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Tuesday, 05 May, 2015, 12 : 30 PM [IST]

Indian travellers get into gear for Self Drive Holidays

In line with the fast maturing and evolving Indian outbound travellers seeking experiential holidays, the trend of Self Drive holidays amongst India travellers is gaining popularity rapidly. TravelBiz Monitor in order to cater to this growing niche segment launched a book, ‘Dream Drives: India Outbound-Self Drive Experiences 2015’, in association with Hertz Rent-a-Car at ITB Berlin recently.
The journey is the destination.” There is a growing tribe of Indian travellers who believe in this philosophy and are guided by it on their international holidays. There is nothing better than a road trip to discover and experience a destination. “Travel as you please, plan your own itinerary, explore as far as you want and at your pace,” the mantra of self drive holidays, has captured the imagination of the discerning and the well travelled Indians.

While one can drive around in any country, there are some with a combination of excellent road infrastructure, wayside amenities, tourist attractions and fantastic routes that have a special appeal as self drive destinations. Countries like New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, USA, Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom, etc. are among the popular Self Drive holiday destinations offering road trips and iconic routes that are truly spectacular making the journey an exciting adventure.

‘Dream Drives: India Outbound-Self Drive Experiences 2015’ book is the first-ofits- kind comprehensive compilation featuring some of the best drives in the most popular Self Drive Destinations such as New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, USA, Switzerland, Germany and United Kingdom. The experience and the beauty of each showcased drive has been described with practical information like route map, total distance, number of days to cover the road trip, stop-over/halts for the night, major attractions and ‘must see and must do’ along the route. An overview of the country as a Self Drive destination and highlights of other interesting Self Drive routes, do’s and don’ts while driving, tips for drivers, etc., are also featured.

Indians are also taking to Self Drive holidays for the ease of renting a car of their choice, navigating around with a GPS, being able to drive with Indian licence and in many countries like Australia, New Zealand, UK, and South Africa, with the comfort of driving on the same side of the road. They are simply catching on to a trend that is big globally. According to the travel market study, 'ITB World Travel Trends Report 2013', Road Tourism or ‘touring’ (a round trip tour in one or several countrieshas grown considerably (+27%) worldwide between 2009 and 2013. The trend has only firmed up after that. This development represents the second highest increment among the different types of travel, making touring, next to “city trips”, one of the two strongest driving forces in the international tourism industry.

Shawn Mendes, Director, Discover the World - India, Hertz – India Representative, said, "Hertz has been recording a strong growth in the outbound business from India. A substantial percentage is leisure travellers, who value the freedom to explore the destination at their own pace. A driving holiday proves to be cost-effective, even more when travelling in a group or with family. Driving abroad is easy and stress-free as the roads are generally well maintained and clearly signed. With the Hertz NeverLost GPS one can save time with online trip planning, real-time weather and airline flight & gate information. It also has in-built destination guides with millions of points of interest. Hertz worked closely with TravelBiz Monitor and the featured destinations’ tourism boards to compile a book aptly named 'Dream Drives'. The book has well thought-out 'easy to drive' self drive itineraries that an Indian traveller would appreciate and aspire to experience".

The book is a handy guide and ready reckoner targeted at the evolved and well-heeled traveller and is a useful guide to key travel trade players that currently specialise in or are interested in the Promotion of Self Drive destinations and holidays

Presenting Foreword by participating Tourism Boards from the book
Steven Dixon Regional Manager - South & South East Asia Tourism New Zeala
Paramjit Bawa Country Manager - India Destination New South Wales
Hanneli Slabber Country Manager - India South African Tourism
Guest Columns
Amod Thatte Head - Product & Innovation Tour Operating Kuoni India
Ashutosh Mehere Head-Alliances & Special Projects Cox & Kings Ltd.
Guldeep Singh Sahni President, Outbound Tour Operators Association of India
Shibani Phadkar Sr. VP - Leisure Travel Outbound, Products, Contracting, Operations & Tour Management Thomas Cook (India) Ltd.
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