Philippa is definitely the most knowledgeable and passionate India Travel Expert I have met from Great Britain. I don’t think anyone has travelled within India, researched, and created innovative products, like Philippa has.
She also has the unique experience of working in multiple roles within the travel industry, from Chef, Overseas Tour Operator, Hotel Marketer, DMC Head (Local Indian Inbound Tour Operator), Hotelier, Consultant, Writer etc…And she has left her mark in each and every role she has essayed, with flourish and aplomb.
Her writing is unique, better than all the India guidebooks I have read, because she has conveyed all the nuances of India, better than a travel writer, who is just assigned for the job. I have worked with Guidebook writers, the best, who wrote for the most iconic guidebooks of their country, but I found them, needing hand-holding a lot, despite writing multiple editions of the same book! With Philippa, it’s like reliving your journey every time you read her blog, books or just sipping some wine, listening to accounts of her just concluded adventure.
Those who know Philippa know she is a storehouse of valuable information about India, including every nuance about our country, including tips and unique experiences, only she has spotted, making her unique among the crowd, which British, American, Canadian, Australian, and Kiwi travelers will easily identify with, and can follow verbatim. Reading Philippa’s writing is akin to have completed the journey, and then embarking on it, will make her writing explode into a larger than life experience!
I feel the best way to gain a lot of value and save a ton of money, is to read her books and blog, her writings are the gateway to her incredible expertise and bountiful connections across India, which will turn you into an VVIP.
I hope my testimonial helps you in enjoying an incredible and memorable journey to India, with your very own India Expert, Philippa.
“India is, the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend and the great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only” -Mark Twain.
Philippa Kaye today does exactly what Mark Twain did for India. She is one of the finest Brand Ambassadors for our country. By profession, she is a veteran India travel specialist who probably knows India and the wider south Asia far better than many of us.
She has boldly gone to more places which many of us have yet to venture out and she is at home be it in a working antique bus sharing her seat with locals, goats and a mini vegetable market along treacherous mountain roads or in the finest hotels.
www.memsahibinindia.com is her blog which I recommend as a must read for those who want to know India differently, beyond the guidebooks.
Look out for her novel, Escape to India and I would encourage you to follow her on FB.
As a small DMC in a crowded market, it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. Enter Philippa who joined Destinations Unlimited as a consultant to help us fine tune our offering. Determining from us our target market, passion points and client demographic she then assisted with helping us to create the right product portfolio to complement this. In addition, she took the time to introduce to relevant suppliers, and train the team on the products as well as communication and sales techniques to use particular to the inbound market.
We also used Indian Experiences to create and design our new luxury, yet experiential brand, Beyond the Taj. They conceptualised the product, again made the relevant introductions and sourced team members for us with the experience and knowledge base required. They also designed our website, wrote the content and put together the photo library.
Philippa’s knowledge, ability to think about experiences on a completely different level coupled with her enthusiasm and boundless energy has been invaluable in assisting us with many of the luxury, small-group tours that we run. Whether a high-end group of art collectors, solo women’s groups, luxury wildlife tour, Philippa never fails to dive into her little black book and find just the right person, whatever the destination, to curate unique experiences and ensure that we keep one step ahead of our competitors.
We commissioned Philippa to research and develop our new India offering and gave her a brief to come up with the very best India had to offer in experiential travel. She pulled in her formidable contacts and utilized all of her very extensive knowledge and freely and openly put it all at our disposal. Her passion and enthusiasm for the country was deeply infectious and we were delighted with the results and our India programme has gone from strength to strength – in no small part due to her fantastic work in building the foundations.
India is such a large, diverse country offering visitors an endless variety of incredible experiences. As a small tour operator based in the UK we were (happily) a little overwhelmed by product when we decided to launch our India programme and struggling to nail down the most authentic experiences to offer our clients. Step in PK! What she doesn’t know about India – the ‘real’ India – isn’t worth knowing. Her extensive knowledge was invaluable during our research process: she assisted us in separating the wheat from the chaff and introduced us to valuable contacts. I would highly recommend PK to anyone requiring assistance and expert opinion when launching or developing an India programme.
The webinars from Indian Experiences are very useful and they are helping me to discover another way to travel through “Incredible India”.Phillipa´s knowledge, experience and energy is fantastic!It´s absolutely amazing the way she express her love to India, thanks for sharing it.
Since I have actively promoted India as destination to my South African client base I have relied on the knowledge gleaned from the regular posts and recommendations made by Gwen and Philippa on social media.
Indian Experiences has opened up a world of “off-the-beaten-track” destinations for my company Curious Journeys to explore and to incorporate into its offering for travelers. I feel confident to tap into Gwen and Philippa’s vast experience of the travel industry and their passion for the places in India they have visited and explored. Gwen has been so kind to give me advice and tips through the past year as I develop my itineraries.
I have attended all of the Indian Experiences India Webinar Series hosted by Philippa. Not only are the webinars enjoyable, but very informative. It is obvious to the audience that there has been much research, planning and thought put into the presentation of each and every one.
I personally thank Indian Experiences for taking the bold step to present these lectures. I can assure you that Curious Journeys has gained tremendously from attending these sessions.
I wish the Indian Experiences team the best for the future, and I hope to be able to maintain my relationship with them for a long time to come.
If I had to use three words to describe Philippa they would be professional, passionate and ebullient. Her knowledge of India in all its facets is extraordinary but more than that, she has a determination, bordering on an obsession in discovering new and unique ways to showcase destinations and then helping develop the experiences and the stories to accompany them. Whether looking at mainstream destinations from a whole new perspective or disappearing into the more remote corners of India, she never fails to find a new angle, story, viewpoint and nothing pleases her more than sharing these with likeminded travellers. She is as comfortable in simple rural houses as she is in the more fabulous of the five-star hotels in the country and has an innate understanding of India and its people.To say that she enjoys a challenge would be an understatement, she has boundless energy and the path she has taken to take the off-beat to the mainstream is not an easy one, but one which she embraces with a single minded determination to ensure the traveller appreciates so much more than a mainstream tour could ever provide.
I have worked with Philippa since she first started as a south India specialist in 1997. We worked together when she was setting up Partnership Travel and then again when she moved to set up Ampersand Travel Ltd. She has always showed great enthusiasm for the country and professionalism when dealing with everyone from hoteliers to DMC’s to her clients. She has an inherent understanding of India and how it works and with the great relationships that she has built up with all her suppliers and her never ending list of contacts, plus having lived in the country for eleven years and her ability to think ‘outside the box’ when planning itineraries and tailoring them to her clients specific requirements, we knew that she was the ideal person to consult when setting up Globe Travel Centre. She assisted us in itinerary planning and also writing and helped us have product differentiation throughout our portfolio of itineraries. She is enthusiastic, good fun, professional and knows India better than most. I would have no hesitation in recommending Philippa to anyone who needs a consultant for assisting with their India product.
We have worked with Indian Experiences twice on website projects. Philippa and Gwen offer good suggestions on design and content and are keen to stick to agreed timelines and to the agreed brief although there is room for innovation as the projects takes shape. Their knowledge on off- beat South Asia is impressive and combined with their commitment to showcase relevant suppliers who work well with our own values would be why we would continue to work with them in the future.
“Having travelled throughout India for two months as a twenty-something backpacker a few decades ago, I experienced the richness of the place: its people, culture, food, religions and enduring traditions. Oh, and – of course – the iconic Taj Mahal.
But India is SO much more than a monument, SO much more peaceful and attractive than her traffic-choked cities, and SO much greater than the Golden Triangle. Having sent travellers to India for more than a dozen years, I discovered Indian Experiences and in my opinion they are the only industry resource who thinks outside the norm. Their passion for their adopted country is evident in the recommendations of places and properties that are relatively undiscovered treasures and reveal much about the “real” India.
They knows the best people and tour guides, are very well respected and committed to responsible tourism.
I returned a week ago from a journey I called, “India Done Different.” Indian Experiences helped design an itinerary that incorporated philanthropy, people, places and properties that reminded me why I love India – almost as much as they do.” I would thoroughly recommend them as a resource for anyone who is looking to plan a trip to India for their clients, or put together a collection of unique itineraries, they not only listen to what it is YOU want to sell, but read between the lines and come up with ideas and experiences you would never have otherwise known existed.
I bumped into Philippa Kaye on social networks by complete chance approximately 4 years back. My attention was immediately caught by the outstanding quality of her very enticing write-ups and her talent to share her passion for the Indian-Subcontinent. From that day onwards I have not missed any her posts both on Facebook and her blog memsahibinindia.com. As a creator of tailor-made tours to India for French travelers, Philippa has been a major source of inspiration and ideas. She has a great advantage over foreign-based travel designers. She lives in India and is constantly on the look out for new travel options and experiences. In recent years many small-scale operators and boutique hotels have emerged across India. Needless to say it is not easy to find one’s way through the maze of options and to sort out the wheat from the chaff, especially from afar. Her suggestions which she later compiled on her website www.indianexperiences.com have been of tremendous assistance in creating extremely original often off the beaten track itineraries. I know that whatever is featured has been tried and tested and can be relied upon. I have drawn a lot on her material and am most grateful for her amazing research work. And whenever the need arises or when in doubt I call up Philippa for details and additional information. I very much appreciate how she makes time for you. The twist of the story with Philippa is that we nearly never met except by complete chance and very briefly at the Jai Mahal at the time of GITB 3 years back. As far as I am concerned I believe that Philippa Kaye’s contribution to Indian Tourism is very important. She has put in the limelight many small operators who have excellent ground knowledge of their destinations. They are a whiff of fresh air in the industry and for sure they will change the face of tourism in India. The days of the Golden Triangle and classical tours are over. Time to open new horizons for this incredible nation !
Gwen has been managing the social media marketing for Living Heritage Koslanda since February 2017. This was the first time we had gone down the route of hiring someone to take on this aspect of the company and we have been really impressed with the results so far. Her background in bespoke luxury travel, as well as her 5 years living and working in Sri Lanka, means that she has a perfect insight into what our property is all about. Something I don’t feel a standard social media marketing agency would be able to grasp. She produces consistently stylish content for our social media channels, which has really captured the feel of our resort. I am amazed that even with a small niche property she is able to come up with unique and original content every day.
Gwen has optimised our online content, created a blog for our website, and project managed the creation and content writing of a new website. Through these social media efforts we have been able to collaborate this year with some excellent travel bloggers and social media influencers who have stayed and reviewed our property and collaborated with us on some excellent social media campaigns. All of this has really widened our audience reach.
Gwen also runs our Facebook Ad campaigns and creates traditional marketing materials such as power point presentations and advertising material for the travel trade. Ultimately the success of any marketing campaign lies in increased bookings and we have certainly seen an upturn in direct bookings to our hotel. This can certainly be contributed largely to the social media activities conducted by Gwen.
Philippa’s knowledge about the sub continent is equivalent to reading a book complete with twists and turns and a plot filled with anecdotes, incidents and life as we Indians live it. This all can only be achieved once you have lived in this country as an ordinary citizen & been able to touch the hearts of fellow beings around you.
Such knowledge no book can give and no tales can tell, this comes only by becoming & accepting India as one.
Philippa has achieved this rare feat and therefore her firm grip on subject & sea of knowledge about India as a sales person makes it into a brilliant albeit effortless pitch.
Being in the tourism Industry for years we have met and worked with numerous individuals. Some you remember, most you forget but couple leave their impact. When I think of passion, someone who is meticulously professional, candid, genuine and no pretentions, one name which instantly comes to me is, Gwen! I have known her personally for more than 16 years. Thinking of it now, back then she would devise, plan routes, itineraries and product which were just extraordinary, the so called out-of-the-box of today! The time when most of the tour operators were busy churning Golden Triangles plus something. She would delicately handcraft each of the sojourns and ensure it is executed to perfection. It was great learning and knowledge sharing working with her as an Indian DMC and in her role as overseas tour operator based in the UK, Real Holidays. She transcends the obvious. Her love for undiluted tourism is amazing and infectious. True to her beliefs, Gwen adds an excellent value to any project from setting it up to developing it into well oiled system. She loves and knows India and Srilanka like back of her hand. We as an boutique DMC would always seek her advise and believe in a product she would endorse such is the trust on her capabilities.
Philippa Kaye (PK) is one of those rare persons highly valued but unfortunately in the endangered list. She works with a passion and her eye for detail is a nightmare for the managers of my hotels. Nothing but the best is her motto and she always views things from a very discerning guest’s point of view.
PK can be listed as one of the few overseas specialists that has an amazing understanding of the country, together with an in-depth knowledge of the destination and all that it has on offer.
Philippa has been a regular source of advice to Real Holidays over a long period of time, writing professional material for our brochures and website, constructing itineraries for our India Portfolio, and providing a creative marketing input at various stages of our development. She has delivered all of the above ahead of schedule, with fluency and professionalism, and has been consistently good value. Philippa is someone Real Holidays would always choose to call on for an expert opinion.
Globe Travel Centre wanted launch a premium brochure on India featuring exclusive and exciting itinerary ideas that were not akin any of the standard itineraries one sees on brochures. We wanted to celebrate India’s diversity and introduce a unique collection that gave travellers a choice of unforgettable experiences. A project like this required the involvement of someone who truly understood India and its nuances. Having worked with Philippa several years back when we were putting together our North India itinerary collection, I knew that there couldn’t be anyone better to lead this project than Indian Experiences. Working against some impossibly tight deadlines, Philippa and her team worked closely with us to launch our “10 Indian Holidays of a Lifetime” collection that is already garnering great reviews. The brochure would not have been possible without Indian Experience’s rich knowledge of India, their capacity to think out of the box, and their black book of contacts.
Philippa is one of those rare people… passionately involved and connects deeply. Above all to be in an industry promoting India, she is a true Indophile – a country that at times bewilders her, as it does us all, yet she loves India passionately enough to seek answers and resolves any angst with heavy doses of her own brand of humor. She has time and again turned us into a heap of tears and laughter begging her to stop while recounting some of her first encounters with India.
I have known her through her years of living in Kanha, Delhi and Jaipur, witnessed her compassionate handling of the people working with her and how she strives to understand their situations and always helps them through their various issues. To say that she is widely travelled in India and knows India like her home, maybe even better, would be an understatement. But it is not just the road miles she has covered. Her knowledge of India is powerful as it comes with an intense understanding of its people and culture, a sense of respect coupled with awe and a wish to understand and live it. I think, given half a chance she would rather live back here as she is truly someone who has had many lives and relationships with India.
Gwen was responsible for organising my seamless trip to Sri Lanka. She is organised, efficient and professional.
Gwen considered my preferences, requests and needs, introducing me to services and hoteliers that were all excellent. I unhesitatingly recommend her.
I am the owner of SpinMonkey and we are one of the experience providers listed on their website. We definitely got benefited by them as now we get direct calls and emails from the agents in United Kingdom, we had much more business than we were having before after linking with this exceptionally good company.
Travel companies in India just wanted to sell the tours which they were selling from last 20-30yrs thus we were ignored and a company like INDIAN EXPERIENCES was nothing less than a blessing for us.
I know Indian Experiences from day 1 when they started thinking about their operations. Both the ladies working on it have a lot of experience in the travel industry while working for few of the best travel companies in India.
In such a small time span they worked day and night to collect all the best experiences in different cities of our country.
Philippa also known as Memsahib in India has excellent knowledge about the country which is being used in the operations now. The best part about their company is that they experience each and every activity themselves and they promote it only if they like it enough(non-biased)
Their idea is to eliminate the scammers and touts in our country who are making money in the name of so-called tourism. Giving the best to the end consumer and all under one roof. Curating such a portal online and linking the tour company directly with the tour agent abroad was much needed in a country like ours.
It is surely not easy for any foreigner to setup something like this in India and their love for India is immensely deep which is seen in their work.
I am glad to have come across Philippa and Gwen‘s Instagram posts in Amritsar. After following their social feeds for some time, I came to know about the marvellous work they have been doing.
As a new travel experience startup, it was seemingly difficult to reach out to my target audience despite having great services. We longed for a partner that could connect us to the right people for our business. That’s when I thought to contact Philippa.
It took me nearly 8 months to be able to make it to their trusted partners’ list which shows how thoroughly they perform their research while ensuring they have the best in their list. They are particular with the partners they work with which makes the list full of high-quality vendors.
We have been able to receive a good amount of leads via their platform and their social media exposures. We hope to continue to work with IE for long.
I am really happy to be associated with Indian Experiences as special interest travel operator. This is best group of companies if you want to do something different while your travel in India. Philippa and Gwen are wonderful people with lot of knowledge and experience of travelling across India.
Gwen is one of the most professional, kind-hearted people in hospitality we have worked with thus far on our travels. Prior to our arrival at Living Heritage Koslanda, Gwen prepared us with lots of information, making it clear what to expect — which made our experience comfortable and worry free. She was extremely insightful about the property and set realistic goals for what activities we should do while on the property. She checked in with us a few times throughout our stay and provided on-the-spot feedback to the content we were creating from the property. Gwen has the unique ability to create an experience for her guests, rather than the standard hotel bed and breakfast. She ensured that we’d have an experience that we would never forget and we look forward to working with her on future projects!