Lonely Planet India director Sesh Seshadri talks toSangeeta Yadav about the new travel guide Best in Travel 2016 that lists top 10 regions, cities and countries as also travel trends in India
- Tell us about the new guide book Best in travel 2016?
We’ve recommended 10 regions, cities and countries as must-visit in 2016. This edition is full of anecdotes, fun activities, animal adventure options for families, best places to test survival skills, must food, iconic experiences, luxury villas to stay, extraordinary sleepovers and most accessible destinations.
- Which top 10 countries, regions and cities have been listed in it?
The top 10 countries are Botswana, Japan, US, Palau, Latvia, Australia, Poland, Uruguay, Greenland and Fiji. The regions are Transylvania in Romania, west Iceland, Valle de Viñales in Cuba, Friuli’s wine regions in Italy, Waiheke Island in New Zealand, he Auvergne in France, Hawaii, Bavaria, Costa Verde in Brazil and St Helena. Bavaria in top 10 regions is an interesting development. The top 10 cities include Kotor in Montenegro, Quito in Ecuador, Dublin, George Town in Malaysia, Rotterdam in The Netherlands, Mumbai, Fremantle in Australia, Manchester, Nashville and Rome. George Town is less known and it’s good to see Mumbai ranked sixth.
- Was it difficult to zeroed in on these top 10s?
We’ve 200 plus authors doing day-to-day visits to various places besides our staff members, the travel community and bloggers who have helped us list everything down. The list is narrowed down by our panel headed by founder Tony Wheeler and Lonely Planet, UK, Editor Peter Garnet. There will be fair amount of boxes to tick in selecting the top 10 destination. We looked into traveller’s interest, best value destinations not in terms of the cost but destinations that they’ll enjoy and big events to watch out for.
- What are the recent travel trends in India?
Niche travels are coming up. People are doing beach escapes, adventure travel, homestays etc. People don’t want to visit places that have been done to death but explore new destinations. We ran a digital contest called India Unexplored where a lot of people listed places which need to be seen.
- What do you have to say about the short-halt destinations?
First-time travellers prefer to visit Singapore, Sri Lanka, Bangkok, Thailand and Malaysia just to experience an overseas trip. Then they start looking at destinations like South Africa.