Indian tourists eyeing Middle East destinations


Indians are increasingly taking to foreign shores for their holidays, with spend on travel topping the list of activities for which residents have purchased foreign currency in the second quarter of 2019.
Spending on international travel amounted to about $1.6 billion in Q2 2019, of the total of $4.2bn purchased by Indians during this quarter, according to data collated by Reserve Bank of India.
This is a 60 percent jump from the $1bn which Indians spent for their holidays abroad in Q2 2018.
Resident Indians are allowed to purchase up to $250,000 in a year for their overseas related expenses such as travel, education, purchase of property, gifts, investments and maintenance of close relatives.
After travel, Indians spent forex most for education. In Q2, of the total $13.8bn purchased by Indians, $4.8bn (35 percent) was for travel, while $3.6bn (26 percent) was spent on education.
Dubai and a few more cities in the UAE, besides Europe, the US and the UK, are among the top destinations for Indian tourists, according to tourism industry officials.
“For many Indians, especially the millennials, travelling multiple times a year is a norm now. With the increase in air connectivity, many international destinations – several destinations in UAE and Southeast Asia being among them – are accessible as holiday spots even during a 3-4 day weekend break,” Balu Ramachandran, head of air and distribution, Cleartrip, told Arabian Business.
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) estimates that India will account for 50 million outbound tourists by 2020.
“Despite the slowdown due to rupee fluctuations, the Indian outbound numbers have been growing at an average annual growth rate of 10-12 percent over the last seven years. The market for travel and tourism in India is expected to grow at a compound annual growth…

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