Category Archives: Interviews

Suresh Prabhu inaugurates Aahar 2018


Aahar, The International Food & Hospitality Fair, New Delhi, organised by India Trade Promotion Organisation, commenced today at Pragati Maidaan. Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation of India, inaugurated the fair. He said,”Food is a very important part of Indian culture and has been a great attraction for the people who visit our country. Every state in our country has different cuisine. Over a period of time, we have started processing food and this is a great transition. India is the largest producer of milk and the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables. Therefore, all this food which is produced is creating a value chain, supply chain, thus adding to the real economic opportunities. This is just a beginning. I don’t think we have even touched the surface of the opportunities that lies in our country and therefore I am happy, that is exactly what has been showcased at Aahar.” Talking further about the development, he said,”Also, under the recent policy, it will be made sure that the farmers are not just circulating their products within the country but they are being exported as well. To do that, we already have tied up with few countries, and they are really interested and has shown us huge support. We are going to provide air support to this activity. I am very happy to say that we have decided that wherever there is a possibility of agricultural produce being exported will be provided with air lifting facility. Such potential spots will be identified and based on that civil aviation will provide aerial support so that our products can further be exported in a fast matter. Within …

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Meininger Hotels to launch nine hotels this year


Meininger Hotels will be launching nine hotels this year. Peter Kerkar, Group CEO, Cox & Kings says, “We are rapidly growing new model of hotels called Meininger which are hybrid hotels. We will open nine new properties this year. We have a very special relation with the Indian market. Meininger is a unique hotel product that combines the service and comfort of an international budget hotel with hostel-like facilities, such as a guest kitchen and a games zone. The central location, high quality furnishings and fair prices appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds.

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Hyatt names Mark Vondrasek as its Chief Commercial Officer


Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced the appointment of Mark Vondrasek as the company’s Chief Commercial Officer. In this role, Vondrasek will be responsible for the previously announced commercial services organisation driving guest and customer engagement functions while working across the organization to enhance the frequency and level of engagement with guests. Vondrasek will assume his new role effective March 1, 2018, continuing to report to Mark Hoplamazian, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Mark’s track record as a transformational leader, his past experience and recent success in accelerating the World of Hyatt loyalty program make him uniquely qualified for this role,” said Hoplamazian. “His ability to identify and advance innovative ideas that deepen relationships with customers is vital to our experience-based growth strategy.” Vondrasek will continue to oversee the World of Hyatt loyalty platform as well as new growth platforms, including Miraval and exhale, along with global sales, revenue management, distribution strategy, corporate marketing, brands, communications, digital, consumer insights and global contact centers. Information technology will report into Alex Zoghlin, global head of data strategy, innovation and technology. Hyatt further announced Jim Chu has been selected as global head of development and owner relations to maintain and enhance the momentum in new hotel development around the world, continuing to report to Chuck Floyd, global president of operations. Building on the previously announced streamlined structure for full service and select service operations, managed and franchised operations and development will reside within each region. Additionally, James Francque has been appointed head of transactions, focusing on new investment opportunities for the company, and reporting to Mark Hoplamazian. “I am extremely grateful to have a team of versatile leaders equipped to lead across a variety …

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Kempinski conducts its roadshow in Delhi


Kempinksi has a organised three-city roadshow in India- Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai. The Delhi roadshow happened on Feb 21 at The Imperial, New Delhi. Theo Ocks, Vice President-Sales, Kempinski Hotels, says, “This is the first time that we have come to India with such a large group of hotels. The agenda is to meet the key leadership of travel agencies, wholesalers, tour operators in the market and know what exactly they are looking for in Kempinksi, in terms of services and locations and how can we best serve them.”

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AccorHotels to grow in Kochi and Sriperumbudur

Jean-Michel Casse, Chief Operating Officer India and South Asia, AccorHotels 2

In India, AccorHotels has a network of 46 hotels spanning across nine international brands in 22 cities. According to Jean-Michel Cassé, Chief Operating Officer, India and South Asia, AccorHotels, “Mid-segment hotels form a larger percentage of the total room inventory, also accounting for nearly 50 percent of all the hotel rooms in the country. In this segment, we see a significant demand and supply gap, which we seek to bridge with our Novotel and ibis brands. We see this growing demand as a potential growth engine for the future. Our recent openings in Lucknow, Dwarka, Chennai OMR, Pune and Goa along with upcoming openings in Kochi and Sriperumbudur further highlight our focus to cater to the needs of a diversified growing base of business and leisure travellers alike.”

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AccorHotels to bring Raffles, Banyan Tree brands into India in 2018


Affirming India to be a major focus area in the Asia Pacific region for AccorHotels, Gaurav Bhushan, Global Chief Development Officer, AccorHotels, reveals that the company is bringing its luxury brands into India this year. “We have a very interesting line up in 2018 for our luxury and leisure hotel brands. Raffles, Fairmont and Banyan Tree are the brands that we are bringing into India. We are very excited about the opportunity. While the mid scale segment is increasing steadily and doing well, there is also a very big opportunity in the luxury, the lifestyle and the leisure space. That is the new frontier from our perspective.” He adds that the company expects to add five hotels with an approximate key count of 1,000-plus rooms to its network in 2018. “We already have 45 operating hotels in India and are actively signing up new hotels. So India is a major focus for us in the Asia Pacific region. And we expect our growth to be very strong and very robust in the next few years,” Bhushan says.

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Choice Hotels appoints Chad Fletcher as Vice President of Global Sales


Choice Hotels International has announced Chad Fletcher has joined the company as Vice President of Global Sales. In this role, Fletcher will lead the company’s corporate, travel agency and group sales strategy to support the continued growth of business travel. He will oversee the team responsible for maintaining relationships with key corporate clients, and work with Fortune 500 companies and large, global travel agencies. Fletcher joins Choice Hotels from the Avis Budget Group, where he most recently served as vice president of commercial sales, North America, where he successfully implemented business-wide strategies to improve profitability and spur continuous growth. Earlier in his career, Fletcher held key leadership sales positions at Daylight Transport and DHL Express. Fletcher earned his bachelor’s degree from California State University, Fullerton.

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Four Seasons and Embassy Group to introduce new luxury hotel and private residences in Bengaluru


Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Embassy Group will open a new Four Seasons hotel and private residences later this year in Bengaluru. Located within Embassy ONE, they will debut as Four Seasons Hotel Bengaluru at Embassy ONE and Four Seasons Private Residences Bengaluru at Embassy ONE in summer 2018. “We are proud to be part of the incredible growth happening in Bengaluru, and look forward to introducing a new hub of activity in the city,” says Jitu Virwani, Chairman and Managing Director, Embassy Group. “Whether browsing the shops, dining at one of the restaurants, staying with us at the Hotel, or living with us as a private residence owner, Embassy ONE will offer a range of luxury experiences. Through our partnership with Four Seasons, guests and residents can expect the highest levels of personalised service that the brand is known to deliver around the world, and is unmatched in Bengaluru, helping to distinguish Embassy ONE as offering the best accommodation and living experience in the city.” “Bengaluru is a very exciting city, in part through the tremendous progress of industry, technology, research and education, with just as much to offer in the way of culture and nightlife,” says J. Allen Smith, President and CEO, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “It’s attractive to business and leisure travellers, and with a growing population of more than ten million, is also a significant residential market.” Continues Smith, “India is an incredibly important market for us at Four Seasons, and we have been looking for the right opportunity to expand our presence here. This project is the perfect opportunity to do so, in an ideal location and with our visionary partners at Embassy …

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Radisson Jodhpur opens with 96 rooms

Radisson Jodhpur

Radisson Jodhpur opens with 96 rooms and is the first Radisson to open in the city. “I am delighted to welcome our first Radisson hotel to Jodhpur. The hotel’s architectural grandeur combined with the brand’s service ethos will enthrall guests travelling to the city. We appreciate the commitment that Madhav Heritage has made in this hotel and the trust they have demonstrated in the Radisson brand,” said Raj Rana, chief executive officer, South Asia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. Spread over around 70,000 square feet, the hotel’s architecture is reminiscent of Rajasthan’s erstwhile culture and style. The hotel constitutes 96 rooms across Superior, Business Class, Studio Suites, Single Bedroom Suite, Two Bedroom Duplex Suites and Presidential Suite categories. Business Class Rooms include a separate living room and Deluxe Suites feature bathtub, powder room, microwave and TV in the separate living room. The hotel also features a state-of-the-art fitness center with modern equipment and a spa service with two treatment rooms for a rejuvenating stay. Radisson Jodhpur offers a wide selection of delightful dining options including Ekatra, a multicuisine all-day-dining restaurant serving delicacies from around the globe; Abhiras, a rooftop Indian specialty restaurant with modern potpourri of cuisines strewn across India; J Bar, an exclusive terrace grill and bar featuring unique bar-be-que innovations paired with international and IMFL liquor blends and 1459, the confectioneries and pastry shop at the lobby level. Radisson Jodhpur boasts over 30,000 square feet of total meeting space comprising three banquet halls. Equipped with high-speed, wireless internet and audio-visual support, the meeting space is ideal for corporate conferences, contemporary wedding receptions, reunions and more. The banquet facilities at the hotel also feature a party lawn spread over an …

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Budget disappoints hospitality sector: Dilip Datwani

Mr. Dilip Datwani,President, Hotel & Restaurant Association of Western India

Dilip Datwani, President, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI), says, “The hospitality sector has been once again almost entirely ignored in the Union Budget. What the Government needs to realise is that Incredible India will be a success only when the Hospitality Industry, which is a key driver to our economic growth gets right attention. Developments in ancillary sectors like infrastructure and aviation are certainly positive but that alone isn’t adequate. Promoting and encouraging investments in hospitality can place India on the map of the tourism destinations of the world.”

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