What if you were on vacation last week in Mumbai - who would you call? What about your family back in your home country? How would they know what was going on. How could a foreigner in a city in crisis find a local network that could provide the kind of support that would really help.
What about the Embassy? The Consulate? The Travel Agent?
What is required is an organization that has made its local networks the foundation of its service. Trufflepig, my son in law's travel business, is such an organization. Here is the proof of the pudding:
I’ve been meaning to send an email.This is the first opportunity.
Above all I want to express my sincere thanks for your personal concern and professionalism related to our episode here.
I am presumptuous enough to speak on behalf of the group here to say we are all sincerely appreciative of your interest and diligence and support.
My children (A***** and Cor****) are highly complimentary, and very grateful, for your timely updates. It was very comforting to them in a time of high anxiety.
Ironically, our group did not feel overly threatened or even overly concerned, despite being close to the heart of the terrorism.
Certainly we felt it, and were on high alert, but unlike everyone on that side of the ‘pond’, we had the benefit of first hand knowledge here and could keep our situation in perspective. For those there in Canada, unfamiliar with Mumbai and getting only the CNN view, the situation was likely more terrifying.
In any case, we got through that travel ‘hiccup’ without too much problem, thanks in great part to your guidance from afar, and the good management assistance of your aide-de-camp, G*** T****t.
Our group got out of Mumbai before sunrise, checked out of a dark hotel via flashlight, and whisked to the airport.
Now of course we are at the Malabar in Fort Kochin and quickly getting back into the rhythm of the trip.
It has been nothing short of outstanding so far (even our shortened, chaotic visit to Mumbai)
The people here at this hotel have already been more than hospitable and generous, due in no small part to your arrangements and their obvious respect for you.
So much thanks again as we carry on this marvellous adventure. We will talk to you soon, maybe share a Kingfisher, when we return to Toronto.
H J and All
Now that is heartfelt. Not only did the family in Mumbai feel supported but so did their family back home. Charlie and his team have been on the phone the entire period of the crisis.
I offer this up not simply because I am proud of my son in law, but because his approach to travel is also part of the revolution in all business that I see unfolding. The new business puts the relationship and the personal first - this is where the value if found.
All business is undergoing the same kind of wrenching change. My bet is that "Commodity Travel" - price driven and set up by people who know nothing about where you are going and who have no local organization on the ground will have a tough time. Look at all those in Bangkok right now who are "lost" and "helpless". All they have is a cheap ticket and their hotel reservations. Also what did they experience in Thailand anyway: a beach, a few good meals?
The essence of Truffelpig is found in the metaphor. Pigs find precious Truffles that others cannot. Trufflepig is 3 young men who are themselves real "Travelers" and who were trained at B & R, has developed personal relationships with the "Pigs" of each area - people and local organizations that really know the place.
This is the experience that they offer their clients - to be able to visit a place supported by insiders. To surround the traveler with the experience of true local expertise and the feeling of being cared for as a person.
It all works because of the use of the network effect. The 3 founders look after their networks and they themselves have years of personal experience of the places.
Everyone wins. The local's get a flow of thoughtful guests. Truflepig do not have to "own" the costs of the network. The Guests get an unparalleled experience and the security of knowing that they have a deep back up.
Trusted Space comes to Travel!