India’s dominant international tour operator, Thomas Cook India, has launched a new personalized holiday concept, “Go Beyond” holidays. The range of the new holiday concept will cover destinations worldwide, including North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania. Designed for the FIT market, the new concept is intended to allow Indian travelers to “go beyond” the usual package holiday destinations and experience life as a local.
Explaining the new holiday concept, Rajeev D. Kale, Thomas Cook India’s president & country head for leisure travel & MICE, said “the idea is to add a personalized and unique touch to holidays, to ‘Go Beyond’ standard cookie-cutter vacations.” He said that it was designed “to take the holiday experience a notch higher. It could be as simple as a walk down a lane frequented only by locals, to get a glimpse of their way of life, discovering their traditions, or unique accommodation options like a cabin in the woods or a village stay,”
The company said that its own research had revealed that Indian FIT travelers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their preferences, and demanding more “experiential” tours. This trend saw a growth of over 30 percent in 2015. Go Beyond will initially provide holidays to 25 destinations including the USA, Canada, Switzerland, France, Germany, Spain, Croatia, Russia, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Hong Kong, China, Australia and New Zealand. It also includes African safaris.
Also, from India, Mumbai-based Cox & Kings has restructured its business operations through the sale of LateRooms and Superbreak to Malvern Enterprises, which is owned by a private equity investor that was not named. Cox and Kings has maintained a 49 percent stake in the two operations. Reports indicated that the transaction raised £20 million ($28.2 million) which, Cox & Kings said, would help pay off debt.
“The transaction will enable Malvern to independently follow its own strategic growth path in the underpenetrated city breaks market within the online package tour space,” said a Cox & Kings statement, adding, “Brands Superbreak and LateRooms are likely to gain substantially from a unified management team under the strategic guidance of the private equity investor and Cox & Kings.”
India-based Cox & Kings bought LateRooms last autumn for £8.5 million ($12 million) from TUI, which sold the company as part of a reorganization of its travel business following TUI’s merger with its parent company, TUI AG. Superbreak, which is based in York, UK, is part of Holidaybreak, which Cox & Kings had acquired in 2011.