Luxury learnings

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Updated: July 11, 2016 3:29 PM

India's outbound market has been proving to be a fertile ground for innumerable tourism boards since over a decade

201607etw02India’s outbound market has been proving to be a fertile ground for innumerable tourism boards since over a decade. They look at the region as a perfect market to increase their tourism inflow and foreign exchange earnings through tourism. The latest who will soon join the list is the Bahrain Tourism Authority. The office is all set to announce their tourism representation in the India market and interestingly, they have identified India as their flagship office for the region extending to the Asia Pacific. They have done sound research and analysis of the tourism boards of the GCC region who have already made inroads into the India market, and are clear that they want to primarily tap the high-end tourism market from India and cater to a niche crowd with specific interests. Luxury today is defined differently and it clearly speaks about experiences and interests over and above the tangible.

Our cover story this issue, speaks about this very trend, wherein luxury need not necessarily mean stay in a top of the line hotel brand with a state-of-the-art spa and other add-ons. As we see it today, the  luxury travel market in India is witnessing a new high. A recent report ‘Shaping the Future of Luxury Travel’ commissioned by Amadeus reveals India’s luxury market compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13 per cent. This is higher than any of the other BRIC nations, and is the highest of the 25 countries surveyed in the report. From local cuisine to community interactions, from cultural insights to creative engagements – Indian tourists seek authentic meaningful experiences both in India and abroad.  A global trend report, ‘The Future of Luxury’, was recently released in India by Beverly Hills Conference and Visitors Bureau (BHCVB). According to the research, luxury is currently at the epicentre of LUXURY 2.0 – the digitalisation of exclusivity where traditional luxury brands are increasing their digital presence and appealing a more digitally savvy audience. The future trend will be LUXURY 3.0, where consumers will revert back to ‘old-school’ concepts, such as private members clubs, meeting places for connoisseurs, organic and locally-sourced eating.

On the aviation front, in the capital recently, ASSOCHAM’s National Council on Civil Aviation brought together stakeholders of aviation and travel industry to discuss the new aviation policy.  Another interesting story in this issue is the interview of Essa Sulaiman Ahmad, vice president – India & Nepal, Emirates, who speaks about future investments in the India market. Finally, Prabhjeet Singh, head of strategy, Uber India talks about the growing trend of Indian travellers using Uber app in countries like the US, UK, Singapore, UAE and Malaysia.

Reema Lokesh

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