Tag Archives: MD

GPS and TWAI partner to offer NDC-enabled platform to agents

Global Panorama Showcase has tied up with Airlines Technology by TWAI, to offer NDC (New Distribution Capability) by IATA to agents in India at an affordable price. Harmandeep Singh Anand, MD, GPS, says, “NDC technology is the new solution and is the new normal, and it will be very useful to more than 4,000 IATA agents.” To this, Trideep Aggarwal, Co-Founder and Director, Airlines Technology by TWAI, adds, “Last couple of years, airlines have been pushing for NDC which allows them to distribute new things which they were not being able to do earlier. At the end of last year, we were in discussion with Varun Bansal, the CEO of Airlines Technology, as we were looking for enhancing our product offerings by having NDC on our platform. At the beginning of this year, we acquired Airlines Technology, and since then we have been merging everything with our platform. We are one of the largest NDC aggregators in the world. As of now, there are about 19 airlines on our platform, and we will have around 23 by the end of this year.”

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Baywatch Travels launches Baywatch Stayzz

Manish Kriplani, MD, Baywatch Travels, has launched Baywatch Stayzz, which include serviced luxury villas and houses for rent. “There was a huge void of having luxury full-service villas, where travellers can relax with having dedicated butler service, and housekeeper, chef and other resources at their disposal. We found that there was demand and availability for the same, which was a great prospect. We have 9 villas as of now and we plan to have 50 such villas in the next 2-3 months in Chennai. While some villas we are obtaining on lease, some are on revenue share, while for others we are only doing sales & marketing. While we have made PDF brochures now, we are preparing a very robust e-commerce website portal, where we are going to host all these villas and which will have all the information about them.”

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With moratorium ending, many travel companies might shut

Ravi Gosain, MD, Erco Travels, has said that with moratorium limit ending on 31st August, many travel companies must shut down. “Situation is very unfavourable for tourism industry. On 31st August, moratorium is ending, and most of the people, whether employees or employers took a moratorium and were expecting that something will roll out. However, things haven’t improved. From September onwards, I don’t think companies of any size are able to pay a single bill. Hence, this will be a huge setback. Hence, I am sure there will be many bankruptcies after this moratorium has ended,” he shared.

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Ark makes headway in non-cruise space, acquires Outbound Konnections

Ark Travels, a B2B company specialising in cruise representation business, has penetrated further into the non-cruising space with the acquisition of Outbound Konnections, spearheaded by Anjum Lokhandwala, who will continue as its Director. Kishan Biyani, MD, Ark Travels, says, “I felt this was the right time to enter into the non-cruise space. Along with Ark Travels, we can have a bouquet of products besides cruises, Club Med Resorts and Europamundo Vacations to offer to their B2B network without increasing overheads.”

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Holiday Inn Express expands India presence with multiple hotel openings across cities

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced the opening of seven more Holiday Inn Express hotels from the IHG-SAMHI partnership. The hotels are spread across Pune, Hyderabad, Nashik, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru. With the latest announcement, 10 Holiday Inn Express hotels from the IHG–SAMHI partnership are now open across the country. IHG and SAMHI entered a partnership in 2017 to rebrand 14 hotels (approximately 2000 rooms, operating and under construction) in India to Holiday Inn Express hotels. All hotels in the portfolio were closed while they were being refurbished and upgraded with the latest design directives, to ensure the portfolio is fully representative of the Holiday Inn Express brand globally. The new Holiday Inn Express hotels are located strategically providing easy accessibility to local shopping centres, tourist attractions and business hubs. Promising unparalleled comfort and convenience to the guests, all newly-opened hotels offer well designed, contemporary rooms with a range of in-room amenities, service culture and feature the brand’s signature ‘Great Room’, a dynamic space to socialise as well as relax and unwind. Vivek Bhalla, Regional Vice President, SWA, IHG said, “The Holiday Inn Express brand has gained tremendous momentum in the country and we have also made significant progress towards our commitment to strengthen our mid-scale portfolio in India. We are confident that all newly opened Holiday Inn Express hotels in partnership with SAMHI, will successfully cater to the needs of the modern business and leisure travellers, across cities.” Ashish Jakhanwala, Founder, MD & CEO, SAMHI, added, “We began this journey with IHG in 2017 when we signed an agreement for 14 Holiday Inn Express hotels in India. With the opening of 10 Holiday Inn Express hotels from the portfolio, across seven …

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Surajkund International Crafts Mela attracts participants from 30 countries

Showcasing the diversity of handicrafts, handlooms and cultural fabric of India, the 33rd Surajkund International Crafts Mela, 2019 gets underway from February 1-17 at Surajkund Mela Ground, Faridabad. Speaking at a press meet for the event, Yogendra Tripathi, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Chairman, Surajkund Mela Authority said, “Tourists today are looking for immersive experiences and the 33rd Surajkund International Crafts Mela provides that very culturally enriching experience for visitors. We have craftspersons from all over India with participants from 30 countries.” Other dignitaries present at the event included Vikas Yadav, Managing Director, Haryana Tourism Corporation and Chief Administrator, Surajkund Mela Authority; Vijai Vardhan, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Tourism, Government of Haryana and Vice Chairman, Surajkund Mela Authority. The event is organised by Surajkund Mela Authority and Haryana Tourism in collaboration with Union Ministries of Tourism, Textiles, Culture and External Affairs. Maharashtra has been chosen as Theme State for the 33rd Surajkund International Crafts Mela 2019. A large number of renowned national and international folk artistes and cultural groups will present day performances at open-air theatres located in the Mela premises. The multi-cuisine food court provides ethnic cuisines from all over the world.

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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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IATO brainstorms on key issues on the first day

With a day stacked with business sessions focusing on imperative issues and state presentations, the audience was treated with intense discussions on day one of the two-day convention in Vishakhapatnam. The day started with the conventional IATO Run for Responsible Tourism in the morning. The first session of the day aimed to highlighted the challenges of touching the ambitious milestone of 20 million foreign tourist arrivals within the next few years. The panelists also touched upon the ways in which this can be achieved. The second session brought together members of key hotel companies face to face with tour operators to discuss what both industries can do to help the other since it is getting harder and harder to do business, whether it is the hotels or the travel trade.  The following session had an all-women panel who spoke about their personal experiences that are evidence that India is a safe country. However, they did present ways in which the safety of women travellers could improve. The final panel discussion, moderated by Rajesh Mudgill, MD, Planet India Travels, deliberated on how to change one’s business to adapt to the changing mindset of today’s travellers. In between the state presentations and panel discussions, the audience also took advantage of individual presentations made by Nakul Anand, Chairman, FAITH; an informative session on how travel agents can use digital marketing by Avijit Arya, Founder, Internet Mogul.  

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Holiday Inn Express expands footprint with Holiday Inn Express Gurgaon Sector 50

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has inaugurated the Holiday Inn Express Gurgaon Sector 50, the first Holiday Inn Express hotel in Gurugram. As part of IHG’s partnership with SAMHI for a portfolio of 14 Holiday Inn Express hotels, this property will be the first to open its doors to guests on September 15. Marking this celebration, IHG’s regional leadership team including Kenneth Macpherson, CEO-EMEAA and Pascal Gauvin, MD, IMEA, were present at the ceremony. Holiday Inn Express Gurgaon Sector 50 offers 205 intelligent, design-led, contemporary rooms, providing an efficient environment to guests. Boasting of an excellent location, Holiday Inn Express Gurgaon Sector 50 is strategically situated in a mixed-use complex populated with a shopping mall, restaurants, entertainment and wellness facilities, making it a perfect destination for business travellers as well as leisure seekers. Vivek Bhalla, Regional Vice President – SWA, IHG said, “We are delighted to launch the first Holiday Inn Express hotel as a part of our partnership with SAMHI. Our growth in India is fuelled by the Holiday Inn brand family, and this partnership underscores our commitment to grow our midscale offering in the country. We are confident that Holiday Inn Express Gurgaon Sector 50 will offer an uncompromising and modern guest experience to travellers visiting the city.” Ashish Jakhanwala, MD & CEO, SAMHI added, “The conversion and the rebranding exercise of our existing portfolio to the Holiday Inn Express brand is one of the largest in the hospitality industry. We strongly believe that a combination of strong locations, a vibrant product and the power of the brand Holiday Inn Express, will lead the way for the midscale hotel space in India.”   

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MP Tourism to host ATTA’s AdventureNEXT in Bhopal from Dec 3-5

In a curtain raiser event held in New Delhi, the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board has announced that it will host ‘AdventureNEXT’ in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh from December 3-5, 2018. The event is organised by Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA). The curtain raiser saw in presence Hari Ranjan Rao, MD, Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board; Gergana Nikolova, Regional Manager – Europe, ATTA; Jake Finifrock, Regional Director – Asia, ATTA; and Swadesh Kumar, President ATOAI. Rao said, “India has been a great destination in terms of adventure travel. We are grateful to ATTA that it agreed to come to India and bring so many partners from other parts of the world. I am also grateful to ATOAI who have been at the forefront to take this event forward.” Organised for the first time in Asia, AdventureNEXT is known for putting emerging adventure destinations on the world tourism map. Finifrock added, “ATTA is a member organisation that is made up of over 1300 members throughout the world. We like to provide opportunities to people to come together to learn from one another, to inspire one another, to have more opportunities to network and grow the adventure travel community. It’s not only an event for Madhya Pradesh but also for all adventure travel across India. We are expecting around 300-350 delegates to attend Adventure Next. Many of these will be international buyers who will come to see travel products available in India.”

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