Over-tourism and responsible travel are the two big factors influencing World Expeditions’ new active Asian program, with the expanded and enhanced range designed to get travellers away from the tourist hot spots and to deliver a positive environmental impact, in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).
World Expeditions’ new range is featured in the 84 page Active Asian Adventures brochure and includes new self-guided pilgrimage hikes and e-biking itineraries in Japan, new cycle itineraries in remote China, new adventures to lesser known destinations in Vietnam, Indonesia and Laos, and two new national park experiences in Mongolia.
The new range contributes to a wind energy project in Vietnam, as part of the company’s drive to ensure all its trips are sustainable.
According to World Expeditions CEO, Sue Badyari, the new range is the result of collaboration with the company’s long-standing Asian partners and expert guides to deliver more authentic experiences in lesser known destinations.
“We recognise that many destinations in Asia are now tourist hot spots and we’ve worked hard to research and deliver itineraries that offer the attractions of those places without the crowds,” Ms Badyari said. “The fact that more than half the trips in the new brochure are brand new or amended itineraries demonstrates the unprecedented rate of change in the region.”
“The locals are excited for tourism to these less visited regions and we are confident the unique range of adventures will delight our travellers,” she said.
“By joining a World Expeditions’ trip, our travellers will have a positive impact environmentally,” she said. “We’ve calculated the carbon emitted on each trip and offset it by purchasing credits that support the Bac Lieu Wind Energy project in Vietnam, which addresses the SGD’s goals of reducing poverty, providing affordable clean energy, providing decent work and economic growth and climate action.”
“The challenge may be getting people excited about places they probably haven’t yet heard of,” Ms Badyari said, “but we’re determined to showcase these ‘emerging’ places that will inspire our travellers, most of whom are less motivated by others’ social posts and more interested in exploring a new destination differently.”
“The new trips are generally shorter, so it’s easier to mix and match experiences, delivering maximum flexibility, which is increasingly valued by the modern day adventure traveller,” Ms Badyari said.
Japan’s ancient pilgrimage routes feature in the new brochure, with new self-guided hikes on Japan’s World Heritage listed Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes and the Nakasendo Way, all of which are designed for more independent travellers seeking the flexibility to walk at their own pace, yet wanting accommodation organized and luggage transferred. An exciting addition to the Japan program is the introduction of e-bikes on three new cycling itineraries – one from the coastline into the picturesque Japanese Alps region – and two on the more remote northern island of Hokkaido.
“World Expeditions was the first company to offer trekking tours in Japan in the 1990’s, so it’s timely to be introducing a range of new hiking adventures and new e-biking trips now,” Ms Badyari said. “Just as small group tours gave people confidence to travel to Japan then, the availability of e-bikes gives less confident cyclists the opportunity to participate now – and Japan is absolutely ideal for cycling.”
In Vietnam, the emphasis remains firmly on active pursuits with new hikes in the remote Pu Luong and Ha Giang areas supporting local communities with homestay accommodation, with all the benefits of real cultural exchange, as well as new multi-activity itineraries combining cycling, hiking and kayaking in lesser visited Lan Ha Bay, as opposed to the very popular Ha Long Bay.
Along with a new hike along the western-most point of China’s Great Wall and the little known Rainbow Mountains of Zhangye Danxia and a new touring itinerary taking in the stunning Pinnacles of Zhangjiajie, there are also two new fully-supported cycling adventures showcasing the best of some of the most remote regions of southern China.
Two new adventure cruises are on offer – one amidst the 612 islands that make up the stunning Raja Ampat region of Indonesia aboard a purpose-built trimaran – and the other on a journey down a remote stretch of the Mekong River between Chang Rai and Laos’ cultural capital, Luang Prabang.
In Mongolia, the fascination with the traditional nomadic way of life continues to entice travellers there and the new offerings showcase this – in more remote regions. The new Tavan Bogd trek offers both immersion in genuine Mongolian wilderness and the chance to experience authentic nomadic culture and the Cycle Khan Khenty takes in the raw beauty of the Khan Khenty national park by bike.
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