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International travel is no longer a distant dream for the Indian middle class
In the pre-millennium era, international travel was luxury so rare to the point that it was a celebrated event, except for the rich, as it required really deep pockets.

But as we crossed past the millennium mark, things gradually began to change. The next generation showed signs of true wanderlust and aided by strong changes in employment and economic trends, we soon started seeing significant rise in international travel statistics.

But what were these changes and what does the future of the travel sector look like?

According to statistics, around 282 million Indian households will go on at least one international trip, per year, by 2025, resulting in almost a 35 per cent increase from the numbers gathered in 2015. The spending potential too will see a hike, with the average amount touching the Rs 3.5 lakh mark by 2025.

The definition of international travel is not just restricted to opulence though, as comfort and the right kind of amenities are just as important. Due to the current global economic climate, the focus has rather shifted from grander vacations to more authentic, simple and genuine experiences ingrained in the local culture.

But that doesn't mean the basic requirements have changed and that's exactly where the second major change has been witnessed.

The basic factors associated with any travel experience are:

  • Transportation

  • Accommodation

  • Itineraries

Earlier, travellers relied on travel agents to provide them with all the above options and more. But today, thanks to the boon of high-speed internet, and immense breakthroughs in technology, the entire travel planning process can be smoothly executed by the traveller themselves. Planning the minutest details like searching for good local restaurants to finding lesser-known locations for a last minute visit now lies on a fingertip's reach.

With this rise of the DIY travellers, many commercial entities have upped their game to rise up to the competitions and challenges ahead. As a DIY traveller, a major priority that most look for is comfortable and affordable travel. This directly attributed to the rise of low cost airlines. Another key change seen was the emergence of online travel agencies and websites and their direct association with airlines and hotels. Thus, offering better deals for the end user. As a result, traditional tour operators too are heading towards the digital medium by introducing online bookings amongst their other services.

When looking at the current trends, the future in the travel industry seems to be one dedicated to customised products and services tailored according to the traveller's personal tastes and requirements. This, in turn, would kick-start a phase of truly personalised experiences that the travellers are readily seeking out.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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