• Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

Visa-Free Countries: Visa-free countries, offbeat places, travel for food, festivals: Old and new trends to define travel in 2024, say travel companies


Dec 28, 2023
Visa-Free Countries: Visa-free countries, offbeat places, travel for food, festivals: Old and new trends to define travel in 2024, say travel companies


MUMBAI: After two years of highs and lows in travel-demand brought on by the pandemic, the year 2023 finally saw a decrease in volatility. The coming year is expected to build on this trend, say travel companies. With it the travel trends that are expected to gain traction are event-based travel, wellness tourism, travel to visa-free destinations, curated travel etc.Among the trends that have stayed strong and are expected to remain so are travel to offbeat destinations, adventure tourism and travel to revel in sports, food, festivities etc.
“As we step into 2024, the robust travel sentiment persists, and we anticipate a sustained surge in demand from the dynamic Indian market. The unwavering appetite for exploration among Indian travellers is evident,” said Rajeev Kale – President & Country Head, Holidays, MICE, Visa – Thomas Cook (India) Limited. Thomas Cook did a data analysis to identify key trends that are likely to gain traction among Indian consumers in 2024 and SOTC looked at trends that have stayed strong in the past many years and are expected to remain so. Daniel D’Souza, President & Country Head – Holidays, SOTC Travel said that in 2024, a dynamic shift in the global travel landscape is anticipated, blending enduring trends with compelling new ones.
Here are some of the emerging patterns in travel.
1) Event-based travel:
This one is emerging as a significant trend, driven by the enthusiasm of Young India’s millennials, young professionals, and Gen Z. Their keen interest in the thrill of live concerts, events, and cultural immersion is poised to be a driving force for travel in the upcoming year, said the company. This demographic seeks immersive experiences that go beyond traditional tourism, reflecting a desire for dynamic and culturally rich journeys. As we look ahead, we anticipate this trend to not only persist but to evolve, shaping the preferences and choices of the contemporary Indian traveller.
2)Sleep Tourism and Wellness Retreats for Rejuvenation:
The current generation, burdened by work fatigue, seeks opportunities for rest and rejuvenation. Trends like sleep tourism, which go beyond uninterrupted sleep to include activities like yoga, swimming, and spa wellness therapy, are gaining widespread popularity. Consequently, accommodations offering soundproof rooms, sleep consultations, recorded sleep meditations, pillow menus, sleep kits, and concierge services are experiencing a surge in demand. Notable destinations for such experiences include Goa, Coorg, Mysore, Kodaikanal, Alleppey, and Puducherry.
At the same time, more people are choosing wellness retreats for peace and well-being. This has led to a noticeable increase in yoga and meditation tourism in places like Rishikesh, Mysore, and Pondicherry, showing how people today prefer a holistic approach to travel.
3)Personalised and Curated Travel:
The demand for fully customisable private holidays, especially among discerning travellers, is on the rise, according to Thomas Cook. This trend caters to those looking for premium, experience-led travel, with a focus on a leisurely exploration of a destination’s history, culture, cuisine, and hidden gems. This is anticipated to attract interest from High Net Worth Individuals (HNIs), multigenerational families, ad-hoc groups of friends, and honeymooners/couples, reflecting a preference for exclusive and tailored travel adventures.
4) Visa-Friendly Destinations on the Rise:
The recent announcements of free visa travel to countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Kenya are expected to spark increased interest among Indian travellers. The accessibility of easy-visa and visa-on-arrival options in these destinations further contributes to the growing appeal for hassle-free international travel.
Among the trends that have stayed strong are:
1) Hidden Gems and Offbeat Destinations:
The quest for unique and lesser-explored locales continues to gain momentum, with travellers seeking authentic and offbeat experiences beyond conventional tourist destinations. Domestic destinations such as Meghalaya, Ziro, Ponmudi, Sandakphu, Gokarna, Halebidu, Patan, Varkala, Mandu, Tawang, Hampi, Jawai and many more will continue to pop up on travellers itineraries for more unconventional travel.
2) Adventure Tourism:
The thrill of adventure is a constant driver for Indian travellers, with a growing demand for experiences such as trekking, wildlife safaris, and adrenaline-pumping activities. Destinations that will continue to cater to this demand include Rishikesh, Manali, Aamby Valley, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Goa, Kovalam, Auli, Bir Billing, Gulmarg, and Vagamon.
4)Sports Tourism:
The intersection of sports and travel remains a significant trend, with enthusiasts travelling to witness major sporting events, tournaments, and championships across the globe.
5)Travel for Festivals:
Cultural celebrations and festivals around the world attract Indian travellers, seeking to immerse themselves in diverse traditions and celebrations.
6)Luxury Travel:
There is a sustained interest in luxury travel experiences, with discerning travellers seeking exclusive accommodations, personalised services, and opulent amenities.
7)Food Tourism:
Culinary exploration remains a key trend, with travellers increasingly interested in discovering local cuisines, street food, and culinary traditions.
8)Cruise Holidays:
Cruises continue to be a popular choice, offering a unique blend of luxury, entertainment, and the opportunity to explore multiple destinations in a single journey.


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