Tips for short escapes within India

IndiawebGURGAON: Established as go-to guidebooks for travelers across the world, Lonely Planet is now digging deep into the India travel market by launching a new series of guides that offer domestic travelers tips for short escapes within the country.
The “Short Escape” series, aimed at city dwellers in Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai who are looking for a quick break from the city, was launched here at Kingdom of Dreams.
“In the present corporate scenario, working professionals in India want to maximize their leisure time. With this in mind Lonely Planet designed the travel guides to enable travelers to make most of their time by exploring destinations close to their city,” says Sesh Seshadri, general manager, Lonely Planet India.
Also on the agenda are a set of books that can take the cinema loving tourist to places inside the country that have a Bollywood connection.
“We have also planned, ‘Shatabdi Escapes’ which will include the destinations that fall on the route covered by Shatabdi Express. Yet another ‘Bollywood Escape’ series will focus on places which are known for some Bollywood connection, be it a shooting spot for any movie or something else,” says Seshadri.
Last year Lonely Planet had brought out a series of specifically designed guidebooks to enable curious Indian travelers to experience the world via outbound travel.
The domestic guides aim at exploring the potential in the Indian domestic tourism market.
According to the latest data by the Ministry of Tourism, domestic tourism grew at a rate of 13.8 per cent in 2011, with the number of travelers increasing to 851 million from 748 million in 2010.
“The domestic travel market is currently thriving. Our own quantitative and qualitative market research has equipped us to create up-to-date, relevant and inspirational content for domestic travelers,” Seshadri told PTI.
Priced at Rs 395 each guide features 40-45 destinations divided by themes such as hills, heritage, wildlife and resorts. The travel guides outline the best possible routes from the city to the destination, along with distances and fares.
The content also includes travel tips and information on iconic sights, family activities, shopping, restaurants and local food recommendations.
Each of the short escape guides have been compiled by a team of travel writers who have personally visited each of the destinations featured in the book and have tailored the information keeping in mind the paucity of time that Indian working professionals face in their daily life.
“I have been a travel blogger since long, I have done freelancing too. But Lonely Planet guides were a challenge to work upon considering their eye for details as well as the rigorous research. I have been to every single restaurant personally about which I have mentioned in the guide book, “says Puneetinder Kaur Sindhu, one of the authors of the Bengaluru and Delhi guides.
Quizzed about how travel guides still maintain their place in market even in the era of internet bombardment, Sheshadri says “The problem is that more than enough information is available for the readers over the internet hence it becomes difficult for them to decide which is authentic and which will be more feasible for them.”
“Our USP is the credibility of our research and customization as per the customers budget and demands which Indian travelers look forward to most,” he says.
Next in the “Travel Guide Short Escape” series are Rajasthan and Goa. -PTI

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