Travel major Thomas Cook India is expecting double-digit growth targets for the current financial year, according to Madhavan Menon, Managing Director, Thomas Cook India.

The company has witnessed an overall outbound travel passenger segment growth of 22 per cent on a year on year basis.

“Traditionally, Europe travel was not a popular choice of travel in winter. However, this year we have seen many enquiries and bookings for Europe travel. It is not a huge number, but it is an indication of a change in travel pattern. Similarly, Australia, South Africa and Kenya have also come into focus with Indian travellers. There is a gradual shift in the preference from traditional travel markets of Singapore and Dubai,” he said.

The travel company expects the outbound segment to grow by about 25 per cent during this winter travel season.

The domestic vertical of the company has also shown a corresponding year-to-date (starting from the beginning of the year to the present day) passenger growth of 18 per cent.

“We expect the growth in the domestic travel segment to be around 40 to 50 per cent. There are wider opportunities in this segment,” he added.

Despite air fares going up and rupee depreciation making travel costlier, the company is upbeat on the outbound travel segment.

“The travel patterns will be unaffected. In fact, the soaring domestic airfares have helped outbound travel. For instance, a Delhi-Goa-Delhi air fare will cost Rs 15,500. But if you travel to Dubai or Singapore, it costs Rs 19,000 and a Thailand return fare will be about Rs 13,000. Also, the hotels in these locations will be cheaper than a place like Goa at this time of the year,” Menon added.

Thomas Cook India posted a net profit of Rs 12.15 crore for the quarter ended September 30, 2012, down 50 per cent from Rs 24.51 crore in the corresponding period last year.

“The months of July to August are the leanest months,” Menon added.

nivedita.ganguly@thehindu.co.in

beena.parmar@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on November 1, 2012)
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