Dr. Sachin Bansal, Chief Explorer of India City Walks (ICW®) is a creative and passionate entrepreneur in the tourism industry. He is recognized as the pioneer in the curation & delivery of city sightseeing products. His incubation platform SUSTAINABLE ACHIEVEMENTS CHAMPIONING HERITAGE INDUCED NETWORK™ creates regeneration of the tourism economy.
Born in New Delhi, the capital city of India, Sachin has aided in exploring and unraveling sites, bringing together sustainable communities. His humble journey has been applauded with generous accolades including a series of National Tourism Awards to substantiate his endeavor in the tourism space.
What is this Experiential Delivery in Tourism (EDiT)™?
Conventionally speaking, the tourism industry has witnessed the power of transcending into different territories, cross-border, at times when other industries have failed to penetrate. The beauty of this industry has clearly been into utilizing the optimum natural/built resources to thrive its economy, with a potential to bring the best of any transnational region.
It would not be unjustified to say, who does not like a good story? Everyone wants to listen to one if presented authentically. Sachin has introduced the gen-next of tourism – Experiential Delivery in Tourism (EDiT)™ after successfully operating several thematic tourism products across India.
The keyword in the progressive world becomes sustainable development under which comes a mammoth task of inclusivity and diversity. It is in this situation, for the travel industry to survive, revive and grow – it would require itself to bring inclusive diversity as part of its offerings.
In your opinion, what has this new changing business environment taught us all?
The exposed vulnerabilities due to the rapidly changing business environment teach us that if the future of the travel industry needs to be safeguarded, it will have to bring together the public and private partnership – alongside a diversification into the experiences. The new tourists are the socially, intellectually and ethically, and economically aware travelers, looking for introspective spaces to explore. Bringing them a newer offering through Experiential Delivery in Tourism (EDiT)™ would be one of the crucial ways forward.
While global tourism is evolving with every passing day, we still need to reinvent the locations with engaging in-depth storytelling and activities. The experience needs to pass through the mandatory sensory test, where-in the consumer is engrossed in the activity. This plays a huge role in making an experience memorable. If we were to put it in a nutshell, the following is the chain that defines the curve from just a tour to an EDiT™.
Apart from the in-location/on-site offerings, EDiT™ finely balances the integration of the new-age technology with it. The future ahead for tourism pertains to disruptive forces of change as now Augmented Reality is used to enhance reality with virtual content. The application of AR is now widespread in various fields: marketing, retail, events, education, culture and tourism, architecture and design, medicine, automation. We have a strategic portfolio of intellectual properties and a thorough branding process is undertaken to showcase our diverse tourism offerings.
No matter how the digital space consumes us, it would be a human need to step out of the mundane, venture into the new, know the new, and believe that something new is always special in one’s life experiences.
Particularly referring to India, what is your opinion on local communities and the traveler?
In India, while connecting both local communities and the traveler, we celebrate diverse heritage & make the country’s plural legacy accessible & relevant to everyone, without losing integrity. There is always an urge to know more, learn more, understand more, and finally bringing all together for a memorable experience.
As a part of EDiT™ our team of City Explorers® and City Mavericks® deep dive into the social media/ digital media analytics helps the internal team of tourism product designer study a lot of patterns for improvisations. There is a constant change based on the traveller’s likes/dislikes, age, education, special interest area, number of days to stay, etc. We have noticed that based on user/traveler footprint and visits, many destinations have designed fairs/fests for mass engagements and interactions.
It is advisable to envisage the digital space as a productive tool; however, constant checks and balances must be kept ready to authenticate the original from the duplicate.
What is the most striking part of Indian values and motto?
The Indian values and motto of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ is not merely a marketing strategy to enhance the tourism industry but something inherited from the culture and ethos. Our EQ ENCOUNTERS® enabled by our flagships India City Walks and India Heritage Walks® are facilitated through efficient use of resources and effort into the development of tourism across India. We intend to strengthen transformative travel opportunities for all kinds of travelers. One of the oldest ways of disseminating knowledge to a large group of people on a variety of subjects has been the museums.
EDiT™ for us at CEPL® brings the two genres together with a fine additional link is storytelling and encompasses every tourism offering having uniqueness, authenticity, in-depth research, hands-on experience, engagement, and activity, which in return would celebrate the local, exposed to the globe and preserved for the generations to come.
As an experienced leader, how do you see the term ‘responsible tourism?
Responsible tourism in the last decade has emerged as a trillion-dollar industry. As an outcome, the purpose of traveling has transited as an untapped opportunity. There is and will be a gradual shift in consumer psychology, especially in the COVID-19 world, wherein the consumer (in our case a traveler) will be choosing a destination on parameters other than the physical/visual part of it. We have our internal program ‘Leave No Footprints by City Explorers®’ under which we implement responsible tourism practices. We work with local and rural communities to map cultural assets and ensure a pan-India employment opportunity. Our team of Walk Leaders® and Heritage Enthusiasts® to concentrate on reformed travel, for awareness around environmental stewardship and corporate social responsibility. We have initiated the program ‘Experience Local by Locals™’ to be ready with the demands and expectations of the ‘new tourist’.
The ‘new world’ will be a connected world with all its advantages also creates a lot of disadvantages, wherein they create clutter with pre-packages travel. The test will be in facilitating the economically less endowed places in leveraging the visitor footfall, which offers the maximum potential for conversion of the latent opportunity into entrepreneurial off-sets, such as job creation and livelihood, post-pandemic like COVID-19.
With a dramatic change in the global environment, it is time to adapt, stay resilient with clarity. The change agents as visionaries like Dr. Sachin Bansal responsible to bring life back to rails once again to celebrate India.
*(The tradenames and acronyms are intellectual properties of City Explorers Pvt Ltd.)
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