Moving from the hustle bustle of metro cities and typical tourist destinations, travellers are opting for different locations and are hunting for the taste of the local cuisines of different places, say experts.
Ashwani Khurana, environmentalist and President of Karma Lakelands, and Danish Din, Director, The Grand Dragon, Ladakh Achievement Travelling, have listed a few travel trends this year:
* Making intelligent use of long weekends, an increasing number of Indians are now exploring eco-friendly destinations rather than going to another city with the same hustle-bustle. People are now on the lookout for authentic experiences rather than just a holiday.
Conscious travel means intermingling and understanding of all elements of earth around you – the people, culture, animals and nature.
* Travellers are not just looking for unexplored destinations, but also want to immerse themselves in the local food and culture to truly experience the essence of the place.
The increasing awareness and demand for organic food has also impacted the travelling habits of people. A lot of guests are excited to forage for local ingredients with an expert in a kitchen garden before heading for their meal at the restaurant.
Most people going to places like Ladakh are excited to witness and participate in local festivals like Losar (Tibetan New Year), Ladakh Festival, Thiksey/ Spituk Gustor among others.
* While solo-travel was a big hit last year, in 2018 family members from all age-groups are travelling together to relive old memories and create new ones. Individuals have evolved and are looking for more ways to connect and spend time with each other. Hence, it is imperative that the industry is able to cater to all age groups whether it is accommodation or activities.
* Travellers no longer want to visit places to check them off their bucket list. Instead they are focusing on achievement travel.
Challenging situations like mountain biking or water rafting on the swift-mountain rivers are becoming a major attraction.
* A lot of people are engaging with the locals, learning more about local food and culture rather than being in their rooms all the time.
A lot of hotels are focusing on creating large communal spaces for guests, which is perfect for a traveller who is looking for the comfort and solitude of a hotel but also wants to learn about the cultural heritage of Ladakh.