THE TRAVEL CIRCUIT TALKS EXOTIC INDIA
Munir Talib, marketing director North America, The Travel Circuit, sits down with TRAVELHotNews.com to discuss the tour operator’s niche products in India
Munir Talib, marketing director North America, The Travel Circuit
For the past 25 years The Travel Circuit has offered niche tourism products throughout India, such as catch-and-release fishing tours in the Indian Himalayas, wildlife tours across the country and Jewish Heritage tours.
“We want to expand the horizon,” said Munir Talib, marketing director North America, The Travel Circuit. In doing so, The Travel Circuit aims to look beyond the Golden Triangle, the traditional tourist circuit for Westerners in India of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.
“Sanjay Verman, the director of operations, has been doing this for the past 25 years and he has a team of about 10-12 people in India… He’s been selling his tours only in California, with one travel agent and he sells (tours) in Europe. He didn’t have a base in Canada, so that is how we joined up,” explains Talib.
“The good thing about The Travel Circuit is that they are very specialized. They do very exotic types of tours. They do what we call the tribal areas of India, the Gujarat textiles and those kinds of tours.”
Through the years The Travel Circuit has taken travellers from across the world in the Himalayas, taken the first ever groups of international travellers for the Kalachakra ceremony performed by the Dalai Lama at the Tabo monastery, brought travellers to the textiles and crafts of Gujarat and moved to put North East India – including Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya and Nagaland.
Most recently, The Travel Circuit teamed up with Canadian Sportfishing, for a three-week trip into the Indian Himalayas sponsored by Incredible India Toronto to showcase the region and its fishing tours on professional angler Italo Labignan’s television show.
The Travel Circuit is now offering two 15-day fishing packages with a professional angler in the Indian Himalayas in March and April 2012 now available for sale by Canadian travel agents.
“Coming in November, Italo will be going to Orissa, which is on the eastern side of India… the tribal areas of Orissa. Now what is happening is that there are a lot of minerals out there and there are a lot of tribes as well. (If mining comes into this area) the whole way of life of all these tribes will be destroyed forever,” Talib told TRAVELHotNews.com.
“So what we want to do is preserve this and do eco-tourism. These are dying tribes, unless we preserve them they will be lost.”
According to Talib, the province of Orissa has approximately 20-30 tribes that have been in the area for hundreds to thousands of years. These tribes possess cultures and histories Westerners – and even many Indians – know very little to nothing about.
“I’m from India and even I don’t know these regions very well,” he said. “There are many different pockets of different cultures.”
In brining eco-tourism to the Orissa region, The Travel Circuit hopes to make the outside world more conscious of these people and their natural regions, thereby increasing the efforts made to preserve the region before they are lost to the mining industry.
Niche and exotic tours of India offered by The Travel Circuit include the Indian Himalayas; Essential India; Arunachal, Nagaland and Assam; Temples & Tribes of Orissa; Royal Rajasthan; Textiles, Tribes of Gujarat; Glorious South India; Temples, Tigerland, Taj; Jewish Heritage Tour and The Nilgiri Biosphere. The tour operator also does FIT and GIT packages.
Travel agents interested in selling The Travel Circuit’s tours can contact Munir Talib at 1-647-889-6864 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Indian Tourism Board offers travel agents a marketing subsidy program as part of its “Year of India” campaign.