In around 1994, I left my village and came to Delhi to look for work. I started off in a small hotel and I worked there for around a year and a half. But I didn’t like that job so I was looking for a change and I finally got a job with an inbound tour operator. I stayed there for 16 years until I started my own business – Royal India Holidays.
What is it that you love about working in tourism?
In this type of work, you get to know new people, get to know new cultures and, above all, I myself love travelling a lot. These are the reasons why I stayed with this all these years, and why I’m now going it alone.
What type of holidays do you help to organise?
We organise a lot of holidays with a cultural slant, but we can basically cater to any interests. For example, if you’re interested in wildlife, you can do a tiger safari.
For first-timers to India, it’s generally the “Golden Triangle” of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. We have added another sector to that which includes Varanasi and Khajuraho, so we call that trip “The Best of North India”.
Do you have many travellers coming who are keen to try new things?
Yes, definitely. We recently had some bikers and we have also had some people requesting cruises. We have river cruises in India so now we are getting into that as well.
Travelling alone in India can be a bit of a risky undertaking – you may have heard some negative things recently. But those issues mostly happen with travellers who are alone, or those that go to Delhi and throw a bag on their shoulders and just roam around without any guidance. You need to have proper guidance.
Using the services of a company can affect the pricing too – it can be cheaper than arranging it directly because we also have better rates with transporters as well as hoteliers. If you book direct, you might not get the same sort of deal.
But above all it’s the guidance and the places that we recommend – we speak to our clients, look at their interests, what they actually want to do, and what type of holiday they are looking for. Then we arrange the itinerary accordingly.
Over and above that, we have dedicated drivers who are experienced and have been working in tourism for a long time and are well known. As a result, we can make sure that the guests remain safe and that they have a good experience.
I’m very passionate about India and I feel very strongly about sharing my love of this country with the world. I get to do that in my day to day life and that’s pretty special.
Do you have a favourite place in India that you would recommend to those planning a trip to India?
Definitely – there are many special places in India, places like Kerala, an amazing area that you can travel to at any time of year. It’s a very beautiful place to visit. There are quite a few people heading there now, but Rajasthan is still the most popular. Rajasthan is the place most first-timers want to visit because there is a lot of history and lots of stories of kings and queens. But I would definitely recommend that they come back and try Kerala.