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The Musafir Stories (TMS) is hosted by Bangalore-based couple Saif Omar and Faiza Khan. Here are some sound bytes from our interview with the founders of TMS.

When we moved back to India, I was looking to consume local podcasts but the options were limited. That’s when we wondered about giving podcasting a shot – even though neither of us has any background in media/journalism, or even full-time travel for that matter.

We started TMS as a passion project primarily to make more people aware about India and what it has to offer through conversations with some very interesting people – conversations that are both informative and easy on the ear. As kids, most of us have grown up on the culture of listening to stories from grandparents and elders. We can fondly recall sharing first-hand experiences about travel and life in general, with classmates and friends. The culture of story-telling and listening is deep-wired in us.

To make things different, we try to cover various facets of travel, right from popular destinations, city guides, weekend itineraries, experiences that cover mountains, wildlife and beaches, to activities like trekking, adventure and road trips. We also have other features of interest on our platform for our Indian audiences – like volunteering, slow travel and offbeat travel.

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Q&A – April 2019

 

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Jayashree Bhat works as a Senior Manager, Data Management, at Syneos Health Limited. Currently single, she enjoys travelling and connecting with new people. On a vacation she particularly likes to understand and experience the culture, the customs and local flavors – yes, that combo can make things really special for her.

Jayashree has a Club Mahindra membership that she picked up in 2014, and over these five years she has criss-crossed the country on several vacations – some of them outside of the timeshare platform as well.

Along with her friends, Jayashree has been to some really exotic locations such as Ladakh, Saputara/Hatgad, Odisha, Tadoba-Pench, Egypt and Bandhavgadh. According to her, these vacations largely happened because her friends were doing all the planning and coordination – all she had to do was pack her bags and join the gang.

For the AIRDA content team, it was really interesting chatting with Jayashree, because here was someone who looked at travel as an interesting learning experience.

Talking to Jayashree Bhat of Mumbai
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Q&A – March 2019

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You have been in the hospitality industry for nearly four decades, how have things changed from a customer experience point of view? 

The industry has undergone a sea change since the time I started. The competition is huge and almost all the best brands are available right here in India. I must say here that the Indian traveler is also more evolved and has a knack of finding and knowing what’s best.

The facility design of our hotels is sleek and increasingly international. Hotels are also finding ways to utilize their public spaces when they are vacant. Moving to cuisine, quality standards here keep improving – and since many of the guests have experienced authentic international cuisine, they expect the same in our hotels.

At the end of the day, “sending back a delighted customer” is the objective of all hoteliers. Hence training plays a very important role to ensure the objective is achieved, and hotels have a steady stream of repeat customers.

All these changes have ensured that you’re at the top of your game all the time. There is absolutely no room here, for complacency.

From an interview with Param Kannampilly – Chairman and Managing Director of Concept Hospitality. A true visionary, Param is a formidable environment champion, with over 35 years of active involvement in the hospitality industry. He has been associated with hotel groups such as the Taj Group of Hotels, Spencer International Hotels Ltd, Fariyas Group, Leela Hotels, Rahejas, and The Orchid Group of Hotels. 

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Q&A – February 2019

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What I have learnt over the past few years is the need to give your family a nice vacation, at least once in the year. My job as a bank teller can be so monotonous and boring, that even a weekend break is welcome. Longer breaks are essential, because everybody needs time out to spend quality time with the family.

At the end of the day, you need to look beyond work and other daily routines, to get down to some serious planning. You also need some commitment to go along with that, to make things happen. So according to me, COMMITMENT is the key word.

Prabhakar Sivakumar, Bank Teller

Some more customer feedback & tips at the link below >
Q&A – January 2019

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As an engineering consultant my work entails a fair bit of travel – both within the country and outside. On work, my travel schedule is invariably packed to the gills – not allowing time for any kind of detour. The only other option would be a planned photography excursion to a place I always wanted to visit – one example here is my week long trip to Kenya, to capture the annual migration of animals in the Maasai Mara.

Travel is about the path you will take that will ultimately define your journey – whether it’s going somewhere that is only two-hours away, or a destination halfway across the world. Travel is also about trying something new – especially if you can manage to escape from the predictable routines of everyday life. Traveling therefore gives you something different to experience, and can be like a breath of fresh air.

To me, travel also means spending the day in a new city and exploring all of its history, its museums and parks. It brings in the magic of spontaneous adventure and participation in activities that you normally would not have the time for.

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Q&A – November 2018

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Hooma & Sudeep are the founders of Travel Jaunts, a travel company based out of Bangalore. They are travellers, bloggers, photographers and tour organizers. This young couple loves to travel family-in-tow, at the slightest opportunity life provides, to create and build an exciting bank of memories. They have been traveling for the last 14 years – extensively within India, and to over 25 countries across the globe.

From a background perspective, both Hooma and Sudeep are management graduates. Hooma has worked in Banking & Insurance, and has managed an online art gallery before starting Travel Jaunts. Sudeep works with Dell as India Sales Director.

We talk to this young couple about their travel interests and the travel opportunities they offer through Travel Jaunts.

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Q&A – November 2018

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Brendan Cole is an experienced photographer, content creator, digital influencer and brand development specialist, based on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. He is a world traveler who has visited over 60 countries and lived in North America, the Middle East and Asia. Brendan thinks locally and works globally; his services are offered through his boutique creative agency Nomadica Media.

According to Brendan there have been quite a few developments in the past few years. “Nowadays, Southeast Asia seems to be the go-to destination for first-time or budget travelers while Eastern Europe and Morocco have become must-see destinations for more seasoned travellers and those who have a bit of money to spend on an adventurous holiday. ‘Influencer’ marketing via social media has also evolved to a point where these influencers definitely impact where people want to go for their next trip.

Sustainable travel is bigger than ever and people are much more conscious of their actions; they want to go to places where they can have a positive impact on the community rather than stay, look and leave.

Finally, I’ve noticed a lot more interest in wanting to visit a place for a longer period of time, now that companies are more open to their employees working remotely. And places where foreigners can easily set up shop for a while are experiencing the benefits of expat money (Da Nang and Hoi An in Vietnam are great examples of this.)”

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Q&A – October 2018

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