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The Big Picture

BITB garnering requisite industry traction; next phase is a more extensive outreach, says Navin Berry

With BITB gearing up to host its 16th conclave in Hotelscapes 2019, Navin Berry, Founder and CEO, BITB, reflects on the learning curve, challenges and the road ahead for the thought leadership industry platform. There are quite a few events in the industry. What is different about BITB? There will always be a question of too many, given India’s size and diversity. We are a democracy and the freedom of choice is paramount. Anyone can …

HotelScapes

IHCL to add 25 hotels in 2 years; Puneet Chhatwal exudes confidence on the road ahead

Puneet Chhatwal, MD and CEO, IHCL, declared that IHCL was poised to add a hotel every month, adding 25 hotels to the portfolio in the next two years. Mr Chhatwal was addressing an intimate gathering of guests and partners at an evening reception hosted in the capital. The event coincided with the IHCL Sales Mission which, in its third year, has emerged as a “major platform” for the company to showcase its latest offerings and …

NB Blogs

PM emerges biggest mascot for Indian tourism; time to create a Tourism Commission

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech on the 73rd Independence Day has batted for tourism, even more vehemently than any tourism industry protagonist ever could! He used the word ‘tourism’ a dozen times, which in itself was remarkable for our industry that has come to accept that tourism is not meant to be mentioned. Because that has been the rule, more often than not. Such importance has come as a shot in the arm for an …

HotelScapes

Hotelivate’s latest report a must read, provides a comprehensive perspective on hospitality

Manav Thadani’s Hotelivate has collaborated with CAPA and WTTC to produce a composite picture of Indian travel and tourism; an elaborate effort that shows what can be achieved through cooperation among India’s associations and research agencies. The answer is The Ultimate Travel and Hospitality Report, that has quite a few firsts to its credit. The overall size of the travel cake is largely dependent upon the growing power of Indian traveler, both for domestic and …

Obituary

Chugee passes on! leaves the industry in shock; TAFI president suffers a massive cardiac arrest

The travel industry has lost a young pioneer in the passing away of Praveen Chugh. He died yesterday after a massive cardiac arrest. Presently, he was the President of Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) and had established himself as one of the principal pillars behind the organisation’s success. In recent years, he played a pivotal role in putting together some of the most admirable TAFI conventions in different parts of the world, most recently …

Airports & Airlines

Ashwani Lohani takes charge as CMD Air India, with the status of Secretary to GOI

Ashwani Lohani has been appointed as Air India CMD. The PM-headed Appointments Committee of the Cabinet took the call, handing over the reins of Air India to Lohani for “a period of one year or until further order.” He is being accorded with the status of secretary to the government of India which takes care of his seniority post-retirement. The move could inject a new vibrancy in the national carrier that has hit a new …

Cities & States

Tourism a significant employer in Gujarat, poised to grow, says Vipul Mitra

A converge of several factors, such as a steady growth on the domestic front, the labour-intensive nature of the tourism industry and an enabling policy framework are supporting the growth of the tourism sector in Gujarat, says Vipul Mitra, Additional Chief Secretary, Labour & Employment Department, Government of Gujarat. In an exclusive interview, he shares his thoughts on tourism and its impact on economic growth. How is tourism an employer in your state? Is there …

Airports & Airlines

Our non-stops will provide new business prospects between India and Eastern Europe: Michal Fijol, CCO, LOT Polish Airlines

India and central European connect will get a shot in the arm as LOT Polish Airlines connects Warsaw to Delhi with non-stops beginning September 19 this year. The Polish flag-carrier intends to be different by offering flyers a seamless, hassle-free connectivity to the entire European region through its hub at Warsaw. Michal Fijol, CCO and Member of the Board, LOT Polish Airlines was in Delhi recently. Navin Berry, Editor, tourismfirst.org caught up with him to …

NB Blogs

Kapil Chopra puts his stamp on The Postcard; makes the much-anticipated announcement

Life has come full circle for Kapil Chopra. The much-awaited announcement has finally come. After quitting the Oberoi Group earlier this year, there was much speculation about what he would do next. Post his life at the Oberoi, he had assumed an active Chairperson role at EasyDiner, an enterprise he had already been associated with. In recent months, he had begun talking about his luxury brand. Amidst an intimate gathering of media, friends, and his …

The Big Picture

FM Arun Jaitley releases Amitabh Kant’s book on transformative ideas

The book provides food for thought and action Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog has edited a book on thoughts into the future. Transformative ideas for Indian economy and society. A book that took a year into publishing, contributions coming from some of the best minds and domain experts. A look at the sectors that will form the cornerstones of India’s growth. Identifying the challenges and their best solutions, to take the India story forward. As …

The Big Picture

Culture ministry endeavours to piggyback on tourism initiatives, says former secretary Raghvendra Singh

Raghvendra Singh, the erstwhile culture secretary assured that the culture ministry was working in tandem with the ministry of tourism and was eager to piggy ride on some of the MoT initiatives pertaining to outreach. He has since moved to the ministry of textiles. Excerpts from the interview when he was the secretary, ministry of culture. Recently, the culture and tourism ministries were in the eye of the storm, with the “adopt a monument programme”, …

HotelScapes

Boost to affordable accommodation infra, as IBIS open to the idea of brownfield assets

Since its inception in India, IBIS’s growth strategy has been simple. It has focussed on scaling rapidly through greenfield assets, also ensuring direct control on quality. However, in the new scheme of things, JB Singh, President and CEO, InterGlobe Hotels does not rule out the possibility of acquiring assets, albeit with some riders. An exclusive as IBIS turns ten: What has been the special niche that ibis has been able to establish in your ten …

Airports & Airlines

Setback from fuel prices a short-term pain for carriers, says Sanjay Kumar

Sanjay Kumar, an aviation man and former CCO, IndiGo suggested caution in route deployment, both domestic and international. He exuded confidence in growth prospects, in short, and long-term, even if the short-term growth was profitless. Excerpts from the exclusive interaction. Recent pressures like the price of oil, rupee trading low to USD, capacity addition by all leading players may continue for some time. What impact do you see?We know for the airline industry, fuel is …

The Big Picture

Sensitize citizens on behavioural etiquettes, dispel misconceptions through PR campaigns, suggest insiders

The message that India was a safe nation for women travellers needed to be amplified in the global community through concerted outreach programs, noted senior stakeholders. Raj Rana, CEO, Carlson Rezidor – South Asia and Rajiv Kaul, President, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts shared their perspectives on tackling the perception conundrum. How much does this report (Thompson Reuters survey on women’s safety) affect perception? Rajiv Kaul: In the long term, I do not expect any …

Infrastructure

Railways 2.0: Upgradation of infra, streamlining processes is our top priority

Indian Railways was going all out on modernizing stations, upgrading existing tracks, besides weaving a vast network of dedicated freight tracks to speed up passenger trains and improve the passenger experience, mentioned Ashwani Lohani, Chairman, Railway Board. He also shared that the idea of mixed-use of stations to create a financially self-sustaining ecosystem was being pushed with fervor. Excerpts from an exclusive interaction at the Rail Bhavan.  What is being done by the railways that is impacting …

NB Blogs

That the govt. means business is best demonstrated by not being in the business to run Air India: Are we missing an opportunity?

The much-awaited sale of the national carrier attracted no buyer. The writing was on the wall. Some concern had been expressed by the prospective bidders that the terms of proposed sale were not attractive enough. Firstly, the huge debt, estimated to be around INR 48,877 crore, that would come with the airline, the determination of the government to retain 24% equity, and then the uncertain future of Indian aviation were all dampeners. Did the government go ahead, …