Thomas Cook India honoured at The French Ambassador’s Travel Awards
~Conferred with the Diamond Award for highest number of visa issuances in India in 2016~
Mumbai, December 9, 2016: Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., India’s leading integrated travel and travel related financial services company, was conferred with the prestigious Diamond Award for highest number of visa issuances to France from India in 2016, at the French Ambassador’s Travel Awards, established to honour outstanding performers in the travel and tourism industry in India. Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. has won the Diamond Award for both years since inception. Dignitaries present included His Excellency Mr. Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India, senior members of the French Consular Corps, Corporate India and the Travel & Tourism industry.
According to Atout France, the France Tourism Development Agency: the number of visas issued by French Consulates in India increased by 48.14% in 2015, as compared to 2014; France having received 500,000 visitors from India in 2015, with significantly higher numbers expected in the current year.
Thomas Cook India’s internal research highlights that France is one of the top aspirational destinations on the Indian traveller’s bucket list. The data also reiterates increased Indian traveller appetite for newer French locales and experiences; equally growing interest for non-traditional opportunities like winter holidays. Apart from Paris, the regions of Champagne, Picardy, Midi Pyrenees, Provence and Burgundy are growing in popularity, with Thomas Cook India seeing strong demand across its key segments of leisure, corporate MICE and b-leisure.
Mr. Madhavan Menon – Chairman & Managing Director, Thomas Cook (India) Limited, said, “It is indeed an honour to receive the prestigious Diamond Award from The Ambassador of France to India, His Excellency, Mr. Alexandre Ziegler, and for the second time in a row. This unique award is both a recognition of our strategic focus towards Destination France, as also of the unstinted support we receive from the Visa Officers of the France Consular offices in Mumbai and across India and we are highly appreciative of all their efforts.”
Mr. Menon added, “France has always been a favourite with Indian travellers and the significant initiatives by the Government of France and Atout France have played a vital role in ensuring a strong continuum of the growth across our leisure and MICE segments. It is hence noteworthy that despite geopolitical headwinds, we have seen strong double digit growth for France this year and even more encouraging is the increased length of stay, also interest in not just the favourites of France and Nice-Cannes or the wine region of Bordeaux, but also new and strongly emerging locales like Picardy, Midi Pyrenees, Champagne and Corsica.”
Expressing appreciation at Thomas Cook India’s efforts to position France as a destination of choice in India, Mr Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India, said, “I am delighted to confer the Ambassador’s Travel Award - Diamond Category on Thomas Cook India for registering the highest number of visa issuances. This comes in recognition of Thomas Cook’s unflagging commitment to promoting France as a travel destination. France is proud to be the top global tourist destination and to welcome a rapidly increasing number of Indian travellers. After half a million last year, our objective is to welcome many more!”
Sheetal Munshaw, Director – Atout France, added, “We would like to thank Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. and their teams for their unstinted support towards the promotion of France as a preferred outbound travel destination. Since the initiation of the Ambassadors Travel Awards in 2015, we’ve been very pleased to have Thomas Cook consistently bag top accolades in enhancing influx into France. We have successfully channelized our synergies towards joint initiatives including a recent multimedia campaign showcasing France, especially Paris and the myriad options the destination presents to the discerning Indian traveller. We are convinced that this showcase will help further boost Indian arrivals to France in the coming months. It has been an absolute pleasure associating with Thomas Cook and we are confident that our alliance will continue to grow from strength to strength in the coming years.”
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 234 locations (including 17 airport counters) in 92 cities across India, Mauritius & Sri Lanka and is supported by a strong partner network of 110 Gold Circle Partners and 111 Preferred Sales Agents in over 130 cities across India.
ICRA has retained the long-term rating of Thomas Cook (India) Limited’s non-convertible debenture programme at ‘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 retained the rating of ‘ICRA AA– / Stable’ on 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; Best Company providing Foreign Exchange at the CNBC AWAAZ Travel Awards 2015 & 2014; felicitated with The French Ambassador's Diamond Award for Exemplary Achievements in Visa Issuance 2015 & 2016; Condé Nast Traveller Readers' Travel Awards 2016 to 2011 and National Tourism Awards 2013-2014. Thomas Cook India’s Travel Quest was honoured with a Gold Award at PATA Gold Awards 2015 and 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, the company 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%.
The company, through Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., owns 62.6% of 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), a company engaged in time share and resort business.
About Quess Corp Limited (formerly IKYA Human Capital Solutions Limited)
Quess Corp Limited (BSE: 539978, NSE: QUESS) 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 27 cities, as well as operations in North America, the Middle East and South East Asia. As of September 30, 2016, it employed over 139,000 employees.For further details on Quess Corp Ltd. please visit: http://www.quesscorp.com
About Sterling Holiday Resorts Limited: Sterling Holiday Resorts Limited, a leading holiday lifestyle 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 27 resorts in 24 scenic holiday destinations in India.
In pursuance of the Order of Hon’ble High Court, Bombay, dated July 2, 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: www.sterlingholidays.com
About SOTC Travel Services Pvt Ltd (formerly Kuoni Travel (India) Pvt. Ltd) & Travel Circle International Services Limited (Formerly Kuoni Travel (China) Limited) : SOTC Travel Services Pvt Ltd (Formerly "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, Incentive Travel, Business Travel,
Destination management Services and Distribution Visa Marketing Services.
TCIL through its step down Subsidiary Travel Circle International Limited (formerly Luxe Asia Travel (China) Limited ) holds 100% stake in Travel Circle International Services Limited (formerly Kuoni Travel (China) Limited), which has an attractive business in the travel sector backed by a trusted brand name, and a stable and motivated professional management team. The company is a premium outbound travel operator in Hong Kong.
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