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Indian tourists spend the most when they travel abroad. (AP Photo/ File)
Indian tourists are among the world’s highest spenders per visit made abroad, according to a new study. The latest research has been published by Colliers International, ahead of Arabian Travel Market 2019 (ATM), which is slated to take place next year.
The study predicts around nine million Indians will travel to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states by 2022– a 37 percent share of India’s total outbound market — with business, place of work and leisure sustaining this demand, thereby increasing their tourist inflow.
Indian outbound tourists account for 22.5 million worldwide tourists in 2018 and as per the data from the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), this figure is expected to increase by 122 percent by 2022. In other words, it is expected to reach over 50 million by 2022.
“Despite recent weak rupee exchange rates, which have seen the rupee lose around 14 percent of its value against the US dollar over the last 12 months, the Indian outbound market has continued to grow at an average annual growth rate of 10-12 percent over the last seven years,”said Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director, Arabian Travel Market told PTI.
“The GCC has benefited from this trend with Indian travellers’ willingness and ability to spend on outbound travel supported by the country’s pace-setting seven percent GDP growth and a new generation of leisure attractions in the GCC as well as increased business opportunities and relaxed visa regulations for Indian nationals,” she added.
India continued to remain in the top spot on Dubai’s list of source markets for inbound tourism, with over a million Indian tourists arriving in the emirate during the first half of 2018, registering a three percent rise over the same period in 2017. Relaxed visa restrictions and the introduction of a free two-day transit visa is believed to have added to this growth.
“The influx of Indian visitors to the GCC shows no sign of abating, with every reason to believe India will maintain its position as a top source market, moving forward. Supporting this demand, in the UAE alone, there are currently 1,065 weekly flights to India corresponding to 130,000 seats per week,” Curtis said.
“A rapidly growing younger population combined with a burgeoning middle class – currently representing 350 million of India’s total population – who have an increasing amount of disposable income, provide strong indications that the country will continue to see a steep rise in the number of nationals travelling abroad over the coming years,” he said.
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