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MEDIA RELEASE: Thursday 21st May 2015


FIND YOUR UNUSUAL
As latest figures reveal a 53% increase in unusual bookings, Responsible Travel launches ‘Unusual Holidays’ guide

Responsible Travel rounds up an eclectic Top 14 of the best unusual holidays that demonstrate what a wild and wonderful world we can holiday in!

Bored of the same, ‘same old, same old’ and uninspired by the TV ads where you can’t tell one holiday from another? You’re not the only one! Responsible Travel’s latest figures show a 53% increase in 'unusual holidays' booking value, and its Unusual Holidays guide shows newbies how you can step off the beaten path and go against the flow of mainstream tourism.

Justin Francis, CEO, Responsible Travel said “By their very nature, all holidays are meant to be unusual, as they fulfil a desire for something different from the banality of everyday life. They respond to that desire for a holiday to be a ‘dream come true’. We get that at Responsible Travel. In fact, that is one of the main reasons we created our site, because we believe that all of our holidays have an element of the unusual.

All of our 9000 holidays are already unusual because each is screened for their commitment to responsible tourism, and this helps to ensure that local people benefit fairly and that tourist money supports local people and communities, their culture and environment, rather than going to big international brands. However, some are more unusual than others. Island hopping in the Adriatic by kayak might be banal for some. But for a family who have done all-inclusive resorts for years, this is living on the edge, and once you have ventured into the unusual, there is no looking back! Our new guide helps you find ‘your’ unusual, whatever that may be.”

Here Responsible Travel rounds-up the best 14 Unusual Holidays to help find your unusual:

1. Cruising in Burma, the Mergui Archipelago: Already off the beaten track, go that little bit further as you explore the wonders of Burma as you island hop. Located in the remote southern part of Burma, the Mergui Archipelago is home to some beautiful white-sand beaches. The area receives very few visitors and the islands are largely inaccessible unless you take to the seas and explore the area by luxury yacht - which is exactly what this tour does.

2. Tatra Mountains family holiday, Slovakia: With a spectacularly scenic backdrop, uncover all of Slovakia's secrets on this active adventure: journey down rivers by boat, over mountains by bike, and explore caves and castles on foot.

3. 2017 solar eclipse holiday in the USA: The solar eclipse on 21st August is the obvious highlight of the trip, but with Yellowstone National Park, home to more geysers and geothermal pools than anywhere else on Earth, and lesser known Grand Teton National Park, also on the itinerary, there’s a chance it could be overshadowed!

4. Family volunteering with monkeys, South Africa: Take your family off the beaten track and into this life changing primate rehabilitation centre. Work hands on with baby monkeys and baboons to help prepare them for life in the wild. Both kids and adults alike love the volunteering, the location and the pace of life in the African bush.

5. Swimming with dolphins in the Azores: Wearing mask and snorkel, swim in crystal clear waters as you encounter these very curious, playful mammals. Watch their exquisite movements and listen to a symphony of sound as you feel part of their magical world. Suitable for families, with expert guidance provided by fully trained aquatic guides.

6. Tree hotel & Northern Lights holiday, Sweden: Hidden away in the Boreal forest of Swedish Lapland each of the themed tree rooms is unique and designed by a leading Scandinavian architect, including the amazing Mirror Cube which reflects the surrounding trees. You can also sauna amongst the trees during your stay. Available year round, travel between September and April to have the chance to view the wonderful, yet elusive Northern Lights.

7. Walking with donkeys in France: The Mercantour Alps with nearby sea, alpine and Mediterranean influences create a mild and sunny climate, ideal for hiking in the height of summer. Discover these unexplored hidden mountains with the perfect companion, a donkey! They love the company of humans, especially that of children, who they will encourage to keep on walking without sulking. Be warned, trained masters in the art of comedy, they will suddenly become all downcast and upset, merely for attention and cuddles, and are capable of faking a limp in an attempt to earn a treat!

8. B&B self drive tour of Tasmania, meet the locals: Take in the best of Tasmania, north to south and east to west, staying in authentic farm stays and family run B&Bs, wilderness cabins and convict built cottages, where you’ll have the chance to meet local islanders, including many who are deeply immersed in wildlife and environmental conservation.

9. Vietnam small group cycling holiday: Discover pedal power and a real team spirit to this small group cycling holiday that will teach you as much about Vietnamese local life as it will show you the country’s exceptional natural beauty.

10. Holiday with Dracula in Romania: We dare you to step into Vlad the Impaler’s homeland of Transylvania, and discover the culture, the landscapes, the castles and the architecture and local people; on an innovative Dracula tour that includes the Ritual Killing of the Living Dead and accommodation and candle lit dinner in Dracula’s Castle!

11. Archaeology holiday in Greece: This holiday takes you 3500 years back in time, to the birthplace of science and the great growth of the arts. Visit some of the most important ancient Greek sites, including the Acropolis of Athens and Delphi, and mainly in the area of Peloponnese: ancient Olympia, ancient Epidaurus, Mycenae, Nafplio, Sparta, the hidden monasteries in Loussios gorge and ancient Tegea.

12. Live with a Berber family in the Moroccan Sahara: Experience authentic day-to-day Berber life while helping to provide a sustainable future for the family. Take a camel trek to experience the full contrast of a desert ecosystem, explore the stark lunar landscape of the Black Desert and the romantic towering dunes of the magnificent Erg Chebi where you can watch the shooting stars in the clear night sky.

13. Tibet holiday: Adventure across the top of the world, from the serene former home of the Dalai Lama in Lhasa to the ancient narrow laneways of Kathmandu, traverse the world's highest mountain range and delve into the heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Mingle with locals, rub shoulders with pilgrims and take in spectacular scenery - this is most definitely Tibet unplugged. While the world focused on Nepal following the recent earthquakes, Tibet, also reliant on tourism to support the local economy, is affected. We would encourage people to consider Tibet as a tourist destination as the country returns to normal.

14. Lofoten Islands, whale watching & fishing, Norway: Stay in a traditional fisherman’s cabin (Rorbu) overlooking the wild Atlantic coast, discover picturesque fishing villages, pristine beaches as well as seas and mountains Choose from: walking, cycling, kayaking, whale and wildlife watching, fishing, rafting and arctic surfing. You’ll also have your own rowing boat!

Find Responsible Travel’s 850 Unusual holidays here

Read the Unusual Holiday guide here

- ENDS –

Notes to Editors:

For further information, interviews and photos contact:

Sasha Chisholm

T: 01273 829 271

E: sasha@responsibletravel.com

For holiday enquiries & bookings contact:

Holiday Helpdesk on:

T: 01273 829 700

E: rosy@responsibletravel.com

W: www.responsibletravel.com

About Responsible Travel

Responsible Travel is the world’s leading market place for small and tailor-made tour operators, all screened for their commitment to responsible tourism.

Responsible Travel connects these operators with people looking for real & authentic holidays. Starting with just 2 tour operators in 2001 we’ve become the leading place to find tours from over 400 small & specialist tour companies in 197 countries. As tourism grows globally the opportunity for authentic experiences diminishes, and the impacts of tourism on places & local people (not always positive) grows. We’ve found the secret to authentic travel is treating local people & places responsibly.

In addition Responsible Travel:

- campaigns for positive change in the travel and tourism industry.

- is publishing an expanding collection of open, honest travel guides

CEO Justin Francis has been included in Courvoisiers The Future 500, Thames and Hudsons 60 Innovators Shaping Our Creative Future and taken his place on the Advisory Board of The International Centre for Responsible Tourism.

The company is based in Brighton's North Laine district, England.



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