Travel The Unknown Launches into India

Travel The Unknown Launches into India

Travel The Unknown, a specialist tour operator in eco-friendly and off-the-beaten-track trips, has launched its first tours to the unchartered territories of North East India. The 2- and 3-week trips will commence from October 2008 and take groups of up to 12 travellers into the undiscovered regions of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya, where they will live amongst tribal villagers, go on elephant-back safari searching for the rare unicorn rhino and visit the largest Buddhist monastery outside Tibet in the remote Himalayas.

Travel The Unknown has ensured that each tour is carbon-neutral with all emissions resulting from air travel and ground transport offset through Climate Care. In addition, Travel The Unknown will be investing in the local communities where tours operate – from environmental projects to education and empowerment initiatives. The tour operator also pledges to use local guides, locally owned accommodation, transport and eateries, to give back to the community and also to ensure travellers get a fully authentic experience.

Founders and co-directors, Rahul Aggarwal and David McGuinness, who met as exchange students in Germany in 1996, have personally crafted each aspect of the tour, which in addition to providing a once-in-a-lifetime experience, is also designed with the environment and the development of the local communities in mind.

The business partners forged sustainable tourism into their business philosophy and combined it with their passion for discovering new and exciting destinations where few have tread before, which meant that the off-the-beaten-track niche was a natural fit.

David McGuinness, co-director of Travel The Unknown says: “Regular tour operators generally shy away from places that are relatively untouched, but these are precisely the kind of destinations that we find to be the most exhilarating and which Travel The Unknown explores.”

Rahul Aggarwal says: “Many of the previous decade’s popular hotspots have lost their charm, and have become over-crowded, over-priced and over-commercialised. Since we focus on remote places in developing countries, it was extremely important for us to operate Travel The Unknown in such a way that everyone involved would benefit – from the tourists to the local communities and the environment. My background in globalisation and development meant this was something that could always remain in the forefront of our business model.”

The company also provides travellers with a responsible travel and environmental care booklet (in paper-friendly PDF format) to encourage all those visiting these regions to keep their footprint light and bring only welcome changes.

David says: “To ensure as small a footprint as possible we keep group sizes to a maximum of 12 people and when on visits to small villages we divide into smaller groups to ensure more sensitive areas remain as they are today.”

To read first-hand stories by David and Rahul from the tour, visit:

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