India grows in affluence

THE BOOM in luxury travel out of India is not going unnoticed by tour and hotel operators.

Anil Bhandari, chairman of ab Smart Concepts, said India presently has 83,000 millionaires, with around 16,000 being added to the list annually.

“These millionaires want unique, exclusive and exotic destinations that provide comfort and style,” he said. “Many have their weddings in luxury destinations.”

According to Bhandari, much of the luxury travel demand comes from Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kochi, Trivendrum and Hyderabad.

Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) CEO, Paul Kerr, said bookings out of India last year grew by 129 per cent, albeit on a small base.

“The Indian luxury market comprises regular guests rather than aspirational travellers who would save for a one-off luxury holiday. And just like any other luxury traveller, the Indian millionaire wants freedom of choice,” Kerr noted.

Also seeking a share of the luxury market is Abercrombie & Kent (A&K) India, which recently launched its Private Travel division.

Taking both the B2B and B2C route, the division offers high-net worth Indian consumers experiential luxury travel packages, the majority of which are handled by A&K offices around the world, said Amit Kalsi, A&K’s vice president Private Travel.

– Full story in TTG India

By Ollie Quiniquini

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