As the largest industry in the world, tourism is everything and everything is tourism. India is expected to become the youngest country by 2022, with an average age of 29. Instagram is ruling the social media networks worldwide and with 59 million active monthly users, we are the third-largest market for Instagram. Millennials have set their own rules and pushed the brands and market strategists to serve what they want even before the Covid-19 era.

The Indian Hospitality brands are now gearing up to ensure contactless, seamless and exceptional hospitality services to the guests in the new social distancing world. The new informed world consumer is setting new trends which are going to rule out 2021, says Roop Pratap Choudhary, Managing Director of Noor Mahal, an award-winning luxurious Palace Hotel Brand.

Smart Rooms with Smart Controls: Be it Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning or Internet of Things, futuristic technologies have taken complete control of hotel rooms to ensure contactless experiences. From room key to personal entertainment during your staycation, everything is now accessible from smart devices. Once sounded as a scifi movie scene, now you can set the temperature, mood and ambience of your hotel room via voice command. Imagine your room detecting light automatically or adjusting the brightness level, controlling temperature and contributing to energy saving while ensuring your luxurious comfort and stay. You can enjoy contactless room service using voice recognition technology or book your favourite spa session with a single click on your smartphone. Opulence, comfort and exceptional room experiences are going digital in 2021. The smart rooms are going to be power packed with keyless entry, soundproof windows, smooth streaming entertainment, wireless device charging, real time video chats with hotel staff and a lot more for new age guests.

Sustainability is going to be much bigger and greener: The positive side of worldwide lockdown is that the nature has got the time to reboot and blossom. This has made us realise the true value of sustainable and eco-friendly practices to save the life saving planet. Maintaining the beauty of environment through recycling and proper management of five living elements i.e. water, waste, energy, food and structure, hotel brands in the new informed world are now committed to deliver sustainable hospitality experiences. Hotels are using bare minimum artificial powers whether it is in the form of air, light and water. Organic, vegetarian and vegan choices are now leading the F&B menus. Hotels are going to bet high on solar energy so as to contribute their bit in energy conservation for future generations. Plastic straws, cutlery, water bottles, toiletry bottles etc. have been replaced now with compostable or reusable alternatives.

Mobile Check-in: 2020 has set new trends in motion which are going to rule in 2021 as well. Contactless check-in has become the new norm of hospitality and guests are willing to skip front desk for check-in and other room related queries. These contactless technologies are not only offering ease and safety to consumers but also helping hoteliers' weather operational disruptions. Chatbots are ready to resolve any guest query. On the otherhand, virtual tours and mobile check-in are ready to delight travel enthusiasts in 2021.

Robots Room Service: Many hotel brands in India have already adopted robotics to transform the room cleaning and room service operations. The rise of service robots has ushered a new era of guest hospitality. Guests are excited to take services from these robots who are here to assure utmost safety, hygiene and comfort. 2021 will have a new brigade of robot butlers delivering your snacks, toiletries or other amenities to guest rooms. They can navigate floors by using the Wi-Fi to call lifts or be placed at front door where guests can ask questions and enjoy chats with them. They are now your front desk managers providing basic information such as the spa and gym timings, best places to hangout, popular shopping hubs and personalized information for a guest's needs.

Short Distance Tours and Staycations: People are now preferring staycations over long holidays and short distance tours over long journeys. A recent survey conducted by Booking.com has revealed that people have been taking smaller journeys, and discovering (or rediscovering) wonderful experiences closer home with ease in travel restrictions. Be it bag packers, corporate groups, families or friends, people are preferring to drive down to their nearby getaways for short and relaxed staycations. In a bid to encourage more footfall on domestic tourism destinations, the Tourism ministry has also started "Dekho Apna Desh" campaign asking Indians to take pledge to visit at least 15 different tourism locations in India by the year 2022.