Book your tour guide before your journey begins
Filling a gap that he saw when he himself needed a tour guide for a holiday, Ashish Tewari set up Touritor two months ago
Whether one goes backpacking or on a planned luxury holiday, the avid traveler will want to know more about their destination than what meets the eye. Ashish Tewari was travelling to Kerala last year and was keen to hire a tour guide to enrich the experience. He wanted to know all he could about the local culture, participate in events if possible and explore infrequently travelled roads off the tourist trail. He was disappointed, unable to find a single website that listed certified guides in India. He did stumble upon some community sites where one could meet up with the locals and then plan tours with them. While he dropped the idea to hire a tour guide, he saw opportunity in bringing certified guides in India together. This is how Touritor was born.
Touritor is something that Ashish is ver passionate about and is always finding ways to expand. In two months, the response that his venture has garnered has been great and the future is looking bright. The website currently has over 25 tourist guides, while more than 50 are in the pipeline. His mother Sushila, a former teacher, is based out of Lucknow and is the director of the venture. While her son came up with the idea, she found a way to make it all happen.
“The biggest challenge setting this up was to reach out to the tourist guides and to convince them of the start-up. We started gathering data from reliable resources online and offline and contacted hundreds of guides, explaining what we are trying to do. Initially, they did not realise the benefit of going digital on a single platform, but after a few interactions, they started understanding and appreciating our project and overall vision,” he says. The current team has five people, including the director who look after everything from social media marketing and promotion, to tour guide operations, website development and enhancement. There are also a few freelance bloggers on board.
Ashish has a very simple vision for his venture. His idea is to be able to bring all certified tourist guides in India under one umbrella. Promoting the culture of hiring tourist guides first in Pune and then elsewhere will also help boost tourism, he believes.
Touritor’s website features tourist guides from across all major tourist destination in India. “It is a common sight to see foreigners travelling in India with a tourist guide, but as Indians, we are not very keen on this idea. However, if you ever meet someone who has travelled a city or country with a guide, they will have innumerable exciting stories, insights and facts to tell you, and this makes the trip even more memorable. In so many ways, hiring a guide often enhances the journey and brings to the front a completely different side of the place that you are visiting,” he adds.
Originally published on The Golden Sparrow