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Business News/ Industry / Visa waivers, special deals: The global rush to woo the Indian traveller
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Visa waivers, special deals: The global rush to woo the Indian traveller

Tourism boards are keen to court India with simplified visa processes, local campaigns on television and digital platforms and with influencers on social media.

This surge in interest comes as India's outbound tourism market looks lucrative with a projected CAGR of 11.4% between 2023 and 2032. Image: PixabayPremium
This surge in interest comes as India's outbound tourism market looks lucrative with a projected CAGR of 11.4% between 2023 and 2032. Image: Pixabay

New Delhi: International tourism boards are vying for a slice of the growing Indian travel market, easing visa procedures, launching targeted marketing campaigns, and offering special deals to attract the affluent Indian traveller. 

This surge in interest comes as India's outbound tourism market looks lucrative with a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.4% between 2023 and 2032 to reach $44.8 billion, according to a report by Nangia Andersen 'Outbound Tourism in India. It stood at $15.16 billion in 2022.

Tourism authorities are keen to court Indian travellers and businesses, with international boards visiting the country, hoping to garner new business. They are introducing simplified visa processes, launching local campaigns on television and digital platforms and tapping influencers on social media.

Mint spoke to half a dozen tourism boards, including those from Hong Kong, and Saudia Arabia who said they are making efforts to recover to their pre-pandemic visitor levels. This is not surprising given that Indian tourists have been a significant source of revenue for neighbouring countries and even for those further away. 

About 27 million Indians travelled abroad in 2019, before the pandemic, the report added. Over 20 million travelled overseas in 2022 with the UAE, Saudi Arabia and the US being the top foreign destination for Indian tourists in the year. 

Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia are competing with each other for the attention of Indian tourists this travel season by adopting visa-free entry policies. Thailand initiated the trend by waiving visa requirements for Indian travelers in November 2023, allowing a 30-day stay until May 2024. Sri Lanka followed suit with visa-free access to Indian visitors and nationals from six other countries, valid through the end of March 2024. Malaysia joined the fray, announcing visa-free entry for both Indian and Chinese citizens starting December 2023. 

Meanwhile, Hong Kong, seeking to diversify its tourism base beyond mainland Chinese travelers, is considering launching an advertising campaign targeted at Indian tourists. "The Indian traveller profile is changing, and we see that in the spends on travel, they make now. It is a very important market for us. While it is not in our top five markets, it is in the top five most important markets for meetings and incentive travel. This is why we are contemplating a television and OTT advertisement here soon," Puneet Kumar, director, South Asia, and Middle East at Hong Kong Tourism Board told Mint.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Varuni Khosla
Varuni is an Assistant Editor at Mint. She writes engaging and informative stories on luxury brands, hospitality news, business of sports, business of advertising and marketing, gaming, tourism and travel, and the business of alcohol. She is skilled in communication, research, and analysis. Varuni is passionate about covering the latest trends and developments in the lifestyle and business sectors.
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Published: 05 Mar 2024, 03:38 PM IST
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