MUMBAI—2020 has been one of change, which has altered the tourism and hospitality landscape forever. Health, hygiene and social distancing have been shaping travel, with reports indicating that more than 90% of people view health and safety as a key consideration, with more than 80% of travelers gravitating towards reputed brands for their travel plans. In fact, around 90% of people are keen to resume travel. The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) identified some of the key trends that have carved the path of travel in 2020:
More than 80% of people indicated interest in traveling with family and loved ones, resulting in the growth of driving holidays as people were keen to travel to destinations within close vicinity of their homes, leading to the discovery of offbeat locations. Some travelers were even comfortable driving slightly longer distances to ensure that they could maintain a comfortable level of social distancing. Destinations such as Goa, Rajasthan, Kerala, Uttarakhand and Karnataka, all driving distance from key cities, saw a rise in leisure travel in recent months.
Confined to the safety of their homes, people have been seeking creative yet safe ways to spend quality time with their close friends and family. Staycations have become increasingly popular at city hotels across Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi and Kolkata, among others. Combined with minimal required travel, low on holiday planning time, cost and carbon footprint, staycations are perfect for travelers of all generations.
With the lines between work and play blurring in the past months, there has been a rising urge to escape the four walls of home and maximize work from rejuvenating environs like a beach, palace, mountains or by the pool. People are booking longer stays at hotels to balance time with family and inspire a burst of professional creativity.
The premium homestay market in India is witnessing a steady growth as travelers are looking for more exclusive, unique and immersive experiences. Moreover, reports indicate that more than 70% of people prefer longer holidays ranging from a week to 10 days. Homestays give travelers an opportunity to bond together in beautiful private bungalows and villas at unique locations, while experiencing authentic local culture and heritage.
The past few months have compelled people to slow down and focus on health and well-being. The future of travel is increasingly shifting to focus on experiences that positively impact one’s overall wellness. There has been a rising trend of travelers embarking on wellness retreats that allow them to reconnect with nature, indulge in curated wellness menus and rejuvenate their body and mind.