A simulation on overcoming the worst of times, from a space accident 50 years ago
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Tell us a bit about your early life. Is that when your passion for travel was kindled?
Travel has been an absolute presence in my life from the earliest instance that I can recall, whether it was being bundled into our family Ambassador, traveling through the pristine Northeast hinterlands, or later along my teens traversing the length and breadth of our fascinating country. The thought of travel as a professional calling was not something that was ever consciously nurtured, though when I found myself embarking on this journey 15 years ago, I couldn’t help but wonder how absolutely well-suited my upbringing had been in this regard.
How did you come into the travel and hospitality space?
Clichéd as it sounds...purely by chance. A dear friend was in the process of setting up a homestay—a private getaway in the hills, for which he requested my creative inputs. With tremendous passion at hand but with little professional insight, I began contributing with whatever little I could, and that marked my baby steps into this industry.
Tell us a bit about the origins of Très? What do you want to achieve with it?
The Indian travel industry—despite its rapid growth and wide acceptance globally—still has pockets that remain unaddressed and underserved. With international and domestic travel moving away from the “cookie-cutter” format, there was barely any exclusive focus on boutique hotels and unique travel concepts in the subcontinent. The showcase was conceptualised as a platform to shine a light on the exceptional work being done by individuals who have built—and continue to manage—these concepts. It brings together travel experiences and travel companies that work in the realm of product innovation in travel offerings, design, hospitality concepts, sustainability and community impact creating value for the country as global travel destination. Now in its third edition, the show continues as a B2B platform that is used by professionals from around the globe. The experiences encompassed within the Très fold are wide-ranging, from wildlife lodges to summer palaces, private beach villas to island getaways, wellness retreats to walking with the nomads in the trans-Himalayan region; bound seamlessly despite their disparities by a fine touch of luxury and modern amenities.
What is the third edition all about?
This year at Très 2020, alongside 45 boutique hotels, we introduce for the first time a new category that showcases companies curating unique experiences in destinations based on your interest. Consider for instance, following a food trail while exploring a destination, or partaking an authentic meal in a monastery with the monks.
What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability has so many definitions, especially and more so when it comes to travel. A lot of people tend to think of ‘ecotourism’ when they hear the term ‘sustainable’ but that’s just a small part of the equation, which goes beyond eco-friendly practices and environmental responsibilities. Sustainability in travel will manage to make a tangible dent only if it is adopted as a lifestyle by the community. It demands the rapid acceptance and application of mindful and meaningful decisions that address climate change, minimising plastic consumption and waste, conserving and protecting our natural heritage and culture, while expanding and nurturing economic development. Overall, it’s a call to live responsibly, in the direction of leaving a soundly-balanced ecosystem on our planet for the generations to follow.
What’s your personal holiday style?
My favourite type of holiday or travel experience (be it a short getaway or my annual summer vacation) is multi-layered, which unfolds at various levels, packing in the routine with the entirely unexpected. I also very consicously use this time to slow down, explore the city and destination on my own without a strict itinerary. While some generic information and handholding is certainly helpful and a walk with an expert an absolute must, as an avid traveller, it’s exciting to see things from my own perspective and being spontaneous with plans. My travels—whether for business or leisure— will necessarily include some great meals and poolside lounging. Or any waterbody-side reading time, actually.
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