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Mumbai folks take path less travelled

The iconic Sydney Opera House does not feature on city-based couple Maurice and Megan Correa's to-do list when they visit Australia next month. The couple will instead visit the Tobruk Sheep Station about 70 km from Sydney.

mumbai Updated: Jan 24, 2011 01:05 IST
Soubhik Mitra

The iconic Sydney Opera House does not feature on city-based couple Maurice and Megan Correa's to-do list when they visit Australia next month. The couple will instead visit the Tobruk Sheep Station about 70 km from Sydney. "I want to see how the farm industry continues to boost the Australian economy,” said Maurice, a construction company owner.

The couple has lived in a tribal household in the Sahara desert, fished at the Lijiang River with a Chinese family, which trains Cormorant (fishing birds) to make a living, and also spent a vacation at a virgin island in Malaysia, meant for preserving Oran-gutans.

City tour operators claim that a niche group of travellers like the Correas, who believe in travel beyond breezy sightseeing tours, is growing.

“We call them experiential travellers as they come to us with a specific list of things they want to do in a country,” said Subhash Motwani, director of Compact Travels, which specialises in such vacations.

Porus Master, an architect from Mumbai, told his travel agent to book him a budget hotel in Turkey, but to ensure that he got to spend hours at Istanbul’s several museums. “I had to visit the different museums including the Hagia Sofia Museum in Istanbul,” said Master. Architectural wonders of Tuscany, Islamic architecture in Andalusia and the works of Gaudi in Barcelona are next on his list. Similarly, Homar Peri, director with a private equity firm in Mumbai, chose Gautemala to get a firsthand experience of hiking at active volcanoes.

Increased exposure to travel literature, cinema and most importantly the web has driven people to plan such thoroughly tailored holidays, say travel experts. “Culinary tours, sporting events and wildlife are some areas where such travel is catching up,” said Rajesh Rateria, chairman (western region), Travel Agents Association of India.