Holidaying is no longer just for the rich. An increasing number of Indians are now taking time out from their busy life to travel with their family and friends to bond, celebrate, explore, and experience varied lifestyle, culture, and food.
There has been a boom in the travel market, and travel has become a lifestyle statement of 2016. The coming year will only see it evolve and mature further. Indians are becoming evolved travellers. They are no longer just tourists. From backpacking to luxury travel, the requirements are varied and interesting. Some people travel for food, while others travel for shopping. Some are solo travellers, while some prefer travelling with family. According to TripAdvisor’ study, as many as 44 percent of travellers from India increased their travel spends in 2016. Being high on the global list of travellers, who want to try something new, India is 18th in the global travel budget rankings, with an estimated average budget of $3,107, compared with the global average travel spend of $5,100.
The coming year will see a rise in experiential and destination holidays in India. According to Booking.com, about 58 percent of travellers plan to allocate their travel budget to experiences. People in India now prefer good hotels, restaurants, activities like scuba diving, skydiving, hot air balloon ride, dinners, parties at high-end bars.
Indians are not only looking for discovering unique place but also aim to create unforgettable memories. Whether it is travelling within India or outside India with extended family or celebrating a milestone with a food and best of luxury or leisure experience, travellers will return with memories that outlive the actual experience.
We will also see offbeat destinations which will be explored by people. According to AARP survey, globally 99 percent will take at least one leisure trip in 2017, with an average of five or more trips expected throughout the year. Most (51 percent) expect to only travel domestically, but a significant portion is hoping to travel both domestically and internationally (43 percent). The same trend will be seen in India as well.
Some of the top destinations of 2017 are likely to be Sri Lanka, Philippines, Croatia, South of Italy, Tasmania, and Madagascar. These destinations are still undiscovered and most Indians are now looking for new places rather than frequenting the same destinations. Experiential will increase because people are looking for more than a holiday. They are looking for making their holiday into learning, something deeper for them to absorb out of the holiday - a take back.
Today, Indian travellers are exploring innovative soul satiating holidays like a master class with a chef, spa holidays for those wanting rejuvenation, ski lessons or skydiving for those looking at adventure, trekking and hiking for the nature lovers, and the art lovers have biennales and art festivals.
Indians will be seen travelling to far off lands like Japan to witness the cherry blossoms, experiencing Northern lights, travelling to Tuscany for a cooking experience with a master chef, learning to ski on a ski holiday in the French Alps, and celebrating milestone occasions with an intimate holiday with family and friends in some of the popular destinations.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)