Travellers planning a round-the-world adventure are being urged to stray from the beaten track and look further south as they plot their itineraries.
The push comes as global travel dynamics undergo a significant shift. Major global events such as war, acts of terrorism, political turmoil may not be stopping us from travelling, but they are changing the way we travel.
World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) president David Scowsill recently highlighted the ongoing growth of the industry despite recent terror attacks.
“Travel is not being set back by these incidents,” he told KarryOn last month.
“They clearly hit these particular countries very hard, but at a macro level, people are continuing to travel.”
Rather than cancelling their plans altogether, “resilient” travellers are instead considering alternative destinations and new ways of travel.
And that includes the exciting realm of round-the-world travel.
While backpackers may have traditionally hopped their way across the northern hemisphere, many are being lured by destinations and routes further south – a trend that is being well and truly catered to by the travel industry.
The launch of Air New Zealand services between Auckland and Buenos Aires in December last year bolstered Star Alliance’s network, and at the same time gave travellers an appealing Southern Hemisphere-focused alternative to the traditional round-the-world fare.
The introduction of that leg complements services provided by other alliance members such as South African Airways to Africa and then on to South America – SAA has a direct flight from Johannesburg to Sao Paulo.
Star’s Australia steering committee chair Tim Clyde-Smith has said the alliance is working hard to inspire people to “start looking at things in a different light”.
In addition, a recent collaboration between Bench and Chimu Adventures entitled Handpicked Journeys was launched earlier this year as a marketing platform for the two operators which specialise in Africa and South America respectively.
The first initiative of the partnership saw the companies offer six agents a place on a famil which will depart in October, combining the two destinations.
Chimu’s marketing manager Meg Hall confirmed to KarryOn that, while people may be reassessing travel in Europe and the US due to safety concerns, South America is being seen in a new light.
“We don’t encounter it – that’s one of the beauties of dealing with South America and Antarctica,” she said.
“Perhaps South America 20 years ago might have been that place that made people a bit nervous, but now people seem to be flocking towards it.”
Africa, on the other hand, has had some tough times in recent years, a series of setbacks that the initiative hopes to address by revitalising sales to the destination.
Have you considered a southern hemisphere RTW trip?
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