From deeper marine exploration to experiential travel, the travellers in the next decade are expected to push the boundaries of conventional travel — making tourism boom like never before.
Wellness amenities in hotels, airports
Travelling for business frequently may quench the ‘wanderlust’ spirit, but it can also take a toll on one’s health. Recent research has found higher body mass index scores, symptoms of anxiety and depression, and trouble sleeping, among other problems in frequent travellers.
Mankiran Chowhan, SAP Concur, predicts that in 2020, hotels and other travel vendors will make wellness amenities the new norm. “Wellness features are also increasingly found in airports, from napping pods, to nutritious food options, and even therapy dogs. This trend will continue to grow in 2020, and business travellers will have more options, in more places, and at a wider number of price-points, to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle on the go.”
Rajeev Kale, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., and Anubhav Gurani, Enchanted Hills, find a rising scope for edutainment tourism. Travellers living with the locals and picking skills from them during the stay are major trends. Destinations known for educational tours include Aurangabad in Maharashtra, Bannerghatta Biological Park in Karnataka, Chittorgarh in Rajasthan, Dholavira and Lothal in Gujarat, Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu, and Hampi in Karnataka.
Cultural travel on the rise
As per Vijay Nair, associate vice-president and country head, National Geographic Expeditions, there is “a growing affinity for interest-based travel, especially those who like to plan trips based on a passion or hobby such as photography, adventure and culture and art inclination”. This has led to a surge in the demand for offbeat and unexplored destinations like polar expeditions, wildlife tours, and art and cultural travel.
Slow, experiential travel
Sunil Gupta, Avis India, finds that Indian travellers no longer want to simply check destinations off their itineraries by taking whirlwind holidays that cover three cities in four days. “Instead, they want to immerse themselves in the places and cultures that they visit and create lasting memories on their trips,” he said.
“In 2020, we will witness curated and personalised experiences, as the traveller of today is very much curious and price-sensitive. Today’s avid traveller also steers clear of cheap deals as it takes away from the quality. He/she seeks an experience at the best possible deal in today’s digitally-driven times,” Preety Arora, Amatra Hotels and Resorts, said.
Yes to homestays
For Amit Damani of Vista Rooms, homestays and luxury villas will become increasingly popular. Homely comforts and the idea of tapping into experiential travel is a trend that is going to go a long way among all age groups. People are slowly gravitating towards spending holiday time in lavish vacation homes that offer complete privacy with unique amenities in off-beat, scenic locations.
That’s how we cruise
Celebratory groups — such as those celebrating a landmark birthday, anniversary, engagement, pre-wedding celebrations or weddings — are showing immense interest in cruising, finds Varun Chadha from Tirun. This is a trend that will see growth.
Marine life exploration
Having a coastline of 7,516 kms and over a thousand islands, India offers a unique opportunity for boosting marine economy through tourism. More and more people are expected to opt in for a feel of life under water. “Bundling of activities such as scuba-diving, snorkelling, surfing and adventure sailing with island hopping circuits, cruise routes, and public and private sector investment in water villas, island resorts and floating restaurants are expected,” says Anil Bansal, IPE Global.
Eco-conscious travel continues
“Tourists will strive to create a sustainable travel practice by choosing environment-friendly hotels and cleaner transport methods,” Preeti Sharma, Jalesh Cruises said.
What’s better than a perfectly captured picture of you as well as the ones you are travelling with, without having to pester someone random on the streets to click you. Holidaygraphy stands for hiring a personal photographer who will tend to your need of getting those perfect candid’s with perfect lighting and absolutely no blurring out. This is a trend that will definitely get popular with the new age traveller, says Ramesh Ramanathan, Sterling Holidays.