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Tour agencies offer uncharted destinations

April 05, 2011 11:00 IST
Planning a summer vacation; ever considered Reykjavik, Leipzig, Oman or Iceland?

With Indian travellers getting more eager to venture out in the uncharted territory, travel agencies are offering attractive discounts on several such unheard-of destinations.

While Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, the traditional circuit for the Indian traveller, continue to attract first-timers, the more experienced or experimental travellers are game for exploring unusual cities around the world.

"The experimental traveller in India, till now, would have to work out the whole itinerary on his own, if he wanted to tread the offbeat path. We think, our offer will really excite travellers who are thinking out of the box," said Manmeet Ahluwalia, marketing head, Expedia India.

The company is offering up to 50 per cent discounts on hotel deals on several such locations around the globe to give a chance to the Indian traveller to increase their travel options and tap into a wider market.

Travel agencies are witnessing a sudden spike in demand for destinations such as Oman, Peru and other Latin American countries. Cox and Kings has come up with a 13-day package called Train to Machu Picchu; travel package for Oman, which includes visit to cities like Nizwa, Nakhl and Muscat, beside various packages for Central and South America, exclusively to cater to the appetite of this growing niche segment.

"This demand has been fuelled by well-experienced travellers. This segment has already travelled to known destinations in Europe and the Far East and wanted to go beyond traditional hot spots. We believe these destinations will be the trend in the years to come," said Karan Anand, head, relationships and supplier management, Cox and Kings.

According to industry experts, while a lot of rich and high-end customers go for such packages, it is the young aspirational lot which is keen to travel in an unconventional way. Such travellers do not carry a check-list that they have to cross.

"Even if they want to travel to the much-travelled Far-East, they would do it differently and go to places such as Koh Samui and interiors of the Far East countries," said Ahluwalia.

Travelling to such uncommon destinations can be tricky in the absence of direct flights, which is where the travel agencies think would hope to secure by providing a ready reckoner service to the tourists.

"As far as the cost goes, there is something for every budget.

"Since these are uncommon destinations, flights are not very expensive. One can select hotels in whichever category he finds it affordable," said a travel industry expert.

Outbound travel in India is more than double the number of foreign tourists who visit India, with over 11 million people travelling abroad every year.
Ruchika Chitravanshi in New Delhi
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