Thomas Cook India inks agreement for pilot project with Airbnb

to target high potential market for unique outbound travel experiences

 

Mumbai, February 16, 2016: Thomas Cook (India) Ltd, India’s leading integrated travel and travel related financial services company has inked a pilot partnership with Airbnb, the world’s leading community-driven hospitality company. Together, they will offer Indians looking to travel abroad, access to a range of unique accommodation experiences at a variety of price points.

 

Thomas Cook India‘s internal consumer research has revealed that for today’s Indian traveler, holiday accommodation goes beyond merely hotel categories or room types. Over 25% of the Company’s individual traveller segment has stated their growing preference to explore authentic local stays and a desire for deeper engagement and an immersion into the destination, its culture and its people.

 

Hence, in an initiative to tap this increasing market potential, Thomas Cook India has signed a pilot agreement with Airbnb to leverage  first mover advantage over this yet untapped segment. Thomas Cook India intends to offer significant value and flexibility to families, ad-hoc groups of friends and business-cum-leisure travellers via access to Airbnb’s unique stay options- across apartments, private rooms, castles, boats, manors, tree houses and private islands.

 

Speaking on the announcement, Mr. Madhavan Menon, Chairman & Managing Director, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd said, “The Indian traveller is evolving rapidly and for many, standard stays no longer find favour. Our partnership with Airbnb for outbound Indian travelers, aims to address this viable and yet untapped market need.”

 

He added, “Our strategic focus is to target high potential growth opportunities via innovation in products and partnerships and our tie-up with Airbnb reiterates delivery of this intent.”

 

Varsha Rao, Head of Global Airbnb Operations at Airbnb said, “We are excited to work with a leader in India’s travel market to give Indian travellers the opportunity to have unique and truly authentic local experiences by staying in one of our more than two million properties around the world.”

 

About Thomas Cook (India) Limited:

Thomas Cook (India) Ltd (TCIL) is the leading integrated travel and travel related financial services company in the country offering a broad spectrum of services that include Foreign Exchange, Corporate Travel, MICE, Leisure Travel, Insurance, Visa & Passport services and E-Business. The company set up its first office in India in 1881.

 

TCIL’s footprint (exclusive of its subsidiaries) currently extends to over 232 locations (including 23 airport counters) in 92 cities across India, Mauritius & Sri Lanka and is supported by a strong partner network of 116 Gold Circle Partners and 112 Preferred Sales Agents in over 130 cities across India.

 

ICRA upgraded the long term rating of Thomas Cook (India) Limited’s non-convertible debenture programme to ‘ICRA AA/Stable’. CRISIL has assigned a long term rating of ‘CRISIL AA-/ stable‘ to the non-convertible debenture programme and long term banking facilities, and a short term rating of CRISIL A1+ to TCIL’s banking facilities. Further, ICRA has assigned a rating of ‘ICRA AA-/Stable’ to the company’s preference share programme.

 

Thomas Cook (India) Ltd has been voted as Favourite Outbound Tour Operator at the Outlook Traveller Awards 2015, Best Tour Operator - Outbound at the CNBC AWAAZ Travel Awards 2015, 2014 & 2013 and Best Company providing Foreign Exchange at the CNBC AWAAZ Travel Awards 2015 & 2014; felicitated with Diamond Award for Exemplary Achievements in Visa Issuance at the French Ambassador's Travel Awards Ceremony 2015; Thomas Cook India’s Travel Quest was honoured with a Gold Award at PATA Gold Awards 2015; honored as India's Leading Tour Operator 2014, World Travel Awards Asia & Australasia 2014Favourite Tour Operator at the Condé Nast Traveller Readers' Travel Awards 2015  - 2011 ,recognized as a Consumer Superbrand 2013-14 & 2012-2013 and National Tourism Awards 2013-2014. Thomas Cook India’s Centre of Learning has received IATA accreditation as “Top 10 South Asia IATA Authorized Training Centers”2015, 2013 & 2012. For more information, please visit www.thomascook.in

 

Thomas Cook (India) Limited is promoted by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Fairbridge Capital (Mauritius) Limited and its controlled affiliates.  Fairbridge is responsible for the execution of acquisition and investment opportunities in the Indian subcontinent on behalf of the Fairfax family of companies.

 

About Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited:

Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited is a financial services holding company based in Canada with a global presence in insurance and reinsurance, as well as joint ventures including ICICI Lombard (India).  The Company, founded in 1985 by the present Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Prem Watsa, has over the past 30 years, demonstrated a strong and consistent financial track record.  For the year ended December 31, 2014, Fairfax increased book value per share at a compounded annual growth rate of 21.1% since its inception with a corresponding compounded annual increase in share price 19.8% and had over US $36 billion of assets.

 

Fairfax is engaged in long term investments from its own resources, with a focus to delivering long term capital appreciation through a flexible and value oriented approach. Fairfax Financial Holdings through Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. owns  69.55% of the Quess Corp Limited (formerly IKYA Human Capital Solutions Limited), a provider of integrated business services and 100% of Sterling Holiday Resorts Limited (formerly Thomas Cook Insurance Services (India) Limited) engaged in time share and resort business.

 

About Quess Corp Limited (formerly IKYA Human Capital Solutions Limited)

Quess Corp Limited is one of India’s leading integrated business services providers operating in four broad segments: Global Technology Solutions, People and Services, Integrated Facility Management and Industrial Asset Management. Headquartered in Bengaluru, it has a pan-India presence with 43 offices across 24 cities, as well as operations in North America, the Middle East and South East Asia. As of November 30, 2015, it employed over 118,000 employees.For further details on Quess Corp Ltd. please visit: http://www.quesscorp.com

 

About Sterling Holiday Resorts Limited:

Sterling Holiday Resorts Limited, a pioneer in vacation ownership and a leading leisure hospitality company in India, was incorporated in 1986 with the vision of delivering great holiday experiences to Indian families. To achieve this vision, the company pioneered Vacation Ownership in India and set about building a network of leisure resorts at some of the best holiday destinations in India. Currently, Sterling Holidays has a total inventory of 1767 rooms spread across a network of 24 resorts in 21 scenic holiday destinations in India.

 

In pursuance of the Order of Hon’ble High Court, Bombay, dated 2nd July, 2015 sanctioning the Composite Scheme of Arrangement and Amalgamation between Sterling Holiday Resorts (India) Limited (SHRIL) and Thomas Cook Insurance Services (India) Limited (TCISIL) and Thomas Cook (India) Limited (TCIL) and their respective shareholders and creditors (Scheme), the time share and resort business division and undertaking of SHRIL was Demerged into TCISIL and the residual business of SHRIL was Amalgamated with TCIL.

 

Post implementation of composite scheme, Sterling Holiday Resorts Limited (formerly Thomas Cook Insurance Services (India) Limited) continued the time share and resort business.

 

The company also has 16 additional sites where it plans to add new resorts in the coming years. For more information visit: http://www.sterlingholidays.com

 

About Kuoni India & Kuoni Hong Kong

Kuoni Travel (India) Pvt Ltd is a step-down subsidiary of Fairfax Financial Holdings Group; held through two companies, its Indian listed subsidiary, Thomas Cook (India) Limited (TCIL) and TCIL's subsidiary Travel Corporation (India) Ltd. Kuoni India is a leading travel and tourism company active across various travel segments including Leisure Travel, Business Travel, Destination Management Services and Distribution Visa Marketing Services.

 

TCIL through its step down Subsidiary Horizon Travel Holdings (Hong Kong) Private Limited holds 100% stake in Kuoni Travel (China) Limited (Kuoni Hong Kong), which has an attractive business in the travel sector backed by a trusted brand name, and a stable and motivated professional management team. Kuoni Hong Kong is a premium outbound travel operator in Hong Kong.

 

For Media Enquiries please contact:

Thomas Cook (India) Limited: Suzanne Pereira – D:+91-22- 42427380; M: +91-9820297665; E:suzanne.pereira@in.thomascook.com

Perfect Relations: Apurva Shukla – M: +91-9987632105; E: ashukla@perfectrelations.com