Posts Tagged With: indian luxury

Indian Luxury Train Travel demographic trends

This post is an overview of the inbound travel trends in India, over the years, taking a case of The Palace on Wheels Luxury Train in particular.

In 1982, Palace on Wheels started its operations but it didn’t reach it’s full potential till late 90s when entire charters were booked for the train & hardly any seats were available for departures.

From the beginning, the demographic mostly remained, US & UK citizens. They made up 50% of the passengers. The rest were mostly Europeans; Italian, Spanish, Russian, German & French. You would see middle aged married couples experiencing India for the first time & they loved it. They loved the romance of the journey. Although the train doesn’t discourage children, the journey is mostly meant for adults. You would still see a child on a few departures. 

Image

 

(Palace on Wheels Group on an excursion to Chittorgarh Fort)

http://www.thepalaceonwheels.com/

The demand kept growing over the years & you had to book 6 months in advance to get a reservation.  

The trend remained the same till 2008 & then the financial crisis had truly become global with most of Europe also in debt.

For the first time in over a decade there was a fall in overall demand. Groups from Europe became lesser, the US traveller was not to keen with so much uncertainty in the market & Mumbai’s 26/11 terrorist attack made the inbound travel scenario very grim.

 But there were positive signs from South East Asia, Japan & Singapore. Also, a new type of traveler for India was the big spending NRI (Non Resident Indian); They wanted to rediscover India, teach their children about their heritage and culture with first-hand experience. They started inquiring about Palace on Wheels. The train’s wheels kept churning even though some cabins remained empty.

After a while, by 2010, the train was running at full capacity again with US, UK & Russia again leading the numbers. There was a sharp decline of European travelers though. One could say, South East Asians had taken their place.

Now, since the last few seasons we are witnessing the following trend:

  • Australia: Their economy has grown & maybe it’s the cricket but India has become a very popular destination for them.
  • Middle East (UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar): They’re probably just bored of seeing everything else & they really do define ulta luxury so Palace on Wheels is perfect for them.
  • China, HK : When neighbours become really rich, they do come to your house to show off.
  • South America, mainly Argentina : India’s an exotic destination for them & it’s always exciting to discover an entirely new culture in luxury.

 

Did you know?

China has surpassed the US on most amount spent, on an average by an international traveller (among many other things.)

Also, there have been more than a few repeat visitors to Palace on Wheels. 

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Indian Luxury Train journeys: Taj Mahal

Indian Luxury Train journeys: Taj Mahal

A dream on rails,
Destinations with royal tales.

Maharajas of the past, would take leisure in this sojourn,
There’s a beauty in heritage, we are yet to learn.

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The Fairy Queen Train

The Fairy Queen Train

The Fairy Queen, is the oldest working Steam Locomotive in the world, built in 1855. It was completely over hauled in 1996 & resumed commercial operations in 1997 for 2 Days/1 Nights Tourist circuit from Delhi to Alwar.as Fairy Queen train tour In 1998 it was Certified as the world’s oldest working locomotive by the Guinness Book of World Records.

Operational Status: On request.

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Luxury Train – Maharajas Express Crew Members

The Maharaja Train Tours are conceptualized as for providing a taste of personal hospitality while traveling in a Group. The guests re-live the Traditional Indian Hospitality during the tour. 

At the time of check-in, the guests are personally escorted to their Passenger Carriages and the butlers are available round the clock for the tea/coffee services in your cabins/sleeping chambers. These butlers are also responsible for the cleanliness of your chambers during the entire journey. Any specific diet request or special need of yours can also be conveyed to the Train Tour Manager through these butlers.

The Bar Lounge is manage by a supervisor & two attendants.
There is a Supervisor & three stewards in each dining saloon.
The On-board Kitchen is managed by Head Chef & his team of cooks.
The Spa treatments & laundry services are outsourced to private company & can be availed on prior request, on direct payment basis
The Railway Engine is diesel/electric based & operated by staff of Indian Railways.

For sightseeing tours, the total members are divided into groups of 25-30 persons & each group is accompanied by an English speaking guide. In addition, An Assistant Train Tour Manager also accompanies the Group for all excursions & sightseeing tours.

The Train Tour Manager can usually be contacted through Bar Supervisor.

 

 

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The Maharajas’ Express – Indian Luxury Train

The Maharajas' Express - Indian Luxury Train

Awarded the world’s leading luxury train at The World Travel Awards 2012.
Features 5 circuits covering over 12 destinations in 7N/8D or 3N/4D journeys.
4 cabin types, 2 restaurants, 1 lounge, 1 bar and 24/7 butler service.

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