The travel industry has been undergoing a massive shift with a plethora of options for customers to choose from.
While planning a holiday, the one-fits-all approach has long lost its influence on travellers. Millennials want their travel to be more exciting and fulfilling. From choosing destinations to connecting with locals and customising the holiday, the travel industry is looking to add a new dimension to the ever evolving travelling story.
According to government statistics in 2017, the annual growth rate of domestic travellers in India stood at 17.2 percent, and has grown to over 4.8 million. Also, according to a TripAdvisor study, more than two-thirds of the people are relying on digital platforms to plan their holidays. The market is huge, with an associated spend of more than $500 billion.
While the entire travel industry is in a flux with innovative ideas, companies and products are disrupting the way things are done continuously. However, the big challenge is to stay relevant. YourStory lists five such startups that are on the right track to sustain.
The Wander Girls: Founded by Hetal Doshi in 2013, this Mumbai-based travel startup offers well researched, experiential trips for female travellers in India and abroad. The startup also offers customised trips to various destinations across the world for both Indian and international female travellers. The trips are crafted in a way that combines history, culture, local gastronomy, and shopping at a comfortable pace. A member from The Wander Girls accompanies and takes care of the travellers in order to ensure they are having a good time. The company has been bootstrapped so far, and now plans to expand its operations to other cities as well.
HopBucket: Founded by Satyajeet Jadhavin 2016, HopBucket lets you plan your holiday and customise it in a few minutes. Based in Mumbai, the HopBucket app lets you manage your itinerary as you travel, and personalise your travel by uploading photos and sharing your experience. You can also ask friends for recommendations and save ideas from other trips. The HopBucket trip manager pre-fetches all the meta-data such as directions, open hours, phone number, website, your notes, etc., for every place you travel, so that one does not end up wasting time searching for mundane details while travelling.
Honeymoon Havens: Honeymoon Havens is a premium honeymoon planner, which caters to newly-weds and couples looking for an anniversary trip. This Bengaluru-based startup, founded by Chetan Yallapurkar in 2012, focuses only on customised trips. It meets each client to understand what connects them the most. The startup offers more than 50 romantic honeymoon destinations, personalised travel planning, a transparent pricing model, reliable services, and honeymoon freebies too. It also offers assistance in selecting wedding destinations. Honeymoon Havens works on a commission and service fee-based model.
SeekSherpa: SeekSherpa is a mobile-based marketplace that connects travellers and locals. Founded by Sukhmani Singh and Dhruv Raj Gupta in 2014, it leverages micro tours through which it aspires to disrupt the experiences (tours and activities) marketplace. SeekSherpa, with the help of technology creates an engaging mobile where Sherpas (locals) can post experiences and answer travelers questions. Travelers can book experiences and ask questions on the platform which they can direct to a Sherpa of their choice. This Delhi-based startup has raised a total of $67,200 from Artha India Ventures.
Tent N trek: Tent N Trek, founded by Manoj Surya, is an outdoors adventure company that specialises in offering a number of adventure trips like water rafting, trekking, climbing, jeep safaris, kayaking, mountain biking and camping among others. Tent N Trek caters to a wide range of clients including companies, schools, families and a compulsive lone traveller. Based in Chennai, it claims to have over 77,000 followers. Tent N Trek has a team of highly-experienced and motivated outdoor specialists and implements high safety standards for all adventure activities.