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Thomas Cook India & SOTC Travel win Best Outbound & Domestic Tour Operator of the Year Awards at SATTE 2023

Mumbai, February 17, 2023: Thomas Cook (India) Limited - India’s leading omnichannel travel services company and its Group Company, SOTC Travel, have been honoured with the Best Outbound and Domestic Tour Operator of the Year

Mumbai, February 17, 2023: Thomas Cook (India) Limited – India’s leading omnichannel travel services company and its Group Company, SOTC Travel, have been honoured with the Best Outbound and Domestic Tour Operator of the Year Awards respectively at SATTE 2023. The SATTE Awards serve to showcase leaders in India’s travel and tourism sector who have contributed significantly towards revival and growth of tourism with reopening of borders. The selection criteria covered a range of parameters, with the nominations being judged by an eminent jury and validations by Ernst & Young.

Thomas Cook was recognised as the ‘Best Outbound Tour Operator of the Year’ for its innovative product development that inspired customers to take a much needed holiday. The Company launched Easy Visa Holidays to short haul international destinations, as also exciting/experiential elements in its long-haul portfolio.

While SOTC won the award for ‘Best Domestic Tour Operator of the Year’ for catalyzing on the strong travel sentiment emerging from India’s metros, mini-metros, tier 2 – 3 cities. With the pandemic putting the spotlight on domestic tourism, the Company strategically developed a wide range of products including the India Extravaganza holidays that played a vital role in maximizing its domestic business potential.

Thomas Cook & SOTC’s in-depth product development was based on sustained consumer research and surveys like the Holiday Readiness Travel Reports – revealing emerging consumer behaviours and travel trends. The Companies leveraged: festive seasons, summer/winter, honeymoons, special occasions, public holidays, weekends/extended weekends to curate a wide range of holiday options for customers across every segment from Gen Z to Gen S (seniors). The extensive portfolio of products offer immersive experiences showcasing fresh new locales, engaging experiences, outdoor & adventure (including trekking, hiking, camping, biking, safaris, river rafting and paragliding); wellness getaways; spiritual journeys, culture & heritage, gastronomy, unique accommodation (jungle lodges/tree houses or havelis, uber-luxury resorts, glamping and more), short getaways and cruises. In addition, Luxury and ‘Affordable Luxury’ have been a key focus area.

To catalyse demand, the Companies launched a range of offers: Holiday Now and Pay After You Return, Buy One-Get One Companion offers, family discounts and more; also consumer roadshows to assist customers with travel and health protocols.

Thomas Cook & SOTC displayed unerring focus on Health & Safety to build consumer confidence in travel. The Company launched the ASSURED Safe Travel Program in association with Apollo Clinics; TravShield – a 360° safety commitment: physical, financial and mental safety; Doctor on Call 24×7 – to connect with top quality doctors while on holiday; Covid-negative certification; India’s first Safe Holiday Helpline – free expert advice – on travel/health protocols and regulations; also a dedicated online Travel Guidelines section updated with ongoing changes in protocols.

The Companies successfully demonstrated innovation, agility and digital astuteness in consistently leveraging technology – ensuring seamless delivery of contactless, scalable, secure solutions to customers. Thomas Cook & SOTC were the first to launch virtual Holiday & Forex stores; a Live Video Connect platform; and AI enabled tools to enhance the customer experience.

Thomas Cook & SOTC’s omnichannel clicks & bricks model empowered its customers with the safety of contactless processes & the choice/convenience of selecting their preferred channel- its apps, portals, call centres, retail or a combination – book online and walk into a store to consult with a holiday expert.

The Companies built & leveraged strong partnerships & alliances with Tourism Boards (Maldives, Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, Turkiye, Saudi, Singapore, Malaysia, etc.); attractions like Resorts World Sentosa and Mandai; cruises (like NCL, Costa Cruises) to enhance visibility and visitations to outbound destinations. The Companies also partnered with Tourism New Zealand to conduct India’s first physical event since lockdown; inked a long-term agreement with

KrisFlyer (the loyalty programme of Singapore Airlines); also Mastercard & HDFC Bank for offers on S. E. Asia Holidays.

The Companies collaborated with a range of accommodation partners and signed strategic agreements with airline partners like Vistara, Air Arabia, Air Asia and GoAir to offer air inclusive holidays; and was appointed as Preferred Sales Agents (PSA) for the Indian market by Emirates Holidays, the tour operating arm of Emirates Airlines.

Thomas Cook & SOTC Travel have emerged as the top sellers of India cruises (Cordelia), with over 7500 customers booked since travel restart; also river cruises like Antara Cruises.

“We are truly honoured to be selected as the Outbound Tour Operator of the Year by SATTE 2023. This award reiterates our leadership position in the outbound sector and recognises our sustained efforts towards revival and growth post the challenges of the pandemic.

With the reopening of borders and restart of commercial aviation, our multipronged strategy across product development, health & safety initiatives, technology and Marcomm has served us well in inspiring customers to go on their much awaited holiday. Our re-imagined strategy throughout pandemic was customer centric with high focus on health and safety.

This award is a special honour and we are grateful to our customers for investing their trust in us and inspire us in our continuous service. We dedicate this award to our customers!”

Mr. Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Limited

“We are honoured to accept the Domestic Tour Operator of the Year Award at SATTE and we dedicate this win to our domestic holidays team for their sustained efforts. The restrictions across international destinations and absence of commercial aviation gave rise to significant demand for domestic holidays and our strategic product development inspired customers to explore our beautiful country in-depth. We rapidly scaled up our domestic business as an Indian homegrown brand with a customer centric approach. Our wide range of products and offers ensured best deals for our customers, and we continue to create more such exciting offers/value propositions.

Mr. Daniel D’souza President & Country Head – Holidays, SOTC Travel

We were quick to seize the opportunity and leverage technology to deliver seamless, contactless and secure solutions to our customers while also reassuring them of their safety during their travel.

I would like to thank SATTE for recognizing our team’s sincere efforts to create exceptional holiday experiences for our customers with this prestigious award.”

About Thomas Cook (India) Limited:

Set up in 1881, Thomas Cook India) Limited. (TCIL) is the leading omnichannel travel company in the country offering a broad spectrum of services including Foreign Exchange, Corporate Travel, MICE, Leisure Travel, Value Added Services and Visa Services. It operates leading B2C and B2B brands including Thomas Cook, SOTC, TCI, SITA, Asian Trails, Allied TPro, Australian Tours Management, Desert Adventures, Luxe Asia, Travel Circle International Limited (TCI 勝景), Sterling Holiday Resorts Limited, Distant Frontiers, TC Tours, Digiphoto Entertainment Imaging (DEI), Go Vacation, Private Safaris East & South Africa

As one of the largest travel service provider networks headquartered in the Asia-Pacific region, The Thomas Cook India Group spans 28 countries across 5 continents

TCIL has been felicitated with The Outbound Tour Operator of the Year 2023 & 2019 at the SATTE Awards, IAMAI India Digital Awards 2022, CNBC-TV18 & ICICI Lombard India Risk Management Award – Travel & Leisure Category 2022 & 2021, CIO100 Award for digital innovation 2022, ‘Innovation in Omni-experience’ Award at International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Industry Innovation Awards 2021, The Best Travel Agency – India at TTG Travel Awards 2019, The Best Outbound Tour Operator at the Times Travel Awards 2019 & 2018, Silver award for Asia’s Best Integrated Report (First Time) category at the Asia Sustainability Reporting Awards 2019-2021, Best Risk Management-Framework & Systems at the India Risk Management Awards 2019; The French Ambassador’s Award for Exemplary Achievements in Visa Issuance 5 years in a row and the Condé Nast Traveller – Readers’ Travel Awards from 2011 to 2019.

CRISIL has reaffirmed the rating on debt programmes and bank facilities of Thomas Cook (India) Limited – ‘CRISIL A+/Negative on the long-term bank facilities of TCIL and CRISIL A1 rating on the short-term bank facilities and short- term debt of the Company.

For more information, please visit www.thomascook.in

Fairbridge Capital (Mauritius) Limited, a subsidiary of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited promotes TCIL by holding 72.34% of its paid-up capital and is responsible for the execution of acquisition and investment opportunities.

About SOTC Travel:

SOTC Travel Limited (Formerly SOTC Travel Pvt. Ltd.) is a step-down subsidiary of Fairfax Financial Holdings Group; held through its Indian listed subsidiary, Thomas Cook (India) Limited (TCIL). SOTC India is a leading omnichannel travel and tourism company active across various travel segments including Leisure Travel, Incentive Travel and Business Travel. SOTC was established in 1949. Since then, it has escorted lakhs of travellers across the globe for more than 70 years to various destinations around the world. A new age innovative holidaymaker, SOTC strives to make holidays a priority for every Indian. ‘We are for holidays’ and we want Indians to prioritize their holidays.



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