Indians champs at globetrotting

by Dave

Outbound travel:The Economic Times

Outbound travel from India is bucking the trend even as inflation and slowdown coupled with increasing airfares is adversely affecting domestic traffic and corporate travel.

Not only have outbound numbers grown from India, especially on short-haul routes, average spend of travellers is also going strong, as per figures for January-July period shared by various international tourism boards. According to industry estimates, the number of Indian travellers visiting foreign shores is poised to touch 12 million by end of this year, about 2 million higher than last year.

Indians who travel abroad are the top of the pyramid. This group of travellers are not impacted by inflation or increase in air fares as they have high disposable income,” says SOTC COO Sunil Gupta.

And, it’s not just arrival figures, Indians are high spenders too. “Though an exact fix on spend for this year is not available, Indians for sure haven’t reduced their spend either on shopping or F&B . The Great Singapore Sale was a big hit among Indians,” says Singapore Tourism Board area director Kenneth Lim.

In 2007, the overall tourism receipts of Malaysia from India was above $1 billion. “Since most Indians travel with their families, the average expenditure is significantly higher compared to inbound tourists from other countries,” says Tourism Malaysia director-India P Manoharan.

Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) too is way too bullish about Indian outbound travel. The PATA-Visa 2006-07 report estimates that outbound travel from India in 2010 will be around 16 million. Similarly, Euromonitor International estimates the outgoing tourism expenditure from India to grow to $21 billion by 2011, representing a growth rate of over 25.7 % between 2006 and 2011.