When Rachna Gulati, former finance controller at Wunderman International decided to turn entrepreneur, it was more than her intuition and inner calling that led to the creation of myholytour.com - an online travel portal specialising in religious tourism.
According to Gulati, the segment is growing at a rate of 30-40 per cent per annum, while the overall travel and tourism market in India is growing at 5 per cent. Gulati saw an opportunity to push the segment's growth further by starting her own religious tourism portal.The portal myholytour.com provides religious packages across states in India. Through various tie-ups and packages, the company intends to provide the best experience to clients, while at the same time, optimise the cost of travel.
Religious tourism, says Gulati, is travel, but with the core motive to experience religious forms, or related dimensions such as art, culture, traditions, and architecture. The packages include individual, as well as group tours. The focus is on Indian locations (in-bound travel) as India has numerous religious and spiritual destinations, as well as diverse cultures.
The services comprise many facets of religious tourism including pilgrimages, missionary travel, leisure (fellowship) vacations, faith-based cruising, crusades, conventions and rallies, retreats, monastery visits and guest-stays, and faith-based camps.
The portal offers the dual services of providing content/information of all the religious places in India, as well as the facility to book travel-related services to that place. It provides information on nearly 600 religious places belonging to different faiths such as Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. The portal offers both online and offline booking platforms where pilgrims have the convenience to customise their package.
Each package provides information about the places covered in the circuit in the form of overview, interesting facts, main tourist attraction, places to visit, and important events.
"The company's key aim is to deliver on a single promise to our customers - 'great religious and spiritual travel experience through technology and services'," says Gulati, who is currently running the business on a boot-strapped model.