Trafalgar, the flagship brand of UK-based Travel Corporation, has tied up with Cox and Kings and Flightshop among others to tap into the Indian market.
The company is also ramping up its marketing activities in India to increase brand awareness in the country.
For the first time the company has also appointed a country manager to interact with the various business partners in India.
The company in line with its global strategy does not set up its own shops in foreign markets because it does not provide flight bookings. Trafalgar is also partnering other outbound travel operators such as Orbits, Comfort Leisure, Master Holidays and Travel Heights to sell its itineraries.
“We have been operating in India for the past 15 years through travel agents, but it is only now that we plan to set up an India office. It is a part of our company’s look-east policy,” said Nicholas Lim, regional director-Asia, Trafalgar.
With European economies slowing down, companies like Trafalgar see growth opportunities in Asian markets.
The travel company expects India to be its leading market in Asia in the next three years. Currently India contributes only 5% to its Asia revenues. The leading markets for Trafalgar in Asia include Malaysia, Singapore and Philippine.
Trafalgar’s utmost selling point is its itineraries, which include travellers from different nationalities who are guided along by a designated “travel director.”
For instance, for Italy alone the travel company is offering 17 different holidays ranging from simple week long Italian holiday to a sixteen day long “Grand Italian Experience.”
While the company also offers "cost saver" packages, it largely caters to the high end segment. Around 70% of its overall bookings in India are in the upper segment. “We are targeting the aspirational traveller in India coming from the affluent section, which itself is rising,” Lim added.
As far as competition Trafalgar will face from the companies it will partner, Lim is confident that it is not easy to replicate their itineraries. Although in India it has not faced this problem, elsewhere in the world, companies have offered similar holidays under their brand name.
“This is what makes it all the more critical for us to build our brand in India,” Lim said.
The company is investing in social media, below the line activities to improve its brand awareness in India.