Category: Association

Chandigarh, Oct 15, 2015
THE CHEFS OF TRICITY (Mohali, Chandigarh and Panchkula) gathered in a meeting at Hotel Lemontree, Industrial Area, Phase - I Chandigarh, to announce the launch of THE TRICITY CHEFS ASSOCIATION. Chief Guest of the Function, GURBAX RAWAT, DEPUTY MAYOR, presided the meeting and appreciated the step initiated by CULINARY FRATERNITY. The gathering honored Chef Sanjay Sharma for getting the recognition by the World Association of Chefs Societies.

The Chefs discussed in the meeting about the problems faced by the culinary fraternity in the present day, which resulted for their set up of ‘THE TRICITY CHEFS ASSOCIATION’. Some of the major names in the meeting include Chef Sanjay Sharma (WACS certified judge), Chef Sanjeev Pahuja (Sr. Sous Chef, Lemontree Hotel Chandigarh), Chef Sunil Singh (Restaurant Owner), Chef Naveen Handa (Executive Chef, JW Marriot Hotel) & Chef Rajiv Majumdaar (Executive Chef, Hyatt Hotel).

CHEF SANJAY SHARMA (WACS certified judge), stated “there is a dire need of an Association of the chef at the tricity level chefs which will be supported by the All India Chef Association.” He further added “the association will guide & work in the placement of budding chefs.

Also the association will organize the competition in the near future, in order to bring the hidden talent of the amateur food lovers.”
Corporate Comm India (CCI Newswire) 

Category: Association

Social networks let firms connect with consumers via inexpensive means, say experts

Mumbai, April 29, 2015

Hospitality companies appear to be significantly increasing their social media spends as the digital world has “revolutionised” marketing strategies, say company officials and experts.

Hotel chains such as Indian Hotels Company (IHC) of the Tatas and Marriott International are coming up with innovative ideas to engage with customers as part of their strategy to boost business in a changing world.

“We have restructured the organisation and have taken a left turn from our traditional sales and marketing, since the focus is to meet the digital world today,” says Rakesh Sarna, Managing Director and Chief Executive of IHC.

The 112-year-old company’s plan is to aggressively use digital and social media to expand the Taj brand by ensuring search engine optimisation and e-commerce connect with different market segments.

Zafar Rais, CEO, MindShift Interactive, a digital outreach agency, believes this is a right strategy. “Social media empowers companies to engage with the right audience in a sustained manner, constantly engaging and increasing influence,” he says.

Around the world, hospitality companies are increasingly using social networks to promote their businesses.

“In the US, 90 per cent of hotels have a Facebook page, and this trend is rising in India as well. It creates loyalty, raises visibility and attracts new guests,” says Irfan Mirza, Director, VM Salgaocar Institute of International Hospitality Education. Agrees Tripti Lochan, CEO, VML, a digital marketing and advertising agency, part of the WPP Group: “With social media influencing even a destination choice for consumers and Google maps being the de-facto navigator, hospitality brands are going digital to speak to the consumer at every stage of the travel cycle, from the dreaming of vacation, to post vacation sharing.”

Reaching out

In a bid to increase the JW Marriott brand recall, the company recently launched #MarriottChefChat with Chef Savio Fernandes.

Though the aim was to promote the Valentine’s Day celebration and treats, the hotel decided to create an engagement opportunity with its followers.

Besides, Marriott International Asia Pacific launched two services for greater online engagement with customers: MeetingsImagined.com and a ‘Meeting Services’ app.

These services are intended to assist planners and organisers, and provide expert tips on everything related to meetings, including networking activities. MeetingsImagined.com is to be launched across around 100 properties throughout Asia Pacific, and 13 fully serviced Marriott International properties in India.

Marriott International, which has more than 4,100 properties and 18 brands across 79 countries, has been studying the way planners interface with hotels when they organise events, says Peggy Fang Roe, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer-Asia Pacific at Marriott.

The #MarriottChefChat saw some 125 tweets from 22 contributors. The total reach on Friday, February 13, was as high as 21,241. The hotel saw an increase in interactions on the page, with the campaign leading to an increase in brand recall, according to MindShift Metrics, the research arm of MindShift Interactive.

“It’s no secret that social media has revolutionised how we market hotels online. Never before has it been so easy to reach so many, so inexpensively,” sums up Arashdeep Sandhu, Head, MindShift Metrics, a research arm of MindShift Interactive. Business Line

Category: Association
Mumbai, April 24, 2015: Six years after Indian Hotels Company Ltd (IHCL), a Tata Group firm, acquired the landmark Sea Rock Hotel in Bandra, a Mumbai suburb, Chief Executive Rakesh Sarna is optimistic that a legal dispute over the property could be resolved soon, and that the company would be able to develop the asset.

In June 2009, IHCL had announced the purchase of a majority stake (85 per cent) in ELEL Hotels and Investments, which owned the Sea Rock hotel, for Rs. 680 crore. IHCL already owns the Taj Lands End hotel, across the road from Sea Rock hotel. The reconstruction plan was aimed at fully integrating Sea Rock with Lands End in a synchronised manner.

In 2010, IHCL had shifted its investment in ELEL into a special purpose vehicle. IHCL had the option to take the asset back on its balance sheet in three years. Subsequently, a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Mumbai High Court challenging the additional floor space of the project.

“The level of activity has picked up at Sea Rock, and that is why we have thought it fit to bring the transaction on to our balance sheet,” Sarna told reporters. “Hopefully, we will bring this (litigation) to some sort of conclusion either way this fiscal,” he added.

The Sea Rock hotel had suffered severe damage in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts. In 2005, it was acquired by the Claridges Group, owned by industrialist Suresh Nanda. Stating that the company was “trying to overcome the issue, given the available floor space index (FSI) norms,” Sarna added the matter was sub judice.

Clear permits

Asked about regulatory clearances, Sarna said an environment permit was still pending. “We need 24 permits, of which 23 are taken care of,” he said.

The CEO maintained that the focus would be on progression at IHCL, and that he would not speculate if PAT (profit after tax) was two years away or later. “We are focussed on showing progression, in the way we have more cash, and how we can simultaneously use that new resource to build the pipeline, and improve profitability,” he said.

Stating that his biggest anxiety was the perishable nature of developmental opportunities, the CEO added the number of opportunities (hotels) would reduce over time. “We will soon be oversaturated. Prime locations will be gone. I want to make sure that we don’t lose our prime locations,” he said.

Sarna added though the key is progression, it is “critical to have your balance sheet in order, to see the opportunities that are coming your way. We also need to protect the sanctity of our asset at Land’s End (Bandra).”
Business Line. 

Category: Association
Site Museum will Promote Great Indian History and help Promote Tourism: Tourism & Culture Minister

New Delhi, April 08, 2015
The Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge), Tourism (Independent Charge) and Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma in the presence of Chairman, Aga Khan Development Network, His Highness the Aga Khan laid the foundation stone of a Site Museum at the Humayun’s Tomb Complex in New Delhi . Humayun’s Tomb is one of the 25 Adarsh or “model” monuments recently designated by the Union Ministry of Culture. Construction of the Site Museum is expected to take 30 months.

Appreciating the efforts of Aga Khan Development Network(AKDN) in around the Humayun Tomb complex, Dr Mahesh Sharma said that it is a classical example of synergy between the government and a non-profit organisation in preserving the heritage of the country and taking it to the world. The Minister said that the Site Museum will be a recognition of cultural heritage of the country and help promote tourism. India has a rich cultural heritage but we have not been able to bring it fully before the world, Dr Sharma added. The Site Museum will be one such effort to portray the great Indian history, the Minister elaborated.

His Highness the Aga Khan appreciated the government support to the path-breaking initiative of AKDN , the Urban Renewal Initiative, in revitalizing and unifying the three historical sites of Humayun’s Tomb, Nizamuddin Basti and Sunder Nursery into one unique heritage precinct. The Site Museum will provide a gateway to all the three and will give an insight into history of the Mughal empire, His Highness the Aga Khan explained.

The Archaeological Survey of India called for the creation of a Site Museum In response to the dramatic increase in visitors to the Humayun’s Tomb complex. The Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) – which has undertaken conservation works on over 50 monuments in Delhi, including the restoration of Humayun’s Tomb – proposed the construction of a state-of-the-art site museum to be built at the entrance to the World Heritage Site. The Ministry of Tourism has pledged Rs 49 Crores (US$ 8.0 million) towards the construction cost of the Site Museum.

The purpose of the Museum is to provide a better understanding of Mughal architecture and building craft traditions and it will also shed light on the development of the Nizamuddin area over the last millennium. Perhaps most significantly, it will highlight the area’s pluralist cultural traditions.

The Site Museum will include a permanent exhibit, galleries for temporary exhibits, an auditorium for film screenings, a souvenirs shop and a café. Live demonstrations of building crafts such as stonework and plaster work, as well as other prominent Mughal crafts, will be a permanent activity.

The sunken, low-profile design, which was inspired by the traditional baolis of northern India, ensures that the visual aesthetics of adjacent 16th century monuments, such as the Sabz Burj, Isa Khan’s Tomb and Sundarwala Burj, will not be disturbed.

Two million people visit the Humayan’s Tomb complex annually, including over 500,000 children. An even larger number of pilgrims – from across the world and of many faiths – visit the adjoining Dargah of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, the 14th century Sufi saint.

Secretary Culture Mr Ravindra Singh, Secretary Tourism Dr Lalit Panwar and senior officials of Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Tourism and AKDN were present on the occasion. CCI Newswire


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