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G Adventures identified its top travel trends for 2012, based on travel patterns and feedback from customers as well as the company’s on-the-ground guides. The tour operator sees a demand for holistic experiences, local living experiences and comfortable trips. North America, Southeast Asia and Machu Picchu top the company’s predictions for this year’s most sought-after destinations.
According to Bruce Poon Tip, founder of G Adventures, more of the company’s travelers are showing an interest in organic, holistic itineraries that immerse them in local life.
“They want to live like the locals do and actively explore the region for a raw, honest approach to the destination,” said Poon Tip.
In response, the company is now offering a Local Living program, which expands on the idea of a home-stay. On the Amalfi Coast Local Living trip, travelers stay in a farm house in the village of Sant Alfonso and hike local trails. On the Patagonia Local Living trip, travelers stay in an organic farm, where they learn about sustainable farming and can hike and bike Patagonia’s trails.
G Adventures also offers a local living trip in Guatemala, a destination that has grown by 30 percent in 2011 versus the previous year. Travelers visit volcano-dotted Lake Atitlan and learn about Maya culture and day-to-day agricultural and artisan trades. Local Living tours are also available in the Dolomites, Northern Tuscany and Southern Tuscany, Italy.
Based on a 15 percent growth in sales in 2011 for its Comfort program, the tour operator foresees a continued interest in itineraries that combine adventure, culture and wildlife with upgraded transportation and accommodations which offer additional amenities, facilities and services.
Destinations on the rise for 2012 include national parks and landmarks in North America, including the Canadian Rockies, the Grand Canyon and Death Valley. G Adventures also predicts that, abroad, Southeast Asia is growing beyond the well-treaded destinations such as Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. The company believes that the Philippines and Myanmar are emerging as this year’s off-the-beaten-path hot spots.
G Adventures also sees the lasting popularity of Machu Picchu, which celebrated its 100-year anniversary in 2011.