Travel and hospitality sectors have faced the toughest impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, worsened after the deadly second wave in April and May. While recovery will be slow, the industry is coming up with innovative ideas to attract travellers.
Travel agencies SOTC and Thomas Cook have launched a “holiday first and pay when you return” scheme. Customers now have an option to pay after returning from their holidays. The companies have partnered with NBFCs (Non-Banking Financial Company) to allay the fears of travellers and trying to boost sales by inspiring confidence.
Uncertainties in travel, the sudden cancellation of bookings and delayed refunds were top issues faced by Indian travellers last year, and that is exactly what SOTC and Thomas Cook are looking to address.
The schemes, announced on June 16, will also address issues related to health and hygiene apart from the financial risk of booking trips during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“These NBFCs will examine the credit worthiness of people seeking to avail of this offer. People with good credit worthiness will need to pay 15-20 percent of the cost of their domestic package and the balance on return to the NBFC without any extra charge or fee if the entire remaining amount is paid in one go. If they seek to pay in EMIs, only in that case will the NBFC charge interest,” Abraham Alapatt, President and Group Head (Marketing), Thomas Cook India told Times of India.
People who fail to pay upon return from their holiday will face the same action taken against loan defaulters. This will also be reflected in their credit worthiness and will have direct consequences on securing loans in the future.