Shift in preferences

More and more travellers are now preferring to indulge in adventure activities. This is proving true, not just for domestic and short-haul destinations, but also long-haul holidays. TravTalk speaks to four experts.

Hazel Jain

The pandemic has changed the behaviour of many consumers and travel comes as no exception. The industry is seeing surge in travellers opting for vast, open destinations that offer outdoor activity options. Sharing his opinion is Bhanu Aravindakshan, Vice President, Ottila International.

He said, “Post COVID-19, we have seen a trend among the younger generation. They prefer adventure activities and travel to destinations, less crowded with the facilities to conduct outdoor games. One reason probably is because the travellers have been working from home.”  For this, he said, the prime destination is Switzerland and Utah in the USA. It has five major national parks and various adventure activities.

“Spending time in the national parks, or just being out on the wild thrill the tourists no end. Activities such as river rafting, hot air balloon rides, mountain biking, or hiking have become popular with young tourists and it is important for the operators to develop products accordingly,” he added.

Adventure need of the hour

Vedant Marda, Director, Vibrant Experiences, which offers bespoke tours, said the West Coast in the US has many mainstream cities such as LA or Las Vegas, popular with Indians for outdoor activities.

“I feel Utah is among the best right now. For hiking, for instance, it has interesting national parks such as Zion or Bryce. Since the US has a lot of repeat clients, they want to do newer things in newer places in the US. Adventure is the need of the hour for these tourists,” he added.

Himanshu Patil, Director, Kesari Tours, averred that for long-haul travel, the first destination that comes to mind, is the US. “It has so many destinations that are great for adventure, but the one place that I can say is probably home for adventure is Utah. Due to the pandemic, travellers are eager to get out in the open – cycle, hike, or do self-drive. New Zealand is also great for adventure but unfortunately, it’s not open yet,” he adds.

Diverse experiences

Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India), says, “We are witnessing increasing queries: From stays in a treehouse to an ice igloo while chasing the Northern Lights in Finland/Russia’s Lapland, winter sports in Switzerland to hiking, biking and camping in the rugged yet spectacular terrain of Utah – the Zion Narrows, Bryce Canyon’s Riggs Spring, Loop Bonneville Salt Flats or Sartoga/Diamond Fork hot springs. Utah offers a various experiences that inspire Indian young experts as also the family segment.”

 

 

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