The Indian traveller today, now with the lockdown opening up is asking for more. This has triggered the growth of a trend called “Active Holidays”.
It is true that the pandemic restrictions had presented new challenges to the travel industry. The past two to three years of a sedentary lifestyle have made the average traveller much restless. There is a lot of pent-up stress that needs much relief. The Indian traveller today, now with the lockdown opening up is asking for more. This has triggered the growth of a trend called “Active Holidays” where the population is looking at adrenalin rush, shaking of lethargy, the feel of thrill while they are now planning their outings. Off-beat travel destinations are landing on the consideration list of the millennials & the Gen Z while they are making their travel itinerary. And with many opting for hybrid work culture, they are even able to pack a holiday destination (with enough wi-fi connection) while at work along with the excitement of thrill is an added bonanza.
What are Active Holidays or Activity Holidays
There is a rising popularity of taking holidays that has some activities packed in such as cycling, nature trails, trekking, surfing, scuba diving, zip-lining, bungee jumping, etc…They may not be completely wild and adventurous but certainly those that give one thrill and excitement and a sense of achieving some milestones of physical goals. The “tried & tested” is not finding many takers but the “unexplored and thrilling” are getting many applicants. There is much consideration for looking inwards and exploring the unexplored. In India, while Delhi, Goa, and Kashmir, may still remain the favourites but it is the not-so-popular locations like Devgad in Konkan, Maharashtra, and Mawlynnong in Meghalaya or Khajjar in Himachal Pradesh, which are finding the takers. These destinations are providing a huge scope to the tourist to have immersive experiences. For eg: Devgad in Konkan, Maharashtra today packs fun and thrill with Zipline, Surfing & water sports along with backwater explorations, mango trails along with the delectable culinary experience that adds value to the idea of a holiday. It is also true for family outings, as we Indians generally tend to have holidays with our families by and large. So safe activities in tourism that we can do with our children and elderly parents alike are gaining consideration.
While holidaying with our family and friends is about relaxing but now we want to pick up a bike and cycle into the mountains or take up a surfboard and jump into the sea. Focusing the mind on technical activity tends to completely switch off. It is rather pertinent in a time and age where we are amply stressed through pressures of work and the overload of information that we are consuming on a daily basis
It’s about the experience
More and more travellers want an immersive experience of the destination. It not only creates a feel-good factor but is also impactful in creating powerful memories of the destination. In a world comprising of fleeting attention, we humans want more enriching occurrences that are unique to that individual and that which they can convey it back to their friends and followers. To a woman clad in saree ziplining across a sea coast is an unforgettable experience, a sense of achievement, that which she can speak to her friends about while motivating them and that which remains etched in her memory
Me-time while still in a group
The traveller today is not thinking of giving priority to the leader of the pack or compromising for the family. She wants her time to pursue things while giving the rest of the family members or members of the group enough time and space to build their own unique experiences. It is a much more democratic way of doing things. At one moment you feel like sunbathing and at another moment you would like to go windsurfing. You want to challenge yourself, and destinations that give the scope to the traveller to do so – like culinary experience, wine tasting, nature trails, outdoor activities or even nurturing of Oliver Ridley turtles and/or soaking in the uncanny history of petroglyphs; then gets high on the list because there is something for everyone
Outdoor activities result in significantly greater improvement in mental well-being. You feel more connected with nature, clean air and the Vitamin-D boost that the world is devoid off. Outdoor activities on a mountain or near a sea or in a forest can result in improved self-esteem, higher energy levels and assist in the relief of mental clogs. The complete focus while doing a particular activity can greatly aid in your mindfulness and thereby a holistic wellness fix.
It is no wonder that we are seeing more options opening up and more & more of the Indian population opting for active holidays. After two-three years of being cooped up, we all need to experience that sense of freedom right up to our core!
As an IT engineer and a robotics expert, Vaishnavi Joil was as far away from starting an adventure tourism company, than anyone else! Yet the pandemic happened and the dream to form a tech Start-up transformed into a deep desire to do something to uplift the people of her hometown, Devgad and put it on the tourist map and path to development, just like its neighboring towns of Malvan and Ratnagiri. Devgad is a quaint little beautiful beach town, along the picturesque Konkan coastline, that has been the native of Joil family and the place where the sibling spent most of their childhood summer vacations lapping up delicious Devgad mangoes. This was also the place where there pandemic found them in their adult lives and also highlighted the various challenges faced by the locals.
As a woman entrepreneur herself, Vaishnavi is also invested in empowering the local women folk and plans to start a restaurant/ eatery that employs local women, who cook the best of local cuisines, so as to allow travelers the most authentic taste of the region while also helping local women become independent.