Thomas Cook underscores its business commitment for Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has tremendous tourism potential and the world still has to realise it. We see your country as an important link in our chain in the SAARC region," says Ashwini Kakkar, CEO & MD, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. Kakkar and the entire Board of Directors of Thomas Cook (India) Ltd were in Sri Lanka to reiterate their commitment about promotion of tourism in "the Pearl of the Orient" and to review the company’s operation and expansion plan in the region.
Thomas Cook has also been recently appointed the General Sales Agent (GSA) for the Condor Airline which operates scheduled flights between Colombo and Frankfurt.
Thomas Cook has been present and operational in Sri Lanka for over 100 years, but its business rights were transferred to Thomas Cook (India) Ltd by the parent company in 2001. The company provides travel and related services in the segments of Corporate Travel, Holidays,Foreign Exchange and Insurance, through its network of 7 outlets in prime locations in and around Colombo including 2 outlets at the Bandaranaike International Airport.
"Keeping in mind the regional and cultural similarities between India and Sri Lanka, we are looking at long term business interests here which would be beneficial both for the local economy and us," says Madhavan Menon, Executive Director, Foreign Exchange, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd.
According to a World Travel & Tourism Council report, the focus of the T& T industry is gradually but perceptibly shifting from Europe and North America to East and South Asia and the Pacific. The Tourism Industry is the fastest growing industry and perhaps the only industry which has a high multiplying effect in terms of generating employment, capital investment and garnering foreign exchange, than any other industry and can contribute significantly to a country’s economy, " adds Kakkar.
Leveraging on the synergy provided by the Thomas Cook Group, Thomas Cook in Sri Lanka has been expanding its product range. The Holiday programme has seen a remarkable growth in the recent past with the introduction of Thomas Cook branded holiday packages. "In fact Thomas Cook in Sri Lanka is the only tour operator offering its own in-house brochure products," informs Ananda Dhatabaya, General Manager of Thomas Cook operations in Sri Lanka.
In Foreign Exchange, Thomas Cook is one of the oldest and trusted names across the globe and has earned immense expertise through operating in varied markets. It offers currency notes, travellers cheques and services like drafts, money wire. In the corporate travel segment, the company has an impressive portfolio of corporate clients and for Insurance has tied up with AIG Haley.
For the year 2002-2003, Thomas Cook in Sri Lanka serviced in excess of 6,000 passengers.