Urging all corporates to start thinking ahead and planning all their MICE trips, Madhavan Menon, Managing Director, Thomas Cook (India), predicts that we are likely to witness an acute shortage of capacity initially due to sentiments of ‘revenge’ travel.
Speaking at the Thomas Cook India ‘Mission Tomorrow’ virtual event dedicated to MICE travel, the company’s Managing Director, Madhavan Menon, urged the industry to plan for the future now. He said, “What is likely to happen in the next 12-18 months: I think there will be a huge amount of activity starting with IPL 2 in Dubai in September, Expo 2022 in October, and the T20 WC in Dubai in November. And I haven’t even got to 2022 yet! My concern is that the last quarter of 2021 and the entire 2022 will see a rush – we are going to witness constraints of travel at that time. I believe that we are going to enter that phase where flights are flying to capacity and seats are full. People are going to go into revenge mode since they couldn’t travel for two years. I can see domestic and international travel bouncing back.”
Menon added that Thomas Cook India is focused on inducing travel in the safest possible conditions. “So how do we start planning for these trips? I would strongly recommend that you start planning your trips around some of these events. For instance, Dubai is wide open. It is leading the global charge back to normalcy. Europe and the US will follow. Asia is also likely to open up by end of the year. Please plan your trips. What we are going to witness in the next 18 months is not going to be normal – normal in terms of availability of seats. We are going to witness shortage of capacity initially. Travel is coming back. And the most heartening news is all this speculation around health passports has been killed. They are now saying if you have a government-issued registration that you are vaccinated will be adequate,” he said.
Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India), while launching the Thomas Cook India TravShield – Safe Travel Commitment, said, “To provide guidance to our MICE corporates and build confidence that it is safe to travel again, we have designed a three-pronged strategy that covers personal, financial and mental safety. Our TravShield is a comprehensive safe travel commitment designed with meticulous health and safety protocols to safe guard our MICE customers, and encompasses and enhances companies’ existing Assured Insured Secured Travel Program.” Hereiterated, “We want Thomas Cook to be the ‘Safest Travel Partner’ when consumers start travelling again.”