The Potential for Domestic Indian Tourism is Exciting
Whilst considerable attention is being paid to the sheer number of Chinese tourists that are eschewing domestic tourism for organized travel tours to the likes of Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos, the untold story elsewhere centers around domestic Indian tourism.
While around one-fifth of Indian tourists are more focused on outbound tourism mainly to south-east Asian countries, the majority are still busy exploring closer to home.
Why Is Domestic Tourism Attractive to Residents?
While there are some differences in culture and language similarities throughout the country given how vast it is, India is still largely easier to deal with as a traveler compared to going abroad.
Being able to converse relatively easily throughout the country, follow navigational information, and take buses or flights to shorten longer journeys makes Indian travel simpler. Costs are also more controllable when speaking the language, bargaining is already a familiar practice, and the local customs aren’t too unfamiliar either.
Is Domestic Tourism Likely to Grow over Outbound Tourism for Indian People?
Not every foreign country offers good value for the rupiah. Some Indians may have unfulfilled dreams of visiting a different country until it becomes more affordable for them to do so. In the meantime, there are copious things to see and do on the home front. From bathing in the Ganges to visiting the Red Fort in Delhi or taking a trip to Agra to take in the spectacle that is the majestic Taj Mahal.
It is clear that outbound tourism is reserved for the more affluent tourist who can afford the two-way flights, hotel bookings, and higher daily expenses in a foreign country. However, even when abroad, many Indian tourists retain their frugal ways.
There’s certainly the opportunity to travel on an organized tour to a foreign country but quite often the bargain-hunting Indians will cut costs where they can by traveling with a group of friends, relatives or both. Costs can be shared, such as the chance to save money by taking taxis together. Some even will buy a single drink in a bar to share with a friend; skipping the tradition of buying an individual drink. All of this makes international travel somewhat more affordable.
Which Business Operators Will Benefit?
Visitors to the annual tourism conference in India discover an eclectic mix of businesses representing both the domestic tourism industry and outbound travel too.
Travel agents can arrange packages for busy Indians who want to bundle hotels, activity tours, and plane bookings together. Whether for entertaining corporate clients or to take the family away during an off-peak month to get a break on prices; agents that offer value for money can find loyal customers who visit different parts of the country each year.
Also, hotels will clearly benefit from increasing visitor counts to popular cities where they have one or more hotels in their chain.
The potential for growth in the domestic Indian travel market is exciting news for operators within this space. As accommodation providers and parts of the domestic travel industry begin to cater to upwardly mobile Indians who want something extra (or luxurious) for their money, travel-oriented businesses are likely to benefit from the growing interest in domestic tourism.