KOCHI: Indians love to travel abroad. The number of people who cross borders has been witnessing an increasing trend,about 10.7 per cent, in the past five years. With increased enthusiasm the number of Indians who visited overseas during the year 2015 is likely to touch the two-crore mark from 1.83 crore during 2014.
The latest trend in this segment being the urge to explore new countries and individual/small group trips instead of large group tours, which was the norm since a few years ago.
As industry players predict that a cheaper dollar would boost the industry further, the segment is happily growing. Countries like Seychelles, Maldives, Vietnam, Finland, Norway, Cyprus, Latvia, Romania, and Argentina are the newer locations explored by Indians off-late. An Indian spends on an average about Rs 50,000 to Rs 60,000 abroad on a trip.
According to a World Bank estimate, Indians have spent an average of around Rs 91,593 crore overseas in 2013 compared to Rs 70,746 crore in 2007.
“Experiential travel, including adventure such as living with tribes in South America or a visit to Antarctica, is the new focus of the new age traveller. People from India also look for self drive holidays in Switzerland, Singapore and Great Britain with culinary offerings. New destinations that have caught the fancy of Indians are Seychelles, Maldives, Oman and Vietnam. There has also been a rise in number of single woman travelling abroad,” said Karan Anand-Head, relationships, Cox & Kings Limited.
Experts in the field picks up the trend of Social Media is a great influence when it comes to travel. Industry estimates that 53 per cent Indians intend to book international hotels online for their vacation. Currently internet and mobile plays a crucial role in terms of planning and booking trips overseas and the Mobile App revolution will be the future.
“The split between internet and mobile is 80:20 now. But more customers are shifting towards the Mobile space.
Travellers from India want to visit more countries now. Most of the overseas travellers from India are repeated ones.
People from Metro Cities in India constitute the large chunk of the total customer base. Over the last five years, there is almost two fold increase in Indian outbound market and this shows that the capability of the Indian travel market is enormous,” said V George Antony, Managing Director, UAE Exchange India. He added that low cost carriers have played a major role in promoting the culture of ‘touring abroad’.
Now with direct flights to a number of foreign tourist destinations, Indians would rather spend their extended weekends overseas, says Neelu Singh, Chief Executive Officer and Director, Ezeego1.com.
“Indians now choose short-haul visa free destinations such as Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka for a short weekend trip of 3-4 days. While Indians would typically take an international holiday once in 18-24 months a few years back, the frequency is now once in 12-18 months,” she added.