Press Releases & News - SOTC Holidays

  • SOTC Travel Honoured at the 2019 French Ambassador's Travel Awards
  • SOTC wins the Top Performer 2018-19 GoAir Award
  • SOTC Travel Limited awarded the 2018 MEHK Top MICE Agent Award
  • SOTC Travel honoured the TMC Overachiever Award at the 2019 MILT Excellence Awards
  • 2019 Times Travel Award for Marketing Excellence
  • SOTC Travel Limited honoured the Top Agent Award 2017-18 by Singapore Airlines
  • SOTC Travel wins the 2018 Zee Business Travel Award for Best Tour Package Provider
  • SOTC Travel wins 2018 PATA Gold Award  for ‘Marketing Media’ - Travel Advertisement Broadcast- “Holidays Bring You Closer”
  • 2018 Times Travel Award Best Domestic Tour Operator
  • SOTC awarded the 2018 Outlook Traveller Award for ‘Best Outbound Tour Operator’
  • SOTC awarded the 2017 Champion Performer at the Meetings and Exhibitions Hong Kong (MEHK) Awards
  • SOTC Travel conferred the 2017 Today’s Traveller Award for ‘Best Outbound Tour Operator’
  • SOTC wins the Best Risk Management Award in the Travel & Hospitality category in the ‘ICICI Lombard-CNBC TV18 India Risk Management Awards 2017
  • SOTC wins the Kamikaze Best Customer Experience Award of the year
  • SOTC wins the 2016 PATA Gold Award for its Perfect Moments – Luxury Travel Brochure
  • Kuoni-SOTC wins the 2016 AIMIA 9th Loyalty Awards for the Best Customer Centric Company of the Year
  • Kuoni India wins Today’s Traveller Award 2015 for Best Outbound Tour Operator
  • Kuoni India wins the 2015 India Emirates Award
  • Kuoni India wins the 2015 OTM India’s Top 100 Travel producers award
  • MEHK Top Agents 2014 Award
  • Kuoni India wins the 2014 PATA Gold Award for Marketing – Industry
  • Kuoni Business Travel India awarded ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System Certification by BSI (British Standards Institution)
  • Kuoni Business Travel India awarded best in Solution Automation across Asia Pacific & Second largest Agent in India at the Abacus Top Travel Agency Award 2014.
  • Kuoni Business Travel India awarded the Top Agents Award 2013-2014 by Singapore Airlines.
  • Kuoni Business Travel India awarded The GoAchievers 2013-2014 by Go Air.
  • Kuoni India MD honoured with Most Influential Persons Award by Outbound Travel Mart (OTM)
  • Kuoni- SOTC wins the Best Foreign Tour Operator – South Asia 2012 & 2013 Award by Malaysian Tourism.
  • Kuoni India wins TAAI Travel Awards 2013 for the Best Outbound Tour Operator and the Best Domestic Tour Operator
  • Kuoni India wins Today’s Traveller Award 2012 for Best Outbound Tour Operator
  • Lonely Planet Magazine India Travel Awards 2012 to Kuoni India for the Best Tour Operator
  • Travel + Leisure India & South Asia’s India’s Best Award for Best Tour Operator India to Kuoni India
  • TAAI Travel Awards 2011 for Most Outstanding Business Innovation Award to Kuoni-SOTC
  • Today’s Traveller Award for Best Outbound Tour Operator 2011 to Kuoni India
  • Award for Innovation in Operations (Travel/ Tour Operators) category at the prestigious GMR Express Travel World Awards 2011 to Kuoni India
  • Kuoni Business Travel India awarded ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System Certification by BSI (British Standards Institution)
  • Kuoni Business Travel India awarded best in Solution Automation across Asia Pacific & Second largest Agent in India at the Abacus Top Travel Agency Award 2014.
  • Kuoni Business Travel India awarded the Top Agents Award 2013-2014 by Singapore Airlines.
  • Kuoni Business Travel India awarded The GoAchievers 2013-2014 by Go Air.
  • Kuoni India wins the 2014 PATA Gold Award for Marketing – Industry
  • Kuoni India wins the 2014 PATA Gold Award for Marketing Media – Travel Advertisement Broadcast Media
  • Kuoni-SOTC wins the Best Foreign Tour Operator – South Asia 2012 & 2013 Award by Malaysian Tourism
  • Kuoni India MD honoured with Most Influential Persons Award by Outbound Travel Mart (OTM)
  • Kuoni India wins TAAI Travel Awards 2013 for the Best Domestic Tour Operator
  • Kuoni India wins TAAI Travel Awards 2013 for the Best Outbound Tour Operator
  • Kuoni India wins TAAI Travel Awards 2012 for the Best Outbound Tour Operator and the Best Business Innovation for a Travel Company
  • Kuoni India wins Today’s Traveller Award 2012 for Best Outbound Tour Operator
  • Lonely Planet Magazine India Travel Awards 2012 to Kuoni India for the Best Tour Operator
  • Travel + Leisure India & South Asia’s India’s Best Award for Best Tour Operator India to Kuoni India
  • 5th Loyalty Awards for Customer & Brand Loyalty in Travel & Hospitality Sector to Kuoni Travel Group, India
  • TAAI Travel Awards 2011 for Most Outstanding Business Innovation Award to Kuoni-SOTC
  • 7th Hospitality India and Explore the World Annual International Awards 2011 for ‘The Best Travel Company for Customer Satisfaction’
  • CNBC Awaaz Travel awards 2011 for ‘Most Preferred Tour Operator for Outbound Travel’ to Kuoni & SOTC India
  • Kuoni India wins Today’s Traveller Award for Best Outbound Tour Operator 2011
  • Award for Innovation in Operations (Travel/ Tour Operators) category at the prestigious GMR Express TravelWorld Awards 2011
  • Award of Excellence for the category Best International Tour Operator at the Kuala Lumpur Mayor’s Tourism Award 2011
  • PATA Gold Award for “Marketing – Industry” – won in 2011
  • Kuoni Travel India Pvt. Ltd. as a Sentosa Star Preferred Partner Sep 2011 to Aug 2012
  • Kuoni Travel (India) Pvt. Ltd. in appreciation of support for 2010-2011 by Star Cruise
  • Ministry of Tourism Award- excellence in service and highest foreign exchange earnings, 20 times till now
  • Conde Nast Traveller Readers Travel Award 2010 as “Favourite Tour Operator / Travel Agency”
  • Avaya Global Connect Customer Responsiveness Award 2010 for “India’s Most Customer Responsive Travel & Tourism Company” for SOTC.
  • TAAI Travel Award 2010 as “Outbound Tour Operator of the Year”
  • Economic Times-TAAI Award for “Best Integrated Travel Company” – presented in 2009
  • PATA Gold Award for “Marketing – Industry” – won in 2010
  • Ministry of Tourism citation in recognition of the “Outstanding Contribution to the Growth of Tourism in India” – presented in 2009
  • Tourism Malaysia’s Award for “Best Foreign Tour Operator Award – South Asia” – presented in 2010
  • Abacus-TAFI Award for “Best Outbound Tour Operator” – presented in 2009
  • TTG Asia Award for “Best Travel Agency – India” – presented in 2009
  • PATWA Awards for “Best Tour Operator” presented at ITB Berlin in 2010, and for “India’s Best Travel Company” presented at ITB Berlin in 2009
  • Galileo ETW Award for Best Outbound Tour Operator – for the 5th consecutive year
  • Galileo Express TravelWorld Award for Best Inbound Tour Operator – for the 6th consecutive year
  • Asia’s Best Employer Brand Award 2010 for “HR Leadership”
  • PATA 2010 Gold Award for CSR Initiatives

 

 

 

 

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SOTC & Thomas Cook India partner with India's favourite storyteller
Amar Chitra Katha
Launch enchanting Great Indian Journeys
Bring alive India’s vibrant heritage


• Handpicked destinations and experiences curated by Holiday Experts
• Unique and appealing comic format
• Beloved historical characters form the sutradhar/guide on each epic journey


Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., India’s leading integrated travel services company and its Group Company, SOTC Travel Ltd., have partnered with India's favourite storyteller, Amar Chitra Katha, to take travellers on an enchanting journey through time, re-living India’s vibrant history and culture with the launch of its Great Indian Journeys. Much loved historical characters have been hand-picked to act as a personal guide through each epic journey, including - Birbal, (the witty/wise advisor of Mughal emperor, Akbar), Tenali Raman (poet and social thinker of the mighty Vijayanagar empire), Sudama (childhood friend of Lord Krishna) and Chetak (Rana Pratap’s true war horse and faithful companion).

The itineraries carefully curated by Thomas Cook India and SOTC’s holiday experts and creatively illustrated via graphic comic strips in the distinctive Amar Chitra Katha style, present India’s young explorers and parents with an engaging format to discover India’s rich heritage and iconic attractions – in a very special route to their roots.

The Great Indian Journeys welcomes travellers on a voyage of discovery via an easy paced 4-5 day itinerary through locales steeped in history - Chittorgarh, Kumbhalgarh, Udaipur, Mathura, Hampi, Delhi, Agra and more - that chronicle India’s golden ages. Each itinerary incorporates exclusive elements such as: personalised storytelling sessions around favourite historical characters, spectacular sound & light shows, local culinary experiences, and more.*

In addition, customer benefits include:
1. Quality accommodation options with daily breakfast
2. Private transfers in AC vehicles
3. Affordable pricing starting at Rs.19 999.00*
4. Flexible cancellation options & a minimal booking deposit
5. Easy payment and EMI options
6. Meticulous health & safety under the Company’s Assured Program in partnership with Apollo Clinics
7. Additionally, COVID-negative certificate facilitation services are also available
8. A 3-month gift subscription to both – the Amar Chitra Katha and the Tinkle Comics Reading Apps worth Rs.1150.00

Mr. Daniel D’souza, President and Country Head, Leisure, SOTC Travel said, “At SOTC Travel, we continue to believe in bringing families closer and creating their best memories with us. India’s favourite comics- Amar Chitra Katha plays an important role while growing up and has become an integral part in shaping a million childhoods. The Great Indian Journeys gives our travellers an opportunity, to reconnect and relive their fondest childhood memories with their children and families, by visiting India’s most iconic historical places. These specially designed itineraries, in the form of creative graphic comic strips, bring to life a unique combination of edutainment devoted to Indian culture and history. Through the Great Indian Journeys, we continue to help create delightful holiday experiences for our customers.”

He added, “To ensure health and safety for travellers, we have associated with ICMR accredited labs across India to provide a first of its kind COVID-negative certification services. This, along with our Assured Program in partnership with Apollo Clinics, have been incorporated in every holiday proposition for a hassle-free journey for all our customers. To further assist our customers, we have launched India’s first Safe Holiday Helpline, a free service to the public - offering expert guidance & assistance for safe holiday planning, visa assistance, country specific updates, on-ground health and safety measures, travel documentation, health certification, etc.”

Click here to book

Mr. Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. said, “Children have emerged as clear decision makers when it comes to holidays! So, in a strategic initiative to engage with this powerful segment and bring alive India’s rich heritage, we are delighted to announce our partnership with Amar Chitra Katha to present Great Indian Journeys. Vibrant itineraries have been designed by our holiday experts to showcase epic journeys with a child-friendly format of Amar Chitra Katha’s graphic comic strips.”

He added, “Travel is a great storyteller and our Great Indian Journeys endeavour to bring India’s history to life with much loved characters as personal guides/narrators. Starting at an attractive price of Rs. 19 999.00*, the selection of enchanting experiences across historical destinations like Chittorgarh, Kumbhalgarh, Udaipur, Mathura, etc. offer a delightful combination of fun and learning/discovery, while also ensuring a memorable family holiday.”

He added, “Our Assured Program in partnership with Apollo Clinics ensures meticulous health & safety protocols across every touch-point and to further assist our customers, we have tied up with ICMR accredited labs to offer seamless end-to-end COVID-negative certification services with contactless facilitation – across India. Our Safe Holiday Helpline is yet another meaningful consumer initiative - a free service to support customers in safe holiday planning.”

Click here to book

*Terms and conditions apply

Ms. Preeti Vyas, CEO and President, Amar Chitra Katha said, “As India’s favourite storytellers, our vision at Amar Chitra Katha has always been to inspire children and families through our vibrant stories about India’s glorious past and culture. The Great Indian Journeys by Thomas Cook India & SOTC, is an exciting collaboration which offers families a unique opportunity to directly experience and engage with India’s heritage through these specially-curated & memorable family holidays. Amar Chitra Katha has been telling stories for over 53 years and has always been a ‘route to your roots’.

She added, “As we firmly establish ourselves in the digital age, we are passionate about taking our founder Mr. Anant Pai’s legacy forward, by reaching out to our audiences via multiple platforms and experiences, including, films, apps, games and videos to tell India’s stories. Our association with SOTC-Thomas Cook is another powerful step in enabling Indian families to experience our stories real-time, not just in 2D or 3D but indeed in 5D, with emotions, feelings and a sense of awe. Through this new property - The Great Indian Journeys, travellers can be assured of the finest travel experience combined with authentic and vibrant depiction of itineraries through storytelling; which is the hallmark of Amar Chitra Katha.”

SOTC & Thomas Cook India tap into the demand for offbeat/unique experiences Launch India’s Hidden Gems
A unique voyage of discovery - with exceptional locales & experiences across India


The pent-up travel demand due to the lockdown has resulted in a new-found interest in Destination India. Consumers are moving away from crowds/traditional tourist spots while seeking to discover India’s untold stories and traveller secrets. And to tap into this demand for non-standard/unique journeys, Thomas Cook India, India’s leading integrated travel services company and its Group Company, SOTC Travel, have introduced India’s Hidden Gems. Starting at an attractive price of Rs. 11 500.00*, the holidays include accommodation for 2 nights/3 days at 4-5 star hotels or delightful boutique properties, breakfast and an additional dining experience, unique sightseeing, private transport and travel insurance.

Bringing to life nuggets of India’s fascinating history-heritage, spectacular scenic beauty and unparalleled travel experiences, Thomas Cook India and SOTC’s Hidden Gems incorporates a handpicked selection of Exquisite Locales: From Khajuraho, Rishikesh, Udaipur, Munnar, Jawai Sagar, Manali, Coorg, Kollam, Thekkady, Pachmarhi, Kabini, Bandhavgarh, Lalsot and Goa, amongst others.

Exceptional Experiences: An array of exciting traveller secrets have been woven into each journey, including a jeep safari amidst the lush plantations of Kolukkumalai, Munnar - the highest tea estate in the Western Ghats, a royal 4-course dining experience set against an evening bonfire at the luxurious Amritara Pali Jawai Sagar, picturesque coffee & spice plantation tours in Coorg aboard a specially designed jeep, an exclusive, private, night drive and star gazing experience in a gypsy at Pachmarhi, a unique bush-dining experience in Bandhavgarh, a vintage car drive around Udaipur’s picturesque lake, mangrove walks in the Sundarbans biosphere or the heady adrenalin rush of bungee jumping in Rishikesh, etc.

Mr. Daniel D’souza, President and Country Head, Leisure, SOTC Travel said, “The choice of destination and the experiences offered inspires travel decisions across all age groups, especially among millennials. From exploring the local cuisine, to finding offbeat experiences at every destination, Indian travellers wish to explore the unknown. Given the current situation and in order to satisfy their desire for immersive experiences, SOTC has designed unique domestic experiences that highlight this trend of experiential travel. These include incorporating workshops, wellness experiences, culturally immersive activities, food and drink experiences, outdoor activities and more.”

He added, “As health and safety is a key concern, all our holidays come with ‘Assured’ - a comprehensive program to safe travel in the COVID-19 era in partnership with Apollo Clinics. To further assist our customers, we have launched India’s first Safe Holiday Helpline, a free service to the public - offering expert guidance & assistance for safe holiday planning, visa assistance, country specific updates, on-ground health and safety measures, travel documentation, health certification, etc. and have also tied up with ICMR accredited labs to offer seamless end-to-end COVID-negative certification services with contactless facilitation – across India.”

For details on SOTC’s Hidden Gems Holidays click here

Mr. Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. said, “Together with significant pent up travel demand, the lockdown has seen growing interest from Indians wanting to re-discover their own country, yet seeking non-standard experiences. And so, our teams have conceptualised Hidden Gems - holidays that offer unparalleled experiences at exquisite locations across India - at attractive prices starting at just Rs. 11 500.00*. Catering to a range of segments from families, couples, solo travellers to adventure seekers and wildlife enthusiasts, our Hidden Gems offers a well-deserved break, coupled with exceptional experiences that rejuvenate: be it bush-dining in Bandhavgarh, mangrove walks amidst the stark beauty of the Sundarbans or the thrill of bungee jumping in Rishikesh, etc.”

He added, “Our Assured Program in partnership with Apollo Clinics ensures meticulous health & safety protocols across every touch-point and to further assist our customers, we have tied up with ICMR accredited labs to offer seamless end-to-end COVID-negative certification services with contactless facilitation – across India. Our Safe Holiday Helpline is yet another meaningful consumer initiative - a free service to support customers in safe holiday planning. With our zero cancellation, flexible rescheduling and our guaranteed refund promise, we want to ensure that all our customers travel smooth.”

For details on Thomas Cook India’s Hidden Gems Holidays click here

SOTC & Thomas Cook India announce a Virtual Mega Customer Event
Fun Evening with ace comedian Atul Khatri
Exciting Holiday Auctions, Crazy Spot Offers, Free Travel Voucher of Rs. 5 000.00


With India’s lockdown resulting in strong pent-up travel demand, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., and its Group Company, SOTC Travel Ltd., have announced an exclusive, virtual mega event – an engaging consumer connect that includes live bidding of holiday packages and acts by the ace comedian Atul Khatri, on Saturday, August 29. Thomas Cook India’s Relive the Dreams Mega Event at 6 pm, offers an exclusive interaction with Bollywood star Boman Irani; SOTC’s Blockbuster Evening follows from 8 pm onwards. This interactive virtual platform is aimed at catalysing bookings for future travel when borders reopen – inviting customers to a preview of a range of holiday specials, a fun-filled holiday bidding process, amazing spot offers and a free holiday voucher of Rs. 5 000.00 on registration - a unique experience from the comfort of their homes.

Displaying agility in adapting to the challenges of the lockdown, the teams at SOTC & Thomas Cook India have been at the forefront of pioneering initiatives, including innovations in their product-services portfolio and unique concepts aimed at customer engagement. From exciting social media contests and travel quizzes, a live Lockdown Travel Awards event with Bollywood celebrity Boman Irani, storytelling sessions with popular Marathi actor Subodh Bhave, culinary experiences with the renowned chef Santosh Jori, to its Virtual Outlets & Virtual Agent Network and the first-of-its-kind Virtual Holiday Roadshows, the two brands have created meaningful opportunities to stay in touch with consumers.

The upcoming mega event reiterates the companies’ Customer-First strategy with a vibrant and interactive fun-filled evening, strategically aimed at converting pent-up travel demand into bookings – across domestic and international holidays for when borders reopen. This unique digital initiative empowers customers with a convenient and contactless platform – to get an overview of newly launched holiday products, engage with holiday experts from the safety/comfort of their homes and avail of exciting spot offers, prizes and participate in an exclusive series of holiday auctions.

Mr. Daniel D’souza, President & Country Head, Leisure, SOTC Travel said, “In our continued endeavour to connect and strengthen our association with our past and prospective customers, we are extremely happy to host our first ever virtual Blockbuster Evening, with ace comedian Atul Khatri. Despite the current environment with rapidly changing consumer needs/trends, our teams at SOTC have gone all out in ensuring relevance - and this initiative allows us to understand and engage with our valued customers, while showcasing a range of innovative and exciting products and services.”

Click here to register for SOTC’s Blockbuster Evening (8 pm onwards)

Mr. Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. said, “In line with our focused Customer-First approach, we continue to explore distinctive opportunities to engage with our customers and so, I am delighted to present our exclusive virtual Relive the Dreams Mega Event, with the much loved Bollywood star, Boman Irani and ace comedian, Atul Khatri. Through this strategic initiative, we intend to showcase our exciting new product range and catalyze bookings via crazy deals/offers and a truly unique holiday auction – for both domestic and international tours. And to sweeten the deal, a free Rs. 5 000.00 holiday voucher awaits our customers!”

Click here to register for Thomas Cook India’s Relive the Dreams Mega Event (6 pm onwards)

SOTC and Thomas Cook India introduce exciting savings for customers Launch the Holiday Card
Significant benefits include 15% Extra Cashback on holiday packages Complete flexibility for travel until December 31, 2021


In an ongoing endeavour to present customers with exciting benefits and savings as they plan their next holiday, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., India’s leading integrated travel services company and its Group Company, SOTC Travel Ltd., have introduced the Holiday Card. Designed to delight, the card offers significant benefits such as: 15% extra cash back on holiday packages purchased against the card and complete flexibility for domestic or international travel until December 31, 2021.

Thomas Cook India & SOTC have been at the forefront of innovation and customer centric initiatives in this new era of travel, including the Assured Safe Travel Program, the Safe Holiday Helpline, COVID-negative certification services and virtual/contactless holiday planning. In yet another initiative to provide significant customer benefit and convenience, the Holiday Card has been thoughtfully designed - with a host of in-built advantages*:

• 15% Extra Cashback on holiday packages purchased against the Holiday Card
• Multiple Denominations: Pay Rs. 25 000.00, Get Rs. 28 750.00; Pay Rs. 50 000.00, Get Rs. 57 500.00; Pay Rs. 75 000.00, Get Rs. 86 250.00; Pay Rs. 100 000.00, Get Rs. 115 000.00
• Complete flexibility for travel until December 31, 2021

Customers can purchase multiple cards at denominations starting from Rs. 25 000.00 and then top up to a maximum value of Rs. 1.05 lakhs per person – as per their requirement and convenience.

Additional customer benefits:
• 10% off on COVID-negative certification services
• 5% discount on visa and passport services
• 3-month free subscription to Mindhouse
• 25% off on car bookings at Zoomcar
• 3-month free subscription to Gaana

Mr. Daniel D’souza, President & Country Head, Leisure, SOTC Travel said, “At SOTC, we strive to make our products, prices and holiday designs convenient and affordable. In line with this commitment, we have introduced the SOTC Holiday Card that simplifies the travel experience and offers complete savings and benefits for the aspiring Indian traveller. Customers can now plan their perfect holiday while enjoying maximum benefits and great savings. With attractive customer benefits like 15% Extra Cashback, 10% off on COVID-negative certification services and discounts on ancillary services like visa and passport, the Holiday Card presents travel enthusiasts with an opportunity of a lifetime to book exciting tour packages across top international and domestic destinations.”

Mr. Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. said, “Safety, savings and flexibility have become key drivers as Indian’s plan their next holiday. So, in our continued endeavour to extend a wide range of advantages to our customers, we are delighted to present our Holiday Card, which offers 15% extra cash back on holiday packages with complete flexibility for domestic or international travel until December 31, 2021 and a host of additional offers.”

He added, “Our Assured Program in partnership with Apollo Clinics ensures meticulous health & safety protocols across every touch-point and to further assist our customers, we have tied up with ICMR accredited labs to offer seamless end-to-end COVID-negative certification services with contactless facilitation – across India. Our Safe Holiday Helpline is yet another meaningful consumer initiative - a free service to support customers in safe holiday planning. With our zero cancellation, flexible rescheduling and guaranteed refund promise, we want to ensure that all our customers travel smooth.”

*Terms and conditions apply

SOTC and Thomas Cook India launch India’s first Safe Holiday Helpline
Free service to the public - offering expert guidance & assistance for safe holiday planning, visa assistance, country specific updates, on-ground health and safety measures, travel documentation, health certification, etc.


Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., India’s leading integrated travel services company and its Group Company, SOTC Travel Ltd., have announced the launch of India’s first Safe Holiday Helpline, a free service to assist and support customers in safe holiday planning, with comprehensive guidance across country-specific health & safety protocols, visa and travel updates with documentation, requirements including COVID-19 negative certification, etc. The pioneering Safe Holiday Helpline is an extension to the Thomas Cook & SOTC Assured Safe Travel Program in partnership with Apollo Clinics, that ensures meticulous health and safety protocols - at every stage of the customer journey.

The ongoing updates/changes in safety protocols issued by various health/government authorities (both India and international), coupled with conflicting news in the public domain, have left travellers confused and insecure. Therefore, in a meaningful initiative to provide clarity and guide customers in safe travel planning, SOTC & Thomas Cook have introduced the Safe Holiday Helpline – offering comprehensive, country-specific information across visa-immigration regulations, health & safety protocols, on-ground destination updates, etc.

Customer benefits include:
• Safe & Free holiday planning advice from experts
• Easy access via a toll free helpline 77150 44444 between 9.30am - 9.00pm
• Comprehensive travel guidance: across country specific health-safety measures, visa-immigration regulations, on-ground protocols and operational status of local attractions, important emergency contact information, quarantine details, etc.

Mr. Daniel D’souza, President & Country Head, Leisure, SOTC Travel said, “As India plans ahead to extend its travel bubbles, to facilitate safe and smooth travel amongst travellers, SOTC has launched the Safe Holiday Helpline to provide up-to-date information on intra-state and country-specific regulations, on-ground safety measures, health and visa protocols, etc. – under our Assured Safe Travel Program. With safety being the #1 concern for every traveller, this novel initiative helps restore confidence in customers, putting them at ease and helping them make informed travel decisions. Our focus has always been customer centric and this initiative is an extension of that journey.”

For details on SOTC’s Safe Holiday Helpline click here: Domestic Holidays ; International Holidays

Mr. Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. said, “There is much uncertainty in the minds of India’s travellers when it comes to planning their holidays in this new COVID-19 era with several questions, such as: which countries can one can travel to, what are their specific rules/health requirements, what are the new visa formalities, etc. So, to build customer confidence, our pioneering Safe Holiday Helpline intends to hand-hold our customers - clarify all their doubts and guide them in safe holiday planning. Our Teams have meticulously put together a set of guidelines - working in close co-ordination with Tourism Board partners as well as global government and health authorities - to ensure accuracy and ongoing updates.”

He added, “Our Safe Holiday Helpline is yet another meaningful consumer initiative and forms an extension of our Assured Safe Travel Program in partnership with Apollo Clinics that ensures meticulous health & safety protocols across every customer touch-point. This launch follows in close succession to our recently introduced end-to-end COVID-negative certification services in partnership with ICMR accredited labs, with contactless facilitation – across India.”

For details on Thomas Cook India’s Safe Holiday Helpline click here: Domestic Holidays; International Holidays

Thomas Cook India & SOTC launch Virtual Roadshows across over 50 cities A pioneering virtual platform offering contactless and convenient holiday planning together with travel experts
A range of attractive deals on offer - to drive bookings for the festive-winter season and 2021


• Personalized Interactive holiday planning with Holiday Experts
• Dedicated time-slots as per customer convenience
• Exclusive Early Bird Offers/Deals across a range of Domestic & International Tours
• Flexible travel dates till Sept 2021 with free Rescheduling; Guaranteed Refunds*
• Assured Safe Travel Program in partnership with Apollo Clinics
• Seamless COVID-negative certification services also available - in partnership with ICMR accredited medical centres


Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., India’s leading integrated travel services company and its Group Company, SOTC Travel Ltd., have introduced a first of its kind Virtual Roadshows - The Thomas Cook Holiday Showcase and SOTC Holiday Preview. This unique digital initiative benefits customers with convenient and contactless holiday planning - jointly with holiday experts and from the safety/comfort of their homes. Commencing August 16, 2020, the Virtual Roadshows present a host of special offers/deals across a range of domestic and international holidays - with a clear intent to drive bookings for the upcoming festive/winter season and through to Summer 2021.

With the extended lockdown, while Indian consumers are displaying strong pent up travel demand, they are looking for guidance and handholding - to assist them through the complexities of holiday planning. Pre-COVID, while the companies’ physical holiday roadshows had worked well, in the current scenario such physical options have been rendered unviable. The Thomas Cook Holiday Showcase & SOTC Holiday Preview were thus conceptualised to empower customers with interactive holiday planning via a virtual platform – with the assistance of local/regional language speaking holiday experts and a format that includes engaging Q&A sessions. To ensure undivided attention and personalised service, each session is open to a select number of customers - with slots pre-selected as per customer convenience.

The process is simple: 1) Register online 2) Select your preferred slot 3) Log in to video chat with holiday experts

The Virtual Roadshows are available to customers across India’s metros like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, etc.; also regional India’s tier 2 and 3 cities including Baroda, Vijayawada, Mysore, Nashik, Patna, Guwahati, Lucknow and Bhubaneswar, among others.

Mr. Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. said, “I am delighted to flag off our exciting Virtual Roadshows, a unique, innovative digital platform to help our customers plan their holidays from the safety/comfort of their home – together with our holiday experts and tour managers to guide them at each step. To sweeten the deal, we have included exclusive spot-offers and special discounts – to catalyse bookings for the upcoming holiday season and through to Summer 2021.”

He added, “Customers get to opt from multiple time-slots as per their convenience, with the number of participants per session kept limited to ensure undivided attention and personalised service. We plan to roll out our Thomas Cook Holiday Showcase starting this weekend and will cover key source markets across India’s metros, mini metros and tier 2 and 3 regional cities/towns.”

He concluded with, “We understand that safety is a key concern for our customers today and so, our Assured Safe Travel Program in partnership with Apollo Clinics ensures meticulous health & safety protocols across every touch-point. To further assist our customers, we have tied up with ICMR accredited labs to offer seamless end-to-end COVID-negative certification services with contactless facilitation – across India.”

To register for the Thomas Cook Holiday Showcase, click here

Mr. Daniel D’souza, President & Country Head, Leisure, SOTC Travel said, “SOTC Travel has witnessed interesting demand from travellers across India seeking a blend of preferences for a wide range of experiences across destinations. Our focus has always been to introduce exclusive holiday packages that are consumer centric, value driven and pocket friendly offering the right combination to avid holidaymakers. The first of its kind virtual roadshow offers an ideal opportunity to connect and interact personally with customers as our holiday experts walk them through various exciting holiday propositions, thus providing an exceptional holiday experience to our value seeking customers. Understanding the current need of the customer, our holiday propositions have been designed to offer complete flexibility, safety, security and savings.”

He added, “We see customers recognizing the value and peace of mind that booking with a reputed travel firm offers especially during these uncertain times. SOTC’s Holiday Preview offers travellers the opportunity to clarify various concerns related to safe travel. As health and safety is a key concern, all our holiday propositions come with ‘Assured’ - a comprehensive program to safe travel in the COVID-19 era in partnership with Apollo Clinics. To further assist our customers, we have tied up with ICMR accredited labs to offer seamless end-to-end COVID-negative certification services with contactless facilitation – across India.”

To register for the SOTC Holiday Preview, click here

*Terms and conditions apply

Targeting the significant shift to Spiritual-Religious Tourism Thomas Cook India & SOTC launch Ramayana Trails Enriching spiritual journeys in the footsteps of Lord Ram - across India

With the current downtime creating opportunity for reflection and introspection, Indians are now seeking a deeper meaning to life. In an endeavour to support new age Indian travellers on their journey of spirituality and self-discovery, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., India’s leading integrated travel services company and its Group Company, SOTC Travel Ltd., have introduced Ramayana Trails – walking in the footsteps of Lord Ram and re-living his life within India. Enriching spiritual experiences include key temples and memorable places intertwined with the epic journey: Ayodhya, Prayagraj, Chitrakoot, Hampi, Madurai and Rameshwaram, with tours starting at Rs. 19 999.00*.

India is a deeply spiritual land and a significant number of Indians travel on pilgrimages/religious tours at least once a year. Thomas Cook and SOTC have been witnessing over 25% YoY growth for spiritual tourism packages - including Char Dham, Amarnath Yatra, Vaishnodevi, Kailash Mansarovar and Bodhgaya; also Darshans by SOTC (40 itineraries covering 60 holy destinations). The companies’ market feedback indicates that the pandemic and lockdowns have made Indians seek spiritual solace and strength even more. Given the heightened interest in Lord Ram’s life currently, the Ramayana Trails is a perfect package for Indians to combine a well-deserved break and a deeply spiritual experience as they walk in the footsteps of Lord Ram.

Ramayana Trails invites travellers to embark on an enriching spiritual sojourn, selecting from tours based on the epic compiled by adi-kavi, sage Valmiki. The programs have been designed with great care and incorporate special priority darshans, assistance to perform various Pujas at temples en-route, a guide cum storyteller to explain the nuances and historical-cum-spiritual perspective of the locales, satvik bhojan, bhajan kirtan and folklores with the locals and home cooked meals on select itineraries*.

In addition, customer benefits include:
1. Quality accommodation options with daily breakfast
2. Private transfers in AC vehicles
3. Special assistance/caretaker available on request for senior citizens
4. Affordable pricing starting at Rs. 19 999.00*
5. Flexible cancellation options & Minimal booking deposit
6. Easy payment and EMI options
7. Meticulous health & safety under the Company’s Assured Program in partnership with Apollo Clinics
8. Additionally, COVID-negative certificate facilitation services are also available

Mr. Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. said, “India’s travellers are displaying a growing interest in spiritual travel and a deeper engagement with the unique elements within each destination they visit. And so we have thoughtfully designed our Ramayana Trails based on the epic by Valmiki, enabling our customers follow in the footsteps of Lord Ram - across the various kands (chapters) from Baal Kand, Ayodhya Kand to Sunderkand. Starting at an affordable price of Rs. 19 999.00, travellers can seek spiritual solace with enriching experiences that we have included in each program: special priority darshans and pujas, a guide cum storyteller to bring alive the unique perspective of each locale, satvik bhojan, bhajan kirtan and folklores with the locals; also distinctive sites like Rishyamuka Hill, Hanuman Halli and Ram Setu bridge, among others.”

He added, “Our Assured Program in partnership with Apollo Clinics ensures meticulous health & safety protocols across every touch-point and to further assist our customers, we have tied up with ICMR accredited labs to offer seamless end-to-end COVID-negative certification services with contactless facilitation – across India.”

Click here to book Thomas Cook India’s Ramayana Trails

Mr. Daniel D’souza, President & Country Head, Leisure, SOTC Travel said, “We have seen renewed interest with new-age travellers seeking experiences in travel that are novel and unique while being wellness and spiritually driven. In an endeavour to offer new and unique experiences to travellers, SOTC has announced the launch of “Ramayana Trails” - a selection of specially designed religious and spiritual journeys that give deep insights into the life and journey of Lord Rama across India’s most fascinating sacred places. Travellers can embark on a spiritual journey to pay reverence at famous sacred temples, holy shrines and ashrams of Ayodhaya, Mankameshwar, Virupaksha amongst others giving them an opportunity to rejuvenate their mind and soul. The tours have been crafted keeping in mind the specific needs of the travellers to seamlessly aid their spiritual journey. The packages also combine leisure for spiritual and experiential travellers not only to seek solace, but to experience the beauty of the quaint and tranquil destinations offered.”

He added, “To ensure health and safety for travellers, we have associated with ICMR accredited labs across India to provide a first of its kind COVID-negative certification services. This, along with our Assured Program in partnership with Apollo Clinics, focuses on rebuilding confidence in a hassle-free journey for all our customers.”

*Per person on twin sharing basis
*Terms and conditions apply

Thomas Cook India & SOTC make holiday planning simple and stress free with ‘A La Carte Holidays’
A menu of options to Create Your Holiday, Your Way!


• 2 simple steps to an exciting holiday: choose a destination and select your experiences
• Top Locales & Exceptional Experiences – handpicked by our holiday specialists
• Range of top global destinations - over 33 cities on offer
• Hotel Upgrade: Book 3 star, get 4 star
• Attractive price-points starting at Rs. 20 600.00*
• Flexible cancellation options & Minimal booking deposit
• Assured Safe Travel Program in partnership with Apollo Clinics
• COVID-negative certification services available – in partnership with ICMR accredited labs


Given significant pent up travel demand, Indians are spending their time during lockdown in planning their next holiday- for when borders reopen. What consumers seek are holidays that express their individuality/unique interests, but without the stress of itinerary planning. And so, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., India’s leading integrated travel services company and its Group Company, SOTC Travel Ltd., have launched A La Carte Holidays - a concept designed to delight, with a simple and convenient menu of over 33 top global destinations and a range of eclectic experiences - handpicked by holiday specialists.

Holiday planning has now been made truly effortless, with just two simple steps: (i) Pick a destination (ii) Opt from an array of unique experiences, from Food & Wine Trails, Outdoors & Adventure and Family Fun - to embark on a dream holiday - at affordable prices starting at Rs. 20 600.00*.

Top global destinations: From London, Paris, Munich, Prague, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Florence, Venice, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Istanbul, Athens, Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Cairns, Perth, Adelaide, Queenstown, Auckland, Cape Town, New York, Vancouver, Miami, Orlando, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Cairo to Casablanca, among others.

Exceptional experiences: Dining with an astronaut in Orlando, a fascinating nocturnal rainforest tour in the Gold Coast, adrenalin infused machine gun shooting in Prague/ an ATV adventure in Cairns, a special English high-tea at Grosvenor House-London, food & wine tasting in a medieval winery in the Italian countryside/ a macaron baking class in Paris, a fun tuk-tuk ride on the 28 Tram Route in Lisbon, a segway in Miami or a spectacular seaplane tour in Vancouver.

A range of Customer Benefits:
• 4 nights accommodation at branded city-centre hotels; hotel upgrade offer: book 3 star, get 4 star
• Return airport transfers on a private basis
• Unique sightseeing options – recommended by our holiday specialists
• Attractive price-points starting at Rs. 20 600.00*
• Flexibility of date change*; Zero cancellation charges up to 5 days prior to departure
• A minimal booking amount of merely Rs. 5 000.00*; Easy payment and EMI options
• Meticulous health & safety under the Companys’ Assured Program in partnership with Apollo Clinics
• Additionally, COVID-negative certificate facilitation services are also available

Mr. Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. said, “At Thomas Cook India we believe that each traveller is unique and to cater to individual travel aspirations, we have designed an empowering new concept of A La Carte Holidays. Our customers now get to choose from a menu of favourite locales and exceptional experiences - whether it is food & wine, outdoors & adventure or family fun. And we have made all of this possible via a 2 step process that is truly simple and stress free! Our in-house holiday specialists have handpicked an array of exciting bucket-list experiences. To further delight our customers, we have kept the pricing very affordable, starting from merely Rs. 20 600.00, with a host of special offers and value add-ons included - complimentary!”

He added, “Our Assured Program in partnership with Apollo Clinics ensures meticulous health & safety protocols across every touch-point and to further assist our customers, we have tied up with ICMR accredited labs to offer simple and seamless COVID-negative certification services with contactless facilitation and doorstep services – across India.”

Click here to book Thomas Cook India’s A La Carte Holidays

Mr. Daniel D’souza, President & Country Head, Leisure, SOTC Travel said, “The COVID-19 era has redefined travel. Exposed to the power of choice, the new-age traveller is well-read, discerning and wants excitement, convenience and the best deals, all at once, when planning a journey. We have seen an immense demand with travellers who want their own itineraries, but actively seek travel connoisseurs to help them make informed decisions. Through A La Carte Holidays, SOTC will provide a service that is flexible and convenient to suit every traveller’s need. Customers now have the freedom to handpick from a menu with a wide range of cities, hotels or sightseeing experiences of their choice. We are extremely excited to introduce this novel offering and hope to further enhance and deliver memorable travel experiences to our customers.”

He added, “To ensure health and safety for travellers, we have associated with ICMR accredited labs across India to provide a first of its kind COVID-negative certification services. This, along with our Assured Program in partnership with Apollo Clinics, focuses on rebuilding confidence in a hassle-free journey for all our customers.”

Click here to book SOTC’s A La Carte Holidays

*Terms and conditions apply

Thomas Cook India & SOTC see shift in demand to outdoors & adventure Launch Domestic Jungle Experiences & Safaris on International Tiger Day

• Range of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries/reserves
• Flexible cancellation options & Minimum booking deposit
• Assured Safe Travel Program in partnership with Apollo Clinics
• Seamless COVID-negative certification services also available – in partnership with ICMR accredited medical centres


Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., India’s leading integrated travel services company and its Group Company, SOTC Travel Ltd., commemorate International Tiger Day by launching Jungle Experiences & Safaris - across India’s renowned national parks and wildlife reserves. The exciting wildlife portfolio of convenient 2-3 day quick breaks, at short drivable distances, intends to create awareness and respect for the majestic tiger and India’s endemic wildlife in their natural habitat; and is attractively priced starting at Rs. 8 200.00*.

India’s lockdown has given rise to a strong interest in nature and wildlife and this is reiterated in Thomas Cook & SOTC’s data, that reveals a clear consumer shift towards outdoor and adventure trips; away from crowds. The range of exciting Jungle Experiences & Safaris was thus thoughtfully designed to help Indians re-discover their rich natural heritage while enjoying a perfect break in the heart of India’s renowned tiger heartland and wildlife reserves, including Ranthambore, Bandhavgar, Kanha, Gir, Kabini or the Jim Corbett National Park. The unique selection of accommodation ranges from safari lodges, traditional cottages, tents and mud dwellings to boutique hotels and luxury resorts.

Customer Benefits include:
1. Quality accommodation options
2. Option of a safari drive / nature expedition, etc.*
3. Unique wildlife experiences, coupled with legendary service on the Taj Safaris
4. Flexible cancellation options; Minimum booking deposit
5. Easy payment and EMI options
6. Meticulous health & safety under the Company’s Assured Program in partnership with Apollo Clinics
7. Additionally, COVID-negative certificate facilitation services are also available

Mr. Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. said, “To commemorate International Tiger Day and India’s rich wildlife, our newly launched Jungle Experiences & Safaris invite travellers to embark on an adventure of a lifetime: a unique opportunity to explore nature and spectacular wildlife – at very affordable pricing. With a noticeable shift in consumer demand towards outdoor and adventure experiences, our Jungle Experiences & Safaris offer the choicest of India’s wildlife destinations: Ranthambore, Jim Corbett, Kabini, Bandipur, Kanha, Bandhavgarh and Gir.”

He added, “Our Assured Program in partnership with Apollo Clinics ensures meticulous health & safety protocols across every touch-point and to further assist our customers, we have tied up with ICMR accredited labs to offer seamless end-to-end COVID-negative certification services with contactless facilitation – across India.”

Click here to book Thomas Cook India’s Jungle Experiences & Safaris

Mr. Daniel D’souza, President & Country Head, Leisure, SOTC Travel said, “With the pressures of lockdown, customers have shown a strong inclination towards outdoor and adventure activities, as Indian travellers are actively seeking different kinds of vacations. While India is known for its lush greenery and enchanting jungles, it offers a wide range of wildlife safaris and adventures. Our wildlife special holidays have been designed to offer customers a perfect family getaway across some of India’s renowned wildlife reserves with a combination of thrilling adventure amidst the grandeur of Indian wildlife.”

He added, “To ensure health and safety for travellers, we have associated with ICMR accredited labs across India to provide a first of its kind COVID-negative certification services. This, along with our Assured Program in partnership with Apollo Clinics, focuses on rebuilding confidence in a hassle-free journey for all our customers.”

Click here to book SOTC’s Jungle Experiences & Safaris

*Terms and conditions apply

Thomas Cook India & SOTC to tap into the emerging festive demand Launch Durga Puja Special Holidays

• A range of both personalized and all-inclusive tours
• Domestic & International destinations
• Affordably priced with attractive festive offers and discounts
• Assured Safe Travel Program in partnership with Apollo Clinics
• Seamless COVID-negative certification services also available - in partnership with ICMR accredited medical centres


With an intent to capitalize on the increased travel appetite due to the upcoming festive season, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., India’s leading integrated travel services company and its Group Company, SOTC Travel Ltd., have launched Durga Puja Special Holidays. The portfolio of personalized and all-inclusive group tours has been attractively priced, starting at Rs. 19 999.00* and includes special festive offers/discounts - across domestic and international destinations.

Festivals have always been a strong driver of travel demand and more so this year. This is reiterated in the Thomas Cook & SOTC Holiday Readiness Travel Report - Future of Travel post COVID-19: 14% respondents indicating clear intent to travel in 2020 - the festive season being their top preference. Additionally, in the absence of a summer vacation this year, Durga Puja offers Indians the first travel opportunity post lockdown.

Demand being high across West Bengal and East source markets, where consumers enjoy history, culture and cuisine while travelling, a wide selection of Europe-centric tours have been included: Anandayaka Europe, Ratnomay Europe, Snighdo Sarathe Europe, Shundor Europe, Apurbo France O Swiss, Apurbo Austria O Swiss; also mono-country options like Mahaan Great Britain and Shreshta Italy.

In addition, favourite domestic locales on offer are: the North East, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Kerala, Andamans; Bhutan and Nepal in the subcontinent and top international options of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Cambodia and Vietnam.

With both personalized tours and all-inclusive group tours, customer benefits include:
1. Affordable pricing & Attractive discounts
2. Special Loyalty Bonus
3. Flexible cancellation options
4. Easy payment and EMI options
5. Meticulous health & safety under the Company’s Assured Program in partnership with Apollo Clinics
6. Overseas Medical Insurance - cover includes Covid-19 related hospitalisation
7. Additionally, COVID-negative certificate facilitation services are also available

Mr. Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. said, “Given the strong pent up demand due to the lockdown, the upcoming festive season serves as the perfect opportunity for Indians to travel and celebrate! And so, our Durga Puja Special Holidays offer a range of options – for adventure and discovery or to relax/unwind and bond with family and friends at exotic locales. Pricing has been kept very affordable, starting at Rs. 19 999.00*, with a range of all-inclusive tours for families, also personalized tours for millennials and groups of friends – across India and international destinations. Our attractive offers and discounts have been thoughtfully included for the festival season.”

He added, “Our Assured Program in partnership with Apollo Clinics ensures meticulous health & safety protocols across every touch-point: from airports, transportation, hotels, restaurants to attractions. To further assist our customers, we have tied up with ICMR accredited labs to offer seamless end-to-end COVID-negative certification services and our contactless facilitation – across India.”

Click here to book Thomas Cook India’s Durga Puja Special Holidays

Mr. Daniel D’souza, President & Country Head, Leisure, SOTC Travel said, “Durga Puja is one of the most widely celebrated festivals in India offering a perfect break to embrace some quality time together with family and friends. As travellers were unable to travel for their summer holidays this year, there is clearly pent-up demand with a strong desire for a holiday due to lockdown restrictions. Our teams have carefully designed packages with a complete focus on health and safety for customers. They offer travellers an opportunity to celebrate Durga Puja while exploring a wide range of domestic and international destinations at affordable price points.”

“To ensure health and safety for travellers, we have associated with ICMR accredited labs across India to provide a first of its kind COVID-negative certification, thus rebuilding confidence in a hassle-free journey for all our customers.”

Click here to book SOTC’s Durga Puja Special Holidays

*Terms and conditions apply

Thomas Cook & SOTC offer “COVID-negative” certification services in association with ICMR accredited labs First Travel Service providers to offer this service as part of their integrated as well as standalone services

Mumbai, July 22, 2020: Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., India’s leading integrated travel services company and its Group Company, SOTC Travel Ltd., have partnered with ICMR accredited medical centres pan India, becoming the first travel service providers to offer seamless, end-to-end COVID-negative certification services. This pioneering initiative to support customers, is an extension of the Thomas Cook & SOTC Assured Safe Travel Program in partnership with Apollo Clinics, that ensures meticulous health and safety protocols - at every stage of the customer journey.

In the current pandemic, health and safety has become a paramount concern of individuals and organisations globally. A COVID-negative certification has therefore become a critical requirement, not just for cross border travel within India or overseas, but has also been mandated by organisations as part of their safety protocols. A clear deterrent however, has been the uncertainty around the process, also the understandable fear and stigma associated with it. In a pioneering initiative to support consumers with a simple, smooth and convenient process, Thomas Cook & SOTC have tied up with ICMR accredited medical centres countrywide, to provide end-to-end, contactless COVID-negative certification services.

The Thomas Cook & SOTC COVID-negative certification services include:
• Assistance on requirements/procedures for COVID testing via ICMR accredited centres
• Information on multiple locations / options available for the test
• Scheduling appointment for the test pan India
• Making payment to the medical centre on behalf of the customer
• Coordination between customer and medical centre for end-to-end process
• Test report sent on email

Customer Benefits:
• Contactless facilitation and support across India
• Test by renowned ICMR accredited medical centres, ensuring safety and health protocols
• Wide range of centres available pan India – conveniently located close to work/ residence
• Appointment as per customer convenience with home service available
• Report results received between 24 to 48 hours
• Emergency guidance available on WhatsApp, call and email

The simple 2 step process:
1. Contact Thomas Cook/SOTC: online via thomascook.in/ sotc.in; email covidcert@tcvsil.com or call 9321582599 (9 am - 6.30 pm, Monday - Saturday)
2. Select your preference of lab visit or home service and a date-time basis the specific certification requirement (48 - 96 hours prior departure basis country / organisation protocols)

Mr. Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head - Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. said, “In yet another pioneering initiative to support our customers during these challenging times, we are delighted to announce our tie-up with renowned ICMR accredited medical centres to manage a smooth and seamless end-to-end process with contactless COVID-negative certification services - across India.”
He added, “Our expertise ensures that we manage all the complexities of the process seamlessly - be it the specific formats, differing time frames required by each authority and coordination between the medical centres - to deliver a delightful, hassle-free experience for all our customers.”

For details, click here

Mr. Daniel D’souza, President & Country Head, Leisure, SOTC Travel said “As hygiene and safety have become vital factors for Indian travellers, our priority has been to ensure that our customers feel safe and comfortable while traveling with us. In aiming to ensure health and safety for travellers, we are pleased to associate with ICMR accredited labs across India to provide a first of its kind contactless COVID-negative certification. This would certainly go a long way in easing the current concerns of travellers and build trust and confidence. The seamless, end to end COVID-negative certification services, guarantee the necessary sanitary measures and will assure travellers of hygiene standards thus rebuilding confidence in a hassle-free journey for all our customers.”

For details, click here

As Indians seek to travel safe via smaller groups,
Thomas Cook India & SOTC launch premium, chauffeured Van Tours - Private Journeys


• Personalised itineraries across 32 countries
• Attractive Pricing and Special Offers
• Assured Safe Travel Program in partnership with Apollo Clinics


Aimed at ensuring the health and safety of its customers, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., India’s leading integrated travel services company along with its Group Company SOTC Travel Ltd., have launched Private Journeys: premium, chauffeured van tours, strategically designed for smaller groups of family, extended family or friends. Private Journeys covers over 32 countries, for travel from September 2020-2021 and at affordable prices starting at Rs. 25 800.00*.

Thomas Cook’s & SOTC’s Private Journeys allows for a leisurely exploration of a destination: its history, culture, cuisine and its hidden secrets! Curated by experts, exclusive private experiences have been included: from chasing the Northern Lights in Norway or the Russian Lapland, whale watching in South Africa, enjoying the resplendent colours of autumn in Bavaria, Germany or soaking in the ambience of Christmas markets from Paris to Prague, a celebration of Christmas in Santa Land, Finland, a taste of history and culture in Vietnam or Cambodia, exploring the natural wonders of New Zealand or the breath-taking winter wonderland in Switzerland.

Destinations range from: France, Italy, Switzerland, Finland, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Norway, Hungary, Netherlands, Estonia, Russia, Romania, Croatia, Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, Armenia, Kazakhstan; Kenya and South Africa; Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand to New Zealand, among others.

Private Journeys offers customers a range of benefits:
1. Premium, private vehicles at one’s disposal with professional English speaking drivers
2. Centrally located 4 star hotels; inclusive of breakfast
3. Itineraries cover key seasons, festivals, wildlife experiences, unique elements of culture & history
4. 24x7 on ground local emergency helpline
5. Affordable pricing & Attractive discounts: Up to 30% off basis group size + Early Bird Bonus (15% off for bookings up to July 31, 2020)
6. Travel from Sept 2020 till Sept 30, 2021 (Offer for early bookers till July 31, 2020)
7. Flexibility of date change*; Zero cancellation charges up to 15 days prior to departure
8. A minimal booking amount of Rs. 25 000.00*; Easy payment and EMI options
9. Meticulous health & safety under the Company’s Assured Program in partnership with Apollo Clinics
10. Overseas Medical Insurance- cover includes Covid-19 related hospitalisation

Mr. Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. said, “As we enter a new era of travel with increased focus on health and safety, our Private Journeys intends to bring back consumer confidence with a unique concept of premium, chauffeur-driven van tours, specially designed for smaller/secure groups of family or close friends. The easy-paced itineraries promise a relaxed holiday with in-depth exploration of each destination. And while we have included delightful premium experiences, the pricing has been kept very affordable - starting at just Rs. 25 800.00*.

Further, our Assured Program in partnership with Apollo Clinics ensures meticulous health and safety protocols across every travel touch-point: from airports, transportation, hotels, to restaurants and attractions.”

Click here to book Thomas Cook India’s Private Journeys

Mr. Daniel Dsouza, President & Country Head, Leisure, SOTC Travel said, “Private trips is an emerging trend, that lets families and friends enjoy and explore a destination in privacy and safety in the COVID era. The pioneering concept of Private Journeys offers the comfort of a chauffeur driven van ensuring a safe and private holiday all throughout their journey. Private Journeys comes with the Assured Program – in association with Apollo Clinics and includes comprehensive Insurance Cover for COVID-19 related hospitalization for a stress free travel journey.”

He added, “To ensure a safe customer journey right from the start, we have conceptualized Virtual Outlets to assist via phone, chat or a video call for customers seeking contactless services.”

Click here to book SOTC’s Private Journeys

*Terms and conditions apply

SOTC Travel reveals micro-cation as an emerging trend for Indian Travellers

With countries reopening borders and ensuring safe travel for tourists, taking a holiday is soon becoming a realistic opportunity for Indian travelers. There has been a renewed interest among avid travelers to visit stunning cities in Europe that they can explore to the fullest during their post-COVID vacation.

According to the Company’s Holiday Readiness Travel Report - Future of Travel post COVID-19, 36% respondents showed preference for an international holiday; with a significant demand for Europe at 38%. With a growing demand from travellers seeking deeper and more enriching and engaging experiences, SOTC Travel has introduced International City Breaks across Europe’s finest cities and at attractive prices with travel commencing September 2020.

As travelers look towards greater reassurance on the standard of hygiene in travel, our holiday propositions come with our “Assured” Safe Travel Program in association with Apollo Clinics. With a strong focus on private tours, adopting comprehensive safety protocols to reassure safe travel for customers, the International City Breaks aim to maintain safe and secure services without compromising authentic and meaningful experiences.

From bucket-list destinations to bucket-list experiences, there has been a noticeable shift in the way new-age travellers wish to travel. They are keen to explore mono destinations at a slow pace to enjoy the local cuisine and culture instead of combining multiple destinations. The International City Breaks offer immersive experiences like experiencing a destination in autumn and winter where travellers can enjoy the autumn foliage in scenic cities and parks painted in crimson and gold to spectacular winter illuminations.

From the most iconic monuments and attractions across Europe, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Central & Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Baltics, Nordic States these exciting destinations are carefully handpicked and offer experiences perfect for nature and beach lovers, fans of gastronomy, culture and traditional architecture.

Benefits of SOTC’s City Breaks include:
• Early booking advantage - Special limited offer- Pay for a 3* hotel & stay at 4* hotel/ pay for 4* hotel and stay 5* hotel
• Premium Hotel brands at attractive pricing starting as low as 19,700 for 4 nights (breakfast included)
• Zero Cancellation Charges upto 5 days prior to Departure
• Assured Safe Travel Program – in association with Apollo Clinics
• Includes comprehensive Insurance Cover for COVID 19 related hospitalisation
• A minimal booking amount of just INR 5 000.00*
• Flexibility of Date Change*
• Private Airport Transfers
• Easy Payment and EMI Options
• Flexibility of combining two packages

Speaking on the launch, Daniel Dsouza, President & Country Head, Leisure, SOTC Travel said, “We see customers recognizing the value and peace of mind that booking with a reputed travel firm offers especially during these uncertain times. As travellers now look towards made-to-measure, bite-sized travel with more safely curated travel itineraries into shorter timeframes, SOTC’s city break tours give travellers the opportunity to explore the history, culture and hidden gems of a destination in a short space of time. From carefully curated itineraries at attractive price points, these tours come with city center hotel accommodations to avoid the use of public transport, private tours and private transfers to guarantee standards of hygiene, safety and service for our customers. With health and safety being a key concern, we launched ‘Assured’ - a comprehensive program to safe travel in the COVID-19 era in partnership with Apollo Clinics to jointly set a benchmark for safety. With our focus on customer centricity, we have introduced Virtual Outlets to assist our customers via phone, chat or a video call.”

*(Terms and conditions apply)

Popular International City Breaks include:
Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg, Helsinki, Tallinn, Riga, Almaty, Zagreb, Krakow amongst others.

To book your holiday visit: www.sotc.in/theme-holidays/back-to-life-international-packages

SOTC Travel observes a surge in demand for Romantic Holidays
~ Couples count on safety & privacy as a priority~

From important anniversaries to special occasions such as weddings and personal achievements, holidays have given travellers the chance to celebrate the important milestones in life. With stringent restrictions on social gatherings limiting wedding celebrations this year, couples are looking at investing their savings towards a memorable honeymoon. These are mostly new-age couples who would have rescheduled, rerouted or cancelled their honeymoon plans due to the lockdown.

With countries emerging from lockdown and with the lifting of travel restrictions, there has been an interest among couples to choose a safe destination for their romantic escapes. To meet the demand of couples longing to travel to a lesser known corner of the world, SOTC Travel has introduced ‘Romantic Holidays’. These carefully co-curated holidays offer experiential stays, wellness and outdoor nature breaks across India and international destinations closer to home.

To meet the strong desire to indulge in leisure-filled romantic escapes for an unforgettable experience, SOTC’s Romantic Break Holidays include a variety of picturesque experiences right from island sojourns to stunning mountain getaways. For couples expressing an interest to travel within the country to enjoy scenic landscapes, diverse cultures and cuisines, SOTC Travel offers holidays to Manali, Shimla, Dharmashala, Rishikesh, Bhimtal, Palampur, Mussorie, Goa, Coorg, Corbett, Kerala, Andaman amongst others.

With international destinations reopening to tourists, SOTC Travel has introduced Special Honeymoon Packages to their most desired destination. These include tropical destinations and tranquil places like Bali, Mauritius, Maldives, Phuket and Dubai (Choose from multiple destinations for travel from September 2020). For new age/ millennial couples, SOTC Travel has introduced honeymoon specials that include personalized outdoor experiences based on couple’s unique interests such as limousine rides, private island tours, scuba diving & snorkeling escapades, cycling tours, water sports, hot air balloon & helicopter rides, spa treatments, private cooking class tours and dinner at signature chef restaurants amongst others.

Highlights of SOTC’s Romantic Packages:
• Travel Safe Program
• Special Inclusions & Surprises*
• Hotel upgrades*
• Change of destination or Free Cancellation upto 5 days of departure
• Easy Payment and EMI Options
• Romantic Complimentary Add-ons*

Speaking on the launch, Daniel Dsouza, President & Country Head, Leisure, SOTC Travel said, “We are witnessing a growing trend for ‘special occasion’ travel. Customers have started booking again to celebrate their milestone anniversaries, birthdays and special occasions in life and they see these events as an ideal opportunity to spend quality time with their loved one. There has been an increased interest from couples for short romantic getaways to short haul destinations closer to home. Their top priority is a safe destination with flexibility to help them book without any worry. In adapting to changing consumer preferences and safety guidelines, we have included our “Assured” Safe Travel Program in association with Apollo Clinics in our Romantic Breaks packages. These packages offer customers a wide range of romantic experiences with special inclusions to make their holiday truly memorable as they reconnect with their loved ones.”

*(Terms and conditions apply)

To book your romantic getaway visit: www.sotc.in/theme-holidays/romantic-break-packages or www.sotc.in/theme-holidays/international-honeymoon-packages

SOTC Travel witnesses a growing trend for affordable luxury getaways

With travel restrictions being eased, Indian consumers are displaying increasing appetite for luxury getaways that offer meticulous health and safety measures at affordable pricing. There has been a paradigm shift in the mindset of consumers today - with more travellers actively seeking out less crowded trips, searching for privacy and a greater sense of calm and peacefulness.

According to the Company’s Holiday Readiness Travel Report - Future of Travel post COVID-19, Health & Safety ranked as the primary concern for 75% respondents; with 35% willing to increase their spends to ensure the same.

SOTC Travel has witnessed a growing trend with customers choosing to opt for secluded, immersive experiences away from crowded cities with a strong focus on wellbeing. Seeing an uptick in enquiries for quick escapes like back to nature, beach destinations and outdoor adventure, SOTC Travel has introduced affordable luxury getaways at attractive prices for Indian travellers that include staycations as a popular first choice. These getaways offer customers some much-needed space and quality time in scenic settings.

From the unparalleled excitement of experiencing premium boutique hotels to ultimate indulgence at the finest 4 & 5 star luxury resorts across India, SOTC’s affordable luxury holidays include exclusive experiences at off beat locations which cater to every traveler’s expectation of a perfect relaxing holiday.

To ensure flexibility, SOTC Travel offers various advantages:
• Book an affordable holiday with a booking deposit starting at just INR 2000*
• Free cancellations until 3 days of departure
• Flexibility of date change*

Value deals that offer a great steal for the luxury holiday seeking traveler:
• Free hotel upgrades
• Special discounts
• Travel insurance

Some of the exclusive travel itineraries include:
• 4 Days at Ranthambore – Tree of Life Kipling Lodge
• 2 Days at Agra - Taj View
• 3 Days at Jaipur - Crowne Plazabr
• 3 Days at Mysore – Hotel Grand Mercure
• 3 Days at Alleppey – Villa De Parrai
• 3 Days at Nainital – Sterling
• 3 Days at Kumbhalgarh – Fateh Safari Suite
• 3 Days at Udaipur – Ramada Resort and Spa

Speaking on the launch, Daniel D’souza, President & Country Head, Leisure, SOTC Travel said, “With pent up demand towards travel after this difficult time of lockdown, consumers see spending on luxury travel as a welcome break. As they are eager to get back to travelling, customers demand for luxurious experiences that are affordable. SOTC Travel has therefore launched Affordable Luxury Holidays that offer tailor-made indulgent experiences ranging from wellness, spa and wildlife retreats for some well needed rejuvenation and relaxation time. As travelers look towards greater reassurance on the standard of hygiene in travel, our affordable luxury holiday propositions come with our “Assured” Safe Travel Program in association with Apollo Clinics”.

*(Terms and conditions apply)

For more information visit: www.sotc.in affordable-luxury-packages

Also for a range of our holidays, click to view Back to Life Holidays

SOTC Travel anticipates demand for international destinations closer to home
~ Launches Back To Life - international holidays ~

With pent-up demand for travel due to the lockdown, travellers have been longing to holiday once again. And as travel restrictions ease, travellers will find a perfect opportunity to take a much desired break. So, to help customers plan their travel, SOTC Travel has launched Back To Life international holidays at close to home destinations, starting September 2020. To ensure flexibility, the holidays come with zero cancellation till 5 days prior departure and the added advantage of special offers like complimentary stay for a child and hotel upgrades.

To restore confidence in travel, the company’s Assured- Safe Travel Program, a comprehensive guide to safe travel in the COVID-19 era in partnership with Apollo Clinics and Travel Insurance with COVID-19 related hospitalization have been incorporated in SOTC’s Back To Life holidays.

According to the Company’s Holiday Readiness Travel Report - Future of Travel post COVID-19, 36% respondents showed preference for an international holiday; 41% preferring short haul destinations. SOTC’s Back to Life international holidays hence provide a combination of relaxation and wellness experiences, adventure and beach getaways. Customers can choose from an array of destinations like Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Dubai, Malaysia, and Mauritius amongst others and at affordable price points.

Benefits of Back to Life international holidays:
• Flexibility of date changes with zero cancellation charges till 5 days prior to departure
• Hotel Upgrade offers (Pay 3 Star and Stay at 4 Star/ Pay 4 Star and Stay at 5 Star)
• Child stays free*
• Easy EMI payment options
• A minimal booking amount of INR 5 000.00*

Speaking on the launch, Daniel Dsouza, President & Country Head, Leisure, SOTC Travel said, “As travellers were unable to travel for their summer holidays this year, there is clearly pent-up travel demand and added to this is the strong desire for a break due to lockdown restrictions. So, SOTC’s Back to Life international holidays have been designed to offer quick getaways, wellness, adventure and experiential holidays at close to home destinations- and at truly affordable prices. This launch gives our customers time to plan their holiday break in readiness for lifting of travel restrictions. The special features of our Back To Life holidays include date change flexibility and no cancellation charges till 5 days prior departure. Additionally, the free child stay and hotel upgrades come as very attractive value offers.

To build customer confidence about safety and health/hygiene standards while they travel with us, the Back to To Life holidays come with the stamp of SOTC ‘Assured’ - a comprehensive program to safe travel in the COVID-19 era, in partnership with Apollo Clinics - a member of the Apollo Hospitals Group, the expert in the healthcare sector.”

*(Terms and conditions apply)
*(Booking amount excludes flights and visas)

For more information visit: www.sotc.in-back-to-life-international-packages or view Back to Life Holidays

Thomas Cook and SOTC in association with Apollo Clinics launch the “Assured” Safe Travel Program Comprehensive exercise sets out benchmark travel safety protocols in the COVID 19 era

Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., India’s leading integrated travel services company, along with its Group Company SOTC Travel Ltd., jointly launched ‘Assured’ - a comprehensive program to safe travel in the COVID-19 era. The companies have partnered with Apollo Clinics - a member of the Apollo Hospitals Group, the expert in the healthcare sector, to jointly set a benchmark for safety in travel.

Thomas Cook India and SOTC, have spent the last few months talking to their customers to understand their concerns and priorities when it comes to travel in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. A significant 75% of the respondents of the Thomas Cook India & SOTC Holiday Readiness Survey stated that health & safety was their overriding concern.

To build confidence that it is safe to travel again, the companies have worked jointly with partners across the travel eco-system to create the Thomas Cook & SOTC Assured program, that ensures meticulous health and safety protocols - at every stage of the customer journey - from the various contactless booking processes, safe physical outlets & processes at the sales/servicing pre tour stage, as well as the on-tour stage. The Assured Program also defines a series of comprehensive health and safety measures in place across every travel touch-point from airports, airlines, local transportation, hotels, restaurants and attractions and encompasses employees and suppliers, sellers and channels, including franchisees & customers.

Mr. Madhavan Menon, Chairman and Managing Director, Thomas Cook India said, “Across Thomas Cook India & SOTC, our customers have been clear that health, hygiene and safety is their prime concern when it comes to travel in the COVID-19 era. Hence, our Teams have spent a significant time at the drawing board and worked jointly with key travel partners/stakeholders to create this very comprehensive initiative.
I am proud today to launch of The Thomas Cook & SOTC Assured Safe Travel Program, in association with Apollo Clinics - the most respected brand in the healthcare sector, to jointly set a benchmark for customer safety in this new normal for travel.”

“As part of the Assured Program, we have examined every customer touch point, right from enquiry via our websites or apps, interactions with our call centres, virtual visits via calls or video calls with our nearest branch – all to ensure contactless, safe interactions. Across every stage of our customers’ journey, they will find a host of measures put in place - across airports & airlines and then at every stage of their journey with our transport, hotel, restaurant and attractions partners. Our intent is that our Assured Program, serve as a handy guide/reference point that would assist all our stakeholders in the Travel & Tourism Industry achieve a single common goal i.e. ‘Safe travel for all Indians’.”

Dr. Ajay H Gangoli, Director Medical Services, Apollo Health & Lifestyle Ltd., said “The Apollo group keeps patient and health professionals’ safety as a top priority. In these days of the COVID19 pandemic, the speed with which the virus has spread across the globe is very indicative that borders are not respected by these diseases. Apropos, the need to address issues to make travel safe fits into the Apollo goal.

The association with Thomas Cook India and SOTC, who are a recognized brand for travel, domestic and global, is an endeavour that will make travel safe and stress free. Apollo Clinics and the Apollo Group have been at the forefront for creating safe environments for the home and office post the lockdown and this association is a natural progression for us to keep everyone safe and healthy.”

Click here for details on the Thomas Cook & SOTC Assured Program

SOTC Travel observes strong potential for Domestic Travel with the opening of Indian skies
~ Introduces Back To Life Holidays for the Indian traveller ~

According to the Holiday Readiness Travel Report - Future of Travel post
COVID-19:

• Travel is set to rebound, as Indians will continue to travel. 14% respondents indicated that they are likely to travel in 2020 once restrictions are lifted.
• A domestic holiday was the first choice of 64% respondents. Destinations selected were Ladakh (20%), Goa (17%), North East (15%), Kerala (11%); Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir followed closely. Bhutan (17%) in the Indian sub-continent. Destinations at a driveable distance were also preferred, including: Coorg, Ooty, Mussoorie, Shimla, Amritsar, Munnar and other destinations.

As travellers increasingly seek exclusive, secure and self-contained experiences closer to home, SOTC Travel has tailored to the needs of its customers in providing the best of products and services that offer complete flexibility. To cater to this new desire of expectations, behavior and preferences of the subsequently rising wave of conscientious consumers; SOTC has handpicked bespoke offerings for the discerning traveller through its Back To Life Holidays. Under unique holiday themes like Staycations, Wellness, Experiential holidays and affordable luxury these immersive experiences include Short Local Escapes, Self-Drive Vacations, Unique Experiences across cities and all budgets. SOTC Travel has introduced greater flexibility of booking through these affordable packages. The holidays start at INR 3990 and offer zero cancellation until 3 days of departure, a travel safe program and travel insurance. With a trend in Bleisure trips combining work and vacation likely to pick up pace in the coming months, mini getaways offer a perfect opportunity of work life balance through a rejuvenating escapade from ones' routine life.

With a shift in preference for bigger brands for trust, confidence and reassurance, Back to Life Holidays present customers authentic experiences at exclusive properties and destinations amongst most exquisite boutique hotels and the finest wellness resorts in India.

Speaking about the exclusive product offerings, Daniel Dsouza, President & Country Head, Leisure, SOTC Travel said, “Travel has entered a new phase, in which safe, holistic experiential vacations hold more meaning in today’s world. Domestic travel will now be a key driver for the industry. With strong growth potential present, we will witness enthusiastic interest from travellers who would be eager to get back to travel. With Birthday and Anniversary travel soon to pick up first, destinations close to home emerge as top choices with travellers for a quick escape or break. To capture this high potential market, we have curated Back to Life Holidays for our customers with a distinct newness in our product offering with a focus on hygiene and wellness as a priority. As pioneers in the leisure segment, SOTC Travel has always strived to make holidays a priority for every Indian through its innovative offerings. This thought guides and encourages us to make every journey special for our consumers. Through Back to Life Holidays, we aim to make every trip unforgettable with the finest handpicked resorts, chic design hotels, wellness holidays and much more at unique locations across the country.”

For more information visit: www.sotc.in

SOTC Travel redefines Incentive Travel in India with the launch of MICE Plus
~ The next level of MICE experience in the COVID Travel era ~

As pioneers in the MICE Travel Segment, SOTC MICE has been at the forefront of innovation and development with introductions of new services, products, concepts and destinations. The impact on organisations in India is visible and planning for post COVID-19 takes prime importance. With an opportunity to rethink and reimagine offerings to customers, SOTC MICE has elevated the next level of MICE experience for the next generation with its latest innovation- MICE PLUS. Given that the MICE business is directly influenced by the business health of the corporates it operates, it becomes critical that an estimate on the business recovery and MICE plans of corporates is needed.

In an interesting internal survey report across key corporates to understand their MICE plans:
• 32% of the corporates stated that Aug - Sep will be the right time to restart discussions and operations on MICE while 55% felt it will be Oct - Dec.
• 25% of the corporates look at foreign destinations
• 39% of the corporates indicated that their MICE budgets would remain the same.

With sanitization and safety now a greater priority for corporates today, the offerings of MICE Plus focus on an immersive customer experience to better serve the next generation of MICE Travellers.

Top USP’s of MICE Plus include:

H&S Measures
• Enhanced Health & Safety (H&S) protocols to ensure highest level of compliance to global standards
• Entire delivery partners chosen on basis of adherence to SOTC H&S standards
• Trained tour managers on hygiene requirements
• Various contact points for immediate medical assistance and repatriation if needed
• Adequate travel insurance to ensure peace of mind

Technology & Automation
• Real time information of all travel related processes such as visa application and insurance
• User friendly mobile app for passengers to get updates and contests
• Technology tools to minimise human interface
• Feedback & Networking platform

Virtual MICE: ‘Events As Usual’ using technology!
• Virtual MICE – A new & unique way to conduct meeting & conferences.
• Using world class event technologies, Virtual MICE will deliver a virtual event that aligns to company’s objectives

Team of Experts
• Proficient tour managers with rich experience of destinations across the globe
• Over 1000 Destination Specialist Certifications to help curate innovative products
• Expert in-house event management team to cater to both real & virtual events
• Expert F&B consultants catering to every culinary need

Best-In-Class F&B Capabilities
• Serving creative and authentic Indian food on a global platform, adhering to the highest food safety & standards.
• Usage of authentic Indian herbs & spices sourced from reputed Indian companies
• Unique Indian F&B concepts and ethnic cuisines from across the globe
• Region specific specialty menus curated by our celebrity chefs & culinary experts
• Special care taken to customise dishes to ensure the guest’s medical, allergy or any religious requirements with regards to food preparation are met

SD Nandakumar, President & Country Head , B2B & Foreign Exchange , SOTC Travel, said, “These unprecedented times have given us an opportunity to rethink and reimagine our offerings to our customers. The recent announcement on domestic civil aviation recommencing operations from May 25th, 2020 will aid in the revival of corporate MICE Travel. While the learnings from the survey help augment our post COVID-19 business plans, the new normal that is being established coupled with our innovative mindset has helped us create the next level of MICE experience – MICE Plus. SOTC Travel’s new-age MICE Plus presents the extra edge and niche skill to handle the needs of domestic and global clients of the MICE segment. MICE Plus has been curated with inputs from our esteemed corporate customers, global hotel chains, airlines, tourism bodies and also feedback received from our passengers. It also lays the framework for the industry to follow for the coming years. With safety, health and hygiene protocols a need of the hour, MICE Plus caters specifically to the current travel requirements. At SOTC Travel, we always ensure that we provide end to end valuable MICE experiences to our customers.”

Thomas Cook India and SOTC Travel jointly release Survey Report - measures customer perceptions/preferences for Holiday Travel post the COVID-19 pandemic

• 14% respondents indicate that they will travel in 2020- when restrictions ease
• 64% are likely to opt for a domestic holiday in 2020; 36% for an international tour
• 75% ranked health & safety as their #1 concern; 72% opting for reputed brands

Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., India’s leading integrated travel services company, along with its Group company SOTC Travel Ltd. surveyed over 2500 consumers across India’s metros and Tier 1 & 2 cities (including Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, Lucknow, Guwahati, Jamnagar, Surat, Vizag, Indore, Jaipur, etc.), covering 4 age groups: below 30 years, 31-44 years, 45-59 years and 60 years and above; 76% being in the 28-55 age segment. The Holiday Readiness Travel Report - Future of Travel post COVID-19 reflects key consumer behaviours and trends. Key findings include:

Travel is set to rebound - Indians will continue to Travel: 14% respondents indicated that they are likely to travel in 2020 once restrictions are lifted. While 45% respondents plan to defer their holiday to 2021, 41% are undecided. The festive seasons were preferred in 2020: either November (29%) or December (50%).

Key Travel Drivers: 72% respondents preferred reputed brands across their journey - including tour operators, hotel chains, etc. Health & Safety ranks as the primary concern for 75% respondents; with 35% willing to increase their spends to ensure the same.

Domestic Tourism is set to take centre stage: A domestic holiday was the first choice of 64% respondents. Destinations selected were Ladakh (20%), Goa (17%), North East (15%), Kerala (11%); Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir followed closely; Bhutan (17%) in the Indian sub-continent. Destinations at a driveable distance were also preferred, including: Coorg, Ooty, Mussoorie, Shimla, Amritsar, Munnar, etc.

36% respondents showed preference for an international holiday. Short haul destinations (Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai, Abu Dhabi) saw strong interest (41%). Long-haul destinations that traditionally witness demand in Q4 also featured, like Australia & New Zealand (20%); USA (16%). What is noteworthy is the significant demand for Europe at 38%; favoured destinations included Switzerland, France, Germany, UK, Czech Republic.

Size of Group: Respondents displayed a noticeable preference towards travelling in smaller groups- primarily due health/hygiene. 63% respondents were inclined to travel solo, with their immediate/extended family or friends/colleagues; 25% respondents preferred to travel in small groups of below 20 co-travellers and 12% opted for a group size of approximately 35+.

Holiday Duration: 86% respondents chose a holiday duration between 4-11 days (51% preferring 4-7 days, 35% preferring 8-11 days); 14% opted for a holiday of over 12 days.

Shift in Holiday Spending Patterns - Value-centric/Pocket Friendly Holidays: 67% of respondents stated that they would spend less than Rs. 1 lakh per person on their next holiday, while 11% said that they would spend up to Rs. 2 lakhs per person.

Booking Channels: Consumers continued to express interest in a personal touch/reassurance to their travel booking experience- with 58% opting to purchase holidays through retail outlets or home service (38% retail and 20% home visits). This was followed by 40% opting for online channels (Website/App) and 12% stating preference for video chat.

(Respondents were given a few questions with multiple options, hence percentages may not add up to 100%)

To view the infographic, click below link:
https://www.sotc.in/export/sites/SOTCSite/downloads/Infographic-Thomas-Cook-India-and-SOTC-jointly-release-the-Holiday.pdf

SOTC Travel appointed as the authorized Sub-Agent for the ICC T20 World Cup Australia 2020

With Cricket and Travel being an indispensable part of Indian lifestyle, the year 2020 will be an exciting year for Indian Travellers. The upcoming ICC T20 World Cup will be hosted in Australia. With Indian Travellers eagerly awaiting this worldwide event, SOTC Travel can now offer customers a combined experience of world-class cricket and an unparalleled holiday experience.

SOTC Travel has been appointed as the authorized Sub-Agent for this year’s ICC T20 World Cup – Men’s and Women’s tournaments. In 2020, Australia will host two ICC T20 World Cups, with the women’s (21 February – 8 March) and men’s (18 October – 5 November) tournaments to be played as standalone events across Australia. Both events will culminate in finals at the world’s largest cricket stadium, the Melbourne Cricket Ground, presenting an opportunity to set a new world record for the highest attendance at a women’s sporting fixture on Sunday 8 March 2020, International Women’s Day.

Capitalizing on this opportunity, SOTC Travel will offer customized packages to offer a perfect blend of the sport and leisure activities for travellers to make the most of this lifetime experience. Over the years there has been a considerable increase in number of Indian tourists traveling exclusively to watch sports-related events or alternatively planning their holiday around a major sporting event.

The focus has slowly shifted towards chasing novel experiences. It is a market that lures the corporate, as well as the millennials and the Gen Z. The island continent is home to some of the best sights and experiences in the world. This makes it a double draw for the cricket enthusiasts who are excited to visit Australia. Along with the electrifying matches, Travellers can also enjoy the glorious sights, excellent cuisine, personalized tours and visits to the winery, enjoy opera performances and more.

Vishal Suri Managing Director SOTC Travel said, “Over the past few years, we have seen a growing popularity of Australia as a travelers’ favorite destination. The T20 World Cup event provides an exciting opportunity for us to curate special experiences for Indians who would love to visit Australia during the World Cup. We see great demand with Indian travellers especially sport enthusiasts who wish to fulfil their desire for unique experiences. Sports Tourism has diversified from its conventional form restricted to viewing the sport live, to combining the experience with MICE & Leisure travel. We look forward to offering a world class experience to both Leisure and MICE customers.”

Make the most of the long weekends this year with SOTC’s Holiday Calendar
-A list of exciting destinations to travel smart this year-

The New Year has begun, and with it comes the promise of long weekends! In recent years' bite sized travel' - squeezing in more curated travel itineraries into shorter time frames have given Indian travellers the freedom to explore the ways they can spend their holidays.

From driving down to the nearest hill station, to jet-setting off on a 4 day cruise adventure, long weekends give travellers the opportunity to take a break from the mundane routine of life while delving into new experiences. In order to satisfy the needs of the new age Indian traveller, SOTC Travel, one of India’s leading travel and tourism companies has composed a list of finest destinations for spending the long weekends this year.

There are approximately twenty one long weekends this year, and each of them presents a unique opportunity for Indians to tick off a destination off their bucket lists. The months of February, March, April, May, June, August, October and November, offer the long weekend opportunity to travellers.

With the improvements in flight connectivity, easy visa access and favourable pricing, Indian travellers also have the option of setting off to short haul destinations to celebrate these weekends. The most preferred short haul destinations include Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Fiji, Bali, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Bangkok, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Macao and more. The most popular domestic destinations that draw interest during these times include Munnar, Goa, Andaman, Rajasthan, Diu, Gokarna, Puri, Ooty, Spiti Valley, Udaipur and more. Travellers can set off to Varanasi or Mathura in March, to celebrate Holi with pomp and grandeur or Haridwar, Khajurao, Mandi for a spiritually-enriched experience.

SOTC Travel also offers attractive packages to travellers to visit locations that are known for their cultural and local experiences like Russia for the Northern Lights, Japan for the Cherry Blossom festival, and Harbin for its biggest ice and snow exhibit, Holland for its Tulip farms, etc.

Daniel D’souza, President and Country Head, Leisure, SOTC Travel said, “Micro Trips are the new travel trend among Gen Z (Less than 25 years) & Gen Y (26-35 Years) as they understand that travelling is the best medium to escape their hectic daily schedules. More travellers today in their 20’s to 60’s are embracing the opportunity to experience new cultures and lifestyles with the aim of broadening their travel horizon. Less stressful planning, lower costs and increased frequency make shorter getaways a smart way to vacation. Indians now take every chance they get for multiple short holidays clubbing days with the long weekends.

Many destinations today have easy visa access or have visa on arrival facilities which makes it convenient for travellers. With the constant improvements made in the travel and tourism sector, these weekends have become opportunities for travel and exploration. They give everyone a chance to set off on mini-adventures, where they can either plan in advance for their holiday, or even make plans on the fly. At SOTC Travel, we have curated easy travel series for destinations like Bali, Malaysia, Bangkok, Dubai to name a few and also with our On-The-Go feature, customers can book new activities while on their holiday, and make the most of their weekends.”

Recommended Destinations for the long weekends in India for year 2020 by SOTC Travel:

Month Holiday Dates Occasion Recommended Destinations
(month wise)
February February 21st
(Friday)
Maha Shivratri International/ Easy visa short Haul Destinations:
Maldives and Seychelles (Visa on Arrival) for romantic couples who wish to Celebrate Valentine’s Week. Singapore, Dubai, Egypt.

Domestic Destinations:
Rajasthan, Mysore, Karnataka, Gujarat are popular domestic destinations
March March 10th
(Tuesday)
Holi International/ Easy visa short Haul Destinations:
Tanzania, (Visa on Arrival). Enjoy the Cherry Blossom festival in Japan.

Domestic Destinations:
Vrindavan, Lucknow, Punjab, Varanasi, Mumbai, Uttarakhand are most enjoyed for the colourful Holi celebrations.
April
April 2nd (Tuesday)
April 6th (Tuesday)
April 10th (Friday)
Ram Navami
Mahavir Jayanti (restricted)
Good Friday
International/ Easy visa short Haul Destinations:
Jordan and Malaysia

Domestic Destinations:
Sambhar Salt Lake, Rajasthan – Udaipur, Jaipur, Kullu Manali, Agra, Leh and Ladakh
May
May 1st (Friday)
May 7th (Thursday)
May 2th (Monday)
Labour Day/Maharashtra Day
Buddha Purnima
EID
International/ Easy visa short Haul Destinations:
Bhutan (No visa) Indonesia, Sri Lanka (Visa on Arrival)

Domestic Destinations:
Spiti, Shimla, Nagaland, Ooty and Chikmangalur
June June 23rd (Tuesday) Rath Yatra International/ Easy visa short Haul Destinations:
Laos and Turkey

Domestic Destinations:
Auli, Srinagar and Uttarakhand.
August
August 3rd (Monday)
August 31st (Monday)
Rakshabandhan
Onam
International/ Easy visa short Haul Destinations:
Cambodia & Kenya(Visa on Arrival)

Domestic Destinations:
Munnar, Diu, Goa, Darjeeling, and Coorg.
October
October 2nd (Friday)
October 29th (Thursday)
Gandhi Jayanti
Id-e-Milad
International/ Easy visa short Haul Destinations:
Fiji, Enjoy the culinary festival in Spain in October.

Domestic Destinations:
Rishikesh, Hampi and Kerala
November
November 13th (Friday)
November 14th (Saturday)
November 16th (Monday)
November 30th (Monday)
Dhanteras
Diwali
Bhaiduj
Guru Nanak Gurpurab
International/ Easy visa short Haul Destinations:
Hong Kong, Singapore and Abu Dhabi.

Domestic Destinations:
Sunderbans, Varanasi, Pushkar in Rajasthan, Almora and Bodh Gaya in Bihar, etc.
December December 25th (Friday) Christmas International/ Easy visa short Haul Destinations:
Macao, Mauritius, Bali and Krabi (Visa on Arrival)

Northern Lights in Russia is another popular alternative for tourists.

Domestic Destinations:
Goa, Velas in Maharashtra, Vattakanal in Tamil Nadu.

Destination and holiday experiences are the top holiday influencers for Travellers
~84% Millennials find the destination and the experience offered to be their main influencer for making holiday plans according to the SOTC Holiday Report~

With the rise of technological advancements and subsequent internet penetration in the country, Indians have been exposed to more of the world than before. They are more dynamic in nature; ready to break away from the traditional rigid itineraries to pursue more novel experiences. They see travel as an avenue of self-discovery, and wish to learn new things from every trip they take.

These travellers are looking to resonate on a deeper level with the destination they are visiting and are hence looking for uniqueness as a priority. According to the SOTC India Holiday Report, 59% Gen Z are adrenalin junkies/adventure-seekers who holiday to fulfil their passion for adventure e.g. Diving Holidays in Malaysia, Kite Sailing in Philippines, White Water Rafting in the Himalayas, etc. Another being the Local Cuisine, which is a top holiday enhancement preference with 65% of Gen Z and 57% Gen X selecting their travel destination basis its local food. Destinations like Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Italy, and France are trending for cuisine and wine journeys. Japan, Korea, Ireland are emerging for their unique local flavours and whiskey trails.

The choice of destination and the experiences offered inspires the travel decisions across all age groups with the highest among Millennials with 84%. From exploring and learning the local cuisine, to finding offbeat experiences at every locale, travellers are pushing the boundary of tourism. In order to satisfy their desire for immersive experiences, SOTC Travel has curated unique experiences that highlight this trend of experiential travel. These include incorporating workshops, wellness experiences, culturally immersive activities, food and drink experiences, outdoor activities and more.

From experiencing the Northern Lights in Russia, to celebrating the coming of spring with the Cherry Blossom festival in Japan, marvelling at the world’s biggest ice and snow exhibit in Harbin or sampling the flavour of the China Beer Festival, taking salsa classes in Spain, visiting Tulip farms in Holland, attending the Lavender Festival in France and seeing the beautiful villages, local markets, touring the vast and picturesque lavender fields or enjoy crushing the grapes in the France Grape Crushing Festival, experience the South Africa Flowers and Whale Festival, learning how to surf in Australia, or even experiencing the affordable Castle Stays across UK, Italy and Germany, travellers wish to savour varied experiences. Closer to home, travellers are indulging in experiences that include kite flying in Gujarat during the Makar Sankranti festivities, visiting Vipasana and other meditation centres in Ladakh, taking Konkani cooking lessons in Goa and more.

These desires of travellers have led to a new trend in the travel and tourism industry. Travellers belonging to the age group of Gen X is leading this demand; hoping to create memorable learning experiences for their children. The tech-savvy travellers belonging to the Gen Y and Gen Z age group are more dynamic. They wish to avoid mass travel and are spurred on by technological usage to find novel experiences to explore and share with others.

Daniel D’souza, President and Country Head, Leisure, SOTC Travel, said, “Experiential travel is a trend that has observed a steady incline in the last few years. New age travellers of today don’t just want to visit a destination; they want to live it. They seek to bring home a more lasting and sharable experience, or learning’s from activities that are a result of historic culture and tradition. These evolved travellers are willing to go the extra mile to have a unique and memorable holiday. To cater to this demand we have curated special packages that encapsulate a plethora of activities for our customers. We have driven value based pricing offering exclusive experiences like the Northern lights and the Artic Cruise. These experiential travel packages take the customer on an all-inclusive trip, exploring novel experiences that are not only breath taking and refreshing but also provide value to our customers. Additionally, Japan, Balkan countries, China, France, Scandinavian countries are observing an immense hike in interest because of the exclusive sights and cultural activities they offer.”

Some of these novel experiences include:
• Celebrate the coming of spring by visiting the Japanese Cherry Blossom tour
• Lavender Festival and Grape Crushing Festivals in France
• European Whirl – Tulip Festival Special- visit the colourful Tulip Farms in Holland
• Ice and Snow Exhibit at Harbin Ice Festival and Beer Festival in China
• Flowers and Whale Festival in South Africa
• Enjoy taking Salsa classes in Spain
• Learn Surfing in Australia
• Experience the affordable Castle Stays in UK, Germany and Italy
• Visit the spectacular Northern Lights in Russia
• Experience the ‘White Nights’ phenomena in Russia and enjoy the Midnight Sun

Artificial Intelligence the Future of Travel Industry
~SOTC Travel introduces “Trip Planner” AI driven feature for convenient holiday planning for customers~
~71% of Travellers chose flexibility and customization in holiday preference~

Technology today is advancing at a rapid pace, and has permeated into every sector. Combining AI with advanced analytics principles can ensure personalized service, resulting in better value and memorable experience to customers. New age travellers in the country are exposed to the power of choice. Having options makes customers more satisfied. They do not wish to be bounded by the traditional rigid itineraries of old, and are looking for personalization and customisation.

According to the SOTC India Holiday Report:
• 71% of Travellers across four age groups chose flexibility and customization in holiday preference
• Under the age group of 25 and less (Gen Z), 59% respondents preferred flexibility and customisation as the top reason to choose Customised Holidays
• Millennials have also played an important role and have embraced technology. Flexibility and customisation was the highest between the age group of 26-35 years (Gen Y- Millennials) with 69% respondents choosing this as the top reason to choose Customised Holidays
• With the age group of 36-55 years (Gen X), 61% preferred flexibility and customisation as the top reason to choose Customised Holidays
• Pioneers in introducing regional tours ‘Darshanam’ for the South India Market.
• While 50% respondents in the 56 years and above age group seek flexibility and customisation in their customised holidays

In enhancing customer experience further, SOTC Travel has recently introduced an exclusive tool powered by AI to help customers plan their holidays more efficiently. The feature known as Trip Planner uses data provided by customers, while matching information to approximately 230,000,000 data points, thus creating the appropriate customised itinerary for a customer, according to their preference. Trip Planner is ideal for travellers, who find it difficult to spare time to plan their next visit.

Trip Planner suggests services, offers, travel ideas, tips, and alternate plans. In keying the destination of choice and holiday duration, the software arranges a detailed schedule with day-to-day activities mapped out. These activities also offer the customer the best routes to get there (with options), and displays the category of other experiences one can find in the vicinity. The choices presented are open to change, and the travellers can adjust the placement, adding and subtracting activities to suit their pace of travel. Through Trip Planner customers can customise their holidays in seconds based on the preferences while choosing over 80000 destinations making holiday planning fast, fun and easy. With the help of this technology, a traveller can get personalized and intelligent travel solution tailored according to their needs.

Daniel D’Souza, President and Country Head, SOTC Travel said, “Traveller preferences have changed over the years, and it has become crucial to cater to their demands suitably. Technology is revolutionising travel. A Trip Planner can be used to improve personalisation and tailor recommendations. To personalize customer service further, we have imbibed AI technologies into our customer service portfolio and operations. Trip Planner can guide the traveller on their holiday, suggesting experiences that can be categorised as popular spots, hidden gems, culture, outdoors, shopping historic sights and more. This innovative feature can also help create an itinerary according to the pace they wish for themselves. We are extremely excited to introduce this novel offering and hope to further enhance and deliver memorable travel experiences to our customers.”

SOTC Travel Launches ‘Around the World in 70 Days’ - Bespoke Journey across the Globe

Breath-taking and must-see destinations across seven continents

Mumbai, December 05, 2019: In celebration of its 70th Anniversary, SOTC Travel has curated a special journey of discovery ‘Around the World in 70 Days’ spanning 7 continents comprising of incredible destinations and experiences from across the globe. Inspired by a widely beloved travel saga, this holiday experience includes some of the most picturesque destinations, adrenalin-pumping adventures, stunningly beautiful nature and wildlife, natural and manmade wonders that this planet has to offer.

According to the SOTC Holiday Report 2019, the destination is today the key influencing factor for most travellers - 79% for less than 25 years, 84% for 26-35 years, 74% for 36-55 years, and 67% for 56+ years. ‘Around the World in 70 Days’ is designed specifically to take one through a plethora of unique experiences, encompassing the rich culture, heritage, trade, cuisine, and history, of a destination. In Cambodia, these include a sunset dinner on Tonle Sap and a journey to the World Heritage temple Angkor Vat, while Japan offers Samurai Training in Tokyo, the Snow festival in Sapporo, and the hot springs of Hokkaido mountains, along with a spellbinding meeting with the famed Geishas of the Land of the Rising Sun.

Further South, in Australia, a tour of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House, and a Hot Air Balloon ride at Hunter Valley, followed by a delicious gourmet breakfast, are an absolute must-try, along with Hamilton Island, Cairns, and the Field of Light, an incredible light installation in Uluru, by internationally celebrated artist Bruce Munro. North America, on the other hand, offers a diverse array of experiences, such as the Oahu Submarine Scooter Adventure at Honolulu in Hawaii, visit to one of the world’s most active volcanoes during the Volcano Eco-Adventure Tour at Oahu, a visit to the Stroller’s Paradise in Santa Monica, Apres Ski in Aspen and Snowmass Village, Gondola ride at Aspen Mountain, a visit to the Grand Teton National Park, and more.
This unique holiday also covers the many awe-inspiring wonders of South America, including the famed Machu Picchu in Peru, the rich history and architectural heritage of Lima, the spectacular Iguazu Falls, guided nature hikes through the majestic Amazon Jungle, and the carnivals in Rio De Janeiro and Sao Paulo in Brazil, along with a journey to the end of the world at Ushuaia, capital of Tierra del Fuego. Also on the itinerary are the sub-zero wonders of Antarctica, the great wilderness of Africa, the royal history of Europe, the Northern Lights and whale-watching in Iceland, and several more renowned attractions in Norway, Austria and more.

Madhavan Menon, Chairman, SOTC Travel Ltd. said, “For seven decades SOTC has opened the world to travelers and has made holidays an essential part of their lives. Over these years, SOTC Travel has constantly been at the forefront of introducing innovative product offerings, expanding its destination market and creating perfect holiday moments for customers. Indian travelers have evolved rapidly, and are now increasingly seeking curated, experience-led holiday propositions. This launch of the exclusive limited edition offering “Around the World in 70 Days” to commemorate SOTC’s 70th Anniversary, is a “bucket list” once in a lifetime experience - packaged seamlessly to offer new and unique experiences to the discerning traveler. Worthy testament to the millions of customers who have traveled with SOTC over the past 70 years and the many more to follow!”

Vishal Suri, Managing Director, SOTC Travel, said, “The shift in traveller preferences has created a strong opportunity for the growth of the entire travel sector, spanning various continents and countries across the globe. Leisure travel has also evolved to encompass not only the country, but every unexplored corner of the world. SOTC Travel has reinvented its expansive portfolio of holiday offerings, catering to a diverse range of customer archetypes. For travellers belonging to the archetype of The Explorer, The Convenience Seeker and The Family Memory Builder, this holiday experience brings a chance to explore niche destinations, gain new cultural experiences and create remarkable memories. Thus, Around the World in 70 Days inspires the Indian Traveller to choose and explore an experiential journey across spectacular destinations in the world.”

SOTC and Singapore Tourism Board (STB) Collaborate To Introduce Indians To The Wonders Of Singapore
Indian travellers are constantly seeking destinations that offer various experiences and an opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family. According to the SOTC India Holiday Report 2019, travel has become a very important part of Indian life. In fact, 59% of Indians take at least one international holiday and 92% take at least one domestic holiday, annually. While shopping, exploration, and taking short breaks play an important role in the decision-making process for holidays, 68% of Indians count relaxation as the main reason for going on a vacation. An average of 64% of respondents across all the mentioned age groups chose ‘Spending time with friends and family’ as their primary reason for going on holidays.

Consumer behavior is changing with travellers preferring experiential activities over traditional itineraries. Travelers are increasingly opting to indulge in memorable experiences while looking for a seamless experience for their holidays.

In an endeavour to introduce Indian Travellers to new authentic ways to explore a destination, SOTC Travel and Singapore Tourism Board (STB) have collaborated to invite travel enthusiasts to explore the picturesque island nation Singapore through two immersive videos. These videos aim to show travellers the wonders they can experience in Singapore, through the eyes of both adults and children.

The videos highlight the destinations many offerings for people of every age, and belonging to every category of passion tribes. Whether they identify as The Explorer, The Foodie, Action-Seeker or Collector, they can find interesting and immersive experiences here with ease. Travellers can begin their holiday at the luxurious Marina Bay Sands hotel, where they can unwind in the infinity pool and take a unique tour of the amazing collection of shops via Sampan rides – the boating service exclusive to the hotel. Singapore offers many diverse and innovative ways for tourists to explore the many sights along the city. These include the Singapore Flyer – Asia’s largest observation bay and the Floating Donut – a wonderful boating service designed in the shape of the beloved treat, where travellers can sightsee while enjoying scrumptious delicacies on the boat. Close to the Marina Reservoir, travellers can step into 101 hectares of lush, verdant national park and gaze in wonderment at the different zones, which include flower fantasy, cloud forest, super Grove and many, many more. They can even step onto the 128-meter aerial walkway - OCBC skyway that offers close-up views of the 12 vertical gardens at the Super Tree Grove.

For the younger traveller, Singapore is teeming with exciting activities. A visit to the famed Universal Studios is an absolute must, with experiences like the Jurassic Park Rapids adventure Rides, Shrek 4-D adventure and more. Adventure Cove Waterpark – Asia’s only waterpark that’s integrated with Marine Life, allows travellers to marvel at over 100,000 species of marine animals at the S.E.A Aquarium. The Singapore Zoo is another must-see spot on every travel wish-list, where the rainforest setup provides the chance to enjoy an interactive wildlife experience. A virtual tour of various animals at the Rainforest Lumina is another innovative experience.. Animal lovers can also enjoy the Jurong Bird Park which houses over 400 species of majestic birds.

As the new-age Indian traveller shows greater interest in cultural immersion by way of sampling local cuisine, Singapore is their ideal destination. The island nation’s cuisine is a culmination of elements from a wide range of ethnic groups, who call Singapore home and is widely regarded worldwide for its aromatic blend of flavours. One can also experience the culture and history of this beautiful nation by visiting the Chinatown Heritage Centre, the National Gallery and Tiang Bahru neighbourhood, where the street art depicting the daily lives of natives is a cultural sensation.

Daniel D’souza, President and Country Head, Leisure, SOTC Travel said, “At SOTC, we endeavour to introduce our customers to new and immersive experiences at every destination, to make their holidays special and remarkable. Singapore remains a popular destination with Indian Travellers. Our collaboration with Singapore Tourism Board enables us to showcase a unique side to the destination. The innovative 3-D art installation campaign in association with STB across various popular malls in India helped us visualise and engage travellers to the types of experiences in Singapore. This was created with the aim of inspiring our travellers to get the most out of their experience in Singapore and enjoy their vacation to the fullest. According to the SOTC India Holiday Report 2019, short breaks are a bigger trend, where 53% of Gen Z, 59% of Gen Y, 50% of Gen X and 32% of senior citizen travellers wish to take the opportunity to visit new destinations, and experience more of the world. With the impressive array of activities, and beautiful sights, Singapore is an ideal destination for spending these short breaks. In association with STB we will provide the best holidays for our customers, who wish to explore the world in the pursuit of discovering different and exciting travel memories. Singapore is a destination that should exist on every traveller’s bucket-list, for the activities and experiences it offers to people of every age.”

To view SOTC New Singapore Videos in Association with Singapore Tourism Board visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJKZxrxrMnU and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDTGFZSIwj8

SOTC Travel introduces new F&B offerings with Indian and Fusion Culinary Delights for Indians Travellers
- SOTC India Holiday Report reveals more than 70% Indians prefer a combination of Indian and local cuisine during their travel -

With an increasing number of travellers interested in unique experiences with a feel of the local flavour, culture or experience, SOTC Travel, has reinvented the F&B experience for travelers across its product portfolio in association with an award winning food connoisseur to exclusively curate handpicked menus across all of its business verticals and bespoke tours.

Indian travelers have specific requirements while traveling abroad and food is an essential part of their travelling. A trendy addiction among Indian travelers is ghar–ka-khaana when on a holiday while others enjoy the famed dish of the destination as it connects them to the local culture. They would not compromise on the food and service quality as they travel for the love of food.

The food menus across the business verticals – MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events), FITs (Free Independent Travellers), Group Tours and more will offer a combination of the home-style menus with simple recipes and the local cuisine. Customers can be assured of ease-of-convenience via meals that are of the highest standards, and tailored to their needs.

The initiative is in response to the insights gained from the SOTC India Holiday Report 2019, which revealed that across age groups – 25 years and above – food was a critical factor in determining the success and cognizance of their holidays and is especially top of the mind when going on a holiday. The report reveals that majority of Indians are foodies with 75% seeking a combination of Indian and Local Cuisine while vacationing.

SOTC’s regional group packages like ‘Brahman Mandal’ dedicated to Maharashtrians, 'Gurjar Vishwadarshan' that is dedicated to Gujaratis and ‘Darshanams’ curated specially for South Indians; will offer day wise diverse menus of Indian meals as per their unique requirements and culinary preferences. The menus for South Indian products will incorporate regional favourites like filter coffee, curd rice & rasam and Unniappam while our Gujarati menus will serve specialities like Dhokla, Khandvi. Customers can also relish the taste of diverse cuisines across the world right from Awadhi, Karnataka, Arabic, South-East Asian and many more.

Care has also been taken to provide the eclectic variety of cuisines – both Indian and international cuisine, for MICE travellers as well. With the expertise of the food connoisseur, our MICE tours will offer customized culinary options suited for their palates. From exotic themed dinners to authentic Indian cuisine, Menus on tour will offer a fusion of both local and Indian cuisine for the quintessential native experience.

Daniel D’Souza, President and Country Head Leisure at SOTC Travel said, “Indians have diverse preferences, and they definitely crave home-cooked food a lot, no matter where they go. Additionally, food is one of the easiest ways to immerse oneself in a local culture or community, whether travelling with friends and family, or alone. The new-age Indian travellers have shown a rising level of interest for this type of cultural enrichment, as can be seen by insights gained through the SOTC India Holiday Report 2019. According to the report, 65% of Gen Z, 32% of Gen Y, 57% of Gen X and 49% of Senior Citizen travellers count exploration of local cuisine as their main reason to enhance holidays. We are positive that the food enhancements will transform the F&B experience for our customers, bringing a healthy mix of local and Indian food, across diverse preferences, via delectable cuisines. This will go a long way to ensuring a satisfying holiday experience for our travellers.”

SD Nandakumar - President and Country Head - B2B at SOTC Travel Ltd said, “Personalized food experiences are becoming increasingly important. At SOTC, we aim at finding the right balance for our MICE travellers. Authentic Indian meals have been an extremely important feature that brings us customer delight. Capitalizing on food and beverage trends, our menus are planned with a lot of attention to include handpicked ingredients, sourced from the regions they are known for, to bring in authenticity of flavours. From Live food bars offering a range of food items and desserts with an Indian twist, the food offered is a combination of simple, comforting home-style Indian menus, as well as modified local cuisine, to suit the Indian palate, and specific dietary needs. SOTC has tied up with partner hotels in various international cities, to serve the menus specially created for our travellers”.

Chef Santosh Jori is a culinary expert with a career spanning over 20 years in curating well-crafted delectable menus for reputed brands in the hospitality business, mainly Luxury and Hospitality chains in India and overseas, including the Marriott Group, The Ritz Carlton, Starwoods Hotels, Jumeriah Hospitality, The Leela Group of Hotels and several others.

SOTC Unveils the India Holiday Report 2019
-Reveals Insights on the Evolution of the Indian Traveller across Four Generations-

• The SOTC Holiday Report identifies 6 unique traveller archetypes- The Budget Friendly Traveller, The Convenience-seeker, The Family Memory Builder, The Explorer, Mellow Vacationer & Senior Citizen

Key Findings:
• The report reveals that travel has become an indispensable part of the Indian consumers lifestyle- across all age groups
• Indians are displaying an increasing appetite for multiple short breaks/ escapes of 3-6 days:
58% of Gen Z (4-24 years) prefers to take trips of 3-6 days with engaging experiences 56% of Millennials/ Gen Y (25-39 years) prefer short duration trips vs long vacations
Hence international short-hauls like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sri Lanka and domestic favourites like Goa, Kerala, Andaman, Uttaranchal, North East.
• Seniors & Baby Boomers (55-75) have started embracing International Holidays: 83% take one International Holiday annually
Destinations like Switzerland, UK, France, USA, Canada, Australia & New Zealand and including emerging opportunities like Japan and Korea
• Online bookings are witnessing significant growth across all age groups; highest among India’s digital native Gen Z (76%)
• Indians increasingly opting for cashless modes of holiday payment; 86% in the case of Gen Y
• Indians are value seekers: Attractive packages and offers being a key driver for approx. 50% across all age groups

In this the digital age, social sharing, the increase of disposable income and the braggable rights of travel is power- driving the entire holiday ecosystem - whether outbound or domestic tourism. The Indian traveller has come of age and travel is no longer a luxury, but rather a non-negotiable necessity.

The SOTC India Holiday Report was first introduced in 2015 and has been tracing the evolution of the Indian traveller over the years. SOTC Travel’s recently released India Holiday Report 2019 reveals insightful data to deep dive into the Indian leisure traveller psyche, their preferences and travel behaviours. The was conducted with over 1100 respondents belonging to four distinct age groups: 25 years and below, 26-35 years, 36-55 years and 56 years and above. The findings of SOTC India Holiday Report 2019 are classified into three key categories: Holiday Preferences, Holiday Research & Booking and Holiday Finance.
Holiday Preferences:

• Indians are increasingly opting for multiple short breaks rather than the traditional single long annual vacation. While in 2015, more than 75% respondents had taken a holiday for 7-10 days as compared to 3-6 days, in 2019. This indicates a trend of higher frequency and shorter duration holidays.
The exception is the 56+ year segment that prefers longer vacations of 7-15+ days
• International holidays are a mandatory inclusion in the annual travel plan: All age groups booking at least one international holiday a year.
• Domestic holidays show a marked growth with 92% respondents taking a domestic holiday compared to 80% in 2015. Leisure combined with Spiritual journeys are witnessing as interesting trend. Destinations such as Madurai, Rameshwaram, Dwarka, Shirdi, Pushkar, Mathura, Ujjain & Varanasi featured in SOTC’s Darshans have seen significant growth in 2019.
• 68% of all respondents chose relaxation as a top reason to take a holiday. 73% of India’s work warriors Gen Y/ Millennials opted for travel escapades as a great way to unwind.
• Family Bonding is a key driver for holidays with 64% of respondents across all the age groups choosing ‘Spending time with friends and family’
• 59% Gen Z are adrenaline junkies/adventure-seekers who holiday to fulfill their passion for adventure e.g. Diving Holidays in Malaysia, Kite Sailing in Philippines, White Water Rafting in the Himalayas
• Local Cuisine is a top holiday enhancement preference with 65% of Gen Z and Gen X 57% selecting their travel destination basis its local food. Destinations like Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Italy, and France are trending for cuisine and wine journeys. Japan, Korea, Ireland are emerging for their unique local flavours and whiskey trails.

Research & Booking:

• Indians are increasingly on-the-go and impatient. With Internet penetration on the rise, social sharing and easy access to digital travelogues, a majority of the respondents (79% of less than 25 years, 81% of 26-35 years, 78% 36-55 years and 61% of 56 years+) opt for online platforms for their primary research
• While not surprisingly over 70% respondents in the age groups 25- 35 & 36-55 years booked their holidays online, an impressive 48% of the 56 plus segment also felt comfortable booking online
• Destination was the key influencing factor for most respondents (79% for less than 25 years; 84% for 26-35 years; 74% for 36-55 years and 67% for 56+)
• For less than 25 years the second most important influencer were Packages and Offers while Hotels/Experiences/Activities and Travel Websites/Blogs came third. Interestingly, for over 50% of respondents in this age group the decision on holiday travel was taken by the parents
• With age groups 36-55 (47%) and 56+ (35%), Family Demands became a critical factor in influencing holiday plans
• Baby Boomers and seniors are clearly embracing the online world: 62% respondents gave credence to Travel Websites and Blogs
• The holiday decision maker is seeing a shift from husband-dominated to joint decision making

Finance:

• In a major fillip to the digital ecosystem, over 80% respondents use Credit or Debit Card for travel booking and on-ground expenses. The discounts and cash backs being a key driver
• Irrespective of age groups, most respondents still dip into their savings for their holiday travels (92% for less than 25 years; 92% for 26-35 years; 90% for 36-55 years; 96% for 56+)
• Spends on holidays seem directly proportional to age groups, which is very likely a reflection of the increase in income and savings; 93% respondents in under 25 years spend less than one lakh per annum on holiday travel and over 50% of the respondents in age groups less than 25-55 years spend only upto one lakh per annum
• In a marked change, Indian travellers have also begun viewing EMI and loans as an option to fund their holidays with an average of 4% of respondents across all age groups availing of these to enjoy a vacation

Vishal Suri, Managing Director, SOTC Travel said “ I am proud to launch the 3rd edition of the SOTC Holiday Report 2019, that keeps a finger on the pulse of India’s rapidly evolving, digital native demographic. This is the first time we have undertaken a completely online survey for our report. The findings reinforce the undeniable fact that everyone aspires to travel and that travel has become a non-negotiable element in the Indian traveller calendar. Whether it is bespoke adventures, solo or escorted tours, Indians are travelling far more than they have ever before and while they will continue to be quintessential value seekers, their passions like adventure or cuisine play a critical factor. The digital divide is almost non-existent with technology being a great enabler across age groups. As against the single annual vacation, Indians are displaying increasing appetite for multiple short holiday breaks.

He concluded with, “At SOTC, in our quest for customer excellence, the report plays a key role, giving us valuable insights for product and service to better serve the next generation of Indian travellers.”

The India Holiday Report 2019 has also identified the primary archetypes of travellers that stood out in India over the last five years:

The Budget Friendly Traveller - They usually take at least one international vacation every year, and travel with the spouse, or with family and kids. They look for a meticulously planned tour to cover as many sites as possible within the available time and budget.

The Convenience-seeker - This traveller wants everything to be planned and simple, valuing convenience, ease, and transparency, above all, in travel planning. They are even willing to outsource decision-making to a trusted party to avoid having to go through extensive research themselves.

The Family Memory Builder - They aim to build family memories and strengthen the bonds between its members, seeking a combination of both sightseeing and flexibility. This segment largely comprises couples aged 35-45 years, with young children less than 18 years of age, and potentially senior citizens.

The Explorer - With a hunger for authenticity, this traveller is extremely particular about having a flexible itinerary comprising a wide range of unique local experiences. They like to keep a minimum-viable-plan for their trips, as they prefer to discover the rest, on-the-go.

Mellow Vacationer - This segment predominantly comprises couples in the age range of 25-35 or 45-60. They choose to go on vacation without children, looking to unwind, relax, and enjoy the journey as well as the destination. Their expectations consist of low-key experiences at a relaxing pace, and dislike itineraries, with no desire to attempt anything unusual or new.

Senior Citizen - These travellers are generally older, retired couples aged 55 years and above, with above average income. With considerably more free time on their hands, they are quite eager to travel, with an ideal vacation entailing relaxing at a serene location with the opportunity to enjoy the company of others, and spend time with their loved ones.

SOTC Travel Launches HOMESTAYS in Partnership with OYO
~Will offer authentic homestay experiences across 16 cities for the first time~
SOTC Travel announced the launch of Homestays in partnership with OYO Hotels & Homes, the world's 6th largest chain of hotels, homes, and living spaces to provide unmatched accommodation for the domestic travelers. Travelers can now book homestays starting at INR 2,400 to have authentic travel experience. This is available across 16 popular cities in India including Kochi, Lonavala, Dehradun, Dharamshala, Pondicherry, Coorg, Udaipur, Mount Abu, Bhubaneswar among others. These properties are located amongst beautiful local neighborhoods and come with great convenience and reliability.

The homes offered are completely private with high-quality amenities and are well serviced for the convenience of the customers. These homes are fully furnished and some of them also have an in-house restaurant. This is to offer travelers an opportunity to try out an array of local delicacies – all in the comfort of a homestay. With this association, SOTC Travel aims to captivate its domestic customers by offering new and engaging experiences. Commenting on this association, Daniel D’souza, President & Country Head, Leisure, SOTC Travel said, "With the increasing demand for homestays, SOTC in partnership with OYO will offer the experience of a homestay for the first time to its travelers. This would be the most authentic domestic travel experience. The well-traveled consumer today is looking for good accommodation at affordable prices, added facilities, and convenience. OYO will help cater to the demands of our customers across segments that include families, honeymooners solo travelers, millennials looking at a ‘home away from home’ experience at competent prices.”

Puneet Yadav, Business Head, OYO Home said, ”We are pleased to partner with SOTC Travel, a brand renowned for their unique travel offerings. The new age traveler today is showing an increasing appetite for different travel experiences especially with options like homestays becoming very popular. With a common passion to provide guests across geographies memorable travel experiences, we strongly believe that this partnership will be extremely beneficial for the modern traveler.”

Experience your first international holiday with SOTC Unbelievable prices, visa convenience and much more with SOTC’s Thailand packages
SOTC Travel has announced three exciting deals for the first time international travelers, to Thailand. Starting at just INR 29,800; the packages will include airfares, accommodation, sight-seeing and on arrival eVisa.

SOTC has crafted this keeping in mind the preferences of its travellers to provide a combination of activities like shopping, beaches and spa experiences. With holiday season currently at its peak, consumers across demographics can visit Thailand at an unbelievable price enjoying its pleasant climate, scenic beauty and pristine beaches.

Travelers can avail of this unique holiday experience through three carefully designed tour packages, catering to diverse budgets, while providing for a memorable first time international trip. Customers will be able to experience the best of Thailand without the hassle of a lengthy visa process. The Thailand eVisa on arrival program will ensure that travelers receive an eVisa on arrival within 24 to 72 hours without having to endure long immigration queues.

The three variants of this package include a 5-Day Tour to Bangkok at INR 29,800 or Bangkok and Pattaya at INR 30,700 or Phuket at INR 31,990.

Commenting on this novel offering, Daniel D’souza, President & Country Head, Leisure, SOTC Travel said, “With years of experience in providing expert travel assistance, we understand how Indian travellers cherish their ‘first’ international travel experience. The majority of Indian population falls under the youth segment, who aspires to travel. Encouraged by increasing middle class incomes, Millennials have emerged as the newest class of Indian Travellers. Looking at the growth potential, we have introduced this package, for the first time international traveler, making it affordable and unique, while offering the right combination of adventure, thrill and leisure. At SOTC, we aspire to make holidays a priority for every Indian and we understand the concerns surrounding first time international trips. So our objective is to make the experience as seamless and as affordable as possible”.

Discover The World ‘On The Go’ With SOTC’s Newly Launched Portal
~On The Go offers travellers a wide range of unique experiences and activities~

For the new-age Indian traveller, planning a holiday abroad, is like going on a personal adventure – a journey that opens the horizons of their mind and provides exposure to the world. They are looking for novel, experiences that translate into enriching memories. Catering to the excursionists who like to tread the path less taken, leading travel and tourism company SOTC has launched On The Go, India's one-of-a-kind travel service for personalised tours.

If you are on your planned holiday but find something that's piqued your interest, then you can now get more of the same trip with On The Go. Find the best value for your time, energy and money, by witnessing the most popular tourist destinations in a completely different light. The portal captures the best a region has to offer and curates an unforgettable trip that’s a perfect coming alive of the travellers’ fantasies. So whether you have opted for a pre-planned SOTC tour and want to add more to your itinerary or simply explore the place in never-done-before manner, On The Go will set it up for you.

Empowered with a thorough understanding of the new-age traveller's mindset and expectations, On The Go offers customised experiences and activities for every wanderlust. Be it trekking through snow-capped Alps, sailing down The Nile, or learning to cook a traditional Bhutanese meal, Gen-Z now has the chance to tick off the next thing on their bucket list.

Mr. Daniel Dsouza, Head - Sales, India and NRI Markets, SOTC Travel said, “The new-age traveller is well-read, discerning and wants excitement, convenience and the best deals, all at once, when planning a journey. At SOTC Travel, the motto is providing a service that is flexible and personalised to match the customer’s needs. Being diverse in terms of the choices is what adds more value to the customer experience. On The Go offers the most exclusive customisation in the holiday category, today. Through On The Go, customers can book their excursions, activities and experiences at their own convenience. They also have access to authentic reviews by other travel connoisseurs that help them make a smart decision."

Explore specially planned culinary tours, art workshops, sports sojourns, and more with India's one-of-a-kind experiential travel partner. Whether you desire to take a free-spirited helicopter ride, float into the clouds on a hot-air balloon with your beloved or head out on a honeymoon with a difference, On The Go is your perfect itinerary planner. Encounter the exhilaration of flexible travel and the ease of expert planning, with SOTC's most dynamic travel service, yet.

Visit: https://www.sotc.in/on-the-go and Explore the World
SOME FEATURES INCLUDE:
• Adding activities to a package (Shows, Concerts, Sports)
• Exclusive Experiences- Air, Helicopter & Balloon Tours
• Arranging Special touches on your honeymoon package
• Spa, culinary, kid friendly tours
• Classes and Workshops (Mask making, Ski workshops, Wine & Painting)

SOTC Travel celebrates 70 years of travel

SOTC Travel, marked the 70th anniversary of its founding year in 1949. SOTC’s first office was opened in Mumbai with 5 employees. A major breakthrough came in 1976, when SOTC handled its first tour group visiting the US during the bicentennial celebrations. 1981 saw another breakthrough when SOTC Package Tours began active advertising, with the first creative in the newspapers.

Today it has grown to a network of over 160 touch points in India and NRI markets. Over the years, the company has attained leadership position in various travel segments-Escorted Group Holidays, Customized Holidays, Domestic Holidays, Incentive Travel, Business Travel and Foreign Exchange.

Speaking on the momentous occasion, Vishal Suri, Managing Director, SOTC Travel said, “It is indeed a celebratory moment for us at SOTC. We believe in constantly evolving and adapting to the changing needs and expectations of our customers to create and deliver magical moments and seamless travel solutions. Moving forward, we will continue to focus on Value Creation for all our stake holders – customers, employees and partners, by further enhancing our processes, investing in technology and innovation to deliver delightful customer experiences.”

The company aims to further strengthen its business with an array of innovations and launches across multiple travel categories. The plans include new product formats and extension of premium offerings.

Things you did not know about SOTC
• In Switzerland, the town of Engelberg was renamed SOTC Indian Village in 1999.
• SOTC is the only Indian tour operator to be awarded the prestigious Friends of Thailand Award in 2000.
• In 2003, a customer travelling with an SOTC Bhraman Mandal tour to Europe came back to India and wrote a book titled ‘Parikrama of Western Europe’. The book is an account of his journey – from the decision-making stage to homecoming – and talks of his experience as an SOTC customer.
• Pioneers in introducing the Holiday Now Pay Later facility
• Pioneered in designing and marketing of escorted tours to cosmopolitan travellers in India.
• Introduced the concept of Box Holidays.
• SOTC was the first travel group to create a tour around the Seven New Wonders of the World.
• Pioneers in creating the concept of a Holiday Bazaar.
• Cost Saver Tours were first introduced by SOTC.
• SOTC Travel is the pioneer in Indian travel space to enter the integrated spiritual + leisure segment with the introduction of Spiritual Tours named Darshans.
• Launched easy financing options for customers such as Holidays on EMI, Holiday Investment Plan, tie-ups with banks for cash back options.
• Pioneers in introducing regional tours ‘Darshanam’ for the South India Market.
• Pioneers to introduce SOTC The Enchanted Journey with YRF films that gave the travellers a real-life experience of the magnificent spectacle they had seen unfurl only on the screen.

Milestone

2018
Launched Sales Analytics.

2017
SOTC entered the Travel E Commerce space with an all new sotc.in portal, offering exciting new features. The new website is built on SOTC’s Omni-channel approach which is customer-centric and helps deliver an integrated digital experience to our customers and a desire to use technology to allow customers to engage seamlessly with us across our physical & digital platforms.

First to introduced Travel Merchandise ‘SOTC Holiday Essentials.’

2016
Kuoni India rebranded to SOTC as part of a brand transition post change in control & Kuoni Group exiting Tour Operating entities globally.

Released its new TVC, asks Indians not to postpone their Holidays & make holidays a priority.

SOTC unveiled its new brand logo. The new logo uses distinct tag lines for each of the business segments - For Holidays, For Incentive Travel and For Business Travel.

2015
Launched a brand campaign for Indians to prioritize their holidays. The campaign communicated a strong statement of looking at Vacation Deprivation as a disease and a holiday as the only medicine to cure it.

2014
Received the prestigious Certificate of Registration for operating Quality Management System which complies with the requirement of ISO 9001:2008 for its corporate travel business.

2013
Launched a television commercial in line with the new brand architecture. Commercial highlighted the brand promise of 'We are for holidays' and inspired consumers across segments to stand up for their holidays.

2011
Launched the first ever Holiday Report 2011. Launched Perfect Moments; need based concepts for the Indian traveler that included mind body soul, away from it all, the world is mine, undiscovered destinations and romantic escapes.

2005
First to launch franchisee network.

2002
FIT Holidays was launched to market and operate international and domestic holidays for individual travellers.

1997
Kuoni Group acquired 100% equity in SOTC in 1997.

1996
Kuoni Group entered India by acquiring a 51% stake in SOTC.

SOTC Travel wins the 2018 PATA Gold Award for its “Marketing Media - Travel Advertisement Broadcast- “Holidays Bring You Closer”

SOTC Travel Ltd was conferred the prestigious 2018 Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Gold Award for its entry in the Marketing Media- Travel Advertisement Broadcast category, for “Holidays Bring You Closer” on September 14, 2018 at Langkawi, Malaysia.

The 2018 PATA Gold Awards honoured the exceptional contributions to promote Travel and Tourism across the Asia Pacific region. This year’s awards attracted 200 entries from 87 organisations and individuals worldwide.

The PATA Grand Awards were presented to outstanding entries in four principal categories: Marketing; Education and Training; Environment, and Heritage and Culture. The winners were selected by an independent judging committee consisting of fourteen senior executives from the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors.

SOTC Travel’s entry in the Marketing Media- Travel Advertisement Broadcast category “Holidays Bring You Closer” highlights the brand promise of ‘We are for holidays’ and inspires consumers to enjoy their holidays while creating memories for a lifetime. The jury members were most impressed with the high quality and exceptional standard of the entry submitted.

On winning the accolade, Vishal Suri, Managing Director, SOTC said, “It is a very significant achievement to be honoured with the 2018 PATA Gold Award. This Award reiterates our position that “We are for holidays” and our commitment to deliver enhanced and memorable holiday experiences for our customers around the world. We will continue to strive to make their holidays memorable and for many more such recognitions in the future”.

SOTC Travel introduces “Holiday Essentials” a retail portfolio for hassle free travel

Choosing the right travel gear for your trip can feel overwhelming. With the Indian traveller becoming open to newer experiences, SOTC has witnessed a rapid change in how a tourist now wants to experience his vacations.

To make these experiences easy to enjoy for the customer, SOTC has launched “Holiday Essentials” keeping in mind the type of vacation and destination requirement. The ‘Holiday Essentials’ range is an integral part of SOTC’s services and have been designed to make every vacation worry free by understanding the customer’s minute necessities.

SOTC Travel has witnessed the change in travel experiences over the years and has observed a growth in queries for the inclusion of various kinds of experiences which is about 30% to 35% as compared to the last year. Being a new age travel curator, SOTC strives to make holidays a priority for every Indian. To accommodate these new requirements of the present day traveller, SOTC has included a strong lineup of their own Holiday Essentials range of travel merchandise along with a few other Indian and international brands on their website www.sotcholidayessentials.com.

This merchandise website currently provides around 70 unique products across categories. Bringing together a range of accessories to help relieve discomfort and boredom are a fantastic way to beat the travelling blues! SOTC ‘Holiday Essentials’ line offers a wide array of products, from neck pillows to hand warmers, adaptors to backpacks. There are plenty of nifty gadgets too; such as compact portable luggage weighing scales, padlocks and waterproof pouches. It includes SOTC’s private label under the brand name of “Holiday Essentials” and mix of international brands like Osprey, Nrit, Trekmates and award winning Indian brands like Tag8. Customers can also place orders at their nearest SOTC store.

Holiday Essentials enables customers to have all of their travel merchandise needs under one roof along with a wide range of options to choose from. The prime objective is to provide complete solution and 360 degree approach to travelling, which makes vacationers feel safe, trendy and comfortable.

Speaking about the website’s offerings, Daniel D’souza- Head of Sales, India & NRI Markets & E-Commerce SOTC Travel said “In our constant endeavor to enhance customer delight, SOTC Travel has introduced “Holiday Essentials” a one-stop solution for all travel retail needs. Travel retail is an extremely dynamic channel that represents a huge untapped opportunity in the marketplace. We have observed huge potential to penetrate in this intrepid market by creating something new and exciting for travellers and that primarily includes making it easy for our customers to find a one-stop solution for all their travel needs. Whether travelling on business or for leisure, passengers will find their choice of travel accessories at SOTC Holiday Essentials.

This feature will open doors to something bigger and create a system of ease and comfort while a customer finds that we offer multi-category credentials to the industry with the promise of efficient functionality. While travelling, practicality leads the way. With this wide array of travel and lifestyle solutions, we aim to be a trustworthy companion on everyday’s adventures. Wherever the destination is, we aim that ‘Holiday Essentials’ will be an indispensable part of our discerning customer’s journey.”

SOTC focuses on experiential travel, curates bespoke products dedicated to discerning travellers

Indian travellers today are increasingly looking for immersive holiday experiences while vacationing. Over the last couple of years, SOTC - the leading Travel and Tourism Company has observed huge demand pouring in from across the country to include exclusive and indulgent bespoke experiential elements in their travel itinerary. To cater to this set of expectations, behaviour and preferences of the next rising wave of consumers; SOTC has curated special packages with inimitable experiential aspects and guided journeys in the itinerary.

Experiential Vacations is an upcoming trend witnessed amongst travellers today and with an increasing number of travellers valuing the personalized, tailor- made experience over generic sightseeing in their travel itineraries, SOTC offers a wide range of destinations with some excellent deals with a clear focus on the unique experiences

Speaking about these latest offerings, Daniel D’souza- Head of Sales, India & NRI Markets & E-Commerce SOTC Travel said “Traveller attitudes are changing, and people want to travel better, on a deeper emotional and more personal level. Mass tourism is no longer adequate; tourists are keen on adding new experiences and activities to their itineraries to explore indigenous attractions and explore destinations for the things they are famous for. Travellers are more intrepid and prefer experiential travel over the traditional sightseeing and guided tours; they want to explore their vacation spots on road, through cruises, explore new cuisines and get a bite of the local scene. We have a range of options on offer for the modern day traveller.

At SOTC Travel we have witnessed the change in travel experiences over the years. We have observed a growth in queries for the inclusion of these kinds of experiences by about 30% to 35% as compared to the last year. Hence, in a conscious effort to tap this high potential segment, we have introduced a series of new packages with some added experiences for our customers.”

The Genting cruise is one of the most popularly asked for experiences as is the Experience Thrills on the Jet Boat Ride in Gold Coast followed by the scenic helicopter ride in Cape Town which is another major attraction. A Walk on the Highest Bungee Bridge at Bloukrans is something entirely new to tourists and it is a one-of-a-kind experience for the ones who always seek an adrenalin rush.

In addition to the destinations such as Asia, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Egypt and America, we have also introduced new destinations such as Baku, Georgia, Kiev and Morocco. SOTC’s products are designed to create delightful experiences for the travelers amidst exotic locations spanning across the globe.

SOTC unveils special Durga Puja packages ahead of festive season

With the aim to provide travellers with an immersive holiday experience, SOTC is offering the best deals on some of the top selling group and Customized holidays departing from Kolkata. Launched alongside Durga Puja festival, these holiday experiences offer a range of handpicked escapades for discerning travellers.

Besides travel to short haul destinations like Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, there has been a surge in interest to travel to long haul destinations across USA, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Egypt, Kenya, Africa etc.

Apart from Kolkata, the special tours offer vacationers from cities in the east like Siliguri, Guwahati, Patna, Jamshedpur, and Bhubaneswar to book their complete holiday in a matter of minutes and ensure a hassle free, smooth travel experience. SOTC’s products are designed to create delightful experiences for the travelers amidst exotic locations spanning across the globe.

Speaking about these holiday special packages, Amod Thatte, Head Product, Contracting & Innovation, SOTC Travel said, “Durga Puja is one of the most widely celebrated festivals in West Bengal offering a long holiday opportunity. We at SOTC Travel have witnessed a 20 % upsurge in holiday bookings from Kolkata. SOTC has crafted unique GIT and FIT packages that cater to important aspects like food and comfort. With a Tour Manager exclusively from Kolkata and specially curated meals to suit our customer’s palate, these USP’s ensure delivery of essential elements of expertise and customer care. At SOTC, we drive customer centricity in all our holiday propositions enabling us to create cherished holiday experiences for our travellers.”

Ride with Ola and win a getaway to Mauritius from SOTC

SOTC Travel has joined hands with Ola, India’s leading and one of the world’s largest ride-sharing companies, to collaborate for a two-week contest from 20th July – 04th Aug, 2018 that will run on the Ola app which is valid for its Mumbai and Pune users only. The Ola users who undertake the maximum number of rides during the two weeks period and use code SOTC stand a chance to win a free trip to Mauritius for 6nights/7 days. The code is applicable on Ola Micro, Mini & Prime rides.

Talking more about the association Daniel D’souza- Head of Sales, India & NRI Markets & E-Commerce SOTC Travel said, “Ola is the country’s leading ride-sharing company and have a huge user base, especially in metro cities. We are pleased to be associated with Ola. We are optimistic on the bigger trend towards experiential holidays. Mauritius as a destination has been constantly witnessing an increase in the number of Indians choosing it as their favoured destination. Travellers can experience a variety of cultures, along with fun-filled activities like fishing, scuba-diving and shopping in Mauritius. This exclusive partnership between two customer-centric brands will be beneficial for our customers and will also help us reach Ola users in Mumbai & Pune.”

Shekhar Datta, City Head Mumbai
- Ola said, “We are always focused on building unique commute experiences for our customers; and we are happy to launch this activity in Mumbai and Pune. As country’s leading smart mobility platform, we have been always focused on solving for our customers’ unique commuting needs that go over and beyond the everyday point to point travel; and this partnership with SOTC will be the apt way forward.

SOTC Travel introduces special monsoon travel packages across destinations

Mumbai, June 12, 2018: SOTC Travel has launched their annual monsoon travel packages to provide best value deals to customers on their bookings for the season. Despite being a traditional off season, SOTC Travel has witnessed a significant increase in queries and demand for Monsoon 2018.

The delightful combination of value-for-money packages together with an assortment of breathtaking Indian and global destinations makes these packages a great option for travellers. These deals are available across SOTC’s Omni-channel network – its online platforms (mobile & website), call centers & extensive offline outlets.

Speaking on this seasonal offer, Mr. Amod Thatte, Head Product, Contracting & Innovation, SOTC Travel said, “The Monsoons offer Indians time for rejuvenation & relaxation, a mini-break from work routines. In our constant effort to give our customers the best deals, SOTC Travel has curated incredible deals to a series of destinations. We see an impressive growth in the number of India’s working millennial opting for these getaways in addition to families.”

He added, “We have designed special itineraries offering great value for money for our price sensitive consumers and these packages are extremely popular with customers with Air Inclusive Holidays starting at INR 38,000 for International Travel and INR 31,900 for Domestic Travel.”

SOTC observes huge potential for International Luxury Travel

~ Offers unique bespoke opulent packages to Globetrotters~

Mumbai, April 05, 2018: Indian travellers today are increasingly looking for authentic experiences with exclusive and indulgent bespoke itineraries. SOTC has always tailored to the needs of its customers in providing the best of products and services. To cater to this set of expectations, behavior and preferences of the subsequently rising wave of luxury consumers; SOTC has handpicked bespoke extravagant offerings for the discerning Traveller.

Luxury travel has entered a new phase, in which authentic experiential vacations hold more meaning in luxury travel. Internal research at SOTC Travel has shown that there has been an increase in demand for luxury segment as people are progressively looking at experiential travel as compared to the traditional holidays only focusing on attractions / sightseeing’s. Travellers today want to experience the local culture, cuisine, adventure activities the destination has to offer.

To capture this high potential luxury market for the outbound Indian traveller, SOTC offers “Perfect Moments” – Luxury Travel packages by SOTC. To promote the offerings SOTC has also crafted a coffee table book with details on exclusive properties and destinations. The book highlights a treasure of inspiration and information on luxury travel & showcases the world’s most exquisite boutique hotels and the finest luxury resorts intertwining local cultures, traditions and flavours.

Perfect Moments caters to varied typed of travellers, from those who prefer the comfort of known destinations and familiar indulgence to those who seek the thrill of adventure of who wish to set out on a journey of discovery to unexplored places. With an approximate growth of about 20% in the luxury travel segment, travellers are now looking for experiences such as Scuba diving, hiking in remote locations, Sky Diving, Private Yatch hire, wine making / cooking classes, Private Island picnics, etc. Some of the preferred destinations for luxury travel are Europe, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Croatia, Japan, South America, Oman, Jordan, and New Zealand.

The customer profile in the luxury segment varies a range of travellers from corporate, honeymooners, families amongst others. While the journey could vary between 6 days for short hauls to 15 -20 days for long hauls, the itineraries are customised based on the demographics of the group travelling and the holiday experiences crafted considering the groups’ interest and their preferences.

Speaking about the exclusive product offerings, Amod Thatte, Head Product, Contracting & Innovation, SOTC Travel said, “Luxury travel market has a huge growth potential and would see immense demand from the emerging markets. Exposure to social media, growing disposable income and easy visa availability are some of the factors which are propelling the growth of luxury travel in market. To cater to this demand we have curated unique bespoke customised luxury packages- Perfect Moments for our customers. We believe in the philosophy to Innovate, then create. This thought guides and encourages us to make every journey special. Perfect Moments, Luxury Travel by SOTC seeks to redefine luxury travel cliches for connoisseurs. Our exclusive Coffee Table Book collection is curated and designed exclusively for esteemed and discerning travellers across the world. We aim to make every trip unforgettable with the finest handpicked resorts, chic design hotels, exotic islands, cruises, yachts, adventure holidays, spas and much more.”

SOTC Travel ventures into Forex Business

SOTC Travel has ventured into the Forex business to provide customers with a one stop solution for their entire travel related requirement, thus bringing convenience to the traveller to book Forex. Users will have access to the best rates for foreign exchange and based on customer requirement they could either collect it from the store or have it home delivered.

To bring complete transparency, SOTC showcases the exchange rates in real time and delivers the order to the customer’s doorstep. SOTC engages in the FFMC business which enables it to not only service such requirements internally but also make an entry into retail and wholesale foreign exchange business, thereby opening up another revenue stream.

Speaking on the launch, Vishal Suri, Managing Director, SOTC Travel said,” The main priorities of Indians travelling abroad are secure and hassle-free travel, easy access to foreign currency and convenience of making payments. With the launch of the forex business, SOTC offers all these benefits and more. It aims to provide the ease of travel with utmost security feature to the target audience. As a company, SOTC is focusing on the growing travel requirements of the millennial and looks forward to making a mark in this segment. Since its launch in Mumbai, SOTC has observed immense potential in this business and will extend its forex services in Delhi shortly”.

SOTC innovates exclusive products for travel enthusiasts Indians

~ Launches Great Rail Journeys & Self Drive Holidays ~
Mumbai, March 5, 2018: Indian travellers today are increasingly looking for unique experiences while holidaying. SOTC has always taken pride in itself in understanding the needs of its customers in providing the best of products and services. To cater to this set of expectations, behaviour and preferences of the next rising wave of consumers, SOTC has curated two innovative products both for outbound as well as the domestic Indian traveller- Great Rail Journeys & Self Drive Holidays.

To capture high potential leisure markets for the outbound Indian traveller, SOTC has launched Great Rail Journeys in collaboration with “Great Rail Journeys” UK's leading operator with over 40 years of experience in arranging holidays by rail. This enables the travelers to discover the best of the world through truly epic journeys travelling on iconic trains across entire continents such as Europe, Asia and Americas. The Great Rail Journey Holiday package from SOTC offers personalized travel through fully ushered rail tours that provide authentic experiences delivered with complete seamlessness. Each itinerary involves travel on special trains indigenous to the region. From ultra-modern trains to iconic heritage lines, SOTC believes that traditional rail travel will give travellers the most memorable aspects of their global adventures. Self-drive holidaying, as a travel product and a trend, is becoming progressively more popular amongst Indian travellers. To tap into this segment SOTC has launched Self-Drive holiday packages for the domestic market in India. SOTC provides self-drive car rental on a set itinerary combining with choicest hotel stays on stay & breakfast basis. The itinerary has suggestions for tourists, which they can follow if they wish to. These packages offer great value for money and convenience for customers. With a fixed package, all hotel and car arrangements are taken care of, plus complimentary road maps and a detailed route itinerary. The unique product offerings ensure a comfortable and hassle-free journey on wheels, for families, couples and ad hoc groups of friends.

Speaking about the exclusive product offerings Amod Thatte, Head Product, Contracting & Innovation, SOTC Travel said, “Experiential Vacations is an upcoming trend with travellers today and to cater to this demand we have introduced Great Rail Journeys and Self Drive Holidays for our customers. With an increasing number of travellers valuing the personalized experience over anything else in their travel itineraries, SOTC offers an exceptional opportunity to visit some of the world’s most incredible places through classic train journeys. Domestic Tourism is witnessing a strong resurgence and the launch of our ‘Self drive Holidays’ intends to cater to this demand. With the concept of long weekend holidays serving as a mini escape, popular drive-down locations are seeing strong interest. For today’s travel-hungry yet price sensitive audience, our focus is on simple, easy to book, Self-Drive Holiday Packages that offer the unbeatable quality assurance of the SOTC brand, coupled with great value pricing!”

He further added, “Our holiday offerings feature a number of 'hotel trains', like the Trans-Siberian in Russia, The Canadian in Canada, The Ghan in Australia, The Blue Train in South Africa etc. Every itinerary includes a balance of experiences giving our travellers the chance to see more of the country and get a more authentic flavour of the region. At SOTC, we drive customer centricity in all our holiday propositions enabling us to create cherished holiday experiences for our travellers”. Julian Appelyard, Commercial Director, Great Rail Journeys Ltd said, “It is indeed a pleasure to have partnered with SOTC to bring rail journeys for the Indian traveler. Great Rail Journeys is UK's leading operator of holidays by rail and we pride ourselves on providing a truly first class holiday experience, in every aspect of our tours. This association will further enhance our promotional efforts to popularise rail-based holidays within the Indian outbound market”.

Few of the Rail Journey packages are mentioned below:
Europe:
• 15-Days Top to Toe of Italy
• 10-Days Rome, Sorrento & The Amalfi Coast
• 12-Days Grand Tour of Switzerland
• 12-Days Discover Poland
• 12-Days Slovenia, Croatia & Montenegro
• 12-Days Andalucían Explorer
• 7-Days Bavaria (All Inclusive )
• 10-Days The Enchanting Emerald Isle
• 14-Days Grand Tour of UK


Russia and Scandinavia
• 15-Days Premium Trans -Siberian Express
• 16-Days The Trans-Siberian: Moscow to Beijing
• 15-Days Highlights of Baltics & Scandinavia
• 16-Days Arctic Circle Express
• 11-Days The Northern Lights & Lapland
• 7-Days Fjords Cruise & Historic Cities Of Norway


Asia
• 12-Days Discovering Japan
• 16-Days Vietnam, Cambodia & The Mekong Delta
• 12-Days Burma's Hidden Kingdoms


USA & Canada
• 18-Days The Trans American Rail Tour
• 13-Days Las Vegas & The Golden West
• 9-Days New York, Niagara & Toronto.
• 17-Days Canada Coast to Coast
• 13-Days Canada and The Rocky Mountaineer


South America
• 14-Days Premium Brazil, Argentina & Patagonia
• 13-Days Macchu Picchu & The Andes


Africa
• 10-Days Cape Town, The Blue Train & Kruger National Park
• 15-Days Victoria Falls, Cape Town & The Garden Route


Australia
• 20-Days Australia The Ghan

Few of the Self-Drive packages are mentioned below:
Tour 1: Being Punjabi
Route: Chandigarh - Amritsar (2) - Ludhiana (1) - Chandigarh (2)
Ex: Chandigarh
Duration: 5 Nights / 6 Days
Distance Covered: 550 KMs

Tour 2: The Mughal Route
Route: Delhi - Agra (1) - Lucknow (2) - Delhi
Ex: Delhi
Duration: 3 Nights / 4 Days
Distance Covered: 1100 KMs

Tour 3: Head Over Hills
Route: Delhi – Nainital (2) – Corbett – Delhi
Ex: Delhi
Duration: 4 Nights / 6 Days
Distance Covered: 650 KMs

Tour 4: Escaping To The Green
Route: Bangalore – Bandipur (1) – Ooty (2) – Coonoor (2) – Coimbatore
Ex: Bangalore – Coimbatore
Duration: 4 Nights / 5 Days
Distance Covered: 650 KMs

Tour 5: When Sai Calls
Route: Mumbai – Shirdi (1) – Shani Shingnapur – Sula – Mumbai
Ex: Mumbai
Duration: 1 Night / 2 Days
Distance Covered: 650 KMs

Tour 6: In Search Of A Sufi Soul
Route: Jaipur – Ajmer (1) – Jaipur (1)
Ex: Jaipur
Duration: 2 Nights / 3 Days
Distance Covered: 450 KMs

Tour 7: Chennai To Chettinad
Route: Chennai – Pondicherry (2) – Tranquebar (1) – Chettinad (2) – Coimbatore
Ex: Chennai – Coimbatore
Duration: 5 Night / 6 Days
Distance Covered: 750 KMs

Tour 8: The Rann Safari
Route: Mumbai – Ahmedabad (1) – Rann Utsav (2) – Ahmedabad (1) – Mumbai
Ex: Mumbai
Duration: 4 Nights / 5 Days
Distance Covered: 1900 KMs

Tour 9: Malvani Days
Route: Mumbai – Malvan (2) – Parule (1) – Mumbai
Ex: Mumbai
Duration: 3 Night / 4 Days
Distance Covered: 1100 KMs

Tour Cost Includes:
• Accommodation on twin sharing basis
• Fixed menu breakfast
• Self drive vehicle (Without Fuel) to cover all transfers, sightseeing as per the suggested itinerary.

About SOTC Travel Limited
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 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 travelers across the globe for more than 68 years to various destinations around the world. It is one of the leaders in segments, namely Escorted Group Tours, Customized Holidays, Holidays of India and Incentive Travel amongst others. A new age innovative holiday maker, SOTC strives to make holidays a priority for every Indian. ‘We are for holidays’ and we want Indians to prioritize their holidays.

SOTC opens first ever store offering VR experience in Bengaluru

~ Customers to experience their holidays through SOTC’s unique customer experience zone~

SOTC Travel strengthened its presence in Bengaluru with the inauguration of its first ever experiential store offering Virtual Reality (VR) experiences in Bengaluru at 4/2-1 Prestige Samrah Plaza, St. Marks Road.

SOTC created a first of its kind customer experience zone where customers can be inspired by the different destinations through VR’s for real time experience of the key destinations that SOTC provides like New Zealand, South Africa and other destinations like Australia, Abu Dhabi, South Korea. The store comprises of a digital screen that features video itineraries of destinations and holiday experiences for the customer which could be viewed from an iPad.

Bengaluru is a potential market for SOTC which has been growing consistently year on year with significant progress. In an attempt to reach the optimum potential of this market and strive to provide the best pre & post tour experience to customers, SOTC Travel has developed a unique concept offering VR and the digital experiences at the store in Bengaluru.

Speaking about the launch, Daniel D'souza, Head Sales, India and NRI Markets, SOTC Travel said, “We believe customer experience is the key in making our business successful in this competitive and growing industry. It is extremely important for us to ensure that we keep delivering and enriching holiday experiences for our customers. Virtual Reality technology will allow us to know the clients’ needs before he even knows what he wants.”

He further added, “The store is one of our efforts to reinvent the buying experience for our customers. Its strategic location offers convenience and accessibility. We ensure that we provide superior service to our customers by meeting their every expectation”.

Videos Itineraries
List of 10 Video Itineraries of the key destinations that SOTC offers:

1. 8-Day Glimpses of East Europe: https://www.sotc.in/holidays/summer-budget-glimpses-of-east-europe?pkgId=PKG002002
Download link: https://we.tl/6W4iQPFigQ

2. 8-Day European Dreams: https://www.sotc.in/holidays/summer-budget-european-dreams?pkgId=PKG001992
Download link: https://we.tl/zUZR2qaS7p

3. 13-Day Magical Europe: https://www.sotc.in/holidays/summer-value-magical-europe?pkgId=PKG001983
Download link: https://we.tl/ap5mEN7fWe

4. 15-Day All of Europe: https://www.sotc.in/holidays/summer-premium-all-of-europe?pkgId=PKG001978
Download link: https://we.tl/sATQtWbV4y

5. 17-Day Grand Tour of Europe with Zermatt:https://www.sotc.in/holidays/summer-premium-and-exclusive-grand-tour-of-europe-with-zermatt?pkgId=PKG002016
Download link: https://we.tl/vT1sCfRFzl

6. 9-Day All of Scandinavia:https://www.sotc.in/holidays/summer-value-all-of-scandinavia?pkgId=PKG001995
Download link: https://we.tl/52ChWhPtpO

7. 12-Day Spanish Fiesta: https://www.sotc.in/holidays/summer-value-spanish-fiesta?pkgId=PKG002004
Download link: https://we.tl/zkbRYgaPNb

8. 17-Day All of USA with Orlando: https://www.sotc.in/holidays/summer-premium-all-of-usa-with-orlando?pkgId=PKG002036
Download link: https://we.tl/fDtDTjXiMS

9. 5-Day Glimpses of East USA: https://www.sotc.in/holidays/summer-cost-saver-glimpses-of-east-usa?pkgId=PKG002044
Download link: https://we.tl/AXBnyZoG6Q

10. 6-Day Glimpses of West USA: https://www.sotc.in/holidays/summer-cost-saver-glimpses-of-west-usa?pkgId=PKG002043
Download link: https://we.tl/aZ0HjljC6N

About SOTC Travel Limited

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 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 travelers across the globe for more than 68 years to various destinations around the world. It is one of the leaders in segments, namely Escorted Group Tours, Customized Holidays, Holidays of India and Incentive Travel amongst others. A new age innovative holiday maker, SOTC strives to make holidays a priority for every Indian. ‘We are for holidays’ and we want Indians to prioritize their holidays.

SOTC the first in the travel industry to introduce new customer app “Engage”

~ only Holiday Brand to launch the Post Booking customer app~

In continuing with SOTC’s journey towards being Customer Obsessed, SOTC has launched the Post-Sale Customer App ‘ENGAGE’, the first of its kind in the Industry. The SOTC ENGAGE App empowers the SOTC Customers to seamlessly manage their holidays.

SOTC ENGAGE-The Post Booking App ensures a hassle-free holiday experience and offers the following to the customers:

• Know their Visa Requirements.
• Documentation Formats & Visa Forms available on the APP.
• Track their Visa status.
• Seamlessly Pay online.
• Update / Amend their Personal Details.
• Purchase Additional Excursions
• Purchase SOTC Merchandise
• Manage their Deviations.
• Make their Holiday Paperless – All Invoices, Receipts, Final Vouchers on their APP.
• Rate the Services and provide feedback.

SOTC is the First Holiday Company to launch this Post Booking Customer App ENGAGE, with a genuine determination of engaging with the customer and improving their experience while they plan their holiday.

Speaking about the app, Daniel D'souza, Head Sales, India and NRI Markets, SOTC Travel said, “In keeping with our constant endeavor to stay aligned with our customers’ needs and expectations we have launched the SOTC ENGAGE App. Personalizing the customer experience, this exceptional service makes the holiday planning process easy for them. Our focus has always been being customer centric & this initiative is an extension of that journey.

About SOTC Travel Limited
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 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 travelers across the globe for more than 68 years to various destinations around the world.

It is one of the leaders in segments, namely Escorted Group Tours, Customized Holidays, Holidays of India and Incentive Travel amongst others. A new age innovative holiday maker, SOTC strives to make holidays a priority for every Indian. ‘We are for holidays’ and we want Indians to prioritize their holidays.

SOTC launches Darshans – crafted spiritual experiences
First national Travel service provider to enter the integrated spiritual + leisure segment
• Over 40 curated end to end itineraries that cover 60 popular spiritual destinations; 12 standalone and 30 circuits in partnership with ePuja
• Offers on ground services at the temples to aid pilgrims
• Premium services including pre booked darshan, pujas, abhisheka and homa

India has been one of the richest centers of spirituality over the last four thousand years. Tourism opportunities have developed immensely in the last couples of decades. Religious places are ranked high in preferred tourist destinations for Indians.

The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) report shows that between 2007 and 2015, the share of respondents in India who perceived religion to be very important increased by 11% to 80% now and the average expenditure on religious trips has more than doubled during this period. According to National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) half of the package trips were made for religious and pilgrimage purposes and about 28 percent for leisure and holiday purposes. These are clear indicators of the expanding sector.

A survey by SOTC was conducted in the age group of 18-55 years and above. Findings from the survey:
53% are interested to opt for a pilgrimage tour if a reputed travel operator offered their services.
47% have travelled on a pilgrimage tour.
38% sought assistance to plan a pilgrimage tour.
19% sought assistance from a local travel agent.
45% take a pilgrimage tour once in a year.
15% take a pilgrimage tour once in 6 months.
51% of the respondents look at a hassle free experience as the top requirement from a pilgrimage tour.
38% want sightseeing and a guided tour as part of their pilgrimage tour.

To cater to this growing demand of spiritual tourism in the country, SOTC has introduced Darshans in association with ePuja, India’s first online portal for religious ceremonies. Darshans by SOTC is a selection of over 40 specially designed religious and spiritual experiences across 60 holy destinations in India. The tours have been designed keeping in mind the specific needs of the travellers to seamlessly aid their spiritual journey. The package includes peaceful, quick, convenient, hassle-free religious experience, pooja, special ‘havan,’ abhisheka, assisted temple visit amongst others.

Speaking about the launch, Vishal Suri, Managing Director, SOTC Travel said, “Spiritual Tourism is the single largest category in domestic tourism which is an untapped, fragmented industry - opportunity. Indians are seeking a pre-planned, organized, comfortable, spiritual travel experience. SOTC Darshans, offers customers this very service. Religious travellers can now explore a new way of travel that aids their spiritual journey. Pricing of our products has been worked around to suit every budget, offering travellers a seamless spiritual journey.”

Package Details:

Product Name The Divine Experience Inclusions Cost
Madurai Rameshwaram Darshan with Kanyakumari • Assistance for Temple visits & Darshan as per the itinerary.
• Rudrabhishekam at Ramanatha Swamy Temple Rameswaram
• Abhishekam at Amman Devi Temple Kanyakumari.
• Abhishekam at Meenakshi Amman Temple Madurai
• Accommodation in mentioned hotels or similar
• Daily breakfast (buffet or set menu)
• Transportation using Air-conditioned vehicle for the entire trip
Starting at INR 24,200
Dwarka & Somnath Darshan • Maha Doodhabhishek in Standard Package & Maha Puja in Deluxe Package at Somnath Jyotirlinga Temple.
• Annadhaan Puja in Standard Package & Raajbhog in Deluxe Package at Dwarkadhish Krishna Temple at Dwarka.
• Rudrabhishek in Standard Package & Kaal Sarp puja in deluxe package at Nageshwar Jyotirlinga shiva Temple at Dwarka.
for the entire trip  
Mahalaxmi Darshan Kolhapur • Panchamruth abhishekam, kumkum-archana & Mahapuja including offering a Saree to Shri Mahalaxmi Devi. • Accommodation in mentioned hotels or similar
• Daily breakfast (buffet or set menu)
• Transportation using Air-conditioned vehicle for the entire trip
Starting at INR 10,900
5 Jyotirlingas in Maharashtra • Rudrabhishek at Trimbakeshwar Temple
• Abhishek at Grishneshwar Temple
• Maha-Pooja at Vaijnath Temple
• Abhishek at Bhimashankar Temple
• Accommodation in mentioned hotels or similar
• Daily breakfast (buffet or set menu)
• Transportation using Air-conditioned vehicle for the entire trip
Starting at INR 38,200
Durgiana Devi Darshan Amritsar • Guided Temple Tour at Durgiana Temple • Accommodation in mentioned hotels or similar
• Daily breakfast (buffet or set menu)
• Transportation using Air-conditioned vehicle for the entire trip
• Temple visits & darshan at temple mentioned in the itinerary.
Starting at INR 8,600
Pushkar Darshan With Jaipur • Guided Temple Tour at Pushkar Brahma Temple in Standard package.
• Brahma Abhishek at Brahma Temple in Deluxe package.
• Accommodation in mentioned hotels or similar
• Daily breakfast (buffet or set menu)
• Transportation using Air-conditioned vehicle for the entire trip
Starting at INR 10,400
Kamakhya Temple Darshan • Guided Temple visit of Kamakhya Temple • Accommodation in mentioned hotels or similar
• Daily breakfast (buffet or set menu)
• Transportation using Air-conditioned vehicle for the entire trip
Starting at INR 8,700
Mathura-Vrindavan With Agra • Bhog Seva at Banke-Bihari Temple, Vrindavan • Accommodation in mentioned hotels or similar
• Daily breakfast (buffet or set menu)
• Transportation using Air-conditioned vehicle for the entire trip
Starting at INR 11,800
Navgraha Temple Darshan • Assistance for Temple visits & Darshan as per in the itinerary
• Abhishekam at any one temple of your choice
• Navgraha homam at any one temple* (wherever we could arrange it) inclusive of the items required for homam
• Accommodation in mentioned hotels or similar
• Daily breakfast (buffet or set menu)
• Transportation
using Air-conditioned vehicle for the entire trip
Starting at INR 31,300
Panch Mahabhootam Darshan • Assitance for Temple visits & Darshan as per the itinerary
• Abhishekam at Sri Kalahasteeswara Temple
• Abhishekam at Jambukeshwara Temple Trichy
• Abhishekam at Thillai Nataraja Temple Chidambaram
• Accommodation in mentioned hotels or similar
• Daily breakfast (buffet or set menu)
• Transportation using Air-conditioned vehicle for the entire trip
Starting at INR 34,000
Ujjain Mahakal Darshan • Jal Abhishek at Mahakaleshwar Temple in Standard Package
• Panchamruth abhishek at Mahakaleshwar Temple in Deluxe Package
• Accommodation in mentioned hotels or similar
• Daily breakfast (buffet or set menu)
• Transportation using Air-conditioned vehicle for the entire trip
Starting at INR 12,000
Varanasi Gaya Prayag Darshan • Rudrabhishek Puja with 5 priests in standard package and rudrabhishek puja with 11 priests in Deluxe package at Varanasi • Tulsi Archana in Standard Package and Pind Daan ritual for ancestors in Deluxe Package Bodhgaya
• Accommodation in mentioned hotels or similar
• Daily breakfast (buffet or set menu)
• Transportation using Air-conditioned vehicle for the entire trip
Starting at INR 18,500
For further details please visit www.sotc.in / email at darshans@sotc.in or call Toll Free 1800-270-0780

About SOTC Travel Limited
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 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 travelers across the globe for more than 68 years to various destinations around the world. It is one of the leaders in segments, namely Escorted Group Tours, Customized Holidays, Holidays of India and Incentive Travel amongst others. A new age innovative holiday maker, SOTC strives to make holidays a priority for every Indian. ‘We are for holidays’ and we want Indians to prioritize their holidays.

SOTC Travel conferred the 2017 Today’s Traveller Award for ‘Best Outbound Tour Operator’

SOTC Travel was conferred the ‘Best Outbound Tour Operator’ at the 11th annual ‘Today’s Traveller Awards 2017’, Taj Palace, New Delhi. Today’s Traveller Awards, the most respected awards in the travel industry, has always recognized the achievements and accomplishments of pioneering companies and leaders from the industry. Daniel D'souza, Head Sales, India and NRI Markets, SOTC Travel received the award at a gala evening of celebration. The Today’s Traveller Awards by Gill India Group is one of the acknowledged awards presented to corporate, hospitality, travel and tourism sector in India. Speaking on the win, Daniel D'souza, Head Sales, India and NRI Markets, SOTC Travel said, “It’s an honor to receive this prestigious award. The award recognizes SOTC’s significant contribution to Outbound Travel. Our endeavor has always been to facilitate breakthrough services and be a trusted and preferred Outbound Tour Operator to our customers. The Today’s Traveller Award creates high levels of motivation and zeal at SOTC to continue to perform, strive for excellence and be leaders in the travel and tourism industry.”

About SOTC Travel Limited:
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 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 travelers across the globe for more than 68 years to various destinations around the world. It is one of the leaders in segments, namely Escorted Group Tours, Customized Holidays, Holidays of India and Incentive Travel amongst others. A new age innovative holiday maker, SOTC strives to make holidays a priority for every Indian. ‘We are for holidays’ and we want Indians to prioritize their holidays.

SOTC enters the Travel E Commerce space with the launch of its all new www.sotc.in

SOTC enters the Travel E Commerce space with an all new sotc.in portal, offering exciting new features. The platform presents an experiential holiday buying experience for its customers with a new map navigation feature. With a more contemporary design, variations have been made to the site-wide navigation to help customers find the information they need faster. The website offers customers a more engaging user experience with enhanced search and navigation.

Highlights of the new site include:
- Multiple payment options
- Price comparing feature for choosing the best holiday option
- Integrated website that allows repeat customers to access their previous fellow traveller details
- Retrieval feature that shows previous bookings and highlights current offers and promotions
- Share/ recommend holiday to friends and family
- Easy navigation and clean user interface built on holiday theme
- Images & videos for an easy itinerary presentation
- Calendar view of pricing to pick the best deal and dates
- Faster download time

Speaking of the website launch, Vishal Suri, Managing Director, SOTC Travel said, “With the new design, our desire was to use technology to allow customers to engage seamlessly with us across our physical & digital platforms. The new website is built on SOTC’s Omni-channel approach which is customer-centric and helps us deliver an integrated digital experience to our customers. The clean and more attractive website presents a more engaging user experience. Features such as multiple payment options, price comparing feature and share/ recommend holiday to friends and family offer our visitors a very informative experience. We have also added new and enhanced content offering huge innovative packages- international and domestic. We look forward to an increase in website visitors, content consumption and feedback from our users on our exciting new developments.”

SOTC wins the Kamikaze Best Customer Experience Award of the year

SOTC was recently honoured the Best Customer Experience Award of the year by Kamikaze. The Customer Experience Awards, Conceived & Managed by Kamikaze honours the highest level of achievement in customer experience across the Indian community. The awards pay tribute to organizations and inspiring role models that lead the way in Customer Experience. Each nomination received was well researched and thoroughly evaluated by the awards core jury.

Other nominees in this category included leading corporates like Citi Bank India, ICICI Securities, Flipkart, HP India, Lenovo, Mahindra Holidays, Samsung India, DHL Express, Acer India, VFS Global, Nestle India, American Express, Max Bupa, Yes Bank, Tata Realty, Jet Privilege, Birla SunLife, Tata Technologies, Shoppers Stop, ICICI Bank, JW Marriott, ITC Infotech, Shell India, Big Bazaar, Tata Starbucks, Bata India, Raymonds, Axis Bank, Tata Motors, Audi India etc.

On winning the prestigious accolade, Vishal Suri, Managing Director, SOTC Travel said “It is indeed a significant achievement to be conferred with this prestigious award. This award forms the industry’s benchmark in terms of best practice and process excellence and provides an opportunity to gain recognition for our achievements and initiatives at SOTC. Our focus has always been being customer centric and the award adds immense value to our brand and reinforces our position as a Customer Centric Organisation. It truly serves as an inspiration and encouragement in enhancing and delivering enriching holiday experiences to our customers”.

SOTC wins Best Travel and Hospitality Risk Management Award 2017

~ICICI Lombard-CNBC TV18 India Risk Management Awards 2017~

Mumbai, March 29, 2017: SOTC Travel has been honoured the prestigious award for the Best Risk Management Practice in the Travel & Hospitality category in the 3rd edition of ‘ICICI Lombard-CNBC TV18 India Risk Management Awards 2017.

ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Ltd., India’s largest private sector general insurance company and CNBC TV-18, India’s leading business channel announced the winners of ‘ICICI Lombard-CNBC TV18 India Risk Management Awards 2017 at Taj Lands End, Bandra, Mumbai.

The awards recognized companies like Tata Steel, Airtel, Tech Mahindra, Jubilant Food Works, Glenmark, Dabur, Mahindra & Mahindra, Hero Honda, Allcargo Logistics among others that have developed best in class risk management practices and capabilities across various business categories. The selection process consisted of analysis of company data, systems and frameworks of organizations, judged by an independent panel of experts.

Speaking on the achievement, Vishal Suri, Managing Director, SOTC Travel said, “It is indeed a significant achievement to be the only Travel Company to be honoured with this prestigious accolade. This success has been possible because of SOTC’s strong commitment towards developing best in class business risk management practices. In a highly globalized and deeply integrated world, risk management is now becoming the most important strategic tool for the sustainable growth of organizations.”

Speaking on winning the accolade, Brijesh Modi, Head-Finance & Commercial, SOTC Travel said, “It is truly an honour to be felicitated with this award. The India Risk Management Awards is a unique platform that recognizes companies that have created best in class risk management practices. In the current global environment, identifying and managing risks across an organization has become important for the success and longevity of any business. The award serves as an inspiration and encouragement in enhancing and delivering future risk management practices at SOTC”.

SOTC launches bespoke tour packages to attract Gujarati travellers

In an attempt to cater to the rising number of Gujarati travellers opting for international vacations, SOTC has crafted unique group tour packages especially for Gujaratis. The special tailor-made tours offer Gujarati travellers a home away from home experience with professional, friendly Gujarati speaking tour managers, Gujarati brochures and the added comfort of vegetarian, home cooked meals. From enjoying an Indian Breakfast in Las Vegas to a Gujarati Thali in Los Angeles and Niagara to experiencing a scintillating Garba night with Gala Dinner in New York to relishing a steaming cup of Masala Chai at select cities across the world, SOTC’s products are designed to create delightful experiences for our Gujarati travellers amidst exotic locations spanning across Zermatt, Spain, Portugal, Canada and South Africa.

Speaking about the move to tap into this segment of travellers, Amod Thatte, Head Product, Contracting & Innovation, SOTC Travel said, “Our research has shown that Gujaratis are avid travellers but they have some specific demands. Keeping this in mind we have created Gujarati group holiday packages for various destinations where you are ensconced in your own environment, yet exploring something new in a way that they are never far away from their own language, from their own people & can explore a new destination in a way that they like. Keeping in mind the preferences of our travellers, some of the USP’s include a stationed Chef in countries like Thailand, Malaysia and South Africa and a kitchen caravan in Europe to cater to the specific culinary tastes of our customers. Most of all the communication happens in a language they are familiar with – right from the tour manager to the brochures for the tours. At SOTC, we drive customer centricity in all our holiday propositions enabling us to create memorable holidays for our travellers.”

Few of the bestselling packages are:

Albelo Spain and Portugal

Duration: 11 Nights / 12 Days
Visit: Madrid, Salamanca, Lisbon, Seville, Granada, Valencia, Barcelona
Highlights

• Visit to Las Ventas Bullring in Madrid
• Enjoy a Cruise on the Tagus river in Lisbon
• Visit Alhambra Complex and General Life Gardens in Granada
• Visit to FC Barcelona Stadium
• Enjoy Flamenco Show with Glass of Wine.

Romanchak Europe with Zermatt

Duration: 18 Nights / 19 Days
Visit: London, Paris, Lisse , Innsbruck , Cologne , Venice , Florence , Cannes , Zermatt , Lucerne , Zurich
Highlights

• Visit to Swaminarayan Temple in London
• Visit to Eiffel Tower Level 3 in Paris
• Enjoy a Romantic Rhine Cruise in Germany
• Visit to Drubba in the Black Forest in Germany
• Private Water Taxi to St.Marks Square in Venice
• Visit to the Ferrari Museum in Maranello
• Visit Monaco Ville and Monte Carlo
• Visit to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise in Zermatt
• Visit to Aare Gorge in Meiringe

Romanchak America with 4 Nights Add On Eastern Canada

Duration: 18 Nights / 19 Days
Visit: Los Angeles , Las Vegas , Lake Tahoe , San Francisco , Orlando , Niagara falls , Williamsport, Washington , New jersey , Williamsport , Washington ,New jersey , Montreal , Ottawa, Toronto
Highlights

• Helicopter Ride over the Strip
• Cruise on Lake Tahoe
• Bay Cruise in San Francisco
• Enjoy 3 Nights Luxirous Norwegian Sky Cruise
• Free Open Bar on board cruise
• Visit One World Observatory - New Tallest Skyscraper in Western Hemisphere
• Walk on Wall Street in New York
• Enjoy Indian Breakfast in Las Vegas.

Aflatoon South Africa

Duration: 10 Nights / 11 Days
Visit: Johannesburg, Sun City, Kwantu, Cape Town
Highlights

Suncity: Valley of Waves
Kwantu: Big 5 Game Drives
Tsitsikamma National Park: Bloukraans Bridge.
Oudtshoorn: Ostrich Farm, Cango caves, Cango Wildlife Ranch.
Cape Town: Guided City Tour, Table Mountain, Cape of Good Hope, Cape Point, Seal Island, Boulders Beach.

The tour inclusions include economy class return airfare, hotel accommodation, sightseeing, specially trained Gujarati speaking tour manager services, meals as per the itinerary and insurance

SOTC offers “Domestic Holiday pe International Holiday Free”

~Limited period offer- Valid for booking till 03 May 2017~

With an aim to leverage the ongoing holiday season and provide best value deals to customers on their purchase, SOTC- the leading Travel and Tourism Company has announced “Domestic Holiday pe International Holiday Free” offer. Travelers with a budget for a Domestic vacation can now enjoy an International vacation at the same cost.

This offer enables customers to enjoy free stay for 3 nights at Thailand or Dubai on booking any domestic holiday. The free stay at Dubai or Thailand includes accommodation for 3 nights in a 3-star hotel or equivalent inclusive of breakfast. The free stay need to be availed before 30 September 2017.

This one-of-a-kind unique proposition will encourage the value seeking Indian customers to be able to affordably book both domestic and international vacations within the same budget. The offer includes a bouquet of destinations such as Kashmir, Sikkim, Bhutan, Karnataka, Ladakh, to name a few. To reach out to customers; digitally, native and retail, and ensure convenience and easy access, “Domestic Holiday pe International Holiday free “offer, is available across SOTC’s Omni-channel network – its online platforms (mobile & website), call centers & extensive offline outlets.

The packages included under “Domestic pe International Holiday free:

Escorted Holidays:

1. 6-Day Andaman- Visit: Portblair, Havelock & Neil Island- Starting from Rs. 38,300
2. 6-Day Ladakh- Visit: Leh, Alchi, Nubra & Pangong-Starting from Rs 38,300
3. 8-Day Eastern Himalaya-Visit: Darjeeling, Gangtok & Pelling-Starting from Rs. 45,200
*inclusive of airfares

Customised Holidays:

1. 7-Day Wonders of Kashmir -Visit: Srinagar, Gulmarg, Sonamarg & Pahalgam -Starting from Rs. 29,970
2. 7-Day Best of Himachal- Visit: Shimla, Manali & Chandigarh- Starting from Rs. 33, 500
3. 7-Day Buddhist Splendor-North East- Visit Bhalukpung, Dirang, Tawang, Bomdia & Guwahati- Starting from Rs. 37,200

6-Day Eastern Chills – Sikkim- Visit: Darjeeling, Gangtok & Kalimpong- Starting from Rs` 33,800

The packages include accommodation, meals, transfers & sightseeing as per itinerary. Escorted holidays also include airfare and service of the SOTC tour manager.

SOTC offers “Last Minute Holiday Deals”

~6 Days Limited Offer: 8th – 13th May~

In an endeavor to provide best value deals to customers on their last minute bookings, SOTC- the leading Travel and Tourism Company has announced “Last Minute Holiday Deals” for travelers who prefer making immediate travel plans. The “Last Minute Holiday Deals” offer by SOTC includes an array of destinations such as Europe, South Africa, USA, Australia and Mauritius, to name a few. To reach out to customers; digitally, native and retail, and ensure convenience and easy access, “Last Minute Holiday Deals” offer, is available across SOTC’s Omni-channel network – its online platforms (mobile & website), call centers & extensive offline outlets.

Speaking on this exciting offer, Amod Thatte, Head Product, Contracting & Innovation, SOTC Travel said, “Instead of a single conventional annual vacation, the quintessential urban Indian travelers with high disposable income prefer taking frequent but shorter trips. About 7% per cent of travelers book just four or five days in advance for international travel and about 35% for domestic travel. Our endeavor is to 'Make Holidays a Priority'. At SOTC, we continue to encourage the Indian consumer to view holidays as a necessity & not postpone their holiday plans. The concept of last minute holidays is to encourage the workaholic Indian traveler to make most of his last minute travel plans”.

The packages included under “Last Minute Holiday Deals” are:

Europe Escorted Holidays- All Inclusive:

1. 7-Day Scenic Switzerland- Visit: Interlaken, Lucerne, Geneva, Bern & Zurich- INR 99,900 all inclusive
2. 8-Day European Dreams- Visit: France, Belgium, Germany & Switzerland- INR 1,06,700 all inclusive
3. 15-Day Splendid Europe- Visit: United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy & Vatican- INR 1,86,800 all inclusive

Escorted Holidays- All inclusive:
6-Day Thailand Surprise- INR 46,900 all inclusive

Customised Holidays- All inclusive:

4. 5-Day Singapore- INR 43, 300 all inclusive
5. 7-Day Mauritius- INR 55,000 all inclusive

Holidays of India- All Inclusive:

1. 6-Day Enchanting Ladakh- INR 35,300 (Ex-Delhi) all inclusive
2. 8-Day Highlights of Himachal- INR 31,600 all inclusive

The packages include airfare, accommodation, taxes, visa fee (for international holidays), sightseeing & Indian meals as per itinerary, all ground transportation and standard travel insurance up to 60 years of age. Escorted Holidays also includes services of tour manager.

SOTC announces special Janmasthami holiday packages

In an endeavor to cater to the rising number of Gujarati travellers opting for international vacations, SOTC has crafted unique group tour packages specially for Gujarati vacationers, launching their exclusive Janmasthami holiday packages such as Romanchak Malaysia, Albelu Hong Kong, Advik Dubai, Maujilo Far East & Akarshak Mauritius.

The special tailor-made group tours offer Gujarati travellers a home away from home experience with professional, friendly Gujarati speaking tour managers, Gujarati brochures and the added comfort of vegetarian meals. SOTC’s products are designed to create delightful experiences for the Gujarati travelers amidst exotic locations spanning across Far East and Middle East.

Speaking about these innovative packages, Amod Thatte, Head Product, Contracting & Innovation, SOTC Travel said, “Gujaratis are zealous travellers and the community has always been trendsetters in international tourism. In recognition of the consistent and strong support from our Gujarati markets, we have designed special Janmasthami packages that cater to important aspects like language and food, to offer our loyal Gujarati customers an exceptional international holiday experience. Our well experienced Gujarati-speaking tour managers ensure delivery of the essential elements of expertise and customer care. At SOTC, we drive customer centricity in all our holiday propositions enabling us to create cherished holiday experiences for our travellers.”

Few of the bestselling packages are:

1. MAUJILO FAREAST WT CRUISE – 11 Nights | 12 Days Ex Rajkot

2 Nts Pattaya |2 Nts Bangkok | 2 Nts Kuala Lumpur| 2 Nts Super Star Gemini Cruise |3 Nts Singapore
Meals: Full Board
Chef Meal: In Bangkok, Pattaya & Kuala Lumpur & Veg Restaurants in Singapore
Sightseeing:
City Tour of Singapore | Sentosa Island with Luge & Sky Ride & ‘Wings of Time Show’ Show, S.E.A Aquarium, Universal Studios, Gardens by the Bay – Two Domes - Singapore
City tour of Kuala Lumpur, Sunway Lagoon Pass (All 6 Parks) - Malaysia
City tour of Bangkok & Safari World with Marine Park | Coral Island, Nong Nooch & Alcazar Show – Thailand
Offer: Free Upgrade to Ocean View Cabin

2. RANGILO FAREAST WT CRUISE – 08 Nights | 09 Days – EX AHMEDABAD

3 Nts Singapore | 2 Nts Super Star Gemini Cruise | 3 Nts Kuala Lumpur
Meals: Full Board
Chef Meal: In Kuala Lumpur & Veg Restaurants in Singapore
Sightseeings:
City Tour of Singapore | Sentosa Island with Luge & Sky Ride & ‘Wings of Time Show’ Show, S.E.A Aquarium, Universal Studios, Gardens by the Bay – One Dome - Singapore
City tour of Kuala Lumpur, Sunway Lagoon Pass(All 6 Parks), Snow Park in Genting - Malaysia Offer: Free Upgrade to Ocean View Cabin

3. ROMAANCHAK MALAYIA, SINGAPORE WT CRUISE – 09 Nights | 10 Days – EX AHMEDABAD

3 Nts Kuala Lumpur | 2 Nts Super Star Gemini Cruise | 3 Nts Singapore
Meals: Full Board
Chef Meal: In Kuala Lumpur & Veg Restaurants in Singapore
Sightseeings:
City Tour of Singapore | Sentosa Island with Luge & Sky Ride & ‘Wings of Time Show’ Show, S.E.A Aquarium, Universal Studios, Gardens by the Bay – Two Domes - Singapore
City tour of Kuala Lumpur, Sunway Lagoon Pass(All 6 Parks) - Malaysia

4. MAGICAL SINGAPORE – 04 Nights | 05 Days – EX MUMBAI

4 Nts Singapore
Meals: Full Board
Sightseeing’s:
City Tour of Singapore | Sentosa Island with Luge & Sky Ride & ‘Wings of Time Show’ Show, S.E.A Aquarium, Universal Studios, Gardens by the Bay – Two Domes - Singapore

5. THAILAND DHAMAKA – 05 Nights | 06 Days – EX MUMBAI

2 Nts Bangkok | 3 Nts Phuket
Meals: Full Board
Sightseeing’s:
City tour of Bangkok & Safari World with Marine Park - Bangkok
City tour & Phi Phi Island tour with Local Lunch – Phuket

6. ALBELU HONGKONG, SHENZHEN, Chimelong & MACAU – 6 Nights | 7 Days – Ex Ahmedabad

3 Nts Hkg | 2 Nts Shenzhen |2 Nts Macau
Meals: 6 Breakfast | 5 Lunches| 6 Dinners
Sightseeing’s:
HKG: City tour, Disneyland, Harbour Cruise, Visit to Madame Tussauds
SHZ: Window of the World
Zuhai (Chimelong): Ocean Park
MAC: City tour + Macau Tower
Offer: Child Free on land – Max 2 per departure

7. ADVIK DUBAI – 6 Nights | 7 Days – Ex Ahmedabad

5 Nts Dubai | 1 Nt Atlantis
Meals: 6 Breakfast | 6 Lunches,|6 Dinners.
Sightseeing’s:
Dubai: City tour, Desert Safari, Dhow Cruise, Visti to Burf Khalifa – 124th Floor, Day trip to Ferrari Park & Yas Water Park & Aqua venture & Lost Chambers in Atlantis Hotel

8. AKARSHAK MAURITIUS – 6 Nights | 7 Days – Ex MUMBAI – 3 * Tamrin Hotel

6 Nts Mauritius
Meals: 6 Breakfast | 6 Dinners.
Sightseeing’s:
Full day North Tour with Caudan Waterfront, City Tour & Mall of Mauritius.
Full day South Tour with Shivji Temple & a visit to the Spectacular Valley of colours with its 23 colourd Earth & numerous waterfalls.
Full Day ILE Aux Cerfs tour with speed boat.

9. AKARSH MAURITIUS – 6 Nights | 7 Days – Ex MUMBAI – 4 * All Inclusive Riu Creole Hotel

6 Nts Mauritius
Meals: 6 Breakfast | 6 Dinners.
Sightseeing’s:
Full day North Tour with Caudan Waterfront, City Tour & Mall of Mauritius.
Full day South Tour with Shivji Temple & a visit to the Spectacular Valley of colors with its 23 colored Earth & numerous waterfalls.
Full Day ILE Aux Cerfs tour with speed boat.
Offer: Child Free on Land

The packages include airfare, accommodation, taxes, visa fee (for international holidays), sightseeing & Indian meals as per itinerary, all ground transportation and standard travel insurance up to 60 years of age. Escorted Holidays also includes services of tour manager.

SOTC wins the 2016 PATA Gold Award for its Perfect Moments - Luxury Travel Brochure

SOTC was conferred the prestigious 2016 Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Gold Award for its entry in the Marketing Media - Consumer Travel Brochure category, for “Perfect Moments - Luxury Travel by SOTC”. The PATA Gold Awards Luncheon and Presentation held at Indonesia attracted more than 800 industry executives. The jury members were most impressed with the high quality and exceptional standard of the entry submitted. This year’s awards attracted 212 entries from 71 organisations and individuals worldwide.

Following the success of Perfect Moment-The Luxury Travel Collection, SOTC unveiled its second edition of Perfect Moments which features unexplored destinations, unchartered landscapes and novel leisure options that are the future of luxury travel. Meticulously curated and designed for the most discerning traveller the luxury book contains a vast treasure of inspiration and information on luxury travel as a niche holiday experience. From the unparalleled excitement of experiencing the world’s most premium boutique hotels to overwhelming indulgence of the finest luxury resorts across the globe, keeping in mind a taste of local flavors cultures and traditions crafted for every travelers palate.

On winning the accolade, Vishal Suri, Managing Director, SOTC said, “It is a very significant achievement to be honoured with the PATA Gold Award. Over the years, SOTC has been increasing its canvas of destinations thereby presenting our customers with a range of handpicked exclusive luxury locations. We at SOTC understand this and that is why every holiday is designed to offer new and unique experiences that are beyond the expectations of the luxury traveller. The collection has nine glorious bouquets of luxurious holiday themes. Elemental, tailored, original and exclusive, the new face of brand Perfect Moments has translated the word luxury into a legendary experience which allows our global travellers to pick their perfect moments. The award is a recognition of our commitment to create distinct holiday experiences for our Indian travellers and serves as an inspiration in achieving new heights”. The PATA Gold Awards honour exceptional endeavours and achievements to promote travel and tourism across the Asia Pacific region.

To view the Perfect Moments collection visit: http://perfectmoments.sotc.in/

About SOTC Travels

SOTC Travel Services Pvt. Ltd. (Formerly known as 'Kuoni Travel (India) Pvt. Ltd.') is a step-down subsidiary of Fairfax Financial Holdings Group; held through two companies, its Indian listed subsidiary, Thomas Cook (India) Limited (TCIL) and TCIL's subsidiary Travel Corporation (India) Ltd.

SOTC Travels is a leading travel and tourism company active across various travel segments including Leisure Travel, Business Travel, Destination Management Services and Distribution Visa Marketing Services.

SOTC presents the holiday essentials - An Innovation in the Holiday Space

In our endeavor to make holidays a priority for every Indian, we have left no stone unturned. Having imagined every possible way to make vacations easier, worry free and within reach, we have now introduced the Holiday Essentials Kit. A Family Kit comprising of all the little essentials that make for a safe and comfortable holiday which would provide our customers greater comfort while on Holiday.

Speaking on its introduction, Daniel Dsouza, Head Sales, India and NRI Markets, Tour Operating, Kuoni India said, "We at SOTC have put together a Holiday KIT of all the Essential Items that a Customer must take along on his Holiday. This Family Kit has been designed based on extensive research and also after speaking to many of our welltravelled customers and our very own experienced Tour Managers. This is a first of its kind in the Holiday Space and we believe will add great value to our Customers and help him have a comfortable and enjoyable holiday. The Introduction of the Holiday Essentials Kit is part of our journey towards being a Customer Centric Organization, where all that we will do will be keeping the Customer's needs at heart".

About SOTC Travels

SOTC Travel Services Pvt. Ltd. (Formerly known as 'Kuoni Travel (India) Pvt. Ltd.') is a step-down subsidiary of Fairfax Financial Holdings Group; held through two companies, its Indian listed subsidiary, Thomas Cook (India) Limited (TCIL) and TCIL's subsidiary Travel Corporation (India) Ltd.

SOTC Travels is a leading travel and tourism company active across various travel segments including Leisure Travel, Business Travel, Destination Management Services and Distribution Visa Marketing Services.

SOTC releases its new TVC, asks Indians not to postpone their Holidays & make holidays a priority

From being primarily a group tour company to a brand that stands For Holidays, SOTC has traveled a remarkable journey over the past 3 years with its very sharp and disruptive point of view on the category and a belief that made it want to simply stand “For Holidays” which was then and still is, a huge departure from most other destination sellers hawking economical packaged tours.

With a philosophy of making holidays a priority, SOTC revealed its new TVC urging Indians not to postpone their holiday and this philosophy is summed up in the baseline - “For Holidays”. The brand respects the fact that Indians know the importance of a holiday and therefore does not indulge in extolling the virtues of a holiday. Also the brand does not only focus on communicating destinations and their delights but the fact that holidays are important and one should prioritize them.

The film features a child who speaks to her parents in French making sure the message reaches her parents that she wants to go on a holiday to Paris. The perplexed parents struggle to understand the message until the child says it in Hindi. The father realizes the gravity of the issue and the film signs off with the message 'Abhi nahi jayenge, toh kabhi nahi jeyenge'. With summer holidays round the corner, the message hits home.

SOTC strategically worked on the insight that most Indians have “an exaggerated sense of one's own value or importance” at their workplace, be it a corporate or a small business. This almost comically, arrogant and pompous behavior instigates them to very easily sacrifice their holidays. And this insight laid the foundation for the new TVC.

Speaking on the launch of the new TVC, Vishal Suri, Managing Director, Kuoni India said, "Our endeavour is to 'Make Holidays A Priority'. At SOTC we continue to encourage Indian consumer to view holiday as a necessity & not post pone their holiday. The new TVC reiterates our position that "We stand for holidays" giving shape to the dreams of millions of Indians. At SOTC, we are unwavering in our belief that people should travel and see the world without any hesitation or obstacles and we strive to make their holidays memorable." The refreshed architecture and strategy has been developed with support from the creative agency TBWA.

To view the TVC visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSueIZ-ukQc

About SOTC Travels

SOTC Travel Services Pvt. Ltd. (Formerly known as 'Kuoni Travel (India) Pvt. Ltd.') is a step-down subsidiary of Fairfax Financial Holdings Group; held through two companies, its Indian listed subsidiary, Thomas Cook (India) Limited (TCIL) and TCIL's subsidiary Travel Corporation (India) Ltd. SOTC Travels is a leading travel and tourism company active across various travel segments including Leisure Travel, Business Travel, Destination Management Services and Distribution Visa Marketing Services.

SOTC unveils its new brand architecture

Kuoni India has rebranded to SOTC as part of a brand transition. SOTC has been taking millions of Indians to the world for over six decades. Acquired by Kuoni Travels - the world's leading Tour Operator in the year 1996, the company emerged as a leader in all travel segments. SOTC entrenched its leadership position by never ceasing to evolve.

Over the past six decades SOTC has devoted itself to creating holidays by providing travel services in line with its customer's needs and evolving preferences. Since then it has grown to become one of India's leading travel services provider.

SOTC today unveiled its new brand logo. The new logo will be used with a distinct tag line for each of our business segments - For Holidays, For Incentive Travel and For Business Travel.

The SOTC four blocks with rounded edges portray flexibility and our readiness to evolve with times and our customer needs. The icon on the top right of the logo signifies direction, a cursor and a paper plane. It embodies the spirit of guiding travelers, easing travel experience by building future ready online capabilities and soaring to greater heights.

Mr. Madhavan Menon, Chairman & Managing Director, Thomas Cook India Limited said, "India's leading travel brand for over six decades, SOTC enjoys strong consumer connect with the Indian traveller. Hence as part of our strategic intent, we are delighted to announce the brand transition from Kuoni to SOTC India. The new brand architecture of SOTC is a reiteration of the Company's core customer‐centric philosophy: embodying the spirit of guiding travellers while offering them an enriching travel experience. He added, “This brand transition is significant in light of the upcoming key holiday season and we look forward with confidence to strong consumer uptake."

On unveiling the new brand architecture, Mr. Vishal Suri, Managing Director, Kuoni India said "Rebranding will allow us to connect to the market strength that SOTC represents. The SOTC brand stands for Value Creation, Customer Delight, Collaboration, Operational Excellence and Innovation and those are qualities that are important to us, to our partners and to our customers. We're pleased to be able to better project those qualities through the new SOTC Logo. Looking ahead, we are focused on accelerating the execution of our growth strategy while continuing to build on the strength of our brand".

For Press Related queries and issues, please contact:

BINEETA MEHTA

Head – Corporate Communications & Corporate Social Responsibility

Bineeta.mehta@sotc.in
+91 (0) 22 49059139
+91 9920962470

 

SOTC Travel Limited (Formerly known as SOTC Travel Private Ltd).

Registered Office:

SOTC Travel Ltd.
324, Dr. D.N. Road, Fort,
Mumbai-400001, Maharashtra,
India

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