Amid a countrywide economic slowdown, India’s travel and tourism industry is thriving.

Within the next decade, the World Travel & Tourism Council expects India to become the fourth-largest travel and tourism economy behind China, US and Germany.

The market is expected to swell to US$9 billion in size by 2025, with international tourist arrivals in India expected to hit 30.5 million by 2028.

This growth is driven by a number of new-age travel startups as well as a growing cohort of millennial and gen Z travellers seeking out personalised, curated experiences over checklist tourism.

Inspired by destinations they discover on social media; these young and informed travellers tend to do ample research before booking to ensure they get the best deal.

Here are five startups creating a niche for themselves in India’s billion-dollar travel and tourism industry:

MeTripping

In today’s world, data is king. Taking full advantage of the information available online, Bengaluru-based travel startup MeTripping uses artificial intelligence to scan the world and give travellers tailored recommendations, ranked to suit their travel needs and budget. This includes price comparison of 1,200 sites to help you find the lowest price. Whether you want relaxation or adventure, popular destinations or hidden gems, MeTripping promises to deliver something special each time.

Moonstone Hammock
Moonstone Hammock helps travellers reconnect with nature

Moonstone Hammock

What started as a desire to connect with nature quickly blossomed into one of India’s most popular bespoke camping startups. Founded by five college friends who wanted to take advantage of the changing travel trends among millennials and gen Zers, Moonstone Hammock curates a range of outdoor experiences in four camp sites across India. Guests have access to kayaks, a swimming pool and live music, and can choose to sleep in a regular, luxurious glamping tent or a floating tent pitched on a raft on the Ulhas Rver.

Taxidio

If you’re someone who has to travel with an itinerary, then Taxidio is for you. The Mumbai-based business recognises that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to travelling. Through its platform, users can enter a few basic details about their travel style and preferences, and Taxidio generates a list of destinations that match their preferences, as well as recommendations for attractions and activities to consider during their trip.

Unhotel Sanctuary in the Hills
One of The Unhotel Co's stunning properties in Jiling, Nepal

The Unhotel Co

Committed to delivering bespoke and authentic experiences across India, The Unhotel Company’s 50+ properties have each been hand-picked by husband and wife founders, Manish Sinha and Shilpi Singh. Whether you want to rent your own private island, immerse yourself in a mindfulness retreat, or embark on a tailor-made culinary journey through South India, The Unhotel Company promises a holiday that’s out of the ordinary.

TraWork

TraWork’s concept is simple – travel as you work, work while you travel. Launched in May 2018, the company operates on the belief that you shouldn’t have to choose between work and travel. Geared towards those who are able to work remotely, TraWork has already hosted four international trips throughout Cambodia and Thailand, Vietnam, Spain, Portugal and Eastern Europe. Once travellers have finished working, Trawork helps them discover each destination through a range of activities and excursions.

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