Tag Archives: Chairman

Indian domestic market is the biggest catchment area: Arjun Sharma

Opening the second session titled ‘Where is the money? Selling domestic luxury’ in the second series of the Digital Conclave spearheaded by TravTalk, was Arjun Sharma, Chairman, Select Group, who believes that the industry will go through a deep and prominent transformation in these coming months. “It is just a matter of realising the importance of domestic tourism. Our domestic market is the biggest catchment area after the Chinese domestic market. In fact, all our neighbouring countries have survived on this – be it Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, or Dubai. They have all existed because of the Indian outbound market. I think this is the first time that the Indian travel industry can reposition itself dynamically to create the paradigm that is necessary for that domestic traveller to look at India as their next luxury holiday destination,” he says

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Study on domestic tourism should be commissioned: Lohani

Ashwani Lohani, Chairman, APTDC, has said that this is the time to commission a good study on domestic tourism, which details the action plan for the way forward to boost domestic tourism. Speaking at the second Digital Conclave by TravTalk, Lohani said, “Now is the time to commission a good study on domestic tourism, which is not too long but only 25-30 pages of action points. Then make all the states and stakeholders start following that. A lot of small things must be done. Collectively, they become very big and they impact the state. For energising domestic tourism, we need to have a very aggressive campaign, which can create that desire in the hearts of people to explore their own country.”

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100+ ATOAI members attend online members’ meet

Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) concluded its first online members’ meet on March 31, which was attended by close to 100 members from across the country, including Kerala, Assam, Ladakh, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. The meeting, moderated by Capt. Swadesh Kumar, President, ATOAI and Vinayak Koul, Hony. Secretary, ATOAI, helped members and the Association share constructive ideas to survive in present times. Members also got a chance to share their experiences. The keynote speaker for the meeting, Nakul Anand, Chairman, FAITH, briefed members on various topics related to the COVID-19 crisis and explained that the strategy going forward should broadly be divided in two phases – phase-I being survival and phase-II being revival. He also informed members about the various efforts of FAITH for the tourism industry.

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Hotel Leela Venture to sell hotels to Brookfield for Rs 3950 crore

Hotel Leela Venture Limited (HLVL) has entered into a binding agreement with a Brookfield Asset Management (Brookfield) sponsored private real estate fund, to sell by way of slump sale, four owned Leela hotels located in Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and Udaipur and the property that it owns in Agra. The transaction also includes assignment of all Hotel Management contracts currently in operation as well as all management contracts for hotels which are currently under development, along with the employees of the hotels. The total transaction value is Rs 3950 crore plus the applicable transaction costs. This is subject to approval of shareholders, lenders and other regulatory and statutory approvals. Simultaneously, the promoters who own the Leela brand would also be transferring the Leela brand to Brookfield for all hospitality businesses. JM Financial Limited acted as the exclusive financial advisor to HLVL for this transaction. Commenting on the transaction, Vivek Nair, Chairman and Managing Director, HLVL said, “The Leela is rated amongst the top hospitality brands in the world and I am confident that the brand will receive a boost and be further strengthened and continue to be known for its world-class services.” Ankur Gupta, Managing Director and Head-India Real Estate, Brookfield Asset Management remarked, “The Leela is one of the finest hospitality groups in India and over the years it has gained extraordinary recognition from some of the most prestigious authorities on travel and luxury in the world. We are excited with this opportunity and look forward to completing this transaction at the earliest, while ensuring that all operations remain unaffected.  We expect the Leela hotels to continue to be market leaders.”

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Kerala Tourism unveils Rs 25 crore restoration project to mark 100 years of Mascot Hotel

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated a Rs 25-crore project for the restoration of the heritage of the iconic Mascot Hotel, coinciding with the celebrations of 100 years of the hospitality pioneer in Thiruvananthapuram. The comprehensive project, drawn up by Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC), was unveiled close on the heels of Mascot Hotel bagging the five-star status. Vijayan also unveiled the plaque to mark the historic occasion and opened a month-long exhibition that depicts the 100 years of glorious service of the trail blazer in hospitality sector in the state. Minister for Co-operation, Devaswom and Tourism, Kadakampally Surendran presided over the function held at Mascot Hotel. Surendran said that Mascot has got the unique distinction of being the maiden five-star hotel in the public sector. Recalling the history and fame of the institution, he noted “In the hotel map published by the Bombay-based Indian Hotel Company in 1937, Mascot was one among the four hotels listed from South India. In 1965, it came under KTDC.” The Minister underscored the need to adopt quality service and new marketing strategies in order to compete with private players in the hospitality industry. M Vijayakumar, Chairman, KTDC, delivered a felicitation speech. He said, “Mascot Hotel is a priceless treasure of Kerala. It is the jewel in KTDC’s crown. The heritage restoration project will be carried out without in any way harming its distinguishing architectural features.” The project to strengthen and preserve the heritage property will be executed under the leadership of Uralungal Labour Contract Co-operative Society. The works to be taken up include strengthening of the building, rooms, passages, beautification of the premises and improving the amenities. They will be completed in two phases within a …

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IndiGo to launch direct daily flights between Delhi and Istanbul from March 20

IndiGo is set to begin direct daily operations to Istanbul from Delhi and later from Ahmedabad along with other destinations. This was revealed by Emin Çakmak, Chairman, Turkish Indian Tourism Council, at a Turkish delegation meet held in Delhi on February 25. He says, “We are expecting a growth of 25-30 per cent from the Indian market by the end of this year. We have a great co-operation between the tourism and trade industry of the two countries. The potential is huge and now that can be released as more seats will be made available soon.”

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Former Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani reappointed Air India CMD

Former Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani has been reappointed Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Air India. Lohani headed the carrier from August 2017 to September 2017 when he was moved to the Railway Board as the chairman, from where he retired in December 2018. It was during his tenure that Air India made its first operating profit of ₹105 crore in FY17 since the merger of Indian Airlines and Air India in 2007. Touted as the ‘Turnaround specialist’, Lohani’s appointment will be crucial after Air India’s failed divestment attempt last year. This year, the government has already decided to transfer over Rs 29,000 crore of AI’s huge Rs 55,000 debt to a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), along with the airline’s assets like real-estate and other subsidiaries of Air India. Lohani succeeds the 1985-batch Karnataka cadre IAS Pradeep Singh Kharola, who earlier this month was appointed as the Civil Aviation Secretary following the superannuation of RN Choubey. Source: PTI

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SpiceJet to start Hyderabad-Jeddah daily from March 25, 2019

SpiceJet is set to start a daily direct flight between Hyderabad and Jeddah from March 25. This is the ninth foreign destination of the airline. SpiceJet will operate its new 189-seater Boeing 737 MAX aircraft on the route, the airline said in its press statement. It also announced a special fare of Rs 13,499 (all-inclusive) for the Hyderabad-Jeddah flight and Rs 10,799 (all inclusive) for Jeddah-Hyderabad flight. Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet, said, “It is a moment of great pride for us as we introduce Jeddah as our ninth international destination, thus becoming the first Indian budget airline to fly to Saudi Arabia. Our new flight from Hyderabad will greatly benefit thousands of pilgrims travelling to Saudi Arabia and our state-of-the-art Boeing 737 MAX promises an unparalleled experience to all our guests,” he said. SpiceJet’s flight SG 33 will depart from Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at 7:10 am (local time) and arrive in Jeddah at 11:05 am (local time) the same day. The return flight, SG 34, will depart at 12:05 pm (local time) and reach Hyderabad at 8:25 pm (local time). Source: PTI

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HRANI Conclave in Lucknow on February 16 to promote eco-friendly practices

The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Northern India (HRANI) is set to organise its next conclave in Lucknow on February 16, 2019. Set to be held at Taj Mahal, Lucknow, the conclave will be inaugurated by Justice D P Singh, Chairman, Uttar Pradesh Solid Waste Management Monitoring Committee. The theme of the conclave ‘Environmental Concerns of Hospitality Industry’ is chosen to promote ecotourism by adopting environment-friendly practices. Dr Anita Bhatnagar Jain, Additional Chief Secretary, Food Safety and Drug Administration Dept., Govt of Uttar Pradesh; Anurag Yadav, Secretary, Urban Development, Government of Uttar Pradesh, and I K Kapila, Advocate & Solicitor, Techno-Legal Environmental Consultant will be gracing the event as guest speakers. The topics for discussion during the upcoming HRANI Conclave – Applicable SWM and plastic waste disposal rules and role of stakeholders in effective implementation of plastic and solid waste management – aim towards spreading awareness on the environment-friendly practices that hotels can adopt.

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AITTC signs MoU with NEITO to open India’s North East Frontier for Australians

As per data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), India features as one of the most popular destinations for Australian travellers. However, travel to the eight North Eastern states – Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim – each of which is gifted with a diverse range of tourist attractions from splendid nature and diverse wildlife to colourful culture and vibrant history, has been limited. To boost this, Australia India Travel & Tourism Council (AITTC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with North East India Tour Operators Association (NEITO), which comprises Ministry of Tourism-approved inbound tour operators specialised for North East destinations. The MoU was signed by Madhushmita Khound , Secretary, NEITO in Guwahati and Sandip Hor, Chairman, AITTC in Sydney. The AITTC part of the signing was done in presence of B Vanlalvawna, Consul General of India in Sydney; Chandru Appar, Deputy Consul General of India in Sydney; Barbara Ward, President, NSW, Australia India Business Council; Phillip Bonicace, Co Chairman, AITTC and Vishnu Daram, Seccretary, AITTC. “This is a major step to put North East India under the tourism radar in Australia”, said Chairman Hor after the signing. According to him, attractions of the region like the Assam’s Brahmaputra River Cruise and the Kaziranga National Park, Tripura’s Royal Palaces Sikkim’s Himalayan beauty, Nagaland’s Hornbill Festival and many more have tremendous potential to add a new dimension to international tourism growth in India. The two main purposes of this MOU are to enhance destination knowledge among Australians and to facilitate the establishment of a suitable ‘travel & tourism connect’ between Australia and North East India.

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