Lale Sürmen Aran
TRAVEL SERVICES

SCENIC ROUTES AND MARVELS

My wife Lale and I have been leading tours since the day we met, and long before. I was quite surprised as she told me the first time that she traveled the far east extensively when she was 18. I thought I was the tough traveler! The year we got married, she came up with the idea to organize our own tours, the way we like to travel, off the beaten path.

As free-lance tour guides, we worked for several reputable tour companies, and in all levels of service providing. Through the years, we have seen that the mass market understanding denied the expectations, requests, and changing demands of the international traveler. There was hardly any interaction between the traveler and the local.

This is not the way we traveled. When the time was right, this was our motive to realize SRM Travel, off the mainstream tour market that goes with the cliché. Seniors of the industry kept telling us that it would be fighting the wind mills, and there would be no chance to succeed. Time showed us that they were wrong. We believe we have come a long way, without advertising, only with the word of mouth.

And the way we look at travel concept remains the same. This is all about having a better understanding of the local culture, history and art, so that you get to know the people, and the country as it is, not only through our eyes.

Nowadays we can lead a limited number of tours, but we are not ment to be behind the desk either. We still travel thousands of miles every year in the country and abroad, in search for the new and exciting, and to make sure all is running fine. We are on the road to introduce Turkey and the region as a destination, doing talks and slide shows. We prefer to keep low profile on tours, and usually go with the flow. To us, off the beaten path does not mean to sleep in run down places, and share the same bathroom with ten other people.

Through the years we have learned that it is a great way to interact with the locals, and to share their point of view. This is a very agreeable experience, especially when you can get an answer to the question; “What is the real story behind that?”.

Tankut Aran Co-founder, Tour Director

SRM Travel has been running tours in Turkey for Rick Steves’ Europe Through the Back Door since 1997

SRM is a member of Tursab, Turkish Travel Agencies Association; licence no: 3543

Lale & Tankut Aran are authors of Rick Steves’ popular guidebook to Istanbul

SRM Travel carries USD 1,000,000.- liability insurance

www.srmtravel.com