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TC, SOTC focus on travellers seeking pilgrimage with local experiences

The pandemic influenced YOLO (You Only Live Once) sentiment has created a strong impact on the Indian traveller.

Thomas Cook (India) Limited and its Group Company, SOTC Travel’s data reflects a surge in demand of 100% YoY for spiritual locales with a high preference for cultural experiences and adventure.

The recent inauguration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, along with improved connectivity and infrastructure, has accelerated online searches by 10x. In a focused endeavour to tap into this high potential yet unorganized segment, the Companies have expanded their spiritual tours portfolio with a diverse range of ready-to-book and personalised tours to spiritual locales across India and the subcontinent.

While historically India’s seniors/Gen S comprised a key segment for spiritual travel, Thomas Cook & SOTC are witnessing an uptick in demand from segments like multigenerational families, honeymooners/couples and Young India’s millennials and Gen Z.

The Companies’ consumer data reveals that demand is not restricted to traditional pilgrimages, but also for unique local experiences.

Thomas Cook and SOTC’s range of spiritual tours include customised spiritual/wellness options like meditation, yoga, and wellness programs like the Panchakarma Ayurvedic program at Kumarakom, Yoga Centre/Ashram in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, etc.

Thomas Cook and SOTC have introduced special offers like Travel Now Pay Later and zero interest EMIs.

Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Limited, said, “Indians are increasingly drawn to spiritual journeys, more so with the pandemic increasing appreciation for life, in gratitude and to invoke blessings. Spiritual locales are attracting interest from not only seniors and families, but also from the younger segment – millennials and group of friends. With the government’s strong focus on connectivity and infrastructural development, we have seen an uptick of 100% YoY. To tap into this high growth segment, we have expanded our spiritual plus tours to feature a range of popular sites coupled with unique local experiences – across culture, cuisine and outdoor-adventure. Customers can book a hassle-free darshan with us as we seamlessly handle their end-to-end comfort while they focus on their spiritual experience.

To offer customers ease and convenience, we also offer them the choice of Travel Now Pay Later and zero interest EMIs”

Daniel D’souza, President & Country Head – Holidays, SOTC Travel Limited, added, “Spiritual tourism has witnessed significant growth in India: our data reflects an uptick of 20-30% month- on-month. Over our 75 years as a company, we have witnessed the evolution of Pilgrimages with Indians now combining darshans with leisure and this was the genesis of our extended range of Pilgrimage Plus tours.

Pilgrimage Plus tours provide a spiritual core together with a getaway amidst tranquil nature or in combination with outdoor-adventure and authentic local experiences. Our ready to book and personalized spiritual tours have been designed with care and offer a range of price points to suit every consumer segment.”

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