What the Extravagant Ambani Wedding Says About Indian Event Tourism

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Indians love to say ‘I do’ in style, sparing no expense for the event of a lifetime!

The big fat Indian wedding just got bigger and fatter. Catch Asia Editor Peden Doma Bhutia and India Reporter Bulbul Dhawan discuss how Indians splurge twice as much on weddings as they do on 18 years of education. Hear them discuss the evolution of Indian high net-worth travelers, Ixigo’s multi app strategy and the travel industry’s expectations from the India budget. All this and more in the latest episode of the Skift India Travel Podcast.

Key Points

Wedding Spending in India: Weddings are the second-largest consumption category in India, totaling $130 billion, second only to food and groceries. Indians spend twice as much on weddings as they do on 18 years of education. High-profile wedding celebrations, such as Anant Ambani’s, illustrate the cultural emphasis on lavish ceremonies.

High Net Worth Indian Travelers: Indian travelers are planning to spend more on leisure travel, with a significant portion willing to pay more for luxury hotel brands and wellness-focused trips. Fine dining and exclusive experiences are key drivers for Indian travelers. India is emerging as a key player in the Asia Pacific region for exclusive travel experiences.

Ixigo’s Multi-App Strategy: Ixigo has opted to maintain multiple apps rather than consolidating into a single super app. The strategy aims to cater to diverse travel needs, providing focused and customized experiences for different types of travelers. Despite separate apps, Ixigo ensures seamless access to all its services across platforms.

InterGlobe’s Miiro Hotels to Debut in Europe: Miiro Hotels is launching its first property in Paris, followed by others in Barcelona, London, and Vienna. This venture represents a strategic diversification effort for InterGlobe Enterprises, aiming to tap into the European hospitality market. The focus is on creating profitable and sustainable hotel operations, despite current economic challenges.

Inbound Tourism in India: While domestic tourism is booming, international inbound tourism is lagging behind. A significant cut in the budget for global tourism promotion and the need for better visa policies are identified as key issues. The government’s efforts to boost tourism, such as the “Wed in India” campaign, and infrastructure improvements are acknowledged, but more needs to be done to attract international tourists.

Union Budget Expectations: The tourism industry seeks consistent support from the government, emphasizing the need for infrastructure status and better policies. Despite previous government promises, the industry still faces challenges in obtaining the necessary support and recognition for its contributions to the economy and employment.

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Episode Summary

In this episode, we delve into various facets of the Indian economy and lifestyle, starting with the extravagant spending on weddings in India. Weddings are identified as the second-largest consumption category in India, with expenses significantly surpassing those on education. The episode also highlights notable wedding celebrations, like Anant Ambani’s pre-wedding events, to exemplify the cultural emphasis on lavish ceremonies.

The discussion transitions to the rising trend of high net worth Indian travelers, emphasizing their preference for fine dining and exclusive experiences. The conversation covers Ixigo’s multi-app strategy following its IPO, and the launch of InterGlobe Enterprises’ European hotel brand, Miiro Hotels, as part of their diversification efforts. Additionally, the episode examines the discrepancy between India’s booming domestic tourism and lagging international inbound tourism, underscoring the need for improved infrastructure and favorable visa policies.

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