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ITB Berlin and IPK International: India was Asia’s largest source market for outbound travel last year

(Image by jcomp on Freepik).

ITB Berlin presents IPK International’s World Travel Monitor findings on developments in the Indian outbound travel market.

In 2022, India’s outbound travel market made an above-average recovery, for the first time generating Asia’s highest outbound travel volume, with foreign trips exceeding those of China, South Korea and Japan. Compared with pre-pandemic figures they reached slightly more than half of the travel volume achieved in 2019. With people keen to travel in 2023, the stage is set for a further recovery this year.

Above-average increase in India’s outbound travel volume in 2022

IPK’s World Travel Monitor registered a 190 per cent year-on-year rise in Indian outbound travel in 2022, significantly higher than the average global increase of 90 per cent. With around ten million foreign trips, India is thus the leading Asian source market for outbound travel. In 2019 India ranked fifth behind China, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. A comparison between 2022 and 2019 outbound travel shows that travel volume last year reached pre-pandemic figures by more than half (55 per cent). Put in a global context, although the Indian market performed slightly below average (66 per cent of pre-pandemic levels) it was much better than other Asian markets, where on average the travel volume in 2022 reached only 25 per cent of 2019 figures.

Destination India in 2022

Regarding trips to India from around the world, developments in 2022 were above average at 150 per cent. As a result, India is the third most popular travel destination in Asia. The primary source markets last year were the USA, UK and UAE.

ITB Berlin and IPK International: India’s outbound travel market in 2022 *** Local Caption *** ITB Berlin and IPK International: India’s outbound travel market in 2022

India’s favourite destinations in 2022

A look at India’s favourite travel destinations in 2022 shows that Dubai ranked first, followed by the USA, Thailand, Saudi Arabia and Singapore. Overall, around 70 per cent of travellers in India undertook trips in Asia, which compared with the previous year’s figures increased by more than 250 per cent. Europe and America each accounted for around 15 per cent of trips.

According to IPK’s Destination Performance Index (DPI), in 2022 Thailand, Abu Dhabi and Dubai were India’s preferred travel destinations. In that context, the DPI took travel satisfaction, recommendations and the desire to revisit a destination into account for all Indian outbound travel around the world.

Overall, the Indian source market has the highest DPI (70) in Asia. This shows that foreign travel enjoys a high standing in society, that Indians are extremely satisfied with their travel experience and that they are keen to show this and share it with others. The desire to revisit a destination is not so marked, as travellers are more likely to want to tour and discover other places.

Keen interest in round trips

In 2022, the main factor motivating Indians to travel was a holiday abroad. Occupying a market share of 64 per cent, holiday trips registered an above-average year-on-year increase. Business trips comprised about a quarter of foreign travel, while other outbound private trips made up around 10 per cent. The MICE market accounted for over 70 per cent of business travel in India. Round trips are the preferred holiday of India’s outbound travellers (globally, sun and beach holidays come first ahead of city breaks). Round trips rank first with a market share of around 30 per cent, followed by city breaks at 26 per cent and sun and beach holidays at around 20 per cent. Compared with the previous year, round trips and sun and beach holidays benefited significantly from the growth in India’s outbound travel market and were able to increase their market share.

Trends in booking international trips

On the Indian outbound travel market, as well as globally, most trips (over 90 per cent) are booked in advance, primarily over the internet. Accordingly, 85 per cent of trips were booked online. However, one particular aspect of the Indian market is that travel agency bookings make up a large percentage. At over 40 per cent, their share is significantly above the global average and did not decline even during the pandemic.

Travel spending remains stable

In 2022 the average duration of a foreign trip was eight days, a slight increase both in comparison with the previous year and before the pandemic. The majority of trips included more than four overnights. Short trips, between one and three nights, made up 40 per cent of Indian outbound travel.

On average, Indians spent 235 euros per person and night on foreign trips. This covered all costs including transport, accommodation, catering and other spending, on shopping for example. Compared with the previous year as well as 2019 there was hardly any change, so that spending by Indian travellers remained both stable and high.

Keen interest in foreign travel again in 2023

According to IPK surveys, this positive trend in India’s outbound travel market will continue in 2023. People’s desire to travel abroad is correspondingly high this year too and there is a good chance that 2019 levels will be reached again in the foreseeable future.

ITB India debuts live from 26 to 28 April in Mumbai

India is a very important market for ITB Berlin and consequently the World’s Leading Tourism Trade Show is focused on it. From 26 to 28 April the Indian edition of ITB will debut on the sub-continent. After taking place as a virtual event only for the last two years due to the pandemic, ITB India is celebrating its in-person debut in 2023. The ITB family sees itself as an international brand bringing the global travel industry together. Accordingly, it comprises a global network of partners in order to offer the travel community events, travel specialists’ expertise, the latest trends and outstanding content 365 days a year.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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