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Some 35 years ago, Shyam Saigal fell in love with traveling while working for a tour operator in Delhi, India. Inspired, he opened Travel With Us (TWU) in 2001, offering tours to the Indian Subcontinent — including India, Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet and Sri Lanka. Now, with a new U.S. office in New York, TWU is expanding its specialized tours to American travel agents, with whom the company aims to build strong personal connections.
Cultural ImmersionUpon seeing a revival of American travelers to India, local tour operators are eager to connect with U.S. agents.
“Our motive is to involve the clients in our culture and heritage,” Saigal said, noting that TWU organizes special activities such as interactive cooking experiences with a local family, yoga lessons, street walks and horoscope readings. “These are unique things that people will always remember.”
Comfort and Safety FirstSaigal emphasizes that India is a safe destination and that clients are accompanied by top-notch employees.
“Our drivers are verified by their respective police stations, and guides have valid government licenses and are very experienced,” he said. “Our reps in each city check on the clients on daily basis.”
TWU also provides each guest with a mobile phone and Indian SIM card and covers all charges during a trip.
A Familial TouchSaigal’s wife and son work at TWU, and this familial core shows: All clients receive a personalized itinerary made by the father-and-son team so that they “get the ‘wow’ trip they deserve,” Saigal said.
And TWU makes it easy for clients to stay connected to their own families while abroad.
“Before the client arrives, we send them the phone number of their Indian phone so that they can share it with their loved ones back home,” he said. “They can use the phone to call or receive calls from home, and they are never charged.”
Travel Trends“All first-time travelers want to see the Taj Mahal, which is in the north,” Saigal said. “North Americans like to travel for 10 to 14 days, first covering Northern India and Rajasthan. If they visit a second time, then they want to see South India.”
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