With new travel destinations becoming more and more popular in recent times, it seems that travellers and tourists alike have also changed trends. In this case, Indian travellers who make frequent, but short trips abroad, have been staying in villas and serviced apartments with greater regularity, showing that a private pool villa in Thailand, and staying like a local does, in fact, have its appeal.
Tour operators across the country have noticed that travellers are now choosing to stay in villas and other, similar accommodations in more residential settings, seeking to experience the countries they visit like the locals do. With good public transport in most destinations, travel is not that big of an issue, not to mention that certain countries allow Indians to use their home country’s driving licenses. There are also some adding that, with more residential accommodations, which come with kitchen, travellers have the freedom to cook their own food.
In such arrangements, the villas are independent residential properties complete with hall, a fully stocked kitchen and a lawn, usually located on islands or by the coastline. Some villas come with swimming pools included, like a private pool villa in Thailand. Indian travellers also tend towards serviced apartments. This shift in accommodation choice came in force when Airbnb and OYO rooms started showing up in the market.
The Executive Director for the Leisure Business sector of FCM Travel Solutions India, Shravan Gupta, stated that renting villas was an up and coming trend and stylistic choice for the more new-age traveller with discerning tastes. He says that villas offer privacy, exclusiveness, and personalized services for their customers, allowing for very customized and unique holiday experience.
He adds that appeal also comes from the fact that high-end villas offer services of similar quality to that of five-star hotels and luxury resorts, such as personal chefs, butlers, health clubs and the like. He gave examples of particularly popular choices, such as the villas in Thailand, Tuscany, Bali, and Greece, among other places.
Most villa bookings are made online. For example, booking a three-bedroom villa complete with hall and kitchen is available for Rs 5,500/day rate at Phuket, available via Airbnb. The price usually caps out at around Rs 25,000/day, similar to that of hotel rooms, but with the added advantage of having no restrictions on check-in time.
Thomas Cook’s president, Abraham Aplatt stated that villas and homestays were popular because they blended in with the local environment which meant that the tourists staying were able to become part of the local scenery, whilst those preferring privacy can maintain it for their vacation events.
Several companies, such as Travel Tours and Flight Shop, have popped up in the wake of the popularity of villas and homestays, and are aimed towards providing their customers the perfect villa for their needs.