2017 will see travellers exploring undiscovered destinations, say experts.(HT Photo)
2017 will see travellers exploring undiscovered destinations, say experts.(HT Photo)

From food tours to bleisure: Major travel trends to watch out for in 2017

Wherever they go, travellers always look forward to having an experience of a lifetime. Travel industry experts forecast the hottest trends of 2017.
By Rajany Pradhan | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON JAN 02, 2017 07:22 PM IST

Do you get excited with the mere thought of discovering a new destination? Is having a great experience every time you pack your bag your idea of an ideal holiday? We list a few trends for enthusiasts who wish to know more about the fads that will create a buzz in the travel scene in 2017.

Undiscovered destinations
The discovered world has many undiscovered places, and 2017 will see travellers unleashing their inner explorer like never before. Whether it’s about going to a remote mountain village or finding a cosy guest house in a less-explored destination, there is an ever-growing appetite to embrace undiscovered environments.

According to Booking.com, 45% plan to be more adventurous in their choice of destination this year, while 47% would like to explore corners of the globe that none of their friends have been to. The website also mentions the top destinations in this category, which include Turkey, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines.

Rise of ‘food tours’
While culinary trips are already a part of larger holidays, ‘food tours’ will emerge as a trend this year. Neelu says, “Food tours will not just focus on dining or food tasting, but rather delve more into the cooking style of the place, the history of cuisines, and the local flavours, spices and traditions. Special sessions with the locals and culinary classes conducted by local chefs will help travellers understand the customs and traditions of a destination.”

According to Booking.com, this year will witness over 36% travellers planning to choose more eco-friendly travel options than they did in 2016. (HT Photo)
According to Booking.com, this year will witness over 36% travellers planning to choose more eco-friendly travel options than they did in 2016. (HT Photo)

Back to nature
Experiences that connect people with nature will be big in 2017. “Responsible nature tours, where travellers can appreciate wildlife and landscapes, will be high in demand. From camping in dense forests and nature trails to stargazing sessions and nature photography — the year ahead will see more travellers turning towards nature,” says Neelu Singh, CEO and director, Ezeego1.

According to Booking.com, this year will witness over 36% travellers planning to choose more eco-friendly travel options than they did in 2016.

‘Bleisure’ is when travellers mix business with leisure by extending their business trips to explore the place. (HT Photo)
‘Bleisure’ is when travellers mix business with leisure by extending their business trips to explore the place. (HT Photo)

‘Bleisure’ is the buzzword
If we go by the statistics, ‘bleisure’ boom is well underway. ‘Bleisure’ is when travellers mix business with leisure by extending their business trips to explore the place. According to Booking.com, 49% of business travellers have extended their business trips to further enjoy the destination, but a whopping 75% intend to do the same or more in this year.

The data also says 30% of travellers would accept a lower paid job if it meant they could travel more for work. Shekhar Chatterjee, who has been working with an MNC for around four years, and goes on frequent business trips, believes travelling is one of the main reasons he is glued to his current job.

“Extending business trips for fun is one of the most cost-effective ways to travel, as your flight tickets are paid by your company. All you have to manage is your accommodation and food. Also, when you are travelling for work, you meet colleagues and clients, who are locals. They will tell you exactly where to go and what to explore. So, you also have a support system in place.”

Trekking, camping and enjoying snow sports in Leh is getting more and more popular among tourists. (HT Photo)
Trekking, camping and enjoying snow sports in Leh is getting more and more popular among tourists. (HT Photo)

World of adventure
How about travelling to the Maldives or the Andaman Islands to spot underwater marine life, or visiting the Everest base camp for a trek. “Adventure tours have caught the fancy of Indian travellers who don’t mind roughing it out for an amazing experience. Therefore, we recently introduced a tour programme, where one can visit the mountain slopes of Leh to get a glimpse of the elusive and majestic snow leopard, and also camp at night to capture the Tibetan ibex, bharal or the Himalayan blue sheep, wolves, the red fox, the Ladakh urial and the lynx. These are experiences of a lifetime,” says Karan Anand, head — relationships, Cox & Kings Ltd.

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