Surge in Indian Outbound Tourists Attracts Global Attention
Global tourism hotspots are wooing Indian travelers with the best they have to offer in their countries.
The upward surge in the number of Indians visiting global tourism hubs has not gone unnoticed, with countries such as Sweden, Chile, Denmark, and United States going all out to attract tourists from the country.
From holding promotional events in India to opening art galleries to promote their cultures, countries are doing all they can to encourage more Indian visitors.
Sweden, Denmark and Norway expect Indian tourists to consume 3.5 lakh hotel rooms or even more this year. It is not unusual then that the three Scandinavian countries are reaching out to Indian tourist through promotional events.
The Scandinavian Tourism Board (STB) is making renewed efforts in promoting their landscapes to Indians. This comes on the heels of Air India launching direct flights between India, and Stockholm and Copenhagen in August, increasing the number of tourists visiting the countries.
Scandinavia recognizes the value of India and feels that it occupies an important place in the world, Mohit Batra, from STB, told PTI. “Indians are more loved and welcomed by the European countries and people are looking forward to cultural exchanges from both sides,” Batra said.
India is also the second largest source market for Sweden, following China, Ruth Dolla, the Project Manager India of Visit Sweden, said, the news agency reported. “The number of Indians travelling overseas is set to rise from around 15 million now to 50 million by 2050. That 50 million is a huge number. This will mean a big growth in spending overseas,” she said, adding that Sweden has been tapping the Indian market since 2015. About 150 Swedish companies operate in India now.
“We have received an 18 per cent increase in the number of Indian tourists this year,” she said. “We have got 1,76,000 visitors from India last year. It is increasing every year and month. We have registered a 35 per cent increase in tourism in August this year compared to the corresponding month last year.”
Denmark, meanwhile, is planning to make an effort to increase room capacities to accommodate more visitors. “This year, unfortunately, Copenhagen has been fully booked by travelers and it has been very difficult for Indian travelers to find (hotel) rooms,” Visit Denmark Director Flemming Bruhn said, PTI reported. “We will increase hotel capacity by 20 per cent in the next two years to accommodate the rising number of travelers.”
Europe has always been an attractive destination for Indian tourists, but with changes in lifestyle, rise in personal income, low-cost airfares and attractive travel packages, they are keen to explore other regions as well. Peru has noticed this trend as well.
The ambassador of Peru, Jorge Juan Castaneda Mendez, feels promoting the country’s culture is one of the first steps in this direction. “We took the first step in May when we opened an art gallery in New Delhi consisting of paintings, photographs, and information related to Peru,” Mendez said during the celebration of the nation’s 196th Independence Day in Bengaluru, the Hindu reported. “A section has been dedicated to showcase the traditional dresses and textiles of the country,” he said.
The embassy has also introduced an extended-visa policy. “Any Indian traveler with a minimum validity of six months on visa from the U.S., the U.K., Australia or Canada can travel to Peru and get visa on arrival,” Mendez added. The embassy also plans to conduct exhibitions in Bengaluru in the upcoming months and has launched a book A cultural tour around fabulous Peru to spread awareness among Indians.
Role of Bollywood
Also looking at the India market is California. Carolina Beteta, the president of Visit California, was in the country this week to gather insights on the preparations required for the U.S. state to welcome Indian visitors. Beteta also visited Mumbai to meet key tourism and film industry officials.
Bollywood, of course, has played a huge role in promoting global destinations to Indians. “We see a role of Bollywood in promoting tourism in Norway. Some Indian films have been shot in the country,” Visit Flam official Bengt Hammer told PTI, talking about how Indians Norway. “Last year, we experienced a 10 per cent increase in Indian tourist arrival. Around 15,000 Indians are in Flam city,” he added.