In this immediate role, he will help deliver great customer experience and international service standards at Sterling Holidays. He will also help bring international best practices to Sterling Holidays.
Niesel completed his education from the prestigious Cornell University and is an industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience in hospitality and management.
Commenting on his appointment Niesel said, “Having seen changes in Chinas hospitality industry and customer expectations over the last 25 years, I am keen to apply my learnings to India. These are truly exciting times to join Sterling Holidays during its expansion into some of the most recognized tourist destinations in India.”
Prior to joining Sterling Holidays, he has been involved with some of the world’s leading hospitality and lifestyle companies including founding Events in the Sky Asia and holding several senior executive positions with Qatar National Hotels, Sofitel Luxury Hotels, IHG and Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts.
Speaking about the appointment, Managing Director, Sterling Holiday Resorts Limited, Ramesh Ramanathan says, “We are confident that Damian’s vast experience across markets will be of importance as we work towards making Sterling Holidays the largest holiday lifestyle company in this country. His global expertise and exposure to lifestyle management is an added advantage as we endeavor to provide our guests differentiated travel and holiday experiences.”
Sterling Holiday Resorts Limited is a leading Leisure Hospitality company in India. Sterling was incorporated in 1986 with the vision of delivering Great Holiday experiences to Indian Families. To achieve this vision, the company pioneered Vacation Ownership in India and set about building a network of leisure resorts at some of the best holiday destinations in India.
Currently, Sterling follows a hybrid model inviting both members and guests to holiday and has an inventory of 1896 rooms spread across 26 resorts located in Agra, Corbett, Daman, Darjeeling, Dindi, Dharamshala, Gangtok, Goa, Karwar, Kodaikanal, Kufri, Lonavala, Manali, Munnar, Mussoorie, Nainital, Ooty, Puri, Sariska, Shirdi, Thekkady, Yelagiri and Yercaud. The company also has 16 additional sites where it plans to add new resorts in the coming years.
Sterling Holiday Resorts Limited is now a 100 per cent independently managed subsidiary of Thomas Cook (India) Limited (TCIL), India’s leading integrated travel and travel related financial services company. TCIL is a part of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited, a $38.2 billion global investment and insurance holding company, headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Fairfax’s portfolio of companies includes several well-known global companies in the insurance, re-insurance and restaurant chains sectors.
In India, Fairfax has a majority holding in TCIL, and has also co-promoted ICICI Lombard. In 2012, through its Indian investment business, Fairbridge, Fairfax stepped up its pace of acquisitions commencing with TCIL, and subsequently Ikya Human Capital Solutions (now Quess) and in 2014, Sterling Holidays Resorts Limited. Most recently Sterling Holidays acquired ‘Nature Trails Resorts Private Limited’ – an adventure holiday company that operates resorts at four unique destinations in Maharashtra.