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Foreign travel set to boom

The rich traveller is expected to constitute 43% in 2025 from 5% now, and is expected to boost the number of Indians traveling abroad, reports BS Srinivasalu Reddy.

business Updated: Mar 21, 2008 23:08 IST
BS Srinivasalu Reddy

About 17-20 million Indians will be going abroad by 2020, outstripping by far the 8.9 million foreign tourists that are expected to visit the country.

“We estimate India will have a total of 17-20 million outbound tourists by 2020,” said Zubin Karkaria, CEO & Managing Director (India and South Asia), Kuoni, while releasing the Kuoni Travel Report -- India 2007. The results are based on a survey of 2,900 people in 18 Indian cities.

About 6 million Indians spent $7.6 billion during their foreign travel in 2006. This is a phenomenal rise from $1 billion in 1995. Though 25 million Indians hold passports, only 6 million travelled abroad, the report points out.

Business visitors take the lion’s share with 40 per cent of the spending, while tourists and visiting relatives spent 20 per cent each in 2006. Spending by tourists has grown from a meagre 6 per cent in 1995.

The rich traveller is expected to constitute 43 per cent (585 million) in 2025 from 5 per cent now, and is expected to boost the number of Indians traveling abroad three-fold in the next 13 years, the Kuoni report says.

Although the US and the UK remain the most preferred destinations for many Indians, Singapore and Malaysia are fast gaining prominence. Indians prefer beaches, rejuvenation centres, amusement parks, hill resorts and historical places in that order. The wonders of the world like the pyramids bring up the rear in this list.

Though India is expecting 10 million foreign visitors a year by 2010, the target seems formidable. Despite riding its rapid economic growth, the country attracted 6.9 million foreign travellers in 2007.