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Travel for Indians has evolved from being shopping- oriented to adventure and leisure trips around the world. After all most big brands have made their appearance on the mall scene in the capital and to earn those bragging rights you need more than just shopping bags.

Keeping a tab on such changing travel trends is the TripAdvisor survey, which states that about 53 per cent respondents claimed be planning a holiday with the primary purpose of participating in an adventure activity within the next six months.

Seeing an increase in travelers heading to such destinations is Yatra.

There has been a huge demand for adventure sports among Indian travellers. We are seeing an increase of about 70 per cent in our bookings for this summer.

Activities like sky diving, bungee jumping and scuba diving have been capturing the imagination of many adventure enthusiasts," says Sharat Dhall, President, Yatra. com.

Agreeing with Dhall's observation is Madhav Pai, Director, Thomas Cook( India). " For India's new age traveller of today the shift is now pronounced -- from the standard shopping- sightseeing tour to personalised holidays including adventure leisure activities.

We have seen a growth of approximately 35 per cent for adventure travel this year," says Pai.

New Zealand tops the charts for adventure travel.

" The Kiwi nation continues to dominate the itinerary of adventure sport lovers as it offers green, pristine landscape apt for outdoor activities.

One can choose from a wide array of adventure sport activities from white water 53% The percentage of travellers who intend to go on an adventure holiday

rafting to riding a rocket ship on a wire. Malaysia is known for its rainforests and wildlife," says Dhall.

" Spain, Portugal, Central Europe and Canada are hot this season and many travellers are picking up spa packages, free cruises and river safaris," adds Dhall. A dding to this list is Karan Anand, head, relationships, Cox & Kings. " People are heading towards destinations such as Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand for adventure and leisure activities.

Malaysia is more famous for soft adventure.

jungle trekking in Taman Negara, Mountain Biking in Borneo, white water rafting and living with tribes," says Anand.

Elaborating on the unconventional ways of travelling is Pai. " It could be via horseback, Segway tours, bicycling, or even Ferrari drives, therapeutic baths in Azerbaijan's mud volcanoes, a walking tour from Zagreb to the Adriatic coast in Croatia or camping in the Brazil's Amazonian forests, fissure snorkelling in Iceland, Horseback safaritrails in South Africa," says Pai.

And interestingly it is not just the singles, who are opting for variety in their travel itinerary. " The dominant group in this are DINKS ( double income, no kids) as they are more experimental and they end up spending more than a week at destinations such as New Zealand," says Dhall.

Pai, however, says that they have seen families, honeymoon couples, corporate executives and the new emerging ad- hoc group traveller- be it a group of likeminded friends or family opting for itineraries with a difference.

With a world to explore, Indian travellers have come a long way.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:May 30, 2013
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