'50 Million Indians to Holiday Overseas By 2020'
Bangalore: With outbound tourism catching up, an estimated 50 million Indians are set to travel overseas by 2020 on holiday, according to a forecast by Tourism Australia, a state-run agency, which promotes the country as a destination for business and leisure travel.
"Increasing disposable incomes and rising aspirations are making more and more Indians travel overseas to spend holidays and flock to newer tourist destinations for leisure and pleasure," Travel & Tourism Fair president Sanjiv Agarwal told IANS.
Growing eight percent annually since 2008, the Indian travel and tourism industry has been registering 14 percent annual growth in foreign exchange earnings from domestic and overseas tourist traffic.
"Domestic tourist visits has touched 850 million while foreign tourist arrivals crossed six million in 2012. There has also been a spurt in Indian tourists travelling to near destinations as they are within budget and takes lesser time to travel," Agarwal said citing a report of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
To promote and hardsell various tourist and holiday destinations across the country and abroad, about 3,000 travel trade operators are participating in the three-day Travel & Tourism Fair (TTF).
"The fair provides a single platform to the travel and tourism industry to reach out its trade partners and potential tourists and business travellers with attractive holiday packages for the ensuing summer vacation," Agarwal said.
Besides Nepal as partner country and China as feature country, travel and tourist operators from Canada, Egypt, Singapore, Turkey and the US are participating in the mega event to showcase their respective destinations and make advance bookings with early bird incentives.
"Operators from about 20 states across the country are also participating in the fair to promote leisure, religious, heritage, adventure, honeymoon, cruise and medical tourism in their respective states to attract domestic and overseas tourists," Agarwal added.
Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Odisha are participating as partner states and Goa, Kerala, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh and Puducherry as feature states.
Among other states at the event will be Daman & Diu, Delhi, Haryana, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal, with Karnataka as the host state.