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Strong Upward Trend in India's Outbound Travel

ITB Berlin

The strong growth in outbound trips from India continued seamlessly again into 2019. In particular, destinations within Asia benefited from this upward trend. As in Asia overall, holidays abroad are becoming increasingly popular in India too.

The launch of ITB India in April 2020 emphasizes the importance of the Indian market in the international scene. The event will put India's growing travel industry in the limelight. ITB India will be the gateway to the Indian travel market for international players to gain access to one of the fastest growing outbound market in Asia. The latest findings of the World Travel Monitor by IPK International point to further growth in outbound trips from India in 2020. The World Travel Monitor is based on the results of representative interviews with more than 500,000 people in over 60 countries worldwide. It has been compiled for more than 20 years and is recognized as the most wide scale continuous survey of global travel trends.

Above–average growth in outbound trips

Despite a large population and economic development India is not one of Asia's high–volume source markets for outbound trips. It ranks fifth, a long way behind China, South Korea, Japan and even Taiwan. However, in recent years India's market has recorded above–average growth in outbound travel: With an increase of seven per cent in the first eight months of 2019, outbound trips from India exceeded the average figure for Asia overall.

Destinations within Asia in demand

The main beneficiaries of India's growth in outbound travel are destinations in Asia, whose market share rose to almost 70 per cent in 2019. Destinations in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan were in particularly high demand and reported double–digit growth. At seven per cent, travel to North America increased significantly too, whereas trips to Europe were below average during the first eight months of 2019.

Tourism and the New Green Deal
Europe Can Take The Lead

The Exploratorium, an exquisite museum in San Francisco

The role of tourism in the new European Green Deal was highlighted at the FITUR trade fair. On the back of the recent launch of the Green Deal, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) invited Ministers of Tourism from across Europe and representatives from the European Parliament and the European Travel Commission (ETC) to Madrid for a high–level conversation on the vital role the tourism sector will play if the ambitious sustainability goals are to be met.

The Green Deal will form an integral part of the Commission's strategy to implement the UN's 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals and pledges to make Europe the first carbon-neutral continent by 2050. Recognizing the role that tourism will play in achieving this, UNWTO used the occasion of FITUR to provide a platform for EU and non–EU stakeholders, including representatives from both the public and private sectors. Established at the start of a new five–year period for the European Commission, this platform will advocate for tourism to be a central part of the Green Deal.

UNWTO Secretary–General Zurab Pololikashvili said: "The tourism sector has an obligation to use its unique power to lead the response to the climate emergency and ensure responsible growth. UNWTO is committed to accelerating progress towards low carbon emission tourism, and I am delighted to see that, in this regard, UNWTO and the European Commission are on the same page."

The Secretary of State for Tourism of Spain, the country that hosts UNWTO, Isabel Oliver, added: "A more prominent presence in the political structure of the European Union would allow the importance of tourism to be put on the agenda as a lever to achieve the challenges that European policy has identified, including the Green Deal."

(For full story read SAFARI INDIA)