New Delhi, India – The growing image of Indians as globetrotters has prompted even lesser known economies to show interest in the booming Indian tourism market.
Countries such as Tanzania, Philippines and Uzbekistan, which do not figure on the top 10 outbound tourist
destinations for Indians, are now jumping the bandwagon by organising travel shows, offering discount coupons and promoting cultural links.
“We want more Indians to visit Philippines. Last year, only 34,800 Indians came to our country. We feel the booming Indian economy can be a boon for our tourism industry,” says Glen Agustin, Chief Tourism Operations of Philippines in India.
“We are early players in terms of attracting Indians.Though our projections in getting Indian tourists have been met so far, we want the numbers to grow. We plan to extend Visa on Arrival facility for Indian tourists in next six months,” he adds.
Many such countries are approaching Indian tourism experts to help them to reach out to travelers here and tap the market to the potential.
“Around ten countries which are not so popular among Indian outbound tourists have contacted our organization to showcase their tourist potential in front of local consumers,” says Sanjiv Agarwal, organiser, Travel and Tourism Fair and Outbound Travel Mart (TTF&OTM).
The increasing purchasing power of the Indian middle class along with their willingness to spend on adventures has attracted these countries to approach us, he adds.
There is no direct flight from India to Philippines but Philippine Airlines is starting one from Mrach 27 between New Delhi and Manila.
The existing indirect connections with long stopovers result in trips lasting 14 to 30 hours. However, with the direct service, travel time will be shortened to just six-and-a half hours.
“The cost of traveling to our country will come down after this flight. We expect more than 50 per cent rise in Indian tourists after this,” says Agustin.
India is one of the fastest-growing outbound travel markets in the world. World Tourism Organization has predicted that India will account for 50 million outbound tourists by 2020. Singapore, USA, Malaysia, Thailand and Dubai continue to attract Indian tourists.