The new-age traveler is an evolved creature, who is intensely excited by the prospect of exploring little-known places and destinations across the world. Thanks to the internet and social media, vacationers are now aware of the unique points of interest in the different parts of the globe. They’re open to new experiences and would prefer to explore off-beat cities and towns that they learn about online.
Pictures, videos, podcasts, and other media inspire travelers to not only check out new locations, but also talk about everything they saw and heard. Influencers also have a major part to play in promoting walking tours by broadcasting blogs, images, and reviews about the places they’ve visited. Interestingly, the popularity of walking tourism is also helping the growth of destinations that are hot on the circuit.
Every City Has a Lot More to Offer Than Just the Prime Landmarks
Up until a few years ago, it was the norm to see busloads of tourists descending down on the city, carefully following the tracks carved out by thousands of guided tours. Identifiable by their cameras furiously clicking away, these tourists were characterized by the large groups they moved around in, taking in typical historical structures and museums, open-mouthed in awe.
As this article on the Economic Times reveals, people wanting to explore locations are waking up to the fact that every village, city, lake, or forest has a lot more to experience. Depending on individual interests, new-age travelers can now choose walking tours that allow them to explore the history, culture, local cuisine, wildlife, and traditional and contemporary architecture. As a result of the growing awareness, many little-known destinations are gaining popularity and interest.
Best Guided Tours are Run by Local People
Most walking excursions are conducted by local residents who have lived in the city almost all their lives. Local people have in-depth information that is possibly not available in typical tour brochures. For instance, a native New Yorker will know about how Chelsea Market once housed Nabisco that made the world-famous Oreos.
Signing up with the Free Pittsburgh Walking Tours will treat tourists to snippets of information like how the city has the maximum number of bridges in the world or that the steepest street in the United States is in Beechview and inclines at 37 degrees. Each new piece of information makes it way to the internet when tourists talk about what they’ve learned exciting the interest of other travelers.
Walking Tours offer Flexibility
Not only are walk-around tours more informative, but they’re also a lot more flexible. New-age travelers can book excursions according to their particular interests. People keenly interested in the art and culture of a town would want to visit the museums, flea markets, and small stores that sell hand-made items by local artisans.
For instance, explorations on foot in Zanzibar may introduce visitors to brightly-colored textiles called kitenge or utensils crafted out of wood. Visits to coastal towns and the beaches allow tourists to interact with vendors selling beautiful jewelry made out of seashells. And, perhaps, learn an interesting story about how the shells are harvested from the ocean. Every dollar spent on these goods helps support local businesses and provides financial incentives to the craftsmen.
Capturing the Soul of a City
Most ancient cities of the world have several facets that each mark a different era. Take for example, the historical city of Delhi in India that has been the capital of various rulers across centuries. Each of these empires has eft their mark that is easily recognizable to a local. Walking tours can take explorers to check out remnants of the Mughal era in the Red Fort, Jantar Mantar, Humayun’s Tomb, and the quaint mansions of Chandni Chowk.
On the other hand, new-age travelers more interested in the British Raj would want to visit the specimens of English architecture. These are only a few of the myriad attractions outlined in this feature on the Lonely Planet. Each facet is instrumental in shaping the soul of the city and offers visitors tantalizing glimpses of how the city evolved and grew over the centuries.
Visitors from all the corners of the world are only adding to the cultural melting pot and considering the money they spend, they’re helping boost the development and modernization of old cities.
Walk-Around Tours are Budget-Friendly
New-age travelers would rather choose excursions that are easy on the pocket and give them good value for money. With a little planning and availing of off-season discounts, it is possible to book cheaper logistics to destinations across the world.
Staying at tourist hostels at low prices and eating at tiny cafes or stalls selling local food helps keep costs low. Further, signing up for walking tours is typically free. Tour guides work for tips and there are no restrictions on the gratuities. They are also powerhouses of information about the best places to shop and get the best of local food. Interacting with other travelers from locations across the world opens up new possibilities and knowledge of unusual experiences.
The fact that food and lodging is affordable encourages more visitors to check out the places of interest.
How Tourism Affects the Local Economy
Given the undeniable interest in walking vacations, this form of tourism could well be one of the keys to the economic development of any location in the world. A report released by the United Nations World Tourism Organization talks about how it is possible to bring about social and economic progress by encouraging new-age travelers.
The paper says, “Walking tourism can be developed anywhere as an offer of sustainable tourism with a relatively small investment yet high social and economic returns for residents and tourists alike, if properly developed and managed.” Residents stand to gain from the influx of visitors and creating the proper infrastructure could be beneficial for overall growth.
Tourism has always been the best channel for the economic growth of a city or any other location. The popularity of walking tours is adding to the potential. The coming years will probably see a radical shift in how vacations take place.
Interesting related article:
Tourism accounts for 4.7% of global GDP