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National Tourism Day 2024: Exploring latest travel trends in India

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Indians love travelling, be it beaches, mountains or jungles, we look for opportunities to just pack our bags and leave. While some go on long vacations, some prefer trekking, some flock to religious places. While, some travel with their family, some go with friends, some go on groups with strangers and some who just like to travel solo. There are others who like to explore destinations with their furry friends. While some prefer flying, some travel by train or bus, some take their car or bike on long road trips. What are the latest trends which are becoming popular for domestic tourism in India? On National Tourism Day 2024 The CSR Journal takes a look.
A group of travelers enjoying local sweet ‘Rabdi’ in Varanasi, India

Culinary Tourism

Food Tourism also known as Culinary Tourism is enjoying an increasing popularity in India. As a result, Food Vlogging is on the rise. Culinary or Gastronomic Tourism refers to trips made to destinations where the local food and beverages are the main motivating factors for travel. In Culinary Tourism, a tourist explores culinary experiences of the place where they are travelling. Tourists flock to destinations just to experience certain kinds of cuisine.
India is home to a wide variety of regional cuisines, each with its own distinct flavour and history. Culinary tourism helps the traveller to know a place and its history better through its food. In a Food Tour, the traveller explores local restaurants, markets, and traditional eateries, where they get to taste local and regional flavours. In food tourism, the traveller also gets to learn about the ingredients and techniques used in cooking a specific item and the history behind a particular dish.

Weekend Getaways

Long weekend coming? Let’s do a road trip! Weekend Getaways are gaining popularity especially among India’s young working population, who prefer to visit nearby places by clubbing a day or two with a weekend or utilising a long weekend for travelling or even destinations which can be covered in just two days. The purpose is to shed the stress of work and come back to work with fresh mind the next week. Also, road trips are a preferred choice for many, which become convenient only while travelling to nearby places.
“Couples Google weekend getaways from the city and book tickets and stay online to visit that particular place just for 2-3 days. They also get to know about destinations through travel groups on WhatsApp and Facebook some of which are dedicated for destinations which can be covered during the weekend. We also organise tours in groups for weekend getaways in destinations closer to the city, which many people prefer because it is pocket-friendly option. Currently our weekend groups are more popular among senior citizens, couples with children and solo travellers than weeklong or 10-12 days trips,” said Kolkata-based tour operator Kaushik Chatterjee.

Pet-friendly accommodation

Most pet owners or ‘pet parents’ these days prefer to take their pets wherever they travel. Hence, the obvious choice is pet friendly accommodation like hotels, resorts, guest houses or homestays. Going with the growing demand, a lot of resorts, hotels and homestays in different parts of the country have started opening their doors to the four-legged in order to boost their business. Some of these also serve pet food and provide options like pet bathing and vet on call. Pet food plates, water bowls and outdoor play areas are also offered.

Off-beat destinations

Off-beat destinations are a preferred choice for many as opposed to traditional tourism destinations. Off-beat destinations are increasingly becoming popular thanks to travel vloggers who flood social media with videos of such places. Also, many people prefer off-beat locations in order to avoid popular tourist spots which are often crowded and they want to avoid the crowd. Also, off-beat destinations within the country are often pocket-friendly as compared to traditional vacation destinations.

Work while you Travel

The busy generation like to carry your work wherever they go. As a result, the ‘work while you travel’ option is on the rise with destinations which offer a perfect mix of work and leisure gaining prominence.
“I prefer accommodations which offer strong Wi-Fi network, comfortable chair or sofa in the room for sitting with my laptop, multiple plug points in different parts of the room for charging phone and laptop simultaneously and an outdoor garden area where I can relax with a cup of coffee as I work,” expressed Sumit Gupta, who works as a content writer.
“Work while you travel is not an option which works for everyone but for me it increases my productivity. This is because I can work with a calm mind sitting in the lap of nature and with nobody to disturb me unlike my busy office where I have to spend from the morning till the evening every day,” shared Corporate Professional Ritu Naik.

Wellness Tourism

Wellness Tourism is becoming a favourite among travellers, who look forward to making their vacations relaxing and to heal in the lap of nature. Holistic wellbeing is the main purpose for such travel. Ayurveda, Yoga, relaxing food and music, Luxury spa, pain and stress relieving massage, meditation and therapies for various purposes are explored by travellers on wellness tourism. Kerala, Goa, Mysuru, Bengaluru, Bodh Gaya in Bihar, Ladakh, Dharamshala and Igatpuri in Maharashtra are some of the preferred destinations for Wellness Tourism in India. Rishikesh, which is known as the Yoga Capital of the World is also a favourite among travellers.
Bicycle is increasingly becoming a popular choice among tourists

Sustainable Travel

Digital travel company Booking.com released its ‘Sustainable Travel Report 2023’ in May last year. According to the report, Indian travellers are more open integrating sustainable thinking into their vacation planning than before. ‘Indian travellers are moving towards sustainable travel practices and are becoming more selective when deciding their accommodations and modes of transportation primarily due to the worsening effects of climate change and growing environmental awareness,’ the report says.
The company’s 8th annual Sustainable Travel Report, which gathered insights from over 33,000 travellers across 35 countries and territories, found that a majority of Indian travellers believe that by conserving resources now and being more sustainable, one can help save the planet. In a bid to save water, 55% travellers reuse their towels multiple times, with an aim to reduce, reuse and recycle, 57% brought their own reusable water bottles, while 52% individuals are utilising reusable bags, 44% practise recycling garbage while travelling. Taking conscious habits from home when travelling, 66% now turn off their air-conditioning when not in use.
Talking about transportation, 51% of Indian travellers now plan their sightseeing so that they can walk, use bicycles or take public transportation, which is essential for ecotourism. Additionally, ‘buy local’ is also a popular mantra among travellers.
Ahana Bhattacharya can be reached at ahana@thecsrjournal.in