Category Archives: Agents

Cholan Tours inks agreement with Andhra Pradesh Tourism

Cholan Tours Pvt Ltd has signed an agreement with Andhra Pradesh Tourism Department for special darshans of Lord Venkateshwara at world famous shrine Tirupati Balaji, thus becoming first tour company to offer this service in collaboration with the Tourism Department. It is a known fact that it is probably the most visited Hindu temple by devotees from all over India and also by NRIs settled across the world. Pandian, MD of Cholan Tours Group informs, “Recent news reports mentioned that on certain days pilgrims waited for darshan for 20 hours and even people who paid Rs 300 for VIP darshan waited for 6 hours. Given the fact that mostly family members and elderly people come for Tirupati, these uncertain waiting hours are always a big concern for who wish to do this pilgrimage. Here, we in association with Andhra Pradesh Tourism come with a service of guaranteed special darshan (in maximum 02 hours’ time) in morning slot. I believe it will be a good news for those potential pilgrims who wishes to come to this holy destination. Those who book with us, will be taken in a group escorted by a guide who will ensure a quick & smooth passage for the tourists-cum-pilgrims.” He further informs that soon South Tourism will have its own office in Tirupati to ensure better coordination for the clients who book this service with them.

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KTDC ties up with Cleartrip as its online booking partner

Cleartrip has tied up with the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) as its exclusive online booking partner for local tours and activities. Under the association, KTDC will sell all of its exclusive set of activities through the Cleartrip platform, including both existing and new inventory of conducted tours and boat trips. The partnership is also Cleartrip’s first with a government tourism board, marking a major milestone for the online travel agency. Commenting on the association, Ankit Rastogi, VP- Experiences and Accommodation, Cleartrip, said, “The biggest benefit of this tie-up will be to the travellers, who now can access and book all of KTDC’s inventory of tours and activities online on a single platform. We hope that this partnership will spur more such associations where Cleartrip partners with other government tourism promoters to make their offerings available through its online portal.” Mr Rajmohan, Marketing Manager, KTDC, commented, “Our goal is to extend greater convenience in terms of planning and booking these popular activities. We have recently launched a new set of conducted tours to highlight local experiences which best convey the state’s distinct culture and heritage. Cleartrip’s pioneering efforts in the tours and activities space made it our first choice when it came to choosing a partner to help us connect with and engage young travellers.”

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Globus introduces European Private Touring for a group size of two to two dozen people

Globus has recently introduced Private Touring in Europe designed for parties ranging from two to two dozen people. Any Europe itinerary can be converted to a Private Touring experience once an itinerary is chosen and the travelling party’s numbers have been confirmed. Of particular interest to travellers looking for a multi-generational experience, there is no age restriction for travellers and even infants can join on the tour. “The biggest opportunity for agents is with friends and family groups,” stated Varesh Chopra, Regional Director – South Asia & Middle East, Globus family of brands. “A Globus Private Tour is a great way to give those groups that perfect balance of logistics support with the personalised delivery of catering to their particular group. For all agents who have those group prospects,reaching out proactively now to suggest a private tour could translate to a nice incremental revenue opportunity along with a great experience for their clients.” Above the brochure price for the regular tour, travellers pay a supplement based on the number of people in the group. The higher the number of guests, the lower the supplement per person.  

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SITE India conducts networking evening in Delhi

The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE), recently held its networking meeting in Delhi. Speaking at the event, Anup Nair, President, SITE said, “We have invited people from different fields of the industry. We are hoping to introduce SITE to them and bring the India chapter to limelight. We have 40 members in India, and with more people being aware of the value of this membership, I hope there will be more traction.” On the value of this membership, he said, “The value is in education in the field of incentive travel. Since incentive travel is such a powerful tool for driving business results. So incentive travel business results is what SITE is about, giving education to use incentive travel to drive business results.” Shoba Mohan, Founder-Partner, RARE India has been appointed as the Director Communication for SITE India chapter. She said, “When I learnt of what SITE does globally, it just seemed like the kind of things we love to do at RARE. We would be definitely doing the SITE members meet every month. SITE believes in a lot of education content, empowering people with a lot of knowledge based around incentives. That is something we will be focusing on.”  

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Two Indian start-ups receive the highest grants from Booking.com’s €2 million fund

Indian start-ups Sakha Consulting Wings: Women on Wheels and Global Himalayan Expedition were awarded this year’s highest grants of €325k and €400k respectively by Booking.com. The company has announced the 10 sustainable tourism start-ups receiving scaling grants as part of its 2018 Booking Booster accelerator programme. After three weeks of workshops and intensive coaching sessions, the programme culminated in a final pitch to receive grants of up to €500k from Booking.com’s €2 million fund to help support the next stage of the startups’ projected growth. The 10 teams of finalists pitched their scaling plans to a live audience and panel of expert judges in Amsterdam. “We are delighted that two startups from India with great ideas focused on sustainable tourism were a part of the grand finale and both have received a combined total grant of €7.25 lakhs. Our aim is to build a network of like-minded organisations and individuals that are leveraging technology to create a more sustainable future for destinations worldwide,” said Ritu Mehrotra, Country Manager – India, Booking.com on the sidelines of the Booking Booster finale held at Tobacco theatre, Amsterdam. All the startups that participated in the program will receive 12 months of ongoing mentoring and coaching from a strategic mix of Booking.com experts representing all parts of the business, as well as opportunities and access to collaborate with Booking.com on potential innovation initiatives and experiments to help accelerate their future growth.

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VFS Global to facilitate Fan IDs for FIFA World Cup

As Russia looks forward to welcoming football enthusiasts for the FIFA World Cup 2018, VFS Global offers extra convenience to football fans by providing access to more than 165 of its Visa Application Centres across the globe as distribution points for Fan IDs. A Fan ID is a personalised spectator’s card, which provides fast and convenient access to the stadium. Fans have the option of selecting their nearest most convenient Visa Application Centre for delivery of their FAN IDs. In addition, with a Fan ID foreign spectators can enter Russia visa-free. It also entitles spectators to free travel on special trains connecting the host cities and on public transportation of the host cities on match days. Entry and exit to the Russian Federation with a Fan ID will be possible starting ten days prior and after to the date of the first and last matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Prabuddha Sen, Chief Operating Officer – CIS & Eastern Europe, VFS Global, said, “We are delighted to be working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and offer our services to facilitate Fan IDs for the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup. Fans can collect the spectator’s card from our 165 application centres across 72 countries worldwide. Vast network of centres, easy accessibility, online tracking, amongst other advantages, will make it much more convenient for visitors, providing them with greater speed and transparency in the process, thereby enhancing their overall World Cup experience.”

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Cox & Kings opens Thai Visa Application Centre in Chennai

Cox & Kings Global Services (CKGS) has recently opened a new Thai Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Chennai. Located at Wellingdon Estate Building, the centre will serve as the Hub VAC for its South India operations and cater to all categories of visas such as tourist, transit, non-immigrant, business, work, crew and medical visa. The new centre was inaugurated by Her Excellency Krongkanit Rakcharoen, Consul-General, Royal Thai Consulate-General, Chennai in the presence of senior CKGS officials. Speaking on the occasion, Rakcharoen said, “Thailand has emerged as one of the most favourite destinations for Indians with the number of travellers crossing a million mark. Considering the growing number of travellers from Chennai, it was essential to start the visa application service centre for this region. With CKGS, we aim to continue hassle-free visa processing for Indian travellers and maintain high professional standards.” Commenting on the opening, Venku Murthi, Chief Operating Officer, CKGS said, “We are expanding out footprints in south India with the commitment to ensure excellent visa services to applicants who want to travel to Thailand.’’ The visa application form can be filled online but the applicants would have to visit the VAC to submit printout of the duly signed application form along with other required documents and collect them once the visa has been issued.

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Cox & Kings’ Self-Drive 365 to pave way for road journeys in India & across the world

Setting off a new trend of self-drive holidays, Self-Drive 365 powered by Cox & Kings, aims to encourage travellers to discover and be a one-stop road trip planner while offering a wide array of road-trips within India and across the globe. The new segment will ensure a 24*7 support crew that will never throw a spanner in the works of a road-trip be it in any part of the world. The brand allows customisation basis experiences, terrains and several enticing activities. Be it a winding hill-climb, arrow-straight highways, tunnel of trees or beach-hugging coastal roads, each route is fun for a different reason. Speaking at the launch, Debolin Sen, Business Head, Self-Drive 365 said, “With a highly experienced expert panel, round-the-clock assistance, hassle-free paperwork and series of thematic routes, Self-Drive 365 is set to be the pioneer of self-drive tours in the country”. Karan Anand, Head, Relationships, Cox & Kings said, “In line with the emergence of experiential travel, the market for self-drives is growing. Through this unique offering, we wish to ensure, our travellers don’t miss the important part of local exploration.” ‘The USA – The Great Pacific Drive’, ‘Spain – Spanish Tango’, Ireland – The Wild Atlantic Drive’ are few of the international drives whereas the ‘Heart of the Himalayas’, ‘Into the Tiger’s Lair’ and ‘East Coast Life’ are some that lets the enthusiasts explore India by road.

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Thomas Cook India opens forex outlet in Pune

Thomas Cook (India) has identified Maharashtra as a significant growth market for its foreign exchange business and to leverage this opportunity, it has opened a branch at Hinjewadi, Pune. Hinjewadi, one of the India’s largest Special Economic Zones (SEZ), is home to India’s corporate houses and MNCs, including top IT majors. Via its new outlet, the company aims at harnessing this significant yet underleveraged opportunity for its foreign exchange business. The new branch takes the total foreign exchange network for the company in Pune to six and and 30 in Maharashtra. The outlet will also offer prepaid travel cards. Thomas Cook India also has a forex app. Mahesh Iyer, Chief Executive Officer, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd said, “Maharashtra has been identified as a key source market and Pune is a strong growth driver that continues to deliver over 30% YoY for our Foreign Exchange business. We have hence selected the prime location of Hinjewadi for our new outlet in Pune- its viable catchment of consumers across families, young professionals and business travellers offers us significant opportunity.”  

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Sports tourism industry in India witnesses 10-12% growth

Sports tourism is witnessing 10-12 per cent growth as Indians are showing more enthusiasm for visiting a country to attend sports event, according to industry experts. “Globally, sports tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry. According to estimates, global sports tourism was worth USD 7 billion in 2017. While it is a mature industry overseas, in India it is in infancy (stage),” says Karan Anand, Head of Relationships, Cox and Kings. The first love for Indians is cricket and they travel to watch the game, whether in India or overseas, he added. “There has also been a shift in the interest for other sporting events like the Soccer World Cup or the Olympics. We see 10-12 per cent growth in arrivals to these destinations, when a major sporting event takes place,” he said. Indians travel to Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and England to watch cricket matches. However, over the last 10 years, there is a growing interest to watch the Olympics, the Soccer World Cup and Grand Prix Formula One motor events. The Olympics or Soccer World Cup are highlights for Indians and they love the atmosphere associated with the games, Anand said, adding that there are people who travel to specific sporting events during the Olympics or a few of them only travel for the opening ceremony. He said this segment is primarily dominated by men who come together to watch the sporting event. Source: PTI

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