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No entry barriers in this business specialisation is not good news | Neeraj Gupta, Director, Peeekay Holidays

Neeraj Gupta Director- Peeekay Holidays

Primary motivator to pursue your professional goals in the travel and tourism sector? Growing up in a business family environment, I was always certain that this is what I want to do in life and witnessing my father’s work in the field was a definite motivator to follow his footsteps. Travel has been truly exciting, to visit and understand cultures, people and interact with the locals. It inspired me to a great extent to pursue this as my career . It gave an unique kind of satisfaction to be able to showcase the beauty of this world to people through our creative holiday ideas. It was quiet challenging in the beginning as soon as I joined the business after post graduation and realised there is a lot of hardwork that actually needs to be put in to create memories for people who rely on your services and to be able to do that right is truly appreciating. The perks that you get and the relationships that you make along the way is something which is fare more valuable that any other profession I feel.Who gets to say that I have a friend in almost every part of the world who can be of help at the time of need , so the connectivity that you get through the travel and tourism sector is just unbelievable. An observation about the industry, either a challenge or an opportunity? Since I have joined the business in the year 2011, I have realised that there are challenges and opportunities on every step , it is just your personal ability and vision of looking at things that would help you keep going . In the tourism sector there are various challenges that we face since we rely on our partners for everything like flights , land arrangements, transportation, etc and then there are some situations that are beyond our control like the visa and flight issues. I have faced challenges which have helped me grow better and learn from them, which have later paved path to create more opportunities. I think in today’s time it’s better to play safe and to know your client’s needs well in advance to avoid any awkward scenarios. What I personally do not appreciate are the challenges we face with competitors, if there was a better unity amongst the travel partners and fellow competitors, client will not be able to take us for granted . The opportunities on the other hand are endless, travel knowledge is as vast as an ocean and sky is the limit. You can be so creative with your ideas , marketing seasonal products , promoting out of the ordinary experiences and so on. I enjoy doing all of this since it keeps you ahead of time. Vision for the business? Travelling today is not just about visiting a country seeing the landmarks or just tick it off your list , people are more aware and exposed. We need to create exclusive ideas to progress. Today’s generation is smarter than ever and if we do not move with the flow it’s going to be difficult. So I keep coming up with some unique ideas to promote tourism amongst my client’s . Travelling has become a necessity for a lot of people to get away from their daily routine and normal life so I see a huge potential in the future , the connectivity is much greater now with competitive fares amongst about the airlines. So literally now the client is the king and I feel there is a lot more scope as variety of destinations have opened up to the Indian market. Indians are recognised to be robust travellers, which has attracted a plethora of tourism boards that eye India for their inbound business. So I am keen on seeing how future unfolds and where this industry would be headed. Technology has a substantial game changer . What’s your take on it? The times are changing and every day technology is playing a vital role in our day to day life specially when it comes to travel. Travel culture is very diverse, however technology cannot replace the power and value of a human touch hence as travel professionals you need to know your worth and filter your client’s accordingly . Online bookings have drastically increased over the years but the exclusivity that we can offer through our direct contacts with the hotel cannot be matched by any website. So there are always two sides to a coin and there is always a phase for everything and I think that people are gradually understanding the value of exclusivity again thanks to the buzzing social media where every body wants to be unique and show off their holiday. So it is good, because it is challenging us to come up with something out of the ordinary to deliver. It is no doubt a great marketing tool, which is much quicker and less expensive from those days of brochure and print media. It’s a part of challenge and we have to deal with it but I feel it’s not for long that people would start putting their money on travel professionals again . I think it’s just in the bigger cities that online bookings are a big deal because even today Tier II and Tier III cities go with the trust and loyalty of word of mouth. Gen Next thought? We definitely need more dynamic and passionate people in the industry rather than them who just come into this business either to enjoy the perk or spoil the market through their business strategies , Everyday there are companies opening up and shutting down since there is no regulation to become a travel professional which is very depressing and this definitely needs to stop by coming up with some guidelines or regulations collectively. I would urge all the young and aspiring travel professionals and specially next gen professionals like me to come up with a unity and form an organisation to get some rules and guidelines in ethics . This is one of the industry which lacks a certain code of ethics to conduct business. So I would be happy to associate myself with other people from different cities with a common vision.]]>

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