Thomas Cook offers world of experience


Dubai-based Thomas Cook Al Rostamani Travel & Holidays (TCART) says it offers 20 years of experience in providing comprehensive travel and holiday related services in the UAE.

The company says it is continuously expanding with growing sales volumes in a highly competitive market.

TCART has a client base of 400 corporate accounts and walk-in business of about 4,000 individuals, which yearly generate turnovers topping $27 million.

ÒMuch of TCARTÕs success results from its focus on efficiency, quality and customer service. It keeps abreast of the travel industry trends and offerings to ensure its portfolio comprises of the latest and best products available,Ó says a senior official.

The company has a team of 50 travel professionals to deliver customised products and services using the state-of-the-art computerised planning and booking systems, the official said.

TCART offers a wide range of outbound holidays and is the GSA for many world-class operators such as Walt Disney World & Disneyland Paris, Cosmos Coach Tours, Eurail, British railways, Swiss Rail, Eurostar, Alamo Car Rental, Carnival Cruises, Star Cruises, The Apartment Service, Flag Choice and Qantas Holidays.

ÒLarge volumes and greater buying power enable TCART to cost-effectively manage both the travel and holiday needs of our corporate and retail clients,Ó said the official.

ÒThough we predominantly specialise in the sales and marketing of outbound holiday packages from the region to anywhere in the world, we do at times handle inbound inquiries to UAE and the Gulf.

ÒFuture plans include creation of an inbound division to handle the growing business to the region and Dubai.Ó

The official said that an overall economic slowdown and September 11 has hit travel business this summer.

ÒTrends are slowly changing though and we have seen an increased demand for packages to the Far East and Australia and New Zealand. Visa restrictions on certain nationalities have affected business to the west in general and the US in particular,Ó said the official.

ÒBut the market traditionally catches momentum at the last minute and we are sure the overall scenario will change for the better,Ó he said.

The company said that although it does not offer any special inbound deals, it can service such requests through its sister company, Destinations of the World.

The official also said the economic slowdown has made travellers conservative in their spending, with many on the lookout for cheaper and attractive deals.

ÒAirline packages offer a very good incentive of stopping home en-route at no extra cost and this makes it convenient for clients to plan a short stopover holiday prior to going home,Ó said the official.

ÒA combination of cheap airfares, increased seat capacity, value for money airline holiday packages and excellent flight connections has created a big demand for short haul holidays.Ó

TCART says it can also offer comprehensive assistance in organising meetings and conferences.

ÒWith more and more multinational companies opting to choose Dubai for centralising their operations in the Middle East, the meetings and incentives market is poised to assume a very strategic role in the travel industry,Ó said the official.

ÒOur experienced meeting planners can handle all aspects of a meeting or special event, from site selection and participant registration to developing banquets menus and meeting agendas within a specified budget.

ÒWith our network of offices and suppliers round the globe, TCART has significant experience in planning and managing incentive travel not only within the Gulf region, but also to international destinations such as the Far East, Europe, Americas and the Middle East.Ó

The official said the acquisition of Thomas Cook worldwide by C&N was a key development that is likely to open out options for co-operation.

ÒWe have planned on exploring opportunities with C&N (now called Thomas Cook AG), a major player in our industry with a significant presence in the western world,Ó said the official.

ÒThis development will also provide us access to an international network, replacing the earlier module of the Thomas Cook worldwide network.Ó