How strong is the global spending power of Indian tourists

When the number of Chinese tourists to the United States decreased in the context of economic and trade frictions, the US tourism industry appeared to “attract Indian tourists to make up for the losses”; when a shipwreck in Phuket last year caused a sharp drop in Chinese tourists to Thailand, Thai tourism officials and Industry insiders see a new dawn in the steady growth of Indian tourists. Some people claim that the market potential brought by the country “may be comparable to China”; about 3 years ago, South Korea could no longer attract Chinese tourists due to the deployment of “Sad” The Korea Tourism Organization and various local tourism agencies held roadshows in India … both emerging countries with rapid growth and a population of more than a billion people, India seems to be regarded by some countries as a potential “replacement” of China’s tourism market . Although India still has a long way to go to reach the scale of Chinese tourists who have become a “world phenomenon”, the attractiveness of the country’s overseas travel market to other countries is unquestionable. The number of ads served can also be seen. So what are the characteristics of Indians traveling abroad and what controversies have they sparked?

“Tourism” of different classes

“I prefer to travel inside India. If I go abroad, I tend to choose Bhutan.” Abinav from Uttar Pradesh told the Global Times reporter. After graduating from Nehru University the previous year, Abinav joined a communications equipment company in New Delhi. The reason he chose this way was mainly from economic considerations. “The average annual salary in our business is about 500,000 rupees (1 rupee is about 0.1 yuan). As a newcomer in the workplace, I definitely can’t get this number now, so domestic travel and peripheral travel are my first choice for travel. Travel abroad If it is, the local prices should not be too high. “Abinav told reporters that he has not been to European countries and China,” if I have the opportunity, I would certainly go to these great countries to see, but Work hard first. ”

Asha is a neighbor of the Global Times reporter in Delhi. She is less than 60 years old this year. She is currently retired at home and has lived a leisurely life. Born in the name, under the forest, and has nothing to worry about, these words are used to describe Asha can be said to be appropriate. For her, traveling abroad is commonplace. “I travel abroad at least twice a year-avoiding summer heat in the summer and hiding from the haze season,” said Asha. “Of course, I also occasionally go to meetings abroad.” In her view, Trip and Tour It’s two different things. “I like to relax my mind more than traveling on horseback.”

Abinav and Asha reflected the knowledge and practice of travel abroad by two different classes in India. The former is the epitome of hard-working Indian wage earners. For them, no matter where they travel, the first consideration is cost-effectiveness, and low-cost airlines and budget hotels are their priority. Abinav told reporters that he usually traveled freely with university classmates or company colleagues, sharing the travel expenses equally.

As for the “rich and leisurely” tourists, the first consideration when travelling is comfort, and they pay attention to “having children”. After returning from the tour, Asha usually called her familiar neighbors to her home for afternoon tea, shared what she saw and heard during the trip, and gave some small gifts.

But whether it is Abinav or Asha, in terms of income, they belong to the upper middle class in India, and they can afford at least 10,000 rupees per person in travel expenses. For the nearly 400 million poor Indians who are still worrying about their livelihoods, traveling abroad is tantamount to a “book of heaven.” “Global Times” reporter once went to the outskirts of New Delhi to participate in an event. At that time, he injured his leg and foot and temporarily asked a friend’s driver to drive. After the event, the reporter came to the parking lot downstairs. The driver was looking at a Japanese tourism poster not far away and was in a daze. The reporter didn’t let it go until his name was called. “Is this China?” The driver was not highly educated and could speak English but didn’t know the words. “This is Japan.” The reporter said. “Is it far from New Delhi?” “A bit farther than China, you work hard and maybe have a chance to see it.” The driver did not answer, just looked at the reporter, but reluctantly smiled and returned to driving. seat.

What behaviors are being spit

According to estimates by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNW⁃TO), India’s outbound tourist arrivals in 2018 were close to 23 million. The Vice Chairman of the Indian Tourism Development Association, Batra, told the Global Times reporter that although the gap is not small compared with the size of China’s more than 140 million overseas tourists, in a vertical perspective, the scale of India’s annual overseas tourism ten years ago was only 9.8 million Person-times. UNWTO data show that India is expected to reach an annual scale of 50 million overseas trips by 2022.

The latest survey by online booking website Binke shows that around Diwali 2019, the most popular overseas destinations for Indian tourists are Dubai, Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Paris, Istanbul, Tokyo, Amsterdam, London and Phuket. According to a report by Global Visa Facilitation Services, the United States, Canada, China, the Czech Republic and other countries are also popular tourist destinations in India.

In Thailand, 1.6 million Indian tourists visited in 2018 (China has more than 10 million Thai tourists). According to the Thai “Bangkok Post”, nearly 70% of Indian tourists are with their families and are not with the group. A member of the Thai Hotel Association told the media that Indians speak English, so most of the time they choose to travel freely. In addition, India has a population of 600 million people under the age of 25, which is an important reason for the great potential of its overseas travel market.

What do Indian tourists worry about most? A survey conducted by Plane in July this year showed that 36% of Indian respondents were worried about insecurity, 30% were worried that the money spent was not consistent with the travel experience, and 23% were worried that food was not appetizing The proportion is much higher than the average of 10% in other countries. The survey interviewed 1,000 Indians who had traveled abroad at least once in 2018.

Some actions of Indian tourists abroad have also been criticized. In a report published by the U.S. VICE News Network in August this year, a student interviewed complained that when the flight took off and the seatbelt light went out, the Indians around him began to take onions, tomatoes and other food from the bag. Some even asked the flight attendant to ask for a knife and a chopping board so that they could make “air food” as they wished, totally disregarding the “breathing feelings” of the surrounding passengers. When the flight attendant rejected these requests, another Indian passenger took out his own plastic ruler to cut vegetables, and then began to communicate loudly with other companions in order to “pass the dishes”.

A writer named Dawani said that she had seen Indians casually unwinding by the gondola cabin while on vacation in Switzerland. Another attorney named Chotham said that when he was staying at a hotel in Zurich one night, a smoke alarm suddenly sounded, and it was later learned that it was caused by an Indian tourist next door lighting candles for pancakes. It should be noted that all those interviewed by VICE came from India.

When the reporter’s parents first came to visit relatives in India, the majority of the aircraft were Indians. After getting off the plane, they told reporters: “Bare feet, rubbing feet, curry, drinking wine, wake up and think they are in the bath center.” India’s Deccan Herald According to a report, not long ago, a hotel in Bali, Indonesia, exposed Indian guests stealing hotel supplies such as hangers, ashtrays, towels, and hair dryers, and accused them of being “incompetent.” The article said that the matter “shamed” India.

“One of the most powerful consumer groups” among global tourists

Much like Chinese tourists, while Indian tourists are being vomited, they are also the targets of all countries. Gulf Business News said on November 20 that Indians traveling to the Gulf region may increase to 10 million in the next five years, and Indians are becoming “one of the most powerful groups of tourists” among global tourists. Euromonitor data shows that in 2018, the average Indian tourist spending on the Gulf region was $ 1,100.

“Bangkok Post” said that in Thailand, the average travel cost of Indian tourists is 45,000 baht (1 baht is about 0.2 yuan), or 5700 baht per day, usually 5 to 7 days. However, the South China Morning Post mentioned that Indian tourists are famous for bargaining. At Bangkok’s Pratunam Market, an Indian customer of a street vendor cut the price of four plastic raincoats from 156 baht to 100 baht; another street vendor said he had to sell a bag to Indians at a 50% discount.

A report from global real estate company Colliers International shows that by 2022, Indian tourists ’overseas spending will rapidly increase from US $ 23 billion in 2018 to US $ 45 billion. Batra told the Global Times reporter that India’s increasing number of tourists abroad in recent years has benefited from rapid economic development, per capita disposable income is increasing significantly, consumer spending has increased, and people ’s desire for overseas travel has become stronger and stronger. . He said that data show that many residents of second- and third-tier cities in India are growing into a new force for Indian travel abroad. In addition, this year’s fluctuations in the exchange rate of the rupee against the US dollar have given rise to the enthusiasm of Indians to travel to Turkey and other countries.

Many countries are optimistic about India’s tourism market, which can be seen from the number of advertisements placed by the United States, Japan, Malaysia and other countries in major Indian cities. Gujarat is one of India’s top regional states for economic development, and is known as India’s “Little Guangdong”. A few days ago, the reporter went to the airport of Ahmedabad, the largest city in the state, and found that at least a dozen billboards were bought by the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board. At the airport, you can see the promotional slogan of “Malaysia, the charm of Asia”.

Since last year, Malaysia has launched a “glamour offensive” against India. The official responsible for tourism promotion in the country also visited several cities in southern India to show local markets eco-tourism projects with Malaysian characteristics. According to the International Business Times, Malaysia also secretly competed with Singapore, a neighbouring country that is also a major Indian settlement, hoping to attract more tourists.

The US tourism industry is also cultivating the Indian market. According to data from the Los Angeles tourism industry, Indian tourists’ spending power in the United States is second only to China, Canada, Mexico and Japan. On November 18 this year, the Los Angeles Tourism Convention and Promotion Association opened its first Indian office in Mumbai, focusing on the promotion of Los Angeles tourism projects. A report from The Times of India stated that India is the fourth largest source of foreign tourists in Los Angeles, with 135,000 Indians visiting the city in 2019. In 2018, about 1.4 million Indian tourists visited the United States.

Some Indian scholars also told the Global Times reporter that the development of India’s outbound tourism market may experience a short period of ebb in the future. The Indian economy has encountered severe downward pressure this year, and domestic consumption has continued to weaken. At the annual consumption peak, the Diwali shopping season, India’s overall consumption level has dropped significantly compared to the past. If the current economic downturn can be successfully overcome, and the number of middle-class population continues to expand, then the potential of India’s outbound tourism market is still promising.