India’s Outbound Travel Growth

“India’s outbound travel has the potential to grow over 80 million trips in 2040.” – McKinsey & Company

Amid an ongoing controversy between Maldives and India, India’s outbound travel growth this fiscal year is becoming the talk of the town. A single comment made by the newly-elected Maldivian President, Mohamed Muizzu, to withdraw Indian troops and Narendra Modi’s Lakshadweep Island visit roused anger among Indians. Consequently, the hashtag “boycott Maldives” gained traction on Twitter and various other social media channels, leading to Indian travelers canceling their reservations for flights and accommodations.

According to the Maldives Tourism Ministry, 161,751 Indian travelers visited Maldives in November 2023, which accounts for almost 20 percent of total arrivals. From January to December 2023, India constituted 10.9 percent of the overall arrivals in the Maldives, totaling 181,371 visitors, thereby securing the second position in terms of market share.

As per the McKinsey & Company research in November 2023, India’s outbound tourist market was among the fastest-growing markets in Asia before the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In 2022, India has already regained 61 percent of its market share from before the pandemic, with approximately 13 million outbound tourists. 

During this year, the top outbound destinations Indian travellers visited were the United Arab Emirates(UAE), the United States, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Indonesia, and Canada. In the last decade, Thailand launched 50 marketing campaigns for Indian travellers, travel agents, and niche businesses. Their ad campaigns are directed at Indian wedding planners and position Thailand as the top destination for a honeymoon.

According to the Ministry of Tourism(MoT) data, India’s outbound travel industry witnessed 22% Year-on-Year(YoY) growth in the last year. The second last of 2022 was booked by sports and festivals, making travel companies record a high growth trajectory in outbound travel.

Indians To Explore World’s Top Destinations

According to Future Market Insights, Indian outbound travel will grow at a CAGR of 11.42% between 2022 and 2032. This market’s growth is primarily attributed to millennials’ increased desire to visit international destinations before they turn 60. India has huge potential to become a source market for leisure travel. Travel destinations worldwide could consider targeting marketing and customised on-the-ground hospitality per Indian traveller preferences.

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