India’s Hospitality and Travel Sector Adapts to Younger Consumer Demands

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New Delhi, February 13, 2024, Ruchita Bhatt In response to shifting consumer demographics, India’s travel and hospitality industry has undergone significant adaptation to cater to a younger clientele. Over the past five to ten years, the average age of customers has decreased by a decade, prompting businesses to reevaluate their offerings and services.

Rajeev Kale, President and Country Head for Holidays, MICE, and Visa at Thomas Cook (India), noted that the company’s recent growth is fueled by a younger demographic seeking multiple mini-vacations. With over 80% of Gen Z and millennial travelers preferring air travel, Thomas Cook (India) has introduced an online holiday bundler featuring easy-to-book packages with various flight options, experiencing 50% year-on-year growth.

Similarly, Vishal Suri, Managing Director of SOTC Travel, attributed the firm’s success in attracting young customers to its digital focus and curated holiday offerings. These include unique experiences such as staying in a luxury capsule atop a mountain in Peru’s Sacred Valley or an igloo in Finland’s Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort.

Nikhil Sharma, Market Managing Director for Eurasia at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, highlighted the chain’s efforts to introduce brands tailored for younger guests in India. Brands like Ramada Encore and Vienna House are designed to align with the lifestyle, cultural ethos, and budget preferences of young Indian travelers.

Manish Tolani, Vice President and Commercial Director, India, at Hilton, emphasized the evolving concept of loyalty among young consumers. Hilton is enhancing its Hilton Honors program and expanding its mobile guest messaging platform to better address customer needs and travel pain points.

Patanjali Keswani, Chairman and Managing Director of Lemon Tree Hotels, acknowledged the changing expectations of younger guests, with the average age of guests dropping by ten years. Lemon Tree Hotels is exploring ways to meet these diverse expectations, such as by offering more flexible co-working spaces and health-conscious culinary experiences.

The launch of Marriott International’s Moxy brand in India is poised to disrupt the hospitality market with its quirky and playful approach to hospitality. Ranju Alex, Regional Vice President for South Asia at Marriott International, highlighted features such as check-in at the bar and smartphone-controlled room amenities, catering to tech-savvy and adventurous travelers.

Hyatt recently unveiled its boutique resort, Ronil Goa, offering unique amenities like a swim-up bar and poolside picnics, catering to India’s millennial and Gen Z population.

With India’s youth holding significant potential to drive growth in various sectors, including hospitality and tourism, businesses are embracing innovation and customisation to meet the evolving demands of younger consumers.

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