Thomas Cook India leverages UAE growth opportunity
Traditionally, Indians had been pro-cash, when it comes to splurging on memorable overseas visits. In fact, the overseas Tourism Boards had been so bemused at their inability to capture the actual spend by India overseas visitors, who are among the best spenders, to make more efficient tourism promotion strategies to attract more of Indian outbound travellers.
But, now India is evolving fast into a digital economy. Acting in this direction to make overseas travel cash hassle free, Thomas Cook India, India’s leading integrated travel and travel-related financial services company, has introduced the United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED) as a key currency to its multi-currency Borderless Prepaid Card, thereby offering customers the convenience and flexibility of loading 9 global currencies on a single card.
Based on strong demand and growing traffic from India to the United Arab Emirates (an approximately 14% YoY increase in 2017), Thomas Cook India’s inclusion of the Dirham to its multi-currency Borderless Prepaid Card portfolio, reiterates its strategic intent to harness this growth momentum. The new prepaid card will now create a seamless payment experience for its customer base of over 500,000, offering convenience, ease and security in spending while travelling across the UAE.
The multi-currency Borderless Prepaid Card’s features include, blobal acceptance and access to 2 Mn ATMs, over 34 Mn merchant establishments and e-commerce websites, chip & pin security, comprehensive global support and free emergency cash disbursement & global card replacement and fraud protection insurance.
Speaking at the launch, Kailash Gupta, Senior Vice President & Head of Payment Solutions, Thomas Cook India , said, “The UAE is a top destination for Indian travellers; its convenience both as a short haul and stop-over holiday, coupled with extensive air access, new attractions (Dubai Parks & Resorts, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Warner Bros-Yas Island, La Perle, etc.) are proving to be strong growth drivers for repeat visits. Data reveals that Dubai witnessed a noteworthy 15% YoY increase in 2017 with 2.1 Mn. visitors; India retaining the top spot as its largest source market. In addition, India is equally a leading source market for Abu Dhabi with an 11.4% YoY increase in 2017. The introduction of the AED to our multi-currency Borderless Prepaid Card portfolio intends to capitalise on this growth momentum and offer our UAE bound travellers a simple, smooth and secure payment solution.”
He added that one of the pillars of today’s ‘new age of travel’ is the role of e-commerce platforms and services at each stage of the journey; before during and post travel.
“Today’s ‘new age of travel is increasingly defined by experiences that are genuinely personal and personalised, that have a deeper meaning or purpose, and which are facilitated at all stages via technology and the Internet. Our Borderless Prepaid Card perfectly reflects the latter pillar, providing a genuinely seamless and secure experience for travellers. Today, the service is trusted by over 500,000 customers across business and leisure segments, and experiencing year-on-year growth in excess of 20%.”
Mubarak Al Nuaimi, Director of Promotion and Overseas Offices Department at the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said: “India is one of our largest overseas source markets having contributed over 2 million visitors from a total of around 5 million in 2017. As such, we continue to make relentless efforts to offer Indian visitors a hassle-free experience and entice them to visit the Emirate and enjoy its top attractions and unique culturally-enriching experiences. Aligned with this vision, we are very happy to work with Thomas Cook on including the Emirati Dirham as one of the key currency within their flagship Borderless Prepaid Card. This will effectively enable Indian visitors to maximise their vacation budget and switch between currencies without having to pay commission.”
““India has a massive potential to expand the tourism inflow to Abu Dhabi and we are aiming to increase the share of Indian tourists from the overall target number of 5.5 million visitors by the end of 2018. Moving forward, we will keep leveraging our network of partners and stakeholders as to cement the Emirate’s position as a destination of distinction for world-class tourism, family vacations, leisure and weddings,” he added.