Travel trends to watch! Curated royal experiences, new hotel launches and rise of safe home stays

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Updated: January 20, 2021 12:02 PM

This year’s travel trends are fascinating. It is a known fact that Indian travellers are increasingly looking out for long weekend getaways. Being cooped up at home isn’t working well for most Indians who are struggling to maintain a work-life balance from the comfort of their homes. Highlighting the game changing role of technology in […]

Taj HolidaysAs per the latest press release in January 2021, Taj Holidays is treating travellers to the splendour of bygone ages through curated royal experiences across locations.

This year’s travel trends are fascinating. It is a known fact that Indian travellers are increasingly looking out for long weekend getaways. Being cooped up at home isn’t working well for most Indians who are struggling to maintain a work-life balance from the comfort of their homes.

Highlighting the game changing role of technology in boosting the hospitality segment and sharing his views exclusively with Financial Express Online, Rohit Kapoor, OYO – India & South Asia articulated on how technology plays a vital role across new industries including fintech, e-commerce deliveries, food tech and hospitality.

According to Nibhrant Shah, Co Founder & CEO, Isprava and Lohono Stays, the pandemic has changed the mindset of travellers. Moreover, remote working, virtual meetings and online classes now make it easier for people to enjoy domestic travel. An increasing preference for staycation is also notable as travellers prefer luxurious staycation options such as private villas over hotels.

New travel trends in 2021

With a clear uptick in long weekend getaways, staycations, workcations, eco-friendly safaris and stays, there are emerging trends that show the preferences of Indian travellers as they focus on finalising their travel and accommodation choices.

In an earlier interaction related to Budget expectations with Financial Express Online, Zubin Saxena, MD and VP Operations, South Asia, Radisson Group had highlighted the need for ensuring adequate support to the travel and tourism industry to steer out of the ‘demand shock’ that has been created due to the pandemic.

With the emergence of renewed enthusiasm for traveling to leisure destinations, the hospitality sector is wooing travellers to explore domestic destinations like never before.

Travel trends to watch for: Royal indulgences

Curious to know which key stakeholders in the hospitality segment are rolling out the red carpet for guests?

We have curated a few travel options being rolled out. These are offering much more than just a safe and comfortable stay.

Curated royal experiences for travellers

As per the latest press release in January 2021, Taj Holidays is treating travellers to the splendour of bygone ages through curated royal experiences across locations.

Be it a vintage car at Rambagh Palace, Jaipur, enjoying a game of chess with a live size set at Jai Mahal Palace, Jaipur, a walk through history at Hyderabad’s Falaknuma Palace, or an afternoon tea with a glimpse of Indian royalty at Jodhpur’s Umaid Bhawan palace and there’s more. For those heading to Varanasi and Gwalior, a guided tour at Taj Nadesar Palace and Usha Kiran Palace offer glimpses of historical tales of splendour. For those heading to Udaipur, authentic Rajasthani food delicacies would be served at Taj Fateh Prakash Palace.

While curated luxury stays are offered across Taj’s ‘living palaces’, other travel trends are emerging as well.

Strengthening brand presence in the travel segment

During the challenging year in 2020, new hotels have been launched across the country.

Radisson Group strengthened its presence across the travel segment with eight new hotels spanning four brands and collectively added more than a thousand keys to its existing hotel network. A new brand under the Group “Radisson Individuals” has been added to enable small chains and independent hotels to be a part of the global hospitality group and thereby benefit from global exposure.

Zubin Saxena, MD and Vice President, Operations, South Asia, Radisson Hotel Group highlighted that they are looking forward to strategic and brand defining hotel signings in 2021, which will provide a major uplift to the Radisson Group’s brand portfolio.

With emphasis on being a leading environment-friendly hotel chain, The Fern Hotels & Resorts is set to open 8 new hotels in the first half of this year itself. Thereby, the brand will showcase 82 hotels spanning 67 locations.

More demand for road trips, staycations, pilgrimages and biz travel already on the rise: Harshit Vyas, SVP & COO, OYO – India & South Asia

More demand for road trips, staycations, pilgrimages and biz travel already on the rise: Harshit Vyas, SVP & COO, OYO – India & South Asia

Choice Hotels India opened yet another hotel Comfort Inn Dehradun in Dehradun, a popular leisure destination and a ‘winter capital’ for travellers.

Continuing its two previous editions, Sarovar Hotels continued its “Sarovar Virtual showcase”. The third edition showcased Kerala as a destination and showcased three Nature-centric resorts with scenic views at Poovar Island, Thekkady and Vayalar. Highlighting their strong presence in the country’s most sought after southern leisure destinations, the virtual showcase drew participating resorts to be a part of the same.

Much has been written about domestic tourism becoming a major demand driver in the travel and hospitality sectors. This also means more stakeholders, who want to meet this emerging demand by offering compelling and innovative experiences to travellers.

Rural tourism to offer compelling travel experiences

Sharing a futuristic outlook, Pranav Maheswari, Co Founder Vista Rooms told Financial Express Online, “The last months of 2020 witnessed an optimistic rebound in domestic travel, mostly due to WFH. In the last few months, we have witnessed massive demand and there is tremendous opportunity in domestic tourism. Rural tourism will play a considerable role in promoting domestic tourism.”

This optimistic outlook is further strengthened by the latest booking trends across the country.

Booking.com recently shared the increasing demand among Indian travellers for alternative travel accommodation such as resorts, guesthouses and homestays, in addition to hotels.

As Vista Rooms Co-Founder Pranav Maheswari earlier highlighted that rural tourism is gaining momentum, Booking.com cites a similar finding. Their finding has been that lesser known destinations such as Athirappily and Somvarpet in Kerala and Karnataka respectively, are being featured among the top trending domestic destinations during the holiday season last year.

Demand for private vacation homes and home stays

Keeping aside tempting royal stays and comfortable hotel accommodation, how are private vacation homes faring?

According to SaffronStays, a network spanning more than 180 private vacation homes across the country, there has been a 115% spike in the number of new users and has hosted more than 2500 bookings so far.

A striking trend mentioned by the hospitality collective pertains to a 27.12% increase in week day bookings, which is expected to continue this year during the coming months as well.

This year’s summer vacations will be like none other – for travelling to nearby locations and leisure destinations is already happening. Fed up of staying and working inside their homes, people are no longer waiting for summer vacations alone as a reason to travel with their families.

For the travel and hospitality segment, this marks a new era.

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