Youth Talk: New di­rec­tion to travel in­sur­ance

Dev Kar­vat, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, TrawellTag Cover-More In­dia (Win­ner of ‘Best Travel In­sur­ance Provider’ at the South In­dia Travel Awards), might just be 35 years old, but that has not de­terred the young and am­bi­tious MD from chal­leng­ing one of the over­ridi

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If I be­come the Tourism Min­is­ter of In­dia

Our coun­try of­fers cul­ture and her­itage, lush na­ture, bustling city life, tran­quil beaches, eco­tourism, etc. You get to ex­pe­ri­ence ev­ery­thing on the same plate. How­ever, when it comes to pro­mot­ing our cul­ture & her­itage, I feel that we are lag­ging be­hind com­pared to other coun­tries. We need to de­velop sys­tem­atic tourism even at the re­motest des­ti­na­tions.

Three things I look for­ward to in a va­ca­tion

Com­fort, safety and grat­i­fi­ca­tion are the three most im­por­tant things for me. I love Chicotera in Italy for its nat­u­ral sur­round­ings and good food and Lon­don for its cul­ture, cos­mopoli­tan life­style, his­toric build­ings and parks.

Po­ten­tial of tourism in In­dia

sports

Con­sid­ered as a niche seg­ment, sports tourism has been flour­ish­ing in In­dia over the past few years. The trend was kick­started with the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003, fol­lowed by IPL T20, of­fer­ing exclusive ex­po­sure which In­dian spec­ta­tors never wit­nessed be­fore. The F1 Race cir­cuit in Greater Noida is also one its kind to at­tract tourists and F1 en­thu­si­asts. Nowa­days, wa­ter raft­ing, kayak­ing, ski­ing are also gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity. More­over, from or­gan­is­ing to the suc­cess­ful ex­e­cu­tion of the sports events cre­ate im­mense

po­ten­tial.

Chal­lenges in pro­mot­ing film

tourism

We have seen sev­eral in­ter

na­tional films be­ing shot in In­dia in re­cent times.

and are some of the more renowned ones. How­ever, com­pli­ances from govern­ment bod­ies cre­ate hin­drances in get­ting per­mis­sions for film shoot­ings in In­dia. This is one of the key rea­sons why even In­dian film­mak­ers pre­fer out­bound lo­ca­tions over In­dian lo­ca­tions de­spite the fact that our coun­try of­fers ex­otic places. The same ap­plies for for­eign film­mak­ers as well. We also have to un­der­stand that the crazi­ness of trav­el­ling to Switzer­land just to visit the lo­ca­tions where

was shot is not present among for­eign tourists. Con­sid­er­ing all these facts, I can barely say in­bound film tourism is in­creas­ing.

Tech­nol­ogy is vi­tal

Tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ment in travel in­dus­try al­lows us to make our travel plans on our own terms. Be­cause of the con­ve­nience fac­tor, we are now able to book flight and train tick­ets in­stantly. We get

travel-re­lated in­forma- tion and tips on­line and plan our trip. In essence, tech­nol­ogy has made trav­el­ling com­fort­able and con­ve­nient. TrawellTag Cover-More de­ploys tech­nol­ogy to the best ad­van­tage of the end-user. We pro­vide an­cil­lary ser­vices un­der ‘Trav­elTag As­sist’ which uses tech­nol­ogy at var­i­ous touch points.

My con­tri­bu­tion to our com­pany and the travel in­dus­try

We have grown from a small en­ter­prise of 10 people to a full-fledged or­gan­i­sa­tion with staff strength of 500 across 53 branches in In­dia in seven years. Our part­ner­ship with Aus­tralia’s Cover-More has pro­pelled our growth. To­day, as a re­sult of our mar­ket­ing ef­forts with in­creased aware­ness and de­mand for lux­ury travel, we are able to tap a larger seg­ment.

New in­dus­try trends

There are now travel-re­lated apps which help cus­tomers get in­for­ma­tion at the click of a but­ton. The trav­eller is will­ing to ex­per­i­ment and leans to­wards ad­ven­ture hol­i­days.

In­dus­try prac­tices that have be­come re­dun­dant and should be done away with

Any prac­tice which adds to the paper-work and re­quires trac­ing documents in the off­line world would make it more cum­ber­some and in­crease the cus­tomer turn­around rate. In­tro­duc­ing IT in­fra­struc­ture sys­tems and reg­u­larly up­dat­ing the same will make the cus­tomer life­cy­cle eas­ier and also for the people as­so­ci­ated with the travel in­dus­try.

Changes that I want to bring in the in­dus­try

Travel in­sur­ance till date is re­garded as a com­mod­ity and a dif­fi­cult process to man­age. I hope this per­cep­tion changes so that people look upon travel in­sur­ance as an es­sen­tial in­gre­di­ent in their travel itin­er­ary. The friendly lo­cal travel agent has to be well-in­formed with plans avail­able at a client’s dis­posal. For this, we pro­vide train­ing pro­grammes to ed­u­cate the agent on the pos­si­bil­i­ties of a hike in rev­enue/ in­come by sell­ing such travel as­sis­tance pack­ages.

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