Boosted by rising economic prosperity and a fast-growing economy, India is set to be an important global source market for leisure travel. India is now the fifth-largest economy, and its population has surpassed China’s to become the largest in the world, at over 1.4 billion people.1 And the population is young—the median age is 27.6, more than ten years younger than that of most major economies.2 What's more, consumption of goods and services, including leisure and recreation, is forecast to double by 2030.3 Adding a strong postpandemic travel recovery, and a growing appetite for international travel, these factors point to India’s significant potential for outbound tourism.
India is now the fifth-largest economy, and its population has surpassed China’s to become the largest in the world, at over 1.4 billion people.
Through nine charts, this article unpacks trends and opportunities in the Indian travel market. Selected country examples shed light on how destinations can enhance their value propositions to attract and delight Indian travelers.
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Destination matchmaking: Five ways to build value
Destinations looking to harness the full potential of the growing Indian market could consider tailoring their value propositions in alignment with one or more of the five key decision points that influence where travelers choose to go. Destinations might ask the following questions to determine which factors align with what Indian travelers look for when planning a trip.
- Research. How attractive and popular is the destination with Indian tourists?
- Accessibility. Is it easy to obtain a travel visa?
- Connectivity. Are there convenient flights that connect India to the destination?
- Booking. Is the destination affordable for Indian travelers, and is there an adequate supply of hotels in the appropriate price range?
- Travel experience. What is the on-the-ground experience like for Indian tourists in terms of weather, attractions, and whether or not the local population is English speaking?
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India is a high-potential, growing source market for leisure travel. Destinations looking to attract Indian leisure travelers could consider targeted marketing, an expanded range of affordable options, and customized on-the-ground hospitality that caters to Indian preferences. Destinations may need to take steps now to build a strong value proposition and distinguish themselves as a preferred location. To do so, they could take action in the following areas:
Destinations looking to attract Indian leisure travelers could consider targeted marketing, an expanded range of affordable options, and customized on-the-ground hospitality.
- Connect. Make travel seamless, for instance, by simplifying visa application processes and providing direct connectivity.
- Entice. Offer affordable packages with a range of choices that appeal to specific groups, such as families, couples, or solo travelers.
- Welcome. Make the experience traveler-friendly, for example, by providing appropriate food and beverage options like vegetarian and Indian cuisine.
- Attract. Design targeted campaigns to showcase experiences that Indian travelers want, and use appropriate channels to get the word out, for example leveraging over-the-air partnerships and social media.
- Unlock. Include the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions) and business tourism segments in marketing efforts to boost interest in leisure travel.