Category Archives: Agents

Thomas Cook India to offer contactless payment across its prepaid forex cards

Thomas Cook India has announced the added benefit of contactless payments on its prepaid cards (the Borderless Prepaid Card and One Currency Card). With this feature, the company’s prepaid card users can now shop with merely a tap. Contactless payment is a secure method that enables consumers purchase products and services by using Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology or near-field communication (NFC). To make a contactless payment, the user merely needs to tap his or her card near a point-of-sale terminal. Contactless payment has steadily become a popular payment method for smaller purchases, with the prime advantage of enhancing the speed of transactions. It also help shorten the queue. Speaking at the launch, Kailash Gupta, Senior Vice President and Head of Payment Solutions, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., said, “Throughout its pioneering journey, Thomas Cook India has always focussed on innovation and technology to maximise customer experience, and hence, the ‘contactless’ feature on our Borderless Prepaid Card and One Currency Card serves to reiterate our customer centric philosophy. The tap-and-go solution has been made possible by leveraging smart technology, driven by our aim of enhancing convenience and speed of transactions, an essential ask of today’s new age global traveller.”

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Parag Thakker invests in Multilink

Parag Thakker, Director, Shri Mahalakshmi Vacations, along with his wife Shilpa Thakker, Director, Shri Mahalakshmi Vacations, have announced that they have now acquired a stake in online consolidator Multilink for an undisclosed amount. This is the third company that they have invested in, the most recent one being JustClickKaro.com. in Jan 2019, they had acquired arzoo.com. Mumbai-based Multilink is headed by Nikhil Shah who recently forayed into utilities as well, thereby offering a wide range of products in the online segment.

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September 23-25 are final dates for India Tourism Mart 2019, confirms FAITH

Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) has finalised the dates for the 2nd edition of the India Tourism Mart (ITM). Subhash Goyal, Honorary Secretary, FAITH, said that the 2019 edition of trade show will be held from September 23-25, 2019 at The Ashoka, New Delhi. He also said that the association is expecting to shortlist around 500 international buyers in this year’s ITM. In 2018, around 250 buyers attended the show. “The process of selection is very transparent, everything detail is available online. For this year’s show, we will also have representatives of the Ministry of Tourism, who will be present in the selection process. This year, we will not allow buyers who came for the show last year,” he informed. “We have had meetings of the board members, where all the arrangements are being done in a transparent manner. We are also in the process of choosing an advertising and marketing promotion agency. We have already called for tenders and we will be soon finalising it,” he further added. Goyal reiterated that the objective of India Tourism Mart is to promote inbound tourism to India.

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ADTOI to open its 10th chapter in Guwahati on Apr 6

The Association of Domestic Tour Operators (ADTOI) is all set to open its Northeast Chapter in Guwahati on April 6, 2019 at Vivanta by Taj, Guwahati and will coincide with Rongali Festival. PP Khanna, President, ADTOI, shared the news saying that it will be the Association’s 10th chapter. “The inauguration ceremony of the chapter will be graced by the presence of the Principal Secretary, Tourism, Government of Assam, tour operators and hoteliers. The Chairman of the Northeast chapter of ADTOI will be Arijit Purkayastha, MD, Koyeli Tours. The launch event will be followed by B2B meetings between ADTOI members and the local agents in Guwahati.” Arijit Purkayastha, MD, Koyeli Tours, who will be the Chairman for Northeast Chapter, ADTOI, said that his main aim would be to connect the tour operators based in various parts of India to those in the Northeast. “We would want everyone in India to know about the Northeast region, since many tour operators from Meghalaya and Assam are not participating in travel shows in other parts of India. Also, people and even tour operators living in other parts of India are sceptical about the safety and connectivity in the region. Our main agenda is to make people aware of the safety in the Northeast region.”  

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‘Escapes by Globus’ for low season travel starts at $699 for 2019/20

Popular wisdom says travel to Europe is only for the summers. Globus is now challenging this with the introduction of Escapes By Globus. They are urging travellers to travel in the ‘low season’. For 2019 – 20, new vacations have been introduced for Italy, Scotland, Spain and Egypt. Beyond Europe, there are vacations to Brazil and Argentina as well. Launched in 2017, ‘Escapes’ showcases vacations to destinations which are attractive even during the winter months from October to April. Travellers can now visit the must-see landmarks and experience the culture without the crowds—and even better—without the high-season prices. Starting from as low as $100 per person per day, these Escapes offer the trademark premium quality that Globus provides to all its travellers. Just like a regular Globus tour, an expert Tour Director escorts them around, indulges them in authentic destination experiences and the group comprises of international travelling companions. “Escapes by Globus is for the travellers who are looking to explore Europe hotspots without the high price tag and deluge of summer tourists. Besides travelers paying less for their Globus tour, with far less tourists about there will be plenty more opportunities to experience the local culture” says Varesh Chopra, Regional Director – South Asia and Middle East. “We are very excited with the selection of new tours for the 2019/ 2020 season, with such great itineraries we envisage an even greater success of the Escapes by Globus for this year.”

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Praveen Chugh, industry veteran, passes away

Travel industry veteran, Praveen Chugh, passed away in Delhi on March 26, 2019 after suffering a massive heart attack. He was serving as the President of Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) and was also the Chairman of World Travel Agents Association Alliance (WTAAA). Born on October 16, 1955, Chugh recently became the COO of Agency Sales for Via.com by EbixCash, which acquired his company Business Travels Private Limited. He is survived by two daughters. Known for his guidance and expertise in ticketing, Service Tax and GST, he has represented Indian travel industry at various international forums time and again. Subhash Goyal, Secretary General, FAITH, said, “My relationship with Praveen Chugh started ever since he joined TAFI, and he took it to great heights with time. He started his company Travel Services International (TSI) from scratch and made it one of the most successful companies in India. He was one of the finest people I know and was a pillar of strength, not only for TAFI, but for FAITH as well. He was always enthusiastic about new things and had a positive attitude. He was of great help for the India Tourism Mart (ITM), and even sent his staff for the ticketing. He contributed a lot to the industry, especially with Service Tax and GST matters, which he was very clear of. He educated and guided the industry in case of any issues on the same as well as worked on agent commissions along with TAAI and other industry organisations. He has been representing India on various international platforms as well. It is a very sad moment for the entire industry and a personal loss for me as he was …

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Cox & Kings expands footprint in Delhi with 12th franchisee store

Cox & Kings Ltd has opened a new franchisee store in Delhi which offers holistic travel solutions to travellers from Patel Nagar, Delhi and extended areas. The store is inaugurated by Hon’ble Mayor-North Delhi Municipal Corporation Adesh Kumar Gupta. Owned by Bharti Dhingra, presently it is Cox & Kings’ 12th franchisee store in Delhi. The other Cox & Kings franchisees in Delhi are located at Pitampura, Lajpat Nagar,Vasant Square Mall, Rajouri Garden, East Delhi, Gurugram-Sushant Lok, Faridabad, Greater Noida, Noida -Ansal Arcade, Indirapuram and Ghaziabad -Rajnagar. On expanding the footprints of Cox & Kings in Delhi, Karan Anand, Head-Relationships, Cox & Kings said, “Since the past few years there has been a 25 per cent growth in travel demand from Delhi. To cater to this demand, we felt the need to expand our presence here with a new franchisee store. A range of Cox & Kings travel services from group tours, customised travel to honeymoon, women-only tours, adventure & self-drive holidays will be made available from here.” Travellers can book from the universe of Cox & Kings line of brands including Bharat Deko domestic tours, Duniya Dekho outbound tours, Getaway Goddess women-only tours, Curious Cat Chronicles education tours, Trip 360˚ adventure outings, Enable Travel- tours for differently-abled and Self Drive 365 and much more. Other products such as insurance, foreign exchange and trade fairs will also be made available from the new franchisee store. Commenting on the current travel trends from Delhi, Anand said, “Though travelling in mixed group tours with family and friends is common, travellers from Delhi are more inclined towards customised holidays, road trips and women-only tours. Along with various domestic destinations, city escapes in Europe/ USA …

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J&K Tourism organises Kashmir Conclave in Mumbai

A big delegation from Kashmir comprising J&K Tourism, J&K Hoteliers Club and Maharashtra Tour Organisers’ Association (MTOA), organised a Kashmir Conclave in Mumbai to address the safety issue in the state and to encourage the travel agents in India to continue to sell packages. The event was addressed by Advisor to Hon’ble Governor J&K, Khurshid A Ganai. The evening also saw the presence of Rigzin Samphel IAS, Secretary Tourism, Govt of J&K along with Sudhir Patil, President, Maharashtra Tour Organisers’ Association (MTOA), and Mushtaq A. Chaya, Chairman, J&K Hoteliers Club. A delegation of more than 40 members from the travel and hospitality sector of the state of J&K participated in the J&K Tourism Conclave. Ganai said, “We recently met in Srinagar under the chairmanship of Mushtaq A. Chaya. The kind of media publicity that Kashmir tourism received for the Kashmir situation, we felt that we need to come and interact with the stakeholders in the country and particularly starting with Mumbai and the surrounding areas because that is our main source market. Jammu & Kashmir, in particular Kashmir and Ladakh attracts the maximum tourists from all around the world. The government will do and has always been doing for their people, for example we organize Amarnath Yatra in Kashmir which again attracts a lot of people from across India. As you know the common people of Kashmir are peace loving, they want the tourists to be extremely comfortable, we want tourists to come and be our guests. We will do everything, whatever is possible for us to do that you are comfortable and safe.” Sudhir Patil, President, MTOA, said, “In Srinagar, Pahalgam, Sonmarg, Gulmarg and including Katra, Jammu and another …

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Trafalgar announces 100% definite departures for 2019 Europe & Britain

Trafalgar has announced 100% Definite Departures on its Europe and Britain trips for the 2019 summer season. “We know it’s been a challenging sales year for our agent partners with high consumer interest yet a later booking window, so we are going 100% definite to help our valued partners close the sale and reassure their clients that now is the best time to book.” says Gavin Tollman, Trafalgar’s CEO. To celebrate 100 per cent definite departures and a decade of connecting guests with the locals through its ‘Be My Guest’, Trafalgar is offering US$200 savings per couple for bookings made before 31 March 2019. “Travellers globally are craving reassurance, which they will always get with Trafalgar. With our existing deposit guarantees, our extensive range of 100+ award-winning European trips and our 4.7/5 independent Feefo rating, now combined with our 100% definite departure status, agent partners can sell us with 100 per cent confidence. Cultural experiences like cooking lessons, after-hours dining at the Vatican are other experiences Trafalgar’s guests can buy. “We are always AgentsFirst, and by making our trips 100% Definite Departure status, alongside our great offers right now with up to 15 per cent off all May departures for our Europe and Britain departures, Trafalgar is the only choice to truly deliver on fulfilling one’s travel dreams,” Tollman concluded.

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Indian operators explore new regions in France at ‘Rendezvous en France’

The Indian trade delegation that is currently in France to attend the annual show Rendezvous en France 2019 organised by Atout France has been exploring the potential of regions yet unfamiliar to the Indian travellers. The 32-member delegation hosted by Atout France India includes tour operators from Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Bengaluru. The regions that the Indian delegates found appealing for their clients include Provence and the Rhône-Alpes. The two-day show is being held in Marseille this year to promote the region in the international markets. About 915 tour operators from 73 different countries are attending this B2B travel show, one of the biggest trade events in France.

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