Tankha the new generation of travellers is adding different dimensions to the country’s tourism industry. These time-crunched working millennials, based on their dynamic and rapidly changing needs, are demanding fresher and unique travel experiences which could range from staying in a budget hotel at Rs 500 a night to taking their pets along with them to a holiday to unknown or little-known destinations.
They want to experience something different. “Travel trends are becoming more experience-based and Instagrammable,” says Shobha Mohan, founder, Rare India, a collection of ‘conscious luxury’ hotels in India and the subcontinent.
In agreement is Tanuj Ahuja, Director, Aerospace Holidays Pvt Ltd. “This trend of experiential tours, be it adventure sports, wildlife photography, eco-tourism or even LBGT (Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay Tourism) will see huge growth in the upcoming years.”
He adds that today’s travellers, especially millennials, are aware where they want to go and what they want to explore.
“Unlike old travellers, they won’t mind staying in a budget hotel but spending Rs 5,000 for a VIP entry for a music festival,” he says. Mohit Poddar, CEO and co-founder, Shoes on Loose, a company specialising in curating unique trips opines that there has been a considerable shift in the way people plan their travel.
“These days, people are more dynamic and opt for experiences like cross-generational travels, culinary tours, experiential tours and slow travelling,” says Poddar. “More people want to spend time at savannas, in jungles, deserts, on oceans, in the sunlight, under starlit skies and with forces of nature. Travellers are seeking the intangible benefits which this type of travel elicits like physical space and sublimity which allows the mind to focus and rebalance. These benefits increase the value and appeal of remote, unbounded locations,” says Ashish Chadha, founder and group managing partner, Leisure Ways.
“Travellers today are looking for more immersive travels that allow them to experience the local culture, food, tradition and learn the mannerisms of the people who dwell over there. We have focussed on delivering D&E (Discoveries & Experiences) to our customers -- members and other guests alike. These Discoveries and Experiences highlight the local culture, cuisine, flora, fauna and folklore of the destination. By delivering these Discoveries & Experiences, our guests get to know the destination intimately through their holiday and take back home lasting memories,” puts in Ramesh Ramanathan, CMD, Sterling Holiday Resorts Limited. Here are a few key trends likely to rule tourism industry in 2020.
2020: Culinary tourism
Imagine going on a holiday and getting to binge on delectable delights of the city or region. You could be travelling to Kochi and gorging on Malabar biryani, appam, fish moilee along with staple vadas and dosas or you could be in Jodhpur and eating dal-bhaat-churma, laal maas, mirchi bada, pyaaz kachori or ker sangria. Travel experts are of the opinion that the demand for culinary tourism will only increase with time.
With the increasing awareness about climate change, travellers are choosing to bring down their ecological footprints. Leading the way is Indian Hotels Company (IHCL) which is consistently phasing out single-use plastic across hotels. IHCL’s first zero single-use plastic resort, Taj Exotica Resort & Spa at Andamans, with sustainable practices inherent in its design and services as well as the Taj Safaris lodges allows guests to immerse themselves in a sustainable tourism model with a focus on the inclusion of local communities in the business value chain
Remember every time you wanted to get yourself clicked with friends or family and having to look for a stranger to do so? Not anymore. The concept of holidaygraphy is fast catching up wherein you hire a personal photographer who ensures your need of getting candid clicks with zero blurs and perfect lighting.
Ancestral/ DNA tourism
The new generation mostly used to staying in nuclear homes, is increasingly getting keen to track down their ancestral roots and their genealogical backgrounds. Fast catching up in the West, the trend is likely to get to India sooner than expected.