In conversation: Viren Batra, CEO of Nirvana Excursions, talks about new trends in international travel.
You don’t have to be super rich to travel abroad In the pre-millennium era, international travel in India was luxury so rare that it was a celebrated event, meant for the rich. No longer, as the gen-next with more wanderlust in their hearts than money in their pockets are out to explore the world in innovative ways. And it’s not always London or New York, but Cambodia and Vietnam too.
And the numbers are growing Around 282 million Indian households will go on at least one international trip per year by 2025 – and that’s a grand figure – resulting in almost a 35% increase from the numbers gathered in 2015. The spending potential too will see a hike, with the average amount touching the Rs. 3.5 lakh mark by 2025.
Grand holidays to grounded affairs The glitzy luxury and opulence international travel is associated with is still there, but Indian travellers are now more interested in authentic, simple and genuine experiences engrained in the local culture. They would rather stay in a farm than in a five star hotel. That’s the cool thing to do.
The rise of the DIY travellers Who goes to the good old travel agent anymore! Indian travellers, like their counterparts around the world, now want to do everything (flight tickets, accommodation, itinerary) themselves. They plan the minutest details, like hunting for good local restaurants to finding lesser-known locations for a last minute visit, with a touch on their phones. And not just that, they are doing it well, ensuring for themselves that their holiday is not just comfortable but affordable as well. Low cost airlines and online travel agencies and websites with direct ties with airlines and hotels have made this possible, offering great deals.
Nah, I don’t wanna do the same route! Give me a custom-built itinerary The 14-day Europe tour package where you do as many countries is on its way out. The days of ‘one size fits all’ are gone. We the Indians are looking for customised products and services tailored according to our personal tastes and requirements. Accordingly, the travel industry is offering custom-built itineraries which in turn kick-starts a phase of truly personalised experiences.