Until recently, a safari typically meant roughing it out at one of Africa’s famous game reserves. But not anymore. Indian travellers are planning trips to be part of international annual shopping festivals. Some are even opting for customised itineraries to visit premium malls when they vacation abroad. “Going on holiday purely to shop is a growing trend, especially among Indians with high-spending capacity. It is also gaining traction with the upper-middle class and the DINKs (Double Income No Kids),” says Karan Anand of Cox & Kings.
Travel operators add that repeat travellers also tend to visit a particular destination with the specific intention to shop. “Travellers now look to explore the destination to the fullest. So, a lot of clients are requesting for customised packages that include visits to boutiques, night markets or even outlet malls,” says Daniel D’souza of Kuoni India. Bookings tend to rise phenomenally around festivals such as the Dubai Shopping Festival, Hong Kong Shopping Festival and The Great Singapore Sale, where one can snag good bargains on electronics, fashion, jewellery and more.
Another reason for this trend is that the visiting city tends to come alive at the time. “Many shops are open 24x7. There are fun events like concerts, music performances and carnivals, which make these shopping safaris memorable,” says Sankalp Agarwal of Travel Triangle. Shefali Walia of WeTravelSolo, adds, “So, while shopping remains the essence of these trips, they also include activities that add value to the experience.”
Dubai Shopping Festival
It is a huge hit with Indians looking to snag deals.
The Great Singapore Sale
Thousands of buyers flock to the main shopping areas for this mega sale. Discounts go up to 70% .
Amazing Thailand Grand Sale
Shops offer discounts upto 80%. There are plenty of offers on hotels, flights, activities and more.
Hit the malls
Boxing Day Sale in the UK, the US and Australia
Retailers open early (typically 5am or even earlier), and offer blockbuster deals to draw people to their stores. It is not uncommon to spot queues formed early in the morning of December 26.
US Outlet Shopping Festival
Participating retail outlets across USA come together for the ultimate shopping experience. Brands take part across stores in Florida, Oklahoma, Oregon, Indiana, Pennsylvania, California, New York and more.
Snag a deal here
Chatuchak Weekend Market (Thailand)
It is probably the largest flea market in the world, with over 15,000 stalls set up over 35 acres. You could buy anything, from wooden furniture and handmade items to trendy accessories, at a bargain price.
Flea markets in Kuala Lumpur ,Malaysia
They are a hit with travellers looking to purchase fruits, flowers, fragrances, fabrics and footwear.