from Expert Interview on Scope of Luxury Train Traveling in India.
What do you think is the scope of luxury trains in India?
word, Immense! Although, India was a little late to board the bus, Indianluxury
trains have captured a fair share in the luxury travel sector. The affluent
traveler today doesn't mind spending much for unique and exclusive experiences.
All studies and reports suggest that culture and exclusivity are the new trends
in luxury travel and India is poised to be a major player in this segment
for it is almost impossible to beat India when it comes to cultural and
geographical diversity. That way, luxury travel (luxury trains in particular)
look a promising venture. All combined, the global luxury market is expected to
grow by 10 percent in 2013 (according to Bain & Company report).
new generation of luxury travelers search for cultural interactions and insider
experiences at the places they are traveling to. India has a distinct advantage
here and operators of luxury trains are incorporating these aspects into the
train tour package to lure the rich travelers. High Teas with Maharajas in
their palaces, visit to tribal villages & heritage sites as well as
hospitality rendered by the train staff aims to recreate a more gracious age of
train traveling. India with its immense cultural diversity and rich heritage is
an ideal location. The need is to stay ahead of time and tastefully incorporate
what the guest wants and desires in the train itinerary. Luxury
train traveling is one segment to look out for in 2013.
How can luxury train travel be improved in India?
they are doing quite well for themselves, I still think lots can be done with
the itineraries of the current trains in operation. Some of the present
itineraries are too similar in terms of the destinations and the overall
experience offered. For example, Maharaja's Express' Treasures
of India and Gems
of India are mundanely similar. Furthermore, the itinerary should offer a lot
more bang for buck as I mentioned above incorporating more cultural
interactions and insider experiences like some of the Maharajas’ Express
itineraries include e.g. visit to Bishnoi tribe in Rahasthan, High Tea with
Maharajas and Nawabs, Cultural performance amidst Sam sand dunes in Bikaner
etc.. Direct tip - include a lot more activities with cultural interactions.
3) The marketing strategy used to promote luxury train travel?
key is to market luxury trains as a viable venue for holding exclusive, high
profile events - personal and business - taking the train to corporate should
be a major hit. Another thing before segmentation for target marketing is
to keep the need hierarchy model in mind as this niche is very exclusive and so
should be the appeal and connect. Catering to appropriate clientele based on
lifestyle and belonging is also important. The clientele average age base also
need to be reduced to attract more and more guests. Exclusive clubs, brand muse
and media publicity at this stage will create brand awareness at targeted level
around the globe. Lifestyle magazines and TV channels (documentaries instead of
ads ) are most vital medium to reach the target audience.
should also take cue from the marketing strategies of leading luxury brands.
There are a few steps which should be the mantra for marketing of Indian luxury
on Publicity (more international road shows, sponsoring events, participating
in travel fares and video documentary for travel channels to spread awareness)
Creating brand muse (celebrities/executives who have taken a
liking to and use a brand or personages that epitomize the brand) Principle
of Enchantment with Legend (As far as luxury trains are concerned, the
excellence of the experience, exquisite design, and insider experiences is of
utmost importance which could be leveraged by endorsement by those in the
management ranks, artisans, travel journalists and designers are important
What do you think Indian luxury trains lack in and what would be the
methods that could be adopted to improve them?
is an urgent need to upgrade the cars of luxury trains in India. Most of these
cars are similar to other trains in composition except for the decor and
facilities on board. Older luxury train like the Palace
on Wheels in Rajasthan could take the cue from Maharajas' Express design
which uses pneumatic suspension for smoother ride and sound sleep. Rocking of
the carriages is a major concern for guests. Another thing is to reduce the
'excessive' shopping activity at every destination which annoys guests.
5) How do you think European luxury trains are different as compared to
Indian luxury trains?
luxury trains have the slight advantage of entering the race about a hundred
years earlier. So they definitely have the early bird advantage. Other than
that, the higher spending power and lesser travel involved translate into higher
footfall for European trains. But, it's still commendable how Indian
luxury trains have caught up. Indian luxury trains are not lagging far but
they do need a strong branding exercise something similar to Agatha Christie’s
book could help immensely in branding of luxury
trains inIndia (laughs).
6) What makes Indian luxury train travel should be chosen rather than any
luxury trains in the world?
can be a major reason. Guests can book an 8 day tour on most
revered luxury of Indian trains at only $2730 (approximately) - and that's
all costs included. Besides, I doubt any other country can provide a cultural
setting as diverse as India. One of the exclusive feature of luxury train
traveling in India is the cultural
interactions and activities such as visit to Bishnoi Tribe in Rajasthan,
High Tea and dining with Maharajas in their palaces and getting to know their
past through their own account etc. Luxury Trains around the world do include
sightseeing of monuments (Orient Express), wildlife excursions (Rovos Rail)
etc. but none could offer the insider experiences as does Indian Luxury Train.
7) What makes Indian luxury trains standout as compared to other luxury
trains in the world?
point discussed above do make Indian luxury trains stand out when compared to
other luxury trains in the world.
there are certain unique aspects of each train like the interior decor. Whereas
Chariot operating in South has interior inspired from Hoyasala and Mysore
architectural forms, Palace
on Wheels recreates the ambiance of erstwhile Rajputana
kingdoms. The most luxurious of the lot Maharajas’
Express has each carriage named after a ratna (gemstone) and the refined
interiors and elegant interior décor reflect a grace unmatched by any other
train in the world.
thing that makes Indian luxury train stand out as compared to other luxury
trains in the world is the traditional Indian hospitality, red carpet
welcome and personalized service throughout the journey. The guests who
sometimes complain about shopping or rocking of cars during night never fail to
mention how impressed they were with extraordinary service rendered by the staff
Any personal favorites?
Maharajas' Express. With its fine tuned itineraries, state of the art
amenities, array of insider experiences, gracious hospitality and cuisine
variety, Maharajas' Express is by far the most luxurious train offering the most
exclusive luxury train travel experience in the world. It has the most
spacious guest carriages in its category when compared to any other luxury
trains in the world and it has a Presidential Suite with a master bedroom and
twin-bed bedroom, bath tub, living area and dining space. Now that's
exclusivity and indulgence! It's not an overstatement to say that this train is
a "world of red carpet and high teas with maharajas".
|Guests Dining at the Rang Mahal Restaurant of Maharajas' Express|
|Guests enjoying drinks at Safari Bar, Maharajas' Express|
|The plates are fine Limoges, edged with gold,
the glasses hand-cut crystal, and the cutlery monogrammed with the letter M|
|A Guest surfing books at the library in the Rajah Club, the lounge bar of Maharajas' Express|
|Guests going through the pictorial books on Maharajas of Rajasthan inside Rajah Club|
|Guests are served drinks at the Rajah Club|
|Guests playing board games in lounge of the train|
An interview with Nikhil Chandra, Digital Marketing Expert on
Luxury Train Traveling in India