IWTA speaks with Minu Chawla – Founder of RoadsWellTravelled, a boutique tourism development consultancy

TD Guest Writer

Guest Writers are not employed, compensated or governed by TD, opinions and statements are from the specific writer directly

Meet Minu Chawla– Founder of RoadsWellTravelled, a boutique tourism development consultancy

 

 

Early Beginnings

Minu has only been in the tourism industry since 2016, entering with a background as a business analyst and strategist, and a passion for travel.

Her first role in tourism was with the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, where her manager took a chance on her, with no background in tourism, but with enthusiasm and a strategic approach.  She worked on several different projects for RAK Tourism, including as Project Manager for the World’s longest zipline.

Her company, www.RoadsWellTraveled.com  was originally an e-commerce platform connecting artisans across the world with customers, virtual museums and craft-based tourism, which Minu has now developed into a fully-fledged tourism consultancy company, leveraging her passion for travel and her strategic mindset.

 

 

Passion

Minu exudes a passion for 360-degree destination and product development with the community and their interests at heart.  Her favourite project to date has been the Buddhist Tourism Circuit in India & Nepal – a diagnostic study and strategy update for the Asian Development Bank.

Working as an independent consultant, Minu leverages a network of specialist consultants who join projects based on the expertise required at the time.  She has developed this extensive database of contacts through focused networking with likeminded people at every opportunity.

As a result of the Buddhist Tourism Circuit project, Minu has recognised the impact on the country and communities of countryside to city migration, and the potential benefits that well planned and managed tourism development could offer to rural communities. With the creation of new tourism developments in these less-visited regions, employment could be provided to local communities. Minu’s long-term goals are to work with the Indian Government to identify and develop such projects.

Challenges of COVID

With the closure of borders, domestic tourism with India has grown exponentially.  This has enabled Indians to explore their own country, and opened up opportunities for the future creation of new destinations – Latent potential for new opportunities, created sustainably.

The younger generation has had their eyes opened to the opportunities for travel & exploration within India, which is something Minu would like to help develop.

Opportunities within the Travel Industry

Minu recognises that travel is emotional.  But that the emotion and passion is often not reflected behind the scenes, where it becomes more business oriented.  She would love to see the passion and emotion return to the entire tourism industry, but is also concerned with community impact.  Her desire is to see more community involvement in the development of destination projects.

Inspiration

Minu does not really find inspiration in people, but rather in travel generally.  Finding solutions and solving issues is what inspires her – particularly community-based solutions.

Future Vision

Having started out in management consulting, working with a tech giant and governments, she loves the role of the independent consultant, and dreams of applying her knowledge and experience at a tourism policy level within government.

Bullish & passionate about India, she wants that future work to be in India, supporting the country in becoming the best destination in can be, at every level.  She sees tourism as a solution to migration issues, environment and others, and believes that the industry has immense power to facilitate change.

Advice to younger self

Be brave in ambitions. Don’t hold yourself back. Take chances and risks. Seek financial independence, which can be really empowering. Be aware of imposter syndrome & actively fight it.

Advice to girls wishing to enter tourism

Tourism is a fragmented industry. Know what excites you.  Seek out where you can add value & do what you love.  Know yourself & your own strengths. There are no straightforward paths in the industry, beyond the traditional, but lots of opportunity.

 


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