Devika Jeet

Said Salim Al-Shanfari appointed as CEO of OCEC

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Oman Tourism Development Company (OMRAN) the developer of the iconic Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre (OCEC) project,  has appointed through the Board of Directors of OCEC company Said Salim Said Al-Shanfari as CEO to lead the organisation through its next phase of innovation and growth. He has rich experience working in leadership roles in marketing and communications across Oman as well as in the region. He successfully completed Oman’s National CEO Program in 2017. The National CEO Program benefits individuals and corporations, preparing Oman’s brightest talent to compete in the global marketplace and aims to build the next generation of Omani leaders. With his leadership skills and experience from the CEO program, Al-Shanfari aims to promote Oman and OCEC as a hub for regional and international conferences and exhibitions along with live events, as well as showcasing the natural beauty and essence of Oman. Al-Shanfari brings with him a wealth of experience as he progressed through various management positions during his eight-year tenure in Ooredoo Oman as Director of Business Marketing and most recently as the General Manager of Marketing Communication and Performance at Omantel. On Said’s appointment, H.E Mohsin Bin Khamis Al Balushi, Adviser at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Chairman of OCEC company, a subsidiary of Omran, stated, “Oman is now on the world map as one of the top tourism destinations, and we are confident in appointing Said Al Shanfari to lead OCEC towards its vision of introducing Oman as a world-class destination for business events. We strive to continue our success in bringing international conventions whilst simultaneously ensuring we remain focused on delivering the very best service to our customers, delegates and stakeholders. A …

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ITB Asia 2018 finishes on a high with record-breaking numbers

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ITB Asia,  wrapped up on a high as the annual event achieved record-breaking numbers. Held at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore between 17 – 19 October 2018, the three-day conference and exhibition recorded an impressive 25,000 business appointments this year. Having hosted more than 1,000 exhibitors and over 1,000 buyers this year, ITB Asia 2018 had also recorded an increase of 8.9 per cent of total visitors representing more than 127 countries from last year’s anniversary event. This year, ITB Asia 2018 welcomed new exhibitors as it unveiled its largest exhibitor showcase yet. This included Abu Dhabi, Botswana, Canton Sarajevo, Croatia, Fukuoka, Kansai, Mauritius, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Rovaniemi, Slovakia and Ukraine among many others. Under the overarching theme of “Travel Reimagined”, this year’s conference programme delivered major trends provoking disruption across the travel industry and how companies are innovating to stay ahead. With over 260 speakers, key industry experts delivered fascinating insights at the keynote sessions, as well as focused topics for the MICE and Corporate segment, the Travel and Tech space and Muslim Travel conference sessions which were very well-received. “Having surpassed last year’s impressive milestone, we have yet again achieved recordbreaking numbers as we continue to see the show flourish. As we look forward to next year’s ITB Asia, we continue to build and strengthen our efforts in maintaining ITB Asia as the premier event of the year and the go-to hub for remarkable travel content and inspiring experiences.My greatest thanks and appreciation go out to all our supporters across industry and the teams involved for their endless hard work in making this event happen”, said Katrina Leung, Managing Director …

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Travelport inks long-term deal with Jet Airways

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Travelport has signed a long-term supplier agreement with Jet Airways that will be effective from April 2019 and enable online and offline travel agencies around the world to shop, book and manage itineraries for leisure and business travellers. Jet Airways will also deploy Travelport’s Rich content and Branding, from which over 270 airlines now benefit by displaying graphical content, their fares families and a full range of ancillary products. Damian Hickey, Head, Air-Travel Partners, Travelport, commented, “Travelport’s commitment to the Indian travel market and the provision of the widest range of content has been further evidenced today with the announcement of this new mutual commitment between Jet Airways and our company beginning April 2019. Furthermore, our position in the rest of Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas means that we are able to deliver to them a wide mix of international travellers. This is in addition to the millions of outbound and domestic Indian travellers they serve.”

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Thomas Cook introduces Forex Card mobile app

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Thomas Cook (India) has unveiled a series of innovative mobile-first initiatives: the thomascook.in Holidays, Visa & Forex Online Stores and Apps, iLead-a CRM-integrated Holiday Sales App, Tour Manager App and customer self-service App, Click2Book for business travellers, an advanced web-technology platform Astra, robotics and machine learning, Voyager-a customised holiday bundler, etc. In a strategic move to empower the new age, mobile-first Indian traveller, the company has launched the Thomas Cook Borderless App. The first-of-its-kind app enables its multi-currency Borderless Prepaid Forex Card users to access and manage their Borderless Prepaid Card account anywhere, anytime, from the convenience of a smartphone. Kailash Gupta, Senior Vice President & Head, Payment Solutions Thomas Cook (India), said, “In our digital focus to empower our travellers, we have launched a dedicated app for our Borderless multi-currency prepaid card users. The app, with its real time services, will significantly improve customer experience and enhance convenience and safety-security.”

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ICPB roadshows to travel to London and Washington in 2019

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India Convention Promotion Bureau (ICPB) roadshows is scheduled to be held in London and Washington next year. This was informed by Chander Mansharamani Vice Chairman, ICPB, at the recently-held AGM of the association. Elaborating on the future plans of ICPB, Mansharamani said, “In 2019  we are planning to take our roadshows to London and Washington, around the month of June. A lot many of the world associations are headquartered in London and a lot of the American Associations are in Washington. Maybe one roadshow we would like to have in Australia, along with AIME in Melbourne. We are working on the same, we may combine Singapore and Melbourne, that is again in the pipeline. The roadshows this year  held in Paris, Zurich, Brussels and Geneva, garnered a good response. We had almost 110 buyers coming in. We were 12 exhibitors in all. The government has been promoting ICPB as the frontal organisation for marketing India as a MiCE destination. Mansharamani  further stated, “We at ICPB, will soon also be coming out with  a report on the size of the  MiCE industry in India. An agency for the same has been appointed by the government. They are also looking at the new structure for ICPB. We need to restructure the whole body.” On the AGM agenda, he said, “At  the AGM, we discussed the calendar of events, we are of the view that we must have four training programmes in a  year. We want to tie-up with International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) in USA, that will be a certified programme from IAPCO. One programme will be a residential one for two days and three programmes will be on different level like …

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Air India’s Bengaluru-London direct from November 17

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Air India is set to connect Bengaluru with London via a three-times-a-week flight starting November 17. The new flight will be operated by a Boeing 787 (Dreamliner) aircraft on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from Bengaluru and on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from London. The national carrier has also offered special introductory two-way fare of Rs 1,29,500 for business class travel and Rs 35,220 for economy for the proposed flight. The flight AI 177 will depart Bengaluru at 05:25 hours and arrive London at 11:05 hours. In its return journey, the flight AI 178 will leave from London at 13:00 hours and arrive in Bengaluru at 04:00 hours, the airline said.  The non-stop flight will fulfil the long standing demand of IT professionals and health tourism in the region. Source: PTI

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NIMA Convention from January 20-25, 2019

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The annual convention of Network of Indian MICE Agents (NIMA) is set to be held in Taipei, Taiwan from January 20-25, 2019, informed Gajesh Girdhar, National Coordinator, NIMA. A destination showcase is also slated to be held in 2019 but the destination is yet to be finalised. NIMA, a four-and-half-years old association, is a network of MiCE agents. “We currently have 136 numbers with a majority from Tier-II, III cities. With zero membership fee, we have always focused on tapping new markets. For instance, in Spain, everybody has their eyes on Barcelona, Madrid and Apjiza, while we tap the Catalonia region where we had our first convention in 2016. So, now people are aware of Catalonia and all the members are promoting it,” explained Girdhar.

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Largest convention center to open in Bengaluru

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The Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel and Convention Center is set to launch the largest convention center in a 5-star hotel. Equipped with state-of-the-art audiovisual facilities and located in the multinational IT hub of Bengaluru, the Convention Center promises to be defining element for any occasion – be it a corporate event, an elaborate wedding or a party. Faiz Alam Ansari, General Manager, The Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel and Convention Center, said, “The dynamic venue is the first of its kind in a 5-star hotel and a benchmark as the ideal MiCE space. MiCE contributes significantly to the year on year growth in our hospitality portfolio, therefore the launch will greatly add value and generate revenue for the property.” As a primarily business- oriented hotel, the Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel & Convention Center  has a  convention space  which is designed to host a meeting capacity of up to 2000 people spread over 2,602 square meters and structured with a ceiling height of 50 feet. It is integrated with an ultra-modern audio-visual facility and technical specs such as the 13000 ANSI Lumens Projectors as well as an in-built stage.

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Lufthansa India & TiE’s 3rd Start-up Expo witnesses 19k delegates

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Co-hosted by Lufthansa India and the Delhi-NCR chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), the third edition of Start-up Expo held in Delhi witnessed over 19,000 delegates from various cities across India, including 100 investors, over 100 recognised business experts and nearly 500 start-up exhibitors. The single-day event also hosted the grand finale of the first season of ‘Elevator Pitch’ contest, launched in August by Lufthansa. Wolfgang Will, Senior Director – South Asia, Lufthansa, said, “The overwhelming response to Start-up Expo has led to its exponential growth over the past three years into what is today India’s largest ecosystem for start-up success. It is also an affirmation of the fact that young entrepreneurs in India are chasing new dreams, exploring new possibilities and we feel absolutely privileged to enable them in taking the leap from dreams to reality.” Geetika Dayal, Executive Director, TiE Delhi-NCR, said, “Start-up Expo is an important catalyst in the entrepreneurial revolution in India. Together with Lufthansa, we are proud to have created this platform for driving start-up success in India.  

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Dubai Business Events roadshows project opportunities to Indian planners

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Dubai Business Events (DBE) has showcased the city’s capabilities and services to business event planners through their three-city roadshow held recently in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru, attracting an attendance of approximately 490 business events and incentive buyers as well as wedding planners. DBE was joined on the roadshow by a number of stakeholders from Dubai, including Dubai Parks and Resorts, Jumeirah Hotels and Emaar Hospitality. The roadshow offered a platform for the DBE team to meet and engage with key decision makers, educate them about the services available to them, and detail how the convention bureau can support in planning their events in Dubai. Attendees were also able to discover Dubai and the world-class factors that combine to make the city a premier destination to host business events. Over the coming months, DBE and stakeholders from the city will conduct further in-market activities in UK, Sweden, Finland and Russia while also continuing to welcome business event planners for study missions from around the world to Dubai.

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