern Hotels & Resorts has added another hotel to its portfolio with the launch of Avins Beacon Hotel in Udaipur. This is the seventh hotel which is managed by the company under the Beacon Hotels brand. The other Beacon properties are located in Ajmer, Amritsar, Bhopal, Jodhpur, Mumbai and Udaipur. Beacon Hotels, a brand owned by The Fern Hotels & Resorts, are positioned as ‘smart and efficient’ hotels in the economy segment, providing value-for-money accommodations and offering limited services. Suhail Kannampilly, COO, The Fern Hotels & Resorts, said, “This is the second property which the group is managing in Udaipur. We already have The Fern Residency, Udaipur. With the launch of Avins Beacon, we are looking to service a different segment of clientele in Udaipur which is growing at a very fast pace.” Avins Beacon Hotel has 22 rooms with 19 Deluxe Rooms and three larger Executive Rooms.

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