People

Raymond Chan is new HKTB’s new regional director

The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has appointed Raymond Chan as regional director, South-East Asia. Chan will lead the development and implementation of HKTB’s marketing strategies in the South-East Asian region. He will be based in Singapore. Prior to this appointment, Chan was the senior manager, trade development for the South-East Asia region for the HKTB. Chan joined HKTB in 2012 and has held various senior positions for marketing, public relations and trade development in Taiwan and the South-East Asia region.


Cyril Czerwonka heads up development at Best Western Hotels

Best Western Hotels and Resorts has appointed Cyril Czerwonka as its new regional director of development Asia. Czerwonka will be based in Best Western’s Asia head office in Bangkok, where he is entrusted with identifying new hotel development opportunities across the Asia-Pacific region.

Czerwonka started his career in the hospitality industry with AccorHotels, focusing on Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia and the Maldives. His experience includes five years at The Ascott, as business development manager for Europe and North Africa. In 2013, Czerwonka joined Dusit International as assistant director of development for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, based in the UAE.


Saurabh Prakash is new VP for Radisson

Radisson Hotel Group has appointed Saurabh Prakash as its new vice-president, commercial Asia Pacific, who will be based at the company’s Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore. Saurabh is a member of the Asia Pacific executive committee and will oversee all aspects of the region’s commercial activities including sales, revenue optimization, distribution, marketing and loyalty.

A highly-skilled hotelier and revenue management strategist with over 15-years experience, Saurabh has worked for industry-leading hotels across Asia Pacific. He spent a majority of his career with Marriott International, where he worked in India, Malaysia, China and Singapore.

A two-time recipient of the Revenue Leader of the Year Award, he has also won the Revenue Management Team of the Year and the prestigious Chairman Circle Awards in his career.

Saurabh holds a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management from the University of Huddersfield, United Kingdom, in conjunction with IHM Aurangabad, India.


Ramu. B, is director of Karnataka Tourism

Ramu. B, of the Indian Administrative Service, has been appointed as the director of the Karnataka State Tourism Department. The 2010-batch IAS officer, Ramu. B, earlier served as the District Collector in Chamarajanagar.  His priority in the new role would be to improve the marketing of Karnataka tourism.


Madhav Sehgal is new GM at Andaz Delhi

Andaz Delhi has recently appointed Madhav Sehgal as the general manager of the hotel. Sehgal’s hospitality journey began in the year 2000 with assignments in various management roles with hotel chains in both Canada and India. Prior to joining the Andaz, Sehgal’s last assignment was at Hyatt Regency Chennai, having several executive roles within the brand with properties like Hyatt Bangalore and the Hyatt Regency Delhi.


Deepika Rao takes charge at Roots Corporation

The Indian Hotels Company (IHCL) has announced the appointment of Deepika Rao as managing director and ceo of Roots Corporation, a subsidiary of IHCL that owns and manages the Ginger brand of hotels.

Having completed the Tata Administrative Services (TAS) leadership programme, Rao started her career with Tata Motors in 2000. She has had several stints across functions in various Tata Group companies for the last 18 years. She will move to her current role from her previous position as vice president Asset Management at IHCL, where she was responsible for leading solutions for margin enhancement at the company.

Ginger is India’s fastest growing budget brand of hotels.


Stuart Allison steps up at Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises, a division of Carnival Corporation, has appointed Stuart Allison as senior vice-president, Asia-Pacific planning and operations, to step up its operations in the Pacific region.

Allison is based in Sydney and will be directly responsible for Carnival’s China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore business, while retaining revenue and operations oversight for the Australia and New Zealand business. Allison will report to Deanna Austin, newly appointed chief commercial officer for the Princess Cruises brand, who currently leads global deployment and revenue management.


Sam Lay is senior director at CWT Meetings & Events

Sam Lay has been appointed as senior director for Asia Pacific of Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s meeting and events division, based in Singapore.  He will report to Cindy Fisher, senior vice president and global head, CWT Meetings & Events.

Lay is accredited as a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), bringing more than 17 years of experience in the meetings and events industry, having worked at organisations such as the Singapore Tourism Board and Suntec International among others. At Suntec International, he headed the planning and development for some new convention projects in Asia. Prior to joining CWT Meetings & Events, he was the senior director for Greater China at BCD Meetings & Events.


Santosh Kumar promoted to MD of HRS India

Hotel solutions provider HRS has announced the launch of a new office in Bangalore, as well as the appointment of Santosh Kumar as managing director for its India operations. Kumar was previously director of corporate solutions for the India operations. Kumar has extensive experience in business development and partnership management in the business travel industry.


Sanjay Keswani is GM at Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Pune

Sanjay Keswani has been appointed general manager at Four Points By Sheraton Hotel & Serviced Apartments, Pune. Prior to his present role, Keswani was the general manager at Holiday Inn New Delhi Mayur Vihar Noida. A seasoned hotelier with an experience that spans over three decades, Keswani started his career in 1986 with Taj Hotels and has since worked for brands like Hyatt, Hilton, and IHG.

Sanjay brings with him a robust experience of over three decades with exposure to different markets across the world. A hospitality graduate from the Institute of Hotel Management Mumbai (Dadar Catering College Mumbai), his hospitality career began as part of the culinary team at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel Mumbai.


Parag Sawhney is GM of Conrad Bengaluru

Parag Sawhney was appointed general manager for Conrad Bengaluru to lead the pre-opening of the second property of the luxury portfolio of Conrad Hotels and Resorts by Hilton in India. Prior to this, he was general manager for Hilton Bangalore Embassy GolfLinks until 2017. His leadership won the Highest Standard of Quality Excellence Awards in APAC by Hilton for his. Sawhney has over 16 years of experience in hotel operations including general management, food and beverage management, front office management and guest relations across the Middle East, United Kingdom and India. Sawhney began his career as a management trainee in Pune, India, at Hotel Kundan Palace and then at Holiday Inn. Sawhney earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel Management and Catering Technology from Dr. D Y. Patil Institute of Hotel Management, Pune, India, and Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom.


KM Chengappa moves to The Leela Palace Chennai

The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts has appointed KM Chengappa as the general manager of The Leela Palace Chennai, the city’s first and only sea facing property.

Chengappa has been long associated with The Leela Group and was previously the resident manager at The Leela Palace Bangalore. In his new role, Chengappa will oversee the 326-room Platinum Leed certified Palace Hotel, spanning six verdant acres with magnificent views of the Bay of Bengal. Inspired by the architectural opulence of the Chettinad Dynasty and home to world-class restaurants and the internationally renowned ESPA spa, it has been ranked one of the best hotels by Conde Nast Traveller (UK), Travel + Leisure India & South Asia and Tripadvisor.

Prior to his appointment, Chengappa was an integral part of the pre-opening team of The Leela Palace Bangalore, which is the only hotel in the city conferred the World Travel Award for leading business hotel for three consecutive years.