Discerning travellers understand the need to employ renowned travel curators who will make their journey hassle-free and memorable.
Luxury travel is not what it used to be. Today, a mere stay at a five-star accommodation does not mean a luxury vacation. Even when booking the most exotic and expensive of holidays via OTAs, we hear horror stories of travellers or guests being stranded for hours on the phone engaging in futile conversations with customer service that isn’t exactly providing them the help they need.
Discerning travellers understand the need to employ renowned travel designers or travel curators who will make their journey hassle-free and memorable (in a good way).
Amit Kalsi, Founder & CEO of Experiential Travel Journeys, does just that.
As a designer of boutique travel design company specialising in high-end tailor-made travel to destinations worldwide, Kalsi curates trips that are inspirational and experiential, thereby drawing repeat customers.
“Our focus and expertise is our major USP wherein we offer tailormade trips at a deeper level, inspirational and experiential. Next is our ability to execute our clients preferences and deliver to their expectations using our best of the best global connections with local suppliers, experience providers and accommodation providers in the space of high end experiential travel,” says Kalsi.
Checklist to hire travel curators
Chalking out a checklist that travellers should look at before booking a travel agent or a travel curator, Kalsi says that the focus should be on three key factors: reliable global connections, client’s financial security, and agency credentials.
Reliable global connections:
“This has become top priority now post-pandemic, as suppliers in travel and tourism have undergone many changes, scaled-down staff and operations,” he says.
Clients need financial security for their payments in case anything else goes wrong. “They need a lot more hand-holding and reliability especially during these uncertain times. One needs to look at travel curators who are able to offer seamless and hassle-free destination planning and experience,” says Kalsi.
The travel agency must have strong global affiliation and reliability with proven track records through good and bad times. “The travel curator should have had the ability to have survived and sailed through the pandemic with strong wit and commitment towards their core business. They should have also had the ability to adapt and change themselves keeping up with times and evolving client preferences,” says Kalsi.
On the post-pandemic travel demands, Kalsi says that private visits, after-hours visits for those who can afford it, and small group experiences will become the norm.
“Itineraries beating the tourist crowd will excel using specialised guides and tour operators to take care of our clients,” he says.
Direct flights, small cruises
As per Kalsi’s forecast, travellers will focus on destinations which have direct flights, ease of getting visa, less or no restrictions, able to offer natural social distancing, such as islands, beaches, African wilderness, and mountains.
“Cruises will be smaller ships, as always even before COVID , specially for luxury discerning travellers. Travellers will also focus on cities which can offer safe and better crowd management,” says Kalsi.
On the domestic travellers annual holiday calendar will be destinations like North East, Kashmir, Ladakh, Andamans, Rajasthan, wildlife safari destinations in Gir, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Karnataka.
“These destinations offer experiential and high-end luxury accommodation to suitably cater to discerning travellers, such as Sujan, Aramness, Glenburn, TUTC, The Kumaon, Kaudia Estate, Samode, Six Senses, Taj Safaris, Aman, The Oberoi, RAAS, Raffles, and Evolve Back, to name a few. River cruising with Antara and Assam Bengal Navigation also offers high-quality product and experience to open up this segment to domestic clients otherwise seeking an international cruise experience,” says Kalsi.
International destinations like Seychelles, New Zealand, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Indonesia, Maldives, Mauritius, Zambia, Tanzania, and South Africa will be popular among Indian travellers, says Kalsi.