Indian Outbound-Tourism Market Keeps Growing
The South Asian nation is expected to reach 50 million vacationers a year by 2020.
The number of outbound tourists from India has grown from 3.5 million to 21.9 million in the past 20 years, according to Skift’s The State of India Outbound Travel 2018 report. That makes it the second-fastest-growing outbound market in the world, behind China. What’s more, the United Nations World Tourism Organization estimates that India will account for 50 million outbound tourists by 2020. Sabina Chopra, managing director of RCI India, helps explain the sudden boom: “The change in Indian travel space can be attributed to the consistently growing middle class,” Chopra says. “More people are traveling than ever before; they are doing not only annual vacations but also short vacations such as long weekends.”
Chopra predicts India will be the second-largest economy by 2030. “There is huge potential to grow this sector and to capitalize on the growing economy for outbound tourism,” she says. Already, travel businesses have started to take note. Chopra says that more than 70 international tourist organizations have set up offices in India and are aggressively marketing their destinations.
As for where Indian travelers are headed, the U.S.—including a number of cities with a strong existing timeshare network—is among their top destinations. “There has been a 5 percent increase in U.S. travel by Indian members in the past year and includes destinations such as Kissimmee and Orlando, Florida; Las Vegas; Atlantic City; and New York City,” Chopra says.
What are these travelers looking for that timeshare can provide? “Through timeshare, Indians are considering newer holiday experiences in offbeat locations and are no longer narrowing options to mainstream destinations.” Resorts don’t just provide a place to lay your head; many also come with beaches, golf courses, games, and ski resorts on-site, which is attractive to the Indian traveler, Chopra says. “Indian travelers are seeking immersive experiences, whether natural, culinary, or artistic.”
“The top reasons why Indians take holidays are to rejuvenate, spend quality time with family, and get away from city life,” Chopra says. “Comfortable and spacious rooms are an added advantage.” These are experiences and amenities that timeshare resorts are well equipped to offer travelers—more good news for the industry.
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