Hiking tours climb in popularity among luxe crowd

Hiking is getting a touch of luxury as travel agencies see demand picking up for itineraries that take travellers to less-traversed nature trails with a unique spin.

Beyond a simple walking or hiking route with arranged accommodation, such tours elevate the experience with elements that “allow guests to feel a deeper connection to the destination’s culture and traditions”, described Paul Christie, CEO of Walk Japan.

Scott Dunn offers travellers to experience off-the-beaten-path Peru on the Ausangate Trek

He continued: “Hiking and nature trails are getting more popular among luxury travellers because they incorporate wellness, eco-therapy and physical exercise into the holiday experience.”

Walk Japan specialises in unconventional off-the-beaten-path itineraries through Japan, including self-guided walking tours such as the Kumano Wayfarer, one of only two UNESCO-registered pilgrimage trails worldwide; and the Tokaido Wayfarer, a gastronomic exploration of the ancient highway between Tokyo to Kyoto.

Similarly, Scott Dunn has also rolled out a selection of adventurous tours that span an entire destination, rather than focusing on a single attraction. Guests can trek across remote and picturesque destinations such as the vast wilderness of Namibia, the relatively undiscovered Fann Mountains of Tajikistan and the stretch of the Salkantay Trail leading to Machu Picchu.

To elevate the experience, Scott Dunn can provide premium perks to accompany travellers on the journey, such as a porter or chef.

Sheena Seah, global specialist, Scott Dunn, observed: “Guests are increasingly moving away from ‘typical’ hiking destinations such as the Swiss Alps, and exploring more under-the-radar places like Bhutan’s Druk Path.

“In general, active holidays have been on the rise, and so at Scott Dunn, we have found that guests are more interested in a walking activity over the course of their trip, rather than a hiking-specific vacation.”

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