India - An outbound travel giant and a booming marketplace for all.

Being the second-largest populated country in the world and the fastest-growing major economy, India is now one of the fastest-growing outbound tourism markets in the world and a key marketplace for all the International destinations, hotels and other travel products.

Indians have been showing a humongous growth in traveling overseas. Having a look at the figures, approx. 25.80 million tourists traveled in 2018, and approx. 29 million in 2019. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimates that India will account for 55 million outbound tourists by 2025, considering the new normal post pandemic.

Despite the exchange rate fluctuations, the Indian outbound numbers have been growing at an average annual growth rate of 10-12 percent over the last seven years. The market for travel and tourism in India had been expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of around 7.23 percent during the period of 2016-2021.

Key factors for the growth of India's outbound tourism.

  • Growing Economy - India, being the world's fastest-growing trillion-dollar economy and a consumption-driven economy that is growing at a remarkable pace plays a vital role. Along with this, a large and increasingly affluent middle-class segment with a rise in disposable incomes makes it a perfect growth driving factor.

Indian spending outside the country while traveling abroad has doubled in the past over a decade, from $7.5 billion in 2005 to nearly $16 billion in 2015 and to approx. $23.5 billion in 2019.

  • Growing Connectivity - The ongoing liberalization of air transportation has contributed significantly to this growth as Indian airline space has been seen as growing rapidly with an increase in the numbers of airports, domestic connectivity of tier 2 and tier 3 cities with the metro cities, make the foreign destinations more accessible for all.
  • Growing Internet user base - With over 500 million internet users, India stands as second largest in the world, thus plays a big role in online bookings and influencing the decision making of the traveler across the purchase cycle. It also plays an influencing role when the user prefers to collect information about the destination, attractions, etc while planning a trip.
  • Growing interest in Experiential Travel - Indians have shown a keen interest in niche tourism and experiential such as wellness, adventure, wine tours, gastronomy, eco-tourism, cultural and heritage, luxury, thus increase in demand for tailor-made holidays, offbeat destinations and value-based propositions. The travelers have transformed from price-conscious to value-conscious.
  • Growing Luxury and MICE Travel - India was estimated to generate over 2.5 million outbound MICE tourists annually by 2020, reinforcing the country's influence as a key source market for MICE tourism. India's outbound MICE tourism market is expected to reach US$ 9 Billion by 2025.

The India outbound travel market is surely booming and the global travel industry needs to be aware of this and should look to grab their pie from this incredibly growing market.

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