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    Rising preference for unplanned trips makes travel insurance critical

    The Indian travel market, over the past few decades has witnessed major shifts in the pattern of individual travel preferences. The recent Expedia and CAPA research reports indicate that India contributed over 4.8 million leisure outbound trips, which clearly indicates the humongous potential of the travel market. With the plethora of new trends emerging, Indians are becoming more adventurous with their travel habits by going beyond traditional holiday destinations and exploring new ways of travelling through experiential activities, solo travel, culinary travel and a lot more.


    Adventure travel gaining popularity


    While these travellers include families and business travellers, as per reports, solo travellers and millennials represent a larger and faster growing share in the travel space, and are mainly shaping the travel industry. These days, millennials don't think twice before getting their backpacks for a solo trip. According to the travel search marketplace ixigo, there is a 24% rise in travel to offbeat destinations. Millennials see this time as a perfect opportunity for a getaway to explore the unexplored and visit offbeat destinations; which also gives them a chance to connect with new places and people. Not just solo-travellers but of late couples have also started going on unplanned honeymoon trips to offbeat destinations.


    It comes as no surprise that most of this can be attributed to the impact of social media influencers/bloggers who the millennials engage with for trusted advice. These influencers share their travel experiences and destination hot spots on their blogs. The KAYAK survey that was conducted freshly suggested that Indian travellers are quite active on social media, posting approximately 10 social media updates during their trip.


    Millennials' travel habits also significantly vary from their older counterparts. As per general understanding, millennials are unlike to what the previous generation was; due to lack of opportunities and limited resources, these baby boomers were never exposed to social media or the emerging travel trends that millennials follow these days. Also, these millennials are a lot more financially independent than the older generation and hence, are constantly in the quest of hitting the road.



    Travel insurance is a necessity


    Today's generation is exposed to newer aspects, pursuing opportunities for self-growth and maintaining a certain comfortable lifestyle. While the older generation considers travel insurance to be a compulsory companion for medical concerns, the younger lot see insurance more of a necessity.


    But just like the unplanned trips, emergencies and health issues are unplanned and uninvited. As we are constantly in the expedition of exploring rare and adventurous experiences, we tend to miss out on the probabilities of unplanned situations during the travel journey. Injuries, illness or even loss of baggage/passport are common perils which can cost us dearly. Thus, it is time for millennials/solo-travelers to consider travel insurance as an investment to combat the most crucial of situations and work as a travel assist throughout the trip.


    The writer is executive vice-president & head, consumer lines, Tata AIG General Insurance


    The post is originally published on DNA India on Nov 15, 2018

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