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#7 Travel Trends to Take Note of in 2017 Users are now increasingly relying on mobile devices to do more in their lives.

By Kousik Bhattacharya

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Travel is one of the best ways to unwind and offlate the travel routes and destinations charted by travellers have drastically changed over the years. Shared accomodation, travel kits and home stays have become top picks for millenial travellers.

Here are some key trends that we think are going to rule the market for the next 12 months -

1. Weekend Travel to surge

Weekend getaways every few weeks will be the new trend. Long weekends have changed the way travellers and the tourism industry look at the Indian traveller. Moreover, 2017 is the best time for long weekends with a number of festivals and national holidays falling over the weekend. Travellers from metros will look at new destinations within a 200-300 km radius for quick weekend getaways. In 2016, close to 50 per cent trips planned were weekend getaways and in 2017 we expect this grow further by another 10 per cent.

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2. Experience-led travel to dominate

Destination-led holidays are passé. At Via.com, we have seen a growing interest in experiential holidays in the last 18-24 months. It is time for experience-led holidays to take over. Activity based travel will expand. Kayaking, jet skiing, surfing, scuba diving, trekking, rafting, snorkelling, jungle safaris, food trails, rural tourism, glamping, wildlife immersives among others will become more mainstream this year.

3. Alternate accommodation galore

In the last two years, Via.com has seen a rise in interest in alternate accommodation such as serviced apartments, jungle lodges, etc. The share of travelers choosing to stay in serviced apartments has increased from under 10 per cent in 2013 to 25 per cent in 2016 and is slated to grow to more than 35 per cent in 2017. In 2017, Manali, Munnar, Goa, Coorg, Udaipur and Pune shall have the most popular alternate accommodation options.

4. Women to travel more in 2017

In recent years, the number of trips planned by women travellers is on the rise. Solo women travel is increasing and so are group, family and couple trips planned by women. Solo trips will continue to gain momentum in 2017. Solo trips are gaining popularity across age groups with destinations such as Goa, Pondicherry, Manali, Auli, Shimla, Coorg.

5. Travel to be more social and visual

As more people engage with social media via smartphones, they are discovering that taking a picture "on the go" using a high-resolution phone is the newest trend. Thus, sharing moments from holidays on the go has become an indispensable part of the holiday experience. Travellers themselves are the largest inspiration for others to travel. Travel will also be recommendation led. And thus the importance of reviews will be indispensable as that will be a key factor in purchasing travel.

6. More personalized and customized trips

Travellers of all kinds are seeking special and curated experiences that are not necessarily widely available. Both for personal growth and social media sharing, these experiences are becoming ever more valuable to those who consume them. The imperative of these sorts of curated experiences is only slated to grow, as the world becomes more and more travelled. Since there are not necessarily new destinations to discover, the new status currency will be what experiences are able to be accessed – and how exclusive and rare they really are.

7. Mobile as a first device for research

Users are now increasingly relying on mobile devices to do more in their lives. As mobile emerges as the first device for travel research, travel players will need to become more mobile focused. It will be interesting to see how travel and hospitality apps will compete for consumer attention in 2017.

Kousik Bhattacharya

Head- Marketing and B2C Business, VIA

Kousik Bhattacharya is the Head of Marketing and B2C Business of VIA, South-East Asia’s largest travel network with presence in over 2600 towns and cities. He heads the overall marketing strategies and planning for VIA in India, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Dubai and Thailand.

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