Thomas Cook India targets strong MICE market opportunity for Sri Lanka
~ Partners with Sri Lanka Convention Bureau and SriLankan Airlines for exclusive
business programme with high potential corporates in Mumbai ~
Mumbai, August 4, 2016: Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., India’s leading integrated travel and travel related financial services company, hosted an exclusive corporate event in collaboration with Sri Lanka Convention Bureau and SriLankan Airlines to harness the significant demand for MICE travel to Sri Lanka, across mid and large Indian corporates and SMEs.
According to data from the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Sri Lanka is emerging as a high potential incentive destination and corporate venue for employee incentive trips and business meetings, having witnessed an impressive growth of over 15% YOY, with over 233,000 MICE visitors from India in the past 6 years. Thomas Cook India’s internal research and consumer analysis reiterates the significant and growing opportunity of India’s corporate segment, with interest for Sri Lanka as a MICE destination having grown by 15-20% YOY over the last 3 years.
Hence, with a clear intent to leverage India’s MICE market, Thomas Cook India had partnered with Sri Lanka Convention Bureau and SriLankan Airlines for an exclusive corporate event, showcasing Sri Lanka’s diversity of unique engagements- from whale watching, spectacular wildlife, adventure safaris; adrenalin filled activities such as rock climbing, river rafting, hot air ballooning, kite surfing; team experiences like jungle camps and enhanced by Sri Lanka’s cosmopolitan and vibrant night life.
The exclusive, by-invite only corporate event, held at St. Regis in Mumbai, was graced by the crème de la crème of the corporate world and important dignitaries including Ms. Saroja Siresena, The Consul General of Sri Lanka in Mumbai. A special invitee was the Sri Lankan-born Bollywood celebrity, Ms. Jacqueline Fernandez.
The evening commenced with a welcome address by Mr. Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head - Leisure Travel, MICE, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. Mr. Prema Cooray – Chairman Sri Lanka Convention Bureau then highlighted the exciting array of Sri Lanka’s MICE opportunities in his passionate presentation; followed by Mr. Ajith Dias – Chairman SriLankan Airlines. Mr. Chaminda Dias, Managing Director, LuxeAsia, Sri Lanka (a Thomas Cook India subsidiary), then detailed the on-ground MICE USPs offered by Destination Sri Lanka.
Commenting on the partnership, Mr. Rajeev D. Kale, President & Country Head - Leisure Travel, MICE, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. said, “Sri Lanka is an island nation steeped in history, with an exciting diversity of spectacular experiences, which coupled with its cultural heritage, engaging outdoor activities and culinary delights, make it a must-visit destination for MICE travellers.”
“Sri Lanka provides easy access (an under 5 hour flight) with early arrival/ late departure flights giving travellers additional time on ground. Additionally, its simple e-visa/ visa on arrival; wide range of accommodation- across boutique to deluxe options; MICE & convention facilities and gala-venues make it a much sought after short-haul MICE favourite.”
“The capital city of Colombo is great gateway with attractions including a heady night life and neat shopping outlets across price points; equally its array of hotel properties. New emerging locales include Hambantota, offer viable MICE opportunity with multiple accommodation and recreation options.”
He concluded by saying, “The MICE business at Thomas Cook India has been a powerful growth engine and our partnership with the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau is hence a strategic initiative to tap into India’s high potential corporates to ensure strong impetus to MICE movements from India. This exclusive corporate event is but a first step towards a deeper corporate engagement: our holistic approach will include both product development-training and corporate outreaches to showcase the true potential of Destination Sri Lanka.”
Mr. Prema Cooray, Chairman Sri Lanka Convention Bureau said, “Sri Lanka is the latest venue for Meetings and Incentives. Sri Lanka offers both locations and products of diverse nature where visitors could gain a memorable experience and it is their word with which Sri Lanka has gained her name as a unique destination that cannot be matched by any competitor. We have uncountable locations from beaches, mountains, ancient cities, wild life and many more attractions which our competitors cannot match in terms of their authenticity. For Sri Lanka, India is the number one performing country with the highest number of MICE arrivals especially in the corporate meetings sector. Sri Lanka would offer very creative and ‘value for money’ propositions that suit the present day visitors who look for ‘experience’.”
Mr. Ajith Dias, Chairman, SriLankan Airlines said, “SriLankan Airlines is pleased to partner with Thomas Cook India and Sri Lanka Convention Bureau to explore opportunities to promote MICE travel to Sri Lanka. As the National Carrier that has a strong presence in India, providing convenient connectivity to Colombo out of 11 Indian destinations with over 100 flights a week, we enjoy a significant advantage to reach a wider corporate clientele. MICE tourism in Sri Lanka has seen a substantial growth over the years and with meaningful and timely collaborations such as these, we will continue to project the country as an ideal destination for corporate travellers.”
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 229 locations (including 16 airport counters) in 91 cities across India, Mauritius & Sri Lanka and is supported by a strong partner network of 111 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 2014, Favourite 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” 2016, 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 holding company which, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in property and casualty insurance and reinsurance and investment management. The Company is headquartered in Toronto, Canada and has a global presence in insurance and reinsurance, 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, 2015, Fairfax increased book value per share at a compounded annual growth rate of 20.4% since its inception with a corresponding compounded annual increase in share price of 19.4% and had over US $41 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 62.6% 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 47 offices across 26 cities, as well as operations in North America, the Middle East and South East Asia. As of February 29, 2016, it employed over 120,000 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 1930 rooms spread across a network of 26 resorts in 23 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 vacation ownership and resort business. In March 2016, Sterling acquired 100% stake in Nature Trails (an adventure holiday company) and this will add 93 rooms + Tents and Dorms [400 beds] to the total room inventory of Sterling
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 SOTC Travel Services Pvt Ltd (formerly known as Kuoni Travel (India) Pvt. Ltd) & Kuoni Hong Kong
SOTC Travel Services Pvt Ltd (Formerly known as "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. SOTC 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.
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