Travel Experiential Show: 1800 meetings

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 to transact business and target High Net-worth Individuals (HNIs) of India.

The second Travel Experiential Show was inaugurated by His Excellency Alphonsus Stoelinga, Ambassador of Netherlands to India, Bhutan and Nepal. The show saw 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 on the different 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 ultra High Net-worth Households (HNHs) in India are estimated to have grown from US $45 trillion in 2010 to a whopping US $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 US $4 million. The luxury market has grown tremendously in the last five years and is still growing. It is estimated that by 2025, the net-worth of HNHs in India will be US $319 trillion,” said Maira.

Maira further added that for those with a high disposable income, shopping featured very high on the spending list while holiday contributed 15 per cent to that spend. “The fact that holidays feature in the top three, warrants the fact that luxury travel is bound to grow,” commented Maira. According to the 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, the remaining 45 per cent is contributed by Tier-II and Tier-III 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, Head of Marketing, DLF Emporio, defined luxury as bespoke. “Luxury in India is an oxymoron. The biggest brands of the world have been catering to 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, SKICC, said, “A satisfying and fulfilling experience can be termed as luxury and different people will have a different understanding of the same.”