UK travel marketers looking to attract inbound custom should be focusing their efforts on India.
New Travel and Tourism data just published by Euromonitor International predicts that the number of tourists travelling from India will more than double by 2011.
Leading tour operators, such as Kuoni Travel and Thomas Cook are already preparing to take advantage of this boom in the Indian travel market, as the total number of outbound travellers is set to reach 16.3 million in 2011 alone.
This dramatic rise in the number Indians travelling abroad, 132 per cent 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.
The growing strength of low cost carriers in India is one of the key factors boosting the Indian outbound travel market.
Travel and Tourism Account Manager, Clement Wong, said, “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 per cent of all departures from India, the air travel market is clearly on a high. In 2006, sales for low cost airlines grew by 115 per cent in India, storming ahead of the industry average growth of 19.5 per cent.
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.
The US is predicted to be the most preferred destination for Indian travellers by 2011, according to Euromonitor International, receiving 10.2 per cent 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.
Wong added, “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 per cent between 2006 and 2011 to reach a value of US$21 billion by 2011.
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