In the age of social media shaping travel trends, the decision to include globetrotters and content creators to address travel challenges could resonate with a significant audience.
On Tuesday, travel metasearch engine Skyscanner unveiled Everywhere Agency, what it calls a “virtual pop-up travel consultancy.”
Who Are They? Its Everywhere Agents are experienced travelers and aim to ease traditional traveler apprehensions about unfamiliar destinations. They aid them in discovering off-the-beaten-path locations.
“These experienced globetrotters have been appointed to assist travelers by sharing tips from their expansive travel experience, guiding them to discover hidden gems according to their preferences without sacrificing on value,” Mohit Joshi, Skyscanner’s travel trends and destination expert told Skift.
How to Connect? Travelers can access the agents’ tips through the Everywhere Guide or opt for an exclusive virtual appointment.
The Agents: Travel influencer Anunay Sood has been designated as the Everywhere Agent for India. He said he has explored over 30 countries by the age of 30. Sood has over 1 million followers in Instagram and over 318,000 users have subscribed to his YouTube channel.
Other Everywhere Agents include Gunnar Garfors, the first person to visit every country in the world twice, and Renee Burns, a world record holder for traveling to the most countries in a year, in a wheelchair.
Everywhere Search Tool Gains Traction
The Everywhere Agency draws inspiration from Skyscanner’s “Everywhere” search tool, assisting travelers in exploring destinations sorted by price from numerous travel sites.
According to Joshi, a recent survey revealed that while 98% of Indian travelers are keen to explore new destinations in the coming year, 42% struggle with deciding where to go.
“Even with the influence of social media, television, and films promoting traditional tourist destinations, 95% of travelers express weariness towards these repetitive choices. As 2024 emerges as a significant travel year for Indians, evident in the 39% surge in search volume for overseas travel on the Skyscanner platform, the Everywhere Agency seeks to connect Indian consumers with seasoned travel experts to provide tailored travel advice,” Joshi explained.
While destinations like Dubai, Bangkok, London, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore remain popular among Indians, Joshi emphasized that the ‘Everywhere’ search is currently the most sought-after for Indian travelers. This, he said, highlights a strong inclination to travel, without having a definite destination in mind.
What’s Driving Travel in India?
Discussing the driving forces behind Indian travelers’ preferences, Joshi said, “Based on our Travel Trends report, Indian travelers are seeking diverse cultural experiences.”
Citing fresh data, Joshi said Skyscanner’s research also indicates a 39% surge in overseas travel searches by Indian travelers from December 26 to January 2, compared to the same period last year.
Also, 98% of Indian travelers have expressed a strong desire to explore new destinations and have unique experiences in the upcoming year, emphasizing the growing importance of experiential value in travel decisions.
Last October, Skyscanner also released an India-specific travel trends report 2024.
“We are focused on prioritizing India and expanding our strong growth over the last few years,” Joshi said.
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Photo credit: Skyscanner's Everywhere Agents aim to ease traditional traveler apprehensions about unfamiliar destinations. Pawan Yadav / Pexels