“Wealth is now defined, at least in part, by the ability to be offline whenever you want” Fernando Gros.
0 items in your cart
$0
Blog // Travel
May 10, 2005

Tourists At The Mall

One thing that still surprises me (I saw it again today), is busloads of western tourists or even local expats, arriving at the new shopping malls to the south of Delhi. Now to explain; shopping malls, especially shiny modern air-conditioned ones are a very new phenomenon in this part of the country. Most retail takes […]

One thing that still surprises me (I saw it again today), is busloads of western tourists or even local expats, arriving at the new shopping malls to the south of Delhi.

Now to explain; shopping malls, especially shiny modern air-conditioned ones are a very new phenomenon in this part of the country. Most retail takes place in small local market squares, the experience of which ranges from enchanting chaos to depressing drugery. However, as the new satellite city of Gurgaon (home to an ever growing colony of call centres and outsourcing enterprises) has grown, it has brought with it some very shiny and often expensive malls. They call it the Singaporisation of Delhi, which is an overstatement, but not a grandious one.

These malls are far more comfortable and luxurious than any other shopping experience in the city and they are very aspirational (with stores like Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste, Nike, Bennetton). You can buy Callaway golf sets, iPods and Mont Blanc pens (from sales staff who earn less than £100 a month).

However, i’m at a loss to explain the tour buses. These malls are not that far from the most major hotels, or the main expat residential areas (though many embassy staff do have a “small” view of delhi). I guess it’s hard to understand exactly why tourists feel so compelled to add these malls to their itinerary, or why expats would view them as a bus-based day trip.

Responses
Becca 15 years ago

Since I am planning a trip to India within this next year … this is very interesting and helpful info. I have enjoyed finding and reading your blog today.

f 15 years ago

Thanks and welcome to the site!

Toni 15 years ago

It’s the same reason there are bus-loads of tourists that turn up at Bicester shopping village (retail outlet by our nearest town). Shopping for familiar luxury items in quasi-familiar surroundings while you’re in another country is something people just like to do.

Retail therapy?

Bargain hunting?

Reassurrance by touching the familiar?

Who knows what the motivation is. Maybe the tour companies get an incentive to bring people, so it’s automatically added to the itinery.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Enter your and your to join the mailing list.