Asia's top destinations battle to attract Indian tourists
Wednesday 09 February 2011
While much has been made of the impact China's growing number of outbound travelers is having on the world of tourism, in Asia markets are increasing looking to another of the planet's fastest growing economies to help secure their futures.
Thanks to increased wealth at home and freer visa access, more Indians than ever are now looking to far-flung climes for their holidays, according to a report put together by the Nielsen Company ( http://in.nielsen.com) and the Pacific Asia Travel Association ( http://www.pata.org).
More than 50 million Indians are expected to be traveling overseas by 2020, according to the India Outbound Monitor report, which looked at trips taken during 2010 and polled Indian travelers about their preferences when it came to destinations.
And it seems those preferences are rapidly changing - and moving away from traditional destinations.
That's bad news for the likes of Singapore - which over the past 12 months has invested heavily in promoting its two flash new, multi-billion dollar "integrated resorts" - Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa - in India.
New destinations such as China, Maldives, Indonesia, Africa and Bangladesh are apparently now the preferred places of choice for 38 percent of those polled for the report, up from 20 percent in 2008.
In the same time, Singapore's stocks have fallen - down to 24 percent from 32 percent.
Overall, Asian countries accounted for 76 percent of leisure travel by Indians and 63 percent for business travel, according to the report.
And there was further bad news for Singapore on the business side of things too - 25 percent of those polled had it down as their favored Asian business destination in 2008, while just 15 percent had the same for the 2010 report.
"The diversification in destinations indicates a greater sense of adventurism and discovery that should be heartening for tourism as a whole and a clear symptom of a confident Indian consumer mimicking their country's confidence and prominence," Nielsen Company executive director Surekha Poddar said in a press release announcing the report's findings.
The survey polled 2,395 people from 11 Indian cities of India who had traveled outside India over the past 12 months.
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