Travel

Oktoberfest on EMI

Inside the Loewenbraeu brewery's festive tent at Oktoberfest in Munich

Inside the Loewenbraeu brewery's festive tent at Oktoberfest in Munich  

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Millennials are now planning their holidays around global festivities

A few years back, South East Asia was the destination of choice for most first-time travellers from India. This was followed by mainland Europe — Rome, Venice and Paris. After the growing interest in Scandinavian countries and South America, travel plans are now centred around events, says Akash Dahiya, CEO and co-founder of SanKash. The Gurgaon based travel fin-tech platform offers EMI-based payments for holidays, in partnership with over 260 travel platforms.

Since 2018, experiential music tourism within the country, to Ziro, Hornbill, Sunburn and NH7 Weekender, has been on the uptick, and now, millennials have set their sights abroad. The UN World Tourism Organisation estimates that around 50 million Indians will travel internationally this year, more than double the number in 2017. Couple this information with the fact that there has been a 55% growth in personal loans taken for travel — of which 85% are by millennials (according to a report published earlier this year by digital lending platform, IndiaLends).

A 2018 study by Klook, a global travel activities and services booking platform, showed that 52% of Indians surveyed said they planned their vacations around seasonal activities and events. Abhinandan Sangam, co-founder and CTO of Finzy, a peer-to-peer lending platform that offers personal loans from ₹50,000 to ₹5 lakh, says that around 15% of their patrons (aged 24 to 39) use the money for travel. “We’ve seen that the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan, La Tomatina in Spain and the Carnaval in South American countries have a lot of takers,” he adds. Finzy, too, has partnered with around 20 travel agencies offering experiential holidays.

Both Dahiya and Sangam agree that Bollywood has helped direct attention towards these event-based trips. India’s obsession with Oktoberfest is well known: this weekend, several hotels begin a month-long promotion of beers from across the world, with menus featuring Bavarian specials. International travellers, however, want to get the real deal. Such is the demand, that agencies like SOTC and Thomas Cook, and even smaller ones across the country, have special tour packages for the event. “They take a couple of days in their Euro trip to halt at Munich and take in the festivities,” says Dahiya. And presumably, all the brands of beer that they couldn’t try back home.

Visit sankash.in and finzy.com

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 1:04:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/travel/oktoberfest-on-emi/article29498978.ece

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