ITH Plans Foray Into China

New Delhi, September 16: | Updated: Sep 17 2003, 05:30am hrs
International Travel House (ITH), an ITC group company, is set to make a beginning in China. It is holding talks with Chinese travel companies for a possible tie-up.

Confirming that ITH will soon enter into the Chinese market, its managing director Anil Bhandari told FE, we have already identified potential Chinese travel companies of our size for a possible tie-up. ITH, a listed company in Indian stock markets, has clocked a turnover of Rs 288 crore in 2002-03.

We cannot disclose any detail at this juncture as no final decision has been taken by the company, he said. Company sources, however, said that a possible tie up with a Chinese partner is expected by November 2003.

After Europe and South East Asia, China is going to become one of the focus markets for ITH as volume of outbound tourists to China is increasing significantly, he said.

Meanwhile, ITH is undertaking various measures to boost the growth of the company. We had grown by 17 per cent in 2002-03, this year we are expecting a 21 per cent growth at around Rs 330 crore. In order to boost our business we are launching new packages as well as new solutions for our customers, Mr Bhandari said.

The company has launched Royal Weddings package for non-resident Indians (NRIs). The package aims to attract NRIs to India for a magnificent marriage ceremony at a competitive cost. The US alone has $3.9 billion wedding and honeymoon market, he said.

In order to provide exclusive tourism experience, ITH has launched branded inbound leisure tours, he added. Besides royal weddings, our main brands are golden tours, classic tours, religious tours and rejuvenation tours. The brands will help customers to identify destinations according to their choice, he said.

The company is also providing travel management services to corporates in lieu of about 3 per cent management fee. Its client list includes companies such as Infosys, Citibank and Simmens.

To provide value-added services to its clients ITH is launching electronic ticketing system for its customers from September 30. The system will facilitate a customer to book air ticket online and will be able to enter an airport by showing a passenger receipt in place of a paper ticket. It has recently launched satellite ticket printing facility at ITC Hotel Maurya Sheraton & Towers.