Battered India’s on the Mend

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At the same time, Sen says that with the travel agents and the clients they work with, “…if they get calls for India, it’s from seasoned travelers and they really have no fear of traveling to India. And we wouldn’t send them to a region where there’s a lot of civil strife going on.” She also adds that for her company, “It’s the kind of destination where you rarely get a first-time traveler and if you do, it’s usually for a very short trip. Most of our clients are very seasoned travelers and they normally go for a month.

“With our clients, what we’ve been doing is making sure that it’s not advertised that these Americans are traveling so that gives them added protection and our representatives are being very careful. So that way, their security is more assured.”

And, like SITA, “With our office, upon arrival in every city and departure, there’s a representative and we have an English-speaking chauffeur—a car—and the chauffeur is constantly in contact with the office to tell us how the client is doing. And then, every two or three days, someone from our office calls the client. And recently, because of what happened in Bombay, I personally call the client to make sure everything’s okay and then in turn, I personally call their travel agent to say everything’s okay and that they’re ready to continue the tour.”

Like many other people heavily involved in India tourism, Sen bemoans the fact an incident like this was allowed to happen, but at the same time, she says, “…sometimes these kinds of incidents do have to occur in order for us to be more vigilant. It’s a lesson to be learned and everybody has to learn this lesson. People are very friendly in India, especially if they think they can make an extra buck out of you,” she adds with a laugh. “But they’re not the sort of people who’d go out of their way to harm you. They’re really a very peace-loving people.”

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