The Travel Counsellor – Raise your hand
I am sure you will agree there is more to travel than just stamping a place on your passport. Even for the first time traveller, it all begins with a certain expectation that leads to an experience and then finally to a cherished memory. For the seasoned lot, the story is no different – once again it’s about an expectation that leads to an experience. What are we all looking for is the real question. My recent travels at various B2B tourism and trade interactive platforms clearly revealed that travel in this age is not just about travel but a kind of a therapy that works for the soul. It does not matter if you are in the heart of Times Square or on a secluded zone in an island nation – as they say ‘one man’s food is the other man’s poison’.
Today’s tour operator is not just selling a dream destination or vacation and being just an agent/ operator. He or she is working as a travel counsellor rather than just a consultant. If you read rightly it goes far beyond just designing a tour or a travel wishlist. One has to enter the very psyche of the clients, to give them what they are looking for. During one of my conversations with a Mumbai based tour operator, she emphatically stated that she has to change her role from a tour consultant to a psychologist at times. Clients open up to us on matters that are highly confidential both on the personal and professional front. It’s this understanding of the most sensitive secrets and personal turmoils that at times works rather than just the price point. Certainly this may not be restricted to just a few and there are many tour operators who believe in working on files that are wholesome rather than shallow and go beyond just the price point. But what’s interesting to note here is that few discussions across B2B tables at global forums have gone beyond just what will sell with promising margins to what can be redesigned and recreated to meet the need of that very private client. Here we are talking about a holiday which goes beyond just the word ‘Bespoke’. Interestingly, there are few players and suppliers at international trade shows who have got the pulse right and are looking for those buyers who will articulate that dream into a well defined reality.
From laid-back trips to active holidays, the demands are interesting and intriguing. Our previous issue was on monsoon retreats and this issue is on various yoga retreats in India. In keeping with the International Yoga Day on June 21, we at Express TravelWorld felt it’s apt to showcase few Yoga retreats that the tour operator and travel fraternity may consider worth exploring. Breathe and read on…