Category Archives: Agents

Cox & Kings celebrates 260th anniversary in Mumbai

Cox & Kings celebrated its 260th anniversary at The St Regis Mumbai. The evening was graced by Jaykumar Rawal, Tourism Minister, Maharashtra, along with several diplomats and business leaders from the travel and hospitality fraternity. Rawal said, “Tourism is the largest industry in the world. India has a multitude of experiences, you name anything and we have it. Similarly, Maharashtra has so much to offer – forts, islands, history, mountains, city life, but there is a need to promote it well. Moreover, we work closely with Cox & Kings on Deccan Odyssey, India’s leading luxury train that promotes the state as part of its itinerary.” Speaking at the event, Peter Kerkar, Group CEO, Cox & Kings, said, “We are the best in the industry, not because we are the oldest, but we are the oldest because we are the best in the industry. We place priority on achieving excellence, which has been made possible with unwavering commitment from our staff who embody the spirit of service, to go beyond their call of duty in creating seamless travel experiences for our customers and travel partners.” The company has several firsts to its name, including chartering a special plane to view the longest solar eclipse of the 21st century, introducing Russia’s first luxury train ‘Bolshoi Express’, launching state-of-the-art luxury railway journeys in India, revamping many Indian palaces as wedding destinations, offering tailor-made packages to the Maha Kumbh Mela and acquiring a mountain in the heart of the Swiss Alps.

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Thomas Cook opens new branch in New Delhi

Thomas Cook (India) has expanded its presence with the inauguration of a new branch at G–42, West End Mall, Janakpuri. Those present during the event included V Uppal, Owner, Brick Career Edu and Deepesh Varma, Sr Vice President, Foreign Exchange, Thomas Cook (India). The expansion augments Thomas Cook India’s distribution and reach in Delhi/NCR to 29 consumer access centres: 13 owned branches, 10 Gold Circle Partner (franchise) outlets and 6 Airport counters (Delhi international and domestic airports). Thomas Cook’s internal research had highlighted Janakpuri as a high-potential catchment and the company has hence chosen the location as a key driver of its prolonged strategic plan.

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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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