As a traveller you might have noticed that after staying at a hotel for a day, the page boys begin to address you by your name. When you visit the bar again, the barman remembers your favourite drink and at the restaurant, the waiter remembers how you like your egg. Most hotels store this information and use it when you visit them again so they can make your stay more comfortable.
In comparison, most websites you visit ‘remember you and your likes’ in order to improve your user experience. To put it simply, we want to be your friend and we want to remember your name, likes and information of general interest so we can serve you better. We store this information in the form of a small file called ‘cookie’.
Cookies are like a hotel’s concierge. They interact between users and websites and help you navigate between pages efficiently, storing your preferences. Cookies make it easier to fill up your shopping cart or your personal details page. Cookies save time.
Cookies also help to develop a profile of your requirement and target the right advertising or marketing messages to you, based for example, on your location and/or browsing habits.
Types of Cookies
Cookies come in different flavours and they ‘remember’ you either for the duration of your visit (using a ‘session cookie’) or for repeat visits (using a ‘persistent cookie’).
These are used to maintain something called session state. If you consider your journey through the site to be a conversation with us, this cookie just reminds the site where we were in that conversation (for instance if at some point in the conversation you asked us to add a tour to your basket, next time you click on the basket it will still be there). These are required for the site to function but are not used in any way to identify you personally.
These cookies last for a long time and each time you come to our site you send us a copy of them. We use them to identify you between visits. For instance; if you were looking at tours to India last time you were on the site and we have a great tour deal, we may use this cookie to recognise you and show you our deal. They are not required for the site to work but may enhance your experience. We do not store any personal data in these cookies, just a unique number that identifies you to us.
Cookies that are set by our website that you are visiting are called ‘first party cookies’. Cookies that are set by other websites who run their content on the pages of our website you are viewing are called ‘third party cookies’. E.g. In the course of serving advertisements to this site, our third-party advertiser may place a unique "cookie" on your browser.
What is in a cookie?
A cookie is a simple file that is stored on your computer or mobile device by the server of the website you are visiting and only that server is able to retrieve or read the contents of that cookie. Each cookie is unique to your web browser and contains text and digits to store anonymous information such as a unique identifier, site name etc. Cookies cannot access or read any information on your hard drive and cannot be executed as code. Cookies are not dangerous.
What if you don’t want cookies?
Although ‘Cookies’ are generally harmless, you may still not want to see anything targeted to your interests. It is possible to block some or all cookies, or even to delete cookies that have already been set; but you need to be aware that you might lose some functions on our website.
How can I control cookies?
Web browser cookies:
If you have Adobe Flash installed on your computer (most computers do), small files may be stored on your computer by websites that contain Flash media, such as video clips and are known as Flash cookies.
When you delete cookies using your browser controls, your Flash cookies are not affected. So a website that served a cookie to you may recognise you on your next visit if it backed up its now-deleted cookie data to a Flash cookie. If you wish to restrict or block Flash Cookies, then you must do this on the Adobe website.