Category Archives: Agents

Thomas Cook India targets Odisha as potential market for forex biz

Thomas Cook India has identified Odisha as a significant growth market for its foreign exchange business. To leverage this opportunity, the company has opened two forex counters at Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar, Thomas Cook India said in a BSE filing. Mahesh Iyer, CEO, Thomas Cook (India), says, “Bhubaneswar has been identified as a prime growth driver for Thomas Cook India and continues to deliver strong growth of 32 per cent YoY for our foreign exchange business.” The two new airport counters takes the company’s foreign exchange distribution in Odisha to a total of three outlets and further augments its network in east India to a total of 23 consumer access centres. Source: PTI

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Globus & Cosmos conducts interactive sessions with tour director

The Globus Family of Brands recently conducted an interactive session in the format of a talk show with one of its most senior tour directors, Benjamin Deham. Titled ‘Banter with Big Ben’, the event featured the Belgian tour director who spoke about what happens behind the scenes during every tour. Abira Sinha, Regional Sales Manager – India, Globus Family of Brands (India), explains, “We took this show to five cities across India that included Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru and Kolkata. The idea was to bring to the travel trade what their clients experience on these tours. Usually, when they come back they talk about the tour director who can make a significant difference to the quality of the tour. He can really make or break it.” While in India, Benjamin spoke about how the tour is organised, how he deals with different challenges while on tour and how he overcomes them to give the best experience to guests. Sinha adds, “One of the biggest factors for clients coming back is the tour director. Benjamin had all these funny stories and anecdotes that he narrated to our travel partners. It was learning with fun instead of just seeing a presentation.”

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Travkart appointed as PSA for Madame Tussauds Delhi

Travkart, a unit specialising in fixed departure and themed holidays becomes the preferred sales agent (PSA) for Madame Tussauds Delhi. The attraction opened to the public on December 1, 2017.  Visitors can buy tickets on Travkart website and mobile app. Manheer Singh Sethi, Co-founder, Travkart, said, “We are extremely delighted to be the first online travel platform to have been selected as a PSA by a globally renowned brand like Madame Tussauds for the launch of its first-ever attraction in the country. Our platform offers customers a wide selection of activities and must-see places they can book, and with the addition of Madame Tussauds, it’s a great chance for visitors as well locals to enjoy this new destination in the city.” The announcement marks a significant milestone for Travkart and allows the platform to build on its robust value proposition by expanding the ambit of its offerings.

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Travelport launches PCI DSS certification wizard tool

With an objective to combat criminal activities, Travelport announced the launch of an online PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliance referral service to help its customers’ businesses achieve PCI DSS certification. As from March 2018, any IATA agent that accepts card transactions against its own merchant agreement or issues Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP) card transactions is required to provide proof of PCI DSS compliance to IATA. Travelport chose to partner with SecurityMetrics, a leading provider in data security and compliance for organisations worldwide. The PCI DSS certification program provides customers with an online wizard tool to guide agents through the self-assessment questionnaire process. The multi-language tool enables Travelport’s agency customers worldwide to achieve PCI DSS compliance, a requirement by the card industry for every business that touches card payments. Alexandra Fitzpatrick, VP, Travelport Global Payment Solutions, commented, “Combining consumer protection with customer-driven solutions is the key to our goals as it creates frictionless payment processes and better ways of working.” David Meyers, Senior Director Business Development, SecurityMetrics added, “We are confident that Travelport’s customers will be pleased with the results of our PCI program and our team will make sure that they receive the best possible experience on their compliance journey”.

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Ezeego1.com expands presence in Mumbai with fifth store

Ezeego1.com has opened a new franchise store at Kalbadevi Road in Mumbai to cater to the growing travel demands in South Mumbai. Managed by Ravi Mahatani, the outlet will provide travel services from leading travel suppliers from India and overseas. Services like flight tickets, hotels, packages, rail and cruise holidays are provided on a single platform from a diverse mix of travel suppliers. Neelu Singh, CEO and Director, Ezeego1, said, “Distribution is the key to success in the growing travel market and the opening of our new franchise will help us gain a foothold in this market. Our offerings are curated from a slew of travel aggregators and we enable and distribute it through our platform.” Ezeego1 will provide the franchisee with an active marketing, technical and store development support. The marketing activity will include print and radio advertising, attractive and preferential commercials. Store development support will include store designing to reinforce the brand’s look and feel. Training and technical support will be provided to all franchisee staff to effectively address the changing technology and enhance customer interface.

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TCI proposes to raise over Rs. 600 cr via dilution of stake in Quess Corp

Thomas Cook (India) has obtained Board approval to divest a 5.42 per cent stake in its subsidiary Quess Corp, to bring its shareholding to 51.56 per cent, thereby proposing to raise funds of over Rs 600 cr. through an Offer for Sale (OFS) process as prescribed by SEBI. This is in keeping with SEBI regulations that require promoters to bring down their stake to 75 per cent and post dilution, the promoter shareholding in Quess Corp (that of Thomas Cook India and Ajit Isaac, CMD & CEO, Quess Corp.) would be 75.38 per cent. Fairfax Financial Holdings, through the Thomas Cook India Group, is committed to maintaining a controlling stake in Quess Corp. Madhavan Menon, Chairman & Managing Director, Thomas Cook India Group, said, “At the Thomas Cook India Group we are committed to holding a controlling stake in our subsidiary Quess Corp. Our proposed dilution of a portion of our stake in Quess Corp is hence intended to comply with SEBI regulations. Our aim is to retire our long term debt and improve profitability; simultaneously increase our cash reserves, enabling us to effectively leverage opportune investments as and when they arise.” The initiative is also aimed at retiring Thomas Cook India’s long term debt, thus bringing down the company’s financial costs and improving profitability and liquidity at both a standalone and group level.  

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VisitBritain, ACP Rail conduct joint educational trip for travel trade

VisitBritain recently conducted an educational trip for 10 Indian travel agents in partnership with ACP Rail to promote the BritRail pass to travel around Britain by train. The trip was part of a B2B campaign which the national tourism organisation of Great Britain has launched with ACP Rail in India. Agents started their trip in Edinburgh, before travelling north for a two-day tour of the Scottish Highlands. They further headed across the border into Northern England, finishing their trip in the medieval town of York. Rail travel within UK is one of the most important part of the strategy to promote destinations beyond London amongst Indians. All hosted agents are considering sign-ups with ACP Rail and will soon begin installing their software to enable sale of UK rail passes along with sector tickets to promote rail itineraries and thus, give a fresh approach towards the UK holiday experience. With over 2,500 train stations in Britain, visitors have the chance to discover both cities and countryside throughout England, Scotland and Wales.

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Cox & Kings opens first Holiday Club store in Mumbai

Cox & Kings has opened its first Holiday Club store in Mumbai to cater to the increasing demand for holiday products. The centre, located at Dadar, is the fourth Holiday Club store in India with the other three in New Delhi. The stores aim to attract a diverse set of customers through innovative offers and customised solutions, and offer a range of domestic and international holiday packages. In keeping with recent travel trends, the company has forayed into niche segments such as Enable Travel for the physically challenged, Trip 360 for adventure enthusiasts and Getaway Goddess for the women-only travel segment. Karan Anand, Head, Relationships, Cox & Kings said, “Central Mumbai is now the hub of retail activity and our Holiday Club store is perfectly positioned to engage with customers on a one-on-one basis, as they seek personal engagement in making sure they have a memorable holiday.” The Holiday Club stores will complement the existing points of sales that Cox & Kings has in Mumbai.  

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Jumeirah Hotels concludes 2-city roadshow in Mumbai and Delhi

Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts organised a two city roadshow in Mumbai and Delhi to strengthen the brand’s ties with the Indian travel trade fraternity. The roadshow was part of Jumeirah’s newly enhanced focus on India as a source market for its hotels in the UAE, Europe and the Maldives. Speaking at the Mumbai roadshow, Linda Lewis, the Vice President for Global Sales Middle East and Asia Pacific, Jumeirah Group, said, “The India market has witnessed a considerable rise in outbound luxury travel in recent years. Given that this demographic seek superior travel and stay experiences; our current portfolio includes hotels and resorts within a number of favoured locations; and we are one of the world’s most awarded luxury hotel brands, Jumeirah is well placed to fulfill the requirements of the Indian luxury traveller, including families, couples, the MICE industry and those seeking destination weddings and honeymoons.” Jumeirah recently signed a direct connectivity partnership with Make My Trip India, providing a easy booking channel for Indian consumers who wish to book Jumeirah hotels around the world. Lewis added, “India is a key source market into the UAE and into a number of our other destinations including the UK and Maldives. We are focusing on expanding and consolidating our ties with the FITs and the luxury travel segment to reach out to a larger audience and gain a higher market share. MMT’s reach and presence in India goes above and beyond Tier-1 states. With this in mind, our visibility on this platform will help to increase brand awareness and gain new consumers.” Jumeirah Group has 11 hotels in the UAE and a presence across Europe, Middle East and Asia. While the Burj Al …

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SOTC opens its first store in New Delhi

SOTC Travel strengthened its presence in New Delhi with the inauguration of its first ever signature store in North Delhi at Netaji Subhash Place, D Mall. This new expansion augments SOTC’s distribution and reach in New Delhi. North Delhi, a potential market for SOTC which has been growing consistently year on year has seen remarkable progress with doubled sales numbers over the last 3 years. In an attempt to reach the optimum potential of this market and strive to provide the best pre & post tour experience to customers, SOTC Travel has come up with this unique concept of the first Signature store in the National Capital. Daniel D’souza, Head Sales, India and NRI Markets, SOTC Travel said, “We believe customer experience is the key to make our business successful in this ever competitive and growing tour operators industry. Along with increasing our distribution presence in almost all parts of Delhi/NCR, It is extremely important for us to ensure that we keep delivering up to the maximum potential of these markets and this requires us to enhance and deliver enriching holiday experiences to our customers. The Signature store is one of our efforts to reinvent the buying experience for our customers at our franchise outlets. Its strategic location offers convenience and accessibility to customers providing excellent branding and visibility. Our dedicated sales resources ensure we provide superior service to our customers meeting their every expectation.”

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