So what would an Indian choose when it comes to holidaying – go on a budget trip abroad or go for a luxury holiday in India?
Its definitely ‘abroad’ for Indians.
And though you might think that its really ‘very obvious’, the fact is that in many other foreign countries, the majority would prefer to take a fancy vacation in their own country, than go abroad!
However, for most Indians, seeing another country on a budget trip (with few frills) trumps a luxury vacation at home. Going to new places, knowing new people and being adventurous is what excites many.
No wonder, statistics show that the number of Indians travelling overseas is increasing every year!
Holidaying in India is Expensive
Unless you’re a foreign who has the advantage of the power of the foreign currency, majority of Indians feel that holidaying in India is not cheap. Holiday packages in India, especially to places like Rajasthan, Kerala, North East, and even Goa (during peak season) can easily cost around 30k to 40k for a few days.
For someone who’s not been abroad (most middle-class families in India), at these prices, a trip to Bangkok or Dubai makes more sense.
Better Facilities Abroad
Indians know that even a budget-trip abroad would still be ‘value-for-money’, whereas vacations in India are usually overpriced and the places offer fewer choices for entertainment/adventure.
“Super-luxury” hotels in India are more like the 4 star hotels in most popular tourist destinations abroad. Besides, most prices are bloated – be it the cost of drinks or meals.
For sight-seeing, you’ve to rely on private transport (local transport is bad), which again turns out a lot more expensive.
These are some of the reasons most Indians now prefer to spend their hard-earned money on foreign vacations, where you get a much better value.
Popular Destinations for Indian Travelers
Thailand, Singapore, United States (holidaying plus meeting family & relatives), and Malaysia are some of the most preferred tourist destination for Indian travelers. In recent times countries like Sri Lanka, Nepal, China, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, Mauritius, Egypt and South Africa are also seeing an increase in influx of Indian tourists.
The Adventurous Indians Traveler
In recent times, the Indian traveler has become more experimental & adventurous; there are many who don’t mind opting for longer & more expensive trips but are searching for newer destinations.
- Morocco, Bhutan, Thailand and UAE were the popular summer holiday destinations this year, for Indians.
- Bhutan, a popular but remote backpacking route located at the eastern end of the Himalayas, has become quite popular lately.
- Another destination that has gained popularity is Morocco.
- Known for its Roman architecture, serene coastal landscape and mountains, Croatia’s glamour and old-fashioned authenticity makes it a popular European country for Indians.
- Far Northern European countries, including Greenland and Iceland, are emerging as popular destinations for Indians looking for exotic summer getaway options.
- Within India, Srinagar, Goa, Kochi and Port Blair are the more popular options among travelers.
Bollywood: A Big Influence
The Indian film industry, including Bollywood, also influences the choice of destination among tourists..
In the past, several blockbuster Yashraj and Karan Johar films have been filmed in destinations like UK, US, and Switzerland, tempting the Indian travelers to visit those countries. Another Bollywood blockbuster Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (ZNMD) gave a boost to tourism in Spain, with Spain witnessing a record number of India tourists in 2012 and 2013.
Bollywood will continue to be a major driver of Indian tourists to foreign destinations
Turning Out to Be An Annual Affair
In fact, there are many Indians who want to go abroad for holidays every year (and with a bit of planning, are already doing it).
Even the falling rupee doesn’t seem to dampen their spirits, though some are choosing short haul destinations (Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, and even Vietnam, Cambodia and Philippines) because of the increased budget.
A big hurdle for the Indian outbound tourism market is the depreciation of the rupee against major foreign currencies. Destinations such as United States, Canada, London, France, Italy and Switzerland have seen a dip in bookings due to rupee depreciation. Europe however still remains the dream destination for most Indian families, though the young like to experiment!