Indians are displaying increasing positive travel sentiment with the decline in the second COVID-19 wave and acceleration of vaccine drives. However, concerns on health/hygiene and constant changes in protocols have resulted in understandable uncertainly. Thomas Cook India & SOTC Travel Ltd. have announced a two-pronged strategy to provide guidance and build confidence that it is safe to travel again. The strategy includes TravShield and Holiday First and Pay When You Return which will cover every aspect of physical and financial safety. To safeguard customers across Holidays, MICE and Business Travel, a comprehensive safe travel commitment, TravShield, is designed with meticulous health and safety protocols. It encompasses and enhances the companies’ existing Assured Insured Secured Travel Program.
Thomas Cook India and SOTC surveyed over 4000 customers in June 2021, to better understand consumer behaviours and travel needs. Along with key pain points/needs while travelling in the COVID era, the data analysis has revealed strong pent up demand/travel desire:
- A significant 69% of respondents indicated keen interest to travel in 2021 post ease in restrictions – with 18% ready to travel immediately post unlock and 51% within 3-6 months
- Approximately 81% of respondents reiterated their need for refundable/zero cancellation products
- 52% selected complete re-sanitation of rooms as a key requirement
- Fully vaccinated hotel staff and drivers was a need highlighted by 48% and 34% of respondents, respectively
Thomas Cook India and SOTC conceptualised TravShield to cover every aspect of physical safety as well as mental and financial security, to allay customer doubts and instil confidence. In partnership with Apollo Clinics, the comprehensive and meticulous health & safety Assured Program is inbuilt into TravShield. TravShield offers a wide range of customer benefits ensuring a stress-free and safe holiday experience across every stage of the customer journey:
- Contactless interactions during the sales and servicing stage, pre-travel
- Sanitised branches with safety protocols
- Vaccinated Travel Advisors
- Contactless payment options
- Free Rescheduling & Cancellation
Care & Assistance
- COVID-19 Insurance Cover
- 24/7 Concierge and Emergency Contact Assistance
- 24/7 Doctor-On-Call in association with Apollo Clinics
Travel & Stay Safe
- Flights: Vaccinated/ COVID-19 Negative Crew, HEPA Air Filters, In-flight protective gear
- Local Transport: enhanced sanitising of vehicles, vaccinated/ COVID-19 Negative drivers
- Hotels: quality hotel partners, sanitised and safe rooms, vaccinated/ COVID-19 Negative staff
To provide much needed financial support, the companies have introduced a unique Holiday First and Pay When You Return scheme to provide customers the flexibility and benefits of paying only once they return from their holiday.
TravShield together with Holiday First and Pay When You Return incorporates the companies’ commitment to health and safety, simplifies the travel experience and offers significant savings, thus making travel safe, flexible, hassle-free and easy on the wallet.
Mr. Madhavan Menon, Managing Director, Thomas Cook (India) Limited said, “At Thomas Cook and SOTC, we deeply value our customers safety and go to great lengths to ensure that our travel services meet global safety standards. In 2020, we launched the Thomas Cook & SOTC Assured Program in association with Apollo Clinics, which became the accepted standard for safe travel in India.
As travel reopens again, to give our customers across Holidays, Business Travel and MICE the confidence to travel safely, I am proud to present TravShield – a definitive Travel Safety Commitment from Thomas Cook & SOTC. TravShield encompasses and enhances our existing Assured Safe Travel Program, ensuring meticulous health and safety protocols at every stage of the customer journey. To benefit our customers and allay their fears, TravShield offers significant flexibility in rebooking/cancellations, guidance on travel protocols via our Safe Holiday Helpline; also our emergency Doctor On Call service while on tour.
To ease the financial burden of our customers, we have also launched our unique and meaningful Holiday First and Pay When You Return scheme. Our endeavor 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.”