Companies

Thomas Cook (India) witnessing a huge surge in demand for leisure travel

NARAYANAN V Chennai | Updated on October 22, 2021

FILE PHOTO   -  REUTERS

Santhosh Kanna, Santhosh Kanna S, Vice President - Leisure Travel, Thomas Cook (India)

We are seeing a 62% growth in month-on-month demand since June 2021, says VP, Santhosh Kanna S

Travel services company Thomas Cook (India) is witnessing a huge surge in demand for leisure travel in the domestic and international markets amid pent-up travel demand, improved vaccine coverage, and upcoming festival and holiday season.

“We are seeing a 62 per cent growth in month-on-month demand since June 2021 and our recovery in September 2021 is 55 per cent of pre-pandemic levels in September 2019 and is primarily driven by domestic demand, student movements in September besides travel to international destinations,” Santhosh Kanna S, Vice President – Leisure Travel, Thomas Cook (India) told BusinessLine.

He was addressing a press conference in the city on Thursday to highlight the latest travel trends, demand scenario and most favoured travel destinations for travellers from Tamil Nadu.

Also read: Highest post-pandemic domestic air traffic seen on Sunday: Scindia

Noting that the last 18 months has been a tough period for the travel industry, Kanna said while travel was completely washed out since the onset of the pandemic until June 2020, newer trends like weekend getaways and staycations revived the travel demand in the domestic market starting from July 2020.

“In October 2020, Maldives opened up and it really picked up the outbound travel and was followed by Dubai and other countries. Today, every two weeks we are seeing two new countries opening up,” Kanna said, adding, “People are waiting to travel so demand is no longer a problem, but supply is. So, we expect more flights and more routes to be added.”

Improved domestic presence

Although Thomas Cook (India) offers a broad spectrum of services including foreign exchange, corporate travel, MICE and leisure travel, it was predominantly focused on international travel packages. However, the pandemic-led international travel restrictions have helped the company to ramp up its domestic presence both in terms of product offering as well as marketing.

“Domestic business was always there for us, but the domestic market was a very fragmented one. As an organisation, international travel is what we are known for from a focus point of view but in the last 18 months it (the pandemic) has allowed us to focus on the domestic market both from a product point of view as well as sales point of view. We have been very successful in that part,” Kanna said.

Also read: Travel sector bounces back as festival season demand picks up

On the travel trends for Tamil Nadu, Kanna said Chennai leads in terms of travel demand in the State with 70 per cent of customers keen on travelling in 2021 itself.

He said while the Andamans, Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Goa are the preferred domestic destinations, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Maldives, Europe, the US, Russia and Iceland are the top international destinations. He also highlighted that in the last 15 months ending September 2021, 50,000 people have travelled through Thomas Cook both within and outside the country.

Published on October 22, 2021

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