Category Archives: Agents

Consolidated revenue from operations grew 3% despite COVID: Thomas Cook

In the financial results announced for the year ending March 31, 2020, Thomas Cook (India) has revealed that despite witnessing the growing impact of COVID-19 across its global network as early as January 2020, its consolidated revenue from operations grew three per cent from Rs66 billion to Rs68.3 billion. The tour operator has now implemented a comprehensive ‘Reimagine Program’ across businesses and processes to adapt to the COVID-19 era of travel. The group witnessed the growing impact of COVID-19 in January 2020 for the Hong Kong business, February for Thomas Cook and SOTC, and in March for the inbound business in TCI.

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Travstarz to buyback its stake from Rezb2b – A CTRIP subsidiary

Amidst the ongoing tensions between China and India, Travstarz has initiated talks with Rezb2b, a CTRIP Subsidiary which holds a minority stake in Travstarz to buy back 100 per cent of its shares. Pankaj Nagpal, Managing Director, Travstarz Global Group shared this update and said, “Travstarz shall soon be a 100% Indian Company once again and all shares will be held by us and my son, Raghuv Nagpal, too shall be joining the Board post the transaction which will be finalized soon.”

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Thomas Cook and SOTC with Apollo Clinics launch ‘Assured’ safe travel program

Thomas Cook (India), along with its Group Company SOTC Travel Ltd., jointly launched ‘Assured’ – a comprehensive program to safe travel in the COVID-19 era, and the companies have partnered with Apollo Clinics for the same. Thomas Cook India and SOTC took customer opinion to understand their concerns and priorities when it comes to travel in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. A significant 75% of the respondents of the Thomas Cook India & SOTC Holiday Readiness Survey stated that health & safety was their overriding concern. To build confidence that it is safe to travel again, the companies have worked jointly with partners across the travel eco-system to create the Thomas Cook & SOTC Assured program, that ensures meticulous health and safety protocols – at every stage of the customer journey – from the various contactless booking processes, safe physical outlets & processes at the sales/servicing pre tour stage, as well as the on-tour stage. Madhavan Menon, Chairman and Managing Director, Thomas Cook India said, “Across Thomas Cook India & SOTC, our customers have been clear that health, hygiene and safety is their prime concern when it comes to travel in the COVID-19 era. Hence, our teams have spent a significant time at the drawing board and worked jointly with key travel partners/stakeholders to create this very comprehensive initiative. I am proud today to launch of The Thomas Cook & SOTC Assured Safe Travel Program, in association with Apollo Clinics – the most respected brand in the healthcare sector, to jointly set a benchmark for customer safety in this new normal for travel.”

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MOT working on certification for service providers to create confidence in tourists: Meenakshi Sharma

Meenakshi Sharma, Director General, Tourism, has said that after releasing the operational advisories in line with the SOPs by MHA and MHoFW, they are now working towards a certification for service providers to create confidence in tourists about their safety and health. Speaking at the 4th TravTalk Digital Conclave, she revealed, “We are working on some kind of certification, where we are going to say that a particular destination/ service provider/ facility is safe and hygienic, in order to create confidence amongst tourists.”

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MOT, along with states, to launch social platform to share authentic tourism information

Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State (I/C), Tourism & Culture, has revealed that they have decided to launch a social platform along with the states where authentic and factually correct information is put up and it can then be shared with agencies, tourists, online aggregators, hotels, tour and travel companies. “It will be a platform by MOT, and the information available on this would mean that we have taken consent from states and have talked to the stakeholders of these states, and then we have allowed any traveller there. If everyone is not in agreement, then there are chances that they go to a state, airport, or destination and they must stay there, then it will be a dent in our trust. Hence to take such a precaution, we have thought about this platform, and it will be there for everyone,” he said.

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Spiceland Holidays offers B2B agents new revenue source with virtual product

Virtual products may soon become a new reality for the travel industry. Riyaz UC, Managing Director of Spiceland Holidays, has found an innovative way to survive in the COVID-19 struck industry. He has launched a seven-day virtual wellness package that is a blend of authentic Kerala ayurvedic concepts and yoga. The retreat has a panel of experts who will guide people on various things such as meditation, yoga asanas, and the right diet with live cooking demos. Riyaz explains, “People around the world are mentally and emotionally depressed right now. They want to get rejuvenated but there is no way they can travel to Kerala or any of the wellness destinations. I have created a seven-day wellness retreat that has a panel of experts who will guide people on various things such as meditation, yoga asanas, and the right diet with live cooking demos. It has guaranteed results.” Riyaz adds that this is also an opportunity for agents to earn some commission. “This product is for the global market. We are selling this package at Rs 10,000 or USD 150 and travel agents can earn a commission of up to USD 40 per package. This is a new source for earning revenue for them,” he says. Spiceland Holidays is a Kerala-based destination management company and one of the largest in South India and Sri Lanka.

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Leverage heritage sites as tool for development & employment generation: NITI Aayog report

A NITI Aayog working group under the chairmanship of Amitabh Kant has presented an action plan for heritage management of monuments in the country. The group in its report pitched for adopting revenue generation model through PPP schemes and voiced its views that the central and state governments should leverage India’s massive network of heritage sites as a tool for development and employment generation by providing improved services to domestic and international tourists. It also said that each ASI heritage site should be a profit centre by generating more revenues from ticketing, souvenir shops, food and beverage outlets. The report also suggested that International Heritage Circuits should be developed jointly with other countries, especially where shared heritage is evident, such as the Buddhist circuit and Hinduism circuit with South Asian and Southeast Asian countries. Among other recommendations, the working group suggested restructuring of ASI, creating a National Archaeological Database, defining bye-laws for prohibited and regulated areas around monuments, support to state governments and other organisations such as temple trusts to boost the tourism sector.

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