Category Archives: Agents

Tourism Marketing Alliance conducts roadshow in Gujarat

Three B2B travel companies namely RezLive.com, BookonBlueStar.com and Tourism and Leisure Group who are part of Tourism Marketing Alliance (TMA) recently connected with the travel partners of Gujarat and created awareness about the latest outbound travel trends, travel technology and diversification within the travel business. They also updated the local travel partners on the growing outbound business in India which has opened up multiple opportunities for traditional travel agencies to expand their business from ticketing and inbound to outbound tourism. TMA’s Western roadshow touching three cities namely Surat, Vadodara and Ahmedabad concluded with an encouraging response from travel agents, which also reflects the keen interest of the travel partners in the outbound tourism business and constant support for the three global brands, that are, RezLive.com, BookonBlueStar.com & Pearl Tourism and Leisure Group. RezLive.com’s spokesperson Anand Srinivasan, VP – Global Sales & Zaheer Jeddy, National Sales Head, updated the travel partners with innovative offerings of RezLive.com and at the same time updated on one of its kind B2B loyalty programme “rezREWARDS” and their commission based payment gateway model “affiliate.travel” which got appraised by the travel partners. Jayesh Ashar, Managing Director, Pearl Tourism & Leisure Group showcased a portfolio of products across countries from Africa to Australia, Europe and Bali. BlueStar was represented by Bhavesh N Oza, Vice President – International Markets, who spoke about the importance of rail and airline bookings and how they can empower the agents to do better business.

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Amadeus announces programme to drive industrialisation of NDC

Travel conglomerate Amadeus announced the creation of a programme to drive the industrialisation of New Distribution Capability (NDC) and ensured its success for all travel players at an event held recently in New Delhi. NDC is a new XML-based interface that enables travel companies – from airlines to travel agencies – to evolve travel distribution and merchandising. Deliberating on ‘The Impact of NDC On Air Content Distribution’, Champa Magesh, Vice President, Asia-Pacific, Retail Travel Channels, said, “At Amadeus, we recognise that we have a responsibility to make NDC work for all travel players, and that’s what we will be doing through our NDC-X programme. Our aim is to create better journeys for travellers through the best use of technology, and this transversal programme will work with our travel seller and airline customers to deliver just that”. She also informed that the shifting nature of business travel requires corporations and TMCs to adapt to a world which is more dynamic and agile. Commenting on NDC and the product portfolio showcased, Rakesh Bansal, Chief Executive Officer, Amadeus Indian Subcontinent, said, “To keep up with the dynamically evolving industry and its multifarious demands, it is essential to constantly innovate and evolve, become more agile and connected.  We have to embrace change and ensure that technology and solutions work well for all stakeholders. That is exactly what Amadeus NDC- X aspires to do. Being the leading global distribution services provider in Asia Pacific, products and solutions offer effective and efficient variety of solutions that help in generating additional revenue and improving productivity and efficiency for travel agencies thus reducing costs.”

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Thomas Cook India eyes strong growth in Rajasthan

Thomas Cook (India) has identified Rajasthan as a significant growth market for its Foreign Exchange business and to leverage this opportunity, it has opened two new counters at Jaipur International Airport. The outlets were inaugurated by J S Balhara, Airport Director, Jaipur International Airport, in the presence of Deepesh Varma, Sr Vice President – Foreign Exchange. Industry data highlight that Jaipur International Airport has witnessed strong growth in passenger numbers – from 2.20 million passengers in 2014–2015 to 4.80 million passengers in 2017–2018. In addition, Thomas Cook India’s internal research has reiterated the strong and growing potential of India’s tier II and III source markets and based on this high potential, Jaipur airport was selected for its new Foreign Exchange outlets. The two new airport counters extend Thomas Cook India’s Foreign Exchange distribution and reach for Rajasthan to a total of 11 consumer access centres: 6 owned branches and 5 Gold Circle Partner (franchise) outlets. Deepesh Varma, Sr Vice President & Head – Sales & Relationship Management Foreign Exchange, Thomas Cook (India) said, “Being a prime gateway airport for the cultural tourists, Jaipur is a key and high-growth opportunity for our Foreign Exchange business.  We have identified Jaipur as a powerful source market given strong growth continuum of 18 per cent YoY for our Foreign Exchange business. Our two new Foreign Exchange outlets at Jaipur International Airport, will offer travellers easy access to Thomas Cook India’s range of Foreign Exchange products and services – right at the airport on arrival or departure.”

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Cox & Kings appoints Anushka Sharma as brand ambassador

Cox & Kings has roped in Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma as the company’s brand ambassador. The actress will be seen promoting the company’s unique travel offerings in a new TV campaign to be released soon. Karan Anand, Head, Relationships, Cox & Kings, said, “Anushka is known for her versatility, experimentation and unusual personality. She perfectly represents a generation that is energetic, unapologetic and fun-loving, which makes her the right fit to showcase Cox & Kings’ innovative holiday offerings.” Speaking about her experience Anushka Sharma said, “I am glad to be associated with the world’s oldest travel company Cox & Kings. I love to travel and personally think that travelling opens us up to new incredible experiences and changes the way we look at the world. Whether you are travelling solo, with your partner or friends, Cox & Kings has a holiday experience for every type of traveller.” This is the first ever association of Cox & Kings with a Bollywood superstar. Anushka will be promoting the brand across print, television and digital platforms. With this announcement, Cox & Kings will introduce Europe Summer 2019 packages starting at Rs 69,750 and winter departures to Far East, Australia, New Zealand and exotic destinations starting at Rs 58,980 only.

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Thomas Cook India eyes strong growth in Delhi-NCR, opens new office in Faridabad

Thomas Cook (India) has strengthened its presence in Faridabad with the inauguration of a new branch at SCF 51, First Floor, Sector 15, Faridabad. It was inaugurated by Romil Pant, Senior Vice President and Jatin Sharma, Associate Vice President, Thomas Cook (India). This expansion augments Thomas Cook India’s distribution and reach in Faridabad and Delhi-NCR to 16 consumer access centres – six owned branches and 10 Gold Circle Partner (franchise) outlets. Thomas Cook India’s internal data had highlighted Faridabad/Delhi NCR as a high potential source market for its holiday business. Hence, in an initiative to harness this opportunity, the company has identified Faridabad to set up its new Gold Circle Partner franchise outlet. Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Leisure Travel and MICE, Thomas Cook (India) said, “The North market has been identified as a prime growth driver and continues to deliver strong growth of 32 per cent YoY for our leisure travel business. Delhi NCR offers us significant potential and we have selected one of Faridabad’s prime localities for our new branch.” Gold Circle Partner Mamta Arora, a resident of Faridabad is an industry veteran. Her domain expertise and relationships/contacts will assist Thomas Cook in establishing and growing the market.

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SOTC Travel introduces “Holiday Essentials” for hassle free travel

SOTC has launched ‘Holiday Essentials’, keeping in mind the type of vacation and destination requirement. The Holiday Essentials range is an integral part of SOTC’s services and have been designed to make every vacation worry free by understanding the customer’s minute necessities. SOTC Travel has witnessed the change in travel experiences over the years and has observed a growth in queries for the inclusion of various kinds of experiences which is about 30% to 35% as compared to the last year. Being a new age travel curator, SOTC strives to make holidays a priority for every Indian. To accommodate these new requirements of the present day traveller, SOTC has included a strong line up of their own Holiday Essentials range of travel merchandise along with a few other Indian and international brands on their website https://www.sotcholidayessentials.com/. This merchandise website currently provides around 70 unique products across categories. Bringing together a range of accessories to help relieve discomfort and boredom are a fantastic way to beat the travelling blues! SOTC ‘Holiday Essentials’ line offers a wide array of products, from neck pillows to hand warmers, adaptors to backpacks. There are plenty of nifty gadgets too; such as compact portable luggage weighing scales, padlocks and waterproof pouches. It includes SOTC’s private label under the brand name of “Holiday Essentials” and mix of international brands like Osprey, Nrit, Trekmates and award winning Indian brands like Tag8. Customers can also place orders at their nearest SOTC store.

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Bird Apps launches ‘Odigos’ app to help travellers select and book tour-guides on the go

Bird Apps, a venture by Bird Group, has launched Odigos, a marketplace app that provides an opportunity to select and book a travel guide on the go to make travel experience more worthwhile. Odigos facilitates a connect between expert tour guides and travellers according to preference of years of experience and languages spoken with a simple tap anytime anywhere. Be it a local who wants to explore the city, or a visitor who wants to discover monuments, historical sites, go for wedding shopping or even enjoy a guided nightlife experience, Odigos ensures a smooth, transparent and hassle free experience. A pre-booked guide saves the hassle of looking for a guide after reaching the spot. Odigos ensures a safe experience for its tourists through diligent checks and screening of each tour guide before taking them on board. “Through Odigos, we ensure that domestic as well as international travellers can make most of their travel time by booking an appropriate guide who provides them with an itinerary, curated, customised and charted out especially as per individual requirements. Most of the Odigos guides are certified by the Ministry of Tourism.” said Dr Ankur Bhatia, Executive Director, Bird Group. For tourists, Odigos provides information such as the profiles of tour guides, their background details, packages and areas of expertise enabling the tourist to make an informed decision. It saves time and eliminates the hassle of negotiation by providing a convenient option of pre-booked guides who can meet at the choice of venue, at a transparent service fee.

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Thomas Cook Centre of Learning records 35% rise in students

In line with industry growth and strong demand for skilled professionals, the Centre of Learning, a Thomas Cook initiative, has seen a 35 per cent YoY growth in its diploma students and a placement of 76 per cent. Mona Cheriyan, President & Group Head – Human Resources, Thomas Cook (India), said, “In the context of high growth and increasing customer expectations, talent management is one of the critical challenges that the travel industry faces. This relates to both shortage of actual numbers and the desired capability levels- from a technical and managerial perspective. We are hence proud of our achievement in bridging the gap by building a resource pool of skilled travel professionals for the sector. What is noteworthy is that our efforts are equipping entrants with both academic knowledge and practical skills via on-the-job training.” At its seventh Convocation Ceremony held in Mumbai, the Thomas Cook Centre of Learning felicitated a strong contingent of over 300 students who had successfully completed courses across the Travel Professional Programme – a Post Graduate Course in Travel & Tourism Management, Certificate Course in Travel and Tourism Management, Certificate Course in World Tour Management and IATA Foundation in Travel and Tourism. Scholarship certificates and special prizes were awarded to top performers of Centre of Learning’s Travel Professional Programme – a Post Graduate course in Travel & Tourism Management & Certificate Course in Travel and Tourism Management.    

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Travel Money opens an exclusive retail store in Vijayawada

Travel Money, the flagship foreign exchange brand of FCM Travel Solutions, Indian subsidiary of Flight Centre Travel Group Australia, strengthened its presence in South India with an inauguration of its first owned retail store at one of the key locations in Vijayawada. The outlet was inaugurated by Gagan Malhotra, Vice President, Foreign Exchange, FCM Travel Solutions India. This expansion augments total number of outlets to the 34 stores across India, out of which 14 are in South India. Spread over 1,000 sq ft at M G Road, the store offers a range of foreign exchange services such as forex, travel cards and outward remittances for education or close relative maintenance. Malhotra said, “According to the BCG report titled ‘Demystifying The Indian Online Traveller 2017’, the Indian travel market is projected to grow at 11 to 11.5 per cent to the tune of $48 billion by 2020. Indian travel given the significant outbound tourism growth in South India market, we aim to deliver quality and convenience in all aspects of foreign exchange including remittance for students, Leisure & Business travel, Prepaid Travel Cards, and much more to our travellers.” Travel Money’s current footprint extends to a total of 34 stores across India in all major cities including Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Bangalore and Cochin via a combination of owned branches and franchise outlets.

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