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Tuesday, 04 September, 2018, 15 : 18 PM [IST]

‘Seeking permission to shoot somewhere is the biggest challenge’

The main content creator, Nisha Chothani,
Director, Travelxp in an interaction with TravelBiz Monitor, narrates her journey and obstacles she faced while she reinforced her vision, over the last 10 years.

How many hours of content do Travelxp has now? How has your journey been so far while producing the content?
We have 1000+ hours of content in 4K. The journey has been great and very interesting. Every day is a new learning process for us, not only about technology, not only about content but a lot of different content. The history, the culture, the places around the world is pretty interesting.

What are the unique parts of Travelxp content?  What format do you shoot it in?
Right now, we are doing everything in 4K. When we telecast in India, we downscale it to high-definition (HD) but otherwise, we are shooting in 4K.

Isnt shooting on 4K extremely costly? How does it impact your business overall?
Extremely, but then when you want to give a content of good quality then it makes sense to shoot in 4K. Once when travel is exposed to 4K, it looks really beautiful.
As you know, Travelxp’s 4K has happened across the globe. So, since we are using this content for even those feeds, it kind of amortizes. We are still investing a lot in content but good content pays for itself over time.  

How has your content been received?
We have seen the same work story as we have seen in India, we have seen it across the globe, and the numbers in the UK have come in quite heavily. We have been adding more and more countries and more and more platforms across the globe. We have done two launches, one in Singapore and one in Canada. So the fact that we have been having more platforms interested in acquiring the channel, and the fact that numbers are showing healthy across the world, shows where we are. Shows, also, have been received well, feedback that we get from the viewers on our website or social media that has been received pretty well.

How many TV homes and how many individuals in all, across the world?
Right now, Travelxp is reaching out to more than 92 million houses across the globe. If you talk about the content, apart from the channel we also license content to different parts of the world. It would be difficult to say how many people it reaches out to, because I cannot predict how much each platform numbers has but, we license the content to more than 45+ countries. If you talk about the channels then we reach out to more than 92+ million houses. 

How long have you been producing content for Travelxp for? Were you always a person who loves creating content?
It is not in years, the content from zilch is mine. So all the content is produced by me, I had a little exposure to content but creating content to me came more of an accidental thing because when we were creating content and the team that was initially put up to create content, I wasn’t very happy about it. When monetary stopped producing for Travelxp, the content that was given to us, I was not very happy with it. I had a different vision for Travelxp so I sat down and discussed with the team about what kind of vision we should have, that was the time I got into content creation wholly. It was 10 years back, in 2008, when I started producing content for Travelxp and am still doing it. Prior to that, I had small exposure in content as I was assisting my husband Prashant when he was directing serials. That was more of fiction but not really documentary or entertainment so, Travelxp was where I definitely got a full hands-on experience and since travel is a passion, I like putting my passion and vision together.

What is special about travel content as a genre? Why is the production of travel content considered so difficult?
Since travel is something that is not done under controlled conditions, because we are not shooting it in the studio, there are variations when you are shooting for a travel show. From weather to the lost baggage, to anchors not reaching the show on time, an earthquake right in the middle of the shoot. It is extremely difficult. Also, we are so weather-dependent to get the right look of the destination, so there are a lot of things that come into play and it is extremely difficult to shoot. If you have to shoot in a studio it is very easy because you can control a lot of things and here we cannot control everything. Then, of course, getting permissions is a huge challenge to shoot anywhere, not only in India but across the world, to get permission along with so many laws coming in it is extremely difficult.

Why do you choose international hosts for your shows?
It’s not that we choose only international but we choose global hosts that is the terminology that we use. We have hosts from all over the world. If you see Travelxp, you will see Indian hosts, you would see Italian hosts, you see American, Canadian, British, Australians, everybody and this is because we want to give the feel of a global channel, a channel where you cannot pick point. That’s the kind of look and feel that we set out to it.

Which is the new upcoming show with the multicultural host?
‘10 days Cyprus’ is the latest and is up for telecast this month and after that, we have ‘Back Pack Egypt’ that is coming in Canada and Singapore. So these are the new shows happening right now.

Any other you were targeting apart from Singapore and Canada?
Yes, there will be 2 more countries that will be added in the next few months which we will finalise and announce. We are also hoping that there will be one or two more countries that we will finalise.

Any plans for getting 4K in India?
Yes, we are really waiting to see and showcase 4K in India. The standards are already set, we are just waiting for the standards to be enforced. We are talking to the satellite operators as well. I think we will start 4K in India pretty soon.

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