Category: Operation

New Delhi, April 09, 2015 : The Union Ministry of Tourism held a meeting for formulating the New National Tourism Policy, 2015 with the representatives of Tourism departments of State Governments and Union Territories as a part of the consultation process with the stakeholders in New Delhi today. Addressing the representatives, the Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge), Tourism (Independent Charge) and Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma said that the New Tourism Policy should become the instrument for substantially increasing India’s share in global tourism beyond the current share of 0.64 percent. The new Tourism Policy should help to boost the growth of Tourism so that its contribution to the GDP of the economy also goes up from the present 6.8 percent, he added.

Dr Mahesh Sharma said that the tourism potential of the country is yet unexploited and we must promote the rich cultural heritage of the country through the medium of tourism. The Minister explained that the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has been promoting Brand India at all platforms of the world and it is due to his efforts that the practice of Yoga got recognition throughout the world. We should take up such similar initiatives, he added.

The Tourism policy should be framed with the participation of all stake holders to ensure everyone delivers with responsibility, the Minister said. The Tourism Policy should contribute to economy, promote cultural heritage, generate employment, should be pro-poor and also include women empowerment, the Minister explained.

The representatives of State and UTs also put forward their suggestions and expressed their concerns related to their regions.

They demanded tax incentives across the tourism related products and services, connectivity for remote areas, single window clearance and equitable treatment for the less developed regions of India.

A demand was also raised for National Calendar of festivals throughout India and a request was made to the Ministry of Tourism to promote the local traditions of particular regions. Other issues related to tourist policies, preservation of water bodies and skill development were also discussed during the meeting.

The representatives of North-Eastern states stressed the need for connectivity, mobile network connectivity, roadside amenities, lifting of travel restrictions for foreigners , skill development among others.

Secretary Tourism, Dr. Lalit Panwar, Joint Secretary Tourism, Mr. Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Tourism, Ms. Usha Sharma and other senior officials were also present in the meeting.

This is the second major meeting which follows the previous meeting with tour operators and travel agencies among others held last month.

Category: Operation

London, 28 Mar, 2015: London’s most sought after five-star hotel, Corinthia Hotel London, is launching the best suite stay experience the city has to offer. Heartfelt hospitality, an award-winning spa, lavish accommodation and the best of London’s shopping and entertainment only a stone’s throw away – Corinthia London is perfectly poised to offer those seeking ‘me time’ and the perfect luxury getaway.

The Corinthia Suite Life package promises an experience that is all about making the guest’s stay exciting, indulgent and memorable. Guests who book two or more nights in a Trafalgar or River Suite, The Actor’s Penthouse, The Explorer’s Penthouse, The Whitehall Penthouse or the Writer’s Penthouse will enjoy the Suite Life with the following exclusive amenities:

Package Price Includes: 
• Daily English Breakfast
• A bottle of Laurent-Perrier Champagne upon arrival
• Butler service on all applicable suites and penthouses
• Complimentary upgrade upon arrival, subject to availability
• A one way airport transfer from London Heathrow or Gatwick
• Complimentary use of the hotel car within Zone 1
• Complimentary pressing of 2 garments
• Complimentary tour of the famed Burlington Arcade given by a traditional Beadle Guard
• Access to the extensive thermal floor at ESPA Life at Corinthia
• Complimentary Wi-fi, the fastest in London with 1 Gigabit uncontended internet connection
• Complimentary 24 hour gym access

As soon as they arrive, guests will be immediately escorted to their suite with in-room check in, complimentary unpacking and packing services, and butler to fulfill every desire - guests can simply unwind while everything is taken care of. Pampering continues with complimentary access to the Thermal Floor at the award-winning ESPA Life at Corinthia spa including the swimming pool, vitality pool, sauna, and steam rooms.

Within walking distance of some of the city’s major shopping districts, including the famous Burlington Arcade, Bond Street and Regent Street, as well the most sought-after attractions, the luxuriously redesigned hotel offers the perfect location to enjoy ample leisure time and explore nearby tourist sites including Trafalgar Square, Westminster and Covent Garden. Corinthia Hotel London is also within easy reach of Mayfair and the City.

Named the Best Spa Hotel in Europe by TripAdvisor, ESPA Life at Corinthia offers a unique integrated wellness approach alongside a luxury spa experience, spanning 3300m2 of luxurious space over four floors where guests can relax and indulge.

Category: Operation

New Delhi, 26 Mar, 2015: The board of EIH Limited, which owns and manages the Oberoi and Trident brands of hotels, has decided to elevate Vikram Oberoi to managing director and chief executive officer from April.

Vikram Oberoi, Executive Chairman PRS Oberoi's son, will succeed SS Mukherji, who will continue as executive vice-chairman. The change, a part of succession planning in the company, means Vikram Oberoi will have responsibility for day-to-day management. Vikram Oberoi is chief operating officer and joint managing director of EIH now.

Vikram Oberoi's cousin, Arjun Oberoi, will continue as an executive director and his designation will change from chief planning officer and joint managing director to managing director-development from April 1, 2015. He will work under the direction of PRS Oberoi.

Mukherji will slip into an advisory role and provide guidance and assistance to the executive chairman, managing director, chief executive officer and other senior management of EIH.

In 2011, when speculation over Vikram Oberoi succeeding PRS Oberoi surfaced, it was set aside promptly. PRS Oberoi had said he had no plans to step down. The latest statement from the company underscores the point. "PRS Oberoi will continue in his present position as executive chairman and there will be no change to his designation or terms of appointment," the company announcement read.

Those who have worked with the Oberois claim that PRS Oberoi is extremely hands-on. "No important decision is ever made without his approval. Very often, he will chart out the execution of decisions also," a former employee of EIH said.

The recent changes could be part of a grooming process. Vikram Oberoi, who will be entrusted with managing the operations of the company, has quite a few challenges on hand.

The elevation of Vikram Oberoi comes at a time when the Indian hospitality sector is going through a transition. A glut of rooms in the luxury segment has led to a substantial decline in occupancy, forcing major hotel companies to think differently, analysts said.

“Competitors like the Taj group and ITC have forayed into the budget segment but Oberoi has not done so to keep the brand intact. It would be interesting to see the policy of the Oberois,” Abhinav Chandak, head of research at Ratnabali Capital Markets Limited, said.

The company landed into debt by building expensive hotels. In 2012, PRS Oberoi had said the company owned too much real estate. "The group over the last few years has significantly reduced its debt burden, adopting the asset light strategy," an ICICI Securities report said.

Since then it has concentrated on managing properties rather than owning them. The company’s debt-to-equity ratio fell to 0.2 in 2013-14 from 0.4 in 2011.

“This strategy has paid off, the balance sheet looks healthy now and in future it will further improve the operating margin,” Chandak said. The company owns around 60 per cent of its inventory of 4,752 rooms.

Analysts have been bullish about EIH since Reliance Industries picked up a strategic stake in 2010, which many saw as a move to counter a possible threat from ITC. Reliance Industries has an 18.5 per cent stake in the company while ITC has a 14.98 per cent stake.

EIH is India’s third largest hospitality company, though it ranked second at one point. But that is not PRS Oberoi's concern as he has always said, "We wish to be the best, not the biggest."

Category: Operation

Washington, 24 Mar, 2015: A spacious full-floor apartment in the Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces of India owned property the Pierre Hotel, facing Central Park in Manhattan on Fifth Avenue, listed at a mind boggling $500,000 a month, has found a taker for the month of December.

The apartment, touted as the most expensive rental property in New York City, was taken by a tenant whose identity was not revealed by the listing agents, according to The Wall Street Journal. The same renter has also reserved a separate $150,000-a-month suite in the hotel for guests.

Jonathan Miller, president of appraisal firm Miller Samuel, said the $500,000-a-month listing sets a record for New York City residential leasing.

The pricier rental, which came on the market at the end of October, leased for full asking price to an international renter, while the less expensive suite rented for close to asking price, according to listing agents Therese Bateman and Andres Perea-Garzon of Town Fifth Avenue. The tenant has reserved both spaces through the end of December, Bateman said.

Bateman declined to give the renter’s nation of origin, though she said the listing received a strong response from Europe, the Middle East and British Commonwealth nations, the Journal report said.

The 39th-floor of the Pierre Hotel would typically list for $30,000 a night, while the Getty Suite rents for $8,000 a night.

Pieere had hosted the prime minister of India Narendra Modi at a grand reception in September.

The apartment combines the hotel’s presidential suite and several other hotel rooms, all of which come up to a massive 4,786-square-foot residence with six bedrooms and six bathrooms, the Journal reported.

The rental apartment has views of Central Park and comes with access to the hotel’s amenities, including its two high-end restaurants and a chauffeur-driven Jaguar.

The Pierre was once owned by Standard Oil tycoon John Paul Getty but has since been sold to Taj Hotels, part of the Tata group, founded by Ratan Tata. It has played host to countless celebrities, including Lady Gaga.

The hotel’s spectacular three-story penthouse, owned by stock investor Martin Zweig, is currently on the market for $95 million, said the Daily News.

The most expensive rental property in the US, however, is a house in Beverly Hills, California, called Beverly House, which at a price of $600,000 a month, pips the Pierre’s price tag.

Category: Operation

New Delhi, 23 Mar, 2015: MoT sanctions Rs 50 cr for Puri Rath Yatra The Union Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned an amount of Rs 50 crore for the Nabakalebar Rath Yatra Festival in Puri, Odisha. Announcing this at a high-level meeting of officials in Bhubaneswar on March 21, the Union Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge), Culture (Independent Charge) and Civil Aviation.

Thomas Cook launches 'Weekend Beyond Borders' Thomas Cook (India) has launched 'Weekend Beyond Borders' for travellers to make the most of this year's 13 long weekends with 13 hand-picked international destinations. The destinations, which offer simple visa formalities, include Turkey, Thailand, Mauritius, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Jordon, Seychelles, Hong Kong, Oman, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Indonesia.

Sterling Resorts launches ‘Save the Sparrow’ initiative Sterling Holiday Resorts, India's leading Leisure Hospitality and Vacation Ownership company, has launched a unique edutainment program at its resorts in an effort to contribute to save the sparrow from going extinct. Sterling's ‘Save the Sparrow’ initiative is a part of the Company's ongoing effort to be eco-friendly.

Category: Operation

Le Méridien Gurgaon, Delhi NCR Debuts Renovated Public Spaces, Restaurant and Bar. Opening Celebrated with Exclusive Live Performance by 
French Bossa Nova Band Nouvelle Vague 
Gurgaon, 12 Mar, 2015: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced the opening of Le Méridien Gurgaon, Delhi NCR, following the rebranding of an existing hotel. The opening of Le Méridien Gurgaon signifies the brand’s robust growth in 2015 as Le Méridien plans to debut more new hotels than any other year since Starwood acquired the brand in 2005. In Asia Pacific, Le Méridien is on track to open eight new hotels this year in vibrant locations, including Paro, Bhutan; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Putrajaya, Malaysia and Qingdao and Leshan, China.

“Le Méridien is enjoying strong growth momentum worldwide, resonating with creative and curious minded travelers who have an affinity for the arts, culture and cuisine,” said Brian Povinelli, Global Brand Leader, Le Méridien and Westin. “As India’s important hospitality market with tremendous growth potential, Gurgaon has long been on our short list of dynamic Indian cities that share our brand passions. We are confident that Le Méridien Gurgaon will provide a unique experience, unlocking the destination through locally influenced design, programming and cuisine.”

Owned by Oriental South Delhi Hotels Private Limited, Le Méridien Gurgaon is strategically located within the bustling business hub of Gurgaon, offering convenient access to major corporate parks and thoroughfares, such as Global Business Park, DLF Cyber City and Golf Course Road. It also lies within close proximity to notable cultural centers, including Epicenter, Kingdom of Dreams as well as renowned art galleries. The hotel exemplifies the perfect combination of style and comfort to unlock Gurgaon, which has emerged as a melting pot of ethnicities with an enriched local culture and a variety of arts, music, cuisine and cultural festivities.

The hotel features 285 guestrooms, including 22 suites, with contemporary furnishings; a renovated signature dining venue, Latest Recipe; and a new Longitude bar. Guests will immediately be enthralled by a modern façade, which opens into the hotel’s signature and award-winning arrival experience, Le Méridien Hub™.

Re-interpreting the traditional lobby into a social gathering place, the Hub experience is defined by four unique elements: large-scale artwork in high impact areas; the sensory experience, illustrated through Le Méridien’s signature scent, sound and use of light; UNLOCK ART™ program, featuring artist designed key card collections that offer access to a local art gallery; and a 24-hour curated soundtrack by French Bossa Nova band Nouvelle Vague. Le Méridien Hub™ also features the signature Master Barista, a role designed to meet the growing demands of coffee lovers at every Le Méridien hotel worldwide. The Master Baristas lead coffee-related initiatives at each hotel, serve as a coffee cultural ambassador, and maintain knowledge of current coffee trends within the destination.

Other hotel amenities include 1,600 square meters of conference and meeting space, encompassing a divisible grand ballroom with an 8 meter tall ceiling and area of 390 square meters that opens to well landscaped lawns; a well-equipped Fitness Center and pool; a tranquil spa; and a bar, Ikandy, setting the after-dark scene with live music, transformative lighting and innovative offerings.

“We are very proud to be a part of this rebranding effort, offering a great new hospitality option in the bustling millennium city of Gurgaon,” said Ms. Raunaq Kohli of Oriental South Delhi Hotels Private Limited. “We are confident that the hotel, combining chic modern design with Le Méridien’s focus on the arts, creative cuisine and inspiring local culture, will create uniquely memorable experiences and strengthen guest loyalty, one customer at a time.”

“Today is an important day as we welcome our guests to Le Méridien, Gurgaon, Delhi NCR. We look forward to helping our guests unlock this unique destination through a redefined, contemporary experience,” said David Hopcroft, General Manager, Le Méridien Gurgaon, Delhi NCR.

Le Méridien Gurgaon, Delhi NCR opened its doors with the brand’s signature First Night celebrations, drawing a glitterati of curious minded guests from Gurgaon and Delhi. French Bossa Nova band Nouvelle Vague, a LM100 member and the brand’s global music partner, infused the Hub with their live beats, transforming the space into a completely social sphere. Flying in from the UK, The People Pile engaged guests with their alternative and energetic technical dance performances. In addition, the evening included an art performance that recalls traces of Gurgaon history; a tantalizing culinary repertoire, including local flavored éclairs; and sparkling drinks that kept spirits high.


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