Silkroute Holidays: Shaping Travel Itineraries to Meet Your Dream Vacation Needs

Deven Bafna,Co-Founder

Deven Bafna


In the current era of travelers, travel bloggers and vloggers, personalization is the buzzword trending within the travel industry. Every traveler has a different interest: some love the sea, while others may fascinate the mountains; some travel to relax, others travel to unveil the inner adventure spirit; some may like resorts, while other travelers may choose home - stays. In an era where travel embodies freedom, travelers want much more than plain vanilla vacations to satiate their wanderlust. According to a survey by Travelport where 23,000 people from 20 countries were surveyed, including 2000 from India, Indian travelers want and expect travel providers to help them personalize their experience seamlessly. While technology has become a key player in the travel industry, owing to the growing frustration among travelers with online booking, increasing complexity and unalterable travel options, most travelers opt for a travel agent for their personalized tour plans.

A travel enthusiast himself, Deven Bafna was quick enough to sense the budding opportunities in India's travel and tourism industry. Accelerating into action, Deven Bafna cashed on the opportunity by establishing SILKROUTE Holidays, one of Pune's most successful travel agencies at present. "I started the company all by myself 12 years back. At the time, the market was not mature and we had to learn new things to evolve and reach this point. Silkroute was started to help people plan their most-awaited and deserved holidays in the best manner. It all started from an 80 sq.ft office in 2007 and with tremendous support and love from travellers, we have managed this far. Starting at a mere 30 Lacs turnover in the first year we are a 50 crore company with 4 offices In Gujarat and Maharashtra. The biggest challenge was to earn the trust of travellers who wish to have an exotic holiday and hands over the money to you. Making a mark in their minds was the most crucial point. The same was with finding out the best travel partners across the globe that were best in the industry so our guests were best-taken care of and return with amazing experiences. A true wish to make travellers experience the best they had so far was the key. Then the returning traveller were our advertisers which got us more and more references and thats how we grew. We have never taken up any branding or advertising campaign to promote the brand or holidays. It is so much of love of our repeating clients that we never required to. We have always believed in what we are doing and we always try to do our best", says Deven Bafna, Co-Founder, SILKROUTE Holidays.

Transforming Passion into Profession
Passionate about traveling, Deven himself knew about the end-to-end requirements of travelers. With a vision to meet the needs, SILKROUTE Holidays designs the best dream itinerary for its clients. Whether it is just about journeys to reach places or about experiencing a destination, SILKROUTE Holidays leaves no stone unturned when it comes to satisfying their customers. "What our customers need have been included in our mainstream offerings. Right from offering Air-Tickets to Booking Hotel Accommodations including Homestays and Specialty Lodgings like Cruise or Tree Houses or Glamping, Special Experiences Tours and we have much more to offer. Allied services which are not our mainstream offerings are also provided to our clients so that all their travel needs are fulfilled at one-
stop. Other than these, we at SILKROUTE Holidays also provide Passport Assistance, Car Rental (Local or Outstation) and Travel Insurance. For customers looking to make trips to religious destinations, we assist them by booking their air or train tickets or helicopter tickets in some cases, along with Darshan tickets at religious places", shares Deven Bafna.

SILKROUTE Holidays has about 4000 itineraries all over the world and about 1000 itineraries for all states of India and all of them are customizable as per clients' wishes. Every itinerary has possibilities of adding destinations depending on airlines they fly with. So, the options are not only endless but also come with maximum flexibilities and optimum use of time and money. Elaborating on this, Deven explains, "The numbers of airlines and routes across domestic and international sectors are increasing at rapid speeds. Due to long-standing experience of planning routes for a destination and various airlines operating across different parts of the world, we, at SILKROUTE Holidays are able to provide the fastest and cheapest connections to any destination in the world. We also assist with visa requirements for stopovers, baggage allowances for particular airlines, and much more. Every traveler is unique and has a unique idea about what experience they expect for their most deserved holiday. So we spend a lot of time talking to clients and understand what they expect and then in 2-3 sessions we prepare an itinerary that covers everything that they want."

Jiten Bafna, Co-Founder

SILKROUTE Holidays is always striving to look out for new travel prospects for new destinations all the time. While most satisfied customers always return to SILKROUTE Holidays for repeat services, the firm has also developed unique Client Relationship Software (CRS) which holds information about clients including their preferences. The same CRS has the complete data of all the itineraries with all tours and experiences option of a particular destination inbuilt. This helps SILKROUTE Holidays in providing options to its customers for holidays in just a few-clicks along with quotes for selected itinerary. SILKROUTE Holidays also sends itineraries and daily schedules with booking vouchers to clients on their WhatsApp and personal emails, including travel advisories and alerts of flight changes if any.

SILKROUTE Holidays has about 4000 itineraries all over the world and about 1000 itineraries for all states of India and all of them are customizable as per clients' wishes

Thriving on Hardwork and Experience
SILKROUTE Holidays' vast experience in designing and executing holiday programs for travelers for years and the firm's passion to make their holidays more than worth every penny that they have spent gives it an absolute edge over its competitors in the industry. We provide the best individual program for each guest of ours to deliver their utmost satisfaction which needs time, patience and knowledge. "Without our client, we are nothing. They are the most important key to success in our past and will be in the Future is our travelers. Our motivated and passionate staff members are key drivers for our growth story. Satisfied and happy travelers and growing network of our firm are some of the major factors making SILKROUTE Holidays one of the fastest-growing holiday company year-on-year. We are best producers for all domestic airlines for Maharashtra region and we have also been ranked amongst Top 50 Regional Producers of India by OTM ­ fairfest Media", speaks Deven.

Over the years, SILKROUTE Holidays has expanded its reach across Pune, Ahmadabad, and Surat with more than 25 employees working onboard. In the years to come, this online travel booking platform is looking for expansion across various locations. Deven adds, "We want to spread our wings but very cautiously as we need passionate people who believe in the same motto of service. We are looking at increasing our online presence by adding content about the knowledge and possibilities of experiences available. Starting with specialty group departure to various destinations like Aurora chaser program, Christmas in Santa Village, Cherry blossom in Japan and Honeymoons in Fiji. We are also looking to explore opportunities across the B2B market along with some special products to boost our business. We are constantly working on numerous itineraries and it will turn out to be very unique in nature." With time, SILKROUTE Holidays wants people to be more aware of the advantages of traveling while keeping their own comfort intact and how a travel expert can make their experience much better than what one can go online and buy.