Top 7 Tourism Trends in 2016

Tourism is an evergreen industry and people of late have started venturing out more than ever. In a country like India with its mighty mountains, beautiful forests and valleys there are plenty of variety even to the most hardened person. All this natural beauty and spiritual places to visit; Indian tourism has to take note of tourism trends and move in tune with the changing times.

Travelers these days have all the information required and they often research the place before actually visiting it. Tourism industry has to keep pace with the informed traveler by fulfilling all the hype and promises made in their glossy websites. Service has to be impeccable to ensure survival.

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So what’s trending?

People are going off the beaten tracks and learning to explore the country with an aim to understand local flavor. Luxury hotels jostle with hostel kind of accommodation to cater to the budget conscious customer. Home-stays allow the traveler to actually live with a local family eat their food and generally experience a different way of life. This is a marked trend from staying in luxury hotels and generally looking at our country from a different view point.

Boutique hotels are also a growing trend to cater to the  rich. These are state supported hotels like palace hotels and usually provide luxury dwellings.

Adventure sports offering in the tourism industry has shown a marked increase. From kite flying in Rajasthan to paragliding to trekking and mountaineering, river rafting etc professionals offer the travelers a good time.

Nowadays new trends like customized tours, food walks, cooking tours, village stays and adventure camps are gaining popularity. This allows us to showcase our amazing culinary tradition to the world. Worldwide wine tasting and food trails are common. Of late large vineyards in India also offer wine tasting.

The local people put on culture shows and offer their handicraft for sale in hotels giving the travelers a chance to interact with them. Culture tours are fast gaining popularity.

Another trend is medical tourism. Many tourists are travelling to our country as medical care is of high standards. This holds true for allopathic and ayurvedas as well.People are opting for wellness packages to heal themselves in our traditional medicine systems and while they are here they tend to visit nearby areas as well.

Nowadays the Indians running tourism sites have in turn travelled abroad and learnt the tricks of trade from them.

Infrastructure improvement by state Government and central government has made the travel industry much more attractive to foreign and domestic traveler. But sometimes safety of foreign travelers is also seen as an issue. We need to work on this area in order to make people feel safe. If we can erase such fears of visiting foreigners by our strict vigilance the market will improve dramatically

Best Urban Parks in the World

Urban parks are a boon to residents living in concrete jungles. It provides a welcome respite from the dust and grime of city life and allows the residents reconnect with nature. Typically an urban park would have sprawling wide green spaces, play areas, public fitness trails etc. Worldwide there have been beautiful and stunning examples of urban parks which have been the pride and joy of the local people. Immortalized in several Hollywood movies, the Central Park, located in New York, is a beautiful urban park spread over 800 acres. It has many features like Belvedere castle and a water reservoir.

Another famous park in the United States is located in Los Angeles Griffith national park lies at a vantage point and it is possible to view Los Angeles from here. This park is considered as the star attraction by visitors of Los Angeles. Bosques de Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina is considered an open air community space. City people gather here for farmers market on Sundays. It also has all the features of urban park like lake and picnic spots. Hyde Park in London is a large park right in the middle of bustling city. It has also featured in many movies and fictional plots. Bukit Timah Park, Singapore is a nature reserve situated in a hill at height of 163 meters. It is a replica of a wonderful rainforest. Park Guell in Barcelona in the country of Spain is a marvelous urban park which is considered an architectural wonder and is UNESCO World Heritage site.

Mansanto Park in Lisbon, Portugal is a big park with 2400 acres and wonderful amid varied wildlife and plant life. Luxemburg Park Paris is a testimony to the famous French taste for finer things in life. It has the Luxemburg palace which is home to the French senate. The French certainly conduct their politics also in style! Yarkon Park, is located in city in Tel Aviv Israel There are a lots of sports courts botanical garden It is actually a busy place with millions of visitors.pp full coverA

Phoenix Park in Dublin Ireland is one of the biggest parks in Europe. There is the world famous Dublin zoo very large woodland with a lot of heritage monuments in the park. Sanjay Gandhi National park Mumbai India is also a famous urban park located near Mumbai There are many heritage monuments and wild life conservation areas inside the park. The park is an Ideal getaway for Mumbaikars to escape the busy city life and escape into the lap of nature.

There is no denying the usefulness and sheer comfort of urban parks. More parks and open spaces should be planned in each and every city of the world. Human beings are essentially nature loving and crave the outdoors. We are all living an artificial life locked high in our apartment complexes and busy lives. A trip to these places can renew our cells and breathe new life into us.

Best Snowshoe Destinations for Couples

If you love heights and speeds and the breezy romance of winter, snowshoeing is for you. Think of winter sports and it is skiing and snowboarding that come to our mind first. However, along with these tried and tested sports, snowshoeing is also slowly gaining popularity. It gives us an opportunity to appreciate the magnificence of winter in a peaceful and relaxed way. That’s not all. It is affordable too, as it doesn’t need too many paraphernalia. Here are some of the top snowshoeing destinations you can enjoy with your better half. So sit back, relax and read on…

Sandia Crest, New Mexico

For hikers and backpackers, New Mexico is not the first place that comes to their mind when they are planning a snowshoeing adventure. However, it snows quite a lot in the northern part of the state, and it is the ideal location for couples. You can take the air tram to Sandia Crest and snowshoe down to the mountain base.

Black Hills, South Dakota

The Black Hills of South Dakota is mostly visited by travellers in the summer to see Mount Rushmore. There are also other famous landmarks in the American West enroute. What not many people know is that, this is also a great place to snowshoe during the winter. You can even spot rare wildlife species in the Custer State Park, which spans thousands of acres. You can start snowshoeing from Centennial Trail beginning at Bear Butte Lake and then head towards Wind Cave National Park.

McCoy Park – Beaver Creek, Colorado

The Beaver Creek area of Colorado, about 100 miles from Denver, tops a snowshoer’s itinerary. McCoy Park has 32 kilometers of trails and offers stunning views of the area’s mountain ranges. It is quite sunny here, and that gives you the much needed warmth in the cold winter. If you love luxury, there are resorts, which let you access the trails by lift. If you want a little more fun in the snow, head to Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Park.

Mt. Seymour – British Columbia, Canada23417407851_10bed15049_c

It is a couple-friendly snowshoe destination that offers many other sightseeing and recreational activities. Mt. Seymour is suited in British Columbia’s North Shore. Here, snowshoers can indulge in pretty much all winter sports.

Queenstown, New Zealand

It is well-know that New Zealand has a lot to offer when it comes to warm-weather adventure sports. However, not many know that it is an ideal place for snowshoeing during the winter too. Apart from its great possibilities for snowshoeing, what makes it a great destination for couples is it fine-dining restaurants, bars and shops.

Lapland, Finland

Apart from snowshoeing, you can take a walk into the wilderness in the Lapland area. There are also quaint little villages in the area. You can have a stopover in these villages and enjoy some hot snacks and drinks.

Top 5 Ecotourism Hotspots for 2016

If you are an eco-adventurer, your idea of a perfect trip will be to immerse yourself in the natural world. It goes without saying that you are also a responsible traveller who is well aware that any of your actions will have a lasting impact on the ecosystem. We list out top five ecotourism hotspots in India as well as abroad that is on the bucket list of every well-informed eco-tourist.

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Kerala

Kerala, also known as God’s Own Country, is known for its sandy beaches and lush virgin tropical evergreen forests, finest wildlife sanctuaries, national parks and trekking spots. It is home to unique animal species like the Nilgiri Tahr (an endangered mountain goat), lion-tailed macaque, and many more. The Rajamala National Park, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Silent Valley National Park, Eravikulam National Park and the Lake Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary are an eco-adventure’s haven. These parks are maintained using the scientific conservation methods, without disturbing the traditional lifestyle of the tribals in the region. Kerala’s highlands are also rich in flora and fauna. The hill stations are also known for its tea, coffee and rubber plantations.

Dubai

Dubai is known for its shopping destinations and sky-high architectural wonders. However, not many know that the Middle East tourist haven has one of the world’s best ecotourism destinations – Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa, which is Dubai’s desert conservation reserve. You will find here one of world’s rarest animals – the Arabian Oryx. It is Dubai’s first national park, which grows 6000 indigenous trees, grass and shrubs. You can also indulge yourself in camel treks and desert safaris. The resort recycles 100 percent of its water. So here is another reason to visit Dubai.

Palau

The island nation of Palau, which is known for preserving its environment, is one of the world’s leading diving destinations with an unbelievable biodiversity. It is home to around 7000 species of coral and has 1,400 varieties of fish. There are untouched beaches and trekking tracks through dense forests. The Palau Conservation Society manages more than 400 miles of reefs and lagoons. It has also earmarked non-fishing zones and 40 protected areas.

Kenya

Kenya has around 50 national parks and reserves. Its diversity is what sets Kenya apart from other ecotourism destinations. Apart from its diverse wildlife and unique ecosystem, it has mountains, rain forests, deserts and beaches. You can either laze around the beaches or go diving along the coral reefs. Kenya offers some of the world’s most responsible safaris too. The accommodations follow sustainable tourism practices.

Bonito, Brazil 

Bonito is famous for its spotless rivers, mighty waterfalls, verdant landscape and diverse range of wildlife. To preserve Bonito’s natural beauty, the government has regulated the number of tourists visiting the place. The Caiman Ecological Refuge in the Pantanal region of Brazil was named one of National Geographic Adventure Magazine’s “Best Green Adventures” owing to its success in preserving the eco-diversity. This 132,000-acre cattle station practices a sustainable approach to ranching, saving the world’s largest wetlands from destruction due to grazing. The Caiman Ecological Refuge is a working cattle station, surrounded by forests, fields and waterways. Thirty other private nature refuges have been started based on the model.

Best Destinations for Family Travel

Families should vacation together to spend time together and create great memories to reminisce later. Vacations can now be planned down to the last detail online itself. The options of places to visit, tour packages, and travel modes can be tailored to suit everybody needs. So just pack up and go! You will discover new places and reconnect with your loved ones! There are many fabulous destinations to travel along with your family.

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Srinagar: It is really a paradise on earth with beautiful scenery great weather. You can take lovely long rides on the Dal lake, loll about in green gardens like Nishat bhagh, Chasme Shahi ,Shalimar bagh and just chill.

Rajasthan: The very name conjures images of desolate landscape with beautiful vibrantly dressed people. It is filled with forts and palaces to explore. You will be transported to the past by travelling on camel back and bullock carts! Pink city jaipur is fabled and lives up to its name. You can visit Ranthambore National park, Jaisalmer, jothpur,pushkar and Udaipur. You can show your children the tigers and animals living in their natural habitat. Just click away pictures and showoff!

If you want to reconnect to your soul and enjoy the spiritual peace, Ladakh is a stunning destination to visit. Visit Buddhist monasteries ,those with an adventurous spirit can try out activities like mountain biking trekking jeep safari mountaineering etc places of interest are Leh palace, Spituk Monastery Nubra valley etc. Shimla is the one of the best hill station destinations to visit with your family.

While we are on the topic of hill stations, another beautiful destination worthy of mention is Manali, which is in Himalayas. Just live it up with blood soaring activities like river rafting, trekking and skiing. To pacify the older family members there are four temples Hidimba Devi Temple, Manu Temple and Vashisth temple.

Nainital is an excellent choice if you are interested in a rustic setting with a peaceful village life. It is a comfortable warm setting with natural surroundings.

In south India Munnar is an excellent choice. The very drive through green tea gardens and low lying clouds makes you feel as if you are in heaven. Anamudi peak (elephant peak) is truly spectacular sight .You can rent cycles and take a leisurely ride to soak in the atmosphere and don’t forget to visit tea factory and buy some.

Kodaikanal Ooty and Coorg are again beautiful hill stations to visit in south India. Each hill station is filled with various activities to keep your entire family totally engrossed. Places of interest in Ooty would be a Doddabeta peak, pykara falls and botanical gardens. On the drive up you can also visit Coonoor which has many beautiful places. Coorg is famous for its coffee plantations and lush environment. Elephant Park and animal sightings are an attraction here. Kodai lake is world famous and boating is a famous activity here. All these hill stations are easily approachable and well connected to nearby stations where you can either fly down to or travel by train.

Beautiful Landscapes in Europe

Europe is made up of multiple countries and has an abundance of has magical looking landscapes. From beautiful coastlines, tall mountain ranges, endless meadows, dense deciduous forests, high rise cities to towns and villages with ancient buildings, Europe is full of scenic landscapes. However, some are more breath-taking than the rest.

  1. Finnish Lakeland, Finland: This is one of the largest lake districts of Finland. The landscape came into being due to the shifting of glaciers over hundreds years ago.The Finnish Lakeland is made up of thousands of lakes, ponds, streams, rivers and islands making it one of the most breathtaking scenery in all of Europe.Tuscany
  2. Tuscany, Italy: Ancient roman architecture along with the splendour of nature has made Tuscany in central Italy a striking landscape. It is the warm climates and the numerous architectural marvels of ancient Rome that attracts thousands of tourists to this beautiful place.
  3. Santorini, Greece: Deep blue waters, beautiful cliffs and the architecture make Santorini a dreamy view. The spell binding colours of the sea and the sky in contrast with the colours of the cliffs make it impossible for one to not fall in love with the landscape.
  4. Bavarian Alps, Germany: The deep, dense forests, endless mountains and the lush green pasture lands, make this place striking. The cool weather conditions and the beautiful scenery make the Bavarian Alps one of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe.
  5. Giverny, France: This landscape has been the inspiration behind numerous painting. The water lilies, the willow trees and the sleepy country side makes Giverny a gorgeous scene.
  6. Venta Rapid, Lativa: The Venta Rapid is one of the widest and shortest waterfalls of Europe. The soothing sound of the water falling over light green moss and rocks makes this site unquestionably beautiful and peaceful.
  7. Lake Balaton, Hungary: Lake Balaton is one of the most longest and shallowest water lakes of Europe. The blue-green, turquoise colour of the lake bordered by greenery and country houses make this a beautiful landscape to visit.
  8. Flanders Field, Belgium: Endless seas of red flowers lying under beautiful blue skies make Flanders Field in Belgium breathtakingly beautiful. The site is made up of World War I battlefields which are now symbolically full of beautiful flowers. Flanders Field is not only a splendid scenery but also one of the most visited cemetery and memorial in the world.