1800 meet­ings at Travel Ex­pe­ri­en­tial Show

The sec­ond edi­tion of Travel Ex­pe­ri­en­tial Show-Be­yond Lux­ury, held from April 8-9, 2017, at Sher­a­ton New Delhi Ho­tel, brought to­gether ex­hibitors and buy­ers in a B2B speed-meet­ing for­mat over two days to trans­act busi­ness and tar­get the High Net­work In­div

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The 2nd Travel Ex­pe­ri­en­tial Show was in­au­gu­rated by His Ex­cel­lency Alphon­sus Stoelinga, Am­bas­sador of Nether­lands to In­dia, Bhutan and Nepal. The show saw a to­tal of nearly 1,800 meet­ings con­ducted among 27 ex­hibitors and nearly 60 buy­ers. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from ho­tels, travel agen­cies, cruises, rail­ways, tourism boards, etc., met tour op­er­a­tors and travel agents from across Tier-I, Tier-II and Tier-III mar­kets un­der one roof to net­work and ex­plore busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties for the ex­pe­ri­en­tial and lux­ury seg­ment of travel.

De­lib­er­at­ing on his un­der­stand­ing of lux­ury, Stoelinga, said, “I feel lux­ury be­gins from the air­port. What is the point of trav­el­ling Busi­ness Class if your flight lands at an econ­omy-stan­dard air­port? Also, lux­ury is in the des­ti­na­tion. It is how wel­come and at home a trav­eller feels away from home. It’s also de­fined by the fact that peo­ple are at ease with the des­ti­na­tion and them­selves. In a way time too is lux­ury!”

Tekla Maira, Di­rec­tor Lux­ury Sales-In­dia, Ac­corHo­tels Luxe, elu­ci­dated var­i­ous trends and growth hori­zons for the mar­ket in In­dia. Ac­cord­ing to the re­port by Ko­tak Wealth Man­age­ment, Top of the Pyra­mid In­dia-De­cod­ing the Ul­tra HNI 2014, the growth of ul­tra­high net-worth house­holds (HNHs) in In­dia is es­ti­mated to have grown from $45 tril­lion in 2010 to a whop­ping $135 tril­lion in 2016 with as many as 146,000 HNHs in FY 2016. “An HNI or high net-worth in­di­vid­ual is some­body who has a net-worth in­come of over ` 25 crore or ap­prox­i­mately $4 mil­lion. The lux­ury mar­ket has grown tremen­dously for the last five years and is still grow­ing. It is es­ti­mated that by 2025, the net-worth of HNHs in In­dia will be $319 tril­lion,” said Maira.

Maira fur­ther de­lib­er­ates that for peo­ple with high dis­pos­able in­comes, shop­ping fea­tures very high on the spend­ing list while holiday con­trib­utes 15 per cent of that spend. “The fact that hol­i­days fea­tures in the top three war­rants the fact that lux­ury travel is bound to grow,” com­mented Maira. Also, ac­cord­ing to a re­port by Amadeus-Shaping the Fu­ture of Lux­ury Travel, the lux­ury seg­ment in In­dia is grow­ing at 12.8 per cent CAGR, which is the high­est amongst the BRICS na­tions. “Lux­ury travel also out­paces other forms of travel and is the high­est from South Asia where In­dia is a ma­jor con­trib­u­tor. While 55 per cent of lux­ury trav­ellers are from Tier-I cities, 45 per cent is con­trib­uted by Tier-II and TierIII cities. The smaller mar­kets have the propen­sity and will to pay and the ac­com­pa­ny­ing brag­ging right is for us to cap­i­talise on,” added Maira.

Neha Lid­der, Mar­ket­ing Head, DLF Em­po­rio Mall, de­fined lux­ury as be­spoke. “Lux­ury in In­dia is an oxy­moron. The big­gest brands of the world have been cater­ing to the royal fam­i­lies for cen­turies and their riches have been dis­played in mu­se­ums glob­ally. Any­thing that has been tai­lor-made and de­liv­ered with spe­cial care to pro­vide an ex­pe­ri­ence is lux­ury.” Agree­ing with Lid­der’s con­cept of lux­ury, Shah­nawaz Shah, Man­ager Mar­ket­ing Tourism, SKICC Sri­na­gar, said, “What­ever is sat­is­fy­ing and ful­fill­ing ex­pe­ri­ence can be termed as lux­ury and dif­fer­ent peo­ple will have dif­fer­ent un­der­stand­ings of the same.”

(L-R): Pu­nam Singh, Shah­nawaz Shah, H.E. Alphon­sus Stoelinga, Tekla Maira, Neha Lid­der and Sarika Bhamb­hani Rawal

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