DMC World View – Distinct Destinations, India

Distinct Destinations founder and director, Narendra Singh Rathore says India is ready to welcome the world, with a strong outlook for 2023.


In the sixth of our series, we bring you the latest news on India from Distinct Destinations founder and director, Narendra Singh Rathore.

Narendra Singh Rathore.


Key points:

  • Group numbers are steadily growing in size
  • A global slowdown appears unlikely
  • Events with a cultural side remain strong
  • India has no staff shortages
  • Interest is high for major sporting events in India in 2023

Since our inception, we have been passionately working towards providing immersive and inspiring MICE travel experiences in the Indian Subcontinent, operating programs in India, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka.

We offer a complete travel solution for all the intricate elements of MICE travel – from crafting events to brief and budget, finding venues, inspecting, creating hybrid setups, and managing the site and overseeing the event.

We had a decent share of business in 2022 and, with 2023 looming, things are looking good with reasonable queries and confirmations.

In 2022 we managed close to 30 groups, with group sizes ranging from 10 to 30.

The new year is looking very upbeat from a business perspective. People who were reluctant to travel to our part of the world are now keener to travel and explore. With all tourism travel restrictions gone and e-visas available for tourism (except for UK & Canada), new query requests are coming in at short notice.

The current travel trends and travel related requests are showing promising signs for the future.

We are receiving enquiries from the UK, USA, Australia, Spain, Canada, Germany and the Czech Republic, as well as some requests from Mexico and Brazil.

Most travellers are ready for long distance travel, ready to explore more, spend for the best available, and want to travel the broader world. Both inbound and outbound leisure travel sales are rising, and with this trend continuing, our sales might surpass those we experienced pre-COVID. Booking windows have normalised back to pre-pandemic numbers.

In the early part of 2022, the average group size was 10 to 15 people which has gradually risen to up to 30 people. With no real concerns for COVID anymore, the requests for larger group sizes are flowing in and the overall travel scenario looks very promising.

Samode Palace in Jaipur, India.


During the pre-COVID era, there was a general trend to mix business travel with pleasure but post-COVID in the initial phase, people were mostly inclined to limit their travel to business only to revive their business relationships. In the latter half of 2022, with the markets fully open and the initial hesitancy that existed gradually going away, they are now more upbeat to explore the destination while taking their business trip.

Nature-based and sustainable-style programs are certainly growing in popularity. In saying this, there is still a strong focus on people wanting cultural and heritage experiences. We are focusing on programs with a balance of nature, sustainability, culture and heritage, especially in a country like India which is so diverse.

We often receive requests for programs where travellers can connect and interact with the local community and contribute in some way. Some of the most popular are initiatives that deal with empowerment of women, child development, and providing infrastructure for villages and schools, etcetera.

We are fortunate that we have ample employees to manage venues and provide services. Our company has brought on 10 extra staff to meet the growing number of requests we are receiving.

There has been an increase of between 15 and 20 per cent at venues and with airlines, primarily due to the changing global situation, including the war between Russia and Ukraine, the fuel prices fluctuating, and some other unforeseen country-specific factors.

India is full of incredible venues just ripe for incentive travel rewards.

A global slowdown?

The current situation is relatively unpredictable globally, but the positive signs are that people are travelling. With some global sporting events like the recent Cricket World Cup in Australia and the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, it is obvious people are travelling to enjoy sport and explore each region.

These are good and promising signs for travel and hospitality.

Indians by nature are very positive and, with over 75 per cent of citizens fully vaccinated, the fear of COVID no longer exists in their minds. People are back to normal life, back to work life in their offices, eating out, enjoying sports in the stadiums, travelling by public transport and booking air tickets. Business is in full swing and festivals are being celebrated at pre-COVID levels.

In India the economy is growing, the infrastructure sector is on the rise, new highways are being constructed connecting major cities, and there is a conscious effort to improve our medical infrastructure in the country.

All of these combined are positive signs for a strong 2023.

India welcomes the world

India will be hosting the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup for the fourth time. Taking place in October, we are already receiving queries from countries including the UK and Australia.

The 16th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) runs from March 25 to May, 2023. The league is very popular and we are expecting a high level of enquiries from the UK.

The upcoming India vs Australia test match series scheduled for February and March 2023 has generated a lot of interest and we have received many requests from Australia for cricket groups.

We are also seeing many requests for travel around major festivals including Holi (Festival of Colours) in March and Diwali (Festival of Lights), also in March.



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