Tours Move Beyond 'Been There' with On board Experts
- 13 Jan, 2016
- The Economic Times
BENGALURU: Dr Ranjani Rao, 38, an Electronics City-based
dentist, foodie and travel junkie, has been there, seen it. She has done
preplanned travel packages, solo trips trips with large groups and also travel
meet-ups.She now seeks a travel plan
that is experiential, fun, personalised and informative. So, her next trip - to
Peru in April and centered around food - will be with a group of 6-10 people.
This time, her group is taking their food guide along.
an expert, we can dine with local families, have conversations with local chefs
and learn how to cook like them," she said. "Homework by the expert
ensures that even leisure spent productively as per local culture. This is the
kind of travel I want to do henceforth."
travel with a guidebook when you can travel with the person who wrote it is the
new mantra many Bengalureans are adopting. A whole new segment, the expert-led
intimate travel, is born and food, archaeology , wildlife, art, nature trails,
adventure, art and photography are among the most sought-after.
Gauri Jayaram'sActive Holiday Companyorganises
all these plus expert-led marathon and cycling tours. "These trips do not
come cheap and travellers who opt for them are connoisseurs. They get into
details and technicalities and ask pointed questions. Since they cannot be
treated at par with tourists wanting to tick destinations off their bucket list,
a specialist is a must."
engineer Sathish Ramakrishnan travelled solo in search of new archaeological
discoveries. Then, he came across Carnelian, experts in heritage tours.
"We had a conservation architect who told us about monument preservation.
We cannot know this on a regular trip." He travelled to Avani, Chitradurga
and Lepakshi recently.
Meera Iyer of Carnelian leads 12 trips every year. She said that
challenges can be logistical - going to lesser-known places in the shortest
time with least discomfort. "Also, experts have to be more discerning on
where to take people and what would fit into the trip's theme."Vikram Ahuja,
director, Byond Travel, is launching his first expert-led tour to Brazil and
Machu Picchu in April with celebrity actor - writer Rubi Chakravarti leading
the group. "Experts allow us to get the finer details right. Being with
the group throughout, experts develop a bond that is far deeper than any local
expert can provide."
SaidHari Nair, CEO, Holiday IQ: "Right now, it is in a niche
stage and a little unorganised. More people opting for it and sharing feedback
online will create stronger content for future travellers and lend experts more
travellers seeking bragging rights on social media are aiding the momentum, he