Travel Tours Opens Second Store in Kolkata with a Lots of Promises

With a promise of unbeatable pricing and quality service to the travel-freak citizens of Kolkata, Travel Tours, the flagship leisure travel brand of FCM Travel Solutions – Indian subsidiary of Flight Centre Travel Group Australia, inaugurated its second retail and first franchise store at Salt Lake City, Kolkata on 23rd March, 2018 taking its overall footprint to 28 stores across the country.

The store was inaugurated by Mr. Shravan Gupta, Executive Director – Leisure Businesses, FCM Travel Solutions and Mr. Sitaram Sharma, President of Bharat Chamber of Commerce & the Consul General of Belarus.

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Why in Salt Lake City?

The answer came with a spark from the franchise partner and Head of Operations of the new outlet, Ms. Radhika Lumia. “We’ve done our research and found that there is an untapped 40% business prospect in the tourism industry in this part of the city. So, during the first year, if we can catch hold of that, it is huge for us to start with.” The new Travel Tours store in Kolkata, aims at re-defining travel experience from the region by focusing on both tailor-made vacations and group holidays catering to different kinds of travellers in the city.

The infrastructure

Spread over 1200 sq. ft., the Travel Tours outlet at Salt Lake City, will cater to the needs of up-market urban consumers like families, business travellers, honeymoon couples and groups of travellers. The new retail outlet will offer a range of products and services by Travel Tours – Domestic and International Flights, Customised and Group Holidays, Hotels, Car Transfers, Visa, Cruise vacations, Honeymoon packages, Adventure holidays and more.

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According to The New World Wealth report, the total wealth held in Kolkata – the City of Joy amounted to nearly $290 billion in 2016 and home to 9,600 millionaires. With more millionaires than Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Chennai or Gurugram, the statistics are testament to the high-potential market that contributes to a large chunk of the travel traffic in India – across outbound, inbound and domestic sectors.

The surprises and the innovations

Commenting on the launch, Mr. Shravan Gupta, Executive Director – Leisure Businesses, FCM Travel Solutions India said, “We are delighted to launch our second store in Kolkata. This is a reiteration of our strategic intent at Travel Tours, FCM – to expand our footprint across key markets in East India. Through this launch, we aim to provide unbeatable travel experiences to our patrons in an untapped market. We are extremely bullish about our Pan-India expansion, with a few more store launches lined up in the pipeline for this year.”

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Addressing a question from media, Mr. Gupta unfolded, “We’re coming up with lots of surprises and innovative travel packages that we’ve designed for Kolkata. Some of them are like “Do it yourself Holidays”, “Villa Vacations”, “Cruise Holidays” etc. And I’m sure, they are going to be a massive hit.” He further went on to analyze an encouraging fact that last year, approximately, 12000 people across India booked for Cruise Holidays. Of which, 60% booking was done in 3 months only, April, May & June.”

He also added, “As an affluent market, Kolkata – home to one of the grandest colonial-eras, promises a dynamic future for Travel Tours. As per our internal market research, the city has huge spending potential, owing to the younger generation of entrepreneurs that have embraced the value of investing in refined lifestyle.”

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What the Consul General said

President of Bharat Chamber of Commerce & the Consul General of Belarus, Mr. Sitaram Sharma stressed on the 4S (Sagat, Suvidha, Suchana and Suraksha) as the mantra to achieve success and urged the newly opened travel store to provide the best of services at a reasonable price to tap the huge possibilities in Kolkata.

Travel Tours has expert travel consultants who are passionate about travel and have insider tips and personal recommendations for every holiday. Backed by the strength of a strong global network and expertise in designing travel experiences – Travel Tours delivers unbeatable holidays to the destinations of one’s choice.

Travel Tours current footprint extends to a total of 28 stores across Mumbai, Delhi, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kochi and via a combination of owned branches and newly opened franchise outlets.

Store Address: BE – 29, Salt Lake City, Sector I (Near Tank No.4), Kolkata – 700064.

About Travel Tours:

Travel Tours is the flagship leisure travel brand of FCM Travel Solutions. Known for its range of customized travel offerings, Travel Tours promises ‘unbeatable’ services both in pricing and quality. Currently, there are over 28 Travel Tours stores across all leading cities in India – Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Cochin, Chennai and Kolkata among other cities.

Travel Tours has been formed by bringing together the erstwhile Travel Tours, a strong brand in South India which has been in existence since 1977 and Flight Shop, well-known in North and West India.

About FCM Travel Solutions:

FCM Travel Solutions is the business travel partner of choice for large national, multinational and global corporations, worldwide. Winner of the World’s Leading Travel Management Company Award at the WTM for six consecutive years (2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011), FCM Travel Solutions is ranked as one of the top five travel management companies by size around the world. Operating a global network, FCM spans across more than 90 countries, and employs over 6000 people.

FCM is transforming the business of travel through its empowered and accountable people who deliver 24/7 service and are available either online or offline. Leveraging FCM’s negotiating strength and supplier relationships in conjunction with tailored business travel programs, expertise delivered to clients where it matters most.

About Flight Centre Travel Group:

Established in the early 1980s, Flight Centre Travel Group, headquartered in Australia, is one of the world’s largest travel companies. Listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, FCTG today, has an annual turnover of more than 19 billion AUD. The group has company-owned operations in 14 countries and a corporate travel management network that spans more than 90 countries employing over 19,000 people globally and has over 40 brands under its portfolio.

The 3500-crore Indian arm, registered in India as FCM Travel Solutions is one of the top travel companies in India that operates an extensive portfolio of corporate and retail travel brands including FCM Travel Solutions and Corporate Traveller (corporate travel management), Flight Shop and Travel Tours (leisure travel), FCM MICE (incentive travel and events) Travel Money India (foreign exchange), FCM InComing (inbound travel) and Travel Air Representations (travel trade representations).

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Why One Needs To Travel After Heartbreak?

Written By ConnectIndia Content Team

When was the last time you fell in love with a place, instead of a person?

Heartbreaks are hard, not only because they seem painful and forever, but also because they make us hate the memories we once cherished. It becomes difficult just to get out of bed and start your day, let alone think about anything else. However, that is exactly what one needs to do. While heartbreak may seem overwhelming, there are ways one can use all that raw emotional energy to their benefit and in turn, actually transform their present and future. And while binge-eating, sleeping and shopping might help, the best way to rediscover yourself is travel. Although it might seem scary and impulsive at first, it could be one of the best decisions that you ever made in your life. After all, when past memories become too haunting, what better than to go out there and make new ones?

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Travelling, as most people would agree, is in itself, a therapeutic process. It pushes you out of your comfort zone, helps you get some perspective and battle your insecurities and fears. There is nothing more refreshing than packing your bags and going to a place where no one knows your name. It gives you the much required independence and helps you realize that you can survive without depending on anyone, emotionally or physically. As you immerse yourself into arranging your travel and stay, managing your expenses, along with discovering a new place and culture, you will find that you no longer spend all your time thinking about your toxic relationship and heartbreak. It becomes the much needed distraction your life was waiting for.

Travelling after heartbreak also helps you discover yourself in a whole new way. You’re not bound by an itinerary or anyone else’s whims and fancies and are free to do what you want. You’re forced to rely completely on yourself and trust your intuition to get you from place to place, from experience to experience. You also get to meet different people and make new friends which broadens your horizons and helps you make memories that you’ll cherish for the rest of your life.  These memories and friendships you acquire while travelling are worth a whole lifetime of empty romances. Add to it all the beautiful places you’ll get to see, and trust me, life is too short to not experience that exhilaration.

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To sum it up, choose travel and leave your heartbreak behind. By the end of the trip, you’ll be a stronger and more independent version of yourself, both emotionally and mentally. You’ll look back and see how much you’ve evolved as a person and how much more confident you’ve become. Heartbreak is not the end of the world, maybe just a wakeup call to push you past your comfort zone and start afresh. If you can, don’t let your heartbreak get the better of you and step out of your personal space, embracing everything that travel has to offer to you. Climb those mountains and face your insecurities straight in the eye so that you know that there is nothing stopping you from becoming the best possible version of yourself. Go and conquer the world, and you’ll know you can conquer anything.

Aldona- A Great Play To Experience The Beauty of Life

Written By ConnectIndia Content Team

Isn’t it the most challenging task to choose a place to travel that is not only beautiful but also relaxing and enjoyable?

I thought so too, until I came across Aldona, in North Goa, the most beautiful village in the world. Largely green-covered and nestled between hilly terrain on the south and a tributary of the Mandovi to its north, Aldona has a closely-knit resident community. Villagers and people residing there will tell you how the village engulfs you with intense relief and nostalgia as soon as you set foot in it. I have experienced it, and trust me, it works. I spoke to innumerable people living there, and each one of them were head over heels in love with the place. I think that has to be part of the magic that surrounds the place.

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An extensive riverine backwaters network exists in the area of Aldona and is perhaps, Goa’s best kept secret. Who knew that Goa was not all about beaches? I have visited several backwaters in the country, like the ones in Alleppey, Kerala or the ones at Poovar, however, none of them were as peaceful and scenic as the Aldona backwaters.

Unlike some other villages in its immediate neighbourhood, Aldona has, to a large extent, retained the atmosphere of its past culture and tradition, while at the same time, blending it with modernity. The communities in Aldona are extremely tightly bound, united by their common cultural beliefs.

Owing to its peaceful atmosphere, Aldona has emerged as a hotspot for writers and researchers who have, in recent years, made the village their home. Eminent writers like Amitav Ghosh and his wife, Rahul Srivastava, Aniruddha Sengupta are among the few literary giants who have made Aldona their home and have only praises to offer.

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Apart from its breathtaking views, Aldona has a lot more to offer. Tourists can visit the centuries old St. Thomas Church, whose interiors have some stunning murals depicting stories from the Bible. Like all Goa churches, this one is charming too with its pristine interiors. Aldona is also flanked by two bridges across the Mapusa River that flows along the village. A small cable bridge connecting Aldona to Corjuem across Mapusa is a lovely bridge to both observe and cross. It is Goa’s first cable bridge and hence very special for the two villages it connects. Tourists can also grab lovely Samosas at the Calvim Bridge, an extremely popular evening snack among the locals. Aldona is also home to the Corjuem Fort which is extremely special due to its unique architecture. There is a hint of Islamic architecture and Portugese inscriptions can be seen on the gate. Locals of Aldona always have interesting legends and stories to share with the tourists, so make sure you don’t miss this one.

To put it in a nutshell, Aldona, unlike the rest of Goa won’t offer you a lively night life and hours of partying. On the other hand, it will fill you with a sense of relief and refresh you for the hectic days to follow in the city. If you’re looking for a weekend getaway to de-clutter your mind and feel rejuvenated, make this trip to Aldona. You won’t regret it.

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10 Safest Places For Female Solo Travellers

Written By Indus Content Team

Travelling solo for a female or rather a woman is not only about having some fun and adventures on their own, but it’s also about feeling the fresh air that an unknown place can bring to one while travelling. Whether you admit it or not, we still live in patriarchal society, so our female counterparts definitely need some time of their own and some lone time will actually give them an opportunity to rejuvenate their lives.

But travelling solo is a challenge itself when it comes to one’s personal safety. Thus to minimise the amount of worries and to help women completely focus on the places which they will be seeing on their journey, I have made a list of the ten safest places of this planet.

  • Iceland– Iceland snagged the top spot on both the Institute for Economics and Peace’s Global Peace Index and the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap last year. Thus gender inequality or issues of that sort are completely out of question. Also the country is extremely beautiful and will be presenting you with some heavenly splendour in terms of its scenic beauty, with the help of its snow capped mountains and gorgeous glaciers.
  • London- To get into a complete english environment with no peculiar culture or unspeakable language, visit the capital of England. The history and the class of the city will keep you smiling. The walks along the riverside of the Thames and the hour less entertainment provided at the local pubs at the late hours without having to bother about one’s safety is very endearing. You can always use the 250kms wide metro network to go from one part of the city to the other.

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  • Berkshires, Massachusetts– The300 acre all inclusive centres tucked in the Berkshire Mountains between the forest and peaceful Lake Mahkeenac will provide a woman the necessary amount of bliss and peace that one requires in a solo trip to some place. One can truly focus on rediscovering oneself by attending the yoga classes or taking a few strolls on the huge farms.
  • Norway’s Fjords– You sail through the soothing green and blue canvas of the Norwegian Fjords and I can guarantee you that you will find eternal peace there. The boat journey will be worth a lifetime experience and you will be enjoying the natural beauty of the mountains and the river.
  • Stockholm, Sweden– This is the place to be for the solo travellers all across the world, especially for the female solo travellers. The sophisticated city of Stockholm with its attractive cafes, restaurants, a castle and the cobblestoned streets of the Old Town will provide a woman with endless adventures.
  • Melbourne, Australia– The peaceful and hospitable nature of the Australians has forced me to include the name of this city in this list of mine. It’s still regarded as the most liveable city across the country. The Melbourne Star Observation Wheel, Carlton Gardens, and Federation Square; this region has got the simplicity and safety all rolled up in one.

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  • Copenhagen, Denmark– The Nyhavn canal, with the stylish and eye popping multicoloured houses across it, will certainly attract a woman. The city’s hospitality is also worthy of mention making it a go to place for female solo travellers.
  • Austin, Texas– The perfect place for a young female traveller to go and witness the culture of the people of Texas, the multiple restaurants and play stations will certainly attract a young mind.
  • Salzburg, Austria– With the Hohensalzburg castle at the top of the hill and the Salzach River running through town, the beauty of the town is very luring and inviting to the female solo travellers.
  • Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India– The warmth of the people of the northern India and the opportunity for the multiple activities such as trekking, hiking or skiing sounds quite impressive. Also the quietness and the calmness of the countryside will make one feel joy, wonder and love.

5 Things You Should Never Miss Out Before Going On A Trip

Written By Indus Content Team

Travelling to other country or even to some other state in your own country is not so simple. You can’t just stuff some clothes in your backpack and take your mobile and start shouting that you are ready for your trip. If you want your trip to be a successful one, then you need to do some planning. Take a few mandatory things along with you wherever you go. These things will get you out of most of the troubles, which one expects to face while going for a tour far away from home.

So, I have thought over this matter and have made a list of the five most important things that one simply can’t forget to take with him or her while going for a trip. They are as follows:

  • First Aid Kit– Primarily, your kit should include pain relievers, band aids, antibiotic wipes or ointment and some antiseptics. Also consider antacids, sunburn cream, bug repellent, tweezers, antihistamines, and decongestants based on your medical history, your destination, and the length of your trip.This is of utmost importance as it will help you deal with any minor cut or accident or sickness of any sort, at a place where you can’t get any medical attention.
  • Water Supply– Whether you are travelling to a place of a questionable water quality or a place where the water is not hundred percent pure, make sure that you have ample supply of fresh drinking water with you. Staying hydrated is very important while you are travelling to some place, be it in a car or a bus or a train or any other means of locomotive. If you feel sudden headaches or an inexplicable lethargy then it must be due to dehydration. Even if you run out of water while your journey to some place. Get yourself a bottle of mineral water bottle from the nearest grocery shop at your own convenient time.

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  • Knowledge about your destination– Always have the correct information about the place you are planning to visit through the internet. Get a good look at the hotel you would be staying and if you are going abroad, have a word with your country’s embassy present at that country. Do a bit of research about the culture and dress code of your destination. Check your ticket and passport before leaving and make a good budget as per the place you will be visiting.
  • An Extra Bag of Cash– For emergency purposes, use the extra cash which you have brought to your trip along with you. It’s always best to be prepared beforehand. Having the extra amount of cash and a copy of some of your important documents along with you will always keep your mind at ease and you will always feel safe in a completely unknown place.

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  • A Diary and Pen– Might not seem as an essential part of your luggage. If you make it a habit of jotting down the various information regarding your travel at night after each day’s travelling before going to bed, it might come in handy no sooner than you will know. It’s a great item to have with when you need to quickly take down some directions or some place’s name or even when under some unfavourable circumstances your smartphone runs out of battery.

 

Travelling Solo? Avoid These Fears Easily

Written By Indus Content Team

When we think about travelling we generally consider that there will be our family or friends. I mean no way we ever think of going for some tour or go travelling on our own. The idea itself sounds pretty dangerous, boring and quite out of the box. But why start forming ideas about something which you haven’t even experienced before. In the present day world, when life demands so much from you and when the grinding , monotonous and dreary day to day life of yours starts to suffocate you. It’s the perfect time pack your bags and travel to some place where you can spend some quality alone time. So, if you are afraid of the following ten fears of travelling solo to some trip or place, we’ll try to get over your fears, because otherwise you will be depriving yourself from some of the most remarkable experiences which you can have in your lifetime.

  • Safety Concerns– I totally support a person when he or she asks whether it’s safe travelling alone. It shows that the person is smart and pragmatic. But, I am not talking about a twelve year old kid to travel alone. A fully grown up man or woman should be able to take care of him or herself. You are probably living some place which is miles away from your hometown and from your parents, so, why bother about travelling alone? If have self belief then take the leap of faith and see what happens.
  • Concerns as a female– If a woman can go to space, I can bet that any woman can travel alone to some place. The concerns in a female’s mind are quite natural regarding their safety in the unknown places or during the train or bus journeys. But just because it’s natural doesn’t mean that its good.
  • The Feeling Of Homesickness– It’s quite obvious that at first you will be missing your family and your friends when it’s your first time travelling solo. But very soon you will realise that your home is the constant in your life and this journey is the variable which needs to enjoy.
  • Getting Bored– Trust me when I say that you will never feel bored if you decide to travel solo. You will be meeting people of various kinds throughout your journey and they will always be motivating you.

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  • Feeling Lonely– You will certainly be feeling lonely sometimes when you are travelling alone, but soon you will be realizing that this loneliness is sometimes needed to find inner peace and introspect.
  • Family’s approval– Well why worry when you even haven’t tried asking yet? Approach them and I am sure that if going on a trip will make you happy, they will certainly allow you.
  • Being an Introvert– If you always try to be inside a shell thinking that you are an introvert, then you are certainly proving yourself right. Travelling solo doesn’t mean that you have to talk very often to unknown people. You just need to talk when it’s a necessity and if you feel like. You will slowly see the change at the end of your trip. You will be smarter and won’t be remaining that shy anymore.

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  • Having The Lack Of Courage– When you are put into certain situations you will find some new qualities which you thought that you never had. Take a risk and explore yourself.
  • Running out of money– What’s the ATM there for? Besides before starting your journey gets some tips from someone who often does go on solo trips about how to manage money.
  • Missing someone– You are not going away forever. So stop thinking and give yourself a chance to be independent and impulsive. I can guarantee that after your trip you will be missing the solo trip itself.

10 Mind-Blowing Places To Visit In Kolkata

Written By Indus Content Team

Come December and the nostalgia comes along with it since it will be the end of yet another year. Then again, along with that tinge of sadness there’s the advent of Christmas and the hope to start a new year with revived zeal and optimism. So, is there a better way to end the year as well as to spend your Christmas holidays than to tour the Kolkata?

In the remaining few days of 2016, it would be wonderful if you can manage to squeeze a few days out of your busy schedule and visit some of the attractions that Kolkata provides. I am quite certain that it will be setting the tone for your new year. So, I present to you the ten best places to visit Kolkata in the remainder of 2016.

  • The Victoria Memorial– It will be a fantastic start to your tour if you start off with something as historic as the Victoria Memorial. Located in the Queen’s Way, it will teach you a thing or two about the history of this city and how much the British had influenced the inhabitants of this city. There are a lot of great paintings adorning the walls of the Memorial, along with various historical instruments and an array of old books. It will be a great place to kick off your tour.
  • The Science City– Located in the J.B.S.Haldane Avenue; it’s a paradise for science lovers. Even if you are not a science lover you can still visit this place and be spellbound seeing the various exhibitions and seminars that are held there. The little kids will find this place very exciting and it’s a great place to visit with your school or college friends.
  • The Indian Museum– Situated at the Jawarhlal Road, this museum has got an array of exhibitions starting from architecture, art, anthropology to zoology and industry. It will be taking at least three hours to carefully see all the historical art crafts. The maintenance is good and this an excellent place to spend your afternoon.
  • Thakur Bari– You visit Kolkata and don’t visit the famous Jorasanko Thakur Bari, it would be as if you have gone to your school preparing for your history test while you have your maths exam that day. The moment you enter the Thakur Bari, the home of the legendary and iconic Rabindranath Tagore, I can bet on the fact that you will be feeling the chills on your spine. Just go there and witness history.

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  • The Mother’s House– If you have been feeling a bit restless these days or if you have had a year full of turmoil and you are in search for some calm and soothing environment, this is the place to be. Located in the A.J.C.Bose road, it’s a place filled with optimism and hope. It’s a perfect place for some introspection and retrospection.
  • Dakshineswar Kali Temple– The ultimate place for the religious tourists, all the devotees of God or Maa Kali will feel the calmness and serenity in this temple.
  • John’s Church– This monument is itself an eye popping spectacle. The huge campus and the epitaphs, and the acoustics make it an endearing tourist spot. Whether you are a Christian or not, it doesn’t matter, you will absolutely love it.
  • The Howrah Bridge– This engineering masterpiece located at the bank of the Ganges near the Jagganath Ghat will simply mesmerise you. Especially, if you decide to visit it after the sunset. There are some things which can’t be expressed with words and this is such a thing.main1
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  • The Eden Gardens– One of the historic cricket stadiums all across the world, over the years this stadium has witnessed some of the greatest matches in the cricketing history. Located at Esplanade, it’s a must go and if you are lucky perhaps you might find yourself watching an International cricket match there.
  • Park Street- Its Christmas and no way I was going to leave it out of my list. The atmosphere there during the Christmas is electrifying and you will be finding yourself shopping or having dinner at some of the city’s best diners sooner than you will know.