Lleisure Patterns of Indians Going Abroad

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1.1 Travel and Tourism in India

The Travel and Tourism industry is still one of the largest single businesses in world commerce and its importance is widely recognized. The tourism industry is now one of the largest sectors earning foreign exchange. In the face of many benefits, many countries have started assigning due weightage to the tourism industry in their national development agenda. The number of tourists going out to foreign destinations is significantly higher than that of the inbound tourists and it’s growing rapidly. According to a tourism industry estimate, the number of outgoing tourists from India in 2004 will cross the 6 million mark. In 2002, the outbound tourists numbered 5 million. Singapore accounted for 375,000 of them. The US and UK accounted for 257,000 and 220,000 Indian tourists respectively.

Outbound travel from India was 10.2 million in the year 2009. Size of Indian outbound projected as 16 million by 2010, PATA has recorded a 10.5% growth rate of outbound travel from India over the past 2 years. While business travel, leisure/holiday & visiting friends & relatives still dominate outbound volumes, niche products like sports tourism, luxury travel, honeymoon packages, cruises and MICE are emerging as potential products for the Indian tourists. Business travel is mainly 40% of it, travel single and do not indulge in other leisure activities. Leisure travels are mostly by families, friends and those visiting relatives and friends staying abroad…………………………………………………..

First time leisure traveler prefers to travel in groups in a complete all inclusive packages where even the minor need is taken care of. Once they are confident of taking the trip on their own, they do not travel in groups but prefer to make their own programs and ask their preferred travel agent to handle it. More and more countries are planning to promote their tourist destinations in India. Most of them already have their tourist offices selling these destinations with attractive packages. Indians are being wooed as they top the list of big shoppers in Dubai and Singapore and are in the top three brackets in Malaysia and Thailand. Given the changing socio-economic scene in India, the potential market for outbound tourism stands at a staggering 50 million people (5% of India’s population). Unofficial figure suggest that there are around 1million US$ millionaires in India. Many others say that it is a big understatement.

In India’s close-knit family society, this is creating demand for more family leisure travel, as well as introducing new categories of traveller, such as those double-income households where, very much as in other countries, the raising of a family is postponed and two people are able to generate an income and have the time necessary to indulge their rising interest in exploring other countries.

1.2 Out bound tourism statistics:

Destination wise outbound travel of Indian Nationals
200020012002200320042005
Canada520715474255492570106831577849
USA27420226967257271272161308845344926
Bangladesh742687809080415847048046986231
Maldives10616851111377115021099910260
Nepal909956372265743865788986195685
Pakistan6606158378261870961965859560
Sri Lanka31860339246996090603105151113323
Malaysia132127143513183360145153172966225789
Singapore346356339813375658309446471196583543
Thailand224104206132253110230316300163352766
China120930159361213611219097309411356460
Australia414524822745022455975560367951
Hong Kong131368161752193705178130244364273487
Japan387674034545394475205300058572
Source: Euro monitor

The above table reveals that there is a fast growth in number of tourists travelling to the other countries of the world. Singapore received the highest number of tourists in 2005...
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