Ecuador, Cyprus, Maldives – where would you go if you had only 48 hours notice? Take your pick and Thomas Cook’s latest 48-hour initiative 48H Holidays promises to make all the arrangements.
At no additional cost, the Personalised Holidays division of Thomas Cook (India) Ltd plans every little labourious detail of your holiday. Documentation, visas, hotel bookings, transfers, sightseeing bookings — all done in less than two days.
Currently the tour company offers 15 destinations through this last-minute scheme including Ireland, Turkey, Mexico, Mauritius, Maldives, Cyprus, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Macau, Jordan, Seychelles, Ecuador, Kenya, Indonesia and Hong Kong.
“The interest and demand has been both positive and powerful, motivating us to look at widening our product range. So yes, watch this space,” promises Madhav Pai, Chief Operating Officer- Leisure Travel (Outbound), Thomas Cook (India) Ltd.
Thirty six year-old Amit Anshu, who travels abroad twice a year, was thrilled to hear about the new service. “We wanted a quickly planned holiday without the fuss of visas,” says Anshu, who took his family to Thailand. Anshu, a captain in the Merchant Navy, wanted a destination that wasn’t too far and was lucky that Thailand was on the list of 48-hour holidays. “I may go back with my friends,” says the happy vacationer.
“We wanted to bust the myth that an international holiday involves a long drawn cumbersome planning process with complex documentation,” says Pai, citing this as one of the main reasons behind introducing the service. “Indian travellers are getting younger and more impatient. A quick delivery holiday to exotic locales is an invaluable product to engage them,” he adds.
But it isn’t just the youth who are taking up the service, which was introduced in September. “Customers have ranged from students, youth, young adults to senior citizens. While we expected 48H Holidays to be the preserve of the metros, we have just received requests from tier II regions too,” says Pai, who insists that the quality of planning isn’t affected by the short time period.
The customer is allowed to choose between a pre-packaged trip or personalised itineraries based on his or her preferences and interests. “So be it an inclusion of a self-drive Ferrari experience, a cheese-wine-chocolatier tour, farm stays, accommodation as varied as a snow-dome or a lighthouse, our team ensures the customer’s delight,” adds Pai.
No stranger to the concept of 48-hour holidays, Pai has challenging schedules, which ensure that most of his holidays are planned at short notice. Ask him where he’d like to go and he picks Ecuador.
“It sounds fascinating with its beaches, rainforests, volcano and of course the famed Galapagos Islands. My second pick would be Cyprus: an island destination on the crossroads of three continents offering a dream holiday — sun-kissed beaches, golfing, relaxation and heady nightlife! And I’m hoping my team is reading this!”