Tag Archives: President

OTOAI to expand base in Tier-II, III markets

The Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI) held its 6th Annual General Meeting in New Delhi for its members. Welcoming the members, Mahendra Vakharia, President, OTOAI said, “We are working towards increasing our membership and expanding our base in Tier-II and III markets. After our successful annual convention in Cape Town, South Africa, we are now looking at organising training and educational programmes for frontline staff of our members. We also plan to conduct destination workshops for them in different cities.”

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65th TAAI Annual Convention to be held in Kunming, China from November 27-29

The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) has announced its 65th annual convention in the Kunming city of Yunnan province of China from November 27-29. In association with the Yunnan Provincial Tourism Development Commission (YPTDC), the maiden TAAI Convention in China will take place at InterContinental Kunming. On the occasion, Sunil Kumar, President, TAAI said, “This is an initiative to promote stronger tourism prospects in Yunnan. TAAI has been working towards a stronger connect with China.” The theme of the convention will revolve around strengthening friendship and tourism relationship with China.

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Kerala Travel Mart to begin on Sept 27; focus on tourism resurgence from flood damage

Sending out a strong message that tourism in the flood-battered Kerala will be back on the rails in double-quick time, Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) will hold its biennial meet in Kochi from September 27-30. Being held in the wake of the devastating floods, the tenth edition of KTM will focus on measures that would lead to a strong resurgence of tourism, which is the mainstay of Kerala’s economy. The inaugural session of the four-day event, being organised by the KTM Society in association with the state tourism department, will be held at Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty on September 27. In the next three days, a series of buyer-seller meets, seminars and policy deliberations will take place at Samudrika and Sagara Convention Centre at the Willingdon Island. “The response to this edition of KTM has been overwhelming with 395 overseas buyers and 1,095 domestic buyers having registered as participants. The complete list of participants for the buyer-seller meet will be released on September 10,” said Baby Mathew, President, KTM Society. KTM will serve as a strong platform to showcase its time-tested as well as new products of Kerala. The new products launched by the state government like the Malabar River Cruise project, focusing on nine rivers in north Kerala, will be showcased before the delegates.  

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Thomas Cook India eyes strong growth in Delhi-NCR, opens new office in Faridabad

Thomas Cook (India) has strengthened its presence in Faridabad with the inauguration of a new branch at SCF 51, First Floor, Sector 15, Faridabad. It was inaugurated by Romil Pant, Senior Vice President and Jatin Sharma, Associate Vice President, Thomas Cook (India). This expansion augments Thomas Cook India’s distribution and reach in Faridabad and Delhi-NCR to 16 consumer access centres – six owned branches and 10 Gold Circle Partner (franchise) outlets. Thomas Cook India’s internal data had highlighted Faridabad/Delhi NCR as a high potential source market for its holiday business. Hence, in an initiative to harness this opportunity, the company has identified Faridabad to set up its new Gold Circle Partner franchise outlet. Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Leisure Travel and MICE, Thomas Cook (India) said, “The North market has been identified as a prime growth driver and continues to deliver strong growth of 32 per cent YoY for our leisure travel business. Delhi NCR offers us significant potential and we have selected one of Faridabad’s prime localities for our new branch.” Gold Circle Partner Mamta Arora, a resident of Faridabad is an industry veteran. Her domain expertise and relationships/contacts will assist Thomas Cook in establishing and growing the market.

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Industry upbeat, Kerala Travel Mart on its schedule

Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) is set to take place as per schedule despite the recent floods in Kerala leading to huge devastation and loss. Abraham George, President, KTM Society confirmed that KTM will take place as per schedule with the inauguration on September 27 and business meetings from September 28-30, 2018 in Kochi. “The Kerala tourism industry is back for business and we will be showcasing our products and hold business meetings at KTM. Most of the destinations are not much affected by the floods; it’s only a few roads that have damaged. The government is working to fix that. Also, whatever work needs to be done at the resorts and the tourist destinations will be completed in about 10 days and we will be ready to welcome tourists,” he said.

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KTM Society sets up Task Force to help flood victims

Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) Society has set up a task force to carry out the relief and rehabilitation work and support the huge task of rebuilding the lives of the flood-hit people of Kerala. As many as 28 organisations in the tourism sector have been brought under the ambit of this task force, which, apart from concentrating on the relief and rehabilitation works, will also focus on creating awareness on the need to contribute to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) for the flood-affected people. The Task Force has already sent teams for the clean-up operations in various places and successfully roped in around 1500 people to carry out the relief and rehabilitation work in Munnar and nearby tourism spots. It has been decided that every organisation under the Task Force and its workers would give away their one day’s earnings to the CMDRF, Abraham George, Convenor, Task Force, said. “The relief work is going on in full swing and the members are doing an excellent job under the guidance of Baby Mathew, President, KTM Society and Chairman, Task Force,” George said. To start with, seven teams have been deployed for clean-up works in places like Paravur, Aluva, Chengannur and Munnar.

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ATOAI’s 14th Annual Convention to be held in Araku Valley, AP from October 25-28

The 14th Annual Convention of Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) is set to be held in Araku Valley, Andhra Pradesh from October 25-28, 2018. Keeping the tradition of holding the convention in an adventure destination every year, ATOAI has selected the Araku Valley this year as a venue for its annual convention. ATOAI is expecting over 250 participants mostly the leading adventure tour operators, hotels, DMCs, State Tourism Boards, travel trade from Andhra Pradesh as well as the neighbouring states in South India, officials from the Ministry of Tourism, bloggers and media to interact and network during the convention days. “The idea is to bring small operators from far-flung areas of the state and connect them with the adventure tourism experts, introducing a day of adventure activities to strengthen the fraternity,” said Capt Swadesh Kumar, President, ATOAI. The convention will offer structured opportunities for the travel trade and tourism boards to network for business development. These include networking sessions and a buyer-seller expo where companies may take up table space to promote their products and services. ATOAI has appointed Shekhar Babu (recipient of Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award in year 2009 as well as Adventurer of the Year Award by ATOAI in 2017) as Co-chairman of the convention from South India. Delegates will also get an opportunity to go on pre or post-convention Fam tours hosted by Andhra Pradesh Tourism and state industry players.

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Essel Group appoints Jurgen Bailom to head cruise business in India

Essel Group, a multi-faceted business conglomerate, has announced the appointment of industry veteran Jurgen Bailom as President and CEO of the Group’s upcoming cruise line business, Zen Cruises. With his appointment, Essel Group heralds the announcement of India’s premium cruise line with the purchase of its first ship, the Pacific Jewel – a 70,285-ton, 2000 passenger ship from P&O Australia. He will be based in Mumbai. With a career spanning over 30 years in the cruise and hospitality industry, Bailom was President & CEO of Grupo Vidanta Cruises prior to Essel Group. He has also held senior Corporate Director positions within several of Royal Caribbean’s brands such as Sky Seas, TUI and Celebrity Cruises, Island Cruises and most recent as the Chief Operating Officer & Vice President of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Pullmantur. He has also been Vice-President of The Maho Group, Sonesta Collection Resorts, Casinos, Spa & Real Estate, to name a few. Commenting on his appointment, Bailom said, “I’m thrilled to be a part of the Essel Group which has done pioneering work across sectors. India has a 6,632 km long coastline along nine states and two union territories which presents tremendous potential to promote and grow cruise tourism in India. We intend to take the cruise liner experience to a new level for people in India.”  

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Thomas Cook Centre of Learning records 35% rise in students

In line with industry growth and strong demand for skilled professionals, the Centre of Learning, a Thomas Cook initiative, has seen a 35 per cent YoY growth in its diploma students and a placement of 76 per cent. Mona Cheriyan, President & Group Head – Human Resources, Thomas Cook (India), said, “In the context of high growth and increasing customer expectations, talent management is one of the critical challenges that the travel industry faces. This relates to both shortage of actual numbers and the desired capability levels- from a technical and managerial perspective. We are hence proud of our achievement in bridging the gap by building a resource pool of skilled travel professionals for the sector. What is noteworthy is that our efforts are equipping entrants with both academic knowledge and practical skills via on-the-job training.” At its seventh Convocation Ceremony held in Mumbai, the Thomas Cook Centre of Learning felicitated a strong contingent of over 300 students who had successfully completed courses across the Travel Professional Programme – a Post Graduate Course in Travel & Tourism Management, Certificate Course in Travel and Tourism Management, Certificate Course in World Tour Management and IATA Foundation in Travel and Tourism. Scholarship certificates and special prizes were awarded to top performers of Centre of Learning’s Travel Professional Programme – a Post Graduate course in Travel & Tourism Management & Certificate Course in Travel and Tourism Management.    

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International Buddhist Conclave to boost tourism to Buddhist sites in India

President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the International Buddhist Conclave (IBC), 2018 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi  in the presence of KJ Alphons, Minister of State (I/C), Tourism; Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Tourism; Satyajit Rajan, Director General, Tourism; ministerial delegates from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. Travel trade representatives from India and various other countries were also present for the conclave. Addressing the audience, Kovind said, “India is the land of Buddha and this initiative by Ministry of Tourism would attract visitors from around the world to come to India and experience the Buddhist destinations in the country.” The first day of the conclave also included presentations by the Ministry of Tourism and state governments on Buddhist tourism prospects in the country. An investor’s summit was also going on alongside the conclave to look for investment opportunities in the Buddhist tourism sector in the country. A B2B session was also conducted between foreign and Indian tour operators along with a panel discussion on ‘Role of Living Buddhist Heritage in the Contemporary Society’. The Conclave is being organised by the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the state governments of Maharashtra, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh from August 23-26, 2018 at New Delhi and Ajanta (Maharashtra).

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