Indians prefer experiences

A dual trend is being seen in the market where online bookings cater to convenience, while longer and experiential journeys booked through travel agents continue to thrive, says Riaz Munshi, President, OTOAI.

Janice Alyosius

Riaz Munshi, President, OTOAI and Managing Director, N Chirag Travels, offers a comprehensive overview of the dynamic trends shaping luxury and experiential travel today. “In today’s travel market, we witness a constant evolution of how travellers choose to travel. There are people who prefer to book hotels and other services online. However, those seeking experiential travel over longer periods typically engage with travel agents. Both online and offline markets are expected to grow.”

Talking about popular destinations, Munshi says, “Vietnam has garnered considerable attention lately for its blend of cultural richness and natural beauty. Similarly, Portugal and Morocco are becoming increasingly popular choices among Indian travellers looking for authentic experiences.” He adds, “African destinations like Tanzania, Kenya, and Rwanda are particularly appealing. These countries are gaining popularity for their exceptional wildlife and safari adventures, which remain unmatched in their ability to captivate travellers seeking memorable encounters with nature.” On the complexity of traveller preferences, Munshi asserts, “It’s not as complex as it may seem. Many travellers, particularly those with an affinity for safaris, gravitate towards Kenya and Tanzania. The allure of the safari experience they offer is unparalleled.”

Munshi underscores a noticeable shift towards experiential travel, saying, “Today’s travellers are increasingly mature and discerning; they prioritise meaningful experiences. We have observed a substantial 20-30 per cent rise in luxury and experiential travel, underscoring a robust demand for high-quality, personalised travel experiences.”

Regarding specific destinations sought after for these experiences, Munshi observes, “Luxury and experiential travel options are abundant across all destinations. Travellers are eager to explore new frontiers, especially those who have already visited popular tourist hubs.”


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