Tag Archives: Managing Director

Mahendra Vakharia gets the DDP Trailblazer

Mahendra Vakharia, Managing Director, Pathfinders Holidays, has been declared the DDP Trailblazer at the West India Travel Awards 2017. A travel enthusiast, Vakharia did his hotel management from Mumbai and then went on to help thousands make their dreams a reality. He is also the founder member of the Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI) where he is the executive committee member and also the chairman of the western region of OTOAI. He is also the voice behind the mandate that requires all outbound agents to complete at least 25 hours of training a year to retain their active status. His first hand knowledge from personal experience is what helps him make magical itineraries for his customers and it is this self experience before selling a destination that makes him a Trailblazer. .

Read More »

Mahesh Shirodkar is DDP Game Changer

Mahesh Shirodkar, Managing Director, Tamarind Global has been honoured with the DDP Game Changer award. An industry veteran with 35 years of experience, Shirodkar has been instrumental in shaping the industry from strength to strength. He started his career with Cox and Kings and soon moved to Dubai. Upon his return he set up his own specialised company which was bought over by Kuoni Travels. Post the integration, he took over as the COO of SOTC, the flagship division of Kuoni. His hunger drove him to start his own entrepreneurial venture focusing on MICE, inbound travel, event management and weddings. Conceptualizing and initiating a ‘celebrity management company’ that changed the face of the industry was yet another of his contribution to the trade. He now has 14 offices spanning 5 countries manned by a staff of 350 people.

Read More »

Sarovar Hotels signs new hotel in Jhansi

With over 75 operating hotels across 50 destinations in India and Africa, Sarovar Hotels & Resorts has signed an agreement for a 72-room hotel, Nataraj Sarovar Portico Jhansi. Owned by Nataraj Sai Hotels, Nataraj Sarovar Portico is expected to open in January 2018. With a prime location, the hotel under development has 72 rooms with all-day dining, bar, banquet halls, conference & meeting facilities, swimming pool, gymnasium, salon and rooftop open air banquet space. It is located in the center of city about 2 km from Railway Station. Commenting on the development, Ajay K. Bakaya, Managing Director, Sarovar Hotels & Resorts, said, “We are happy to open a Sarovar Portico hotel in this historic city of Uttar Pradesh. With its significant development and rich antiquity, Jhansi is an important destination with rising number of visitors from across the country. It is an important location for us and a significant addition to our portfolio. This will the best hotel in the city and will cater to the needs of Corporate, Groups, Leisure and MICE.” Some of the expected openings this year include hotels in Amritsar, Raipur, Mahipalpur, Somnath and Jaisalmer.

Read More »

Czech Republic opens tourism office in India

Observing the immense growth and potential in India’s outbound traffic, The Czech Republic has decided to open its tourism office India. The Czech Tourism India office will be located in Mumbai and will be represented through VFS Global. Present at the opening was Monika Palatkova, Managing Director, Czech Tourism Board, who said, “We have been working with VFS for visa processing since the last two years but it is only now that we decided to open an office in India. In the last five years, the volume of Indian arrivals to Czech Republic has almost tripled and we want to increase this further. From 66,000 Indian tourists that we received in 2016, we have a target to cross 1,00,000 Indian tourists by 2019.” The Czech Tourism India office will be led by Arzan Khambatta, Head, Czech Tourist Authority – Czech Tourism India. The tourism board is currently in the midst of a three-city roadshow – New Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai. The delegation consists of 10 sellers from the country, including Prague Airport, who will meet the Indian trade in these cities.

Read More »

Maharashtra to promote its tourism products in New York

Maharashtra’s Minister of Tourism Jaykumar Jitendrasinh Rawal met H.K Mauder Kakkur, Managing Director, NYC & Company New York, to discuss the prospects of tourism in Mumbai and Maharashtra in order to promote ‘The Brand Maharashtra’ in the City of New York. Vijay Waghmare, Managing Director, MTDC and Aashutosh Rathod, Joint Managing Director, MTDC, were also present at the event.

Read More »

Hyatt Regency Lucknow opens doors

Hyatt announced today the opening of Hyatt Regency Lucknow, the first Hyatt-branded hotel in Lucknow. Hyatt Regency Lucknow is the 27th Hyatt-branded hotel in India and further expands the company’s brand presence in South Asia. With 206 guestrooms, including 19 suites, Hyatt Regency Lucknow offers elegantly decorated, bright and spacious accommodations. Kurt Straub, Vice President, Operations for India at Hyatt, said, “The opening of Hyatt Regency Lucknow marks a significant milestone for the Hyatt Regency brand as it continues to expand its footprint throughout India.” “Not only is the hotel strategically located for business travelers visiting Lucknow, it is also well positioned for leisure guests who are interested in enjoying a journey through the Uttar Pradesh Heritage Arc of Lucknow, Agra and Varanasi.” “We are delighted to announce the opening of Hyatt Regency Lucknow in the dynamic capital of the largest and most populous state of India. Chartered Hotels Private Limited remains focused on developing full service hotels across tier one and tier two cities in India for the ever growing business and leisure traveler,” said Varun Saraf, managing director, Chartered Hotels. “The hotel’s strategic location along with the food and beverage offerings and large state-of-the-art meeting and banqueting facilities will provide guests with an unforgettable experience which Lucknow has not yet seen.” Conveniently located in the corporate hub of Vibhuti Khand, Hyatt Regency Lucknow is designed to connect business and leisure travelers to all Lucknow has to offer. The hotel is in close proximity to the city’s High Court and multiple public sector head offices, and the Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport is less than 16 miles (25 kilometers) away. Additionally, landmarks and tourist attractions include Bara Imambara, La …

Read More »

TBO launches 1st BOHO Hotel in Rishikesh

Travel Boutique Online (TBO) Group has launched its budget hotel chain under the brand name- BOHO Hotels. “The focus with BOHO Hotels is to cater to the budget segment of travellers. We believe there is a lot of demand for budget hotels in the market and especially with GST being implemented, we felt it was the right time to venture into the Tier-II and Tier-III cities. To begin with, we have opened the first hotel in Rishikesh. The second hotel will be launched in a few months in Delhi,” said Ankush Nijhawan, Managing Director, Nijhawan Group of Companies. The company will soon venture into other cities like Jaipur, Pune, Hyderabad and Cochin, added Nijhawan.

Read More »

Ark with Star Cruises hosts 400+ agents onboard Gemini

Ark Travels, the Preferred Sales Agent for Star Cruises in India, recently hosted its annual get together titled ‘Big Bang Nautical Fiesta’ from August 13-16, 2017 onboard SuperStar Gemini. More than 400 of its travel agent partners were hosted for this event who came from all over India including smaller cities like Indore, Surat, Rajkot and Karimnagar near Hyderabad. The three-night itinerary included Singapore-Penang-Port Klang-Singapore. Kishan Biyani, Managing Director, ARK Travels, says, “The idea for this annual event was to start with two days which was held at Lavasa, to three days this year, and five days in 2018. This event is to say thank you to all our partners. We started nine years ago and with their support we have grown tremendously over the years. This event was to also showcase not just the cruising experience but also to show the partners what charters can offer. They deliver more value to the customer at almost the same price. Next year you will see a lot more charters in co-operation with Star Cruises. It could be from Bangkok or Malaysia.” For the forthcoming travel season, Ark Travels will be focusing on promoting other Star Cruises ships like SuperStar Libra (ex-Port Klang) and SuperStar Virgo (ex-Shanghai). Naresh Rawal, VP Sales – India, South Asia, Russia, Middle East and South Africa at Star Cruises, also announced at the event that the event will be held onboard Dream Cruises, one of the most spacious ships in Asia. “This year we started with a contemporary brand – Star Cruises. Next year we plan to have the event on Dream Cruises. The year after that, Crystal Cruises!” Rawal revealed.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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 …

Read More »