The Rise of the Indian Luxury Traveller
Authored by Saagar Panchal, Founder & CEO, Hireavilla Hospitality Pvt.
The wealthy Indians have done the traditional places in India – now they want cruises and safaris. The luxury travel market is growing at a fast pace as Indians become more adventurous. According to a report on luxury travel by Amadeus, a Madrid-based company that provides technology to the travel industry, India’s luxury travel market has a projected annual growth rate of 12.8 per cent between 2015 and 2025. The Indian sector’s expected growth rate was the highest of all 25 countries studied in the Amadeus report.
We have also seen that over the years India’s booming middle class has presented great potential for luxury travel investment and this is only growing. Although luxury travel means different things to different travellers, it is highly subjective. For one Indian traveller, it could be a private multimillion-dollar cruise around the Indian Ocean on a famous ship. For another, it could be the reassurance of having their Indian dietary requirements automatically catered for throughout their entire holiday. As travel and hospitality brands it is important for us to know that curating something that appeals to each Indian traveller on a specific, personal level goes a long way. For Indians, luxury travel sums up as a personalized travel experience. It starts from first-contact and continues through post-tour relationship management. High-end luxury travellers demand experiential travels that add value to their lifestyle in some way. Born in the lap of technology, our new age generation evolved with smart phones in one hand and ultra-fast internet in the other, creating a “shared economy” where resources are accessed rather than owned. In a survey conducted by Goldman Sachs, 60% of millennials did not feel strongly about owning a house while 82% of millennials save up for experiences that they can connect to.
Furthermore, the number of super wealthy individuals – defined as those with wealth of US$30m or more, excluding their main residence – in India has increased over the past decade by 500 each year, according to Knight Frank’s wealth report, released last month. India is expect to add an extra 1,000 super wealthy individuals every year over the next 10 years, says the company.
For today’s generation, travel is a necessary tool for growth and discovery, made incredibly easy with technology. And for the high end millennials seeking a life of adventure, luxury and spontaneity, quality experience is everything and they are always on the look-out for experiences that keep them happy and satisfied. Technology is at top priority, whether it’s a faster check-out system, vital Wi-Fi or USB ports in rooms, luxury Indian travellers need to be constantly connected.
Growing inclination of people towards unique and exotic holiday experiences and the increasing impact of social media on travel industry are the key factors that drive the market growth. Emerging new destinations coupled with rising service standards in the travel industry, is anticipated to further drive the demand for luxury travel, globally. This new age luxury seeking generation is vastly different from every generation that has come before. Opportunistic, energetic and young, they see great benefits of leisure as they gain rich cultural experiences and improve their life balance. As this luxury traveller enters its prime and makes its desires heard, policies along with travel trends will vastly shift.