Logistics

Spendthrift Indians a big draw abroad

Garima Singh New Delhi | Updated on January 04, 2019

Short foreign holidays are becoming popular   -  istock.com/anyaberkut

More countries prompted to grant e-visa facility

High disposable income and willingness to splurge while travelling abroad has made Indian tourists quite a hit outside the country. This has also led to a gradual increase in the number of countries offering visa on arrival to Indians.

“Some countries grant the facility on a reciprocal basis, but it is mainly because Indians tourists spend a lot on shopping. They are the top most shoppers in countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Switzerland to name a few,” said Subhash Goyal, Chairman, Assocham expert committee on tourism.

Currently, as many as 59 countries provide visa on arrival facility to Indian passport holders. Myanmar is the latest addition in the list.

“Indian travellers are not only travelling in large numbers, but are also spending more on foreign trips. Countries are looking towards Indian travellers to drive growth of their tourism markets and the facility of visa-on-arrival is one such step in that direction,” said Sharat Dhall, Chief Operating Officer, (B2C), Yatra.com. Last year, countries like Japan, Israel, Oman and the UAE also relaxed their visa norms for Indian citizens.

Outbound travel

According to experts, there has been a great demand for outbound bookings for short haul destinations. “Countries that offer visa on arrival have been of great value from an Indian context — a notoriously late-booker market — and this facility has in fact served to catalyse the growth of the extended weekend holiday trend,” said Rajeev Kale, President and Country Head - Holidays, MICE, Visa and Passport Services, Thomas Cook.

The trend shows that Maldives, Seychelles, Bhutan, Mauritius, Thailand, and Indonesia are some of the popular destinations among Indians which offer Visa on Arrival. According to VFS global, in the first half of 2018 there was a significant increase in visa application count from large Tier 2 cities/smaller metros such as Jalandhar, Pune, Ahmedabad, and Chandigarh: these places saw an average growth of 40 per cent on a year-on-year basis. Large metros such as Delhi showed a 21 per cent year-on-year on an average in the first half of 2018.

Published on January 04, 2019

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