'There has been an increase in luxury holiday bookings to Dubai,' Madhav Pai, Thomas Cook India

29-Aug-2012 | News-Press Release

"Luxury travel is all about indulging oneself and the economic slowdown has seen no negative impact," says Madhav Pai, COO Thomas Cook India for outbound leisure travel. "Luxury travel has instead seen a growth. Travel is now firmly entrenched in the Indian consumer's DNA. Given the profile of the emerging new luxury client, that critical 'brag factor' fuels the demand for travel."

Thomas Cook reports an increase of about 15 to 20 per cent in the number of affluent Indians booking luxury holidays in the past year and, in line with this, there has been a similar increase in luxury holiday bookings to Dubai with most clients opting for private villas or beachfront hotels, Mr Madhav Pai says.

"Not only are they willing to spend more but the holiday itself is veering towards evolved travel with a focus on stays based on their sophisticated tastes and interests," he adds.

"Our luxury brand, 'Indulgence', has seen a strong growth from the profile of increasingly well travelled, cosmopolitan Indian elite - covering the upper corporate echelons, royalty, movie moguls and entrepreneurs."

The UAE is also increasingly trying to tap India for tourists from both middle and high-income backgrounds. With a population of more than 1.2 billion and a growing middle class, India has a burgeoning travel market. A total of 702,142 Indian guests stayed in Dubai's hotels last year, meaning it overtook the United Kingdom as a source market, and it was in second place only to Saudi Arabia, according to figures from the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).

This helped Dubai to enjoy increase of 10 per cent in the number of hotel guests overall in the emirate last year over the previous year to reach a total of 9.3 million guests, while the average length of stay rose 12 per cent to 3.6 days, while revenue grew by 20 per cent last year to Dh16 billion (US$4.35bn), according to figures from the tourism department.

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