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India Set to Be Fourth Largest Global Travel Spender by 2030; Here’s What’s Inspiring Indians to Travel

India’s tourism industry is experiencing a remarkable growth, especially post-pandemic, with travellers spending like never before. It is anticipated that the total expenditure made by Indian travellers will soar to $410 billion by 2030 making India the fourth largest global spender.  

This is a massive 173 per cent rise compared to pre-Covid period (2019) when Indian travellers spent a total of $150 billion on travel marking India as the sixth largest global spender.

These are some of the revelations from and McKinsey & Company’s new report titled ‘How India Travels’.

According to the report, India led the way on tourism expenditure recovery in 2022 by reaching 78 per cent of 2019 levels, as compared with 52 per cent for Asia. Meanwhile, the number of aggregate trips is expected to increase from 2.3 billion in 2019 to a staggering 5 billion in 2030.

Indians prefer ‘thrill’ and ‘excitement’ when it comes to travelling

With an average window of just 29 days, Indian travellers showcase remarkable spontaneity in their trip planning followed by Japan (57 days) and USA (63 days). What’s more is that travellers focussed on culinary convenience, with over 80 per cent of them valuing restaurant and room service options during their stay.

In terms of stay, there is a rise in demand for alternative accommodation options, such as hostels, campsites, vacation rentals, and chalets.

Moving beyond conventional destinations

As per data, a new trend is emerging, where the lesser-known gems are now capturing the wanderlust of travellers. Cities such as Varanasi, Gurugram and Coimbatore are increasingly showing up in bookings with remarkable growth.

Even as old favourites like Manali, Shimla and Lonavala remain popular among hilly destinations, off-beat locations like Panchgani, Madikeri and Mount Abu are topping the charts on growth for demand in 2023.

Moreover, travellers are increasingly looking overseas for their next vacation with new destinations from Vietnam, Indonesia and Nepal entering the top ranks.

Where are Indians getting travel inspiration from?

Indian travellers’ interests are shaped by TV shows and Indian cinema, with more than half (54 per cent) indicating they would choose a destination showcased in a show or a movie. Just 2 per cent of travellers see no influence.

Mega events like sporting tournaments (ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023), diplomatic meetings (G20 Summit 2023), music concerts (Lollapalooza) and many more exert a magnetic pull on travellers, acting as compelling catalysts for their journeys, the report said.

It also stated that in the year 2022, 91 per cent of Indian travellers expressed that YouTube is their preferred social media platform for travel inspiration, followed by Instagram, which holds the interest of 85 per cent of Indian travellers.

“The Indian traveller is willing, eager and confident to keep going, travelling near and far in the search for new experiences. This is a unique opportunity for India’s travel ecosystem to meet Indian travellers where they are – with attractive, personalised and more sustainable experiences. The best is yet to come,” Santosh Kumar, Country Manager, India, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Indonesia, said.

Source : BusinessToday