International travel is no longer a distant dream for the Indian middle class

International travel is no longer a distant dream for the Indian middle class

In the pre-millennium era, international travel was luxury so rare to the point that it was a celebrated event, except for the rich, as it required really deep pockets.

But
as we crossed past the millennium mark, things gradually began to
change. The next generation showed signs of true wanderlust and aided
by strong changes in employment and economic trends, we soon started
seeing significant rise in international travel statistics.



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But
what were these changes and what does the future of the travel sector
look like?

According
to statistics, around 282 million Indian households will go on at
least one international trip, per year, by 2025, resulting in almost
a 35 per cent 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.

The
definition of international travel is not just restricted to opulence
though, as comfort and the right kind of amenities are just as
important. Due to the current global economic climate, the focus has
rather shifted from grander vacations to more authentic, simple and
genuine experiences ingrained in the local culture.

But
that doesn’t mean the basic requirements have changed and that’s
exactly where the second major change has been witnessed.

The
basic factors associated with any travel experience are:

  • Transportation

  • Accommodation

  • Itineraries

Earlier,
travellers relied on travel agents to provide them with all the above
options and more. But today, thanks to the boon of high-speed
internet, and immense breakthroughs in technology, the entire travel
planning process can be smoothly executed by the traveller themselves.
Planning the minutest details like searching for good local
restaurants to finding lesser-known locations for a last minute visit
now lies on a fingertip’s reach.

With
this rise of the DIY travellers, many commercial entities have upped
their game to rise up to the competitions and challenges ahead. As a
DIY traveller, a major priority that most look for is comfortable and
affordable travel. This directly attributed to the rise of low cost
airlines. Another key change seen was the emergence of online travel
agencies and websites and their direct association with airlines and
hotels. Thus, offering better deals for the end user. As a result,
traditional tour operators too are heading towards the digital medium
by introducing online bookings amongst their other services.

When
looking at the current trends, the future in the travel industry
seems to be one dedicated to customised
products and services tailored according to the traveller’s personal
tastes and requirements. This, in turn, would kick-start a phase of
truly personalised experiences that the travellers are readily seeking
out.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under
Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely
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