Tag Archives: SOTC Travel

India bags several PATA Grand and Gold awards in Langkawi

The winners of the 2018 PATA Grand and Gold Awards were felicitated at PATA Travel Mart 2018 on September 14 at the Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre in Langkawi, Malaysia.  PATA Gold Award 2018 for Women Empowerment Initiative went to Peak DMC, India, for empowering women through inclusive work and PATA Gold Award 2018 for Heritage was bagged by Sahapedia for India Heritage Walk Festival. SOTC Travel won the award for Marketing Media – Travel Advertisement Broadcast Media while Yalla Kerala campaign of Kerala Tourism, bagged the PATA Gold Award for Marketing Media – Travel Advertisement Print Media. Cox & Kings India won the award for Marketing Media – Travel Brochure, an experiantial showcase of Indian journeys. The Ultimate Travelling Camp (TUTC) won the PATA Gold Award for Marketing Media – Travel Video. Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA, said, “I would like to congratulate the 2018 PATA Grand and Gold Award winners as well as all of this year’s participants for their submissions. This year’s winners exemplify the true values of the association in working towards a more responsible travel and tourism industry in the Asia Pacific region.” Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Director, Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), said, “This year’s PATA Gold Award winners present us with yet another wide array of remarkable accomplishments in different branches of the tourism industry. MGTO is honoured to help facilitate this PATA awards programme in inspiring tourism stakeholders throughout the Asia Pacific region.” This year’s awards attracted 200 entries from 87 organisations and individuals worldwide.

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SOTC witnesses 25-30% growth in South India

In a focused effort to cater to its growing south region travellers, SOTC has organised special regional Tamil tours. For SOTC, Tamil Nadu has recorded a growth of over 25-30 per cent annually as compared to the previous year. Cities like Salem, Coimbatore, Chennai, Erode and Pondicherry continue to show impressive growth. With the emerging potential witnessed from Port Blair as well, SOTC will be venturing into opening a branch shortly to meet its demand. SOTC’s entry into the Tamil Nadu market segment has drawn focus to not only the business travellers but also the leisure business segment and the highly viable b-leisure segment (business plus leisure). The company’s highest enquiries come from the State include leisure, bleisure and MiCE. Daniel D’souza, Head of Sales – India & NRI Markets & E-Commerce, SOTC Travel said, “The Tamil Nadu market is an advanced market and they look to travel and indulge in new experiences and culture. Tamil Nadu currently contributes significantly to our overall SOTC business and given the strong YoY growth and high potential, we have identified the state as a key strategic focus for our company.” He added, “To offer value to our loyal and growing Tamil customer segment, we had created unique regional tours that offer a regional touch while on an international holiday and this has been inspiring impressive uptake with a growth of 25-30% YoY.”

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SOTC curates Great Rail Journeys & Self Drive Holidays

SOTC has curated two products both for outbound as well as the domestic Indian traveller- Great Rail Journeys & Self Drive Holidays. To capture high potential leisure markets for the outbound Indian traveller, SOTC has launched Great Rail Journeys in collaboration with “Great Rail Journeys” UK’s leading operator with over 40 years of experience in arranging holidays by rail. This enables the travellers to discover the best of the world through travelling on iconic trains across entire continents such as Europe, Asia and Americas. The Great Rail Journey Holiday package from SOTC offers personalized travel through fully ushered rail tours that provide authentic experiences delivered with complete seamlessness. Each itinerary involves travel on special trains indigenous to the region. From ultra-modern trains to iconic heritage lines, SOTC believes that traditional rail travel will give travellers the most memorable aspects of their global adventures. Self-drive holidaying, as a travel product and a trend, is becoming progressively more popular amongst Indian travellers. To tap into this segment SOTC has launched Self-Drive holiday packages for the domestic market in India. SOTC provides self-drive car rental on a set itinerary combining with choicest hotel stays on stay & breakfast basis. The itinerary has suggestions for tourists, which they can follow if they wish to. These packages offer great value for money and convenience for customers. With a fixed package, all hotel and car arrangements are taken care of, plus complimentary road maps and a detailed route itinerary. The unique product offerings ensure a comfortable and hassle-free journey on wheels, for families, couples and ad hoc groups of friends. Speaking about the exclusive product offerings Amod Thatte, Head Product, Contracting & Innovation, SOTC Travel said, …

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SOTC opens first-ever store offering VR experience in Bengaluru

SOTC Travel strengthens its presence in Bengaluru with the inauguration of its first-ever experiential store offering Virtual Reality (VR) experiences. SOTC created a first-of-its-kind customer experience zone where customers can be inspired by the different destinations through VR’s for real time experience of the key destinations that SOTC provides like New Zealand, South Africa and other destinations like Australia, Abu Dhabi, South Korea. The store at St. Marks Road comprises of a digital screen that features video itineraries of destinations and holiday experiences for the customer which could be viewed from an iPad. Speaking about the launch, Daniel D’souza, Head Sales, India and NRI Markets, SOTC Travel, said, “We believe customer experience is the key in making our business successful in this competitive and growing industry. It is extremely important for us to ensure that we keep delivering and enriching holiday experiences for our customers. Virtual Reality technology will allow us to know the clients’ needs before he even knows what he wants.” He further added, “The store is one of our efforts to reinvent the buying experience for our customers. Its strategic location offers convenience and accessibility. We ensure that we provide superior service to our customers by meeting their every expectation”.

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SOTC opens its first store in New Delhi

SOTC Travel strengthened its presence in New Delhi with the inauguration of its first ever signature store in North Delhi at Netaji Subhash Place, D Mall. This new expansion augments SOTC’s distribution and reach in New Delhi. North Delhi, a potential market for SOTC which has been growing consistently year on year has seen remarkable progress with doubled sales numbers over the last 3 years. In an attempt to reach the optimum potential of this market and strive to provide the best pre & post tour experience to customers, SOTC Travel has come up with this unique concept of the first Signature store in the National Capital. Daniel D’souza, Head Sales, India and NRI Markets, SOTC Travel said, “We believe customer experience is the key to make our business successful in this ever competitive and growing tour operators industry. Along with increasing our distribution presence in almost all parts of Delhi/NCR, It is extremely important for us to ensure that we keep delivering up to the maximum potential of these markets and this requires us to enhance and deliver enriching holiday experiences to our customers. The Signature store is one of our efforts to reinvent the buying experience for our customers at our franchise outlets. Its strategic location offers convenience and accessibility to customers providing excellent branding and visibility. Our dedicated sales resources ensure we provide superior service to our customers meeting their every expectation.”

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SOTC launches new sales app to streamline sales process

In a bid to streamline its sales process, SOTC has introduced a new sales app called ‘Engage’. The mobile sales app empowers field representatives to close deals on the go from anywhere. Sales representatives can now deal with last-minute scenarios. This allows users to customise the app for their business, close deals faster, use marketing features to turn consumers into customers and deliver customer service immediately. Daniel D’souza, Head Sales, India and NRI Markets, SOTC Travel said, “The sole purpose of introducing the app was to boost the team’s sales productivity while giving the team the core sales tools needed to grow the business. With mobile data reiterating the Indian travellers’ shift to ecommerce, as pioneers in the travel services space, we are pleased to present the new sales app.” The app simplifies the sales and booking process for the sales user, enhances customers’ experience and lowers risk of errors. Users can now record bookings and confirm packages while they are on the go.

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SOTC upgrades website with greater focus on online sales

has increased its focus on the travel e-commerce space with an upgraded portal that offers an experiential holiday buying experience for travellers with new features. The website offers customers a more engaging user experience with enhanced search and map navigation. Vishal Suri, Managing Director, SOTC Travel says, “Our desire was to use technology to allow customers to engage seamlessly with us across our physical and digital platforms. The new website is built on SOTC’s Omni-channel approach which is customer-centric and helps us deliver an integrated digital experience to our customers. The clean and more attractive website presents a more engaging user experience. Features such as multiple payment options, price comparing feature and share/ recommend holiday to friends and family offer our visitors a very informative experience. We have also added new and enhanced content offering huge innovative packages- international and domestic. We look forward to an increase in website visitors, content consumption and feedback from our users on our new developments.” Highlights of the upgraded website include multiple payment options, price comparing feature, and retrieval feature that shows past bookings and highlights current offers and promotions.

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Holiday packages to get pricey

Brijesh Modi, Head-Finance & Commercial, SOTC Travel, says, “Due to the changes in the taxable services from 30 per cent to 60 per cent on holiday packages (bundled services), the effective service tax rate will see an increase from 4.5 per cent to nine per cent.” He adds that the tax on hotel accommodation services provided by travel agents is expected to increase from the current 1.5 per cent but agents are still seeking clarification on the same. “On transport services provided by travel agents, the current service tax rate will remain at six per cent. Above change in service tax will increase the selling prices of holiday packages,” Modi says.

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