Travel Boutique Online (TBO), India’s largest B2A travel portal hosted the second edition of its multi-city Preferred Hotels and Suppliers Roadshow which travelled across four cities namely Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and Delhi. The roadshows not just showcased TBO’s preferred hotels’ portfolio for its B2B partners but also brought forth other key suppliers including the cruise lines and various city attractions. The objective was to bring the travel partners and the global suppliers under one roof, thereby giving the agents an exclusive opportunity to understand the products better. The roadshow was spearheaded by Andy Tan – Global Director, Contracting and Supplier Partnerships, TBO Group who led the delegation of hoteliers including the hotel chains like Minor Hotels, Millennium Resorts, Onyx Group, Kempinski, to name a few. Augmenting the standards further, the roadshow witnessed the presence of Sham Nijhawan, Chairman- Nijhawan Group along with Ankush Nijhawan, Co-founder, TBO Group and MD, Nijhawan Group, Priyanka Nijhawan, Director, Nijhawan Group and Aarish Khan – Chief Commercial Officer TBO India
Speaking in an exclusive interaction, Tan shared, “India indeed is one of our biggest source markets. It’s resilient to any market changes and is consistently growing with a fast pace. And that’s overwhelming to note that more and more people each year want to come to India to understand its thriving outbound market. Taking to account the tremendous success of the debut edition last year, we were sure of getting a bigger and better response this year. We therefore, added Chennai to our agenda, noting that we had received a lot of requests for going out in the thriving market of the capital cities of India. We are also quite ambitious of taking the number up to five cities next year.”
Adding further, he states, “The quest to develop the outbound market from India is growing tremendously for us. This can be seen from the suppliers’ number jumping up from 30 in 2018 to 55, this year. These include majorly the hotel partners, cruise liners and various city attractions. This actually not just enlarges the entire ecosystem of the TBO brand but also has helped us become a one-stop shop for the travel agents.”
Talking about the other recent initiatives by TBO, Tan sheds a light and informs, “Interestingly, since our inception which was 43 years ago, we are a brand built on technology and our mission is to continue strengthening that through every possible aspect. We are adding more to our booming platform to increase our distribution reach and also to give the travel agents an easy accessibility, we recently introduced TBO Academy which is an educational programme for them. It is for the fact that if you see the number of people attending our roadshows is humongous and this clearly shows India’s thrust for gaining knowledge is nothing but incredible. Gladly, we also have tourism boards wanting to reach out to us for using this platform.”
Adding to this, Ankush Nijhawan informed, “Given that the previous edition of the Preferred Hotels Roadshow was super successful, we are extremely hopeful and positive about this year’s event which is even bigger and better. We have with us 47 hotels who are also the preferred partners of TBO and over 55 suppliers showcasing their products and latest offerings. I am also thrilled to share that the four-city roadshow observed participation of over 1400 travel partners. With this kind of incredible response that we have received this year, I am sure the number of suppliers in the next edition of the roadshow would even jump over 80.”
“As far as the TBO DMC is concerned, we are a division of the TBO group, which started as an offline vertical about two years ago with five destinations. Today, we come into 20 destinations, all total. The destinations that we cater to are the big-ticket destinations including the USA and Canada where current DMCs are making limited offerings in the India market. So, we planned on bringing stability and reality of pricing and transparency. Other networks that we got under our portfolio are the CIS countries. I would say that TBO DMC brings credibility to such destinations including Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Georgia and Uzbekistan. Rather than concentrating on the Central European countries which every other operator is planning to turn into South-East Asian destinations for the Indians, in the first two years, we concentrated on the niche spots such as Scandinavia, Russia, Morocco besides offering Indo-China bracket having Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos and East Africa, Jordan and Egypt. Alongside, these are the destinations that require a hand-built knowledge for India’s travel trade for selling the lesser-known places better,” shares Anahita Avari, Vice President, TBO DMC. Speaking of USP for competitions, she says, “How we function today is how we connect with the travel trade. TBO DMC brings forward transparency, trust and authenticity. We are defined by our services given to our partners.”
Further unveiling about the immediate acquisitions and future roadmap, Nijhawan enlightens, “We have recently picked a minority stake in a company called SanKash that is majorly helping the end-customers get EMI loans for the travel needs via the travel agents. We are in dialogues with some other companies as well and I am sure of expanding the TBO’s network through more acquisitions by the end of this and the following year.”
“I would like to thank the travel partners for believing in us and extending their much needed support. TBO surfaced as a travel agents’ company, grew as a travel agents’ company and shall continue to remain one,” he gladly shares.