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Last Updated : May 10, 2019 07:47 PM IST | Source: PTI

Thomas Cook getting into destination wedding space

Destination wedding business was cash-driven until the note-ban and GST role out, a senior Thomas Cook official said, adding the cash dominance was a big put-downer for them to get into this lucrative segment.

 
 
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Travel and forex major Thomas Cook is entering the Rs 2,000-crore destination wedding space and has formed a special team to drive the new vertical that will be commercially launched a couple of months later.

Destination wedding business was cash-driven until the note-ban and GST role out, a senior Thomas Cook official said, adding the cash dominance was a big put-downer for them to get into this lucrative segment.

"Since the formalisation of the economy with the note-ban and GST, cash usage is almost zero now in the travel business today. What has helped the most is GST that has leveled the field for all, giving us an opportunity to enter the lucrative destination wedding space.

"Accordingly, we have put in place a dedicated team of five to test the waters and will launch a destination wedding vertical in a couple of months down the line," Thomas Cook India chief executive Mahesh Iyer told PTI.

Describing the segment as very lucrative, Iyer said destination wedding industry can grow much larger given the proclivity of the youth to spend today. But he did not offer any revenue guidance for the company from the new vertical.

It can be noted that a recent survey said more and more youth are taking personal loans to fund their travel plans, and the growth in particular type of loans since January has been over 55 percent.

When asked about the impact of the Jet Airways grounding on its travel business that contributes half of its revenue and growing at 18 percent, he said the event did not lead to a big problem for them as net cancellations were not even 1 percent.

"We have alerted the customers well in advance and gave them three-four options to choose from. According on a net basis, we had under-1 percent cancellations," Iyer said, adding our summer bookings are up over 20 percent now, thanks advance planning and the forthcoming World Cup.

Meanwhile, Thomas Cook has inked a three-year strategic agreement with Sentosa Development Corporation of Singapore to enhance Sentosa to bring more Indians to visit the island for which India already is the largest source market, and this island-in-the-city attracts some 19 million guests annually.

Established in 1881, Thomas Cook leads the domestic integrated travel and travel industry, offering forex service, corporate and leisure travel, MICE, insurance, visa and passport services and E-business.

Owned by the Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa now, Thomas Cook owns brands such as SOTC, TCI, SITA, Asian Trails, Allied TPro, Australian Tours Management, Desert Adventures, Travel Circle International, Digiphoto Entertainment Imaging, and Private Safaris East & South Africa with presence across 25 countries and a topline of around $2 billion.
First Published on May 10, 2019 07:47 pm
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