The new generation has a more curious mind when it comes to travel, they are not just satisfied being a tick mark traveller as their parents.
By Mr Alankar Chandra
Growth in Wildlife Tourism
In the last few years, the travel industry has transformed significantly. It witnessed an emerging trend of wildlife and adventure tourism among millennials and their inclination towards experiential travelling as compared to the generations before them. They have an earnestness to do things, touch things, smell things and being present in the moment.
One of the noteworthy change witnessed in the Indian market is the increasing amount of disposable income for tourism coupled with a drastic increase in the user base. Among the earlier generations, putting most of the disposable income in savings was a dominant mindset. People used to save most of their free income. Their idea was to save for a rainy day as well as leave some security for the next generation. However, with the millennials now, western trends are catching up and people are keener to enjoy the present than worry about the future. They are keen to invest a greater share of wallet for the present. Millennials play a key role in this significant shift in the travel industry.
Opting for Destinations Less Travelled
Second, is the change in the mindset of people regarding the choice of destinations. Usually, for most Indians, their first foreign trip was either to Dubai or Singapore and more seasoned travellers used to salivate at visiting France, UK or Switzerland. Discussions often used to centre around “I have visited so and so countries”. Now, the discussions focus majorly around the activities and experiences – “I have seen a Tiger” or “I have trekked to Everest base camp” or “I have done a balloon safari at Masai Mara”. Now, in the digital era, tech-savvy millennials do much research about the destinations they plan to visit in advance. That helps them to be very specific about their expectations. Hence, the demand for lesser known and experiential travel destinations is rising rapidly among travel enthusiasts as compared to regular tourist destinations.
The new generation has a more curious mind when it comes to travel, they are not just satisfied being a tick mark traveller as their parents. They want to be a bookmark traveller and take back the spirit of a place with them. To recollect an instance, I had this couple and their nineteen-year-old daughter travelling to Masai Mara in Africa. During the safaris, the girl was not satisfied with seeing a few lions or cheetahs as her parents were. She wanted to learn more about the behaviour of the lions, why they are poached, what we can do to stop poaching, how do local Masai tribes survive here, whether can she take a walk in the park, what would the park look like in the dark and the list was endless.
In another instance, just last week on a flight journey to Kolkata, I was interacting with a fellow co-passenger who was a college student and was curious to visit Galapagos Islands and Antarctica. More than the wish itself, I was astounded by the level of research and study he had done on these destinations and to the extent of engaging in a discussion with me on the particular bird & animal species found in different locations of these places. Although, he said that it was out of budget for him to travel to either of these places now but he wants to earn money to travel to these places one day. What amazes me in that while is that many in the new generation want to earn money to travel and to experience our planet first hand. It is no a sense of possession but the sense of exploration that often drives them. All I can say is may their tribe grow!
(The author is Managing Director, Wild Voyager. Views expressed are his personal.)