Tag Archives: Managing Director

Lemon Tree Hotels & Warburg Pincus enter into JV to form a co-living platform for millennials

Lemon Tree Hotels has formed a joint venture (JV) with an affiliate of Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm focused on growth investing, to create a co-living platform. The JV marks Lemon Tree Hotel’s entry into a new business segment focusing on the development of institutional-grade rental housing accommodation serving both students and young working professionals across major educational clusters and key office markets in India. Following Warburg Pincus’ successful partnerships in China and Hong Kong, this investment represents the first co-living platform which the firm has backed in India. An affiliate of Warburg Pincus and Lemon Tree Hotels will hold 68 per cent and 30 per cent stake, respectively in the JV, with the balance 2 per cent to be held by Patanjali Keswani. The JV partners will initially invest Rs 1,500 crore in equity over a period of time followed by an additional infusion of Rs 1,500 crore in equity at the option of the partners, to develop rental housing projects through a combination of greenfield purpose-built properties, refurbishment of existing under-managed/stressed commercial and residential assets taken on lease/acquisition basis as well as management of existing for-rent accommodation projects. The platform aims to provide affordable and conveniently located co-living spaces for students and young professionals, who are increasingly looking to be part of a vibrant community with like-minded individuals. Patanjali (Patu) Keswani, Founder, Chairman and Managing Director, Lemon Tree Hotels, said, “We are delighted to once again partner with Warburg Pincus at an early stage of this exciting new business opportunity, which will allow Lemon Tree Hotels to move into a segment which is nascent but closely aligned to our existing target customers and which is expected to …

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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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Ebix wins contract to provide forex services at new Kannur International Airport

EbixCash World Money airport forex counters has been inaugurated at the arrival and departure terminals at Kannur International Airport in the presence of Minister of Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu; Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan; Minister of Industries, Sports and Youth Affairs, EP Jayarajan; Minister of Ports, Kadakampally Surendran; Minister of Transport, AK Saseendran; Minister of Water Resources, K Krishnankutty; and KIAL MD, V Thulasidas among other senior central and state government officials, and industry leaders. EbixCash World Money will offer passengers flying in and out of the city, foreign exchange at competitive rates along with a host of other products such as travellers’ cheques, multi-currency prepaid cards and travel insurance. Commenting on the launch, T C Guruprasad, Managing Director, EbixCash WorldMoney said, “Kannur is a fast-growing business and tourism destination with Wayanad and Coorg being in close proximity. Besides being the district headquarters, it offers a mix of beaches, forts and museums. A large number of international flights also offer direct connectivity from Middle East destinations such as Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Muscat, Riyadh, Doha and Kuwait, making it a strategic location for us to offer our forex and travel services. We currently have six branches and nine airport forex counters in Kerala.” Spread about 2,000 acres, the Kannur Airport is the newest addition to India’s international airport portfolio. The airport is expected to serve more than one million passengers annually with passenger traffic estimated to increase five-fold by 2025.    

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Kempinski Hotels focuses on Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Mumbai markets

Kempinski Hotels completed its four-city roadshow in Delhi after conducting them in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Mumbai. Ankush Nijhawan, Managing Director, Nijhawan Group, which represents the brand in India said, “Kempinski is by far the most luxurious chains in the world and I am happy that six of the properties under the brand are in India to showcase their offerings to the travel trade fraternity. We conducted the roadshows in Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi. We have got excellent response as luxury is very important in India and I think we received an overwhelming response from our travel partners in all the cities. We have seen a huge growth for Kempinski Hotels this year. In fact, this is the reason why there is another roadshow after having one in February this year. They believe in India and our efforts done since many years.”  

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Yogendra Tripathy to replace Rashmi Verma as Tourism Secretary

Yogendra Tripathy, Chairman and Managing Director, Food Corporation of India (FCI), has been appointed as Secretary—Tourism, Government of India, on retirement of Rashmi Verma at the end of November, according to recent appointments of senior officials by the government. Tripathy has been associated with FCI since July 30, 2015. He is a 1985 batch IAS officer of Karnataka cadre.

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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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