Sabre sights first recovery signs

MUMBAI, 11 April 2022: Corporate travel is showing strong signs of recovery, according to Thomas Cook (India) Group managing director Madhavan Menon.

He was the first speaker in Sabre’s new virtual insights series. Speaking as part of the Sabre Ascent series, Menon said that for March 2022, Thomas Cook (India) is seeing a domestic corporate travel recovery of around 70% of pre-pandemic levels, with international corporate travel starting to follow the same trajectory. 

His comments mirror the latest figures released by Sabre in its filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which provides updated recovery figures for 1 to 28 March compared to the same period in 2019.

The Sabre filing said: “While domestic and leisure bookings have continued to lead the recovery, international and corporate bookings have improved at an accelerating rate since January 2022. We expect the March 2022 recovery versus the same period for both international and corporate bookings to be at their highest levels since the pandemic started.”

During the first-ever Sabre Ascent session, Menon also told Sabre’a Bengaluru GCC vice president and managing director Jaya Kumar K,

that he expects technology to play a “far greater role” in corporate travel as business travellers expect increased, targeted information to help them navigate travel in a Covid-19 world as well as a much more personalized approach. 

Menon said that Sabre is “leading this crusade of evolving technology in the travel industry, and that is not something which should be underestimated” because his company would not have made so much progress without global distribution technology. 

The webinar also addressed the challenges and opportunities brought about by the pandemic and the evolution of domestic tourism, new trends in personalization, whether sustainability is top of mind moving through the pandemic and the evolving demands of travellers in this new age of travel. 

Looking back at the pandemic,  Menon noted: “What was initially seen as a challenge turned out to be an opportunity. I don’t think any of us had faced a challenge of this kind, but there was a realization you’re not alone, and everybody is facing the same problem. The last two years have given us the opportunity to re-set.”

He said that Thomas Cook (India) had re-sized out of necessity, carried out back-end integration, and upgraded its technology to create a more customer-centric focus. “This journey we are taking at Thomas Cook is moving from telling the customer what he or she should do on his holiday to the point where the customer chooses how he or she wants to go on holiday and how they want to interact with us,” he added. “The experience and access to information should be the same no matter how a customer comes to us.”

You can watch the Sabre Ascent series webinar here to find out more from Thomas Cook and Sabre about: How can the travel ecosystem use personalized travel and customer-centricity more effectively to enable travel 5.0