InterContinental Hotels Group has launched a new toll free number to provide a telephone reservation service to its customers in India. The launch of this initiative is timely, given that the outbound market from India is expected to increase by 25 percent in 2004 with some estimated six million people travelling. Trends also indicate that travel frequency is on the rise too as is group and family travel. In addition, the World Travel and Tourism Council has placed India as the second fastest growing travel and tourism economy in the world.
The India toll-free number, 1600-111-000, is available to customers in 92 cities in India allowing customers to make phone bookings for 3,500 hotels around the world. The call centre is open from Monday to Friday from 9am to 7pm and on Saturday from 9am to 2pm.
The service staff that are manning the toll free number are competent in English and Hindi.
“We have always been very focused on growth markets like India. With this new toll free number, our customers in India no longer need to make an international call to make a reservation. We are confident that they will appreciate the localized service, which we have always been known for in the countries that we operate. At the same time, the toll free reservation service is a reflection of how we have leveraged our global expertise and infrastructure to create a reservations channel that will enhance revenue for our hotels,” commented A. Patrick Imbardelli, Managing Director, Asia Pacific.
“India has indeed been picking up momentum as both a key inbound and outbound market for not only Asia Pacific, but for the destinations such as the United States and Europe. The recognition of this market would mean more economic and infrastructural investment that would boost the travel industry here in India. With our toll free 1600 reservation number, we are in an excellent position to reach out to our customers in India and encourage bookings of our hotels around the world.” Said Chandan Kashikar, Regional Director of Operations, South West Asia.