Coinciding with International Women’s Day, Insight Vacations announced the launch of its new Wander Women program dedicated to female travellers.
The inaugural itinerary, Inspirational India, A Wander Women Journey, is not only for women, but designed by women, run by women and provides economic empowerment to women.
“With 57% of our guests being women, along with the rise of women’s-only travel, our new journey makes it a perfect fit for those who want to get below the surface and experience India as a culturally immersive destination, as well as have opportunities to give back and empower women in the local communities, while learning about their day-to-day lives,” said Ulla Hefel Böhler, Global CEO for Insight Vacations. “This journey is also a great opportunity to connect and meet with other fabulous women from around the world and provides economic empowerment to local women.”
Noting that 90% of the Insight operations team is women, and 50% of its management and executive team, Marie Anne MacRae, VP, Global Strategic Partnerships at The Travel Corporation, told Travel Courier the 12-day adventure was customized specifically for women and is set for a March 24, 2021 departure date, so guests will be able to partake in the popular Festival of Colours.
“India has always been an iconic destination, it’s always been one of the most welcoming places on the planet, and especially for women, it has that female goddess energy. Not only will you be visiting India, you’ll be doing it during the most celebrated, most festive time of the year. We’re going to be in Jaipur, the Pink City, during the time of the Holi Festival, and we’re going to spend an evening with a local family,” said MacRae, who has been to India eight times, including two months at a meditation ashram in Southern India, and was involved in the creation of the itinerary.
“In Agra, we’re going to be visiting this unique one-of-a-kind café called Sheroes. It’s run by women who unfortunately experienced acid attacks, and this is a way of providing them economic empowerment, so it’s a way for us also to meet these women and learn more about what the community is doing to support them. It’s deeply moving.”
Other highlights include a visit to the Taj Mahal, a boat ride at Lake Pichola, a meeting with a local astrologer, and wellness experiences like a yoga session. Travellers will visit the Sunder Rang arts and crafts project at Chandelao village, where 20 women work on producing traditional Rajasthani textiles and handicraft items for both local and export markets, while earning a sustainable source of income. They’ll also visit the Seva Mandir Organization, an NGO supporting natural resource development, as well as health and women’s empowerment and partake in a Pink City rickshaw ride offered by Pink City Rickshaw Company, which provides employment to 200 women from low income households in Jaipur.
“My favourite experience on this trip is meeting the inspiring, entrepreneurial and innovative ladies of Pink City Rickshaw in Jaipur,” said Hefel Böhler. “It’s a beautiful example of how travel can be a force for good and make a difference in the local communities, while offering travellers a deeper, more meaningful experience.”
“Traditionally, when you had a rickshaw, it would always be men, but these are women who live in Jaipur who know the city, and they have beautiful, colourful and decorated rickshaws,” added MacRae. “It’s that experience to be going around the city and having a women’s POV about the beauty of Jaipur.”
Susan Walker, franchise partner with Expedia CruiseShipCenters in Red Deer, Alberta, was drawn to the itinerary because she’s noticed an increase in women wanting to explore and travel on their own, regardless of their relationship status.
“Going with a group just gives so many women the comfort of knowing they are safe, and, I believe, that we love sharing our experiences with each other. This tour drew me because of India, and this is one area that women are interested in with the connection to yoga, and, of course, the Festival of Colours was another draw for me,” she said. “The idea of travelling with women all over the world was also of interest and the different options that you could take part in. I like finding different options to highlight as the consumer doesn’t always know what is available, unless we show them.”
Another journey to Italy is slated to be announced later this year.