Six millennial trends that are transforming tourism for Indians

Saagar Panchal, Founder & CEO, Hireavilla Hospitality PvtThe Indian travel and hospitality industry has evolved over the years, from hyper-competitive markets, changing demography, an oversupply of hotel rooms and an untapped religious tourism market, the Indian hospitality sector is set to see a big change. Furthermore, millennials, a generation of independent travelers have given a big shove to the ways of old conservative travel style. Research also indicates that millennials travel more extensively than previous generations. According to a survey report titled The Millennial Travel Survey 2017, conducted by Skyscanner India, 62% of Indian millennials—those between the ages of 18 and 35—vacation two to five times a year. So here’s how they're changing the game, perhaps forever.

1. Exploring unique destinations: There are certain characteristics that, over time, come to define a generation. The millennials, it seems, will be known as adventurers, risk takers, and opportunists. It's a time honored cliche that teens and young adults rebel against their parents, wanting to go their own way. This new set of travelers are now focusing on zones or nations that are unexplored in a conventional way.

2. Digitization at its best: New age travellers use the internet as a vast infrastructure for their travels. With different motives and different travel habits every backpacker is different, but they do have a few things in common. The computerized change is a blessing from heaven for this contemplative generation that likes
to travel. Millennials now prefer to do everything on the go on their gadgets, from checking in-to requesting room administration-to opening the room entryway itself. Truth be told, one can design a whole excursion-from booking to sleep time and home again-while never conversing with a live human.

3. Solo travels are on the rise: Today’s millennial solo traveller is no longer defined by his/her relationship status or whether he/she has like-minded friends. Instead, they are increasingly choosing to travel alone in order to do what they want, when they want and get a bit of hard-won ‘me time’. It would seem that choosing to travel solo is an increasingly an endeavour of self-preservation.

4. Experiential travel on the rise: For Indian millennials today, the itineraries aren’t always 100 % confirmed in advance; the destinations are unusual, exotic and offbeat, the resting places are more like luxury villas than luxury hotel rooms, and often they choose experiential travel over old stereotypical travels. In a survey conducted by Goldman Sachs, 60% of millennials did not feel strongly about owning a house while 82% of millennials save up for experiences that they can connect to . The travellers are becoming more experiential and often looking to explore regions rather than simple sightseeing tours.

5. 'Bleisure' – merging travel and leisure: From the new age digital nomad tapping out a blog post on a beach in Maldives to the manager checking her emails on a brunch date in Amsterdam, from the full-time freelancer in a co-working space to the elite engineer coding from his home office, technology has blurred the boundaries between work and play, professional and personal, career and down time. “Work hard, party harder!” is the mantra for the new age Indian millennial who turn business travel into weekend getaways and demand the best of both worlds. Welcome to the world of “Bleisure travel” where business and pleasure go hand-in-hand enabling them to locate their own harmony between work satisfaction and individual enlightenment.

6. Religious travel on the rise: Apart from being the center of cultural and natural tourism; India is all set to become the spiritual tourism capital of the world. More international hotel chains are likely to increase their expansion and investment plans in India. The industry is offering lucrative jobs and profitable investment opportunities. For example, taking a trip to the Kumbh is the new cool for India’s millennials this year. Generation X wants to absorb and post the offbeat culture of the Kumbh on social media, while exploring the local cuisine, art and craft of the holy city of Prayagraj.