It has been 170 years of Thomas Cook. Are there any activities, promotions planned as part of the celebration?
The 170th anniversary of Thomas Cook's first package holiday is indeed a special occasion for us. We plan to celebrate our heritage and vibrant history via innovative products and exciting events throughout the year. This will resonate in our logo and all future communications.
While our company celebrates the history of its flagship brand on the occasion of this, its 170th anniversary, we also look to the future and reiterate our commitment of going further to make dreams come true for every one of our customers.
When did Thomas Cook start MICE services and how has this service division grown over the years?
Thomas Cook has been in the MICE division since the early 1990s. The outbound MICE industry is driven by economic growth. Increasing sophistication of the corporate MICE traveler and dealer has found resonance with the Thomas Cook brand and our strong focus on quality and product innovation. MICE is a fast growing segment within the leisure travel sector, and continues to be a focus area for us.
Thomas Cook is able to leverage its corporate business to grow this segment. Our diverse customer portfolio in the foreign exchange, travel insurance, visa and passport services verticals, besides our travel related services businesses, gives us a unique edge in leveraging a viable and captive corporate MICE database.
Our MICE performance has shown a strong and truly impressive year-over-year growth resulting in our position of market leader. Our foray into Tier II & III cities gives us an added opportunity. We are looking at cooperation with trade partners as well as large production houses to further grow our business.
What has been the major strategy of your MICE division and how does India figure in as a MICE destination?
A few key strategies for the MICE division include an innovative and value product-service portfolio,an unwavering focus on quality, a capitalisation on Thomas Cook's extensive pan India network (208 locations across 78 cities, including over 280 Channel Partners), and building and leveraging relationships with trade and government bodies.
India has always been a unique conference destination with a delightful array of historical, cultural, architectural, wildlife, culinary, spiritual and therapeutic attractions. The steady growth trajectory of the Indian economy has made it a commercial hub and a desirable conference destination. Improved infrastructure, new airports and hotel MICE facilities, and increased air, road and rail transport have played a key role. The government has provided some assistance to the MICE industry in preparing bids for international events. Some state governments are also helping to set up convention centers near large metro cities. At Thomas Cook, we continue to work with trade partners and government bodies to actively promote India as a preferred MICE destination for the discerning international traveler.
Are there any specific activities carried on by Thomas Cook as part of their MICE promotions? Please elaborate on some prominent MICE promotional/marketing efforts carried out by Thomas Cook.
We engage with our MICE customers on an ongoing basis via one-to-one meetings, focused events, direct mail communication and offline and online campaigns. We have also participated in key MICE exhibitions of value from a brand visibility opportunity and also a networking platform to interact and source potential customers.