Saturday, September 15, 2018

The changing face of the new-age traveler

The past few years have seen a noticeable change in the way we travel. Earlier, travelers were more focused on basic sightseeing at popular destinations; mostly opting for a planned holiday and settling for affordable air travel options. They didn’t mind waiting in long queues to go up to the Eiffel Tower or sit through hours in a cramped seat, often compromising on the fine experience that flying was always meant to be.

In the age of social media, the way we travel is also changing. People today gain travel inspiration from a variety of sources, and that, coupled with the rise in disposable income—and in the number of people treating travel as an investment to improve their quality of life rather than an expenditure—is opening up travelers to more immersive experiences.
Today’s generation of travelers believe in collecting experiences instead of just ‘visiting’ a destination. As per TripAdvisor’s 2018 travel trend report, travelers are seeking new experiences and their trips are often centered around activities, such as going to music festivals such as Sunburn and Tomorrowland, adventure sports like heli-skiing, or crushing grapes in a vineyard rather than selecting a destination and planning to see ‘touristy’ spots.
But this quest for immersive experiences isn’t limited to the destination alone, it includes the journey to get to the destination as well. For instance, with air travel, the desire for comforts may change between cabins and seats, but many travelers also seek added perks such as access to technology as well as better streaming options, as per the 2018 Air Travel Outlook Report by ARC and Expedia. In fact, FCM Travel Solutions and KPMG’s recent whitepaper, ‘The Digi-Smart Indian Business Traveller’ forecasts that 86% Indian travelers would prefer flying with an airline offering in-flight Wi-Fi. So travelers’ expectations from in-flight experience are changing just as dynamically as their tastes and preferences.
15/09/18 CNBC TV18