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Evolving Travel Trends and the Impact of Self Drive On it For women, travelling alone or with friends is a way to break the hidden boundaries around them

By Moksha Srivastava

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Standing atop the Eiffel Tower or feeling the wind in your hair on the Empire State Building is not a dream anymore. More and more people are traveling the world to discover new experiences.

The distance between countries is seemingly fading with technological advances and growing economies. Travel has become a style statement and millennials are setting new trends, challenging the existing trends. In fact, they are willing to spend more on traveling and experiencing different geographies.

Solo Travel No More a Distant Dream

Travel trends and destinations are naturally changing with time. Wanderlust is spreading like wildfire among millennials. Renting a bike and riding all the way up to Ladakh is on the bucket list of every twenty-something youths.

Indians are now often seen taking to the roads, air, and water to reach their ultimate travel destinations. Solo travel is more than just a far-flung dream anymore. Women and men alike are taking more and more solo trips in their leisure time.

Travel to Explore Oneself

Travel has become a way to empower and explore oneself. Especially for women, traveling alone or with friends is a way to break the hidden boundaries around them. Worldwide, people are in a constant search to create lifelong memories. Trendsetters use online platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, to share their journeys and to inspire their friends and family. As a result, the tourism industry is witnessing a steady growth upwards across the globe.

Tourism Industry in India

Travel stands synonymous with sentiments of freedom, rejuvenation, exploration, and much more. The travel landscape in India is no different and is being revolutionized by the millennials with a discovery of new destinations and in adopting new modes of getting there.

Experimental and destination holidays are seen to be attracting more travelers in recent times. Add to this, unexplored and inspirational destinations are also on the desire list.

The Union Ministry of Tourism recorded a growth of 15.5% in 2016 for domestic travel alone. The foreign tourist arrival is a significantly higher with its double-digit growth rate pegged at 16.5% correspondingly in January 2017 over January 2016. The appeal for India as a travel destination is a rise in domestic as well as foreign tourist arrivals.

Is Self-drive a Perpetrator to this Spiking Trend

The start-up generation has spawned an entire range of companies in the self-rental cars and bikes segment. This is directly seen to be impacting the tourism industry.

Auto rentals registered a strong growth of 16% in 2015 (in current term values).

Urban Indians are seen changing their routine habits and adapting fast to rental automobiles. It gives them the luxury of enjoying a portfolio of automobiles without the burden of ownership. Most people prefer to rent rather than take a chauffeur-driven vehicle.

Rental automobiles come at an affordable price and give the driver a sense of freedom.

The flourishing tourism industry in India impacts the auto-rental industry positively. Consumers seek out actively for rentals while traveling. This bears testimony to rising fad for renting bikes and traveling on road.

Due to an increase in disposable personal income in India, there are plenty of means to travel and explore during holidays. These factors directly impact the automobile industry and help drive growth.

What is Driving the Self-drive and Bike Rental trend?

The concept of a "Sharing Economy' among millennials is fast gathering steam. The traditional mindset of owning and buying things is now a thing of past. The minimalist movement has brought with it positive changes. Less is considered more, encouraging the concept of a shared economy.

Collaborative consumption is facilitated via community-based online services these days. These online services have hence bridged the gap between vendors and consumers in the auto-rental industry.

These online platforms are therefore enabling the rent and share culture. People prefer to rent as it is easier on the pockets and allows absolute freedom of owning a bike or car for a specific period of time. The novelty of ownership is wearing off in the minds of millennials, as renting or sharing is more feasible and economical.

Future Trends to Lookout For

The online rental platform is expected to drive and spur growth further. Consumers are expected to prefer rentals increasingly and this phenomenon will become increasingly common with time. Tier II, Tier III, and other cities will also adopt the growing trend of online rental platforms. Although, such consumers will prefer cash payments as they find it easier to trust cash over electronic transactions in the smaller cities.

The above evidence clearly outlines the growing trend in travel preferences among millennials and the factors influencing it. Traveling and holidaying have long since been established as a fundamental requisite in every individual's life. The advent of technology, bike rentals and self-drive has only reinforced this trend and by providing another avenue to use your leisure time.

Moksha Srivastava

Co-Founder, CMO and Spokesperson, Wheelstreet

Moksha Srivastava is the Co-founder, CMO and Spokesperson of Wheelstreet. This first generation entrepreneur is in her early twenties and a bold risk taker. A native of Uttar Pradesh, she is a journalism graduate from IIMC, New Delhi. Prior to starting out at Wheelstreet.com, she was a reporter at Times of India, New Delhi, and a Radio Jockey at 92.7 FM in Jhansi. She was also a volunteer with an NGO called BIF that works with schools in small towns where they teach young school kids.


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