Category Archives: Agents

TCI to acquire Kuoni’s Destination Management Specialists in 17 countries

Thomas Cook (India) through its wholly-owned subsidiaries Thomas Cook India Group announced its acquisition of Kuoni’s global network of Destination Management Specialists, covering 17 countries across the geographies of the Americas, Africa, Middle East, Asia and Australia. The transaction will be completed post customary closing conditions. The multinational acquisition creates a strong global network that will transform the Thomas Cook India Group into a globally integrated travel services provider with the ability to leverage inherent synergies across its global travel portfolio. The agreement includes premium brands with expert knowledge of their respective regions, including, ‘Asian Trails’, ‘Desert Adventures Tourism’, ‘Gulf Dunes’, ‘Private Safaris (East & South)’, ‘Allied TPro’ as well as ‘Australian Tours Management’ and extends across 17 countries – USA, Canada, South Africa, Kenya, Namibia, The United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Oman, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia and Australia. Madhavan Menon, Chairman & Managing Director, Thomas Cook India Group said, “In keeping with the Fairfax strategic intent of fair and friendly acquisitions, our agreement to acquire Kuoni’s global network of Destination Management Specialists in 17 countries, provides us a significant expanded global footprint with enhanced presence in The Americas, Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia- all favoured destinations for tourists and business travellers worldwide.” He added, “This acquisition is a strong reiteration that the Thomas Cook India Group continues to invest and grow its travel businesses globally with a view to creating strong value for its customers.”

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Carlson Wagonlit Travel launches solution for SMEs

Carlson Wagonlit Travel has launched a business travel solution specially designed for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in India called ‘CWT For You’. The solution will give SMEs access to CWT’s specially negotiated airfares and hotel rates, as well as added benefits like in-flight meals, preferred seat selection, flight changes and cancellations at no extra charge on various low-cost carriers. Typically these benefits can add up to close to 20 per cent of the ticket price. Geeta Jain, CEO, India, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, says, “Indian SMEs and start-ups have seen tremendous growth in recent years, with many expanding nationwide and some even venturing into international markets,” said. “Yet most of these companies have very little control over what they spend on business travel – a significant chunk of their total spend.” With no minimum spend threshold or applicable transaction fees, this new service is available through a web-based registration and is focused on giving these growing businesses access to some of the benefits of managed travel that larger corporations enjoy.

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Garuda hosts Open House for the travel trade

Garuda Indonesia recently hosted an Open House for the travel trade in Mumbai in association with Visit Indonesia Tourism Office. The airline has appointed Bird Travels as its GSA that has eight offices across India. The purpose of the event was to create awareness about the airline’s new office in Mumbai and informing the trade about the various opportunities available to promote Indonesia as a destination. Garuda Indonesia recently inaugurated its office in Mumbai. Product presentation was given to the travel fraternity to update them more on Garuda Indonesia Services and to promote Indonesian destinations beyond Bali. To enable passengers to take advantage of the summer holiday season, Garuda Indonesia is running a special return promotional fare valid for travel until April 26, 2017. Mumbai to Jakarta and Denpasar (Bali) all-inclusive Economy class return fares starts from Rs. 22,000 and Business class from Rs. 58,000. (T&C apply) The fares are available for purchase from the Garuda Indonesia, Mumbai sales office and the appointed travel agents. Garuda Indonesia’s Jakarta-bound service operates on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and is operated by Garuda’s state-of-the-art 162-seater, Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

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Celebrity Cruise’s new ship eyes premium market from India to sail the Caribbean

Celebrity Cruises is eyeing the Indian cruise market for its newly introduced ship-Celebrity Edge, which will begin sailing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Eastern and Western Caribbean region in December 2018. Represented by TIRUN Travel Marketing in India, the cruise line has opened its early bird bookings and is luring the ultra luxury market in India. Talking about the expectations from the India market, Ratna Chadha, Chief Executive, TIRUN Travel Marketing, says, “We are not looking for the masses. It is those customers who see value in our offering and are looking for an experience that only we can offer them. The industry and in general and our distribution partners in particular are required to break the myths surrounding cruising in India. It is only then will people see the value in this segment, which is definitely not a niche product.” The new ship has introduced a new concept of Infinite Staterooms that take the entire room right to the vast sea’s edge, informs, Apple Woo, Head- Sales and Marketing, Celebrity Cruises. The ship offers 1467 staterooms with double occupancy capacity of 2918 out of which 918 are Edge Staterooms with Infinitive verandas. The ship also has 176 suites, an increase to 12 percent from Celebrity’s other ships, adds Woo.

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TCEB launches campaign to incentivise Indian MICE travellers

The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), in collaboration with Visa International (Thailand) Company Limited, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Thai Airways, Thai Smile Airways Company Limited, and Department of International Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce, has launched the Spice Up Thailand 2017 campaign for the fourth consecutive year. The campaign offers special privileges for MICE travelers, such as 10 per cent hotel discounts, 50 per cent discounts for car rentals and airport transfers, Bt500 cash coupons for shopping, 25 per cent restaurant discounts, and 50 per cent off golf course green fees. In addition, other hotel, shopping, dining, wellness, activity and transportation promotions have been made available.  In 2017, the Spice Up Thailand Campaign is working in alliance with registered organizations with more than 60 exhibitions in total. Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, President,  TCEB, said,  “Promoting MICE-related business through adopting an online marketing strategy has been a significant tool applied by TCEB, aimed to boost the domestic and international market of MICE travelers. Consistent with the government’s Digital Economy policy, this will drive the growth of Thailand’s MICE industry, while also supporting the overall economic growth of the country.” TCEB has developed the Spice Up Thailand campaign together with five partners in order to promote and create awareness of the MICE industry overseas, as well as delivering a first-class experience to MICE travelers; in turn,  help to increase spending and encourage MICE travelers to extend their stay in Thailand. The campaign has been carried out for the previous three years and is continuously developing in terms of adding new privileges for domestic MICE travelers, and targeting the MICE industry in Asia, specifically CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) countries. In the previous year, …

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AVIAREPS appointed as Budget Car Rental’s India Rep

AVIAREPS  has been appointed as the sales and marketing representative for  Budget Car Rental in India. Under the agreement, AVIAREPS will run a self-drive information centre which will enable consumers to book budget for self-drive reservations outside of India. Speaking on the occasion, Sandra Hutchinson, International Commercial Manager, Avis Budget Group EMEA said, “We are thrilled to be working with AVIAREPS on the launch of Budget Car Rental.  It is an exciting time for Indian travellers and adding a Budget Car to European and worldwide travel itineraries will provide the flexibility and enjoyment for a trip to remember.  With competitive leisure rates and more than 3,500 locations around the world, Budget is great value and an excellent choice for the international traveller.” The company will work closely with the Indian travel trade to tap the fast-growing outbound self-drive segment, informed,  Puneet Singh Pesricha, Sales Manager, AVIAREPS India. Commenting on the partnership, Joseph Fernandes, General Manager, AVIAREPS India, explained, “We are elated to be appointed by Budget Car Rental as their representative in India. They have a global presence and are well-known for rendering value for money. In addition, self-drive vacations have seen an upward swing in the recent years thanks to the growing inclination of Indian travellers who want to experience the freedom of renting a car when travelling overseas.”

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SBI, C&K to sell SBI pre-paid travel cards

The State Bank of India (SBI) announced pilot launch of a distribution alliance with Cox & Kings Ltd for sale of travel prepaid cards in India. This partnership will help marketing of Travel prepaid card available in eight Currencies (US Dollar, GBP, Euro, Singapore Dollars, Jap Yen, Canadian Dollars, Australian Dollars & Saudi Riyal) and will currently target the corporate customers of the bank. Manju Agarwal, Deputy Managing Director,(Digital Banking and New Businesses) State Bank of India said, The Bank is excited as this has been the third  alliance SBI has entered into for travel Card business to supplement their distribution reach which is already very deep in the consumer segment. The partnership with Cox & Kings Ltd will help the bank to serve their corporate segment and travel segment, where the Bank is not very active in the product category due to service delivery challenges which can be facilitated with Cox & Kings Ltd   coming on board. The pilot will be initiated in select branches and based on the learning will be expanded across the country in near future. Anil Khandelwal, Chief Financial Officer, Cox & Kings Ltd, said, We are delighted to partner with SBI and to offer the entire gamut of forex services and the State Bank Travel card to its corporate customer base. Cox & Kings has an excellent track record in the distribution & servicing of forex travel cards and this association with SBI is a great opportunity to expand our presence and service large corporates.

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‘Make it to India’ before ‘Make in India’: Hoteliers to Govt on liquor ban

Travel and hospitality associations came together to analyse the impact of the Supreme Court’s liquor ban judgement and will lay out a future course of action after due deliberations on the issue with the government after a week. “This is a very challenging time for us as an industry. We are going to analyse the judgment in detail and go through how we can still serve guests and how we can manage employment impact,” said Kapil Chopra, President, The Oberoi, during a press conference held in New Delhi. Associations such as WTTC, FHRAI, NRAI, HRAH and IATO participated in the press conference. Chopra said, “We totally respect the Supreme Court’s judgement but the biggest challenge that we foresee is the loss of employment in both the hotel and restaurant sector. Also I don’t know how the government sees it but if it has to be 500 metres, it at least should be motorable distance because when people go out to pick liquor, they go by road. Generally hotels and restaurants do not sell bottles of liquor, you have to sit and consume it; now that sitting and consumption can happen in your home or in your car. So there are lot of issues we need to discuss with the government before we actually make a verdict. “If you look at Prime Minister Narendra’s Modi first five points, tourism is among those and there is a lot of work that’s happening around e-visas but what are we going to do with those e-visas when people will not apply for it. We need to make sure that India is being seen as a welcoming country, with friendly laws, strong compliance and strong focus on …

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Cox & Kings forays into adventure travel segment with Trip 360º

Cox & Kings launched Trip 360º as a one-stop-shop for all adventure travel in India. The company is offering adventure seekers a mix of 200 itineraries which include Diving with Sharks in Maldives to Skiing to the South Pole, Cycling trips in the Northeast India to some of the most remote corners of Laos, Cruising parts of Galapagos Islands and other parts of Central America to trekking the Vinson Massif in Antarctica and Sahyadri Ranges in Maharashtra. It will also launch new routes and trips to offbeat destinations like Myanmar, Papua New Guinea and sections that remain untouched by other tour operators. Rohan Prakash, Business Head, Trip 360º said, “Trip 360º is the first adventure specialist which will operate as both, an aggregator and tour operator. Our selected partners are locals from the area or specialists in their respective fields with an in-depth knowledge of the region and the local environment. We aim to consolidate their expertise with ours and create a platform for travellers to live and achieve their outdoor dream in a safe and healthy environment.” The company would offer tailored itineraries which will vary from soft, medium and hard adventures and would cater to all levels of adventure travellers. “We have handpicked and trained expert guides, leaders and suppliers to offer different adventures of international standards. We will be introducing activities like scuba diving, cycling, diving, biking and trekking and more exciting experiences within and outside India,” adds Prakash. Speaking at the launch, Karan Anand, Head-Relationships, Cox & Kings, said, “With increasing number of travellers shifting focus to experience-oriented vacations, there is an increase in the demand for the adventure travel services. The adventure travel business is …

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Thomas Cook to target leisure segment in smaller catchment markets

Thomas Cook (India), in a focused initiative to capture smaller, yet high potential local leisure markets, has conceptualised a unique customer outreach – going local- right to its customer’s doorstep. Given the demand for its ‘Grand Indian Holiday Sale’ Thomas Cook India has announced an extension, with a special Weekend Mega Holiday Sale, an on-ground activation across five key catchment localities in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai (Ghatkopar, Kandivali, Juhu, Fort and Vashi), carefully selected basis high potential demand. The venues are well located and popular with local consumers, offering optimal space for both the high traffic and interactions anticipated. This is targeted towards its high potential Maharashtrian and Gujarati customers. The weekend sale bonanza offers customers a range of attractive deals and the advantage of spot discounts up to Rs. 40,000 per person on Thomas Cook India’s holiday packages, with an added incentive of a ‘Child Travels Free’ or its Holiday pe Holiday Free’ offer on select international tours. For customers who pay the entire amount upfront, Thomas Cook India offers a further discount of up to nine per cent on select international departures. Rajeev Kale, Thomas Cook India’s President & Country Head – Leisure Travel, MICE said, “Our customers are increasingly emerging from small local pockets within larger cities, and our intent was to reach out to our customers by going local- right to their very doorstep! The Grand Indian Holiday Sale extension over the weekend will be available at 5 highly popular venues across key catchment localities across Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. Mumbai currently contributes more than 15 per cent to our holiday business and given the high growth potential, we intend to leverage this market to the …

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