Tag Archives: Director

Minar Group to introduce new leisure and MiCE vertical

The Minar Group is set to come up with a new leisure and MiCE vertical known as ‘Wishcover- Inspire journeys by Minar’. The new vertical is headed by Jasmine Duggal, Director, Minar Airways. Attempting to create a benchmark in the outbound market, Wishcover will focus to provide an inspired experience to travellers within India and abroad. The group has set a target of generating 20 crore by 2020 with the new vertical.

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Tourism from India to Russia grows 27.5 per cent

At the recently-concluded Round Table on Tourism on the sidelines of the Russian Indian Summit 2018, Ivan Breganov, Regional Manager of IFS (Russian Visa Center) confirmed that the number of tourist visas issued from January to September 2018 has already surpassed the total number of visas issued in 2017, pegging the YoY growth around 27 per cent. The round table was organised by Russia Expo Center, Moscow along with Russian Information Center, Mumbai (RIC) with more than 120 trade professionals from India attending along with TAAI MC Member Rajan Sehgal and EEMA Executive Vice President Sanjiv Pasricha making the keynote address along with Timur Vekilov, Chief Representative in India of Russ Expo Center. The round table moderated by Paresh Navani, Director, Russ Information Center discussed the needs and special services required by Indians and ways to address the same. In this regard, Russ Information Center announced the pre-launch of Ural Airlines set to begin operations from March 24, 2019 connecting Mumbai to Yekaterinburg and Moscow along with some tourism products to take advantage of the new airline service between the two countries, further RIC presented its ‘Indian Friendly’ programme to the Indian travel trade, the Indian friendly programme trains Russian hotels on Indian culture, cooking Indian dishes and ensure that other specific needs are provided to Indians in Russia. Another point noted by the attendees was that tourists from Russia to India has also grown over the last years by around 29 per cent, showing good recovery of arrival compared to the past few years.

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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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IHCL expands presence in Nepal; signs new hotel in Kathmandu

The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) has announced the signing of a new Vivanta hotel in Kathmandu, marking the entry of the brand in the city. This will be IHCL’s second hotel in Nepal after Meghauli Serai in Chitwan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Commenting on the signing of this agreement, Puneet Chhatwal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, IHCL said, “We are honoured to partner with R&R Hotels and Resorts for this new hotel. Kathmandu is an extremely popular destination and this hotel will help us complete a tourist circuit with Meghauli Serai, our Taj Safari Lodge in Chitwan National Park.” The hotel will have approximately 111 spacious rooms and suites with a selection of rooms offering panoramic views of the city. The hotel will also include all-day dining and specialty restaurants, a bar, banqueting facilities and a spa. Commenting on the partnership, Rahul Chaudhary, Director, R&R Hotels and Resorts, said, “We have had a long standing association with IHCL for a range of hotels in multiple destinations. We are extremely proud to carry this relationship forward with the new Vivanta in Kathmandu.” Kathmandu has been at the centre of Nepal’s history, art, culture and economy. Some of the most popular attractions include the sacred and famous temple Pashupatinath, one of the biggest stupas in the world Boudhanath Stupa and Narayanhiti Palace Museum amongst others.  

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India bags several PATA Grand and Gold awards in Langkawi

The winners of the 2018 PATA Grand and Gold Awards were felicitated at PATA Travel Mart 2018 on September 14 at the Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre in Langkawi, Malaysia.  PATA Gold Award 2018 for Women Empowerment Initiative went to Peak DMC, India, for empowering women through inclusive work and PATA Gold Award 2018 for Heritage was bagged by Sahapedia for India Heritage Walk Festival. SOTC Travel won the award for Marketing Media – Travel Advertisement Broadcast Media while Yalla Kerala campaign of Kerala Tourism, bagged the PATA Gold Award for Marketing Media – Travel Advertisement Print Media. Cox & Kings India won the award for Marketing Media – Travel Brochure, an experiantial showcase of Indian journeys. The Ultimate Travelling Camp (TUTC) won the PATA Gold Award for Marketing Media – Travel Video. Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA, said, “I would like to congratulate the 2018 PATA Grand and Gold Award winners as well as all of this year’s participants for their submissions. This year’s winners exemplify the true values of the association in working towards a more responsible travel and tourism industry in the Asia Pacific region.” Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Director, Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), said, “This year’s PATA Gold Award winners present us with yet another wide array of remarkable accomplishments in different branches of the tourism industry. MGTO is honoured to help facilitate this PATA awards programme in inspiring tourism stakeholders throughout the Asia Pacific region.” This year’s awards attracted 200 entries from 87 organisations and individuals worldwide.

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Gurbaxish Singh Kohli elected as new president of HRAWI

Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Director, Pritam Hotels has been elected as the President of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) at the 68th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Mumbai. Prior to being elected as the President, Kohli served as Senior Vice President of the association. Prrem Tiwari, former Vice President will now serve as Sr Vice President along with Sherry Bhatia acting as the Vice President and Pradeep Shetty as the Honorary Secretary. Nirav Gandhi will continue in the office as Jt Honorary Secretary with Dilip Kothari as the Honorary Treasurer and Aspi Nallaseth as Secretary General. “The HRAWI has made tremendous progress, and I would like to congratulate my predecessor Dilip Datwani and his team for doing an outstanding job during his term. From here, it is my intent to complement the efforts made so far by the association and maintain the momentum. I also hope to engage with the government, concerned authorities and other trade bodies as best as possible for the benefit of our fraternity. We will focus on resolving issues that are potential hindrances for the industry’s growth and will align efforts to best address and meet our members’ needs,” says Kohli. A second generation hotelier, Kohli is the owner of Dadar’s famous Pritam restaurant and who set up the iconic Pritam da Dhaba and the four-star Hotel Midtown Pritam in the 80s.

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Mauritius plans to attract 1.2 lakh Indian tourists in 2020

Mauritius is aiming to attract 1.2 lakh Indian tourists in 2020, up from 88,000 people expected to visit the island nation this year, a senior official from that country said. At a recent four-city India roadshow organised by Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA), Arvind Bundhun, Director, MTPA, said that 80,000 tourists from India had visited his country last year. “In the last four years, Mauritius tourism has seen double digit growth, with Indian tourists contributing significantly to this. We are looking to attract 1.2 lakh Indian tourists to our country in 2020,” Bundhun said. He said that Mauritius has positioned itself as an affordable luxury destination which offers tourists different activities like golf, spa, sky diving, zip lining among others. “In order to create more visibility, we are inviting celebrities and top CEOs from India to Mauritius. Special packages are being offered to promote incentive trips,” Bundhun informed. He added that the wedding segment remains an attractive niche, with a lot of newly-wed Indians choosing Mauritius as a honeymoon destination. Bundhun said that Bollywood was also finding Mauritius attractive with its film promotion policy, adding that some Indian movies had been shot there recently. “Between October 17-19, the Mauritius Film Development Corporation is organising cinema week and a number of Bollywood stars have been invited there. The government has put in place special incentives to shoot movies in our country,” he said.

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Israel conducts roadshow in Delhi to strengthen ties with trade

Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMOT) conducted a roadshow in Delhi to enhance commercial ties with the Indian travel trade fraternity. The 20-member delegation comprising destination management companies (DMCs) from Israel interacted with over 200 key travel and tour operators, MiCE providers, upmarket leisure operators and media personnel. Interactive B2B sessions, education programmes and workshops were held to aid trade members in planning itineraries and responding to customer queries. Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism – India & Philippines said, “Tourism is on the rise in Israel and inbound arrivals from India has appreciably increased in the last few years. More than 44,000 Indian tourists have already visited the country from January to July, 2018. The introduction of Air India’s direct flight connectivity from Delhi to Tel Aviv received an overwhelming response resulting in the national carrier to increase their frequency to four flights a week.” In March this year, Air India launched its historic direct flight operations from New Delhi to Tel Aviv. Madah added, “We have positively introduced various initiatives to ease the visa procedure for Indians. Along with relaxation of documents for persons who have availed visas of Schengen countries, US, Canada, Australia or Israel and have completed their travel to these countries, Fast Track visa processing for Israel was also incorporated earlier this year. Additionally, reduction in visa fee to Rs 1,100 will encourage more people to choose Israel as a holiday destination boosting inbound numbers from India.”

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Israel opens Visa Application Centre in Kolkata

In an effort to encourage more Indian travellers to visit Israel, the Embassy of Israel in India has opened a Kolkata Israel Visa Application Centre for West Bengal and Northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. Additionally, visa applications in jurisdiction under the New Delhi centre are also acceptable at the new Kolkata Centre. The visa application categories include B1 for employment, B2 for business, tourism, meeting or conference and A2 for students. Commenting on the new opening, Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism – India & Philippines said, “Israel is experiencing a tourism boom like never before. India has recorded a half yearly growth of 82% as compared to the same period in 2015 and has become one of the best performing markets in Asia for Israel. The new centre in Kolkata will no longer require residents from West Bengal and Northeastern states to send in their documents to the Embassy in New Delhi.” Among other initiatives, Israel recently announced a reduction in visa fees to Rs 1,100 from its previous Rs 1,700 charge for Indian citizens. In December last year, relaxed visa documentation was brought in for applicants who have availed visas of Schengen countries, US, Canada, Australia or Israel and have completed their travel to these destinations. Madah added, “The Ministry of Tourism will be conducting a roadshow in Kolkata on August 29 to increase interest for the destination among consumers and trade fraternity.”

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IHG signs deal for four Holiday Inn hotels to develop Buddhist Circuit

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has signed a management agreement with Lotus Trans Travel to establish a four hotel portfolio under the Holiday Inn banner. Slated to open between 2020 and 2023, Holiday Inn Bodhgaya, Holiday Inn Kushinagar, Holiday Inn Gorakhpur and Holiday Inn Shravasti together will add over 450 rooms to IHG’s system and establish the company’s presence at the Buddhist tourism circuit. As a part of the agreement, Holiday Inn hotels in Bodhgaya, Kushinagar and Shravasti will be refurbished and upgraded to ensure the portfolio is fully representative of the Holiday Inn brand globally. Holiday Inn Gorakhpur will be will be a new build hotel. Bodhgaya in Bihar, Gorakhpur, Shravasti and Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh are some of the main pilgrimage centres for Buddhism in India and together form a part of ‘The Buddhist Circuit’ in the country that drives a great deal of religious visitors and international travellers to these states. Sudeep Jain, Vice President—Development, South West Asia, IHG said, “We are excited to be collaborating with Lotus Trans Travel, who have a strong presence and a deep market understanding of Buddhist destinations in India. This signing adds to the rapidly growing presence of our well-recognised Holiday Inn brand across the country.” Karan Rai, Director, Lotus Trans Travel, added, “We feel there is a need for quality branded accommodation in cities with immense travel potential such as Bodhgaya, Kushinagar, Gorakhpur and Shravasti, and are delighted to be partnering with IHG for our business in these markets.”

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