“While millennial travellers want global choices in terms of travel destinations, they also seek localized and personalized experiences. We are working towards a stage where we can curate the search results in a manner that they serve the requirement of individuals," said Aditya Agarwal, SVP and Head of Corporate Strategy, Cleartrip.

Agarwal was speaking in the third edition of Season 2 of HT Brand Studio Live, where brand leaders got together to discuss trends in the travel industry.

HT Brand Studio Live is a series that gets the brains behind India’s top brands to decode marketing innovations and more. This episode was anchored by Roudra Bhattacharya, Head, HT Brand Studio, and co-hosted by DMAasia.

“Technology in travel is enabling millennials to move away from cookie-cutter packages to customize their travel plans. They can add the number of days, destinations, accommodation choices, activities, etc, on their own. This has to reach the next level, where users can experience things through virtual reality in experience zones and make decisions," explained Sharad Dhall, COO (B2C), Yatra.com.

In order to engage with the millennials in a constructive manner, it is important to create authentic content.

“The days of building a brand with recall-driven content are over. It is all about building relevance. Somewhere, the breaking news has to meet the brand DNA and at that intersection, you will find your next potential big idea," said Aashish Chopra, VP-Content Marketing, ixigo.

The way the Internet and smartphones are being used actively by millennials to compare, review places and give feedback is a great thing for the tourism industry, stated Piyush Tiwari, Chairman and Managing Director, ITDC. “Ratings and reviews give scope to all those involved in the hospitality industry to improve themselves. After all, they do need to change themselves to meet the expectations of the millennial traveller," he said.

The well-informed and globetrotting millennial traveller has also come to expect certain amenities and infrastructure while travelling within the country. How can the government help in making the experience smooth?

“The travel industry has to be driven by private players, be it hotels or marketplaces. The government has to help facilitate all these and make the implementation easy. They should have rules and regulations in place to encourage tourism and related industries," said Ashwani Lohani, Chairman and Managing Director, Air India.

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