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Luxury Travel Rises: Indian HNIs Drive Foreign Spend, Hotel Market to Reach $446.50 Bn in 2024

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Indian tourists’ travel preferences are changing. They’re moving beyond budget trips and seeking luxurious, thrilling, unforgettable experiences. This shift boosts luxury travel sales abroad and highlights India’s growing economic influence.

A recent report by Marriott International highlights a significant rise in Indian travelers opting for luxury experiences. Nearly 89% of Indian high-net-worth individuals (HNIs) plan to increase travel spending next year, which translates to a surge in demand for luxury accommodations. Iconic five-star hotels and exclusive resorts are witnessing a significant influx of Indian guests.

According to Statista, the Travel and tourism market is set to see a significant revenue increase worldwide. By 2024, revenue is expected to reach US$927.30 billion, with an annual growth rate of 3.47%, resulting in a market volume of US$1063 billion by 2028. The Hotels market, the largest within Travel and tourism, is projected to reach a market volume of US$446.50 billion in 2024.


Screenshot 2024 07 02 133453
Source: Statista 

Looking ahead, the number of users in the hotel market is expected to rise to 1,397.00 million by 2028. In 2024, the user penetration rate was 25.9%, projected to reach 28.1% by 2028. The average revenue per user (ARPU) is expected to hit US$0.46k. By 2028, online sales are anticipated to account for 76% of Travel & Tourism revenue. The United States is forecasted to generate the highest revenue, reaching US$199 billion in 2024.

Average Revenue Per User

Screenshot 2024 07 02 134453

A Shift in Travel Goals

While luxury hotels remain an important aspect of the new-age Indian vacation, the focus extends beyond mere accommodation. Today’s travelers seek immersive experiences catering to their interests and passions. This diversification in travel goals is creating a market for unique and often exhilarating activities.

The Rise of the Indian Traveller

The Indian economy has witnessed a remarkable boom in recent years. , leading to a growing middle class with disposable income. This newfound financial freedom has translated into a desire for travel experiences that go beyond the ordinary. Today’s Indian traveler is well-informed, seeking unique adventures and unparalleled comfort. This shift is evident in the growing demand for:

  • Luxury Accommodations: Five-star hotels, private villas, and opulent resorts are no longer just for celebrities. Indian travelers increasingly opt for luxurious stays that offer impeccable service, world-class amenities, and stunning locations. 
  • Thrilling Activities: The desire for adrenaline-pumping experiences is on the rise. Formula 1 racing experiences, where one can get behind the wheel of a high-performance car on a legendary track, are becoming increasingly popular. White-water rafting through treacherous rapids, skydiving over breathtaking landscapes, and hot air balloon rides across scenic valleys are just a few examples of the adventures Indian travelers are actively seeking.
  • Epic Train Journeys: Train travel is experiencing a change, particularly for journeys offering scenic vistas and a unique cultural immersion. The legendary Trans-Siberian Railway, traversing eight time zones across Russia, or the luxurious Maharajas’ Express in India, offering unparalleled luxury on wheels, attracts Indian travelers. These journeys provide a chance to slow down, appreciate the landscape, and connect with fellow travelers worldwide.

A Surge in Luxury Travel

Industry experts have highlighted a growing interest in unique travel experiences. These include private estate tours in Italy, exploring wine regions like Barolo, Barbaresco, and Alta Langa, private jungle safaris in Kenya’s Masai Mara, and elephant watching from exclusive balconies at places like the Four Seasons Serengeti. 

According to recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australia welcomed around 410,000 Indian visitors last year. There is also a growing trend among Indian travelers towards indulging in luxury accommodations, Formula 1 experiences, and memorable train journeys, reflecting an increasing appetite for distinctive and upscale travel adventures.

Bookings from Indian guests at the Four Seasons Mauritius increased significantly by 50% in 2023 compared to the previous year. Looking ahead to 2024, a continued positive trend highlights the popularity of private retreats among families seeking a memorable vacation in the privacy of their pool villas. 

Factors Fueling the Change

The trend of luxury travel is fueled by various factors. India’s growing middle class and strong economy have boosted disposable incomes. Travelers now crave more than just sightseeing, prioritizing tailored service, exceptional comfort, and exclusive amenities. Social media, through travel influencers, amplifies the allure of luxurious getaways, intensifying the demand for lavish experiences.

Several factors contribute to this exciting transformation in Indian travel habits.

  • Increased disposable income: As mentioned earlier, the rising middle class in India has more money to spend on leisure activities. This financial freedom allows them to indulge in experiences that were previously out of reach.
  • Exposure to global trends: With the rise of social media and travel blogs, Indian travelers are more exposed to international travel trends. They are inspired by others’ experiences and actively seek out similar adventures.
  • Shifting priorities: Travel is no longer seen as a mere escape from daily life but as an investment in personal growth and well-being. Indian travelers are prioritizing experiences that create lasting memories and broaden their horizons.
  • Improved air connectivity: The expansion of international air travel has made it easier and more affordable for Indians to travel to exotic destinations. Direct flights to previously inaccessible locations have opened up a new world of possibilities.

Global Trends

The 2024 Global Travel Trends Report dives into what’s driving travel worldwide right now. While every traveler’s motivations differ based on where they’re from, their age, and other factors, one thing’s clear: everyone’s eager to make the most of their trips this year. Whether exploring personal passions or diving into new cultures, people are crafting their journeys around what inspires them. This trend paints a vibrant picture of travel today—a blend of discovery and fulfillment that goes beyond mere sightseeing.

India’s growing interest in these experiences positions it as a key driver of luxury travel sales abroad. International travel companies are recognizing this shift and tailoring their offerings to cater to the specific tastes and preferences of Indian travelers.

The Road Ahead

The future of Indian travel is undoubtedly bright. As the economy continues to flourish and disposable incomes rise, the demand for luxury travel experiences is expected to soar. Travel companies and destinations alike will need to adapt and cater to this evolving market.

Here are some potential areas of growth:

  • Customization: Travelers will seek highly personalized experiences catering to their interests and preferences.
  • Sustainable Luxury: The concept of sustainable luxury travel is gaining traction. Travelers will increasingly seek eco-friendly experiences that minimize environmental impact.
  • Experiential Travel: The focus will continue to shift towards unique and immersive experiences that create lasting memories. This could include curated cultural tours, cooking classes with renowned chefs, or exclusive access to local events.

India’s rise in luxury travel reflects its growing economy and evolving travel interests. As Indian travelers explore the world in luxurious ways, their preferences and spending power will influence global luxury travel trends.


  1. How much are Indian HNIs spending on luxury travel abroad?

    Indian high net-worth individuals (HNIs) are witnessing a significant rise in foreign spending on luxury travel experiences. While the exact figures may vary, reports indicate a substantial increase compared to previous years.

  2. What's driving the growth of the Indian luxury travel market?

    Several factors contribute to this growth, including rising disposable income, increased exposure to global travel trends, a shift in travel priorities towards personal growth, and improved international air connectivity.

  3. How big is the projected hotel market in 2024?

    The global hotel market is estimated to reach a staggering $446.50 billion in 2024. With Indian HNIs increasingly opting for luxury stays abroad, this segment is expected to see a significant boost from Indian travelers.

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I’m Archana R. Chettiar, an experienced content creator with
an affinity for writing on personal finance and other financial content. I
love to write on equity investing, retirement, managing money, and more.

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