CHENNAI : Even as the perils of demonetisation hit revenue growth of tour operators last year, Thomas Cook India sees a light at the end of the tunnel. Early trends of robust demand from Tier II & III cities propped up its growth expectations to as much as 30 per cent in FY18.“Demonetisation had dimmed our growth estimate last year to about 13-17 per cent. This year, we’re back to our robust expectations,” said Romil Pant, Senior Vice President, Leisure Travel, Thomas Cook India on Tuesday.
The Fairfax India-owned company has been focusing on expanding presence in cities like Madurai, Erode, Bhubaneswar and Gaya. “We have increased our operations in Tier II & III cities to 45 per cent. As early as three years ago, our penetration through owned and franchisee offices at these cities were only about 25-30 per cent,” Pant said.
Even as demand for smaller players with customisable tour packages and do-it-yourself websites like AirBnb and Trivago have been chipping away market share from large-scale travel planners, Thomas Cook emphasised on its decision to stay put with its focus on the premium segment.“India is largely a do-it-for-me market. Growth in disposable income of customers in Tier II and III cities, their tendency to spend more on experiences rather than save or on things is lifting demand from these cities,” Pant said.