Bharat Bhushan Atree, Managing Director, Caper Travel Company (CTC), shares his company’s growth projection which include nurturing SBUs, a feat that has been in practice and has successfully honed talent through the years.
Q What was the demand like in the inbound segment last year for Caper? Caper benefitted with a growth of more than 25 per cent in all our markets and verticals compared to last season. All our markets were energetic and buoyant and Caper has had a significant proliferation in contrast to our previous season. An added advantage of summer markets is that we operate in the hot, humid and rainy months of June, July and August which is a subdued time in India. This sits well for all stakeholders as well as it keeps us busy around the year. Hotels are engaged and utilised during these lean months and the tourists get to enjoy advantageous pricing for their travel itineraries. The CIS markets have begun to respond well giving us an indication of a fruitful season ahead. Next year we are planning to double our numbers and launch newly explored markets.
Q Which were some of the most popular destinations? Apart from the Golden Triangle, tourists were also interested in the temples of the religious cities of Khajuraho and Varanasi. The colourful, vibrant, cultural and mesmerising cities of Rajasthan is an experience the tourists relish. The beautiful backwaters of Kerala, the film capital of India, Mumbai offering the travellers so much more than Bollywood, the lovely beaches of Goa providing tranquillity but at the same time also bustling with the exciting night markets, the clubs, the shacks and so much more. The snow-capped mountains of Himachal Pradesh, the valleys of Kashmir and the mountain desert, Ladakh have all done well in the summer time. There is an upward swing for those travellers looking for wellbeing, health and Ayurveda.
Q What does Capers’ landscape of growth look like for the next five years? They say the sky is the limit but there are already footprints on the moon. I believe my journey is limitless and there will never be any stopping! We have multiple plans of growth and hope to go public in the coming years. Increasing our sales revenue as well as contributing to the growth of foreign tourist arrivals by a large number is also on our radar and we are aiming for a global presence by targeting markets that are yet to be explored. We invite professionals who aspire to live their dreams of entrepreneurship, to head new SBUs supported by CTC Holding. Since technology is becoming an increasingly huge part of every industry, I would like to evolve Caper into a fully automated entity driven by technology. We already are environmentally friendly, and aim to be a 100 per cent paperless company. Additionally, as part of our CSR activities, we are also in the process of adopting villages and providing them with fundamental necessities.
Q In your opinion, what are some of the hurdles prevalent in the industry? First and foremost, the perception of India in several countries needs to change – a better likeness of India will definitely increase the demand and lead to a growth in the number of tourists. The challenges are majorly related to the lack of state-of-the-art infrastructure, an almost non-existent platform for global branding and the promotion of Indian tourism. An exceedingly higher tax structure is a deterrent for many and the law and order situation requires better governance and as well as a more pro-active press advocating responsible journalism. GST will be rolled out in the coming months and the Government should be compelled to take on Tourism as a priority sector as it is one of the biggest employment generator and foreign exchange earner for country. In this regard, taxation must be rational and competitive with our neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka, China, Singapore and Thailand, making India travel friendly for the masses rather than a luxury destination.
Q What trends do you see picking up momentum in 2017? This year will surely see a rise in health and wellness tourism (yoga and Ayurveda) including medical tourism. India is the home to the ancient art form of yoga which provides a healthy balance of the mind, body and spirit that results in an overall feeling of well-being. In terms of destinations, the demand for the unexplored region of the Northeast India will see a rise as the area is not only scenic but is rich in history, art and culture. Tours combining itineraries with our neighbours like Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Sri Lanka, Dubai and Thailand with Indian tours will attract more tourists. A multiple destination package will work very well for those travelling from long-haul destinations as they may not visit this region again in near future.
“We are aiming for a global presence by targeting markets that are yet to be explored. We invite professionals who aspire to live their dreams of entrepreneurship, to head new SBU’s supported by CTC Holding.”
– Bharat Bhushan Atree, Managing Director, Caper Travel Company