Popular South East Asian destinations are witnessing an uptick in Indian visitor arrivals and are targeting an increase in traffic with visa exemptions and additional flights. 

Thailand, which has waived visa requirement for Indians till May 10, is targeting 1.6 million tourists from the country in 2023. 

India is one of Thailand’s top 10 source markets and Tourism Authority of Thailand has plans to strengthen partnerships with local travel firms for different market groups, including leisure, women, senior citizens and golf, it said on Friday.

Between January and October, 1.3 million Indians visited Thailand, an increase of 86 per cent when compared to the same period in 2022.

Singapore, too, is seeing an increase in visitor arrivals from India and its government data show a 15.5 per cent increase in visitor arrivals to 7,92,935 for the first nine months of this year compared to the same period last year.

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“We are expecting to round off 2023 with a good number of Indian visitor arrivals. During the upcoming festive season, we are looking forward to welcoming different visitor segments, including families and young travellers,” said GB Srithar, Singapore Tourism Board’s regional director for India, Middle East and Africa.

“Singapore’s visa process is among the easiest and it is connected with seventeen cities in India, making it an easy-to-get-to and favourite destination,” Srithar added.

Increase in connectivity

Increase in air connectivity is also improving travel choices and generating demand.

Malaysia Airlines began operations to Amritsar and Thiruvananthapuram this week. It will launch flight between Kuala Lumpur and Ahmedabad from December 1, increasing its India flights to 65 per week. Earlier this month, VietJet launched flights from Ho Chi Minh city to Tiruchi, it’s fifth destination in India.

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Vistara will launch daily non-stop flights between Delhi and Bali from December 1. IndiGo, too, is planning a service to Bali in the winter season, but is yet to announce a schedule. Local hotels are reporting increased demand as non-stop flights are cutting down travel time.

“Our data reflects an increased positive consumer intent (up by 25-30 per cent) and this is catalysed by announcements on e-visa, no visa, and expanding air capacity. This is likely to nudge the late bookers for the festive-winter season,” said Rajeev Kale, president and country head (Holidays, MICE and Visas), Thomas Cook India.