DELHI: With rising disposable income and more awareness about tourism hotspots, Indian travelers are increasingly packing in curated bespoke experiences besides the usual London and Paris tours, say service providers.
“Earlier, people never committed so early for summer plans. They are done with the usual. People are opting for experiences like Machu Picchu or exploring Troodos and Kykkos in Cyprus,” said Chavi Chadha, who has been in the business of luxury holidays for the last 10 years.
Her company, Bespoke, provides curated luxury experiences and works with many hotel chains like the Four Seasons. Chadha said Indians have evolved as travellers and are more discerning than before.
Last year, her company created 50-60 unique itineraries for travellers. Some plans include a cherry blossom tour to Japan, building on the Ryokan experience. The spurt in number of outbound Indian tourists is making countries take notice.
For instance, Japan is considering opening its tourist office. The Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) has set up its office in India which will be operational from the end of this month.
Japan welcomed 123,000 Indian tourists last year, up by a fifth from 2015.
“Number of tourists from India to Japan is increasing. We would like to increase the numbers further,” said Kenichi Takano, who is a spokesperson at JNTO. Indian travelers surpassed those from Saudi Arabia to become the biggest overseas travellers to Dubai last year.
Similarly, Vienna received a record number of travellers from India in 2016, contributing to 115,531 overnight stays with 19% Indians opting for five-star accommodation.