What's Driving Revenue in Hospitality These Days ?
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Our traditional, long standing hospitality industry - contributor to GDP, giver of jobs and harbinger of FDI. in the past decade, the industry has seen much disruption. For one, home stays have become popular. Consumption is now driven by online presence and new destinations seems the all new rage. Western influences are paramount - people feel the need to flee cities every weekend and domestic travel is at an all new high of 1600 million travellers within India. Preferences are changing too, less relevant are rooms for stays, more important are experiences.
If you are or wish to become a member of this esteemed industry. 5 ways for you to drive revenues exponentially.
Experiences - what comprises experiences? Think of a cottage by a lake. A decade ago, it was enough to have a beautiful property, well-done interiors, plush rooms etc. Now people want more. So perhaps a picnic by the lake, a refreshing swim or even activities such as kayaking or fishing for the amateur is needed. It's no small wonder that Unicorns such as Airbnb sell only experiences too - and do not bundle them with stay options.
Offbeat - India, the land of rich culture, heritage and nature has traditionally focussed on a few places to drive overall tourism - Rajasthan, Kerela, Goa being most prominent. As people travel more, these places are already overrun and travellers seek out new places. Herein comes the word offbeat - new destinations that are not yet popular - like the pristine blue Vaitarna lake near Nashik or the organic farms in Andhra. In a study by Expedia, it was found that 70% of travellers in India preferred experimental and offbeat travel.
Wildlife - There is a wild rush of travellers to the forests (8X according to the MoT) - to explore native wildlife. Of course, the Tiger, perhaps the most advertised animal in all history remains favoured, other animals such as the elephant, rhino, bear, leopard and wolves are also much sought after.
Farm to Table - A part of the growing western influences, we see an emergence of organic food, naturally grown and pesticide-free produce. And people crave the experience of foraging, plucking fruits and vegetables and being part of the preparation. States such as Sikkim boast of being 100% organic whereas Andhra Pradesh claims to be India’s first state using natural methods of farming. And the movement is only getting stronger!
Managed home stays - While many Indians aren’t keen on self-service, what they do like is staying in properties that feel like second homes - and where all services are still provided such as cook, housekeeping and service. This segment of managed home stays in gaining prominence worldwide, one such company Sonder in the USA has raised $135 M already.
While any of these segments can be called ‘new’, they offer huge potential for expansion. And given the way we are travelling, the industry does give way for a slew of Unicorns to emerge. India is Incredible Indeed!