To provide more broad based services to the traveling fraternity we have decided to foray into LTC (Leave Travel Concession) packages. For the uninitiated, LTC is nothing but a facility provided by the employer both from Government as well as private sectors to their employees for undertaking travel. It is admissible to all employees in the approved scales of pay after completion of one year’s continuous service on the date of journey. Employees can generally avail the facility once in a block of two years.
LTC aka LTA covers travel for oneself and his/her family. Family for the purposes of LTA means, self, parents, dependent siblings, spouse (even if he/she is working) and children. Generally a few conditions need to be fulfilled for availing LTA like one can get LTA only if he or she has applied for leave from the company and have actually traveled. Another important condition is that LTC covers only the travel costs and not the entire cost of the holiday. That means whether you fly, hop on to a train or take a public transport, you will have to actually produce the tickets to claim your LTA. This means you are required to retain your air, rail or public transport ticket.
Foraying into the LTC sector was not an easy task as that involved making tailor made packages suited to an individual’s age, family size and list of preferences. Making available the LTC packages through our outlet at Rawatbhata was a huge challenge to us. There were two important considerations involved. First it involved making our executives understand the nuances and making little adjustments on dealing with customers directly hitherto dealt only through online mode. Secondly it was also an opportunity to make a rapport with the clients for a travel association that went a long way than a single journey. This tantamount to going that extra mile to give some special leverage, by no means a mean task.
Our brief experience has made us aware of few things for future. Generally LTC availing people do a lot of planning beforehand and are mostly in the age group bracket starting from the wrong side of 30. Their travel aspirations are family oriented and they vouch for everything pre arranged and having more value for money (read more facilities). These observations came in good stead when we were making customized LTC packages for the North East in line with the Tourism Ministry’s boost to 8 North Eastern states of Tripura, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Sikkim. Certain states like Sikkim have few restricted zones for which prior permission is needed. We arranged for the permits before hand.
Arranging all these meant our executives were in their toes, to be aware of every bit of details of a place and answering the questions (sometime weird) with a Himalayan patience as they ranged from timing of the local zoo to the menu of the restaurant.
We have had our share of laughter and lighter moments during this time. One incident that threw one of our executives off guard was that one Gentleman after coming back from his LTC tour bitterly complaining that they should have told him earlier that the hotel where he put up made Puris using mustard oils!