In awe of North Cyprus

The 1450 pax incentive movement of Lupin Pharma to The Republic of North Cyprus (TRNC), organised by iCon Planners, was a first of its kind for the destination.

Nisha Verma from TRNC

For iCon Planners’ owners—Sunaina Chatterjee, Ritesh Joshi and Vikrant Gulani, the recent incentive trip they organised for the executives of Lupin Pharma to The Republic of North Cyprus (TRNC), was a first of its kind. Not only the best Star Club Members of the company got a chance to explore various attractions of the exotic island, but also attended an awards ceremony with families, which was presided over by the Minister of Tourism of TRNC.

Talking about the destination, Chatterjee said, “For Indians, TRNC is a virgin destination, and this is the first time an Indian movement has happened to this place to the tune of around 1450 people, who travelled in three separate groups. As there is no direct connectivity from India to TRNC, six charter flights of Atlas Global, a Turkish carrier were flown to the destination while the rest flew Turkish Airlines.”

Since iCon Planners is the first company to bring TRNC on the map for Indian corporates, it might pave the way for MiCE agents and the travel industry to look at the destination with a renewed interest.

According to Gulani, the biggest advantage of the destination is the no-visa policy. “All you need is book your tickets, get an entry stamp on your passport, and visit a European, Mediterranean location without going through the hassle of any paperwork. This works perfectly for first-time travellers as well as for all those who are travelling in big numbers. Another add-on is a property like Elexus Hotel & Resort & Spa, which not only offers great stay but also an option of ultra-board including mini bars, unlimited liquor, all meals, evening and midnight snacks,” he said.

Adding further about the challenges in getting charter done for such a group, Gulani informed, “It is advisable to get 220 people travel together in one go instead of putting them on a commercial airline and then giving separate transfers for everyone, which would further incur cost. On the other hand, a seasoned traveller would prefer a commercial flight for comfort and the benefits vis-a-vis a first-time traveller who would feel better going in a group.”

Joshi agreed and added that the process of arranging a charter flight can be cumbersome and there is a need for the Indian aviation authorities to take steps in easing out these processes. However, he insisted, “Charter is the future of corporate travelling now. In fact, this incentive movement to TRNC will definitely be a case study because of the destination and location and the humongous efforts involved in organising it as far as logistics were concerned.”

Unlike other incentive trips, Chatterjee claimed that they had created a mobile application for this trip. “With this app, people could check their itineraries group-wise as we had multiple groups. Not only does the app keeps travellers updated but also informs them of every change, allows them to post pictures and comments, and interact with colleagues,” she said.

Even for our DMC Cyprus Global, it was a different experience to have Indian guests.  Gulani said, “People in Cyprus are unaware of the Indian culture and its clientele. Most tourists usually come from Russia, Czech Republic, Eastern European, Turkey, England and even Arabia because it is a secluded destination.”

Joshi revealed that they will be pushing this destination in the Indian market and are planning to be the representative for Cyprus Global in India.

When asked about the time taken to plan this incentive trip, Gulani shared, “While most of the corporate clients start planning much in advance, freezing the deal is quite different. In fact, multiple agencies bid for the same corporate business. However, the decisions should happen fast, else the costs escalate as the date of travel approaches. Therefore, it is important for the client and agency to work hand-in-hand to save both time and money.”

Cyprus Profile

  • Most tourists usually come from Russia, Czech Republic, Eastern European, Turkey, England and even Arabia
  •  The biggest advantage of the destination is the no-visa policy. So book your tickets, get an entry stamp on your passport, and visit a European, Mediterranean location without going through the hassle of any paperwork

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