Standing as tall as a ‘Minar’

Set to introduce innovative products for attracting more travellers, H S Duggal, MD, Minar Group, talks about the company’s growth plans. Moving forward, he claims that the company has a bright future ahead.

TT Bureau

It has been a positive and successful year for Minar Travels, especially after its luxury travel brand — Vilasa — has become a Traveller Made DMC, informs H S Duggal, Managing Director, Minar Group. He further adds, “We are doing well with our new markets. At the same time, our outbound tours department has been strengthened, and we look forward to doing better this financial year. With expansions in full swing, we have created more jobs in the process.

Sharing his strategies about boosting both inbound as well as outbound verticals further, Duggal says, “We have developed a fresh team that is focused on product development, while finding innovative experiences and destinations. Following this spirit, we’ve revamped our outbound under the name ‘Wishcover – Inspired Journeys by Minar’, and we will also look after the MiCE division. Another vertical, Elbon Conferences and Events is steadily increasing its market share, has handled a few conferences and will be managing more in the remaining part of the current financial year. The future looks bright for this vertical with events in line for the next two years.”

While at Minar, we will focus on all kinds of business, Vilasa will only stress on quality and high-yield trade keeping offbeat destinations in mind

Wishcover is dedicated to leisure travel for the Indian clientele to outbound and domestic destinations, shares Duggal, adding “We’ve named it Inspired Journeys because we want to offer experiential travelling to clients where they can literally live, breathe and soak every moment. From the souks of Morocco to the beaches of Bali, we curate itineraries according to what the client wants.”

He also informs that the inbound department has bagged more business from new markets. The company is now targeting to increase its business in Northeast India. “We have plans to open our office in Bengaluru while strengthening our reach in Mumbai and Hyderabad,” he mentions.

According to Duggal, “As outbound travel from India is growing at a phenomenal rate, with more and more people realising the value of travelling, Indian travellers are now maturing, willing to explore new destinations like Helsinki and Baku. Cruise tourism is one of the fastest-growing segments of tourism industry, with more people opting for cruise packages. The UN World Tourism predicts that India will account for 50 million outbound tourists by the year 2020.”

Keeping 2019 in sight, he shares, “The targets for 2019 are already in place. We’re gearing up to expand our outbound segment. With more and more Indians travelling each year, we’re also including more offbeat destinations in our products. While at Minar, we will focus on all kinds of business, Vilasa will only stress on quality and high-yield trade. Besides, with digitalisation growing rapidly, we plan to collaborate with artists and bloggers too.”

Considering currency fluctuations as a major challenge, Duggal points out, “In some countries, the sales have slowed down, impacting our targets and forecasts. High taxes on hotels and elevated prices of fuel and visa fee continue to make India an expensive destination, compelling some to choose neighbouring countries as their holiday destinations, which are comparatively cheaper.”

He urges the Government of India to lower charges on landing, parking, navigation and ground-handling on charter flights coming to India. Duggal also hopes that Minar, along with all its verticals, will have an increased presence at all international and domestic travel-related fairs and exhibitions.

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