Indian travelers are increasingly getting inclined to explore newer destinations. A study performed by the Nielsen Company in association with the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) revealed that destinations like China, Indonesia, Maldives, the African continent and even neighboring Bangladesh are predicting a hike in the figure of Indian tourists in coming years.
Although, Singapore rules the current list of most visited overseas destinations, its primacy is declining gradually, since 2008. Leisure trips made by Indians to Singapore has dropped to 24% from 32% in 2008. Similarly, its share for business travel has reduced from 25% in 2008 to 15% in 2010. Malaysia now stands second for leisure travel and Dubai for business travel. Countries that showed a hike in business traffic from India include China, Japan and Sri Lanka. As a whole, Asian countries account for 76% of leisure travel and 63% of business travel by Indians. However, destinations like Europe, witnessed higher percentage of business tourists (14%) rather than leisure (10%).
There are separate driving forces that play vital roles in destination choice for leisure travelers, the top reason being visiting friends and relatives (26%). The others reason are to enjoy leisure and entertainment activities (18%) and to savor the scenic natural beauty of the location (10%).
It is true that a remarkable shift to newer destinations is noticed in the travel schedule of leisure travelers in India, but there exists some differences in the travelers’ profiles, based on the stature of the city or town, from where he or she is traveling. Outbound Indian tourists traveling from the high profile Tier I cities tend to be from potential socio-economic background. However, Indian tourists traveling from Tier II cities is mostly (22%) financed by their relatives and those are financing their own travel tend to take more time to make their travel plan, due to limited budget and they largely depend on travel agents, as source of information for trip planning.
The Indian tourists are also tagged as value conscious people and their travel budget are seldom expanded. Overall, travel expenditure has remained the same as 2008 among leisure travelers. A study reveals that the average trip cost for an entire family is around US $3,663.
Thai Airways is the most sought after airlines among leisure travelers in terms of customer satisfaction, followed by Jet Airways and Malaysia Airlines. However, in case of business travelers, Singapore Airlines emerged as the top, followed by Emirates and Malaysia Airlines.