Conferred with the Diamond Award for the highest number of visa issuances in India in 2016
We are delighted to inform you that Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. was conferred with the prestigious Diamond Award for the highest number of visa issuances to France from India in 2016. The French Ambassador’s Travel Awards have been established to honour outstanding performers in the travel and tourism industry in India. It is a matter of pride that Thomas Cook has won the Diamond Award for both years since its inception.
Dignitaries present included His Excellency Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India, senior members of the French Consular Corps, Corporate India and the Travel & Tourism industry.
According to Atout France, the France Tourism Development Agency, the number of visas issued by French Consulates in India increased by 48.14% in 2015, compared to 2014. France received 500,000 visitors from India in 2015, with significantly higher numbers expected in the future.
Thomas Cook India’s internal research highlights that France is one of the top aspirational destinations on the Indian traveller’s bucket list. The data also reiterates the Indian traveller’s increased appetite for newer French locales and experiences. There is also an equally growing interest for non-traditional opportunities like winter holidays. Apart from Paris, the regions of Champagne, Picardy, Midi Pyrenees, Provence and Burgundy are growing in popularity with Thomas Cook India seeing strong demand across its key segments of leisure, corporate MICE and b-leisure.
Madhavan Menon – our Chairman & Managing Director, said, “It is indeed an honour to receive the prestigious Diamond Award from the Ambassador of France to India, His Excellency, Alexandre Ziegler, and for the second time in a row. This unique award is both a recognition of our strategic focus towards Destination France, and also of the unstinted support we receive from the Visa Officers of the France Consular offices in Mumbai and across India. We are highly appreciative of all their efforts.”
Madhavan added, “France has always been a favourite with Indian travellers and the significant initiatives by the Government of France and Atout France have played a vital role in ensuring a strong continuum of growth across our leisure and MICE segments. It is hence noteworthy that despite geopolitical headwinds, we have seen strong double digit growth for France this year.
Expressing appreciation at Thomas Cook India’s efforts to position France as a destination of choice in India, Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India, said, “I am delighted to confer the Ambassador’s Travel Award – Diamond Category on Thomas Cook India for registering the highest number of visa issuances. This comes in recognition of Thomas Cook’s unflagging commitment to promoting France as a travel destination. France is proud to be the top global tourist destination, and to welcome a rapidly increasing number of Indian travellers. After half a million last year, our objective is to welcome many more!”
Sheetal Munshaw, Director – Atout France, added, “We would like to thank Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. and their teams for their unstinted support towards the promotion of France as a preferred outbound travel destination. Since the initiation of the Ambassadors Travel Awards in 2015, we’ve been very pleased to have Thomas Cook consistently bag top accolades in enhancing influx into France. We have successfully channelized our synergies towards joint initiatives including a recent multimedia campaign showcasing France, especially Paris, and the myriad options the destination presents to the discerning Indian traveller. We are convinced that this showcase will help further boost Indian arrivals to France in the coming months. It has been an absolute pleasure associating with Thomas Cook and we are confident that our alliance will continue to grow from strength to strength in the coming years.”