Luxurious adventure: the new buzzword in tourism

June 7th, 2009 - 2:16 pm ICT by IANS  

By Amrah Ashraf
New Delhi, June 7 (IANS) An adventure sojourn during the day and the evenings filled with luxury and indulgence. Yes, that’s the new mantra travel operators across the country are offering to woo domestic as well as international travellers.

The trend which has become much sought after by the jet-set corporate honchos is now becoming common with adventure seekers looking for that adrenalin rush with some pampering thrown in.

“From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. we give our guests the spice of adventure that they want - while from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. we pamper them with the finest high-end luxury products and services,” Sanjay Basu, from The Far Horizons, an international tour operator, told IANS.

“An average man is looking to be pampered with tailor-made holidays with high attention on details along with unparalleled and memorable soft adventure activities,” said Basu, whose group charges $200-300 for a two night-three day package per person.

The Far Horizons has its own super luxury Dera resorts in Rajasthan and its clients comprise Indians as well as foreigners.

According to Mandip Singh Soin, vice president, Adventure Tour Operators Association of India: “The amalgamation of luxury with soft adventure owes its existence to two reasons.”

He said: “One reason is that those who love to indulge in luxury are now beginning to enjoy an occasional trek, jeep safari through the woods and mountains that adds to their experience. Secondly, those who are pure adventure fanatics now have the opportunity to upscale their comfort level. Overall it is a better and healthy experience.”

The preferred sectors in India for a ‘luxurious adventure’ are Rajasthan, Kerala and Uttarakhand, Soin said.

However, some of the most preferred destinations are Velavadar black buck national park and Gir national park, both in Gujarat.

The other draw is Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh, Dera Sanddune resort in Thar and luxury camps in Sunderbans in West Bengal.

According to many travel planners, such packages are specially favoured by corporates and are now being followed by others too.

“There is a growing interest amongst the corporates about the dual package of high-end vacations with adventure activities. They use this concept to promote team building amongst their employees,” an official from the Corbett Foundation told IANS.

“Our clients can experience the typical jungle ambiance but with a panache. Multi-cuisine restaurants, fully stocked bar, hot and cold swimming pools, spacious cozy rooms along with visits to the wildlife centres, tiger safaris and river rafting in the river Kosi are big on demand,” he added.

The Neemrana Group of Hotels in Rajasthan offers an aerial zip-line experience - an airborne adventure, that flies you high in the sky along super-strong steel cables suspended between hills-tops which costs Rs.1,500 for an individual.

What adds to the thrill of the zip is its location - in the midst of a mountainous landscape etched with royal fortresses.

Another fairly new concept is hot air ballooning.

Skywaltz is India’s first commercial and only licensed hot air balloon company and offers tie-ups with hotels for passenger rides in Jaipur, Pushkar, Udaipur, Ranthambore in Rajasthan and in Delhi on special requests.

The ride can cost Indians Rs.8,000 to 12,000, while the same would cost foreign tourists $200-300.

“We offer our guests the opportunity of flying in man’s first flight while experiencing leisure and comfort,” Gagan Kapoor, business development manager Skywaltz, told IANS.

But, apart from these adrenaline-rush adventures, resorts are also promoting soft adventures.

Ooty-based Kurumba Village Resort offers soft adventures and treks with local tribals along with the high-end stay.

“In the past few years we have had the opportunity of making our guests appreciate nature’s infinite sounds and sights while piecing together various resorts which would retain the glory of the nature and provide ultra modern amenities to our guests,” Sanjay Awatramani, the resort’s spokesperson said.

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