Peter Kerkar, Group CEO, Cox & Kings cites the Top 8 experiences
Food tours that will not only focus on dining or food tasting but rather delve more into the cooking style, history of cuisines, local flavours and tradition. Gourmet travellers looking to connect with the history and culture are joining local chefs in Spain for hands-on cooking lessons, taking wine tours around Tuscany, exploring farm tours in Israel to learn about the fresh produces.
Glamping or Glamorous camping
Travellers want to be a part of immersive experiences without compromising on the luxuries. With glamping taking various forms – think Canvas tents at TUTC in the mountains of Ladakh, Safari lodges in the thick forests of Masaai Mara in Africa, igloo pods in Swiss Alpes or floating cabins on the coast of Cambodia.
The curiosity to know more about the world and about oneself, their past, legacy, and ancestral history has given birth to the concept of ‘tracing your roots’. Given a large Indian diaspora population has been living in different continents for years, there is a sudden rise in third generation travellers, travelling to their ancestral properties back in India and experiencing their cultural roots.
The evolved Indian traveller has now moved on to more intimate experiences such as river and canal cruises in India and Europe. Exploring magnificent cities in France as you sail in its inland waters like Arles, Avignon, Viviers, Tournon and Lyon to experience France’s beauty intimately or gliding along Russia’s river waters to explore Uglich, Yaroslavl, Kuzino and Kizhi, River Cruising has piqued the interest of travellers.
In a quest to balance social good in everything they do, millennials, the largest generation is blending purpose with leisure. Being environmentally and socially conscious travellers are facilitating Voluntourism across countries like South Africa, India, Cambodia, Nepal, Peru and Mexico to name a few.
Destinations that are shrinking
Climate Change, the unfortunate phenomenon is leading to thawing of pristine glaciers and significant permafrost, islands to submerge, marine ecology to vanish while displacing locales. An increased number of tourists will visit the Dead Sea in Israel, The Alps in Europe, The Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Wineries in America and Archipelagos around the world in 2018 before climate change takes over.
Those who wish to test their strength are picking up tough expeditions such as Ice cycling in Mongolia, Trekking through ice in search of snow leopards in Spiti, Cruising in Antarctica, Mountain cycling in Bhutan, rafting in remote rivers, taking advanced open water courses in Philippines and frozen river treks in Indus valley among many others.
Wellness will emerge as people focus more on improving their physical and emotional well-being by travelling for meditation, spa, yoga, Ayurveda massages and bathing in mineral rich water bodies for rejuvenation. Travellers will take detox breaks in the foothills of Himalayas, indulge in spa treatments in Thailand or Bali and rejuvenate through ayurvedic treatments in Kerala.
Among the older travel companies in the world, Cox & Kings started operations in 1758. It operates in the leisure, education and hybrid hotel segments in 22 countries. The company is also one of the founding members of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).