Mumbai: Enriching existing destinations with unique experiences and adding new destinations are necessary for ensuring growth. “For the series customer, creating unique experiences in existing destinations is very critical to ensure repeat business because the destination is the same that all players are offering,” states Romil Pant, Senior Vice President– Holidays, Thomas Cook (India).
“In Europe for example, St. Moritz in Switzerland; Ferrari Land in Spain; Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid are some of the unique experiences we have added. Another addition is the culinary experiences in each destination. Today’s series customer does not want to do budget travel to nine destinations in 15 days. They want to immerse.
“In 2018, as a company we have done very well in destinations like Japan, Egypt, Kenya and Australia. We have also started multi-lingual departures from around the world – Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Gujarathi, Marathi, Assamese, Konkani and of course English and Hindi,” informed Pant. This is certain to provide a lot of comfort to many travellers.
Adding new destinations is another priority for Thomas Cook. Morocco has just been opened and South America is also on offer. “We have already booked over 200 guests and the internal target for the year is 1000,” said Pant. The Balkan States is yet another focus, this year. And thanks to an ever-growing interest in the Northern Lights, places like Northern Canada, Alaska, Iceland, Finland and Norway too are popular.
While metro cities continue to contribute well, the new trend is the significant volumes coming in from non-traditional markets, says Pant. “We always thought of tier II and III cities as smaller markets but they are not,” concedes Pant.
Most Indians travel to the Middle East or South East Asia especially if it’s their first international holiday. “Demand for short hauls is ever increasing,” confirmed Pant. “Repeat customers are also high and they want to see what is new in Dubai, Singapore or Thailand.”
Outbound contributes about 80 per cent revenue for Thomas Cook (India) and in domestic it is one of the top three players. Group Fixed Departure accounts for 60 per cent of India outbound, the remaining 40 per cent being FIT and small tailor-made groups (ad-hoc groups).
India domestic business is split in the middle with both Group and FIT contributing 50 per cent each.