Category Archives: Agents

GPS’ EDWIN UK commences in Manchester

The Educational Destination Workshop-International initiative (EDWIN), a vertical of Global Panorama Showcase (GPS), is underway in Manchester, UK. The UK has always had a great appeal among Indian travellers and with the upcoming World Cup in 2019, Manchester garners maximum interest from the Indian audience because of the big matches played here. EDWIN will conclude with B2B networking sessions between travel agents and suppliers. EDWIN aims to introduce destinations or products to the growing Tier-II, III markets of India. As GPS reaches out to almost 10,000 travel agents across Tier-II, III agents in India, EDWIN comes as an added advantage for agents not only to meet suppliers at GPS but to also have a first-hand experience, information and understanding of the destination.

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Minar Group to introduce new leisure and MiCE vertical

The Minar Group is set to come up with a new leisure and MiCE vertical known as ‘Wishcover- Inspire journeys by Minar’. The new vertical is headed by Jasmine Duggal, Director, Minar Airways. Attempting to create a benchmark in the outbound market, Wishcover will focus to provide an inspired experience to travellers within India and abroad. The group has set a target of generating 20 crore by 2020 with the new vertical.

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Thomas Cook launches Forex Card mobile app to manage multiple currencies

Thomas Cook (India) has delivered on a series of innovative mobile-first initiatives: the thomascook.in Holidays, Visa & Forex Online Stores and Apps, iLead-a CRM-integrated Holiday Sales App, Tour Manager App and customer self-service App, Click2Book for business travellers, an advanced web-technology platform Astra, robotics and machine learning, Voyager-a customised holiday bundler, etc. With a YoY growth of 16 per cent, the highest estimated growth rate by any country in the world, more than a quarter of India’s population is expected to be using smartphones by the end of 2018 (337 million users), according to eMarketer. Not surprisingly, the adoption of mobile apps has seen rapid evolution- across not merely travel, but also foreign exchange transactions. Data from Thomas Cook’s Foreign Exchange business highlights the clear shift with a 47 per cent growth in mobile transactions. Hence, in a strategic move to empower the new age, mobile-first Indian traveller, the company has launched the Thomas Cook Borderless App. The first-of-its-kind app enables its multicurrency Borderless Prepaid Forex Card users to access and manage their Borderless Prepaid Card account anywhere, anytime, from the convenience of a smartphone. Kailash Gupta, Senior Vice President & Head, Payment Solutions Thomas Cook (India), said, “Today’s impatient new-age traveller is increasingly opting for convenience and we are witnessing a significant consumer shift to mobile-led platforms for both travel and foreign exchange. Hence, in our digital focus to empower our travellers, we have launched a dedicated app for our Borderless multicurrency prepaid card users. The app, with its real time services, will significantly improve customer experience and enhance convenience and safety-security.”

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Travelport wins tender for sole distribution supplier to Air India

Travelport has announced that it had won a competitive tender process undertaken by Air India for the sole provision of distribution of its domestic flight content. The contract awarded to Travelport will begin to come into effect from November 2018 and be fully implemented by the end of 2019. The agreement confirms Air India’s continued deployment of Travelport Rich Content and Branding, now used by over 270 airlines. This displays airlines’ graphical content, their fares families and a full range of ancillary products. Travelport has seen a rapid expansion in India in recent years following the acquisition of business from the largest online travel agencies like MakeMyTrip, Ibibo, Yatra, EaseMyTrip and ClearTrip as well as working with the major corporate travel agencies and new entrants to the travel sector such as Paytm. Pradeep Singh Kharola, Chairman and Managing Director, Air India, said, “Air India is pleased to award this important contract to Travelport. In written submissions and in discussion with their team, the company demonstrated a clear understanding of our needs and displayed impressive technological and financial capability. As we make the switch to Travelport, we hope to be able to deliver even better value for money and a superior distribution to our customers in India and abroad.” Gordon Wilson, President and CEO, Travelport, commented, “Travelport is delighted to have been selected by Air India to provide these services. It is another welcome endorsement of our technology and our services in India. We look forward to implementing the agreement and delivering a world-class service to the airline.”

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Fiji Airways appoints Bird Travels as GSA in India

Fiji Airways has appointed Bird Travels, the airline management services arm of Bird Group as its local representative in India. The association marks the airline’s latest step in developing its sales distribution network within the Indian market. Reinforcing the airline’s growing confidence in the market, Bird Travels is responsible for all the airline’s sales, marketing and ticketing activities in India through its centrally located headquarters in New Delhi. “Bird Group is a veteran in air travel management and we are challenging them to capitalise on their strength and capabilities to help achieve our targets,” said Sajid Khan, Country Manager, Fiji Airways.

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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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