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Far-flung destinations entice adventurous travellers

February 6, 2014 Tour Operator No Comments Email Email

Destinations that were once considered no-go zones or too remote are now beckoning adventurous travellers, as Australia’s leading adventure travel operators – Intrepid Travel, Peregrine Adventures and Geckos Adventures – report an increase in popularity for far-flung countries.

And those who take on the challenge are rewarded with smaller crowds, some of the friendliest locals and authentic experiences.

Countries that have been considered dangerous are slowly shaking off their bad reputations, with small group tours in Iran, Colombia, Central America and West Africa having recently seen a surge in sales.

“We are aiming to demystify some of the associations these countries have with being unsafe because they are immensely rewarding for travellers who want a true off-the-tourist-map experience,” said Pete Miers, Middle East Destination Manager, Intrepid Group.

Intrepid have developed three new itineraries in Colombia this year after the country experienced high demand in 2013 and Central America trips have seen a 32% and 49% growth for Intrepid and Peregrine respectively year on year, with many trips in the region frequently booked out. Interest has increased in Ethiopia as well as for Peregrine’s West African Kingdoms, which travels through Burkina Faso, Benin and Togo to Ghana.

Additional trips have just been added to Intrepid’s Iran Adventure and Peregrine’s Ancient Persia in Depth this year with most other departures sold out or selling fast. Peregrine has already exceeded last year’s Iran trip bookings – a total of 49 travellers – with 84 travellers booked for 2014.

“Relations between Iran and the West have softened dramatically, which would explain why a trickle of Western travellers has now grown into an ever-widening torrent,” said Pete Miers. “The success of last year’s nuclear negotiations between the USA and Iran, and the election of the relatively moderate and liberal President Rouhani has portrayed Iran as more of a ‘friendly destination’ and as such this is translating into a renewed tourism interest.”

To satisfy the adventurous travellers appetite, Peregrine have added brand-new far-flung destinations to their 2014 programme, with the Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia trip having already sold out the two departures scheduled. A further two have just been added in May and September.

Interest has also been growing over Peregrine’s new Expedition Algeria, Africa’s largest country that boasts no less than seven UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites. “Algeria has been off the map for mainstream tourists for 20 years or so, after a civil war during the 1990s rendered it off-limits,” said Pete Miers. “Now, the majority of the country is quite safe to return to and presents a chance for even the most-travelled to get in early and see a country that has not experienced huge tourist developments and commercialisation neighbouring countries have undergone.

“It’s possible that Algeria has the potential to be the next Sri Lanka or Burma – two other countries that were also off-limits to most travellers and where tourism is now booming.”

For more details please visit Intrepid TravelPeregrine Adventures or Geckos Adventures

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