There is no question that India is a hot travel destination, but what makes it so appealing to so many travelers? Adventure travel pioneer Wildland Adventures has a few reasons: Tigers and our ability to view them in the wild:They are big, beautiful and endangered.
Research has shown there are less than 2,000 Bengal tigers left in the world today. The current range of the tiger is only seven per cent of what it used to be, requiring people coming to India to view tigers within a limited amount of space. So this summer, tiger viewing was banned. In July, concern over the growth of tiger tourism and the affect on the remaining tigers' health and well-being caused the Supreme Court of India to ban tourism from the core areas of all 41 tiger sanctuaries in the country where tigers are believed to breed and hunt while new conservation guidelines were crafted. This essentially shut down tiger tourism within the country. As of Oct. 16, 2012 that ban was lifted, while the newly created National Tiger Conservation Authority spearheads the establishment of new conservation and tourism management guidelines. It is a wake up call, and a reminder of the delicate balance between carefully managed ecotourism that protects these magnificent creatures while raising funds through responsible wildlife viewing that supports ongoing conservation efforts. Tiger tourism is needed to protect the tigers, as long as it is done following the conservation guidelines. The ability to experience India sustainably:Ecotourism is also growing within India, thanks to the increased interest in wildlife viewing, and the country's system of 80 national parks and 441 nature sanctuaries that protect and conserve India's wildlife. Wildland Adventures can now hire locally trained guides who are educated in responsible wildlife viewing. The company also helps invest in guide training, thanks to the funds raised through their local tours. Today, more than ever, tour operators can provide travelers with a more sustainable experience across India. Participating in local community tourism initiatives that invest back into the community, staying at locally owned and operated âhavelis', restored former residences of wealthy merchants, and homestays, and partaking in local festivals is now easier than ever before. For example, Wildland Adventures brings travelers to Kanha and Bandavgarh Jungle Lodges which are among the first lodges dedicated to ecotourism in India, built and operated by the Sankahla family who also started Project Tiger, India's first and ongoing tiger conservation initiative. For more information, visit www.tiger-resorts.com. Going beyond the Taj Mahal with more air access and modern airports:There are 17 international and 115 domestic airports in India, which makes getting around the country easier than ever. More unique experiences and remote destinations are opening up to visitors. For example, Chambal River Sanctuary, which is located near the Taj Mahal, is a world apart from the famous mausoleum; visitors can float down a relatively untouched river searching for crocodiles and river dolphins, then go back to a lodge set next to a family farm.These experiences provide travelers with unforgettable interactions with remote villagers and destinations, including the ability to discover and learn about the wildlife and spectacular wilderness scenery that often gets overshadowed by the abundance of temples, historic forts and palaces. In addition, most travelers will experience an unexpected religious festival and celebration as part of their journey; being able to interpret the celebration is another reason why Wildland Adventures works with local guides. Almost everyone is a budding photographer:India is full of color: from pyramids of spices, to saris worn by local women and flowers around the necks of cows. It is a photographer's dream and an artist's playground. With today's rapidly evolving camera technology, visitors are now able to capture these moments with ease, whether from the latest DSLR, their cell phone, or their video camera. With the increase in the online sharing of photographs through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, visitors to India will be able to easily showcase the rich textures of this nation to their friends, family and followers.The People:Not only does India embrace visitors with its sights and sounds, but the people are not shy and will welcome you with open arms. And there are 1.2 billion friendly faces to meet. As more and more Indians travel within their own country due to the rising middle class, travelers will encounter locals throughout their journey. Indians are also very proud of their culture and their country and enjoy sharing their celebrations, festivals, art and food with travelers which can lead to long lasting friendships, one of the best souvenirs of any journey. About Wildland Adventures Rated by National Geographic Adventure as the #1 Best âDo-it-all' Outfitter on Earth and Fodor's as one of the World's Best Tour Specialists,Wildland Adventures has guided travelers through fragile natural and cultural environments for 25 years, creating innovative ways to support local people and help protect their culture, environment and communities. Offering more than 130 unique itineraries in 28 countries, on a Wildland adventure vacation there are remarkably few barriers between visitors and local cultures, creating an authenticity in the way people travel and the places they encounter. Along with India, a sample of destinations offered include Costa Rica, Peru, Patagonia, the Galapagos, Belize, East and Southern Africa, Alaska, Turkey, the Middle East, and New Zealand. Wildland Adventures is proud to be a founding member of Trusted Adventures, an alliance of top adventure travel companies offering adventure trips around the world. For more information, visit www.wildland.com, Facebook.com/WildlandAdventures or Twitter: @WildTravel. An online media kit is available at www.tartangroup.ca under Media Centre: Wildland Adventures.-30-Sample Tweet: Join @wildtravel as they celebrate #IndiaWeek Nov 12-18. http://bit.ly/WAIndiaWeek Note to editors: High resolution photos are available.Media Contacts: Deirdre Campbell, Tartan Group: 250-592-3838, 250-882-9199 (cell) or firstname.lastname@example.org Brian Cant, Tartan Group: 250-592-3838 or email@example.com