Tag Archives: President

Thomas Cook launches new store in New Delhi

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Thomas Cook (India) strengthened its presence in North India with the inauguration of a flagship store at Connaught Place. The store was unveiled by Vijay Kumar,  Brand Ambassador, Thomas Cook India. This expansion augments Thomas Cook India’s total number of outlets to 16 consumer access centres with six owned branches and 10 Gold Circle Partner (franchise) outlets in Delhi. Thomas Cook’s new store will offer travellers a range of holiday products (domestic and international tickets, and hotels, cruises, individual and group tours, luxury vacations), foreign exchange, visa services and insurance. Rajeev Kale, ‎President, Country Head–Leisure Travel and MICE, Thomas Cook (India), said, “North India is delivering a strong growth of 20 per cent YoY for our leisure travel business and Delhi has been identified as a prime growth driver as part of our strategic plan. Our new branch at Connaught Place is at a prime location, thus giving our consumers convenient access to a range of holiday products, travel and foreign exchange services.”

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TCEB unveils two mobile apps for events

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Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau has launched two new mobile applications, Smart BIZ Event and Smart BIZ Organizer for Thailand’s MICE industry. Through its unique innovation, the strategy is aimed to stimulate the growth of MICE events in the country, attract MICE travellers, and establish a knowledge and statistics platform to support the industry in terms of the strategic planning. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, President, TCEB, said, “TCEB’s strategy focuses on the development of innovations. We aim to catch up with the digital trend and respond to the demand of MICE organisers and travellers in the digital era. In the fiscal year 2017, the target markets show a great response to our activities which include the development of our website, online sales and marketing channels, as well as online marketing communications.” TCEB also developed a mobile application called ‘Biz Thailand’, to respond to the rising trend of smartphones. The app provides information in Thai and English languages. It helps in giving out details about tourist attractions, restaurants, accommodations, domestic and international flights, as well as data on MICE venues in Bangkok and MICE cities. Users are able to get real-time updates on news and promotion activities with the location-based service. Besides, users are able to link the app to their social media accounts which makes sharing information found in the app worth their network easier. This useful application is designed for the users who are interested in conventions and business events in Thailand. Until now, the app has a record of more than 6,000 downloads.

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UP Government to host International Conclave in Lucknow in 2018

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Government of Uttar Pradesh is set to organise International Conclave from February 20-22, 2018, in Lucknow. The conclave’s aim is to develop the state and promote the tourism avenues of Uttar Pradesh on the global map. A meeting of stakeholders chaired by Akhand Pratap Singh, IAS Special Secretary, Department of Tourism, Govt. of U.P. & Managing Director, UP State Tourism Development Corporation Limited was held on November 29, 2017 at Paryatan Bhawan, Lucknow. Surendra Kumar Jaiswal, President, Uttar Pradesh Hotel & Restaurant Association (UPHRA) who is also Hony. Secretary of FHRAI and HRANI with the fellow hoteliers and stakeholders attended the meeting to discuss the roadmap of the event.  

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3rd OTOAI Convention underway in Ras Al Khaimah

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The third Annual Convention of Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI) is underway in Ras Al Khaimah. The Convention was inaugurated by Shaji Thomas, Director-Destination Tourism Development, Ras Al Khaimah; Guldeep Singh Sahni, President, OTOAI; Riaz Munshi, Convention Chairman and Vice President, OTOAI; Mohamed Khater, Senior Tourism Development Manager, Government of Ras Al Khaimah; Gurdeep Gujral, Joint Secretary, OTOAI; SanJeet, India Representative, Ras Al Khaimah, and Mahendra Vakharia, Chairman-Western Chapter, OTOAI. Thomas informed that India is the fourth largest source market for Ras Al Khaimah with Germany being the largest followed by UK and Russia. “India is a very important market for us. Earlier Indians used to stay 1.9 nights in RAK but now they stay for 2.25 nights which means they have explored more things to do at the destination. We have become a popular destination for weddings. This year we have 17 Indian boutique weddings and we hope to increase this number steadily.”

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EEMA celebrated its 10th Conclave in Delhi

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Event and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA) celebrated its 10th edition conclave from September 8-10,  in Hotel Pullman, Aerocity, New Delhi. Themed ‘a decade of transformation’, it was a part of the EEMAX Global Conclave and Awards organised by EEMA. Sabbas Joseph, President, EEMA, elucidated on the event and said, “It was an event that got everyone together. Sharing the journey with nostalgia were the three presidents of EEMA. We had around 283 registered members and an attendance of about 350 people.” Adding on about growing number of talent in the country, he said, “We have a programme for youth empowerment and education and talent development, the first launch of it was on September 8, at the EEMA Eduposium. We are now looking at management programmes, how can we embellish that with content from the event management companies and create event management as an option. It is something that we believe in, along with the vision of the Prime Minister of India. If we can help, skill development, and retain talent, we will become great employers to showcase the real talent in the country.”

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Supreme Court’s clarification on highway liquor ban brings in respite for city hotels

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The Supreme Court has clarified that the ban on sale of alcohol within 500 metres of state and national highways does not apply within city limits, granting relief to the liquor and hospitality industry. The apex court’s directive that no liquor shop shall be visible and directly accessible from the highways nor it should be situated within 500 metres of the outer edge of the national or state highway or of the service lane, created chaos in the hospitality industry. While lakhs of people lost their jobs, the MICE business impacted a great deal in the country. Terming it as a landmark order, Dilip Datwani, President, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) says, “This was a much needed clarification as millions of jobs and the very survival of the nation’s tourism industry was at stake. It has been HRAWI’s contention right from the start that the original order could not have been directed at hotels and liquor vends within city limits. We are thankful to the Bench and the Hon’ble Justices for unequivocally clarifying this. The order will bring relief to almost 70 per cent of the affected hotels.”

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IATO to have 2018 convention in Andhra Pradesh

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Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) will have its 2018 convention in Andhra Pradesh, informed Pronab Sarkar, President, IATO. “The 2018 convention of IATO will be held in Andhra Pradesh. However, the city and the venue for the same has not been decided as yet,” he said. Currently, IATO is geared for its 33rd Convention, which is to be held from September 7-10, 2017 in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.

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SuperStar Libra to triple homeports from September: Star Cruises

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Star Cruises has announced SuperStar Libra’s latest deployment from September 3, 2017, onwards with triple homeports in Kuala Lumpur via Port Klang and Penang in Malaysia, as well as in Phuket, Thailand, with two cruises per week, including the 3-nights Kuala Lumpur (via Port Klang)/Phuket/Penang cruise or the four-nights Kuala Lumpur (via Port Klang)/Langkawi/Phuket/Penang cruise. With the introduction of Star Cruises’ multiple homeports and fly-cruise options, guests in Southeast Asia as well as the region will now have easy access to take a cruise with SuperStar Libra from any of these three well-connected key cities, especially Kuala Lumpur, which is now a major aviation hub in Asia. Ang Moo Lim, President,Star Cruises, says, “Star Cruises is optimistic this will grow our source markets in Southeast Asia, allowing guests more access to multiple homeports and concurrently developing and stimulating the growth of the cruise tourism sector across borders through fly-cruise options.” With Penang previously as the only homeport for SuperStar Libra in Malaysia, domestic travellers nationwide and international passengers can now celebrate with more options to either embark from the historically rich culture city of Penang or the modern bustling city of Kuala Lumpur via its new main homeport in Port Klang, Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur remains one the key gateway to Malaysia and also the Southeast Asian region with an expected targeted inbound tourism of over 30 million in 2017. In Thailand, Phuket is also a renowned destination for many international tourists and Star Cruises is now opening up options for travellers from the island, both domestic and from the fly-cruise travel to hop a cruise with SuperStar Libra. During SuperStar Libra’s triple homeport deployment in Malaysia and Thailand, guests of …

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Dream Cruises unveils first all-inclusive services for palace suites

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Dream Cruises has unveiled a new luxury experience for guests  for its prestigious Dream Palace Suite and Garden Penthouses on board Genting Dream and its soon-to-arrive twin sister ship World Dream.  Dream Palace has 142 suites and private VIP facilities including a swimming pool, spa, gym and dining venues. “Since the launch of Genting Dream, guest feedback on our Dream Palace experience has been overwhelming. This has inspired us to create an all-inclusive luxury offering, which upgrades our guest experience to a new level and makes our Dream Palace proposition across our fleet even more exceptional in the market,” said Thatcher Brown, President, Dream Cruises. Guests can enjoy the new Dream Palace experience on Genting Dream from September 1 and on World Dream when it arrives in Asia in November. Dream Palace has truly become even more regal with these benefits: Complimentary set menu meals in all Dream Palace outlets Complimentary set meal credit in five speciality restaurants – each night will feature choice of a unique speciality restaurant experience Complimentary premium beverage package to be enjoyed in all bars and lounges Complimentary soft drinks and bottled water in room Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the cruise Complimentary city shuttle transfers, exclusive for Dream Palace guests Complimentary al fresco seafood barbeque dinner hosted on the Dream Palace private pool deck area during the last sea day of all five night cruises, exclusive for Dream Palace guests Priority at booking at the Vintage Room private food and wine chef’s table

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MICE crisis in hotels post GST: HRAWI

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Post the Goods & Services Tax (GST) roll out earlier this month, the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) related activities have been hit hard. One of the anomalies that emerged post GST roll-out was that MICE activities and other events held in hotels outside of home state are not eligible for Input Tax Credit (ITC). This has been leading to cancellations and postponements for pre booked events. Given the emergence of MICE Tourism as one of the fastest growing segments, and its potential to disrupt growth, the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) has appealed to the Government to revisit this particular aspect of the GST. “There is an overall reduction in MICE bookings across hotels in India as compared to the same period last year. Advance bookings are being cancelled and new bookings are not happening. Most companies are considering holding events in the same State where they are registered under GST. Businesses may still have digested the high GST, but without ITC, it just becomes unviable. MICE tourism is too important a segment for the nation to overlook,” says Dilip Datwani, President, HRAWI. Talking about the GST slabs for the industry he adds, “The 28 per cent GST rate for rooms with tariff of Rs. 7500/- and above is one of the highest in the world and will seriously affect cash flow. Moreover, the tax percentage will be determined based on the published or declared rate which is creating a lot of hardship for the industry. The association has appealed the Government to remove this condition and determine the tax percentage based on the actual transaction value and has also requested to review the ITC …

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