Tag Archives: CEO

PATA Destination Marketing Forum 2018 opens in Khon Kaen with 300 delegates

The PATA Destination Marketing Forum (PDMF), themed on ‘Growth with Goals’, welcomed 290 delegates from 25 destinations. The event, hosted by Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) and Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), with the support of Khon Kaen Province, brought together delegates from the public and private sectors for insightful discussions on some of the major issues in marketing and managing tourism growth to lesser-known destinations. Dr Mario Hardy, PATA, CEO said, “This event stems from the need to help secondary and tertiary areas grow and develop into widely recognised, bucket-listed tourism destinations. Aligning with our advocacy theme of tourism dispersal, the forum shines the spotlight on new and emerging destinations, introducing delegates to lesser-known yet attractive corners of the world. It is designed to assist communities economically in these destinations by encouraging dispersion of tourists to new frontiers.” Delegates will hear from experienced industry professionals during the conference on major topics like ‘Status of Destination Management Around the World’, ‘Role of Local Experiences in Destination Marketing’, ‘Managing the Disconnect between Destination Organisations and Communities’, ‘Transborder Marketing. Case Studies of GMS’, ‘Fighting Undertourism Through Innovative Storytelling’, ‘Calculating our Impact as Destinations’ and ‘Leveraging Technology to Revolutionise the Travel Space’.

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IHG strengthens footprint in Chennai with Holiday Inn Express Chennai OMR Thoraipakkam

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced the opening of Holiday Inn Express Chennai OMR Thoraipakkam. This marks the opening of the third Holiday Inn Express hotel in India this year, adding to the brand’s accelerated growth in the country. Strategically set amidst the city’s commercial hub, Holiday Inn Express Chennai OMR Thoraipakkam is located along the Old Mahabalipuram Road, within 3-5 kms distance from major technology parks and dedicated Special Economic Zones. Featuring 149 keys, Holiday Inn Express Chennai OMR Thoraipakkam offers well designed, contemporary rooms with a range of in-room amenities and a great service culture, promising unparalleled comfort, and convenience to the guests. For an enhanced experience, the hotel is equipped with complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi access in all rooms, hot breakfast with a wide offering (included in the rate), an on-site self-laundry facility and a meeting room for business requirements. Commenting on the announcement, Vivek Bhalla, Regional Vice President, SWA, IHG said, “We are delighted to announce the opening of Holiday Inn Express Chennai OMR Thoraipakkam under our partnership with SAMHI. Chennai is one of the leading business and leisure hubs in Southern India and therefore an important market for us. We have a strong presence in Chennai across our brands, and this latest addition to our portfolio will further strengthen our offering to the travellers visiting the city.” Ashish Jakhanwala, MD and CEO, SAMHI added, “With its excellent location, design, and a great service culture that the brand is known for, we are confident that Holiday Inn Express Chennai OMR Thoraipakkam will emerge as a popular choice amongst the business and leisure travellers alike.”    

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MakeMyTrip appoints Vipul Prakash as COO

MakeMyTrip has announced the appointment of Vipul Prakash as Chief Operating Officer for MakeMyTrip and Goibibo. In this role, Prakash will be responsible for developing and executing  strategic direction and priorities of the company. He joins MakeMyTrip from PepsiCo where he was last serving as Senior Vice President–Beverage Category for PepsiCo India region. Rajesh Magow, Co-Founder and CEO–India, MakeMyTrip, said, “We are excited to welcome Vipul to our leadership team. His rich experience of two decades at PepsiCo spanning geographies, deep understanding of consumer market and expertise in industry leading operational practices are truly invaluable. We are confident that his proven track record and extensive experience will extend MakeMyTrip’s upward trajectory.” Speaking about his new role, Prakash said, “MakeMyTrip is an iconic brand that has played a defining role in shaping the online travel space in India. I have been truly impressed with the company’s institutional expertise and relentless focus on serving customers better. I look forward to drive the next phase of innovation and growth through operational excellence.” Prior to joining MakeMyTrip, Vipul was associated with PepsiCo for 20 years. In his previous role, he was responsible for delivering revenue growth, share and brand equity for PepsiCo’s beverage portfolio of five brands. Vipul joined PepsiCo in 1998 and held various positions in marketing and franchise, at sector and global levels. In 2007, he relocated to the US, where he spent three years on the International Beverages Marketing team and moved to Dubai in 2010 to head the Foods and Beverages Innovation department for PepsiCo Asia, Middle East and Africa before moving back to India.

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PATA Travel Mart 2019 to be held in Astana, Kazakhstan

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is set to organise PATA Travel Mart 2019 in Astana, Kazakhstan in September. The event will be hosted by the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Kazakh Tourism National Company JSC. “As the destination stands at the crossroads between Asia and Europe, it is the perfect venue to organise the association’s signature travel trade exhibition in a uniquely transformational city that blends various cultures and heritages of both the East and West,” said Dr Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA. Yerlan Kozhagapanov, Vice Minister of Culture And Sport, Republic of Kazakhstan, said, “We are honoured to be the bid winner and are grateful for the opportunity to host PATA Travel Mart 2019. We are positioning Astana as a MiCE hub for Central Asia and looking forward to welcoming PATA members, hosted buyers and visitors at PATA Travel Mart 2019.” According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Kazakhstan received a total of over 7.7 million total visitors in 2017. Special discounts are available for sellers located within Central Asia, while early bird discounts are available for those registering before December 31, 2018.  

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KSRTC users can now reserve bus tickets through AbhiBus

AbhiBus has bagged the online bus ticket reservation system project from the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC). The online system provides an option for users to reserve bus tickets on the official website of KSRTC. Doing it online gives users an opportunity to access booking and reserve their bus tickets 30 days in advance. AbhiBus will also deploy a user-friendly mobile app for KSRTC that can be used for reserving ticketing through their mobile phones. Kerala becomes the fifth state road transport corporation in the country that AbhiBus would be engaged with after Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh. Commenting on the engagement with KSRTC and the unique system for Sabarimala pilgrims, Sudhakar Reddy Chirra, Founder & CEO, AbhiBus said, “AbhiBus is the pioneer in the service of creating online bus ticket booking platforms for private bus operators and State RTCs in the country. Our success over the years and the wide reach we enjoy stands to testify the technological supremacy AbhiBus enjoys in the space we operate in. With the signing of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation, AbhiBus now has its strong presence spread to all corners of South India.” In addition to the regular engagement with the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation, AbhiBus has deployed unique time-slot-based bus ticket reservation system for pilgrims visiting Sabarimala. KSRTC will use this unique system for selling bus tickets online for chain services operated between Nilakkal and Pamba for the convenience of pilgrims.  

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F1H2O Grand Prix to be held in Andhra Pradesh from November 16-18

Amaravati, the capital of Andhra Pradesh, is set to host the fifth round of F1H2O World Championship from November 16-18. Hosted by Andhra Pradesh Tourism Authority, the event is believed to position Amaravati on the world map. Mukesh Kumar Meena, Secretary, Tourism & Culture, Government of Andhra Pradesh, along with Marco Pietrini, Director of Logistics, F1H2O and Sandeep Mandava, CEO, India Xtreme Adventure Activities, organised a press conference in New Delhi, to share updates about the event. Speaking at the conference, Meena revealed, “The F1H2O World Championship is going to be held in India for the second time after 14 years. With a global event like this, Amaravati will be recognised world over. In fact, there will also be a Team Amaravati with two key race drivers from Sweden—Jonas Anderson and Erk Edwin, who have been participating in all the legs of the race. In Amaravati, the race will be held in River Krishna and all the logistics and arrangements will be of international standards.”

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India to become third largest air passenger market by 2024: IATA

India is set to become the third largest air passenger market, surpassing the UK around 2024, according to a recent study by IATA’s ‘20-Year Air Passenger Forecast’. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) revealed that present trends in air transport suggest passenger numbers could double to 8.2 billion in 2037. Over the next two decades, the forecast anticipates a 3.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), leading to a doubling in passenger numbers from today’s levels. The Asia-Pacific region will drive the biggest growth with more than half the total number of new passengers over the next 20 years coming from these markets. Growth in this market is being driven by a combination of continued robust economic growth, improvements in household incomes and favorable population and demographic profiles. “Aviation is growing, and that is generating huge benefits for the world. A doubling of air passengers in the next 20 years could support 100 million jobs globally. There are two important things that stand out about this year’s forecast. Firstly, we are seeing a geographical reshuffling of world air traffic to the East. And secondly, we foresee a significant negative impact on the growth and benefits of aviation if tough and restrictive protectionist measures are implemented,” said Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO, IATA.

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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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OYO announces new category — OYO Living meant for millennials

OYO has announced its entry into the long-term fully managed housing rentals – OYO Living, geared to provide upgraded living experiences at an affordable price for India’s growing population. Perfectly suited for the changing housing needs of India, OYO Living will offer a first-of-its-kind, end to end managed and high-quality living experience that eliminates the hassles of finding, accessing and managing everyday housing. These accommodations are easy to find and easier to live in, where all OYO Living residents can experience the benefits of shared spaces while enjoying financial independence. With this, OYO aims to become the leading brand in the long-term housing rental and accommodations business and the biggest provider of housing in India. At the time of launch, OYO Living will have 35+ live properties, with over 2000 beds in Noida, Gurgaon, Bangalore and Pune, targeted at millennials and young professionals. With most assets currently operating already resulting at full occupancy, OYO Living will aim to expand to the top 10 metros by the end of 2019 and will offer over 50,000 beds. Commenting on the launch, Ritesh Agarwal, CEO & Founder, OYO Hotels & Homes, said, “OYO Living represents our ongoing commitment to continue innovating and creating world-class stay experiences from India. With the launch of OYO Living, we are all set to offer something new while remaining true to our core mission of creating beautiful living spaces. This launch marks a key milestone as we embark on our journey towards becoming India’s biggest provider of housing, consolidating our position as a category innovator and leader.” Piloted in mid-2018, OYO Living offers residents fully managed independent residential units, inclusive of contracting, furnishing, cleaning, maintenance, and in-stay services.

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Amadeus roadshows showcase new range of products & solutions for India market

Amadeus held roadshows in Delhi and Mumbai to showcase a comprehensive range of products and solutions in travel technology space especially beneficial for the Indian market. Commenting on the product portfolio, Rakesh Bansal, CEO, Amadeus Indian Subcontinent said, “To keep up with global industry standards, companies world over need to constantly innovate and evolve. With dynamic changes and growing demand within the travel technology industry it has become essential to create diverse solutions for different subscribers. Our portfolio of products & solutions introduced for the market today offers effective and efficient variety of solutions that help in generating additional revenue and improving productivity and efficiency for travel agencies thus, reducing costs.” The range of Amadeus products and solutions showcased at the forum included Amadeus Ticket Changer (ATC), Amadeus Travel Alerts Notifier (ATAN), Amadeus Master Pricer Expert and Amadeus Sell Connect (SECO), the only fully cloud-based booking and fulfilment platform within the travel industry, designed to save time, money, improve performance and efficiency. The range of products also included CashX, a complete web-based business accounting software which is convenient for back office operations. It enables multi service options designed to handle multiple currencies at a single point within the same document and is accurate and reliable at the same time.  

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