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More and more Indian tourists opting for foreign holidays this summer
Thanks to some aggressive marketing by travel operators to sell a wide range of global destinations, more and more Indian tourists from the upper middle class families are opting for foreign holidays this summer, helped by online travel portals and social media references,reveals the associated chamber of commerce and industry of India (ASSOCHAM) findings.

The paper said it is estimated that the outbound tourists may increase by about 15-20% in this summer, though domestic destinations like Srinagar are also drawing a huge draw as is witnessed by full flights to and from these destinations.

Significantly, the outbound tourist rush is being witnessed even as the Indian economy is battling a slowdown. Excessive heat in most parts of the country, particularly in the North, coupled with attractive packages for nearby countries like Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia are wooing the well-off middle class to opt for such destinations, highlights the ASSOCHAM paper.

"The trend of outbound tourism is expected to grow further once the economy picks up in the next 18 months or so. Another reason for Indians opting for overseas holidays is the fast integration of the Indian economy with the rest of the world, courtesy Indian IT firms sending lakhs of professionals on short-term assignments to work on the onsite projects," adds the paper.

This exposure motivates them and enables them financially to plan and take families to the global tourist destinations. The confidence level of Indian families has also gone up thanks to their regular links with a vast Indian diaspora via the social media like What's App, Facebook etc.

"Besides, the ease of travelling has also gone up - right from hotel booking , airlines booking and transfers from and to hotels are all available on a click of a button", said D S Rawat ASSOCHAM Secretary General in a statement.

The tour packages are available as low as Rs 25,000-30,000 for outbound trips . In fact some of the overseas destinations like Thailand are working out cheaper than the domestic destinations like Kerala for Delhiites, tempting the families to go abroad for holidays, adds the paper.

While the outbound tourism does not help the economy as much as the inbound, sectors like aviation and tour operators are doing brisk business this summer. According to the paper, international tourist destinations like Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Dubai, Maldives, and South Africa will be Indian travellers' favorites this summer.

Rawat further said, "With big disposable incomes and an increase in spending power, high-end professionals in the private sector have more propensities to travel abroad for vacations."

The travel and tourism industry in India is seeing a shift in preferences of holiday makers. European countries, which for long remained favourite for tourists from India are being replaced by cheaper destinations like Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore etc. interest in cruise packages too has increased, added Mr. Rawat.

As per the ASSOCHAM estimates, top on the list are Turkey and France, besides other Schengen countries. Singapore and Malaysia follow.

The new trend that people are adopting is to travel in groups and they prefer multiple places rather than sticking with one option. Apart from this, richer families are also choosing destinations like Disneyland, France. Honeymooners enquire about Morocco, Spain, Portugal and prefer Kenya for wildlife etc.

ASSOCHAM Assessment:


Outbound tourism

2013

2014


10-12% (increase)

15-20%

Domestic tourism

2013

2014


15% (increase)

15-18%

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