The Changing Face Of India's Travel Industry From being a luxury to becoming a necessity, travel has evolved by leaps and bounds, and so have the travelers

By Viren Batra

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The world is on the move. People from across the globe are travelling more than ever before and by 2030 a global population of 8.5 billion people will take nearly 2 billion international trips with India leading the charge. From being a luxury to becoming a necessity, travel has evolved by leaps and bounds, and so have the travelers. As a result, the travel industry is constantly being forced to transform and enhance itself in various ways, right from technology to sustainability to economic impact.

1.Tourists are Becoming Travellers

Till recently, travel has always been a luxury, with international vacations being a rare treat and even trips within the country being limited to one or two a year. But today, with the lowering of travel barriers and falling costs, combined with the growth of disposable income, the rise of the middle class and the changing attitudes of people towards travel, have changed the face of industry quite drastically. It doesn't end here though.

The future of travel belongs to the millennials as studies show that they are more tech-savvy and connected than any previous generation and are changing the way travel is consumed. Travellers today are looking for experiences, whether it is an authentic local experience, an adventure or even and the opportunity to make a difference by volunteering at the destination.

2. Technology & the Travel Industry

With the world increasingly becoming technology-driven, travellers are also expecting a higher rate of efficiency when travelling, especially with factors like visa application. In 2015, tourist destinations across the world required 61% of the world's population to obtain a visa prior to departure, a significant improvement from 2008, when 77% of the world's population was made to apply for a visa.

With the available technology, passengers are able to book their flights and check in online, go through automated clearance gates and even validate their boarding passes electronically to board planes. Moving forward, considering a comprehensive model for Smart Travel, one that includes Smart Visas, Smart Borders, Smart Security processes and Smart Infrastructure, will go a long way in easing the travel process and boosting the number of people opting to travel internationally.

3.Sustainability is a Travel Must

The increasing number of globetrotters is having an extremely positive impact on the growth of the travel and tourism industry, but while the economic benefits are clear, it is important to understand the repercussions on the environment and on local communities.

While an overall impact analysis definitely needs to be done, some specific areas that need to be addressed include water usage, waste generation, energy consumption and the deterioration of natural and cultural world heritage sites, as these are areas directly affected by tourists.

4. Travel as an Experience

Today, people want to travel better, on a deeper emotional and more personal level, rather than just for the sake of ticking off destinations off a bucketlist. As a result, experiential travel, themed tours, solo travel, these are fast becoming the norm, with people preferring genuine experiences and a chance to connect with the culture of a country to popular tourist destinations. So while they sound like mere buzzwords, concepts like food tourism, green tourism and voluntourism are catching on in a great way, paving the way for more experience revolutions in the industry.

5. Travelling to Recharge

With time at a premium and schedules that are extremely tight, travellers are increasingly opting for short and quick escapes. This is especially the case in recent times as travel has become a way of taking a quick break and recharging oneself before returning to the daily grind.

Viren Batra

Co-founder, Nirvana Travel

Viren Batra is the Co-founder of Nirvana Travel.

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