Tag Archives: Managing Director

Tourism Australia launches Premier Aussie Specialist Program in India

Tourism Australia has introduced a second tier to its specialist program in India with the introduction of the Premier Aussie Specialist Program. Membership in the Premier Aussie Specialist category is an acknowledgement of the destination expertise, insider knowledge and strong ties with the Australian travel industry of Aussie Specialist agents with an established record of selling Australia. As part of the launch, 70 agents from across cities like Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Ludhiana, Mumbai and Pune have been inducted into the Premier Aussie Specialist Program in India. The programme offers professional validation for retail agents selling Australian holidays to discerning consumers. As part of the membership, Premier Aussie Specialists are invited to attend exclusive travel industry workshops, market updates and training events hosted by Tourism Australia and Australia’s States and Territories. Speaking at the launch, John O’Sullivan, Managing Director, Tourism Australia said, “The Premier Aussie Specialist Program seeks to recognise the invaluable advocacy that travel advisors, who have been selling Australian holidays for many years, deliver for the destination. This group of elite agents are important contributors to our efforts to make Australia a destination of choice for travellers from India and it is a proud moment for us to congratulate and show our appreciation to these industry friends for their incredible passion and dedication to selling Australia.” Tourism Australia’s distribution strategy for India includes an enriched trade engagement programme. As one of the pioneers of the online destination training, Tourism Australia’s Aussie Specialist Program has recruited more than 2,981 travel agents across India.

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Travel Tours launches fifth retail store in Bengaluru

Travel Tours, the flagship leisure travel brand of FCM Travel Solutions – Indian subsidiary of Flight Centre Travel Group Australia, recently inaugurated its fifth store in Bengaluru. The store was inaugurated by Rakshit Desai, Managing Director, India at Flight Centre Travel Group. With the launch of this store, FCM Travel Solutions now has 30 operational Travel Tours stores across India. The new store in Bengaluru aims to fulfill the diverse needs of travellers in the city by offering both personalised vacations and group tours. The store will cater to the needs of high-end urban consumers such as families, business travellers, honeymoon couples and large groups of travellers. Expressing his thoughts on the launch, Desai said, “The launch is a further development of our expansion and strategic intent at Travel Tours across the Southern India. Bengaluru contributes to 22 per cent of leisure travel at Travel Tours overall and 35 per cent in South India. This year has been exciting for us and as we expand rapidly into the year, we plan to open 50+ stores by 2020.” Travel Tours current footprint extends to a total of 30 stores across Mumbai, Delhi, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kochi, Anand and Nagpur via a combination of owned branches and newly opened franchise outlets.

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Sterling ventures into Mysore to establish its 35th resort

Sterling Holiday Resorts is set to launch its latest resort, ‘Sterling Mysore’, thereby increasing its network to 35 resorts across the country. Sterling Mysore will be launched through a management agreement between Sterling Holiday Resorts and Tapovan Projects. The property is located in a peaceful enclave, within easy reach from Mysore city and Mysore Airport. Sterling Mysore features 16 well-appointed guestrooms, 16 one bedroom suites, 16 luxurious suites with private plunge pools and 24 two-bedroom villas with plunge pools. The resort offers amenities such as a 24/7 fitness centre, spa, holiday activity centre, swimming pool and a 200-seater best-in-class conference hall. Multicuisine dining options are available at the all-day dining restaurant, along with a poolside bar for guests to unwind. Speaking on the launch of Sterling Mysore, Ramesh Ramanathan, Managing Director, Sterling Holiday Resorts said, “In line with our strategy of establishing our presence across holiday destinations throughout the country, we are launching Sterling Mysore, shortly. Mysore is at the heart of heritage and cultural experiences and attracts tourists from different parts of the world. This resort will further bolster ‘Brand Sterling’ in providing experiential and immersive holidays to its guests.” Commenting on this partnership, K Sriram, Managing Partner, Tapovan Projects, said, “We are delighted to partner with Sterling and we believe ‘Brand Sterling’ brings immense leisure hospitality expertise, and with this launch we look forward to establishing Sterling Mysore as a premier resort in this vibrant holiday destination.”  

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Drukair launches non-stop flight between Guwahati and Singapore

Singapore Changi Airport has announced the launch of its 16th city link to India with the introduction of a new non-stop service between Guwahati and Singapore, operated by Drukair Royal Bhutan Airlines. This new route marks the first direct connection between Northeast India and Singapore. The introduction of this new service is expected to reduce travel time for almost 10 hours, including transfers to 4 hours 30 minutes. Drukair commenced twice weekly flights from Guwahati to Singapore from September 29. The new link is expected to strengthen not only cultural and socio-political ties between the countries but also facilitate opportunities to enhance travel and trade practices. Lim Ching Kiat, Managing Director—Air Hub Development, Changi Airport Group said, “We are pleased to launch the first non-stop service between Northeast India and Singapore with our valued partner Drukair. India is the third largest tourism source market for Singapore and one of Changi Airport’s key growth markets. This new route further enhances connectivity between Singapore and India, bringing the city links to a total of 16. We look forward to welcoming more travellers from Guwahati, who can tap Changi’s extensive network to destinations in Asia such as Australia, China, Indonesia and Japan.” India is Changi’s sixth largest market, registering more than 4.5 million passenger movements in the past 12 months, growing at 14 per cent year-on-year. Last month, IndiGo launched daily services from Kolkata and Tiruchirapalli, operating the airline’s first services from the two cities to Singapore.

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IHG debuts in Udaipur with Holiday Inn Udaipur Urban Square

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has signed a management agreement with Bhumika Enterprises for Holiday Inn Udaipur Urban Square. The 195-room hotel will be the first Holiday Inn hotel in the city and is expected to be operational by 2022. Boasting of an excellent location, Holiday Inn Udaipur Urban Square will be an integral part of the upcoming ‘Urban Square’, an integrated hospitality, retail and family entertainment destination spread over 1.8 million square feet. Sudeep Jain, Vice President—Development, South West Asia, IHG said, “We are delighted to partner with Bhumika Group to mark IHG’s debut in Udaipur, under the Holiday Inn banner. Urban Square is set to develop as a landmark destination for hospitality, retail and family entertainment in Udaipur and we are pleased to be a part of this prestigious development. The Holiday Inn brand family is our growth driver in the midscale hotel segment in India, and we have accelerated our expansion this year with a number of signings across the country.” Uddhav Poddar, Managing Director, Bhumika Group, said, “IHG is a leading hospitality player, globally and we are very pleased to partner with the company to launch Holiday Inn Udaipur Urban Square. We are confident that the Holiday Inn brand will further enhance the bouquet of services that the Urban Square has to offer to travellers.’’  

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IHCL expands presence in Nepal; signs new hotel in Kathmandu

The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) has announced the signing of a new Vivanta hotel in Kathmandu, marking the entry of the brand in the city. This will be IHCL’s second hotel in Nepal after Meghauli Serai in Chitwan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Commenting on the signing of this agreement, Puneet Chhatwal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, IHCL said, “We are honoured to partner with R&R Hotels and Resorts for this new hotel. Kathmandu is an extremely popular destination and this hotel will help us complete a tourist circuit with Meghauli Serai, our Taj Safari Lodge in Chitwan National Park.” The hotel will have approximately 111 spacious rooms and suites with a selection of rooms offering panoramic views of the city. The hotel will also include all-day dining and specialty restaurants, a bar, banqueting facilities and a spa. Commenting on the partnership, Rahul Chaudhary, Director, R&R Hotels and Resorts, said, “We have had a long standing association with IHCL for a range of hotels in multiple destinations. We are extremely proud to carry this relationship forward with the new Vivanta in Kathmandu.” Kathmandu has been at the centre of Nepal’s history, art, culture and economy. Some of the most popular attractions include the sacred and famous temple Pashupatinath, one of the biggest stupas in the world Boudhanath Stupa and Narayanhiti Palace Museum amongst others.  

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Tanzania welcomes travellers to explore its cultural treasures through Delhi roadshow

Tanzania Tourist Board, with a vision to establish Tanzania as the most favourite destination globally, recently hosted a roadshow in Delhi to showcase the unmatched cultural richness of the land. “Tourism is the number one foreign currency earner in Tanzania. The total contribution of travel and tourism to GDP is 17.2 per cent and is forecast to rise by 6.6 per cent in 2025. In 2017, tourism contribution to direct and indirect employment measured over one lakh jobs. This is expected to rise by 2.7 per cent in 2025” said Devota Mdachi, Managing Director, Tanzania Tourist Board. As a tourist destination, Tanzania is endowed with some of Africa’s world-class tourism assets that encompass natural, cultural, historical and archaeological sites. The state of Tanzania is home to more than 20% of the African continent’s large mammals. Tanzania has 16 National Parks, 31 Game Reserves, 44 Game Controlled Areas, 4 Ramsar Sites and 33 Wildlife Management Areas. “Tanzania offers a complete package of adventure, exploration and relaxation to the tourists. This has significantly increased the number of travellers each year. From 7 lakh travellers in 2007, it crossed 13 lakhs in 2017. We expect this number to reach over 2 million tourists by 2020” said Mdachi. Tanzania is famous for its history, impressive ruins of 14th to 16th century tombs, mosques and palaces. The diverse cultures, traditions and customs can be experienced through traditional dances, handcrafts, rock paintings and archaeological sites.  

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Tourism Marketing Alliance conducts roadshow in Gujarat

Three B2B travel companies namely RezLive.com, BookonBlueStar.com and Tourism and Leisure Group who are part of Tourism Marketing Alliance (TMA) recently connected with the travel partners of Gujarat and created awareness about the latest outbound travel trends, travel technology and diversification within the travel business. They also updated the local travel partners on the growing outbound business in India which has opened up multiple opportunities for traditional travel agencies to expand their business from ticketing and inbound to outbound tourism. TMA’s Western roadshow touching three cities namely Surat, Vadodara and Ahmedabad concluded with an encouraging response from travel agents, which also reflects the keen interest of the travel partners in the outbound tourism business and constant support for the three global brands, that are, RezLive.com, BookonBlueStar.com & Pearl Tourism and Leisure Group. RezLive.com’s spokesperson Anand Srinivasan, VP – Global Sales & Zaheer Jeddy, National Sales Head, updated the travel partners with innovative offerings of RezLive.com and at the same time updated on one of its kind B2B loyalty programme “rezREWARDS” and their commission based payment gateway model “affiliate.travel” which got appraised by the travel partners. Jayesh Ashar, Managing Director, Pearl Tourism & Leisure Group showcased a portfolio of products across countries from Africa to Australia, Europe and Bali. BlueStar was represented by Bhavesh N Oza, Vice President – International Markets, who spoke about the importance of rail and airline bookings and how they can empower the agents to do better business.

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STB appoints T&A Consulting as marketing representative for South India

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has appointed T&A Consulting as its official marketing representative agency for South India with effect from October 1, 2018. For the first time, India moved up a spot to become Singapore’s third-largest Visitor Arrival (VA) source market, with 1.27 million visitors in 2017 – a 16 per cent YoY growth, which made India the fastest-growing market for Singapore. Headquartered in New Delhi, T&A Consulting is a boutique advisory firm with an expertise in promoting India outbound tourism. As the official marketing representative of STB, T&A Consulting will be responsible for making Singapore as the preferred travel destination among consumers in South India, promoting quality tourism for leisure and business travel, increasing visitor arrivals and tourism spend as well as engaging with the travel trade. Adrian Kong, Area Director – South Asia, Singapore Tourism Board, said, “Singapore has consistently been ranked among the top most-visited destinations for families, honeymooners, cruisers, business travellers and incentive groups from India. The destination has received over 1 million visitors from India for three consecutive years, with South India being a significant visitor source market for us. With direct flights from nine cities and close travel proximity to Singapore, this region will continue to be an important visitor-ship driver.” According to Tarun Gupta, Co-founder and Managing Director, T&A Consulting, “Our role will be to enhance the positioning of Singapore as a favoured travel destination for travellers from South India. Our team aims to build more affinity for the destination through engagement with the travel trade fraternity and other relevant stakeholders”.

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Sarovar Hotels & Resorts signs Yeha Hotel in Ethiopia

Expanding its overseas portfolio, Sarovar Hotels has announced the signing of its latest project in Africa with Yeha Hotel – A Sarovar Premiere Hotel, a luxury property in Axum, Ethiopia. This development signifies Sarovar’s focus on Africa and the latest addition to its existing portfolio of properties in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. Yeha Hotel- A Sarovar Premiere Hotel will be a modern, luxurious development with a revolving restaurant and bar. It will also have the latest amenities in conferencing and meeting, a swimming pool, water amusement park and a kid’s playground. In the first phase, it will launch with 78 keys in October 2019, with plan to expand to 222 keys by 2021. Ajay K Bakaya, Managing Director, Sarovar Hotels, says, “The hotel is an important addition to our rapidly growing footprint in Africa and reflects the strong traction the brand is gaining in the region.  We see great growth potential in this market with high demand and this development makes a momentous step in our growth and expansion strategy in the overseas market.” Some of the openings of Sarovar Hotels this year include hotels in Jaisalmer, Gorakhpur, Dehradun, Katra, Lusaka and Dar Es Salaam.  

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