While we are all ringing in the new year in high spirits, new waves of change are influencing the travel industry. Over the years it has become even more customer-friendly than before with its technological innovations and online accessibility. It is witnessing a surge of travellers who are on the constant lookout for exploring offbeat destinations. The tech-savvy generation has forgone the traditional methods of planning and booking their holidays in exchange for quick, easy and all-encompassing travel websites and apps.

Abhas Desai, co-founder of Taxidio Travel India— a DIY travel planner shares his thoughts on travel startups in India and what’s in store for them in 2019.

TD: Why are travel startups important in India, ever so now?

AD: Traditionally, Indians travel in groups, typically with their families, friends or colleagues. But over the years, this trend has been changing progressively as a growing number of travellers opt for solo adventures and a flexible group itinerary. New-age travel startups target exactly this kind of audience that likes to plan their own trip as against buying clichéd travel packages. These startups provide a plethora of web-based services that are convenient and efficient.

While every traveller has a different preference, Indians are known to stick to their conventional yet eclectic tastes no matter where they are. Vegetarians and those who adopt the Jain diet often find themselves stranded in a new country without their desired food options. These startups tie-up with local restaurants and hotels that serve Indian food to suit the taste-buds of such travellers.

Why DIY travel? 

“Trip planning cannot be a “one-size-fits-all” phenomenon”

The inclination of Indians towards solo travelling is a testimony to the paradigm shift in the perception of tourism. To fuel this newfangled thought-process, travel startups are now focusing on how to make holiday itinerary as customisable as possible. The realisation that trip planning cannot be a “one-size-fits-all” phenomenon, has helped travel portals to offer maximum flexibility. Users can now add or discard destinations and attractions based on their interest. They can choose what they like and pay for just that, instead of being thrust with redundant options, which is the case with offline travel agents and tour operators. Online travel portals tailor your needs into a plan or offer expert services with in-depth knowledge of a destination and custom-made itineraries.

New v/s old

The local commute between the place of accommodation to attractions on the itinerary is not only a waste of time and money but are also very tiresome. Travellers want to book a place to stay which is nearest to a majority of their points of interest. A few online travel companies offer this specialised feature that helps users find the right hotel/hostel at the right place and price. Some startups have also stepped up their game by curating the content to provide finer details such as the time required to reach there, waiting time for the spot, open/close time, the description and history of the attraction spots.

Jump the queues

How many times have you waited in a line to get inside an attraction you’ve eagerly wanted to see? On average, travellers spend three-four hours in a queue to get their hands on an entry ticket. In order to mitigate this problem, travel startups provide attraction tickets which can be purchased online alongside several offers and discounts.

Dynamic travel shopping

The new-age travel booking websites provide micro-information and local details to users, like visa requirement, hospital details, transport and travel details, etc. These portals also provide features like group-planning and expense management, so that all the nitty-gritty of your trip can be looked after with just a few taps and clicks on your screen.

Travel planning can be overwhelming and time-consuming if not done systematically. Since it’s a huge investment of time and resources, it is imperative to choose the correct travel expert and/or online portal to plan a trip with no last-minute mishaps. It’s a break you deserve to take, so why not do it right?

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