Out of the ordinary
The industry seems to be gaining back its momentum after a period of tardiness. Tour operators and specialists in the outbound space are looking upbeat as business seems to be encouraging, which interestingly is not restricted only to the metros and major cities. Operators in India’s Tier II cities are sharing the same sentiment. The suppliers too are working strategically to meet the demand and requirements of the lucrative India outbound segment. Countries which till few years ago did not feature India in their business vision, have totally redefined their moves. Destinations like Greece and Portugal did not have India anywhere on their list but have clearly realised the power of the Indian outbound traveller and are working closely with outbound tourism associations and destination management companies to make inroads into the country. Newer regions like Zanzibar and some from South America are testing the waters and are trying to understand the business rather closely.
The old and the established are reinvesting in themselves and are preparing a new pitch and promotion plan. They are bringing to the fore their hidden secrets and exclusive routes and trails that are still unexplored by the discerning Indian traveller. Having said this, it is also the responsibility of tour specialists to understand and sell a product rather than take the easy route of selling a ‘copy paste’ itinerary. Today’s traveller is on Twitter and Facebook and to match that information one has to be a specialist to the core. The time has come to go beyond what appears on the brochure and understand the pulse of the place and supply your buyer with news and information which is beyond the internet and social media. Today destinations like the UAE are also going the niche way offering products that are out of the ordinary. The emirates including Dubai are rediscovering themselves, the highlights of which can be seen in our cover story.
Finally, back home, India has always been proud of her hidden jewels. Apart from the standard Golden Triangle and famous parks and sanctuaries, the Dudhwa National Park too has its unique story to share. Agri tourism is also finding its foot in the hidden field of rural Maharashtra. At the end of the day travel is for discovering and rediscovering stories and routes that leave an impression. Every wanderlust can take his or her own journey towards finding something special.