DestinAsia Journeys: A Tailor Making Your Door to the Eastern Countries

From the Phantom to Captain America and Iron Man, kids always dream about being a superhero and saving the world. But for some of them, they find their superhero inside the four walls of home - the father. Right from his childhood, so was the case with Gurpreet Singh, the Managing Director of Delhi-based DestinAsia Journeys, which today is one of the fastest growing, vision-driven tourism companies operating across the entire Europe. Gurpreet knew he could be a successful person, if he becomes at least half of what his father, late Jaswant Singh was. A born traveler and the Founder & Former Director of DestinAsia, Jaswant inspired his son to the very last nerve, acquainting him with what it takes to be a real explorer of the world, and building a successful business out of his passion. Following his beloved father’s footsteps, Gurpreet wrote an aesthetic business anecdote in the language of DestinAsia.

The Beginning: 'Andando Internazionale'

The story of DestinAsia is quite interesting. In the prologue, the two great travelers, Gurpreet and his Italian buddy & business partner Giancarlo Pagliero (Director, DestinAsia) incepted a tourism venture in Italy - Viagginoriente - in 2012, with a vision to make Italian travel-lovers experience the heart beats of countries in the East through vivid cultural, spiritual, traditional and adventurous colors. Viagginoriente, meaning travelling East in Italian, promised value for money, and that was exactly what it provided. With the duo bringing a cumulative tourism experience of more than three decades to the table, the response was over whelming, and the next couple of years saw Viagginoriente blooming with a burgeoning number of customers, opening an office in Colombo, besides its Delhi headquarter. But it was just the tip of the iceberg.

In 2015, they grew beyond Italy and went international by incepting DestinAsia as a B2B tourism organization, catering to the travel agencies across different parts of Europe. “We specialize in tailor made journey, and our customers are the real travelers and wanderlusts who really want to explore. Thus, our motto is not to just sell travel deals, but to provide our endcustomers with an unparalleled experience while helping them explore the unique cultures and untouched places, and culinary programs across the East,” asserts Gurpreet. Today, DestinAsia’s destinations include India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Tibet.

An Impeccable Team of Guides

Outpacing the global GDP growth of 3.2 percent, the travel and tourism sector grew 3.9 percent in 2018, and is currently valued at $8.8 trillion. Amidst the prevailing competition in the industry, which is as good as these numbers, equipping DestinAsia with a cutting-edge to constantly provide its customers with efficiency, flexibility, quality service, and value for money imbued with a personal touch is its strong workforce and handpicked team of guides. It’s no rocket science that travelers feel more comfortable when they make first contact with an agent who speaks their language. This being an underlying thought, the entire workforce of DestinAsia is well equipped with European languages, ensuring that clients are able to communicate in their mother tongue and no detail is missed.

When it comes to guides, the company has an even more deliberate approach. Undeniably, a great guide can completely transform a trip, making a destination come alive with historical anecdotes, specialized visits, insider access, and much more. DestinAsia, in addition to hand-picking its guides, who possess such deep localized knowledge, after thorough background verification and meticulous interview process, further exposes them to rigorous language training to ascertain that they speak the clients’ mother tongue with proficiency, along with the local languages present across destinations. Most importantly, it goes the extra mile beyond the norms to ensure that the guides are well acquainted with the culture of the clients.

“On-boarding the right guide is one of the major aspects of this business. The chemistry between the guides and travelers throughout the 2-3 weeks could define the overall experience. Hence, we make our guides live in European countries for couple of months to infuse them with hands-on experience of the culture. Thus, they know where to stand as a guide,” adjoins Gurpreet. It’s quite appreciable the way the company has instilled a sense of responsibility inside the guides- right from the time the tourists land in Delhi airport to taking their flight back to the origin-airport. It’s not surprising that the company doesn’t on board interns like most of its peers do. Additionally, even though it’s abided by the law, the company doesn’t induct minors in their programs without adult supervision.

We specialize in tailor-made journey and our customers are the real travelers and wanderlusts who really want to explore

Experience & Knowledge Matter

In truth, the need for experience & knowledge in the tourism industry is never confined to the guides. It’s of paramount importance for organizational leaders to possess significant experience and up-to-date knowledge of destinations. Gurpreet elucidates, “These countries, where we bring our clients to,are rich with uncountable number of destinations. Having three decades of cumulative experience enables us to wisely choose destinations, hotels, and rides that our clients would love and will interest them”. For instance, most of the European travelers prefer good hygienic conditions. But in many countries, even five star hotels offer pathetic hygiene, while some specific three star hotels bestow excellent hygienic conditions. Distinguishing between them, facilitating utmost convenience, and being on the same page with customers takes a great deal of experience. The perfectionist-leaders of DestinAsia, Gurpreet and Giancarlo not only wisely choose between the hotels & rides to include in the brochure, but also physically visit those hotels every two months and ensure first-hand that they walk the talk. Furthermore, since the company doesn’t owe to any business association, which is quite unlike the peers, DestinAsia’s offerings always remain unbiased towards any hotel or agency.

"Matching the discrete aspirations of clients is always a challenge. But that’s where the good product knowledge of our colleagues sitting in the agencies becomes instrumental"

DestinAsia today continues to strengthen the ecosystem around it, starting right from travel agencies it caters to. “Matching the discrete aspirations of clients is always a challenge. But that’s where the good product knowledge of our colleagues sitting in the agencies becomes instrumental. They make service requests only when the end-customers are filled with enough information and lucid with their destinations,” adjoins Gurpreet. Going forward, DestinAsia believes that synchronizing its journey with travel agents is an important growth-aspect. Hence, the company not only invites them to the East every year, but also educates them about the destinations, including everything from transport facilities to cost, regulatory compliance and culture.

New Worlds to Conquer

After seven years and tackling multifarious challenges, DestinAsia is manifesting great growth trajectories, despite the unfortunate turnaround of events in Sri Lanka and restrictions in the tourism industry. The company today provides reliable services for corporate meetings, events, and incentives of all sizes, making it a holistic 360 degree provision. “We are expanding, concentrating on central Europe. Our next marketing team expansion will be across Northern Europe. In the coming years, we also would like to expand our footprints to America, Canada and other countries in the continent”. The old school quality tourism company that believes in engendering enthusiasm about destinations by sitting next to the customers rather than selling products online, DestinAsia is already a great promise to the future.

Key Management:

Gurpreet Singh, Managing Director

Giancarlo Pagliero, Partner & Director

DestinAsia in Spotlight:

•Incepted as the international line of Italian tourism brand Viagginoriente(means traveling the east), engaging B2B model with travel agencies across Europe

•The founders are working in tourism for more than 30 years

•The entire workforce is well-equipped with European languages, ensuring that clients are able to communicate in their mother tongue and no detail is missed

•Ensurse that the guides are well acquainted with not only the language of clients, but also their culture

Quick Facts:

Year of Establishment:2015

Offices:Delhi(Headquarter)& Colombo