Tavel is life

Travel isn’t just an escape like in the past years, but a catalyst for experiencing our best lives in 2024. Booking.com shares seven predictions for travel for the year

WHETHER YOU seek the thrill of uncharted territories, the serenity of secluded beaches or the rich tapestry of diverse traditions, travel is the ultimate pilgrimage of the soul. So, as we step into 2024, fasten your seatbelts as wanderlust awaits and promises a symphony of experiences that will linger in the heart forever. 

Where in the past years, travel has been a means to escape life, Booking.com’s Travel Predictions research shows that travel is life in 2024 with 85 per cent Indian travellers revealing that they feel more alive when they are on vacation and become the best version of themselves when on vacation. 

To explore how travel will transport people out of autopilot and into unleashing their best life, Booking.com commissioned research among more than 27,000 travellers across 33 countries and territories including India, combining it with its insights as a leading digital travel platform to reveal seven predictions for travel in 2024.

(Alter) Ego Enthusiasts

In 2024, travel enthusiasts are set to embark on a unique journey of self-discovery as ‘Ego Enthusiasts’. 82 per cent of Indian travellers reported that they enjoy the anonymity of travel and the chance to reinvent themselves while 63 per cent craft elaborate stories about their real lives to share with fellow travellers. Embracing their ‘main character energy’, 76 per cent revel in being the stars of their own adventures, adopting different personas and shedding inhibitions. Their desire to carry this newfound confidence into their daily lives is evident, with a significant number 81 per cent aspiring to be more like their vacation selves even when they return home. 

Cool Cationers

As global temperatures continue to rise; travellers are seeking cooler destinations to escape the heat. For 74 per cent, climate change is now a pivotal factor influencing their vacation plans, pushing them towards cooler destinations. 76 per cent of Indian travellers are determined to use their holidays to cool down in places far from the scorching sun. A notable 83 per cent of travellers agree that proximity to water instantly induces relaxation, while 38 per cent Indian travellers express keen interest in water-centric vacations. As travellers embrace these water-centric experiences, a surge in activities like floating yoga, water sound bath and snow meditation can easily be anticipated.

Surrender Seekers

Over 74 per cent ‘Surrender Seekers’ are ready to book surprise trips with 67 per cent opting to venture off the beaten path and 54 per cent yearning to travel alongside strangers. 66 per cent would like to have no plans set in stone prior to travelling so they can go where the wind take them, while 76 per cent embrace loose itineraries, permitting them to change course based on what feels right at the time. 

Culinary Excavators

Travellers are delving deep into the origins of the food on their vacations to unearth hidden culinary gems. 78 per cent intrepid explorers exhibit a heightened interest in unravelling the history and heritage behind a destination’s ‘must-eat’ delicacies. Indigenous cuisines are the focal point for a significant 86 per cent of Indian travellers, showcasing a commitment to discovering the culinary treasures of the world and acknowledging the underrepresented. 

Reboot Retreaters

59 per cent of Indian travellers have reported they’re inclined to carve out time for a matchmaking holiday, to find a spark with a new partner. 53 per cent travellers opt for heartbreak holidays, to overcome past relationships. 68 per cent are drawn to agrarian and indigenous lifestyle, seeking self-sufficiency and harmony with nature. Also, the sleep tourism trend is emerging, offering specialised retreats with cutting-edge technology to cater for the needs of 68 per cent of Reboot Retreaters who want undisturbed sleep in 2024.

A La Carte Affluencers

In 2024, travellers will redefine luxury by utilising money-saving strategies and indulging in à la carte luxuries, driven by the cost-of-living crisis and the desire for affluence. 76 per cent of Indian travellers will want insights and tips from AI to enhance their experiences with suggested deals and offers. While 70 per cent of Indian travellers opt to choose destinations in 2024 where the cost of living is more economical than in their hometown, others are drawn to explore closer to home, searching for budget-friendly alternatives that emulate the allure of luxury (66 per cent). 

Mindful Aesthetes

Comfort and excellent design are no longer just for luxury; many hotels and unique places to stay are finding creative ways to look good while addressing important environmental and social issues. 77 per cent of Indian travellers are actively looking for accommodations that have wow-factor sustainability innovation. Majority of travellers (81 per cent) want to see sustainability in practice and 81 per cent wish to bring nature indoors by having green spaces and plants in vacation accommodations. 

Our 2024 travel predictions reflect the idea that travel is not a means to escape life, but instead a catalyst to live our best lives. From thrilling adventures in a new destination to feeling the pulse of a new culture and every experience in between, travel allows us to become the best version of ourselves. At Booking.com, it’s our mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world and we believe in the power of travel to inspire, transform and enrich lives and we are committed to empowering extraordinary experiences that resonate with the heartbeat of each and every traveller in 2024 and beyond.

Santosh Kumar, Country Manager for India, SL, Maldives and Indonesia, Booking.com

This article was published in BW hotelier issue dated '' with cover story titled 'BW HOTELIER THE BLEISURE SPECIAL'

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