Skift Take

In this week's edition of the Skift India Travel Podcast, hosts Peden Doma Bhutia and Bulbul Dhawan discuss the latest developments in India's travel and tourism sector.

Skift India Travel Podcast

Skift Asia Editor Peden Doma Bhutia is joined by business leaders, and experts from throughout the industry and Skift’s newsroom, to explore the challenges, opportunities, and trends shaping the Indian travel industry.

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Key Points

IndiGo Expansion: IndiGo placed its first order for widebody planes with 30 Airbus A350 jets to enhance its long-haul international network, aiming to support India’s goal of becoming an aviation hub.

Hospitality Growth: Major hotel brands like IHCL, IHG, and Marriott are rapidly expanding in India, focusing on tier-2 and tier-3 cities while addressing service quality and talent shortages.

Destination Weddings: India is positioning itself as a premier wedding destination with diverse offerings and improved infrastructure, aiming to retain and attract the $1.9 billion destination wedding market.

Episode Summary

IndiGo, India’s largest airline, placed its first order for widebody aircraft with 30 Airbus A350 jets, marking a significant step towards expanding its international long-haul network. Despite not detailing specific routes, the move aligns with India’s ambition to become an aviation hub. Dhawan shares that IndiGo’s new planes and on-time performance could attract price-sensitive Indian travelers for its long-haul flights.

The hospitality sector is also booming, with IHCL reviving the Gateway brand for tier-2 and tier-3 cities, and IHG and Marriott expanding their presence in India. Despite the industry’s growth, maintaining service quality remains a challenge, especially given the current talent shortage exacerbated by the pandemic.

Dhawan highlights that many hospitality workers have not returned post-pandemic, leading to increased hiring to keep up with the demand. Sarovar Hotels, one of India’s fastest-growing chains, is shifting its focus from expansion to maintaining quality and adapting to the evolving workforce’s needs for better work-life balance.

The podcast also covers the emerging trend of destination weddings in India. The government aims to keep the $1.9 billion spent on Indian destination weddings within the country and attract international weddings. With diverse offerings from royal weddings in Rajasthan to beach weddings in Goa, and improved infrastructure, India is positioning itself as a premier global wedding destination.

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Tags: asia monthly, india, skift podcast

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