Thomas Cook eyes significant growth from women travellers segment
Thomas Cook India (Ltd.), India’s leading integrated travel and related financial services company, has curated its exclusive Ladies First, women-only group tours, to popular domestic and international destinations. Recognizing safety as one of the top concerns of women travellers, a key element is the inclusion of a dedicated Thomas Cook woman Tour Manager. The tours celebrate and cater to India’s women with a range of local experiences, out-door/adventure, shopping, spa-wellness, etc. and will be launched on International Women’s Day (8th March).
According to Frost & Sullivan’s report, travel by India’s business women is expected to increase ten-fold to aprox.10,000,000 (ten million) outbound annual trips by 2030. A recent survey by Thomas Cook India further validated the strong potential of Indian women travellers, reporting a significant 34% growth in both international and domestic trips, across business, leisure and b-leisure segments. Hence, to address this discerning and high growth segment, Thomas Cook India conceptualised women-only tours, keeping security paramount via the selection of safe destinations and the inclusion of an accompanying Thomas Cook woman Tour Manager.
The women-only tours curated by Thomas Cook India, allow women to enjoy a sense of freedom and comfort in the company of women co-travellers while exploring a range of destinations on offer, including, Switzerland, France, Singapore, Thailand, Dubai, Abu Dhabi; also Bhutan, Ladakh, Goa, Kerala, Rajasthan and the Andamans across the Indian sub-continent. The tours range from 5 to 9 days, starting from Rs. 8,999 for domestic and from Rs. 39,900 onwards for international packages. (Prices are per person on twin sharing)
Thomas Cook’s data reveals that women today are no longer limited to being part of family vacations, but are increasingly travellers in their own right. Hence to cater to India’s new age women consumers Thomas Cook India’s Customised Holidays offers its “What Women Want” tailor-made programmes and journeys of self-discovery. Included are enriching local experiences such as Muay Thai/kick boxing in Thailand, Flamenco dancing in Spain, or a cooking class with local chefs in Malaysia, Tuscany or at Le Cordon Bleu in France. Fun experiences range from a Vespa tour in Singapore, a pool party in Vegas, kayaking in Qatar’s unique mangrove ecosystem to adrenalin-infused elements like an F1 drive around the Yas Marina circuit or a bungee jump off South Africa’s Bloukrans Bridge. Relaxed programmes offered are a temple stay amidst Korea’s serene mountains, spa-wellness in Bali or a laid back self-drive through New Zealand’s spectacular outdoors.
The appetite of India’s HNI-UHNI women travellers has seen a 25% increase for Thomas Cook’s luxury brand Indulgence, with demand for eclectic elements: classic open top car touring along Britain’s coast, private cruises in Croatia, glamping set against breath-taking views of the Swiss Alps, unparalleled wine-dine experiences in Melbourne’s Yarra Valley or high end shopping with a personal shopper/guide in Paris and Dubai.
Age is no longer a barrier to the Indian woman’s travel aspirations. Thomas Cook has witnessed a significant rise in girl students for its Travel Quest study tours, equally from millennials and corporate women to empty nesters and retired women - speaking highly of their willingness to embrace new cultures, and break out of their comfort zones.
‘BFF’ (Best Friends Forever)/‘girl gang tours’, ‘kitty party’ groups as well as bachelorette getaways are also seeing strong uptake of over 27%, with Indian women showing interest in Singapore’s pub crawls, a beach break at Malaysia’s Redang Island, a wild ride on Abu Dhabi’s Formula Rossa or Miami’s famed club hopping.
While India’s metros and mini metros (including Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru) have been contributing over 63% to the overall pie of women travellers, regional India’s Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities have been emerging strongly, and these include Chandigarh, Nagpur, Kochi, Coimbatore, Panaji, Guwahati, etc.
Domestic destinations too are showing growth of 18% over the previous year; locales like Shillong, Rann of Kutch, Hampi, Kovalam and Dharamshala are popular for their heritage tours and rich natural beauty. Local experiences include archery sessions, ayurveda, yoga and spa sessions, local cooking experiences, etc.
Mr. Rajeev Kale, President and Country Head – Leisure Travel, MICE, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. said, “Women are power driving travel demand and our exclusive Ladies First, women-only group tours are designed for women seeking immersive and fun experiences without the hassle of travel logistics. We have already witnessed a growth of 34% in bookings from women travellers with destinations including Paris, U.K., Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Indonesia, Korea, Japan and Canada-USA in high demand.”
He added, “Safety is a vital element, and we have ensured that our expert women Tour Managers accompany all our group tours to ensure security and comfort.”