Prateek Hira – Profile

(Brief Profile Of Founder, President & CEO followed by detailed profile)


Prateek Hira (Founder President & CEO of Tornos)

Prateek Hira (Founder President & CEO)

Core Business : Tourism – Founder President & CEO of ‘Tornos’ – an experiential travel company that prides itself in being a micro-destination management company operating since 1994 and catering in specific geographic areas and offering knowledge based products. His other venture, ‘Indian Frontiers’ is India-centric tour operator with special interest in British India tour from 1757 through 1947. Indian Frontiers operates niche tours catering to luxury travellers primarily from UK, Australia and New Zealand. Recently ‘Gastroutes’ has been launched as a specialist and focused pan-India brand specialising in Gastronomy as its main domain, while ‘River Rhapsody’ is a different independent company with river cruise and luxury river-side camping being its main activity.

award certificateOn 27 September 2021 Prateek Hira has been honoured by Uttar Pradesh’s Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for promotion UP as a tourist destination and taking it to new heights during his dedicated service of 27 years to the tourism industry. Similarly his company Tornos too became the only company to receive the award for the The Best Tour Operator in Uttar Pradesh by the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in 2021.  Prateek has been mentioned as the out-of-box tour operator by Travel Express (Financial Express) magazines. In fact the concept of walking tours was initiated by Prateek way back in 1994, probably when industry in India may not have known about this concept. Presumably India’s first food walk was started by him in his own city, Lucknow in 1995, when street food was unimaginably being offered to foreign tourists by him.

Prateek has been awarded by ABP News & World Federation of Hospitality Professionals with its most coveted award, ‘Most Influential Leaders In Travel Industry’ in 2019. Prateek Hira Chairs FICCI’s Tourism Committee, UP State Council and is a Member of National Committee of Travel, Tourism & Hospitality. He is also the Chairman of IATO – Indian Association of Tour Operators for the states Uttar Pradesh. Formerly he also held the charge of Uttarakhand, Bihar and Jharkhand.  Other professional memberships apart from FICCI and IATO include PATA, ATOAI, RTSOI, INTACH and World Food Travel Association.

Prateek has two major researches to his credit, one on Sri Lanka Tourism as a part of his research for The Leeds Metropolitan University, while another research by him was on Senior Tourism for Center of Tourism Recreation Research. He has recently co-authored a book, ‘Diary of William Young – 1878-81’ and has been a consulting editor for a book, ‘Conservation and Promotion of Heritage Tourism’ by IGI Global, US. He has two Post Graduate degrees to his credit, one in tourism while another in economics and is academically quite active by not only serving on the boards of many Indian universities but also by regularly teaching tourism in the capacity of an adjunct professor of tourism in many universities, including University of Wales, United Kingdom.


Prateek Hira (Detailed Profile) – FaceBook  |  LinkedIn

Prime Occupation (Tourism)

  • Founder, President & CEO – TORNOS (Tornos Destinations (I) Pvt Ltd.,) a Lucknow based Micro-Destination Management & Experiential Tour Company. (founded in 1994).
  • Brand Director – GASTROUTES – An exclusive Gastronomy Tour Company, operating gastronomy tours. (founded in 2016)
  • Partner – INDIAN FRONTIERS – Thematic tour company operating knowledge based tours based on ‘British in India 1757 – 1947’. (founded in 2010)
  • Co-Founder & Director – RIVER RHAPSODY (River Rhapsody Pvt. Ltd.,) – An exclusive river cruise, river-bank glamping (lux-camping) and river entertainment company. (co-founded in 2020)
  • Director – WALES BECKONS (Fly2Wales Holidays Ltd., U.K) – DMC for Wales specialising in holidays and study in Wales. (joined in 2021)
  • General Secretary – TORNOS FOUNDATION – A not-for-profit social organisation with an independent board. (founded in 2007)
Professional Memberships
  • FICCI – Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry.
  • PATA – Pacific Asia Travel Association.
  • IATO – Indian Association of Tour Operators.
  • ATOAI – Adventure Tour Operators Association of India.
  • RTSOI – Responsible Tourism Society of India.
  • INTACH – Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage.
  • WFTA – World Food Travel Association.
  • IFTO – India Food Tourism Organisation.
Passion Occupation Tourism Academician (Adjunct / Visiting / Guest Professor – Universities & Institutions):

  • University of Wales Trinity St David, Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom.
  • IITTM – Gwalior (Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India).
  • Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).
  • University of Lucknow (LU), Lucknow.
  • University of Jammu, (J&K).
  • Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi.
  • University of Ayodhya (RMLAU), Ayodhya.
  • IRITM – Indian Railways Institute of Transport Management (Ministry of Railways).
  • Parayatan Adhyan Sansthan (DOT – Govt of Uttar Pradesh).
  • Forest Training Institute (Dept. of Forest – Govt of Uttar Pradesh).
Researches, Papers & Articles
  • Outbound Tours from India to Sri Lanka (visitor profiling) – Leeds Metropolitan University (UK).
  • Senior Tourism – An analytical study (Tourism Recreation Research, Routledge, UK).
  • Ecology and Tourism (Impact Studies).
  • Highway Tourism (Case study of UPSTDC Motels).
  • Environment & Tourism (A reciprocal study).
  • Tourist Behaviour and Market Trends (Compilation of Studies).
  • Impact of Tourism on Host Cultures.
  • Emerging Tourism Trends – Experiential & Immersive Travel
  • Loss of The Human Touch in Tourism (advent of internet).
  • Tourism & Terrorism (an impact study).
  • Sir Henry Havelock in Lucknow.
  • Victoria Cross To Thomas Henry Kavanagh For The Siege of Lucknow.
  • Rare & Extinct Cuisine of Awadh (Ongoing Research Project).
  • Impact of Tourism on Employment in India (White paper for Center for Soft Power, India Foundation).
  • Feasibility of Orchard Tourism (Hospitality Biz).
  • Lucknow left far behind in tourism (Times of India).
  • Tourism after division of Uttar Pradesh (Hindustan Times).
  • Green Tourism (Hindustan Times).
  • City of Nawabs fast becoming an aviation hub (Hindustan Times).
  • V.S. Naipaul in Lucknow (Hindustan Times).
  • Tourism or appeasement in Uttar Pradesh?
  • Trends of Travel for Travel Professionals in 2020.
  • Generation Dynamics in Tourism – HR Issues in Tourism.
  • Impact of COVID-19 on Tourism (Indian Context) (TravelNewsy).
  • Let’s worry about xenophobia if tourism has to revive soon (TravelNewsy).
  • What COVID-19 has taught me?
  • 24/2 Activities Concept (Changing excursions to overnight destinations and beyond).
  • EDTD – Each District A Tourist Destination (Documenting Tourism Profile of each district) –  (Ongoing Research Project).
  • ‘Atmnirbharta’ through Tourism – article on World Tourism Day – 2020
  • Where there is despair, there is hope too – tourism returning & ‘revenge tourism’.
  • Buddhist Tourism an ‘Essential Leisure’ – Religious may come as a saviour for the tourism industry post COVID.
  • Unlocking the Culinary & Gastronomy Tourism Potential of Uttar Pradesh. – (Govt of UP Research Project).
  • Eco, Village & Health Tourism – (Hindi) Nav Bharat Times (ईको, विलेज और हेल्थ टूरिज़्म के हब बनने की ओर उत्तर प्रदेश के बढ़ते कदम).
  • Tourism in Uttar Pradesh, an economic driver of growth.
  • Is Tourism Business in for disruption? (TravelNewsy).
  • UP still an unexplored destination promoting religious and eco-tourism (Times of India).
  • When you are finished changing, you are finished! (Economic Times).
Other Involvements
  • Chairman – FICCI Tourism Committee, UP State Council.   
  • State Chairman – Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) for the state of Uttar Pradesh.
  • Former IATO State Chairman of Uttrakhand, Bihar & Jharkhand.
  • Member – FICCI National Committee for Travel, Tourism & Hospitality. 
  • Member – State Steering Committee Vocational Education & Skill Development, Department of Technical Education, Govt of Uttar Pradesh. 
  • Former Member – Tourism Promotion Council & Advisory Board (Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh).
  • Coordinator (UP) – Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH).
  • Executive Committee Member – Alliance française (Embassy of France in India).
  • Trustee – New Tourism Foundation. 
  • Patron Member – India Food Tourism Organisation. 
  • Nodal Officer – Adarsh Monuments & Prime Minister’s Swatch Bharat Committee : UP.
  • Member – HRACC-Hotel Classification Committee (DOT, Govt of India).
  • Member – Planning & Approval Committee for Lucknow Terminal -3, Airport Authority of India (AAI).
  • Organising Committee Member – IATO Agra Convention (2004).
  • Member – IATO’s Committee of Education & Capacity Building (2012-16 & Currently 2021-23).
  • Adjunct Professor – University of Wales Trinity St David, Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom(UK).
  • Member – Board of Governors / Academic Council / Study Board / Advisory Committee:-
      • University of Lucknow, Lucknow, UP.
      • Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi.
      • Kashi Vidhya Peeth (Inst., of Tourism Studies), Varanasi.
      • University of Jammu, Jammu.
      • University of Faizabad, Ayodhya.
      • Parayatan Adhyan Sansthan (DOT – Govt of UP).
  • Co-Chair, Member of Think Tank & Speaker – New Tourism Foundation’s TSF20.
  • Speaker / Moderator – Forums / Panel Discussions:-
      • World Travel Market, London – Experiential Tourism in India.
      • IRITM – Indian Railways Institute of Transport. Management (Ministry of Railways).
      • All India Radio – World Tourism Day.
      • Radio City (FM) – World Tourism Day.
      • Gyanbharti (IGNOU) – Trends in Tourism.
      • Progressive Council –The Progressive Conversations Series: Adaptive Reuse of Heritage in India.
      • Indo-Korean Business Summit.
      • Center for Soft Power, India Foundation – Heritage & Tourism.
      • Times of India – Heritage & Tourism.
      • UP Tourism Stakeholders Meet.
      • Times of India & NBT Samvaad (Development Conclave). 
      • ‘Silver Talks’ – As a part of University of Lucknow’s Centenary Celebration Talk series of Tourism Faculty – ‘Trends of Tourism’.
      • Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah (BGSB) University, Rajouri (J&K).
      • Center for Public Diplomacy & Soft Power (India Foundation) – Brand India Arts, Crafts & Design.
      • Tourism Students’ Festival – 2020.
      • Kalam Foundation – Restarting Tourism after COVID-19 and its effect of Tourism & Hospitality students.  
      • India Food Tourism Organisation – Culinary Tourism in India
      • SAP-Global Bharat Programme for MSME in India.
      • FICCI – Tourism E-Conclave – “Destination Experiences in a Post Pandemic World”.
      • FICCI Rajasthan – Webinar on Culinary Tourism.
      • UP Government & FICCI – Being Tourism Ready (Series of webinars)
        • Stress among Students of Travel, Tourism & Hospitality
        • Tour Operators & Travel Agents will be more relevant 
        • Wows to Woes to Wows – Road to recovery of hotels 
        • Role of Media in Reviving Tourism
        • Kushinagar – a destination in the making
        • Ayodhya – India’s newest tourism destination
      • Govt of Rajasthan, DOT – Revival of Tourism in Rajasthan through Domestic Tourism.
      • National Institute of Water Sports (NIWS) – ‘Strategies to Revive Domestic Tourism’.
      • Unravel Travel (Bakstage Podcast) – Interviewed ‘Gem of Uttar Pradesh’.
      • Skills for Naturalists & Forest Guides – Forest Training Institute (Dept. of Forest – Govt of Uttar Pradesh).
      • Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak – Faculty Development Programme (AICTE): Role of Education & Training in Hospitality & Tourism.
      • Times of India – ‘Destination Uttar Pradesh’ Conclave
        • Eco-tourism in Uttar Pradesh
        • Hospitality a source of investment and employment
        • Religious Tourism
      • Times of India – ‘Purvanchal Conclave’ in Gorakhpur
        • Purvanchal Land of Gods & Saints – Religious Tourism
        • New Opportunities of Tourism in Purvanchal
      • Dubai Expo (India Pavilion) – Ministry of Tourism (GOI) – Luxury Tourism
      • PrimeTV – ‘Career Couch with Shubhankar’ – Tourism
      • Lecture : ‘Humanities & Tourism – the changing face of tourism’ – Amity University
Publications (Books)
  • The Diary of William Young Major, 2/14th Regiment (1878 – 1881) –  Publication : Royal Books, India ……(Co-Author).
  • Conservation and Promotion of Heritage Tourism – Publication : IGI Global, USA ……(Editorial Board).
  • A passionate Indian in pursuit of tourism knowledge – Publication : Routledge, Taylor & Francis, UK. ……(Contributor).
  • Kebab Kissa –  A book in Bengali on the history of kebabs – Publication : Dhansere, India ……(Contributor).
  • Certificate in Food Travel – WFTA Portland, United States.
  • Research : ‘India – a source market for Sri Lanka’ – International Centre for Responsible Tourism, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, U.K.
  • Diploma in Food Production (Culinary Art) – (University of Lucknow).
  • Post Graduate in Hotel Operations (IHM).
  • Post Graduate in Tourism Management (IITTM).
  • Post Graduate in Economics & Graduation (B.A. Hons – Economic).
  • I.S.C (10+2) – Commerce & I.C.S.E (10) – La Martiniere College, Lucknow.
  • Primary Schooling – La Martiniere College, Lucknow.
Other Credits
  • Important Awards & Accolades :-
    • Dedicated Services for upliftment of Tourism & Best Tour Operator Award, UP (Hon’ble Chief Minister of UP – Yogi Adityanath) 
    • Awadh Samman – Tourism (Hon’ble  Governor of UP – Mr. Ram Naik).
    • IATO Award – Best Marketing Campaign by Tour Operator.
    • Saryu Samman – Developing Ayodhya as foreign tourist destination.
    • ABP News Award – Most Influential Leader In Travel.
  • Ayodhya Deepotsava – Conceptualization & Designing.(Taken-over by Govt of UP)
  • Introduction & planning of training program & trainer :-
    • UP State Tourist Guides & Escorts (Govt of UP).
    • Tourist Police Training Program (Govt of UP).
    • Tourist Taxi Drivers (Govt of UP).
    • State Bus Conductors – UPSTDC (Govt of UP).
    • Railway Porters – Indian Railways (Govt of India).
    • Dhaba Owners & Waiters (Govt of India).
    • Concept to Planning – Ayodhya Deepotsava (Govt of UP).
    • Ayodhya Local Tourist Guides (Govt of UP).
    • Fatehpur Sikri Local Guides (Govt of UP).
    • Agra Local Tourist Guides (Govt of UP).
    • Varanasi Local Tourist Guides (Govt of UP).
    • Lucknow Local Tourist Guides (Govt of UP).
    • Naturalists & Forest Guides (Govt of UP).
  • Concept to Organisation of India Evenings & Fund Raisers of RACH Foundation, Monaco:
      • Palace of Versailles, Paris (France).
      • Ritz-Carlton, Paris. (France).
      • Hermitage Monte-Carlo, Monaco.
      • Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Dubai (UAE).
  • India Coordinator – Personal Visit – HRH Princess Caroline of Monaco.
  • Contributor – UNESCO Creative Cities Network.
  • History & Content Contributor – Sound & Light Show, Lucknow Residency (Speaking Facades & Warrier Films).
Personal Details
  • Year of Birth: 1972   /  Place of Birth: Lucknow
  • Places of Stay : Lucknow (India) ; London (UK)