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HomeYear ender: 2023 solo and community travel trends set to inspire fresh...

Year ender: 2023 solo and community travel trends set to inspire fresh wave of adventures in New Year 2024

Travel in India is changing and reflects several trends, such as the rise in eco-tourism, the combination of digital nomads’ travel and work from remote locations and travelling to off-beat places and for travellers seeking unique experiences, solo travel is becoming more and more popular as a means of self-healing. The emphasis on social connections, sustainability, artistic freedom, self-expression and the restorative qualities of nature in these trends reflects a significant shift in the preferences of travellers.

Year ender: 2023 solo and community travel trends set to inspire fresh wave of adventures in New Year 2024 (Photo by Fabio Comparelli on Unsplash)
Year ender: 2023 solo and community travel trends set to inspire fresh wave of adventures in New Year 2024 (Photo by Fabio Comparelli on Unsplash)

Emerging Trend Perspective:

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Aditya Sharma, Community Director at Vaatalya, shared, “The travel-tourism industry has witnessed a major trend of solo and community traveling. Solo travel has seen a significant surge in popularity in recent years, as more people seek independence and self-discovery. It offers individuals a chance to explore new destinations on their terms, providing opportunities for personal growth and self-reflection. Whilst community travel focuses on sharing experiences and creating memories with friends, families or like-minded travelers. It promotes communal living, teamwork, and cross-cultural interactions, giving visitors a chance to connect deeply and make enduring experiences with one another. Both aspires for personal growth and meaningful cultural and environmental immersion.”

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Saumitra Singh, Managing Director at The Tigress Resort and Spa in Ranthambore, asserted, “Solo and community travel has emerged as a powerful force, bringing people together globally. This phenomenon goes beyond connecting with locals in a destination and fosters connections among fellow travellers. Such experiences create a conducive environment for mutual learning and self-discovery. Embarking on a journey with like-minded enthusiasts and engaging in small group sessions led by culinary innovators and trendsetters offers a delightful, social, and transformative approach to experiencing travel.”

Impact on the Travel Industry in 2024:

Aditya Sharma revealed, “This trend is set to reshape the travel industry by influencing accommodation preferences, tour packages and travel services. This trend will compel travel companies to design experiences that are in line with the pursuit of self-discovery, sustainable practices, and community-driven connections. Tour operators and Community retreats are curating specialised experiences, such as solo travel packages with safety and flexibility in mind for both men and women. Additionally for group trips, they emphasise on shared activities, workshops, sessions or volunteer programs.”

Talking about the role of AI in travel, he said, “AI has empowered individuals to create their own travel itineraries, find locations, and maps. It plays a crucial role in shaping the travel industry by providing real-time assistance, personalized recommendations, flight forecasting, and other advancements. It’s essential for companies to incorporate AI in their platforms for quicker customer service and enhanced travel experiences.”

Saumitra Singh pointed out, “Modern travellers, solo or in groups, are shifting away from the traditional multi-country and multi-region itineraries, favouring week-long stays in a single city or extended periods in a region to immerse themselves in profound local experiences. In this era of slow travel, where the focus is on delving deep into local culture and cuisine, consumers are explicitly expressing that the value of their journeys lies in the quality and uniqueness of the experiences they encounter. The emphasis has shifted from the quantity of cities and countries covered in an itinerary. As part of this evolving trend, there’s a notable surge in the demand for regions and cities that deviate from the usual tourist hotspots.”

Statistics Supporting the Trend:

Aditya Sharma highlighted, “Searches for ‘solo travel’ rose by more than 200% from April 2020 to April 2023, according to Google trend data. Solo travel accounts for 11% of the tourism market. India witnessed an enormous rise of around 133% in bookings done by solo travelers in December 2018 when compared with the same time in 2017. Solo travel accounts for 11% of the tourism market. 131% increase in searches for “solo travel” on Google from 2016 to 2019 In comparison to the same period last year, solo travel in India has almost doubled, according to Airbnb’s Travel Outlook for 2023. However, family travel has also done so. There has been an increase of 110% in the past year.”

Saumitra Singh concluded, “According to Hilton’s 2024 Trends Report, there is a notable shift in the profile of the contemporary traveller. The report highlights a growing trend where 85% of travellers prioritise experiences, 81% express a keen interest in exploring the unknown, 64% are excited about trying local cuisine, and 48% are eager to learn about local customs and traditions during their holidays. Furthermore, 25% of travellers actively seek out locally-sourced food to immerse themselves in local traditions while away.”

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