Indians exploring new places for leisure, Singapore losing out

Tuesday, 8 February 2011 00:24 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Indians travelling abroad for leisure are showing more interest in new destinations such as China, Maldives, Indonesia, Africa and Bangladesh and the most preferred destination Singapore is fast losing out, according to a survey by the Nielsen Company.

The ‘India Outbound Monitor,’ a survey by the Nielsen Company and Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) based on their most recent trips taken, percentage of Indians visiting newer places such as China, Indonesia, Africa, Bangladesh and Macau has gone up to 38% in 2010, up from 20% in 2008.

On the other hand, Singapore’s share has gone down to 24% in 2010 from 32% in 2008.

For business travel, Singapore’s share has also fallen from 25% in 2008 to 15% in 2010.

“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.

She said the Indian traveller is set to become a prized possession as potential spending power and disposition to travel to new countries increases.

Other popular destinations, Malaysia, Thailand and Hong Kong registered an increase in the number of Indian travelling in 2010 compared to 2008. Places such as Dubai, Switzerland, Australia and the US, however, saw a decline last year.

As a whole, Asian countries account for 76% of leisure travel by Indians and 63% for business travel.

Europe attracts a higher percentage of business traffic (14%) rather than leisure (10%).

According to the survey, the top reasons which decide destination choice for leisure travellers are visiting friends or relatives (26%), range of leisure and entertainment activities (18%) and scenic beauty (10%).

According to the study, one Indian traveller on an average spends $1,645 on a trip including air travel, accommodation, shopping, food, recreation and sightseeing.

“With growing choices at home, Indians have not really expanded their travel budgets. Overall, travel expenditure has remained the same as 2008, among leisure travellers. Business travellers have, however, seen a significant reduction in overall trip expenses,” according to Nielsen.

For the survey 2,395 respondents were interviewed across eleven cities of India who have travelled outside India in the last 12 months.