Tag Archives: Executive Director

ITC Grand Goa Resort & Spa opens doors with 252 keys

ITC Hotels has announced the opening of its 13th luxury hotel in India, ITC Grand Goa, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, formerly known as the Park Hyatt Goa Resort & Spa, on Arossim beach in Cansaulim, South Goa. Celebrating the spirit of Goa, this 252-keys beach-side, village-styled resort’ s architecture draws inspiration from the Indo-Portuguese vintage and comprises six signature dining options, indoor and outdoor meeting and banquet spaces and Kaya Kalp- The Royal Spa. Speaking on the occasion, Nakul Anand, Executive Director, ITC said, “With this resort ITC Hotels has expanded its footprint in a globally sought-after leisure destination in Asia. The addition of ITC Grand Goa Resort & Spa to our luxury hotel portfolio further reinforces ITC’s vision to consolidate its portfolio in key business and leisure destinations in the country.” Each of the 252 well-appointed rooms and suites feature private outdoor spaces in the form of a balcony or patio providing picturesque views of the Arabian Sea, lush landscaped gardens, lagoons or the multi-level swimming pool. Underscoring ITC Hotels’ ethos of ‘Responsible Luxury’, ITC Grand Goa Resort & Spa endeavours to showcase the culture and ethos of the destination through unique, enriching experiences reflected in bespoke services, indigenous cuisine and engagements that foster partnerships with local artisans and communities.  

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ITC Hotels acquires Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa

ITC Hotels has announced the successful acquisition of Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa as part of an auction held by Industrial Finance Corporation of India (IFCI) for Rs 541 crores in 2015, and upheld by the Supreme Court in its March 19 judgement. Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa at Cansaulim, spread across 45 acres and comprising 252 Indo-Portuguese style rooms and suites, is currently under renovation and will soon echo ITC’s standards of excellence.  The sprawling property is currently under minor renovation to comply with all the ITC’s exemplary sustainability practises to deliver the best of luxury to its customers. Commenting on the chain’s entry into Goa, Nakul Anand, Executive Director, ITC said “ITC is pleased to announce the latest addition to its luxury hotel portfolio in the hospitality landscape of Goa. This has been a long-awaited destination for ITC and we welcome the opportunity to be integrated into the multi-faceted culture and ethos of Goa.” He further added, “In order to ensure business continuity and seamless transition, the leadership team of ITC Hotels is at hand to support the current team of managers and associates. ITC Hotels has received tremendous support from key officials in the state government to ensure that we can recommence operations at the earliest and support the tourism goals of this great state.”    

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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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