Tag Archives: Managing Director

CWT names Bindu Bhatia as new Managing Director, Asia Pacific

Carlson Wagonlit Travel, the global travel management company, has announced Bindu Bhatia as its the new Managing Director, Asia Pacific, effective September 1. Bhatia succeeds Kai Chan, who will be leaving the company on August 31 after making significant contributions during her five-year tenure. “Asia Pacific is the world’s fastest-growing market for corporate travel – there are huge opportunities here,” said Kurt Ekert, CEO, Carlson Wagonlit Travel. “Bindu is perfect for her new role: with her proven entrepreneurial skills, commercial savvy, and deep understanding of the global travel market, she will hit the ground running.” Bindu Bhatia has been with the company for more than 20 years in a number of key roles, most recently serving as Senior Vice President, Global Program Management, where she has looked after CWT’s biggest global clients. Bindu has extensive leadership experience in strategic client management, operations, people management, and business development. Reporting to Kelly Kuhn, Chief Customer Officer, she will soon will be relocating to CWT’s Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore, where she will have responsibility for approximately 3,000 people across nine countries. Ann Marie Stone will be taking over Bindu’s current role, also effective 1 September, reporting to Cathy Voss, Executive Vice President, Global Program Solutions. Ann Marie has been with the company since 2000, most recently serving as Vice President, Global Program Management.

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Bleisure gaining popularity: FCM

‘Bleisure’ – the blend of business and leisure travel – is rising in popularity, with growing uptake among urban Indians, says FCM Travel Solutions’ latest findings of their global survey on Bleisure Travel. The report titled ‘Bleisure Report, India’ reveals that an increasing number of professionals in India are now extending their business trips for leisure, increasingly blurring the lines between business and leisure travel. Bleisure travel has recently become an unconventional employee perk in India with 65.5 per cent of respondents saying their employer allowed them to add leisure travel onto business trips. While Bleisure becomes a mainstream trend in the rest of the world, 27.6 per cent of Indian respondents say that their companies do not permit them to combine personal travel with their business trips, which is the highest among all countries. Speaking on the findings, Rakshit Desai, Managing Director, FCM Travel Solutions, Indian subsidiary of FCTG, Australia said, “Business travel has always been restricted and policy driven. While leisure travel, particularly outbound, has been niche with very low penetration. However, the survey has unlocked a remarkable trend called Bleisure. It is interesting to note that the lines between corporate and leisure travel are increasingly blurring. It would have looked very different, had we looked at this picture three or five years ago. There has been a significant change in the behaviour of corporate travel, since then.” Surveyed millennials (25-34 years old) had the highest appreciation for bleisure travel. They were also the most likely group to extend a business trip with colleagues (25 per cent), while 50 per cent of the respondents in age group of 50, would use the opportunity to travel with a family …

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Uzbekistan Airways woos Mumbai travel trade

Uzbekistan Airways recently organised an event in Mumbai to promote tourism to Uzbekistan from India. There are currently six flights to Uzbekistan, Tashkent from New Delhi. The event titled ‘Visit Uzbekistan’ was chaired by Atabek Atabaev, Country Manager of Uzbekistan Airways. Also present were Vijay. G. Kalantri, Honorary Consul General of Uzbekistan in Mumbai, Anish Arya, Passenger Sales Agency, Aero World Travels, Tolik Odilov, Managing Director, STG Travels, and Sachin Shinde, Manager-Cargo Sales, Uzbekistan.

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VITS Luxury Hotels announces launch of VITS Devbhumi in Dwarka

VITS Hotel Worldwide has recently opened its Hotel VITS Devbhumi in Dwarka, located close to prominent landmarks of Dwarkadish temple, of Dwarka Devbhumi district of Gujarat. Announcing the launch, Vikram Kamat, Managing Director¸ VITS Luxury Business Hotels says, “This is our third property in Gujarat and we are extremely upbeat on the growth prospect in the region. VITS is positioned as a moderately priced full service luxury business hotel and enjoys high occupancy rate at all our 10 properties across India. We believe VITS Devbhumi Dwarka with its strategic location, imposing décor, banqueting and host of hospitality will appeal to both leisure and business tourists.” VITS Devbhumi Dwarka offers 58 rooms providing four-star deluxe experiences. It offers well-equipped conference room, travel desk, multi-cuisine restaurants, open air terrace restaurant, gaming zone and banqueting facilities. VITS Luxury Hotels presently operates 10 properties located in Mumbai, Pune, Aurangabad, Nashik, Latur, Ankleshwar, Silvassa, Agra, Chakan and Bhubaneshwar. The Hotel chain presently has inventory of 900 rooms with host of banqueting, conferencing, restaurant and lifestyle facilities. As part of its expansion plans VITS Hotel will unveil the VITS hospitality experience in Mumbai (Colaba), Nanded, Dahej, Ahmedabad and Mangalore by April 2018. The company plans to penetrate its reach nationally with 20 properties scheduled for launch primarily in Tier 2 and tier 3 in cities within the next three years.

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Spain Tourism and Griffon conduct workshop for Mumbai agents

The Tourism Office of Spain in Mumbai along with Pullmantur Cruises, represented by its GSA in India Griffon, conducted a workshop in Mumbai for a few select travel agents. While Ignacio Ducasse, Director and Tourism Counsellor, Tourism Office of Spain in Mumbai, spoke on the Canary Islands of Spain, Vivek Jain, Managing Director, Griffon, gave a presentation on the winter sailings of Pullmantur’s Horizon and Sovereign cruise liners starting this November. The Canary Islands are the seven islands of Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro in Spain.

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Badung Tourism aims to strengthen its India presence

The Badung Regency of Bali in Indonesia is increasing its focus on India and putting extra efforts to develop it as a bigger source market. It was the highlight of the ongoing India Sales Mission 2017 that kick-started in Mumbai with sellers only from Badung participating in it. Sellers from the rest of Indonesia will join the sales mission for the rest of the five cities: Ahmedabad, Pune, Bengaluru, Coimbatore and Chandigarh. Apart from participating in the sales mission, the Badung Regency has also appointed an India representative – Delhi-based Air Guru Travel Solutions – to promote the destination. Dhiraj Kumar, Managing Director, Air Guru Travel Solutions, is an ‘Honorary Representative for Badung Regency Bali’ appointed by BPPD Badung Tourism Promotions Board, Indonesia. The agenda of this sales mission, as underlined by Vinsensius Jemadu, Director, Asia Pacific Tourism Promotions, Ministry of Tourism, Republic of Indonesia, who was leading the Indonesian delegation, was to develop 10 more Balis with the idea of moving away from Bali and promote newer destinations in Indonesia for Indian travellers.

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Tamarind Global partners with Indonesian event company for destination weddings

With Bali constituting a major chunk of their destination wedding business, Tamarind Global has entered into a joint venture with Innaz Communique, a reputed wedding management company in Indonesia. This partnership is expected to boost cross-tourism as Innaz will also promote India as a prospect for destination wedding to Indonesians. Mahesh Shirodkar, Managing Director, Tamarind Global, says, “This strategic partnership will open up opportunities for our clients in India to explore Indonesia, which is perfectly suited for Indian weddings, along with social events like landmark birthdays and anniversaries. With destination weddings becoming bigger, more demanding and elaborate than they were in the past, we feel that the incredible choice of  venues in Bali  have a lot to offer. The island has some amazing hotels, great hospitality, and value for money and some fabulous outdoor venues. Added to this, the local on ground expertise and experience that Innayat and his team will bring to the table is a huge asset in every way.” Tamarind Global had 700 guests flown from India to Bali for a destination wedding last year with Innaz Communique as its local partner. Jakarta-based Innayat Khubchandani, owner, Innaz Communique, says, “Bali as a destination is ideal for an Indian wedding. The culture, food and exotic locales all lend a very unique yet comforting environment, which has a lot of similarities with Indian traditions and values. With this JV with Tamarind Global, we hope to create awareness of what Bali has to offer to host weddings and events from venues, hotels, food, entertainment, hospitality and great value for money. I am excited to join forces with Tamarind to work together to open up some fabulous untapped opportunities.”

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GPS launches international destination workshops

The second leg of this year’s GPS starting July 13 will bring with it another unique programme. Announcing this is Harmandeep Singh Anand, Managing Director, GPS, says, “We have started working with international tourism boards to do an educational workshop for travel agents starting this September-October. Titled ‘GPS Educational Destination Workshop – International’ (EDWIn), it will involve interested agents signing up to travel to a particular international destination to learn about the country at a highly subsidised participation fee.” GPS has already tied up with Singapore Airlines as its international airline partner as well as Genting HK. It is also in talks with various NTOs including Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Korea, UAE, Egypt, Turkey and Greece. GPS will soon launch a similar programme for domestic destination in partnership with various state boards. Agents are requested to register for the same at GPS will shortlist about 20-25 travel agents from each city that GPS travels to. The selection will be based on their level of participation, the number of meetings they do, their level of networking and the amount of business or leads they generate during GPS shows. Anand explains further, “They also have to attend all presentations and sessions. These agents will be chosen to attend these educational workshops that we will conduct in association with the tourism boards. The visits will include hotel inspections, meeting local DMCs and travel agents from that destination and doing activities that they can include in their itineraries. It will turn out to be very cost-effective for them. This will be open only to tier II and tier III travel agents as they are the ones who don’t get enough exposure to …

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Surya Palace Vadodara rebrands to Grand Mercure

Vadodara’s Surya Palace has been rebranded to Grand Mercure Vadodara Surya Palace. Strategically located in proximity to Vadodara’s business district and corporate hubs, the hotel is the first Grand Mercure to launch in the state of Gujarat. “We are delighted to associate with AccorHotels and rebrand Surya Palace as Grand Mercure Vadodara Surya Palace. The hotel has always resonated with Vadodara, its people, art and culture. An appreciation of craftsmanship and a commitment to elegance are woven throughout the hotel,” said Piyush Shah, Managing Director, Jindal Hotels. Featuring 146 well-appointed guest rooms including five suites, Azure an all-day dining restaurant, Vanilla a delicatessen, an outdoor pool, a fitness and wellness centre, the hotel is a mere 2 minute drive from the railway station and 10 minutes from the airport. “The rebranding of Grand Mercure Vadodara Surya Palace gives us an opportunity to showcase the property as our 48th hotel in the country and highlight AccorHotels’ growing network in the region. It further strengthens our presence in Gujarat as AccorHotels’ first upscale property in the state and West India,” said Jean-Michel Cassé, Chief Operating Officer, India & South Asia, AccorHotels. “Grand Mercure is a cultural touchstone in each destination, capturing guests’ imagination and bringing local stories to life.” The launch of Grand Mercure Vadodara strengthens AccorHotels’ presence in Gujarat. The group will further augment its presence in the state with the opening of a Mercure hotel in the divine city of Dwarka in Gujarat later this year, outlining the importance of West India as a market for AccorHotels. Additionally, through the setup of a new Global Sales Office structure in the country, AccorHotels has consolidated its brand portfolio under a single …

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K.C. Chandrahasan enters the Gallery of Legends

K.C. Chandrahasan, Managing Director, Kerala Travels Interserve, is the stalwart to enter the Gallery of Legends at the 4th South India Travel Awards in Kochi. A visionary in the travel and tourism industry, he has been the President of TAAI- Kerala Chapter as well as the Chairman of Air Passenger Association of India. A renowned author of several Malayalam plays and writer and director of two Malayalam films, Chandrahasan has even won a National Award for ‘The Thekkady Tiger Trail’ project. He is one of the brains behind Interserve, which was reckoned as Indian travel industry’s answer to the inundation of multinational companies in India.

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