Tag Archives: Director

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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UK records 35 per cent growth in Indian arrivals in 2017

The latest official figures from VisitBritain record 562,000 visits from India to the UK in 2017, up 35 per cent on the previous year, with Indian travellers spending a record £454 million in the UK last year, an increase of 5 per cent on 2016. Tricia Warwick, Director – Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, VisitBritain, said “India is a very important market for VisitBritain and it is fantastic that more people than ever are travelling and enjoying experiences that you can only have in Britain, from the exciting and contemporary culture to innovations in food and drink, from exploring the stunning countryside to the vibrancy of its cool cities.” “Britain is offering great value for visitors from India and we are working hard with partners including tour operators and airlines to make it easier to book and explore more of the country, inspiring more visitors to travel right now,” she said. VisitBritain is also inspiring visitors from India to put the UK at the top of the list as their must-visit destination through its ‘Find Your GREAT Britain, I Travel For…’ digital campaign launched earlier this year.  

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Princess Cruises unveils more stand-out features for Sky Princess

Princess Cruises has unveiled new details revealing features onboard its new ship Sky Princess, including a first look at its first-ever Sky Suites. The accommodations are centrally located on the top decks of Sky Princess and feature the largest private balconies ever offered by the line. Measuring 700 square feet, the balconies will provide a private vantage of the ship’s Movie under the Stars screen and create the ultimate space for entertaining. The two suites will also offer a 270-degree panorama and have sleeping capacity for five guests, and more for entertaining — making them ideal for families. “Our two new Sky Suites reflect Princess Cruises’ continued commitment to offer new and expansive accommodations that meet the needs of our guests who wish to explore the world in ultimate comfort,” said Jan Swartz, President, Princess Cruises. She also added that Princess Cruises’ guests could look forward to the roll-out of more new features as the cruise line’s fleet expanded debuting in the Mediterranean in October 2019. The 143,700-ton Sky Princess will include the best of the stunning features found on its three sister ships as well as new offerings that represent an evolution of the current ships’ designs. In addition to the Wake view pool, Sky Princess guests will enjoy two new deep-tank top deck pools, a restorative Retreat Pool, and more jacuzzis than previous Royal-Class ships including two jacuzzis cantilevered over the deep-tank pools. Nishith Saxena, Founder & Director, Cruise Professionals, shared, “Princess Cruises has always been in the forefront of meaningful innovations which enhance customer experience and it is great to see innovations like Ocean Medallions & Sky Suites which are changing the way high-end clients perceive cruising.

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Kayak launches Hotel Travel Report, highlights preferences of travellers

Taking a deep dive into the hotel searching habits and preferences of Indian travellers, travel search engine Kayak has launched its first Hotel Travel Report. The report highlights the most popular month and best combinations for booking hotels, as well as the most popular destinations for Indians, both for short breaks and longer holidays. The report also revealed that Thursday is the most popular weekday to search for a hotel destination among Indians. Abhijit Mishra, Director of India and Middle East, Kayak said, “While travelling, factors such as the destination and flight prices are extremely important. Equally, the choice of travel accommodation plays a crucial role in determining the holiday experience. A great hotel can be the saving grace of a disappointing holiday, while a bad one can ruin an entire trip.”  

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Linkin Reps appointed as PR & Media representative for Turkey in India

Adding one more feather to its cap, Linkin Reps recently bagged the media representation account for Turkish Culture and Tourism Office in India. Linkin Reps, through a well thought strategy and year-long media plan, will work towards highlighting Turkey as a destination for Indian travellers, ease of travelling, cultural affinity and present its lesser known destinations to the Indian audience. Promoting Turkey as a complete tourism destination will be the prime focus of Linkin Reps during its tenure. The decision was driven by Turkey’s growing outbound demand, witnessed in the steady rise in visitation from India, along with rises in the length of stay and spending power of Indian travellers. Speaking after the announcement, H Deniz Ersöz, Culture & Tourism Counsellor, Turkish Culture and Tourism Office in India, said, “Our partnership with Linkin Reps will further strengthen our outreach and presence in the country. We have a very interesting calendar planned out for the year which will be executed in partnership with Linkin. We are aiming at increasing the outbound travel from India to Turkey and invite more of Indian travellers to experience the rich culture and beauty of the Republic of Turkey.” Commenting on the appointment, Komal Seth, Director, Linkin Reps said, “With a series of campaigns planned, we will strengthen Turkey’s positioning as the first choice of destination for tourists from India.” Turkey is the home of unique nature, culture’ and deep-rooted historical and religious prestige, which reflects in its 18 world heritage sites, recognised by UNESCO.

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