We have frequently encountered the timeless wisdom encapsulated in the adage, “Take it slow to create something meaningful and profound” and this enduring sentiment holds as much relevance for travel as it does for the life we cultivate thus, it is no surprise that the “Slow Travel” concept is trending and gaining popularity as a refreshing and transformative approach. At its essence, Slow Travel is an invitation to savour each moment, to make it purposeful and profound.

Slow travel: Revolutionising the art of travel (Image by DC Studio on Freepik)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, VRV Sriprasad, Vice Chairman at JCBL Ltd., shared, “It encourages the absorption of local cultures and flavours, urging individuals to cherish moments while embarking on leisurely explorations of destinations. A vacation or break of this nature calls for a travel mode that aligns with and adapts to your chosen pace. Recreational Vehicles (RV) emerge as the ideal solution, providing the perfect answer for enjoying an unhurried and immersive experience at a pace that you define.”

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Why Slow Travel?

VRV Sriprasad answered, ‘When planning a vacation, more often than not, the typical approach involves a tightly packed itinerary that propels individuals from one activity to another, from one destination to the next. This attempt to encapsulate a lifetime of experiences within a few days often results in feeling more drained, exhausted, and spent at the end of the break than when it commenced.”

The demanding and fast-paced nature of contemporary life has generated a collective yearning for respite from the relentless hustle and bustle. VRV Sriprasad opined, “Slow Travel emerges as a solution to the traditional woes of navigating flights, itineraries, and hotels. It advocates for making conscious choices, urging individuals, families and groups to adopt a deliberate and mindful approach to exploring new places. Slow Travel is fundamentally about treasuring the journey as much as the destination, nurturing a profound connection with the surroundings, and crafting distinctive and enduring memories.”

Slow travel may well be the need of the hour!

According to VRV Sriprasad, slow travel, driven by deliberate and conscious choices, presents numerous advantages that extend beyond the mere enjoyment of a leisurely journey. He gushed, “One notable benefit lies in its ability to counteract the wasteful by-products often associated with fast travel, including the use of miniature soaps, single-use plastic bottles, and other environmentally detrimental items. By opting for slow travel, not only do you find the opportunity to unwind and recharge your batteries, but you also actively contribute to environmental responsibility.”

RV is the perfect partner for Slow Travel.

VRV Sriprasad highlighted, “RVs in their avatars of motorhomes, caravans, trailers, empower travellers to craft personalized itineraries, venture into off-the-beaten-path locations, and linger amidst picturesque landscapes. Beyond serving as a mere mode of transport, RV travel encapsulates a lifestyle that fosters a profound understanding of the visited destinations. In India, where the terrain varies from the majestic Himalayas to the pristine beaches of Goa, the diverse landscape offers an ideal backdrop for RV enthusiasts to unfold their journeys at their own rhythm.”

The Tourism Industry and Slow Travel

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Indian government has diligently worked on redefining the tourism landscape. VRV Sriprasad revealed, “Post-pandemic, each state is striving to outshine the others in positioning itself as the ultimate tourist destination. With its multifaceted landscapes and intricate cultural tapestry, India is a treasure trove for domestic and international travellers. Notably, there has been an enhanced environmental consciousness within government offices, compelling them to strike a delicate balance between preserving natural resources and transforming them into tourist attractions.”

He added, “Authorities have undertaken initiatives to develop RV parks and scenic trails to mitigate the impact of extensive monetization and regulate permanent constructions. This strategic move not only contributes to environmental preservation but also provides a significant boost to the burgeoning RV industry. Tour operators are now integrating RV-centric itineraries, and destinations are actively promoting the allure of experiencing their beauty at a leisurely pace. From the serene backwaters of Kerala to the historical wonders of Rajasthan to the heavenly beauty of Kashmir, RVs are unlocking new dimensions of exploration in the Indian subcontinent.”

RV Industry Response

VRV Sriprasad pointed out, “The RV industry in India, acknowledging the opportunity and shifting preferences in travel choices, is escalating its endeavours to offer solutions tailored to customer needs- such as travellers with family or group travels or friends wanting to explore or people travelling with pets – across a diverse range of budgets. The industry is introducing a range of options to meet travellers’ varied preferences and budgets. For enthusiasts of on-road adventures, there are motorhomes and mobile office RVs. Meanwhile, a diverse range of caravans is available for those with a penchant for off-road exploration, providing flexibility and options to suit various travel preferences.”

The Road Ahead: A Canvas of Opportunities

As we journey along the unhurried lanes, it becomes evident that the road ahead is teeming with opportunities. VRV Sriprasad said, “The shifting mindset of Indian travellers, combined with the country’s expansive and diverse landscapes, positions RV travel as a powerful force in shaping the future of Indian tourism. The amalgamation of technological advancements, sustainability initiatives, and the growing RV culture lays the foundation for a redefined travel experience in the country.”

He concluded, “RVs are weaving a distinctive thread in the grand tapestry of India’s evolving tourism landscape. They transcend being mere vehicles; they serve as conduits for a cultural metamorphosis, fostering a deeper connection between travellers and the diverse facets of the nation. As the wheels of RVs traverse the highways and byways, they carry the spirit of unhurried exploration, extending an invitation to seasoned adventurers and first-time travellers to immerse themselves in the enchanting journey that epitomizes Slow Travel in India.”

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