We have always been highly passionate, motivated and extremely positive about our tour business at any time you would have asked! When I am talking about we, I am talking about myself and also about my whole team back in India, whether its Surender – the driving passion behind our tours of India or Mr. Raj our guests’ mentor in Jaipur or Mr. Bhopal Singh from Udaipur. I have always found myself surrounded by the same passionate soul.
When the pandemic first started coming to everybody’s acknowledgment in February it didn’t really bothered me as I thought it might be something like previous viruses which would just come and go! If I would have any idea about how long this would stay oh ! It would have never be able to work towards the business at all as I might would be devastated straight away thinking about all the months I have to past without work! But it did put us on long dreadful wait like many others. The only good thing happened to us that it didn’t put us on the brink of something like bankruptcy was probably because of our relatively smaller size!? I have managed to refund to most of our guests or changed their flights’ bookings into credits but one thing for sure that it has left me was a long wait!
Not only the financial side has been affected but also the emotional, Especially all those faces started coming into my dreams now which I would have been seeing right now, smiling in front of me at this time of the year. The tourism season starts in India especially in North India from August month when monsoon strikes India and the temperature starts cooling down a bit, and it stays all the way up to late March with December and January the coldest. But as the lockdown imposed everywhere and there were no signs of improvement, I decided to gave up for this tourist season and decided to concentrate for the season of year 2021.
Every time I talked to Surender over the phone to check on him and other team members, they have never seemed that they have lost hope at all! Even at some stage Surender has motivated me a bit. He has always said things would be fine for the next season sir!
Prabhat & Surender enjoying monsoon arrival in Jaipur, but unaccompanied this year!
But deep down I am sure he would also know that no light can be seen through the tunnel yet for 2021. Its not like him or me, we cannot find another job or work, but its just the passion that resides inside me or any other member of my team that we cannot see ourselves doing anything other than serving our guests who come and visit to us in India. Its not just the financial thing but its also that this is the work which satisfies us, the satisfying sleep which we can get at the end of the day when we are on a tour, remembering all the smiles that we have earned on our guests’ faces during the day. Me and Surender we often talk about it on the drinks too in the evening while on the tour. I do not want him or and my any other team member to loose faith in me even though at some stage I started feeling unsurely if we can experience something like our pasts again or not?
I will and have kept myself pushing to keep working on Kiwi N Tiger as much as I can. From meetings with the local travel agents to working on my tours to make them more exciting, and working on my website including writing this blog. Of course I am in no situation to put money into the media channels for the advertisements as recently I had to refund back to our clients all of our bookings for year 2020 but I am still doing the best I can. Meeting with Mr. Ron Montgomery from ‘Spirit of Travel’, last week in Christchurch was very positive. and I am also looking forward to attend the ‘Retirement Lifestyle & Travel Expo‘ in Auckland on 27,28 MARCH 2021. I had to opt out the one in Tauranga though but hopefully will attend in year 2022! We are also working towards organizing our own little travel expo in Christchurch in mid of the 2021 with a big hope!
I pray to god including all the 33 millions of gods and goddesses from Hindu mythology to get our world pandemic free asap so we can return to our loved services. I can promise that I would be the most happiest person on the planet once we get the good news and would work with thousand times more energy!!! I am also very optimistic that the New Zealanders will look after the small and local tour operators like Kiwi N Tiger when the world opens its doors again and kiwis will consider us only for their dream tours of India!
I will be honest with my readers! This moment, writing this blog I am feeling a little heavy hearted and kind of stuck in Hutt Valley. I do explore out as much as I can In New Zealand but the satisfaction which our travel job gives us, I cannot find it in serving myself!
-Vishal Kulria 22/12/2020