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Travellers are rediscovering adventure holidays

  • 03-Feb-11 16:48
  • OLD
  • Wall Street Journal

The travel market is showing signs of recovery as travellers seek high value holidays with the chance to encounter unique experiences at the same time such as safaris in Africa, mountain climbing in the Alps or scuba diving in the Maldives.

Travellers are rediscovering adventure holidays

Travellers and tour companies are restoring their faith in the travel market once again as it begins to show recovery after a couple of difficult years and offers holidays on a different scale.

High value holidays are in demand as travellers are keen to tighten their purse strings without having to compromise on their luxuries or destination choices.

Many travellers are keen to take part in unique experience during their holidays and many are opting for luxury boot camps, or high value holidays which focus on arts, literature and cultural.

Simon Mayle of International Luxury Travel Market, an annual trade event in Europe and Asia, explained: "People are not flaunting their wealth; it is all about having out-of-the-world experiences."

Michelle Grant from Euromonitor International, a market-research group, adds that travellers are looking to meet their personal goals and accomplishments during their holidays: "It is the search for a unique experience where you reap benefits as well, such as climbing Kilimanjaro.

"People this year are looking to take their bucket-list holidays."

Other factors which influence travellers' choice of holidays include ethical concerns as holiday makers seek alternative forms luxury holidays which combine eco-tourism and sustainability.

Once destination which offers this eco-luxury holiday combination is the Maldives where resorts are becoming increasingly aware of their carbon footprint and the impact of travel. Six Senses started six years ago in the Maldives and offer 14 resorts for travellers on Asia and Maldives holidays. Their intention is to become carbon neutral by 2020 and one of its latest initiatives is an eco-villa in Thailand which is completely powered by solar energy and water.

Tom Marchant from Black Tomato luxury travel specialists says that old fashioned exploration trips are becoming fashionable.

"We have seen the need for retro holidays that involve slowly retracing the steps of the great explorers," he explains. "It is a backlash against the culture of immediacy."

Travellers looking for off-the-beaten-track holidays are heading to Latin America where an array of unique experiences awaits them.

Chief executive of flight-comparison website Skyscanner, Gareth Williams, says: "Flight searches for Chile have doubled over the last 12 months, while year-on-year searches to Argentina have increased by a massive 162% We would expect the popularity of these holiday destinations to continue well into 2011."

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