BlueWander announced today that it has released the beta version of its next generation online luxury travel marketplace, and has selected India as its first destination to launch a new model designed to meet the shifting demands of the growing segment of modern luxury travelers.
The company uses intuitive technology to reinvent the luxury travel industry creating a new way for travelers to discover, plan and book immersive trips in emerging markets, by cutting out the middleman and matching them directly with carefully vetted in-destination travel agencies. With BlueWander’s proprietary platform, travelers for the first time can get unprecedented access to authentic, local expertise and unique experiences in exotic and unexplored destinations all at their fingertips.
“The concept of a luxury vacation is evolving as travelers today care more about one-of-a-kind, transformative travel experiences than ever before, along with a deep desire for sustainability and impact,” said India-born Nishant Aggarwal, founder and CEO of the San Francisco-based company. “By booking direct, the model creates more value for the traveler and decreases costs, while providing an additional source of revenue for these travel agencies ultimately retaining more money in the local economies they are visiting.”
Aggarwal initially hinted at BlueWander’s intention to focus efforts on India to make it a premier destination for luxury travel as a keynote speaker at Travel Launch – a top travel summit at SXSW, an international technology and interactive festival in Austin, Texas in March.
“India is unmatched in terms of its exquisite beauty, culture & history. We selected it not only because it’s growing tourism industry provides an opportunity to expose this richness globally but its a chance to change the world’s overall perception of India to help continue to foster economic development through tourism in my home country,” said Aggarwal.
In the last several years, the Indian government and other major luxury hospitality brands have been stepping up efforts to boost innovation in the category to attract more foreign tourists and spending in the country. Examples include the Incredible India 2.0 campaign by the Ministry of Tourism, as well as the launch of the new luxe hotel brand Postcard Hotels & Resorts by industry veteran, Kapil Chopra, who was the former president of Oberoi-Trident.
A number of travel industry veterans jumped on board, including Indian adventure traveler Ajeet Bajaj, former President of the Adventure Tour Operators Association of India, along with former executives at TripAdvisor, TravelZoo and Orbitz. In addition, BlueWander has partnered with several award-winning India-based travel management firms, and plans to onboard a select group of other forward-thinking DMCs in the coming months.