Need of the hour- Reinvention of travel industry for millennials: Gaurav Dewan, COO & Business Head, Travel Food Services
The need for efficient, hassle-free and enriching experiences has led to a transformation in every aspect of the travel industry from booking to F&B writes Gaurav Dewan,COO & Business Head, Travel Food Services.
The world is slowly, but surely changing, and the greatest proof of it comes from the behavioural shift in the newer generation. With the ever-growing internet penetration, rising levels of disposable income and a shift in perception has made the millennial generation, more inclined towards travel. The desire for travel, and viewing the world has grown ten-fold. Sightseeing is no longer the only priority, as experiential activities are increasingly becoming popular choices. This need for efficient, hassle-free and enriching experiences has led to a transformation in every aspect of the travel industry from booking to F&B. In order to understand these new developments in the industry, it has become important to take into consideration some basic characteristics displayed by the millennial generation, that may be the root cause for the changes.
Travellers belonging to this generation are bolder in their pursuit of travel. They don’t just wish to see a new destination; they want to immerse themselves in the local culture, and come away with novel experiences. This shift in travel style has come from a heightened level of cultural awareness owing to the sea of information they have at their fingertips. This has led them on a path of discovering hidden gems. So, while the regular tourist spots retain their usual popularity, this adventurous desire has made smaller destinations like Croatia, Budapest, Israel, and others the new favourites.
The advancements in technology have led to spread of information like never before. Taking to these advancements like a fish in the water, millennials have become used to having whatever information they need at their disposal. This has also changed the way they make decisions, which can often happen rapidly. In order to connect with them, industries have to shift their focus towards providing the highest efficiency and convenience. Developing an online presence, and creating an efficient user experience is the area that Travel companies today are developing, in a bid to provide online services to cater to this growing population’s need for easy accessibility.
In the past, the older generation believed in saving for the future. While this is still a priority for the newer generation, they also believe in making the present enriching in their own way. The money spent on a venture does not bother them, when they feel like they are getting valuable experience in return. This is the new style of budgeting that industries are encountering from them. Thus, millennials are amenable to spending money on luxury elements like spas, even at airports, for the value the experience brings to them.
Valuable experiences for the millennials are extended to a large list of unique activities. Through these, they display a keen desire to explore new cultures wherever they go. Because of this, they expect authentic experiences in every aspect of their travel, especially in terms of food. This has also led to a new segment in travel – culinary holidays. Food is central experience, that connects everyone, and this gastronomical experience begins from the very beginning of the journey - the airport itself. Today airports have progressed, and now are home to a wide range of culinary experiences. These eateries serve a variety of cuisines, ranging from local to international flavours, to cater to, and satisfy these kinds of travellers.
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