Thomas Cook India introduces innovative programmes to reassure travellers

Augmented COVID-safety protocols and financial flexibility are key pillars of the strategy devised by the company and its subsidiary, SOTC Travel.

Thomas Cook (India) Limited (TCIL) and its wholly-owned subsidiary SOTC Travel have unveiled ‘TravShield’ and ‘Holiday First and Pay When You Return’ initiatives to jumpstart travel and tourism as the second wave of COVID begins to abate.

Thomas Cook India, safe travel, travshield
A recent survey conducted by Thomas Cook India revealed that 69% of respondents said they were keen to travel in 2021 with the easing of restrictions. The company recognises that they will need assurance about safety protocols and refundable bookings. Image: Shutterstock/Redpixel.PL.

TravShield, encompasses the comprehensive health and safety Assured Programme, developed in partnership with Apollo Clinics. Among other benefits the TravShield assures customers of contactless interactions during the pre-travel sales and service stage, sanitised branches with safety protocols, vaccinated travel advisors, and contactless payment options. Booking includes free rescheduling and cancellation options. The travel package features a COVID-19 insurance cover, 24/7 concierge and emergency contact assistance as well as a 24/7 doctor-on-call in association with Apollo Clinics.

Travel logistics are notable for their COVID-19 mitigation measures. Airline crews are to be vaccinated where feasible and mandatorily COVID-19 negative. The flights will contain adequate in-flight protective gear and HEPA air filters. Similarly, local transport and accommodation will be distinguished by enhanced sanitisation and vaccinated/ COVID-19 negative staff.

Meanwhile, their unique ‘Holiday First and Pay When You Return’ scheme assures customers of the highest possible levels of financial autonomy. Madhavan Menon, Managing Director, TCIL, says, “Our endeavour is to cover every aspect of physical and financial security to ensure our customers get complete peace of mind while holidaying with Thomas Cook India and SOTC.”

Thomas Cook India, safe travel, travshield
The two-pronged strategy from Thomas Cook India and SOTC Travel promises to hand-hold you through travel in these testing times. Image: Shutterstock/Jirsak

Intensive study of travel needs

TravShield and ‘Holiday First and Pay When You Return’ schemes were instituted after intensive market research. TCIL and SOTC surveyed over 4,000 clients this month. Their market research reveals a strong pent-up desire for travel. It is significant that 69 per cent of respondents indicate keen interest to travel in 2021 with the easing of restrictions. Interestingly, 18 per cent are ready to travel immediately post unlock, while 51 per cent aim to do so within the next three-six months. What is understandable during these uncertain times, is that approximately 81 per cent of respondents express a desire for refundable/zero-cancellation products.

The survey also found that more than half the respondents see complete re-sanitation of rooms as a key requirement, while fully vaccinated hotel staff and drivers are preferred by 48 per cent and 34 per cent of interviewees, respectively.

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