Category Archives: Incentives

Thomas Cook introduces Forex Card mobile app

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Thomas Cook (India) has unveiled 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. 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 multi-currency 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, “In our digital focus to empower our travellers, we have launched a dedicated app for our Borderless multi-currency 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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Indian business travellers to generate maximum revenues: CII-PwC

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Revenues from business travellers will grow significantly over the next few years, according to a CII-PwC report. Although MiCE has not been a significant contributor to the Indian hospitality sector so far, this trend is likely to change with better planning as well as improved infrastructure. On the other hand, few CEOs believe that leisure travel will keep pace with growth seen in business travel and MiCE. A large section of leisure travellers continue to perceive hotels as a luxury.

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ICICI Bank ties-up with MakeMyTrip for co-branded credit cards

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ICICI Bank have announced its partnership with MakeMyTrip to introduce a range of co-branded credit cards for travel enthusiasts. According to the agreement, ICICI Bank will offer two types of credit card – MakeMyTrip ICICI Bank Platinum Credit Card and MakeMyTrip ICICI Bank Signature Credit Card. The cards provide customers attractive lifestyle privileges as well as the opportunity to convert their daily spends on the card to MakeMyTrip ‘MyCash’, the reward currency of the travel portal. Each reward point earned as ‘My Cash’ has a value of Re 1. It can be redeemed across an array of categories on the travel portal such as air-travel, hotel booking, holiday packages. Additionally, customers can also use it to redeem for vouchers of partner merchants of MakeMyTrip for categories including cab aggregators, online movie ticketing platforms, e-commerce portals among many others. Further, customers also get the advantage of joining benefits, additional bonus reward points from the bank on specified spends on the card, complimentary access to domestic airport & railway lounges and ‘MMTBLACK’ & ‘MMTDOUBLEBLACK’ – loyalty programmes of MakeMyTrip. These cards are powered by the ‘VISA payWave’ contactless technology that enables the cardholder to make payments by simply tapping the card at contactless enabled terminals in more than 48 countries including India. The card can also be used by dipping or swiping at non-contactless merchants. Anup Bagchi, Executive Director, ICICI Bank, said, “The new co-branded card offers customers unmatched benefits on travel related spends. We believe that this card will be yet another imperative addition to our existing range of credit and debit cards.” Rajesh Magow, Co – Founder and Chief Executive Officer, MakeMyTrip, said; “This partnership will deliver most meaningful and distinctive value proposition …

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Turkish Airlines introduces new amenities for business-class passengers

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Turkish Airlines has implemented two new projects enabling business class passengers to choose their meals before the flight via “Meal selection before flight” service. With this service, applicable to the several intercontinental destinations departing from Istanbul, business-class passengers can view the meal details and visuals of the main dishes and make their choices on the web page or mobile application. They can make their choices within the period starting from 1 week before their flight date until the last 48 hours. Turkish Airlines passengers who fly from Istanbul to Atlanta, Bangkok, Beijing, Bogotá, Boston, Cape Town, Chicago, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Havana, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Houston, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, Los Angeles, Manila,  Miami, Montreal, New York, Phuket, Port Louis, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Taipei, Tokyo, Toronto, Washington DC, Caracas, Panama City, Madagascar, Durban, Maputo, and Buenos Aires can take advantage of this service. Besides, the airlines’ ‘Dine on demand service’ will be available in all intercontinental night flights departing from and landing on Istanbul.

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TCEB unveils new brand strategy for business events

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Thailand Convention and Exhibitions Bureau (TCEB) has announced new brand marketing communication campaign, ‘Thailand: Redefine Your Business Events’. Through the campaign, TCEB aims to tap into the growing opportunities from the country’s economic development landscape and the expansion of Asia market, while  promoting Thailand as a hub of ASEAN MiCE. Nichapa Yoswee, Senior Vice, President, TCEB, said that Asia has been a fast-growing market for Thailand’s MiCE industry supported by remarkable growth rates of MiCE travellers from ASEAN and CLMV countries which increased 35 and 100 per cent respectively. In addition, Asia is predicted to be a primary source market for the Meeting & Incentives sector in 2019 powered by a rising trend of corporate travels in China, and the growth of travellers from India and Indonesia which are predicted at 11.3 and 8.7 per cent respectively. However, the global MiCE market is changing with influences from social and technological developments. The upcoming trends are: an increasing focus on MiCE activities that enhance active learning, and abilities to broaden fresh perspective and being adaptive; a development of online applications which assist event organisers to manage the show and enhance delegate’s engagement, and a rising numbers of shows from new sectors such as Health and Wellness, Robotic Innovations and Start-up. TCEB has defined marketing strategies for 2019 which focus on four areas: To highlight Thailand’s position as a hub of ASEAN MiCE – a connecting point that provides market access to ASEAN and CLMV countries. To encourage new MiCE events through the growing possibilities from the national economic policies including Thailand 4.0, the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), 10 S-Curve Industries and New S-Curve Industries. To redefine the organisation’s role from a mere supporter …

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Sabre & IHG join hands to offer optimal tools for hoteliers

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Sabre Corporation has launched Business Travel Services, the new consolidated solution suite from Sabre Hospitality Solutions offering hoteliers easy-to-use tools with time-saving automation and simplified processes, access to industry insights and expert guidance, unlimited access to travel management companies and consortia partners – all in one place. InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is set to be one of the first hotel companies to use this solution. Business Travel Services will be available to hoteliers of all sizes from summer 2019. The suite will consist of three historically separate elements that connect both sides of the corporate market – Nexus platform: A system of record for hotel groups used to manage all corporate contracts, sales performance and planning across teams and properties. Sabre Hotel RFP: An exclusive lead-generation tool that manages corporate business travel for more than 2,700 of the most travelled companies in the world. Corporate travel buyers make bids for properties to accept. Consortia Services: A tool that provides access and services to hotels looking to complete submissions to the top 30 consortia programmes. “As we listened to customers, it was clear there was a need for a more holistic approach to corporate hotel bookings,” said Clinton Anderson, President, Sabre Hospitality Solutions. “By combining our existing offerings and collaborating with IHG to further develop this solution suite, we will provide hoteliers, from enterprise to independent, the opportunity to make their rates available to a much broader audience.” “IHG has a long history of digital and technological innovation – and we’re currently rolling out our own hotel management tool, IHG Concerto, which allows us to partner with a range of solution providers. So, choosing to work with Sabre as an early adopter of their …

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Holland Sales Mission in India projects business opportunities

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NBTC Holland Marketing, in collaboration with Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Jet Airways, organised the Holland Sales Mission 2018. This three-day event was held from August 28 to 30, 2018, in Delhi, Bengaluru, and Mumbai. The Mission aimed to educate the travel trade about the tourism offerings in the Netherlands, also allowing them to explore the many opportunities that lie within. The B2B sessions allowed delegates to learn more about Holland’s key offerings in Amsterdam and beyond. Participants learned about up-and-coming attractions, airline connections, and were also able to address their concerns about visa norms. Holland Sales Mission 2018 included participation of several private players from the Netherlands, including Lovers Canal Cruises, Efteling Theme Park, Henri Willig Cheese Farms, Madurodam theme park, and ITO Tours. Marten van den Berg, Ambassador Designate, Kingdom of the Netherlands, said, “The Netherlands is about tradition, it is about long history, it is about art, visionary architecture, cutting-edge design, and also about romantic nightlife. There are so many places, other than Amsterdam, to go to in the Netherlands. It is also one of the most globalised countries in the world. We are extremely open to international trade, international investment, and because of our international connections, we have a wonderful infrastructure connected to all the countries in Europe. The Netherlands is also used as a hub for tourists to go to Paris, London, and Berlin. I would like you to visit the Netherlands, experience it, and enjoy it!” Providing statistics on visa applications, Gerco Broekstra, Head of Operations and Consular Affairs, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in New Delhi, said, “Visa applications to the Netherlands increased at a rate of least …

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Virgin Group and Virgin Atlantic to launch new loyalty programme

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Virgin Group and Virgin Atlantic have announced their intention to launch a new Virgin-wide loyalty programme, with unique and differentiated reward opportunities, to reward customer loyalty across Virgin branded companies. This new loyalty programme will offer members the chance to earn and spend ‘miles’, the currency of Virgin Atlantic’s frequent flyer programme, across a range of products and services. A new company, Virgin Group Loyalty Company (VGLC), will be established to own and manage this exciting Virgin loyalty programme. Virgin Red, an existing loyalty start-up within the Virgin Group, will also be integrated into the group-wide loyalty programme, as we bring reward across the Virgin family together into a single company and create a more valuable offer for our customers. VGLC will launch in 2019 and will be owned by Virgin Group and Delta Air Lines. Flying Club will continue as the frequent flyer programme for Virgin Atlantic’s customers and will continue to use miles as its currency. Flying Club members will continue to earn Tier Points and earn and spend miles across Virgin Atlantic, Delta and a range of airline and other partners as they do today. In the future Flying Club members can look forward to an expanded range of valuable ways to earn and spend miles that will be powered by the new Virgin loyalty programme. Andrew Swaffield has been appointed as CEO to lead VGLC. Andrew was previously Chief Executive of Avios and oversaw its creation, and most recently was CEO of the Monarch group. Prior to that he spent 17 years with British Airways and 10 years with Thomas Cook. Swaffield, said: “Virgin is one of the most admired brands in the UK and across …

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Travel Money opens an exclusive retail store in Vijaywada

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Travel Money, the flagship Foreign Exchange brand of FCM Travel Solutions, Indian subsidiary of Flight Centre Travel Group Australia, strengthened its presence in South India with an inauguration of its first owned retail store at one of the key locations at Vijaywada, Andhra Pradesh. The outlet was inaugurated by Gagan Malhotra, Vice President, Foreign Exchange, FCM Travel Solutions India Pvt Ltd. This expansion augments total number of outlets to the 34 stores across India, out of which 14 are in South India. Observing the higher demands and trends in the travel space and from the passionate travellers, Travel Money stores have been designed to help the customers with unbeatable pricing and quality related to Foreign Exchange. Spread over 1,000 sq. ft. at M. G Road, the store offers a range of foreign exchange services such as forex, travel cards and outward remittances for education or close relative maintenance. Speaking on the launch, Gagan Malhotra, Vice President, Foreign Exchange, FCM Travel Solutions India, said, “We are extremely pleased to announce our first owned exclusive retail store in Vijaywada and thereby in Andhra Pradesh. According to the BCG report titled ‘Demystifying The Indian Online Traveller 2017’, the Indian travel market is projected to grow at 11 to 11.5 per cent to the tune of $ 48 billion by 2020. Indian travel given the significant outbound tourism growth in South India market, we aim to deliver quality and convenience in all aspects of foreign exchange including remittance for students, Leisure & Business travel, Prepaid Travel Cards, and much more to our travellers. Our new branch at Pothuri Towers, M.G. Road is a prime location, which will allow our consumers an easy access. With …

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Marriott International combines its three loyalty programmes

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Marriott International’s three loyalty programmes – Marriott Rewards, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) – will operate under one set of unified benefits and one currency spanning the entire loyalty portfolio of 29 brands and more than 6,700 participating hotels in 130 countries and territories.  Members can now combine their separate programme accounts into one to take advantage of Marriott’s loyalty programmes offered worldwide. Members now earn on average 20 per cent more points per dollar spent and have their Elite status recognised consistently at every hotel as they indulge in the elevated benefits they’ve earned. Additionally, members now have the added convenience to book stays throughout the portfolio on Marriott.com, SPG.com, and the Marriott and SPG Apps, or by contacting customer engagement centres. “We merged the incredible earning and redeeming power of Marriott Rewards with the phenomenal Elite benefits of SPG to create one of the richest travel loyalty programmes with the most extraordinary global portfolio of hotels – from overwater bungalows to mountainside ski resorts and iconic urban landmarks,” says David Flueck, Senior Vice President, Global Loyalty, Marriott International.

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