Tag Archives: Managing Director

Not much to help the industry

Vikram Madhok, Managing Director, Abercrombie & Kent India, says that the budget really has not taken tourism into much consideration. “Yes, a lot has been said about the railways in the budget and we welcome any other infrastructure investment, but there is not much that is going to help the industry directly. This year’s budget has nothing much for tourism,” he added.

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MTDC-certified Govardhan Eco Village observes 2017 as Year of Yoga

Govardhan Eco Village (GEV), an ISKCON project and a wellness destination which is a premium MahaBhraman status certified by Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), announced the launch of Govardhan School of Yoga. It recently received the prestigious UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization) Award for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism. Dr. K.H. Govinda Raj, IAS, Managing Director of Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, stated, “We are delighted to be associated with Govardhan Eco Village as they are significantly contributing through innovative initiatives which are competitive and at the same time sustainable in character. Govardhan Eco Village is the only destination in Asia to be awarded by UNWTO this year. As more people embrace overall healthier lifestyles at home, we are now seeing those behaviours translate and be integrated into their travel and vacation habits. This initiative will attract tourists from all across the world.” Govardhan Eco Village highlights the importance of spiritual ecology. The 28-day residential program will enables guests to not only learn and teach yoga, but also to learn healthy eating, taking care of your body but also meditation practices. Gauranga Das, Director, Govardhan Eco Village said,” It’s our honour and privilege to receive this award on behalf of land of India and we would like to express our gratitude to UNWTO for giving this opportunity to share this message of sustainability on a larger scale especially in this year which is celebrated as the year of sustainable tourism.”

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Higher tax reduces competitiveness of tour packages

Riaz Munshi, Managing Director, N. Chirag Travels and Vice President, OTOAI, says it is a negative and an unfortunate move for the tourism and hospitality industry. “The increase in service tax is almost nine per cent more and a deterrent to our business as it reduces the competitiveness of our packages. The government has to understand that the products sold are available globally and an Indian traveller might as well buy a package for Singapore from a travel agency based in Singapore rather than pay 9 per cent extra tax to an Indian travel agency. The travel agencies based abroad do not need to pay this service tax and thus can sell packages at a much cheaper rate than us. We as OTOAI will put forward our concerns to the government and highlight how this move is a dampener to the growth of our tourism industry.

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Flyeasy acquires 74% stake in Air Pegasus

Flyeasy, the Bengaluru based regional carrier, has acquired 74 per cent stake in grounded carrier Air Pegasus. A memorandum of understanding has been signed between the two and the promoters plan to resume Air Pegasus services with two ATR-72 aircraft from March 1. The airline will induct 24 planes in four years, including six this year. “We are making an initial investment of Rs 26 crore in Air Pegasus for 74 per cent stake and this will be used to clear dues and resume operations. In the later phase, we will invest Rs 60 crore in the airline,” said Rajesh Ebrahim, Managing Director, Flyeasy. He further informed that his company is pursuing plans to secure permit for Flyeasy, and is in talks with lessors for Airbus A319 aircraft. “Our plan is to create a nationwide network, one with ATRs on Tier-II and Tier-III routes in the south (Air Pegasus) and with Airbus aircraft for long-thin traffic routes,” he added. Air Pegasus began operations in April 2015 with ATR aircraft and flew to eight destinations from Bengaluru, but was forced to suspend operations last July following a cash crunch. (Source: Business Standard)

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Indonesian DMC plans to enter India market

Bali-based destination marketing company – Diorama Travel Management (DTM) – plans to enter the India market to leverage the huge potential it offers. Sutrisno Bin Saudji, Managing Director, DTM, says, “We plan to visit India soon. It will be more to develop friendship and network with the Indian travel agents and understand the Indian market, the lifestyle of the Indian tourists and follow it up with a suitable product to match their needs. With this knowledge we will be able to innovate our products that we can offer the Indian market. As per our study, the India market prefers readymade holiday packages for Indonesia. That’s the reason why we will visit India in the coming years. I want all my agent friends to become ‘Indonesia Specialist Agents’.” He added that DTM plans to organise a destination briefing with agents and introduce them to eight new destinations in Indonesia apart from Bali. The company is a wholesaler inbound tour operator that runs the SIC (Seat-In-Combined) holiday packages in eight destinations in Indonesia. All its Indonesia holiday package are based on GV2 which means a minimum of only two people can go on a group departure fare.

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Capt. Swadesh Kumar is ATOAI President for 2016-18

Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) has elected Captain Swadesh Kumar, Managing Director, Shikhar Travels India, as President for 2016-18. The office bearers were elected unopposed. Ajeet Bajaj, Managing Director, Snow Leopard Adventures is the new Senior Vice President; Tejbir Singh Anand, Managing Director, Holiday Moods Adventures has been elected as Vice President; Rajesh Ojha, Co-founder, Banjara Camps and Retreats is the new Secretary while the position of Honorary Secretary will be held by Vaibhav Kala, Founder, Aquaterra Adventures. “The association will shift its trajectory from Himalayan centric to a pan-India focus for adventure tourism. Since around 22 million Indian travellers go abroad to experience adventure holidays, we plan to involve international members into the association and also focus on outbound segment of travel for adventure tourism,” says Kumar. The elected Executive Committee members are Mohan Tickoo, Managing Director, Kash Venture Travels; Sanjay Basu, Managing Director, Far Horizon Tours; Vishwas Makhija, Managing Director, India Insight Tours; Shashank Gupta, Director, Rucksack Tours; Vinayak Koul, Director, Snow Lion Expeditions and Akshay Kumar, CEO, Mercury Himalayan Exploration, who is also the Immediate Past President.

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1st Flight Shop store opens in Hyderabad

Flight Shop, the flagship retail leisure business of Australia-headquartered Flight Centre Travel Group, opened its first retail store in Hyderabad. This is the first franchise outlet in India and was inaugurated by Rakshit Desai, Managing Director, FCM Travel Solutions and Shravan Gupta, Managing Director, Travel Tours Group. With the launch of this store, FCM now has a total of 17 operational Flight Shop stores across India. Spread over 1500 sq. ft., the Flight Shop outlet in Hyderabad is based at a prime location at Nagarjuna Circle catering to the needs of up market urban consumers – families, business travellers, honeymoon couples and groups of travellers. The new retail outlet will offer travellers Flight Shop’s range of products and services viz., Leisure Travel (Domestic and International Flights, Holidays – Group and Customised, Hotels, Car Transfers, Visa, Cruise holidays, honeymoon holidays, adventure holidays and more) and Foreign Exchange (under the Travel Money brand). Flight Shop’s footprint now extends to a total of 17 stores across Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Kochi and Vadodara, via a combination of owned branches and the newly opened franchise outlet.

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82-room Narendra Bhawan Bikaner opens doors

MRS Group has launched its newest property- Narendra Bhawan Bikaner. It is the third property by the Group and the second in Bikaner, where it also operates Laxmi Niwas Palace. With a full inventory of 82 rooms, the hotel opens with 58 guest rooms and suites. Speaking on the launch, Manvendra Singh Shekhawat, Managing Director, MRS Group, said, “With the opening of Narendra Bhawan, we endeavour to put Bikaner on a traveller’s map. The hotel aims to offer discerning travellers, an oasis of tranquillity with service that is personalised. The experiences curated by the hotel will bring alive the vignettes of Narendra Singh Ji’s lifestyle and history of Bikaner.” The Hotel is a retelling of the legend of the last reigning Maharaja of Bikaner-Narendra Singhji (1948-2003). The facilities include outdoor areas like the Gaushala and the Verandah; indoor dining venues like the Mad Hatter Bake House and P&C; infinity swimming pool; Clinic Spa; large meeting spaces with banquet rooms and a courtyard for business and social events. A Reveille breakfast, Sundowners at the pastures, Royal Ascot and White Nights of the Rajputs are a few experiences for the guests at the new hotel.

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ARK, NCLH to reach out to niche sub-agents

Mumbai based ARK Travels has strengthened its ties with Norwegian Cruise Lines Holdings (NCLH). As a Preferred Sales Agent (PSA) for Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) over the last many years, ARK Travels will now promote and sell upper premium and ultra-luxury segments in the Indian market. Kishan Biyani, Managing Director, ARK Travels, says, “We are all geared to welcome the upcoming holiday season, we anticipate a 15 per cent increase in inquiries for NCLH products as compared to last year. NCLH group’s fleet of 20 cruise ships along with our existing cruise and resort products will further cement our position in the luxury cruise and holiday segment in India.” Starting this holiday season, the 20-year old travel firm will leverage its pan-India network of 300-plus travel agents to sell NCL Holdings Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises targeting the upper premium and ultra-luxury clientele. The newly christened initiatives by both will see jointly planned roadshows and presentation, familiarisation trips for sub-agents, marketing collaterals and joint meetings to attract corporate clients from India. The announcement came on the heels of ARK Travels throwing a cocktail and networking dinner to appreciate NCL Holdings along with sub-agents of ARK Travels in Mumbai. Felix Chan, Vice President Sales, NCLH said, “ARK Travels is already our top agent for NCL in India. Put it simply, I want ARK Travels to be our top agent for Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises as well. ARK Travels needs to focus on the upper premium and ultra-luxury segments in India in order to sell Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises effectively.  We need to work with ARK Travel together to reach out to a niche …

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First Radisson Blu opens in Coimbatore

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has announced the opening of its first Radisson Blu in Coimbatore. It is the second-largest city in Tamil Nadu. Centrally located on Avinashi Road and a mere seven kilometers away from Coimbatore International Airport and Coimbatore Junction, the city’s primary railway station, the hotel is also close to textile and engineering industries, educational institutions and multi-specialty hospitals. Raj Rana, Chief Executive Officer, South Asia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, said, “Radisson Blu Coimbatore is set to raise the bar on the city’s upper-upscale hospitality landscape and bring new standards to the city. We are honored to be partnering with GBJ Hotels Pvt. Ltd and appreciate their trust in our brand and expertise. With 140 hotels in operation and under-development, this hotel will be a valued addition as we expand and grow our footprint in South India.” G. Balasubramaniam, Managing Director, GBJ Hotels Pvt. Ltd., added, “This is our first hospitality venture and we are happy in the strong leadership of Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and its South Asia team.  We are confident that their proven experience and marketing expertise will benefit the hotel and I look forward to a mutually rewarding long-term association with the Group.”

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