A journey beyond autopilot, ET TravelWorld


<p>As the holiday season approaches, embark on a memorable journey to offbeat locations, creating lasting memories beyond the ordinary.</p>
As the holiday season approaches, embark on a memorable journey to offbeat locations, creating lasting memories beyond the ordinary.

As the curtains draw on 2023 and the dawn of 2024 approaches, Booking.com has revealed its ‘Travel Predictions‘ for the upcoming year. Contrary to the past, where travel was viewed as an escape, the latest research suggests that travel is not just a getaway; it’s a catalyst for experiencing our best lives. The study involved more than 27,000 travellers across 33 countries, including India, offering insights into the evolving trends that will redefine travel experiences in 2024.

(Alter) Ego Enthusiasts

In 2024, travellers are poised to embark on a unique journey of self-discovery as ‘Ego Enthusiasts.’ With 82 per cent of Indian travellers expressing a desire for anonymity and the chance to reinvent themselves, a significant shift is observed. 76 per cent embrace being the stars of their own adventures, adopting different personas and shedding inhibitions. Notably, 81 per cent aspire to be more like their vacation selves even when at home, with 68 per cent willing to invest in superior travel experiences, turning their journeys into true embodiments of their best selves.Cool Cationers
As global temperatures rise, travellers are seeking cooler destinations, with 74 per cent considering climate change a pivotal factor influencing vacation plans. In India, 76 per cent are determined to cool down in places far from the scorching sun. Water-centric travel gains momentum, offering relief from the heat. 83 per cent believe proximity to water induces relaxation, and 38 per cent of Indian travellers express keen interest in water-centric vacations. Activities like floating yoga, water sound baths, and snow meditation are anticipated to surge.

Surrender Seekers
In 2024, travellers are increasingly drawn to spontaneity and adventure, rejecting the monotony of everyday life. Over 74 per cent of ‘Surrender Seekers’ are ready to book surprise trips, where the destination remains a mystery until arrival. Rigid planning gives way to spontaneity, with 66 per cent desiring no set plans prior to traveling. AI gains trust, with 70 per cent of Indian travelers relying on it for trip planning, offering convenience, flexibility, and the ability to make immediate changes.

Culinary Excavators
The culinary landscape of 2024 sees travellers delving deep into the origins of food on their vacations. 78 per cent show heightened interest in unraveling the history and heritage behind a destination’s ‘must-eat’ delicacies. Indigenous cuisines take center stage, with 86 per cent of Indian travellers committed to discovering culinary treasures. Foodie travellers seek immersive ‘phygital’ food experiences, blending digital and real-world encounters to transform their culinary adventures into multi-sensory spectacles.

Anticipating 2024: Emerging travel trends and expectations

​​In an overview on emerging travel trends and expectations, Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head of Holidays, MICE, Visa at Thomas Cook (India) Limited, and Daniel D’Souza, President & Country Head – Holidays at SOTC Travel share their thoughts anticipating a sustained surge in demand from the dynamic Indian market.

Reboot Retreaters
In a world marked by instability, 2024 sees the rise of ‘Reboot Retreaters’ seeking journeys dedicated to self-improvement. 59 per cent of Indian travellers carve out time for matchmaking holidays, while 53 per cent opt for heartbreak holidays to overcome past relationships. Parents, eager for solace, plan solo journeys, with 79 per cent planning to travel solo. The trend towards agrarian and indigenous lifestyles gains traction, with 68 per cent seeking self-sufficiency and harmony with nature.A La Carte Affluencers
In 2024, travellers redefine luxury with à la carte indulgences, driven by the cost-of-living crisis. A la carte ‘affluencers’ want to level up their holiday experience with à la carte luxuries while curating budget-friendly travel itineraries. AI becomes a trusted ally, with 76 per cent of Indian travelers seeking insights and tips for enhanced experiences. Budget-friendly alternatives that emulate luxury appeal to 66 per cent of travellers, while 71 per cent plan to travel outside peak seasons.

Mindful Aesthetes

Sustainability and style converge in 2024, with 77 per cent of Indian travellers actively seeking accommodations with wow-factor sustainability innovation. Mindful aesthetics play a central role in reshaping travel, with technology assisting in curating sustainable itineraries. Sustainable travel apps gain popularity among 83 per cent of travelers, offering rewards for exploring off-the-beaten-path areas and remote locations typically beyond tourist reach.

Santosh Kumar, Country Manager for India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, and Indonesia at Booking.com, emphasises, “Our 2024 travel predictions reflect the idea that travel is not a means to escape life but a catalyst to live our best lives.” Booking.com aims to empower extraordinary experiences resonating with the heartbeat of each traveler in 2024 and beyond.

  • Published On Jan 1, 2024 at 03:10 PM IST

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