Category Archives: Agents

Thomas Cook India to dissolve brand Kuoni; discontinue brand Thomas Cook after 2025

Thomas Cook will discontinue with brand Kuoni and rebrand it as SOTC India, which will operate independently, revealed Madhavan Menon, Chairman and MD Thomas Cook (India). Also, he revealed that Thomas Cook (India) will not be using the Thomas Cook brand after 2025. Talking of the new structure post the acquisition of Kuoni India, Menon said that the company has started the process of discontinuing the Kuoni brand in India. He said, “The Kuoni brand is available to us in India for one year and we plan to migrate to SOTC.” Kuoni’s outbound business will be known as SOTC India Pvt Ltd. SOTC will have an independent management team. It will continue to run the outbound business – packages holidays, corporate travel, MICE and domestic travel that will be launched. Thomas Cook India will de-merge SITA – Kuoni India’s inbound brand – and merge it with TCI. This company will be known as TCI, which will be headed by Dipak Deva , incorporate the three brands– TCI, SITA and Distant Frontiers. Further, he disclosed that The Thomas Cook India Group is allowed use of the Thomas Cook brand till 2025.  As part of its Brand Transition Strategy, the plan to hence leverage the strengths of these brands and draw up a strategy to replace the Thomas Cook brand in the long term.

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MakeMyTrip gets $180 million funding from China’s Ctrip.com

Travel website Ctrip.com has invested $180 million (about Rs. 1,200 crore) in MakeMyTrip. The deal was done in the form of convertible bonds, Ctrip.com said in a statement today. “With the investment, we will have a place in the rising online travel market in India,” said Liang Jianzhang, CEO, Ctrip.com. The partnership will benefit both companies, as there are many similarities between China and India’s online tourism, state-run Xinhua quoted Deep Kalra, CEO, MakeMyTrip. Founded in 2000, MakeMyTrip is the biggest online travel agent in India. Tourism grew by 10 per cent in the country last year, according to research company PhocusWright. Online sales rose 16 per cent last year. Ctrip.com said the move will make it easier for Chinese tourists to visit India. Over 100 million Chinese tourists visited abroad last year spending billions of dollars. The increasing numbers of Chinese tourists abroad made India and number of countries to woo them with easy visa access. India has extended the e-visa scheme to the Chinese tourists.

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Thomas Cook India partners with TravPax 5 Solution to offer best rates

Thomas Cook India has taken the decision to implement the TravPax 5 Solution across its entire Indian network of travel stores and call centres. The new solution will provide connections to dozens of worldwide wholesalers, GDS, low-cost carriers and others channels, allowing Thomas Cook India to provide the best available rates to its clients and subsidiaries, either as a standalone product or via dynamic packaging. “At Thomas Cook India, technology is at the forefront of our strategy and given today’s rapidly growing base of digital native Indian consumers, offering immediate options and value driven rates for travel bookings is vital,” said Amit Madhan, Chief Operating Officer, IT & e-services, Thomas Cook India. “Our partnership with TravPax will empower our offline franchise and call centre teams with immediate access to best rates and inventory across a range of services including flights, hotels and holiday packages.” Laurent Maytal, CEO of Singapore-based TravPax Solutions, added, “The travel world is changing fast and access to the most up-to-date information on how to get you the best value becomes a major challenge. Value is king. However, that does not mean the cheapest cost always wins. Travellers are seeking quality products at an affordable price and this is exactly what Thomas cook will achieve.” Thomas Cook India now operates in 233 locations (including 23 airport counters) in 92 cities across India, Mauritius & Sri Lanka.

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Vishal Suri replaces Rajeev Wagle as MD, Kuoni India

In a major shuffle after the Kuoni Travel (India) was taken over by Thomas Cook (India), it has been announced that Vishal Suri has been appointed as MD of Kuoni Travel (India) effective January 4, 2016. Prior to the appointment, Suri headed the outbound portfolio as Chief Executive Officer – Tour Operating, Kuoni India. Rajeev Wagle, stepped down as MD, Kuoni India with effect from January 4, 2016. Madhavan Menon, Chairman and MD of Thomas Cook (India) said, “It gives us great pleasure to appoint Vishal Suri as the Managing Director of Kuoni Travel (India). He comes with a wealth of experience: over 22 years across a gamut of consumer centric industries like telecom, internet, and office automation; including over a decade in running travel businesses. We wish him every success in his new role. We respect Rajeev Wagle’s decision to pursue his interests outside the organisation and place on record our sincere appreciation for his contributions to building Kuoni-SOTC, as also his expertise and extensive experience of over 26 years, across industries.”

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Takeover bids for Kuoni Global

Kuoni Group’s Board of Directors has confirmed that it has received preliminary approaches from third parties regarding a potential offer for the Kuoni Group and its businesses. However, the company has released in a statement that discussions are at a preliminary stage and there can be no certainty at this stage that an offer will be made, nor as to the terms on which any offer might be made. The Board of Directors is evaluating the situation, also taking into consideration all other strategic possibilities.

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