Did you take a shopping vacation?
Until recently, a safari typically meant roughing it out at one of Africa’s famous game reserves. But not anymore. The 2015 Tourism & Travel Trends Report from Resonance Consultancy identifies “shopping safaris” as one of the many growing trends to watch out for. It adds that the most popular destinations are China and the US. Increasingly, this trend is making its way to India too, with travellers planning trips in time to be part of international annual shopping festivals. Some are even opting for customised itineraries to visit premium malls when they vacation abroad. “Going on holiday purely to shop is a growing trend, especially among Indians with high-spending capacity. It is also gaining traction with the upper-middle class and the DINKs (Double Income No Kids),” says Karan Anand of Cox & Kings. Travel operators add that repeat travellers also tend to visit a particular destination with the specific intention to shop. “Travellers now look to explore the destination to the fullest. So, a lot of clients are requesting for customised packages that include visits to boutiques, night markets or even outlet malls,” says Daniel D’souza of Kuoni India. Bookings tend to rise phenomenally around festivals such as the Dubai Shopping Festival, Hong Kong Shopping Festival and The Great Singapore Sale, where one can snag good bargains on electronics, fashion, jewellery and more. Another reason for this trend is that the visiting city tends to come alive at the time. “Many shops are open 24x7. There are fun events like concerts, music performances and carnivals, which make these shopping safaris memorable,” says Sankalp Agarwal of Travel Triangle. Shefali Walia of WeTravelSolo, adds, “So, while shopping remains the essence of these trips, they also include activities that add value to the experience.”
A flea market in Thailand