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Countries fight for Indians

Number of Indians holidaying abroad is set to double

The number of tourists travelling from India will more than double by 2011 according to new travel and tourism data issued by Euromonitor International. Leading tour operators, such as Kuoni Travel and…

The number of tourists travelling from India will more than double by 2011 according to new travel and tourism data issued by Euromonitor International. Leading tour operators, such as Kuoni Travel and Thomas Cook, are preparing to take advantage of this boom in the Indian travel market, as the total number of outbound travellers looks set to reach 16.3 million in 2011 alone.



This dramatic rise in the number Indians travelling abroad, 132% over 2006 to 2011 according to Euromonitor International’s latest research, is being driven by rising disposable incomes, more affordable holiday options and the growth of low cost carriers, enabling more Indians to travel abroad.



Budget airlines drive outbound travel



The growing strength of low cost carriers in India is one of the key factors boosting the Indian outbound travel market. Clement Wong, Travel and Tourism Account Manager comments, “Indian tourists now have more choice and options for travel outside the country, thanks to the continued growth in low cost carriers. At times, it is even for cheaper to travel to other countries in South East Asia than to other regions within India”.



Air Deccan, the first low cost carrier to operate in India, is currently the most prominent in the market. However, SpiceJet and Go Air have also joined the scene and the number of players looks set to rise.



With departures by air accounting for more than 98% of all departures from India, the air travel market is clearly on a high. In 2006, sales for low cost airlines grew by 115% in India, storming ahead of the industry average growth of 19.5%. Singapore is currently benefiting from the bulk of Indian outbound tourism; however, as foreign travel becomes more affordable many Indian holidaymakers will set their sights further afield.



Countries fight for the Indian traveller



The US is predicted to be the most preferred destination for Indian travellers by 2011, according to Euromonitor International, receiving 10.2% of outbound tourists from India. The strengthening of business ties and a large number of Indians residing in the US will be the main drivers behind this trend.



The growing number of Indian tourists is now being more widely recognised and countries across the globe are increasingly trying to attract Indian tourists. A number of countries, including Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, Poland and South Korea, have already opened tourist offices in India to directly target Indians who want to holiday abroad. Euromonitor’s Clement Wong comments, “Indian tourists are big spenders and as such are a boost to the tourism revenues of any country”.



Brand new forecasts from Euromonitor International show that outgoing tourism expenditure from India will grow by over 25.7% between 2006 and 2011 to reach a value of US$21 billion by 2011.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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