Category Archives: Agents

Over 85% respondents keen to travel between Oct–Dec 2021: Thomas Cook India & SOTC study

Thomas Cook India and its Group Company SOTC Travel, have jointly surveyed over 2500 customers across India’s key metros like Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai and mini-metros like Pune and Tier 2 & 3 source markets, including Jaipur, Lucknow, Madurai, Kochi, Indore, Cuttack, Nagpur, Ahmedabad and Surat. The survey reveals insightful customer data, behaviour and travel trends with UAE (Dubai-Abu Dhabi) and Expo 2020 Dubai emerging as a clear driver of international demand for Q4 2021: Significant Travel Desire: 85% of respondents keen to travel (77% International, 61% domestic) Over 60% indicate clear intent to visit UAE with Expo 2020 Dubai topping the leader board of favourites; also cricket fixtures of IPL & T20   With re-opening of borders, vaccine acceptance/easing of restrictions, Indians are displaying strong travel appetite for UAE (Dubai & Abu Dhabi). Expo 2020 Dubai, starting October 1, 2021 and continuing up to March 31, 2022, has created a significant opportunity – with over 47% of respondents indicating keen interest to visit the event at least once this year.   Demand for Expo 2020 Dubai extends across a range of segments: Business Travellers (MNCs, India corporate houses, SMEs) & Trade Associations: 15% MICE Travellers: 25% Leisure Travellers (Families/ Extended families, Couples, Millennials, Seniors): 45% Education: 15%   No. of Visits & duration of stay:  47% respondents are likely to visit Expo 2020 at least once between October – December 2021 57% respondents indicated they would visit the Expo more than once (Oct 2021 – March 2022) Average duration of stay: ranges from 4 – 7 nights   Willingness to spend: Approx. Rs. 70,000 for a trip of 4 nights to upward of Rs. 250,000 per person for luxury …

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Thomas Cook India opens new franchise in Surat

Thomas Cook (India) has expanded its footprint in Gujarat with the launch of a new Gold Circle Partner franchise outlet in Surat. This expansion augments Thomas Cook India’s distribution and reach in Gujarat to 10 consumer access centres: 5 owned branches and 5 Gold Circle Partner (franchise) outlets across Gujarat state. In this new age of travel (Covid-era), customers are understandably seeking the guidance and reassurance of holiday experts to navigate through the complexities and changes in travel and health protocols. To guide and support its customers with their travel plans and requirements, Thomas Cook India has set up a new Gold Circle Partner franchise outlet at Surat. Additionally, to build consumer confidence in travel, Thomas Cook India has launched TravShield – comprehensive Safety Commitment & Assured Safe Travel Program in association with Apollo Clinics that covers every aspect of physical safety as well as mental and financial security to give the customer complete peace of mind. Over the past 18 months there has been a strong pent-up demand and with the easing of restrictions and re-opening of borders, Gujarat’s consumers are displaying a strong travel desire for travel to international favourites like Maldives, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Switzerland, France, Austria, Turkey, Egypt and Russia; also domestic locales like Goa, Andamans, Kashmir, Leh-Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, etc. Key segments driving growth from Gujarat include families/extended families, couples, group of friends, millennials/young professionals, businesses and b-leisure. Thomas Cook’s Gold Circle Partner outlet in Surat offers consumers end-to-end travel solutions with a bouquet of travel and travel related services, including: International & Domestic Holidays (Group tours, Personalised Holidays, Cruises, etc.), Value Added Services like Travel Insurance; Visa Services, etc.

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‘This move will certainly be a long-term play for the Tatas’: Madhavan Menon

Sharing an encouraging note on the latest development involving the disinvestment of Air India, Madhavan Menon, Managing Director – Thomas Cook India Group, says, “The 100% disinvestment of Air India along with Air India Express (AIXL) and Air India SATS Airport Services (AISATS) by the Government of India is a significant move that reiterates its commitment towards disinvestment and certainly one that we welcome wholeheartedly. Across our companies at Thomas Cook, SOTC, TCI and our global Destination Management Specialists, we  couldn’t have hoped for a better buyer than the Tata Group who had created a world class airline in 1932, with the Maharaja ruling global skies till it was nationalised in 1953. This move will certainly be a long term play for the Tatas and with noteworthy aviation brands in their portfolio, several strategic options that are available to the team at Bombay House. We look forward to supporting the Tata Group and a re-emergence of the tourism sector with a powerful Indian aviation brand – leading from the front.”  

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Cora Cora Maldives has appointed Black Turtle as its official India representative

A new resort that has opened in the Maldives on October 1, 2021 has appointed Black Turtle as its official India representative. The representative company is led by Karishma Kazi. A premium all-inclusive resort, Cora Cora Maldives is the first resort in the Maldives that celebrates and embraces the culture and heritage of the destination. Located in the Raa Atoll, Cora Cora Maldives is 45 minutes by seaplane from Velana International Airport or 30 minutes by domestic flight, followed by a 20-minute speedboat journey. Comprising of 100 villas and suites, each one has been curated to reflect the spirit of the Maldives and is prevalent in all of the nine accommodation categories. Accommodation sizes range from the Beach Villas at 68 sqm to the two-bedroom Lagoon Pool Villa with slide inject an element of fun into the traditional over-water villas which the Maldives is famed for. Each villa is created with comfort in mind and set between the tropical vegetation and sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean. The Beach Villas are positioned on a sugar-soft, white, sand beach offering a mesmerizing view and the Overwater Villas offer a romantic experience. Cora Cora Maldives will be the first resort in the Maldives to showcase a licensed art gallery and museum, showcasing the cultural heritage of the island. With over 400 incredible local artefacts in the collection, guests can explore the rich history of the Maldives in breath-taking natural surroundings. Cora Cora Maldives will also host guest artists from around the world, curating exclusive exhibitions for guests. Cora Cora Maldives will offer its guests a one-of-a-kind immersive Maldivian cultural, experiential and culinary experience. Comprising of 100 villas, five restaurants, two bars, an …

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GMJ Thampy, CMD, Riya Group gets Golden Visa from UAE

GMJ Thampy, CMD of Riya Group, has been presented the prestigious UAE Golden Visa for 10 years by one of the highest authorities in the UAE government— General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs. This visa, presented only to eminent entrepreneurs & personalities, allows Thampy multiple entries for 10 years. Otherwise, UAE offers a single-entry visa for limited days – 30 and 90 days. Thampy expressed his happiness saying, “I am extremely honoured for being able to establish a trustworthy footprint in the travel space in the UAE market and offer extraordinary services to its nationals and travellers.”

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Baywatch Stayzz appointed India GSA for The Fern Creek

Baywatch Stayzz has been appointed as the GSA for The Fern Creek in Kodaikanal, which are experiential glam tents situated in the heart of Kodaikanal. Manish Kriplani, MD, Baywatch Stayzz and Baywatch Travels, says, “These are unique tents in 1.5 acres of land, offering experiential luxury for patrons. With 7 tents, one restaurant and indoor and outdoor lounge areas, they offer everything a traveller can ask for. We are also looking at expanding the number of tents in future.”

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The State of Qatar inaugurates Qatar Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai under the slogan ‘The Future is Now’

Welcoming visitors from around the globe, His Excellency Sultan bin Rashid Al Khater, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, inaugurated the Qatar Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai on October 1st. The opening was attended by General Commissioners from GCC participating countries as well as a number of dignitaries, officials and partners. Following the inauguration, His Excellency toured the Qatar Pavilion which highlights the country’s achievements across various fields, showcases the most pioneering projects that are being developed in accordance with the National Vision 2030, and spotlights Qatar as the upcoming host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. He also visited the pavilions of participating GCC countries, where each country’s most prominent achievements were showcased. The Qatar Pavilion was designed by internationally-renowned architect, Santiago Calatrava, who represented a modern interpretation of the four elements presented in the Coat of Arms of Qatar. Its architectural composition draws inspiration from the two crossed and curved swords, encompassing a Dhow and island with two palm trees, that are at the core of the national emblem of the state of Qatar. Santiago Calatrava said, “We are honoured to have been chosen for the design of the Qatar Pavilion at Expo 2020. Our relationship with the State of Qatar and its people lies very close to our heart. The Qatar Pavilion’s design draws inspiration from the four elements represented on the Coat of Arms of Qatar and pays tribute to the nation’s cultural heritage.” The coinciding pair of buildings of the Qatar Pavilion consist of two main galleries of exhibition spaces. Gallery 1 serves as an introductory space and invites visitors to explore the past, present, and future of Qatar through visual arts, sound …

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Inbound operators appeal to Govt to open international tourism with trip to Dholpur and Ramsagar Lake

A group of 18 inbound Tour operators from Delhi undertook a Trip to Dholpur and Ramsagar Lake with an appeal to the government for opening up Tourist Visas and regular international flights. People from the tourism and hospitality industry travelled to Dholpur in Rajasthan from 15th to 18th September to make an appeal to the government to initiate issuance of tourist visas under the banner of “Unlocking International Tourism”. Beginning of this month, the government announcement to extend the ban on international flights by another month put further jitters in the inbound tourism market from India. Already hit by the pandemic, the tourism industry has been suffering for more than 18 months now leading to massive job losses in the industry and multiple tour operators and hotels shutting shop. It is estimated that the tourism industry in India contributes to almost 10% of the GDP and more than 8 million livelihoods. As vaccination across the globe keep increasing by the hour, more countries are opening up borders to the people, especially the double vaccinated population. Multiple countries in Europe are now accessible to fully vaccinated Indians enabling them to restart travel to foreign destinations. However, the same has not been offered to tourists wanting to come to India as e-visas remain suspended, even though the government has indicated that the same would start soon. Around 25 people made their way to Dholpur in Rajasthan and also met 4 time Member of Parliament and a hospitality industry stalwart himself, Mr. Dushyant Singh. Dushyant Singh assured everyone that the government is working hard to come out with the new guidelines to reopen international travel towards India. Sanjay Razdan, Director – Razdan Holidays …

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TravelBullz & Tourism Authority of Thailand launch Indian Travel League (ITL)

As Thailand prepares to re-open its borders to the World, TravelBullz and the Tourism Authority of Thailand prepares to welcome Indian guests back to Amazing Thailand. In the first phase of the destination re-opening, the Indian Travel League (ITL), a fun-filled quiz program aimed at engaging the travel agent community in India will focus on Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga, Khao Lak, Koh Yao Yai & Noi. The goal would be to generate interest, awareness and educate sellers about the destinations and hotel & attraction partners. To help achieve the above objective we welcome the Indian travel agent’s fraternity to join us in the Indian Travel League (ITL) & The Amazing Thailand Grand Re-Opening Sale!! While ITL would focus on generating interest in destinations, hotels, resorts, attractions & sightseeing options “The Amazing Thailand Grand Reopening Sale” is aimed at helping agents in India to increase their margins while selling these destinations. There would be Exclusive Deals on offer (discount of 30-50%) for agents to Buy Now & Travel Later, not only increasing their margins but also enhancing the traveller experiences given the range of value adds on offers. ITL will be a weekly campaign with a total of 4 rounds, starting on 20th of October. Each week a match would conclude with a wordplay format quiz. Minimum scores would be tallied to qualify for the next round. Winners will be announced on 19th of November, on social media. There would be a lot of prizes up for the winners of the quarter-final & semi-final matches. The final 10 winners would win: 4 Nights Package for Stay in Phuket (Flights excluded) A Trophy A Certificate Vachirachai  Sirisumpan, Director, Tourism Authority of Thailand …

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PR activities needed to reduce India’s image as an ‘infected’ destination: Diego Barcelo Perez

Diego Barcelo Perez, Founder & CEO, CCIBA Spain in his presentation at the ‘Destination India – European Perspective and Opportunities’ webinar by PATA India, shared that India should do PR activities to reduce the perception that India is an ‘infected’ destination. He also said that this is the time for India to promote itself in Spain, because next month Spanish people will start planning their travel in 2022.

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