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Occasional to Weekend Travel Today: How the Industry Has Changed!

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15 Long Weekends in 2024: Where will You Holiday?

Didn’t travel much in 2023, so don’t worry. This year, you can plan for more getaways with 15 long weekends. A recent ACKO and YouGov Travel report reveals that this year, around 48% of Indians plan to increase their travel budget, 60% are set to travel to international destinations, 37% will increase the trip’s duration, and 71% are willing to spend ₹1–6 lakhs on an international and ₹1 lakh on a domestic trip. 

Clearly, Indians are exploring, and their desire to travel is becoming bigger and more frequent if you look at the high demand for Indian vacation rentals.  A check of the market will tell you the segment is expected to have a market volume of $2.23bn by 2028. 50% of this revenue will be from online sales, with over 56.86 million users by 2027 and $37.06 the average revenue per user. 


Holiday travel has always been occasional. So, how did they become a way of life? Read on to know. 

01 Indian Hospitality is Historic 1

Indian Hospitality is Historic

During ancient times, the Indus Valley Civilization and Vedic Era had Dharamshalas for pilgrims and traders in spices, gold, and silk. The Sultanate brought in sarais and musafirkhanas between the 11th and 13th centuries as rest points for postal system messengers. 

While the European presence led to early organized hotels like the Portuguese Georges and Paddy Goose’s in Bombay during the Colonial Era, heritage properties, lodges, and guesthouses gained prominence during pre-Independence.

The Taj Mahal Palace (1903) and Oberoi Hotels & Resorts (1934) marked the beginning of the Indian luxury hotels.

02 Luxury Hotels to Home Sharing 1

Luxury Hotels to Home-Sharing 

With the entry of big players like the ITC Hotels, Leela Palaces, and The Lalit Group during the 1960s–90s, five-star hotels and resorts dominated as accommodation choices. 

As the early 2000s made way for the digital boom, online travel agencies like MakeMyTrip and Yatra.com eased hotel bookings and travel planning, and everything was suddenly at our fingertips!

03 Home Away from Home 1

Home Away from Home 

Bed-and-breakfasts, guesthouses, and homestays in heritage towns; you name it and got it.

It was the mid-2000s when travelers wanted a more personalized, authentic, and local-life experience immersed in Indian culture.
Platforms like Stayzilla (2007) made getting such experiences a breeze.

04 The Winds of Change with Airbnb 2

The Winds of Change with Airbnb

It’s been two decades since travelers welcomed a new experience and experiment — Airbnb opened a new chapter in India in 2012.

Whether offering one room or the entire home to strangers or OYO Rooms democratizing budget accommodation in 2013, their popularity is increasing daily.

Short-term rentals added to the travel stay bouquet available with Booking.com and Expedia catering to such demand seamlessly.

05 Holiday Gets a Hashtag 1

Holiday Gets a Hashtag

Travel-gramming about destinations is now in. This trend began a decade ago when Instagram was just a photo-sharing app.
Today, ‘Instagram tourism’ is an actual trend, with no signs of going out of fashion. Travelers now choose destinations and rentals based on how “Instagrammable” their stay will be. 

06 Remote Revenge Responsibility 1

Remote, Revenge, Responsible

Travel enthusiasts were gung-ho about reels on Instagram to make travel plans but had to deal with COVID-19 and lockdowns.

Did that stop them from being out and about? Not for long. In fact, it made people open the doors to houses that offered secluded stays, especially in rural and remote destinations.

Another trend that emerged was ‘revenge travel.’ Travelers eager to make up for the lost time locked up at home dug deeper into destinations, soaking up local vibes and traditions. 

07 Short term Rentals To The Rescue 1

Rentals To The Rescue

Short-term rentals made it all happen, creating that cozy ‘home away from home’ feel by letting you book from comfy apartments, fancy villas, heritage homes to quirky treehouses, rustic cottages, etc.

The pandemic also taught us not to take nature for granted, giving rise to glamping tents combining luxury and camping. 

As we also became more conscious about respecting nature, sustainability and eco-friendliness became more than just buzzwords; they became a way of life. Travel stays focusing on eco-friendly practices, voluntourism, responsible tourism, and wellness retreats are IN. 

08 Sustainable Style Experience 1

Sustainable Style Experience 

The new-age traveler does not want to compromise on style for sustainability. Regarding accommodations, the traveler today wants the best of both worlds.

Notably, 75% of Indian travelers seek stays with sustainability innovations, and 81% want to bring nature indoors with green spaces and plants in accommodations.

The experiential also includes healing and wellness, where 68% are Reboot Retreaters who desire undisturbed sleep, while 53% want a healing space to recover from broken relationships.

09 More than a Place to Stay 1

More than a Place to Stay

Besides delighting the traveler, accommodations and hospitality constitute a big chunk of the travel and tourism industry. In 2023, the revenue in India’s Travel & Tourism market was projected to reach US$19.86 billion.

Of this, the largest segment was the hotel market, with a projected market volume of US$8.61 billion. The accommodation or hotel industry contributed approximately 43.3% to the market size.

10 Gearing for Immersive AI 1

Gearing for Immersive Experiences

Whether a quaint village homestay or a posh urban loft, short-term rentals have left a long-term mark on India’s travel scene for adventurers seeking more than a place to stay.

And guess what? 71% of people rely on AI to plan their trips because of its flexibility, convenience, and insights. 

As we move from Dharamshalas in ancient times to sustainable and responsible traveling, eco-lodges, eco-conscious luxury hotels, wellness retreats, and private villas are having their moment. 

11 Where Will You Stay 1

Where Will You Stay?

Now that you know what vacation rentals can offer, where would you stay for one (or many!) of the mini-vacations during long weekends in 2024?

Luxury Hotel | Homestay | Airbnb | Serviced apartments | Beach Shack | Heritage Haveli | Glamping Tent | Eco-lodge | Ayurveda Retreat | Yoga Ashram?

Happy long weekend to you!

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I’m Archana R. Chettiar, an experienced content creator with
an affinity for writing on personal finance and other financial content. I
love to write on equity investing, retirement, managing money, and more.

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