Travel trends: The global desi and ‘smart’ travel
The travel industry has witnessed much change in recent years. It has also played a vital role in influencing the consumer mindset in favour of online interaction, e-commerce and engagement on social media platforms. As lifestyles have changed and travel patterns have become more exploratory in nature, today’s traveller has a different set of expectations and aspirations from what was often the norm just a few years ago. While domestic tourism in India has benefited greatly as a result of this change, the global desi is also redefining international travel, as viewed from an Indian perspective.
The tools of travel have also changed considerably. The availability of information, the accessibility to reviews and traveller experiences on various forums, the ease of booking everything online and most importantly, the powerful tools of social media, have all helped travellers in ways that were not so easily possible just a few years ago.
Travel trends have also witnessed a lot of change. While popular destinations like Thailand, U.K, U.S.A, Italy, Australia, Egypt and South Africa still account for a very large slice of the travel industry pie, the small segment of travellers that chooses off-beat destinations, pursues adventure and exploration on a more ambitious level, has seen a steady rise in numbers in recent years. The long weekend is not just restricted to domestic destinations and many people often find it easier and cheaper to hop over to Singapore or Dubai for a few days.
There is one other thing that has revolutionised the travel experience—the emergence of dedicated communities. The traveller is no longer alone and doesn’t feel like a stranger in a foreign country. Community platforms have driven the change towards keeping travellers better informed and also making them more comfortable about travel. While social media has provided tools to enable people to share their experiences, community driven platforms have gone one step further to collate those experiences as a tool and a resource.
The exposure to international platforms and websites has also made the traveller wiser. There is a growing realisation that you can get a better deal if you plan early, the better deal can sometimes be from an international service provider and the advice of other travellers can often save you a lot of money, time and effort. Being in the right place at the right time can begin long before you buy your air ticket.
‘Seek and ye shall find‘ defines the smart traveller.