ZEKERIYA S. SEN
In one line, what makes you a PUREist?
We perceive more than what we see and pass it on to our clients. Feed it with excitement, culture, luxury and innovation. Everything should be made as simple, as smooth and as wondrous as possible – but not simpler.
Tell us your story – how did you get where you are today?
From London to States, then to Saudi Arabia and finally İstanbul. I have moved around due to my father’s profession. Along the way I studied Astronomy & Space Science. You might say I was always keen on travel. The joy of experience and discovery pushed me to tourism. Here in Turkey we have a saying that once the tourism powder rubs on your hands you can never get rid of it. Hence goes my story.
I started off from the bottom and worked my way up to the top. I enjoyed each and every day of my work life as a brand new day where I promised myself to learn something new each day. With this in mind I dove into the music out there and started my own show in a non-profit radio and for the last eight years I am also passing on different cultures to the unaware with rhythms.
“I carved out the unique peerless experiences and served it to the traveller soul. The magical realism fed with joy evolved me into a curator for travel design.”
My enthusiasm pushed me off the limits of the monotonic products in tourism. I always looked out for the unexpected, unexperienced and the responsible destinations. I carved out the unique peerless experiences and served it to the traveller soul. The magical realism fed with joy evolved me into a curator for travel design. We aim for the ultimate in creating exceptional wonders worldwide. But the most important is to bring celebration, a feast into destinations we offer.
Can you share with us your single most life-enriching experience?
When we first operated our first ever group tour to Sudan, Omo Valley and North Korea. Even though we were back in the control centre (office), the dosage of adrenaline pumped into our veins was overwhelming. The thunder of achievement has remained with me ever since.
What does the term ‘experiential travel’ mean to you?
Aristotle once said, “For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” It’s an experience that resonates on a deeper emotional level. It’s adventurous, extremely personalised and more attuned to local culture. It’s, in a way, an intense self-discovery.
Describe your ideal client: how do they approach travel?
People who are travellers and perceive the meaning of luxury as a destination rather than a property. Who are ready for experiencing what is out there without judgement. Who trust the thirty years knowhow of our company and philosophy. Who take part in a section of a local life instead of watching it pass by. Never losing sight of the tiny bits that really matter. Swept in the cultural waves of what the land offers, sustainably processing it and passing it to their own cultures like ambassadors. People who venture beyond the beaten tourist paths and dive deeper into authenticity, localism and culture. Connecting with people in deep and meaningful ways, and fulfilling a desire to give back. People who travel for passion.
What made you decide to join PURE Life Experiences and how has doing so benefitted your business?
After attending basically all the shows all over the globe, I started looking for the not-obvious. I was fed up with the monotonous shows out there where everything existed except creativity. My good all India pal pointed me towards PURE. I recall the first moment I visited the website and read “our vision”. It had something to say, a stand, and a philosophy. It was unravelling the mystery about what experiential travel was. Discover what happens when you think like a traveller. Analyse your potential and explore the shifts you can make to enjoy the benefits of experiential travel!
What role do you think PURE has to play in the high-end experiential travel industry?
Definitely a pioneer. Keeping the regiment of unseen paths for PUREists. Offering the unnoticed and exploring the unknown. Directing similar minds in a route of ingeniousness and originality. Opening unbeknownst gates to cultures and embracing all in holism.
What other brands and companies in high-end experiential travel do you admire the most?
Brands and companies who have enthusiasm. Who are curious and not afraid to bring out the occult and experience. Those who cut to the chase and unravel a whole new dimension in the purview of their clients.
If there were one thing you could change about the travel industry, what would it be?
It’s not about money, I would like this to be out there. It’s more about responsibility, sustainability and accountability. We need to be more cautious of the places we direct our business to. With every traveller we take something from the destination and our nature that we should aware and try to recycle it back. A superintendence that can audit and differentiate what is genuine and artificial for all to see.
Finally, who is your experiential hero?
My trailblazer would be Mr. Faruk Pekin, as a pioneer and excursionist who paved the way, established the foundations of cultural tourism for travellers in Turkey. On right after him my colleagues in the office who share the same vision and enthusiasm to curate, tailor and serve something unique.
“We need to be more cautious of the places we direct our business to. With every traveller we take something from the destination and our nature that we should aware and try to recycle it back.”
We want to know what makes you a PUREist. If you’re interested in having your profile featured, get in touch with [email protected].