How Micromobility is Carving Out a Novel and Profitable Niche in the Urban Tourism Landscape

Divay Pranav, Director – Policy and Partnerships, Yulu

Tourists on blue Yulu electric scooters pose in front of an ornate building

Who is a tourist? The conventional view sees them as out-of-towners who prefer the comfort and predictability of mainstream experiences and predictable itineraries. However, a tourist today can be anybody seeking a niche experience: a local resident who’s a culture or food junkie, a visiting businessperson with a few hours to kill, or someone who wants to explore a city’s hidden delights, away from selfie-chasing crowds. Micro-mobility services like Yulu are coming to the aid of these intrepid and tech-savvy travelers.

As India’s leading shared electric micro-mobility service provider, Yulu partners with tour operators in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru to enable unique hyperlocal sightseeing experiences. Our smart electric vehicles (EVs) and fleet and battery management systems enable operators to provide innovative, flexible, affordable, and sustainable in-city tourist mobility options. Read on to learn more about how Yulu is helping both tourists and operators venture off the beaten path.

A table titled "Profile of participants in the urban micromobility tours supported by Yulu."

Also read: Why electric mobility-as-a-service is a catalyst for immersive tourism in cities

Tapping the Opportunity in Self-Paced Tourist Experiences

On average, India attracts about 1 million foreign tourists annually. Meanwhile, domestic tourist footfalls touched a whopping 670 million in 2021-22. While the market is quite mature, there are some segments that are not adequately being addressed by operators—especially city dwellers and business travellers in the larger metros. This segment of travellers typically wants to venture into the less-explored nooks and crannies of the city, seeking places that are not commonly included in popular itineraries.

To cater to this audience, Yulu began partnering tourist operators in early 2023 to offer our shared EVs for guided tours. The partners include Gully Tours, No Footprints, and Delhi by Foot, among others. Each of these tech-savvy operators has a profound understanding of their city, coupled with remarkable storytelling ability and the willingness to experiment with new formats of tourist mobility. Tours are commonly held in the morning hours (6-9 am) or at night (9pm-midnight) and the participants are charged anywhere between Rs900-2,000 per head, depending on the city, experience, and operator.

A table titled "Matrix showing tourist personas and tourist experiences across key Indian cities."

Vinay Parameswarappa, Founder and CEO of Gully Tours said:

Yulu bikes are not just a sustainable mode of transport but a great fun way to explore the city. So when we decided to collaborate with Yulu, we curated fun tours for the city, like the midnight trail in and around cantonment Bangalore or the Bangalore by two coffee trail, which is a breakfast trail in South Bangalore.

In February 2023, Yulu also launched the Delhi Heritage e-Tours platform in partnership with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) with its popular tour titled ‘Gates of Shahjahanabad’. This initiative enables participants to vividly envision the magnificence of the walled city as they explore its entrance gates, and provides insights into intelligent urban planning.

Anoushka Jain, Founder of Enroute Indian History (EIH) said:

EIH collaborated with Yulu Bikes to conduct a heritage tour in Lodhi Art District and Central Vista. While EIH's heritage experts added immense value to the experience, sharing their profound knowledge and passion for the sites we explored, Yulu bikes helped to cover a significant distance while making the entire experience a lot more enjoyable. The seamless integration of Yulu bikes into this partnership made the heritage tour not only educational but also enjoyable.

The Yulu-powered guided EV tours have given us an insight into the type of audience that relishes such unique experiences. Participants in these tours are typically younger (aged 18-40 years) and comprise students, working professionals and heritage enthusiasts, whose interests span history, architecture, food and drink, and nature and eco-tourism. To date, Yulu and its partners have organised 19 tours in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, serving 250+ participants.

Harshvardhan Tanwar, Co-Founder of No Footprints, Mumbai said:

We love our association with Yulu, be it for the Bandra trail, South Mumbai trail, our Midnight Trail, and a score of other trails that we partner with them. Sustainable, fun and friendly to ride: our guests love it. Moreover, their work as a sustainable mode of transport really resonated with us.

In our experience, the EV tours have proved a win-win for travellers, operators and cities for the following reasons:

  • For micro-mobility service operators, such tours offer an opportunity to earn more in less time and clock better margins. Such tours can be organised during off-peak hours (6-9 am and 9 pm-midnight), enabling better fleet utilisation and faster recovery of investment costs.
  • For tour participants, it means a more comprehensive and immersive experience of exploring a tourist site in a smart, predictable, and professional way.
  • For city governments, it means a boost to the local tourism and a reduction in carbon emissions from tourist transport.

Supporting Aspiring Micro-mobility Pioneers in Indian Cities

Having already established its market leadership in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi, Yulu has embarked on a journey to take its micro-mobility services to smaller cities pan-India. An important part of this endeavor is the Yulu Business Partner Programme or YBP.

A table titled "Types of EV tours supported by Yulu."

Under the YBP initiative, Yulu is forging partnerships with tourism ecosystem partners such as local entrepreneurs, start-ups, hotels and resorts, tour operators, tourism departments, public transport operators, etc. YBP provides the latter a comprehensive, scalable, and profitable model to leverage Yulu’s electric two-wheelers (the Yulu Miracle GR), as well as the company’s charging infrastructure and its suite of software applications to offer world-class and unique experience to tourists across cities in India.

EV-based micro-mobility is emerging as a popular mode of transportation at tourist sites across the globe. As the country’s largest shared electric mobility company, Yulu believes that promoting micro-mobility in Indian cities will have far-reaching benefits for travellers, operators and cities, and eventually open the doors to a new area of sustainable urban tourism.

This article was originally published by Yulu.


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