The past decade has seen major upheavals in the travel & tourism industry with advancement of technology and emergence of OTAs, along with decreasing agency commissions and an influx of new players across various segments. In this second of the two-part series, TravelBiz Monitor tries to ascertain the views of a host of industry stalwarts about how these factors have impacted the business, and what does the future looks like.
Sanjay Sondhi, CEO, OM Tourism The growth in the Indian travel and tourism industry is driven by higher disposable incomes, lifestyle changes, awareness and social media that have resulted in shifting travel preferences of Indian travellers. Indian travellers are looking for ‘exotic’ experiences. Avid travellers are approaching tour operators after doing their own research, seeking suggestions from the operators on various itineraries, which are then customised as per requirements. This has led to the emergence of niche segments. Bollywood has always been the strongest influence for potential Indian travellers. The challenge that is affecting the tourism sector is the rupee depreciation. It has become a hindrance for Indian outbound tourism. The business, leisure and VFR trips will dominate the outbound travel segment. Indian travellers will opt for niche products like sports tourism, luxury travels, MICE, honeymoon packages and cruises. Indian travellers will be inclined more towards experiential tourism. The foreign tourism boards will become more active to meet the increasing number of Indians outbound travellers.