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Tour operators are looking to introduce guests to the local way of life with new immersive experiences and a focus on the foods and flavors that make each destination unique. For 2014, G Adventures is adding five new Local Living trips — a Northern Lights Iceland adventure with departures October through December; Thailand Hill Tribe experience; a Kenya itinerary in which travelers stay with the Masai people in their village; and two Italy trips, one in Sorrento and the other along the Amalfi Coast. The Local Living concept uses non-tourist accommodations, including farmhouses, and agriturismos, and introduces guests into the local community and cuisine through expert-led cooking classes and demonstrations.
Similarly, Insight Vacations recently launched its Exotics Collection, which include game safaris in search of the Royal Bengal Tiger, Bhutanese cooking classes and a guided tour of Bhutan’s only commercial cheese factory. Guests stay at hand-selected hotels and take part in signature dining experiences, including a cooking demonstration with a renowned chef in Olympia and a luncheon at India’s Laxmi Vilas Palace. www.gadventures.com; www.insightvacations.com