Category Archives: Agents

Jumbo Online now in India

Tour operators and travel agents can now create customised tour itineraries for their clients with complete ease with Jumbo Online. This Spanish online company has recently signed on Global Destinations to push its product to the trade here in India. Speaking about this is Pranav Kapadia, Founder & Director, Global Destinations, who says, “Jumbo Online is a global online system and we will be promoting them to the trade here in India. Once registered on this site, agents will get their individual logins and they can start creating itineraries by booking whatever their clients require – hotels, transfers, sightseeing, etc.” Jumbo Online also owns Eden Incoming in Italy. Their core advantage, Kapadia adds, is their good and competitive rates across the board, whether it is hotels, sightseeing or transfers, specially in certain parts of the world like Latin America, Europe, and the US. “Agents can build an entire package on this system and can pay online or offline. Some agents have already registered on the site after knowing about them through our EDMs.”

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ICAO and IATA launch guidance supporting management of disruptive passengers

The secretary general of ICAO, Fang Liu, and the Director General and CEO of IATA, Alexandre de Juniac, have officially launched new ICAO legal guidance on the management of unruly and disruptive passengers. “Unruly and disruptive passenger conduct can pose distinct threats to the safety and security of aircraft, flight crew and passengers,” said Liu. “It can also generate costly disruptions to airlines and passengers alike in situations when aircraft must be diverted to manage these incidents.” “Enhancing safety is the shared goal for governments and airlines, and deterring unruly and disruptive behaviour on flights is key to this,” said de Juniac. “IATA welcomes today’s new ICAO guidance, which is intended to help governments address unruly passengers under their own national law. It covers many practical measures for consideration by policymakers, including ‘on the spot’ fines to boost enforcement action.” The new ICAO manual on the legal aspects of unruly and disruptive passengers is a key result emerging from the adoption of the protocol to amend the convention on offences and certain other acts committed on board aircraft. Its chief aim is to assist national governments in legislating appropriate and better harmonized legal measures to prevent and deal with unruly and disruptive passenger incidents on international flights.

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IATA downgrades 2019 profit outlook from $35.5 billion to $28 billion

IATA had projected a net profit for the industry of $35.5 billion in its first outlook for 2019, made in December last year. A revised profit of $28 billion for this year would mark a $2 billion reduction on the 2018 industry net profit, which has itself also been revised downwards to $30 billion. In reducing industry profit expectations, IATA says it sees costs rising by 7.4% in 2019 – outpacing a 6.5% increase in revenues. “The business environment for airlines has deteriorated with rising fuel prices and a substantial weakening in world trade” IATA says. On the cost side IATA has increased its expectations for fuel costs – it now expects to average around $70 per barrel Brent crude oil during 2019. That compares with the $65 barrel price it projected in its last forecast. It also see increased non-fuel costs from labour and infrastructure. IATA has also trimmed its revenue expectations for 2019 by $20 billion. It now sees industry turnover growing 6.5% at $865 billion. Source: Flight Global

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Now IATA rule requires agents to get passenger contact info while booking flights

According to IATA, agents and advisors booking flights for clients through the association’s Passenger Agency Program must ask travelers if they want their contact information shared with airlines in the case of operational disruptions. Agents and advisors will be required to enter the passenger contact information when booking flights beginning June 1. Carriers will be able to use the information to advise passengers of irregular flight operations and disruptions. “In the event the passenger exercises his or her right not to provide contact details it is incumbent on the Agent to indicate that the passenger has declined to provide such details, and to enter the refusal in the PNR to limit any statutory liability,” the IATA rule now reads. “In such a case, the Agent must actively advise the passenger that they may not receive information from the airline relating to flight cancellation or schedule changes (including delay in departure).” For travelers who decline to share their phone number and/or email address, agents and advisors will have to report the client refused to provide the information. While the rule has been in place since 2013, it is now a requirement instead of a recommendation As for how the information will be used, IATA officials said it would not be utilized for marketing or sales purposes, but instead will be for flight cancellations, schedule changes and other related operational notifications. The IATA Passenger Agency Program provides a system for the accreditation of travel agents that meet specific industry standards and financial criteria. Currently there are some 56,261 IATA accredited travel agents operating in 207 countries and territories. (Source: Travel Pulse)

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Thomas Cook India launches no cost EMI-powered innovative ‘Holiday Basket’

Thomas Cook (India) has launched Holiday Basket – an innovative EMI-powered holiday solution, offering Indian travellers inflation-proof credit based holidays. Thomas Cook India’s data reveals an upwards of 30% demand from young travellers between the age group of 25 – 35 years, who believe in instant gratification even in travel; and through the launch of holiday Basket, it aims to tap into these growing aspirational travel demands. According to recent reports, demand for personal loans for travel purposes grew by 55%, out of which 85% are millennials. A recent survey by Thomas Cook India further validated the strong potential of EMIs for travel, reporting a healthy double digit growth in enquiries from customers across various subsets, especially India’s millennials and middle-class segment. Interestingly, Thomas Cook India’s internal data reveals two key insights on travel trends amongst Indians: 1) a growing aspiration to travel twice in a year with one international long haul vacation and one domestic short haul vacation; and 2) the most preferred domestic destinations for a first time traveller include Andaman, Kerala, Ladakh, Goa, Himachal and the North East, and Bhutan, Thailand, Singapore, Mauritius, Dubai, Bali, Phuket, and Sri Lanka, as international choices.

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Cox & Kings enters strategic tie-up with RCI in India

Cox & Kings has entered into a strategic tie-up with RCI to facilitate ancillary travel services for their India membership base. The tie-up will provide RCI members with all facilities under one roof while on a RCI holiday; be it visa processing, air tickets or transfers. The concept of vacation ownership is fast gaining ground in India with increasing number of vacationers finding timeshare more appealing and cost-effective. According to JP Singh, COO, Sales & Distribution, Cox & Kings, “We are happy to partner with RCI whose members in India can avail of our expertise in travel management to complete their holiday experience. ‘’ Cox & Kings has over 170 offices across India spanning metros and mini-metros and all located in the key tourism source markets.  We also have a 24X7 call centre to facilitate travel fulfilment of all the RCI inquiries.   Commenting on the tie-up, Aruna Jathar, Director- Marketing, RCI India, said, “It has always been our endeavour to provide the best travel and stay experiences to our members across the globe. We have invented and reinvented our strategies to meet the changing needs of new age travellers and to enhance their overall experience. This tie-up with Cox & Kings will enable RCI members in India who have booked their timeshare vacations overseas to enjoy the various travel related services seamlessly.’’

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Guideline Travels looks to add to its list of channel sales partners

Mumbai-headquartered Guideline Travels, which also sells B2B and B2C tour packages, is looking to add to its list of channel sales partners. It currently has 11 such partners pan India. Pradeep Saboo, Partner, Guideline Travels LLP, says, ““Most people don’t know this but we are more than cruises. We have been selling Europe for more than 15 years and US for more than nine years. In fact, we bring out our own brochure with global itineraries like Europe, US, Australia, and New Zealand. For B2B, I only sell group tours and not FIT tailor-made packages. We currently have 11 channel partners, apart from our own four offices, in cities like Hyderabad, Chennai and even Raipur and are looking to add more in various cities. We train these agents in Mumbai and give them 25 of our brochures.” He adds that the packages are completely inclusive and they have a policy of no optional sightseeing on tour. All meals, tips, insurance are included as well. Moreover, all meals are vegetarian/Jain, except the breakfast which is at the hotel. But this has not stopped non-vegetarian clients because of its all-inclusive deal. While it also sells to agents outside of its 11 channel partners, the commissions differ, giving more advantage to the partners. There is no joining fee for agents who are free to conduct their regular business except group tours. Saboo adds, “We need active agents. They don’t need to be exclusive with us, except when it comes to package tours, which needs to be done only with us. We offer them continuous guidance and their clients can call us directly for clarifications. Moreover, we don’t require a minimum guarantee.”

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Sentosa signs 3-year MoU with Thomas Cook India

Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) has chosen Thomas Cook (India) to sign a strategic agreement that involves bringing more tourists from India to Sentosa. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for this was signed between Mahesh Iyer, Executive Director and CEO, Thomas Cook (India) and Quek Swee Kuan, CEO, SDC in Mumbai. This three-year strategic agreement is aimed to strengthen Sentosa’s position as a top-of-mind destination for all Indian tourists visiting Singapore, increase Sentosa’s capture rates of the India market particularly in tier 2 and 3 cities, and grow visitorship to and spend on the island. To this end, both parties will collaborate on a multipronged effort comprising activities such as product development, joint consumer promotions, as well as publicity to raise Sentosa’s profile in the India market.   According to Sentosa’s visitorship numbers, India is currently ranked as the island’s top source market. While Sentosa has been featured as part of Thomas Cook India’s Singapore portfolio, the company has now focussed on curating exclusive Sentosa packages as well. Additionally, as part of the partnership, Thomas Cook India will offer enhanced access to multiple Sentosa attractions, coupled with exciting promotions and special offers on accommodation and attractions.  

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‘Tourism MasterClass’ by PATA India Chapter to be held on May 15 in Delhi

PATA India Chapter’s First ‘Tourism MasterClass’ to be held on May 15, 2019 at the Le Meridien, New Delhi from 9:15 am – 5:30 pm for tourism professionals. It is a platform for gaining knowledge and learning from the experiences of well-known leaders of the tourism fraternity. MasterClass is targeted to attract middle to senior business leaders and help to add to their professional strengths to deliver a differentiated and profitable product offering  and will be inaugurated by Assistant Director General (ADG)- Meenakshi Sharma, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.

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Akbar Holidays to conduct 5-city seminar with Tourism Malaysia Mumbai

Tourism Malaysia Mumbai in association with Akbar Holidays has announced a five-city product briefing seminar. It is scheduled to be held in Bhubaneshwar on May 14, Raipur on May 16, Bhopal on October 15, Nagpur on October 17 and Kochi on November 6, 2019. The seminars aim to highlight Malaysia as a value-for-money destination and showcase its product offerings and attractive packages. Its tourism offerings range from million-year-old rainforests, islands and beaches to shopping and luxury holidays. Product partners of Tourism Malaysia i.e Resorts World Genting, Legoland and Lexis Resort, Swiss Hotels, Air Asia and Penang Convention and Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) will be present to showcase their products. Mohd Hafiz Hashim, Director Tourism Malaysia Mumbai said, “We are happy to announce our five-city seminar in Bhubaneshwar, Raipur, Bhopal, Nagpur and Kochi. We look forward to a fruitful association with Akbar Holidays to boost Indian tourist to visit Malaysia and this will help us to promote our Visit Malaysia 2020 vision. Malaysia is a bio-diverse country with rich traditions and culture. Our natural environment surrounded with rich flora and fauna, pristine beaches, theme parks, adventure activities, nightlife are very appealing to Indian tourists. They can enjoy luxury at an affordable price in Malaysia.” India tourist arrivals recorded an increase of 8.6 per cent with 600,311 in 2018 as compared to 552,739 in 2017.

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