By KarryOn @karryontravel24 Feb 2017Geckos Adventures has introduced a new range of trips to some of the world’s least-known festivals to meet a growing demand from millennials searching for authentic local experiences off-the-beaten track. The new range of so called ‘unknown’ festivals includes a mix of food, music, and cultural festivals that will mean Geckos travellers could find themselves dancing in the streets at Morocco’s colourful Gnaoua Festival, getting elbow-deep in pickled cabbage at South Korea’s Kimchi Festival or doing the conga at Santiago de Cuba’s annual Carnival. The Kimchi Festival, South Korea “While Oktoberfest and La Tomatina might have long been on every Aussie traveller’s bucket-lists, the overwhelming popularity of these events means you’re often surrounded by crowds of tourists or in long lines for overcrowded beer tents” James Thornton, Managing Director of Intrepid Group. “We believe this next generation are savvy travellers – they’re more interested in spending their holidays dancing in the laneways of Essaouira or parading through Manhattan streets on Halloween.” He said. Five months ago Geckos Adventures dropped their age range by ten years to become the first travel company to focus solely on 18-29 year olds seeking an alternative to ‘party bus tours’. Despite a significant reduction in its customer base, Geckos has seen a 29% growth in bookings from Australia. “Millennials are socially conscious and they want their travel experiences to reflect this. That’s why we’ll continue to launch trips for young travellers looking for more sustainable cultural adventures. The great thing about festivals is that they inject tourism dollars into local economies and bring communities together. Now that’s something to really celebrate!” The new one-off Geckos Festival trips include: The Gnaoua Festival, Morocco With around 500,000 revellers flocking to the port city Essaouira each year, the Gnaoua Festival is the biggest music festival you’ve never heard of. Indigenous to Northern Africa, Gnawa music is a mystical, religious chant, with tunes often lasting several hours. On this 9-day trip, you’ll join the Gnawa players and gather along with jazz, pop, rock and soul musicians, to celebrate music, culture and tradition. There’s also time to explore the magic of Marrakech, hang out in the windsurfing hotspot of Sidi Kaouko and drink mint tea with the Berber people in the mountain village of Imlil. How much: AUD$945 per person. Departs 27 June 2017 The Kimchi Festival, South Korea Watch your Korean food dream come to life at the Seoul Kimchi Making Festival. The three-day festival, held in Gwanghwamun Square, is a celebration of gimjang, the process of preparing and storing the cabbage-y dish before winter kicks in. The festival sees over 4,000 people working together to make nearly fifty tonnes of fresh kimchi. Outside Seoul, you’ll try bibimbap in Jeonju, sample street food in Busan and explore the tombs, temples and palaces ruins of historic Gyeongju. How much: AUD$2,495 per person. Departs 2 November 2017 Carnival, Santiago de Cuba This 12-day trip to Cuba sees Santiago de Cuba celebrate Carnival in style. Honouring its Afro-Cuban roots, the city comes alive with music, soul and rhythm. Try your hand at salsa, take part in the city’s conga parade and enjoy the electric atmosphere as the celebrations fill the city. Away from the festival, you’ll explore the streets of Havana, learn about Che Guevara in Santa Clara and recover on the beaches and cobblestone streets of Trinidad. How much: AUD$1,495 per person. Departs 18 July 2017 Day of the Dead Festival, Oaxaca, Mexico See a different side of Mexico’s Day of the Dead Festival, when locals celebrate the lives of the dearly departed. While the festival is celebrated all over Mexico, Oaxaca is known for its particularly ornate celebrations. Buy colourful costumes and embrace the local festivities with street parties, face painting and cemetery visits. Move on to marvel at the pastel-coloured architecture in San Cristobal del las Casas and learn about the Tzotzil and Tzeltal tribal groups who reside in the nearby villages before ending your journey in Playa del Carmen. Whether it’s swimming among the sea turtles or unwinding on the white sandy beaches, the city ensures the trip ends in style. How much: AUD$1,595 per person. Departs 30 October 2017 Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts Celebrate ghostly ghouls, visit the home of the headless horseman and march through the streets of Manhattan by experiencing the madness and mayhem of Halloween in America. Embrace the frights and spookiness of the country by exploring the cities of Boston, Newport and New York whilst honouring the birthplace of Halloween on this 7-day trip. You’ll visit Salem to hear about the historic witch trials, join a lantern-led ghost tour through Newport’s eerie lanes, wander the Pumpkin Promenade of Sleepy Hollow and join the celebrations in the annual Village Halloween Parade in the Big Apple. How much: AUD$1,895 per person. Departs 26 October 2017 Prices include accommodation, ground transport, entry fees and selected meals. For more information or to book a Geckos Adventures’ tour, visit www.geckosadventures.com or call 1300 854 444. Have you been to a festival abroad recently? Tell us all about your experience below Other stories you may like Discover the Art of Travel with Intrepid Travel and The School of Life Darrell Wade, Intrepid Founder: Travel to change the world So is the end actually in sight for orphanage tourism?