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 Individuals (HNI) of India.
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, de- fined 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.”