Bridging an experiential gap between traditional DMCs and bespoke travel designers, three of the community’s newest recruits are blurring the lines between corporate and leisure travel – with game-changing results. From Oman to Dublin by way of Osaka, their respective destinations couldn’t be more diverse; each, however, has a unique approach to guided travel that defies cookie-cutter categorisation. Welcome to the family, PUREists!
NAME: Arabian Explorers
LOCATION: Dubai, UAE
HOW THEY CHANGE WORLDS: Juggling creative flair with a strong B2B focus is a precarious balancing act – and one that Arabian Explorers execute with aplomb. Bespoke experiences aren’t exactly a rarity in Dubai, but with over 400 partner hotels, a suite of 1,000 packages and 100-strong fleet of vehicles, even the choosiest of clients can’t fail to be impressed.
Candles and oil lamps will create the perfect romantic Arabian Night for you with a gourmet dinner under the stars, prepared just for you by the chef with fresh delicious local ingredients. After gazing at the infinite starry desert skies, you will get a well deserved nights rest in a plush bed equipped with duvet and pillows. Magic Private Camp is eco-friendly, uses solar energy. Showers use reasonable amounts of water, toilets are dry toilets. All this luxury in Breathtaking exclusive locations in Oman, Dubai or Abu Dhabi. #uae #oman #abudhabi #dubai #magicarabia #arabianexplorers #luxurycamping #luxurydesertcamp #camels #bedouintent #normanharper
Experientially, their offering is as cool (and creative) as they come: with a mantra of “delivering true and valued stories through memorable experiences”, Arabian’s portfolio celebrates the region’s abundant grit, glamour and culture. Think insider tours of Al Quoz, Dubai’s arts hub; a Bedouin-style desert retreat; freshwater pearl diving; and mangrove ecosystem-planting. With specialists in MICE and corporate travel on their roster of experts, even the driest of conference itineraries is guaranteed to sparkle.
NAME: Crafted Ireland
HOW THEY CHANGE WORLDS: Ireland got an unexpected tourism boost in the last days of 2017, courtesy of its dramatic West Coast’s – a.k.a. the Wild Atlantic Way – appearance in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. For Crafted, the clichéd Ireland – that of Guinness tours and overpriced bar crawls – gives way to “life-enriching itineraries”. As every PUREist knows, immersive experiences are the new luxury – and boy, do they deliver on the latter. With a “no request is impossible” philosophy, Crafted’s (often high-profile) clients have every whim catered for, visiting private castles or VIP culinary tours by limo, sedan, or helicopter. They can’t quite raise the Titanic, but they can take travellers on a whistle-stop tour of where it was constructed, followed by an exclusive class at a prestigious cooking school (the ‘Culinary Exploration’ package).
Crafted also specialise in creating bespoke itineraries in partnership with travel agents, taking cultural cues from Game of Thrones, craft breweries and whiskey trails – proving Ireland’s recent foray into stardom isn’t confined to a galaxy far, far away.
NAME: Oku Japan
HOW THEY CHANGE WORLDS: “High emotion, low impact”: the philosophy that, since PURE’s inception, we (and our chosen brands and exhibitors) have tried to live by. Happily, it’s a belief that runs through Oku Japan’s DNA; at their core is a strong sense of community, whether fostered between tourists and locals or helping to sustain micro-economies through collaborations with rural businesses and artisans. We like choices, and each Oku tour is fully customisable, from the theme (temples, trails, culinary heritage) to the mode of transport (biking, hiking, walking or flying).
For a truly holistic Japanese experience, their Shikoku 88 Pilgrimage tour is as enlightening as its name suggests. An ancient walking trail abundant with lush foliage, ancient temples, and hidden onsens along its winding paths, intrepid travellers may find themselves bathing in thermal waters or meditating in the spot favoured by the founder of Shingon Buddhism, Kobo Daishi – perfect for giving whirring, city-tired minds a spiritual awakening, with the authentic credentials to match.