Published on : Thursday, February 25, 2021
Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., India’s leading integrated travel services company, launched a strategic corporate outreach – India’s first such physical MICE event since lockdown, in partnership with Marriott International with a sharp focus on the restart of MICE travel. The event, aimed at bringing back confidence in MICE travel, saw active participation from over 80 of India’s leading corporates. Thomas Cook India’s ‘Assured-Insured Secured’ program, together with Marriott International’s ‘Commitment to Clean’, served to build confidence and add reassurance towards MICE travel in the new normal.
The event was themed as ‘Discover the World in Incredible India.’ The keynote address was delivered by Mr. Madhavan Menon, Chairman and Managing Director, Thomas Cook India and Ms. Ranju Alex, Market Vice President, West India – Marriott International. This was followed by an insightful panel discussion that deliberated on the future of MICE travel – moderated by Mr. Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – MICE, Holidays, Visa & Passport Services, Thomas Cook India. The vibrant interaction included dialogue around the potential of India as a MICE destination, digital, physical and hybrid MICE programs and the new travel normal for MICE.
An interactive MICE Travel Mart was also inaugurated, offering the corporates an opportunity to interact with over 20 participating Marriott hotels that represented top MICE locales across India; also Dubai & Thailand. Each Marriott representative presented a range of offerings/USPs of their respective hotel with personalised options to support the corporates in booking their next incentive/conference in India. The New Zealand Tourism Board was present to highlight their MICE programs and welcome India’s travellers back once borders are reopened for the destination.
The Corporates present were given a preview of Thomas Cook India’s innovative ‘NextinMICE portfolio’- Dream Voucher, an exclusive selection of travel vouchers to delight top performers and partners. Digital Events & Engagements, strategically designed with cutting edge technology to inspire and deliver precise objectives. Staycations/Meetings Around the Corner, experiential venues within driving distance from all major metros. Gourmet Genie, personalised dining experiences at one’s doorstep and Strategic Communication and Collateral Design, innovative solutions and designs. Cuisine forms an intrinsic element of every MICE tour and hence the corporates were also presented with eclectic dining experiences that represented the best of India’s famed cuisines; and cosmopolitan flavours crafted by Marriott’s expert team of chefs.
Mr. Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. Said in a statement that he is delighted with the overwhelming corporate attendance and participation for the first of its kind physical, MICE-focused event. He mentioned that the valuable partnership with Marriott is aimed at inspiring corporate decision makers and building confidence in travel while simultaneously putting the spotlight on incredible India. He shared that the in-person format created a vibrant platform for discussion and innovation and has been valuable in addressing queries for MICE travel in the new normal. He said that given the success, authorities are hoping to spearhead many more initiatives in the near future.
Mr. Neeraj Govil, Senior Vice President of Operations, APEC, Marriott International added that with the MICE industry gradually opening up across markets, the partnership with Thomas Cook India has turned out to be extremely beneficial in restoring guest’s confidence for business travel. He mentioned that given the impact and the transient phase of travel, the reinvention of MICE will be a definitive focus in the new normal. He also said domestic tourism is currently at its peak and customers are constantly looking for services that work best with socially distanced norms so the MICE Travel Mart addressed accurate measures keeping in mind the recalibrated approach for travellers who now feel confident about stepping out for business.
Mr. Navin Tewari, CEO, Capital Foods, shared that MICE Travel Mart by Thomas Cook India and Marriott International was very well organised and left everyone with a fantastic feeling about the future of physical MICE events. He informed that the teams took great care to ensure that all the necessary health and sanitation precautions were in place. He also mentioned that as an organization, face to face interaction that helps create stronger bonds with team members is valued and with limited international borders being reopened, fantastic experiential destinations in Incredible India as showcased by Thomas Cook India can be explored. He stated that the event has certainly helped with great insights into the new normal for MICE making people more confident of future bookings and reassured that people have the best travel partner in Thomas Cook India.