Tag Archives: Executive Director

Bird Apps launches ‘Odigos’ app to help travellers select and book tour-guides on the go

Bird Apps, a venture by Bird Group, has launched Odigos, a marketplace app that provides an opportunity to select and book a travel guide on the go to make travel experience more worthwhile. Odigos facilitates a connect between expert tour guides and travellers according to preference of years of experience and languages spoken with a simple tap anytime anywhere. Be it a local who wants to explore the city, or a visitor who wants to discover monuments, historical sites, go for wedding shopping or even enjoy a guided nightlife experience, Odigos ensures a smooth, transparent and hassle free experience. A pre-booked guide saves the hassle of looking for a guide after reaching the spot. Odigos ensures a safe experience for its tourists through diligent checks and screening of each tour guide before taking them on board. “Through Odigos, we ensure that domestic as well as international travellers can make most of their travel time by booking an appropriate guide who provides them with an itinerary, curated, customised and charted out especially as per individual requirements. Most of the Odigos guides are certified by the Ministry of Tourism.” said Dr Ankur Bhatia, Executive Director, Bird Group. For tourists, Odigos provides information such as the profiles of tour guides, their background details, packages and areas of expertise enabling the tourist to make an informed decision. It saves time and eliminates the hassle of negotiation by providing a convenient option of pre-booked guides who can meet at the choice of venue, at a transparent service fee.

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Air India, Ethiopian enhance codeshare cooperation

Air India and Ethiopian Airlines, both members of Star Alliance and with an extensive network in their home countries, have agreed to strengthen their cooperation by expanding the current free-sale codeshare agreement, thereby allowing Air India to access Ethiopian Airlines’ network in Africa and Ethiopian Airlines to access Air India’s network in Australia and Hong Kong, in addition to the Indian domestic points. Tadesse Tilahun, Regional Director for Indian subcontinent, Ethiopian Airlines, commented, “The expanded codeshare cooperation between Ethiopian Airlines and Air India gives seamless connection to our esteemed customers. He added, on top of the seamless connection, passengers will get more benefits such as accruing their miles as both airlines belong to the largest airlines alliance – Star Alliance.” “Air India’s esteemed passengers now have access to multiple destinations in the African countries served by Ethiopian Airlines through this expanded cooperation with our long standing partner airline, Ethiopian Airlines, viz through Addis Ababa to Accra, Seychelles, Mombasa, Gaborone, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Kilimanzaro and Zanzibar vv sectors besides the existing access through Addis Ababa to Nairobi, Dar-Es-Salaam, Harare, Entebbe and Kigali vv sectors. Likewise, Ethiopian Airlines customers will be able to access a number of points on Air India network through Delhi to Hong Kong, Melbourne and Sydney vv sectors besides the existing access through Mumbai and Delhi to Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Goa, Jaipur vv sectors”, said Seema Srivastava, Executive Director – Strategy and Planning, Air India.  

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Gokulam Grand Hotel partners with Preferred Hotels for global presence

Gokulam Grand Hotel & Spa Bangalore has been accepted as a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts brand that represents more than 700 hotels, resorts, residences, and unique hotel groups across 85 countries as the newest experience available within the Preferred Hotels & Resorts Lifestyle Collection. Baiju Gopalan, Executive Director, says “As we step into one of India’s most dynamic and competitive hospitality/travel markets, we understand that we need strategic partnerships to leverage international travel markets, distribution systems and loyalty programmes. Preferred Hotels and Resorts was the ideal choice for us to go global.” Akash Gupta, General Manager, says, “We are excited to be in Bangalore to take the erstwhile MSR Hotel and Spa with its existing service and brand standards and market recall to newer heights. The hotel has grown from strength to strength, and with the new management team coming in, a new growth phase for the hotel is being charted out. In keeping with the international brand presence the hotel once enjoyed, we have judiciously decided to partner with Preferred Hotels and Resorts to connect with the overseas market. This strategic alliance is the first step for us to initiate and strengthen our brand presence globally, and benefit from the global sales, marketing and distribution network of Preferred Hotels and Resorts.” Gokulam Grand Hotel & Spa has 182 rooms and suites with three F&B outlets, a pool, Sohum Spa and a gym.

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Thomas Cook focuses on enhancing customer experience

With around 27 per cent of its overall business be it the holiday side and 15 per cent of its foreign exchange business coming through the online channel Thomas Cook is now focusing on enhancing customer experience. Speaking at a media interaction Mahesh Iyer, Executive Director & CEO, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd said, “As a channel we have seen decent growth coming in and we are clocking around 30 per cent CAGR year on year and are quite optimistic on the future of online business. Our focus in the long term is on customer experience. If we look at the current summers we are operating we have packed new experiences like curated food menu by Ranveer Brar, Boman Irani doing a red carpet night for our travelers. We have also launched Japan this year in terms of adding new destinations and have already crossed 1000 passengers.” In terms of forex Thomas Cook is looking to bring more digital options for the customer. It is working on a premium product and will soon be launching a mobile card which will allow customers to use their prepaid card on the NFC platform. He further added, “There is lot of innovation and product development happening with an underline of technology. We launched our customer self service app which allows the customer to keep tab on their bookings, visa status, itineraries etc.”

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80-key Sarovar Premiere Jaipur opens doors

Sarovar Hotels & Resorts has announced the opening of Sarovar Premiere Jaipur. The upscale full-service hotel features 80 guest rooms and suites with modern interiors, stylish furnishings and spacious event and banquet space. The hotel also adds ease to those travelling to the city as it is conveniently located close to the airport, railway station, Vidhan Sabha and famous tourist attractions. The hotel was launched in the presence of Ajay Bakaya, Managing Director, Sarovar Hotels and Sandeep Sharma, Executive Director, R S Sharma & Co (Delhi), Jaipur. “This new hotel is a fantastic addition to our growing portfolio in Rajasthan,” said Bakaya. “Jaipur is one of the most significant destinations in India for leisure as well as business travel and this is our fourth hotel in the city after Sarovar Portico Jaipur, Nirwana Hometel Jaipur and Park Inn Jaipur. Sarovar Premiere Jaipur’s superior features, state-of-the-art amenities, and incredible location will make it a top destination here. The Sarovar brand continues to expand its presence and we are further opening hotels in Ajmer and Jaisalmer soon” The hotel offers exciting dining options, fitness centre, business centre, free Wi-Fi and swimming pool. The hotel can also serve as a venue for meetings and special events. The 1,800-square-foot meeting space can accommodate up to 200 people. Located at Lal Kothi in Tonk Road, Jaipur, the hotel is ideal for discerning corporate as well as leisure travellers.  

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Travel Tours expands presence, opens second store in Kolkata

Travel Tours, the flagship leisure travel brand of FCM Travel Solutions, has inaugurated their second retail and first franchise store at Salt Lake City, Kolkata. The store was inaugurated by Shravan Gupta, Executive Director – Leisure Businesses, FCM Travel Solutions and Sitaram Sharma, President, Bharat Chamber of Commerce & The Consular General of Belarus. With the launch of this store, FCM Travel Solutions now has 28 operational Travel Tours stores across India. The new Travel Tours store in Kolkata aims at redefining travel experience from the region by focusing on both tailor-made vacations and group holidays catering to different kinds of travellers in the city. Spread over 1200 sq. ft., the outlet at Salt Lake City will cater to needs of up-market urban consumers – families, business travellers, honeymoon couples and groups of travellers. The new retail outlet will offer a range of products and services – domestic and international flights, customised and group holidays, hotels, car transfers, visa, cruise vacations, honeymoon packages, adventure holidays and more. Commenting on the launch, Gupta said, “Our second store in Kolkata is a reiteration of our strategic intent at Travel Tours, FCM to expand our footprint across key markets in East India. Through this launch, we aim to provide unbeatable travel experiences to our patrons in an untapped market.”    

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FCM Travel Solutions’ ‘Flight Shop’ rebranded as ‘Travel Tours’

FCM Travel Solutions has consolidated and rebranded its travel retail and holiday brand – Flight Shop under a single leisure brand ‘Travel Tours’. Known for its range of customised travel offerings, post the consolidation, Travel Tours promises ‘unbeatable’ services both in pricing and quality to its customers across India. Four decades old, Travel Tours will now offer travel services ranging from leisure, corporate travel, MICE, visas, inbound to wholesale and foreign exchange pan India. Shravan Gupta, Executive Director – Leisure Businesses, FCM Travel Solutions, said, “Travel Tours has a strong brand equity and heritage in large parts of the country. Through the rebranding, our intention is to put our entire strength and expertise of both our brands – Flight Shop and Travel Tours under one. This move supports our journey of going from a flight seller to being an FIT specialist.” He further added, “We are taking a step further from being a regional powerhouse to being a national player of repute as we move forward. The foundation for our rebrand is firmly in place; we are primed and ready to become Travel Tours”. The rebranding of all the 25 Flight Shop and Travel Tours stores spread across 17 cities was completed on January 31, 2018.

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PATA India’s 6th Update & Outlook Meeting on Nov 15

PATA India will be conducting its 6th Update & Outlook Meeting on November 15, 2017 at The Claridges, New Delhi. Tourism Secretary Rashmi Verma will preside over the meeting. G. K. Chaukiyal, Executive Director, Airport Authority of India, will also give an overview of Regional Connectivity Scheme, near and medium term connectivity plan and how it will support tourism. One of the objectives of this initiative is to take aviation to the hinterland and to the doorstep of the common man. This will contribute towards developing tourism infrastructure and open new vistas for tourism as well.

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FCM introduces international group tours

FCM Travel Solutions, the Indian subsidiary of Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG), Australia, under its retail leisure arm ‘Flight Shop’ has launched Group Inclusive Tours (GITs) in the country. Foraying into the segment, Flight Shop has introduced new exclusive itineraries to Europe specially designed for large group travellers. The service will also offer customers the flexibility to choose dates and destinations in its group tours. Shravan Gupta, Executive Director, Leisure Businesses, FCM Travel Solutions, Indian subsidiary of FCTG, Australia said, “GITs are the biggest segment in the organised travel sector and are growing at 10-12 per cent every year. Travelling in a group costs lesser and is around 20-30 per cent cheaper than travelling solo to any destination. At Flight Shop, we believe that we have the required land and cruise holidays’ expertise to organise unbeatable group tour experiences for Indian travellers. While we want to experiment with the flexible tour concept, which is a pioneering concept in India, our GITs will have fixed departure dates and conventional packages too.” Offering travellers the opportunity to leverage and make the most of the services, Flight Shop has announced ‘Europe on Sale’ Campaign as an introductory offering to their customers. Flight Shop has curated over 200 Europe Group Tour itineraries with departures beginning from April 2018. Flight Shop specialists can also provide individual customization of itineraries for travelers requiring extensions on a trip, etc. Groups are also eligible for discounted deals on ‘Europe on Sale’ itineraries until December 10, 2017. Each tour group will include – Return Economy Airfare with Taxes, Visas, Insurance, Accommodation in Standard Hotels, Meals & Sightseeing as per Itinerary, Ground Transportation in Luxury Coaches and an Independent Tour …

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PATA India partners with Amity University to conducted training programmes

PATA India has partnered with Amity Institute of Travel & Tourism, Amity University, to conducted two training programmes in August and September. “We are confident that Amity University will bring required professionalism in our efforts to provide relevant training to our members and their employees. We propose to hold the following training in August & September, 2017,” said Runeep Sangha, Executive Director, PATA India chapter. The first training session on ‘Hiring for Success’ aims to help small business owners, senior managers & HR managers in their efforts to hire quality resources to deliver the organisations goals and objective. The curriculum of this training program will emphasis on building a job description and specification, role and responsibility, sourcing Identifying candidates through web sources, short listing/screening applicants, interview process, etc. The program will be held on August 25, 2017, at The Claridges Hotel, New Delh from 10 am to 6 pm. The subsequent training session on ‘Optimisation of Social Media in Tourism & Hospitality,’ aimed at supporting the business development efforts of Sales/Marketing Managers, Product Managers and Business Owners, covering related subjects will be held in September, date for which will be announced shortly.

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