More people from smaller cities vacationing abroad

Garima Singh New Delhi | Updated on February 25, 2019 Published on February 25, 2019

Higher disposable income, better air-connectivity and social media frenzy have led to the increase in the number of outbound tourists from smaller cities. A growth of around 18-20 per cent is expected in the visa application numbers from non-metro cities in 2019 against 2018, according to experts.

“On the one hand, setting up of airports in smaller cities has led to an improvement in air-connectivity. On the other, more people with disposable incomes are opting for vacations abroad. The social media has played a huge role in increasing these numbers,” said Sharat Dhall, Chief Operating Officer (B2C), Yatra.

According to industry insiders, short-haul destinations such as Dubai, Oman, Singapore and Thailand are generally the most preferred among travellers from smaller cities.

The tourism boards of these countries are aggressively reaching out to people in smaller cities.

“Tourism boards work closely with the governments and impress upon them to ease visa restrictions to enable more people to travel to these destinations.

“They also organise road shows in smaller cities and educate the travel trade on opportunities these destination offer for leisure holidays,” said Karan Anand - Head, Relationships, Cox and Kings.

According to visa processing company VFS Global, tier-2 cities have contributed significantly to the growth in outbound travel from India. In 2018, 20 per cent of total visa applications in India was from tier-2/3 cities such as Pune, Puducherry, Jaipur, Kochi, Guwahati.

Over a two-year period (2016-2018), there was a doubling in the number of visa applications from smaller metros and tier-2/3 cities.

Published on February 25, 2019
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