Home TTJ Spotlight Guest Column Indians in pursuit of global experiences

Indians in pursuit of global experiences

Ruchi Kohli, Chief of the Experience at Away&Co

In the realm of travel, India has emerged as a dynamic hub for luxury seekers and a growing community of discerning travellers. As we step into 2024, the landscape of luxury travellers from India continues to evolve, driven by shifting preferences, technological advancements, and a renewed focus on personalised experiences.

– Ruchi Kohli

In the upcoming ten years, there will be an influx of Indian tourists around the world. In the upcoming decades, India’s vast and rapidly expanding youth population, consistent economic growth, and rising wealth levels will play a major role in shaping the country’s luxury landscape on the local and global fronts.

India’s economy is rising quickly and seeing increasing prosperity, making it a significant worldwide source market for luxury travel. With a population of over 1.4 billion, India has surpassed China to become the world’s most populous country and currently boasts the fifth-largest economy. Furthermore, the median age of the population is 27.6, which is more than ten years younger than that of the majority of major economies. By 2030, it is predicted that demand for products and services—including leisure and travel—will have doubled.

Travelling is quickly evolving into a genuine means of escape from dull everyday life. We will continue to see an increasing number of discriminating travellers opting to travel off-grid. Being in genuine lodgings and experiencing the indigenous ways of life is a simple and enjoyable diversion from the mundane.

Redefining Luxury in Travel

Luxury is an often misunderstood and more often distorted word. Luxury is subjective, because for some it may be the butler at a large resort, for another, it may be sipping local coffee in a small fishing town in Peru.

For affluent Indians, the definition of luxury in travel has evolved beyond simply material grandeur. Indian luxury travellers in 2024 are looking for immersive and authentic experiences that align with their unique interests and values. This has resulted in an increase in demand for tailored experiences that provide a deeper connection to the area. This trend indicates a desire for meaningful interaction rather than the typical luxurious trappings of large-size hotel-based vacations.

Personalisation enabled by technology.

Technology continues to play an important role in transforming the landscape of luxury travel. In 2024, Indian travellers will be able to modify their experiences because of technological improvements. From virtual reality previews of destinations to more personalised and seamless travel journeys, technology is supporting more personalised and seamless travel journeys.

Changing Tides

The aftermath of major global events and uncertainty has affected luxury travellers’ choices. Indian travellers, in particular, have shown a preference for exclusive and legendary destinations that provide a fully immersive experience. Affluent travellers are increasingly pivoting towards private villas, small luxury hotels in smaller towns rather than focusing on big cities, and personalised yacht and charter services. What is now here to stay is the insatiable appetite of Indians seeking out life-changing experiences that bring them closer to their loved ones and allow them to create stories for a lifetime.

Influencing Decisions

The power of social media on travel cannot be overstated. Social media channels such as Instagram, YouTube, and travel blogs have a huge impact on location and experience selection. Today, influencers and content creators play a major and important role in shaping impressions and motivating travel decisions. Content is unquestionably king.

Embracing Responsible Travel

A growing awareness of sustainability and ethical travel has had a huge impact on the choices of luxury travellers in India. Indians are becoming more interested in environmentally friendly accommodations and experiences that benefit local communities. The environmental impact of long-distance travel is becoming more well recognised. Travellers are working harder than ever to be more conscious of their travel effect at every stage of their journey.

2024 and Beyond

As we navigate the changing world of luxury travel in India, it’s clear that Indian luxury traveller’s desires and preferences have outgrown previous norms. The year 2024 and beyond will see a shift towards highly immersive, sustainable, and customised experiences. These trends reflect a deeper need for meaningful connections, cultural immersion, and responsible exploration, as well as the rising culture of luxury travel among Indian aficionados.

Beyond Conventional Extravagance

As Away&Co has seen over the past years, the journey of luxury travel in India continues to evolve, while promising an exciting era of exploration and discovery for those seeking unparalleled experiences beyond the realms of conventional extravagance. Away&Co focuses all its trips on its four core ‘Away Absolutes’ – Away to Authentic Stays; Away to Immerse; Away to local dining and Away to be Responsible. Away&Co specialises in what we like to call ‘Legendary Destinations’, which offer the luxury Indian traveller not only the most unique experiences, but were only considered bucket list destinations up to recently. Some of the unique experiences are a Private visit to a craft Mezcaleria in Oxaca, Glacier Lagoon and Ice Cave Exploration in Iceland with a local expeditioner, a Stargazing experience in the Dark Sky Reserves in Kazakhstan, Expert wine blending masterclass in Argentina, and Space-inspired Sky Pod glamping in Antarctica among others.

About the Author: Ruchi Kohli is the Chief of the Experience at Away&Co, a part of the Creative Travel family of brands. Away&Co has become one of India’s most experiential luxury tourism companies, which specialises in legendary destinations, and for whom it’s never a trip, it’s a journey and It’s never just a destination, it’s an experience. Ruchi has lived overseas and widely travelled on six continents, and leads a team of experienced travel designers who create intriguing journeys for many of India’s affluent families.