A strong, consumption-driven
economy, a large and increasingly affluent middle class, and the on-going
liberalisation of air transport will contribute to a 10 per cent annual
growth in Indian outbound travellers to Asia Pacific over the next three
years, according to a new report released last week.
Titled 'Total Tourism India',
the 280-page report is a comprehensive, independent and authoritative
analysis on Indias tourism sector released by the Pacific Asia Travel
Association (PATA) and Visa International. The report reviews all aspects
of Indias inbound, outbound and domestic tourism flows, and outlines
a seven-point action plan to advance Indias tourism development
in achieving the sectors full potential.
PATA President and CEO Mr
Peter de Jong said: With India being one of the fastest growing
markets in our region, the eyes of the travel industry are turning to
this country of 1.1 billion residents, and its rapidly expanding middle
The report shows that international
outbound trips by resident nationals peaked at around 8.3 million in 2006.
Close to three million arrivals were to Asia Pacific destinations, making
India the regions fourth largest source market behind China, Japan
This is expected to rise
to over 3.6 million in 2007 and then increase by more than 10 percent
each year to 2009. The top five destinations by percentage growth to 2009
will be Macau, Papua New Guinea, China, Cambodia and Malaysia. For volume
growth over the same period, the top five will be Singapore, China, Malaysia,
Hong Kong and the USA.
Mr de Jong urges PATA destination
members and inbound tour operators to take a closer look at the myriad
opportunities presented by Indias burgeoning outbound tourism market.
As international travellers, Indians tend to take longer trips and
often in large family groups, have a high repeat visitation to preferred
destinations and an excellent yield, Mr de Jong said.
Indians are among the
highest spenders in key destinations around the region such as Singapore
and Hong Kong SAR. And every year, millions more Indians move into an
income bracket where they can afford to travel overseas. In very many
ways, India is a market of incredible opportunity, Mr de Jong added.
Business travel dominates
outbound travel and is expected to continue with strong growth, stimulated
by Indias buoyant economy; leisure travellers are still significant
in volume though they are increasingly more sophisticated and demanding.
Findings from leading surveys show that Mumbai is the leading source of
Indias outbound travellers with a market share of around 33 per
cent, followed by Delhi at 26 per cent.
Mr James Murray, executive
vice president, South and Southeast Asia, Visa International Asia Pacific
said, India is a significant pillar to global tourism, both as an
inbound destination and a rich source of visitors to many global destinations.
International visitors to India spent Rs. 60 billion (US$1.4 billion)
in India between July 2005 and June 2006 on their Visa cards, with cardholders
from the European Union emerging as the biggest spenders.
Mr Murray added, This
report paints one of the more complete pictures of India as a tourism
industry player, and recognizes its current impact, potential and path
for expansion. Tourist spending globally averages about US$2 billion a
day. Nearly US$4 million of that is by international Visa cardholders
contributing to Indias tourism economy.
According to Mr Murray, developing
an electronic payment infrastructure has become increasingly critical
to facilitate secure, convenient and easy payment options, for Indian
and global travellers.
is becoming an increasingly important channel for delivering tourism revenues
and holds significant potential value in stimulating tourist spending,
Mr Murray said.
Visa has been working
with tourism authorities around the world and very closely with
PATA to better understand the international visitors mindset.
Visa provides empirical data on cardholder spends through Visas
processing network that captures actual Visa transactions by international
cardholders, giving a more accurate picture of spending habits. This enables
businesses to plan and offer the kind of goods and services that appeal
more to visitors and boost revenues.
In 2006, international inbound
travel to India peaked at a record 4.4 million arrivals, driven in large
part by the successful re-positioning of the destination brand through
the Incredible India marketing campaign.
The report also confirms
that Indias domestic travel market has been booming steadily over
the past 15 years, as Indian states increasingly awaken to the potential
of home-grown tourism to stimulate economic growth and boost employment.
Domestic trips reached an
all-time high of 430 million in 2006, up 13 percent on 2005. The average
annual growth rate has been more than 10 percent since 2000, with the
boom in low cost carriers bringing travel within the price range of millions
of more households across the sub-continent.