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Go Heritage India Journeys Review

Charlotte, North...
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Go Heritage India Journeys Review

We recently completed a 15 tour of India that we had arranged through Go Heritage India Journeys. Before choosing Go Heritage, I did not find a lot of reviews about them, so I thought I would share our experience for the benefit of others.

For background, we were six people traveling together. My wife and I are originally from India, and we were taking two American couples for their first trip to India. Our trip was from January 5th to January 18th, and it covered Delhi/Varanasi/Khajuraho/Agra/Ranthambore/Jaipur/Aurangabad/Mumbai. I know – very hectic! We chose Go Heritage back in June, 2011 to make all arrangements: hotels, English speaking guides/van/train tickets/having representatives meet us at each destination. We paid them a 20% deposit back in June, and all flights and hotels were confirmed the same month. The balance of the payment was made upon arrival in Delhi.

In summary, Go Heritage tried hard to do the right things. I think they have limited resources, and were often forced to be reactionary rather than proactive in making sure everything went perfectly. I will discuss some of the issues we had shortly.

First the good part. They are extremely easy to reach via phone and eager to please. We were always met by a representative at each of our destinations, and never felt on our own. They provided guides everywhere and the van and driver were provided as scheduled.

What I figured out during our journey, is that most travel agents in India (unless they are very large national agents), simply outsource the transport, guide, and representative duties to a local travel agency. This necessarily meant that they were at the mercy of the quality provided by their partners. Some of the guides were excellent (Khajuraho, Mumbai, Orchaa, Agra) and some not so good. The guide provided on the first day was terrible and completely disinterested. To Go Heritage’s credit, they replaced him the next day with someone much better. Of course, in places where we were only touring one day, you were stuck with what you got. Delhi was a little surprising – it seems that the guide here was also outsourced, even though I believe that Go Heritage is based there. The quality of the “representative” was also a mixed bag, but since their role was limited to meeting you and escorting you to the hotel, and then seeing you off to your next destination, it did not matter much. The partners also did not know your itinerary or things like Go Heritage was to provide bottled water in the van, so we were often missing the water.

Now for some issues. Upon landing at Delhi, we were met promptly by a Go Heritage representative. We learned quickly that there was an issue with our original hotel (Le Meridien) for the first of our three nights in Delhi, but Go Heritage had booked us at the Taj Palace – a nicer and more expensive hotel. Of course, this meant we had to repack and transfer to the Le Meridien the next day, which was inconvenient and ate into our day. Overall, just a minor irritation since hotels were supposedly confirmed 6 months ago.

We were to fly to Varanasi the fourth morning. Our flight was to leave at 9 am, and we were told by the representative that the transport would pick us up at 7 am. Upon trying to check in online the previous night, I discovered that a schedule change had occurred, and the airline had canceled that particular flight and moved us to an 11 am flight. I had to get up early to meet the Go Heritage representative at 7 am and inform him of this. All airlines in India revise their schedules for winter, and even though this change had occurred in October, no one at Go Heritage had bothered to reconfirm our flights. Again, I suspect it is a question of manpower.

This particular airline change was minimal in impact. We lost some time but were able to squeeze in everything on our agenda in Varanasi. We were not so lucky in Jaipur.

We were to depart Jaipur for Aurangabad around 11 am. We were routed through Mumbai, and had about 50 minutes to make a connection. In spite of the mix-up in Delhi, again no one had bothered to reconfirm our flights. I got a call around 5 pm the previous evening, informing me that we had an issue with flights. It turns out that Air India had (in their winter schedule) canceled our connecting flight in Mumbai, and put us on an flight that departed 20 minutes BEFORE we landed there from Jaipur! And, there were no other flights on any airline for us to reach Aurangabad from Mumbai after we landed.

There was also a possibility that the Air India flight might not fly to Mumbai as there was a possibility of a strike by the Air India pilots as they had not received their salaries from the government (it is a government run airline). Although Go Heritage tried to use this as an excuse for our troubles, this was irrelevant since there was no way for us to connect through Mumbai. Our choice was to switch to other (private) airlines and connect through Delhi.

We were asked to go to the Air India office at the airport and see if Air India would switch us to the other airlines at their cost. The airfares were quite a bit higher since we were buying tickets at the last moment. Unfortunately we were unable to get to the right people at Air India because of a festival that day, and were asked to return the next morning.

Frustrated, I called Subrato Mukherjee, the owner, who took charge, and we eventually went to Aurangabad via Delhi. We did have to pay the fare difference, although I blame Go Heritage for not doing their homework and rechecking our flights after the winter schedules were published in October (3 months earlier).

There was more frustration to follow upon landing at Aurangabad on Sunday night. The main reason for our visit to Aurangabad was to see the Ajanta and Ellora caves. The representative who met us informed us that the Ajanata caves were closed on Mondays! This was the normal schedule, so this was a snafu in the itinerary put together by Go Heritage that should never have happened. We were to leave for Mumbai on the morning of the 17th, and tour Mumbai the 17th and 18th. Instead we decided to have our flights changed to the evening of the 17th, so we could visit the Ajanta caves, and cut our sightseeing in Mumbai down to one day. To Go Heritage’s credit, they rescheduled flights promptly at their expense.

A couple of other points: Go Heritage tried quite hard to steer us to different hotels in Khajuraho and Agra than we had originally booked. We did agree to change in Khajuraho, and have no means of telling if the Radisson was a better choice than the Taj, but it was more than adequate. We did not switch the Agra hotel – the Wyndham Grand – and it was fabulous, so we were not sure if the push to change hotels was motivated by trying to save money since they had paid quite a bit more for our first night in Delhi, or a genuine concern to give us a better experience.

Also, there is was a hard push from Go Heritage to steer us to specific shops for shopping. In Varanasi, when I told the representative that we did not want to go the shop he recommended since we had a particular shop in mind, his boss called me and told me that the shop they were recommending was government approved, was considerably cheaper than the “tourist trap” I had in mind. Unfortunately we believed him and discovered none of this was true, and the shop they recommended was indeed a tourist trap. Subrato also pushed me to visit a shop of “his friend” in Jaipur. We ignored this as we were smarter by this time. I understand the need to generate revenue through commissions, but I found this sleazy. There were similar “opportunities” in other places that we also avoided.

Overall, we had a wonderful trip. Go Heritage was a good partner and eager to please. I think with a little more manpower, they could avoid having to react to some issues and prevent them from occurring in the first place. But, we never felt alone and they are an honest group that tried hard to provide everything they had promised. The hotels they had recommended were all wonderful.

Would I use them again? Yes, but I would probably be a little more careful of double checking things myself rather than assuming everything was perfect, specially for an extensive itinerary as ours. It was fairly easy for us to deal with things since we are from India, but the issues might have been more stressful for foreigners who were new to India.

The Delhi Way Day Tours
Walking Tours, Cultural Tours, Historical & Heritage Tours, Private Tours, Shopping Tours
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Gift & Speciality Shops
Singapore, Singapore
2 posts
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1. Re: Go Heritage India Journeys Review

Thanks! Your feedback is most helpful. I'm about to book a trip with them as well. Is there any other advice you would give?

Charlotte, North...
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26 posts
28 reviews
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2. Re: Go Heritage India Journeys Review

First, double check all hotel and air reservations yourself. We pointed out issues with our reservation with Le Meridien in Delhi, but still had an issue. Insist on confirmation numbers at each hotel. Double check all flight timings.

Tell Go Heritage that you would prefer not to receive a hard sell on visiting "recommended" shops at each destination. I am not sure this will help as they make money from referrals. You will have more leverage with the guides - tell them their tip will reflect them taking you to genuine shops and not the typical tourist traps.

Enjoy your trip!

Singapore, Singapore
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3. Re: Go Heritage India Journeys Review

Thanks! Appreciate that. I've asked for the confirmation details, but have yet to receive it (I only asked today, so I'm hoping to get it by tomorrow morning). If I don't get those, I won't pay them a cent. Not even for the deposit.

Washington DC...
9 posts
1 review
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4. Re: Go Heritage India Journeys Review

Did you have book our trip with Go Heritage India

Washington DC...
9 posts
1 review
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5. Re: Go Heritage India Journeys Review

Hi, we are planning to use Go Heritage Tours, can you advice on what hotels you have opted?

Havant UK
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1 post
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6. Re: Go Heritage India Journeys Review

We have just returned from India, having spent most of our time there on a tour of Delhi/Rajasthan and Agra with Go Heritage.

The service we received was overall excellent.

The two-week tour of Rajhastan very well organised, agents and guides at each stop all worked efficiently. Our driver, Michael, and his Ambassador car, were exceptional. Michael spoke perfect English and was very knowledgeable of the area - he really made the holiday work.

With a couple of exceptions, the hotels we stayed at were fine, some very good. Considering we opted for 3star tourist hotels they were good value.

Overall, I would highly recommend this company. They were always available, replied promptly to emails when we were planning, and readily incorporated changes in their standard itinerary at our request.

My personal recommendation, on reflection, would be to put a little more spare time in the programme. We obviously wanted to se as much as possible in the time we had, and we certainly achieved that, but a couple of days free now and then would enable you to catch your breath!

If you're looking for a great tour of India within a fairly modest budget, then I would wholeheartedly recommend GoHeritage as the tour company.

Perth, Australia
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7. Re: Go Heritage India Journeys Review

In December 2012 my family and I travelled to India for four weeks. When looking into travel agents to assist us in booking our private family vacation we looked at options both in Australia and India. We decided to go with Go Heritage Tours in Delhi, India. At first we were very cautious of using a travel agency in India due to the likelihood of scams, however from the beginning communication was great therefore we decided to give them a go! We arranged all our flights, private transfers, tours and five star accommodation through Go Heritage Tours. From the moment we arrived for our holiday, everything ran according to plan, all the accommodation was confirmed and was the same as we had requested and paid for. The tours were flexible according to our needs and always ran on time, with water and newspapers provided daily. During our Delhi -Rajasthan tour the mini bus we had been provided for the tour had some problems with it, and Go Heritage Tours once informed changed the bus within hours. The service from Go Heritage during the tour was also exceptional with touch base phone calls on a regular basis with the tour guides/drivers, and follow up phone calls with our family checking in at each destination that the tour was meeting our expectations and was up to our standards. We travelled through Delhi, Rajasthan, Goa, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh with local guides who spoke great English and had good knowledge about the area/state. Everything in general ran smoothly.

I would recommend Go Heritage Tours if you have a good idea of what you want to do, where you want to go and where you want to stay as everything we had asked for was followed through. I would however recommend double checking everything on arrival, as we did have a few discrepancies with flight schedules that we only discovered when we were about to take each flight (as the timings had changed from the summer to the winter timings which were not corrected on our tickets).

We thoroughly enjoyed our time in India and would highly recommend using Go Heritage Tours to our family and friends in the future!

Barcelona
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8. Re: Go Heritage India Journeys Review

We contract with them a trip that ended On April 2. Everything was very easy up to coming to India.

The first night we had problems because they did not have vacant rooms in the Hotel, after much to discuss and without help of the representative of Go Heritage India Journeys, they gave to us 2 single rooms for 4 pax.

In the morning they wanted to charge from us the breakfast and the representative of Go Heritage India Journeys said that it was not included, thankfully we had an e-mail confirming that breakfast was included.

During the trip the hotels were nice but in general the guides very badly. And they didn't take us to visit all what was in the tour.

We could not communicate with the driver because he couldn't speak English.

They made a mistake in the invoice and charged extra money. Since then I am claiming to get the difference back although they recognize the mistake, they do not refund it to me.

If someone wants to see it, I have the invoice and all the emails that we have exchanged.

I have been 6 times in India and I have never had so many problems. I recommend SURYA TRAVEL ó LAXMI REISEN. With them it has always been easy to solve any problem or unforeseen that could have arisen.

Now I have the case in attorneys to try to get my money back

Durban, South Africa
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9. Re: Go Heritage India Journeys Review

Dear All,

This is a request to never use Go Heritage India Journeys on a trip to India as they are an unreliable and unprofessional company that has given us very disappointing service. It has been a month since we laid this complaint - see email below - to the owner Mr Subrato Mukherjee and over 2 months since our tour was disrupted by inefficient service. He had promised to resolve this issue post haste but has procrastinated indefinitely and has led us to take this drastic measure and inform authorities concerned to avoid using this travel agency. It is truly sad and upsetting that customers are treated in this manner and we do not want anybody else to go through the same disturbing experience. One would think that an Indian company would live up to the old Indian saying of “Athithi devo bhava” – your guest is God. 

Tour companies operate to provide a safe, efficient and professional service to their customers and we were appalled by the unprofessional service received by your company. It does leave me wondering whether we would have been treated differently if we were not female, seeing as the patriarchal system is still very much alive in India today.

This trip to India was a spiritual one – we stayed at 2 ashrams: Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh and Yogoda Ashram in Dakshineswar. These 5 extra days were for us to do some sightseeing and it turned out to be a logistical nightmare. India is an extremely beautiful country, rich and diverse and has so much to offer a traveler, the last thing one needs when traveling is an unprofessional and inefficient travel agent who has no respect or regard for his customers. My friend and I have traveled to over 30 countries in Europe, North America, Africa and the Far East and have NEVER encountered a situation like this.

Jaipur, India
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10. Re: Go Heritage India Journeys Review

Sorry to hear about your bad experiences, you can also take the services of www.holidayindiatravel.com or www.indiatravelrajasthan.com or www.unitedindiatravels.com All are trusted tour operators.