Tag Archives: President

Over 80 countries participate at 1st Global Aviation Summit in Mumbai

The first edition of Global Aviation Summit 2019 witnessed participation from more than 80 countries. Being organised from January 15-16, 2019 at Grand Hyatt Mumbai, the summit themed on ‘Flying for All’ is touted to be the first-of-its-kind that will cover a diverse range of topics – from domestic aviation market, drone policies, infrastructure investment, freight and cargo policies, aviation financing and much more. It has attendance from more than 100 global CEOs, 35 exhibitors and more than 1200 delegate participation. The inaugural session saw keynote speeches by Sandip Somany, President, FICCI; R N Choubey, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation; Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, President of the Council, International Civil Aviation Organization; Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Civil Aviation and Commerce & Industry; Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra; and Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation.

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EbixCash acquires Weizmann Forex, Essel Forex

Ebix has announced that its EbixCash World Money subsidiary in India has entered into an agreement to acquire 100 per cent assets of India-based Essel Forex for approximately US$8 million. Ebix will be funding the entire transaction in cash, using its internal cash reserves. The acquisition of Essel Forex following the recent announcement of the Weizmann acquisition, further strengthens EbixCash’s position as the largest financial exchange in India, besides being the undisputed leader in the inward remittance, outward remittance and foreign exchange markets in India. With a national network of 44 branches in 31 cities serviced by 400+ employees, Essel Forex has been one of the five largest foreign exchange providers in India with a wide spectrum of related products including sales of all major currencies, travellers’ checks, demand drafts, remittances, money transfers and prepaid cards primarily for the Corporate clients. Besides being a foreign exchange business partner to leading banks such as ICICI, Axis, Indus Ind, Yes and HDFC Bank, Essel Forex has been associated with Western Union and MoneyGram for inward money transfers. Essel Forex will be tightly integrated into the EbixCash Financial Exchange offering in India and abroad. The retained Essel Forex executives will become an integral part of the combined EbixCash remittance and forex leadership team headed by EbixCash World Money Managing Director TC Guruprasad. Ebix believes the Essel Forex business can generate operating margins of 40% or more, once fully integrated. Ebix expects the acquisition to be immediately accretive to its earnings. Robin Raina, Chairman, President and CEO, Ebix said, “Essel Forex has a rich focus on the corporate clientele with strong partnerships with many leading banks. Their geographical, product and client overlap with EbixCash made the …

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FHRAI requests MOT’s urgent intervention in OTAs v/s hotels dispute

The Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) has reached out to the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) regarding the hotel industry’s ongoing dispute with Goibibo, MakeMyTrip and OYO requesting its urgent intervention for redressal of hoteliers’ grievances. After a month of failed attempts to amicably resolve issues with the Online Travel Aggregators (OTAs), the apex hospitality body has written to KJ Alphons, Union Minister of State (I/C) Tourism, outlining the major issues of concern to the industry because of the OTAs’ unfair and arbitrary business practices. A number of FHRAI’s members are experiencing hardships due to the OTAs’ business ethics which are exploitative, unethical and divisive, leading to predatory pricing and other market distortions. The letter to the Ministry states that the hotel industry in the country is going through a very challenging phase which is threatening the livelihood, business, investments and entrepreneurial initiative and spirits of the hospitality industry, and thereby eroding the viability of the sector. “The hotel industry, especially the budget and mid-market hotel segment is reeling under the adverse business tactics of the OTAs. The OTAs’ malpractices are affecting the hoteliers’ livelihood and business. These hoteliers who are part of the local and city hotel Associations across the country have approached FHRAI seeking consultation and support, and are in solidarity with the Federation. The FHRAI has tried to resolve the issue directly with the OTAs, however instead its CEO has chosen to dismiss FHRAI’s role in the matter. It leaves us with no choice but to ask for the Government to step in and create a norm for the OTAs just as the Commerce Ministry has done for the e-tailers recently,” says Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, …

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Clarks Inn debuts in Nepal with Sneha Clarks Inn Suites, Nepalgunj

Clarks Inn Group of Hotels has signed one of mid-west Nepal’s most iconic properties, Hotel Sneha in Nepalgunj, now known as Sneha Clarks Inn Suites. The new addition marks Clarks Inn’s first operational debut in Nepal and the second property overall, including one in Kathmandu that is expected to open door later this year. Nepalgunj, a border town located just across the Indo-Nepal border along the state of UP, is fast emerging as a tourism hotspot of the mid-west region of Nepal. The border city serves as the gateway to the majestic Himalayas, wildlife and national parks, trekking routes and a host of water sports activities. Combining the old-world charm with cutting-edge guest services, Sneha Clarks Inn Suites is a more than 50 years old property with its colonial era architectural designs and the latest in amenities and world-class guest services. The 60-key property, currently a three-star hotel, is soon to be a four-star hotel as it has already applied for the four-star certification and is awaiting the same in about a month’s time. S N Srivastava, President & Co-founder, Clarks Inn Group of Hotels, said, “This is our operational debut in Nepal and we are doing so with a property that befits this special milestone for us. It’s a 60 key property spread over a huge area with big landscaped lush green lawns and international feel. The property will cater to guests with impeccable in-room guest amenities and provide facilities like swimming pool, for both adults and children, spa, health club and casino.” According to Bhawani Rana, Managing Director, Sneha Group of Companies, “Our tie-up with Clarks Inn is a step in the direction to strengthen border tourism and …

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New Tourism Secretary, Yogendra Tripathi addresses IATO members

Yogendra Tripathi, the newly-appointed Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, marked his presence at the special luncheon organised by Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) to bid farewell to Rashmi Verma, Former Secretary, Tourism on her superannuation from the post. Pronab Sarkar, President, IATO, thanked Verma for her support and welcomed Tripathi on behalf of the association. Addressing the members, Tripathi said that he is aware of the contributions of his predecessor for the industry and is hopeful to take the industry voice to the government in the same manner. “There are always unresolved issues, as well as new problems and agendas for the industry. I believe that the Tourism Secretary is nothing but an advocate for the tourism industry. Apart from what we do indirectly, what we do directly is primarily promotional, which is also supporting the industry one way or the other. It is our job to support the industry, and we will continue to do that,” he added.

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FHRAI puts MakeMyTrip and Goibibo on notice to protect the interest of stakeholders

In response to grievances expressed by its members, the Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) has put Online Travel Aggregators (OTA), MakeMyTrip and Goibibo on notice. A number of its members had brought to the association’s notice that the OTAs’ business practices which were exploitative, unethical and divisive led to predatory pricing and other market distortions that had the potential to harm both hoteliers and consumers in the long term. FHRAI has written a letter to the OTAs outlining the most critical concerns of the hotel industry which includes the issue of distortion of market price, demand for exorbitant commissions and hosting of illegal and unlicensed bed and breakfast accommodations. “One of the biggest concerns is that after securing discounted rates from a hotel, the OTAs further discount it on their online platforms without the hotel’s consent. This damages the hotel’s reputation, and also simultaneously distorts the market scenario. Ironically, the OTAs have a clause in their agreement that forbids hotels from discounting their own rates but are themselves free to do so. This disparity is not just unfair but is clearly intentional and is done with the objective of market cannibalisation,” says Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President – FHRAI & President – Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI). Hotels have alleged that the OTAs charge commission that range anywhere between 18 and 40 per cent. The exorbitant commissions have been adversely impacting revenues, business and the livelihood of hoteliers. The Federation has written to MMT and Goibibo in the hope that they will understand the ground level situation of hotels. However, based on the previous experience of hoteliers whose attempts at negotiations were neglected …

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InterGlobe Air Transport appointed as exclusive GSA in India for Hertz

InterGlobe Air Transport (IGAT) has been appointed as the exclusive General Sales Agent (GSA) in India by car rental company, Hertz. The exclusive partnership was formed following a year of successful collaboration in India between the two companies. The appointment will be effective immediately and will cover all of Hertz’s brands including Dollar, Thrifty, ACE and Firefly for outbound rentals. Commenting on the partnership, Siddhanta Sharma, President and CEO, InterGlobe Air Transport, said, “Hertz’s global expertise and modern fleet, coupled with our strong footprint across the Indian market will help us pave substantial inroads with both corporate and leisure holiday travellers. Our discerning network in India very much welcomes our ongoing collaboration with a renowned, truly global player such as Hertz.” Eoin MacNeill, Vice President, Hertz Asia Pacific, added, “IGAT has 29 years of experience in the Indian travel industry and is perfectly placed to grow Hertz’s presence by providing consumers with mobility solutions that suit their needs, regardless of if they’re travelling for business or leisure.” According to Research and Markets, India outbound visitors will grow 10 per cent CAGR by 2022, thus increasing the demand for Hertz’s services. IGAT has 12 offices across the country, as well as 80 sales people to help cater to this segment effectively.

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Hyatt acquires Two Roads Hospitality; adds Alila to portfolio

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced an agreement to acquire Two Roads Hospitality. In India, Alila Diwa Goa and Alila Fort Bishangarh are the two properties that belong to Two Roads Hospitality. Through the addition of Two Roads, its established lifestyle brands and the management agreements for the majority of its 85 properties in eight countries, Hyatt will expand its brand presence into 23 new markets while enhancing its offerings in lifestyle hotel experiences and well-being. With Two Roads and its collection of lifestyle hotels, resorts and vacation residences, Hyatt will offer an expanded and more powerful portfolio of brands with best-in-class offerings to deliver compelling experiences and benefits for guests and World of Hyatt members, expand its relationship with valued hotel owners, and drive growth for shareholders. “Hyatt and Two Roads are dedicated to learning from each other and taking the best of both organisations forward,” said Mark Hoplamazian, President and CEO, Hyatt Hotels Corporation. “Two Roads’ passionate team members, strong brands, global footprint and robust development pipeline will expand our lifestyle offerings and grow Hyatt’s brand presence in more places where our guests and World of Hyatt members want to travel.” After the close of the transaction, which is expected later this year, Hyatt will create a dedicated lifestyle division as a catalyst to bring together the operations of Two Roads’ and Hyatt’s lifestyle brands. “Hyatt’s unique position in the marketplace brings with it the powerful benefit of global scale while maintaining meaningful personal relationships with team members, guests and owners,” said Jamie Sabatier, CEO, Two Roads Hospitality.

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Jeju Tourism conducts two-city roadshow in India

Jeju Special Self-Governing Province and Jeju Tourism Organization recently held a joint roadshow in New Delhi and Mumbai to present the destination to travel agents. This was their second tourism presentation in India since 2015 when they made their India debut. Park Hong Bai, President, Jeju Tourism Organization, led the Korean delegation that comprised Jeju Special Self-Governing Province and three domestic businesses that were participating in the roadshow. About 100 tour operators attended the show in each city. Indian nationals do not require a visa for visiting Jeju Island. Hong Bai, said, “This roadshow is a very important first step for Jeju to tap the Indian market. Jeju will be working with Korea Tourism Organization and Hong Kong Tourism Board to boost promotion of each region in India and to increase the satisfaction of Indian travellers who plan to visit Jeju.”

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India is third most powerful travel and tourism nation: WTTC

India is ranked as the world’s third most powerful country for travel and tourism, according to World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) new T&T Power and Performance Report. China, the USA and India take the top three spots in the new Power Ranking which ranks the performance of 185 countries combining growth over the past seven years in tourism’s contribution to GDP, international visitor spend, domestic tourism spend and capital investment. Gloria Guevara, President and CEO, WTTC commented, “World Tourism Day is the global celebration of a sector that contributes 10.4 per cent of the world’s GDP and generates 313 million jobs. WTTC’s new report outlines power and performance rankings which showcase countries that have been most successful in growing their tourism sectors across the board.”

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