Shedding light on what was the prime cause of growth in the outbound luxury travel from India, Founder & CMD at Platinum World Group, Sushil Shamlal Wadhwa said, “As people earn more wealth and get exposed to unique experiences and new destinations, luxury travel has become the new status symbol and the 'in thing' to do. The awareness that experiences and not things can give more happiness is also contributing to the growing popularity of luxury travel”.
After realizing the importance of Indian visitors, global venues and international destinations have now started to show interest and thus are putting-in all their resources in order to target quality travelers from India. Nevertheless, each wants to have their unique manner for doing so. Adding, Wadhwa said “A popular destination will have to reinvent itself and offer newer experiences to attract the luxury traveler. It's relatively easier for unexplored destinations to attract the luxury traveler just because it's not explored by many people yet. Being a part of good movies, editorials in leading travel publications and good visibility on Social media could certainly help a lot to target premium Indian travelers”.
In order to highlight the amazing potential in the bustling luxury market, the MILT Congress is again all set to host the top luxury travel agencies, leading destination wedding planners and prime film production houses, and bring them together with the topmost corporates so that they can meet the international suppliers who are meeting the requirement of this niche industry from all across the globe. The aim is to form beneficial partnerships at competitive rates. For the same, the 4th Annual MICE India & Luxury Travel Congress will be organized at The St. Regis Mumbai, India on 28th and 29th July.
Parthip Thyagarajan, Co-founder & Director at WeddingSutra informs that the market of destinations wedding in India is on a high as there now a huge number of Indian who want to celebrate their D-day at a special destination abroad. Thyagarajan quipped, “Every year over 280 to 300 Indian weddings take place at international destinations - Thailand, Bali, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Mauritius, Macau, Malaysia, Abu Dhabi, Oman, Dubai, and a few in Europe. In the last two years the Middle East has become the hottest destination for wealthy Indians, and hence properties in Oman, Abu Dhabi and Dubai are getting a steady flow of enquiries from families and wedding planners”.
Percept Wedding is one of the leading destination wedding organizers who have organized weddings at several destinations such as Monte Carlo, Budapest, Madrid, Cannes, Mykonos, Florence, Mauritius, Dubai and Salzburg. Vice President Business Development, Percept Weddings, Khushi Singh talks about the developments that are going to heighten the number of destinations keeping their target of Indian high net worth individuals. “A current trend is finding the most unconventional venues, and subtly integrating the destination within the overall wedding experience,” said Singh. She further added that there is a great potential in the concept of destination wedding and it can be taken to a new level by organizing a destination wedding on a cruise, at 2-3 destinations and holding functions where the cruise liner docks on a daily basis.
The Tourism boards of destinations around the world are promoting their destinations and attractions in a comprehensive manner by offering customized tour packages to couples so that they plan their wedding in their countries. As a result, the local culture of that is also promoted, brining business for the local vendors. Saurabh Walwani, Managing Director, Fab Events India Pvt. Ltd points out towards the contrast and says that planning a wedding at an international destination is not that beneficial for that destination. He pointed out, “The destination’s hotels and local vendors get business and an exposure to Indian weddings. From the wedding planner’s point of view, it just doesn't gives us an experience, but also builds up our portfolio much stronger and gives us confidence to explore more of the destination for weddings in the rest of the world.”
Adding, Bhavnesh Sawhney, Director, Wedniksha said that if there is an Indian wedding in any country, it is largely beneficial for that destination as an Indian wedding means a huge group of people is going to be there, resulting in an increase in the tourism revenue and creating wonderful business for the local vendors such as logistics or decoration people. The local culture of that country also gets promoted by all this.
It is not only the destination wedding organizers who have a huge contribution in this market. The prosperous film industry of India or Bollywood has also experienced an extraordinary growth in the past years. This has allured several foreign tourism boards to make such efforts that their destinations gets featured into Indian movies so that Indian tourists are attracted to them. Aashish Singh, – Vice President Production at Yash Raj Films remarked, “Films usually depict the beautiful side of the locations, if the audience sees their favorite stars in those locations then it becomes even more aspirational for the tourists to travel to those locations. There have been many case studies both in Hollywood and Bollywood to prove how there is a direct impact on tourism after a film is shot on a location.”
Parth Arora, Head of Production at Fox Star Studios, shares similar views and said, “Indian films have always played a great role in defining the travel markets for Indian audiences. The way Bollywood films and their stars are revered in this country, any place that films are shot at become aspirational for the Indian audiences. We have often seen a huge surge in tourism in countries where Indian films have shot in the past”.
Director at Qn A International, the organizers of the event (MICE India & Luxury Travel Congress) stated, “Luxury is now the fastest growing segment of the travel industry. Indians are now craving for a new and evolved kind of luxury, offering these premium buyers an exclusive and personalized experience is now more crucial than ever to retain existing clients and gain new ones. At the MILT Congress, we bring together partners who provide customized packages that meet the wants of this niche market in India.”