The other day, I happened to visit an interesting trade show named Travel & Tourism Fair (TTF), which claims to be India’s leading travel trade show hosting events across all major cities in India. There all kinds of expo stalls hosted by representatives of state tourism development corporations, large hotel chains, spa & resorts, jungle trek organisers, travel websites, foreign tour operators, and others. The variety of travel options they offered were mind boggling. If you had the money and inclination, you could anywhere from Andamans to the Himalayas in India, Bangkok to Switzerland abroad!
There were very few individual customers visiting the expo. It could be that TTF is a B2B travel trade show mainly visited by travel agents and tour operators. I interviewed a few stall owners and checked out which are the tour itineraries popular among Indian tourists. I was surprised to know that despite the plethora of travel options on offer, most tourists asked for only three options – beach & booze locations, honeymoon packages, shopping destinations!
Are we confining our travel only three options… don’t we want to explore our diverse country, learn about new cultures, see enchanting scenery, experience the adventure and unwind in serene surroundings…
It is so sad that most of us don’t want explore new travel spots; rather we would go to the same location and do the same things. If travel is about enjoying the thrill, I am surprised that how this kind of repetitive visits can be thrilling! This is like saying “Hey, I went to Goa again during holidays and it was mind blowing, man!”
Anyway, for those who still have some adventure left in them, I urge you to take the off-the-beaten track on this world tourism day. Here are some interesting and exotic travel packages to check out –
• Agri-tourism or farm tourism packages offered in Maharashtra and Punjab
• Scuba diving in Andaman & Nicobar Islands
• Ayurvedic treatment and spice plantation visit in Kerala
• Homestay amidst coffee estates and angling for fish in Coorg
• Tea tasting and tea infused menu in Ooty tea gardens
• Trekking in the foothills of Himalayas in the Northeast
• Biking across the blue lakes and cold deserts of Ladakh
• Photography expeditions in wildlife sanctuaries by Beyondwild
• River cruises across the Brahmaputra
• Volunteer for organic farming in Uttarakhand