Travel industry is one of the industries where change is constant. The Indian travel market over the past few decades has seen a major transformation in the way individuals travel. The recent Expedia and CAPA research reports indicate that India contributes over 4.8 million leisure outbound trips, which means India holds a huge potential in the travel market. With the multiple new trends emerging, Indians are becoming more adventurous with their travel habits by not just visiting traditional holiday destinations but also exploring new ways of travelling through experiential activities, solo travel, culinary travel and a lot more.
While these travellers include families and business travellers, as per reports, solo travellers and millennials represent a larger and faster growing share in the travel space, and are mainly shaping the travel industry. These days millennials prefer going on solo-trips in order to spend some of their personal “me” time. According to the travel search marketplace ixigo, there is a 24% rise in travel to offbeat destinations. Millennials see this time as a perfect opportunity for a getaway from their mundane routine lives to explore the unexplored and visit offbeat destinations; which also gives them a chance to connect with new places and people. Not just solo-travellers but of late couples have also started going on un-planned honeymoon trips to offbeat destinations to spend quality with their “better halves”.
It is no surprise that most of the credit goes to the popular social media influencers that millennials diligently follow. These influencers act as trusted experts by sharing travel experiences and favoured destinations on their blogs and social media handles. The KAYAK survey that was conducted freshly suggested that Indian travellers are extremely active on their social media handles, they post approximately 10 social media updates during their trip.
Millennials’ travel habits vary a lot more from the old travellers. As per general understanding, millennials are unlike to what the previous generation was; due to lack of opportunities and limited resources, these baby boomers were never exposed to social media or the emerging travel trends that millennials follow these days. Also, these millennials are a lot more financially independent than the older generation and hence, are constantly in the quest of hitting the road.
Today’s generation prefer planning their trip 70 days prior to their departure as compared to the other travellers who generally plan their trip 110 days prior. Similarly, millennials prefer purchasing a cover like an insurance around 28 days before their vacation. This pattern brings us to question if an insurance cover really holds importance to millennials.
Today’s generation is exposed to newer aspects, pursuing opportunities for self-growth and maintaining a certain luxurious lifestyle. The older generation compulsory seeks to have a travel insurance due to their medical concerns, whereas young minds do not see insurance as a necessity because of their care-free attitude and good health.
But just like the unplanned trips, emergencies and health issues are also unplanned. As we are constantly in the expedition for exploring something rare and audacious, we tend to miss out on the probabilities of unplanned situations at the time of travel. Injuries, illness or even loss of baggage/passport are common mishaps that can cost us more than the total travel expense. Thus, it is time for millennials/ solo-travelers to consider travel insurance as an investment in the most crucial situations that can accurately work as a travel assist throughout the trip.
(Parag Ved, Executive Vice President-Consumer Line, TATA AIG General Insurance Company Ltd)