Luxury segment in India will scale new heights in 2022, with travellers opting for charters, secluded destinations, personalized services, and focus on wellness.
The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) has always stepped in during times of crisis. Under the leadership of its President Jyoti Mayal, it is visibly evident that TAAI members aren’t just passive recipients of agendas but, by asking the right questions, they have created a space for deep reflection and strategic change.
Mayal has over four decades of experience in travel trade, and her forecast of luxury tourism in India looks promising. She says luxury travel will be redefined and rewritten for India. Mayal foresees luxury segment in the country to scale new heights in 2022, with travellers opting for charters, secluded destinations, personalized services, and focus on wellness.
“Luxury travel has been the most innovative last year. With closure of international borders, there was a rise in domestic travel. People explored several exotic locales in India. Based on the report we received, they visited many destinations, properties, and cities that were never on their itinerary. Surprisingly, for them, last year, they even got all amenities and best of the services at considerably lower costs. We are sure that the segment will carve a niche for itself with unmatched delivery of services,” says Mayal.
The two years of pandemic has changed the way people travel. It has also changed the way travel agents curate itineraries. Mayal shares an interesting observation on the evolution of travellers in the past two years. The cautious have now become the bold, she says.
“In 2020, travellers were cautious and anxious. Except for essential travel, people were not willing to come out of their homes. In 2021, we saw a shift in mindset. People were tired of being confined to the four walls of their homes. With the introduction of vaccines, people were willing to travel more. They have learnt to adapt to new protocols of safety and hygiene. While 2020 saw the rise of staycations and drivecations 2021 was the year people gained confidence to travel by air and explore destinations beyond drivable distances. Last year, we saw the emergence of small conferences, meetings, and weddings. 2022 will only see an increase in demand,” says Mayal, adding that the focus this year will be on luxury, wellness, adventure, and sustainable tourism.
The TAAI chief added that the travel industry needs to work together as a community to thrive in the pandemic era.
“Travellers will look up to travel agents for better guidance and accurate information. We need to make sure that we as an industry work with greater coordination to offer reliable services,” says Mayal.
According to the TAAI chief, Year 2022 will see fewer advance bookings. Travellers will look for easy, no-cost cancellation policies.
In the past two years, TAAI conducted webinars, organised meetings, and interacted with stakeholders. The association also signed MOUs with both national and international tourism boards.